Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rediscovering the Inner Child is F.U.N.

Have you ever noticed when kids pretend to act like adults they lose their fun, childlike demeanor and become more serious? 

Ever since my daughter Alyssa was born, I've become acutely aware that I may have lost my connection with my inner child.

She showed me this when she was a baby, and I was changing her diaper. She would scoot her butt all over the changing table to keep me from getting a new diaper on. As a first-born, type-A personality, this would drive me nuts -- "work first, then play" was my belief.

But, I soon came to realize Alyssa was teaching me that we can work and play at the same time. And that we should work and play at the same time, because, if we keep trying to get all of our work done first, there will never be time for play.

I have worked to try to incorporate this new belief into my life for the past seven years of her life. I need a lot of reminding to reprogram my old ways. It's not easy. Some days I feel sorry for her being my teacher in this area -- it's a big task! But I am so grateful she is here to teach me!

My first-born, Tyler, has been getting in on the fun lately, too. He came home from school yesterday with a riddle from a friend. This sparked a string of riddles going through our house. Alyssa is even in on it now! A riddle is a great way to slow yourself down and think like a child. I have to admit -- at first, I felt busy, and I did not want to slow down long enough to solve the riddle, but I did, and it was fun!

I guess they got me going on a playful theme today, because later at yoga, our instructor said to "play around" with our poses -- to try new things. That sounded like a good idea, so, I gave the "crow" pose a try -- darn near got it! What fun that was! For two years I've been doing yoga and never gotten brave enough to try a difficult pose like that.

I was so excited I came home and showed the kids and started running around the house cawing like a crow! I know, now you think I'm crazy! But nope, just acting like a kid! And by the way, as of this moment, everyone in the house has tried crow pose! Even Paul! Awesome!

What will you do to be playful today?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Changing Schools Need Not be a Hair-Raising Experience

"By the way, your children are going to be just fine in their new school." These are the comforting words my doctor said to me as he looked me in the eye before leaving the exam room. It made me smile, because I knew he was right.

I "know" my children are going to be fine there. They will be fine almost anywhere, because they are very adaptable kids, but somehow this worry affected me so deeply that it has caused me to lose what feels like an enormous amount of my long locks (hence the visit to the doctor).

I've been through this before. Stress brings it on. Or shall I say, "makes it fall out."

But I thought I was dealing with the stress better, so it came as a surprise when the strands of hair just kept falling and falling and falling. My hair feels noticeably thinner now.

What happened to cause all of this shedding? We found out last April that none of the other four boys in my son's fourth grade class were planning on returning to the school for fifth grade. It's a smaller school -- his grade only had 16 students, five of whom were boys.

Although it was small, it worked with five boys. But, to think he might be the only boy or one of only two or three boys was unacceptable to my son, my husband and myself. Especially since he is at the height of his tween years -- he needs the influence and camaraderie of other boys.

After prayerful consideration and much research, we decided it was best to make a move. Luckily, we have many great schools in our area and found no problem with discovering a school with a larger population of boys that met all of our other criteria. That was the easy part. So, why the stress?

We had just changed schools when we moved across the country three years earlier, so I was worried that another school change so soon might be difficult for them.
  • I worried if they would be OK in a larger school.
  • I worried if they would get lost in the shuffle.
  • I worried about them making new friends.
  • I worried if the kids at the new school would be nice.
  • I worried about the old school -- about the impact of five children leaving one grade.
  • I worried about what other people were saying about our family's decision.
  • I worried I was letting people down -- even thought I knew our decision was right for our children.
But now that school has started, and I have seen that the kids are doing just fine, I think what is happening with my tresses is the release of this worry.

I think my hair is giving me the signal to shed the worry -- like the trees shed their leaves in the fall. They die for the winter so they can live in the spring. It's time for me to put an end to the worry so I can live in the bountiful harvest of "now" ... which, by the way, is a really wonderful place!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Inspiration and Photos

I got a new camera for my birthday, so I've been taking lots of fun pictures! I have found I most love watching and capturing wildlife.

