Pandemic Reflections and Future Visioning

Pandemic Reflections and Future Visioning

The pandemic is easing on down as life returns to… to what?

Same ole, same ole – NOT! The time in isolation gives us pause to reflect on what is essential to carry into or let go of for our future. The visioning process that I learned from Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith’s book Life Visioning came to mind. As I shared this valuable process with several clients, I decided to share it in this blog.

 Put aside some “ME” time with your journal and a pen in a quiet “DO Not Disturb” space. Enter your version of a meditative/prayer state by taking several deep full belly breaths. Pull air deep down inside as you extend your belly. Then WOSH the air out with sound. Repeat several times; let your cares and thoughts melt in a puddle on the floor beside your chair.

Now, close your eyes, breathe slowly as you ponder the following questions. As you contemplate, breathe for a couple of minutes, then write down whatever first comes to mind.

1) What is Spirit’s (fill in your connection to the Divine, Higher Self, God, Jesus, etc.) highest vision and expression for my life at this moment?Wheel of Life

Wheel of LifeWhat is seeking to emerge in my life right now?

Wheel of Life… in my Family life?

 … in my Relationships?

… in my spiritual life and expression?

… in my health and fitness?

… in my personal growth & development?

… in my finances?

… in my career/avocation?

2) What unique skill or talent do I have that helps/serves others? What do I love doing more than anything else in the world?

Change3) What must I become to manifest what my vision is showing me? What is NOW my growing edge? Who and what must I become to fulfill this vision? What must I embrace? Are there any new habits, practices, or actions that I need to add to my life?

4) What am I already that supports this vision? What resources do I already have? What is already in my life that supports and energizes my vision?

5) What must I now let go of for my next stage of growth? What must Now be released? Are there any habits or practices that I need to let go?

Next Stage of Growth6) Is there anything else, any information that I need at this moment to support my vision?

Let your journal notes marinate overnight. Make a note of any insights, “Ahas,” or inspirations that come to you.


Ways to support your vision and keep it alive

Start each day with several deep breaths. Then close your eyes and see yourself in your vision (imagine and feel).
Meditate and ask your Divine guide(s) to support you with insight and ideas to fulfill your vision.
JournalJournal about your vision in each area of your life. Make a Vision Board or cut and paste pictures or doodle in your journal.
Be open to intuition and nudges as you move into your vision. Listen for them.
Be grateful for all that comes to you as each day unfolds, especially nudges.
Create Affirmations to support your vision. Take the Affirmation and write it with bright markers on a 3×5 card or a post-it. Tape that to your mirror so you see it during the day as it reminds your subconscious of your vision.
Bless anything that you let go of as it goes. Thank it for the lesson, the blessing it brought into your life.
Allow the Divine Holy spirit (in your terms) to flow through you.
Be open to JOY. Find a time 2 – 3 times per week to be outdoors in nature, unplugged to embrace the Joy of creation.
Do any forgiveness work needed for yourself or others as you move into your vision. Free your Spirit.Let go of Heavy Baggage
Let GO of the heavy baggage of Regrets, Blames, Grudges, Upsets, Negative Self Talk, Frustrations, Assumptions, Resistance to Change, Comfort Zone Limits, and any other negative feelings as you move into the new YOU and Your Vision.
As you move into your dynamic new vision, you may bump into these barriers: Internal Conflict, Negative Emotions, and Limiting Beliefs. NLP Coaching can eliminate these if you desire. Please call me for a Complimentary Conversation to find out how… 800.242.7648 or email me [email protected]
Life’s Memos

Life’s Memos

His eyes welled with tears. His lower lip quivered. He bent his head in shame. He got caught.

I saw that even the mildest correction to keep him from pulling the leaves off of my fig tree went in as “I am NOT OK.” Hugs and cuddles shifted his mood, and a few moments later, my two-year-old grandson was his joyous self again, eating his birthday cake.

How many times did you as a child take a course correction in as a shame nodule, as a Memo that you are “Not enough, Not OK, not loved,” etcetera, etcetera?

