210.218.2075
egarland@soulnourishing.com

Gratitude

gratitude

TRIGGER WARNING:

Today is the one year anniversary of a life-changing day when I went on a date & it ended horribly wrong 5 hours later (restrained, dominated, beaten, humiliated, raped, injured).

What can I say about it except this has been the worst & best thing ever. Yes, worst than the gang rape & subsequent abortion from my youth. And best because of what doors it has allowed me to open along my continued spiritual & healing journey.

I awoke working on my gratitude list because it helps me when I am having a bad day. Today is not bad per se, but I have been tense & preoccupied. So this is what I wrote this morning. The picture is a water color I made over lunch with some really fun watercolor pencils.

GRATITUDE

I am grateful I have rapport skills & endurance as I made a connection & got away, worse for the wear but alive. That’s all that counts. Your opinion does not.

I am grateful that I consistently went to medical & health professionals for help. And am on the mend. It really hurt to have my ribs reset, I mean hurt like a bitch, & I was very angry at the drs who claimed they were fine when I demanded they look at them all along. But what matters now is that they are healing properly finally.

I am grateful to be able to do my deep breathing & yoga techniques again.

I am grateful for the most amazing & sincere group of supporters that have shown up this year. I just hope I can be there for you if you ever need to call on me.

I am grateful that now I recognize a true red flag vs my anxiety or random somatic responses around people. It’s not me, it really is/was you. Trusting my gut is like having my own K-9 companion from now on.

I am grateful I reported it, & it’s on file. May he will think twice about sexually abusing women in the future.

I am grateful I “got his badge”. He did not wear it well. Nor do some of the others like him or that protected him, but most do. So let’s keep integrity there on the police force shall we?

I am grateful for the negative comments, victim-shaming, shunning & name-calling I experienced. Less people for me to waste time, energy & money with.

I am grateful for the non-believers or folks that just could not handle the truth that this happens in their circles too. I hope you are kinder to others in the future.

I am grateful that someone I loved told me that I had “ruined that man’s life”, referring to the rapist. I am not sure if he was drunk, angry, jealous or all of the above, but I do realize he was simply referring to himself & how women had made him feel. However, his words were the knife that severed our codependent bond, because I finally had realized how little he thought of me.

I am grateful for those who reminded me how much they did love me.

I am grateful that I realized & accepted this incident in my life has to be more about my courage to speak out & help others, than about seeing the justice system protect victims, since the local DA politely informed me there was not enough physical evidence to waste tax-payer money on me. (After reviewing an incomplete list of my medical records).

I am grateful that I am now informing more people about civilian PTSD & the various causes of it. It is time for more compassion, education & resources.

I am grateful for NLP, grief work, therapy, prayer, energy work, self care & meditation, as it all helps recovery.

I am grateful for better living through chemistry when it is necessary. Uncritical acceptance. No judgments. Get out of crisis & back into managing your recovery & life.

I am grateful for walking, massage, yoga, chiropractors, functional neurology, swimming, green drinks, & reducing alcohol, caffeine & sugar as it transforms your mind & body.

I am grateful for music, dance, art, poetry, laughter, crying, yelling, smashing, writing, singing, gardening, & photography as they are all wonderful ways to express oneself.

I am grateful that I spent this year in celibacy & platonic friendships. By establishing & setting this boundary for myself, I was able to identify LOTS of narcissistic, psychopathic, unstable or manipulative men who were rude & disrespectful simply because I said “no thank you” to their advances. Seriously, stay on your white horse & ride away. No heroes need apply.

I am grateful for connecting, coffee & meals w friends, volunteering, networking, & working as it all gives purpose & joy.

I am grateful for truly understanding, identifying & sharing my WHY.

I am grateful for pets, large & small. They are the most amazing mobile & interactive coping skills out there. They bring you back to NOW with their furry kisses & nuzzling to sleep in a ball under your arm, reminding you & I that we are loved & accepted in every way.

I am grateful for this amazing basket of life lessons. Yes some fruit may go bad but most turn out tasty & so we sift through it all instead of giving up & going hungry.

I am grateful for juicy ripe peaches, that drip down my hand as I eat them on my sunny back porch.

I am grateful for the smiling faces & heart-felt hugs I share with my clients.

I am grateful for long soaks in the tub with lavender bath salts at the end of the day.

I am grateful for hummingbirds and butterflies that come to visit me in the garden, & remind me what Summer is all about.

I am grateful for knowing my worth & waking up to it every morning with a smile.

I am grateful for this reminder to love & celebrate myself, & have a life worth living. That can not be taken away from me. Ever.

Thank You.

Love, Betsey xo

 

 

 

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Invite Your Dragon to Tea

I was dealing with some potential embarrassment the other day; I had brunch with an older, wiser woman with whom I’d not had a heart to heart in a very long time. We were laying our recent personal growths & awareness points on the table from the last year or so, & I confessed to not only ending a relationship with a suspected addict in deep denial but facing my own issues about it all, addiction, denial, codependency, etc. etc. I had been working through it slowly & that was one of the reasons for the drifting apart. Her response in regards to him was the same as everyone else, “You mean you did not know?”

She knew. Apparently everyone else knew just from observation. No. That’s what I am talking about. I knew something was very, VERY wrong & very, VERY different, but I did not know. I did not know what his addiction was – maybe it was money, drugs, alcohol, sex, women, fame, work, who knows?! I knew, but I did not know. Perhaps I chose not to know? Maybe it was easier to join him on those fun days when we were totally there for each other in complete abandon & just not care about what was wrong, because after all, that is all he was around for. When it got rocky was when I asked too many questions or expected too much. After all, he wasn’t the first dysfunctional person with a habit that I’d met. We all have hang-ups. A good match is when you can accept not tolerate the other person. He seemed to function, until he did not. He seemed lucid, until he wasn’t. He was present, until he didn’t show up. He told the truth, until his lies or delusions were bigger. I don’t mean to sound like I am blaming or bashing him; I am to fault as well because obviously it takes two to tango & I let it happen. But what sucks about dancing with a partner like this is they blame you (me) for getting the steps wrong. And I’m a pretty good dancer.

Just like all the others before, I started to realize this wasn’t about me not measuring up, this was something I could not help with. These were demons that were older & bigger than me. I knew exactly what these looked like. My demons showed up from time to time, taunting me, teasing me, inviting me to just give in & be free & live life on my own fucking terms, who cares, right? But when I throw all caution to the wind, these crazy demons, man, they are like dragons without reins & they’ll take you on a ride for your life! The trick to taming your dragon is learning how to rein it in & manage it, on your own terms. Respect it, so it will respect you. Understand why it behaves in such a way, so you can nurture it properly & master it, instead of having it act like a defiant child overtaking the classroom. Yes, I am referring to our Shadow side; our demons, dragons, Bete Noir, we all have a dark beast to feed within our selves.

