Prismatic Trees & Internal Lenses – Rhoads Life Coaching

A couple of weeks ago I had the great opportunity to share a collaborative workshop, “Prismatic Trees”, with Pinot’s Palette of West Chester. If you have not yet made it to a painting session with Emily, Alex, and their crew of creative painters, I HIGHLY recommend it!

Prismatic Trees - Group Photo
Prismatic Trees - Having Fun

In our time together we explored the concept of internal lenses and our perception of the world through different images of trees. Combining the painting instructions with self-observation of how we perceive different versions of ourselves, our artists created six different trees representing six different versions of themselves.

The results were AMAZING! The individual diversity, creativity, and perceptions created BEAUTIFUL reflections of each artist. It was exciting to watch as each new tree formed into something different!

Prismatic Trees - Getting To Work

Everyone stretched a bit out of their comfort zones to explore the perceptions of versions of themselves. They painted as roles they were familiar with & roles they may never have thought about before. Our intent was to choose which lenses we look through on a daily basis. Once we can choose a lens, we can begin to choose higher & more powerful forms of ourselves.

AND we had a lot of fun!

Thank you to Pinot’s Palette for creating this collaboration! Thank you to the artist’s for sharing their creativity with us! There were multiple moments during the evening where I was humbled and grateful just to be there and be part of the exploration.

The Prismatic Trees was enough of a success that we are planning other collaborative events with Pinot’s Palette in 2020! Please keep your eyes and ears open for the schedule. Please share with anyone who might be interested. We hope to see you there! –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Being Alone vs Being Lonely – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

Are you able to differentiate being alone vs being lonely? The first is a physical state. The second is an emotion. They are not the same. How do you tell them apart in your life?

We say it is possible to be alone in a crowd. What we really mean is being lonely does not require physical isolation. It is also possible to be alone and isolated and not be lonely.

We tend to think of being isolated or feeling lonely as a negative thing. This isn’t always the case. There are times when being alone (solitude) is a very healthy and welcome thing. It helps us to slow down and reflect. We also have times when the sense of loneliness creates a need to search out for connection. That drive toward connection can also be a very positive thing. How would we know we need connection if we didn’t feel lonely?

Why do you care?

The distinction makes a difference. Sometimes we confuse being alone vs. being lonely. If we aren’t able to distinguish between the two in ourselves we may pursue the wrong solution and potentially prevent or delay meeting our own needs.

Are you able to tell the difference between loneliness and isolation in yourself? How are they different for you? Do you believe them both to be unhealthy things? They aren’t! –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Riding the Waves (Daily Variation) – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

We sometimes lose track of the daily variation in our lives. Like the waves hitting the side of a boat, the fluctuations in our lives fall into the background. It helps to remind ourselves every once in a while that those daily waves are there and serve a purpose.

Have you ever been out on a boat and noticed the waves suddenly getting bigger? You weren’t paying attention to the smaller waves a few seconds before, but suddenly a subtle shift happens and you are being jostled about!

Does this also happen in your daily life? We don’t notice the ebb and flow of traffic until something gets jammed up. We don’t pay attention to the cycles of daily and weekly chores until someone comes to visit.

On the flip side, have you ever noticed how you are more sensitive to the daily variation when you are more tired and more stressed? It was nearly the same traffic yesterday, but today you aren’t feeling well and are more irritated by it.

What if riding the waves up and down in that daily variation is on purpose? What if we are intended to have to ride up and down through life, just like sailing across the ocean? How would your stress level be different if you were able to not be irritated by the day to day variations we all experience? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Creating An Intention – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

I have written in the past about setting intentions and how creating an intention allows us to choose who we are as beings instead of the limitations of what we do.

How is setting an intention different than setting a goal? Frequently our goals are short term projects that don’t really change who we are or how we engage the world. Creating an intention offers an opportunity for BEING someone different.

Every year I wrestle with whether to set a New Year’s Resolution. I never have much success with them. A few years ago I started setting a yearly intention of who I wanted to be in the coming year. These intentions are not set to be a box to check or a lofty vision, they are set to create room for me to grow as a person.

In the past I have set annual intentions around being more patient, being joyful, reducing negativity, or having more courage.

This year I my intention is to be more hopeful.

How will it go? Check back in a year and find out!

What if creating an intention was more useful to you in the coming year than a resolution or goal? What intention would you create? Who do you want to be in the coming year? What is your intent? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Reflecting Back (The Value of Reflection) – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

I find it is a useful coaching tool to pause to verify growth and development. This reflecting back allows us to affirm for ourselves life does continue to change.

Our lives move so fast, we frequently create for ourselves a narrative that nothing changes. Sometimes we are able to convince ourselves we are repeating events and growth is not happening, or even worse, that nothing good has happened recently.

To combat these mindsets it is important to verify change is happening and in order to do that we need a relative point of measurement to the current state. Reflecting back allows us to find that relative point.

Thinking of the different domains of your life, where were you emotionally six months ago? How have your relationships changed over the last decade? Have you taken care of your physical health in the last year? How has your spiritual view of the world changed recently? How has your career or finances developed in the last three years?

While these are all broad questions, the specific and detailed examples help in reflecting back. What was the best book or movie you encountered this year? Who did you reconnect with this year? Were you able to take a trip to see a new place recently? How has your family changed this year?

My request is to take some time in the next week and practice reflecting back. Not by holding onto and obsessing about the past. Not by making a top ten list. But reflect on where your path has led you over the last year and the last decade. It offers clues as to where you are headed in the future! –

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Finding meaning and purpose in daily life

I Want, I Don’t Want – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

Sometimes we find ourselves stuck between pulling something we want towards us while also pushing it away. If we slow down and listen we can almost hear the two internal voices arguing – “I Want” and “I Don’t Want”.

