Embrace Change!

Embrace Change

Change, Embrace It!

Working, living with family, wherever you go, you’ll find change a constant companion. Remember the old adage, “The only certainty in life is that things will change?” How are you feeling about the changes going on in your life; from empty nest, to early retirement, to changing jobs, to even new grandchildren? How do we embrace change in a way that is healthy and hopeful, not despairing or fearful?

What is change?

Change has always been a part of our lives- as an infant, from crawling to toddling, then off on a run.  As we age, we are challenged to make changes in our health, our work, our thinking and our environment.  In our society, we operate within systems, “any structure that exhibits order and pattern”, such as family systems, work systems, and health systems.  Each day brings a challenge to embrace change or resist it, as we are called to change, sometimes at warp speed!

How do we embrace change?

Change can feel fearful or adventurous.  It might seem advantageous at first to resist change. However, we always have choices in how we approach change. It may not be an easy choice but one in which our health, well-being and future depend upon.

When resisting change, the brain goes into a “flight or fight” mode, which is an automatic response for our protection.  When we are feeling fearful or anxious, the brain reacts to protect itself and goes into an automatic mode.  We are not as free to think creatively and stress hormones are continually released into our physical systems to fight off or flee from what is making us resistant, fearful, anxious, angry or unhappy.  Over time, the stress can create poor health, such as heart disease, migraines, strokes, and obesity.  These symptoms lead to a shorten life span.

To embrace change and analyze our choices, we can use the following questions to meditate upon, process and focus on the changes facing us:

1) What is my part in the change that is occurring? 

If the change is happening around you or in your work place, write down your feelings about the changes and look at how your efforts can make a positive difference, regardless of the circumstances.

  • What losses will you experience from the change?
  • What will you gain?
  • What efforts will you need to put forth?
  • What will you learn?
  • What can be the outcome of this change?

2) What are the possibilities that the change can bring to my life?

Change can be an opportunity to think big, bold and dream.  We do have choices and writing down a plan of action will give you ways to make your own personal healthy changes, rather than feeling victimized.  Sometimes we need to be ready to try new things, regardless of how we feel.  The only failures occur when we don’t move forward.

  • Where will the changes take you in the next 3 months? 6 months? 1 year?
  • How can it fit into a new vision?
  • How do these changes fit into the purposes you have been called to serve?

3) What support structures do I need in my life to encourage my change efforts? 

Making changes are hard because the brain likes habits.  Find a friend, coach or group of people who will help you be accountable to the changes and dreams you want to make and can keep you positive and healthy.

  • Who do you have in your life that will listen to your dreams?
  • How can these support structures help you gain clarity and focus?

You can embrace change in any setting and live a more hopeful, healthy life, day by day.  Your joy and health depend upon it.  I would love to come along side you as you embrace changes in your life.  Contact me for a free success strategy session today.  Your journey can be positive, regardless of the overwhelm facing you.

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you!  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress.  It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.

 

3 Questions Calling You to a Better You!

3 Questions Calling You to a Better You!

What would it take to be a better you? More friends, better relationships in your family, better health, less physical pain,  more of a purpose in life….. What areas are strong for you?  What areas are causing you pain? Let the following questions guide your thinking and vision of a healthier you as you envision an inspired life!

In a recent survey (still would love your opinion:-)  I sent out to my readers, I asked women how stress was affecting them. Part of those survey results revealed that worries and concerns for adult children and physical chronic pain rate high on the list of chronic stressors.  How does that resonate with you?

Much research and print these days is dedicated to your happiness, health and lowering stress.  Wellbeing isn’t just about being happy, or wealthy or physically fit.  In the book, Wellbeing, The Five Essential ElementsTom Rath and Jim Harter give  insights behind the research and ways to incorporate the research into your daily life.  In this blog, we’ll look at the first three elements – social, physical and career or purpose.

Social Wellbeing- Who do you spend time with?

Research shows that our social networks matter. No surprise here! Positive social interaction with friends, family, co-workers increases our positive emotions of love, peace, joy and interests.  Data suggests we need six hours of positive interaction a day! I wonder who gets this and how they get it:-) This can be on the phone, with co-workers, emailing and other communications.  Even three hours of positive interaction reduces the odds of a bad day to 10%. Rate your social network on a scale of 1-10.  How can you strengthen your social network, such as people around your friendship table?

