Over the years, I’ve had so many excuses for not “playing full out” in my life. I could list them—and they are likely similar to a list by anybody who has been stuck in the waiting room with me. (see “oh the places you’ll go” by Dr. suess).
You can stop. Fearing life, fearing change and staying small. It just prolongs the time in the waiting room.
You are enough, you are okay. you are a necessary part of life, no matter what you DO.
Just BE you. Just BE.
At the center of each one of us there is a part that is always connected to life. The universe is always calling, calling each one of us to be who we are. Being YOU is your gift to life and to every person you meet. And I remind myself as well as you, that learning to love and to trust is a practice. When you are willing to surrender to living fully as YOU, your heart will open to allow more possibilities for love and trust. It’s step by step, day by day. We’ll forget. And then we’ll remember. Each time we practice love for others, love for self, the light at the center of our being will shine a little brighter. Your light, your love, felt as much as seen, encourages others to shine. You may never know who responds to your light. I know that the light that has been poured on me by family and friends, someone met in a class, the check-out person at the grocery store, has created a glow for me that it is my pleasure to pass on, with trust in love and knowing that it matters…
“Becoming curious about everything might change your life.”
Be curious, be open, be a life-long learner; growth always comes out of these moments of exploration -big or small.
#itsapracticenotaperfect #Growth #LIVEyourBestLife #LifeCoaching #ToolsandPractices #MyCoachingForLife #DontStopExploring #Wonder #Wander #StepOutsideYourself
Positive change in life, body and soul is almost impossible unless we are willing to give up the idea that we need fixing.
#ItsAPracticeNotAPerfect #PositiveChange #LivingLife #LifeCoaching #MindBodySoul #Focus #WhereToStart #Trajectory #Shift #Life #LifeBoost #practicenotperfection #PracticesForWellbeing #LifeCoach #ExpertWithin #PracticesAndTools #SmallStepsCanBeHuge
For those a bit lost of what to do or say, especially in this time of social turmoil and pandemic, practice BEING PRESENT. It is a gift you give to yourself and whoever you are with.
#BeingIsAnAction #JustBe #BeingPresent #Listen #Support #StandTogether #WorkOnSelfToHelpOthers #BeInTheMoment #PracticesAndTools #ItsAPracticeNotAPerfect #MyCoachingForLife
Of all the wonderful qualities to demonstrate which ones would you most like to be?
Do you realize you have a choice in what you are thinking about? At any time, you can choose your focus, change your thinking to something more interesting? Pick a wonderful quality and run with it! Consciously demonstrate something positive. It could change your life! The choice of what you see in the mirror is always there... choose the good.
#MyCoachingForLife #PowerOfPositivity #DemonstrateGreatness #BeYourBestSelf #BeWonderful #LifeCoach #LifeCoaching #Attributes #LiveYourBestLife
I’ll love myself when…
I lose weight. When I stop getting angry and being so judgmental. When my body is perfect. When I find the perfect job or the perfect partner or the perfect place to live. When I finally figure it all out.
And this, more recently: “I’m not getting anything done. I thought I would use this time to get caught up on stuff at home.” “My kids aren’t doing their schoolwork; they’re falling behind.” “I’m eating crap all day long!” “I haven’t exercised for weeks.” “I’m binge-watching tv all day! I should be reading!” I’m noticing how similar all of these comments’ sound. Self-loathing and disappointment, expectations we set up for ourselves, as if we are being graded for how we are doing our own lives, as if we have some unwritten rules we have to follow. No matter what, we can easily judge ourselves as failing on some days and struggling on others. (Oh, yes “we’re all in this together!” I wouldn’t want you to, but you should see my house, my lack of writing, my lack of reading.)
Can we just…NOT? Not keep doing this to ourselves, diminishing our very being with all the judgement of every part of ourselves?