Looking back on my life and my coaching, I see the common thread. Our parents, caregivers, and other well-meaning adults correct our behavior. They are on a mission to shape us into well-behaved adults. As adults, we, unfortunately, experience bad behavior from laisse-fare parents whose children act rudely, act without manners or civil concern for others. What’s it all about Alfie?

Through my journey to “free myself” from the effects of my upbringing, I’ve done lots of work. As a coach, I coach my clients to process and peel away the crusted childhood scars. What continues to amaze me is that seemingly innocent life events get stuck. These sticky spots can run and ruin an entire life. The most common STUCK Memo is “I am NOT enough.”

The “I’m Not enough” Memo can arise from actual verbal abuse. The abusive words, along with the hurt or shameful feelings, get deeply buried in our subconscious. Those words are buried, stuffed, and then spun into a deep belief. That belief regurgitates through Monkey Mind Chatter. After all, adults are RIGHT when we are little. It must be SO. Life gets lived through their adult lens. Not a Rose-colored lens, but a lens covered over with a defeat Memo. Our Self-Talk keeps us stuck, replaying a myriad of old Memos.

Even if there was no actual verbal abuse, we take in sibling and peer conversations as accurate. I recall a 4th-grade kickball situation that led me to believe that I was not good enough. Missing kicked balls and not being able to kick the ball led the team to always chose me last. I took that Memo in and decided I was not good at sports. That theme played out in my attempts to play racquetball, to play golf, and to snow ski.

How can we change the internal conversation? You can find many methods from therapists, Shamans, books, and coaches. The list is extensive: affirmations, journaling, primal scream, beating a pillow, meditation, and on and on. The seeker in me has experienced them all. Here is what helped the most:

1). First, find the picture in your mind of the buried Memo or Mindset issue causing negative thinking, negative feelings, or negative Mind chatter/self-talk. If the thought makes you feel less than whole, it is negative. Mindset is the set of beliefs and attitudes that are inside your subconscious. Mindset consists of all those Memos shaken and stirred. You live through those beliefs. Unfortunately, most people assume that it is a permanent part of “ME.” Au contraire. You put it in; you can take it out or replace it.

2). Focus on the picture; get quiet and breathe deeply; settle in and silently ask your subconscious: “when did this first become a thought or idea inside me? What event brought this thought about myself into my life?”

If meditating is not for you, take out a pen and paper and write the highlighted questions on the top of the page. Set the timer for 5 minutes. Start writing free form, keeping pen to paper for 5 minutes. Re-write the question over and over if you get suck. Continue to write – when or what brought the idea that “I am not enough” (I need to be a perfectionist to be OK) into my mind, my heart, my soul, my life…?

3). Capture that picture, looking down on it as if you are in a hot air balloon over it. In your imagination, take the picture and make everyone a cartoon character instead of you and the other person. Play with the event and make it into a silly mind movie. Imagine the people who are dissing you as if they are tiny people with cartoon-like squeaky voices. Play the movie fast, then slow, so the speech is distorted. Laugh and enjoy the show. Cry if you want to.

Next, gather a few colored pencils and paper – Draw a cartoon of the event. (For your eyes only, no art judge is lurking.) Use stick people to make your picture with cartoon clouds above their heads with spoken words. Once you can see the event on your page – color over it, so it is no longer visible, put the page in the shredder, burn it in the fireplace. Let it go.

4). Re-frame the event.

i) Write a forgiveness letter to the person who gave you the damaging Memo. Even if they are no longer living. The letter is not for them; it is for you. In the letter, acknowledge that you now know that they were doing the best they could. They did what they did based on their programming, cultural & family values and attitudes.

ii) Use the Hawaiian forgiveness prayer – Ho’oponopono. Find my version under downloads on my website

Cleaning out old programming is an ongoing process. It opens your heart and soul to your true self and your true light.

Next month I’ll discuss Affirmations as another tool to use in RE-Programming.


