LIFE plus what?

I believe that there is a formula to success.  Individuals can reach their goals despite roadblocks, loss, hardships and life situations but it may take hard work, determination, motivation and accountability! As a wellness coach, I help others achieve success through small steps and habits that are anchored with proven, evidence-based research.

Truths:

We have a life.

Life can be happy and healthy.

We need balance and wholeness.

I have found that activities, work, people, food, and nature can add positive elements to our lives. Finding balance is sometimes the challenge. Making time for self-care is so critical to moving forward with meeting personal goals. Focusing ONLY on ourselves will surely lead to problems in our relationships, work life and friendships. Balancing the art of being true to ourselves while meeting our obligations to others can be tough. How does one learn to juggle like the best clown in town? How does the fun-loving clown keep all of the balls in the air?   Is it skill? Practice? An unfair advantage?

Years ago I found that when I focused my attention in one area, the other areas of my life were neglected and I became out of balance and began dropping balls. Finding balance or creating balance is crucial to life satisfaction and whole health. Just as a stool needs its legs to stay steady, we need BALANCE to be happy, healthy and effective.

Sometimes, we have to let things go… Does that mean we slip up and drop a ball? Not necessarily. We can dig deep and determine what pulls us down or simply keeps us busy to be busy. Then, the decision can be made to let go of things. Feel at peace with the decision. Juggle fewer balls perhaps. There is a time and season for all things. Dig deep and decide what this season is for in your life, get organized and have a vision for the future. Once we have the particular balls in place to juggle, we need achievable steps in place and routines established and supportive people around us.

Maybe this is your season to focus on your health!

  • To those people who are too busy or stressed or frantic – I hope you will slow down, breathe, look around you and know things will work out. Seriously. Do your best, work your plan and adjust as needed.
  • To those stuck or feeling defeated or who have decided to be satisfied with mediocrity – I hope you will put yourself out there, try new things, take a chance, invite meaningful conversation, be open to being social and nurture your friendships and make new ones, set some goals and lean on others.
  • To those hopeless or burdened – Believe that things can be better, work on your faith; know things will change over time and that your attitude can lead the way.

Whole Health takes Finding Purpose, Moving More, having a “Tribe” or Community of Support, Good Nutrition, and Reducing Stress. Whole health means feeling well and living long and well.

One might say… “That would be The LIFE.”

The LIFE plus energy

The LIFE plus love and support of self and others

The LIFE plus satisfaction

The LIFE plus wellness

A life of balance is LIFE plus so much more!

I encourage you to let this season be about your wellness.

 

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First Impressions

 

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A Quarter of a Second?

What about a person’s worth beyond the first glance?

This research can help us understand the importance of our appearance, body language and eye contact. The way we look and groom ourselves is an indication of caring enough to dress for the occasion and shows what matters to us before we ever open our mouths.  Often, assumptions are made that the quality of our appearance will match the quality of our work.

For speakers, an audience is quickly deciding if they will trust them and if they have anything worthwhile to say. Body Language is being observed, facial expressions, tone of voice and clothing are all being assessed in a quarter of a second.

Having a pulled together look is good, but do you have the depth of personal growth to go along with the look?

By deciding whom you want to be and how you want to be and transforming yourself into the kind of person you admire, you have to start from the inside. Can you “fake it till you make it?” Some say you can. To truly become someone impressive with depth and wisdom, the work must be done deep inside, not solely on the surface. If you build a machine poorly, it won’t work well. But if you make it strong, it will have the right components for a useful, working machine. Modeling after someone you admire is good, but only if you prepare and put in the time. We can work on enhancing who we are on the inside and everything else will be enhanced as well. If you learn to manage your mind, you can lead others well. Try staying in a peaceful state to enable your body and mind to work best in its highest possible way. This includes learning to become responsive rather than reactive. You will become impressive by practicing the skills that make you trustworthy, approachable, non judgmental and dependable. True growth from the inside-out can portray leadership skills and you’ll be “practicing what you preach” and “walking the walk”not just “faking it until you make it.”

I can easily show people how to make a good and lasting impression. We can practice introductions, handshakes, body language and talk about clothing. The larger task may be to add the character trait of not being the type of person who draws conclusions in under a second. To me, being impressive includes being able to look past the exterior of an individual. A person’s true worth is not found on the surface and takes longer than a few seconds to discover. We must dig deeper and get to know people on a 3 dimensional level even though research tells us that we all tend to be influenced by looks.

Actor, Alan Alda said it well. “It’s a complex world. I hope you’ll learn to make distinctions. A peach is not its fuzz, a toad is not its warts, a person is not his or her crankiness. If we can make distinctions, we can be tolerant, and we can get to the heart of our problems instead of wrestling endlessly with their gross exteriors.”

By having a professional look that sets you apart from others and having depth through personal growth, you will be an impressive person. When you are assessed in a quarter of a second, the genuine skill of looking beyond a person’s exterior and seeing the best in others will be noticed. To me, that is making a good first impression!

