Archive for Live your best Life

24 Apr 2013

Is Text Messaging Ruining Your Life?

No Comments Life Coaching, Live your best Life, Relationships

I have lost count of how many clients I have had that had full blown conflict in their lives because of text messaging. Technology is an amazing accomplishment that has made our world smaller and smaller because of how we can stay connected. Ironically, it is also one of the leading causes of disconnection, miscommunication, and most of all, hurt feelings.

Here are my top six rules for text messaging. Follow them and cut down on the drama in your life.

Rule  #1 – Use text messaging to inform. Texts are meant to be short and sweet relays of information. “I am waiting outside”, “I’ll be 15 minutes late.” Be conscious of what you are sharing in texts. If you are trying to relay important information that actually has meaning in your life, a text is not the way to adequately do it.

Rule #2 – Remember, texting isn’t really communicating. How many times have you been sucked into a long drawn out texting conversation? If you are exchanging more than 10 texts to inform someone of what’s up – stop. Pick up the phone. I laugh when people say, “…and we spent all night texting.” If that is your basis for knowing someone, I urge you to dig a little deeper.

Rule #3 – Resist the urge. If you are upset or angry, do not text. This is the same rule as don’t hit send on your email when you are fuming. Do you really think you are going to get a resolution to your issue from a text? Are your feelings so worthless that you are going to use little characters on a screen relay them for you? Resist the urge to send that text. Stop, breathe, dial a number, or make a date to talk face to face. Be a grown up.  Grown ups understand self-regulation. Resist the urge to send that text.

Rule #4 – Clarify. In face to face conversations we use tone of voice accompanied by facial expressions to aid in delivering the meaning of the words we are speaking. While texting, neither of these are there. All we see is words. Someone might send you a text that would be funny when told in person, but without the tone of voice or facial expressions comes across as hurtful. When receiving a text, don’t jump to conclusions – clarify what the person meant before making assumptions. Assumptions get us into trouble. When sending a text, make sure that it will deliver a clear message so that it isn’t misinterpreted. Click here to read “Instead of Fueling the Flames.”

Rule #5 – Use technology for good. Do use texts to relay love messages. Make a conscious choice to turn texting into a tool to keep you connected by sending messages of love and appreciation for the people in your life. Like anything in life, you can actively choose to make it work for you. Go ahead and drop love bombs on people. Love is a powerful thing, and a little can go a long way. Choose to make texting work for you, choose to make it good.

Rule #6 – Respect your relationships. If you are so attached to your device that you are interrupting conversations with real people to talk to other people, you are not respecting your relationships. If you break bad news, relay hurt feelings, or drop bombs in text messages are you being respectful or are you a drama junkie? The instantaneous sharing of information is very seductive. Drop the drama and choose to deploy Rule #5 and use it for good.

Decide to stop using convenience of the messenger and pay attention to what you are really using your device for. Choose to do the work of real communication rather than falling down the slippery slope of living in a hand held world. It is great to reach out and say hello. Choose to keep it simple and drop the bad habits that inevitably bite back.

01 Feb 2013

My Oprah Moment

1 Comment Empowerment, Live your best Life

George S. and Oprah

I scratched Oprah off my bucket list the day before my 40th birthday last week in Vancouver.  It was spectacular and I thought oh so fitting for me to spend the last day of my 30s with the fabulous Lady O.  Even though there were 16,000 people there, I couldn’t help but feel like she was talking to just me the whole time!

Everyone keeps asking me what did she say!?  What was it about!?  That is completely impossible to answer, because there was so much!  Much of it was familiar because really Oprah has been talking about the same things her whole career.  Most of the time I sat there bobbing my head in agreement, “yes, that’s right, Oprah, you are so right about that“.

The messages, as familiar as they were, also had a new sense of power behind them.  I will be clear, I was over the moon excited to be seeing her live, so it all seemed amazing, but really there was a power and presence there that was palpable.  First off, the energy of the crowd was so unique.  It was awe inspiring, (and awfully funny!) to be in a giant arena with 14,000+ women.  There were men, but they were far far out numbered.  Not just any women either.  The room was full of the kind of women that will spend $200+ a ticket because they want to get inspired, enlightened, centered, or learn.  Believe me, that in itself was awe inspiring. (The bathroom line ups created quite the look of awe too).

