a simplified life · encouragement · Growing Relationships · make better choices · Path of Peace · Resolving Conflict

How Does My Heart Grow? 

*This writing was inspired by my friend Brande ❤

Being easily offended or defensive when someone has a different opinion that does not support our views is a negative response that hinders emotional maturity. 

Allowing respectful diverse view points into our thinking helps us grow and gain insight from different perspectives. Limiting ourselves to ideas only from people who agree with us can inhibit or destroy significant relationships.

Assuming that we are being rejected if others do not perform as we desire or show support in our endeavors results in unhealthy thought processes. 

If we work to communicate with one another with kindness, patience, and understanding, we can cultivate ways to operate in love and empathy, opening opportunities for growth and strong relationships that impact us personally, spiritually and professionally. 

Might it be possible that God intended diversity to mature and teach us how to love in a way that transforms us as well as others? 

I believe it is worth pondering… 

Sheri Geyer is a Realtor & Christian Life Coach

If you’ve enjoyed this, please share! @Sheri_Geyer

a simplified life · make better choices · regret · regret a decision · Resolving Conflict · Simple Wisdom for Living

Regret: Can We Avoid It?

We often hope, whether stated or not, that we never have to experience regret. Often, our biggest challenge (to avoid regret) is when we stand at a place where we know God desires us to surrender to Him. Surrender for a believer is perpetual. This boils down to a question of our wills. It is easy to hesitate for fear of what others will think or how they will be impacted. Or how we may be judged.

‘Life” is what happens while we are busy making other plans. One guarantee in life is that it eventually lands us in places we never imagined, both as a result of choices we make, and for purposes which God intends. Our response to it will determine the altitude with which we cruise through and whether we are strengthened during the process. Or whether we crash and burn and then have to pick up the pieces and begin again.

In this life, regret can be defined as grief, sorrow; and pain of mind. Even having a sincere desire to do our best in life, since we are unable to see the future, we will likely make some choices that we may regret. The level of discomfort or sorrow we feel is likely to be directly in proportion to the motive of our effort more than anything. If we truly did our best and things didn’t go as we had hoped, it is often easier to forgive ourselves and move on. On the other hand, if we were warned, we may have a longer journey to reach the point of putting the difficult season behind us and moving on to a better place as well as to the necessary healing.

So if we are unable to completely avoid regret, what can we do when we experience it?

Avoid indulging it. Imagine you are swimming in the ocean and your feet have become entangled in seaweed. The seaweed is “regret” (apply this reflection to anywhere you may feel stuck). You tug and swim harder, yet you are still unable to move forward with the seaweed wrapped heavily around your feet. Indulging a regret, means we go over and over it, analyzing every detail, and becoming more tangled by replaying in our minds all the “woulda-shoulda-and-coulda(s)”. We may hold on to it becoming identified with it which can cause us to feel paralyzed or victimized.

Be honest with where we are and learn to make new choices. We have the choice to simply look at it, feel it, accept it, learn from it, and when ready, untie it and swim on. Repressing our regrets, on the other hand, creates a different problem because we believe we are actually “getting on with life”. Yet, by ignoring the feelings that need to be felt, we tend to harden our hearts over time. Acknowledging our regrets, helps us face and feel them, learn from them and make good wherever possible. We can then forgive ourselves and others and find healing, rather than be held hostage to our past.

Just do the work without worrying about the timing. We like to have timelines attached to transformation. If you’re like me, you would love to know when you will finally be done with a particular regret and freely swimming on. The best way to gain what we need from the situation is to focus on the work, and let go of expectations around outcome and timing. Our work is to shed layers that get in the way of living and showing up fully. Any time it may arise, we can simply notice it, allow it to deepen our experience of vulnerability and humility, and grow in integrity.

You don’t have to do it alone. Speak your regret out loud to someone close who supports you or write it in a journal between you and God. There is something inherently restorative in either of these acts. At times, if we are able to reflect on the respective journeys we have taken in life with a close friend, with a calm and gentle courage, it builds a strong bond. It’s where we can learn there is a place beyond regret.

A Word of Caution: Don’t assume you know for anotherRegret is a deeply intimate reflection of a particular person’s life, hopes, dreams and choices. Each of us need space and grace to walk this path, some pieces of the journey we may find we need to be alone with God. At other times, we may be more comfortable sharing the burden with a deeply trusted loved one. It is a unique and individual experience. We each can be one who brings hope and encourages healing in our life and in the lives of others.