PS – These 3 Things Hold people Back. Each a Coaching opportunity for you.
1). Internal Conflict
2). Negative Emotions (Memos)
3). Limiting Beliefs (came from the Memos)



Pandemic Pause Crossroads

Pandemic Pause Crossroads

No one knew it was coming. Life was going along at its normal pace. We were all doing our life, our work, our relationships and then, out of nowhere, came 9/11. We “cocooned.” We were afraid to go out, especially to an airport, any tall building or military base. We hunkered down and thought WWIII might be at hand.

And we lost a lot during that time. I for one had to close the business I built in Atlanta, my dental practice management education center. Just a little over two years old; just making a profit. I put blood, sweat and tears into that dream of mine. And in an instant; it was gone.

Suffering came. Long dark night of the soul. Rug pulled out from under us. Many phrases speak to the trauma that event brought to our lives. And yet, we survived and even thrived.

I learned a valuable lesson in the 9/11 aftermath. I boohooed for days. I wallowed in self-pity and rage at the upending of my dream. And then, I asked a friend to lunch. A dear friend with a great listening ear and whose spiritual connection ran deep. Mine was lost. Yes, I was mad at God, too.

As we sat down, the waiter greeted us and then wrote his name on the butcher paper covering the table. He left a few crayons. While the kitchen prepared our meal, I blubbered and shared my pity story with my friend. He listened, asked a few questions and then he pondered before speaking. He picked up a crayon and wrote a  life changing question. “Linda, now, what are you going to gain?”

Well (with attitude!), I first thought – nothing. I have lost. Then, one deep breath later, I burst into tears and blubbered, “Time with my family, especially Ted.”

This crossroads and a friend’s question took the tragedy of 9/11 and allowed me to pivot it into an opportunity that I could not see in my personal pity party. Thank goodness for my friend.

At this pandemic pause crossroads, I want to reach through these words to be your friend and ask several questions:

Are you using your God given gifts in the career, job you are in or will go back to?

Are you living where you soul is nourished and fed?

Are you chasing, grasping at a dream that needs a Re-Boot?

Are you truly happy inside or are you putting on a happy face, so you don’t rock the proverbial boat?

What is your life’s vision, calling, dharma, or purpose? If you aren’t clear on this one, you will be following someone else’s vision. Or, you will be rocking along like a tumble weed and ending up somewhere you were not planning to be in a few years.

What are you missing that it’s time to regain? What dream or desire have you denied in the face of responsibility, duty or being “asleep at the wheel” going through the motions of life?

Which spinning plate in your life needs to drop, to be let go?

Since you are already sequestered, this is a beautiful time to give yourself a personal soul-searching retreat. Yes, you may be home schooling children, you may be working from home, you may be furloughed or laid off. You may not have the same job and pay to go back to. All can be true for right now. But, you also have a great time to re-invent, re-boot, re-imagine the life you want to go back into.

This phrase runs through my mind these days, “What’s it all about, Alfie?” Who knows? I only know this. I am spending my COVID-19 sequester in a personal soul-searching retreat buried in books and journaling. Now, over a month into this, who knows the outcome. But, for me much like 9/11. I am making a personal commitment to pivot, reframe my vision and my business.

After 9/11, I resized my business and developed a licensing program to mentor other “want-to-be” dental consultants. Yes, I lost money as I closed my dream education center. My coach and business advisors helped me create a new model for my business with less stress, less time away from home AND more profits. Through that reframe and then my re-boot, I gained the wisdom and faith to know I will make it through this one, too.

To continue as that friend who wants to assist you during this pandemic pause, I am creating e-book modules, Pandemic Pause Crossroads: Guide for Your Life Path Pivot,  to nudge you along during your own soul-searching retreat. I will share from my heart, my learning, my wisdom, and my belief that every person deserves to delve into that place inside where their personal passion, vision, dharma lives and “make it be so.” And there is no gimmick, it will all be free to you as my gift.

While I am creating each module, you can enjoy my new journaling e-book, Easy Journaling: 5 Steps in 5 Minutes. Click here to get yours. Or order the print version on

Easy Journaling Amazon link

And please pass this along to any friends or family who may want to Pivot, Re-vision, Re-examine, Re-Boot their own life path with a virtual soul-searching retreat.



