Being Solution-Focused Is A Superpower

I am unapologetically building my life up with those that are supportive of the vision for positivity, self-awareness, and the willingness to take personal accountability for their own choices. Those willing to give more than they take to those around them is a vital ability.

I am solution-focused personally and in business. I am on an amazing path that allows me not only to empower myself, yet empower others also. This includes the ability to live in a state of mindfulness that supports living the best version of myself, and encourages others to do the same.

The mindfulness piece also includes being mindful of creating a bit of distance between myself and those that are negatively infectious.
These folks that have blocked themselves from any kind of self-awareness, personal growth, common decency, are habitually toxic, or lack the fortitude to be personally accountable, are the types of people that tend to have a problem for every solution. They are unapologetically disinterested in putting forth effort to improve themselves or the world around them.

Keep in mind that creating distance doesn’t mean I hate anyone. It isn’t rejection, or sanctimonious posturing…this couldn’t be further from the truth. It does mean though, that I have boundaries and standards. It does mean that I love myself enough to no longer be infected with their toxicity. It means I have chosen to be a positive source of love and light for myself and others interested and willing to receive it.

If you are interested in making an improvement in your life, are looking for an accountability partner, interested in setting or completing goals for yourself, and exploring how a life of being solution-focused can manifest positivity for you, then feel free to reach out to me directly. I am honored to know you.

Boo-tiful Ways To Set Boundaries

Hapy October everyone! What a great way to begin the month…no tricks…just some tips that hopefully you will find useful in your communication processes. I kind of gave it away by the title…however, yep, you got it – we are to be discussing here the boo-tiful ways to set boundaries.

We all have boundaries. Some are visible and can actually be seen, like a fence, a gate, a room partition, an office cubicle, security alarms, etc. Others though, are not visible and not known unless we communicate them. Boundaries protect our space, our feelings, and our bodies. We all have different levels of tolerance, patience, and personal limits. Boundaries can establish very clearly, when communicated, where those lines are. How we communicate those lines though, is just as important as the boundaries themselves.

There are no exact rules or guidelines for setting boundaries for yourself, or how to honor the boundaries of another person. Ultimately, boundaries speak to what we identify as making us comfortable or uncomfortable. Sometimes, our boundaries change over time. Sometimes though, they are as set as a concrete pillar that doesn’t move…not even with the scariest ghoolish affects. Our boundaries can vary from person to person and situation to situation. There is no set way or list of rules that says you must do this or that to set a boo-tiful boundary.

Our boundaries for one aspect of our life, may not apply to other aspects of our lives. I know, I know, it’s complicated. In fact, the word “boundary” suggests separation, rejection, or isolation. However, I invite you to explore the possibility that setting boundaries can also mean that a person is establishing healthy rules, guided connections, or perhaps even instruction for navigation in any number of situations. Now, isn’t that a treat?!!

How my boundaries are shaped may differ dramatically from how your boundaries are shaped, and that is okay. Some folks may appear to have no boundaries, or significantly less than you have and that can be uncomfortable, overwhelming, and for some, even scary. Maybe though, it is the opposite for you. The more vulnerable a person is and the less boundaries they display puts you at ease, makes you feel secure, safe, and relaxed. Our boundaries are influenced by our upbringing, family dynamics, life experiences, triumphs, pitfalls, our heritage or culture, our religious or spiritual beliefs, the region or Country we come from, exposure to various social circles, and our comfort level in general.

See what I mean when I say it is all so complicated?

You can start by recognizing, honoring and understanding what your rights are in this process. When you honor your rights, you’ll stop spending so much negative energy seeking to please or pacify others who dishonor them. Inherently, your body knows when your boundaries are being tested, or crossed. Pay attention to how your body talks to you. Feel your heart rate. Are you sweating? Is there tightness in your chest, stomach, or throat? What are the micro-expressions you exude when a certain topic is brought up? Do you roll your eyes, cross your arms, or sigh audibly as loud as possible?

Basic Rights When Setting Boundaries:

  • I have a right to say no without feeling guilty. You can say no without an explanation and without providing any emotional response to the person you’re saying it to. You can even throw in a thank you…as in “No, thank you”
  • I have a right to be treated with respect.
  • I have a right to prioritize my needs as important as others.
  • I have a right to be accepting of my mistakes and failures.
  • I have a right not to meet others’ unreasonable expectations of me.

