Ask the Coach – My Answers to Your Questions

Questions & answers ask the coach lifecoachlinda.com

I’ve spent some time on Quora answering questions about life for readers and thought it might be fun to share some of the answers here. Maybe you have some of the same questions.

I may start doing this as a regular feature and welcome your questions for future posts. You can email me or contact me through my website to ask what is on your mind. In the meantime, here are some of my answers: Continue reading

8 Valuable Lists Everyone Should Have

woman holding lists

My clients will tell you that I like lists. I use them for organization and to bring forward information in a simple and clear manner. My clients don’t do them all the time, but when they do it is usually to support them in an area they are working on.  There are however, some lists that I believe everyone should have:

  • Your top 5 core values
  • Lifetime successes and winning moments
  • Positive qualities and personal skills you possess
  • What you are grateful for
  • Intentions, goals, and next steps
  • Emergency resources and contact information
  • Location of your passwords, will, accounts, and other important papers
  • Things you love about your spouse or people that upset you (to read when you need to remember)

Your Turn: What lists do you think we all should have?

Email me if you would like a free exercise on how to identify your core values: linda@lifecoachlinda.com

Photo courtesy of S. Allen

Related Posts:

Magic Words that Can Make Anything Seem Possible

A Sense of Order Soothes the Soul

Transform Your Anger, Pain, and Fear Into Something Meaningful

 

anger pain fear upset child lifecoachlinda.com

We all have emotional responses in life that do not serve us well.

  • Anger that leads us to say and do things we regret
  • Fear that keeps us from stepping into our true potential
  • Emotional pain that keeps us stuck in the past and unable to heal

Each of these manifest as energy in our bodies and one of the ways to relieve the pressure they create is to vent. Anger can be released by doing something physical like running or hitting a pillow. Pain and fear respond well to free form writing, talking it out, or release exercises.

But, there is an even greater opportunity available to you. 

What if. instead of venting to release it, you were able to take the energy of these emotions and literally transform it into something wonderful, beautiful, and positive?

You could:

  • Take your anger and channel it into art or turn it into a passion for helping others
  • Let your pain fuel your life mission or feed a commitment to compassion and love
  • Transform your fear energy into excitement that propels you toward your dreams

When energy presents itself, in whatever form, you get to choose how to use it.

Instead of letting it get TO YOU, find a way to use it for good and make it work FOR YOU. Turn it into something that feels both inspiring and meaningful.

When you do, your entire life can be transformed.

Related Posts:

The Simple Truth about Fear, Worry, and Anxiety

5 Bad Mood Busters that Will Help You Feel Better Fast

A Quick & Easy Way to Stop Out of Control Snacking

cheesecake stop snacking lifecoachlinda.com

I am not sure what got into me, but something surely did. It all started with a little chocolate heart in a store checkout line. That led to macaroni and cheese (lots of it) and a giant piece of cake that made my stomach hurt. The next day, I found myself eating an entire bag of Trader Joe’s Cheetos. My snacking was out of control, and I was feeling disconnected from my true self.

What I needed was an intervention and I needed one quickly. That’s when I decided to just STOP. This little method can really help prevent over eating and unconscious snacking. Continue reading

25 Productive and Fun Indoor Activities for When It’s Cold Outside

things to do when it rains indoor activities

This is my first winter outside of California and I am learning a lot about the seasons and cold weather. I’m still not comfortable driving in snow and icy conditions and am grateful that I work from home and can stay in on those days. My CA friends are experiencing an unusual amount of rain and feeling house bound too.

Wintry weather makes me want to sit on the couch with a cat in my lap and read novels or binge watch Netflix. It feels great for awhile, but I can only sit for so long before getting antsy and wanting to find something to do. Something productive or fun that doesn’t involve putting on a coat or chipping ice off my car. Continue reading

7 Ways to Save Money on Entertainment, Recreation and Fun

 

Piggy bank save money life coach linda

For years I was a single mom. My son and I would consider bean burritos at Taco Bell a big night out. I learned to be thrifty out of necessity and now that I am in my 60’s and still wanting to save money for my future, those lessons continue to serve me well.

Some might say I’m cheap, but others like minimalists, extreme couponers, or the guy who writes the blog: Things I Find in the Trash, might think I live extravagantly. I feel like I have found a nice balance between enjoying life and protecting my finances at the same time. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have the same money fears that plague most of us. Continue reading

A Simple and Powerful Year End Process

 

woman writing year end process lifecoachlinda.com

I believe that it is important to review and close out the year that is ending to learn all that we can from it.  This simple year end process also opens the door to a deeper understanding for heartfelt intentions you want to set for the New Year.

