Health

Create One Hour (or more) for YOU

I’ve talked with numerous people this week who are tired, frazzled, and just plain pooped. And guess what? I’m one of them. I had more on my plate than usual this week and I can feel it. My body feels heavy and overall just worn out. I had plans for the weekend that I’ve already cancelled because I just need some time, space, and quiet to relax, rest, and recharge. Alone.

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

I know exactly what this will do for me. After slowing down and sleeping mightily, my batteries will be recharged and invigorated. Ready for what’s next. But only after I honor what my body is telling me it needs. If I don’t listen and do something about it, my body will only yell back at me more.

What do you need this weekend? Really need?

Now go honor the bright shiny soul that you are and give it to yourself.

Leave a comment on the blog below if you’d like.

If you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”, please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you. Coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

~ Susan

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Serenity

Some sad updates. Do you remember the friend I spoke about a few weeks ago, Laurie Foley, who had entered hospice? She transitioned to the next world March 4th. Then Custard, one of the horses I spoke about in my last newsletter who had been rescued, had to be put to sleep as well.

And then, a close friend of mine lost a beloved family member too.

All of this news within a 4 day period. Ouch.

I’ve felt heavy for a few days. Physically and energetically heavy. I’m allowing myself to feel that energy, let it sit as it needs to, knowing it will pass through.

Today I want to talk about serenity.

When you hear that word, what does it mean to you?

In Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book Simple Abundance she says women can find serenity if they stop behaving as if they were whirling dervishes. The constant multi-tasking of for example, beginning to brush your teeth only to leave the bathroom to start making your bed before the teeth brushing is over, then to notice that something else in the next room needs straightening up, yet you still have your toothbrush in your mouth trying to finish making the bed, and mentally already moving onto the next thing before you’ve even finished the first and second. Sound familiar?  Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

How do you combat that insanity? By doing only one thing at a time. Not possible to get everything done you say. Au contraire. It is. There is a ton of research out there supporting this very thing. When you truly only work on one task at a time, your energy is focused and present. When you are focused and present you are actually able to work more efficiently and with greater ease.

I know your mind might be saying no way. That’s what our minds do. They say it can’t be done if that’s the only way it’s ever been done. I invite you to challenge your mind. Try it for a week. Do one thing at a time and find out how it works for you. Does it make things harder or easier? More simple or cluttered? More pleasurable or painful?

For me serenity means that no matter what is going on outside of me, I am calm and peaceful on the inside. We all have that place, that space, deep within where we are still. That is who we are at our core. Stillness. In that place of stillness is where our best lives come from, our best selves, our best work.

It also means honoring my personal energy. Only putting on my plate what truly feels good for me to do and deciding how much I put on that plate in any given day. And do you know what I found to be interesting? If there’s ever any push back it comes from me. My next door neighbor doesn’t care how much I do. My husband doesn’t care. My dog doesn’t care either. It’s only my mind that fights me (on occasion) about it. But my body will always tell me loud and clear when I’ve done too much. It gets very tired. And until I give it rest it doesn’t respond well to further instruction.

So if this is something you struggle with, how you can bring more serenity into your life? What needs to shift in order to make that happen?

Leave a comment on the blog below if you’d like.

If you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”, please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you. Coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

~ Susan

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

 

Letting in the Fun

This past weekend my husband and I went to a blind wine tasting party. Each couple brought a bottle of zinfandel wine and they were placed in paper bags with numbers so no one knew what exact brand of wine it was. We were given index cards in order to write down comments on each numbered wine, then we had to rank them in order of what we liked best down to the worst as we tasted. I can’t tell you how much fun it was to chat with each person as we were tasting wine and writing our comments. The look on people’s faces when they didn’t like a wine was priceless. The scrunched up noses with their tongue sticking out of their mouths. And then by comparison, the opposite look of someone who liked the wine with a raised eyebrow and a smile. Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

We were not in a group of wine connoisseurs which was a good thing because the adjectives we used to describe our wines were not what you might read on wine websites. For example, “Recognized for its intensity of color and good structure of tannin and acid, it presents nuances of gooseberries and a smoky, peppery bouquet and is often added to a blend to liven it up. Smooth on the palate this wine ages well and mellows with time.” What??? No, our descriptive words including things like, “ick”, “meh”, “yum,” and “sweet”, “hot”, “dry”, or “I don’t think so.”

My husband is not a wine drinker at all. It was hilarious to look at what he had written on his card. By each number his descriptors included wine, wine, wine, wine, on down the list. There was one wine he marked, “not as bad”. OMG- I thought I would pee in my pants I was laughing so hard at everyone’s experience and description.

