Quote of the Week – 1

_Live according to your vision, never according to your eyes._

 

Have a blessed week!

Monique

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Life & Creative Coach

5 QUALITIES OF PEOPLE WHO HIRE A LIFE COACH

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I’ve been coaching professionally for long enough now to notice certain similarities in the kinds of people who seek out, and hire, a life coach. Again and again, these patterns emerge. I find it inspiring and encouraging and it fills me with joy to work with these courageous souls. I see such a spark in them, an aliveness and awakeness, even if and when they’re going through challenging times. I’ve notices many traits, but here are 5 that stand out to me most…

 

HIGH LEVELS OF SELF-AWARENESS. Unlike many people who drift through life without considering how their choices impact themselves or those around them, people who hire a life coach notice things, especially their own behaviours and the behaviours of others. In fact, the behaviours of others cause them to take note and self reflect, to consider that perhaps the reason they notice certain patterns in others is because they possess those traits themselves.  

 

SELF-HONESTY. They are also likely to be gut level honest with themselves because being authentic tends to be one of their highest values. They are big on keeping it real, both with themselves and with others. While others may notice things within themselves that need work, and are content to carry on as usual and try to push through (even if their continued way of doing things doesn’t get them the results they want) those who hire a coach have gotten to the point of taking action

 

COMMITMENT TO PERSONAL GROWTH. They tend to be seekers who are continuously asking “why?” questions, wanting to know how things tick, including their own inner workings. They read books and articles on a vast array of topics, listen to podcasts, watch videos, attend events, and are always on the quest for greater understanding and awareness in order to grow. That awareness often leads to a… 

 

WILLINGNESS TO OWN UP. Rather than make excuses or play victim, people who seek out a coach very often want to address whatever part they’ve played in the challenges and difficulties they’re dealing with. They are not afraid to state what they’ve observed in themselves and then to get on with the difficult, yet rewarding, process of changing what needs changing. 

 

WILLINGNESS TO CHANGE. They have a strong willingness to make changes, no matter how difficult it may be in the short-term, knowing that the changes they make now will benefit them, and others, for a long time to come in the long-run. 

 

OUT OF THE BOX THINKERS. They are most often people who are unwilling to accept the status quo or the answers they’ve been fed by others. They want to know for themselves. They tend to question things that others readily accept and to explore life more deeply. They bring new ideas to the table, regardless of what “everyone else is doing.” While they struggle to find the balance between being accepted and authenticity just like everyone else, they’re willing to do whatever it takes to be true, rather than to be popular. 

 

Not to say that people who haven’t hired a coach don’t have these qualities, but there’s something about working with another person to move forward that keeps a person more focused, accountable, and committed to what they want their lives to be about. And it’s often people who have the above qualities that seek this out rather than trying to go it alone.

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If these qualities sound like you and you’d like to book a session with me, you can
click here to set up an appointment and we can have a call to see if we’d be a good fit for a coaching relationship. 

Wishing you the courage to change the things that need changing.

Blessings,

Monique

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Art of Life Coaching

 

WHY SHOULD LAUREN DAIGLE NEED TO DEFEND BEING ON ELLEN?

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Maybe it’s because I’m a Christian who happens to be an artist, or an artist who happens to be a Christian. Maybe it’s because Ellen Degeneres is one of only 2 comedians I’ve ever gone to see live many years ago (the other was Eddie Izzard). Maybe it’s because I’m just fed up with a certain ongoing badminton game of opinions that’s been going on for decades, if not centuries. But when I read about this recent “controversy,” I automatically grabbed my laptop and started WordPressing…

I’ve just discovered a kindred spirit and don’t know how I hadn’t heard of her till now… I came across an article about a Christian singer who’d been on Ellen. The heading was something about her receiving criticism. Silly me, I thought maybe someone who isn’t a Christian had criticized her singing a song about Christ on national tv. But then I was reminded of the judgmentalism that is still, very sadly, rampant in the people who claim to follow Christ. It was them criticizing Lauren for something I find so absurd that I had to write my first blog post in ages about it…

The “controversial” thing Lauren did was… wait for it…

Lauren was on the Ellen show. Yup. That’s it. And this was controversial why? Because Ellen is (gasp) gay. Really, people? That’s what you took away from the fact that Ellen had a Christian singer on her show singing a song about Jesus?

When I read about Lauren’s response to being questioned about her “radical” act, I instantly knew she was a kindred spirit. You can read that here. Her response was drenched in grace and wisdom.

As a Christian who is thankful to know many people who are not in the judgmental camp, I’m compelled to say to the Christians who think they are in a place to judge gay, or any other people: get over yourselves. You’re not doing Jesus any favours.

Certain types of scripture quoting are nothing short of pharaseeism/religion clothed as concern about people’s souls.

I know some who read this may be prone to judgment, so I’m extending some suggestions for how to overcome this and hope it will help…

  • Ask yourself how many gay or trans people you actually know personally.

 

  • Become friends with LGBTQ people and get to know them.

 

  • Listen to people’s stories without having an agenda. 

