Sarah Finney Coaching

Helping Well Behaved Women Toss Away the Rulebook to Live Life on Their Terms

Category: Joy

Happy Almost New Year!

2017 is almost upon us, and I like to think of it as being a fresh slate to write upon.  What will the new year look like – what goals do I have, what do I want to achieve? How do I want to feel?

Normally I am focused on moving out of one year and into the next, without really digging deep to review what happened to me in the past year. My thinking has usually been that the year is a wrap and its’ time to move on to plan for what the future holds for me. Why look back?

I was missing out on some valuable reflection time and learning.

So I did something different last week and I took some time to reflect and write down all of the things that happened to me this past year – the good, the bad, what I accomplished, what challenges I faced and surmounted or didn’t – the list was long.

I realized that a lot had happened, a lot of change, growth, personal fulfillment and some upheavals and shifts in my awareness to new ways of thinking.  A lot can happen in 12 months, and I had not taken the time to really look at it because I am moving forward all the time – day to day… doing stuff, facing challenges, living life – until now.

Upon reflection…

I had a deep awareness that I needed to have a little celebration for myself. So, I did just that. I celebrated all of it – even the hard stuff, because by coming out the other side of what was challenging to me showed me that I am worthy of such a celebration.  Even when I’m still mired down in some stuff, it was still cause to celebrate who I am in this moment.

Do yourself a favor and take a few moments before the clock strikes midnight on December 31, to sit and write down some milestones that you got through this year. Pat yourself on the back and give yourself the love you deserve for getting through the year in whatever way you did.  You Rock and you need to remind yourself that you do, no matter what your current situation is.

At best, you have a lot to celebrate.  At worst, you take time to really acknowledge what you can get through in 12 months and that realization alone may make you realize that you deserve to celebrate the inner strength that you embody.

Feel gratitude.

This past year has seen a lot of hurt in the world, but take time to acknowledge yourself and your place in it, because You Rock!

Celebrate You lady – Celebrate You.

Happy New Year and may all the blessings in the world come to you.

 

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Couple of cool tricks I learned this week

Here we are, just a few days away from the holiday season and wondering about what last minute stuff you must pick-up or do – what did you forget? Food, stocking stuffers, presents? What is on your to-do list?

I am sitting here and thinking through all of that right now, and BAM stocking stuffers come to mind – and carrots.  I need to buy carrots. Oh, and I need to work. Not enough hours in the day to get it all done. Funny how swept up we get in the stuff we need to do, and how quickly we pass on doing what might be good for us to do for ourselves.

Last week I wrote about how many of us gals are living with a title of “Queen of Overwhelm” and this has never been more true than during this time of the year, and it was with that in mind that I wanted to share a couple of fun things that you can do to get back in touch with yourself and to put a little self-care into your day.

I am doing this very cool challenge right now, set up for coaches like me, and there were two “challenges” that I have done so far that really resonated with me and have helped me to start to think about why it is so important to put my needs first, so I wanted to share them with you guys out there in blog land. #1, they are fun to do, and #2 they don’t take up much time, so you can do the challenges and still have loads of time to do all the other crap and nonsense you have on your to-do list, but you can also be pleased that you took a little time out of your day to do something nice for yourself.

First Challenge!

I love this one, and think it is a great thing to do every day.  The idea here is to let your body move to the music and to listen to what the music offering to you – is there a message you need to hear.  So here it goes. Open your favorite playlist and hit Shuffle.  Whatever song starts up, listen to it, dance to it and think about what this song brings up for you. Is there a message you need to hear? What is the music telling you?

This is like pulling an oracle card or tarot card – but having the “universe” pick the right music for you to hear in the moment – the song you need to hear right now.  Give it a try!

Second Challenge!

Ok, this one takes a wee bit longer, but is super effective.  It is a body scan. I know… you are not wanting to do this, because of what might come up, but trust me that once you do, you will understand what your body needs and you can do your best to provide for it. Don’t resist!

