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Mindfulness Explained In Brief

Mindfulness is a word that is thrown around and can have very different meanings depending who you are and what you have heard, or even courses you have taken.  Some believe it means you have to become a monk and sit on a Tibetan mountain humming or being perfectly silent for hours on end.  Others see it as making a space in their home that is quiet and peaceful, while others see it as meditation and so on.  So what is it?  It can be all or none of these.

 

Mindfulness, on a high level is about being fully aware in the present moment.  This can be a monk sitting in the mountains humming, it can be meditation, it can be making a quiet place in your house to sit or even just looking out a window with a childhood curiosity.  Being mindful is what you need it to be.  Be aware that sometimes being mindful can be a negative experience too.  If this happens, please do reach out to us to help you through that situation.

Here are some ways to bring positive mindfulness into your life.  If you want, practice meditation.  It can help you clear your mind or just be.  There are many different guided meditations out there, so pick the one that is best suited to you.  For example, I found during my training, that meditations that were longer than 30 mins were not my thing.  I enjoy those that are shorter to fit into my day.  You can also practice mindfulness by appreciating the beauty of nature using our Happiness Place 5 Senses visualization found on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4nEVYoibo0) to give you a sense of peace during a rough time of your day or because you want to put a smile on your face.  You can also use mindfulness to better appreciate what you love about your: food, children, friends, nature, work, etc by looking around and just watching the world go around you – separate yourself from them and watch the world from the point of view of you watching a TV show or from a park bench…just watching, being present and always without judgement.

Negative experiences can happen with mindfulness and it is important to mention this.  Sometimes when we are in the present moment, we may realize that someone is hurting or we are hurting in some way.  Let’s take being at a park and watching the world pass by us.  We are sitting there being in the present moment with full awareness and happen to now notice garbage all around us on the ground, in the bushes and in the overfilled garbage can – we realize that society and people are not always what we want them to be – clean, recyclers, aware of what garbage means to our environment.  This can lead us to moments of sadness or depression.  This can happen in many places we practice mindfulness, so if you are looking for positive mindfulness, be sure you set yourself up in the correct environment to be present and fully aware.

There are a lot of resources on mindfulness, so do your research, try different methods and pick the one that works best for you.  At Twin Life Coaching & Business Services, we are both trained on mindfulness and can help you practice it every day to be: more fulfilled, aware, present, happy and relaxed.  If you do get into a negative experience, we are here to help you work through that and move forward to a more positive future and mindfulness experiences.

Written By: Tara Lehman, Copyright 2019

 

Achieve That Goal!

Written By Tara Lehman    Copyright 2019

Did you make a New Year’s resolution?  Do you have a goal you are working on?  Then we have the acronym for you!  G.O.A.L and it stands for Goal, Opportunity, Apply/Action and Learn.

G is for Goal.  Everyone makes them, especially at New Year’s but only about 30% of those who actually make a New Year’s resolution or goal actually achieve them.  Why?  For many reasons – some may not have a goal that makes sense, perhaps they felt they failed and gave up, maybe it was too big a goal for them and they felt overwhelmed.  When setting a Goal, make sure it is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Resources, and Time Bound.  If your goal is to eat more vegetables this year, make this a SMART goal.  Let’s change this goal to be: I am going to eat more vegetables daily so half my dinner plate is vegetables and I will try 1 new vegetable every week.   Is this Goal now SMART?  It is very Specific, it is Measurable (I can measure it by my plate being half covered vegetables and by trying 1 new one every week), it certainly is Attainable as vegetables are available at all grocery stores, it is very Realistic for me and Resourced (meaning there are different vegetables and I will try new ones) and it is based on Time (daily and weekly goals).

O is for Opportunity.  You have your SMART goal all set, so now is the time to take the Opportunity to start working on it.  Discover and brainstorm ways you can make this happen.  Try looking at a SWOT analysis.  You review your Strengths – for this it may be that I happen to have a great internet site that helps me discover new vegetables and is clear about how to prepare them.  Then review your Weaknesses – perhaps I dislike the taste of many vegetables such as brussel sprouts.  Then review your Opportunities based on your strengths and not your Weakness.  For example, I don’t have to eat brussel sprouts as there are many other green vegetables I can chose from.  Lastly is the Threats – perhaps I am allergic to bell peppers.  For the Threats, in this example, you would need to stay away from certain vegetables when making your dish or eating out.  Not sure your great at brainstorming Opportunities?  Ask a friend for help, search online, buy a book – the Opportunities are endless.

