If Bill Gates says so…

Brrrrrr. It’s freezing cold here with  lots of snow, school closing, and howling winds. Hello February.

Just because it’s dark and cold and the big gift giving holidays have passed,  you don’t have to stop giving or receiving gifts. February is really an excellent time to be extra friendly to yourself.

Start with a gift from you to you. How about permission to drop, “I should be able to do this alone?” If you don’t believe me, check out this 1.25 minute video of Bill Gates  telling you the very same thing 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLF90uwII1k&feature=youtu.be

Then get a gift from me too:  Permission Granted: Move Into Change With Your Own Approval here.

And another one, this lovely poem…

All I live for is now
All I stand for is where and how
All I wish for are magic moments

As I sail through change
My resolve remains the same
What I chose are magic moments

Because ships are safe in the harbour
But that is not what ships are made for
The mind could stretch much further
But it seems that is not what our minds are trained for

We call for random order
You can’t control Mother nature’s daughter

Ships are safe in the harbour
But that is not what ships are built for

The witch hunter roams
The scary thing is that he’s not alone
He’s trying to down my magic moments

As we sail through change
Ride the wind of a silent rage
And sing laments of magic moments

– unknown

Don’t be shy! If you like this, share it. Comment if you have something to say. I would love it. Thanks!

moveintochange.com

Fall in Love with Your Life

What would it take for you to love your life?

Dear Valentine’s Day,

I’m using you as an excuse to talk about what matters to me.

Today, I’m thinking about how often I hear people say, “I hate my life.” Granted, it’s usually in a moment of frustration, annoyance or when yet another obstacle arises. I know I felt like this when the ceiling fell in on our bed. But I digress…

Most people, when pressed would say they didn’t really mean it, at least, not in the sense of being clinically depressed. They say that no, no, they like their lives, or maybe they just feel embarrassed by an outburst that holds a kernel of truth.  side note: If you feel so awful that you don’t want to go on living, stop right here and call someone for help.

Falling in love with your life is a little bit like falling in romantic love for the first time, but it’s more akin to rekindling the fire in a long-term relationship like marriage.

If you’ve been in a relationship for longer than a year, you know that relationships get into habits. Difficulties can get swept under the stove. We can start assuming we know what the other person will say and feel and how they’ll react. Sometimes we react as if they already said, felt and did those things before they even happen. We even interpret something new in light of the old. It can be jarring when years into the relationship one or both parties wake-up and wonder “How did we get here?” “Do I still love this person? What does it mean to love him/her now? We can feel trapped and uncertain about what to do next.

See where I’m going here?

We have a relationship with our lives, as we live it every day, whether we know it or not. If we walk away from this relationship we abandon only our selves.

The first step, and always the first step, is to intend to have a new relationship with your life. To commit to it. Dear Life, will you be mine?

Feeling the love again requires some work. No news there.

Questions to explore are the same for any other love relationship. Do I like my life? Do I Love it? What habits have I gotten into? Do I expect less of myself and tamp my desires because I’ve let myself down before? What have I decided is true that isn’t? Am I willing to look at my responsibilities here, including not taking on what isn’t mine? How do I treat me? How do I treat my life? What actions will I take to spark some change?

What will it take to fall in love with my life?

Coaching is one tool for falling in love with your life. Check out 27 Benefits to Coaching.

Love, Judy

Join  Move Into Change (it’s free) and get a newsletter with more tips and tools for self coaching, first dibs on sign up for events, and discounts too. Here.

5 Reasons I No longer Mind Being Called “Coach”

When I first heard about life coaching, the most persistent association I had to the word “coach” was Mr. Lawson, our elementary school gym teacher. He scared me. An ex-marine still sporting the jar-head haircut, whistle around his neck, he patrolled the halls bellowing orders. He called all the girls “toots,” which even at 8, I knew wasn’t a complement. Coach. Me? Ew- no.

