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A Winnipeg street after two large snowstorms.

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A Past Yearly Trip West to Winnipeg

The trip was short but took forever.
The visit was fun but difficult.
I was busy, but really I did nothing.
Driving, visiting and drinking tea with everyone hardly counts.
I love my family but it’s not always easy.
One sibling was as excited to see me as I him.
Yet another squeezed me in like an appointment with an annoying customer.
One year since my last visit, 2 since there was time for me.
My mom as always needed more than I ever have to give.
Unfortunate as she is close to no-one.
Her paranoia makes her miserable and depressed.
Friends are my shelter and my grounding.
Without them it would be impossible.
AH, but my youngest son.
The one I truly went to see.
It had been one year since he moved and I saw him last.
I needed to see/feel/know- he was doing as well as he said.
I saw him daily, and he was.
He was peaceful, not pacing.
He was calm, not shaking.
He was chatty and opinionated, not quiet and invisible.
His smiles were easy, his glasses were dirty.
He enjoys his work even though it’s the middle of the night.
He was delightful to see and touch.
It was fun and effortless to be around him.
I was sad to leave him behind but he belongs there.
I hugged him tight and told him what I saw.
He was okay – more than okay.
He was home – it’s not mine anymore, though.
I love him enough to give him wholly to himself and the world.
He may have difficult times ahead of him still,
But today I know that he will be okay.
I don’t feel the same about my mom;
I don’t know that she will be okay.
I do know there is nothing I can really do about it.
I left with the mixed feelings of joy, sadness, laughter and tears.
They remind me that I am alive and living ‘my’ life.
My emotions help me deal with every aspect of my life –
the good and the difficult.
They all teach me something.
I surround myself with wonderful people.
They help me through the difficult times,
And celebrate the happy ones.
I am grateful to be able to feel them all.
This wasn’t always so.

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After my New Year’s blog on change, I am following up by launching a NEW Group Coaching event here in Montreal starting February 21, 2011. I am only offering this to 8 women as it is such an intimate yet powerful group. You will not want to miss this opportunity so register quickly!

Please go to  Upcoming Events to see all the information as well as testimonials from a few attendees from a previous group. Consistently they mentioned words like safe and fun to describe the environment felt in the group sessions. Self-awareness and growth are personal goals gained from each of my clients as they moved forward along their personal path.

Women have come together for generations doing such things as knitting circles or quilting bees, pot-luck meals or movie nights. The largest benefit has always been that feeling of connection and togetherness that holds us together in difficult times. In today’s world where the pace of society and technology has kept us more isolated than ever, this is a REAL chance to reconnect! Bring a friend; share this with someone you know who could really benefit from so “me time”. Someone who may be on “PAUSE” “STUCK” or just “BORED”.

Mid-life can be that moment of transition that allows for something different. It doesn’t mean down-hill or over the hill for that matter. It can truly be an exciting time for you!  Maybe the first half of your life was all about your spouse, parents or family. I am sure you are happy you did but NOW it’s YOUR time! Time to uncover something to be passionate about! Maybe you stuck your dreams on hold for your family and now they have flown the coop so you can finally pursue your dreams!

A renewed energy that can be spent in any direction YOU choose! A new business, political pursuits, social injustice, or something that makes you FEEL alive! Maybe you have a known or unknown talent that has been waiting for you to develop it now that you have the time! The group creates a space to find out “what” or sort out the “how”.

I enjoy being part of the group experience and share in each persons joy from the “AHA moments” that come about, knowing that they will respond differently in their lives  from that moment on. It is truly an opportunity for anyone who is interested in change with support of others in a similar place in their lives. Now is the time for you, and you deserve to take it! I look forward to hearing from you and supporting your forward motion.

For more information on group or one-on-one coaching, don’t hesitate to contact me through the email on the contact page.

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Tents for homeless people on the Canal Saint-M...

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false]Ah yes, the New Year is upon us and what do we want for the New Year?

I think peace on earth would be a great place to start, don’t you?

Healthcare for the world over.

