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

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

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

Do you know what makes you really happy?

I used to think I wanted to feel happy all the time. Think about it. Doesn’t the idea of feeling super happy and excited about your life 24/7 sound kind of amazing? I had this notion that if I felt incredibly happy I would feel motivated and inspired. I had visions of getting so much done because I would be “in the mood” to do it all.

Having grown up in Florida I often visited Disney World. Talk about being in a place where happy reigns. There is just something about walking through the gates into the Magic Kingdom, cue the Disney music, the blue birds singing in the manicured trees, the brightly colored, perfectly spaced flowers, the amazing clear sky, Mickey waving off in the distance…

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

I love Disney. I do. But I couldn’t go every day. I found it’s actually tiring to feel that happy all the time and to go-go-go. Enjoy this! Have fun here!

Help- where do I get off?

Going to Disney is fun. Having fun makes me happy.

But true happiness is an inside job. I’m sure you’ve heard it before. Yes, people, things, and experiences outside of us can bring us joy for sure.

Real happiness, however, comes from your approach to life.

Knowing deep down what makes your soul happy and doing that.

It could be the work you do in the world.

It could be your attitude when you have to stand in a long line at the store.

It could be the time you spend with your friends or significant other.

Or the walks you take with your dog.

Maybe the time you spend playing with your cat.

It could be the way you handle a person who you think has been rude to you.

It could even include knowing you need to get away and sit by the river to let nature fill you up again.

Do you know what makes you really happy?

If you do, go do it and be it.

If not, go find out.

Your happiness is waiting.

Are you happy? 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

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

 

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

The difference between dreamy and dreary

I recently spent 5 days in the woods at a nature reserve in NY with other nature loving life coaches from around the country. Every day was gloriously sunny but the last. It rained that entire day. You would have thought our time would be ruined. Nope, we just donned our rain gear, threw up a tarp, and continued with our plans. A little mother nature wasn’t going to scare us off.  the beauty of rain in the trees We often stopped what we were doing to look out and marvel at the raindrops glistening on the tree leaves and listen to the rain falling gently on the ground around us or on the tarp above us. We could even smell the rain as it slowly soaked into the earth. It was dreamy. I mean really dreamy.

That evening I was on a train back to Grand Central Station to start my trek back to Alaska. It was still raining outside. The closer we got to NYC, the less trees I noticed, and the more drab it became. The sky seemed ominous with gray clouds and the backdrop was big concrete buildings, cars, and paved roads. It looked dreary really.

What a stark contrast!

The weather was exactly the same in each place. One looked dreamy, the other dreary.

The difference?

Mother Nature

Do you have enough of her in your life?

Are you getting out to enjoy the beauty that naturally surrounds you regularly? 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!

Seeds of Kindness Bloom and Bloom and Bloom…

A 5-Word Shift

To hear the audio version of this blog, click here. I get coached regularly. I always see things in a new way or from a different perspective when I allow myself to be the worried, whiny, bitchy, scared human being that I am at times. All the coaches I know get coached, which is a sign that we find it incredibly valuable.    If nothing changes, nothing changes

During a session where I was being coached recently, my friend asked if I had made some changes that I had told her earlier I was going to. I told her I hadn’t.

Then she said to me, “If nothing changes, nothing changes.”

The power of those 5 words hit me dead, straight, heart center. You could have knocked me over with a feather.

I invite you to sit and ponder those words for a few moments before you read on.

What do they mean for you? Did anything come up?

I’ll share what it meant to me. If I want to see something different happen in my life, changes need to be made. However, the world doesn’t need to change, another person doesn’t need to change, the circumstances of my life don’t need to change, I need to change. If I want to take control of my life and have what I want, I have to be the one to take full responsibility to make those changes. I can either do something differently, see a situation from a new perspective, or let go of something that isn’t serving me.

With this realization, I was instantly empowered, catapulted really, to do something, anything, different towards creating the changes I wanted and needed in my life.

So I did look at things differently and started to do a few things differently. And guess what? I started to see those changes take place.