The night hit its crescendo when the revealing of the wines took place. The host tallied up scores and let us know what the collective group thought the worst wine was and the best wine. We all stood there secretly hoping “our” wine, the one we brought, wasn’t on the bottom. The wine my husband and I brought came in second place. It cost $9.99. I was shocked. I hadn’t even rated it near the top.

Often I find I take some things WAY too seriously. Does this ever happen to you? We live in a world where serious things are happening, yes, but there’s no reason we (read me) have to make it all important. In the Buddhist sense, everything is important and nothing is important. You get to choose.

Going to work and paying bills may be important, but it’s no more important than getting out, having fun, doing something silly, laughing, and enjoying time with old friends and new.

So what’s on your fun list coming up soon?

Leave a comment on the blog below if you’d like.

If you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”, please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you. Coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

~ Susan

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Why I Write

I’m taking a Stream of Consciousness writing class. We show up, start with a short silent meditation, then our instructor gives us a writing prompt of a few words and we all sit and write furiously for 10 minutes. Pen to paper. Never stopping. Not worrying about structure or grammar. We just write. And I love it. My brain takes me on such a fun ride. I never know what it’s going to pop out next, but I just write it down and sit amazed at what shows up.

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

This got me to pondering, why do I blog? Why do I sit down every week, come up with a topic and spend the time to write it, edit it, and send it out to the world? What is it I’m hoping to accomplish? What it is I want to share? What do I get out of it? Why am I really doing it?

Part of the reason is because I really love to read other’s blogs and newsletters. I’m a lifelong learner and a meaning maker. I so enjoy delving into a good piece of writing that helps me make sense of my own world. Especially if that piece give me a new and fresh look at a topic I either know well or don’t know much about. As much as they say it’s all been said before or all been done before, that doesn’t mean I’ve heard it or seen it. It may be new to me.

Like just the other day someone told me about a website that I didn’t even know existed. How cool that other people have known about something for a few years, or forever, but I had zero clue about it. That’s exciting to me.

I write to learn. To understand. To make meaning of my own life. Often I share it because it’s just fun. It’s important that we connect with each other and share common themes, struggles, problems, and the good stuff in life. It’s that shared meaning where we connect and feel like we are uplifting and inspiring to others as well as being inspired by others. It’s truly a community where we’re there for each other.

Maybe the bottom line to why I write is that I’m drawn to doing it. It gives me something I can’t put into words or even put my finger on. It’s kind of a mystery really. I like that. I like that not everything in life can be figured out. Maybe it’s just me creating something that no one else can create in the exact same way but me. And isn’t that enough reason to do anything?

What do you do just because?

Leave a comment on the blog below if you’d like.

If you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”, please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you. Coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

~ Susan

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Sticking with it when "it" gets hard

When you deal with something in your life on a regular basis (like daily), and it’s not something you’re particularly fond about, it gets icky. I’m now 8 months into physical therapy to realign what got outta whack in my body back in 2012 when I was training for a marathon.

Eight. Months.  Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

I really, honestly, truly thought that if I went to each weekly appointment and faithfully did every home exercise to lengthen what needed to be stretched and strengthen what had become weak, that I would be perfectly (more than perfectly) realigned in 8 months time. But oh my was I dead wrong.

Has it been hard to do the exercises? No. Time consuming? Yes. Frustrating as hell when it seemed like things were getting better in some areas, feeling worse in others, and other problems cropped up I’d never had before. I mean, how long and hard do I have to work to get to a place of bodily balance and pain free-ness?

The short answer. Longer than I could have possibly imagined.

I can’t tell you how many times I thought, “Am I really getting anywhere?”, “Is this as good as it is ever going to get?”, “Should I just stop going to physical therapy?” I had those days when I just thought I should give up. I wasn’t sure if I could get to a place where things felt great most of the time not mostly good some of the time.

But something in me has known since I started this whole process that I could get where I wanted to be. Where my body felt balanced and pain free as the norm and not the exception. So even on the days when I was ready to throw in the towel I knew it was just a bad day. A day where I was frustrated and wishing things felt better and not understanding why after all this time and effort I wasn’t there yet.

And then… I went for a run.

I run regularly, but not pain free.

Except this time I ran, and the things that usually hurt didn’t hurt. At. All.

I kept on running, the whole time thinking it was a fluke. My left hip, which always bothers me when I run, wasn’t. I actually kept waiting for it to start hurting. Every step, every minute, every mile. “It’s going to kick in”, I thought. It always does. But it didn’t.

I had no idea that day would be the day that would show me that all of those hours of stretching and strengthening and focusing on changing my walking and running gait pattern, believing in my body, and my physical therapist, would pay off. I did not see it coming at all.

and I’m so grateful. So so grateful.