I encourage you to find quiet time and a snugly place to curl up with pen and paper and ask yourself these questions: Continue reading

30 Fun Ways to Get into the Christmas Spirit and Spread Holiday Cheer

christmas-spirit

My son started celebrating Christmas early this year, trying to convince people to “Get Their Christmas On” long before Thanksgiving. At first I thought he was crazy, but then I could see how happy he became with this new focus on the holidays and their meaning. Continue reading

The Four Agreements – Simple & Powerful Tools for Life

Four Agreements Book

Every year about this time I revisit The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. Some years I even lead classes about them. They are simple, yet powerful tools that can help you:

  • Feel less reactive, hurt, or upset
  • Improve your relationships
  • Let go of limiting beliefs
  • Feel more peaceful and empowered
  • Become more grounded when facing the business of the holidays

Continue reading

2 Fun Ways to Make Your Thanksgiving More Meaningful

gvie thanks pumpkin Thanksgiving

I do not have the benefit of family nearby to spend my Thanksgiving with, but don’t feel bad for me. I have a nice long visit with my loved ones coming up. I also have invitations for breakfast and dinners with other Thanksgiving misfits. And, sometimes I choose to spend this special holiday alone as a restful, self-nurturing day.

Whatever my day looks like, there are a couple Thanksgiving practices I never miss that fill my heart and feed my soul. I feel more grounded in the meaning of the holiday because of them. You might enjoy them, too. Continue reading

Return to Gratitude

gratitude heals

For me, it shows up as a sense of being disconnected from myself and my higher power. I start to get mired in what is going wrong in my life or the world. Sometimes fantasies of impending doom or victim stories play through my mind. If I let it go too long, it can turn into depression.

I don’t know what to call it, but I think you might know what I am talking about.

What I do know is that when we start to fall into this trap of negativity, the quickest path back to our true selves includes a return to gratitude. Continue reading

Adjusting to Small Town Life – The Shopping Dilemma

small town shopping in Centralia MO

I’m still adjusting to my new small town life in Missouri. One of the things that still has me spinning is the whole shopping thing. Just when I thought I had it figured out and was settling in, fall weather came. And, I heard winter is on it’s way too.

My intention is to stock up and have what I need from the local city before Thanksgiving to avoid going there during the holiday craziness. Columbia is 30 to 40 minutes away, depending on what part of town you are going to.  I’m trying to shop local as much as possible, but there are some things that are either not available or cost much higher here. Continue reading

6 Simple Steps to Self Confidence & Self Trust

kid in super hero costume confident confidence

Confidence and self-esteem are based on a foundation of being able to trust yourself. When you know that you will take care of your own needs, you will feel safe enough to move confidently into the world.

This may feel hard or impossible in some moments, but it doesn’t need to.

Simply practice the following steps to increase self trust and the confidence that you desire will naturally follow. Continue reading

How to Bring Balance to Your Relationship with Time

relationship with time

We can feel driven by our clocks, calendars, and the expectations of others. Even more so by the expectations we have of ourselves.

I don’t know about you, but when I get caught up in this full on “doing” mode, I find that I miss out on the little special moments of my days. When the day comes to an end I may have a long list of wins, but did I really live? Was I fully present with and enjoying what was before me?

There are times when driving ourselves feels good or necessary, but it shouldn’t be our only way of being.

I love achieving goals, but I also crave feeling peaceful and being in touch with magical moments that show up each day.

The following ideas can support you in bringing more balance to how you use time and a sense of grace to your days.

Focus On Your Priorities: It’s easy to get distracted by working hard on the wrong things. Get clear about your values and most meaningful goals. These are what you should be focusing on. If you are spending time on something that is not working, try something else. It’s important to be intentional about how you use your valuable time and life energy.

Watch Out for Time Wasters: For me, it can be checking email or Facebook and then letting something I see sidetrack me. Time wasters can be things you just fall into, people who don’t respect your time, or choices you make influenced by underlying fears and other things that want to keep you stuck. If you find yourself spending too much time off track, return your focus to your intended goal.

Do Little Things with Great Love: Stay present to whatever you are doing. Even mundane activities can bring joy when you focus on their meditative quality. Every moment and every task has it’s own beauty. When you slow down enough to appreciate them your work can be more fulfilling.

Develop the Art of Puttering: Every once in awhile, especially if I have been too caught up in getting things done, I set aside a day for puttering. Puttering is the art of flowing gracefully from one thing to another as they come up naturally. I follow my whims. And, I usually get more things done than I do on those days when I am pushing. At the end of the day I feel at peace and grateful for how much I accomplished without even trying.

