Nurture

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

A Call for Help

Everyone needs help at some point. Some of us are more able to ask for it than others. Some can’t ask at all. Imagine three horses. Neglected. Malnourished. Hip bones, spine, and ribs protruding, almost through the skin. No water. Left to die.

That’s what a sheriff found Monday, Leap Day, in a pasture outside of Bend, OR. Imagine that being your dog. Or your cat. Or your horse. Or any animal you love.

It’s a truly wonderful thing that the horse farm where I volunteer, Equine Outreach, gets phone calls from various sheriffs when they discover animals who are treated without regard.

The owner Joan got the call. She promptly did what needed to be done to rescue these three horses. A trailer was sent out to pick them up and bring them back to the farm. Sadly though, one of the three died on the spot. Before the trailer could arrive. Heartbreaking. Can you imagine this horse being so close to getting help but it wasn’t close enough?

Tuesday is my normal day to visit the rescue, do much needed chores, and socialize with the horses. I got to meet both Sassy and Custer (the two rescued horses from the day before). Sassy is only 3, black, and beautiful. Custer is 24, a mixture of white and beige, and beautiful too. They are both inquisitive, curious, and so appreciative of the apples I brought. Their water trough is filled to the brim and they have all the food they want and need. I wonder how long ago (if ever) they’ve experienced that. They get incredibly loving attention from each person who comes up to meet them. Their new life is going to be so much better.

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

All because of one woman who saw a need in this area.

Equine Outreach was started 13 years ago by Joan Steelhammer. They take in abandoned, abused, and neglected horses. They rehabilitate those that can be, and try to rehome them with loving, caring people, and families.

As you can imagine, keeping a non-profit like this open takes some cash. If it weren’t for the grants, donations, and volunteers, the doors would have closed.

As we rolled into 2016, the lease payment on the 20 acre farm increased because of the way the loan was written. They are doing everything they can to get the word out to anyone willing to donate any amount of money to keep the gates open and not put the horses at risk.

I’m there weekly. I see the good being done. I see the incredibly gentle and loving way these horses are cared for by everyone. It is a beautiful thing when a horse becomes rehabilitated and can be put up for adoption, and can be re-homed to amazing people who can and will give them the attention and life they more than deserve.

I know you may not live anywhere near here. And giving money to a place you’ve never been or seen may hold no interest for you. But every now and then we hear about abuse and neglect and want to do something. If this is you and you’re willing, here is the link to donate. I believe you can donate any amount. Even $5.

If this isn’t you, it’s okay. I don’t give money to every cause I come across either. But if you know someone who loves horses, or even animals, and you think they might be willing, please forward this to them.

If this is you, awesome! Thank you!!! And if you know someone else who might be willing to donate, please forward this to them too.

Thank you so much for reading this to the end. I can’t wait to see Sassy and Custer when I return next week. A vet will have been there to check them out and I can bet these two horses, who are currently so very thin, will have a little more meat on their bones and a lot more love than they’ve received in a very long time.

HERE IS THAT DONATION LINK AGAIN.

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

Every Woman Should...

I lost my mother to colon cancer almost 9 years ago. I think of her every now and then at various times for various reasons. I thought of her this morning. When I was in college over 20 years ago, she gave me two framed posters that hung on my dorm room wall. They aren’t hung anywhere in my house today but I love and appreciate them so much I keep them and pull them out to read them every now and then.

I pulled one out today and I’m going to share it with you. Maybe you (or someone else) needs this.

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

Every Woman Should…

know how to use a stick shift; a plunger; understand the difference between don’t tell a soul and don’t tell a soul I mean it; know her mind; change it; have protection handy; but not too handy; use special china; and special underwear for no special reason; over commit; come through; refuse to do it again; do it again; be able to discuss first and ten; have better things to do; set boundaries; go camping; grow something; dance crazy all alone; stare at a phone; get dressed in five minutes; be a princess; get over it; believe in the perfect man; get over it; read; walk; flirt; shock; listen; sing; thank God; be single and like it; a lot; raise a child; or not; see a wrinkle and be reminded of her youth; not her age.

Thanks Mom! You taught me so much.

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

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

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

~ Susan

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

And A New Year has Arrived

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

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

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

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

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

So what’s on tap in the nurturing department?

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

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

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

What do I know to be true right now?

