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 Have a Great Relationship

swans in love great relationship relationships

When you experience challenges in your primary relationship it can impact all areas of your life, including the people around you. Building up resentment only makes you hyper-reactive and clouds your perspective.

So, when your relationship is feeling “off”, use these Principles for a Great Relationship to return to the foundation of love and partnership that will make your life feel blessed. 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

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

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

 

The Gift of Writing Letters from the Heart

pen paper writing letters letter writing

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 loved writing letters to us. I came across a few of them 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 write or type her own letters, and the ones she received from others 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 been writing letters from the heart. As I write them I am flooded with memories and appreciation for the person I am writing to. Their responses are incredible. They cry. I 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 writing letters from the heart. 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.

Related Posts:

Return to Gratitude

4 Ways to Attract and Keep Great Relationships

Giving Gifts from the Heart

What It Feels Like to Become a Grandmother

grandmother my grandkids grandma

Christopher, Thomas, and Becca

Nothing prepared me for what was going to happen when my first grandchild was born. Friends would get these mysterious smiles and say, “Just wait, it will be wonderful.”

And it was. More than wonderful.  Continue reading

4 Ways to Attract and Keep Great Relationships

relationships couple holding hands
In my line of work as a Life Coach, I hear a lot about relationships. My clients want to know how to fix broken ones, sustain and grow good ones, and even how to attract them in the first place.

Relationships are a hot topic in the coaching world. At least with my clients they are.

Whether they be friends, family, or romantic partners, the quality of your relationships shape your life. Mutual caring and shared intentions can lift you up, while drama, lack of skill, and disrespect can make your days miserable.

You can’t necessarily change the people around you, but you can show up yourself in ways that honor your relationships and demonstrate how you want to be treated. When you set the bar, other people are more likely to live up to it.

So, here is what I suggest.

Be Yourself: You don’t want to be laying on your death bed surrounded by all the wrong people. And, the only way the right people who will love you for who you are will be able to find you is if you are authentically you. This can be scary. Real scary. Maybe one of the biggest risks you will ever take in your life. And yet, the risk is worth the blessings of a life filled with true love and friendship.

Be Fully Present – Put down the phone, stop watching TV and be with the ones you love. Really be with them. Give them the gift of looking them in the eye and listening deeply to what they have to say. Let them know they are a priority in your life. You may be surprised by all of the magical moments you experience that could have easily passed you by.

Keep Your Agreements – Seems obvious, doesn’t it? Yet, my clients talk about broken agreements all the time. Little agreements matter, too If you can’t keep one, let the other person know and renegotiate. It’s as simple as that.

Express Appreciation – In an earlier blog post I shared that I lost someone I loved without ever saying those three little words – I love you. I will always regret keeping those words to myself. Saying a simple thank you or letting the people in your life know how special they are to you is something that should happen daily. Believe me, you won’t regret it.

Practicing these principles will lead to relationships that honor everyone involved and that you will want to keep forever. It will be a blessing when you are in your final days to know that you are surrounded by the right people and that your relationships are rich with love and respect.

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

Related posts:

Having Trouble Forgiving? Try This.

How to Tell When it is Time to End a Friendship

How to Cultivate Inner Peace

A Unique Way to Deal with Challenging People

challenging people couple fighting

When you are feeling challenged and frustrated by people around you, changing how you see them can make all the difference.  You can adjust your view of people, events, or things to make them seem more or less powerful and make it easier, even entertaining, to be around them.

Just imagine what would happen if you visualized the troubling person in front of you as a:

  • 2 year old having a tantrum
  • Cartoon character
  • Hologram
  • Character in a fairy tale or myth
  • Naked
  • Animal in the zoo
  • Mouse sized version of themselves with a little squeaky voice

You can flip the view and use this idea in a loving way that brings forward compassion for the other person, by seeing them as:

  • The beautiful baby or child they once were
  • A hissing cat or barking dog that is afraid and really just wants to be loved

Visualizing words flashing on their foreheads like hurt, afraid, insecure, or sad, can also help you feel more understanding and diminish the impact their actions have on you.

The most powerful way to view yourself and the people around you is to remember that we are all souls.  Our souls are perfect, but they get covered up by our fears, pain, and reactions to the things that happen in our lives.  Remembering the true nature of the troubled and troublesome people around you can support you in interacting in a more comfortable and loving way.