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“Love is a binding force, by which another is joined to me and cherished as myself.” ~ Thomas Aquinas

Originally posted February 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day to YOU!Valentine Kitten

While most people think this day is strictly for those in a romantic relationship (and yes, that was and is the intent), it doesn’t have to be that way.  When we take a moment to ponder on the meaning of this day, it’s really about all our relationships and what makes those relationships good, great or not so good or great.

Have you ever equated the size of the gift or the number of flowers or the grand dinner and lavish desserts you give or receive with the amount of love given and received…or expected?  If you have, you’re not alone…I’ve fallen into this trap, too.  And it can leave one feeling deflated, disappointed or, dare I say it…not loved enough.

Today, spend a few moments away from the flowers and the chocolate and the surf n’ turf dinners and think about all those in your life where you want to be an active participant in that relationship – spouses, partners, parents, siblings, grandparents, children, grandchildren, friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, co-workers, acquaintances… and make those relationships better.

Here are 3 things that will help strengthen all your relationships:

  1. Communicate – Listen openly, without judgment or defensiveness.  Ask clarifying questions so you better understand the other person.  Be willing to lovingly share your thoughts and feelings, too.
  2. Respect – Honor those in your life for who they are, not what you want or wish them to be.
  3. Trust – Courageously be open, loyal and committed.  Do what you say you’re going to do and do so consistently.

Off to work on my own relationships….

May your Valentine’s Day be filled with love, light, joy and happiness!

Until next time…

P.S. — Want a better understanding of how a coach can help you improve your personal and / or business relationships?  Schedule your private, confidential complimentary coaching session or send an e-mail to info@JoshuaTreeCoaching.com to learn how.  Invest 30 minutes today to change your life forever.

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“I have a woman’s body and a child’s emotion.”

` Elizabeth Taylor

It was a week of highs and lows, ups and downs, twists and turns, offs and ons, forwards and backwards, shouting and silence, happiness and sadness, pushing and pulling, temper tantrums, jubilation and it’s still not the end of the week!

In short, it was a week of so many emotions, it was as though something came along and just kicked me out of sorts…more accurately, kicked me out of myself.  It took a while to figure out what was happening and then I realized my upstairs roommates, those voices in my head, were having all sorts of parties and fun at my expense.  Or so they thought…

As a mentor, executive coach, human performance developer, whatever label you want to throw on there, one would think, “You should know better!”  And you’d be right.  The thing is, we’re all human – even coaches, healers, and holistic practitioners.  We all have our faults, our internal struggles, emotional upheavals and just when you think you’ve got it under control, those upstairs roommates will show you just how much more work needs to be done before you find the proper tenants to lease space.

Most often, it’s easier to simply put up with all the noise upstairs and hope they’ll turn down the volume sooner rather than later.  The thing is, the more you let them go and do what they want, the harder it is to face them, and yourself.  Sooner or later, those dang raucous roommates are going to spread the noise where you really don’t want it to go…spilling out and spewing poison to those that matter most to you.

And that’s EXACTLY what happened to me this this week and WHY I’m writing about it.  You see, nothing “bad” happened…well mostly nothing “bad” happened (that’s another post for a different day), except that my attention was not where I wanted it to be.  An internal struggle was taking place that, at one point, almost consumed an entire day or three.  I fought with all I had to stay in the place I knew best – the place of love, compassion and understanding.  But, you guessed it, the upstairs tenants had different ideas.  I read and re-read books, passages, reminders, notes and quotes all in an effort to help me reign myself in.  Nothing worked, until…

I began scanning through a meditation book, 365 Yoga daily meditations, when my eyes were drawn (or should I say jerked) to a particular meditation almost immediately.  It was mediation #177.  There it was…the words that would have a profound impact such that the upstairs roommates left immediately.  What were the words that made the difference?  Keep reading.

“Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you.

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls.

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even

in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek

not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries

with yesterday.”

~ Khalil Gibran

And so I let go.

I remembered to breathe.

I took a wonderfully deep cleansing breath and let all the annoyances, thoughts, judgments, assumptions, and negativity leave with the exhale.

And then I took a nap.

Until next time…

Yours in Service and Growth,

P.S. — Want to let go and live in to your values?   Schedule your private, confidential complimentary discovery session or send an e-mail to info@JoshuaTreeCoaching.com to learn how.  Invest 30 minutes today to change your life forever.

