As I have coached and served as a prayer chaplain over the years, I have heard repeatedly from clients and friends that they don’t have time to take care of themselves. They are too busy helping others, and when they are done with all their obligations, they are too tired to do anything other than fall into bed at the end of the day.
I’ve been running into this very issue over the last several months, so I decided to make a list of things I NEED to do in my daily journal, and stick to the list – just for me. Now, my list may not be just the thing for you, but you may find a few things here that speak to you:
- Journal spend some time every day for a full out “brain dump”
- Saying NO learn how to say this little, but powerful, word.
- Take care of your body: get as close to 8 hours as you can, eat well, drink plenty of good water (ionized water is great), and spend at least 15 minutes each day in deep breathing exercises
- MOVE walk, run, play with the kids/grandkids, ride a bike, dance. Whatever gives you pleasure for an hour a day.
- Spend some time alone each day; just stop and take a break. It is amazing how peaceful the silence can be, and it is a perfect time to commune with Spirit. Set the timer if you need to control the amount of time. Just rest, read a chapter in your book, sit on the porch and listen to the birds, but give yourself a break
- Put yourself first. REALLY. This is not being selfish. It is being extremely generous to those around you. Putting yourself last will take you away from your loved ones much too early.
- Relax, Play and spend some time being Creative.
- Let go. Stop worrying. If you can’t do anything about it, let it go.
- Gratitude. Look around and count your blessings. And, if you have been successful at letting go, you will find them everywhere you look.
- Create connections. Spend quality time with your friends and family (not just helping, or doing for them). The more you reach out in love, the more family and friends (who become family) will be there for you.
Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, located in Lincoln, NE, and Phoenix, AZ, is an artist, personal growth and spiritual coach, writer, and workshop facilitator. She is also a Usui Reiki Master. You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative Transitions, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.
Can Personal Growth Be Distinguished From Spiritual Growth?
Every day I experience an opportunity to grow both personally and spiritually. Since I began consciously and mindfully studying and working on my own personal growth, I recognized that it also helped me to grow spiritually.
I still find that it is difficult for me to speak publicly about this to a great extent because so many people, including me, link me with the corporate world where I lived for over 30 years, and these types of conversations are not encouraged. And, I must confess, I still struggle with a deep-seated need to not want people to ridicule me for my beliefs.
I recently sat through an uncomfortable conversation with a friend I admire, and love, as I talked about my experience with Reiki at a charity walk a few weeks ago. My dear friend is a strong Born Again Christian, and while she will listen as I talk, she gets a pained expression on her face. I know it isn’t personal, because she still is my friend. And, I don’t know what thoughts are going through her head, so I am mindful to not make any assumptions. Mostly, however, I must consciously not change my beliefs, and who I am, because of fear that I might be judged lacking.
This summer, I have dedicated myself to living fearlessly. I have intentionally turned up the volume in a variety of areas in my life. In doing so, I have grown tremendously, and I recognize that personal growth and spiritual growth are one and the same.
What does it mean to live fearlessly? For me, it means paying attention to discomfort – this generally means I am resisting a thought or idea: my Monkey Mind is playing games with my head because I am in fear, or a core value is being stepped on and I need to address it (which wraps right back to Monkey Mind and fear). Being mindful of the situations and thoughts that cause discomfort, and working through them to either let it go or take action has been the focus for me over the last five months. These situations can range from
- Answering the call to create the art that I laid aside over 35 years ago when my children were born, and I recognized that there were others who were better than I was.
- Telling new coaching clients that personal growth is also spiritual growth and that is how I approach my coaching practice. And being okay if they decide they need a different coach, happily giving them a list of names.
- It encompasses learning how to tell my sweet spouse that I love him in ways he understands, and give him the space to be who he is rather than who I want him to be. All the while setting boundaries for when who he is, and the behavior that engenders, gets in the way of who I am and my values. For example: Angry outbursts aimed at other drivers while driving down the street when I am in the car.
- Standing up in my church on Sunday morning to give the lesson during morning service.
