Wednesday, April 30, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z:NEAT

Clean as a Whistle! Now it is Your Landscape to Create.

NEAT


NEAT is a word that may bring up emotional baggage for you, depending on whether you define yourself as NEAT or not.  Part of this coaching project is to help you stop  “all or nothing” thinking.  If you are a person who defines yourself as NEAT, then let me ask you if you are missing some of life’s Zest by bothering yourself with a need to be NEAT?  If you are a person who defines yourself as “not” NEAT or messy, what about that do you want to change? Admittedly the brain and energy level tends to thrive in a NEAT and tidy atmosphere.  There has to be room in your life for both NEAT and “not” NEAT to co-exist.   Today, allow yourself to tidy up one thing in your home.  What will it be?  How can you make that space, desk, kitchen counter, or drawer NEAT?  Just do that one thing and let the rest go.  Notice, how that makes you feel. Take a minute to write a paragraph about how your body feels after making a space in your home NEAT.  For those of you have a problem with being too NEAT, then go do something fun before you allow yourself to straighten up that desk one more time.  Notice how it  feels, and write it down.  The importance of NEAT is not about how NEAT, but about how much mental energy are you spending worrying about NEAT, one way or the other.  Give yourself permission to change and you will.  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z MANAGE

Rise and Shine.  Time to Wake up and Get Going

MANAGE

Yes, MANAGE your life in all things.  MANAGE your Budget. MANAGE your time. MANAGE your health.  MANAGE your life as if you are getting paid to be the CEO of your life.  Chief Executive Officer’s get paid big bucks because the buck stops with her/him.  The responsibility rests on the CEO’s shoulders the same as how you live your life rests on top of your shoulders.  In reality you are the CEO and the buck stops with you.  Thus, begin to MANAGE your life as if your life depends on it because it does.  MANAGE your life in all things.  Manage it for more joy, happiness, and peace of mind.  Create the assets you need to feel comfortable and safe and learn to live joyfully within your means.  What does it mean to MANAGE?  It means to Analyze, think, plan, Fit, and make Effort to have the life and lifestyle you want. MANAGE the way you approach your year, your month, and your day.  As a result you will have a life that develops a sense of purpose, peace, and possibilities. Boredom will subside and Adventure will ebb and flow around the edges of a Meaningful life that is well MANAGED.  Take a minute now to examine the quality of your life and ask yourself what will work better and more efficiently in your life if you, as you the CEO, are in charge of that area?  

Monday, April 28, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z: LIMiT

BE CLEAR

LIMIT

This is a fun word.  Know your limits.  Do you?  Or do you only discover your limit when your kid, partner, friend or boss pushes you one more time and you explode?   All of us have limits but most of us have no clue as to what they are; and as a result, end up tired, frayed, uptight, and angry because we are over stressed, over worked and over committed.  It is your responsibility to post your limits so that others know what to expect from you.  Perhaps you have noticed when you are driving in a new town and you have driven for a bit and do not see a speed limit sign and you get a bit anxious.  “Oh no, I wonder if it’s 25 or 40 miles per hour here?”  If you are going 40 MPH in a 25 MPH zone you are going to get a ticket.  So it is best to go a little slower until you know for sure what your limits are.  Everything and everyone has limits.  A LIMIT is a good thing.  It is not a bad, weak, or mean thing. A LIMIT lets others know what is expected and it is easy to co-exist in your environment when everyone knows what to expect.  It is important to spend sometime defining your limits in the various arenas of your life.  What are your limits at work, with friends, kids, or yourself?  Define them and begin to live within them.  You will be less stressed when you do this.  Just in the last A-Z I asked your to make a time-limit when trying to choose something different.  Great tool to try. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z KNOW

