Regaining Enthusiasm

How I Regained My Enthusiasm & How You Can Too3ddec2a4-3d0d-4742-98db-b639d2618a83

When I stopped writing my newsletter a year and a half ago, I needed a break! I had new things on my plate and rather than trying to do it all, I decided to back off on a few things. Besides that, I’d lost my enthusiasm for writing.

When our enthusiasm is gone, we feel stuck. I sure did! I spent some time down in the rut, but then, I took my first step. Being a coach, I knew that to move out of stuck, I needed to reassess where I was (overwhelmed) and then get clear about where I wanted to be. Since I was feeling overwhelmed, I backed off on things that were draining my energy. 

Taking a break is essential to being able to think clearly. Humans were designed to need rest and relaxation. Our brains need time think outside the confines of our daily grind. We also need to time to think about nothing!

Sometimes we only need a short break. Just a day away to REthink, REfocus and REmember why we are doing what we are doing.


I needed a longer break. Taking a break gave me time to refocus and get clarity. During my break I began working with Stronger Families as a Master Level Trainer. I was traveling all over the US doing presentations at military installations. Learning the ropes of traveling for work from making all the arrangements to being away from home, sometimes 10 days in a month – I was on over-load. Even though it was a great experience. It was too much to try to keep up with all I had been doing. I needed, and wanted to give up something. 

It sounds easy, ‘just take a break,’ but that first step can be really hard. Just knowing what to take a break from can be difficult! We get so bogged down with life and what we ‘have’ to do, that we have no brain space for what we ‘could’ do – or what we could ‘not’ do. We may have no idea why we’ve lost our enthusiasm, but it is gone – and we feel depleted. 

What I learned during my break from writing was that I needed to develop a team of  coaches to work with if I wanted to re-engage with writing and consider taking on more clients. I have done that and I have been inspired to write again! My colleagues are great! I will have (or will) introduce you to Kim Kompel and Ted Hackney in blog posts.

Though we may feel like we have no choice, isn’t being stuck just the result of making the same choice over and over again? I thought I “had” to write my newsletter. If I didn’t, I’d be throwing away everything I’d worked for. When we get stuck in a rut we begin to believe it’s the only way. We’re no longer going where we want to go but can’t see any other way.

Simply reframing our choices and realizing we are NOT stuck. We have chosen this path today. We must consciously recognize our freedom to make different decisions, whenever we are ready. Facing the reality of this freedom helps us feel much better! It can REnew our enthusiasm and bring life back our endeavors. 

Our REactions Reveal What’s in Our Head & Heart

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 12.02.23 PM“The remarkable thing is I have a choice every day of what my attitude will be. I cannot change my past. I cannot change the actions of others. I cannot change the inevitable. The only thing I can change is attitude. Life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I react to it.” ― Charles R. Swindoll

Multiple credible sources say that life is 90% about our reactions. If that is so, it behooves us to learn to react in ways that are beneficial. To do that we have to decide ahead of time who we are because reactions come from that deep place. They may be flippant and short lived, or drawn out for months or years. . . but the truth is a reaction comes from what we believe in our hearts and in our heads.

Years ago, I reacted to a friends cutting accusations by reeling in hurt for far too long. The truth was she had seen right through me, but my pride kept me from realizing it and owning up to what she was getting at. My intent was mostly pure. I wanted to help. Had I been forthright and acknowledged the fact that she was right – I did believe she needed help because she was inadequate (ouch), things might have been completely different. Instead of lovingly saying, you are right, ‘I do think you are deficient, we are all inadequate in some areas – that’s why we live in community,’ I reacted with an uncalled for amount of hurt.

I’m not excusing her words – it was an attack and even upon my apology she ridiculed me telling me I was acting like an adolescent. But that is not the point.

The truth was, not only did I truly want to offer my help because I knew that my education had given me tools she did not have, I wanted her approval because she had status within our community and I believed she held power. Sadly, it took me a long time of reeling before I chose to examine my beliefs and change my reaction.

I know many a person, like me, who claim to believe that ‘all things work together for good’, or ‘everything happens for a reason’ but when things don’t go as planned they react in ways that that reflect quite the contrary. Why? Because they doubt the truth of what they say they believe.

If you are in the midst of a reaction that isn’t beneficial, I hope that you will not spend time letting the wound fester. I hope that you will re-examine your heart and your head and make the choice to change your reaction accordingly. As Swindoll says our attitude is something we can change.

If you have flippant, quick reactions that you are not proud of, I hope you too will get to the core of what is causing them – then do the work it takes to change your beliefs to what you know as right, truthful and beneficial for you and the world you influence.

