A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing. Laura Ingalls Wilder, author
It’s the start of the 2020 burrowing owl nesting season on Marco Island, Florida. It’s the time of year the male owls are busy decorating their burrow entrances to attract their lifetime mates.
According to an article by Maria Lamb in the Coastal Breeze, “The male owl goes nuts in their decoration choices. Some male owls prefer grass clippings while others prefer bright colored flowers, but their absolute favorite is dried up dog poop. Owls living on ranches display similar preferences for cow poop.” Who knew?
Just a little levity in these “heavy” times.
Affirmation: Humor is all around us.
Coaching question: If you were a female owl what would you prefer??
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So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.” Helen Keller
One of the daughters I interviewed for my book referred to her sudden mother-memories as “bubble-ups.” We all have them. Those sights, smells, songs, sayings that cause the bubbling up of a memory of a precious person in our life who is gone.
These bubble-ups frequently catch us off guard, surprising us with their power. Other bubble-ups are predictable like when the University of Nebraska football team takes the field, I can’t help but shed a tear…my dad is right there with me.
Affirmation: Memories are precious to me.
Coaching questions: What “bubble-ups” do you have? How do you handle them?
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We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons. Jim Rohn, motivational speaker
When I say “no” to a bowl of chips, I think of a version of this quote. I usually say to myself, Eventually discipline will have to intervene—now or 100 pounds from now. Choose wisely. I use this concept with relationship issues as well like choosing (mostly) to not respond to inflaming and, frequently, untrue political posts on Facebook or, more seriously, to tell someone I love that I’m sorry.
I try to keep a “clean slate” with people I care about. It’s been my experience that one never knows when there will no longer be a chance to say “I’m sorry” or “I forgive you.”
Affirmation: I choose discipline.
Coaching questions: Are you in danger of carrying around the weight of regret? What will it take for you to exercise discipline in this matter?
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Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Melody Beattie, author
Did you know that positive thoughts create pathways in the brain? The more you feel gratitude, the easier it becomes. In addition, you’ll attract more for which to be grateful.
The motherless daughters I spoke with who found the path back to gratitude seemed to have also found a way to move forward in their lives. Expressing gratitude may sound like a cliche but being grateful for even the smallest thing will make a difference in your life.
Affirmation: I am grateful.
Coaching questions/request: How do you show gratitude? When you were at a low point in your life, how did gratitude lift you up? Say thank you to God for His creation, to a person in your life for their love, or to yourself for noticing that you’re grateful.
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“If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.” Abraham Lincoln
One of the few memories I have of my mother is the “coffee klatches” she and I attended in backyards on sunny summer mornings in Grand Island, Nebraska. Neighbor ladies congregated at ten, with kids in tow, to have a cup of coffee, enjoy each other’s companionship while taking a break from housework.
What a lovely, lost tradition. It was late 1940’s to early 1950’s when we talked with each other face to face and lived at a slower pace. I “took care of” the younger kids. I was eight or younger but I was the big kid that pulled red wagons and tossed balls.
Affirmation: Memories are precious.
Coaching question/request: What’s a small, early memory of another time that is precious to you? Sit with your memory, allow yourself to float back to that time and place; soak in the moment.
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Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert
It’s important to let the people in your life know that you are listening to what they say and hearing what they mean.
Here are ten things people generally love to hear, or questions they like to be asked – IF they are genuine and from the heart.
—I was thinking about you
—What do you think?
—I’m curious about _______, tell me more.
—I’m proud of you!
—I miss you.
—I am praying for you.
—I really admire _________ about you.
—I saw this _________ and it reminded me of you.
—Last time we talked you said ________, how’s that going?
—Thanks for being a special friend to me.
Affirmation: I listen.
Coaching question: What will help you think less about what people are thinking about you and more about expressing what you think about others?
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I, myself, am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions. Augusten Burroughs, American writer
I find people who can laugh at themselves very attractive. Self-deprecating individuals have enough self-esteem to make fun of their flaws, speak with direct honesty, and make me laugh. While these folks are tickling my funny bone, they are doing something good for themselves as well. Experts link self-deprecating humor with increased levels of optimism and an opportunity to be perceived as more lovable and approachable.
Laughing at ourselves introduces a little cheer into our otherwise serious world and lets others know it’s okay to be imperfect.
Affirmation: I can laugh at myself.
Coaching questions: Do you have a person flaw or social faux pas story you tell on yourself? How do people respond to you? How do you perceive people who can laugh at themselves?
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