Showing Up Anyway

Glenn Doyle Melton

One of my biggest issues about Facebook and Instagram is that everything on Social Media is an illusion. It’s all smoke and mirrors. You only see what the person posting wants you to see. For example, I had a conversation with a coworker a while ago. From what she told me in person, there is a A LOT of drama in her life and her family life is challenging. However, on Facebook, it’s all big smiles, family photos, beautiful pictures of happy times and long posts about her wonderful life and vacations. Her Social Media image does not match what I saw in person. My coworker isn’t the only person guilty of this. Almost everyone does it on Social Media. I bought into at first too. Folks take 35 crappy selfies and only post the one that turned out good. They use filters on their sunset photos so it looks extra beautiful and make sure you only see what’s good. Social Media robbed us of authenticity and reality.

I disengaged from a Facebook a few months ago. I have no regrets. I am still on it because my family is on it and they post photos of the kids there. I also find out where my nieces softball games are so I can go watch. I enjoy that. I don’t post. As I scroll through posts, I can’t help but wondering how did we all get conditioned to think we always have to be positive, have a beautiful back yard or live in a big home? Why is it everyone thinks your life is wonderful if you are eating dinner with 20 other people or checking into four bars every night? When did we give up our right to have a messy complicated life? Why can’t we ever be pissy, have a bad day, be sad, admit our holidays sucked and God forbid post a bad picture of ourselves on Facebook?

This post isn’t a rant about Social Media. It is about a complete lack of authencity. No one wants to own the messy parts of themselves that aren’t camera ready. No one wants to admit they have depressing thoughts sometimes. No one wants you to see their darkness anymore. I am writing this post because the truth is I am messy and complicated lately. My thoughts are sad and depressing. I am worried and scared. My tummy is bloated. I am in pain and I just am fucking over it. Why should I continue to lie and pretend I am positive and happy when I am not. I am just not…

Don’t get me wrong… There are positive things in my life. I like where I live. I am enjoying my job. My career is going great. My family loves me. Yesterday I got to watch my great niece pitch over 50mph at FastPitch Summer Nationals via North Myrtle Beach Park’s field webcam. Tomorrow is her first elimination game. Her team, Philadelphia Spirit (Fast Pitch Softball), is in seed one in her division. They are undefeated in the tournament so far. I hope I can catch part of the game. My nephew is a good dad and good coach. That makes me proud and happy because I’ve been keeping him straight since I was 10 years old. We fight like brother and sister BUT he listens to me. I get through to him and I know I played a role in making him the man he is today. That makes me happy and proud especially when I see him with his kids.

I have an appt with my Gastro doc tomorrow morning. I am hoping for answers but I don’t expect to get any tomorrow since I will need a scope and probably a cat scan. The pain is all around the left breast which is where the stomach but it is also where the heart is. My BP and Heart Rate have been stable and beautiful. Hopefully that means my heart is not the problem. Either way, I need to figure out what this is because it’s wearing me out.

I just decided it was time to be honest and show authenticity on this blog. Sometimes life sucks. These health issues are taking a toll on my stamina and wearing me down. That is nothing but the truth. Why should I act strong when I am not? Why shouldn’t I allow you to see me? Perhaps I allow folks to see me this raw, others will feel liberated and will drop their masks too. Perhaps someone reading this will see I am sad and know it is ok for them to be sad too. Maybe someone will see it’s ok to be messy and afraid. Show up anyway… Show up in life anyway… The below poem is messy and afraid Linda writing authentically about how she’s been feeling lately. Please open your mind and heart a little before reading this. Allow your compassion and empathy to feel what I am feeling rather than judging me. Then you will understand authentically how I feel.