A is for Action or Apply.  Here we are looking at what our Opportunities were that we brainstormed, and we create an Action plan to reach our goals and we Apply and put into our Action plan.   The Action plan can be smaller, simple goals to help you achieve your larger Goal.  Perhaps we decided an Opportunity was to join a local cooking class so we can better understand how to prepare vegetables, and to get some new ideas.  Our Action plan would be quite simple: ensure I have the funds to join and then sign up.  Once you sign up, tell someone about you going to the class or post it on your social media page – you are much more likely to Apply your Action plan and do what you have set out to accomplish if others know about it (holding yourself accountable).  Now all you need to do is go to the cooking class and you have Applied your Action.  You can do this process (setting smaller goals, finding a way to hold yourself accountable) for any smaller goals you set to improve your vegetable eating habits, as in this example.

L is for learn.  This is where, if we fail or “fall of the wagon” we need to get back up and not give up.  We need to review what worked and what did not work. Why did we “fail”?  I hate the word “fail” and “failure” as I see this as too negative.  Every time we do not achieve our goal, we need to review it and try, try again.  For the smaller Actions that worked, we need to keep moving forward with them and reviewing them from time to time to ensure they are still working well and tweak them when needed.  For the smaller Actions where we feel we did not achieve what we set out to (failed), we must remember that success usually happens this way (with “failures”).  What I mean by this, is that if we “fail” or do not meet our Goal, we need to see why, make a new Action plan and try again.  Doing this will assist us in ensuring we are learning from what did not work, making some improvements and trying again until we succeed.

Goal, Opportunity, Action/Apply and Learn and a great Life Coach are all you need to make your goal or New Year’s resolution stick and be achieved or even refined.  If you “fail” or “fall off the wagon”, consider it a great Opportunity to Learn from, so you can update your Goal and put a new plan of Action into place for your success.  If you need some accountability or help, that is where we come in.

Remember: You’ve Got This!

Why Practice Deep Breathing?

Written by: Barb Chapman

Copyright: November 2018

Have you ever wondered why others suggest deep breathing?  Are you someone who thinks the idea is silly and useless as we all breathe continuously, or are you someone who uses this mindfulness technique every day?  Check these scenarios out and spot the differences.

Scenario 1

Joe’s alarm goes off at 6am on Monday morning and he hits snooze, he wants to go back to sleep for 10 more minutes.  Joe doesn’t fall asleep and the alarm rings again.  He shuts it off, gets out of bed and sluggishly heads to the washroom for his shower.  After his shower he is still tired and grumpy but heads to the kitchen to eat some breakfast and grab a coffee before heading off to work.  Joe arrives at work still feeling a bit tired but ready for his day.  His day is stressful and as the day goes on he feels more and more tense in his shoulders and frustration with his work.  He wants to go in to his boss and threaten to quit his job he is so frustrated.  Although he chooses not to, he does swear under his breath and pounds his fist on his desk.  He goes home stressed and anxious.  Joe has his dinner, watches TV for the evening and before bed as usual he takes his blood pressure.  He knows his days was stressful as his blood pressure is reading a bit high and his body is tight and sore.   Joe is not relaxed at all but goes to bed still stressed and tense about the day.  He knows he won’t sleep well as he usually tosses and turns after a day like today.  He can’t wait for Friday to come.

Scenario 2

Jack’s alarm goes off at 6am on Monday morning and he turns it off right away.  Jack stretches for a minute or two to wake up his muscles, then gets up and sits upright on the edge of the bed with his feet flat on the floor and hands on his lap.  His back is not resting on anything to keep him in an alert but comfortable sitting position.  Joe closes his eyes, clears his mind, and begins his morning breathing exercise.  Jack takes a slow deep breath into his abdomen (not his chest) counting slowly to three as he does this.  Jack then slowly releases his breath using the same 3 count method.  He then allows his body to breathe naturally for a count of 3 then repeats this exercise for a total of three times.  Jack then opens his eyes and gets up and begins his morning routine of having his shower and breakfast. Jack heads off to work feeling alert and ready to take on the day.  Jack arrives at work feeling good about his day but ends feeling a lot of stress and as the day goes on, he feels more and more tense in his shoulders and frustration with his work. Jack recognizes this and decides to take a moment for some deep breathing at his desk but doesn’t want his coworkers to notice his eyes shut as he does not want anyone thinking he is sleeping on the job.  Jack decides to focus his eyes on a blank computer screen and visualize a place that brings him calm.  He decides to focus on his favourite fishing spot that he goes to where he feels most relaxed.  Now Jack sits alert and upright in his office chair with his feet flat on the floor and hands on his lap.  He makes sure his back in not resting on the back of the chair so he will be in an alert position.  While focusing his thoughts on his fishing spot, he repeats his breathing exercise he did on the edge of the bed this morning (3 slow deep breaths into his abdomen and 3 slow breaths out with a count of 3 in between).  Jack feels a bit better and able to return to his tasks at hand.  Jack repeats this exercise again later in the day as he finds his stress increasing and is able to again refocus feeling better about moving on with his day.  Jack heads home feeling okay about his stressful day and does not have tight shoulders and tenseness in his back as he heads home for the night.  He has an awareness of his body and knows when he needs to take that break when his stress levels rise.   He takes his blood pressure before dinner and it is relatively normal, which he realizes could be partly from his deep breathing as he knows deep breathing can help lower stress and blood pressure as it provides oxygen to his muscles and organs.  Jack has his dinner, watches TV for the evening and goes to bed feeling good.  Jack engages in this activity one last time before going to bed and has a good sleep.  He also can’t wait for Friday to come.

