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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.

susan small sig 05:14Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

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

Whats important is important, unless it isn't

If I sat down with you and asked what’s really important in your life, I bet you could give me a whole list of things. If I asked you how much time, attention, and focus you put on those important things, what kind of an answer would you give me then?

No judgment here on whatever that answer is, just a noticing.  important

I bring this up because it happens to me. I can tell you what I deem important in my life and then go right on my merry way spending time on things that aren’t on that list.

And that’s something to really notice.

What you spend your time on, money on, and attention on IS important to you, whether you realize it or not. Now some of these things may not be in your conscious awareness. For example, maybe you say to yourself my health is really important, and then you go to McDonald’s 3 days a week and order a big mac. Maybe your health isn’t as important as you thought. Or maybe the idea of being healthy sounds fabulous but doing all the work to be healthy doesn’t hop your bunny. And that’s okay. But it’s something to notice.

Does what you say is important line up with your actions?

Here’s an exercise.

1-    Spend 5 minutes writing down what’s really important to you

2-   Think about your day and how much time and energy you actually put into those things

3-   If the important stuff isn’t getting the time and energy, you get to decide if you want to put more energy into it or if it isn’t important as you thought.

4- If something really isn’t as important as you thought, drop it. Why waste your precious time and energy?

5- If it is important but you’re having a hard time putting energy and action towards it, ask yourself why you’re stuck. What is it that’s keeping you from moving toward your goal?

Understanding why can be super important with this. Back to the wanting to be healthy example. Maybe it’s because you’re afraid it will take too much time. It will hurt. You won’t get the results you’re hoping. Or it will be expensive.

Delve in, listen to your self. You know exactly why.

I can almost bet it’s based on your fear of the unknown. Because you can’t know what will happen in the future. What if I do all the things I’m supposed to do and I’m still not healthy, or happy?  Recipe for stuckness.

What I can tell you is that the fear is only in the thoughts that pop up around being healthy, in your mind. You get to decide if keeping them serves you or not.

But not doing anything will keep you right where you’re at. And if you’re happy there, great. If not, I suggest thinking a thought that empowers you  and taking one teensy weensy lady bug step towards what’s important. Something so easy you can do it in a blink. Then another, and another, and another, until not only are you putting energy and time towards what it is you find important, your goals actually get reached.

And here’s what I want to know, what IS important to you? Is there a topic, problem, issue, anything you’d like me to address on this community blog? Email me directly, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com and I’ll address it. I promise not to use your name.

Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share this with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest… you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

You keeping in tune with you

My dog child Kona and I hike together a lot. He’ll be off leash running ahead up the trail, off to the right, then the left, peeing on bushes, stopping to sniff the air, and chew on something occasionally. After a short time he’ll stop and look back for me. To check in. To make sure his home base is there. Safe. Secure. He and I are always in tune. He knows what’s going on with me and I with him.

As humans, we are our own home base. This doesn’t mean we don’t rely on others to help us out sometimes. I believe we need to. We can’t do it all alone. At the end of the day however, you are the you, you spend the most time with.

But how often are you really in touch with the home base that is you?  balancing rocks

Do you know when you are physically hungry, or tired? If you are emotionally happy in your relationships, fulfilled with your work? Mentally feeling positive, or negative, or spiritually connected?

We lead such busy lives today, pulled in so many directions (though I honestly believe we choose how busy we are), that we rarely check back in, with ourselves. Often I think we avoid checking in because we might find something uncomfortable, or some truth we really don’t want to face.

I can tell you from personal experience, the longer you stay disconnected and out of tune, keep pushing forward, hoping your feelings of disconnect will go away, the more disconnected, out of tune, and unhappy you become.

I did that when I stayed in a marriage that was past over, and in a career that took me so far out of my natural rhythm, they both caused me headaches and gastrointestinal issues. Those are you first clues (hint-hint) that things are awry in your life. Physical symptoms. I can tell you, when you get sick because of stress, it’s because you are out of tune with you and not taking action to get back into balance. Your immune system is down because you are out of whack. When you live a healthy balanced life that works for you, your immune system will be strong and keep almost all illnesses away.

The only way I got back on track with my life was when I finally got back in tune with me. I had to stop, focus, and listen. If your quality of life matters to you, then I invite you to take the time to discover where you are both in tune, and out of it.

Discovering where you are out of tune is just information. Information for you to use however you’d like.

Maybe you only need to take one step towards getting back into tune. Maybe it’s having a conversation with someone. Maybe it’s getting 20 more minutes of sleep at night. Maybe it’s saying no to a project.

It’s your life, treat it like you matter.

Are you in tune with you?

Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share this with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest… you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

You have all the answers

Some big changes are coming for me. I’d love for you to be a part if you’d like. Bloom-timecoaching.com is going away in a few weeks. It’s going to be replaced by susangracecarroll.com. It will look and feel different. It will have a different message. One I’ve grown to be excited and passionate about. I’ll keep you posted. I was in San Diego two weekends ago with over 400 amazingly bright shiny souls in the form of Martha Beck Life Coaches. When we get together, the collective power of the positive energy we create cannot be described in words. I think it could have even caused the earthquake in LA that happened Mon. March 17th. I am NOT kidding you. We create THAT much energy.

Martha Beck herself spoke to the entire group each day. I’m going to do my best to boil down her overall message in a nutshell.

You have all the answers you seek.   spitaling plant

One more time.

You have all the answers you seek inside of you.

We all have that still small voice inside of us that absolutely knows which direction to take and which choices to make for any and all aspects of our lives. We think we don’t, but we really do.

We are all connected to the collective consciousness, the divine, God, spirit, whatever you want to call it. It is us and we are it. It is always there with us and for us. I am you, you are me, we are it. No separation.

For the most part in this fast paced noisy world, we’ve stopped listening. We can’t even hear it most of the time.

And that’s incredibly sad to me. Because when people are really listening to that inner guidance, magic happens. And when I say magic, I mean amazing synchronicities where you meet just the right person at just the right time, money comes to you just when you need it, and the answer you were seeking smacks you in the face because that inner voice told you to go for a walk outside and you followed it’s direction.

That’s what is beyond wonderful about Martha Beck coaches. And I know, because we’ve all been through the same training. They may be coaching you around weight loss, a better relationship, or a new career, but what they’re REALLY doing is connecting you back to your very own inner guidance system. Because you do know what’s best for you. No one else can ever possibly know.

Then that life coach will teach you how to get the hell out of your own way. To listen to it. To follow it. Because your brain will want to fight the change. It likes to be in control. But it isn’t. It just likes to think it is.

When you follow that inner voice, that’s when the magic happens in your life. The stuff you hear about others and think, “no way”, and “how is that possible?” It’s real. I’ve seen it and been a part of it so often I just smile when it does. It’s the new normal for me.

Something tells me you do hear your higher guidance, at least sometimes. You often realize it when you’ve made a choice you knew wasn’t right. In hindsight you remember thinking, “this probably isn’t the best idea”, but you over rode it and did it anyway.

Start listening to it and following it. Even if it doesn’t make any logical sense at the time, it will steer you in the right direction. I know. I’ve been there.

I'd love to hear some magical stories about following your inner guidance. Bring em'!

Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share this with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest… you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

What do you believe?

This I Believe, based on the NPR series of the same name, features eighty essayists, both famous and unknown, who share their stories on how they arrived at their personal beliefs. This inspired me to really ponder what I believe. And just maybe it will do the same for you. This I Believe.   book_thisIbelieve

There is no one all-encompassing truth that fits all people. How could there be?

We all come from various countries with differing social structures, culture, political viewpoints, religions, personalities, and experiences. There is no way that one truth for life, for us all, could, and even would be accepted by everyone.

I believe that truth is a personal journey. Our own, very individual, path. We learn and grow from every encounter with another, the things we hear and see through technology, and the places we visit. It’s in our response to others. How we feel about ourselves. In our actions in the world.

In a world where we want to be accepted by others, self-acceptance is the first step. If you cannot be at peace within yourself, then you will never be fully at peace with the world.

How we define ourselves one day can be totally different the next.

What’s true for me today may not be in 10 years, 5, next month, or maybe not even tomorrow.

We are ever-expanding, evolving beings. With each new day, hour even, we see, hear, or experience something that can change our view of ourselves, another, or even the world. That is what makes truth such a slippery fish.

My truth and personal journey are mine, just as yours is yours.

I don’t need to convince you of anything, nor do you need to convince me. We are both together in this crazy world of ours and on our own.

I do believe we are all love at our core, but that even, is defined differently by us as individuals.

And I definitely believe in magic. All of those things we can’t hear, taste, touch, smell, or see.

This all means I’m willing to go with the flow of this human existence.

My personal truth is mine. It could change any second, and probably will. And that’s perfectly okay with me.

OK, your turn. What do you believe?

Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share this with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest… you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

 

Healthy and selfish DO go together

My entire life I have been taught that being selfish is a horrible thing. That those who are selfish don’t care about others and only do what’s in their best interest. Pair that with the fact that I am an only child. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard over and over again that because of that fact I must be selfish.  vintage-selfish

For the longest time when people would say that to me I would go into a mildly defensive, stand up for myself, try to change their mind mode. I would explain that I did all sorts of things for other people, that my mother had taught me to be thankful for what I had and to give to others. I had to prove to them that by golly I was NOT selfish.

Then one day I was reading someone else’s opinion on selfishness and it completely changed my mind about selfishness.

First off, here’s one definition of selfish- having or showing concern only for yourself and not for the needs or feelings of other people.

Not to be confused with a narcissist- Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they're superior to others and have little regard for other people's feelings.

