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 ...
taking high road

TAKING HIGH ROAD WHEN STUCK

TAKING HIGH ROAD WHEN STUCK   Taking the high road when stuck may be difficult. It may also the best route to travel. There are periods in our lives when we may be are unable to immediately extricate ourselves from situations which are stressful and not optimal for us. Good reasons may exist to stay put for the time being. Time may be needed to help change the present situation or to find the door to exit. It is important to develop ways and means to deal with rough situations and the stress that is caused. The first example I will explore is a job situation. If the wise decision is to cope with what is occurring at your place of employment for the moment, it helps be present and aware of your current surroundings including your coworkers. I have noticed from my personal experiences that people react quite differently when stuck in a job. Individuals may: Decide to embark on a person work slowdown. (This slowdown may help the person to cope. It also does impact others in the work environment as well as customers.) Become angry at coworkers and customers. Rudeness starts to show where it had not ...
personal freedom of expression

PERSONAL FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

PERSONAL FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION INDIVIDUAL WRITING WORKSHOP   Fall is arriving. Days shorten. Summer is ending. Does that bring sadness? Evenings might be spent indoors more often. Are you searching for indoor activities to challenge you? Fear not! You are invited to a virtual writing workshop designed for you – on an individual basis. Personal Freedom of Expression Individual Writing Workshop will be based on my “Inner Discoveries through Writing Workshop”.  (See:  http://roadtofreedomandpeace.com/inner-discoveries-writing/). The topics will include: State of Your Body and Mind, Career/Job, Relationships with Others and Yourself, and Spiritual: Relationship with God, Basic Goodness, Nature, Spirit, or Universe. As a life coach, I realize busy lives make it difficult to commit to a scheduled group workshop. For those who want more flexibility in scheduling and my full attention as your life coach, this individual writing workshop is for you! Are you more comfortable sharing your writings with me only (and not with group participants)? Do you desire individualized attention? Are you looking for workshop sessions that fit your individual scheduling needs? Do you want to explore your life’s present, future, dreams and desires? Are you new to writing and want to explore it as a tool to change ...
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, ...
insights of Howard Thurman

HOWARD THURMAN’S INSIGHTS

HOWARD THURMAN'S INSIGHTS   One day I was shopping for a birthday card for a friend. This quotation by Howard Thurman was written on one of the cards: "There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls." The quotation resonated with me as a person and as a life coach. Many times as victims others take our power. Sometimes we relinquish our power to make peace or to stay safe. Eventually we can lose the ability to go within to discover what we desire and need to be the genuine person we were born to be. The positive message is that each of us can learn how to regain our power. You can discover or rediscover how to listen to your inner voice. (I shall most likely address personal power and authority in a future blog post.) The readers of my blog are from various generations. Some may know who Howard Thurman was. The name ...
"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. ...
life's "little" losses

LIFE’S “LITTLE” LOSSES

 LIFE’S “LITTLE” LOSSES   Once upon a time, a coworker and I connected. The ease of the working relationship surprised me. She brought to life the ability for me to enjoy pleasure in the midst of a hard day at work. Then she left to move on to greener pastures. I was happy for her. This person had helped me to get through daily life, through days when work was hard and messy. I hope I did the same for her. Relationships at work may become friendships outside of the employment arena. Many times they do not extend outside of work. These good relationships form. You share information about your lives. You care. The connection can be mostly work-related or may become more personal. The “little” loss when the person leaves may leave a big impact or a small imprint. These types of relationships may occur in any location or situation. An example could be a kinship between yourself and a barista at your favorite coffee shop. You, as the customer, connect with the person who makes your latte. You find yourself sharing pieces of your life, sometime very important pieces. The connection surprises you or makes you wonder how ...