Saturday, August 28, 2010

Suck that Bone!!!

I think it's amazing the way your life changes. One minute you're sitting at a crossroads, the next you are going down this winding bumpy road and you have no idea how you got there. You try to examine the choices you made to get you here and nothing-past or present-pointed at you being in the present situation you are in. Life's funny that way...

The really funny part is, there are some decisions that are made for you. You think you made a good one; a decision where you weighed the pros and cons, saw no "drama" in the direction you choose and low and behold...God is always at work. Springing suprises on you and not preparing you for them. He's constantly taking you on these journeys and adventures that you did not sign up for and you literally have to pray you make it out alive and unscathed. I rode a roller coaster called the Intimidator at Paramount's Carowinds Saturday and LORD HAVE MERCY THAT WAS ONE WILD RIDE!!!! I signed up for that adventure and prayed I would live, needless to say I didn't get back on the Intimidator, and the other roller coasters were less, shall we say...intimidating. And life is just like the Intimidator, up, down, round and round with you holding on for dear life and screaming your head off. Ironically, when things do become too much for us to handle we turn to the same person who put us in the untimely, unfortunate, and unhappy situation...God.

We pray and hope that he is out there listening to help guide us through our turmoil. Help us find the strength to fight another day. The words I speak are lessons learned from him. I usually try not to make my blogs too preachy, but it's my blog and sometimes we need a reminder that someone is here and watching us. Whether you believe in God or not, the lessons are still the same. Trust, faith, prayer, hope. The rules are still the same, be honest, loving, and have character.

This turmoil will pass. We just have to keep going. This long winding road may have a few bumps too, but we have to keep going. The Intimidator may have you throwing your hands in the air saying, "What did I do!?!" Find your support, gather your troops, friends, family, and those that care about you and ride the roller coaster together. I was so glad to have my Best Mate Nikki with me on that ride, because when we got off we could relate to what each other had gone through. That's why you need your troops. We got to look back at the scary, breath taking, nerve wrecking experience we just shared. Rebecca, one of my closest friends said, "No matter which bone we get handed, we gonna suck it til it's dry!" Translation-No matter how bad this experience is, we are going to deal with it. Sometimes situations suck! That's the truth, the winding road does not discriminate, so if it sucks..."SUCK THAT BONE!"

I can't say that whatever you are going through won't be hard. It's going to be hard, but we've got to perservere. These long roads are never easy. We're going to cry, shout, yell, be angry out of our minds, but one day the sun will come out. And you will be at another crossroad. You will be at the stop sign. You will look left...then look right...and make a choice.

Keep Going...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ghosts, Monsters, AND Zombies!?!

Wow! I feel like I have been away for quite a while! I guess in Blog Time, I have been. But I am back now and here is the first blog in almost three months! I have been really busy, but thinking of you all the time. Wondering what my next blog would be about. Writing drafts, but never publishing anything. I decided to publish this, because we all need to know how to let go of our pasts in order to move forward with our futures...

It simply amazes me how ghosts from your past will slowly creep into your present and future. As soon as you believe you have put those monsters behind you, you are walking along minding your own business. All of a sudden, you see a shadow, you turn around, and what do you know...It's the Zombie of Yesteryear! I can think of several of thoses instances. Some with me and others with friends. How do we put the past behind us and move on to our bright beautiful futures?

Remember why you made the choices you did. You must also remember when it comes to looking back on the choices: you made the decision you did based on the information you had at the time. You can't blame yourself for the decision, you just have to take it as a learining experience and move forward. Every choice you make has a consequence, and you may be living the result of that choice, but you ordered it; you eat it.
"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward." -C.S. Lewis

Never look back. A very good friend of mine has a husband who is fighting cancer. He has been for about a year now, and after the diagnosis, she has never looked back. I have never heard her say, "if this had not happened to us..." or "I remember when..." in reference to his cancer. She has taken the hand she has been dealt and handled it like Annie Duke. She has not complained or sulked. I admire the strength and confidence she has in her saga especially since she is going through this the second time. I'm not saying never looking back is easy, I'm just saying continue to move forward. When you drive a car you look forward, why wouldn't you when you are living your life?
“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”–Walt Disney