This social network of friends becomes even more important as you navigate those relationships with your adult children.  Bouncing off ideas with a fellow mom is invaluable in lowering stress. Since our adult children are going through some tough times right now, my college roommate and I decided we would call each other every Sunday night so we could encourage and pray for each other.

Physical Wellbeing- What choices do you make every day?

Regardless of your physical health, each day you make a choice.  You are either getting healthier by the choices you make, or less healthy.  For example, I need to be exercising outdoors on a daily basis as it helps my mood.  Am I?  No, for some reason, getting out the door is challenging.  The list goes on – eating, exercising, rest,…(I love naps!)  What about you?  How would you rate your physical wellbeing and self-care?  What do you need to do to get more things involved as habits?

Facing chronic pain makes self-care even more challenging.  When I was facing chronic daily headaches, my doctor describe the view through my pain as looking at the world through glass doors smeared with vasoline.  That description resonated with me as I felt pain colored everything I did and viewed.

With chronic pain, one choice is to be gentle on yourself and find out how best to manage your energy.  Pain takes a lot of energy. One friend looked for energy saving devices such as a cane and a motorized cart when traveling long distances.  Another gave herself permission to rest and do nothing the day after three long grueling days of a conference.  What works best for you and how can you conserve the energy you do have?

Career Wellbeing  – Do you like what you do each day?

In thinking about your work or career, the basic question is, Do you like what you do each day?   We spend the majority of our waking hours at what we consider our job, work or career.  In Jeff Goins, The Art of Workhe envisions work as more of a “passion-fueled calling that makes each day an exciting adventure.”   How are using your strengths on a daily basis?  Where are you on a scale of 1-10 with ten being madly in love with what you do? (even if it is not a career) Your career greatly impacts your health, your thinking, your emotions and your outlook on life. If you are leaving a career, what purpose do you wake up to each day that is meaningful?

How did you score on your wellbeing so far (rate each area on a scale of 1-10)?  Top score would be 30 if you are off the charts in every area.  You will probably find you are lower in some scales than others.

How surprising was this to you?  You can make changes in your wellbeing.  What will be your next steps?  For me, it was working with a coach because I was very low in physical wellbeing and career wellbeing.  One client I am working with currently is working on her social wellbeing and developing a better social structure that works for her as a single, retired woman.

Create Your VisionComing up April 1st is our Create Your Vision day long retreat that will be focusing on a healthier you.  This day will give you a chance to envision what is calling your heart to be a better you!  Contact me at nancy@nancyboothcoaching.com for more information.

Let’s get ready motivated and energized for a healthy summer!

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you!  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress.  It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.

 

Real Life Word of the Year Stories

Real Life Word of the Year Stories

In January, I wrote about the Word of the Year choosing me.  I wondered at the time how peace, the word that choose me would manifest itself in my life.  I am such an easily distractible woman, I could easily have forgotten what my word is by now. However, since my word chose me, it has seemed to stick around and come up in different ways.  I wondered if that was true in real life for others as well.

For me,  I realized I am feeling more peaceful and contented.  As I was going to church this past Sunday morning, the sun was rising and I was overwhelmed with the feelings of gratitude, peace and the realization of feeling healthy and whole.  Those emotions brought tears to my eyes.  Being fully present to notice God’s fingerprints in my life has has brought the feeling of peace on a more day to day basis.

I also recently returned from a quarterly retreat where I have been meeting with the same people over the past year and a half.  How encouraging for some to say to me, “You seem more peaceful.”  I am glad that the peace I am feeling on the inside is manifesting itself on the outside.

I know my marriage is showing it.  We are getting along so well right now.  He is more attentive, listening to me, and encouraging.  Think it has something to do with the way I am interacting with him?  Hmmm…..

I decided to gather some real life stories to see if they were noticing any differences in their lives, even in six weeks.  I have been encouraged by their stories.  It is so amazing to hear what happens when we get a vision and begin to get intentional about that vision.

For example, one coaching friend of mine told me her word chose her.  Her word is “purge”.  She said she certainly wouldn’t have chosen that word on her own. She wrote:

“The word I got (notice I don’t use the word chose) is Purge. I said I would take that word for January and then see what came next. Well, there’s still a ton of stuff to purge from my office, my basement, my house in general. I’m also finding that I need to purge some old thinking and old outdated perspectives. So, whether I like it or not, the word purge is here for a while. “

We laughed about God’s sense of humor and how He knows what we need and when we need it.

