Finding Peace in the Midst of a Chaotic Life

Finding Peace in the Midst of a Chaotic Life

Recently talking with a colleague, she bemoaned the fact that as soon as her feet hit the floor, her mind whirled with all of the things she had to do that day.  Her list included getting herself ready,  preparing a healthy lunch to take to work, grabbing exercise clothes for after work, throwing dishes in the dishwasher, poking the teens for school, getting breakfast, letting the dog out, thinking of last minute details for a work presentation and getting out the door on time.  She had really wanted a time of peace with God before the kids were up, but she hit the snooze button instead.  She wondered, “Would life always be this chaotic?”   All of this occurred in the 90 minutes before leaving for work….

Sound familiar?  The details may change for your household a little, yet morning life can be chaotic.  Where does the time go?  Where is the peace?  How do I slow the pace down to at least glimmer of peace to start the day, then have that peace and calm center me for the day?

I have wondered that as well.  My mind goes 100 miles an hour and I want to slow my pace and practice that peace in the middle of my chaotic life.  I know it’s important for my well-being. I am semi-retired now, yet building my own business, watching my two-year old grandson as well as being affected by things going on around the world, I don’t necessarily feel peaceful either.

Peace though, is not about things and events around me.  It’s an important inside job.  It’s a choice I can make and ask for help with.   The continual message I notice is “Quit striving.”

I think seeking peace will be a continuous journey, which is why it’s my word for the year, ha!.  I can picture peace like a river, with me floating down it, gently, when I can get myself quiet and contemplative- which means developing capacities for deep concentration and quieting the mind in the midst of the action.  Isn’t contemplative a great word picture?

Fortunately, I found a great contemplative prayer yesterday, based on Psalm 46:10 from the Gravity Center, “Be still and know that I am God.”  I felt peace wash over me as I focused on the bigger picture.  I have set a reminder on my phone to come up to the word, “be” so that I can savor that feeling throughout the day.  I can know that the God of I AM is at work within me and I can savor peace.

How to do the Be Still prayer to find peace

In this prayer, you take time to settle into a comfy chair and a quiet space – at  your desk, your car in the parking lot, your favorite chair at home.  Take a few deep breathes and acknowledge that you want to be in God’s presence.  Then between each line of the prayer, pause and take a few more deep breathes so that each line can flow deep into your heart. 

“Be still and know that I am God.”

“Be still and know that I am.”

“Be still and know .”

“Be still and know.”

“Be still and.”

“Be still.”

“Be.”

“Amen”

May you, too, find a chance to be still this day, find peace and quiet the chaos of your heart!

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 More Questions to a Better You!

3 More Questions to a Better You!

What would it take to be a better you? As I continue to talk to women about wellbeing, I know how hard it is to put new habits into place.  One friend I was talking to realized she could give herself more energy management.  After a busy weekend of speaking and traveling, she allowed herself a day of down time.  Before, she would have kept plowing through, to the detriment of her health.  What are you beginning to notice?

We talked last week about social, physical and career/purpose wellbeing.  This week, let’s look at  financial, community and spiritual wellbeing. Let the following questions guide your vision of a healthier you!

Financial Wellbeing- ­­How content are you as you spend your money?

Interestingly enough, money doesn’t buy wellbeing although it is needed to have enough for food, shelter, transportation- the basics. Without those basics, finances can be stressful.  After basics are met, the positives of money come from being able to spend it on others.  Studies show that spending it on experiences and creating memories also have a lasting effect on your well-being, rather than on material things.

What is your financial outlook?  Where are you on the financial scale,1-10 (with 10 being easy-peasy to give away) of spending money on others?  What about on experiences?  What visions and intentions do you want to foster for your financial wellbeing?

Community Wellbeing- How well do you like and are involved in your community?

Community has to do with where you live and play.  Do you feel safe in your community?  How active are you in your community?  Attachments to a community are first based on security, then personality, family, interests and personal pursuits.  For my husband and I, we chose the Madison, WI area because of the university, availability of work, the beauty and the friendly Midwest culture. What made you choose the community you now live in?

After living in the city for 26 years, we ended moving to a beautiful, oak grove outside of Madison.  I was suffering from daily headaches at the time and needed the quiet.  The older I got, the louder the interstate traffic got near our home in the city.  We made an intentional choice for our well-being. What a difference the beauty and the quiet have made for both of us! What community changes may you need or want to make for your well-being?

Spiritual Wellbeing – What spiritual practices can connect you to better health?

According to research being done at the University of Minnesota, there is a growing body of evidence that indicates spiritual practices are associated with better health and wellbeing.

One of the major ways to spiritual wellbeing considered are contemplative practices, those practices that guide you to a specific focus, often an inward-looking reflection or concept.  These contemplative practices are shown to increase compassion, empathy, and attention as well as quiet the mind.