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

How are you going to nurture your life in 2016?

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

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

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

~ Susan

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

The Magical Sound of Silence

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

I love it when life feels calm. You?

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

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

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

What do I know to be true right now?

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

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

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

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

~ Susan

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

All Peace Starts with You

There is so much negativity, tragedy, and death in our world today. Paris is just the most recent example. And so many opinions about the cause of it all and what to do about it. I can tell you, I have no answers for those really hard questions. But I do know what I can do on my end to be a part of a shift in the world. “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” ~ The Dalai Lama

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

The world is a reflection of how peaceful we each are on the inside as individuals. Always. Look at what’s happening in your own life. Is there a lot of chaos? Turmoil? Problems at work? Problems in your relationships? Then you have a lot of chaos happening inside your mind. You are not at peace.

That is my work. Your work. Our work collectively. I honestly believe that anyone who hurts another does so because they are not at peace within themselves. Because if you are truly peaceful within you have no reason in the whole wide world to lash out. None.

Until you recognize that you are already whole and peace at your core, what you see in the world, in your own life, will continue. You are responsible for taking control of and living your life from a place of wholeness. If you realize you are not at peace within yourself, please, please, please, whatever you do, do not beat yourself up and shame yourself for it. Nor blame anyone else. Finding and creating peace is your job. No one can do it for you.

If you need help finding it, please seek that out through a therapist, a coach, a friend, a mentor, whoever you need to help you. But please do it. The health of our planet and every person, animal, and tree deserve you taking responsibility for your own life and living from that place of wholeness. You need it and the world depends on it. I can promise you it’s already there. It’s underneath all of your protective layers that you think are keeping you safe, but are really just smothering you. Peace is who you are when everything else is stripped away. It’s the peace connected to the entire universe. Be the peace you already are and you will see it reflected back to you in your life, and the world, a million fold.

As Ghandi said,” you must be the change you wish to see in the world”.

I honestly have no answer as to how to stop terrorism on this planet other than to find peace within myself, and do anything I can to help someone see their wholeness and find peace within themselves. Then we will be on the true path to a peaceful world.

And I believe, if you choose, you can do this too.

That is what I know to be true right now.

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

A BOLD Move in the Retail World

Today’s post was supposed to be about what I learned backpacking for 10 days. It will have to wait until next time because something important happened this week that I think is more worthy of sharing. As you know, I work part-time at the outdoor outfitting store (and largest co-op in the country), REI. The six values REI holds sacred are authenticity, service, quality, respect, integrity, and balance. The company works very hard to ensure these values are upheld in everything they do, from the way in which they support their employees, the way they do business with their customers, and the way they support the environment with each individual store contributing money and volunteers to help people get outside and enjoy a richer life.

So if you haven’t heard yet (but I’m pretty sure you have), this past Monday Jerry Stritzke, the President and CEO of REI, announced to both his employees and the world that REI would be closed on Black Friday, AND would be paying all of their employees, AND is inviting co-op members, employees, and anyone else interested to #optoutside for that day instead of slogging it out at the stores or spending hours online shopping.

BRA-VO Jerry!

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

Not only that, they’ve set up a website, optoutside.rei.com, for people to go and share what they’ll be doing outside with their friends and family the day after Thanksgiving. I call it Thanksgiving 2. Giving thanks to mother nature for all that she does for us. Without her, we would not be here at all.

Think about the for a moment. Black Friday is one of the largest money-making days of the year for retail stores. My company, has decided that it’s okay if they don’t bring in millions of dollars that day (MILLIONS). AND with zero coming in they are going to give out a day of pay to over 12,000 employees. That’s not a small chunk of change. We can all shop 24/7/365. But REI is saying not at our store. You have one day you can’t. And please, for the love of the outdoors, go out and be a part of it.

It’s a bold risk for sure. But isn’t it about time that someone in the retail world stood up and said money doesn’t have to be our only indicator of success. Maybe part of that success is taking care of your people who are the ones that have made your company so successful. And allowing for balance at the start of the crazed holiday season. And inviting everyone who can and is willing, to go outside and be, and play, and breathe, and enjoy.

There’s a reason the bottom of every page on my website, and every blog and newsletter I write says, Get Outside and Nurture Your Life. And REI’s motto is a Life Outdoors is a Life Well Lived.