Which scenario best describes you?  If you fit into #1, why not give number 2 a try with the deep breathing throughout the day…you may find your day progresses with less tenseness in your shoulders and back and help you feel calmer, sleep better and overall feel more relaxed.  The key is to recognize when you feel stressed and address it with some deep breathing right away.

When you take deep breaths into your abdomen and slowly release that breath out, you are bringing more oxygen to your body.  One of the things this does is help oxygenate your muscles and organs.  This can help calm the body when it is tense.  The idea of clearing the mind or focusing on a “go to happy place” or memory is to help clear your mind for a few moments of the thoughts that are causing your stress or anxiety to rise.  Taking slow deep breaths in this manner is also known to sometimes help decrease blood pressure.  These are so many advantages to deep breathing that the list could go on and on.  The scenario’s above show an example of how it could ideally work for someone who faces stress in their day.  If you have high blood pressure or other health concerns already diagnosed by a doctor, this method may not help reduce your blood pressure or assist with other medical ailments, but it may be one small exercise that can help with your overall wellbeing.  Give it a try!

Need some coaching on guided breathing?  Find my information at twinlifecoaching.ca

This article is not intended to diagnosis or assist with any medical conditions.  Always seek medical advice for any and all medical concerns, including high blood pressure and chronic stress.

 

 

Money?  What Money?

Written by: Tara Lehman                                                Copyright: September 2018

Money?  What money?  Does this sound familiar?   Most people struggle with money at some point in their lives and some live pay cheque to pay cheque.  One thing that we are not necessarily taught in life is how to save money and spend within or under our means.

What exactly does it mean to spend within or under our means?  It means knowing how much money you have coming in and not spending more that that value.  In fact, we should spend less that than value if we want to have extra money.  Spending less means having more to save for retirement / that big plan (think car or trip) or to pay down debt.  If you are spending over your means, then you are spending too much money and won’t be able to pay down debts, purchase that new pair of shoes or buy that new car.  So, what can be done?

Ensuring you understand what you bring home on a pay cheque is vital.  Is this gross pay or net pay you are thinking of when you spend?  Gross pay is the total amount you would earn before income taxes, EI, CPP or other deductions such as pensions or benefits you may need to pay for.  Let’s say you make minimum wage at $14 per hour and you work 40 hours per week.  Your gross pay would be $560 per week.  However, you would take home much less than that.  After income taxes, EI and CPP alone your net pay (what you actually bring home) is around $462.  But wait!  Your company has a pension plan (always take full advantage of this for your retirement – you won’t be able to live off your CPP and OAS – you need this extra so sign up) and matches to 3%.  We are now down to $448.  Most companies who have benefits packages have the employees pay a part of this expense.  Let’s say you have to pay for long term disability and your health benefits (also a great idea as some prescriptions, etc can be pricey if you are not part of a plan) can cost up to $1500 per year.  Calculating that in, you could be down to $419 per week.  Be sure you understand the deductions and take full advantage of the good ones!  These are important to your wellbeing.

Now we have $419 per week net pay – what we actually bring home.  In a 4-week month, this equates to $1676.  Most families have 2 incomes, so for demonstration purposes we will assume both the people in this household make minimum wage so our $1676 becomes $3352.00 for the month for the household.  This is what you have before: rent / mortgage, food, clothing, going out, bills for hydro / water / gas, and many others.