Once we have allowed regret to change from something that drags us down and overwhelms us, we can experience growth that can make us more sensitive, kind and caring… a true refreshing breath to others.

Regret may linger for a season, but it loses its sting! 

Sheri Geyer is a Realtor & Christian Life Coach

If you’ve enjoyed this, please share! @Sheri_Geyer

a simplified life · Contentment · Resolving Conflict · Simple Living

Empowered by Solitude

Consider the benefit of solitude… In our fast-paced, high performing lifestyles, it is often very hard to find a time for solitude, and most of us try to avoid it anyway. 

Why do we attempt to avoid it? I believe people may think of solitude as “loneliness” But they are two very different mindsets.
Loneliness brings to mind times when we have been down or have felt overlooked, unloved or rejected. Not so with solitude. 

Solitude is a purposeful choice that we make to come apart, if you will, before we “come a-part”. It is a place where we recognize that we need to take a breather, to get a second wind in facing our lives and circumstances.

Isaiah, a major prophet in the Old Testament reported that …”in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” [Isaiah 30:15b] Solitude can be a divine appointment with ourselves in the presence of God only. It can be a place where we can determine our purpose for the here and now.

Be warned that there are many distractions that seek to monopolize our time and to prevent us from this wonderful opportunity for renewal that we find in separating ourselves to gain perspective.

Our dealings with difficult situations [or people] can best be put in proper perspective when we move away from the circumstance or person and evaluate the true issues of conflict or division, something that is rarely accomplished in a head-to-head debate.

Nothing good comes without cost, and solitude is no exception. The cost is that of separation and commitment to the effort of trading off some “good” plans or events for some in our “best” interest. 

To attain the best from our times of solitude, we need to make it a priority. It is important that we learn to take care of ourselves, in order that we are best prepared to handle the other “important” issues of our lives. It is okay to prepare and equip yourself for difficult or stressful times.

A major benefit of solitude, when practiced on a regular basis, is good health [it’s fat free as well]. It de-stresses and energizes us when we make it a habit. We can experience better productivity in our work and projects and often, receive clarity, because our mind is cleared, concerning a problem that we have been perplexed by or perhaps just haven’t had the time to deal with appropriately.

Solitude helps repair the “noise” that we endure in so much of our waking lives. It brings a quietness and a calmness that will be a comfort to us as well as to others. Overall, solitude brings us to a place of peace and communion with our Creator, and can restore our hope to press on through rough times.

Do not underestimate the empowering characteristics of solitude. One final benefit, you will be in good company!

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

Contentment · Growing Relationships · Path of Peace · Resolving Conflict

Fact vs. Feeling

“How are you feeling today?”

“My feelings were hurt.”

“I’m not feeling it.”

It would be a nice reminder to respond to the “facts” about our life situations if people asked us, “What is true about your life today?”, or “What is going on that you can impact to make a difference?” This, possibly, could become a trigger to think on what is true about our lives as opposed to what we “feel” is true about our lives.

We can easily become overly concerned about what we ‘think” someone else is ‘thinking’ regarding us. When, in actuality, we or our situation may be the furthest thing from their minds.  When I begin thinking along these lines, I often chuckle to remind myself that I am onlykind of a big deal’ in my own mind. 🙂

Picture a train, the engine is the power that drives it and the caboose (when they were used) served to house the crew responsible for track switching and acting as lookouts for load shifting or other concerns.  If we regard the TRUTH about our lives as the engine of the train that drives us, we can move along empowered by making decisions based on what we know to be right. If, on the other hand, we are led by our FEELINGS, it is as if we are letting the caboose engineer our life train and we become disempowered because we can be on a roller coaster driven by emotions and not truth. It is stressful and chaotic at best and ultimately results in, you guessed it, a train wreck!

Avoiding this mindset of feelings-driven living, requires us to be intentional in cultivating a belief system that is grounded in the truth about any given situation. This is the truth about what is and not what only may be or could be. It is recognizing the things we have the power to change as well as the ones we will need to learn to accept because we cannot change them.