Invite your dragon to tea & make peace with it. There is a reason it wants your attention. One cannot deny this side of Self; the trick is to acknowledge it is there because if you repress it, it will be your demise. It will make you sick. Bring it out into the Light & you heal. So, when I recognized mine, I continued to heal. And others shrank back, their dragons howling & flapping with them, unable to deal with that. Not everybody can handle someone outgrowing them.

And which He am I really referring to anyway? It could be any of them. So I laugh when somebody says “Oh your poor girl, you’ve had such bad luck with men!” I laugh because I think to myself, “Are you kidding me? I am so lucky!”

And so all this was going on inside my head as I looked up & across the table at my brunch companion & said, “It took me awhile but I finally woke up”. She nodded in affirmation & we both sipped our tea in silence.

Yes. I woke up & realized my worth, & in the process, tamed my dragon.

 

In love & light,

Elizabeth Garland,

Founder of Soul Nourishing, LLC

www.soulnourishing.com

Copyright 2011-2015

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Growing Up With PTSD

I have it. For years I wished I didn’t, but I do. It’s been with me for 30 years now. I have Complex PTSD. I got it due to child abuse, domestic violence, & sexual assault throughout my lifetime. Depression & anxiety developed after not taking care of myself properly for 15 years. I was self-medicating with drugs & alcohol, acting out, having failed relationships, & becoming a workaholic. Once I got treatment to get out of crisis, I learned coping skills, better boundaries, & how to communicate with others. I was never in a hospital. I was not violent. I was just sad, unmotivated, unable to concentrate.

Recovery did not happen overnight. I had to work hard to learn how to manage my recovery, to not numb out, to create a healthy lifestyle. Yet I was still filled with shame, shame from my past. And I still had so much grief from past & current loss at that time in my life. And so I would not talk about it much, only in little bits or privately if I felt safe. If I had a bad day (or more!), some people would judge me based on that snippet & act like that was who I was. These were not people who knew, loved & accepted me, but people who did not understand nor cared to. As I became more self-aware & advocated for my own wellness, I began making much better choices in my health, my stress management, my relationships, my time, my finances. I soon realized it was a unique blend of both allopathic & holistic health that was helping me along my journey to joy; one was not successful without the other.

As I continued along my spiritual, emotional & physical healing journey, I began to talk about what happened. All of it. And I allowed myself to be vulnerable & ask for help. As I got better people were making me feel bad about my story, telling me to be quiet, or criticizing me for not being perfect. It was like nailing boards over the bathroom door when the plumbing needs to be fixed; don’t go in there! But that was about them, not me. One day the pipes burst & there I was surrounded by water, no way to hide my shame. But here’s the weird thing, I finally accepted it. It was time to call a plumber. And then I was OK with it. I am perfectly imperfect. I love myself.

I now consider myself as having PTG, Post-Traumatic Growth. And I am stronger for it. I am so grateful for those I have met who have shown compassion & uncritical acceptance. In return, I have done the same for them. I have been coaching for 4 years, helping others to find their journey to joy. I have also been sowing seeds for the future & it is time to begin helping our dreams bloom. We are moving forward in our startup of a holistic wellness center for trauma aftercare! Please help us help others.

Thank you in advance! http://www.gofundme.com/soulnourishing

 

In love and light, Betsey Elizabeth Garland, M.S., CPLC, MNLP, CGRS, ICF Member

Founder and Personal Development Coach with Soul Nourishing, LLC

www.soulnourishing.com

Copyright 2015 Soul Nourishing

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Women in the Workforce

Women in the Workforce

If you were watching the 2015 Oscars you may have jumped up with a few of us when Patricia Arquette spoke of fair wages for women. Since March 8th is International Women’s Day, I thought it was fitting to highlight the issue of women in the workforce since it can be both a sore spot as well as something to celebrate.

What are the critical issues?

Here is a podcast from a past Diane Rehm Show in 2011:

http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2011-03-24/women-work-force-critical-issues

Here is a link to explain better the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that they mention.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilly_Ledbetter_Fair_Pay_Act_of_2009

One point that was made during the show was the life/work balance being skewed because of the assumptions made by employers regarding the lifestyle choices regarding men & women. What are your thoughts about salary disparity?

On the flipside, better awareness of this topic allows for those striving to make a difference to do so. Check this out, recently, local ladies make strides in STEM companies! http://www.siliconhillsnews.com/2015/03/02/seven-women-run-tech-startups-in-san-antonio-to-watch/

How can you help?

Support a business that employs women or is owned by a woman! I personally support lots of small & independent businesses, many of which are owned by women. Over several generations many women in my family have gone from not working & raising families, to doing both, or choosing to have a career & no family. It is their choice!

Ask women what they want!

Although both of my grandfathers were entrepreneurs, I am the first female in the family that I am aware of who decided to follow their footsteps & take this bold leap to run my own business. Others may have wanted to before & did not get the opportunity. I am so grateful for the choices we have! Let’s continue to ensure that more opportunities exist for more women … for education, for jobs, & create families of their choice!

I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Kind regards,

Elizabeth Garland, M.S., CPLC, MNLP, CGRS

Founder and Personal Development Coach with Soul Nourishing, LLC

www.soulnourishing.com

Copyright 2015 Soul Nourishing

 

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Beautiful Wish

Beautiful Wish

An original poem by Elizabeth Garland

Beautiful One who sits next to me, young & pregnant with your swollen belly, I wish I could wrap you in my arms & lay your head upon my lap, & soothe your troubles away as I sing you a song, telling you that it will be alright.

Beautiful One who sits in the back, insecure & overweight, wanting someone to talk to day & night, I wish I could share coffee with you each week & we could laugh like good friends over dark secrets that only we know about each other.

Beautiful One who sits there at my foot of the bed & greets me at the gate every time I come home, I wish I could bring you a juicy T-bone every week & go on long walks every day & I promise to do better because you make me better too! I bet you wish for this too!

Beautiful One who sits there silently daily, perfectly groomed with well-manicured hands and an expensive suit, I wish I could discover what fantasies you are hiding beneath that polished veneer of lacquer & varnish that you are too afraid that others will reject you for.

Beautiful One who sits laughing & has a smile for everyone, I wish I could smile back to you more often & be like you & express my gratitude for your everlasting inspiration & joy; apparently it only exists in infants or the aged but I aspire to model you!

Beautiful One who sits alone at night & feels like they have nothing to live for, I wish you knew how loved you are & how much we would miss you; please don’t give up. I wish you would call someone.

Beautiful One who sits next to me at church with the lovely arms & the tattoo that constantly is changing, please pardon my stares but I am mesmerized by this art form you have chosen to express upon your body & I am too afraid to do; I wish I were as brave as you!

Beautiful One who sits there alone in the diner, crying at love songs & sharing amazing stories of “how we met” & holding small children on your knee, I wish I could share in your legacy & be able to celebrate that type of love someday too.

Beautiful One who sits across the table from me with piercing in your face, blue dyed hair & a stunning black leather jacket, I wish I could hear more of the amazing poetry that pours out of your soul every time you speak & I wish that others have the opportunity to do so too!

