Friday, December 29, 2017

Pay Attention To Old Friends


Happy Friday!  In this video, I talk about the importance of paying attention to old friends who choose to stay in touch.  They are in your life for a reason.  Stand up and take notice and make a point to keep in touch.  

I give several examples of my old friends who I haven't been great at staying in touch with.  Admitting it is fine.  We all make mistakes.  The key is to take action to correct your mistake.  Reach out to them and sincerely make an effort to connect with them on a regular basis.  

Do you have old friends you have been neglecting?  Do you have good intentions but end up not keeping in touch?  Or do you feel as if they are in the past and should stay there?  

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Vlog: Reach Out


Hello!  I hope those of you who celebrated Christmas had a nice day full of fun and food and the making of great memories.  I had intended to post this vlog yesterday, but our router had other things in mind.  It bit the dust.  We've got a new one, but it took some doing to get it set up, so I didn't get to post this yesterday.  

But, here it is today!  The topic is reaching out.  Reach out to those who can help you, whether you have problems, desires, dreams, or ambitions.  Reach out to those who will listen, support you, serve as your mentor, provide answers, provide health care.  Reach out to those people you would like to have in your life.

I have reached out to fellow coaches to network, share ideas, help promote each other, and so on.  It is such a great community to be a part of--fellow coaches all trying to help people live more fulfilling lives.  I've also reached out to friends for help figuring stuff out and boosting my mood when life gets a little challenging.  Reaching out can help widen your scope of reference, open your mind, bring new insights, and inspire you to challenge yourself.  It can be exciting and heart-warming, and yes, even frustrating at times.  But it is so worth the possibility of rejection.  Even in rejection, there is growth and learning.  

Do you reach out to people when you need help or to settle something in some way, or do you try to handle things on your own?  

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Vlog Post: Preferences


Hello!  I recorded this post a few days ago, but with the crazy busy Christmas prep and activities, plus physical therapy, etc., etc., etc., I didn't get to post it until today.  Sorry!  

What do you base your preferences on?  Quality?  How much it costs?  Economy?  Reliability?  Skill?  Friendliness?  

Do you go for high-end restaurants, stores, clothing, hotels or economical ones?  Or do your preferences fall somewhere in the middle?  Are your preferences different depending on what you are considering?  

I talk about this in the video above and give you examples of how I pick doctors, mechanics, clothes, and so on.  

Have a Merry Christmas!  And, I will see you back here next Wednesday!  Wheeee!  

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Vlog: Friendship and Clubs


Hello!  I'm a bit late with this one.  Busy with Christmas shopping and preparations and parties and such.  But I'm here now!  :-)  

Today's vlog is about friendship and clubs.  When I have asked people who are interested in making new friends if they would consider joining a club, they often say they aren't into them.  Clubs can be a great way to make new friends, so it is something I urge people to consider.  After all, we often hang out with people who have similar interests.  That's a club of sorts, albeit an informal one.  Why not try a more formal one?  Some people don't want to pay dues, have regularly scheduled meetings, and strict rules.  Okay, that is understandable.  But, what about starting your own club?  Then you could make your own rules and invite or accept the people you feel most comfortable with.  

I realize that for those of us who are introverted, it can be difficult to get out there and meet new people.  Start slow, say hello to a neighbor, have dinner with someone from work, take a class, and yes, join clubs that interest you.   

I would love to hear about your experiences making new friends; especially those of you who are introverts like me.  Email me anytime at amy@acnlifecoach.com or comment below.  Thanks.  Take care.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Vlog Post: Making Friends--Be Patient, Be Curious


Hey there!  Happy Monday!  

Today's vlog post is all about being patient and curious when making friends.  Look underneath the surface to find the real person.  If someone acts a bit off or obnoxious when you first meet them, be curious about it instead of offended.  See if you can, over time, learn more about the person.  Peel away the layers so you get to know what really makes this person tick.  Maybe he was abused, or just got a cancer diagnosis, or was betrayed by a friend in the past.  Those things can significantly affect attitudes and behaviors.  Try cutting the person some slack and seeing how things go.  

What are your thoughts on this?  Post in the comments or email me at amy@acnlifecoach.com.  Thanks!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Guest Blogger, Sarah Jordan, Stay-At-Home-Mom Coach


Hello everyone!  Happy Friday!  I'm excited to welcome a special guest blogger today.  Sarah Jordan is a stay at home mom coach . . . and awesome person! I asked Sarah to write about stay at home moms and friendship.  Here's what she has to say.  (Thank you Sarah!)

----
I always knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom.  I loved the thought of being able to always have home cooked meals ready for my family, being available to be den mother, and while the kids were at school, being able to get in a little “me time” with fellow mommies.  It just seemed like the perfect situation.  I could have my cake and eat it too. 

So, you can imagine how shocked and annoyed I was when I would see a stay at home mom (SAHM) pop up on my social media newsfeed complaining.  Complaining about not taking a shower for days.  Complaining about cold coffee. Complaining about never leaving the house.  And, if I saw one more selfie of a mom in Target with a Starbucks in hand with the caption, “Finally out of the house alone and I am in my happy place”, I was going to scream. 

I couldn’t help but wonder, “When did SAHM’s become such prisoners? Victims, even?  If you want to take a shower, do it.  If you want warm coffee, drink it when it’s warm.  If you wanna get out of the house, hire a sitter. Seemed easy enough to me. 

