Ask the Coach – My Answers to Your Questions

questions for life coach LIndaI’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

A Simple and Powerful Year End Process

woman writing

I believe that it is important to review and close out the year that is ending to learn all that we can from it.  The 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

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. Continue reading

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.  Continue reading

Should You Be Seeking Your Life Purpose?

life purpose

As a coach, I hear a lot of people talking about trying to figure out what their life purpose is. For many, not feeling they know it is a source of great angst and leaves them feeling like they are living their lives all wrong.  They feel guilty and ashamed that they are not doing this one great thing because they can’t figure it out. And, that makes them feel like a failure

My clients are often surprised when I share my thoughts on life purpose with them.

I believe it’s okay to play with purpose, but not let seeking it rule you. You can take quizzes and read books that help you connect with your values, natural gifts and what you enjoy, but that doesn’t always lead to knowing your purpose in this world.

You may also hear that if you just do what you love, you will be living on purpose.  Supposedly, money will follow, but I am not so sure it always works out that way. Sometimes we need to do things we don’t love to take care of ourselves and loved ones.

I’m not usually a naysayer, but I’ve seen people get obsessed with this idea of purpose and shame themselves if they think they are not in alignment with it.

There is a more peaceful way.

Realize that purpose is not always a big, grand thing. It could be a series of little tiny moments where you start a butterfly effect without even knowing. It could be within arms reach within your family or the work you are already doing. Or, it could be a simple smile you give someone that lifts them up to do what they are meant to do in the world.

Don’t let this idea of purpose keep you stuck or control you. If you don’t have a sense of it, just live your life consciously. Follow your heart and intuition with each small decision you make and eventually you will end up in the right place.

Actually, I believe you are already there.

Seeking purpose takes you out of your life and present moments. It can distract you from the things that are most meaningful and cause you to overlook the very thing you are looking for.

It’s not big, its simple. Purpose is about living a life of alignment and making choices based on your inner knowing. It’s not something you seek. It is always there guiding you from within. And, you don’t need to know it’s name, shape, or form.

It’s time to take the pressure off and just live in a way that feels meaningful. You are always on purpose whether you know it or not.

 

You Don’t Have to Be a Minimalist or Tidying Up Fan to Create a Clutter Free Home

Declutter, minimalism, tidying up

There are a lot of people feeling inspired to clear space in their homes and lives right now. It’s a hot topic, and one that I can really get behind. I love living simply and creating a life that matters.

But, I wonder if some of the things being put out there can feel too rigid for some of you. Do they hold you back and prevent your getting started?  Or, make you judge yourself as not doing enough? 

I am in a number of Facebook Groups on minimalism and simple living and sometimes I want to cringe when someone asks how to let go of things like their grandmother’s necklace or their childhood Bible. There is always a lot of encouragement from the group to give them away, but I sense that sometimes people are pushing themselves further than they want to go.

I am here to tell you there are no rules. Clearing space and living simply will bring many gifts into your life, AND you get to do it your way. 

Guidelines are great, having a supportive coach experienced in this area is wonderful, but ultimately you need to follow your heart and find the level of simplicity that is right for you. Sometimes people are ready to jump in fully and for others it may be a process of one layer at a time.

Before starting a de-cluttering process I encourage you to spend time becoming clear about your intention and the vision you have for your end result. This intention can guide and motivate you along the way.  And, if you would like additional support, find a friend, coach, or professional organizer who will hold you to your vision in a gentle, caring way.

You CAN do this! Your home can become a sanctuary that is clean, organized, and full of light. And, you can do it your way. Just imagine what that will feel like…

If you would like the support of a professional coach who loves to help people create more simple and fulfilling lives, I would love to offer you a free consultation. Contact Linda

Related Posts:

From Clutter to Clarity: A Client Story

Is Tidying Up the Secret to Happiness?

Don’t forget to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you have to say.

A Cat, A Lizard, and a Life Lesson

answers are closer than you think

The other day I let my cat Chloe (pictured above) out on the patio for a bit of fresh air. I pictured her rolling in the sun or maybe taking a cat nap, but she had something else in mind. Her real mission became obvious when she came running back into the house with a baby lizard in her mouth.

Oh drat!

And, because I am a softie for all living things (well, almost all) I wanted to rescue the little creature.

I convinced Chloe to let go of it and saw the lizard run for cover under my TV stand. After locking my naughty kitty in the bedroom I came back armed with a flashlight, but couldn’t find my new reptile friend anywhere. My next step was to take everything off the TV stand and even move it out of it’s nook, but alas, there was no lizard in site.

I was about to give up and was having visions of the cats finding it while I slept and leaving a bloody, dead creature on the floor where I would step on it in the morning.

Double drat!