Beautiful One who sits in front of your house every day watching nothing & everything, I wish you would wave back one of these days when I walk by; I’ll keep trying to connect with you.

Beautiful One who sits at your desk faithfully & always has something to say to me, I wish you knew how much you are appreciated. Thank you!

Beautiful One who sits across from me in the mirror, facing a new day with new challenges & triumphs, I wish you to know how very proud I am of you & how much I love you!

Happy Valentine’s Day, My Beautiful Ones!

Copyright 2015 Elizabeth Garland

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Big Sister Talk

Big Sister Talk is a monthly Meet Up progressive group that is a sisterhood & siblinghood. It is available for the straight & LBGT-friendly, male & female community with Goddess energies. We want to offer support to one another & provide a safe place to discuss women’s issues. We will meet monthly at the location below. Please be respectful of one another’s views. The topics will change each month and we’ll discuss how to support what individuals are going through in the moment. Love donations gratefully accepted. None turned away.

Join us on these dates: Saturday’s 10am – 11am Jan. 3rd, Feb. 7th, Mar. 7th, April 4th, May 1st,

Looking forward to seeing you at our coffee klatch spot at La Madeline, in Northwoods Shopping Plaza, at S. Hwy. 281 N. & Loop 1604.

La Madeline is located at 18030 U.S. Hwy. 281 N., Suite 201,  San Antonio, TX

We have also have Big Sister Talk on FB. Please join us! https://www.facebook.com/BigSisterTalk

In love and light,

Betsey xo

Elizabeth Garland, M.S., MNLP, CPLC, CGRS

Big Sister Talk Meet Up Facilitator

Soul Nourishing Founder & Personal Development Coach

www.soulnourishing.com

210.218.2075

Copyright 2015 Soul Nourishing, LLC

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Soul Nourishing Support of Self (SOS): Self-Care Planners

Join my next Soul Nourishing Support of Self (SOS) on Self-Care Planners. No, this is not your brother’s keeper or a caregiver deal. It’s about learning how to schedule some much needed TLC for yourself each & every day. Every single person I have worked with or spoken to slips up on this, myself included. But it is one of the keys to our success for wellness, no matter what you are dealing with!

You’ll get a worksheet to begin filling out & take home with you. We’ll discuss Soul Nourishing Self-Care Tips & how you can begin to handle daily stress better with more self-compassion. You are worth it!

Please join us at Mon. Jan. 19th at 6:45pm to mingle and the discussion will be from 7-8pm. Please note the front door of the office building may be locked for security so please register & come early. Free meeting but love donations accepted.

Preregister with this link: http://www.meetup.com/Soul-Nourishing/events/219538021/

I look forward to meeting you! 210.218.2075 or egarland@soulnourishing.com.

In love and light, Betsey
Elizabeth Garland, M.S., CPLC, MNLP, GRS

Founder & Personal Development Coach of Soul Nourishing, LLC

MeetUp Facilitator of SOS, Support of Self

www.soulnourishing.com

210.218.2075

Copyright 2015 Soul Nourishing, LLC

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Workshop: Meditate, Celebrate, Create!

Join Elizabeth (Betsey) Garland, Founder & Personal Development Coach of Soul Nourishing, LLC in a morning meditation as we celebrate where our journey has taken us up to this moment, and open to the joy that awaits us. As we release what no longer serves us, we create the space for new visions, desires and dreams. Bring your endings as we’ll cast and ignite them into the fire pit, and then bring to life what you would like to manifest in your unique vision board. As we celebrate over brunch, we create new beginnings! Join us!

  • Saturday, January 24, 2014
  • 9:00-12:00 PM
  • $45 (includes continental breakfast & vision board supplies)
  • Pre-Registration Required. http://www.meetup.com/Soul-Nourishing/events/219538876/
  • (Must be paid in advance to ensure enough items are purchased. Sorry, no walk-ins.)
  • NOTE – this location has pets.

What is a Vision Board?

A vision board is a poster board of images/symbols/words that represent who you want to be, what you want to obtain, where you want to live, your ideal job, a life change, etc. There are multiple options of how to design & decorate them, what is most important is that each one is unique for the person & purpose for which it was created. The idea is that by surrounding yourself with images that match your desires, you can bring clarity and manifestation into a reality.

We’ve had great success with clients that create them each year. Looking forward to seeing you at this next gathering!

In love & light, Betsey xo

Elizabeth Garland, M.S., CPLC, MNLP, CGRS

Founder & Personal Development Coach with Soul Nourishing, LLC

www.soulnourishing.com

Soul Nourishing MeetUp, Classes & Workshop Facilitator

Copyright 2015 Soul Nourishing, LLC

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Happy New Year 2015

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Take a moment to reflect on how you would describe 2014 & how do you intend to move forward into 2015?

For me, 2014 was a year that I felt “stripped bare”. I made conscious decisions regarding my business as an entrepreneur jumping in fulltime. I made changes in personal relationships & boundaries. I had health issues, as did loved ones I cared for. There are some folks who still owe me lots of money, some of which I may never see. Yes, I suffered losses. However, I most definitely celebrated my gains & I continued to grow. But I honestly had no idea that by staying open to Seek My Truth, which is what I clung to all year, I would “feel” stripped right down to the bone.

Maybe I would respond differently if it wasn’t raining & miserably cold out? Or perhaps if I had not caught a cold? Maybe I overextended myself? Allowed too many emotional vampires & judges inside my inner circle? Were my expectations of self & others too high? Simply chalk it all up to lessons learned. My inner critic was now doubting my inner heart. What a wretched game!

But I trust my heart. I walked into 2014 with the intent of opening my eyes & heart, seeking truth and in doing so, found My Truth & begun the removal process. I think it IS an apt summation that the removal of material things, trappings, systems, technology, acquaintances, behaviors, beliefs, etc. etc. that no longer serve my highest good have left me bare, allowing me to be selective about what I add back into my life. That is exactly what needed to happen.

In appreciation & honor of that observation, I intend to move into 2015 wrapped in what only soothes and nourishes my heart, mind, body & soul. These are: good & healthy relationships that promote healing, foster respect & support one another’s endeavors; food that honors my personal choices; activities that are in full alignment with my heart & stimulate my mind, body & soul; technology & organized systems for the home & office that work best for me; & spiritual groups that share my beliefs.

By wrapping myself in these things, I love myself more & create a fresh mindset with which to walk into the new year with. With a fresher mindset I am once again open to new ideas for professional & personal opportunities, while operating with maximum self-compassion. It works!

The visual anchor I selected for this is fur, as in a “bear skin”. Some of you probably thought of Jeremiah Johnson, Robert Redford’s mountain man, & you are not too far off, but for my sake I found a Russian looking woman in a fur & woolen outfit. I don’t think she’s going to split wood or hunt fish in this dress, but she looks mighty warm. And that raptor can find supper if the horse doesn’t know where the lodge is. This archetype will do fine because this image is not just about clothing; it is about self-reliance without it killing you. It needs to sustain & nurture you, recognizing resources you need to add along the way. One must be strong enough to endure the external & internal challenges that we meet along our journey, enough to say “What troubles?” and mean it.

