Thoughts After The Wild Fires in California

Hello there!

How your week has been so far? I am sure a lot is going on. Less than two weeks before Christmas and less then three before the New Year!

Our son graduated from college las weekend and going to the graduation made me realize once again how fast the time goes by…

As we were driving to our son’s college through Santa Barbara and other coastal cities we saw miles and miles of scorched hillsides, had to breathe in smoke we couldn’t escape and experienced this eerie feeling of darkness that surrounded everything in sight at noon, when the sun was barely visible through the ash clouds…

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All of this made me reexamine not only last year but my life.

What is really important?

If you had to evacuate with only a handful of belongings, what will you take? We had to make this choice a few years back during a fire in Malibu. That fire burned over fifty structures, including homes and a beautiful church…
Our home was spared, yet the feeling of helplessness remained for quite some time.

As a life coach I was asking God what can we do during times like these. The answer I got was, we can pray, we can help others, we can reevaluate our lives, attitude and actions. We can start living our lives to the fullest right now.

I spent over twenty years studying human behavior and what motivates us. Need to avoid pain is by far a much greater motivator than desire to reach for something.

The older we get the more prone to overthinking we get. We become paralyzed by indecision. We spend way to much time being concerned and worried.

We are wired to be fearful, yet we are given the power to change that. How? By changing our ways of thinking. It takes time and effort, but it is attainable.

Controlling your mind is within your reach. There are numerous books, videos and seminars available today. You can even hire a coach, something unheard of in the past! It is so much easier now than when I first started, when personal development was not as popular and wildly accessible.

The choice is yours. Are you ready to make 2018 your best year yet? Invest in your spiritual and personal growth. Make a decision, put it on a calendar. You will be glad you did.

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Setting INTENTIONS changes how you feel TODAY AND EVERY DAY!

Difference between goals and intentions.

Do you know the difference between intentions and goals?

Today I was reminded that not everyone understands the difference between intentions and goal setting. In this post I will clarify the difference. I will also give recommendations on how to set your daily intentions.

Setting goals helps you to move in the direction of your dreams. You probably tried many times to set long term and short term goals. You set them for different areas of your life, with various levels of success in achieving them. As you were reaching for these goals you may have often felt overwhelmed or stuck. If you felt you were not making significant progress on your goals you probably got discouraged and quit. How about those last year’s NY resolutions?

Your goals can be achieved easier when you not only divide your big goals into small “bite-size” portions, but when you get clear on how you want to feel on any particular day, regardless of your progress on your goals.

That is the difference between goals and intentions: while goals are focusing on your compelling future, intentions are focusing on your feelings in a present moment.
Your intentions help you focus on what matters to you the most and they are deeply connected to your core values and emotions. With consistency and enough practice you can achieve emotional mastery and feel confident and empowered with any goal setting process!

By setting your daily intentions you are commanding your subconscious mind how you want to feel, regardless of your progress on your goals, external challenges or conversations you have with other people. Circumstances may provoke you to get angry or overwhelmed. However when you start your day by writing down “Today I want to be at peace and feel calm”, you’re going to face life’s challenges with a different attitude and mindset.

When you setting your intentions focus on how you want to feel on that particular day. Review the challenges of the past few days and decide what emotions you would like to experience.

You may choose to write: Today I intend to…
– feel and experience love,
– be joyful
– feel abundant energy
– be vibrant
– smile and laugh
– connect with myself and my desires
– connect with my partner on a very deep emotional level
– embrace peace
– claim my freedm
– claim my inner strength
– experience tranquility
– experience abundance ( if you are afraid of not having enough.)
To better connect to your emotions I recommend writing your intentions down. When you use writing utensils and stationary or a journal (instead of typing them up) you slow down your writing process your brain gets just enough extra time to process emotions you command it to experience.

To create a new habit of daily intentions I invite you to join a 21-day Gratitude and Intentions Challenge. Every day you will write a sentence about what you are grateful for and a sentence about what feelings you would like to experience.

To make this process easier print out a weekly Intentions and Gratitude sheet I created for you.
Get it here:  WORKSHEET

Setting intentions and then experiencing what you would like to feel takes some practice, but it is absolutely worth it and can be life changing!

I wish you the best on your journey to success and happiness.

Strive to live joyfully!