Don’t Make It Hard: If I had a dime for every time I told myself something was going to be hard I would be rich. Most of the time the things I was resisting turned out to not be hard at all. I spent more time in the uncomfortable resistance than it took to actually get the thing done. Beware of thoughts or words that make things seem difficult or challenging and if you are really courageous, eliminate the word “hard” from your vocabulary completely.

Give Yourself a Break: Lately, my favorite break is Squirrel Time. I step away from my work to sit on the porch and feed squirrels. They amuse me, warm my heart, and connect me with nature. Other breaks might include going for a walk, stretching, having a snack, dancing, or reading. Science says that our minds and bodies are more efficient when we give them regular breaks. I know they work for me.

Feed Your Engine: You will be more efficient in how you use your time when your mind and body are able to operate at their fullest potential. This means that eating healthy, taking breaks, exercise, and all those common sense things you know you should do will help you be more effective in the long run.

Having a healthy relationship with time is all about balance. You can push yourself at times, but not all the time. It is important to allow space in your days to observe special moments and let your work flow with natural focus instead of forcing things. When you do, you will limit stress, feel more peace within, and still get things done. And that, is a good thing.

Related posts:

Slow Down to Get More Done

Simple Abundance

Choosing What Not To Do

25 Ways to Stay Positive in Trying Times

happy little girl under umbrella stay positive

Life gets rough at times. You may be experiencing personal challenges, surrounded by negative people, or inundated with bad news, but you don’t have to feel yucky because of it.

As I write this we are nearing the presidential election and I find that talk of politics and all of the negativity involved is upsetting me. My clients feel the same way. It’s hard to stay positive with so much ugliness going on.

So this may be the perfect time to find some ways to feel good when when life is dragging us down.

  1. Listen to uplifting music, maybe even have your own personal dance party
  2. Go for a brisk walk
  3. Vent your frustrations on paper and then destroy it in some way
  4. Pray
  5. Watch cat, puppy, or baby videos
  6. Stop watching the news or at least limit your exposure to it
  7. Watch a funny movie or do anything that makes you laugh
  8. Spend time in nature
  9. BAM what upsets you – bless it and move on
  10. Snuggle or play with your pets or children
  11. Start writing daily in a journal
  12. Surround yourself with people who lift you up
  13. Volunteer or find someone worse off than you and help them
  14. Take a little extra time with your appearance and wear something you feel great in
  15. Read something uplifting
  16. Watch children play
  17. Avoid unnecessary challenging conversations about politics or other issues
  18. Follow websites/social media about positive news like Good News Network or Happify
  19. Do something loving for someone else
  20. Give and receive hugs
  21. Smile – it literally puts your brain in a more positive state
  22. When you catch yourself focusing on negative thoughts -shift channels
  23. Do something special to nurture yourself, like a bath or massage
  24. Bring a beautiful bouquet of flowers into your living space
  25. Write a daily list of blessings, magical moments, or things you are grateful for

What other ideas do you have that can help us all stay positive?

Related Posts:

A Totally Free Way to Feel Better Instantly

The Four Agreements: Simple & Powerful Tools for Your Life

Healing Your History: Let Your Soul Guide You

Life Coaching and More – How My Business Has Evolved

balance-life-coaching-business-coach-online-marketing-services

I started my business as a life coach in 2003, which is a long time ago. A lot can happen in 14 years and it is really interesting how my business has expanded and evolved. It’s also really fun!

You most likely know me as Life Coach Linda and think of me that way.

  • Supporting people as they go through challenges
  • Providing tools and fresh perspectives
  • Guiding them through healing journeys
  • Lifting them out of stuckness and into their dreams
  • Helping them reconnect with their true selves
  • Building their confidence and self love
  • Bringing more peace into their lives
  • Helping them create something new that is calling to them

In the last 14 years I have coached just about everything, working with courageous new coaches, cancer patients, students, mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, truck drivers, photographers, doctors, dentists, adventurers, psychologists, and more.

And, I still love this work.

Over time a new layer to my work began to evolve. Many of my clients had businesses and it was becoming clear that my intuition worked for business as well. I also had a lot of experience starting businesses, helping them grow, and working through the challenges that come up along the way. People began to hire me as their Business Coach.

I get really exited about what my clients want to create and love supporting them as they bring their visions to life. Some of my clients are new to business and still in the startup phase. Others have been around for years and are either facing challenges or ready to refresh or simplify what they already have. On April Fool’s Day in 2012 I made it official by launching my business coaching website and blog: Simple Smart Business

But, there was more. My clients continued to guide my journey by asking for what they wanted.

