Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Putting The Pieces Back Together

                                         "When the storm rips you to pieces,
                           you get to decide how to put yourself back together."
                                                      - Bryant McGill

This past Monday I was writing about storms that are happening in our lives.
No one can avoid storms. If you live long enough you will have to deal with crisis, setbacks, problems and obstacles. They are also part of this journey that we call life.

If you missed Monday's blog here it is.............The Perfect Storm

I don't know what is going on in your life right now.
Maybe you have just come through a crisis or storm and you are on your way to recuperate.
Maybe you are in the middle of a storm and your can't seem to find your way out of it at this moment. Or maybe you are about to enter a crisis right now.
If you haven't dealt with any crisis in your life yet......don't worry......they will show up.
No one can escape.

The important thing isn't trying to avoid the storm. Instead we must learn how to dance in the rain. We must learn better tools and strategies for dealing with crisis when they occur.

I wrote the book Bounce Don't Break - how to successfully get back on track..... last year and it was published in late Dec of 2016.

In the book I share about how my own life totally collapsed in 2012. It actually started in 2010 but it took 2 years before it totally fell into a thousand pieces.

During a presentation I did a little over a week ago I shared some tools with the audience. And today I will share some of these tools with you.

These are the tools that I used myself when I had to rebuild my life back in 2012.

Ask for help
You can't do it alone. You need someone to talk to. I know it is hard to ask for help. You feel weak if you ask for help. But you are not. Quite the opposite. You are actually strong when you ask for help.
If I had not asked for help I would not have found out from my therapist that the man I was in a relationship with and had been for 5 years was a narcissist. Life changing information and it explained a lot. It also helped me with my decision to later walk away from this relationship.
Ask for help from a therapist, doctor, coach, mentor or trusted friend or family-member.
Don't suffer in silence.

You must grieve what you have lost. It might be a loved one that died. Maybe you lost a job or a business went under. You lost your money or your house and all your belongings. Maybe you had to flee from a country in war and now you are living in a brand new place. You lost you health and now you are dealing with a serious illness. A lot of times we have to grieve the life that we had planned.
Back in 2010 I had so many wonderful plans for my future and none of them happened. Of course I was devastated and I had to grieve. I had to go through the process and the process takes time. How long you grieve is different for everyone. Only you can decide how long it will take.
Just remember that grieving is necessary to be able to move on with our lives.

Take Care Of Your Health
This is a tough one because carrots and broccoli are never as soothing as a  piece of chocolate or a glass of wine.
But your body is trying to heal and it needs healthy fuel to be able to get going again after the injury.
It's important that we pay attention to what we eat and drink.
I love sugar. Sugar is my best friend. Sugar is there when I am sad, happy, lonely, worried, angry, frustrated or disappointed. Sugar can keep me company on a lonely Friday evening as well as it can give me some quick energy when I need it. Both a pick-me-upper and a calm-me-downer. Sugar is always there for me. But unfortunately sugar won't solve anything and a lot of time it is just a temporary escape so it's better to not be trapped by it's promises and sweet taste.
Make sure you get moving. Go outside and get some fresh air. Walk in nature. Also make sure that you get good sleep. Around 7-8 hours is great. Not too much and not too little.
Fuel you body with good stuff. It's part of the healing process.

Create A Vision For Your Life
A new vision for your life will work as a magnet. It will eventually pull you through almost anything that is going on in your life.
Back in 2012 I decided that I was going to become a life coach and start my own coaching business. That was my magnet. Instead of focusing on all that I had lost I started to focus on how to rebuild my future. It was an awesome force and it helped my through the grieving process and also the daily stress of my life totally collapsing.
Create something with a purpose. Something new to focus on.

Let Go Of The Past
You can't drive a car by looking in the review mirror. If you will eventually crash. Same thing in life. You can't continue to live in the past and expect a new future. Learn form the past. Treat it as a school but don't live there. Start looking at what is possible for you right now and also what is possible for you in the future.
Create a belief that the life in front of you is going to be better that what you just left behind.

Celebrate Yourself And Your Progress
Every step forward that you take, must be celebrated. It doesn't matter how tiny it must celebrate. In the beginning it will feel like one step forward, and then two back. This will go on for a while. A lot of times it feels like there is no progress. But as long as you keep on trying and keep on working..... you are making progress.
Little achievements are just as important as big ones.

Today I am grateful for what happened back in 2012. I was on the wrong path and I had lost the connection to myself. I needed to find myself again.
The crisis stopped me from continuing on the wrong path.
Be grateful for what you already have. Be grateful for family and friends. Be grateful for your body
Be grateful for your wounds. They have hopefully taught you a lot. Be grateful for the person you are today and what you have gone through. Be grateful for your bright future.
You are alive made it.....that is something to celebrate and to be grateful for.

Thank You..... Nikki and Lady!


Monday, October 16, 2017

The Perfect Storm

                                          "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
                                                It's about learning to dance in the rain.
                                                             - Vivian Green

There have been a lot of storms in the world lately.
Hurricanes, wildfires and earthquakes just to name a few.
These are all natural storms or disasters.

But there are also other kinds of storms happening in our lives that we have to deal with.
A death of a loved one, divorce, financial loss, job loss, a business failing, moving to another city or country, forced to leave a country because of war, loss of health due to cancer or other illnesses or a loss of a life that we had planned.

These are also storms, setbacks and crisis in our lives. Things we didn't exactly plan for but they happened anyway.

A big problem with people is that we think we shouldn't have problems and crisis in our lives.
For some reason if we work hard and do everything that we are suppose to do we should be exempt from dealing with any kind of crisis and problems.

But this is not the way it works. We all have to deal with storms. It doesn't matter if you are rich or poor. Young or old. Man or a woman. American or European. We will all get our fare share of difficulties, setbacks and obstacles in life.

