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.
img_0819

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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Friday Feeling – Gratitude

Prayer

The only words I have today are “Thank You God!”. The 35 day government shutdown is now over!

I’ve been struggling with depression since Monday. When I woke up this morning, I decided to drive up to Philly to spend the day with my Mom and Sister rather than going to a rally for Federal Workers. As someone who is an empath and highly sensitive. I absorb the feelings of others around me and being in an environment of so much stress, anger and anxiety is toxic for me. I needed TLC without any sensory overstimulation.

Empath highly sensitive Empath Self care

After helping my Mom with her Property Tax Rebate forms, she took me to Red Robin for a burger and coke. After I ordered my whole meal “Gluten Free”, the server looked at me and her eyes teared up. She told me she was just diagnosed with Celiac Disease and has gastric polyps. She just found out on Tuesday. She was overwhelmed. She told me her hair was falling out and skin was breaking out. I told her the same things happened to me before I was diagnosed Gluten Intolerant. I also told her my health greatly improved with going Gluten Free. While I am not perfect, I am better than I was and my hair grew back. I gave her some advice. I wrote some things down for her and gave her a recommendation for doctor at Jefferson Hospital. Before she walked away she said, “You have no idea how much you helped today. I was really upset this morning and you made me feel so much better. Thank you.”

After the server walked away, my Mom looked at me and said, “Now we know why you came up here instead of going to that rally. That girl needed someone today and God chose you to help her. God knows you are not happy unless you are helping someone my beautiful child!”☺️I then went to pay the bill and saw it was $22.22. Four twos! 222 is my God sign. It means, “Everything is going to be ok – right one, right place, right time!”. When I see repetitive twos I repeat my personal mantra, “Everything is always working out for my highest good!”

2222 numerology

222

Wait, there’s more… I was listening to CNN as I was driving home. It was 2:22pm and Trump was speaking. He announced he agreed to open the government for three weeks so they could work out a deal. 222 was my magical number today. Numbers are spiritual signs. If you are seeing repetitive numbers, google what they mean to unlock the code. Here’s a quick guide:

111 222 333 444 555 666 777 888 999

I have a lot of thoughts on the shutdown in general but let me sum it up with these two sentences. I do not want a President or an Administration that is not capable of feeling empathy and compassion for average American citizens and I will never again vote for a Republican – even if I know them personally.

Empathy quotes

As Always
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.
img_0819

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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Happy New Year

Art “Weaving Dreams” – Eva Ruiz, IG: @Evita1872

Happy New Year 🎆 Welcome 2019! ✨

I had a really nice and peaceful New Years Eve. I started the day with a morning mediation class with Intention on growth, abundance and hope for the new year. I recently returned to practicing yoga after breaking my foot and I did my first challenging practicing yesterday afternoon. While I still felt some resistance and tightness as I moved and my foot was sore last night, I felt good to move my body and sweat. It reminded me why I love yoga. I watched the movie “Birdbox” on Netflix early last night. It was good but I am not sure it is worth all of the fuss I’ve been hearing about it. I managed to stay up and at 11:50 I sat on my mediation cushion and meditated until 12:05 using the “Aad Gurey Nameh” mantra as my focus. I chose this mantra for my New Years Eve mediation because it opens the Heart Chakra and it offers protection and project of the Heart Chakra energies. It’s healing. It was a lovely way to end 2018 and welcome 2019.

Aad Gurey Nameh

2018 brought many changes into my life – Good healthy changes. I took a leap and tried out a new job in a temporary position. It has been a great experience. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I needed to take this leap. I needed to push myself, test myself and prove to myself that I could operate on this level. I am different now. I guess I will find some way to acceptance and probably keep looking for another opportunity to eventually leave again. I don’t hate it there. The people are all very nice but the work is just not fulfilling to me and that is what causes me the most stress. I know what career fulfillment tastes like now. I don’t want to go back to feeling uninspired.

Perhaps the biggest change happened to me spiritually and emotionally. Graduating from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach gave me the tools to make better holistic choices for myself. Taking those classes taught me how to take care of myself in all aspects of my life. It also taught me how to have patience with myself and acceptance that everything is always working out for my highest good. I am not working full time as a Health Coach but I have a LLC and continue offer pro bono counseling sessions to folks I know. It was totally worth the money I spent on tuition and the year of hard work. I am very thankful I was able to do it for myself. I hope to work full time as a Holistic Wellness Coach after I retire.

Apache prayer

2018 was a year of deep healing. Deep painful memories and experiences from my past came to the surface to be healed. In a sense it brought darkness to light so it could be transmuted. I’ve learned to forgive myself for not being strong enough in the past to allow myself to heal. I learned it’s ok to talk about what happened to me. I learned it wasn’t my fault. I’ve learned to live with sadness and pain that comes in waves of PTSD flashbacks when I think about everything I lost and gave up because I couldn’t let anyone in. I’ve learned I am worthy of love and I’ve learned men who truly care about me will respect me and my body. Blue Love had the opportunity to be just like other men in my life but he chose to not take advantage of me. I am thankful to him for that and I respect his integrity for making that choice. He taught me to trust. I do trust him with my well-being and trust his judgment. I am grateful he’s been part of my healing and my life.