You’re welcome to share this article.  When you do, include this complete blurb with it:

 “Would you like to learn more simple, effective ways to bring more balance into your professional or personal life and create more money, time, and freedom?  Check out my web site, http://www.JoshuaTreeCoaching.com and sign up to receive our regular publications, which include complimentary reports, resources and other helpful tools.”

Joshua Tree Coaching & Consulting, LLC │ ©2012 and Beyond.  All rights reserved worldwide │ http://www.JoshuaTreeCoaching.com

Falling off track completely sucks—especially when you’ve tried so many times to commit yourself to your health.strawberry-cake-over-white-background

Falling off track and not having it together can make you feel like something’s way wrong with you. (Why did I have to have two pieces of cake?!)

Like you’re not disciplined enough. (More cake!)

Or strong enough. (Forget it, give me cake.)

Or good enough. (Why. Can’t. I. Stop. Eating. Cake.)

Health isn’t just eating right and exercising though.

It’s the little things.

Those things that slip between the cracks. Sometimes we notice them and snatch them as we see them slip sliding away. Sometimes we don’t even notice until its too late.

We are caretakers, nurturers, the go out and do it yourself-ers.

But what about YOU?

Yes, you.

We get so wrapped up in everyday life. Kids to soccer practice. Dinner on the table. Laundry clean, folded and put away. Scraped knees. Broken hearts. Work deadlines. You name it.

We’re so programmed to go-go-go, that those little in between moments just get filled with useless time wasters. You know exactly what I’m talking about-social media, gossip magazines, useless TV. Yes, they may be your “escapes”-but what are they really giving you? Are you still kicking yourself because you so wanted to finish that book you’ve been nursing for 6 months? Are you trying to get a business off the ground? Do you keep missing that yoga class you’ve been trying to get to?

Yeah, I know. How?

Because sometimes coaches get stuck, too. We forget to follow our own teachings from time to time. Life happens.
Now is the time to get back on track. Why now?

Why NOT now?

We’ll help each other.  How?
Contest time! There will be prizes, oh yes! And its totally FREE.

Why? Because that’s how Kristen and I roll. Simple as that. We want you to be your best, so you can help someone else be their best.

Here’s how it works.

Head over to Kristen Zang Wellness for all the delicious details of how you can get started and the contest prizes!  Hurry,,,YOU owe it to yourself – you are deserving!

Until next time…

P.S. — Want to learn more about how to become unstuck and have more YOU time?   Schedule your private, confidential complimentary discovery session or send an e-mail to info@JoshuaTreeCoaching.com to learn how.  Invest 30 minutes today to change your life forever.

You’re welcome to share this article.  When you do, include this complete blurb with it:

 “Would you like to learn more simple, effective ways to bring more balance into your professional or personal life and create more money, time, and freedom?  Check out my web site, http://www.JoshuaTreeCoaching.com and sign up to receive our regular publications, which include complimentary reports, resources and other helpful tools.”

Joshua Tree Coaching & Consulting, LLC │ ©2012 and Beyond.  All rights reserved worldwide │ http://www.JoshuaTreeCoaching.com

How to Be Assertive Without Alienating Your Relationships

Asking for what you want—and setting boundaries around what you don’t want—is a key life skill.  However, sometimes in our enthusiasm to practice this skill, we over-do our own assertiveness and end up with someone (partner, friend, peer, customer, client, etc.) who shuts down, gets angry or feels resentful.  Here are four tips for developing your assertiveness in a way that will actually strengthen, deepen and enrich your relationships—thus avoiding the “alienation trap”:

1.     Get Clear.

Being assertive starts with knowing what you are—and aren’t—willing to be, do, or have.  For many of us, coming to this knowledge is a real task unto itself.  Here, it may be useful to ask: “In an ideal world, what would I like to happen?”  Focusing on an ideal, reasonable and realistic outcome opens our minds, prevents us from falling into passivity or “victim-thinking,” and helps us get really clear on what we want and don’t want.

2.     Set Boundaries.

Once you know what outcome you desire, share it with that person in your life.  Pay attention to the way stating your boundary feels in your body.  With practice, you can actually sense when you’re hitting the “sweet spot.”  It can feel really pleasant, even exhilarating, to express your needs or desires out loud.  Phrases like “such and such doesn’t work for me” are simple ways of being assertive while maintaining connection with the other person.

