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
We all have emotional responses in life that do not serve us well.
I started my business as a life coach in 2002, 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 always think of me that way.
We 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 them. All you have to do is choose to use it. Continue reading
There are some people…. You know what I mean. They don’t do or say what you think they should and sometimes people get hurt. Maybe even you. It could be a spouse, relative, politician, or someone you work with. Just thinking about them makes your stomach clench, your body tighten, and your heart rate go up.
They make your life miserable. Or, do they?
When someone is irritating you, it is important to remember three things: Continue reading
This is Joey, my little scaredy cat. He is on constant high alert and can disappear at the speed of light, running to his safety zone under my bed. His latest fear is the air coming from the vents when the air conditioner comes on.
Recently, I noticed that his anxiety was getting worse. He was spending entire days under the bed and had a constant look of panic when he was downstairs. It was breaking my heart.
So, I decided to immerse him in love therapy. Every chance I had, I would pet and love on him. He took to it well and soon he was following me around everywhere I went and I was totally covered in cat fur 24 hours a day. His confidence grew. His fear dissipated. And, he became an active member of the family again.
I have heard that fear is the opposite of love. So, is it also possible that love is the antidote to fear? What would happen if we learned to focus on loving ourselves through our fearful experiences? Love the experiences? And, even love fear itself?
It wouldn’t hurt to try. Shall we?
One of the things I loved about my friend Sybil who recently passed was her love of bringing people together for food and stimulating conversation. She loved to listen and bask in the warmth of being surrounded by interesting friends.
As she was losing her ability to speak, she would type letters to us. I came across a few recently and they were full of amusing observations and appreciation for the people around her. I could almost here her chuckling between the lines.
Eventually, she lost her ability to type and the letters she received from friends and family became a new source of joy. She would have me read them to her over and over again.
As time passed and her disease progressed the letters and visits from friends came less often and she felt more isolated. It was hard to watch her lose those connections to the outside world and I realized how valuable a simple letter could be.
Since then I have written several letters from the heart. As I wrote them I would be flooded with memories and appreciation for the person I was writing to. Their responses were incredible. They would cry. I would cry. And, I realized the gifts of those letters were not just for the recipients, but for me as well.
My friend Lynette Smith is a big fan of heartfelt letter writing. At her son’s wedding, he and his bride presented their parents with framed letters of appreciation. Lynette cherishes this gift and it has inspired her mission to get people putting pen to paper again. The cornerstone of this mission is her book: How to Write Heartfelt Letters to Treasure: For Special Occasions and Occasions Made Special.
Who can you write a heartfelt letter of appreciation to? I encourage you to give it a try. You will find it is one of the most rewarding things you can do.
It is true that people do yucky things. And, there are probably times in your life when you were truly a victim, but it is what you do afterward that matters most.
When you let yourself fall into the trap of blaming others and believing that people or your environment have conspired against you, you are disempowering yourself and embracing the role of a victim.
Living as a victim can be very seductive because it is a great excuse. People won’t expect a lot from you. You can play small, avoid risks, and sometimes not even have to work as hard as everyone else. It may even feel good because you get sympathy or attract attention.
I know, because I spent years rehashing the many ways I was a victim as a child and young adult. I was an expert at playing the victim role. I took it on as my identity as if that was all I was and all I could ever be.
The truth is though, that when you play the blame game you limit yourself, play small, and give your power away. You will attract the wrong people and the wrong things into your life. And, you will know somewhere deep in your heart that you are not being your best self or living to your full potential.
Even when you are sure that someone took action against you, blaming is not the answer. Your true power is in forgiveness, accepting responsibility for your life, and moving forward into the life you were meant to live.
Don’t let blame become the center of your life. Delete blaming words from your vocabulary and focus instead on all you have to be grateful for. There are people loving and supporting you at this very moment. Why do you want to give your life over to those who don’t? Leave it behind. Move forward. And, know that you are so much more than whatever someone once did to you.
Don’t forget to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you have to say.
Forgiveness is not always easy. Even when you know:
Sometimes your heart can be so broken or your anger so deep that you just aren’t ready to let it go.