I've been having some fun lately pairing up my photography with inspirational quotes. I share them mostly on my Love of Life Coaching page on Facebook, but I thought I'd post a few here, too! Enjoy!

This little guy visits our back yard daily!

I love how beautiful these bright flowers look next to the rustic shed.

This is my son jumping into the pool at his Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Don't Cry Over Spilled Freeze Pops

Oh how I love perfection! In everything I think, say and do, I am always shooting for it, but sometimes, too many times, I fall way short.

I was given some experiences to practice the other day that were just hilarious in retrospect, so I wanted to share.

Alyssa asked if she could open the box of Freeze-Pops I bought that day. She has been bugging me to buy them all summer, and, I have been trying to let her do more things on her own, so I handed her a pair of scissors to open the box.

I supervised, of course, but before I could stop her, she stabbed the top of the box with the scissors. She didn't know any better, and has probably seen me open boxes this way before ... but that is not the tactic I would use with a box of 100 tubes of spill-able, sticky, staining liquid!

So, I showed her the right way to open the box, which did not really need scissors, by the way (my bad). Then we peeked inside to assess the damage. Luckily, there was only one pop that was leaking. No biggie, so I took that one to the sink and asked her to put the rest in the freezer.

For some reason, she thought she needed to separate the pops before putting them in the freezer, and as she pulled them apart, one ripped right in the middle. Spill-able, sticky, staining, red liquid shot everywhere as I carried the carnage over to the sink to dispose of it! And that is when I lost it. I yelled out her name in a frustrated, blaming tone, as if it was her fault.

It was not her fault. I'm the one who decided it would be wise to carry the darn thing over to the sink, not her. She didn't do anything wrong by tearing them apart, that's what she thought she was supposed to do. She ran up to her room crying. Who could blame her.

After I cleaned up the mess, I went up to her room, knocked on her door, got down on my knees to her level and said, "I am so sorry for yelling at you. That was not your fault. You did nothing wrong. Can you forgive me?" Thankfully, she did!

This story would be finished if that was the end of the excitement for that day, but alas, it was not. The next mess occurred just two hours later as we were leaving for a potluck dinner at church. We had baked some really cool cupcakes with filling in the middle.

As we were leaving, Alyssa volunteered to put them in the car. I was happy to let her help. She took the container from me, but could not fit it between the seats, so she tipped it sideways to make it fit! Logical, right? Well, not if what is in the container is frosted cupcakes!!!

"Nooooooo," I yelled out! At that moment, I remembered the lesson I learned earlier, so I asked her to hand me the container, and I brought it back inside to the kitchen table to survey the damage.

My first reaction, was, "Great. They're toast." But after a deep breath and a second look, I realized I could salvage the cupcakes if I re-frosted the tops and pulled the paper wrappers off the bottoms (because they were now covered in frosting).

Nobody followed me inside the house to see what was happening (they were probably afraid of my reaction), so I went back out to the car and told them to come back in while I repaired the damage, because it was a scorching 94 degrees outside.

Alyssa stood next to me while I doctored them up. I could tell she was waiting to see if I was going to get angry, so I said, "Boy are we having a wacky day, or what?" She laughed and started making jokes of her own.

As an added bonus, my dad was there, so he helped me clean up the mess and we were back on our way out the door in no time.

For the record, the cupcakes turned out fabulous! And hopefully I'm well on my way to learning not to cry (or yell) over spilled things!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fake on Facebook?

This topic has been on my mind for a little while, so I just wanted to take a quick moment to address it.

Since Facebook has become popular, there have been many accusations of people being "fake" and only posting good news on their status updates. I even saw a t-shirt at Walt Disney World making reference to this. While I'm certain there are people out there who do that, I would like to offer another possibility.

Maybe some people just prefer to be positive. Personally, I am intentional about posting positive information and thoughts on Facebook. Not to be fake, but because I believe in the Law of Attraction, which says, "what you think about is what you bring about."

That means, if your mind is negative and full of complaints, then you are going to receive more of that. But if your mindset is positive and full of gratitude, you will receive more of that. 

I don't want to go on Facebook and spread negativity around. And that is not what I want to read on Facebook. I don't want to be dragged down by negative energy. 