In gratitude,
Linda

Showing Up, Anyway
By: Linda A Long

I can pretend…For your benefit…That I am well
That my…Mind, body and spirit…Are harmoniously unified
I can pretend…That I am…Determined to…Remain strong and optimistic
That I have…Control of my emotions
That I am…Filled with…Inspiration to rise up…And fight, fight
The adversary within…My own body
Undermining every…Step forward…Pulling me back…After every victory…Weighing me down
With worry, anxiety…And ceaseless attacks…On my body
Weakening my mind…And slowly…Breaking my spirit
I only fought…This long…Because I didn’t…Want you to…Think I was weak
I only fought…This long…Because I believed…I could still…Win
I believed…I could still…Live a full life
I thought…I would still have love
And be able to…Share my heart…With another
Joyfully living my life…In a state of gratitude
But…It is very hard
To be grateful…While feeling…Constantly defeated…By a body that…Attacks itself
It is hard…To be optimistic…When every day…Presents a new physical challenge
With little answers…And even less support
Everyone wants to hear…“I’m great”
No one wants…To know the truth
Or even really…Look in my eyes to see my truth
No one wants to…Stop looking at…Their phone for five minutes to have a simple Conversation
And actually mean it…When they ask…“How are you?”
I’ll just go on…Pretending…“I’m great”
And you all…Just go on…Doing whatever makes you feel good
With your heads…Buried in your phones…Too preoccupied for human compassion
Being too wrapped up…In your own life…To really care…About mine
I go on pretending…To make it easier…For everyone…Who says…“I am here for you”
But really…Just want to be here…When I am great…And not when
Life is heavy and complicated…
I’ll pretend…You care…While you feel…Good about yourself
I know the truth….But
I will keep pretending…For your benefit
If it helps you…Get through the day
Broadcasting fake friendship…On Facebook…While phone calls and texts…Go unanswered
I know who…I can really count on…I know who…Really cares about me
But…I will pretend…For your benefit
Everything is fine…Even while I silently…Want to let go
Because I am tired…
From fighting so hard…To be well…It is exhausting me
Fighting alone…Is disheartening
I am just not sure…I know my reason…Anymore
I don’t know my…Reason to fight…For this life…Anymore
And I am not sure…What difference…It makes
I am sorry…If my true thoughts
Scare you or hurt you…
It just scares me… That I don’t know what my reason…To live is anymore
The next time…You ask…“How are you?”
I’ll smile and say…“I’m great!”
Simply because…It’s what you want to hear
Not because…It’s how I feel
Know this…When I ask you…“How are you?”
I want to hear…The full truth…Even if it is…Messy, complicated and sad
Let me hear your heartache…Let me share your burden…Let me lighten your heart
I want you to know… You are loved…And have a reason… To live
Even if I can’t…Find my own reason anymore

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

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Self Care Sunday – Learning To Be Kind To Myself

Self Care Sunday

Self Care Sunday – IG @highestgoodcoach

This Self Care Sunday is about me working on accepting that I am human. I make mistakes and it’s ok. I have a tendency to expect perfection from myself. When I do slip up, I am often very hard on myself. I am working on being kinder to myself. So here’s what happened….

I went to Philly for the weekend. My great niece graduated grade school. I went to Philly to see family and go to her party. I was feeling a bit off most of Saturday. I had a lingering headache in between my eyes which eventually passed as the day went on. Since there is a rife in family I was also uneasy about going to the party because my niece’s parents are part of the problem. I felt a kid shouldn’t be punished because of the actions of the parents so I went to the party. I also went because my Mom wanted me to go with her and I needed to to be a good daughter to my Mom this weekend. After all, she’s been my only parent since I was seven.

The party ended up being much more enjoyable than I expected. I made plans to bring three of my five great nieces to my house for a weekend in August. They all play tournament softball. They work hard and play ball EVERY weekend all summer long. My niece going into high school pitches over 50mph and is already being scouted by colleges. They are going to Nationals in Myrtle Beach in July. After they get back from Nationals, my nephew is letting them take a long weekend off from ball to come to my house for beach time the first weekend in August. It’s about teaching them to create balance in life. I live on the beach with a pool. We can also walk down the boardwalk and catch fireworks on Saturday night. When the girls are with me, they are just kids at the beach for a weekend. I am hoping to teach them having fun and balance in life is as important as working hard while playing ball.

