50 Ways to Say No Gracefully and Effectively

woman say no overwhelmed

For some of us, including me, saying “no” can be challenging. We want to help and please, sometimes to our own detriment. I personally believe that most of us are way to busy these days and not honoring the time and space needed for ourselves to stay grounded and whole.

It’s important to be clear when enough is enough for you and honor those boundaries. And so, I thought I would share 50 ways that we can say no in a graceful and respectful way.

But first, I have a some tips that will help you say no successfully: Continue reading

12 Morning Practices that Start Your Day Off Right

morning practices coffee and journal

Every day is a gift.  A blank slate to write on. The choices you make in the first moments after waking up can impact your energy, effectiveness, and mood for the entire day.  I am a big fan of morning practices and encourage you to create one of your own.

Here are some fun ideas for starting your morning off right: Continue reading

How to Get Perspective When Feeling Pressured

pressured to buy used car salesman

I’ve been to a lot of seminars over the years. Some were great, some were okay, and some of them made me feel uncomfortable. The ones I didn’t like usually involved pressure to buy, sell, or do something out of your comfort zone in order to be accepted.

It’s interesting to watch these charismatic seminar leaders in action. They make a lot of money doing this and are experts at building momentum and get people fired up.

They create a sense of urgency, use peer pressure, and sometimes shaming language:

  • If you don’t buy this, you don’t have what it takes.
  • You can’t succeed without us. We know better than you.
  • It would be really stupid to let this opportunity slip away.
  • You won’t belong if you don’t do this.

The people in our lives may use similar methods to control us.  Continue reading

How to Eliminate Closet Clutter with a Simple Wardrobe

clothes closet clutter my simple wardrobe

My simple summer wardrobe. Jeans and shorts are on the shelf above.

I had a lot of clothes. Many of them didn’t fit or seem to go with anything else in my closet.

Can you relate?

I’ve never been a big shopper, but my passion for finding deals tripped me up. Instead of having nice outfits to wear, I had a bunch of budget clothing misfits and a lot of closet clutter. Continue reading

Decluttering Questions that Help You Let Go of Stuff

decluttering garage sale clutter

I am not a lover of clutter. It seems the older I get the more stuffocated I feel when things start to add up. I crave space, breathing room, and love knowing exactly where everything is. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not the best house keeper or anywhere near OCD, but opening a closet or cupboard and being able to see each item clearly with plenty of empty space feels peaceful to me. Continue reading

Living in Alignment with Your Values

hearts representing values

We are happiest when our lives are in alignment with our core values.  Living this way nurtures what is most meaningful to us and allows us to feel more peaceful, grounded, and fulfilled. Anything that conflicts with our values will create more stress and dissonance in our lives. Continue reading

The Gifts of Living a Simple Life

gifts of simple living coffee book flowers simple life

When people hear that I choose to live simply they shake their heads and say they could never survive a simple life. In their minds they are picturing life in a cabin with one chair, one plate, and one fork. Or, a house that is cold, colorless, empty, and devoid of personality. And then, they imagine having to wear old, worn, and frumpy thrift store clothes, maybe even pioneer dresses. To them simple living sounds down right miserable.

But, the truth is, it’s nothing like that at all.   Continue reading

Intentions for Being – Declarations for Life

intentions

(I first wrote this in January 2015 and came across it today. The words and intentions I shared feel even more powerful now as I am about to turn 63. It’s time to re-commit and share them again.)

There are a lot of goals and resolutions set at this time of year about what we want to do or accomplish.  While I am playing with some of the doing stuff, I felt more called to look at how I want to be and show up in this world. Continue reading

Let Your Heart Guide You to Your Best Life

 

let your heart guide you listen to your heart with earbuds

It’s almost like we are running a race. I hear over and over again from my clients and friends that they are struggling to keep up with the speed of life. I feel it, too.

When we are racing through our days we lose the guidance of our hearts and are more likely to make unconscious choices that do not serve us well. Continue reading

Moving Cross Country to a Small Town: My First Year

moving to a small town house

This week is the one year anniversary of my moving from a busy city in Southern California to a rural small town in Missouri.

My intention was to live a more simple life and be close to my 3 grandchildren. After 62 years as a SoCal girl I anticipated some culture shock and knew I had a lot to learn about my new way of life.

Looking back over this first year I feel that I have done well, but am also aware that I am in a process that will take some time. Continue reading

Let Your Soul Guide Your Healing

healing heart your soul is calling out to you

I recently came across this wonderful quote by Wayne Muller:

“Your challenge is not to keep trying to repair what was damaged, your practice instead is to re-awaken what is already wise, strong, and whole within you, to cultivate those qualities of heart and spirit that are available to you in this very moment.” Continue reading

My 7 Step Plan for Overcoming Social Anxiety

nervousness social anxiety girl

I have always been a nervous person. This may surprise some of you, because I have worked hard on it and usually seem pretty easy going and calm. But, it’s true.

One of the things that scares me the most is people. Other human beings.

