50: Transformational Relationships May22

50: Transformational Relationships...

https://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/medeor.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/50-Transformational-Relationships.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 41:48 — 38.3MB)Jeannette Slated is back to chat with Dr. Deb about relationships that are life-giving and help us grow. Dedicated to helping people grow and develop, Jeannette Slater has been involved in professional life coaching for over 20 years. Dr. Deb is a communication professor at several colleges and universities. Resources mentioned in this episode: Examining Relationships article I Quit article including The Dip by Seth Godin Trapped article discussing the Johari Window Peter Rollins website: https://peterrollins.com The Liturgists website: http://www.theliturgists.com Rob Bell’s website: https://robbell.com Greg Boyd’s website: http://reknew.org  ...

Top 10-#5 Communication is important...

You are a communicator. You are different than the rest of life on earth. The plants live by cause and effect. If you put a seed in the ground and it receives nutrients from the soil, warmth from the sun and moisture from the sky, it will do what is in its DNA. Plants are involved in a give-and-take cycle that is about exchanging energy. Animals seem to live by instinct. They know what to do and spend their whole lives doing it: eating, pooping, sleeping (they’re really good at that one), reproducing, etc. This morning the dove eggs in a nest outside my kitchen window are being protected by mama (or papa) dove as it snows. People are different; we’re much more complex than things that live by instinct or cause and effect. We have the ability to reason, can emote, possess freewill, are creative, and communicate. I think we can do all these things because we’re made in God’s image. Communication has been around a long time; it’s right from the beginning of the bible. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God.” The word for God is actually Gods; it is plural. It presumes that God has always existed. If God consists of multiple persons that have existed forever, one has to assume they have communicated forever. You cannot have relationship without communication. God used communication to make the world; They spoke the world into existence. Jesus was called the Word. Jesus told stories and asked questions more than anything else. He was a master communicator. Good, healthy, effective, loving communication is essential for healthy relationships. When we withhold affection, say harmful words, withdraw, or even focus on what we want to say next, we are being selfish and unkind; we are...

Top 10-#4 Think Flexible...

In 1956, actress Doris Day recorded the hit song, “Que Será Será.” It was introduced in the Hitchcock film, The Man Who Knew Too Much and later used as the theme of The Doris Day [TV] Show. “Whatever will be will be” is what the words mean. Related popular expression are, “it was meant to be,” and “everything happens for a reason,” (as if someone or something is driving the universe). These expressions reflect a worldview that is fatalistic and predetermined. The problem is, the world doesn’t work like that. I believe there is someone bigger than me, a being referred to as God. I’m not a Deist who believes that God created the world and then left it. Neither am I a determinist who thinks God causes everything. (If that is so, you must conclude that God is a monster, a topic I will address in a later post.) The world is not on some pre-determined course. There are too many variables. There are too many possibilities. There is human free will. Animists believe spirits inhabit everything (trees, the ground, everything) and humans are mostly powerless to fight them; people live in fear. Muslims say, “nsha’Allah,” which means, “God willing.” Behind this saying is a belief that nothing happens outside of God’s will. These ideas have invaded Christianity as far back as Augustine in the 4th and 5th centuries. However, life shows us that things can change. In the bible, there is great evidence that God changes his mind. I have free will, so I can choose my path—and change my mind. If I see the world as fixed, then I am either in the right or in the wrong. I am either on the merry-go-round or I am off. I’m either in...

Top 10-#3 Try New Things...

We have an English expression that one can be “stuck in a rut”. A rut in the ground is created when repeated activity takes place in the same location. If you walk or drive in the same place every day, you will create ruts or crevices in the ground. Over time, these can become huge. Our brains are no different. When you do things over and over and only occasionally deviate from sameness, your brain actually creates ruts. So the expression, “I’m in a rut,” is very literal. Scientists used to believe that the brain has little ability to change past childhood. But research since the 1960s shows the brain is like plastic; it has the ability to change as a result of new experiences. It can even rewire itself after suffering damage. I saw a documentary about a 95-year-old Japanese man who was still directing a preschool for special needs children. He had learned the Korean language in his 80s and was learning Chinese in his 90s so he could travel to China to share his expertise on children. This man refused to retire into a rocking chair; he continued to live by pushing himself and learning new things. I think he might have a key to staying young. I once took a creative communication class. We were encouraged to alter our daily routines in order to spark creativity: take a different route home or brush your teeth with your other hand. If you’re a follower of this blog, you know I often quote the famous American basketball coach John Wooden. He said, “Five years from now, you’re the same person except for the people you’ve met and the books you’ve read.” So do something different today. Expose yourself to new ideas and experiences....

