Category Archives: Life Coaching

Video: Life Coach Helped Me After a Traumatic Divorce

Thank you, Tracie, for your encouraging words! Divorce is an ending, but it’s also a beginning!
You’ve created a positive new life for yourself and your kids. Bravo!

If you are struggling to create a new life after a divorce or other challenging life change, contact me. Your new life begins today if you’ll take the first step to make it happen!

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A Little Mothers’ Day Wisdom

Mother knows best. The older we get, the more wisdom this pithy little phrase contains. Maybe that’s because we are now becoming the mom’s and female role models for the younger generations. But let’s face it. Our moms had great wisdom. They always knew when we were hungry, sick or tired. They knew when we had had difficult days at school, fought with friends or felt like we did not belong.

There are often no obvious explanations for why moms know what they know. Like the heightened instincts of a doe defending her fawn, a mother’s knowledge comes from her heart and goes to the heart of our need. She knows by intuition what others only learn through experience.

Whether the role is played by a mother, grandmother, aunt or other wise female teacher, behind every successful woman is a wiser, more experienced woman showing her the ropes.

Look in your mirror. The woman staring back at you has a wisdom all her own. Even if she is not a mother and does not want to become one, the woman in the mirror knows her world intuitively. Like mom, she knows how to get you through the tough times and celebrate the successes.

In honor of Mothers’ Day this year, try spending the day listening for the voice of your inner mother. The voice is often still and small because women devote so much of our time to meeting the needs and expectations of others. But pay close attention to your inner mom and you may be inspired by her insights!

“Get to bed. You have a big day tomorrow.” My inner mom has been screaming that one in my ear for months now. But she is not just talking about getting to sleep before midnight. Our inner moms know that we need to practice healthy self-care if we are to be the caretakers in our families, relationships and businesses.

Inner mom reminds each of us to nurture our bodies. But she also calls us to nurture our intelligence, our higher spirits and our creativity. Deep inside, every woman is certain that she has a special purpose in this world … that she is here for a reason. The specifics of that purpose may be revealed slowly. The purpose may inspire us or terrify us. But scary or not, inner mom knows that we have no right to hoard our gifts. Knowing that our big days are ahead of us, inner mom reminds us to study hard, eat well, sleep enough and to give ourselves a break now and then.

“Play nicely with your sister.” It was good advice then and it is good advice now. Women should support other women in life to the extent that this is possible. While all women don’t share the same values and beliefs as us, we should do all we can to see that their right to speak is respected though they disagree with everything we hold dear.

By the way, that also means we should respect our inner mom’s right to speak though she may point out some things we need to change “for our own good.” Such lessons are rarely pleasant, but they typically help us to grow.

“Do not go where I can’t see you” When we ventured too far away from mom’s gaze as youngsters, we took risks we did not even know existed. Similarly, when we wander too far from inner mom’s side, we put our connection with our internal compass at risk.

We have all felt stuck or uncertain in life. And we have all felt the sense of knowing what we should do without having the strength to actually do it. You can call that knowledge conscience, intuition, trusting your gut, providence or wisdom. I think it’s also inner mom opening our minds to a path of action and showing us truths we aren’t yet ready to admit. Stick close to her when the path seems cloudy.

“I love you.” Too many women have trouble with this one. Maybe someone from your past has convinced you that you are not lovable. Perhaps it is your own perfectionist streak that repeatedly tells you that you do not quite measure up. Whatever the source of these negative thoughts, your inner mom knows they are nonsense. She loves you no matter how you life has played out or what you have yet to accomplish.

The woman you are intended to be in this world is strong, capable, beautiful and talented. Your inner mom will see the buds of these traits even before they are in full bloom. But her love for you is not dependent upon your success. She simply adores you for who you are without question or condition. Inner mom loves your person, not just your practices!

Happy Mothers’ Day, ladies! On this day that honors all women, I hope you will have the strength to allow your inner mom to honor you!

As you become more comfortable with the wisdom of your own heart, your inner mom will show you what kinds of female mentors can best help you to thrive. You’ll be more open to guidance from others when you are secure in yourself. Once that happens, you won’t have to look hard for mentors. When the student is ready, her teachers will come!

            Dr. Janice Staab is a philosophical counselor and life coach. For more information on her services or to schedule your free consultation, e-mail info@lifesignscoaching.com. You can also check out her Web site at www.lifesignscoaching.com.

 

 

The Organization Detox: A new eBook by Dr. Janice Staab

 

The Organization Detox!

A new eBook by Dr. Janice Staab

Are you in a toxic relationship with your home? Is the clutter and chaos simply too much to bear? Tired of spending hours searching for things that should be easy to find? Do you feel like a slave to the constant struggle for an ordered home? Or perhaps you’ve just given up hope.