Learn to use “I feel” statements when setting personal boundaries. Identifying yourself first, so it doesn’t sound like you are blaming, but rather owning your own stuff and taking responsibility for your own feelings.

I feel ____ when _____ because _____________________. What I need is (you can also use What I would like is…)__________.

“when”…and this is where you place the action they have done to make you feel that way, how they caused it, or the behavior that is the problem.

“because” tells them what the result of their action caused and how it related to how they made you feel.

“What I need is”(or “What I would like is)…this is where you put exactly what you need, what you are looking for, what you want to happen instead, or action they can take to create a resolution to the situation.

You can leave it there, or add a question at the end to show you are willing to work together, or are open to resolving the problem together as a team.

  1. “I feel ___ (taking responsibility for one’s own feelings)
  2. “when__ ” (stating the behavior that is a problem)
  3. “because____” (what it is about the behavior or its consequences that is being objected)
  4. “Can we work this out together?” (or something similar to show you are open to working on the problem together)

NOT OK: Example 1 – “You never appreciate anything I do and I hate it here”

OKAY: Example 1 – “I feel overwhelmed when every time I submit a report that you haven’t even looked at yet, you belittle me, because I put a lot of effort into the work I do for this company and for you as my Supervisor. What I would like is to hear how you appreciate all my effort, recognize the time I committed to this project, and to have you review the report in its entirety and then communicate respectfully with me about it.

(optional add) Is this doable?”

NOT OKAY: Example 2 – “I’m not stupid you know. How am I expected to remember everything when this office cannot even do things properly?”

OKAY: Example 2 – I feel embarrassed when I forget an appointment because it makes me look like I don’t care, when I do. What I need is help with reminder calls, texts, or emails about my appointments to avoid missing them in the future.

(optional add) Do you have an option for reminders to be sent?”

“I” statements can just be as simple as changing a “you” statement (which can feel like an attack by the other person) into an “I” (makes it personal) statement:

NOT OKAY: Example 3 – You are always leaving your mess everywhere”

OKAY: Example 3 – I feel frustrated when I come home and the house is messy.”

Do you see how the way we change our communication can change the potential outcome and also help us set some pretty specific boundaries?

Defining and asserting your boundaries can get be a bit more challenging if a person is dealing with mental illness, depression, anxiety, or a history of trauma. If your boundaries are being crossed, or you have having trouble being able to set healthy boundaries, a counselor may be the ticket to helping you develop some of those self-advocacy skills. Keep in mind, that just because it’s your trauma, doesn’t mean other people automatically know about it, are aware of your boundaries, and often boundaries can be crossed unintentionally.

Basic Signs That Your Boundaries May Need To Be Changed:

  • Feeling chronically taken advantage of in certain situations, such as emotionally, financially, or physically.
  • Saying “yes” to please others at your own expense.
  • You don’t get your needs met because you tend to fear conflict and give in to others.
  • Often feeling disrespected by others, but not standing up for yourself.
  • Your fear of being rejected or abandoned leaves you accepting less that you deserve.
  • Engaging in people-pleasing behaviors in order to be liked and to receive approval.
  • Engaging in disrespectful behavior that hurts others.
  • Flirting with those who are in relationships and/or flirt when you are in a relationship even when it harms others.
  • Doing whatever you want to get your needs met—believing that limits don’t apply to you.

If someone is repeatedly pushing or violating your boundaries, listen to your internal instincts about how it makes you feel and whether that is something that you are willing to continue allowing to happen. You also should make every effort not to be the person that is crossing other folks’ boundaries. If you are not sure if you are, ask them. Keep that open line of communication with whoever you are speaking with and you can even say, “Please let me know if I am crossing any boundaries with you or making you feel uncomfortable in any way”…or something like that.

If you have interaction with someone who continues to violate your boundaries, even after you have communicated to them what they are, it can sometimes be the wisest move is to distance yourself from those who choose not to respect your boundaries. Sometimes this may even involve the need to change jobs, change departments, changing classes, moving, or establishing or leaning on a support system to help navigate your ability to be assertive (not agressive) and advocate for yourself.

