Contentment · Life Coaching · Path of Peace · Simple Living

Learn to Be Vacationally-Minded as a Lifestyle …

Consider the mindset that you enjoy on vacation. You are free to set your own schedule, not worrying about what you have to do today, not worrying about the time — just being — minus the anxiety. Now imagine the mindset of being busy at work: doing one task while being anxious about many others, worrying that you may not be doing the right task, interrupted by others, distracted and stressed.

These are two different mindsets, and yet, what if we could enjoy the vacation mind while working? Well, we would need to forego the lazing around, but the mindset could be the same. This has the potential to result in a more sane lifestyle, not just living for the weekend or the little vacation time we have, but the ability to navigate life so that we are truly happier every day.

How can this be done? We would need to practice and develop a few small habits that will make more sense as we go along.

What would the vacation mind look like at work?

Often just thinking about work tasks can alter our mindset from relaxation to anxiety: worry for what we need to do, deadlines, dealing with difficult people, information overload, being on the right task, even concerns as to whether we may be missing out on something important. (A life, perhaps :)!)

A vacation mindset lets that anxiety go and is simply present in the current moment. Time is less important, enjoying yourself is the priority. You let go of the anxiety. You aren’t worried about getting it all done, or doing the right thing right now, or all the things you have to do later. You are immersed in enjoying whatever you’ve chosen to do at the present moment.

So how would this look? You choose to work on a particular task, perhaps writing something. You, obviously, have quite a list of things to do but this is the thing you decide to work on at the moment. Could there be other things you should be doing instead? Of course, there always are and will continue to be. As for the best thing to do right now, the moment of perfect certainty never comes, so just pick something and do it.

Practice being able to enjoy the task at hand. Let other tasks take their rightful place, the time to do them will come. Immerse yourself in the current task. Focus on enjoying yourself as you do it. At times, you may mentally step back, come up for air and take a look at the bigger picture, and then return back to the project. This is what I like to call “laser-focus”.

And you can do this when you talk with a co-worker or client. You can do this with an important email, or processing paperwork/small tasks, designing something, programming, creating art, helping a patient or student. This is a learned strategy / discipline and it is doable.

We can’t just flip a switch and be good at these things today … they take practice, like any other skill. I can say that they’re worth practicing, even if you never master them, because they can transform your relationship with work.

Here are the practices that you can consider working on a little every day:

  1. Pick something, get immersed in the act of being creative. Focus on the enjoyment of creating something that is uniquely your idea. Being able to work from this relaxing mindset affords you the time to think with a higher level of energy. This will play out in everything you endeavor to do.
  2. Let go of anxieties. This takes practice. Learn to recognize when you begin to feel anxious and notice the source of the anxiety. This is typically focusing on an outcome you want to happen, such as, looking good in front of others, being highly productive, controlling a situation, etc. Realize the desired outcome is merely a fantasy, and other outcomes can work out just as well. Realize that holding on to this fantasy of how it should turn out causes stress. Let go and restore your creative energy mindset.
  3. Come up for air and see the big picture. Diving in is great, but it is also helpful to step back at times, and assess what is going on around you. Notice people who are nearby and if anyone needs your attention, how you’re sitting (and whether you’re sitting too long), etc. Is there an appointment you should get to? See the big picture, then go back into immersion.
  4. Be less worried about time. Time is important but we can be mindful of it while not being “lorded over” by it. It matters that we show up on time for appointments we have, paying attention to completion deadlines, billing clients etc. There are times when we can waste time worrying about the time we need to do or not be doing something. Practice a balance of being aware of when time matters and when there can be some leeway.

You may be considering if this is truly doable. The answer depends on you. You’ll be surprised what you can do — if you have the “want to”. 

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Mentor, Realtor, Wife & Mom

a simplified life · Contentment · Life Coaching · make better choices · Path of Peace · Simple Living · Simple Wisdom for Living · simplify

Essentialism: The Simple Explanation of Minimalism

Essentialism is best described as pursuing the Right Things so that we are able to Focus More on the things we Enjoy Most!

I’ve been writing about the value of simplicity for nearly 20 years. I enjoy breaking down certain mindsets of positive thinking or actions into bite-sized pieces to gain a deeper understanding of the terms or phrases that may present a new way of thinking. I’m a 60s baby and in the last 30 years, we’ve observed our music, vocabulary, schools of thought and even our food change in rather drastic ways!