Well, there is hope! And it’s called The Organization Detox!

No matter how many times before you’ve tried to get organized, The Organization Detox has your answers!

That’s because The Organization Detox is more than an organization plan. It’s a comprehensive program for creating a home that serves your life purposes and needs.

In The Organization Detox you’ll learn:

1. The secret to why just trying to get organized actually makes you more disorganized.

2. The most common toxic habits that keep you from successfully organizing your home, and how to overcome them.

3. Simple strategies for clarifying and activating what you really need from your home.

4. A complete action plan for organizing your home around what really matters to you today.

Only $19.95 for the keys to an organized, inspiring home!

Get your copy today!

Growing Through Crisis

The surest sign of spring at my house is the return of the cardinals. The azaleas can bloom only to freeze. Tulip and daffodil leaves often sprout never having the chance to flower. But when I see those flurries of red and brown flitting two by two across my front yard, I know spring has arrived.

I also know that tornados and spring storms won’t be far behind the cardinals. Lately, Mother Nature and human nature have been up in arms (literally and figuratively) more frequently and viciously. Earthquakes and tsunamis, hurricanes and tornados destroy our homes and landscapes. Economic upheavals erase the pretty pictures of our former American dreams and force us to repaint them.

In human terms, the excuses we need to draw battle lines with another country, faith group, political party or individual are getting flimsier all the time. Hatred, bigotry, abusive language and dismissive judgments are the mode of the day. In the minds of many, the right to proudly act on these human flaws and failings has been elevated to the status of a constitutional right.

My heart would utterly fail within me if I didn’t have faith in the possibility of renewal and rebirth! Thank God for Spring!

I recall May of 2009 when our area experienced one of Mother Nature’s really bad moods. The air here was filled with sighs of relief at lives spared, earnest expressions of gratitude and acknowledgements of what is really important in life. Like all communities in crisis, banded together to weather the storm. We were more patient than usual. We spoke more respectfully and showed genuine concern for each other. We swore our lives would never be the same again.

Crisis is a teacher of great lessons. But once crisis has passed, the lessons are often forgotten. Take a minute and think about the vows you made to yourself after your last crisis experience. Are you now doing what you promised you’d do? Are you still living a life infused with a sense of what really matters? Have you lived or lost those precious lessons?

As a season of rebirth and renewal, spring is the perfect time to renew your commitments.  New flowers and rain showers remind us that it takes precious little to create a happy life if the heart and spirit are set aright. Even when all seems lost, rebirth will come as surely as do the spring and the cardinals.

Possibilities for renewal can be found all around us, albeit in strange and unlikely places. For example, you may have just lost your job. That’s an experience none of us would relish. However, what if you consciously choose to see the lack of a job as a chance for renewal instead of a loss?

Perhaps you’ve had an idea for a business of your own for years, but haven’t tried it out. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to go to college and study engineering or psychology. It doesn’t matter why you now have the chance to do these things. What matters is that you see the chance to create something better at least as strongly as you see your loss.

Maybe you just got out of a long term relationship. And maybe ending the relationship was not your idea. But the choice to thrive and create a new life after the breakup is entirely in your hands. You have the option of centering your attention and emotion on what someone else’s actions took from you. But just as surely, you can see this ending as a chance to free yourself for new experiences.

In both cases, the facts can seem bleak. Former jobs and relationships are gone. Life has changed in radical ways. But we still have the power to assign the meaning to the facts through our choices and actions.

Crises may come, but they will go. And like physical birth, spiritual, professional or relationship rebirths may be very painful experiences. But they can lead to beautiful things if you are open to losing the loss and embracing the opportunity!

Life and renewal are as certain as death and destruction. Faith and hope are as sure as despair. Whether to serve hope or despair is the most basic choice in human life. Choose wisely!

Dr. Janice Staab is a philosophical counselor and life coach. For more information on her services or to schedule your free consultation, e-mail info@lifesignscoaching.com. You can also check out her Web site at www.lifesignscoaching.com.

 

If Weight Loss is Your Goal, Don’t Say These 3 Words!

Whether for weddings or holidays, improved health or simple vanity, most of us have tried to lose weight at one point or another in our lives. And with spring springing early this year, bathing suits and vacations will have many more of us thinking those shrinking thoughts once again.

Before you start counting calories and scheduling Pilates classes, pay some attention to the language you use to describe your fitness goals. Language is powerful and can make or break your plan. I suggest that all my fitness coaching clients avoid these three words completely.

