The Tides of Life

When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in. Kristin Armstrong, Olympian

Speaking of tides, my thoughts go out to my fellow Floridians and others affected by Hurricane Ian. Yesterday, as I imagined the possibility of our beautiful Marco Island, Florida home and the homes and livelihoods of many others being swept away, I was grateful for the outpouring of love and support from friends and family all over the country. My husband and I are safe in Illinois and, over the course of the storm, we determined that our friends in Florida were safe as well. 

I was anxious, of course I was, but as I focused on gratitude, the tide of love rushed in. Through all the ups and downs of my life, I’ve made an effort to remain grateful for the love that turns fear, loss, disappointment, and heartache into manageable feelings. 

Affirmation: I am grateful.

Coaching questions: What are three things you’re grateful for today? When has gratitude ushered in a tide of love in your life?

Photo by Pamela Heckel on Unsplash

Be a Source of Encouragement

Encourage, lift and strengthen one another. For the positive energy spread to one will be felt by us all. For we are connected, one and all. Deborah Day, author

I just had an email from Virginia Read, the 94-year-old woman who planted the seed for my book, Mom’s Gone, Now What?. She wrote, “Don’t rest now!” and asked me about my next project and suggested possible themes.  

If Virginia had been in my life sixty years ago, heaven only knows what I might have accomplished. “Thanks, Virginia, for your faith in me and your relentless push forward.” 

We all need someone in our life who sees our potential, pushes us to accomplish more than we thought we could do, and is relentless in their vision for us. Without receiving the usual outside stimulation during this pandemic, this is a time when we especially need to support others and be supported.

Affirmation: I support myself and others. 

Coaching questions: Are you a person who needs challenging or are you the challenger? Or both? If no one is in your corner right now, be your own best friend and heartily support yourself. 

Photo by Austin Kehmeier on Unsplash

Living Longer and Better

Each member knows that her friends count on her as much as she counts on her friends. Klazuko Manna, Moai group member, excerpted from Blue Zones newsletter

The Blue Zone project on longevity has proven that elders in Okinawa, Japan live extraordinarily better and longer lives than almost anyone else in the world. Moai, one of their longevity traditions, are social support groups they start in childhood and continue throughout their life…sometimes for nearly 100 years! Members  gather in these lifelong support groups daily or weekly.

Several years ago I started a similar group (we weren’t children but we were committed to meeting weekly) called Girl Talk God Talk. We became a true sisterhood. When I moved, I started another GTGT group which has quickly become as strong. I’ve maintained ties with my first group and know in my heart that any of my GTGT friends, whether near or far, would do anything for me….it’s a wonderful feeling.

Affirmation: I have support from friends.

Coaching question and suggestion: Do you have a group you can count on? If not, and would like to start one, contact me for information. A committed group that meets regularly not only brings you joy but possibly a longer, healthier life.

Look For The Helpers

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ Mister Rogers

Mister Rogers’s mother knew that if her son recognized the helpers he would feel calmer about the tragedy, knowing that someone was there to take control and put order to the chaos. Who has helped you in times of tragedy or need? Perhaps it was a teacher or a pastor, a grandmother or a neighbor, a friend or sibling.

As I talk with daughters who have lost their mothers to death, abandonment or Alzheimer’s, the trajectory of their grief recovery is often changed by the helpers who show up. The support and love of older brothers or sisters, grandmothers, neighbors, friends in support groups, hospice workers, or dads, calm the chaos of the moment and become the helpers in their lives.

Affirmation: I’ve been blessed with having helpers in my life.

Coaching questions: Who have been the helpers in your life? How have they made a difference? How have you shown up as a helper in the life of another? What difference did you make?

IMG_2071.jpgEven the famous Julia Child needed helpers…lots of helpers!