Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Stress Happens...What Do You Do About It?

Stress is often the body's way of telling us something is wrong, but because I'm emotionally sensitive, other people's stress gets to me too. I adopt that stress and often have trouble releasing it. If this happens to you, it's important to understand where stress sits in your body, so that you will know better how to release that energy.

Not all stress is bad. I'm not talking about the stress that causes you to flee from a rapist. That would be good stress. Our flight response is in place for a reason. It lets us know about danger and times to fight back. The kind of stress I'm talking about here is the kind that just sort of sits in your shoulders or gut. Mine sits in my gut, and if it isn't released quickly enough, it moves up to my shoulders and causes headaches. This kind of stress taunts us with feelings of helplessness, low self-worth and anger. This type of stress is NOT healthy, and needs to be recognized and dealt with in a healthy manner.

It is important to deal with unhealthy stress as quickly as possible, because ongoing stress can negatively affect everything in your life. Feelings like loss of control and low self-esteem are good indicators of stress. It is important to know yourself, so that you can recognize your personal indicators of stress. For me, I tend to get a stomachache when I'm undergoing stress. Knowing this about myself allows me to recognize it and deal with it accordingly.

I'm not a doctor, and I don't pretend to be. None of these statements are meant to replace a doctor's advice. If you think you might be undergoing any type of stress, it's important to get checked out by a licensed practitioner, in order to rule out other causes. Your doctor could also recommend a therapist or someone to talk to, in order to deal with long-term issues. You are NOT ALONE. Stress happens to everyone. Help is out there.

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Overcoming Stress or Anxiety

I, personally, have never had a panic attack, but I know people that have. I work currently in mental health, so I deal with people with panic disorders on an almost daily basis. I have some social anxiety, but for the most part I keep myself pretty calm. I'm going to list some of the ways I keep calm on a daily basis below, but first, please check out this blog on stress management. I hope it helps you! Click here for tools and tips on managing stress on a daily basis. Leave me a comment below. I'd love to hear from you!

Now that I've gotten that done, let me share some of my personal ideas on managing stress every day.

1. I keep a space in either my office or my home that is my "haven." In my office, it's the whole room. I have an office mate, but he and I have discussed my need for calm, so he doesn't add to my stress. Every once in a while a client or co-worker will get on my last nerve, but as long as I have my haven, I don't get overwhelmed.

2. I keep plenty of my favorite color around. I love green. My office walls are painted a beautiful warm green, and whenever I'm feeling stressed out, I focus on the warmth and the life of the color green, and it tends to put a bounce back in my step. This doesn't always work, but it works well enough to warrant a mention here.

3. Music. I keep plenty of relaxing music on hand for those days when nothing else seems to work. Classical or Electronic usually does the trick. When I'm especially overwhelmed, I can't handle anything with lyrics because it tends to make my mood worse. I'm not sure why this is, but for a mood change, no lyrics works great for me.

4. Walking away from the office. I am never afraid to tell someone "I'm going outside for a minute." This gives me a chance to get away from it all, and focus on getting my emotions back on a level keel. I tend to pick up on other people's emotions, so when that gets overwhelming, walking away from it all for a little bit levels me out, and helps get me back where I need to be. Busy days at work often entail me just leaving for a couple minutes, because I don't ever want to take out a bad mood, or empathic episode on someone else. This isn't fair to them or me.

I hope these tips help you! I hate feeling stressed out, so I have tons of coping mechanisms for dealing with daily, weekly or occasional stress. Please comment below with your coping skills for stress management! I'd love to hear from you!

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Thanks guys!!

Friday, July 10, 2015

6 Ways to Celebrate Your Birthday

I love birthdays. They are the day that you get to be the center of attention for a day, and you get spoiled. My birthday was yesterday, and it was one of the best days I've had in a long time. I got to relax and recharge, which sets me up for the year ahead. For most of us, though, birthdays get treated like any other day. This makes me sad, because birthdays should be used as a form of self-care. At least, that's how I look at it. My birthday is kind of like my New Years. I use it as a way to start a new year in a wonderful way. Below, I have listed 6 ways to turn your birthday from "just another day" to the day you look forward to every year, no matter your age.

1. Have a party. When we were kids, birthday parties were amazing. Parents baked a cake, all your friends came over, and it was the day that we all got to be the center of attention. Why, then, do we forget this when we become adults? My suggestion would be to be a kid for a day and have a party. Even get a bouncy castle if that's what you want. I'm 34, and I would LOVE to play in a bouncy castle! Being a kid for a day is an amazing way to get back to your roots, and remember what life is all about. You'll thank yourself for it.

