Be in the Flow – Follow Your Path!

Posts tagged ‘Life Coach’

How and Why to Forgive

How and Why to Forgive

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Mahatma Gandhi

Forgiveness is something you can do whether the person you forgive is alive or not. Forgiveness is more about healing your heart than it is about the other person. And why should you forgive those who have harmed you? As Ann Landers often said, “hate is like an acid. It damages the vessel in which it is stored.” Below is a powerful story of forgiveness.

There are many stories of World War II Holocaust survivors who have been able to forgive their captors and tormentors. Here is one of those stories. It is the story of Corrie Ten Boom. Her family hid their Jewish neighbors in their home, were caught and sent to a concentration camp. She was the only survivor. After the war she traveled throughout Germany, giving talks on forgiveness. On one of those talks she came face-to-face with one of her cruel prison guards.

“I remembered him and the leather crop swinging from his belt. I was face-to-face with one of my captors and my blood seemed to freeze.

“ ‘You mentioned Ravensbruck in your talk,’ he was saying, ‘I was a guard there.’ No, he did not remember me.

“ ‘But since that time,’ he went on, ‘I have become a Christian. I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well. Fräulein,’ again the hand came out—’will you forgive me?’

“And I stood there—I whose sins had again and again to be forgiven—and could not forgive. Betsie had died in that place—could he erase her slow terrible death simply for the asking?

“It could not have been many seconds that he stood there—hand held out—but to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I had ever had to do.

“For I had to do it—I knew that. The message that God forgives has a prior condition: that we forgive those who have injured us. ‘If you do not forgive men their trespasses,’ Jesus says, ‘neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.’

“I knew it not only as a commandment of God, but as a daily experience. Since the end of the war I had had a home in Holland for victims of Nazi brutality. Those who were able to forgive their former enemies were able also to return to the outside world and rebuild their lives, no matter what the physical scars. Those who nursed their bitterness remained invalids. It was as simple and as horrible as that.

“And still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is not an emotion—I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. ‘… Help!’ I prayed silently. ‘I can lift my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling.’

“And so woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes.“

‘I forgive you, brother!’ I cried. ‘With all my heart!’

“For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely, as I did then”.

 

Steps to Forgiveness

  1. Realize that the hatred you feel harms you and not your enemy. Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for it to kill your enemy.
  2. Stop being the victim. The best revenge is to live a successful and happy life. Surviving the harm caused by another person has made you stronger.
  3. Make a list of the strengths you have gained from the negative experience.
  4. Think about the kind and selfless people who have helped you in your time of need and what example they set for you.
  5. Give yourself time to heal. Nurture yourself.
  6. Writing down your negative experience may help – get it out of your head and onto paper.
  7. Stop telling your negative story. Negativity is depressing.
  8. Wish your enemy well. This creates cognitive dissonance and eventually it can neutralize your feelings about the other person.

 

Additional Resource

For additional information on the forgiveness process and the benefits to the forgiver check out the book “Forgiveness is a Choice – A Step-by-Step Process for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope” by Robert Enright.

 

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How to be ‘In the Zone’

How to be ‘In the Zone’

Being ‘in the zone’ is characterized by complete absorption in what one is doing. Other words for that state of complete absorption are ‘in the flow’, ‘being in the present’, ‘in the moment’, ‘on a roll’, ‘in the groove’, ‘on fire’, ‘in tune’, and ‘centered’.

I used to get in the zone when photographing events. One time I was photographing a kids’ soccer game and two boys collided in mid-air while going after the ball. A parent standing near me asked if I got that shot. I explained that often my finger works independent of my consciousness, so I might have gotten the shot. Sure enough when I reviewed the pictures that night, I got the shot perfectly as the two boys vied for the ball in mid-air. So I know how to be in the flow. But how do you get in the flow on purpose.

You hear about an athlete being in the zone. You also hear about a writer who talks about the words just pouring out of him and onto the page. So it can happen in athletics as well as in intellectual pursuits.

First of all, there is no flow in new activities. Flow happens when you’re not even trying, when you’re just doing it without consciously trying. That doesn’t happen until you’ve put in hundreds if not thousands of hours of practice. Flow kicks in when the subconscious takes over from the conscious mind. Other ways to get in the flow may be through meditation or through visualization.

I recently attended an educational session by two World champions of public speaking. They described the journey of public speaking as follows: in the beginning of your speaking career you are self-conscious and worried about your performance. Once you have some speaking engagements under your belt, you are no longer self-conscious and you worry about your message coming across. Lastly, when you have done quite a bit of public speaking you will enter a phase where you are in tune with your audience. You will have totally internalized your speech and it comes out with every idea in the right sequence and not memorized. Mark Twain called it “rehearsed spontaneity”. He would say, ‘It usually takes me three weeks to prepare a good spontaneous performance.’

So – how do you find this elusive flow? There are several things you can do.

  1. Find the right environment. May be if you are writing, you have a desk with flowers on it, or you have a favorite spot out in nature. If you are an athlete, you may do best on the ‘home court’ advantage. Your special space helps you get into the zone.
  2. Time of day. I once had a coaching client who could best give her complete focus to our sessions at 6 am. While that wasn’t my favorite time to work, it made such a big difference in her receptivity and ultimately her success that it was worth getting out of bed for.
  3. Music. There are many types of music that can help you get into the flow, music that tunes out distractions or helps while pursuing intellectual pursuits or while meditating. Experiment and see what works for you.
  4. Focus with intensity. In order to get into flow you have to be doing something you do well and love doing. You focus intensely and your subconscious takes over.
  5. Emotions. You can’t get into the flow when you’re anxious or afraid. On the other hand when you are passionate about something you have a greater chance of slipping into the zone.
  6. Mindfulness. It is a state of paying attention to the present. When you are mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance without judgment. Mindfulness means living in the moment.

Training your mind to intensely focus on a task is a key skill for excelling at anything. Being in the flow makes peak performance possible.

 

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Fear of Public Speaking? No Problem

Fear of Public Speaking? No Problem

An estimated 75% of all people experience some degree of anxiety or nervousness when public speaking. Symptoms can be either physical or verbal. The physical symptoms can include increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, increased perspiration, stiffening of neck and upper back muscles, and dry mouth. Physical symptoms have been found to be reduced with a category of medications called beta-blockers.

Verbal symptoms can include a tense voice, a quivering voice, and vocalized pauses such as ahs and ums, which tend to comfort anxious speakers. If untreated, public speaking anxiety can cause serious detrimental effects on people, as it may prevent them from accomplishing their career goals – whether it is having to make presentations at work or in college. So – what to do?

Help is available. There are numerous public speaking classes at local community colleges. There are public speaking courses held by Dale Carnegie Training. I feel that one of the best options is Toastmasters: http://www.toastmasters.org Toastmasters is a large organization that is organized into speaking clubs all over the world. Clubs often have around 20 members, and the members take turns giving short (5-7 minute) speeches and take on different roles to run the meeting. Each speaker has a chance to receive a short feedback session from another member of the club. The speeches are organized to practice various speaking skills. For example one speech may focus on how to organize your speech, whereas another speech project focuses on vocal variety. One speech focuses on gestures, while another focuses on using humor while speaking. After the first 10 speeches you receive recognition for your accomplishment. You will be surprised by how much you have learned and how much more at ease you are preparing a talk and speaking in front of a group.

To find a Toastmasters club near your home or your work go to http://reports.toastmasters.org/findaclub/

Enter your zip code and you’ll be surprised how many clubs exist in your area. If you can’t find a club that is convenient for you, you can contact your Toastmasters district and they can find someone who will help you start a club.

 

Next Steps

Find two or more Toastmasters clubs that fit your schedule. Contact them and go as a guest to one of their meetings. Some clubs are smaller and that gives you the opportunity to give more speeches more quickly and even step up to take on a leadership role. Other clubs are larger and you will speak less often but you will have the opportunity to learn from more senior members as they give their speeches and you will have more time to prepare each speech you give. Once you have visited the clubs, join the one you liked best and begin your Toastmasters journey.

By the way, there are also speech contests, district wide training and a conference. Take advantage of these opportunities to learn and grow.

 

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How to Eat Healthy

How to eat healthy

The USDA periodically updates what healthy Americans should eat. USDA stands for United States Department of Agriculture. The USDA administers programs that provide services to farmers. So it is not some health and wellness or medical organization that tells us what we should eat, but instead an organization that supports farmers. In addition there is heavy involvement of lobbyists who support the various branches of agriculture and the food industry. So who won the lobbying wars?

 

USDA My Plate

USDA My Plate

Take a look at the “My Plate”. I’d say the dairy industry won this round’s top lobbying award. Dairy is protein, but instead of sharing nearly a quarter of the plate with fish, red meat, poultry, and legumes, Dairy gets its own section. And this is in spite of the many people who are lactose intolerant for whom dairy is not a healthy choice at all.

A similar controversy surrounded the previous food pyramid. For instance, the pyramid recommended two to three servings from the protein-rich group, but this was intended to be a maximum. The pyramid recommended two to four fruit servings, but this was intended to be the minimum. The previous food pyramid and the “My Plate” also say nothing about drinking water, which is important for good health.