So as I reread my list, I imagined honoring my path & wrapping my “bareness” with layers of warm, thick, protective “bear skin”, creating a protective garment against the harsh environment we’ll call Winter & the Woods, with all of the good & the bad. I enjoyed my simple meal, relishing in its warmth, & appreciating the nice internal glow in my belly & the knowledge that I have enough.

Yes. What troubles? Bring on the new year! I’m ready.

 

So, have you decided on your personal or professional plan for improvement yet?

I’d be happy to help you with that! I have been working with lots of clients throughout December helping them get on track for 2015. Please contact me to book your personal session for January.

Please fill out this form to begin! http://soulnourishing.com/soul-nourishing-client-interactive/

 

In love and light, Betsey

Elizabeth Garland, M.S., CPLC, MNLP, CGRS

Founder and Personal Development Coach with Soul Nourishing, LLC

www.soulnourishing.com

Copyright 2015 Soul Nourishing

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Managing Stress Holistically

I was invited to teach my Stress Management class to a group of case managers a few months ago. I have to admit, it was a thrilling moment for me. What I learned from this select group was that although they had some really unhealthy behavior patterns, they realized it themselves that afternoon in the class. Following up with them a couple months later I was pleased to discover that several were following the strategies discussed and felt a decrease in their stress. As role models, I think this is a tremendous win for all, because if the case managers feel good, they will manage their daily tasks better and this will impact their clients and peers.

Everyone has stress, it is not biased to one career path. Let’s be real – we ALL have some bad habits we would like some help with. We simply need an accountability partner to help us reach our goals; so it’s good to begin identifying what they are. And some folks have actually accepted that stress is a way of life, which it does not have to be. When you begin to recognize that you have a choice, you begin to make better choices. I’d love to help you do that! The first step is to look at what are you doing, see if it is or is not working, and then discuss how options may fit into your life.

How do you currently manage your stress? I ask all clients and students this question. The responses will vary from, “Happy hour”,  “Golf”, “Yoga”, “Watching TV”, “Sex”, “Dancing”, “Family”, & “Night out with friends”. But generally they aren’t a very long list. My clients are adults and most people aren’t shy about admitting they drink to relax. Some do use exercise or other coping skills. A few will mention other people such as their friends, family or loved ones. The response of sex usually brings some laughter to the room, as it should, because any healthy adult would be enjoying consensual sex.

This is when I remind everyone that all of their responses are OK. And ask them to consider these alternate choices as well:

  • Good Nutrition
  • Cooking Classes
  • Walking
  • Running Clubs
  • Adventure Clubs
  • Dancing Classes
  • Quality Time with Pets
  • Crafting
  • Hobbies
  • Book Club
  • Swimming
  • Painting
  • Gardening
  • Massage
  • Thai Yoga
  • Yoga (whether it is Hatha, Bikram, Kundalini, Yoga Nidra or any other type)
  • Thai Chi
  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Essential Oils
  • Learning a Musical Instrument
  • Singing
  • Enjoying Live Music
  • Laugh – A lot!
  • Spiritual Centers
  • Community Volunteering

I could go on and on, but I think you get a general idea from this list. We have some discussion points about the different items listed above and what is in their local area, have they ever participated in anything like that, has it helped with stress, lifted their mood, etc.

What happens is most people begin to remember the things they forgot about as choices, and for some they have new choices to begin using now in their daily life as new coping tools. Find something on the list and ask a friend to do it with you this week!

These are simple things we can do for each other. They do not require medication, it does not have to be expensive and it brings so much joy and peace to our collective world.

Won’t you try it for yourself? Please let me know how you do in the comments below.

In love and light,

Betsey

Elizabeth Garland, M.S., CPLC, MNLP, CGRS, ICF Member

Founder and Personal Development Coach with Soul Nourishing, LLC

www.soulnourishing.com

Copyright 2014-2015 Soul Nourishing

 

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The Glass Menagerie

A review of the play & hypothetical client case study.

I attended Trinity Theatre’s current presentation of The Glass Menagerie last night. Tennessee Williams wrote the original play in 1944, based on strong autobiographical elements. Having similar life experiences, I was quite intrigued to see it for myself. I walked into it knowing it had something to do with a dysfunctional family & perception of events. I also hold several coaching certifications, so I wanted to observe the play last night & then think about it from a coaching/client perspective this morning. How would I handle someone like that? Would I even take on such a client or make a referral? Before I begin, I must say, in comparison, it was a nice reminder to me of how much progress my family has made over the years in communication, boundaries, respect & education regarding mental health, disability rights, etc. We are doing great!

PLEASE NOTE – This is just my perspective (tongue in cheek) & the entire play is about perspective. So, I invite you to check it out & experience it for yourself & form your own opinion about these characters & what’s going on between them. There is so much to learn from this tale. This may be a spoiler alert. Let the games begin!

The cast did a wonderful job with this script. It was a one scene stage but our imagination was transported away with the lighting, music, their props & costumes, but most importantly the way they interacted with one another and presented the material. As I looked around & listened, everyone in the audience truly got involved in the story. The setting was St. Louis 1937.

The mother, Amanda:

PLAY: Amanda was so realistic with her screaming, she set off so many triggers for my sister & I, we simply had to laugh about it afterwards. She was a concerned yet manipulative Christian mother who was really a Scarlett O’Hara who really wanted everything to be about her & her ultimate welfare. If she had only asked what her children had wanted for themselves instead of plotting it for them, or just gone out & looked out for her own happiness & just been a good role model, her plans would not have backfired so drastically. However, yelling, punishing & guilt in the name of protecting her loved ones seemed to be the behavior traits that she knows.

CLIENT: I’ve met several people like this personally & professionally. I say person because it is not always a “controlling mother”. I have learned from experience that Change occurs when we have the Triple A’s in place: Awareness, Acceptance & Action. This person is either stuck in the blame game, where they honestly believe it is not their fault, or they are so focused on fixing everyone else, they just don’t have time to fix their own life; either way, they may not be Aware, & without that, they cannot Accept responsibility for their current emotions or actions, & thus begin to take control of their life. Most of the time this is a good referral to my therapy friends due to this level of anger & manipulation going on, but at a lower/calmer degree this can be a great coaching client who just needs some redirection, perspective shifts & reframes to help him/her to get out of the co-dependent relationships they are in.

Laura, the extremely shy & disabled daughter:

PLAY: I found Laura quite interesting. Every time she had attempted to do something with her life & she had hit a small obstacle or failure, she took it personally or made a mountain out of a molehill (most likely mimicking her mother) & she immediately quit & hide, never attempting again. This did not allow for her to succeed, & instead of taking responsibility for herself, or her decisions, she deceived her family by not telling the truth, which is in itself a manipulation & a personal/professional choice which snowballed on her. It’s quite sad really, the family continually enabling her to be sickly & cared for, & she was continually hiding from the world. The symbol of the fabled glass unicorn with the broken horn was perfect for her because it is fragile & nonexistent and yet … once treated poorly, easily shattered. Her gentleman caller, Jim, was correct in calling her out on low self-esteem (most likely due to her over bearing mother) and she was really blossoming with his attention. She gave it to Jim so he would remember her, much like her mother’s photograph had been found with one of her many widowed suitors. At the end it seems we are left knowing Laura is trapped in a world from which she will never break free from because she feels safe there by choice.

