Self Care Sunday – Deep Thoughts and Stress Management

Kindness

Deep Thoughts
I’ve been thinking a lot about fantasy vs. reality this week. Often reality doesn’t measure up to the fantasy we create in our minds. Folks fantasize that new jobs will be so much better than their current jobs . People fantasize about retirement only to find out they liked working. People fantasize about magical first kisses only to find the real first kiss to be a bit awkward and filled with nervousness. This doesn’t mean that reality sucks. Quite the contrary. Reality may be perfect but our illusions and fantasies created unachievable expectations.

When we fantasize, we create expectations based on false narratives that often sets us up for disappointment. This happens when we live in the future rather than living in the present (now). We tell ourselves things like “My life will so much happier once I…buy that house, retire, meet my soulmate, lose 20lbs.” We fantasize so much about the future that we lose satisfaction and happiness today.

I am not saying people shouldn’t fantasize. I love to daydream and fantasize. I am saying that we need be cognizant that the reality may not match what we create in our minds. This doesn’t mean our reality is bad or lacking something, it means we expected too much and made satisfaction unachievable. I’ve found that I am happier by scaling back my expectations in all aspects of my life. I’ve grounded myself in gratitude for what’s good in this moment while still fantasizing about what might be magical in the future. The key takeaway from this to find a way to be happy now in this moment while you are in limbo and waiting for something in future. Keep one foot in reality while you are daydreaming about the magical future.

ACTION: Ground yourself in the present moment. Find a way to be happy right now while you are fantasizing about the future. Remember the reality won’t always match the fantasy but it doesn’t mean it’s any less magical.

Fantasy

Stress Management
This week has been a stress management challenge. So far I am doing a great job but I’ve had my moments.

I’ve decided to open my mind a bit. I am updating my resume and doing an exploration of jobs outside of the “company”. Of course, I don’t really want to leave the “company” but I think it’s good to take the opportunity to see what’s available on the outside. Who knows what’s out there? Maybe it’s time to start opening my mind to what life looks like on the outside? Maybe my dream job will land in my lap :-).

Here’s what I’ve learned during this “break”:

✅ I do not need a cleaning lady. I can do it myself and save the money. I need to keep more money in my savings for the possibility of future shutdowns.
✅ I’ve learned I was spending too much money on sushi and need to cut back on that permanently.
✅ I’ve found GREAT yoga practices on YouTube that I love. I do not need to pay for a studio membership or to take classes at studio. I have everything I need at home. I’ve practiced yoga everyday since mid December. It’s been great to have focus and move and sweat. I’m definitely feeling stronger and more flexible. Juiciness in my hips is back 😊
✅ I realized I can walk in condo from one end to the other on days the weather is bad and still close the rings on my Apple Watch every day 😊 This eliminates the weather excuse and doesn’t require me paying for gym membership to use the treadmill.
✅ I’ve been cooking at home and doing meal prep like I should have been doing for the last few months. I made Sausage, Broccoli Rabe and White Bean Soup and Chicken Caccatori that were both AWESOME. I froze a few portions for future meals 🙂

ACTION:
Look for ways to manage stress without resorting to drugs and alcohol. Here a few suggestions:

✅ Exercise
✅ Walking
✅ Mediation
✅ Yoga
✅ Talk to friend
✅ Watch a funny TV show or movie
✅ Make a budget for yourself and stick to it
✅ Clean your house, clean out your garage or junk drawer
✅ Tidy up! Organize your house; an organized house carries better universal energy. I’ve been watching “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” on Netflix. Honestly, just looking at those messy houses stresses me out. I am a “Everything has a place” kind of girl. Before I go to bed each night, I walk around and put everything back in it’s place 😊 Universal energy moves easier in a tidy house 😂😂
✅ Stay busy; don’t sit and think all day
✅ Turn the TV off. Watch a little news but don’t obsess over it all day
✅ Hug someone or call a friend
✅ Help another human being
✅ Read a book, Color, draw, write, make love
✅ PRAY; pray is healing

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

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

Protected by Copyscape Online Copyright Search

DMCA.com Protection Status

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 🌊💙

(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

Protected by Copyscape Online Copyright Search

DMCA.com Protection Status

Self Care Sunday – Are you being called to “wake up”?

