The Greatness of Optimal: Ending the Work-Life Balance Myth

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.

Alignment

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.

Beliefs

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.

Calendar Choices

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:

  1.  Start and end on time
  2. Shorten your meetings by at least 15 minutes. Get focused and use your extra time for planning, reflecting, or biology
  3. Stop multitasking
  4. Set up more “Walk and Talk” meetings
  5. Accept/send meeting requests with a set agenda and objectives
  6. Decline meetings without a clear purpose
  7. Increase the laughter factor
  8. 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.

Source: www.pelotoncc.net

International Youth Development - Self Confidence & Belief

Rod’s client was 13. He had been adopted in Ethiopia and moved to Albania and Macedonia when his father’s work changed. Being the only person of African origin in either country made him highly visible and prone to attention. Alex struggled with his identity – who he was and where he was from.

Coming to terms with life outside of Ethiopia and in cultures very different became a major challenge for him. Between languages, cultural and educational differences Alex felt great pressure to fit in as well as finding himself. There was a time when it looked like he would be unable to do either. 

Objective 

Rod's objectives were to increase his young client's self confidence and belief. To reconnect him with his identity whilst embracing his passion for performing arts and music, putting him on track for a successful and fulfilling life.  

Action 

Rod's first challenge was to get his clients' respect. After he'd achieved this he took his client through a number of NLP exercises to help him explore and connect to who he was and what was important to him. 

As his clients confidence started to grow Rod changed his coaching to focus on helping his client develop a number of success strategies to survive and thrive in different cultures. This let to coaching his client in how to model effective performing arts strategies. 

Results

The results were evident immediately. No longer the ‘odd man out’, Alex had become the centre of attention and a social magnet. Rather than seeing himself as second or third class he projected a confident and first class image which others reflected back to him. In a matter of weeks which led to months his client experimented with different things.

He went on bungee jumps, para sailing and glider pilot lessons. In short he expanded his own beliefs and started to live his life to the full. 

And so

Two years later Alex has created music DVD’s been on multiple television programs around Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Italy, Canada and many others. His videos record 120,000 + views and he is now studying in college performing arts and creative dance. His has a plan for his future and carrying out steps towards achieving it on a daily basis. 


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: http://www.sherpanlp.com/

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

Is The Grass Always Greener?

You take a look at your overgrown lawn where weeds have popped up everywhere, a homesteading gopher has staked his claim, the sun has turned it several shades of brown and you realize it’s not the lawn you wanted.  What you wanted was well-manicured, beautiful, fertile, and green.

With a deep, disappointed sigh, you turn around and see your neighbor’s lawn.  Your eyes widen in wonder as the oasis you dreamed of is a few feet away, only separated by a wood fence.  “That’s what I want, that’s what I should have” you think to yourself.  Then a bitter taste settles in your mouth and you think “Why does he get to have that lawn and I don’t?”  You stand and look at the lawn for a while and thoughts of discontent continue to run through your head.  Barraged by question after question of “why’s” until that bitter taste in your mouth becomes so strong, that when you take a simple, needed breath, it overpowers your whole being.  Jealousy has discovered a new friend and it now has a firm grip on you.

In the beginning of my career, I was working for a company and had made several acquaintances there.  We would go out for the occasional dinner together and discuss work or what we were going to do for the weekend, or what we had done the previous weekend.  One woman always spoke about all the fun, exciting things she and her husband would do over the weekend.  They would go wine tasting or go on some weekend getaway.  She always made it sound fun and romantic.

If you walked into her office, she always had flowers from him and her office was decorated with photos of herself and her husband, always smiling and always holding each other tightly.  As far as I knew, every single woman in the office was envious of her.  I vividly recall every other woman in the office at some point, expressing their envy of her. I don’t remember feeling jealous, nor did I want to take it from her, and I certainly didn’t want her to not have it. I'm not the type of person to ask “Why her and not me?” I do remember wishing that I had the same thing.  A happy, wonderful, close relationship with a wonderful partner.  Well, who wouldn’t want that, a beautiful relationship of true love and happiness with someone is what most of us want in our life.

One day, we had all gone out as a group again, we were sitting around the table, eating, laughing and talking.  The woman sat there and though she smiled, she didn’t say very much.  It was so out of character for her as she was always nice, friendly, and smiling.  After a nice dinner, we all said our goodbyes and walked to our cars.  As I was unlocking my car door, I heard my name and when I turned around, she was standing in front of me, her eyes welling up with tears. I asked her if she was okay and she responded a simple “yes.” We stood in silence for a brief, awkward moment.  Tears began to stream down her face and she asked me if I could talk for a moment and I responded “Of course, are you okay?”  It always seems a senseless question when someone is crying or emotional, but it's the easiest way to get the conversation started.