Another client of mine wanted a word of the year and was struggling to find it.  She toyed with the word, abundance, yet it didn’t seem to quite fit.  After a sermon at church one morning, it came to her – “light”.  –“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”  She wrote,

After much thought, prayer, and consideration, the word “lightAmanda's family 1came to me. In the past few weeks I’ve been shown and reminded so often of “light” now. It’s come to me in verse, in the form of actual “light” in the darkness, as awareness to something new, or as a bright, warm, positive moment, such as with my family. “

She has commented that even her colleagues at work are noticing her happier and lighter.

Finally, in a lunch conversation I was having with a fellow educator and mom, I asked her about her word, which was focus.  She said that word came to her as I was asking about the word of the year on a facebook post.  At first, she discounted that much had changed.  As we talked though, she realized that in the mornings, when out walking the dog, she focused on enjoying the present moment. She then came into the morning routine with her three boys in a much more focused state of mind.  She had to choosen not to project herself into the day ahead.

“Baby steps,” she said. “Their morning routine doesn’t change. I still have to remind them to get up. We still have to get out the door at a certain time. It is just how I approach them in my calm, focused state that changes.”

These are observations of four women after six weeks.  What will happen in six months?  I don’t know but I’m excited to find out how God will move and work.

It’s never too late to start your word.  Ask for what vision or intent is needed in your life.  Or allow me to come alongside you. We can start a conversation, first.  I would love to help you get intentional in discovering your vision, exploring possibilities and finding the hope for a better 2017.

 

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women, especially educators going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm through connecting to yourself and others, possibilities thinking, and brain-based strategies for hopeful living.  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm, explore possibilities and find hope.

5 Questions To Connect Your Passions and Dreams

5 Questions To Connect Your Passions and Dreams

With all the talk about vision at the beginning of a new year, passion often comes up in conversations as the fuel to move vision and dreams forward.  Passion is defined as a “strong and barely controllable emotion.”

Where are you on the passion scale?  Do you swing from high to low, day to day?  Or feel like you prod along, wondering where you’ll get your next inspiration? Or are you in a spot that is mainly meaningful and at an even keel?

Many of the women I work with express feeling disconnected from the life they want to live.  They are too “worried”, “fearful”, or “rudder-less” and are looking for connections to themselves, to God and to others for meaningful support and life different than the one they are living.  In coaching, they have decided to invest in themselves to figure out the disconnects and move forward in connecting the dots of their lives.

How do you go about kindling passion and connections to the important intentions of your life?  Take this 5 question reflective self-inventory to discover more about your passions, connections and what they tell you about where you stand right now.

 1. Who is God to you?

How do you spend time getting to know Him and He know you?  Note 3 ways you spend time with Him.

In reflecting about God and your relationship with Him, you begin to note the relationship of your spiritual side.  For me, my healing and passion grew exponentially as I started spending more and more time in God’s word and hearing God speak to my heart.  I personally spend time with Him by reading the Word, praying, journaling, and outside in nature as well as with my friends worshiping at church.  How do you spend time with Him.

 2. What brings you joy and happiness?

Give yourself permission to spend time with a variety of options. Consider 5 ways you can focus on joy and happiness for your soul

This is an area to imagine and visualize.  How often to you pause in the day and notice what is bringing you joy and happiness?  How are you celebrating the little things in life?  I tend to plow on to the next things.  Norman Vincent Peale writes in his book, The Power of Positive Thinking, “Anyone who desires it, who will sit, and who learns and applies the right formula may become a happy person.”   And Paul, in his letter to the Romans, remind us, “Be transformed by the renewing of our minds.” Romans 12:2   

3. What do you value?

How does what you do each day reflect those values? Make a list of 5 values.

This is a big area of intentional living and passion fueling.  If you value creativity, yet have no outlet for your creativity, then you may be feeling disconnected.  If you value growth, yet are working in the same position you’ve had for years, then you may be feeling stuck.  Look at your values to see how many you get to live out each day.

 

4. What breaks your heart and stirs you to action?

How does what you’re doing make a difference to those around you? 

