Clearing


January 6, 2019

“We are not in a position in which we have nothing to work with.  We already have capacities, talents, direction, missions, callings.” – Abraham Maslow

Happy New Year! I hope you and yours had a great Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah!  Now that the Holidays are behind us, we can pause, reflect and examine what lies ahead.

I don’t have to tell you that this year was, once again, one of the most tumultuous we have had in the USA and across the globe.  It was the best of times AND the worst of times, as people showed themselves to be amazingly generous and selfless toward their fellow citizens, amidst many natural disasters, man-made tragedies and global conflict.

With so much change and division still swirling around us, it is important to give yourself time to sit quietly and reflect on your own personal 2018 outcomes before you attempt to move into a fresh new year. Like mine, I am sure your year was a mixture of joy, heartbreak, challenge and triumph. By taking stock of what happened, you can discover important life lessons that you can carry into this new year to help you create it to be all that you want it to be.

In my 14+ years as a Personal Success Coach, I have been blessed to help over 750 individual clients reach their Big Goals, so I know what it will take to make your next year turn out even better than this one did. Creating your 2019 YOUR way requires a two-step process and now is the ideal time to begin:

 Step One: Complete the Old Year.  You can’t create something NEW in a space that is cluttered with old stuff. You have to truly be done with the old. So, if you want this next year to be more than just a replay of whatever you experienced last year, you must first complete your old year to make space for your new intentions.

The Reflections Exercise

A great completion process is simply to sit quietly and answer a series questions that make you think deeply about the outcomes of your past year – the good, the bad and the ugly. Answering them honestly will clarify your underlying beliefs, expectations, attitudes and actions that influenced the results you got.

This exercise is designed to help you look objectively at what you did (and didn’t) do that influenced what happened for you last year. Determining accurately what caused your past outcomes helps you to identify NEW ways of thinking and being that will cause you to take NEW actions.  Taking new actions will bring you new results, while continuing on “auto-pilot” inside of the same thought and behavior patterns pretty much guarantees that this year is going to bring you more of the same.

Here are 14 KEY questions to complete your 2018 and set you up for a more fulfilling and prosperous 2019. They will only help you IF you will take the time to actually answer them!  If you are thoughtful and truthful, it should take just 30-60 minutes to journal your answers. And, if this introspection sets you up for a new level of success and happiness in the coming year, isn’t it worth making such a small effort?

Part 1 – Questions to Complete the Old Year

  • What was your biggest accomplishment in 2018 and why?
  • What was your greatest disappointment?
  • What was the greatest lesson you learned?
  • Who did you make a difference for and how? (List as many as you can!)
  • What do you wish you hadn’t wasted your time and energy on?
  • What do you wish you had spent MORE time and effort on but didn’t?
  • What are you most thankful for regarding last year?

Part 2 – Questions for Creating Your New Year

  • What ONE WORD would you like to have as your theme in 2019?
  • What would you be most happy and fulfilled about accomplishing and why?
  • What skill would you most like to learn or master and why?
  • What are you most committed to changing/improving in your work?
  • What are you most committed to changing/improving about yourself?
  • What is ONE positive habit you are committed to instill this year? What is the first step you can take NOW to begin to instill it?
  • What brings you the most joy and how will you do/have more of that in 2019?

NEXT WEEK

We will do STEP TWO: Create Your Year Your Way. I will share with you my all-time favorite method for co-creating your new year with God/the Universe to be all that you would like it to be.  It’s a great adjunct to the Reflections Exercise. I have loved doing it for myself every January for 15 years now and I know you will too!

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give yourself (or someone you care about) a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching!  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached!  

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

January 7, 2018

“Change always starts in your mind.  The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel influences the way you act.” – Rick Warren

Happy New Year! I hope you and yours had a great Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah!  Now that the Holidays are behind us, we can pause, take a breath and examine what lies ahead.

I don’t have to tell you that last year was one of the most tumultuous in the USA and across the globe in a generation.  Thousands lost their homes and many lost their lives from a series of natural disasters and unfathomable man-made tragedies.  Ugly rancor in partisan politics came to the forefront in the USA and across the world as viewpoints clashed on just about every important topic and even issues thought long-settled were re-litigated in the courts and in the streets. Frequently, our elected leaders seemed to have lost their collective way (and maybe their minds).