She began to tell me that her husband had been cheating on her.   I was completely shocked! I think my jaw dropped open and I couldn’t tell if I had closed it quickly enough.  She continued on about how unhappy she was and how she didn’t know what to do or where to turn.  I tried to absorb and understand not only what she was saying at that moment, but everything she had said previously.  I remembered the happy photos and the vacations.  It all seemed so wonderful.  How was what I was hearing now a part of everything I’d heard previous?  I finally heard myself speak “But, you seem so happy, he sends you flowers and always dotes on you when we have office parties, and...”  She interrupted me before I could continue and told me that he does those things because he is always cheating and they were all gifts of apology.

She continued on, telling me that after every apology, he continued to cheat.  I felt painfully sad for her.  I so much believed they had the perfect relationship.  I tried to console her by telling her she had choices, and they were for her to make, based on what she wanted.  She sincerely believed that she didn’t have choices, because she was a big part of the façade.  She didn’t want people to see what was really happening for fear of what they would think of her.  I continued to try and reassure her about her choices, letting her know that she did have them.

I don’t know why she chose me to unburden her pain to, but it is what I do.

You see when I looked at their relationship from the other side of the fence, I saw something that I wanted.  That green, well-manicured, beautiful, fertile lawn.  I didn’t know what was really happening that made the lawn appear that way.  I didn’t know the pain and hardship one person was enduring to create that appearance.  However, once I was on that side of the fence, seeing the long hours of sweat and exhaustion, the large amount of fertilizer, the complex water system, and the expensive tools they used to create the appearance, it didn’t seem as green and beautiful.

The grass isn’t always greener.  Jealousy of someone else’s lawn is a waste of thought, energy, and desire because we don’t really know what’s behind the lawn. We don’t always know how the grass got the way it did.

What we can do is manicure our own lawn, so it is the way we want it to look, where we want to live, where we want to rest and be safe, and where we want to love. We can fertilize it with hard work, understanding, mutual respect, honest and pure intentions filled with love.  We can water it with compassion, patience, caring, and open communication so it continues to be bright and beautiful.  All of our lawns take work.  The work that you want to put in is the work that will ensure your happiness and your continued want of living there.

Peace and Love to the Universe!!!


Monica Ortiz is a successful Life Coach, Author, and Speaker whose award-winning work has touched thousands of lives over her 20-year career. Her debut book in 2013 received over 100 five-star reviews and critical acclaim, and has led to speaking invitations at leading institutions such as Stanford University on topics ranging from Success in Your Career and Relationships to Shifting Your Energy to Shape Your Reality. She is founder of The Universe Series, a professional organization bringing the tools she teaches to millions of people around the globe. To learn more, visit www.theuniverseseries.com

Source: www.theuniverseries.com

Going Above & Beyond: The Many Benefits Of Coaching

A few years ago, I read a biography of Bruce Lee that included a section describing how he experienced a series of recurring nightmares. 

These led to a growing sense of fear and unease during his waking hours, and he lost confidence in various areas of his life. It’s fairly obvious why confidence is important to a kung fu master and international film star; the negative effects of his anxiety took a toll on him professionally.

Eventually, after much soul searching, Lee recognized the root of his fear, then set it aside and moved forward. His career flourished, and today his name is known by just about everyone. Although most of us are not martial arts heroes on the silver screen, each of us can imagine what Lee’s experience was like. 

We’ve all had the sense of being held back, of being unable to move past some hidden blockage and onward toward a better future. To a lesser or greater extent, each of us has our own monster holding us back, and that’s where coaching can help. Sometimes, we need someone else to step in and help us slay the beast.

What Can We Gain from a Life Coach?

People often hold misconceptions about coaching. Many confuse coaching with counseling and mentoring, but a coach doesn’t provide advice or work with a client over a long period of time. Instead, a coach’s goal is to empower his clients so they can act on their desires and work toward goals. Generally, this is achieved over a short series of sessions.

Coaching doesn’t involve going into an office and lying down on the couch (as is the case with therapy).

Many coaches never even meet their clients. Skype has made it possible to connect coaches with clients all over the world, allowing clients to conveniently experience highly meaningful and successful sessions. Because of this, virtually anyone can benefit from coaching — even people who consider themselves happy and successful. 

Who Can Benefit from Coaching?

The majority of people who seek coaching suffer from a lack of confidence. People of all ages — from teenagers to retirees — find themselves restricted by fears of what they can actually accomplish. It sounds strange, but many people find it difficult to cope with the idea of success.