Passion and dreams are fueled usually by big pictures and a call to action.  What is burning in your heart that you feel is an injustice?  Or that you are always worrying about?  For example, I know someone who is worried about her children moving into the teenage years.  She wanted to create a home where it was the place to hang out.  She realized her current home was not big enough for that to happen.  So over the past two years, she and her husband have been house hunting.  Finally, this week, they have found the house that is big enough to be that neighborhood hangout she envisions.  Her daughter is going into high school and her son will soon be in middle school and it’s in the same neighborhood where they currently live.  The stirring to action doesn’t necessarily take place overnight.  This worry stirred her to action and will continue to fuel her passion for her family.

5. Who in your life matters most?

How are you spending time with them?

Distractibility also rates high on keeping us from our passions and dreams.  On the one hand, I may say that God, my family and friends are most important to me, but I have to ask myself honestly, if my calendar reflects that passion.  I can get so distracted by work that days go by without taking the time to enjoy others and I am suppose to be retired!!!!!

I realize that getting intentional about a date time with my husband, scheduling time with my adult children and grandchildren and starting my day with God are vital to my wellbeing.  I also need to reach out to friends who love and care about me and not wait for them.  How I get supported and connected to others is my responsibility, even when it requires a lot of effort on my part.  For me, it is a matter of feeding my soul connected to these supportive relationships.

What did these five questions reveal to you?

Notice that time is one of those common threads to evaluating connections and passions.  Where you decide to spend your time, there your heart is, intentionally or not. How intentional are you being with your choices?  As Lysa Terkherst writes in her book, The Best Yes,

The decisions you make determine the schedule you keep.  The schedule you keep determines the life you live.  And how you live your life determines how you spend your soul

May you decide what fuels your passion and what next steps you want to take to intentionally connect with the life you want to live.

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach, certified brain-based coach and spiritual guide.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover their God-given visions, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about connections with God, self and others, possibilities thinking, prayer and strategies for hopeful living.  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed worries, explore possibilities and find hope.

9 Ways to Move Dreams Forward for 2017

9 Ways to Move Dreams Forward for 2017

 

I think lists can be helpful tools for moving dreams forward, especially as we move into 2017.   Open-ended questions can help, yet I think lists help the reflection process as well.  Hope this list below gets your dreams going and turning into reality for 2017.

  • Review 2016. 

What did you learn from it? Take your best lessons into 2017 and leave the rest behind.  Ask for the godly wisdom you need to sort between what was helpful and what needs to stay in 2016.

  • Believe  2017 can be different than 2016.

Ask yourself, “What mindset may be keeping me from moving forward in 2017?” Listen for the little voice inside of you.  “You can’t do that, it’s not perfect.”  “You don’t have time to make a change.”  “You don’t have enough money.”  Your brain actually likes to sabotage you into thinking you can’t.  Be like the Little Engine that Could.  “I think I can, I think I can” by recognizing the messages you are sending yourself.

  • Start dreaming with a vision board.

A vision board is your opportunity to listen to your heart.  You physically begin to pick pictures that reflect the desires and longings of your heart and mount them on a board to see daily. I do vision board workshops that lead you in the process.  Once you begin visualizing, your brain helps you see more opportunities, much like once you buy a particular type of car, you see that car on the road.

  • Set one goal in 3 areas of your life.

What are you feeling strongest about from your vision board or your pondering –work, physical self care, family and/or friends (social), spiritual or emotional? Which goals will help you feed your soul?  Choose three areas of your life that will help you feel most grounded.

  • Design a measurable, motivating action step for each goal.

What action will you actually put into place that moves you closer to you goal for the next 90 days?  What will help make it motivating?

  • Determine how you will measure those action steps.

How will you track your progress? Measure at the end of the month how you did. If you are having a challenge with an action step, take a look back to see what is interfering.  Is it a mindset issue?  Was it too much to do?  Celebrate the progress you did make.  Baby steps!

  • Attach your action step to a habit you are already doing.

For example, if you brush your teeth at night and want to add laying out your clothes in the evening because you would be less stressed in the morning, then do so when you brush your teeth.  At work, if you want to plan your ideal week, then attach it to your Monday morning planning before anything else occurs.  According to research by James Clear, by tying the new habit to something that is already occurring, you up the odds of the new action being accomplished.

