Saturday, November 14, 2009

Conquering Your Fears Through Action

"I believe that anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experiences behind him.- Eleanor Roosevelt

Life brings with it many doubts and fears. But the unknown and the untried have held more people back than any lack of ability. Most successes are never seen because they're never attempted. The courage to face your fears can build momentum that creates magic. Each time you overcome an obstacle, a fear or a step back, you gain confidence. Every small victory helps you feel more certain of yourself and your direction, pushing you further and faster than you ever thought possible. You can do it! What's holding you back? True, fears are intimidating. So start small. Believe in yourself and take one small swipe at your fear today just to see what happens. If you can't talk yourself past the "point of no return," get a friend to help. In the end, half of the doing is in the deciding. If you stumble, don't be afraid to brush yourself off and jump back in.
" Sparkpeople.com Healthy Reflections

This brings back memories of my first life coach's advice. I'd get so paralyzed by decisions. He'd tell me to take action--even if I wasn't sure it was the "right" action. The only way you'll know is to just do something-anything is better than nothing. If you find out it's not what you really want, well then, you are one step closer to knowing what you do.

How often do we stay in our heads about a decision or something we want to move towards? We think it over and over, imagining all the scenarios of how it could go? Maybe we get as far as mapping it out on paper, but still can't decide which way to the "right" way to do it or even to begin.

Start by taking the struggle out of the equation. List all the ways to go about it. Just write for 10-15 min. No judgment. Put some steps in order according to how they make you feel - easiest to hardest. Include doing nothing, doing more research, or asking others for advice/help.

I'll use my own example of having to make decisions while remodeling my house. I am currently finishing up the living room and dining room. I want to remodel the bathrooms and kitchen next, but feel over whelmed by all the decisions I have to make including: buy everything at once to save money or not, where to store it if I do, colors of paint/flooring/cupboards/fixtures etc...

I just want to run screaming from the home improvement process!

My choices:


Ground Zero:
Do nothing and think about it some more.

Choice one:
Map it out on paper-one tiny part at a time and work out from there. What color paint do I want to use in one bathroom? Buy that and start (easy enough to change).

Choice two:
Map out the bare bones of overall project on paper from the big picture down. Leave some details blank for now. Ask a friend who has done this before to help me think it through.

Choice three: Decide on a few small things to buy first, then buy the most expensive items later and save some money.

Choice four:
Decide whether to buy it all at once and save the most money (which involves making lots of decisions first, buying it & storing it in my garage, & leaving my car outside for the winter).

Ack! Choice four seems WAY too overwhelming. Choices two & three speak to me and say "That feels do-able."
  • I will start with the overall look/feel I want to affect with the remodeling.
  • Ask my friend to help me sketch out various parts of the project & leave out details I'm not sure about at this time.
  • Move on to choice three by the end of the week.
I'll revisit my plan weekly. Now that feels do-able.

Can this process help you? Comment about conquering your own fears or indecision.

Let's encourage each other along to move through them into action.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Leave Stress at the Office and Relax

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson


Remembering your triumphs and letting go of your mistakes is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. At the end of each day give yourself permission to lay it to rest. Each morning is a new opportunity to begin fresh with right intention. In actuality, each moment is a new chance to begin again.

Leave your problems and stress at work. Go home and truly give yourself the gift of relaxation.
Try this for a week. Work hard at the office, give it your all, then leave the to-do list there when you go home. Create a ritual if you need to by writing what's left undone or problematic on an index card and put it in a special spot and say "Good night", putting it to bed, so to speak.

Got issues in your personal life? Ask for inner guidance, follow your highest instincts, then know you've done everything you could for today and lay it down. A new day may bring a fresh perspective. How important this issue will seem 5 years from now?


When you come home, take a moment to switch gears and let go.

Try this meditation:

With your eyes closed, quietly relax.

Open your mind to the awareness of your true Source.


Inhale deeply, all the way into your belly.

Visualize pure white light & energy pouring in through an opening in the top of your head.


Scan your body for any tension and breathe into that area.

Relax your face and your shoulders. Let them go slack.


Breathe out- fully releasing all thoughts of the outer world and the day so far. The incoming white light is shimmering golden now. Feel the tingling sensation as it pulses throughout your body and pushes out old stale thoughts and problems.


Focus on this single affirming thought: "Today I am satisfied that I gave my highest and best."

