Responsibility- Is this Mine?

When did I first learn that I was responsible?  Some where in the lesson of responsibility – I twisted up what I was responsible for. I took on the belief that I was responsible for all others first, that I was responsible for other people. That I was responsible for happiness, feelings, outcomes, being perfect, doing it all.

That other people’s feelings and needs came before mine. I used to think that doing things for others was important and I was not important.  Now I reject that belief and have let go of my idea of being responsible for the entire universe.  Are you really in charge of the universe today? Only when I ask myself that out loud does it sound silly.

Responsibility is a habit that is difficult to sort out at times. I am at heart a responsible person. It is the order of my belief that has changed. I cannot be helpful, compassionate or caring when I am overwhelmed or carrying the weight of all responsibility around with me. What happens if you pick up every task or problem that you see? How many of these problems or rocks can you carry and still keep moving without impacting your own health?


On good days, I will gently hand you back the responsibility you attempt to pass over to me. On bad days, I will say yes to anything asked of me, and then get angry or upset when I realize I have taken on too much responsibility again. When I carry around things for other people, there is no space in my life for me. I am important. I need to be responsible to me before you.  Another lesson to be learned.

When I do forget and slip back into that outdated idea of what is mine, I am able to remind myself by asking better questions.  Is this really mine? Pause. Say no before yes. Who does this belong to? Why would you ask me that? Is this mine?

I am responsible.

I am responsible for my own happiness.

I am responsible for self -care, honoring my feelings, being kind to myself.

I believe that self- care is critical to self- development and growth.

I am responsible for me.

The Emotional Roller Coaster

The Emotional Roller Coaster- Cancer

What are your options when you know your emotions are running your life and you really need to find a center balance point to be there for your loved one?

How do you be the support person when your friend is upset and having difficulty dealing with loss or grief ?

I wish I could give you the right formula that would help you every time.

I can only share what I learned about accepting my emotions without letting them take over my life.

I now view my emotions as waves. Emotional waves can be large or small, expected or unexpected. You can learn to swim with your emotions by accepting them as just your feelings of the moment.

I hate crying, yet I have cried more the last 30 days than the last 30 years. I hate not having the answers, yet there are some questions that have no answers. I like having a plan and knowing what will happen next. Cancer of a loved one does not give you that option. Making plans is a waste of time and energy. Living on an emotional roller coaster is exhausting and unsustainable. So what do you do?

Most of us have tried two things, ignore your emotions or stuff them away to deal with some day. Some day never comes, so that is the same as ignoring them.

Ignoring emotions allow them to build up to a crisis where you are likely to explode over trivial things. Learning to accept and work with your emotions will allow you to accept them as an experience instead of a stress trigger.
Here are three ideas that have helped me stay steady and calm.

First: Accept the fact that you have emotions and they will show up unexpectedly.

Second: Recognize your feelings and acknowledge them. I do that my naming them.

Third: Ask yourself “what do I need right now?” as a way to focus on actions that support you in time of chaos.

Self-care will take many forms. I thrived on reading, exercising and focusing on small daily routines that brought me comfort. Judith Oeloffs’ book Emotional Freedom was useful for my handling this sudden change in my life. She describes emotional freedom as a chance to become better. “ To make this a reality, you must begin to see each event of your life, uplifting or hurtful, earthshaking or mundane as a chance to grow stronger, smarter, more light-bearing. “ My definition has been simpler. Emotional freedom means to flex your emotional muscles on a regular basis until you accept them as part of you. Do your current strategies work for handling emotions? Reach out and start stretching those emotional muscles by connecting with other people, a trusted friend, a coach.