 

Let’s look at food pyramids/eating guidelines from other cultures.

mediterranean food pyramidThe Mediterranean Diet Pyramid was created in conjunction with the World Health Organization. It, for example, relegates red meat into the ‘eat monthly’ category. It also shows the importance of drinking water and daily physical exercise. Note also that potatoes are grouped in with the grains/starches category, not under vegetables.

 

 

 

 

 

2014MAY15 JapanesePyramid

The Japanese Food Guide Spinning Top also shows the importance of water and exercise. It shows grains as the most consumed food, and fruits and dairy the least consumed with 2 servings each.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014MAY15 EssensPyramideThe German Food Pyramid starts with lots of liquids; next are 5 portions of fruits and vegetables; then 5 portions of grains and potatoes; Milk and milk products daily; meat, sausage and eggs in moderation; fish regularly; high quality oils and fats; and avoid foods and drinks high in sugar and fats.

 

 

Clearly there are commonalities between the food guidelines, but there are also important differences. The Mediterranean and German food Pyramids are the only ones that point out to avoid sweets and other sugar-laden foods and drinks, whereas “My Plate” does not distinguish sugar-laden donuts and muffins from whole grain breads.

There are many other food pyramids and eating guidelines from other countries. There are also eating guidelines for specific dietary needs such as vegetarians, vegans and diabetics.

Among others I also found some humorous food pyramids. One German Food Pyramid consisted of Bratwurst, Pretzel, Beer, and eat all other foods sparingly!

Compare the eating guidelines to notice common themes and do your best to eat a healthy diet. Eat a variety of foods to get lots of nutrients and keep the portion sizes small, so as not to overeat.

 

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Learn to develop and trust your intuition

Learn to develop and trust to your intuition

Once I was looking for a specific book. I was working downtown Chicago and wanted to pick up the book after work. I called a bookstore near my office. While they were checking their inventory on the computer, suddenly a vision popped into my head of a large bookshelf in the store with the book I was looking for in the top right corner. When the store clerk came back on the phone she said that they were out of the book. The vision of this bookshelf was so vivid, that I decided to stop by the bookstore anyways. I found the bookshelf and lo and behold the book was exactly where I had seen it in my vision.

Intuition doesn’t always come as a vision. It may come as a persistent or fleeting thought, a gut feel, goose bumps, or in a variety of other modalities. Learning to get in touch with this intuition is your first step.

So why bother with your intuition? Here are a couple of very successful people who have followed their intuition and what they have to say about it.

In the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson “Steve said that ‘intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion. That’s had a big impact on my work.’ You can see that intuitive sense in Jobs’ incredible ability to foresee – and then design – what users will want next. The iPhone is a great example.

Steve Jobs’ personal intuition helped the company to reinvent itself across many different product lines. Isaacson named seven industries that Jobs revolutionized or re-imagined over his career: personal computers, animated movies, music, telephones, tablet computing, digital publishing and retail stores.”

2014MAY08 Einstein quoteAnother person who felt the importance of intuition is Albert Einstein. One of his famous quotes is, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

Psychology Today states, “For Einstein, insight did not come from logic or mathematics. It came, as it does for artists, from intuition and inspiration. As he told one friend, “When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come close to the conclusion that the gift of imagination has meant more to me than any talent for absorbing absolute knowledge.” Elaborating, he added, “All great achievements of science must start from intuitive knowledge. I believe in intuition and inspiration…. At times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason.””

The New Jersey Institute of Technology states “ In a study conducted by Professor John Mihalasky of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, it was found that CEOs who performed best in tests of intuition also tended to be the ones with the highest profit growth in a space of 5 years in their respective businesses.”

Next Steps

So how do we tap into this intuition and how do we distinguish it from experiences? One way is to enroll in the Silva Mind Control Training. http://www.silvaintuitionsystem.com/products I don’t get anything from recommending this link. I have taken the Silva training and have found it helpful.

In the meanwhile what else can you do?

Clear your mind: Focus on your breathing and allow your mind and body to relax more with each breath. You might even try counting down from 10 to 1 and allow yourself to relax more with each count. Once your mind is clearer, you can then access your intuition.

Meditate: Clearing your mind of repetitive thoughts and worries will make it easier to listen to your intuition. Find a meditative technique you are comfortable using and practice.

Listen to your gut: There’s a reason it’s called a “gut feeling”. Many times, a decision that you “know” is wrong makes you feel discomfort in your stomach area.

Keep an intuition journal: spend some time writing out the intuition that you have like “I have a feelings that…” or “My intuition tells me that…” If there are any sensations associated with your intuition, such as a vision, or physical discomfort, be sure to record it. Looking back in your journal, see how often you are right. As you learn more about how to recognize your intuition, and you see it leading you in the right direction, your confidence will grow and so will your intuitive power.

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From Inner Critic to Inner Wisdom

From Inner Critic to Inner Wisdom

ImageAll of us have self-sabotaging inner voices that hold us back. The job of this saboteur, inner critic or gremlin is to keep us safe, to keep us within our comfort zone. Therefore, when we contemplate doing something new, the saboteur wakes up to keep us in line. It’s no wonder that when we contemplate taking bold steps forward, we encounter the inner critic. This inner critic can come in a variety of voices and we can have an entire committee. These voices can be those of our parents, teachers, siblings, neighbors or other relatives.

For example I know of a man who struggled to become truly successful in his career. His father had often criticized him and told him that he would never amount to anything. Only after his father passed away did this man become successful. But we don’t have to wait to become successful or move forward with our goals and dreams.

One way to deal with our inner critic(s) is to describe him. What does s/he sound like? What is the voice saying? How would you describe this voice? May be you can even describe the person of the inner critic. This all helps to identify the voice of the inner critic as separate from you. Once you realize that the inner critic is separate from you, you can decide who is boss. You can appreciate the inner critic for trying to keep you safe and within your comfort zone and then boldly move ahead towards your goals and plans anyways.

Another way to silence that inner critic or negative self-talk is to turn to a positive voice. May be you can think of a person who is or was a positive and supportive influence, may be you can think of someone famous whose wisdom you admire. May be you make up a person with the positive supporting qualities you wish you could turn to for guidance. Then, when you want to take bold steps forward, in your imagination you ask this supportive person what you should do. Try it! You might be surprised by the outcome. With practice you can silence the inner critic’s voice more and more often and follow your internal wisdom.

Contact me: 

Schedule a complimentary coaching consultation. See what changes for the better I can help you with. Call now: 847-913-3900 or email Edith@esCoach.com.

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On Leadership

On Leadership

What does it take to be a leader?

Leaders aren’t born that way. Over time they acquire and cultivate skills that make them stand out as someone who is ready for a leadership role.

2014APR24 2right woman climbing ladder Forging relationships. You can work hard as an individual contributor. That will get you noticed, but eventually you will need to learn to work in cooperation with others. Your success depends on how well you work with others as a team.

Be a team player. As a leader you depend on a team of people to get things done. But not only that: you are part of a team of leaders, where cooperation between teams becomes essential. How well you work with cross-functional teams becomes important.

Customer service. Not all customers are easy to please. Knowing how to effectively diffuse difficult customers is an important skill. Knowing how to make a customer feel welcome is another. Here is an example. As treasurer for a not-for-profit I handled a very small checking account. When I took on that role I needed to change the signature cards. I met with the branch manager of the bank and he also introduced me to an assistant. After that initial meeting, every time I walked into that branch office of the bank he and his assistant greeted me by name. That made a big impression on me.

 Communicate.  It is your responsibility to communicate with your direct chain of command. Let them know of your interest to take on greater responsibilities and your readiness as a leader. In larger organizations the Human Resources Department may also be an ally in letting you know of opportunities as they become available.

Networking.  Make acquaintances in other departments of your company. Meet over coffee or lunch with people you don’t have a chance to work with. Learn about what they do. You never know when an opportunity opens up where you need a contact in that department. Or you could become the go-to person for that contact in your department.

Energy. Identify what gives you an energetic boost during the day and what drains you. Are there tasks or people who lift you up and others who will suck the wind out of your sails? It is important to manage your energy, so you can produce top quality results.

It’s about the company. Are you a company person? In the end it’s about what’s good for the company. Are you someone who is aware of the overall picture of the industry and how the company can do well and how your contribution matters?

Be connected. Belong to a professional organization to know what’s going on in other companies. Represent your company well. Take on a leadership role.

Volunteer. Volunteering in a professional organization gives you opportunities to learn and practice leadership skills.

Strengthen your leadership skills and don’t be surprised if others notice.

 

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From Surviving to Thriving

From Surviving to Thriving

The first year of a transition is hardly a time for thriving. The first year after a divorce, the first year after the loss of a loved one, the first year after getting married or having a first child, the first year after a move or losing a job or retiring – these are all times of adjusting to a new reality. When we are hit with a major transition, we come into a time of instability. We may resort to surviving and making it from day-to-day until we get our bearings and relate to our new situations.

