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,

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pity Parties Are No Fun

I don't understand how people wallow in self pity. I have tried, especially over the last couple of weeks just to see what others get out of it. As I lay on my bed crying in my pillow, I say to myself, "How is this helping me?" I cannot lay in one place having a pity party when there are things that need to be done. I don't know what I can say to help you move when you are feeling this way. But I do know that nothing gets done when you are wallowing. There are moves that need to be made.

I often listen to the Miley Cyrus song, "The Climb" this song makes connections between mountains (problems) and uphill battles clear. The point is to enjoy where you are in the moment. You may not win all of your battles or climb all of your mountains, but you have to try. I understand that there are things that are always going to come up and take you off course, but you have to keep going. Even if there is no light at the end of the tunnel that you can see, you have to keep going. There is no light where you are, and you won't find it if you stay there. You have to keep moving. And you have to enjoy every moment of your struggle. These moments in your struggle help you appreciate what you aquire when you get to the top of your mountain.

The pity party time is over. Get up and start walking. Walk to your dream. If you don't have one get one. You can't live life and not want anything. You must find your inspiration and go towards it. What will get you there? What steps must you take in order to fulfil your dream? Set goals for yourself and move towards them. You won't get what you want if you stay where you are. It is time to remove yourself from your comfort zone and push up. There is no where else to go.

This helps you grow. Growth is a part of life. You can count on mountains in your way. They come from everywhere, family, friends, co-workers, life in general. There are a lot of mountains being handed out right now in the form of pink slips around every corner in almost every profession. Everyone is suffering now, but we can not let that stop us. We need to keep moving. If we lose faith now then what do we have to look forward to?

There is a silver lining in every cloud. Even if you can't see it, there is something good involved in what you are going through. It is up to you to make sure that you pull through. No pity parties here. My energy will go into making my dreams come true. I will get closer to my goals. I will set new ones and climb my mountains as they come. Are you with me?

Below are the lyrics and song for "The Climb" if you have a moment listen to the song and the words.

Keep Going...
Amie Barr

Miley Cyrus - The Climb lyrics

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Faith, Belief, and Hope

We are all in a situation. Some of us cannot publicly disclose this situation due to company policies, personal issues, or some other reason. But I too am in a similar situation.

Faith, Belief, and Hope are strong words. We use them daily, but when we are actually in the face of losing our jobs, a divorce, losing a loved one, etc. It seems hard for us to actually put those words to use. We forget them, we forget what they mean. We forget how to use them correctly in our lives.

Faith, Belief, and Hope are words that belong together no matter your situation; no matter your status. I have heard millionaires use the words, and I have also heard people who live pay check to pay check use them. The thing about these words are that they are all powerful and we must remember what they mean in the face of adversity. When you wake one morning to find that you no longer have your job, what will you have Faith in?

Not only do I have Faith in myself; I have Faith in God. If you believe in another higher being, have Faith that they will lead you where you need to be. Sometimes it is easier to say that you have Faith than actually have it. It sounds good, "I have faith." But the fact of the matter is if you have Faith then you have to have it ALL the time, not just when it is convienient for you. Faith must lead you in good times and in bad. It is the bad times that make us put our Faith to the test.

The interesting thing about Belief is that it can change. For the longest time people believed that the Earth was flat. Until someone came along and said, "Hey, let me test that theory!" When theories are tested beliefs are changed. I like for my theories to be tested. I like to wake up in the morning and have a challenge so that I can put my Belief to the test. You can not be afraid to have your Belief put to the test. This test is anything that can cause you to question your Belief, but my Belief always wins these tests. I am not afraid to be tested because I know that my Belief will withstand the test of time. Will yours?

Hope. Hope is strongly tied into Faith and Belief. When you look them up in the dictionary, they are in each other's definitions. They are independent; yet they do not stand alone. I Hope as you read this, you understand the importance of the 3. I Hope that you believe another day will bring better outcomes. I Hope you have Faith in yourself and God. I Hope you have Faith, that this road you are on will lead you swiftly and smoothly to your next one.

We cannot know what tomorrow will bring. We must learn to use our power words and believe in them. I have not been wrong in believing in them yet. I will continue to have Faith and Hope and Believe with all my heart that the only thing to do as long as I live is Keep Going.

Below is an inspirational movie just to help you refocus on the positive. Enjoy!

Keep Going,
Amie Barr

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Creating Control

It amazes me that when it is time to write a new blog you constantly keep your eyes open for something to write about. Your antenna are always in the air listening to what somone says and hoping it will bring inspiration. There are so many hot topics to write about, but what do you say is the question. What can I say to inspire you to be the best person you can be? Today, I decide to write about control.

Control is one of those things that everyone has and depending on the situation you're in depends on how much (control) you have. I have been in situations where the control was all mine, and in others where the control is entirely up to the other person. When you work a job, who has all the control? At some point we have to stop being afraid and take control into our own hands. Life is about freedom. We went into two wars over freedom (American Revolutionary War, 1775–1783; Civil War, 1861-1865). We as America even fight for other people that we believe need to be free. Granted, there are rules we need to follow as human beings, but if we are living in the land of freedom where all dreams come true, why are we so afraid to dream?

Mexicans, Asians, Indians, and all nationalities flocked here in order to partake in our dream; not steal it from us. But somehow, we Americans have decided that it is no longer okay to dream and certainly not to follow them. I watch the news every morning and see how the CEO's of large corporations have taken billions of dollars in bonuses and we, the employees are mad, upset, hurt over this. Do not mistake me-I too am outraged. But what has stopped me from acheiving my dreams? Me. I am the reason I am where I am. I choose this life. You chose yours and now it is time to start dreaming again. The dream does not stop here. This is where I take control of my life and I push forward to the next level. At what point will you take control?