Problems are like the waves of the ocean.
Some are smaller and some are bigger and sometimes it might feel like a storm is the size of a tsunami.
Often a storm might come along and then it might be a couple of years before you will have to deal with another one. At other times they might hit one after another and you might feel like you can't even catch your breath.

There are two ways of looking at a problem or a crisis.
Something to overcome and get through or.....
A possibility of learning. A message from your true self.

Don't wish for no or less problems.
Instead wish for more knowledge and experience to solve the problems when they occur.

Storms don't happen in our lives to break us. They are often here to help us and make us stronger internally. To guide us.
Sometimes we might be on the wrong path here in life. We might have taken a detour.
Maybe it is a path that isn't truly our own. Then the storm might be here to stop us from keep on going in the wrong direction. It might be a wakeup call for us to stop for a while and examine ourselves and the life we are living.

This is exactly what happened to me back in 2012, when I lost almost everything. I felt like I got hit by a tsunami. Actually I was hit by three storms within a three month period.
It completely knocked me down.

Looking back on it now.....over five years later......I am very grateful that it happened.
I was on the wrong path in life. I was not living the life that I was suppose to live. I had lost myself and I was lost in life.

It took a huge storm to wake me up.
In 2012 I started a journey inward to find out who I was and what I was to do on this little short time that I actually have here on earth.
Has this journey been easy? Absolutely not.
It has been a lot of hard work....almost very day. But I have learned a lot about myself, others and about life.....and that makes me very excited.

A lot of people will wake up a little and for a short period of time but the they unfortunately they go back to sleep again.

But I know that I could never go back to the life I had before 2012.

If it hadn't been for my own storm I would not have become a life coach and started my own coaching business helping people with their lives. I know that because of my experiences in my own life I am now better equipped to help other people.

I wouldn't have started writing newsletters, blogs, postings on social media and YouTube.
And I would not have written my first book "Bounce Don't Break" last year.

Stop wishing for less problems and storms and instead learn how to dance in the rain.

What happened to me back in 2012 was..... The Perfect Storm
and believe that my dance moves are getting better and better!!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Are You Willing To Do What It Takes?

                                            If you are not willing to do the work,
                                              don't complain about the result

We all want changes in our lives.

We want to be healthier and in shape.

We want to have more energy. Both physical and mental.

We often want a job that fulfills us and we usually want to make more money.

We want passionate intimate relationships with our partners.

We want great relationships with our children and our parents.

We want to have more time for our friends and for our hobbies.

We want to have more money saved.

And the list goes on and on.

Most of the times we all know what to do to create this in our lives.

If we want to have more energy and a slender body....most of us know the steps that we need to take to make it happen.

Most of us also knows what it takes to create better relationships in our lives.

Most of us knows how to save money for a rainy day or retirement.

So why doesn't more people create what they want in their lives?

It usually comes down to one question......

Are you willing to the work that it takes to create whatever you want...... in your life?

Are you WILLING?

Are you willing to get up an hour earlier so that you can go to the gym before you go to work?

Are you willing to turn off the TV or the internet and read instead so that you can learn something new ?

Are you willing to save your money instead of buying the latest purse or shoes?

Are you willing to cook instead of going out to eat?

Are you willing to change your eating habits?

Are you willing to start saying NO to people?

Are you willing to do the work that it takes to loose the weight?

Are you willing to get out of your comfort zone and do new things that will make you feel awkward in the beginning?

Are you willing to start a new business even though you don't know if it will ever be successful?

Are you willing to go to school in the evenings to learn a new skill?

Are you willing to find a new job that is more in alignment with who you are and what you want to accomplish in life?

Are you WILLING?

For anything to change in our lives.....we must be willing to do the work that will be involved in making what we want into our reality.
We can dream and plan all that we want but if we are not willing to back it up with some kind of action.....nothing will  ever happen.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Turn Your Fear Into Excitement

                                                                If it scares you,
                                                      it might be a good thing to do

Are you afraid of public speaking?

I know I am.

Yesterday I had to face that fear and just do it anyway.

I was doing a presentation....."The Perfect Storm" based on my book and my own life.

It wasn't a large presentation. Around 40 people and the presentation lasted about 45 minutes.

Was a scared? Yes.....I was.
But after I got started and I had spoken for a few minutes the fear went away and was really enjoying it.
After I was through with the presentation I realized that I want to do this more often.

Often we let this feeling or sensation of fear stop us from trying new things.
It will often prevent us from getting out of our comfort zone so we can grow and expand.
Most of us hate feeling awkward and that we might not be in control.

I told myself "I am going to die if I don't do good during this presentation?"
And of course the answer was NO.
Yes..... things can go wrong but if you prepare as much as possible ....things can also go right.

But I know that this feeling that you do have when you are going to do something new....the feeling that we usually call it possible that it can be something totally different?

What would happen if we look at fear with a new perspective?

What would happen if we turned the belief that we are afraid into something completely different?

Maybe it is excitement that we are feeling instead of fear???

The feeling of fear and the feeling of excitement are very similar to each other.

Can you imagine if we tell ourselves before we are going to do something new....that we are excited instead of fearful?
Do you think that we will perform better? I believe we will.

This is exactly what I told myself yesterday when I was feeling that sensation of  nervousness and fear. I knew I was excited and I had been looking forward to doing this presentation for a month.
I was actually ready to go.
And the sensation I was feeling was excitement instead of fear.

Next time you are trying something new and you are getting that "uncomfortable" feeling inside.....tell yourself that you are feeling excited..... and that you are ready to go.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Stress Is Highly Contagious

                                                 "Stress is caused by being here
                                                        but wanting to be there."
                                                             - Eckhart Tolle

When we are feeling stressed we usually think that it all about us.
Our problems and our stress.
We often think that we are the only one with these problems and that it's only affecting us and no one else.
You might want to think again.