I'm not saying it's never OK to complain on Facebook. But if we find that most of our posts are complaints, we might want to take a look at that. Yes, there are always challenges in life, but what really matters is how you choose to look at them. I choose to see the glass half-full. I choose to see the silver lining. How about you?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

For the Love of 436 S. Prindle

For my entire life, 436 S. Prindle has been an important address. It is the address of my Grandmother and Grandfather's home and the gathering point for our entire family. We visited almost every weekend growing up. Probably 99.9 percent of my memories of my grandparents took place at that address. It feels like a part of my heart resides there.

Now that both of my grandparents have gone to heaven, the time has come to find a new, loving family for their home. I never thought this day would come. I just thought my grandmother would always be sitting at her kitchen table with her coffee and my grandfather would always be tinkering away in the garage.

To say this is an emotional transaction would be an understatement, but I have put on my "business" hat to help handle the details -- for my father's sake, mostly. He says this is one of the hardest things he has ever had to do in his life. I'm glad I can be here holding his hand through it.

One thing that has really helped is that we were able to hire my favorite Realtor to do the job. He's amazing and "gets" it. He gave us some pointers, picked the price point and sent it out to the market.

After only eight days, we received an offer that brought us all to tears. The offer was from a young family who sent a letter with their offer to let us know how much they would like the home. They said they grew up in the same town as 436 S. Prindle, and their families live only blocks away from the house. They said they wanted to make our house their home as they raise their family.

I'm pretty sure this is the only way my father and aunt would have been able to "let the house go." I think my Grandfather in heaven knows this. It had to be a family. And I'm certain they were hand-picked.

Wanna know something else really cool? The closing date the buyers selected is my grandfather's birthday. July 12. I just had to smile when I saw that. It was totally unexpected, and nothing short of a miracle when I think about everything we went through in preparing the house to go on the market --  all of the cleaning, painting, planting and more.

At first we worked at a leisurely pace, but then we suddenly had only three weeks before our deadline to get it on the market in time for summer, and then my father ended up in the hospital for two of those three weeks, totally unable to help us.

And then there's the story of the buyers -- who knows how they ended up at this exact time ready to buy this exact house, but I'm sure they think it's pretty amazing, too. If only they knew they are buying more than a house -- they are buying a home filled with much love and many cherished memories. I pray they will make many wonderful memories there, as well.

I swear, I don't know why I ever worry. Everything always works out.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Too Late To Apologize

While I don't think this headline is true, I did think it was a catchy title for a blog about apologizing -- and I love the song!

Anyway, there is so much to say about how to apologize, but today, I just want to focus on one little word that should never be included in an apology.

The word is "but." If you ever hear yourself say this word during an attempted apology, STOP yourself immediately, because you've just canceled the apology.

It doesn't matter if you are apologizing to your child, your spouse, your parent or a friend. The use of the word "but" renders your apology null and void. It tells the other person you are not sincere and that you are not taking responsibility for hurting their feelings. Furthermore, it introduces an excuse for your offending behavior. This hurts the offended person even more.

Here are a couple of examples of what not to say:
  • "I am sorry I yelled at you, but you made me so mad." 
  • "I am sorry I said mean things to you, but I'm just so frustrated with how you've handled this situation."
  • "I am sorry for losing my temper, but you shouldn't have done that."
Here are a couple of examples of more sincere apologies:
  • "I am sorry I yelled at you. I should not have done that. I love you so much. Can you forgive me?"
  • "I am sorry I said mean things to you. I did not mean to hurt your feelings. I value our friendship and I want to make things right. Is there anything I can do?"
  • "I am sorry for losing my temper. You did not deserve to be treated that way. I am working very hard to try to never do that again. Will you accept my apology?"
And of course, you actually have to be sincere with your words!

Just this morning I had to practice a good apology with my daughter. I had lost my temper and yelled at her. I could have given her a long list of reasons why I felt justified about yelling at her in the moment, but the truth is none of them matter. The only thing that matters is that I love her and I want to treat her well. I want to parent her with kindness, compassion and grace. Yelling has no place in that.