Healing

This Self Care Sunday I offer some thoughts on how I practiced restraint in my communications and I offer some food for thought on “waking up” or higher consciousness.

I’ve needed to practice restraint in how I am handling conversations regarding politics lately. I really have no tolerance for folks who don’t do their own research, propagate divisive rhetoric and are contributing to the crisis our nation is encountering. I wish folks would take a moment before sharing inflammatory posts and I especially wish politician would stop using inflammatory rhetoric. I think it’s important for folks on both sides to realize the power of words, images and even memes. I believe demonizing people only adds to the polarity and it’s just mean.

If you read this blog, it’s not a secret I am a Democrat. I consider myself moderate and I have at times voted Republican but I will be honest. The events of the last few weeks have pushed me a little further to the left. Rather than arguing with my Red friends, I am choosing to peacefully coexist or disengage. Getting into debates and arguments is not worth my time or energy; it will only further divide us and possibly damage our friendships permanently. It doesn’t have be that way. Neither one of us are going to change our views but it is starting to feel like we no longer have anything in common – maybe we never did and I am only now accepting that truth.

Perhaps it’s idealist – but I believe people should always come before money and power. I am firmly Pro Choice. Abortion is not nor has ever been an option for me personally. I do, however, believe in a woman’s right to choose what’s best for her body. I believe men should stand together with women against sexual assault and for women’s rights. I believe in the separation of power. I believe the Senate has Constitutional responsibility to keep the President in check but our current Senate seems to be more concerned with obtaining power and control. Lastly, I believe the Supreme Court of the United States should been held in the highest esteem and only have the most reputable Judges holding the seats. This doesn’t seems like a lot to ask. Sorry, but there are other well qualified conservative judges with less baggage, who are less controversial and who could have made it through the confirmation process with Democratic support just like Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch is conservative, got democratic support and didn’t divide our nation. So why Kavanaugh – especially with all of his baggage that is going to follow him onto the Court? Why do the Republicans want him on the Court is my question… I have my own conspiracy theories about Presidential Pardon Power being expanded to the States in an upcoming case in front of the Court. Hopefully, one of the other judges pulls to left to offset this guy….So, yes! I’ve been practicing restraint and holding my words. Just because I am silent doesn’t mean I didn’t notice something; I am just taking care of myself by not wasting my time or energy acknowledging it.

I’ve been practicing restraint in my use of social media to protect myself as well. This includes ensuring that I do not like, share, tweet, retweet or engage on social media while at work or during official work hours. That’s just a good self care for anyone…period. Protecting your livelihood should come first; advocating smartly for causes that speak to your soul should come second. While I may scroll through my Twitter feed during the day, I do not engage until I am off and away from work. Generally, I consider all of my Tweets to be temporary. I eventually delete them all. I clean them up every month, if not sooner. It’s been four days since I deactivated Facebook. I don’t miss it. I realize now that checking Facebook was just a habit. I didn’t enjoy it; I used it as a distraction or when I wanted a break from what I was doing. I did it out of habit. I like having less noise in my life. I haven’t been posting to Instagram lately. The account only has one post on it. I still like to scroll and get inspiration from other posts but I am not interested in posting there for now. A smaller social media footprint feels like better self care for me. I am in touch with the folks I want to be in touch with. I don’t need to be “Fakebook” friends just to be connected to folks. While I am enjoying less social media, I do also enjoy writing this blog. I’ll continue with at least two posts per week – every Sunday and at least one mid week.