What should you do to see if you are living within or over your means?  Calculate it.  Start with your $3352 and deduct everything you pay in a month to see what is left over.  You need to do a full month, to ensure all monthly expenses are included.  If you see that you are in a negative balance at the end, you are spending too much and are living over your means.  If you see some left at the end of a month, good for you!  This shows you are on your way to figuring out how to live within or under your means.  Need help with this?  No problem.  At Twin Life Coaching & Business Services we have a simple to use tool to help you as part of our Financial Wellness package.

What do you do when you are spending over your means?  Look at your expenses and see where you can reduce.  Going out to restaurants, buying alcohol, groceries and even cell phone or TV bills are all great places to start.  Can you reduce these?  Do you need to have that much data on your cell phone?  Do you need 200 channels on the TV or can you go to a lower package?  Did you really need to buy that expensive item?  Really start to look at what you are buying and ask yourself: do I really need this or need to go out?  Is there a less expensive way to have what I want?  Can I buy a car that is a year older to save a lot of money?  Do I need a new job or second job?  Taking a hard look at what you spend and asking yourself why or is it worth that much is key in reducing spending.  There is usually a way even if it means a new or second job, so don’t feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

It is time to ignore what society tells us about what to buy or what new appliance, coffee or toy to buy.  It is time to be real about what is in the bank and control spending, using only what is left after all necessary bills are paid to buy those extras.  You will feel much better about your finances and this in turn, will make you feel mentally healthier.

Here’s to knowing and understanding the basics of your income and wishing you financial and mental health!

Source for you if you are looking for more information: https://www.canada.ca/en.html or contact your financial advisor for more information.

 

Don’t Forget To Breathe!

By Barb Chapman and Tara Lehman

Copyright 2018

Do you ever find yourself breathing quickly or even holding your breath during stressful moments?   Do you lay in bed at night with your mind and heart racing together?  Could you use a quick relaxation technique?  Don’t forget to breathe!

Everyone has moments of anxiety or stress in their lives.  Some situations can cause short term anxiety for a few minutes, where other situations may cause days, weeks or even months of high stress.  Being mindful of your physical symptoms of stress or anxiety and how it affects your body (i.e. quick or shallow breathing, anxiety attacks, seeing stars, tight or sore muscles, etc) is very important to your wellbeing.   Recognizing that your body shows physical symptoms of stress, allows you to understand that your body sometimes requires intervention to calm down.  One way of providing an immediate physical calm is deep breathing.

If you are a yoga or meditation fan, you probably already know how to do intentional deep breathing.  Just use that practise every day or during high stress moments when you just can’t calm down.  Not a yoga master?  No problem.  There is a simple approach that you can do anywhere at any time.  People may not even know you are doing it.

How do you deep breathe?  There are many ways, but here is one that may help.  Stand or sit in a position where you feel comfortable and alert, but not slouched.  If you are able and where safe, close your eyes for this exercise – this is best done in a sitting position.  Open your eyes any time you feel that you become unstable.  Put your hands on your abdomen to ensure you are breathing the breath in to your stomach and not your chest.  Breathe in slowly for a count of 3 seconds, ensuring the breath reaches your stomach – your abdomen should extend, shoulders should stay down.  Then breathe out through your mouth for 3 seconds, while doing this being always mindful in relaxing your shoulders and tense muscles.  Take a 3 second break before repeating 3-5 times.

After doing this exercise, you should feel an immediate reduction in tenseness of muscles and a reduction in the speed of your breath.  This exercise can be completed several times during the day.  Ever thought about sharing this activity with others who may feel stressed or anxious?  It may be beneficial for everyone to join in this activity.

If you feel there is any other reason for your physical symptoms or you are unsure if this exercise is for you, please seek medical advice.  This exercise is not meant to help any medical conditions, but to aid during stressful moments in time.

For a demonstration on how to do deep breathing, check out our You Tube video (don’t forget to subscribe).  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6fvKnYz18QeaSmgfCpDlBQ

 

What Did You Say?  Active Listening   

By Tara Lehman, Copyright 2018

Active Listening is key to any relationship, whether it be between husband and wife, parent and child, boss and employee, co-worker to co-worker or any other relationship or conversation with 2 or more people.  So, what is it and why is it so important?

