Every Ending Has a Beginning

Last month, I gave my coaching group the assignment of writing their own eulogy.  At the core, this assignment was designed to help them gain clarity about what is really important to them in life.  What follows is the one I wrote for myself.  I feel blessed to be able to share it with you while I’m still here to share it in person.  I’d love to hear your comments and encourage you to consider writing your own eulogy too.  The experience was very powerful.

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly…”

That saying has hung on my refrigerator for as long as I can remember and I believe it with all my heart and soul.  Now, I’m asking you to believe it about me.  I am the butterfly!  One of my favorite teachers, Eckhart Tolle says, “that while death is the opposite of birth, it is not the opposite of life.  Life has no opposite.  Life is eternal.”  I, just like you, am life.  I am eternal.  I’ve merely switched forms.

In 2011 I took the time to write my personal declaration.  It became the cornerstone upon which I built and lived my life.  I’d like to share a portion of that declaration; it reads:

“I am Love personified.

I radiate the light of love that was given to me from our Creator.  I express myself daily as a vibrant example of love uncovered.  My brilliance is dazzling!  I love myself and I love you without judgment or conditions.  I am a unique expression of creation and I share my Truth freely while honoring your unique expression and your Truth.  I forgive myself and others easily.  I am whole while at the same time being part of the greater whole.

I am a teacher and a student.  I teach people to live from their hearts and to uncover their love so that it is accessible to themselves and others.  I am open to learning new life lessons, to expanding my knowledge and to growing my capacity to love.

I am confident.  I play the game of life full out.  I play by my own rules, the ones I know are best for me, and encourage others to do the same.

I am living my God given purpose.


These words are no less true today . This is still me. I am just no longer a caterpillar.  I am a butterfly!

As a caterpillar, I was truly among the blessed.  First, I was blessed with an amazing family.  My parents and my brother provided me with the perfect environment to grow into the caterpillar I was destined to be.  Then I met my amazing husband, Bill, who inched along with me, and together we built an amazing life which included two wonderful children, Kayla and Helena who are now inching along on their own paths.  Being a caterpillar sure was fun, but inching along now seems a little overrated as compared to flying.

So today, I ask that you don’t mourn the death of the caterpillar, but rather celebrate the birth of the butterfly.

And as a wise young woman once said to me.  “Life (of a caterpillar) (— I put that part in 🙂 is hard, do your work.  You know what your work is, so go get to it!


Today’s author: Laura Hall is an iPEC certified life coach who believes every woman deserves a coach. She offers both one on one as well as group coaching services. She can be reached at [email protected] or check out her website at www.hallcoaching.com



Soaring! A Wholistic Break from the Everyday

What a way to get out of my own head!!

Wwwhhheeee!!! Flying down a zip line, through the trees, on a 90-degree summer evening and feeling the wind—I could even feel it through my tennis shoes as my feet dangled down in the breeze. Now if that doesn’t clear the cobwebs out of your head from a day of sitting in the office, nothing will.

I loved the chance to do this Zip and Sip (of course we had to celebrate with wine and picnic dinners afterward) with other wholistic women on Tuesday, July 17th. I like hanging out with these ladies–not only the life coaches, who are the glue that holds the Wholistic Community together, but the women they draw to them.


I’m not a coach, even though I spend a lot of time with them. I’m like the rest of you: worried about your kids, your job, your husband, your health, your Mom’s doctors appointment, your son’s new girlfriend….you name it, and you’re taking it on, just like me. Personally, its my kids, my work, my hot fla……..well….we won’t get too personal but you get the drift.

Yet when I get together with this group of women, its like a book club, a baby shower, a business meeting—–all wrapped into one. It gets me away from my worries and allows me to relax, yet at the same time, if one of my worries is on my heart and I feel an affinity with the woman I happen to be laughing with, its ok to share a worry–not only OK, but release. Because the women drawn to our group are non-judgmental, good listeners, and will always share some perspective they’ve experienced that relates to my problem—-and I feel so much less alone!