2. Go to a Spa. Take a day, and just do nothing. If you don't have the money to actually go to a spa, get the stuff to do it at home. Take a bubble bath, detox wrap, facial, pedicure, the works. You will notice your body thanking you when you're done. Starting the new year off with a relaxing day will set you up for a fantastic year ahead.

3. Write. I know, I'm a huge advocate for writing, because I do all the time. But I can't say enough good things about it. Using your birthday as kind of a new year's holiday can set you up for success and greatness. Take the day and think about what you want for the year ahead. Write down the goals and successes you want to see happen. Keep these close to you all year, and work toward them. On your next birthday, look back over what you have written, and adjust for the upcoming year.

4. Go out to a club. Some people are social creatures, and get energized by being with other people. I am not one of these people, but some people are, so this would be a good way to recharge for those people. Dance, drink and let the energy of the other people energize you and recharge your spirit. If you have any empathic tendencies, this may not be the best option, but if you receive energy from other people, don't discount this option for your birthday.

5. Meditate. Meditation is a fantastic way to recharge every day. On your birthday, it is an excellent option for thinking about what you want for the new year. This would go along with concentrating on, and writing, your goals. Bring yourself into the present and think about what you want for your life.

6. Go to church or pray. This goes along with meditation, but for Christians, you may prefer to pray to your higher power. I prefer this option, because God is my friend, and I know He looks out for what's best for me. Praying and talking to God is a really good way to bring His peace into your life, and allows you to energize.

I tend to be emotionally sensitive, so recharging and re-energizing myself is extremely important.  I am not an introvert especially, but I do find that having time alone is important because it gives me time to cleanse all the excess energy from other people's emotions. Being able to feel what others are feeling is helpful when I am working, but it is also important to be able to keep it from overwhelming me. Using my birthday to cleanse and recharge for the new year is a good thing. I hope this post helps you!

Please join my group "The Healthy Empath" or join my page Created 4 Greatness. I hope to connect with you soon! God Bless You!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Prayer is Powerful

I pray all the time. In today's society, that seems nuts. "Oh my GOSH, she PRAYS? Isn't that, like, a myth nowadays?" But whether you talk to God, Allah, or meditate like the Buddha, pretty much everyone prays. For me, personally, prayer is a very personal thing. I talk to God like he's my best friend. He is. I know people who don't "talk to God" because "He never talks back anyway." Which, in my mind, is a lousy excuse. I don't talk to God because he always talks back. I talk to him because sometimes I just need to talk, and I know He's always listening.

For someone who is emotionally sensitive (or Empathic for those of us who use this term), prayer is extremely important. It gives me a chance to center myself, and focus my energy on something outside myself and what I'm feeling. If I didn't have God in my life, and if I didn't have a "higher power" to give me stability, I honestly don't know where I would be in my life.

Most people think of praying as simply asking God for stuff. "My car is busted so I'm gonna pray for a new one." While this is an important aspect of prayer, and I would never discount asking for needs to be met, this isn't the kind of prayer I'm talking about. I'm talking about the kind of prayer where you go to a figurative "coffee shop" and have a conversation with your best friend. We all have that sort of friend. The one that we can sit and talk to for hours and never run out of things to say. God desires to be this kind of friend to us.

I mean, come on, who would give up heaven, come to earth, DIE, all for a race to later tell, "yeah we don't really have to talk. I already know everything about you, so just live your life and I'll watch from afar." This is not the God I know. Yes, He knows everything about us, but we don't know everything about Him. He wants the relationship to go both ways. He wants to have input in our lives. He wants to show us the beauty in the world. He desired fellowship with humans so much that even though He knew we were going to screw up, he created us anyway. He created us knowing that we would run from him like a rebellious child. And yet God created us anyway.

The kind of prayer I pray is the kind that comes out of this type of relationship. I have small conversations throughout the entire day. I talk about my day, and ask advice, and talk to God like I'm talking to a friend. I pray for two reasons. One is that God is my friend and I want to spend time with him. The second reason is that I have overactive emotions. I get really busy during the day, and find it hard to grab a solid length of time to have a serious conversation with my friend. In order to keep God at my center, I communicate with Him when I can.