BE WHO YOU ARE

KNOW

“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.”
― Lao Tzu
KNOW yourself.  The past few A-Z words have been a Direct invitation to KNOW yourself in precise, exact, and meaningful ways. KNOW what pleases you. KNOW your disappointments.  KNOW your Values.  KNOW your Interests.  Know what you are talking about.  If you have a passion then KNOW your passion.  KNOW what it is that draws you to it and be able to articulate your passion to yourself and to others.  KNOW yourself and you will be on the path to happiness and choices will become clear to you because you are clear with yourself.  If you KNOW you like chocolate over vanilla then you don’t stand in front of the ice-cream choices for fifteen minutes before you decide. But if you KNOW you like to try different kinds, then give yourself five minutes to choose a new and different ice cream each time.  Having a time limit helps you make up your mind in order that you don’t have to call yourself indecisive.  Go back to your Values.  Do you really Know what you Value?  What decisions or situations are you struggling with currently? What do you need to KNOW about yourself to make those decisions easier for yourself?  Spend time with yourself in order to really KNOW more about who you are and what you are about.  If you do this when a real crisis hits or you are in a real do-it-now situation, you will KNOW what the best course of action for yourself is because you KNOW yourself.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z JOIN

NATURE INVITES YOU TO JOIN HER TODAY

JOIN

JOIN a group that will enhance the quality of your daily life.  JOIN a cause that will give you a sense of Purpose.  JOIN an organization of like- minded people.  Life is too short to live a vacuum of the little corner of your world. Get out of your rut by allowing yourself to JOIN something new.  Something new will feed you, nurture you, challenge you and allow you to learn and become new again.  Just because you JOIN something does not mean that you have to stay forever or that you cannot quit.  You will not know if the group, organization, or cause is right for you until you give it some Effort.  If it is not what you thought you signed up for then Tweak it or Quit it.  Use your noggin to make sure that the places you choose use your energy and feed your soul or spirit in some way that makes a difference in your day-to-day life.  The Joy of JOINING is a win –win situation, not only for the other person or organization but also for you.  So take a look at the many opportunities you have to JOIN and choose something.  I encourage you to choose something out of your comfort zone, something that will stretch you a bit and help you grow more into who you can be.  But, if that feels too intimidating then JOIN something really emotionally safe for yourself.  Just don’t let your life stat the same, JOIN something different today.


Friday, April 25, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z IMAGERY


IMAGERY IS HEALING

IMAGERY

IMAGERY is not some new age abracadabra.  IMAGERY is a neuroscience that has ancient roots in many indigenous cultures.  IMAGERY when designed correctly and used specifically can help you accomplish physical and emotional healing in real ways.  In my book, IN A MOMENT’S NOTICE: A Psychologist’s Journey with Breast Cancer, I speak about the importance of guided imagery in my own physical healing process.  My story tells you how and why I became a believer.  IMAGERY is one of the most powerful tools you can use for physical and emotional healing and also to accomplish your Goals that you just set for yourself.  The fancy word for IMAGERY is psychoneuroimmunology.  That is the science of how and why IMAGERY works.  This is another tool that requires congruency between your Honest belief, your brain, and your body.  If your mind is saying “Yes,” while your stomach is screaming, “No,” then you have a dissonance that must be addressed.  Perhaps a journal letter from your stomach to you might help resolve the problem.  Congruency is the key to IMAGERY being effective.  Here are a few facts: Imagery ---

Guided imagery has to be designed to hit all of our senses as only 55% of people actually visualize activity in their imagination.  (Naperstack)

The International Journal of Neuroscience (Trakhtenberg) described how imagery elevated immune system functioning and how cell specific imagery affects corresponding white blood counts, neutrophils and lymphocytes.

In 2012 MD Anderson (Cohen et al) a randomized controlled study, showed that men with prostate cancer that used diaphragmatic breathing and guided imagery had significantly higher levels of natural killer cell cytoxicity, higher levels of circulating pro inflammatory cytokines, and higher tumor necrosis.

Names in the industry: Bell Ruth Naperstack , Bernie Siegel,  Stephanie and Carol Dimonon, Larry LeShan, Jeanne Achterberg, and Shakti Gaiwan .


