Listening to your Inner Voice

Listening to your Inner Voice

Amanda Delamer, MSc., PCC, CPCC

I’m guessing I’m not the only one who was in a bit of shock when it was announced that, to prevent further spread of COVID-19, schools would be closed indefinitely. A few things went through my mind: 1. We don’t have to be up as early tomorrow, so movie night it is!; 2. I don’t have to make lunches, hooray!; and 3. I’m sorry, what? And what does “indefinitely” mean? Then a sudden rush of something came over me as I realised that I will be responsible for the thing I fear most: homeschooling. Or rather, the patience that will be required to homeschool my three children. I know I have it in me, but wow, this will be a whole new experience.

I’m happy to report that after four days at home, all three children are still alive and well. Even more noteworthy, we are all thriving and smiling and laughing and processing – together.

In addition to an increase in caffeine consumption, here’s what has supported me and my family to thrive.

Listen to your inner voice

Over the years, I have become pretty good at listening to, and working with, my inner voice. It has taken a lot of practice, experimenting and learning – to trust myself and what my inner voice is saying in each moment – but I continue to experience a great deal of confidence in the choices I am making when I listen to it. And choices that leave me feeling better, more fulfilled, more satisfied and more at peace than if I hadn’t listened to my inner voice.

Whether you call it your spidey-sense, your gut, your intuition or your inner voice, we all have it. That thing that attempts to guide us in making choices that feel right for us in each moment. That leader within us that truly wants what is best for us. It doesn’t always seem black and white, what our inner voice is telling us, and that’s okay. It’s simply communicating with us all that is going on in our mind and in our heart, and what feels best for us in this moment. Trust it.

During this time of uncertainty and “new normal” I hear my inner voice saying things like “what a uniquely amazing time this is to be at home with all of my kids”, “you can create some pretty awesome activities to do with your kids”, “look at you getting outside with your kids for ‘gym’ every day, keep it up!”, and “This week, what does your schedule look like? What’s the plan? When are you with clients and when are you with the kids? Who do you need to ask for help?”, and “it’s okay to feel frustrated with the kids fighting again, what about creating a family agreement and talking to/asking the kids how we want to be and feel together?”

What is your inner voice saying to you?

Now, sometimes there may be a voice that doesn’t seem so supportive, or it’s disguising itself as being supportive. This is your saboteur, your gremlin, and while it can be something that helps us to grow (when we learn to work with it), it can create a whole lot of panic, insecurity and overwhelm. When we listen to this voice, we may find ourselves making choices that are not in line with what is most important to us.

Some clues that my saboteur, not my inner voice, is present – I hear things like “it’s impossible to schedule in clients and be home with your kids”, “Soccer is cancelled, how on earth are you going to keep up your fitness goals?!?”, or “How are we going to do this?!?!?!” Our saboteurs love coming out to play when fear is present. My saboteur usually presents itself when, if I dig deep, I’m afraid of not being good enough, not being liked, or missing out on something.

What is your saboteur saying to you?

Hint: When listening to and making choices from your inner voice, you will more often feel movement forward. When listening to your saboteur, you may often find yourself feeling stuck or overwhelmed.

Choose where you will put your focus

There are a ton of things currently out of our control, and many circumstances that are presenting themselves. No, we didn’t ask for them, but we do need to work with them.

Whether or not I can play soccer at the end of April, out of my control. Creating an exercise schedule for myself, in my control. Being able to visit my 95-year old grandmother at her assisted-living home, out of my control. Working with the staff at her residence to schedule in face-time calls with her, in my control.

What are the things within your control? What are things you have no control over? What happens if you make a plan that relates to those things you control?

It’s an uncertain time, and things are changing at a crazy pace. One week ago, schools were open, hockey and swimming lessons were on as usual, and I played two soccer games with my league. This week, nothing. I take it day by day. It helps me keep focused and allows a lot less room for anxiety.

Love and compassion

We are all processing, and we all process in our own way.

For me, I am really practicing more love and compassion at home. I notice that my kiddos are quite calm and engaged in the mornings, and then 1pm-ish comes. What on earth?!? They become different little humans. Love and compassion for me means not raising my voice with them, and instead (just as I am good at in the mornings) lowering my voice and talking calmly with them. This is all new to them too. They are processing so many feelings and thoughts, and that is sometimes going to result in a heated spat over who gets to wash their hands first.

Patience. With our family. With our colleagues. With that guy at the grocery store.

I very much appreciate that we are all experiencing these uncertain times differently, and we all have different circumstances to consider. Listen to your inner voice, focus on what is within your control, draw on love and compassion for yourself and others, and ask for help. We can do this.

Lets schedule in a sample session! You don’t have to process all that your inner voice is saying alone, lets process together. Book in for a complimentary sample session today, and discover how Coaching can support you to thrive. Call 403-452-6262 or email amanda@soultree.ca.

