Here’s My Fingerprint; How About Yours?

A few years ago, I knew that I needed to figure out exactly what my role in this world should be.  My children were almost grown and I had friends grieving through empty nest syndrome.  I knew, after 30 years of raising children, homeschooling them, being with them 24/7, that empty nest could hit me hard.  But only if I didn’t have a purpose beyond raising  my kids.
I think most of us come to that place several times in our lives, where we aren’t quite sure what to do next.  Or maybe we know what to do, but aren’t sure how.  Or maybe we know how … but something’s blocking us.
  • Maybe you’re a younger person, just starting out in life, wondering how you’re going to make it in the world, what kind of mark you can leave.
  • Maybe you know your purpose, but there are things getting in the way … depression, habits that don’t serve you well, disorganization, or a simple lack of confidence.  You may or may not know how to change those things, but you’re still having a hard time.  
  • Maybe there’s an area of faith that you want to work on.  You want to grow closer to God and be able to follow Him intimately, and you need someone to help you along.
  • Or you’re a new or proven homeschooler who needs some help getting organized, scheduling, choosing curriculum … or juggling the needs of family, school, a business, and everything else you’ve got going.

 

  • You might be a stay-home mom or a single parent who’s starting to feel like she’s lost track of herself and needs to know how to take care of herself so she can better serve her kids and others.
  • Perhaps you’re nearing or in your golden years and you’re thinking about how to leave the greatest impact on those in your circles of influence.  You want your life to really count.  You have wisdom to share or gifts to still be used.  You don’t want to waste a moment.
If you’ve read my blog before, you’ve probably heard me say (or seen me write) that I strongly believe every single experience in our lives — good, bad, success, failure — and each of our gifts, talents, skills, and resources all add up to basically a customized school that God put together for us, training us for our very unique contribution to the world.  Your contribution is so unique that it’s like your fingerprint — no one else, anywhere, at any time, has the same unique fingerprint you do.
I’ve realized that my contribution to the world is to help others discover and define their fingerprint and leave their indelible mark. It’s what entices me out of a cozy bed in the morning and brings joy to my day.  I’d love to work alongside you in finding yours and helping you do whatever is necessary to be able to leave your fingerprints in the strategic places God wants you to place them!
The thing that can make the difference between success and failure is having someone on your team who can look on from the sidelines and make suggestions, encourage you, educate you, celebrate with you, and give you that bit of oomph to make it to your goals.  
As your life coach, that’s what I do.  We talk about your goals, your dreams.  We figure out where you are, where you want to be, and how to get from here to there.  We work together to bring it down to steps that you can’t help but succeed with.  If accountability helps, I can do that for you without judgment or shaming, but with a lot of helpful encouragement.  We’ll figure out what’s blocking your progress, and I’ll help you find motivation in the rough spots.  I’m there to celebrate your victories with you and plot your course with you as you reach higher and higher.  So often, this is the one thing that makes all the difference in the world.
I’m invested in helping you reach your goals.  I strongly believe that you have something to contribute to this world that no one else, now or historically or in the future, is able to give.  If you don’t do it, the rest of us lose out.
If you’re ready to step up and work on leaving your fingerprint on the world, sign up for a free breakthrough session with me.  Let’s get to know each other and get you moving forward. 
If you’re not quite ready, feel free to sign up for my mailing list – use the link at http://lifecoachalycekay.com/  You’ll receive a series of emails from me over the next couple months with questions to help you think through the process.  You can journal about them privately, or share your thoughts with me by email. In the meantime, stop by my coaching blog, leave a comment … let’s start getting to know each other.  Pretend we’re sitting on my swing in my yard in Tennessee, with the dogwood blooming and a pitcher of tea between us.  🙂  (Yeah, I’m homesick.)
dogwood
Hoping that this spring brings you so close your dreams that you can finally touch them.Alyce-Kay

http://lifecoachalycekay.com/

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Healthy Journey: Adding Intentional Movement