Being selfish means I sometimes put myself first. There are times when I have to and you may need to as well. Here’s why.

If you are running on empty, without much energy, sleep, nutrition, love, fulfillment, whatever it is in your life that makes you feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually well, then you my dear are giving others in your life your best crap.

Yep.

Crap.

When you have low energy, that’s what you give to others. When you have low excitement, that’s what you’re passing on to others. When you keep going when you have nothing left, you are hurting yourself, and as a byproduct, others too. If you’re cranky, what’s the chance you aren’t going spread that crankiness on? Is that what you want to give to your friends, significant other, or children?

We tend to think others won’t make it without us. That we must simply squeeze out every last ounce from our being before we can say we’ve done enough. That’s simply not true.

Notice I didn’t say being selfish 100% of the time was called for. I said, sometimes it is. When you need it so you can be your full functioning awesome self.

This is where quality vs. quantity is huge. Would you rather spend 30 minutes of good quality time with someone or 3 hours of crap time?

People like us when we’re feeling good and nourished. Think about how you feel when you’re around someone you know is depleted Their low energy can really rub off on you. Or vise versa. When your own energy is low or high, you rub off on them as well.

Being selfish means you do what you need to do to create the good, healthy, positive energy that feels good to you, AND give that same energy to others.

I am selfish when I need to be and don’t mind saying it.

Where can you start being selfish today?

Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share this with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest… you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

 

Just say Thank You

I have been on the receiving end of what seems like a whirlwind of gifts recently. The kindness of others sending me positive energy in the form of things, money, and their time has blown me away. And the funny thing is, after all the inner work of I’ve done and how I know that the universe will always give us at least what we need if not more, my brain STILL asks the question, what did I do to deserve this? woman bowing head in sun

My brain still wants to tell someone who gives me something without asking anything in return that I must somehow repay them, do something for them for their generosity. Like I have to even out the score.

That silly brain of mine.

I believe the universe is a loving, giving place. I do think that when we do give to others no matter what form that takes, we get way more back in return. I don’t think we realize however that something so simple as holding a door open for someone, or smiling with empathy at a stranger who is obviously having a hard moment, is a huge act of giving. That one act could affect them in a profoundly positive way. You may never know. But the universe will give back to you.

Meister Eckhart said, “If the only prayer you ever say in your life is thank you, it will be enough.”

That is truly all that is warranted. Others do nice things all the time without expecting anything in return. It’s human nature. They do it because they want to.

Just saying thank you and leaving it at that, without any mind story about having to make it up to them, is so freeing.

It reminds me of how much good there is in the world. How nice people truly are. How much I’m loved and appreciated.

In return, I give to others. Not because I have to, need to, or should. I do it because it feels good.

That’s the never ending cycle of love. We give, we get, we give, we get.

All I, or you, have to do, is say thank you.

Trust me. It is more than enough.

What can you say thank you for today?

Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share this with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest… you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

 

The strength in being vulnerable

It's Day one of March. Happy Bunny Bunny Day!! Switching gears now.

How often do you really share your truth with others? I mean really get vulnerable about what’s going on with you and share how you are really feeling? How often do you NOT cover yourself up so you can be truly seen?

I’m guessing, not too often. Why? Because being vulnerable and really opening ourselves up to someone is scary. In this country, vulnerability equals weakness. And no one wants to be seen as weak.

Brene Brown, writer and research professor of shame, vulnerability, and authenticity has shown time and again, that by stepping into our vulnerability we become more real and are able to deeply connect with others. The person we really are shows up. We are authentically ourselves.  I am obsessed with

So it was rather interesting to me that right after I shelved my coaching business for the time being, something else awakened within me. This need to go deeper with my posts, be raw, to be more vulnerable. It felt good, right, and scary.

I’m not sharing more of my inner life because I think I’m so important, no, not at all. I am important mind you, just not more or less than anyone else. But because the more we share with each other about our truths, hardships, and wins, the more we do feel connected, the more we learn, and the more we can decrease the shame that exists around the struggles we all have.

There’s a pull from the universe telling me to do this. And I know when these nudges show up, to listen. That’s my internal voice, connected to all that is, whispering to me to take the next step. To evolve. To grow.

There’s a quote by the Gospel of Thomas that’s been percolating within me for a while. “If you bring forth what is within you, what is within you will save you. If you don’t bring forth what is within you, what is within you will destroy you.”

To me this means speaking my truth and being vulnerable.

And here’s my first share. I’m a spiritual person but not religious. For me that means I don’t follow any dogma about how things should be done. Please hear me when I say I don’t judge people who are. I may not agree with everything they believe. I might agree with some things. I think judging someone and disagreeing with them are very different. And I do try hard not to judge. I’m not perfect at it but it’s an ongoing conscientious practice for me. I follow my heart (a very peaceful place), where I feel connected to everything, and take my cues on how to live my life from there.

