Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Going Nowhere Fast? Stuck in a Personal Jam?

Driving around a bustling new part of the city earlier today I became lost.  There were many people in cars all around me though.  I had never ventured to this certain area of town before and was impressed by just how many retail establishments, homes and people there were.

This experience reminded me of just how many nooks and crannies women are found in, which is important for a life coach to women to remember.  The possible clientele are many.

Women are everywhere, but not all are finding their way.  Just as my GPS led me astray today, things in life can lead women off their paths.

All through life we need guidance for finding our way.  We never really arrive. It's just too easy to turn to the latest trend, philosophy, theory, instructions, and so on, but they can move us in the wrong direction if we're not careful.


Even though I finally found the Tim Hortons I'd been looking for after shopping, I couldn't find the way into the parking lot since it was dark and rainy.  I had to drive out of my way and do a U-turn to get around a median and into the driveway.

I'd never been to this particular Tim Hortons.  In the dark of the misty night, it was very hard to tell where the drive-thru entrance was.  It took patience and careful driving not to hit someone or mount a curb.

This reminds me of life.  We can have a plan, but while carrying it out, we sometimes find ourselves in a dark and awkward place.  Sometimes we need extra patience.  Sometimes a better GPS, or a little help from a friend.

CLARITY AND WISDOM NEEDED

We know God wants us on a certain path.  The Scripture says that often.  But it is sometimes hard to see the entrance to the next step. It is hard to gain clarity through the fog.

Often, God will use a network of others to support or speak to us.  I try to stay in a few networks myself either in person or online.  When someone on Facebook offers a course, I might just sign up.  When I need advice, I might just ask a friend.  When I need prayer I might just enter it into my church's prayer wall.Still, it's important to listen to the inner rumbling of our hearts.

I suggest you always weigh any advice you're given.  Consider the source.  The best advice God sends me is more of a coincident type, not as a result of my asking people. When I come across a helpful message, I know it's for me if I feel a sense of peace and clarity.

I'm not a put-together woman, but I have been through a lot. That means I see many things in hindsight now.  It seems I've been called to write words through blogs and articles with the goal that my words will nudge women toward their best path.

I despair when I hearing a woman struggling to find her way.  I've been there often.  As a woman's path seems cloaked in mystery and sometimes pain, I want her to feel encouraged. I want her to find God's truth about her situation.  I want her to find his peace.

My ultimate wish for you is to find the path God wants you to walk, even if it involves a few winding turns.  My desire is that you stay close enough to God to discern what he wants for you.

My goal in writing is to prompt you to take bold steps to change habits and make investigations so that you get God's work done. My desire is that you will find contentment, peace, and a sense of fulfilment, while saying goodbye to worry.

CHALLENGING QUESTIONS
  • Is there something you feel God is asking you to do, but you need more direction?  Do you need God's GPS system to reveal your path more clearly?     Solution:  Ask him.  Don't make changes until he reveals something.  Follow the lead he whispers in your ear.
  • Is there an area of your life you wish would change, but you aren't sure of the timing or how to implement the change?   Solution: Ask God for clarity and to send you the people you need to help you make that change.
  • Is your personal life working for you so that the other things God has on your plate are doable? What part of your life needs better balance?  Solution:  Take steps for self-care and to bring balance into your life.
These are but a few questions to consider.  I hope answering them helps you get unstuck from the traffic jam you might feel you're in.  When making changes of any kind, call for wisdom, and then pace yourself.  Trust in God and wait for his message to you.


Sunday, September 07, 2014

Time for a Fresh Start?

Parable of the Sower, R. Garde 2014


September signals renewal for many.  It is when students return to school.  It is when parents get into a normal routine again.  It is when the weather begins to change. It is when favourite programs re-start.

Fresh starts can be good at re-motivating people.  

Are you ready to renew your life this fall?  Here are a few cues to get you started:


  1. Let go.  Entrust your children to God's care.  Let go of what was to make room for the new. 
  2. Create some new routines.  Perhaps you'll include regular Bible reading, meditation, a personalized yoga routine, or a morning walk around a nearby park.  New routines shouldn't be bothersome.  They should help ignite your passion.
  3. Choose optimism.  When reading the news or even a Facebook page, stick with the positive and don't be tempted to bog yourself down with evil, negative stories.  Avoid the idol worship of what's popular.  Think of others how you'd like them to think of you.
  4. Look for treasures.  All things work together for good for those that love God.  Even in negative situations there can be a treasure.  Ask God to show you it.  Enjoy the blessings he puts in front of you.
  5. Stay alert.  We all have callings.  Once you know yours, focus on it. When things come across your path that fall in line with your calling, take steps on them.


    My Personal Steps:

    I have a routine of waking, taking my thyroid pill with a full glass of water, then taking the cat and dog outside to walk around our large yard.  My cat really does follow me.  This isn't a fall routine, but one that gets my day started.

