That Time Of Year...

It's that time of year again...are we preparing for festivities, parties, gift-buying, wrapping, and giving, sending out cards, going to parties, or preparing for our Savior to reside in our hearts? How do you best spend this time? What feels the best for you? It is often said it is a time to "WAKE-UP!" and get ready, feel alive, and put into action the feeling of peace, joy, love, and giving! How can we do less, to feel more? Does this make sense? Do less to feel more? When we are so busy and consumed with all the holiday happenings, we tend to feel stressed, tired, crabby, and maybe even numb. Doing less and saying no to all the hustle and bustle can actually allow us to feel more, or at least feel what we want to feel-joyful, charitable, kinder, and calmer. How do you choose to feel this holiday season?

By: Gina Sannasardo

This is not the Mother’s Day essay I intended to write

This is not the Mother’s Day essay I intended to write.  

This essay is about me. It’s about how I learned forty-year-old woman can act like petulant toddlers – and their Moms will still love them.  This is the absolute uncensored truth on all levels.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom, (aka Grandma Macaroni). I love you.

I bicker with my Mom.

I roll my eyes at my Mom.

I am exasperated with my Mom when she buys my child expensive birthday / Christmas / Easter / no reason other than she wanted to presents.

She ‘just wants to’ frequently, so I’m frequently exasperated.

I am frustrated with my Mom when she morphs into a short order cook and meets my child’s utterly random requests for ‘melty cheese’ or ‘macaroni and peas’ or ‘the good crackers.’  I am most especially frustrated because I have no earthly clue which crackers are the ‘good’ crackers. This is their little game, and if I’m honest, I’m a little jealous.

I am irritated with my Mom when she brushes me off and gives my child another cookie. Extra cookies happen often, so yes, you guessed it – I am irritated often.

This past week I sat with my coffee and my laptop, morning after morning, trying to summon the great American Mother’s Day essay. Concentrating and meditating and deleting, as the words just never seemed right, never seemed enough.

I was searching for words of love and wonder. But, those words packed themselves up for a holiday without notice, leaving me dry. In a final, desperate bid to summon words, any useful words, I flipped back through old journals.  Surely reading my words, written in my hand would unstick the spigot – it had to, I had deadlines and time waits for no writer.

So I sat reading my journals. Leafing recklessly though pages that contained lists of what I was grateful to have in my life, plans for the future, recollections and hopes and joys. I was flipping back and forth a bit recklessly when I slammed into the wall of fear and pain. Stung by the scrawl I didn’t recognize as my own, I read the entries full of fear I wrote last winter.  I noted how my letters were bigger, loopier, rushed and raw. I wanted to turn the pages and run from my words, but I was stuck there by the stinging, searing, memories. For three months I was gripped by a variety of fears as my mom, who I can’t recall even having the flu was desperately sick.  Some unknown bizarre infection was wreaking havoc in every sense of the word - and I was powerless.  I was frantic, powerless and lost. I closed my eyes and willed the images away, but still I remembered the phone calls to and from my brother and father. I remembered keeping the phone ringer at full volume so I wouldn’t miss a call or text. I couldn’t miss a call or text.

I was submerged by the memories of the vows I made that began ‘If my mom is ok.”

If my Mom is ok I’ll let her buy my child whatever she wants to.

If my Mom is ok I’ll never be snide when she asks me to call to say I got home ok.

If my Mom is ok I’ll never complain that she lets the baby watch TV.

If my Mom is ok I’ll never roll my eyes when she questions my parenting.

If my Mom is ok I’ll never chastise her for undermining my parental authority.

If my Mom is ok… If my Mom is ok… If my Mom is ok…

Had I fulfilled any of those vows? Any? Even for a short time?

Didn’t I just question why she bought another American Girl outfit? Wasn’t it last month I pleaded with her to keep the Easter baskets reasonable this year? I allowed the first cookie so why, I recalled asking, did she have to push it to two cookies? And for the love of life could someone tell me which crackers are the ‘good crackers’ so I know which brand to buy?

