How Are You Feeling About 2022?

I am asking you this question for a couple of reasons. This year more people looked forward to and were able to celebrate the holidays in a way that felt more like pre-pandemic. When it is over, we feel a holiday let-down that extends into January, the longest, coldest, and darkest month of the year. Many feel the effects of the long gloomy days. In addition, we are still feeling the stress of the pandemic. The stress of this will carry over into the new year unless we do something to change it.

The APA (American Psychological Association) reports that 84% of Americans report increased feelings emotions of anxiety, sadness, and anger, all signs of prolonged stress. This stress comes from all aspects of life and how we feel about what is going on in our world as well as what is going on in our personal lives.

The news has reported that people have been resigning from their jobs in record numbers to find jobs that allow for better work-life balance. The gift of the pandemic, if you can call it that, is that people had an opportunity to look at their lives and decide what they wanted.

Even when you know that you want to make a change, it can be hard to begin. In our busy world, we can get distracted, lack focus, or feel like we do not have the right mindset to achieve what we want most.

The most powerful resource you have is within you and it all begins with self-awareness. This is our ability to be able to observe what we are thinking and doing and connect them to our actions. An example of that would be when you find all the ways that you cannot do something, so you do not do it. Self-awareness is when you realize that those reasons are just you just getting in your own way. It is important to acknowledge what is standing in the way but also to realize you hold the power to move any obstacle that is put in front of you by taking one small step at t time.

This past Christmas, our 11-year-old granddaughter became afraid to fly, even though she had done it dozens of times before. She realized the plane could crash and that became the only thing she could think about. I helped her realize there was more than one thing that could be true at the same time. She knew planes were safe but also knew she was afraid they might crash. When we made it ok to be afraid and that planes were safe to fly in she was able to make a shift.   With that mantra, she began to realize that even though she was afraid she also realized how safe planes are to travel in. This is true for us too, we can be afraid and not know our next step but can move past fear and do it anyway.

The key to change is one small step at a time. Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year? The reason most resolutions fail is not that you do not have the willpower or skill to get it done, as we might believe about ourselves, but because the goal we made is unattainable in the time, we have given ourselves to do it. You probably have a lengthy list of things you would like to change about yourself, just do not do them all at once. Pick one thing that feels doable to you and then break it down into small parts that you can sustain over time. My morning inspirational time sets up the day for me, and it’s imperative that I do it every day. However, it was not always like that. I know I needed time to gather my thoughts and check in with myself at a time when I had zero time. I started with 5 minutes twice a week. Once I could do that, I gradually increased it week by week.  In this way, I was easing into making a change that could be sustained and building a new habit. It’s easy to think that new habits form easily but it takes intention, focus, and consistency to facilitate any change.

We are all constantly changing whether we like it or not. Since change is inevitable, we can either do it kicking and screaming or we can cooperate with what no longer works in our life and change it. But more than that, we have an innate sense within us that makes us want to be the best person that we can be for ourselves, our friends, family, and the community we are part of.  Growing and changing are not only about us. When we improve our integrity, become more tolerant of ourselves, grow our understanding and compassion for ourselves this extends out from us to others. This is the way that we can impact the world around us in a powerful way.

It is important to remember that all of us are seeking the same thing; kindness, understanding, respect, and unconditional love. The more we can give that to ourselves, the more we can offer it to others. You are the one who holds the key to what you want for your life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cultivating Hope, Peace & Joy For Your Holidays

I have always loved the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City. The news showed them getting the tree in place and placing the star at the top. They talked about it as being a star that is filled with hope during this time of year. Besides living with hope there are at least two essential components of living life to the fullest; they are cultivating peace and joy. To foster this we must know that we can be flexible in what we do, what we say, and what we think; in other words, we hold the right to be able to change our minds and do things differently at a moment’s notice.

The second is that this knowledge is the foundation of the philosophy that every day presents us the opportunity to start over. I know this is not new to you, but we can get so set in our routines and rituals of how things need to be, that we forget that we have the ability to adapt and change. We cause ourselves much dis-ease when we are unwilling to bend.

The last few year’s has already presented us with challenge after challenge and now the cold weather and the holidays are approaching, we are facing new obstacles. As hard as this has been, we have also learned how to pare down our activities to those that are most essential and have learned how to stay connected with friends and family. However, because the Holidays are so rich with tradition and family gatherings many of us are wondering how we can remake the holiday to still feel joyful when nothing feels the same.

