Dealing with the Nay-Sayers 

Congratulations for doing something new, trying to change your life so that you get more of what you want and less of what you don’t want.  That is an amazing gift you are giving yourself. You may not succeed with every attempt, but with every attempt you will get closer to what you want. That in itself is a win.

I have found that no matter what positive change I am making for myself, there are those I care about who are negative about the change. These are the nay-sayers. They will throw road blocks in your way or make you doubt your commitment with just a quick comment. The comments that are usually most damaging are the ones that come from within your circle of friends and family.

The nay-sayers may not be overt, but you will feel the sting of their comments.  Their comments may be something like these.  “I hope it works.” “Are you sure you really want to do that?” “I would never do that.” “That sounds bad/uncomfortable/icky.”  The lack of support can damage your new habits without you even recognizing it. Don’t let them.  Hear these comments for what they are and what they are not.

Nay-sayers are telling you about their fear of failure or their actual past failure.  Maybe you are trying something new like rock climbing.  The nay-sayer will say “I wouldn’t do that, without a good partner you will get hurt.” Maybe what the nay-sayer is really saying is “I am afraid of rock climbing” or “I couldn’t do it when I tried, I didn’t make it to the top of the wall.”  Neither comment has anything to do with you or your efforts to make positive change in your life. They are both comments about the nay-sayer and their own fears and failures. Don’t let their negative statements derail you from your path.

If you are on your right path, what you are doing for you is far more important than allowing the nay-sayers to sway you from your goals. You are not doing what you are doing to have any impact on them, it is for you. So, let those comments float by you like a fast moving stream after a heavy rain. They don’t mean anything and then they are gone. You can’t get rid of your friends because they do not support everything you do, and once you realize it has nothing to do with you, it is easier to let it go of those comments.

Do you need someone in your corner who cares about what is right for you?  Let me help you along this journey of self enhancement and self care.  My coaching will help you tune into what is best for you, while teaching you to filter out the voices that may not have your best interest at heart.

Follow your lihght,

Jackie

Why I Hired a Coach

 

I haven’t been posting a lot lately. In January, I decided to go on a 6-month journey of self care. There is always so much going on around us, many of us don’t ever put ourselves first.  I am not convinced that we even know what putting ourselves first really means. For me, it was about my health. I have a thyroid condition and while it is something I can manage, I want to heal my body rather than manage it.

This meant changing my diet and starting to look at my health in a completely different way. I did this for 3 months with the help of good smart friends and my doctor.  But it wasn’t getting me as far as I wanted, so I made some changes and additions to my health team. I hired a coach to help me understand what is going on with my body in a way that I can’t know all on my own–someone who will help me manage challenges that have been binding me much of my life and dragging down my health.

Even the coach needs a coach. Everyone needs help sometimes, and sometimes the help you need is bigger than your circle. Our society values independence and self-reliance, and those are amazing skills which we work toward from toddler- thru adulthood. We push boundaries, try to walk on our own, and show frustration when we can’t do something we want to do on our own. It is a normal healthy part of life, but sometimes, in being independent and self-reliant, we forget that it is ok to need the help of others.

For many of us asking for help is one of the hardest things in the world. We often falsely believe that this makes us weak. That isn’t true: It is a sign of strength to ask for help when you need it.  It is sometimes easier and better to ask for help from someone outside of our circle.  There are reasons that sometimes we need a professional to help us.  This was true for me and it is why I hired a coach.

My coach has a big job. It isn’t because I am a bad client, it is because of how important this change is for me and I am not willing to settle. I am not going to pretend that things are working for me when they aren’t and I want to see real change.  Changing your mind and your behavior is tough, and having the support of a trained professional is often needed.  Someone said to me yesterday, “I hope it works.”  My response was, “It will.”  Why? Because it is time. The switch in my brain and body that said real change is necessary finally went off in a way I could hear it and respond.