One outstanding bright spot was a few brave women who found their voice and began speaking their shocking truth about the sexual harassment and economic unfairness they had endured silently for years. This triggered a tsunami of truth-telling in all walks of life from politics to the arts to business and beyond by women and men alike.  Collectively, individuals stood up for their own dignity and worth and proclaimed, “We don’t care how powerful our oppressors are. We matter and we are no longer going to allow you to treat us with anything less than fairness and respect.”

With so much loss, rancor and division still swirling around us, it is important to give yourself time to sit quietly and reflect on your own personal 2017 outcomes before you attempt to move into a fresh new year. Like mine, I am sure your year was a mixture of joy, heartbreak, challenge and triumph. By taking stock of what happened, you can discover important life lessons that will help you create your next year to be all that you want it to be.

In my 13+ years as a Personal Success Coach, I have been blessed to help over 650 clients reach their Big Goals, so I know what it will take to make your next year turn out even better than the last one did. Creating your 2018 YOUR way requires a two-step process and now is the ideal time to begin:

Step One: Complete the Old Year.  You can’t create something NEW in a space that is cluttered with old stuff. So, if you want this next year to be more than just a replay of whatever you experienced last year, you must first complete your old year to make space for your new intentions.

The Reflections Exercise

A great completion process is simply to sit quietly and answer a series questions that make you think deeply about the outcomes of your past year – the good, the bad and the ugly. Answering them honestly will clarify your underlying beliefs, expectations, attitudes and actions that influenced the results you got.

This exercise is designed to help you look objectively at what you did (and didn’t) do that influenced what happened for you last year. Determining accurately what caused your past outcomes helps you to identify new ways of thinking and being that will cause you to take NEW actions.  Taking new actions will bring you new results, while continuing on “auto-pilot” inside of the same thought and behavior patterns pretty much guarantees that this year is going to bring you more of the same.

This year, I am using a revised list of questions that includes some old favorites and some great new ones.  The new ones were passed along to me by my dear friend, direct sales industry trainer and motivational speaker extraordinaire, Leslie Zann, who got them from her friend Robin Blanc Mascari (rbmascari@mac.com).  I have bolded the ones that came from Robin. 

Here are 14 KEY questions to help you complete your 2017 and set you up for a more fulfilling and prosperous 2018. They will only help you IF you will take the time to actually answer them!  If you are thoughtful and truthful, it should take just 30-60 minutes to journal your answers. And, if this introspection sets you up for a new level of success and happiness in the coming year, isn’t it worth making such a small effort?

Part 1 — Questions to Complete the Old Year

  • What was your biggest accomplishment in 2017?
  • What was your greatest disappointment?
  • What was the greatest lesson you learned?
  • What was the biggest surprise in your year?
  • What do you wish you hadn’t wasted your time and energy on?
  • What do you wish you had spent MORE time and effort on but didn’t?
  • What are you most thankful for regarding last year?

Part 2 – Questions for Creating Your New Year

  • What one word would you like to have as your theme in 2018?
  • What would you be most happy and fulfilled about accomplishing?
  • What skill would you most like to learn or master and why?
  • What are you most committed to changing/improving in your work?
  • What are you most committed to changing/improving about yourself?
  • What is ONE positive habit you are committed to instill this year?
  • What brings you the most joy and how will you do/have more of that in 2018?

NEXT WEEK is going to be fun! 

We will do Step Two: Create Your Year Your Way. I will share with you my all-time favorite method for co-creating your new year with God/the Universe to be all that you would like it to be.  It’s a great adjunct to the Reflections Exercise. I have loved doing it for myself every January for the past 13 years and I know you will too!

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching!  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached!  And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

 To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

 

“Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons.  Love yourself, trust your choices and everything is possible.” – Cherie Carter Scott from the book One Choice

Happy New Year! I hope you and yours had a great Christmas or Hanukkah. Now that the Holidays are behind us, we can pause, take a breath and examine what lies ahead. I don’t have to tell you that this year was a tumultuous one for our country and the world.  We lost an unusually large number of beloved citizens, the most recent being Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds. And many of us said goodbye to our own dear loved ones, as well.