And then, the judgment against yourself creeps in because you just don’t understand how others can do this noble forgiveness thing when it feels so impossible for you.
This is where I step in. I want you to know that it is okay to honor where you are at. You can’t force forgiveness and you don’t have to forgive in this moment. But, there is something you can do to take some of the heat out of what happened and create a bridge between you and the peace on the other side of forgiving.
Remember – It begins with remembering that we are all spiritual beings having a human experience and that means both you and the person who wronged you. You are souls. Children of God. And, this is part of your journey.
Understand – The person who wronged you has a history that brought them to the point of hurting you. What could have gone so wrong in their lives that they would do this? What do you know of them that could lead to understanding how this could happen?
Here’s a hint:
It usually boils down to fear, even if it looks like something else. Unless there is mental illness involved they are probably very afraid of being hurt themselves. Often what people project the loudest out into the world is exactly what they feel least inside. So, the manipulator may be afraid of being controlled. Bullies diminish others because they feel unworthy. And, the relationship enders or saboteurs may not feel lovable at the core.
Nurture Compassion – Use this understanding to let yourself start feeling compassion for the person who upset you. They are not all evil or bad. When you look through the eyes of their history you will likely see how they have been wronged or hurt or damaged. Can you feel sorry for what they went through? A yes means your compassion is coming through.
When you are able to move through this 3 step process, the peace of forgiveness is not far away. You can go there in your own time. It doesn’t have to be now. But, what you have done already has softened the hold this person had on you so that you can begin your own healing. Forgiveness will come when the time is right.
CONTACT ME if you would like professional support through a process of forgiveness for something that has happened in your life. I would love to help.
Don’t forget to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you have to say.
There are times when I hear myself or my clients or my friends say things like: I am confused. I am tired. I am sick. I am sad. I am overwhelmed. I bet you hear those words come out of your own mouth too.
Well, they simply aren’t true!
You may FEEL tired or sick or sad or whatever is going on at the time, but it is not who you are.
When you continuously reinforce those self-limiting labels by saying them over and over again, you program yourself into believing they are true.
So, use the words “I am” very carefully. They may be small, but carry incredible power.
And, if you want to know who you really are:
Sit in a quiet place with pen and paper and start writing, “I am …” Fill in the blank with whatever pops into your head. Keep writing until there is nothing left and you have reached the deepest truth. What most people find is that the first answers tend to be negative or superficial and the last connect with the more powerful spiritual truth of who you really are.
This exercise can be extremely grounding and also works well as a meditation where you simply say the words instead of writing them down.
I am. You are.
We are not tired or overwhelmed. We are wise. We are beautiful. We are powerful. We are love.
And, that is the truth!
Imagine being a child again and going to the world’s biggest playground. There is an unlimited supply of high flying swings, exhilarating slides, and magical merry go rounds. Everything you could possibly want is in front of you.
Our minds are just like that playground.
We have an incredibly full range of inner mental experiences available to us. Joy, love, excitement, worry, guilt, peace… The choices are unlimited.
Yet, what most of us tend to do is go to the same tattered and rusted swing over and over again. It isn’t very comfortable and can’t go very high. It may even be the saddest most limiting swing in the entire world of playgrounds.
We tell ourselves life is hard. We worry. Feel guilty. Get stuck in the emotions our negative thoughts bring. And we think that is all there is. The rusty old swing that keeps calling our name.
But, this isn’t how the world of mental playgrounds works.
Negative thoughts have no control over you and are easy to shift. You don’t need to label them as bad, fight them, or judge yourself for having them.
All you have to do is remember that there are already other light filled thoughts in your mind waiting to come out to play. They are always available to you and full of infinite possibilities.
Just turn away from the rusty old broken swing and embrace the full range of your inner playground. Choose a shiny new swing that will provide support and lift you up high. It’s just a thought away.
The question is, are you ready to play?
Here’s a little inspiration:
Don’t forget to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you have to say.
Late last night my phone rang. My friend had come home and found her son dead.
Can you imagine?