Praying centers me, and allows me to find strength in something outside myself. When people get really busy, especially when starting a new business, or running an established one, they can find it difficult to put something like prayer at their center. I have done this in the past, and it has caused more problems than it has solved. So I ask you today, to put God back in your center, and make friends with Him. You won't regret it. If you are curious how, please email me or comment below. I would love to talk to you!

Don't forget to follow me on Facebook, and if you want to join a community of emotionally sensitive people who support each other in daily life, please join my group "The Healthy Empath." Thanks for stopping by! God Bless You!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

It's Hard Being an Empath

I have always felt emotions strongly. I can't watch certain movies, because the emotions they evoke will stick with me long after the movie is over, and many times I simply get overwhelmed. If I choose to watch a scary movie I have to watch a funny one right after simply to get my emotions back under control. So I'm very careful about what emotions I allow into my "space." I work a full time job while I get my coaching business under way, and for a long time I had my own office. This was perfect, because I was able to have my own space where I could go to be alone when things started to overwhelm.

When I got my officemate, I knew things would be difficult at first, because I wouldn't be dealing with just my own emotions, but his as well. So on the first day we were in the office I explained to him why I had to keep things calm in the office, and asked him to please respect that, because if my emotions start to overload, it's really difficult to come back from that.

Because of my tendency toward emotional overload, I was especially grateful when God brought Paul into my life. He is so calm that when I'm around him, he calms and grounds me as well, which allows me to keep the overload at bay. This is especially true when we are around a bunch of people, because he is able to make me laugh, which makes it easier to be around people that may not be as happy. I am so thankful for this particular trait in him.

                                              Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.

Most people are understanding of what I have started to call "emotional sensitivity," but others don't really get what this means and this makes it hard to explain. When I get overwhelmed, all I want to do is get away from people. This is hard when I'm at pool league or the mall. I HATE THE MALL. It is my definition of hell. It not only overwhelms me emotionally, but causes social anxiety that makes me want to run for the hills.

Since I have discovered this particular trait in myself, I have been looking into different self-care plans and ways of dealing with the every day issues of being empathic. If you, too, are an empath, maybe these will help you as well.

1. Take good care of your gut. No, this doesn't just mean keep your stomach flat. It means eat in such a way that the good bacteria in your intestines can flourish and help your body retain the nutrients it needs. This is especially important because when your hormones go out of whack, it's harder to maintain emotional stability.

2. Make sure you have someone to talk to. When things get overwhelming, I go to either Paul or my best friend. Both are very calm people, and are able to help me find my balance again. If you are empathic as well, it's important to have at least one person in your life you can tell anything to, and who understands you enough to help you through these instabilities. They will happen, so find someone you can depend on.

3. Exercise regularly. This is a hard one for me, but definitely important. The chemicals released during exercise are especially helpful in helping balance out emotions. They create a "happy" feeling that can last for hours, so they help when you have to go somewhere that can have lasting negative effects.

                                                                           It's good to always do some sort of exercise.
                                                                                                            --Ashley Scott

4. Meditate. I prefer mindfulness meditation, because it involves keeping oneself in the present. As empaths, we can find ourselves living in either the past or the future. Worrying about the person whose emotions we felt yesterday, and wondering if he or she is ok, or thinking about the future. This actually takes way too much energy, so bringing yourself back to the present allows your body to relax and get back to the middle.
                          Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your
                          spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve
                          from an empty vessel.                         
                                                                                       --Eleanor Brownn

I hope these tips help you. I have to admit I haven't incorporated all of these into my daily life, but I do think all four things would be helpful. If you are too busy to incorporate all 4 into your life every day, pick one and start for a week. I can almost guarantee that just adding one of these things into your daily life could help you immensely. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for additional tips on living a healthy empathic life!

None of these statements are meant to replace a doctor's advice or treat or diagnose disease. If you have physical ailments, please speak to your doctor or health practitioner.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Self-Care for Super Busy Women

If you're super busy, then you know just how hard it is to find time to take care of yourself the way you should. My best friend is a good example of this. She runs her own business, and runs a household. This causes a lack of time for her to take care of herself. But She still manages to do small things that help her recharge and make sure she stays healthy. She runs several days a week, which helps keep her physical body in shape. She also plays pool and hangs out with her friends which helps keep her mental and emotional body healthy. It is extremely important to keep both our emotional and physical bodies in shape. Physical body shape is something I am still working on, but I do several things to keep my emotional body in shape. Below are some options that you can incorporate into your daily life that will keep you on an even keel.