With so much loss, rancor and division swirling around us, it is important to give yourself time to sit quietly and reflect on your own personal 2016 outcomes before you move on. Like mine, I am sure your year was a mixture of joy, heartbreak, challenge and triumph. By taking stock of what happened, you can discover important life lessons that will help you create your 2017 to be all that you want it to be.

In my 12+ years as a Personal Success Coach, I have been blessed to help over 600 clients reach their Big Goals, so I know what it will take to make your next year turn out even better than this one did. Creating your 2017 your way requires a two-step process and NOW is the ideal time to begin:

Step One: Complete the Old Year.  You can’t create something NEW in a space that is cluttered with old stuff. So, if you want 2017 to be more than just a replay of the same things you experienced this year, you must first complete your old year to make space for your new intentions.

The Reflections Exercise

A great completion process is simply to sit quietly and answer a series questions that make you think deeply about the outcomes of your past year – the good, the bad and the ugly. Answering them honestly will clarify your underlying beliefs, expectations, attitudes and actions that influenced the results you got.

This exercise is designed to help you look objectively at what you did (and didn’t) do that influenced what happened for you last year. Determining accurately what caused your past outcomes helps you to identify new ways of thinking and being that will cause you to take NEW actions.  Taking new actions will bring you new results, while continuing on “auto-pilot” inside of the same thought and behavior patterns pretty much guarantees that next year is going to bring you more of the same.

Longtime readers will remember the thought-provoking list of 30 questions my coaching colleague, Sue Koch, and I have used for many years, called the Reflections Exercise. 

However, this year, I have winnowed the list down to just 12 KEY questions, in hopes that you will take the time to actually answer them!  If you are thoughtful and truthful, it should take just 30-60 minutes to journal your answers. And, if this introspection sets you up for a new level of success and happiness in the coming year, isn’t it worth making such a small effort?

(NOTE: If you DO want to take on completing the entire list of 30 questions, bravo!  I have provided a link at the end of the blog to all 30 Reflections Exercise questions.) 

Here are my selected 12 thought-provoking questions to help you gain perspective on the year just ended and prepare you to create a more successful year to come:

Part 1 – Questions to Complete the Year

  • What promises did I break to myself and others in 2016?
  • What did I do that did not work out?
  • What do I wish I hadn’t wasted my time and energy on?
  • What do I wish I HAD expended my energy and time on, but didn’t?

Part 2 – Questions for Acknowledgment and Acceptance

  • What promises did I keep to myself and others in 2016?
  • What accomplishments and milestones am I celebrating?
  • What is the BIGGEST lesson I learned?  What’s important about that lesson?
  • What am I thankful for regarding this year?

Once you have completed the eight questions in these first two sections, you are ready to take on Part 3 – Questions for Creating Your New Year, including:

  • What do I intend to do differently in 2017?
  • What new skills or practices do I intend to put into place next year?  How would that make me feel?
  • What would I most like to learn or master?  How would that make me feel?
  • What do I intend to accomplish next year that will matter most five years from now?

If you are ambitious, click or paste the following link into your browser to see the entire 30-question Reflections Exercise for powerfully completing your 2016: http://wp.me/pttZj-j4

NEXT WEEK I will share with you my all-time favorite method for co-creating your new year with God/the Universe to be all that you would like it to be.  It’s a great adjunct to the Reflections Exercise. I have loved doing it for myself every January for the past 12 years and I know you will too!

If you would like your own F*R*E*E subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching!  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached!  And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift! 

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.

“Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons. Love yourself, trust your choices and everything is possible.” – Cherie Carter Scott from the book One Choice

I hope you and yours had a great Christmas!   Now that it is behind us, our thoughts naturally turn to what lies ahead of us.

Each January presents you with a precious opportunity to wipe the slate clean and create a fresh start for your life! Whatever happened this year — for good and for bad – will not define your NEW year. Your beliefs, expectations and the actions you take today will determine how your TOMORROW goes.