Lena

Homesick girl

 
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When you have moved thousand miles away from home you are excited. It’s an adventure. You are a little scared, yet you do it. You packed your bags and made this quantum leap into the future.

Now it is a reality.
You faced a totally new environment, new experiences, and new faces. You have people around you, yet you don’t know how to connect. You feel lonely and sometimes scared.
You see happy FaceBook and Instagram posts from everyone else. You do the same… You are trying to keep the appearances and you have no one to share your true feelings with. Yet too often you feel empty and alone, sad, scared and angry. The closest people in your life don’t get you. You don’t share this turmoil of emotions with people you left behind in fear of hearing “we told you so!” You continue to hide and the sadness wells up inside of you, taking over.
You ask the enevitable, “What’s wrong with me?” You want to snap out of these feelings of loneliness, sadness, and helplessness. You hate the feeling. You are used to be powerful and in control. You want to scream, and you want to cry. What is going on?

You are ok. You are going through inevitable emotions of a girl away from home. You will be fine. Feeling homesick will subside. It’s temporary.

You will thrive.
You will find more than just coping mechanisms.
You will rediscover yourself.
You will create beautiful friendships.
You will feel vibrant and alive in this new place.

Sometimes you just need some encouragement. Other times you need to read a book that will connect you with your inner strength. You may need a coach or a mentor to guide you through it. Whatever you choose, do something that will reconnect you with your strength, reconnect you with the power of God in you.

You have it. Only a gutsy woman would do what you did. 

You will thrive!

Much love on your journey.

💖Lena

Meet Our Staff

How to overcome procrastination and fear of visibility for female entrepreneurs

How to overcome procrastination and a fear of visibility
As an entrepreneur you know how important customer service is. You know how important it is to be personable with your clients and customers. You like seeing them in person and talking to them, providing the personable service you are so good at.
You also would like to reach more people who may become your loyal customers.
For a while you have been thinking that being visible on Social Media and speaking about your business in front of even small audiences has a potential of bringing in more clients and growing of your business. But you just can’t bring yourself to do it. 
 
What is holding you back? What are you waiting for? What kind of self-talk are you using that still keeps you on the sidelines?
You see other people using social media and other venues as great tools to reach out to potential customers and create loyal followings. May be you even became a follower of other business women who ventured out. You watch them, you admire them, you criticize them, you think it will be nice to do something like that, but you want it to be just right, you want it to be perfect. After all, the WHOLE WORLD is going to see you!
So you do nothing to challenge this fear of being visible on social media. Well, you write posts on FB and are learning how to use Instagram and LinkedIn and Tweeter to grow business, but you freeze in front of a camera or paralyzed by an idea of standing in front of an audience. You know you want to record a few videos or speak at a trade show or a convention, you are positive it will really help your business, nevertheless you procrastinate.
You have great ideas, but they come and go. You don’t record them to share with your potential customers. You still run your business the old way.
You want to improve your business and skills, so you read books, purchase self-study courses, attend seminars… yet the business growth you would like to see is not there.
How can you get over it? There are a few suggestions I can make: practice, practice, practice. Start by recording yourself on a smart phone over and over again. If you like the video you made– post it, if you don’t like it– erase it. You are not using film, its digital for crying out loud! If you persevered, my dear perfectionist you, and recorded about 10 of those, its time to post the best one on Social Media.If you want you can create a small FB group with only a few viewers ( your friends and family, for example), to make it an easy transition.
I want to encourage you to be visible. You have something to offer to people who would not know about you if you don’t step up and step out. You don’t need to be the world’s best kept secret.
I also was afraid in the beginning when I had to deliver a speech or a presentation. However with practice it became more familiar and less scary. I encountered similar challenges with recording videos. It was even more difficult as English is my third language. Still, I persevered. I overcame fears of being judged, having a panic attack in public, forgetting what I had to say or making a complete full of myself– just to name a few! I want to show you that you can overcome your fears as well.
Being visible is a challenge and it can be uncomfortable. 
You are an entrepreneur. You are a strong and courageous woman. What is the price of you not getting out of your comfort zone and becoming a known face of your business, your brand if you wish? People are interested in what you have to offer, really. You are created in a unique and special way. Only you can do what you meant to do, use your gifts and talents to the fullest! Let them shine through your unique message.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9, NIV

Permission to Rest

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“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God…”” Psalm 46:10, NIV

I am closing down my office till Tuesday. Did not work much this week, but it was very important to spend a few days with my mom before she leaves for Ukraine.
I finally realized it is ok to have time off to spend with family and friends. We get so busy! For years I did not give myself permission to relax, delegate chores and just be and breathe.😥

Often we need to be reminded to slow down, unplug and be fully present with the ones we love.