CLIENT: Laura is a perfect coaching client! However, she needs to take ACTION!! She just needs to get the courage to walk out of the house & into my office or pick up the phone & call. If she had the secret desire to go to the museum, the park or the zoo, then we know she can do it when she gets away from her mother! She wants a better life for herself AND it is not being a unicorn or a typist! Call me Laura, please! 210-218-2075!! Break free, sister!

Jim, the gentleman caller:

PLAY: Jim was actually a high school friend of Laura’s & someone she had been in-love with secretly, back in the day. What are the odds? Well, her brother Tom knew! This is why he had invited him to dinner! However, Tom never told him that he was coming to dinner to meet a lady & Jim never disclosed that he was engaged, so it gets a wee bit squirrely … especially when Jim & Laura hit it off & share a lip lock! The deception gets deeper & deeper with these people. Poor Betty! Oh, the humanity! The audience loved it!

CLIENT: Jim has actually been taking classes in public speaking and is studying television & radio, so my guess is he plans to be a huge communications major or famous life coach of some sort. He is practically coaching while on stage! If he needs coaching, it is in one of two things, professional development or possibly relationship coaching down the road if he keeps smooching other ladies. Have I helped someone like Jim? I have assisted many professionals as they are going through life transitions. I’d be happy to share a cup of coffee with him & discuss it. I do follow a “no kissing” policy with clients, though. Sorry, Jim.

Tom, the disgruntled son & brother:

PLAY: Tom was working in a factory but was really a poet and had the soul of an adventurer was also the narrator & main character of our stage production. He felt trapped in this tiny apartment, taking care of his family & wished for a better life for himself, BUT not necessarily for his family. He kept going to the “movies” at night to escape his ho hum daily life, but we suspect he is up to no good during this time (hints of alcohol or drugs). Upon his mother’s request, he goes along with a plan to introduce her to a man to wed, so he can escape, as he secretly wishes to abandon them all & be free like his Father. He has a personal struggle between standing up for himself and establishing boundaries, & living his own adventurous life as a merchant marine. He eventually does disappear, only to be haunted by the memory of the sister that he abandoned. With guilt like that, how can anyone ever enjoy happiness, even after they find it? Tom never does.

CLIENT: Tom is the perfect grief recovery program client. Unresolved, complex grief may lead to depression and he could be self-medicating, so the time to act is now. Tom has also hit all of the triple A’s of Change (he is so ready – he is jumping on a dang boat to go around the world)! So it would be a bonus for him & his family to work with him as he would not have to join the merchant marine & escape his misery to find happiness. Instead, all he’d have to do is take a 7- week course. Tom, you may find me at www.soulnourishing.com. Let’s put some sunshine back into your life!

The absent Father:

PLAY: The Father who “worked for the telephone company and fell in love with long distance” was probably one of the best jokes and yet the saddest throughout the play. He continued to “show up” as needed. He did figure out the magic trick of how to get out of a nailed coffin without removing a nail. The question was posed to the audience by the son during one of his drunken stupors. One wonders if the Father too has been haunted by the memories of his children that he chose to abandon. I am sure he was, but we never got an answer. Nobody got away clean in this tale of memory & morality.

CLIENT: I can work with clients remotely via the telephone, Face Time, Skype or Google Chat if you are unable to meet face to face. However, not all programs allow this option, so please discuss before enrolling.

***************

Many thanks again to Trinity Theatre for providing tickets so that I may be able to write about this play! I asked my group some questions directly afterwards about their perception on the play. Everyone enjoyed it, despite the heavy subject matter & the unknown burping audience member. *LOL*  Maybe it was just the Vitrola? The play was not meant to be satire, but humor is one of my coping mechanisms. There were moments of levity in the script too, to create laughter, & lots of time for self-reflection &/or time to consider how may I improve how I interact with others in my own life? I think the best take home message I thought of early this morning was “Perhaps I can allow others to take care of themselves instead of trying to make things happen my way.”

I strongly encourage you to attend for yourself & see this wonderful play during the remainder of their dates! Just $10. Cash or check. Located at 715 Stadium Drive in the Ruth Taylor Theatre Building. Support the local arts!

Wednesday Oct. 8th, 7pm

Thursday Oct. 9th, 7pm

Friday Oct. 10th, 8pm

Saturday Oct. 11th, 8pm

Details:

http://new.trinity.edu/academics/departments/human-communication-and-theatre/theatre/current-season

I would love to hear what you come up with after watching this play. If you do, feel free to comment below.

In love & light,

Betsey

Elizabeth Garland, M.S., CPLC, MNLP, CGRS

Founder and Personal Development Coach with Soul Nourishing, LLC

www.soulnourishing.com

Copyright 2014 Soul Nourishing

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Slowing Down & Saying No

  I had unexpected surgery lately. I’ve been wanting to jump back up into the saddle & be my old self, have my old routine, but my body just is not allowing it, & luckily for me, a supportive group of friends & volunteers are gently reminding me to slow down too.

Slow down. Listen to your body. Pay attention to the signs. Learn to say no so you can say yes to the right thing later. What’s the rush?

  I know they are right. And they love me. In fact, being as stubborn as I am, it is easier for me to see this trait in another than to admit in myself. But isn’t that true of everyone? One or two individuals were trying to help me & literally falling asleep on their feet, working nonstop, making bad decisions, & that’s when I had to step in & say to them:

 Slow down. Listen to your body. Pay attention to the signs. Learn to say no so you can say yes to the right thing later. What’s the rush?

  This massive change of pace has given me time to rest. I could not clean the garage, drive the car, lift heavy files, focus on too many details for too long due to the medication & pain I was in (thankfully weaned off that stuff!). But I still am healing & processing. As I do this, the same mantra keeps repeating:

Slow down. Listen to your body. Pay attention to the signs. Learn to say no so you can say yes to the right thing later. What’s the rush?

And then it dawns on me. The hurried rush was Ego. Ego is always in such a hurry, wanting everything yesterday & needing attention to boost self-esteem. So, once I acknowledge that Ego is like a puppy needing a chew toy, I can calmly go about my healing meditation, relax & make proper choices.

Slow down. Listen to your body. Pay attention to the signs. Learn to say no so you can say yes to the right thing later. There is no rush.

Blessings!

