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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
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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

Don’t cry because it’s over,
smile because it happened.” 

~ Dr. Seuss   

One of the first questions a new client is often asked is, “What are you looking for in your life?  What’s missing in your life?”  The answers, of course, are as varied as the client is unique. Yet, there are three answers that rise to the surface:  success, happiness and balance.  The belief is when success is achieved, balance and happiness will be a natural outcome of that success.  While there is some truth in that belief, it’s not quite accurate.  Here’s why.

Each and every one of us has the ability to be happy at any given moment of any given day.  You can choose happiness whenever you want it, wherever you are.  Happiness isn’t about buying that great pair of shoes, the newest luxury vehicle, new furniture, a fat bank account…in other words the material things that are available to us at any time.  True, having those things can leave you feeling happy, yet it’s temporary.  After a few days or weeks, they just become another thing in your life, unless you make a daily conscious effort to look at them differently – to remember the happiness associated when you purchased that thing.

Happiness and gratitude are interconnected.  When you express gratitude, you can feel happy.  Anytime you want a little boost in you attitude and altitude (it’s about lifting yourself up) practice finding happiness in the every day events that are often taken for granted.  Here’s a few to get you started.

Happiness is…

…feeling the warmth of the sun on my face.
…burying my nose in freshly laundered blankets.
…big, white, puffy clouds floating in an azure sky.
…making time to read a great book.
…a promise of 15 more years.

Are you smiling yet?

Daily Action Grab your journal (a piece of paper will do) and write a list of 10 activities that make you happy.  Follow the example above and begin by writing “Happiness is…” and then fill in the rest.

Until next time…

P.S. — Want to explore how you can uncover and rediscover happiness?   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

Guest post by Kristen Zang, owner of Kristen Zang Wellness

“It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves”

~ Sir Edmund Hillary*

Whether you climb or not, this is one very powerful statement.

The first time I heard this quote, I had just come home from a grueling (albeit exhilarating) hike in which I summited 3 peaks measuring over 14,000 ft in elevation each.

When you start out on the trail looking up at what waits for you, you are taken over by looming doubt. “It’s so far away”, “I’ll never be able to do this whole thing!”, “The altitude alone is going to crush me” and many more of these thoughts bounce around in your head. So you take a deep breath and start up. Your hiking partners are so excited that you push those thoughts far back into your head. One step after another, breath after breath, just taking it all in. Soon you reach a point where you turn and look back over the ground you have just covered, and amazingly, you have traveled quite far. Your feet still work. Your lungs are noticing the altitude, but they still work. Snap a few photos and go on. You pass many like minded people on your way and each one is marveling at the scenery just as you are. You wonder if they are having the same looming thoughts.

Getting to the top of the first peak is mind blowing. You are on top of the world. You look down at the trail you just took…There it is, 14,000 feet below you. Miles upon miles of trail winding down below your feet. You’ve done this much and your body is still in one piece. Your feet (although a bit more sore than when you started) are still carrying you. Grab a quick bite to eat and some water and off you go to the next peak.

By the time you reach your car at the end of the day you are exhausted, exhilarated and in complete awe of what you have just done. Not to mention how unbelievably small you feel in comparison to those mountains. But you have done it. You have conquered your own doubts and fears, and pushed yourself way beyond your comfort level.

Whatever your mountain is, just remember… “It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves”.

I think Sir Hillary may be onto something.

* May 29, 1953, Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, (a native Nepalese climber) became the first to ever summit Mt. Everest.  They were the only members of their party able to make the final assault onto the summit.
 

Until next time…

P.S. — Want to learn more about how to “Conquer Your Mountains”?   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

“For every disciplined effort there is a multiple reward.”

~ Jim Rohn

How often do you have “one of those days”?  You know…the days where you have difficulty concentrating, distractions are the priority of the day, your focus is a very faint, distant memory and your “to do” list is longer and more complicated than an 8th grade science project.

It’s at just these times you’ll want to engage the 3D Approach.  Simply, Diligence, Determination and Discipline.  These characteristics may not be “simple” to develop and maintain, for most of us.  Yet, when you have just a little bit of diligence and discipline driven by determination, your day will progress that much better.  And the more you practice the 3D’s, the more you get accomplished and the better your day will go.