2018 was the year of growth and healing for me. It was the year I found peace within. It was the year my spiritual practices deepen. It was the year I let go of what I thought I wanted. It was the year I followed the signs wherever they went and trusted my own intuition to guide me to the right choices. 2018 was the year I learned the people who are meant to be in my life, will always be in my life. It was year I truly learned to love myself and others unconditionally. I know I will look back on 2018 and remember it was the year I found my authentic voice and finally found peace within.

I am not sure what 2019 will bring. I am eager and excited. My main focus in 2019 will be on living my most authentic life. Loving myself enough to make good choices for my life and my body. Supporting those I love but not at the expense of my own happiness. In 2019 I will help heal others. I hope to set a good example. I will work for change. I will help good to triumph over evil. I will lean into 2019 with an open heart and mind. I will keep my vibration high. I will offer the Universe the vibration of love and continue to pray for Loving Kindness.

I claim love as my vibration for 2019. I wish you all a beautiful New Years.

Manifestation

Remember to put a little love in the world with the Loving Kindness Prayer

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) 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 – Holistic Balance

Chakras

I stopped drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes seven years ago November 25th. Here’s the thing… I never intended to do it. I just wasn’t feeling well. I had been vomiting and had chronic diarrhea for about 10 days; I thought I had virus. When I looked at myself in the mirror on November 25, 2011, I saw dark circles, red eyes and yellowing skin. I knew it was more than virus. I decided that day it was time to take a break as I worked with doctors towards healing; I am still on that break seven years later.

Over time I realized my body could no longer sustain the lifestyle I had been living. Drinking or smoking again was and still is not in my best interest. I tried to go out with friends on Friday nights. I drank club soda or Diet Coke but I just wasn’t comfortable in that environment anymore. The noise in the bars really bothered me. I came home agitated. My drunk friends annoyed me. I was uncomfortable. I didn’t know where I belonged anymore. I felt out of place everywhere. It was a hard time.

This time not only tested my body but it also tested all of my relationships. I distanced myself from a lot of people during that time for the sake of my well-being. With no other place to turn, I leaned hard into my faith. My rock solid faith became the rock I stood on during those hard times. One Friday night as I was driving home from work in 2012 I decided to cancel my happy hour plans and go to a yoga class instead. That was the defining moment and the beginning of the new life I have now. Once I detached myself a bit I could finally see things clearly. I knew God was making me uncomfortable so I would let go of a life that no longer served my highest good.

Today, I live on the beach. I have a great day job. I am also a holistic wellness coach and Reiki Master. I am able to help others with my abundance. I am finally comfortable in my own skin and living a life that is authentically mine. I am the best Linda I’ve ever been. I believe none of the wonderful things that happened in my life in the last seven years would have happened if I was still going to happy hour every Friday and living that party girl lifestyle. Once I let go, God gave me a new life that is so much better than the one I settled for all of those years. God wanted more for me than I ever thought possible for myself.

Holistic wellness encompasses more than just your physical health. It’s about the connection between the trinity of body, mind and spirit. Often times we try to fix one aspect of our lives without realizing all three are intertwined; choices impact all three aspects of our being. For example, our physical health can impact our ability to work and our relationships which could eventually impact our emotional and spiritual being. To successfully navigate a major life change, it’s important to address the needs of body, mind and spirit as a whole. As you take care of your physical body, also look after your mental well-being and your spiritual needs.

A few suggestions

Meditation, affirmations, mantras and prayer

Mediation, affirmations, mantras and prayer are great ways to reduce anxiety and also quiet the mind. Slowing the mind down benefits the spiritual being and allows us to hear our intuition and inner wisdom. My favorite mantra is “everything is always working out for my highest good!” I say this quietly throughout the day. Feel free to use it too.

If you are interested in learning how to meditate, please check out my friend Laura’s Udemy Course “The Foundation Skills for a Meditation Practice”. It’s only $9.99 for a few more days. Laura is a personal friend of mine; she is an Occupational Therapist and a fantastic yoga teacher.

Udemy

[https://www.udemy.com/share/100G6bCEofcVhaQQ==/]

Breath observation

Breath Observation is a quick effective way to slow down the mind. Sit for five minutes with eyes closed and observe your breath as it rolls in and rolls out. Don’t try to control the breath; just observe it. Don’t worry about your thoughts. Just sit in silence and observe your breath come in and go out. Observing the breath with closed eyes is a basic form of meditation; it can be practiced whenever you need to center yourself.

RAM Meditation

Reiki is the movement of Energy through the body. The body has seven Chakra Centers (Energy Centers) along the vertebrae. The Manipura Chakra (Sanskrit name) is the Solar Plexus Chakra and is located in the abdomen region. Manipura is believed to be the seat of our personal power and authenticity. It’s the fire in the belly! It is represented by the color Yellow. I have a tendancity to burn a little too hot in this region; I am a DOER! This is manifested in my chronic gastro issues. It’s my challenge to learn how to balance Manipura Energy. Having a fire in the belly is good unless you burnout 😊 If you would like to work on tapping into your personal power or need to balance Manipura Energy also, sit for five minutes with eyes closed and chant RAM – pronounced “R-AUM”! The sound vibration of R-AUM resonants with the Solar Plexus and helps to bring energy into balance.

