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Monday, January 30, 2012

Enough! Overcoming the Little Annoyances Wearing You Out

'It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out--It's the grain of sand in your shoe.'

Robert William Service, Scottish Poet 1874-1958

 What's Wearing on You?

What is the grain of sand in your shoe wearing you out—that annoyance present in the back of your mind wearing you down? What's grating on you today?


·         You're waiting for the other shoe to drop at work;

·         You can't seem to get the landlord to fix that hole in your ceiling the rain is leaking through;

·         You have a good paying job—but the daily work is soul-killing;

·         You've got a job you really enjoy—but its 600 miles from your home and family.

How Little Annoyances Affect Life Satisfaction

 No matter how good our lives are, we all face trials in our daily lives that can wear us down. Truth is even if our lives are excellent overall, we still measure our life satisfaction by the least satisfying parts—i.e. those grains of sand.

The Daily Grind

 Linda, almost 60 and divorced, has a beautiful home, grown children, a dog, a network of great friends-- and a new great-paying job. So what's the grain of sand in her shoe? Her new job took her 600 miles away from her friends and home. She's uncomfortable living in her new apartment in a city filled with never-ending traffic and cement sidewalks. She misses the wooded trails where she walked with her dog enjoying the great outdoors. While the money is good in her new job, her daily quality of life has taken a nosedive. She dreams of moving back home.

 Liz, a 21 year old, taking a full load of college courses and working full time loves her apartment with its hardwood floors and spacious rooms, conveniently located adjacent to the bus line to work and school. Her grain of sand is the huge gaping hole in her apartment ceiling. Mold is growing and she is worried about her health. She doesn't want to move—especially since she's in the middle of the school term-- and really doesn't have the time to look for another place.

 At Forty, Julian has just finished a higher degree, loves his chosen work, home and partner. What's the grain of sand wearing him down?  His hometown market may be too small to support his work. If he wants to do what he loves he may need to work and live elsewhere—and leave his home and partner behind. The idea of a long-distance relationship leaves him cold.

 Don't Ignore Your Grain of Sand, Acknowledge it

 Face it—we all have difficult decisions to make these days. The difficulty of choosing between two less-than-optimum options often leaves us making no decision at all—and this unresolved dilemma goes underground and begins to wear on us like the grains of sand in our walking shoes.

 The problem with grains of sand in our shoes is rather than choosing to stop to remove them we try to ignore them as we continue traveling on the road of life. Without acknowledging and embracing them we can find no relief.

 Find Your Pearl

 Rather than letting your grain of sand wear you down, let it build you up. In a clam, that grain of sand has the potential of creating a pearl. You too have the possibility of creating something exquisite and beautiful in your life through that daily grind forcing you to pay attention to what's working and what's not. Granted, grains of sand in our walking shoes are irritating and annoying—but they make us pay attention. Stop ignoring the irritation in your life, acknowledge and embrace it. Choose to reach through the current irritation to create a better life.

 Four Steps to Turn SAND into Your Pearl

 1. Acknowledge and embrace the Irritation. Let yourself become aware and fully conscious of what's grating on you. Name it. Sit in it.

2. Keep on Walking. Do nothing. Let the irritation grow your awareness to produce your life pearl.

3. Stop. When you're ready--take off your shoes and shake it off. Choose your next action.

4. Start A New Direction--Take a step—any step—away from your irritant towards a better life.





 What's Your PEARL?

What PEARL can you create out of your grains of sand? Play with the letters in PEARL to create a positive picture of what you can create out of your grain of sand.

Possibilities, Enthusiasm, Acceptance, Relationships, Love

Playful, Enjoyable, Action-oriented, Reliable, Loyal

 'Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.'

The Buddha

Do you need help turning your grain of sand into a pearl? 
For more than 25 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before. Contact Susan to schedule one or on-going life change coaching sessions.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How to Turn Negative Thoughts into Positive Action

"Worrying does not empty today of its troubles, it empties tomorrow of its strength."    Mary Englebreit

The Secret Decoded
Do you ever wake up with doubts, anxiety or insecurities? I do.