In my 11+ years as a professional Coach, I have been blessed to help over 550 clients reach their Big Goals, so I know what it will take to make your next year turn out even better than this one did. Creating your 2016 YOUR way requires a two-step process and this week that bridges the old year and the new one is the ideal time to do it:

Step One: Complete the Old Year. You can’t create something NEW in a space that is full of old stuff. So, if you want 2016 to be more than just a replay of the same things you experienced this year, you must first complete your old year to make space for your new intentions.

The Reflections Exercise

A great “completion” process is simply to sit quietly and answer a series questions that make you think deeply about the outcomes of your past year – the good, the bad and the ugly. Answering them honestly will clarify your underlying beliefs, expectations, attitudes and actions that influenced the results you got.

At the end of every year, my coaching colleague, Sue Koch, and I give our clients a thought-provoking list of 30 questions we call the Reflections Exercise to answer.

This exercise is designed to help you look objectively at what you did (and didn’t) do which influenced what happened for you last year. Determining accurately what caused your past outcomes helps you to identify new ways of thinking and being that will cause you to take NEW actions. Taking new actions will bring you new results, while continuing on “auto-pilot” inside of the same thought and behavior patterns pretty much guarantees that next year is going to bring you more of the same.

Here are a few of the thought-provoking “completion” questions we include:

Part 1 – Questions to Complete the Year

  • What promises did I break to myself and others in 2015?
  • What did I do that did not work out?
  • What do I wish I hadn’t wasted my time and energy on?
  • What do I wish I HAD expended my energy and time on but didn’t?

Part 2 – Questions for Acknowledgment and Acceptance

  • What promises did I keep to myself and others in 2015?
  • What accomplishments and milestones am I celebrating?
  • What is the biggest lesson I learned? What’s important about the lesson?
  • What am I thankful for regarding this year?

Once you have completed the 20 questions in these first two sections, you are ready to take on Part 3 – Questions for Creating Your New Year, including:

  • What do I intend to do differently in 2016?
  • What new skills or practices do I intend to put into place next year? How would that make me feel?
  • What would I most like to learn or master?  How would that make me feel?
  • What do I intend to accomplish next year that will matter most five years from now?

NOTE: This not the COMPLETE list of questions. Done right, the entire Reflections Exercise takes most people about two hours, but it can be broken up into several sessions – one sitting per section works great. You do not have to answer every question, but do focus on the ones that are most relevant to you and take an honest look, so your next year can be even better!

Click here or copy this into your browser to get the entire Reflections Exercise for powerfully completing your old year: http://wp.me/pttZj-j4

NEXT WEEK I will share with you my all-time favorite method for co-creating your NEW year with God/the Universe exactly as you would like it to be. It’s a great adjunct to the Reflections Exercise. I have loved doing it for myself at the start of every January for the past 11 years and I know you will too!

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.

 

 

“Life is too short to waste another day angry, offended, in self-pity…The pain of letting go is less than the pain of holding on and missing your destiny.” – Joel Osteen 

Everyone has been wronged at some time in their life – either intentionally or unintentionally.   It’s human nature to feel wounded, even devastated, by another’s betrayal or injustice. But once you get over the initial shock and sadness, it’s entirely up to YOU what happens next. You can choose to nurture your emotional wounds, or to let it go so you can thrive and prosper.

The Law of Attraction states that “energy attracts like energy.” Whatever you focus on and send energy toward will expand and grow stronger. Therefore, if you nurse a grudge, you are doing self-inflicted damage by sending out negative energy to draw back to you MORE opportunities to be mistreated and hurt.   My favorite quote on the subject of forgiveness is this: “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.”

In her wonderful book, The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity, Master Manifester Edwene Gaines asserts that all debt is caused by unforgiveness. She says that debt is the last remaining socially-acceptable way of punishing ourselves. If you have significant debt you want to eliminate, Edwene suggests creating a “forgiveness inventory” that lists every last person you need to forgive in your life and then “get about forgiving them.”

Thanks to the Great Recession, my husband and I have personally experienced what it is to face seemingly-insurmountable debt. I took Edwene’s teachings to heart, and worked diligently over time to release all old resentments and blame. I emotionally released all the “debtors” in my life and eventually, many of our own debts were forgiven and our financial opportunities improved greatly. Today, we are debt-free, and I believe that learning to forgive myself and others played a significant role in our financial recovery.