I came to realize that at least one day of rest per week has to be a nonnegotiable. For me it is usually Saturday. Regardless of my busy schedule I need this day of rest like a day of fresh air. I need to unplug completely, no email checking or FB posting. 📖

Do you have a day of rest you keep? Do you unplug on occasion? Do you spend time in nature, at the park, 🌳by the ocean, river or lake?

When was the last time you got lost in a good book? Would you like to share your thoughts on this matter?

Blessings 

 

Love is in the Air

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It is all about love! We should remember it not only on February 14, but every day.

We were created for love, but somehow we still get lonely, resentful, frustrated, and pessimistic. What is wrong with our perception? How can we refocus on what our ultimate calling is? How can we remind ourselves that loving others as ourselves is  the first and foremost task for every single person?

The answer is in capturing our negative and distractive thoughts and in renewing our minds daily. Even though it takes a lot of concentration and quite a bit of work, it can be achieved.

Practice daily purification of the mind, begin each day with focusing on love. Ask yourself how can you experience love today. Whatever you focus on you bring into your life.

STRESS-FREE HOLIDAYS

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A splendid California day in Malibu, with it’s bright December sunshine was a wonderful winter treat. Beautiful sunny day, blue skies and shimmering ocean—ahhh.

After going to church my girlfriend and I chose to spend this day at the beach, doing nothing “important”.  It was time to catch up after not seeing each other for months. We  both have been extremely busy lately, as it usually happens around the holidays.

It was time to cancel shopping and running errands. It was time to talk “soul to soul” instead. It was time to slow down and spend time connecting, not consuming.

With children all grown-up, and us making our own schedules we can easily go for a stroll on a beach and drink hot tea on a porch overlooking the ocean— uninterrupted. It felt so good to give ourselves permission to just be, not running errands and daily adding to stress. We talked about what we both have been up to, our families, friends. We talked about stress that usually is a “normal” condition for most of us during this time of the year. We became conditioned to be superwomen, run multiple errands, attend and host endless parties and buy “perfect” gifts. It is all good if it brings us joy, but we have a tendency to overlook importance of slowing down and “recharging”, with a book, a good movie, or by spending time with a friend without going shopping together and multitasking. Many of my girlfriends slow down in December only if they get sick…

At times we have to be reminded to slow down, spend some quiet time in prayer and meditation, nurture our bodies and our most important relationships: with our Creator and loved ones.
Some women spend days and weeks planning and trying to throw “perfect” parties, especially during this season of festivities. I think it is a true gift—to be able to pull together a great gathering and enjoy all aspects of the proses. I am not writing about those, who breeze through holiday preparations with ease and grace. Not that many women do. Majority are trying to prepare for the holidays while juggling careers, kids and running regular household tasks.
Often the idea is great—it will be so nice to get together with friends and family. But somehow, regardless of initial good intentions of having a great time with friends, many ladies exhaust themselves in preparation, while making sure guests have a wonderful time. Occasionally they even force their family members out of their comfort zones in order to impress others, sacrificing peace and joy at home to please guests. Hospitality is important, spreading good cheer and happiness are important, but we need to ask ourselves: what are the true reasons for all our actions, especially in holiday preparations? Do we try to buy gifts, attend events and host people at our homes to enjoy each other’s company and please God, or do we try to fill up our need to be loved by pleasing people we barely know? Do we ever switch from doing things to bring joy to those around us, to doing to much and becoming overwhelmed?
What are our true priorities and motives? Is it God, our families and “other people”- in that order? We can enjoy the holidays to the fullest when we focus on joy, not our todo lists. Planing and writing down what needs to be done helps to give us a sense of control. Writing down on our lists why we are doing all those things and how we want to feel in a process is a good reminder of why we are scheduling all these activities. In my line of work as a life coach I help women to handle stress and challenging situations. I encourage clients to write down motives for their action, which helps to reflect on true reasons we do things.
When we are willing to carefully examine our motives for various actions we take, we can learn to break old patterns of wrong priorities and toxic overthinking in our lives. With enough practice it will become easy to focus on what means the most for us. For majority it is happy loving family and healthy caring relationships. We can start each day by praying and quietly asking: Dear God, how may I please you today in my actions and my words, how can I fulfill my purpose?