Embrace Change. The harder you resist the harder it seems to be. At least that's the way it seems. Just relax and enjoy the moment. Remember change is not always a bad thing. Change comes when you least expect it, and that's what makes it so wonderful. We're never bored with life, something new is always coming at us from any direction; so keep your eyes open! When we embrace change we are letting our inhibitions and fears go and just living in the moment, smelling the roses so to speak.
"Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure." -Oprah Winfrey

Trust Yourself. All in all you have to at least Believe you made the right choice. I know a lot of the time we have no idea what we're doing as we walk down this street called Life. We're just living by faith and hoping that the choices we make are right. In the end, that's all you can do. Believe in yourself and trust that you did what was best for you at the time. When the monsters start trying to come from under the bed, because you trust yourself, you will believe they have no reason to exist and therefore they won't. You can confidently say to your monster, "I trust I did the right thing, and you don't belong here."
"There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world; it’s the beginning of a new life." -Joseph Campbell

We cannot let our past dictacte our future. We have to learn how to let the problems of the past stay in the past. The past should only affect our decision making process. In other words we should learn from our mistakes.
"We find by losing. We hold fast by letting go. We become something new by ceasing to be something old." -Frederick Buechner

Keep Going...


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Recipe for Survival (Part III) Friendship

I hope this won't sound trite. But I figure since the Oscars just happened that I would have a great excuse to do this. It feels like I'm writing my acceptance speech. But it's my blog and I can write what I want, right? So in this blog I want to write about my friends. You have heard me mention my friends in all my other blogs, but I really want to stress in this blog how great they really are.

I feel that the people you surround yourself with are nothing less than reflections of who you really are. I would love to think I am as wonderful as my friends are. They are all unique, successful, wise, smart, and sexy to say the least. If I'm half of that, I'm doing pretty well! These friends also teach me things. I have learned many things about myself through the long nights on the phone, the girls nights, the dinner parties, you name it. We are a pretty roudy bunch when you get us all together and when we leave each other's company, we've left with something to think about.

It's amazing how some go through life and not see people like the ones I've picked up. I have learned throughout the years to keep my eyes peeled for people I think can help me accomplish my goals. I usually see a little of me in all my friends. And I'm sure you do too. If you look around and all your friends are negative, sour, angry, or just downright unpleasant; these are, or will become attributes of you. Be careful who you surround yourself with. This can be a major monkey wrench if you're trying to be successful. You need people who will lift you up and support you, not bring you down. And take note, that you must be there when they need you.

Being a good friend is just as important as having one. Friendships like all other relationships are give and take. Depending on the issue it may be your turn to either give or take. Beware the friends that only take; they can be draining! If that's the case create a little distance. Distance can sometimes be healthy for a relationship. If you are a good friend you know, because your friends tell you. I work to be a good friend, this is a relationship like all you encounter. And working is just part of the plan.

You need to have key people you can count on when things get tough. Your friends will help uplift you when bad times come. I've really got a great support system, because there are times I forget it's "bad times." Get your support system. Don't push people down and not help them because you feel threatened. Take the time to look into the unknown, and who knows what you may find. Surround yourself with people you want to be like.

Keep Going,


Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Whole Lot of Mambo Jumbo

It is really crazy how life works when you think about it. I know I look back all the time and wonder how I got to where I am in life. Your past experiences always determine your future decisions. I know sometimes I think to myself "Oh, no! Not doing that, that was a HUGE mistake!" That statement keeps me out of a lot of trouble. But what happens when I am facing something totally new? What do I do then? The thing is I am facing many things right now. And judging from the unofficial survey of my friends and from the line at the unemployment offices, we all are. The other side to that is, some of them are brand new situations to me. I feel like I'm in a tornado sometimes. And I know the feeling is mutual, you may want advice on what to do, but I can only share how I'm doing it.

