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?
(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.)
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.
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!
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.
Mothers are special. And we at Life Coach Radio Networks have decided to pause and encourage others to share the love beyond the traditional mother to child relationship. This Mother's Day season we are hosting a special edition of #1Love1People #KindnessInMotion.
For 7 days leading up to Mother’s Day we invite you to reach out to mothers in your lives: Your neighbor. Your teacher or professor. Your coworker or friend. Your sister. Your cousin. Your distant aunt or second or third cousin that lives a few states away from you. Think of ways to reach out and tell them you appreciate them.
MY STORY: WHEN MOM IS NO LONGER THERE
Mother's Day also can bring with it sadness. I lost my mom when I was 14 years old – so most Mother’s Days have been bitter sweet for me ever since. Sometimes I am so sad – because I miss her. I was old enough to remember her wisdom, and how fun she was. Even the little songs she used to sing while cooking. And I inherited her analytical brain and penchant for puzzles and word games. And then when I became a mother myself Mother’s Day took on a different texture – because I get to enjoy my children. But then I get sad again because they never got to meet their grandmom.
Now I have spent more years without her than with her. And it amazes me how the pain can still sneak up on me. But I know she is smiling down on us. Both of my kids occasionally wear this smile she had – with the corners of their mouths slightly downturned. The first time I saw I was amazed! It was like she was reaching out to me – saying, “I see you honey – and I’m proud of you!” Now I just smile when I see it – and I tell them about it – it helps them feel connected to her in some small way.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE.
On Mother’s Day it’s also important for me take time to reach out to the women (and men!) in my family who embraced me and my sisters and filled the gap for us. They helped to ensure that we grew to be thriving happy and healthy young women. I am so very grateful. Our family bonds are so strong – and it made all the difference!
WE ARE ALL CONNECTED. REACH OUT. SHARE LOVE.
I want to take a moment to share an encouraging word to others who might be sad on Mother's Day. There are others like me who have lost their moms at a young age – or they passed on later in life. To my sisters in spirit – I want to encourage you. Cherish the memories. Cherish the time you had with them – even if it was brief. Know that God is in control, even in our sadness and our brokenness. Find ways to build community within and beyond formal family ties.
There are women who cannot conceive and for whom motherhood is a sad time because it reminds them of their barrenness. If you know of anyone in that situation please take some time to be kind to them. You may mention Mother's Day or not. Maybe just do something nice and don't even mention the fact that Mother's Day is coming up.
Some of you have lost your mothers or grandmother or aunt or some other special woman in recent years. So you may still be grieving. Or you know someone who is in the situation. Please take some time to build bridges and to reach out to them and remind them that you care. There are other mothers who themselves have lost children. It may be a child who was born prematurely. Or a miscarriage. Or someone who died too young and the mother was left to bury them. Please be sure to embrace those mothers. Show them love and affection and try to do something nice to close the gap for them. To help them not hurt so much.
We are all connected. And Mother's Day is one of those larger-than-life days that can be a bit difficult to get through. But we're looking for here are simple acts of kindness. We're not looking for you to break the bank and buy expensive gifts for people for 7 days. We aren't looking for you to take everybody out to dinner or brunch. We're looking for you to think of small creative ways to reach out to these special people in your life and spread a little kindness. Please check out this video and you'll see exactly what we mean. Many blessings to you and yours. Thank you for joining this effort with us.
Many blessings to you and yours – and if it applies – HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
Co-Executive Producer, Special Projects
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 mycoachtrina.com. @PerspectivePlus or https://www.facebook.com/CareerTalkWithCoachTrina
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.
Can 2015 mark the year we end our Sisyphean work-life balance pursuit? It seems that we’ve been looking for this magical firewall between work and life for most of my working career, and we can’t seem to find it.
So what’s up?
It’s a myth. During the halcyon days of the mid-80s, when work-life balance was first referenced, we didn’t have to contend with today’s ubiquitous connectivity. With the innovation of email, smart phones, and social media, the line between work and life is blurred at best. So let’s stop searching for the comprise of work life and personal life balance. Rather, let’s take action to maximize our fulfillment, happiness, and mindfulness in our one life.
Based on my experience as an executive, business leadership coach, and motivational speaker, the genesis of our work-life drama usually starts at work even as we carve out personal time for exercise, downtime, etc. As a result, if work is less than ideal, then it’s hard to live a full life. Here are 3 steps to gain more fulfillment at work.
Get clear on your values and take action that aligns with them. Determine what gets you jazzed and ensure that your daily choices align to your values.
What gives you that “I got this and here’s how” confidence? It’s your inner greatness. You know it. It’s led to your success. However, we also have moments when that inner critic steps in, plants doubt, and stirs up fear. An optimal life isn’t possible when we listen to that inner critic. It sucks the potential out of us. Learn how to lead with your inner greatness.
Own your time! Stop sacrificing your joy and success by settling for ineffective meetings. You get to choose how you meet and connect with your co-workers.
Here are some easy steps to get more out of your meetings:
- Start and end on time
- Shorten your meetings by at least 15 minutes. Get focused and use your extra time for planning, reflecting, or biology
- Stop multitasking
- Set up more “Walk and Talk” meetings
- Accept/send meeting requests with a set agenda and objectives
- Decline meetings without a clear purpose
- Increase the laughter factor
- Agree on clear action steps and ownership
Living these A, B, Cs can help you gain more happiness at work. Make 2015 the year you trade the compromise of balance for the greatness of optimal. To learn more contact me at Michael@pelotoncc.net.
