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

How to Create a More Happy and Positive Life

positive life positive woman with pompoms

We all have our ups and downs, but some of us have more of a roller coaster ride through life than others. While there is little you can do to influence events that happen outside of you, there are many ways you can shift how you feel and create a more positive life.

Here are some of my favorites: Continue reading

A 5 Step Process for Overcoming Life Challenges

angel sculpture for life challenges

Life challenges of any size can cause us to be reactive and clutter our mind with dis-empowering thoughts. Sometimes, we feel like we can’t even think at all, even though these are the most important times to see things clearly and respond wisely.

The following steps are ones I created for my clients and myself to focus on when we face life challenges. They have worked well for us and I hope they will prove valuable for you, too. Continue reading

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 that doesn’t mean you need to let it get you down.

As I write this, our country and our world are full of conflict. People against people. Religion against religion. And, politics as a free for all.  It breaks my heart that words like “hatred” are part of our everyday news. It’s hard to stay positive with so much ugliness going on. Continue reading

What My Trees Taught Me about Perseverance

tree fence pinwheel persevere perseverance © 2017 Linda Luke

I have always been amazed by the trees along the fence line of my yard. They managed to persevere and shape themselves around the obstacles in their way as they grew.

Many of them have chain link fence that goes right through them. Others have poles or pieces of brick integrated into them in odd places. Continue reading

It’s How You Respond to the Issue that Counts

Joey Chloe lesson respond react

I have fleas.

It’s strange, because I have no idea where they came from. I live alone with my 2 indoor-only fur babies, Chloe and Joey.

By the time I saw the first flea they were already taking over. So, I gave my cats flea control meds, vacuumed a lot, washed slip covers and bedding, used non-toxic products, and then switched my cats to another medicine when the first one didn’t work.

I still had fleas. 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

Friday Favorites: Healing Depression, Feeling Unstoppable and More

Friday Favorites lifecoachlinda.com healing depression

It’s Friday and I have some more favorites to share. Things like healing depression, supporting a hurting friend, and feeling unstoppable. Information we can all use.

So, here goes: Continue reading

The Simple Truth about Fear, Worry, and Anxiety

child afraid fear worry

Some of my clients are shorter than me, but only because they are kids. We talk about things like developing their own code of honor, strategies for school, and family issues. I’m often surprised though, about the level of worry and anxiety they are experiencing at such a young age and am grateful I can help them.

Coaching kids can be rewarding and fun. They are curious, engaged, and open to new ideas. They also challenge me to keep things simple and create metaphors that help them remember.

It occurred to me that we adults can benefit from these simple metaphors and perspectives, too. So, here is my child’s version of talking about worry and the fear it creates. Continue reading

5 Friday Favorites – Information, Tips, and Resources for Your Life

 

Friday Favorites lifecoachlinda.com

One of my clients once called me a “human browser”. She said she could count on me to connect her with people, resources, and information that would support her at any given time.

I know I’m human, but the browser thing I’m not so sure about…

And yet, sometimes there are things I would like to share. And so, I thought I would play with the idea of gathering a few of them together for you. If it goes well, I may continue this Friday Favorites idea, so be sure and let me know what you think.

Here are my favorites for this week: Continue reading

How to Get Back on Track after Falling into Inertia

 

sad angel getting back on track

Don’t get me wrong. I love my new life here in small town Missouri, but it hasn’t always been a smooth ride.

Several months ago I fell while out for a walk and hurt my arm. I could hardly move for a couple of days and then settled into a long journey of healing. There were many limitations to what I could do for what felt like a very, very long time.

Last month I caught the flu, or should I say it caught me. There must be something about these Missouri  bugs because I didn’t get get sick in California, at least not for a long time. This flu knocked me down and it took several weeks to start feeling well again.

Add to that some plumbing problems and all of those little things called life and it feels like I got off track. Really off track…  Continue reading

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

The Power of Gratitude

gratitude grateful

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

How to Recover Quickly When Something Upsets You

upset upsets you

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 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

When Someone Upsets You – Remember This

crying little girl, upset upsets

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 who upsets you. 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 upsets you, it is important to remember three things: 

Who is Responsible for What: Everyone is responsible for their own behavior. It’s between them and God. You do not have to be in the middle.What you are responsible for is your reaction. You get to choose how you respond and feel in any situation. This is good news, because the point of power for healing and shifting is within you.

There is a Reason They Do What They Do: Behavior patterns often come from our histories. Someone who talks a lot may not have felt heard as a child. A person who puts others down, likely feels unworthy. And, people with more passive characteristics may have felt a need to hide.  Being aware that people are the way they are for a reason can help you feel more compassionate and diminish your reactions to them.