Anyway, back to the story of how I screwed up… My Mother lives on hill. Normally when I am staying with her for a weekend, she lets her neighbors know. Then they leave me a spot out front of her house so she doesn’t have to walk up the hill to my car. When got home around 11pm last night. All the spots were filled and I had to park at the top of hill. When we went out this morning for breakfast, she asked me to back the car down to her house so she didn’t have to walk up with her cane. This is when I screwed up😂 I am a VERY careful driver but for some reason while I was backing up, I lost my bearings. I backed into a parked car because I didn’t see it in my blind spot. It wasn’t a lot of damage but a good dent and some paint was scraped. It was my Mom’s neighbor’s daughter’s car. After I parked, I went and knocked on their door. Told them I would pay cash for the repairs and take care of everything. Then the daughter said, “Sorry, we know to leave your spot open when you come to see your Mom. My boyfriend parked in it and I forgot to tell him to move.” I thanked her but made it clear it was my fault not hers. The parking issue is just another issue why I can’t wait for my mom to move especially now that she uses a cane and can’t walk up the hill.

My Mom’s neighbors were fine. Very understanding and accommodating. They know I am going to pay for repairs. They weren’t even upset. They actually felt bad they didn’t leave the spot open. It was me who couldn’t let it go. I was beating myself up trying to figure out how it happened. I kept telling myself I should have just went around the block. Until my Mom looked at me and said, “would you STOP”. Everything is ok. There wasn’t much damage and you are taking care of it.”

As I drove home, I was fairly annoyed with myself. I was trying to figure out why I couldn’t let it go.Why was I punishing myself for making a mistake. Well, it’s gonna be close to a $500 mistake. Ouch! I’ve only had this new car for 10 months and it already has been banged up three times. That makes me a little worried. The interesting thing is if I wouldn’t have been rear-ended three weeks ago, I would not have known how to handle the situation without cops or insurance getting involved. So when I put my car into the shop on Tuesday to get the body work done from that accident, they can also touch up my paint from this morning’s boo-boo😂

When I got home, I went for a four mile walk on the boardwalk. I had enough sun for today so I am now sitting on my balcony writing this blog. I am also working on accepting I am human and accidents happen. It’s interesting that I am often kinder and more understanding with others than I am to myself. That’s is an opportunity for growth for me. It’s something I will be working on with my own Holistic Wellness Coach and fellow IIN Alumni, Stephanie at www.findyourbrave.co. Stephanie has become a close friend, accountability partner to me and she is a great Coach!

On a side note, I asked my Mom to do the DNA Ancestry test and she said, “Nope! Grandmom was off the boat from Ireland; she had a Brogue. PopPop’s parents were off the boat from Ireland and Germany. I know what I am. Your Dad was the mutt; not me!”😂😂😂 I also did some research. 23andMe considers Ireland to under England. That’s why mine came up mostly British. My Mom and I went through all of my sister’s photos from out west. I found out she went out west a few times to visit a cousin who was in the Air Force and stationed in Montana. She went to South Dakota, Montana and Iowa. She took the train coast to coast. I think I would like to retrace some of her steps in my trip next year but I am not sure about the train coast to coast, maybe only one direction 🙂

Are you a perfectionist? Do you beat yourself up when you screw up? Do you know how to be kind to yourself?

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

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Self Care

Self Care Sunday – April 29, 2018

Midnight Red - C.M. Cooper

Midnight Red – C.M. Cooper

I am pusher. I push forward. I work sick. I don’t use a lot of vacation or sick time. I am a giver and a care taker. I take care of others. I’ve made a habit of showing up for others before showing up for myself. Quite frankly, I put loving others ahead of loving myself.

A foot injury a few weeks back triggered back problems and an autoimmune flare up. Then my best friend died at the same time. I am feeling the affects emotionally, physically and spiritually of the collective stress.

My foot and back and elbow tendinitis are healing. They are slowly improving. I was able to walk two miles yesterday and today with only a small amount of discomfort. Physical Therapy has been helpful.

I have Celiac Disease, an Autoimmune Disease. Celiac Disease destroys the digestive system and can lead to stomach Cancer. By the time I was diagnosed in my 40s, there was already substantial damage to my stomach, liver and gut. My Gallbladder was already removed in 1997. At the time I was diagnosed in 2011, I had Gastritis and Liver Damage. I was in the hospital for a week. I actually could not eat solid food for ten days. I immediately stopped drinking alcohol and changed to Gluten Free diet. I have seen substantial improvements in my health and in my gut. My Liver is completely healed. There is no sign of any Liver damage in any of my current blood work. However, my stomach will never be completely healed. I have what they call “chronic autoimmune gastritis”. My stomach will always be super sensitive and predisposed to gastritis flare ups when I get sick or stressed. It’s just a part of my life.

