The Gift of Pain

August 24, 2010

I saw a chiropractor yesterday for treatment of some bothersome pain I’ve been having in my neck, back, shoulder and arm. After evaluating me via a physical exam and x-ray, he proceeded to crack and pop my back and neck.  Sure enough, I had more painless mobility when he was finished.

But … after the treatment, I raised my right arm and felt the old familiar sharp pain rip through the area of my bicep again.

“Ouch!”

The doctor looked puzzled and had me sit back down.  After a very brief re-evaluation, he announced, “No wonder that hurt!  Your shoulder is dis-located!”   With one swift motion, he popped it back into place.

Again, instant relief!

Before I left the office, he showed me some exercises I need to do to keep my shoulder in its rightful position.

As it turned out, the dislocated shoulder has been the cause of a good deal of the chronic pain I’ve been suffering.  I don’t remember hurting it but it was out of place and required treatment none-the-less.

Pain, be it physical or emotional, always has a source.

It also has a purpose.  It is actually a “gift”

Pain “talks” to us.  It tells us when something is not right or in my case, out of place.

Pain tells the pregnant mother when it is time to give birth.

Pain lets us know it’s not good to put our bare hand on a hot stove.

Pain says “Something needs to change!”

Pain most definitely makes us appreciate those times when all is well and we are pain free!

Are you experiencing any pain right now?  If so, you should stop and pay attention to what it is trying to tell you.

What’s causing your pain?

What can you do to fix the problem?

Pain is inevitable but it’s not necessarily something you have to live with.

If your pain is physical, you should probably see a doctor ASAP.

If your pain is of an emotional nature, look closely at your surroundings.   Are you involved in a painful relationship?  Are you engaging in emotionally unhealthy mindsets or activities?

Make it a point to identify the source of your pain and take whatever measures necessary to alleviate it.

Pain is your friend … but not one for which you should provide permanent residence.

Allow yourself to learn the lesson the pain is trying to teach you, and move forward from it stronger and healthier for having experienced it.

Coach Becky J. Taylor

August 24,2010

Bold New Day! LLC

Personal Development Coaching for Women

http://www.boldnewday.com

http://www.beckyjtaylor.com

http://www.beckyjtaylor.webs.com

Follow Your Passion!  Pursue Your Purpose!

Become the Person You Know You Were Born to Be!


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Sailing Into Sunshine

July 28, 2010

While enjoying a Caribbean cruise a few years back, our family was particularly looking forward to spending a day on one of the islands owned by the cruise line, when the Captain made an announcement.

“This is your Captain speaking” the voice over the loud speaker boomed, “As you know, we are scheduled to anchor on the island tomorrow, but heavy storms are being forecasted for that area.  Do not be concerned.  If we can’t spend the day on the island, we will sail around until we find the sunshine.”

I appreciated the Captain’s optimism and have thought of that comment many times since that day.

“We will sail around until we find the sunshine.”

Sometimes it seems our lives are just one big storm after another.  We barely catch our breath after one squall  before the next wave hits.

It can be exhausting.

It’s also easy to forget that somewhere the sun is shining when in our little corner of the world there is nothing but dark clouds, high winds, and lightning strikes all around!

But … our Captain always knows exactly where we are on the radar screen.  He also knows where the sunshine can be found and you can bet, he is sailing us into the sunshine. Just hold on and trust him!

As much as I’d like to believe it’s God’s will that we never encounter storms in life, I know better.  Even storms serve a purpose in the scheme of things.  Our human minds can’t comprehend the vast expanse of the universe.  We’re usually so wrapped up in our efforts to preserve our own interests, we fail to notice what’s happening on a grander scale.

We certainly don’t like to think the “grander scale” is more important than our bout of bad weather. The painful reality is, our little bout of bad weather is part of that grander scale… and so it is important!

I’m hearing the collective “groan” of several of you right now.

“We want the sunshine, we don’t want the storm!”

Don’t abandon ship!

You must keep moving through the storm. You will find the sun waiting on the other side.

God bless!