Nevertheless, resentment and blame still try to come calling from time to time. I wrote about my most recent forgiveness challenge in Blog 201, where a client of mine lashed out at me verbally after I tried to hold him accountable for his lack of personal integrity toward working on his goals and keeping his agreements.

I came to what turned out to be our final coaching call ready to clear the air and get back on track. But he came to the call to tell me in detail how awful my treatment of him had been and what a bad coach I was. Even though I realized that he lacked the emotional maturity to openly admit and take personal responsibility for his mistakes, I was caught off guard by his anger. To keep from losing my own emotional control and possibly saying something I would regret, all I could do in that moment was to hang up on him in mid-sentence. That definitely is NOT something I am proud of, so I knew that I had to forgive both myself AND my client.

I quickly wrote him as calm and professional a “goodbye” email as I could muster. While I was still smarting emotionally, my honest intention was not to castigate him, but to give him some productive parting advice. I wrote, in part:

“I had a list of tools I was going to suggest to help you be more successful from here on out, but I didn’t get the chance to share them. First and foremost, I recommend you read The Four Agreements. Secondly, I highly recommend you enroll in the Landmark Forum, which is a weekend-long coaching course that changes lives. You will learn about your ‘stories’ (limiting beliefs about yourself and others), how to forgive yourself and others for the past, how to take 100% responsibility for yourself and how to be your word. I believe the cost is about two months of coaching, but I believe it is PRICELESS.” 

He never responded. Nevertheless, to help me release all negative feelings about him so that I could continue to thrive in my OWN life, I added him to my daily prayers for several people I know who are facing serious challenges that are beyond my personal ability to help them with.

Each day that I prayed for my former client’s success and happiness, my hurt feelings softened a bit.   After a few weeks, the day finally came when I realized that I didn’t harbor ANY negative feelings, and I knew that I had forgiven him. Then I was able to release him completely to God, trusting that he was being guided on his personal growth journey and that all would be well for him.

Just when I had finally stopped thinking about him at all, he sent me a text out of the blue. It was short and sweet: “Tomorrow is my completion evening for the Landmark Forum. As the person who invited me to take it, I would like you to be there as my guest.”

I was stunned. I hadn’t imagined he would take any further advice from me, let alone invite ME to see him complete a course that obviously shifted his mindset and will likely change his life for the better in many ways!  I responded warmly that I would have been honored to come, but had a family birthday celebration to attend that evening. I congratulated him and wished him well in all his future endeavors. He responded that he wished me the same and hoped I had a lovely time at my event.

Learning to forgive him certainly has helped me to thrive in my life, and I believe that his forgiveness towards me will help him to prosper, too. One thing is for sure: Neither of us will be chugging any poison!

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.

 

 

 

 

“If there is any secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as your own.” – Henry Ford 

My job, first and foremost, is to provide “safe space” for my coaching clients to be 100% themselves.   They know that in our conversations, they have complete confidentiality and freedom to speak their truth without fear of being judged or made wrong. I may not always agree with their point of view, but I strive to be respectful of it and to keep asking objective questions until I feel that I thoroughly understand it. Only when I understand their point of view can I suggest other possible approaches they might consider before speaking or acting in ways that could have unintended repercussions.

Yet, despite near-daily practice with hundreds of clients for almost 11 years, I still slip up from time to time. When I’ve had a particularly long or hectic day and my mental and emotional energy “tanks” are depleted, I can sometimes forget to put myself in the other person’s shoes. I may get attached to my own point of view or jump to conclusions. I might even hurt some else’s feelings by a poor choice of words or tone. In short, just like you, I sometimes say things I later regret.

For effective communication, there is nothing more vitally important than following the Golden Rule. If we want to build positive, lasting relationships, we must treat others as we want to be treated. The key, as St. Francis of Assisi said, is to “Seek first to understand; then to be understood.” 