But then, it happened.  I became a SAHM.  And I finally got it.  I was forced to eat my words.  I could totally relate every single post I had ever seen on social media regarding the struggles that SAHM’s face.  Especially about getting out of the house and having “me time”.

I know friendships are vital no matter who you are or what stage of life you are in.  I also understand that some people are meant to be your friend for a season and some, a lifetime. The point is, friends are there to lend you support.  To be someone that you can relate to, confide in and build memories with.  

Becoming a mother was the craziest, rewarding, most confusing thing I have ever gone through.  To be able to connect with other human beings who have been there and done that, who understand exactly where you are coming from, is so important for a healthy mindset.  

Our thoughts…our mindsets are powerful.  They directly dictate our lives. What we think isn’t always true but it will always impact our actions.  Before I joined a mommy and me class, I didn’t have many mommy friends because 1. I had just moved to a new city and 2.I was the first of my friends to have a child.  So, it was easy for me to let my mind go to a lonely, no one gets me state.

I remember going to the first mommy and me class thinking I would make new mom friends but I actually left discouraged.  I felt somewhat alone. Everyone else’s child was dressed perfectly.  It seemed that everyone else’s child was sleeping through the night.  It seemed like everyone else’s child was eating the perfect, healthy diet.  And mine, wasn’t.

I couldn’t relate to these women and started to think perhaps, I was doing motherhood wrong.  But then, week 5 happened.  I will always remember week 5.  Moms were coming in late.  Kids had chunks of banana in their hair.  And we started to open up about the “real” version of mommyhood.  

It was then, we all removed the veneer of perfect.  It was then, I started to connect and relate to these moms.  And they were able to relate to me.  

From that point on, I have made some amazing friends.  And I feel they are friends that I will have for a lifetime. As our children grow up together, we will also grow together, as moms. 
I no longer felt alone or like I am doing motherhood wrong.  I was able to accept and believe that I was doing it just right.  Right for my child and her needs and right for my own. 

No matter what stage of life you are in or what you are going through, if it’s hard for you…then it’s hard for you.  And being a SAHM, is hard.  Heck, being a mom is hard no matter the situation.  

Having a support system like my mommy friends helped me realize that my version of mommyhood, is valid.  I am so glad we removed our masks and revealed our realnesses.  We bonded over those realnesses.  That taught me to always live my truth, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.  That deep down, we are all just doing our best.  And, if you think about it, isn’t that what life is all about?

---


Hi, I'm Sarah!

I am a mother, a wife, a middle sister, an aunt, a daughter and poodle mom. I am a certified professional life coach, owner of Blessings and Lessons Coaching and host of the Homework to Happiness Podcast. 

I am a stay at home mom and I am also fortunate enough to have a job that I love.  As a life coach,  I have made it my mission to create a space for stay at home moms, where mommy guilt is recognized and worked through.

Mommy guilt is a real thing and it can keep us from doing anything for ourselves, including self-love.  Love starts with self-love and it’s my mission to help moms truly 

understand that self-care and self-love are not selfish…they are essential.  To find out more about me and what I do, please visit sarahjordancpc.com

Vlog: Don't Give Up On Your Dreams


This video was recorded a couple days ago, but I didn't get it posted until today due to a crazy, busy couple of days.  Sorry about that!  

I talk about bleieving things are going to be okay, and those things and people who help you through tough times.  If you believe, the right people will come into your life to help. 

For me:


  • Guardian angel:  I believe my guardian angel sent me the people who would help me the most.  People came into my life who changed my life dramatically, who helped me through the tough times, who were there for me during good times too. 
  • Daydreaming:  I made up an entire alternate world for myself in my bedroom growing up.  From the time I was about nine years old, I disappeared into that daydream world as much as possible, where I was healthy, confident, popular, happy.  What I practiced and learned in the daydream world, I took to my reality.  
  • Imagination:  Similarly, my imagination saved my life.  I wrote, drew, painted, created.  I would immerse myself in these creative projects so deeply that I was able to forget about my troubles.  I also listened to music.  Music was a life saver, too.  I absolutely love music.  It is very healing.  The arts are healing as a whole as well.  That's why I shiver when I hear the arts 'poo-poo'ed' as unimportant.  That are extremely important and should be given more credit as a tool to enhance well-being.  
  • Miracles:  I wasn't supposed to survive past the age of six.  I did.  My husband wasn't expected to survive his fall in 2003.  He did.  Miracles do happen, folks.  I truly believe that.  With the right mindset you can make amazing things happen.  You can totally change your outlook to change your outcomes.  If you believe in yourself, really want change, the right people will be attracted to you who can help you make those changes happen.  


Do you believe in guardian angels, daydreaming, imagination, and similar things having the ability to help you through your tough times?  I'd love to talk with you about your experiences.  

I'm sharing space with guest blogger, Sarah Jordan.  She's a stay-at-home mom coach and writes about friendship here today.  Welcome Sarah!  You rock!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Vlog: Looking For New Friends: Don't Sell Yourself


Happy Monday!  In this post, I talk about the importance of not selling yourself when you're looking for new friends.  Be yourself!  Be natural!  And you'll attract the very people who are more apt to become your close friends.  

