Self Care Sunday ~ My WHY

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

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

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

love job

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

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

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

What’s your why

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

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

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

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

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

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

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

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What’s My WHY

What’s My Why

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

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

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

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

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

What’s your why

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

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

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

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

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

Strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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My Intentional Difference Exercises 


I’m in a growth spurt☺️😁 Reflecting and evaluating myself to facilitate growth and new opportunities both personally & professionally. I’m working with “Your Intentional Difference”, a Coaching book to help identify what makes me different & how to harness that difference to affect growth & change in my life. A link to purchase the book on Amazon is below.

I’m about half way through the book now. I’m taking a break to review and reflect on the exercises I completed thus far. The first exercise was to identify three words which are my Critical Outcomes, in other words, the words most used to describe me. What’s my Brand? My three words are pretty strong words.

Honesty – It’s important for me to honest and authentic on all levels with myself and others. I chose to be authentic in my words and actions so people can trust and believe in me. This makes me a pretty good employee. I try my best. I have the best intentions. I have integrity.
Undaunted – I’m not daunted when things are difficult. Disappointment motivates me. I like to prove people wrong. In some regards I’m fearless. I will gladly stand up to a bully, I don’t back down. I would rather stand alone than be in any clique. I don’t follow self appointed leaders. That pisses people off sometimes because they can’t manipulate, control me or threaten me. But I have the utmost respect for people in leadership positions and often seek their counsel.
Determined – I’m determined to succeed in life. I’m determine to be a kind, caring, compassionate person while pursuing my own goals. I will overcome obstacles between me and self awareness. I’m determined to do what others think I can’t do. I’m determined to stand my ground. If you take a swipe at me and try to knock me down a peg because you think I need to be, guess what? You just triggered that part of my brain that tells me to dig my heels in further, work harder, grow more, open myself up more and succeed in spite of your attempt to push me down. Remember this… I won’t swipe back. But, I’ll remember and use the experience to grow. Because I am determined it is important for me to do what others say I can’t do. It motivates me to prove them wrong😁 See how that works? Motivation can come in many forms. As Christina Aguleria sings, “Thanks for making me stronger!”

The next exercise was most revealing because it actually helped me work through a professional issue I’ve been having. It was an exercise to identify my Driving Passion.
It started with answering the following questions:
What keeps me up at night?
What do I think about over and over again?
What ignites my creativity?

My answers were:

What keeps me up at night?
The hunger for growth.
The need for self-awareness.
The craving for knowledge and learning.
Serving others with my abilities and skills.
Making a meaningful contribution in this life and at my work.
Expansiveness – The need to expand my mind & experience.

What do I think about over and over again?
Self evolution
Self development
Ways I can help others succeed
Staying grounded and open to change
Strategizing solutions to problems
How to make things better personally & professionally

What ignites my creativity?
Problem solving
Helping others
Unanswered questions
An open mind

What is the one thing that motivates me?
Knowledge
Growth
Self awareness
Making a meaningful contribution
Proving my critics wrong
Standing strong in the face of adversity
Motivating and helping others succeed

After I completed this exercise and I reflected on a current professional situation. I realized what the problem is. I, by nature, need to grow, expand, do something meaningful. While I feel like I’m being held back from growth for the convenience of others.

I inherently need to creative problem solve and relate with others while I feel some of my current responsibilities are restrictive and better suited for someone who more on the clerical level. It doesn’t mean I’m a “Princess”. The talk of my critics is more reflective of their negative nature than mine. It means I know who I am. I know what I am capable of doing. I know what I need to do authentically as part of my nature.

One of my blessings is that I’m lucky enough to learn quick and be good at most things. But it can be a curse when it seems I am held back or pigeon-holed because I do something well because I am a professional and I take pride in my work.. Yet, I despise doing it because it is restrictive and holds me back from expansive work. Just because I am good at something doesn’t mean I should continue to do things I’ve outgrown. It does mean that it is time for me to work with my leadership to use me to my fullest potential. The solution can come in many forms one which is being a dedicated staff member to a group that works to support the organizational mission or a dedicated staff member in managing our Portfolio. It’s perfect fit for someone like me. I’ll discuss this with my leaders later.

I am hoping to work it out to the benefit of all parties. I don’t want to leave where I am for a few reasons. But, I realized I am at a breaking point on this issue which I have been trying to work out for two years. If I am forced to do it without an exit plan in sight & it can’t be worked out, I know now I am willing to let go, move on and try something new. It is causing me a great deal of stress, anxiety & unhappiness. It has to change or I have to change. I may not know what I want to be when I grow up. I realized I don’t need to know that. I like being a Jack of all trades with wide skillset. Opportunities will present themself as long as I am willing to change and let go, if necessary. I do know who I am and I know I need to do work that is authentically aligned with who I am. That is happiness for me. That is authentic for me because it’s part of my DNA. And, that is the crux of the problem I’ve been navigation recently.

So glad I am reading this book. It’s already been really helpful this week. I’m very grateful to one of my Mentors/Coaches for suggesting it. I am also glad I stepped away from the situation for a few days and took a staycation. It helped me work though a few things and gave me the space I needed.

The quote above by Frank Underwood on “House of Cards” resonates with me. Treading water(Standing still)is drowning for me. I guess I need to make sure people are aware of that ☺️🙏

Music “Listen” by Beyonce from “Dreamgirls”. Yep, Listen Up!