I just woke up from my sleep study at Frederick Memorial Hospital. I am no stranger to hospitals and staying overnight in a hotel, so that part wasn’t hard. I’m not sure if I’m feeling foggy or fresh… I just know how important our sleep and health are to function in life.
Naturally I am very energetic and have not noticed any decline of energy until my husband brought it to my attention: “Kelye, when you get your physical this year ask them about your sleep.” I did, and the sleep study journey began with a savvy approach.
My word this year is Savvy. This word for me means to be savvy in all I do… personally and professionally. It means to take care of my health and take care of my business pronto. I have always been proactive with my health. I got genetic testing done that led to proactive major surgeries in 2005 and 2011. All done! Not exactly, it seems. We have to keep up and pay attention to all the signs. The newest sign – sleep apnea. This was not on the radar for me.
So to begin this savvy path, I needed a SIMPLE plan, one to make myself clear.
I went to see the doc and got the scoop on what I need to do over age 50. Well, first step was the colonoscopy and then the sleep test. Double doozy but both necessary in my case. I was anxious leading up to these events but now feel in control with confidence once again with the results that come from taking care of yourself.
My personal 3 step plan to keep it simple:
Pay attention to your body
Listen to others for feedback – professionals, family, and friends
ACT – Be savvy and make it happen
How do you pay attention to your body?
When others give you feedback, do you act or procrastinate?
One way I know I am paying more attention to my body is my breathing. Part of my savvy health plan this year is to do yoga. It helped me tremendously as I breathed in this uncomfortable machine during my overnight sleep test. Some of you know my funny snorkeling story in Cancun from over 30 years ago about how I couldn’t keep up with my friends during an excursion because of my breathing. Well I am working on that 30 years later to just breathe and it seems – get more quality sleep.
As a business coach, I am all about the ACTION plan. I was not thrilled about the process involved in discovering my sleep patterns, but know I am much better off now and happy I didn’t procrastinate. One of my slumber party friends at the hospital said he was getting testing because he just had a stroke—a little different from my visit, as I snore. I said, “Well it looks like whatever is getting in our way, we are taking control of it.” I guess the lesson here for me is it can be much more serious than you think, so ACT.
What are some lessons you have learned about being proactive with your health?
At the end of the day, how you feel impacts you personally and professionally. Pay attention, listen to others to get clear and confident, and create a savvy plan to live the life of your dreams… and maybe get some sleep to enjoy those sweet dreams too. I will be sharing more savvy tips at our Be You, Be Savvy event in 2018. One way you can pay attention to your body is to join us for our upcoming Be Adventurous Scavenger Hunt in Baker Park, Frederick, MD.
Today’s author: Kelye Rouse-Brown, CHA, CHT is a business owner, joint venture partner, HR expert, certified coach, and training professional. Her 3 components: Educate, Motivate, and Cultivate help her clients develop, spark action, and grow a successful career/business and life from the core. Kelye can be reached at 301-371-9300 or by visiting her website: krbtrainingsolutions.com
“If you make something fun, it’s easier to learn.” ~ Larry Seaman
(Coach Laura’s Dad)
Have you ever done a values assessment? A values assessment is a process that helps you get clear on your core values. A value is defined as a principle, standard, or quality considered inherently worthwhile or desirable. In the book What Color is Your Parachute, Richard Bolles says, “Values are a matter of what guides you through every day, every task, every encounter with another human being.”
I’ve done several values assessments over the years and one of my values which shows up consistently, time and time again, is fun. I try to find a way to have as many moments of fun in my day as possible. I think the reason this value has been so consistent in my life is because I was raised by “Mr. Fun”. My dad, Larry, is one of the most fun-loving people you will ever meet. With Father’s Day coming up, I thought it would be appropriate to share a little with you about my dad and what it was like being raised in an environment of fun.
One of the things I’ve always admired about my dad was what an excellent father he was despite the fact that his own father died when he was just eight years old and his memories of his dad are very limited. He parented from a place of intuition more than from following the model his father gave him because he just didn’t remember enough about his dad from before he died.