Now you have a firmer grasp on what boundaries are and why they’re so important. They create the foundation for healthy relationship with ourselves and with everyone we interact with. Boundaries are a vital part of communication and a vital part of life. Take the next step in exploring some of those Boo-tiful ways to set those boundaries and be the best version of yourself you can be.

Positive Psychology In Coaching

Positive psychology can be summed up as a solution-focused “applied positive psychological approach” aimed at facilitating goal achievement, wellbeing and positive change in various areas of a person’s life. In other words, it emphasizes the positive influences in a person’s life.

This theory is based on the belief that happiness is derived from both emotional and mental factors in a person’s life, and focuses on the possibility that lies ahead for that person as their visualized ideal self.

In most situations, coaches use multiple models of coaching to create a coaching experience that’s highly tailored and suited to each specific individual who is seeking those services. Typically, there is no cookie-cutter method used as each client has specific things they wish to focus on. Coaches often utilize these various modalities and resources to supplement the coaching experience and encourage conversations that help move the client to raise their awareness, reflect on their values, create and make action steps, while working towards their goals. Positive psychology coaching (also referred to as Strengths-Based Coaching, or Positive Coaching)  is just one of those methods that a coach may incorporate.

The fundamental aspects of positive psychology, include helping a client explore their resilience, weaknesses, strengths, values, optimistic emotions, self-compassion, and focuses on the positive developments, instead of fixing any deficits. Developing an understanding of negative thoughts and behaviors versus positive thoughts and behaviors, and understanding which are needed to achieve goals and objectives, is at the heart of positive psychology coaching.

Coaching clients by incorporating positive psychology can help clients become clearer about what changes they might need to make to achieve their desired goals and objectives.

Independence Day

Independence fosters a person’s ability to be self-reliant and self-sufficient. Independence is a prime motivator for self-determination and success in life.

In the beginning of our life, our self-esteem and sense of our value is dependent upon our parents’ influence and perception of us and the world. What they say we are worth is what we believe about ourselves. Later, it is our social circles and friends, then society who we let tell us what our life is worth. A person has the ability to choose whether to live by the opinions of others, form their own opinions, or a mixture of the two.

Although we are free to pursue our own dreams, we are still a society that values status. We use titles and college degrees, certifications, employment experiences, money and material things to measure a person’s worth. We often let social standing and what others think of us dictate what our actions are and this influences our self-esteem. However, the rut of getting stuck in this vicious cycle doesn’t have to stay this way. You can learn to develop your own value, to be valuable to yourself. By learning to invest in yourself, be valuable to yourself, gives you the tools necessary to embrace independence.

Independence doesn’t mean you never need other people. It doesn’t mean that you don’t need a support system. It doesn’t mean that you can handle everything all by yourself and never get stuck. It does mean that you maintain your own status quo though. You are in control of the type of help you get and the type of people you get help from. You are in control of whether you are willing to not only be a support for others, but accept support from others. Giving help to someone without encouraging their independence is often worse than not helping at all. When you foster dependency, you are limiting people from their potential. This is the importance of stepping out beyond your comfort zones to allow yourself the freedom to grow, to learn, to change. Fostering that independence can help make life a smoother experience that is more manageable.

It is said that every person has four endowments: self awareness, a conscience, independent will, and creative imagination. Utilizing these gifts, provides us the ultimate freedom. The power to choose (we always have a choice), to respond (not react), to change (change can be liberating). The ability to be independent is something that not everyone possesses, however this is a skill that can be taught. Learning to be independent increases our ability to survive in the world. Learning to support yourself, on your own effort, is fundamental for any success you ever hope to achieve in your life.

The ultimate ideal is to be independent and use that independence to help other people. We are not talking about helping people by making them dependent on you. Though sometimes that can happen without us intending for it to. Helping people by freeing them from their dependencies also helps them build their own self-esteem.

The bottom line is this. Think for yourself. Live your life on your terms. Be willing to give help to others, ask for help when needed; be willing to learn, change, and invest in yourself, and then help others do the same.

It’s time for your Independence Day to begin. Set up a complimentary 30 minute one on one session to explore what’s possible for you.

