Lifebook Canva Course Series

Just in case you have decided to do your own Wheel of Life exercise like I described in my October 2020 blog, I want to let you know that I created a video series for the Lifebook membership site with a tour of my Lifebook as well several classes showing step by step how I created my Lifebook using the free version of Canva.

Here’s the link if you’d like to check them out

Another Big Retirement Discovery

We thought long and hard about different aspects of retirement during the past year.  Of course, we first considered our finances but after that, we thought a lot about where and how we wanted to spend our time.  We talked about the household chores and who would do what…but I was certainly taken by surprise with a recent “situation” that came up.

It started with the new routine we had developed.  My husband is still a very early riser…he wakes up even before the sun rises.  He really likes his surroundings to be in order so he would begin his day by putting away the washed dishes (yay!) and making sure that everything in our combined kitchen/dining/family room was completely in order.  I’d come downstairs to a super clean space with my husband sitting at the table working on his computer sipping a cup of coffee.

So I’d pour myself a cup of coffee and sit down next to him with my computer to plan my day.  The kids make their eventual appearances to fix themselves breakfast and go about their day since they older and have different class schedules.  Then I notice that my husband starts getting agitated and even a bit ‘snappy’ at times when either me or one of our kids starts talking.  He mentions all of “the interruptions” and makes comments like “it’s SO hard to get things done around here.” Hmmm….something is definitely getting under his skin.

The next day I go downstairs and hand him a note that says, “I am requesting a 10 minute meeting to be scheduled at your convenience today.  Please let me know when you are available.”  That got his attention–he shut off his computer and told me we could meet right away.  I then asked him about what was causing him to get irritated and what we could do to help.

He thought about it for a minute and told me that he is used to going into work and being able to shut his office door and not be interrupted when trying to focus.  I told him that since our kitchen/dining area is community space for everyone, maybe it would be a good idea when he wants to focus and not be interrupted to go to another room and shut the door.  He agreed, but then declared that he also really needs to work on not getting irritated when we are talking and that he was going to work on that.

Wow…that was an easy fix but just something that I never anticipated happening.  Wonder how many more “unanticipated” situations we have ahead of us? One thing I know for sure is that I am getting lots and lots of self-coaching practice.

Lifebook Update

My husband and I have completed the Mindvalley Lifebook course.  We have individually gone through and written out our Premise, Vision, Purpose & Strategy for each of the following areas:

  1. Health & Fitness
  2. Intellectual
  3. Emotional
  4. Character
  5. Spiritual
  6. Love Relationship
  7. Parenting
  8. Social
  9. Financial
  10. Career
  11. Quality of Life

After going through each area, we then wrote out a 2 page Life Vision that incorporated all of these categories.  This section is like a description of our’perfect day’  in which we noted what we were doing, where we were doing it and what our overall life would look like once we achieved our biggest goals.

After going creating our individual Lifebooks, we then sat down and shared them with each other.  It was very interesting to note that although we had many different individual goals, we had so many common threads.  Our life visions probably had about 80%+ in common and really no glaring contradictions.  Such a great exercise to bring us together and to ensure that we move forward in life together with purpose and intention!

I highly recommend going through this and creating your own ‘Wheel of Life’ book on your own or with your partner.  You can use the categories listed above or simply Google ‘Wheel of Life’ and you will see so many examples and other categories available to pick and choose from.

A Big Decision…

My husband and I have made a very big decision.  We have decided to…….NOT make a decision! If you go back to June and July posts, it will explain the details.

Just want to point out that this isn’t a ‘stuck in confusion’ or ‘I don’t know’ type of decision–this is an actual decision for my husband to sit back and relax for the first time in a very long time.  To take advantage of all of our kids being home during COVID and to try on ‘retirement.’

He has decided to give it until 2021 before even thinking about what his next step will be.  We will enjoy our kids being home finishing their studies here rather than on campus and will enjoy the holiday season together.

This is going to be…fun? Interesting? challenging? I’ll keep you posted…

Lifebook Program

I need to begin by letting you know that I am switching to monthly posts from here on out.  This is because I am getting involved creating content for a membership group that I am involved in.

The group is called Lifebook and it is offered by Mind Valley.  Just in case you haven’t heard of it before, it’s a self-paced program in which participants take a hard look and get crystal clear on their goals in 12 areas of their lives and end up with a succinct Life Vision after completing the course. 

Picture the ‘Wheel of Life’ that is used by many coaches…and Google it if necessary.  This is similar to the categories in the Lifebook program.  In each area we are taking a very close look at our premise (beliefs), vision (goals), purpose (compelling reasons) and strategies (habits to achieve our goals).  Perfect for a life coach and her husband who are navigating a new phase of life, don’t you think? ūüėČ

Aspects of Retirement We Did Not Plan For

So, it’s only been a few weeks since my husband was “retired” (see 6/15/20 post for the whole story) but there are definitely a few things about retirement that we did not anticipate….

The biggest one has been that although we were aware that he would no longer be getting a paycheck once retired and we thought we were prepared for this, we discovered that my husband really wasn’t prepared for the thoughts that he is currently thinking and the feelings around these thoughts. 

It’s one thing to know that you are no longer getting a steady paycheck and are going to have to start living off of savings and investments but a whole different experience to realize that these accounts that have been slowly building up over the years are now going down, down, down.

Yes, it’s a big transition and one that fortunately we are navigating through together.  I’ll give you an update as soon as I can but let’s suffice it say that going from 35 years of earning a steady paycheck to an abrupt halt of incoming funds (we are still a few years away from Social Security) is a process involving DAILY self-coaching!