Here is how you do it – get into a comfortable position – sitting down, lying down – you be the judge and you close your eyes and scan through your body.  The idea here is that your body and how it is feeling, may need a little love from you and it will tell you what it needs to continue to support you in all things – your life, your work, your family life.  Tune in and start at the top of your head. Has it been a while since you have had a haircut? Move to your eyes, mouth – your throat. Is there something you need to say, but have not said it? Something you need to see or hear? Send your throat some love and thank it for helping you articulate what you need.

Keep moving through your body – connect with your heart – how is your heart feeling?  What about your lungs? Stomach… pelvis…?

Take time in each spot and really connect.  Where do you need to give yourself some love? How about your hands… time for a mani?

Those solid legs – and your feet… the one part of your body that continually holds you up.  How are those toes looking?

Now move to your back – your beautiful spine – your support system.  Feel any tightness? Is it time to get on your yoga mat or stretch to work out the kinks?

Send yourself some love and thank your higher self for sending you messages you need to hear.  Now act on them!

The point to all of this is to tune in and listen to your body and what it needs.  If you do this often enough, you will know how to best serve yourself, and again, by serving yourself first, you will be better equipped to serve others.

When I did this scan yesterday, here is what came up for me.  My back is so tight and I need to get back on my yoga mat to stretch, move and strengthen/lengthen my muscles. Oh, and my feet… time for a pedi, so I gave myself one.  The tired toes look much better with a pretty polish on them. And my stomach told me that it is time for more greens in my life.

So, the theme today gals is to listen!

Listen to the music and let it move you, and listen to your body and answer the call for what it needs.

I would love to hear what comes up for you, so please comment and let me know what you “hear”.

Above all… send yourself some Love – we all need it!

Until next time…

 

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What does JOY mean to you?

joy4_editedI have been pondering the word Joy this week, and what it means to me.

Delving into Joy was brought about by reading a eulogy of a woman I did not know, but knew of. A colleague of mine lost his wife and he sent us links to her blog. My curiousity got the better of me and I started to read about this amazing gal and got some insights into her way of thinking. She had made a choice at the beginning of the year to Pick a Word that had meaning for her, and to ensure that she focused on it for the year. She did not know at the time that her life would be cut short.

That word was Joy.

By definition, Merriam-Webster, Joy means:

  1. the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires :  delightb :  the expression or exhibition of such emotion :  gaiety
  2. a state of happiness or felicity :  bliss

  3. a source or cause of delight

Wow. How many of us truly take the time to notice JOY in our lives?  I know that I have not consciously focused on it, and maybe, because I was reading her blog and saw that this lady lived a truly JOYOUS life. I am inspired to do the same. She looked for it in the everyday, the stuff that we don’t even notice as time passes us by with our overtly BUSY, BUSY lives.

She found it in the funny spelling of her name on the drink cup at Starbucks. She found it in her messy kitchen that was the epicenter of all things delicious she was baking with her daughter. She found it in the check-out line at the grocery store. She found it by interacting with people she did not know, whether in-person, or online. She found it in unusual places, or maybe not so unusual, but usual.

Point is, she found it and embraced it EVERY SINGLE DAY.

The time is now. We all need to embrace JOY. Actively look for it.  Search out where there is something that brings you Delight in your day.

What does JOY mean to you?

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Today’s Musings

What is on my mind today? Lots actually. Hard to know where to start with my thoughts, which can go all over the place, so how about we think about how small things can bring a smile to your face?

It is along the lines of  “The Book of Awesome”.  Think about it. What makes you smile? Is it the parking spot close to the door? The sun shining as you leave the office bringing with it the anticipation of spring/summer weather that will soon be upon us? How about making someone else laugh? Or just feeling like you are just totally awesome today!

I think that as our days go by, we don’t take enough time out to really look around and “see” our surroundings. This equates to living moment by moment – not rushing through the day, or looking to the future for something better to come along, or dwelling on the past and ruminating on what was and how you wish you could change it.

