Finding the Compass that is Within You

I have been on a continual journey of discernment about my own life and my work, as well as helping my clients do the same thing. While everyone has different circumstances to consider, the question remains for the same as I believe it is at the heart of the spiritual quest. In all aspects of my life, what really matters, what brings me joy and what brings me into the fullest expression of who I am?

This is a powerful question for sure but sometimes the work to explore deeper is hard. In the last 5 years I have had my share of very difficult life situations, health concerns and closing a business that was my dream. As many of us do, I would have liked to pretend to have blinders on or struggle against it rather than to face what was in front of me. It took me a long time, but when I finally stopped fighting what was happening in my life, I began to embrace a new idea; what if I did not have to fight it?

I had a major ankle surgery 9 months before my son’s out of state wedding, thinking I had allowed more than enough time for it to heal. It would mean not being able to put weight on it for 3 months, at the longest before starting physical therapy. Soon that time went from 3 months to 6 months and I was getting weaker by the day not able to do normal activities. I became depressed, anxious and got angry that this was happening. I was looking forward to be escorted down the aisle by my son at his wedding, but at month eight, and one month before the wedding, I still could not walk.  I decided that all this energy was taking away from being resourceful in finding a solution and finding a way to enjoy the wedding. I stopped the fight and took Inspired Action to come up with a creative way to work with what I had.

 

When difficult things happen, our first reaction is to fight back to defend or protect ourselves from what we perceive as a threat. Without even noticing we are doing it, we end up staying in the fight until we are too tired to continue or we just can’t do it anymore. When I decided to stop the fight. I realized that the very things that were hard and difficult, were really here to help me. It seemed like a radical thought to lay down my guns when I could not see a path forward than the one laid out for me.  However, I learned from going from victim to empowering myself, created an opening in my life circumstances where I could begin to ask questions. And for me that question was, what really matters?

The truth is, we are all players in our own lives and we live it according to what we value and believe.

Once we know what this is, we can begin to check it against the things that we do and say. But because we are all human and get off our center, our words and actions are not always in alignment. Sometimes we let the opinions of others have more value than our own, or we let our own fear scare us away.

To find what really matters we have to begin the search beyond the usual answers. We need to be able to challenge what we value and believe, to discover if it is based on our truth or someone else’s.  At your center is the place of heart or God that is within you. It is the place where who you are meets the outside world. It is also the place of wisdom that if you listen you can begin to discern what really matters to you. Once you have discovered it will act like the center point of the compass pointing the way to a more authentic life.

Blessings in your journey!

This was first published in the Savage Pacer on 7-14-18

 

Taking A Break

Sometimes it is necessary to put some things on hold in an effort to make progress in other areas ,so I had to make a hard decision. I have decided I will be taking a summer break from the weekly inspirational emails I send out. Don’t worry, you will still be receiving them, but every two to three weeks instead of weekly.

I’m doing this because I have two book projects that I am working on and hopefully they will done by summers end. One book is called, It’s Your Life, Make It Extraordinary and the other is a collection of the inspirational reflections that I have been doing for the last 15 years. I am very appreciative for all of you reading and supporting my blog.

I would love your feedback on several things which you can do by replying to this email.

  • If you have enjoyed these emails and would like to write a testimonial about how they have helped you, I would appreciate that.
  • Also if there is anything you want included in either book please let me know.

In the meantime, if you are needing more inspirations you can read more here  

You can also like my Facebook Page by clicking on the icon in the top right hand corner

If you still want to take advantage of a no fee 30 minute phone session or to get more information about coaching reply to this email.

Happy Memorial Day and have a great holiday!

Sandy

 

 

 

Fast and Easy Self-Care Rituals

Move Your Body: When you feeling down or stuck in a negative mood, the quickest way to make a change is to get up and move. Go for a short walk outside if possible or walk around the building. This movement helps to change the state of your mind and of your body. Think about as you walk you are moving forward and embrace a mindset that allows the negative thoughts to move you out of the mood you are in.

Dress better than you feel: If you have a hard day ahead of you or you are feeling less than awesome, it helps to wear something that is comfortable and you feel good in.

Use the “even though” principal: Often when we are afraid or not feeling confident in something we want to do, this fear or negative thinking will stop us from doing it. In this principle you to acknowledge and honor how you are feeling about something you want to do and move forward anyway.  For example: Even though I am afraid I can’t do it good enough,  I will do it anyway. This is a powerful way to recognize that we can have control over what we think and move into a more powerful way of being.

Breathe: When we get anxious we often breather shallow without even realizing it. Take several deep breathes from the belly and blow out slowly. Do this several times until you can feel your body let go.

Stop and Pause: When we are in a situation that leaves us mad or upset, instead of lashing out or doing something we might regret later, STOP and take a PAUSE to reflect on how you might want to handle the situation. Everyone can identify what it feels like when you get triggered and responding from this place does not allow you to be proactive in the situation. I can assure you that if at that moment you can create this PAUSE you will craft a better response that actually help you rather than hinder you.

Put your best foot forward: Pay attention to your negative thinking and do everything in your power to reframe these thought into something positive.  When you are able to monitor your thoughts and make them positive you are actually making the decide to feel better.

If you find that you could use some help with this please give me a call. I offer a “no fee” half hour phone coaching call.

I would love to hear from you. Email me here.

Have a great day!

 

When Was The Last Time You Felt Like A Million Dollars?

I am hoping you will say a lot, but I fear that you might not remember when the last time was. For many of us, we were taught from an early age how to be, and it was usually proper and reserved.