Top 10-#2 Ask Questions!...

If you’ve ever been around toddlers, you know they have a favorite word. “Why?” Little kids are naturally inquisitive. But something happens when we grow up. We are compelled to conform; it’s one of the strongest pressures in the world. We live in a world driven by social norms, and sometimes those norms are less than helpful. We are told what to think. We start to accept the way things are. We stop exploring. As I travel the world, I see that some cultures resist change, critical thinking and question-asking. In fact, asking questions is sometimes seen as rebellious or obnoxious; sometimes it’s even punished. Perhaps you grew up in a family that was always pushing your mental boundaries. Or perhaps you didn’t. I think some of us need to be given permission to ask questions. Has it been awhile since you had an original or creative thought? Is your mind full of cobwebs? I am privileged to have a life-long friend who taught me critical thinking skills. He’s an engineer, so he questions everything. He gave me permission, and it altered my life. Asking questions is good, healthy and reasonable. And contrary to popular belief, God likes it. Jesus asked a lot of questions! I used to think that life was all about the end, about finding truth and holding on to it. But then I realized life is about the journey, always learning and growing.  Life isn’t easy. We have to struggle and wrestle to find solutions for life’s challenges. I think it’s how we were designed. So here is permission. ASK QUESTIONS! Think creative thoughts. Escape whatever boxes you have built in your mind or have been imposed on you. Allow yourself the freedom to resist the status quo and rediscover inquisitiveness....

Top 10-#1 Laugh!

A few years ago I gave a talk in Argentina listing 10 of the most important lessons I’ve learned in life. I will be blogging on these lessons every day for 10 consecutive days. I hope they will inspire you and motivate you to come up with your top 10! #1 Laugh a lot It’s so easy for us to be overly serious. We stress. We’re tired. We are overwhelmed. We feel guilty about the stuff we did and the stuff we didn’t do. We need to lighten up. The cliché is true that laughter is good medicine. Research proves it. Paul E. McGhee spent 22 years researching the health benefits of humor; he concluded: “Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.” He thinks laughter is so important, he calls it “the laughter remedy!” In his book, Health, Healing, and the Amuse System: Humor as Survival Training, Dr. McGhee promotes an 8-step program: Determine the nature of your own sense of humor Become less serious and cultivate a more playful attitude in life (this is the basic foundation for your sense of humor) Develop a more hearty and healthy belly laugh Improve your joke-telling skills Create your own spontaneous verbal humor Find humor in everyday life Laugh at yourself, and Start applying these skills to cope with stress. So chill out, lighten up and...

I Don’t Know What I Want To Be When I Grow Up! May05

I Don’t Know What I Want To Be When I Grow Up!

