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Affirmations

Affirmations

We all have challenging days when nothing seems to go right.  Days that we don’t want to look in the mirror let alone get out of bed.  Days wrought with pressure over an impending decision or event. Days that are just plan exasperating.   So what’s the answer?  There are many ways to handle pressure, reduce stress and boost our self-esteem, but for purposes of this post I am going to focus on only one: using affirmations.    According to best selling author, Louise Hay “affirmations are small but key positive messages to the self. They are used as reminders, helping to keep positive messages at the forefront of our consciousness.”   Furthermore, Hay states that “affirmations are a very powerful tool in supporting  positive thinking and are very effective in changing life patterns and perspectives.”

So what exactly is an affirmation.  There are two important guidelines for writing affirmations:  they must be positive statements and they must be written in the present tense.   Here are a couple of examples of affirmations  which are positive and in the present tense   

lady in mirror

I am a good to my friends.

I am a positive person.

Affirmations can be tailored to any situation, feeling, relationship etc.  They can be in written form, said aloud or visualized in your mind.   It is helpful to repeat the statement often as the more often you use an affirmation, the more effective it will be in changing your thinking.

So if you have days that we don’t want to look in the mirror – look in that mirror & say:  I am beautiful!   If your day is wrought with pressure over an

impending decision – tell yourself- I am capable handling whatever arises.   Or you are just having a bad day – you can say:  I will can handle trying times.

There are many web resources with affirmations.  Here are a few that I found.

A Place for the Heart – Louise Hay Affirmations

Prolific Living

Self -help and Self-development.com

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Ten Facts About Group Coaching

paperdollsOne way that someone can reap the benefits of a  Life Coach is in a group setting.  

I have listed ten facts about group coaching to help you decide if it’s right for you.

1. Member Focused:  the agenda of each session is decided by the members of the group based on their interests and needs.

2 Member Driven:  the coach serves in a facilitator role – monitoring the workings of the group such as: equal sharing among attendees,  following a prescribed format and time keeping.

3. No formal content is presented to the group members:  the coach will not present information during the group session unless it is explicitly requested b the members.

4. The  atmosphere is favorable for sharing. Members are encouraged to:  

5. Members may be pre-screened to fit the following characteristics:

  • the attendees share  similar interests & goals.
  • members are ready and willing to shared pertinent  knowledge and experiences with the other group members.
  • member is good at listening to what others have to share.
  • Attendees are ready to work towards  individual and group goals.

 6.  There are personal advantages to being part of a coaching group.

  • helps pave the way towards self transformation.
  • group input can help to clarify an indivual’s issues and concerns.
  • All members can learn more about t  themselves by listening to others.

7.     Financial Advantages

  • group coaching costs are  lower in price than individual coaching
  • many groups are conducted by teleconference therefore saving on the cost of travel

8.   Group members must agree to the following:

  • Take personal responsibility for:
    • acceptable attendance.
    • group participation.
    • their communication/interactions with other members.
  • Maintain accountability by
    • following through with work on individual goals.
    • completing group assignments.
  • A willingness to contribute to discussions
  • A genuine interest in attaining personal goals.
  • A readiness to look deep inside themselves.
  • The ability  to listen and contribute without judging.
  • Commitment to  maintaining confidentiality.
  • Eager to share insights and experiences with others.

9.    Groups are small in size with no more than 8 people.

10.  Groups may be held face to face or by teleconference.

New groups forming now!  To learn more about the groups offered by A Balancing Act – Click here

To sign up, please send an email to Lori.abalancingact@gmail.com

“We confirm our reality by sharing.” – Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

See more quotes on sharing.

Finding the Balance

During the busy holiday season it can be difficult to fit in everything that needs to be done.  It is important, to remember that taking care of ourselves is also important.  This  re-post from my chronic condition site: Just Breathe: Slow Deep Breathes   is apropos for this this time of year.

When a person is feeling disjointed for any reason, it is likely due to an imbalance in one or more aspects of our lifestyle.  In my case it, the shift was caused by at least two variances to my lifestyle: a chronic illness and an early retirement. I had been off of work on a sick leave for a year when I realized that I would no longer be able to handle the rigors of my teaching position.  I felt a lot of remorse about having to resign from a coveted position.  I always felt that I would work for as long as physically possible even if I worked until I was 100, (okay, maybe not until 100), but here I am at 55.  At 55, I not only was leaving my current job but I felt doubtful that I would be able work again.  So, I took early retirement.  I thought to myself: ok, I’m retired, with health problems -now what? 

One half of my brain still had that worker mentality – keep busy, do everything, have fun, but learn a lot –DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING, GO, GO, GO!   It sounded great, that is until the other half of my brain says –whoa, slow down, you know that if you must pay attention to your body. You need to think about how your body will feel if you do too much.  (I’ll spare you the details).   Now what?  Balance, I decided that what I need in this phase of my life is balance.What is balance?   According to Merriam-Webster, the word balance has many meanings.  The definitions which most closely explain (with some imagination) the “balance” I am referring to are:

  • “a means of judging or deciding”
  • “a counterbalancing weight, force, or influence”  (of our life)
  • “a:physical equilibrium b: the ability to retain one’s balance”
  • “mental and emotional steadiness”

When I think about balance I picture a teeter- totter (seesaw).   In order to control the moment of the device, it is imperative that both riders work together. When one side of the teeter totter is up in the air, the other side of the teeter totter is on the ground.  In order to balance above the ground each rider must exert an equal amount of pressure to their respective side.  When they do, the teeter totter will be suspended in the air with both sides being an equal distance from the ground.   

