Finding Your Passion

Discovering a Whole New You!

I was thinking this morning about my own employment history, and I performed a variety of jobs. Most were in the clerical field as a receptionist or typist, and it was a way to keep a roof over my head and the bill collectors off my back. Most of the jobs were not that enjoyable with the exceptions of working at a mortuary and a temp job where I tied ribbons on candied apples. We dressed in Wizard of Oz costumes, carried a small dog dressed like Toto, and went from office to office passing out these Halloween treats.

I was just grateful to have a job, but now people are thinking more outside the box, and want to work at something they are passionate about.  Here are four benefits of finding your passion:

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

You probably have a set routine every day, but now you’ll need to be open to new opportunities and possibilities that may send you in a different direction. This is a deal-breaker for some people who decide it’s easier to stay where they are instead of trying something that may not work.

Improved Mental Health

Nothing saps your energy quicker than working a soul-sucking job in which you feel trapped. However, the excitement of finding that special passion can make you feel more energetic.  You may have to continue working at your job for a while, but now you may have new opportunities on the horizon.

Learning More About Yourself

As a life coach, I am continually amazed that so many clients don’t know what they want out of life. There are many helpful tools out there such as passion quizzes, aptitude tests, and making a list of your strong interests to see what motivates you.

Meeting Others on the Same Journey

As I have pursued my passion of writing, I have connected with others who are on the same journey. There are some people who have always known what they are passionate about, but the majority are just like you and me. It takes a voyage of self-discovery which may include prayer, a willingness to experiment, and some good old-fashioned patience.

The journey to finding your passion may be a long one and you may feel like it is never going to happen, but don’t give up. What is waiting for you on the other side will be well worth it.

4 Tips to Help You Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Watch Your Confidence Soar!

 

When I was in college, each member of my class was required give a speech. Luckily for me, or at least I thought it was lucky at the time, the instructor gave us this information on the first day. I was so freaked out, I went to the school office, and dropped the class.

I didn’t want to take the chance of choking up, stumbling over my words, or someone laughing at my discomfort. Now, I look back and think it wouldn’t have been the end of the world if any of these things had happened, and I probably would have learned a thing or two.

It’s different for each person, but stepping out of our comfort zone is not easy. Here are four benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone:

It Gets Easier

The next time something unexpected comes up, you’ll remember you got through that tough situation before and you can do it again.

Make You More Productive

If you’ve gotten comfortable with your routine at work, it’s tempting to just do the absolute minimum to get by, and act like you’re too busy to learn something new.  When there is a sense of urgency to meet deadlines, you shift into high gear, and may find new ways to streamline the process.

Trust Your Judgment

When problems come up, it’s tempting to weigh all the options over and over again. Sometimes a snap decision needs to be made just to get the process in motion. You may have to make corrections along the way, but that’s also a good learning experience.

It Might Be Fun

Drive a new route to work, change your hairstyle, visit a new church, or run through the lawn sprinkler. If things don’t work out, so what?  Change things up again.

 

When Life Hands You Lemons

Pick Yourself Up and Keep Moving Forward!

I blogged a few days ago about how everything seemed to be going wrong at once. We got the car fixed, the heat pump is in the process of being fixed, Mark is feeling better, and so I thought ok this was a financial strain, but we got through it and it’s time to move on with life.

Then, this week we had a massive storm and the fence blew down. It’s always something, and no one is immune from problems. The only thing you can change is your attitude.

Here are five tips to follow when life hands you lemons:

Accept Change

It may often seem like you are dealing with more than your share of problems, but if you can accept the fact that things in life never stay the same, it will be easier to find solutions when problems arise.

Keep a Positive Attitude

I will be the first to admit this is not always easy, but not all unexpected problems are negative. For example, if you lose your job it may seem like the end of the world, but often it can lead to better opportunities that you might not have been able to take advantage of before.

