86,400 Seconds

Every second is a chance

Imagine there is a bank account that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day.  Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course?  Each of us has such a bank. It’s name is TIME.

Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.  Every night it writes off as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to a good purpose.  It carries over no balance. It allows no over draft.

Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day.  If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no drawing against “tomorrow.”

You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success!  ~ Excerpt from Marc Levy’s “If Only It Were True!”

What a “timely” reminder to value each second of each day.  Every second along with every breath is a miracle.  Life is too short.  Don’t wait to let the important people in your life know how much you love and appreciate them.  Spend more time with your friends and family.

Don’t delay doing things that are in reach today.  Why wait? Take action and make a plan to reach your goals and follow your dreams.  The hands of time are turning.

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If you need a motivating push towards overcoming your fears and creating positive changes in your life, schedule your free intro coaching call at freelifecoachingcall@jenniferbridge.com today!  To learn more, visit  http://www.readytochangelifecoaching.com

 

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What’s Holding You Back From Moving Forward?

Imagine being out in the wilderness on a beautiful spring day.  There is a stream flowing downhill filled with colorful fish, rocks and leaves.  The birds are singing and you can feel the sun shining on your face.  Ahhhhh!  You start to walk along the stream and follow a school of fish swimming by.  Up ahead, you notice some bark from a tree is blocking part of the stream.  Leaves and rocks are starting to form a barrier making it very difficult for the fish to pass through.  It seems as though there is not enough room for the fish to move forward and break on through to the other side.  Because of this “perceived” illusion, the fish start to give up.  Now what? (Can you relate?)

As a life coach, one of the common topics clients want to focus on is moving forward in their lives when something is holding them back.  Their goals, dreams and ideas are like the rocks and leaves in the stream.  The stream represents the flow of life events and experiences.  The tree bark  and leaves are the fears, mental blocks and false beliefs that appear to hold them back from moving forward.  With coaching, I help clients become aware of all the paths in the stream of their minds they might not have seen.  We discover ways to put a plan of actions in place to take action, grow and change.

What’s holding you back from moving forward?  Now is the perfect time to dive into the stream of change.

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If you need a motivating push towards overcoming your fears and creating positive changes in your life, schedule your free intro coaching call at freelifecoachingcall@jenniferbridge.com today!  To learn more, visit  http://www.readytochangelifecoaching.com

7 Steps to Forgiveness

by Mark Linden O Meara

Much has been written about forgiveness. Everywhere you turn people are saying you have to forgive, yet few people likely understand the process of true forgiving. For true healing, forgiveness is essential. The same holds true for the idea of compassion. Yet I have learned that going from anger straight to compassion does not bring about true forgiveness. It only creates a sense of pseudo forgiveness. Many people try to go from hurt or anger straight to compassion.  It most often fails unless they fully understand the deeper process. In most cases the shortcut backfires or they have only repressed their anger. While you maintain an air of forgiveness, you may find yourself easily triggered when speaking of the original event, or you find yourself reacting emotionally when the issue is raised. I have found that the following steps bring about lasting forgiveness when implemented and practiced on a daily basis. I’ve had many things to forgive, so I’ve had practice. I’ve noticed that it is easy to fall back into a trap of non-forgiveness and resentment unless you make it a daily habit to forgive. Why forgive? You forgive so that you can stop harming yourself through resentment and begin to move into a state of happiness and gratitude.

Stage 1- Admit You Are Angry!  Many of us will echo the thoughts “What? I’m not supposed to get angry! I’ve done all this healing work!” I’ve learned that it is harmful to get angry but it is more harmful to be angry and not admit it! The way to check if you are angry is to observe your inner dialogue about how you are relating to yourself and others. Are you finding yourself being negative, critical or frustrated? Do you find yourself being impatient with people and critical of how things are done? Are you constantly blaming others for your troubles, wishing that others would change? If so, then it is likely you are angry. Try to recognize what you are angry about. It may not be the little things, but something that happened months ago. Look back in time to what might have triggered your anger and where your expression has been blocked. Bitterness is anger with no outlet to be heard or feeling that you can not change anything. It is a form of helplessness. Try to discover what you are bitter about. Make a list of resentments. Don’t hold back or edit your thoughts. Being honest with yourself is the first step in healing anger.