It's those little whispers in my brain causing my heart to race and my stomach to flutter until I pause to identify 'what's up'.

Over the years I've learned the secret to befriending these physical messages.
I've developed a more positive interpretation of the role my brain plays in producing the unsettling messages, and this helps me transition faster from reacting fearfully to taking calm, conscious action.

So what's the secret? It's simple. I know my brain cares about me.

A Womb With a View 

Because my brain cares,  I think of it as my Womb with a View ~a warm, caring place from which I can safely look out into the world around me and begin living each day.

Hello, Womb Service?

My Womb with a View comes with Womb Service. The little whispers causing those anxious feelings are just friendly, pre-scheduled wake up calls.

Although the messages from within are initially unnerving, they become my call to action.  I now embrace the friendly service call to 'WAKE UP!', and make a conscious choice to do something, or to do nothing and let it be.

By converting my anxiety into Womb Service, I have reframed those morning whispers from 'start-your-day-anxious and in avoidance' to 'start-your-day-calm-and-conscious'.

Deal with it!
I have an amazing young woman in my life who calls to talk about the daily happenings in her life.

It's such a pleasure to observe and listen to her as she identifies and names the problems that arise and then in short order deal with them. While she starts anxious and overwhelmed, as she talks it through she begins to lay a plan for dealing with the issues.

Recently she was extremely frustrated and agitated from major issues that all arose at one time about her cell phone, internet service and apartment. It certainly felt like the universe was conspiring against her at the very moment she needed her life to be calm so she could concentrate on her school work and job.

"I don't have time for this," she said.

"Tomorrow's another day," I replied.

"I thought you'd say that."

"Give it a rest. Trust yourself. Let your mind work on it for you overnight and see what options come to you in the morning. You'll know exactly what to do."

Sure enough, by the next morning she went to school then came home and took one action on each issue, quickly resolving the cell phone and internet service issues and collecting more information on the apartment problem so she could make a more informed decision about how to proceed.

Rather than sitting in her anxiety and feelings of helplessness she brought those negative thoughts and feelings to the surface, let her mind work off-line overnight on solutions, and turned those negative thoughts into positive, empowering actions.

Everything Is (Secretly) Okay!

I have a friend, Karen, a very successful CEO Coach who lives life fully engaged. She is amazing. She is also a worrier and full of self-doubt.

One day while visiting her I observed Karen's husband, Bill, lean over and whisper into her ear, "Karen, Everything is (Secretly) OKAY!"  It made me laugh!

I couldn't believe what a perfect message this was--not only for Karen, but for all of us. It made Karen laugh and let go ~ and it spoke to a deep truth about the foundation of worries, self-doubt and anxiety in us all. Bill says he learned this affirmation from a 10-year old kid.

Learn What You Do Want from What You Don't

When that secret worry begins to tie your stomach in knots, let it wake you up to what's bothering you and name what you fear. Begin by affirming 'everything is (secretly) okay!', then ask these questions and take action:
  • What  is it about the message behind my womb service I fear?
  • What do I fear will happen that I don't want to happen?
  • Name It:  What do I want  (to happen)?

"Worrying is using your imagination to create something you don't want." Abraham
Do you need help turning negative thoughts into positive action?
For more than 25 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before. Contact Susan @ Lightartedsue@gmail dot com to schedule one or on-going life change coaching sessions.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Face to Face with the Second Step? Step Up. Step In. Move Forward.

'Don't chase your dreams, catch them.' Unknown

Face to Face with the Second Step

I was first introduced to Richard Stine's simple black and white line drawings at a Westwood art faire while attending graduate school at UCLA. 

His series, 'Smile in a Mad Dog's i’ brought a smile to my own and made me laugh.

While I lingered at his booth, lusting after his drawings, I was a poor graduate student and I just couldn't pay $30 for a simple line drawing.  I walked away without buying anything.