Even after getting trained and certified as a Life & Career Coach,  I still resisted the title.  I wracked my brain for a better one: life midwife, supporter,  partner, friend with life benefits, guide, trail master, Sherpa,… none of them had quite the right meaning.

Recently, I noticed that the word coach doesn’t feel quite so inaccurate. Obviously, I say it a lot more since my training days, but more importantly, as I practice coaching the way I imagine it can be, the less I care about the name.

Here are 5 Reasons I love what I do and no longer mind being called “coach” – – most of the time.

1.     I meet great people. Interesting people with lifestyles, careers, histories, interests and desires, all fascinating to me. People I would  never have met otherwise. And, most of them wouldn’t describe themselves the way I just did.

2.     People (that are also clients) accomplish things they’ve always wanted like.

  • Paint again after a creative block
  • Find a career that matches their passion, skills & financial needs
  • Finish a dissertation on hold for over 30 years
  • Create a peaceful family life
  • Quit smoking
  • Create new satisfying & effective relationships with co-workers and superiors

3.     And, they say things like this:

  • “I did it!”
  • “It makes a huge difference to talk to you – you’re the only person that isn’t going to judge anything that comes out of my mouth, judge the people I’m talking about or tell me what I should do. I can find the solutions better when you are listening and asking questions.”
  • “The best money I ever spent!”

4.     I get to be creative too! Finding new ways to apply the skills I gathered from my varied careers & interests, with clients, every day, is beyond satisfying.

5.     Doing the other stuff, the “businessy” stuff that being a coach requires puts me in the same position as many of my clients; taking risks; practicing what I know will support me while I manage the unknown; dealing with inner criticism and worry. I have a chance to walk my talk. Every day.

6.     I know I said there’d be 5, but this one is important. People vary and people can change. So each change, and the process of that change, varies for each person too.  Clients let me parachute into their lives and help them figure this out. It’s the best.

Though I’m holding out for that day when a better name for what I do finds me (feel free to post your suggestions), I describe my career as a life, learning & career coach.

Image  Judy

Click  Happy 2014 Discount + Not so Random Acts of Kindness to find out about lower coaching prices available until Feb. 14th.

Dissolving a Habit

If you like this kind of thing- tips and tools for self-coaching- you can sign up for the Move Into Change Newsletter here. Below is an example of one type of content you’ll get.

DISSOLVING A HABIT: 5 IDEAS FOR A PLAN

The sink in my new home is across from the stove to the right instead of beside me to the left, the way it was in my old place. No big deal, except each time I want the sink I turn to the left before I realize that it’s the other way.

This habit of turning to the left worked well in the old kitchen situation but doesn’t here. That’s the way it is with habits. They may have worked before but now, they don’t.

50shousewifeNo, not really me.:)

Habits exist so that we don’t have to think so much.

Imagine if we didn’t create habits. We’d be rethinking all things all the time. We’d be up in the middle of the night deciding which way to get to the bathroom, or thinking about how to form the letter “a” while trying to write our thoughts.

We’d be exhausted and still never get beyond inventing the wheel…or to the toilet in time.

Habits, a.k.a, patterns, put us on “automatic,” resulting in large parts of our lives being better. Easier.

We can thank our brains for this ability to be efficient.     Basal_Ganglia_and_Related_Structures.svg

The Basal Ganglia, is a big player in habit making.

Every habit we have serves a purpose, some way it made our life better at the time we made it, though that purpose may not be as simple, or obvious, as getting to the sink quickly with a hot pot of pasta.

So what to do when a pattern no longer helps us?

When the mindlessness of “automatic” makes it difficult to be as healthy, productive, creative, kind, or as loving as we desire it’s time for a change.

Luckily, our brilliant brains are adaptable too. Some patterns re-adjust or shift on their own, subconsciously, the same way they are made. I’m sure that I’ll soon have a new pattern in the kitchen and that cute little spin I do at the stove will disappear.

It’s trickier when a habit  doesn’t change on its own.