1. Weight:     It may seem odd, but the first word to avoid is the word weight itself. The only practical  meaning that this word has is “the amount of force it takes for gravity to hold you on the planet.” That’s it, folks. Yet we put so much stock in this word. The success or failure of our fitness plan depends on moving that number on the scale in the right direction. Don’t obsess on an essentially meaningless number. Focus on some more practical success indicators. Are your clothes fitting better? Do you have more energy? Is your body taking on a shape that you like? While you’re at it, just toss the scale in the trash!

2. Diet:      Diets are those restrictive, temporary ways of eating that rarely work long term. Eating plans are long term healthy ways of providing your body with the nutrition it needs to heal and grow. Which would you rather follow?  🙂

3. Tone:  Having muscle tone is not a bad thing. However, many women associate the strength training with the bulky He-Man figures you see in bodybuilding magazines. Tone is a word many of my clients have used to mean “timid, easy strength training that will put me in no danger of building actual muscle.”

I promise you that, short of you having a severe hormonal imbalance or working out like an Olympic athlete, you will simply not “bulk up.” The female body is designed to preserve a higher percentage of fat than the male body. Further, it takes more calories to support a pound of muscle than a pound of fat. So your body will burn more calories even at rest if you have a greater percentage of lean muscle tissue. Muscle is your friend in fitness!

Dr. Janice Staab is a life coach and philosophical counselor who helps clients navigate change and transition in life. Learn more about her practice at www.lifesignscoaching.com.

Mental Maps: Finding Direction in Your Life

Ever been lost on an unfamiliar highway with no road signs in sight? No one direction seems any more right than the others. All you have to go on are your instincts and a 10 year old road map.

Regardless of how determined you are to find your way or how honed your instincts may be, 10 years is a long time. Some of the roads shown on an old map may have washed out years ago. Others may have evolved from two lane highways into eight lane freeways. An outdated map wouldn’t be of much help..

Without knowing the current lay of the land, the likelihood of taking a wrong turn increases exponentially. In turn, the likelihood of actually getting where you want to go plummets.

The same is true of the inner mental maps we carry with us. Our inner maps plot out our well-worn habitual paths of thinking and feeling. We have traveled down these paths many times and think we know, for good or ill, what to expect of them. These are the secure paths to which we automatically turn for answers when faced with a new situation or potential change.

In attempting to navigate new situations, however, we need a mental map that will take into account both our past experiences and our most recent growth. The tried and true must be mixed with the novel and original to give us the widest range of future options. Yet, it’s easy to become complacent in or just comfortable with what we know, whether it gets us where we want to go or not.

Before you embark on any new personal journey, be sure your inner maps can get you there. Here are some suggestions for keeping your mental maps up to date.

First, trust the parts of your inner map that you know are still reliable. Just because you have not found the answers you seek yet, do not assume you’ve learned nothing in the process of trying. Look for landmarks along the way like greater happiness… like a relaxed attitude or greater energy … that show you when you were moving in the right direction.

Second, know and avoid your dead end roads. We all have those diets, resolutions and goals that we go back to time and time again. We don’t keep going back to them because they are worthwhile. We keep going back because we have failed at them repeatedly. The more we fail, the more we convince ourselves that finally accomplishing this thing we have dreaded and hated for years is the only way to be successful.

If you drove down a road and saw a dead end with no signs of houses or human life, you would not stay on the road hoping to find a town. Do in your mental life what you’d no doubt do in the car. Get off the dead end, turn around and go in a different, more helpful direction!

Third, if the path really starts to resemble a maze, just keep making left turns and you’ll get out eventually. We’ve all heard this little bit of folk wisdom applied to physical mazes. But it works for mental mazes as well.

In this case, the left turn indicates a move that is counter to your reflex, knee-jerk responses. Every successful change entails at least a small amount of risk. You may need to begin your journey with a “dip your toe in the pool” level of risk rather than a “naked skydiving” level of risk. But that’s OK.

Start from where you are with small steps. Any time you feel stuck and unable to make further progress, get unstuck making a move you would ordinarily hesitate to make … or even one you are convinced you can’t make. Such little risks will probably not get you 100% of the way to your goal. But they will get you in the habit of acting outside your comfort zone. And that will open up a host of new options for you.

Finally, know where you want to go. Most people would never think of getting in the car and just driving until good fortune lands them in a place they want to be. But this is precisely what many of us do when attempting to change our lives.

We go to the bookstore’s self help section, close our eyes and point. The first random book our fingers touch … or the one with the most intriguing cover art … becomes our written guru for the next few months.

Some of us do a little bit better by getting recommendations from our friends and family. But no matter how well a program, a method or an adviser works for someone else, every person is unique. Choosing your path by chance instead of by choice will can produce only accidental success.