Kind of crazy, isn’t it? Continue reading

Life Lessons I Learned from Popeye

Life Lessons Learned from Popeye

My Mom used to tell the story of when I was around three and kept asking for a “Toot –Toot” for Christmas. It took my parents quite a while, but they finally figured out that I wanted a corncob pipe so that I could be just like my cartoon hero Popeye. Continue reading

Living In a Polarized World

polarized positive negative

When I was 15 my family moved to a new neighborhood. For some reason my mom wasn’t happy. She was a good woman who was normally well liked, but while living there she developed contentious relationships with a couple of the neighbors.

Things got pretty ugly and as a typical teenager I felt embarrassed and became angry with my mom. Continue reading

Let Your Best Self Guide You

Ideal self angel soul guide you best self

Yesterday I coached a client who was feeling great. She had recently completed a big project that helped someone in need and was quite energized by it. The little blips in life that could have upset her in the past just floated off her back. She felt energetic, strong, and proud of all she had done.

I shared with her that she was experiencing being grounded in her Best Self.  Continue reading

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

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

Road Trip Magic – Moving Cross Country

road trip moving cross country

My friend Traci and I drove from California to Missouri with 2 cats in the back seat of my car. We took I-15 and then I-70 straight across the country, joking that it would be less likely we got lost with such a direct route.

We experienced California deserts, the glitz of Las Vegas, a tiny tip of Arizona, the dramatic red rock of Utah, majestic beauty in the Colorado Rocky mountains, the big sky of Kansas, and finally arrived in Missouri on the third day.

We were in awe of the scenery before us and even experienced a sunrise that brought us to tears.

Common themes in our conversations were:

  • Our country’s diverse and beautiful landscapes
  • How God’s hand was clearly evident in what we were seeing
  • Respect for the courage of  pioneers who traveled through these lands
  • How blessed we were to be experiencing it all

Looking back at the photographs I took it is hard to believe I was actually there. Even though the photos were taken through the car window and the quality is questionable, they still bring back those magical moments.

I would like to share a few with you: (All images:© 2017 Linda Luke)

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

 

Now just imagine the colors brighter and clearer, because they were.

Can you believe I was actually there? I saw these miracles with my own eyes?

I feel so humbled and blessed.

Related Posts:

Scenes from a Small Town Morning Walk

Leaving California

Living the Small Town Life

All images:© 2017 Linda Luke

Letting Go of Stuff

Letting go of stuff - releasing clutter life coach linda

The Shipping Cube with What I Decided to Take

While preparing for my move to Missouri, I decided to sell or give away more than 1/2 of my stuff. For some people this may not have been a big deal, but I lived simply and didn’t have much to begin with.

It was interesting observing how my thoughts about the things in my life shifted as my move date neared. It seemed to come in layers:

The Garage Sale – At this point I was still invested in the value of my things. After all, I was going to sell stuff and get money in return. I felt like I was being bold in my choices of what to include, not realizing this was only the beginning.

The Remains – When the garage sale was over I was faced with leftover items that I still thought were worth selling. I was very uncomfortable with the idea of just leaving things that I could get money for. This started a period of offering items in my city Facebook group and Craigslist. Some sold. Some didn’t.

Giving – And then, I just let the attachments go. This opened the door to my favorite part of the process, giving things away.  And, not just little things. I would go through my house each day and find more and more stuff to give. I fell in love with giving and it made it much easier to release what I owned. It was also a lot of fun.

Leaving – The buyer of my house had said that I could leave things and didn’t have to clean the house. At first, the idea of doing this was appalling to me. But, when the 100 degree heat wave arrived on my last week, I could only do so much. Packing and loading under the blistering sun was getting to me and making me dizzy. So, when I said goodbye to my house, there were still some things left behind. I feel sure they will find good homes. Everything I was taking to my new life was packed into a 6′ by 7′ pod to be shipped to my new home.

Wanting Less – As I am unpacking and settling into my new home I am being very careful about what I invite in. Surprisingly, I will have even more to give away. Some things just don’t fit my new home or life. Maybe living without them for a couple weeks diminished their importance in my mind. Whatever the reason, they feel like clutter and I just don’t want them anymore.

Balancing with More – I love simplicity, but am not sure I am a minimalist. I have made some purchases recently for my new lifestyle, a new washer and dryer and yard maintenance items like a weed wacker. I also plan on bringing in a new sofa that fits with the colors in my new home. What is different is that I am being very careful about what I bring in. I only want things that I use regularly or love. And, I don’t want very many of them.

Moving provided me with the opportunity for a fresh start. I have empty closets and cupboards with only a few items. Everything is organized and makes sense. (Well, almost everything. I haven’t got to the office yet.) I even have an extra bedroom that I don’t know what I will do with. The one thing I’m sure of is that it won’t become a junk room full of stuff.

My experience of letting go has revealed how tightly I held onto stuff that really wasn’t that meaningful to me. I was also attached to the idea of getting a return on what I thought was valuable. It was only when I let go and began to give things away that I felt truly authentic, peaceful, and was able to have fun with the process.

Even without a lot (although I had more than I thought) I was being smothered and controlled by my things. In the simple living movement about 20 years ago there was a slogan that said, “Don’t Stuffocate!”  I think I get it now.

Related Posts:

A Sense of Order Soothes the Soul

Is Tidying Up the Secret to Happiness?

Infobesity: 5 Ways to Prevent Information Overload

All images:© 2017 Linda Luke