1. Meditate. I have read in several places that for Christians meditation isn't healthy because we have to keep our minds focused on God at all times. But even the bible mentions Meditation. Meditating on the word, which means thinking about it and incorporating it into our daily lives. Meditation is a very good way to bring your mind back to the present. I have read in several different places that our minds, in the present, are the least stressed and the most able to handle difficulties. So by practicing meditation, we keep our brains recharged.

2. Reading. I love to read. Reading allows our brain to expand and learn new skills. By reading self-development books we are literally teaching our brains how to think in different ways, which allows us to handle stress differently.

3. Listening to Music. It has been scientifically proven that music affects our emotions. This is why I don't listen to any kind of music that could be seen as depressing. I keep my music upbeat so that my emotions aren't affected in any kind of negative way.

4. Bubble baths. Or any kind of bath really. Our skin is the largest organ in our body, so taking care of it is extremely important. Your body becomes healthier when you utilize this organ to detox your body. Epsom salts are really good for detoxing the skin and body. You can find so many resources online for recipes on how to detox.

Any of these can be utilized even in a busy schedule to help recharge our minds and bodies, so that we are able to handle stress better, and keep being productive. The busier the person, the harder you might think it would be to do any of these things, but you'll find that the more time you make for yourself, the better you are at using the time you have left over. I always feel more creative after reading a book, or watching a video on YouTube, or just listening to a favorite song. You will be surprised at how much just these small changes can make in your life.

Did you find this post helpful? Post a comment below. I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

6 Words to Completely Remove From Your Vocabulary

We all have things we say, whether they be about someone else, or something we don't like, or even about ourselves. We all have negative words we use. But in order to move forward in life, and to create a positive atmosphere around ourselves, certain words must be completely removed from our vocabulary.

Word #1: Stupid. Why do you say this word? Do you call ideas stupid? Maybe you call yourself stupid for missing the turn you've made a million times. The point is, this is a horrible word, and one that should never leave your mouth.

Word #2: Um. This is a time-waster. I hear it so much, and I always think, "does this person really know what he or she is talking about?" It makes you sound not as knowledgeable as you want to. When you erase this word from your vocabulary, you'll notice you sound, even to yourself, much smarter and easier to listen to. Try it, you'll love it!

Word #3: Retarded. This is along the same lines as Stupid, and shouldn't be said. The only time I allow myself to say this word is when I am talking about someone who is actually retarded. I NEVER say it in a derogatory way, but always with all the kindness I can muster. When I am explaining someone's behavior, I might use a phrase such as, "I think she might be a little developmentally retarded." But, whenever I can, I choose to use a different word. This one isn't very kind, and is overused in today's society.

Word #4: Ugly. We are all wonderfully made, and we were all created for a purpose. No one is ugly. We may have things we would like to change about ourselves, but when we were born, our parents thought we were beautiful. Learn to love this about yourself. Be different, be unique, be who God created you to be.

Word #5: Whatever. This word is SO dismissive, and I HATE it. When you are having a discussion with someone, and he uses this word, basically he is telling you, "what you have to say is unimportant, and I think you are unimportant. I have better things to do than waste my time with you." One of the quickest ways to really make me angry is to use this word to me in a discussion or debate. I will respond, and it won't be pretty. Just don't use it, and you will notice more conversations staying in a positive light.

Word #6: Fat. Too many people use this word these days, and in a very bad way. People use the phrase "I am so fat today" way too much. Especially since these people are by NO means actually fat. I have a friend on Facebook that uses this word to describe herself quite a bit, and every time I see her posts, I comment and tell her to quit. She is not fat; she is gorgeous, but because of an altered state of beauty that society has forced on us, she doesn't know how to see herself in any other light. When we quit using this word, we can start to see our own beauty and help others see theirs. Please stop using this word.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of my least favorite words in the English language, but it is a start. By changing the words we use, we can change our viewpoint on the world, and eventually we can be the change we wish to see.

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Why I Uninstalled All The Games From My Phone

ummmm...what? I took all the games off my phone? Isn't having apps and games part of the fun of having a smart phone? Well yeah. Having mindless entertainment at my fingertips sounds like a perfect time. Here's the problem with that: Being mindless isn't a good thing. We were created to use our brains. By sitting and staring at a tiny little screen making the little man jump around, we are essentially teaching our brain how to be useless.