It is my hope that all, some, or one of you, is able to see yourself in something I share, and recognize we are all connected and you are never alone.

I know that being more vulnerable in my blogs may not be comfortable for me, or you either. I know I may lose some of you as my readers. I’m okay with that.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to go into the bottom ditches of my life every week. That’s what Brene Brown would call me throwing up my vulnerability all over you. Yuck! But I’m willing to go to that place here and there, knowing I’m meant to, and it might be helpful for someone.

Being me, means being free!! That feels so good to type. And it sounds a little corny too. :)

Is there a person in your life you would like to be more vulnerable with? Would you be willing to step a little out of your comfort zone to share something small about yourself with them?

Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share this with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest… you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

Elizabeth Gilbert's advice to women: Get out of your own way

One of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote Eat Pray Love (one of my favorite books of all time), Committed, and now her new book, The Signature of All Things, wrote a blog post back in December that recently rocked my world. I think she absolutely nailed it. Read on and I’ll share my thoughts on  “how to do this” at the end. brave_woman

Elizabeth Gilbert:

Almost every night on book tour this year, I ended up talking about this subject with the audience. My audiences are pretty much composed entirely of women (though I love you, too, my emotionally-secure men who dare to come to my events!) and invariably there would be a woman in the crowd who would stand up and ask how to get courage to….well, whatever. To write her book, to change her life, to travel alone, to endure her sorrows, to leave her toxic relationship, to start her own business, to stand up for herself.

And I would end up saying something along these lines — that it is down to us now. There has never been a better moment in human history than RIGHT NOW to be a woman. While there are still huge stretches of earth where the lot of womankind remains trapped in subjugation, the industrialized modern western world is the best environment women have ever had — the best and only shot we ever got at full personhood. The life that I was offered, in comparison to the lives of my great-grandmothers, is so radically different that I might as well be a new human species altogether. I am a female with biological, political, financial and emotional autonomy. Such a thing was never heard of before. Ever.

Could things still be better for women? Yes, of course, and I fight for that, as we all must. Do we have perfect parity yet? Maybe in Sweden, but certainly not everywhere. Is there still discrimination and stupidity? Sure. Will there always be? Probably. But you guys, NOBODY in womankind ever had a better chance to manifest their own lives than us, RIGHT NOW.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Imperfection never stopped men from putting themselves forward! SO DON’T LET IT STOP YOU!”

But the last obstacle is us. Many of the big external obstacles (political, legislative) have been cleared for us by the great and brave women who came before us. We stand on their shoulders and should be grateful. But now we are left to battle the lingering prejudices in our own minds that say we are not worthy — not good enough, not strong enough, not talented enough, not brave enough. That our voices are not important, that we shouldn’t raise our hand, that we shouldn’t ask to lead the project, that we shouldn’t run for office, that we don’t deserve a promotion, that we can’t set boundaries, that we can’t have a child alone, that we can’t support ourselves, that we can’t defend our vocations, that we can’t apply for that grant or that graduate program, that we shouldn’t speak up and say, “No, let’s do it my way.” That we aren’t perfect yet, in other words, and therefore we must hold ourselves back.

And while it’s understandable that about a billion years of being beat down would keep a woman believing she is imperfect, we REALLY have to get past that obstacle in ourselves. Because I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Imperfection never stopped men from putting themselves forward! SO DON’T LET IT STOP YOU!

“Get out of your own way, women. It’s time. And nobody can do this part for you.”

Get out of your own way, women. It’s time. And nobody can do this part for you. No act of congress (no social or political legislation) can get you out of your own way. Gloria Steinem can’t get you out of your own way, and neither can Oprah, Brene Brown, Martha Beck, Hilary Clinton, your uncle’s dog, your mother’s cat or me.

Don’t wait to be rescued or discovered by anyone, and for heaven’s sake, don’t wait to be given permission from the principal’s office to take full ownership of your own destiny. You gotta do it yourself.

Step forward out of your own lingering residual sense of smallness, take up every inch of life that is your blessed inheritance, and DO YOUR THING.

Today.

It’s down to us now — down to you.

Never been a better moment than right now.

Get on it, my friends. For real.

Susan (me):

For me this was powerful. A reminder of how much I (we) have, and can do today. I could not agree with her more. I also get in my own way (often).

But the big question, for me at least, after reading something so resonating and inspiring, when the crowd is roaring and the angles singing is, how in the hell do I get out of my own way?

I’m going to share with you one of the best ways I know how and ask that if you know of another way that’s worked for you you’ll share it with all of us.

Life happens between our ears. We all have a bazillion thoughts swirling around in our head about everything. Including ourselves.

The best way I know how to get out of my own way is to notice what thoughts pop into my head that keep me stuck. Anything as simple as “I’m not feeling motivated today” to as vast as “I’ll never find my passion in life.” If I have either of these thoughts, do you know what happens? Nothing. Nothing happens. No inspiration. No action. Moping. That’s what happens. Moping.

