The Need To Struggle (The Value of Resistance) – Rhoads Life Coaching

Do you see the value in the need to struggle? Sometimes I wonder if we lose perspective in our desire for life to go easy and well. The need to struggle is valuable in life!

There seems to be an inherent bias in living that requires struggling to grow and develop. We can’t become stronger and more coordinated if there is no resistance back in what we want to do.

Think about that, there is a benefit in young creatures struggling to stand, walk, and run. There is a benefit in struggling to learn the fundamentals of education, or driving a car. We become better at the gym, or in developing our career, when there is resistance back. We become stronger and more capable!

If this is true, then are you able to change your perception of struggle? Instead of seeing our need to struggle and grow as a liability, it is possible to see it as an asset? Suddenly struggling becomes valuable! Taking one step further, what if the resistance we experience in our struggles with finding a better job, or saving money, or maintaining a relationship are something to be joyful about? How would struggle change for you?

Where do you struggle on a daily basis? What is the value for you in wanting that resistance to be part of living? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Be A Connector – Rhoads Life Coaching

I have posted previously about how we are all connected. Like it or not, we are all connected in some way and there is great value in these connections. My ask today is for you to BE a connector.

Someone near you is looking for some type of connection. Whether they are looking for information, a service, or some object, they need some help. Someone they don’t know has the information they need. You may be the person who has the ability to connect that dot for them! There is a great deal of value for you, those near you, and the community as a whole for that dot being connected. We can move forward as a group once that connection is made.

Frequently I hear from individuals that they do not have anything to offer in helping connect others. Rarely have I ever met someone where this is true. We all have valuable experience, expertise, and connections even if they are not being used at the moment. Someone is looking for the connections you have!

So my request is simple. Focus your attention on where you can be a connector. What groups do you participate in and where are opportunities to connect others? This could be in a job search. It could be in terms of new clients. Maybe solving a mechanical or household problem. Or as simple as what social media group helps in connecting others. The vast majority of people find value in helping others. You have a role to play.

Where are you limiting yourself in the belief that you have something valuable to offer as a connector? What prevents you from helping others connect? Keep your eyes are ears open as you go through your day. Where are there opportunities to be a connector? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

What Makes Up the Pieces of Patience? – Rhoads Life Coaching

What makes patience? There is a lot of benefit to understanding the components of how something is defined and works. It makes it easier to understand and develop. Because patience is a skill it can be built and developed. The building pieces then become important!

So what are the pieces that make up patience? This is a working definition for me, so please feel free to add or make suggestions. The elements of patience for me are:

Pause – When I lose my patience I have neglected to stop and look at what is happening around me. By pausing before I react, I give myself the opportunity to change my reaction. For me the first step in being more patient is pausing before I react.

Choice – By pausing I then get to choose. This choice is powerful! If I can choose which path I follow then I am not being forced (even if I don’t want to go that direction). By choosing patience I have power over my person.

Acceptance – This is a big one. By accepting the situation I am in, I automatically create the ability to choose patience. “This is the current dilemma, I choose to be here, I can accept the terms of following this path.”

Reducing negativity – Any time I can reduce negativity I am creating more choices and more acceptance. Negativity erodes patience. Any reduction in negativity helps.

Endurance – “I am willing to endure this” is a powerful statement. I am willing to be patient with traffic, long lines, to save for the vacation or house. “I am willing to wait” embodies patience. What are you willing to endure? And what do you need to endure a little bit more?

So what are you impatient about? What pieces of patience need to be developed in order to make more patience for yourself? What is the benefit for you if you are able to develop this skill and practice more patience? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Compassion For Your Shadow – Rhoads Life Coaching

We all have a dark, negative aspect to our personality that acts like a shadow. Being able to see it in ourselves automatically creates compassion for the shadow side of others.

Think about that for a minute. Do you agree that we each have really negative parts to who we are? It is really easy to deny that it is there. Just like our real life shadow though, it is impossible to have the light shine on us without creating insecurities, fears, and parts of our personality that are violent, destructive, dangerous and toxic.

Do not hear that I am advocating for letting these shadowing parts out to run around loose! They can hurt others and ourselves!

My point today is that this shadow part of our personality exists, whether we admit it or not. Acknowledging it is there is powerful because it creates the opportunity to have some compassion for ourselves in admitting that we spend a lot of time wrestling with these negative parts.

We all have a dark, negative aspect to our personality that acts like a shadow. Being able to see it in ourselves automatically creates compassion for the shadow side of others.

Where does your shadow come out in your life? What is its backstory? If you can see your shadow, can you see the shadow of others? What will it take to have some compassion for others who are wrestling with their shadows? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Third Anniversary! – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

Third Anniversary - Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC just completed its third year! – August is my third anniversary!

It is very important to me to pause for a moment to say thank you to the friends, family, partners, clients, and connections for all of the support and encouragement. What started as a part time project has already grown into a full time business. It continues to develop and evolve and expand. I have plans of future growth and development and all of this possible because of you.

Third Anniversary - Rhoads Life Coaching

I am excited to see where this path leads next! I hope you will continue to follow along to see what happens in the next year!

For now though, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your investment, encouragement, enthusiasm and support! –

Sincerely, John

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Write It Down (Keeping a Log) – Rhoads Life Coaching

It is a very valuable tool to write down the important events of your growth and development. There are demonstrated benefits (some of them clinical) in journaling. Frequently in coaching I hear that it is a difficult practice to start or maintain. We seem to understand it is beneficial, so why don’t we do it?

In addition to reducing stress, helping to de-clutter our minds, and exploring our emotions, writing down helps us to remember what has happened. I find that the farther away I get from a significant event, the less I remember about it. This can happen VERY quickly after an event. When I go back and look at what I have written after a significant piece of growth, I find that it is much easier to remember! If I want to remember the vibrancy of the event, it is best to write it down! It makes it real and difficult to forget!