Stress is highly contagious and it will eventually impact the people around you.
Making their lives more stressful too.

If you are in a intimate relationship with someone and they experience a high level of stress for a long period of time, it will put a strain on the relationship and it might even fail.
When we are stressed, our perception of things are heightened and we become more sensitive, which can cause conflict and communication issues.
And if you don't know how to help someone that is highly stressed, you will start to feel disconnected it will eventually make you feel stressed too.

If you have stress at home it will affect your work.
And if you have a lot of stress at work it will make an impact on your life with your family and friends.

When we are stressed we also make more mistakes.
Stress will shut down the more logical part of our brain and it will activate the "fight or flight" mode instead.
Stressed people will usually make more mistakes at work, in traffic and at home.
Your mistakes will absolutely affect those around you.

Stress will also affect your nutritional decisions. It's easier to opt for junk food instead of cooking a healthy meal. It's faster..... because most of the time we feel too tired to actually cook.
Or we eat out a lot, which will eventually take its toll on our health.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Random Acts of Kindness

                                                           No act of kindness,
                                                             however small,
                                                              is ever wasted

Today I want to share a great and quite simple idea that will make you feel a lot better and also happier.
It's very easy to do.

When we do something nice and kind for someone else without expecting anything back, it will automatically make us feel happier.
And who doesn't want to feel happier?

Here are a few examples of things that you can do

  • Hold the door open for someone.
  • Buy a flower or some candy for your neighbor.
  • Let someone go in front of you at the line at the grocery store or any other store.
  • Give a stranger a compliment.
  • Give a friend a compliment.
  • Give blood.
  • Say "Hello" to  someone you don't know.
  • Ask someone "How are you today?" and then listen and pay attention to their answer.
  • Pick up some trash at the park or at the beach even though it isn't your job.
  • Smile.
  • Allow a car on the highway to get in front of you.
  • Send a beautiful card to someone you like.
  • Smile and say "Thank You" to the checker at the store.
  • Pay for the coffee for a stranger when you are at Starbucks.
  • Call a friend that you haven't talked to in a long time.
  • Pay for someone's meal at a restaurant.

Try to do at least five good deeds in one week and pay attention to how it will affect the way you feel.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The High Price We Pay For Convenience

                         "People who are in the habit of enjoying the comfort of inaction,
                                                often pay a high price in the end."
                                                           - Dr. T.P. Chia

Last week I was taking the train from where I live to where I had to work that particular day.
Today you can buy a train ticket from a machine at the train station or you can get it online and show it on your cell phone when you get onboard the train.
I decided to get my ticket the old fashioned way. I actually went inside the little convenience store at the train station and bough it from a real person.

Often we want convenience in our lives and we want everything so fast so that we can keep on running to the next thing we must do.
I did what most people don't do.....I took some extra time and went inside the store and talked face to face with a real guy. He was a man with a great attitude and he laughed and actually joked with me. We had the most wonderful conversation for a few minutes and he made me laugh and smile.

Now would I have got this connection with a machine or online? What did it cost me?
Just a few extra minutes of my time and the willingness to be inconvenienced.
What did I gain?
A great conversation with a happy and funny person on the opposite end of the counter. Priceless!

Today we can also bank online. We don't need to talk to an actual person anymore. In the stores we now scan our own things that we are buying. No need to talk to a cashier anymore.
Soon we will walk around like robots constantly staring down at our cellphones.

We are super connected today. All these wonderful electronic devices that will allow us to stay connected 24/7 with practically anyone in the world.
Connected to what?
Our Facebook friends? Do you actually know more than a few of them?
How about the rest of social media.....Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn just to name a few. Do you personally know any of these people? Or do you only know the image that they are presenting to the world?
Yes we might get a shot of dopamine when someone likes the photo we just posted on Instagram.
Or we feel really great when someone lets us know on FB that the dish we just made for dinner and took a photo of.....they would like the recipe.
And when we change our profile picture....people will let us know how pretty we are.
This rush of dopamine makes us feel seen and heard at the moment. It makes us feel validated and that people like us.
But as any addiction the feeling is short lived. And in the future your emptiness inside will crave more and more likes on social media to fill you up on the inside.

Unfortunately a lot of people are not taking the time to create meaningful relationships in real life anymore. It's easier to go online and to have a lot of fake friends on FB. We value ourselves based on how many followers on social media that we have.
People don't know how to have a conversation any longer. They don't know that it will take some time to form fulfilling and lasting relationships.
We are disconnected from others but we are also disconnected from true selves.

If you want something you can just go on Amazon and order it and it will arrive the next day. If you want some friends go on FB. If you want a date, just go to and you will have one the same evening. We want things immediately and without having to do much work to get it. We can almost get anything by just pushing a button..... except one thing......
True honest connection with a live human being.

What will happen when you experience some stress in your life? Will your friends on social media be there for you? I am sure that they are willing to listen to you and help you out. Think again.

Who are you going turn to when life gets challenging and often stressful?
We used to turn to our parents for help or our friends. Maybe a neighbor or an acquaintance.

But nowadays we feel isolated, lonely and disconnected we will often turn to surfing the internet for some validation. Or we numb out and sooth our loneliness with other addictions like food, sugar, online gambling, online sex, online dating, shopping, smoking, drugs or drinking. These things will numb our emptiness for a while but soon we will crave some more and also higher doses of it.

Don't get me wrong I love my computer and my phone. I couldn't run my business without it. Technology is fantastic and it will allow us to do amazing things.
But too much of any good thing can eventually harm us.

Take exercising for example. Running or yoga are both great things. But too much can be harmful. It all comes down to the intention. Why are you doing it?
Are you running to escape yourself or are you running to improve your health?
Why are you working so much? Is it to escape an empty relationship at home and to get validation from your boss?

