Friday, February 24, 2017

Sometimes we Need to Plan to Not Plan

Most women like to have a plan. Plans help define and frame our direction. Plans can be good for us especially at those times we feel a little lost or unproductive.

It's easy to go through our day based on how we feel more than on completing what God has called us to do. For instance, say we wake up in a bad mood, so decide to lay low all day. Say, the sun is shining, so we decide a two-hour lunch is in order especially since we've been through a long dull winter.

If we're to be effective, it will be important to put our feelings aside and follow-through with our calling.


As a work-from-home writer and life coach, if I live without a plan, my day can go in any number of directions. At the end of a day, I might feel deflated having no tangible accomplishment. So I put myself on a schedule.

Since working from home is a lifestyle choice, my schedule needed to include other life aspects, and especially work on my five top passions that include exercise, caring for my home and family, creating art and enjoying beauty, writing and coaching, and gardening and spending time outdoors. I also aimed to complete a certain number of articles a week and set a target for earning a certain dollar figure a month.My plan looks something like this (I also often write well into the late evening):

The bible tells us though we try to plan our day, God will intervene with his own plan.  Flexibility is key. I start most days asking God to take authority over my time and energy and to lead me where he wants me to go.

Plan to Not Plan

Over the last four months I've been suffering with a variety of health issues. All things pointed to my need to take a sabbatical especially to release tense muscles. Though my mind just wants things back to how they were, and though my mind wants to be productive, my body says no.

I've decided my current plan is to not plan. I have acknowledged it is more important to not put pressure on myself to perform or to seek distractions right now. And so, while I work on my health, my schedule has taken a back seat. And I have given myself permission for that.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Is the Past Butting into Your Today?

Life coaches are good for some things, counselors or therapists for others. It's amazing how current anxiety or troublesome issues can be connected to events of our past. We may have dealt with things before, but some how the new issues are too close to those of the past. Thoughts and feelings about old "stuff" are triggered.

Inwardly, we know we shouldn't project past issues onto today. It's unfair to the individuals involved today. So what do we do?

If you find events from your past being triggered and brought back up by an event today, maybe it's time to revisit the past with a therapist. 

There are many life events that many of us have walked through alone. Events that resulted in hurt, betrayal, anger, rage, rejection, low self-esteem, frustration, and so on. Some events resulted in little to no retribution or justice.  
People who hurt us may never have acknowleged the pain they put us through. 

Friends and relatives may know tidbits or the results of what we have gone through, but we may not have shared the nitty gritty details. They are stored in our memory, though, on a cellular level. 

The good news is, these old injuries can be put to rest with the help of a therapist. He or she can help you unlock the past and separate it from the present. Going through such a process can be expensive, but it is a cost that is well worth it. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Could You Use a Little More Support?

I'm gradually coming off a sabbatical health leave. I needed time to rest my brain, neck and back muscles, and lower my stress level.

I had some rough patches, but I actually gave myself permission to relax. I put my feet up and lounged on the sofa quite often. Of course, battling a headache while doing so wasn't much fun. 

While relaxing, I watched quite a bit of TV which is unusual for me. I happened upon a couple of shows that featured life coaches and was reminded of how well a life coaching process can help an individual work through needs. 

I have often hired life coaches myself--to get through rough patches or to help move me forward in some way. I have also used counselors and a psychotherapist. 

There is often a time where a confidential, skilled, consistent support is needed. There is often a need for a listening ear that stretches beyond our spouse and beyond the listening ear of a good friend or work colleague. 

Life coaching isn't the same as therapy, but some of the skills cross over. Life coaches may help a client reframe a situation, for instance, in much the same way a therapist might when teaching cognitive therapy skills to a client. 

If you need a bit of extra help figuring out life, don't hesitate to look into using a life coach or therapist. You don't have to tell others you are doing so. Having that type of support may be just what you need. 

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

One Viewpoint on Loneliness in Women

I watched a TV show recently where a woman commented her biggest challenge as a single mom is loneliness. I can see how that would be quite a struggle not having someone to share the load with or to lean on. Not only single moms feel that way, though, we all feel lonely from time to time.

The commenter on the TV show suggested that sometimes what a lonely person craves is to be heard and understood. That is very true. We can be in a large group, attending a church or party, and still go home feeling lonely. What makes the difference for most of us is whether or not we had a time of connection--whether we had a deep conversation with someone and felt heard.

Finding Safe Places 

It's hard to find those safe places to share our concerns. I know myself, I don't want to burden anyone with my "stuff." I also want to keep my concerns confidential. I don't want anyone I share with to think I'm like "that" all the time.

We all have highs and lows and it is in the lows we often feel the loneliness because we really have some legitimate concerns to unburden. Solving loneliness may be less about finding the right group to join and more about finding one or two people who will give us the time of day to hear our heart.

I have a Christian and business networking Facebook page where I've gotten to know women at a distance. Through their posts, I've gotten to know their character. When needed, I've private messaged a few. We share each other's burdens. That has been one outlet I go to and it's been helpful. I'm always on the lookout for new groups to join too. Some are for a time and season, some add a feeling of being with peers to my life, and some lead to long-term connections.

When it's hard to find that one friend when we need her or when it's hard to find that one group that works, talking with a counsellor or life coach may be the solution. Weekly appointments can really give a woman a sense of direction and ease some of the loneliness.