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

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So, I Just Hired a Life Coach…

imagination

Surprised? No need to be. Coaches need coaching too, and we know that it works.

Going through this process of hiring and starting with a new coach reminded me what it feels like to be a client. It made me a little nervous. Why?

Hiring a coach is making a commitment.

  • To yourself
  • To your coach
  • To taking action
  • To facing down fears, resistance, and false belief systems

Why did I hire a coach?  Continue reading

The Art of Waiting In Line – How I Survived My Visit to the Post Office

People waiting in line impatiently

There I was at the post office.  I had just walked a few miles up and down hills in my neighborhood and I was covered with a sheen of sweat.  According to my reflection in the window, my hair was standing up on end.  It was one of those lay low times when I was hoping not to be seen and instead I ended up stuck in a long, very slow line, with a lot of angry people.

There were conversations up and down the line full of complaints against the post office, government, and the world in general.  The worst offender was in front of me.  He had a big voice and used it quite effectively.  I knew I didn’t want to listen to negativity while I waited, so I engaged him in a conversation.  When I mentioned that it sounded like he didn’t like being there and I was wondering if he was going to choose to leave, I think I might have upset him.  It was probably my calm and gentle nature that saved me.

I shared with him that when I walked in and saw the line I knew I had a choice and mailing my granddaughter’s birthday gift felt worth staying.  And then, I asked him about his family and shifted the conversation to something more positive.  I did throw in a few coachy moments, though, hoping something might stick and help him feel more positive in the future.

Waiting in line is a choice.  What you do while waiting is also a choice.  It’s really quite simple, but also an art.

Here is how you can up level your waiting experiences.

Evaluate the situation impartially.  What are the facts here?  How long are you likely to wait? How important is the end result to you?  Can you change the situation for the better?

Make a choice.  Either you choose to get in the line or you don’t.  Once the decision is made, stop thinking about it unless you get new information to re-evaluate.

Find ways to make the best of the situation.  Avoid joining in with the complainers.  It will only make you feel bad and lower your energy.

Choose something to do while in line.  The ideas I came up with at the post office included:

  • People watch
  • Sing the national anthem
  • Give my mind an assignment to work on
  • Let it roam
  • Make farting noises
  • Practice mindful meditation
  • Do stretching exercises
  • Engage others in conversation

(It seems I chose the higher road.)

It is easy to resist these moments of inconvenience, yet that very resistance that entices you is the real source of your discomfort. You can actually have fun in line.  Meet great people.  Get things done.  Fantasize.  Or, according to this Huffington Post article, even make it a joyful experience.

The next time you find yourself one of many in a long line, don’t forget that it is a choice you felt had value.  Instead of dwelling on the negative, see it as an adventure and find a way to use the time to your advantage.  Who knows?  Maybe there is someone in that line you are meant to meet or being there is preventing a car accident you might have been in.

What I do know for sure is that developing the art of waiting in line and recognizing it as a choice, feels more peaceful and empowering than any of the other alternatives.

I’m curious.  What are your favorite things to do when while you wait?  You can share in the comments below …

20 Ways to Stay Centered During the Holidays

relaxed woman during holidays

  1. Create holiday intentions and review them regularly
  2. Focus on the meaning of the holiday
  3. Pray or meditate daily
  4. Forget about people pleasing
  5. Enjoy uplifting holiday music
  6. Spend time being fully present with the ones you love
  7. Do something to nurture yourself each day
  8. Spend time in nature
  9. Read something that inspires you
  10. Be gentle with yourself and the people around you
  11. Focus on how you want to be, not what you want to do
  12. Eliminate guilt by re-evaluating expectations
  13. Dance, sing, and play through the holidays
  14. Give from your heart
  15. Find a way to saturate yourself in gratitude
  16. Stay centered in the present moment
  17. Keep plenty of breathing space in your schedule
  18. Give your body the rest, movement, and nutrition it needs
  19. Establish firm, but loving boundaries with people who challenge you
  20. Stay organized and on top of things by using lists, apps, or whatever works for you

What will you do to stay relaxed this holiday season?