Thursday, November 14, 2019

What Lies are You Believing? What do you Need to Shed? Who is Your Fantasy Self?

I sometimes cross-post blog posts with my Midlife Woman blog, but instead, I'll refer you to it here

The post is about my process of decluttering my home. I've realized I'm being decluttered mentally and spiritually while in the depths of this process of decluttering my home. 

One of the topics discussed with my group recently is that of our fantasy self. This is actually a deep topic that I'm not sure I can do justice to here. 

The Fantasy Self

The fantasy self is that woman we imagine we want to be or who we think we are. But the proof is in the pudding. It's in the fruit we bear. 

For instance, I'm not a world-class birthday cake baker if I never bake cakes or dislike baking. 

In my course, we are taught we are free to pass on our Cuisinart mixer or food processor to someone else if it's not being used by us. Doing so will free us from pressure we might put on ourselves as that would-be fantasy Betty Crocker. 

What Lies Do You Need to Lay Down?

To be fully US means to lay down lies. Now, I don't mean we intentionally lie to people about who we are. Sometimes we lie to ourselves and don't even know it. Sometimes the enemy Satan lies to us and we believe him. In our human nature, we get off course. 

In the Uncluttered Course I'm taking, one of the women in the group pointed out that she had many gardening books she has never referred to. She wants to down-size her collection. 

I also have some. I may have flipped through them now and then, but I've never really become that magnificent gardener I dreamed of being. 

Now, I know I'm not too old and it's not too late to delve into gardening, but most of what I need to know is on the Internet. I don't need a library of books in our home.

If I'm not going to read my gardening books over the next six months, I am living in fantasy world. It's a world I must demolish if I'm to live authentically. Gardening is one of my passions, but I'm okay with being a mediocre gardener.

Dreams and Visions

I believe in dreaming, creating a vision statement, and setting goals. Doing so is healthy. 

But some gurus teach us to reach out to become something God never intended us to be. Or, we start down one track and spin our wheels there beyond the time we're to move on. 

I'm feeling that way about life coaching. When obtaining clients and hosting groups started to decline, I turned to writing coaching tools in the form of ebooks instead of looking for private clients to coach. 

When I write a book I add the word "life coach" to the front beside my name. I figure it adds to my platform--it validates my writing. After all, I did spend money to take the training and I am a natural life coach. I've been blessed to have sold many self-coaching ebooks as a result. 

But there is a bit of a fantasy-self dancing around in there too. I'm not really going to try to be a fulltime life coach again right now, and I sure can't make a living on Kindle book sales.

I'm not ready to declutter all my coaching books and pass them on, but I am parting with some. It's time to lay life coaching down. As a result, I've also decluttered my website and removed the life coaching section. I'm heeding the insight of what I know and putting to rest this fantasy woman. 

Where is God Working in Your Life?

On a podcast I recently listened to, the speaker suggested if something isn't working out, God's hand isn't on it. And if God's hand IS on it, we need to rest in His timing not our own. 

The speaker also challenged listeners who were in search of life purpose to try new things. They will find out quickly what they aren't cut out for and they may just fall into that which they crave. 

There have been many things I've done or tried that haven't worked out. It doesn't make sense. It makes me sad, not glad. I want to be effective just as anyone does. But I can still take the lessons from it, put it down, and try something new. 

What is Your Fantasy?

Is there a fantasy self within? Do you have books, decor, or equipment just sitting there not being used because they are part of your past? Do you have bins full of fabric and sewing tools because making your own clothes sounded like a great idea at one time? What else did you start and not finish because it was a passing whim?

What have you tried that didn't work? Are you willing to part ways with the remnants that are left in your home or in your mind in order to start fresh?

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Life Transformation

A friend of mine once told me doing housework is therapeutic. I don't know what it meant to her, but I know doing so becomes an activity that makes me look inward. I do tend to deal with a lot of stuff while cleaning my home. 

When equipped with the "just do it" attitude and not a "begrudging" attitude, the thoughts can flow. I can challenge my thinking. I get ideas. I feel useful.