Say Something Nice Day

Sometimes you have to be kind to others….not because they’re nice, but because you are. ~Anonymous

If you haven’t seen the Disney movie “Bambi”, I highly recommend it. It has a lot of valuable lessons throughout for kids and adults. One the the ones that stands out to me that I have carried through my life was referenced by Thumper, a young rabbit referring to something he learned from his mother…… “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

This is good advice to live by when speaking to each other and to ourselves.

Putting positive and uplifting speech into action has been the focus of many songs, poems, movies, and books over the years. We can learn a lot from these portable lessons of goodness.

One such call to action was represented as follows:

On July 31, 2011, the president and CEO of the Charleston, South Carolina Speech and Hearing Center, Mitchell Carnell, published a short Amazon book called “Say Something Nice: Be a Lifter!” The book was and is really about the health benefits you receive when you lift others up instead of tearing them down.

In 2006, Carnell’s work in communication and good works was officially recognized when the mayor of North Charleston, South Carolina proclaimed June 1 as Say Something Nice Day in recognition of Carnell’s communication efforts.

The aim of this special day is to fight against unkindness, bullying, and the lack of politeness that dominates society today. The world can be an unpleasant place at times, and if there is something that we really need, it’s a little more nicety and kindness.

This includes being nice to ourselves as well. It’s imperative to appreciate even the little things in our lives. Say something nice to yourself about the things you have experienced in your life; reflect on all of your accomplishments or completed goals (no matter how small). This can make you feel good on the inside. 

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be Kind. Always. ~ Brad Meltzer

Attitude of Gratitude

An Attitude of Gratitude is a regular habit to express appreciation for all different parts of life, no matter how small. An attitude of gratitude means that you operate from a place of abundance instead of a place of scarcity and fear. When we train ourselves to look at life through the lens of gratitude rather than disappointment, we find ourselves happier and more at peace. There is so much to be grateful for if we just learn to look for it. We each have the ability to choose what we focus on.

This doesn’t mean that you are grateful for negative or bad experiences that happen in all our lives. It doesn’t mean you are being fake when you are making an effort to focus on the things you are grateful for. Even on those moments, days, or weeks where it feels like nothing is going your way, going right, or feels overwhelming….it is important to lay that foundation of gratitude and keep it separate and independent of our circumstances. It’s important to give thanks for what IS working…no matter how insignificant it may seem.

When you make it a conscious habit to express appreciation for your life, the Universe listens and responds with more positivity. An attitude of gratitude forces you to get outside of your problems and look at the bigger picture. In exchange, you are better able to bounce forward when challenges occur in life.

Think of something in this moment that you are thankful for? Perhaps even take some time to make a list of those things. This Thanksgiving coming up I challenge you to give thanks in different ways to not just others, but yourself as well. Perhaps you are thankful and have an attitude of gratitude for your values, your abilities, your effort to be your authentic self, and your desire to better yourself.

An attitude of gratitude has the power to transform your entire life.

FUN FACT: Smiling forcibly for only 20 seconds stimulates brain activity associated with positive emotions

You Are Energy

Everything is energy. What you focus on, you become. What you put out into the universe is always coming back to you in some form. You are so much more than your physical body. You are vibration. You are energy.

Transcript: You Are Energy by Jessica Shepherd

You are energy
Do you really understand this?
Do you really get HOW you are energy?
Energy is flowing through you right now!
Energy is around you right now.
You are moving in energy
You are driving your car in energy
You are breathing in and breathing out energy (space for a breathe)
Your body is filled with energy
The thoughts you are thinking are energy
Your feelings are energy, your happiness is energy, your confusion, is energy.
The blood that is pumping around your body feeding every cell with oxygen is energy
Every part of you that is growing – your hair, your nails, if you’re a little person your limbs use energy to grow.
What you eat is energy
What you say, – what comes out of your mouth is energy.

What you look at is energy – what you pay attention to gives it more energy.
If you watch things on TV you are giving your energy to what you watch.
If you listen to or watch things online, you are giving your energy to those things too. You are lining up your energy with those things.

It is your choice what you give your energy to. It is your free will to choose. What are YOU CHOOSING?

What does your energy look like? What does it feel like? Your energy is flowing in directions weather you want it to or not.
Your thoughts and your feelings direct your energy.
Do you know what happens to your energy when you trust?