     What is it about deciding to work on one’s health that suddenly makes life turn against it?  My back started hurting a week ago.  On Monday, I was doing okay, walked with a friend around the nearby lake, and then in the evening it became almost unbearable.  I did a few choice yoga moves, felt somewhat better, and got a good night’s sleep.  The next morning I was stiff, but nothing those yoga moves couldn’t tame.  THEN, wham!  I don’t know what I did, but suddenly the pain became so bad I couldn’t breathe.  Every position hurt like crazy and I couldn’t walk.  For the rest of the week, I went from not being able to pick anything up off the floor, unable to find a position where I could breathe properly, and taking 5 minutes to walk to the bathroom, to finally getting so that I could do almost everything a normal human being should be able to do.  I still haven’t tried to sit on the couch, though.

Despite all this, I did stay on my water regimen pretty well, other than that first couple days of horrendous pain.  Not perfectly, but that’s okay; I’ll keep working on it.  So, it’s time to move on to the next step:  Adding some exercise.

My plan is to do 30 minutes of intentional, dedicated exercise for 5 days a week.  What do I mean by that?  I mean that I’m not going to count housework or picking up sticks in my yard.  It’s going to be time spent exercising for the sake of exercising.  I will need to go easy for my back’s sake, but I’m to the place where I can (and probably need to) get moving and stretching.  My plan is that it will be divided between yoga and biking, two forms of exercise that have served me (and my back and knees) well in the past, though I’m definitely a beginner in both of those.  I may do some walking as well.  I’m not going to set rules at this point about how strenuous it will be.  I just want to get back into the habit, so the discipline is what I’m after right now.

There is something about setting and meeting goals that makes me feel better about myself and more in control of my life.  It seems to have a snowball effect, too.  There have been times when I’ve felt hopeless about my life.  A simple goal like, “Get 10 minutes of sunshine every day” has been all I could manage … but it was a key step toward getting out of the Slough of Despond.  Once I meet that goal, I feel empowered to set slightly more difficult goals.  If they’re goals that are good for me, such as sunshine or exercise, they not only make me feel better about myself … they make me feel physically better and give me more energy to meet those more challenging goals.

Another thing that helps me is to very intentionally look for good things in life.  Sometimes, the smallest things, like spotting a pretty bird and identifying it, or noticing that the bushes in my front yard are blooming, make a huge difference.  I guess that’s what people call “stopping to smell the roses.”  Taking TIME to enjoy those little things that I might not otherwise notice or just acknowledge peripherally definitely brightens my day and gives me more energy to meet my goals.

What’s a new, small goal you can work on this week?  A habit you’d like to add to your life?

About to Embark on a Health Journey … Join Me?