Your thoughts about yourself are what create imperfection. In my humble opinion, we are all imperfectly perfect. But it’s how we think about ourselves that drive how we feel about ourselves and whether we take action towards what we truly want or not.

So start noticing what those thoughts are in you. Become the observer of your mind. When you have an idea to do something, and you are really excited about it, then all of a sudden the wind has been taken out of your sails, that my dear is a thought about yourself popping up getting in your way.

What is that thought? Get still and search. Is it, I’m not good enough? I don’t know enough? No one will ever support me? People will think I’m crazy? Any variation of?

That’s the stopping point right there. As soon as THAT thought pops up, right then you decide, nope, not moving forward with that idea. Dreams die.

See how that happens? In an instant. An instant. And most of the time, we don’t even recognize it. We process things so quickly in our minds, we never even realize that’s what has happened. Which is why it’s so so so important to start to notice what’s going on within yourself.

This is where ALL of your power is. Right between those two cute little ears of yours. As soon as you notice a thought that’s keeping you stuck you get to decide what to do with it. That’s right, you. Not anyone else.

Take those words out of your head and place them in your hand or write them down on paper. You get to choose if that thought stays with you and you want to believe it, or decide to say no thank you, that’s not going to help me move forward.

The beauty of this is that a thought is just a thought. Power provided by the thinker. Or taken away by the thinker as well.

Thoughts can be believed or not, changed or not. Always.

If you’ve decided that a thought is keeping you stuck, right in that moment you can choose your own new thought that will help you move forward. Hint: It’s a thought that you think that makes you ‘feel’ great, good, or even just a little better than the one keeping you stuck. It could be as small as “damn I look good in this red shirt” to as big as “of course I can be the CEO of my own company”. If it makes you feel good, inspires you, empowers you, makes you smile or jump for joy, that’s the right track for you. Because from that place, you take action towards your goals and dreams. And I think we humans love taking inspired heart-felt action towards what lights us up.

And here’s the thing. Those pesky get-in-your-way-thoughts are going to continue to pop up. Mine do all the time. For some silly reason, our brains are wired like that. When I get to the other side someday I’m going to have a little chat with someone about that. :)

In the mean time, you will notice them more quickly, notice how they make you feel, and notice what action you do or don’t take because of them. Therein lies the moment of truth. Do you choose a thought that moves you forward or keeps you stuck?

That I can’t do for you, no one can. But I absolutely know, YOU CAN do that for yourself. And there’s no better moment than right now.

Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share this with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest… you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

I needed this, and you might too

A friend posted this poem on facebook last week from awakeningwomen.com. I sat mesmerized reading the words. It’s something I needed that day. When I am struck so profoundly by something I can bet someone else will be too.

So I’m sharing it with you.

 

She let go.

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.      women lying in grass eyes closed

She let go of the fear.

She let go of the judgments.

She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.

She let go of the committee of indecision within her.

She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.

Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice.

She didn’t read a book on how to let go.

She didn’t search the scriptures.

She just let go.

She let go of all of the memories that held her back.

She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.

She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go.

She didn’t journal about it.

She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.

She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.

She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.

She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.

She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.

She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.

She didn’t call the prayer line.

She didn’t utter one word.

She just let go.

No one was around when it happened.

There was no applause or congratulations.

No one thanked her or praised her.

No one noticed a thing.

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort.

There was no struggle.

It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.

It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face.

A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…

~ Rev Safire Rose

Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share this with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest… you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

On football and life

My two cool aunties taught me almost everything I know about football starting when I was a kid. Though I’m not a particular fan of the game, I can watch and understand what’s going on (most of the time). I watched the Super Bowl this past Sunday. With no preference for who won, I had incredibly mixed emotions.  -radar-with-red-target-blip

Both teams have been preparing for this one game since last summer. All the practices, the pre-season games, and regular season. Then, if things worked out, the playoffs. If they made it through all of that, they were on to the BIG game. The Super Bowl.

I watched one team play almost effortlessly. They could do no wrong. To paraphrase their quarterback, their engine was firing on all cylinders and purring like a kitten. I was thrilled to see everything working so well for them. The joy on their faces on the sideline was palpable.

I watched the other team get their a**es handed to them on a platter. Nothing worked right for them. I liken it to putting the key in the ignition and the engine just won’t turn over. At all. I was heartbroken looking at their faces on the sideline. Their pain was palpable.

I have no doubt that both teams put every ounce of their being into playing their best game. The blood, sweat, and tears it took to get to that point, I’m sure I can’t fathom.

Maybe one team was prepared more, maybe they wanted it more, the stars were aligned for them, or they were just the better team (at least on that day). I have no idea.

I envisioned the losing team praying for the playing clock to wind down to zero so they could just get the game over with. It was brutal.

Can you imagine putting all of your efforts into something for 6 months only to end up as the one who won’t be remembered a decade from now?