First, I have prioritized everything in accordance to what can be dealt with first. I ask myself if there is anything I can do about the problem. If there is nothing I can do then I usually rank this one farther down on my "list." This is either until the problem becomes one I can deal with or I have figured out how to break it down into smaller parts and deal with it that way. Once the problems are in a chronological order doesn't mean you won't think about them or forget about them, just the opposite, with the exception that you understand that it is on the back burner.

Second, if it is a problem I can handle, I don't complain about it I go ahead and take the steps necessary to start solving the problem. Honestly, I usually dive in head first, because the faster I deal with the "easy" problem, the faster I can move on to the more serious things. I usually rank this problem higher up on my list, because the solution is there. This is also the circumstance where most of the time I know what I need to do, I just don't want to. I will admit this step is not always easy, but it is essential to start working in order to reach your solution. At this point I try to not focus on my other problems, they are still there, but I don't let them consume me. Instead focus on how to solve this problem. And honestly, sometimes it's more like when. But be sure not to procrastinate too long, because you need to move on. [The tornado feeling I mentioned earlier comes from that feeling of consumption. You don't want to go around feeling like that. So one thing at a time.]

Third, uncharted territory. These problems are last on my list because I have to do a lot of thinking about them. The thoughts usually start with denial of some sort, but whole time I'm in denial I am going through my mental Rolodex of friends or friends of friends whom I've met trying to figure out who can help me. And this is something I recommend you do. Friends are valuable resources when it comes to council and advice. At least mine are. So I use them! But, there is a difference between complaining and seeking council. Just FYI.

As you can see this step takes quite a bit of work and I would venture to say goes in phases which is why it is ranked last. This problem requires too much work to rank it high. There is sometimes research involved, Google, friends, prayer, doctors. And most of the time a lot of questions. This problem has so many angles and one wrong move could be detrimental. And since you know this from past experience this decision needs to be well thought out. This is the problem that usually oozes into your thoughts the most. It is the one on the back burner that keeps bubbling over the red, thick, sticky goo on the stove top. This one is the Big Mambo Jumbo. This one is the one that will bring you to your knees in prayer. Or bring you to tears. The good news about Mambo Jumbo is that she will go away. The bad news is Miss Mambo Jumbo could be indirectly related to another problem you may be having. And if you think about Mambo Jumbo you can find some link from her to the "original problem" you are having. In fact, Mambo Jumbo and Whopper are related. I know I am usually trying to patch these 2 along and along while I deal with other small issues that arise. This is Life after all the problems don't stop. But I count my blessings everyday. Everyday. And it goes without saying I pray without ceasing...this too shall pass.

No matter what the problem is, I always seem to win. I come out of it alive and stronger than ever. I gain a new experience to share to help someone else. Sometimes I don't even notice that I have picked myself back up and started back down the road until my feet are tired again. This time, my feet are tired. It's time for another fight. And I know I can do this, because I have done so many things. I'm a survivor.

Keep Going my friend,


I'm not sure if the word "disclaimer" is the one I would use, but there certainly needs to be a correction. I took a pretty good amount of heat off the last blog I wrote on depression from someone really close to me. In fact, I hurt her really bad and I publicly apologize. I am no medical doctor and I have never been to medical school, so I am from here forward staying away from medical advice when it comes in direct contact with a medical condition. I certainly hope that despite the incorrect usage of the word depression the point of the blog was not lost.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Recipe for Survival (Part II) Giving

I am writing this particular blog because it was requested from a friend of mine. After a little time and some careful thought, this is what I came up with. This blog deals with depression. After experiencing a little, I realized that many of you are going through the same thing. With the holidays here, I am sure it has not made it any better. So I thought "Since the Holidays don't make your problems go away, now is just as good a time as any to deal with the issue."