Have An Alternate Plan

It can be so exciting to put those life-changing plans in motion. Perhaps it’s looking for a new job, a new house, or you’ve decided to go back to school and train for a different career.

Unfortunately, things don’t always work out when we want them to, so it’s always good to have an alternate plan, so you don’t get depressed and not know what to do next.

Practice Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

There’s no better way to get used to change than getting out of your comfort zone. Introduce small changes in your life. Take a different route to work, invite a new friend out to lunch, or order Chinese and eat the whole meal with chopsticks.

Stress Doesn’t Solve Your Problems

Stressing out is not going to solve your problems, and you’ll just feel more flustered and confused. Put your thinking cap on and decide where you’re going to go from here. Decide what you can fix or improve. In some cases, you might have to make the best of your situation until you can put your plans into motion.

 

 

 

 

Are You Sick and Tired of Bad News?

One Positive Thing That Will Have You Smiling!

 

I’ve decided my days of being a news junkie are over. I’m tired of hearing about the senseless things people say and do, and the current administration in Washington leaves a lot to be desired.

What I have been doing more of is seeking out positive news stories. There is still a lot of good in the world, you just have to look for it. Surprisingly, we often overlook the blessings we have already experienced.

I was reading an article this morning about the benefits of having a blessings bowl. You may be thinking what in the world is a blessings bowl? As you go through your day, think about all the things you are grateful for. Write these things down on a small slip of paper or Post-It note and put it in your blessings bowl.  At the end of the year, read each slip of paper, and you’ll be surprised at how much is going right in your life.

If you want to get fancy about it, you can order a beautiful blessings bowl online. There are sets that have the blessing bowl, a pen and paper, ribbon, and instructions on how to use it.  However, if your wallet is flatter than a pancake, use any bowl you have on hand, a pot, or even a hat.

A blessings bowl makes a nice gift for a friend or family member. Instead of writing what you’re grateful for, think of all the helpful things this person has done for you and write them down. Once the bowl is full, you have a nice gift that will be cherished forever.

It’s easy to get lost in our crazy world, and counting your blessings keeps your emotions in check, and you realize that you are still making a difference in your own life, and in the lives of others.

What are you grateful for today?

 

 

 

Are Wordly Worries Weighing You Down?

5 Benefits of Attending Church

 

I have to chuckle when my Mom talks about her church. I thought I was a foodie, but this congregation takes the prize when it comes to eating. The morning starts off with doughnuts, and then after the last hymn is sung there is a pow-wow in the parking lot about where to meet for lunch.

After a long afternoon nap, whoever can still rise to a standing position, lumbers out to the car, and drives back to the church for a potluck and evening program.

A good feast is always a good thing in my book, and it is fun to fellowship and meet new friends. Here are four other benefits of attending church:

Time of Reflection

Menopause is typically a time when you are an empty nester, and you’ve been so busy tending to everyone else’s needs that you lose sight of what is important in your life. Following the teachings of your church can lead to massive personal growth, and you’ll wonder what you can do to make the world a better place.

Positive Environment

You’re not smoking and drinking at some honky-tonk bar, or doing drugs with the in-crowd. When you’re going through hard times, the church can be a great support system. Listening to positive sermons encourages you to live a better life and develop to your full potential.

Giving Back

There is always some type of program that needs a healthy infusion of cash, or some able-bodied volunteers. You can teach Sunday school, help serve at coffee hour, volunteer in the office, or offer to help with gardening or lawn maintenance.

Fellowship with God

If you could count all the things you worry about on a daily basis, I’m sure you would have a very impressive list. There are plenty of opportunities to pray with like believers, or you can seek out a private area and pray on your own.

Let God handle your problems and you’ll leave church with a lighter, more carefree spirit.

 

Get Back on the Horse

Keep Working Toward Your Goals!

 

I’m always up for a new adventure and when a friend invited me to go horseback riding, I was eager to give it a try.  It was just my luck to get the biggest and most cantankerous horse in the stable. I gave myself a little pep talk, and swung into the saddle.