So this part of ourselves is buried way down inside and we may even fear it is gone altogether, but I assure you it is not. Sometimes it just takes a little excavation and the mindset that you will give herself permission to find it and revel in it.

I often talk to clients about what makes them feel special or like a million dollars as a way to help them get in touch with those parts we keep hidden. The picture above is the result of asking just that question. It worked…she reported feeling million dollars in those red stilettos!

Red stilettos are not for everyone, but finding this part of you is! I am often heard saying…everyone needs a pair of red shoes but it does not need to be one thing in particular, it just needs to be getting in touch regularly with brings you sheer delight, whether it is red stilettos or something else.

I hope you go for it….dig down deep and find what it is that makes you feel like a million dollars!

The “Chicken” In Me!

This is part of a story that was published a few months ago in a book of Anthologies called, Watershed Moments, compiled by Kathryn M Holmes. It is a book of dramatic stories from people experiencing faith based changes in their life. I was asked if I would be willing to contribute two stories and here is the first one of those stories. 

As you read it, I hope it will prompt you to think about your own life and the experiences that have changed your perspective. If you would like to share, I would love to hear, and you can just reply to this email.  Enjoy!

Who knew that a chicken, a real live one, would prove to be a pivotal moment in my life? Of course there is more than simply the chicken, so the story goes like this…

The Minneapolis/St. Paul area synod and the Iringa Diocese of Tanzania, along with many other churches, are part of a internship called Bega Kwa Bega. This is Swahili for “Shoulder to Shoulder,” which is the basis for our working together; we work side by side. Our church had a partnership with this program for many years, and felt strongly that to have this kind of relationship it meant we had to visit Tanzania.

I was sitting in a pew listening to three women speak who had recently came back from their first-ever trip to visit this remote village. I knew in an instant that I would be on that next trip. Becasue my husband could see I knew that in every part of my body, he leaned over and said, ” You are going, and there is nothing I can do to stop you, right?” Yes, indeed, I was going even if I could not articulate why.

Here is where it gets interesting. I had never been out of the U.S. I’m not an adventurer. I don’t like to be out of my comfort zone. Now I’m going to a third-world country for three weeks? Oh, did I mention I did not have the money, and my family was not thrilled with this idea?

I sat around a table with eight others, who were also interested in going the next year, in order to hear the details of what this experience would be like. We heard about the roads we would travel on, the remoteness  of the village, the bathroom facilities or lack thereof, and what everyday like would be like once we got there. All if a sudden it sank in, and I got really frightened. As I voiced my concern, and admitted that I did not know if I could manage it, a good friend pit his thumbs under his arm pits and started to squawk like a chicken. I was horrified. My friend had confronted me on my fear – and in hindsight I am glad he did.

What would happen if we never get out of our comfort zones? Thank you, dear friend. My hope is we all have people who will do this for us.

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Grace: A Healing Balm

 “Salvation happens every time someone with a key uses it to open a door he could lock instead.” – Barbara Brown Taylor

We each hold the key, and the door she is talking about is the door to our hearts. Salvation is the grace that we extend to ourselves and others in the process of opening ourselves to what life has to offer.We are both the person who can open a door and the person who can lock it.

We each can hold grace like a healing balm for your hearts as it opens the door that transforms our lives and relationships. Moving into a heart centered way of being allows us to feel what we may not be able to see, to see ourselves as God sees us.

I would invite you to extend grace to yourself and someone else today. You hold the key to peace and joy, use it to open doors to a grander vision for yourself and others than you ever imagined.

 

Want some one-on-one coaching time with me? I currently have openings for new clients and would love to work with you.  You can read more here.

My Question To You Is….

Everyday life brings about changes that like it or not, are constantly whittling away at the things that don’t fit, sometimes this happens by what we do, but often it is by what happens to us.  My question to you is, what changes have occurred for you and what parts of yourself are you re-building?

Being clear about what you are rebuilding in your putting is a gift you give yourself.
If you would like to talk more about this, please email me or respond to this email and we can set up half hour to talk…at no charge to you.  I’d love to hear from you!

Pressing the STOP button

Learning to create a pause between our thoughts and actions is a powerful tool to help us navigate life.  It is something that is always available to us that is simple, but at the same time profound.

We have all been there in that moment when we have had a negative reaction to something we have read, heard or experienced and have responded in a way we later regret. This connection between action and reaction happens to us in a matter of seconds and is recognized by the emotion it triggers in us.

Our brain labels these emotions based on the past experiences we have had in our past. Seeking to make meaning of this negative reaction, our mind compares it to other such experiences we have had and we feel it as anger, pain, hurt or a host of other emotions. This cause and effect scenario results in responding in ways that do not serve anyone.

Unless we make a change it can feel like we are stuck in a negative pattern. Creating a pause is to allow space between what happened and how we respond to it. This space that we give ourselves, allows us to stop and reflect how we want to be in the situation at hand, and that allows us to respond in a way that is healthy.

I know that this is easier to talk about than do since it is not our natural way to respond. However, it is one of the most important tools I teach my clients because it frees them from being at the mercy of negative thought patterns and allows them to have control over how they choose to respond.

BREAKING DOWN BIG IDEAS:

If you would like to learn how to push the STOP button and create space that allows a different response I will be doing a free 40 minute phone workshop on Tuesday, April 17 from 6:30 to 7:10 PM. Please respond to this email and I will send you the conference line information. Feel free to forward this on to friends who might want to register as well.

Happy Easter

“The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake.”  ~ Basil Hume

Blessings to you this day!