Your Oxygen Mask First – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

In order to effectively help others, we must also take care of ourselves. When the oxygen mask drops down, your job is to put your oxygen mask on first.

Remember the pre-flight instructions from the steward or stewardess on your most recent flight (the instructions you ignored as you settled in)? Those instructions are there for a reason. It is imperative that if there is an emergency and the cabin depressurizes, in order to help the person next to you, your oxygen mask has to be put on first! If you don’t do this, you will pass out before you can help the person next to you. Then you BOTH will be in trouble!

The same is true for life guards. Each life guard must learn to stay safe before trying to help someone in danger. If they don’t keep track of their own safety, they could drown, causing the person they are trying to help to also drown.

To be clear, I am not talking about being selfish. My example is in the context of helping others. By not taking care of yourself, you may be robbing others in the future from receiving your help.

This applies to teachers, therapists, first responders, health care workers, and even parents teaching and working from home in the middle of a pandemic.

Do you pay attention to taking care of yourself while helping others? What parts of yourself are you neglecting? What are the potential consequences if you do not stay healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally? Where are you forgetting to put your oxygen mask on first?-

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Definition of Optimism – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

What is optimism? It isn’t limited to just being positive. Optimism is being able to see a way through; seeing obstacles as temporary and having the ability to overcome them.

In reading Kara Jillian Brown’s recent article on the definition of optimism, I was struck by Deepika Chopra’s specific definition of optimism:

β€œThe true definition of an optimist is someone that is very aware and mindful of all the setbacks and roadblocks and less-than-ideal things that happen in their life. The caveat is that they are just aware that those things are temporary, and they have the ability to overcome them.”

Does that fit your definition of being optimistic? I would argue that most of us see optimism as being positive and up-beat and happy in all situations. That’s not what Dr. Chopra uses in her definition.

Look again at the words she uses. Aware. Mindful. Temporary. Ability. Overcome. It helps me a great deal to be able to see myself as optimistic without pretending that I am happy all the time. Yes, it is important to be joyful and less negative, but it is also possible to be optimistic and still be worried or scared.

We are all facing a lot of different challenges right now. Are you able to see our troubles as temporary? Are you able to see a way through all of this? Can you see yourself overcoming these challenges?

At the end of the day optimism is a choice. What prevents you from choosing to find a way to overcome your troubles? My challenge to you is to choose to find solutions; to see a way through. Take a chance and change your definition of optimism. You have the ability to choose to be optimistic. –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Everything Needs A Context – Rhoads Life Coaching

It is difficult to overstate the idea that everything needs a context. It is impossible to accurately create decisions without taking the context of a situation into account.

Do you remember the chemistry or physics teacher in high school that taught the lesson that numbers are meaningless without units? The speed of an object in miles per hour versus kilometers per second makes a big difference! Context matters!

A few months ago walking into a bank with a mask on would have caused panic. Now we might be upset if someone didn’t wear a mask into the bank. The context has changed!

What happens if we take something out of context, or read the wrong story into a scenario? We come to the wrong conclusion! The menacingly misnamed “murder wasps” have arrived in the Pacific northwest for the first time. If we read the wrong frame of reference, we create a story where thousands of people are a risk of being killed by an aggressive insect. If we leave the context out, we miss the fact that our threatened honey bee populations are now MORE at risk, which has significant impacts to the way we create our food.

Where in your life do you forget to put things in correct setting? In a conflict with someone? When making decisions about budgeting income? When setting goals for yourself? Every aspect of our lives is impacted by all the other areas.

If we leave the context out of how we talk to each other or how we make decisions, we limit our ability to make better choices. Everything needs a context! –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Liminal Space (The Space Between) – Rhoads Life Coaching

The internal experience of the space between our old way of doing things and the yet-to-be-created new way of living is called Liminal Space.

This idea popped up several times for me over the last few weeks. Richard Rohr was able to put the term Liminal Space to it in one of his recent posts. The term itself helps me, as it makes very real the feeling of being in-between. It is important to differentiate that Liminal Space is an internal experience. The thoughts, emotions, and sensations of each person as we transition from one thing to the next.