I could hear the shock and grief in her voice and it triggered memories of other moments when I had heard those qualities in the voices of myself and people I love.
It was a wake up call for me in more than one way. I was reminded that:
Everything can change in one moment – we will all experience lifequakes that will shake us to our core. Our lives will be forever changed and often diminished in ways we could never have imagined. This is part of our journey here on this earth.
What we can do is live so fully that when our world is shaken or someone leaves us forever we have no regrets.
When I was 22 the man I loved died suddenly in an accident. I had been so busy protecting my heart that I never told him I loved him. My fear kept me from saying the words until it was too late. It took years before I was able to forgive myself and let the regret go.
Live fully. Love fully. Go for your dreams. This is your precious life and every moment of it is a gift.
Be Grateful – sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have until it is gone. Well, maybe on some level we do, but we push back the awareness of it because we have other things on our minds.
When we focus on appreciation and gratitude our lives become richer and more meaningful. We experience things more deeply, recognize blessings when they come, and fill our hearts with love.
This can help us be more resilient when we suffer a loss. There will be shock. And, grief. But eventually the love and gratitude will bring balance and guide us through the process of learning to live again.
My heart goes out to my friend and all that she is experiencing right now. I don’t know why she has been given this as part of her journey on this earth, but I trust that she will be okay.
I can’t save her from the pain or make it all better, but I can be grateful for the wake up call this has offered me and share it with you, hoping that it makes a difference in someone’s life. Could that someone be you?
For some reason, anxiety has been a big subject with my coaching clients this week. Maybe it is the time of year or something in the air, but it seems like a lot of people are feeling anxious.
That makes it the perfect time to share some of my strategies for stopping anxiety in it’s tracks.
4 Count Breathing – With the exception of real emergencies, anxiety is usually about something that may happen in the future or a reaction to something you already experienced. Focusing on your breathing brings you back to the peaceful present moment. And, since your mind can only focus on one thing at a time, counting blocks out the thoughts that feed your anxious moments. It goes like this:
Take a deep breath in as you slowly count to 4
Hold your breath for a count of 4
Breathe out slowly to the count of 4
Pause before your next breath to the count of 4
Challenge Your Anxiety – Most of what worries you never really happens. It is probably not even true. Your mind just takes you on a wild ride of creative bad scenarios. I know mine sure does. When this happens, ask yourself the following questions to bring your focus back into reality:
Give It To God – Many of the things that cause anxiety are not in your control. So, what would happen if you just let the Big Guy handle them? Let him know you are going to put the issue in his hands and will check in with him after a certain period of time. And then, set the issue out of your mind until it is time to check in. It is amazing how well this can work.
I give my concerns over to God every night before I go to sleep. This not only allows for a good night of rest, but can be an excellent preventive measure in the battle with anxiety. I often wake up with the worrisome situation being resolved or the solutions given to me. Sometimes, I just no longer care as it has lost it’s power over me.
Make Friends with It – Anxiety can feel like a big, powerful thing that has control over you, but that is just not true. Many things that trigger anxious thoughts were installed in us when we were little and vulnerable and everything felt more powerful than it was.
When you see anxiety for what it really is you can relate to it in a different way. Even make friends with it. Some of my clients give their anxiety names like Minnie Mouse, Cookie Monster, or Jumpy George. Doing this facilitates seeing it in a different, less controlling way.
When it shows up, talk to it. Thank it for offering to help and let it know that you are all grown up now and have things under control. Have a nice little chat with your new friend and then give him a new assignment, like Protector of Peace or Facilitator of Fun.
Audit Your Input – What you put into your mind and body can contribute to either peace or anxiety. I am often surprised when clients who drink a lot of caffeine or energy drinks don’t realize that this can contribute to their feeling anxious. You can cultivate more peace within by drinking calming teas and allowing your body and mind to work at their normal capacity.
Another way you can set yourself up for feeling tense and worried is by reading or watching movies and shows that are full of violence or tense energy, especially before bed. If these are your preferred forms of entertainment give yourself a cushion between them and your bed time to let your body and mind calm down. Even better than that, switch to more peaceful, fun, or meaningful entertainment. I once read that our bodies react to violence we watch or read as if it is really happening. Do you really want to put yourself through that?