Active Listening is about being present in the current conversation without judgement but with true interest in what the speaking party is saying.  It is about focusing on the speaker with both your ears and saving your one mouth for the appropriate time to speak or reply.  As the great Epictetus a Philosopher once said, “We have two ears and one mouth so we may listen more and talk less.”  This is very important so that you can hear and listen to understand the speaker.  While using your mouth to reply when needed but to reply to ensure you understand before making any decisions.  For example, if I say I am going to have the report ready tomorrow, you may hear tomorrow and have a preconceived idea that means at 9am.  I may mean tomorrow before we leave for the day at 4pm.  If we don’t actively listen to understand, we have heard that the report will be ready tomorrow, but we have not fully understood what “tomorrow” actually means.  If you are actively listening, you should not be making an assumption when that will be, nor should you have thoughts about how you will respond running through your mind while they talk (if you do, refocus on what they are saying).  When they are done, use this time to confirm what time we can expect it, so you both fully understand what the speaker is trying to convey.

Active Listening, according to Mindset (Sweden), is about three things: Paying Attention, Showing that You Are Listening, and Providing Feedback.  So how do you do these things?

 

  • Remember you have two ears and one mouth
  • Don’t let your mind wonder while the speaker is talking. Focus on what they are saying.  If it starts to wonder, refocus.
  • While they are speaking, don’t formulate a response in your mind at the same time. This means you are not listening to what they are saying if you are thinking of a response already.  Your response should be formulated only after they are done talking
  • Do not cut the speaker off as this can be interpreted as you not really being interested in what they have to say
  • Use body language to show you are listening – i.e. nod, smile, look at them directly, don’t fiddle, don’t look at your phone, etc
  • Ensure your posture, whether sitting or standing, is open and inviting – don’t cross your arms across your chest, for example, as this is seen as a closed posture
  • Listen! Use the power of silence
  • Ask questions if you do not fully understand – remember listen to understand and reply to be understood and to clarify or summarize what you heard
  • Respond in a manner and tone you would expect from someone else
  • Look the speaker in the eyes
  • Summarize what they said how you have interpreted it to ensure you are getting their message. In the above example, perhaps ask: You mentioned you can have the report done tomorrow.  Can you tell me what time tomorrow I can expect the report?

Active Listening takes practise and does not necessary come to everyone naturally or easily.  If you are prone to cutting people off, you may need to start with recognizing you are doing this, apologize when you do and re-focus on what they are saying.   If your mind starts to wonder or go through the long list of to do’s you have, while you are talking with someone, simply let the speaker know that you missed part of what they said, apologize, ask them to repeat while you focus and practice your Active Listening.

The next time you are in a conversation remember you have two ears and one mouth and use them appropriately – listen to understand their side or their perspective, then speak so they fully understand yours.  You may not ever agree, but at least you can both appreciate the other’s point of view.

We have also created a YouTube video on Active Listening to complement this article.  You can watch it on our channel at youtube.com/twinlifecoaching.  Be sure to subscribe so you can see new videos when they are posted.

 

 

Coping with Business Travel

By Tara Lehman, Copyright: July 2018

Coping with business travel can leave many travellers: frustrated, annoyed, angry or upset.  Does this sound like you?  Many business travellers are also frequent flyers and you know what it can be like with delayed flights, disrespectful workers, angry customers, or just having to plain wait.  So how do you travel in a way where you remain calm and lead by example for those who are not?

It is much easier than you think to remain calm during the storms that come with flying.  My question to ask anyone who is a traveller and is not exactly happy about the delays, food, cold personnel or other issues that come up, is: Can you control this situation?  There are many situations we can control.  For example, we control our reactions to travelling nightmares.  We can choose to remain calm or explode.  However, does it make sense to react negatively?  For example, can you control that a pilot or crew is late for the plane?  Could they control it?  Many pilots and crews are coming from another flight and have to go through security and customs just like you, but in a faster line.  This can cause delays if their previous flight was delayed.  You can’t control that situation and perhaps they could not have either (I am pretty sure they are not overly happy about having to work longer either), so is it worth getting upset when the flight board changes your take off time by 30 or more minutes?   You may be upset, but to complain about it to the airline worker is not going to do any good.

My advice, as I am a more frequent traveller myself, is to first recognize what you can actually control.  Your emotional responses and your actions to those around you are what you have control over.  Use these to lead by example.  Remain calm, if you talk about the delays or other issues with others, keep it on a positive note rather than a negative one.  Perhaps you say: “Great!  I have 30 more minutes to read, be on the wifi or answer emails.”  Putting a positive spin on it may calm those around you who are not as happy, as well as yourself.