Perhaps you think you’re the only one who says, “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.” Actually, it’s more common than you think. I even heard the phrase from two 50-somethings this week. If you are asking deep questions about who you are, what you’re good at, or what you REALLY want to do, you’re not alone. We all desire to know who we are and what work will be fun and fulfilling. Some people don’t know because they’ve focused on others, like their kids. Some have let life push them instead of them pushing life. Some have spent all their energy working for a paycheck, or have perhaps never given themselves permission to ask, “What would I really like to do?” How about you? Get Control Of Your Life is not about giving you formulas or steps. There are enough websites, book authors and motivational speakers already out there with 5 or 10 simple steps to success. I think life is more complex, so here you will find no magic bullets for life, secret recipes for success, or easy plans. We all get to figure stuff out for ourselves. However, there is help. Here are some principles that have served me: Look for patterns Know thyself Inform thyself Motivate thyself Connect thyself Submit thyself Look for patterns Think about what you’ve enjoyed doing throughout your life. What were the projects or initiatives that were really fun, fulfilling, made you feel good about yourself, and gave you the sense that you made a difference? Take some time alone to reflect on this question. Go for a walk. Get quiet. Get out some paper and make a list. You may be surprised at what you unveil. When I look back on my life, I see patterns. I love communication. I enjoy making videos for non-profits. I like to write. I love to influence people. I adore teaching, and I realized that everything I do has a teaching motivation, whether it’s speaking, writing, or producing. I’m a news junkie, and I love to tell stories. I love the challenge of trying to represent God accurately and without all the religious baggage. It was only as I began to create Get Control Of Your Life that I remembered some things I did as a child. Wow, I found patterns! As a little blond-headed girl of maybe 8 or 9, I decided to publish a newspaper. (See me in the cover photo of this post.) I apparently wrote some articles and glued the tiny comic from bubble gum or Cracker Jack (caramel coated popcorn and peanuts with a “prize”) for the comic section of my “paper.” I then posted the paper on the light pole in front of our house. Years later, as an adult, I was the copy editor on a hospital ship called The Anastasis. With a typewriter (we’re talking 1982-83) and a lousy photocopier, I “published” The Daily Plan-It, a takeoff on The Daily Planet where Clark Kent (Superman) and Lois Lane worked. It was great fun, and I loved informing my shipmates of key announcements and putting a smile on their faces with little anecdotes and jokes. Another thing I did as a kid was pretend to be a news anchor, and one night I performed the news in front of my parents and grandparents. I must have been quite young because it was that night I learned what a weather forecast is! As a graduate student in the late 1980s, I worked on a weekly newscast on The Family Channel and got to be a real news anchor. In the 1990s I worked for two news stations in Dallas. Now I’m a bona fide blogger and soon-to-be podcaster. I’m writing, telling stories, connecting others to resources, and sharing ideas What patterns and connections do you see in your life? Know thyself Take some...

Pleasantville

It seemed everything was perfect. Kids were happy, fathers got a fully cooked dinner after a long day at work, the streets were clean, and there was no crime anywhere to be found. It was the idealized American 1950s. It’s all the residents of the small town knew. But life turned messy when two teenagers from the next century invaded their perfect space. You see, the place was a fictionalized town inside a fictionalized movie called Pleasantville released 1998. The film starred Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, William H. Macy, Jeff Daniels and Don Knotts. The film began in the 1990s. Tobey’s character David longed for the simplicity of the 1950s. The victim of his parents’ failed marriage, a stressed-out mother, and an absent father, David escaped his painful reality by watching old re-runs of a 1950s TV show, Pleasantville. And Reece’s character, Jennifer, was obsessed with being popular at school and sleeping with every high school boy she could seduce. Her value was based on being liked by others. One day, while fighting over the television remote, David and Jennifer were magically transported into the 1950s world of Pleasantville, only to find the town residents living in black-and-white, just like the TV show. What they found were isolated, ignorant and shallow residents. While everything seemed wonderful on the surface, the reality was that the townsfolk knew of nothing outside their tiny world, and were ignorant to the beauty of art, the mind-expanding knowledge of books and the intimacy of deep relationships. David and Jennifer could not help being who they were (themselves from the 1990s). As they interacted with Pleasantville’s residents, things began to change. As folks experienced beauty, choice, knowledge and passion, they began to change from 2-dimensional characters in black and white to 3-dimensional characters...

Avoiding Transformation...

This article is part of a series on scapegoating by Franciscian, Richard Rohr. It seems we always find some way to avoid the transformation of our pain. There’s the common way of fight. Fighters are looking for the evildoer, the sinner, the unjust one, the oppressor, the bad person “over there.” He or she “righteously” attacks, hates, or even kills the wrong-doer, while feeling heroic for doing so (see John 16:2). We are all tempted to project our problem on someone or something else rather than dealing with it in ourselves. The zealot—and we’ve all been one at different times—is actually relieved by having someone to hate, because it takes away our inner shame and anxiety and provides a false sense of innocence. As long as the evil is “over there” and we can keep our focus on changing or expelling someone else (as the contaminating element), then we feel at peace. But this is not the peace of Christ, which “the world cannot give” (see John 14:27). Playing the victim is another way to deal with pain indirectly. You blame someone else, and your pain becomes your personal ticket to power because it gives you a false sense of moral superiority and outrage. You don’t have to grow up, let go, forgive, or surrender—you just have to accuse someone else of being worse than you are. And sadly, that becomes your very fragile identity, which always needs more reinforcement. The other common way to avoid the path of transformation is the way of flight or denial. It can take many forms. Those with the instinct to flee will often deny or ignore pain by naively dividing the world up through purity codes and worthiness systems. They keep the problem on the level of...