Retirement Has Begun

I specialize in coaching on long-term relationships but have a vested interest in coaching women with husbands who are approaching retirement.  This is because my husband and I are preparing for his retirement.

I’ve done a few blog posts on this subject in the past but it has all recently come to fruition.  He has RETIRED.  This was not according to our plan.  He was planning to work for another year to year and a half.  He was just starting to formulate his next step.  Would it be full retirement?  Would it be starting his own business and becoming an entrepreneur?  Would it be a part time or consulting job?

Well, before he even had a chance to figure it out, he was let go.  His company cut a huge number of positions, closed offices and gave severance packages to many long term employees citing COVID.  My husband found himself suddenly without a job but fortunately in a position to have some time and space to start thinking and planning.  Both because he has a severance package which buys us some time AND also because during this time of COVID he is thinking that very few companies are in a position to hire.

So here’s the fascinating thing.¬† His brain struggled at first.¬† Despite all of our discussions, previous planning and steps we had taken to think about our future, it offered up so many negative thoughts about this being a ‘bad’ thing.¬† About this being ‘not according to his plan.’¬† Part of him was relieved but another part of has been struggling with all the free time and willingness to make a decision about what to do next.¬† Yes, all of these are thoughts that I’m having but they are a synopsis of many words that have come directly from his mouth.

So, this should be the beginning of an interesting journey that I will be sharing with you. It will likely be infused with general posts about the coaching tools I have learned from Brooke Castillo and during my training at The Life Coach School.  It will also likely involve me doing lots of thought work and using different coaching tools on myself than I have utilized in the past.  Lots of new things coming up!

Tony Robbins Relationship Tool

I’ve been revisiting some Tony Robbins talks lately.  I think Tony Robbins is brilliant and has a Brooke Castillo-like ability to get right to the root of people’s issues.  However, to be perfectly honest, his ‘rah-rah’ enthusiasm can be a bit much for me after a while and these thoughts lead to me go for long stretches not following him or listening to him.

However, I recently was led to an on-line event that Tony Robbins hosted and he gave a talk about relationships in which he brought up a concept that I had never heard before.¬† It is called Ho’oponono which is a Hawaiian¬†practice of¬†reconciliation¬†and¬†forgiveness. He uses it in his relationship by saying the phrase, “I’m sorry. I love you. Please forgive me. Thank you.”

I immediately began to think about relationships and how to use this phrase.  It seems that it could be used whenever there is tension, an argument, a disagreement.  Could it be used at times to step back and admit that something has gone wrong but is doesn’t matter who is to blame here?  That perhaps both parties are to blame?

I have been thinking a lot about the use of this concept.¬† I will try to use it in my own relationships and will check back to report on the results.¬† I’d also love to hear from anyone who is willing to let me know your take on this and any experiences you have with it.¬† My e-mail address is: amybrainard@yahoo.com and I welcome any thoughts you are willing to share.

The Goal of All Relationships Should Be….

The goal of all relationships and not just marriages should be SELF LOVE.  In my experience coaching others and observing life I’ve come to the conclusion that the people who have the most fulfilling relationships love and accept themselves so very deeply that they simply don’t need other people to meet their needs.

Think about it–when you take full responsibility for your own emotions and can depend on yourself for generating your own feelings, you become able to drop all expectations of other people. When you depend on other people (let’s say your husband) to feel wanted, needed, appreciated, loved, etc. you are at the mercy of their behavior for something that they may or may not be capable of providing to you.

It’s so much better to work on deciding to think thoughts that provide you with the feelings you desire.¬† You can take notice and think about all the ways you appreciate YOU.¬† You can work on thinking thoughts about how valuable you are, how lovable you are, and how you have your own back.

Of course, this is the tricky part.  Typically we treat those around us far better than we treat ourselves.  Start by taking notice of your self talk–are you constantly beating yourself up or being critical of yourself?  Do you keep commitments you make to yourself?  To you put yourself last before others? 

This is the work to do. Work on yourself. Have compassion for yourself. When you are there fully for yourself, you will be able to simply enjoy those around you without needing anything at all from them other than their presence.  This is so freeing for you AND FOR THEM!

Give it a try and see what happens.  I have a hunch that your relationships will improve is so many ways.

The Problem with Thinking There’s a Best Decision

The problem with thinking that one decision is better than another is that it causes us to waste time agonizing over trying to choose the RIGHT decision and often causes us to argue with the past wishing it were different. News flash~this is a colossal waste of time! As far as I know, nobody has yet figured out how to change the past.

Let’s take a look at the decision of whether or not we should divorce our spouse.¬† If we make the decision to file for divorce, there are a whole host of things we could think about that would make us feel negative emotions: “It will be expensive, it will be hard on the kids, I will be alone”…and the list can go on and on.¬†

But on the other hand, we could also list all of the things that we think would be better such as: “The kids won’t have to hear all of the fighting, I will figure out how to stand on my own two feet, I will have an opportunity to find someone who treats me the way I want to be treated”, etc. etc.

The fact of the matter is that ALL decisions involve pros and cons, good and bad, positive AND negative emotions.  It serves no purpose to sit stuck in overwhelm or fear of making the wrong decision.

Just drop the idea that there is such a thing as a better decision. Understand and like your why for making the decision that you have made (here’s a post about this). By doing this, there’s a greater chance that you will be able to move forward without looking back and create the future of your choice all while wasting a lot less time and causing yourself FAR less pain and suffering.