I spent the better part of three months deleting all of my activity from Facebook. I still felt a bit creeped out and decided to finally deactivated it. I don’t need Facebook owning my data since we now know they can’t be trusted. I also don’t use Google anymore. I use DuckDuckGo or FireFox Focus Privacy Browsers for web searches; neither retains your information and both block tracking. You can add DuckDuckGo to Safari on Apple devices or add the DuckDuckGo app to your dock. I wish I could disable the new Presidential alerts. I’ve managed without them so far just fine. Getting them just tells me they can hack into our phones whenever they want. Something about that seems like a violation of privacy and is creepy! I feel bad for the younger generations. They won’t have any privacy and will be tracked and monitored their entire lives.

Well, on to my next topic – food for thought about higher consciousness…

I would like to offer some food for thought for those who may be struggling with spiritual awakenings and higher consciousness issues. It’s is said the family member who “wakes up” first is the one in isolation. In other words, when someone is removed from the noise that surrounds their regular daily life, they are able to hear the truth in the Universe and within themselves. That happened to me when I distanced myself from a group of friends and moved to my condo five years ago. Once I started to spend more time alone and focused on self growth and development, my awareness opened and I started changing. I am stronger and back into alignment with my true self.

Some folks never wake up. They don’t want to wake up. While others of us, have no choice.
Once awakening starts, it is hard to stop but the choice is always yours. Often God will make you uncomfortable until you have the courage to see it’s time to let go and change. Sometimes letting go becomes your only choice. A “spiritual” awakening is far from pretty. It’s messy, stressful and often turns your life upside down. The worst part is you start seeing your own bullshit and the darkness comes to light to be healed. That’s not alway fun. For me, I ended relationships and friendships. Changed jobs. Started letting myself deal with repressed anger and feelings from sexual assaults, loss and grief. But I am honesty happier and better off for going through it and having the courage to sit in self awareness.

If you let yourself go for the ride and surrender into it, if you let your eyes and awareness open, it’s a truly a beautiful experience. While I will say I had a lot of fun in the past, it’s today that I feel the most at peace and the most authentic. It’s in the peacefulness of my condo as I write this blog that I find my own voice. It’s without comparing my life to others on Facebook that I find acceptance and peace. It’s in helping others step into their power and find their voice, I find my strength. Make no mistake, I am here to change the world in some way. I am here to be a force to be reckoned with. I am here to be a warrior, lover and an inspiration. I am here to change the world even if it’s just my little corner of it. Will you awaken and help me? Will you help me make the world a better place with your light? Will you put people before money and power? Will you bring light into world and instead of selfishness and darkness? Will you “wake up” with me?

Does this resonant with you? Are you feeling a shift or does it feel more like an earthquake? If so, take some time in silence to hear what your soul is trying to tell you. Are you willing to surrender? Does it make you sad to see things change? Have you reached acceptance yet? These defining moments in our lives are extremely stressful but also are the moments where we grow into the powerful beings God always intended us to be.

To harness your own power and manage your thoughts in times of uncertainly, I would suggest using affirmations. If you start seeing repetitive number sequences please know you are being called to “wake” up. It usually starts with 11:11. That was the first one I noticed a few years ago. Now I see all of them all day long. 222 and 2222 are my favorite repetitive number sequence. When you see a repetitive number sequence, say an affirmation to direct your thoughts or create an intention. When I see 222 or 2222, I say my favorite affirmation.

EVERYTHING IS ALWAY WORKING OUT FOR MY HIGHEST GOOD. THE LOVE I GIVE IS RETURNED

If you need an affirmation to keep your thoughts positive, try using this one or create one for yourself. If you need support, reach out to someone who has been through this type of change. Also, there are lots of Instagram accounts with some really great info on awareness, consciousness, spiritual awakening, 11:11and the Universe. Starting following some of them. If you know me personally, please feel free to call or text me for support or just to chat about things. As far as my personal coaching business, I am not taking new clients for a while. I have to take care of some health stuff. I should also note too that I only take clients who are personally referred to me by family or friends. I can gladly give referrals to other great coaches. Feel free to reach out to me through the “Contact Me” page for a referral.

