The Freedoms we may Forget~

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My son is a fantastic Jr. High teacher; very creative in his efforts to teach his students well.  Recently he has been teaching his  students about India; talking about the many religious beliefs and traditional systems that generations have either enjoyed or endured for hundreds of years.

Yesterday he was trying to teach his students about the “Caste” system that has been  (and often still is) used to keep people in their rightful place.  The students drew numbers and based on that choice were placed with a group who had to complete tasks together~ some interesting tasks, some very menial based on the level of caste they were in.  I believe the whole concept of being “placed” into a lifestyle where you must remain based on your level in life was kinda surprising and uncomfortable for students who have been raised in America.

When I travel and spent the summer in India many years ago I saw the Caste system in place for myself; an older gentleman sweeping the same small area of the street every day, all day for life, with the hope that he would prove himself worthy and have a chance at living his next life at a higher level.  When visiting the Taj Majal there was a man who mowed the grass there by leading a cow with a crude type of steel grass cutting tool. I was told that this man fulfilled this task day after day after day in hopes of moving to a higher level of caste in his next life.

Another element of the caste system is that if you are privileged to find yourself in a higher caste you are not even allowed to look upon an “untouchable”, those of a lower caste!  So within the system,  those with greater influence cannot even give a “hand up” to those whose find themselves to be “untouchables”.

All of this got me thinking about America.  There are, indeed, many pockets of society where children are born into extremely difficult situations.  There are many people who find themselves in places, geography wise and family wise, where they feel they will never be able to live a life any different then what they are experiencing.

However, the difference between our freedoms and that of a caste system is that we actually “can” change our station in life with incredible perseverance, education, creativity,  and tenacity.  In America we do have the freedom, within our one life, to move from poverty to success, from dysfunction to health, if we can apply ourselves in intentional ways!  No one has made it a law that we cannot “change” our station in life. There are many stories of those whose lives were desperately challenged yet managed to pull themselves up and out to find a life of influence and purpose.

Another factor in our American freedoms is our choice to help others success.  As fellow citizens we are completely free to lend a hand to another, to financially support an individual with a challenging beginning  in creative ways.  Rarely does a person soar without people around them who “gave them a foot up”.  In America we have the freedom to help make a difference and we should!

So in this season of challenging political rhetoric, let’s not forget the freedoms that we have, the choices weare free to consider, and the opportunities we are free to undertake in this great land of ours, and our freedom to lend a hand to those who need it!

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New Choices for 2014~

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As I arose early this morning on one of the last days of 2013 I began to ponder just how quickly this year had passed!   Seems like I just blinked and another year had gone by. Delving even deeper into my thoughts, I asked myself if I felt I had used this year; the time I was given, to the best of my ability?  Was I a good steward with my time and priorities?

My assessment of myself? Not 100% perfect! However, I felt satisfied with the priority I had chosen as my main focus throughout the year. People! I have tried very hard this year to stay connected with the precious people God has allowed me to know and love.  Family, friends, colleagues, co-workers, and new relationships.

As I perused through my 2013 calendar, looking through the tasks/appointments that I set for myself I am satisfied that I gave ample time to my key priority of valuing people. Certainly I’ve not been perfect, wishing still that I’d have had more time with some that I only connected with occasionally!  Staying and being connected with others in this way is cup-filling for me; I pray it has brought value to those I care for as well.

Now, here’s the balance~ did my focus on my main goal of valuing people impact other priorities in my life? My devotions, exercise, study time, and housekeeping…….well, sometimes it did.  Because of this, I recognize the need to balance my priorities better in 2014!  Just a little tweaking here and there to my calendar and Ideal Week would create time to spend with others while making sure I am still being keenly responsible to the other areas of my life that deserve my attention!

As you look over your past year, are you pleased at how you used your time? chose your priorities? navigated your responsibilities?  Like me, are there some areas you need to shore up to find greater success when you arrive on the doorstep of 2015 (which will come in a blink)?

Now is a great time to think about the year ahead! calendar those priorities, create an Ideal Week to assist you in committing to how you will use your time ( contact me if you’d like an Ideal Week document to use), and give yourself permission to make needed changes for greater satisfaction in 2014! The new year is yet untouched~ make it your best!

Happy New fantastic year! 🙂

Good Questions~

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Powerful questions can challenge us, help us move forward, and give us the opportunity to assess our lives, motivations, helping us to understand how & why we sabotage ourselves and how & why we are motivated!!! As a Coach, questions are so incredibly important!!