I recently stumbled across the word “essentialism” during an Internet search.  It is highly possible that Essentialism just might be a new and better way of describing what so many of us seek when pursuing minimalism or a simple life. I recently noted a book on Essentialism that defines it as “The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown. I read a summary of it that could certainly be the statement of the way I do life.

So what is Essentialism? Simply put, it is the identification, and then the continual choice, of living (doing, buying, seeking) ONLY what is essential. Quite similar to a life of simplicity, Essentialism elaborates on the saying, “less is more” to make it a declaration that “less is better.”

I have considered myself a “minimalist” since 1999. Something about the all around scare-tactics etc., of what Y2K may bring or cause, got me to thinking that I wanted to focus on making better and more meaningful choices in my life. Homeschooling offered my girls and me the opportunity to have a Cottage Industry that provided various income streams to fund the interests we had as well as wonderful opportunities to add much-needed skillsets equating to an interesting and well-rounded educational experience. 

After a divorce in 2003, and armed with a belief that God has and always will have a plan for me that is better than I could ever design for myself, I set out to learn what was most important, most enjoyable, and most aligned with God’s best for me. My goal was to best utilize what He had taught me in my life up to that point.

The biggest obstacle I faced was determining what defined me and what would be the important pursuits of my life going forward. Basically I learned to ask myself often, “Based on where I am and what I’m facing, what is the next basic right thing that will lead to the outcome that will positively impact me and everything / everyone I hold dear?”

Here is what I have learned: The Most Important Thing I Can Do is to Develop Healthy Boundaries, which basically means: Self-Control. Boundaries provide a Structure for Success in Life & Work.

Here is what that looks like:

I have been given the privilege and responsibility to prioritize my life! If I avoid doing it, someone else may step in and take on that role in a way that serves their needs best.  As we all know, those we surround ourselves with may act as if they know best how we should be living and what we should be doing, especially if they observe us mostly flying by the seat of our pants. Taking the time to prioritize our life and choices eliminates our being tied and / or obligated to others expectations.

I continually ask myself, whether I am at work or play, “Is this the most important thing I should be doing with my time and resources right now?” It helps me to zero in on what is most important in the moment. If it isn’t important to me at the present time, I  simply choose to redirect my focus to what matters and what will have the most impact on the purpose I am seeking to achieve.

I want to live a life of Essentialism by design and, therefore, not default to living based on what is happening to me. I want to effectively learn to master my response to situations, good and bad, and be able to turn things around, and gain a positive outcome, if at all possible. This requires that I continually choose to focus on what is most important in any given moment and then act accordingly. Therefore, if unexpected circumstances attempt to throw me off balance, I have reserved my emotional energy to quickly and easily return to my “design” of living life, based on pursuing the right thing and focusing on what I enjoy most.

I don’t want to have it all and I don’t need to do it all. At one time, I actually believed  that I could and would do and have it all. Over time, I learned that this kind of thinking actually eliminates and distracts me from experiencing the highly desirable choices and experiences that I most enjoy. I find it to be critical to first clarify and then be willing to make the necessary trade-offs in order to pursue what is most important to me. One of the things I remind myself when I am struggling to stick with my plan is this: “I choose to NOT trade off what I want MOST for what I want right NOW!”

I have learned that I do not need to be ‘plugged into’ all that is happening either virtually or globally all of the time. Rather I have decided that the most important thing for me to focus on is what’s front and center of my actual world at the present time. I continually find that focusing on the few essential ideas right in front of me is typically more rewarding, and offers greater potential, than the many that may be trying to distract me.

The best form of Self-Control (Healthy Personal Boundaries), is learning to say no to the nonessentials so I can say yes to the things that really matter. It is an ongoing temptation to say ‘Yes’ to far too much and end up sacrificing time and energy on things that don’t really improve the quality of  life. I find it easier not to commit if I’m not certain that I can give 100%. And, it is always easier to turn a ‘No” into a “Yes’, if I find that I can jump in and do what is requested of me. This requires me to have the courage to say no firmly, resolutely and gracefully so that I can say “yes” to those things that I truly value and where I know I can purposefully make a difference.

The effectual pursuit of simplicity (essentialism / minimalism) is about arriving at a deep understanding of what leads to a happy and meaningful life for each of us personally. It has never just been about sacrificing or getting rid of stuff.

Sheri Geyer is a Mentor, Writer, Realtor, Wife & Mom

a simplified life · Contentment · Life Coaching · Path of Peace · Simple Living · simplify

Roll with it, Baby!