In love & light,

Betsey

Elizabeth Garland, M.S., CPLC, MNLP, CGRS

Founder and Personal Development Coach with Soul Nourishing, LLC

www.soulnourishing.com

Copyright 2014 Soul Nourishing

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How to Survive Holiday Plans Gone Wrong

Holidays & vacations are supposed to be all smiles & fun & good times, but sometimes they blow up in your face. Just being real. That’s how it happens when someone is dealing with a physical illness, emotional issues, an addiction, unmet expectations, work stress, financial worries, or other big stressors. So, just like you, having had my share of celebrations that have gone really, really well & everyone is giddy with excitement, the photo album is bursting with excellent mementos to browse over & we’ve got stories galore to share & laugh over for centuries. And then we have those occasions that failed miserably like a firework rocket that did not just tip over, but exploded into the crowd & we are all ducking for cover into the nearest hydrangea bush or under a picnic table, trying to avoid the tongue lashing that poisons the entire party worse than spoiled potato salad. Sometimes it happens within the same day, with the same crowd! Sometimes it is not at a party & only happens over the phone, by email or text. But the end result is the same … there is carnage, it is shocking & super exhausting; & you end up not trusting how to act around the emotional time bombs for quite a long time until they get themselves under control.

Here are some survival strategies that I have learned:

1. First, own up. If you are the emotional time bomb, figure it out quickly & diffuse your own triggers. Nobody can do that for you. Once you can stop blowing up or reacting, you will be able to communicate in a more rationale, mature manner that will be received. This may mean giving yourself a timeout.

2. If someone else is the emotional time bomb, don’t take it personally, even if it is directed at you. This person is trying to communicate … but badly. It is their responsibility to manage themselves. Just recognize it. Don’t try to fix them. Especially family. Seriously. You’ve been warned.  😉

3. Practice wearing “giraffe ears” while engaging in compassionate listening. By doing this, you are able to hear everything the person is talking about, but from a perspective ‘above’ the conversation & not the direct target. Without the sting of the barb, we are able to apply empathy & compassion better, relating more to the other person & not get so caught up in the “ouch you are hurting me” aspect. How is this different than below, face-to-face, getting pummeled? Better? Worse? Indifferent? Are you able to learn something new?

4. Communication takes practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. You will do this until you die & never master it so stop thinking you are a pro.

5. Establish healthy boundaries for yourself. Take care of yourself first. Pardon my language, but it is complete b.s. if someone tells you that you have to put up with verbal or emotional abuse just because “it’s family”, or “they are sick”, whatever the excuse du jour is. Bad behavior is bad behavior, no excuse. I am also going to suggest a reframe on the word ‘boundary’ as some folks use it as wall, fence or barrier, when in fact it merely implies “healthy space” such as appropriate space between bodies, appropriate language, appropriate behavior between folks at work, appropriate distance to cool off emotions, etc. What is appropriate for you may be different than what another person defines, so again this must be communicated if you expect it to be respected & observed. Boundaries don’t change or go away just because someone is being nice or used as punishment. Boundaries should be respected all of the time.

6. Adult time outs. These aren’t just for children, everyone needs a chance to cool off & gather their thoughts. Use it constructively instead of plotting revenge or pouting. Meditate. Take a nap. Pet the dog or cat. Go for a walk. Tell knock-knock jokes with your kids. Read a book. Do yoga. Drink a glass of water or red wine. Go on Facebook & read something funny. Pull weeds. Take your mind off the problem at hand so you can calm down & redirect with some fresh perspective. Seriously, it works to take a small break & then come back refreshed & continue a conversation in an upbeat manner. If you come back in the ring swinging, determined to fight, you only lose the match, because nobody will engage with you a second time, or worse, you might just knocked out.

7. Know that you may not like or accept their bad behavior, but you will always love them in some way. This is what unconditional love is. If more people actually practiced this, others would not be afraid to open up & talk to one another willingly, without violence, threats,  manipulation or lies. They would know & trust that they were loved & accepted as a person, & separate from their behavior. Behavior modification is a personal choice. If you are being impacted by someone else’s poor choices, then make your own choice to talk to them about it (another time if that was part of the original problem), or remove yourself from their space. Loving someone & allowing someone to continue to hurt you are not the same thing. You may need to ask for help in modifying your own behavior first, set boundaries & remember self worth.

8. Don’t be afraid to be alone. You can still have a great time by yourself, wherever you are, & sometimes enjoy it more without the chaotic drama! I had an incredible time in on a Nevada trip a few years ago post divorce AFTER I realized I did not have to spend it with the group I had traveled there to meet. Sometimes, you just need to have the courage to say goodbye & do your own thing.

9. Be flexible. Don’t blame others that your plans are ruined. Life is what happens while you are making the plans. It just might be time to step outside of your box that you are controlling the world from. If you have such a rigid nature that nothing can change or you don’t learn how to roll with the punches, you may be disappointed by every little thing & every person in daily life. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember it’s all small stuff. Life is easier once you let go a little.

10. Find something to be grateful for. Perhaps it is a child’s laugh, your dog’s happy dance, a new nail polish, your best friend’s hug, an exotic flower, a piece of water melon, or simply the smell of bacon. Find gratitude even in a disappointment, because when we learn a life lesson we can say “thank you for teaching me this lesson I don’t want to repeat!” It doesn’t take much. Practice gratitude, smile & go on! The polka band is calling you & the sun is warm today!

Love, Betsey xo

Elizabeth Garland, M.S., CPLC, MNLP, CGRS

Founder and Personal Development Coach with Soul Nourishing, LLC

www.soulnourishing.com

Copyright 2014 Soul Nourishing

 

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Childless & Still A Mommy?

For many years I waited for my day to come. My day to say with pride and joy that it was my turn to fall in love, to get married, to conceive, to have the baby shower, to lovingly hold a newborn and wash it in the sink, to hold the little one's hand and walk them into school on their first day of school, to kiss their boo boo when they hurt their knee riding their bike, to scold them when they did something wrong, to hug them so tight they wanted to run away and wipe off my cooties, to help them with their homework and wonder where my brain cells went, to watch them in school plays, to wait up for them to come home from a date, to speak to them softly on the telephone and listen to their accomplishments in college, and I could simply go on and on about what I imagined motherhood was supposed to be like. But it did not happen like that for me. Nor for hundreds or thousands or millions of others of you.

Instead my one chance at conception was a gang rape that I was so traumatized and shamed by, the only thought process I had at the time was to end the pregnancy so quickly and quietly so I could move on with my life and go off to college and make something of myself. It took me 5 years, therapy and immense courage to be able to tell my family what had happened previously. Much to my surprise they seemed supportive. "We understand your situation." But they did not, as for most of my life I heard this second line whenever I would mentioned the desire for a husband or a child, "You chose a career over family." It still shocks me to this day when I hear it because in all reality I was never given that choice. Believe me, nobody offered me two pills and said "The red pill is a happy nuclear family guaranteed to stay together, and the blue pill is a career guaranteed to provide you money to pay all of your bills." Neither has happened in any of our lives and it boggles my mind that this is still the odd logic that some people use as a way of making themselves feeling better or in an attempt to criticize me for a choice regarding my body, education, career, motherhood, marriage or divorce. Apparently the people I chose to spend time with did not want children, and I became infertile the older I got and later had to have a hysterectomy. There is no crystal ball to forecast these things. I've heard it all "You can adopt still." "Find a guy that has kids." "Be a Big Sister." I finally faced My Truth – I still believed in the dream of Family. There's nothing wrong with that.