Well, after the new judge was confirmed I was nauseated. I practiced good self care by turning off the TV and staying off of Twitter all night. Instead I watched “A Wrinkle In Time” on Netflix. I decompressed by writing this blog and listening to my favorite music which is on the mellow side and is 70s folk/rock. 70s music speaks to my soul. If I had to name my top favorite songs of all time, in no particular order it would be these:

Taxi – Harry Chapin
Come in from the cold – Joni Mitchell
Landslide – Fleetwood Mac
You’re my home – Billy Joel
Love Ballad – LTD
Me & Bobby McGee – Janis Joplin
Sound of Silence – Simon and Garfunkel
What’s going on – Marvin Gaye
Leaving on a jet plane – Peter, Paul and Mary
Wooden Ships, Carry On, Woodstock and Ohio by Crosby, Still & Nash
River, Help Me, Both Sides Now, Woodstock – Joni Mitchell
Can’t find my way home – Blind Faith
Simple Man – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Shooting Star – Bad Company
If loving you is wrong – Luther Ingram

(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

Protected by Copyscape Online Copyright Search

DMCA.com Protection Status

Taxi from Harry Chapin brings a tear to my eye every time I hear it. I was in grade school the first time I heard it. The woman I babysat for was drinking a glass a wine and listening to it when I walked in the door of her home. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “just a beautifully sad song; listen to the story.” She was right. It’s a beautifully sad song… I will never forget that.

Life Coach Jargon

art

In the last year, I’ve been exposed to many coaching techniques. A lot of Life Coaches these days talk about positivity, staying in alignment, flowing with the Universal energies and offering no resistance. But what does this lofty jargon mean? What are the real world applications? What does it mean to flow?

Let me first say, you do not need to be positive all of the time. Forcing yourself to be positive is not authentic. It’s more important for you to acknowledge your true feelings. Be miserable and feel sorry for yourself for a day, if you need to. Then, work to release it, accept it and move on. Authenticity is more important than positivity. Putting a happy face on a problem won’t make it go away. Living in truth will at least help you adapt to a new reality and make you emotionally stronger.

What does it mean to stay in alignment? All this really means is to become so in tune with yourself that you can intuitively feel when you are doing something that is NOT beneficial to your long term growth and well-being. When you know are you doing something that makes you unhappy, that breaks you down and wears you out, you are no longer aligned with your highest good. Alignment means you are lined up with the path for your highest good. A word of caution – the path to your highest good can go through the valley of hell. You can be frustrated and struggling even while in alignment. It really depends on what life lessons you are supposed to learn. Remember to check in with yourself and be sure you are suffering for the right reasons. If you are suffering because you are growing, changing and living outside of your comfort zone, you are still in alignment with your highest good. It’s really that simple.

Flowing with the Universe and offering no resistance is tricky. It means accepting you have no control over some things. It requires us to let go when something is no longer working out for our highest good. It requires surrendering instead of struggling and pushing. It’s hard because life sucks sometimes. There are times when we all want to kick and scream like a toddler having a tantrum. No one enjoys change. No one wants to accept rejection. No one wants to move on. No one wants to let go when the heart wants to hold on. If you can work towards using these sucky times of life as opportunities to grow, learn something about yourself, adapt and become stronger, you will be flowing with Universe instead of digging your heels in the sand resisting.

So, you wonder if I actually practice all of this New Age mumbo jumbo. I try. That’s about all I can say about it. Sometimes days I flow like I am riding a magic carpet; other days I fall flat in the sand because my heels are stuck in resistance. But I try😊

On the work front, I’ve been actively going on the offensive to reshape the expectations of leadership so they understand what is achievable within my scope. Second, I’ve been speaking truth to power; it isn’t easy. I have to speak more truth to power tomorrow morning at 8:30am…😂 Although this job has been a great growth experience, I am not yet sure about staying long term. One deciding factor will be if they decide to support a Grand Research Challenge. I would love to work on a project like that! Otherwise, I am keeping ALL of my options open.