I tried to guide him with the reins, but either he was mixed up or I was, because he kept walking into bushes on the trail. It wasn’t long before we were at the halfway point, and I felt I could finally relax. Apparently, my horse had a difference of opinion, and took off running at top speed back to the stable.

I felt like the villain in a bad western movie being chased by the sheriff. I hung on for dear life, and was a nervous wreck by the time we got back to the stable. It’s a good thing I love animals, because my first thought was to dismount and give him a good swift kick in the rear.  I could have sworn he gave me a dirty look as he was led back to his stall.

My journey into horseback riding was shaky to say the least, but if I had another opportunity, I would get back on the horse and try again. Maybe choosing a smaller horse with a calmer disposition, doing some research to see what makes a horse tick, and more guidance from the staff, would make all the difference.

Living a successful life is a lot like riding a horse.  There are times when you’re feeling your way along, and you’re going to make some mistakes along the way. You may be so discouraged that you’re tempted to give up.

Get back on the horse. It may take awhile to reach your goals, but if you stay on your feet and keep moving forward, you will be successful.

5 Creative Things To Do in Retirement

Including Some Freebies!

 

Retirement is everything I thought it would be and so much more.  No boss to answer to, beating the crowd for restaurants and shopping, taking trips whenever, and there is a check waiting for me each month. What a life!

However, not everyone that is retired is happy with their situation, and they miss being out with people and feeling like they are making a contribution to the world.

Here are five creative things to do in retirement:

Sing in a Chorus:

Sure, you probably sing in the shower, but now that you have more free time, consider joining a chorus. Pick a group you are interested in and attend a few performances. Some choirs are more professional, while others just want to have fun. You might even be interested in joining your church choir.

Theatre or Concert Usher

You’ve probably got a list a mile long of shows or concerts you would like to see, but they’re too expensive to get good seats. Volunteer to take tickets at the door or show people to their seats. Once the show starts, your job is usually over, and you can sit back and enjoy these talented performers.

Take a Cooking Class

Yes, you probably have been cooking for years, but you can always learn something new. Holiday baking is popular, or you can learn how to work the grill when it’s barbecue season. There is always an option you will enjoy, and it’s a chance to meet new friends.

Campground Docent

Do you like to travel to state or natural parks and stay for extended visits? All that beautiful scenery, being out in the fresh air, packing a picnic. It all sounds divine but expensive.

Instead of coughing up all those camping fees, volunteer to lead nature walks, assist with cleaning up campsites, or just be a friendly welcoming face as people arrive.

Reconnect with Your Spiritual Side

Now that life isn’t so hectic, you may find that something is missing in your life. You may feel the need to meditate, pray, or doing something to help others.

If you’re interested in being part of a community, consider going to a church, mosque, or synagogue.

What creative things have you done in retirement?

Does Winter Weather Make You Cranky?

5 Ways to Deal with Seasonal Depression!

We have had so much rain lately that I feel like building an ark and climbing in it. It’s too nasty to go outside and so cabin fever sets in, and the long cold nights seem like they’ll never end.

Does this sound familiar? You may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), otherwise known as seasonal depression. Thankfully, there are things you can do to improve your dark mood.

Here are five ways to deal with seasonal depression:

Stick to a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. This is particularly helpful if you find that you can’t go to sleep or can’t wake up. If possible, eat your meals at the same time each day. Following these good habits will keep your body in a more normal rhythm.

Let the Light Shine In

When the weather is  dreary and it looks dark outside, open your curtains and blinds and let in some natural sunshine, even if it’s just a small amount. When things are dark and dreary, it’s a temptation to just curl up in a corner. Spend at least part of the day in front of the window.

Purchase a Light Box/Dawn Simulator

If you’re having trouble getting out of bed, consider purchasing a dawn simulator. It works like your alarm clock but it gradually wakes you up with light. Many people who suffer from SAD get relief by using a light box for 30 minutes each morning.