I plan to write more about Reiki, Chakras and Energy movement in future blogs. For those who are interested learning a more Sanskrit mantras, see the below 21 minutes video of Sanskrit chakra mantras including RAM.

Enjoy Self Care Sunday and consider practicing with mantras, breath observation or the RAM Chant 🙂

Chakras

(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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Thanks & Giving Prayer

Art woman praying Dorina CostrasArt by: Dorina Costras at http://www.saatchiart.com

Thanks and Giving Prayer

Dear God
On this Thanksgiving Eve
I say thank you for
Saving my life
Thank you for
Helping my body to heal
Thank you for
Helping me find peace
Through adversity and hardship
Thank you for
Teaching me the value of
Authenticity
Thank you for
Helping me to
Lean into compassion and empathy

Thank you for
The people who love me
Their support nourishes me
Through hard times
Thank you for
My haters and critics
They have made me stronger
And more resilient
Thank you for the
Love
Deep, Profound
Unconditional love
For all beings
That fills my heart and
Illuminates my soul
Thank you for
The abundance and blessings
You’ve given me
I have more than enough and
I’ve answered your call
To share and serve
It is from this place
Gratitude
I humbly say thank you
On this very special day
Of Thanks and Giving

I ask for your continued
Blessings to help me
Spread the light
And Shine love
Into the hearts
Of every soul
I touch in this world
Use me
Holy Spirit
Use me
To be a vessel of your peace
Use me
To spread love instead of fear
Fortify me with
Courage to stand my ground
Against negative forces
Strengthen me to
Move beyond
My own personal
Heartaches and challenges
To be a light in this dark world

I ask you
Holy Spirit
To Illuminate
Blue Love’s heart
With the light of love
From my soul
And inspire him
To believe in love
And trust in
Our friendship and connection
Dear God
It is in your light
I shine the brightest
On this day of
Thanks and Giving
I offer my thanks
And I commit
To giving my love
Light to the world
Amen

(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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NOTE:

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I wanted to say thanks to God, Holy Spirit and the Universe for blessing me in so many ways. Poetry is how I express what is in my heart so it seemed natural for me say thanks with a poem.

Here’s an update on my treatment for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. As you may recall, I had four biopsies done on my stomach. They came back a suspicious and my local doctor was concerned that precancer reoccurred. Thankfully, it was not precancerous. While I will have to be monitored by my doc at Jeff going forward because I am now high risk for Stomach and Colon Cancer, I am grateful this time around it was just Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth and Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency. I just finished 14 days of Doxycycline antibiotic to kill of the bacteria in my gut. It appears to have worked. I no longer have diarrhea, stomach cramps and intense bloating. My doc at Jeff has an App and told me to message him when I finished the first 14 day of antibotic. He messaged me back yesterday. I love it’s so easy to communicate with one of Philly’s Top Docs and an instructor at Jeff Medical School:-) He told me to not to refill the antibiotic but to switch to a probiotic every day and digestive enzymes with larger meals until I see him again in mid January. He suggested I use Align Probiotic available at CVS. He recommends it to everyone who has IBS. He said it’s very effective and He wants me to take one daily going forward. While I am not feeling fantastic yet because we had to use a cheaper systemic antibiotic that came with side effects which are still bothering me, I am so very thankful for this opportunity to heal, learn, share information with others and serve the world with my story.

As I’ve dialed back the noise in my life in recent months, I’ve enjoyed more peace in my mind and body. I’ve learned that I am truly very sensitive to over-stimulation. I need quiet time. I need soft lighting and I need to limit my screen time. Praying, using mantras and affirmations bring me peace. Dialing back my use of Social Media has been good too. While part of me misses Facebook a little, for the connectivity, I just feel less toxic and triggered without it. I am better off without it. Facebook now creeps me out. I am off until they make it a safer less toxic envirnoment. I am still on Instagram and Twitter mostly becauses neither asks for much personal information and I’ve greatly reduced my usage and engagement. Social media is definitely over-stimulating.

If you would have told me ten years ago that I would live in a condo the beach, have a great job, be an Holistic Wellness Coach, be an active supporter of the local Homeless shelter and soon be celebrating seven years alcohol and cigarette free, I would have laughed out loud for sure. I never would have thought this is where I would end or this is what God had planned for me. But, I believe God has plans for us that are bigger than our own. I’ve learned my job isn’t to make it happen. My job is listen to my intuition, follow my inner wisdom and go where I am called. I am living a life I was called to live and for that I say thanks and give back in return.

For Thanksgiving this year, I made Gluten Free Crock Pot Mac & Cheese with a new recipe I found online. O-M-G! It is so damn good 🙌 I put some aside for myself for when I get back home. (Mac & Cheese is my comfort food) 🥘 I am also taking couple desserts. I am looking forward to staying over night with my Mom. I wish you all a lovely Thanksgiving.

Self Care Sunday – Willingness & Ability

Art

One of my spiritual mentors recently taught me that for someone to grow, spiritually or otherwise, they need to have – Willingness and Ability. Willingness and ability also are needed for any relationship to be successful. I’ve been thinking about willingness and ability in recent weeks. So what does willingness and ability mean?