    Something new I'm doing this fall is uploading my art to a website where it will be presented for sale.  For many years, I intended to get back into art.  I kept putting it off though.  When asked the question, if there is one thing you could do and not fail what would it be, in the back of my mind was always "be an artist."  I didn't know if it was just a romantic notion or more.  

    I'll tell more of my art story later, but for now I want to say that I've realized art is so subjective my work doesn't have to measure up to another person's for it to have value.  There is a website I can sell prints on that will be no cost to me.  I've got no reason to not move forward on a long-held dream.  

    Do you have any long-held dreams you could re-investigate now? 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

How to Have a Loving Family Relationship

Do you want a loving relationship with your husband, children, friends, and other relatives?  Then follow the edicts of this verse:  

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres"  (1 Cor. 13:4) (NIV).

Now which one of those have you fallen short on recently?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Life Coaching a Depressed Client


Some life coaches begin working with women they've screened and later, during the life coaching process, it becomes apparent depression is involved.  Life coaches are not to cross the line of counselor, so refer clients when necessary.

Nevertheless, life coaches do work with clients' mindsets, so it is important they have knowledge and tools for this.  One of my favourite tools is by Joseph L. Luciani.

Self Coaching, by Joseph L. Luciani isn't a Christian book per se, but offers important information on anxiety and depression.

He warns the reader to be aware of certain thinking traps.  He suggests unless we are aware of the traps and their potential harm, they can become habits leading to difficulty (pg 71).

When I read the list of thinking traps Luciani set out, I immediately became aware that they could be considered STRONGHOLDS.  Spiritual strongholds are problems rooted in a person's personality that cause ongoing struggle.

The motive of strongholds as authored by Satan is to interfere with a person's ability to accomplish Godly assignments.  A stronghold can be a lie a person unknowingly believes.

“Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 
for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful 
for the destruction of fortresses [strongholds]” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4, NASB). 


Reading the traps or strongholds listed in Luciani's book was eye-opening.  He listed these:

  • black and white thinking
  • what ifs
  • should
  • labelling
  • have-tos
  • mind reading
  • tunnel vision
  • rehearsing troubles
  • fear of the future
  • defensiveness

Black and white thinking shows up in statements that are strongly pointed in one direction, negative or positive.  They leave little room for "grey".  But life really is rarely one or the other.  Thoughts and feelings aren't facts and it's easy to become duped by them.  The need to be right is another symptom of black and white thinking.  But this compelling character trait can cause a person great grief.

Have a look through this list and ask yourself if you might be caught in any of these strongholds.

(For blogs especially geared for
midlife women visit:  The Midlife Christian Woman)

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Get That Monkey Off Your Back By Working With a Life Coach

As I laid upon my bed resting, I thought about a blog to write about the unique purposes of using a life coach.  I'm NOT writing this to solicit business because right now I'm not taking clients.  I am writing this for those of you who feel all alone in a struggle and may need a nudge to look for a coach of your own.

A PERSONAL STRUGGLE 

I've been knocked out with a leg injury from nowhere!  Well, that's what I like to think.  All I did was two weeks of heavy garage cleaning, lawn mowing, and gardening to set an old knee injury off.

My garage looks great, but after all the work, my knee began to hurt and my calf and Achilles muscle have become so tight I can't walk.  I've been nursing this injury a full two months now with the aid of therapy!


I feel as though I'm being robbed of my favourite season.  I love to garden and right now I can't if I want to get better.

While I'm in physical therapy, the emotions are affected too.  I find myself looking for God's purpose in this.  It's so disappointing.  I am always open to his new path, but this isn't quite what I had in mind.  So right now I'm testing a lot of principles I teach.

THE NEED FOR EMOTIONAL RELIEF 

I've used life coaches before for a variety of purposes--not just identifying my life direction--but often for venting.  That's right, venting.  Why?  Well, in one case, I was not allowed to discuss certain details of an event due to confidentiality.  But I needed a relief valve.  In another case, I had pent up anger about something and I needed a safe place to get the monkey off my back.  

Us women can carry that monkey around for a long time until the monkey grows so big it weighs us down stalling forward movement.

Right now the monkey is hanging onto my leg and causing me frustration.  My husband is getting tired of hearing me complain about my sore leg.  He's pitching in like a trouper though.

Recently, I was so discouraged my mood was low and I knew my husband didn't want to hear about it.  Men like to fix things and this he could not fix.  This was one time I could have used the services of a life coach--someone safe to vent to.

So as I sat in my bed, I wanted to share this thought because I know so many of you have problems that crop up too that you wish you could talk about with someone without looking like a negative Nelly.  If you have an issue you think will be helped through having someone safe to talk to, look up Christian life coaches and send an inquiry email outlining the specific purpose you want to address.  If it's a one-time call you want, mention that.

Life coaching is different from counselling or therapy and this is a good example.  You probably wouldn't go to a therapist for a struggle over a temporarily frustrating condition.     You might go for healing of unhealed wounds or to deal with depression, but if it's merely a monkey you want to release, life coaching is a great tool.