Well, duh! I’m a life coach, That is exactly one of the things I do when I work with clients. I find out what changes they want to make that they haven’t been able to, get to the bottom of what’s blocking them, then help them work through that block and support them in creating the change they want.

But I couldn’t see that in myself. Sometimes we are just too close to see our own stuff, the blocks that are exactly right in front of us staring back at us. I didn’t see it until an objective coach, coached me.

Are you blind to what’s blocking you from creating change?

“If nothing changes, nothing changes.”

Want a jump start to creating change without hiring a coach? I’ve got a free ebook there on the right titled Spring Your Life Forward: 4 Tips Toward Creating Change Toward What You want… And away from what you don’t. You can sign up on the right at the top and you’ll receive my free weekly newsletter too.

What's blocking you from making a change? What's one thing you could do differently? 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!

Seeds of Kindness Bloom and Bloom and Bloom…

Pain as a Pisser (and a Teacher)

To hear the audio version of this blog, click here. I’ve got a hamstring injury and I’m not happy about it. It makes me a bit pissy.     wise ones take care of their health

Maybe angry is a better word.

Actually, I’m just frustrated and sad.

I’m an active person who doesn’t really like to, want to slow down or change anything because of a painful hamstring injury. But this isn’t going to go away anytime soon without some healthy, thoughtful attention from me.

In my previous career as a Physical Therapist, patients would tell me, “my such and such body part hurts, I think I might have a problem”. I would gently remind them that pain was not a sign that said they might have a problem; it meant they already did have a problem.

Therefore, I have a problem.

I don’t want to rest it, ice it, stretch it, possibly seek outside help, and discontinue some of the things I enjoy. Do you hear my pissyness?

But I have a choice here.

Continue to irritate it with my normal activity or change what I’m doing so it can heal.

Hmmmmmm…. I sense a teacher nearby.

When my coaching clients find something happening in their life they don’t like, I often ask, what can you learn from this?

In my case, my mind immediately jumps to the basic fact that the body is an amazing machine that can heal itself, in its own way, and own perfect time. Not my mental perfect time.

And I always have a choice in how I react to what’s happening. I can be pissy about it. But at who? Me, the universe, the ice flow I tried to go over but caught my ski injuring my hamstring? It just happened.

Here’s the interesting thing. I’ve had a chronic tight hamstring for quite a while. It’s been bothering me for some time. I’ve done a few things to manage it, but nothing to really get to the bottom of it and fully take care of it. Until now.

Maybe the universe is teaching me that if I want to continue to ask my body to do what it has been doing for me for so long, I must take care of it and give it real, loving, healthy, respectful attention.

My body wants to work for me. It does. It also wants to thrive and feel good. So does yours. I can help it with that. But I must pay attention to what it is telling me.

And I ask you. Where in your life do you need to give some healthy, respectful attention? Where do you need to rest? Heal? Or need help?

Your life will give you clues as to what’s working and what isn’t.

They can be screaming clues or subtle. Are you listening, paying attention?

My hamstring is talking loud and clear. I’m listening, letting it teach me, AND acting on it. With kindness and respect.

My hamstring is healing and feeling better. So am I.

Your Turn: Is something in your life speaking to you? Are you listening?  I’d love to know.  Leave 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!

Seeds of Kindness Bloom and Bloom and Bloom…

In Praise of Slowness Book Review

To hear the audio version of this blog, click here. In some form, my entire life, I have pushed against our fast-paced, hurry- hurry, rush-rush, get a million things done in a day mentality. I never understood it and it just never seemed right.

It makes perfect sense then, that I would find myself giddy when I stumbled upon a book titled, In Praise of Slowness, Challenging the Cult of Speed.    Slowing your life down

It’s author, Carl Honore, spent time researching the global movement of slowing down. Yes! For the love of life itself, there is a global movement. People are actively, consciously, slowing down their lives in order to be happier, healthier, and more connected.

He writes, “Inevitably, a life of hurry can become superficial. When we rush, we skim the surface, and fail to make real connections with the world or other people”.