Please tell me, do your best memories come from that time you went to Macy's and bought that amazing sweater? Do you remember the perfumed aisles and the awesome lighting in the dressing room? Or do you remember that time you camped out on that gorgeous lake with water so still you could see the exact reflection of the trees in it? The birds that sang to you in the morning as the sun came up, rippling the clouds in the sky with pinks, oranges, and purples so breathtaking that you just didn’t have words to describe it. I somehow believe (and really hope) that those are the memories you hold important.

This is not only a call from one retail store to stop the madness for one day, I see it as a call to start a Get Outside Revolution. Tell me who doesn’t come back from time spent in nature on the beach, in the mountains, on the water, refreshed, relaxed, and rejuvenated?

What do I know to be true right now?

Nature IS one of the main paths to our whole and peaceful selves. It not only connects us to something bigger than ourselves, but I believe that something bigger than ourselves is part of our DNA. We are not separate from the whole, the whole is part of us.

So don’t even wait for Black Friday, get outside and make it part of your weekly if not daily routine. You will never waste a second of your life if it is spent outside taking in everything natures’ got to offer. She will give to you exactly what you need if you let her. But you must spend time with her to receive her gifts.

There’s a reason REI is one of the top 100 companies to work for as rated by Fortune Magazine. Today I am one proud #REIemployee. If you's like to be a part, here's that link again, optoutside.rei.com.

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

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

 

A deeper kind of rest

Hi there! How ARE you?

How has July been? Did you make and changes?

I’ve spent the last month learning what it’s like to rest on a different level. One of Martha Beck’s mantras is to rest until you play and play until you rest. She means that literally. Life shouldn’t be hard and you’re either playing or resting.

Right now I’m resting…

Deeply. Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

I have been goal driven my entire life. There was always something to be working on, striving for, an achievement to attain.

Always.

That’s how your life has meaning and you leave your mark on the world, right? You set goals, roll up your sleeves, get to work, until you achieve that damn goal.

Well…

It wasn’t until I stopped writing my weekly newsletter and stopped leading my Life Coaching Meetup group, focused only on going to my job at REI and Physical Therapy (to help me re-align and balance my body), did I start to get a feel for what deeply resting might really mean.

At first my mind didn’t like it so much. You “have” to be working on something. You “have” to be doing something more, it said.

I gently reminded it that no, actually, I didn’t.

As I type this, I’m sitting watching a hummingbird out my window taking a very looooooooooong drink of sugar water at the feeder. THAT is what I am meant to be doing right now. Enjoying what is right in front of me. Not striving toward anything.

I think I’m starting to get the hang of this less is more idea on a whole new level. I’ve always believed it intellectually but until I actually allowed myself to be in that space, I didn’t really feel the ease and beauty of what it’s like to not be working towards something all the time.

Okay, you could say my goal is to align my body with Physical Therapy right now, and you’d be right. I am diligently going twice a week, stretching and strengthening something almost daily, but (but) I haven’t put a time limit on my recovery. It may be next week, or it might take 2 more months. I don’t know.

Although I’d love to have everything feeling fabulous today (oh wow that would be amazing), Ive settled into this deep kind of place where the universe is helping me work things out in the perfect time. Even if it isn’t my idea of perfect time. If you think I don’t sometimes get frustrated when things feel better then worse again, you’d be wrong, but my overall sense is one of peace and acceptance of where I am on this journey.

I spoke with another mentor the other day and talked with her about my lack of wanting to do and how wonderful it felt. She said she’s never heard me sound so relaxed. My voice exuded peace and calm. That was nice to hear and a confirmation that I am in the right place and space right now.

So what does that mean for you?

Well, I’ve decided to take another month off from writing this newsletter. I’ve promised myself to journal more about what’s going on with me in my life. To see what shows up.

Of course I’d like to leave you with something to ponder for the month of August.

What does deep rest look like for you? Do you even have any idea?

Do you get enough of it in? If not, what can you get rid of or do differently to incorporate it?

I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed not doing. It’s like I’ve come home to myself even more. It’s one of the best gifts I have ever given myself. Permission to just be. I wish I could give you a formula for how I’m doing this but I can’t. I don’t have one (other than the giving myself permission formula).

