Category Archives: LIFE

Hope & Healing in the Holidays

A week before Thanksgiving, I am noticing many people are writing or sharing posts and articles about ways to find hope and healing in the holidays.

But honestly the holidays are still one of the most difficult moments in my grief.

Our daughters, Caitlin and Brielle, come home – though often not at the same time. They are each married now so we’ve also added two special son-in-laws. But when we are all together we are more aware than ever that Leisha is not among us.

After some earlier losses in life, I could still “manufacture” some of sparkle and gratitude of the holidays. I could still muster it mostly because I’m a positive person and worked hard to at least ‘appear’ happy.

But after Leisha died, it was not possible even pretend to make that happen.

I’m sure I’ve shared this before, but for me grief was a feeling of being in a really dark tunnel where the mud was up past the top of my head and I couldn’t move a finger let alone breathe.

The harder I tried to get out the deeper I got Into the mire, into the mud, into the darkness.

Maybe you are reading this because you are desperate-  I just described how you feel right now. Loss has paralyzed you. You are stuck in this dark, damp tunnel of mud with fist raised.

Is that you?

Or maybe you don’t feel so desperate anymore. But there is still this ache that won’t go away and you wonder if it ever will.

While you want more than anything “Keep living until you feel alive again”,  you also struggle to move past that last connection you had with your loved one.

Which ends up being their death.

Does that sound familiar to you?

Or maybe you are walking with someone you care about. You experienced the same loss, but you don’t feel the loss with the same intensity as your mother does or as much as your spouse or friend does. You know what they are experiencing is very real, but you don’t know what to do – or say.  You don’t know how to help.

Who are you walking with?

But whoever you are look around. You are not alone.

You are not alone In the experience of loss- which sometimes is a comfort of its own.  Grief is a lonely journey in many ways, but misery loves company.

But you are also not alone in the journey through grief.

A book that I highly recommend is called “A Grace Disguised’.  The author, Jerry Sittser lost his wife, his mother and his 4 year old daughter in a tragic accident with a drunk driver.  He writes.

“The experience of loss does not have to be the defining moment in our lives. Instead the defining moment can be our response to the loss. It is not what happens to us that matters so much as what happens in us.” 

Jerry says “It’s not our loss that defines us”,
though many of us feel defined by the day
our Husband died,
our daughter died
we lost the job
Or we got that diagnosis

Those are losses indeed- yet they are things we have very little control over.

But if the defining moment can be how we respond to that loss–
well, that we can do something about.  

What do you think about that?
Can you choose how to respond when you experience a loss?
When you think about your losses in your life, what was your response?

Hope & Healing is in our control as we choose our response Click To Tweet

I’m not saying it is easy. In fact, I’m here to say it sure wasn’t for me.

But how about we take a moment in preparation for these holidays and stop to notice our options –  not just in our response to our loss but as move through our grief.

And also through our holidays.

Tomorrow I’ll share with you an exercise I learned to help me in my response in my loss.  Actually, it has a lot to do with the RED SEA again.

See you tomorrow.

What Happens When a Moment Changes Your Life

In the last post, I talked about the big moments we can recall in vivid detail.  We remember who was with us, what happened, how it felt.  Often, we share how that moment changed our life.

I shared one moment that is talked about a lot in scripture- I call it the RED SEA story -when the children of Israel were caught between death – and death.  It was that moment when God showed up like he had never shown up before and they were saved. (You can read more about that in the post from yesterday)

I’m guessing that even as you read that description, you immediately think of one or more occasions in your own story that changed you.

I wish we could sit over a cup of coffee and share those moments together.  I would love to hear about the moment that changed you in the comments section or via email at kathy@greenhopecoaching.com.

For now, I’ll share my story RED SEA moment with you. It was the day my 15 year old daughter, Leisha, died.

I didn’t know how I was going to survive the grief tunnel any more than the children of Israel knew how they were going to get out of Egypt, or get through the Red Sea.

