Self Care Sunday ~ My WHY

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I had a super crazy busy stressful intense work week. By Wednesday, I could feel it taking a toll. In the afternoon walked out into the hallway break room to get a bottle of water before a meeting. When I got back to my desk, I realized I lost my phone. Since I have an Apple Watch, I can tell when my phone is within range of my watch. When I got to the break room, I could see it was near by. So I pinged it. There was a guy I didn’t know standing on the other side of room. We were both confused because we could both hear it but not see it. Then he leaned over and put his ear close to the trash can and said, “OMG, it’s in here! You threw out your iPhone!”🤣As I pulled it out of the trash he said, “Man, I don’t think I even want to know what’s going on in your world today. You threw out your iPhone and didn’t even know it! ” 🤣 Yep, I threw out a $600 iPhone and didn’t even realize it; that is how preoccupied I was with this damn job.

i-am-wonder-woman-i-wonder-where-i-left-my-16014034
After spending a whole week working very closely with my Director to give presentations to her bosses and external stakeholders, she said to me on Thursday, “Every aspect of this is hard and complicated. We just have to remember the good you are doing for the industry in the long run!”😄 It was in that moment I remembered my professional “WHY”. The reason I took the job in the first place is that ten years down the road I will be able to look back at this time and say I played a role in changing the workforce in my industry. The new programs I am working to establish will develop and change workforce in my industry for the future. I am starting it. I’ve said since day one, I only want to make a meaningful contribution. I want to make a difference. God gave me what I asked for but he never said it would be easy 🤣 He also didn’t tell me I would throw away a $600 iPhone because I was so preoccupied by the damn job but he certainly gave me what I asked for. He gave me a way to make real difference not only in my organization, not just in my “company” but in the whole damn industry. God is good.

While the situation with the phone was funny and my coworkers were cracking up, the truth is…it worried me that I did it. It’s not the first time I’ve been so preoccupied that I did something stupid since starting this job. It was a wake up call for me. I need find a new way to manage the pressure and responsibilities of this job with some self awareness. I realized by late Thursday afternoon I needed a full and complete STOP. My schedule worked out that it gave me a four day weekend. After going through my emails and tasks, guess what, everything can wait four days. I am taking a break and completely disconnecting. Friday is my errand, shopping day. I spent today, Saturday, in Philly with my Mom and family.  My niece brought her pitbull over for a visit.  He’s ‘s 65lbs and sitting on my lap. I was covered in dog hair when I left.  I will most likely sleep in on Sunday and not sure after that. I would like to go hiking if the weather is cooperative and Monday I am hoping to have lunch with friends. If I am going to thrive in the next crazy year and maintain holistic wellness and balance, I am going to need to find chunks of time like this weekend to completely disconnect from work and focus on the other aspects of my life.  My job isn’t going to love and care for my body and my soul; that’s my job.

love job

One part of me wants to surrender and go back to an easy job.  That is my ego…My ego is being stripped down in this job because every day I have to swim a little harder, learn a little faster, make decisions without a lot of information and then go defend them 🤣 I am way outside of the comfort zone and operating on level higher than I ever imagined I would be operating when I accepted this job.  Thank God my brain is hardwired to be strategic and thank God I strengthened my intuition in recent years because so far, I’ve made good decisions. I also know my limit. I know when a decision is above me.  I am good about building relationships and I am inclusive. I look for the right folks to include or give counsel along the way. Seriously, I talk more in this job than I ever talked in any job. It’s exhausting🤣

One thing is for sure…the ego and emotions have no place in making strategic decisions that will affect my career in the long term. My ego wants to protect me. It wants me to keep doing what I am good at and what is easy with no room for failure but my soul knows I am where I am meant to be – success or failure – it will be my lesson. The key is for me to practice non-attachment to how I think it will play out and just do my best and let it unfold organically.  Whatever happens is for my highest good. Everything is always working out for my highest good even if it works out differently than I expected.

I also reconnected with personal WHY – GROWTH! I wanted potential for long term diversified growth opportunities in my future. I am in the right place for this now. Getting back to my WHY cleared up all the confusion and uncertainity I was having.

What’s your why

Every choice, every decision has a lesson in it. This one is teaching me patience. It’s also teaching me to TRUST to my intuition and use strategic thinking to evaluate choices instead of my ego. I can’t be reactive and emotional with this decision.

What’s You’re Why?  Have you reconnected with it recently?  Sit with yourself long enough to observe if your ego or emotions are driving your decisions. Can you practice non-attachment? Can you consider strategically aligning your choice with what you want in the future rather than reacting to the demands of your ego or attachments of your emotions? Seems to be working for me 😊✨  Ripped-paper-with-written-on-it-Whats-your-why--1024x683

I offer the below Loving Kindness Prayer for the Kurdish people in Syria and all American Armed Forces affected by the actions of POTUS.  He’s golfing while massacres are occurring.  He’s golfing while ISIS is being let free. He’s golfing while US forces are getting hit.  This scares me.  What will the retaliation be?  What demon has he unleashed into the world.  I hope he not only goes down but I hope every Republican supporting him and protecting him goes down with him.  Money and power should never come before human life.