It was more of a decision I made. My true self made. My soul made. And my heart and soul told my brain what was most important right now and there was nothing to fear.

I can tell you I’m probably overall more relaxed than I can ever remember. And in this crazy world of ours, I see that as amazing.

The world will completely continue without your input and effort I promise. It’s in the being that we do. You just have to be willing to be and allow that to be enough.

See you in September.

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.

~ Susan

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.

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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.

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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.

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The Nurturing of Your Emotions

Happy, mad, sad, fear, shame, guilt, joy, disappointment, hurt, elation, gratitude, hate, peace… They are all emotions. And of course, there are a million more. emotion faces

When you look at the list above how many of those emotions are you comfortable feeling?

All of them? Some of them? The “good” ones?

Here’s something important you need to know.

They are all good to feel.

Why?

Because emotions are just information for you.

They let you know what is happening in your life right now and how you think, and therefore feel about it.

Last week I spoke on how your thoughts about a circumstance/fact in your life create how you feel, what emotion you have. They do. And you can change your thoughts, therefore your feelings, any time you’d like. If you missed it and want to read it, here it is.

What is also really important is to actually “feel” the emotions that come up for you. Emotions aren’t just felt intellectually, they ‘re felt physically as well. And you really should feel them. All of them. So often we stuff the ones that don’t feel good because we think that will make them go away. Then all will be right in the world. Wrong.

Because that is how they are processed, moved through the body. Then that energy dissipates, and you can move forward with your day. You know that emotions are just a form of energy right? If that energy isn’t allowed to move through, it can get trapped inside and cause all kinds of physical symptoms and ailments.

 

Here’s an example of feeling your emotions physically.

Many of you know I lost my dog child Kona about 5 months ago. I went through a very intense grieving process for a few months. That grieving process continues. Here’s what it looks like.

I’ll sometimes be outside taking our other dog Elvis for a walk and a memory of Kona will pop up into my head. I can almost see him running ahead of me on the trail. The thought that comes into my head is “I miss him”. And guess what? The tears flow. Often heavily. And I let them. My chest tightens, my heart sinks, my shoulders sag, and my forehead scrunches up. That is feeling my emotion physically. I notice it in my body, I let it be there, and just feel what I’m feeling.

Then after a minute, maybe 2 max, the tears stop flowing, my body lightens up, and the emotion of sadness, that energy, has moved through and on.

That’s how you nurture your emotional side. You allow it, embrace it, you don’t run from it.

Here’s another reason to feel your emotions. Say you feel angry at someone or upset by something they said or did. When you don’t feel your emotions, physically and all the way through, your reaction to your emotions may cause you to say or do something to that other person out of hurt or anger.

When you actually allow yourself to feel what you are feeling when you get to the other side, there can be more peace and clarity, less stress. You choose to react from a place of calm instead of a place of anger and hurt. There’s a huge difference between those two places.

I invite you to make friends with all of your emotions. They can’t hurt you. They are just information to help guide your way.

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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Your Mental Side Needs Nurturing Too

Every emotion you feel comes from a thought you think. Did you know that?

I’ll repeat that again. Every emotion you feel comes from a thought you think.

What does that mean?

Let me break it down. WOMAN-THOUGHT-BUBBLE

Life happens. Circumstances happen. These are facts.

Facts like, you slept past your alarm, someone ran a red light and hit your car, or your boss yelled at you. Facts.

Facts have no story around them. They are just facts. Period.

Now, we usually have a thought about the facts that happen.

For example:

Fact: You slept past your alarm. No story here, just fact.

Then the story comes in forms of thought, like, OMG I’m going to be late to work and my boss will be mad, or, I’m a moron.

These are all thoughts.

Each of these thoughts will create an emotion in you.

The OMG thought might create a feeling of fear.

The I’m a moron thought might create a feeling of shame.

Emotions don’t come without a thought before them.

We have thoughts because of circumstances or facts in our lives.

Being hit by a car is a fact. Your thoughts (or story) about the idiot jerk who hit you, how much money it’s going to cost, how much time this will waste, are all thoughts. These thoughts will create your emotions. Possibly anger, fear, disgust, disappointment… the list can go on and on.

But guess what?

You get to choose your thoughts. Any time you want.

Want to feel better? Choose a thought that makes you feel better.

Say your boss yells at you. Fact.