Each day brings a variety of events. Some routine and anticipated things and some possible surprises. There is a strong temptation to judge the unanticipated happenings as bad or negative. We may feel it necessary to try to fight or run from these situations rather than embrace them for the good we can learn from them. 

We are unable to control or have advance notice on all that happens. We do have the advantage of controlling what we choose to think and do about everything that does happen. 

Even when we face negative situations, we can respond in ways that are helpful and beneficial. Developing a resolve to follow our purpose can be a strong motivator to not let our circumstances deter us from what we deem to be worthy of our most firm commitments. 

While the wind will vary its direction, by changing our sails we can allow our ship to maintain its course.

We can make a determination of what we will do with each day and the purpose we will follow for our life, and decide to live true to these choices. We will be surprised what we can do when we have the ‘want to’!

Sheri Geyer is a Realtor and Life Coach. 

If this has been an encouragement to you, please share @Sheri_Geyer. Thank you! 

a simplified life · Contentment · Growing Relationships · Life Coaching · Path of Peace · Simple Living

Encourage Enlightenment 

Each of us has a powerful message in our hearts. God ignites a candle in all of us. Once we come to the understanding of ‘why’ we are here, our pursuit becomes to find the ‘what’ that we are to be doing. 

We often have big dreams of doing great things! We imagine the view from the top and it is the finished project and in our ‘vision’ it is fabulous. Then we roll up our sleeves to begin the grunge work. Not as delightful as our envisioned view from the top!

How do we gain and retain the motivation to stay the course? To build the house, write the book, start the business, make the long term commitment? 

I believe we do this by encouraging the process of enlightenment in our lives. We begin the process of establishing the small, often simple, daily habits that lead to success in our endeavors. This will be a different recipe for each of us based on our unique desires and personality. It’s the variety of life that opens us up to be enlightened. 

These habits are established by drawing a firm line in the sand and determining our willingness to do whatever it takes to experience the growth we each need on a personal level. This is the grunge work! 

To be successful in implementing our daily plans (the series of simple daily habits), we must first breakthrough our resistance to the things that will be diabolically opposed to our success. These will be different for everyone because each one of us is a unique individual. 

These little “oppositions” may come in the form of negative attitudes, self-berating words, limiting beliefs, fear and doubt, laziness, believing the things about ourselves that come from an internal or external critical evaluator, and a possible myriad of other factors. 

Finding the support and encouragement we need requires pro-activity. This involves putting one foot in front of the other and diffusing every thought, word or behavior that begs to do otherwise. 

Another much needed addition to our lives to be our best (read: ‘our best’ NOT ‘the best’ – usually a fear or characteristic that impedes growth and success), is accountability. Allowing ourselves to build strong and trustworthy relationships helps us set in motion the relational capital with significant relationships, whereby, we give permission to someone to raise the questions that help us to stay on track. 

This whole picture equates to living the authentic life God has designed for each of us. Authenticity requires vulnerability and transparency. No more hiding and deceiving ourselves about the what, when, way and how our best life can happen!

As we live in authentic relationship with others, and they see our willingness to truly be ‘who’ we are, we give them permission to be who they are as well. 

This is what I like to call ‘Encouraging Enlightenment’. 

If we give and receive acceptance and freedom to be the person we truly are (requires relinquishing what isn’t working), we give others the gift of strength to step into a growth plan that affords them the same opportunity. 

Acceptance and freedom from pretense and judgment are key players in learning to live our best life. We create that for ourselves but not by ourselves, by choosing to lay down our resistance and step into the growth process. 

And why, you ask. Because our relationships, work, business, and our world, will only grow as much as we do! 

What is it that may be hindering you from your best life? Find your encouragement and be open to enlightenment. 

You will never be the same! And you can thank yourself later 😊

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach and Realtor on the Geyer Home Team in Savannah, Georgia.

Life Coaching · Path of Peace · Simple Living

Being in Control ~ Real or Illusion

Letting go of the need for control is one of the (many) things I have to consistently work on to achieve positive results.

My default setting is that I want to feel in control of how things will turn out — control of a trip that I’m on, of a project I’m handling, how a conversation will go or even getting my dogs to “go” in a timely manner..

Often, it becomes more frustrating than the way I had imagined it could be ~ IF I were truly in control.

For starters, I don’t think we can ever really control how things will turn out. We might think we do, but how often do things actually turn out exactly the way we’ve planned?

