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Creating Serenity | Supporting those with overwhelm by all the noise and want to enjoy life again | Page: 3

It’s easy to blame others when things don’t go your way or even blame yourself. That voice inside you, telling you it’s all your fault, how could you be that stupid, don’t try that again.

Have you noticed how blaming takes the power away and not in a good way. Where does it get you? Are you moving forward? Does it make you feel good about yourself?

I invite you instead to empower yourself and others with gratitude and forgiveness. What can I be grateful for here? What happens when I forgive?

The power is in creating a happy, nourishing space and letting go of what you don’t want. Changing your language from, I am annoyed, to, I forgive and move on. When we work through our challenges, shrug them off, we open up the space for all the good stuff to happen. Imagine someone doing something that has really annoyed you, or someone hasn’t done that one thing you asked of them and it has upset you. How do you want to be with it? Being in the space of anger, frustration or annoyance does not really serve us. Instead, step into this feeling for a moment and when you are in it, notice it and then step out by a shrug of your shoulders. Just shrug it off, and again and again, just shrug it off. Give yourself permission to forgive and move on.

It’s usually the small things that annoy us, and carrying this round can be very draining and spiral into other things. What happens when you are grateful instead and celebrate the things that have gone well. Celebrate choice and who and how you want to be.

If the above resonates with you and you want to find out more, drop me a line at sonia@creatingserenity.com

Raise your hands if you are ok with uncertainty, not knowing what’s next, what’s round the corner. What does uncertainty mean to you?

I want to take a moment to celebrate with you if living with uncertainty is not a concern for you and ask you, how does uncertainty support you?

I personally have a hard time being with uncertainty. I thrive on structure, knowledge and control. Becoming a mum almost five years ago, running my own coaching business and having had some extremely tough challenges this year with my family’s health has thrown me into a pool of uncertainty. Not knowing what the future holds, what direction it is going to take, will I get through it and how. If I were to go back in time to a year ago and look forward a year to now and know what was coming up for me, I would probably have said ‘no, can’t, drown, give up, too much’…all the words that make tough challenges even tougher.

When life becomes very uncertain and you are living through the uncertainty, where do you turn to for guidance, who do you go to for support?

While I can’t be with uncertainty, well that is something I also tell myself, I have also looked for the gift when life takes a direction I was not expecting. What can I appreciate about what is happening right now? What message am I being told here? Instead of focusing on the negativity, why is this happening, becoming stuck, I have learnt and invite you to first give yourself permission to be with whatever emotion you are feeling, good or bad. Just be with it, feel it, notice where it is in you and acknowledge it’s there. From this place look around at what you do have, your own health, a roof over your head, a loving partner, friends etc. whatever it may be. Hold onto the good stuff and make it bigger to fully connect with it. Savour what you do have and those precious moments of holding your child’s hand, their soft skin against yours, the way they smile at you, a phone call with someone you don’t see often, a skinny cappuccino!

I also invite you to go past the sludge and focus on what you do know, what you can control. Ask yourself what do I need right now that will serve me to get me through the challenging times? What role do I need to play, what space do I need to create? What can I do each day to keep breathing and let go of the tension? Holding onto the thought, this is now and it’s not always going to be like this .

The suggestions above are some things which support me in dealing with uncertainty and life’s challenges. If you would like support with your life uncertainties, i would love to hear from you.

If you have your own suggestions on how you deal with uncertainty, I would also love to hear from you and support others that may need it.

I am quite adverse to the words ‘time management’, it’s so corporate and what does it really mean? Can we really manage time? Can we control time? Ummm, i think not…what we can do is manage ourselves and how and where we spend our time.

I work with mums whereby one of their biggest challenge is lack of time. But when we devise structures to get more time, they don’t always know what to do with it. They might sit and watch tv or read a magazine. Now you might be reading this and think, isn’t it up to us what we do with our precious few spare minutes?? Of course it is and that is not what I am pointing to here. If that is what you truly want to do, then go for it. What I am talking about here, is that there are two steps to this. One is finding that precious time and the other is to explore what you want to do with it. What is burning inside of you that you really want to do but never had the time or thought you didn’t. What would nourish you to recharge the batteries, to put you in a better head space to take on your daily challenges. Allow yourself to dream a little…what are you passionate about, what brings a smile to your lips, what do you long to do….