I also began celebrating how I had been a "mother" in many different ways. How have you created, nurtured or mentored another life? My life has been full and diverse with many different animals for over 45 years; never a dull moment and always something to clean up! I've been an auntie to many children of friends and foster children. I've been surrounded by hundreds of school children due to different Career Day opportunities over the years, so I have lots of photos, hand drawn pictures and notes on my walls at home just like you. I reflect on the many kids I babysat and now they have kids – oh my! I've been fortunate enough to embrace many different creative projects and consider them my children, good and bad! As a team lead or staff manager, when I see photos of employees I worked with or hear their name, I still hold a certain fondness and consider them family. I've learned to use my stern teacher voice when setting rules and turn on a soft and bedtime story reading voice when calming someone down. I've felt "pregnant" with new opportunities and ideas as an entrepreneur and community volunteer, and witnessed them come to fruition, knowing full well that they were beneficial and well-received. I've also sat with an open heart listening to a friend pouring their soul out with the coffee or the wine well into the night, letting them know they are not alone.

Being a "Mother" or "Grandmother" may come as a biological gift to some of you, but I believe there is a bit of magic in all of us that allows us to create and nurture. This is not gender-specific, nor does one need to have small humans in their household to qualify. I think it is an awareness of being responsible for or Loving Something Beyond Ourselves. Perhaps I am merely romanticizing this concept, but I see it in all of you and so I wish you all a very Happy Mother's Day to you and yours!

Love, Betsey xo

Elizabeth Garland, M.S., CPLC, MNLP, CGRS

Founder and Personal Development Coach with Soul Nourishing, LLC

www.soulnourishing.com

Copyright 2014 Soul Nourishing

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Practice Makes Perfect

Everyone is talking about goals right now, or perhaps just the folks I am around. I've heard from more than a few people how they need to become more "disciplined" in order to improve their lives. Other people are complaining and beginning to "resent" these "obligations" they've imposed on themselves. Why so much conflict over personal growth? I suggest replacing the word "practice" for the word “discipline”. It is kinder, gentler and for some may have a more healing or spiritual tone to it. When one realizes with self-compassion that they are accountable only to themselves to show up daily to do whatever it is they want to improve for themselves – they do it.

For example:  If I want to lose weight so I can feel better, look good and fit into my pants, eventually I do one of two things – begin to meet some wellness goals regarding food and exercise, or go buy new pants. However, if my financial goal was to avoid spending money on clothes, then I have another conflict and have to be accountable to that. Is it more rewarding to eat the hamburger and fries, sit on the couch and buy new pants? or is it more rewarding to eat the apple, go exercise and fit into my existing clothes? Powerful and connected choices to be aware of. More importantly, WHY did I establish a wellness and a financial goal in the first place? I am taking personal responsibility for myself today and in the future. There is no family or corporate structure to depend on for these. As a single woman, it is vital to do this for myself. Ignoring it is not an option, but facing it does not need feared; resources such as compassion, creativity and coaching help. Yes, knowledge and direction from experts in Health and Wellness, Exercise, Business, Finance, etc. We all may need coaches at different times in our lives when we are ready for positive growth!

I do what I can to enjoy every moment of today, but I think of my future when I want to take shortcuts and this helps me reframe my thoughts/actions to make better choices. Hence, we begin to create self discipline for our own daily practice(s) because it we have now given value to them and they are not just obligations or tasks. They are promises to our future selves. Mastery is 10,000 hours of a particular craft, skill or practice. Keep at your goals, no matter what they are and you will become the Master you seek! Please keep in touch with your progress and if you ever need help, I'm just an email away! Good luck!

~ Betsey

 

In love, light and gratitude,

Elizabeth Garland, M.S., CPLC, MNLP, GRS

Founder and Personal Development Coach with Soul Nourishing, LLC

www.soulnourishing.com

210.218.2075

Copyright Soul Nourishing 2011-2014

 

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Moving Towards or Moving Away From?

What motivates you more, moving towards or moving away from something? When I have asked this random question to multiple people, it is about 50/50. Half get great feedback from a period of reflection, looking back of the moments of challenge and/or triumph, and discovering how to improve their performance. They also determine what they do not want in their lives and what they want to move away from…. quickly! The other half seem to enjoy planning their futures, spending very little time looking back, but setting clear milestones and measureable goals. They hit the ground running with forward motion! Both styles work for the different personalities! Neither is a waste of time. The things we may learn from being open to allowing one another to be who they are and going through the world in that way. We can learn much from each other. Some folks benefit from blending both styles, identifying what did or did not work and where they want to go next. Clarity is so helpful! Can you imagine if we kept walking down the same path, blinders on, for 2 or 20 years, only to discover it brought us to the wrong destination? Looking up and around every so often gives us a chance to ensure not only “are we are on the correct road?”, but to ask the important question, “do we want to be doing this at all?”!!! Imagine that!

So which are you, oh Soul Explorer? A Reflector? Or an Accelerator?  Or a little of both?!

Join me for our Goals with Soul group workshop on Tuesday, January 7th, from 9-11:30am.  Cost is $29. What a great way to start the New Year & align your values with your intentions! Please RSVP to ensure your spot for the group goal setting discussion. Please contact me for more details at egarland@soulnourishing.com or 210.218.2075.

A group setting not for you and you prefer one-on-one attention? Please consider booking an initial 90-minute private coaching session. You will walk away with valuable insight, tools and personal goals. Please visit http://soulnourishing.com/ and contact me for more details at egarland@soulnourishing.com or 210.218.2075.

The new Soul Nourishing office is located at:

19315 Nacogdoches Road (FM 2252), Suite 302

San Antonio, TX 78266

(This is located north of Bat Cave Road & south of 3009, just over the line entering Garden Ridge area. We are located in the Ashley Oaks Executive Park office suites, building three.).

 

In love, light and gratitude,

Betsey

Elizabeth Garland, M.S., CPLC, MNLP, CGRS

Founder & Personal Development Coach of Soul Nourishing, LLC

www.soulnourishing.com

egarland@soulnourishing.com

210.218.2075

Copyright  Soul Nourishing 2011-2014

 

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Managing Grief Over the Holidays

Managing Grief Over the Holidays …

brought to you by Elizabeth Garland with Soul Nourishing

Good grief! The holidays can surely frazzle one’s nerves with extra food to prepare, gifts to buy and places to go; it doesn’t get any easier when we lose a loved one. The ‘empty chair’ in the room can be a reminder.