Stage 2- Acknowledge the Loss and Consequences  In order to fully forgive, you need to look at the consequences of the event. By consequences, I do not mean just emotional pain. Look at the past and the present, and honestly note any changes. Were you physically injured? Were you emotionally hurt? Did you suffer financial loss? What other types of losses occurred? Was there harm to other relationships? To achieve lasting forgiveness it is important to acknowledge all the losses, otherwise forgiveness will have to be revisited. When listing the losses and consequences, try to look objectively at the incident without investing in the emotions around the losses at this time.

Stage 3 – Submit to a Feeling of Vulnerability The next stage in forgiveness is to open your self up to change and dissonance. You can not spread butter when it is hard and cold. Forgiveness does not come easily when your ideas, thoughts of revenge or justice are hardened. You must retreat and re-examine your approach. Just like a pound of butter, if you want to forgive and heal, you need to let your ideas thaw and be molded into a new perspective, combined with other ideas and views. You need to admit that to harbor anger and resentments violates the laws of kindness and compassion both for yourself and other people. You must realize that in not forgiving, you are now betraying the person at whom you are angry. This is not an easy step. It can be painful to realize that it is you who needs to change, and that it is you who has the poison of anger and resentment. It is easy to build up a wall of justification around your thoughts, actions and feelings regarding the harm done to you. In order to heal and forgive, you need to break through the wall and tear it down completely!  This stage of forgiveness also requires you look at whether there was any responsibility on your part. In some cases there was none, in some cases, you may have taken action which contributed to the decision. In this case, it may be hard for you to admit that you caused part of your own suffering as it is easier to blame others than to take any responsibility. This stage requires an honest, fearless, kind and moral inventory of your own actions and behavior. Sometimes you may not like what you find, but facing your shadow can be one of the most powerful healing experiences. See if you can find some common ground.

Stage 4 – Stop Punishing One of the common behaviors of people is to try to punish those who have harmed us. Most studies have shown that punishment rarely teaches anything other than to resent the person doing the punishing! Some of the ways you may punish are by withholding companionship, giving someone the silent treatment, or even giving compliments but then taking it back with an insult. You may try to go further with legal action, or you may try to damage things that the other person prizes. Another method of punishment is gossiping about the other person. In order to truly forgive, you need to give up the expectation that the other person will be punished. You can ask that the other person make amends for their harm, but if they refuse or are unable to make amends, then releasing them from the idea of punishment frees you from lingering resentment.  There is great wisdom in the following Buddhist teaching – “Should one person ignorantly do wrong, and another ignorantly becomes angry with him, who would be at fault? And who would be without fault?” It is far better to try to forgive, and reintegrate your friends back into community than to ostracize and alienate them through punishment. Try to practice compassion, work at developing a deeper understanding of how and why people behave. It seems that we prefer a simple explanation of things, yet you need to understand that human beings and the relationships between each other are complex. Understanding the ways of the world and the people in the world requires wisdom and self control. Use the opportunity to forgive as a means of growth!

Stage 5 – Identify Some Good in the Other Person This step, finding some good in the other person is probably the most crucial step in bringing about lasting forgiveness. It can also be the hardest depending on the severity of the event you are trying to forgive.  According to Francis Bacon, the key to forgiveness is in “not expecting the other to change, to give love, to be kind and develop the ability to see that in everyone else’s eyes and heart there is some good.” In forgiving, you try not to think of yourself as being good and the other person bad. You can find it easier to forgive if you can understand that the other person has difficulties too, or was harmed in the past. If you do not practice this step, then forgiveness will be futile because it will be done with a sense of contempt for the other person. If you can not find good in the other person, then at least pray for them. A wonderful technique for developing your vision of good in another is to imagine a seed of goodness in their heart, and in prayer imagine that both you and God are watering it to make it grow stronger. Better yet is to image that each person already has this great flower of goodness in them already. Admit that it has been obscured from your view because of your anger, resentment and justifications. Learn to look for the good. At first, like developing any skill, it is challenging. You will become better at it with practice!