Your thought could be, he’s an ass. So how would you feel if you thought your boss was an ass? Something tells me it wouldn’t feel so great.

Your thought could also be, maybe he or she is having a bad day, maybe they didn’t get enough sleep last night. How might you feel differently with those thoughts?

See?

I’m not saying you don’t need to talk to your boss about the fact that you were yelled at, but notice the thoughts you are having about being yelled at, and the emotions that come up because of those thoughts.

The thoughts you think about any circumstance in life will create your emotions. Those emotions will drive how you handle various situations.

You get to choose how you feel by choosing what you think.

Want to feel angry? Think angry thoughts.

Want to feel happy? Think a thought that will make you feel happy.

How you feel emotionally is completely up to you and under your control.

No one can make you feel any certain way without your permission.

People can’t upset you, situations can’t upset you, only you can upset you.

Empower yourself.

Think your thoughts on purpose.

Be conscientious.

Nurture your mental side.

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.

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Why Your Natural Rhythm Needs Nurturing

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

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

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

woman with energy

woman-yawning

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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Nurturing Your Financial Side

Aaaaahhhhh, money! Between that and sex, no one wants to talk about it. Well, not many people. But I will. How on top of your finances are you? Do you know how much comes in and goes out every month? How much is going towards savings and retirement? If you really have the extra money to splurge on something now or should you wait a bit? valentine heart shape made by dollars isolated

If you feel empowered by the control you have over the money in your life, stop reading now. You are all set and I’ll see you next week.

But if that is you hiding behind your couch with a little hand popping up over the top saying in your little mouse squeaky voice, “no I don’t”, then keep on reading.

I think money is so hard to chat about because a lot of our self-worth is caught up in either how much money we make or how we manage our money (or don’t). Maybe your parents did a great job handling money and taught you well. Maybe they were horrible at it and you learned nothing from them at all, or from anyone else. Or worse, you grew up with a scary mindset about money because maybe your family didn’t have much, you learned that there wouldn’t be enough, you had to work really hard to get it, or you had to get a really good education or you couldn’t make money.

These beliefs many of us have carried with us since childhood. But we don't even realize it. And they affect how we feel about money today. And those feelings create how we actually deal with money in the real world. We either take charge and control of our financial situation or we run and hide and hope it will go away.

Now I’m no financial guru, but I know one. And if you need help with your financial situation in an easy step-by-step way with a person who deeply cares about helping you feel empowered about your money then look Suze Orman up. Her motto is “People first, then money, then things”. I love this.

She came from a family who didn’t have much. As an adult, she worked for very little money for years. Then something wonderful happened to her, then something awful happened (which turned out to be gold). She then got smart and built her financial empire. I’ve learned so much from Suze over the years and still do now. I do what she suggests and I make money in the stock market.

She’ll teach you everything from retirement planning, to what you need for insurance, to wills and trusts, to the order of how you decrease your debt if you have it, to know what broker to hire if you don’t want to manage your money yourself. She has a show on CNBC, many books, and a website (with a ton of free help and information). You can find her books in a used bookstore, at your local library, or download them to your kindle.

I think it’s hugely important to look at what beliefs you carry around about money because they do shape how you deal with it on a daily basis, but it’s too much to go into here.

If you want someone who knows the ropes inside and out and will help you, check out Suze Orman. Right now she has a free video series about her story and some of the basics of taking care of your financial life. Here is the link to the video series. Bring some paper and a pen; you’ll want to take notes.

Here’s to your financial abundance!!!

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

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Nurturing Your Intellectual side

If you are anything like me, you love to learn. I have a vast array of interests that range from gardening, to quantum physics, to how to make your own natural house cleaning products, to how the thoughts we think create a certain energy and that same type of energy comes back to us in our daily lives. Varied interests I have! Which is why it is so important that I nurture my intellectual side. It’s part of what makes life so fun and interesting. It keeps us intrigued, motivated, and helps us feel more alive.

brainpicwith butterflies

And what about you? What intellectual curiosities are you nurturing?

Are you making time in your schedule and your life to do this?

If you aren’t and you’d like to, the most wonderful thing is, in this day of the Internet you can find almost anything you are curious about online. Possibly for free even.

Just go to your favorite search engine and type in a topic like classes on how to scratch your nose with no one noticing, and bingo, about 6.5 million hits will pop up.