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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What’s My WHY

What’s My Why

As I sit in professional limbo, I know one thing is for sure…I refuse to make an ego-based or an emotional decision✊

The ego and emotions have no place in making a strategic decision that will affect my career in the long term. My ego would jump at a promotion as a trophy while my emotions would pull me back to my old group/job because they feel like home. The key is for me to practice non-attachment to any outcome as I explore options and let things play out a little bit longer. I just need to steady my nerves to do this 😂 Whatever is for my highest good will rise up in my soul once I detach my emotions and ego from decision making process. Everything is always working out for my highest good even if it works out differently than I expected.

Every conversation I’ve had about this just muddied the water for me even more. I was getting myself confused because I never been one to follow external guidance. I now trust my own inner guidance system more for decisions that affect my life. I was in information and emotional overload which was making the choice more complicated.

Feeling conflicted and confused, I jumped into a hot shower last night. As the hot water pounded on my tight neck & shoulder muscles, I asked myself “What’s My WHY?”

My WHY is GROWTH. Growth is my word! I want potential for long term diversified growth opportunities in my future. This decision isn’t just about what I want to do today; it’s about how I want to position myself for long term growth in the future. Getting back to my WHY cleared up all the confusion and uncertainity I was having. The choice became clear! By the end of the night, I was relaxed and felt like the heaviness lifted.

What’s your why

For now, I need to see how the ball I put into motion plays out first; they advised I they should have a decision within two weeks (if not sooner). There are variables at play and I still feel I did the right thing. I just need to wait and see how it plays out. I also have a preferred contingency plan in place. If that goes sideways too, I still have a job to go back to 😂 It’s all good! I am ok with whatever happens because I know I lived and acted in alignment with my truth and I did what is right for the program I am representing. Wherever I end up, is where I am meant to be 😊

Every choice, every decision has a lesson in it. This one is teaching me patience. It’s also teaching me to TRUST to my intuition and use strategic thinking to evaluate choices instead of my ego. I can’t be reactive and emotional with this decision.

After all of that, I slept great last night and had a visitation dream from my deceased sister. She always comes in my dreams when I need reassurance and comfort😇✌️

If you need to make a big decision in your life, try using strategic logic to help you make the decision. Sit with yourself long enough to observe if your ego or emotions are driving your decisions. Can you practice non-attachment? Can you consider strategically aligning your choice with what you want in the future rather than reacting to the demands of your ego or attachments of your emotions? Seems to be working for me 😊✨

PS: I am feeling like a Blue Love Poem is brewing… Stop back Friday for a Blue Love note💙😊✨

Strategy

As Always – I will be including the Loving Kindness Prayer on every post going forward because I believe love can and will triump over evil. Light will prevail over darkness. I believe we need to put LOVE into the Universe. Love each other…

Remember to put a little love in the world by saying the Loving Kindness Prayer for someone special. I often like to say it for special people in my life as well for groups such as my family, friends, coworkers and all beings.

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

I claim love as my vibration for 2019.
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Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Self Care Sunday – Trust Your Gut Instinct

Gut instinct intuition

For me, Self Care has a lot to do with following and trusting my intuition. It’s not always easy to trust the small voice inside when external forces are trying to manipulate and apply pressure. It’s not always easy to remain true to myself and honor myself while others are trying to mold me into something else. Nope, It’s not always easy to be a round peg in a world of square holes. However, I learned this week that my intuition and gut instincts have been spot on lately! I learned the value of trusting that small voice even though I started to doubt myself under external pressure.

Intuition

It all started with me basically turning down a job offer this week from the group I’ve been working with over the last year. The offer was premature. There are problems and challenges in a Program I’ve been working on during the last year that are above my level of responsibility; they need to be addressed before any long term commitments on my part can be discussed. When the topic came up, I hit the breaks HARD to force the conversation.

Well, apparently folks were shocked that I didn’t jump at the permanent opportunity and I also nixed the request to extend my temporary assignment😉It’s time for me to settle into a permanent spot that is a good fit for me on all levels. This set off a series of events culminating in my DC based Acting Director traveling up to my office to talk to me in person on Thursday 😂 For the record, I have a fabulous relationship with this Acting Director. She leads from her heart. She is authentic and honest; I genuinely like and respect her. I also love her individuality; she rocks a nose-ring that looks fabulous with her Indian skin💁🏽‍♀️ My Outreach Program would not have been able to get off the ground without her. Every read-ahead briefing I sent her in the last year came back red-lined and with comments, lots of comments 😂 She challenged me and made me better. We get along very well 👍