Now look at your typical day, what does it look like? Is your to do list ridiculously long?

Do you find yourself saying yes to most things without asking yourself first what is the impact if I take this on? Does this have meaning for me? What will doing this give me?

When time is an issue and you find yourself saying yes a lot, next time, I invite you to try this out….

Every time you say Yes to something, you need to say no to something else you are already doing or from your to do list.

If we keep saying yes, very soon our basket will be full, then it will overflow and after that, things will start toppling over, and some will even go missing. Is this how you want to live? It needn’t be that way. With some planning and preparation work, you can manager you better, your day better, your life better. If you would like support getting this plan into action, connect with me.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Do you judge people by how they dress, what size they are, their chosen path in life? As much as I hate to admit it, I do and I think most of us do also. The next question is, to what extent does our judging limit us whereby we could be loosing out on a new life experience, a new gift this person may have for us.

I am pretty intuitive and tend to get a sense when meeting people, whether we are going to click or not. Being nice and open, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get on with everyone. By all means, making an effort and being polite is the thing to do, but also be easy on yourself that you will not get on with everyone and that’s also ok but before you reach that decision, have you explored all the possibilities?

I met someone a few months ago whom I initially didn’t really take to and I think the feelings were mutual. Nothing in particular happened but there was a feeling between us, that we were too different and wouldn’t interact well. What could we possibly learn from each other? Since first meeting, we kept seeing each other at networking events over the next few months.

At the last event we both were at, by fluke we ended up being paired up. I will admit, I was a bit apprehensive but I let go of my preconceived ideas and played full-out. Our brief journey was empowering. I saw this person as a human being, with feelings, tragedies, celebrations, amazing talent and we really connected. We were both incredibly vulnerable and opened up our hearts to each other and championed and acknowledged each other, which gave the other person room to explore and evolve. I saw her for who she truly is and she saw things in me which I had hidden for a long time which make me complete and truly be me. It was a transformational powerful experience, one I will never forget. I felt enriched with life and purpose again and ready to take on new challenges.

If I had stayed in my judgmental box, I would have lost out on this wonderful gift I experienced and at a time when I was searching for something and she helped me find it. I saw her inner magic and her greatness, which was an incredible privilege. There is so much more to what we see. We are incredible beings, all of us, it can sometimes take time to get to know the person fully, to appreciate them, to see how having them in your life can add richness.

Have you ever met someone and thought instantly I like you, I will get to know you better or I don’t like you, we wont bond etc etc.

People amaze me all the time and I amaze myself how I can sometimes limit myself and life by judging. I promise to become more aware when I do judge and to let go and be open to what is truly there and be curious.

Can you think of a situation where you judged and potentially lost out on a gift. If so, can you go back and make amends? Or did you see your error and something gorgeous was created?

Are we born with a passion, a calling? Some will answer ‘yes’ to this question straight away but for the rest of us, is passion found by trial and error? By this I mean, by trying out lots of things, exploring what is possible, being curious about what fires you up, do we find our passion?

I ask this question, because if you are someone like me, who had the normal, usual upbringing, went to school but didn’t find something that they really wanted to do. I was more the ‘drifter’ type! Went where the wind took me, not really committed to anything or anyone and enjoyed just being free but at the same time never being fully present, always wondering what someone else was doing, what else was out there.

When it came to careers, I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do and by 15 I had had enough of studying. Note to my children when they are older, this does not mean you can stop studying at 15!

So I started working in the administration field as it taught me and exposed me to a bit of everything. Soon after I discovered travelling and my job served my passion. This was fine in my 20s but once marriage and children came on the scene, jetting off every few months was not really an option. Stability and responsibility was the order of the day. After becoming a mum I realised that my job didn’t cut it for me any longer. I wanted flexibility initially but most importantly I wanted something that fulfilled me. Being a mum was very fulfilling, don’t get me wrong, but I also needed my own thing which made it even more powerful to find something I was truly passionate about. Plus those jobs which served my travelling passion once, were not really serving me any longer.

