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.

 

Moms and Daughters – Continually Forging a Bond

Moms and Daughters – Continually Forging a Bond

“What’s your schedule like next week?” my daughter asked as we were fixing supper together.  Cooking together is often a way we bond.  She and her son were over at our house for the evening and we were enjoying some girl time while “Papa” and J were playing.

Since I was cooking supper, I had no idea what my schedule was.  My daughter is an entrepreneur and has a very fluid schedule.  I, too, am an entrepreneur with an equally flexible schedule.  It can work well for both of us, or it can collide.

I suggested we compare calendars after supper when we could look at the week ahead.  I have been one to rearrange my schedule for her pretty consistently, as she is a single mom, starting her own on-site hair and make-up business for weddings.

However, I am beginning to realize that I can get overwhelmed by merging her schedule with mine and can get resentful if I don’t stop to look at the bigger picture.  Slowly, I am beginning to ask, “How do I feel about this schedule?”  “What is mine to do?”  In the past, these questions would not have even occurred to me.  I would have just plowed full speed ahead, because “she needed me.”

Luckily, she, too, is getting more sensitive to the big picture.  When we realized everything that was going on in the week, three days in a row with our lovely grandson would not be good for us.  He’s a terrific, lively two-and-a-half year old that loves playing full-tilt with us.  We love having him, yet we don’t get anything else done when he is here, nor do we recoup any energy when he is here.  We realize why young people have children. Ha!

As we talked, she was able to rearrange her schedule and move one day of care for him into the following week.  That helped both of our schedules a great deal, both traveling out to our home (she lives 50 minutes away) and conserving energy for us.

What I loved about our conversation was the lead she took and the care in looking at the big picture.  This two-way responsibility continues to forge bonds for us.  I realized:

  • We had to sit down with our calendars to see the big picture.
  • She saw answers I didn’t see and was flexible.
  • The solutions arrived at were satisfying to all of us, based on good communication.
  • For me, it felt much more equalized, because I wasn’t just saying no to her request. It was a give and take conversation.

All of this communication takes time, practice and a willingness to listen and be flexible.  Lo and behold, I don’t have to have all the answers.  Imagine that!!!  I am enjoying this forward movement in our relationship.  It also helps if we are face to face, instead of texting.

What about you and your adult children?  Here are some key questions I am beginning to use for myself:

  • What is mine to do? What is my daughter’s (or son’s) responsibility?
  • How do I feel about what is going on? How much do I need to share or just keep praying about?  What is really any of my business?
  • How do I best affirm and love my daughter, regardless?
  • How do I best set her free to be the lovely adult person she is becoming?

I would love to hear the questions you are asking yourself as you forge the bonds with your adult children.  It’s challenging, hard and rewarding.   After all, we did raise them to set them free, right?

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.

Encouragement – 5 things to do when you need it

Encouragement – 5 things to do when you need it

Monday morning rolled around quickly.  This particular Monday morning was dark, misty, cool and damp.  How many of these dark ones had we had in a row?  Would spring ever get here?  I needed some sunshine and spring for encouragement to my soul.  The darkness of the morning matched my mood.  Have you felt that way, especially on a Monday morning?

I got up to my office with my Diet Coke (I’m not a coffee drinker, but I like my caffeine)  and went to work on my to do list for the week.  My thoughts were sluggish and my prayer time non-existent.

The longer I worked, the lower my emotions went.  I began to do some research for a book I am hoping to write.  A book proposal outline suggested looking back over journals as part of memoir research to see what nuggets could be discovered as a theme to my writing.  Ah, I thought, perhaps I’ll find encouragement in my past writing!

Low and behold, journals from four years ago had the same theme and desire that I have today to shepherd and encourage women to connect with God and other women and live with a healthy mind, body and soul.   That did it!  I was officially on a downward pity party.  If that was my theme from four years ago, how have I not made progress! How come I am not serving and encouraging more women than I am?   You should have heard my mind.  It was saying not nice things to me.