A few minutes into our conversation she noticed I was speaking cautiously and that’s when she gave me the green light to speak openly. I explained that I couldn’t accept a job to continue in my current role because we haven’t had any discussion about the inherent challenges to the program now that the year is over. I explained how those challenges will limit any future success. I gave her detailed information on all of the “internal” challenges including a perception from LEADERS that it is only a “vanity program” for my Sponsor. I can’t ethically represent a program I feel is disingenuous and lacks authenticity unless these challenges are addressed at a level higher than me. Well…that was a lot to say 😂😂After taking a deep breathe, she knew I was speaking the truth to her. She’s been sensing the same but wasn’t sure if her perception was right. It was during our conversation we realized we both were concerned and uneasy and I was looking out for her by slowing things down…She wants to rethink things a bit. I walked her to the van waiting to pick her up. When we hugged, she whispered in my ear that she still wants me to work for her and said our conversation isn’t over yet😂😂😂

All I am saying is that if I didn’t listen to my intuition, I could have gotten myself stuck in a program that has a hard road to future success. I would have also been stuck doing “transactional” financial work that I don’t really enjoy. Lastly, I would have been setting her up for a potential failure too. That doesn’t mean she won’t find a path to success; something could change. I actually wouldn’t mind Budget Formulation work because it is more strategic in nature but I am not interested in “approving” transactions every day for living. Nope, no thanks! Now some would say I should have leveraged this offer to get something in my old group before returning. That felt disingenuous to me. I had absolutely no intention of pursuing the opportunity the way it was presented. If my bluff was called, I would have been screwed. There was no reason to play that game with people I actually like. If the other group comes back with an offer that I would seriously consider pursuing, then I will contact my boss before accepting and have a authentic conversation. I am not a game player😉

On the other side of things, I actually feel good about going back to my old group too. I realized that I was just burnt out when I left them a year ago. I shut down to all conversations and wanted to take a break from them because I was exhausted and burnt out. I am refreshed now. I am also better at enforcing boundaries and taking care of myself now. I recognize that I need to speak up when I am approaching burn out. The problem was that group was in one crisis after another for a long time and I didn’t see an end to it. I took the opportunity to have a different experience and take a break from it. I had a great year and great experience but if it’s time to go back, it’s time to go back. I am looking forward to helping them again. I am just going to trust my intuition.

Intuition

I am still not sure how this all is going to work out in the coming weeks. In meantime, I’ve decided to disconnect from it for a bit. I have four day weekend from work. I am in training on Tuesday and off on Wednesday to go back to Jefferson Hospital for a follow up. Hopefully, I’ll have until next Thursday to take a break from the stress of this situation.

My other exciting news from the week is that I finally applied for Board Certification from the American Association for Drugless Practitioners. Once this done, I can call myself a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and add CHHP after my name. I can still call myself a Integrative Nutrition Health Coach but this will let me order hair and mineral tests for clients as well as state credentialing. I am also interested in taking a professional development course for Executive Coaching certification. I am still looking into this. The course I want is expensive. I am not ready to finance this just yet; nor am I ready to go back to school just yet. I need my career situation to settle down a bit before committing to that. This is all part of my plan to build up my second post-retirement career in Coaching under my own LLC while working on my first career.

ACTION
The Action this week is to spend some time tuning into your intuition. Your intuition is the small voice inside of you that often tells you to do things that are scary 😂 Your intuition is the small voice that tells when something isn’t right for you. Your intuition is the small voice that knows what is in alignment with YOUR highest good. Your intuition is what prevents you from being manipulated!

How to tune into your intuition?
✨ Trust & follow your instincts. The more you do this the stronger your intuition will be!
✨ Limit your use of alcohol and drugs. They numb your inner voice!
✨ Surround yourself with people who are positive and uplifting! Negativity is draining!
✨ Disconnect from noise & distractions. Take a break from the TV, phone and radio!
✨ Meditate and Pray. Some of my best inner wisdom comes to me while sitting in prayer!
✨ Talk to your Guides & Angels – Ask them for help. Ask them for a sign.
✨ Speak your truth even when your voice shakes!
✨ Open your Heart Chakra so you can hear the wisdom of your heart. Wear green and google “Heart Chakra”. Heart opening Mantra is below.
✨ Open your Third Eye Chakra. Wear Indigo and educate yourself on the Third Eye Chakra. Third Eye opening Mantra is below.
TRUST YOURSELF!

Chakras

Heart Chakra

Third Eye Chakra

As Always – I will be including the Loving Kindness Prayer on every post going forward because I believe love can and will triump over evil. Light will prevail over darkness. I believe we need to put LOVE into the Universe. Love each other…

Remember to put a little love in the world by saying the Loving Kindness Prayer for someone special. I often like to say it for special people in my life as well for groups such as my family, friends, coworkers and all beings.

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

I claim love as my vibration for 2019.
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Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

(C) 2018 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Self Care Sunday – Are You In The Arena?

Theodore Roosevelt quote

I am a lifelong learner. I am intellectually curious. I crave knowledge. I consider myself a student of life. I am a risk taker. As Theodore Roosevelt says, “I am in the arena”; I show up in life.