He also says, “Despite what the critics say, the Slow movement is not about doing everything at a snail’s pace. Nor is it an attempt to drag the whole planet back to some pre-industrial utopia. The movement is made up of people like you and me, people who want to live better in a fast-paced modern world. The Slow philosophy can be summed up in a single word: balance. Be fast when it makes sense to be fast, and be slow when slowness is called for. Seek to live at what musician’s call tempo giusto—the right speed”.

And I would add to this, the right speed for YOU.

For only you know what that right speed is at any given time.

Carl explains how time came from the need to survive, how Ancient civilizations used calendars to work out when to plant and harvest crops. How industrial capitalism thrived on speed like never before. Throw in consumerism and you have a deadly combo. The result is a disconnect between what we want from life and what we can realistically have, which feeds the sense that there is never enough time.

Each chapter discusses the various benefits of slowing down in several areas of life, including why slow is beautiful, food, mind/body, medicine, sex, the benefits of working less hard, the importance of being at rest, and raising an unhurried child.

Carl talks about how, “The great benefit of slowing down is reclaiming the time and tranquility to make meaningful connections—with people, with culture, with work, with nature, with our own bodies and minds. Some call that living better. Others would describe it as spiritual”.

If you would like your life to slow down, you have to be the one to take the reigns.

This book could be the inspiration to help you change your relationship with time. And enjoy the time you have here while on our  planet earth, that much more.

*In Praise of Slowness can be found by clicking here.

Your Turn: Is the pace of your life working for you? Leave 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!

Seeds of Kindness Bloom and Bloom and Bloom…

*I have partnered with Amazon as an affiliate to share the resources that have been such an inspiration, and continue to be, in my life. I only endorse products that I feel are meaningful for each of our own journeys to create a life of fulfillment, however you define it.

How to Thrive during the Darker Days of Winter

Click here if you want to hear the audio version of this blog. Most people I know love summer time. It’s warm, you can spend hours upon hours outside, and wear shorts and flip-flops.

When it gets colder, however, it takes much more effort to put on those layers of clothes plus a different attitude to get out in it.  Thriving during the Darker Days

The decreased sunlight affects many of us too. People often find themselves with less energy, feeling more down, or with decreased motivation.

Some people even suffer from a form of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Some symptoms for SAD include:

Depression, hopelessness, anxiety, loss of energy, a heavy “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs, social withdrawal, oversleeping, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, appetite changes, weight gain, and difficulty concentrating.

Two websites with information about SAD include the Mayo Clinic and Mental Health America.

**Any information I provide here should not take the place of sound medical advice from a doctor. If any symptoms you are experiencing do not lessen or get worse, I recommend contacting your physician for guidance.**

Of course we may all experience some level of these symptoms at any time of the year, but you know yourself best. And you know if something is excessive or way off kilter for your normal way of feeling.

Here are a few tips to help you thrive during these darker days of winter.

Light, light, and more light. One way to combat the decreased light is to actually add more light to your life. This could be done any number of ways. Maybe you have a fireplace in your home. Add some light and a heat source. You can always bring in candlelight to any room of your home. Just make sure to blow it out when you leave. Why not try energy-saving fluorescent lighting. You’ll not only help the environment; you’ll be adding some really bright light to the room.

Then there’s the happy light kind of light. This can help tremendously, but use it as directed. A friend of mine found out that if she used it all day long in her office she was awake for hours in the middle of the night. If she was unhappy before, she was definitely not happy until she used it correctly.

If you can get outside at all, natural light from the sun, even on cloudy days, can provide a much-needed boost.

Vitamin D may also reduce the production of cytokines, which are proteins that increase inflammation and have been shown to be a possible risk factor for depression. Ask your doctor to have your level checked. If it’s not where it needs to be, getting it at the right level could make all the difference for your world.