So I tried a few things out that I enjoyed doing, explored what my real interests were but nothing really hit home. Not enough to fully immerse myself in it. Until one day my husband suggested I go on the CTI fundamentals co-active coaching course. The course is only 2.5 days and who knows what I might discover. Initially I was so out of my comfort zone, my brain and body were overwhelmed. Once it all settled, I realised the full potential of this coaching thang and I signed up for the following courses to be a coach. The journey has been an incredible one, full of ups and downs, amazing self discovery, savouring moments and deep soul searching. I’m risk averse so I tend to dip my toe in anything new and slowly, slowly put my foot in, then my calf, then my whole leg….but once I was fully in the pool of coaching, it was wonderful. I had found one of my passions.  And much to my husband’s amazement, I was still up at 10 pm doing work, blogging, listening to teleclasses etc. I’m the kind of being, if there isn’t a party going on, I’m in bed by 9 pm, so this was a big turnaround for me!

I had stumbled upon something ultra cool that I could use not only in my work life, but also in my home life and all of my life.

When I talk about my passion, I light up, I get excited, life is full of possibilities.

I want everyone to find their passion, if I did, you can. And once you do, shout it out loud for the world to hear.

So tell me, us, what is your passion, how you found it and how is your  life with passion in it.

What kind of role model are you when it comes to your children? Have you ever stopped and saw YOU through the eyes of your child. How you behave will most likely have the greatest impact on them. Disciplining your child needs to be done in my book. How you discipline is another matter. Children need structure and boundaries, a sense of what is right and wrong. How they should behave, how they should treat others etc. This is all great stuff but it smells to me a bit like ‘do what you are told, not what you see us adults doing’.

My boys are at the age that they pull me up on things. I tell them to eat with a fork and not their fingers, and at the first opportunity they catch me eating my chips with my fingers, I get a telling off. ‘Mum, you shouldn’t eat with your fingers, that’s what you tell us’ or ‘Mum, you shouldn’t put your feet on the coffee table, we are not allowed to do that’. Now, while these things might amuse you, I am reverting to my parents generation of do what I say, not what I do.

Telling a child off for bad behaviour, putting them on the naughty step, taking their favourite toy away, what is this exactly reinforcing? We are telling the child off for doing something wrong, and punishing them but what is the learning in that? Will they never do it again?? From experience I think not. Instead they are brought up, to be told off whenever they do something wrong, without explaining what is expected of them, how to do the right thing, showing them how to be, giving the child a chance to explain themselves, realise the mistake, apologise and correct it. By doing this I believe we open the communication channel to better understand our children and get curious about their behaviour, thus reinforcing our connection with them. What if your boss at work told you off and put you in the corner whenever you did something wrong without giving you the chance to explain yourself?? Could this be how our children are made to feel?

Take a moment and notice how you interact with your children when times are challenging. What do you resort to and how would you like to be instead? We want the best for our children, but how are they going to do their best or at least give it a go if we don’t show them. Lead by example, notice how you come across to them through your actions, how you deal with situations, how you interact with others.

Children are constantly learning and we are the vessels through which they will learn the most. Take a moment, what impact are you having on your child and their future?

I didn’t know a year ago what my values were. I had an idea but didn’t connect the dots. Values are who I am in my life right now.  They have always been present and by identifying them, it has helped understand ‘me’ and my needs and wants better. By honouring them, I am living a fulfilled life and a life with meaning, being complete. When I have a decision to make, I look at my values, step into them and this truly aids my choice and making the right choice for me and for my family. They are like my comfort blanket but in that, there’s also fierce courage and strength.

And it’s great when someone in the know, in this case, another coach, by spending time in my company can come up with new values they see in me. The latest value I have found is ‘expression’. For me it’s a physical expression of pushing my body to the limits eg rock climbing or bikram yoga. The other form of expression is dancing. And I don’t just mean the buzz you get from going out dancing with your mates, a vino in your hand, but truly letting yourself go, letting your body go with the music, feel the music, come alive, feel energised. When I do, I am so in tune with me, I feel I can take on the world, climb the highest mountain, everything is possible and it’s all at my finger tips. It’s empowering, like a drug and it’s legal!

Are you honouring your values? Do you know what your values are?

Here is a simple exercise you can do to get you thinking about your values…

Identify a special, peak moment in your life. A moment that was very sweet, rewarding, when you felt great, on top of the world. Once you have that moment captured, ask yourself: what was happening? who was there? what surroundings were you in? take a step back from the moment and describe it to yourself. Then ask yourself what values were you honouring in that moment? Who were you being? What made it special?