Unfortunatley, I am still sick. I took Mucinex, Flonase and Decongestants for a week. My sinuses and ears are still jacked up. Since it’s been over seven days, my Doctor gave me an antibotic. Hopefully, it kicks in soon. I have to call on Friday if my ears don’t open up. I don’t feel horrible. Just a little tired and my hearing is muffled 🤧😷

Finally, I am making a committment to myself to get back to writing poetry. I hope to post something for the Blue Love collection on Friday. A little blue eyed spark of lust would help with getting the poetic mojo going 😉💥🔥😋😘 I could use a little crystal blue sparkle ☺️

blue eyes

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

Have You Checked In With Yourself Lately?

Marilyn Monroe Quote

How did you take care of yourself today?

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you would like to learn more about holistic wellness or would like to schedule a 30 minutes consultation to explore if my health coaching services would be of benefit to you, I invite you to either visit the Coaching Services page of this website and or contact me directly at:

linda@writingholistically.com

Please visit my Coaching Services Page:

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

If you are viewing this post on a mobile phone, please scroll down to the bottom to follow me and see my latest Tweets and Instagram photos 🙂

Catalyst Of Growth ~ Love, Sex And Poetry 

Catalyst Of Growth ~ Love, Sex And Poetry
By: Linda A. Long

Can you
Let go
And love
A little deeper
Can you
Crack your
Heart open
A little wider
To let
In the sun
Of my love
And use my love
As your catalyst
Of growth
Can you
Sit with
Your pain
Heartbreak and loss
Without trying
To hide it
From yourself
Can you
Shine love
Into the darkest
Part of your soul
And let
Someone brand new
Rise from
The ashes of destruction
Can you
Allow yourself
To feel the
Warmth of my love
And source
Your own growth
Through my light
Do you love me
Unconditionally
Without
Expectations or attachment
Can you
Use me
As mirror
Into your soul
And dig a
Little deeper
To find
The softest spot
That needs healing
Will you grow
And rise with me
In love
And
Claim the love
That is given
To you freely
You are
My catalyst
Of growth
And change
I’ve grown
Because I love you
Will you
Grow with me
Will you
Share this
Catalyst of growth
With me
I love you love
Unconditionally

(C) 2017 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

Protected by Copyscape Online Copyright Search
DMCA.com Protection Status

Life Is Best When Lived Passionately

NOTE:
The below commentary goes along with this poem. One of the underpinnings of the Integrative Nutrition course I am studying is Primary Food. Primary Food is what nourishes and sustains a person in life such as: Exercise, Spirituality, Career and Relationships. Being balanced and nourished in the Primary aspects of life is essential for wellness. The actual food on the plate is considered a Secondary Source of nourishment in the Integrative Nutrition world.

Recently, our class was given an assignment to reflect on the health of our relationships and we were asked to identify opportunities for growth and development. Through this exercise I was able to see that I’ve grown and healed on a very deep level in the last year through my relationship and connection with a man I refer to as “Blue Love”.

It was clear to me from the first moments our eyes locked that our connection was about more than just a sexual connection. Intuitively I knew there was something spiritual simmering under the erotic undertones between us. It wasn’t until last year when he took a temporary assignment out of town and we were separated that I found myself coming face to face with my abandonment issues, fear of loss and pain that I buried deep in my soul.

The first few months he was gone were emotional chaos for me. Old hurts, painful memories of loss and buried heartaches came to surface. Something about the void I felt in his absence made everything feel more intense. I became anxious, clingy and eventually depressed. I was depressed because I couldn’t believe his absence was triggering this deep emotional response in me. I understood what was happening in me was a call to healing. I was being called to sit with my fear of loss and abandonment. I was being asked to let him go and focus what happening within myself so I could heal.