On the positive side, when I slip up and do yell at her, I am giving myself an opportunity to apologize, and I am showing her how to apologize -- good lessons for both of us!

There's no question about it, apologizing is difficult, but with some work and practice, you can get better at it. If all else fails, just try to think about how you would like to be apologized to and go from there! And remember, the end result is a reconciliation of the relationship that was broken by the offense.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Handling Raw Emotions in the Midst of Personal Attacks

Ever been on the receiving end of a personal attack? How did you respond? Did you attack back? Or did you give yourself time to gain your composure and respond gently? 

I don't know about you, but when I am personally attacked, my first reaction is one of wanting to fight back and defend myself, but I've learned over the years how deal with it better, and a couple recent experiences have reminded me of some great wisdom.

Whether the attack comes at you from email, text or in person, you have a CHOICE about how to respond. 

You can choose to respond with the same level of venom that was spewed on you by defending  yourself and attempting to prove how wrong the other person is ... or, you can choose to give grace and respond gently. 

Responding to a personal attack out of anger is a reaction. Reactions generally contain harsh words used to prove how wrong the other person is. It feels good for about a second as you defend yourself, but then as you're speaking, you realize what a mess you're creating and that you are going to have to go back and clean it up later.

Instead, choose a reply and remember, "a gentle reply turns away wrath."

When I am personally attacked I usually need time to process the situation and my feelings in my journal before I can speak about it gently. Then, as I prepare to address the situation with the other person, I try to apply a process I learned in the book Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst.

I'll use the example from the book to illustrate how to accomplish each step. (In the books she shares a harsh email she received from the parent of a child at her daughter's school who was not invited to her daughter's birthday party.)
  1. Honor the one offended. You can do this by pointing out a good quality. "I can tell you are a mother who cares deeply for your child." 
  2. Keep your response short and full of grace. 
    • Acknowledge the expressed hurt. "I understand how hard it can be when we feel our child has been left out. Like you, I hurt when my child hurts."
    • Briefly clarify your intentions. "Might I share from my heart what I intended when we invited only the girls from Hope's homeroom class to the party?..."
    • Be gently honest about the situation and offer a door. "You are probably aware of the conflicts our daughters have had this year. If you would like to discuss some possible ways we can better guide both girls, I would welcome that."
    • Apologize if appropriate. "Please accept my most sincere apology for causing you and your daughter hurt."
  3. Extend compassion. End your note or conversation sincerely. If you can find it in your heart to extend a warm closing, do so. It will go a long way in helping to resolve the situation.
I recently had a couple of opportunities to practice this technique, and I am SO glad I did. It brought such a sense of peace to the situation -- especially for me, because I could actually feel good about how I handled the situation without having to go back and clean it up later. Imagine that!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I got 26 Hugs from my Daughter this Morning

Isn't that sweet? I got 26 hugs from my daughter this morning! Why on earth would I write about that? Well, because it was before school in the rush of trying to get everyone out the door! Every parent knows how busy mornings can be!

This morning, Alyssa had a few extra minutes before it was time to go, so she wanted to read me a book called Big Hugs, Little Hugs. It tells a "story" about all of these different critters who hug and where they hug -- inside, outside, upstairs, downstairs ... you get the idea!

Reading it was cute enough, but then I was ready to move on. Not so with Alyssa -- she wanted to act out each and every hug.

One little voice in my head said, "Oh my goodness! I do not have time for this right now. I still have 26 things to do before we leave."

But another voice in my head said, "What could be more important than this?"

So, away we went on a hugging spree -- acting out each and every one. I have to admit, I was still feeling a bit reluctant -- it was 7:00 in the morning, my coffee hadn't quite kicked in yet, and my daughter was making me do all of these wacky things.

But, in the end, I'm so glad I made the choice to slow down for Alyssa this morning. It was the highlight of my day and a memory I won't soon forget! What could be better?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Is there really a God?

Since the bombings at the Boston Marathon, I have heard a couple of people wonder out loud if there really is a God. They say, "If there really is a God, why would He let this happen?"

Wow. I feel so bad for the people are asking this question, because they are in such despair. Without hope.