If it’s an old habit, chances are it’s not going to shift as easily as my kitchen example. At this point, dissolving a pattern requires coaxing its reasons for being out from the gray world of rote behavior into the brighter light of gentle inquisitiveness.

It requires mindfulness.

And a plan.

A plan unique to you.

I hope you’ll use the following 5 elements to craft such a plan. When I work with clients I use these very same elements. A recent client stopped smoking, another is exercising every day, and another is making different food choices. I quit biting my nails years ago by incorporating these elements into a plan.

  • Do things that help you learn about yourself and your body like journaling, meditation,  PauseAbilities,yoga, therapy, energy work.
 
  • Find ways to quiet the judging and shaming yourself for having this habit, or waiting too long or not moving fast enough or whatever way you shame or “should” yourself.
  •  Start learning about the needs you are meeting by maintaining this habit. There can be more than one current one, and older ones too.
  • A. Cut down slowly and intentionally. B. Introduce new behavior that meets the needs behind the habit.
  • Celebrate the small victories! They add up and keep momentum flowing.

All 5 elements are equally important to creating the type of plan that doesn’t emphasize outer or inner work, but integrates the two.If you like this, please share it. Responses, comments and questions are always welcome.

Judy

Wednesday Words

Cheri Huber

If what Cheri Huber says is true, and you’re not flawed, damaged or “not enough” –  now what? Are you worried that you won’t strive, create or work to improve your life?

It’s a common belief that in order to move forward we need to push ourselves from a feeling of insecurity.  But that story results in a cycle of emotional highs and lows as we quest to  fill the hole and then find it below level – yet again. Just when you thought you’d quieted your inner doubts with proof, hard work, maybe even money, there they are again. Sometimes stronger than before.

Frustrating. Painful.

Here’s the thing. You’ve (we’ve) been asking the wrong questions. We’ve been asking, “How can I make these doubts go away, or at least appease them? What can I give them to shut them up? What shovel is the magic shovel?

Our doubts scare us. We feel bullied by them so we use the same strategies we would have used as school children – ignore, submit, appease, placate, negotiate, fight back, fantasize, and/or join. None of these work for long,  just like they don’t with real life bullies.

Instead, why not try a new approach. The first step is to notice the ‘bully voices,” ultra critical or harsh,  lot’s of I should, why didn’t I, whats wrong with me, I never, I always, etc. Do your best to just notice – I know, it’s hard- maybe write it down or rub your knee when you notice it. AND, this is crucial, give the voice(s) a real name.  Why? Because that will begin to change your relationship to them. That’s what we’re after.

The second step is to notice your reactions to the “new name here” voices without acting on them. Do you jump up to distract yourself (eat, watch T.V., drink, check email), do you get anxious until you do what it says, do you shame yourself for not doing what it says, are you angry at it for “making” you feel bad, etc.? Just notice.

Step Three. Not really the third step, really a throughout  the first two steps kind of thing…be kind – to you. This is new. New skills require encouragement and patience. You’re asking yourself to withstand discomfort. Try yoga or meditation to practice breathing through and with discomfort.

Baby steps.

You are always welcome to poke around at Move Into Change. If you’re ready,  let’s see if we can work together.

Wednesday Words

“Often we treat certain aspects of ourselves as junk, having no value. We try to throw parts of ourselves in the garbage. But a human being is an ecosystem, and everything in that system is of value to the whole.”

– Stephen Schwartz.

hole-in-heartAre you abandoning the parts you don’t like? At what cost? What if you could learn to include all of you?

You are always welcome to poke around at Move Into Change. If you’re ready,  let’s see if we can work together.

Wednesday Words

Thadeus-Mirror-Gold-Main

In the last analysis, the individual person is responsible for living his own life and for finding himself. If he persists in shifting responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence.

~ Thomas Merton.

You are always welcome to poke around at Move Into Change. If you’re ready,  let’s see if we can work together.