It’s very important to me to make sure that anybody reading this knows that, education and training aside, I often think I’m a mess, unfocused, not using the skills I have learned to help other people. I will not ever offer x steps to the perfect life, the perfect workout, the perfect diet, the perfect anything. It doesn’t exist except as a concept in our own minds, and in some magazines. When I remember “there is no perfect”, I automatically take a deep breath.
I KNOW, from my own experience, that hating myself never led my body or thoughts anywhere I said I wanted to go. Hate begets hate: if I hate myself, the fat on my body, the dirt on my floor, that’s all I will see. The lens of hate makes everything bigger, uglier, darker. The energy of hate keeps life stuck in an ever-widening swirl of despair. When I continue to “grade” myself based on how I think the outside might judge me, the spiral gains speed. Because I have been taught, and I practice, take a breath and shift my thinking, I have a chance to stop this hate in its tracks. This sounds simple, and it can be easy if you are willing to consider that giving yourself some love doesn’t have to be hard. As I practice this, I can smile, even laugh, at how easily I fall into self-loathing. (I’ve practiced it diligently for most of my life!). As soon as I see it, I am out of it: I can’t be in love and in hate at the same time. When I invoke some compassion for mind, body or how I’m doing life, I cannot keep on with hate. Love will always drive out hate, light will always overcome the dark. A deep breath can change a lot.
So, how is it going?
This is a picture out of my front window, frozen rain blurring the view. Is everything, especially the future, out of focus? Are your thoughts jumbled, jumpy, unclear? Mine certainly are. I want certainty, but as I look back at my life, was anything guaranteed to turn out exactly as I wanted it to? Not at all. I had a certain level of belief that my life would be okay. And it has been. It’s been better than okay. Great. Now. In younger days, I made decisions from a place of “something is wrong with me”. These decisions led me to a place of wanting everything to be different, to step out of where I was. The trajectory of my life changed more than once. Looking back, the steppingstones from one place to the next look purposeful. But they weren’t. Because the people in my life, even those I at one time blamed for the mess I had made, supported me in veering off the traditional track I was so angry with, into new ways of being, thinking and doing. I am now so grateful for it all. I could not have designed it any better.
“For all that has been, thanks.
For all that shall be, I say yes.”
Notice he didn’t say, “for all that I liked, for all that was easy, thanks.” It’s for ALL of it, even the stuff the world said was dumb, or a waste. The Academy for Coaching Excellence used this quote, and it resonated with me because I had spent far too much time regretting how I had done things. This made me realize that it all allowed me to be here. Imagine my surprise while in the Psychology of Eating training hearing (paraphrasing here) “you will never move forward, in body or any aspect of life, until you accept everything in your life as perfect for you.” (This is not about abuse or trauma.) That family I thought I didn’t fit into? We were perfect for each other; I learned a lot. The education I never fully took advantage of? Turned me into a lifelong learner! Trying to figure out what was wrong with me? Led me to wanting to support other people on their journeys AND learning and KNOWING that none of us need fixing because we aren’t broken. I learned that, as a coach, I don’t have anyone else’s answer. I don’t get to OR have to tell anyone what to do; all of my clients come up with their own amazing solutions. I just ask questions and share tools that were given to me in training to support them on the path I am privileged to be on with them.
In keeping with this, I offer that we never really know what is going to happen. We like to think we do, but life is always coming toward us full force, with its own spin on things. In this time of ‘stay at home’, I’m trying to be okay with not knowing and letting life unfold. I’m grateful now that all that will unfold will be its own best answer for me. I’m choosing to focus on what is happening in this moment. What day is it? Today. What time is it? Now. This time allows me to consider what is worth going back to, and if my life is aligned with my values. I learned from my mom that worrying doesn’t change what happens. What I can do and choose to be present to: be with the person I love and the sweet dog, wear my homemade mask on my limited trips to the grocery and wash my hands. I say thanks for all that is yet to be revealed. I send peace, contentment and courage to all.
