Tag Archives: choices

Lesson 2: Be Careful What You Say to God

Lesson 2: Be careful what you say to God

Lately, my life has been overwhelming, dissolving, renewing and reshaping – and above all, chock full of learning. This series of posts is all about sharing that learning with you, and in return, I hope you share your life learning with me. (click here to read the intro post)

The trip to Ethiopia was set; I was going.  I listened to the Spirit and followed the call.  I had no idea why I was going, or how God would use me.

I felt peaceful and open to learning. I wasn’t worried, or needing to control anything.  It felt like I had achieved a transcendence about it all – and was able to just sit in a place of faith.  I liked that space.  I soaked in it like a warm lavender-scented bath.

And then I said, “God, I just want to trust you.”

Um, wait. God, can I take that back?I meant I would trust God in Ethiopia.  I would trust that my path would unfold, and that I would be useful, I would learn, and I would be a light while I was there.

I had everything at home taken care of, thank you very much. My coaching business was coming together, I had a great place to live with my best friend, I was going back to school again to build my skills – I had everything mapped out and planned.

Right on my desktop calendar.

only in EthiopiaBut then when life at home started falling apart, I started to fall apart too.  I started to get overwhelmed at everything crumbling down around me. I tried to hold things together, make more plans, figure out more solutions. Why was all of this happening?

And then I realized – I had told God that I would trust, but I wasn’t trusting. Not with everything. Not with my future, my plans, my best friend.  I wanted to be the one in control of those pieces of my life.

Lesson 2: Be careful what I say to God

When I tell God that I want to just trust, to just listen and follow His lead, that means in everything.  I can’t just pick and choose what I will trust God with in my life.

When you tell God that you want to trust Him, be prepared.

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Struggling to Find Thankfulness

This time of year, especially in the States, we are flooded with reminders to be thankful and grateful for all that we have in our lives.

But sometimes life gets pretty tough, and it’s hard to find our thankfulness.  It’s hard to stay in touch with our gratitude when we are experiencing loss.  It’s hard to find joy in the midst of great tragedy.

So I just want to remind you today:
it’s OK to feel however you need and want to feel.

You don’t have to be grateful just because a holiday has come up. You don’t have to let go of what you are really feeling because of how you are “supposed to” be.

And maybe our feelings can be more than just either/or.  Maybe we will be able to find moments of laughter through heartache, or find joy in reliving old memories. And maybe we can even find a spark of gratitude in tiny moments, in little gestures of kindness.

Maybe we can feel it all.

And maybe, when we say it’s OK to feel exactly how we are feeling today, we will notice becoming grateful after all – for the little kindness shown to ourself.

However you are feeling today, give yourself permission to have and express those feelings.  I hope you are able to feel more than one way today, and I hope you know that you are never alone.

rejoicing in thankfulness

Setting Healthy Boundaries

Boundaries are an interesting topic – we love to talk about them, talk about when other people violate them, and sometimes even acknowledge that we have trouble setting them clearly. But many of us don’t really know methods for setting them effectively.

So we set boundaries awkwardly, aggressively, or not at all.

And then we get angry at, or critical of, ourselves or others for “violating boundaries” that weren’t well expressed in the first place.

setting boundaries can be difficult and awkward, but don't stop

What if we never learned where “I” end and “you” begin?

Maybe no one set healthy limits when we were growing up.  Maybe we didn’t have any effective role models, or maybe we didn’t have support or encouragement. Or maybe we had our boundaries completely violated without our consent.There can be many reasons why we didn’t develop them, but none of those reasons actually help us move forward.

And so we find ourselves unable to say no, unable to accept when good things are meant for us; we find ourselves feeling selfish whenever we think about self-care, or we find ourselves controlling and deciding the needs for others.

But it’s not too late. Because setting healthy boundaries is a skill. It’s a skill that can be learned and adjusted as needed. Our boundaries adapt depending on the situation, yet revolve around our central values.

Boundary work requires practice.  So how do we start? Maybe with these 3 As of healthy boundaries.

The 3 A’s of setting healthy boundaries

1. Awareness

The first step in any healing and learning process is becoming aware of where we currently are, and what we want to learn or heal.  In what situations are you allowing others to control you? In what situations are you trying to control (protect and rescue included!) others?  How does this impact your life?

2. Action

In order to make any changes in our lives, we have to take action. We can be aware of all kinds of things, but unless we take steps to heal and learn new skills, we will get stuck just living in the same routine.  What new steps can you take today to make changes?  And can you allow yourself to do these steps imperfectly as you practice and learn?

3. Acceptance

If you have trouble letting go or saying no, then you have to know that about yourself, and be gentle with yourself.  Learning a new skill isn’t easy – imagine you were going to start learning the piano today… would you be a master of it tomorrow?  Accept that this is an area of work in your life, and promise to be kind to yourself, and others as you practice.

You teach people how to treat you.

Teach them well.


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It’s Not Personal

To Sarah, it seemed like everyone woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning.  Her boss was snappy, giving orders to make some changes to a project without even a hello. Two of her coworkers greeted her “Good Morning” with a point to their earphones.Someone even gave her outfit for the day a scowling once-over. She knew it was going to be a rough day.