I can’t speak highly enough about getting outside in nature to perk up your pansies. Even when it’s cold. There’s something about reconnecting with fresh air, the trees, and the snow if you have it. Just taking a walk allows your mind to chatter, worry, and work on its to-do list. But then something amazing happens. It stops talking and quiets down. Very often, a peaceful feeling will come up, possibly an insight about a problem you were working on, or a creative burst or idea about a project. Nature is miraculous. When you connect with it, you connect with yourself.

There’s also the whole thing about wrapping your mind around  decreased daylight. When you argue with reality, you lose, but only 100% of the time. What we think about the darkness matters. If you think it stinks, it will feel stinky. Period. Your thoughts create your feelings. What thoughts can you think that will bring you a better feeling? Now go think them.

Why not spend 2 minutes visualizing yourself in Hawaii, Mexico, or some warm and sunny vacation destination. Literally see the green landscape with all those trees and flowers, smell the ocean, feel the warm, perfect temperature sun on your skin, taste the yummy different foods you would eat, and hear the birds singing. Take those sensations with you into your day. You can always stop and take a few moments to vacation in your mind.

Or literally take that mid-winter vacation to a warm sunny place if you can. It can break up winter and help you get through it knowing you got some relief from the cold or dark.

These are just a few ways to make it through your winter.

Want even more ideas for thriving this winter? Sign up for my free weekly newsletter at bloom-timecoaching.com and I’ll send you the entire How to Thrive during the Darker Days of Winter e-book too.

Your Turn: What one thing do you do to either thrive or just survive during the darker days? Leave 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!

Seeds of Kindness Bloom and Bloom and Bloom…

What's Your Intention?

It is officially winter in my neck of the woods. It’s almost down to the single digits at night and a layer of snow has gently blanketed the ground around me while the leafless but breathtaking tree branches are glistening towers of ice protruding into the sky. Intention and Motivation

I’ve set an intention for this winter, kind of like a new year’s resolution, but of the mid-Oct. variety.

The longer I live in Alaska, the more challenging winters have become.

It’s mainly the darkness, the lack of light has taken its toll year after year. Once the leaves have disappeared off the trees and it’s pitch-black dark when I wake up in the morning, a feeling of dread comes over me. Ugh! In my head I think, “it’s only going to get worse and I have a long way to go before it’s going to get better”.

It’s like I have unconsciously intended that winter is going to be hard for me. And as a life coach, I know that what I intend, I create.

But what is intention?

Intention is getting clear on the outcome you want. What do you want to get out of this? What do you think you will learn? What are you really hoping will happen?

It could be for a relationship you have with someone, your work, or how you interact with your kids. Do you want to communicate better with people, be in less of a hurry, or stop yelling so much? When you know what you want, moving towards that becomes easier.

But there’s an even more important question to ask yourself after discovering your intention.

What’s your motivation?

It’s like asking what’s the intention behind your intention? It’s asking why? Why do you want to communicate better? Why do you want to be in less of a hurry? Why do you want to stop yelling so much?

The answer to those questions are along the lines of what you want to feel.

Maybe when you communicate better you feel more connected with someone, maybe when you are less in a hurry, you feel more relaxed about what you’re doing, maybe you want to stop yelling because when you do it you regret it and you don’t want to feel regret.

Often we want things to work out a specific way for our life but never explore why we want those outcomes. What do we get out of something happening a certain way?

Is it possible that what you really want is far deeper and more important than you realized?

When you intend something for your life and know your motivation behind it, you know you aren’t BS’ing yourself. It’s okay to want what you want. There are truly no rules behind that.

But by knowing your motivation behind your intention, you can decide if what you say you want is really what you want, or if you just want to feel a certain way. If that’s the case, can you find a way to feel what you want without having your intention met?

Intention? Motivation? These two questions together could really shine a bright light on your deepest desires.

Oh! And my intention for this winter?

To embrace the darkness with a sense of wonder and appreciation for the earth as she rests after a busy period of growth and harvest. My motivation behind the intention is to feel alert and alive, motivated by whatever I’m doing that day: coaching, writing, enjoying time with my boyfriend, playing in the snow with my dogs, and going out with friends. To feel energetic to create whatever I want in my life.

And man, that feels good.