Now that you have determined what you can and cannot control, it is time to recognize this and learn to accept it.  When things get rough or delays / rude people are around, take a deep belly breath 3 times to relax you, ask politely if there is an update on the flight status (be sure to thank the worker for the status) and call the person who is receiving you on the other end, so they know about the delay.  Then it is time to: sit back, relax, call a friend or family member to say hi, read a good book (there are lots available at airports), grab something to eat, but whatever you do – do not get upset, angry or disrespectful.  Lead by example.

Lastly, do not react to someone else’s reactions.  If someone else starts getting upset or yelling at the airline worker about a delay or any other issue with the flight, don’t join in.  Show others you have patience and others will likely join you.  Stressing over the little things during travel can cause mental and physical issues (think stress, pain, high blood pressure or others) that are just not worth it.  So, I say, enjoy the “you” time, relax the best you can and do the what you can to be positive in any bad situation.

Happy flying travellers!

  

YOU Are Unique

        Written by Tara Lehman (Copyright 2018)

Be more like your sister!  Why can’t you do what I want you to?  You need to follow in your father’s footsteps.  You should be a lawyer just like your Aunt.  Why can’t you be more like Joe or Jane?

Do this sound familiar?  We have all heard at some point in our lives that we should be someone we are not.  Why is that?  To be wealthier?  To feel secure or successful?   Or because that is what someone else wants for us?

Life is full of choices that you make, whether you realize it or not.  Every choice we make in life creates our unique path.  No one person is the same.  This is why a “one size fits all” approach to pretty much anything, including mental and physical health may not exist.   For example, for myself, I stay away from certain foods due to my skin disease, psoriasis.  However, what works for me, may make it worse for someone else.   Even with diseases, ailments and even problems we face, we are all different in how we respond to treatments, diet, exercise and even life coaching.  So why do we try so hard to be like everyone else?  Working with my life coaching clients helps them not only reach their potential, but see THEIR path in life, not someone else’s.

Every choice that we make changes who we are and what we will become in the future.   This is what makes us all unique.  Being an identical twin myself, I even can see how my sister and I are different.  We may have the same DNA and we may work together as life coaches, but we are unique in our own ways.

Being unique means, you get to make choices in life.  Everything you do is a choice you are making.   Lots of people say they are unhappy and are stuck in their job or something else.  But are you?  Are you unhappy at work?  Do you want a promotion or a raise?  Then do something about it because the likelihood of it coming to you is very low.  Waiting for the doors to open for you may be a very long, unfulfilling and even somewhat difficult one if you decide to sit and wait.

Let’s say you see a new position opens at your place of business.  You have 60% of the qualifications but you do not apply because you feel it is just not worth it, or you are afraid, or some tells you not to because someone else has more qualifications than you so what’s the point.  You decide not apply and you remain unhappy at work.  That was your choice to make.  Now, let’s say you actually applied, got an interview and then maybe even a job offer!  That choice to go for it could mean a happier and more fulfilled you.  However maybe you get the interview, but no job offer.  Does that make your choice to apply wrong?  Not necessarily.  You could take this time to ask the interviewers what you were missing, so you can choose to take some training, mentor someone, coaching or whatever else is needed so next time you are their number one choice.  Or, maybe you at least gained some valuable interview experience for the next great position that comes along.  Open that door and do it for you!

Remember, it is always important to be YOU and no one else.  If you want help with finding your own path, that is what I am here for.  If you want to remain as you are, then that is a choice you make too.

A life coaches role is to help you see what you have inside and bring out your uniqueness, so you can be the best you can be.  We are there to help you find your way, never to tell you what to do.  We make suggestions, brainstorm with you and maybe even share stories to bring out your ideas, but every choice you make will be yours.  You are not stuck on your path.  So, if you are unhappy OPEN THAT DOOR yourself and seek out a different path.  Only you can make a change.  Come see me today to learn more about yourself and how you can take your own path to a better, more fulfilled YOU!

Whatever you choose to do, make your life uniquely YOU!

Tara Lehman

 

 

Why EVERYONE Needs a Life Coach

Written by Barb Chapman and Tara Lehman of Twin Life Coaching & Business Services March 2018

You have probably heard the words Life Coach, but what is it and why do you need one?   Life Coaching is always about YOU the client.  As Life Coaches we are there to help you find your way, overcome struggles, meet goals, overcome challenges or help you to get unstuck.  Even if you are happy and feel all is good, then maybe you want to take on a new challenge or push yourself to a new level.  Whatever the case may be, Life Coaches can get you there.  Think of us as your cheerleaders, resource gurus and life’s personal trainer!

