Changing things up!

What is life without change?  My life has changed in big ways lately.  Inevitable ways but life goes on and so do I.

That being said I am changing things up a little here.

As soon as I figure out how to do it technically ( isn’t technology great most of the time..emphasis on most!)  I am changing the tagline and the focus  on my coaching and this website.

Not a lot..but just enough.

Love my tagline: Your life, Your Health, Your Way  ….BUT  it is too right side up.

Time to shake things up a bit.  So the new tagline will be…drum roll please:

Someday is TODAY!

Seriously…It is time to do this….truth be told most of us are overdue for this truth much like the library books sitting in front of me.

And if not now then when?

This all came to me yesterday because for some reason when I get in the car, ride my bike or I’m in the shower I get the best ideas.  Of course as you can guess I have no where to write these ideas down.    Sometimes I remember them..sometimes they fly out of my brain as fast as the came in.

Surprisingly when these ideas came to me yesterday they stayed in my brain! Yay me!  Not only was I driving but I was also listening to an audio book and yet my mind still wandered.  I started to think about the next ten years and what I want my goals to be for this next decade of my life. Like a shooting star of brilliance  I suddenly questioned myself  “Ten years?”  “TEN YEARS?”  Why not the next ten seconds, ten minutes, or ten hours?”

Yes ,why not?  Long term goals are great unless we give ourselves so much time we actually never get started.  Stephen Covey coined the phrase “Begin with the end in mind”    The key word in that is begin.  If we look at the end goal it might be too daunting.  Time to break it down into tiny pieces that eventually make up the whole.

Personally I have a great but sad example of this.  My parents had a two year plan to clean out their house, declutter and maybe move to a smaller place.  My Dad always joked that they were going to buy a mobile home and visit each of us for four months at a time.  The two year plan was a great idea except….they talked about it for the last 30 years and never quite got around to taking that first step.  My Dad passed away and now it is my Mom and the four of us sorting and organizing a house that has years of stuff in it. Not fun and it made me realize while they gave themselves an end date they never gave themselves a start date.

If you find yourself saying frequently “Someday I will travel, move, live by the water, read these books, write a book, exercise, change jobs, write more letters, get organized, take a course, finish my degree etc. please know you are not alone.

I’ll bet you often say those things and then give yourself a million reasons why you can’t start today or any day and  then before you know it you are facing some sort of deadline that life has handed you.

One of the best movie lines I have ever heard came from the movie “Funny Girl” when Fanny Brice asks Nick Arnstein what he does for a living and he replies; : “I live” and she says : “Well everyone does that”  His response?

Hardly anyone does!

Take a minute and think about the truth in that statement.

Life can certainly hand us a shit load of sorrows.  Do we roll around it it or do we spread it in our garden and let it fertilize our awesomeness?

Life can hand us a shit load of sorrows. Roll in it or use it as life's fertilizer? Click To Tweet

I think you know the answer  but just can’t get going.  It seems overwhelming..kinda like heading into the bedroom to go to sleep when you are exhausted and you discover that you stripped the bed to wash the sheets and you can either not make the bed up and just wrap yourself in the sheets or take the 5-10 minutes to actually make the bed.  It is one of those “Oh shit” moments.  I’ve actually argued with myself that I am way to tired to make up the bed but in reality if I don’t then I know won’t sleep well so I do it and it takes all of 5 minutes.

Take a look at those “someday” wants and desire.  I’m here to work with you to find a starting point , send you off to the gas station to put fuel in your tank and encourage you to rev up your engine.

Are you ready?

Want to do something in the next 10 seconds??

In the next ten seconds you can send me a quick email to schedule a complimentary coaching session to see if this is for you.

Send it to  yourupsidedownlife@gmail.com  and you’ve done that ONE thing toward your goal.

Can’t wait to hear from you!  In the meantime I am going to my own powering up, making someday today, kicking ass and turning things upside down.  I have no idea where I’ll be in the next 10 years but it’s time to start moving forward.

 

We would have missed out on this yummy treat without Inspired Imperfection!

Change can be stressful but change can be a good.  In this case it is a little of both but mostly good.  After much thought and a lot of work ( mostly brain power of which I am of limited supply some days) I decided to make some changes here at Your Upside Down Life.

And I love it!  Hope you do as well.

I am embracing and helping others discover “Inspired Imperfection”

You’ll be hearing lots about it and why it is so important and yet all that has to wait and in the spirit of Inspired Imperfection I am just going to jump right in and share  one of the best examples ( and yummiest) of Inspired Imperfection.