I had a painful lesson in the consequences of NOT doing this just the other evening. It came at the end of a long and hectic day spent trying to balance focused coaching with fielding a barrage of eager emailed requests for free coaching sessions (YES, this is a GREAT “problem” to have!). In the evening, I felt physically tired and emotionally depleted. In fact, I felt downright cranky.

Sitting numbly on the couch in front of the television, I heard the ding of an incoming email on my phone. I knew that I should wait until morning, and give myself a chance to relax and replenish my patience stores. Instead, I peeked at it and discovered a very upset message from one of my clients, describing something unfair she felt another of my clients had done to her.

Once again, my better judgment whispered to just leave it alone until I had a clearer head in the morning, but instead I inserted myself into the disagreement, which I had no business doing. My client fired off the email to me simply to vent her frustration; she never asked me to get involved! Nevertheless, armed with only the bare-bones “facts” presented from her point of view, my own tired, cranky Ego made a snap decision to jump headlong into a delicate, complex situation.

Over the years, I have recognized that my Inner Wisdom/Intuition almost always tries to stop me from acting impulsively. Whenever I listen to that wise inner voice, I invariably feel relieved that I didn’t take the bait and speak or react impetuously during a stressful moment. Whenever you feel gripped by a strong negative emotion that is urging you to fire off a biting, angry or snarky response to a perceived wrong, I recommend listening instead to that wise inner voice, which is undoubtedly urging you to STOP and cool off before you respond.

Instead of listening to my wise inner voice, I impulsively picked up the phone just before 9:00 pm and called client number two, purportedly to get “her side of the story.”   But when she answered the phone, my words spilled out as though something had taken control of my vocal chords and was using them without my permission. I grilled her with a rapid-fire barrage of questions – first accusing and then judging her “guilty” of exactly what client number one THOUGHT she had done.

I could tell she was taken aback, but to her immense credit, she didn’t lash back or even act defensive. As she did all she could to field my accusatory questions as calmly and clearly as she could, it slowly began to dawn on me that there really were two sides to this story, as there always are. The indignant, self-righteous Ego voice screaming in my head subsided and I began to regain control of my thoughts and emotions.

As her side of the story emerged, it became clear that there were NO bad intentions on either side – just a misunderstanding caused by both of them making assumptions that turned out to be wrong. And then I fell into the same trap myself by assuming that what client number one had told me was 100% right and that my other client’s actions had to   be wrong.

Throughout the call, I could hear a bone-weariness in my client’s voice, but I just ignored it. Only later did I recall what she had shared with me only a few hours earlier about her own extremely hectic and emotionally difficult day. I am sure that she was feeling far more tired and emotionally drained than I was. Yet, she kept her cool when I lost mine.

After we hung up, I felt progressively worse, as I thought back over my lack of emotional control, harsh tone and judgmental manner on the call. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I needed to clean it up with her ASAP. It’s best to convey something like this by voice, rather than writing, because it is so hard to accurately interpret tone and intent in written messages. But it was too late in the evening to call her back and I didn’t want to leave her feeling disempowered, so I texted her.

I did my best to follow the integrity training I got from Landmark Education to avoid making excuses or making it about ME. As straightforwardly and sincerely as I could, I sent her this apology:

“I apologize for sounding upset. I am not mad at either of you wonderful women. You are two of the nicest, most giving people I know.   I am just frustrated that things went wrong for both of you through miscommunication. Nobody had bad intentions. Just another example of The Four Agreements and how hard we all have to work not to make assumptions. And I admit that somehow I took it personally [another of The Four Agreements]. I can’t even say why I would! I just introduced you to help you both. The rest is entirely none of my business. I let myself get emotionally involved and that was wrong. I apologize again if I offended you or made you feel wrong.   You had a very tough day and I entirely overlooked that, too. The last thing you needed is a call like that. Hope you will forgive me.” 

To her further credit, she responded magnanimously, “No apologies needed. I know you have the best intentions for me and all your clients. I felt bad about any frustration it caused you. Thank you for calling me to talk through the concerns. You pointed out some valid points.”

Wow. How KIND she was to me in response to how UNKIND I was to her! Whose energy do you think influenced the other’s more? Her powerful positive energy had a much greater impact on ME than my negative energy had on her. Positive energy is always stronger than negative energy. She demonstrated what it means to truly live the Golden Rule and it is a lesson I will strive to remember.