Now is the time, yes, in the ression, to take control. Everyday I wonder about my job security. Just as I am sure you do. And everyday I think what can I do to revamp myself and take control of my situation. We cannot let this ression control us, we must take control and show this ression who is boss. I will not let this beat me; you cannot let it beat you. Together we will get through this. We are stronger than this weak economy. Control is now ours. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking you are safe, you are never safe. Do not let your guard down, continue to keep your head up, and keep going.

Remember when I said control is ours, here is how: There were a few ideas that I have had concerning the "bad economy". The economy, as we know, will not stay bad forever.

Invest. Yes, I said invest. I have heard several "comfortable" people say that in an ecomomy like this you have to look at everything as if it were on sale. That is good, if you have money, but for regular people like us-it is not that simple. So, I say gather some of your closest friends, get one or two of them to do some research (see links below), pool some money together and invest in some stocks. We put money into these companies, we should get some back.This situation is only temparary. Stocks will only be "on sale" for a limited time. When you and your friends invest, keep the money there through the highs and lows, wait 3 years (or more if you want), you will be flooding my inbox with thank you emails.
A Few Companies and Prices (per share)
Krispy Kreme (KKD) 1.42
Time Warner Cable (TWX) 8.27
Wal Mart (WMT) 49.83
Disney (DIS) 17.67
Bank of America (BAC) 5.96

Marketing. There are several companies out there that require you to work for yourself...dosen't that sound like a dream? Take it from me, it is. Get your money together and invest in yourself. I have watched my parents build several companies from the ground up and do it well. My mother now is one of the top leaders in a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) company. Create your own destiny. I cannot stress that enough. I will be looking for my emails when you thank me for this one too!

There are several other things that you can do. These are just two of my ideas. You have to decide that you are going to take matters into your own hands. Take control. I promise you will thank me later.

Keep Going!!!
Amie Barr

Links to some financial information. This is information for stock prices, and some links on how to get started if you are interested.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Eating the Frog

I recently watched a video called "Eat that Frog" I must say when I first read the title I said, "Who the devil WANTS to eat a frog?" Then I watched the video. It changed my life. Literally. I never realized how much stuff I was putting off because I didn't want to eat my frog. It is simple, if you eat your frog then it is all downhill from there. There is nothing else worse than eating the frog. By the way, frog is a representation of a task.

The video is about doing what is important. I want you to watch the video, so I don't want to disclose too much. But everyday I ask myself "am I eating my frog" One particular day I wondered to myself if I was eating my frog or avoiding it. I was avoiding it, when I picked up my frog it was already eaten! After that day I realized how important it was to eat my frog everyday.

You have to learn to eat the frog. It is hard, but if everything was easy then how would we be able to push ourselves to do better? We all know we can be better, but sometimes we need reminding. Eating the frog is one way to remind yourself that you are doing what needs to be done. You have a task to do, you accomplish that task, and if that task is a frog you eat it! We cannot be afraid of our frogs. We come across frogs everyday we simply don't want to eat, that is not an option for people like us. People like us eat our frogs and move on to the next one.

We must focus on a goal and let nothing, locust, frogs, or flies stop us. You are strong and wise if you let something small like a frog determine how you will spend your day what will you do when the task really matters?

Please go to the link above and watch the video. I promise it will help you keep going!

Amie Barr

Monday, January 12, 2009

Get your Boxing Gloves

The only way we as human beings can measure our progress in life is how we deal with adversity. Adversity is described as a state of hardship or affliction; misfortune or, a calamitous event in the Webster dictionary. Basically the downs of life's ups and downs. Or some may call it a "bump in the road" the thing about adversity is that it defines a person. Some people will roll over and play dead others look adversity in the face and fight it. What I mean by how we measure ourselves is that when we roll over, we give up. We let the problems of life take a toll on us; we become bitter and weak. We never forgive others or ourselves when we let adversity win.

When we fight it we grow. We become stronger and we start to say what we can or cant do, and that is a big deal. If we get into adversity and get out of it when the next adverse situation arrives we say to ourselves, "Well, this isn't as bad as last time" or "I have done this before." We are always putting it to the test. I had a mentor say one time when you become uncomfortable you are growing. In dealing with adversity you have to be willing to grow and change. Adversity is making you stronger than you were before. You have to fight it. You have to work your way through it. You have to keep going.

The thing about adversity that makes some want to roll over an play dead is the fact that adversity is simply change in the making. Since people fear change they fear adversity. I will be the first to admit that adversity is no fun at all. Who in their right mind wants to be uncomfortable? We as humans strive on homeostasis, or balance. This unbalance can occur in several ways, it can be heartache, death, trauma, or even a bad diagnosis. When these things arrive at our doorstep, we have to answer the door, then go back in the house and get our boxing gloves.

You have to say to yourself, I will not let this beat me. I have done this before and I will do it again. You may get tired and you may become weary, but change is not always bad. Sometimes it is looking to the future and letting go of the past that will pull you through. Sometimes it is discovering that you are stronger than you thought you were, or that you have everything that that person shared with you to take you through life. Facing adversity will be hard, but look to your friends, hobbies, or family to help you through.

You will make it if you keep going,
Amie Barr, MA