In that moment of complete depression and rawness, I realized I was attached to him. My “attachment” to him was spiritually unhealthy for me and him. Attachment isn’t love. Attachment comes with expectations, clinginess and possessiveness. For years I’ve spoken about unconditional love. Yet, it wasn’t until I clearly saw I was attached in an unhealthy way to “Blue Love” that I realized that I wasn’t loving him or myself unconditionally. I was trying to hold on to him and to the part of us that changed. I was making myself anxious worrying about what he would choose next and if I would be a part of his plans or if he even still cared about me. My “attachment” was blocking my ability to let go. My attachment was blocking my ability to truly love him or myself.

In the last year “Blue Love” has continued to explore his professional options. While we continue to be physically separated something changed in me over the last year. In allowing myself to feel the pain of my separation from him I brought other repressed pain to the surface for healing. By sitting in the middle of all of my shit, loss, pain and abandonment issues I awakened my inner Healer and mended pieces of my heart that were broken a long time ago. In learning to let go of my “attachment” to “Blue Love”, I found a new deeper truer love for him as well as myself.

By healing myself on such a deep emotional level, I also awakened spiritually and started embracing my soul’s true calling to be a “Healer”. I found the courage to face illness with strength and self love instead of fear and self pity. In choosing to love him and myself truly unconditionally, freely without expectations or attachments, I let go of all fear and broke myself open to profound growth in all areas of my life.

“Blue Love” is still in my life. I am very grateful for our relationship and our connection. It is clear to me now he was put into my life to help me grow spiritually. I was meant to learn how to truly love myself and others unconditionally through my relationship with him. He is truly a “soulmate” and maybe even a “Twin Flame.” For that I am forever grateful.

So, I ask you now to reflect on the quality of your relationships. Are there any opportunities to growth, self awareness? Can you let go and love a little deeper? Are you attached or in unconditional love? What is your opportunity for growth in the Relationship aspect of your Primary Food?

 

How’s Your Suffering?

  
My Meditation teacher walked into the room tonight and asked, “How’s everybody doing with their suffering this week?” 😄 The question was half joking but it also was very serious because we’ve been working on suffering as catalyst for growth and change.

We all suffer for different reasons. Some of my worst suffering has been self-inflicted. It was caused by my attachment to things, people and expectations. I’ve learned to let go of things. I travel much lighter these days. While I am much better now at letting go of people who do not align with me spiritually any longer, I do still feel guilty when I have to distance myself from someone. That causes me suffering even though I know it is for my best interest. And, admittedly, I still get hung up on expectations. It’s a constant struggle for me to stay mindful and see when I am “expecting” something or attaching myself to certain outcomes. Expectations always lead to suffering. That’s a big concept to accept but think it over for while. You will see it’s true. Our expectations of situations and people set us up for disappointment. Learning how to control my expectations is my challenge and my biggest opportunity for growth.

Over time I’ve learned the only way to transmute suffering is to first invite it to the table with you. Live with it. Sleep with it. Own it. I’ve also learned suffering is universal. Everyone suffers in one way or another. Some of us cause our own suffering. Some of us cause suffering for others. Some of us are attached to our suffering and wouldn’t know how to live without it. But, those who are conscious are capable of transmuting suffering into a powerful agent of change and growth in their lives.

Tonight I ask you ~ How are you suffering? What is in your life that is holding you back? What are you attached to? Do you have expectations that are causing you disappointment?

I also ask ~ Who would you be if it fell away? If you stripped everything away – if you lost it all – your job, car, house, clothes and reputation, who would you be?

Can you sit in with your suffering and feel it? Can you sit in the middle of all the crap that’s rising up inside of you and just be still with it without trying to move it, fix it or put a happy face on it? Can you accept it?

