Thistles in the Garden

Ok, I know it has been a while since you have heard me rant or encourage through a blog post and you may be wondering, why now?  Let me rant then by the end you may understand the why now part.

So, I moved into a different place, a rental home with a big backyard that hasn’t had much human attention in years.  I haven’t moved in 22 1/2 years.  Moving here took me several trips and multiple episodes of purging and downsizing.  In the month of June, most of the yards and gardens in my area are already set up nicely planted and tended to for the season.  Not this yard.  Finding time between moving and working my job and dealing with family matters, I found spurts of time to work on the yard. Over seven hours so far that I have invested into the eradication of thistles and burdock from my back yard, and I have only lived here for 5 weeks!

I mowed it once using a bagger on the mower to haul away all the clippings because there was a thistle and burdock infestation when I arrived.  I won’t go into detail on what these specific plants/weeks are, Google is very handy for that kind of information.

It occurred to me as I spent multiple hours of digging thistles and burdock after that first mowing..  There are many similarities to human life and relationships and the tending of a yard.  When you find a young thistle or burdock, it is relatively easy to remove them from the yard.  They are young and tender and haven’t taken deep root……yet.  You can dig down and under them easily lifting the plant to get all of the root, which is crucial when digging weeds of any kind.  I got to thinking how easy it is to deal with them when they are a small problem.  Then I got to thinking and reflecting on things going on in my personal relationships.  What similarities there are.  If I am agitated about something, it is much easier to deal with it before it becomes a big problem which could compromise my relationship if left unattended.

Now, if the thistles and burdocks go unattended, they “grow like a weed”.  Pun intended!  If they mature and go to seed, then they multiply better than any rabbit.  As I dug the mature plants, I found some of the stalks were SO huge, the roots beneath them were big, woody, and very difficult to uproot.  Digging down deep parallel to the plant as deep as possible then pulling the blade of the shovel up under the plant, if you are careful you can unearth the thistle to the point where you can pull it out with the root almost completely intact.  There’s an art to it, and one must take care not to kill the grass and other healthy plants around the thistles in the process.

I got to thinking about relationships in my life.  The garden of my life had become overrun with some “thistle” like problems.  Deep rooted, tough, and hard to eradicate them.  Can the thistles in my back yard be eradicated?  Yes.  Will it be easy?  No, it will take lots of time and attention and consistency during the rest of this season and in the spring, I may have only a small amount to deal with, and they will be manageable.

Here’s the deal, stay tuned into your yard, your backyard, the relationships in your life.  Take a moment to sit, like I am right now, in my favourite rocking lawn chair (thanks Pennie, I love it!)  and ponder the relationships in your life.  How are they doing?  Do you have any concerns that could be addressed to ward off future issues?  Make a note to address them, put a date on it when you would like to get it accomplished (I find putting a time on it raises the intention in my life.)

I reflect that I got busy doing other things important to me and time consuming things to do.  Were they all important and necessary?  Absolutely not.  Where they enjoyable?  Yes. Would I do it differently if I had a do-over?  I do not know…..it brought me where I am today.  Do I regret my choices?  No.  I do get wistful and wish I had made changes and moves earlier in my life.  Yet, I don’t know that I want to do it over again.

Hone your garden tools and use them, often.  tending a healthy garden, it is easy to pluck out a pesky weed here and there.  If you let things go, you could find yourself like I was walking into the backyard of my rental home….shocked and overwhelmed.

If this has encouraged you, spurred you on, piqued your curiosity or moved you in anyway, please let me know.

Thanks for listening, from my heart to yours.

Coach Trudy

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Impressing Others

I was in the presence of several of my mentors recently at a conference.  I came face to face with an old program that has been running me.  In the presence of my mentors and other people I respect greatly, I wanted to “look good”.  UGH!  I am SO done with that!

My journey is my journey as your journey belongs to you.  I don’t know about you. My goal and my theme is to operate my life by living out my purpose, serving my Creator, and being in a place of contribution back to the Universe.  And if I can be happy doing what I am doing, then life is grand.

Let me unpack when I say I am SO done with “that”, what exactly do I mean by “that”?  I am done with trying to impress others just to “look good” or gain respect.  I am holding myself “capable” of much more.  From here on out, I don’t care what you think of me – how I dress, how I act, what I drive, where I live, who I choose to hang out with.

I only need to impress myself.  I don’t even need to impress God – He already loves me just the way I am.  I cannot buy His love – for it was already bought for me over 2000 years ago.  I do strive to live a life that pleases God that will never change.  When I talk about “impressing” someone, I am talking the human flesh walking on earth type.

At the end of the day, when I check in with myself and reflect back on my day, I get to go to bed with a smile on my face knowing I lived a full life today with excitement and urgency. Now that is impressive journey in my opinion.

Impressing Me Because I am Worthy,

Coach Trudy

Getting Results

Are you getting the results in your life that you say that you want?  If you are, pat yourself on the back and put a smile on your face!  The reality is though most people today are not getting results in life, period.