Practice Peaceful Habits – Creating habits and practices that support your calm and well-being can lead to an anxiety free life. Let go of what no longer serves you and bring in people and things that feed your soul. Many of my clients find that simplifying their lives by de-cluttering and learning to say no make a big difference. Others, will swear that exercise, art, meditation, prayer, yoga, or music have minimized the anxiety in their lives. Find what works for you and make a commitment to doing it regularly.
These tool have proven successful for my clients and myself. I am confident that they can help you too. Go ahead, give them a try. You will find more peace when you do.
If you would like coaching support to deal with the anxiety in your life, I would love to help. Contact Me
Persistence comes in handy. Without it I never would have the success I have today or even have figured out what was wrong with my printer this morning.
I’ve used persistence to help find answers when they were elusive and often felt inspired by Marie Forleo’s message that “everything is figureoutable”.
But then, something happened that made me realize choosing not to try and figure things out can also be an empowering choice. Here’s how it went down: Continue reading
Yesterday, I watched Wayne Dyer with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday and as usual felt inspired by what he had to say. Later in the day I learned he had passed on, or as he would say – left his human body behind.
Since then memories have been coming forward of how his words have touched my life over the years. He is the one I credit with starting my journey toward healing and becoming who I am today. Continue reading
Call me old fashioned, but I think there are some things best done with pen and paper. Don’t get me wrong, I have hundreds of documents in my computer, but I’ve seen real magic happen through the act of writing the way it’s been done for years. Continue reading
Your brain is a great tool, but sometimes your mind can drive you crazy. It can get into repetitive loops with the kinds of thoughts that bring you down or hold you back. Or, it can just spin out of control. If you are like most human beings, you are experiencing both.
Here is a simple way to retrain your brain and let go of these negative patterns of thinking: Continue reading
Things happen in life that cause pain and are hard to understand. This is true.
When they happen it is important to allow yourself to feel your feelings, which often include sadness, anger, or loss. When you allow your feelings to process, you will be able to heal and eventually move forward. Continue reading
My little 3 year old cat Joey is very sick. He almost died. And, still could.
Being totally human, I went off the deep end with worry. I created stories about terrible outcomes and took his fear and upset personally, especially when he seemed to not trust me anymore. It broke my heart. Continue reading
One of the tools I use often and recommend to my clients is a free form style of writing that is like venting on paper. You simply take paper and pen and start writing about what is concerning you.
No rules. No editing. You can let the four letter words fly!
This stream of consciousness writing style is a powerful tool for processing the energy of feeling hurt, angry, or fearful. It brings clarity out of confusion and is a great vehicle for brainstorming.
My clients and I have had some pretty incredible experiences with this tool. One of them happened to me just the other day.
As I was writing about a challenge in my life, the pen I was using started to run out of ink. My writing was getting fainter and fainter, seeming to take the issue away with it. I laughed to myself about the hidden message I was receiving and went to find a new pen. When I came back to my journal, I realized that I felt clear and ready to write a new, more empowering story.
You never know what is going to happen when writing from your heart and soul.
Confusion, emotions, and conflict can block you from seeing the truth and opportunities before you. Free-form writing allows you to process what you are feeling and clear out the static in your mind and heart. It is from this place of inner freedom that answers begin to appear and we can create whole-hearted lives.
Whether you are in a relationship or not, you deserve some special time for loving self-care. When you take the time to nurture yourself, you will be more loving with those around you. It all begins with you. And, if you are like most of us, you have been neglecting yourself way too long.
Take some time this Valentine’s Day month for you. Only you. Do something that feeds your soul, lifts you up, or gives you a sense of peace. Remember that you are the most important person in your life, and you deserve to be nurtured and loved.
How? I asked my some of my clients and friends about their favorite self-nurturing activities and this is what they came up with:
Whatever you choose to do, remember that you are your own Best Valentine and treat yourself accordingly.
Do you have any self-nurturing practices not listed here? I would love to hear about them. You can share by leaving a comment below.