Here’s a scenario to apply this idea.   Suppose that you work at least an eight hour shift 5 days a week. In order to stay ahead of the game, you frequently bring some of your work home.  After dinner you spend the remainder of the evening on the work you brought home.   When you are ready to set the alarm for another long work day, you set it for two hours early so you can go to the gym before work.   When the alarm goes off in the morning, you roll over, look at the clock and feeling exhausted; reset the alarm for later and go back to sleep.  After all you can go to the gym later, after work.   When the alarm buzzes the second time, you realize that you set it incorrectly.  Now, you are running late. There is no time for good breakfast, so you grab a couple cookies, get in the car and race to work.   To make matters worse, this particular workday seemed more difficult than most – it’s difficult concentrating on the task at hands.  In order to get your work done you have to bring it home. This prevents you from going to the gym, again.   The cycle repeats itself!   Does this appear to be a balanced life?  

 

Seesaw

Seesaw (Photo credit: dianaholga)

Let’s use the image of the teeter- totter to answer that question.   One of the riders on the teeter-totter will represent the employee and the other rider, health and well-being.   If we imagine the riders on the teeter-totter, we will see that the rider, who represents health and well-being, is suspended in the air unable to muster the strength to bring the seat down to the ground, while the rider representing work is sitting on the ground using all their force to keep health and well-being moving.    There is only on way to remedy this – each rider must apply equal weight to the teeter- totter in order for it to balance. 

So, what is off balance in the example above?    The worker is sacrificing their health by making poor food choices and not exercising regularly.   This leads to poor sleep, more stress and lower productivity at work.    It is likely that the productivity of the worker would improve if they took the time take care of their health and wellness.   

What does your teeter- totter look like?   Does it bounce up and down haphazardly, stay stuck in the air or remain steady and even on each side? 

What aspects of your life are unbalanced?   How will you work to find the balance? I have listed some examples that can be considered important to a balanced life.  There s no right or wrong answers, each persons’ needs are unique to their situation.

family life     exercise    healthy eating   recreation   education   spirituality  joy     friendship    love    service to others    work

 Can you add to these?

*By the way, the person in the example is me!  Don’t let an unbalanced life affect your health and well-being.  Finding the balance takes time.  Start slow – one thing at a time.  I wish you all the best in balancing act.   LJK

 

Why I Chose Life Coaching

I had been off of work on a sick leave for a year when I realized that I would no longer be able to handle the rigors of my position as an adult educator. I felt a lot of remorse about having to resign from a coveted position. I always felt that I would work for as long as physically possible even if I worked until I was 100, (okay, maybe not until 100), but here I am at 55. At 55, I not only was leaving my current job but I felt doubtful that I would be able work again. So, I took early retirement. I thought to myself: ok, I’m retired, with health problems -now what?

Fortunately I had spent the year of my medical leave wisely. I began journaling, reading daily reflections and practicing meditation and guided imagery. I took advantage of the area resources for healing by attending free classes for people with chronic illness, participating in support groups, yoga, and warm water exercise classes. I had the opportunity to sample complimentary healing techniques such as energy healing and dream work. Additionally I had some sessions with a life coach.

  • The time spent during that year was well spent. I realized:
  • That looking back is not helpful, talking about what I “used to” be able do is counterproductive.
  • My time would be better spent focusing on learning how to live as I am now.
  • The importance of living in the present moment/practice mindfulness.
  • How essential it is to listen to my body so as not to overdo and
  • Most importantly the value creating a balanced life.

These life lessons have made a big difference in my life. For someone with a chronic illness, balance is essential. In the beginning I wanted to try everything, which I did, but doing everything increased my fatigue. Once I made the decision to alternate activities to allow for rest time, my days became much more productive- even if the day was spent resting up for the next day’s activities.

I have learned so much these past two years as well as throughout my career. Sharing what I have learned is so important to me, but the health challenges I experience put limitations on what I can actually handle physically. It took a lot of soul searching and research but eventually I came up with three ways that I can use the skills I have always had (see my bio) and combine them the life lessons I have learned.

The first venue I used to illustrate what I have learned on my wellness journey was the internet – I started a blog about some of the life lessons I have learned. You can access the blog through the links section on this site.

Secondly, after participating in various support groups I decided to undergo training in support group facilitation. This training is still in progress. Once this training is completed my goal is to offer small group coaching sessions. Stay tuned for details.

