Thursday, May 17, 2018

Interviewed on A Healing! Thank you Carol!

I had the honor and pleasure of being interviewed by Carol Cassara, Hypnotherapist and Healing Arts Advocate, for her blog on A Healing  Please check it out.  I'd love your thoughts on the interview and encourage you to check out Carol's other posts and services to see if they are a good fit for you.  I'm a big fan of Carol's and enjoy her blog immensely.   She offers lots of insight into many different topics relating to friendship, spirituality, politics, health, lifestyle, wellness, family, and more. This is not a paid post. I'm not affiliated with Carol Cassara in any professional or commercial way other than as a fellow coach who admires her work.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

What Happens When You Try and Fail Repeatedly?

Happy Wednesday, all!  I hope you're having a great week.  Today I'm talking about what happens when you try and fail, over and over again.

Try and fail

Say, you try to get a job.  You send out resumes but you don't hear anything back.  Or you do get an interview and you think it went great, but you don't get the job.  Over and over again this happens.

Or maybe you don't have any energy and you try all sorts of things to boost it.  You may try exercise, tips and tricks you found on the Internet or heard about from friends or family.  And, you may try some of these things and find out you're allergic to that specific vitamin, or food, or herb.  Whatever you tried. You had no idea you were even allergic to it, but you are. 

Maybe you want to lose weight.  You go to the gym and find out that you can't use most of the equipment that you were hoping to, either because it's not adjustable or adaptable, or the gym is too busy at the time you can get there, so the machines are occupied.

It could be that you try to think of things that will improve your friendship or marriage and you're met with resistance, or what you do try just doesn't work.

It doesn't have to break you

When you try and fail, over and over, it can bring you down, frustrate you.  But you can choose to learn from each experience and grow from it.  It doesn't have to break you.

Try something else.


Go to a different gym, work out at home, use dumbbells, exercise bands, or your own body weight instead of machines.


Get a temp job, look online for work at home opportunities, ask a neighbor if you could do odd jobs them, or start your own business online or off.


Check with your doctor to see if something is up.  You can also keep trying those tips and tricks from the Internet and your friends.  Maybe you'd like to try meditation.  And, take a look inside yourself to see what you need.  Go with your gut.  


Talk things out with friends, family, your spouse, a coworker.  If that doesn't work, you may consider seeking guidance from a counselor or coach.  

Time management

Look at how you manage your time.  Can some things be shortened or cut out so you can spend more time on the things and people who mean the most to you?

Have you tried and failed and just don't know what else to do?  Or have you tried and failed repeatedly only to try one more time and have things work out?  Let me know.  I'd love to hear from you.  

Take care, and I'll see you back here next Wednesday.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Vlog: Tired of Competing? Tired of Fighting?

Do you have chronic health issues?  Are you tired of competing?  Tired of fighting?

  • For jobs
  • For attention from your spouse, kids, relatives, friends, coworkers
  • For love, dates
  • Job promotions
  • Spots on a team or committee
  • For grades
  • For college acceptance
  • For rights
  • For adaptations
Are you competing with other people in your spouse's life?

  • Are you jealous of the attention given to friends?
  • Do you feel like you're not enough?
  • That they like others more than you?
  • That they regret committing to you now that they have found others they prefer to hang out with?  That they click with others better?
Also, are you trying to please?


You're in the wrong relationship, friendship, or job if you're trying to please, perhaps.  Only you can decide that.

You're putting yourself last.

It's hard work to compete.  To fight.

You feel insecure.

Get out.

You need to be you!

Live your life the way you see fit.

Do the things you love to do.

Go where you want to go.

Say what needs to be said.

Walking or wheeling on eggshells isn't worth it.

You've got a lot to give.

Give it to the people, activities, jobs...that mean the most to you.

If your friend, partner, spouse, doesn't appreciate you, or has become tired of you, distant, or seems to be replacing you, let them.  If you have tried everything and still the relationships or friendships seems to be dying, let it die naturally.  No fits, or arguments, or scenes.  Just let it play out naturally.

If your employer is constantly setting up roadblocks and treating you unfairly.  Fight them or leave them, but do what is best for you.

You can only do so much.  You have to concentrate on you, your health, what brings you joy.  That is your choice.  And it's their choice whether to take that ride with you or not.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Vlog: Being Told You're An Inspiration

Have you been told you're an inspiration?  What was the reason?  Did they give you any specifics as to why they thought you were inspirational?  

And, how did you feel about it?  How did you respond?  Did it inspire you to do more for others?  More for yourself?  Did it help you break out of your comfort zone and try something new?  Did it inspire you to become a speaker, letting other people know about your chronic health issues; to become an advocate for others?

Or, did you feel like a fraud?  They were inspired by you but you may feel as if you really haven't lived up to it.  You are unsure of yourself, you're self-conscious, perhaps.  Insecure.

What do you do with this?  How can being called an inspiration change that negativity in you to positivity?  How can it energize you?