Living With Purpose

“Finding a direction for life, and setting overarching goals for what you want to achieve can help you actually live longer,” says psychology researcher, Patrick Hill of Carleton University. Hill and his colleague Nicholas Turiano recently published “Purpose in Life as a Predictor of Mortality Across Adulthood,” in the journal, Psychological Science, adding to a list of studies that show the importance of living life with purpose. Many studies have shown the physical benefits of psychological wellbeing. And several have even studied attitudes about life purpose. But Hill and Turiano (of the University of Rochester Medical Center) decided to see  if the benefits of purpose vary over time and help people deal with life transitions. They looked at data from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study, funded by the National Institute on Aging. They examined responses about purpose from over 6,000 participants over a 14-year period. They found those who had reported a greater sense of purpose outlived their peers. In fact, they had a 15% lower risk of death compared to their more aimless counterparts Purpose turned out to be a greater predictor of long life than other factors including gender and emotional wellbeing. We know there are many influences on our health and aging. It is not simply the fate of our DNA that determines our happiness, success and longevity. Living a life of purpose is a uniquely human endeavor. There seems to be a drive deep inside everyone to live for something greater than themselves. Some live for their children. Some live to change the world. It doesn’t seem to matter how lofty the purpose. But having a purpose is essential for living life as you were designed. It is no coincidence that Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life:...

Examining Relationships...

With whom do I have the closest relationships? What connections are those relationships based on? How can I re-evaluate the depth of particular relationships to know where to put my energies? These are some of the questions I asked myself while sitting in on a course called, Your CrossRoads. Working with a non-profit for much of my career, I had considered literally hundreds of people to be friends. A belief is that the mission is held together by relationships and shared ethos. Consequently, I had almost no mental map to differentiate various relationships. However, when I left the group, it became more obvious who were my friends and who were relationships of convenience. True friends follow you in life; friendships of convenience or circumstance fade away. Now a couple of years out, I find myself thinking about my relationships and considering the differences between friends, acquaintances and colleagues. There are differences. In her CrossRoads course, creator Victoria Jeffs challenges participants to identify the foundations important to healthy relationships. The model helped me identify how I relate to various people in my life. The foundational pillars are touch points we have in common with others. Upon examination, I found that my closest friendships are with those people I share several touch points. They are: Intellect Emotion Social Spiritual Financial Physical Cultural Some people are in our lives due to circumstances. These include family members, work colleagues, and others we know through various groups in which we participate. The close relationships in our lives are those we have invited in. Like me, you can use the seven pillars to examine your closest relationships. This simple exercise can help you identify what aspects of those relationships are healthy and also what are unhealthy. Healthy relationships are life-giving....

Who Was St. Patrick?

Who was Saint Patrick, the patron saint of the Irish whose name represents all things green? Because of the holiday—St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated every March 17th—you might think this historical figure was an Irishman who drank green beer. In fact, neither is true. Saint Patrick was actually born in Scotland or Wales to parents who were Romans living as colonial bureaucrats in Britain! Born around 385, Patrick is surely to have drunk beer, or ale as it was called then. People drank a lot of beer back then because it was cleaner than water (that could give you nasty parasites and diseases). But as everybody knows, ale is more of a meal in a glass, and generally much darker than the standard pilsners and lagers from my Germanic ancestors and other Europeans. I don’t think they had green food coloring then; making beer (and rivers) green is an Irish-American invention meant to celebrate ethnicity. Patrick would have grown up with some privilege, as his parents worked for Roman occupiers. However, in his teens, a raiding party (that’s what they did back then) invaded and kidnapped Patrick off to Ireland, where he was made to heard sheep. It was as a slave in Ireland that he encountered God. There is nothing like captivity or other unpleasant circumstances to get you on your knees. He later wrote, “The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same…I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.” After about six years...