This year is certainly different than last year, but I think that if we can first spend some time reflecting and tending to our spirit, everything else will fall into place. Here are a few ideas to consider in making this holiday time filled with hope, peace, and joy.

We can rethink our holiday rituals to see if they still bring us comfort and joy or if they produce extra work that leads to exhaustion. Perhaps there is an easier way, or we can make it simpler, but just as meaningful.

  • Celebrate the Winter Solstice
  • At the end of the day create a ritual of asking yourself where you experienced hope, peace, or joy that day. The days are busy and filled with responsibilities and challenges and we often forget about the good. This will train your mind to begin to look for and relish the good when it happens.
  • Make a daily intention to invite joy into your life
  • Give yourself time to play and to do the things that make you happy.
  • Express gratitude regularly for the goodness that is in your life, including those who love and support you.
  • Choose to look at life with a sense of awe and the wonder of a child.
  • Connect regularly to the Spirit inside you that guides and informs your path.
  • Send blessings to anything that is causing you discomfort and refuse to carry any anger by taking steps to resolve it.
  • Show kindness to someone every day from until the new year.
  • Offer positive comments to yourself.
  • Take time to enjoy the quiet.
  • Expect the miraculous to happen.

Finding and fostering hope, peace, and joy within ourselves is one of the most important things we can do to live fully. When we honor this sacred process, it spills out to all we meet and this is the spirit of the holiday, whether we get to spend it with our families or not. Wishing you all the miracles of the season!

 

Giving and Receiving Grace

Just when it was beginning to look like the pandemic was over and we could see the light at the end of the tunnel; that light began to dim with the variants of Covid increasing the number of cases and we realized it was not over.

In my work as a life coach, I talk with people about how they are and how they are coping within a world that no one has experienced navigating. The more conversations I have, the more I realize that we are all still struggling in one way or another. It was better than a year ago but we can’t deny that we are forever changed and so is our world. People are quitting their jobs at an all-time high to re-evaluate how they make their living and how they are choosing to live. There is more unrest and violence in our world because I believe people don’t know how or don’t have the capacity to cope with the things going on around them. Every day I see the stress and anxiousness of people trying to navigate this new world we are in.

I don’t know where your struggles lie in your relationships or your own feelings of unrest,  but I do know that we have the ability to offer grace at every opportunity.

Webster’s defines grace as: “Unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification”. In other words, we act or speak in a way that is favorable and pleasant, bestowing an act of kindness on someone whether it is deserved or not.

In Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, we learn that “grace is a direct intervention on our behalf that circumvents the laws of nature -time, space, cause, and effect.” It is a spiritual intervention and a demonstration that here is a force greater than us, working on behalf of ourselves and others.

Grace is available to all, simply by asking for this day’s portion of grace and being willing to soften the lines between us and offer understanding and kindness to those we come in contact with.

In every action or interaction, we have a choice in how we can respond. We can either use that choice to defend ourselves or offer grace to the person or situation in front of us. It might be a simple gesture to smile or ask how someone is but if we get out of ourselves long enough to do that, we might make their day. Maybe it is extending empathy to a relationship we don’t understand or maybe agree with, but kindness offered can never hurt.

But what about the times that we need grace? This is a reciprocal exchange, if we offer it, we must be willing to receive it. It begins as being compassionate to ourselves when we fell short of our own expectations, forgiving our negative thinking, or being kind and gentle with our hearts.

We each can hold grace like a healing balm for our hearts as it opens the door that transforms our lives and relationships. Moving into a heart-centered way of allowing 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. It is a gift to give and to receive. We each hold the key to peace and joy, use it to open doors to a grander vision for yourself and others than you ever imagined.

As we move into the busiest time of the year, I wish you magical and grace-filled days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Year In Review

It’s almost the end of the year and just like business owners close out the year, we can do that for our personal lives. It is helpful to have a resolution about things that happened in the past, decide what you would like in the future and then make a plan that will help you succeed.

This is online class is time for you to reflect on the past year, decide how you would like to move forward into the new year and together, create a plan that will help you be successful.

In this class you will:

  • Learn how to reflect on the last year with kindness and compassion.
  • Discover strategies to help you decide what you want going forward.
  • Make a plan to be successful.