Nothing else matters in this very moment.
Detach from the pressures you left at work. Let go of personal problems.

Focus on your true Be-ing--relaxed and at ease--fully present in the here and now.


Affirming this intention mindfully, quiets the chattering of your mind.

In a moment of gratitude be thankful for all that you accomplished, all that you have been given, and all that could happen in a NEW day.


When you're ready, open your eyes and smile.

(copyright 2009)

In the near future, I'll be offering this in audio form. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Teachers: Got Stress?

Learn to connect to your inner self and purpose for being on this earth--learn to love yourself and be comfortable with who you are--knowing you ARE "good enough" right now makes everything else better.

Find the joy within and "Love the Skin You're In".

  • I help teachers reconnect to the joy & creativity that brought them to teaching in the first place. Learn how to find & claim YOUR inner balance!
  • Anxiety doesn’t have to rule your life or affect performance.
  • As your coach, I create an environment that supports your growth, lets you break out of stuck thinking, and moves you forward into a life and career that nurtures your soul again.

"Jude is both inspiring and supportive. With Jude, I'm able to expand my ideas and explore new possibilities. Jude didn't give me advice or tell me what to do. Instead she guided me in a way where I could find my own solutions. As I worked with Jude, my own answers became clear, answers that I am excited about and eager to implement."
Patricia Robinson, MS MA MFT http://patriciarobinsonmft.com/


Thrive where you’re planted and grow toward the Light ~YOUR inner light!

A small excerpt from: The Heart of a Teacher
by Paula Fox

The child arrives like a mystery box...
with puzzle pieces inside
some of the pieces are broken or missing...
and others just seem to hide
But the HEART of a teacher can sort them out...
and help the child to see
the potential for greatness he has within...
.....
in the HEART of a teacher who cared
enabling the child to become much more...
than he ever imagined...or dared
A teacher with a HEART for her children...
knows what teaching is all about
she may not have all the answers...
but on this...she has no doubt
When asked which subjects she loved to teach,
she answered this way and smiled...
"It's not the subjects that matter...
It's all about teaching the CHILD."

What is your biggest stress about teaching? If you could change something about your job, what would it be? If there was a way to come together with other teachers either in person, or virtually would you be interested in connecting?

Jude Eastman M.Ed. ~ Life & Soul Coach
http://stirringthespiritwithin.com
jude@stirringthespiritwithin.com

As a burned out teacher, I went through losing my parents and marriage at the same time. This set into motion the wheels of change that helped me earn a masters degree, become a reading specialist, and take on life coaching simultaneously.
Let me help you let go of what you are and become what you might be.

I've started a Meetup group both live and virtual for teachers with stress to connect. I will also be holding monthly tele calls for us to communicate, learn new strategies for not taking on/releasing the stress, mastermind group to help each other attain our goals.

Oct 26 will be our first call. topics to talk about:

What's Happening Now?

Is your Workload Realistic & Fair?

Are You Experiencing Rewarding Relationships At Work?

Do You Have Adequate Professional Support?

Is Your Personal Life Balanced with Your Professional Life?

I will be using some material from my dear friend, Doris Helge, Ph.D.'s book:
Joy on the Job

If you are at all interested in purchasing her book, please consider clicking through to it here through my affiliate's link. http://wahmcart.com/x...




Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Master Gardening

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. - Goethe

The easiest way to identify what our heart wants is to examine the feelings that surface when we relate to that subject. Do you find solace when picking up your journal to write a daily reflection? Does time spent with your family thrill you to tears? What feelings arise when you chase down the things that make your heart flutter? True happiness comes when we routinely engage in positive activities that we love. Take a look at your life as a whole. Pursue the things that make you feel alive and fill you with joy and healthy balance.
" sparkpeople.com

How do I get that you ask? Sometimes we feel like one chapter of life has closed suddenly and unpleasantly. Loss of a relationship, death of a loved one, or the kids flew the coop. These circumstances in life often leave us feeling flat, worn out, and joyless. We have forgotten what brings us joy and who we really are inside.
Change can happen when you're ready to let go of feeling that you have no control over life. If you can't change what's going on in life right now, can you change how you view it? Pick up that journal and start a list of what gives you joy. State in positive terms what you want as if it's already happened (I live a life of joy and harmony, I walk daily to maintain my healthy weight, I have many positive friends who support my life's dreams). Start cutting pictures out of magazines that make your mind say ahhh...and your heart glow. Make a vision board that shows pictures of what you'd like to see in your life and start your inner journey toward making that come true. Some very focused people make this happen by themselves. Many of us try and try, but keep slipping back into old ways (old thoughts and habits die hard). It's OK to treat yourself as well as you would your best friend. It's even OK to ask for help. Life Coaches help us learn to help ourselves.


