Tag Archives: coaching

LENT: Look to the Positives

What if you rephrased the question of “What will I give up?” to “What will I gain?”

This short blog will utilize the counseling paradigm of the BIOPSYCHOSOCIOSPIRITUAL Model that focuses on the premise that each person is a unique and complex human who is composed of a physical being, an emotional being, a relational being, and a spiritual being.

What if you decided during this Lenten season to focus on one particular area of your life – based on the above concept – and focused on what is to be gained instead of lost?

BIO = Your body

What one thing can you do each day to better your physical health?

Take note that by doing something better, you’re actually giving up something that is of much lesser quality that may be harmful for your physical health.

How would this change your view of what you eat, drink, or improve self care since you are created in the image of God and your body is a “living sacrifice?” [Romans 12:1,2]

PSYCHO = Your mind

What can you do each day to take ownership of your thoughts and choose to think on things that are “true, noble, right, pure, admirable, and honorable?” [Philippians 4:8]

Do you need to “crucify” an attitude of entitlement and, instead, focus on gratitude for 40 days?

Take note that by choosing better things to think about, you’re actually giving up thoughts of much lesser quality that may be harmful for your emotional health.

(Are you starting to see a pattern? ūüôā

SOCIO = Your relationships

What can you do each day to improve the relationships in your life? No, not what OTHERS should do, but what YOU decide to do to improve your marriage, friendships, relationships with your children, etc.

Do you need to start focusing on what the people in your life are doing well as opposed to what they aren’t? Does your attitude of harshness or selfishness¬†need to be “crucified?”

Take note that by choosing to improve the relationships in your life, you’re actually giving up the right to only seeing things from your perspective.

SPIRITUAL = Your relationship with God

How can you choose to intentionally meet with Him each day?

Take note that by choosing to improve your relationship with your Creator, you’re giving up something of much lesser quality that demands your energy and time.

Side note: ¬†You may say you don’t worship God. ¬†Well, okay. ¬†But look at WHAT or WHOM you DO worship, because we all worship something or someone. ¬†And misdirected¬†worship never satisfies. Never has, never will.

Focus on what you’re gaining this Lenten season as opposed to what you’re giving up. ¬†It pales in comparison.

This is Hope Unveiled!



Anxious Living: “L” in R.E.S.I.L.I.E.N.C.Y.


The “L” in R.E.S.I.L.I.E.N.C.Y. represents three concepts:

  • Lean
  • Learn
  • Limit


The first concept, LEAN, encourages you to lean in to that of which you are fearful or stressed. ¬†For instance, if a grieving spouse refuses to return to a restaurant where he/she dined frequently with their mate because they are fearful or stressed about the emotions that will be evoked, it is recommended that the person lean in and “tackle” the challenge. ¬†The scientific reasoning? Because if they don’t, they are easily setting themselves up for what is called “avoidance reinforcement.” ¬†This occurs when the act of avoiding is actually reinforcing, or rewarding, staying away.

Ask yourself this question:  What are you avoiding that causing stress?


Second, LEARN a new hobby (see above).  Chalk painting is relatively new for me!  These projects were therapeutic, fun, and added a touch of refreshment to a traditional style. What would you like to learn?  How to play piano? Take ballroom dancing?  All of these things are stress relievers.

In addition, if you’re in a time of stress, make the choice¬†to pay it forward in the future for a friend. ¬†Drop the pride and resolve to be authentic with those it can help! The whole world doesn’t need to know what you may consider sensitive information about yourself or family, but just remember, it’s only for those to whom God has brought your way that your words of encouragement will mean more than what anyone else could possibly tender. ¬†Why? Because you’ve traveled the same path they are on now!

Ask yourself this question: What hobby can you learn? Who can you encourage?


The last concept, LIMIT, is simple but hard to implement, especially in American culture. ¬†Here it is: ¬†LEARN to say NO. ¬†You can’t do everything (pride), and neither can your children. ¬†Limit your responsibilities and theirs as well.

I’ve commented to Millennials – my own, my clients, my friends’ kids – that they struggle with boundaries because they have grown up in a world where they are almost nonexistent. ¬†To say “no” is much harder for them than it sometimes is for us. ¬†And technology doesn’t help the cause – for anyone.