When I meet or speak with folks and the discussion involves facts vs. feelings, I often recommend that they get an index card and on one side, write: “What am I feeling about the current situation I am facing?” And on the flip side, I suggest they write: “What is true about the current situation I am facing?” This can really prove to be a game-changer if you are prone to lean into your feelings, which are nothing more than assumptions about the way you believe that something is going to turn out.

It is much less stressful and more enjoyable to face facts and adjust to what is true than it is to be carried on the winds of our feelings whereby we are up and down and never really sure what is true and what to expect.

Regardless of our feelings or emotions, we can choose to do the next basic right thing. Putting this choice into practice will serve well in developing a belief system that, “what is fact is true”, and “what is assumed, is yet to be determined”.

And remember, our feelings follow our actions, so choose what is the next best thing you need to do and do it… the right feelings will come along in due time!

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

Contentment · Life Coaching · Path of Peace · Resolving Conflict · Simple Living · Simple Wisdom for Living

What I Am Becoming is Way More Important than What I am Doing!

A bold statement: “What I am becoming is way more important than what I am doing”.

Yet, in reality, it is freeing. It allows me to stop worrying about producing and pay attention to the things I am learning, the ways I’m being stretched, and what is birthed in the way of fruit as a result of the choices I make in life.

We’ve probably all experienced the George Bailey (It’s A Wonderful Life) moments, where we wonder if our having been born really makes much difference at all. These ideas usually come on the tail end of a season of having things seemingly on a downturn. Much of these distractions, if we choose to focus on them, tend to keep us from happily “row row rowing our boat merrily, merrily, merrily, down the stream”. 

If we can consider that perhaps, what we are becoming through the processes of reflection, growth and change in our lives may be more important than whatever it is we are endeavoring to do, we may be able to endure the challenges of life more patiently.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers”, he identifies the difference in our level of expertise in life according to a 10,000-hour rule. This “rule” is that when you have invested 10k hours in doing something, you are truly an expert at it. He parallels the lives of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, among others. It is a really good read about some interesting success stories, as well as motivational.

The importance is placed on what we are becoming in light of practicing and reading and engaging in repeated efforts around things we are passionate about.  I think of it like learning to write in cursive, or playing the piano, or whatever we endeavor to do well.  We don’t arrive at “being a master”; the art of mastery is in the becoming…the practice, the conscious thinking and focusing on, the commitment to continuing to get back in the ring, on the bike or horse, or at the keyboard, and the willingness to compete with only one…myself…as a means for improving today over yesterday.

It isn’t a striving; it is a growing process. It is natural like learning to crawl before we walk and like acquiring a taste for new things, whether it be food or adventure.

To enjoy life on a broader scale, be open to all things but attached to none.  Being open doesn’t mean you have to “do” all things; the openness (absence of judgment) frees us mentally to focus on the becoming. We celebrate and feel the exhilaration of what “can be” as opposed to fighting what can’t be or feeling hemmed in by all we “can’t do”.

I recently engaged in a conversation with a good friend as we discussed the “bearing of fruit” in our lives versus “producing fruit”. She had spent some time reflecting on her journey and what God’s Word says regarding the difference and it was very enlightening. We often strive to produce fruit. If we can frame our efforts in the matter of “bearing fruit”, it is a natural progression of building on to a well-laid foundation or a well-watered garden.

So, whatever you are facing at the present moment, if you are tempted to stress over all that you are doing, whether or not it is the right thing to do or try, consider that what you will learn in this season is another piece in what you are becoming. We are able to learn from all choices that we make and we benefit from everything we learn, so you can just go with it and welcome the awareness you now have around the art of becoming.

God has ignited a candle within each of us, a passion with potential to burn brightly in our sphere of influence. As we move into the process of becoming and away from the worry of “doing”, we will have more clarity in the many ways He will work in and through us so that we can take our candle and light our world.

What you do, may be forgotten tomorrow, but what you become will make all the difference!

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

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

7 Steps to Overcoming the Hurdle of Saying “No”

Learning to say no hasn’t been easy for me. My desire for a life balance that works for me has motivated me to learn to say yes or no out of the freedom to choose and not the fear of the reactions of others.

My biggest hurdles in learning to say “No” are:

~ A desire to help. I am for the most part, a kindhearted person. I don’t want to turn someone away even if it means allowing my time to be eaten up. (This can build resentment).

~ Afraid of being rude. I was reared to believe that saying “No”, especially to the significant people in my life, could be considered rude.