Becky J. Taylor

July 28, 2010

Bold New Day! LLC

Personal Development Coaching for Women

http://www.beckyjtaylor.com

http://www.beckyjtaylor.webs.com

http://www.boldnewday.com

The Race Is On

July 25, 2010

A couple months ago I mentioned that I was writing a book.  My goal was to have it ready to publish by my birthday, which is now less than three weeks away.  Barring a miracle, that isn’t going to happen.  That’s what “deadlines” are for though, right?  Like rules, they were made to be tested.

My book was off to a good start.  Words continued to pour from my thoughts, through my fingers and onto the computer screen with ease for several weeks.   Then, BOOM!   Suddenly nothing I wrote made sense.   The flow turned into a trickle and then to a complete halt much like gridlock on the interstate leading to Atlanta.  I can see my destination, but I am helpless to get there at this point.

The world, which is my life, has been in a tailspin that’s lasted nearly two years now.  I thought things were beginning to settle out, but they’re not.  If anything, it’s getting worse.  This is possibly because I am so tired of it all.  I feel like running away … quitting … giving up.

Like that is an option.

Which brings me back to the topic at hand … my book.

I’ve chosen “Finishing Strong, A Woman’s Guide to a Race Well Run” as the title.  My inspiration (for lack of a better word) has been the events of my life, and those of so many other women I know. I wanted to do something positive with all the negative circumstances that I and others have been experiencing.  There is a lesson to be gleaned from all this, I just know it!  The trick is to figure out exactly what that lesson is so we can all stop spinning our wheels and move forward again.

It’s occurred to me that virtually everything I’ve been writing in the book is being tested.  Every word of encouragement, every theory I’ve suggested concerning what the “race of life” is all about, all hope I’ve dared to offer has been and continues to be challenged.  I look back over the chapters now and ask myself if I even really believe my own statements.

Here I am, telling women that life is a race of faith.  A race we cannot lose as long as we do not give up.  And here I sit myself, wanting to rip the book to shreds because I am sick and tired of running.  Forget finishing strong!  I just  … want … to … be … FINISHED!

Maybe I just had to come to this point in order to believe what I am trying so hard to convey to everyone else.  Even in my current state of weariness, I still have that underlying, nagging sense of optimism that things surely have to get better from here on in.  But I also have to admit, my thoughts have been leaning more toward the notion that it no law says it has to get better at all.  What if this is truly as good as it gets?

I’m asking myself if I can live with that possibility and frankly, I don’t know right now.

I suppose it’s also possible that I am finally figuring out what faith is all about.  “Faith” isn’t really faith at all if one can see, touch, feel whatever it is they’re hoping for.

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (NIV)

Perhaps I should be encouraged.  One thing is for certain, I cannot see anything I’ve been hoping for at this point in time.  Yet, I am still here.

Down for the moment?  Maybe … but I’m still here.

Licking my wounds on the sidelines? Probably … but I’m still here.

Too tired to run anymore? Oh yes! …  but I’m still here.

So, the book may be a little later in coming than I first believed, but I will finish it soon just as surely as I will eventually catch my breath, lace up my track shoes and continue my own pursuit of the prize that awaits at the end of my race.

I’ll see you at the finish line, my friend!  

July 25, 2010

Becky J. Taylor

http://www.beckyjtaylor.com

http://www.boldnewday.com

http://www.beckyjtaylor.webs.com

I grew up in small town Appalachia.  By “small”, I mean there were only about a thousand of us or so and every one of those thousand or so people knew everything about everybody at any given time.

“Gossip” er, I mean “News” was shared with neighbors over the back fence or via party lines. (In case you were born after the 60’s I should explain that “party lines” were common phone lines shared by several different families in the same neighborhood.)

Back in the day, most people never moved far from where they were born.  They lived, worked, died, and were buried within a 10 mile radius of their home town.

While living in such a small town had it’s disadvantages, there were also many advantages to be enjoyed.  We could trust our neighbors and count on them to look out for us.  We never had to lock our doors.  We always knew when someone in our extended family got married, had a baby, fell ill, or lost a job.

We could call on them (or if they shared our party line, just pick up the phone and interrupt their conversations if necessary) any time, night or day and they’d come running.

Personally, I believe people miss the days when they could satisfy their need for human interaction simply by going outside and chatting with the neighbors over the back fence for a while.  When back fences and party lines disappeared, they created a void that people have been trying to fill ever since.

And I believe this explains why social media is so popular today.