Let’s look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs:

2014APR17 Maslow_hierarchy_of_needs

When we are faced with a new reality we want to make sure the basic needs are met. Let’s take the reality of a divorce. The first year after divorce there are lots of changes for the woman: the family home may have to be sold; if she was not working she may need to reenter the workforce; childcare changes become necessary, moving to a new neighborhood may affect friends and school for the kids; the reduction of living on one income effects what the family can afford. It is easy to see how a divorce is a difficult transition. How about the opposite side of the coin – getting married. Here a myriad of decisions that were previously made alone that are now needing to be shared. Many marriages don’t make it through the first year: especially decisions about money provide much struggle: how much to save, what expenses are necessary and what can be done without. Many people come from different financial backgrounds and have different ideas about money management. All of these expectations have to be resolved or they will slowly fester.

I once worked for a company that said in their new employee orientation: Don’t quit in the first 6 months of your new job. It will get easier after that. So, regardless of the transition, there is a time of readjustment. Realize it and trust that it will get easier. But for it to get easier, we have to work at it. If it is a new job, we have to learn what is expected of us. If it is a new marriage we have to learn to work out our differences and disagreements. If it is a divorce, we have to adjust to the new reality.

Once the basic needs are attended to – the Physiological and Security needs on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – we can then address our higher level of needs and begin to thrive. We can begin to build new relationships and nurture existing relationships, which may have taken a back seat while we were building our new base. Self-esteem may come from a job or from volunteer work, contributing to the greater good. Lastly we become aware of our personal growth and we seek out opportunities to grow. This is when we make changes in our lives and we truly soar.

Jack Canfield (author of “The Success Principles” and “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books) has this to say about thriving: “Greater self-esteem produces greater success, and greater success produces more high self-esteem, so it keeps on spiraling up.”

 

Next Steps:

In order to produce greater self-esteem you need to produce success. One way to do that is to hire a coach who can help you with goal setting and achieving those goals. That success will feel great and you can build on that success with higher self-esteem.

 

Contact me:

Schedule a complimentary coaching consultation. See what changes for the better I can help you with. Call now: 847-913-3900.

 

You Have a GPS For Your Life

You have a GPS for your life

2014APR10carGPSWhat is a GPS? It is a Global Positioning System. The GPS in your car or the handheld device is actually a receiver. It receives signals from the GPS satellites and therefore knows exactly where you are. When you enter a destination into your GPS, it also knows where it is, and you can make steady progress towards that destination. Without entering a destination your car still drives. We all have destinations where we need no GPS – the GPS is in our head. We know how to get to work and the destinations for the various errands we frequently run. And we have destinations where we don’t know how to get there and without a GPS we get lost or need to ask for directions. So how can you apply the GPS concept to your life?

One area where these concepts can be applied is your finances. Many people have no idea how much they spend each month. They may simply charge their purchases on their credit card – having little idea how to stop and how to get out of debt. The first step in applying the concepts of the GPS is to figure out how much debt they have and what they spend their money on, in other words: what is their current location and which direction are they facing. The next step is to determine a destination: for example to have no credit card debt. Having no credit card debt may be a long distance goal. A more immediate goal may be to live within their means: having a budget and spending no more money than they bring in each month. This may require taking a careful look at every expenditure and determining what they will live without.

Another destination could be wanting to be married by a certain date. This too requires taking stock of your current location. Are you single and unattached? What kind of person are you looking for and are you the type of person they would be looking for? Then there are the actions to take on this journey. May be you want someone you can share a hobby with, so it is important to hang out where people share that hobby. May be you want someone in the same career field and a professional association is the place to look. There are also many online dating sites that help with finding a compatible partner. But it is also important to become the kind of person your ideal partner is looking for. That may require giving up some bad habits or getting fit.

Other destinations can be to save money for a new car, a house, a vacation fund, or to set money aside for the children’s college, or a retirement fund. All of these require determining where you are now, where you want to go and how long you have to get there. Having big financial goals may require going to college to be able to get a better job that pays well enough to allow the savings or lifestyle you want to achieve. It may require doing without some things to achieve bigger financial goals down the road.

 

Next Steps:

Are you living your life without a destination? May be you want to move to another state or travel around the world. May be it’s time to make a bucket list of things you want to do, see and have before you die. It all starts with an assessment of where you are now and what your destination is. Otherwise you may wake up one day and realize that life has passed you by and it is too late to achieve the things you want to achieve. That would be a shame. You have a GPS for your life. Start entering some destinations.

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln

Embrace Change

Embrace Change

It is that time of year: the drabness of winter gives way to spring; our nesting instinct kicks into high gear and we start our annual ritual of spring cleaning; The housing market churns and people start looking for new homes; senioritis, like an epidemic, hits students ready to graduate from high school, college seniors and their parents worry about the job market and if students will be able to find that first real job. May be there are changes in your job as well; a new supervisor; a job transfer or layoff; new rules in the office.

Change is everywhere we look. How do we deal with it – and how do we do it effectively? Let’s first look at what doesn’t help. We can dig our heals in and pretend we can stop the changes. We can yearn for what was and keep a blind eye to what is or will be.

What other options do we have? How do we embrace change?

Change is really only there for us to grow. When everything stays the same, many people get comfortable with the status quo. Change allows us to embrace something new, something we might have otherwise not even considered. Change brings opportunity to try new things.

Let’s take inspiration from the following quotes:

  • If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies. (unknown)
  • To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. (Winston Churchill)
  • Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. (James Baldwin)
  • It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power. (Alan Cohen)

Step by step:

Psychologist Kurt Lewin came up with this model of change that can be adapted to the individual.

Start with a period of “unfreezing”. This is a time to look at the status quo as well as the changes that are upon you. What does the change involve? How is it different from what you do or have today? What do you like and dislike about the change? What do you like and dislike about what you have now? What opportunities does the change present? What can you learn from the change? Can you be a pioneer or change agent and be perceived as a leader instead of an obstructionist?

Step two in Kurt Lewin’s model of change is the “transition” period. This is where the change is implemented and the bugs are worked out. This can take some time. For example, if you are moving to a new house you have to get the current house ready for sale; you have to pack; you have to find a new home; you have to unpack and settle into the new home. There are many other little details that have to be attended to, before you can get comfortable in your new home. Similarly other transitions require many transition steps before you can settle into a new routine.

Step three is “refreeze”. Once you get the changes under control, it is time to establish new routines and new ways of doing things. It is time to settle into the new life.

Next Steps:

Rather than waiting for change to force itself on you, take a critical look at your life and determine where a change is in order. If your relationship with your spouse could be better, schedule a frank talk or suggest counseling; if you hate your commute, consider moving closer; if you hate your job, may be it is time to consider a change. Be proactive. Embrace change!

Contact me:

Schedule a complimentary coaching consultation. See what changes for the better I can help you with. Call now: 847-913-3900.

Live an Inspired Life

Live an Inspired Life

Don’t lose hope. When the sun goes down, the stars come out.
Unknown

Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

Ships in harbor are safe, but that is not what ships are built for.
John Shedd

I am thankful for the difficult people in my life. They have shown me exactly who I don’t want to be.
Unknown

If we are not a little bit uncomfortable every day, we’re not growing. All the good stuff is outside our comfort zone.
Jack Canfield

We go about our daily lives. Most of what we do is on automatic pilot. Is there room for inspiration in your life? As Jack Canfield says, the good stuff is outside our comfort zone. Sometimes it is just outside of our automatic zone. So how do we create an inspired life? An inspired life is one where we live on purpose, living intentionally. An inspired life has meaning. It is getting out of our automatic life, starting to do something every day, that is different from what we do normally. Here is how I was introduced to the power of living intentionally.

Many years ago I attended a workshop. After every break the workshop leader asked us to gather our belongings and move to a different seat. Not just one seat over, but to a different part of the room. For me it was the beginning of getting unstuck from the way I always did things. After the workshop I started to implement little changes into my life on purpose.

One example is when back then I took a train to work. On purpose I started to get on in different train cars. Through that little change I found there was a small group of people playing bridge in one of the cars. First I watched, then I was a substitute when they only had three players, later I became a regular. That became a very enjoyable train ride.

While talking I came to find out that one of the bridge players was Robert Goldsborough, author of the Nero Wolfe murder mysteries. When his next book came out, I read it. I liked it so well I read other books he published. It gave me many, many hours of enjoyment. All that just from taking a small conscious step to get on a different train car than the one I had always gotten on.

Since then I have taken many conscious steps to do something different – with many happy results. Sometimes it’s as simple as beginning to brush my teeth on the opposite side of my mouth than what I do normally; or putting my pants on with the opposite leg first. These steps in themselves are insignificant but they get me doing things consciously. When you are consciously doing things differently you will start to experience new and happy circumstances – like my discovery of the bridge-playing group. So – get in the habit of living life on purpose and get a little inspiration into your life.

Contact me:

Schedule a complimentary coaching consultation. See what inspiration we can create for you. Call now: 847-913-3900.

20 Coaching Questions to help you GROW

20 Coaching Questions to help you GROW

As a life coach I ask many questions that are intended to help you get clarity about your life, your goals and direction. Here are some questions that provide food for thought. Write down your answers and see how it clarifies your thinking. They will help you GROW.

GOAL

What is a goal you want to achieve?

Why do you want that?

How much of that goal can you achieve in the next 12 months?

REALITY

Where are you now relative to your goal?

Is the goal realistic?

Is the time frame doable?

Who are the supportive people in your life?

What do you need in order to get started?

How will you get that?

OPPORTUNITIES

What can you do now?

How can you break your goal into achievable steps?