I’ve always appreciated a healthy and balanced body. I’ve never taken it for granted.

Which is why if I had thrown in the towel 2 months ago, or said, “I’m done” 2 weeks ago, I might not ever have gotten to this place. I don’t know. That’s the thing about unknown outcomes, no matter what you’re working toward. Whether it be a job promotion, to get better at playing an instrument, to quit your job, take a leap of faith and start a business. You have no idea all that will be involved or how long it will take to get to what you want. You never do.

But if you really do want something bad enough you’ll keep reaching until you get there.

Is there a time to give up? Absolutely. But that answer has to come from deep within you and can’t be made when you’re having an “off/frustrated with it all” kind of day.

Am I done with having painful running days? Maybe, maybe not. But I’m so very glad I’ve made it this far.

Leave a comment on the blog below if you’d like.

If you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”, please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you. Coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

~ Susan

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

And A New Year has Arrived

The week between Christmas and the new year I often ponder what has taken place in my life over the past 12 months. I’m always grateful because I can see the growth I’ve made in certain areas. And I also notice the growth I haven’t made. Ouch! It’s so easy to harp on those areas that still need work. At least from the perspective of my own little ego-oriented mind. I could easily mentally trash myself for all of this but I’m not going to. Honestly, sometimes being hard on myself gets really old. Do you know that feeling too?

I also am not going to go all PollyAnna either. Yes, there is good to see in everything (even the shitty things that happen) but it’s okay if I don’t want to see the sparkling bright shiny rainbow all the time. Because sometimes I’d rather poke my eye out than see it.

I’ve been reading Sarah Bran Breathnach’s book Simple Abundance A Daybook of Comfort and Joy. I adore what she says about New Year’s aspirations (if you have them). “Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t achieved them. It’s the reaching for them that’s important.” Ohhhhh-do I love that. Just the fact that I reached and stretched and tried to work towards my goals or intentions is enough.

Fresh beginnings and starts are essential for us as humans. Although we can do it at any time we choose, January of a new year can be a lovely way to just begin reaching toward your goals, aspirations, or intentions. This year though, I’ve decided to approach the whole goal-setting thing from a different angle. My gauge for whether I’m growing and moving in the direction I’d like is if what I’m doing has deep meaning for me. Basically, what am I doing to nurture my life? If I gauge progress in my life by what feels fulfilling, important, meaningful, and nurturing, then I will know I’m on the right track.

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

So what’s on tap in the nurturing department?

1-I'm going to write more. I’m actually starting my very-first-ever writing class next week. I’ve been thinking of writing a book. What the heck it will be about I have no clue but that’s okay. I’ll let life inform me as I go as to what that might be and when. I’m also going back to writing this newsletter weekly. I had done that for almost three years previously and really needed a break (which I took). Now I’m ready to commit to that again because I think it will help me become a better writer. Well, I hope so. ;)

2-I'm also pursuing a slowly evolving interest in working with animals. It started a few months ago and came out of nowhere. I found an equine outreach farm that takes in neglected, abused, and abandoned horses. These amazing creatures that are rescued get to live their lives being comforted, loved, and re-homed if the right place is found. I volunteer there once a week. And In the spring I’m taking a series of equine facilitated learning classes to help me better communicate with myself, with others, and the world. Horses are spiritual beings and are the perfect mirror to show you how you show up in your life, and to the world, both energetically and emotionally.

3-I'm deepening my spirituality practice as well. I’ve always felt connected to the universe in fascinating ways (we all are) but I sense and know that that connection must deepen for me to grow even more.

What do I know to be true right now?

To continually evolve and grow as a person I need to nurture my life force. To move towards what feels meaningful for me. If a direction calls to me it needs to be pursued out of curiosity to see where it leads. Those interests are there to show me something. To take me to the next step. To help me in some way. I can’t live someone else’s life, only mine, so I might as well follow what has meaning and feels nurturing. Even if just for the pursuit itself, regardless of the outcome.

How are you going to nurture your life in 2016?

Leave a comment on the blog below if you’d like.

If you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”, please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you. Coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

~ Susan

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

The Magical Sound of Silence

On of the most magical experiences to have living on this planet is the one of listening to snow falling from the sky. It’s completely silent. And beautiful. And peaceful. And inspiring. And calm. Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

I love it when life feels calm. You?

I get that life can’t always be or feel calm. You’ve got to experience the craziness of it to appreciate the calm when it comes. But I know we all do really appreciate it when it does arrive.