Some writers and theorists call it Living in the Moment or Being Present. It is an interesting concept to me. I have days that go by and I wonder what came of the time spent and was any of it satisfying or fulfilling to me on a personal level.  Usually, not so much.  Do you ever get lost in your head while driving to work and when you arrive, you can’t remember how you got there? Crazy eh? But it happens – all the time. It is a little scary that you can lose time like that and not really even be aware of it as it is happening.

So here is what I will be trying to do more often. Focus more on the little things that make me smile, take a time out and quietly observe what is going on in my world and find my happy place. I shall smile more often – it is contagious, you smile at me, I will smile back. It is a wonderful thing to share with others.

The end result: Those smiles will permeate my entire being with that little, internal glow that we call like to call happiness. Seems like a small price to pay huh!

Just my two cents…

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Words to live by…

“The secret of contentment is knowing how to enjoy what you have, and to be able to lose all desire for things beyond your reach.” Yutang Lin

Boy, isn’t that prophetic?  I have to say that when I read these words they really resonated with me. How many of us continue to strive for more and more? What we have is not enough. We lose sight of what we already have (usually stuff we absolutely had to have) while we keep moving looking for the next best thing to come along and make us happier than we already are (if we stopped for one second and really thought about it).

Why do we always keep going?  Why does it take something traumatic to make us step back and really look at our lives and see that we are already blessed with what we have.  We will always find things that will make our lives better, or so we think. The reality is that the more stuff we have, the harder it is to just be and live our life in the moment.

I have been reflecting lately about my life and how fortunate I am. I have had some hard knocks in my life, just like everybody else, and I spent some time remembering  what things were like for me just a few years ago. Time to reflect is a great thing.  It makes you truly see how far you have come along – at least it did in my case.  I am very happy with where I have ended up in life. Yes, I am sure there are things I could continue to strive for, but the reality is that being happy with what I have already achieved and have is a good place to be.

Maybe this is all coming up because last weekend was Thanksgiving, but it is something that I am going to keep in mind throughout the year.  It is always a good thing to continue to grow on a personal level and I hope that this quote can help keep me on track!

Here’s to being content.

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Things that move me

But, if I take a time out and start to think about what brings a semblance of peace to my life, it would include the following things/experiences that I hold dear inside my heart. These are in no particular order and it is definitely not an exhaustive list.

  • Seeing a Robin for the first time after a long winter
  • Listening to my cat Cleo snoring beside me
  • Knowing that I am loved by my family and friends
  • Watching a child laugh
  • Having a gut wrenching laugh that makes my stomach sore the next day
  • An afternoon nap
  • A fantastic book that I cannot put down
  • The fact that I have a wonderful home which I have created by myself
  • An ability to keep learning and evolving
  • Knowing that I have my own personal guardian angels above (thanks mum and dad)
  • Having a nick name that only my closest peeps know about
  • My freckles – seriously, they are awesome
  • Life lessons – and man, there have been a lot.
  • My emotional strength – lesson here is you never quite know how strong you are until tested. I am strong.
  • The song “I Believe” by the Bachelors – check it out. It will move you
  • Gorgeous Fall colours
  • My bed. It rocks.
  • My family – sister, brother, nieces, brother and sister in-laws… awesome!
  • People watching
  • Sharing good times with friends and sharing those memories and laughing about them later
  • Writing – I got advice that I should write more and expand my creative side… hence the Blog…
  • Cooking – as long as it is for people who love to eat as much as I do and appreciate it
  • The lonely cry of a Loon on a still lake
  • The moon, as it breaks above the horizon as it rises in the sky at night
  • Birds… all of them really, but I do love a Cardinal
  • Books – real books, not e-readers. There is nothing like cracking open a new book – Nothing!
  • Great parents – they were awesome and I truly miss their presence in my life every single day
  • Poking around in the garden
  • Crunching and playfully kicking dried leaves as I walk through a forest
  • Mentoring young gals
  • Getting past “the past” and embracing the lessons and forgiving where necessary
  • Being healthy – emotionally, physically, mentally

I could go on and on. It is great to reflect on the things that make us who we are, and that shape us. Taking time out to focus on what we are grateful for is a good way to spend some time in your day. Often times, it is this type of reflection that will remind us of just how lucky we truly are.

