Awakening at the Zoo

We exponentially grow when we learn and act on “what we don’t know we don’t know”. I always advocate getting in your kids’ element  whenever possible, not only because of the kid bonding but also because of the parent connecting opportunities.  Putting yourself in places to learn from others who have gone before you gives you the advantage of absorbing the wisdom from their learning curve.

I had such an awakening at our traditional end-of-school-year field trip where 5th graders pair up with kindergarten buddies to explore the zoo.  Teamed up with two veteran 5th grade moms with 12 kids between them, their 5th graders being their youngest,  I got more than just an animal education in our short three hours tooling around the snakes, tarantulas, and gorillas.

As an apostle in the Kid for Jesus virtue building program, which gives  kids and parents tools to live Christian charity in school and home, the conversation turned  to some of the charity challenges creating notoriety for  that particular 5th grade cohort. Curious about what was happening and what could be done to stop it, I queried the moms who  shared openly their experience with cyber-bullying and other aggressive behaviors.  Texting seemed the root of the ugliest issues.

Hearing  that bullies sent anonymous texts like, “No one likes you.  Why don’t you kill yourself,” or argumentative name-calling text dialogues or sexually inappropriate texts appalled my Catholic school mom ears.  In the spirit of charity we were able to discuss the issue and what needs to happen to improve it without mentioning a single name of the supposed perpetrators.

Armed with my advance parent training, I went home to my kids to discuss why we must have virtue when we use any kind of technology, and what can happen when we don’t.

Similar processes can be used to grow in our marriages when we expose ourselves to couples more advanced than us, to glean tips to help us develop exponentially.

The Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip:  Put yourself around others with more experience and success in their marriage, family, and work lives, so you can benefit from their investment.

Ice Cold Tea in Boston

Photo from AP

My calloused response to the bombing in Boston runs like cold tea through my veins.  While my heart goes out for  the city and those killed and injured and their families, inside I’m screaming, “I told you so”.

I told you that you can’t kill 3,150 unborn babies a day, including 92% of all children diagnosed in utero with Down  Syndrome and not have an effect on your culture.  You can’t have 3 states legalize Physician aid-in-dying or “assisted suicide”  and not cheapen life.  Why is everyone   appalled at the death of an innocent eight-year-old and shed few tears at the  millions of innocent children ninety-six months younger killed each day?

Why won’t we accept this to happen while immersed in a culture of death?  Violence begets more violence.  I expect more to come.

There’s always the possibility some nut was making a point on tax day in the historical Boston Tea Party spirit.  The drastic shifts in the increased tax burden on  half of the citizens who pay taxes and the increased dependency of the rest and the compatibility of that philosophy with a Catholic world view is a topic for another blog.  But it is further evidence of culture and country in moral decline.

Regardless, I refuse to be in the doom and gloom crowd. The antidote to cold-blooded murder like those at the Boston Marathon or Sandy Hook Elementary is to respect life. Peace and commitment to the culture of life begins with me and you.  We stop the violence by stopping it from being a part of our lives, blocking television, movies, music, video games, and anti-life attitudes and lifestyles for us and our families.  Be part of the sleeping giant of Catholics rousing from their slumber to reclaim our country and our culture.  And be the peace, truth, and light the world desperately needs.

The Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip:  Don’t let the news bog you down.  Pray and ask God how to make you part of the solution.

What You Don’t Know You Don’t Know

I just listened to Business Coach Trainer Gary Henson reference the words of  former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld categorized how we see the world in terms of 1) what we know, 2) what we don’t know, and 3) what we don’t know we don’t know.  Coaches guide clients to personal and professional breakthroughs by helping them master the needed skills they don’t know and discover and incorporate relevant knowledge they are unaware is missing.

The business world isn’t the only place to discover and implement knowledge that leads to transformation.  Coaches help tap the enormous potential of our relationships; with the prospect to revolutionize the destiny of yourself and others.