My dad was 23 years old when I was born in May of 1967, and as I’ve been told, he loved me wholeheartedly from the moment he met me. I was definitely Daddy’s Little Girl! My mom says that it wasn’t unusual for him to come home from work with a new dress for me, which he’d promptly put me in and then take me out to show me off to all of his friends.
So many of my earliest memories from my preschool days are full of fun. My dad played on a bowling league and I can remember begging him to let me go with him. I would run around the back of the bowling alley with other kids just waiting for the chance to bowl a couple balls at the end of the night. We’d then go home and my dad would help put me to bed with a bedtime story… he very rarely read to me, but instead made up stories out of his head… and an evening ritual that I named “do face” where I would close my eyes and my dad would lightly trace his fingers around my eyes, nose, and face… I can still remember how relaxing this was for me!
As I approached elementary school age, our fun became more educational. I perfected my spelling with The Spelling Game… which was just my dad giving me a word, spelling bee style, and asking me to spell it. We would play this everywhere, but mostly in the car during long rides. Another one of our favorite car games was Name That Tune… my dad was a harmonica player, so he would play a song, and my brother and I would try to guess what he was playing. At home, we worked on my math skills by playing store. My dad would sit down with me and give me a pile of money. He then would bring me an item he wanted to buy and it was my job to make the correct change from the money he gave me to pay for his “purchase”.
Spending time with family, my grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins, was also part of the environment of fun I was raised in. We would get together for crab feasts, card games, holidays, and birthdays. We’d go out in the evening for ice cream followed by a game of hide and seek, and as dusk set in, we’d grab a jar and collect fireflies. We went camping and would sing camp songs, make a fire, and stargaze.
In a nutshell, my childhood was full of love, learning and fun!
So, as we approach Father’s Day this year, I want to say, thank you Dad for raising me in such a way that I recognize the value of FUN!!! Now that I am an adult, I recognize that not everyone is able to give themselves permission to play and have fun the way that I can, and I believe it is because of you that fun always shows up as one of my core values. You are an amazing man and I am lucky to be your daughter!
What fun memories do you have of your dad? Please share them with me! I’d really love to hear some of your stories too!
Today’s author: Laura Hall, CPC, CDWF: As a certified professional coach since 2009, Laura Hall, Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator has been helping people just like you make changes in. As a mother of 2 girls, Laura has a special interest in coaching parents, so if you still have children living at home, ask Laura about her Wholehearted Parenting programs. Laura can be reached via email at laurahal[email protected] or feel free to visit her website HallCoaching.com
Isn’t it interesting how one experience in your life can provide new perspective in a totally different area of your life? Several years ago, when my home was celebrating its 21st birthday, I decided it was time for a much needed kitchen renovation project. Over that next twelve months, I spent time thoughtfully planning, researching options, shopping for inspiration, creating a budget, interviewing design consultants, and imagining exciting possibilities. It was fun, and at times overwhelming and a little exhausting. There were a few setbacks and a few challenges that caused me to hit the reset button. There were so many decisions and I wanted to get it right. Finally the time arrived to say goodbye to the old kitchen, which surprisingly was a little bittersweet. After all, a lot of life had been lived in that kitchen with lots of memories. Several weeks later, that kitchen was brand new from the ceiling to the floor and everything in between. The transformation felt amazing and the changes brought me such joy!
One day as I sat in my family room looking into my lovely new kitchen space, I realized that the coaching process is similar to this interior design process in so many ways. We are all our own interior design projects. Every day, we have the opportunity to create the blueprint for the life we intend to live. The word intend is very meaningful. We are creating the life we are living each day, whether we are doing so consciously or unconsciously without any thought. However, when we live with intention, we plan and create a clear purposeful vision for our lives.
Designing the life we intend to live takes thoughtful contemplation, and it is a daily personal growth process. Just as I experienced with my kitchen design project, there is also a lot of work that goes into our personal growth. It can feel a bit uncomfortable at times, and it may feel uncertain. But, with the right tools to guide you, you can create a process to allow your life to transform, one design piece at a time. And just like a simple coat of fresh paint, or a few new throw pillows in your home, each small step can bring you closer to the life you want.
