Category Archives: Challenges

It continues…

I went back to the gym today. It’s the first time since Covid in March of 2020. I may be sorry.

I had to establish a baseline for my initial exercises. I was supposed to do a gradual increase to see which weights I could lift easily until I got to one where it was really taxing.

I’m doing lat rows from bent over position on a bench and got to 5# each arm, then, since that was easy I thought I’d go to 15#. Someone had stolen all the 15# weights in the whole gym! Got to 20# though for 20 repetitions. 1st time in the gym for 3 years (since March of 2020).

Then I’m doing max weights today for bench press, and I got to 65# for 5 reps.

Then I did chair squats. Stand up, then take 10 seconds to sit.

Wt 202. (includes shoes and workout clothes, so no I didn’t strip.) Oh and I weighed at home because Someone stole the scales. Unbelievable!

I now weigh 6 pounds less than what I weighed when I started the blog eight years ago. https://ihavebetterthingstodo.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/it-begins/

Should have brought my water…

We kidnapped the grandkids today and went to the zoo. K had his water, G had her water, M and I didn’t. Oops!

We decided (meaning I decided and M shrugged and agreed) that the kids would design our visit. We got 2 maps and made plans. K, who’s a tweenager, is very focused on the distances, the heat, the ability of the grandparents to transit the walking looks and decides to go to the Desert Dome, but since little G doesn’t like the smell, we go only to the Kingdom of the Night and see the bats, the beavers, the snakes, and the alligators (including a white one!) G is upset because K ALWAYS gets to choose. She wants to see the Aquarium 1st and is mad because K chose the closest building. We tell her that we ARE going to the Aquarium, but just not first. K gets to choose because he’s the oldest, and she gets to choose where we go next. So she chooses the Aquarium and then whines because it isn’t first. I tell her that it doesn’t matter whether it’s first as long as we see it. She sulks. She’s 3rd grade.

We knew we wanted to go on the train and the carousel, but we needed tickets. The ticket booth was right next to the Skyfari, so we slipped that in between the aquarium and the carousel. Waaaaa! You said we were going to the carousel next. Oh, the unlimited energy of children! K said, “We have to remember distances because these guys are our Dad’s parents!” G sniffs. So we take the Skyfari up and over the rhinos and the sable antelope and though we didn’t see the cheetahs, we saw the enormous sundial, the brass rhino and elephant, and the lions sleeping on the rocks. The kids got to “fly” the helicopter, and we went to the lion compound but couldn’t see the lions from the ground. We rode the Skyfari. Unintended consequences: I have put both legs to sleep and my feet are cramping! It made getting off the gondola tricky! After maneuvering off the dread machine, we then headed for the carousel. It was a longer trek than M or I had anticipated!

K and G went on the carousel, then we went and picked up the train. We rode in the caboose! The kids wanted to be as far away from the whistle as possible. K can differentiate the trains by their whistles! What kid his age does that? I’m impressed! The whining has begun. I perceive that K is flexible and looks for opportunities. But he also seems to be checking objectives off and more interested in getting to the locations than enjoying what they see there. Hurry UP, Grandma! G tends to fixate on the plan and gets upset when it changes. This is interesting.

We finished the train ride at Glacier Bay…92 degrees, no glaciers, no snow, no mountains. I was shocked! By this time, M and I are dehydrated. K, G, and I go to the closed restaurant and sit in the shade while M looks for the tram to take us up to the gate. Whining ensues. “We wanna go to the gift shop!!!!” “Maybe…” We wait for about 15 min. We think this is where G lost her water bottle. The tram comes and we all get on and head uuuuuuup the hill to the Lied Jungle. We decided to eat there because it’s air-conditioned, darker, and you can watch the monkeys while you eat. They make a KILLING on food! OMG! $5.25 for a hot dog? This isn’t the meal, that’s just the hot dog. The fries are $5.25, the mac and cheese is $5.25, the fruit is $5.00 ($5.00 for an apple!), the fruit cups M and I had were $7.25 because they had to cut up the fruit and add 1 Tbs of yogurt. K’s commemorative cup of water was $9.50. So, lunch for 2 kids and 2 grandparents was nearly $100. That’s nuts. I could get a steak dinner for everyone for less than that! Kids are not whining. G finally finishes her hot dog. We’re cooled down and head out, but not to the gift shop. Awwww. Well, I asked when they were coming back and if they could wait until then to get their gifts. They reluctantly agreed. We then trekked up to the car.

K and G are saying “Best Day Ever!!!” Warms a grandparent’s heart. M and I are exhausted and dehydrated, even after our $5/$7 drinks. We have racked up 7,500 steps. But, we’re having to drink about 1 gal of water. I have severe cramps in the bottoms and TOPS of my feet, my calves, my hands? and my leg is complaining. I take a 2-hour nap, punctuated by cramping.

Maybe not the BEST day ever, but it was fun!