How did you meet your closest friends?  Please share!  Thanks.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Importance of Friendship--And A Thank You


A day late, but I'm here.  Today's vlog post is on the importance of friendship.  It is important to have your alone time during health crises, to think about what you need to do, to have a pity party, but you also need to recognize how important friends can be to help you through these tough times.  They love you, they care, they want to help--let them.  This post is also a thank you to those friends out there who help, support, lift up, and cheer up those of us with chronic health issues.  It is a tough job sometimes to be patient, but those of you who are and those of you who stick it out with us, Thank You!!  That is huge.  It is so important to us that you have our backs.  You are awesome.  

Do you have a story to share about when your friend was there for you during tough times healthwise?  I hope you'll let me know either by email or in the comments below.  I'd love to hear about it.  Thank you.  Take care.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Vlog: Identity Perception Program Give-Away!!


Hi all!  I announced last week that I'm giving away two Identity Perception Programs, one on my website (www.acnlifecoach.com) and the other on Instagram (@acnlifecoach), and each at a value of $349.  That's right, you have a chance to work with me for free!  Enter for the chance to win today!

Along with the information below, I will discuss the definition of Identity Perception.  It's a phrase that we don't hear often.  I came up with it, and the program, when my friend asked me an important question; one that impacted my life greatly, and made me think.

The eight-week program, geared toward individuals with chronic health issues, covers topics such as:

  • roadblocks to change
  • building confidence
  • self-esteem
  • goal setting
  • strategic planning
  • action-taking
We'll start off with filling out forms, introductions, my coaching style, what you'd like to focus on, and so on.

We will meet once per week for a 1-hour coaching session (via phone, Skype or Zoom), plus a check-in call mid-week to see how you're doing, and unlimited email support.  You will have access to lots of videos and exercises as well.

To enter the giveaway on my website:

  • go to my website
  • click the giveaway link on the homepage
  • fill out the form
  • press send
There is also an FAQ's link on that page where you can find out more information about the program.

To enter on Instagram:

  • go to @acnlifecoach
  • like the Identity Perception Program Give-Away post
  • follow me on Instagram
  • tag a friend in the comment section who also may want to enter the giveaway
You must be at least 18 years old to enter.  Deadline for entries is 11:59 PM Mountain Standard Time on December 22, 2017.  Winners will be selected at random on December 23 and contacted shortly afterward.  There will be two winners, one from Instagram and one from the website.  You are welcome to enter on both Instagram and my website, but you are only eligible for a chance to win one program prize.

The only thing I ask in return is that you provide me with a testimonial at the end of the eight weeks, letting me know what you liked about the program, of my coaching, what you learned, and any changes you would suggest to make the program better.

Visit my website or Instagram for more information.  Or you can email me at amy@acnlifecoach.com.  Thanks!  I hope you will enter the giveaway.  I am excited to work with you.  Good luck!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Vlog: What If You Skipped Christmas?


Have you ever thought about skipping Christmas?  Skip the hubbub?  What would be your reasons for skipping it?  What would you do instead?  Regroup?  Do some introspection?  Meditate?  Go on a retreat?  How would your family react?  Your friends?  Freak out?  Understand?  That's what this vlog is about.  Have you ever skipped Christmas?  What happened?  Do you think you would consider trying it in the future?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic.  

Monday, November 27, 2017

Vlog Post: Take Care of Yourself First


Hi all.  I'm sorry I'm late with this post.  I got to watching Christmas movies and lost track of time.  I'm a kid at heart.  In this post, I talk about our weekend away and how the pain in my foot and knee influenced the trip.  The message is, take care of yourself first.  Cancel trips and other plans if you need to in order to heal.  

Have you had plans changed or negatively influenced by your health issues?   How did you handle it?  I'd love for you to share your experiences.  Thanks.  

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Vlog: Knee Update: Saw the Surgeon Today



Hey there!  I finally saw the surgeon about my knee again today.  This vlog talks all about what he said and what happens next.

If you're celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow, I how you have a wonderful day surrounded by those you love and who make you smile the most.  Or, if you're perfectly content to have a quiet day by yourself or with a couple people you're closest to, that's cool too.  However you prefer to spend the day, I hope that's how it goes.  I'll catch you again on Monday with another vlog post.  Be safe!


Monday, November 20, 2017

Vlog: In A Funk? Try This Exercise


Hi!  It's a brand new week, and a holiday week here in the US.  For some of us, the holidays trigger the blues.  And, for some of us, chronic health issues can trigger the blues as well.  I have been in a funk for a bit for these reasons.  I know I can't hurry a funk.  I have to work through it.  But it has hung on for awhile, so I decided to do something about it.  At least try.  

I have started a daily journal exercise.  Each day I write down three good things:  observing someone paying it forward, someone paying me a compliment, someone trusting me with deeply personal thoughts, etc.  I also write down three not so good things or things I'm worried about:  my foot pain, my knee pain, having trouble losing weight, for example.  Then, I write down one thing I can do for each of my worries to ease them.  I don't have to fix the problem, just take action to make it less stressful.  

And, it does make me feel better!

I encourage you to try this exercise if you're in a funk or going through a tough time.  Journal about it and see if it helps relieve some of the stress you're feeling.  See if you can come up with a resolution to your problem, or at least take steps toward a resolution.