A cook for an Inn in Massachusetts ran out of an ingredient for her dessert.  She made a substitution with what she had on hand. It was similar but different enough that it pretty much changed the whole recipe to everyone’s delight and became wildly popular.bake-599521_1280

It was of course the beginnings of the famous Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies.  You can find the whole story here…but before you go there I want you to think about something.

What if in the course of cooking she started to stress out because the chocolate she had on hand wasn’t melting into the batter like the regular bakers chocolate she usually used?

What if she threw out the batter, the cookies and made a different dessert?

What if she panicked because she didn’t have exactly the right ingredients?

Imagine not never having chocolate chip cookies, warm from the oven, gooey and sinfully delicious??

WOW….how depressing and sad to miss out on those.

I find myself grateful to her and her “Inspired Imperfection”.  I will never know if she did panic, or wring her hands or just say “Hey, lets see if this works and if it doesn’t antidepressants  I’ll figure something else out”

Obviously even if she did panic she discovered that her substitution ended up creating a heap of warm deliciousness.

My apologies if  I am now making you want chocolate chip cookies. Guess what I am doing after I finish this??  Yum!

That is what Inspired Imperfection is all about. It's taking what we have, who we are, what we… Click To Tweet

I’ll be honest, sometimes it doesn’t work and we have to make adjustments but a surprising amount of times it DOES work and it is AMAZING.

Quick, quick story.  I hosted my Dad’s 90th birthday party.  I am not a gifted party giver..more of a party goer.  I am a great help, always bring food and do whatever I can for the hostess.  This was such a stretch for me but I did it.  And it was the essence of Inspired Imperfection as in I forgot to put out one or more of the appetizers, several side dishes,two grandkids got poison oak from our backyard and I forgot to give one of the overnight  guests towels.

And yet it was a HUGE success.  No yummy discoveries like chocolate chip cookies but more of a discovery that I can give a great party!  So much so my Dad would like a repeat next year!

Let’s embrace Inspired Imperfection!  Seems upside down right!!  Perfect!!  The next yummy dessert is just an imperfection away!

OR  even better instead of getting stuck or waiting for everything to be “perfect” on that very elusive “someday” ( which doesn’t exist)  you will just grab your imperfection and whip it up to be amazing!

Want some help along the way?  Send me a quick hey there email and  let’s chat!   Send it to yourupsidedownlife@gmail.com

Cheers!

 

Every time I tie my shoes I remember some valuable life lessons!

Every once in awhile I get a life lesson that continues to serve me well beyond what is normal.  Or I should say what people consider normal.  Normal, I hope , has begun to have a wide range of meanings but that is another topic.

For me one of my early life lessons came when I learned to tie my shoes.  I was five and heading to kindergarten. My parents had successfully taught my older siblings the fine art of shoe tying so this should be easy.

Except that it wasn’t.

I just could not get the concept of making a bow, wrapping the other lace around it and pulling it through, tightening it and ending up with two bows.  Even at that age I thought whoever designed this process had made it way too complicated.  This might have been a predictor for my poor math skills but who knows.

I’m not sure if it was a requirement to learn this before I headed off to school but it seemed like it at the time.  Everyone kept telling me it was soooo easy.  That statement would be followed by a demonstration of how easy it was and my attempt to copy it which always ended up with untied shoes. ( obviously this was way before velcro shoes)

I don’t remember stressing about it.  I remember thinking that it was really no big deal but evidently my parents thought perhaps I would be considered “not bright” if I couldn’t even tie my own shoes at school.  In any case I was saved by an angel of a next door neighbor, Dorothy Drewes who offered to teach me “bunny ears”.  What 5 year old can resist “bunny ears”?  Five minutes later I was tying my own shoes with two bunny ears crossing over and making the bunny ( well his ear) jump through the bunny hole.

Made absolute sense to me.

Run quick before she ties our ears in a bow

Run quick before she ties our ears in a bow

So I learned early that there is almost always a different way to do things and sometimes it is easier.  Also it helps if you give it a fun name and make it fun.

Never thought a thing about it or bothered to learn the “right way” until I was in college and one of my friends saw me tie my shoes and she was appalled and amused that I was still doing it that way.  So I tried the “normal” way and gave up.  I had better things to do and could do it way faster xanax with bunny ears.

Even though it was done in good fun I didn’t like the teasing and I learned that people don’t like to see things done in new and different ways.

That didn’t stop me. I continued to do things in new and different ways that made people sometimes shake their heads and ironically  those things are now the norm.  I guess I was ahead of my time.