The atmosphere was not the one of major hype, clapping, and hysteria like scenes from the TV shows, but a very calm, relaxed, soak it all in vibe.  Oprah literally had everyone hanging on her every word for the two hours she was on the stage.  She was completely natural, no big production going on around her, just a wicked sense of humour about many things, including Canada.  More humble than passionate, she wowed me with her ability to just talk.  No notes, no teleprompters, just her talking about life as she sees it, and what she has learned to be true ~ we are all what we believe we are.  Period.

For me it was a very life affirming experience.  It gave me a boost to stick to my path.  It reminded me to get quiet and listen to my true inner voice.  The one that speaks in whispers, the one that Oprah has helped to shape. She made me laugh when she spoke with my other media hero George Strombolopolis who took to the stage at the end for some Q&A time with her.  She said, “I raised most of you people in here!”  She told George she decided 25 years of her show was enough when the second generation of kids started writing her.  ‘Mom’s cooking supper with the Oprah show on’, is an experience that so many my age have had.

Thanks for coming for my birthday Oprah, it was an unforgettable way to embrace turning 40, and a gift to hear from you, that I am okay, I got this.

Life affirmed.

14 Dec 2012

Beating the Bah Humbug

No Comments Christmas, Live your best Life

happiness“I Hate Christmas.” my client lamented.  What don’t you like about it I asked? And then he started with his laundry list of reasons why Christmas sucks.  He misses his departed mom and it will bring up guilt around the way they spent their last Christmas together.  He sites that as the reason why he hates it when his wife tries so hard to perfect his mother’s shortbread recipe, and then ridicules herself and goes on about it for weeks when the cookies don’t turn out.  He hates how he has to go to his in-laws and watch his brother-in law don another dorky sweater and dramatically pass out gifts to the kids even though everyone there knows he can’t afford it.  He had a big list of reasons why he hates Christmas.  What about you? Do you have a similar list?

Last year at Christmas I encouraged you to purge your Christmas angst by sitting yourself down and making a list of all the reasons you hate Christmas.  If you didn’t do that, go back and read last year’s article I HATE CHRISTMAS.  The point of doing this exercise is to help you shift your perspective. Instead of the lens that Christmas is something to endure or get through, the deeper work is considering what it could be.  Instead of resisting Christmas, work on reminding yourself of this simple truth, it comes around every year.  Consider how many more years you potentially have to live, and that is how many more Christmas’s you have coming your way.  Do you really want to feel this December misery for that many more years to come? Are you willing to work on shifting your Christmas attitude to what you WANT it to be?

Like my client, you have some things that are not going to change anytime soon.  My client will never again have Christmas with his mom, nor is he going to be rid of his brother in-law.  But, like anything in life, Christmas is what you make of it. Whether you are surrounded by so much family you can only dream of getting away from them all, or are dreading another Christmas morning alone, everyone shares some of the hurdles of the season. It’s how we handle them that’s important.

Do you work on living your best life this time of year?  Take a moment to picture your perfect Christmas and then work on emulating that new ideal.  Don’t let Christmas’s of the past get in the way of the many magical moments you can still create with the people you care about.

My friend Natalie passed along this letter she found on-line.  Full credit due to the author of this wonderful way to look at the nature of Santa and how to deal with older children that are coming into the knowing that something is up with this whole crazy story.

Even though this is written as a thought to share with children, how could you apply these same principals to your Christmas this year?

Dear ______________,

You asked a very good question: “Are you Santa?”

I know you’ve wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I’ve had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.

The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.

I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)

I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.

This won’t make you Santa, though.

Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.

It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.

Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.

With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.

So, no. I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.

I love you and I always will.

My greatest hope for everyone is that they release the things that keep them from having the love, magic, hope and happiness that is there for all of us throughout the year.  This year my wish for you is that you focus on what you can have this Christmas, and allow with love, the past to be the past, and the present to be a gift.

01 Nov 2012

Instead of fueling the flames…

No Comments Free Life Coaching Tips, Live your best Life

instead of fueling the flames...Over and over I have people talk to me about how they are just going to tell someone how they feel, or how it really happened, or their side of the story.  How often have you gone into a situation thinking you are going to change someone’s mind? How often does it actually happen?  When you find yourself ranting about the next thing you need to set right, stop.  Breathe.  Now ask, ‘what then?’.