If you try this exercise, I would love for you to share your results with me.  Either comment below, or email me at amy@acnlifecoach.com  Thanks!  Have a great week.  I will catch you back here on Wednesday.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Guest Blogger: Lauren (Lo) Najar

I'm pleased to welcome guest blogger, Lauren (Lo) Najar, to share her battle with cancer and how she used laughter to win that battle--twice.  



"The best thing you can do is master the chaos within you.  
You are not thrown into the fire, YOU ARE THE FIRE" – Mama Indigo


I am a cancer survivor (still sounds odd to me).  I am coming up on the five year mark (woo no more “pre-existing condition") and I couldn’t be more anxious or excited.  These anniversaries are celebrated the same, if not more, than my real birthdays.  Life began again for me on January 14th, 2013.

In May 2011, when I was 23, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  I received this news on my way to work in my car alone.  Within an hour, I was meeting with my mom’s previous oncologist, going to the clinic she once used to go through more tests.  My brother and sister met me there, who were both very upset (understandably).  My parents at this point were both deceased previously and their deaths were recent.  We couldn’t find the light at the end of the tunnel at this point.  Nothing seemed to be going right.  The only thing I wanted to do was become a hermit, answer phone calls from doctors when I had to, and the least of all was to face anyone else than my closest friends.  I couldn’t even call my family to let them know what was going on--my siblings and boyfriend did this for me.  I was the oldest in my family, and ever since my parents left, I felt the need to be in charge or to hold the house together.  My sister and I are close in age, however I still had the feeling that I needed to do this because I am the oldest.  I totally leaned on people this first weekend.  I felt so alone; no one could understand what I was going through. 

Eight months of chemo and radiation went by and I was soon in remission.  Chemo was difficult as the certain drugs gave me bad side effects, however I was able to complete it in the time table allotted.  I told my friends and family that I was free of any treatment and didn’t need anything else and we had small celebrations.  I was starting up my routine checkups and my oncologist spotted something in my lungs on one of my scans.  I was soon back going through a new round of tests as my cancer had come back.  I was sent to a new hospital, and had a new oncologist.  I was going through the same old regimen, and none of these tests were foreign to me anymore unfortunately.  My next set of treatment was going to be three rounds of chemotherapy followed by a bone marrow transplant (sounds scary right?!)  I had absolutely no idea what I was going to be going through or how these different drugs would have an effect on me.

My bone marrow transplant was the hardest part for me.  I spent three weeks in the hospital (this is a normal time frame for someone), however I was in a hospital that was not exactly local in my town.  I spent a lot of days alone as I didn’t have parents that were able to stay with me and my siblings all had jobs/school that they had to keep up as well.  Some days I wasn’t feeling well and the loneliness of it all was what I needed.  I had a lot of time to reflect and to think of what I wanted my life to be like after all is said and done.  I had an enormous support group, which some days I shut out as no one was there to answer questions for me such as “When are you coming home?,” “How are you feeling?”.  A girl can only answer those questions so many times and at times it was difficult to always keep someone in the loop.

I signed up for running races in the hospital, and planned a cancer remission party for the summer time when I was going to be healthy again.  I needed to focus on living life again.  I was so done with life being miserable, that you HAVE to make the best of it.  There isn’t an option.  Life is meant to be lived and sitting around focusing on all of the bad things in your life is the absolute worst thing you can do mentally.  I am incredibly lucky that I had such a great support group coming out of this second battle that life has been especially amazing becoming closer with friends and family.  It’s not easy making fun of your bald head, your treatments, and everything else by yourself!  (Try dancing to “I whip my hair back and forth” when you completely don’t have any…that is a good laugh J)

Everyone knows that chemo and radiation have long term effects.  On paper, I am a healthy and active 30 (!!) year old now.  I do not have any pain issues or any other issues from chemo or radiation.  However, I probably see enough doctors still to make sure that nothing is going to relapse and that all of my body parts and organs are still going to be working.  One thing that I was diagnosed with back in 2015 was Hypothyroidism.  This is the slowing of your thyroid function and likely caused by the radiation I received in 2011.  I have always been a consistent weight my entire life, even through chemotherapy.  As I was in remission, I gained ten pounds and it wasn’t because my lifestyle changed drastically or my eating habits.  I tried to up my workout regimen and started focusing more on my eating and I just wasn’t losing any weight.  This was caused by my thyroid no longer working as well as it did and it was more than 3 times the amount it should be at.  My heaviest was at 30+ pounds of my normal weight as well as my blood pressure increasing and my cholesterol was high.  With focusing more on what I eat and working out consistently as well as getting my thyroid medicine regulated, I am losing weight, but slowly.  I was never a person to worry about weight or body image, however because of this I am very self-conscious now because of the new weight gain.

The best advice that I can give from this is you need to learn to live with it.  I will not be as thin as I was before, and that is okay.  Am I healthy now?  Essentially yes.  Can I eat whatever I want like before?  No, but that is a good thing.  I need to eat better and I need to find foods that work better for my body.  I know my body now more than ever and I love how much I have learned about it.  I am thankful for this experience and now for this chronic side effect because it makes me truly watch what I eat.  I am getting older as well, and for everything that my body has endured thus far, I really need to focus on prolonging life and making sure I am trying to be as healthy as I can be (I do love chicken wings though).

