It’s Time To Take Back Our Power!

It’s been on my heart to discuss the sharp uptick in angst, anger, and dismay over the upcoming transition of power. It’s been a very difficult time for many as we watch in horror the things that have transpired since the election. Twitter fights, bullying, unnecessary aggression and devaluing of citizens lives, as legislators rush to dismantle cornerstones of our democracy and leave the public hanging high and dry… people they were elected (and paid very well) to protect and serve. It’s scarcity mentality at the utmost level.

Personally, I’ve had difficulty dealing with it as well – I cycle between anger, frustration, and sheer disbelief – along with what I have coined “Election Induced Tourrete Syndrome” – the compulsion to yell and curse in response to news commentators and public figures. Anyone else?

But I’m here today with good news.

WE CAN TAKE BACK OUR POWER. WE MUST. This moment in American history is like none other, and we cannot afford to stand back and take it.

  • If you’ve been wringing your hands, worrying and shut down, it’s time to shake it off and get into action.
  • If you’ve been waging wars on Facebook and Twitter, it’s time to turn that energy towards those in power and hold them accountable.

WE THE PEOPLE are in charge of this democracy. We own it. And we MUST step up to the plate. There have been other regimes around the world where tyrants have taken over, and people have survived. Resistances have formed. People find a way to thrive and stand for each other. It is no longer appropriate to sit back and wait for THEM to fix things. We are the leaders the worlds been waiting for. Each of us. It’s time to get to work.

What you can do:

  1. Like a good friend says, “Get local”. Volunteer for a cause you believe in. Get involved in local politics. Heck – run for office yourself! You have no idea the power that you possess. Be a part of the solution.
  2. Use your voice. Lobby your elected officials (at all levels) for the changes you stand for. Defend policies that are under attack. Be vigilant. Be fearless. There are many great organizations that stand for “the people” where you can amplify your voice – such as Common Cause, ACLU, People for the American Way, Color of Change, NAACP, Planned Parenthood and many others. Get involved. You don’t have to have all the answers.
  3. Take care of yourself, your family and your community. Life goes on. Enjoy life and embrace the people around you. Pray, feed your spiritual life and connect with like-minded people. Count your blessings and do what you can in the spaces you occupy.
  4. Be the change. Start something new. If you see a problem, find new ways to fix it. Step up in leadership. Use your gifts and talents to inject positivity and creativity into the world.

AND REMEMBER….

If it’s to be, it’s UP TO ME. 
The people, united, can never be defeated!

NOW is the time to step up to the challenge before us. WE CAN DO THIS. WE MUST. Future generations are depending on us. We can’t let them down.

Source: https://justdoyouinstitute.wordpress.com/

That Time Of Year...

It's that time of year again...are we preparing for festivities, parties, gift-buying, wrapping, and giving, sending out cards, going to parties, or preparing for our Savior to reside in our hearts? How do you best spend this time? What feels the best for you? It is often said it is a time to "WAKE-UP!" and get ready, feel alive, and put into action the feeling of peace, joy, love, and giving! How can we do less, to feel more? Does this make sense? Do less to feel more? When we are so busy and consumed with all the holiday happenings, we tend to feel stressed, tired, crabby, and maybe even numb. Doing less and saying no to all the hustle and bustle can actually allow us to feel more, or at least feel what we want to feel-joyful, charitable, kinder, and calmer. How do you choose to feel this holiday season?

By: Gina Sannasardo

This is not the Mother’s Day essay I intended to write

This is not the Mother’s Day essay I intended to write.  

This essay is about me. It’s about how I learned forty-year-old woman can act like petulant toddlers – and their Moms will still love them.  This is the absolute uncensored truth on all levels.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom, (aka Grandma Macaroni). I love you.

I bicker with my Mom.

I roll my eyes at my Mom.

I am exasperated with my Mom when she buys my child expensive birthday / Christmas / Easter / no reason other than she wanted to presents.

She ‘just wants to’ frequently, so I’m frequently exasperated.

I am frustrated with my Mom when she morphs into a short order cook and meets my child’s utterly random requests for ‘melty cheese’ or ‘macaroni and peas’ or ‘the good crackers.’  I am most especially frustrated because I have no earthly clue which crackers are the ‘good’ crackers. This is their little game, and if I’m honest, I’m a little jealous.