We’ve just entered the “crazy”, “frantic” time of year where there may be more noise than normal, and more hustle, and more to-do. Which is why I believe it’s so important to find ways to bring silence into your routine. Where can pause and just breathe, allowing your mind to stop its incessant thinking just for 30 seconds? Where can you take some time to get away from everyone and everything where there is no talking and no movement? It’s imperative. For your health, your sanity, and your soul.

Let this be the year you consciously bring silence into December. No one else will do it for you. They can’t do it for you. But you can. You must.

What do I know to be true right now?

It’s the silence that allows the space for all the noise. Without it, the noise becomes overwhelming, and we really don’t need more overwhelm than we’ve already got.

Leave a comment on the blog below if you’d like.

If you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”, please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you. Coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

~ Susan

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Sometimes you've got to change it up

I’ve been sending out my newsletter weekly for 3 years now. THREE YEARS.

I so enjoy it. We are all one big human family as we navigate this crazy life together. I love getting responses from you about what resonates. Often some of you will write and tell me I’m in your head and either thinking what you are, or having the same experience. It is always good to be reminded how deeply connected we all are. We really do go through the same emotional experiences even if the outside circumstances look different for each of us.

Ah- life is truly universal!

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

The last few weeks a shift has taken place in me (though I can’t quite put my finger on it). I feel this need to take a hiatus (a sabbatical if you will) from sending out my newsletter for about a month. The month of July to be exact.

I don’t really know exactly where it’s coming from or why. It makes no logical sense really.

The universe is mysterious like that. But I have full faith in its process and know that when I feel this strongly about something I need to pay attention. I haven’t mentioned it but this past month I’ve been in physical therapy for treatment of a neck, shoulder, hip, foot issue I’ve had for a few years. As they’ve been helping me unwind the patterns in my physical body that aren’t working I’ve noticed that not only is that shifting, my soul is trying to speak to me more and more about what needs to be healed.

Our bodies hold on to emotional wounds. Whether created by others or our own minds. That process of discovery needs the fewest distractions and I need to honor it.

But I don’t want to leave you hanging. Because if you’re a ponderer like me, you need some good stuff to chew on, to let percolate.

So I’ve got a question for you to sit with and do what you will for the next month.

What changes do you need to make?

This is an open-ended question.

This could be external. Or internal.

In your way of doing. Or being.

It’s not a light question. Or it could be.

Only your deepest self at the soul level knows if something needs to change.

My soul told me to step away from my newsletter for a month.

What is yours telling you?

I’ll check back in August.

Happy Pondering!

Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

The Secret to Slowing Down

I’ve never been able to keep up with the pace of our world, our society. Never. But believe you me, I sure tired.

Really hard.

Several years back I was on a walk through the woods with my dogs and it hit me. Everyone is in such a hurry all the time. And I HATE being in a hurry.

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

I don’t drive fast, I don’t make quick decisions, I don’t run fast, I don’t try to do many things fast. When I do I make mistakes.

If you’re in an emergency in the hospital and need attention fast, then yes, a faster pace is required. Or if you are planning to be the fastest woman in the hundred yard dash, then yes, a really fast pace is required. But for most things in life, not so much.

I believe many of the world problems we have today come from trying to rush things.

So I stopped “trying” to keep up. And do you know what happened?

My life felt better. I didn’t feel so stressed. Not everything got done, but what mattered did. Somewhere along the way I realized my to-do list would always be there. Even when you catch up one day, a new one will start again soon enough.

So what’s the secret to slowing down? It’s a simple decision.

The decision to live your life at a pace that feels natural and works for you. A pace that matches your energy level. A pace that works for what’s important to you.

Slowing down is a choice.

One you make every day.

The world will tell you you can’t survive.

I’m proof you can. And it feels so much better.

Are you living at your own natural pace? Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Give Yourself a Rest

I was on a flight a couple of years back and the man next to me was obviously doing work on his laptop. It looked important. Yes, I was sneaking glances over at him while he was typing in numbers from a piece of paper on to a spreadsheet on his computer. It was interesting to watch him because he kept falling asleep. He would be happily typing along and within a few seconds, his fingers would stop tapping and drift across the keyboard. Then I’d look at his face and notice his eyelids slowly droop down. Next came the chin drop to the chest, followed by the lean of his head to one side.

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

He’d remain that way a few moments, then jerk back awake shocked he’d been asleep in the first place. He’d resume typing, then guess what? He’d start the same process all over again.

I silently wondered how accurately he was working. Would he find mistakes later? Have to redo some things?

I almost, almost leaned over and tell him about the research out there that shows when we try to work on things when we’re that tired, we make a ton of mistakes, are less efficient, and then are still tired when it’s over.