We have all been in discomfort of these spaces before. The awkwardness of starting a new job. The anxiety of losing a job. The fear of moving to a new place. The worry of finishing school. The loss in the death of a loved one. Liminal spaces are uncomfortable.

Rarely, though, do we get to experience such a prolonged transition at a global scale. Our current pandemic has pushed us into a transition and toward something not yet defined. We are unable to go back. We must go forward and build something new. Collectively it is difficult to sit in this space of in-between.

The benefit of liminal space? You have the ability to influence your internal world more than uncertainty of the external world. How to do that?

First is accepting that you are in transition. Coming to terms with this discomfort is the best way to change it. Second, you are not alone. Whether it looks like it not, everyone around you is going through the same change. We are all coping the best we can. Third, set an intention. Who do you want to be as you navigate this change? Finally, where do you want to end up? Set a goal for your internal world. Where you would like to be mentally and emotionally at the end of this change? Create a target to shoot toward. You have the ability to grow through these spaces. –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Herd Mentality (Fighting the Urge to Follow) – Rhoads Life Coaching

We have two competing systems built into us. One that follows the herd mentality of “run!” when everyone else around us gets startled. The other that asks us to pause and make informed decisions.

Have you ever watched a flock of birds or a herd of deer get startled? One animal sees something that looks threatening and it jumps and runs. The other animals around it don’t actually see the threat, they follow the example of the first and run without knowing what they are running from.

There is an inherent benefit to the flock as a whole in following the example of these around them. Only when there is an actual threat. When a flock gets spooked too often by false threats, it wastes valuable time and energy constantly flying away. There is a balancing point where running with the herd isn’t an advantage.

I have been observing these dueling priorities inside myself over these last few weeks. I notice the pull behind my navel that keeps asking, “Should I go buy toilet paper?” It is a bit ironic for me that our house hasn’t had to buy more toilet paper until just this week. We didn’t need to run even though I kept checking.

Please do not hear me saying there is not a real threat. We should stay away from others. It is best to be very careful about getting sick. We do not need to run with the herd, though, in panicking about perceived threats (please DO NOT ingest disinfectant).

How often does this happen outside of our current pandemic? Are you able to pay enough attention to yourself to realize when you are reacting from a more primitive survival instinct that wants you to run in fear when there is nothing but fear to run from?

The antidote? Pausing before reacting. Practice taking a breath before you make a decision and look to see if you can actually see the problem to solve, or whether all you see is the herd running by. The system we use creates a dramatically different outcome on a daily basis. –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Random Dance Party Challenge – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

How do you break the tension? How do you shake off the stress of the day? One way is to have a random dance party!

In playing a game with my daughter last week, I was struck how often Disney characters dance. I would have to think for a minute to name an animated Disney film that DOESN’T have dancing. It seems Walt was trying to send a message. Maybe cutting loose and dancing is an important thing!

So, what IS a random dance party? First, it would have to be completely unplanned and unscripted. You can’t PRACTICE for a random dance party, you just have to go for it! Where would you HAVE a random dance party? I’ve seen them on the side of the road, in the basement, in the hall. You get to pick! How long do they last? You tell me! One song will do. Depends on the song!

That got me thinking. Why don’t we cut loose? We are in the middle of a lot of serious stuff and most of us are stiff with tension of holding on to the next thing. The cumulative effect is that we are wore out and sore from day after day of holding tight. What if dancing was an easy way to loosen up?

What gets in the way of this silliness? Mostly the idea that it is silly. Our belief that we aren’t allowed to cut loose and shake off the stress for a minute. Need help getting over yourself? ASK YOUR KIDS FOR HELP! They will know exactly what to do!

So, I’m offering a challenge. Have a random dance party this week. I dare you to give yourself a break and have one! Include your kids or your partner. I dare you to post in on social media. Challenge your friends. What song will you pick? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

It’s Just You (Don’t Be Afraid) – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

Sometimes we scare ourselves into thinking the thoughts & emotions we have are too terrifying to examine. In reality the unknown things about ourselves are still just us. At the end of the day, it’s just you – there is no need to be afraid.

Do you remember as a small child standing at the top of the stairs (or running back up the stairs) to the basement? We were able to imagine something truly terrifying about the unknown darkness of the basement. The same could be said for the monster under the bed, or whatever demon lived in your closet.