When someone calls you an inspiration, what should you say?  Well, here are some ideas:

  • Simply say "Thank You."
  • Ask the person how you inspire them
  • Tell the person how they inspire you.
How can you use your inspiration?

  • Speak about it at local organizations, schools, hospitals, health fairs
  • Do volunteer work at hospitals, schools, shelters, community events, health fairs
  • Help others with similar health issues to cope, improve their situation, and be inspired.
  • Write about it in a blog or book
  • Write a column for your local newspaper on coping with health issues
  • Contact the association connected to your chronic health issues to see if you could write articles for their newsletter or magazine.
Any other ideas?  I'd love to hear from you!  And, please share your experiences with this topic.  Have you been told you're an inspiration?  How did you react?  Positively?  Negatively?  Let's talk about this.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Vlog: How Do Health Issues Influence Your Decisions?

How do your health issues influence your decisions?  

I came up with a list of areas in life where health issues may play a part in decision making.  Maybe you can relate, or maybe you have other areas of concern and influence that I haven't mentioned here.  Let me know.  I'd love to hear about them.


  • Where to live:  type of structure, apartment, assisted living, house, climate that's best for your allergies, etc.
  • Close to doctors/hospitals
  • Wheel-chair accessible
  • No stairs, one-story, ramps installed
  • Security
  • Convenient parking

  • The major/program you choose
  • Location
  • Accessibility
  • Campus support
  • Proximity to doctors/hospital
  • Clubs available
  • Campus community vibe:  accepting, friendly, helpful, positive

  • Accessibility of the facility/office
  • Discrimination
  • Convenient location
  • Convenient parking
  • The vibe you get from the interviewer/staff
  • The type of job you want to do:  do you want to help people in the health field, or do you spend enough time in doctor's offices and hospitals already.  There are other ways you can help others, though, so you may want to think about it.

  • Friendships:  Who do you connect with?  Who treats you like everyone else?  What about the accessibility to local hangouts and social clubs?  Can you get to where you can meet new people and also hang out with current friends to encourage bonding?What's your attitude toward others?  What are their attitudes toward you?  Do you hang out with people who are different from you and maybe not all that nice just because they are popular?
  • Romance:  Do your health issues influence who you marry/partner with?  Do they really "get" you?  Do you get positive vibes from them?  Are they compassionate and understanding?  Do you have the same lifestyle?  Do they have health issues, too, or not?  Do you want kids?  Do they?  Do you share the same hobbies and interests?

  • What sports do you like?  Is that connected to your health issues
  • What about the books that you read?
  • Games you play?
  • Where you travel, or if you travel at all?
  • Where you go for walks/wheels?
  • Accessibility
  • Attitude:  Yours and that of others
  • Maybe you check things out beforehand to see if you can handle them.  Have a practice run at an activity.  Check out the facilities.
  • Do you ask your doctor before you try an activity?

  • Do you want to be near them in case you have a medical emergency and need their assistance?
  • Do you want to be far away from them because they have always sheltered you and made you feel like you couldn't do anything on your own?
  • Have they fostered your independence?
  • How has that influenced your decisions and decision-making skills?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Vlog: Incontinence

First, my apologies for posting this a day late.  Sometimes days just get away from me.  Now, on to today's topic.

Incontinence.  It's not the most comfortable topic to talk about; that's why I'm talking about it today.

Some people with chronic health issues are incontinent.  And there could be a lot of things that come up because of it, that can put a damper on your doing what you want to do.

Some things to consider:

  • You have to know where the bathroom is.
  • You may not feel comfortable going certain places or doing certain things because you may not have access to a bathroom.  For example, some tour buses, unfamiliar cities, going on hikes in the backcountry.
  • You may not want to tell your friends and strangers about your ostomy so it's hard to travel or stay with them.
  • What if you have an accident?
  • Do you have a urostomy, ileostomy, colostomy or nephrostomy?  I have an ileostomy and I've had a temporary nephrostomy in the past.  What if your appliance/pouch leaks?  That's fun, let me tell ya.  
So, how can you live a full life with an ostomy or incontinence?

You get out there and do stuff.  Try things.  Yes, you may have an accident.  But maybe you won't.  Maybe you'll be embarrassed.  But maybe you won't.  t's frustrating, yes, but let me ask you, which would you rather do:

  • get embarrassed a time or two while out exploring your world, or
  • stay cooped up in your home staring at the wall feeling "safe" but unfulfilled?
I've traveled all over the country and world with an ostomy. I married a travel-aholic.  Where he goes, I go, if I ever want to see him.  Haha.  We don't travel nearly as much as we did when we were first married and for a stretch of years after that, but we still travel now and then. I've been padded down by security because of my ostomy--that is just what happens.  I deal with it.  They have to be certain it's not a bomb or something.

