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Saturday, January 26, 2019

Midlife Woman and Health Obsession




MIDLIFE WOMAN HEALTH CONCERNS 

I’ve realized a trend that is overtaking women, myself included. It is problematic because this trend can become an idol. It can play with our belief system. It can make us waste time and spend money we don't necessarily need to.

What is this trend? It is a trend to over-analyse our health, pursue endless weight loss solutions, and listen to too many health gurus. Everyone has a solution. 

So we go about trying to manipulate our health, spending money on products and programs, and making our body’s health an idol. If we aren't careful it becomes another tool for the devil to use. It causes worry. It imprisons us. 

Because we can do an Internet search on any number of maladies, it is easy to get caught up in self-diagnosis. I’m not against Internet research or helping yourself to become healthier, but we need to keep it in balance. My online naturopath posts good information regularly. The problem is, I fall into so many categories she speaks of.  Right now I have so many health supplements to take for various maladies that I rarely remember to take them all or remember what they were for. 

The problem is, I still have many of the issues these supplements were supposed to resolve. So do they work? Or do they label me as insufficient, unhealthy, a failure, or a health concern. 

MY ISSUES 

I have been trying to resolve tinnitus (impossible to resolve) which seems to strike many menopausal women, and neck pain. Only recently did God reveal that some of the neck pain may be due to my habit of “cracking” my neck to relieve tension. That and popping my ears every few minutes. I’ve dealt with tic disorder over the years so thinking this is a new tic makes sense. I may be over stressing the area in an attempt to resolve it. Perhaps instead of taking supplements to fix the problem, I need to change the tic habit. 

There are also so many eating programs and opinions it gets nauseous. Keto this, paleo that, Weight-Watchers, calorie or carb counting, and at my gym “macro” counting.There are many false gods out there.  I’m not sure God wants us becoming so obsessive about food. 

Pray for God to give you discernment about your food. Ask him to point out habits that need changing. Ask him about your nutrition. Ask him if you've made body health a god. Filter any advice and tips through prayer. Follow the ones God seems to nudge you on. 

Life is about more than trying to attain perfect health. 


   

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Your Life Calling


I am honored God has chosen me to be an artist, life coach, and writer. I knew I wanted to be an artist in grade school when a boy flirtingly complimented me on a cat picture I'd drawn in class. 

I knew I wanted to be a writer since high school when I heard other students laugh at a comical piece I'd written and when a teacher gave me an A+ on a story. 

I knew I wanted to be a life coach in 2005 after watching the TV show Starting Over and when Katie Brazelton, founder of a coaching program, called me personally to extend an invitation to her course. 

It's funny, how all through life we look for other ways to spend our time and earn our income. Most of my interests took a back seat as I raised my family. But once out from under the child-rearing calling, I looked here, there, and everywhere for what I might do next for real pay. You see, I found earning a personal income from life coaching, my artwork, or my writing was hit and miss. 


Life Calling 

Recently, I had an epiphany (aha moment) as I was working on my next book to be published. I'd just read Will Mancini's book Clarity Spiral (click the link to get your free copy).  In it, Mancini describes his personal life journey of holding multiple careers before settling in on his one thing. 

At first, I was gripped while reading, but when the book took a turn to focus on careers and leveraging your skills to prove to your boss your value, I felt left out (as usual). You see, after leaving my career as an administrative assistant to top executives years ago, other than a few work-from-home gigs (including life coaching and writing), I have been out of the workforce for 26 years. Much I was reading in Clarity Spiral didn't apply to me. 

This isn't new, I've discovered most life purpose books (including Blueprint for Lifeassume the reader has paid work--a career. I have not had much of that over the last 26 years. 

The Epiphany 

So, what was the epiphany I had?  While working on a new book I will self-publish, I described a bit of my life path. And then I wrote "I always knew I wanted to be a writer."  

Quickly, the words echoed, They took me back to what I'd read in Mancini's book about finding our one thing. I decided perhaps I should take my writing even more seriously than I have been. Perhaps writing is my one thing and I need to quit looking elsewhere.

Common Threads 


What Mancini doesn't talk about (which I was picturing while trying to fall asleep last night) is how a spiral is like a thread. My gifts have been common threads throughout my life. They are clues to calling.

Do you know what your common threads are? 

Common threads will become apparent in all the roles we carry out. 

So while Clarity Spiral  didn't necessarily fit me, reading it has pushed me to keep writing for women like myself--at-home moms, homemakers, displaced women, work-from-home women, and retirees--women for whom books like that fall short.