I believe my faith in God is what gives me comfort in times like this. I believe God is there. That he loves me. That he will take care of me. That when I do leave this earth, I will be in the happiest, most magnificent place imaginable. No more pain. No more suffering.

I do not believe God "allows" tragedies to happen. Rather, bad things happen because people have free will, and they go against God's will.

After a tragedy, God comes in to grieve with us and support us in our recovery. If we allow it, tragedies, such as these, can actually grow us closer to God. How? By focusing our minds on the good.

Even though this situation is tragic, there is beauty happening in and around it. More than we know at this point, because it's too early. What we do know is about all of the first responders and spectators who immediately rushed in to offer help to the wounded and all of the runners who ran straight from the race to the hospital to donate blood. I'm sure many more stories of heroism will come out over time.

Sometimes when I find my mind is mired in the muck of a tragedy like this, I try to remember Philippians 4:8, which says, "In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable."

Through this passage, God is telling us not to dwell on the evil, but instead to focus on the good.

How do we do that? Instead of dwelling on the heartbreak, let's look for the good. Instead of talking about the evil doers, let's offer up our prayers for the victims.

I know it's not easy -- especially with the media covering it 24/7. But try. Just try to find the good. It is there.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Secret to Great Relationships is ... in your Bathroom

Sometimes we feel like other people are making life difficult for us. Being mean to us. Judging us. Blaming us.

That makes us feel angry, hurt or sad inside and may cause us to react in an unkind way. Then, we realize we shouldn't have reacted unkindly and have to apologize for our mistake.

What if I told you there was a better way. An easier way. A more holistic way. One that will feel like magic when you try it. One that is the secret to having great relationships.

What I'm about to say may come as a shock. But when someone else is making you feel angry or hurt -- the best thing to do is stop and look in the mirror.

Why? Because everyone around you is simply reflecting you back to you.

Whew. Can you wrap your head around that? Everyone around you is reflecting you back to you.

When you understand that other people are only a reflection of yourself, you will find there is no room for blame, judgement or being the victim of another's words. The beauty in all of this is that this secret will help you grow into the person God wants you to be.

Let's look at an example: I had a client who felt like one of her friends was a very critical judge of everything she did, and it was making her really angry. Once she uttered that statement, I stopped her and had her ask herself, "Where am I being judgmental right now?" The first thing that came to her mind was that she was being judgmental of herself for where she was at in her career -- not as high up as she had imagined.

By being judgmental of herself, my client was attracting judgement from others -- especially this particular friend. But the truth is that she was hurting herself more than any other person was hurting her. Once she cleaned up the judgement within herself and started treating herself with more love, compassion and understanding, the perceived judgement from her friend ceased to exist.

If you need more proof that this secret is true, think about this. Have you ever noticed a pattern with problems in your relationships? Always the same problem? The same insecurities? Well, guess what? You are the common denominator. To get to the root of the cause, you have to be the change you wish to see.

I'm not saying this is easy, but you can do it! If you would like the help of a coach to guide you along, let me know!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Achieving Life Balance Isn't As Difficult As You Think

It's something we're all after. Balance. Trying to juggle everything we need and want to do to make ourselves and those around us happy.

It may seem like you're going to fall over at any time, but you can fee like you're walking on air instead if you put your mind to it.

Certified Master Life Coach Mir Lynne Pietrzyk and I are holding a teleclass on the first and third Wednesday of every month to teach the basic principles of life balance.

As a way of showing you how beneficial the class is, we are offering you a chance to listen to one class for free!

You can listen from your phone by dialing: (605) 477-2199. Enter access code: 667226#. Enter reference number 1. Enjoy!

If you like it, you can sign up for future classes by emailing lynne@shiftandwakeup.com. Just tell her you'd like to sign up for the life balance course!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Life Balance Teleclass Starts April 3

Announcing a new Life Balance teleclass! Put your life in balance and increase your happiness!

The benefits of the course are that you will clear the clutter from your life, create an action plan to achieve your goals and receive the assistance and accountability of not one, but two Certified Master Life Coaches -- Mir Lynne Pietrzyk and myself.