12,000 Steps

The trip started out like most…The bus will drop you off here and you can wander about until 2:30 when the bus will pick you up at this exact spot. Shop, eat, and enjoy the Ambiance that is Edinburgh. I was on a mission. I needed to get some English Currency. I was told the best exchange rate was at the Post Office, and due to the Queen’s Jubilee, everyone else in the country had the same thought. 2 of the places we’d stopped on the tour were several miles’ walk from our hotel or any of the city tours we went on so when we got to a post office that was close enough, Pitlochry, there was a 45-minute wait to get INTO the building. We ran out of time. Now was my chance. The Exchange was a mere 3 blocks from where the bus dropped me off!

I headed from the St. Andrews and St. George Church on George Street down to Sir Walter Scott’s memorial on Princes Street.

Then I went to the Mall and changed my money. From there, I went back up the hill to the bus collection point. It was 1:30. The bus was going to pick us up at 2:30. I wanted to sit down, but the beggar was not pleased that I was encroaching on her territory. I had no interest in wandering around the shops and I wasn’t hungry, so I sat. I got a wifi connection and thought, “Hmmm, I could locate the hotel and see if I could walk from here rather than waiting an hour.” Sure enough, the hotel was just a 20-minute walk from my location! I checked out my location and looked on my map, and noticed my battery was nearly in the red. I decided to go to my next turn before I turned on my phone again.

I walked back to Scott’s Memorial and headed in the direction my map told me to go. I could see the castle from the street, so I kept that on my left and headed out. There was a wonderful park, and it wasn’t long before I heard band music. The Royal Marines were putting on a concert in the bandstand. They were playing a medley of John Williams tunes. I got to an intersection and found a bench. It had been 15 min, so I had to be close. I looked at my map and discovered I was on the right trail, but I was firmly in the red now. I headed up across the bridge.

I passed the Hanging Bat and the Raging Bull, but somehow that didn’t spark any inspiration to eat. You may not know this, but Edinburgh was one of the first planned cities…set out on a grid. News flash. Weird looking grid. So I come to an intersection of 4 streets…(grid?) Lauriston Pl, West Toll Cross, Home Street, Lothian Road (A7?). Normally, there would be 2: Lothian Road, and one other, but no…Lauriston Pl turns INTO West Toll Cross, Home Street goes approximately 60 degrees south of Lothian Road. Uh Oh.

I stayed on Lothian Road. My phone is officially dead. It is now after 2:00. I should be in sight of the hotel. I am not. I walk further on Lothian road and now nothing looks familiar. I stop at a food truck and ask for directions. Lady gets out her phone. She lives in this neighborhood, but has never heard of my hotel? Then I hear the fateful words that will get repeated to me throughout the rest of my tale: “OK, just go this way for about a mile and a half…” and they point to the way I just came.

I smiled and asked if I could take her phone with me. I had to explain that I was kidding. Oh…Kay… I began thinking if she was pointing me back to where I had just come, wouldn’t I have seen this place on my way here? I headed back down the hill then I recalled that on her phone map, there was the Novotel. We had passed it twice since we got to Edinburgh, so I knew it was a crucial landmark and headed for that.

I FOUND Novotel and walked into the pub attached to the building. I asked the bartender where the Leonardo Royal was and guess what he said… That’s right. He pointed back to where I’d just come and said it was a 13-minute walk according to his phone. Or, I could take the #2 bus. Oh? Where was the bus stop? He said it was down at the bottom of the hill to the left. It was now 2:30. He said they come about every 15 minutes. What he didn’t tell me was that the bus goes 2 directions and they only take exact change. I had a 20-pound note and I wasn’t going to pay 20 pounds for a 1.06-pound fare.

I headed down to the bus stop Where there was a couple from Arkansas also waiting. She had a phone with GPS. “OH! No Problem! Y’all jist go down the hill there and catch Bread Street? Then ya jist turn onto Morrison Street and then to Morrison link.” Now she’s saying that as if she’d lived in, um, Southern Edinburgh…because of her accent. Then she pointed me in the wrong direction. If I could have looked at her phone, I would have been able to tell she had it oriented wrong. I’m good at reading maps. So I headed down the street in the wrong direction. Nothing looked familiar. I stopped at a clothing shop and asked the lady at the desk who had a phone.

This is what I don’t understand. I have lived in my current house for 22 years. I have no idea what my neighbors’ names are, but I know where 2 hospitals, 3 emergency rooms, 4 grocery stores, and at least 15 restaurants are near my neighborhood. I worked 1 year at the Hardee’s on the interstate and could tell you where all the hotels in the area were, and where to get your car fixed and your prescriptions filled. I worked 6 years at the financial office and could tell you every restaurant in a 6-block radius, the music store, the clothing stores, the bus stops, and where to get the best ice cream. The people that I asked were NATIVES of the city, and had lived most of their lives there, and yet not a single person had any idea where the hotel district was (and there were 8 hotels in a 2-block area. You’d think that would stand out!) and had never heard of the Leonardo.