It should be obvious that 'one size fits all' doesn’t work. Most clothing cannot shrink or stretch to accommodate all, or even most. But how often do we notice where we are asked to fit in, to try to pretzel ourselves into the way it’s always been done. In my demographic, education started with the idea that all students had to “sit down and be quiet”.
Consider the rigid, invisible structures we create for ourselves. For so many reasons, we start on “self-improvement’ for body, mind and life. Around 8th grade, Seventeen magazine entered my life, and it targeted all the insecurities that most 8th graders had and still have. For me, it started with my very curly hair that wasn’t featured in any pictures in any magazine and that tug of war reigned for decades, only to be surpassed by the war I engaged in with my body and food. So much “self-improvement” leads to so much self-destruction. Even though we know that one size doesn’t fit all, so many of us buy into the idea that some expert has a system or a diet or a workout plan designed to make us smarter, thinner or fitter. Self-improvement comes from a sense that we’re less than everyone else, there is something wrong with me; maybe THIS program, diet, book, will fix it, fix me.
We lose sight of our “expert” within. We aren’t always encouraged to trust our body, our feelings, or our own experiences. True growth, in mind, body and soul comes from acceptance and love. Acceptance of what is, in this moment. And love is the only thing that will allow change. Client’s say: “If I love myself now, nothing will ever change!” thinking that the self-loathing is the motivation. But self-hatred doesn’t create change, it just generates more of the same. Life Coach training taught me that I can choose to shift my attention to what I want, instead of focusing on what I don’t want, what is wrong. We can all choose to focus on something more interesting. This takes practice. It IS a practice, one you can choose over and over. And instead of beating yourself up when the old thoughts come calling, remind yourself, gently, that you are going to focus on the positive, on uplifting your thoughts (and thus, your health, your life, your entire expression and experience). It’s practice, not a perfect. Beating yourself up for drifting into the old habitual thoughts is more of the same old negativity. Hold yourself and this practice lightly, with compassion for the you that you are becoming.
As for the idea that you will do everything you really want to do once you have the body, the money, the job, the whatever; instead “start with the end in mind” (a saying of Marc David, my teacher at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating). Identify those things now. It could be taking a class, travel, going to a concert, participating in a community play. Start small, and pick one, and very importantly, put a 'by when' date on it. If it’s someday, it’s just a wish. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to prepare, but be specific. “I will go hiking at the county park with my friend Clare, by July 30, 2020.” Setting goals is also a practice: focusing on what moves you forward. Practices don’t make perfect, practices bring you closer to the expert on you: YOU.
A New Year brings articles and advertising about "a whole new you". Join this gym, start that new diet, declutter your house, find a new career, rearrange your whole life. In other words, don't be you. The "old you" makes mistakes: you eat too much "bad" food, you don't get enough sleep, you sleep too much, and your desk is a mess! You need to be different, new and improved, Where does this leave you emotionally, spiritually, physically? Feeling that you aren't good enough, that you haven't measured up, maybe you never will. This is definitely not a great way to start anything.
Discarding any part of the self is impossible: every thought, every experience is part of you, body, mind and soul.
Rather than trying to disown parts of your physical body or life experiences, try embracing it. ALL of it! By recognizing all parts of yourself, by welcoming all that you have been through, you give yourself room to breathe and space to acknowledge all you are, all that you have become and all you are willing to grow into. This is a practice--not a perfect. And like me, practice doing this, day by day... or minute by minute, if necessary. Through it all, allow You to be You: that's one way to start everything.
This is My Coaching for Life!
I hope this blog and site will help others to tap into their best self. I'll be sharing some of my own experiences, as well as delving into topics and tools from my studies in Transpersonal Psychology, Psychology of Eating and general Psychology that I find especially helpful while navigating life.
If you need more one-on-one help, please contact me so we can start our journey together.
Mary is a certified Life Coach in Omaha where she enjoys reading and sharing books, taking in nature and exploring all life has to offer with her husband Kurt, and rescue dog "Scruffy".