In his coaching practice, Peloton Coaching & Consulting, Michael O'Brien partners with today's business leaders to help them move from functional performance to optimal performance. His aim is to change lives by enhancing leadership energy, engagement, and fulfillment, and demonstrating how these qualities can cascade throughout organizations. To Learn more about Michael and Peloton Coaching & Consulting, visit www.pelotoncc.net.
The C word. Cancer. No one wants to hear it, especially from an immediate family member. A few weeks ago, my Mom phoned with startling news: her annual mammogram had turned up something “highly suspicious for malignancy.” I was stunned, shaken, sad, upset, scared. You name it and I felt it – such a range of emotions. I’m not going to lie or sugar coat it. It’s been a rough few weeks.
On the positive side, however, there’s so much I have been grateful for in this situation. Oh, let me count the ways:
1. I’m grateful that she’s gotten her mammogram every year for 30 years and does a self-exam on the first of every month. (Great advice for all women!) Even if it did turn out to be cancer, I was optimistic that it was caught early and hopeful that this time next year we could not only go on the vacation to Italy that we’ve been planning, but could use the occasion to celebrate life, health, how much we love each other, and our Italian heritage, of which we’re very proud!
2. I’m grateful for an incredibly wise and supportive group of colleagues. Right before this all happened, I came to know not one or two but THREE people who would prove immensely helpful. Two are breast cancer survivors and one is an expert on grief. It’s like God planted them in my life to make sure I was OK. Wow.
3. My friends have been excellent. I’m so grateful for their support, prayers, positive thinking and encouragement. Thinking about them makes me smile. So many have passed on good wishes to me, which I have forwarded to my Mom. She is grateful, too, which makes me even happier to have all of them – and her – in my life.
4. I’m so glad I have a job that’s flexible and enabled me to be by her side for her pre-lumpectomy consultation with her surgeon. I’m grateful for the doctor and his calmness, and that my Mom, my sister and my Mom’s significant other could all be there with her. We even went out to eat afterward, which we otherwise would never have done on a random Wednesday in early August. It was lovely!
5. Finally, I’m grateful that we got some very good news within the last few days. Although Mom does have breast cancer, it has not spread. The surgeon said that he’ll likely be able to get everything out when he does the lumpectomy (on September 11th, please keep us in your prayers), and that she won’t need chemotherapy. Phew! What a relief.
When I shared the good news with people who are grappling with more difficult cancer experiences, I felt so guilty. But they were incredibly happy for me. I’m grateful
for their generous spirits.
You may get good news. You may not. Either way, you can always find something to be grateful for, even in tough situations — and now I know ESPECIALLY in tough situations.
Interesting postscript: I sent this to my Mom for her review before submitting it. I wanted to make sure she was OK with it. Here’s what she said: “Even if the diagnosis had been the type that needed chemo and radiation I would still be positive because more and more people are surviving cancer.” So inspiring, right??
For information on Russ, visit his website www.russterrylifecoach.com.
Russ Terry and Grief Coach, Jill Smolowe, are co-hosting an in-person workshop, “The Grief-Gratitude Connection,” to be held in New York City on September 15. For more info and to purchase tickets, visit: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-grief-gratitude-connection-strategies-for-easing-the-stress-of-caregiving-and-the-pain-of-loss-tickets-9972777847
“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
If you are here, I am believing
that your heart has been touched by adoption in some way. There are
between 6 and 7 million adult adoptees in America. That equates to 12-14
million adoptive and birth parents! Not to exclude the 24-28 million
grandparents and countless siblings! Staggering statistics!
Many in the triad are hurting due to
post-adoption issues. The secrets, silence, and separation that countless
adoptees have experienced due to a lack of understanding and disconnection with
those that love them the most, have taken their voice away. We at The Voice of
the Adoptee strive to provide a place of hope and healing for adoptees and
their families! We educate, empower, and equip you to fully embrace the
Coaching processes and realize the family life you have dreamed about!
The Coaching model is an effective,
and creative way to identify, and find the lost pieces of
the story. Working with me a Professional Certified Coach
has the potential to bring and see to completion
a beautiful Tapestry , and a Legacy of Love for future generations!
Is it time for you to learn how to walk through the adoption journey with confidence and wholeness? Are you sick of bumping up against unanswerable questions? While there is not a magic pill or secret button to this process. I have created a successful Coaching program that is proven to find the missing threads in the Tapestry of your adoption story! It is a team effort. My commitment to you that if you are willing to do what it takes to create a Legacy of Love in your family I will stand shoulder to shoulder with you until your tapestry is complete!
For many, within the beautiful Tapestry of Adoption, there has been a forgotten or lost thread. A disconnect, a strong awareness that something has been missing. That missing thread can cause holes, unraveling, and often times confusion within the heart and mind of those touched by Adoption. We believe that lost or forgotten thread is the "Adoptees Voice", The Adoptees Voice is one of beauty and mystery. Have you been listening?
Ignite Your Sense of Purpose!
LeAnne Parsons is The Walk Your Talk Coach, as well as the CEO of La Dolce Vita Coaching. As a Certified Life Empowerment Coach, LeAnne has a desire to stand shoulder to shoulder with you as you boldly let go of all the obstacles that hold you back from fully embracing the life you were created to live.