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Archive for the ‘Coaching Tips’ Category

Staying in Touch

Ii is remarkable how hard it is to stay in touch with family and friends.  The techno-age certainly offers a variety of means to do so, but they can be challenging in and of themselves.  It really seems to boil down to time and the demands of time.

A sure-fire indication of how stressed and pressed for time Americans are is in the lack of time we have for connecting with family and friends.  For me, both gardens are rather large and I find myself either ahead or behind in tending them.  Yet, when I do spend time in the gardens, I come away refreshed. 

I was reading this morning about women and stress in the workplace and the subsequent increase in heart attack associated with such stress.  Finding a few precious quality moments to spend in the garden can certainly go a long way to helping reduce this kind of stress.

Wellness

Today I am participating in a Wellness Fair.  As I prepare for the event I am reminded that wellness really is a whole or holistic affair.  For the body to be ‘well’ the mind and spirit need to be healthy too, and vice versa.

I invite you to take a few moments today and do an inventory of your personal wellness.  Marking for change those habits/behaviors you want to  improve; creating an outline for future reference; a foundation for creating successful strategies tailored to who you are and to your lifestyle. 

Remember,  change is a process not an event.

Preparation

I live in a mild climate.  There are times when it does not feel that way.  I do acknowledge that I have never been snowed in or had to deal with snow removal.  I do live in earthquake country.  My point being that no matter where you live, you should be prepared for disruption, even disaster.

Where I live is prone to winter power disruption and flooding.  I don’t, won’t live in a flood zone, but I have been flooded out.  I have been unable to access my home because the roads were flooded.  I do prefer to be flooded ‘in’, but that brings it’s own set of problems.

Batteries, food, potable water, medications, first-aid supplies, warm clothing, rain gear, accommodation for pets, portable radio, gas in the car, a hard-wire phone line, working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, a camp stove, lantern, and table games are some of the preparations I make.  A family contact plan is also important. 

In addition, I like to have some foods on hand that are interesting and fun, ditto table games.  It makes passing the time much easier.  Fortunately, it has been a few years since I have needed to implement my preparations. 

Regardless of where you live, preparing for the unexpected can make facing the challenges of nature easier to meet.

Spring Forward, Fall Back

It is that time of year when we adjust our clocks.  Spring Forward, Fall Back is a great way for me to orient myself regarding where the precious extra hour is supposed to go.

Daylight Saving Time was designed to give folks extra evening summer hours so they could have some fun after work, beneficial to retailers, but not so for farmers.  The idea of saving time got support in the early days of electric consumption.  People would have extra hours of sunlight and not have to turn on indoor lighting and in doing so stress  early delivery systems.

However, even though DST was touted and talked about for a few years, it was not until Germany enacted a plan in 1916 to save on coal consumption.  DST was adopted by the United States two years later in 1918.

My computer clock adjusted itself several days ago, but the ritual of changing the clocks  is pretty much done by hand, one-at-a-time.

I get the concept, I experience it’s effect.  But twice a year I marvel and giggle that we mortals actually think we can literally save time.  I know that in the process many of us lose sleep, and during the adjustment period we are either running early or running late.  And, to add to the confusion there is EST, MST and PST. 

I am an early-bird,  I like light in the morning.  However with ageing I am suffering ‘night-blindness’  when I drive, so I also like the later evenings.  Hmmmmm, life is indeed about compromise.

A Maxfield Parrish Sunset

Such an incredible day.  The more I allowed yesterday to unfold, the better it got.  Beginning with coffee and crossword, both excellent and fulfilling, then onto client consultations; very uplifting. 

Entering my final preparations for the Altar & Altar Making class that I am presenting this weekend ( and again on November 20), I am feeling really good.  I love teaching and this is going to be a fabulous class.

Earlier in the morning I made a quick dash to ‘Andy’s’, the local Farm Market Stand, and scored some artichokes at an awesome price.  The afternoon was filled with another wonderful client connection; a great conversation with Mark Cummings-Rogers and preparing a dinner including those artichokes.

Squab, rice and an artichoke recipe from a beautiful Italian Vegetarian Cookbook gifted me by my dear friend Elizabeth right before her move to Mt. Shasta.  Mm-m-m-m.  So, the recipe called for a cup and a third of white wine.  H-m-m-m-m.  My sister sent me two bottles of Chardonnay made to her specs by Amity in Oregon.  I was saving one for my upcoming Birthday and one for Thanksgiving.  Oh well!

The day became a fabulous ‘unbirthday’.  As I sat down to begin my feast I looked out the window.  The apple trees were bathed in a subtle, gorgeous golden hue.  I turned off all the interior lights, marvelling at the cloak of gold that surrounded me.