There is something to be said about when life gets tough; you need to laugh.  You need to find the humor in how SILLY it is that these bad things happen.  How are these things happening to me?  You can’t dwell on it and try to make jokes either about yourself or the situation.  I did both and there was just nothing that I could have done.  All you can do is laugh and live through life! 
____



I am Lauren (Lo) Najar and I live in Chicago, IL.  I am an active person--I enjoy running races, yoga and any kind of healthy activity.  I am the founder of Laugh Always.  Laugh Always was created to inspire others on their personal journeys and to bring a community together to share their inspiration from all walks of life.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Vlog: Chronic Health Issues and the Frustrations That Come With Them


Hi!  I'm back.  Jim and I spent the weekend with friends up in Park City, UT.  That's what this vlog post is about actually.  Mainly the knee problem that made me almost cancel the trip.  

Have you had chronic health issues that get in the way of life?  Cause you to have to cancel plans?  Put a major cramp in your style?  I'd like to hear about it.  Please share in the comments below, or email me at amy@acnlifecoach.com.  Thanks!  

On Friday, I'll feature a guest blogger, Lauren (Lo) Najar, cancer survivor, talking about how laughter helps her deal with health issues.  Please check it out.  Thanks!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Vlog: Life Happens



Hi!  This vlog post is on all those unexpected things that happen in life to change your course that often make you frustrated.  


  • Having to cancel a vacation because you are sick.  
  • Having snafus happen that keep you from getting a promotion.  
  • Friends calling to change plans, which then seems to send the rest of your day into a tailspin.  
On and on.

But life may happen in an unexpectedly good ways too.  

  • You change your mind the last minute and decide to go to a different college and meet the love of your life there.
  • You lose out on a job transfer only to find an even better opportunity shortly afterward.
  • Your favorite doctor retires and you're thinking "Oh no!."  Yet, the new doctor suggests a surgery that ultimately changes your life for the better.
I also include ways to better handle life change.

What unexpected events happened in your life over the years that either sent your life into a tailspin or were pleasant surprises?  Please share in the comments below or email me at amy@acnlifecoach.com.  Thanks.  Take care.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Vlog: All About Reunions


Hi!  I hope you had a great weekend.  We got a lot of chores done and had some fun, too, so it was nice.  

Today's vlog is all about reunions.  Types, favorite types, memories, and how to prepare.  

I used to like reunions more than I do now.  Volleyball games, picnics, walks, music, joking, getting reacquainted, and so on.  Now, I prefer one on one or small group conversations.  To me, it's too hard to really connect with people if I'm competing with 25, 50, 100, or more people.  

What about you?  Do you like reunions?  What type?  Have you ever been in charge of planning a reunion?  If so, how did it go?  I'd love to hear your memories of past reunions.  Please post them below in the comment section or email me at amy@acnlifecoach.com  Thanks!  Take care.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Vlog: Thanksgiving and Christmas Memories



Hi!  I expected to get this posted yesterday but ran into technical difficulties.  I apologize for the delay.  In this video, I share some Thanksgiving memories and traditions and encourage you to share yours as well.  For example, do you go out to eat on Thanksgiving or have a big dinner at home with friends and family?  When do you start decorating for Christmas?  Do you prefer to say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or Season's Greetings?  And, so on.  I also talk about the other holidays besides Christmas that are celebrated in December.  I hope you'll share some of your holiday traditions and memories.  I'd love to hear from you.  Post them in the comments below, or email them to me at amy@acnlifecoach.com  Thanks!  Take care.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Vlog Post: Happy Halloween! Sharing Memories



Hi!  Happy Halloween!  I meant to post this yesterday but we've had company for almost a week, so I didn't get it done until today.  Sorry!  In this vlog post, I ask you to share your memories and traditions of Halloween, and I share some of mine as well.

Did or do you go trick or treating?  Did you get into Halloween hijinx as a kid?  Do you make Halloween cookies or candy?  Do you have Halloween parties?  What's your favorite costume that you wore as a kid?  Do you think Halloween is heathenistic?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments, or email me at amy@acnlifecoach.com.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!  I'll post again tomorrow.  

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Vlog: Take a Break!


Hi!  Just a quick video today.  We've got company coming so I'm crazy busy.  But I wanted to check in and wish you a great rest of the week and weekend.  This video reminds you to take a break, spend time with family and friends, chill out.  Work is important but you need to step back a bit now and then.  If you have health issues, you'll always have stuff to do for those.  It takes time and can be a pain in the butt sometimes to fit it in, but you have to take care of yourself.  But still, find that time, even five minutes, an hour, a day, a few days, to chill, have fun.  Let me know what you do for fun and to chill out.  Do you meditate, spend time in the park or the woods, hang out with family and friends, read?  I'll catch you again next week.  Take care.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Vlog: Changing Friendships: Communicate and Be Fair


Hello!  Happy Monday!  I hope you had a great weekend.  We had a game night with friends  Saturday and it was a lot of fun.  It's always fun to get together with our friends.  We played Sequence.  That's a fun game that we all enjoy.  We also played a bit of a trivia game and charades as well.  Games are a great way to bond, relax and have lots of fun with friends.  We started our game night a few years ago and we're glad we did.  Just spread the word to your friends that you'd like to start a game night, say, once a week or once a month or even a few times a year, and see what kind of response you get.  We have had one person up to, I think, 12 or 15 attend our game nights!  It's your game night:  you decide on the number of people you want to join in.  