I wanted to suggest he take a cat nap. It was pretty obvious that’s what his body was telling him. Heck, he could even set an alarm to wake up and continue working before the flight was over.

We all get tired like that sometimes. Our body will tell us when we’ve had enough. Maybe we’re sleepy and have fuzzy brain, maybe we’re irritable, maybe we can’t remember our own name. Our bodies are full of important information if we’ll just pay attention then actually DO something helpful with that info.

Why not give yourself a rest? It might not be a nap that’s needed per say. It could be though. Or a walk, or switching to a new activity to give your brain a break from what you’re working on. It could even be for a few days.

Maybe, just maybe, giving yourself a rest might actually enable you to get things done more efficiently, with less or no mistakes, AND you’d feel better.

Can you guess where my vote goes?

Give yourself a rest. I promise, if you are a woman, you are already doing more than enough.

Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Why Mother Nature is a Gift

I can’t tell you how many times I hear a version of the same answer over and over again when I ask someone what getting out in nature does for them. This is what they say, “It brings me peace, clarity, expands my heart, connects me to the world.”

“It fills me with fresh ideas and fresh perspective.”

“It’s my home.”

“It recalibrates my sense of well-being and rightness in the world.”

“It gives me appreciation, calmness, grounding.”

“It inspires me, renews me.”

“It gives me peace and joy.” woman-out-in-nature-looking-at-camera

“It calms my mind and generally makes me feel happier, more optimistic.”

“It’s refreshing and peaceful at the same time.”

“Nature is my spirituality.”

“It gives me a sense of peace, awe, gratitude, and connection with the universe.”

“It helps me remember everything runs in cycles and will change”,

“It frees my body, mind, and spirit.”

Wow- that Mother Nature has got it goin’ on!

This is what she does to us, for us. She is always there to help bring us back to ourselves. Back to a more natural state of peace. Peace, groundedness, centeredness is who we are at a core level.

I can think of almost nothing better than spending time outside and feeling peaceful, connected, re-energized, grounded, happier, and with a calmer mind.

We each enjoy her differently. Some of us like to sit by a river or at the beach. Some enjoy biking or hiking, some like to photograph nature, some like to garden.

What’s most important is that we actually spend time with her. Regularly. The to-do list will always be there. For the rest of your days. So let it be.

There are times when you need to step out of your everyday, a million things to do life, and go outside. Spend 10 minutes watching the birds at your bird feeder like I’m doing as I type this. Spend 3 hours hiking along a gorgeous river, like I did a few weekends ago.

I promise you that if you allow yourself to be there and take it all in, you will leave feeling some if not all of the things mentioned above.

And what happens when you get back to your regular life? Because you feel more grounded and centered, you'll have more energy, you’ll able to make more clear decisions, you'll prioritize better, you'll discover what’s more important at the moment. You can often get out of the muck and focus.

And that’s the gift. Mother nature brings you back to yourself. Your best self.

So I suggest you grab your calendar right now.

Right.

Now.

And flip through the next month, and schedule yourself time in nature. I don’t care if it’s once a week, or once a day. For 6 hours, or 20 minutes. But schedule it. And do it. And enjoy. Not only will you like yourself better. Others will like you more too.

She not only sustains everything on this planet, she sustains us. Without us, she would continue just fine.

Appreciate her and she will nurture you.

If you’d like, Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to  hear from you.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Why Your Natural Rhythm Needs Nurturing

Did you know we each have our own perfect internal natural rhythm? Think about what an ideal day would look like in your life.

How much sleep do you get at night to feel your best? Do you eat 3x/day or 6? Do you exercise for 30 minutes or 2 hours? Do you work best in the morning? Do you think best in the morning, afternoon, or evening? When do you do fun things? Does a nap help rejuvenate you or make you groggy?

This is all about energy. Your energy. When you have it and when you don’t.

woman with energy

woman-yawning

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve got friends who are night owls. They are most alert, awake, creative, and productive between 11pm and 3am. This blows me away. If I’m not sleeping during those hours, I’m a wreck. I’m a sun girl. When the sun comes up I’m ready to go. When it’s gone, so am I. But I know that about myself, and I plan my life around that natural rhythm accordingly.

I only have so much energy throughout the day. So do you.

I want to feel great energy, alert, and focused when I’m working on certain activities, like coaching clients. I can’t do it past a certain time or my brain is fried and they don’t get my best. They deserve my best.

Do you know how your energy ebbs and flows throughout the day? Do you know when you have the most, when you have the least, and schedule your life (even you work schedule) around that?

Give this a try. Spend one week writing down when you have energy and when you don’t. Notice the time of day and what you are doing.