I knew with fall's arrival I'd need a new project. Cleaning the garage hadn't made it onto my list of chores over the summer, so the idea of getting to the excess clutter in the garage is what compelled me to sign up for Joshua Becker's Uncluttered course

I had a need to go through some of my Mother-in-law's items stored there, I had a need for a set of new goals for fall, but also I wanted my thinking challenged regarding my home's possessions as my husband and I are in the empty nest again. 

Going through the process of uncluttering is challenging. My thinking has been challenged on many fronts. I know what I want to accomplish during this course practically, but for the rest of my life, that's still a bit of an unknown. 

Letting Go

The entire idea of letting go, though, is timely as I am letting go of my adult children more and more.  And with no inlaws left on my husband's side, my own mom being elderly, my and my spouse's siblings having their own families to look after, and my own children developing their own lives, I've been put in a position to let go of traditions and other expectations.

We may make new traditions, but I doubt it. I think my mindset is to live in the now--making the most of every opportunity, being present, enjoying the beauty in daily activities.

My dog of 14 years also passed away. I've been freed of her loving and loyal attachment that was far beyond necessary. She wore herself out following me around. I was her joy and she mine. She can rest now and play in heaven, and I now feel peace and freedom to start fresh in new areas. 

What do I want to become? Healthy, happy, loving, inspiring, available.

How will I do that? Well, that's for my personal journal. 

How about you, re-read the meme at the top of the page as often as you need to. Develop your own set of answers.

Friday, October 18, 2019

A New Goal I Have for Fall

We all thrive on goals. I've signed up for Joshua Becker's "Uncluttered" course to complete over the next 11 weeks. I'm so glad I did. Not only am I going to declutter my home, I'm learning as I go.

I did spring cleaning earlier this summer and realized it was time to update many areas of my home. I also need to dispense some items we gathered from my mother-in-law's home in 2018 after she passed away.

My husband and I are in the empty nest (though my son may return), so it's time for a new season. 

Being Teachable 

I'm learning from others in the course. The first week has been a lot of prep--mostly mentally. 

The women are sharing authentically. I'm learning I'm not alone in some of my thinking. I'm learning some have a bigger problem with clutter than I. Clutter and how we feel about it is as much an emotional issue as it is a possession issue. 

Managing Life's Junk

Possessions become things we have to manage. It's part of life. Shoes get in the way and we trip over them. Other things break or wear out and we have to figure out how best to dispose of them. In the meantime, we are tempted to leave them in a corner. 

Some in the group are grieving the loss of a spouse, a sister, a friend, or a pet. Depression has caused some to become unmotivated. Some are depressed because of their clutter. Some work so much their energy is spread too thin. Some have health issues and can't seem to find the energy to take care of things. Since women mostly manage the homes, it is mostly women in the group. 

So much is involved--mentally, spiritually, and physically. Some has to do with family members' habits and a lot has to do with our own habits. 

Once we de-clutter, most of us will need to learn habit change. 

Great Mottos

I'm gathering profound resolutions from other women. I've posted a couple above and here: 

All in all, I am being transformed. I find myself using my spiritual gift of encouragement with others in our private Uncluttered Course Facebook Group. I'm trying to remain humble. As I purge my mother-in-law's items, I feel I'm honoring her. There is something spiritual about it. We are to be good stewards of what God has given us. I am also praying for wisdom of what to do with each item I need to dispense with.  

A Pattern Revealed

Today on my Facebook memory wall were posts from previous years that had to do with organization. Maybe it's the time of year--like squirrels making a nest--I'm clearing my nest. 

But the memory posts revealed something else. They revealed I have a passion for this kind of thing--decluttering and organizing. I really hope I can use this passion to help others in the days ahead.

Do you have new goals for yourself? 

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Challenge Yourself with This Simple Exercise

This is the remnants of the first blog I wrote after coaching certification. I have many blogs now and a new one for the older Christian woman. Please have a look if interested. 