Has your switch gone off? Are you looking for help in doing something you can’t seem to do on your own or within your circle of friends and loved ones? Maybe it is time to hire a coach.  I have three coaching loves. I started as a leadership coach, and I love helping people be better leaders within their organizations.  I coach the terminally ill to find peace, joy, and happiness at the end of life. There is no greater honor than aiding in someone’s final transition. My third coaching love is helping people find and listen to their inner voice again, and believe their own intuition.  It is so easy in to stop listening to our inner voice–not the one driven by ego and fear, but the one that knows what is right for us and will lead us to exactly what we need, if we are brave enough to let the voice be heard.

If you want help moving forward, get in touch with me. I would be grateful and honored to help you move forward.

Wishing you peace and joy,

Jackie

Waiting for Death

There comes a point in life when you are waiting for death.  Your first experience might be with a loved one.  Your loved one has fought the good fight, but they have lost and their time on earth is coming to a close. You are left with nothing to do but wait.

Most of us don’t wait well.  We want to do something, say something, or find something to keep us busy.  But in this case, there is nothing else to do and no where else to go.

So, what do you do in this time of waiting?

If you have something you want to say to your loved one, this is the time. Do you need to tell them you love them?  Do you want to get something off your chest? Do it now or you might miss the opportunity.  If you loved one doesn’t seem aware of what you are saying, it doesn’t mean it isn’t healing you both.

Just be there.  Hold your loved one’s hand.  Sit by their bed.  Read them a book they love. Or just sit there and be.  You don’t have to do anything.  Just being there is such a powerful statement of love.  It may seem strange that doing nothing could mean so much, but it does.  Witnessing and just being there for someone is such a powerful experience and one you will never forget.  One that will allow you to know how much you did for someone you loved.  Don’t dismiss the power of this time.

You might be saying, “it feels wrong to just be waiting for someone you love to die.” Certainly you are not doing anything active in this time, but there is nothing wrong with being there holding the space for someone to make their transition to the other side.

As a consultant, I had to learn about the power of quiet. When a colleague would ask a client a question and they didn’t have an immediate answer, I would try to jump in and fill the space.  Quiet is such an uncomfortable thing.  However, the lesson I learned (and one I really appreciate being given) is the power of the quiet.  Eventually, the client will say something and it will be their thoughts or ideas rather than mine.  The same is true here.  Just waiting will allow your loved one to make their transition knowing you have been holding the space just for them.

Just being there is precious.  It is tiring. It is hard. And it will eventually come to an end.  So while you may not enjoy this time, learn to treasure it when you have the honor of being there.

 

 

Find Your Voice!

 

Know how to tell loved ones what you wantWhen you lose your voice, you are unable to say what you want.  It means that others make decisions for you, and you may be left without what you want.  When you are dying, a lot of your strength goes toward maintaining your energy and life.  You will do other things. You will go to the doctors. You will see people you love.  You will take care of the “to dos.”

But will you use your energy to find your voice?

You will have a lot of quiet time, and in that quiet time you will do a lot of thinking. Thinking about your life. Thinking about your relationships. Thinking about any regrets you have. Thinking about what you want to do with the rest of your life.  You will think about death, specifically — your death.  You will likely have hopes for what you want at the time of your death.  You might even make some decisions about what you want at that moment and in the moments leading up to your crossing over.

You may decide you want to die at home.  You may decide you want to stop your treatments because they are making you feel sicker and you want to enjoy your time. You may decide you don’t want to die alone—you want your loved ones there. There are lots of decisions you may make in this quiet time.  These decisions are yours.  It is your right. It is your life.

Now is the time to find your voice. 

Until you share these decisions, they live only in you.  You cannot ensure your wishes will come true until you voice what you want. You have to tell people what you want and what you don’t want.

Make your voice heard.

Consider Jerika Bolen’s example. A 14-year-old girl with Type 2 Spinal Muscular Atrophy, she used her voice to say she is ready to let go of the pain she feels every day. In a recent interview, Jerika said “I was ready a long time ago, but I kept going. After that surgery — it didn’t work and my pain got worse — I kind of sat down and thought, ‘Am I doing this for me or for my family?’ I kind of realized I was doing it for my family.”  Jerika found her voice.  She stopped doing what everyone wanted her to do, and started making decisions and sharing those decisions with those who loved her and could help her make what she wants a reality (Read more about her story here http://www.wusa9.com/news/girl-14-with-incurable-disease-makes-heartbreaking-decision-to-die-1/274264618.)