Now you might be telling me, "well, the games I play on my phone involve brain teasers and math problems, and require a bunch of logic." Which, to that I say, fine. If you want to keep your games, keep them. I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do. I'm simply explaining why I chose to take everything off mine. I'm even thinking about taking Facebook off, even though I use it for my business all the time. Having all these things that I could be doing instead of developing myself further is holding me back, not pushing me forward.

If I'm not sitting playing a game on my phone, it gives me more time to write, or research for my blog, or go on twitter and work on marketing. I have so much more time to do things I need to do rather than just what I want to do. I'll have time to work on my online classes, and learn things I need to learn in order to be as successful as I can be. I have taken to turning off all my data when I'm working, so that even when I get an email, my phone doesn't ding all the time. I'm able to be so much more productive than I thought, because of how I am choosing to spend my time. Candy Crush can't do for me what other things can. Even just taking the 5 minutes I would normally take to drive my little car on hill climb to read a book instead can take my life to new heights.

What do you do to take back control of your time? Leave a comment! I'd love to hear! Don't forget to follow me on twitter!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Optimism and the Body: Why a Good Attitude is Good for You

Do you know an Optimist? You know, that person that reminds you of Pollyanna, and some days you just want to punch him or her in the face? Well, you might be interested to know that while an overly optimistic attitude can be quite annoying sometimes, it is also very good for your body. Happier people live longer, and have fewer health problems.

Have you noticed that person that always seems to have something wrong? The person that no matter what you ask him or her, he always seems to have  negative answer?

You: "How is the weather today?"
NP: "well, my joints are acting up and because of all this pollen my allergies are going crazy and I can barely breathe."

Does this make you want to be around that person? Not likely. No one wants to spend much time with a Negative Nancy all the time. Small bits are ok, if you are willing to risk the negativity spreading. That's right folks, negativity is contagious. But GOOD NEWS! So is a positive attitude.

I am usually a very positive person, and can find the good in just about anything. Like most people, I do have days where nothing seems to go right, but as long as I focus on the fact that it's not forever, and that day will pass, it helps me keep my positive attitude. The upside to always focusing on the positive aspects of things, is that what you think about increases. What you say brings power into your life. I believe strongly in the power of our words, and that what we say matters. What we think turns into what we say, and what we say brings about change in circumstances.

So the question becomes, do you want positive things in your life, or do you want to live a life full of cynicism, negativity and bad circumstances? Of course not! I can't think of a single person that actually WANTS these things!! So what do we do about it? Try something for me, then leave a comment below about what happened.

Over the course of a week, whenever something negative comes into your life, whether it be a bad circumstance, or a coworker who can't ever say anything nice, whenever this happens, get a pen and paper and list 3 good things in your life. WRITE THEM DOWN. At the end of the week, read over them, and think about any changes in your life that maybe came about because of this change in perspective. It could be as simple as just a change in your attitude toward those negative people, or something more profound. Either way, I would love to hear about it! Let me know below, and don't forget to follow me on Twitter!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Fulfill Your Purpose

As humans, we have to have a purpose. We have to have goals or we tend to get very depressed. Having something to work toward gives us motivation, and a purpose for being on this earth. I was reading in the Bible the other day on the subject of purpose, and I found several scriptures about what God has created us for. My favorite one is Isaiah 43:7.

               "Every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my Glory, I have formed him; yea I have made him."

I loved this verse when I found it, because it says clearly that we are created for God's glory. That gives us purpose. The question is, what do we do with that purpose?

The first thing I think of when I think of finding my purpose in life is, "what do I enjoy doing? What would I do for free if money was not an issue?" That is usually a pretty good first step in finding your purpose. The second thing I ask myself is, "how can I support myself doing this thing that I enjoy?" For example, I love helping people. I love talking them through their problems, or helping them find solutions they wouldn't normally see. This is something that if I were RICH, I would still do, because it makes me feel valuable, and makes me feel like I'm making a difference. The second thing I would do if money weren't an issue is help abused kids. In fact, I hope to start a non-profit center for children of abuse, to help break that cycle, and help them become functioning, well-adjusted adults.

These are not overly confident goals. You might be reading these goals of mine, and think, "well that's great for you, but what about me? What's my purpose?" Start by listing EVERYTHING you enjoy doing. Is it playing pool? is it bowling? knitting? crochet? listening to music? list everything you enjoy doing. Then look down the list and something inevitably will jump out at  you.