Fast forward to my children learning how to tie their shoes. Settling into my protective mother mode,  I refused to teach them bunny ears and made my husband teach our daughter “the right way”.  Since my hubby traveled quite a bit I had Sarah teach her sister and then Julie taught her brother.  I knew I couldn’t save them from being teased for something or other at some time in their life but it was NOT going to be about how they tied their shoes.

That may have been a mistake ( teaching them the “right way”) because a little later I realized the real life lesson was: Be unique, be who you are and love yourself for it and anyone who doesn’t like it can take a hike.

So with a tiny bit of remorse and wistfulness, I wish I had taught my kids to tie bunny ears..it could now be “our” thing.  All my children are now rolling their eyes and thinking “seriously Mom”?child-542146_1280

As I coach women to “Kick Ass as they age”  I think back to those “bunny ears” and understand ( and see it often) the many different ways for each of us to kick ass in our own way.  There is no “right” way to do it.  Some of us will be loud, some quieter.  There are those women who want to rediscover the “daredevil” and bungee jump or skydive or get a tattoo and others will want to write a book, learn a language or even go back to school.

Being healthy isn’t  all about eating and exercise.  A big portion is feeding our spirit with what makes us come alive and not giving a hoot what somebody else might think.  It’s being active in every part of  our lives and forgetting what things are “suppose” to look like.

So go out and wrestle that rascally rabbit and tie his ears into a bow ( send photos)  Or just tie your shoes differently!

I would love to know what simple  event in your life keeps teaching you life lessons.

Now go out and be healthy today in every way!

 

What is the one easy thing you can do now to improve your health?

Yup I am going to let you in on THE secret.  The BIG secret as to the ONE thing you can do to improve your health.  The one EASY thing you can do and I am not even going to make you read a whole lot to find out the big secret.

It is tempting though to write a whole bunch just to make you read it but that makes me crazy so I won’t do it to you.

Just don’t cringe when you find out what it is because I do have a little explanation about that makes a whole lot of sense and how you can get started.  Truth be told you are already doing it.

The big secret to improving your health NOW?

Get up and MOVE !  Run, walk, skip, bend over, touch your toes, reach high, reach low, bend to the side, bend over, sit down, and get up right up away.

JUST MOVE !!

Yup that is it.

By the way I didn’t just make this up.  It comes from an accredited source even though it sounds as easy as pie.

Here is the thing that got my attention.  Staying sedentary for five hours at a time is the same as smoking a pack of cigarettes.  WHAT???

The biggest obstacle people ( okay us)  face as we age is the immobility.  We get lazy, we don’t get up , we don’t move, stretch or bend.

So a few things you should know:

  • A Harvard study found that walking an hour a week cut the risk of heart attack in half for 39,372 women.
  • A moderate 30 minute walk a day substantially reduces the risk of getting tramadol breast cancer and/or surviving the disease.
  • Increasing the rate or intensity of every day activities had the same benefits of walking ( intensive yard work, stairs instead of elevator, parking farther away than usual, or washing your car, or walking your dog at a faster rate or farther than usual).
  • Basically anything that can increase the amount you move will benefit you greatly.

I recently met a woman who was my age that was complaining about the cost of her recent pedicure.  I mean really complaining about it so much that I had to ask or suggest she just do it herself most of the time and then treat herself to a real pedicure every 3 months or so.  She shook her head no, it wasn’t possible.  She could no longer bend over far enough to reach her toes to paint them.

This woman had no real health problems, no arthritis or anything that would physically prevent her from bending over except she hadn’t done it in awhile.  She just hadn’t moved much and the really sad part is she had no interest in doing some simple exercises to be able to increase her ability to reach her toes.

So of course I went home and did all kinds of stretching ( I also clean my house intensely after viewing an episode of hoarders)!

So get up and move. Make it fun.  Dance, chase your dog, skip, challenge yourself to walk everywhere faster, touch your toes, ditch the remote, do your own toes, run up and down the stairs!

Just do it! 🙂

P.S.  Max keeps me moving no matter what the weather!

Get Moving

 

A Coach does what?????

Whenever I tell someone I am a health and life coach this is pretty much the look I get 75% of the time:book-15584_1920

Which says to me a couple of things:

  • they have no idea what a health or life coach is.
  • they are hoping I don’t go into a long explanation.
  • AND most of all when they hear they words “health coach” they hope I didn’t see that oversized brownie they just ate.

OR  sometimes ( not often) I get the person who hears “health coach” and they think they have hooked up to a  real life breathing form of Web MD.   NOT!

I thought I would clear up a few myths and share a few truths about the coaching world and give you a better idea of what it is we really do.

