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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

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August 21, 2019

Back to School, Back to Basics

When we break it down, practicing healthy habits is rather elementary. It can also seem rather complicated. Since school is back in session, I figured

August 15, 2019

The All or None Syndrome

Ever experience Pause Button Mentality? Perhaps during the holidays, your birthday, after vacation, when work gets crazy, or kids go back to school? H

August 8, 2019

Lessons from Nature, and Grounding

We must be moving into fall, as school supplies are in the sale ads. Didn’t summer vacation just get rolling? As I look around, I see many of my lil

August 1, 2019

Creative, Easy, Grilling Ideas

Summer is for taking it easy, and that includes mealtime. Lately, Mr. Non-Compliant and I have been playing with food. Our latest game: How much can w

July 18, 2019

Happy National Ice Cream Month

The year was 1984. President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. This ye

July 11, 2019

How to Bok Choy

Summer is adventure time. With the abundance of various fruits and vegetables available at grocery stores and farmers markets, there is no reason to b

July 4, 2019

Relax and Enjoy

Welcome to the dog days of summer and simple eating. Unlike winter, when those crock pot soups and stews hit the spot, we are now in the season of lig

June 27, 2019

Atomic Habits

My current summer (now that it’s official!) read is “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. I’m working on improving a few of mine—slowly—one at a

June 13, 2019

Ten of My Best Tips

Q. What to blog about when I have too many ideas flying around my brain and I simply am not able to choose? A. Tips that cover a variety of topics, wi

June 6, 2019

The Joys of June…and Strawberries

Along with June come some fun celebrations. Besides the new season of life celebrated by many graduates (and parents, now free of tuition payments), a

And Now for 2012…

I have just returned home from a ten-day vacation.  Four days of it were spent in a van with my husband, two sons and the family dog.  We visited family in Tennessee and Florida.  No, I did not return home with a tan, as it was a bit chilly in the land of alligators!

Since I had so much time to think, I did.  I have been challenged to come up with three themes for 2012.  These are different than resolutions, which most of the time are forgotten by March.  These, to me, are more of a mindset for change.  As we look to each new year for a fresh start and continual growth, what are a few ways we are able to improve?

When I mulled this over, I came up with these themes to work on.  1.  Be prepared.  What a concept!  I heard it in Girl Scouts and it is a great idea.  If I don’t plan each day, someone else will.  “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”  (From Seneca, the Roman philosopher)  2.  Think service.  Whether I am at home, in a business situation, or anywhere in between, what is it I can do to better serve those around me?  3.  Seek wisdom.  I recently met a man who is very wise.  He became this way by seeking wisdom on a daily basis.  I was so impressed, that I have joined his mentorship program.

So, here I am, back in real life.  Christmas decorations must be stored away, laundry needs to be done, and of course, there is nothing in the fridge.  Welcome Home!  We enjoyed special family time and plenty of fun and laughs.  And yes, it is good to be home.  Many blessings to you in the year ahead.

“Life’s not about perfection, life is about progression.”  Keith Kochner

Check out www.mentorshipmastery.com for more info on Keith Kochner and his mentorship program.

A Day with Hunter

 

My family and I spent a wonderful day with my nephew, Hunter, and his parents.  He is two and one-half.  He is very busy.  We gifted him with a couple of very educational toys that were sure to please….him, not his parents.  The gifts?  Band in a Box, and tools with a battery operated (and noisy) screwdriver.  I am certain we are his new best friends and my sister-in-law’s worst nightmare.  Hee hee!

We shared meals together, relaxed until Hunter took a nap to recharge, hiked through the woods, and enjoyed the day.  It was a simple day of just being together.  As I spent time with this little guy, I was reminded of the days long gone of looking after my boys.  Yes, Hunter is a busy kid, but it was refreshing for me to spend some time experiencing his simple joy.  He loves to be with his parents and learn more stuff.  He has great manners and is warm and loving to others.  He starts each day fresh and is not hung up on the past.  Perhaps he is a great example to all of us as we approach a new year. 