Bit by bit, you will start putting together a list of your values and what is important to you, who you are and then start noticing in your every day life when and if you are living these values?

I would love to hear from those lovely people who do this exercise what awareness has come up for you, have there been any surprises?

If you can feel the benefit you would add to your life by doing further work on discovering your values and where this could take you, send me an email at sonia@creatingserenity.com.

I have been pondering something recently, a dilemma which I don’t know the answer to.

Is spending one-on-one time with your child beneficial rather than letting them get used to how it really is when there are various siblings in the family?

Should we be giving our children individual attention so they get you all to themselves, ‘quality time’, to deepen your relationship, to create a deeper bond, to make them feel special or is it better for all siblings to get used to from a very early age that it’s about sharing, being all together, collaboration. Can giving one-on-one time make the child resentful of the other siblings, other children, other family and friends that are taking you away from them?

There is only 18 months between my two sons, so when Tiago, came along, Antonio was still very young and I felt and wanted to continue giving Antonio my undivided attention. I didn’t want him to feel left out and because baby brother was on the scene, that he wasn’t important. So in the first few weeks of Tiago’s arrival, Antonio and I would have a couple of hours in the park most days, just the two of us. But soon life settled down and having one-on-one time was not an option. As the months went by, Antonio started to play up and I was advised it was due to not having enough mum time to himself, so we arranged that on saturday mornings, Tiago would stay with dad and I would take Antonio out, just us two. While things slightly improved, I felt it wasn’t a long term solution.

Almost 3 years later, Antonio still plays up whether we have one-on-one time or not. I realise each child is different and gets impacted by the world around him in various ways. But it is a question I have been pondering and has been bugging me. I never felt completely ok with just taking Antonio out, feeling what was important was for all of us to be together, getting used to each other, figuring out our different personalities and how we all fitted together as a family.

I would love to hear your views on this and what you have tried, what worked, what didn’t.

I was asked the other day on a coaching session, where did I feature on my to-do list and I couldn’t find Me. Me is not something I considered putting on my to-do list. How crazy is that! And then my coach challenged me to put ME at the very top…yikes!

We get so bogged down in how much we have to do, the list is endless. All the action things we have to do, we forget about us, the one that needs to do them all. Who do we need to be in order to get everything done and what do we want for ourselves?

When it’s all about have to, should do and must do, it can become a chore. The fun can be taken out of life when we are just going from one thing to the next. How indulgent would it be to put ME at the top of my list and not just put me at the top but also dream, wonder and put into action what I want to do, what has meaning for me, what gives me purpose, energy, drive.

I realise there are certain things we have to do, should do and must do but let’s not make it all about that. Let’s add in some other stuff which is just for you.

Nourishing our soul is where it all starts. From the inside out. There is no point running on empty, eventually you hit the wall and you will be very sore. By putting YOU at the top of your to do list with your other tasks, what are the possibilities from this place?

I re-wrote my to do list and added me at the top and what is was about ME that was important. This is what came out:

meditation, connection to music, bikram yoga, a yummy massage, fun times out with family and friends, letting go of responsibility if only for an evening and go wild!!! and the list keeps growing.

Guess what…I am doing all these, some daily, some weekly, some when the moment arises. It’s not so much about having to do these things all the time, but knowing these things keep me on an even keel, in a healthy head space and fuel me for what is happening right now and also for the life ahead of me.

I would like to challenge my readers, that’s YOU to put You at the top of your to do list and take a moment to think what you need, want and desire. Write that down. If you are doing some of it, all of it, high five to you, keep going and consider what’s next.  If not, write down your goals for when you want to do it and be realistic with your time but also ensure You stay priority. And let me know how you get on,  what comes up for you, I would love to hear from you.

As a mums coach I find my clients forget about them and their needs and the outcome can sometimes be ugly. It needn’t be that way. Awareness is the first step and then making choice and taking action. If you would love to do this but doing it alone seems too overwhelming, give me a call, drop me a line. I will love to support you in designing your path.

I was recently asked by the lovely Elinor Wilde to write about my experience around setting up my coaching business while not loosing sight of my family and their needs and how I found the work/family/life balance that works for me and them. Here is the link of my journey

Another working mum, Sonia Calvo, strutting her stuff

I do hope you enjoy the read and would love to hear your thoughts.