Stunned the clock brought me back. Another day’s office hours resulted in nothing productive and know the toddler needed to be picked up.  I put the old journals back, splashed water on my face and hit the Starbucks between my front door and school pickup line. Yes, I had made coffee that morning, but it grew cold and sour while I tripped on my memories. Not much in life is worse than cold coffee or broken vows, besides I needed the familiarity of the drive thru to steady me. I needed the caffeine to snap me back.

It was raining so we couldn’t play on the schoolyard slide.  As my toddler waved good-bye to classmates, I noticed the quivering lip, the sad forlorn brown eyes and sensed my window to restore calm was closing – quickly.  I knelt to explain we’d play another day, steeling myself in case this mission went south with the reminder: this kid saves the tantrums for me because I’m the safe harbor. I’m the person it is safe to screech at, stamp feet at and glare at while yelling, “I’m so frustrated.”

I get to deal with the tantrums because I’m Mom.

My love is sure and absolute.

My love is constant and relentless.

That absolute, relentless love despite anything this kid throws at me is the love that Moms talk about when we say we’d do anything for our kids. Anything to see them happy, see them safe, see them spared of pain or robbed of joy.  Maybe those moments when being the Mom is tough are really gifts; I get to prove that fierce love over and over and over… and Please Lord over and over and over and over for a long time to come.

Standing in the cold spring rain I realized I didn’t really break those vows. I was just testing the limits of a more mature Mother / Daughter bond. Giving her the gift of loving her child over and over and over and over and Thank You Sweet Lord over and over and over again.

My Mom’s love is without question and therefore, can tolerate eye rolls, snide comments and exasperated sighs. I looked deep into those big brown eyes and said, “Hey, you want to call Grandma?”

“Good crackers?” the small voice asked?

I replied “Sure, Mommy promises to ask Grandma were to get the good crackers.”


Jennifer Bellber is a Certified Professional Life Coach & Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. She's a wife, mother of a toddler, sometimes blogger, photographer for fun and charitable causes, slow runner and weight lifting enthusiast who reduced her physical self by 120 pounds a few years ago. 

Jennifer's passion is helping overwhelmed parents figure out who they want to be when their kids grow up, ditch the Mommy Guilt (or Daddy Guilt as the case may be) and live a connected, empowered, wickedly amazing sexy life of their own design.

To learn more about Jennifer, visit: www.jenniferbellber.com

Source: www.jenniferbellber.com

Remember The Caregivers!

(Editor’s Note: Gina & Russ – fellow coaches and friends in New Jersey – have different cancer experiences and collaborated on this blog for the benefit of you and those around you.)

GINA:

Sometimes we are so caught up in our recovery that we forget about the needs of others. It wasn’t until almost a year after my first surgery for a double mastectomy that I became aware of what my husband was going through in terms of my cancer diagnosis. I was so involved in taking an active role in my recovery (not to say that this is not a positive action) and the well-being of my children that it didn’t even dawn on me what my husband was going through in the process and I don’t even think he thought about himself either since his primary focus was caring for me.   So this one day about a year after my surgeries and treatment we were having a discussion and he described to me how difficult it was for him not to worry about recurrence of my cancer and it opened up a door to a conversation about the emotions of what he had been feeling all throughout the year long experience we had been through.

I was actually devastated at the thought that I hadn’t even been focusing on what he was going through internally. Caregivers, while they are carrying their own burden can sometimes get lost in the journey. We have to be consciously aware of the emotions that they are going through in the process as well and this is why it is so important for caregivers to feed themselves while caring for their loves ones and for us as survivors, even though we are carrying our own load, to recognize the pain of what our caregivers are experiencing and to simply say: “Thank you” for remaining by our side.

When we look back it’s all so simple, all we have to do is have a conversation, speak up, express our feelings and ask for what we need and what the other person needs in return even if we are afraid to do so.

It’s all about fluid conversations and getting past our fears so that we can remain united and healthy in facing our journey together.

So today, I ask that you tell your caregiver how much their love and support has meant to you on your journey and to ask them what they are experiencing and feeling so that you can give back to them in return.

RUSS:

Gina makes such excellent points.  I so admire her for her strength and insight (and of course her friendship).  Luckily for me, I haven’t been diagnosed with cancer.  My Mom has though – Stage Zero Breast Cancer this Summer.  I can say now that it has had a happy ending.  She’s finished with her radiation and doesn’t need chemo.  Thank goodness.  We’re all very grateful. 