So the nice lady points me back to where I came…It’s a 20-min walk. Now I’ve been on this 20-minute walk for over 1 1/2 hours. It’s getting close to 3:15. I head back up to the Novotel and on the way, I see my Arkansas friends. I told them that I never found Bread street. Oh well. This time I walk East of the Novotel and enjoy the sights. Because…nothing looks familiar. It is now 3:30. You may ask how I know since my phone/clock/map/internet/paperweight is dead. There are clocks on the schools, clocks on the churches, clocks on the time/temp displays in front of the stores and banks… I have officially missed the bus to the Britannia dinner and tour. My group has no idea where I am, and I can’t call my husband to let him know I’m alright. I’m in some sort of educational area, schools everywhere. They look like ghost towns. So I turn around and head back to the Novotel.

There, in front of the hotel, is a coach with its driver. It is a tour coach. Surely this driver has taken his charges to other hotels in the area. He would know! So I go and ask him. He hasn’t a clue. By now, I have discovered there are TWO Leonardo Royal hotels. One is old and picturesque, and one is new. Every time I asked for directions, they tried to send me to the old one which I passed several times before I saw that it WAS a Leonardo Hotel. I probably could have walked in and explained my situation to them and they might have been able to get me to the right one.

The picturesque Leonardo was TWO blocks from the Novotel, and the guy who had sent me to the bus stop had no idea it was there. The new one was about 6 blocks from the hotel and he had no idea THAT one was there. The Coach driver had never delivered tourists to either one. He suggested I take a taxi. “Where am I going to get a taxi?!!!” (Frustrated much?) And while I’m speaking, one pulls up and drops off some tourists. The Coach driver talks to the taxi driver and tells him I need to go to the Leonardo in the Haymarket district. Much to my surprise, he enters into HIS GPS. Oh! it’s not far. It’s now 4:15

He easily finds the place, and due to the fact that every one-way street is going the wrong way, we have to go a longer route than I would have had I walked. I get to the hotel about 4:30 and wait 5 min in line to talk to the concierge. I tell him I’ve become separated from my group and could he call the tour guide to let him know I am alive and well and going to soak in my tub? He was aghast. “They left over an hour ago!!” “I know.” He has the wrong tour group on his “current” list and cannot call him. I get to my room and plug in my phone.

For the 1st time on this tour, I have handicapped facilities, and I COULD take a nice soak in the tub…if it had a drain plug. So, at 4:45, I Facebook messaged my friend Jeremy to let my husband and the tour guide know I was safe and sound. Then I changed into my PJs and went to bed. Even though my paperweight was dead, it kept counting steps…12,000 steps. The most I had walked before this was the 10K steps in Heathrow Airport before my flight home the first week in April. My normal is usually less than 1000.

Best I can guess, this was part of my route.

It appears that on every trip I take, I have to have some alone time…so I get lost? No more shortcuts for me!

Where does talent come from?

Wait! You can’t get it at the department store? I’m disillusioned!

How do we define “talent” and when is that term used?

Definition of talent

1aa special often athletic, creative, or artistic aptitude

b: general intelligence or mental powerABILITY

2: the natural endowments of a person

5: (archaica characteristic feature, aptitude, or disposition of a person or animal

Thank you Merriam Webster.

When you watch Eddie Van Halen play guitar, you will hear him described as extremely talented. When you look at Michaelangelo’s work, you will gasp at his grasp of the human form, an amazing artistic talent. When you ask Einstein anything, you don’t think talent, you think genius. When you watch someone do anything that is beyond the ordinary in the physical world…fine arts, or sports, we call them talented. When you see the results of mental ability beyond the ordinary, we classify it as an expression of genius. They’re the same thing.

Why is that important? I’ve been told that I am a talented musician. I am not in an orchestra or in the opera. I can, however, play Bach’s Prelude in C from the Well-Tempered Clavier in any key you want. But I think many musicians cringe at that term because it seems to discount the amount of work it takes to get to any level of mastery.

I know plenty of musicians in orchestras that cannot play anything without the sheet music. They are technically brilliant, but not exactly talented. Of the 165 musicians that graduated in my class, only 5 could play by ear. Many music teachers won’t work with students that play by ear because the students learn the song by hearing it, and may not hear it the way it is written. So NOT ALL MUSICIANS ARE TALENTED. They put in a lot of work. People tend to equate skill and talent. Do they do that in intellectual fields too?

If someone has multiple degrees in many different fields, are they talented at learning? Or are they geniuses? What are your thoughts? Can a learning process that allows people to acquire knowledge in multiple areas be learned? Does knowledge in one discipline translate to another discipline? People that can make that transition from one subject to another and almost instantly “know” what pertains and what doesn’t are considered intuitive. How much intuition do geniuses display?

So let’s examine intuition. This should be interesting. Picture your brain as an electrical machine.

All your thoughts, insights, memories, and powers of logic work like sparks in your mind. Somehow, your mind is able to retrieve whatever information it needs at the time it needs it. For instance: how does my brain know where all the letters on my keyboard are and tell each finger when and where to push to get the words I want while simultaneously allowing my eyes to see misspellings and mistakes in grammar and my conscious mind to think what the next word is supposed to be? It’s A MIRACLE! It is also simultaneously processing the fact that my husband is typing on his work computer, the mailman is on his way up the hill, and the speed of the wind because it buzzes my siding at 25 mph.