Lent

Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, 40 days in the Christian church calendar preceding Easter. Perhaps you think of Lent as a morbid time when we all have to get super serious, give up stuff, and consider how terrible we are. It is like that for many. But it doesn’t have to be like that for you. I offer some suggestions that may help you think about and engage in Lent differently this year. Every religion has seasons of penitence and reflection. That is good for the soul. But perhaps your soul needs watering. Maybe you’ve been in a dessert for way too long; your grass is withered and you need refreshment. Maybe you just feel distant, not only from God, but from your true self. Or perhaps you know it’s just time to step back a bit and reflect on things that matter. As Richard Rohr wrote in his introduction to Wondrous Encounters: Scripture for Lent: “There are two moments that matter. One is when you know that your one and only life is absolutely valuable and alive. The other is when you know your life, as presently lived, is entirely pointless and empty. You need both of them to keep you going in the right direction. Lent is about both.” Rohr offers the idea that Lent can be a time to be fully known. “Allow yourself to be fully known,” he wrote, “and you will know what you need to know.” Or as social reformer and Saint, Teresa of Avila, wrote in the 16th century: “We find God in ourselves, and we find ourselves in God.” I invite you to set aside this season for reflection, to be known, and to bask in the love of The Divine. After all, that is...

Perception Checking

We think we see the world as it is. But we actually see it through our limited perceptions and stories we construct to explain it. We develop narratives about who we are, who other people are, and what events and communication mean. We’re on a constant quest to explain things to ourselves. Each of us was raised differently, had vastly different experiences, came from different cultures and were exposed to different kinds of information, so we all created our thinking patterns separately and distinctly. No wonder we have such a hard time understanding each other. “How could you POSSIBLY think THAT!?” we often ask. We forget we have limited perceptions, and over-trust our impressions. Even the Bible points this out, saying we only see as if looking at a reflection and knowing in part.* That is why ten people can witness a crime and all report a different story. It’s also why ten million people can watch the same television event and all have a distinct experience. It helps if we break down the process into a simple model: We are stimulated through our senses. What we observe (notice) is selectively based on what grabs our attention, meets a need, or is enjoyable. We then organize what we have sensed into thinking structures that make sense to us. Swiss developmental psychologist, Jean Piaget, called these knowledge or mental schemata that we developed from our unique experiences and what sociologists, Berger and Luckmann, called social construction.** After that we interpret; we assign meaning to what we sensed.  We confuse these stages, especially observation and interpretation. I understand how challenging this can be, especially in relationships. I have a good friend who is very different than me. We see the world in vastly different ways, and we...

How are you doing?

We are about to complete the first month of 2017. That’s right, we’re almost 1/12 through the new year already! It’s a great time to measure our initial progress. I set a few large goals for this year. Did you? How are you doing on them? Are you winning at some and have room to improve others? Well beating yourself up won’t do any good. Do y need to adjust some actual goals or do you need to alter your approach? I challenge to you ask yourself: Which goals have you achieved? Tell somebody of your accomplishments! Pat yourself on the back. Which goals are still in process? Are you making progress on them? Which goals need to be adjusted? Perhaps your goals weren’t SMART enough. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) Is it possible you’re not focusing on the right areas for now? (Click on Rate Your Life to see if you’re putting energy into the parts of your life that need the most attention now.) Success is not just about accomplishing all your goals, but also seeing where you need to adjust, setting new goals, or tweaking your approach.  Don’t beat yourself up for your failures. Rather focus on your accomplishments and make adjustments to continue moving forward. It’s not too late. After all, you still have 11/12 of the year...

049: Planting God Oct12

049: Planting God

https://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/medeor.co/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/49-Planting-God-with-Derek-Schoenhoff.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 52:02 — 47.6MB)Derek Schoenhoff talks about his just-released book, Planting God, an attempt to make God more accessible to everyone. Dedicated to rethinking stereotypical concepts of God, many of which are inconsistent with the bible and nature, Derek loves to talk about the nature and character of God, reconciliation, and the future of the church. His fun and simple approach to difficult issues make him relevant for all generations. Check out the website PlantingGod.com for more information about the book. The book is available at in various formats from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other...

048: Brave Dames & Wimpettes Sep12

048: Brave Dames & Wimpettes...

https://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/medeor.co/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/48-Brve-Dames-Wimpettes-with-JB-91216-4.21-PM.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 27:37 — 25.3MB)A conversation with Jeannette Slater about how men and women communicate and are perceived differently. The episode touches on cultural expectations, social constructs of what is means to be a man & woman, understanding the sexes and being who you are. A timely episode as the U.S. struggles to understand and like its first female presidential candidate. Resources mentioned: Powell, John. (1995). Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am? Insights into Personal Growth Isaacs, Susan. (1999). Brave Dames and Wimpettes: What Women Are Really Doing on Page and Screen Landa Cope on The Unveiled Image of God: Privilege Walk (What is...