Willingness – means being willing to do the hard work. To grow we must be willing to expand our consciousness and allow room for change. Being willing means showing up; it means opening our awareness and at times seeing things in ourselves we don’t always like. Being willing to grow and change harkens back to our “free will”. God/Spirit will never violate free will. We must choose to grow and change freely. Once we say yes, God/Spirit will direct us to growth opportunities.

So how do you say yes to growth and change? How do you let spirit know you are willing to grow and show up spiritually? It’s very simple. Establish a one on one direct connection with your higher power through daily conversation and prayer. It doesn’t have to be anything formal or complicated. You don’t have to go to church to talk to God or Spirit. Just talk to God throughout the day. You just need to trust your prayers are being heard; let your faith support you as you move through the challenges of every day life.

Willingness means we are ready to do the work in life and show up for the hard stuff. To grow you have to be willing to change and grow. We also have to be willing to let go of who we thought we were going to be so we can be who we are NOW called to be. As our consciousness expands, our needs will change and our relationships may change as well. As for myself, I ended relationships that were no longer aligned with my highest good and I distanced myself from folks who were disingenuous towards me. As I became more rooted in authenticity and became more self aware, my intuition became clearer. It was easier to see the folks in my life (including coworkers) who were using me. I am better and stronger for making the hard choices and protecting my energy.

The other part of the spiritual growth equation is — Ability. Does someone have the ability to grow? This one is a bit stickier. To grow spiritually, you have to be able to live in faith. Living in faith means you do not always have concrete proof. Do we have the ability to offer compassion and empathy to others? Is our mind open enough to allow for exploration of higher consciousness. Is our mind and heart open to love and differing opinions? Can we accept our failures? Do we hold ourselves accountable for our wrong doings? Can we apologize when we hurt others? The ability to grow spiritually means having emotional maturity and keeping an open mind and heart.

I demonstrate willingness and ability by praying and talking to God throughout the day. More often than not, my conversations with God are just off the cuff as I go through my day. I talk to God while I drive, as I walk, while work, etc… Talking to God/Spirit is just part of my every day life. I also use a few other spiritual practices to ground me:

I use mantras. Remember Seinfeld “Serenity Now”? Serenity Now was actually a mantra. Mantras are words, sounds or phrases that are used to calm the mind and bring peace. It can be anything that brings you peace. My go-to mantra is “Everything is always working out for my highest good!” Another manta I use is Aad Guray Nameh (see below). Aad Gurey Nameh is a Sanskrit Mantra and it is especially effective in opening the Heart Chakra and balancing Heart energies. It’s known to protect and project Heart Chakra Energy. This is my go-to Heart Opener. I say it three times in a row whenever I need to soothe myself or need to open/balance my heart. It’s also good to say this three times just before going into a big meeting, driving in traffic or just when you need a little extra protection. If this mantra does not work for you, find your own word or mantra that you can recite during times of stress and discomfort.

Aad Gurey Nameh

I use Affirmations. I usually start all of my affirmations with “I am so happy and grateful now that I _____”. You fill in the blank with your wish or desire. When you use this affirmation, speak as if it already happened. For example, I wanted to move into a condo on the beach in the fall of 2013. I started saying this affirmation everyday in October 2013, “I am happy and grateful now that I live in a condo on the beach”. I moved into my condo on the beach in January 2014. Make your affirmation personal and say it throughout the day.

Affirmation

I use numbers. I believe in Numerology. I believe numbers have meanings. I am especially mindful of 11:11 and any other repetitive number sequence. When I see 111 or 11:11, I set an intention or say my affirmations. When I see 222, I say “everything is always working out for my highest good. The love I give is returned.” 2s are symbolic of LOVE for me. I often see 333s and 444s after I pray. That’s may sign that my prayers were heard.

We don’t always get what we pray for. If we believe everything is always working out for our highest good, then we should take comfort in knowing that what is meant to be will be. Sometimes life sucks. I’ve trained myself to focus on “Everything is always working out for my highest good”. This gives me comfort through challenging times.

Repeating Numbers

Numerology

As for myself, I choose to believe in “The Spirit in the Sky”. Having faith in a higher power, praying to angels, saints and spirit guides and maintaining a spiritual practice gives me strength. Leaning into the uncomfortableness with the support of my faith makes me stronger.

My question today is do you have willingness and ability for spiritual growth? If the answer is YES, open your heart and God will bring you opportunities to grow. Lean into those around you who are grounded spiritually. Remember – just because someone goes to church every Sunday doesn’t mean they are spiritually awakened. There’s a difference. Spiritual awakening is more about keeping your heart and mind open so that you can hear your intuition guide you than it is about showing up at Mass on time and confessing your sins.

A note about Soul Mates, Soul Mates are deep spiritual connections. They can be romantic but can also be with friends, family, parents. If you have a Soul Mate who is in your life, take comfort in your connection. It’s a special connection sent to you by God to support your growth. Lean into your Soul Mate for support, friendship and unconditional love 💙

The new spiritual book I am reading is “Deep and Simple; A Spiritual Path for Modern Times” by Lozoff. This book is meant to be a simple guide to changing your life by having a daily spiritual practice, living simply and dedicating yourself to being of service. I heard about the book while watching the documentary about Mr. Rogers “Mr. Rogers :& Me: A Deep & Simple Documentary). “Deep & Simple” was one of his favorite books. I think I watched the documentary on Amazon Prime.