The class will be fun and engaging – something to look forward to! Consider it your bi-weekly “pick-me up!”

The Class will focus on three primary areas.
  • Clearing the Clutter – Participants will clear the clutter out of their lives and gain clear vision of their true goals and life purpose.
  • Activating Action – Participants will learn how to apply powerful, simple and effective action strategies to their goals.
  • Living Your New Life – Participants will begin enjoying the benefits of action and learn how to stick with the plan when resistance kicks in.
The course will be held via teleclass:

Date: The First and Third Wednesday of every month, starting April 3, 2013

Time: 11 a.m. CST/Noon EST until Noon CST/1 p.m. EST

Location: Via teleclass, call in information will be provided at registration

RSVP: Call Lynne at 239-253-2884 or email lynne@shiftandwakeup.com

COST: $35/session if six sessions are purchased, $40/session if four sessions are purchased, $45/session if sessions are purchased one at a time.

As a bonus, each participant will receive a complimentary one-hour coaching session with a Certified Master Life Coach for each six sessions purchased. Also, we have set up a private Facebook group for participants to engage in dialogue and as a place for us to give you additional information.

We also have a FREE gift for you right now – we recorded a sample class. We’d love for you to listen to it so you can see how much it can help you. Visit this link to download it: http://rs1975.freeconferencecall.com/fcc/cgi-bin/share.mp3/6054772100-667226-1.mp3.

Then, if you love it, register by contacting Lynne at 239-253-2884 or lynne@shiftandwakeup.com.

Feel free to share the free download with friends and family! Let’s get a dynamic group going here!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Guest Post About Living With Alcoholism

Dear Friends, Today I am posting a guest blog from a friend who is experiencing the hurt caused by the disease of alcoholism. I am honored to post this article in the hopes that it gives therapy to the writer and hope to others affected by this disease. You are not alone.

Alcoholism...If there is an alcoholic in your life, like mine, you know it is like a cancer to that relationship. I live with the alcoholic in my life. I love the alcoholic in my life.

The alcoholic in my life knows her drinking habits aren't healthy, but she has not admitted there is a dependency on alcohol – this is the key difference between alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

The alcoholic in my life is what experts call a “functional alcoholic” – she hasn't put others in danger or caused any physical damage, but the emotional damage runs deep.

Alcoholism is a disease like no other – there is no cure, and there is nothing you can do to start the recovery for someone else. What you can do is take care of yourself. One way to start is to seek out help from organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon or Change my Relationships. They will get you on the right path.

Personally, I believe the Al-Anon organization is genius! The first few meetings are hard, and you think the group is not for you. One of their sayings is, "After a while, you'll discover that though you may not like all of us, you'll love us in a very special way, the same way we already love you." This is true.

Also, the Serenity Prayer is one of the best first steps I took. After saying it a couple of times, and taking quiet moments to reflect on my day's actions, I have changed how I live with the alcoholic in my life. I have started to live in better harmony with the disease. Make no mistake, this is the toughest thing I've done, and I am nowhere near good at it, but imperfect progress is the olive branch, and it works.

Another hard thing I'm learning is the 3 C's – and I do not mean color, clarity and carat! The 3 C's of addiction are cure, cause and control. This is difficult for me because I am a control freak. But I have learned this disease is something I can’t control.

I also can’t control this person’s actions. In fact, trying to do so would be a very bad idea. The only thing I can do is approach her when she is sober and say, "When you do _____, it makes me feel hurt."

I am also learning about the abstract idea of “detachment with love.” How do I detach my emotions around the disease from the person and treat the person with the love and respect every human being deserves? Especially one that I loved and respected before this unfortunate disease took hold. If I can figure this one out, I deserve a Ph.D. in something equally abstract.

I can't cure the alcohol addiction in the person I love. It has to be her choice. I hope and pray she will hit rock bottom and seek treatment, but there is no timetable for this – months, years, or more years. Only imperfect progress can help one get through this seemingly infinite time span.