Of course, it makes sense to think about the past year and look at those things that we could improve upon.  It makes even more sense to then let those things go by forgiving ourselves and moving on.  Life is about progression, not perfection.  If we look at the growth we experience year to year, hopefully we will see changes in a positive direction.  Whether it is physically, spiritually, in our relationships, or any aspect of life, it is about getting better at finding the balance, the harmony. 

So, at the end of the day and the year, I am grateful for my blessed life and my family.  I am grateful for lessons that find me each day.  I am grateful for another opportunity to try to figure out this journey of life.

“To understand is to forgive, even oneself.”  Alexander Chase    

It’s All in Your Perspective

 

I was in a grocery store line this past week, waiting to check out.  As usual, I followed my list and remembered a few other items along the way, ending up with a fairly full buggy.  Why does it seem as though we always need more food in the house?

Behind me in line was a woman and her husband.  They had a very full buggy.  She commented to me that it looked as though we would both be doing the same thing—feeding our families for Christmas.  I smiled and nodded.  She then proceeded to tell me that she had been doing this for 50 or so years, and that it should be someone else’s turn!  With three grown children and lots of grandkids, she had done her time with the Christmas dinner.  Oh, and why would they even want to come to her house, since they all have much bigger homes with lots of  room?  Her home is tiny in comparison. 

Perspective.  I suddenly recalled wonderful memories of returning to the home where I had spent lots of my growing-up years.  It was a spacious farm-house in the middle of corn and bean fields.  My favorite thing to do when I went “home,” besides eating my mom’s wonderful meals, was sleep.  It was so quiet and peaceful there in the country.  I could totally relax.  As my family grew to include a husband, children and dog, they felt the same sentiments.

So, I felt compelled to let my new acquaintance know this.  The reason her children liked to come home for Christmas was because it was comforting and safe.  How wonderful to have that relationship, when many families are at odds and may not even be speaking to one another.  Yes, it is lots of work to cook for a house full of people who probably need a nap after dinner.  My suggestion to her:  Let them know how happy she is that they can be together, and ask early on for help in the cleanup.  How many times would there be less misunderstanding and feelings of resentment, if we would only ask for what it is we need?

When a situation gets on your nerves, try turning it around to a positive.  Maybe it’s not possible, but maybe it is.  Decide to enjoy the people you love, because it is a choice we make every day.  God Bless~

“We all have the power to give away love, to love other people.  And if we do so, we change the kind of person we are, and we change the kind of world we live in.”   Harold Kushner

Are You Ready for Christmas?

 

It is December 22.  Have you been asked that question recently?  How did you respond?  Did the question evoke any specific emotion, or some anxiety perhaps?  I have been asked this numerous times in the past few days.  Well, am I?

In the traditional sense, no.  I still have shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking, cards…yes, the whole Christmas routine… to complete pretty darn quick.  So, here I sit, listening to Josh Groban sing Christmas songs to me.  Sweet!  The traffic is nuts, so I decided I should take some time away from the outer world.  Can you relate? 

Things eventually seem to get done when you need them to.  Have you noticed that?  Whether you are having guests for dinner or planning a huge party, things just seem to fall together, right on time.  Being ready for Christmas falls into this same category.

However, my thinking is a bit different when I hear this question.  I believe Christmas is something we need to be ready for everyday.  To quote my poem, “Choices,” we would be wise to “carry the spirit of Christmas throughout the year.”  Think what a different world it would be if we did!  What if we prepared for each day by deciding to be kinder and more compassionate to everyone that crosses our path?  How would we behave if we truly believe that what goes around comes around?  Would we do anything differently if we knew that Jesus had it in His day planner to show up tomorrow?  Well, would we?

A nice winter’s nap sounds quite appealing right about now, but I must put forth a bit of effort to bring about some Christmas cheer.  Guess I had better finish those cards….

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”   Isaiah 9:6  NIV