Overall, my experience as a caregiver was positive, because of the support of those around me.  I needed them just like my Mom needed me.  Somewhat early on in her process of dealing with the cancer, I asked if it was alright with her if I posted about it on my Facebook, and luckily for me, she said “please do whatever it takes to get the support you want and need”.  Because of the work I do as an Entrepreneur and Coach, my use of social media is rather frequent and I talk a lot about what’s going on in my life personally and professionally.  For that period where I was coming to terms with what may happen and what was happening, but hadn’t mentioned it broadly, I felt as if I wasn’t living an authentic life.  For me, talking about it publicly was needed.  Much-needed actually.  Once I announced it, the floodgates opened with love and support that still hasn’t stopped 3.5 months later.  It energizes me, and my Mom, who very much appreciates the kind words from people she’s met and many she’s never met.

This may resonate with you, or you may have a very different style.  Whatever you need is your decision, and I’d bet that the people around you will support you in however you want to be treated. 

Here’s my message for everyone reading this:  If you’re a patient, carve out just a little time for the caregivers in your life.  If you’re a caregiver, take time for your own self-care.  Think about what you need and then don’t be shy in telling others.  Lastly, if you know a caregiver, ask them what they need and how you can best support them.

Good luck on your journey!

Love,

Gina & Russ


Gina Costa-Goldfarb is a breast cancer survivor and Certified Professional Coach. She helps women diagnosed with breast cancer cope, step by step, with the emotional and physical challenges they experience, so they gain confidence and feel in control of their life again. For more on her, go to www.newbeginningswithgina.com.


Russ Terry is a Gratitude guru who’s helping to make the world a happier and more grateful place.  Earlier this year, he published his first book:  My Gratitude Journal:  365 days of the people & things I’m grateful for and the lessons you can learn from them.  He has two more books on Gratitude due out in 2015. For more on him, go to www.russterrylifecoach.com.

All I Want Is My Child To Be "Happy"!

Since the time my child came into my life, it has been a roller coaster ride. The journey of five years is locked in my heart for the rest of my life to cherish. A few things which he has taught me every year are:

1.) The First Year - Love, Hugs and Warmth. The touch of their little hands and feet, the chuckles and the nibbles. The sleepless nights and the days of smiles and play. The musical toys, the ringing bells, all this and more. I learnt to be happy and smile even when life gave me a hundred reasons to cry.

2.) The Second Year - The incomplete words, the sound of mama and the big feet wanting to climb every chair and table. The urge to move around, the teething pains, the rolling on the ground. The smiles glowing brighter and brighter day by day. Everyday bringing with it new accomplishments. Crawling, kneeling, standing, falling and not giving up and trying again is a lifetime learning for anything that we want to achieve.

3.) The Third Year - You can smile and cry at the same time. Yes! Kids have a wonderful way of doing this. One second they are crying, and the other moment you hear giggles in your ears. Watching these magical moments have been overwhelming. The energy levels at its peak have shown how the mind controls the body. And once the mind decides then nothing can overpower it.

4.) The Fourth Year - Be Fearless and Curious. The power of imagination, of questioning, of learning new things every time, all the time. A creative adult is a child survived in it. Always think childlike and you will break all boundaries in the galaxy of thoughts.

5.) The Fifth Year - Time to build the foundation. Foundation of values, discipline, character, attitude, self-image, self esteem, self-worthiness. A testing time for the parents as the child is learning more from your actions than your words. Watch what you do rather than what you say. Appreciate, Encourage, Empathize with them for this will help them get roots of responsibility and wings of independence. Responsibility to take decisions, make choices, OWN Choices. Independence to make them feel empowered enough and know how to think rather than what to think.

Many more moments to be created, to be smiled, to be enjoyed as it is our responsibility to develop in our children -- confidence to stand on their own, courage to dream big and fight for it and a sense of gratitude for LIFE which is to be lived Happily!!