Self Care for me includes personal growth, professional development, self exploration and learning from every person I meet. Every situation I am in presents me an opportunity for deeper self awareness and knowledge. Since I am an eager “student”, I am always looking for online courses to take, lectures to attend, mentors to work with and books to read. If you’ve got something to teach me, I am willing to learn from you.

A few years ago, my boss at the time recommended I read “Your Intention Difference” by Ken Tucker, Todd Hahn and Shane Roberson. In the book, you work through exercises that help to identify reoccurring themes in your life and then associated that theme with one word. That word becomes your ID Word and represents the dominant theme in your life or it’s your Intentional Difference. My ID Word is growth. It was really enlightening to read this book and see this in myself. While I always knew I was growth oriented, I never really thought about making decisions so I intentionally put myself in situation where I could grow; it just happened. That’s an amazing piece of self awareness that has changed my life. Since reading that book, I now intentionally make choices that honor my need for growth in all areas of my life.

I changed a lot in the last few years. I’ve changed because I intentionally focused on putting myself in situations where I would have room to grow and stretch; I put myself in situation that honored the truth of who I am. For example, I returned to school to become an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach in 2017; I wanted to learn how to take better care of myself. When I interviewed for my current job, the interview panel asked “Why are you interested in this job?” I said, “Because GROWTH is my ID Word and this seems like the perfect opportunity to stretch and grow”.

Having a growth mind-set and being willing to learn from everyone has been very beneficial in my life, especially in my career. As I’ve been exposed to different people and situations, I’ve been able to learn from each person I encountered then use that knowledge in work situations. For example, a few years ago a coworker was working on redesigning websites in SharePoint. I had no idea how to use SharePoint let alone build a website it in but she needed help and was willing to teach me. I became her student and learned everything she was willing to teach me. In the last few weeks, I’ve been building a website in SharePoint using the skills she taught me. I sent the development site to a few managers for a concept review.

OH MY GOD! So much positive feedback; it blew me away. They didn’t know I could design websites and I didn’t know they need someone who understands SharePoint. My stock went up again this week😂 I am finishing the design and development in the next week or so. I demo it for our “Big Cheese” in early November and then I’ll start socializing it in staff meetings and webinars through the end of the year.

Professionally, growth and development will be my main concern as my temporary assignment at work starts to wrap up in the coming months. I am reminding myself “GROWTH” is my ID Word. I will be evaluating my professional options according to my need for growth and development. I am cautiously optimistic that my current organization is working to find a way for me to stay permanently. Things take a long time where I work so I am still waiting on the dust to settle but we have time to work thing out. The bottom line is I believe there is more room for me to stretch and grow in this organization than the one I worked in formerly but I am trying to keep my mind open. For now, I will pray God puts me where he needs me the most and I pray I am in a position where I can do the most good. I will trust everything is always working out for my highest good.

Since I deactivated Facebook 26 days ago and I have been been limiting my Twitter time, I’ve been reading more. I am now reading “Dare To Lead” from Brene Brown. I’ve read a couple of her books already and I just love her style. I love the way she talks about vulnerability and shame. I especially love how this book reflects on how leaders who are empathetic and vulnerable are actually the strongest. It’s a great read for anyone –especially leaders. If you don’t like to read, it’s also available as an audiobook.

Dare To Lead

Lastly, I suppose worrying about my stomach biopsy & the appointment at Jeff Gastro took it’s toll me the last few days. A mother of migraine hit me early Thursday morning. While I went to work on Thursday, I was in a lot of pain by the time I got home. I took the meds but it was past the point of return. I vomited all Thursday night from and pain and have been taking the meds every six hours which means I haven’t been able to leave the house or drive because they make me sleepy. I guess it’s not all bad. I’ve been enjoying reading and enjoying the rest. It finally broke Saturday afternoon.

My question this Self Care Sunday is are you in the arena or sitting on the sidelines?

I am in the arena. I like being vulnerable and taking risks. As Brene says, “If you are not also in the arena getting your ass kicked, I am NOT interested in your feedback! If you are in the arena getting your ass kicked, I am open to your feedback and insights!”

(C) 2018 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Goal Setting Formula

Smart Goals

I recently learned a helpful Goal Setting Formula/Recipe:-) I am sharing below in case anyone needs it:

I + Present Tense Action + Specific Goal + Timeframe + How it will make you feel to complete the goal

Here’s an example…

Scenario:
I needed to set a goal that I could complete on or before my last Coaching Circle for school on April 12th. In school we have a tool called the Circle of Life (see below photo). It’s broken into 12 categories. Our Coaching Circle (classes) last six weeks.

Goal:
Define what fulfillment looks like in each area of the Circle Of Life by April 12th.

Circle Of Life

Here is my goal in the formula:

I

+

Will define (present tense action)

+

What fulfillment is for myself for each category of the Circle of Life by completing 2 per week for six weeks. (specific goal)

+

I will define fulfillment for all 12 categores of the Circle of Life by April 12th. (timeframe)

+

I will feel clear. Having clarity on what fulfillment means to me in each area gives me a benchmark for comparision as well as something to strive towards. It’s a reminder of what I need be fulfilled. It’s act of self care and self love.