How much time can you set aside each day/week to work on your goal?

Who will help you?

What choices do you have?

WRAP-UP

What is holding you back and how can you overcome it?

What needs to happen before you can take the first/next step?

What is in the way and how will you deal with it?

Are there unsupportive people in your life?

How can you neutralize the negative impact of unsupportive people?

What action will you commit to?

Next Step:

Most people don’t have goals. Of the small minority of people who have goals, few write them down. Even fewer work meticulously towards achieving them. Rarely can someone achieve goals without the support of others. Many successful people, just like successful athletes, have a coach, who can push and stretch them to live their best life. Get a coach to support you on your journey towards your goals.

Contact me:

To determine if Edith is the right coach for you, schedule a complimentary coaching consultation. Call her now at 847-913-3900.

Align yourself with self-love

Align yourself with self-love

We are busy. We do all the things that need to get done: for work, around the house, maintaining the cars, do, do, do. Then we are asked to volunteer: at church, at the kids’ school, … When is it our turn: meditate, take a walk, curl up with a good book? The answer is never. Others look to us to see how we treat ourselves. If we are apologetic about taking time out for ourselves, others will be more than happy to pile on the requests and expectations. It is said if you want to get something done, give it to a busy person. And so it is. A busy person is more often willing to say yes to yet another task and is less likely to think of themselves and the downtime they so desperately need. They go, go, go until the body steps in and says enough. Then they come down with a cold or some other ailment to slow them down. Even then, there is little rest for the weary. Got to power through it and get everything done on that do to list.

Is this the life you lead? Is this the life you want to lead? What would it take to slow down and build in a commitment to yourself to give yourself some downtime? Downtime comes in many shades. It might mean an extra hour of sleep, or a mid-afternoon nap on a weekend. It could be curling up with a good book in front of the fireplace for a couple of hours. It might mean taking 15 minutes a day to start your day with prayer or meditation. It might mean at the end of the day writing in a gratitude journal. Or it might mean making time each week for a hobby or something artistic or creative.

For something more luxurious take a nice warm bubble bath, light some scented candles and have a glass of wine and may be a book. Or go get a massage.

The important thing is to schedule time for self-love. It may be challenging at first, but with practice it can become a way of life. First you train yourself, then you teach others how you want to be treated. Make your self-love time sacred, keeping your commitment to love yourself above all.

Next Step:

Decide what self-loving act you would like to do first. Then schedule it into your calendar as a firm commitment this week. Let others know that you will be unavailable during that time. Start small so you can feel successful when you have given yourself this act of self-love.

If you want more ideas on acts of self-love, here is a website with more ideas: http://www.abundancetapestry.com/70-ways-for-self-care/

 

Contact me: 

To determine if coaching with Edith can help you achieve a better life balance, schedule a complimentary coaching consultation. Call her now at 847-913-3900.

Change Your Beliefs, Change Your Life

Change Your Beliefs, Change Your Life

Many years ago, people believed that the world was flat and when you got to the edge of it, you would fall off the earth. Once that belief changed, people like Christopher Columbus would dare to go to the edge of the horizon and beyond.

Another belief was that it was humanly impossible to run a mile in less than 4 minutes. But once Roger Bannister broke that record in 1954, many top runners achieved this milestone shortly thereafter.

Here are a few other beliefs, which have proven to be false:

  • Whomever travels with a speed of 30 miles per hour or more will certainly suffocate and die.
  • There is no possible combination that can be put together in a machine that can help a man fly.
  • Traveling to the moon is a stupid idea and is impossible

Beliefs can be changed:

I used to believe that I can’t write and my grades in school reflected that belief. A number of years ago, while I was pursuing my family genealogy, I made contact with a man who had written several books and told me how he found writing to be enjoyable and relaxing. This first made me think how such a thing might be possible. I was changing my belief that writing was arduous and difficult for everyone. Now I find that there are times when I enjoy writing and it flows easily – almost effortlessly.

We all have taken on beliefs from parents, teachers, and others who we considered authority figures: words like “math is difficult, you don’t have the talent for singing, you’re too dumb to go to college, and you’ll never amount to anything”. At some point these and other often repeated thoughts became beliefs, which we took on as facts.

What are your beliefs about relationships, money, health, your body, … ? These beliefs are holding you back from what you could achieve and the life you could have. The first step is to make these beliefs conscious.

Taking it Further:

Write down your goals in an area of your life, for example how much money you can earn. Then write down your beliefs about that subject. Lastly, find clues for why those beliefs might be false and what you can change these beliefs to. Then take action.

I was recently reminded about Peggy Cappy who thought she couldn’t earn much money as a yoga instructor. She was a very ordinary yoga instructor, not one of those who could turn themselves into a pretzel with fancy poses. Only a few years ago she was a fellow attendee at a Jack Canfield Success Workshop. She ended up turning her ordinariness into an asset. I recently saw her Health & Fitness CDs sold in a PBS catalog. They are entitled “Yoga for the Rest of Us” and “Easy Yoga for Easing Pain”. Peggy has come a long way from earning money by teaching yoga classes. http://www.peggycappy.net/

Now start to come up with ideas how YOU can change your beliefs and achieve your goals.

 

Contact me:

Many people struggle to take the steps they know they need to take. As a coach I can help you clarify what’s most important and offer support and accountability so you make important changes in your life. Think about the life you could have. Schedule a free coaching consultation, call Edith at 847.913.3900. Isn’t it about time you invested in you and your goals?

Sleep Your Excess Weight Away and Other Tricks

Sleep Your Excess Weight Away and Other Tricks

Wouldn’t it be nice to go to sleep and wake up the next morning at our ideal weight? While those kinds of results are best left to fairy tales, getting enough healthy sleep can help with weight loss. And there are other weight loss tricks as well that are often ignored.

Sleeping:

The researchers wrote in the commentary, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (September 17, 2012), “An accumulating body of evidence suggests that sleeping habits should not be overlooked when prescribing a weight-reduction program to a patient with obesity.”

In two of the studies cited in the commentary, study participants decreased the amount of calories they consumed and either slept 8.5 hours or 5.5 hours. The group that slept less, lost less weight.

Thermogenics (Heat Production):

We have two kinds of fat: white fat (WAT) and brown fat (BAT). The WAT is what we usually store as fat. The BAT on the other hand burns fat when stimulated. Exposing the body to cold temperatures, stimulates the BAT to burn glucose to keep the body warm. And once the fat burning machine is set in motion, it may keep burning fat for a while, even though the cold stimulus is gone. Cold exposure also increases your BAT fat. Ray Cronise from NASA has done research on how to increase the body’s thermal load to lose weight. http://hypothermics.com/home/ . Here are some ways to stimulate the body to burn excess fat through cold exposure.

  • Cold showers:

Start with a comfortably warm shower, and then slowly turn the water to cold. Stay under the cold shower for 2 – 3 minutes. For more benefits of cold showers see http://philanthropy2012.hubpages.com/hub/10-benefits-of-cold-showers

  • Ice packs:

Place an ice pack on the back of your neck for 20 – 30 minutes, preferably in the evening.

 

  • Drink Ice Water:

Drink a liter of ice water first thing in the morning.

  • Eat, Swim, Sleep:

According to Michael Phelps, he eats over 12,000 calories per day when in training. Besides that, he swims and sleeps. Period. So if you work out with incredibly high intensity, in your average 82-degree pool, eat mounds of food and sleep, you’ll have to worry about not getting enough to eat to keep up your energy:) Check out what Phelps eats for breakfast: http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/08/13/the-michael-phelps-diet-dont-try-it-at-home/

Why this matters:

Many find that the last few pounds are the hardest to lose. Caloric restriction and exercise just aren’t enough. Ray Cronise found that when you add thermal loading, that is, exposing the body to cold, it is easier to lose those last pesky pounds.

Contact me: 

Many people struggle to take the steps they know they need to take. As a coach I can help you clarify what’s most important and offer support and accountability so you make important changes in your life. Think about the life you could have. To schedule a free coaching consultation, call Edith at 847.913.3900. Isn’t it about time you invested in you and your goals?

Selective Eating for your Health: It’s a Journey – Part III – Addicted to Sugar?

Selective Eating for your Health: It’s a Journey – Part III – Addicted to Sugar?

During week one of my selective eating journey I ran into several challenges and doubts about my ability to stick to a diet. One is worth special mention: withdrawal from sugar addiction.

The diet I have chosen to follow is the slow-carb diet described in the book, “The 4-hour Body” by Timothy Ferriss. I am working on eliminating foods from my diet that are quickly converted to energy in my body, such as cereal, breads, pasta, and of course sugary items such as candies, soda and the like. I didn’t feel well and someone suggested that I might be suffering withdrawal symptoms from sugar addiction. So I researched it. Here is what I found.

Sugar Addiction Symptoms

From the website http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/addiction-to-sugar-555.html

  • If ever you manage to go a day without having sweet nothings, you start obsessing about the same.
  • Whenever you feel sad, you start eating foods with high sugar content.
  • You become defensive when somebody suggests that you are having too much of sugar.
  • You cannot go even a single day without having something sweet to eat.
  • You cannot sit for too long without munching on ‘sweetables’.
  • You eat high-sugar foods like candy, chocolates and cakes every day or even too many times a day.
  • You often feel lethargic, moody or depressed.
  • You start feeling uncomfortable around the same time every day and your answer to this is grabbing a high-sugar snack.

