FOUR ELEMENTS COACHING

Moving You From Surviving to
THRIVING

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Happy New Year!! 

It’s been awhile since my last blog post, hasn’t it? Where have I been? I did not shut down my business or stop coaching. I did embark on a few years of intensive caregiving and advocating for my mother, who had Alzheimer’s Disease. We lost her on December 5th of 2013 and I began a new part-time position with AARP Mississippi just five days later! I knew this new job would give me more time to coach and work in my business. And it did. However, the challenge of learning new systems, technologies and training platforms meant I had to prioritize. So taking good care of my existing clients and helping new ones was THE most important thing I needed and wanted to do. Newsletters and blog posts could wait.

Rewinding, Reflection and Renewal

So one year later, 2015 has begun and I am reflecting on what I learned over the past two years. 2013 was filled with scheduling: work events, doctor’s appointments, care team meetings, applications and follow up. 2014 felt like it passed by in the blink of an eye, partly because I felt like I was always reacting, rather than responding. Do you ever feel that way too? I felt largely unprepared, like I wasn’t thinking ahead or planning anything at all. And in many cases, I wasn’t because so much of what I was experiencing in my new position was new and untested. But my business systems and personal stuff was fairly routine! I COULD plan and organize those things more efficiently. Why wasn’t I doing that? Upon reflection, I can say this: I did a LOT of things I had longed to do and couldn’t when I was caregiving for my mom and working myself to death. I spent a lot of time in 2014 doing what I love: scrapbooking, playing with my granddaughter, reading and relaxing. It took me awhile to realize that what I wasn’t getting done made space for me to be in renewal. To heal and rest.

New Year’s Resolutions don’t work for me. 

I read the other day that planning and organization are one of the top resolutions people make in the near year. Planning and organizing are certainly high on my list for 2015 too. But I don’t like the word “resolution” at all. The root word, resolute, is typically defined as ‘unwavering.’ My life wavers. People get sick, die, change jobs and move. And if I am unwavering, I am not flexible. Rather, I make ‘Intentions’ for the new year – things I intend to do, if everything lines up and stays favorable. If it doesn’t, then I can reflect and figure out how to stay generally focused. I reflect on the past year most years and this past few weeks, I have taken a lot of time to discover why I felt so overwhelmed.

I’d like to go through this with you too. 

I really want to share what I’ve learned and the process I go through with anyone who needs it. No kidding – I want everyone to stop feeling overwhelmed and to feel more prepared and responsive. But, there’s a lot – WAY too much to include in a newsletter or blog post.

That’s why I’m offering a free training call – Make It Meaningful: A Guide to Intentional Living and Working. I’ll spend about an hour telling you about where I was and where I am now, what helped and what didn’t, and how you can get closer to a more meaningful and intentional life and work environment. During the call we will:
1) Explore what you most want to do and how to stay out of rabbit holes;
2) Prioritize and then plan and organize those priorities;
3) Create a process for staying on track.

This call is absolutely free and happens on Monday, January 19th at 7:00 pm Eastern/6:00 pm Central time. That should give you some time to grab a little something to eat, find a note pad and a pen that writes and settle in your favorite quiet spot.

All you have to do to sign up is to email me at LaurieJohnson@4elementscoaching.com. Or you can go to my website at www.4elementscoaching.com and click on the Contact Us page, putting Make It Meaningful in the subject line. Then just write “Sign Me Up.”

The call will be recorded, but if you dial in live, you’ll have an opportunity to receive a free gift AND to participate in some other opportunities that will be offered in the next few months.

Start Right Now! 

If you want to make planning and responding a priority, start now by making this call a priority. Add it to your Outlook calendar or set an appointment and reminder on your smart phone. And be sure to invite your friends too – we all know someone who could use a little help, don’t we?

I can’t say for sure if I will be sending out regular newsletters or blogging weekly in 2015. It’s my intention to add these things back into my work and I have set these tactics as priorities in my schedule. But, as one of my colleagues often tells me, “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” I know this: 2015 will be a meaningful year for me, just as 2014 was after a little learning and growing. My intentions are clear and I know what matters most in my life. I hope you have a beautiful new year, sprinkled with happiness and joy. If I can help you make that happen, my life will be more meaningful too!

This year will be filled with peace. How do I know? Because even when the demons swoop in, I know that they are carrying something that I desperately need. And only I have the ability to ask them to surrender it.

Pierre Reverdy said “There is no love; there are only proofs of love.” Whatever love might be felt in the heart, we use this day as a way of expressing that love to others through gifts and special treatment.
Today, lots of people will express the belief that true love begins with self love. But do they really believe that?

As 2011 comes to a close and 2012 begins, millions of us will take at least a few moments at some point or another to reflect on our accomplishments, our challenges and our hopes for the year ahead. Resolutions and intentions abound in the minds of those who strive to change old habits or create new ones. Fears about whether those resolutions will stick surface in our thoughts as we silently wonder if this will be the year we achieve our ideal weight or pay off debt. Self deprecating thoughts sneak in unbidden, yet familiar. Whether this review is something you enjoy or dread depends largely on the process and your state of mind going into the review.

You see, I am going to live to be 103 so I’ve got a lot of living left to do! As a child, one of my favorite short films became a sort of mantra to live a long and healthy life. My mentor, Jiminy Cricket, showed me ‘How to Have Fun Safely’ and live to be 103. The lessons I learned from Jiminy as a child felt very different than they do today. I have definitely refined these principles! But here are a few kernels of Jiminy’s wisdom and a look at how I have incorporated this advice today.

I used my values when creating a mission and philosophy for 4 Elements Coaching and for my other business, Nonprofit Staff Success International. During the creation phase of my business foundation. I included my values in my business plan and posted them on one website. By communicating what I value most, I assist my clients in discovering more about me as a coach and as a business owner. And, whenever I come to a personal or business decision that feels heavy, I check in with my values to see whether the opportunity aligns with one or more of them.

This blog was posted originally on another site August 20, 2007. On May 7, 2011, we watched as our Megan crossed the stage to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree from Queens University of Charlotte.

I’ll tell you about her four years of adventure in an upcoming post. For now, join me in remembering the day we parted, and celebrating the end of a journey that came to pass much more swiftly than we could have imagined.

This year, I have set off with an intention to simplify my life. It was my clear desire at the start of 2011 to let go of those things that were draining my energy and making me feel cranky, guilty, inadequate or used. I leaped into a critical examination of all the things I was involved with or attached to and considered what I could let go of without too much trauma or sadness for all involved.

Branding has a significant impact on sales by developing an awareness, then an affinity, and then a loyalty from the consumer. Asking others to provide honest, anonymous feedback about you requires a certain amount of courage. There’s also the fear that they won’t think enough of you take 10 minutes out of their day to complete the survey. I pushed the ‘send’ button after much deep breathing and a commitment to learn from the experience, come what may.

When I discovered coaching and decided I wanted to be a coach, it never occurred to me that I would also have to become a business owner. Looking back, I really think there are really 10 simple, not too left brain things I benefitted from or wish I would have known when I was a new entrepreneur.