All together now…

I will define what fulfillment for myself for each category of the Circle of Life by completing 2 per week for six weeks. I will define fulfillment for all 12 categories of the Circle Of Life by April 12th. I will feel clear. Having clarity on what fulfillment means to me in each area gives me a benchmark for comparision as well as something to strive towards. It’s a reminder of what I need be fulfilled. It’s act of self care and self love.

How would you define fulfillment in your life?

I am a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I help clients find strategies to achieve a balance of body, mind and spirit so they can find their highest good in all aspects of their life.

(C) 2018 Linda A Long – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

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How Much Mileage Do Your Questions Get?

Open Road

Do you need to have an important conversation? Do your want to encourage an open dialogue with stakeholders? Perhaps you are a coach/mentor and want to help your clients find the answers within themselves and draw their own conclusions.

Conversation is an art. It requires a bit of finesse to relate to folks on their level and to be able to listen with focus attention as they tell their story. People open up when they feel safe. They also open up when they know you are genuinely interested in what they are saying.

High-mileage questions are an effective conversation technique to use with clients, students, employees, stakeholders or even friends. High-mileage questions are open-ended questions that allow folks to dig deeper by exploring the topic after reflection. Once folks start talking, the role of the coach is to be present and listen then ask thoughtful follow-up questions.

I use high-mileage questions in coaching calls but I also started using them in my conversations with friends and at work. I’ve noticed a better connection and more engagement with folks. Folks can tell I am genuinely interested in hearing how they are doing and not just asking “How are you” as a reflex.

Below are a few high-mileage questions to experiment with in conservations. See if you notice a difference. Observe how folks open up and perhaps even trust you enough to share more of their story, issues or concerns. In my personal experience, people seem to appreciate my willingness to listen to their story. Often times, people just want someone to slow down and listen to them. As people talk, they seem to find their own answers. I then may offer suggestions related to what came up for them.

You can use high-mileage questions in conversations with clients, students, employees or even with friends. Feel free to change them around as needed. It is also helpful to keep an intention in mind when asking the questions. For example, some questions relate to the future while others relate to the past. Here are a few to get you started:

FUTURE:
How will it be different once you have a solution?
What would be the very first sign that things are getting back on track?
What would happen if you lowered your expectations?
What would happen if you raised your expectations?
What does success look like for you?

PAST:
What is your story around…?
What would it look like if you changed your story?
What have you realized about your priorities at this time in your life?

PRESENT:
What have you realized about your priorities at this time in your life?
What is working well in your life right now?
Where do you feel stuck?

ACTION ORIENTED:
What is one small step you could take this week that you know you could
do successfully?
What would you like to achieve in this session?
What would you need in order to move forward?
If you knew you had nothing to lose, how would you act and what would
you choose?

GOALS/VALUES:
How is your current situation meeting your value requirements?
How are you stopping short of your goal?
What did you learn about yourself/your situation/your values as you
completed this exercise/goal?

PEOPLE/PLACES/THINGS
How do you feel different when you are with this person?
How’s your love life?
What does it keep you tied to?

SELF COACHING
What would you tell a friend in the same situation?
What do you think you should do?

HOW TO ENCOURAGE CLIENTS TO REACH OUT FOR SUPPORT
How can I best support you?
May I tell you what I see happening?
May I tell you what I’m hearing?
May I tell you what I’m noticing?
Would you be willing to email me your progress?
May I hold you accountable to…?

Please remember to take good care of yourself this week. Here’s a direct link to my last post on Self Care Sunday.

Self Care Sunday Post

(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

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Have You Mapped Your Mind Today?

Mind Mapping Outreach Plan

Have you tried Mind Mapping?

A Mind Map is a diagram you draw that connects your thoughts around a central idea. I learned about Mind Mapping in my Health Coach Training. I am a visual person;I find it to be a very effective tool when I am stuck on something or can’t figure something out. It also helps me think through things in a non-linear way. I then connect the dots afterwards.

The Mind Map I did today was a for an Outreach Plan I am developing for work. My brain was full of so much information and running in so many directions that I just could not get myself clear on what to do for the flow of my Outreach Plan. So, I started drawing. The photo on this post is my Mind Map from today and it is the third version of this map. The first two versions were more detailed and had proprietarily (work related) information on them. The photo on this post is a generalized stripped down version just to use as an example. While some folks get very creative and colorful with their Mind Maps, simple is ok too. You can see it helped me figure out the flow and I was able to map out my action steps by doing it.

Some folks get really creative with their Mind Maps. I do like to use color and images sometimes too but as I said, simple is ok too. If you never tried it, give it a shot. You can do it on a white board but I prefer in a notebook so I can get creative and keep it personal. I also do mine in notebooks so I can keep them with the rest of my project work. The below images give detailed information on how to Mind Map and here’s a link for your reference.

https://lifehacker.com/how-to-use-mind-maps-to-unleash-your-brains-creativity-1348869811

Mind Map

Mind Mapping

Mind Mapping is one technique you can use to manage you Holistic Wellness. Get creative – free up your brain with a Mind Map.