The last week of October was quite monumental for me. My grandfather died. I am fine and my family is fine. He'd been sick for a while, but it still hurt. It was the first time I had ever experienced the death of someone close to me as an adult. It really made me see how swiftly life passes. It made me realize how we wallow so hard in our own self pity that we forget about the world around us. There is so much going on and everything is moving so fast that we forget to slow down, take a moment, and help others in any way we can. We don't have a lot to give, but we should give what we have. Giving makes us open to receive gifts, and friends, and moments.

I realized every moment I spent with my grandfather was a special one. When he died I got a little down for a while. It made me understand some things:
  1. I knew it was a great time for a blog, it would help me deal with the emotions I was feeling.
  2. Others were feeling the same way, because it was during this time I got the text from my friend requesting I write a blog on depression.
  3. I could absolutely relate to how depressed people felt. The darkness was calling my name, I kid you not.

I knew I needed to deal with these feelings. I could have easily gone to a doctor and asked for a perscription, saying to myself and to him, "I need something to cope." However, that is not what I suggest you do. One suggestion is get involved. For me, I knew I had to volunteer later that week, I had people depending on me to help them. It also gave me something to look forward to. There is something in being needed that makes your endorphins flow. It literally makes you happier to be a part of something that is bigger than you. You learn a lot about yourself when you volunteer. It is knowing that you are there for something other than yourself. It is the changing of your perspective. It is giving. Medication just covers the symptoms, it does not deal with the problem. You must learn to deal with your problems. If you wouldn't pick up a liquor bottle everytime you felt you couldn't deal with the pains of life, why would you pop a pill?

I understand the need to take a mental break sometimes. I understand the fact that you cry and get upset; I do too. I want you to take this with you -you can't let these "issues" stop you in your tracks and cause you to sink. Have you ever seen an anchor hold down one of those cruise ships? You cannot let your problems become your anchor. Deal with your problems one at a time. You know the old addage, "Rome wasn't built in a day?" or "Don't bite off more than you can chew?" Prioritize and deal with the biggest issues first. Sometimes you may have to break those big problems up into bite-sized peices. Remember, people understand how you feel. Most people have been there and will help in any way they can. Once you start giving, people will give to you.

With the Holidays here, it is a perfect time to give. Give a waitress an extra good tip, or give a kid a basketball. Give free piano lessons, a shoulder to cry on, or clothes to good will. It dosen't matter what you give, and you don't need a reason and an excuse to give. It really warms my heart this time of year to see how wonderful people are and how freely they give. I just wish we would find an "excuse" all year long. That would be nice. You could start giving now and give a little something all year long and we could start the trend; a pay it forward type of thing. Get involved. Volunteer at a children's home, or homeless shelter. Life is not just about you. And I think the sooner we learn that as a country and as a human race, the better off we will be.

You have to get up. You can't stay there forever. Things will change when you change.

Keep Going,

Homework: Add 1 Cup of giving, by doing something nice for a stranger. (Pay it Forward)

Remember, there are places that offer assistance if you are in need of help.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Recipe for Survival

I usually come up with things to write by listening to my friends. They don't really know I'll take what they say and turn it into a blog, but most of the time you never really think what you tell them will become a story either. I have said this before, I just want to make sure you know, that when it is time to write another blog-everything becomes a topic!

I have been asked several times when I have handed out my business card, "What do you life coach about?" My answer has always been-and maybe stupidly, "Life." Is there another answer to give? I have always thought so, so I pondered one day, as I do most days, and thought "What is it that I life coach about?" I thought of my blog and the wonderful feedback I get usually through emails; I love the emails! I thought about what I say when people ask me for advice. My answer: I coach about survival! I coach you on how to get through the nitty gritty of every day.

Life is hard and sometimes you do need a shoulder to cry on or a friend to laugh with. Life needs a few coaches in order to make it better. You should surround yourself with people who will be your coaches. I surround myself with people who are fun, smart, and just plain old better than me so they can coach me. Who helps you? Who are you a coach to? You want to know a secret? I am just a regular girl. I just understand things and see things that most people don't see because of my perspective. We all have perspectives that are different. This is what makes you special enabling you to be a coach too. There is nothing so special about me that sets me apart from everyone else.