Thursday, April 24, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z HONEST

A MUST READ FOR PERSONAL HONESTY


HONEST

In the word Effort I spoke about being HONEST with yourself. The word HONEST is more than not lying, stealing, or cheating.  HONEST implies congruence between ones actions and words and how one actually lives his/her day-to-day life.  When I asked the question are you being HONEST with yourself, it is a bold question inviting you to soul search your motive for your Effort.  Is the Goal you set in the last word, really what you want or is it a “should” imposed on you from your inner judge; society at large; a family member; or friend?  If the Goal is not yours and you are forging ahead with it, I promise you that you will fail or even if you succeed you will not enjoy the positive energy of succeeding.  More than likely you will feel underwhelmed and joyless at your accomplishment.  Why?  Because it was not your Goal.  You achieved it for someone else. They may be ecstatic and joyful for you, but you are thinking, “what’s next, now what do I have to do to win your approval?“  Give yourself permission to be HONEST, very congruent with your GOAL.  If it is not your desire, toss it, at least for now.  Maybe once you give yourself permission to toss it then you will Discover that there is a larger percentage than not that also wants this GOAL.  You will not be able to answer that question with the naked HONEST truth until you give yourself permission to toss that which does not come from your inner most self.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z:GOAL


GOALS ARE THE METAMORPHOSIS OF OUR LIFE

GOAL

Wikipedia defines GOAL as a desired result a person or system envisions, plans, and commits to achieve.  Remember that our first G word was Go.  Then we covered the G words, Generous, Gratitude, and Gentle.  Now we have some very practical tools behind us to help us Define our honest GOALS and Develop a pan of Action to accomplish exactly what we want and it is only three and a-half months after starting The Twenty Minute Coach: Your Life A-Z.  It is a perfect time to explore what you really want and to set into Action a plan that will help you achieve the clear ways of exactly how to get there.  Next, Define your GOAL.  Choose not more than three GOALS, but choose one GOAL for this exercise.  Write out your GOAL.  For instance, I want to go on vacation this year.  Now answer: When do you want to go?  Where do you want to go?  How much will it cost you to go?  How much money do you have saved toward this?  Where can you get the rest of the resources to go on this trip? Garage sale? Overtime at work?  EBAY?
Now, re-examine your GOAL.  Is this how you sabotage yourself?  Is this GOAL accomplishable in the next year?  If not, what do you need to Tweak?  The deadline?  When is this GOAL accomplishable?  Set a realistic deadline and set a few small weekend trips to satisfy yourself until you can achieve your Defined GOAL.  It is not an all or nothing endeavor.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z FIT

A GOOD FIT GETS US WHERE WE ARE GOING

FIT

Do you FIT? What does it mean to FIT?  Are you FIT?  Lot’s of questions pop up with this powerful three- letter word.  No wonder it follows Diligence and Effort.  I am sure each of you readers has at least three-five stories about how you feel when you do not FIT in.  In the process of growing up I am sure you found your self in the garden of misFITS more than once.  Ah, but the word garden would imply you are not alone.  Misfits are often the most colorful, productive, and vibrant part of the garden of life.  Just because companies make a size 10, does not mean that everyone FITS into a size 10.  Maybe you are a size one or a size triple X, so what?  You are you.  It takes working with your daily difference in positive kind ways to give yourself permission to FIT in just as you are without having to change one thing.  Also, reframe the word FIT in terms of your physical health.  Often your body weight or your BMI are the only focus of FIT.  But how are your heart, sugar levels, cholesterol, lungs, and muscle groups?  Are they FIT?  Remember what it feels like when you put on your favorite clothes and they fall perfectly, cozy and comfortable on your body.  It feels wonderful.  You want your body to feel that wonderful from the inside out.  It may take some more Diligence and Effort, but take one thing at a time and bring it into the perfect FIT for you.

Monday, April 21, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z EFFORT

TO GET TO THE RIGHT SPOT USE EFFORT

EFFORT

Effort is a word that can easily cause guilt so we have to be careful with this word.  Many of you may hear messages of parents or teachers saying to you, “You just don’t make enough EFFORT.”  From my point of view EFFORT IS EFFORT and “enough” EFFORT is an oxymoron.  Most dictionaries say that EFFORT is a vigorous and determined attempt, giving the example of hammering birdhouses to country fence posts in an EFFORT to bring back eastern blue birds.  Thus, EFFORT is an attempt to do something that has a clear and definable goal.  If you intend to make an “A” in a class and you make only a “B” then is that because you did not make “enough” EFFORT or just the fact that you did not plan or Tweak your intended EFFORT appropriately?  When you are not achieving your intended goal it is important to Tweak what you are doing, not just doing more of the same, if it is not getting you to your intended goal.  EFFORT requires honesty.  Do you really want to bring back bluebirds or is it just a nice idea?  Do you want that “A” for yourself or does the grading system just not matter to you?  Are you pleased with your outcome?  If so, that is “enough” EFFORT.  If you are not pleased with your outcome then Tweak your EFFORT. If you repeat your same plan it will result in the same outcome. It is important that you decide what pleases you and what honestly disappoints you in the outcome.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z RESURRECTION

RESURRECTION:Walk through your defensive walls!