But as I stood up, I noticed a feeling like a dryer sheet had been left in my pants. When I pulled my pants down to get it, what did I see? A baby lizard clinging for dear life to my thigh.

Yikes!

Fortunately, I am not afraid of lizards. My friend Michelle might have died on the spot, but I put Baby Lizzy back in the yard where she will be safe. Unless Chloe finds her again.

Later that day I was talking to a client who was looking for answers. She took classes, went to psychics, and asked everyone what she should do. I knew then that my close encounter with the little lizard was the perfect story to remind her that her answers were closer than she thought. The solutions weren’t out there. They were already within her. In her gut. In her heart. Or, maybe on her leg.

Perhaps, Baby Lizzie was a spiritual teacher in disguise.

Related posts:

A Quick Solution to Being Stuck in Dilemma

A Not So Graceful Moment in Kitten Rescue

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

And, for those who don’t get freaked out by reptiles, here is a site about Western Fence Lizards

Don’t forget to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you think.

How to Discover and Prevent Hidden Money Leaks

bandaid-piggy-bank

Money is a touchy topic. Having money brings a sense of security and safety and allows us to keep up appearances so we feel more acceptable in the world around us. We can use it to look good and feel good, or even comfort ourselves when we are feeling low.

And yet, most of us feel some level of shame around it, even when we handle our money well.

Either we don’t feel we have enough or we judge ourselves for how we spend what we do have.

Feeling peaceful about money comes from using it in a way that is in alignment with your values and making conscious choices when you spend. It comes from finding the sweet spot between thrift and giving occasional gifts to yourself.

What usually happens though is that we get all fired up by someone’s expert marketing or something someone said and our mind convinces us that we “need” to buy things. Not necessarily big things, all the little things add up to.

And in the end. we find ourselves with a lot of stuff we didn’t really need and probably don’t use.

How much could you have saved last year if you avoided these extra purchases? Let’s find out.

Get a notepad and pen and walk through your house listing everything you have purchased in the last year that:

  • You don’t wear regularly
  • Doesn’t bring value to your life
  • Are not using
  • You don’t really like
  • Forgot you even bought it
  • Didn’t live up to your expectations
  • You could have gotten free, like books from the library

Look in your closets, drawers, and on your shelves. You might be surprised what you find. When you have your list, go through and estimate how much money you spent on each item and then total them up. Shocking isn’t it?  Keep in mind that this is meant to open your eyes to new opportunities for saving money and no self-judgment is allowed.

The first step to changing our habits is awareness and just imagine how much money you can save this year by shifting this pattern. Make a new commitment to using your money in ways that do not allow advertisers or the people next door to run your financial life.

What about the things you bought last year? They have become clutter and don’t belong in your home. Selling or donating them can help you anchor what you have learned and reinforce your new decision to play with money in a way that is in alignment with your values and goals.

If you would like the support of a coach to help you improve your relationship with money and take control of your finances CONTACT LINDA to schedule a complimentary consultation.

How to Keep Your Goals and Resolutions Alive

woman with balloons

We are a few weeks into the New Year which for many is when the excitement about goals starts to wear off and motivation falters.

How can you keep your goals and resolutions alive?

Stay connected to your emotional “why”:
Write about why your goal is important to you.

  • What blessings will it bring to your life?
  • What will it feel like when that happens?
  • Who will you have become in the process?
  • Why is it worth what it will take to get there?

Create a clear picture of why your goal is meaningful and keep what you have written at hand for those moments when you need to be reminded of how powerful your goal really is.

Keep your motivation high by taking a couple minutes each morning to visualize yourself in that moment when your goal becomes reality. See yourself smiling, laughing, and glowing with success.  Fell the feelings of wonder, pride, and gratitude coming up inside of you. Staying connected to this visual and emotional vision will dramatically increase your possibility of success.

Prepare ahead for moments when you feel tempted to go rogue or get too stuck to move forward:

  • Make a list of your goals, intentions, or resolutions
  • For each one, list the things that could throw you off track
  • Come up with one or two solutions for each of the challenges that might come up.

Now you have a plan ready to be implemented when needed.

Motivation can falter, but you can keep your goals alive with a strong commitment and tools like these. If you would like more tools, support, or accountability through coaching, please feel free to contact me. I can help.

Don’t forget to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you have to say.

You might also enjoy this related article by Leo Babauta at Zen Habits: Instead of Goals or Resolutions, Try Creating Rules

What Do Life Coaches Really Do?

helping hand

There is still a lot of confusion about what life coaches do.  Even coaches have trouble explaining it.  And, everyone seems to be a coach these days.  How confusing is that?

In general, a professionally qualified life coach will listen carefully and provide support, perspective, guidance, new skills and tools, motivation, accountability, and champion you along the way to your best life.