Don’t Neglect Exercise

When it’s nasty outside, the last thing you feel like doing is exercising. However, getting some exercise in the fresh air will give you more energy.  Bundle up if you have to, and talk a walk or run. Visit your neighbors or play games with the family.

Keep a Journal

Writing down your feelings is a good way to relieve stress and isolation, and you may find that it’s not just the dreary season of the year that is bothering you. Maybe there is a problem at work or in your relationships with family and friends.

 

What’s Going Right?

Things May Not Be As Screwed Up As You Think!

It’s been a crazy month and it seems like everything went haywire at once. One of us got sick, with multiple doctor and hospital visits plus medication, the car warranty that was supposed to cover everything didn’t, my glasses needed to be changed, and a breaker and the heat pump were in dire need of immediate attention.

All this chaos reminded me of a session I had with my life coach.  We met on Skype and this one particular day I had a laundry list of complaints about life, and couldn’t wait for our session to begin. I was going to get things off my chest come Hell or high water.

I was about halfway through my complaint list of things that were going wrong, when my life coach stopped me. That was highly annoying since I was only halfway done.

“Ok, let me ask you, what’s going right?”  Wow, I’d have to give that some thought. Who knew he was going to throw that kind of curveball at me?

I was still  above ground so that was a plus, I had a warm house to live in, my marriage was good, we weren’t flat broke, and I had pizza for lunch (always a plus in my book).

Once I got started it was hard to stop, and I could have filled part of a notebook with all the things that were going right.

My cranky mood lifted, and we decided that each night before bedtime I would list three things that went right, and why. Now, when those frantic days come, this simple exercise helps me keep things in perspective.

Let me give you some examples:

I was tempted to eat too much cake, but chose fruit instead. Why? I want to watch my weight and eat healthier foods.

I kept calm when the heater repairman said I owed $500. Why? Getting upset won’t solve anything and I knew the repairs would be expensive. Now I am toasty warm instead of freezing cold.

Try this simple exercise before bedtime and see how many things are going right in your life.

How to Achieve Work/Life Balance in Menopause

You Don't Have to Drive Yourself Crazy!

It’s getting a lot more difficult to balance work obligations with family life. Companies are keeping later hours and workers may find themselves scheduled for different shifts.

The trick is to use time more efficiently and free up extra hours for activities you enjoy. Here are some tips on how to achieve work/life balance in menopause.

Work with Your Body Clock

What time a day are you most productive? Do you prefer working in the morning or are you a night owl? If you’re a morning person and your company allows flex time, start work earlier, and avoid the worst of the commute home. This will free up more time in your day.

Start with the biggest projects first while you’re the most energetic. After lunch, you may feel less energetic, so this is a good time to do simpler things like returning phone calls and answering emails.

Bring Your Lunch

It’s a nice treat to sit down to a good meal away from the office, but if you count up how many minutes it takes you to get there and back, order, wait for the food to be prepared, and eat, you’ve wasted a good chunk of time. As an added bonus, bringing your lunch allows you to pack in nutrition and keep an eye on portion size.

Relocate Nearer to Work

It isn’t easy to just sell your house, and buy another one. Plus, you may be happy right where you are, and the kids may be in a good school district. It’s also nice to be closer to your church and shopping.

However, relocating has its benefits, and cutting your commute time down to 10-15 minutes, will free up another hour or two for things you enjoy. Add up this savings by the week, and you can come up with an extra 10 hours.

Schedule Family Time

As the old saying goes, there is a time for work and a time for play, so schedule time to do family activities. If you have weekends off, put away your phone and tablet, and take a family trip. If the budget is tight, trips to the park, beach, or a children’s museum let kids work off that energy without breaking the bank.

If you work weekends, plan family game nights. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re doing it together.

How do you achieve work/life balance in menopause?