Monday, May 25, 2015

Trusting the Process...

My younger child has just graduated from college with honors and he has earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in a field where he anticipates job openings. I hope the universe is tuned in!  My oldest already has her Masters, is on her own and is gainfully employed. My kids did good. It wasn't a smooth ride by any means... but the mission has been accomplished and I am an extremely proud (and relieved) Mother of two incredible and incredibly different kids.

I have to admit, that even though the goal was for them to become independent one day with careers and lives of their own... I wanted more for them. Armed with my own college education, the best parenting books plus tips from family and friends (the internet wasn't around in the mid 1980s) ...what I really wanted for my kids, but didn't know at the time, was that they would become productive, self sufficient, and emotionally and mentally strong. I wanted them to learn to care about themselves and others, to never confuse happiness with selfishness or selfishness with happiness and to make good decisions by learning from mistakes. I wanted them to know their innate worth and the value they bring to others through their contributions and participation in the world.   I wanted them to know where 'center' is... that intangible place where few of us 'go' to get answers that only come when we are quiet. All these things go way beyond academic objectivity and a solid resume.

I do wonder sometimes if I could have saved myself some stress and worry by just being more sure of myself, more firmly standing in my own space as a divorced parent, a little more product driven/a little less process oriented, taking up as much room as a person needs, to make the right decisions in times of unexpected turbulence. When we did hit a few bumps of turbulent air,  I know that I did the best I could with the resources I had and what I knew to be true about how each of us worked. In the long view, my tendency for process was a good thing.  Not always, but I'm fairly confident that I knew my kids as well as a person can know an adolescent. The business and yes, process of raising other human beings has taught me so much about myself and what I was capable of.  And because it is a process, there are just some things you learn as you go. As a family, we landed pretty close to where we had hoped, but geez, knowing if we were on course or not, sometimes... it was just a guess!   And it was messy... as other families may admit to or not, depending on how much truth they can tolerate.

When challenges arise, knowing what to do can sometimes be a guess based on a lot of what we already know and the counsel we seek from trusted resources. But 'knowing' comes from many places. If I've learned anything over the last 20 plus years, I've learned that it's okay to guess, to trust the process, to reach out to others, to go beyond the intellect, to rely upon and trust my own wellspring of intuition and emotional knowing.

They are off and running their own lives but I think we will always be 'in process' with new goals moving us forward as individuals.  I hope that 'softer knowing', that inner voice that goes beyond intellect will be of value to them, especially when things aren't easy.  They decide what is right for them and I just support their ideas. They have also been supportive of my new goals as I grow and change. I don't have the starring role in their lives anymore and for that, I am grateful because that was never the plan. That was then, this is now. They did good, and, actually, so did I.


Interested in finding a Life Coach?
Find Ellen Leon Rosoff at Elleon Coaching
www.elleoncoaching.com
https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/205531

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Tree that Bends In the Wind

In my yoga class yesterday, the instructor told us to breathe in and hold the breath as we envisioned ourselves sitting on top of our breathe, much like sitting on top of a mountain looking at everything below us.  A mountain perch, a bird's eye view of all that supports us. Then she said, release the breath, bend forward over your body until hands reach the floor and belly meets the spine, going from the macro to the micro as our yoga practice takes us inward to our core, letting go of all that once was, letting go of breath. And hold. She explained, and I'm paraphrasing, that 'the letting go' was the most important part of that whole sequence, because in that letting go, was 'the letting be' of what is. In that moment is one's acceptance of change, acceptance of feelings toward that change, and acceptance of life as a dynamic process that never stays the same from moment to moment, breath to breath.  Breathing, she told us, mimics the dynamic nature of life. It comes in and it goes out. It is here,  now it is there. Here is one way, there is another. The wave rushes up, the wave washes out.

So many of us want things to stay the same, we want things to never change or we want things to go back to 'normal'. We want to stand rigid against the wind foolishly thinking that if we resist the force, we will win the battle and life will continue on as it always has. But have you ever seen a tree stand rigid against the wind? The wind will always win when the tree stands in defiance, the tree almost always breaks when it resists the wind.  On most windy days, I watch the trees bend with the wind, allowing the wind to blow through it's branches, leaving the tree standing perhaps a bit worn for the wear, but still standing. The tree accepts the wind, allows the wind to wash over it and through it, the tree does not resist or struggle, it just bends. Nor does the tree expect the wind to never blow; how else does the tree know about wind? Suffering lives in resistance; the resistance to forgive, to acknowledge ourselves as powerful, to apologize, to be flexible, to be kind. Peace lives in flow, change and acceptance.  Even painful and damaging circumstances have the opportunity to transform, transcend and be seen from a new perspective.