As you look at this Zip Line video, you know now why I come to these social events put on by Wholistic Woman Retreats–not just the weekend retreats, which are a double- or triple-dose of what I enjoy, but the socials, workshops and other things we’ve done. Its a space to work things out for myself, but supported by other women who have the same worries. Let me know with your comments if you feel the same way!

Linda Norris, NW Communications lind[email protected] 240-315-8876
Check out our new website: www.nwcommsyourstory.com
FB: www.facebook.com/nwcomms


Let Go, and Let God

Years ago, I participated for a short while in a group to ease a bout with panic disorder. It was called Co-Dependents Anonymous, and one of their signature themes was the statement above, among the familiar 10-step process.

It was a real challenge for me, because I tend to hold onto my life tightly, certain that if I work hard enough, try hard enough, manage things closely enough, everything will turn out OK.

Yet there are times when I have to push myself to just trust, and close my eyes, and undoubtedly, good things will happen.

  • Despite closing my heart and feeling I would never truly fall in love after my first marriage ended in divorce, I decided to let go and trust that good things might be allowed to happen for me, and with a wonderful man I met named Eric. I am now married and in love in a way I never dreamed I could be.
  • After I was laid off from a job and a company I loved, I let go and refused to allow myself to fall into the despair that is so easy and normal for people who lose their job through no fault of their own. I consciously decided to let go of the anger, the self-victimization, and was able to progress immediately into positive space—job interviews, first clients, and a business that is slowly but steadily growing.

There’s another kind of letting go that made me mull over these control issues. It’s the physical letting go of fear when you’re faced with a more “in your face” challenge—and we have the perfect example available to all of us wholistic women this month,  skimming down a zip line. I had only done one short zipline on a Girl Scout challenge course before the lengthy zipline we did at the 2011 retreat, which allowed us to fly down a hill and brush over a small lake.

Taking that first step off the platform was the scariest part, but I closed my eyes, Let Go, and Let God. And She came through—what a ride it was, and Her hands —in the form of the half-dozen other women waiting to help break my landing—were waiting to congratulate me! (You can see me near the end of my ride in the photo).

If you want to have a very real experience with Letting Go and Letting Your Self Control give over to something greater, consider our summer activity. It will expand your possibilities in ways you will always remember!

(For more info on the event, visit here: https://wholisticwomenliving.com/zip-into-summer-zipline-event/)

Linda Norris, NW Communications
[email protected]

Check out our new website: www.nwcommsyourstory.com
FB: www.facebook.com/nwcomms


Stretching: Good for the Body and the Mind

There’s something to be said for the effects of stretching. It leaves you more limber for pushing your body even further in exercise. It leaves you feeling relaxed if you stretch after a day of tension.

Stretching: Good for the Body and the Mind

It works the creaks and aches out of your body almost as much as a hot shower. Close your eyes and think about how you felt the last time you had a good stretch!

We have a great chance for mental stretching here in Frederick.

The Maryland Shakespeare Festival gives us a chance to stretch every season with new shows when they present the Bare Bard series.

Full disclosure: I am a trustee and non-apologetic fan of the organization…but I was a fan before that.

There is a raw entertainment about the Bare Bards that you won’t find in other Shakespeare theatrical productions. It’s more like a page from “Whose Line Is It Anyway” than a curtained, traditional theater.

The actors and actresses are right there with you…on a stage in which audience and artists are equals. So as an audience member, you participate in the emotions, the story–and sometimes the improv if you’re lucky and you have an open face for the actors.

This is what I call mind-stretching! I don’t expect until retirement many of us have the kinds of extra time and resources to allow me to stretch my emotions the way I’d like to through the arts. But having Shakespeare in a way form as entertaining as the Bare Bards right in my back yard keeps me engaged and it’s not a stretch to say so!

Linda Norris, NW Communications
[email protected]

Check out our new website:
FB: www.facebook.com/nwcomms


Discouragement, thou art too much with us. Optimism, we seek thee out!

Discouragement, thou art too much with us. Optimism, we seek thee out!

Talk about a wakeup call!

I was getting ready to write this blog about a positive experience I’d had during the course of my workday today about the value of working in teams, and decided to surf the web about the challenges of teamwork, when I came across this really weird website that seemed like something out of Dilbert.