Look for the patterns. Do you do the activities that require the most energy physically or mentally when you actually have that energy? Or are you trying to grudgingly get through something that’s taking forever when your energy is at a lower level?

Since you have your own natural energy rhythm, why not work with it rather than against it. Schedule high brain and or physically energy activities during your day when you have the energy for them. Schedule the activities that don’t require much out of you during the times when you don’t have much energy to give to them.

Honor yourself. Don’t try to squeeze out energy where it doesn’t exist. It ain’t gonna happen. You’ll only feel more depleted.

Use your time wisely and efficiently by flowing with your energy. That’s one way to actually get things done, with more enthusiasm even, and have time to spare.

Listen to your energy. It’s speaking to you.

Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to  hear from you.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Nurturing that Sensual Side of Yours

Last week I brought up the two topics no one wants to talk about. Money and sex. I talked about money last week so why not talk about sex this week. I’m totally fascinated by the fact that we all got to this planet in basically the same way. S-E-X. It’s universal. But talking about it is anything but universal. I think it’s important that you talk about it with yourself, whether you have a partner or not.

Sex can have so many various meanings to different people. It’s only important that you know what it means for you. And is your sensual side being nurtured?

Sensual Leg in Nature

Maybe you think of sex as “the act” itself. Intercourse. Or the foreplay.

Or it could be just holding hands. Or kissing.

Or wearing clothing that brushes against your skin and makes you feel fabulous.

Maybe it’s a manicure, pedicure, or a massage.

It could be your favorite lotion, a hot bath, looking into a lover’s eyes, or looking at your own eyes in the mirror, that makes you feel sensual.

Heck, as a child, I l-o-v-e-d getting checked for lice. When the teacher would take a pencil slowly separating hair strands on my head to look for those little bugs, I could sit there all day it felt so good.

That may sound a little weird, I know, but we are physical creatures. We enjoy and crave physical pleasure. It’s totally natural and normal.

We all have different desires and needs.

So how can you nurture your sensual side? What’s missing? What can you add? Do you even need a partner? Can you do it for yourself?

If you aren’t nurturing that part of you, or not enough, now is the time to start.

Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to  hear from you.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

 

Who's Validating Your Self Worth?

Working with a fun client recently, we touched on the topic of self worth. The whole internal/external validation thing came up. While that wasn’t the focus of our session that day, I’ve been pondering it since. We hear so much about the importance of validating ourselves, tooting our own horn, appreciating who we are, and how we uniquely share who we are with others, both personally and professionally. And I absolutely do believe that the voice in our heads that speaks to us on a regular basis about ourselves would be most healthy and helpful if it said kind things, was appreciative, was okay with not getting everything perfect (or even close to it), and allowed us to fall on our faces.

But we’re also very human. note to self

I also think when we get validation from someone else it isn’t just wanted, it’s needed. It feels great to know we look amazing in a certain color, when we’re doing an awesome job with a project at work, or are appreciated when we do something for someone else.

It’s how we connect with others. It’s how we share our humanity in a positive way and respect what is unique about what we each bring to the table. Being validated by others is wonderful.

Now… if you solely rely on that external validation to make you feel good about you, then Houston, we do have a problem.

You might just be an approval addict. If this feels true for you (and you know if it does), the right therapist or life coach can absolutely help you with that.

It’s okay to appreciate when others tell you something good about you. Believe them. People usually say only positive things when they mean it. But let that be the icing on your own self worth cake.

And remember that you are wonderful. Valuable. Worthwhile. Lovable. Not because others think so. Self worth comes from only one place.

Self.

Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to  hear from you.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Taking Care of Yourself

We hear over and over how important it is to take care of ourselves. That by doing so, we are healthier, happier, and have more to give others. But I wonder how often we really do it. woman-takes-care-of-herself A caring newsletter reader sent me a thoughtful email after she saw my post last week, the love letter I wrote to my dog child Kona after saying goodbye. In it she said some important things. I want to share them with you.

“I know you know this, but it's so important to take care of yourself and get the rest you need. The exhaustion is part of the grief. When you are hurting, reeling from a devastating loss, you must care for yourself the way you would a dear friend. Treat yourself to what you would offer that friend. Tuck yourself in with tea or chicken soup, take hot baths, play gentle music, and pamper yourself as much as you can. We so often fall down on self-care, but it is so critical to our survival, healing, and growth. I just wanted to remind you about that (even though I know you do know). Sometimes we know these things, but of all the people in our lives, it is often ourselves we are the most neglectful of.”

She hit the nail on the head. Especially for me this week as I have been downright exhausted from not only caring for my dog before he died, but in the last 2 weeks as well from grieving so much. While I did know how important taking care of myself was, what I didn’t know was how tired and lethargic I would feel after this devastating loss. That was a huge surprise to me.