I know my life has been a series of unexpected outcomes, despite my best intentions to get to certain goals. Even the goals that I reach turn out to be much different once I achieve them than I had originally planned.

This has mostly been the case for this year — 2015. When we rolled over into a new year on January 1, I had no idea what this year would bring… health concerns for my mom resulting in 19 trips to Savannah so I could handle things in her best interest, the sale of our home in Roswell, a relocation and relaunch of our Real Estate Careers in Savannah, and a myriad of smaller less notable but certainly definable changes. Had I known, I may have rolled over and covered up my head :).

Through this journey, I’ve found that when I want to control the outcome of things, I become more anxious and tense. I’m less happy with how other people do things, less happy with myself, and less relaxed in the moments that I ordinarily would be able to enjoy. My relationships and responsibilities suffer because I am preoccupied with how I “think” things ought to be or how they ought to turn out.

So how do I deal with this reoccurring struggle? What I am discovering is that I am unable to stop myself from wanting to control things. I can’t even stop the urge to control outcomes from coming up in me. So I have to just notice the desire to control things, and let the urge happen. I have learned that I don’t have to act on urges that arise in me, especially if they are truly not the best for me or for the ones most important to me.

I’ve found this to be easier said, than done. My goal is to remind myself to see the urge, not as a command that I am required to follow, but simply a suggestion from the child within me. I can then be aware to look for the good things that can come from the situation, even if it’s uncontrolled. I don’t need to control things to enjoy them, I can just let them happen.

That said, I still take action. There are things I can control that have a positive effect on me and hopefully, on those important to me. I can look up information regarding a trip I’ll be taking simply because I’m curious and can then be aware of what opportunities may be available to me on a new adventure. I can be free to let conversations flow naturally. And my furry friends can take their leisure in enjoying being outside without me pressuring them to “hurry up”. These are all simply stress-management exercises from which I can greatly benefit.

I can experience the freedom of letting go when I realize I have a choice: I can choose to try to control the outcome, or I can trust in the moment.

I choose trust.

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Realtor, Wife and Mom

Life Coaching · Path of Peace · Simple Living · Simple Wisdom for Living

Spring Forward… Boost Your Momentum

It’s difficult to always feel great about what you are doing, choices you are making or the ones you have made and the impact you may be experiencing from them. If you don’t always feel the confidence level you would like to have, here are some thoughts for boosting the way you view YOU!

Learn to define success on your terms.  Many of us struggle because we have an inner voice that drives us to a goal of perfectionism. It’s that “I-should-bedoing-something-more” mindset. Often these expectations are programmed into us by family, our environment or culture. We may actually have no idea why we feel that good is never good enough.

Or we may be leaning toward views we hear on television, celebrity news or trends on social media. As you can imagine, most of us want to present ourselves and our lives in the best light. That is a good thing to remember when we read about or listen to others. No one is getting it perfect. Perfection isn’t even a goal to pursue.

The goal is to do and be the best that we can… and that is what will boost our confidence level and allow us to feel gratification in the pursuits we undertake.

Another thing to consider is that we do not have to absorb others’ beliefs and standards regarding the speed that we choose to do life. It’s best to consider what it is that we truly want and act accordingly.

Stand up straight and tall. (Like your mother told you) 🙂  Changing your posture not only changes the way you are perceived by others, but it can help you to see yourself in a more positive light. And it may actually change your body chemisty… increasing testosterone and decreasing cortisol, the stress hormone.

When you begin to stretch regularly, morning and at night, focusing on the neck, lower back, arms and legs, you will begin to crave it because it feels so good and gives you such a great energy boost.

For proper posture, ears need to be above the shoulders and shoulder blades back, with a bit of curvature in the lumbar spine. You will experience a better day which, when practiced consistently, can lead to a better life.

You have more control than you may think.  At times, it may feel that life just happens to us, when, in fact, we create our own reality. The latest scientific evidence indicates that our mindset, good or bad, happy or sad, plays a huge role in how our experiences unfold.

Obviously, there are events beyond our control, however, our reactions to them and how we choose to create the circumstances within our control can help us to feel empowered and build resilience. Much of what we concern ourselves with, may never happen. And if we experience the worst case scenarios, we need our energy and resolve, at that point, to be able to think on our feet and not cave under the emotional stress.