It’s called Despair.com, and its premise is this: “It began with a dream. A dream of the perfectly-realized American company. A company that would create dissatisfied customers in the process of exploiting demoralized employees while selling overpriced and ineffective products to remediate the problems caused by the very process itself. And now the dream has come true. As nightmares often do.”

Really, its intent appears to be making fun of all positive, employee engagement and teamwork coaching sites that are out there. Compare the traditional Teamwork poster we’ve all seen with one they offer on their site:






While I was there, though, I looked at this video, which is about dealing with employee complaints, by using the theory of “It could be much worse.”


I watched it, and actually laughed at first—but then I remembered  some of the things that were said by managers in my last job, as the economy began its downward spiral, (“Don’t complain, you’re lucky to have a job!”) and realized that there really are discouraging people out in our workplaces. Boy, was I depressed.

My takeaway, when it comes to living a wholistic life?

Negativity is something to avoid like the plague. Tolerate as long as you are in the mood to laugh at it, but…

My personal lesson: optimism is hard work, and while pessimism is real, cynicism is inescapable, optimism is the balance that keeps the world moving forward. Keep at it, keep the faith, and remember that there are people just waiting everywhere you go to drag you down. Laugh at their foolishness, shake your head sadly, and move on.

Linda Norris, NW Communications
eMail: [email protected]


Abundance to Last Through Your Winter

AbundanceIf you visit any Farmers Market or the local produce section of the supermarket, there’s one thing you’ll notice this time of year: a plethora of all types, colors and varieties of fruits and vegetables.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had that abundance year-round? If you can, or have a big freezer in the dead of winter you can do as our ancestors and taste fresh squash, or savor your salsa from the summer’s heirloom tomatoes.

We all have sparse points in our lives, when this season’s abundance seems thin—a dearth of fresh ideas, of happy thoughts, or of positive people. Instead, frustrations seem to reign and we struggle to make any progress.  However, as with harvest vegetables, it takes work, some planning, and conscious effort to make sure you have plenty when it doesn’t seem obvious or available.

Avoid Scarcity Thinking.

  • “You can’t change it, we’ve always done it that way.” (Can stop a church committee looking for ways to recruit new members dead in its tracks!)
  • “Better not help him out, he’ll never be there for you.” (Can keep a loving person from acting with compassion towards another family member when paybacks become part of the equation).
  • “If I share that idea she might take it and use it against me.” (Can keep smart people from offering good ideas!)
  • “If we tell our employees what’s really going on, we might look foolish.” (Can keep nervous employers from taking advantage of the idea pool that they have in their employee base when their business hits a rocky road.)

Scarcity thinking like this happens because it the thinker is missing one big element: trust. If it’s you doing thinking this way, learn to recognize it from the examples above, stop yourself and breathe. You usually know when you’re in scarcity thinking because your brows crease, you get a headache, your chest tightens and you feel a sense of dread, anger or anxiety. Once you learn to recognize it, let go of your thought and the control you need over the outcome, and relax. Trust that the right answer will come.

         If someone else has captured you in scarcity thinking, run!

There are endless ways to skin a cat.

Once you have opened up your mind and let go of scarcity, brainstorm. Sit down with a blank piece of paper; consciously let of the outcome that has you panicked, and let it flow–any idea you can think of. If another person at your work, or in your family, is the one dragging you down, convince them to try it with you. Look for alternatives—you will be amazed at how many are available to you.

In scenarios involving this mode of thought, the promoter usually doesn’t trust:

       a) that people would be willing to compromise, given the opportunity;
       b) that there is more one way to achieve an answer, a resolution or fulfill a need or
       c) that there can be multiple “winners”.

Yet, when you think about some of the situations in your life when you have been able to work successfully, in consensus with others…aren’t these ultimately the “stickiest” (longest-lasting) and most pleasant to recall?

Also, have you ever noticed that when you bang your head against the wall to try to make a situation work the way you think it’s supposed to, and it doesn’t, inevitably……..it works itself in some new—and better—way.

Opportunities always abound for those who have a mind that is open to look for them. Remember to “can” your optimism, when the harvest is looking low,  twist the lid open and smell deeply of the abundance of summer tomatoes.