I've babbled enough for a blog that is usually short, sweat and profound. I do have more to share, and this small part has been incredibly therapeutic. Thank you for allowing me to be a guest on this site. If there is a person close to your heart, or in your life, with an addiction, I hope you can find a piece of serenity while dealing with the disease.

Sincerely, A Loving Husband and Father 

Friday, March 1, 2013

New Life Balance Webinar Starts March 20

I am excited to announce a new webinar course I am co-teaching with my business partner, Certified Master Life Coach Mir Lynne Pietrzyk. The name of the course is “Life Balance” and the purpose is to help you find more happiness in life!

The benefits of the course are that you will clear the clutter from your life, create an action plan to achieve your goals and receive the assistance and accountability of not one, but two Certified Master Life Coaches to help you stick with your plan. 

The timing couldn't be better! Spring is right around the corner -- a time when many people work on clearing physical clutter from their lives. This course will help you clear the mental clutter and start with a fresh, clean slate as we move into the warmth of summer.

The Class is divided into three consecutive six-week sessions.

Session 1: Clearing the Clutter – Participants will clear the clutter out of their lives and gain clear vision of their true goals and life purpose.
Session 2: Activating Action – Participants will learn how to apply powerful, simple and effective action strategies to their goals.
Session 3: Living Your New Life – Participants will begin enjoying the benefits of action and learn how to stick with the plan when resistance kicks in.

The course will be held via webinar:

Date:                       Wednesdays, from March 20, 2013 – July 17, 2013
Time:                       11 a.m.  CST/Noon EST until Noon CST/1 p.m. EST
Location:                Via Webinar, information will be provided at registration
RSVP:                       Call Lynne at 239-253-2884 or email lynne@shiftandwakeup.com
COST:                       $210 per six-week session. Payment options are available.

This class will be capped at 15 participants for quality assurance.

As a bonus, each participant will receive a complimentary one-hour coaching session with a Certified Master Life Coach during each six-week session of the program – that’s three FREE one-on-one coaching sessions, a value of $225. We are putting together a complimentary meditation recording for each participant, as well!

To register or for more information, contact me at 239-253-2884 or lynne@shiftandwakeup.com.

Mir Lynne Pietrzyk is a Certified Master Life Coach, Master Life Path Guide, Shaman and Healer. She has taken an oath to walk the path of a Spiritual Guide, Teacher and Healer for the greatest good of all humanity. Her passion is for helping her clients discover and unfold their spiritual gifts. Pietrzyk is the founder and CEO of Shift and Wake Up, LLC, through which she offers clients the following classes and services at the Heart and Soul Spiritual Center in Fort Myers: How to Discover Your Life Path and Purpose, Sourcing Your Reality, Decoding Life, Wheel of Life Readings, Birth Year Readings, Reiki sessions and Pure Light Blessings. She is also a talk radio host, workshop leader, speaker, visionary, and positive thinker. Visit http://www.shiftandwakeup.com for more information.

Tina Haisman, APR, CPRC is an award-winning public relations consultant and freelance writer with more than 16 years of experience. In 2010, Haisman decided one career was not enough and launched Love of Life Coaching after she became a Certified Master Life Coach. Being coached by a life coach is what inspired Haisman to become one, because she saw first-hand the difference a life coach can make in someone’s life. Her goal is to make memories out of every day, and that is precisely what she does while managing two businesses, two children, a husband and a household. Visit http://www.lolcoaching.blogspot.com

Monday, February 18, 2013

Trusting God

Steve Angrisano, Trust God, Have Faith, Life Coach, Spirituality Coach
Last night, I attended the first night of our Parish Lenten Mission with Steve Angrisano, a singer, songwriter and storyteller. Boy, is he a great storyteller!

One of the best parts of the evening was when he told this hilarious account about eight nuns taking him out to lunch and driving him to the airport after a performance. Eight nuns. Wow.

Many things happened along the way, and Steve had us laughing hysterically. They started out being on time for the flight, but as they kept stopping to help others, Steve's nerves began to fray -- he was worried about missing his flight.

The culmination of the story occurs when the nuns decide they need to stop at the grocery store on the way to the airport. Steve understood the logic in this, based on geography, but he was very worried he would not make his flight. "Nuntheless," he was not in charge!

