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  • Don’t Do It Alone

    Colorful Hands Forming Heart Shape

    Fall is a time of transition. The sunny days give way to cooler breezes and beautiful colors. The cycle of life is before our eyes. There are many transitions in life. Some involve simply adjusting to the days getting a bit shorter and others are more complex.

    On the surface, we move into task mode. What does this change mean and how do we take action or cope with it? Underneath the surface, many emotions may arise.

    When big changes take place, like loss of a loved one, aging, assisting someone who is aging, divorce or even a child leaving for college, we see them concretely in tasks that arise, often involving de-cluttering, or moving furniture or even moving to another residence. Underneath, our own tectonic plates are moving. Not only are we navigating the external world, we are navigating how to metabolize these changes internally. How are we making sense of our world as it is changing shape? How do we steer the ship in unknown waters?

    I was working on clearing out my computer the other day, when I came across sets of varied instructions I had given to the home health aide who was caring for my mother who lived in another state. I realized anew that I had been managing every aspect of my mother’s life from a physical standpoint and at times emotional as well. That meant in addition to caring for my family and working, I had another full time job.

    From an external view, it was about priorities, love and managing all the balls in the air as best I could. Did things slip through the cracks? Yes. But everyone’s health and safety stayed afloat. In addition, huge questions and role transitions were taking place.

    Every day in my practice, I speak with or see someone going through a major life transition. There is no rulebook, but there are guides. It is important to hire people, when you can, to help sort out the complexities. My colleague, Penny Catterall of Order Your Life, who I use for help with organizing my life, has been indispensable to those going through these kinds of transitions from moves, to downsizing, to helping with the paperwork (medical forms, bill payment, culling files, etc.) that there just isn’t time to do when you are focused on major unexpected and sometimes expected life events.

    Whether it’s divorce, a child leaving for college or being an adult parent in a care-giving situation learning how to be a respectful advocate, remember to reach out and get the help you need whether it is coaching, counseling, geriatric consulting or organizing and administrative. Don’t do it alone.

    Getting to the YOU without the GOO!

     

    Getting to the YOU_4_final
    I am so pleased to share my new website with you – and it wasn’t easy to get here!  In fact, creating a new website was a very different experience from what I imagined. I thought it would just be taking what was there and tweaking a few things, but it turned into a complete re-think of what I wanted to offer to you.

    I kept coming back to the fact that Getting to the YOU without the GOO! is more than just a catchy, fun phrase to make a point. It is what we are all going for whether we’re in a small stuck place or a big one, and whether our Goo is related to work or relationships or anything else.

    So, with this new website, I’m finding more ways to include you in the how of Getting to the YOU without the GOO! I know that we all get stuck sometimes and the stuff that gets us stuck is often quite hard to unglue. I believe that ungluing is the name of the game.

    Most often, it doesn’t take very long to get to the heart of the matter and to free the YOU! – and there are so many ways to get to that true expression of who you are. That is the part I love – helping you find the route to expressing your true nature in the way YOU want to express it.

    So take a minute and explore the website and find out more – and if you especially want to hear more about GOO and getting out of it, click here.

    Also, help me support you better by sharing the challenge you most want to tackle right now and how you like to receive support by filling out my super short survey. Your input is invaluable to me and you’ll be helping me create programs that are perfect for you!

    Let me know what you think and let’s be in touch,

    Liz

    Confidence and Pancakes

    Liz's Chocolate Chip Pancakes

    Liz’s Chocolate Chip Pancakes

    December 2013

    The other day I was making banana chocolate chip pancakes (see recipe below).

    I have begun making them quite frequently as they have become a favorite. The consistency of the batter is a bit different. The liquefied bananas make them a bit harder to flip and they take a bit longer to cook.

    I noticed that when I was feeling confident about the flip it worked seamlessly, and when I had a doubt, the pancake inevitably folded or fell on another. In short, it was a mess—sometimes I could fix it and sometimes it just turned into a ball of cooked goo. From a taste perspective, all was perfectly wonderful but … not as I had planned.