What is intuition then?

a: the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference

bimmediate apprehension or cognition

c: knowledge or conviction gained by intuition

That means that presented with a set of circumstances, a person with a high degree of intuition can immediately understand the situation without “apparently” figuring things out. A person with talent in music can figure out the chord progressions, the beat, and the melodic or harmonic notes that can be played as improvisation. A person without talent would have to see the progression, chart out the available notes, compose a solo and learn it by practicing. The talented musician makes use of his intuition to project what is coming up in the accompaniment and adjust his improvisation accordingly.

Someone that gets on the elevator with his boss and who then can give a short synopsis of the project he’s working on without writing it out and reciting it is using his intuition to figure out what the boss needs to be told and in how much detail.

Someone that is sitting on a train and upon going past a train in the opposite direction comes up with a theory of relativity has used his intuitive power to see the connection between time and space.

What is happening is that the connections in the mind from one thing to a completely different thing are bouncing around near the boundary between the conscious and subconscious mind in such a way that there is an instant recognition of the relationships between these things.

How do you increase the size of this opening between conscious and subconscious?

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Practice?

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Nope, it’s PLAYING! If you want to learn how to improvise on a musical instrument, you just play and make LOTS of mistakes. You pick up what sounds good and what doesn’t. You find out what your fingers can do, and what they need to rework. You find out how to make what you hear in your head come out of your fingers. You experiment.

You want to learn how to skateboard? You’re going to break a lot of bones.

You want to do perfect diving? You’re going to do lots of belly flops.

You want to write the Great American Novel? You’ll write the Grate American Novel 1st that will make you cringe to read.

You want to be a genius? Read a lot and ask lots of questions! Flunk a lot of tests. You’re probably backing off now. You think that you have to be born a genius. I do not believe you do. If you develop your intuition, expand your awareness, and become facile in the art of interaction between the conscious and subconscious, you get more sparks flying. Originally, the Intelligence Quotient compared your apparent mental age to your actual age. What should a 5-year-old know? What does THIS 5-year-old know? If the 5-year-old knows stuff that 8-year-olds know, then 8/5 x 100 gives you 160 IQ. To maintain that 160 IQ, what would his apparent mental age have to be when he’s 10? 16. What would it have to be if he was 30? 48. What is the difference between what a 48-year-old person and a 30-year-old know? Yeah. Hard to figure that out. They don’t have knowledge standards for every age, do they?

You develop your talent/intuition by playing and having fun. Do Sudoku puzzles. Kick a soccer ball around. Pick up a different instrument. Read some philosphy. Write a poem. Consider the origins of the Universe. Make those sparks Fly!

Goals?

Last September I had a vision. I was in the Entrepreneurial Mastery Inner Circle. It’s a group of entrepreneurs that discuss how to be more successful in their businesses, and the main business they have in common is the coaching business. The founder of the group wanted to get a Coaching Academy going that would educate the public on what coaching really was all about, accredit aspiring coaches, and stretch them in their performance to become elite influencers.

What was that vision I had? At first, it was a picture that CS had provided…the association of highly competent coaches who not only had amazing skills getting people closer to their ideal performance level, but their businesses were thriving. People came to them for the best service. They weren’t begging for clients or involved in discount price wars. They could do What they wanted, When they wanted, With Whom they wanted, at the Price they wanted, If they chose to do business at all. We would get together for an intense seminar to give us not only the coaching techniques and skills but the business acumen we’d need to stay in business. I got a glimmer of that vision right then.

But there were hoops to go through, challenges to face, an intellectual gap to fill, and a heavy price to pay. I have probably mentioned my learning method (feganmethod.com), so I knew I could handle the intellectual gap. I am also a financial guru of sorts, so the hefty price was something I could arrange. I expected to get a return on my investment to more than compensate for the cost. Things outside of my control? There was an application process that included an interview, and I was told that not everyone would qualify. From being involved in those calls from the Entrepreneurial Mastery Circle, I knew there were many people in that group that were much more qualified than I with more experience and making much more money. They were charging $100/session and they had more clients. I had a teaching business and had never coached before. I was charging $100 per month! But that vision kept pulling me back, each time with more detail.

I knew that the person I saw in my vision was not the same one that faced me in the mirror. This was a different kind of goal that I’d never gone after before.

If you have a job or a business, you are probably familiar with goal setting. You understand dream boards or vision boards. You have probably discovered affirmations you tack to your bathroom mirror and recite before you go to bed. You probably keep a pencil and paper by your bedside in case you come up with the cure for cancer in the middle of the night. You write down the 6 most important things you have to do the next day. Those are all measurable and can be put into a list that enables you to check things off. They get you to your goal of success however you define it.

