3 Beliefs to Find Peace in the Midst of Chaos

There are no guarantees that life will be serene and/or everyday will be smooth sailing therefore, the only thing we can control is our reaction to the inevitable bumps in the road. As a child, I can remember urging my mom to drive faster on certain roads so that I could feel my stomach drop as the car bounced over the bumps. I found fun in the unexpected.

As I grew older, it was harder to find the fun in the unexpected, especially when things seemed to be spinning out of my control. I would feel anxious, frustrated, and peace was nowhere in sight! Life eventually seemed to be no fun at all and finding any trace of peace was almost hopeless. My journey led me to seek life coaching which challenged me to evaluate my beliefs that created my discouragement. Gandhi said…

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”

Over the past month, where I work full time, my employer has been going through significant changes! Leaders have left, bosses have changed, and many individuals find themselves stressed out and on edge as new expectations are on the horizon. As I reflect on the past few years, I am grateful for the internal transformation that now provides me with peace in the midst of all the chaos.

Below are 3 beliefs I have adopted for keeping my peace:

I am not in control and so “Let go and let God.”
The belief that there is little I have control over, has been one of the most freeing beliefs I have adopted. Many experiences have reinforced this truth. By trusting that there is a higher almighty Being, who I call God, who sees the big picture and has a ultimate plan for my highest good, gives me permission to live for today doing my best and let tomorrow’ worries up to God.

There is a life lesson in every trial.
A friend once encouraged me to see every life challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow. And, when frequently experiencing the same challenge over and over, maybe it is God trying to teach me a lesson for my greatest good. Therefore, by looking for the lesson and taking the opportunity to grow from it, the challenge no longer seems like a struggle but a riddle to solve, putting more fun in the process.

Others’ perceptions of me does not define who I am.
When tension is high, it is likely for us to react in fear, frustration, and anger, and even speak from this perspective. I have come to learn, when others dismiss my input or criticize and condemn me in a condescending manner, to step away from the encounter. Take time to compare and reflect on the other’s behavior and/or words against who I know I am and my true intentions for good. Additionally, consider my words and actions to determine if I may have contributed to the situation and “own” my part. Then make efforts to communicate clearly the truth of my intentions, apologize for any wrong I contributed, and attempt to rectify the situation. If after this, the others choose to keep a false view of me and/or my intentions, I let it go. I no longer feel the need to defend or prove them different and return to my first belief; “Let go and Let God!” We cannot change others only ourselves.

By embracing these 3 beliefs, they continue to enlighten me as my life unfolds with each new experience. My transformation continues through many facets; a personal relationship with my higher power (God), life coaching, enriching content to stretch my views, and lots of self-reflection.

I hope what I have learned encourages you to challenge your beliefs for a more peaceful life in the midst of your chaos! Get started by joining Wholistic Woman Retreats for our next retreat “Be Courageous” our annual physical challenge as we Zip, Swing, and Leap out of our comfort zone on July 15th. For more information click here.

Today’s author: Sandie Lynch, Registered Dietitian, Personal Fitness Trainer, and “Wholistic” Well-being Coach. Sandie is the owner and CEO of ATP Consultants, LLC where she teaches how to Attain Top Performance through 5 Key Principles to live your best life.


Create Energy Synergy for Success

Have you ever set a goal with good intentions only to realize that weeks later you have made no progress?

I know this has happened to me plenty of times. It wasn’t that I decided I didn’t want my goal any longer or it wasn’t worthwhile because it was. In fact, many of these goals I have now accomplished, but it was like, at the time, there was something inside me fighting against my desire. Literally, a voice encouraging me not to do it; every time I set the intention to work on my goal a little voice inside whispered… “I don’t feel like it.” Maybe the reasons I didn’t pursue my goal were I wanted to do something more fun, or I wasn’t sure how to get started, and/or maybe it seemed just too big. No matter what the reason, I was feeling powerless to get started and instead listened to the little voice inside and postponed my joy of accomplishment.

Have you ever pondered how much energy you waste by having “debating” conversations with yourself?

Who knows! Imagine for a moment how much time and energy you could save and accomplish by eliminating these debating conservations. How would the course of life change?

Below are 3 strategies to create more energy and build synergy within, and move you toward your goals and success.