The image comes to mind of one had pulling the thing I want towards me, while the other hand is pushing it away at the same time. Suddenly I am stuck! If I let go with the first hand I will lose the thing I want. Letting go with the second hand, I will definitely get it (and that might be bad)!

Where does this happen for you?

Deciding whether to stay at your job?

Whether to go back to school?

Asking someone out?

We have trouble resolving the internal conflict when we can’t or don’t know how to change our hold in order to choose something else to resole the conflict. So how to get unstuck?

Bringing a third perspective is the simplest place to start. The two versions of yourself (the I Want and the I Don’t Want) have a reason for being there. The third version of yourself can help by observing the conflict from a place of not being stuck. Have the third version assess the situation. Ask the two in conflict what they are trying to achieve. Is it possible to negotiate a solution where both are willing to change their grip to help the other out?

With practice and patience this negotiation and collaboration can help in resolving future internal conflicts! –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Isolation vs. Solitude – Rhoads Life Coaching, LLC

What is the difference between isolation vs. solitude? Both involve being alone. What if the intention behind each changes how you use them?

While the dictionary definitions of each are similar, I would argue that they have subtlety different meaning. That difference, for me, comes down to intent.

When I feel isolated there is a sense of it being something I don’t really want. It is imposed (either by self or someone else). It isn’t always a bad thing, but isolation is a restricting thing. Something reducing freedom and choice.

Solitude on the other hand feels like something I do want and is something I get to choose. There is a sense of freedom and I have control over when it begins and ends. It is something I willingly move towards when I need it.

Do you make this distinction for yourself? Are you able to compare isolation vs. solitude for yourself and others? Where do the two appear in your life? My request is to look for both as you go through your day. Where does isolation appear and where can it be changed to solitude? What are the benefits and liabilities for each? My bet is you will find more fulfillment and purpose in choosing solitude when given the opportunity and more accepting in isolation when needed. –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Bioaccumulation – Rhoads Life Coaching, LL

Bioaccumulation is the concentration of contaminates upward through the higher levels of a system. This biology term describes how ecosystems and food chains work. I would offer the suggestion it also occurs with human beliefs and emotional and intellectual energy.

As an example, mercury is introduced into an aquatic system through a water source. The mercury settles onto the floor of a lake or river and is absorbed by the plants. Aquatic invertebrates then eat the plants. The invertebrates are in turn eaten by small fish. Larger fish eat the small fish. Finally, humans catch and eat the larger fish. The mercury absorbed by the plants is concentrated at each level of the food chain. It may not be toxic at the lower levels, but concentrates at each level until it is toxic to humans. This creates eating advisories all over the world about how much fish is healthy to eat in given period.

Does this happen in our psychological world? If my grandparents believed it wasn’t safe to move away from home, I might have a family that lives near each other. This has benefits and disadvantages, but as a grandchild I haven’t seen much of the world, I might be at a significant disadvantage in understanding different perspectives around the country or world. My beliefs concentrate into something unhealthy.

The antidote to bioaccumulation is to remove the source of the contaminate. The contaminated water must be cleaned before it reaches the river or lake to prevent humans from being poisoned by mercury. The negative belief or behavior needs to be interrupted to prevent being passed forward.

Where are you concentrating beliefs and emotional energy that might have a greater negative effect if passed forward? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Where To Start? (Which Obstacle First?) – Rhoads Life Coaching LLC

Frequently we have a clear vision of where we want to go, but don’t know where to start. Almost always the answer has to do with what is closest. The most immediate obstacle or task is the place to start.

During coaching it is common for a client to wonder where to start. They may have a sense of what they want to achieve and the being able to decide where to start is frequently the obstacle that prevents us from taking a risk and trying.

Where does this happen for you? We all have examples. Our first or second attempts didn’t work and now we are stuck about what to do next (or even give up completely).

My experience is that we get ahead of ourselves setting out on a new goal; missing or skipping an obstacle that we couldn’t see (or hear). Almost always the place to start is with what is the most immediate obstacle. It makes it more difficult to lose 20 pounds if I don’t know my starting weight. Getting a scale is where to start!

When setting out toward a vision or goal it helps to pause for a moment and figure out where you are on the map. Where are your feet on the map? Then determine what is blocking your steps toward that goals in the first few steps. This creates the momentum and positive start to keep moving forward.

I apologize for the high pitched whistle in the beginning of this video. More evidence that I am losing some of the higher ranges of my hearing. If I had known it was there I would have waited to shoot. The view was too good to pass up! And I’m glad we were there to record! I was unable to remove the whistle during editing. The place to start? Another ear exam to see how much has changed in the last year. –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Holiday Coaching Gift Certificates


What if you could give the BEST gift you had ever given?

One of our clients purchased coaching gift certificates for a family member and gave the following testimonial:

“I love giving gifts to my family and friends.  I take pride in putting a lot of thought into what I give and trying to give something unique, meaningful or fun.  This past year, I gave the gift of Rhoads Life Coaching sessions to a family member who was experiencing many life transitions.  It was hands down the best gift I have ever given anyone, and I give really great gifts!  The recipient has thanked me many times for giving her something so personal and so needed.  She has continued the coaching and says it is the best gift she has ever received!  Thank you John for the work you do, the lives you change and for making me a star gift giver! “ M.Q.

Who on your list would love a gift that keeps giving?

Purchase gift certificates for the number of coaching sessions you want to gift through the Contacts Page on our website. –

#rhoadslifecoaching #lifecoach #coaching #purpose #meaning #holidaygift #giftcertificate #bestgift

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life