I have a friend who has been stuck in a rut for some time now. He took some advice from another life coach that he talked to. (It’s not good to coach your own friends…. they’ll get mad at you for calling them on their crap) This person gave him a list of different things to do for two weeks to “cleanse his bad luck” or karma or what have you.
This person uses modes that I don’t use myself, things like lighting certain colored candles and pouring salt, it’s all very pagan traditions… which is fine, just not my cup ‘a. Anyway… the whole point is to get the person to try new things and to spend more time in their own head. There is a lot of sitting in silence and meditating.. which I do believe in.
One of the days he had to eat as a vegan. No animal products. No meats, no cheese, no butter. He had no idea what was left. He was at my house for the evening, kind enough to watch my son while I had to go out for a bit. I told him that I had some pasta that he could have. His response… “Sauce has meat”…. um… not all sauce. Not my tomato and basil sauce… and “Why is the spaghetti different colors?”. It’s a tri-colored, veggie based pasta….. Nope… he wasn’t going to try it.
Now the whole point of this exercise is to try new things. To get out of your own head. To believe that things can be done differently. Not eating animal products for one day is not going to change your health or do anything for you except… get you to think outside the box and try something new. That’s how we change.
Now I love my friend, and this is not written to knock him.. as I said, never coach a friend, they will take criticism as an insult, but it is to point out that you only get out of coaching what you put into it. You can only change your life as much as you’re willing to change yourself. I have had this problem myself for years. I had spent over a decade denying my habits and my weight issues. I spent many years in crappy relationships hoping the other person would change. I am in no way perfect, but since losing my father I have learned that you get from life what you put into it. I want my son to learn the good habits and the best self thoughts.
If you want to be healthy.. you have to BE HEALTHY. If you want to be rich, you have to do the work.. you have to find your niche, you have to take a chance. If you want a fabulous relationship.. you have to let go of the old ones. You can’t change other people.. and you can’t change your life without… CHANGING YOUR LIFE.
It amazes me how many people that I speak to who say that they believe in science don’t actually believe in possibility… They only believe in the science that has been proven thus far. Which includes many “theories” that have just as much evidence as others but doesn’t sound woowoo and therefore is more believable.
For instance, my favourite topic, Quantum Physics. There are certain elements that are completely acceptable now that even Einstein thought were completely ridiculous. We now KNOW that matter can be both waves and particles, this has been proven in a series of experiments. It has been proven that matter characteristics change depending on whether or not it is being observed and that there is a certain amount of human consciousness that goes into the experiment when a person watches it. This, again has been proven by blind experiments. Yet, when someone says that humans have the ability to change or create their own reality this is considered crazy.
It has been proven that our thoughts create chemical reactions in our brain. If we think thoughts that stress us out our glands secrete cortisol… also known as the “fight or flight” hormone. If we think sad, depressing thoughts that stress us out our hormone levels spike and we physically feel all of the symptoms that correlate.
Then, of course what do we do? We listen to sad music, sit in the dark and eat crap food. This creates more cortisol, the darkness creates melatonin (a hormone that helps us sleep) and our insulin level spike and crash… all of which makes us more stressed out and the cycle continues. Some think that eating chocolate will help as it “mimics the feeling of love”, which is true to an extent. There is a chemical in chocolate called phenethylamine which stimulates the nervous system activating endorphins and creating a euphoric feeling… do you know what else does that? Exercise, and thinking happy thoughts… neither of which leave you with a sugar (insulin) crash later.
There is a huge epidemic going around now with opioids. I remember the first time that I was prescribed one. I had impacted wisdom teeth one of which cracked a tooth in front of it and caused excruciating pain. When the doctor gave me the script he told me that “it won’t kill the pain, but you just won’t care anymore” and that’s it.. that’s how it works. Opioids trigger a release of dopamine that just makes one feel happy.
After I had my son via C-section the nurses were adamant that I needed something.. Vicodin, Perks, Oxy… anything to help with the pain. I told them that the Motrin was just fine. I wasn’t in a hurry to fuzzy my brain with a newborn and except for the actual movement of standing and sitting when ab muscles were strained the most I really didn’t feel much discomfort. As it turns out holding a baby, feeling the love, and bonding by breastfeeding actually releases oxytocin into the system. The thoughts alone create the hormones that amplify the feelings. This is a fact.
Now I’m not saying that there is no need for pain killers. I do understand that some people have severe chronic pain and that it makes it very difficult to do things like exercise and think happy thoughts and that their bodies can’t make enough endorphins to counteract the pain. I also know that this can be both physical and psychological pain, but that doesn’t mean that you stop trying or that you let the darkness take over.
