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.

Manifesting My Bliss

I did some family constellation work last weekend (thank you Carol Shure). My family has a number of wonderful family stories going back numerous generations.  

It was an individual constellation where the facilitator and I allowed the visiting ancestors and entities to speak through us.  My request was to request that they support in my manifesting my bliss and sharing what I have been given to share.    

Carol’s invocation was lovely including elemental, spirit ancestors of blood line and heart, of plant and animal.  

The first ancestor which came to me was a tree,  there began the story that played out.  I have done much work in my life to release trauma, honoring but not re-experiencing it.  

A pattern with the directions emerged a vessel, created a transmission and release of archetypal wounding flowed through us.  

Ancestors stood behind me, mother’s family to the left, father's to the right, starting with mother's on the left and father's on the right. Such strength from the women and such sweetness from the fathers, then their partners joined them. 

I felt so supported so filled with their strength and purpose, sweetness and mysticism. 

This  a dream fragment from this morning. Feeling pushed by my ancestors, pressure from behind so I felt that I would stumble and fall, I asked them please support me.

The energy shifted from stumbling on my feet to being seated in the air and then their support lifting me so I am gently flying, I woke at peace and happy. 


Nika Annon incorporates Nuero-linguistic programming (NLP) & Nuero-plasticity techniques to help individuals move beyond limiting beliefs & assumptions that hold them back & create new habits to reinforce the changes which create the desired outcomes. To learn more about Nika, please visit www.nikaannon.com

Source: www.nikaannon.com

Turning Let Go into Let’s GO!

I have a secret I want to share with you.

Outside of my wife and a few close friends, I’ve kept this little secret to myself and away from others, including my parents. 

But recently, I realized what I’ve been holding-in has actually been holding me back. 

I’ve spent the past several months spinning a narrative that said I retired from my last executive position. But, the reality is, I was let go.

After 18 years, the company’s new leadership notified me, in their right, that they were “changing directions.”

I’ve had jobs from paperboy to short-order cook, to sales representative to executive leader, but this was a first. 

I was shocked and embarrassed.

What did this say about me as a business leader?

What did this mean as a provider to my family?

What were my future career possibilities?

It was fertile soil for my little annoying gremlin.

What’s a gremlin, you ask?

Some call it an inner critic and others use more biting language. Regardless of the label, gremlins plant seeds of doubt and worry in your mind that show up before and/or after big events such as presentations, interviews, career changes — and even when you asked someone to prom.   

Yes, our gremlins loved our high school years because the seeds they planted can last a lifetime.  We all have them. They get you close and whisper: You are not bold enough, not smart enough, or cool enough.  

Or, in my case, they whispered: You are not competent enough.  Our inner, self-inflicted taunts think they are protecting us from judgment. But the truth is, they limit us and keep us stuck in the status quo.

It seemed like a safe play to call it  “retirement.” Although my age and lack of independent wealth confused people in my circle, calling my dismissal a retirement was a “good enough” description. But, it wasn’t true.

During my recovery from my cycling accident, I began to understand that “good enough” was no longer good enough. To reach my potential, I had to quiet that gremlin. I knew then, as I do now, that I always have choices.  

We all have choices. We can choose to listen to our gremlins and limit our potential, or we can breakaway and believe in our unlimited potential.  

I chose to believe that I was strong enough and tough enough to handle my physical rehabilitation, get back on that bike, and race again.

And eventually, I did.

Today, I’m choosing to breakaway, again, by sharing my truth with you.

Being let go doesn’t make me less of a leader. It just makes me human.

That pivotal moment in my life became my “jump-in moment.” It helped me to leap out of my comfort zone toward the unknown. It encouraged me to trust my values and to embrace the things that make me a unique leader, coach, speaker, and consultant.

Now, I harness those qualities to continue to build my own business and to serve my clients.

It feels good to be open and transparent. I probably should call my parents now, before they read this online.

Do you have a secret you have been holding in that holds you back?

Do you want to tell your gremlin to take a hike?

Do you want more than just “good enough” at work? 

If you’ve read this far, I believe you could answer yes to every one of those questions.

I can help you. Let’s connect today.  I have a special offer for all those gremlin slayers out there that I believe will help you make your own leap forward.

Click contact to set up a time for us to chat.


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

A Heartfelt Thanks To My Mum

To the one who gave me a Beautiful #gift called #LIFE – My Mother!!