From the website http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-sugar-addiction

Sugar fuels every cell in the brain and influences brain chemicals, too.  And overloading on sugary foods may alter the brain receptors that regulate how much we eat. In laboratory studies, rats that binged on sugar had brain changes that mimicked those of drug withdrawal. In humans, just seeing pictures of milkshakes triggered brain activity similar to what’s seen in drug addicts.

Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms

From the website http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Through-Sugar-Withdrawal

Sugar cravings are the simplest of the many different sugar withdrawal symptoms, which can include headaches, lethargy, emotional distress, anger and even nausea.

From the website http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/addiction-to-sugar-555.html

One of the clearest signs of sugar addiction is that you feel incredibly uncomfortable when you try to cut back your sugar intake. You may experience uncomfortable sensations like nausea, fatigue, headaches, irritability, anxiety, and moodiness – these are all withdrawal symptoms, which simply means that your body is craving a substance it is used to having.

Do’s and Don’ts

The advice on what to do to curb sugar addiction is quite varied, but it is clear that some withdrawal symptoms will need to be endured. But stabilizing blood sugar levels has many health benefits, including reducing risks of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Don’ts Do’s Reason
Don’t skip breakfast Eat a protein laden breakfast within an hour of waking Protein stabilizes blood sugar.

By eating soon after waking, the body doesn’t go into starvation mode.

Don’t drink diet sodas Drink plenty of water Diet sodas cause the liver to spend time on eliminating bad stuff instead of burning fat.
Don’t go cold turkey Eliminate sugar and highly processed foods gradually Rapid withdrawal is likely to cause cravings that willpower can’t overcome.
Don’t eat snacks between meals Eat a meal about every 4 hours Eating regular meals is healthier than the many tempting snack foods that are laden with sugar or fats

Call to Action:

Some say we take better care of our cars than our bodies. Yet we can buy a new car, but we only have one body. Don’t you want to feel healthy and fit for as long as possible? A little investment in healthy eating habits can make a big difference in how you feel.

Taking it Farther

The website http://www.beyonddiet.com/Landing?rdrtrk=3288843

has an introductory video with lots of good advice, including the 5 foods to avoid eating: orange juice, sugar substitutes, breads (breads, muffins, cookies, cereal, and even pasta), hydrogenated butter substitutes, and processed soy products. Go to the website and hear what Isabel has to say about these “bad for you” foods and what to eat instead. If this advice appeals to you, her diet plan and her many easy recipes may be worth investing in.

Contact me:

If you have trouble following a diet and sticking with it, call Edith at 847.913.3900 for a free life coaching consultation.

Communities: The Inside Track For Job Seekers

Communities: The Inside Track For Job Seekers

Imagine this: You are a manager and you need to fill a job. So, you have more work than you can handle – you are busy enough to need another person – and you have to take time out of your busy schedule to find a qualified person. Ugh.

Now you know if you put out an advertisement, you will get hundreds of resumes; may be hundreds of resumes each day. Many people are looking for jobs and they’ll send out resumes by the dozen, even is they are only remotely qualified. Who has time to sift through hundreds of resumes when you are already too busy doing your job?

Now imagine that a person who this manager knows and trusts walks in with a resume and says something like, “I know ‘so and so’. He/she is a hard worker, is reliable and diligent, is easy to get along with, and I think is a good fit for the job opening.”

The manager interviews this ‘so and so’. It’s a pretty good fit and the job is filled. May be the job was never even advertised. The outplacement company Challenger Gray & Christmas states in some of their press releases that up to 80% of the available jobs are never advertised, but are filled through other means like the referral in the above example. 

Once you understand that emailing your resume out to dozens of job postings is putting you in competition with hundreds of other job seekers, you realize that to get an insider’s advantage you need to spend most of your job search time doing something else.

What is this something else? 

Connect and reconnect with your communities!

 

Communities:

What is a community?  In Wikipedia you’ll find this excerpt: The word “community” is … a broad term for fellowship or organized society.

Since the advent of the Internet, the concept of community no longer has geographical limitations, as people can now virtually gather in an online community and share common interests regardless of physical location.

So — what communities do you belong to already?

1. Many schools and colleges have alumni associations. If you ever went to school, you are automatically part of that community.

2. Do you belong to a religious or spiritual organization? Consider both your current as well as past affiliations.

3. Any previous employer and former colleagues are a source of community.

4. Any professional associations you belong to or have belonged to.

5. Any hobbies that bring you together with other like-minded people.

6. Any continuing education, from book discussion groups at your local library, classes at your local community college, continuing education classes at your local high school or community recreation department: fellow classmates as well as teachers.

7. All the people you have a professional relationship with: your dentist and doctor, your dry cleaner and owner of the local ice cream shop or wherever you frequently go.

8. Your family and extended family, neighbors and friends.

This gives you an idea of how many people you already know.  When you add them all up, they easily can exceed 100 people. Some people will have contacts exceeding 100s of people.

In the olden days we put contact information in address books. If we didn’t stay in touch and when people moved, we lost track of them. Now with social media, you can find and reconnect or stay connected with many more people.

 

Taking it Further:

If you are not already on LinkedIn or Facebook, this is where you start. Build your profiles and find people whom you know and link to them or friend them. As you get to know new people who you are interested of staying in touch with, ask if they would like to stay connected through LinkedIn or Facebook. You should be able to connect with several 100 people over a period of time.

Now make a list of the companies you are considering as possible employers. On LinkedIn check if any of your connections are or have worked for those companies. Make contact with those connections by email or phone. Ask what it’s like to work there. If you like what you hear, find out if they have a referral program and if your connection would be willing to refer you. At minimum you might be able to get the name and contact info of a hiring manager in your area of interest. Hopefully you can set up an informational interview. This is not to get a job, but it is to create awareness of your availability and your skills and to show in interest in the organization.

Another networking tool is to find a professional organization in your field, which has regular meetings. Attend the meetings, volunteer on a committee, become visible and make connections.

The goal is to find out about a job, possibly one that is not advertised, and have someone recommend you for the position. You’ve just eliminated all your competition and tapped into the 80% of the job market that never gets advertised.

 

Contact me:

Many people struggle to take the steps they know they need to take. As a coach I can help you clarify what’s most important and offer support and accountability so you make important changes in your life. Think about the life you could have. For a free coaching consultation, call Edith at 847.913.3900. Isn’t it about time you invested in you and your goals?

Selective Eating for Your Health: It’s a Journey – Part II

Growing Emotionally Healthier While Eating Selectively

This is an exploration of how memories and beliefs we formed earlier in life can negatively impact how successful we are in achieving our current goals. Examples in this article are from my journey of following the advice in the book “The 4-Hour Body” by Timothy Ferriss. But this isn’t about me. These examples are here to help you see how your own past can derail you and what you can do about it. By identifying current blocks and their link to a past memory or belief, their hold on us can simply dissipate. I hope these examples help you on your journey toward your goals.

One of the suggestions in Mr. Ferriss’ book is to start slowly. For a week, follow his “slow-carb” diet only at breakfast. Well, on that first day I felt like gagging all day. When exploring this with my “coach”, it traced back to a childhood event where I was told to eat something most unpleasant. Working through that scenario, I released the emotional hold it still had over me. So I almost derailed at breakfast on day one.

Somewhere around day two I developed an intense craving for soda, which I normally drink very rarely and which is not allowed. Working with my “coach” I was able to unearth a memory of another childhood event where my mother drank soda on occasion but I wasn’t allowed to have any. After releasing this memory, the craving lessened substantially.

On day three I became quite sad and despondent wondering if I could stick with this diet for a week, let alone for a whole month as I had planned. Again working with my “coach” I discovered that there was a childhood memory associated linking receiving food I liked with love from a parent. So, depriving myself of some of the foods I liked felt like being unloved. Wow, I was beginning to see that I have a lot of emotional baggage associated with food. I recommitted to resolving my food related issues and sticking with this diet for at least a month. Following the diet was harder than I had expected, but I approached each meal as if it was the only meal on the diet. Each meal I started over doing my best to follow Mr. Ferriss’ recommendations as closely as I felt able.

By day 4 I felt bored with the foods I had been eating and felt that I couldn’t possibly stick with eating the same few foods much longer.  Working through this issue with my “coach” I remembered that I had been a good cook when I was younger, but after repeated ridicule had taken on the belief that I couldn’t cook. I also discovered that somehow I had come to believe that I didn’t deserve to spend time on cooking meals for myself. Once I realized this, I took some time to search for “slow-carb” recipes online and expanded my choices with tasty and easy to make dishes. More importantly, I was more than halfway through the week and was working through my issues as they arose. Each issue I clear up will be one less issue holding me back from a healthy weight – for the rest of my life.

I hope that these examples from my own experience will help you become aware of your own struggles and how, by recognizing the origins, you can let go of the emotion associated with old memories and beliefs.

Call to Action:

If you have an unhealthy weight, I encourage you to work through any emotional issues you have around food. Once you resolve them, they will no longer have a grip on you, and you will naturally and effortlessly adhere to a healthier weight. Willpower can only take you so far, but in the end your unconscious emotions and beliefs are likely to take over and ruin even your best efforts. If you have unsuccessfully dieted before, get off the yo-yo and take control of all that is holding you back. You are worth it.

