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What is True for You Right Now?

I’ve not written to you for two months now. Part of me doesn’t want to continue writing because I have SO SO SO enjoyed the increased free time and not having the self-made commitment of writing weekly. And then there’s this other part of me that really wants to return to writing again. There’s actually a deeper part of me that does yearn to be “a writer”, and I have missed it. Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

I do struggle with where to take the Nurture Your Life Newsletter next. Maybe (hopefully) me sharing my own journey in this wild ride of a life we all live will inspire or help you on your own.

I’ve always loved Oprah’s ending to her magazine each month where she writes “What I Know for Sure”. It’s the place I feel she gets the most real in her magazine about life. There’s depth there.

I think I’ll add an end to this newsletter called, “What I Know to be True Right Now”. Because you can only really ever know what you know right now in this moment. Every choice you’ve made and everything thing that has happened to you up to this point informs who you are now and how you view life. And as life continues on and you gain even greater wisdom because you live your life with awareness and presence (which of course you do because you wouldn’t be reading this type of newsletter if you weren’t), what is true for you might change.

So I’m going to ramble a bit since it feels so right. I’ve been part of the self-help community for a looooooooong time. If you’ve read this newsletter for any length of time, you know personal growth is one of the top priorities in my life. I really do enjoy learning and growing and becoming a newer version of myself all the time.

Which is why taking two months away from goal attaining/striving/trying to get to the next thing has been HUGE for me. Never in my life have I stopped working towards a goal. Never. Always a degree to earn, always a job to get better at, always a business to build, always something.

So for me to spend two entire months not working toward something would have seemed like total failure in the past. Who I am if I’m not doing something that someone (who that might be I’m not sure) might think was worthwhile and not wasting my time?

I met that someone in person and she happened to be my very own mind. My own inner Creuella-De-Vil, who told me that just focusing on realigning my body through Physical Therapy, working my job at REI, and enjoying what happened to show up in my life was NOT ENOUGH. I told her to sit down and shut up. I told her I had had enough of her. That life was meant to be enjoyed and not everything I did had to be about attaining some goal and proving my worth to myself. That was the key. It wasn’t about proving my worth to others, but proving it to myself. Really BIG pondering thought there.

It wasn’t until I stepped away did I see how hard I’ve been working. Mostly mentally. Trying to get somewhere with something. I wish I could describe to you the freedom I’ve felt by letting go of my own need to work toward a goal all the time. There are just no words for the peaceful relaxed, open, contented, and restful place I’m in.

Do I wished I’d stepped into this space of letting go of Cruella a bit earlier. No, not really. You see I wouldn’t have been ready four years ago, not even four months ago to do it. Because that isn’t where I was on my personal growth journey.

I often hear you’re never ready for changes in your life but I actually have found that hasn’t been the case for me at all. I’ve made changes when I decided because I was ready. There’s something to be said about stepping up and shifting your life when you just KNOW it’s time. And I know for me that when I want to shift something, I do it. And there’s no fear involved. I hear from many self-help gurus that in order for something to be worthwhile to change there has to be fear. And I think that isn’t true for everyone or all the time. Fear doesn’t have to be part of the equation at all.

So I still don’t know where I’m headed with the Nurture Your Life Newsletter. I do know I don’t plan to write it weekly like I’ve done in the past. Let’s just say I’ll write once a month for sure, and if I’m feeling inspired, I’ll write more often. You’ll just have to check your email every Saturday to see if I’m there or not.

So what do I know to be true right now?

That no one can really tell you how to find what is true for you. Yes, you might read something in self-help that fits, or follow a part of a path someone else has taken, but if something is really true for you right now you will have a deep knowing and sense of peace about it. No question. Of course that’s how I know for me, it might be different for you. That’s for you to discover. If you really want to know (and you don't know now) you keep searching. That’s what I’ve done.

And when they (the spiritual self-help gurus) say, the answers really are inside of you, they really, truly, deeply are.

Until next time…keep searching.

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

 

Worrying is Optional

I always find it so fascinating the memories we have from childhood that occasionally pop up like they just happened the other day. Back when I was around 7, my parents and I, as well as our next-door neighbors, a fun older couple (50’s is older when your 7), planned to go out on our boat into the Gulf of Mexico for a few hours one weekend afternoon. I loved to go out on the boat to feel the warm sun and watch the dolphins play in the wake.