How do we work with you?  We work with you on moving forward, looking into your future, helping you stay accountable.  We can use or provide goal setting, resources, tools, cognitive behaviour therapy, visualization, mindfulness and may other options to keep you moving in the direction you want to move.  We ask you deep questions, so you gain an understanding of where you want to go.  We will never force you to do anything or provide you with your answers.  Everything you do is for you, by you.  We keep you motivated, moving forward and help you achieve your goals.

Why do people see us?  There are a lot of examples, but common examples can include: stress, depression, getting over a life event (ie separation or divorce, new baby), family issues, meeting your goals, simply providing resources, overcoming social anxiety, career changes, you feel “stuck” and don’t know what to do in your life.  We can help with so many of life’s challenges and struggles.

Most importantly, we as Life Coaches, are here for you!  We provide open, honest communication and work with anyone wanting and willing to make a change.

Contact us today to set up your 15 minutes free consult!  There is no time like now and it is never too late.

See you soon!

Barb Chapman and Tara Lehman

 

Make Your New Year’s Resolution Happen!!

Did you, like many others, find yourself on New Year’s Eve making a resolution or setting a goal for yourself that you want to stick to this year?  Not sure how to get started?   Life Coaching can keep you accountable for your goals!

How can Barb or Tara, Twin Life Coaches, help you?  We have some great goal setting tools we can use to create your SMART goal that will keep you on track this year.  As Life Coaches we will meet with you to work through your challenges in keeping your resolution this year.  No more excuses!  We are here to support you.

What is a SMART goal?  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Resourced and Time Limited.  Using this method, we are able to help you clarify your goals and break them down into more easily achievable steps.

Specific means being clear in your goals knowing what you want and the smaller steps you may need to take.

Measurable: we will ensure that you feel your outcome has been achieved and you know when you have succeeded.

Achievable: Life Coaches work with you to ensure your goal is within reach and you don’t set yourself up for failure.  We will celebrate all your small successes along the way.

Realistic / Resources: We can help you with understanding what resources you may need and if your goal is a realistic one for yourself.  Perhaps you need smaller goals or access to other resources which we can help you with.

Time Limited: as Life Coaches we can help you develop a time line to achieve your goal(s) that makes sense to you.

Contact us today and let’s get started on your New Year’s Resolution!

 Happy New Year from Barb and Tara!

 

 

Conversational Tips and Reminders

Do you argue with your partner, friend, children?  Do feel like when you have conversations that the other person is not hearing you?

 Perhaps it isn’t the situation or topic you are talking about that is causing the argument but rather how you are talking to each other.  Perspective in the other person’s reactions to your comments need to be taken into consideration.  Here you will find a set of tips and reminders that should be considered when having an in-depth conversation with someone about something that you both may not agree to.  Remember that you both have your own perspectives and each should be considered and listened to whole-heartedly. This is a guide designed to support you in having an effective conversation even with the most challenging topics, while reducing the conflict that may occur during the conversation.  The processes of change are not meant to be a set of unbreakable rules, but rather a helpful set of basic conversational and relationship principles

 

ü  If one person brings up an issue that in some way relates to the actions and behaviours of others, both parties should make sure these comments are acknowledged and respected.  It is understood that in order to make positive change, everyone’s reactions and behaviours will need to change

 ü  Everyone needs to respect the needs of each other.  Some needs may create conflict but there is always room for change and respect. Everyone should be entitled to their opinions whether you feel confident in them or not.

 ü  All feedback from each other over a conflict needs to be non-aggressive and try to be as specific as possible.  The conversation should not spread to other areas of conflict.  The actual problem and only that problem should be discussed at the time of the conversation.

 ü  Cooperation is key!  Understand that there are differences and always will be.

 ü  Remember that in conflict situations where something is annoying you, that this is just a small part of your experience with that person.  Keep in mind this is someone you care about with an irritating issue right now, not someone you hate.

 ü  When discussing your criticism with the other person, remember to remind them that you care about them, but that this action, behaviour or topic is what is annoying you at that moment, not the whole person

 ü  When you do lose your temper or use harsh words, remember to apologize specifically about losing your temper.  This does not mean you are apologizing for your opinion or thoughts about the situation, just that you should have not responded in the way you did.

 ü  Remember if you are having an argument with someone who is drunk, extremely tired, had a hard day at work, this person is likely going to respond negatively. If it can wait, wait to have your discussion about your frustration when the person is rested with a clear head.  This will help to have a more productive discussion.

 ü  Remember that all issues brought up by the two people having the disagreement are issues these individuals have, not that one of these two people have.  They must be worked out together, the responsibility is shared.