Power Pose: Research by Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, showed that our body language not only impacts those around us but also impacts ourselves. Our energy and hormones for stress and power influences our posture and vice versa. When we feel powerless, our stress hormone cortisol is up and our body takes on a closed posture; slumping, arms crossed, curling in a ball. When we feel powerful, the hormone testosterone is high and our body is in an open posture; chest out, arms open and up in a “V” or on our hips standing tall. Cuddy showed that in just 2 minutes by taking on a certain pose we influence the level of our hormones which in turn shifts our energy. During her research, when individuals adopted “power” poses their testosterone increased and cortisol decreased, making them feel more energized, confident, and willing to take risks. When individuals took on “low power” posture poses, their testosterone decreased and cortisol increased, and the individuals felt stressed and shut down. She found that, “our non-verbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves.” Watch her complete discussion of her research on Ted-Talk https://home/wholisu6/dev.wholisticwomanretreats.com.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc

Eat for the Mood You Want: Based on the research it appears that highly processed foods, saturated fat, and sodium can increase the tendency for sadness, discouragement, depressed moods and even decreases the desire for activity. Although, more research still needs to done, they do know that certain foods change our brain chemistry and affect our desire to move and/or how motivated we feel. Below are just a few foods to include in your life to ensure you are feeding your body and brain for the mood that creates a desire to move and live!

  • Healthy Carbs!  It appears that a low carb diet can reduce the desire to move and exercise in just 2 weeks. Carbs are the preferred fuel source for the brain and our muscles. Carbohydrates also increase serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain, known as the mood regulator. The best carbs to increase energy and our mood are whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, and foods that are nutrient dense and have high fiber; those that take some time to chew, and digest… not ones we drink or melt in our mouth.
  • Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids affect the neurotransmitter pathways in the brain and protect against depression, improve mood and the ability to find solutions to life’s difficulties and challenges. Great sources for omega-3s: fish, flaxseed, avocados, walnuts and many other nuts and seeds. Adding at least 2 ounces of nuts in your day and fish 2 to 3 times a week increase feelings of happiness and motivation for action.

Go for the Burn! Exercise changes our brain. It not only increases oxygenation in the brain it also increases the growth of brain cells in the area of learning and memory. Research has demonstrated improved problem solving, creativity, and memory recall after just 10 minutes of activity. Studies have shown that exercise is the most effective method to decrease fatigue and increase energy over power medications. When we make our exercise challenging, the burn releases endorphins to block the pain and provide a “feel good” feeling. It also increases other mood enhancing neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine, nor-epinephrine, and serotonin.

So next time your set your mind to accomplish something, don’t stop there, create energy synergy for success by assuming a posture to increase your power and confidence, eat healthy foods for improved energy and motivation for action, and move in challenging ways to create a brighter mood, increase creativity, and develop problem solving solutions for success.


Today’s author: Sandie Lynch MS, RDN, LDN, Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer, Well-being Coach. Owner and CEO of ATP Consultants, LLC sharing 5 Key Principles to Attain Top Performance in living your best life at any age!


Self-care: Perspective on Dealing with a Complainer by Lisa DiSciullo

In posting this blog about dealing with complainers I did not intend to mock, disrespect, or hurt anyone’s feelings. My intention was to illustrate that there are people who see things differently than I do and that I have a choice about how I view them.

I regret that I did not adhere to my personal standard of anonymity and confidentiality and for that I apologize to anyone that may have been offended by my post. We have chosen to take this blog down to avoid any further concerns.


Trading Ski Boots for Cowgirl Boots

Trading Ski Boots for Cowgirl Boots

A recent trip to Utah presented a challenging situation when I took a spill and landed on my head while spring skiing.  Fortunately, I had on a helmet, but even so I soundly ‘rang my bell’. At first disoriented, I kept asking where my helmet was; my head hurt so badly that I thought I must have lost it in the fall. But when my alarmed sister saw that my helmet was still securely strapped to my head, she called for Ski Patrol to assist us.

As this unexpected drama unfolded, I now realize that I moved through the seven levels of energy that I teach and coach clients on.  This energetic process maintains that our thoughts create what we feel, which in turn, effects what we do. Thoughts = Emotions =Actions is the formula which allows me to look back and observe how I moved myself through this particular crisis.

First, I had level one ‘victim thoughts’ of powerlessness and embarrassment. My fall occurred in the flat area near a ski lift as I ‘caught an edge’ in the soft, mushy snow, (often called “mashed potatoes” by spring skiers) and lost my balance. Falling backwards and unable to stop the fall, I landed hard and couldn’t get up immediately afterwards. As I lay there, I could hear the ski lift come to a halt and then imagined everyone staring at me and talking about ‘that woman’ who just wiped out in the flat area beside the lift. I added to my distress with self-critical thoughts which wailed I can’t believe this happened to me….and here of all places, how embarrassing! I want to just disappear.