 

  • Read up on how many LGBTQ people have struggled with suicidal thoughts due to being raised in families and churches where they couldn’t discuss how they felt for fear of being ostracized by people who claimed to love them. Perhaps watch the movie Boy Erased.

 

  • Read the stories in the Bible about the people Jesus called to follow him. Take note: they weren’t the Pharisees; they thought they already had God all figured out and that it was their place to look down their noses at those “sinful,” “other” people.

 

  • Get over the notion of “other people.” God loves us all. Just because some people may not know it or believe it, doesn’t make them any less loved. Judging them doesn’t help them believe it.

 

  • Look in the mirror and focus on keeping your own heart pure (single-minded) rather than assessing the purity of others. Put simply, BEGIN WITHIN.

 

  • Instead of sitting behind the screen judging gay people, find something more productive to do with your time.

 

  • Connect to how deeply and profoundly you are loved by God, no matter what, so that you can freely love others without needing to judge them.

This is a topic I haven’t commented on much (apart from my post called A Deeper Compassion: Entering the Transgender Discussion) because of the drama that goes with talking about stuff like this and how people just loooove to argue online, from the safety of their computer screen.

But now…

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Some theories I have about people who have trouble simply loving ALL people and who prefer to keep themselves away from those “other” people:

  • Perhaps there are unfaced issues they have been unwilling to look at within themselves or someone they’re close to.

 

  • Perhaps they, themselves, struggle with something relating to gender or sexuality and have been afraid to admit it to themselves.

 

  • Perhaps they simply need to remind themselves that they’re in no position to judge.

 

  • Perhaps their self-righteousness is a veneer for shame over their own past or present issues.

 

  • Perhaps they don’t really believe they’re loved themselves just as they are.

Nor are these people to be condemned. We’re all here working through our own brokenness, wounds, and stuff. The answer is not judgment, but LOVE. That’s the core of everything Jesus taught: JUDGE LESS. LOVE MORE.

Back to Ellen and Lauren…

Ellen actually picked the song that Lauren sang called “Still Rolling Stones”. Uh-huh, a song about Christ. It’s her favourite one of Lauren’s. Ellen had more grace and kindness towards Lauren than many of the responses have had towards Ellen or Lauren.

One of my personal favourite things about Ellen — she’s a vegan animal lover who cares more for animals and creation than many Christians do. I sometimes hear about her acts of kindness and can’t help seeing what a kind person she is and how comfortable she makes people feel (like Louis Theroux does). Yet certain people have the audacity to focus on her sexuality rather than her heart?

My guess is that if Jesus had a talk show, he’d have Ellen on as an example of the kind of people he likes hanging out with.

I can anticipate the responses this post could possibly get, one of which could be that Ellen only does good things and has certain people on to increase viewers and for PR. I won’t even comment on that. Or any other negative, just-want-to-argue feedback.

Instead of rejoicing over Lauren being on Ellen, the negative Nellies had to go and start Bible thumping. Ah, well. Lauren will go right on doing what she does so brilliantly – bringing glory to God with her music in both secular and Christian settings, and Ellen will go on doing what she does – touching people’s lives with humour and kindness.

The question isn’t about whether it’s right or wrong to be gay. The question is whether you are going to love others or judge them — because you can’t do both simultaneously.

It’s one of the reasons I wrote this short film script.

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The logline is:  “A compassionate pastor challenges the religious snobs trying to condemn a transgender woman named Sammie. A present day retelling of the good Samaritan parable.”

Every day, we all get to decide whether we’ll choose love or choose judgment when we interact with others.

I know what I’m committed to choosing and I need God’s grace to do so.

To my Christian friends who started sweating as they read this, I love you. To my gay/bi/trans friends, I love you. You’re all precious and I love you all. Period.

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Love,

Monique

 

 

MONIQUE’S SMOOTHIE BOWL RECIPE

Hi friends…

I’ve been on a health journey for many years and continue to be amazed how, from the time I learned about acid-alkaline balance 10 years ago, my health and life radically started to change in remarkable ways. I was vegetarian, then vegan, for many years, but the acid-alkaline balance is what really shifted everything for me.

I’ve been showing people photos of my smoothie bowls lately and inevitably, they tend to ask if I can send them a recipe. Since I don’t really use recipes when I make stuff, I have to really think about how much of each ingredient I use, but I’ve now put it together to share with you!

These bowls are, I’d say, about 95% alkaline. The only ingredient I use that isn’t raw is the rice or coconut milk.

I’ve linked the benefits of many of the ingredients for you to click on and learn more about.

But first, let me whet your appetite…

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Lately I’ve started using red beets in my smoothie bowls as well, not only because they’re incredibly healthy, but because they give a gorgeous deep magenta hue to the color.

So what goes in these bowls of yummy goodness?

To be blended:

1 banana

1 handful of frozen strawberries (other frozen fruit)

1/2 an avocado

1 big handful of raw kale or spinach

1 cut chunk of red beet

1/2 or 1/3 of a carrot

Rice or coconut milk – enough to cover all of these wonderful ingredients

1 scoop of Green Drink (I use Amazing Grass Green Superfood. It has loads of alkaline, immune and digestion-enhancing ingredients and I can’t recommend it highly enough!)