047: Gratitude Aug21

047: Gratitude

https://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/medeor.co/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/47-Gratitude-with-Jeannette-.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 25:38 — 23.5MB)Jeannette Slater & Dr. Deb discuss a cure to many ills and stresses: gratitude! The episode is full of reminders and perspective that we often lose as we experience everyday life. Jeannette read Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life by Arrien Angeles, internalized it and added her own reflections and experiences to discuss this important topic.   Check out Angeles books and try using the table above for a self-reflective exercise. Angeles Arrien. (2013). Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life Angeles Arrien. (2013). Living in Gratitude: Mastering the Art of Giving Thanks Every Day, A Month-by-Month Guide Angeles Arrien. (2006). The Second Half of Life: Opening the Eight Gates of...

046: Muslims where you live Aug01

046: Muslims where you live...

https://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/medeor.co/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/46-Muslims-with-Ibrahim.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 38:20 — 35.1MB)In this episode, Dr. Deb has a candid conversation about Muslims with Egyptian, Ibrahim. Are they all terrorists? How can we inform our perspective and deal with our fears about Middle Eastern immigrants? What is Islam really like? What is a typical Muslim like? How might we be more welcoming and more Christ-like in how we treat our Muslim immigrant...

045: Jesus was a Middle Eastern Refugee & other uncomfortable truths Jul19

045: Jesus was a Middle Eastern Refugee & other uncomfortable truths...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/45-Jesus_was_a_Middle_Eastern_Refugee_other_uncomfortable_truths.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 45:21 — 41.5MB)In a time when Islam and refugees are in the news every day, it’s helpful to get another perspective from someone on the inside. Vicki Witte works with refugees, helping them learn English and adjust to life in the U.S. She is a wonderful example of the power of volunteerism and how even small efforts can make huge differences in the lives of our new neighbors. She describes the history of migration in biblical times and the new opportunities we have to welcome the strangers in our towns. Be sure to visit Vicki’s blog by clicking here. Click here to make a donation in support of the...

Toothpaste

I like to think I’m a fairly responsible person. I’m a firstborn, and we are the responsible folks of the world. (OK, so much for the stereotype.) When I see something that needs to be done, I do it. Or I procrastinate! Do you identify? I recently did a deep clean of my bathroom and found not one, but FOUR tubes of toothpaste with a little product left in each one. I think I’ve maybe had two before, but FOUR! When I’m getting ready to go somewhere or to bed at night, I just want to brush my teeth. I don’t want to mess with little bits of toothpaste (that I perceive to take too much of my energy.) There is little counter space in my bathroom, so getting that last little bit out adds a few annoying seconds to my busy lifestyle. This all sounds rather terrible; surely there are bigger fish in life to fry! And certainly, there are MUCH bigger problems in the world to solve! But we all have little things in our lives that bug us until we take care of them. Maybe it’s the flowers that need to be deadheaded so they can bloom again, or that phone call you’ve been meaning to make, or that closet that desperately needs cleaning out. Research shows that simply writing something down—getting it out of your head—can reduce mental and emotional fatigue. Not only do TO-DO lists help you prioritize and plan, but they also help reduce what you are burdened to carry around in your head. Many self-development gurus, like Seth Godin and Rob Bell talk about the importance of saying “yes” to the things we really want and then committing to STEP 1. Saying yes means you commit to...

044: Independence Jul04

044: Independence

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/44-Independence_Dependence.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 37:25 — 34.3MB)As The United States of America celebrates its birthday, Jack Woloshun & Dr. Deb thought it a good time to discuss various types of dependence and independence we have in relationships. Related articles: Independence (companion article) Crap Do You Need A Life Coach? Mentioned by Jack: Book by Dr. Caroline Leaf: Think and Eat Yourself Smart: A Neuroscientific Approach to a Sharper Mind and Healthier...