Enough funds for food and a roof over each living soul.

Enough joy to balance out the sorrows in life for all.

To allow all to live how they choose without judgement.

To give value to each other while maintaining a sense of personal value.

That’s all! Well there is really much more, but this is a good place to start.

I guess the question maybe…

What am I willing to do towards this?

Be of service wherever possible.

Give financially where able…not just willing.

Share a smile with a stranger…how about a homeless person?

You could even do more if you want to really make a difference in the world.

What are you “choosing” to do today and in the New Year?

May Peace, Health, Prosperity and Happiness be within you to share this coming year and always.

Love Tam

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false]Last week Eve was working on not criticizing her husband as a driver or anything else. This has been a challenge, but she catches herself and sometimes even before it leaves her lips! This is progress for Eve and she is moving forward in other areas of her life.

Eve brought up guilt today and went on to talk about how she was not doing as well as she thought she could. Eve has been a “closet eater” all her life and feels she has been letting herself down. She couldn’t even write down everything she ate. She would say she had a cookie not 4. Eve had no acceptance of her lack of will-power and has a desire to” PERFECT” this part of her life with healthy eating and no longer “dieting”.

How does “PERFECT” look to you? Eating just what I need not all the extra. Being the right size and liking what I see in the mirror. Not feeling bad about my lack of self-control in this area. Not being secretive about my eating. What if you weren’t “PERFECT” at this? I’m not but I would like to change it! Trying to be perfect makes me feel awful.

There had been some friends over to have dinner and once again she had the tiniest sliver of dessert as she was watching her weight while the company was over. After everyone else left and her beloved was out of sight she ate another piece of dessert the size she had really wanted. She felt bad about this but it had been her habit to do this for so long it was normal. Another day she brought her spouse and herself out a piece of chocolate that had been a treat only to go back and eat half the box out of sight of him.  

I asked if she ever considered confiding in her husband that she was a closet eater or just eating what she wanted in front of him. Immediately, Eve said that he would not care what she ate or what her dress size was just as long as she was happy. It really wasn’t about him it was about her.

I asked if she would consider telling him and how she would feel about it. A hesitant “maybe” was her answer- followed by her desire to be more open. He did wonder why she struggled with her weight with the amount of food he saw her eat, feeling her frustration. She realized that she had been closer to her beloved since she has been working with me so she was warming to the idea. Eve said that she was sure it would feel good to not hide her eating and that admitting it would mean no more secrets. This was appealing to Eve. The thought gave her a bit of a knot in her stomach none the less.

Eve mentioned that her awareness of herself has made it much easier to be in control. Better in most ways and said that everything doesn’t have to be so serious. Maybe food can be put there too!

Eve has moved from apprehension about the direction of their life because of her husband’s work choices and is noticing more trust and faith in him. This seems to be moving in all areas of her life and feels good because she knows that past choices have all worked out and so will future ones. In the past apprehensions and waiting has sent her to the closet. She would rather know what is going to happen then be in the waiting game, though. Can she stay in her day with her eating? This is going to be the challenge that would not go away overnight.

Honesty with herself is key to her weight issues and I asked if she was willing to start with being honest with herself by writing down every morsel she is consuming from an extra chocolate or 6 to a handful of chocolate chips.  Eve is determined to follow through this week. I had two suggestions to keep in front of her this week. One a sign on her mirror that says “I AM good enough!” and the second for her fridge that says “Just for Today”. She was on it! We will check back next week to see how she is doing. Are you or have you secretly been a “closet eater?” I would be happy to hear your comments on this issue!

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Participants in Diana Leafe Christian's "...

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[tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false]When we look at building our foundations, look around to who surrounds us. As we spend most of our time in our communities, it is important to know who shapes us quite possibly, more than ourselves. 

What does our community look like? Maybe friends, business associates and colleagues, your place of worship and neighbors are our closest connections. In my community I have writers, bloggers, neighbors, coaches,  a couple of groups devoted to personal growth as well as friends from many places I have lived or been connected because of some shared interest.  