People often react to barriers they built early in their lives, usually before the age of 12. At some point, they developed a sense of their own incapability. These barriers can be self-imposed or constructed by social pressures. Although the high-water mark varies from person to person, almost everyone has an internal concept of his own limitations. Once a person approaches this supposed limitation, he says, “I can’t.”

Many people know they have a desire (for a promotion, for social recognition, or whatever else), but they fear what will happen once that desire is attained. Will they be able to handle it? Will they be capable of fulfilling the function? When it comes right down to it, these people are battling with two internal voices: one saying “I can” and the other saying “I can’t” or “I never will.”

Just about everyone can benefit from coaching, but people in the following situations will undoubtedly profit from the experience: 

  • People experiencing transition: A coach is useful when changing jobs, relocating, having a baby, retiring, divorcing, or during any other time when it’s important to assess your situation and develop strategies to move forward positively.
  • People who feel they have come to a crossroads: Coaching provides help when determining your values and goals in a way that will set you down the best path possible.
  • People who feel “stuck”: Coaching provides a means of analyzing and surpassing barriers.
  • People with unrealized dreams: A coach can help develop strategies for bringing goals and dreams to fruition.
  • People who are happy and successful: Even successful people have barriers. Breaking them down only leads to further prosperity.

Research Proves the Benefits of Coaching

recent survey performed by the UK’s The Work Foundation, a research and management consultancy, found that the effects of coaching are quantifiable, and their findings attest to the benefits of engaging a coach.

  • 84 percent reported improvement in their ability to work toward goals.
  • 60 percent reported a heightened openness to personal development and learning.
  • 58 percent reported a better ability to identify solutions to work-related issues.
  • 52 percent reported an increase in responsibility.
  • 42 percent reported a higher sense of self-awareness.

The same report also found a wide variety of benefits for organizations that provide coaching to employees, such as an outstanding increase in each employee’s utilization of his talents, a general increase in organizational performance, a more motivated staff, better relationships between different departments, and an increased willingness to adopt a new management style.

Simply put, coaching provides the boost necessary to push a person far beyond the limits of what he thinks he is capable of. This brings about a positive result for individuals, the organizations for which they work, and society as a whole.

A key aspect of daily life involves overcoming challenges and pushing past barriers. That’s how life is for almost all of us. We all spend our lives in the pursuit of success, whether it’s small or large, physical or intangible. In order to achieve these goals, it may be helpful to have someone remind you to listen to the inner voice that says “I can.” Sometimes, it takes a little bit of coaching to get there.


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

 

Owning The Cape

"Even when I'm a mess, I put on a vest with an S on my chest..." Alicia Keys

This line is from Alicia Keys's song "Superwoman". It's one of the many anthems to womanhood that have been penned over the years. Today I'm writing about my own battle with this label. I am a self-confessed "A type". I do a lot and have a lot of roles. As a working mother of two, and now also working on my coaching business, my life is very full. Some days it’s a bit TOO FULL lol. But I enjoy it. I know that I'm in the right space in time for me right now, so even though my pace is a bit manic at times, it's extremely fulfilling.

I have not always been at peace with this. I've had the title "superwoman" for most of my adult life. But I didn't OWN it. As a matter of fact, you could even say I resented it. I once journaled, "Superwoman is dead. She was crushed by the weight of the world on her shoulders." Wow, right? That's a very strong statement, but that was the space I was in at the time. Totally a victim - "poor me, I've got too much to do". But it is very real when you are in that space - in overwhelm and not able to find a good way to balance it out.

Now, before I go any further, I am NOT claiming to have figured this all out and have the magic formula. But over the years, and with God's grace and the help of some wonderful teachers, I have begun to challenge my perception of things. The truth of the matter is, I LIKE to be busy. And part of my busyness is because of the various relationships I have - family and friends, and taking time to focus on things that matter to me. So now I embrace the fullness of my life - it gives me focus and adds richness to my life. Recently I've been struggling to balance things out, so I thought writing this would help refocus an reenergize. Hope you enjoy it, too.

