STOP & FEEL, QUESTION, BE INSPIRED, ANSWER, ACT  by Laura Dodge

In 2020 we are facing a lot more unknowns that can often leave us feeling a lack of control in our lives. A respected friend of mine said, "My coach says to 'Control what we can control.' " Priceless wisdom and good reminder. Over many years, I have slowly come to realize that We can only truly control our own response(s) to external situations. To Consciously Choose our Responses, I suggest a loose process: STOP & FEEL, QUESTION, BE INSPIRED, ANSWER, ACT - As needed, repeat these actions in any order. Actions build confidence and self-empowerment, even amidst challenges and a variety of feelings. Start small, practice and watch your actions and empowerment grow! What small action can you DO today in response to current external situations? ❤ What gifts and talents can you apply to fuel your passion and needs?

Here is a small example: Feeling: Lonely Question: What can I do? Inspiration: Observe what/who is entering your heart now. Answer: Leslie Action: Send a quick text to her 😘 or call her asking how she is doing. Feeling: Grateful for Leslie as a friend. (Note: I have also shared a real-life response of mine below.)

Laura's example: Feeling: Frustrated with all of the division and lack of unity in this country. Question: Where in my life do I feel most out-of-control during all of these external events? Where do I need to change my response? (rather than just crabbing about it - this is not working for me) Answer: I need to reach out somehow to promote unity instead. Question: What can I to DO? Answer: Uh, IDK. Action: Continue questioning myself. Questions: What matters most and what would fit with my gifts and talents? Inspiration: Meditations old and recent. Answers: LOVE and getting that message out. Question: How can I manage that? Inspiration: Yard signs in my neighborhood, that I do not like. Answer: Paint a yard sign of my own from an old sign I have! Action: Ordered supplies to paint. Feeling: Empowerment, but soon starts slipping away to daunting. Question: Can I manage that in a timely fashion? Answer: Probably not. Feeling: Less motivated, doubting painting skills and timing. Action: Evaluate for a course correction. Questions: Can I paint it smaller, scan and upload it for digital printing? Is this too much for me? Feeling: A bit unsure Action: Go online to research sign dimensions. Inspiration: Aha! There is a tool to create the art digitally online at the printing site! Action: Dive into sign creation and try to order it. Feeling: Excited and hopeful. Issue: Somehow lose file while checking out. Feeling: UGH! Tired. Action: Stop and wait until the next day and recreate the sign and order it. Action: Pick up and install sign! Feeling: Sooo excited! Action: Husband takes a photo for me with my sign and I text to family and friends. Feeling: Proud and accomplished, a friend likes my sign and wants to buy one. Action: I offer to gift it to her. Feeling: Glad my self-expression and the message are appreciated and will get out in the world farther. Issue: Over a few days, I realize one of the letters' color is not as expected and also wish it is two-sided . Feeling: Disappointed. Unsettled. Action: Call sign store to see if I can access the file to easily fix it. Issue: NOPE. Feeling: Ugh! Action: Start over creating the sign 2-sided. It went faster now the third time. (Third time's a charm!) Create an account with them to save my file. Feeling: Gratitude that I had saved some detailed notes to help me and happy it went quicker. Confident that I can learn and grow. Action: Pick up and install new & improved sign. Feeling: Complete. Grateful for my perseverance. Competent. I CAN . . . ! Feel high as a kite when I install my sign! Feel empowered and know my voice and actions matter. Happy every time I see it! Related expansion: New Feeling: I miss coaching people as often. New Inspirations: 1. Discussion of reactivating emails to connect with our clients 2. Discussion with friends about our own personal feelings of lack-of-control in this current situation and the quote above. New Inspiration: Share my sign artwork as email content. New Actions: Prepare this text for submission for the newsletter with the artwork. Coaching via email. :) New Feelings: Brave, connected, confident I have done at least a little something to send more LOVE. I did what I could today. Awareness: I started small just to send the artwork and maybe one line of text. If I had known I would invest time to write this blog, I would not have started. The first action of sending only the art, led me straight into my passion of coaching and kept me going! Start small. It matters!

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