WHO ARE YOUR 10 PEOPLE?

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Hi Friends,

I often think about the people who have positively impacted me, so recently, I made a list of the top 10 people who have positively affected my life. These are people who, when I look back, I wonder where, or how, my life would have ended up if our paths had not crossed… how different, and less rich, my life would be.

One thing they have all had in common is summed up in the words of Emily Dickinson:

“I find it shelter to speak to you.” 

Actually, my list ended up with 11 such people. I couldn’t keep it at 10 just for round numbers. And really, it’s a list that could grow to 20, 30 and more, but for starters, I have 10 (11).

I want to suggest to you that in the next week, you take a few minutes to make such a list. It could be anyone. It could be people you’ve known for years. Or it could be someone you sat next to on a bus or train who said or did something you’ve never forgotten.

 I find my 10 people are my most perfect gratitude list. Whenever I’m feeling low, if I think of even one of these people, it puts everything into perspective. It also reminds me that, at any moment, someone like that can show up again in my life.

 The most incredible thing about each of these people is how divinely orchestrated each connection with them actually was. We only fully realize this when looking back.

 Today is the birthday of one of “my people” and appropriately the sun is shining as I just finished journaling about all the things about this person that I’m grateful for.

 Try it. Take the time. Maybe one day, one or more of those people will be delighted to find that they are on your list.

Wishing you a beautiful week.

Blessings & gratitude,

Monique

Artist / Life Coach
http://www.artoflifecoachmonique.com/

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ALREADY OPEN DOORS

Hi friends…

4 minutes on open doors…

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences as you keep your eyes open for them.

Blessings,

Monique

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To have a courageous conversation, click this link to schedule an introductory call with me and we can explore where you are feeling stuck and help you locate those doors. No charge. Just please follow through if you book a call.

5 COUNTER-INTUITIVE NOTIONS THAT CAN IMPROVE YOUR LIFE

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** image credit: Victoria Yore and Terrence Drysdale

Hi friends…

So what might those notions be?

These came to mind…

  1. Being still when you have a thousand things to do. Seems like the last thing you should do when you’re swamped with a busy schedule. There are people to see, places to go, fires to put out, calls to make, emails to send. But then, things aren’t always what they seem, are they? Here’s what St. Francis de Sales and Martin Luther had to say about it…

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2. Giving when you’re low on money. What? Really? That just doesn’t seem like good accounting. It seems like the last thing you should do when you’re low on cash, and wondering how you’re going to pay your bills is give some (or all) away. But for some reason, the law of the universe is “give and you shall receive.” Perhaps because it takes faith to give. It takes trust to give. And that faith and trust are never more tested than when we give even though it looks like utter foolishness. You can trace some of the greatest (and sometimes wealthiest) people to their generosity. If you were to examine some of their lives, you’d find that they gave when it hurt to give and when it seemed they had nothing.

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3. Doing less, not more. Striving: it seems like a good word and a good idea, but is it? Sure, we should strive to love more deeply, create more authentically, trust more fully, work more heartily, but striving is something different. Striving is doing something in our own strength and forgetting why we’re doing what we’re doing, and for whom. Striving can be exhausting. When there is much to do, and so many depending on us, to step away requires faith, it takes strength, and that first takes willingness.

 

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4. Loving and being kind to someone who has hurt or offended you. Whenever I’ve heard of people sort of mocking the idea of following Christ, as if it’s for simpletons and weaklings, I wonder if they know about this thing he said: love your enemies. This is where the rubber meets the road. Whether someone stepped on your toe, or destroyed your life (or the lives of people you love), we are called to love… which is the absolute last thing we feel like doing in that moment or season.

 

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5. Keep going when you feel like giving up. You’ve been planting seeds and watering them continuously. You’ve been hoping, praying, trusting for a situation to change or improve. You’ve done your part. What gives? What’s taking so long? Where’s that harvest you were promised? Sorry, I don’t have an answer on that one. I wonder myself sometimes.

What I do know is that even though everything in you wants to call it quits and forget about it… even though you’re frustrated, tired, exhausted and want to throw in the towel, something inside you refuses to give up. Even though it would be easier, you can’t. You won’t. You’ll get up one more day and keep going. You’ll trust one more day and anticipate something good, even though you have every reason to say, “Hey, after all this time, it ain’t happening.” Even though the outward reality looks completely opposite. Again, things aren’t always what they seem. Just like in the best plays, there’s always something going on behind the scenes to make the story one worth telling.

It’s what the best stories are about, the best movies: tenacity, overcoming, resilience… moxie. It doesn’t even seem possible to keep going, but you do and you will.

 

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In all five of these things, what stands out is that none of them “feel” good, or make sense. They’re completely contrary to how we normally operate. So they must require a strength outside of ourselves in order to pull it off.

Exactly.

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* * Image credit: Christian Schloe 

 

If you’d like to have a courageous conversation, click here to book an appointment with me (no charge). I’d be happy to talk with you and explore how you can move your life forward.

Blessings,

Monique

http://www.artoflifecoachmonique.com/

 

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HOPE FOR ADDICTIVE PERSONALITIES

Reposting this from a few years ago. It all still holds true.