When I was recommending a dentist client consider getting a blog and Facebook page he told me he didn’t have the time and asked if I would do it for him. And, this is how the third branch of my business was born.

I began to offer Online Marketing Services, at first just for my dentist clients, but now for most types of businesses. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this work and found it was a great counterbalance to coaching, allowing me to shift back and forth from working with people to playing on the computer.

My marketing clients are mostly small businesses or solo-entrepreneurs who want affordable marketing options or to learn how to market online themselves. So, in my spare time between coaching clients you might find me:

  • Setting up or updating Facebook pages, simple websites, or blogs
  • Providing content and posting to Facebook pages and blogs
  • Setting up or writing email newsletters
  • Improving search engine optimization on websites
  • Teaching classes and training clients how to do it themselves

I know it sounds like a lot, but I protect my time and have found a balance between these offerings that works for me. I love my work. I love my clients. And, I only take on as many clients as I can serve well. My business right sized for me and there is plenty of space for quiet time and fun.

I learned that work doesn’t have to be just one thing. It took 14 years for my business to evolve to this point and I am grateful that I listened to my clients when they told me what they wanted. It feels good to be able to offer a variety of services and customize what will work best for each client. My clients agree.

Now that I am feeling settled into my new home after a recent move cross country, I am ready to open the door to a few more clients. If you would like to receive professional support in your life or business, please feel free to Contact Me.  Who knows, you might be my next client, and I can’t wait to meet you.

 

How to Stay Calm When Stretching Your Comfort Zone

Stretch Your Comfort Zone

I recently was a guest on a radio show and was a little nervous about it. So, I wrote up a few notes and set them in front of me as the interview started. What happened next was a little strange. My left eye became blurry and I couldn’t read. My notes were useless and I knew I had to “wing it”. I was definitely out of my comfort zone and fear started telling me to run.

When comfort zones are stretched, fear will start chattering about staying safe. “Don’t do that. They may not like you. It’s too big a risk. Why put yourself out there? I can keep you safe if you don’t do it.”

If we let that voice of fear control us, we stay stuck and play small. Without building new skills and meeting new people we miss out on the possibilities before us and will eventually regret not living our lives fully. 

Comfort zones are flexible and meant to grow. I knew this in that moment before my radio interview and even though I felt like running, I faced my fear, stayed calm, and did it anyway. Here is how you can too.

Recognize fear for what it is. Your fears want to keep you safe, but they are often over reactive. They were installed when you were younger and less able to take care of yourself. So, when you are afraid of meeting someone new the risk may be low, but your fear is still operating from the point of view of the 5 year old who was made fun of at school.

Fear doesn’t realize you have grown and developed new skills. It is a gut reaction that wants to protect you at all costs. Even if that protection hurts you in other ways.

Breathe deeply, and relax your face, neck, and shoulders.

Focus on other people or being of service. Take your mind off yourself and make the experience about the other people involved. How can you make them more comfortable? What can you ask them about themselves? How can you leave the situation better than it was when you entered it?  Fear is self-absorbed and focusing on other things can help shift you out of it.

Trust your inner self and speak from the heart.  This is what I did on that radio show when I couldn’t read my notes. I had to answer from my heart and experience.  By doing so, my interview was much more powerful than it would have been if I had used the notes. Trust yourself. You have everything you need inside of you.

Look for humor in the situation. When you look through an observer’s fly on the wall perspective things can seem quite amusing. Funny things happen when you stretch your comfort zone…

I remember being nervous about speaking before a group of people I didn’t know. When I went to the restroom before going on stage the water from the sink splashed over the front of my pants leaving very obvious water spots. For a moment, I just wanted to escape, but instead I went on stage and the first thing I did was make a joke about being attacked by their sink. It was a great ice breaker and the presentation went over well.

Humor can help you and the people around you feel lighter in stressful situations.

Make friends with your fear. Fear is not your enemy. It only wants what is best for you. It’s just a little over protective. So, have a conversation with it. Thank it for warning you. Let it know you’ve got things covered. And, ask it to help you in another way, like standing in the wings and cheering you on. You might be surprised how well it listens.

If fear is keeping you locked into your comfort zone and you would like the support of a professional life coach, I would love to talk to you. You can connect with me here.

Related Posts:

How to Tell the Difference Between Fear and Intuition

Fear and Anxiety: How to Make Friends with Your Lizard Brain

6 Proven Ways to Reduce Anxiety

Fear, Love, and Scaredy Cat Joey

How to Recover Quickly When Something Upsets You

BAM! lifecoachlinda.com feeling upset upsetsWe have a lot of potential upsets in our lives, big and small. Some we can move through gracefully and others that keep us stuck. Like walking through glue.