My calm place, as the world swirls around us in it’s own conversation, is my meditation practice.  Each day I look to the calm inside beyond the appearance “out there.” The place where I connect to the Divine presence. Divine presence appears as Jesus at times, as Quan Yin,  as Divine grace and sometimes no visual just the feeling of a warm cozy blanket around me.

Today after listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s post on the Insight Timer™ app (Elizabeth Gilbert Compassion), I found myself writing the letter she suggests from the divine loving presence to me. The letter poured out for pages as I let go of held-in tension I am not sure I even realized was there.

We go about our chosen spiritual path, and often forget our human part. We try to put on the happy face; the “I’m doing OK” face or the “I’ve got it together” face.   We bury the real human feeling of being afraid, overwhelmed, and frustrated about things like no eggs or almond milk at the grocery store.  But we are human and divine.

Our human BEING is vulnerable to the “Out there” scare, fear and the “fake news” and the real news.  I loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s message. We all, in our humanness, want the comfort of a warm loving ideal mother to put her arms around us and kiss the Boo-boo away. We may never have had that from our real mother or maybe we did.  But, hey, we are toughened adults and whining to get comfort is frowned upon. We are all supposed to put on the brave face, especially if you have children at home.

As I wrote, more poured out. I got an image of a time when I learned to let go and trust. I was in the swimming pool at the YWCA from early childhood. You see, my Mom was afraid of the water and never learned to swim. She wanted me and my brother to never to be afraid of the water. She brought us to the Y for swim lessons at the earliest possible age. I loved it and went on to teach swimming as a teen.  The float skill learning curve came to mind.  Floating takes trust, letting go and finally faith.

In order to teach us to float, the instructor would be in the pool with me, hold my shoulders and asked me to move my feet up so I was like a log.  I would move my feet up, then put them back down, afraid of sinking.  She would patiently repeat the process. Then came the time I let it happen, I trusted the float that was there all the time waiting for me.  Never looking back. Floating is one of the most calming things I do. Pool or ocean.  Now, my son Paul is teaching my granddaughter, Nina age 3, to float.

I grew to love the waves at Tybee Beach, in Savannah, GA where we spent summers as a child. I would float, a wave would come and take me for a ride.  I would often cough and sputter if the wave was a bit much for me in that moment. Then I got braver and allowed the float in me to become body surfing.  The wave might come and toss me to the sand below even scratching my knees as the surf tumbled me with force. But I knew deep inside I always had my float.  Just relax and the surface will come back.

Whether you float is a choice. Here is my float meditation:

F – Free yourself of FEAR

L – Lean into faith as you know it, the Loving arms of your Divine presence.

O – Offer thanksgiving/gratitude. Observe life from the hawk’s eye view.

A – Accept guidance, a nudge, or help. Accept that you can help others

T – Take one step

Floating takes trust, letting go and finally faith.  Your float is waiting for you.

Be well out there,

Coach Linda

P.S. – Here’s my new e-book. It is fill-in-able for you. Free to you. During this “shelter in place time,” journaling can be a great comfort and new habit to start or continue. Just go to my website: to receive your free e-book.

OR, if you’d like a page back copy with plenty of writing space, the book is available on Amazon.

The Failure Myth

The Failure Myth

Skater fallsScott Hamilton won an Olympic gold medal and four World Championships. He was inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame. Scott is a fortunate athlete who also made a lot of money as a professional skater and commentator.  Scott says he kept a tally of how many times he fell during his skating career – 41,600 times.

“The greatest teacher, failure is.” Yoda

Falling down, for a skater, can bode disaster OR it can be a learning opportunity, a “get up and get on with it” moment. If you have watched the Olympics, you have seen athletes do both.  Quit in the fall, quit at the missed gate, quit after the race was won by someone else.

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats,
so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
 -Maya Angelou

Can you, as a NON-Olympic athlete, learn to build a skill to bust out of your own failure myth?  As children, we are often taught and rewarded for the “A,” taught to strive for perfection and to get it all right or you’re worthless. We become adults without replacing the failure myth. We can learn not to let a misstep, a goof, or a missed gate become a failure. See and experience it as a learning event rather than a tragedy.