Who doesn’t want that?

Most clients work with a life coach because they: Continue reading

15 Money Saving Tips that Help You Avoid Impulse Buying

shopping impulse buys

If you want to avoid impulse buying it may feel like the odds are stacked against you. Advertisers, stores, and even your peers are masters of hypnosis.  They hypnotize you into believing your long term goals don’t matter and there is nothing more you want in the world than to buy their product.

You become their puppet, disconnected from who you really are and what you really want.

Unless, you utilize the following tips …   Continue reading

Choosing What Not To Do

not to do list don't do list

Most everyone is familiar with the value of having a To Do list where you keep track of the projects and actions you intend to take.  But, have you ever considered creating a Don’t Do list?  Continue reading

Inspire Your Way to Spending Less

piggy bank

Budgets and spending plans may work, but often feel uninspiring. Real success happens when you stay connected emotionally to the outcome of what you want to create. It just makes it easier.

The following steps are designed to help you do just that:  Continue reading

Slow Down to Get More Done

sign that says Go Slow

My weekly schedule has it’s own little routine.  I generally have the same clients, meetings, and things to accomplish along with some time allotted for projects.  And yet, sometimes I struggle to get it all done, while other weeks flow with ease.  Why is that?  Continue reading

Where to Begin When You Feel Challenged in Multiple Areas of Your Life

 

stressed out woman

When my latest new client first called she was overwhelmed with challenges throughout her life and felt paralyzed.  She had no idea where to begin.  Her marriage was troubled, her job was stressful, she was very busy taking care of other people, and her physical health was declining.

When I asked her how this made her feel, she described feeling exhausted, ashamed, and depressed.  Can you relate?

I think she was surprised when I suggested she start by pulling in and taking care of herself. (She was hoping the first step would be making her husband change.)

I shared with her that when we face multiple challenges, it is important to start at the core.  This is where we have the greatest influence and can start a pattern of success.  For most of us, this core is about self-care and self-nurturing.

When your life feels like a mess, practice the art of pulling in.  Start with yourself.  You are the center of your life and all that happens in it.

Your body is one of your most precious assets and an excellent place to begin your journey. Nurturing your body into health will help you feel stronger, more confident, and energized.

It is from this place that you will be able to connect with the empowered wisdom that will support you in the rest of your life.

This is the path that my client is taking.  Her commitment to making her health a priority is already supporting her both physically and mentally.  She has more energy and feels more positive.  I am supporting her as she works through her life challenges and love witnessing her new confidence in being able to create the life she wants.

Whenever you feel overwhelmed, remember that it all begins with you.  Pull in and take care of yourself.  When you create a foundation of health and well-being, the rest will start to fall into place.

If you would like support in moving through challenges, navigating transitions, or creating a more fulfilling life, I would love to help.

Simply go to the “contact me” page and request a free consultation.

Coupons, Discounts, and Shopping Zombie Syndrome

tired woman surrounded by shopping bags

I admit it. Last Sunday I found myself spending 3 hours of my life at Kohls, all because of a 30% off coupon burning a hole in my pocket.  It wasn’t that I needed anything.  I was just looking for something to buy so I could feel good about getting a discount.  And, I wasn’t alone.  I ran into friends there doing the same thing.

These stores have it down to a science.  They do research and stuff to figure out how to pull us in.  And, it works. 

When I checked out, tired and frustrated from trying on lots of clothes that made me look fat, the sweet young man pointed out that I spent about $20, and saved $75.  He looked at me like I was the smartest person in the world.  And then, for some unknown reason, he gave me a $10 off coupon that can only be used next week.  I just wanted to kick him.

It’s not only advertising and stores we need to look out for.  There are endless ways we can become shopping zombies.

I have a client who came to me because she felt stressed and dissatisfied with her life.  She had set goals to make friends in her new community and felt more people were falling away than sticking around.  In our first conversation, I noticed the word Groupon came up a lot.

She thought she could use Groupon opportunities to meet new people and make friends.  What really happened was that she became so busy with her special offers she didn’t have time for the new people in her life.  When deadlines approached her stress levels would rise and she would find herself canceling time with new friends to use her expiring discounts.   Eventually, they gave up on her as she fell deeper and deeper into Groupon addiction without even realizing what was happening.

How are we to live within our means and in alignment with our values when we are being constantly programmed to become shopping zombies? 