Your voice allows others to know that you have made decisions. Finding your voice may not be easy, but it is your life and your death.  According to Jerika, “there is a peace in being able to confront the inevitable on her own terms.”  You don’t have to make Jerika’s decisions, but give your voice to what you do want and find your peace.  Once you have made some decisions about what you want at the end of your life, you can find your voice. Share your wishes with your loved ones, and move forward to make your wishes your reality.  That is what is important.

Find your Voice

 

If you need some help in figuring all this out and finding your path, please contact me Jackie@yourwellfinishedlife.com

Don’t Forget the Fun

How do you spend your time? Are you spending it resting, doing things you must to do, and going to and from the doctors. Where’s the fun? What brings you joy?

find-joyYou are still living, so why not live your best life? Have as much fun and joy as you can stand. When you reach a point when you can’t do what you want, don’t you want amazing memories of love, fun, and joy to carry you through? The memories that will make you happy are likely to be the ones of going to the doctors, cleaning the house, and doing errands. I would expect that the memories you will treasure are the ones that bring you pleasure. So, don’t you want more of those than of the ones that don’t?

Don’t forget in the process of dying, you are still living. Find the joy! Do what makes you happy! Stop worrying about doing things that don’t really matter! At this point in your life, the most important things are those that make you happy. Enjoy this time.

Wishing you joy, love, and peace

Jackie

If you need some help, please contact Jackie Brucker at Jackie@yourwellfinishedlife.com for coaching.

Don’t wait to say goodbye

Oceans of loveDon’t wait until the last possible moment to tell someone “I love you?” “I will miss you.” “Wow, I wish you weren’t dying, life will not be the same.” Saying a final goodbye means you know someone is dying and you may not see them again.

Why wait till the last time you see someone to tell them how you feel? Who doesn’t want to hear “I love you.” “I will miss you.” “You are so important to me.” “I can’t imagine life without you in it.” Why wait to say whatever it is you need or want to say to someone you love? The only mistake you can make is not speaking from the heart.

Wouldn’t it be worse to wait and miss the opportunity to tell your loved one or friend how you feel? I think that would be much harder to live with than saying what you feel in your heart. Follow your heart, you can’t go wrong!

When to Hire a Coach at the End-of-Life

It may seem counterintuitive to hire a coach at the end-of-life. Some of you may not need it. Some of you may benefit from a safe place that was created only for you to sort through what you want at the end of life. How do you figure out if a coach is right for you, listen in to my video blog? If this is something you might find helpful, please feel free to reach out to me.

Don’t Let Your Possessions Hang on Others

As we near the end of life, we often think that we have to give away our possessions. We believe that our loved ones and friends want our prized mementos– the artifacts of our life. Is giving away our possessions an act of love from us or a burden of love for the recipient? My relatives have always given away their possessions to others—sometimes in mass. I am the only child of my parents. My grandparents only had a few grandchildren. I have one aunt and one cousin. I am from a small family. A lot of my relatives have passed away, and I have a lot of their possessions. Sometimes these possessions are treasured memories, but more often they are things I can’t part with because my relatives wanted me to have them.

So many of the items I have from my deceased relatives are not things I would ever purchase for myself. They are not things I would even choose to have in my home. They are items that my loved ones felt were so important that they needed to find them a good home, when they could not longer care for them.

After 16 years, I still have my mother’s wedding dress. My mother’s marriage was not a happy one and no one else will wear this dress. So, why is this dress taking up space in my garage? This dress has never felt like something I wanted, and I didn’t even consider wearing it for my wedding. However, I felt it was my duty to be its guardian. I think it is time to let go of the dress, and the belief that it is important to my mother that I keep it?

Before my grandmother moved to a smaller assisted living location prior to passing away, she put together bags and bags of her things that she wanted me to take to my home. They were all valuable to her, purchased in far away places, and something I “had to” hold on to. One of these items is a vase from Italy. I have never liked this vase, but I have it in my home today. My grandmother thrust it upon me with such fervor 10+ years ago. It was so important to her that I take it then, and now I can’t seem to part with it.