Can you change your own personal community? Absolutely! You don’t have to move house to do this, either! If you have similar interests with a particular group and you are not hanging with them, why not? Can you see benefits to create a more intense knowledge of that interest? If there are no groups of that type in your area, could you connect over the internet or create one locally yourself?  

You can attract who you are ready for in your life. Who are you attracting right now? Your life is a response to your community so that community is vitally important to where you are going and who you are attracting. Sounds like a circle, but one worth participating in.  

When I wanted to learn more about writing, I joined a writing group that suited my schedule. I was part of that group for several years and became good friends with several of my writing cohorts, including the facilitator. I no longer go to that group as I have new interests, but I am still surrounded by people I chose that have similar interests in writing. I did not go out of my way to befriend these people to add to my circle of influence, but why couldn’t you? The end result is the same. It is good for all involved.  

People grow from connection and this connection can give each person an opportunity to create. Everyone involved gets something out of it. When each of us gives of ourselves, everyone has more – is more.!  

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The Universe is one HUGE truth and we have our truth in it!

What if we accepted each person as never being wrong?

What if they are right but still choose wrong?

What if we did not work so hard to convince others to OUR way of thinking?

What if we agree to disagree?

What if we loved one another no matter what race we are, what God we believe in, what political affiliation we are connected to, what job we have or even choices we made?

What if we allowed people their own truth?

This is a big question and how you answer this is how you are probably living. Do you spend you time arguing with people to agree with your politics? How about religion? Maybe even what is the right way to raise children? Do you want others to live the way you believe to be the right way? What really is the right way?

Is it not ALL about choice? What are you choosing? Lots of questions today, but I am not sure I have many answers. I am sitting here writing this after conversing with a group of coaches on how to strengthen our families and this was a great portion of the discussion.

How can we actively respect others truths? Can we decide that there are just subjects that we cannot discuss because our truths are polar opposites? Maybe that boundary is the only way. What if we COULD discuss whatever that subject was? Could we then get to know why they have their truth? Maybe we could find out who they are as people. It is about just – being.

We don’t have to agree with others choices or truths, but accepting them is respectful. What if we all respected each other, no matter our differences? I think the world would likely be more peaceful. Do you not think that this respect given could say that I love you, even if I do not agree?

If when I wrote in another post, “Love is always the answer” is my truth, can you accept it even if you do not agree 100%? I do believe that when someone shows me respect by listening to what I have to say, I feel acceptance. This, is love. Can you love others as you love yourself?  Whatever your answer, you are right and I accept that!!

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kiss inc.

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  • Acceptance is the key to harmony. Let it go …you really can’t control your beloved, only your own behaviours. Not to be confused with giving up or giving in. Let go, and let love be the answer.
  • Trust your beloved – they are in this relationship, too. We all get up wanting to do our best, sometimes we just miss our own mark and end up…just doing our best.
  • Talk ‘with’ not ‘at’ your beloved –let yourself be vulnerable. Get to really know each other. We falsely believe we know our partners well only to find out something new we didn’t know by talking and being open ourselves.
  • Know that you’re in it together, not islands but not actually attached either. It is easier, believe me to do something together, because two heads are better than one. Would you have loved them the same if they were EXACTTLY like you? This does not mean that you need finish each other’s sentences either…I personally would like to finish my own. Also, have something in your life that is not connected to your beloved. You tend to appreciate each other more and it gives you something more to bring to the relationship.
  • Know that neither of you are perfect – REALLY! This is self-explanatory, isn’t it.
  • Laugh often -even at your imperfections – together preferably. Look, it can be great fun to laugh at others (providing they don’t get hurt) but to notice ones faults and still be able to laugh at yourself and not get miffed when your beloved joins in, that’s togetherness.
  • Know that you have not always been perfect to each other…read the above for more info – if necessary.
  • Apologize easily whenever you are wrong, and probably often. But remember, continually apologizing for the same mistake gets tiresome for both parties. Isn’t it better to actually deal with the issue?
  • Work on your relationships daily.  The relationship is a gift that can keep on giving, if you keep on giving to it.
  • Show and tell each other daily that you love each other. Tell them you love them and why. Do something special for the heck of it. Do something nice without pointing it out to get credit for it. This can be a toughie.
  • Pray to have lots of days, months and years together like this one. Time is a gift as well. We need to treat today like it may be our last with our beloved and pray that they can be around longer than you.
  • Get up again tomorrow and do it all again, lovingly. Look, nobody is perfect, but as long as we can get up again, there is hope.  Start the day anew. You have it in you to forgive all past sins, if you really want to and start fresh.  Besides, don’t you want all YOUR past sins forgiven? The answer to every question is love.
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    [tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false] Relationships are always going to be something to work on for most of us, until we accept that others are not us. They don’t completely think like us, act like us, respond like us or much else actually as they are not us. Even when you understand this and are good at acceptance I suspect that occasionally you slip (like I do). Maybe you need a refresher course of action.