Amanda is a self-awareness and fulfillment coach. Amanda coaches and supports people in living healthy, balanced and fulfilled lives. She coaches and honours the whole person – mind, body and spirit. Her clients experience fulfillment in all parts of their lives – health, family, relationships, career, etc. – and they value and appreciate that all parts of their lives are connected, and that we all have responsibility in and for the world around us. She lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her loving husband and three inspiring children.

 

Trick or Treat?

Trick or Treat?

Halloween, a very exciting time for kids! Don’t fret about the large amounts of candy that they are going to bring home. This doesn’t have to be a scary event. There are many options that still involve your child having a great time, but not gorging themselves on candy. Moderation, moderation, moderation…

Whatever works for your family, but my biggest suggestion is it is all about moderation. I have found when parents make candy something that is forbidden it can sometimes work against them. It may lead to kids hiding it or gorging on it when they have do have access to it. So here are some tips:

There are lots of great options out there to reduce the amount of candy in your home there are candy buy back events where kids can get money for their candy. Some parents have used the candy fairy option where they substitute candy for a toy.

Educate kids on the effect that sugar has on our body it can feed bad bugs in our tummy’s, it can cause bad behavior and too much can really make us sick. If your ok with your kids having some candy just talk to them about having small amounts at a time, so that those negative effects don’t happen.

It is also very important to ensure people/children don’t get bored of their diet and don’t feel restricted. Trying healthier alternatives, can help satisfy while having positive benefits. There are great alternatives that don’t involve lots of refined sugar using alternatives to white sugar including honey, maple syrup, stevia, banana or other fruits as a sweetener. Also if you focus on the less sweet options then the palate naturally will adapt and the sweet options become too sweet, and cravings for sweet decrease.

Happy Halloween!

Mental Health Week – The Fog

Mental Health Week – The Fog

By Amanda Delamer, MSc, CPCC, PCC

Have you experienced “the fog”. That feeling when you’re in the kitchen cutting veggies for dinner, kids around you sharing ideas for the next best lego elephant spaceship or how they just learned how to do a cross over at ringette, but you are so not in the moment because you are preoccupied with something that happened earlier in the day? That feeling when you’re in bed, wide awake, because all you can think about is a conversation you had with a colleague earlier in the day? I have and me too.

In these moments I am in the fog. My mind full of thoughts, trying to process, and not letting any part of me be present in the moment. It’s foggy, and nothing seems clear.

I have become pretty good at getting myself out of the fog quickly these days, and identifying what got me there in the first place, but it wasn’t always the case. What makes it easier for me to feel less foggy is being very connected in with my values.

Three things come to mind, and I notice help me remain present and out of the fog:

  1. Be clear on what you value
  2. Say “yes” with intention
  3. Say something

When we are clear on what we value, and we make choices consistently and on a daily basis that align with our values, this is when we experience the most joy and fulfillment. This is when we feel less foggy. What do you value? What does that word mean to you? Make a value string, put a few words behind the value so you are really clear on what it represents for you.

Say “yes” to those things that align with what is most important for you. This will also require you to say “no” sometimes. I know that for some of you reading this, the thought of saying “no” is making your palms sweat, but you can do this! And you might find that at times, saying “no, but here’s what I can do” is also helpful and keeps you aligned with your values. If you are asked to take on an additional task at work, or there are still emails to respond to at 4:55pm, say “yes” to leaving those things until the morning. Nobody will die, and if family, for example, is something at the top of your values list, this is you choosing to say “yes” with intention and honour what is most important for you. When we make choices on-purpose it is empowering, and feels clear. We go home ready and excited to learn how to make an elephant spaceship out of lego without an ounce of fog or guilt.

Say something. If a friend or family member, or colleague or supervisor makes a comment that you agree with or are not on board with, say something. Have a voice and honour who you are. In the boardroom, at the office, on the playground, at the rink – honour what you value and have a voice. If you don’t, there’s a good chance you may be replaying that moment in your head at midnight wondering why you didn’t saying something. When you agree or disagree, honour yourself and share what’s coming up for you.

One of the first exercises I go through with clients is mining for values, and supporting them to get clear on what it is they value. It is part of their big picture, and it connects in with every session we have. Get in touch with me, and let’s create time and space for you to process and connect deeply with what you value.

Amanda Delamer is a self-awareness and fulfillment coach. Amanda coaches and supports people in living healthy, balanced and joyful lives. She coaches and honours the whole person – mind, body and spirit. Her clients experience fulfillment in all parts of their lives – health, family, relationships, career, and beyond. They value and appreciate that all parts of their lives are connected, and that we all have responsibility in and for the world around us. She lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband and three children.