If nothing jumps at you, then look into finding a coach. I help clients find their purpose by asking them questions designed to find that exact thing they want to do. These personalized sessions are designed specifically for you. A coach helps you set goals for your life and helps you decide exactly what those goals should be.

Did this post help you? Leave a comment below! I would love to hear from you!

How to Forgive Even When You Don't Want To

Judy is 29  years old. She has a boyfriend, a best friend, and an awesome life. Her one problem, though, is that she doesn't have a good relationship with her family. When she was younger, her father abused her and her mother wasn't able to make it stop. She has lived with the shame of this abuse for years, and blames her father for it all. This makes it hard for her to move on and forgive him. He is her father. She is half him. She worries that she will abuse her own children the way she was abused. She has started to seek therapy to help her move on from this abusive situation, so that she can forgive her father, but it is going very slowly. She is starting to wonder if anything will ever work.

From the story above, you might be wondering, "why does Judy have to forgive her father? He was the one being abusive!" Which is exactly what I would have thought a couple years ago had I read about the same situation. The problem with letting unforgiveness fester is that it causes physical manifestations. When you can't or don't forgive, you are stuck in the past and can't really move on to the future until that past is dealt with. This causes anxiety, depression and anger. These issues show up in your life in ways that are unrelated to the original trauma.

In Judy's case, she didn't really want to forgive her father. She felt justified in her unforgiveness because he was so horrible to her. After years in therapy, she finally admitted to her therapist that she struggled with her feelings about forgiveness. As a result of this honesty, her therapist was able to come up with some steps for Judy to take to finally find the road to complete forgiveness.

1. Allow yourself to grieve. Grieve for the loss of the ideal parent-child relationship. This is similar to grieving a death in the family, but allows the wronged person to move on in life without the complete closure of an actual death. This also means that the child can then start living with the actual relationship with his or her parent, instead of constantly wishing for the idealistic relationship that will probably never happen.

2. Allow yourself to celebrate the small things. When a parent-child relationship is strained, like in the one above, it can be really difficult not to look at everything in a negative light. Seeing all the strings attached, instead of the gift. Your life is a gift, so look at everything in that light, even the small positive interactions with a parent.

3. Don't fall back on past trauma. When you choose to forgive, and move past trauma, you are choosing not to fall back on old routines. If it is routine to ignore an estranged parent on a special holiday, make a point to reach out and wish them a happy holiday. This isn't to allow that person in your life again to make the same mistakes, but it is a way to tell yourself that you have moved on from the original trauma, and you are allowing yourself a new life with new experiences.

Judy is a fictional person, but she could be any of us. How many of us have held a grudge against someone for a smaller slight, or even fought with feelings toward an abusive parent? I know I have. But I have also followed the steps above and have found a way to move on from bad situations, and have found ways to forgive misdeeds by others. I have learned to respond to them in a way that may not diminish what was done to me, but helps me rise above them so that they don't define me.

Forgiveness is an active emotion. Some people forgive easily, and others not so easily. But when you choose to forgive someone for something, you are performing an action. This choice affects you, not the other person. When someone does something bad to you, and you tell them, "I forgive you," they may not even care. That person may not even realize they had hurt you in any way. This doesn't absolve  you of your responsibility to forgive. This responsibility isn't to the other person. Your responsibility to forgive is for you. When you forgive, you are opening your life up to all the positive things you might not have seen otherwise. When you are not focused on what wrongs have happened to you, you can open up to all the right. By doing this you allow yourself to live a life full of love and endless possibilities.

Did this post help you? Please let me know below! I would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What is Greatness?

I've been thinking a lot lately about the title of this blog, and my coaching business. "Created for Greatness." But what is greatness, exactly? Some people think of it as being rich and famous. Angelina Jolie-Pitt and Brad are "Great," right? Well, yes, but being rich and famous isn't all that is required to be great. For example, my sister is great. She has taken her talents and become an entrepreneur and a mom. She helps people on a regular basis find wellness and freedom through her Young Living essential oil business. My best friend Stace has found her greatness through being the best family therapist she can be.

Neither one of these ladies is what society would call rich and famous, but they have both found their greatness. Why? Because they took what God gave them and did something with it.