I've been working on ways to talk about coaching and what I do for YOU - the client (This extends a past post "Cultivating Your Inner Garden"). I was trying to come up with a memorable way to introduce myself that will stick in your mind long after that brief 10 minute conversation at the party or networking event. Try this on for size. I'd love your feedback.

Hi I'm Jude Eastman, Master Gardener & Life Coach. Coaching is a bit like gardening. When you haven't been able to get the flowers to bloom by yourself, sometimes you hire a gardener. Think of your life in similar terms. I help you:

Prepare the soil by turning over the earth or examining your life circumstances.

Pull the weeds by up rooting & getting rid of limiting beliefs.

Plan the new garden by envisioning the life you WANT to live.

Plant seeds for change by clarifying your values &
aligning your life with them through
focused action.

Fertilize by giving you tools to accelerate your growth.

Add sun by bringing out your strengths and validating your efforts.

Watering to create the momentum that keeps the dream alive.

If you'd like to know how I can help you grow your ideal life--I'd love to discuss my gardening tips with you. E-mail jude@stirringthespiritwithin.com

Thrive where you're planted and grow towards the light (Your inner light)
Jude Eastman~Master Gardener & Life Coach
How does your garden grow?


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

How Thankful Are You?

Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold. - Maurice Setter

"Appreciation of the Good Things in Life--How many times are we blind to the good in front of us because we're looking past it for something better? It's like watching the railroad track your entire life, waiting for a train to come in and never realizing that you're sitting smack in the middle of the splendid Grand Central Station. Take a second look at your goals. Are they building on the good already in your life? Are you taking full advantage of the strengths you already have? Is it worth giving up what you have for what you might have? In many cases, the answer is yes. To that we say "Go for it!" with all the enthusiasm we can muster. Those are the meaningful goals. If the answer is no, try reworking your goals to include ones that complement your present life rather than substitute for it. Whatever the answer is for you, we could all use a little more appreciation for the pieces of silver in our lives.
" sparkpeople.com

By the end of a recent call on Attraction and Gratitude I was literally glowing with warm fuzzy feelings! All of the us expressed gratitude for pieces of our lives that brought us to our present circumstances. The more each of us opened up, the more others thought to be grateful for. It was contagious! There was no way to be unhappy with whatever circumstances, because we each embraced the gold nuggets of learning and growth that came with it.

My thoughts ran from gratitude for parents who were had high expectations, to having an education and job that support me, to being grateful that I walked through the fires of hell in 2005 and came out the other side a better person (the dross turn into gold). I sustained multiple loses (read more at my website), and underwent a powerful transformation. I literally "stirred the spirit within." by being grateful for all that I had and what I could become

Do you need big things in order to be grateful? Of course not! Do you have at least one good friend who is always there for you? How about a dog or cat you gives you unconditional love and acceptance on a daily basis? Did you see a beautiful sunset, a rainbow, or the most perfect flower in passing? Do you have a family who nurtures you? What about a spiritual family that uplifts and supports you?

What would be possible to create in your life next if you aligned your goals with the values strengths that are uniquely YOURS? Find little ways to pull more of that into your life. Visualize yourself being thankful that these goals are already true and in your life now. You just have to accept them. Stop looking down the track at what what you don't have and get on the train.

What are you grateful for today?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Too many spinning plates

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao-Tzu

"One essential goal-setting strategy is to be as specific as possible about your desires. Write out your goals and formulate a detailed plan about how you are going to achieve this goal. Baby steps are important, but keep them focused. Often we are pulled in many directions at once. It is important though, to devote time and effort to a single goal at a time to avoid distraction that can lead to putting forth less effort. Take time to put down some of your "spinning plates" and track your progress over time.
" www.sparkpeople.com

What do you think? For me this is so true. I have found that when there are several new learning experiences going on in my life at one time, that I CAN prioritize what I'm doing each day and which goal I want to focus on (or is banging on the door of life) first.

