Saturday, July 22, 2017

Take a Meaningful Pause Break


Continuing from my last post about looking for solutions for life's issues I want to help you pause a little more. 

Most women have "pain points."  A pain point may be described as:

an emotional symptom you are experiencing due to not achieving a goal or having what you really want in life. 

Pain points can be unresolved long-term issues, but can also crop up just when doing life. For instance, I stepped on the scale today after a few days of ignoring it. I was heavier than I imagined and immediately plummeted into self-loathing. I felt pain. Things still need to change if I'm to reach my desired goal of full-body health. 

COMMON CRAVINGS 

Another common issue women have is solving their common craving to be seen, heard, and acknowledged and to have connection. The frustration with this craving is that we cannot force others to see us, hear us, or acknowledge us. But we can cultivate connection.  

Some women think they'll find the answers to these cravings in a job. And they may. Jobs can be fulfilling. But jobs can also be band-aid solutions that keep a woman busy so she doesn't have to face her inner turmoil. Empowering herself to change her own life or mindset is a better goal than looking for a band-aid solution.  

By midlife, some women can't get hired. Some are burned out. Some have health issues keeping them from working. Others have outdated skills and can't compete. Some choose early retirement and find it hard to know where they fit. They aren't used to an open schedule. 

Women of all ages need to become creative about living out their life calling. 

I refer to midlife women having the above-noted cravings, but others do too. When I was an at-home mom I realized I wasn't used to an unscheduled life. I had to learn how to navigate a different sort of schedule if I was to feel happy about my choice to stay home. 

Any old job may pay the bills and keep a woman busy, but a job won't necessarily give a woman the connection or validation she desires. A nagging sense of fulfillment remains. 

MOVING FORWARD

To move forward from pain to prosperity, a woman needs to know who she is and what she wants. As a Christ-follower, it may be more appropriate to say she will need to know how God has wired her, and what He wants her to do in life. Seeking God in the midst of pain is the right thing to do.

Before moving on in her journey, I suggest a woman take time to breathe and ponder. She can review her past and examine her present deciding on where there are voids. 

She can ask God to reveal what He wants her to know. She can fast from computer, TV, or food and spend time outside being with herself. 

She will need to listen for God, listen to her heart, and capture glimmers of clarity when they arrive. 

THE GOAL OF A PAUSE PHASE 

In this pause phase, I hope a woman will get clear on what new fulfillment she desires.  The picture of fulfillment becomes her new goal. Inside the bigger goal, she can ask what needs to change or happen if she's to get there? What steps does she need to take? Who does she need to take along the journey (if anyone)? What pace does she need to travel at? What results does she seek and are they realistic? What safety gear can she put in place in case of a fallout?


How about doing the above exercise yourself?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Trouble-shooting Tips for a Chaotic Life


I held my FIRST GROUP yesterday. What a lovely group of women joined me. 

As they spoke, they reaffirmed truths I'd already heard from many other women over the years. Many are dealing with normal life issues that to them are magnified. They are in the midst of yet another life transition. They too easily see what's not working and want to fix it. Fear overcomes them.

I'm not saying the following about this group specifically because we only just met. My experience, in general, as I've coached women in the past and interacted with women in the present, is that many go on a hunt to solve life issues. They sense pain and look for solutions to extinguish the pain. They feel something is deeply out of alignment, and they frantically wonder how they'll ever get in realignment. 

Some women have pain they don't want to let go of. They decide to be a victim. They become paralyzed. They want someone else to bail them out. 

Some women become overwhelmed by life changes. They would benefit from therapy or coaching to help them walk through them. 

COPING 

My quick list of recommendations if you feel as I've described above is this:


  1. Acknowledge your truth. List the facts. Perhaps a husband HAS left. Perhaps one has passed way. Perhaps your child has moved out. Perhaps a sibling has a mental illness. Perhaps you have had to move a parent into a senior's facility. There are real life struggle for us all.
  2. List the associated feelings you have. Are you frustrated, angry, hurt, disappointed, fearful, confused?
  3. Give yourself permission to feel these feelings. Set a timer. Enjoy alone time where you can process the feelings.
  4. Write out your feelings in a journal. List your questions as though you are asking God about them.
  5. Give yourself permission to stop. Quit trying to find quick solutions. Breath. Rest. Relax. Recover.
  6. Implement self-care. Give yourself facials. See a therapist. Exercise. Go on a detox diet. Do something that makes you feel transformed.
  7. Read a few Bible verses daily. Also read from an interesting Christian book. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you. Stop and listen. Block out other thoughts.
  8. Change your thought habits. When negative thinking creeps up again, turn it off. Tell it you will give it time later--when you set your timer again to process the negative feelings. Pray for Jesus to intervene. 


These are just a few interventions that have rolled off the tip of my fingers. If you find this helpful, let me know by clicking the comment section below. Or email me at info@rosaliegarde.com. 

Thanks. 

Sunday, July 09, 2017

God is in the Details



I had another God whisper recently and told friends I would write about it. I'll do that here. 

Writing about my God-whisper is meant to encourage you and bring God glory. 

Yes, you can hear from God this way too! It's amazing when it happens.  Why not ask God to show up for you in a unique way this week. 

The Still Small Voice

The Holy Spirit abides within us. He speaks directly to us. We sometimes think the ideas are our own thoughts speaking to us. Sometimes they are. Other times they are thoughts the Holy Spirit is impressing on us. 

One evening recently, I'd been contemplating where I am--the desire for something new, and the sabbatical I was taking to work on my health. As I finished some research, the Holy Spirit spoke a Bible verse to me, "You can't pour new wine into old wine skins."  