Over the next year, every time I found myself stalled and frustrated after starting a school or work project one of his images, 'Dog face to face with the second step',  kept popping into my head.

I could clearly see that silly, flat-faced, wire-haired black dog with his eyes glued to, and staring at, the second step of the stairs. I was that dog. And it was exactly how I felt--face to face, not with the first step, but the second.  When I looked closely, I could clearly see the second step was in fact larger than the first.

I began to see how life was going to progress. Just as I was congratulating myself for finally getting the latest project off to a good start, I had to look out for that big second step stopping me in my tracks.

The Second Step--An Opportunity for a Fresh Start

But the light began to dawn and I came to see the second step in a positive light.

Rather than the second step being a time for getting stuck and giving up, I began to see it as an opportunity to pause and assess my progress, re-commit to my vision, and regain the energy and motivation to move on. Instead of being pushed off-track by the unexpected obstacles, I learned to expect the unexpected and turn a potential ending into a fresh start.

WOOF!  Be the Dog ~ Paws and Assess

What have YOU been working on that has you suddenly face to face with the second step? What dream or vision have you been working on that suddenly feels stalled? How long have you felt that churning and simmering in your head, pulling you towards taking the next step? What's stopping YOU? If you were to turn that ending into a beginning, what would you do next?

What's Got You Stalled?

  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of public failure
  • Too busy at work
  • Don't know where to start.
  • No money.
  • Work exhausts me and uses up my creative energy.
  • I focus on helping other people, and then am too tired to help myself.
  • I don't believe I deserve to achieve my dream.

You can always feel the second step staring you in the face. You may not always be able to articulate what it is blocking you from moving forward but you can feel the invisible barrier just the same. Recognizing it's there is the first step to moving past it.

Now is the perfect time to clear your path to making forward progress. I've already started. Why not join me and make today the day you choose to move past YOUR second step?

Three Steps to Get Past the Second Step--Again and Again

  1. Make Yourself #1. Give yourself the first part of the day. Get up 1 hour earlier to devote yourself to your dream. Don't let yourself be distracted.
  2. Choose.  Choose the one thing to focus on NOW.
  3. Act today. Put your thoughts on paper, and convert those thoughts to do-able actions.  Choose to act on one step today.  
'The man who moved a mountain is the one who started taking away the small stones.'
Old Chinese Proverb

 Do you need help moving past the second step?

For more than 25 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before. Contact Susan to schedule one or on-going life change coaching sessions.

If you'd like to see Stine's 'Face to Face with the Second Step' (newer colored version) click on link below.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Help! My Mind Keeps Racing—Mindfulness Silences the Mind

Hurry Up!

  • Do you suffer from hurry sickness? Are you always feeling rushed and worrying you're missing out on opportunities or letting others down because you're rushing to get things done but are always one step behind?
  • Do you sometimes feel discombobulated, like you just can't figure out how to keep up with everything no matter how hard you try—leaving you flustered and tired?
  • Do you continue to feel rushed long after there is any need?

I don't know about you, but I tend to push myself to achieve imaginary deadlines that only I—or more correctly my deep unconscious—knows what that deadline is. I may not have a severe case of hurry sickness, but I do find myself rushing to pick up speed and save a few minutes so I can get there faster. The problem is I'm not sure where 'There' is.

I've Got Good News and Bad News

This dilemma is illustrated in the story of an airline pilot who comes on the loudspeaker to chat with her passengers. 'Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I hope your ride has been smooth. I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is we're making great time; the bad news is we're lost.'

What Goes Up Must Come Down
Sure there are times in our lives when we must function at top speed to achieve specific goals and meet real deadlines. But why do we continue rushing at high speed even when we don't need to anymore?

As the Chicago song says, 'What goes up must come down' --and that includes the frenetic speed and stress that goes up when we're rushing to meet those real deadlines. A constant state of hyperactivity and hurry sickness isn't good for any of us.
To get where we want to get in life we must slow down and rest the mind so we know what we want and how to get there.
Nature Does Not Hurry, Yet Everything is Accomplished

'Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished' says Lao Tzu, sage from 6th century BC. Grass does not try to grow. Water does not try to flow. Flowers do not try to bloom. They just do. There is no hurry in plant time, just the simple flow of life in the right time.