Lastly, are you willing to let it go, let it all go to find peace with in? Are you willing to surrender into your suffering and allow it to change you?

(C) 2015 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

“Life is best when lived passionately”


Protected by Copyscape Original Content Check

  

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!

Deserving ~ I Am Deserving

  
“When I was little, I picked up a flower and put it in a vase. After a few days, it died. I asked my mom why and she said: “You can’t force a flower to thrive somewhere it doesn’t belong to. And now I have realized that people are like that too.” ॐ – Author Unknown – Retrieved from Sageword Facebook Page
————–
In an effort to turn the course of my thoughts and release the heaviness of emotions I’ve been struggling with recently, I’m writing another therapeutic post to make some space for creativity again.

I’ve been feeling like I’ve been pushed to a fork in the road. I feel like life is calling me to make choices that will determine my future. I wasn’t really planning to do this now. I was hoping to be like everyone else I know and just coast along in life. I was hoping for once what I have would be all I would need. But, life doesn’t work for me that way. Maybe it doesn’t work that way for anyone? Maybe I’m just more open about it and more willing to change and grow.

Part of what brought me to this place is a feeling growing inside of me. A feeling growing inside of me that is saying I deserve more. I deserve more. I deserve to work to the full capacity of my intellect, talent and skills. I deserve to have satisfaction in my daily activities. I deserve to be in a relationship with a man who is capable of giving me all of him. I deserve to have a healthy body. I deserve to have peace in my life, my body and my mind. I deserve more.

You’ll notice that nowhere in that last paragraph did I speak about being rewarded for my efforts. That is because I don’t think that way. I truly give and help people because I enjoy it. I have no ulterior motives.

In recent weeks I’ve been helping someone at work during a transition time. I offered to do it because I knew he needed the help, he’s very appreciative for the help and I enjoyed doing it. I wanted him to see the level of support and service he should be getting. I wanted him to know he deserved more than he was accepting. That is why I helped him. I wanted to show him by example what he deserved. I don’t seek rewards for those efforts. That’s not what I’m about. I don’t expect anything in return from him other than “thank you Linda” which he has said numerous times👍😄

But, in helping him see he deserved more, I saw I deserved more. We are like mirrors to each other. We show each other what we need to see, what’s holding us back, who we can be and what the possibilities are for ourselves. Through him I’m opening myself up to wanting more. I’m diving further down into myself and using our connection to source profound growth and personal evolution. Some connections are deeply spiritual and have the capacity to spark movement in stagnation.

At this time of reflection in my life, I’m also practicing great caution. I’m looking before I leap. I’m considering alternatives. I’m taking my time. There’s no rush. Things may work out for me organically without a lot of effort from me. But, I must be willing now open my eyes to what else is available to me.

A friend gave me some advice the other day. She said, “Linda, I’m going to tell you what I tell my kids. Open your eyes and look. You’ll either find you like what you have and choose to stay where you are or you will find something that’s better for you, something you like better. Look. You’ll know if it’s time to leap. Trust your intuition.” I suppose that’s what I’m doing. I’m looking.

I am looking for more because I now know I deserve more. How do you know you deserve more? It’s when you can no longer accept less…

(C) 2015 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved
Life is best when lived passionately
Protected by Copyscape Original Content Check

NOTE
The Music is “Driving” By Will Ackerman
This is absolutely favorite piece of music. I close my eyes and tears well up from from the emotions in the chords. The year after my Sister died I was in a pretty deep depression. The truth is I had an emotional/physical/spiritual breakdown. I didn’t know how to live without her. In some ways, I still don’t. In that challenging part of my life, I relied on music to help me get through the long nights. I found this song on the “Conversations With God” CD. I wore the CD out twice. This song especially brings me great peace. It’s almost like it was telling me it was ok to be sad and cry. And, it’s reassuring me that I am being guided and protected by Angels.

Photo Credit:
Sageword Facebook Page