We got everything loaded up, pulled into the marina with the boat launch, put the boat in the water, and got in all ready to go for our adventure. Except the starter did not turn the engine over. The battery was dead.

My parents took off to go find another battery and I remember talking to my neighbors being concerned about how long my parents were gone, what had happened to the boat, how we weren’t going to get out and enjoy the water, blah, blah, blah.

The wife said to me, wow, you are a worry wart. That really struck me at the tender age of 7. Me, a worry wart? No way! I mean, who worries at 7?

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

I guess I did.

Of course, my parents came back with the new battery; we hopped in the boat, and continued with our day on the water.

As a child, I truly had nothing to be worried about, but as adults, holy moly, do we have things to worry about. Mortgages, world hunger, terrorism, getting to work on time, saving enough money for retirement, the list is endless.

Yes, those are all parts of modern life right now, but you know what? Worrying about any of it is completely optional. I would even say it is completely unneeded, unwanted, and unhealthy.

The feeling of worry comes from a thought that says something along the lines of I’m not safe, the future is scary, or something bad is going to happen. Worry is future-oriented. It takes us completely out of the present. We don’t worry about what is happening right this moment. When something is happening right now we are busy dealing with that, not worrying about it.

Worry puts you in an internal state of stress. You do that to yourself. You can take worry off the table anytime you’d like.

How?

You plan for the future, not worry about it. You make a plan to pay your mortgage, you plan to deal with terrorism, you plan to get to work on time, you plan to save money for retirement.

Our media is full of fear-based stories. They perpetuate worry.

How interesting that I don’t listen or pay much attention to the media and I live a peaceful life with very little worry.

Worry is optional and your choice.

So tell me, is there something you can drop your worry about today?

Give it a try and make a plan instead.

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

Regret

The fear of regret stops so many people I know from taking action towards something they want in their life. This shows up in many forms. And the are all just thoughts. What if I choose A and things get worse than they are now? Regret.

What if I choose B and then I’m stuck with something that wasn’t what I wanted or expected?

Regret. regrets behind you

Yep, taking steps towards making a change can be really scary. It’s scary because we have an end goal and result in mind. If the change doesn’t bring about the exact end goal and result we were envisioning, we tend to think we either made a bad choice, or the wrong choice. And we see it as failure. Then regret kicks in.

I see two options here. You either stay where you are and nothing changes. Think about the rest of your life with you not making any changes. How does that feel?

Or you move in a new direction and something will change in some way. How does that feel?

Would you rather stay feeling the way you do know or take the chance that something awesome could be around the corner?

Here’s the thing. I don’t care how much you think something through, plan it out, plot it out, and do everything you can to control the outcome so it is everything you hope and imagine, it will rarely come out that way. It could, but chances are it won’t. Because you can’t plan for the unforeseeable. You just can’t.

This doesn’t have to be a problem though. Because what your brain doesn’t account for are all the possibilities that could happen because you went a different direction or shifted something up. Because you decided to go to that concert by yourself, you met a really cool person who became a great friend. Because you decided to change jobs to find a better fit, you ended up doing what you love every day.

As one of my favorite coach mentors. Brooke Castillo says, Take committed action towards something you want. Because even if you get something you don’t want, you will have learned the skill of committing to something and working towards it all out. And that you can apply to anything else in your life. She is SO right.

Regret is the wish that something hadn’t turned out the way it did. What a waste of energy. Yes, it’s important to honor our feelings about what happened and feel sad, angry, disappointed, or whatever it is you need to feel. Definitely.

But then you’ve got to move forward. And make new decisions in new directions.

You can either stay where you are or move in a different direction. You get to decide if you’d rather regret doing nothing, or take the chance to bring about something amazing.

What can you do to eliminate regret? If you choose what is important to you, what truly matters, in all of your decisions for your life, then regret doesn’t stand a chance.

And that, is totally your choice.