My GRATITUDE list is endless, but here are a few reasons that make her special. I'd like to extend a heartfelt THANKS to my mum for:

  1. Making that choice of putting my happiness and well-being ahead of her own.
  2. Teaching me the hard lessons to do the right things.
  3. Making me strong and confident and to become independent in life.
  4. Being there always as a strong pillar of support.
  5. Being strong in my weak times
  6. Walking my path with me and not leave my side.
  7. Being my VALENTINE this year and every year – You showed me the real meaning of “LOVE”
  8. FORGIVING me again and again and again for every mistake I made in my life.
  9. ACCEPTING me the way I am with my flaws.
  10. LOVING me UNCONDITIONALLY in this selfish world.

Thank you Mom for everything!! I wish to make you proud someday and to also see you “Happy”.


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

3 essentials for a successful workout (career workout, that is)

Last year, I made a decision to workout with a trainer.  It was a long time coming.  Let’s be honest - I’ve tried every type of workout scheme known to man and can’t seem to keep a consistent routine.  

I start out strong and then other things take priority ...

the kids, laundry, chocolate … This time was going to be different.  

I bought new sneakers, cute exercise clothes and researched trainers.  I selected one that had a great personality and seemed in tune with my personal goals.  

At the end of three months, I was a beast.  My arms looked like something out of one of those superhero movies, my legs were defined and I could do 300 sit-ups without breaking a sweat.  But I didn’t start here … they call it a workout for a reason … it’s WORK!

I practiced six days a week, whether it was weight lifting, cardio or yoga.  Every day I was building muscle and gaining strength.  If I hadn’t kept up the work, I would have gone right back to where I started - out of shape.

I realized that my success was dependent upon my willingness to practice, practice, practice.

How about your corporate workout?  Just like a physical workout, your corporate workout should include strength training and plenty of practice.  

While your physical workout leads to more energy, toned muscles and overall strength, your corporate workout can lead to confidence, self awareness and success.  Why wouldn’t you want to get started today?!

Three muscles to flex in your corporate workout

1.                How to flex your public speaking muscles

  • Actively seek out opportunities to practice and grow your public speaking skills.  
  • Check out your local Toastmaster group (www.toastmasters.org) or speakers bureau.
  • Find people who do it well - and copy them!  Julian Treasure is one of my favorite TedTalks around how to speak so that people want to listen (http://bit.ly/1vOD73z).

2.                How to flex your networking muscles

  • Join an industry association.  If you’re not sure, check with your colleagues about the groups they attend and ask if you can attend as a visitor before joining.
  • If you’re already a member of a club or association … GO TO THE MEETINGS!!  Don’t sit in the back and leave the minute the gavel hits the podium.
  • Create a goal to introduce yourself to one or two new people each week.  (If you work in a small office, this could be tough, but give it a try).  

3.                How to flex your writing muscles

  • Journal every day.  Make it a point to write for 5 minutes each day (come on, you can do it!).  If you’re not sure what to write about, try this free ebook to get the ideas flowing - A Year of Blogging and Journaling Ideas by Cynthia Louden.
  • Start a blog.  Many websites provide a free option that allows you to try before you buy (www.wordpress.com).  I use Google’s Blogger (www.blogger.com) that easily links to my website.  Don’t think you have anything to say?  Simply write about things you know - food, exercise or relationships.
  • Write a fairy tale.  If none of these other options appeal to you and all else fails, write a whimsical story with yourself as the hero / heroine.

By training and strengthening your corporate body AND mind, you’ll become a force to be reckoned with!  You’ll develop skills that will create confidence, demonstrate leadership and your ability to stretch (pardon the pun) outside of your comfort zone.


Kim Black is a Certified Professional Coach that focuses on career advancement and life coaching for women.  She has more than 20 years of corporate experience and is passionate about helping her clients build their skills, achieve their goals and celebrate their successes.  She is the author of "Navigating the Corporate Jungle with Kim Black" and hosts a radio show on the Life Coach Radio Network.

Website:  www.kimblackcoaching.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/coachkimblack

Twitter:  @coachkimblack

How Do You Overcome Being Hurt By Others?

This came out of a conversation I had with my 10 year old. I asked her what she thinks about when someone hurts her and her response was 'I wonder why they hate me'. Of course, I recognized the teachable moment immediately! Here are some nuggets from our conversation...