God had to show up! And he had to show up differently than he ever had before! Continue reading What Happens When a Moment Changes Your Life

Looking at the BIG Moments that Change Your Life

The discussion Rennie & I shared  with a small group of friends turned to moments in our life we remember really well.

We each shared stories of special events- concerts, sporting events, etc. that we recalled in vivid detail.  We remembered who was with us, what happened, how it felt.  Often, someone would share how that moment had changed their life. 

Like the young man who as a boy was with his father at a baseball game when a world breaking home run was made.  He remembered the permission he and the entire grandstand had to celebrate the moment in a loud and crazy fashion.

Or the young woman who just experienced a training event over the weekend that seems to have had a life-changing impact on her future. She spoke with excitement, passion and tears about the moment she knew this was was she needed to do next.

Then our leader asked, ” What is the arena where God shows up in our life?”

Life events – Tragedies – Celebrations

We all had moments to share.  And most of them were the Big Moments.  Moments we could recall in vivid detail.  We remembered who was with us, what happened, how it felt.  Often, someone would share how that moment had changed their life.

I immediately thought of my MOMENT. Actually a series of moments that I consider to be my RED SEA moment. Continue reading Looking at the BIG Moments that Change Your Life

Be Part of a Mastermind for Huge Success

In March of 2016, one of the POWER HOUR gals shared her success story on her blog. Jenn Wenzke shared WHY you should be part of a Mastermind like POWER HOUR too. Listen to her thoughts and see if POWER HOUR might be good for you.
Discover the Value of a Mastermind 
       and Illuminate Your Business & Life!  

by Jenn Wenzke

Reprinted (with permission last spring) from Jenn’s Blog at http://sonowcoaching.blogspot.com/2016/03/

Friday, March 25, 2016

My business coach has been telling me for years that the only way I was going to achieve my goals in a timely way was to work with an accountability partner or to participate in a mastermind group. I have to admit, I have tried both and neither one of them helped me break through any roadblocks or achieve any specific goals.  The groups lasted for a few months and then eventually faded away.
In a moment of weakness this past February, I said yes to another mastermind group.

It wasn’t until I joined this particular mastermind, facilitated by this particular coach – Kathy Burrus – that I was able to finally understand the benefit and necessity of accountability.

What was different this time?
1. We followed a strict format that was adhered to without exception.
2. I was asked to breakdown my BIG goal into what I wanted to achieve in the month of March – no more – no less.
3. I then mapped out the steps involved to reach my goal and chose ONE part to focus on.
4. Finally I had to explain why I wanted to achieve my goal and what it meant to me personally.

What did I discover during this mastermind?
I live my life completely around the joy of connection.  Connecting a person to a person, connecting a person to their dream, connecting a feeling or solution to a problem, connecting daily with God, connecting at an intellectual level, and connecting with nature.  What a huge awareness for me.  So if I am not connecting one way or another in what I am saying or experiencing, I am just not going to do it! Well if that doesn’t simplify what the steps within my goal should look and feel like. – And that discovery arrived during week 3 of the 5 week mastermind.  A BIG game changer!
After week one and two of the five-week mastermind, I waited until the last minute to complete my accountability work for the following week. By week three…..I had it done within a day of our mastermind session and by week four I couldn’t wait for our final session because I was experiencing SO MUCH success.  I plan on signing up for another month so that I can tackle a new focus – break it down into doable steps – and see it all the way through to completion!
Have you been part of a mastermind that has brought you huge success.  If so, I would love to hear more about it.

Many Blessings, Jenn 

P.s. Jenn passed away in June of 2017.  But much of what she chose as goals for 2016 were completed because of her desire to leave a legacy for others.

Who Are You Supposed to Be

What if you already ARE who you are supposed to be?  

I have pondered the words for several days. Here I am, once again questioning what I need to do to get better- be more.  It seems like I should be well past this.  I mean I’m—well, old enough to know better.

Once again I feel ‘stuck’.

Often when I work with a coaching client to identify what is causing the ‘stuck’ feeling as they try to move forward, I use the metaphor like…

“Life is a Highway!”