I share this because you may be going through a stressful loss right now. Please know that my heart is with you if you are. If you aren’t going through loss at this moment, I am so glad. But it does happen to all of us.

It’s the reminder to take care of yourself. In whatever way feels right and best for you. It really is the kindest thing you can do.

Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to  hear from you.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

 

 

Give yourself a break

As women, we push ourselves. To do more, be better, keep it all together, work harder. It’s exhausting.

And not healthy for us mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually.

I usually spend a lot of time wiring, editing, and re-editing this blog weekly. I’ve committed to doing it weekly and I have followed through on that commitment. For over 2 years. taking-a-break

This week has been different than most for me. It’s been one of the most stressful in my life that I can remember. Even more than last week if you read that post. I haven’t had time to process it all and write something coherent for you. I could try to push myself to do that, but I’m really tired, and I’m giving myself a break.

Sometimes you can’t do it all or keep it all together, and it’s perfectly okay.

My invitation to you is to find a place in your life where you deserve a break, and give it to yourself as a gift. Maybe it’s something you say no to because you don’t have the time or energy. Maybe it’s sleeping in a little longer. Maybe it’s letting the laundry go one extra day. Maybe it’s having that special coffee or ice cream because it’s been a rough week.

I’m writing a shorter blog post this week. I promise I’ll expand on what happened that caused me to take some time, but you’ll have to wait a bit longer.

Now,  if you need one, please go enjoy your own break.

Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

I love hearing from you.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

 

When you have no choice

A client I’ve been working with has an amazing story I think you’ll want to hear. I’ll call her Lydia. We had been working together a short while when she had one of the most uplifting experiences of her life. She went hang gliding.  hang-gliders-in-manitoba

Here’s what she said about it. “I'm currently in southern California right now on vacation learning to hang glide. Today is my second day of training, and it is beyond words, aMAZing! I'm feeling a pride about myself building. And I'm so practicing some of your advice. I'm not my thoughts or feelings. My brain/instincts like to think I'm going to die, fear when I surge up in a thermal, is just a feeling. I'm separate from these and in control of my glider. These thoughts help me relax and maintain steady control.”

She felt on top of the world. Brimming with confidence. She was so excited to move forward from this place within herself to the next step in her life.

And then…

She broke her arm on another hang gliding outing. But it wasn’t just an oh you’re arm is broken--put you in a cast for 6-8 weeks--have it removed--then you’re good to go kind of broken arm.

No.

Think surgery.

Pins to hold her broken bones together.

And an external fixator (a metal device that surrounds the outside of her arm 24/7) to hold her arm stable. Pain pills. Doctors visits. Physical Therapy visits.

Now let’s add a loss of independence. She’s in her 30’s. She had to be bathed, dressed, and driven around. Cared for by someone else (her boyfriend) because she couldn’t do it for herself.

Let’s also add a diagnosis of an autoimmune disorder which left her with low energy, anxiety, wanting to sleep, depression, and brain fog.

AND she decided to take pre-requisite classes to get into nursing school during all of this.

OMG!

This can’t be real right?

Yes it can be and it is. Welcome to Lydia’s real life.

I spoke with her recently about all of this and was incredibly curious about how she has managed to do so well and keep her great attitude through this. It’s not over by the way. She still has a lot more work to go with her arm.

Her words of wisdom were excellent. They are worth sharing.

First, she cried. A LOT. She allowed herself to cry. When life gets hard, we feel a lot of emotion. We need to feel that emotion. It’s important, because when we cry, we allow that energy to flow through us and pass on. When Lydia cried, she eventually got tired of crying, then was ready to move forward and take the next step. Crying allowed her to do that. I would even say that releasing energy that needs to be released actually propels us forward.

She said that looking forward too far in the future was depressing. If she was supposed to start physical therapy on a certain date and her arm wasn’t healed enough, it burst her hope bubble. Instead, she would look at where she was now compared to two weeks ago. She focused on the present. The little victories of the progress she’d made. She could finally put her own hair in a pony tail and swim one whole lap without a kickboard. She learned to be in the present moment and grateful for what she had now.

She talked about slowing down. She said, “I’ve made the decision to slow down, mainly in an effort not to be stressed. I’ve always had problems talking/communicating. But if I allow myself to be slow, and not make my brain try to whirl with every thought imaginable, I do a lot better. I’m slowing down when doing tasks, thus preventing a whole lot of stress.  And doing things with more quality, connecting with what I’m doing, and oddly more efficiently. I’m not able to do this 100% yet, but when I do remember to slow down, it is SO much better.”