Deep & Simple Lozoff

—————

As an update on my a previous post, my doc couldn’t get the super expensive RX for SIBO covered under my insurance. Instead we are using a low dose of a systemic antibiotic (Doxycycline) for 14 to 28 days that has been shown to be effective plus Digestive Enzymes. The good news is, it was covered under my insurance and will probably help my Rosacea too. The bad news it is a systemic antibiotic. This means it’s giving me a headache, making me tired and my stomach is VERY upset. My doctor said that should all pass in a couple of days. I hope it passes by Tuesday. I have to fly on a little puddle jumper plane on Tuesday. That plane can make my stomach turn even on a good day 😂😂 I am keeping my eye on the weather. There’s a chance we won’t fly if the weather is too windy anyway. That would be a bummer since I have been looking forward to my one to one with my organizational administrator. The affirmation I am currently using for my career is…I am happy and grateful now that I am a permanent employee of ______ 😊😊💙

I chose this song because I love Ol’ Blue Eyes & this song was actually playing in my dreams. i😊I woke up singing it 😂😂 I think Spirit was trying to tell me something 😉

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Self Care Sunday – Empathy & Vulnerability

Brene Brown quote

I woke up Saturday morning ready to rumble 😂 Seriously, I was looking for someone to fight 😂 This week has been frustrating. I am embarrassed to admit my jaw has been clenched so much it was almost on locked down by Saturday Afternoon😂 So here’s what was driving me crazy this week.

I was diagnosed with Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) with IBS-D and Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency on October 24th. My doctor prescribed an antibiotic that has to be made at a compounding pharmacy. He wants me to take this particular antibiotic because it stays in the bowel and doesn’t have any systemic side affects. It’s not absorbed into the blood stream. Without insurance it would cost $2,100 for 14 days. I need it for 28 days. It needed to be approved by the Insurance company before it was filled. It took over a week and five phone calls to the specialty pharmacy, doctor and insurance to find out the prescription was denied by my insurance and is now in the appeals process. I still don’t know what’s going to happen with it. Meanwhile, I’m not paying $4k for a prescription and I am still symptomatic. I am in limbo. It frustrating and uncomfortable. I finally got an answer to what is wrong with my tummy but I may not be able to get the thing that could help fix it. I could get a surgery covered under insurance but not this drug. I am hoping my doctor can do something about it. 🤞I will say the Low FODMAP Diet is already helping but I am missing my Avocados and Apples 🍎 ☹️

Next, I need a special certification at work for one potential opportunity I’ve been exploring. To get the certification I need to take a training class that is not offered very often. I managed to find a virtual class for next week and I am 4th on the waitlist. I called to find out if they could squeeze me in. They said the course is capped and they won’t know until Monday if they can fit me in. I can’t understand why course administration can’t fit four more people into a virtual class that is offered company wide on such a limited basis. Sounds simple, right? It’s not! I have to wait until Monday to find out if I got into the class. If I do get into it, I have to cancel a work road trip with coworkers to Hampton University in Hampton Va that is scheduled for Wednesday & Thursday. I may not want to drive that far with my coworkers while having these tummy issue anyway; my boss is good with whatever I choose to do ☺️ The good news I found out on Friday they can get a “Training Waiver” for one year for me to complete the class. If I don’t get into the class this week, it won’t hold me back from the opportunity.

By far my biggest frustration this week is a heat valve in my bedroom that is broken. It won’t turn off! 🔥🔥It’s close to 90 degrees in my bedroom! I reported it last Sunday. I was on the list and got bumped twice this week which almost made me lose my mind when I found it out last night. I work all day and haven’t been able to go downstairs to complain every day like everyone else has done. The maintenance guy wanted to fix it today but the property manager would not let him do work on a Saturday. So, it won’t be done until Tuesday. Meanwhile, I have windows open, I am not sleeping and I’ve had a headache for a week. Yep, this one has my jaw good and locked up with tension 🤬

Remember I said I wanted to rumble with someone? Well, I planted myself in the lobby of my building on Saturday afternoon. I was stalking the Property Manager and waiting for her to come out of a Board Meeting. I waited 90 minutes while reading a book on my phone. The whole time I was stewing. I saw her and for a moment I almost felt sorry for her, I was about to destroy her for bumping me. She invited me into her office. I sat down and started to give her an earful. She was defensive and dismissive. The story I was telling myself was she didn’t care and my discomfort didn’t matter to her. My perception of her lack of empathy was totally ratcheting my crazy up. Just before my crazy reached DEFCON FIVE which would have involved me possibly jumping across the desk at her, Brene Brown flashed in my mind.