Okay, now on to today's video.  In it, I talk about changing friendships and how to handle them.  Change is natural and healthy.  It's best to handle such change with understanding and calm.  Of course, if you truly want particular friends who have distanced themselves to be a part of your life again, you need to be honest and forthright.  Let them know you care about them and would like to spend more time together again.  Find out if there are any misunderstandings that caused them to back off in the first place, clear the air, and hopefully rekindle that friendship.  

Have you had friends distance themselves from you?  If so, what did you do about it?  How did it make you feel?  I'd love your feedback.  Take care.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Vlog: Neighbors As Friends


Hey there!  Here's my latest vlog post:  Neighbors As Friends.  In the video, I talk about the advantages of making friends with your neighbors.  I also give tips on how to make friends.  

Do you know your neighbors?  Do you hang out together, or just wave in passing now and then?  

Do you think it's important to know your neighbors, but feel you are just too busy to make the effort?  

I'd love your feedback.  Email me at amy@acnlifecoach.com or comment below.  Thanks!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Vlog: Advantages of Acting on a Goal



Hi!  Here is my latest vlog post, this time on the advantages of acting on a goal.  Goal setting is an important part of accomplishing something you really want to do.  Then comes the planning stage.  You need to plan out how you'll meet those goals.  But, then what?  

Action!

Without action, you may never know if you have it in you to make your dreams come true.  You may never get to experience new things and go new places because you were afraid to try; afraid to fail, or you were discouraged by someone who thought you shouldn't risk it.  Well, I'm here to encourage you to do  just the opposite:


  • Try!
  • Fail!
  • Do!


Take those plans and put them into action to make your dreams come true, to meet your goals.  You may have to go through a lot of trial and error to get things right.  You may get discouraged.  You may feel like giving up.  That's okay.  Just as long as you keep trying, maybe faiilng, too, but definitely doing.  Doing something!  Without doing, you'll never know if you can do it or not.  Without failing, you might not learn valuable lessons about where to make adjustments so what you want to do comes easier and turns out better.  Without trying, you will never know how awesome it is to live on your own, travel the world, take a class, have a life-changing surgery, or anything else you may dream of doing.  

Forget the naysayers, stick to your guns, and go for your goals.  You. Can. Do. It.  Let me know how it goes.  I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Vlog: Living With an Ex As Platonic Roommates: Can It Work?


Hi!  Here's my latest vlog post.  This time I'm talking about living with an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend as platonic roommates.  I talk about what is needed for success.  I also talk a bit about my experience of being friends with an ex.  Finally, I ask the question, Can men and woman be friends?  

What do you think?  Are you friends with your ex? Do you have friends of the opposite sex?  Tell me about your experiences either in the comments below or in an email (amy@acnlifecoach.com.  Take care!


Monday, October 9, 2017

Vlog: Roadblocks: What Have You Come up Against and What Did You Do About It?


This vlog post is on roadblocks, especially those pertaining to chronic health issues, mobility issues, special needs, and so on.  As I mention in the video, I was my most significant barrier to success.  It took me a long time to get out of my own way.  I was insecure, shy, scared of my own shadow--the works.  Luckily, I was able to break down the most significant barriers in my life as I got older and work around others.  

How about you?  What barriers have you faced?  Were you able to knock them down?  If so, how?  If not, what stopped you?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.  

Friday, October 6, 2017

Vlog: Remembering a Class Trip


Hello all!  Today's vlog topic is on doing things on your own.  It is particularly geared toward those with chronic health issues.  I talk about a class trip I went on in high school.  It was the first one I ever went on without my mother.  I was nervous, but I did it.  It taught me that I really could do things on my own.  The lesson here is to try to be as independent and self-sufficient as possible.  Learn all about your health maintenance so if you're caregiver isn't around, you will know what to do.  I hope you enjoy the video and find it helpful.  Have a great weekend.  Take care.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Vlog: How to Travel With Friends


Hey there!  I'm sorry I'm late.  I'll have another post tomorrow to make up for it.  I've had doctor's appointments and volunteering to take care of this week that has kept me away from my blog.  

But, I'm back.  This time, talking about how to travel with friends.  We could get along perfectly well day to day with friends, but put us in a travel situation with them and--well, it isn't necessarily pretty.  

But it doesn't have to turn out ugly.  Here are tips on how to travel smart with friends to help keep the peace, and keep friendships intact throughout the vacation and long afterward.  

Have you traveled with friends?  What did you do to prepare for it?  How did it go/  Please share your thoughts.  Thank you!


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Identity Perception Program: Preview Videos

Hi!  Registration starts tomorrow, October 1, for my Identity Perception Program, which launches on November 1.  I'm super excited to bring you this program on a subject that is very important to me.  Identity Perception.  This program is geared toward those with chronic health issues.  How we identify and perceive ourselves can have a huge impact on how we live our lives, view others, and how other view us as well.  Having a healthy self-esteem, lots of confidence, and a positive attitude can help us perceive our identity as a positive one, helping us live more productive and fulfilling lives.  Please join me for this 8-week intensive program.  And spread the word about it to others as well.  I'd appreciate it.  