At this time, a gastritis flare up is my biggest challenge and it’s taking some time to get it settled down. I know for a fact I ate Gluten by accident last week. I also was drinking a lot of diet soda and taking fish oil for the inflammation in my foot. In retrospect, my tummy held out pretty good but this week it hit the brakes pretty hard on me. I am really tired, bloated, nauseous and in fair amount of belly pain. I also have TMJ which is stress related. I suspect grief, stress, worry, poor food choices and not taking care of myself properly caught up to me.

I’ve been praying and reflecting on how I got this far into a flare up and depression. Obviously, I am grieving for the loss of my best friend and the last few weeks have been very stressful. But, this is more about me not loving myself enough to take care of myself properly. Almost as if I was thinking that my broken body was not worthy of love; not by me or anyone else. I actually haven’t been dating the last few years because I haven’t wanted to explain to men all of my health issues. I haven’t wanted to explain that sometimes it flares up and I am tired. I can’t do what other folks can do. I didn’t want anyone to see it; not my friends, family or any man who may care about me. I’ve been asked on dates, I refused. I supposed it’s why I’ve always been attracted to “safe” men who I could love at distance. Now, don’t get me wrong. I do truly love Blue Love. I truly love him and I would feel safe letting him in and allowing him to see the real me, all of me – that’s if he was available to me. But, this is deeper than just having a man love me and my body. This is about ME loving and honoring MY body. This is about me being a friend to myself and my body.

Deep stuff, right? Well, you can’t heal something you refuse to see. So, I decided to bring it from the darkness to the light to be healed. As this time of my life, self care is about honoring where I am today and surrendering to what my mind, body and spirit needs to return to holistic wellness. I affirm I deserve to be loved. I affirm my body deserved to be loved and cared for. I will give myself the space I need to heal the right way this time.

As far as calming the gastritis down, I was going to do a Whole 30 diet to help settle my tummy down but I remembered Whole 30 is compromised mostly of meat and vegetables. Neither are really great for settling down Gastritis. Instead I am going to focus on bland easy to digest foods in smaller quantities for few weeks.

The bigger issue I have is work. I decided I need to go into work and talk to my new boss. I need to explain I am enjoying the job and don’t want to lose or walk away from the opportunity but I need to give myself some space to heal. I know my employer believes in reasonable accommodations so I am going to ask to work a reduced schedule for the month of May(maybe half days or three days a week) with no travel. I am hoping I’ve built up enough creditability that they will work with me. Also, my doctor told me she will write a note to cover whatever I need when I see her on Wednesday night. My boss and I can reassess my status at the end of the month. Hopefully, I am back to 100% by June and things work out. If they don’t, I’ve made my peace with that too. I’ve let go of attachment to any outcomes. My focus needs to be doing what’s best for my body and my life first. Even if this job doesn’t work out, I have a good job to return to. I have faith everything will work out for my highest good.

Self care for me today is about acceptance of my limitations. It’s also about bringing the dark parts of my soul to the light for healing and speaking my truth with authenticity by asking for what I need. Lastly, it’s about letting go and trusting that God will provide for me. I affirm – Everything always works out for my highest good.

I did buy myself a little happy this week. I’ve been wanting a comfy chair to rest in, watching TV in and for nights I have trouble sleeping. So, I ordered a leather recliner. It will be delivered in two weeks. It will look great in my condo which is decorated in red, brown (Mahogany) and off white. The photo is below.

What does self care look like for you today? What have you done recently to take care of yourself?

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

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Art Credit: Midnight Red by C.M. Cooper

Lane Tucker Leather Recliner

Prayer For Healing

Svethania Novikova Art

Prayer For Healing
By: Linda A. Long

As I look
Into the future
I find it
Hard to see
A path forward
Everything changed
In my life
This week
Tension
Stress
Anxiety
Built up
My body broke down

How do I
Care for myself
And give myself
Time to
Grieve and mend
How do I
Give myself space
To find my
New life
Without being
Under pressure
How do I
Remove chronic stress
From my body
So I finally can heal
And transform
My life