Dan Millman, in his book The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, writes:  "There is no problem, never was, and never will be. Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world. No need to resist life, just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are far more than you imagine. You are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too!"  Dan Millman writes about Life as a mystery, and how we will not be able to figure everything out about what makes the universe tick. When we struggle to understand everything about it, we endeavor to the point of frustration.  How bored my mind will be when I 'wake up' to find that there is no problem to fix, no puzzle to solve, no physical symptom to cure! 

But how can I write these words about transformation and peace against the backdrop of so much suffering and disaster in the world. I know you will conjure up images when I mention Chile, Nepal and Baltimore. You may ask me if I have the right to find my own peace when so many others are clearly suffering.  Is it not selfish for me to find my way when others are lost? On the other hand, what good am I to others if I, like them, can not see the tree through the forest, the oasis through the smoke? If I can see where the path is, am I not responsible to alert others to it's location as well? If I am 'more than I ever imagined and work to do my best' as Dan Millman suggests,  for me and my community,  if I can see the tranformative power of the present moment through a simple breath, as my yoga teacher taught me, then peace doesn't stay contained just within me.  It can only radiate out from me.


Interested in finding a Life Coach?
Find Ellen Leon Rosoff at Elleon Coaching
www.elleoncoaching.com
https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/205531









Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Tree that Bends In the Wind.

In my yoga class yesterday, the instructor told us to breath in and hold the breathe as we envisioned ourselves sitting on top of our breathe, much like sitting on top of a mountain looking at everything below us.  A mountain perch, a bird's eye view of all that supports us. Then she said, release the breathe, bend forward over your body until hands reach the floor and belly meets the spine, going from the macro to the micro as our yoga practice takes us inward to our core, letting go of all that once was, letting go of breathe. And hold. She explained, and I'm paraphrasing, that 'the letting go' was the most important part of that whole sequence, because in that letting go, was 'the letting be' of what is. In that moment is one's acceptance of change, acceptance of feelings toward that change, and acceptance of life as a dynamic process that never stays the same from moment to moment, breathe to breathe.  Breathing, she told us, mimics the dynamic nature of life. It comes in and it goes out. It is here,  now it is there. Here is one way, there is another. The wave rushes up, the wave washes out.

So many of us want things to stay the same, we want things to never change or we want things to go back to 'normal'. We want to stand rigid against the wind foolishly thinking that if we resist the force, we will win the battle and life will continue on as it always has. But have you ever seen a tree stand rigid against the wind? The wind will always win when the tree stands in defiance, the tree almost always breaks when it resists the wind.  On most windy days, I watch the trees bend with the wind, allowing the wind to blow through it's branches, leaving the tree standing perhaps a bit worn for the wear, but still standing. The tree accepts the wind, allows the wind to wash over it and through it, the tree does not resist or struggle, it just bends. Nor does the tree expect the wind to never blow; how else does the tree know about wind? Suffering lives in resistance; the resistance to forgive, to acknowledge ourselves as powerful, to apologize, to be flexible, to be kind. Peace lives in flow, change and acceptance.  Even painful and damaging circumstances have the opportunity to transform, transcend and be seen from a new perspective.

Dan Millman, in his book The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, writes:  "There is no problem, never was, and never will be. Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world. No need to resist life, just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are far more than you imagine. You are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too!"  Dan Millman writes about Life as a mystery, and how we will not be able to figure everything out about what makes the universe tick. When we struggle to understand everything about it, we endeavor to the point of frustration.  How bored my mind will be when I 'wake up' to find that there is no problem to fix, no puzzle to solve, no physical symptom to cure! 

But how can I write these words about transformation and peace against the backdrop of so much suffering and disaster in the world. I know you will conjure up images when I mention Chile, Nepal and Baltimore. You may ask me if I have the right to find my own peace when so many others are clearly suffering.  Is it not selfish for me to find my way when others are lost? On the other hand, what good am I to others if I, like them, can not see the tree through the forest, the oasis through the smoke? If I can see where the path is, am I not responsible to alert others to it's location as well? If I am 'more than I ever imagined and work to do my best' as Dan Millman suggests,  for me and my community,  if I can see the tranformative power of the present moment through a simple breath, as my yoga teacher taught me, then peace doesn't stay contained just within me.  It can only radiate out from me.