“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to …use failure that often leads to greater success.
I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.”   – J. K. Rowling

Much anxiety, worry and frustration in today’s world comes from the myth that failure is final, absolutely to be avoided and even hidden when it happens.

I grew up with self-imposed high-performance expectations. Firstborns often carry that burden. Recently, I have started my life coaching online learning business. As I move from live trainings, workshops and events to the web, I get to experience performance anxiety.  Boy, have I had to get this failure myth out of my internal self-talk!

This is the process I use:

  • STOP and breathe. Oxygen is diminished when we are in a struggle, stressing or straining to get something PERFECT or RIGHT.
  • Re-think the steps you took. For example, as I learned to record a webinar with a new microphone, it wasn’t working. I took a deep breath and unplugged and re-plugged in a different spot. Then, went back to the tutorial to review all the steps, finally, finding the step I missed for it to work.
  • Cement the new learning or information. Write about it in a journal or capture the steps in a template to use the next time you are doing the task or in the situation. Then, when you come back to this situation again, you have collated the best way to proceed.
  • Forgive yourself for the goof or misstep and move along. Too often I see my clients carry the goof, the wrong turn, or trusting someone they should not have. They hold onto the past mistake and all those yucky feelings they felt as they goofed. “Let it go,” as Elsa in Frozen says.

When you keep the upset at yourself about the mistake, goof or failure, you keep the lingering frustration. That lack of clearing out the old energy can trigger the next goof. There you are replaying in your mind the goof, berating yourself again. That negative energy is a drain and will draw another goof to you.

How many times did Thomas Edison try before he invented the light bulb? 1,000 but he kept learning and coming back until he had it. (Watch the new movie about Edison, The Current War.)

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. 
Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” 

-Samuel Beckett

Remember Scott Hamilton’s 41,600 falls? “I also got up 41,600 times”, Scott says in his autobiography. Find inspiration to dispel the myth of failure. The only REAL failure is not getting up, trying again, finding what works. Bust out of the failure myth. Get the learning and move along.

My role is to keep you inspired to open more and more of your potential.  Watch your inbox for more. I love sharing inspiring quotes.  I am in your corner cheering you on. As the old Army slogan says, “Be All You Can Be!!

The Failure Myth

Set Boundaries for Healthy Self-Esteem: Part Two – Adult Children

In Part One, I discussed the fairy tale falsehood that what you do or say and don’t do or say is the ultimate cause of another’s happiness. You take on the unrealistic expectation that your job is to make others “happy.”

You are NOT responsible for another person’s happiness.

This is never truer than with your adult children.  ALSO, the reverse…

Your adult children are NOT responsible for your happiness. Nor are they responsible for making you proud or for endorsing your beliefs and values.
On Children

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
Kahlil Gibran From The Prophet (Knopf, 1923). This poem is in the public domain.

JournalRead and meditate/pray on Gibran’s words.  Journal any feelings, upsets or dashed expectations about your adult children.

How does this work in real life?  You and your spouse (if you are single, go it solo) will need time to sort out the boundaries you want to set. Also consider the expectations that might need to be let go.

Boundary suggestions, examples…

Sample boundary: We will financially support our children through _______ level of education. Because we are the financial support, we have a say in what we pay for and what we don’t pay for.

Example: We agreed to pay for bachelor’s level education with these stipulations: an in-state school, dormitory lodging, campus food.  We pay car insurance, car payment, cell phone (reasonable) and clothes. All come with a budgeted allowance.

This is an example from my husband and I (PS – We are a second marriage each with two children, so this conversation is critical to harmony and peace between you as a couple.)

Here is the tough love part; You have to keep the boundary in place because requests will come up and you best be prepared with the answer AND potential backlash.

Here are two we faced…My son wanted to move out of the dormitory and live in a rented house that his friends had found to rent. Here is how our boundary was used to respond to his request.