So pull back, quiet your mind, and allow the simple flow of your life to happen in the right time. Children grow up. People find mates. People find fulfilling jobs. Roads and bridges get built. Communities heal. Hurts heal.

Stop hurrying to build that bridge to nowhere. It'll still be available to work on later if you really must. But chances are, going forward with a stilled mind, you won't see the need to busy yourself with going nowhere. With a cleared mind and an open heart your life will be cleared for things of importance--and the universe will unveil all its secrets to you in the right time.
Slow Down, Still Your Mind
Lao Tzu also said, 'To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.' While we would like to think we are smarter, wiser, and much more advanced than those who lived centuries before us, so much timeless wisdom written centuries ago still speaks to us as if it was written today.

When you catch yourself with a case of hurry sickness, practice mindfulness, and apply the wisdom that came to us from so long ago. Stop. Adjust. Breathe. Relax. Still the mind. Accomplish your dreams.

Do you need help slowing down to move forward to accomplish your dreams?
For more than 25 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before. Contact Susan to schedule one or on-going life change coaching sessions.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Let Go of Bitterness and Hurt to Make Room for More Positive and Uplifting Experiences

What Hurts Are You Carrying into the New Year?

* Who or what hurt you?

* What do you feel bitter about?

* Where in your heart of hearts do you feel life has done you wrong?

 Sometimes Life Lets You Down

 Ah, Life. Sometimes it lets you down--

  • That job you wanted that slipped through your fingers;
  • That love interest who did you wrong;
  • That family that abandoned you;
  • That organization that treated you poorly;
  • That economy that failed you financially;
  • Or just that season that provided you with too little sun.

Sometimes your life can leave you feeling betrayed and bitter. That's okay--acknowledge and name what you're feeling--and sit in your sorrow for a while. But when you're ready to brush yourself off and get back on top of the world, let it go.

You're Made of Strong Stuff

 Face it--you're made of strong stuff and you want to enjoy a life fully engaged. You have what it takes to move through whatever challenge life presents you--and you're worthy of enjoying a rich, meaningful life.

Think about it--how is that hurt and bitterness you're harboring inside getting in the way of you engaging in or enjoying your life? What good things could you see in your life if you let these soul-killing feelings go?
  • Have you failed to apply for a job because you're bitter about the last job interview?
  • Did you fail to ask that new person out because the last one hurt you?
  • Have you isolated yourself because you are hurt or bitter about how someone treated you? Have you refused invitations to get together with friends because you're home licking your wounds?
  • Have you failed to contact family members to make up because they hurt you too much?
  • Is that bitterness about making less than you deserve getting in the way of you appreciating the good things in the job or zapping your energy to look for a better paying job?
When you consciously cleanse hard feelings out of your soul you make room for more uplifting and positive experiences and people to come into your life. You can see current opportunities in your life when you stop wasting your energy on maintaining the hurt and bitterness. So don't stuff your feelings; cleanse them.

Do You Care Enough about yourself to let the Hurt and Bitterness go?
The question is--if you're carrying a sense of hurt and bitterness do you care enough about yourself to let it go? If yes, make today the day you affirm 'my soul is cleansed of hurt and bitterness'--and take a step toward doing something affirming--one that fills you with feelings of self-worth, fulfillment, and connection to life and others. You are worth it. Do it now.

Do you need help letting go of hurt and bitterness into a calmer, more productive and peaceful state of mind?

 For more than 25 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes stepping into the next phase of your life easier than ever before. Contact Susan to schedule one or on-going life change coaching sessions.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Staying Upbeat in the Face of Negativity

Do You Believe All Things Seemingly Good or Bad Works for Your Highest Good?

In the last three days:

* How many times did something happen to make you worry something in your life wouldn't work out?