Working in Kingdom Commodity

There is recognizing our calling, and then there is accepting it. There is embracing the meagerness of it, or fighting it. 

It's easy to fall prey to gurus who tell us we can earn six-figures by living our calling. (Even Mancini has made over a million.) But if we aren't making three, four, or five digits from living our calling does that mean we quit? Does that mean it isn't vital or viable?

There are times God gives us callings that we don't receive direct pay from. I believe in kingdom commodity in that God provides for us and blesses us in other ways. One way he has done that for me is through my husband's pay. My husband always assures me it isn't his money, it is our money. Just when I'm whining about not making as much money as I could out at a real job, a pay raise or bonus seems to come through, or I get more article and book sales. 

Now let me make it clear, I don't want to discount my or your abilities. One day I do hope to be better paid for my efforts. I want success for my readers too.  

My comments are about what I've experienced to date. I have written and sold over 400 web content articles for pay, I have sold over $1,000 in Kindle books. My time to shine brighter may be in the days ahead. (I've asked God to sell some of my artwork in mass. I've prayed for a six-figure sale of artwork to somewhere like Disney for their hotels :) - why not?)   

The question becomes: Will you live your life calling even if significant earnings aren't attached?


God's Calling 

While we live in the world, the world's commodity is how we live. It cannot be ignored. It takes a strong-in-faith woman to put the desire for riches aside so she can focus on what God is calling her to do. 

The Clarity Spiral suggests it's okay to have a number of careers along our life journey. Eventually we will get to where we are called to go. I like that idea especially as we see our own children changing jobs. Much can be learned at every stop.

Small Blessings

I thrive on small affirmations. This week, I learned one of my books was given 5 stars by a stranger. Her review blessed me. Apparently, my book gave her hope for getting through the empty nest. Affirmations like this help me see the potential in what I do. 

The book is called Help Me Lord, I'm Wilting...Rx for the Midlife Nest-Emptying Christian Woman (available on Amazon - all digital books can be read on any device including your laptop or computer. You may need to download an app, but it is easy to do). Here's the cover. 



Help Me, Lord, I'm Wilting: Rx For the Midlife Nest-Emptying Christian Woman by [Garde, Rose]


This post isn't meant to be all about me. It is meant to encourage you to believe that even if you don't have an official job title, earnings flowing in, acclamation, it doens't mean you are outside your calling. 

Consult God to direct you to how you should be focusing your time and energy. Then do what he lays on your heart. Resist doubt. Embrace your calling.  

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Traits You Need if You're to be Inspiring



I wrote here that I'm settling into the word 


INSPIRE                            

as my motivation word for 2019. In so doing, I looked up what it means to inspire another. This is what I learned were key traits of an inspiring individual. 

An inspiring person:

CARES - by doing small loving acts toward others, by asking people how they are, by showing interest on Social Media rather than being self-absorbent.

HAS ENTHUSIASM: this person has a good mindset. They snap out of dark moods and instead think positively. They smile and exude positive energy. 

CAN BE TRUSTED: gossip is something we all have to watch ourselves with. This person seeks to stay out of gossip. 

IS ENCOURAGING: the inspiring person adopts the attitude "if you can't say anything positive, say nothing." This person seeks to encourage others and build them up. They have no problem being a cheerleader to others. 

LISTENS: she takes the time to acknowledge people, making eye contact and validates people she's in conversation with.

ADMITS FLAWS: she accepts responsibility for her blunders and admits when she's wrong. 

AMBITIOUS: she may be highly ambitious with big dreams, or she might be ambitious about doing small assignments with gusto. She has goals and dreams, but doesn't brag about them. 


REMAINS NEUTRAL:  iIf she is offended, she handles it well secretly. She doesn't take insults to heart and she overlooks offenses. She isn't easily offended.She stays calm.

WALKS CONFIDENTLY: she is self-assured, ready for anything. 

SHARES CREDIT: she is a promoter of other people. She gives credit where it is due. She shares success. 

LIVES WITH INTEGRITY: she does what she says she is going to do. If she cannot meet a deadline or commitment, she will communicate and ensure she is replaced. She keeps her word. 

TREATS OTHERS WELL: she treats people the way she would like to be treated. She is generous and kind. 

SHARES HERSELF: she shares things that inspire her--a photo of someplace beautiful, a quote, a project...She doesn't put on one image online and another in real life. 

DOESN'T SELL: her motive for being inspiring isn't about hooking others to make a sale. She makes her caring attitude her life mission.  

These are excellent character traits to keep in mind. Of course, whether someone is actually inspired by another is up to them. Instead of asking themselves how they can become inspired by another, they look for what is wrong with the other. Here are some obstacles to why people miss inspiration. 