Here are three preview videos that explain more about what to expect from the Identity Perception Program and how to sign up.  Enjoy!  And if you have any questions, please email me at amy@acnlifecoach.com or text me at 435-215-6357.  You can also visit my website at www.acnlifecoach.com   Thank you!  



Preview Video #1




Preview Video #2




Preview Video #3

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Identity Perception Program: An Update



Hello there!  I'm sorry I missed my usual Wednesday post.  It was a crazy, busy day with work and doctor appointments and health maintenance.  But, here I am.  

Today, I thought I'd give you an update on the Identity Perception Program that I'll be launching on November 1.  It is geared toward those with special needs and chronic health issues.  We'll discuss confidence, self-esteem, roadblocks to having a fulfilling life, goal setting, planning, taking action, and more.  

This is my very first program, so it's a learning process, but I'm excited about how things are going.  The videos, the exercises, the copy.  It's all good!  I hope you'll think so as well.

Today, I'm finishing up the registration page on my website, which is a good thing because....drum roll....registration begins October 1!  Wow!  It's getting close.  

I'm doing this all from scratch, on my own, so it's a challenge to fit in filming and writing and design around the health issues and family time and other work-related tasks, but I'm loving it.  

Check out my website at www.acnlifecoach.com for more information on the Identity Perception Program.  If you have any questions, please email me at amy@acnlifecoach.com.  



Monday, September 25, 2017

Vlog: Helping a Friend Deal With Loss


I had hoped to get this vlog posted earlier, but I had to go to the doctor with a foot issue.  Such is life with chronic health issues.  Actually, this turned out to be an ingrown toenail.  Not a huge deal, but painful nonetheless.  I didn't want to put off getting it taken care of any longer as my toe was sore, a bit red and a little puffy.  Yow!  So, off I went to the doctor's office.  Now, I have a whopping bandage on the toe until tomorrow morning when I can downsize to a Band-Aid.  

Anyway, on to today's vlog topic.  In this video, I talk about how to help a friend deal with loss.  That loss can be due to death, moving, abandonment, misunderstanding, or suicide.  I also discuss loss of a child, parent/grandparent, spouse, partner, job, and house.  What to say, what not to say, what to do--I talk about it.  

Have you ever helped your friend through a loss?  Has a friend helped you?  What helped you as a griever and what didn't?  Did a friend tell you what you did that helped him/her the most during their difficult time?  I'd love for you to share your experiences either in the comments below or through email (amy@acnlifecoach.com).  Thank you.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Vlog: Common Barriers to Participation in Society


Hi!  Today's vlog post is on common barriers to getting involved in community/society.  I talk about jobs, volunteering, transportation, entertainment, people's attitudes, your attitude, policies, services and more.  It is important to do all we can to break down the barriers we face to facilitate a productive and fulfilling life.  

Which of the barriers discussed have you encountered?  What did you do?  Did you give up or did you break them down?  Let me know either in the comments or email me at amy@acnlifecoach.com  Thanks!  Take care.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Vlog: Building Confidence and Friendship



Happy Monday!  I hope you had a fantastic weekend!  Today's vlog is about confidence and friendship.  How to start building confidence, how confidence can help you make more friends, being real.  I also talk about my Facebook Live event happening tomorrow, September 19 at  6 AM Mountain Time.  I'm trying out a new time to see how that goes.  I'll be talking about chronic health issues and time management, as well as fitting into the family.  I hope you'll join me.  I'll be on my professional Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/acnlifecoach/  Follow/Like my page to get updates, too!  Take care.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Vlog: Special Needs and Other Labels



There are many labels for the segment of the population with emotional, mental and physical disabilities.  "Special needs" is one of them.  Do you agree with this label?  Do you agree with labeling any person in the first place?  I discuss these labels and the questions surrounding them.  What is your take on this issue?  I'm interested to find out.   

Monday, September 11, 2017

Vlog: When Friendship Hurts


Hi!  Here's today's vlog post about when friendship hurts.  I read "When Friendship Hurts," by Jan Yager, Ph.D. about a year ago and it really hit home.  I learned so much from this book about when friendships hurt and the role each of us played in that hurt.  If you are having friendship issues, I highly recommend that you read this book.  

In this video, I discuss various situations when friendship can hurt, including abandonment, death, and lifestyle change.  Please view the video, then let me know if you can think of any other situations when friendship can hurt.  Thanks.  Take care.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Vlog: When Your Old Friends Don't Like Your New Friends.



Hi!  Back with another vlog post.  This time I'm talking about when old friends and new friends don't like each other.  I cover some reasons why this may be so such as jealousy, distrust, and discrimination.  I also talk about what to do the remedy the situation including talking privately with each friend to clear the air, and seeing if you can find similar interests that old and new friends have in common.  

It's tough when old and new friends don't get along.  It can cause lots of stress.  But there are ways to solve the problem.

Have you experienced this problem?  If so, what did you do about it?  Do you have any other ideas on how to remedy the situation?  I'd love to hear from you.  Thanks.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Vlog: Choosing a New Doctor

Hi!  Today's vlog is on choosing a new doctor.  I go over the reasons you might do this as well as how to go about it. 