Here's what I do before/during an outing/trip:

  • Take supplies you'll need to maintain your ostomy
  • I bring everything but the kitchen sink with me, basically.  People wonder why I have such a large handbag--it's actually a backpack.  It's because I come prepared for everything.  If I'm prepared, nothing goes wrong.
  • I research areas we are going to visit to make sure I know the lay of the land, amenities, where the bathrooms are, how long the trails are, are those trails easily accessible and fairly smooth, and so on.
  • I take my medications on time (mostly).
  • I spend the time I need in the morning and in the evening in order to get ready.  I make sure all is well and I'm ready for the day or night.  It takes a chunk of time, but it's worth it not to be rushed.
  • If I don't feel right, I don't go on an outing or trip.  Those things happen.  It stinks, but I have to go with my gut and do what's best for my health and safety.
  • Send medical supplies ahead to your destination so you don't get hung up in security explaining everything.  When Jim and I were set to travel out here to Utah to check it out for a possible move, I had a nephrostomy.  So, I had all this stuff I had to bring with me to irrigate it and otherwise maintain it.  The ostomy nurse I saw locally was the one who suggested I send the irrigation supplies ahead since, even though it was medical supplies, I may have trouble getting through security with all that liquid and such.  She had flown shortly before we planned to and had to hand over some items.  It just saves a lot of headaches to send supplies ahead.  And, call the local pharmacies, hospitals, and medical supply companies to see if you can get supplies at your destination.  That would save even more grief especially if your supplies are lost in the mail.
I remember one time when I was visiting a friend at his work out of state.  One of the first things he did was tell me where the restrooms were.  Maybe he saw me looking around a bit for them.  Anyway, I loved it!  Surround yourself with people who "get" you, who understand what you need sometimes before you even have a chance to say anything.  As for the complainers?  Maybe they don't belong in your life.  Only you can decide that.

Something else I wanted to mention---a few years ago now, I think, I read that people with ostomies were starting to wear bikinis, maybe Speedos, too, I don't know.  Their ostomy and pouch were visible.  I personally wouldn't feel comfortable doing that, but if you do, go for it.  Be you, without apologizing!

I encourage you to try new things, go new places, hang out with loved ones and friends--live!  Try not to be tied so much to your health and your home.  There is so much out there for you to experience.  Start small, but do it, and expand upon it as you feel more comfortable.  Each time you venture outside your comfort zone, you will gain a bit more confidence.  And, with that confidence, well, you can do anything, go anywhere, live the most amazing life of your choosing.  Get started!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Vlog: The Frustrations Involved With Taking Care Of Others Who Don't Listen

  • You have health issues
  • You take time to care for yourself
  • You take time to make your doctor appointments and go to them
  • You follow doctor's orders
  • You put up with surgeries, recovery, therapies
  • You take your medication
  • You do what you are supposed to do 
  • You work your life in around your medical stuff/ health maintenance
  • You ask your family what you can do for them.  You do it and they don't seem to appreciate it.
  • They don't seem to latch onto concepts or tool that you share with them, even though they were open to discussion.
Okay, true, everyone has a right to their own opinion.  Not everyone is going to agree with you.  They don't have to.  I'm talking about hitting a brick wall with them over and over again.

  • You spend energy and time you really don't have on others.  
You have lots to do for your health maintenance, you may not have a lot of energy to spare to do the things you're doing for others, but you do them.  You somehow fit it all in.  And, they never take notice!

  • You exhaust yourself by giving yourself and your energy and your time to others yet they don't have time for you.
You do what others want you to do.  You go where they want to you to go.  Yet, when you want them to do something, you hit that wall, over and over again.

  • You also try to help but are ignored, dismissed, or even ridiculed, maybe.
Particularly about medical stuff, perhaps.  You've got all this experience with chronic health issues, managing your health care, doing what needs to be done, yet when you try to give advice or even are asked for advice on a health matter, you are ignored.  Your friend or loved one doesn't listen.  They do the exact opposite of what they should, in fact.  

Is it worth it?  Is it worth it to care if they don't seem to?

Only you can answer that.  Only you know you're individual situations.  Only you know that particular person you're dealing with.

I have mentioned "The Four Tendencies," by Gretchen Rubin before.  The four tendencies are Obliger, Questioner, Rebel, and Upholder.  I am an obliger.  I have trouble meeting my inner expectations yet I meet outer expectations more easily.  I'm a helper, so that's not surprising.  But when I help, help, help, oblige, oblige, oblige, and get nowhere, get stonewalled, then I turn into a Rebel.  Rebels don't meet either inner or outer expectations.  I just stop obliging those who stonewall me in my personal life.

In my work as a coach, I also oblige, gladly.  I love helping others.  But I also have to be honest with the client who isn't showing up for sessions, isn't involved, isn't trying to help themselves.  I have to ask them what's holding them back.  I have to ask them if they feel that I'm not the right coach for them.  And I have to ask them if maybe they would work better with another coach, or even a counselor or psychologist.  It would be irresponsible of me to keep coaching someone who is clearly not getting anything out of the sessions.  

So, do you have people in your life who don't listen to you?  Do you struggle to oblige them without getting anything in return?