Journaling also makes it much easier to battle my Inner Critic with remembered data points when the negativity tries to refute hard work I have accomplished previously. There is also something much more personal and permanent in seeing my own words in my own handwriting rather than text in a digital file. It is part of me on the paper!

An underlying message, I sometimes point out to folks who struggle to keep a journal or log, is that by not writing it down you are telling yourself you aren’t worth remembering or worthy of being held in a safe place of value. Think about that for a minute. Sometimes I have trouble writing because I am battling my worthiness. Once I start writing the words flow much easier. The hurdle is my beliefs about myself, not the writing.

So, we know there are valuable, inexpensive benefits to writing about yourself. What prevents you from doing it? There are valuable data points you will need in the future. Write it down, that way you will be able to remember the steps you have made if you ever doubt yourself in the future. Start a journal or a log! –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Fractals (Patterns in Chaos) – Rhoads Life Coaching

Fractals are objects in which the same pattern is observed at multiple scales (larger and smaller) inside an object and the system around it. They are a way of describing the patterns of what seem to be random and chaotic things. They occur almost everywhere! We see them in waves on the surface of the ocean, the rivulets flowing into a stream and then a river, and the patterns of leaves on trees in a forest.

It was inspiring this week, in visiting the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio, to see all of the fractals of leaves, trees, flowers, and sunlight creating patterns everywhere. Even the light changes in the video reflected the fractals created by the leaves above me! They are literally everywhere we look!

What if your life IS a fractal?

What are the potential impacts of that statement? How would you change your behavior if you lived your life through a fractal lens? I offer the observation that the randomness and chaos might be built into the system on purpose. There is a benefit to the fractals of your life. Suddenly there would be meaningful information in the chaos of your life!

If the complexity of the patterns we see on the ocean, or in the woods, or on the sand on the beach, the ceiling of a cathedral, or the feathers on a bird are mesmerizing, then we have the ability to see the beauty in the chaos of our lives. Suddenly each seemingly random pattern in your life becomes a “stitch in life’s rich tapestry” (Arthur Marshall).

Your life is a fractal. It is meant to be complex and seemingly chaotic. It is part of a larger pattern. Your purpose is to accept and see the beauty of your role in that pattern. –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

The Words You Choose – Rhoads Life Coaching

Do you pay attention to the words you choose? When you are resolving a conflict are you using should’s and could’s to shame someone into compliance? In describing a goal your team wants to achieve are you using general terms that make the finish line vague and unachievable? Are you using too many words to give instructions, or too few? The words we use make a big difference in how we talk to each other (and ourselves)!

There are layers upon layers of complexity and power in the words you choose. Take the word spirit for example. It’s, root spiritus, is a very old Greek word that essentially means “breath”. Breath can be kind of a mundane word until you:

Inspire – breathe in

Conspire – breathe together or with

Respire – breathe out

Aspire – breathe up

What inspires you? Who do you conspire with to be connected to and supported by in the world? Do you breathe out all the stress and negativity in life, or hold it in until you pass out? Who do you aspire to be? What is the higher level of yourself that is being developed?

My request is to pay attention to the words you use. They are vitally important to how we engage with the world around us. They can make a difference in whether we move forward or backward in our development. Choose your words carefully! –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Anxious vs. Excited (Fear vs. Joy) – Rhoads Life Coaching

Do you know the difference between being anxious vs. being excited? They sometimes have similar symptoms. The butterflies in our stomach, tightness in our chest, sweaty palms, flushed cheeks, and holding our breath can all be indicators that we are anxious. They could also be indicators of being excited. What’s the difference?

Anxiety is fundamentally a part of fear. When we are anxious we are worried or scared or fearful of something. Excitement is an extension of joy. We are happy and joyful and anticipating something when we are excited. They are VERY different! Isn’t it interesting, though, that they might feel similar to us?

So why do you care? If anxiety and excitement blend together for us, it is possible to feel both at the same time. Where do you feel a mix of both? We have a tendency to lump excitement into anxiety. Instead of taking the time separate the two, we say we are anxious or nervous. It changes the tone of how we engage the world. Instead of being nervous of the outcome of an interview, or a performance evaluation, or a child’s recital or athletic event, what if you were excited to see the outcome? Suddenly a dramatic event isn’t fearful, but joyful!

What is the practicality of this? For most of us there is a blend of being anxious vs. being excited in most of the things we do. Instead of just being anxious, start practicing by saying out loud, “I’m excited to see what happens.” Just practicing changes your view of the event and the potential outcomes.

I’m excited to hear what changes for you! –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Sanctuary (Finding a Refuge) – Rhoads Life Coaching

Webster’s dictionary defines a sanctuary as a consecrated place, or a safe place of refuge. We tend to think of of a sanctuary first as a room in a religious building. While that may be true, it isn’t limited to just a religious definition. Where is your sanctuary?

We each have places that are safe, a refuge, and our own version of consecrated or holy. They are places to regroup and recharge. It could be in a church, or out in the woods, on a boat in the middle of a lake, a workbench in the garage, or under a tree on a hot day. For the most part they are still and quiet places (even extroverts need to have a quiet place once in a while). It turns out we need these places. Not as a place to stay for prolonged periods of time, but as a safe base to re-call, re-collect, and re-fuel.

I was struck this week by being filled back up spiritually and emotionally by sitting still in a sanctuary. I hadn’t realized how much I needed it. How do you know when you need your sanctuary? What are your symptoms indicating you need to find a sanctuary? How will you know which of your needs are met by going? What are you losing by not having a place of safety and refuge? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life