With excitement welling I moved quickly outdoors.  As I faced west, the sunset swallowed me whole.  Maxfield Parrish colors splashed across the heavens, taking my breath with them.

With an Oregon-made Chardonnay in hand (that is an unqualified match for this years Sonoma County Harvest Gold winners), I toasted my Unbirthday, giving  thanks to the Creator for all my blessings.

Morning Sky

In the wee early hour,  looking heavenward, my breath catches as I view the crisp, starry morning sky.  It is a perspective; a stunningly visual affirmation of how small I am in the greater scheme of things.

Absorbed in the starry spectacle, I wondered what the view will be from my new home.  Although still a rural location, I will be closer to city lights.  And what about the other views that have become so familiar?  I know what I am leaving; I don’t  know what I am moving toward.

I like it very much; the look and feel of my new home.   It is a sweet little place.  Perfect for me as I begin the twilight journey of my life.  But it will be different.  I will adapt to the change;  I will wonder at my new vision of the early morning sky.

It will be different.

 

 

World Series Winners

I live in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.  How exciting that the Giants have won the World Series!   I didn’t think they had a chance. 

I was a Brooklyn Dodger fan, and I was sorely disappointed when MLB moved to the west coast and SF got the Giants.  I remained an avid Dodger fan for a few years until the likes of the Say-Hey kid and his cohorts won me over.  Then came game after game and year after year of almost.  Almost winning that game where they had a huge lead… almost winning the World Series.

Today I tip my hat not only to the ‘gang of misfit winners’ but readily to the generations of fans who believed.  Who took their children and their grandchildren to see the Giants play baseball year in and year out;  the faithful fans; the ones who believed.  They richly deserve to celebrate their Giants.

And, I am reminded that faith has it’s rewards.

Literature That Lingers

I recently finished reading The Wisdom of the Donkeys by Andy Merrifield (2010).  It is not the kind of reading that one dashes through, rather like an exquisite truffle and a glass of fine wine, it is to be slowly savored.

A beautifully crafted work that leaves me wanting to have a donkey as a pet, and if not, then I want to befriend a donkey somewhere close by and visit regularly.

With a search for slowness and tranquility in mind, Andy Merrifield set out on a journey of the soul with Gribouille, a friend’s donkey, to walk for days amid the ruins and spectacular vistas of Haute-Auvergne in southern France.  While Merrifield contemplates literature, science, truth, and beauty, Gribouille surprises him with his subtle wisdom, reminding him time and again that enlightenment is all around us if we but seek it.  With a forward by acclaimed writer Elizabet Marshall Thomas, The Wisdom of the Donkeys  reminds us that observing, being mindful, and living in the moment are essential to leading a fulfilled life.”   This excerpt is from the back cover, and expresses very well how I feel about this book.

I invite you to into the journey with Merrifield and Gribouille.

The Even Day

The everyday routine is back after the odd-one-day hiatus; domestic chores, paper-work, grocery shopping, plant-watering, cat-caring, ironing (yes, I still iron) and raking leaves day.

But there is something I noticed yesterday that my odd and even days have in common:  The joy I feel experiencing  the life around me. 

The chickadees are migrating.   I love watching as many as ten at a time of the sharply marked little birds taking turns snatching seeds in a flurry of feathered feeding.  The red-tail hawks are back in the hood; and the intense spicy,  outdoor smell is intoxicating to me.  

The beauty of the clouds and the majesty of the surrounding hills;  fir-tree tops  peeking through the sensuous mist that engulfs them, that bathes them;  vineyards turning gold, stunning even in the cloudy light; early blooming Christmas Cactus.

And again, I give thanks for the cornucopia of abundance that dances and weaves itself  throughout the tapestry of my life!

The Odd Day

Yesterday was one of those odd days for me.  No appointments,  car in the shop, no pressing chores.  Plenty to do, but….

What I know about myself and the odd day is that when it comes along it shines a spotlight on my productivity and/or lack of same.  I did get things done yesterday.  But it seems when my schedule opens spontaneously, I get out of my structured rhythm.  It is not about what I do, it is about what I don’t do. 

Many years ago a woman commented to me that she was a much better housekeeper when she was working.  Chores had to be done on a schedule or you would spend your days off cleaning and catching up.  At first it didn’t make too much sense to me, but as the years passed I finally get it.

So, if you missed my blog yesterday, you now know why.  There wasn’t one. Blogging  went completely out of my mind, not returning til much later in the evening.

I am not getting on my own case, just entertaining my observing self and the insights provided.  Don’t know if I am going to do anything to change the odd day; don’t know if I want to. 

Odd days are kinda cool, like little mini-vacations. Enjoy one if it comes your way.