3.     Make a Regular Habit of Stating Your Needs and Desires.

You can build your assertiveness the same way you build any muscle: exercise.  Practice speaking up about your needs, big or small, on a daily basis.  When you speak up about things that are less controversial—such as where to go to dinner, requesting help with a task or what TV program to watch—both you and the other person get used to your assertiveness.  It becomes easier for you to practice and for another to hear.  Also, when bigger issues come along, you will have a healthy process in place for dealing with differences in needs, and you’ll have greater confidence in the resilience of your relationship.

4.     Give as Much as You Get.

Assertiveness is a two-way street.  If you want your boundaries to be respected, you must return the courtesy to others in your life.  If your partner doesn’t want you to interrupt her while she’s talking on the phone (unless it’s an emergency), don’t.  If your co-worker asks you to give him fifteen minutes before an unscheduled meeting before you talk and connect, respect that.  When it comes to following through on another’s reasonable request, actions really do speak louder than words.

If someone in your life isn’t respecting your boundaries even though you’ve set them clearly, it may be time for professional help for you and/or your relationship.

Until next time…

P.S. — Want to learn to be more assertive in you job, business or in general?  Schedule your complimentary coaching session or send an e-mail to info@JoshuaTreeCoaching.com to learn how.  Invest 30 minutes today to change your life forever.

The first full week in February is designated as International Coaching Week (ICW) and it’s a week-long global celebration designed for coaches and clients to educate others about the value of working with a professional coach (business, career, life, personal, development…and the list goes on) and to acknowledge the progress and results achieved through the coaching process.

I will be commemorating the event by participating in some pro bono activities throughout the week, of which you are the beneficiary!

Check back with the Roots of Thought blog often over the course of the week to take advantage of the great opportunities that will be presented.

To kick off the week, here are a few often asked questions about coaching:

  • What are the benefits of coaching?

Individuals who engage in a coaching partnership can expect to experience fresh perspectives on personal challenges and opportunities, enhanced thinking and decision making skills, enhanced interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence in carrying out their chosen work and life roles.

Consistent with a commitment to enhancing their personal effectiveness, they can also expect to see appreciable results in the areas of productivity, personal satisfaction with life and work, and the achievement of personally relevant goals.

  • What is the a coach’s responsibility in the coach-client relationship?

A coach should:

  • Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve;
  • Encourage client self-discovery;
  • Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies; and
  • Hold the client responsible and accountable.

Professional coaches provide an ongoing partnership designed to help clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives.  Ultimately, coaches help people improve their performances and enhance the quality of their lives.

Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs.  They seek to solicit solutions and strategies from the client; believing the client is naturally creative and resourceful.  The coach’s job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has.

Coaching honors the client as the expert in his/her life and work and believes that every client is creative, resourceful, and whole.

Until next time…

P.S. — Want some assistance going from reflection to resolution?  Schedule your private, confidential complimentary discovery session or send an e-mail to info@JoshuaTreeCoaching.com to learn how.  Invest 30 minutes today to change your life forever.

“Love is a binding force, by which another is joined to me and cherished as myself.” ~ Thomas Aquinas

Happy Valentine’s Day to YOU!Valentine Kitten

While most people think this day is strictly for those in a romantic relationship (and yes, that was and is the intent), it doesn’t have to be that way.  When we take a moment to ponder on the meaning of this day, it’s really about all our relationships and what makes those relationships good, great or not so good or great.

Have you ever equated the size of the gift or the number of flowers or the grand dinner and lavish desserts you give or receive with the amount of love given and received…or expected?  If you have, you’re not alone…I’ve fallen into this trap, too.  And it can leave one feeling deflated, disappointed or, dare I say it…not loved enough.

Today, spend a few moments away from the flowers and the chocolate and the surf n’ turf dinners and think about all those in your life where you want to be an active participant in that relationship – spouses, partners, parents, siblings, grandparents, children, grandchildren, friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, co-workers, acquaintances… and make those relationships better.

Here are 3 things that will help strengthen all your relationships:

  1. Communicate – Listen openly, without judgment or defensiveness.  Ask clarifying questions so you better understand the other person.  Be willing to lovingly share your thoughts and feelings, too.
  2. Respect – Honor those in your life for who they are, not what you want or wish them to be.
  3. Trust – Courageously be open, loyal and committed.  Do what you say you’re going to do and do so consistently.