Everyone Deserves a Blessing: We all have different journeys in this adventure called life. Some are not as pretty as others. My clients who live in the South joke that you can say anything about someone as long as you follow it with – “God bless her soul”.  My radical idea is to think those very words about the people who upset you the most.  Just bless them. And if you need to, move on.

Related Posts:

How to Have Great Relationships

Let Your Soul Guide Your Healing

Friday Favorites: Healing Depression, Feeling Unstoppable, and More

 

My First Big Storm in Small Town Missouri

storm

My son and daughter-in-law’s van after the storm

Just when I thought my transition from Southern California to a small town in Missouri was moving along gracefully, Mother Nature sent a welcome committee to test my commitment.

We were hit by a storm with 70 mph winds while I was still unpacking. It was the worst storm in decades and left most of our town (including me) without power for a couple days.

Sounds bad, right?

Not as much as you would think. There was a moment when I was standing in the middle of the street after hearing some of my roof shingles were found in someone’s yard and felt totally lost. My cell phone was not working. My landline, wifi, and everything in my home was electric and had no juice. I didn’t know what to do.

But, not for long.

A man I had never met before offered to help. He borrowed a tarp from one of my neighbors and nailed it to my roof. I had a rescuer. Can’t remember that ever happening to me before. A few days later he came back and replaced the shingles and wouldn’t even let me pay him for the work.

I was impressed with how quickly people came together to help each other. Chain saws were in action within minutes of the storm passing and every one worked together without regard to who owned what tree or property.

People here are resilient.  And, I learned I am too.

Without electricity I couldn’t cook, get water from my refrigerator, boil tap water if needed, and my new tankless hot water heater didn’t work.  Someone showed up at my door with a case of bottled water, which was a blessing since the stores were shut down. But mostly, I simply did what needed to be done.

I felt calm and capable, like the rest of the people in this town.

My search for wifi the second day so I could work was fruitless, so I let go of my attachment to getting work done. When something like this storm happens, you do what you can and accept what you can’t. I guess the serenity prayer would work well in times like these.

You might be surprised to hear that I am grateful for the experience of this storm. I now have a sense of how well I can adapt and accept situations outside of my control.  I also learned who my neighbors really are. No one complained. They just took action.  And, I am proud to live in a place where people take pride in their town and come together in times of need.

Photo of my son’s car at the top was taken by my daughter-in-law, Alexis Hudson.

Related Posts:

Living the Small Town Life

Leaving California

Scenes from a Small Town Morning Walk

The Power of the Pause and How It Can Empower Your Life

woman taking a break pause

Things move pretty fast in our world these days and that means we are moving fast too.  In order to keep, up we may feel we have to act and respond quickly to what is before us.  And, that can be a problem.

We end up reacting to what is happening in the moment.  We react instead of respond, and we do it without taking time to check within for what we really, really, really want.

Hitting the pause button and taking a moment to connect with your values and intuition allows you to act in ways that are more in alignment with your heart and soul.

Here are some ways that you can integrate the power of the pause into your life:

  • When you are craving unhealthy foods
  • When you want to lash out or react to something someone says or does
  • Taking time to gather your thoughts so you can communicate clearly and concisely
  • Making choices that are aligned with your core values and dreams
  • Pausing and setting an intention for what you are about to do
  • When you feel tired, sad, or upset and need to center yourself to be more effective
  • Taking time to question limiting beliefs that are making you fearful or keeping you stuck
  • When you want to spend money in a way that is not in alignment with your financial goals
  • When you feel tempted to do anything that you might wish you hadn’t later 

The power of the pause allows you to operate from the core of who you are and consciously create the life and relationships you desire.  And… it can prevent a whole lot of regrets…

Where in your life can you benefit from using the power of the pause?

Related Posts:

Try These Bedtime Practices for a Peaceful Night’s Sleep

How to Bring Balance to Your Relationship with Time

Living the Small Town Life

A Cat, A Lizard and a Life Lesson

answers are closer than you think  life lesson lifecoachlinda

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 offer a life lesson and 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.

She (he) certainly had a life lesson to share.

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.

Slow Down to Get More Done

go slow down sign

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?

I have noticed an interesting pattern.  There have been times when my energy was low and I told my friend (who is also the person I share my daily wins with) that I was going to give myself a break and just putter through the day.

What happened was always surprising.

I would feel relaxed, peaceful, centered and still get more done than on the days when I hit the ground running.

When I slowed down, I accomplished more.  It felt good, too.

Now, the trick is to remember and embrace this art of puttering through my days.  One of my strategies is to adopt a new theme song.

I invite you to join me in groovy land.  All you have to do is slow down.