This goal I was looking at, to get accepted into this Coaching Academy, was not like anything I’d ever come across in those motivational seminars I had attended every 6 weeks for 15 years. This goal was not like all those self-help gurus who told us to find our “Why?” to discover our “How?” and improve our lives. They all involved concrete steps that you had to trudge up to get what you wanted. The leadership books I read focused on How a leader thinks and What to concentrate on. This approach, for this vision, was how to improve thinking itself. It was raising awareness and extending consciousness. How in the world do you measure that? It occurred to me that the vision boards and the affirmations were two-dimensional representations. This growth was growth from inside to outside, not outside to inside. As such, two-dimensional thinking would be inadequate. It involved three dimensions!

I put in my application with my money, but I had no assurances that I would be chosen. In the meantime, I studied the materials that were sent out. I took part in the discussions online. I had been a part of the Empowered Women’s Inner Circle for a while by then, and I was regarded as the “genius” of the group. I am no genius, but my learning method has brought me insight into many different disciplines of thought. The members of that group would be discussing a topic, and I’d have the facts available since many of these topics were those I had taught. All the women in this group are wise, innovative, resourceful, empathetic, and goal-oriented. But it is not skills they seek in this group, it is improving their thinking. This group was made up of exactly the type of people I needed to associate with. These were exactly the issues I needed to face. AND, as a bonus, I liked all of them!

Throughout this waiting period, we were informed that over one hundred people had applied for acceptance into the very rare air that was this Coaching Academy. I was not optimistic about my chances. With the discussions and the study, I had stretched my awareness and my consciousness had awakened a new approach to the circumstances in my life. I was responding rather than reacting. I was considering options and choosing actions and words and it was becoming more instinctive with practice. My awareness of my individual strengths and weaknesses, my insights into how I thought, and my observation of how those people around me thought grew. With all the study I was doing (it’s self-paced) I had to design a discipline that would allow for the reflection and deep-diving into the thought processes. By doing this, I was seeing some real, tangible, credible growth in my thinking. It enabled me to reflect on my experiences and see them in a different light. It moved me to change my perspectives.

Then, wonder of wonders, I was informed that I was one of the chosen. I would become a Founding Member of this Coaching Academy! Only 20 of the 100 applicants were accepted. I was floored! Now the real work would begin! He sent out the teaching modules on coaching: the premise behind the idea of coaching, the approach, why and how it worked, and how to improve. It made my brain sweat. I would spend 15 minutes watching a module and answer the basic questions that ascertained that the material had been duly read and digested. Then there were self-assessment questions that gave me the chance to show my understanding of the material. These were deep questions that required thought, and the act of responding to these questions brought back memories of essays from English Composition. There had to be a structure and a point, and the best way to express the concept would be in story form so it had to have a plot. So, in addition to the 15-minute module, I had another hour or so of that exercise. AFTER THAT (wait, there’s MORE) I had to answer application questions that were even more involved! This set of questions often took more than 2 hours to answer. Then, at the end of the module that might include several teachings, there was an assessment that took about 2 1/2 hours to go through! In addition to the group discussions in the EMIC and EWIC groups, the new calls involved the philosophical approach and solving problems before they became problems. I was having to take a nap after each session!

Ever-so-slightly, I noticed that my mental acuity was improving. Each exercise planted a seed of growth in my mind. Soon, my weeds were gone, and now I had an English Garden.

So 8 months after I had that first glimmer of a vision of me in the future, I was there, in England with 20 of the brightest minds in the business. I’m STILL excited!

This is where I stayed:

This is where I got advanced training in coaching techniques and practical matters to help me stay in business. But I haven’t even finished the first half of the material I need to pass the accreditation. I have a lot of modules to get through, lots of exercises to do, practice sessions, reflection, self-assessment to get through, and many conversations…But I already have a vision for what will occur in August at the next summit meeting. I already have a glimmer of what kind of person I will become after that. I’m seeing people reacting to the person I have become, and I believe they see a difference in me too.

If you want to move from 2-dimensional vision boards, SMART goals, and affirmations to 3-dimensional thinking, I know how to get you there. In fact, YOU know how! I can show you a way to tap into that inner resourcefulness and become the person that lives in YOUR vision.

If you want to eat right, move.

Yes, I’ve started a new eating program. It’s supposed to help me keep on a KETO diet and avoid raising my blood glucose measurements which are averaging about 150 when normal is below 100. So I signed up for this program to help me make smart menu choices.

I spent $60 on two meals yesterday. And a lot of the things on the grocery list were prohibitively expensive. I spent over $10 for 3 cups of ground flaxseed meal. I had to have fresh asparagus. I was bad and cut up a single Roma tomato instead of buying 16 cherry tomatoes for $5. I bought frozen cod and that gives me 4 meals for $15. I have to start an herb garden to have fresh parsley, basil, sage, dill… I wondered if it would kill me to use 3 rings of a white onion instead of a red one because they specified red, and there weren’t any available at the store.