I am irritated with my Mom when she brushes me off and gives my child another cookie. Extra cookies happen often, so yes, you guessed it – I am irritated often.

This past week I sat with my coffee and my laptop, morning after morning, trying to summon the great American Mother’s Day essay. Concentrating and meditating and deleting, as the words just never seemed right, never seemed enough.

I was searching for words of love and wonder. But, those words packed themselves up for a holiday without notice, leaving me dry. In a final, desperate bid to summon words, any useful words, I flipped back through old journals.  Surely reading my words, written in my hand would unstick the spigot – it had to, I had deadlines and time waits for no writer.

So I sat reading my journals. Leafing recklessly though pages that contained lists of what I was grateful to have in my life, plans for the future, recollections and hopes and joys. I was flipping back and forth a bit recklessly when I slammed into the wall of fear and pain. Stung by the scrawl I didn’t recognize as my own, I read the entries full of fear I wrote last winter.  I noted how my letters were bigger, loopier, rushed and raw. I wanted to turn the pages and run from my words, but I was stuck there by the stinging, searing, memories. For three months I was gripped by a variety of fears as my mom, who I can’t recall even having the flu was desperately sick.  Some unknown bizarre infection was wreaking havoc in every sense of the word - and I was powerless.  I was frantic, powerless and lost. I closed my eyes and willed the images away, but still I remembered the phone calls to and from my brother and father. I remembered keeping the phone ringer at full volume so I wouldn’t miss a call or text. I couldn’t miss a call or text.

I was submerged by the memories of the vows I made that began ‘If my mom is ok.”

If my Mom is ok I’ll let her buy my child whatever she wants to.

If my Mom is ok I’ll never be snide when she asks me to call to say I got home ok.

If my Mom is ok I’ll never complain that she lets the baby watch TV.

If my Mom is ok I’ll never roll my eyes when she questions my parenting.

If my Mom is ok I’ll never chastise her for undermining my parental authority.

If my Mom is ok… If my Mom is ok… If my Mom is ok…

Had I fulfilled any of those vows? Any? Even for a short time?

Didn’t I just question why she bought another American Girl outfit? Wasn’t it last month I pleaded with her to keep the Easter baskets reasonable this year? I allowed the first cookie so why, I recalled asking, did she have to push it to two cookies? And for the love of life could someone tell me which crackers are the ‘good crackers’ so I know which brand to buy?

Stunned the clock brought me back. Another day’s office hours resulted in nothing productive and know the toddler needed to be picked up.  I put the old journals back, splashed water on my face and hit the Starbucks between my front door and school pickup line. Yes, I had made coffee that morning, but it grew cold and sour while I tripped on my memories. Not much in life is worse than cold coffee or broken vows, besides I needed the familiarity of the drive thru to steady me. I needed the caffeine to snap me back.

It was raining so we couldn’t play on the schoolyard slide.  As my toddler waved good-bye to classmates, I noticed the quivering lip, the sad forlorn brown eyes and sensed my window to restore calm was closing – quickly.  I knelt to explain we’d play another day, steeling myself in case this mission went south with the reminder: this kid saves the tantrums for me because I’m the safe harbor. I’m the person it is safe to screech at, stamp feet at and glare at while yelling, “I’m so frustrated.”

I get to deal with the tantrums because I’m Mom.

My love is sure and absolute.

My love is constant and relentless.

That absolute, relentless love despite anything this kid throws at me is the love that Moms talk about when we say we’d do anything for our kids. Anything to see them happy, see them safe, see them spared of pain or robbed of joy.  Maybe those moments when being the Mom is tough are really gifts; I get to prove that fierce love over and over and over… and Please Lord over and over and over and over for a long time to come.

Standing in the cold spring rain I realized I didn’t really break those vows. I was just testing the limits of a more mature Mother / Daughter bond. Giving her the gift of loving her child over and over and over and over and Thank You Sweet Lord over and over and over again.

My Mom’s love is without question and therefore, can tolerate eye rolls, snide comments and exasperated sighs. I looked deep into those big brown eyes and said, “Hey, you want to call Grandma?”

“Good crackers?” the small voice asked?