Rumble Definition by Brene Brown

I am reading “Dare to Lead” by Brene Brown. In her book, Brene talks a lot about “rumbling” and how use vulnerability and empath as tools during a rumble. That’s when I pulled back and decided to try another tactic. I then told the Property Manager I was expecting her to show some empathy for the situation and understand how it was impacting me instead it seemed like she immediately armored up and got defensive. I then apologize and said, “If it came across to you that I was attacking you or blaming you for my situation, I am sorry. It’s not your fault. I just haven’t been sleeping and I have a headache. It’s hard to sleep in 90 degrees even with the windows open….I can empathize with you and imagine people yell at you all day for their problems. That has to be hard and I don’t want to do that to you. I am sorry” As I was talking, her eyes started to swell up with tears and she said, “Everything in this building is my fault and people yell at me all day long.” This woman was now crying in front of me. Great job Linda. “You successfully made someone cry today” is all I thought. But, I had one redeeming thought… I didn’t make her cry because I yelled at her. I made her cry when I showed my vulnerability and expressed empathy towards her. She was crying because I understood how she was feeling. Then she explained to me in order to fix my heat valve they have to turn off the steam boiler for the whole complex. She told me it is not good for a steam boiler to be turned on and off every day. It has to be planned out so four or five of them can be done on the same day. She apologize I was bumped from this week but said they can do it on Tuesday; I will be first on the list. People keep asking me why I don’t want to buy in my building. Well, it’s an old building with issues and the Condo Association has had a reassessment every year. It might be cheap to buy but the maintenance isn’t cheap. My unit needs work. I am taking a pictures and sending to the landlord.

So, I walked away from my rumble today with mixed results. My heat valve still isn’t getting fixed until Tuesday but I am now officially the first on the list that morning. They promised me I would not be bumped again but I don’t trust that so I am planning to call them at 8:30am Tuesday to make sure they stick to plan 😂😂 I already set a calendar reminder on my phone 😂 In my rumble today someone cried…it wasn’t me 😂 She cried because I showed her compassion and empathy. She cried because I opened myself up to her. She cried because I was vulnerable and that made her comfortable enough to take off her amour. I am not sure I technically won today’s rumble — not at least how I envisioned winning. But I was a good human being who cared about another person’s feelings and had the self awareness to use a more compassionate tool during the rumble. Some would call that winning.

This is why I read books. If I wasn’t reading Brene Brown’s book right now and if I hadn’t decided to use one of the Rumble Tools in the book, how would that conversation (rumble) been different? I think we would have both walked away angry without understanding each other. I think she would have felt attacked and I would have eventually felt shitty self righteousness for taking her down without any regards to her feelings. But the question is, is that really the person I want to be in this world. Do I really want to be a bully or shitty and self righteous? Do I really want to “win” at all costs – no matter how people perceive me or how I perceive myself. No, I am grateful I was self aware enough that in that moment I pulled back and switch to a more wholehearted approach. It is possible to maintain boundaries, be assertive while also be vulnerable, empathetic and aware of how our actions and words affect others.

In the meantime, I am hoping for nice weather until Tuesday so I can keep the windows open otherwise it will be like the tropics in my condo 😂 I will end this post by trying to ground myself in gratitude. I am grateful for:

    I finally know what is wrong with my tummy and hopefully a treatment will be on it’s way soon
    I have a good job. I’ve had a great time in my temporary assignment this year and learned a lot. I am hopeful the irons I have in the fire will manifest another great growth opportunity in the coming weeks.
    My heart is overflowing with love this week.
    With my windows open, I can hear the ocean while I am in bed 😂😂
    I can see the beach from my window😂😂
    I took a migraine medicine today. It substantially reduced the TMJ pain and isn’t making me sleepy or tired. That’s when I know it was tension that had me jacked up 😂
    I am reading a few good books instead of wasting time on Social Media
    I am living wholeheartedly

Are you ready to rumble? How do you react when things aren’t going as smooth as you would like? Does your crazy get to DEFCON FIVE or do you have the self awareness to pull yourself back? Most importantly, are you living WHOLEHEARTEDLY? 💙

Guidepost for Wholehearted Living by Brene Brown

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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!”

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Self Care Sunday – Overstimulation is my Kryptonite

Rumi quote

I am highly sensitive and an Empath. My intuition is super charged. I can feel the heaviness of emotions around me. I am empathize to the point I take on another’s pain. I can tune into another’s heartbreak until I become incapacitated. I can feel the sadness of those around me. It’s a gift and burden. I’ve been this way since I was a little girl. People have always commented about how sensitive I was. My family used to tease me about my sensitivity until I would be in tears. I learned to hide it as I got older until I was eventually old enough to self medicate it with wine and beer.

In recent years, I’ve learned how to manage my sensitivities and embrace the gifts God gave me with good self care practices. I’ve also learned OVERSTIMULATION is my Kryptonite 🤢 Actually, it’s Kryptonite to anyone who is sensitive and empathetic. I’ve found inner peace, harmony and balance can only be found by managing external sensory stimulation.

So what is overstimulation? Overstimulation means too much sensory stimulation from lights, sounds, people, etc. It can include loud music, incessant talking, chaotic environments including work environments, bright white lights, perfumes and scents, too much screen time, too much TV especially NEWS, too much socialization, big parties and social events, not enough sleep, not enough alone time and stress even good stress can be over stimulating. When I am overstimulated, I become snarky, agitated, emotional, controlling and stressed out. When I am overstimulated, I clench my jaw subconsciously. When I am overstimulated, I worry and obsess. If I continue to be overstimulated for too long, I become depressed and can get sick.