All I want to say is..... don't underestimate the power of human connection. A baby could not survive without it. Just because we grow up doesn't mean that we don't need to connect face to face and to form lasting relationships.....we do.
Human beings are wired for connection.

So the next time you are tempted to just sent an email or a text to a friend or family member....pick up the phone instead. Or even better decide to meet over a cup of coffee or dinner.....and if you do.....put away the phone and be present with the other person.
The greatest gift you can give to someone is your full attention.

And maybe next time that you need a ticket to ride the it from an actual person.
If you are lucky enough you might get the pleasure of buying the ticket from the same person that I did last week.


Monday, September 25, 2017

Dear Stress, Lets Break Up!

                                          "Saying YES to happiness means learning
                                     to say NO to things and people that stress you out."
                                                           - Thelma Davis

There isn't anything wrong with having some stress in our lives. But if we have too much for a longer period of time, stress can affect us in a negative way. Balance is key.
If you have been dealing with a lot of stress lately and for an extended period of time, it might be a good thing to slow down and take it a little easy for a while.
This way, stress won't overwhelm you and it won't have a negative effect on your health and your wellbeing.

Stress isn't just a negative thing. To have a lot to do isn't always a bad thing. Quite the opposite.
We need a little stress to get us going. It will help us focus and to prioritize and it will a lot of times make us more creative.
We actually need the good stress to get us off the couch and get us going. Without it, we wouldn't dare to take chances, we wouldn't start over again after a setback or crisis and we would constantly procrastinate.
The perfect thing would be to have a little stress on a regular base. It will make us healthier and it will make us feel more alive.

Stress that is negative for our wellbeing is the one that will last for a long time. And if we are bad at handling the stress it can lead to undesirable consequences for our bodies and our wellbeing.
We all need to make sure that we get enough time to relax and enough time to re-charge our batteries. If we don't it will often lead to feeling stressed, overwhelmed and eventually burnout.

To completely avoid stress isn't good either. Our brain needs to stay active and it gets better with learning new things. In other words our brain needs to be stimulated and it needs to practice handling stress. So if your brain never gets to experience stress at all, it will eventually get very bad at handling just a little bit of stress.

The brain is like a muscle. You have to work it on a regular base for it to get better. The key is not to overwork it for a longer period of time without any rest, relaxation and some fun.

A Few Tips How to Handle Stress

Balance is key. Try not to get overstimulated at the same time as you don't want to get understimulated either. Work hard for a few hours and then make sure you take a break. Then you can work hard again and then relax.

If you have worked very hard for a longer period of time then try to take it a little easy for a while.
If you have had a tough time at work or in your private life, learn to take a step back and enjoy some down time. Same thing if you have been doing too little for a while make sure you step up the pace.

Variety is a great. If you have been in meetings all day make sure that you have some alone time at night. Or if you have been alone during the day you might need to get out of the house in the evening and enjoy some kind of activity with family or friends.

Down time doesn't mean that you do absolutely nothing. If you have been using your brain all day you might enjoy a slow walk in the woods with your dog in the evening. Or start a new hobby.

Avoid worrying and overthinking. Easier said than done. I know!!!
Remember that your brain will get better at what it is practicing.
So if you are worrying a lot, guess what??? Your brain will get better at worrying.
Worrying is just a bad habit and you do have control over your own thoughts and what you focus on.

Learn to focus on what you do want, instead of what you don't want.

If you are stressed about not having enough time you might want to take a closer look at where you are spending your time. Write it down for a couple of days and your will quickly see where you are wasting time.
In the end it comes down to learning to prioritize.

Laugh and have some fun. Laughing is a great stress relief. Watching a funny movie on TV or DVD after a tough day at work is a fantastic way to relax and feel good.

Reward yourself often. Create a few small weekly rewards for yourself for being able to relax and taking some steps back. It can be inviting a friend for a cup of coffee. A wonderful bubble-bath or buy yourself a small gift.

Create meaningful and low stress relationships with family and friends.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

How Big is Your Comfort Zone?

                                               "Move out of your comfort zone.
                             You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward
                                  and uncomfortable when you try something NEW."
                                                              - Brian Tracy

About a month ago I had a conversation with a client about her job situation.
She lives in a small town and she has had the same job for over ten years. I could sense during our conversation that she was fed up with her job situation and that she longed for some changes.

I asked her if she had tried to look for another job, and she stated that she hadn't. My next question was..... "How about finding a job and try it out for a while?" and  maybe keeping the old job and try on a new position somewhere..... maybe once a week or a few hours per day?" She sighed and stated that "Well, I know what I got but I don't know what I will get if I try." My next question was....."are you afraid to look for a new job?" and she said "YES."

"How about if you will get something better..... if you start looking?" was my next question. She said that she hadn't thought about it in that way.

People have a tendency to always think that if they have to change something it is going to get worse than what they have.
This is one big reason that we remain where we are. We know what we have and we often don't believe that we will get something better, if we change or try something new.

This is why a lot of people will remain in dysfunctional relationships that they have outgrown years ago. Or they stay at job that bores them to death and won't allow them to grow or learn something new. Also people don't dare to move to another city because they are afraid of leaving the safety of friends and family behind.
Eventually they will get stuck in their comfort zone.

If we continue like this our comfort zone will shrink and shrink until we will feel like we are wearing chains or maybe feeling like a caged bird. I believe that a lot of people actually would like to change and to do something more challenging, if they could see what the future will hold for them. But that is not possible. We have to take a leap of faith and not allow fear of the unknown to stop us.

                            You are only confined by the walls you build yourself

We settle where we are and later in life we will have to deal with regrets for not trying. Often people will become angry and bitter for letting life just slip on by without doing anything about it.

Don't let this be you!!!

Dare to venture out of your comfort zone. Start by doing something that scares you and that you haven't done before.

One small little step today and then the next day and the next day..... will eventually lead to big changes, excitement and wonderful growth.

But you have to start!!!