    Adam and Eve are a terrific couple who have been together for several decades and know each other well…well as well as one can know another person, anyway. They know all the quirks that their partner came into the relationship with and some of the rough edges have been smoothed out over time. Acceptance of those quirks has not always been easy, but to enjoy the relationship and last this long, their has to be acceptance or they would  have become the “Bickersons”! I tell you they are not.

    Eve has one thing that is a bit of an issue – she picks on her spouse about driving. You know – like I wrote about in my post “I have learned…my GPS only works for me!” Well Eve had the same affliction of criticizing her spouse wondering why he drove the speed he was or didn’t take her ideal route, etc. It irritated her and she HAD to tell him. Often!

    I asked her what she thought he heard when she did this behaviour.

    After a moment she replied, “He’s not good enough! I don’t trust him.”

    After this huge awareness (and silence) I asked if she trusted him and was he good enough.

    She quickly replied that it was yes to both. As Eve had been working on being “good enough” herself this was a real stab to her that she was saying the same thing to him in this behaviour (absolutely not uncommon) and she did not want to continue doing this. She also mentioned that this was certainly not the message that she wanted to convey.

    How could Eve amend the behaviour?

    So I asked what she wanted to do about it.

    Not do it again of course, was her answer.

    How would she feel if this is how she was when she was in the car and he was going the wrong way? Probably frustrated at first, but maybe it’s not the wrong way for him.

    Bingo! Revelation, now was it possible?

    Eve figured it may be difficult as it had been a habit for most of their 30 years of marriage.

    Could she apologize, she wasn’t sure.

    How could she conscript her husband in the process?

    Eve said the next time she was in the car and she felt compelled to do so she would mention it.

    The next time they were in the car she commented on his driving (Darn!) and as he looked over at her she realized that she was caught in that old behaviour and immediately apologized, stating she had this overwhelming feeling to correct his driving and that she was working on eliminating it from her not so good habits. He was surprised. He didn’t know she was aware she did it in the first place as she had been a back seat driver forever! This gave Eve an added impetus to work on this. Only a short time later she caught her husband doing the same thing to Eve’s dad and poked him…they both had a good laugh about it and he is now working on it, too.

    Eve is not perfect with this but catches herself and apologizes immediately. It was the largest area of criticism in her life. As she has been feeling “good enough” these days she also has not felt the need to defend herself either. All of the work that Eve has done has created incredible shifts in her thinking. Eve told me that she feels really good about giving the right message to her beloved Adam amd this goes deep to her core. I suspect that with all that she is feeling during this process of change, it will aid in the sticking of this new habit of “not doing” something and changing it for a loving action, letting go.

    Eve’s knowledge that she is truly a good person and good enough as she is has changed her thoughts, attitudes then actions. This has affected her reality. As she takes care of herself and lets go of others to take care of themselves there is nothing left to defend or criticize. Hmm sounds perfect doesn’t it. Well Eve is the first to note her lack of “perfection” and her goal for the perfect body still lurks in the wings. See you next week when Eve tackles this big part of her growth!