I learned years ago one approach to getting out of a funk is to change life up. It can be as simple as driving a new way to work, eating lunch somewhere different, trying a new toothpaste, and so on. 

Last week, I had time to explore. I went to a large store and challenged myself to wander the aisles I don't usually wander. I prayed first because impulse shopping has gotten me into trouble more than once. I didn't want to buy something for the sake of buying it. 

So I wandered into the sports aisle, the camping aisle, and a few others. I got to see what new gizmos are being sold. I think the funniest thing I spotted was this tree trunk cushion. I suppose if you're a camper and find sitting on a tree trunk hard, you might want this. ??

This gives me something for conversation. I'm more enlightened now. And, if someone talks about some other object I may have come across, I'm all the wiser. 

Why not do this yourself? Consider it an assignment to walk through a new store or a new section of a store you're familiar with. Your plan is not to find something to purchase, just to educate yourself and grow in your thinking. Then identify the most unusual thing you spotted. Leave a comment below. 

Saturday, October 05, 2019

My Journey as an At-Home Mom into the Life Coaching World

I was an at-home mom and homemaker for many years. You might say, I'm still home. It's been God's calling for me. 

Over time, I applied for jobs and took on temporary gigs but always ended back on the home front. 

It took a lot for me to find my way in life as there'd been a long war within my soul about a craving something meaningful to do outside the home. 

I'd worked before having children so new the perks a job might offer. I'd made a promise to myself I would one day return to work. But with raising children, the idea of working paled. I couldn't find the right thing that convinced me to give up the perfect life I already had for a paid job. 

We got a dog who filled my time a little more as I tried to unravel God's next calling on my life aside from my home and family.

I was never one for turning on the TV during the day, but one day did and uncovered the TV show called Starting Over

For the first time, I learned about the career of life coaching. Soon enough, the show had me hooked. I loved seeing the featured women go through exercises and transform their lives. I recall thinking, if these women could invite God into the transformation, the process would be so much more powerful. 

I guess God had me in an incubator at that time because a new path was soon revealed.  

While grocery shopping (of all places to find a book), I spotted and purchased Katie Brazelton's book Pathway to Purpose for WomenNext, I saw Brazelton was going to be a chat guest on a Christian online forum, so set aside the time.

I attended and participated in the chat, and before the day ended, Brazelton had called me in Canada (from California) to introduce me to something spectacular--A CHRISTIAN-FOCUSED LIFE COACHING COURSE.

Leaping Lizards!!! God had revealed my next calling in a BIG WAY. I was more than excited. 

The way this all came together, I knew God was working and wanted me to take the course! 

I tried to share this phenomenal chain of events with other women at my church, but they didn't get it. I felt unsupported up in Winnipeg, Canada where no one had even heard about life coaching. (circa 2005).

When God speaks to you, it is often 
ONLY YOU He shares the vision with.

While taking the course, I was required to be coached myself. I looked forward to it because I'd been spinning my wheels for far too long. I needed to share my life path with a trusted woman.

I scanned the biographies of available coaches. I didn't want someone with a PhD. I didn't want a career woman. I didn't want someone who might be condescending finding out I was an at-home mom for so many years. 

(Yes, sadly, there are condescending coaches. Some were my instructors and I won't share here what they said to me, but it was off-putting. How dare they insult the calling God had put on my life!)

I chose Kris, of Idaho. I chose her because of the emphasis her bio had on caring for her family. I needed a coach who would understand my calling of supporting my family.  

I set up my kitchen table with a candle, note pads, and kept my eye on the clock, and with nervous excitement, made my call to Kris. She and I worked through the 10 chapters of Conversations on Purpose for Women .

I passed the course and became a certified life coach. As I reflect on that journey, I am aware there are likely women who would like a coach who understands family dynamics and caters to the woman who chose to be an at-home mom. 

I have carved out some other avenues of work beyond homemaking now as a writer and author and I undertook a few other odd jobs, but I am still very much an at-home mom, homemaker advocate. 

I'm willing to repond to emails about the possibility of coaching or just simply offering what guidance I can to my readers. Please feel free to contact me here.