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Endless Search For Validation

                            "Stop looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment,
                                                   for validation, security or love -
                              you have a treasure within that is infinitely greater
                                               than anything the world can offer."
                                                            - Eckhart Tolle

Most of us in some way have been wounded from the wrong doing of others.
Many wounds and deep scares came from our childhood but also later in life from the people closest to us.

Many of us have been raised by mothers and fathers that were loving and kind. Parents that guided us and did their best to make sure that we had everything that we needed. But no one is perfect and our parents made mistakes and at times they let us down and they didn't give us what we needed most.

Our parents meant well but maybe they were not affectionate. They didn't tell us that they loved us and that they were proud of us. They made sure that we stayed on the right path and they corrected us but they were never affectionate towards us and they were not attuned to what we needed most.

Most of the time when you run into this..... it is a huge possibility that their parents were not affectionate towards them either. They never heard "I love you" from their parents. Or "I am proud of you". It was never modeled in front of them.
You cannot give away what you don't have. If you were never showed love and affection during your childhood it will sometimes be hard to give love and affection as an adult.

To be seen, heard and validated is a human need. A young child cannot survive and can't develop an identity without it. As and adult we still need to be seen, heard and validated. If we don't .....this will sometimes lead to feelings of worry, anxiety and we might also feel insignificant and useless.

Unfortunately I see a lot of people around me today that were not validated as children trying to get validation through their work. They are constantly seeking validation at work by working all the time. And if they are not receiving the validation they so badly want..... they will drive themselves to accomplish more in the hope of getting the validation they so badly crave for.
Continuing down this path might eventually lead to burnout or depression or both.

John is a good friend of mine that I have known for a long time but John have a problem with never feeling loved. His father abandoned him when he was very young. John got validation and felt seen when he pushed himself beyond his limitations at work. There were never any down time in his schedule and he seldom allowed himself to take any time off from work. His marriage suffered and his relationships with his children is strained.
What kind of message to you think John sent to his children when he chose work before spending time with them?
The same message that his father sent to him. That they were not important and wanted. He wasn't available to his children because he was always at work. He didn't mean to hurt his children he just did what his father had done to him. He was trying to fill his emptiness on this inside by getting validation from work. History repeats itself.

John carried inside of himself as many others also do a strong desire to get validation from the outside world. It was only when he got this validation that he felt good enough and only then could he feel comfortable and happy with himself.
As all children that haven't been seen and heard by their parents, John was carrying and enormous longing to be validated by his own father.

What is beneath all of this?
A feeling of not being wanted. A feeling of not being good enough. If my parents didn't love or want me..... I am going to make sure that I am needed.
So by working all the time and always being available makes a lot of people feel needed and also validated.
But as any addiction..... and yes there are people that are will take more work and then more work and even more work to satisfy the hunger and the emptiness they feel on the inside. Yes....they finally feel wanted by working all the time..... but at what price?
In the battle they are not taking loving care of themselves and they are often sacrificing time with their families and friends.

When we feel a lack of validation from work and from our boss it can bring us back to childhood when we didn't get validated by our parents. It's memories that we haven´t worked through. Memories when our mom or dad didn't make us feel safe and they didn't make us feel loved.
Which can make us have a strong need later in life for validation that we will try to get from our work, our spouse, our children and our friends.
When we don´t get this validation it can bring back those uncomfortable memories from our past that can sometimes control our behavior. Mostly in a bad way.

So What Can We Do?
If we have a better understanding of ourselves and our past, along with self-compassion and self-love we won't have such a need for validation from the outside and from others.
In other words.... We must learn to love and validate ourselves.
If you rely on something or someone for validation.....they also have the power to take it away from you.

If you learn to give love and validation to can never be taken away from you.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Art of Happiness - Great Book

                                          "Happiness is not something ready made.
                                             It comes from your own actions."
                                                           - Dalai Lama

Are you happy?

What does happiness mean to you?

Would you like to be happier?

A couple of weeks ago I finished reading a book that I highly want to recommend.

The name if it is..... The Art of Happiness - A handbook in the art of living.
It's written by Howard C. Cutler together with the Dalai Lama.
( The title of the book in Swedish - Lycka )

In this book the author describes and talks about long conversations that he had with the Dalai Lama. And the topic of the conversations were how we can live a more happy and fulfilled life.

In this book they talk about things like sources of happiness. How to train your mental muscles to increase your happiness. Compassion for ourselves and others. How to confront suffering and how to find meaning in pain and suffering. Suffering that we create ourselves. How to create change. How to handle rage and hate and also how to handle worry and anxiety.

                                               "The purpose of our lives
                                                        is to be happy."
                                                        - Dalai Lama

What is the meaning of life? Is it to strive for more happiness?

It doesn't matter where we live in this world or what our beliefs are....we are automatically striving for something better in our lives.
When you have compassion and understanding for others you will soon see and understand that people like you and me are very much alike.
It doesn't really matter where you live in this world because the bottom line is that most of us want to be seen and heard and to be happy in life.
We want to know and feel that our lives matter.

Be brave and confront your own suffering and you will be better equipped to deal with problems, setbacks and crisis in your own life. Never try to deal with a problem by avoiding it. It won't magically disappear by itself. Instead learn to confront your problems head on.

If you want to live a healthy in life I suggest that you start TODAY by increasing  your own happiness muscle.

Make sure that you check out this fantastic book!


Monday, September 11, 2017

The Best Motivation is Self-Motivation

                                     "The greatest leaders of business, industry and finance,
                      and all the great artists, poets, musicians and writers all became great
                                  because they developed the power of self-motivation."
                                                              - Napoleon Hill

Time again to write yet another blog about motivation.
It seems like too many people have a problem to motivate themselves to do a particular task, and they often leave the responsibility up to someone else to motivate them, to pull them along or to push them forward.