My two cents…

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Ice Storm and Musings Leading to a Fresh New Year

I woke up this morning and had some thoughts – random in some cases, but rather fluid in others. Thought I would share in the spirit of all things leading up to a new year.

For those of you who experienced the recent ice storm – you will get where I am coming from. For those of you who did not, this will give you an idea of what it was like for me.

Sum it up in one word. Scary. And I was blessed to only be without power for a little over 24 hours. Many, many people suffered for much longer than that, and some are still waiting 10 days later.

I pride myself in being a stalwart kind of gal. One who is steadfast and holds her own, no matter what the situation. This storm had me so anxiety ridden I almost did not recognize myself. On the outside, I was trying to find humour in the situation – this is a “go to” method of coping for me. Find the funny, crack the joke and get on with it. On the inside, my guts were in a knot and I was questioning why the hell I had decided to buy a house and live in it by myself – no one else to share the burden of trouble when it comes. Seriously. What was I thinking?! I am still wondering about this, but will take some time to think through things when my mind is not clouded with anxiety, but with clarity.

Trees were heavy with ice – so heavy branches were splitting and coming down with loud crashes. Frost plates shifting far beneath the ground causing loud, explosion like noises that make you shake in your shoes. Hydro lines thickly coated, weighing heavily and pulling free of their posts. Transformers exploding everywhere in bright flashes of blue and green lights. Sirens ever-present in the background.

Hearing branches crashing to the ground in my backyard had me jumping out of my skin. I was fortunate. Nothing hit my house. I was fortunate.

And then, out of the fear came the beauty.

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A world coated in ice – like a living Swarovski Crystal. Sun shining brightly, glinting off of everything in its wake. It was breathtaking to behold. Light winds made the branches sound like wind chimes – tinkling softly. A photographers dream.

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Power was restored, heat came back on, fridges were emptied and people started to get back to living their lives. The clean up will be huge.

But in the aftermath of this are the lessons we all need to learn.

1. Be Grateful. Count your blessings. I know I am not the only one who feels so immensely grateful for all of the things I have taken for granted. When your Power is taken away you learn very quickly how much you depend on it. FOR EVERYTHING.
2. Look after our Earth – she needs us to be awake and being more eco-conscious. We have experienced brutal weather patterns in the last few years. Yes, there is such a thing as global warming.
3. Look after each other.
4. Find the lessons in each experience and learn them.
5. Find the beauty.

I love this quote. I will keep in mind as I move forward into a New Year.

“The secret of contentment is knowing how to enjoy what you have, and to be able to lose all desire for things beyond your reach.”
– Yutang Lin

To all of you out there, I wish you a beautiful, clean slate of a New Year.

May you all be blessed with love and light in 2014.

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Who do You want to be when You grow up?

ladiesToday was a great day.

Maybe not in the “I won the lottery” type of great day, but great none the less. I was heading to Ottawa for a business trip and typical to the way I like to roll, I got to the airport 1 hour prior to boarding.  I never like to be rushed, and can’t stand feeling like I could be late for something (I know, get over it already). Given that my flight was delayed, then cancelled and then re-scheduled, the day could have been a relative bummer, but sometimes stuff happens and you just have to deal with it.

Why was my day so great given the upheaval of my travel plans you ask?

Well, I had a little epiphany during my trip. One that has me thinking and feeling decidedly good about my life, but has also shown me where I want to be eventually… in my – dare I say it – my golden years.

This little epiphany came in the form of 3 ladies in their golden years – and no, I do not mean Dorothy, Rose and Blanche, but more in the form of Myrtle, Evie and Annie.