I have lost my job and wondered how I would pay a bill. I have struggled to pay rent and made some really bad mistakes. We are the same person. We have the same story. We should be there for each other. Share our perspectives on the world so we can get through this thing called life together! I heard one day that "big mistakes make great stories." Share your story! Don't let your stories make you bitter or stressed. I used to tell my students, "You have to learn to laugh at yourself." I don' t mean a little snicker either, I mean a gut wrenching, pig snorting, can't really breathe, LAUGH!

Surround your self with people who will help you laugh at yourself. I have been blessed with the best friends in the whole wide world. They are all just some really wonderful ladies who also fit in very well with each other. Not at day goes by that one of them isn't making me look at myself and laugh at the stupidness of a situation. And I in turn also return the favor! Laughter is just really such a wonderful tool that makes everything "OK" for just a moment. Don't be afraid to use your tool. Don't let life eat you up so bad that you forget to laugh. Laughter helps with life.

Homework! Add 2 cups of laughter by watching a funny movie and laugh!

Keep Going!


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Nike's got it...Just do it

I can always tell when blog time is coming because everything starts becoming a lesson. When I say everything, I mean everything. I heard a story about 2 weeks ago from my best friend. She and a neighbor were sitting around talking about how nice it would be to get all the kids in the neighborhood together, and how they should "do something." My friend Erin says, "Then let's do it!" And they proceeded to plan a neighborhood get together. Erin told me this to make the point that "we are do-ers."

We are do-ers; I have not stopped analyzing myself since then. Was I a do-er? I truly believe in order to help someone you have to go through it yourself. This is where my "inspiration" comes from. This is what I have come up with...I can think of many times I said 'I wanted to..." something. I wanted to move to Columbia several years before I actually did it. But I never did honestly for any reason I could come up with. I remember one particular time when I was sitting in a professor's office in college having a conversation about something I wanted to do, and I remember him saying so clearly, "Nike's got it, Just Do It." That is all I remember from the conversation that particular day, nothing else. I have used that quote several times since then.

Excuses arise so easily when its time for the rubber to meet the road. And all too often do we let them stop us from doing what we "wanted to." Only you know what you "wanted to" do. And only you know why you haven't. Sometimes we get so hung up on what we "wanted to" do that we actually forget to do it. At some point planning has to stop and action has to start. (That came from another friend!)

I want to tell you a story. I lived in Myrtle Beach, SC before moving to Columbia. My parents lived there, I went to Coastal Carolina University there, I had a life, a very good job as a teacher, a boyfriend, and not to mention a really nice apartment. Everything was going great, and I was happy. Then, as things go sometimes, you know-we get to a crossroads, or some type of turmoil. We are confused, scared, and ready to pull our hair out. We never know what to do when we get like this. (I want to give you a small clue to life, this is when you know change is coming. These moments, are precursors to change.) I had no "extra" money. I depleted my savings by taking a job closer to home that paid a lot less. I went to work one day and handed in my resignation. I did it. I made the decision to leave.

Some decisions are not easy, but you have to make them. If a decision needs to be made, why not be the one to make it? I hate hearing people say, "the ball is in his/her court." Why put your happiness/fate/life/decision, in someone else's hands? That statement is truly a cop out. You only make that statement because of fear. Fear of change.

If you stayed in a situation and nothing ever changed how would we know what was out there? I came here to Columbia pretty much on a whim and this has been my greatest adventure yet. I didn't have a job when I moved here. I had no idea how I was going to pay my rent, car payment, etc. But, I had to do it. Life needs a few whims. You have to be ready to initiate changes. You have to just do it. Stop saying you are going to do something and do it. I have never been happier in my life. And I would have never known what was out there for me if I had not jumped. Sometimes we just have to jump and excuses be damned.

Keep Going,