On the evening of Wednesday, June 27, 2018, I will be facilitating our Be Redesigned event. We’ll all explore the different areas of our lives and assess where we may want to redesign some pieces. At the end of the evening, you should feel empowered to take your new customized interior design skills and use them in your daily life to constantly create the life you intend to live! I hope you will join us. Bring your inner interior designer with you. This fun night is all about you creating the best version of yourself!
Today’s blog was written by WWR Partner Coach, Donna Kettell. Donna is a certified professional coach (CPC) and a master practitioner in energy leadership (ELI-MP). Her certifications were earned through The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
If things aren’t perfect, they must be horrible right?
If you’re not a fascinating person, then you must be boring?
I’ll either succeed, or I’ll fail.
You will love me or hate me.
Are you a person who sees things in extremes?
Good or bad,
Perfect or useless,
Right or wrong,
Moral or immoral.
YIKES . . . what a tough way to live!
If you are someone who looks at things in absolutes or falls victim to polarized black and white thinking, then this blog is for you.
All or nothing thinking is a thought pattern that can generate a “flight, fight, or freeze” response to danger. And, although much is going on in our world today that is concerning, we often fall prey to distorted thinking, better known as “stinking thinking.”
Small children just learning how to speak and organize thoughts think in black and white terms. This is normal and is called primitive thinking.
As adults, we are prone to primitive thinking during moments of crisis and stress. When an adult starts to feel overwhelmed by emotions, they can regress back to the way they saw the world as a child.
Black and white thinking is seeing the world only in extremes, and it skews your perspective. This kind of thinking can make you feel stressed, confused, overwhelmed, or just plain fed up. It can exacerbate depression, marital conflict, anxiety, and a whole host of other problems. By thinking this way, we miss the reality that things rarely are one way or another but usually somewhere in-between; in other words, there are many Shades of Gray.
Just ask Crayola!
Can you see yourself in any of the next three scenarios?
Becky is a middle-aged married woman who is continuously feeling depressed. She says she NEVER feels happy anymore and that she is ALWAYS disappointed with those around her and herself.
Susan, who attends Weight Watchers regularly, just ate a delicious piece of chocolate crème pie and told herself, “I guess I just blew my diet today, I might as well eat another piece.” All or nothing thinking can turn a single bite into a full-blown binge.
Joseph, an aspiring actor who supports himself currently as a carpenter, despite good reviews in several plays, reports feeling overwhelming anxiety whenever he has to audition for a role. Joseph ALWAYS prepares thoroughly but becomes increasingly anxious for days before the audition. He says he NEVER does well at auditions and would NEVER overcome this anxiety. He believes he will NEVER make it in the business and ALWAYS will just be a carpenter.
Joseph eventually realized that his black and white thinking became a self-fulfilling prophecy. He learned how to view his situation how it was, a mix of good things and room for improvements. With a newfound appreciation for the many shades of gray, Joseph is now happier, more realistic, less anxious, and successful in his new career.
You too can learn to recognize faulty thinking and make a choice to challenge it in favor of healthier living.
Recognize there may be more than one way to interpret any given situation. By doing so, you can avoid jumping to wrong and possibly harmful conclusions. When looking at a situation, your perspective follows your current line of thought, which is NOT necessarily the reality of a situation.
Stop using language that exaggerates. Words like:
Replace negative words with positives ones
Challenge or Possibility
There is precious little in this world that is genuinely black and white. Give yourself and those you love a break and discover the many beautiful shades of gray. When you learn to recognize the spectrum of gray in the difficult experiences you encounter in life, you will be better equipped to explore ways to improve your situation and come out on top.
And lastly, as an Empowerment Coach,
“Don’t believe everything you think.”
Today’s author: Kat Middleton is a professional certified coach and the founder and CEO of Wholehearted Concepts, LLC. Kat is a Professional Energy Empowerment and Self-Acceptance Coach who specializes in helping clients personally and professionally that struggle with inner doubt, perfectionism and being way too hard on themselves. She is available for private one-on-one coaching as well as group workshops, seminars, and speaking events. Learn more about her at her website: www.wholeheartedconcepts.com
Do you know what your money story is? How do you approach money, and what do you struggle with the most financially? Coaches Laura and Kelye explore the topic of financial independence with financial coach Jane Helm from Money Mentor Group in this sixth podcast episode. Play in your browser with the media player below or click “WWR Coaches Discuss Financial Independence”.
