05 Aug

Today: Feeling Light and Brand New!

Today: Feeling Light and Brand New!Have you ever had a feeling that something has been lifted off of you? Or like something happened in another realm and even though you couldn’t quite put your finger on it, you knew that something really did happen? Well that happened to me this morning and I had to tell you about it.

Followed by this lifted feeling this morning, I all of a sudden had this thought (with the warm fuzzies that go with it) that I could move toward serving more people through The Spiritual Upgrade—that I could finally live the life that I’ve been dreaming of as I serve more people through this work.

You see, for months now I’ve been battling with how to do this work and keep my marketing business going strong, but as I had this experience this morning I received all kinds of realizations about my current status and marketing business. The truth is I can find a way to keep my marketing self active while giving more to The Spiritual Upgrade. Before today, I kept thinking that it had to be one thing or the other, but it doesn’t have to be that way because I am not one thing or another. We are multi-dimensional beings.

I love knowing that. Isn’t that cool!

Also, one of the beauties I enjoy knowing is that when things aren’t quite the way we want them, we can change them. We can adjust. We can put in a new request—ask for something different. And asking for something different is not always as conscious as we think. You can be asking for something different with your attitude—or within your heart—and not be 100% aware of it in your mind. You know what I mean? We are always contrasting and asking for a new experience.

And apparently for me, today is the day that I can really embrace the newness of this next level dream I am having. Are you dreaming? Tell me about it!

11 Oct

Don’t be distracted with other people’s stuff!

Don't be distracted with other people's stuff! by April GregoryLife gives each of us enough to deal with on our own without having to “save” those around us.  There’s nothing wrong with helping others–it’s a part of life and even a Biblical mandate.

We’re actually interconnected beings, called by our Creator to shoulder each other’s burdens to the point that we are able.  However, this becomes a trap when we’re too distracted to carry out your calling and the vision we’ve set for our own lives.

I’m often asked, “How do I balance this if helping others is my life’s work, ministry, or something involving a relative?”  I too have to balance this demon and understand that it’s a delicate balance to achieve.

The first thing to do is to establish boundaries.  Clear boundaries are a necessity when helping others.  In his book, Boundaries, Henry Cloud says that we begin to set boundaries at around the age of 3.  Have you ever heard a 3 year old scream, “NO, NO, NO?  That’s an elementary way of that child establishing his or her personal boundaries.

In other words, establishing personal boundaries is natural — as natural as growing up. We just need to learn how to conduct ourselves within the boundaries once they’ve been established. Too many times we cave and go outside of pre-established boundaries for the sake of kindness.

That brings up the second thing: determining what is actually “helping” and what is being a “crutch” for them.  Helping is assisting. Being a crutch is enabling them, or worse, taking their burdens and putting them wholly upon your own back. Remember: Help to the point that you are able, but be okay with directing them to other resources too!

Thirdly, keep communication open and be willing to address boundary issues as they arise.

Fourthly, be honest — with yourself and with the other person.

11 Oct

Got Vision?

Got Vision by April Gregoryvision properly feeds your spirit—and having a healthy spirit makes life worth living.

Without the proper food, a person perishes. And just as the body needs food to survive, so does the spirit.

But how do you feed the spirit? You feed the spirit with food that energizes it and makes it want to move—and nothing makes the spirit move like a good vision.

Vision clears the obstructions from your view, allowing you to see what is possible. Do you have a clear vision?

There are so many things fighting for your attention each and every day that you’ve got to be vigilant in guarding your time. Creating and maintaining a clear vision for every single area of your life gives you an adequate defense against unwanted intrusions into your day.

If something doesn’t jive with your vision, it takes a place lower on the priority mast. After all, there is only room for so many sails on a mast. You want to fly the sails that best propel the boat when winds are strong and beating against you.

A vision is a vivid, imaginative conception or idea of anything related to your life or business.  Having a vision creates anticipation and excitement for the future. With a clear vision, you’ll want to rise up early to start the day and stay up late to keep it from ending! And when you have a vision for every area of your life, whether business, family, health, spiritual life, or whatever, you are focused.

Think about it: If you can’t see something, how can you focus on it?

So how about it?  Do you have a vision that feeds your spirit each and every day?   If so, have you written it down?  Have you studied it so that it is now second nature in thought…where everything that vies for your time gets automatically weighed against that vision? If not, what are you waiting for? DO IT! You’ll be so happy that you did!

COACH’S REQUEST:

1.  Pick 3 areas of your life and create a vision for each [something you actually want and are looking forward to achieving in your life or business].