If I buy peanut butter, it has to be organic without added sugar and comes in a tiny jar 6-8 oz for $6. I had to have organic mushrooms, a specific type of garlic, almond milk…

And the almond milk you get is 98% water. Well, I guess so is milk from a cow. It costs $6/gal and about $2/gal for cow’s milk. Oh and healthy? Look at the ingredients: Organic Almondmilk (Filtered Water, Organic Almonds), Sea Salt, Tricalcium Phosphate, Gellan Gum, Organic Locust Bean Gum, Vitamin A Palmitate, Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2), Dl-alpha-tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12). Oh and check out cyanocobalamin: The most common man-made form of vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) in supplements is cyanocobalamin and although this form includes a cyanide molecule, it is very safe. … Even at a very high dose, it would provide about a thousand times less cyanide than is toxic, and the cyanide is excreted in the urine. This milk is to be preferred opposed to the unhealthy but organic milk from a cow.

Check these ingredients (prepare to be shocked!) Organic Milk, Vitamin D3.

ANNNNYYYWAY, in order to eat “healthy” I have to spend 2x what I normally do in order to get the specialty items.

To be fair, I was expecting to have to spend 1-2 hours preparing these specialty meals, but they only take 20-40 min. If I wanted to get everything on my list, I’d have to go to some specialty food store across town or have it delivered (which adds a whole bunch to the cost.)

Here’s the thing. Very few of these ingredients can be found for a reasonable price in your local grocery store. Heck, I can find foods from Guatemala and Mexico and Taiwan and Nairobi but I cannot find red onions today. So to have a steady supply of the ingredients for my new menus, I have to move to NYC, or LA, or follow my daughter Jo around to her favorite food stores in Pittsburgh.

How did we Rounds kids ever survive my mom’s cooking? She didn’t weigh anything. She didn’t spend hours reading labels and looking for plant alternatives and low sodium and low carb and high protein and…

Advanced Coaching

No, it won’t be about getting your football team to the National Championships.

Hmmm, wait–maybe it will!

Coaching someone is different than mentoring or teaching/training or psychological analysis. Coaching is about triggering something inside your student, player, employee, or client that allows them to improve their performance. It is opening that awareness that allows you to play better as a team. It is exciting that desire that will allow you to overcome self-limiting beliefs to achieve your goals. (Whoa, cliche much?) Translated into normal speak: It brings the destination of who you want to become into view, to allow you to believe that what you want is achievable. It is making the impossible possible because it gives the person the awareness that they have the power within them to change.

Case in point:
Little Betsy plays the trumpet. It is almost too heavy to hold, and she can only get honks on it. Instead of the teacher circling every mistake and correcting her embouchure and yelling “Blow!!!” at this 5th-grader, her teacher acts as a coach and asks questions.

  1. What did it feel like?
  2. What did it sound like?
  3. What did you do differently?
  4. How many notes did you miss? How can you remember them next time?

Yes, there will be times when the teacher has to fill in the gaps in her knowledge, but Little Betsy will be a much better musician than her peers in a couple of months because, through her teacher’s coaching, she has developed an awareness. She has learned to listen and pay attention to her own playing, and she will be developing her consciousness of the music around her in her elementary band. Will she become a professional musician? Probably not, but that doesn’t matter. She will enjoy the music she produces and will discover an appreciation of the music she listens to…Pop, Jazz, Hip hop, Rap, Classical, Medieval Gregorian Chant… She may even venture into composition!

Bobby wants to play basketball in the worst way. He has reached his goal…yes, he plays very badly. He’s also 5’2″ tall. He cannot play basketball. Why not? He gets coaching help from a brilliant coach and his awareness explodes! You do NOT have to dunk to play basketball well! This is a revelation. He goes to his coach and tells him he wants to work on skills that will be valuable to the team and are not dependent on his height. His coach helps him develop his ball-handling skills. He asks Bobby these questions:

  1. What does it feel like when you dribble correctly?
  2. Can you dribble faster? How would you go about it?
  3. Can you pass faster and with more accuracy? What would you do to improve that?
  4. How would you go about guarding a guy 1 1/2 feet taller than you?
  5. Would stealing the ball be easier if you have better skills than the person you’re guarding?
  6. How fast can you change direction when you’re running? Can you do that while dribbling? How would you improve that?
  7. How High do you think you’d have to jump? How would you go about improving your current jumping skills?

Now Bobby is aware of his teammates’ positions on the floor. He knows who is open and who can shoot from where they are. He avoids having the ball stolen from him and because he can dribble like a demon; no one can block his passes. He may have increased his jump height so he can deny a shot from the opposing player. Of course, that freaks out the whole opposing team. He is his team’s secret weapon. When they announce the players at the beginning of the away game, and he stands between his buddies who are a foot taller than he, and the crowd snickers, he knows that the home team crowd is thinking, “Oh boy are THEY in for a surprise!” Can Bobby apply these skills to something outside of basketball? If his coach is on it, and if he asks the right questions, you can bet on it. In both cases, the music student and the athlete, they are playing to their strengths. Awareness IS a strength.