Class Details:

Friday, December 10th at 10:00 – 11:30 AM (CST)

Zoom Online class

Investment: $25.00

To register email: sthibault12@msn.com and the best email to reach you.

I will send you the Zoom link and invoice to pay online when you register.

Hope to see you in the class and feel free to share or sign up with a friend.

A Thanksgiving Prayer for You!

May the light of our gratitude burn brightly in our hearts and in our world.
In the silence of our hearts, let each of us give thanks for all the many gifts that are ours.
Let us also be mindful of those today who are without food, family, or home.
Let us remember all whom we love who are not now present with us here: those who have gone before us, those in the present time, and those to be born whom we will love.
God of all good gifts, from your holy heart has come a flood of gifts upon us.
With uplifted hearts, we gather together to thank you with prayer and with the worship of feasting.
We are grateful not only for the gift of life itself, but for all the gifts of friendship, love, devotion, and forgiveness that we have shared.
May we give our thanks by lives of service, by deeds of hospitality, by kindness to strangers and by concern for one another.
We are most grateful this feast day for the way You, our God, are visible to us in one another, in countless daily gifts, in the marvels of creation.
We bless you oh God, for the blessings of our lives; and invite you to bless our table and all of the food of this feast that we share.
Sallie Latkovich, CSJ

Wishing You A Blessed Thanksgiving 

Awareness Is the First Step

“The most common voice you hear in your head is your inner critic. You have two choices: you can live with what you have, or you can take responsibility for the life you have and change it.” – Sandy Thibault

I was listening to a podcast about personal growth and one person posed this question; do you believe that today will be the same as tomorrow? I think that most people like things to stay the same, and there is nothing wrong with that. We crave structure and routine to define our days and help us to feel productive. There is no shortage of business and personal growth books that will tell you the benefits of this discipline. But what happens when the discipline that is supposed to help us be productive, begins to feel more like being stuck?

The truth is once we realize that what we are doing is not working for us, we then have the opportunity to change it. This is called awareness and with it, we can make a new choice of how we want to think or what we want to do.

There is comfort in staying with what we know, yet we yearn for something to be different. When you realize this, it is helpful to take a step back to self-reflect. Ask yourself, do you believe you have the power to make a change? Are you able to move forward by taking a small step even if you are afraid?  Can you begin to visualize how your life will be different when you make this change? Taking a step back to reflect will help you understand yourself better, which helps you learn why you do what you do. Again, that is the awareness that leads to change. Once you understand this, it is very hard to stay the same.

Life is a journey comprised of many steps on our personal path that takes us down a winding road of constant evolution. And each day, we are provided with a myriad of opportunities that can allow us to transform into our next best selves. One moment we are presented with an opportunity to react differently when yet another someone in our life rubs us the wrong way; on another day we may find ourselves wanting to walk away from a particular circumstance but are not sure if we can.

I think right now we are experiencing a new normal after Covid. We desperately want to get back to the way things were before, but we might be sure of what normal means to us anymore.  Einstein says that the same mind that created the problem cannot solve it. That is why awareness is so important. When we can begin to pay attention to our thoughts, actions, and reactions we are empowering ourselves to make another choice that better serves us. It is our journey to discover what we want and our responsibility to get it for ourselves.

There is freedom but also a power that comes with awareness. Once we realize that we don’t have to stay in a repetitive cycle where there is no escape, we begin to see that we are co-creators in how we want our lives to play out. We get to choose to move beyond old limits, take new actions and choices and move our life into new opportunities and experiences. It is through this kind of awareness and willingness to change that we create a life that is authentic and constantly evolving.

If you are feeling stuck, do yourself a favor and set up a “no fee” time to talk.  Just send me an email

The First 50 Squats

I love challenges so when I saw the 1500 squat challenge to raise money for breast cancer, I wanted to know more. Before I had thought it through, I had signed up! Immediately, I had second thoughts about my ability to do this, as it is ALOT of Squats!

I stressed out about it for several weeks, trying to decide if I should just get out of it or find a way to do it because it is not in me to quit, I wanted to find a way. After all, I teach my private clients that they can reach for anything they want if they are willing to make any adjustments that are needed to be successful.

