I don’t want to get up!

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Our alarm “screams aloud” at 5:15 every weekday morning; this begins a process of decision-making for me. As I lay cozy in my bed I am more in love with my pillow than at any other point in the day and I am talking to myself. “ I could go to the gym later today”, “I worked out hard yesterday so I’m fine.” “I’ll just stay home and do stretches a little later.”   I laugh because I have this little dialogue so often knowing full well that if I don’t get up and go to the gym at the start of the day I probably won’t go at all!

My husband, on the other hand, has already made the decision that he IS going to the gym each morning. Greg recognizes the incredible value of self-care habits and is committed to taking good care of himself. I, too, know and experience the value of regular exercise. When I get up and head to the gym by 6am my day always feels better; I feel better!

So why is it that when I know something is so valuable to my life physically and emotionally I still have to “talk myself into that good decision”? It makes no logical sense! But isn’t that the way we can all be? I know taking time to be reflective each day; spending time in the Word and taking time to  journal is so cup filling. I know that eating well and exercising causes me to live with greater health and wellness. I know that taking the time to build quality relationships for challenge, accountability, and support is key to my experiencing community. Those are just a few things I KNOW.

I am committed to saying “Yes, I will” to all of the above truths in greater measure in 2018. How about you? What do you want to say, “Yes, I will “ to this New Year? What important intentions have been missing from your daily routines that IF you committed to them would make a big difference in your life?

How about it? Let’s start this year with a fresh focus, attitude, and willingness to say

“Yes, I will”!

Holidays didn’t go the way I had planned!

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Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined I would find myself in the Emergency Room late at night the day after Christmas!  I had been experiencing sharp pains in my upper abdomen, right side, for four days but I brushed it off to the effect of a busy schedule, holiday foods, lots of lifting my precious grandchildren: I was sure it would go away “real soon”.   After four days the pain was really getting my attention!

After some discussion with my husband, he felt we ought to at least get it checked out so we headed for the Emergency Room.  The night didn’t unfold the way I had planned but rather it began a 2 night hospital stay with surgery to remover my gallbladder!  Seriously, not in my holiday plans!  I still had company at my house!!

After the surgery was complete and I enjoyed sweet visits, calls and responses from caring friends and family members, it was when I sent my husband home for the night that I lay there in the stillness of the hospital room surrounded with strange lights, beeps, and an occasional nurse coming in to check my blood pressure.   In the silence of that room I had an important opportunity to assess my life, to throw a wide gaze over my life and decide whether or not I am living the way I know is best in all my Life Accounts.

It’s interesting how vulnerable one can feel in a medical institution.  Being a patient is such a stark reality of how fast life (or health) can be taken.  In the Emergency Room when we arrived there had been numerous accidents on the icy streets of Bend.  A number of folks had passed away, numerous others were badly injured.  I couldn’t help but to be faced with the preciousness of “life”.

In the quite of my room I pondered the use of my time, my finances, my talents, and my energy.  I was forced to consider that if my situation had been more serious would I have had any regrets?  What would I change in the coming year?  How would I take better care of myself?  The opportunity to ponder my answers and make fresh committments was actually a gift to me.   Though I am not grateful for my gallbladder attack, I am grateful to have been given a little “wake up call”.

As a Life Coach I do try to live by the same values that I encourage my leaders to abide by: focus on health, priorities, relationships, self-care/growth, spiritual life, and being engaged in “cup-filling” activities.  However, it’s easy to say “well, this is just a busy season! I’ll get back to my good disciplines soon!”   And then one season runs into another and our busy, over-extended life becomes a life-style.  Right? We’ve all been there!

Having surgery was not even in my wheel-house of possibilities when I looked toward the coming holiday season; a total surprise!  With the help of amazing nurses (especially those precious gals who work the night shift) and caring and supportive family; I am on the mend.

As I assessed my life there were many areas that, frankly, I would not have changed; it felt good to lay there knowing that my family, friends, and colleagues do know that I care for them; they are a priority in my life and calendar.  Physically I need to be more mindful of myself and thus, I am putting key appointments on my calendar even now.  I always want to grow more in my relationship with God; as I lay there in the quiet I pondered all I still wanted to know and understand about God; I will dig deeper this year.

My opportunity to “take some time to ponder my life” was a little bit dramatic, but you have the chance to do the same as you enter this new year that is full of promise and possibilities!  Where are you in your key life accounts?  What’s lacking? What’s working?  Where do you want to be a year from now??  Take time to ponder these things by choice and not by a surprise crisis, as I experienced!

Wishing you a fruitful, impacting, balanced, healthy year ahead!

Happy New Year!

 

 

For Women Only!

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If you have followed my blog for any length of time then you know that there are certain themes that I will write on time and time again; hopefully expressing thoughts in fresh ways. The “rule of seven” tells us that a person generally needs to hear a concept at least 7 times before really grabbing ahold of the concept and applying it to their lives.  So please indulge me as I take another stab at a truth that I know to be very, very important!

LADIES!  I give you permission today to take as good care of yourself as you do for all the others in your lives!

