FOUR ELEMENTS COACHING

Moving You From Surviving to
THRIVING

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A few months ago, a student mentioned to me that she was very excited about New Year’s Eve. I asked what special plans they had for the evening and she said it was very simple and low-key. “Each year, we put memories, thoughts or gratitudes into a big jar whenever we feel led to write them down, and we open it and read them on the last day of the year. We reflect on what went well and what we did together.”

This practice stayed in the back of my mind. Then the inviteCHANGE monthly webinar for January was on Incorporating Gratitude. When I hear something more than once, it’s time to pay attention to the lesson.

I’m pretty connected to gratitude as a daily practice, though it’s mostly in the form of gratitude journaling in my morning pages as well as noting the best parts of our day in a conversation that’s usually held during dinner time. But that can sometimes feel very routine.

Fast forward to my work with a relationship client and I mention that it might be helpful to start a Gratitude Jar. But, I suggest they not wait till the end of the year to take a look at it.

Several people in my life have begun this practice of capturing happy thoughts, memories, stories, etc. in a nearby jar. My daughter was gifted a Happy Memories jar by one of her co-workers. I immediately took advantage of her gift and stuck a note inside for her as well. She just takes one out when she feels like she needs or wants to read one the most.

So when I began writing this blog post, I really intended it to focus on how gratitude can improve our relationships with others. But frankly, beyond that, it really changes our own relationship with self – with awareness of what’s going well, which in turn leads us to moving into patterns that help us do well.

We can spend a lot of time complaining about what isn’t right or what doesn’t work. We can see examples of this in our own conversations with others, with social media conversations, in newspapers and on television.

Statements of gratitude help us to see that the world is a good place. That good things really do happen. We then, in turn, learn to see the good things more often, or at least AS often, as the not so good things.

It also helps us to remember what we are doing well, rather than always seeing those parts of us that we are most often critical about. We speak to self in ways we would never speak to friends or family. What if you picked one thing about your body, mind, spirit or character that you are grateful for every day? What if you noticed when you were kind to others or when you fulfilled a promise to do something for yourself? What if you said, “I am grateful for my work ethic – I showed up to work today even though I wanted to stay in bed and read a good book.”

Is it time for you to start a practice of self or relationship gratitude? Or if you already have a practice, is it time to add another component to it?

I’m looking for a pretty jar that can contain all the gratitude and happiness I can find. I’ll let you know when I find the perfect jar. But for now, I can start writing my gratitude on a tiny slip of paper right now.

Do you notice that January brings a desire to declutter, purge and re-organize your home, office and maybe even your car? If so, you’re not alone. While the phrase “Spring Cleaning” is more popular than “January De-Cluttering,” this is a natural time for us to take stock and think about what we own, where we store it and whether it’s still relevant to our lives and our work.

As 2017 winds down to an end, I realize again how much I love this transition from the old to the new. Everything seems fresh and possible to me. A new year, a new day, a new hour. Everything that’s old is new again.

Of all the times of the year, the holiday season can be one of the most busy and, therefore, stressful. We can take on a lot. We can have high expectations. We can encounter difficulties in relationships with others who are stressed and carrying high expectations.

One of the most joyful times of the year can often be fraught with sadness and disappointment.

Add in the fact that for some, the end of the year brings additional stresses at work as there can be more planning, more reporting, more covering for those who take time off and more.

So what can you do to prepare for the holiday season?

But today, I just want to take a moment to honor a woman I never met and to be grateful for all that she was to me. To say that she changed my life is also an understatement. My 4 Elements for Success are based on these principles that I learned and used to create my business. I wouldn’t be where I am today, sitting on my couch in a home that is perfect for me doing work that I love more than anything I’ve ever done, without the wisdom this woman shared with me and with the world. 

It is my deepest hope that you have benefitted from this program and will continually look at self care in a different way. Hopefully, practicing self care will become a daily habit for you. Maybe you have learned a lot about yourself and will continue to learn more as you engage in journaling and reflecting. Undoubtedly, you may have had difficulty practicing each prompt and that’s perfectly okay. One of the purposes of this month-long exercise was to create some regular self care time, but also some ideas for when you only have a moment to pop on a playlist or when you have an entire weekend that can be dedicated to a retreat.

If you are familiar with my work at all, you know that I have created what I believe are 4 Elements for Success in almost every area of life. While this generally applies to work, family or specific goals people have set, it can absolutely apply to self care as well.

So my first question is – do you have a goal for your self care practice? Many people tell me that they want self care to be a daily activity for them, rather than being the first thing that gets tossed off their plate.

On Day 6 of our Summer of Self Care series,  we talked about the value of Dance on our feeling of well being. Hopefully you took a Dance break that day and maybe a few days since.

Today, music takes the center of the stage in our mind as we learn about the value of incorporating music into your self care plan.

When we are sick, stressed or in the middle of a great change, the need for self care often intensifies. Yet this is the very time we are seemingly unable to put our needs in front of the ever changing landscape unfolding in front of our eyes.

In particular, self care often changes greatly when we are sick, especially if we are also trying to juggle child care, work, other caregiving for family and more.

What makes asking for help so difficult? Why does it take people so long to ask for help?

We’ll get to that in a moment but let me just say this.

Asking for help is Self Care – plain and simple.