The reality was (and is) that none of those monsters ever existed. It was all our imagined fear. We created a story that didn’t match anything close to reality.

My experience in coaching suggests we tend to do a similar thing now as adults in examining our internal selves. It is easy to create a story that the fear or anger or sadness we hold inside is SO overwhelming. We find it easier to just be afraid & not look down into the basements or closets of who we are.

It has also been my experience that for most of us, once we turn some internal lights on & look under our internal beds, the things we are afraid of most inside aren’t really that scary. Just like the monster in the closet, it is your imagine creating the fear. All that is inside of you is just a place you don’t know much about, it’s still just you.

My ask is to consider the possibility you have nothing to fear about what goes on inside of you. Your thoughts, emotions, & sensations are what make you a human being. Shedding some light on those shadowy places offers the opportunity to relieve some fear. It offers the opportunity to find valuable things that may have been stored deep inside you (including the racketball racket lost behind the furnace). –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Personal Development Workshops – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

Personal Development Workshops

I am VERY excited to announce a new opportunity! Rhoads Life Coaching is now offering digital personal development workshops!

Personal Development Workshop - Sign Up

In meeting with clients, it became obvious there is greater need for the tools and concepts I use on a regular basis for coaching. My hope is you will find these modules as a way of continuing your growth and development!

These 10 to 30-minute self-guided tutorials offer a deeper dive into some of the foundational topics of my coaching. By being able to proceed at your own pace, reflecting on topics and observing yourself in each module, you will increase the purpose and meaning in your daily life.

Start your work with the FREE module, β€œWhole Person Approach To Growth and Development”. Sign up today!

As an added benefit, anyone who signs up now will receive a 25% discount off the entire catalogue of topics until May 6th!

The workshop platform an evolving experience. New modules will be added on a regular basis. Live webinars will be offered to continue learning. Come join us and add a new level of development to who you are! –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

We Are All (Still) Connected – Rhoads Life Coaching

I have posted in the past that we are all connected. Now more than ever, whether we like it or not, we can see how intricately connected we are to everyone else around us.

In the last month we have witnessed the depth of connection we have to nearly every other person on the planet. What someone does on the other side of the world has an impact on me personally. My choices, down to the simplest decisions of whether to go out to the store, or wash my hands, have an impact on nearly everyone around me. The data is very real. We ARE all connected to each other.

What do you believe about that connection? Does it bring you hope to witness individuals rallying to the aid of others? Does it terrify you how vulnerable we are? It is painful to watch the cascading unintended impacts? This connection influences everything you think, feel, and do. Have you taken time to examine your own beliefs about it?

You reaction, however, is about you. How do you choose to react? What do you believe? Because you ARE connected to everyone around you (even if you don’t leave your home). Because of that connection you have a role to play. Even if your role is to stay in place and reduce the risk of yourself and others, IT IS AN IMPORTANT ROLE!

Are you being called to reach out to others to check in? Is there a need for you to assist in other ways? My ask is for you to take some time this week and look at your own beliefs. If there was ever any doubt, please look at the evidence – we are all still connected. –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Resilience and Grit – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

Resilience is the ability to be flexible and endure. Grit is the ability to push through with resolve. They both have levels of development. We need to work on increasing our resilience and grit.

One of the themes of my coaching (and personal philosophy) is that EVERY aspect of your life has levels of growth and development. You weren’t always great at walking. You had to learn higher levels of walking skills.

If that is true (prove me wrong), then resilience and grit are also skills to develop.

How do you understand what resilience is? Where does it show up in your life? Clearly you have had to endure and be flexible to make it this far in life! What is the next higher level for you? Do you need to be more patient? Better self-care? What habits need to be added? Which ones dropped?

What about grit? What is it for you? To be clear, grit is not a lack of compassion or kindness. It is a toughness that comes from deciding to go through with something. You have demonstrated grit before. It is time to do it again in a more determined way!

There is clearly a lot going. There will be more stress and uncertainty going forward. You have been given tools to help you through tough times. Now is the time to use them! How are you going to develop your ability to use your resilience and grit?-

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life