I’ve learned as someone who is highly sensitive and empathetic it’s necessary for me practice good self care by giving myself plenty of alone time to recharge. I’ve learned to control how much TV I watch. I’ve learned to opt for quiet music instead of loud music. I’ve learned to stay in bed a little longer and to rest. I’ve learned to use soft lighting in my home and I’ve learned to be selective with whom I socialize and which social events I attend. My biggest overstimulation trigger was revealed to me a few weeks ago and it’s rocking my world.

I deactivated my Facebook account 18 days ago. 18 days ago I stopped using Instagram every day. 18 days ago I started limiting how much time I spend on Twitter. 18 days ago I took control of my Social Media habit and in doing so I realized Social Media was huge trigger of overstimulation for me. I also realized it’s an addiction. The first few days without Facebook were like detox. I kept wanted to go back but I held out. The first few days, I wanted a fix. I held out. I got through it and now, I am calmer and less keyed up because of it. Not only I am not triggered by what I see on Social Media but I’ve also greatly reduced my screen time. I’m sleeping better too.

The biggest benefit to my Social Media withdrawal is that I have more time back in my hands. I am back to reading books before going to bed instead of having my face buried in my phone. I now turn my phone off more often when I am writing or listening to music. I even started watching some shows that partial subtitles and I enjoy it. Something about watching a show with some subtitles makes me pay attention to it more which means I can’t look at my phone. It’s actually pretty relaxing. I am not sure how I feel about Facebook anymore. I am going to go 30 days without it and see how I feel about it then but I am thinking I am just going to leave it deactivated. I actually don’t think it was good for me. I also greatly reduced my time on Twitter too. I am actually happier and more relaxed without all of that noise in my life.

As I sit in my quiet room under warm blanket on a Saturday night writing this blog on my iPad Pro by the soft warm light of my Pink Himalayan Salt Lamp, I am thankful for the wisdom life has given me. I now write on Saturday nights and schedule my posts to go live at 6:00am on Sunday mornings. I am grateful I learned how to shut out the noise and tune into my inner knowledge. It’s been helping me manage my thoughts and stay calm in stressful situations. Sitting in silence is often the only way we can hear our own truth. My soul talks to me in these quiet moments. When does your soul talk to you?

SELF CARE CHALLENGE: Are you up for it? Deactivate Facebook for seven days. If you make it for seven days, go for 30 days. See if you are as addicted and overstimulated as I was.

Other updates, I had another great work week. I am designing a website for my Program and I got some good news about one of my projects that was stuck in our Legal department. I gave another successful presentation to leadership on Thursday which was fun. I enjoyed it. This has been such a great professional experience for me. It’s allowed me to really work to my skill level, use all of strengths and grow at the same time. With regards to my tummy troubles, my appointment with the Jeff Gastro is Wednesday. My local docs say Dr. Michael DiMarino at Jeff Gastro is worth the wait and he is supposedly an excellent diagnostician. I am looking forward to getting some answers and relief. While the pain isn’t horrible every day, it’s definitely not going away and hasn’t gotten better. It may even be a little worse. The waves of nausea that come on suddenly followed by a few other symptoms are uncomfortable. I pray for courage, strength and healing.

Staying tune to my hippie soul, I chose Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young for the music on this post this week. Their music speaks to my soul. I love their harmony. “Carry On” is one of my favs from them because it’s about Love. When the melody changes in the middle, is usually when I feel the need to dance, be free like a flower child and wish I still “smoked” 😂 I might need a medical script 😇 😂 I digress… in my opinion, “Deja Vu” is one of the BEST ALBUMS of all time by any artist – hands down! I also attached a link to a “Legends” VH1 documentary about them.

Music Deja Vu, CSNY

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Self Care Sunday – How do you define success?

Art

On this Self Care Sunday I want to discuss Career. Career is the one of the four areas of life that Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches call “Primary Food”. Career satisfaction can affect your overall happiness and it also can affect your health and relationships. It’s important to step back and evaluate career satisfaction from time to time. If you are manager, I would recommend encouraging your employees to do this too.

For me, it’s so easy for me to get caught up in constant movement. As a “do-er”, I check my boxes off and claim my productivity by accomplishments and goals achieved. In a recent professional experience, things didn’t work out quiet the way I thought they were going to. I was not going to be able to achieve the goal I had set for myself which was causing me some anxiety and making me doubt myself a bit. Being trapped in my own definition of success was undermining my enthusiasm for the work I am doing and I was starting to feel a bit deflated.

I traveled to DC to give a briefing to senior leadership on Tuesday morning. In the briefing, I discussed my honest assessment of the program I am working on and its future if it remains supported the way it stands today. As I spoke, I was careful to be confident while also be truthful about my observations of the challenges and opportunities.