There is a quick and easy solution to getting over these upsets. All you have to do is choose to use it. 

It goes like this…

  1. Notice when you get stuck in upset-ness.
  2. When it happens, decide if it is worth staying in that feeling or not.
  3. If not, BAM it!
  4. Turn your thoughts to something else.

What is BAM? 

It’s short for BLESS IT AND MOVE ON. This doesn’t necessarily mean physically leaving a situation. You can BAM a disagreement with your husband and not get a divorce.

It’s a mental process of giving yourself permission to let it go, leave it in God’s hands, and spend your precious life energy on things that matter more.

You can BAM situations, memories, people, habits, thought patterns, and anything that upsets you.

Maybe everything is BAM-able. 

  • If someone cuts you off on the road – BAM!
  • When your mind is spinning with negative thoughts – BAM!
  • You can’t seem to resolve a disagreement – BAM!
  • When your past seems to control your present – BAM!

You get the idea. BLESS IT AND MOVE ON!

So, I’m curious. What other ways can you use BAM in your life? I bet you have some creative ideas and I would love to hear them. Please share your ideas by commenting below.

If you are interested in hiring a professional coach to help you resolve what is not working in your life, improve your relationship with yourself, or create something new, I would love to support you. Let’s schedule a phone call.  Contact Linda 

Related Posts:

How to Get Back on Track After Falling Into Inertia

A Quick and Easy Way to Stop Out of Control Snacking

25 Ways to Stay Positive in Trying Times

Living the Small Town Life

 

small town life lifecoachlinda.com

When people find out I moved from Southern California to a small town in Missouri, they seem surprised that anyone would want to do that. And then they start to look amused and ask how my transition is going. They know that I am a fish out of water, a stranger in a strange land, and am sure to be a source of silly entertainment as I learn to navigate this new world.

And, they are right.  I’ve done some silly things and I’m learning a lot.

My new life in this small southern town is not better or worse, it’s just different. Here are some of the things I have noticed:

There are no lines – not at the post office, the grocery store, city office, or restaurants. I can’t seem to find one anywhere.

Speed limits are really, really slow – I thought I would have trouble keeping to the 20 to 35 mph speed limits in town until I realized there are so many stop signs that you never get up to speed anyway. A few days ago I was with someone who got pulled over for going 33 mph. That would never happen in CA.

The crime rate is low – most of the posts on the police department Facebook page are about pets that have been found.

My weather app is my new best friend – you never know what the day will bring. I now check the weather every day and have alerts set for severe thunder storms and tornadoes.

If I don’t go to the high school football game, I can hear the play by play at my house – in small towns you always live near the high school.

But, I enjoy going to high school football games – mostly because I am with my family, but the rest is fun too.

It’s hard for a vegetarian to eat out – I always say I can eat anywhere, even in a town where biscuits and gravy with eggs and bacon are considered a healthy breakfast. What I have discovered though is that they cook everything on the same grill, so when I order pancakes they taste like bacon. I doubt there is much sensitivity toward vegetarians here.

Shopping and errands require strategic planning – the local city with “regular” stores is about a half hour away. I intend to shop local when I can, but still haven’t quite figured out how to plan the city trips well and make them efficient.

My yard is full of wild life (and bugs) – birds, rabbits, and squirrels are a part of my everyday life now and at night I get to listen to cicadas and watch lightening bugs flash across the lawn. My cats love watching out the windows, especially the antics of Seymour, the squirrel that lives in my front yard tree.

Mosquitoes love CA blood – it must be a delicacy around here.

The trash men will pick up anything – you just set it  out by the street and it’s gone. Maybe only my CA readers will understand how strange this seems.

There are a wide variety of accepted forms of transportation – it is not unusual to see people going down the street in golf carts or riding lawn mowers or tractors.

Customer service is a priority – everyone seems eager to help. I think I disappointed (or maybe insulted) someone the other day when I insisted I could carry my own bag of groceries out.

People are friendly – almost everyone says “hi” and I feel very welcome, but deep down I think they are just watching me carefully to see how I am going to do and if I will stick around.

And, that is okay. Because I WILL learn, adapt, and stick around, I also know that I have a lot to offer and will be able to serve this community in some way. I just haven’t figured out how I want to do that yet.

If you are looking to make a change in your life and would like the support of a Professional Life Coach, I would love to hear from you. Contact Me

Related Posts:

My First 7 Months After Moving to a Small Town in Missouri

Adjusting to Small Town Life – The Shopping Dilemma

Scenes from a Small Town Morning Walk