Leadership Lessons from my Littles: Acting with Integrity

Leadership Lessons from my Littles: Acting with Integrity

By Amanda Delamer, MSc, CPCC, ACC

My husband and I always know where our kids stand on any particular topic – they do not hesitate for a second to share what they are feeling, chime in with their two cents or express themselves fully. They don’t know it yet, but they are choosing not compromise on what they value and what they know in their hearts to be true. And wow, they are so honest about it. They are acting with integrity.

As much as we would prefer to be on the same page as we are getting ready to leave the house (or the park, or the pool, or from soccer, or after gymnastics…), we would not change a thing. As a parent, what a gift to witness your children fully and completely owning and expressing what is true for them. They are not concerned about us not liking them or being upset with them – instead, they just let themselves be “all in” with being honest. Whether they know or not, it is them acting with integrity. And while challenging at times, it is so very refreshing.

And when our places of integrity are not in agreement – our little people are amazing at using our own lines right back at us and say with confidence, “it’s okay if we have different opinions” or “we can different opinions”. Love it!

So, when do we start choosing not to live fully in integrity? What makes us decide to not speak up when we disagree with something or someone, or when we are witness to something that we are not okay with? What makes us nod “yes”, when inside we are thinking “heck no!”?

And what gets in the way of us not acting with integrity? For me, I notice that the thoughts of “careful, they might not like you if…” or “don’t rock the boat” or “pick your battles” are frequent saboteur voices that pop up.

Bottom line, when we act with integrity we are making a choice to fully honour ourselves and the people or circumstances we are faced with. Our kids need us to model integrity, and lead by example.

Go forward kidlets! Live with integrity, have a voice, be true to yourself. We will do our best to not ask you to tone it down, and to stay out of your way. Oh, and thank you for modeling integrity for us adults!

Amanda Delamer is a self-awareness and fulfillment coach. Amanda coaches and supports people in living healthy, balanced and joyful lives. She coaches and honours the whole person – mind, body and spirit. Her clients experience fulfillment in all parts of their lives – health, family, relationships, career, and beyond – and they value and appreciate that all parts of their lives are connected, and we all have responsibility in and for the world around us. She lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband and three children.

Good Health on a Budget

Good Health on a Budget

By Dr. Michelle Hagel ND

Investing in health is the most important investment you will ever make; however, it doesn’t have to be the largest. Here are some cost-saving tips to Good Health on a Budget.

Plan your Meals Ahead of Time

Meal planning in Calgary for a week can take some time initially but you will spend less time and money once you get to the grocery store. When we don’t plan, we end up getting foods that may or may not be consumed in time, leading to more food waste or wasted fridge space. We are also more likely to just grab something, instead of having the more nutritious, cost-effective, homemade alternative. The average Canadian household throws out 215kg or $600/year, so keep that money in your pocket this year. This will also have a big impact on our planet, so plan ahead, shop smart, and avoid those extras or include them in next week’s plan.

Ditch the Junk

Once in the grocery store shop the perimeter of the store, avoid processed foods. Although initially, it appears the pre-packaged or frozen food is cheaper, in the long run, it is not. Making your own pizza is cheaper and far more nutritious that any frozen or delivered pizza- Cauliflower crust pizza is one of my favourites.

Purchase Bulk 

Purchasing large quantities will save you time and money. It may seem like a large purchase initially but in the long run, think of those saved trips back to the store. Having things on hand, when times get busy will save your health and your wallet. This specifically applies to things you can freeze like meat, frozen fruit/vegetables and items with a relatively long shelf life such as onions, sweet potatoes, oils and nut butters. Buying fruit and vegetables in season like blueberries will be cheaper and are very easy to freeze. Food storage becomes another important factor when buying larger quantities to prolong shelf life and prevent waste. Understanding how to preserve certain foods is important. With produce you want to take it out of the plastic bags, the bags will suffocate the produce and speed up the rate of decay. Do not wash produce until it is ready to be consumed, the moisture will cause mold and decay. Keep produce whole, once you rip off stems it will allow microorganisms to grow.

Get the Most out of Your Meat

Meat is generally the largest ticket item on the shopping list. Chicken breasts can be quite costly, instead go for the whole chicken, then you’ll also have a carcass to make highly nutritious bone broth. You can also go for some cheaper cuts.

Know your Stores

Another great way to make your dollar go further is to figure out which stores have the best prices on different types of food. For example, one store may have the best price on fresh, high-quality produce but the meat is more expensive. This may require some research and shopping around, for future trips have different lists for different stores, but can go along way especially if purchasing in larger quantities. In season shopping outside the supermarket can be a great option, like farmer’s markets or other outdoor markets.