Kusha Kalra is a passionate Facilitator and High Impact Presentation Designer. Friends and colleagues know her for the positivity and magnificent vibrancy that she exhibits in her training sessions. The innovations and creativity have left a lasting impression on the audiences.

Kusha is certified coach from International Coach Academy and is keen on helping people in their pursuit of happiness. To learn more, visit: www.happylives.in

Source: www.happylives.in

How to Fight Cyberbullying

From “The Karate Kid” to “How to Train Your Dragon” to “Little House on the Prairie,” bullying is a common theme that reflects the real issues children and young adults face when peers begin a campaign of hate. And because learning how to subdue a rare dragon or perform a threatening karate kick isn’t effective (or even realistic) in social settings, parents have struggled to find the best way to explain bullying and give their children the tools necessary to combat — or simply survive — the unwanted attention.

Even more confusing is the rise of cyberbullying — something most teachers, parents, or other adults have little experience with and may be unaware of as the exploitation occurs on private online networks or is hurled by anonymous users. This can’t be ignored, however. Nearly one in five children who use social networking sites is the victim of cyberbullying, according to a recent study by children’s charity NSCPP.

Hannah Smith, a 14-year-old girl living in England, was one victim of online bullying. Gabrielle Molina was teased and taunted online and in the classroom. Both of these young girls’ deaths have been linked to cyberbullying. Most recently, a 17-year-old boy living in Scotland took his life after communication with a person he believed to be a teenage girl turned out to be someone extorting money. Stalking and bullying online are serious threats to our children, and they require parents to remain vigilant in monitoring their children’s online habits.

Recognizing the Abuse 

The signs of cyberbullying are similar to those of “traditional” bullying. A bullied child will tend to be withdrawn, agitated, and reluctant to share conversation. He might suffer from loss of appetite, a decline in the quality of his schoolwork, general worry, or emotional upsets like crying for no apparent reason. 

Many times, the victim does not even know who the abuser is due to anonymous comments or user profiles. This leaves the child feeling paranoid, wondering who is making his life miserable and whether he knows the person in real life.

Unfortunately, the effects of cyberbullying aren’t limited to digital spaces. While the perpetrator might not attend the same school — or even be the same age — the child’s peers can read the comments online and bring them to life in the “real world.”

Why is cyberbullying so harmful? Many children have self-doubt, fear, and imposed beliefs that they are “no good,” and a few unkind words displayed on a message board can turn these common insecurities into total desperation. These messages can be reviewed again and again, and the hateful comments tend to be much harsher as abusers act more brazenly when sheltered by a screen.

Because it’s so difficult to stop or monitor online activity, parents need to support, guide, and help their children develop skills to combat the abuse and deal with the psychological aftermath. 

How to Fight Back

For many parents, their first reaction to an instance of bullying is to take away the cell phone, the Facebook account, and any online privileges. No cyber life means no cyberbullying, right?

However, this tactic can actually make things worse. For many children and young teens, having hundreds or thousands of contacts, Facebook friends, or Twitter followers is a measure of popularity and self-worth. The phone is a portal to their world. While some negativity and abuse might be coming through, closing the door entirely is not the answer. Taking privileges away can feel like a punishment during a time when the child really needs trust, support, and open communication with his parents.

That said, there are some steps a parent can take to make a child’s digital world safer right away:

  • If the abuse is happening through SMS, change the child’s cell phone number or block the abuser’s number.
  • Shut down any profiles or accounts where users are anonymous, such as Ask.fm. These sites attract users who prey on youthful insecurities.
  • Have an honest conversation about how to respond to hateful messages and how to understand the other person’s motivations.

If Things Get Worse

Bullying can become an unmanageable issue, especially if a child’s abusers attend the same school or participate in the same activities. Often, a child being bullied is viewed by other bullies as an easy target, and this results in a vicious cycle of hateful comments, teasing, and threats, both online and at school.

Create a team to address the issue. Include teachers, other parents, and siblings. Provide a supportive environment where the child can talk openly about the abuse and how he feels. If a young adult is uncomfortable discussing these issues with a parent, a coach or therapist could help him work through the bullying, regain his confidence, and reaffirm his values.