Even those who never knew anything about back fences and party lines, or lived anywhere within driving (much less yelling) distance of Grandma and Grandpa; even if we never sat at Aunt Millie’s dinner table and ate oatmeal cookies or enjoyed the sense of family a small town provides, we still enjoy human interaction.  We still need to feel like someone cares about even our most mundane concerns.

Yes, we need each other whether we like to admit it or not.

Social media sites give us access to our distant relatives, elementary school friends and even new friends with the click of a mouse.

What’s more, these sites never close.  Twenty four-seven, there is always someone online with whom to exchange a laugh or share a story. There’s never a lack of videos to laugh at, quotes to make us think, and great gossip, (I’m sorry, I meant “news”) to be found, thanks to the availability of cyber-space.

Social media has made our world very small again, just like it use to be when I was a kid.   No matter how big the city we come from, I’m convinced there is a need for folklore in each of us.  Social media makes it possible for each of us to experience the joys of small town living, even if we’re all alone in the middle of nowhere.

Becky Taylor

July 14,2010

http://www.boldnewday.com

http://www.beckyjtaylor.com

(“Small Town” by John Mellencamp.  Enjoy!)

Fairchild Blue

July 6, 2010

At our annual family reunion this past weekend, my son Adam commented ” At least 80% of the people here have blue eyes.”

I responded, “Of course they do!  They’re all Fairchild-ren!”

Adam’s comment took me by surprise.  I’ve always told him his eyes were “Fairchild blue” and I thought he understood.  At least he seemed to be listening.

Apparently hearing is not an equal substitute for experiencing something for oneself.

Before this weekend, Adam hadn’t been to a Fairchild reunion for several years.  We moved away from Ohio when he was nine years old and even before that, I hadn’t taken him to many Fairchild get-togethers.

My bad!  Obviously I’ve done my son an injustice by not involving him more in his extended family.

Yes, I’ve told him he is a descendant of the Fairchilds.

I’ve mentioned many times that his tall, lean stature is a Fairchild trait.

Most of all, I’ve often referred to his eye color as being “Fairchild blue.”

But until Adam experienced it for himself, I don’t think he had a full sense of appreciation and belonging as a “Fairchild.”

Now he’s seen it for himself.  His eyes are Fairchild blue.  He is tall and lean like many of my male cousins he saw at the reunion.

Suddenly he feels a deeper family connection than he once believed to be true.  He’s experienced that side of the family’s roots for himself.

He knows more about where he came from, and who he really is than ever before!

Do you know who you are?

(It’s easier to take it for granted than one might think. )

You are a child of God.

You were created in his image.  This means that when God looks at you, he sees himself.

He sees his eyes.

He sees his hands.

When you talk, he hears his voice!

Wow!

Perhaps you don’t believe me.  Maybe you don’t feel much like a child of God.

It’s possible you don’t even act like one of his distant relatives.

If not, it’s probably only because you need reminding of who you truly are.

Reconnect with your roots today.  Take some time to talk to your Father and refresh your relationship with him.

By getting to know him, you’ll gain a better appreciation of who you are than you’ve ever had before.

God bless!

Becky Taylor

July 6,2010

http://www.boldnewday.com

http://www.beckyjtaylor.com

http://www.beckyjtaylor.webs.com

It’s amazing how little effort it really takes to make a difference in someone’s life.  The most seemingly benign act of kindness can make someone else’s load a little lighter and life a little easier.

Here are some easy ways to make a difference in the lives of others.  Choose one (or all three) each day and put it to use!

Smile

When I worked at the hospital I made it a point to make my patients smile.  It could be a challenge at times, given that they were in the hospital and of course that was not the ideal setting for having a happy face but most of the time it was easy … simply smiling at them when I walked into their room usually sufficed.

Returning a smile is almost an involuntary act in most situations.  Even when people were too sick, or in too much pain to smile back at me, my “plan” still worked about 98 per cent of the time.

Smile at everyone you meet, even strangers.  Make eye contact and show them your pearly whites!  Don’t be surprised when you also begin to feel better with each smile that is returned.

Watch Your Words

Words are powerful.  Your tongue can be a weapon of mass destruction, or it can speak life to everyone around you.  Use it wisely.