I read an article the other day about how “thinking positive” actually hurts and is counter productive because lying to ones self can actually cause more harm and people need to feel their pain. Well, I half agree. I agree that lying to yourself will cause more problems.. and I agree that people need to deal with their issues head on. What I don’t agree with is the author’s idea of thinking positive.
Positive thinking is NOT pretending everything is great when it sucks. If you have a crappy job, are in an abusive relationship, or just lost someone or something dear to you then you can just think, “Oh, everything is so wonderful”. That’s not positive thinking.. that’s delusional thinking. Positive thinking is acknowledging whatever bad thing is or has happened and understanding that it is not the end and that it can get better and spending your time and energy on thinking about the good things. Either remembering the lost loved one and the good that person has done.. or thinking about your next option with a job or relationship.. but never giving up.
The more that a person thinks about their future and their life the way they want it, the more “Happy Hormones” their brain produces. The more happy hormones a person has the more likely they are to DO something.. anything. They will start to believe that they deserve more. This brings us back to the Quantum Physics. Your consciousness creates your reality. The world is as you perceive it. If you only see the bad things the world is bad. If you only see the good the world is good. The more good you see.. the more good you’ll do.. and so on.
Don’t get me wrong. I am the first to say that not every claim of rape or sexual assault is true. I have actually lost friends over this. I believe that any accusations should be investigated, and there are lots of women who just cry rape when they regret what happened… however… when something like the Harvey Weinstein or Bill Cosby or Donald Trump controversy come out this is not one woman regretting her behavior or wanting a pay out.
Most of these women have a life of their own at this point and have nothing to gain and everything to lose by making these accusations. People often ask, “why didn’t they come forward sooner?” and I can understand that question, but I can also understand the answer. I can understand why a women wants to keep her mouth shut because her career is on the line. I can understand that someone, without the power, doesn’t have the overwhelming urge to give up everything no matter how right they may be.
The interesting thing that I have found is that men have no problem using the excuse that “That’s how things were back then”. It was normal for women to be abused and have absolutely no power to fight back and everyone was ok with that, but when women say that’s why they didn’t come forward they get called liars and laughed at.
So which was it? Either men have this as an excuse and, therefore, so do women.. or men don’t have this.. and none of their behavior is OK. I was raised by a man.. with a big brother and now I have a son. I have been surrounded by men my whole life. I remember watching my dad watch women walk by and his girlfriend laughing about it. I was raised to know that I have the right to stick up for myself. I was raised that I was a strong, powerful woman. And I was raised to know that not everyone was.
So, how about we stop blaming victims.. and start listening to facts. No matter which finger is pointed.. or when.
My son was at his therapist’s office the other day. In his little life he has had a lot of loss and sometimes we all need help coping with the grief that comes from that. Since he’s so young he spends most of his time to just playing and avoiding questions that make him feel uncomfortable. This last week his therapist noticed that he was apologizing a lot. This is not like him. He usually apologizes when necessary but not unusually so. She mentioned that it is a sign of anxiety and feeling guilty about things.
I thought about this for a while, and tried to evaluate what had been going on in his life lately that may have made him feel that way. After a bit I realized that it wasn’t his anxiety at all. It was his God father’s. I love my friend and he is a wonderful person.. but he apologizes to inanimate objects when he trips. I told him that I was getting ready to take my son to school and his response was, “I’m sorry”.. for what? Not only did it not involve any behavior that he had to apologize for.. my son going back to school is a good thing. We are all excited.
My friend blamed this behavior on being in the customer service industry… but that’s not the case. There is no need to apologize for good things happening even in customer service. In his case he is always waiting for the other shoe to drop. He is always expecting bad news.. and he is always first to take blame.. even for things that aren’t his fault.
I don’t know where he learned this, but I want to make sure that my son doesn’t pick up this habit. I want my son to apologize for things he’s really sorry for, not just pay lip service. I want my son to feel comfortable in his own skin and with his own actions. I want my son to look forward to people’s news. I want “Guess what?” to be a question of excitement not dread. It’s important to teach empathy and awareness.. it’s something else to create anxiety and guilt.. or a fear of being wrong just for being oneself.
Last night our church did a family night and showed the Disney movie “Brave”. I have to admit it was the first time that I had seen it. My son had been asking to see it for a few weeks after seeing an picture somewhere and when I saw the Facebook post from my church I thought… free… fabulous!!
Anyway, the church had their interpretation of the movie and about reconciliation and forgiveness and all the good things that go along with the good book, but as a Life Coach I had a very different view of the movie.