When asked recently in my mastermind group what my goals were, I listed a long string of things and I felt overwhelmed. I was getting coached on one goal in particular: giving a workshop (in fact, I've been talking about this one for years) and couldn't figure out where my reluctance to forge ahead with it was coming from. I knew I knew HOW to complete all the preparation steps and that I could deliver the event, but wasn't doing it.

I thought long and hard about it. I asked my inner wise self. I let my body give me clues. When thinking about this goal in particular, I felt a tightening in my gut--a shutting down. I've learned that unless I have an open. light, expansive feeling that it isn't the best fit for RIGHT NOW. Not that I might not revisit this at another time, but when I took this spinning plate down my life felt so much more in control. So I set it on the self for now. I found that what I really wanted was to work on improving my physical environment so my life felt more in balance.

Ask your wise inner self. I believe we all have have the wisdom of our wise wise knowing self, our highest self, available to us at all times. We've just forgotten how to ask, then "be still" and listen.

Here are some steps and an exercise to help clarify your goals. Get a journal, write what you think you want in your future. Close your eyes, in whatever atmosphere works best for you, and ask your inner wisdom (pretend it's your best friend) what do I need to know, what questions do I need to ask, what information do I need, to clarify these goals?

Focus on your third eye (the center of your forehead) if you can. If not, focus on where in your body you "sense" your highest self exists, shrink yourself mentally into that spot and just observe what you see or feel. Ask what you need to know to clarify your direction.

Sit in silence and listen for 5 min. If you're very in tune with yourself, that may be all you need, or all you can absorb the first time. Have a journal by you and free write whatever came up for you and more may keep coming up.

Don't try to figure this all out at first. Do this daily--OR--ask this question before bed to the Universe and be prepared to write as soon as you awake. After doing this daily for a week--what themes do you see?

Where ever you are-whatever experiences you are having now, are exactly where you're supposed to be right now for your lessons and journey. All roads take us to the same end, how we get there or how long it takes may vary.

So check out the spinning plates on your poles. Is there one calling out for more attention? How will you answer that call?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Looking Up or Looking Down

This is a continuation of a blog below titled "The Power of a Dream and a Vision"

"One person working toward a dream is worth 99 people just working. - Lani Kraus, writer

We've all worked with people who just show up to fill space. Uninspired and stuck going through the motions, they pick up a paycheck on Monday and wait for Friday. Some are just killing time until retirement. Maybe you even find yourself in this mindset. Not a very satisfying way to spend your days is it? Sounds like an easy life--except that in life, retirement can be permanent and unexpected. In your life, are you actively heading straight for your goals, or are you puttering around vaguely? Nothing is wrong with hard work; determination and elbow grease are what make the best dreams possible. But it's interesting that most work makes us look downward, while dreams lift our eyes to the sky. While you're keeping that nose to the grindstone, make sure you keep your head up to see where you're going." sparkpeople healthy reflections


My new outlook on life is everything is a positive in my life. I am the one calling the shots and making the decisions for my better good. I can choose how to view what is happening around me. I can look forward and ask, 'If I had all the time and money in the world, what would I like to do?" My answers may seem impossible in the here and now, but I can look for little aspects of what I want and start incorporating it into today. How can I love what is right now? How can I ask the Universe for what I'd like in my life?

Two major changes have taken place. When I finished my masters degree in reading, I wasn't sure I wanted to leave the classroom to be a reading specialist. I thought I wanted to use my new knowledge in my own classroom, or was that "fear of change" talking? The decision soon was made for me when the superintendent of the school system placed me into a reading specialist job in my school. I could gripe and moan about the change, like some other teachers were doing about other changes that were happening or I could embrace it as the wisdom of the Universe coming into play. I choose to see it as the next step in my growth that was offered up by a higher source.

Here is another example of looking up. While I was moving through my grief and loss (long story of losing both parents and my marriage) over the last 4 years, I completed my masters degree. My coach friends started asking, "How are you going to celebrate this accomplishment?" My standard procedure would be no graduation, party or special reward. I was supposed to finish after all. That's what I'd been taught to do. Not to reward myself for doing what I was supposed to.

So first I said , "Well, I've always wanted to take a cruise, but going alone isn't economical." "What do you really want to do?", my friends asked.
"Go to Hawaii, but you're supposed to go there with a lover or a spouse." None of those were handy. But the more I entertained the idea that this could be a reality, things stated to fall into place.

