1-219-765-8600

carol@inkwellcoaching.com

1020 Woodhollow Drive, Schererville, IN

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May 23, 2019

Float Your Troubles Away

There are many ways to improve your state of mind and health that have nothing to do with food. Floating is one of them. Floating therapy is the relax

May 16, 2019

Fitness Made Simple

When you boil it all down, getting fit is really very simple. Here’s the secret: Create a habit that leads you in the direction of improving your he

May 9, 2019

I Ate Raw Cookie Dough

As I was making a batch of gluten free chocolate chip cookies, I caught myself swiping my finger along the inside of the bowl. I then proceeded to lic

May 2, 2019

Delay, Don’t Deny

Welcome to May, the month of lilacs, celebrating mom, and getting out the summer wardrobe. If the mention of summer wardrobe makes you break out in a

April 25, 2019

How Do You Celebrate Spring?

I find the recent arrival of spring weather to be motivating. For example, my “To Do” list includes, and is not limited to: Clear away fall leaves

April 19, 2019

Frittata in a Mug

Serves 1 ½ cup packed fresh baby spinach leaves 2 Tablespoons water 2 large eggs 2 Tablespoons cottage cheese ¼ cup grated cheese 4 grape or cherry

April 18, 2019

Celebrate New Life

About two decades or so ago, a construction worker appeared at my pharmacy consultation window looking for advice. He needed help falling asleep, and

April 11, 2019

Good Snacks

As I mentioned last week, I had to put together some serious snacks to get me through a busy weekend. I was highly successful! Here’s what I packed

April 4, 2019

Cauliflower, Commitment, and Courage

As many of you know, I am not a cauliflower fan, even though I’m fond of most other vegetables. I’ve been challenged by lots of you on various wa

March 28, 2019

What Lights You Up?

In the course of your day, what makes you happy, brings up your energy, and makes you feel truly alive? What lights you up? Did a number of things com

Less Really is More

It is gardening time in Indiana.  I love it!  My tulips have just completed a beautiful round of glorifying my yard and even my husband commented on their brilliance.  Never mind that it was a temperate day last December when I planted the bulbs.  Yes, the rest of the neighborhood was hanging their Christmas lights that day, but I was not intimidated.  Perseverance pays. 

As I prepared to plant my annuals and vegetables, I decided that some extra nutrients were in order to have a successful growing season.  I loaded up on lots of organic matter and some fertilizer that said “twelve-twelve-twelve” on the front.  A Master Gardener (which I am not) friend of mine suggested some “ten-ten-ten” to help my vegetables thrive, but the “twelve-twelve-twelve” was what I found, so I figured it must be better.  My non-gardening husband agreed with that thinking. 

Fast forward to today.  It has been about three weeks since I planted some of my annuals.  With each plant, I added the fertilizer and the organic matter to the dirt.  Some of the plants look happy, and a few are now dead.  Gone.  What went wrong?  In some cases, the plants are neighbors!  How could this be?  Turns out, according to the expert gardeners (again, not me) I overdid it with the nutrients.  The soil was simply too rich for those little flowers.  I now know that I should choose one or the other, not both.  Some lessons are tough.  In this case, less is more.  I do believe that this thinking is best in many situations.  Seems to me I say those same words every December when we hang our Christmas lights.  Happy planting…

“Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in one day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, doing less so I can do more, acquiring less so I can have more.”  Wendell Berry    

Feeling Stormy? Experience Growth!

 

One of the really cool parts about our humanity is our ability to feel…so much.  Like, the warmth of the sun on a summer day in July, and a cool breeze off the Lake.  Or, the soft rain on our skin when we get caught in an April shower, just before the flowers bloom.  We love the feel of happiness, when a day just seems to roll along in the right direction.  Those moments when everything seems at peace in the world, or our world, at least.

One of the toughest parts about our humanity is our ability to feel…too much.  When our child gets hurt in the game and is out for the season or someone makes a remark that cuts through our heart.  Nothing goes our way no matter how hard we try.  Illness zaps our energy and causes every bone in our body to make itself known.  The thunderstorms of life have the potential to drown us. 

So, what do we do?  Such a blessing and a curse, to feel, really feel, life.  Wouldn’t it be sweet to just savor the good parts and let the rest go?  It would, for a while.  But how would a great day in our eyes make itself be known if we didn’t have a less than great day to compare it to?  We would never appreciate what it is to be well, if we are never ill.  And I am absolutely positive that after a few months of winter, I appreciate my crocuses much more than a person who can gaze upon the beauty of fresh blooms all year.

We experience duality for good purpose.  It is the only way we can grow as individuals and become who we are truly meant to be.  Adversity builds character and creates a foundation that has the potential to become unshakeable, if we allow it.  We don’t have to like it, merely embrace it for our good.  Oh, and equally as important, for the good of the next friend we are able to help through the storm. 

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28 NIV

Sometimes All We Can Do is “Be”

 

I recently spent most of my days sitting and “being.”  Reading anything of substance was merely an exercise of moving my eyes across the page.  Nothing would sink into my brain.  I could work puzzles…easy Sudoku and a few crossword.  Even my Bible lessons seemed impossible to figure out.  Hmmm. Perhaps because not every answer is clear cut. 

What I was able to do, besides pray, was be.  And nod off to sleep.  For days and days, I sat at the bedside of my mother as she transitioned to eternity.  She had been an Alzheimer’s patient for over a decade.  Her mind and body would be free at last, while all I could do was be.  Mindless.  Still.    

I recalled the early days of her illness, when it was best to sit together in silence.  Conversation went in circles.  We would simply be.  Together.  And in the final moments of her life, the circle became complete.  When I came into this world, it was the two of us, together.  As she left this world, it was once again, the two of us, together.  All we could do was be.  Still.

“Be still, and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10 NIV

Good Times at the Farmhouse

 A couple weeks ago I paid a visit to my Aunt Susie.  She is ninety-four years young, the only remaining child of ten.  We did what ladies like to do, and went out for lunch.  The chicken and noodles we had were not nearly as good as she and her sisters once made, but the comfort food brought back some good memories.  A nice surprise, her son Bruce stopped by while we were enjoying our time together.  He gave me a gift of a drawing he had done of the farmhouse that our parents grew up in. 

Since there had been no pictures to draw the house from, he drew it the way Aunt Susie described.  The farmhouse was a two-story frame with a porch that nearly wrapped around the entire house.  A porch swing was hanging in front of the kitchen window.  A warm light shone from the family room, as that was the center of activity and warmest in winter. 

I listened intently as Aunt Susie described the interior, which room was which, and all the happy stories that came to mind along the way.  She also told me of the difficulties that came about when her father was killed.  She helped raise the youngest siblings as her mother and the older ones went off to work.   

What really amazed me was that in spite of the hardships they endured, she enjoyed growing up when she did with her family and all of its imperfections.  Her memories were happy and I delighted in listening to them come alive through her stories.  Now, if only I could recreate the chicken and noodles that were once made in the farmhouse kitchen…

“The happiest people in the world are not those who have no problems, but the people who have learned to live with those things that are less than perfect.”  James Dobson