First clear your mind of the usual definition of the word “Coach”.  This word is almost always linked to sports coaches who tell you what to do and when to do it. Not once in my years as a coach have I ever said drop and give me 20!

push-ups-888024_1280

The next thing I need to tell you is ( and I say this with a little angst)  anyone can call themselves a coach.  Yes it’s true.  While the International Coaching Federation is working on standards, it will be awhile. There are three things you need to know to use this information wisely.

  1. There are some really gifted people out there who are coaches with no training.  I have met them and they are inspiring.  They, however, are not plentiful.
  2. The rest of us trained long and hard at a reputable institution and are certified in coaching.
  3. When someone says they are a coach they should be more than willing to tell you where they trained.

That bring us to what you probably really want to know and that is “So what does a coach do?”

A really good coach does a lot of this ( unconditionally I might add):animal-690865_1280

Listening

And some of this but not too much:business-19148_1920talking

Most of all we ( life and health coaches) are interested in where you are now, where you would like to be and what is holding you back.  We want what you want for your imagineear.com/pharmacy/ life and health.  In other words if you want to start eating healthy we’ll explore what will work for you.  If you want to start exercising,the same thing.  Some people know I am a runner ( a slow one but still a runner) and they think “uh oh she will want me to run”. That’s a big fat NO.  Only if you want to run will we explore that option.

So what about the life part.  Well first off your health and life are interrelated. So  relationships, jobs, community, family all affect your life and your health.  If you start moving forward with your health, it will affect you overall life.  If you start letting go of things that stress you out in your life ( as an example) your health is going to improve.

 Just a couple more things that may interest you.

Coaching is confidential.

What happens during coaching stays between you and me.  This is essential.  I consider it a sacred part of coaching.

Coaching can be done on the phone  or in person ( I do most of mine on the phone).

We are your biggest cheerleaders, supporters and encouragers ( if that is even a word).

With your permission we will hold you accountable to what you say you want.

We are your safe place to fall.  Sometimes its 2 steps forward and 3 steps backwards.  That is okay.  This is not a race, this is your life.  We all have to try things on to see if they fit, if they work.  It is all information. We build on that information to move forward.

I ran across this video which I thought was the perfect example of coaching.  It really is this simple.I think its better without the audio but it is up to you. Before you watch it though I have one last thing.  Not every coach is a perfect fit with every person.  You need to “try one on for size” so to speak.  So if you are interested go here and sign up for a sample coaching session.  Its complimentary!

Oh and if you are eating an oversized brownie, no worries but please share 🙂  Yum!

It’s about time..or not! Living without a clock for a day…what I discovered!

As promised I am posting about my day without all the time keepers in my life.  And as promised I am posting it “soonish” which has become my new favorite word.

So in my previous post ( find it here) I had a new awareness about time and what a hold it has on me.  I promised to go a whole day without using my watch  ( I’m addicted to the point that I wear it to bed) or any other of device that displays the time.

Before anyone says “Who has the time for this?”  I will share that it is such an anomaly that I would have a day free to do this and it was a luxury.   I even started to back out on Sunday night ( because seriously who has the time for this!) but since I coach people on how to get out of their comfort zones and since I am always hearing how people don’t have time to eat well, exercise, journal, meditate, or even just take some time for themselves I KNEW I needed to make good on my promise.

I reluctantly gave up my watch when I went to bed and wondered what the day would bring.  Oh I also covered up the most obvious time displays ( oven, microwave, computer, phone).

I actually didn’t officially start until 12:30 am thanks to my cat who woke me up because she got trapped in the garage and I had to disengage the alarm system to get to her…and there was the time shining at me on the wall display…I was half asleep so it wasn’t really my fault.

So in  nutshell here is what I discovered:

  • It was surprisingly easy to NOT know what time it was.  I was aware and careful and as the day progressed I REALLY didn’t care or want to know the time.
  • Couldn’t use the sun to gauge  it since it was raining and cloudy..oh well.
  • I was very focused and got a lot done ( this was a surprise)!
  • Without the clock and all those little voices in  my head telling me I was wasting hair loss time, I actually DID NOT waste time.
  • It was relaxing with no pressure to hurry up.
  • Some of what I think about time is habit and some of it is lies I tell myself ( no time for this, I can do this later etc).
  • With no clock to tell me what to do or how long to spend on things I found my own rhythm for the day.
  • I try to control it all the time but it really controls me.
  • I try to cram way too many things into one day which frustrates me and makes me feel unaccomplished.
  • Eating when I was hungry and not because it was lunch or dinner time was much more satisfying although my body went from “a little bit hungry” to “I am starving” in a very short period of time.