“You may live off-campus if you can live there and eat within the amount we are paying now for dormitory and food plan at the college.”  I even asked my son to look up the detailed information.  He got back with a monthly amount equivalent to the college dormitory and food plan. This is the amount of the monthly check we sent him. It was up to him to budget and make the money last the month long. Then summer came. He found that to keep the house he and roommates needed to pay rent over the summer. He asked if I would pay the rent and I told him that if he came home for the summer (which I really wanted) there would be no additional expense. If he wanted to help keep the house, he would have to find a job to pay the rent and for food.  We would continue to pay for the car and insurance.

Though I would love to have more time with my son, I knew he had to make the decision within my boundaries.  He found a really good job, with a mentor boss who taught him to make wonderful pies, (side benefit). He worked for a seafood market and restaurant.  We ate at the restaurant after his graduation.

Sample boundary: Here is a second boundary to consider.  We take care of all living expenses while our children are working on getting their bachelor’s degree. If after college they wanted to come live with us, they could do so room-and-board free for 90 days.  After 90 days they would have to pay rent and do household chores as well as live with our values.  This meant no spending the night with lovers in our home; letting us know if they were coming home at night (not a curfew; they are adults) and living with household guidelines, such as doing your own laundry and dishes. (Do Not become the maid for your adult children in your home.)

Example: Ted’s daughter showed up single and pregnant after receiving her bachelor’s degree. She wanted to come live with us and go back to school to become either a physical therapist or an occupational therapist. She wanted Ted, (after all he was retired), to be the baby’s caregiver while she was in school.

We’d paid for her bachelors as agreed, and she paid, (borrowed on student loans), for a masters. However, none of the degrees led to a paying profession. Now, as a single pregnant mom she wanted a profession to provide her child a good life.

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

We were faced with a dilemma. We all love our children. In blended families we see how different household expectations, when merged, can be a challenge.

I knew from the past that “tough love” was not always present in the relationship my stepdaughter had with her father.  During her times in our home and when we visited her, let’s say messy was the standard.

Consulting BusinessAdd that to the fact that I ran my consulting business out of our den. I could envision a crying newborn in the background while I am talking to a client.

I meditated. Ted pondered.  Then, we talked and cried. We knew that having a new baby in the home full-time would not be a good idea.  Ted already had a tricky back and I needed to run a business.

This was our boundary compromise. We were living in Florida when the real estate market was down. I was making good money with my business. I agreed to buy a small investment house in St. Augustine where we lived. Ted’s daughter could live there while in college, rent-free.

Ted agreed to pay for childcare but not to be the full-time caretaker of a baby. She would have to find her own student loans for her education.

She did not like this choice and made other arrangements. Ted paid for childcare until she graduated. She did finish her degree but there was a bit of strain in our relationship until our grandson arrived. Ted went to the hospital to be with her for the birth. All is well now.

Adult children need to live with the consequences of their choices.

Your happiness is your stuff, your business. Your adult children need to know that their stuff is their stuff.  You need to let them mature and learn how to recover from life’s upsetting events, wrong turns and poor choices. Let them learn to take responsibility for their actions instead of coming to you for a rescue. They learn how to make good decisions next time by making some bad decisions.

Take care of YOU, the one you can make happy. Michael Jackson said it best, “Learning to love yourself it the greatest love of all.”  Learn to love yourself first. Get back in touch with your happiness. Live more from the inside out rather than the outside in. Your happiness is an inside job. If you expect something or someone to make you happy, then you will live in a disappointed, unfulfilled state. If you have been living outside-in, it may take a while for you to find your own happy place. It may take unplugging from constant stimulation of being a rescuer—a hero.  Learn to be happy with yourself without an expectation that your adult children will do what you want.

New Mindset New RulesGo on your own self -discovery journey as an empty nester. Your job is to discover what makes you happy. Once you know what makes you happy, you can share that with others, including your adult children. More than anything, children need to learn the consequences of their behavior, (Cause and Effect).  Children are here to experience life and the lessons that come with life events.  Some seem to be here for hard lessons, while others seem to have it easier. Ours is not to ask “Why?”

Love does not mean overprotecting, rescuing or accepting anything they do as your problem. As my Mom used to say, “I love you all the time, but I don’t like what you do at times.”