An old best friend in California, retired and got travel money as part of her package. Without batting an eye lash, I quipped, "Want to go to Hawaii with me?" Yadda yadda yadda.....and guess what?! A few e-mails and phone calls back and forth & I am flying out there Tuesday! A week on the Big Island and a week in CA visiting dear friends who've seen me through thick and thin.

Look up--dream big--find ways to make big happen or bring little bits of big into your everyday life and experience the pleasure of a life that nurtures you. The unique and special you that contributes something no one else can to the Universe. The power of dreaming big, embracing what is as a chance for growth, and framing every thought in a positive vein is my commitment to myself in the here and now.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Knowing your role in the world


"If I have seen farther than other men it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
- Isaac Newton, physicist

Here we have one of the smartest people who ever lived, accepting the fact that he couldn't do anything alone. He understood that he could not know what he knew or do what he did without the help of others. Greatness happens when people get together and pool their strengths for each other's benefit. It happens when lessons are passed down and taken even further. Who do you know in your life that you could learn from? Do you have a hero? How can you build on the opportunities that are given to you? How will you pass your knowledge down to the coming generation? Learn your strengths and the strengths of the people around you. Find out how you can help each other achieve what you never could alone. Right now, you can be the one "seeing farther." Be the "giant with shoulders" for someone else. Either way, you'll be part of something big.
" (from sparkpeople.com)

How are you a giant for others? When I am with with others who are liked minded, our energy amplifies to an enormous percent. The contribution feeds me as much as it does them and I can only bless the Universe when I combine forces for the highest and best of all around me or the world.

One way I am a giant is to be a force of balance and calm in my surroundings ~ letting my true spiritual nature shine out and envelope those around me. The calming pull to true center that I add helps to be a stabilizing force that let's others let go of fear, anxiety, mistrust, unknowing. I love teaching people how to access their own higher self, accept and love "what is", and clarify what they want in their picture of the future and work to attract that into their lives.

How are you or can you be a stepping stone for others to build upon? What will you do today to lift up your fellow travelers in this life's journey? Set an example and be the change you wish to see.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Everyone can teach you something

"Listen to all, plucking a feather from every passing goose, but follow no one absolutely. Chinese proverb

Possible mentors and teachers can be found everywhere and anywhere. Everyone you've met today has something they could teach you--a skill, a bit of wisdom, or a personal secret to success. All you have to do is look for it and ask plenty of questions. Most of all, respect the fact that each person has something of value to offer. If you can't find one "feather" to pluck from someone, you're not looking hard enough. Yet, in the end, you still have to think for yourself. It's still your job to take the knowledge you gain and turn it into your own value system for solid decision-making. It's still up to you to use your skills to carve a unique path in the world. So when night comes, those feathers can make a nice soft pillow that lets you rest your head in peace.
" sparkpeople.com-healthy reflections

Everyone from our inner circle to those in our external surroundings (home, school, job, community, or world) can offer us something to learn from. Write down the names of some of your closets friends or colleagues. Quickly jot a few key items about them that
make them great. What do they add to your life? Which of these items would you like to embody more often? Persistence, grace, balance, organization, honesty, clear communication, and action are a few that come to my mind. Often we dismiss the value of what someone may be able to add to our lives through superficial scrutiny. A colleague at work may be quiet and seems to sit back waiting for instructions instead of asking what they can do and you've judged them as not adding to the positive work environment. Do they come to work on time daily? Do they do whatever is asked of them reliably? Maybe they need a role model or someone to gently guide them along on what is expected of them. Do they always speak positively about others and not gossip? Is there something you can pluck out here? Take the time to get to know them better. Is it possible they are just shy until they really get to know others? Maybe they are unsure of where they fit in and don't want to "over-step" their bounds. So look hard, be curious about what makes them tick and you may just learn something new.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Keeping it in Perspective


"The present is what slips by us while we're pondering the past and worrying about the future. - Ziggy

Is there anything that Ziggy doesn't know? In the cartooning universe, he's often placed in hopeless situations, pitted against a world that doesn't make sense. He's an agreeable punch line for the quirks of human nature. Yet he's able to brush off his mishaps and focus on the opportunities that today brings. He can also look to the future with hope, knowing full well that more struggles may lie ahead. Most of all, he can look at himself and have a good chuckle. Do you make yourself anxious about things that might happen or stew over mistakes you've made? Don't let a preoccupation with tomorrow or yesterday rob your ability to face that crazy world with a smile. For Ziggy, today is today. It's not a good day; it's not a bad day. It's a day. And he knows that it's important to give that day the value it deserves." www.sparkpeople.com, healthy reflections.