RESURRECTION MAKES LIFE NEW AGAIN


The Twenty Minute Coach thought it would be appropriate to speak about the power of personal RESURRECTION on this Easter Sunday.  Each of you have experienced very personal crucifixion stories in our lives, but have we allowed those stories to debilitate us or create opportunities for personal RESURRECTION?  In the traditional story Jesus appears to look the same, even showing the scares from the crucifixion.   However, he has different abilities than He had previously.  You have different abilities after your own personal crucifixion too.  You have the ability to be wiser and more courageous if you choose to take advantage of your pain and allow it create a new you, a RESURRECTED you.  Your story is just a piece of the tapestry of your life.  It does not define how you “are” but it can help you create a newer improved you.  RESURRECTION would be pointless if we came back the same and the painful stories in your would be useless if you did not use them to RESURRECT ourselves.   One of the things Jesus reportedly was able to do after his RESURRECTION that he could not do before was walk through walls. In our psychological nature, we put up “emotional walls” that keep people out and equally separate us from others.   We do this out of our woundedness and shame.  If we allow the painful stories of our life to RESURRECT us from our repeated past and do things new then we can walk through the walls we set up between us and others.  I invite you to walk through a wall and connect with someone you have separated from and I invite you to use this RESURRECTION Sunday to do that. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z DILIGENT

BE DILIGENT IN ALL THINGS



DILIGENT
It is my impression that if something feels too hard or becomes too difficult that often the shame (interruption of the positive experience) makes us feel as if something is wrong with us.  “What is the matter with me that I can’t get this?”  The reality is that we can “get it” or re-direct our intention by being DILIGENT. Being DILIGENT is showing constant attention and effort in the project at hand.  Don’t give up.  If it is not working, go back to the A word of Analyze.  Step away from your situation and ask, “What about this is not working?”  “What do I need to Tweak or do differently to obtain my desired outcome?”Then move forward with your goal by being DILIGENT.  There is nothing wrong with you if it requires more work than you originally thoughtOr if the project or goal has to be re-designed or re-directed.  Either way, go for what you want by being DILIGENT.  Pay attention to the detail required. Do not get sloppy, instead, move forward one step at a time and by being DILIGENT and you will get your desired outcome.  Being DILIGENT is not easy but it is not shameful either.  So what if it requires more effort than originally thought?  Don’t let yourself off of the hook. Practice being DILIGENT.  Your only competition is you, so be DILIGENT in all that is necessary to be your best self.  Be DILIGENT!

Friday, April 18, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z CLOSE

CLOSE OR ELSE

CLOSE 

In marketing, sales people are drilled by trainers and bosses everyday on the importance of closing the deal.  It is important for you to learn to CLOSE the deal in your daily life too.  What problems are you sill-mulling over that are waiting for you to make a decision about?  What loose ends of projects you started are still waiting for you to finish? CLOSE them out.  Those projects are clutter in your headspace preventing you from doing other more important things that are meaningful to you.  Analyze and make decisions.  You can change a decision most of the time, but in order to change it, you must make it in the first place. CLOSE out things that need to be completed. Finish or toss them.  CLOSE out relationships that no longer meet your needs or that you dread.  Do a CLOSE out sale in your house.  Either do a garage sale of unwanted junk or go through and choose twenty things to put into the Goodwill bag.  CLOSE out the clutter.  CLOSE also means to block entry or to bring together ends of an opening.  Block entry to your mind from negative thoughts. CLOSE the door to fretful worries.  Once you CLOSE the door, don’t re-open it to the same situation.  Change your timing or focus on the relationships, household goods, and thoughts that you like and that are working for you.  It is okay to CLOSE. Get what you want and need by CLOSING the open ended situations in your life.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z BUDGET