But coaching is not just for athletes and student musicians. Who asks you questions that make you more aware of your strengths, your aspirations, your perceptions, or your consciousness? You don’t have teachers that do that anymore. Are you a better person than you were ten years ago? How about five years ago? two months ago? What have you read, watched, or participated in that stretched your thinking? Do we stop improving our thinking just because there isn’t a test? News Flash! There’s always a test! It just may not be written! Isn’t the purpose of school to improve your thinking, not to just cram more stuff into your brain? Aren’t you supposed to relate the information you have gleaned from your studies to your everyday life?

Learning in school is not the facts you accumulate to pass the test, it’s the way you prepare to gain awareness and the growth you will need in your experience after school. But unless you know what questions to ask yourself, you live day to day without stretching your skills, your mindset, your perception. That’s why there is so much burnout in adults. You graduate from high school at 18 or 19, then, for some, four or more years in college, then you spend about 15 years in your chosen profession. No growth, no developing awareness, a closed consciousness… And now you believe everything you see on Facebook. Your windows to the world close to pinpoints. This is where the mid-life crisis rears its ugly head. The fact that there IS a mid-life crisis is PROOF that you have stopped your growth and development as a person! And the fact that the existence of a mid-life crisis has become normalized is absolutely frightening!

What happens in a mid-life crisis? A person wants to re-invent himself or herself. They might buy a flashy car, go on a dream vacation, have an affair, quit their jobs, gamble away their savings… They want to start over. But what they are really saying is that they want to recreate the feeling they had when they graduated and knew absolutely everything and nothing was out of their reach. They just don’t realize that nothing has ever been out of their reach; they just haven’t become the person they needed to be to reach for it. They stopped growing, experiencing, and appreciating.

A coach, if they’re not a fraud or a con man, will ask you these uncomfortable questions:

  1. What do you want in life?
  2. Is that all?
  3. Why is that important to you?
  4. What would it feel like? look like?
  5. What would you have to do to get this? What kind of person would you have to become?

And the coach won’t stop there. What you want in life might not be the first thing that pops into your head. What you currently think you want in life might NOT be what you truly want; it might be just a visible aspect of something deeper. The premise is that to get something, you have to do something. But that is shallow at best. To DO something significant requires you to BE someone significant. This requires growth in your thinking that will substantially change your outlook on life, your perception of your world, and your power to mold it into the life you want. Do you ask yourself those questions? Are you satisfied with the most cursory of answers?

To get those answers, you don’t seek a mentor, because though you may want the lifestyle of a person, you have differing backgrounds, experiences, and perceptions. You can’t have his life any more than he could have yours.

To get those answers, you don’t seek a teacher, because though they can fill in the gaps in your knowledge, they do not usually teach you how to think into the deepest areas of your consciousness. If you’re still working, and you want to quit or retire and start your own business, they can provide some information you need to be successful, but they cannot make you into the person you have to BE to be successful. You have to change your mindset from employee to entrepreneur and that is a huge shift in your thinking.

To get those answers, you don’t seek a psychologist. They look back into your past to explain your present. They might be able to project your future, but though they may bring new awareness into why you ARE the way you are, they cannot help you BECOME who you want to become.

To be designated as a coach, I am taking a course that leads to accreditation by the EMCC, The European Mentoring and Coaching Council. I must take online classes to fill my brain with good practices and processes. But obviously, that cannot be the be-all and end-all of certification. Anyone can pass a test. So once we have the basics of good coaching down intellectually, we have to work on the practice in order to develop a sense of the art of coaching. It requires that we give and receive coaching under supervision. It’s like an apprentice arrangement. Then we are evaluated. If we pass, then we move on to evaluated live coaching where we are observed coaching an actual client. If we pass that and have spent the requisite time in reflection and examination, learning, and self-assessment, then we get a certification that is very exclusive. 100 people wanted to put in an application for this certification, but only 43 qualified. Of those 43 applicants, only 20 were accepted. (I was one of those accepted! Yay!)

You cannot simply go on the internet and proclaim yourself to be a coach. Unless you are a con artist, It is a time-consuming, arduous process. It is also very expensive. But who would go to college to get a degree and be surprised that it cost money? Who thinks that becoming an MD requires just daytime classes and no internship or residency? Who thinks that taking the CPA test is easy enough to be passed without extra study and tutoring? It will take me 12 months of hard work, but I should be certified by the end of December. And that’s not the end of it, because the learning never stops. There are weekly calls, continuing education, and occasional summits and updates.

If you want to avoid that mid-life crisis; if you want to self-actualize; if you want to be a significant force in your universe; you must get a coach.

The Fear Factor

I belong to an eclectic group of women who are entrepreneurs and coaches. They are absolutely brilliant! For instance: Tuesday we were discussing Machiavellian Philosophy! Really!

He said,

“Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved”

and also:

“it is much safer to be feared than loved because …love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.”