Of course, this was a reference to a parable in the Book of Mark.  I'd learned this verse years ago, so the Holy Spirit was merely reminding me of it--drumming it up from my brain's mental storage area.
  
The verse was appropriate since I was clearly in a phase of letting some "old" things go to make room for new.

The Guidance 

God is our guide. When we keep a close relationship with him, we remain tuned to hear him. He tells us where to go and where to stop and rest. The next day, I stopped and rested in front of a bookshelf at the Dollar Store, of all places. I'd run in for something else, but found myself pausing at that particular shelf. The voice inside (Holy Spirit) said, "There's something here for you." 

I replied, "Please show me what it is, Lord."

Then, slightly buried, I saw a T.D. Jakes workbook on Instinct. It was priced at $1.25! I had to buy it.

Later that night, I opened the book before bedtime and was astounded at what I read. There it was, clear as anything, a partial quote from Mark 2:22, "And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins."

The Whisper

Now I knew the verse I'd contemplated the previous evening was not just my thoughts--it was God speaking to me. It was his whisper. When he whispers, we need to pay attention!

I know it's time to let go of old and prepare for new. I don't have it all figured out yet--what I'm to let go of--but with being in a new life phase of the mostly empty nest, it's obvious a change is needed in many areas. I can only listen as he spells out the details and my next steps. 

Summary

The lessons for you are:
a) Listen to the whispers in your heart. 
b) Go where God prompts you to go.
c) Pause and ponder. 
d) Make connections.
e) Embrace the lessons in the God-whispers.
f) Ask God for clarification and next steps.  
g) Tell others. 

Monday, July 03, 2017

Be Willing to be Perfectly Imperfect


I was just reviewing one of my Facebook pages. You're welcome to join it. It's called Self-Coaching Tools for Christian Women.  It has snippets of prompts and is a place I can advertise my latest eBooks. 

Creating this page was a whim and risk. I'm shy by nature. I work from home selling web content and eBooks and often don't interact with my clients or readers. I've never been into business to be seen or for big money. 

As I was reviewing my Facebook page, I realized one of my eBooks got a rating on Goodreads. It was 3-stars and I'm thankful. But the reality of seeing stars made the idea sink in that I could be rated. The possibility of being rated or judged is something I have to buck up and face. I can't let it derails me from my mission.

Creating my eBooks has been a labor of love--my Christian ministry. It's risky posting so many things on the Internet. I'm shy. I'm sometimes fearful. But I'm willing to be perfectly imperfect. I have to be bold and take steps if I'm to feel my life is to amount to anything in its second-half. 

What's this Got to do with You?

If you're to move forward in midlife carving out new passions, you're going to have to take risks too. 

I took risks posting my art online. My dear friend Diane Cunningham-Ellis started posting her Heart Art on Facebook which prompted me to do likewise. I'd gotten back into creating art about the same time she started. I thought, "If she can post her work, so can I."

Doing so helped me realize how fun it is to share my passion for creating art. Sharing it is far better than creating pieces and leaving them sitting in the basement. 

Tip for You:  Share your passions!

Then, I learned I could create a page to sell my art as prints on Fine Art America. Again, it's more about sharing my passions than it is about making big bucks. Creating my page was so fun. I can post from it directly onto Twitter or Facebook. 

Through all of this I learned how many ways my art can be used digitally too. It can be turned into grocery bags, t-shirts, and even a duvet or shower curtain if someone wanted that type of thing. 

I've recently used my art to create a number of memes for Facebook and Twitter with the online program Canva.  

There are many, many people who are Internet-shy. I know all the reasons and many are justified. To me, the joy of being on the Internet is greater than my fear. I'm willing to be perfectly imperfect. It's all out here, flaws and all. 

How about you? What's holding you back? 


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Constant Cravings?


Every person on the planet has cravings. One of your greatest cravings includes the desire to be seen, heard, and acknowledged. 

Especially for a woman who works from home, meeting those needs in person can be difficult. It's a lot to expect from her husband or best friends.

Not only is it tough for the work-from-home woman to have these cravings met. There are many women who go to work and still don't get seen, heard, or acknowledged. 

Facebook has been a great tool for women to receive those types of acknowledgements. I've found the support of Facebook friends on my business networking and Christian friends page to be of great support. 

When connections, feedback, and acknowledgement are sparse, though, it's good to remember what the Bible teaches us:

God Sees Us 

God sees us and knows us intimately.  He abides with us and lives in us. He guides us. He sees what we do. He knows what we need even before we express it. 

God Hears Us 

God hears our prayers. He hears our cries. He hears our thanks. He rejoices with us. He comforts us. 

God Acknowledges Us

God is our provider and rewarder. He causes the seeds we plant to bear fruit. He blesses us with good things. He delivers us. He walks through trials with us. He brings comfort and stirs our hope. He brings others around us to support us. He gives us God-whispers to remind us of his love.   

God is supernatural and doesn't even require our prodding. Today I got out of bed feeling glum. I didn't want to do the work of stirring myself up. I didn't want to motivate myself.  I didn't feel like praying. But as I opened the fridge to get milk for my coffee, I was overcome with a feeling of revival. The Holy Spirit took it upon himself to stir me. 

Who Can You See, Hear, and Acknowledge?

Stay aware that all around you are people who have the craving to be seen, heard, and acknowledged--both online and in person. I challenge you today to be aware of your encounters with others. Take the focus off yourself and do what you can to see, hear, and acknowledge those you cross paths with. Make a difference for them in some small or even large way.