unexpected encounters with homeless persons

UNEXPECTED ENCOUNTERS

UNEXPECTED ENCOUNTERS   This week I experienced two unexpected encounters with homeless individuals. This occurrence is not foreign to me for I live in a city where many homeless individuals and families reside. Boulder is a place that is popular with tourists. It is also losing its middle class due to the extremely high cost of living. What brings me to share these encounters is the poignancy of these chance meetings. A woman approached me near a restaurant on Sunday morning. I noticed she had asked people standing and sitting outside the restaurant waiting to dine if each of them could spare a dollar for food for her children in the car. No one said yes. As she walked toward me, I wondered what my response should and would be. I weigh each person’s request, whether it originates from a person panhandling with a sign or from the direct asking from someone. This woman looked worried in a different sense to me – in a way that struck a familiar chord. I stopped and listened to her explanation. This stranger left a domestic violence (DV) relationship two weeks earlier. She had a 14 year old child and a younger child ...
cat's comfort zone

COMFORT ZONE

 COMFORT ZONE   Do you find it easy or difficult to step outside of your comfort zone? Are you a creature of habit? Many of us are. Do you desire change, but draw back when you arrive at the line of demarcation between comfort and discomfort?  What holds you back? Take a moment and look at the photo of the cat in the tree looking at the moon. Do you think the feline is a creature who lives in the outdoors and is in its comfort zone? Or do you imagine the cat was accustomed to a cozy indoor lifestyle and decided to leave its comfort zone for a night? It is something to ponder for a moment or two. What does the cat see? How does it feel? Maybe it is an outside cat who sits on the tree branch often and is in its comfort zone. Maybe this feline is lonely though and is deciding whether to take a chance with human beings to find a new home. It makes me smile to imagine the cat is an inside creature who decided to leave the house. Maybe this cat is sitting on the branch filled with a sense ...
intention of a good day

DECISION to HAVE a GOOD DAY!

 DECISION to HAVE a GOOD DAY!   Have you ever made the decision to have a good day? Was the intention beneficial? When the day ended, did you feel a sense of satisfaction even if the day was not perfect? I was working in a coffee shop one day when a coworker reflected that customers seemed to be in good moods. My impression and comment to her was that we, the employees, were happy and that happiness made a positive impact on our customers. She thought about it and agreed. Months later during a very rocky and stressful period at work, this coworker and I made the spoken decision to have a good day. This included our desire to improve customers’ moods and possibly our other coworkers’ attitudes. The morning working with her was a success – at least for the two of us! I am sure our positive, pleasant attitudes provided benefits to both customers and coworkers. When my coworker left for the day and I remained, it was more difficult for me alone to sustain the positive mood and atmosphere. Other coworkers arrived who were dealing with the stressful work environment in their usual ways. Although the day ...
don't stop - perseverance

DON’T STOP! KEEP ON GOING!

DON'T STOP! KEEP ON GOING!   Perseverance … Determination … Resiliency … Momentum … Endurance … Strength … “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill The words above convey power … personal power, communal power, and societal power. I just finished reading the book titled “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. It was highly recommended to me by more than one person. It is the fictional story of two sisters during World War II. (See: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21853621-the-nightingale.) For anyone who has seen the horrors of war or who has survived the horrors of abuse and torture or who has been close to someone who has been a victim of the aforementioned, this book has even more depth as well as hope. Life does not always bring success in the way we hoped. Sometimes success comes after a person’s death. We all heard stories of starving artists whose works of arts are admired and loved after their deaths. It may take generations for families to heal from generational abuse and to fully escape from it. Life evolves. How do we continue? How do we go forth when life’s trials seem overwhelming or never-ending? How do ...
stress, spirit & self care

STRESS, SPIRIT & SELF-CARE

STRESS, SPIRIT & SELF CARE   Stress is a given in everyone’s life. There are benefits to stress as well as problems with an overload of stress. Recently, I found myself stressed out due to situations beyond my control. It was important that I use my skills to deal better. This type of stress is familiar to each of us at one time or another. Solutions to stress overload or stress that seems never-ending include all of the usual and obvious ones. Some of these are: Exercise Eating healthy Sleeping well Making time for fun! Experiencing nature. The above options are wonderful ones. A hike in a field or on a mountain or around a lake can do wonders for one’s spirit. Riding a bike, roller blading, or participating in a group sport or activity can provide fun and freedom! Do it! Experience life in spite of the stress. It is necessary at times to find ways to cope during the actual stressful situation(s). Maybe your work environment contains extreme pressures. Colleagues are showing the effects. Even if you are usually the calm, easy-going type, the tension from situations may build. You may find that suddenly you are experiencing anxiety, ...
"little" gains