Clearly the girl had issues with her mother. And obviously neither of them handled themselves properly, and to be honest I was way more on the girl’s side than her mother’s… even though I am a mother now.. and obviously always right.
But the thing that grabbed me about the movie were the wisps. The Merdina was fierce and powerful and willing to fight for her own destiny… yet as soon as the wisps appeared she gave up on her own will and followed them into the unknown for no other reason than because they were “supposed” to lead her to her destiny.
Wasn’t that what this fiery red head trying to fight against and establish for herself? Her own destiny. People in movies love to put their fate in magic. In some greater power than themselves. Ariel gave up her own voice for magic. Cinderella couldn’t go to the ball on her own, she needed her Fairy God Mother to create a new life for her. Aladdin needed the Genie and so on… and by the end of the movie they all realize that they had the power within from the beginning… that’s a Wizard of Oz thing for you.
Yet in real life it’s the same. We grow up on these movies. Being taught that we have the power to create the life we want, yet we are always turning to someone else. We need someone to give us a job. We need someone to love us, to marry us. We need someone or something to create our worth and our destiny. Can’t we, as a society, finally realize that if we want the life we desire… we need to decide.. and do it ourselves.
“Regrets… I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention…” We all love the old blues tune, but how many of us think about regrets… I don’t mean past ones, I mean the ones that we are creating right now.
The old saying is that you regret things that you didn’t do more than the things that you do, yet most of us live on the safe side where we don’t put ourselves out there for fear of>>> FAILURE!!! I mean what could be worse than that! Ummm, anything?
Let’s be honest, not doing things that we want to do is pretty much the definition of failure. I mean let’s say you want to ask a person out… but you fear that person won’t reciprocate your feelings so you never ask… in the end your fear is that you won’t get the person… which choice is more likely to get you what you want… asking or not asking. And by asking at least you get the answer and you’ll never wonder “what if?”.
Or let’s say you always wanted to break out and start your own business, but you fear that you won’t make it so you continue at the same old crap job you’ve been stuck at for… well, let’s face it, an eternity. Maybe the business will fail, and maybe you’ll realize that you have a lot to learn before you can start your own business, maybe you’ll have some debt to pay off, maybe you’ll have to take some classes, or find someone that you can work with that can handle the part of the job that you don’t excel at… ok… then you know what to do the next time… but you can always get another “job”, and you can always make more money…. you can’t get time back.
If you wait till you’re “Ready”… you’ll never get there. And there are your regrets. This is it.. this is your life.. you only get one.. there are no do-overs… what do you want to regret? Trying, learning, and trying again… living the life you love…. or staying in stagnation, living in fear because… “what if?”
When was the last time that you did something outside of your comfort zone? Most of us live our lives by routine, which isn’t entirely bad. There is a lot to be said for security and piece of mind, but there is also more to life.
When was the last time you did something spontaneous? I have a friend that posted to Facebook, “Hey girls, who has a passport, a couple hundred bucks and Wed and Thursday off?”… That was it, she was headed to Canada for a road trip and looking for volunteers. I remember going with her to NY City a few years back… pre-baby days.
I loved this post. I loved even more that she had real responses. People who just wanted to enjoy their life without worrying about the “What ifs?”.
Now, not all of us have that much flexibility. I know I have work, my kid has school, and things aren’t as they were 5-10 years ago for me, but that doesn’t stop me from the occasional weekend run. Have kid will travel. It also doesn’t make me feel stuck to a job that I hate, or a situation that makes me miserable.
When my father passed a few years back I could have panicked. I was working p/t at the time and I was a stay at home single mother. My father was the breadwinner, though I paid rent to him and helped him with his health problems, my father was the one who made the real money. When he passed I could have freaked out and stuck my kid in daycare and gone back to the grind that I hated! I was offered a job making great money but working 50-60 hours a week. That is not what I wanted for my family.
I managed to find jobs that I could continue to either do from home, or at least bring my son with me. I started studying health and wellness. I got certified in Life Coaching. I made tough decisions that didn’t guarantee financial success, but offered me much more personal success.
Now my son is entering Pre-K. Still one more year till full-time school, but I am planning out the best way to fit his schedule into my schedule. To me, spending time with my son is the most important thing I can do. And living a life that helps others get and stay healthy so they don’t have to face the horrors of diabetes that I did with my father.. and lose someone or themselves too soon. I love that my life is about helping others realize their true potential. I love that my job is about living life to the fullest.
What is it that you love about your life? What do you hate? And what are you going to do about it?