Believing that sending that email, marching into that office, or setting the record straight with that speech you’ve prepared will accomplish something, is setting an expectation that is unlikely to get met. Often when people make a move like those listed above it is because something has gone wrong, and the natural knee jerk reaction is to fix it.  Totally normal, but also filled with the potential to be create more damage.  Instead of fueling the flames of this common form of miscommunication, stop yourself and consider the following…

1.  What then?
If you take the natural knee jerk reaction do you think you will actually get the result you are looking for?  If you are expecting things like an apology, or a retraction you are probably setting yourself up for disappointment.  The truth is, you do not have the ability to change someone else’s thinking.  So if you often find yourself thinking… ‘I AM going to change their mind’, stop. You probably won’t.

2. What do you actually want?
Here’s where things get interesting.  When your automatic response is to fix whatever went ‘wrong’, what you are really wanting is to protect yourself – your image, your identity.  Think about this, ask yourself what you really want.  I am willing to bet it is something along the lines of wanting to be understood.  You want that person to understand your pain, hurt, shame, guilt whatever it is that has got you so fired up.

3. Are you going to get what you actually want?
This is the kicker.  Are you seriously going to get what you want from confronting the situation?  If you can answer yes, proceed. With caution. However I strongly encourage you to think about the reality of the situation and the likelihood of the desired outcome. Are you really going to change your father-in-law’s mind, make your boss understand, or have your teenager apologize and mean it?

Letting go of the idea that you have the power to change someone’s mind is a very liberating shift.  It means you no longer have to storm around setting everyone straight.  It is not your responsibility to change everyone’s mind when something doesn’t go well. When you make this shift in perspective you will suddenly find yourself free to focus on what really matters and what you really want out of your relationships.

I have helped many of my clients break their ‘gotta fix it’ habit. The peace they feel as a result, is an incredibly rewarding change.

Coach Yourself:
Instead of using the same old approach to challenging situations, stop and ask yourself the questions above.  Consider how you can get what you really want by listening and asking questions vs. assuming and lecturing. Your goal should be to create clarity and understanding.

The rule to remember here: Ask, don’t tell.

18 Oct 2012

In my next life, I’m going to be a Rock Star!

No Comments Fearless Living, JCI - Junior Chamber International, Live your best Life

This blog is from Beth. Just Beth.

Most of my blogs are from my Life Coach Beth voice.  I love to share tangible tips on how to live your best life.  I urge you to use powerful questions that get to the heart of whatever keeps you from letting your light shine.  I want you to be your best self and believe that everyone has something unique and amazing to contribute.  I believe for you, until you can believe it for yourself.  Writing my blogs has been a digging deep experience.  It is my one year anniversary of blogging.  Thanks for checking me out!  Your feedback and responses have been amazing.

Today as I sit to write, what’s really on my mind is the trip that I took a few weeks ago. It was to the JCI National Convention in Kimberly, and there I had the opportunity to remember the truth of who I am, and that truth is this…

In my next life, I’m going to be a Rock Star!

Far and wide, I would have to say that I am pretty much known as ‘Party Beth’.  I like to party!  And I am good at it!  I will admit, it can get pretty ridiculous at times, but the truth is my favourite place to be is party ring master.  I can sustain pretty heavy doses of toxic overload, and can survive on little sleep.  I have a very good tolerance, and although that is not the best way to treat my body, the truth is, if I could pick, I would rather die partying than any other way. I have had so many ‘Rock Star’ experiences in my life that I figure I must be in ‘training’ for my next magnificent life; the one where I am an actual Rock Star.

The thing is, I can also party completely sober and derive the same amount of JOY from it.  Because it’s the joy that is my goal!  I seek happiness, laughter, levity, companionship, friendship and joy, and I cannot think of a greater good then the pursuit of joy. At a wedding once, a fellow joy seeker came dancing up to me and yelled, “Look! How decadent, we are dancing!”.  I thought that was the best line I had ever heard.  How decadent indeed to fill yourself so full of the good stuff that you are actually dancing.

So, what brings you JOY? Partying and dancing do it for me, but many people don’t need or want to stand on tables and dance to experience joy; people roll in many different ways.  One of my greatest hopes is that everyone comes to realize and embrace the ‘Rock Star’ experiences that feed their soul, whatever they may be.

I had a completely JOY filled week at JCI Canada National Convention in Kimberly. I had several ‘Rock Star’ moments and experienced real JOY.  As usual I walked away wondering why JCI Canada does not have thousands and thousands of members like they do in Japan.  It is simply the best organization for 19-39 year olds in the world.  Check it out.

Here are some of my joy filled moments with some really great friends…

In our condo getting ready for Bavarian Theme night.

At the Gala Dinner last night of the Convention.

The three flights of stairs to get to the Condo where the JCI Okanagan crew stayed, were a big topic of conversation!