I replied “Sure, Mommy promises to ask Grandma were to get the good crackers.”


Jennifer Bellber is a Certified Professional Life Coach & Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. She's a wife, mother of a toddler, sometimes blogger, photographer for fun and charitable causes, slow runner and weight lifting enthusiast who reduced her physical self by 120 pounds a few years ago. 

Jennifer's passion is helping overwhelmed parents figure out who they want to be when their kids grow up, ditch the Mommy Guilt (or Daddy Guilt as the case may be) and live a connected, empowered, wickedly amazing sexy life of their own design.

To learn more about Jennifer, visit: www.jenniferbellber.com

Source: www.jenniferbellber.com

My Word for 2016

As a society we seem to have turned away from New Year’s resolutions and turned toward a single word to sum up our intentions for the clean slate of a new year. A Word which could and would bring us back to center in moments of uncertainty, moments when a decision mandates we consider the bigger picture of our why and how.

As I embraced the search for my own why and how I paused to take a look deep inside, to see what was important to me. Really, I was searching for a word that summed up my goals and aspirations – but what are they? Some aspirations like prioritizing my marriage, regaining a higher level of fitness and shedding the final forty pounds of baby weight have been with me for a while. Other goals like ignoring comparisons to other mothers are newer, but no less compelling. These goals required a word that was action oriented and contemplative.  A word that wouldn’t shrink under the sheer volume and momentum of a mompreneur’s to do list.

I’m not entirely sure if I found my word or my word found me. Either way it is concise, compact and oddly liberating.

My word for 2016 is Me.

That’s Me with a deliberately capitalized M – the Me of my higher, enlightened Self.

What does Me mean? It means a year of radical self-love and radical self-care, which ensures I show up as the best version of Me possible.

Me: connecting deliberately with my husband. Sharing my joy, my strength, my passion and my compassion.

Me: connecting consciously with my child.  Focusing when we are together kicking the ‘must multitask’ monkey mind to the curb and reveling in the joy of raising a competent, independent thinker.

Me: shrugging off unsolicited advice and comparisons. I’m the Wife, Mother and Woman I’m meant to be. I am enough as I am and I chose to grow stronger and more fearless each day.

Me: eating healthy foods 85-90% of the time. Me and My Family are worth the time and cost associated with proper, healthy meals, nutritious foods and luscious desserts. Oh and drinking more water because I’m worth the potty break time-outs.

Me: Running. Lifting. Coming back to my badass self who could once out lift every other chick in the gym.

Me: Splurging on new running shoes, seamless socks and a weekly yoga class.

Me: growing into my professional role. Working during office hours with clients and on programs that bring passion, purpose and empowerment.

Me: caring about those who care about me. Friendship is built on trust, loyalty and laughter.

Me: laughing long and loud with those friends I value who force me to level up my game.

That’s Me for 2016. What’s your word?


Jennifer Bellber is a Certified Professional Life Coach & Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. She's a wife, mother of a toddler, sometimes blogger, photographer for fun and charitable causes, slow runner and weight lifting enthusiast who reduced her physical self by 120 pounds a few years ago. 

Jennifer's passion is helping overwhelmed parents figure out who they want to be when their kids grow up, ditch the Mommy Guilt (or Daddy Guilt as the case may be) and live a connected, empowered, wickedly amazing sexy life of their own design.

To learn more about Jennifer, visit: www.jenniferbellber.com

Source: www.jenniferbellber.com

My Visions Of Christmas Spirit Dancing In My Head

Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about asks our friend Charlie Brown.  So in the spirit of Christmas, I am not going to write about advice or what my view of relationships are but instead focus on what's upon us..the spirit of Christmas.  The magic of the holidays are in the air and it brings people together like nothing else we know.  Enemies become friends after a few drinks at the company party or around the Festivus Pole.  Grinch's hearts will grow three sizes when embraced by the power of giving this time of year.  What about the magic of mistletoe that allows all of us to feel a little giddy, get a little lucky and steal a kiss from someone that you never thought possible.  Now that's my idea of Christmas Stollen! Speaking of, if you are thinking of passing that off as a holiday treat, I WILL report your bread stolen because you should be arrested!