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    [tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false] I don’t remember which one seems normal; Jekyll or Hyde, but I will use Jekyll as the unkempt one for my purpose here. It’s definitely Jekyll, when I see the woman who has grown the long, messy grey hair looking back at me in the mirror. It is long because I have chosen to grow it so, not because I have just not gotten to the hair stylist. I have actually been to the salon; just not in the past two months as I never know how long is long enough between cuts with long hair. It used to be every 4-5 weeks with 6 being a week too long for short locks. It has been 20 years since my hair was past my ears and actually to my shoulders, so I decided that this may be my last opportunity for big hair before I cannot be bothered with all the effort in taking care of it.

    My beloved said I look like the “Butterfly Lady” whenever I let my hair dry naturally, instead of ironing out the kinks. I have images of someone in a flowing flowery dress running through the sunny fields in bare feet or Birkenstocks with daisies in my hair and butterflies all around me while holding a bug net. Not completely unkempt but uncontrolled and free. I do like uncontrolled. The Hyde I imagine would be controlled in everything about his look and demeanor with his pressed suit and tie, and an impeccable shine on the toe of his shoes along with the appropriate hat and walking stick. None of this describes me on a good day.

    On that good day, starting from the top I would have ironed my hair, polished my skin with a minimal of cosmetic including lipstick of course and a recent visit to the wax lady for a clean up on isle brow, or should I say brows. If not for her magic, they remain one – brow that is. I appear to be just blind enough not to notice until that is what “IT” has become – one. Oh, I have tried. I have a mirror, a gift from my cousin who felt the need to help me with my plight. I was grateful.

    The gift was an 8x magnifying mirror with a tube of light all around to assist in the removal of all unwanted, unsightly (to those who can see), hair. Even with my reading glasses slid halfway down my nose it is still impossible even with contortions necessary to see the blessed hair! By the time I have grabbed the mirror and turned off the light by my mere touch several times to get the perfect angle and brightness, I AM DONE! Not done with the complete separation of the twins – just done. I have a kink in my neck, eye strain and the arthritic pain in my left hand has left me stiff and frustrated by all the effort. Why torture myself when I can have the job done by the 20 year old esthetician at the local salon in 5 minutes for 15 bucks?

    As I work my way below the neck to my attire it mostly depends on what I will be doing in my day. My Jekyll owns this wonderfully old and comfy, grey sweatshirt for a measly 15 years that is matched perfectly to a same colour pair of baggy bottom, bottoms that are a youthful 6 years new. Their comfort has yet to be met or surpassed by anything older or newer. Along with a longish t-shirt of absolutely any colour that inevitably hangs longer than the sweatshirt as well as 2 pair of socks. The under pair is cotton to keep my ankles from itching because of the outer scratchy grey wool variety with the red band at the ankle completes my ensemble. This is the kind of outfit one is recorded wearing on that show “What Not to Wear” so one could have the extreme makeover. This may not be such a bad idea!

    This outfit is rarely seen by neighbors or acquaintances but regularly by family and only the closest of friends. Lucky them! The good news is that my Jekyll comes with a very relaxed manner and good attitude as long as not forced to give up the attire for a jaunt outside its castle. This may induce either pouts or occasional snarls until the moat is crossed back and the drawbridge has been closed to all further traffic.

    My Ms. Hyde is not the coiffed being of stories, but perfectly acceptable for public perusal. When Hyde has her choice of fashion, there is a casualness to mirror her comfort within. Not the extreme of Jekyll to be sure, but a welcome step toward sound comfort and tidiness. I am not a shopaholic by any means with hundreds of unique expensive pieces in my wardrobe, but easy clothes for a not so demanding but tall individual.

    Hyde’s garments change from season to season and by level of fitness and activity. There is little fancy or outlandish. Some items are bright and colorful to mimic my disposition yet most are in tones of contemplative blues and green for active growth and enhances my state of mind.