I don’t know
Answers to the
Questions yet
I just know
That God
Is calling me
To reflect and change
God
Is calling me
To trust my
Intuition and let go
God
Is calling me
To trust him
God
Angel and Guides
I ask for
Your divine
Inspiration and guidance
As I stand
At the fork
In the road
In my life
I ask for
Your love
And blessings
So that I
May heal
Body, mind and spirit
And transform
Into the
Highest reflection
Of your grace
And love
I am worthy
Of healing
Of Love
(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

NOTE:

It’s all in a blur. My whole life is in a blur right now. I can’t see the future. I said these words to someone recently. He responded by saying, “Even in a snow storm, you have to be able to see. Try to see a path forward; try to put it into words. Write it out!” This is me writing it out. I am posting it on my blog to hold myself accountable more or less. And also to show others, everyone hurts… everyone struggles. I freely admit… I have no answers at this time of my life. I have no answers. But I do know God is calling me to reflect a bit before moving forward.

High levels of stress, anxiety and tension have been a part of my life for a while now. My best friend had Cancer for five years and died April 19th. I had tension in relationships. I was in school full time while working full time and I switched jobs three months ago.

I guess I didn’t realize that my body was having a physical response to the chronic stress I’ve been under every day for the last couple of years. Being strong, soldiering on took a toll on me and my body. I see now I held a lot of tension in my body. I held a lot of anxiety in my soul. Now, right now I have a foot injury which lead to back problem which is taking a long time to heal, I believe because of stress and muscle tension. I started physical therapy for it yesterday. I have a flare up of tendinitis in my left elbow. I’ve had migraines and digestive issues. Meanwhile, my blood work looks beautiful; it’s the best it’s been in years. Thank God! This tells me that stress, anxiety and tension as well as Menopause are taking a physical toll on my body.

I finished my school work today. As of today, I’m officially done my Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Training. I graduate on May 15th! I will take the Certified Holsitic Health Coach test later in summer. As stressful as school has been, it’s also been good for me. But I am glad I am done. As far as building a coaching business goes, it’s officially on hold indefinitely. I can’t even think about that right now.

After five years of watching and supporting my best friend battle Cancer, I am now left with grief. This summer I need to leave some space for grief as well as take time to figure out what life looks like without her. My body is breaking down from stress and I feel like like I need to slow down for self care and slow down for my body to heal.

This brings me to my new job…let me take a big sigh of right here…I proved to myself I can do the job. I proved to them I can do the job. But, the whole future of the Program rides on my back. It rides on my action. It rides on me. I have to drive it. The next few months will require me to travel, build and drive the program. It will be pressure. Pressure that I am just not sure I up to right now.

I keep hearing in my head, “just because you are capable, doesn’t mean you should be doing it right now!” I keep feeling like I need to pull back to heal. I feel like I have been pushing too hard for too long and trying to do too much for too long. It caught up to me… I guess what I am saying is… I am not sure I am physically up to this job given how my life changed and how my body is reacting to the stress.

The way I see it is, I have a decision to make. I have to decide I want to go in and talk to my new boss and explain all of this or if it would be best for me to go back to my home organization. I know my old group is struggling and could use my help. I would be completely honest with my old boss because of our history. It may be easier to manage this emotional time of healing while working in my old organization instead of being under the stress of trying to lead a new high profile Program. I need to reflect on this the new week or so…

I haven’t been able to get “Sound Of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel out of my head.

Art Credit: Svethania Novikova – www.fineartamerica.com

Holistic Health And Self Care Sunday – March 25, 2018

Self Care Self Love

Self Care looks a little different for me this weekend that most weekends. Usually I move my body on weekends and do food prep for the week. This weekend I am truly slowing down to take care of my physical body.

I stepped in a pot hole on Tuesday night. I rolled my right foot over onto the side and sprain my Ankle. I knew immediately I injured it. I iced and elevated it as soon as I got home. Luckily, the snow storm gave me a day off and I also took off Thursday to at least rest it for the first 48 hours.