Ironically, just a few days before my self-inflicted drama, I coached another client about how important it was to think carefully before she responded to an injustice perpetrated on her two young children. The Vice Principal of the private school her kids attend called to tell her that they must serve 15 minutes of detention during the last week of school because they had been tardy to their first classes too many times. She was incensed because the school is way across town and their few late arrivals were due to heavy traffic.

After forwarding her an inspirational thought from minister Joel Osteen I had received that very morning, she was quickly able to regain a positive perspective and respond in a very effective way. Instead of dressing down the overly-strict Vice Principal, she wrote a calm, measured email to the Principal stating why she felt her children should not be punished for something they could not control. “It is perfectly OK if you want to fine us parents, but I cannot allow my children to be humiliated for something they didn’t do.” The Principal immediately wrote back, assuring her that they would waive any punishment and expressing appreciation for the strong support she and her family have shown the school over the years.

Here is the thought that helped my client express her position in a committed, but positive way that garnered a positive outcome.

Guard Your Mouth [by Joel and Victoria Osteen]

Today’s Scripture: “He who guards his mouth keeps his life, but he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” – Proverbs 13:3, AMP

We’ve all said things we wish we could take back. Scripture says that when we guard our mouth, we keep our life. That’s because our words determine the direction of our lives, and wrong words can get us off course very quickly. 

The Bible tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue. There’s no neutral ground. We are either sowing seeds of life and productivity with our words, or we are sowing seeds of ruin and destruction with our words. 

Today is a good day to take inventory of your words and make the decision to sow only good seeds. Sow seeds of life by speaking God’s Word over yourself and those around you.   Make the decision today that your words will bring glory to the Lord as you guard your mouth and keep your life!” 

May these words of wisdom remind us to think before saying and doing things we will wish we could take back!

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145. 

 

 

 

“Service is the very purpose of life. It is the rent we pay for being on this planet.” – Marion Wright Edelman

Before I address this week’s topic, I want to thank everyone who sent me personal feedback on last week’s blog about Tolerations. Apparently, it really struck a nerve with many of you!   Most gratifying, many readers reported that they are already getting into ACTION on their Tolerations and feeling great about it!

Tolerations – things, people and situations you have been “putting up with” for some time that drain your physical, mental and emotional energy – can interfere with your ability to manifest the future you desire for yourself. Your 2014 Year Completion exercise helped you identify the valuable lessons you learned from the mistakes you believe you made last year, while the 2015 Year Creation exercise helped you identify exactly what you want out of THIS year.   Identifying the Tolerations that are in your PRESENT is the bridge between the two.

If you simply make a list of everything that’s currently bugging you and begin to work steadily at completing all your incomplete tasks, ending toxic relationships, getting out of commitments you don’t really care about, you will gradually open up a clean, clear energetic “space” for your NEW year to show up in – exactly the way you already imagined it on paper.   So I hope you will get to work on this pronto!

OK, now to today’s topic: As the saying goes, “What goes around, comes around.” When you give GOOD to others, the Universe will give GOOD to you in return.

First, I want to quote in its entirety today’s affirmation/positive message from The Daily Word, a wonderful little daily positive thinking tool published by the Unity church, because it sums this idea up so beautifully:

“[Today’s Affirmation:] I am appreciative, kind, and generous with others.

Today I live with the intention to express to others my generosity, kindness and appreciation.

I am grateful for the presence of my loved ones. I cherish the good moments and the difficulties that help us grow. As I appreciate others, I also feel better about myself.

Because I value others and myself, I am kind. In my thoughts and actions, I treat myself with gentleness, and I extend that kindness in my relationships. As I cultivate gentleness, my spirit expands. Out of kindness and appreciation for others, I am generous.   I take every opportunity to give of my time, talent and treasure. As I cultivate benevolence, I grow in the love of God.

[Scripture that was the inspiration for this affirmation:] You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God. – 2 Corinthians 9:11.”