(C)2018 Linda A Long – Highest Good Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

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Self Care Sunday Post – Holistic Wellness

Self Care Sunday

How did you take care of your mind, body and spirit this weekend? I socialized with close friends Friday night. I walked three miles in the sunshine yesterday and today. I actually relaxed and watched TV last night too. Since I am in still in school, I had to do some homework but I did get to sleep in both days. This time of my life is a balance between self care, school and work.

I am also balancing between building my personal health coaching business and my new full time job. I spent some time this weekend strategizing for both areas. My thoughts today fall into a few different categories:

Full Time Job vs Health Coaching Quandary:

As I get closer to graduation, I am starting to think about what my Health Coaching business, Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC, looks like and what Intention I hold for it.

Intention

The reality is I have a full time job. I do not plan to quit my full time job until I am eligible to retire in 2028. It’s important that I maintain absolute professionalism and complete separation between what I do full time and my coaching business. It is also prudent for me to keep my social media accounts and website fairly clean to protect my image as my full time job is somewhat high profile. On the other hand, to build a thriving health coaching business, I need to put myself out there on social media. Do you see the quandary I am in?

After thinking about it, I’ve decided protecting my full time career takes priority over building my health coaching business on social media. I’ve accepted that most of my clients will probably come to me by word of mouth or referrals. I do have links to schedule appointments with me on this site but it will be hard to grow the business without me really putting myself out there on social media. I finally accepted that is ok.

Website Dilemmas:

Dilemma I have a couple of challenges with this site. First, I transitioned my blog to be my business site temporarily. The domain name is mapped over my WordPress Blog name. My blog has poetry and art that is a bit suggestive and is considered erotica. WordPress considers that for adult eyes only. Therefore, WordPress will not let the blog be on its home page which is now hurting my stats. It will also prevent my health coaching posts from being seen by other WordPress users.

I have a few options. I can transition off of the WordPress platform altogether. I can split the business site from the blog. I can stop worrying about stats and page views and just write.

I haven’t determined what to do as of yet. I think I may hire a website consultant for professional advice. I would prefer keeping the blog, poetry and business all together on one site. Having them all together demonstrates that I consider writing and art part of my holistic wellness. That’s authentic to who I am and honors the true spirit of my business. It also demonstrates that writing and painting, even if they are artistic and suggestive in nature, actually serve my highest good by feeding my soul and nurturing my spirit.

The way I see it is the business could be the main site with the blog being a page on the site. The blog would have it’s subscription list and URL just as it does right now. I can’t do that with my current site. I would need professional help in making that transition. I could probably figure it out but honestly I don’t want to use a whole weekend doing that for myself. I actually do not have the time to do that right now. Maybe I will have time after I graduate. For now, it’s fine the way it is. I am thinking more about the future. Since my intention is to keep the business lower profile, perhaps the way it is is good. I am looking for professional feedback. If any experts read this and have advice, please feel free to contact me.

Better Put Three Rings On It:

Binder Meme

I am standing up a new program at work. I feel like I have papers and folders all over my desk. It is making me a little crazy. I am VERY organized and seeing paper all over the place is causing me some anxiety. Lol ☺️ I use a planner at work and I love it. When I went to a meeting the other day, I had to bring the planner and like five folders with me to talk about my program. After strategizing it a bit this weekend, I am going to put together a three ring binder for my program. I will keep stuff like the Charter, Implementation Plan, Action Item list, Schools by State and other things I need as reference on a regular basis in the binder. I can take that binder to meetings with me and have everything at my fingertips.

How did you take care of yourself this weekend?

I am a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who provides guidance on Holistic Wellness approaches. Health is about more than just the food on your plate. If you would like more information about Holistic Health Coaching, please email me at Linda@highestgoodcoach.com

https://www.integrativenutrition.com

Integrative Nutrition Plate

If you are ready to discover your Highest Good , click the PayPal button below and schedule a 30 minute consultation with me:

30 Minute Health Coaching Session

Payment is for a 30 minutes Health Coaching Session over the phone or on FaceTime. Once I receive the payment, I will contact the email address provided to set up the session.

$50.00

(C)2018 Linda A Long – Highest Good Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

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Big Data Analytics – What is it, How To Protect Yourself

Big Data Privacy IssuesLet me state that I am not a techie! I am just an average person who happened to see a change in Facebook’s Newsfeed and Googled it. My search returned more information than I could digest in one sitting but over the last few weeks I’ve been reading and learning about Facebook algorithms. I also have been learning about how my data is being used by Facebook, Google, Apple and just about every other website I visit.