For most of us, it brings back memories of childhoods past, making gigantic lists, helping bake cookies and watching the timeless classics on TV.  Schools would be decorated with the red and green rings we made with dull scissors that bruised our fingers, fragile (it must be Italian!) paper and minty paste.  

Maybe you went to a neighbor's house like I did and made trimmings of popcorn and cranberry for your tree with thread and a needle that you stabbed yourself with repeatedly.  Or maybe you went to the mall to get a picture taken on the Big Man's lap and whisper a last minute gift in his ear.  He asks, “How about a nice football?”.  And your response is, “No! No! I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!”.  All together now...YOU'LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT KID!  

One of my fondest memories was waiting outside on a cold night for Santa to come around on the firetruck.  I could hear the music and see the lights flashing from blocks away.  

My heart raced with anticipation and filled up with such joy and excitement as he pulled onto my street.  To see him wave to me and have his helpers give out candy canes as my dad handed them a bottle of holiday “spirits” will be something that will always bring me back to what being a kid at Christmas was all about.  Appropriately enough as I write this, I'm listening to the only song that truly puts me in the holiday mood, Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town by Bruce Springsteen.  It gives me the chills every time I hear the bells shaking, Bruce talking to the band and Clarence and then saying “Everybody out there been good or what? That's not many, you guys are in trouble out here.”.  The power of that song makes me happier than you can imagine at Christmas time.  What else would you expect from a Jersey boy?

Most importantly, let us not forget this time of year is not about gift giving but more about appreciating your fellow man, not taking for granted what you have and giving back in any way, no matter how small it might be.  Every gesture done in good faith this time of year is magnified tenfold because there are so many who won't have an opportunity to experience what a real Christmas should feel like.  

Therefore, take a moment to be thankful for your health, your family and your friends who support you year round.  In doing so, it just may inspire you to do something great and show others what the Christmas spirit truly means to you!


Sean Michael Kehoe is a certified personal trainer of ten years who owns and operates Transformations By Sean Michael, a fitness and wellness solutions training company.  Certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, he holds certifications as a Personal Trainer, Weight Loss Specialist and Golf Fitness Specialist.  

Source: http://www.transformedbysean.com/

Remember The Caregivers!

(Editor’s Note: Gina & Russ – fellow coaches and friends in New Jersey – have different cancer experiences and collaborated on this blog for the benefit of you and those around you.)

GINA:

Sometimes we are so caught up in our recovery that we forget about the needs of others. It wasn’t until almost a year after my first surgery for a double mastectomy that I became aware of what my husband was going through in terms of my cancer diagnosis. I was so involved in taking an active role in my recovery (not to say that this is not a positive action) and the well-being of my children that it didn’t even dawn on me what my husband was going through in the process and I don’t even think he thought about himself either since his primary focus was caring for me.   So this one day about a year after my surgeries and treatment we were having a discussion and he described to me how difficult it was for him not to worry about recurrence of my cancer and it opened up a door to a conversation about the emotions of what he had been feeling all throughout the year long experience we had been through.

I was actually devastated at the thought that I hadn’t even been focusing on what he was going through internally. Caregivers, while they are carrying their own burden can sometimes get lost in the journey. We have to be consciously aware of the emotions that they are going through in the process as well and this is why it is so important for caregivers to feed themselves while caring for their loves ones and for us as survivors, even though we are carrying our own load, to recognize the pain of what our caregivers are experiencing and to simply say: “Thank you” for remaining by our side.

When we look back it’s all so simple, all we have to do is have a conversation, speak up, express our feelings and ask for what we need and what the other person needs in return even if we are afraid to do so.

It’s all about fluid conversations and getting past our fears so that we can remain united and healthy in facing our journey together.

So today, I ask that you tell your caregiver how much their love and support has meant to you on your journey and to ask them what they are experiencing and feeling so that you can give back to them in return.

RUSS:

Gina makes such excellent points.  I so admire her for her strength and insight (and of course her friendship).  Luckily for me, I haven’t been diagnosed with cancer.  My Mom has though – Stage Zero Breast Cancer this Summer.  I can say now that it has had a happy ending.  She’s finished with her radiation and doesn’t need chemo.  Thank goodness.  We’re all very grateful. 