I begin every coaching session by inviting my clients to do an energetic “clearing” by saying anything they need to say to let go of any negative thoughts or feelings, so they don’t clutter up the energetic “space” for our session – kind of like Tolerations do! I wish I had a dollar for every clearing that featured a complaint about another person – usually a family member, spouse, friend, business associate – i.e., someone who is emotionally close to them.

I acknowledge this as an observable fact: People close to us DO behave badly sometimes and it DOES hurt or annoy us. But the amount of time and energy we expend being angry and/or feeling hurt by what someone else says, does or even (we imagine) thinks about us is amazing! Unfortunately, that is purely negative energy that we are holding inside our mind, body and spirit. The energy WE feel and exude into the world is what comes back to US as “like energy.” That’s the Law of Attraction (or karma) in a nutshell: You get back from the Universe exactly what you give.

Whatever another person did or didn’t do that we judge they should or shouldn’t have can have NO lasting impact on US – unless we allow it to. Unless we invite it in with our hurt feelings, blame, judgments and Tolerations. One of the Four Agreements (an incredibly powerful and helpful self-coaching book that I highly recommend) by Don Miguel Ruiz is “Don’t Take Anything Personally.”   Ruiz asserts that if you can master not taking personally ANYTHING someone else says or does, you will live a life of “Heaven on Earth.” Nothing anyone else does or says will have the power to hurt you.

That’s true even if they were purposely TRYING to hurt you! The negative energy someone else directs toward YOU will come back to bite them via the Law of Attraction. Only if you meet their negativity with your own negative reaction will you draw negative circumstances to your own life. Evil does seem to have the upper hand sometimes, but it can never last. Positive energy is stronger than negative energy, so kindness, truth and generosity will eventually prevail — IF your thoughts, feelings and actions remain positive toward yourself and others.

How the Law of Attraction works is simple, if not always easy to carry out: If you want MORE prosperity, happiness and kindness to come to YOU, you must first GIVE them to others. One of my favorite coaching tools and personal daily practices is keeping a Daily Gratitude Journal, where I list 10 things I am grateful for in my life right now.   Many of them involve other people who are in my life. After I acknowledge my GRATITUDE for the ways they have blessed me, I always send THEM an energetic blessing that they, too, will have a great day filled with love, health and prosperity.

Whenever an opportunity arises to help someone else with my time, treasure or talents, I do my best to ACT on it. That doesn’t mean I always put others’ projects, commitments and requests ahead of my own. It means that IF I can help someone else, I will do so. And invariably, whatever good I do for someone else comes back to me – usually greatly multiplied!

One of the ways I routinely try to use my time and talents to assist others is by offering free one-hour phone coaching sessions to anyone who sincerely WANTS help with an important problem or goal in their life. In the hour we spend coaching together, I strive to deeply listen to them (allowing them to clear/release their negative feelings about themselves and others), understand their point of view (without judging them), and then offer any advice or resources I know they could use to help themselves.

Obviously, I hope many of my “free session clients” will want to hire me to coach them on an ongoing basis. This is how I make my living, after all. But I would say between one-quarter to one-third of them either don’t want to make the time and/or accountability commitment or believe they cannot make the financial investment at the moment to enable them to reach their goals. That is perfectly fine with me.   My belief is that this is the most valuable service I can offer the Universe as my “rent” for the happy, healthy and purposeful life I am blessed to live.

The funny thing is, though, that ALL these free sessions come back to bless me in some way. At the very least, I feel good about making a difference for a stranger I will probably never speak to again.   And it always sharpens my listening/coaching skills to try to help someone significantly in just one hour. The more I coach, the better I coach! But the prosperity benefits that have come back to me by serving strangers in this small way have been amazing, too, as some of my wonderful long-term clients came to me via referrals from someone I spent just one hour coaching long ago.

If you simply do whatever Good you can for those who need it – especially love, understanding and forgiveness and ESPECIALLY for your loved ones – that positive energy will always come back to bless YOU as well — exactly where, when and how you need it. That is the Law of Attraction in its most wonderful, magical form!

RECOMMENDATION: Check out Don Miguel Ruiz, Four Agreements and much more at: http://www.miguelruiz.com

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

This New Year, give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching. It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached! You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish. (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for awhile, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals for the New Year and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.  

 

 

 

 

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