Taking it Farther:

Check out the Internet or the public library for a diet that works for you. I am currently following the diet from the book www.fourhourbody.com.

Contact me:

Do you have trouble following a diet and sticking with it? Are the goals reasonable and you still can’t do it? Have you checked with a doctor to see if there are medical reasons for an unhealthy weight? May be life coaching can help you let go of self-sabotaging behaviors or unconscious beliefs around food, and help you achieve your goals. For a free consultation call Edith at 847.913.3900

Does Just Looking at Food Make You Gain Weight? About Bloating and Anxiety

Does Just Looking at Food Make You Gain Weight?

When you look at foods or smell them, do you feel like that’s enough to cause you to gain weight? You may be right! You may have an anxiety response, which causes bloating in you.

First of all – bloating is associated with a variety of causes, some of which require medical care. Please seek appropriate medical care for your condition as needed. http://www.beatbloating.com/ might be one of many sites that can help you get a better understanding of some of the causes of bloating.

What I am offering here is a different point of view than what you might have considered. I hope it helps.

Creating Awareness and Why This Matters:

When do you feel bloated?
Keep a record of the moment when you become aware of the feeling of bloating. What was happening in your life just before that? What were you thinking about? Where were you? What did you see, hear or smell? What and how much did you eat, or drink, or inhale? If you over-ate, what were you thinking? Did you go unconscious and just munch away until the bag, box, or plate was empty? Do you have “clean your plate” syndrome? In order to cure anxiety related bloating, you first have to pinpoint what is causing the anxiety. Heal the source of the anxiety and the symptom goes away.

Story: Bloating as an Anxiety Response

My mother has severe anxiety when she has to write something or receives mail that she has to respond to. Needless to say, her grandchildren haven’t received a birthday or Christmas greeting card in many years. It may have something to do with her unresolved past. She told me this story: When she was young she remembers a terrifying writing incident. Her mother (my Oma) wanted her to do well in school. One time my mother had a really hard time with a writing assignment. Oma got so frustrated at her daughter’s lack of getting the writing assignment done, that she stood behind her with a carpet beater, threatening to beat her severely if she wasn’t writing. Writing under that kind of threat of physical harm did not help my mother think or create a well-written composition.

When my mother was an adult and had a young child (me) she went through a bitter divorce. Years later she told me that at one point my Dad, who was a sharp shooter and had a rifle collection, threatened to kill both of them and make me an orphan, unless she agreed to everything he wanted in the divorce. Responding to attorney correspondence during that divorce must have felt like writing with a gun to her head. Do you suppose I picked up any unconscious association between writing and severe anxiety, or for that matter, between divorce and life threatening danger?

Writing was something that I have felt uncomfortable and awkward and even terrified about most of my life. The first time I contributed to a book a few years ago, it was an arduous experience. The various parts of the process: writing, editing, approving the final version, promoting the book, seeing it in print and in book stores, all caused various symptoms, some as severe as debilitating back pain, shortness of breath, and chest pain caused by a diaphragm spasm which lasted several days.

I have come a long ways since my last book project. In the last six months I have been writing an article each week. A couple of weeks ago I started seriously thinking about organizing these articles into chapters for a future book project. Almost the moment I thought of going through another book project my stomach became distended. I watched my stomach swell up as it become bloated right before my eyes. The pants that fit comfortably a minute earlier were uncomfortably cutting into my waist. — At first I didn’t put it together: the thought about creating another book and the bloating. With a little introspection and the many tools I use to help my coaching clients, I became aware of the connection. When I was getting ready to write my next article a week later, nothing came together. I started the article but seemed to have irresolvable writer’s block. Using more tools, I am now, 2 weeks later, able to write again — and write with minimal bloating. In two weeks of daily discomfort and working through my writing related issues, I was able to nearly resolve the next layer of writing related anxiety, dissolving another piece of a lifetime of writing anxiety.

Taking it Further:

If you experience bloating that seems to come “out of nowhere”, consider if it may be an anxiety response to something that’s going on in your life or your mind. If you swell up just thinking about food, there may be underlying anxieties that can be healed. If you need help solving the mystery and dissolving the discomfort, consider getting the support of a coach who has the detective skills and the tools, so you can be free from the discomfort.

Contact me:

If you would like to improve the quality of your life, figure out what you truly want in life, and help you let go of some stress and anxiety, call me. For many people coaching can make the difference between what you have now and the life you could have. Live the life you choose. Achieve your goals. Be happy. Lead a balanced life. Call Edith at 847.913.3900.

The Art of Allowing – Letting Go of Resistance

The Art of Allowing

In martial arts and self-defense training we learn that the best way to succeed against a powerful opponent is to use their energy to our advantage. While fighting a bigger or stronger opponent is futile, learning to redirect their energy and hostility to their own detriment is bound to be more successful.

So we practice. One person charges at another. Instead of standing and fighting, we do what the bullfighters do so well. Stay in place as if prepared to fight, and then step out of the way at the last possible moment. At that moment apply the self-defense technique you are supposed to be practicing to redirect your opponent’s fighting energy to assist them in falling and rendering them harmless to you.

What if your opponent is your own internal resistance and you could allow instead of resist with everything in your life whenever you feel resistance?

Letting Go of Resistance

Someone told me that in the journey to self-healing and growth there is little pain if there is no resistance. When there is no resistance, things that need to get done become easy and nearly effortless. Activities go from being a chore to something you just do without a second thought. Let’s take a look an example.

This is something that used to be hard for you that you probably now do effortlessly: driving your car. Do you remember the first time you got behind the steering wheel? Did you clutch the steering wheel? Did you feel fear? Did you over-steer when making a turn? How about stopping and starting on an incline? Making a left turn into heavy traffic without a stoplight? How about pushing the accelerator too fast or the breaks too hard and having a jerky ride? May be when you drive an unfamiliar car, you go back to that jerky ride until you become accustomed to how that car responds.

Over time and many miles of driving, any fear and resistance fades away. Driving becomes so natural that you may get in the car in the morning, drive to work, park your car, and wonder how you got there. May be you were absorbed in your thoughts, listened to the radio or a CD, or had your morning coffee and chatted on the phone. Driving was just something you did – naturally. You avoided other cars, followed the speed limit, stopped at red lights, obeyed traffic signs, and took all the correct turns to get to your destination – all without effort.

It is possible to take something you now consider a chore or challenge and make it effortless. Simple but may be not easy.

Creating Awareness and Why This Matters:

Are you even aware of when you are resisting? Do you notice when your face scrunches up, when your shoulders tense, or that you are holding your breath? Noticing when you tense up is your first step to letting go of resistance. Then take some deep breaths, relax your shoulders, and pretend that you have a cool iron that gently irons away the lines on your face until the skin on your face is smooth and relaxed.

The other way to notice that you are resisting, is when a task feels like a chore rather than effortless and without any resistance. If you think that something is a bother, or too much trouble, then you are resisting. Do you eat your leftovers cold because it’s too much of a bother to heat them up? Do you have slip-on shoes because it’s not worth the hassle to tie your shoes? Do you use paper plates or eat food straight out of the box because you just don’t want to bother with dirty dishes? Do you leave your bed unmade because you are just going to get back in it tonight? What are the tasks that are left undone because you just don’t want to bother with them? Those are the tasks you are resisting. Any place you have a messy pile, you have resistance. It even shows in your face.

As you get older, the lines on your face tell your story. Do you have lots of laugh lines or do you have a permanently furrowed brow? When relaxed, do the corners of your mouth point upward, straight across, or sag downward?

The lines on your face tell you, just like the rest of your body, which facial muscles are toned because they are used, which ones are tight and overused, and which ones are underused or even atrophied. Any place you have regular tension, you will develop creases on your face.

But more importantly than the lines of your face, the resistance you feel on a regular basis adds to your stress levels. And we all know that many diseases have stress as a contributing factor.

Contact me:

If you would like to improve the quality of your life, figure out what you truly want in life, and help you let go of some stress, call me. For many people coaching can make the difference between what you have now and the life you could have. Live the life you choose. Achieve your goals. Be happy. Lead a balanced life. Call Edith at 847.913.3900.

Reduce Bad Stress to Make Room for Good Stress

Reduce Bad Stress to Make Room for Good Stress

Do you have too much stress? Do you have too much procrastination? Do you have too little of achieving your goals? You can change all that.

1. You can lead a driven life: If you are driven, you have taken on the role of your own parent and you push yourself to get things done. Your stress is internally created.

2. You can lead a controlled life: If you lead a controlled life, outside influences dictate your life. There is always someone to blame. Your stress seems to come from other people or circumstances.

3. Or you can learn to lead an inspired life! If you lead an inspired life, you live a life of choices and passion. The things that may stress other people out are more like little annoyances on your path of living a passionate and inspired life. This is the good life.

If you have a lot of stress you have probably looked for and found ways to control stress. Well, if you want to have stress, then you can certainly try the various methods for controlling it. But when you are all done, you still have the stress. Or – more and more – you may say, “Never Again” to more and more situations. Your life becomes more and more restricted.