We jump in an imaginary helicopter of sorts and get a bird’s eye view of all the lanes of their life: spiritual, professional, family, personal, physical, financial, social, etc.

Often when they take that perspective on their lives, they can tell which lane has a car with a flat tire that is causing slow down in the other lanes, or they see there was an accident that is causing a traffic jam every where else.

Or they might find that one lane, like the professional lane is going a different direction than the family lane.  The difference may be slight, but in the long run, they are not going to end up in the same place.  Just recognizing that helps my clients tweak a few changes while they are little to help them get where they want to go.

Good exercise, very helpful on many levels since we are all familiar with the process of planning a journey.

However, the exercise can be somewhat misleading. It can imply that who we are is out there somewhere.

But what if we already ARE who we are supposed to be?

What if we already have within ourselves what we need
to do what we were made to do?

David Benner recently challenged this thought as I reread his book, The Gift of Being Yourself .  He writes,

Once we realize this {that we already are what we seek and where we long to arrive}, the nature of the journey reveals itself to be more one of awakening than accomplishment, more one of spiritual awareness than spiritual achievement. 

Awakening! 

Yes, I’ve experienced this many times during the decades of my life. Moments when I am suddenly aware that my skills and abilities – even my dreams are exactly what was needed.

But that’s truly what they are- moments.  Just as sure as I know I’m the right person in the right place at the right time, I become unsure, or at least less sure.  However they are not just fleeting moments.

If I’m paying attention,  especially exquisite attention I’ve talked about in recent posts, then the truth of each moment teaches me something about myself.

Maybe I learn I have a strength I didn’t know- or need before that moment.  Or perhaps I see that I can be very creative and resourceful in other moments.

As I continue to journey on life's highway, I am not 'becoming'- I am awakening to who I am. Click To Tweet

Even after all my years of life, today I continue to awaken to who I was created to be.

What about you?

Where do you feel ‘stuck’?

What do you think you need to get ‘unstuck’?

What if you already ARE who you need to be and HAVE within yourself what you need to have to move forward?

If you believe this to be true, how does it change your behavior in this moment? 

Here’s to both of us- Awakening! and living like we believe!

Be inspired to Be You!

Just When I Told You I Wanted to Be Exquisite!

Have you ever felt that way?  You worked so hard on a project or an event, only to have some aspect of your preparations- fail.  Or seem too.

That’s what happened to me.  And just when I told you that I was going to finish the year EXQUISITELY.

You see I Continue reading Just When I Told You I Wanted to Be Exquisite!

Finish Exquisitely

For the past couple of weeks I’ve written about my ponderings on the word EXQUISITE.  You can find those earlier posts here.

Exquisite, by definition

A Close Up Look at EXQUISITE

But today’s post is the visual example of how paying exquisite attention affects our ability to finish what we have started. 
This fall, our daughter, Brielle, ran a marathon.  Continue reading Finish Exquisitely

A Close Up Look at THE Exquisite!

Last week I shared with you the wonderful word EXQUISITE. In that post, I defined the term and the different meanings associated with the word.  (You can go back to read that post here.)

I had every intention of writing a second blog post related to this because I wanted to think through a concept Jonathan Fields introduced at the TRIBEWRITER Conference I attended in September.

In our journey to hone our voice in writing, but also in our life work, we so often give out, put out, produce only to find ourselves going through the motions, but feeling a void; of running out of ideas, direction or energy.  That happens because we are not effectively refueling or putting back into ourselves.

Jonathan challenged us to develop an ‘inner key’ that is more about input rather than output.  Continue reading A Close Up Look at THE Exquisite!

Exquisite!

At the recent Tribewriter ConferenceGood Life Project author & speaker Jonathan Fields challenged us with the key concept in being successful in life is to pay “exquisite attention” to the important things.

More on that later.

His comments prompted me to  ponder this word exquisite.  I asked the GHC community what their first thought was when they heard the word ‘exquisite’. Continue reading Exquisite!