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What do to when life sucks

Gary and I were excited to have the holidays behind us as I was extremely concerned about being with so many people and all the extra noise and light to deal with the concussion I suffered on November 20th.

Dark quiet rooms really helped and I was proactive taking naps. So different for me to lie down by myself when there are family members to talk to. Every home I stayed at turned off the televisions and refrained from playing any Christmas music. I am surprised that seven weeks later noise continues to give me a headache. On December 29th we received another “surprise.” Gary missed the last basement step while carrying down his physical therapy equipment and tore his quadriceps tendon, for the second time. He grimaced in pain as he lay on the couch but there was unimaginable pain when he realized he could not lift his leg off the couch. The pain of realizing he tore the same tendon knowing what the recovery meant. Surgery. Seven weeks of total leg brace. Physical therapy for 4 to 5 months. I played nurse-dietitian Chere-wife for a week after Gary’s surgery. Gary follows rules. When he is told, “ice for 20 minutes on and 40 minutes off,” our life is on a timer. We were also on another timer for pain meds every four hours. There were all kinds of timers going off. I would get confused and get the ice pack out of the freezer only to realize it was time for the ice pack to come off his knee!

For the 33rd year in a row Gary surprised me with a dozen roses. I act surprised but secretly wait for  them and hope there are fragrant lilies amongst the roses. This year there were!

For the 33rd year in a row Gary surprised me with a dozen roses. I act surprised but secretly wait for
them and hope there are fragrant lilies amongst the roses. This year there were!

During this time our favorite day popped up – January 2nd – our 33rd anniversary. I asked him what he wanted to do and he replied we could do two things – rent a movie or watch TV. I felt like crying, eating chocolate or drinking red wine. I wanted all three. A rarity…a Friday night anniversary and my hair even looked good for a change. But all he could do was lie on our couch. I announced to Gary that our life sucks. I prodded, “Gary does our life suck?” We missed Christmas and now we are missing the entire winter and were waiting for June! I begged him to say our life sucks. But no, just like usual, Gary never gets riled up no matter what. He just stared ahead and didn’t answer!

It took me a day of stewing. He told me later I was in a funk on our anniversary. I was actually enjoying constantly belting out, “Our life sucks.” I realized the more I thought about my life sucking the more it sucked. As a Law of Attraction coach I know what we focus on gets bigger and bolder. I got out of my funk when I realized I was nourishing my sucky life and attracting more sucky things. My sucky beliefs were creating my sucky life!

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What you focus on gets bigger and bolder. Funny when I told myself life would be ok it was ok. When I told myself life sucked it sucked!

What you focus on gets bigger and bolder. Funny when I told myself life would be ok it was ok. When I told myself life sucked it sucked!

Shakespeare says, “Nothing good, nothing bad…it is your thinking that makes it so.” We both fell. We both got injured. Stuff happens to good people. We can be fixed. What you think, determines your life. Change your beliefs change your life! Try it you have nothing to lose but your old tired thoughts. Try it when you want to lose your sucky life.

 

Foot note…we are actually enjoying being home every night together. But I am really tired of NCIS and Hawaii Five O. He is enjoying time on the computer planning his summer raft trip. You have one life to live, just imagine it was one you loved!

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30 Second Self-Compassion Tip to Calm Your Crazy

You can change from negativity to positivity using your hands

You can change from negativity to positivity using your hands

What a wild ride! Picture this…eyeballs deep in emails after I discovered my emails weren’t being sent the last four days (3rd time in 7 weeks).  After four hours of resending hundreds of emails, I decided to “procrastinate” and get the mail. Little did I know that there was a small patch of ice on my otherwise dry driveway! My tailbone hit the ground and my cranium bounced off the pavement like a basketball. I thought this couldn’t be happening to me. My little “procrastination break” has now lasted several weeks as I have suffered a concussion on November 20, 2014.

Rather than shopping, baking and going to parties, my holidays are consisting of quiet, low-light rooms and three to five occupational therapy, physical therapy and acupuncture appointments each week. I am, however, providing non-stop entertainment for Gary. Highly entertaining was “the funeral.”  I drove to another town for my friend’s husband’s funeral last Saturday. I signed the guest book. I peered way to the front of the church and the guy in the white pearly casket looked a lot older than I remembered Brian being. I started to look around and everyone seemed a lot older than me. I asked the honor guard “Is this Brian’s funeral?” Nope, I was at Loren’s funeral. Loren who? I looked around, had a hot flash, and quietly ran out of there. What is most amusing is that I signed my whole name (so RD-like including the zip code)! The funeral was the day before.