~ Wanting to be agreeable. I don’t want to alienate myself from others because I’m not in agreement, thus I’m tempted to conform to status quo.

~ Fear of conflict. I sometimes fear the reactions of another if I reject their requests. I’d rather avoid confrontation.

~ Fear of limiting my opportunities. I feel concerned that saying no may limit me from being considered for something in the future.

~ Fear of burning bridges. Some people take “no” as a sign of rejection. I don’t want to sever relationships. I’ve learned that if someone won’t respect my “no”, they do not deserve my “yes”.

Learning how to say “no” can make all the difference in how it’s received. It is about respecting and valuing our time and space.

7 Simple Ways To Say “No”

1. “I am unable commit to this as I have other priorities at the moment.”

This lets the person know my plate is full and this is something I am doing “for” myself (managing my stress/life balance) and not “to” them.

2. “I’m in the middle of something at the moment. Can we discuss it at a better time?”

This method is helpful to hold off the request and also, to allow me the time to consider if and when I can commit to it. It is important that I consider the feelings of others, but that doesn’t mean I should allow them to dictate my choices.

3. “I’d love to do this, but …”

This allows the person to know I like the idea but it just isn’t feasible for me at the moment.

4. “Let me think about it first and I’ll get back to you.”

This is the method I use when I really am interested but need to evaluate my schedule to see if it is truly doable. It is always easier to turn a “no” into a “yes” than to turn a “yes” into “no”.

5. “This doesn’t meet my needs now but I’ll be sure to keep you in mind.”

This is a considerate way to not lead someone on when I’m truly not interested at the moment. Here again, if there is even a slight level of interest I can easily turn “no” to “yes” if it becomes workable.

6. “I’m not the best person to help on this. Have you considered speaking to John/Jane?”

If I’m not qualified to help in the particular request, I try to point the other person to someone who may be able to assist them or continue to route them to the right person.

7. “No, I can’t.”

It’s easy to assume the worst case scenario when I need to say no. Sometimes straight to the point is the simplest and best method. Things usually work out for the best, at least for those who are willing to make the best of the way things work out.

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

 

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

Kindness & Respect: Key to Happy Relationships

* Being really good friends is a gift

* Laugh at yourself; don’t take yourself too seriously; you will become much easier to be around

* Kindness is one or the primary ingredients in nourishing a warm feeling between two people

* Kindness is about treating your partner and others the way you would like to be treated.

* Kindness practiced daily is key to a lifetime partnership.

* When your heart is open and you’re sharing your love with others, you’ll draw love of all kinds in your direction

* Pausing a moment when our partner is finished speaking to think before we speak is the essence of having a loving relationship that doesn’t have to be so complicated.

* The characteristics that define a loving relationship are a loving heart, thoughtfulness, generosity, a lack of jealousy, kindness, shared values, trust, integrity, etc. Own your own stuff.

* Happy, non-frustrated couples tend to do things their own way and make up their own set of rules. Instead of looking over their shoulders to see if they are getting approval from others, they discover for themselves what brings them joy, and they live their lives their own way.

* When you respond with love, you’re in a position to experience loving interaction and a successful partnership. You’ll be non-defensive, non-reactive and accepting. You will find that everything important in your relationship will auto-magically fall in place, including the difficulties.

* Love heals. When you respond with love, your partner respects you, loves you, wants to be with you, and wants you to be happy. Responding with love helps your partner to see his or her flaws w/o feeling defensive or threatened. Respond with love and all will be well.

* If your partner isn’t free to share his dreams with you w/o criticism, he will stop sharing – guaranteed. If you can’t share your fears w/o being lectured, you’ll turn to others who will listen.

* There is tremendous freedom that comes with the acceptance of change. Embracing change means that you stop demanding that life be anything other than it really is in the moment.

* When you over-analyze anything that bothers you, you’ll end up a little discouraged, frustrated or angry. As you back off negative thinking, your irritation begins to diminish and your loving feelings will return.

* A happy person is more likely to be easier to be with, a better listener, a more passionate lover, more inclined to share in the joy of others, more giving and compassionate and more likely to make decisions that enhance the quality of a relationship.

* Sharing your dreams, hopes, and desires with each other deeply connects two people.

* When your heart is filled with love, your partner will sense it, drop his defenses and usually return to a more loving feeling.

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