1. Allow the griever(s) the freedom to express how they feel.

2. Honor & acknowledge the loss when friends & family gather for old traditions.

3. Create new traditions so something fresh is happening.

4. Know how triggers such as alcohol, television, etc. affect the griever.

5. Avoid falling in the trap of “retail therapy” & shopping too much.

6. Create a connection with a grieving person as to avoid an isolating feeling.

7. Avoid saying “I know how you feel”, & acknowledge that in truth, you do not. An alternate phrase may be “That must feel like the rug has been pulled out from under your feet.”

8. Be a heart with ears. If you have created a safe and sacred place for them to open up, allow the griever to share without interruption, analysis or comparison. Just listen.

9. Don’t try to fix them. The griever is not broken.

10. Grief is a natural process and has a timeline. It will end.

 

In love, light & gratitude,

Elizabeth Garland, M.S., CPLC, MNLP, GRS

Founder & Personal Development Coach of Soul Nourishing, LLC

www.soulnourishing.com

egarland@soulnourishing.com

210.218.2075

Copyright  Soul Nourishing 2011-2013

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Managing Stress Over the Holidays

Managing Stress Over the Holidays …

brought to you by Elizabeth Garland with Soul Nourishing

 

Get a handle on the stress! How to stop flipping your lid & start enjoying the seasons.

1. Have a plan made ahead of time of activities, travel options, food choices & gift ideas.

2. Set a budget. Multiply that times two. This is a reality check. Can you afford that? If not, scale it back.

3. Get creative! Remove the stress of shopping & create homemade gifts, make coupons for simple acts of kindness &/or wrap a beautiful silk box full of mindful intentions.

4. Save money on dining out so often & organize a potluck meal at your home, or a progressive dinner between 4 or 5 houses!

5. Be flexible – not everything is going to happen according to the plan.

6. Practice saying “no” so you can say “yes” to what truly matters.

7. Schedule your personal time now. Seriously, book that massage.

8. Have good times! Meaningful as well as silly, playful fun!

9. Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day!

10. Find ways to celebrate with friends, family & others in the community that are meaningful to you.

 

In love, light & gratitude,

Elizabeth Garland, M.S., CPLC, MNLP, GRS

Founder & Personal Development Coach of Soul Nourishing, LLC

www.soulnourishing.com

egarland@soulnourishing.com

210.218.2075

Copyright  Soul Nourishing 2011-2013

 

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The Key That Set Me Free

Bird with keyI know this will seem really odd but it’s true. I’ve been carrying around a secret for almost 30 years.

Actually, a couple secrets locked away in my heart, & my mind, body & soul were caged along with it.

I am a survivor of multiple rapes

I could relive the horrifying details here but that is not beneficial for anyone. I choose not to simply because I can say “NO”.  I’ve been working through it most of this time. I’ve not been in denial. Oh no. I was diagnosed with PTSD. Initially I would lash out & attack like a wounded animal in my sleep. I self-medicated. At the young age of 22, five years later, I was finally being treated for “extreme stress”. By the age of 30, I was “depressed”.  I had a great career, yet if/when I received sexual harassment, or had a cheating boyfriend, I blamed myself. I have come to realize when one is creating a support system from the ground up – it better not be made of straw.

I had an abortion

My home life was not ideal, & I’ll be honest, college/university was my ticket out. I wanted to be a Mother of a nuclear family, not a single Mom. Getting pregnant as the result of a gang rape in 1986 and not being able to ask my family for help made it that much more difficult, so I made the only decision I thought I had at the time. I had an abortion the summer before I started college. I had just turned 18.

In 2009, I had a series of devastating losses that occurred so rapidly, one after another, that part of me went numb, and the other part kept going. One of the losses I experienced was a partial hysterectomy right before my divorce was final. A year later as I was grieving the loss of my “dream family”, I realized what significance this had held for me for so long. I was trying to atone for the choice I made as a teenager, even though I believed in Pro-Choice. I realized that I had to let go of that dream child in addition to my ex-husband, in order to move forward at that time in my life. So, I did. And as I was doing so, I discovered it was really about Loving & Forgiving Myself.

Loving & forgiving 

Yes, I have forgiven the rapists. Deep down inside I believe in humanity, & at that place I trust there is something good inside them. I have forgiven them, but not their bad behavior or inappropriate choices. They behaved badly & trust me, I do not condone rape. I also take responsibility for my actions that placed me in certain locations. I’ve forgiven my ex-husband & myself. I’ve admitted the decisions I’ve made that did not allow for Motherhood. I am a co-creator in this universe, so I cannot control what someone else chooses to do to me but I can control how I respond. The past is the past, & I am responsible for my emotional state at this current time. In order to truly be present with myself here today, I had to learn how to let go the pain & hold onto the lesson, the silver-lining, so to say.

The silver-lining

What could possibly be good in all of this? Well, as a child & youth, I was very smart & creative. I was an honor student, painted, wrote poetry, played music, danced. When the trouble started, I shut down the artistic side. All of the self-expression stopped. I went completely “analytical”  & focused on my creative STEM skillset. But what happened by 2010 was sheer beauty. I cracked open. Apparently I had been in a ‘bargaining’ phase for over 20 years, waiting for a specific thing to set me free from my shame – Motherhood. When this did not happen, my heart, mind and body had to have a “conflict resolution” and this is how I began to nourish my soul.  The art & writing began to flow again! I unlocked the cage & was set free from myself!

The key to happiness

This is why I refer to this practice of coaching that I do as a calling, helping others move past their traumatic loss, onwards to a place of passion & purpose. I certainly do not compare my losses to yours. I believe everyone has a right to their unique emotions & insights, & should be treated with respect. Personal growth is a dynamic process, allowing one to flow freely like a river. When we are blocked, we become stagnate & become toxic. Fresh perspectives, new tools & ideas, & interactions with others will give you an opportunity to move past the place where you have been, allowing you to heal with compassion. I look forward to sharing this key to personal happiness with you if you choose to do the same.

In love & light,

“Betsey”

 

Elizabeth Garland, M.S., CPLC, MNLP, GRS

Founder & Personal Development Coach of Soul Nourishing, LLC

www.soulnourishing.com

egarland@soulnourishing.com

210.218.2075

Copyright  Soul Nourishing 2011-2013

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm Back

I apologize for not posting on here the last few months. I was writing every month, multiple times, for the last couple years, & then I drifted off as I got busy interacting with more clients face-to-face. But that’s what it’s about, right? Connecting with others, building a business, learning how to balance things, learning what works, what stays, what goes, where do we fertilize so the garden grows?! 😀

Speaking of which …. There is so much busting inside of me right now …. I just might be typing for awhile.

I appreciate your patience.

Thank you for allowing me to connect with you virtually, interpersonally, and find my way through the weeds to nourish our souls together!

Love, Betsey

 

In Love, Light and Gratitude,

Elizabeth Garland, M.S., CPLC, MNLP, GRS

Founder  & Personal Development Coach of Soul Nourishing, LLC

tel. 210.218.2075

egarland@soulnourishing.com

www.soulnourishing.com

Soul Nourishing Copyright 2011-2013

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Maps
19315 FM2252, Suite 302 Garden Ridge, Texas 78266
Phone Number : 210.218.2075