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

You have a Natural Side to Nurture

We all have a natural side that yearns to be nurtured. But what the heck does that mean? When I think of you natural side, I think of the parts of you that flow through life with ease. Take my good friend, Lola for example, (not her real name). Lola loves to solve problems. Loves it! Give her a problem to solve and she is in her zone. Time falls away or flies by, she’s having a ball, and she has great energy. It comes naturally to her. Which is why she has chosen a career where she gets to solve problems. She gets great satisfaction from doing so. She feels filled up and all is well in her world. a woman painting

Now take my friend Lydia (not her real name either), who is an accountant. She’s pretty good at it but time doesn’t fly by when she’s doing it, she feels drained, and her excitement level about it is, pretty meh. She is not nurturing her natural side. She is fighting against it. Continuing to do what’s not working, is not going to get you to what will work.

These may be career examples but you can notice this is any area of your life.

Wondering what’s really natural for you?

Think of it this way. What are the things you do you could do all day that are fun, time stands still, and you have a lot of energy doing it?

What people are you with?

What environments are you in?

What conversations are you having?

Are you alone?

Are you outside?

What are you doing?

This is how you find out what’s natural for you. There’s an ease to it. A flow. A rhythm. It doesn’t mean it isn’t challenging, but overall it just feels right, like you’ve come home. You think, yes. This.

Why is it important to nurture this? Because this is how you get filled up, how you get energy, feel good, enjoy life. It’s that simple. Spend all of your time doing what doesn’t feel natural and life isn’t going to feel so good. Spend at least some of your time nurturing the good stuff… you (plug in how you would feel here).

Then what do you do once you’ve found what feels natural? You make damn sure it’s part of your life. If it isn’t, you schedule it on your calendar and you make it happen. You get rid of things on your calendar that don’t nurture your natural side as much as you possibly can.

I know it might be hard, I know you might be afraid. But you know what, it’s your life. You are the only one who can live it and choose what you do with your time.

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

The Nurturing of your Spiritual Side

I’m not going to delve into the definition of Spiritual or Spirituality here. That’s totally up to you to decide what that means for you. What I will say is that it needs to be nurtured on a regular basis too.

I do often hear people worry that they aren’t spiritual enough or aren’t doing it “right”. Like they must spend X number of hours per week in church or a certain amount of time sitting daily on the floor meditating, and making darn sure their mind is clear of all thoughts or they’re doing it wrong.

Here’s one thing I’ve learned and have decided is true. You can’t do it wrong. Spirituality is personal just like everything else. There’s a balance and a rhythm to it. Just because you don’t eat all the healthiest foods every day, or exercise every time you think you should, or aren’t getting all the sleep you need at night, your spiritual practice will be the same.

Some days you get it in. Some days you won’t. Some days you’ll feel like spending time out in nature, others you spend in yoga, some you spend creating amazing paintings, some you pray, or (insert your favorite spiritual practice). And it can change. What works for you now might not work for you in 5 years. Or it might not even work for you a week from now. That’s how we humans are, we shift and change. Our spiritual practices need to shift and change with us.

One of the simplest spiritual practices I know, that has been passed down for centuries, is to give gratitude. Just the simple act of giving gratitude for what you have in your life can be more than enough. Some days, that’s all I do.

If whatever you do makes you feel more connected to yourself, others, the earth, or the Divine, then I’d say you’ve got a spiritual practice. Nurture it whenever and however 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

Be thoughtful with your time

A woman walked by me in the parking lot of our local shopping mall and I overheard her say on her cell phone, “there just isn’t any down time.” A participant in the yoga class I was in was talking with the instructor after class saying, ”I can’t wait for the holidays to be over”. As a life coach I so wanted to pull them aside, teach them some awesome coaching tools, and say, “it doesn’t have to be this way. You get to choose where you place your time.”

Case in point. Just this week I was working on my to do list. I happened to be out walking my dog and thinking about certain things I wanted to have done in a specific amount of time. My poor brain was spinning, my chest got tight, my breathing became more shallow, and I felt overwhelmed. I’m guessing the two women I mentioned above felt some form of overwhelm too. woman-looking-at-watch

Here’s what I did to help. And it is exactly what I would teach any of my coaching clients, as well as both of those women.

First, I stopped and recognized that I WAS feeling overwhelmed. You’ve got to know what’s going on with you in that moment if you want to shift it.