How about letting go of your body’s stress response instead. In other words, what if something that currently stresses you out, in the future, has NO effect on you? What if that stressful occurrence vanishes from your life altogether? Would that improve your life? Have you noticed that when you try to avoid or evade a certain type of stressful situation in your life, it pops up somewhere else? It’s like the amusement park game Whack-A-Mole. You bop them on the head and more show up. That is how stress is until you learn how to let your stress response go.

Stress from “Goals”

You have stress because what you want to have is different from what you now have. Let’s say that you have a job and on that job there is someone you just don’t get along with. You wish they treated you well but you constantly feel ignored, diminished, avoided. So you have a “goal” of how you wish things were, but they are different. You have stress when you have to deal with that person. If you could control that person to behave towards you the way you want them to, that would be one way to solve your problem. But nothing you’ve tried seems to work. So you have stress. What if you could find a way to just let go of your desired outcome or goal?

First of all, notice that there are probably other people in your life that don’t act towards you the way you want them to. Now take it one step further. Do those same people act that way all the time or do they treat some people the way you wish they would treat you?

Since you have already tried to have them change, try changing yourself. If that person in the office is nice to some people, what is it about those people that might be contributing to a friendlier interaction?

In what way do you treat that person so they might feel ignored, diminished or avoided? Fear and hostility tend to go together. If you are avoiding each other until you absolutely have to deal with each other, you will both tend to come from a place of fear and feel you have to lead with hostility to let them know forcefully what you expect to happen. They may equally respond with hostility. If you can realize they are probably covering fear with hostility, you can see how the pattern perpetuates. Chances are that this pattern is something you learned in childhood. If you truly want things to be different, you have to change the pattern. This is not an easy thing to do and short of eliminating certain people from your life there is no quick fix. Relationships take effort.

Call to Action and Why This Matters:

You only have room for so much stress in your life. If your life is full of daily stress, then you don’t have the energy to work on your dreams and goals. As you reduce the stressors in your life, you then have energy and vitality to enjoy life and go for your goals. So, to get the life you want, you first have to make room in your “stress bucket”. If stress is the difference between what have now and how you’d like things to be, then having goals is only possible when there is room in your “stress bucket”.

So the first step to getting your goals is to let go of some goals you may not even be aware of: think of something that annoys you, may be something as simple as a burned out light bulb or the mess in the back seat of your car. Decide when you are going to take care of it, get it done. Once it’s done it no longer occupies room in your “stress bucket”. Coach Jim Bunch talks about the “9 environments” and how, by keeping them clean, we free up energy to support getting our goals.

When we have too many goals we tend to go into procrastination. It’s like having a computer with too many programs running at the same time; eventually it slows down or even crashes. So —- if you are procrastinating —- you might have too many goals open at the same time. Defer some of them. Sales trainer Brian Tracy tells executives who want to be more productive, to prioritize their top 5 goals for each day, then work on their number one goal until it is done. Then move to their number 2 goal until they have worked through each one. Brian talks about how executives have reported amazing productivity gains with just this one tip.

Resources:

“Eat that Frog”, is one of many books by Brian Tracy.

Jim Bunch’s http://www.theultimategameoflife.com The Ultimate Game of Life coaching programs.

Dr. Michael Ryce’s http://www.whyagain.com/worksheets.php has a free download of a “Reality Management Blank Worksheet 7-step”. It is a helpful tool for creating awareness around your stressors and letting them go.

Contact me:

If you would like to improve the quality of your life, figure out what you truly want in life, and help you remove some stress from your “stress bucket”, call me. For many people coaching can make the difference between what you have now and the life you could have. Live the life you choose. Achieve your goals. Be happy. Lead a balanced life. Call Edith at 847.913.3900.

Repeating Patterns and How to Break Free

Repeating Patterns

How would you describe your family’s relationship with money?

At a workshop on “Creating Consciously” the speaker, Dr. Michael Ryce, offered this bit of wisdom. He said there are 4 steps to achieving an abundant life:

1. Never Enough
2. Day Late, $ Short
3. Just Enough
4. Abundance

Each one of these steps includes a cluster of behaviors and thought patterns which are often passed from one generation to the next.

Which one of these money relationships to you feel you are living now? Which one are your parents, grandparents and other family members living? This is not about how much someone has but how they feel about it. There are plenty of millionaires who don’t feel abundant but rather live in constant fear of losing their money and not having enough.

Story: Intergenerational Patterns, when someone takes what’s yours – against your will

They are widening the street in front of my house. They (the Department of Transportation) didn’t ask if I want to sell them a piece of my yard. They told me that they are going to take it. In all fairness, they have to pay for it, but other than that, I have very little say about what, when, and how it all happens.

During a recent conversation with my mother I mentioned what is happening with the road-widening project. Then my jaw dropped when she told me her story: Sometime after my birth and before age four, we lived next to a forest. During that time, and I was totally unaware of it until this recent conversation, the authorities decided that they needed to create a fire free zone between the forest and people’s houses. Instead of cutting down some trees on the edge of the forest, they took a piece of my parent’s land to create a strip of land with sand and gravel as a buffer strip. — What an incredible coincidence! I happen to live across the street from a Forest Preserve, and the road-widening project is happening on my side of the street.

Does that pattern go back further? I am not aware of any similar stories in my family going further back. But I do know that my grandparents and great-grandparents (living in Germany) lost their homes due to bombing during World War II. No one asked them if they wanted their homes turned into smoldering piles of rubble.

History repeats itself until the lessons are learned. I wonder if I had known about my parents’ experience, if I would have bought a different house eleven years ago. Awareness is certainly the first step. Apparently the locals all knew that this part of the road was eventually going to get widened. It never occurred to me to even ask questions about the road or to notice that it was already four lanes further north and further south of us.

Interestingly enough, that early childhood time in my life was associated with a whole lot of trauma: abuse, hunger and neglect. Just like the Pavlov’s dog experiment, I have unrelated emotions associated with someone taking a piece of land against my will. So now I get to go through that experience consciously and also heal the trauma that was unconsciously associated with that time and event.

Call to Action and Why This Matters:

History repeats itself until the lessons are learned. Awareness is the first step to change.

People have repeating patterns in their families all the time. The most obvious are patterns like alcoholism, drugs, or abuse, even educational or financial achievement. Often the negative patterns are also associated with secrecy and cover up. It takes conscious effort and help from the outside to shift the patterns and break out of the repeating cycles.

Do you have repeating patterns you would like to shift? Are there things going on in your life that seem to keep repeating – over and over? May be you sometimes feel that “everyone is out to get you”? Are you in a repeating pattern with money that you’d like to shift?

Here are my suggestions for a different outcome to a repeating pattern:
1. Become aware of a repeating pattern that you don’t want in your life. Start small. Most new runners don’t choose a marathon for their first race. Start small.
2. Become very clear what is happening.
3. Figure out how you are contributing to the pattern. What’s the role you play to attract this to you?
4. Learn from the experts on how to do this differently.
5. Try something different.
6. If you feel resistant or defeated before even getting started, explore why you are stuck and how to get unstuck.
7. To overcome the WHY of being stuck, create a bigger WHY to change. Often an addict has to hit bottom before they can heal. The condition, in their mind, becomes worse than the required healing work and anticipated withdrawal symptoms.
8. Have a new way of dealing with the problem that was solved by your old pattern. For example, if you drank to relax after a stressful day, you will need another way of relaxing and reducing stress, which does not create a new undesirable pattern.

Resources:

The book, “Why is this happening to me … Again?” by Dr. Michael Ryce can be purchased or downloaded for free on his website http://www.WhyAgain.com
Dr. Ryce has also created a 20 minute guided meditation, “Wellness Through Stillness” which I have found very helpful.

Stress Release:
In the September 2011 teleconference call entitled “Uncovering hidden blocks” by Jack Canfield, he leads his audience through a couple of stress relief tools: EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique, also called Tapping) and the Sedona Method. For more information go to http://www.askJackCanfield.com

The Sedona Method is a very effective way to permanently melt away your stress response to stressors in your life. For more information, go to http://www.sedona.com

N.E.T. Neuro Emotional Technique. A way to let go of and heal responses to emotional triggers and restore wellness. For more information and to find a practitioner in your area, go to http://www.netmindbody.com/for-patients/an-explanation-of-net

Contact me:

If you would like to improve the quality of your life, figure out what you truly want in life, and help you clear the obstacles in your way, call me. For many people coaching can make the difference between what you have now and the life you could have. Live the life you choose. Achieve your goals. Be happy. Lead a balanced life. Call Edith at 847.913.3900 now.

How Do You Want to be Loved?

How Do You Want to be Loved?

This article is NOT about what you might at first assume.

This article is about how you know when another person treats you in a way that you want to be treated. It’s about becoming clear about how you want to be treated and how others want to be treated.