As I spoke, the conversation and energy in the room shifted and became supportive even nurturing. That’s when we realized that my definition of success was different from senior leadership’s definition of success. Leadership already viewed me and my Program as successful while I was still trying to prove to myself I could be successful. Let me say that again… Leadership already viewed me and my Program as successful while I was still trying to prove to myself I could be successful. My leadership explained to me that I already accomplished more than they originally thought was possible. WOW! That hit me hard. Right as I sat there in front of them I felt the magnitude of that reality hit me. I was pushing forward so hard that I never stopped for one minute in the last nine months to really see what I accomplished or to be proud of myself. They made me stop in that 45 minute meeting. It was a powerful moment for me. It was a powerful moment in my career💙

One of the Directors pulled me into her office for a chat about career opportunities. She wants me think about what I want because there are few different type of opportunities that could be open to me. She said I’ve proven myself capable and comfortable in “high profile” roles. She wanted to know if I would be satisfied going back to something less “sexy” after this 😊 It’s an interesting question for me. The truth is I am comfortable in this type of high visibility role. I am good with stakeholder engagement, up and down the chain. I present well and handle myself well. My biggest challenge this year was my own body. The constant health issues have been frustrating and the current issue with my stomach still isn’t resolved. I told her about my current issue and that I needed to see a specialist because of a suspicious stomach biopsy. She reassured me. She told me I shouldn’t let that be my deciding factor because my health issues obviously didn’t interfere with my work performance this year. She also told me accommodations could always be made for me. Yes, it may be easier for me to go back to a desk job that has more predictability, maturity and less of an ask from me but will it be enough for me after this???? My intuition says no…😊 But, I am keeping an open mind because I think it will depend on the opportunity and if it has room for growth and diversification. I also don’t want to work in chaos again. So work environment is important to me now too. For now, I am going let go and trust that everything is always working out for my highest good. I am going to trust God and my intuition to direct me to the right choice. As opportunities present themselves I will ask myself, “Does this honor who I am?”

I also met with new GM who is now an advisor to my program. Wow! What a difference chatting with someone with fresh eyes and fresh perspective can have! Having to walk her through my whole program reenergized me. It reminded me why I was passionate about this. It reminded why I wanted to do this in the first place. Her thoughtful questions and insights helped me find an unexplored path forward. I just met her that morning and already she helped me get unstuck. She suggested I look for something I can leave as a legacy, something tangible that people can say, “Linda did this”. I laughed and said, “Being the first and standing up the program isn’t enough?” 😂😂 She laughed but said she was thinking something more like a brochure or even a webinar that folks could use after I’ve moved on…. The budget will not allow for my current role to be a full time position. However, the role will continue as a temporary assignment after I move on to something new. She encouraged me to remember that I was first. I was the trail blazer. I have been the vision setter. I need to leave a legacy as well as start thinking about a transition plan. I came home full of things to think about as well a fresh new perspective and a new to do list. As I flew home looking out of window at the spectacular clouds, I was pensive. I was thinking about the events of the day and what I accomplished this year and what I learned about myself along the way. It’s been a great year professionally and great work experience.

I learned this week it’s important for folks to agree on what success looks like. While we had conversations about the goals of the program, their view of success was actually more achievable than my own. I learned this week the value of talking to people face to face when you have an important message to relay to them. If I presented my briefing over the phone, they would not have felt my energy or passion. The conversations that took place that day never would have happened. They would have missed the subtle nuances of my facial expressions and body language. This is good advice in any situation. If you have something important to say to someone, say it in person. The message may not be received in the way you are intending through phone, text or email. I learned this week talking to someone with fresh eyes or perspective can reenergize you. It can help you see things you may have missed. I learned this week to be open to constructive guidance and accept support when it is offered. Most importantly, I learned this week to always speak from my heart with confidence, authenticity and honesty even when I am briefing the big cheese in the organization😊

I write about self awareness a lot on this blog. I write about it so much because I truly believe self awareness is the key to growth and development. I think it’s especially important to practice self awareness in our careers. I admire leaders who encourage self awareness. How can you grow if you refuse to see yourself as you are instead of how you perceive yourself to be? How can you grow if leave no room for inner reflection and self knowledge? How can you be empathetic and sensitive to the needs of others including your employees if you can’t even acknowledge your own needs and desires? It’s with this new self awareness I will be moving into the future and evaluating upcoming career opportunities.

Do you celebrate your career accomplishments? Do you honor who you are while making career decisions? What legacy will you be leaving to the folks who will step into your shoes? Do you encourage your employees to leave a legacy? When you talk to employees, do you ask thoughtful questions and give helpful insights? Do you help them define success in their careers or projects? And is your definition of success in alignment with the folks around you? Do you practice self awareness as a leader or in your life?

I chose “Blackbird” by the Beatles for this post. It was written by Paul McCartney during the Civil Rights movement after seeing a black women arrested for sitting on a bench in a “white” section of a park in the United States. As a highly sensitive, empathic feeler, the current political climate is causing me a bit of anxiety.  I worry about our Democracy and the inflammatory rhetoric used by leaders against the Press and to stoke right extremists.  And now, a “USA Today” Op-Ed full of outright lies that many will believe on the surface without questioning. He’s gaslighting our nation.  I urge people to fact check politicians.  Even worse are the rich GOPers who only care about the economy and their own economic interests; turning a blind eye to everything else because life is good for them. I’ve been pulling away from people who lack a social conscience and put money & power over people. If you recall, fair haired white people were living good lives and turning blind eyes while 600K Jews were executed. I do not think our President is a horrible human being but I do think he lacks social consciousness.  Money and power are his Gods and rulers.  He’s willing to exploit the right extremist groups to win and aligns himself with Dictators.  The Senate and/or House needs to be a different party to separate and diffuse his power as well as bring accountability & transparency back in DC. November 6th is my sister, Sandy’s, birthday. I am hoping her spirit brings us luck and change. Stop the #trumpcult 🌊#votethemout 🌊💙

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