Catholic coaching supernaturalizes the coaching relationship with impact beyond our capacity to understand space and time. Catholic relationship coaching equips you to make a positive eternal impact on those you encounter by learning what to prioritize and do and not do in this short time you have on earth.

The grand scale of the differences we can make in people’s lives just through our contact with them overwhelm  some. In my talks in local parishes, the unclear, unusual looks I would sometimes see in the eyes of some of the women never made sense until I heard Secretary Rumsfeld’s statements.  Encouraging Catholic women to have an eternal perspective in their everyday relationship choices, to have processes in place to do God’s will in both the minutia of their lives as well as when making major decisions, and to encourage them to delve into the resources available that will help them be clear on God’s design for every area of their lives catapulted many of them into the world of “what they didn’t know they didn’t know”.  The intimidation factor makes some of them look like they are not sure they really wanted to know.

But there is nothing to be afraid of.  God is very gentle in helping us uncover “what we don’t know we don’t know” and learn what to do about it.

The Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip:  Schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation with me to begin the exciting journey of “learning what you don’t know you don’t know”.

Asking the Right Questions

I just finished re-listening to a replay of a group coaching session with my coach.  My ears perked to hear that the man in the hot seat was being coached on having better balance in his life.

First, my coach Ryan made the man list no more than 10 roles in his life—i.e. father, husband, business owner, etc.  For each role Ryan asked the coachee on what the most important aspect was for each role, what was the essence of fulfilling that role. Ryan’s inquiries kept going deeper and deeper to understand the most profound meaning for each role.

The richer our meaning and purpose for fulfilling our roles well, the more likely we would do the hard work necessary to make it happen in our busy schedules.  Why have a better relationship with your son or wife?  Why provide the best service to your customers? I followed the discussion considering my own roles and the deeper purpose for living well in them.

Ryan took the man through a process to help him ultimately discover which questions he should be asking regarding fulfillment of each role.  If you get the question  right and live the answer, you will have a rich, successful, and balanced life. Doing the right things doesn’t need to be time consuming.

As a Cradle Catholic with years in Catholic schools and later with on-going formation, the Catholic Church  has given me the correct questions.   On Easter in the Resurrection we see the answer to the right questions.  We are a fallen people hungry to go home and be with God. Christ’s resurrection provides the “why”for what we do.  This meaning  allows us to run  towards the open gates of heaven bringing as many souls as we can to be with God forever.  Anything less, just isn’t motivating enough.

The Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip:  What is your ultimate motivation for being the best you can be in your various life roles?  Is it motivating enough?

Listening to the Whisper

My recent silent retreat bathed me in God’s love and wisdom.

Within hours upon returning to the real world I collided with my every  internal and external obstacle blocking me from being the ideal holy woman I desire to be.  Disillusionment often knocks on the door following your open heart to God’s artistic chiseling of your soul and your life.  Fortunately, you don’t have to stay there.

Tuning out the worldly clamor to listen once more to that familiar whisper that spoke to me during my weekend-long retreat united me with the spirituality of St. Therese of Lisiex, the Little Flower.  Keep things simple, do the little things well for God.

I realized I could have a 180 degree different encounter in my relationships with my kids and spouse when I adjusted my attitude to one of flexibility, humor, and trust that things would work out for the best.  The service commitment that had begun to overtake me like a flood became unburdened when I followed the advice of the priest who spoke to ministry leaders:  meet regularly with your committee and invite them to move forward with you.  Two meetings later I was already feeling lighter and more hopeful that I could facilitate the apostolate without being overloaded and out of balance. And the overwhelming feeling about my professional commitments  transformed into clarity when I focused  on what I do have rather than what I don’t. It made me be led by my strengths and not by my weakness, and trust in God’s plan on all areas of my life.

The breezy voice of the Holy Spirit restored and renewed me that yes, God would give me the grace to live to the high standard he sets for me despite my doubts that I really can do it.

The Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip:  Know that God always gives you the grace to live up to the woman He created you to be.