Tag: Life coaching

Ashley Mason Equestrian Riders

The Secret To Change

Ashley Mason Equestrian Riders

My daughter, Zoa, and the Ashley Mason Equestrian riders getting ready for the Oakland, IA Independence Day parade

WE ARE NOT POWERLESS  

This weekend someone shared with me they weren’t feeling very celebratory or even independent this Independence Day.  As we spoke, I could feel the frustration and overwhelm – in both of us.

There is no stopping the waterfall of circumstances  and feelings from happening.
Life is a continuation of them, and they come for us whether we’re ready or not!

So what do we do when they’re disappointing, intense or feel overwhelming?
How do we cope?  How do we affect change?

We can start by allowing grief and choosing acceptance

Accepting something is NOT the same as liking or agreeing with it.
It’s just acknowledging it for what it is so we can see our options clearly (through the fog of intense emotions) and choose a path forward. 

Grief is a response to loss, and may express differently depending on what is lost.
For instance, if we can’t see well enough to safely drive ourselves as we age, there can be a loss of independence.  When we experience a loss of something dear to us – like safety, privacy, autonomy, etc – we need to allow ourselves (or our loved ones) to grieve the loss so we can eventually move forward.  

It’s also key to remember that we co-exist with other people!  Yep, read that again.
There is no way all the people will agree on all the things all the time.  So, we’ll inevitably find ourselves in situations we don’t like, agree with or want.  

When our reality is not what we want it to be, we have choices…  

  1.  We can complain and commiserate with those who agree with us.
  2.  We can passively resign, convincing ourselves we are helpless and powerless.
  3.  We can belittle, name-call, use threatening or forceful tactics to try to change the minds of those who disagree.
  4.  We can respectfully ask questions and listen, and let people disagree. 
  5.  We can ACCEPT it, regulate our strong emotions, sort out and TAKE ACTION on our options. 

Likely, we’ll alternate between a few of these 😉
The point is, we can consciously choose how we deal with things. 

In case they didn’t jump out at you, 4 & 5 are the most productive.  We get defensive when we hear things we don’t like, which shuts down listening.
Dialogue creates change and requires BOTH listening and speaking.
 

There’s also no way around the universal truth that we all collectively contribute to our reality.

So, we are naturally the exact opposite of helpless or powerless – without even trying.

When taking action seems too overwhelming, just start with yourself.  The ripple of change outward is a given. 

The natural order of change is:

  1. the individual
  2. the family
  3. the community and beyond

I believe it was Socrates who said, “The secret to change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”  So when we find ourselves not getting anywhere, we usually just need to change what we’re spending our energy on.

     Below are links to two supportive and grounding recordings for you.  Here’s to conscious choices and spending our energy wisely!
     Much love, Suzanne

 

Here is a 6 minute relaxation and reflective practice with a focus on independence.
Here is a 5 minute metta meditation to help foster understanding, trust, and unconditional love.

If you need one-on-one support, schedule some coaching.

Find more helpful articles and videos from OPY here.

Grief and Acceptance

Headstone rubbing

Little Suzanne, gramma & cousin, 1982, a cemetery in Illinois

Every Memorial Day I think back to family traditions.  My mom was a teacher and a genealogy buff, so we spent many summer days in tiny remote cemeteries looking for ancestors and making headstone rubbings (the older I got, the less fun I found this to be).  

On Memorial Day we remembered family members who had passed with fresh peonies on their headstones.  People from nearby towns gathered for a big ceremony at our hometown cemetery to honor loved ones who served in the military.

While these traditions have faded, Memorial Day finds me taking pause… to appreciate the presence fallen family members graced me with, to cherish memories that remain with me since they passed, and to allow feelings of grief.  The more I recognize and allow grief, the more I notice its prevalence in life in general.

Grief is a response to loss, so it comes in many forms – physical loss through death, the end of a relationship or job, ceasing of old habits, change in our way of life, realization that an expectation won’t be met – the list goes on.  Even when it’s clear the loss is the best thing in some circumstances, it doesn’t always make it easier to move through.  Relief can come with sadness.  Change that is good for us may still need a proper grieving period. 

A coaching client asked me recently, “What’s the first thing you do when you realize you aren’t handling something well?”  The answer is I accept how I feel and give myself permission to handle it how I’m handling it.  See, there’s a little conundrum we can fall into…

Sometimes our feelings may not be logically warranted. 

Logical or not, they are valid because we are having them.

Here’s what giving myself permission might sound like… “Of course I feel this way.  It’s completely understandable.”  I’ve found that by not making myself wrong for having my feelings, they don’t cause such a ruckus or backslide.  By accepting & validating myself, I can more quickly and easily see my way through them. 

Love on yourself a little more.  Grant yourself more grace and acceptance.  You may find it can make the heavy and sad stuff less debilitating.  And it for sure magnetizes more love and acceptance your way!

Have a memory and grace filled Memorial Day,
Suzanne

 

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Find more helpful articles and videos from OPY here.