So one of my goals in TFGL is to explore healthier living.  I’m not an expert on this.  If you read my mission statement carefully, you’ll see that I don’t set myself up as an expert, but rather, I want to share my journey with others, so we can learn together — i.e., I want to learn from you, and you can possibly learn from me.  Mostly, I think that walking alongside each other can really bolster one another.
This summer, I’ve set a goal to really be intentional about making some massive improvements to my health.  (Why not just start now?  Well, I have been working on this for the past couple years, but I want to take some more drastic steps.  It’s been noted that if you want to start a major new habit, you’ll be more successful if you plan a date in the future to start it, and map out how you plan to do it.  That’s what I’m working on now.)
I’m going to be specific about my challenges and goals in the next few blogs, so that if you have similar goals or challenges, you can decide whether you want to join me in this quest.  I am NOT a doctor or any type of medical professional … just a normal person (well, “normal” might be questionable), so I’m not giving advice, just sharing what I’m doing.  If you decide to do any of this along with me, it’s at your own risk, so be sure to engage your brain, please.  You may not want to address your challenges in the same way I do.  We can still journey together, learn from each other, and most important, encourage one another.
Keep in mind that I have an extremely limited income and I don’t like to take medications, I like to do things naturally … so I’m planning to see how much I can improve through diet, exercise, and some healthy habits.
My doctor recently told me that, other than the basal cell carcinoma (nonaggressive cancer) I recently had removed from my ear, I’m very healthy.  I’m 52 years old, but my cardiac age is 42.  I’m obese (more on that later), but that hasn’t affected my health … yet.  My labs are perfect.  My blood pressure is borderline when I check it at WalMart, but right on target when I’m at the doctor’s office.  I don’t smoke, drink, or do drugs.  I rarely use medications, and I eat much healthier than the general population.  I exercise regularly.  I also practice stress reduction.  I see myself as being in very good health.
I do have some problems I would like to improve, though.  They are:
1.  Obesity.  To be honest, my main concern here is my looks.  I want to be able to wear hippie-type clothes and they just don’t look good on a fat person.  But I also know that, if I don’t take care of this soon, I probably will develop some health problems.  Diabetes is my greatest fear.  I’m not ready to say how much I weigh.  But let’s just say I would like to lose 100 pounds and I’m 80 pounds over what is considered a healthy weight for my height.  (If I can figure out how to post pictures here, I’ll post a before picture.)
2.  My right knee.  I have pain in this knee and sometimes swelling.  For a short time a few years ago, I actually used a cane.  One might assume that this is because of my weight.  However, my left knee doesn’t have problems.  My wonderful massage therapist in Tennessee, after working on me for 2 hours one day, asked me if I sewed for a living. No.  Hmm, I would swear you have a syndrome that we see in seamstresses who work a sewing machine pedal for hours on end.  Oh, well, yeah, I use a pedal for the transcription work I do.  Bingo!  Seems that having my leg in the same position for 8+ hours a day has caused the muscle behind my knee to atrophy, making for all manner of problems with my right knee.  As I’ve worked on improving that, my knee has definitely improved, but I have a way to go.  I need to work on building that muscle back up, strengthen and improve flexibility … And losing weight wouldn’t hurt, either.  One of the doctors I used to type for said, when you walk, you’re putting 8 times your body weight on your knees, pressure-wise.  So if you lose 25 pounds, that takes 200 pounds of pressure off your knees.  (I want to lose 100 pounds, so um yeah, do the math.)
3.  Loosing flexibility.  This goes with age, I suppose, but probably also because I sit in one position for 8 hours a day, as well.
4.  Eye sight.  My eye sight has been poor since I was a kid.  I have always just accepted this (along with it getting worse as I age), but recently have been reading about some things that may be able to improve eye sight and I want to try them out.  Used to have a lot of floaters, but what I’ve been doing so far seems to have taken care of them completely.
5.  My recent bout with skin cancer … and a personal history of severe sunburns as a teenager.  If I don’t do something about this, I may be looking at more cancer in the future.
6.  Other skin problems:  Occasional acne (makes me look younger, right?), actinic keratoses, ruddy complexion (rosacea?).  Like any woman, I would love to have beautiful skin.
7.  I have at times struggled with depression.  It seems to be situational … but we aren’t guaranteed that life will be easy on us and my life tends to be stressful, so I want to make some changes that will help me take things in stride better.
8.  A family history of stroke and heart problems.  Stroke on my mom’s side.  Heart problems on my dad’s.  I’ve had premature ventricular contractions since 25 and palpitations most of my life.  They’ve gotten to be daily, often several times a day if I’m stressed, and sometimes lasting a minute or so.  I’m not worried about these and my doctor doesn’t seem very concerned, but I’d like to get rid of them.
In my next blog, I’ll talk about what I’ve been doing for these challenges so far and where that has gotten me.  In the following blog, I intend to share my goals for making some pretty drastic changes.  I’ll try to share websites and other resources that I’ve used to come up with my plan, and which show some of the research that’s been done in these areas.

As I’ve mentioned before, I make no promises about how often I’ll write.  I work full-time-plus and homeschool my kids, as well as a legion of other things.  But when I have time, I want to get this out there … and maybe someone will want to join me.  ???  Think/pray about possibly doing that.  I would love to have some fellow travelers on this journey.

 

 

 

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