OWNING THE CAPE
... so how do you shift into wearing the cape proudly? Here are a few suggestions:
 

  1. Feed your spiritual life. Having a relationship with God helps us tap into a higher power and not feel so helpless when things are out of our control. We all experience bumps along the way, (sometimes valleys and derailments!) but knowing that God is with you throughout makes a huge difference. One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."(KJV). This verse has gotten me through many rough spots, and in retrospect, I find it to be true! Some of my greatest blessings have come after a period of loss or trial. God knows what he is doing, and part of the trick in owning the cape is knowing when to let go and let Him have control.
  2. Acceptance. If you are a superwoman (or superman) wear the cape proudly! Clearly there is something about you that resonates strength, leadership and/or perseverance. All wonderful traits to embrace!
  3. Cultivate a positive attitude. Do you routinely see the glass as "half full" or "half empty"? We've all heard "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade", and similar adages. How you view things makes a huge difference. So rather than seeing your talents as a burden (like I used to), wear that cape proudly. Cultivate a swagger and own the power that God has endowed you with!
  4. Take care of yourself. I'm sure this seems very basic, but when we are juggling a lot, sometimes we slip to the bottom (or off) of the priority list. This can lead to burnout, resentment and worse. Yes, it's easier said than done, but it is absolutely essential. When I wrote that "superwoman is dead" bit I was not even on the radar screen. Always allow some time for yourself - to enjoy things you like to do, spending time with people you love, or just DOING NOTHING. 

Have a wonderful week, and *raising cup of coffee*... here's to the journey!

Peace & Blessings,
TRamsey © 9/2010


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

Make Food Your Friend

Take a few minutes to conjure up in your mind the image of two women.  One thing they have in common is that they both love to eat.  The first woman loves the food she’s known all her life – Big Macs with the side of fries and the extra-large Diet Coke, of course.  It might be Wendy’s another day, Kentucky Fried Chicken the day after that.  More often than not, she grabs her food in a bag handed to her through a drive through window, and will have finished the meal before she gets home.  She doesn’t cook – she’s usually too hungry when it’s mealtime to take the time to cook, and anyway, the food tastes better soaked in lard and fried in grease.  She may socialize with comfort food, fried chicken and potato salad at a church social, followed by apple pie that is likely to be bought at the grocery store, where they’ve been sitting prettily on the shelf thanks to the preservatives used to keep them looking good.  This woman’s approach to food, the food she loves, is almost frantic.  She loves it so much, she just can’t wait to eat it.  During the day, she may curb her hunger between meals with a Snickers bar or maybe even a “healthy” granola bar or serving of sugary yogurt.  She can’t go to bed without a helping of Ben and Jerry’s – that stuff is to DIE for.  She eats it as if she would die without it, and the fact is, she’s dying because of it.

Can you picture her?  She may be skinny, but more than likely she’s overweight.  For sure her skin isn’t as clear and bright as it could be.  She isn’t grounded.  Food rules her life, and she loves this food.  But it doesn’t love her back.  She suffers from many issues including digestion, stress, hormone, sleep, hair, skin, and mood.

Picture the second woman.  She loves her food, too.  But she loves it in a wholly different way.  She strolls through the farmer’s market on a Saturday morning.  She takes her time inspecting and admiring the fruits and vegetables in the produce bins.  She loads her basket with carefully chosen greens, artichokes, carrots, onions, organic peppers and sweet potatoes.  She adds fresh strawberries, kiwi, melons, and apples.  She might choose an organic chicken and some duck eggs from the same farmer.  She talks to the farmers, asks about their crops and harvests.   Whatever she can’t find she picks up the local grocery store – a little quinoa, spices, olive oil, beans and a bottle of organic red wine.  Perhaps she even has her own garden, where she grows her own eggplant, tomatoes and bib lettuce.  When she gets home she takes her time cooking an organic veggie chili. She cuts the onions, peppers, sweet potatoes and carrots, puts them in the crockpot with the beans adding some tomatoes, kale and spices.  The house fill with the aroma.  She uses her mothers favorite recipe to bake her artichokes.  She makes a salad and pours some wine.  Her company arrives to a meal they’ll all share and savor together.

I’m sure you can picture this second woman, too.  A healthy glow to her skin, a genuine smile.  A peace and serenity about her.  She’s not frantic. She’s not sick.  She’s at peace with herself, and with her food.  The two go hand in hand.

Now – who loves food more?  I mean, truly loves it?  Respects it?  Honors it?  And enjoys it in a peaceful, dignified, grounded way?

The first woman claims she loves food, but the food is her enemy.  It controls her, and if she wanted to “diet,” to lose weight or otherwise get control of herself, she would easily see food as an obstacle to her goals.  Right now, food is something she is panicked about, desperate for, and grabs when she feels she is empty and needs to fill herself up – very much like a dysfunctional relationship, in fact!  If she wanted to change her habits, food would be something she’d have to manage, deprive herself of, conquer and defeat.  It would be a constant struggle, because of her mindset.