Homemade Salad Dressings and Dips

Making your own salad dressings and dips like hummus, guacamole, tomato sauce… etc. This is one of my favourites tips not only to save money but then you know what is in your food. Often salad dressing and dip labels are a never-ending list of preservatives, flavours and sugar. Make your own for less and stick to quality whole foods get rid of the hidden preservatives, and unneeded sugar.

Fall is one of my favourite times to detox, heading into that holiday season. You don’t have to do an expensive herbal detox, just go easy on your body. Kick the sugar, drink lemon water daily and practice deep breathing. To boost your body’s ability to detox try some hydrotherapy- contrast showers. These begin with 30 seconds hot water 10 seconds cold water, doing 5 cycles ending on cold. This small shower change can invigorate and improve circulation. Your body will thank you for these few changes and can be done all year long.

Start your Own Garden

Not exactly a practical recommendation at this time of the year, but for next year plant your own garden. Gardening is good for the mind and the body. There are unlimited benefits of growing your own foods; it’s organic, it is loaded with nutrition because it doesn’t have to travel, good for the planet, it tastes better, it lasts longer and seeds are very low cost. You can start now by growing your own herb garden throughout the winter months. Herbs like rosemary even act as air purification plants, removing indoor pollutants. You can save yourself from buying dried herbs in the store and reduce the amount of sugar loaded sauces you use by increasing your food flavour in a healthy way.

Organic

There is lots of buzz around eating organically, and there is no doubt organic is the healthier, cleaner option. However it can be an expensive option, if you are on a tight budget I generally suggest getting familiar with the dirty dozen. There are 12 fruits and vegetables that will expose us to more chemicals than others these are known as the dirty dozen. I highly recommend these foods be consumed organically whenever possible. While the Clean 15 foods are foods that will expose our bodies to less chemicals, are not as important to be consumed organically.

 

Leadership Lessons from my Littles: Focus on your Strengths

Leadership Lessons from my Littles: Focus on your Strengths

By Amanda Delamer, MSc, CPCC, ACC

In addition to teaching me how to dance the “floss” and “orange justice” (If you are curious, there are many entertaining videos online – and you are welcome for not including a video of myself doing these dance moves!), my kidlets are fabulous examples of what leadership looks like.

 

This weekend was a great example of my kids owning and focussing in on their strengths.

 

Kids are so much better than adults at not getting preoccupied with the “have to’s” and the “should’s”. They just totally trust what they feel, and let themselves be all-in with where they are and what they want in the moment. It is so refreshing! They may not be aware that choices they are making reflect their strengths – “this is what brings me a ton of joy” and “this is something I am really good at”, but they are honouring themselves just the same.

 

Kids are also so much better at not trying to be the “best” at everything. They just go with what they enjoy (which is likely also something they are naturally really good at). Think about when your child comes home with their report card, or when you have a performance review at work. How much time do you spend on celebrating those A’s and B’s, or an amazing accomplishment over the pas year? Probably not much time at all, compared to how much time is spent on asking our kids to bring that C up to an A, or the time we spend with our supervisors talking about how we need to get better at conflict management or presentation skills. What would happen if instead, we supported one another to focus our energy on our strengths?

 

I think about my son, who is in kindergarten and working through math problems at a grade 3 level, or how he wants to shoot pucks at the hockey net and draw Pokémon characters in detail for hours, and how he goes shopping with me to keep me company (strengths: achieving, discoverer, caring). Or my oldest daughter who loves to create treasure hunts and set up obstacle courses for the family, how she loves doing things together, and how she loves to create and perform stories and plays (strengths: includer, presence, relator, expression). And how our youngest takes charge of the other two like nobody’s business, is constantly singing or humming, and wants to play with playdough all day long (strengths: confidence, woo, creative). They don’t overthink it. They just trust themselves. They play to their strengths.

 

What happens to us as we age? Why do we lose that instinct to put our focus on doing things we love to do, the things we are really good at. What is this need to be good at everything?

 

My husband and I chat daily about how one of our important roles as the parents of these amazing little people is to not get in their way or hold them back from expressing who they are. Sometimes, it may mean taking some deep breaths, but it is so worth the reward of watching them shine!

 

We also need to have that chat with ourselves quite often! We want to lead by example. It is our responsibility to create space for us to honour our strengths too.

 

So what happens when you let yourself be “all-in” with your strengths – those things you not only love doing, but that you’re also really good at? What’s that energy like? What if you got out of your own way, and let yourself do more of what you’re naturally good at and enjoy? What becomes possible when you focus on your strengths?

 

Let’s explore together!

 

Amanda Delamer is a self-awareness and fulfillment coach. Amanda coaches and supports people in living healthy, balanced and joyful lives. She coaches and honours the whole person – mind, body and spirit. Her clients experience fulfillment in all parts of their lives – health, family, relationships, career, and beyond – and they value and appreciate that all parts of their lives are connected, and we all have responsibility in and for the world around us. She lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband and three children.