Some of these contemplative practices include:

  • Mindful meditation, in which you take time to focus on your breathing has shown to induce feelings of calm and clear-headedness as well as improve concentration and attention.
  • Prayer, a belief that there is a higher power that has a level of influence over your life, can provide a relaxation response as well as feelings of hope, gratitude and compassion. People who believed God was at work in their health and wellbeing responded to better to treatment more than those who did not.
  • Journaling, considered a contemplative practice in that it helps you become more aware of your inner life and get connected to the thoughts swirling in your head. By placing your thoughts on paper, you have the opportunity to make meaning out of what is going on in your life.

For me, this has been my greatest area of growth for my health.  By taking the time to pray, reflect and quiet my mind daily, I have been restored to hope, joy and contentment.  I have a more healthy mind, released from the anxiety and depression I experienced early and I am grateful.

What is your vision of wellbeing?

From these last two blogs, how do you begin to envision and create your own pathway to a life of better wellbeing?

Social – Who do you spend time with every day?

Physical – What choices do you make every day?

Career/Purpose- Do you like what you do each day?

Finances – How content are you with how you spend your money?

Community – How well do you like your community and how involved are you?

Spiritual – What spiritual practices are connecting you to better health?

A vision board helps you visualize a preferred future in each of these areas.  Scientific studies reveal that when you visualize an action, you stimulate the same brain regions as when you actually perform that action.

One athletic study proved that visualization enabled nationally ranked gymnasts to execute several complex tricks for the first time. Visualization has also been shown to improve high jumpers clearing the bar!

In other words, your brain can be trained to create outcomes you most want.

So, begin to gather those visions in each area.  Join me and other women April 1st for a day long retreat in the Stoughton, WI area and invest in a day for yourself to create your well-being vision.  Check out the details on my facebook page and contact me for more details.  Now is the time to set your vision and intentions to move forward on your wellbeing.  You’ll be glad you did!

 

 

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.

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.

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.

Vision – Throw Your Heart Out There

Vision – Throw Your Heart Out There

When was the last time you got intentional with a vision about what you wanted out of your life?  New Year’s Resolution?  After a transition? After something painful had occurred in your life?  Living with a vision is challenging for me, because I’m so easily distracted by ideas or family or even what is going on in the world.  I say yes to things I wish I hadn’t said yes to and wonder about why I say no to other things.  That’s why I’m so excited about creating space for myself and other women to explore the power of vision. It’s time to get intentional about what is possible in our lives.  How do you harness the power of a vision?

Create a visual representation of your vision

By taking the time to dream and get real about your vision, you can create a visual representation on what you believe would be best for you, your family, your work, your life.  By this belief and faith in God, you put in motion expectations of what could be possible.  It doesn’t mean you’ll get everything you desire.  However it puts your brain and heart on alert for possibilities.

Commit to praying over your vision

As you pray over this vision, God promises  

Your ears will hear sweet words behind you: “Go this way. There is your path; this is how you should go” whenever you must decide whether to turn to the right or the left.  Isaiah 30: 21.

I am so grateful to have that small voice whispering in my ear as I move forward.

Remember to share your vision slowly and wisely

Sometimes, vision takes a while to develop, like a tender shoot coming out of the ground.  Choose wisely how and when you will share your vision and with whom.  You want the support of community, yet you don’t want to have to defend your God-given vision.  Pray about who will be on your vision team and how and when to share it.  Waiting can be part of the development.

Keep visualizing the future you want

What does your vision look like, feel like, sound like?  This is based on brain science and used often in sports training.

According to scientific studies, when you visualize an action, you stimulate the same brain regions as when you actually perform that action.  What brain regions do you need to stimulate?

Visualization has also been shown to improve high jumpers clearing the bar!  That’s how we can put our hearts over the bar first.  Lead with your heart and brain.

Let your vision set your boundaries for daily living

As you get clear on your vision, you will then know what to say yes to in your days and weeks to come.  You gain clarity on how to live your life.  More importantly, vision lets you feel comfortable with what to say no to as well.  It frees you from guilt, overbooked calendars (almost) and frenzied living.

With these five steps in mind, you’ll begin to see your vision unfold.  Watch for where God is at work in your vision and join Him.  I would love to have you join us for our vision board workshop on January 21st.  Contact me at nancy@nancyboothcoaching.com for more information.  I still have a couple of spaces left.  Last day to register is January 17. However, I would also love to hear how your vision is unfolding and how you’re letting your heart lead.  Post in the comments below or on my Nancy Booth Coaching facebook page.  Let’s harness the power of vision together.

Author’s note: Check out the podcast at Professional Christian Coaching Today “Crafting a Vision Statement” for more great ideas.  Also check “The Complete Guide to Vision Boards.” Thanks to Christine Kane, Christopher McCluskey and Kim Avery for their ideas used in this article. 

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.

 

 

Sign up to receive 5 Ways to Let Your Brain Rest and Reduce Your Stress!

And to stay in touch with Nancy!

Your FREE Download is on its way!