I moved into level two with thoughts of inner conflict as I scolded myself for falling. What a stupid fall! Get up! I have to be ok, I told myself as I collected my wits and stood. I tried to sound convincing as I kept insisting, “I’m fine. I’m fine.” My concerned family members gathered around me as the ski patrol man, Abe, asked me questions to assess how badly I had rung my bell.

Fortunately, other than my initial brief disorientation about the location of my helmet, I was able to answer all of his questions accurately. I could even quip with him. When he asked me what day it was I replied, “No fair! I’m on vacation! I’m trying to forget what day it is.” He smiled and agreed. The joking led me into level three, where I began to think about what responsibility I could take for this unfortunate situation. When we take even a small amount of responsibility, it moves us out of the negativity of powerlessness and conflict thinking and into the first level of positive energy.

Thoughts of responsibility quickly meshed with level four thoughts of concern. I saw not only Abe’s perceptive interest but I also saw the worried expressions on the faces of my siblings and cousin as they gathered around me. I wanted to alleviate their anxiety about my wellbeing. I admitted it would feel good to take a break and get some medicine for my headache. Abe advised us of two options to get to a lodge from our current location. We chose the option that required us to ride the lift and then ski an easy green run to a mid-mountain lodge.

The lift ride was a calming interlude. Taking in the beautiful Utah vistas on this clear day, I chatted with my brother and sister and breathed easier; beginning to believe that I was truly fine. As I exited the lift, and started to ski, however, I realized that I was a bit shaky. I was told to follow Abe in his bright red ski patrol jacket and he would lead the way to the lodge. We started off and Abe grew smaller and smaller in the distance as I followed slower and slower. I had lost my confidence. My legs lacked substance and felt like Jell-O under me while my head and stomach felt woozy. I stopped to ostensibly look at the view, but actually I was trying to collect myself and ‘be fine’. With encouragement from my niece who was skiing with me, I reached Abe and the others and continued to make my way to the lodge very slowly.

When I finally arrived, it felt great to take off my skis and sit down to rest. Abe soon appeared before me to continue his kind and careful assessment of my condition. I had to admit that I was feeling worse, not better.  I moved into level five as I thought what would be a ‘win-win’ for everyone. I deliberated on what was best for me, my concerned family members, Abe, and even the other skiers at the lodge. Taking the entire situation into consideration I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to ski anymore and asked Abe if I could ride a snowmobile down to the base lodge. He agreed with my decision and advised that I visit the nurse on duty there to further assess my condition. This felt like the best solution for everyone involved.

Abe informed me, however, that a snowmobile couldn’t get to this particular mid-mountain lodge. The only way to get down from this location was by sled. An image of me sitting upright, resting on comfy cushions, sipping a cup of hot tea while gently gliding downhill popped into my head. Abe burst that bubble by telling me that there were standard protocols for transporting someone off the mountain in a sled. He went on to describe how they would immobilize my neck, strap me to a board, and zip me into a bag in order for the transport patrol to ski me to a waiting snowmobile. I felt some anxiety about this endeavor, but held fast to my level five thinking that this would be best for everyone.

I acquiesced to their procedures and soon found myself surrounded by four members of the ski patrol who worked as one to prepare me for this unexpected ride. As they fitted me with a neck brace collar I noticed something unusual in the sky. It was a clear day, with just a few wispy clouds, and no recent precipitation. Despite the relative clarity of the day, I saw a thin rainbow casting a large arch across the sky. Shifting my focus back to the ground, my anxiety grew as the team cinched my legs, waist, and chest securely to the board with thick straps and I experienced complete immobility. I searched for my sister’s face in amongst the ski patrol team for reassurance and motioned her close. “I think I’m seeing things,” I whispered.  “Do you see a rainbow?” I asked and jutted my chin towards the sky. She glanced at the sky and said, “No” with a look that conveyed, you’re seeing things, sister! I thought, oh geez, I’m worse off than I thought, and didn’t mention it to anyone else.

As they zipped the bright red bag around me, Abe explained that its stiff flaps would come beside my head and face to keep snow from spraying on me as we descended. He carefully positioned the flaps some distance from my head so that I had plenty of airflow and could hold an oxygen mask to my face. As he did so, my peripheral vision became filled with the red color of this surrounding protective barrier, and my binocular vision was restricted to the piece of blue sky directly above me. Even though the red bag limited my view, it also provided a frame for the arching rainbow. I moved into levels six and seven as I chose to interpret that rainbow as a reminder of God’s presence. Despite my anxiety about the condition of my head, and this unusual ride that was about to take place, I looked at the rainbow and felt reassured of God’s promise to be with me always. I latched my eyes onto that arch of color and chose faith over fear to see me through this ordeal.