    Women’s footwear must have been invented by some man. The same one who invented pantyhose, I suspect. They are always too narrow and too high causing pain in the arches, heels and toes- not to mention the balls of my feet. They pitch me forward unnaturally and I am in agony within fifteen minutes or less. Then my feet start to hurt. I have worn a shoe with a heel and hose exactly once in the past 3 years. Heels must certainly be at fault to turn perfectly normal women into crazed Jekyll lunatics because of the pain their vanity has bestowed upon them.

    I am the lover of Birkenstocks and any shoe with a foot bed or orthotic insert to shape and support my ever pained feet. If only I lived in a warm climate all year so I could live in sandals. Canadians need to bury their toes in sheepskin boots to stay warm and Wellies to keep dry 6 months or more each year. I would just feel funny walking outside with socks inside my Birks.

    I really don’t know much about Jekyll and Hyde, but I do know that I personally am in a state of quiet growth where sometimes I may appear peacefully reclusive and occasionally vivaciously vociferous but usually I am comfortably me. Not so much this or that but a combination of enough yin and yang to leave room for possibilities. These possibilities may lead me down a yellow brick road traversed by many or a road less traveled. Me that I am at the moment will hike willingly in my old Birks down either road, open to whatever is to come next.

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    [tweetmeme source=trcoaching only_single=false]Last week Eve spoke of “envy” of what others had that she didn’t and how it made her feel. This week’s session she started out stating how grateful she was with what she did have. Eve is becoming more of who she is and less of what others may have wanted her to be or her past illusion of herself. “Envy is a symptom of lack of appreciation of our own uniqueness and self worth. Each of us has something to give that no one else has.”

    This week we are all about her relationships with others. Most of her relationships run quite smoothly as Eve is a loving, caring fun person to be around. Firstly, there is a friend who seems distant and too busy to be bothered to return calls and even forgot to mention a special occasion in town that she hadn’t bothered to let them know of as it was a tribute to a dear mutual friend.  This upset Eve. Not the same kind of crazy crying “how could she” that she had felt in the past or the “what did I do wrong” place that before she may have gone in the past. No – just incredibly disappointed. She also realized that as her closest friend near where she currently lives, she has depended on her and missed her.

    She found acceptance in her friend’s life and chose not to bring it up, but at some point when her friend brought up the event and that they were missed, Eve mentioned not knowing about it. The friend somehow thought she had and felt quite bad about not and for being so busy. “Let’s get together soon as there is to catch up on.” Eve understands that her own life is still the same but that she is changing. Not everyone will understand the changes or even like them for that matter.

     We have roles in relationships and when we alter ourselves sometimes who we are with others does too. Eve has let go of most things quite easily these days, even not knowing what her adult children are doing or going through. Even their choices which she may not understand or agree with somehow seem a lot easier to deal with.

    Her mom is another person to work on accepting that she has a close relationship with. Her mom knows how hard it has been in Eve’s life to keep weight off and even though it is apparent that she has lost an incredible amount of weight, mom has said nothing. Not a “How is it going?” Or a “You look great!” Her mother is also the kind of person who has never said “I am sorry.”

     I asked Eve is she was “good enough” without her mom’s opinion? She quickly said yes. “How important is it that mom notice?” Not as much as she thought, anymore. Eve used to strive for mom’s acceptance and approval but now realizes she no longer works for it. Is mom a perfectionist? “Apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree!” she laughs. Eve actually feels badly for others who have it, too. She is being so much easier on herself these days but cannot let her “perfectionist tendencies” slip in at any point. A great new habit has emerged!

    I ask Eve if she has been able to stand in front of a mirror and say “I am good enough and I love myself and my body?” Eve claims it is so much easier today and that is quite an improvement to wanting to cover the mirrors. Eve feels she is getting as good with this as the “should’s” in her life. Life is all about choices and Eve is choosing to enjoy every day of her life and is getting better results because of it daily.

    Now, Eve’s relationship with her husband is quite another story. They are a terrific couple, but like all of us there is always something to work on, and that is where we are going next week. Next week we will talk about critical driving. Have a great week!

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