If threats have been made, you should immediately contact the police — even if it’s an online issue. Technology has become more sophisticated, and police departments may have the ability to track down the abuser through his or her digital signature. Hiring a lawyer or working with social services are also options for families or children who have experienced serious disruptions because of a cyber bully.

Having an online presence is a natural part of a young adult’s life today, so the most important thing you can do for your child is to instill in him the belief that he can discuss anything with you — including mistakes made online. If you make discussing online behavior and interactions a regular event, you can build a relationship in which online teasing, bullying, or even coercion are issues you fight together. 


For more than 30 years, Rod Beau has been an internationally sought-after education and management consultant and keynote speaker. His practical, real-world business experience and career have been in educational leadership, relocation consulting and executive and leadership coaching. As a Senior Consultant and Master Executive Coach, Rod is also an Accredited ANLP Trainer - specializing in Executive and Leadership Coaching. To learn more about Rod Beau, please visit www.sherpanlp.com

Source: www.sherpanlp.com

A Tale of 3 Funerals

“Life is what happens when you are staring at your smartphone” – author unknown

I am in an introspective mode after returning from the third funeral I attended in less than 90 days: a dear cousin, an uncle, and a good friend’s mother. But don’t worry – this isn’t a sad message. Just a reminder about how precious life is, and what a difference one person can make.

Losing someone is a sad occasion, but since God has other plans for us, so we are only saying goodbye to our loved one’s body. Homegoing services give us an opportunity to say goodbye and pay tribute to our loved one's lives. As I reflected on the lives of these three amazing people, I found some inspiring commonalities. Though none of these people knew one another, and there was no blood relation, they had the following traits in common:

  • They gave love freely and abundantly. I heard story after story of the people who were touched by these three people. In each case there was at least one story of uncommon generosity of spirit, and sharing love the way that God intended us to. They each displayed love not just with their families, but to people in need, who became adopted family.
  • They were strong and vibrant.  They were everyday people - like you and me. They weren’t famous, but they left giant footprints in their communities, and in the lives of their families. 
  • They were positive. Stories abounded about courage and strength in the face of adversity. Being heads of households, they pushed through the tough times and stood strong. My cousin had a huge smile and deep dimples, and we watched a beautiful slide show of pictures with her trademark smile, even when she was ill and we knew she was suffering.
  • They valued family above all. Each person made a gigantic impact in their families – and became role models for many beyond those with blood relations. But through thick and thin, they stood for the people they loved when the going got rough.

What a testimony!  At each service I remembered my own interactions with these people – however brief or long ago. I remember thinking about how they didn’t waste one drop of the spirit, intention and purpose that God sent them here for – and how I’m sure He greeted them each with the words, “Well done.”

I’ve said it often – tomorrow isn’t promised. We have a finite amount of time here on earth. How are YOU using your time? Are you wasting too much time checking your email or playing Candy Crush (she said guiltily)?  

Are you pleased with the direction your life is taking? If not, what can you do to shift gears? Remember, you are much more powerful than you think. Some things we chalk up to bad luck or victim thinking can be rectified if only we would choose to take action. 

Today is the first day of the rest of YOUR life. What does tomorrow hold for you? And more importantly, what will YOU do differently going forward?

Many blessings to you and yours.


Trina Ramsey is a career and life coach, specializing in personal transformation and career transition. With 20 years of experience in business and management, Trina is a "people person" and a change agent. Trina started her business, Perspectives Plus Coaching in 2009 after spending 15 years as a nonprofit fundraiser and experience running her own interior decorating business. For more on Trina visit trinaramsey.com. @PerspectivePlus  or https://www.facebook.com/CareerTalkWithCoachTrina

Source: www.trinaramsey.com

Coaching A Family With Teenagers Through Transitions

Situation

Rod's client was a family in Scotland who had two children of school age. The family had moved overseas three years ago and had just returned to the UK. Their two teenage children were not settling in either their school or social environment and had created resentment towards their parents for the move.

They felt great pressure from their family to do better. They were frustrated by the apparent impossibility to change their destiny and their frustration with their lives.

Parents were concerned about the change in behavior, occurrence of depression and self harm.