This may have happened to you before and will probably happen again. I know it’s happened for me.

I hope you recognize that even when you do your very best at something, putting in so much effort, and it doesn’t work out, you are still fabulous, loveable, smart-as-a-whip, gorgeous, funny, and (insert any adjective you want here, maybe 20 more). It doesn’t define all of the goodness of you. It can’t even begin to.

That thing that didn’t work out? It’s just a blip on the radar screen of life.

It’s important to grieve. Important to regroup. Important to learn. Important to move forward.

If nothing else, I’ll be reminded of the dichotomy of that day. Two teams wanting the same thing, working their butts off to get it, with only one victorious in the end.

On the playing field, that is.

Aren’t you glad you don’t play football? ;)

Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share this with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest… you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

A matter of time

Our oldest dog Tico has kidney disease. His kidneys are already failing. A visit to the vet in the fall confirmed that the odd symptoms he was having were indicative of a problem. A serious one. The kind vet said it could be weeks or months. Those are words you never want to hear. Ever. A healthy Tico

We’ve been doing all we can to slow down the kidney failing process. His eating has been sporadic. Which means he’s a walking skeleton. For a dog who used to wake us up before the sun to be fed and then let us know when it was 5pm on the dot to be fed again; it is beyond ironic.

We’ve been giving him fluids subcutaneously on occasion to keep him hydrated. He wants to be petted and will wag his tail when you walk towards him. It has been a roller coaster of good eating/high energy days mixed with poor eating/low energy days. His quality of life has slowly dwindled.

We knew it was only a matter of time.

A matter of time when we’d have to make that dreaded decision. That oh so hard decision about whether his quality of life is good enough for him.

We don’t want him to suffer. But knowing when the “right” time is, is just one of the hardest gut wrenching things to know.

One day last week we knew. It was the day. That quality just wasn’t there for him anymore. It was obvious he needed something that we couldn’t give him. To feel better. And we knew the only way that would happen was to send him off to be with his brothers in doggie heaven.

The house is more quiet now. Which is very strange because I didn’t think of him as a loud dog. Our other two furry doggie friends know something is different.

My husband has been remembering how loyal he was and all the memories he had of him on ski trips over the years. I remember how much he cleaned himself. Relentlessly. How he had the cutest bouncing side to side gait. And the first time I met him I remember thinking he had tuxedo ears, because they were black outlined in white.

In some ways, we both feel more relaxed, knowing we don’t have to worry about him anymore. On the other hand, we’d give almost anything to have a healthy, thriving, happy Tico back.

On a lighter note, it's the first day of a new month. Saying "Bunny Bunny" might just give you good luck for this month. Try it. I've been doing it since I was 6 years old.

Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share this with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest… you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

Painting a house and re-charging your life

I have been humbled this past week by so many of you emailing to tell me how much you enjoy my blog, how you admire my courage, and believe other doors will open for me on my path. If I ever wonder if my writing makes a difference, I’m wondering no more. Thank you.

Now on to the blog!

I have been a painting fool since we arrived back to Bend.  color palette

Every room in the house, except the bathrooms, felt like they needed to be a different color in order to feel bright and homey to me.

I didn’t really even know what colors I wanted; I don’t have expertise in the matching of colors area. So I headed to Lowe’s to get some paper paint squares and brochures.

As I looked through the brochures and put sample color squares on the wall, something interesting happened. A vision of what I wanted began to form. As I walked through each room, I noted what I wanted to feel like when I spent time there.

I wanted the living room to feel warm and cozy. What colors would bring that?

I wanted the kitchen to feel inviting. What colors would do that for me?

I wanted our bedroom to feel bright and relaxing. What colors would embrace that?

It ended up being quite simple really.

You probably already know that color can dramatically affect our moods and emotions. It can influence our actions and cause physiological reactions. Think about the last time you walked into someone’s home or a business where you felt relaxed, or on the flip side, anxious. Did you notice what colors were in that space?

Your home, apartment, studio… living space, is an extension of who you are internally. Every color you choose, nick-knack you place, plant you hang, is in some way connected to your inner being.

Does your home represent the authentic you?

When you walk around, do the various spaces feel the way you’d like?

If not, could a little paint be in your future?

It’s an inexpensive way to bring a big change to your wellbeing, a re-charge if you will.

Note to self (and maybe you too). If you decide to paint, determine how long you think it will take, then quadruple it. That oughta cover it. :)

What experience do you have with various colors? I'd love to know.

Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share this with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest… you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

Closing shop + Lessons learned

It became utterly clear one night this past week, that at least for now, I’m closing down my Bloom Time Life Coaching business. This may come as a surprise. It’s one for me too. But I think subconsciously I’ve been mulling it in my mind for a while. crocodile tears

Any time you start a business, there’s a risk it might fail. Mine did fail, but only financially. In all other aspects, like the awesome clients I had, the amazing tools I learned about building a website, technology stuff in general, and the super cool people I met, it was a total success.