Wow! Have you ever made a mountain out of a piece of news before it even happened? You decided that any number of things could happen when XYZ comes to pass. So, in effect, you have invited it TO happen. I certainly have stirred the pot, so to speak, before. What if this news turns out to be the best thing for you; your career or your personal life? Imagine the possibilities that might open up or come about because of it: new found success, confidence, friends, colleagues, and growth as a spiritual being having a human experience. Just sit in that for a moment...Feeling the love yet? Even if you aren't, remember that even speaking about the possible negative consequences open the Universe up to granting those ideas power in your life.


Next time you hear something and have an immediate knee jerk reaction to it consider this: immediately be thankful that this might happen, journal about the positive possibilities, make a vision board of what you DO want to happen, and speak only in positive terms about it. There's an old saying that goes "You'll catch more flies with honey"--catch the highest and best life has to offer you right now. Know that it's being offered to you in ways you may never have imagined and keep it all in perspective.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Take the Leap--Believe In Yourself




Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.- John Wooden, Hall of Fame college basketball coach

"Limitations can either define us or give us a challenge to outwit. When you look at your abilities, do you see boundaries and limits, or do you see possibilities and potential? Obsessing about weaknesses can blind us to the untapped abilities we already have. You have talent. Everyone does. The secret to success is to find that talent, develop it and push it as far as you can. Grandma Moses might have been a lousy bowler, Einstein probably couldn't sing a lick, Michelangelo could've been unable to speak well in public. So what? They knew what they were good at and rode that pony. Your talent might be right in front of you: where do you get the most compliments? What seems to come easily to you? What do people ask your advice for? Live there. Don't let the rest get in the way." (From http://sparkpeople.com/ healthy reflections)

First, admit it--you have strengths! We all have something we are good at. Acknowledge them. If you can't think of what they are, ask your friends to tell you. Then, share this with others--leverage it to your advantage. Does this mean forget about trying other stuff? Learning a new skill that will takes us to a new level? NEVER! But our insecurities get the best of us now and then and even get in our way, telling us, I've got to work harder, longer, later. I need to be perfect/or at least REALLY good, or others will see me for the fraud that I am. I've never done this before--what if I fail? OK-What if? What's the worst that can happen or better yet, the best if we step out on the ledge with nervous anticipation in a new learning experience?

Will people see a fraud, or someone willing to take a risk/grow and learn while sharing their strengths with the world? Setting the bar for those who come after you or walking along side of you. I am thankful for the opportunity to work with so many knowledgeable others while on my own journey who teach me that we all have something to learn. What are the possibilities that we can be come good, even great at something we have no experience in now?

I want to learn to trust the journey--to allow for my greatness....It will always bring me exactly where I need to BE.

Your turn, "I want to learn ............because it will bring me........."

Sunday, April 26, 2009

3 Days and Counting!

After a little over 3 years of life changing events and start to finish graduate work, I am about to reach the place where a diploma is given for learning, growth, and understanding. Not to mention endurance and perseverance! In less than 3 days I will have completed my masters program as a reading specialist and love how it has improved my own teaching in my classroom reading groups. Being able to offer children what they need at their own particular level of reading development has helped them better able to become independent learners. My own personal growth has come in seeing myself as a fully capable learner in my mid 50s, fully participating and adding to discussion with my peers has been both challenging and rewarding, but I now know that I have it in me to pursue whatever it is that I desire to learn and apply in my life. One paper to go--and I'm ready to graduate and celebrate! I have given myself permission to bask in the glow of this accomplishment instead of saying this opens up time to XYZ next. Oh believe me, there will be XYZ coming, but I am learning to pat myself on the back, allow myself space to breathe and say "Look what you've done girl! I'm proud of you!" without the need to think--"this isn't enough" yet. I am enough, right here - right now.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Think Before You Speak


"If you think twice before speaking once, you will speak twice the better for it. - William Penn