Here are some good questions:

  • 1.  What do I want?
  • 2.  What is the difference between a wish and a goal?
  • 3.  What keeps me going?
  • 4.  What do I need in order to reach my goals?
  • 5.  What am I choosing this week?
  • 6.  If I were at my best, what would I do right now?
  • 7.  What is it to be exceptional?
  • 8.  How can I recharge my batteries
  • 9.  What am I grateful for?
  • 10. What have I learned about myself?

Ask these questions of yourself, ponder them. What is being revealed about YOU? What helpful truths have you recognized that could help you grow; move forward?

For me, answering these questions is both humbling and clarifying!  Good questions can create fresh understanding.  Ask yourself GREAT questions and watch yourself grow in fresh ways!!

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AARRGGH! Sometimes I just don’t like you!

Ever met anyone who you seem to dislike for no known reason?  Every time you are around them you feel a little irritated, defensive, or critical? Are there people on your team at work, or even in your family that frustrate you whenever you are around them?    What would you think if I explained to you that it’s possible you simply don’t understand how they were created?  Let me explain.

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Throughout most of my life I “disliked” strong, aggressive people-male or female. I saw them as arrogant and self serving. I indited them simply because of their “alpha” personality~Type A.  I liked the peaceful type–the fun type–and for most of my life I surrounded myself with people I liked….people just like me! 🙂

As a Life and Business Coach I have been trained on an assessment tool called the DISC.  This assessment breaks down behavior styles into 4 quadrants:  Driver (D), Influence (I), Steady (S), and Conscientious (C).  Each behavior style is different and though we have a portion of each of them in ourselves, we do have 1 or 2 that are more dominant than the others.

As I began to learn the high value of the different behavior styles I started to understand why it is so important that we understand each other, give grace, and learn to communicate according to what we understand about our differences.

Today I am not irritated by a Type A (D-Dominance) personality from the get-go!  I understand that they have a need to focus on getting tasks completed, that they can be impatient, be a little blunt, and talk forcefully. But that does not mean they do not love deeply and care about those in their lives.

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As a high I (Influence), I love people, my life is highly connected relationally, I like to have fun, love to laugh~ but I’m not so great with details and I probably talk too much!!  I can frustrate people too!

For the S (Steady) change can be a upsetting, they may stay in a challenged situation or relationship longer that needed or is healthy because they are so loyal. However the S dislikes conflict and may do all that is possible to avoid it while the D jumps right in to conflict unafraid!!  See the amazing difference?

The C (Conscientious) likes to know what the rules are and wants to be sure everyone is following them!  There is a right way and wrong way to do things…period. So imagine their frustration when an I , like myself, chooses to create my own rules!A high C does NOT want you to mess up their organized desk! Do not use their stapler without asking!!  LOL!

I say all this as a reminder that we have all been created differently. Scripture says we are fearfully and wonderfully made!!  Love it!

So I challenge you, as I challenge myself, before you indite or decide you dislike someone~~ Step back and think, are they a D  I  S  C???  Then seek to understand them the best you can! To help you in this quest, feel free message me on Facebook and I will send you some tools that will be a great source of understanding.  I firmly believe that the more we seek to understand about how someone is wired up – the great success we will have in those relationships!!

🙂

Dr. Desiree Margo~~

This past weekend my family had the pure joy of watching my amazing sister receive her Doctorate!  We are all so proud of her! At graduation we shouted, hooted, and clapped with all our might to show her how proud we are of her. Following the graduation we gave Dr. Desiree Margo gifts to further show how proud we are of her!

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However, the graduation ceremony was only a tiny reflection of the cost of earning this degree! The work, commitment, sleepless nights, numerous papers, and the dreaded dissertation required every ounce of energy she had.  While accomplishing this goal, Desiree also worked full time as a school principal of a thriving elementary school!

Why is this significant to me?  Attaining goals, especially big goals, requires commitment and sacrifice!  To move toward a fresh milestone in our lives we may have to assess our current commitments and allow ourselves to say “no” to some involvements for a season!

I am certain that late at night while working on her degree my sister must have wondered “what have I gotten myself into?”! Yet, the look on her face at graduation made it was easy to see that it had been worth the work to receive an honor given to only  1% of the population.

What about you? Are there goals you want to achieve but are afraid of the “cost”? Could focusing on this new goal (s) force you out of your comfort zone for a season? Whether attaining education, building a quality marriage, starting a business, getting healthy, writing a book, or any other goal that would be important to you; there will be adjustments needed.

Oh, but the JOY in accomplishing your goal will be so worth it! Once you begin; stay your course, dig deep, lean into your support systems, and celebrate every WIN!!

What milestone is ahead of you? No better day to get started than today! Thank you Dr. Margo for you inspiration. 🙂

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“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”  C. S. Lewis