The sled began to move forward and my initial idea of a smooth ride was instantly replaced by the reality of a bumpy traverse over what felt like very rough ground. To calm my fears, I focused on the rainbow and prayed for the ski patrol members in whose hands I had placed myself, for my family who was making decisions how to handle this turn of events, and for myself as I struggled to trust this unexpected journey and not freak out. By choosing to focus on level six and seven thoughts about God’s promise I avoided dropping back to the powerless thoughts of level one.

The initial leg of the trip ended as the ski patrol brought me to a location where a snowmobile could take over. The team quickly attached my sled to a snowmobile, which continued my journey down the mountain. I arrived at the base lodge sometime later and was met by the resort nurse and my sister, who had skied there to join us. Surrounded by concerned faces, one ski patrol woman asked how I was doing and I decided to confide in her about the rainbow. I tentatively asked, “Do you see a rainbow?” and she glanced up in the sky above us. She turned back to me and smiled, saying, “Yes, I do.” Seeing my quizzical expression she went on to explain, “That happens sometimes in the mountains; like light going through a prism.” I breathed a sigh of relief, reassured that I wasn’t crazy. I said a silent prayer thanking God for putting it in my view and gratefully received the comforting grace it provided me through this ordeal.

A subsequent trip by ambulance to the local clinic for a CT scan of my head yielded the diagnosis that I had suffered a concussion. My ski trip had taken a turn for the worse, but I chose to make lemonade from these lemons.

After resting for a few days I indulged in retail therapy and traded in my ski boots for a fun pair of Western cowgirl boots. Now whenever I wear those cowgirl boots I not only smile for the pure fun of it, but I also remember why I got them. I remember the rainbow promise of God to be with me and to provide for me; whether it’s a helmet, a loving family, concerned and skillful experts such as Abe and the ski patrol staff, or the rest of the medical team that cared for me.

I remember that I can choose my thoughts and move myself to a higher level of energy. I can exchange my powerlessness for a powerful connection to a Source greater than me simply by changing my thoughts. When I wear my cowgirl boots I feel grateful and I am reminded that I can connect to God everyday to navigate my way through challenging circumstances, and so can you. 


Today’s author: Carol deLaski Hayes is a Certified Energy Leadership Coach, author, and speaker. You may contact her at: [email protected] to comment on this blog or engage her services as speaker or coach.


The Dream Dance: Waking out of Disappointment

The Dream Dance: Waking out of Disappointment

The alarm went off this morning when I was in the middle of a vivid dream. Has that ever happened to you? Reaching out an arm to switch it off, I curled under the covers again and tried to keep it going. I wasn’t finished with it yet. I tried to resume what was happening when I was so rudely interrupted but it was hard to capture the exact images or feelings again. I was trying to force it and was unsuccessful. Instead I replayed the pleasant parts in my mind, filling my tank with the good feelings and releasing the unpleasant ones before arising and starting my day.

I find my waking dreams have a similar quality of elusiveness. As I create the work and life that I dream of, at times I fall into patterns of grasping for something just out of reach. I strive to make something happen and I can’t quite do it. I then feel overwhelmed and unsure of the next step, falling back into confusion once more.

In contrast, at other times I have moments of clarity when I know exactly what to do next in my unfolding vision for my personal or professional life. I can see what direction I want my business or life to go and I respond to that certainty by confidently taking the next step towards creating that reality.

Can you relate? Do you ever flounder or lose your way in creating the dream you have for your life or work? Do you dance forward, backwards, and sometimes in place, as you create your dreams? I have observed a few things about the dream dance; this ebb and flow of clarity and confusion. I find it helpful to use the Energy Leadership process to rebalance myself when I flounder or get stuck.

When I am lost in confusion I react in two ways. First I sink into my fear which is often tied to a perceived loss. For example, even in the midst of things going well I sometimes focus on what is missing. I zero in on the aspects of the situation that are not as I had imagined it would be and feel sadness, regret, and disappointment. I sink into level 1, victim thinking, as we call it in Energy Leadership, and am swallowed up in “poor me” emotions. In this place I have no energy and don’t want to do anything. I can get stuck here.