IT IS NEEDED FOR A BUDGET

BUDGET

Tax season is finished and it is time to do next year differently.  If you got money or are going to get money back, don’t rush out to spend it.  Do something that is meaningful with the money.  BUDGET your finances, BUDGET your time, BUDGET your eating and BUDGET your break time.  Some of you get federally mandated breaks at work.  What are you doing with those twenty minutes?  Twenty Minute Coach says twenty minutes is a valuable measure of time that allows you to make significant changes and progress in your daily life.  What if you went for a twenty minute walk, meditated or read something inspirational during your federally mandated break time?  For others, breaks are important recovery times.  Mandate your own twenty- minute breaks throughout your day.  Pretend they are mandated so you do not have to feel guilty and do something to change out your day in those twenty-minute segments.  

Back to finances.  If you do not know how to BUDGET, Google helpful ways to BUDGET, maximize your financial situation, and follow a plan for thirty days.  Then tweak the BUDGET on day 31 and start over again.  On eating, if you want to change your eating habits and/or your weight, keep a food journal for one week. Calculate the calories and the types of food and Tweak it the second week and notice that small changes make you feel better.  BUDGET your time by Analyzing where you are spending it.  Speed up some tasks you dawdle at and carve out some time for something important, for instance Journaling.  Live life better with a BUDGET.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z ANALYSE

ANALYSE
LOOK AND THINK ABOUT YOUR OPTIONSANALYSE

It is April already and you started the year off with the TWENTY MINUTE COACH, desiring change in your life.  It is time to ANALYSE what is working or not working.  To ANALYSE something is to study it carefully and break it down into smaller components to discover and fully understand why, how, and to what extent something is working.  Or perhaps it is to determine what is not working as well as it could be.  Here are some questions to help you break it down into micro-bits and ANALYSE where you are.  Our first word was Aware.  Go back to that word and write a page of what are you really Aware of in your life that needs your attention and care.  From there, ask yourself, how are you going to take the necessary steps to get to where you want to go and do a thorough ANALYSIS of what resources you are going to need to get there.  List your plan step by step.  Set dates as to when the steps will be executed and collect every bit of data you need to see what works and what does not work.  ANALYSE your results and continue from there.  If you are not getting what you need go to twentyminutecoach.com and purchase a package.  New 12 and 18 twenty minute session packages are available at www.twentyminutecoach.com and perhaps it is time to get some help with your target goals and explore in tiny detail, what needs to be Tweaked ANALYSE other areas of your life as well, especially your budget.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z ZIP



GET CLEAR WITH YOURSELF
ZIP

Perhaps the first image that comes to mind when you see the word ZIP is that of you or someone else dangling from a cable in the middle of Costa Rica’s rain forest.  Or maybe the word ZIP made you check your zipper to make sure it was closed.   Whatever the image the word ZIP produced, it is packed full of various definitions that are useful.  Even though snail mail is almost a thing of the past, your mail will not get delivered unless the ZIP code is correct.  Then there are ZIP files that contain multiple pieces of information compacted into one file.   Does the step of your foot to the music of your soul have ZIP in it today?  Is there a sense of direction, purpose and conviction in your life today?  What do you need to ZIP open to enjoy today a bit more?  What do you need to ZIP closed to have more time to do what brings you pleasure?  What do you need to address in your life that allows you to be direct and clear? Maybe you are giving yourself mixed messages about your hearts desire and are staying stuck in the harness on the ZIP line platform rather than taking a deep breath and jumping off to make it to the next platform.  In order to get what you want, you have to a clear ZIP; an adventurous attitude; and the ability to handle multiple issues at one time.  Now, go get your ZIP on. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z YOU



