Remember All of the Days

As I drove my son to his first day of Kindergarten…I thought to myself, where did all of our time go? It seemed like yesterday that we were excited new parents, bringing him home from the hospital.

I started to mentally reminisce about my life…all the miles I have walked. How those miles have made me into the person that I am today, living the dream of being surrounded by two beautiful boys, a wonderful family, dear friends and a passion for what I do. Then I thought about my Kindergarten son and all the miles he has already walked in his very short life, right along side me.

Things happened so fast…school doesn’t give you much time to grieve as you bring him in, you are encouraged to leave just as quick.

While driving away from school, I thought about the wonderful memories I have of my big, little boy who is now in Kindergarten. I wondered if I paid attention to all the moments and kept myself present. Continue reading

A Simple Way to Add Fun and Love to Our Celebrations

Guest Blog Appearance by Sandy Fowler

When it comes to creating all those wonderful things we’re looking for in a holiday, joy, fun, family bonding and great memories, nothing beats traditions. Traditions are the bedrock for everything about our special celebrations. They give us something to look forward to. They create continuity and a sense of stability. They give us the framework on which to base our celebrations and they provide us with wonderful memories.

I still remember the traditions from my youth. I remember going to my grandparent’s house on Easter Sunday and looking for our Easter treat. Every year it was the same thing, an enormous bag of M&Ms, and my grandmother hid it in the same place. I remember my brother and me teasing my grandma about how hard it would be to find the candy and then goofing around as we made our way to the living room and eventually into the two end tables where it was hidden.

One of those end tables sits in my living room today and it brings me warm memories every time I look at it. It reminds me of my grandparents, of Easter, and of all the wonderful times I had with them.

That’s all we’re really looking for from our traditions, a little help creating some special moments. Continue reading

You Get What You Give

By Kristin Beltaos, M.A.

My five and two-year-old were passionately arguing about Thomas the Train…who was allowed to play with James, I know earth shattering. Lately, my five-year-old likes to get my 2-year old going, just because he can, which isn’t an attractive sight. As I scuttled my eldest out the door for swimming lessons, exhausted from a long day of mediating similar antics, the phrase “You get what you give” popped into my head.

As I began what seemed to be my 67th monologue of the day, I explained to my son that if you give grief, hostility and tease that is what will be returned to you. If you give joy, kindness and care it’s what you will get back. He sheepishly said, “Yes Mommy.” I knew he felt bad, and hoped for a more peaceful night when we got home.

At the end of the swimming lesson, my son found out that he not only advanced to a higher level, but also skipped two levels (Little 4s and Middle 1s) and will start in Middle 2s. He couldn’t contain his joy when he learned of this, as he had been in Little 3s for three sessions. Continue reading

February Special: Business Coaching

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Look Around and You Will See: Missing Those at the Holidays

I was originally going to write earlier in the week about how to manage stress the week prior to Christmas. I even surveyed a few of my friends, family and colleagues to learn how everyone handles the stress. I started to write… and it just didn’t feel right.

So how about the true reason for the season. I started to write… and it just didn’t feel right. I felt a little preachy.

In light of this, I said to my husband… I am not going to write a Christmas entry. I will just write something for New Year’s.

You see, I get a little melancholy at this time of year. I think that’s why I wasn’t able to write. Christmas was my mother’s favorite time of year and she has been gone for 12 years. It hardly seems that long, and then there are days where it seems like she’s been gone forever.

Then something happened…

As my day progressed, I began to see my mother everywhere. It started when I pulled out my mother’s cookie cutters and spatula to make cookies. I can remember when my father gave me those shortly after she passed, I was so grateful.

As my boys’ excitement began to build I saw myself in them when I was a child… deciding which cookie cutter to use next, what colors of icing to make, what color should be used on each cookie. Then I looked down at my hands and saw my skin starting to dry from the flour, just as her hands did.

It was then that I realized she really isn’t that far away from me. She is in my boys’ excitement. She is in the cookie cutters and spatula that I use. She is in the old traditions that I pass on and in the new traditions as she always tried to think of ways to make the holiday special.

Eventually, my boys lost interest in the cookie making, just as I did as a little girl. I found myself at the kitchen table, alone, icing the cookies just like my mother.

In all these moments, she is still with me, in every simple thing I do. It brought to mind the Mary Elizabeth Frye poem:

“I am in a thousand winds that blow,

I am the softly falling snow.

I am the gentle showers of rain,

I am the fields of ripening grain.

I am in the morning hush,

I am in the graceful rush

Of beautiful birds in circling flight,

I am the starshine of the night.

I am in the flowers that bloom,

I am in a quiet room.

I am in the birds that sing,

I am in each lovely thing.”

So on this holiest of nights, thank you Mom for your persistence in showing me that you are still here with me.