Objectives

Rod's objectives were to empower the teens to identify what their passions were. To reconnect them with those passions and help empower them and restore their self confidence so they could find avenues that would open the doors for them to start the changes. Ideally to get them to see their present challenges as advantages along with their experiences abroad. 

It was also critical that the parents who were paying for the coaching understood that there was confidentiality between the teenagers and Rod as a coach. This had to be a pre requisite to the agreement for coaching.

To stop the self harm of the youngest teen.

Action

Rod initially identified some of the teenager’s key strengths, which included their experiences abroad, their understanding of cultures and language from their 'adventures' overseas and their ability to be a catalyst for change and understanding in their new environment.

To create with the teenagers strategies to build new friendships in their new school as well as maintain their old ones via social media with those overseas.

To open avenues of discussion to address the root mistrust caused by the frequent moving around. To discuss their concerns and create a family dialogue that allowed for different opinions to be respected and valued rather than judged.


Rod tailored youth impact coaching sessions individually with the two teenagers to identify their concerns and open that dialogue. 


Created joint sessions with the two teenagers to see how they could create joint and supportive strategies 
Created a family session to set ground rules for open discussions and support

Using NLP and Youth Impact coaching Rod created a holistic process for the entire family that would allow them to all see and recognized their individuality as well as the benefits of being a family again

This included a 'personal breakthrough' session to increase his clients confidence and a session to help them understand what was really important to them both in school and life generally.

Rod then coached them to improve their chances of getting accepted in their new environment and how to really benefit from the opportunity this would offer. 

Result

The youngest teen stopped self harm and moved from minor drug use to become self confident and self assured. He went on to enjoy a productive year in his new school and was elected to the student council for the forthcoming year.

The eldest son was able to create new friendships after some difficult struggles. He was able to maintain his close friendships from overseas and will host two of his best friends in the summer for a month. It is proposed that he will later return to his previous country to be hosted by his friend.

The family came up with positive strategies to implement whenever the father's work would entail living elsewhere. Bringing together the family to have constructive discussions and dialogue without being judgmental. 

Academic results increased with both teens as they settled in to their new school

And so?

Nine months after the coaching began the family is moving forward in a positive way. Both teens have settled in and moved away from their 'at risk' behavior.

Rod continues to work with 'at risk' teens as well as 'self harmers' with great results.


For more than 30 years, Rod Beau has been an internationally sought-after education and management consultant and keynote speaker. His practical, real-world business experience and career have been in educational leadership, relocation consulting and executive and leadership coaching. As a Senior Consultant and Master Executive Coach, Rod is also an Accredited ANLP Trainer - specializing in Executive and Leadership Coaching. To learn more about Rod Beau, please visit www.sherpanlp.com

Source: www.sherpanlp.com

Stuff

I left home with 3 suitcases and $1000 to my name. Now 45 years later I’m looking at stuff.  We all seem to like “stuff”.  It’s a fact-we are creatures that accumulate stuff!  We buy big houses to put all our stuff into.  And if that doesn’t work, we pay extra to have our stuff in storage units. We work long hours at a job where we cannot see or enjoy our stuff.  The weekend comes and we collapse in bed, ignoring our stuff. 

We tend to hold onto it, carrying that one box of precious stuff as we move from location to location. We purchase stuff, AKA collector’s items, old cars, junk jewelry, antiques, china, Lladro and more, that we don’t have space for anymore.  Maybe these hold memories of our younger days or they remind us of our childhood, our children or loved ones that have passed away.  To part with these seems impossible.

There is a saying that goes, “You have to get rid of the old to make way for the new.” or “If you are feeling stuck in your life, ditch the stuff and do some “Spring Cleaning”. 

To make way for this new “Spring Clearing” with every step we need to take a long hard look at the things that no longer serve us, things that drain us instead of giving us energy, and things that keep us from moving forward. We may also need to leave those toxic friendships behind.  Saying goodbye to old clutter and toxic friends may not be an easy task but it can prove beneficial for bringing in the new.  In the “Spring Season” we welcome new energy, new growth and new beginnings. 