Have you ever eaten the last piece of dried-out cake sitting on your kitchen counter, or maybe the bowl of jelly beans because they were on your desk? Maybe sweets are your weakness, but have you ever eaten all the French fries on your plate just because they were there? We all have, but why? We do this for two reasons: cues around us and the mindless margin.
Let’s say you sit down for dinner and there are mashed potatoes, green beans, and pork chops on the table. You make your first plate and you feel content, but you see that there are still mashed potatoes left, so you grab seconds and take what’s left. Your family finishes off the pork chops and green beans and get up from the table. You’re not exactly feeling full but since everyone has finished the food on the table and have excused themselves, you don’t go grab something out of the cabinet, you simply stop eating. Your family getting up and the food being gone are the visual cues that make you not want to eat more.
Let’s even take a bowl of cereal, for example. If anyone fixes a bowl of cereal, typically no one is leaving a few milk-soaked Cheerios in the bowl. We eat them all because they’re there and it’s a visual cue for us to keep eating. Most of us don’t think anything of this. There’s no magic number of Cheerios that makes us so full we feel like we’re going to pop and there’s no magic number that makes us feel that we have under-eaten. Since there is no magic number, we fill up our bowl of whatever size we choose and go for it until we’re done. What we fail to realize is that when we’re in that zone where we’re eating a few more Cheerios or a few more jelly beans, we don’t feel the difference between 700 and 900 calories. This zone is called the mindless margin.
The Mindless Margin
Let’s face it, we don’t wake up one day 20 pounds heavier than we were when we went to bed. When we’re in the mindless margin zone, we can either under-eat or overeat without being aware of it. Doing this can creep up on us over time. Did you know that 3,500 calories equal a pound? It doesn’t matter if you eat those calories all together or 500 extra calories a day until you reach 3,500. You will gain a pound either way. This is problematic because if we eat 1,000 calories in one day, we feel that we haven’t eaten enough. We may feel weak, tired, and irritable. On the flip side, if we eat 4,000 calories in one day, we will feel that, too. We may feel slower, heavier, and won’t feel like doing much. However, if we only under-eat or overeat by 300 calories, we try to put on our favorite pair of jeans and we wonder why we can’t fit in them this season. The calorie range where we are unaware of what we’re doing is called the mindless margin. Here’s something to think about… just ten extra calories a day is enough to make you gain ten pounds in one year. Luckily, the same thing happens if we eat ten calories less per day.
Overcoming the Mindless Margin
As Americans, we typically stop eating when we’re full. Most other cultures stop eating when they are no longer hungry. So, the next time you sit down to eat – and by the way, you should always be sitting down to eat – try eating until you are no longer hungry. There is a significant gap in the number of calories you’ll eat. Start with cutting back by 20% of what you may think you’d eat. There are many studies that show that 20% goes unnoticed but 30% makes people feel deprived. Another great thing to consider is to add some fiber-filled carbohydrates or vegetables to substitute the 20%. Fiber always makes you feel fuller and more satisfied. Go on and give it a try – you may be surprised how easy it is to maintain or even lose weight by being aware of the mindless margin!
Today’s author: Casey Clark is an affiliate coach with Wholistic Woman and manages a health and wellness practice, Heaven On Earth, which focuses on self-care. Having been a student and working, both full-time, Casey has a deep understanding for the importance of self-care and is committed to helping those who lead busy lives, especially young professionals, accomplish prioritizing self-care so that they can live a holistically balanced, well and fulfilled life. She uses her own experiences as a motivator to help her clients achieve lasting, self-compassionate change that is aligned with their values. Find out more about Casey at her website: www.aheavenlyyou.com
If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, then I’m sure you have wondered from time to time about whether this is it. All our lives we are made to believe that the definition of success is a big house with a white picket fence, 2.5 kids, an SUV in the garage, and of course a stable job to pay for it all. If you are sensible, you don’t spend all your money and put some aside for retirement.