How is “love to be busy over-accomplishing Chere” handling this?  Not. Well. After a few melt downs of uncontrollable sobbing the first few days after my fall and Gary holding me gently, I have discovered my inner critic. My “standard setter” wants to create another perfect holiday with decorations of the past, buying the perfect gift for everyone on my list, and who can’t forget the short and sweet Christmas letter with the perfect picture (that we all agonize over every year). When I am creating the best holiday for my family and friends I am a picture of positivity. I am happy, having fun and rejoicing that all is “A-OK” this holiday season. When I feel frustrated and negative I am sad, irritated and inpatient with myself. 

The driving force of life is love not fear

I have learned through classes with my friend and colleague Margaret Moore, CEO of Wellcoaches that I can befriend my inner critic.  She shares the research of self -compassion by Dr. Kristin Neff. Self-compassion beats self-criticism. The driving force of life is love not fear. I am being fearful of not being able to create a memorable holiday.  If I just loved myself for what I am capable of right now in this moment I could feel confident and secure.

There are two ways of being – compassionate or judgmental

When you judge yourself, you are not good enough. Often when you judge yourself so harshly you are also great at judging others! Think about it. We pretty much either dole out compassion or judgment to everyone and every situation every day. When we are hurt or frustrated it is very difficult to understand where the other person is coming from. Often we are struggling with their same struggle. What do we need? A dose of compassion.

Use your hands to change your brain state from judgment to compassion

Squeeze your fingernails into your palm. This creates the physical manifestation of the bite of your negative inner critic.

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With your palms up open your hands. And accept your current state. “I accept every cell of my being right now.”

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Cross your hands over your heart and feel self-compassion instead of suffering and judgment.

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My “stopped life” and compassion is unlocking a special richness to the holidays this year. I would have never gone from 125 miles an hour to 5 miles an hour this time of year without being slapped on the head and being forced to stop. Compassion can bring you peace today and hope for tomorrow. (tweet this) This can really be life changing!

Happy holidays from my heart to yours.  Love Chere, your always compassionate coach and friend

We would love to hear your thoughts on our blog.

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5 ACTIONS TO TAKE BEFORE NEW YEAR’S EVE IF YOU WANT TO LOVE YOUR LIFE

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  1. Make a list of your top accomplishments in 2014 for your-self, work, family, home, and spirituality or personal growth. If you have trouble, ask your family and friends. Post the list on your bathroom mirror to create confident energized abundance for 2015.
  2. Clean up tolerations – the things that are bugging you and have been on your to do list all year. Ask yourself: Do I need to do them? Dump them? Or delegate them?  Start 2015 with positive emotional energy space to create the year you dream about.
  3. Forgive and forget. Call or write to people you may have offended. 100% guarantee you will feel better immediately and you will have energy to create the year you dream about.
  4. Make a list of the top 3 people that made the most difference in your life in 2015. Let them know you appreciate them.
  5. Set your oven timer for 15 minutes. Sit quietly in your dark living room, watching your Christmas lights sparkle and reflect on your gratitudes. Start with “I am thankful for…” Don’t think about January until December 26. Enjoy the blessings of the season.

Ps. Even if you take one of these little steps it will boost your positivity which is the secret to being happier.Gotta love that!

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5 Ways to Say No

Fall brings a fresh schedule and plenty of opportunities to get involved in activities that leave precious little time for ourselves!

I have been having a hard time lately saying no.   Here are five ways you can say no to others. Remember saying no to others is saying yes to you!

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Saying NO Can Mean Saying YES

  • “I’m sorry. That’s not a priority for me right now.”
  • “Before I take this on for you, let me show you a few things so that you might be able to   do it yourself.”
  • “Thanks for thinking to ask me, but, no thanks.”
  • “Now that’s the type of thing I would love to help you on if only I had the time.”
  • “I can’t help you on this now, but how about next week?

What is your favorite way to say no? 

///photo by imagerymajestic///

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Permission Granted: Put Yourself On Your To Do List

The leisure days of summer are a fading memory and the demanding, schedule driven fall is here to stay. You feel like you will never have enough time to get it all done. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day. What if I told you that you were focusing on the wrong measure – your time. Time is finite. There are only 24 hours in a day. Rather, focus on your infinite energy.

The ultimate measurement of a successful life is not how much time we spend on this planet but rather how do we invest in our energy with the time that we have.  There will never be enough hours in the day but there can be enough energy if you invest wisely.

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Energy investment begins with discovering the art of self-care. Self-care is the personal foundation necessary for a successful business and the KEY to a rewarding and satisfying life. Every day you have a choice on your investment and expenditures of time and energy. Here are five energy tips to get back your time.