TAKE A BOW AND ENJOY YOU

YOU

YOU are your most valuable resource.  YOU are kind. YOU are important. YOU are smart.   YOU matter and YOU count.  So, what are YOU doing with all of YOU? How did YOU spend your resource of time today?  Where did YOU  spend your financial resources today? Living with Wisdom allows YOU to live each day fully and freely.  YOU do matter.  The most important thing is that YOU begin to believe YOU  are worth it. Remember the words in the movie The Help: "YOU are important, YOU are kind, YOU are important."  Those words are healing words and it is not only important that you say them it is important you that YOU allow them to sink deep into your being at a cellular level.  When you believe YOU are in Important,  kind, smart then YOU begin to act important, kind, and smart.  When YOU act that way then doors that you have been to intimidated to open.   YOU will knock on any door that interestsYOU  and YOU will open and walk into any  door YOU want too, just because YOU believe.  Once YOU believe YOU  can do all things that YOU ever wanted too or YOU can Develop the necessary tools and resources.  YOU are a bottomless pot of options and resources.  YOU matter and today is the day that YOU change your attitude and begin to live the life YOU design.  Today is YOU day!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z XYSTER

THESE CACTUS APPEAR SOFT BUT CLEARLY RUB THE WRONG WAY



XYSTER
Yes, "X" words are few in the English language.  XYSTER is a surgical instrument used for scraping bones and making them smooth.  It reminds me of large file I once  used when I thought creating something from a block of soap stone was a good idea.  So, a bone that needs to be scraped and made smooth brings up that old adage, "I have a bone to pick with you."  Which means something is rubbing you the wrong way and annoying you. What is bothering you and rubbing you the wrong way?  What is under your skin causing you to be annoyed?  Today is a day to smooth out the rough places inside. Pick up the phone and call someone that you have been waiting to call you.  Send a card to someone that has hurt your feelings.  Reach out to that family member that has annoyed the hell out of you.  Smooth things out inside of yourself.  Make sure that your surgical instrument is clean and sanitised.  Don't reach out until you are ready. If you have expectations as to how the other person needs to respond to your olive branch of peace, thenyour XYSTER is not clean for surgery.  You need to prepare yourself to reach out for you not because you expect anything in return.  It is our expectations that cause us our suffering.  Bone scraping is painful and requires healing time as well as very precise actions to get the bone smooth enough not to bother or annoy you with future encounters.  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z WISDOM



ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE BLESSED
WISDOM
WISDOM requires integrating a value system of reflection, experience, good judgement, and discernment.  It does not come without experience.  WISDOM is a characteristic of living a life with soft eyes and gentle footsteps.  WISDOM allows the wise one to take his/her time in making decisions, speaking his/her truth, and a following a clear path of compassion with fellow people encountered on the path.  To practice WISDOM is to be aware of your thoughts and how your thoughts affect your quality of daily life.  Each day counts.  Each day you make a difference in your life and the life of others by your thoughts, words, and actions.  Awareness of how you impact others and your own quality of life is essential to establishing quality and virtue in living.  If you want to live a better life, seek daily WISDOM.  Ask for compassion and WISDOM. Ask for guidance as to how to make the best choices for yourself and those you come in contact with.  Practice WISDOM with your spending.  You work hard for your money. Choose where to spend it and how to spend it, but don't become cheap.  Buy quality.  Enjoy living.  Enjoy the day to day grind.  WISDOM is enjoying the moment.  Place a slice of lemon in your water and notice your smile and quality of living increase.  WISDOM is in tandem with enjoyment and quality.  If you don't experience enjoyment and quality of life, you are not practicing WISDOM.  Make today a day of enjoyment and quality even if it is as simple as buying fresh flowers for your table.


Friday, April 11, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z VALUE

ENJOY THE ARRANGEMENT OF BEAUTY
VALUE

What is it that you value and how do you know that you value it?  Value is also a word that one needs to "qualify"; how much value do I place on that which I value.   Because we are at the start of the New Year, let's not talk about monetary value, but heart value.  If we really value someone, why is it that we really don't listen to what s/he says or needs?  Why do we continue our same old behavior that they tell us hurts them.  Is it because we really don't care if we hurt them or is it because we just believe they are trying to change us and we refuse to change for the good of the couple-hood or family.  See, value is not as simple as it sounds.  In fact, value is quite complicated.  So during this time of taking the Twenty Minute Coach as a serious route of change for this coming year, spend some reflective time with the word value.  The dictionary says to value something is to decide on its worth, importance, and its usefulness.  I do not believe we can value others until we value ourselves.  But, paradoxically, unless we value others they are not going to stick around unless they believe they deserve someone who does not hear them.  What would be so wrong with making some change for those around you?  What is it that you really value?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z USE