And lastly, if you haven’t already figured it out, I decided to become a Life Coach. The sessions in which I worked with Life Coaches were very beneficial for two reasons: they helped me get to the core of what goals I needed to set for myself and two, they held me accountable so that I would eventually reach my goals. These coaching sessions made me realize that coaching was exactly the venue in which I could, in fact, use the knowledge and skills I already have and combine them with the new information and skills I have recently acquired. It was the perfect match!

It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” Lena Horne

for Lori’s Professional bio visit: http://lorikatz.efoliomn.com/

Energy & Emotions IV: What’s the Up Side?

I think it is safe to say that when we wake up each the morning, we have some sense of how the next twenty-four hours will transpire.   Most days are pretty routine.   We are startled awake by the sound of the alarm buzzing in our ear, a radio announcer discussing the traffic or in my case a whining dog.   Whether we are ready to or not, it’s time to get up and start the day.    Morning  routines can become somewhat robotic in nature: go to the bathroom, shower, dress, eat breakfast and head out the door to work.  Obviously,  the order in which these tasks are done varies among persons and may include other items such as working out, packing a lunch or walking the dog.    We depend on these routines to jump-start our day and energize us for the hours ahead.   No matter how mundane the routine may be, we can depend on it.

Unfortunately, there are also those days that don’t go quite so smoothly, we over sleep,  the car won’t start or we can’t find our glasses.  Everyone has had those days, they tend to make one feel somewhat “off'” all day.   Routines can provide us with so much comfort, that any diversion from  routine can lead to a host of emotions.  Emotions such as anger, frustration and embarrassment could surface.   I feel my shoulder muscles toughen from the anxiety of just writing about this.   It is not uncommon for us to want to relay to others how catastrophic our day was – perhaps just to let it out of our system or maybe for a little sympathy.

But when it’s all said and done, what can we learn from the glitches that throw a wrench into our routine , what’s the up side  I know, what you want to say, I can hear what  you are thinking – it was a terrible day – how can there possibly be an upside?  The upside is that you still got to work on time despite over sleeping,  you finally got around to getting the car fixed, ( something you’ve been putting off for a while) and you learned that the first place that you should always look for your glasses is on top of your head.   In situations like these we can get over the effects of a bad day pretty quickly  if we can reframe our thoughts in order to  figure out what we learned and challenge ourselves to find  the “up side’  of the situation.     The examples above are issues which although annoying are relatively minor.  When a  major crisis occurs it can impact your life forever making it very difficult to find anything good to hold onto, however, it can be done. 

When we are faced with upheavals in life, our emotions become askew.  Here are a few general tips for handling challenging situations:

  • We always have a choice about how we view and/or respond to a situationOur view of a situation at the time it occurs may change as we develop more insight about what occurred.
    •  focus on the things that you have control of  and let go of the what you can’t control.
    • strive for a positive outcome.
    • Allow yourself to feel – let your emotions out.
    • A good cry can work wonders
    • Take care of yourself emotionally and physically.
  • Don’t let a bad situation lower your self-esteem. 
    • Use affirmations such: ” I am a good person”
    • Separate you are as a person, from the situation 
  • Use creative problem solving skills
    • channel your knowledge, skills ands abilities to defuse the situation.  
  • Rely on your friends, family or other support systems.
    • someone to hold your hand, give you or hug or just listen can help immensely.

And most importantly, ask yourself: “WHAT’S THE UP SIDE?”

English: Managing emotions - Identifying feelings

English: Managing emotions – Identifying feelings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quotes

In every difficult situation is potential value. Believe this, then begin looking for it.  Norman Vincent Peale

In times like these it is good to remember that there have always been times like these. Paul Harvey

It’s not the situation, but whether we react (negative) or respond (positive) to the situation that’s important. Zig Ziglar 

Reference

http://www.ehow.com/how_2149667_deal-difficult-situation.html

Related Articles

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-3986/10-Things-to-Remind-Yourself-on-a-Daily-Basis.html

A New Venture

New Venture

Living with a chronic illness is always a challenge.  For me, it meant leaving a career that I loved and  retiring at age 55.  I never wanted to retire – thinking I would work forever.  Since then I have been searching for a purpose, or a job that I could do where I didn’t have to worry about  being fired when  I had to call in sick frequently because of a flare-up or a sleepless night or  a job where I would only have to work 1-2 hours at a time and those hours have to be during my “best” times of the day. My first endeavor was starting this blog. Which I enjoy,  but what else can I do?

I decided to learn the art of Life Coaching. I was excited about making this decision, but disappointment set in when it seemed that my options for schooling were not tailored to someone with Fibromyalgia.  The initial programs i researched  were either taught at night ( I am not alert enough at night to drive let alone stay awake) or as marathon 3 day weekend sessions once a month ( I’d be lucky if i made it past the first couple of hours.)  Then I discovered that I could receive the training  once a week over the telephone.

This  is program and profession are a  perfect match for me.  Once I complete the course I can be my own boss and work with clients by phone.  I will be able limit my hours so as not to cause flare-ups of my Fibro.  It meets all of my criteria. for a part-time career that I can be passionate.

Related Article:  http://roots2blossom.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/could-my-life-be-too-boring-for-me/#comment-1337

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