- Addressing my feelings about my granddaughter being half way across the world, and not being able to see her as often as I would like. And, being grateful for technology that allows us to “Facetime” with her and her parents on a weekly basis.
- Deciding to build a house that will cause us to stretch a bit, in retirement, especially when our country is in turmoil.
Finally, it’s about knowing that I am taking tentative first steps to rebranding my coaching practice from a personal growth and leadership practice to a spiritual growth practice. It’s about letting people know about what I learn daily, and not letting others tell me what I should be doing or how to do it. I don’t think I will totally walk away from leadership coaching – because I believe that without character, and a strong set of core values, you can be a leader, but you may not be one who develops great teams and encourages those around you to be great in their own right.
For me, personal growth and spiritual growth cannot be distinguished one from the other. And, both require me to live my life courageously. I am living in to my goal of eliminating the walls around my box; in fact, I think I will work on getting rid of the box completely.
If this is something you might be interested in, I would love to hear from you. Tell me what you are interested in. Ask me your questions. Share your thoughts.
How are you taking steps to live fearlessly? Let’s share.
Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, and Phoenix, AZ, is a personal growth and leadership coach, spiritual director, writer, and workshop facilitator. She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner. Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life. You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative Transitions, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.
It has been quite a while since I last sent out a newsletter; five months to be exact. Life has been happening all around me, and I am finding myself in transition.
Not only have I not sent out newsletters, I have not written many blogs. I have instead been concentrating on my home, my family, and I have spent a great deal of time resurrecting my art skills. In addition, my volunteer work has stepped up at church and in the community. I have also wrapped up my two year stint (as of the end of August) with Southeast Community College providing leadership skill training for faculty and staff.
So, you ask – “What transition? It sounds like you still have a full plate!” This is true, but the serving portions and what feeds me is different than over the last several years.
*The coaching clients coming to me are coming for very different reasons than they were before, and I am paying careful attention to what is happening there.
*In addition, I am volunteer coaching every week at Grounds for Growth for those who are looking for support in that area.
*The time I am taking to practice my art has created a significant improvement in what I am able to accomplish. I am also finding I would rather draw and paint than almost anything else. I can lose myself in the creative process, working almost solely out of my right brain. It is a wonderful experience after a career living in the logical, left side of my brain.
*I have spent a great deal of time since April looking at the possibilities of each day as it unfolds, and choosing to not worry about the future. I have turned up the volume in my life and I’m actively participating and taking action rather than reading and teaching what I have learned.
Okay, you are thinking, but what is the transition? By turning up the volume, I am more successful in sharing what I have learned. People learn best by experiencing what it is you are here to share rather than reading about it.
The beauty of the transition is that I don’t know yet where I’m headed! I’m sitting here laughing even as I write this. I don’t know! And, it’s okay. But, I know that I have entered into the transitional process.
I am allowing myself to experience ‘endings’ without fear. I’m allowing myself to feel vulnerable, and a little out of control. This is not who I have been in the past. I have had an almost pathological need to be in control (one reason why I was as successful in my job as I was).
I am allowing grief, and sometimes anger, to flow through me at each ending, and I’ve taken the next step in my awareness practice to observe the emotion and the reasons for it, and let it go. I am choosing to live strongly in my top two strengths: 1) seeing the potential of what is in front of me, and 2) connectedness – a strong sense that everything happens for a reason.
Every day I ask myself several questions: 1) Who am I; 2) What is real about this experience, and what is based on my perceptions: 3) What is my life about in this moment, or today; and 4) What is my place in the world today. The answers to those questions change over time, especially when you are in the midst of transition (substitute the word “change” if you wish).
I am feeling a shift in my internal experiences. I know that my explorations of the written word have contributed to this. My dear friend and mentor coach, Jennifer Anderson, who taught me how to coach myself as well as others, continues to encourage me. I have a true circle of friends who don’t hesitate to call me on my shit, and love me unconditionally. And, I recognize that I co-create my life from wherever I am. It is like a dance: sometimes I lead, and sometimes I follow.
Right now, I am content. Life is fabulous. I will try to write more often – and I’ll keep you updated on where I’m headed – one right step at a time!