But to make this decision, I went through both dirty and clean pain.

Dirty pain happens when the thoughts swirling around in your head about a situation bring you emotional “dog-doo” turmoil. For example, the basic fact was, my coaching business wasn’t profitable enough to be sustainable. Period.

The thoughts (or story) I built up about it went something like this. “I’m not passionate enough, motivated enough, driven enough, committed enough… to have a successful business.” With those thoughts, BIG crocodile tears ran down my face.

After some time, I realized, there may be some truth in those thoughts of mine. Maybe I wasn’t driven, motivated, passionate, and committed enough to be an entrepreneur and have a business, at this time. In this moment. Heck, I could start another business again in 5 years if I wanted.

And goodness knows that with all of the things I’ve done in my life, like backpacking through Europe twice, earning two masters degrees, moving across the country more than once, I’ve gotta have some hard core drive in me somewhere.

So after those dirty pain thoughts went through, I felt empty. But in a relieved kind of way. My chest had let go of whatever I had been schlepping around without realizing it.

I felt sad and disappointed that my hopes and dreams didn’t become the reality I wanted. And it was clean pain. No story around it, just clean, simple, sadness.

And then I felt “free”. No more trying to make something work that obviously wasn’t working. I know I’m a great coach. People I’ve coached have told me. I’ve got great coaching tools I can use in my life and to help others. Who knows how I might use them in the future.

While I won’t be taking on any brand new clients, since I get great joy from blogging every week, that won’t go away. I’m keeping what feels good (writing) and ditching what doesn’t (the marketing of a business).

I am so proud of myself for trying something new, for taking a leap into the unknown, and following my heart. I have no regrets about taking the path that felt right.

It’s absolutely okay to step off one path and choose another. At any time. I don’t have to make it mean anything negative about myself. My new path, though unclear, feels right too. I don’t need to see the whole road, just the next step.

And that next step means, I’ll see you next week, right here.

Is there something you've wanted to walk away from for a while but haven't?

Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share this with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest… you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

Planting seeds and growing roots

We made it back to our new hometown of Bend, OR after 3 months on the road! What an amazing trip. What an awesomely gorgeous country we live in. Even though we had a house to come back to, we’ve got a way to go before our house and this town feels like a true home.

It’s like planting seeds and growing roots.  woman growing roots

My husband started a new job he’s super excited about. I’m making our house a home, continuing my life coaching business, and looking for a job as well. Whether you start a new job, romance, friendship, or move your life across the country, that’s what you’re doing, planting seeds and growing roots.

Meeting neighbors, learning the streets, finding out where the cool places are, and all the fun things to do, all equate to soil, water, and fertilizer. All needed ingredients to help us flourish.

If it’s the right job, friend, or romance for you, those planted seeds will grow into roots. If those roots are fed well, they’ll grow deep and wide.

For me, growing my roots means getting out and being a part of my community. And also inviting my community to be a part of my life.

I know it’s going to take a while but healthy roots are so worth growing.

Are you growing healthy roots in various parts of your life?

Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share this with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest… you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

Living without expectations

We’re headed home back to Oregon in the HaRVey after spending 3 months on the road. As I write this, we’ve already made it to Arizona where we’re staying with friends through the New Year. We’re loving the cloudless sky, sunny, 60-degree days.

On our way to Tucson, driving through Texas and New Mexico, we knew it would be long and flat, but that was about it.

cotton field

As we rumbled down the highway we started noticing cotton fields. Like e-ver-y-where. As far as your eye could see, in every direction, cotton. Who knew cotton grew in Texas? I had no idea.

Then the cotton fields turned to oilfields with wellheads. Again, as far as the eye could see in all directions. Hundreds of them all over. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Wellheads of New Mexico

We then came across the White Sands National Monument, one of the World’s great natural wonders. 275 square miles of white hilly gypsum sand dunes. In the middle of nowhere. I’d never even heard of them before. We stopped to hike through a part of it and watch kids and adults alike giddily sledding down the hills. There was no way to know from a picture, and being there in person even, if it was sand or snow.

White Sands National Monument, NM

Later that night we pulled into a state park called the City of Rocks where an amazing grouping of large volcanic rocks are just sitting out in the open amongst the flat terrain. We watched both the sunset and the sunrise from those rocks. Wow!!

City of Rocks State Park, NM

What I noticed about those couple of days was that I honestly had no expectations of what we would find. I didn’t decide beforehand that the time would be amazing or horrible.

And that was a switch for me. I know I often do have expectations of what a place, person, or event will be like. When my pre-conceived expectations aren’t met, I often feel disappointed.

Without those expectations, everything became more interesting and fun.

It was like living in the world of a child where everything is new for the first time. You experience a sense of wonder, curiosity, and awe.