When you approach your life (business, job, career, relationships, recruiting, planning, etc.) with the 3D attitude, there will be few goals that lie beyond your reach.  Distractions constantly threaten to derail progress; however, discipline enables you to focus amid disruptions and distractions.  You get to choose where to place your focus, the important job at hand or the distraction (aka BSO’s – Bright Shiny Objects).  The determination you get from discipline also gives you the courage and unshakable enthusiasm that allows you to perceive BSO’s (roadblocks, detours, distractions, whatever you want to call it) as a challenge to attack with enthusiasm.

Until next time…

P.S. — Want to learn more about how to engage the 3D Approach?  Tired of being at the mercy of your BSO’s?  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

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”

~ Alexander Graham Bell

Expectations that you place on yourself or others can leave you feeling anxious and overwhelmed…at times leaving you feeling disappointed, exasperated or irritated.  You easily lose sight of the things that are important and when you leave what’s important for those Bright Shiny Objects (BSO’s), a.k.a. distractions of thought, emotions, interruptions or other “important” things, you can experience unnecessary worry, anxiousness, helplessness and fear.

Whether it’s shopping for last minute vacation items, getting your budget in place, deciding what event and activities to attend, financial concerns, working feverishly to meet your business quarter-end deadlines, or wanting to spend more time with loved ones, family and friends during this time of the year, all of these activities require grounded focus.

Here are 7 positive actions you can take right now to gain or maintain grounded focus:

  1. Schedule your work (work can be defined in many ways, not simply job related) and honor your schedule;
  2. Break down the large, complex tasks into “doable chewables”, a series of smaller steps;
  3. Slow down to accomplish more;
  4. Say “no” to things of lesser importance;
  5. Say “yes” to the things you really want to do and enjoy;
  6. Delegate tasks; and finally,
  7. Take five minutes once a day and focus on you – take a walk; enjoy that great cup of coffee, tea or hot cocoa; step outside and just breathe; turn off all electronics and enjoy the silence…

When you’re consciously focusing on the things that matter to you – one at a time – your stress is reduced and you experience grounded focus.

Until next time…

P.S. — Want to learn more about how to find your “Grounded Focus”?  Tired of being at the mercy of your BSO’s?  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, effecetive 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

“Travel lightly my friends.  Give up your unconscious pain and habits; they weigh you down.  Accept your birthright to be joyous and free.” 

~ Anonymous

Everyone experiences cognitive distortions.  Not everyone knows they have them and of those that do acknowledge their existence, not many people do something to challenge their cognitive distortions.  Of those individuals that put in the effort and practice daily, the results changed their lives.  Experience a life change by using the exercises below to weaken your cognitive distortions.

Remember, these are not one-time “cures”.  It takes work to give up your pain and the habits that hold you back.  It’s not about giving something up as much as it is giving yourself something of greater value in return.

  1. Identify Your Cognitive Distortions – List your troublesome thoughts and match them with the list of cognitive distortions. This exercise allows you to see the distortions you favor and allows you to think about your problem, challenge or predicament in more natural, realistic ways.
  2. Examine the EvidenceExamining your experience thoroughly helps you identify the basis for your distorted thoughts.  Example:  If you are very self-critical, then you want to examine a number of experiences and situations where you experienced success.
  3. Double Standard Method – An alternative to harsh and demeaning self-talk is to talk to yourself in the same compassionate, understanding and caring way you would talk with another in a similar situation.
  4. Think in Shades of Gray – Rather than think about your problem or challenge in an either-or polarity, evaluate things on a scale of 0-100.  When a plan/goal isn’t fully realized, think about and evaluate the experience as a partial success, again, on a scale of 0-100.
  5. Survey Method – Seek the opinion of trusted friends or relatives regarding whether your thoughts and attitudes are realistic.
  6. Definitions –  What does it mean to define yourself as “a loser”, “inferior”, “a fool”, “stupid”, etc.?  Examining these and other global labels will likely reveal they more closely represent specific behaviors, or an identifiable behavior pattern instead of you as the total person.
  7. Re-attribution – Rather than automatically blaming yourself for problems and predicaments, identify external factors and other individuals that contributed to the problem/challenge.  Your energy is best utilized in the pursuit of resolutions or ways to cope.
  8. Cost-Benefit Analysis – List the advantages and disadvantages of your feelings, thoughts and/or behaviors.  The cost-benefit analysis will help you determine what you are gaining from feeling bad, distorted thinking, and inappropriate behavior.