The second woman already sees food as her friend, and she doesn’t seem deprived at all – does she?  She takes her time, appreciates the food – the way it looks, feels, smells.  She cooks it carefully, and serves it in the midst of joy and happiness.  She makes it with love.  And the best part?  The food she loves DOES love her back!  She’s healthy and happy, and the food fuels her.  When she eats, she spends more time thinking about what she’s putting in her body so she can live and thrive, not what she’s depriving herself of.

Food – real, whole, nourishing food – is your friend.  Thinking of  your food that way is important for health.  So go to your favorite farmers market and  discover the foods you love, and they will love you back.

Know your food-Because Real Food Changes Everything!

Connie Rogers is a Certified Integrated Holistic Health Coach and Wellness Writer. www.bitesizepieces.net

Expert in toxins that can disrupt our metabolic and endocrine health.

Smart & Natural

Ever wonder how huge Corporations convince us toxic products are really good for us?  They use words like “Natural” or “Smart Drinks or Foods” when reality is, truly smart people, see right through their expensive ad campaigns.  We see through their bright colors and cute jingles and are quite aware, these must be related to the same companies that convinced us that cigarettes and DDT, were good for us.

Here’s a great example of a product, that paid their packaging team to entice consumers with well crafted words.

“Is it really SMART to let yourself fall in love with a snack?  OF COURSE IT IS! ESPECIALLY WHEN IT’S SMARTFOOD™. “You know you want it.  You know where to get it.  Now go out there and be SMART about it.”   And their slogan:  “Smartfood Popcorn - Sign of an INTELLIGENT Life.”  It only took two seconds to glance at the nutrition fact label to see that this is really not smart to eat.

  Let’s read this ad for Velveeta ™ Advertising Campaign “When creamy is what you crave.”

  What does a naked woman have to do with our decision to buy cheese?

Or how about “Betcha can’t eat one.”  Frito-Lay ™ is permitted to make all kinds of claims about its fat laden/ fried products, claiming that Lay’s potato chips are now “heart healthy.”

Do you sit on the sofa, watch TV and regret eating a whole bag?  You have been programed.

Moving on we seem to desire sliming ourselves fast.  Find the Slim-Fast® “Strawberries N Cream” product.  You won’t find “strawberries” or “cream” on the label.  Sure sounds delicious, but after years and years of research, chemists have discovered how to satisfy our taste buds, with chemicals.

Special K® “What will you gain when you lose.” and "Satisfy your sweet tooth.”  Before we buy into a million dollar ad campaign, maybe we should do some due diligence first!  Sugar, sugar and more sugar, artificial flavors, toxic vegetable oils, GMO’s and chemicals.   Sugar toxicity ends up in the circulatory, endocrine, immune and lymphatic systems.  Sugar is a poison to our metabolic system.

Vegetable oils are found in practically every processed food, from salad dressing to mayo to conventional nuts and seeds. These oils are some of the most harmful substances we can put into our body.

And then we have diet foods. Diet-artificially sweetened soft drinks have been associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Is Dove ™ appealing to your body image?  The people at Dove have exploited a void in the marketplace. By introducing so-called women with “real” bodies, they distinguished themselves from their competitors. The down side: Whatever toxins we put on the skin, will go trough the skin, be absorbed into the blood, to be filtered in the liver.

If we as women became content with our appearance – accepting our body size, (including breast and thigh size) wrinkles, gray hair, entire industries would collapse. 

What ever happened to Truth in Advertising? 

If these products put the words:  poison, toxic, chemically processed, Genetically Modified, on the labels would you buy them?  Some ingredients have been shown to increase heart attacks, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and more.

Searching for the “Wake Up Button”?  It’s time to make Smart Choices with a rock solid resolve to become totally awake about how choices we make today, will impact our lives in our future. It’s Spring Cleaning time.  Time to think about eliminating and discarding these “toxic waste products” from our pantry.

There are hundreds of products that need our attention.  For blogging purposes, I offer you a handful to begin with.   Connie Rogers founder of Bitesizepieces.net

Footnotes:

 www.sott.net/article/216727-The-Addictive-Opioids-in-Wheat-and-Dairy-Foods

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2008.284/abstract;jsessionid=08CFC090C1C9CFE4AB7F969832B81A17.f01t02

http://theillusionists.org/2013/04/the-problem-with-dove/


Connie Rogers is an Expert in toxins that can disrupt our skin, metabolic and endocrine health. Lifestyle Educator, Reiki Master, 37 years Certified Cosmetologist/Esthetician, Certified Integrated Holistic Health Coach, Accredited through American Association of Drugless Practitioners, Published Author, Wellness Writer, Owner Reverseage Wellness Essential Oils

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