LIFE’S “LITTLE” GAINS

LIFE’S “LITTLE” GAINS   Can you name one of life’s “little” gains that occurred this month? Do you tend to mainly see the big changes or large gains in your life? If you are in therapy or a support group, do you focus on not achieving the big goals in your life? Are you frustrated that you did not land your dream job or meet your perfect mate? Life’s “little” gains may be easily overlooked. It is human to look forward to reaching that next goal of importance in your life. The road to reaching your dreams may contain a multitude of “little” gains that we blow off as not being important enough. I, as a life coach, challenge you to be aware of your life’s “little” gains! “Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu Maybe you work with a coworker who you dislike or she/he dislikes you. You find common ground one day and the work environment improves for both of you. I would label that as a “little” gain for both of you. ...
alternatives - fun

FUN! ADULTS NEED IT TOO!

 FUN! ADULTS NEED IT TOO!   What do you do for fun? How do you have fun? Ask someone these questions and watch the person’s reaction. Kids will easily tell you an answer. Adults tend to hem and haw. When is the last time you experienced fun? Ask that question also. Ask yourself these questions. What is your bodily response to the questions regarding the subject of fun? Does your stomach flutter? Do you experience guilt because you cannot remember the last time you experienced fun? Does guilt come to the forefront because you do not like the answer? Maybe you do not think you deserve to make time for enjoyable activities. Maybe you are in the habit of sitting in front of the television and you realize that most times it is a passive activity that does not truly bring you enjoyment. Have your kids, if you have any, grown up enough that you don’t play games with them or share physical activities? I experienced much enjoyment raising my daughter, Megan. Engaging in creative outlets, physical activities such as playing soccer or catch with a “super” ball, and sharing in a child’s excitement and joy in life is satisfying. ...
courage to escape

COURAGE to ESCAPE

 COURAGE TO ESCAPE (And the COURAGE to DEAL with the AFTERMATH)   This blog post is dedicated to all those who took the risk of leaving a situation of abuse and those who are contemplating escaping from one. Whether you are a teenager who found a way to leave your home due to sexual, physical or emotional abuse and trauma or a spouse in a domestic violence situation or a victim of clergy abuse in any religious organization, I commend you for taking the steps needed to survive, to take care of yourself, and to have the courage to escape. If you are thinking of leaving a situation of abuse and trauma, the courage to escape is a necessary ingredient. Remember, you are worthy of freedom, peace and joy! Once upon a time, there was a woman who was in her late 40’s when she left one country ten years ago (2006) to protect her daughter, Megan. Yes, this is my story. The focus today is not on those early years after leaving my abusive husband and Megan’s abusive father. Today I want to share with you my journey into homelessness after my trial for custodial interference and my journey ...
stories

STORIES: The GIFTS THEY MAY BRING US!

STORIES: THE GIFTS THEY MAY BRING US!   Do you enjoy stories? Are you a reader of biographies or autobiographies? Do you find yourself reading portions or vignettes of people’s stories online? Have you ever wondered why you are drawn to knowing about the experiences of others? Stories may bring us gifts that we do not even recognize. My writing style has evolved over the years. As a life coach and a blogger, certain marketing and search engine optimization techniques are recommended. Part of me rebels. I seek to be authentic and true to myself. The business part of me knows I “should” conform more in order to enlarge my reader and client base. I usually lean toward authenticity over marketing. There is a part of me – the spiritual core – that trusts my future readers and clients will discover me. Recommendations are given to write posts using a step method. An example is five steps to a new you or 10 steps to relieve stress. I understand these titles are catchy and do persuade people to read (or at least skim) these articles or posts. There are times that I do write using that step method. Mostly though, ...
life purpose

LIFE PURPOSE

LIFE PURPOSE   Do you know your life purpose? Are you interested in discovering your life purpose? Discovering one’s purpose in life can broaden your perspective of your time on this earth. Not everyone wants to put emphasis on finding his or her fundamental role in life. You may want to focus on other aspects of your life. What are your dreams? Dreams and purpose often go hand in hand. “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away."  ― Pablo Picasso I am passionate about being a virtual life coach and sharing the path you choose. Although methods of life coaching vary, I believe the accountability piece is extremely important. Most of us benefit from regular contact with someone who will support us in our goals and hold us accountable. Weekly contact with a life coach enables the momentum to continue. It is quite easy to get distracted with other areas of our lives and to put aside the changes we desire to make. Without a scheduled appointment with someone who cares and supports you as you work to reach your goals, many people give up. Many procrastinate and think the ...