Second, I asked myself what was I thinking about right before I started feeling overwhelmed. I realized I was thinking about all the things I wanted to get done in a certain time frame. AND that it seemed like way too much to squish into that time period. When I thought I had to get all those things done, the feeling of stress and overwhelm arrived. Bingo. And for me, it wasn’t that there wasn’t enough time. It was that I was trying to do too much for the time I had.

Third, I created the shift. The important question I asked myself was, what can I drop from my to do list that would help me feel more free and relaxed, and enable me to get things done without trying to beat the clock? I found three things on that list of mine that if I dropped them, for now, would make my life feel SO much more relaxed, unrushed, and without overwhelm. So I promptly dropped them. To be done later.

Aaaaaaaaahhhhhh….

My brain stopped swirling, my chest opened up, and my shoulders relaxed. Now we’re talking.

Believe it or not, even during this Holiday time of year, not everything on your to do list has to get done. I challenge you, if you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed about all you think you need to do, to ask yourself, what can I drop? Maybe it isn’t permanent, but for now, for today.

So be thoughtful with your time. I promise, it can make all the difference.

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

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

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

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Taking Your Wise Self with You into the New Year

Take a moment to think about where you were and who you were 5 years ago. Now take another minute to think about where and who you were just one year ago.

Fast forward to today as we approach a brand new year.

Can you see your personal growth? Can you see how much you’ve learned over time? Can you see how much WISER you are now? Great_horned_owl_face

Day after day after week after month after year, we are constantly going through change. Whether it is a choice we make about a job, a shift we make in a relationship, or possibly when a loss has hit us and it’s out of our control. With each new change, if you are willing to look at how you show up and who you are through it all, you’ll notice patterns. When this happens, this is how I react. When that happens, this is how I treat others. When I’m stressed, this is how I treat myself. There is huge opportunity for growth in noticing how we operate. What works. And, what doesn’t.

It’s quite fascinating really, to be a scientist of your own life. To really look at your actions and behaviors with various people and during all sorts of situations.

With this new year approaching, many of us make plans and goals for all the things we’d like to change to make the new year “better”.

I think one of the huge components of creating a better and/or different 2015 is to take all that you’ve learned over time and bring your wiser self with you.

As my mentor Martha Beck reminds us in her book Finding Your Own North Star; “the cycle of change we all go through repeatedly during life follows a circular course but it isn’t a flat circle. In 3 dimensions, it would be shaped like a corkscrew. Every time you go around the cycle, you move forward a notch, becoming more confident, capable, and wise”.

That’s the person you want to think about as you enter a new year. That part of you who has learned so much over time. That part of you who has already made changes in your patterns and shows up in the world in a different way to create a different experience. That part of you who has let go of what no longer serves you. That part who takes what they’ve learned and makes positive changes for their life from that place.

If you ever wonder if you are more wise, just spend some time thinking about your younger self and the choices you made back then. I’m betting you made those choices based on who you were then and what you knew then. You are still that person now, and so much more.

Move into this new year with the strength and courage of the person you have become over time. You have more knowledge, experience, and wisdom. You do.

And that wisdom; it can make all the difference.

Look out 2015- Here you come!

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

Actually enjoying the last two months of the year

We live in a society where if you aren’t “doing” something, you’re wasting your time. I think it’s malarkey, but that’s for another post. We’re now headed into that time of year when people DO DO DO, way beyond their human capacity. How many people do you know that say,

“I really wish the holidays would last another month.” NO ONE. Why? Because not only are most of us DOers in our normal every day lives the rest of the year, we push ourselves into OVER-DO’ER-DOME for the last 8 weeks of it. Then we end up exhausted, sick, and entering the New Year with glazed eyes, thankful the holidays are just freaking over. Christmas stress - busy santa woman

The key to regaining some balance is knowing when you have too much going on and gently re-aligning your life. A good friend of mine uses this metaphor when she knows she’s trying to do way too much and feels overwhelmed. Picture driving your car on a 2-lane road. If you get too close to the left side you may run into another car head on. If you get too close to the right you might run off the road altogether. You’ve got to stay somewhere in the middle of your lane to keep you safe.

How do you do this in your life? By tuning into that physical body of yours.

Some possible signs of too much doing include your head feels like it’s going to spin off your neck, you feel overwhelmed and your brain feels like mush, your heart pounds, your breathing is fast and shallow, you are rushing from one thing to the next trying to get it all done, or, you think there aren’t enough hours in the day and it makes your head hurt or your stomach knot up. Any bells ringing here?