Something that I didn't mention in the video was that you need to talk with your insurance company rep to see what doctors are covered before you make the change.  

Changing doctors can be a traumatic experience.  I remember trying to get an appointment with a foot doctor I hadn't seen in a few years only to find out he had retired.  I was devastated.  When you build a bond; when you trust a doctor, it is hard to say goodbye.

I tend to like doctors who partner with me to discuss care options, easy to talk with, remember stuff that I told them about my work and home life, are open about their home life and interests to a point, are funny/light-hearted/open, are excellent in their field, and accommodating.

Have you experienced having to change doctors?  How did you find new ones?  Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Vlog: Toxic Friends and What to Do About It.


Hello!  Here is my latest vlog post on toxic friends.  There are a lot of signs of toxicity in friendship including abuse, lying, having only one-sided conversations, excessive drinking, and trying to get you to do things that go against your values.  It is up to you to decide whether to give such a friend a second...or third or fourth...chance or say goodbye.  It is important to watch for these and other signs of toxicity and try to remedy the situation before it causes you physical pain, stress, and illness.  

Do you have, or have you had, toxic friends?  How have you dealt with the situations you've been in with such friends?  Are they still your friends, or have you moved on?  Let me know in the comments, or you can email me.  

I also want to let you know that I'm now posting a blog post on Mondays and a vlog post on Wednesdays.  I have been quite busy lately, so I stopped blogging on Fridays for now, until my Identity perception program is finished, sometime in the next month or so.  Take care, and I'll catch you back here again on Monday.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Chronic Health Issues and Dating: Things to Consider

Jim and me in 1987
Dating can be nerve racking, to begin with. Add chronic health issues into the mix and, oh boy!  It gets even more stressful.  It can also be taxing to those who are dating you too. Share this post with your date if you feel comfortable doing so. 

Here are some things to consider on both sides:

You


  • You need to make sure that your symptoms are manageable before you start dating.
  • Find support:  Surround yourself with good friends and supportive family before you even think of starting to date.  You'll need these people to help you handle rejection and also celebrate the good times.  You could even practice talking about your health issues with these supporters so it won't be so difficult to tell your date when the time comes.

  • You are a person with thoughts, feelings, hobbies, dreams, ambitions, and interests.  You are more than your health issues.
  • Are you using your chronic health issues as an excuse to avoid going on a date?
  • Don't look for a person who will coddle and protect you:  The best person will be caring, concerned and interested in you, but will not constantly run to "save" you or do everything for you.
  • Don't settle for a particular person just because he asked you out, thinking you'll never find anyone else.  
  • Look for a date or potential partner who is dependable, respectful, reliable, and supportive.  You could also use someone who makes you laugh through the tough times too.  It all depends on your personality.
  • Concentrate on what you can do, instead of what you cannot do.
  • Look out for duds:  These people aren't just unappealing because of surface attributes like looks, an annoying laugh, or body odor, they can be downright dangerous with their fetish for sexually assaulting or otherwise harming a person with a disability.  Let your gut rule with these ominous creatures.
  • Discuss your chronic health issues when you are ready:  Be honest and open about them, but don't rush it.  Talk about them over time to avoid information overload.  And don't make it all about you.  Ask your date questions about himself and how he feels also to keep the conversation balanced.  Be ready to let your date know what the illness or issue is, if there's a cure, the symptoms you experience, how you cope with the problems, and any other information you feel comfortable sharing.  Keep things simple and straight forward.  
  • If he rejects you, keeps making excuses for not calling or showing up, or avoids you, move on.


Both You and Your Date

  • Communicate!:  This is a huge one, folks.  Be honest about health issues, problems, fears, worries, questions, concerns birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, and the like.
  • Don't make assumptions:  a.  that he won't date you because he's an athlete and you are absolutely not athletic by any stretch of the imagination, b. that she is broken just because she has health issues or c. that either of you needs to be with someone more like yourself physically.
  • Don't be afraid to dance, explore nature, or travel:  There are many accessible parks, buildings and the like.  If you use a wheelchair, try out wheelchair dancing.  It can be great exercise and lots of fun.
  • Give the person credit:  Both you and your date need to give each other credit for giving this dating thing a shot under unusual circumstances.
  • Be willing to make changes in plans/cancel dates:  Even though it's frustrating, you will both get used to looking into the accessibility of a certain area or venue before making concrete plans to take in events and activities there.  (Examples:  curbs, stairs, adequate parking, elevators, rough ground, wheel chair accessible attractions and accommodations, and so on)  Be ready to deal with the possibility of canceled dates as well.
  • Stay away from judgmental people:  Nobody needs that hassle.
  • Concentrate on your similarities with the each other rather than your differences, unless those differences are so glaringly obvious and intrusive that you can't ignore them.  Then, deal with them in a sensitive and responsible way to try to remedy the situation.
  • Go with your gut:  This is a great way to tell if you are in over your head or dating the wrong person.  
  • Be yourself:  The more you are like yourself and comfortable in your own skin the more you are apt to attract people who are a good match.  
Places to Find Potential Dates

Be cautious with any new situation, including Internet dating.  If it feels right, go for it.  If it does it, back away.

Believe me, if you can handle chronic health issues, you can handle dating.  Stick with it, have confidence in yourself, go with your gut, and have fun.