7 Reasons Why You Should Write Your Life Story

pen writing memoir autobiography life story

I love listening to people talk about their life story.  As a coach, hearing my clients’ stories is an important part of my work. Their histories often reveal what has shaped their lives today and also bring light to just how powerful, loving, and beautiful my clients really are. They may not be able to see it, but I sure can.

Gradually, this love of stories began to pull me into the idea of helping people honor their histories by writing them down, and I became certified as a guided autobiography (GAB) class instructor. Continue reading

How to Create a Simple Heartfelt Life

stones simple heartfelt life

Over the years I have felt drawn to the idea of creating a program or new foundation for my work around either simple heartfelt living or supporting women in midlife and beyond. Maybe, a combination of both. There have been several times when I created outlines and ideas that still reside in notebooks filed away, waiting to be shared with the world.

It happened again this morning as I was writing in my journal, another outline surrounded by heartfelt words of what I really want to share. I was surprised when I realized I keep creating the same outline over and over again with slight variations.

And then it was clear, the reason this idea keeps coming forward is that it is really about the life that I want to create for myself. And, share with you. A simple life, full of meaning and based on the guidance of my heart.  Continue reading

50 Ways to Say No Gracefully and Effectively

just say no carved in tree

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 great relationship

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 sign

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

feeling upset little girl crying 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

writing a letter from the heart writing letters from the heart

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.” They seemed transformed when they became grandmothers, beaming brightly as they obsessively shared pictures of their new family members everywhere they went.

And they were right. Becoming a grandmother was wonderful. More than wonderful. 

Even though my oldest grandson is in college now, the moment I first saw him is branded in my heart and mind forever.

Everything fell away in that moment and my heart opened beyond anything I could have imagined. I was experiencing a miracle of life and love.

No more guarding and protecting my heart. No more sitting on the sidelines. I was in! All in! 

The same feelings came forward when his sister and brother were born, but that first time was like a shock to my system because I didn’t know I could love that freely and at such a deep level. I hadn’t realized how big my heart really was.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my son more than anything, but we were separated when he was born because he was premature and didn’t get to experience those first magical moments together. And then, the struggle of being a single parent kept me busy and my upbringing in a family that didn’t show affection held me back. So even though I loved him more than life itself, I didn’t have the skills or freedom to demonstrate it at the time.

That is why being a grandmother is different than being a mom. We are free to just love without the daily stress and worries. We can see things from a broader perspective supported by our years of experience and our only job is to be there fully for these new precious beings that come into our lives.

Our role as grandmothers is not to be taken lightly. We are there to listen deeply and support in a way that is not clouded by day to day family living. I made a point of spending one on one time with each grandchild and listening carefully to what they had to say. They often revealed things they had kept to themselves or their parents didn’t have time to hear. They had more uninterrupted space in which to be heard and knew that they would be loved, no matter what they said or did.

There is a moment I remember when my grandchildren were young that symbolizes for me what being a grandma is about.  

As I walked into their house for a visit, they all ran over to hug me at the same time and ended up knocking me down onto the floor. Their parents were yelling at them to stop and I remember looking up and trying to figure out what was wrong. Because I was in heaven. Pure bliss. Wrestled to the floor with love.

And that is why women seem to be transformed when they become grandmothers. T

Those little magical creatures we call babies and grandchildren are more powerful than you can ever imagine. They break through our armor, heal our hearts, and open them beyond anything we imagined possible.  . And, that is something I will forever be grateful for.

If you are a grandmother, you know what I mean.

Related Posts:

Living the Small Town Life

Transform Your Anger, Pain, and Fear Into Something More Meaningful

The Gift of Writing Letters from the Heart

Please feel free to comment on this post. I would love to hear what you have to say about becoming a grandmother.

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 Simple, Proven Way to Clear Your Mind of Negative Thoughts

negative thoughts sad woman under umbrella

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

Clear Your Mind and Heart with Free-Form Writing

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.

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.

Having Trouble Forgiving? Try This…

forgiving forgiveness flower in hand

The concept of forgiveness is very noble and we are told it is the right thing to do, but sometimes it is not so easy.

Even when we know that forgivness is not saying the other person was right we may still crave completion, an apology, a way to prevent it from happening to someone else, retribution, or even just understanding what happened. Continue reading