The wisdom of our body is much greater than that of our minds. How do I know? Tell me the last time you were in bed with the flu and whether you could get up and do all of your normal activities with full energy. I’m pretty sure your answer is NO. When your body has had enough (and your mind will push it to its limits) it will shut itself down to force you to rest or make a change. It’s talking to you, all-the-time. But most of us don’t listen. Because our minds are trying to run the show. Everything MUST get done. NOW.

And the truth is, it doesn’t. If you were in a car accident one hour from now and ended up in the ICU with a punctured lung and 12 broken bones, and those cookies you planned to have baked by 4pm didn’t get baked, how important would that be?

And if you weren’t in a car accident one hour from now and those cookies didn’t get baked by 4pm? Actually. Not important either. Because if they didn’t get baked, so what?

That’s the point. Our brains give everything red alert, high importance meaning.

And how important are most things?

That’s of course for you to decide, but I’m going to bet that if you made a list of what was really important to DO by the end of the year, your list could be cut by 2/3’s. How do you know what’s important? Check with your physical body. The things that feel light, airy, and open are important. The stuff that feels heavy, closed, and dark, isn’t. Try it out.

Do you know what that would leave time for? BEing. Nurturing yourself in ways that feel really good to you. You already know what those ways are. We all do.

The result?

The important things get done, you feel more rested and relaxed, AND you don’t end up in bed with the flu because your body forced your mind to listen when it wouldn’t. Maybe you’ll actually enjoy the holidays.

Extra bonus! You might just carry this through into the next year.

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

For procrastinators

Somehow I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, you’ve procrastinated at least once in your life. If not a zillion times. We procrastinate (me included) for a variety of reasons. Whatever we want to do scares us, or is boring, or hard, or just not fun. Even if that thing is something we want or need to get done, we don’t do it.  Procrastination-Dinosaurs-Noahs-Ark-cartoon I’ve got two tips, two very different ways of dealing with procrastination. See if one resonates with you, or try them both and notice if one works better.

  • The Nike Way- Just do it! IS the solution to procrastination. Whatever that thing is, put it on your calendar, set a timer for 15 minutes, break it down into tiny lady bug manageable steps, then do it for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, if you’re still movin’ and groovin’ set another 15 minutes and continue. If not, mark it on your calendar at another time to do it again. Then, and this is the important part, reward yourself with the very procrastination activity you were planning to do instead of getting that thing done. Maybe it’s reading, cleaning, emailing, talking to someone on the phone, shopping, or getting on social media. Whatever it is, do it.

The difference between someone who finishes writing their book and someone who doesn’t, is one page per day.

  • Do you procrastinate until the last minute and scramble around trying to get things done and that’s your pattern? Maybe that’s natural for you. Maybe you operate best that way. Why fight it? If it works for you, it isn’t right or wrong. It’s just you. Then, make peace with that.

There you go. Two procrastination tips. If you try something and it works, let me know.

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

When trying something new feels scary

Why does trying something new feel scary sometimes? Because your brain can’t distinguish between a real threat to your safety or a perceived one. There’s a part of your brain whose sole job is to keep you safe, to keep you alive. If it believes you are being threatened, it will pull out all the stops to keep you from harm. And what form do those stops take?  scary face of woman Your thoughts.

Here’s my personal example.

I’ve always said I enjoy coaching so much I’d do it for free. I’m not coaching as many clients as I’d like to be coaching right now, so I had this grand idea I’d offer subscribers to my Nurture Your Life Newsletter a free coaching session. What better way to introduce them to the experience, right? I get to do what I love and they get the benefit of life coaching. Total Win-Win!

And then…

That lizardy part of my brain crept in and here’s what she said. ”No one will sign up, even if it’s free…People won’t get the benefit…You’ll be wasting your time and energy…D-U-M-B idea”.

And guess how I felt after that rant?

Deflated.

And guess what I did when I felt deflated?

Nothing. No action towards offering free coaching to anyone.

See how that works?

Thoughts about circumstances in our lives create feelings, which create action (or none), which create my results, which ended up being me not offering those free coaching sessions.