If you need a little gentle nudge to toss stuff, consider these:

  1. First sit back - see if there’s stuff taking over your life.  Cleaning out the clutter is “done in layers”.  In a moment of mindfulness, you may be able to expand your comfort zone and look at what you really need and enjoy in your life and look at what you can remove that’s no longer working. Ask yourself- “Do I allow stuff to identify who I am?”
  2.   If you live alone, make the decision to surround yourself with what makes you happy, what you enjoy most and down size the rest.  If you have an office at home make it uniquely yours and remove the clutter.  Removing clutter opens new doors to opportunities.
  3. Our bodies accumulate toxic residues -that may also need to be cleaned out.  And “Spring” can be the perfect time with the warmer weather it brings.  Try juicing at home, for 5 days. Juicing can give your digestive system a rest.  You may also experience improved immune function.
  4. If you have a ton of skin care products, look at the expiration dates. The epidermis constantly rebuilds itself.  Nothing worse than old skin care products going on your brand new skin! (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0005206/)

We can experience many emotions when we clear the clutter, such as depression-helplessness-survival and fear. Include “Self Care” in your day- this can mean a hug, a walk, a home cooked meal or having a meaningful conversation with a loved one.  Honor your health and embrace change.

Hire a health coach for any growth area you need to work on.  Connie Rogers is a Certified Integrated Holistic Health Coach.  For more health tips I invite you to visit www.bitesizepieces.net and https://www.facebook.com/ReverseageWellnessSpa

 

3 Ways to Honor Your Sentimental Items and Reduce the Clutter

When I work with clients, one of the common things people have trouble with is sentimental items they received or inherited. Some of us feel that to donate or otherwise get rid of these items that have been passed down isn’t right, that we must keep the item to honor that person’s memory. But how are you honoring a person’s memory if all that stuff is just sitting in your basement gathering dust and mold?

Just because you’re getting rid of a sentimental item doesn’t mean that you’re throwing out the person or his or her memory. There are many ways to remember these items and the memories they represent. Here are three ideas:

1. Take Digital Photos. We are so lucky to live in the digital age where we can create ways to remember our physical items in a digital format, which of course frees up our physical space. When my mom finally made me take ownership of all the dolls she had saved for me from childhood, I knew I didn’t want to keep most of them, but I did want to remember the dolls. So I spent some time taking some great photos of them to help me remember. It made it much easier to donate them after taking the photos. I've found that with sentimental items, people are often afraid that if they get rid of the item they will lose the memory. For me, taking a digital photo is a great way to keep the memory without keeping the stuff.

2. Keep ONE, Not All. Many people will shutter to think of breaking up an old dish set, but if the dishes are just sitting in a box in your basement, what good are they really serving? Consider keeping one place setting of the dishes or another piece you really like, and finding a place in your home to display it. Donate or consign the rest of the set. The same goes for other collections that you may have inherited - pick one (or a few) that you really like and that you're willing to display in your home, and get rid of the rest.

3. Repurpose Old Items into Display Art. I encourage you to think outside the box. For example, those quilts that you inherited – perhaps they are ripped in a few places and stained in others, but your grandma made the quilts so you really want to keep them. How about cutting out some of your favorite parts of the quilts and transforming them into a wall hanging for display? Another fun idea - I met a woman who takes antique-looking dishes and makes them into yard sculptures (most of which have little solar lights built into them for night lighting). If you're not the arts and crafts type, talk to some of your friends who have these talents and see if they might be willing to help you repurpose your items.

If you have sentimental items in your home that you’ve had packed up for some time, look very carefully at them; do you really want to keep them? If you do, find a way to incorporate them into your home and DISPLAY them, they aren't serving any purpose to be packed away for years on end. Stuff was meant to be used and enjoyed, not collecting dust in moldy corners of your basement!

Have you used any of these or other methods with your own sentimental items? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!

 Tracy K. Pierce

Tracy K. Pierce

Tracy K. Pierce is a Clutter Coach, Holistic Organizer, and the creator of the Reclaim Your Space, Reclaim Your Life Bootcamp program. She is the owner and founder of Synergy Organizing and Synergy Wellness. Her mission is to propel her clients towards the realization of their ideal lives. Tracy assists holistically-minded and motivated people who are sick and tired of their clutter reclaim space for what matters most.