Stage 6 – Develop Genuine Neutrality  Hopefully in the process of forgiveness you will come to resolve any negative emotions and thoughts about yourself and the other person or organization. To do so requires that you do not expect or demand any payment or restitution after forgiveness. You must assume that there is no debt owed to you. Mother Theresa once said “it is between God and myself, it was never between me and them anyway.” This must be practiced daily. It is easy to slip into anger and resentment if you do not cultivate a practice of neutrality. Depending on the severity of the event, you may choose to not have any further contact with the person, but if you meet them by chance, you want to have a sense of neutrality and a sense of calmness instead of avoidance.

Stage 7 – Stay in the Present “Bury the hatchet” is a phrase you may have heard many times. There is wisdom to this phrase if you understand its original meaning. The phrase comes from spiritual traditions of North American Indians who would put all weapons out of site while smoking a peace pipe. For your own forgiveness work, you must keep the original wound out of sight, or out of present mind. It is necessary to acknowledge what happened, to not forget it, but also not drag it up again as a fresh wound. Resurrecting the event and bringing it up again with the person who harmed you will cause you to feel the associated feelings again. Balance your memory of the event with your memory of the forgiveness work you have done. Practice loving those you don’t feel warmth towards.  All of your forgiveness work can be undone, and the resentment rekindled if you begin to dwell on the event again. If you begin to rerun your mind’s movie of the harm, then you may find yourself in an angry and hurt state again. It is the nature of your mind to ruminate, and therefore you must develop self-discipline and remind yourself that you have completed forgiveness work around this issue. Thank your mind for the intrusive thought, and send it off into the far reaches of the universe! Refuse to bring the past into the present again, as it will re-trigger you back into hurt and anger. Continually rise above the injury! Practice compassion and unconditional love towards all people!

Surrender

Don’t be attached to the outcome.
Continue with your efforts, and know that they are the right things for you to do at the moment, but surrender any attachment you have as to the outcome.
It’s the attachment to outcome, to things being a certain way, that brings us pain.
Peace comes with letting go, surrendering and acceptance.
It also makes us more open to learning from our experience, instead of resisting it.
~Michele J. Johnson

Is it the Problem or Perspective?

Author: Hiram Oconnor

More often than I care to admit, I bump into a problem that shakes the very core of my being and challenges the heart of my belief system. At such times, I feel the world closing in around me and a tendency toward desperation begins to raise its ugly head. My first impulse is to fight back, to attack the attacker, to react by either running from or toward the problem.

But I do not follow my first impulse any longer. I now stand back and look at the problem for a while. I observe it from different points of view, all the while realizing that I am not the problem but that the problem is just an indication of a small adjustment I have to make in my thinking.

No problem is bigger and more powerful than we are. We are all children of the Infinite. The Universe is biased on our side. We have within us untapped strength and wisdom to deal with all challenges that come our way.

All problems have within them the seeds of their solution. We must learn to listen to the Silence, to hear the instructions from within and to follow the “still small voice.” Life whispers to us all the time. It tells us to go this way or that, to take this road or the other. When we are frightened by what appears to be major problems, we block the “still, small voice” from our consciousness and only hear the howling winds and the thunder of the storm.

Find a quiet spot in the middle of the turbulence. Go to a quiet place within your soul and stay there for a short while. Do not rant and rave at the problem. Just go to this spot and let your fears be calmed, even for a moment. Don’t listen to the call of the problem but, rather, listen for a few seconds to the song of your soul.