As I had my pity party, I realized reading my journal that day was not going to be helpful nor encouraging.  I knew I needed to encouragement and fast.  I didn’t want to stay in this slimy pit so I began some practices that had helped in the past:

  • Pray – I started praying for a change of mind. I realized I was in a pity party and I couldn’t stay in that spot or I would get anxious and depressed.
  • Connect with a friend – I got on Facebook and messaged my good friend to pray for me. She said she would and asked me what my next steps were going to be.  Action helps get my brain moving in an upspiral.
  • Read – I had the book, You are Free, Be Who You Already Are, by Rebekah Lyons, sitting beside me. The title seemed to reach out and encourage me.  I told my friend I would spend time reading the book, which specifically talks about throwing off self-condemnation and masks of perfection, and step boldly into God’s purpose for you, which was exactly the message I needed. 
  • Self- care – I took time for a good lunch and a short rest.
  • Reflect – As I read the book, one chapter in particular talked about being Free to Wait. I reflected how waiting in the last four years had done for me. I needed to get training, get healthy, recover from my depression and anxiety and know my own self better before coming alongside women who are hurting.  God reminded me that the waiting had been intentional.  He wanted my full attention and love first.  I wasn’t ready four years ago.  I had my own work to do before I could love and support other women.

By the end of the day, mercifully, I could leave my pity party and realize that my Create Your Vision for Healthy Living retreat I am leading this weekend for women is exactly that  – “shepherding and encouraging women to connect with themselves and God for a healthy vision of their minds, bodies and souls.”

I am encouraged.  I am participating in the vision God gave me four years ago. Thank goodness!

What about you? How can waiting be an encouragement to you?  What do you do to find encouragement when you find yourself headed down a slippery slope?  Getting into a slimy pit of depression and pity is easy to do and not easy to climb out of, especially if you find yourself going there often.

Prayer, connecting with a friend, reading, self-care and reflection have all helped encourage my brain and thinking to keep to a positive course and promote my wellbeing. I hope the practices I put into place this time can be choices for you. They are ones I have developed over my four years of waiting.

Now if only the sun would shine!

 

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.

 

How Does Your Hope Garden Grow?

How Does Your Hope Garden Grow?

Finding ways to grow your hope can be like growing a garden. Hope can come in many different packages and grow in different ways.  The definition of hope includes:

  • a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen
  • a feeling of trust.
  • want something to happen or be the case.
  • intend if possible to do something.

All of these definitions could look like different flowers in a garden, depending on what you need at the present moment.  Are you desiring a change in your career or move into retirement?  Are you hoping that you can trust someone more?  Or are you hoping something about your life will be different – better health perhaps, but you’re not sure?

I have had coaching conversations lately with women who are on the verge of sprouting new hopeful ideas. They are moving into new ways of living.  We have discussed their initial hopes and dreams which feel like little sprouts, tender and green.

How do you go about planting your garden of hope?

Till the soil.

Sometimes before hope for a different life, or a different career or even a different day, you are in the dark.  You have to begin to dig the soil around you, break up the hard dirt and get it ready for the hopes and dreams to sprout.  Tilling may include examining your mindsets – what is causing you to be stuck or feel hopeless?  What do you need to do to get the right ingredients in the soil so that it’s ready to plant?  Sometimes it’s a question such as “How would I like my life to be different?”

Examine the seeds.

Begin to explore all the different seeds you might want to plant.  Research your possibilities for change.  What is the one thing, that if you did this thing, would start you moving forward to other positive changes in your life?  What do you want to be?  What do you want to do?  What do you want to have?  These are the vision questions to help you examine seeds of hope you can plant.   Is it a career change?  Is it a lifestyle change?  Is it the way you think about yourself on a daily basis?

Choose seeds to plant.

Start your hope garden by creating a vision board or a picture of what your garden could look like.  Then choose what seeds to plant.  For example, one client I am working with has decided to move forward with a career change.  That’s a large seed to plant.  However, as she nurtures and lets it grow slowly, she’s excited to see what kind of beautiful flower will grow from it.