Let’s recap. My brain felt threatened by me offering free coaching and threw up a bunch of blocks in the form of negative thoughts. Our brains are wired to keep us safe. That’s great if you’re about to get in a traffic accident, but the threat of people not understanding coaching is hardly life threatening. Again, our brains don’t know the difference.

So what do you do? Especially when your brain throws stuff like this at you. Which it does all day long.

You first recognize that you aren’t your brain, or your thoughts. You can observe when you have them. You can’t possibly observe them and be them at the same time.

Then you choose what you want to think on purpose.

Back to my example.

I changed my thought to “I’m going to experiment with this just to see what happens”. This thought caused me to feel excited, hopeful, and that it could be fun. With these feelings I picked a time that I could coach for my schedule and started writing up a blurb about it to send to my Nurture Your Life Newsletter followers.

I took action towards my goal rather than doing nothing.

I have no idea how it’s going to turn out and that’s okay. I can’t ever know how anything will turn out. The important piece is that I told my brain what to think, I felt better, and took steps towards what I wanted just by changing that one thought.

Your turn.

What’s something new you’d like to try but are afraid to?

What thought(s) are you thinking?

How do those thoughts make you feel?

What action or non-action are you taking because of those feelings?

What results are you getting?

Don’t like those results?

Awesome!

What thought can you think that would make you feel good enough to take action toward the result you want?

Perfect. Now go think it.

It is that easy. It does take practice. You have to take the time to notice what you’re thinking and feeling, but it’s worth it.

Do you want some free life coaching?

Sign up for the Nurture Your Life Newsletter below my picture near the top of the left sidebar and that option can be yours too.

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

When you don't get what you want

We all have goals, dreams, wants, or desires. And we take steps toward what we want thinking we’re headed in the right direction. You thought the new relationship was “it”, the different job would be a better fit, or something you bought would solve your problems…

And it didn’t work. You didn’t get what you wanted. Roadblock.  pouting

Shit!

Shit!

And one more shit for good measure.

It’s SO frustrating isn’t it?

Especially when you’ve put time, energy, and/or money into it.

There are no mistakes. I really believe this.

If you weren’t supposed to have the experience you had or are having… you wouldn’t be having it. You’d be having a different one. Follow me?

So since you’re having it, really the most helpful thing you can do is decide how you want to react to the fact that you aren’t getting what you want.

Roadblocks suck, but I’ve come to realize they serve a bigger purpose than just the frustration they cause.

It’s your opportunity to ask, why is this roadblock here?

I often think of that little thing called universal intervention. Maybe whatever you’re wanting is not in your best interest at this moment. Now isn’t the time. Or that other person, the job, or the thing you spent money on just wasn’t the right fit. That usually means there’s a better fit somewhere. You may not know where at the moment but if your dream really matters you’ll keep looking. And eventually you’ll find what you need. Whether that comes from something else, someone else, or within you.

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

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

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

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

What your brain does with uncertainty

I am (for the most part) totally fine with uncertainty. Yea I plan for the future, but know that things won’t always work out that way I visualized them in my head and I’m okay with that. I can’t possibly know what’s going to happen tomorrow. No one can. IMG_0729

But uncertainty hit me at the beginning of the week and scared the bejeebies out of me. My lab/husky mix dog child Kona, who is one active, healthy, 12 year old, woke up Monday morning and couldn’t walk very well. His hind legs were stiff and straight, his back arched, and he seemed to be in pain.

I immediately knew something was very wrong with my normally full of energy happy kid. I stayed home all day to monitor him and made an appointment with the vet.

Then my brain proceeded to freak the hell out. It said things like OMG!...What’s wrong with him?... This is the beginning of the end… What if he has cancer… I’m not ready for this… You get the picture. Not pretty! Or comforting.

And unfortunately, that’s what our brains do. Tell a story and freak out about a made up future that isn’t even here yet.

Absolutely NOT helpful.

So I pulled out some coaching tools to use on myself.

The first one was to sit outside on my deck surrounded by trees, green grass, and singing birds. I closed my eyes, breathed in, and breathed out.

Then I looked at the situation. I had only two facts in front of me. 1- my dog wasn’t walking right and 2- he was in pain. That’s it. TWO facts. Everything else was just an anxious story my mind spun about what those two facts might mean.