10 Questions To Improve Your Legacy

Leaving-a-Legacy-of-Faith.001-001The Big Question:

If you knew you were going to die in 6 months but could not change your relationship status, job/position or financial status (no loans or credit cards allowed) what would you do to ensure you would be remembered as you wish?

2) Who would you spend more/less time with?

3) What words of life and encouragement would you speak into your children, your spouse, parents etc.?

4) What unhelpful thoughts would you stop thinking?

5) What bucket list items would you be sure to accomplish?

6) What would be the most important thing you would want to share with your loved ones? acquaintances?

7) How would you spend your money that would show you honoring your values?

8) Who would you hope to influence the most? In what way?

9) What would you want people to say at your memorial service?

10) How will you begin to implement these things so that if you do die in 6 months, 6 weeks or 6 days you will leave the legacy you desire?

Tips For Finding Joy in Life and Relationships

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 2.56.58 PMI had so much fun with my cohort Laurie Hardie hanging out, talking and prepping to host ‘Live From Seattle’ that it got me thinking about how much good it does a soul to have fun.

When I say fun, I just mean doing something enjoyable. Something you look forward to with a smile on your face…. something you want to do and you will be glad you did.

I intended for this post to concentrate on relationships and how fun times together can move us into more rewarding relationships but I have to start with addressing individuals because it takes a healthy person to have a healthy relationship. That’s not to say Relationship Coaching doesn’t work with unhealthy individuals, it can – it just takes a slightly different approach.

Depression is very very common. If you struggle with it, here is one simple step that can help. Plan to have fun. I’d suggest planning something little every day, something a little bigger weekly and something really fun at least once a month. If you immediately think ‘I don’t have money so this won’t work for me’, you’re wrong! Learning to enjoy, relish and appreciate the little things helps bring life back to a dark soul. The daily kinds of things might be having a cup of tea with your daughter or taking an indulgently long hot shower after a good workout or dusting off and playing your guitar again.

Just taking the time to think about and put them on your calendar helps us really be present in the experience and cherish the moments. Whether or not you have money, if you think you can only have wonderful experiences when your spending money, I want to challenge you to get creative and return to the things that really matter and plan things that take little to no money. Often this very act will help reframe your thinking and get you back into a place of joy.

Struggling relationships are often revitalized by fun. Playful activities that both parties enjoy can take the edge off being together. If you are in a really bad place, you might want to be sure that there is not a long car ride involved the first time you try this. The more often you are able to make these enjoyable moments/hours occur the better. Just make sure the activities stay untainted from ugly behavior. What often happens is that the more fun times that are incorportated into the relationship the less tension there is regarding other issues and healthier communication begins to flow.

Give it a whirl and remember having fun, on a regular basis, does a world of good for a darkened soul!

Desiring Growth?

Some say that the desire for growth is always rooted in dissatisfaction, I beg to differ. I may be odd, but dissatisfaction rarely inspires me. Initially I feel a bit down, negative and stuck, whereas contentment gives me freedom. I realize that I’m not stuck! Unhindered by negativity, I have the clear frame of mind to look at all the options, think out of my box without pressure, and remember to keep my eyes open for new ideas and possibilities   Dissatisfaction blinds me.

growthDesiring growth is a human phenomenon.  Throughout childhood we look forward to the next phase of life marking milestones and marking walls by the quarter inch.  Once our full stature is reached we continue to look ahead still marking milestones with graduations, marriage, children, careers and accomplishing goals – until we stop, or die.

When I believe dissatisfaction is a good foundation for growth I tend to focus on the negative and that leads me in a path I’d rather not travel. Often the first negative thought is not nearly as bleak as the next, nor that one as hopeless as the one that follows – it’s a downward spiral. Worse yet, dissatisfaction wells up in me a need to blame.  Blaming myself doesn’t help me any more than blaming you or even the circumstances.

Desiring growth, movement or change is not a choice – we are human – it is what we do. Cultivating contentment is a choice that God intends for us to make. When we choose to be grateful and live with a real sense of peace, our eyes are unveiled to possibilities that are veiled when we are dissatisfied.  Untainted by negativity we make healthy, wise decisions and fulfill the longing that never dies – growth.

Besides all that, contentment is way more fun!!  Not to mention the fact that we are called to be content.  We know God doesn’t intend for us to stagnate so I’m quite certain he wouldn’t call us to contentment if that is where it led.  Wanna grow?  Try contentment.  I’ve been so very blessed when that is the choice I’ve made.