Facial Recognition Software

Did you see a message from Facebook recently that said Facial Recognition Software has been deployed and it’s set to OFF? Well, that’s a lie. Facebook has been using Facial Recognition Software for a long time. I’ve received Photo Tag Suggestions in Facebook for a long time. The only reason they are telling us about it now is because they were sued in other countries and European Union is cracking down on Facebook for violating the privacy of users. If you think leaving it turned off will prevent them from doing recognition on your account, you are wrong. They will find ways around it. For example, this past week women have been glamouring themselves with an app offered in Facebook Newsfeed that shows what they would like on a magazine cover. That app uses Facial Recognition Software and is helping Facebook train its algorithm. There is also another app in Facebook Newsfeed that determines Ancestry based upon your face. Here are two apps in Facebook scanning faces to train the algorithm and get your face in the database even if you haven’t turned on Facial Recognition.

My God people, wake up!!!

It really creeps me out, I deleted all of my Profile Photos. I only left my Bitmoji photo. Let’s see them recognize that? 😂 Also, I don’t take those stupid quizzes on Facebook. Those quizzes are created by companies trying to get your data to – guess what? Analyze it!

Bitmoji

Sadly, SnapChat is also a Facial Recognition Software that so many people, kids mostly, use regularly. Once your face is in that database who knows who sees it. Let’s remember the FBI uses Facial Recognition Software too.

Parents, why are you posting so many photos of your children on Social Media? Their faces will be recognized for the rest of their lives. Their right to privacy from the world is your responsibility. Is your vanity or “proud momma” moment that you broadcast to the world on Social Media more important than your child’s right to privacy? Shouldn’t children have anonymity for as long as possible? Have we created a generation addictive to selfies, fish faces, likes and followers? Do you really think only your Friends see those photos? Nope, Facebook archives them! 😂😂 WAKE UP!

Facebook Data

One of the articles I stumbled upon was about the data that Facebook stores on internet users. I downloaded my Facebook Data and was stunned and sadly disappointed. I found private conversations I had with friends in the Messenger App going back to 2013. I don’t even have them on my account anymore. I deleted them years ago but Facebook still has them in their archive and data collection. That totally creeped me out and was pretty much my last straw. I can’t delete my account. I need it for school. Unfortunately, my family is active on FB and it is also the easiest way to keep up with them. However, I will not be giving Facebook data by interacting nor will I be putting my privacy at their discretion. Below is a link to the article.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5448389/Facebook-personal-data-files-Australia-inquiry.html?ITO=1490

What is Big Data Analytics?

When you use Facebook, Google, Mobile Devices, Search Engines, Apps, etc. you create data with each search, like, photo you post and comment you make. That data is worth a lot of money to advertisers, the government, Big Pharma and manufactures. Here are examples of how you create big data:

  • I post a photo on Facebook. I tag a friend. I put a location on the photo. My friends comment. In this example, Facebook engages Facial Recogition. It gets data on my friends and myself. It knows where I’ve been so it can target my location in ads and control content in my Newsfeed with its algoritim to be geared towards my location.
  • I “like” on Facebook several business pages. By liking those pages, I give Facebook data and they can sell that information or use to again target ads towards my interests.

Not all Big Data is bad. Apple is using some of the data from Apple Health App to help healthcare. Big Pharma is also using it to make drugs. Manufacturing companies are using it to make better processes. Trust me, Big Data Engineer is the career of the future for young people. It’s in high demand and pays a lot of money! Even the government hires them!

https://www.simplilearn.com/data-science-vs-big-data-vs-data-analytics-article

Cross Tracking Websites

I see Cross Tracking as the biggest risk to our every day privacy.

Scenario: I check my Facebook Newsfeed, close Facebook and go to Google or Amazon. I search for a new pair of Yoga Pants. The next time I log into Facebook Desktop, I see ads for the same Yoga Pants I just googled and bought on Amazon. How did that happen? Cross Tracking Websites! If you are logged into Facebook on a device, it follows you to your next site using Cookies. Yep, it’s happening! Facebook isn’t the only site using it either! How to protect yourself? Wake Up!

  • Stop using the Facebook App. Log into Facebook through the Browser on your phone. I’ve been doing this for years.
  • Log out of Facebook after each use or log out before using a Search Engine. It’s a drag to enter the password each time but it’s safer.
  • If you are using Apple devices, IOS let’s you have some control. Turn off the tracking features in Safari on all devices. (See the below screenshots) – Note About Safari: if you Block All Cookies, you will not be able to log into Facebook on Safari. I tried it😊
  • If you are using Chrome, use the Incognito Tab and Change your Settings. (See the below Screenshots)

IOS Cross Site Setting

Chrome Incognito Tab

I am sure there are other tricks I haven’t discovered yet too. If anyone has any other suggestions on how to tighten up personal privacy with Social Media, please share them with me.

I am also being mindful of privacy at work too. Since my employer has a Data Retention Policy, any correspondence on a “company” device is considered their data. Therefore, I am now being careful what and how much I write to folks on “company” phones, Instant Messenger and email too. It protects everyone. Probably best to use personal phones for informal convos with my coworkers who are friends/buddies.