Your change process requires a solution suited to you. Do not just set the goal that you’re “supposed” to set. Take time to decide what you really want from your life. Maybe you don’t really care if you lose 25 pounds, but you do want to feel better when you wake up each morning. Maybe you don’t care if you ever go back to school, but you would like to make more money.

Set goals that are driven by your own personal and specific needs and desires. Even if you end up in a confusing maze of choices along the way to attaining them, you’ll end up in a better place.

Dr. Janice Staab is a philosophical counselor and life coach. For more information on her services or to schedule your free consultation, e-mail info@lifesignscoaching.com. You can also check out her Web site at www.lifesignscoaching.com.

 

Change Your Habits and Change Your Life! Part II

           In Part II of our discussion of habits, we’ll look at four more aspects of human habit:  Body, I, Time and Social Support.

Body:  Have you ever forgotten your watch at home only to spend the day looking down at your wrist because it still feels like you are wearing the watch?  To your body, it feels as if a watch is really there!  Even with no physical watch present, your body’s expectation, or habit, of feeling a watch is fulfilled. In a similar way, all habits are stored in your body in some way. Depression has a posture. Anger has a tone of voice.  Confidence has a breathing pattern. In each case, the body actively participates in the habit even if the habit itself is not overtly physical. To learn where how your body stores your negative habits, answer the following questions.

When I engage in my limiting habit patterns,

1.  How do I breathe?    How does the tone of my voice change?

2.  What is my posture like?    What gestures do I typically use?

3.  Where do I feel tension in my muscles?  What allows me to release this tension?

4. How does my body react when I am the most powerful?  Successful?  Capable?

5. How does my body react when I feel the most vulnerable? Weak? Confused?

I:  I simply stands for the Self, the core of a person’s identity, the utterly essential aspects of the individual. Do not confuse this with being selfish or egocentric. In fact, the most defining traits of some people may be their abilities to connect with others, to cooperate and to be social. Still, whatever characteristics set an individual apart from the pack, their uniqueness deserves respect. If you pay lip service to ideals you have trouble acting on, then you aren’t being yourself…at least not your habitual self…when you do act according to your ideals. To decide whether or not your habits allow you to be yourself, ask these questions.

1.  How much of my day do I spend doing and saying things that honor my highest Self?

2.  Do my current habits reflect my core beliefs and core values?

3.  Do I feel powerful and capable when I am engaging in my current habits?

4.  Who is the person I really want to be?  How can I become that person? Do I often stand in her way?

Time: Habits are affected by time in at least three distinct ways. First, we spend time actually engaging in our habits. Whether our primary habits are distance running and healthy eating, or Internet surfing and potato chip scarfing, our habits literally consume our time.

Second, certain times of the day, week, month and year can make us more apt to succumb to negative habits. For example, someone who is not a morning person might have a shorter fuse if angered before 9am. Third, and perhaps most importantly, it is often difficult to just live in the present. Dreams of the future or nostalgia for the past can themselves be habits of escape from the demands of the moment. To analyze the role time plays in your current habits, answer the following questions.

1.  How much time do my negative habits take up in a given day? Week? Month?  Year?

2.  Are there certain times of the day or seasons of the year when I am more likely to act on my negative habits?

3.  Do I spend a lot of my time dwelling on the past?  Do I spend a lot of my time dreaming about the future?

4.  How can I begin to live my life as it is right now instead of escaping into my dreams or memories?

Social Support: Socialization refers to the influence exerted on our habit development by those with whom we share our lives. This group is not only made up of family and friends, colleagues and acquaintances.  It is also includes our beloved pets, the gods we worship and celebrities we admire from afar. In a world of computers, cars, plasma TV’s and cell phones, many people actually interact more frequently with things than with humans. In any case, the central issue here is whether we socialize in ways that will improve us or hinder (perhaps even harm) us.  To determine how your social life affects your habit life, answer the following questions.

1.  With whom or what do I socialize when I am most vulnerable to my negative habits?

2.  Who or what prompts me to act on my negative habits even when I do not feel any inner desire to do so?

3.  Do I have social relationships that discourage me from making the changes I want to make?

4.  What social relationships could support me as I attempt to change my habits?

With a better sense of how your limiting habits operate in these six powerful areas, the next step is to determine why you are still hanging onto these habits.  If you have sustained a habit for a long time, it is almost certainly giving you a positive payoff in at least one of these six areas. Something keeps you coming back for more.  The next step, then, is to a) find the payoffs that attach you to your current habits, and b) devise practical, simple strategies to break free of these habits once and for all!  Upcoming posts in will show you how to do just that!

Dr. Janice Staab is a philosophical counselor and life coach. For more information on her services or to schedule your free consultation, e-mail info@lifesignscoaching.com. You can also check out her Web site at www.lifesignscoaching.com.

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