She said she couldn’t multi task with one hand. Not only did this affect her physically, she decided to let things change in her mind. Lydia said she was tired of juggling all the thoughts in her head, analyzing every conversation with people, and she just didn’t have the energy. She was stressed by rushing all the time.

So what did she do?

She started giving herself extra time to wake up in the morning, actually enjoying breakfast, and talking to her dog. She applied this slowing down to conversations too. She could actually take a breath and listen to what others were saying. To really hear them better.

By slowing down, she felt more calm and less stressed. She enjoys being present, here, right now. She’s feeling more confident and secure in herself because of all the time it has taken to heal. Even other emotional wounds she had from earlier in her life have healed in this process as well.

Pure inspiration this woman is!

Let’s recap because this is gold!

~ Hard shit happens in life (to everyone)

~ It’s okay to let someone else take care of you

~ It’s important to feel and get your emotions out

~ Stay present and appreciate what you have right now

~ Multi-tasking is stressful

~ Slowing down makes you more efficient and present with yourself and others

I told her what a gift her experience has been.

I know, I know. Coming from a person who hasn’t been through anything like this, I sound arrogant.

But I’m looking through the eyes and heart of a human being who gets how this seemingly horrendous time has given her so much. She’s more present, less stressed, more calm, able to listen, not rushing or multi-tasking, more efficient, and more confident and secure in herself.

Our hardest times can so be our greatest gifts. If we are willing to get that.

How many qualities do you see in her that you’d like to possess?

Her circumstances forced her learning. And sometimes that’s what it takes. The proverbial 2X4 smack on the head. Or the arm.

I think the universe knew she needed this. I know she’ll be a different person from now on.

What will it take for you to start feeling your emotions, slow down, stop multi-tasking, be more present with others and yourself, and feel grateful for all you have in your life?

You can start to make changes anytime you know. Or you could wait until you break your arm and have no choice.

Thank you Lydia for being willing to share your experience. I am now a more thoughtful person because of it.

What will you do with the choice you now have? Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

I love hearing from you.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

When obstacles block your path

Walking along a trail by the Deschutes River I watched the water flow swiftly downstream. It was a gorgeous day with sunshine, blue skies, new spring light green growth on the trees, baby ducklings, and a gentle breeze. Magnificent! I noticed a boulder in the middle of the river. An obstacle for sure.

What did the river do?   fast-flowing-river-moves around-rock

Did it make a big hissy fit over this big rock blocking its path? Yell out, “hey, who put this thing here?”

No. It. Didn’t.

It flowed right on around that rock like it wasn’t even there. No muss. No fuss.

What it did do was take the path of least resistance.

Teaching moment right here!

How often in your life are you going along doing your thing, and an obstacle pops up in your work, with a friend, or a significant other?

What’s the first thing you do when you notice this problem?

Do you scream, yell (internally or externally), point fingers, fume, stress, give up?

What do you normally do? Really think about this.

And how is what you normally do working for you?

If it isn’t working, maybe it’s time to do something different.

What if the simplest, the easiest path, really is the one of least resistance?

Like the water.

It didn’t get upset at the rock. It shifted.

Then just flowed around it, easy breezy.

Hmmmmmm…

What a perfect question to ask the next time something happens that seems to block your forward movement.

What is the path of least resistance here?

It could be seeing the problem from a new angle, talking to someone for an opinion, or possibly just going in a whole different direction.

Maybe the obstacle isn’t even a problem to be solved, but an invitation to see with new eyes or act in a different way.

Ooooooooooh!- This is such a good question.

What obstacle has shown up in your life? What is your path of least resistance? Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”. Please forward it to them.

I love hearing from you.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Welcome to my new website! A virtual home for women who want to relax, slow down, and learn how mother nature can nurture their lives.

Let me get right down to it.    standing close up

I'm on a new mission.

To help women transition through change in life better, slow down in this fast crazy paced world, and get outside and nurture their lives.

It's time to get out and become present to all the amazing beauty that surrounds us.

There is so much research on the huge benefits to our health, minds, and souls. The more we spend time out in green spaces, the more peaceful we feel. The more at peace we feel, the more our cells are in a happy place in our body, able to keep us functioning at a high level with a good immune system.

The happier and healthier we are, the more energy we have to share and give to others.

The time is truly now.

So get to it. Feel the sun on your skin, hear the birds singing, smell the air, see the buds and blooms.

Don't just take my word for all of this, get outside and notice how you feel. That will be your true test.

Tell me what you think. Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me directly, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

If this struck you and you think, "I know one friend who would really like this". Please forward it to them.

I love hearing from you.

~ Susan Get Outside and Nurture Your Life