Care for the seed and sprout tenderly.

The seed of hope is tender.  When any change is being explored, you have to keep weeds pulled, like “What am I thinking- I can’t do this?”  or “This is too hard, I don’t know what I’m doing.”  Or letting other people’s comments trample on the tender shoot “What do you mean you’re changing jobs?”

Ask for help in tending your hope garden.

Tending a garden can be a challenge. You are working, watching and waiting.  You can be pulling weeds, watering the hope and waiting for it to grow.  By watching for changes in hope, you feel the strength growing within yourself.  It’s okay to ask for a community of helpers to support you as you tend your garden.  They may like to walk in the hope garden with you and admire the growth.

I know the plans I have for you plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

Growing your hope garden takes time, energy, sunshine and patience.  The change that hope brings, even day to day will bloom for a lifetime.  I would love to help you find and tend your hope garden.  Let’s get those sprouts growing.

 

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 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.
Tips for Creating Safe Spaces in a Mother-Daughter Relationship

Tips for Creating Safe Spaces in a Mother-Daughter Relationship

Creating safe spaces for women to flourish is a personal value of mine.  I find that as a mom and grandmother, I am faced with the question, “How do I do that for my own family?”  As a mom, it is easy to get caught up in fixing, advising, and doing for your own children.  I find it doubly hard when it’s my daughter, even as an adult.

I recently had the opportunity to practice creating that flourishing space for my daughter as she shared with me a financial concern she was facing.  We had a brief conversation before she was off to work.  I found myself going into “mom” mode in my head.  Luckily she wasn’t around for me to sound off!

Throughout the day, I rehearsed different scenarios in my head about how she might solve the concern she was facing.  In my head, I let myself get involved in “drama”.  I was attempting to “fix” her concern, as her mom and make life all better.  Isn’t that what moms are supposed to do?

However, as a young adult, she needs no fixing.  When I saw her that evening, she didn’t even bring up her concern, much to my surprise.  I’d been chewing on it all day!  God gently reminded me that He had her covered. I didn’t have to “do” anything but keep praying.  She emailed me the next day with how she was addressing her concern.  “just wanted to update you, Mom”. I was very proud of the way she was moving forward, as a young adult needed to do.

In reflecting about that incident, I realized I had created a safe and flourishing space, luckily, with God’s help.  I was so grateful.  Thank goodness she had to work that day. God had prompted me to keep my mouth shut.  Also I could have saved myself a little drama in my head had I reflected sooner.  Perhaps some of these tips can work for you, too.

In reflection, I realized I was able to support her in the following ways:

Listen-

That morning, she needed someone to listen and let her process her concerns and pain out loud.  She didn’t need anyone to “fix” it, or “do” anything.  I could just hold open a safe space for her.

Let Go-

I wasted a lot of energy that day on what was not mine.  I could have let go sooner and held her concern loosely for her.  I didn’t need to solve anything.

Pray-

Stopping to pray sooner would have given me the clarity that God had her covered.  I got that message later, thank goodness!  I am slowly learning to pray quicker.  He is here now and in her future. 

Empower-

By not giving too many suggestions (I gave a few, ha!) or rescuing her by giving her money, she was empowered to solve her own financial concern and move forward with it.

My role for my adult daughter is to love her, support her by listening and praying for her and show her care, not fix, rescue or do for her.  Slowly, slowly I am getting that message and we are strengthening our adult relationship.  I can then see problelms as opportunities for growth in our relationship, not wedges to drive us apart.  My prayer is that I can continue to create safe spaces for us to both grow.

What about you?  Where do you need to create safe spaces for relationships in your family?  Which of the above tips resonate with you?  As moms and grandmothers, we are the holders of space in our families and set a tone in our homes.  I would love to know how things are going in your home and how I might pray for you.  Contact me at nancy@nancyboothcoaching.com or in the comments below and let me know how I can support you as a mom or grandmother.  Your own sanity and the health of your family can depend on the space you create in your home.  I look forward to hearing from you.

 

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.

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