Staying tuned in to your highest self, what you value most, and your financial goals will serve you well.  Chances are, it’s not shiny new objects you really want, but something deeper and more meaningful.  This focus on values will support you in making conscious choices and putting shopping strategies in place, like the following ones that have worked for my clients:

  • Read your intentions and goals before going to the store.
  • Create a list and stick to it.
  • Rate what you want on a scale of 1 to 10.  If it is not an 8 or above, don’t get it.
  • Walk away and sleep on it.  Chances are you won’t want it as much the next day.
  • Avoid malls and online shopping sites.
  • Ask yourself if what you want will bring meaning to your life or fulfill a current need?
  • Set a time limit for being in the store.
  • Give yourself a set amount of cash each month and don’t use your credit cards.
  • Put a note on your credit card reminding you of your goals.
  • Learn to say “no” to your children.  Spending money does not equal love.
  • Don’t live in scarcity.  Plan for small treats.
  • Freeze your credit card
  • Create a 30 day wait list for things you think you want to buy
  • Know what you have.  You may already own something that is similar or will work.

Shopping is not a bad thing unless you are spending more than you earn or stepping out of alignment with your goals and values.

We all deserve something new once in a while.  But, when you get that guilty feeling in the pit of your stomach or like me, find yourself wasting entire afternoons looking for something to buy, chances are you are experiencing Shopping Zombie Syndrome and it’s time to come alive again.

I would love to hear what shopping strategies you use.  Please feel free to share by commenting below.

Activate Your Goals with Accountability

women_at_coffee_shop

Over the years, I have participated in many success oriented programs.  One of my favorite things about these adventures was being assigned an accountability buddy.  I found myself more engaged and committed to the process because of these partnerships and many of the people I was paired with are still my friends today.

Studies have repeatedly shown that you are more likely to achieve your goals when accountable to others.  Knowing you are going to report your progress to someone else will motivate you to get things done.  Another key benefit  is that your wins will be recognized and acknowledged by the other person.  This reinforces how good it feels to take positive action and keeps you moving forward.

Some people choose to create accountability by making an announcement of their goals or intentions.  Posting your weight loss goals on Facebook or making a commitment before a group like AA are great examples of how this works.

Last week, I posted my intentions for how I want to be and what I am going to focus on this year.  When the emails started pouring in, I became nervous.  Did I really say that out loud?  To the whole world through my blog?  And then, the feeling shifted to a sense of peace.  I now have all of you watching me and providing support and accountability for my heartfelt dream.  How cool is that?

Whether your goals are large or small, having someone hold you to your commitments and dreams will increase the possibility of your success.   I encourage you to find a friend, group, or coach you can trust to support you with accountability.  When you make that commitment, the magic can begin.

You will not only create forward momentum and success, but you will also be increasing your levels of self-trust, self-confidence, and self-esteem.

What could be better than that?

Intentions for Being – Declarations for Life

best intentions heart

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.

At first I called my ideas declarations and I liked the power of the word, but as I worked with them I started preferring to think of them as intentions.  I have included some wording from Don Miguel Ruiz and Brendan Burchard that spoke to me, but the essence of these come from my heart.  I believe that by focusing on these intentions  I will be living more as my higher self.

My Intention is to:

  • Be impeccable with my word
  • Engage life with full presence and power
  • Bring light to all I do
  • Always do my best
  • Listen to my body, inner wisdom, and make conscious choices
  • Embrace spiritual practice and deepening connections
  • Explore fun, adventure, and creativity
  • Create daily forward momentum aligned with my dreams, values, and goals.

What declarations or intentions would you like to make for your life? You can share them in the comment section.  I would love to hear what they are.

Celebrating 2014 – A Year End Process

woman writing

The end of the year is a perfect time to honor the blessings that came our way and acknowledge ourselves for all we have achieved.   Because human nature is to focus on what is not working, we often minimize what went well or special moments along the way.  I encourage you to review your year with open eyes and an open heart.  You might be surprised what you see…

Year End Process

  • Create quiet time and space so that you can focus without interruption
  • Set a clear and positive intention for your process

Write your answers for the following:

  • List your wins and accomplishments for the year (at least 50)
  • Write about what you learned from the challenges you faced
  • What are you proud of yourself for?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What do you want to take away from this year and integrate in the future?
  • What issues, mistakes, habits, or beliefs are you willing to let go of at year’s end?
  • Anything else that feels meaningful to include

Take time to celebrate all the year has brought and all you have learned.  Acknowledge yourself for your wonderful moments and your days of being fully human.  Bringing a sense of completion to this year will open the door to even more amazing possibilities in the year ahead.

How to Rehearse for the Future of Your Dreams

daydreamin 400 - Alice Yoo  mymodernmet

An early mentor of mine, Kendrick Mercer, used to say that fantasizing was a good thing.  His perspective was that it was rehearsing for reality.

I used to love to hear him tell the story of how he created fantasies of being a brave knight and a Native American warrior in order to survive a childhood with no love and little care.  He lived these stories fully and began to take on the qualities of each persona.  Years later, it was clear that the knight and warrior spirits still lived within him.  Continue reading