Goal-setting is a skill and a tool that gets to be used.  I could go off and talk about goal language, timing, and verb tense, etc.  The intent for my writing today is more towards two qualities that many people lack – balance and focus.

Are the four areas of physical, mental, spiritual, and emotion all balanced in your life?  Are you too focused on any one of these areas and not enough on the others?  It makes a difference trust me.  When I am putting too much emphasis on my training and not enough on my spiritual life, it shows up as exhaustion.  When I play stoic and ignore my feelings, I feel blocked in other areas of my life.  All four areas of life get to be in balance.  You are fuelling your body with balance to serve you to be more in life.

When you are in balance you are more effective in your goal-setting and achieving.  Let’s take that one step further.  When you get totally focused on where you want to go, this is when you start to see results.

It’s simple.  Set your intention and get focused on it.  Get tunnel vision and shut out the distractions and nay-sayers in your life.  Let nothing stand in the way of designing and achieving the life of your dreams.  If maximum results is what you want, then get crystal focused and balanced!

If you could use some support in getting there, I will support you on the journey.

Getting Results

Coach Trudy

Seeing Life Responsible

I know I visit this topic often, maybe too often for some people.  Are you seeing life responsibly?  It is empowering to be responsible.  Maybe you are tired of being responsible.  Do you understand the difference between being a victim and being a responsible victim?

You can have awful things happen to you.  I had a biking accident a few days ago that saw me going over my handle bars, hitting the pavement, hitting my head (thankful for helmets!), banging up my bike, and spraining some ribs.  Sure, I could have blamed the lady in the car that was coming out of the parking lot that I was turning into.  She had some part in it for sure.  I chose to leave my work place a little late, I chose to do that one last thing at my office before I left.  I chose to keep my appointment that I was rushing to.  I chose to come into that parking lot a little faster than normal.  I chose to get up off the pavement and keep going when the lady stopped to ask if I was okay.  I  chose to not go to the doctor right away.  I chose……there’s an infinite number of choices I made.

You see where I am going with this?  I have choices in life.  I have power to do and say whatever I want.  Sure, I may find myself in an unfortunate circumstance.  It is all determined how I choose to behave in any circumstance.

What about you?  Are you living in choice? Or are you playing the blame game?

Choosing To Live Responsibly

Coach Trudy

Say What You Mean

It’s crazy how twisted communication has become in relationships today.  It is something I am all too familiar with – saying one thing when you really mean something else.  Why am I familiar with it?  I used to be Queen at the “Say What You Think Someone Wants To Hear” Game.  Better yet, I used to not say anything at all for fear that I would hurt someone else’s feelings or because I thought they wouldn’t like me if I was completely honest.

I paid a lot of prices for not being open with my feelings.  I look back on it and I really just had a trunk full of hurts that I didn’t know how to handle.  Instead of being authentic, I would say the congenial thing to say all the while I was seething just below the surface.  All too often, the volcano would erupt on some unsuspecting loved one usually at very inopportune times.

What I understand now is that it is healthy to say “I feel angry about what you just said” or “I am SO mad”.  I may take a risk in harming the relationship and I can tell myself a different story.  Being open and honest is authentic.  Being vulnerable about how I am feeling is being real.

I choose to say what I mean and mean what I say.  I am choosing to be a straight shooter with my words instead of holding on to my feelings until they erupt.  Handling my feelings in a healthy way creates space for others to feel, too.  When I say what I mean, I let go of any resentment I may have.  Sure, I may risk relationship.  That is a chance I am willing to take to stay healthy.

Saying What I Mean

Coach Trudy

Fair Fights

This may seem like a humorous topic in light of the views I expressed in my last post called “Winning”.  If you must fight, then here are some good ground rules to follow to ensure the fight stays fair.  I learned these at a Klemmer & Associates seminar a couple years ago.  This kind of fighting uses no physical force or contact at all.  You will have the opportunity to speak and state your concerns and you will have opportunity to listen.  Make sure you are both in agreement to these rules before proceeding.

Rule # 1:  You must agree on code words or signals.  When a fight is called, both sides must be in agreement and there are key phrases that you communicate to remind yourselves of that you are fighting by the rules.    Choose a catch phrase like “fight’s on” or “fair fight”  or your choice.

Rule # 2:  There are two-minute rounds. The person who called the fight gets two minutes, while the other person is quiet and listens.  The next two minutes the other person gets to speak and the first person listens, and so on.  You actually listen during the two minutes to the other person – don’t be thinking of how you will refute what is being said.  Go as many rounds as necessary until you have fully and openly communicated all that needs to be said.

Rule #3:  Do not use any vulgarities. That’s right, no name calling or disrespecting allowed.

Okay, so this may seem foreign to you and it may feel awkward the first couple times you try a fair fight.  I guarantee you that if you lean in and embrace this kind of fighting, your relationships will improve.