I often say that it’s not what’s happening around you that causes anxiety, but what you think about what’s happening around you. Remove your thoughts from the problem for a short while. Don’t try NOT to think about the problem. That doesn’t work. Just remove your focus from the problem and think of something else. With a little practice, it becomes second nature.

Know that you’re bigger and stronger than anything that seems to annoy you. Look away, for a short while, from your problem and know that its solution is coming to you. Trust the force that created you and placed you in this part of the universe. Trust the process that has sustained you until now. Let go of the problem. Remember that it is not the problem that’s holding on to you, but that it’s you who are holding on to it.

Let it go. Don’t be like the man who was frantically rowing away from shore while his boat was firmly tied to the dock. If you want to get to the other side of the problem, you must cut the rope that’s holding you to the dock.

Soon you’ll begin to see signs that you’re on your way to success. Don’t stop what you’re doing and look around all day for such signs. You WILL see them. Ideas will come to you. You’ll have strange urges to take action by calling someone, writing a letter, sending an email. This is the “still, small voice” speaking to you.

Your problems are not more powerful than you are. You have the key to success. It is your birthright. No one can ever take it away from you. Be still and know who you are. Be calm and feel the countless tides of the centuries running through your mind. Know that you’re unique and that there is not another human being on this earth that has the combination of talents and abilities you have. You are as valid as the sun and the stars.

As Commander Spock would say…”Live long and prosper.”

Life Beyond Cancer Program

Hearing the words “You have cancer” is a life changing moment that most of us never forget. First there is the initial shock, numbness, fear and range of emotions that take over. Most of our time is taken up by the tests, scans, surgeries, doctors appointments, calls to insurance companies, treatments, and more.  It all seems to happen so fast. For some of us, the day arrives when the results come back clean. “Your cancer is in remission.”

You are a cancer survivor. NOW What?

Life Beyond Cancer is a new chapter in your journey.  Your outlook on life has changed. You have been given another chance. Some cancer survivors feel confused and stuck.  Others feel empowered and eager to make changes and try new things.  Most of us are not sure how to move forward and live life beyond cancer.

As a cancer survivor, I understand first-hand what it is like to go through this journey. I’ve combined my cancer experience and life coaching skills to create the Life Beyond Cancer Program.

LIFE BEYOND CANCER COACHING PROGRAM – Group, Individual or Combo

This program is available for individuals, groups and as a combined program. It was created to help cancer survivors move forward to reach goals, follow dreams and discover what life beyond cancer really means. The Life Beyond Cancer Program is conducted through a series of coaching telephone calls, emails and coaching tools. You will find hope, strength, motivation and a safe space to share about where you are and where you want to be. Coaching will help you live life beyond cancer and get to where you want to be! If you are interested in learning more, please send an email to lifebeyondcancer@jenniferbridge.com.

Life Beyond Cancer GROUP Program
Cancer survivors understand one another. We can relate to the same feelings and emotions the cancer experience can bring up.  That’s why group coaching works! Group Coaching is conducted via teleconference calls between 5 – 10 people.  Each person in the group is sent a teleconference number and access code for the group coaching call in advance. There are three group coaching calls per month with various coaching tools and unlimited individual email. All calls are private and geared towards the combined goals and needs of the group. We are forming the next group NOW! Please send an email to lifebeyondcancer@jenniferbridge.com if you are interested in being a part of our group.

Life Beyond Cancer INDIVIDUAL Program
Some cancer survivors prefer individual coaching. Individual coaching is one-on-one.  It is conducted via telephone, with three coaching calls per month, various coaching tools and unlimited individual email. All calls are confidential and focus on the client’s agenda and needs.  Individual coaching works! Please send an email to lifebeyondcancer@jenniferbridge.com if you are interested in learning more about individual coaching and the Life Beyond Cancer Program.

Instructions for Life by The Dalai Lama

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three R’s: Respect for self, Respect for others and Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.
7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
20. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.