1. Remember everyone does the best they can in a given moment. We're all human. We don't always make the best decisions. What you may think is a bad decision may seem right to someone else. Try to be understanding and see things from their perspective and do your best not to judge. We'll never know what someone elses intentions are or why they do certain things because we've never walked in their shoes. If you find yourself judging others, don't judge yourself! Notice the thought and let it go. Just being aware of it and making a conscious decision not to judge, minimizes your chance of slipping into that behavior. What I like to do is notice the thought, let it go and then bless that person and send them positive thoughts/energy.

2. Every person and encounter happens for a reason. Ask yourself, what can you learn from this, even though it hurts. What may be the reason that this happened. How can I do better or help others as I learn from this?

3. How important is this in the grand scheme of things? Often when we get hurt by people, it feels like that's all we can focus on but when we take a minute to reflect, it's often not something that's going to have a big impact in the long term (unless we let it). We can choose to reframe it and learn from it so we can let go of the hurt and pain.

4. Forgiveness. This is a tough one. Sometimes people consistently hurt us and others, and we don't understand it. What we need to remember is hurt people, hurt people. Try to have compassion for others. It's also important to recognize when a relationship is toxic and it's best to cut ties rather than constantly forgiving and ending up in the same cycle (that's another discussion, for another time).

5. Being vulnerable. If the relationship is important to you, talk to the person about how their words or behavior makes you feel (not about what they're doing wrong). They may not even be aware of it. A great deal of healing takes place when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. This is also how we strengthen relationships and build trust.

6. Don’t take it personally. Easier said than done, I know. Often when someone hurts us, it's a reaction they choose to have, whether the intention is good or bad. We have a choice in how we interpret it and how we let it affect us. Remember, holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. We can either choose to let these moments shape us or break us. What will you choose?

If this is an area you struggle with, I would love to speak with you to see how I can help. You can book a FREE strategy session with me by using this link: http://www.bookedin.net/life-and-leadership-coaching-for-women

Have an amazing, blessed day!


Sharissa is a life and leadership coach for women, specializing in the areas of career transition and advancement as well as work/life balance. She is a speaker, writer, radio talk show host, co-owner of Stop.Smile.Breathe. Women's Retreats, and serves on the Board of Directors of a non-profit organization called Empowering Women as Leaders.

She has held leadership positions in the technology field at Fortune 500 companies, the federal government and multinational companies, among others, for over 12 years. She enjoyed coaching and mentoring throughout her career and decided to start a business based on her passion for helping women.

The mission of her business is to help women live a well-balanced life of purpose, joy and fulfillment where they’re thriving and not just surviving.

www.sharissasebastian.com         

info@sharissasebastian.com

 

Source: www.sharissasebastian.com

“MAT PRACTICE” INTO “LIFE PRACTICE”

Although I love yoga, I almost did not show up for my yoga class that morning. It was a rushed morning and the weather outside even justified my not going into class. I also thought that I am late anyway and may not even get a spot in the class. Something made me just get up and say that even if I was going to be a little late for class, it should be all right.  Worse case, if I did not get a spot, I would just walk around and come back. I knew that if I did make it, I would feel better after the session because I had shown up and had done my practice and I would be left with a lot of energy. As I walked in to the room, there was a place for me and I felt like it was a sign. I settled and started my Vinyasa flow.  What I realized that day was, how what we do on our mat is what we need to do in life too.

1. Showing up is so important: More than anything else is showing up on your mat just as important as showing up in life.

2. Unsure about what happens: No matter how many years we practice yoga, each day or each practice session is different. We don’t know what happens on the mat on that particular day just as in life things that happen are not always known.

3. Continuing to breathe: No matter what we are doing on the mat, the focus is the breath because it is the breath that helps get through the different poses or the challenge on the mat just as in real life we are faced with different challenges at all times and the key is to get comfortable breathing through whatever it is that is happening.

4. Don’t worry about what happens on other’s mats: when we start to look around to see what others are doing on their mat, we lose focus of what we are doing and we end up losing our balance. Similarly, in life when we compare ourselves with others and focus on what others are doing, we lose focus on what we need to do. Of course, its always great to have people around us inspire us, but do not get intimidated by what others are doing. Focus on your strengths.

5. Learning to be present: On the mat, it’s all about being present. We may be faced with worries from the past or about the future but what helps us stay focused is being present in that moment. Similarly in life we will be faced with stress, anxiety, emotions or worries about events that have occurred or what may occur, but we need to learn to acknowledge them, feel them and then come back to the present.