When doing something out of our comfort zone, it is helpful to break it into smaller and more manageable pieces. As in anything else in life, it is important to figure out what works for you so you can complete what you set out to do. I will be doing 50 squats per day in a way that will not kill my knees. That means making some adjustments along the way, just like in real life.

Here is what I have learned:

  • The way you approach and do anything should look like what is best for you, not how someone else thinks it should be.
  • Pay attention to the thoughts you have; ask yourself, are they kind and supportive? Keeping a positive outlook will help you to stay focused and encouraged along the way.
  • Make sure that you have set yourself up for success. That means creating a mindset, and an action plan that you can do. It is better to take small steps you can achieve, rather than big steps you can’t reach. This is hands down the most important part of getting what you want.

I love to help people get what they want in life, but more importantly, I teach how you can do that for yourself. We are not always our own best cheerleaders so if you have questions, I’m always here to answer them. Contact Here.

Where Do You Get Your Moments of Zen?

We subscribe to a T. V. streaming service that has moments of Zen instead of commercials. In the place where there would usually be a commercial there is instead, soothing music and a calming picture.

This morning in Aqua Aerobics after a good workout, our instructor asked for quiet, turned on peaceful music and asked us to intentionally take deep breaths. As I did I could actually feel my body float to the top as I exhaled. It was such a peaceful way to end the class.

In this world where we think we need to always be doing something, what if we could make time every day to slow down and breathe? I teach my private clients the power of breath as a way to calm down negative thoughts and anxious feelings. It can also be used as a way to intentionally connect with yourself at any moment of the day. As long as you have a couple minutes you can find peace through your breath.

We are more than what we do. We are created Holy and divine and breath brings us closer to that reality. Know that who you are, what you do and what you say has power. When you connect to your soul you will be guided to be intentional with every word and action.

I hope you can take some time every day to connect to your breath and let peace wash over you.

From Ordinary to Extraordinary

The energy of possibility is far stronger and more exciting than when we are talking about our problems or limitations. Have you ever noticed how you feel when you get stuck in negative thoughts? When you are thinking or talking about your issues you become inward focused, and so does your energy. When fear, doubt or worry become the focal point, it is easy to get sucked into a downward spiral that works to keep you stuck.

Granted, this is not where we want to be, yet we all find ourselves there. When you recognize that you are stuck, that awareness is 80 % of the making a change. After all, nothing can be changed unless there is recognition of it.

Thinking about what is possible is one way to change the energy and look beyond the issue. Begin this by asking a what if question?

What if everything is working together for my good?

What if all the negative things I think about myself, simply are not true?

What if all my needs are being met? What else might be true?

What if I stopped being afraid of change?

Asking what if, begins to open your thinking to a story that is larger than your own. It helps you to think beyond your own limits and into a world of possibility. You don’t have to have it all figured out to tap into this energy.

You can simply begin by imagining the best story for your life. I urge you to think about the most positive and generous response you can have to your life situation. When it comes to ourselves, we often make the most negative and critical assessment of ourselves and our life, assuming it is the only truth. If you can bypass this first response, and embrace a mindset that is open and receptive to seeing beyond the present moment you will begin to notice and begin to see the small miraculous parts of life that are there for you every day.

I want to leave you with one of my favorite quotes: “When your life is filled with the desire to see holiness in everyday life, something magical happens: ordinary life becomes extraordinary, and the very process of life begins to nourish your soul.”  ~Rabbi Harold Kushner

The more you look for the extraordinary moments in life, the more you will begin to see what has been there all along. Blessing on your journey.

Want to talk more about moving into all that is possible for your life, book a free 30 minute call with me by using this link.

 

8 Ways to Create Joy in Your Life

  1. Make a daily intention to invite joy into your life and ask Spirit to help you see it.

  2. Give yourself time to play and to do the things that make you happy.

  3. Express gratitude on a regular basis for the goodness that is in your life, including those who love and support you.

  4. Choose to look at life with a sense of awe and wonder.

  5. Connect regularly to the Spirit inside you that guides and informs your path.

  6. Send blessings to anything that is causing you discomfort and refuse to carry it by taking steps to resolve it.

  7. Acknowledge and connect to the LIGHT that is within you and allow that to flow from you out into the world.

  8. Expect the miraculous to happen.

Want to know more about how coaching works? Book a “no fee” 30 minute call with me. Read More here

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