Overall, my experience as a caregiver was positive, because of the support of those around me.  I needed them just like my Mom needed me.  Somewhat early on in her process of dealing with the cancer, I asked if it was alright with her if I posted about it on my Facebook, and luckily for me, she said “please do whatever it takes to get the support you want and need”.  Because of the work I do as an Entrepreneur and Coach, my use of social media is rather frequent and I talk a lot about what’s going on in my life personally and professionally.  For that period where I was coming to terms with what may happen and what was happening, but hadn’t mentioned it broadly, I felt as if I wasn’t living an authentic life.  For me, talking about it publicly was needed.  Much-needed actually.  Once I announced it, the floodgates opened with love and support that still hasn’t stopped 3.5 months later.  It energizes me, and my Mom, who very much appreciates the kind words from people she’s met and many she’s never met.

This may resonate with you, or you may have a very different style.  Whatever you need is your decision, and I’d bet that the people around you will support you in however you want to be treated. 

Here’s my message for everyone reading this:  If you’re a patient, carve out just a little time for the caregivers in your life.  If you’re a caregiver, take time for your own self-care.  Think about what you need and then don’t be shy in telling others.  Lastly, if you know a caregiver, ask them what they need and how you can best support them.

Good luck on your journey!

Love,

Gina & Russ


Gina Costa-Goldfarb is a breast cancer survivor and Certified Professional Coach. She helps women diagnosed with breast cancer cope, step by step, with the emotional and physical challenges they experience, so they gain confidence and feel in control of their life again. For more on her, go to www.newbeginningswithgina.com.


Russ Terry is a Gratitude guru who’s helping to make the world a happier and more grateful place.  Earlier this year, he published his first book:  My Gratitude Journal:  365 days of the people & things I’m grateful for and the lessons you can learn from them.  He has two more books on Gratitude due out in 2015. For more on him, go to www.russterrylifecoach.com.

A Heartfelt Thanks To My Mum

To the one who gave me a Beautiful #gift called #LIFE – My Mother!!

My GRATITUDE list is endless, but here are a few reasons that make her special. I'd like to extend a heartfelt THANKS to my mum for:

  1. Making that choice of putting my happiness and well-being ahead of her own.
  2. Teaching me the hard lessons to do the right things.
  3. Making me strong and confident and to become independent in life.
  4. Being there always as a strong pillar of support.
  5. Being strong in my weak times
  6. Walking my path with me and not leave my side.
  7. Being my VALENTINE this year and every year – You showed me the real meaning of “LOVE”
  8. FORGIVING me again and again and again for every mistake I made in my life.
  9. ACCEPTING me the way I am with my flaws.
  10. LOVING me UNCONDITIONALLY in this selfish world.

Thank you Mom for everything!! I wish to make you proud someday and to also see you “Happy”.


Kusha Kalra is a passionate Facilitator and High Impact Presentation Designer. Friends and colleagues know her for the positivity and magnificent vibrancy that she exhibits in her training sessions. The innovations and creativity have left a lasting impression on the audiences.

Kusha is certified coach from International Coach Academy and is keen on helping people in their pursuit of happiness. To learn more, visit: www.happylives.in

Source: www.happylives.in

How Do You Overcome Being Hurt By Others?

This came out of a conversation I had with my 10 year old. I asked her what she thinks about when someone hurts her and her response was 'I wonder why they hate me'. Of course, I recognized the teachable moment immediately! Here are some nuggets from our conversation...

1. Remember everyone does the best they can in a given moment. We're all human. We don't always make the best decisions. What you may think is a bad decision may seem right to someone else. Try to be understanding and see things from their perspective and do your best not to judge. We'll never know what someone elses intentions are or why they do certain things because we've never walked in their shoes. If you find yourself judging others, don't judge yourself! Notice the thought and let it go. Just being aware of it and making a conscious decision not to judge, minimizes your chance of slipping into that behavior. What I like to do is notice the thought, let it go and then bless that person and send them positive thoughts/energy.

2. Every person and encounter happens for a reason. Ask yourself, what can you learn from this, even though it hurts. What may be the reason that this happened. How can I do better or help others as I learn from this?

3. How important is this in the grand scheme of things? Often when we get hurt by people, it feels like that's all we can focus on but when we take a minute to reflect, it's often not something that's going to have a big impact in the long term (unless we let it). We can choose to reframe it and learn from it so we can let go of the hurt and pain.