    So I did an experiment. Prior to each flip, I chose to be confident or concerned. Each time I chose to be confident the flip was perfect. Each time I allowed doubt into the equation there was something that wasn’t quite right. It became a game with fascinating conclusions.

    Let’s think about the things we do in our lives that are affected by a similar thought process. How often do we begin a task—simple or complex—with a preconceived notion of doubt or concern? How often do we begin a task or performance or project with total surety? What would happen if we left the worry out? Whether we believed it or not, we proceeded with utter and complete confidence? What if we fully acted as if we felt completely sure of ourselves? Would the complex become simple?

    I believe we can choose. Start with something simple like flipping a pancake or locking your bike. Basically, start with anything that you are not sure you can do with ease. Begin as simply as possible and do your own experiment. I know when I try to lock my bike at times I struggle with pulling the cord through etc. etc. Next time I will approach it with complete confidence and see what happens.

    There are so many ways to live our lives with more ease, reduce stress, feel happier, and be healthier. Let’s start with confidence and pancakes.

    Let’s build the muscle and see what happens. I would love to hear your adventures. Please post. Share with me at info@yourinspiredchoices.com or on Facebook.

    With confidence,

    Liz

    Recipe: Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

    2 cups unbleached white flour
    1 cup whole wheat flour
    ¼ cup unrefined sugar (can use less)
    1 tsp of baking powder
    1 cup of milk (amount to preferred consistency)
    1 egg (optional)
    3 ripe bananas – Place bananas in blender or Vitamix with a small amount of water and blend to a fluid but not watery consistency
    1 tablespoon of oil – if desired
    1 or 2 pat(s) of butter for the pan or griddle

    Mix ingredients in the order listed.*

    Pour some batter into a one-cup measuring cup and add mini chocolate chips. You must add chips based on the amount of chocolate you prefer in the pancakes.

    *It is not advisable to add the chocolate chips to the entire mixture. This recipe makes enough to save and use again within the next couple of days. If saving is not desired to reduce proportions.

    Let the butter melt in the pan- when bubbling- mix the batter with chips and spoon out to create the pancakes. Heat till bubbles appear and flip with confidence.

    Happy eating!

    Nannies and Cellphones — The Unexpected Mirror

    nanny-on-phoneMy heart is touched everyday when I see babies and toddlers in strollers being pushed by what appear to be well-meaning, good-hearted nannies and sometimes moms or dads. Their heads are pointed down at a screen. They are walking past interesting animals, trees people buildings but the only conversation is with the person on the other end of the phone or on the screen.

    We are all tempted moment by moment to see who emailed; look at the text; play the game; check the news. Even our young children are looking at screens a good bit of the time.

    Babies are learning every second but they may not be learning from us, or the people we hire to be our surrogates while we are at work or are unable to be with our children for periods of time.

    There is a special bond that every child needs that has to do with eye contact, touch, hearing the sound of their caregivers’ voice in conversation with them. Being engaged by a consistent caregiver is one of the fundamental ways that babies and young children form an attachment, learn how to be relational, and understand the pauses and responses in conversational language.

    Language development begins at birth. We name colors, shapes, moods, foods, etc., etc. When we are out in the world with our babies, toddlers, and young children, they are seeing everything with fresh eyes.  When we choose to see with them we have the exciting opportunity to see things anew as well. Relating to our children about what is around helps them to identify what we collectively see and know; helps us become relational beings; creates joy in seeing and knowing. When we take the human connection out of the learning we lose relationship and connection.

    Language development has its roots in eye contact and communication of facial features as well as sounds and words. Literacy and creative thinking all stem from the connection of the voice, word, and image. Talking with babies about the bird singing in the tree or the car stopping at the light gives them information. Seeing how the world is relational helps creative and logical thinking.

    It is not just about babies. We as a society are at risk for the loss of a fundamental element of communication and interaction. We send the quick email rather than pick up the phone; we IM instead of having a face to face conversation. We carry on long conversations without the sound of a voice, facial interaction, or recognition of real-time facial expression. Thank goodness for Skype!

    Don’t get me wrong … I love my technology! … but I also love our babies, our future,  and our relational selves. A little face to face goes a long way.