Everyday we make choices. Some of them are based on wants. Some of them are based on fears. Some of them are based on ease, but most of them are based on someone’s idea of what should happen. The question is whose ideas are running your life.
I’m one of those ridiculous people that love the Facebook quizzes like, “Who were you in a past life?” or “What song defines you?” I think they are just fun to see what questions the creator bases it on and what kinds of things are said afterwards.
One of these came up with something along the lines of “You’re an independent spirit” and a friend of mine responded with “you have always lived your life on your own terms”. I found this to be a great compliment. I don’t know how many people who live miserable lives, complaining all the time because they are doing what is expected, or because it would be too difficult to change.
I can’t understand this concept. You have repeatedly said that your life sucks… how could making changes make things worse? Now I’m not saying if you hate your job that you should just up and quit. Obviously you have bills and responsibilities.. but let’s be honest, most people aren’t doing anything that they are even slightly interested in. They spend years working way too many hours just to make enough to get by. However, if they just decided to take a little chance.. and work a little harder for a small amount of time they could learn something new.. make new connections.. and basically create an entirely new life for themselves.
I have another friend.. a young woman, and single mom, she worked retail and was working her way up to management. She liked her job, but hated the hours. She constantly had to get a babysitter and never got enough time with her son. She knew it would only get worse. She finally decided that she deserved more. She took a class and got a certificate in medical transcription. She’s making more money and what’s even better she has a job with normal hours. She can now work around her son’s schedule and spend more time with him.
This may not be your idea of an ideal job, and in a few years she may decide that it’s not her’s either, but the important thing about this story is that she now knows that she is capable of more. She is capable of accomplishing what she puts her mind to. She can put her son first, and she doesn’t have to wait till he’s old enough.. or put her life on hold out of fear that if she fails then what? It wasn’t easy and there were a lot of long nights.. but now she’s happier and more secure than she was before she started… and her son isn’t even in kindergarten yet.
Fear is debilitating. Blame is easy. Almost everyone has someone else to blame. If you are in your 30s or 40s and still mad at your parents for not supporting your going to college it’s time to look in the mirror. Now that’s not to say that financial success is the only goal to aim for. I quit college in my 20s and had to go back to finish my degree, and it took me almost a decade longer. I did this to help take care of my God daughters.. and I wouldn’t have changed that for anything. I still had jobs that I loved and still managed to pay the bills, but helping to raise my God daughters was MY choice. I can’t blame their mother for her issues. I can’t blame the kids for needing someone. I can only take responsibility for my own actions, and I made my choice based on my priorities.
Don’t get me wrong, I have made plenty of mistakes; I can’t and won’t deny that, but they were my mistakes. And the best part of understanding that they are my mistakes is understanding that it gives me the power to make better choices in the future, and I don’t have to depend on someone else to fix me.
I recently had one of those “Timehop” posts come up. It was a quote from my dad right before he was about to go into surgery. I was worried… as any good daughter would be and saying that anything could happen when he’s under. He responded, “You’re right, anything can happen, and if you’re going to imagine things happening. Imagine good things.”. I loved that quote. That was so him. Most of the time, that is so me.
We are what we imagine that we are. There is a quote “Worrying is praying for things you don’t want to happen.”, and it’s so true. We spend so much time in our heads imagining what we want. What we don’t want. What we’re afraid of. What we long for. We get them all mixed up and eventually we put all our effort into thinking about things that we hope never happen.
Now the Law of Attraction say that if we concentrate on bad things that we can make them happen. The law of averages says that if we wait long enough something bad will happen. My law is, why waist one second thinking about things you don’t want when there are soooo many things out there that you do.
Let’s say that you spend your days worried that your spouse is cheating on you, and what will you do if he leaves you because you can’t afford things on your own… and OMG you’re getting fat…. well, now you’re consumed by this. You get depressed you eat more. You can’t concentrate on work. You lose your job. You’re a miserable person and your spouse leaves you and you say “SEE! Bad things always happen”.
Did the law of attraction make that happen? Did the law of consequences? Did the law of averages? Now… same person… doesn’t fret about the relationship and enjoys the time with the partner.. and the time by herself. She excels at work. She joins a health program like a gym, meditation or cooking class. She actually enjoys her life. Then she finds out she had all that free time because the spouse was cheating… Ok .. that sucks! But she has way more going on in her own life to keep her going. She has friends, and hobbies, and a fulfilling career and it’s not, “See, bad things always happens.” It’s, “Wow, what an arse.. I deserve better.” And that’s exactly what she get.