Personality- Yours, Mine and Ours

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It’s like a house with many rooms. If you are like me, you have a favorite room in your home where you spend some time. Do you ever go to other rooms? Sometimes, you go to the attic but you don’t stay there forever. Sometimes, you go to the bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom, but you don’t stay in those rooms either. You will generally have a favorite spot but you move throughout your house. This is how your personality is…. you aren’t defined in one particular way, but your personal preferences give definition to your personality. You will absolutely move through the “house” of personality traits, but you usually feel your best when you are operating in a natural, inborn way.

Personality assessments are informative and useful if you are willing to delve into learning about yourself and others. Career decisions, personal strengths and stumbling blocks, and tendencies that build or weaken relationships can be explored through assessments. Young executives are learning the value of this tool as they enter the workforce already understanding themselves and others better. This gives them an edge above others because they will lead groups by appreciating what drives individuals, the process people use while meeting deadlines and preferred communication style among teams.

Through the years, I’ve taken different personality assessments and find positive aspects in them. My preferred assessment is Myers-Briggs. I was fascinated when I realized how accurate the results were for me. There are 16 personality types and individuals may relate to each of them. You determine if the 4 letters given to you based on your answers in the assessment are the 4 letters that describe you best. You know yourself better than anyone else, so you determine if the descriptions best describe you.  The letters represent your personal preferences. They are simply representative of where you are most comfortable, what you tend to do naturally, “which room is your favorite.”

As people act on their inborn tendencies, patterns of behavior are developed. Swiss psychiatrist Carl G. Jung developed this theory of personality type and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument is a self-report questionnaire designed to make Jung’s theory understandable and useful. The authors of the MBTI instrument, Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, studied and elaborated on Jung’s ideas and applied them to understanding people.

When we use our preferred methods, we are generally at our best and feel confident, natural and energetic. The MBTI preferences indicate the differences in people in 4 areas:

  • Where they focus attention and get energy
  • The way they prefer to take in information
  • The way they prefer to make decisions
  • How they orient themselves to the external world

Differences among people can be the source of misunderstandings and miscommunication and this assessment gives insight to learning about and appreciating differences. It helps identify your unique gifts, enhances the understanding of yourself, your motivations and natural strengths. It will bring awareness to potential areas for growth and appreciation for people who differ from you. This is a self-affirming tool and encourages cooperation with others.

I feel that the results can change over time because we (hopefully) grow as individuals, learn good practices and habits, live through hardships that change our perspectives and have different social environments that impact our daily life. So, if you have taken the assessment at one time in your life and take it again, you may get different results. My results have changed slightly over time.

Do you want to understand your partner better?

Are you seeking to improve leadership skills? 

Are you trying to choose your college major or change your career path and want to discover professions that match with your natural preferences?

If you are interested in this assessment, reach out to me and visit My Store. I can give you access to the online assessment and will explain the comprehensive results. Use the assessment to point you in the right direction and I will guide you through the process.

Knowledge is power.

Being Impressive and Making changes

Be impressive from the start. This means you may need to brush up on your social skills, table manners, communication skills, and leadership characteristics. When you practice skills from these areas daily, they become who you are and the skills become effortless. You will be at ease in different situations and that is the first component in being impressive.

Do you know how to lead a meeting? or Which bread plate is yours? or If you should use your cell phone at the table? or How to make an introduction? or How to enter a room with confidence? or How to speak up in a group to be heard and understood? What to do with your silverware at the end of the meal? How to handle difficult situations effectively? What your clothing says about you?

If you want to get ahead in personal and work life, you have to determine the areas that need attention and start working on them. If you don’t, you simple will not make progress. You can want it all day long, but until you make an effort, nothing will change.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

  • First Component – Determine areas to work on and do it every day until it becomes effortless. Day after day. Until the new way becomes a habit. You CAN make the changes you desire.

Perseverance is striving towards a goal no matter how large the stride.

Nothing says Impressive more than when one can maneuver through a difficult situation without making others feel stupid, bringing unnecessary attention to the issue, and without losing their cool.

Become what you desire! You can choose to resolve problems with determined focus.

  • Second, being impressive is not only being able to smoothly master the areas above, but it also means helping put others at ease in the process.

Having good manners is basically helping others be comfortable. That is at the heart of etiquette. It isn’t some elitist way of being , but it is being considerate of others, putting another person’s needs before your own. It is introducing people to one another, joining in conversation, making the choice to include. These intentional methods have everything to do with being comfortable in your own skin and helping others along the way. When you are comfortable, you can stop focusing on yourself (being self conscious), because you will already be at ease. This enables you to help those around you.

“We rise by lifting others.” ~ Robert Ingersoll

  • Third, keep attitude in check and remember the small skills that are huge indicators that leave a lasting impression. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t take things personally. Be open and attentive during conversation. Remove distractions. Use good eye contact. Seek first to understand. Listen. Show interest. Be interesting. Don’t monopolize the conversation or only talk about yourself. Have a good handshake. Be early and show up prepared.