* How many times did you respond to the fear by relaxing into it--knowing life has a way of working out in your favor?

When Life Gets Hard, Lighten Up

These days, there's certainly a lot to worry about. I admit I succumb to worrying about work, money and the future. But when life gets messy, that's the very time we need access to our most nimble and flexible problem-solving abilities. That's why we need to lighten up when life is hard.

Lightening up when times are tough changes how you think about your troubles and helps you gain more options for achieving better outcomes. I know--just lighten up-- it's easier said than done--but it can be done--and you can choose to practice making the switch in thinking.

Learning how to stay upbeat in the face of difficulties ultimately results in a more overall optimistic attitude in you as you learn to work out of your higher brain instead of your lower brain.

When you're stressed-- learning to switch from your 'Lower Self' to your 'Higher Self' is the key to staying upbeat and nimble during tough times. Let me show you what I mean.

A Lower Ott and A Higher Ott

Years ago at the end of conducting a workshop on the paradox of change, a workshop participant--Hall of Fame Songwriter, Mack David--presented me with a little ditty he composed. With his cherub cheeks and a lighthearted grin he sang:

'The Lord begets and the Lord begot,
A Lower Ott and a Higher Ott;
But of all the Otts the Lord begot,
The best of all is a Meyerott.
Who? Sue!
And Nancy Too!

It made me laugh--and it still does. There it was: The Lower Ott and the Higher Ott--what I had been calling My Lower Self and My Higher Self. This lighthearted ditty became just the ticket to keep me from taking myself too seriously for too long when I succumbed (as we all do) to taking the path of the Lower Ott during stressful experiences.

While you may lack a name that rhymes so well with begot, you too have a higher and lower self housed in your brain. And how you talk to yourself about difficult situations will determine which of your selves--your higher or lower self (brain) will do the problem-solving for you.

Do You Feel Pressured or Challenged Under Stress?

What's in a word? Lots! Whether you feel pressured or challenged under stress will determine if your choices for responding to your world are limited to your lower brain, or if more expansive options are available to you from engaging your higher brain.

The good news is if you change your thoughts-- from feeling pressured to feeling challenged under stress-- you'll unlock the key to opening up options and to staying upbeat in the face of negativity.

Feel Pressured? It's a Real Downer!

Here's the thing--when you sink into feeling pressured, fearful or worried about a situation, you downshift into your lower--or reptilian brain. Your lower brain offers you very limited instinctual responses--much like those available to snakes whose instinct is to protect their territory and their young.

For you, this translates into your basic fight or flight reactions (the stress response) and results in the extremes of fighting and withdrawing such as outbursts, yelling, arguing, quitting, ignoring, denying, running away and pulling the covers over your head and never (ever) going back.

When it's not helping you respond to a crisis, your lower brain is not a very empowering or engaging place to come from, and it leaves you feeling weak, threatened, out-of-control and unsuccessful.

To Stay Upbeat, Upshift into Your Higher Brain

By switching your thinking from feeling pressured to feeling challenged, you move up to your higher brain--or cerebral cortex--where conscious, critical thinking is possible. Now you're in control. It is from this higher place you are capable of considering calm, clear, focused choices and listening to your inner wisdom.

Chose the Self-Satisfied Calm of Knowing You Can Handle Life

Why not give up the adrenaline rush of feeling pressured for the self-satisfied calm of knowing you can handle whatever life throws your way. The next time you feel the angst of your situation coming on, consciously choose to say 'I feel challenged' in place of 'I feel pressured'.

No, things don't always go as you planned. But you do have what it takes to successfully move through life's challenges. Look for the challenge and give up the pressure.

'Relax and begin saying, Everything in its perfect time. Everything is unfolding. And I'm enjoying where I am now, in relationship to where I'm going. I'm content where I am, and eager for more.'

Do You Need Help Switching from Feeling Pressured to Feeling Challenged?
For more than 25 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before. Contact Susan to schedule one or on-going life change coaching sessions.