Independence

As The United States celebrates its Independence Day, I thought it fitting to consider various forms of dependency. Dependence is defined as the state of needing something or someone else. Like it or not, we are dependent on each other for all kinds of things. We need acceptance, love and affection from others because we are social beings. A newborn child left alone without touch will die. We are dependent on each other to follow socially accepted behavior like stopping at red lights and contributing to common things like roads and schools. In relationships, we are dependent on each other to be there to share the workload, make a meaningful contribution and live up to our commitments. Healthy dependence is a really, really positive thing. Independence is freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others. When the 13 American colonies were no longer satisfied with British rule (and taxation without representation), they sought a divorce. It’s not unlike the recent decision by Britain to pull out of the European Union to preserve its sovereignty. It’s not unlike states in human development. Two that come to mind are the terrible twos. I think the twos are called terrible because children seek independence from their parents and other caretakers because they are coming into their own. They are clumsy and awkward, but they are determined to get around! Unfortunately, they don’t yet recognize the limits of social and character boundaries, so tend to severely test those around them. The other significant stage of finding independence IS, of course, during the teenage years. Children are transitioning to adulthood with changing bodies, increased responsibilities and fewer apron strings. Yet their raging hormones and lack of fully developed prefrontal cortexes (decision-making that fully grasps consequences)...

Mid-year Checkup

As we begin the second half of the year, it’s a good time to do a quick self-assessment. Perhaps you wrote down some desires or goals, or wrote thought thoughts and aspirations in a journal. I actually poked around my computer notes and realized it was exactly four years ago now that I started life coach training. Part of this included being coached myself. Kicking off the process was writing down some desires and expectations I was to work on, with 4 guiding questions: What are the one or two things that are on God’s agenda for my life right now? If I could change one thing in my life right now what would it be? What are the obstacles that are holding me back from reaching my potential in this season of life? When I think ahead to 3 years from now, how do I want my life to be different? I can’t tell you how encouraged I was to go back and see that I have either realized what  I expressed or have made significant progress on each item. The things that seemed quite fuzzy four years ago are no longer fuzzy, and I have made significant life changes to live a healthier life. How are you doing on the goals you set for yourself this year? If you’ve made progress on any, congratulate yourself and tell someone! If you still have work to do, remember that you still have half of the year left! Renew your commitment. Which goals are still in process? Are you making progress on them? Which goals need to be adjusted? Perhaps your goals weren’t SMART enough. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) Success is not just about accomplishing all your goals, but also seeing where you need to adjust,...

Lessons From A Pup

I got a puppy. I’ve had dogs before, but they were older rescue dogs, so this is my first adventure into being a puppy mom. Izzy, as she was to be called a few days after we met, was only 6-weeks old and 4.2 pounds (1.9 kilos). In only ten days, she has gained 1.8 pounds and learned so much! I also try to learn from life’s experiences, so learning from the new pup is no exception. Everything is new. Like human babies, puppies come into the world knowing not much. Therefore, everything is a learning opportunity! Izzy has been challenging me to look at life through new eyes. What do I notice that I’ve been blind to before or haven’t “seen” in awhile? How can I see things from a new perspective? What might I do in order to see with fresh eyes? What can I learn today? Life is an adventure. It’s amazing how much entertainment, exercise and learning can come out of the smallest thing like a toilet roll! A simple piece of round cardboard functions as a teething ring, exercise equipment, toy and something to be conquered! What new adventure might I try? Doing the same things put you in a rut. Literally, doing the same thing over and over creates ruts in the brain. Puppies lick up love (literally). They are not afraid of affection, praise or compliments. In fact, they thrive on them. Anyone who has successfully trained a puppy or raised a child knows that love and affirmation are key in teaching discipline. Nothing says, “Don’t pee in the house,” like a reward of affection outside in the grass. Are people loving and affirming me in ways I’m ignoring? What keeps me from accepting compliments? Puppies give...

043: Find Your Day 2 Jun12

043: Find Your Day 2

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/43-Finding_Your_Day_2.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 59:09 — 54.2MB)Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are when you’re born and the day you find out why.” In struggling to work through her own pain and purpose, Victoria Jeffs spent 10 years researching how to live a healthy life and designed a course to help others. Jeff’s passion for individuals to discover their purpose & impact their communities has led to the CrossRoads course tp be taught to High School students, Alternative Schools, Habitat for Humanity clients, Prison Re-entry, Workforce, Veterans, Social Services, Refugee Programs, Educators, Family development, Parenting, victims of PTSD, Business Start-ups, Faith organizations, and Corporate Leadership & Management. Listen as Jeffs shares key principles to living a healthy and fruitful life. All Get Control podcasts are also available on iTunes and via the Stitcher App for Android & Windows phones and tablets. Click to access the Find Your Day 2 website Related articles: Legacy Examining Relationships Valuing...