I met Myrtle and her sister Evie in the line-up at security.  These lovely gals were on their way to Ottawa, and then were planning on heading to Myrtle’s cottage located on the Ottawa River for a bit of R&R.  Evie was a wee bit of a thing – with a bright sparkle in her blue eyes and a smile that would light up a room – she was definitely the chatty one.  Both ladies required the use of canes and were all dolled up for their trip. Super cute.

The gals were ahead of me in the line going through the usual baggage screening and both had to give up their canes to make the walk through the security scanner. I was coming along behind them – head down getting my own stuff organized and as I went through the scanner, there was Evie off to the side with the guard giving her the once over with the wand and the dreaded “pat down”.

Evie was having a fit of the giggles over this little episode and she confessed to me that both she and Myrtle had set off the metal detectors!  She found this hilarious – and laughed and laughed about it.  She then fessed up that she had her hip replaced and Myrtle had a new knee so the two of them were full of metal and set them off. I could not help but laugh with them as they packed up their stuff and giggled the whole time.

Evie’s mirth was a bit short-lived, when it dawned on her that her bags were missing.  She wondered aloud where they could be, and thought that they may be coming along the belt after mine. Myrtle snorted and  reminded her that she had too many bags to bring on board and they had checked them.  Evie burst out laughing again and told me that apparently the effect of the scanner gave her a little brain fart!  I was having quite the laugh along with them – they were contagious.

OMG… What a treat these ladies were – to be the age they are – I am guessing in their 80’s – to be traveling, enjoying each other’s company and still able to laugh at their foibles was completely refreshing in this age of digital information consumption and general lack of social graces – especially in an airport where everyone is in a rush to get from point A to B and have a general air of stress about them.

My fun did not stop there.  Once I boarded the plane and took up residence in my usual aisle seat, I was asked to hop up to allow another passenger into the same row.  Another golden gal by the name of Annie squeezed into the seat next to me. Annie was pretty in turquoise and had a lovely laugh and lots to share.

Annie was heading to Ottawa to see her youngest daughter and her two boys.  Annie told me that this daughter was her 7th child and that she had 16 grandchildren and was a great-grandmother to 4 other wee beans. She was excited about her trip and snorted a couple of times when she told me that she had better enjoy her quiet time on the plane because the boys will be all over her for the weekend and she would not get a moment’s peace.  I could see that she could not wait for her weekend to start.

Annie told me a bit about herself – she was born in Sudbury, moved to  Tillsonberg and lived there with her husband for many years. Her hubby had recently been put into a home, and she was left a little bit at loose ends but apparently this did not last for long.

This lady – who was probably in her 80’s as well, had moved to be closer to her husband and was in St. Thomas.  She was not too fond of it there, and decided to move to a senior assisted living community where she enjoyed hanging out with the “girls” and had a great deal of fun learning to play the piano – practicing up to 5 hours a day, was taking up French, got her hands into their gardens and more.

To me, that sounded like a pretty full life – given her age and what she was up to, and then she told me that she decided that as much as she enjoyed hanging out with these gals, she wanted her own space again so she bought herself a little house, complete with a lovely garden and side door leading to this oasis. She was reading Eat, Pray, Love and told me that she was saving the last chapter because she did not want the book to end.  She was enjoying the story too much. This lady is amazing – so full of life – even when it seems her life has undergone a massive change.

I want to be just like Evie, Myrtle and Annie when I grow up.  But then again, perhaps the beauty of these ladies is that they have kept their playful attitudes and love of life in tact and never thought they had to grow up. Maybe that is the secret.

I am sure they have all lived very full lives, and I am sure that like everyone else, they were touched by good times, and sad times. What I learned from them today is that you are NEVER too old to do/find something that you love – to take the trips you want to take, to pursue a new hobby or dream and to laugh all along the way.

May my Golden Girls continue to giggle and enjoy life for many years to come. Cheers to the Gals and thanks for the lesson.  It was a distinct pleasure to meet you three.

I guess sometimes we all need a little reminder that life truly is what YOU make it.

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