I wish you to have truly amazing holidays filled with love, while surrounded by true friends God put in your life.

Merry Christmas!

Lena Giffoni

 

Decluttering You Life Declutters Your Mind

 

I am no stranger to “spring cleaning”, regardless the time of the year. End of August and beginning of September are the best times for “back to school” organizing. For many moms whose children are still living at home it is a welcome move from unorganized chaos of the summer to a schedule-based school year. For those empty nesters whose children just left home it is time to stop crying and begin enjoying the freedom- and space. Trust me.
Regardless of what your situation is decluttering may be just the thing you need to get a fresh start. By doing so you undoubtedly will gain a new perspective on your surroundings and future actions. It is hard to approach new beginnings when weighted down by baggage and clatter, be it physical or emotional.
When you are facing changes in life, are scared and vulnerable sorting things out may need to start in your closet.
Do you hold on to emotional baggage? How about stuff in your closet? Do you keep a few thing with tags still attached because you just can’t let go of them? Are you also afraid to let go of friendships that don’t make you feel good any more? Did you accept hand-me-downs you didn’t really like (and never wore!) because they were free and you could not refuse the temptation? How about other temptations in your life, do you give in easily? Can you say no to requests that will sure put you over the top? Are you afraid to express your true feelings to your family members because you don’t want to hurt them? Do you still have that skirt you got on clearance three years ago? Even though it was a little too tight it was cute so you got it hoping to lose weight soon. Does it fit you now or have you gained a few? Do you still hope to lose weight? That’s good, but a thing you don’t realize is that a skirt is a silent reproach of your conscience: you can’t do it, looser!
Can you recall everything you own? How about in just one category? Do you remember every pair of jeans you own? Every blouse and dress? Can you access them easily? If the answer to every question is yes than congratulations, you are a minimalist and you may stop reading now. If, on the other hand, just reading about clatter in your closet makes you anxious it is high time for you to do something about it.
This month I will walk you through a few simple steps. Please don’t get carried away and try to clean and organize everything at once- you may burn out and quit altogether. That is not what you want, right? Let’s start with clothes. Decide what you will do with the things you will let go of. Give away? Donate? Sell? There may be people who appreciate vintage and want what you no longer need. You, on the other hand, will learn what you truly need.
You may be blessed to afford beautiful expensive designer clothes. Even if you spent a lot of money on such things do you still love them? If not, one by one separate them from the things that still bring you joy. You may choose to donate them. In this case you may want to locate designer boutiques that may give you better tax credit for you items than regular donation places. Another option is selling them. But only consider selling if you definitely WILL do it! Don’t create a pile of things you will eventually sell if it will never happen, it only creates more baggage and clatter that will weigh you down emotionally. image

After you made a decision about what you are going to do with discarded things have some fun! Pull out every skirt or pair of pants you own. If you have dig for it, that’s ok, just try not to get distracted and start organizing your photos or other non-clothes items, that’s a no-no at this step. This is a week to deal with clothes only. Pull every item out, take it in you hands and ask yourself if this thing still excites you. What are the reasons you may want to keep it? If you think “It may fit me eventually if loose weight”, ” I can wear it to work in the garden”, ” You can barely see the stain, I’ll wear it around the house”, ” It’s sort of cute”or “I wore it in 1982” that is not it. Does it make you happy? Do you want to wear it tomorrow? This week? To a next party? You have to love it to keep it, otherwise it should go into a “letting go of” pile.

May be someone would love it more than you do. Count your blessings that you were able to afford clothes that gave you please to wear them. Then free yourself from them with gratitude. After you are done with all skirts and pants by using this approach you will move to a next category: sweaters, dresses, scrubs, dress shirts. At the end you will most likely cut your belongings in half. Bag the items you don’t want to keep. Nearly organize the things you chose to keep so they are easily reachable. As for the things you bagged, try get them out of your living space within a week, the sooner the better.

Good luck and happy cleaning!

Words of Wisdom

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