I also noticed and observed the crazy thoughts I had about the gloom and doom of what the future “might” hold. When I did that I became anxious and scared. And then I cried. I let those suckers flow.

Then after crying I’d come back to the present moment with my two facts. And just focusing on those two facts was so much more doable. He’s not walking right, he’s in pain. I’d already made a vet appointment, so help would be coming. I lay with him on the floor petting him and watched him sleep. Interestingly enough, if you are sleeping you don’t know you’re in pain and your back legs work great. Especially because I watched him running in his dream.

That was the key for me. To stay present with the facts. Yes, I was sad that something was off for him, but staying just in the moment, one moment at a time, made it so much less stressful and anxiety provoking.

I’m not going to lie to you. My brain toggled back and forth between staying here and jumping into a scary future. But at least I know I had control over it. I chose whether or not I worried.

You can do it too. Notice something you are worried about for the future. Notice the thoughts you have around it and how you feel. Now notice what the actual facts are in the situation now. Notice the difference between the two.

We made it to the vet and my Kona had a herniated disc in his back pressing on a nerve affecting his legs. He got an injection plus great meds and he is SO much better. My boy’s spunk is back. I am beyond grateful for amazing veterinary medical technology.

And for coaching tools to help me stay here and now. Because that’s where life happens. Not tomorrow or 6 years from then. In each little moment. Now. I can handle life if it’s broken down like that.

I bet you can too.

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

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

I love hearing from you.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Are you choosing to be too busy?

I don’t like being all that busy. I don’t enjoy a to-do list a mile long. I hate having every second of every day filled with something to do. I don’t look forward to rushing from one thing to the next to get it all done.  busy woman Because of this, I’m actually not that busy.

By choice.

Sure I have to-do lists. I have a life coaching business. I also have a part-time job. I have two dogs to take care of. A house that needs attention. A husband who needs love. Me, who needs care.

Busy is a choice.

How do I know this? Because I used to be busy all the time. I ran around with my head cut off like a chicken trying to get shit done. And guess what. Some days it got done, some days it didn’t. Either way, I felt stress all the time.

Now, I don’t feel stressed about that very often.

How did I change that?

I stopped trying to do it all. And all in one day. I prioritized. What really needed to get done that day got done. If something extra got completed, it was icing on the cake. If not, more down time.

That to-do list will be there in some form for the rest of your life. Why not choose a better way to get through it by only focusing on what’s important at the time, on that day. If something never moves to the top of the list, maybe it’s just not that important. :)

What can you drop to become less busy, and less stressed? Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

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

I love hearing from you.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Why I don't listen to the news (and you don't have to either)

I don’t listen to the news. I really don’t. Yes, I might hear something “news-y” on NPR when I’m driving from point A to B, but I don’t read the paper or watch the news on TV. I’m sure some people think I might be “missing out” on something or won’t be “informed” of an important issue going on. But so far, the lack of news in my life has not been a problem one little iota.

In our completely connected 24/7 world, I can get information any time I want in a number of ways. I can find out almost anything that’s happening most every place, but why?

I’ve got my own life to live right here where I’m sitting, in this moment, on my back deck. Yes, there are crazy things happening as I write this, but I’m not where the crazy stuff is. I’m here. And if I wasn’t sitting here and was watching the news instead, I’d be completely missing the 3 hummingbirds flying around our feeder. Watching them chase each other through the trees, hearing the hum of their wings as they wiz by, trying to figure out what type of hummingbird each is based on its color.  annas hummingbird

The war in Gaza doesn’t concern me. See? Just because I’m not actively paying attention to the news doesn’t mean I don’t find out about things.

And that’s my point. The universe has an amazing way of informing me what I need to know when I need to know it. It never fails.

There are a bazillion things I will never hear about. And that’s okay. My job is to be present in my own life. And I can’t do that if my mind is thousands of miles away in someone else’s war.

This also goes for my next-door neighbors. If I’m worried about what they’re doing then I’m not present for my own life.

I’ve got enough going on in my world without having to worry about everyone else. How about you?

Try just two days without the news and notice what's different for you. Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

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

I love hearing from you.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

The dog and the squirrel

Elvis the stalking dog and Elvira the unsuspecting squirrel play a little game at our house. Elvira the Unsuspecting

Elvis, in a non-stalking position

Elvira happily munches on birdseed that has fallen on the deck below the bird feeder outside our living room window.