While I was home resting on Thursday, I started sneezing. I must have sneezed over 30 times over the course of the day. I knew a head cold was coming too. My head cold started on Thursday afternoon. It’s pretty much gone by Sunday afternoon. That suggests my Immune System is pretty strong and I took good care of myself appropriately when the cold started. The worst of it is over. Here’s what I did as soon the I felt the head cold coming on:

  • Ear drops: Equal parts 70% Rubbing Alcohol and White table vinegar. Three drops each ear twice a day. The ENT gave me this recipe 🙂 See photo at bottom.
  • OTC: Mucinex and Tylenol. I only took one Decongestant
  • Gargle: With warm salt water
  • Saline Rinse: Rinse my nose out with Saline from CVS
  • Take my usual vitamins: Multi-vitamin, Vitamin D & E, Magnesium at bedtime. I also added Coconut Walter for Potassium
  • Green Juice: I drink 16oz of Green Juice each day: Kale, Apple, Ginger, Lemon, Parsley, Celery and Cucumber. I sometimes I blend it at home. This week I bought at a local produce store that makes it for only $4.00 a bottle.
  • Omega 3s: I drink Hemp Milk and took Salmon Oil pills for a couple of days
  • Rest and sleep: I left work on Friday at noon. I came home and stayed in bed until Saturday.

Holistic Ear Drops

As for my Ankle, I ended up going to Urgent Care yesterday because it’s looks pretty bad. I didn’t think it was broken but wanted to be sure so I didn’t continue to do more damage. The X-ray showed I have a contusion of the soft tissue around the 5th Metatarsals. I’ve been doing everything right. He didn’t give me any drugs. He told me to stay off of it as much as possible for the next few days. It could take five to ten additional days to heal depending upon how much I am on it. It’s making me walk weird which is bothering the rest of my leg and my hip. I have been resting it. I will still go to work tomorrow. I will wear comfy shoes and won’t be walking my normal 10K steps. The doctor told me I did everything right so far. Again, good self care prevented my injury from being worse than just a contusion.

Sprained Ankle Meme

Sometimes my self care is pretty and is about pampering at a spa. Other times my self care is about moving my body in yoga and walking 10K steps a day or other times my self care is about mediating and slowing my mind down. This week self care has been about actually taking care of physical body to ensure a quick and full recovery from illness and injury.

Before attending the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and becoming a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I really didn’t know how to take care of myself. A year ago I would have pushed through both the cold and the injury and would have made both worse. What a difference a year has made.

IIN Primary Foods

Making the decision to attend to IIN was the best decision I made a very a long time in my life. The last year hasn’t been easy. Going to school while working full time, starting a new job, juggling various other aspects of life hasn’t been easy. I’ve been over my head at times but I hung in there. On Friday I learned that I have already accumulated the minimum graduation requirements. I still have one test, two Coaching Circles and four weeks of lectures to go until graduation but even I I missed all of them, I will still graduate. It really takes the pressure off and I am looking forward to slowing down and entering the next phase of life.

So, what’s next after I am done school? Well, I am looking forward to enjoying this summer. I am looking forward to having a social life again. While part of me is very interested in continuing my education with another class, that needs to go on hold for a while. First, it’s expensive. Second, I need to slow down a bit and enjoy life without any pressure other than my full time job for a while.

Work will also require more of my focused attention this summer as the Implementation phase of my Outreach plan will start in the May/June timeframe. Therefore, I will be traveling to DC more as well as visiting a few colleges through the rest of year. I am looking forward to that. If you need help developing an Outreach Plan, I can help. Here’s the basic flow.

Outreach Plan Flow

As for my Health Coaching business, I plan to step back and really think how I want to position it and what I hope to achieve. My classmates are very focused on getting clients and making money. I sometimes get caught up in my that. Being stuck at home with just myself most of this week, I’ve had time to think stuff over. I am seeing things differently. With having a decent full time job and income, I am not pressured to take a lot of clients. I can be selective. I can also offer services at discount rates, even pro-bono to those folks who really need it. I also plan to volunteer my services at the local Rescue Mission after I have my official Graduation Certificate.

I need to do some business planning and think over my business model a bit. During the next few months, I will be working on building a website and branding. I know I want my website to be free resource for people to access important guidance about how to care for their holistic health. I also know I want my Health Coaching business to be a platform to affect change about how people approach self care. I have the knowledge, skills and ability to design and build my own website. I am going to do that this summer as my hobby 🙂 Come on, Y’all know I can’t just sit in a beach chair all summer only working on a tan. Lol 🙂 This photo was taken at sunset on the beach out front of my apartment 🙂

Atlantic City, NJ Sunset

How are you taking care of yourself? What does your body, mind or soul need from you today?

🙌

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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