USE COLOR, TOUCH, TASTE, TEXTURE, 


USE
Yes, USE it!  This is a great time to get rid of clutter.  The Twenty Minute Coach has talked about de-clutter before. Start with your kitchen drawers.  I imagine there are many gadgets that looked like a great tool that is still sitting there unused, like a lime squeezer or egg timer.  Pass them on to the local thrift store. Next go through your cabinets and get rid of all that you are not USING.  Do you dare tackle your garage next?  Get those bikes out and USE them.  USE up the food in your pantry and freezer this month to save money in your food budget this month.  USE things that you have put to the back of the closet.  If you are not USING certain things in your home, toss it.  Make space for USEABLE items.  Practice paying attention to all of the things that you USE and ask yourself if the item serves you well.  Replace your tooth brush. USE your body! USE your voice, speak up and ask for what you need.  USE your fingers to touch.  USE your nose to smell the roses.  USE your eyes to really see what is around you.  USE your ears to hear your partner.  USE your brain to think for yourself and to think outside of the box.  Use your mouth and tongue to explore the subtleties of taste.  USE your dreams to get more of what you want out of your life. USE all of what is available to you every day.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z TOUCH

TOUCH BY PAYING ATTENTION TO COLOR


TOUCH
TOUCH is a perfect word to follow the word silence. TOUCH is an important part of mindfulness. I invite you to pay attention to the art of TOUCH today.  Look around your environment at choose three items to pick up and TOUCH.  Place the three items by your chair and spend your five minutes in silence.  Afterward pick up the first object and run your fingers around the outline.  Notice the texture, temperature, and feel of the object.  Notice your thoughts and feelings as you take time to get to know this object just by TOUCH.  Then close your eyes and do this again.  Do this again and see if you "see" something that you didn't see with your eyes open.  Repeat this with each item.  This simple exercise will help you be more aware of the sensation of TOUCH.  Reach across your table tonight and TOUCH your partner or your kids.  Pay attention to TOUCHING your pet.  Notice things that you TOUCH, things that are in your daily life.  What is it that you like about your coffee cup, your tooth brush, or even your face?  Get some lotion and pay close your attention to how you feel nurturing your body with gentle TOUCH all over.  Treat yourself to a massage.  What would life be like if you did not have the sensation of TOUCH?  Who in your life needs a gentle touch to the top of their hand? Do that the next time you are around them. Celebrate the power of TOUCH today.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z SILENCE

SERENE AND SILENT
SILENCE is one of the most important mindful techniques and tools that you can integrate into your daily life.  Set a timer and sit for 5 minutes.  Do nothing but sit.  What was that like?  Did your mind abuse you with negative thoughts about wasting time and not getting things done?  Did you notice sounds that you would have missed because you were not mindful of them, like birds chirping or the soft whirl of the heating unit?  It is also useful to practice SILENCE when you have nothing kind or nice to say.  Being SILENT in the middle of chaos can calm everyone down.  It is easier to explore any situation that is happening if you give it a moment of reflective SILENCE.  If you are someone who needs background noise such as music or TV playing in the background,then choose to turn that static noise off for ½ hour a day and notice what happens.  If you do that for thirty days, I believe you will notice a positive difference in your being.  SILENCE is not only golden, it is also electric.  It allows you the time to tune into important internal information and pay attention to feelings, emotions, and thoughts by giving wisdom a chance to settle in around youLike a wonderful gentle blanket letting you know without words what you need to focus on next.  If you have an important question that you are trying to obtain an answer to, just ask it and practice SILENCE until you know the answer.  You will know when you know.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z READ