Fight Fair

Coach Trudy

Winning

I have said in earlier posts that it’s great to be in competition with yourself.  Be better today than you were yesterday.  I am all for competing with and pushing myself to be a better person.

I grew up competing in all areas of life in general.  I became a competitive freak of nature after my dad died.  Somewhere deep inside, I knew I wanted to make my dad proud of me who I imagined watching me from that great farm in the sky.  All the while, I was trying desperately to fill his void in my life with winning.

The color of my life was pretty black and white when it came to winning.  I just had to win – there was no other option.  When the desire to win took hold of my life, it made me  blind to the people and relationships involved.  It was a pretty unhealthy existence.

I am different today, thank you Jesus!  Here’s what I have learned and what I do know from my journey.  Competition is good and it brings a certain beneficial flair to life. It gives you an opportunity to hone your skill or craft and gets your adrenalin going in a healthy way.

Parents usually set the tone for how their kids view sports.  I look back and own that I wasn’t that great of a parent on the sidelines when my kids were younger.   We all have seen them or have been “those kinds of parents”, getting all up in their stuff over their kids’ play time, their kids’ team not winning, and what the coach is doing wrong.

Winning graciously and losing graciously is the sign of a true master of their craft. Losing has it’s place, too, for in a true competition, there must be a loser so there is a winner and vice versa.  We have all witnessed the tantrums and the fights that break out when someone isn’t happy with the result of the game.  I will flat out say that I do not enjoy watching fights or tantrums, do you?  Okay, I might have lost the hockey community over that statement.

Losing on purpose – well, that could spark another soap box rant for me.  Failing to play wholeheartedly really degrades the sport and insults the participants.  I get frustrated when I hear people saying that competition isn’t good for children because it hurts little kids’ feelings if they lose.  We all benefit from the experience of losing.  How much sweeter is the thrill of victory when you’ve experienced loss.  If the coaching and the parenting are on board, better humans can come out of a losing team experience than a winning team.  The character that is developed in sport can change the world for the better or for the worse.

Winning

Coach Trudy

I Know

I heard recently one of my mentors call someone out for saying “I know” in response to a feedback comment.  I was in awe how that mentoring comment was delivered.  It drove me to ponder my own language and the preciseness or casualness that I use my words.

As a young child and into my teen years, I used to sing, play piano, play guitar, any combination of these three.  People would offer me a compliment and I would say.  “Oh, but I made so many mistakes, it really wasn’t that great.”  I never learned how to receive a compliment.

Fast forward to the not to distant past, “Trudy, you are passionate about living life, and yet I notice you procrastinate, as well.”  “I know.”  My response could be interpreted that I saw no value in what had just been said to me. Or it could be interpreted that I was in total agreement. When the phrase “I know” is given, it really depends on the intonation, the context, and how it was delivered.

With that all being said, in the context of receiving a compliment or feedback, it can create a blockage or resistance of some kind when you answer “I know”.  Instead of saying “I know”, try saying “thank-you” or “I receive that”.  Whether it is a compliment, a constructive criticism, or a notice being given, receive it and simply say “thank-you”.  Let it settle down into the depths of your “beingness”.

When you compliment someone, you are demonstrating that you think a lot of them. The other person’s response of “I know” or “you’re wrong” might show that they do not think much of you or your opinion of them. Really, the safest reply is “thank you”.

Ponder the use of your language and examine how you use “I know”.

Coach Trudy

GET STUPID

How many times have you failed to try something new out of fear of being thought silly?  Think about it.  How often have you censored your spontaneity out of fear of being thought childish? What prices are you paying for allowing your fears to limit your present and your future?

I am here to tell you, it’s okay to get stupid and have fun! The world needs your creativity and open-ness to living freely.  The nay-sayers are like the crabs in the bucket.  If one crab starts to crawl over the edge, the other crabs will pull that one crab back into the pit.  Yes, it IS a pit.  Don’t be like those crabs and refuse to accept the life of crab.  This may make you sad for there always loved ones and friends that will do all they can to pull you back into the bucket. I dare you to break free of that cycle.

Embrace change.  Be spontaneous. Love adventure. Create something everyday. Be willing to do something that others wouldn’t dare try.  Risk more.  Love deeply.

The universe and all humanity will be forever changed by you being a creative, intuitive, and open being.  Choosing to stay comfortable and just take up space in your comfort zone just adds to our world problems.

Be open. Be a solution seeker and world-changer.

Get Stupid

Coach Trudy

STOP IT

One of my favourite resources in my coaching business is a simple short video from an old TV show.   Perhaps you have seen it.  Bob Newhart is counselling a client in a way that provides humour and simple insight.

Don’t we all really, down deep in our deeper self, know what’s appropriate and safe for ourselves?  This video clip is a humorous and simple message.  STOP doing what is self-destructive or unproductive and stop it now.

What will it take for you to stop it today?

STOP IT

Coach Trudy