The next thing I do, however, moves me to level 2 energy, which we call ‘the fighter’. I struggle. This often begins as inner conflict when I strive mentally to figure it out and create an action plan whose purpose is solely to alleviate the heaviness I am feeling in that depressed level 1 state. Life often is not what I thought it would be, and I experience disappointment, but I can choose not to dwell on it. In level 2 I begin to leave that energy behind perhaps by shedding some tears, journaling, or venting out loud. Whatever way I do it I am releasing my level 1 energy to move forward and eventually that feels better.

I move into level 3 energy as I take responsibility for my part of the situation. Often this occurs by taking a small step towards forgiving what, or who, has disappointed me. Choosing to be grateful for what is going well helps me to accept what is not as I had hoped it would be.

I also notice that there is a Divine presence in all my dreams, whether waking or sleeping. When I turn my focus to what the Divine is providing, and guiding, I find a peace and assuredness unlike anything that I can create in my own mind. This is the ticket to moving well past the low levels of energy and towards higher functioning and greater happiness. As soon as I make the choice in my mind to focus on the Divine my energy shifts and I am dancing with a plan that is unfolding daily. As I release the need to know what is going to happen next, and trust that I am being led, I receive peace. This is not an easy dance but I continue to hone my skills at it.

Releasing the need to figure it out, and accepting that my role is simply to be in the dance with the Divine, I develop trust. I know that God leads me every day. I don’t have to see the whole picture or know the entire plan. I just have to show up and do today’s steps which I am being divinely led to do. On the days when I feel lost, confused, and disappointed, I may take only one step and that is okay. On the days I feel confidence and clarity I dance full out. The ebb and flow of these days makes for an interesting life as I choose to participate in this dance of creating my dream.

If you would like to learn more about the Energy Leadership process and how to use it to shift from confusion to confidence considerjoining my book tele-group on Wednesday evenings or contact me at 301-371-7460 or [email protected].

Today’s author: Carol Hayes, [email protected] or 301-371-7460. Through her company, Clear Choices Coaching, Carol shares her expertise and skill fostering growth in people of all ages. She is especially energized when her coaching helps people experience “breakthrough” moments where they push through their personal edge and grow more fully into the people they want to be. Carol’s certification as a Life and Energy Leadership coach comes from The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC), which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation. She is also a dynamic speaker and workshop leader who facilitates energizing connections with groups of all sizes.


Soul Food

Soul Food

Of course we all know what food is, right? It’s what we eat or drink; it’s what we fuel our body with; it’s what we need to sustain life. When we feed our bodies healthy, nutritious food, our bodies work better. I believe the same is true for life. Our lives work better when we feed them properly. Our lives need soul food.

Soul food consists of the following 3 food groups: thoughts, actions, and environments. In each of these food groups we have the option to choose healthy “foods” that nourish our souls and contribute to our wellness, or to choose junk “foods” that drain us and often lead to illness. Undoubtedly, we are all unique individuals, so what constitutes the ideal soul food diet for me is going to be different from your ideal diet, therefore I encourage you to pay attention to your life and how what you feed it affects you. What leaves you feeling hungry and unsatisfied? What thoughts fuel your life and your passions? What do you do that excites you? What do you do that you dread? What are the situations you find yourself in where you lose track of time? What environments just seem to suck the life right out or you? Your answers to these questions will help you determine what is junk food to your soul as well as what contributes to your health.

One of my common junk food thoughts is that I’m not enough. This thought comes in a variety of flavors, such as, I’m not smart enough, I’m not qualified enough, or I’m not worthy enough, just to name a few. I know these are junk food thoughts because they leave me feeling drained and defeated, so I try to avoid them. On the other hand, some of my more nutritious thoughts are that life is happening for me, not to me; there are no such things as mistakes, only opportunities to learn and grow; and I am love personified. Moving my body, putting forgiveness into action, and volunteering are actions that sustain me, whereas standing in judgement of others, eating potato chips and shopping are actions that are exhausting to me. (This last one really confuses my 17 year old daughter who finds shopping exhilarating, but this just goes to show we all have different ideal diets.) And when it comes to environments, I’ve become a really picky eater. I no longer watch the news (my husband does that for me!), spend too much time in the company of people who only see the glass as half empty, or partake in any form of media where the overarching message is one of negativity. Instead, I’m choosing to feast on music with lyrics that make my heart sing; on surrounding myself with people who understand the value of taking care of themselves and being in service to others; and on books, movies and TV shows that make me think about how I can contribute to the world.

How are you feeding your soul? I’d love to hear your comments! I’d also like to invite you to my upcoming “Nourish Your Soul” workshop lunch series. For more information visit: http://nourishing-journey.com/Docs/HallCoachingbrochure.pdf


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.