A few months ago Susan came to me for some coaching. Her problem started about ten months earlier when one of her friends moved to another city. The two women had been exercising together almost daily for many years. Taking daily walks together and sometimes even going to the gym.
But ever since her friend moved away Susan had lost all interest in walking and going to the gym. She said to me during one of our conversations that it was almost impossible for her to motivate herself  to go walking on her own, and that now she spends her time at home doing nothing or watching TV instead of going walking.
She also told me that she had gained almost 25 pounds since her friend moved and she was very unhappy about that too.
Susan also told me that she was going to try to get another friend to join the gym so that the friend could get her to go to the gym with her. In other words she was going to use the other person as a way of motivating herself and forcing herself to go to the gym to exercise.

I told her that it is a great idea to have a accountability partner in life, that will make sure that you do what you said that you were going to do. I am all for having someone holding you accountable.
But there is a big problem with it too.
What about if this person doesn't show up or decides not to work out.....are you going to go to the gym by yourself? or are you then going to stay home and not go because your friend couldn't go?
I personally don't think this is a very good plan because you are dependening on someone else going. How about if this person gets sick and can't go for a couple of weeks? Or maybe they have to travel out of time on business? Or they move to another city? Then, what are you going to do?

Actually there is only one type of motivation.....self-motivation.
It's an inside job.

Self-motivation means the ability to make yourself do something at a particular time that it needs to be done, whether you feel like it or not.

In the end you have to motivate yourself and discipline yourself to do the things that you must do. Expecting others to help you, won't work most of the time.
You are responsible for you and turning over the responsibility to others isn't always the smartest thing.

I remember many years ago when I was living outside Austin. I belonged to a gym and I usually went there 5 times per week after work. I had my own clothing store at the time. The store closed at 5 pm and I usually went straight to the gym afterwards. But I had this annoying habit of skipping out on my Friday session at the gym. I felt tired and I didn't have any motivation to go. Finally I told myself that it was ridiculous to skip the last session of the week because I felt tired. The truth was that I simply couldn't motivate myself to do it. It was easier to just go home and take it easy.

So what did I do to fix the problem?
I hired a personal trainer, twice a week and I made sure that I scheduled one of those sessions on a Friday evening. I knew that if I had an appointment I would make it to the gym and I wouldn't cancel the session. After meeting with my trainer for several months on a Friday, it became a habit and eventually I could make myself go on Fridays without having a sessions scheduled with my trainer.

I know that it is hard to motivate yourself. But I also know if you leave it up to someone else to motivate are probably going to fail at whatever you are trying to do.

I do recommend hiring a coach, trainer or mentor. If you pay someone to assist and to guide you.....they will show up for you. They will help you until you have established the habit or the discipline, and can do it on your own.
When you hire someone for a while you must also learn to let them go and learn to do it own your own. Never allow the coach/mentor/trainer to become a crutch for you.
You can do it on your own.

Self-motivation is an inner muscle and power that you have to learn and increase by practice.
Learn to motivate yourself and never depend on others to do it for you.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Embrace The Struggle

                                    "Embrace the struggle and let it make you stronger.
                                                           It won't last forever."

Do you wish to advance in life?

If the answer to the question is yes.....then you must learn to find joy in the struggle to get there.

Most of us hate the discipline that it takes to reach our goals.
It doesn't matter what your goal is..... but to get there it will take a lot of work and it will take struggle to advance.

Most people complain that the road to success and abundance is too hard. It's too inconvenient and it is way too slow.

Most people want a straight and speedy line to success or they won't even start the journey.

A lot of people won't go back to school because it will take too long.

People don't exercise because they want the see the results next week.

Most people don't want to fight for their dreams.

But the truth is one can do the work for you. And I guarantee you that it will be hard work.

You can talk all you want about your dream..... but your actions will show if you are committed to your dream..... or not.

So get out of bed tomorrow and have a made up mind that you will succeed no matter what and embrace the struggle that it will take you to get to where you want to go.

In the end..... it will be worth it.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Storms Don't Last Forever

                                  Life's roughest storms prove the strength of our anchor

Happy Labor Day to everyone in The US!

A big shout out to all my fellow Texans!!!
As they say in Texas....."Everything is bigger in Texas." Even the storms are bigger in Texas!!!
Harvey was a big one..... that we won't forget for a very long time.
My thoughts and prayers goes out to all my fellow Texans and everyone affected by this devastating storm.

As many of you know I wasn't born in Texas.....but I got there as fast as I could (only people in Texas will get that one). I have lived in Texas for 27 years and 18 of those I have live in the Houston area. For the past 2 years I have been in Sweden so I wasn't personally affected by the storm, but I know so many people and have many close friends in the Houston area that have been affected by Harvey.

I have been watching and following Harvey closely online and also through daily conversations with my closest friends. I am so sadden by all the devastation and loss of lives. Both 2-legged and 4-legged.
I also know that it will take many..... many..... many years to rebuild people's lives, Houston and other areas of Texas.
But what I have learned from living so many years in Texas is that Texans are strong and they will come out of this storm even stronger.

Storms are part of life and living. Storms in life can be a hurricane like Harvey. It can be fire, earthquakes or tornados. Those are storms provided by nature.
But storms in our lives can also be a loss of a loved one, through death or divorce. A business not making it. A loss of a job, financial loss, having to flee a war in a country and move to a new country. So many different losses and storms.

Storms come and they go and we all have to go through them. Some will be more devastation than others. In some of them we will lose loved ones. In others we might lose all our money or belongings.
Life happens to all of us. We all must go through storms, setbacks and loss.

Even though it has been hard to watch all the devastation in Texas..... it has also been wonderful to see how people pulled together and helped each other out. It didn't matter what color, religion or political views people had....they helped each other.
My question is....why does it have to be a storm that will bring people together and help each other out. Why can't we do that during "normal" times?