I guess it took me 12 years to realize… you were always here.

Merry Christmas to everyone… love, peace, health and prosperity for each of you in the New Year.

Grateful and Giving

1. Thanksgiving.

2. To Give Thanks.

3. To be Thankful and Giving.

I like the third one the best.

Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect upon what we are thankful for… for me, I am thankful for my family, friends, and all the wonderful new clients and colleagues I have met in the past year. I am grateful for all my experiences, good and not so good, because they have brought me joy and challenged me. Moreover, I have loved and learned so much from every person and experience.

Since Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season, I started to think about something else… it’s not only about what I am thankful for… but what I am giving as well. It’s sometimes “easier” to make that list of what all I have, and it’s only right to be grateful for abundance, but it is also important to think about what I am giving. Giving freely, without the expectation of anything in return. Giving with the sole purpose of making happiness for someone else. Doing for others so that their lives are a little easier.

This season is not only about giving to others, but giving to ourselves. Giving self-care is oh so important in ensuring that we too are happy. We must not forget about giving self-care because, if we don’t, all too many negative thoughts, feelings and emotions can surface; making us very unhappy, and in turn, everyone else. So in this season of giving, make sure that you are at the top of your “to do” list.

There’s that humorous saying, “It’s all about me” … but really, it’s all about me and the community of people that I choose to share my life with, or just briefly cross paths with at the store, work, school, park, etc.

I will give thanks today… but I will also closely examine what I am giving to myself and others as well.

Will you?

Happy Thanks and Happy Giving!

Planning for the Future; Living in the Moment

I had someone say to me recently, “I do all this planning and then have to change everything when a snafu happens, why bother to make plans?”

This is such a valid question, especially if your life seems to be in a state of flux. Planning is what helps a person define what they want; it causes quiet, personal reflection; it causes the prioritization of desires; it causes the development of strategies to attain whatever it is that you are planning.

Many times, during your quiet, personal reflection, you are able to determine that some plans aren’t really important to you anymore. They are goals that you have just continued to work towards, or not, but don’t resonate with you anymore. Leave these plans pass.

And… in the midst of every plan, is something beautiful called ~ hope. One cannot discount the effect of hope in our lives. So plan away, think about what is truly important in your life. Then after all your future planning, remember to look directly in front of you and savor the present moment!

Seasonal Self Reflections: Each Season Brings an Opportunity for Change and Growth

Fall is one of my favorite seasons, next to spring of course. I love fall because of the beautiful transition from uncomfortable, hot, sticky weather to cooler temperatures, less mosquitoes and the rich red and gold arches that develop with trees. I can’t wait for the colors to start changing.

I took a walk last night with my youngest. He’s not chattering much yet, so it gave me the opportunity to think and enjoy nature around me; the crisp air on my face, the smell of fresh cut grass and the woodland animals scurrying about before hunkering down for the evening.

Each season provides the opportunity for self reflection… how are things going? Are you living a truly genuine life that reflects your core values? If the answer is no, or I have no idea, then it’s time to start evaluating where you are, determine where you would rather be, write down these values that you hold dear and schedule a seasonal evaluation process.

If you have already done your value assessment and written them down, then review what you have written and recognize your accomplishments and see where you can improve.

Best wishes to everyone.  Enjoy the last days of summer… they are going fast!

Find Your Passion in Life

A couple of clients have asked the same question recently, “How do I know what I am to do with my life?”

Pretty big question isn’t it?

To start, do some self-reflection and answer these questions:

  1. What do I love to do, so much so that I lose track of time?
  2. What do I consistently give to others?
  3. What do people admire about me?
  4. What do people typically depend on me for?
  5. What do the people who are close to me say are my healthy obsessions?
  6. What people, places, things and ideas am I most enthused about?
  7. If I could drop everything today and start from scratch, what would I be doing?

Somewhere, between your head, heart and the blank sheet of paper or computer screen is your destiny. Begin thinking about it today!

The Rhythm of Routine

We all find ourselves stressed at one time or another… working too many hours, frazzled in traffic, being short-tempered with the kids, not getting enough sleep, making poor eating choices. Stepping back, what does it all mean?  And more importantly, how can we change it?

I recently listened to a HeartMath webinar called The Science of Self Care with Personal Coach Cheryl Richardson and HeartMath VP Howard Martin. Something that stuck with me is thinking about the effects of Anger or Stress versus Care on our bodies. Moreover, how our exhaustion from our over scheduling and sometimes over caring for others, and not ourselves, is leading our minds and bodies into quite a stress and physical illness epidemic.

How maniacal are you about checking voicemail, email, texts, when they immediately arrive? Especially since starting my business, I always want to be so on the spot when a client or potential client contacts me. Studies have shown that checking your business media so often actually makes you less effective than if you check it only at set times during the day. Continue reading