Off to work on my own relationships….

May your Valentine’s Day be filled with love, joy and happiness!

Until next time…

P.S. — Want a better understanding of how a coach can help you improve your personal and / or business relationships?  Schedule your private, confidential complimentary coaching session or send an e-mail to info@JoshuaTreeCoaching.com to learn how.  Invest 30 minutes today to change your life forever.

As part of our week-long celebration of International Coaching Week, we’ll be sharing some information throughout the week about the coaching profession.  Each day, the information will be a little different with the idea that coaching, whether it’s life coaching, development coaching, achievement coaching, career coaching, etc., is available to everyone and there’s a type and style of coaching just for you.

Today we’ll do our best to answer some of the most common and frequently asked questions…

stone question markWhat is coaching?

Coaching is a process to help you clearly understand the relationship between you and your thoughts and to recognize how your thought processes have been running your life.  Coaching can assist you in recognizing moments of choice throughout your day and encourage you to make better decisions at those moments of choice.  Coaching focuses on moving forward and making the changes you want to make.

What it’s not?

Coaching should not be construed as psychological therapy or consulting.  Therapy focuses on addressing unresolved issues that are holding you back from moving forward and consulting is giving expert advice in a particular, specific area.

Are my results guaranteed?

No, they are not.  Your coach will guide and support you in the process of mastering your thoughts and ultimately your actions based on your decisions.  Ultimately that choice rests solely with you.  You enter a coaching relationship with the understanding that YOU are responsible for doing the necessary work to create the results you want.

How can a coach help me?

If you want to improve your performance, improve self-awareness, develop leadership capacity, learn how to empower and improve communications with others, live a more successful, productive, happy life, a coach can guide you through the process of making changes in the way you are currently thinking.


What are a few reasons people hire coaches?discipline with watch

  • Improve relationships (family, business, friend, etc.)
  • Promoting to management or leadership position
  • Improve people skills
  • Experiencing diversity challenges
  • Improve employee retention rate
  • Increase productivity
  • Experience quality personal time
  • Achieve excellent health/fitness
  • Develop long-lasting friendships
  • Plan their financial well-being
  • Undergoing major life changes
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Improve personal confidence
  • Create a worthwhile life vision

How do I chose a coach?

Consider your goals – what do  you want to be different in your life, goals you want to accomplish / achieve, or discover what you’re truly capable of becoming?

  1. Educate yourself about coaching and investigate and research what’s available.
  2. Assess your readiness for coaching.  Are you willing to invest time and effort into getting the results you want?  This is not a quick fix or band-aid.  Do you want to change your circumstance or your life?
  3. Identify and interview  your coaching partner candidates.
  4. Select your coach.

What are your thoughts about today’s information?

Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the coaching profession and about hiring a coach.

Until next time…

P.S. — Want a better understanding of how a coach can assist you?  Schedule your complimentary coaching session or send an e-mail to info@JoshuaTreeCoaching.com to learn how.  Invest 30 minutes today to change your life forever.

As part of our week-long celebration of International Coaching Week, we’ll be sharing some information throughout the week about the coaching profession.  Each day, the information will be a little different with the idea that coaching, whether it’s life coaching, development coaching, achievement coaching, career coaching, etc., is available to everyone and there’s a type and style of coaching just for you.

Today’s feature report is a HBR Research Report, “What Can Coaches Do For You?”.  The report contains some excellent information regarding the coaching profession as a whole.  And, there’s a great table at the end of the report that really sums up what coaching (whether executive, business, life, relationship, etc.) encompasses.

What are your thoughts about today’s information?

Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the coaching profession and about hiring a coach.

Until next time…

P.S. — Want to know more about the types or styles of coaching that may be right for you?  Schedule your complimentary coaching session or send an e-mail to info@JoshuaTreeCoaching.com to learn how.  Invest 30 minutes today to change your life forever.

There is no trust without first having self-respect.  First, we must have respect for ourselves, and in turn we can begin to respect others.  Let’s face it, respecting others is really hard if we don’t respect ourselves.  Once we give respect to ourselves and others, then we can begin to build trusting relationships.  We become trust-worthy.

Self-respect is the cornerstone of all virtue. ~ Sir John Herschel

What does it mean to have trust?  Well, trust ensures that we feel safe and secure – confident in each others’ abilities.  Trust is also our commitment to do what we say.