The old adage, “If you can’t say something good. don’t say anything at all” is still a wise a piece of advice.  If you don’t believe me, think back to a time when your whole day was ruined by one discouraging word from a friend or family member.

Now think of a time when your day was absolutely made by someone’s words of encouragement.

See what I mean?

Say something nice to someone today.  Tell the cashier at the supermarket you like her haircut.  Tell the kid at the pool what a great swimmer he is, or if someone consistently brightens your day with their words … tell them how much you appreciate it.

Actions Speak Loudly

Remember the “random acts of kindness” craze from a few years back?  People everywhere were doing little things for others without any expectations of recognition or reward.

“Random acts of kindness” was a great idea and probably one we would have done well to keep in practice.

What action can you take today that will make a difference for someone else?

Help the neighbor carry her groceries in from the car.  Hold the door open for a stranger at the store.  Send a “just thinking of you” card to a friend.

You don’t have to do anything complicated.  None of these things necessarily take a lot of time or cost a lot of money, yet they can make the difference between a “bad” day and a “great” day for the recipient!

God bless!

Becky J. Taylor

Bold New Day! LLC

Personal Development Coaching for Women

http://www.boldnewday.com

http://www.beckyjtaylor.com

Follow Your Passion! Pursue Your Purpose!

Become the Person You Know You Were Born to Be!

Women tend to put themselves last.

Not all women, of course.  There are some of us who have managed to “evolve” more than others.

But overall, I’d say most women are still inclined to put everyone else’s needs ahead of their own.  Perhaps this is an inborn trait, buried somewhere deep within the female chromosomes.  Throughout history we have been mothers, caretakers, nurses and wives.

I’ve touched on this topic before in my post about stress.  (See “Ten Pounds and a Toothache”)

Once we become wives and mothers, it seems we’re on duty 24/7 until our minds and bodies can’t go anymore!

Our day often starts before dawn and doesn’t end until after midnight.  Even then, we go to bed with that sinking feeling we’ve forgotten to take care of something.

Might I suggest the something we’re forgetting is ourselves?

Oh sure, we manage to eat (albeit most often in haste), get dressed (sometimes our clothing actually matches!), and bathe (even if we do have to do it with an audience of little eyes either staring at us, or a chorus of voices chanting, “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” from outside the bathroom door)

Many of us (me included) are well beyond the “little eyes” and “chorus of voices” stage of the game.  Instead, we’ve moved on into the “What I can do for you even if you’re a total stranger” phase of life, where we’ve transferred our inherent need to nurture living, breathing things over to those whom we didn’t actually give birth to.

I’m not knocking this sort of generosity, so please don’t read it that way.  One of the exercises I give the women in my online coaching group is to spend a few days deliberately practicing the “Golden Rule”, or “paying it forward”.

It’s no secret; I feel it’s my God-given purpose to help other women, to give encouragement, even when I myself could use a little help in that area.

By all means, if you’ve been called to help others, don’t abandon the cause!

I just want to challenge you to consider the possibility that you are worth some time and extra effort too!

If you are one of “those” women who are constantly giving, giving, giving … I’m asking you to STOP, for just one moment.

Yes, STOP, and do something for yourself!  Choose something nice, something no one else in your life may even know you’d enjoy.

This may be more difficult than you’d first imagine.  Sometimes it’s been so long since we’ve done anything relatively “selfish” or that we’d personally enjoy even though the rest of the family might prefer something else, we don’t even know what our own preferences are anymore!

Give it some thought.  Right here and now, ask yourself this question:

“What would I really like to do for me?”

When you’ve come up with an answer, make an appointment to actually do it!  Set aside a date and a time on your calendar and prioritize it in your mind, just like a Dr’s appointment or other obligation that can’t be put off.

Make this a habit. At least once a week, (ok … certainly no less often than once a month,) do something special just for you.  Buy a new candle.  Go to the department store and get a makeover. Purchase a magazine and indulge yourself.  Take a long uninterrupted bubble bath! Fix your favorite meal for dinner. No apologies necessary!

See, I’m not talking about anything huge, although if you have the means to do something on a grander scale, by all means do it!

Enjoy every last minute of it. Not only do you deserve it, but you’ll be a much happier person for having taken the time to take care of you!