I'm looking for input from midlife Christian women. Does that interest you?
As I coach new women and write new eBooks, I'd like to have more input as to what other women in their midlife season have tried, are trying, and hope to try. I'd like to know what challenges you faced, what didn't work out for you, and what has worked out.
I'd like to know how you include God in your decisions. I'd like to know where you feel he's led you and how you went about discovering that.
I'd like to know how you balance your own wants and ideas with what God ultimately does. That is, when he doesn't open doors you hoped would open, what is your recourse?
Tell me what you really wish would happen in your life. Tell me who helped offer you direction. Tell me your needs. What are you current struggles?
When or if you decided to participate, you can email me your story here.
In return, you will receive an opportunity for two free life coaching responses by email. This is not a paying opportunity for either of us.
On my end, I would like permission to use bits of your story as examples in upcoming books, but will mask them by changing your name and some of the details. You are welcome to send your email anonymously. Your input may or may not be used. Surely, your input will help me become a better life coach to midlife women.
I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you in advance.
Just some random thoughts for those looking for some daily living suggestions:
Start each day as a new one.
Let the past go--even what happened yesterday.
If you have a plan for today, commit it to God and move forward.
If you have no certain plan, ask God what he would like you to do with your time today.
Make a mini-schedule in your mind or on paper.
Start taking steps. Little steps toward a bigger goal.
Stand back and enjoy the progress.
Do something you think is fun.
Do something that counts as fitness.
Do something that is creative.
Do something that is nurturing.
My daughter came home yesterday. I hadn't seen her for a month!
Today, I drove her to a job interview an hour away. After the interview we had a brief mall time lunch. We then headed up to Barrie, ON (1.5 more hours) where I returned her to her apartment and job, but not before picking up a few groceries for her. On the second leg of our trip we listened to Joel Osteen on the Sirius radio.
We chatted, and I tried not to say the wrong thing to this 20-something young lady. But I talked a lot. We hugged and I returned home. I drove the back way because I was tired. I didn't want the 400-series highways putting me to sleep. It was sunny and there was snow across all the fields. Ontario still has many farm fields, that's for sure.
It was a fully and busy day. I drove 5 hours! And I fulfilled my purpose for today.
Isaiah 41:13 New International VersionFor I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Today I talked with my massage therapist about life coaches. She initiated the conversation not knowing my background.
Her main issues were: now that it's become a popular and still unregulated field, the market is over saturated with life coaches. In that mix, you will find coaches from a to z. That means, you'll find coaches with various backgrounds, perspectives, and styles, so ferreting out what you really need becomes work.
Most offer a free get-to-know you conversation. Unfortunately, some coaches use the time to try to convince you to buy their services. Nevertheless, it's up to you to see "what language they speak." We all have a language. Mine is faith-based language. I can't coach from any new age type ideas. It's not my language. But I'm pretty good at coaching from a psychology and empathetic base too for those who aren't interested in including faith in the discussions.
My friend used the term "authentic" a fair amount. When a person uses a word often, that's a sign of something important to them. I didn't get her to define what that meant for her, but she gave a few examples of what it didn't look like.
I've both coached and used coaches. I know what's out there to a fair degree. I know what I've sensed and what works and doesn't work for me. That's another matter altogether--finding what works for me and my personality. Some of us have our own picture of how a session should go that our coach would never know about. One of my pet peeves is a coach should be careful of not dominating the call. She should let her client have the floor.
Another pet peeve is a coach should be careful about applying judgment labels. I may have done this myself. It happens easily, but one wrongly used judgment label can turn a client away.
In our conversation, my friend mentioned she'd been at a seminar and the life coach presenting asked a question and then mocked her answer.
Good coaching really does require skill.
If you use a coach, be fair when she doesn't coach exactly as you want her to.
Do spell out your expectations. Spell out what issues you think you want to delve into. I say "think" because sometimes what you first think is the issue ends up not being the real issue. For instance, I once used a coach for clarity on my business direction and in the hour-long discussion realized it was my social life that needed attention, and when that was fixed up I could function better in my business.
My friend and I agreed over many things we've seen in the coaching arena but at the end of the day, we both felt there is value in having a life coach whether for a few sessions or several.
To keep life fresh, change is important. Small changes or large changes.
Physical Health Changes Right now I'm doing an anti-parasite detox. Whew, did you know how many parasites might be hiding in your bowels? Creepy. Anyhow, I want to keep changing my health to what is best for my body. I'm in a Facebook body health group that I've learned a lot from. I want to be able to do the things God has put me on earth to do.
Right now I can hardly finish typing this because my muscles keep stiffening up. I also have a pain pit in the lower spine area that's been bugging me for over a year. Chiropractic, massage, heat, stretching, and a new chair have not been effective over the long term. I've learned a product MSM might be able to help my stiff muscles. I've been on it a month and am hoping for the best.
I also decided today to drop my gym membership. It was a place for me to get out of the house to go to. I imagined going late at night if necessary as it was open 24-hours. It worked for me the first few years, but lately it's not been feasible. A friend also pointed out when she visited a similar franchise she didn't feel it was friendly. She goes to a community center for 50 and over and says they are quite friendly.
My friend is right. When I first started I would make a point of having a conversation with the office staff at the gym. But no other gym members interacted with me. Most of us weren't there for that purpose, but the older I get in the empty nest phase, the more I want and need to socialize.
The new staff have rarely even said hello to me when I've entered. But that's not the reason I'm quitting. I challenged myself to get there 2 times a week Jan and Feb or quit. I didn't meet my plan. I realized today I was usually only motivated lately to go out of guilt not enjoyment. That's not a good sign.
Change Can Make Me Feel Queasy Once I sent the termination email in I was surprised by the panic I felt. It was as though I'd said goodbye to exercise forever and accepted a lesser life. Which isn't true.
I realized how much a crutch the idea of a gym membership was. I think it made me feel like I was doing better than I was in the exercise department just by having a membership. But a membership alone doesn't work your heart or muscles.
Change Can Feel Like a Loss But I think the panic is more than that. I joined when my son was in high school as this gym was nearby. It was easy for me to get to it regularly before picking him up. I think by quitting now I'm letting go of a fond memory of an old routine. Another sign that my mothering phase has ended and time is moving on. (insert tears).
I was the only member of the family who was a member, so it was my thing. Giving up my thing doesn't feel good either. We all need something that is our thing.
Watch for Triggers
I thought I was fine with the idea of giving up the membership. I thought being relieved of the guilt of not going would help. And it may, but I was surprised of a memory it triggered.
Years ago just before I had my midlife crisis, I'd quit another gym membership. I'd switched churches, quit the ladies group, and then my membership. I basically took myself out of operation. I didn't realize what I was doing at the time, nor the consequences.
The idea was that I would quit and my husband would use the money to buy home equipment we'd all use.
Well, I barely used the home equipment and I was depressed.
When I told my husband today that I was quitting the gym, imagine my reaction when the first thing he said was, "What piece of equipment do you want to buy?"
"NO!" I screamed inside. I'm going down that road again.
And so with nothing new lined up except for some home videos I plan to do, I'm feeling a little nervous.
Fill the Gaps So I will start an online Essentrics program and then look into pay-as-you-go community programs to fill the gap.
Since deciding to make this change I feel a sense of panic. Some change is hard. So I will ask God to lead me through the right new doors.
What about you? Spring is on the way. Do you sense any new doors opening? Do you sense it's time for change?