  • Review at the end of 90 days.

See if the goals you wanted to achieve actually occurred. How did you do?  Did this move you closer to you dream for 2017?  If so, celebrate.  If not, then reflect on what you want to do differently for the next 90 days.  The helpful part of a 90 day cycle is there is a start to get you excited, time to accomplish something and a deadline at the end of 90 days to push you forward.

  • Reflect on this process.

What is working for you?  What is making a difference for your dream, desires and longings?  How are you feeling about your progress?

What obstacles are getting in your way?  Could time to create a vision board be helpful? If so, join the Discover Your Dreams Vision Board Workshop on January 21st.  If that date doesn’t work, yet you’re still interested, shoot Nancy an email to get on the next session list.  Or perhaps discussing your year with a coach to gain clarity could be helpful.  Clarity inside your own head is often hard to come by!   Or joining a small facilitated goal setting group might be encouraging?  If so, contact Nancy@nancyboothcoaching.com to see what resources can best fit your needs.  Make 2017 the best year yet!

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you!  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress.  It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.

 

 

 

 

Unwrap Your Gifts of Desires and Longings

Unwrap Your Gifts of Desires and Longings

As the Christmas season approaches, everywhere we look, we are enticed to want this new thing or that new invention.  “Don’t you desire this for your home?”  “Aren’t you longing for the newest _____(fill in the blank)?” “Unwrap this gift under your Christmas tree this year.  She will love you for it.”

As I think about my vision for 2017, I have been pondering my desires and longings. These desires and longings are gifts within my soul that I can either experience or share with others.  They aren’t about “things”.  They are about who I want to “be” and how I want to “do” or serve others in my work and family and finally what I want to “have” for the new year.  Everything starts with being first, rather than doing and having.

Want to Be

I think one of my strongest desires for the new year is to be still so I can hear the small, still voice of God.  When I sit still, I can hear and feel loved.  I also find peace and hope.

I also want to be fully present.  I don’t want to miss moments in my day.  In the past, my anxiety and depression clouded my thinking and now that I have my health back mostly, I want to be aware of the beauty, the relationships, and even the dailyness of my life and savor those moments.  I am one to rush on to the next thing.  I want to better pace my days by being fully present and enjoying my surroundings, my work and my family.

The third area I want to be is strongly connected to those around me, whether it be God, my husband and family, friends, church, neighborhood or the women I serve.  Connection is so important to me and grounds me to health and vitality.

What about you?  How do you want to be this next year?  What are the desires and longings of your soul?

Want to Do

grandkids-with-papaIn the “do” area of my life. I long to do service that makes a difference in the lives of people with whom I am involved. I want to write encouragement to others.  I want to create safe and beautiful spaces for women who want to make a change in their lives and find hope. I also want to make beautiful and loving places for my grandchildren to have fun with “grandma and papa” to help them feel special.

My want to do’s come out of my want to be’s connection desires.

How does your do and be fit together?  What are your desires and longings that you want to bring to life for 2017?

Want to Have

When I get my want to be and want to do in alignment for 2017, I believe my desires and longings for my “haves” will fall into place.  For my want to haves, I want to have gratitude and enjoy what I have currently.  I  want to have more gatherings and groups of women together – creating those safe spaces, and retreats. I want to enjoy those connections with others – online, in my neighborhood, my church and in the surrounding areas.

I want to have a beautiful backyard to enjoy.  I want to have a screened-in area in order to enjoy the beauty of the trees, flowers and nature as well as share it with others.  Getting outdoors is an important component of my health so creating a space where I have access to enjoy it will make a difference.  Again, that is in congruence with my be still desires, and my want to do longing to connect with God, others and creation.

How will your want to have support your be and do?

Gifts to Unwrap

Of course, I have other be, do, have desires and longings I could share.  These are just a few of the gifts in my life I hope to unwrap in 2017.  I hope it’s given you a glimpse of how you might make a gift list for 2017 for yourself.  Take time for yourself and listen to your heart.  I want to create safe spaces for you to explore the dreams and possibilities in your life and find hope. That’s my biggest desire for 2017.   Let’s unwrap your gifts for 2017 together.

Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and certified brain-based coach.  She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope.  She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you!  You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress.  It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.

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