When you trust that everything always works out for you. When you trust that you have purpose in this world
When you trust that you have more than enough of everything, When you trust you are enough

When you trust that you are worthy of receiving and you have value to give.
When you trust that there is more to you than what people see with their eyes
When you trust that you are a part of something bigger than you, something that is all knowing, all understanding and most of all loving.

When you trust, you allow, your energy relaxes, your cells relax, the tightness dissipates, the holding dissipates, the searching, the confusion, the disappointment RELAXES.

Your energy relaxes and flows more smoothly when you trust.
Suddenly you feel more balanced.
Suddenly you feel more worthy, you feel EASIER, happier, you feel more knowing and peaceful

Can you feel it, can you feel how trusting that everything will be ok, trusting that everything works out for you, trusting that you can heal your body,
Can you feel how this changes the energy within you?.

I can, I can see your energy smoothing when you say this and eventually believe it.
You know believing comes easy with practise. That’s how all you’re other thoughts have turned into beliefs, just with practise.

Practice being kind….rewind.  Rewind and take time for yourself.  Try this every day for 30 days and see how differently you feel. Feel it coming from your heart. Say it out loud and say it with passion and conviction and belief (even on the days you struggle to hold that belief).

Breathe this in and breathe it out.
I trust that everything is working out perfectly for me.
I trust in the universe to bring me everything I need
I trust that the universe knows fully my plans, my potential, my inner most desires and dreams and I trust that the universe is doing everything it can to help me along my path at the perfect time.
I trust that I am worthy of happiness
I trust that I am worthy of love
I trust that I am of value to this world
I trust that I am a powerful creator and that if I can fill myself up with enough great feel good things that the opposite just won’t exist anymore.
I trust in my power to heal myself, to know myself, to be able to hear my true self.
I trust that my true inner self is speaking to me all the time and I trust that I can hear it. My feelings are the voice that let me know what is going on for my inner self. Not my spiralling rampaging emotions that coupled with thoughts can send me up the garden path, but my true feelings in my heart, the ones that when injected with love tell the real authentic story of the way I am feeling.
I trust that I am strong, capable and clever.
I trust that I am successful at being me first and foremost and the more in alignment I can be with myself the better everyone around me will feel.
I am emanating happiness, peacefulness and joy.
I love my life and I enjoy the journey.
I AM GREATFUL

I am energy

New Year Message 2020

Slow down a bit and work on not overthinking.  Find time to rest your body  and your mind.  Healing comes with rest and time.  Healing also comes from pushing forward and keeping the body and mind moving.  The key is learning to set personal limits, boundaries, and pacing yourself.

Set a goal.  It doesn’t matter if it is a small goal or a larger more challenging goal. Take small steps towards your goal.  Each step is one step closer to achieving the end result, whatever that may be for you.  Share yourself with others. 

Never give up HOPE and belief in the greater good.  Allow yourself to see the light despite all of the darkness.

Someone, somewhere, is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree. Pay it forward by planting one small kindness at a time, and help cast the shadow of your fears and limitations behind you.

I wish you enough.  Enough love.  Enough pain relief.  Enough progress.  Enough happiness.  Enough joy.  Enough progress.  Enough life.  Enough of all that you need in the New Year.

Happy New Year!!!

Coaching Is For Everyone

Coaching is an opportunity to maximize your performance. It isn’t about doing what is expected of you, it is about connecting you with your passion, helping you build your life around the things you love, the things you want to grow, and see beyond where you are in the current moment.

Coaching helps raise awareness and responsibility. You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream. The only distance between your dreams and reality is the action steps you take to get there. You don’t have to be accomplished, all knowing, or great to get started. However, you do need to take the leap, make the step, and actually get started to get to that level of greatness to live the life where you find it harder not to see your worth.

Let coaching help you get from where you are, to where you want to be.

To build a strong team, you must see someone else’s strength as a compliment to your weakness; not a threat to your position or authority ~Christine Caine

Coaching Benefit

No matter what area of your life you want to improve or transform, hiring a life coach ensures you don’t have to do it alone anymore. You are acknowledging that you are willing to and wanting to follow through on your goals while being held accountable for meeting those goals, and ultimately fulfilling your potential.