How 10 Minutes Can Change Your Life

The secret to change is not big ideas or drastic new goals that you don’t ever find the time to implement. True change happens when you do one thing over and over again. How can 10 minutes make a difference in a very busy life? When you look at 10 minutes all alone, not much can be accomplished. What if you consider what 10 minutes a day adds up to in a week or a month? You know how money accumulates when you save on a regular consistent basis. The key to success with saving money is to be consistent in saving so that even a small amount adds up over time. Take that same concept and apply it to how you make changes in your life.
I found that Jeff Olson offers practical insight with this concept in his book: The Slight Edge. “ Simple daily disciplines- little productive actions, repeated consistently over time- add up the difference between failure and success“. The power of making a small consistent change on a daily basis is that you are creating momentum and a habit. If you attempted to find one hour a day for personal development or exercise, it would be easy to fall back on the “ I am too busy “ excuse. The 10-minute block of time is manageable. Everyone can find a space for a 10-minute activity. My choices for making a positive change are: 10 minutes of exercise every morning, read 10 min for personal development and watch or listen to an educational or inspiring video every day.
The only new action is the 10 min of exercise in the morning. This has set me up for the day with feeling awake, energized and ready for any project of the day.
This simple habit reminds me that exercise is an important part of my day. I love to read and frequently read a book over breakfast and lunch. I have always read fiction books at those times. This subtle change to a book that inspires, challenges or adds new information to my brain has made a difference in my workflow.
On days that I do this simple exercise, I find it easier to focus and accomplish my planned activity for the day.

If this is so easy why doesn’t everyone use this idea of 10 minutes to make positive change?
It is easy to do and easy to skip. After all, it is only 10 minutes. Your mind will allow you to discount the impact of just 10 minutes. You do not see immediate results.
What makes this change stick is the confidence that your new habit will improve your life over time. I challenge you to pick one 10-minute activity and repeat it every day for 30 days. Then decide how that change has impacted you.
What will you chose to make your 10 minutes count? Need a guide? Jump into action with Spiral Coaching.  Special 3 Call Laser Coaching Offer

Personal Accountability

One of the greatest myths around is that we are entitled to a meaningful, happy life filled with a successful career, supportive relationships and financial security. There is a great disappointment when we expect all of this to just happen to us. Is there any chance of living a fully integrated satisfying life in this age of chaos, uncertainty and ongoing change?
Yes, if you are willing to be 100% accountable for your actions, responses and outcomes.
No, if you blame outcomes on outside events, other people and wait for the good things to just happen to you.
No, if you keep blaming yourself for poor outcomes without making any change in your behavior or attitude.
There is a simple formula to explain accountability. Outcomes are a result of your actions and your attitudes.
Are you willing to change and take action to change your outcomes?
Start by practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is simply being fully present in your life from moment to moment. It sounds easy, not so easy with a busy life and hectic schedule. I challenge you this week to slow down and pay attention to how you feel, what your choices are and how your actions effect your outcomes. Start small in making changes that fit your desires. Think big for getting what you want out of life.

Just Hang On

Have you ever had a week or a series of weeks where your schedule was so packed full that you had to keep moving between events without thinking or pausing to wonder how it got this way?
I am in the second week of such a schedule with 4 days left of jam packed commitments. I have stopped long enough to figure out who did this to me? Me. Why did I think it was a good idea to have only one day off a week for two weeks in a row and then schedule that day with activities that had to be done. How did this happen? You might understand, another clinic was shorthanded so I offered to pick up a few extra days. Who hasn’t offered to fill in when needed to help out another person who needed to be off? So how do you survive a schedule that gives little or no time for rest or recovery? How do you get through it? I had time to prepare. I cooked ahead and froze healthy meals. I still make time for exercise even if it is a 15 minute walk. I hold myself to shutting down by brain and computer by a set time at night. I find I need some decompression time before going to sleep, so my brain can wind down from a busy schedule. The good things that come from a busy schedule:
• I get absolutely clear on what is important or critical to get done
• It becomes easy to say no to anything extra
• I have asked for help more often
• I hold my sleep time as essential
• I resolve to not allow this packed schedule to happen again
What have you done to hang on when your schedule gets crazy? Do you recognize when you have too much going? How much time to you have to just to nothing? If you have something scheduled for every minute of the day- it might be time to step back and readjust. Just hang on- is a good motto for survival weeks. I prefer to have a daily motto reflects a healthy balance of work, fun and play. What can you do to hold your schedule to reflect what you need in life?
Try blocking out times for you. Amazing things happen when you hold open space for your own life to unfold.