I try to focus on what is positive and what is working and I have seen so much love, compassion, caring and people helping each other during this past week and it makes me proud to be a Texan. Even though I am not there physically..... I am there spiritually.... and soon I will be back physically too.

Stay Strong Texas!
Karin Glannstam - Personal Success Coach

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Are You Trying To Stay Safe From Pain?

                                    "Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls"

Are you trying to stay safe from pain?

If you are..... I have bad news for you. No one will escape pain. It doesn't matter who you are and where you live in this world. Pain is all around us and trying to avoid it will only lead to more pain.

Pain often feels like a hole in our soul. And then we try to fill this hole with all kinds of unhealthy habits or substances in order to suppress our feelings and avoid being ourselves for awhile. We are pushing the pain down to be dealt with later. But when later comes around we just continue to fill the hole yet again. Unfortunately we will continue to fill the hole with things that won't fill us up. We stay hungry for more and more and more. It's like a bottomless pit.

Instead of trying to avoid the pain by numbing out through some kind of addiction or addictive behavior.....stop for a moment and take a good look at the pain. It is there to tell you something. There is always a message in every problem or crisis and if you are willing to stop and learn from the lesson you might be surprised what you can learn.
Our Pain Has A Purpose.
If you missed Monday's blog you can click on the link below and read it.

Sometimes you will hear people talking about that their biggest pain and suffering was the greatest thing that ever happened to them. It woke them up. They stopped or slowed down for a moment and then they started to pay attention to what was going on in their body and their mind. They went inside and started to look at what was causing all the pain that they were experiencing.
It doesn't matter if it's actual physical pain or emotional pain. Pain is pain.

Then these people started to look back at their lives and examined where they might need to make some changes. It might have been in their relationships. Maybe they were spending 40 hours a week, at a job that they absolutely hated. Maybe they were workaholics and trying to feel important by working too much. Only feeling good when people needed them. Maybe some people couldn't say no to their parents and that caused a lot of problems in their marriage. Maybe they just stayed "busy" doing nothing and never accomplished anything. Some people just needed to learn to be able to say "NO" and take care of themselves. I think you get my point.

Anyway they turned their worst pain and suffering into the greatest thing ever in their life. They did this by going inside and doing the internal work that is often required to understand the pain and suffering in our lives.
Like Oprah says....."Turn Your Wounds Into Wisdom"

I just want to tell you a little about my own life. Back in 2012 my whole life fell apart. First my mom died in the end of Dec 2011. Three months later I walked away from an abusive relationship and 3 days later I left the US where I had lived for the past 25 years and returned to Sweden where I was born and raised. Three huge losses at the same time. A lot to handle at the time.

Looking back on it now..... over 5 years later....I realized that it was time for me to wake up. I had been sleep waking through my life. Slowly losing myself . Finally the pain became too hard to handle and I had to stop and take a good look at myself, my life and my own behavior. No easy task. But all change and transformation has to start from within.

Has it been easy?.....No.
A lot of study and a lot of hard work.
Am I sorry I started it?..... No way.
My pain could not have been avoided any longer. It had to deal with it.

But today I can also say that is was the best thing that ever happened to me. It was a wake-up call from my own soul, letting me know that I had taken a huge detour in my life and that it was time to find myself again and to make some changes.

Without this experience I would probably not have become a life coach and started my own coaching business. I would not have written my first book.....Bounce Don't Break.....because it tells the story about pain that I experienced and how I transformed it. Without the experience I could not have written the book.
Doing the inner work has helped me understand myself better. My parents, my brother and other people around me. It has taught me how to forgive and let go of the past. By doing all this work (and I guess I will do it until I take my last breath because it is so much to learn) I can now better understand the people that I help through my coaching business.

Breakthroughs of all kinds usually are proceeded by a crisis or a Divine storm. The greater the crisis the greater the opportunity for growth and advancement. Out of confusion comes order. A higher degree of order than existed prior to the confusion. It's a wake-up call that the path you are on is not the right path for you. You have taken a detour. The crisis is trying to get us back onto our own track.

We need not to fear the changes. Step into the unknown and have what it takes to handle the crisis in your life. 


Monday, August 28, 2017

Our Pain Has A Purpose

                                            Be grateful for your pain and suffering,
                                                       you will need them to grow.

What is the purpose of pain?

Have you ever heard a person say....."the cancer was the best thing that ever happen to me"
or "losing that job was a gift" or "going through this financial loss or relationship loss saved my life" or "this addiction was a wake-up call for me"

What are they talking about?

What is the nature of this pain?

Most of the time it's about loss of the awareness of who we are.

All the problems, or crisis that we are experiencing in our lives are not there to hurt us. They are there to help us and to wake us up. They are sent to us by a part of ourselves that loves us so much that it will create extra difficulties for us if we are on the wrong path or have taken a detour in our lives. It is a sign to get us back on track. It's a sign that we need to grow up.
What else can it do?

This is the only way that it can get us to pay attention.....through difficulties and pain. Otherwise we would not pay attention. With pain we are now forced to pay attention.  It can be done through physical pain or emotional pain. These difficulties are waking us up and forcing ourselves to get to know ourselves.

You can look at a problem in 2 different ways.
- Something to overcome and to get through
- A possibility of learning. A message from our true self

If we ignore the lesson, we will get another lesson and another. And every time you ignore the lesson the more severe the next lesson will be until you finally stop and pay attention to the pain.
The more stubborn you are, the longer it will take for you to get the lesson and to be able to re-connect with yourself.
Unfortunately many people need many wake-up calls. Most of us are not very quick to learn. It will take a long time to wake some people up.
Sometimes we wake up for a while but then we have a tendency to go back to sleep.

The experience will often allow people to finally accept themselves, getting to know themselves and to love themselves.
Before the experience came along a lot of these people were just stumbling along in life. They were sleep waking through life. Awake but not entirely awake.
Being alive but not actually living.