Well, I'm going to adopt many of the top traits with God's help and I am going to look for inspiration from others too. I don't want to be like the person described in the box. 





Friday, January 11, 2019

Inspire Others and Be Inspired

I've narrowed down my word for the year to INSPIRE and INSPIRATION, both to offer inspiration and to find it. 

It is a word that, for me, includes a sense of mission. When I think of what to post on Facebook, for instance, I want to post something that might inspire someone else.





Years ago, I joined Facebook for camaraderie. Having numerous Christian friends on Facebook, I am able to ask for prayer as needed or ask questions. Their posts often encourage my faith. I'm often inspired or re-inspired.   

MY GOAL TO INSPIRE AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS 

I've always had the gift of encouragement, so I try to use my gift to encourage others. I will often post sayings I feel will help right a person's mindset. I post copies of my artwork to encourage others to dabble in art too, or to brighten their mood especially when there is so much negativity being spewed.

There are many people who use Facebook to vent, to post political rhetoric or propaganda. There are a huge number who are only there to sell something.There are many there who post silly, vulgar, and even negative ideas. I've made my mind up that I won't do likewise. I will keep to a positive standard. I will seek to make my posts inspiring, entertaining, educational, or motivating. 

RECEIVE INSPIRATION

Joel Osteen's recent Twitter sentiment gave me a sense of relief when I read it. He suggested we don't need to go and chase after inspiration, but we can trust God to work behind the scenes and to bring inspiration our way. 


Here is Osteen's quote:

 "If you’ll keep honoring God, being your best, what God has set up will find you. You won’t have to go after it; it will come after you." Joel Osteen

But I want to add that I don't plan to be totally passive. God has also given me a process to follow. I might call it PPLF which stands for Pause, Pray, Listen, Follow. Throughout the day in 2019, I will pause, pray, listen and then follow whatever instruction I might hear. 


FINDING INSPIRATION



To FIND inspiration, I'm going to take Osteen's advice. I want to resist chasing it down. I'm going to resist hours of Internet surfing in search of inspiration and rely, instead, on God leading me to inspiration. 

I was inspired a few years ago when a Facebook friend started posting her artwork, It inspired me to return to creating art myself.  

I also joined an Art Journaling Facebook group. We were sent monthly art prompts to inspire us to create art.

We then  would scan in our work into the computer so we could upload it to the group. That experience has INSPIRED me to make printer sized artwork now so I could scan in more pieces to share.
It is more inspiring to be able to share my work with the world than keep to keep a pile of it in my basement. 

How do you feel about this word INSPIRE? 
How do you get inspired?
What inspiration has come to you that resulted in you taking action yourself?



  

Thursday, January 03, 2019

A Few Life Coaching Rules

A few years ago, I gave up taking one-on-one clients by phone. Here are a few reasons:

1. There were more requests than clients. 
2. I think some were nosy-nayers (I made up the word), people who taunted me by email to see what I'd send in reply as sometimes I'd send my pre-coaching package. 
3.There were women who wanted coaching but couldn't commit to even the consultation call.
4. There was too much time between clients to hold my interest.
5. I sometimes felt ineffective.

But the idea of life coaching isn't something I want to give up. I often think of different offers I could put out there. One is that I KNOW women need a safe place to vent, someone to bounce ideas off, another perspective, support, and so on. I'd like to be their anonymous go-to. That is, it may be unappealing for them to use someone local they may bump into where someone long-distance is easier to trust. 

But then there is the prelude--the checking each other out--the paperwork to outline the rules--obtaining payment, and so on. A lot of unpaid, time-consuming fuss. 

One day, I'll figure out the best way to go about it. 

Coach Boundary Rules 

In the meantime, I found these reminders for coaches to help them keep good boundaries in place. You may be interested in this list if your a possible client who wants to know the mind of the coach.  You may be interested in this if you're a coach or wannabe coach yourself. 

1. Your client's problems are hers. Know where to draw the line on your involvement. 
2. There are usually 2 sides to every story so don't jump to conclusions. Try to get all the facts with backup. 
3. Know when to refer. Suggest other professionals or organizations that may help, but be careful not to do all the research on these organizations for the client. 
4. When a client has a dream you want to help get off the ground, keep it her dream. Again draw the line. And let her know your line. Be her cheerleader and resist "partnerships".
5. Pray before responding to all these people, and pray for them to have peaceful resolution.
6. Remember it's God you work for.
7. Try to do the right thing.
8. Don't try to be a super hero.
9. Try not to talk shop at home.