I think that’s missing in our busy, go from one thing-- to the next, adult world. We build up expectations based on past experience so we can't fully enjoy the cool things that often happen.

Imagine waking up each day and not have any expectation for what the day will hold. And be excited about what does show up!

Wishing you an unexpected start to 2014!

Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share this with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest... you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

Taking pause

We’re about to turn the page on another year. There’s something about a period of time ending and a new one beginning that causes many of us to reflect on the year we’ve had and dream about what the next may hold. Many set resolutions. Some don’t even bother.

This year I’ve taken some time to pause.   butterfly on cat's nose

My pause has brought a big realization.

I don’t truly appreciate who I am.

I’m a personal-growth junkie and love that about myself. It’s so much fun always learning and growing.

But it means I’m always trying to “improve” myself. Be better. More. Different than I am. More patient, loving, kind, focused, caring, committed, goal-oriented... You name it. And that leaves me thinking I’m always falling short. That feels way icky.

Our culture doesn’t support self-acceptance. The media is always showing us ways to look better, do things faster, and tell us how much better we’d be if only we tried A or bought B.

But I’m not going to place blame on the media, or men for pushing women down for so long, or big companies for trying to make money.

Nope. That buck stops here.

It’s MY responsibility.

It starts with noticing the thoughts I have in my head that say “you should be more patient, or nice, or energetic, or whatever my silly mind comes up with at the time. Then notice when I have these thoughts, I berate myself for not being more than I am. This makes me feel like hiding under a rock, which of course perpetuates the whole cycle of thinking that if I only would be better at those things I “should” be better at, or “more” than I am, I might not have those thoughts, then feel so bad.

It’s such a losing battle.

And it’s crazy because that whole battle is me with me. No one else.

Good golly people!

So after my pause, I’ve decided. For 2014, I’m not going to try to make myself “better” or “more”. I’m going to just be, and accept that.

I’m really tired of trying to be more. Better. It’s exhausting.

What you focus on, grows. Think about it. If you focus on what you appreciate and like about yourself already, that’s what you’ll see. Focus on the things you want to change, then you’ll only see the things you don’t like.

It won’t be easy for this self-growth junkie. But maybe, just maybe, that’s my lesson. My self-growth will come when I let go of the need to be better than I am.

That will be my mantra for 2014. “I don’t need to be any better than I am”.

Now that was worth a pause…

What realizations did your pause bring you?

Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

This Season

My wish this season…

Wave of Peace      candles

Peace

I dream of a wave of peace

A giant wave Reaching beyond the fences Moving deep inside

A wonderful wave Drenching all the minds Penetrating deep in hearts Changing souls forever

A tsunami Devastating all walls of greed Destructive to violent thoughts Ripping apart perversion Erasing arrogance

A wave of peace, streaming enveloping the world Softening hearts Wisening leaders

Just peace Dare to dream with me

Let's dream and believe In a wave of peace

An awesome wave of peace

~ Aufie Jophy

What would peace look like for you?

Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

 

Scents, Sounds, and Sights

The past couple of weeks I have returned to my roots. I am a Florida Cracker, the name used for a native Floridian. Yes, there are a few of us that were actually born in the state. I spent a majority of the first 30 years of my life in FL before moving to Alaska.

While returning to FL in HaRVey with my husband and 3 dogs has felt familiar, I had no idea it would feel like such a homecoming. I grew up in Clearwater, FL, just west of Tampa on the Gulf of Mexico. My mother loved the beach, so had me in tow whenever she went. Which was as often. I grew to love the beach as much as she did. I still do.

20131203_105105_resized

When I initially wrote the first draft of this, I was sitting on a beach in Key Largo, FL on a sunny, breezy, blue sky, 80 degree day. IN DECEMBER! It felt glorious.

I love the sound of the various beach birds. The smell of the ocean is unlike any other ocean I’ve smelled. I didn’t know you could smell salt but that’s the best way I can describe it. The teal water stretches out in front of me and brings a smile to my face. I can hear the waves lapping the shore, about one lap per second. The gentle breeze feels like hundreds of cotton balls gliding over my sun warmed skin. Even the sticky humidity feels normal and not foreign at all.

Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh—is all I can say.

Maybe it’s because I spent so much enjoyable time here when I was young, that on return I have such a great appreciation for this place.

My husband grew up in Ohio and didn’t feel like he had found home until he got to the mountains where he could hike.

Home isn’t always found in the place where we grew up; sometimes we have to seek it out.

I don’t know if I could ever live here again permanently. Maybe.

For this moment though, I’ll literally bask in the warm sun, enjoy the swaying palm trees, marvel at the magnificent fish we saw on our snorkel trip, picture the dolphins frolicking in the wake of our boat on the way back, and take in every moment we’re here with gratitude.

What more could this Florida Cracker ask for?

What place feels like home to you? Was it where you grew up, or somewhere else?

Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest you can leave behind.

Bloom On!