Seek Light In the Darkness

There is always some source of light in the darkness, shining on different opportunities, pointing toward new possibilities. Bahram Akradi, Founder and CEO of Life Time

When we experience loss, we often feel immersed in darkness. For some, it’s part of the grieving process. But know that there is always a source of light if one seeks it out. This light could come through our faith in God, an empathetic friend, or our own will to move forward. 

As Akradi says, the light points toward new possibilities and shines on different opportunities. A single candle can light up a room. Moving forward in the smallest way can yield a brighter future.

Affirmation: I will seek the source of light in the darkness.

Coaching questions: How do you deal with dark times? What helps you find the source of light?

Photo by Zac Cain on Unsplash 

Living a Life of Faith and Integrity

The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love, and loyalty. Zig Ziglar, American author

I just returned from a celebration of life service (funeral) for a man who exemplified this quote. From the stories told of his life, he was primarily a man of faith, integrity, love, and loyalty to his family/friends. He was also a man of courage and strength as he battled cancer for two years.

We need to be reminded that there are people in our midst like Bill. People who lead others (he was a high school basketball coach) to follow a similar path. People who are examples to his friends and family of how living—and dying—can be done with faith and integrity. 

Affirmation: I search out positive models for my life.

Coaching questions: What top five characteristics do you want people to remember about you and how you lived your life? What example are you setting for your friends and family?

Are You A Trustworthy Person?

I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you. Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher

Trust is the measure of a quality relationship. This is true of friends, business associates, world leaders. Here are four behaviors that demonstrate trustworthiness. 

  1. Keep confidences. When you share confidential information, you destroy your trustworthiness with both the person you have betrayed and the person with whom you have shared the information. 
  2. Show vulnerability. When you open up and share your goals and values with others, they perceive you as more trustworthy. You have “skin in the game” and something to lose.
  3. Respect boundaries. Set clear boundaries for yourself and hold them. In turn, honor the boundaries of others. 
  4. Speak face to face. Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets have become a breeding ground for distrust. If you have something important to say, speak to the person directly. 
  5. Tell the truth. As Nietzsche says, once  the foundation of truth-telling is broken, it can take a great deal for someone to trust again. 

Affirmation: I am trustworthy.

Coaching questions: How do you measure trustworthiness? How do you instill trust in others? What’s one thing you can do to be perceived as a more trustworthy person? 

How’s Your Balance These Days?

We have overstretched our personal boundaries and forgotten that true happiness comes from living an authentic life fueled with a sense of purpose and balance. Dr. Kathleen Hall, author of A Life in Balance: Nourishing the Four Roots of True Happiness and founder of Mindful Living Network®

We hear the term “balance” bandied around so frequently that we may have forgotten the definition—equilibrium or a state in which opposing forces harmonize. 

Balance gives us a sense of wholeness, calmness, and the ability to acknowledge multiple viewpoints/circumstances without feeling overwhelmed. Balance can be achieved when we consciously seek the middle by having empathy for others, analyzing alternate perspectives, looking for the good, showing gratitude. 

When we intentionally commit to seeking balance in our lives, we can improve our well-being and, at the same time, become the change we want to see in our world. 

Affirmation: I strive to live a balanced life.

Coaching questions: Where do you experience imbalance? What’s one thing you’ll do to bring greater balance to your life?

Photo by Bekir Dönmez on Unsplash

Spring Clean Your Life

Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds, you can grow flowers or weeds. Unknown

It’s Spring in many parts of the world and our instinct tells us to clean out the proverbial “cobwebs” of winter. This usually means getting rid of unworn clothing, uneaten canned goods, or the unused assortment of junk in our drawers. 

But, what if, along with corners of the bathroom and under the sink, we cleaned out our lives? You know, the what-ifs, the toxic relationships, or the unending worries? Mentally we can achieve the same renewal that we give our environment when we ready our life for the planting of flowers rather than weeds. 

Affirmation: I will spring clean my life.

Coaching questions: Where will you start—finances, relationships, time? How will you feel when your mind/life is renewed and refreshed? 

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash 

Take A Moment To Be Still

It’s about the white spaces between the paragraphs, which I think are more important than any of the text. It allows you to think about what’s just been said. Fred Rogers, American television personality and much, much more

As a Life Coach, I was trained to recognize and encourage the white spaces, times when a question is asked and there is a long pause. I learned to be still, to let the responder think, and perhaps get uncomfortable with the silence. The same is true with the written word. Without paragraphs or chapter breaks the magnitude of words would overwhelm us. 

I’ve designed the affirmation and coaching questions in this blog to serve as white space. Say the affirmation aloud, sit with it a moment. As you read the coaching questions, be still and see what resonates. Being quiet is an important aspect of mental health and personal growth. Allow your body, soul, mind, and God to speak to you. Be still and listen.

Affirmation: I honor the stillness.

Coaching question/request: How do you view the white spaces in your life? With fear, contempt, joy? Take a moment to be still.

Lessons From Ariel

Who says that my dreams have to stay my dreams? Ariel in Little Mermaid

Last week, two of my grandkids (see photo) were in the musical, Little Mermaid. My grandson, Agostino, was the human, Prince Eric. My granddaughter, Marcella, was a seahorse with a surprising amount of stage time and lines. Watching the show got me wondering about the meaning. Here’s what I found.

—If you give up on your dreams, life can get boring. 

—If we try our best, we have a good chance of succeeding.

—Don’t let anyone take your voice away. Use your voice to make a difference!

—Cherish your friends. Do you have a Flounder, Sebastian or Scuttle in your life?

—Learn to think outside the box; like using a fork as a comb.

—Be curious! Explore and seek new knowledge everyday.

Affirmation: I will never give up on my dreams.

Coaching questions: What lessons have you learned from tv shows, movies, books, plays? What lessons from Little Mermaid speak to you?

Building Strength–One Adversity At A Time

There are uses to adversity, and they don’t reveal themselves until tested. Whether it’s serious illness, financial hardship, or the simple constraint of parents who speak limited English, difficulty can tap unexpected strengths. Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

I believe the growth spurts of my life have been when adversity has reared its ugly head. At times, the testing tapped into unexpected or latent strengths, as Justice Sotomayor suggests, and, at others, adversity created a Me who was stronger than before.

When I go to the gym, my exertion on the muscle building machines tears down my muscle so that, when it repairs itself, it is bigger and stronger. I believe this is what happens when life brings us challenges. We are temporarily torn only to grow again, stronger than ever.

Affirmation: I am strong.

Coaching questions: In what ways have you been tested? In what ways has the testing changed you?

How Will You Spend Your Day?

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. Annie Dillard, American author

I don’t have to tell you that life is precious and goes by fast. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to how we spend our time. Making good decisions about how we use our time is dependent on being clear about who we are and what’s important to us. It helps us eliminate what doesn’t matter. 

Big and small decisions are what keep us moving through our lives. Sometimes we use trial and error; other times we have a systematic approach. Either way, being clear about where we’re going and what’s important will keep us spending our days in a way that’s in tune with how we want to spend the years we have left.

Affirmation: I want to spend my limited time in a meaningful way.

Coaching questions: What are you putting your energy into? Do your actions honor your values?

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash 

Celebrating Women Who Provide Healing and Promote Hope

A woman is like a tea bag—you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water. Eleanor Roosevelt

Women’s History Month is a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society and has been observed annually in the month of March in the United States since 1987.

The National Women’s History Alliance designates a yearly theme for Women’s History Month. The 2022 theme is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” This theme is “both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history.”

Affirmation: I am a woman who contributes.

Coaching question: How do you provide healing and promote hope?