But retirement is far away. What about the here and now? I’m not saying that you shouldn’t save for later on, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of missing out on the moment. Live a little on the way.
Having a lot of stuff is what the consumption industry wants us to strive for, and many of us do what is expected. Until one day you get a wake-up call like being laid-off, or a big move to another country, or you just have that nagging feeling that you “have it all” but something is missing – except you don’t know what that something is.
I was lucky in that I knew what that was. I always wanted to paint and it changed my life in many ways when I finally embarked on that journey. In 2000, we had moved from Düsseldorf to Maryland. My son and daughter started high school that year, my husband worked and traveled a lot, and I was home. Alone. No job, no friends. It was culture shock. The American way of life was foreign to me. My in-laws lived just outside New York, where my husband was born, so we had been on vacation here many times, but as my daughter once said: “Mom, it’s a nice country to visit, but not to live.”
Wow! She was born in Hamburg and had been enrolled in German schools. It took her quite a few years to adjust. And it took me five years to finally make a few friends. That was a first. I had moved many times, from country to country, to different cities with different languages and jobs. Every time I lived in a new place, I gathered a group around me, but not here.
In 2005, I finally gave in to my passion. I signed up for a painting class and that changed everything. It felt like coming home, and soon I started to make friends. A whole new world opened up. It was a little scary to walk into that first class. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t even know how to paint. I also knew that I had lots to learn, that I would fail many times, but I could do it if I worked hard. And I did. I ended up with stacks and stacks of some pretty ugly paintings, but I was not discouraged or embarrassed. On the contrary, with every brushstroke I got better, and I loved the process. Slowly I was making some pretty decent paintings and even won awards.
This was not the end of the journey. There was still something missing. But this time around, it was not apparent what I needed. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to combine painting with coaching. I became a coach because I was missing a tribe, like I had in all those other places where I had lived, and I wanted to help others to experience what it feels like to come home. What it feels like when you are doing what you were meant to be doing all along.
Find your passion.
If you don’t have a clue what you are passionate about, ask your friends. During my training as a coach, all my coaching friends told me that every time I talked about my painting, I lit up. I had never noticed that, but there it was. When people talk about their passion, and they do so often, they lighten up. Their eyes are on fire, eyebrows are pulled upwards, the whole body is energized, hands and arms start moving.
Pay attention to your own body when you talk about something you feel strongly about.
Body language is an amazing thing. Try sitting slumped over and talk about a passion of yours. I guarantee you that you cannot do it. Not in that position.
In 2011, I founded Quality Within. I chose that name because I am a firm believer that we all have beauty and a unique quality within us. The challenge is to find it. It is something that comes naturally. Something that is so easy for you that you think anybody can do it. But just because it comes easily to you doesn’t mean that it is the same for everybody else. I’m not saying that painting came easily to me. I had to work on it. But I had a drive from within. I didn’t have to push myself, I was pulled toward it. What does come easily to me is combining color and reading people, and reading intuitive paintings.
If you have no idea what your quality within looks like, start by getting organized. Make space and clear your mind and clutter in your home. Finish projects that you have been putting aside.
Once you have cleared your mind, start making a list with all the things you would like to do even if you think it’s impossible. Take your time with it. Then pick one theme that jumps out at you and start pondering, collect information, find out what you need to learn, talk to as many people as you can, and listen to their feedback. Pay attention to your own body, your gut, your energy. Trust your intuition. In my case, thirteen years ago I had no friends, no job. I couldn’t even paint. But paint is my favorite medium. I love working with groups. No matter how tired I am starting a workshop, I always go home fully energized. People ask me all the time: “And what are you going to do when you retire?” I think you know the answer.
Tap into your quality within and show it to the world. A precious gift you can give yourself is helping others with what comes so easily to you.
Last but not least: Don’t give up your day job right away, but learn to deal with your inner critic who might say that it’s too late to change. Believe me, it never is.