Until next time…

P.S. — Want to learn more about Cognitive Distortions and how they may be impeding your progress and success?  Tired of being at the mercy of your distortions?  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.

“When your fear touches someones’ pain,
it becomes pity; when your love touches
someones’ pain, it becomes compassion. 
To train in compassion, then, is to know all
beings are the same and suffer in
similar ways, to honor all those who
suffer, and to know you are neither separate
from nor superior to anyone.” 

~ Stephen Levine

Here’s a quick review of what we talked about in Part 2 of “What Were YOu Thinking?”  You learned about Jumping to Conclusions, Emotional Reasoning, Shoulds, Labeling, and Blame.

In Part 3, here are the final 5 Cognitive Distortions (again, in no particular order)…or “What Were You Thinking?!”

5 Cognitive Distortions (Part 3)

  1. Control Fallaciesseeing ourselves as a victim (external control fallacy) or assuming the responsibility for the pain and happiness of everyone around us (internal control fallacy).
  2. Discounting the Positivediscounting your achievements or insisting your positive actions, achievements or qualities don’t count; saying anyone could’ve done it..
  3. Fairness Fallacygoing through life applying a measuring rod against every situation judging its fairness; feeling resentful because we thing we know what is fair but others won’t agree with us.
  4. Always Being Right feeling continually on trial to prove that your opinions and actions are correct (or pointing out how wrong someone’s opinions and actions are).  Being wrong is unthinkable going to any length to demonstrate your “rightness”.
  5. Heaven’s Reward Fallacyexpecting your sacrifice and self-denial to pay off, then feeling bitter when the reward doesn’t come.

What have you discovered?  What distortions do you recognize in yourself?  Where do you want to begin making changes?

You’ll have an opportunity in the next post to find out more about what you can do about your “stinkin’ thinkin” and improve your rate of success – however YOU define success.

To be continued…

Until next time…

P.S. — Want to learn more about Cognitive Distortions and how they may be impeding your progress and success?  Tired of being at the mercy of your distortions?  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.

“It’s never to late to be what you might have been.”

~ George Eliot

Until next time…

P.S. — Want to achieve something extraordinary?  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.

Continuing our celebration of International Coaching Week, here are some thoughts and reflections.

It’s a bit of a snowy Wednesday here and I find myself thinking about some CHOICES that I’ll make a bit later today.  Like most of you, I’m going to do things based on what I feel is best in the moment I’m making those choices.  And if I’m not careful, I may even get “hung up” deciding what to do because certain thoughts might be flying in my brain space that would make it difficult to stay focused on what’s important.  Or, I may be supported by certain thoughts.  Rather than ramble on, here’s something that will help.

I’m reminded of an often told story, the Cherokee “Legend of Two Wolves”

One evening an old Cherokee looked into his grandson’s eyes and asked,  “My son, I see fear in your eyes what is troubling you.”

The boy responded, “Often I feel as if two wolves are living inside me, one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way. But…the other wolf… ah! The littlest thing will send him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all of the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his pain and fear are so great.

“Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit and are always struggling against each other.”

With tears streaming down his face the boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one will win Grandfather?”

Grandfather smiled and quietly said, “The one you choose to feed.”

When life’s daily occurrences and events disrupt your schedule or get you out of balance, which wolf will you feed?

When there is conflict during your meeting and everyone is out of agreement, which wolf will you feed?

The next time someone interrupts you, which wolf will show up?

What will you reaction be when a customer is unhappy about a product or service you or your company provides?

When presented with a challenge, how will you respond?

Is your wolf one of exhaustion overwhelm, or chaos?  Perhaps your wolf is self-doubt, disbelief, and negativity?

Or, is the wolf of happiness, balance, order and structure showing up?  Is it the wolf of optimism, confidence, generosity and enthusiasm?

Which wolf will you feed today?

It’s a choice…YOUR choice.

Until next time…

P.S. — Want to find some great-tasting wolf feed?  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.

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