As a young woman, I was a pastor’s wife, friend, sister, daughter, church volunteer, school volunteer, house-keeper, cook, and mama to two active boys; how I wish I had been told how impacting it would have been if I had figured out some way to establish self care  in those days! So often I was exhausted, unhealthy, and even a bit isolated in my closest relationships….I was just so busy.

Let me explain Self-Care a little better:

“Self care includes any intentional action an individual takes to care for their physical, mental, relational, and emotional health.”
Good food, water, exercise, and good sleep patterns are  key to maintaining vibrant energy and outlook.
Life giving friends, healthy boundaries, quality support,  and cup-filling activities help to keep our emotional health strong.
Having proven ways to relax, taking time to journal thoughts and concerns, growing in the area of faith, listening to positive information rather than focusing on the negative, and learning to nap are all elements that support sustainable mental wellness.
Building good friendships, gathering with other women in your season of life, enjoying “girl time” where you can laugh deeply, and having a “posse” of women who you know have your back, strengthens our sense of connectedness and relational health.
Here’s an action step:
If you look at your calendar, personal and professional, and you don’t see yourself represented there on any given day–it’s time!
* a spa day
* a girl’s night out
* a nap
*time at the gym
* time with God
*time with a good book
*hiking in the great outdoors
*crafting
* and saying no to some good things to use your greatest energy for the BEST things.
10WaysToSayNo         ( just for you)
Permission Granted Again. ( you are worth it )
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Oops!

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It’s going to happen.  It’s inevitable. At least once in your life you are going to fail at something.  Everybody has failed even if they refuse to admit it. Interestingly enough, some of the greatest success stories were born out of some form of failure: Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, even Oprah.  C. S. Lewis said it best “Failures are the finger posts on the road to achievement.”

Failure can be a real opportunity!

  1.  You can learn a great deal from failure IF you choose the to.  For all of us there is room for improvement; failures can bring those needed areas to light and give us the chance to grow!   Hindsight is, indeed, a great teacher. A failure can become a defining reference point when faced with a similar challenge or opportunity.
  2. Failure can make you stronger.  When some people fail they throw in the towel, give up.  Others fail and they seem to find a deep strength within to learn from it and do better next time.  Though it feels really bad in the moment but it shouldn’t stop or break you.  Getting through a challenging failure; in business, a relationship, or experience should help us to learn how really strong we are!
  3. A failure may lead to new opportunities.  Sometimes a failure can lead to a necessary ending; a new direction.  A failure can help us assess if we are on the best path for our lives. A failure, as painful as it can be, might lead you to considering fresh avenues for your life.
  4. Failures simply make the successes so much sweeter! To have grown and learned from a past failure and having  fresh success in a previously challenged area is the best feeling in the world!  The learning and hindsight gained somehow makes the challenge worth it.
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without the loss of enthusiasm”  Winston Churchill
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead-end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley
 
Learn from failures, forgive yourself, stand up tall and move forward with fresh resolve.

Confessions of a Life Coach~

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As a Life Coach I get to spend my work days with incredible people who desire to reach their full potential. We talk about past challenges and changes that need to be made.  We establish the best practices to achieve fresh goals and to establish routines that produce great fruitfulness in their lives, families, ministries, and businesses. As a Life Coach I help my clients to calendar activities according to their key priorities so that their schedules aren’t eaten up by low paying activities!  I have to admit that it gives me pure joy to see my clients experience so many “wins”!  It is truly exhilarating!

But~ here’s the catch…if I want my leaders and clients to have authentic change then I must lead by example! Yikes, right? There’s the kicker! I have to take my own advice and apply the same suggestions I give others into my own choices and routines!

Over the years I have heard folks say to me, “It must be easy for you to maintain life balance and good choices because you are a Coach.”   Wrong!  I still have to talk myself into my workouts; working past the thoughts of “I’ll do it later today, the roads aren’t safe, I worked out enough yesterday!”.  As much as I love the Lord I have to wrangle myself to sit down, read, pray, and reflect each day!  In the area of good food choices I still have to be mindful about making sure I have a healthy breakfast and being careful about late night snacks, among other challenges!

The verse in Romans 7:19 talks about the conflict between doing what I know is best; “For I do not do the good that I desire; but the evil which I do not desire, that I do.”  Even though this battle rages on inside I must continue to pursue doing what is best, what is right, and what it fruitful if I want to be a leader.

James 3:1 states the challenge this way, “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

I recognize that I am still growing and learning as a person and as a leader, yet I clearly understand the challenge and responsibility of applying the very principles I am challenging others to apply.

How about you?  You may be a parent, school teacher, pastor, Department head, Or CEO.  Those you lead are watching you.  Those you “teach” to make choices are watching the choices you make.

I encourage you to continue to pursue excellent in your life so that your leadership has a positive and consistent impact on those who look to you for wisdom and guidance.

As leaders, we may not hit a home run every day but if we keep our best practices in place we will have more wins than fails as we walk out the lives God has given us!

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