Elvis stalks her, standing very still, poised to run after and catch her, if he can.

But he never does catch her.

Why?

Because just as he has been so stealth and silent in his movements by the window, the second he takes off tearing down the hallway to run through the doggie door onto the deck, Elvis lets out a loud, high pitched squeal. Elvira can’t help but hear him coming, even if she hasn’t seen him.

And he does it every time.

With this strategy he will never catch her.

Does this sound familiar?

Where in your life are you trying to accomplish something using one strategy over and over again with the same results? The results you really don’t want.

Poor Elvis is just a dog. His brain probably can’t comprehend that losing the squeal might equal catching the squirrel.

But your brain can understand, that if you want a different result, you’ve got to do something different. It could be thinking about it in a new way so you feel differently, then take a new action.

Say you have a desire (A), so you take action (B), to get result (C).

But you aren’t getting C.

What does B need to look like in order to increase your chances of getting C?

Try it. If it doesn’t work, try something else.

As I heard a Master Gardner recently say “every year my garden is an experiment.” That coming from someone who knows A LOT about gardening.

I think all of life is an experiment really.

Go try it out.

Let me know about one thing you changed to get what you want that made all the difference. Leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

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

I love hearing from you.

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Happiness isn't supposed to be easy

My fiance and I are on vacation visiting Bend, Oregon to see if that's where we might want to move to later this year and then to various cities in Arizona to visit friends and run on trails in a warmer, sunnier location. Being on vacation doesn't mean I've slacked off on writing my blog for you and sharing work of others that has inspired me. Enjoy!! To hear the audio version of this blog, click here.

I’m guessing that at some point in your life you’ve heard that happiness is a choice. A choice we make each day and moment-to-moment.  Happiness is supposed to be easy

We all know how easy it is to feel happy when things are going well with your health, job, relationships, life in general. What about those times when money is dwindling, your health is failing, or you just have too many work days before the next vacation? Where’s the happiness then?

A mentor of mine, Brook Castillo, and a rock star life coach to boot, just did a free call titled, Happiness isn’t supposed to be easy. It’s an hour-long talk and discussion about happiness, what it is, why you aren’t entitled to it, that it should be hard to get, and it is always a choice. She talks about the 4 steps to creating happiness among some other great gems. I think this is worth your time. You can download it here, then listen while making dinner, in your car, at the gym, or out on a walk.

In case you aren’t an auditory person, I’ll list many of the main points here. Of course, there is so much more she expands on in the talk.

~ Happiness doesn’t always feel happy.

~ Researcher Barbara Fredrickson has found that happy people experience a ratio of 3 positive emotions for every negative    emotion.

~ You have to know what happy means for you.

~ Faking happy doesn’t work.

~ All emotions come from thoughts, according to Brooke.

~ You have to become aware of your thoughts, be conscious of what’s going on in your mind, and manage it.

~ Experiencing all emotions, including negative one’s doesn’t mean you aren’t generally happy.

~ You aren’t entitled to be happy. You are entitled to the right to pursue happiness.

~ You must do the work to bring happy to your own life.

~ We have a drive and instinct to want to be happy.

~ Our brain is programmed to search for danger and survive. This is why when we look in the mirror we automatically search for what’s wrong not what’s right and beautiful. You must consciously look for what is right.

~ Your willingness to be uncomfortable temporarily and feel negative emotions will ultimately bring you happiness.

~ Be honest with yourself about whether you are willing to do the work to create happiness in your own life.

~ You have what it takes to make you happy.

~ 4  steps to Creating Happiness

1.   Know where you are on the 3:1 ratio of positive to negative emotions

2.   Acknowledge this with curiosity and without judgment

3.   Decide and commit to changing that ratio

4.   Consciously decide what you want to believe, feel, and do

~ Fun and excitement are not the same as happiness. They are temporary.

~ Happiness is the energy that evolves the world.

~ Happiness isn’t for the immature.

~ How you feel is never anyone else’s fault. You always get to choose your feelings.

Your Turn: Did you agree or disagree with anything she said? Did it get you thinking about your own happiness? 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