 ü  Respect one another!  This is important to work through challenges.  If you can’t respect each other’s opinions, you will have difficulty moving forward.

 ü  Remember that no one is perfect and we are all wrong from time to time.  Admitting it is a great start

 ü  Keep in mind that if you are arguing about how something should be done; both you AND  the other person might be right.  There are often more solutions than just one so both parties may be correct.  Now you need to work together to find the best solution for your situation!

 ü  Give each other time to speak without interruption.  Actively listening to the other person will help both parties understand what the other is saying. 

 ü  Speak clearly and calmly even if you feel frustrated.  The other person may not understand what you are saying if you are yelling, screaming, crying or talking too quickly.  “Slow and steady wins the race”

 Copy write  2017 Twin Life Coaching and Business Services

 

 

 

I Did It!  Conquering My Fear
Written by: Tara Lehman on August 4th 2017
All my life I have hated and feared spiders, and particularly those long legged, hairy, large and scary tarantulas.  I have seen them at events, in cages and even at birthday parties, where I have had chances with other onlookers to touch or hold one of those creatures.  My fear was so intense I could not even look at them or would shake my arms as I backed away as if it were walking up my arm.  That all changed in at Science North in Sudbury on July 29th 2017.

With my wonderful sister, her kids, partner and my daughter, we all drove from our cottage on Manitoulin Island to Science North for my nephew’s birthday.  I love this place and had been there a couple of years earlier.  Enjoying the hands on experiences there, I held a giant millipede, fed a skunk and held a snake – all without fear, but full of curiosity.  However, when we came near the tarantulas, I sped past them saying “yuck” without looking.

This year was different.  I had just started to read a great book on worry and anxiety by Dale Carnegie entitled: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.  This is an old book and some of the stories I have to ignore (including parts of a chapter about housewives) as the book was written in the 1940’s.  I had only read a couple of chapters when we went, but I began to realize that us humans worry too much, including myself.

I thought, as I had to stop and watch my nephews hold the tarantula when we got to that part of Science North that day, ‘why can they do this and I can’t?  As kids, a lot of us have lesser fear of things such as spiders and bugs than we do as adults – I remember playing with daddy long-legged spiders without worry as a little kid.  I was proud of myself for having the ability to stop and actually watch my nephews hold this hairy bug, as normally I would have told them I would meet them at the next exhibit, then run!  The handler then ask if I wanted to try holding “her”.  I hesitated and to my surprise responded with: “I think so.”  What did I just say?  I was shocking myself, let alone the family around me.  I handed my sister my phone to take a picture, placed my hand on the table and told the handler I was ready.  The spider, which was very gentle and surprisingly light, walked onto my hand.  My sister took a couple of pictures and then I said: “please take it off”.  We then went on to the next exhibit, butterflies which are way more my thing, where my hand shook for about 10 minutes after that spider experience.  Even now when I look at the picture I can’t believe I did it, but am showing that picture to everyone with pride!

What happened in my mind that day?  I thought about how nothing horrible happened to my nephews, the handler was right beside me to take the tarantula off the second I asked him to, and he had told me that she was gentle and would not bite.  I asked myself, ‘In this situation, what is the worst thing that could happen?’  Well it may bite me.  ‘What were the odds of this happening?’  Very low or they would not allow her to crawl on people’s hands.  So, what was I all worried about?  Nothing really.  Processing the thoughts and likelihood of my worse fear happening helped me get over this fear.   I accepted the odds of anything bad happening as being really low and I faced my fear.  Would I handle a domestic tarantula again?  You bet I would!
Dale Carnegie has great ways in his book, on how to think about and overcome worry, most of which as still valid today.  I have created a thinking process tool to help with overcoming fears, from several of his tips.  Good luck and conquer those fears one at a time!

TLC Tool – Conquering Your Fear:
1 – Write down or ask yourself, “What am I afraid of in this moment?”
2 – Write down or ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that could possibly happen?
3 – Write down or ask yourself, “What is the likelihood that my worst fear will happen?”  This is where you need to analyze the situation as I did above.  My fear of the spider biting me was not likely to happen and if it did, there was plenty of help around.   If she did bite me and my fear happened, I was in a safe environment.
4 – Accept your analysis and prepare yourself to move forward – deep breathing works here too or having a safe environment with people around, such as in my situation.                                                                                            5 – Ask yourself if you are ready to face it.   If not, try starting with a smaller fear.                                                                                                                                  6 – Face your fear with pride! Good luck!