As luck would have it, the stoplight at the entrance to the store's parking lot was broken. So it took quite a long time to inch through the intersection ... one ... car ... at ... a ... time. 

When they finally got inside the store, the nuns discovered a woman in a desperate situation. She was crying because she had no money to buy her groceries. After listening to her tale, they gave her assistance for that day and told her where to go for more help the next day.  

Back in the car, the nuns prayed and thanked God for the lights being out at the intersection. Steve was perplexed by this and asked about it. They explained to him that if the lights had been working, they most likely would not have discovered the woman who needed their help. The timing would have been off. They knew they were in the right place at the right time.

So, even though Steve spent the entire afternoon worried about making his flight, the nuns were at peace, knowing God had everything under control. And, by the way, Steve made his flight!

The message here is that God has things perfectly timed and perfectly in control. If only we could live our lives like the nuns -- one moment at a time. Trusting God. Never worrying about what is coming next. Just doing our best to help others along the way. Wouldn't that be beautiful?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Relationships are Journeys, not Destinations

I read a quote yesterday that made the little light bulb inside my head go on.

Here it is:

"Relationships are journeys, not destinations."

I'm thinking mostly about marriages here, so I'm going to focus on that.

A journey is a trip -- traveling from one place to another. Or, you can think of it as a passage from one stage to another in life.

I think many people get married with the false notion of "Happily Ever After." Almost like the marriage ceremony is the end of the journey. But, really, it's just the beginning, because relationships require work.

Just because we fell in love and got married doesn't mean our relationship will always be happy and easy.

In fact, it's quite the opposite. We are guaranteed to experience problems. But here's the good news. If we choose to remain committed to our marriage, those problems are going to make us stronger individually and as a couple. 

I believe God designed marriage to take us on a journey to help us grow into the best versions of ourselves. Some parts of this marriage journey are joyful, others are difficult. But together -- the joyful times and the difficult ones -- they make the journey complete. 

So, the next time you feel frustrated in your marriage, just remember, it's part of the journey. And it's your cue to start working on the issues causing the frustration so you can get back to the joyful part of the journey.

And remember, anything worth having in life is worth working for. I believe marriage is one of those things.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Way We Talk To Our Children

A friend of mine has this quote displayed in her kitchen.

"The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. Discipline with soft words."

I love this reminder. Words are so powerful. As are the tone they are spoken with.

As parents, we yield quite a bit of power to influence our children's inner thoughts. We can influence the first thoughts they think when they wake up in the morning, the last thoughts before they go to bed at night ... and many thoughts in between.

This motto is easy to keep when everything is sailing smoothly, but the challenge comes when things are tense or when we are disciplining our children -- those times when anger or frustration is present. 

I also love the verse she has written above it, "Encourage one another and build each other up." That is what Jesus commands us to do. We must use our words to build people up, rather than tear them down.

Some examples of negatively using our words with our children are phrases such as these: "I can't believe you did that." or "What is the matter with you?" or "How could you do that?" or "You're a bad boy." or "You're so stupid." If this is how we speak to our children, these are the messages they will replay over and over in their minds throughout their lives. I don't know about you, but that is not how I want my children thinking about themselves.

Here's a personal example. The other night, we were trying to decide if we were going to go out for dinner or stay home. Tyler had a meltdown in the middle of it, because he wanted to stay home, but he also wanted to go out. He just couldn't decide. 

My husband got very frustrated by Tyler's tears and indecision and used some of the phrases I mentioned above. Rightfully so, Paul was frustrated with the situation. He doesn't like to see Tyler get upset over something seemingly so small. But what good do those phrases do in building up a child? Don't they just make the child feel worse?

I took a different approach that night by gently asking Tyler questions about why he was so upset and why he wanted to stay home. Wouldn't you know it, within a minute or two he came to the decision that he would like to go out. (I'm so glad he did! We had the best time!)

I'm not saying I always perform this well as a parent. And I'm not throwing Paul under the bus by sharing this example! He's on board! But, I share the story, because little lessons like these can help us all use our words to build up our children, instead of tear them down.