The idea of choosing your words carefully sounds easy enough, but how many times do you end up with your foot in your mouth? Everyone can probably recall a situation where someone offended them by saying something rude or out of line. These comments are not only embarrassing, but they can also damage relationships.... If you say the wrong thing in front of others, chances are that people will remember it. Wouldn't you prefer to be remembered for something more positive? Once you have said something out loud it cannot be taken back, and rarely can it be undone even with a tremendous amount of work." (from www.sparkpeople.com healthy reflections)

This advice is great to remember, especially for spur of the moment conversations- for example: a colleague has drops in unexpectedly and starts complaining about the boss or another colleague. The temptation may be to join in the complaining as a form of sympathy or support. Before you know it Complainer number 1 talks to another colleague and attributes the complaint to you or says that you support his/her complaints. All of a sudden this gets back to the boss and you're in the middle of it.

What do you want to put out into the world? Positive energy or negative? So what do you do when temptation comes knocking? When someone else brings it to you, how can you stop the flow?

Take a step back, mentally & physically out of the complainer's energy space.

Firmly ground yourself with a few deep breaths.

Tell yourself silently, "This is not about me."

Ask yourself,"Is this what I want to be remembered for?"

Remember: There are no do-overs. Once it leaves your lips, someone will remember.

Say to the complainer, "I hear your frustration. Have you spoken to __ about this? (direct them back to the source of their venting).

If you feel strong enough, say "I cannot be party to this negative energy, but I'd be happy to keep your highest and best in mind for a positive resolution."

So think twice, speak once.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cultivate your inner garden


"Plant seeds of expectation in your mind; cultivate thoughts that anticipate achievement. Believe in yourself as being capable of overcoming all obstacles and weaknesses.
- Norman Vincent Peale
In order to grow anything in a garden, a lot of factors must come into play--properly planting the seeds or flowers into the soil, watering, weeding, fertilizing, and ensuring adequate sunlight. Are you tending to your own goals in the same fashion? Getting that new job takes determination and positive vision to make that dream a reality. Do you believe in your abilities? Believing is a wonderful, powerful tool but it takes more than that. You've got to fight the elements, take good care of yourself, and dig down deep for courage in order for your seeds to be cultivated into success."
(from sparkpeople.com healthy reflections)

What are the seeds of change you are trying to plant? Are the conditions just right? Are you hanging with the people who emulate these same goals or qualities in their lives? Do you mindfully watch what you let into your thoughts? Only let in those ideas that are positive and that will pull you forward into a life you love. Weed out--or reframe those thoughts that come to you as negative and drain on your energy. What do you mean you may ask. An example: While working with one of my coaches, I commented on the idea that it takes me a long time to think about, research new ideas and goals such as changing jobs, retirement, or moving. She quickly reframed for me by saying "You mean you're a really thorough planner?" Whoa! That brought me up short. I loved seeing it in that light. I liked being a thorough planner.

Do you believe you can have a life that will make you smile from the inside out? Add the nutrients to the soil of your garden to help "grow" what you want. Play to your strengths and values. Align everything in your garden to your authentic self for maximum growth, bloom, and endurance. Do you know your strengths? If not--ask 5-10 of your friends to list what they see as your strengths. Are there reoccurring themes? Do you know what you stand for and want to promote (your values)? Who are some people famous or personal that you admire? What qualities do they exemplify that you'd like in your life? Want to cultivate these in your life too? Take one quality, like independence, and weave it into everything you do and say. Affirm that you are already independent and expect that YOU CAN handle things on your own. Try one little thing alone that you wouldn't have before. Build on each success.

Daily sunshine, air, and water--the basics of life. Constant vigilance to weed out what no longer serves you (negative thoughts, people, or drains in your life) is necessary. Fertilize your Soul & Spirit by aligning with your true Be-ing & Source. Enjoy the fragrance of life in full bloom!

Need help with this? I'd love to chat with you!