Interested in finding a Life Coach?
Find Ellen Leon Rosoff at Elleon Coaching
www.elleoncoaching.com
https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/205531










Thursday, April 16, 2015

Do One Small Thing Differently

What is coaching?

Coaching is a conversation between a client and a coach (life coach, executive coach, health coach, etc)  that leads to goal-setting and solution-focused outcomes that when implemented, actually requires the client's brain to create new neural pathways to support new patterns of thinking and behaving.  Coaching commands the brain to think in new ways in order to create those neural pathways that ultimately have a positive effect on how the brain works. If you aren't sure about this, just google 'neuroplasticity'... there's tons of research on the science of brain change. By creating goals and visualizing a possible outcome that you'd like to experience, the coach can help you disaggregate clutter and information, deconstruct and clarify the larger vision of what you'd like to experience into smaller, manageable steps.  Expecting your life to change just because you want it to, may cause you to feel defeated, setting you up to repeat old patterns of failure or disappointment, a road you've been down many times before.  Expecting life to change without an action plan, without a vision for the future, is an exercise in self sabotage that keeps you mired in the muck.

If you are feeling stuck and want to experience life in a new way, you have to be willing to make a commitment to change the way you do things even if it brings you discomfort in the beginning, even if your ego feels challenged. If you want adventure, but you are afraid to step out of your comfort zone, whatever that may be, forget about ever experiencing excitement. If you want to be a leader, but are afraid to give voice to your ideas, those ideas are going to die with you, having never been heard. If you want to live a healthier life, start by standing at your computer, rather than sitting.  Do one small thing differently to build new neural pathways, which will give rise to more new behaviors and new thinking.

Have you read the children's book, Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff?  I have a tendency to want a sweet with my tea when I sit down to my computer to work. Knowing that I am like that mouse whose cookie triggers the wanting of other triggers (the cookie leads to a glass of milk, which leads to needing a straw which leads to a napkin, which leads to a mirror, which ultimately leads him back to another cookie), I decided to change one small thing in the sequence of events that leads me to the sweet.  Instead of sitting, I stand at my computer which changes my course. Amazing.

New behaviors lead to new thinking which leads to new behaviors which leads to more new thinking. This push and pull, pull and push moves you forward, one step at a time, increasing confidence, skill and awareness as you go. Slowly, or quickly, depending on how much commitment and drive you bring to coaching, change takes place.  Whether you want to change your relationship with money, authority, your health, with the people you care about- manage- or work for, or your relationship with yourself, consider collaborating with a coach to help you with those goals. Expand your world by confronting a limiting belief or, what the heck, experiment with optimism. Find courage and compassion beyond shame and anger. Live happier.... it's possible.


Ellen from Elleon Coaching
www.elleoncoaching.com
https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/205531





Sunday, April 5, 2015

Just Like An Onion...

Just like an onion, there are many layers to our personal history, personalities, experiences, thoughts and feelings that accumulate over the years and comprise who we areIf I asked you to introduce yourself to me, you probably would tell me your name, where you work, where you went to school and maybe your favorite color.  Unless I asked you specifically about your core beliefs and values, you might not think to describe yourself in those terms and yet, your belief system is where and how your life gets played out. Interestingly, we aren't even aware of this core framework we live within. Your core is much like the root of an onion. For better or for worse, the root is what holds all the layers together.

Examples of personal beliefs and values might include your views on the importance of self, others, others over self, self over others, sacrifice, gratitude, honesty, integrity, education, family life, accountability, responsibility, the roles of men and women and the personal impact you see yourself having in those areas. Core beliefs manifest themselves in the language you use, where you decide to live, who you choose to marry, the friends you keep, the career decisions you make, how you treat your neighbor and the value you place on your own worth. Negative beliefs can chip away at one’s feelings of self esteem, level of accomplishment, and can contribute to one’s general dissatisfaction with the life they have created. 