Be aware that building confidence is an inside and outside job. The better you feel on the inside, the better you will feel on the outside, and vice versa.  Consider that the routine you establish for your mornings, will pretty much dictate the remainder of your day. If you take time to have a quiet time of reflection, prayer, meditation, journaling or simply enjoying your coffee or tea before you have to dive into your routine for the day, you will reap it’s benefits throughout your day.

In turn, if you hit the floor running, having forgotten an early meeting, you can pretty much determine that all day it will seem that you are running behind. This adds to your stress, negativity and ability to manage your circumstances. Prepare yourself for your day, even if it means beginning the evening before.

Taking time to exercise, even for 10 or 15 minutes, does more than burn calories and inches. It speaks to you that you believe that YOU are important and it is a good thing for you to focus a little on yourself so that you can be your best self. The time you spend on you will improve the reflection you have of yourself, both in the mirror, and in your mental image.

And, as a result you will not only look but will feel much better.  Being our best, means that we appreciate and value others, and we can do that much better if, we start with loving and valuing ourselves. And, we absolutely reap what we sow!

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Writer, Realtor, Wife and Mom

 

Growing Relationships · Life Coaching · Path of Peace · Simple Living · Simple Wisdom for Living

What Gift Can I Bring?

This Christmas Season,  in light of the bondage so many face on a daily basis, we can shed some light on the joy of freedom from fear.

Fear of INADEQUACY
(Luke 1:12-13) Zacharias and Elizabeth were just too old, too competent in their profession, too planned for their twilight years to take on this new venture, calling, paradigm…this ‘wild at heart’ John the Baptist baby who would “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children…”

When we experience this Freedom from Fear we can approach people who may be facing new assignments in life due to unexpected change, without fear. Some of them may compare the impact of your life on them like a visitation from an angel!

Fear of INTIMIDATION
(Luke 1:30, 74) Teenager Mary knew what it meant for her to be pregnant out of wedlock in her day and culture…she had seen and heard the voices of mockery and shame that had intimidated and marginalized others in her day. Who would believe her dream and “visitation” and how would this affect the most important person in her life, Joseph?

Our Freedom in Christ helps us to conquer our own intimidating voices within so we can assist others as they tackle theirs. What assignments do others or we have that intimidates our own comfort zones or the ‘group think’ of those around us? Who are the significant people whose opinions are keeping us, or those we care about, from personal destiny significance? What ‘for such a time as this’ dreams are being busted by the intimidators who control the gateways of our lives?…here is the answer; YOU HAVE FOUND FAVOR WITH GOD!

Fear of INSIGNIFICANCE                                                                                             (Luke 2:9-10) Shepherds don’t count for much in any culture. Out in the hill country they could see the glow of the city where the VIPs lived their lives in significant busyness while they followed generations of sheep trails by day and quiet star gazing by night. Seems like the same old purposeless driven life….until they heard, UNTO YOU THIS DAY….”are you REALLY talking to ME?”

Staying the course on our individual searches for significance and not settling for the ordinary, requires support, encouragement and accountability. We are qualified by our own example of freedom to call the shepherds and the sheep around us to the higher ground of living their lives on target. We have discovered that the freedom is in the journey, not the arrival. The issue is what we are aiming at, not what we have hit. At the end of 2014 we simply need to ask others, and ourselves “What have we done with ‘Unto YOU this day has been given…’?”

Fear of INDECISIVENESS                                                                                                                     (Matthew 1:20) Joseph’s mind and heart was a battlefield of emotional and mental contradictions. Every decision was a lose/lose. Like so many indecisive men down the ages he felt he was caught in a double bind with no way out. Even not making a public example of Mary left him numb. He feared the consequences of every decision that his mind paraded before him.

Our steady and consistent turning to God and His Word, when all of the options seem to leave us paralyzed with indecisiveness, can help us be an example for others. We can encourage them as they learn to re-frame the situation, get another perspective on it, and come up with creative options that may have been overlooked. In days of political spin, corporate speak, and religious hype we can be a sounding board for others who can get the clarity that says “This is the way, walk in it”, “Choose this day…”, “As for me and my house, we will…”

Freedom is best known when the landscape is subject to the bondage of pessimism, anxiety, worry, dread, all contributing to a FEAR of the Future. That is why our own Freedom from Fear is the greatest qualification to coach and encourage others this Christmas and beyond. Here is your gift. Why not open it now so you can serve others and set the captives free from fear, one conversation at a time.

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Writer, Realtor, Wife & Mom