READ
What is it that you always wanted to know or to do?  READ about it.  Find out as much as you can about those subjects that interest you.  Make yourself a research project and become an expert on anything you want to know about.  READ as a way to educate, stimulate, and develop passion.  There are so many things out there to do and to discover and talented authors can take you there by the way they make the words on a page dance life right into your being.
Here are some interesting reads if you want to know something more about spirituality and Buddhism, read Pema Chodron’s, The Places that Scare You. To enjoy an entirely different take on Buddhism read, Buddha Walks Into the Bar by Lodro Rinzler.  If you want to understand the history and spiritual connection with the Virgin Mary, read Clarissa Pinkola Estes book, Untie the Strong Woman: Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Love for the Wild Soul or if you have an avid researcher inside give the History of God a whirl by Karen Armstrong.  For a psychological vacation, read Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection or if you are feeling lost try The Passion Test by Atwood and Atwood.  Want to explore the caves of your own soul spend some time working on Janet Conner’s Writing Down the Soul or the Lotus and the Lily.  Of course there are many wonderful novels to read, so whatever suits your fancy, go explore the world of READING today.  Don’t forget that I have IN A MOMENT’S NOTICE: A PSYCHOLOGIST’S JOURNEY WITH BREAST CANCER and it is just a click away at Amazon or Barnes and Nobles.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z QUIT


A SLOTH IS A GREAT ANIMAL TO HELP YOU QUIT

Just for today, one day out of your life, QUIT talking negatively about yourself and others.  In order for you to do this, you must become aware of how negative you are.  Awareness, as I have spoken about is the first step to change.  Without awareness you do not really live life, you just exist. In order to live more fully it is important to QUIT doing things that harm yourself.  It is often helpful to imagine that negativity is a big icky ball of green slime.  Each time you are negative in your thoughts, words, or actions, that green slime attaches itself to your physical body.  So by the end of each day you are covered with smelly, icky green slime that weighs you down. The way to QUIT slimming yourself is to QUIT that old habitual negative talk.  A good technique to help yourself QUIT, is to wear a rubber band on your wrist and snap it each time you catch yourself being negative. The snapping sound keeps the slime away.  If you are too self-conscious for that, then choose a different bracelet or watch than you normally wear.  Each time you catch yourself being negative twist your bracelet or watch around your wrist once as an awareness building tool to help you QUIT.  You can use this QUITTING tool to help you QUIT whatever it is you want to QUIT, but it is essential to QUIT talking negatively in order to be happier on a daily basis.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z PRACTICE

TAKE A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

PRACTICE

Contrary to the popular saying "Practice makes perfect," practice does not make perfect. Perfection does not exist.  Regardless of how much a professional athlete or pianist practice, there is always a possibility of a bad game or not so perfect performance.  The difference is that practice, daily practice, improves your odds of having more good days than bad ones; and that results in having a happier life.  It is a guarantee that if you do not practice, you will have more bad days than good ones; and you will not achieve your goals as soon as you would like, and sometimes you will not achieve them at all. By practicing, you improve your odds, your skill, your acuity, and your ability.  Without practice you are not as able to adjust to life's curve balls.  When expected things happen, you may not have the agility to be flexible or resourceful.  As a result, you repeat old habits of coping that give you the same bad results you had in the past.  The old depression and victim mentality sets in.  When this starts there is only one thing to do and that is to get back up and return to practice.  Buddhist refer to prayer and meditation as practice.  They also refer to compassion as a practice.  If we reframe the striving for perfection to the practice of practicing we are more than likely to enjoy working toward our goals and achieving our dreams.


Friday, April 4, 2014

YOUR LIFE A-Z OCCUPY

OCCUPY ALL WITH LIGHT


OCCUPY

Yes, it is okay to occupy the space you need and the dreams and desires you have.  Why dream if you cannot occupy them?  In this first few months of the twenty-minute coach, I have talked about action words that get us out of our comfort zone and into a mental, spiritual, and positive emotional space of action allowing us to use our own best resource, ourselves.  Thus it is time to move in and take possession of ourselves, our choices, decisions, and dreams.  If we are not getting to a space where our lives are producing what we desire, then we are not occupying the decisions that we need to be making.  We are wishing, but wishing changes nothing.  By now we are old enough to know that Santa Claus does not exist.  Thus, the only way we are going to get what we want is to take the risk to move in the territory we want and set up camp.  That means we disable negative thinking and enable positive action.  I mean think about it, positive thinking helps us feel better, but it does not get the job done.  Action gets the job done.  To occupy the territory (goal or dream) that you desire requires responsibility.  You are head of state and you have to delegate jobs to your brain, body, and spirit.  To think about meditation, yoga, health, is not the same as doing something.  To occupy is to act. To act is to be responsible.  You cannot occupy your dream unless you act with sole responsibility.  It is up to you!