Ask yourself this question: What do you need to say “no” to today?

Start being a personal manager of the stress in your life. ¬†Yes, you DO have a choice. Lean, Learn, and Limit. ¬†And when you do, you’ll have time to pick up that new hobby and relax!

This is Hope Unveiled!


Anxious Living: “I” in R.E.S.I.L.I.E.N.C.Y.


The “I” in R.E.S.I.L.I.E.N.C.Y. stands for individuality, just like this Leaning Tower of Pisa. It’s one of a kind. ¬†And so are you.

Things that stress you may or may not stress others.  In other words, stressors, to some degree, are individualist.  How you cope with these stressors is also unique.  Here are some questions to think about

  • When you think back to a challenging time, what personal traits strengths pulled ¬† you through?
  • What kind of coping skills did you implement?
  • Have you ever thought about what your strengths are?

To get started, consider the following:

Take a strengths test.  Strengths Finder 2.0 is a quick online assessment (you will have to purchase the book to get a code inside the back cover).  Another excellent website with a variety of assessments is http://www.authentichappiness.com.  An array of assessments Рin varying lengths Рcan confirm your strengths.

Why is knowing your strengths so important?  Because these assessments clearly identify your strengths so you can celebrate and utilize them as much as possible to buffer stress.  If you get in the habit of incorporating these strengths into your everyday life, it will be a natural tendency to employ them while a challenging stressor, acute or chronic, occurs.

Choose positive behaviors. Ever heard the phrase, “Don’t trouble your trouble?” ¬†If you’re in the midst of an ongoing life “storm,” the LAST THING YOU NEED is to compound it with bad choices. ¬†Some examples include: ¬†overeating, shopping to extreme, alcohol, sex without boundaries, addictions of ANY KIND, ¬†and the list continues. ¬†If you are choosing any of these behaviors by default mode, STOP. ¬†Get to the root of what’s really going on. ¬†These behaviors are only a symptom of something deeper….

Start by choosing healthy behaviors to replace the bad ones.  Think of hobbies too! This is a lead in to my next suggestion:

Create a Top 10 List.¬†In my book, Change Unveiled, I title this chapter “FUN,” but it’s really addressing healthy behaviors that are good for you that become your “go to” lifestyle choices to relieve stress. ¬†Think creatively. ¬†Here are some of mine: ¬†reading, music, writing, sitting in the sun…..

If you’d like additional reading for self-discovery, I high recommend John Ortberg’s book entitled,¬†The Me I Want To Be.

“LEAN IN” to who you are and go for it. Your strengths will keep you standing firm instead of crashing down during a time of stress.

This is Hope Unveiled!

*My book for women, entitled “Change Unveiled: Hope for Positive Choices,” is available on Amazon and Kindle.




Anxious Living: Cultivating Resiliency




A new day is coming if you learn to cultivate resiliency. And that’s great news! ¬†Therein lies HOPE. ¬†You can learn new techniques for becoming more resilient in the midst of seasons of life when you are stressed.

This easy acrostic will assist in remembering these tools. ¬†Today I will share the “R” for ¬†R.E.S.I.L.I.E.N.C.Y.

  • RISE
    • Begin the morning with a prayer of gratitude. ¬†Give the day to God. ¬†How easy it is to take a new day for granted. ¬†Remember, He goes before you in your day and the details that will be in it. ¬†You are not alone!
    • Choose to release worry and regret (an earlier post gives practical tools for worry).
    • I’m not trying to be blunt or harsh, but if you walk through your day with worry and regret,¬†how is it working for you?¬†You do it, and I’ve done it. ¬†The good news is that we each make the choice to stay chained or released.
    • As simplistic as it sounds, developing daily and bedtime routines are crucial in combatting stress.
    • If you are going through a time of grief or loss, (e.g. divorce, relationship, etc.), recapture the positive memories and “delete” the negative ones. ¬†This is intentional disengaging¬†from the unpleasant memories that cloud thinking and keep you stuck in the past.

How you interpret, reflect, and evaluate what you’re going through is crucial to emotional well being (or not). ¬†So make the choice to put yourself in a better place. ¬†You’re worth it!


**The techniques listed above are from various sources for stress management, neurobiology, counseling, and coaching.