Jude Eastman ~ Life and Soul Coach
http://stirringthespiritwithin.com/

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Keeping to True Center

Trusting in my true Source or the Universe, I know that I am complete and on the right path always. When things do not turn out as I planned, I don't get deterred or lose my motivation. I turn inward to my higher self and come back to true center in the core of who I am. I reframe my thoughts so that I see things in a positive light and relax into the good that is always there for me. The more I trust in this, the wiser I become. My positive expectations help steer me through the detours of life and onto new roads of discovery. As I continue along on my journey, I rely on the guidance of Spirit to steady my steps. With each decision, I come to several doors. I close my eyes put my hand over my heart, and take a deep breath and consult my wise inner knowing. Whichever door I open will lead to a path that can only bless me. Turning around to face my greatness, I realize that what might have dissuaded me will prove to be the beginning of a joyful, more fulfilling experience. Does this resonate with you? If not, how do you keep centered?

http://www.pmri.org/spectrum/guided_meditations.html Here's a guided meditation from Dean Ornish's site to bring you back to center.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Grateful for Luxuries


"You'll never miss the water, 'til the well runs dry."- W.C. Handy

Even if you've never seen it, you are probably aware of the CBS reality show Survivor--sixteen castaways sent to live on an island to duke it out and vote one another off for a million dollar prize. What is most striking about this concept is not the competition, but the absolute gratitude these people hold for things we take for granted everyday. The dirty, unpurified water they cling to for life is the same stuff we flush, wash, and cook with everyday without batting an eye. They covet and fight for food that we could easily pop in our microwaves or sit down at a restaurant to order. The very fact that you can read this at your computer signifies that you are one of the most wealthy, educated persons on the planet. Take a moment to think about the luxurious and privileged life you live. Give thanks for a whole body, everyday freedoms, your family, and all of the choices you have. Cherish what you have while you have it because you never know when your life could change. " from Sparkpeople.com Healthy Reflections

Wake up dissatisfied that you don't have the newest car with all the bells and whistles, less money today than yesterday in your investment account, or had to cancelled the upper tier of your cable?

Think about what you do have today. Enough money to pay the bills, basic cable and Internet, and a reliable car that gets you from Point A to Point B.

Today I have not only a high school degree, a BA degree, and in one more month, a Maters degree. I have a full time job with health benefits teaching school and a retirement plan. I was able to afford a full coach training program and have a coaching business. I have the freedom to choose my profession and where I live. I own my home outright and my 7 year old car is paid for, in good condition, and has a garage to be parked in. My trusty companion, a pointer mix dog, is healthy and I can afford veterinarian fees to keep her so. Three grown children are living lives out from under my roof. My laptop had a meltdown this weekend, but I'm grateful that I backed up most of my files on a thumb drive and have a generous loving son who helped me pick out and install a new hard drive which is humming away.

A few years ago I would have given thanks that I had a wonderful husband of 30+ years and 2 loving parents, but that has since changed. My marriage went by the wayside and my parents made their transitions within months. Does that make me feel lack? I will admit to grieving those losses deeply and fully, but I've found the growth and blessings in them too. I now have a bit of financial security and was able to rediscover the core of who I am and always was. I've learned to tap into my own power and stand in my own light! I have memories that sustain me of those times and have chosen to remember the good and learn from anything that doesn't seem to fit that category. For more on gratitude see DailyOm.com

What luxuries do you have today?

http://www.stirringthespiritwithin.com/

Monday, February 2, 2009

Shining Your Light on a Friend's Shade


"Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand.

- Emily Kimbrough


You can't turn on a country music station without hearing a song about someone down on their luck. But what about those around you? Think about how much it means to you to receive a note in the mail from a caring friend when you're going through a hard time. Use those warm feelings to compel you to spread the love to others. We all need such encouragement and often we forget that it's okay not to be the pillar of strength when life has us by the tail. Throw your arms around someone today who might need a good squeeze, send a card to a co-worker who needs cheering up, or bake a special treat for your ill child. Friends are precious, not just in the sunshine of life, but especially in the shade." (Sparkpeople.com Healthy Reflection 2-1-09)


Taking those few extra moments to give emotionally or spiritually to someone else is paying it forward in Universal Love. Be part of the solution and energy grid--positive energy. Then when your battery is low--plug in and "ask".


That's the part so many of us refuse to do. We'll give and give, but if we're a bit low, had a bad day, lost our focus on the synergy available to us, we hole up and isolate. I'm learning that my friends want nothing more than to give back to me when I need some centering, positive energy, or an attitude adjustment. Who am I to deny their gift to me? It really is a rude thing to do. So surrender your pride or ego to the cosmos, open up your heart and soul and ask for a "Little Help from Your Friends" (remember that song- "I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends?" Ask and receive a big hug of pure white Love from the the One Source.


Then shine your light on all those around you!
Even more good stuff, see dailyom.com