Six Love Languages

In the book “The 5 Love Languages” Gary Chapman helps us understand what we most want from our important relationships and that we have definite preferences. He also shows how, when partners act from their own love language, they may be misunderstood and not feel appreciated. For a fuller understanding of the 5 Love Languages, I recommend the book. It’s an easy read. Here is a taste:

1. Quality Time:
If this is your Love Language, then you like to spend time with your partner and have his/her undivided attention.
2. Words of Affirmation:
If this is your Love Language, then you like to be complimented – not flattery, but sincere comments about your appearance, things you have done well, details you pay attention to. What’s important to you is verbal appreciation and gratitude.
3. Receiving Gifts:
If this is your Love Language, then what’s most important to you are gifts. You know that you are being remembered, thought about and loved when you receive frequent gifts. They can be small, they can be handmade, it’s the thought that counts for you.
4. Acts of Service:
If this is your Love Language, you know that you are loved when your partner does things for you: help with the household tasks, fix things, run errands. If you feel loved through acts of service, you would do well with someone who is happy to frequently get a “honey do” list and is happy to get things done for you or support you in things you need help with.
5. Physical Touch:
If this is your Love Language, then what’s most important to you is touch. This can be as simple as holding hands while watching TV, snuggling up, even a casual touch while walking by each other makes you feel appreciated and loved.

Gary Chapman says that while we probably want some of all of the above, we definitely have a primary and may be a secondary love language that we care about more than the others.

So what’s the 6th Love Language? I believe it’s commitment to each other, implemented through open communication and trust. You know that your relationship will weather any storm, that you can be yourself, can make mistakes, can disagree. In other words you know that you’ll work things out and you’ll stick with each other – “for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, …”.

Call to Action and Why This Matters:

Relationships are a life-long project. We nurture them, we ignore them, we come together with people for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Those people who are in loving and satisfying relationships tend to be the happiest. So – to learn and tell others how we want to be treated, and to learn and apply how others want to be treated will take us far towards our happiness and the happiness of those we come in contact with.

The following website has a quick and easy test to help you identify your primary and secondary love languages from the book “The 5 Love Languages”.

http://www.afo.net/hftw-lovetest.asp 

I recently experienced a workshop on relationships by Michael Ryce. It touched me deeply. He has created a Commitment sheet for couples to say to each other. Repeating this for 40 days, he says, has changed many relationships for the better. A free copy can be downloaded from

http://www.whyagain.com/media/My_Commitment.pdf
It starts with, “My Commitment. I promise to TRUST you enough to tell you the Truth and be true to you. I commit to …”

Contact me:

If you would like help with your relationships, call me. The road to happiness and success is best traveled with others. For many people coaching can make the difference between what you have now and the life you could have. Live the life you choose. Achieve your goals. Be happy. Lead a balanced life. Call Edith for a no cost, no obligation consultation at 847.913.3900. Now.

Sink or Swim? Swim no Matter What!

Sink or Swim? Swim no Matter What!

Sometimes life hands you so many lemons you run out of sugar to make lemonade. My sincere apologies to my readers for missing a week of my weekly newsletter. I recommit to publishing these articles weekly — no matter what!

So this article is about resolve: committing to what is most important to you; committing to your goals and dreams; resolve to keep going when the going gets tough; resolve to take big strides when you are able to and tiny steps when the going gets tough. This is about the story of the “Tortoise and the Hare”: steady persistence wins the race, yet what most people don’t talk about is that both the tortoise and the hare cross the finish line. Whether you are more like a tortoise or more like a hare, keep the finish line (your goal) clearly in mind.

Story: Live to Tell

My daughter developed a great deal of interest in the Holocaust as a young child. As a result I read with her and talked with her about many books on the subject. For younger children the book “The Number on my Grandfather’s Arm” by David Adler is an excellent and sensitive introduction to the topic.

One of the things that struck me is how these people, who survived incredible atrocities, could keep their will to live. I wonder if I would have been willing to live through that. For that matter, how can any prisoner of war, who is being tortured, survive without their spirit and will to live being broken? What makes the difference between those who survive and those who don’t?

Those who survived had an incredible will to live. After reading and hearing many books and stories by Holocaust survivors one of the patterns emerged for me, “Live to Tell”. Some of those who survived felt that no one would believe the atrocities unless enough of them survived to tell about it. Their mantra became, “Live to Tell” so justice would be brought and something like this would never be allowed to happen again. Elie Wiesel, a well known survivor and Nobel Prize winner says, “…to remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all…”.

Jakow Trachtenberg, an engineer and also a Holocaust survivor, realized that if he wanted to stay alive, he had to take his mind off the hopeless conditions around him. He decided to focus on developing methods to quickly perform multiplication and division in his head. After his survival he formed the Mathematical Institute in Switzerland.

Many of the survivors had an indestructible will to live. That will went beyond their own life and included a greater good: whether to insure that the atrocities were documented and analyzed so something like this could be prevented in the future, or someone creating a system to help students struggling with math learn a simple system to help them excel.

Call to Action and Why This Matters:

How do you tap into your indestructible will?
Start by asking: What are you good at? Which of your gifts, talents, or expertise do you love to share? How can that make a difference in someone’s life?

In my blog post (TipsToaMoreFulfillingLife) on April 15, 2011 I wrote about how my friend Fran learned to swim. It gives me great satisfaction to know that I helped her overcome her fear of the water and helped her be a swimmer for life.

Just like teaching swimming, I love to help others overcome the obstacles in their life and see them blossom into the people they want to become. That’s why I’m a coach. That’s why I write these articles. That’s what keeps me going when I get handed more lemons than I know what to do with.

You, too, can learn to access this core of who you are and what makes you great, or what keeps you going when you feel like giving up. There are people counting on you for something that only you can give. You are unique and special, whether you give courage by the trials you have overcome or because you have a special gift to share. The world needs what you have to give. There is no one else quite like you, with your unique gifts, experiences and perspectives. YOU MATTER!

Taking it Farther:

In the chapter on “Intention” Barbara Stanny writes in her book “Secrets of Six-Figure Women” that these successful women had various reasons for wanting to be successful but they also had an intention of making money. Yet the intention wasn’t enough. They also had to learn why they didn’t want to make money; what was holding them back.

1. Figure out what you want. Strip away what you think other people want for you. Strip away what you think you should want. Make sure what you think you want is really what YOU want.
2. Figure out why you don’t want what you say you want. What stops you? Why do you waver? Who sabotages your success? Who or what do you blame for your lack of success?
3. If you’re not making the progress you want on your own, come coach with me. Some things in life are not meant to be done alone. Success requires a team. As one of my mentors says, “Success is a team sport”.

Contact me:

If you would like to improve the quality of your life, figure out what you truly want in life, and help you clear the obstacles in your way, call me. For many people coaching can make the difference between what you have now and the life you could have. Live the life you choose. Achieve your goals. Be happy. Lead a balanced life. Call Edith at 847.913.3900 now.

Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

If you are not getting enough sleep you probably don’t even realize it.

“Small amounts of sleep loss (eg, 1 hour per night over many nights) have subtle cognitive costs, which appear to go unrecognized by the individual experiencing the sleep loss. More severe restriction of sleep for a week leads to profound cognitive deficits similar to those seen in some stroke patients, which also appear to go unrecognized by the individual.” (From the website http://www.medscape.com and the research of David Thorne)

In the video game “Zeitgeist”, a character suffering from sleep deprivation, then fatigue, then exhaustion, suffers increasingly severe penalties (can’t do spells, less strength and dexterity). In the game the penalties for sleep deprivation are obvious. If we could invent an easy to use “thermometer” for measuring sleep deprivation, and a chart of penalties at each degree of sleep deprivation, may be then we would take our own need for sleep more seriously.

Story: Sleeplessness and Diabetes

“Short-term sleep deprivation has been implicated in contributing to obesity as well as glycemia dysregulation contributing to poor control of type II diabetes.” (From the website http://www.medscape.com)

For as long as I have known my father, he has had trouble sleeping. Nothing ever seemed to help for very long. As an adult he developed diabetes. He felt it was one of a series of complications of his condition.
After my daughter was born, I took her with me on a visit to my father. Because of the diabetes he had been blind for some time and had lost all sensation in his hands. Yet he wanted to see his grandchild. So he came up with an idea. On a bright sunny day we went outside and while my Dad was facing into the sun, I held my daughter up in the bright light. He could tell just enough of a difference between the sun and her shadow to “see” his first grandchild.

Call to Action and Why This Matters:

There is more and more research confirming that not enough sleep is bad for us. Yet we pride ourselves on being able to do all-nighters. With on-line games, TV and the Internet we can have things to do and people to interact with any time of day or night. The temptations are hard to resist and our lack of awareness of the consequences on our health make it even less compelling to change.

If you know you are not getting enough sleep, or you feel that you have issues falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up after only a few hours of sleep, consider getting help. Find out if a medical condition prevents you from getting the sleep your body needs.

Taking it Farther:

Stress is one of the causes of sleeplessness. Forcing ourselves to sleep less because we have too much to do is one of the reasons we develop poor sleep habits. Learning to respond to stressors with equanimity, learning to prioritize, letting go of time wasters such as procrastination can help as well. Strengthening your boundaries and being able to say “no” to requests by others is an important skill in managing your time and stress. Unless there is a medical condition that prevents you from sleeping or sleeping enough, reducing stress and improving time management skills can be an important option to improving the quality of your life, health, and sleep.

Contact me:

If you would like to improve the quality of your life and learn to reduce stress and time pressure, call me to learn how coaching can help. Live the life you choose. Achieve your goals. Be happy. Lead a balanced life. Call Edith at 847.913.3900.

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