To be honest I thought I would hate this kind of day.  I thought I would be unproductive and frustrated and go through withdrawals without my watch or some other form of time keeping and it ended up being just the opposite.

I thought I would be all upside down without it and what it did was really turn me back to right side up!

I actually miss not keeping time and I quit wearing my watch to bed.  I don’t think I cured my procrastination habit but I certainly have some new awareness of how focused or unfocused I am…for some reason not looking at the time quieted all those “squirrel” moments that distract me from my intended tasks.

And in the end it was not about the clocks, watches or any other displays of time in my life.  It was and is about my perception of how much time I need, how I spend it and how I value or don’t value it.

So how about you?  Are you ready for a timeless day?  Want a little coaching about it?  Let me know here and we can get started.

And here is my favorite clock of all in my  house that loudly reminds me to “Go out and have some fun with your time”  Don’t you just  love it?

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It’s About Time!

I am having a new awareness about time.  All about time, where I spend it and most importantly why it seems to have  this hold on me all the time! ( pun intended)

Yesterday was a beautiful, unusually warm day here on the East Coast.  I decided to just take the day off and enjoy it.  Trying to ignore all the little thoughts that told me I shouldn’t do this was quite a task but I managed.  Still it made me think about what I do with my time, how I measure it and what would it be like IF I didn’t look at the clock at all for one WHOLE day.

Would I:

  • eat only when I was hungry?
  • pay attention to where the sun was in the sky?
  • use my time better if I wasn’t constantly aware of how much time I had left ?
  • not try and cram so many things into an impossibly short amount of time?
  • go a little crazy because I didn’t know what time it is?
  • get up when I was well rested and not to an alarm?

I suddenly became aware of how many different places the time is displayed besides my watch ( which I wear 24/7) and this is the list I came up with:

  • the oven
  • the microwave
  • my ipad, kindle, phone, computer
  • the car
  • the cable box
  • my home phone
  • decorative wall clocks
  • my coffee maker

Wow it is everywhere which leads me to ask “Why do people always ask me what time it is?” This happens often because many people do not wear a watch and it’s much easier to ask me than skin care pull out their phone..arghhh.  My husband is so guilty of this and when I am feeling snarky I often tell him when he asks the time “Time to get a watch” !  It never works.IMG_2402

So I am going to walk my talk, step out of my comfort zone, be really upside down and go timeless on Monday.  Since I have to change all the clocks on Sunday anyways it will be the perfect opportunity  for me to put that removable blue painters tape over all visible time pieces in my house, on my gadgets and in my cars.

I am already twitching a little.

Often in coaching I am told that there isn’t time to eat healthy, exercise, or do the things that really matter to the client.

I get it.  I mean I really get it.  So this should be really interesting on Monday.

I’m not sure if its a coincidence or just one of those things where the stars align that I happen to have Monday free to do this.

So who wants to join me ?  I realize it’s a luxury to have the “time” to do this so even if it’s for a small part of the day please hop on the timeless train.

I’ll be on Twitter  @jenniferbross, my facebook page and instagram ( your upside down life)

Want to coach or try coaching?  Go here and we’ll schedule a free mini coaching session!

As always…take some time, step out of your comfort zone and enjoy life a little upside down!

Sage advice from my 87 yr old Mom

How many times did I roll my eyes at advice my Mom gave?  Too many times to count and now I wished I had listened a little more carefully.  There is, however,  one piece of advice that she gave everyone everyday without even opening her mouth.

It came to mind recently when there was a news report that researchers have discovered that stress is contagious.  I laughed at that one.  That is old news to anyone working in a high stress job.  Those researchers could have saved a lot of time and  money if they had just talked to a few nurses.

I know from experience that when everything is hitting the fan it makes a HUGE difference if the nurse in charge stays calm.  The same situation looks and feels vastly different when the charge nurse  is losing her cool.  I’m sure that can be said for any stressful anti anxiety situation.

As Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD said in her book “My Stroke of Insight”:

Energy quote 1

Here is another contagious stress inducer: Multi tasking.  I am sooo guilty of this.  As a matter of fact I was thinking about this blog post and my Mom’s advice as I was racing to get out the door and started to laugh.  In the midst of multi- tasking and rushing I dropped and broke 3 things, tripped and did everything poorly until I slowed down and gave myself an extra 5 minutes.  That is all it took, an extra 5 mintues

So what advice did my Mom give us everyday without opening her mouth?  Here it is and it still hangs in her kitchen.

photo (9)

Sometimes it is the simplest solutions to the biggest problems that work best.

Thanks Mom and Happy Mother’s Day..a little early.