Maybe the loving thing for us to do is to limit the possessions we give to/ask our family and friends to “have,” and be ok with anything that happens to them after they leave our care. The items that are important to me are the ones that contain true memories of my loved ones. These items can put a smile on my face. It isn’t having a lot of things, but just one or two that I can keep as a physical reminder. When I die, who is going to want those items? They aren’t going to hold the same memories for my loved ones. They will just become a burden to someone else. I hope I will not create that burden for my loved ones.

Don’t Avoid Talking about Death to those Who are Dying

Do you believe that you shouldn’t talk about death to those who are dying? Is it unkind, uncomfortable, or somehow wrong? When we spend time with a dying loved one, we often want to avoid saying the words: death, dying, funeral, last days, etc. We try to remain upbeat, telling our loved one that they look good and that things will be fine. We spend a our time talking about every day things, sharing the latest gossip, or complaining about our lives all in an effort to not talk about what is really going on. Our loved one is dying.

Why don’t we talk about death and dying to our terminally ill loved ones? Who in the room doesn’t know that the person we love is dying? Do you believe that your friend doesn’t know they are reaching the end of their life?

I believe those facing terminal illness know they are going to die. When someone has fought the tough battle, whether they will admit it out loud or not, I believe they know they are dying. When in the process of their illness this happens is as individual as we are, but I believe it happens.

By saying nothing about what is right in front of you, the opportunity to really connect with your loved one is missed. The chance to say, “I am sorry- do you want to talk about what is happening?” is lost. The chance to hear how they are really feeling, what they are experiencing, and what they are thinking about is missed.

How would you want to spend the end of your life? Connecting with those you love or talking about mundane things that don’t matter? Share this time connecting with your dying loved ones. If we are honest about what is happening, the time together can be used to share the love between you and to give both of you the opportunity to say goodbye. Why hold yourself back? Throw all your love in; you will reap such great rewards.

Be strong enough to ask the right questions. Maybe your loved one needs your help bringing up the reality that they are dying. It is possible they are afraid to bring it up to you because they don’t know if you have accepted that their death is coming or they don’t know how you will react to the news? The emotional energy to take care of you and your feelings may not be something they have to offer at the moment, but they may have the desire to talk to you about what is happening to them. By taking that burden from them, you both win.

Don’t use your fear to stop you from talking about death to a dying friend. You will know if they aren’t ready to talk about it. But if they are, what special memories you will have of helping your friend prepare for what is to come. Don’t cheat yourself or your loved one out of this chance.

Let Death Out of the Closet

Individual Choices and Judgment

The world of death and dying has been getting a lot of press lately. What comes with all this press are a lot of comments about which choices are right and which are wrong in other people’s death and dying situations. We live in a country where we all have the right to make individual choices. We have the freedom to make decisions about how we express our sexuality, whether or not we have families, what religion we choose to practice, whether to bear arms, and so much more. In addition to these individual choices, we have the right and freedom to be vocal about our beliefs. With all this freedom comes the responsibility to use our speech to express our beliefs carefully, so as to not trample on the individuals choices and decisions of others.

With a 24-hour media cycle and easy access to information and ideas via the internet, people are getting more and more information about others’ individual choices. Many people seem to be very comfortable sharing their dislike and disapproval for the decisions of others. Specifically, I am talking about choices related to death and dying.

Brittany Maynard made a great deal of news for her decision on how to end her life. There were those that applauded her decision, but many were critical. In a world where all of us want individual choices, don’t we have a responsibility to allow others the same freedom of choice even if we don’t agree with it?

If diagnosed with a terminal illness, shouldn’t you have the right to your individual choice, even in terms of how your life ends? Don’t you want the right to make your choices without the judgment of others, especially from those that do not or cannot truly understand your situation? We will all face our own mortality and some of us will have advanced warning about when we will die. At that time, wouldn’t it be wonderful and a loving gift if our friends, loved ones, and the rest of the world supported our decisions, knowing that the individual choice we have made is the right one for us, rather than condemn and denigrate us at this vulnerable time in our life?