Seriously, you can find all sorts of free information online about any topic you are interested in. You could also go to a used bookstore, your library, or maybe you have a local community college where you can take inexpensive classes on a new topic of curiosity. There are even low-cost or free classes you can take online as well.

Really, the ways to nurture your intellectual side are endless.

So discover what you’re interested in and go look into it.

Guess what? I just scratched my nose. And you missed it. ;)

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

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Nurturing Your Adventuresome Side

On some level, we all like, and want, a little adventure in our lives. Doing the same thing day to day can get monotonous. So how do you spice things up? What I’m going for here is adventure. Something you’ve never done before. Maybe it’s going to a wine tasting, listening to a band that plays a different kind of music you’ve not heard before, or seeking out something just because you’ve just never done it and would like to try.

Last weekend my husband and I sought out a new skiing trail we’ve never been on before. We’ve had limited snowfall and didn’t know what the conditions would be like so we took our hiking boots, snowshoes, and cross country skies with us. We really had no idea what to expect.

We got out to the trail and found a fair amount of snow. We chose to use our skis. The snow conditions weren’t great. It was slow going. We didn’t know what would be around the next corner.

It felt like an adventure. It was so very quiet out there. We saw only a couple of other people. The sun peeked in and out of the clouds. Then the sky completely clouded over with big dark gray puffs as a backdrop, making the white snow against it look so dramatic and beautiful. Almost like a painting, except it was real. white snow gray clouds

I had such a good time. Just being out in the woods, getting some exercise, enjoying the quiet, and out on a trail that wasn’t really groomed.

I’d never been there before.

That’s what makes up an adventure I think. An element of newness, of surprise, of not knowing what will come next.

An adventure doesn’t have to be grand. Or it could be.

But we need adventures. They helps us feel more alive.

And in this day of busyness and always something to do-ness, maybe an adventure is just what you need.

What’s calling you?

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

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Nurturing Your Life Physically

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m going to spend the next several weeks delving into various parts of life by take one area at a time, and expanding on it each week so we can all learn how to nurture our lives more. This week I’m going to talk about nurturing our physical bodies. Gosh, there are so many ways to do that. Exercise, food, hugs, sex, sleep, massages, yoga, walking, meditation…

Mental-Fitness

Knowing we should do these things is one thing. Actually doing them is another.

Then, there is knowing what you really need at any given time. That, is an art. And it takes some practice.

Our physical bodies do almost anything we ask, and keep going as far as we push. Almost.

And then there are times when your body says, “no more”.

This can take many forms. Like when you have an injury and can no longer do what you love. Or when you are so tired and all your body wants is to sleep but you push through with caffeine and sugar even though your brain is clearly not functioning.

How often do you really listen to what your body needs? Not what your brain thinks it needs, but what your body really needs.

Do you know the difference between I’m feeling tired and need a nap versus I could use a short vigorous walk outside in the fresh air?

Or the difference between needing coffee as a pick me up versus a small snack packed with good fuel for energy?

I’ve had all these experiences. And yes, sometimes my schedule doesn’t allow me to give my body what it needs in the moment, but it doesn’t mean I don’t try.

For example, the other day I felt really tired. My mind didn’t feel tired, but my body did. I had the choice of doing some form of exercise, which I usually enjoy doing, or to not do any at all. I envisioned myself doing that exercise and noticed how I felt. I felt even more tired. I then envisioned not doing it. How did I feel? So much better. My body told me it needed the rest.

Try envisioning each option you have for a few seconds. For example, when I was tired I envisioned either getting some exercise or relaxing. Lest you think you’d choose the nap every time, YOU might, but your body wouldn’t. It really does know what it needs and will tell you.

It will tell you by the way it feels. When I envisioned getting out for exercise my body felt even more heavy, not lighter or better. When I envisioned spending more down time, my body almost sighed in relief. It knew what it needed.

So give it a try. This could be done with various activities you are choosing to do, to various foods you plan to eat.

Spend a little time. Your body is so full of wisdom it knows what it needs, and will tell you. That is, if you’re willing to listen.

Then notice how you feel after you’ve chosen the option your body suggested. Make it an experiment. Have a little fun.

Nurturing should be fun ya 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.

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Get Outside and Nurture Your Life