This post is not aimed to be anti-Facebook or anti-Big Data. Big Data can have some positive impacts on the world if the technology is used ethically. However, I am not comfortable trusting Facebook, Google or anyone else, for that matter, to be ethical with my data. If you use technology, companies collecting your data is fact of life. We can’t completely stop it. We, as users, can be smarter and safer with our privacy. The essential thing you need to do to protect your privacy is too WAKE UP and stop technology from manipulating your privacy.

Maintaining privacy is a part of my holistic wellness coaching. If you would like more information on Holistic Wellness strategies, please email: Linda@writingholistically.com or visit the Coaching Services Page of this website to book a 30 minutes phone call.

https://writingholistically.com/certified-health-coaching/

(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

Have You Checked In With Yourself Lately?

Marilyn Monroe Quote

How did you take care of yourself today?

It’s important to slow down and take a look at your life on a regular basis. Incorporating a weekly check-in with yourself to assess if you are balanced, energized and happy can go a long way to your holistic wellness.

A few weeks ago, I started a weekly check-in with myself in a few areas of my life. In work, I started a 15 minutes check-in with myself on the last day I work each week. I take 15 minutes to whiteboard or think through what I did that week and what I need to focus on the next week. That practice has been helping me prioritize and stay focused. How do you take care of yourself in work? How do you prepare for your next week? What practices do you have to help you stay focused?

As I was driving home last night, I started to do a check-in with my body. I was tired. My temporary dental crown was bothering because it’s too high. My mind was tired from working full time, learning a new job and going to school. I was feeling over scheduled. I was scheduled to be off from work today and I had two annual checkups scheduled with different doctors. I also was planning on doing some homework. Something happened while I was doing my check-in with my body. My intuition spoke up and told me that I needed to slow down. I needed a pause. I asked myself why I was pushing myself so hard in every aspect of my life. Even with making doctor appointments I was over scheduling myself just to get them done. This is what I do. I over schedule myself, push myself, work too hard and then crash. Not this time. I decided to take the pause and slow down. I called and rescheduled both doctors appointments while I was driving hands-free from my car. Neither appointment was urgent. I also made an appointment today with the dentist to get the temporary crown filed down a bit so I could chew better. Both were better choices for my body. Because I checked in with my body and paused long enough to notice I was tired, I was able to sleep late today. I could take my time moving around the house. I could rest a bit today and finish up a couple video lectures while drinking my coffee this morning. I am going back to the dentist to get the temp crown filed down today; that is good self care because my bite has been off the last few days which is aggravating my TMJ. I also wanted to do it today since I’ll have all weekend to see how it feels. My permanent crown doesn’t get put in until 3/13 so I still have ten days to go and I want to make sure I protect my jaw as much as possible. Getting it filed down will help the bite and help my jaw relax. This was good self-care. Have you checked in with you body lately?

My last week of classes at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition is April 23rd. My last exam opens on April 30th. Graduation is in New York, NY is in late May. I am in the homestretch. Starting last night and going to April 12th, I am required to participate in a weekly 90 minute Coaching Circle Conference call with 7 other students and our mentor/coach. Honestly, I was dreading the call all day yesterday. I kept thinking 90 Minutes, ugh! What will we talk about? 😂 Actually, the call was great! 90 minutes flew by. I met a few new colleagues and friends. Our coach is great. The call ended with homework. I have to establish a goal in any area of my life that I can accomplish by April 12th. It should have Action Steps and I will report on it each week. I also need to do some work in defining success for myself in every aspect of my life and writing some high mileage questions to use when I coach people. High mileage questions are questions that get people talking. Everyone already has the answers to everything they need inside of themselves. A coach just helps them find the answers within. I have some other reading to do. But, I was highly energized and happy when the call ended. It was just what I needed. Enjoying the Coaching Circle came as a pleasant surprise to me. What was good for you this week? Did anything pleasantly surprise you?

I am traveling to DC on Tuesday on a puddle jumper to meet my DC bosses and my Program’s Sponsor in person. I am also meeting with an Advocacy group that my Program’s Sponsor sits on their Board of Directors. I am looking forward to Tuesday. This new job is exactly the growth opportunity I needed. It is pushing my skills. I am comfortably uncomfortable because I am stretching but I am well with-in my skill range and no where near over my head. My ability to build partnerships is really a great benefit in this role. I have no idea where this could lead but it feels like it will lead me somewhere I belong. My new group is doing research in Big Data Analytics, CyberSecurity, New Innovations and Aviation Research. I am learning about all of these so I help form partnerships with Minority Serving Institutions to help us do this research. It’s an exciting and interesting place to work. I am so thankful I had the courage to put myself out on this limb. What are you thankful for today? What are you excited about today?

(C) 2018 Linda A. Long, Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved
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If you would like to learn more about holistic wellness or would like to schedule a 30 minutes consultation to explore if my health coaching services would be of benefit to you, I invite you to either visit the Coaching Services page of this website and or contact me directly at:

linda@writingholistically.com

Please visit my Coaching Services Page:

https://writingholistically.com/certified-health-coaching/

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