Monique Amado - Life Coach & Artist

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The other night while doing some research, I came across a man I had never heard of named Rich Roll (http://www.richroll.com/bio/). I was fascinated by his story of personal transformation. He went from being an overweight alcoholic to being one of the fittest, healthiest men in the world—all due to a change not only in his way of eating, but his way of being in the world.

It’s likely we all have addictive personalities to some degree. It’s just that not every addiction is visible. Just because our addiction is obsessive worrying, or nagging, or pornography, or complaining, or approval, or being right, or being the smartest person in the room, doesn’t make it any less an addiction.

The sad thing for many with obvious addictions is that their shame is usually laid bare, out in the open, for all to see. If someone has an addiction to food and…

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Ever Wished You Could Go to Middle Earth?

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Well, you can… sort of.

Hey friends…

Just wanted to share something with you that will give you a unique way to practice self-care, to take a respite from the noisy world of “things to do” and allow you to escape, relax and just go, “Ahhhh,” for a little while.

Some years ago, I came across these amazing guided Middle Earth meditations and have been using them on and off ever since. If you love to use your imagination and you’re a lover of all things Lord of the Rings, then I hope you’ll enjoy these meditations (SEE BELOW) by two English gentlemen who create these fantastic relaxation videos.

All you have to do is give yourself 15-20 minutes, lean back, or lie down, close your eyes, maybe put some earphones in, and allow yourself to enter a mythical, mystical world where you see and hear with your mind places you’ve possibly wished you could travel to.

My personal favorite is The Green Elven Wood (of course!) and Shelter in the Hobbit Shire. Let me know which ones you like.  Enjoy!

Maybe they will even inspire your own creativity. Hope so!  😉

Blessings & creative juice…

Monique
Artist & Coach
http://www.artoflifecoachmonique.com/ 

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Let’s have a conversation. You can click this link to schedule an introductory call with me and we can explore where you are feeling stuck and how to help you move forward. No charge. Just please follow through if you book. 

7-STEP CALMING EXERCISE TO DE-STRESS YOUR HOLIDAYS

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The holidays can come with a barrage of expectations and emotions, not to mention stress and deadlines that seem all-important.

You may feel like you’ll never get everything done.

You may be dreading having to be around that certain person that gets under your skin (everyone seems to have at least one).

You may have realized you said “yes” to things you wish you’d said “no” to.

You may be worried you won’t be able to resist all the food that isn’t good for you. 

Healthy boundaries will be key during this time, no matter what the situation. So I’ve created this little calming exercise for you. (You may want to print it and keep it on hand.)

I hope it will help you in moments when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Whenever you are feeling stressed or anxious: STOP and BREATHE.

So simple, isn’t it? Yet so difficult to remember sometimes when in the throes of so many things going on.

Here’s how:

  1. Go into a room by yourself (or a bathroom stall, if need be).

  2. Close your eyes.

  3. Take 5-10 slow, deep breaths.

  4. Think about something good, true and/or beautiful. It could be a place you love to go, a person you feel good around, or anything you really, really love.

  5. Say a prayer of gratitude. Maybe for something specific like your eyesight. Or someone wonderful in your life. Or that you got through something difficult this year.

  6. Open your eyes.

  7. Take one more deep breath.

Now re-enter whatever situation was making you feel stressed or anxious.

You should notice a huge difference. And you can use this any time, not just during the holidays!

In the calm, you may sense the presence of the One who came to unburden us, to calm the storms within and without… who came to give us rest. Whatever the situation, that gentle presence looms quietly. EMMANUEL. God with us.

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Let me know if this helps you!

If you’d like to connect with me for coaching, click here to schedule an introductory call. 

Wishing you joy, peace, hope and love this season!

Monique

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WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN…?

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What do you do when the hardships you face seem like too much to bear? It could be something very serious happening to a loved one, it could be your health, it could be your living situation, it could be your marriage…it could be all of the above at once. Everything is shrieking at you to pay attention to it, to tend to it, to do something, for God’s sake!

So what do you do?

Honestly, I can’t tell you what you should do, but I can tell you the only thing I know to do, the only thing that makes sense, though it goes against everything the exterior world clamors…

For God’s sake (and my own and others’)…I get very, very still. I go inside…into the inner chamber of my heart…and there, I find God waiting for me. There, in the stillness, in the quiet, “There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen,” as Rumi wisely said.

And so I listen.

And I hear a call above the waves and wind shouting, “Be still!” (It’s incredible how loud that inaudible voice can be.) That call is the anchor that draws the little boat of my soul back into the only harbor that gives peace…God’s presence.

There, my thoughts are calmed. There, the injustices that stare me in the face lose their power. There, answers are found. There, my heartbeat is restored to a normal rate.

There are some extremely frightening things going on in my life right now, in the life of someone I love (life or death things not related to illness) so being able to even sit down and write this is the only proof I need that it’s true–there is power in stillness, there is power in faith and hope, and there is relief from fear in God’s love. I don’t feel it every minute, but that says more about my wandering focus than about God.

There is a time to do all we can to work, to help, to tend to…and there is a time to be still, to trust and to wait for the answers to come. It is a very fine art to find the balance between these two and to live within them.

I do not know of anything that is made better by anxiety and fear. I only know of all the things that are made better by trust and love.

 

– Monique Amado

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* Image credit: Christian Schloe