Crap

Crap has really been on my mind this week. First of all, toilet water backed up into my bathtub. When I saw the brown water, I knew I had a problem and I suspected it was time to get my sewer line cleaned out. Because I have an old house with underground clay tiles for disposing of wastewater, tree roots grow into the pipe looking for moisture. Then every year or two, the roots become too much and I have to have the pipes rooted (cleaned) out. But this time was different. This time the rooter technician found a blockage and recommended I get a camera inspection. So the next day, a tiny camera on the end of a cable descended into the pipe and revealed the problems. Tiles had caved in and created blockages requiring a whole new sewer line. The problems became more evident when excavation began. Crews dug down to the pipes, even descending some 8 feet (more than 2 meters) below street level. They found that some pipes were not where they thought they were. They could only devise an appropriate solution after they dug down and uncovered the mess. Like buried pipes, we have a lot of stuff deep in our personalities that is not evident until we dig down. And when we do, we often find things are not as we thought they were. On the surface, we feel the results of buried problems, but don’t have the full perspective of the location or causes. It’s only when we dig do we get an accurate perspective. When my toilet backed up, all I knew is that I had a problem. I could see the murky water. I could smell that all was not well. I could have ignored...

042: Mauricio in Cuba May29

042: Mauricio in Cuba...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/42-Mauricio_in_Cuba.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 35:49 — 12.3MB)During a recent trip to Cuba, I recorded this interview with Mauricio, a young man who wants to be a positive influence in the future of his nation. As a graphic designer, Mauricio and other volunteers produce a small magazine for young people. He also helps develop young people in other ways by introducing them to critical thinking and resources that help them connect to ideas and healthy ways of living. Be inspired by Mauricio’s life and hear some fascinating inside knowledge of life inside Cuba during this historic time. Thank you for your patience as the audio quality on this one is not up to our standards. Like everyone who lives in Cuba, we had to be creative and make due with what we...

Legacy

What will you leave behind? That was the focus of a discussion led by my good friend Jack Woloshun. We were there to talk about the many crossroads in life and the people with whom we share the journey. Have you thought about what you would like to leave behind? What will remain once your flesh and bones no longer walk this earth? How will you be remembered? To demonstrate what’s possible, Jack pulled out a book his daughter assembled for his 60th birthday. She had contacted the many family and friends from Jack’s life and invited them to express their sentiments. The words were anything but shallow, very unlike canned drugstore greeting cards. Rather they were lengthy letters of affection, memories and hope for the future. Jack only read 3 or 4 letters from the book, but what he shared demonstrated what it means to leave a legacy. Jack has spent his life giving to others; he has chosen to be a giver instead of a taker. The letters reflect a lifetime of memories, influence and impact. I think that is what it’s all about. Legacy is something you may or may not have thought of; I think the answer is likely dependent on your age and to what extent you consider your life in the grand scheme of humankind. Legacy is not about leaving a hospital or street with your name stamped on. It’s not about things you did that elevated your ego. It’s not about how many toys you collected. It’s not even about how much money you left to charities or your kids. Legacy is fundamentally about who you are. Your legacy is a replica of how you live your life every day. What would happen if people were asked...

Make a Difference

Do you long to make a difference but find it harder than it seems? Here’s a lovely guest article by Amy Roemer that may convince you it’s easier than you think: On a recent cross-country trip, my family stopped in the tiny village of Folsom in northern New Mexico. The ranching community only has 55 inhabitants and almost no businesses, a shadow of what it used to be. Once it had the largest stockyards north of Fort Worth, Texas, but the town never recovered after a devastating catastrophe. It’s such a small place that when we arrived, we had to call a number to get the museum unlocked. The docent came and was so proud of the museum’s legacy that she eagerly shared local stories. We expected the museum to be about the primitive Folsom people, one of the earliest people groups in North America, but we were in for a surprise! We saw many antiques—from milk jugs and saddles to a dynamite detonator—from the founding and pioneer days in the late 1800s. Many of these were tagged with information—whose house it came from, and which family member had donated it. The sense of community was strong. But what struck us was learning about Sally Rooke—who was the local telephone switchboard operator—and how she made a difference during the Dry Cimarron River flood of 1908. Miss Sally received a call that a massive wall of water was heading down the canyon toward Folsom. She started calling friends and neighbors, warning them to head for higher ground. Eventually, the flood hit and wiped out the town. Sally was washed away from her post at the switchboard; her body was found some 12 miles down river along with livestock and only 16 others. Her phone calls...

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