Knowing socially acceptable ways of maneuvering through life will send the message that you care about how you represent yourself and the place you work. It doesn’t take manners to be a good person, but manners help you become impressive.

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“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” Zig Ziglar

 

15 Minutes

15 minutes to start the day

15 minutes to end the day

When you ready yourself for the day, you give yourself the gift of better focus on things that matter most and not being mentally scattered. Map out what you want to accomplish and start the day with calm resolve.

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When you push yourself a little more, just 15 minutes more at the end of the day, you may be surprised with the things you can accomplish. You give yourself the gift of relief from completing tasks and clarity for the next day.

Begin and end your day with just 15 minutes.

 

Labyrinths

 

For Mental Clarity and Reflection

Have you ever walked through a labyrinth?  My first experience of walking one is a fond memory of discovery and interest. I had never seen a labyrinth and was fascinated with the design and beauty. I knew the moment I saw it that I wanted to learn more about them. Since then, I’ve seen outdoor labyrinths, large indoors ones painted on fabric, labyrinths drawn with chalk, small labyrinths designed for a table top and more. All are uniquely different but similar in design.

In the middle ages, the Catholic Church began using labyrinths within the church. The Chartres Cathedral in France is the home of the most famous labyrinth inlaid in the stone floor around 1220CE. The Chartres labyrinth indicates the early tradition in the Christian church of walking meditation.

Although labyrinths aren’t biblical, they are a source for encouraging reflection and prayer. For me, I feel more focused and free after walking a labyrinth. I use it as a time to think and pray. I can be more effective in my work and personal life if I am mentally focused and I have found this is a way to clear my head. I’ve heard it said that a busy person would benefit from meditating 30 minutes every day and if you are too busy to meditate for 30 minutes then you need to meditate for an hour each day. That doesn’t make sense, but it makes perfect sense. Those running around crazy-busy, pulled in a million different directions will likely have fragmented thoughts and decreased focused. Finding ways to maximize time by sharpening focus to complete tasks precisely the first time is worth the effort it takes to nurture thoughts and strengthen the mind. Continue reading “Labyrinths”

Physics and Philosophy

img_2948Sacraments and rituals may be different among religions, but almost all share the common philosophy that guides humans to be good people. The shared philosophy promotes the use of our minds and bodies for good, directs mindfulness of faith and encourages a discipline to follow religious practices and teachings. Another commonality is the natural cause and effect from our behaviors.

Physics –  “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion

Philosophy – “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”                                 Galatians VI – King James

Peace can be obtained by believing in and following the golden rule through living the components of the common good. The components include Respect, Integrity, Compassion, and Justice. By practicing these components in our daily lives, we enable positive human interactions. When people communicate with a mutual regard for one another, chances are that the conversation will be a satisfying experience. Nothing shortens an exchange faster than when one person is rude, irrational, or mean-spirited. Showing compassion means that a person may need to put another person’s needs or desires above their own. Removing elitism and social divisions promote respect among people as well as sets the tone for justice to be prevalent. Feelings that are heard and understood, promotes feelings of belonging and safety. Peace follows. Then, purpose and meaning in life. Give this gift to others to promote peace, respect and understanding.

 

Mindful Listening is indicative of a person showing respect to others by engaging in conversation and focusing on what the person is saying rather than exhibiting body language and eye contact that sends a message of indifference and disregard. A person’s real value can be missed if a one-dimensional view is all that is seen.

Philosophy is the critical study of fundamental beliefs and the grounds for them. This includes what we believe and how we came to believe these things. 

Physics is the science of matter and energy and their interactions.

James Hillman from Little Acorns: A Radical New Psychology writes, “People are itchy and lost and bored and quick to jump at any fix. Why is there such a vast self‐help industry in this country? Why do all these selves need help? They have been deprived of something by our psychological culture. They have been deprived of the sense that there is something else in life, some purpose that has come with them into the world.”

That “something else in life…” comes naturally to children. While teaching in the atrium of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, I’ve watched children naturally draw closer to God. This doesn’t happen because teachers are giving facts to them each week. Instead it happens over time as the child enjoys the beautifully prepared environment that invites the child to contemplate, discover and pray. From the outline of training for Catechesis: In the 3-6 year old atrium, the child comes to know a God who is deeply relational, who reaches out to be in relationship with humanity, who is Life in Abundance and invites us to share in that life.

 

Continue reading “Physics and Philosophy”

Making a Difference

It’s about caring and giving your best in all that you do.

It doesn’t take much effort, really. Just be considerate of others as you move through your day.

Instead of making your To-Do list today, try making a To-Be list. Consider how you want to live – how you want to be remembered. To dig really deep, you could write your own eulogy. What kind of person do you want to be? What qualities in a person do you find admirable?

Then BE it. Everyday. Day after Day. Day after Day.

The practice of daily focus and intentional living is a step towards meeting your goals. This transformational way of BEing is developed through the discipline of keeping positive habits. Purposefully add items to your To-Do list that are reflective of your To-Be list.

Having integrity, helping others, choosing kindness and making a difference will rarely disappoint and will likely lead to success.

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