De-clutter your brain

De-Clutter your Brain
Do you ever wonder how you will know when your brain is too full to store any more information? For me, it happens when I get stuck with so many small tasks and details swirling around that I cannot decide what to work on where to even begin. We have so much information coming at us on a daily or hourly basis-too much to gather up and keep. If your brain was great at tracking and storing information- you would always remember things when you needed to and not an hour or a day later. Have you ever come home from doing errands and then remembered the one item you forgot to pick up? Of course you have.
Your brain is not a good storage unit; too many good ideas get lost or come up as a distraction when you are in the middle of something else. Your brain is being wasted as a storage unit. It is much better at problem solving and generating ideas than just holding all your thoughts in place until you need them. So here is an idea to de-clutter your brain. Get all that information out of your brain and into the next steps of doing something with it. You can call this a mind dump, a brain clearing activity or just a way to get clarity on all the stuff you think you need to do.
Take the time to sit down and write down every single thing or task that is taking up space in your mind. Keep writing out any idea, thought or action that comes to mind without trying to sort or go into details. The best practice I have found is to write each thing on a separate piece of paper. This allows me to sort them into categories easily as the next step.
Now I sort the list into areas that make sense to me. All time related items go on my schedule as an action or a reminder of an upcoming time related deadline. I have a great idea folder or pile- things that are interesting that I don’t have time to dive into right now. I have a someday maybe pile of things that would be nice to do but are not really important or a priority. Once they go into that pile, I don’t have to keep thinking about them anymore.
My biggest value from this exercise is pulling out projects- any collection of things I am working on which require more than one step- are considered projects. They each get a page or note on my computer- so I can track them and move them along with actions one step at a time.
Once I have a good list of all the projects I have going- it is much easier for me to manage them and I get much better at saying no to new things. This alone saves me from getting overwhelmed.
I give credit to the mind dump idea and many of my organizational systems to David Allen, author of Getting Things Done Fast. I think you need to make any system one that works for you and that you use on a regular basis. I do a mind clearing exercise at least once a week to keep me on track.

How do you spend your time?

Here are a few ideas to help you manage your “stuff” and find a sense of satisfaction from taking actions that move you in a direction of your choice instead of being stuck in overwhelm.

What is your Highest Value Activity?
What are the things that you do better than anyone else? Make a list of all the things you really enjoy doing and where you are really good at getting results. Consider the activities or areas that other people ask you for help in. Focus in on the things that you get the most satisfaction from doing.
I know that you have heard that common saying that 20% of your time produces 80% of your results. The key is stopping long enough to really define and understand what actions contribute to your best results, professional development and personal satisfaction.
Determine the key things that you do that contribute the most to your desired outcomes.
When you spent more time in this area you would see an increase in results. When you focus in on one thing each day- you are less likely to get stuck in overwhelm at the end of the day. So many small things add up that they can grab your attention and you are busy all day- yet end the day feeling like you did not accomplish anything. If that sounds familiar: try asking yourself these two questions everyday: What one thing do I need to accomplish today? What is the best use of my time right now?

The cost of clutter

What is the true cost of clutter? I am designing a course to help people get rid of their brain and physical clutter. I have felt the burden of having too much stuff in my house. Things that I do not use, might not work, might not fit anymore- all take up physical space in my home. It can feel crowded in some rooms. The paper piles, , reference stuff that whole section of paper information that I save: can take up energetic space- do I really need to keep all that stuff- do I know what is in those piles or files? Are they useful to me? Can I find something when i need it? I have started on the easy things- for me- clothes- what really fits- looks good and is useful. It feels really good to sort through and give away things that someone else could wear instead of taking up space in my closet. This feels like the right time of year to make thoughtful decisions on what is useful in my life and what I need to let go of. More to come

What do you believe about your fitness level?

Are you a fit person? Are you a person who thinks you are awkward and physically challenged?

What internal messages to you give yourself every time you try something new that is physical?  What messages can you give yourself to support the pattern of being a physically fit person?

For any physical activity or skill, your mind is in charge of your body. It makes sense. First if you start a walking program, your mind has to make the decision to start the activity. Then it is your mind that places that activity on your schedule and reminds you to get moving.

When something is very important your mind will focus on it and give you positive reinforcements that this is what I want and need to be doing.

To be successful with any fitness activity you have to believe that you have the ability and resources to accomplish the activity. If you first believe you can be an active fit person you will be successful in getting there.

Now your actions need to follow that belief by setting up a realistic schedule for starting and staying on a fitness program.

For starting a walking program you need to commit to walking everyday for a specific amount of time. The biggest mistake I think people make is setting up impossible goals for the first week, then quitting because they didn’t make those goals.

For your success, take one action every day. Be consistent with that action. Pay attention to the small results and how you feel about accomplishing that one thing every day.

Give your self credit every day for the one thing you did to more you towards better health. Then repeat that action again tomorrow and build on it.

Become the fit person you want to be, one day at a time.

Keep moving and have fun with it.