Any problem that comes along is not to make our lives more miserable. Actually it is to make our lives better and less miserable.
The suffering that is imposes is an attempt to wake us up.

If we wake up, it will be a reason to be grateful.
Anything that comes along..... illness, addiction, death, abuse or loss..... take it as an opportunity to learn. Take it as an gift that is here to wake you up.

So don't ignore your pain. It has a message for you. Slow down. Learn from your pain. It is here to help you.
The pain in here to help you to re-connect to your essence.

So whatever you do, don't shut off your pain. Instead learn to except your pain.
Remain vulnerable.

From my book.....Bounce Don't Break

     You must learn to self-sooth. Because anything you reach for out there, won't help you fix your problem and the emptiness in the inside.
Learn to be still. One thing that would be helpful to learn is to sit through your painful feelings without turning so some kind of addiction to numb out.
     You can't avoid the pain with any kind of addiction or distraction. It will eventually catch up with you. There will not be enough alcohol, drugs (prescription or non-prescription), food, sugar gambling, shopping, sex, relationships, internet, TV or staying busy all the time to distract you from your pain.
     It will never fill the emptiness that you feel on the inside. Addiction will only wreck havoc in your life. You can't keep running. You can't keep putting off the pain for temporary feelings of pleasure. Those feelings won't last.
     You can never avoid feeling those uncomfortable feelings. Instead you must learn to deal with those feelings in a better way. Feel.....Deal.....Heal.
     In life we all have "good" and "bad" feelings. No one wants the bad ones. But that isn't reality. Life comes with a variety of good and bad things and feelings. For all of us. Instead we must find a better way of dealing with them.
     My favorite drug of choice is chocolate. If I want to numb out I go for the sugar. When I feel those uncomfortable feelings coming on, I dive into a bag of Peanut M&M's.
     While I was in the relationship with my narcissistic ex, I used to go shopping as an escape. I had to get away from him and out of the house. I used to spend hours roaming the big department stores, buying things that would make me feel better for the moment. But as soon as I returned home and walked into the house that pleasurable feeling was no where to be found.
    I did have a lot of pretty clothes, shoes and purses in my closet. But I didn't do me any good because I never got to wear them.
    But going shopping was a great escape fro me. A new purse and some chocolate was my best weapon for feeling insignificant, ignored, lonely and unworthy of love.

We do so many things to get away from pain like using substances or acting in a certain way.
Your pain is a messenger. Protecting yourself from pain doesn't work. And when we try to fend ourselves from suffering, then we only suffer more  and we don't learn what we can from the experience.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

It's Great To Start - But You Must Also Finish

                                                "When it's all said and done,
                        the finish line doesn't care how many miles you had to run
                                                 or how fast you have gone.
                                                 It just cares that you arrive.
                                           That you finish what you started."
                                                         - Fellou Flowers

Have you ever been to someone's' house to find that they are buried in unfinished projects?

They are building a few new cabinets in the kitchen.
They are adding a new shower in the bathroom.
The floor in the living room is being replaced.
The pluming is under construction in the laundry room.
The whole upstairs walls are being painted.

This sounds exhausting but it actually happens. People take on way too many projects at the same time and they don't finish either one. This will eventually cause a lot of stress to the people living in this house and it will cause a lot of stress in general. Knowing that you have all these unfished project and not having the energy to finish either one.
If you come back to the house six months later.....same thing. No progress to talk about and they might have added another project.

I think we can all agree that we don't want to live in that house. At least I know I don't.

But we don't recognize that a lot of us will actually do the same thing in our lives.
The above example is so easy to recognize. But a lot of times we can't see or we don't want to face it and admit what we are doing in our own lives (or don't do).

People love to start new projects or maybe even a new business. And sometimes people will even do this when it comes to relationships. A new relationship is always fun in the beginning and it makes you feel wonderful just like a new business or project will.

Yes.....everything is fun in the beginning. All your friends and your family are onboard and they are cheering you on. It is something new and often very exciting.
But what happens a couple of months into the project when you are running out of energy, your friends are busy with their own lives and they don't care so much anymore, and no one is there to cheer you on..... but you?
What happens when it's not fun anymore? What happens when you get frustrated and easily distracted? What happens when the self-discipline is fading?

Now you quit or you jump into something new that will give you a new inspiration and a burst of energy.
You are now excited least  for a while until this new thing becomes boring or you see no results.

Can you see the pattern here?
A lot of people will start new things. It doesn't matter if it is a new business, new health-plan or a financial plan. It is fun to start, but very few people will finish what they actually started.

A lot of people are actually living in the house in the example above. They have started way too many projects and finished none.

Time to change this!
Make commitment to yourself that this time you will finish what you started. No matter what. It doesn't matter if no one is there to cheer you on or you haven't seen any results for a while.
Be committed.
Finish one thing at a time.
Don't start anything new until you have finished the previous project.
It is a known fact that it is very difficult to finish the last 5-10% of almost any project.

I remember last year when I was writing my first book....Bounce Don't Break, how excited I was in the beginning. But as time went by I got more and more tired and also frustrated. It took a lot longer than I had expected. I ran into roadblock that I had not thought about before I started, because I had never written and published a book before. I had to wait on other people to get things done. There were plenty of things that I could not control. It would have been very easy to put the project aside for a while. But I didn't want to do that because I know that often when you put something aside for a month or so..... it might be a year before you get back to it. Or maybe you won't finish it at all. And I didn't want that to happen. So I pushed through and I am so glad I did.

It will become very stressful to live with a lot of unfinished project around you and it won't boost your self-esteem or you confidence.
This is stress that you don't need in your life. It's stress that is under your control and that can be avoided.

When you start something and you finish it..... it will be the greatest feeling and you must celebrate!!!

It's great to start.....but you must also finish.