Your Turn:  Do you have intentions for your life? Do you know what’s motivating you? Leave 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!

Seeds of Kindness Bloom and Bloom and Bloom…

Why Sweat any of it?

Richard Carlson wrote a book many years ago called, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff—and it’s all small stuff. A whole series of books was published around this.  You have control over you Honestly, I have not read any of his books, but I do agree with the part of the title that says it’s all small stuff. Things really are only as big as we make them in our minds.

So why do we sweat over things in our life?

I think it’s about control.

We sweat, worry, and stress about things because we hope that by doing that enough, we can somehow control the outcome.

We sweat about presentations at work so we look good to our boss or co-workers. We sweat about what is going on with our kids, so we can protect them and keep them from getting hurt. We sweat about whether it’s the right time to buy or sell a house.

The answer to all of this is… that there is no answer.

You don’t have control. You don’t have a crystal ball. You cannot possibly see the future, or control it, no matter how much you want to.

So what can you do instead of sweating about all the things you can’t control?

Well, you do have complete control over one person.

You.

Yes you.

You get to decide how you think, how you feel, what actions you take or don’t, and how you react to various situations and people.

As I was telling one of my clients recently, we always wish we had the wisdom we have now, 20 years ago. But we didn’t. We only knew what we knew then.

That wisdom, knowledge, and those gut feelings you have at any given time are all you can have to make choices about your life.

And that is the best place you can make a decision from. You.

You can’t know what will happen one year down the road. Will you be glad you bought that house, or happy you left that job?

Are you willing to decide that no matter what decision you make, it is the best one you can make for the information and wisdom you have at the time?

If you are making those decisions based upon what on what you value and what’s important to you, then you really can’t go wrong, no matter what the outcome.

So buy a house, change your job, or make a decision based on the wisdom, gut feelings, and knowledge you have now. That’s all within your control. It’s within you. Not out in the world. Not in the hands of other people.

Stop sweating.

Your Turn: What issue are you willing to stop sweating about and start trusting yourself around? Leave 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!

Seeds of Kindness Bloom and Bloom and Bloom…

Image courtesy of Idea go/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Nurturing Your True Nature

As much as I am a teacher and guide, I am also simultaneously a student.  Nurture you. I am currently in a deep learning role as I have joined a year-long nature-based coaching course which is teaching me how to connect with the natural world in such a way that I can learn more about my strengths, desires, and gifts that only I have to share with the world.

I spent this last weekend at a nature reserve in NY with my class, all life coaches, learning as students, to no only discover our gifts but to utilize the natural world to help connect our clients to their own true nature as well.

I always knew on some level that the fast pace of the world did not fit my true nature. I find the same with many of my clients who are tired of burning the candle at both ends and feeling like they never have enough time.

Some of the practices I’ve started have helped me change perspective, shown me insights, and helped bring more calm and presence into my life. I thought I would share one practice with you in hopes that you might benefit too.

It’s called Sit Spot.

Find a place not too far from the front door of where you live, but away from any distractions where you can be out in some form of nature. I invite you to go sit outside for 10-15 minutes. I suggest committing to just one week.

The only rule is that you just notice what you notice about nature and yourself without judgment. Without judgment.

So here’s the thing. Your mind is going to do what human minds do. It’s going to talk to you about all the things you have to do and should be doing, and that sitting doing nothing is a waste of your time, that it’s boring, and dumb. Thank your brain for its input and remind it that it’s only 15 minutes and 1 week out of a 52-week year.

Don’t worry. After a bit your brain will settle down. And that’s when cool stuff happens.

As you sit, ask yourself the following questions...

What do I notice?

What can I learn from what I’m noticing?

Where else is this showing up in my life?

Nature will always act as a mirror, reflecting back to you what is happening inside of you. Always.

It will show you what is true for you in that moment.

What you do with that information is up to you.

Your Turn: What have you learned about yourself from nature in the past? Leave 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!

Seeds of Kindness Bloom and Bloom and Bloom…

Image courtesy of Nick Coombs/FreeDigitalPhotos.net