6. Learning to let go of what is not serving us: Just as you release the thoughts that no longer serve you during your practice, you do so the same in life. You learn to let go of past grudges, physically letting go of the things around us that no longer serve us and are blocking better things from coming into our lives because of the place we have given them in our life.

7. Acknowledge ourselves: after the practice session, we learn to acknowledge ourselves and feel good about facing whatever the challenges that we did on the mat for that day, similarly we need to learn to acknowledge ourselves in life to get past our challenges.


Kalpana is a certified Life Coach (ICF) and a certified Eating Psychology Coach from The Institute For The Psychology Of Eating. Her main goal in her coaching practice is to help people to love themselves "now" as opposed to waiting to do that only when they "get there." She has a true passion for helping people cultivate unconditional love for themselves, and helping people to form healthy relationships with food.

NIETZSCHE'S ETERNAL RETURN

Asked about Nietzsche’s eternal return.

Living the same life every day, doing the same things every day for eternity.

I was asked if I could survive that.  

I asked in return, "Do you mean, by this question, the same acts each getting out bed, getting dressed, going to work, eating, walking, interacting?  Or, do you mean how I do these things, how I approach life?

That each day I awaken to a new day, with the light in a slightly different place, see the beauty of the natural world, breathe & approach with wonder.

What will I see today,  how will it be, how will I react?

What clouds, rainbows, shadows of sun will light the mountains?

What venue will I find to allow myself to flow?

What emotional dramas will I create to entertain us?

What suffering will I experience?

How will I heed the song of my heart? What will it sing?

The second I could do for eternity."

Source: www.nikaannon.com

Jump In & Move Beyond Good Enough

“Jump in OB. The water’s great,” they shouted up to me from the quarry.

“Yeah, yeah, I’ll be there in a minute,” I shouted back.

But secretly I was thinking: Umm, there’s no way I am jumping in that quarry. My little buddy, Fear, and I will just hang out and watch everyone else have a great time.

Sitting on the edge watching everyone else leap forward is good enough.

That was the scene about 15 years ago during the Tyler Place Resort Mountain-Bike Ride, the capstone to our family vacation. Each Friday at Tyler Place, guests head out for a mountain-bike ride through Vermont’s single track, which hugs Lake Champlain. It’s great fun.

And the piece de resistance of the ride is throwing caution to the wind and jumping into the quarry. It’s a 34-foot drop (see video) from the edge to the water below.

The easy part, at least for me, was the mountain-bike ride. The jump? Not so much. 

I’m a strong believer of Sheryl Sandberg’s lean in message. I love it because as a business leadership coach and motivational speaker, I witness many people who  just sit on the sidelines and settle for good enough rather than choosing to lean in and take action. 

The truth is, sometimes, to really breakthrough to the next level of success, you need to jump in with both feet.

I was doing plenty of leaning in at the quarry. I would gingerly walk to the edge, look down, gulp, and scurry back. I did this about three times until I finally asked myself: What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

The answer: I would jump in.

In that moment, I knew I had a choice. I could listen to my little buddy Fear, or I could leap forward into the unknown and jump in. 

I ended up jumping in four times that day.

That literal leap of faith gave me the confidence I needed to make the decision to jump from executive leadership to starting my own coaching and consulting firm.

As I was making my decision on my career jump, my reliable little buddy Fear showed up again to harass me and stir up limiting beliefs.   

Michael, what if you can’t provide for your family?

What if you embarrass yourself?

What if you can’t run your own business?

Just like at the quarry, I had to take a leap of faith. Neither leap was easy. But, I realized I had a choice: I could let Fear drive my decision or I could trust my talents, instincts, and enthusiasm and jump in. 

And again, I jumped.

I’m so thankful I did.

Whether you’re jumping into a quarry, voicing your opinion, changing careers, or going for that big promotion, Fear has a way of making you doubt yourself. It does everything it can to hold you back.  

Your job is to name the Fear and jump in in spite of it.

So, let me ask you: What would you do if you weren’t afraid? 

How would your work be different? 

Are you tired of settling for “good enough?” 

If you answered yes, that’s terrific because you know that good enough isn’t really good enough if you want to maximize success in your career and life.   

If you are looking for a partner who can help you move beyond good enough, I encourage you to contact me today. Reference this blog post, in our call, and I’ll give you a special offer to help you leverage your belief system and maximize your career and life.  

Go ahead. What are you waiting for?  Jump in. The water is great. 


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