When there’s trust in any relationship, we don’t waste precious energy and time worrying about what others will do.  In trust, we become free to do those things we say we’ll do with amazing results and we’re free to be ourselves.  With trust, we get more things accomplished and we eliminate disagreements, friction, arguments and costly delays.

Think of the different relationships you have in your life.  Some of those relationships might be with a spouse, partner, sibling, children, parents, supervisors, peers, employees, employers, etc.

Have you ever experienced the symptoms of a lack of trust in any of your relationships?  What did it feel like for you?  Was there:

  • Anxiety,
  • Fear,
  • Stress,
  • Anger,
  • Resentment,
  • Worry,
  • Frustration?

It just feels bad, doesn’t it?  And when the lack of trust of trust is consistent, we may find that it takes on a life of it’s own and we end up in a never-ending cycle of doubt, worry, fatigue, distress…and the list can go on and on.

If you’re an employer, this can lead to poor morale, which leads to decreased productivity, which can ultimately affect your bottom line.  What form might that take on?  Employees showing up late, taking more sick days, applying for unpaid leave, new or recurring health issues, and more.

A trusting, respectful environment simply feels good.  You know that feeling, don’t you?  When you feel:

  • Valued,
  • Supported,
  • Nurtured,
  • Encouraged,
  • Appreciated,
  • Comfortable,
  • Free,
  • Honored,
  • Energized,
  • Joyful.

He who does not trust enough, will not be trusted. ~ Lao Tzu

An environment built on respect and trust provides us with a freedom to explore our untapped potential knowing that we won’t be judged, mistreated or maligned.

In a “house built of trust” we are able to build our confidence, raise our self-esteem and in turn we become more cooperative, productive and we’re motivated to produce high-caliber work. We know that what we’re doing is valuable and valued.

What if you’re not in a house that isn’t built on trust?  One thing you can do is to begin laying the foundation for your house of trust.  You cannot control what others may or may not do; however, YOU can control what YOU do next.

And if you are in a house that is built on trust?  Continue to reinforce the house.  After all, if you stop performing maintenance, the house will fall in disrepair.

What are some ways you can have a House of Trust?

What will YOU commit to working on today and this week to start building trust in your relationships?

Please share what you’ve been doing to build trust in your life.

Until next time…

P.S. Want to know more about building trust or improving your relationships?  Schedule your complimentary coaching session to learn how.  Invest 30 minutes today to change your life forever.

Every once in a while, I’m drawn to pick up a book that wasn’t on my “book list” – particularly when I’ve got a shelf (OK, who am I kidding here – it’s a bookcase) of to-be-reads waiting patiently for me.  You know, the books that you just gotta have or you’ll go…but I digress…

Back on focus…

I’m talking about Mitch Albom’s book “have a little faith”.  To this day, I can’t put my finger on what steered me toward the book…was it the title or the word “faith”?…the fact that it was a true story?…was it that the economy was in the tank?…not sure that any of it really matters.

I bought the book.

Mr. Albom was asked to deliver the eulogy for his old hometown’s rabbi.  It was a an eight-year journey.  During that same he becomes involved with a Detroit pastor who is a reformed drug dealer and convict.  As Mr. Albom moves back and forth between the two worlds, he starts to see similarities and unity in these worlds.

Throughout the book, Mr. Albom infuses past sermons given by the Rabbi into the story.  One of those sermons struck a chord..actually stopped me in my thoughts, so to speak.

Spoiler alert…if you plan on reading the book proceed at your own risk.

It was a sermon given by the Rabbi in 1975 about a man seeking employment on a farm.  The letter of recommendation given by the previous employer to the fellow’s new employer read simply, “He sleeps in a storm.”

Talk about putting things in perspective, eh?  When we choose to be right with the people that we love…when we choose to behave in a manner that’s in agreement / aligned with our faith…when we do the things that are truly important in our life, we’ll never be stressed / anxious / cursed / worried about unfinished or unfulfilled business.  We won’t be living in perpetual states of I could have, I should have, I wish I would have, or if only.

We will be sincere in our words, we’ll tell those that we love “I love you” at every opportunity, we’ll embrace a little longer and a little tighter, we’ll laugh a little louder and more often…

We, too, will be able to sleep in a storm.

I’m going to be working on sleeping in a storm.  What about you?

Until next time…

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