4. Forgiveness. This is a tough one. Sometimes people consistently hurt us and others, and we don't understand it. What we need to remember is hurt people, hurt people. Try to have compassion for others. It's also important to recognize when a relationship is toxic and it's best to cut ties rather than constantly forgiving and ending up in the same cycle (that's another discussion, for another time).

5. Being vulnerable. If the relationship is important to you, talk to the person about how their words or behavior makes you feel (not about what they're doing wrong). They may not even be aware of it. A great deal of healing takes place when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. This is also how we strengthen relationships and build trust.

6. Don’t take it personally. Easier said than done, I know. Often when someone hurts us, it's a reaction they choose to have, whether the intention is good or bad. We have a choice in how we interpret it and how we let it affect us. Remember, holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. We can either choose to let these moments shape us or break us. What will you choose?

If this is an area you struggle with, I would love to speak with you to see how I can help. You can book a FREE strategy session with me by using this link: http://www.bookedin.net/life-and-leadership-coaching-for-women

Have an amazing, blessed day!


Sharissa is a life and leadership coach for women, specializing in the areas of career transition and advancement as well as work/life balance. She is a speaker, writer, radio talk show host, co-owner of Stop.Smile.Breathe. Women's Retreats, and serves on the Board of Directors of a non-profit organization called Empowering Women as Leaders.

She has held leadership positions in the technology field at Fortune 500 companies, the federal government and multinational companies, among others, for over 12 years. She enjoyed coaching and mentoring throughout her career and decided to start a business based on her passion for helping women.

The mission of her business is to help women live a well-balanced life of purpose, joy and fulfillment where they’re thriving and not just surviving.

www.sharissasebastian.com         

info@sharissasebastian.com

 

Source: www.sharissasebastian.com

All I Want Is My Child To Be "Happy"!

Since the time my child came into my life, it has been a roller coaster ride. The journey of five years is locked in my heart for the rest of my life to cherish. A few things which he has taught me every year are:

1.) The First Year - Love, Hugs and Warmth. The touch of their little hands and feet, the chuckles and the nibbles. The sleepless nights and the days of smiles and play. The musical toys, the ringing bells, all this and more. I learnt to be happy and smile even when life gave me a hundred reasons to cry.

2.) The Second Year - The incomplete words, the sound of mama and the big feet wanting to climb every chair and table. The urge to move around, the teething pains, the rolling on the ground. The smiles glowing brighter and brighter day by day. Everyday bringing with it new accomplishments. Crawling, kneeling, standing, falling and not giving up and trying again is a lifetime learning for anything that we want to achieve.

3.) The Third Year - You can smile and cry at the same time. Yes! Kids have a wonderful way of doing this. One second they are crying, and the other moment you hear giggles in your ears. Watching these magical moments have been overwhelming. The energy levels at its peak have shown how the mind controls the body. And once the mind decides then nothing can overpower it.

4.) The Fourth Year - Be Fearless and Curious. The power of imagination, of questioning, of learning new things every time, all the time. A creative adult is a child survived in it. Always think childlike and you will break all boundaries in the galaxy of thoughts.

5.) The Fifth Year - Time to build the foundation. Foundation of values, discipline, character, attitude, self-image, self esteem, self-worthiness. A testing time for the parents as the child is learning more from your actions than your words. Watch what you do rather than what you say. Appreciate, Encourage, Empathize with them for this will help them get roots of responsibility and wings of independence. Responsibility to take decisions, make choices, OWN Choices. Independence to make them feel empowered enough and know how to think rather than what to think.

Many more moments to be created, to be smiled, to be enjoyed as it is our responsibility to develop in our children -- confidence to stand on their own, courage to dream big and fight for it and a sense of gratitude for LIFE which is to be lived Happily!!


Kusha Kalra is a passionate Facilitator and High Impact Presentation Designer. Friends and colleagues know her for the positivity and magnificent vibrancy that she exhibits in her training sessions. The innovations and creativity have left a lasting impression on the audiences.

Kusha is certified coach from International Coach Academy and is keen on helping people in their pursuit of happiness. To learn more, visit: www.happylives.in

Source: www.happylives.in