Frustrated Woman photo by John De BoerAnd it was. Bickering started with the person in the next cubicle – via email.  Someone decided they liked the looks of her sandwich, and it disappeared from the fridge. Then the cherry-on-top of this soul-sucking day was in a department meeting, when blame for a failed project (disguised as accountability) started getting tossed around the table like a hot potato.


So how does Sarah, this enlightened fictional woman, deal with this day?  How does she not absorb all of the swirling negativity, the anger, the tossed about attempts to create shame?

When the world is swirling around you in a negative way, it’s hard not to absorb it.  But you can, with one simple reminder.

It’s not about you.

None of these events need to be taken personally.  In this scenario above, none of these people are even thinking about Sarah, and in your life, they typically aren’t thinking of you either.  These people are thinking about themselves.

Lost in thought photo by Martin WallsPeople are scowling because of their own internal dialogue, their own feelings of low self-esteem, of dissatisfaction, of disappointment.  People disengage with the humans around them because of a drive for task achievement. People hurl blame out of their own fear of rejection, of conflict, or of insecurity.

It’s about them – the things they are going through, the experiences they are living and have lived.  It’s about how they feel about themselves at this very minute.  It’s about how their mother spoke to them last night on the phone.  It’s about how they messed up at home and fought with the kids. It’s about how they don’t feel peaceful, joyful, or filled with love.

It’s about their tough day, and it doesn’t have to be yours.

So how does Sarah make it through the day?

Awareness. She lets it all go.  She sees each person as trying to deal with their own path in this life, and she knows that it doesn’t have to color hers.  She takes a deep breath, exhales the negativity, imagines a bubble of light surrounding her, and she treats herself to a special lunch. She makes it through her day at work, and then surrounds herself with positivity – friends, family, online support, books, shows… connection – any chance she gets.

All the while remembering it’s about them. It’s not personal. It could be directed at anyone (it often is), and it says nothing about Sarah’s like-ability, her capabilities, or her worth.  She let’s them own their own behaviors; she lets them be responsible for their own way.

And that night in her prayers, she asks the Creator for these cranky, scared, insecure, imperfect people to be blessed as they each travel their own, very difficult, roads.

And she asks for a new chance to shine light tomorrow.

at sunset photo by sanja gjenero

Working Together

who knew togetherness was so cute?

What do you think about working with someone else on a project instead of just by yourself?

Some of you LOVE it – you find greater creativity, a divided workload to ease the burden, and loads of laughs you couldn’t have by yourself (without being looked at sideways).

And there are some of you who probably HATE it.  You end up doing all the work, people never understand what you mean, or everything takes twice as long to complete.Credit: Endless Origami

Isn’t it funny how working together can bring such diverse reactions?

When we struggle with working collaboratively, it’s often due to a lack of effective communication.

Such as…

  • Not knowing how to say no… so I end up doing the whole thing alone.
  • Not knowing how to get my opinions out without sounding bossy or condescending.
  • Not knowing that someone else’s differing opinion doesn’t mean that mine is “wrong.”

                   The cool thing is – it doesn’t have to be that way.

teamworkYou CAN retrain your communication skills.

You CAN learn ways to speak up for yourself without being bossy.

You CAN practice listening to different opinions without feeling attacked.

It’s all a matter of choice.
We first choose to learn,
then to find a teacher,
and continually to practice the skills.

You can do it – if you want to.

My Latest Project

We crack ourselves up!

I’m excited to share that I’m having a great time working together with Patricia Love, Life’s Cheerleader at her website – the Portal to a Positive Self Image.

Want a chuckle today? Watch our trailer videos on YouTube!

We run a new self-improvement class every month, encourage and provide coaching support for achieving goals and believing in yourself. The first 30 days are free – I would love to have you come join me.

Then WE could be working together!

Working together
gives us a chance
to make something good
into something great.

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So Many Rules!

You can't make me!Are you following the rules?

For some of you, that question brings up a feeling of panic:
Wait, am I?

For others, it inspires instant rebellion:
What are you going to do about it if I’m not?

Whoa! Hang on there…
I’m certainly not here to tell you ANY rules, I’m here to help you CLAIM the ones you choose as your own.

Here’s what I mean:

We get so caught up in our day to day life, that I think sometimes we forget that we are adults and that we have choices.  Some of our responsibilities can be so heavy that we feel like we have no choice… but we ALWAYS DO.

You could always choose to walk away. You could always choose to say no. You could even choose to give up. You always have the choice.

Sure, every choice has a consequence, and some of them feel dire. But the choices you make today, right now, even those that help you fit in and to follow rules given to you, those also have consequences.

So if you ever feel like grumbling because you are always being told what to do, or feel forced to make certain decisions, remember that you are choosing that path. You are choosing it because the consequences are the easiest to deal with, because you want to have other options in other areas of your life, or because you have let go of your personal power.  There are a myriad of reasons why we choose, even subconscious ones, but we are always choosing.

So let’s claim our choices!  We choose our circumstances. We choose our steps. We choose our path.

We choose our rules.

My choices, my rules.


Life is for living.
Don’t let rules in your life
take your personal power.
You are an adult.
You make a choice.
Every time.

~Be blessed! Christine

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