This discussion has already inspired one blog post, and now, it has inspired a realization! When you look on Facebook or the news or the rhetoric, you will see lots of threats out there. One side insists you should be afraid of COVID and to protect you from this dread disease (and it does kill lots of people and causes permanent damage in others!) the country will mandate safety measures. The other side insists you should be afraid that the government is whittling away your rights and freedoms for their own nefarious purposes. Remember when you could go to the airport and sit with your loved ones at the gate until they got on the plane? Remember when you didn’t have to remove belts, change, shoes, pins, purses, or briefcases to go into a courthouse or a sporting event? Those restrictions were added to prevent people from crashing a plane into a building or shooting up the venue.

In discussing the philosophy of fear Tuesday, we found it to be true that fear and love cannot occupy the same space. The cure for fear could be as simple as a hug, a shoulder to cry on, or just sitting and listening. The cure for love is suspicion, uncertainty, and fear.

This started with the Viet Nam War. We were told this was a just cause. But it wasn’t a clear-cut situation by a long shot, and we were exposed to the uncertainties, the barbarism, and the horrors of war. How? By videos shot by the newsmen in-country. The main focus was that you couldn’t trust the government. Then, you couldn’t control the government. Then there was the Democratic Convention in Chicago that erupted in riots. Once again, the cameras were rolling. You could not trust the police. It was the age of protest. You couldn’t trust the Church. Your personal rights and freedoms were being trampled by the people you were supposed to depend on.

What was the source of all this fear? THE MEDIA! It is often called the Fourth Estate. Our government is divided into the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, and the Legal Branch, and they are all supposed to be equal to each other in power so no one has exclusive say in every matter. The Executive branch makes policy, but then it has to be ratified by the legislature to make sure it is good for the people they represent. Then it has to pass the legal test to see if it conforms to the Constitution. The Legislature decides where money is spent and how programs are to be administered. It can be either vetoed or endorsed by the Executive branch and either accepted or challenged by the Legal branch. The Legal branch can set up a ruling but it cannot make a law. Seems pretty balanced, doesn’t it? The media, however, is not chosen by the people nor appointed by the government. It exists to make money. The purpose is to keep the public informed, but there are no regulations on how it is supposed to do that.

Look at the fear-mongering and follow the logic. What party benefits from the fear of communism/socialism and the removal of inalienable rights? Do they get money? Do they get compliance? Do they get outrage from their constituents? They may get another seat in the house or senate, but it doesn’t really profit them. What party benefits from the fear of unchecked disease, false reporting of statistics, inaccurate information? The same results as the other party. What does the media get for spreading fear on both sides? Advertising dollars! The media profits from working the fear aspect on both sides of every issue!

Who, then, is the ultimate ruler? The people with the most power? It ISN’T the politicians and the rich–they may have a small influence, but they cannot control the media. Who is ruling by fear then? The Media. They gain power through their constant feeding of the Fear Machine they have created. They get rich and influential enough to control what we see and hear, and they don’t care about the outcome or the effect it has on the people of this country. They care about power, money, and influence, and they rule absolutely based on Machiavellian concepts. They are not responsible to the people they serve. Their only oversight is presumed self-governance and integrity. Integrity has not, as such, played an important part in what is reported and how. They influence policy; they influence elections; they influence buying trends; they influence fashion and style; they influence our treatment of people who are not like us; they influence how and which laws are to be enacted; they influence how we react to such laws.

The messages we get saying “Don’t trust the media!” get changed to “Don’t trust THAT media, ours is right…”

So here we are, sitting in the middle.

  1. Don’t trust the politicians
  2. Don’t trust the rich
  3. Don’t trust the poor
  4. Don’t trust your employers
  5. Don’t trust the unions
  6. Don’t trust the Church
  7. Don’t trust the foreigners
  8. Don’t trust science
  9. Don’t trust big pharma
  10. Don’t trust your doctors
  11. Don’t trust your friends or family
  12. Don’t trust your acquaintances if they do not believe 100% like you on every issue
  13. Don’t trust people whose first words include, “You must trust me!”

You’re not paranoid if everyone really is out to get you. You are much more inclined to be influenced if you are isolated.

And who is spreading this fear? The media. And who profits? The media. And what do they gain? Influence, power, and money.

The Haunting

It kept coming back

I had no control

It would be there at a sight

a sound

a smell.

It overrode the programming

It conflicted with events

It chilled me to the bone

It filled me with remorse

It threatened my sanity

and I fought it.

I fought it with activity

with thought

with distraction

with conversation…

but

It kept coming back.

No one but I could hear it

No one but I could feel it.

It wasn’t real to them,

It was overpowering to me.

What was it trying to tell me?

Why did it always return?

Addams Family Waltz…

Bouquet

Bouquet, nosegay, posy

Grouped and fastened together.

Visually pleasing and

Beautifully arranged

or dandelions held together

with a hair tie.

Clover and violets

in a child’s hand,

Roses and carnations

arranged and pinned

to a prom dress.

A sanctuary full

to the brim with lilies.

Close your eyes.

Breath in the fragrance

of all those flowers

combined into

Something Unique!

We mix together

wonderous variety

in color, thought,

emotion, and service.

Together we make

a bouquet of

humanity.

It’s the variety

that makes the fragrance

extraordinary and visually

stunning.

Let’s be a bouquet!