Today’s author: Elisabeth Vismans is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), an Award-Winning Artist, and founder of Quality Within, helping women in transition to find their life purpose. She developed a unique coaching program using the visual language as an extra modality. She is also an Art Instructor and conducts painting and coaching workshops. Learn more about Elisabeth at her website: www.qualitywithin.com, or from her Facebook page.
Have you ever felt lost? Have you ever had an experience you just couldn’t explain? Coaches Carol, Laura, and Kelye talk about Carol’s book Lost and Found: Discovering Strength in Love and Faith in this fifth podcast episode. Play in your browser with the media player below or click “WWR Coaches Discuss Lost and Found”.
Maybe you think being independent financially doesn’t pertain to you because you are in a marriage or committed relationship.
Perhaps you think that if you are independent, you are excluding your family and loved ones from your financial decisions.
If you’re single, it may be that you take your financial autonomy for granted. Financial independence is your way of life.
As a Financial Coach, my perspective regarding financial independence has changed drastically over the years. I used to think in traditional ways about money and independence. Through working with female clients, I have learned the importance for women to have their own sense of independence in managing their money. Statistically, we are more likely to be in situations that require us to be autonomous with money. Women live longer than men. We earn less than our male counterparts, and as a whole, we are more likely to live alone either by choice or circumstance.
While I was single, I was the only one who I needed to consider when making financial decisions. After getting married, I made the transition to sharing my finances with my husband. These were easy tasks: creating a joint checking account, adding each other as beneficiaries on our retirement accounts, making sure that both of our names were listed on our assets, all of which felt like a rite of passage. In addition to our marriage vows, I felt these steps were a part of “sealing the deal.” It wasn’t difficult, but I now know we missed a few crucial steps in the process. Steps that would have saved us from financially stumbling and ultimately falling through the first decade of married life.
The first (and most important) step we missed was not talking about money. We were in love, and talking about it didn’t seem necessary. We were optimistic about everything! Our love buoyed us above the mundane topics, floating on the optimistic notion that this love would see us through, no matter what the future had in store for us. We had no idea of the dangerous waters churning below the surface that would pull us down to despair, almost drowning both of us.
Early in our marriage neither of us had an independent voice in making money decisions. We found ourselves making these decisions on the fly, not wanting to rock the boat. We didn’t discuss how the decisions we were making early on may have long term consequences. The tsunami of financial fallout wouldn’t overcome us for a few years, but the emotional queasiness was already taking hold. My inner voice was sending me warnings, but was drowned out by my outer voice-the one who wanted to pretend that we were navigating our finances with ease.
The next misstep was not understanding what each of us valued. I valued being perceived as being successful. I wanted the beautiful, shiny things that I thought made us look well-off. The cars, the clothes, and the perfectly decorated house, all to show the world that we were prospering. Little did I know that my husband valued doing whatever made me happy–not rocking the boat that was already being thrashed about by the huge wave of consequences that would almost sink us in the not too distant future.
Our vision for our future was wrought with unspoken truths, and navigating the unruly waters of denial would prove to drown us in overwhelming debt. There would be no future without finally speaking our truth and committing to a future by starting over. In order to save ourselves, we took the step of talking about our individual visions for the future and worked toward a common vision for us as a couple.
Sometimes, in order to move forward, we need to step back. The choppy waters of finance can be navigated by finding your voice and understanding your values and vision with money. By using these as your inner compass, you will bring true authenticity to your relationship with others, and more importantly, your relationship with money. Financial independence is the lighthouse that will keep you (and anyone you may share your money with) on the right course!
Today’s Author:Jane Helm is the Principal of Money Mentor Group. As a wealth coach, Jane combines decades of financial services experience with a degree in social work and psychology to bring positive financial change to her client’s lives. She is a Partner Coach with the Wholistic Coaching Coalition and co-founded the Build Your Own Business networking group. Jane can be reached via email at [email protected]
How do you have compassion for yourself or others? Do you speak to yourself the way you would speak to your best friend, or are you harsher on yourself? Coaches Carol, Laura, and Kelye explore the topic of compassion in this fourth podcast episode. Play in your browser with the media player below or click “WWR Coaches Discuss Compassion”.