 So when it comes time to make decisions about your future, specifically your career choice or career transition, would you look at your areas of improvement or would you look at your strengths for clues as to what might make you happy?  Those of us who hear whispers of negative thinking may pay lots of attention to those areas in need of improvement which should be our cue to look at our strengths. If you grew up in a home where parents or guardians were overly critical, you learn to hold yourself to standards that are not achievable.  The opposite may be true as well.  Those of us who grew up in homes where we were not encouraged, we might have learned to expect very little from ourselves. Happiness in both of these situations seems like something only other people have unless you understand that happiness isn't something 'out there'. Happiness, feelings of purpose and satisfaction requires us to examine those core beliefs we have, that either helps us to grow or keeps us stuck. 

As a Life Coach, I would ask you to tell me about those core beliefs and about the alignment between your beliefs/values and your skills, traits and dreams. When there is a strong alignment between what you like to do, what you are good at, how you see yourself in the world, and who you are at your core, we have a powerful starting place for the self discovery process and goal setting necessary for a collaborative coaching relationship.  

Contact me at Elleon Coaching for a free consultation at the links below:
www.elleoncoaching.com or 
https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/205531










Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sailing Beyond the Horizon


Do you remember in Social Studies class when we learned about the early explorers sailing to find new worlds to trade trinkets with (according to our history books)? They would set out and sail towards the horizon and then... do you remember what happened next? Well, the sailors' countrymen thought that the captain of the ship was a fool and that all the men aboard were doomed since they were about to fall off the edge of the earth once the ship reached the horizon.  Once the ship was out of sight, from the perspective of those who remained on land, the sailors were presumed dead. 

Looking back at the early days of exploration when most people dared only to live in the physical spaces that they could actually see, we know now that the world does not end at the farthest point of visibility. So what do ya know, the world is round, there's more beyond the horizon, and better yet, gravity holds everything in place. Who knew!  Thanks to the 'entrepreneurial start ups' of the 14 and 1500's (no matter what history has or has not published about some of the famous explorers) we can look back and say 'hmmm, others have dared to dis-prove accepted notions as fact, why can't I leave my comfort zone to prove that there is more beyond my horizon as well.  What's stopping me from embarking on my own exploration? Just asking this question signals a readiness that you are at a point for a shift in thinking.  In fact, when you are able to make this shift, your brain also shifts. Each new experience helps to build new circuitry in the brain which supports your continued growth.

Coaching can bring you to new understandings of who you are, what you are capable of and what drives you forward.  As a matter of fact, if you were to look up the origin of the word, coach, you would find that it means a mode of transportation. A coach carries you from where you are and brings you to where you want to be.  If you are looking for a way to traverse the gap between what is and what could be, coaching is a great idea. Take the first step in charting your course by hiring a coach.

I have space available at Elleon Coaching. You can find me at my website, www.elleoncoaching.com or at Psychology Today, https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/205531 under Life Coaches. You can also contact me at elleoncoaching@gmail.com

Sailing Beyond the Horizon


Do you remember in social studies class when we learned about the early explorers sailing to find new worlds to trade trinkets with (according to our history books)? They would set out and sail towards the horizon and then... do you remember what happened next? Well, the sailors' countrymen thought that the captain of the ship was a fool and that all the men aboard were doomed since they were about to fall off the edge of the earth once the ship reached the horizon.  Once the ship was out of sight, from the perspective of those who remained on land, the sailors were presumed dead.

Looking back at the early days of exploration when most people dared only to live in the physical spaces that they could actually see, we know now that the world does not end at the farthest point of visibility. So what do ya know, the world is round, there's more beyond the horizon, and better yet, gravity holds everything in place. Who knew!  Thanks to the 'entrepreneurial start ups' of the 14 and 1500's (no matter what history has or has not published about some of the famous explorers) we can look back and say 'hmmm, others have dared to dis-prove accepted notions as fact, why can't I leave my comfort zone to prove that there is more beyond my horizon as well.  What's stopping me from embarking on my own exploration? Just asking this question signals a readiness that you are at a point for a shift in thinking.  In fact, when you are able to make this shift, your brain also shifts. Each new experience helps to build new circuitry in the brain which supports your continued growth.

Coaching can bring you to new understandings of who you are, what you are capable of and what drives you forward.  As a matter of fact, if you were to look up the origin of the word, coach, you would find that it means a mode of transportation. A coach carries you from where you are and brings you to where you want to be.  If you are looking for a way to traverse the gap between what is and what could be, coaching is a great idea. Take the first step in charting your course by hiring a coach.

I have space available at Elleon Coaching. You can find me at my website, www.elleoncoaching.com or at Psychology Today, https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/205531 under Life Coaches. You can also contact me at elleoncoaching@gmail.com.