  1. Have 15 minutes of me time every day. Get up 15 minutes early, make your favorite beverage and sit and reflect on the abundance in your life, read a magazine, call a friend. What is important is the daily ritual of 15 minutes of “me time” and your investment in your energy.
  2. Keep a passion and purpose journal. Identify your values and find pictures, words or quotes that make those values come alive in a “Value Journal.” Take photos of people you are grateful for. Gratitude also creates a feeling of energized abundance.
  3. Reclaim your space. Clean out a cupboard, closet or drawer. Organize the energy around you to increase your productivity.
  4. Move your body. The best ideas come when you are taking a walk or exercising. Better have paper ready for all the creative ideas that popped while you were moving your body.
  5. Slow down to calm down. My all time favorite “slowing life down” exercise is from Fred L. Miller and his book “How to Calm Down Three Deep Breaths to Peace of Mind.”
      • Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Then take three deep breaths to calm down and clear your mind.
      • Breathing easily, inhale. Now exhale, silently saying, “Fifteen.”
      • Inhale again. This time while exhaling, silently say, “Fourteen.”
      • Continue inhaling and counting down a number with each exhale.
      • After you reach zero, take a few gentle breaths, all the while noticing how you feel.  When you are ready, open your eyes.

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Fred Miller states, “The three deep breaths will calm you down in less than ten seconds. Counting backward from fifteen to zero will relieve even more layers of stress in less than sixty seconds.”

The first step to a rewarding satisfying life is giving yourself permission to put yourself on your to do list. Creating and cultivating your inner rich life will create a personal foundation of calm confidence and a feeling of freedom like you can do anything! Make the decision TODAY to put yourself at the top of your to do list.

Remember you only have one life to live, imagine if it was one you loved!

 

images: stuart miles and stockimages

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Meditation Creates a Magic Life

Five minutes a day gives Kate Campbell clarity, calm and an ability to tackle the impossible list of duties she has on a daily basis. Gotta love that!

Five minutes a day gives Kate Campbell clarity, calm and an ability to tackle the impossible list of duties she has on a daily basis. Gotta love that!

What? Type-A-multitasking-Chere is meditating? Why? Because in our 24/7 digital world, friends with the craziest stressed out schedules tell me meditation saves their day…so why not meditate? I bet you too are stressed out, as stress statistics from the American Psychological Association shows that 77% of people in the USA are stressed out daily, with money and work problems getting the most blame.

 

The Science Facts

Mindfulness meditation for 25 minutes a day, three days in a row is enough to alleviate stress.

Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center ‘s research  has determined meditation can improve cognitive performance. ** (I need that)

Dr. Davidson’s research at the University of Wisconsin shows meditation demonstrates positive effects in both brain and immune function. *** (I really need these)

American Heart Association maintains that meditation lowers blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

 

I want less stress but who has 25 minutes, three days in a row to sit and do nothing? Not I! I need to make it more realistic than that! So, I have had two goals for 2014 – mediate for 5 minutes every day and balance with one leg on the bosu ball for one minute. (I know I know baby goals but achievable baby goals.) With my need for a right knee replacement the meditation goal is a piece of cake.

 

Two Types

 

Mindfulness Meditation

It focuses on the flow of breath in and out of the body, concentrating on what the person is experiencing without any reaction or judgment. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a variation of this.

 

Transcendental Meditation (TM)

With TM there is a mantra, which can be one word or a few words or an object to look at to keep you in the moment. It usually involves a comfortable posture with a straight back and focused attention to your breathing with the goal of training your mind so you feel calm and peaceful.

Aarti Batavia has been meditating for ten years and has discovered inner peace. She feels her patients open up more as they get a sense of security and healing around them.

Aarti Batavia has been meditating for ten years and has discovered inner peace. She feels her patients open up more as they get a sense of security and healing around them.

As I write to you I can almost feel the power of silence of my meditation.  I try to mediate four days a week after my swim class for 5 to 10 minutes.  I take a shower and hit the sauna. I close my eyes and inhale in the word ease and exhale out the word grace. I picture grace filling my body from my head to my toes. When I get distracted (which I swear is every minute or so) I simply notice my distracting thoughts and gently focus my memory on Poipu Beach in Kauai. I focus on the color of the brilliant blue water and inhale in ease and exhale out grace. It usually works. My mind ENJOYS thinking about five things at once and focusing my breath on two words is more difficult than my usual rapid-fire mind.

Often Gary looks at me like I didn’t hear his question and my constant reply is, “Gary do you have a million people in your brain?” With keynotes, clients, family and friend, maybe more than a million…

I used to think I was too busy and how could you change your life “not talking” to anyone. Carving out time has actually given me more time as I feel I am more focused, have more energy and am more productive. And it’s free!

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Three Ideas to Get You Started

My friend Dr. George Kramer told me at least ten years ago how mediation has changed his life. And I finally decided to give it a whirl.  Don’t take ten years to decide like I did.  Once you decide it is easy. If you don’t consciously decide to be extraordinary, happy and healthy, you will unconsciously decide to be average, unhappy and unhealthy. Aren’t you ready for a little meditation magic?

How do you meditate? We would love to hear your meditation story.

 

 

 

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