I have also started looking in one of my favorite references for greatness lately. My bible (and yours too, I assume) has so many stories of people who found the greatness that they were created for. These people were normal people like you and me, but God was able to use them to do great things. One of my favorite examples is Esther. She was born a Jew, an orphan, and was raised by her single uncle. Mordecai did the best he could, but I'm willing to bet they weren't rollin' in the dough. So imagine their surprise when Esther gets a letter saying, "the king demands your presence at the palace. You might be the next queen!"

If that were me, I'd be wondering who was smoking what. I'm not royalty. Neither was Esther. She was a poor Jewish girl living with her single uncle who adopted her. So what was the deal? Well, one: she was a virgin. How the king's people knew this about her was a mystery, except it was assumed in those days that if you weren't married and weren't obviously a harlot, then you were a virgin. Two: She was apparently beautiful. The king specified that only beautiful virgins be brought to the palace. Those things were things she was born with. She wasn't born into a lot of money, but God was able to use those things about her to bring her to a place of greatness. She was obedient to God's word about staying pure, which was one of the things God used about her.

Being great is NOT about being rich, or famous, or talkative, or quiet, or any of those things. Being great is saying, "Ok, I've been given these talents. What will I do with them?"

Another example of God using someone "small" to do something BIG was Joseph. I love love LOVE the story of Joseph. He was the next to youngest son of a Shepherd. I doubt very much that, like Esther, he was very wealthy. Granted, his father was able to give him a coat of many colors as a gift, but if you read the story this doesn't seem to be a regular occurrence. His brothers were pissed that he got one and they didn't. But God was able to use this son of a shepherd to save His people when the famine hit Egypt. Joseph was smart, and God had great plans for him. God knew way in advance what would be needed in order to save His people, so he figured, "why not? No one will expect salvation to come from over here." This tells me that God has more than a few chuckles when He plans things out. He knows it won't make sense to us humans, so He jokes around with us by bringing surprises from unlikely situations.

When you decide to find the greatness you were created for, be ready for an adventure. Life will be full of ups and downs, as God moves things around for you. But don't be disappointed when life hands you a "down." It just means an even bigger UP is coming. Be ready! Be great!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Overcoming Burnout

I have been fighting emotional burnout for quite a while now, and it's hard. My job is really emotionally draining, and while I really want to get my coaching business up and running, I know I need to get things in my own life under control too before I can really help others. My dream is to help people find their greatness. We were created by God and given certain gifts. We don't always recognize those gifts for what they are, which is where I come in. I know I was created for Greatness, so I have to find a way to overcome emotional burnout.

One of the ways I have found is to put affirmations on my computer at my current job. Affirmations that help me keep a positive outlook, and help me recognize the greatness inside myself. Two of the ones I have on my desk right now are: "What I'm doing right now is only temporary." This quote was found on Tiny Buddha. Tiny Buddha has been such a huge help to me. You can find the link here.

The other quote that I have is, "I am stronger than I think I am." I don't remember where I found this quote, but it is amazing for reminding me that I have strength inside myself, and that once I find it, I can do anything.

Overcoming burnout can be really difficult. It is extremely important to have a solid support system in place, because these people can help you in ways that you may not see. For example, my friend John is amazing at getting me to laugh. When I'm having a bad day, I can talk to him for 5 minutes on the phone and I feel much better because he is such a cut-up that I can't help but laugh. My friend Jeff is the amazing one at listening to me when I'm having a bad day. He doesn't always know what to tell me to fix things, but he listens, and most of the time it's enough. When I'm looking for a solution, my best friend Stace is amazing. She's a therapist, so can often see solutions that were probably staring me in the face but I was too blind to see.

Besides my friends (who are all amazing in their own right) my family is incredible. They are all incredibly supportive especially when I'm going through burnout. When I don't feel like I can continue on doing what I'm doing, my mom is amazing. She lets me rant and vent and then offers constructive advice on what I can do RIGHT then to help me through it.

If you are in a situation where you don't have the greatest support system, please consider getting a coach. They are different from a therapist, but can help be that support you need. A coach can help you construct a self-care plan, and be that support system. If your emotional burnout is especially bad, please consider getting a therapist. They can help you emotionally, and can give you coping skills to help you through emotional burnout.

If your burnout is job-related, and you are considering a career change, please let me know. I will be happy to help you decide what you want to do, and help you set goals to get you there. I can help you write your resume to help you stand out from the crowd. My coaching skills are in a range of areas, so even if you don't see anything here that applies to you, contact me anyway. I will be happy to discuss options with you.

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Be bright, be beautiful, be GREAT!!