1/2 to 1 teaspoon of raw cacao powder (unrefined raw chocolate)

1/2 teaspoon of Chia seeds

1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon of Vitamin C powder

Optional:

1-2 acidophilus capsules (emptied into the mix). Acidophilus is a pro-biotic that does wonders for your immune system and digestive tract. I recommend the non-dairy kind.

1/4 teaspoon of MSM powder

Blend it all up until it’s nice and thick.

Scoop it into a bowl.

Top with:

Sliced bananas, blueberries, raspberries, or any other cut fruit you fancy.

Drizzle raw cacao nibs and coconut flakes on top, sprinkle on some cinnamon and wa-la! You’re ready to go!

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If made with these ingredients,  you should feel satiated and full for hours. You can have it for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner.

One little word of advice: give yourself about 30 minutes for digestion afterwards before running out the door to start your day. There is a lot of fiber in a smoothie (if you know what I mean), so you may want to give yourself some time for a bathroom visit before you leave the house. 😉 

Smoothie bowls are an amazing way to start your day because they’re packed with life-giving nutrients and vitamins that will make you feel alive, energized, and ready to take on your day!

Enjoy!

And please be sure let me know how you liked it. Send me a note or photos of your own smoothie bowls. I’d love to see!

Blessings & vibrant health to you!

Monique

http://www.artoflifecoachmonique.com/

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HOW TO HAVE MORE PEACE IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS

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If you clicked to read this, you may be expecting some big revelation, but how to have more peace is so obvious, you’ll wonder why you bothered to read this far…

When you wake up in the morning, DON’T LOOK AT, OR TURN ON, YOUR PHONE, and DON’T CHECK EMAIL OR SOCIAL MEDIA until you’ve had at least 10 minutes of quiet time to yourself.

If you want to have even more peace, don’t go on your phone or social media for 30 minutes, an hour, or even 2 hours. Sound crazy? Impossible? It’s not.

“But… but…” you might be saying, “Steven Spielberg might need to reach me,” or “My kids need me,” or “I need to check how my stocks are doing,” or “My church people need me.”

You know who needs you? You. You need you to be present in order to handle all those calls and emails and interactions when you get to them… later.

Listen. No, not to me. Just be still and listen. Once you get quiet enough, you’ll start to hear and see in a way you weren’t able to when you were allowing yourself to be bombarded with messages and information and demands.

In the quiet, you may hear a still, small voice. I believe it’s God. If you don’t, I’m not going to try to convince you.

Things that you couldn’t make sense of will start to become clear in the stillness. Answers you were trying to figure out will start to crystallize.

Or you will feel yourself breathe again. You will remember that you are a living, breathing human being, that there are people in your life that you love. You may start to feel grateful to be alive.

It might not be easy at first. Phones and the internet are, after all, an addiction. Your brain will try to tell you that you need to check. Just one message. And then another… and another. But don’t take the bait. It’s trying to steal your peace.

Unless you’re waiting on a life or death phone call, it can wait. It’s hard to think of anything that isn’t helped by being still and having space to just be.

For some this is prayer time. For some it is meditation. For some, it’s just sitting still and doing nothing but being. And for some, like me, it’s all three.

Personally, I need way more than 10 minutes of quiet time every day. I’m talking hours.

Whatever you need to do to take this time, take it. You may need to wrestle it back from people, or situations you’ve allowed to steal it. Find a way to carve it out and take it back.

If 10 minutes sounds insane in light of the things you’re dealing with, then start with 5. If 5 sounds like too much, start with 4, 3, 2, or 1. And if one minute sounds impossible, you may need to take a whole day off.

If stillness terrifies you, or not being connected via phone or internet makes you feel like you no longer exist, you may need to explore this more deeply to find out what the root of that fear is.

But if you want peace in the next 24 hours, then try it. Wake up and do the first part of your morning as if phones and the internet didn’t even exist.

You may notice the birds singing again for the first time since childhood. You may hear the wind rustle through the leaves in the chestnut trees. You may notice all sorts of things you had stopped noticing because your face was buried in your electronics like…

  • the color of a loved one’s eyes
  • the taste of your coffee, tea, or food
  • the way water feels running over your hands in the morning
  • the sunlight gleaming through the window
  • the way it feels when you brush or comb your hair
  • the breath in your lungs

If you keep it up, you may start to experience wonder again and you’ll ask yourself how you ever got so far away from it.

Remember that stillness is a gift you give yourself. Try it and let me know what it was like for you.

Wishing you peace,

Monique

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http://www.artoflifecoachmonique.com

 

DOORS

God speaks through closed doors as much as through open doors.

If a door you have been trying to open is not opening, there comes a point where you need to get very still so you can hear and see where a door might already be open.

Sometimes, the door that’s already open is the one you were hoping for all along.

Maybe you gave up on it. Or there was a certain way you thought things had to happen, so you got a little comfortable in “waiting” for it. Maybe now is the time to take the first step… again… towards that door. You know the one.

Be still and listen. You may be pleasantly surprised at a much greater open door than the small closed one you were banging on.

And it very well may require a leap of faith.

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Dwell in possibility…

Monique

http://www.artoflifecoachmonique.com