2.  Write it out in the first personFor instance, here is a statement of my vision to getting media coverage for my business.  ”I love the idea of getting lots of free media coverage for my business.  I love being called on for my expertise in serving local and national media outlets.  [NOTE:  This is more than an affirmation.  The things that take this from affirmation to vision are the images or pictures I hold inside my mind’s eye about this, my expectations for success, and being emotionally invested and connected to my vision.]

3.  Take 10 minutes a day to activate your vision. 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night—looking at it and tweaking it where needed.

4.  Allow it to manifest itself in your life. They say the best wines are the oldest, those that have fermented longer to bring out the true flavor of the vine (grape). Give your vision time to ferment, to bring out its true flavor. In the end, it will bring a richer, full-bodied taste to your life!

11 Jun

Negative Emotions: 10 Negative Emotions that will Weigh you Down

Negative Emotions:  10 Negative Emotions that will Weigh you Down by April GregoryLet us lay aside every weight and sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.  Hebrews 12:1

We’ve been commanded to get rid of the heavy stuff holding us back—the things that threaten forward movement—so that we can continue to move toward the good life.  But, in order for you to do that, you must first know what’s holding you back.

Please understand: I’m not trying to insult anyone’s intelligence here; but to be honest, some people have no idea that their own negative emotions are holding them back.  Many people believe that the cause of their setback is external—something outside of their control.  If you are one of those people, you are not alone. It’s very common. It’s a natural defense mechanism.

The problem is that it’s a lie we’ve come to believe. I too remember feeling that way. I just didn’t know any better.

So here we go:

1.  Fear/Depression/Despair-Even though fear is the cause in this category, fear was never meant to hold us back.  Fear is part of our natural alarm system, but we shouldn’t live in “alarm mode.”  Alarms are designed to alert us to a possible threat; but living in this space continuously is too heavy a burden for healthy living.

2.  Guilt/Unworthiness – These two operate on the same level.  Guilt breeds a constant feeling of wrongdoing, and feelings of unworthiness won’t allow you to receive good in your life.  You just don’t feel worthy.

3.  Jealousy – This is where we’re resentfully envious of others. “Thou shalt not covet.”

4.  Hatred/Rage – Hatred is when we have very strong feelings of dislike, to the point of physical affectation.  It shows on your face, in your actions. It becomes part of us.

5.  Revenge – Always wanting to retaliate. In other words, we develop a vindictive spirit.  This is where we want to inflict pain, damage, punishment or injury in return for the same. Remember God’s words in Proverbs: “Mercy triumphs over judgment.”

6.  Anger – The emotion is so constricting.  It stems from a feeling of mistreatment, injury, or opposition.  It’s when we drag around a lot of inner pain and inner turmoil.

7.  Discouragement – This is a state of being hopeless where you have no inner courage or confidence to move forward.  The state of discouragement prevents you from moving. Joshua 1:9 says, “Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be you dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

8.  Blame – To accuse or find fault with.  This one is sneaky because it’s so subtle.  It’s when you take the responsibility off of yourself and place it on another person, place or thing.

9.  Worry – When you have a constant feeling of uneasiness.  It’s mental harassment that causes you to feel troubled and burdened.

10.  Doubt – the state of being a skeptic.  You feel distrustful, hesitant more inclined to disbelief.

These emotions are heavy.  God knew that we would not be able to bear them alone. You can’t move forward and carry these at the same time. Trying to is a sure recipe for disaster.

Coaches Request:

1.  Identify any negative emotion that shows up in your life on a daily basis. [These emotions have a way of lodging themselves in our emotional memory.  Clear them out]

2.  Write it down AND ask yourself, “What this negative emotion costing me?”  What am I missing out on?

3.  What would you be doing instead?  [In other words, if you weren’t scared, or angry what would you be doing differently?]

01 Jun

Honor Yourself With Personal Memorials in Your Life and Business

Honor Yourself With Personal Memorials in Your Life and BusinessWe all know Memorial Day as a day to honor Americans who have died for our freedom. But, did you know that before Memorial Day it was known as Decoration Day?

Decoration Day was first established by formerly enslaved African Americans to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War. It was then extended after World War I to honor all Americans who had died in war.

What a privilege it is to honor those who fought and died for our freedom; but memorials aren’t only for the dead. They can be established for the living as well. We love to honor the ultimate sacrifice, as we should, but many times we fail to honor the incremental sacrifices made on our behalf—particularly our own. The road of life is littered with milestones. Some milestones are insignificant; others bear the weight of meaning and should be honored and remembered.

With that in mind, why not create a Memorial Day to yourself? This is not to diminish the lives honored by our national holiday. It’s simply a separate day that you set aside for yourself—a day where you reflect upon the milestones of your life.

A memorial is similar to a testimony in that it reveals something about the path or journey of the individual being memorialized. But a memorial is more tangible than a testimony in that it sets up a structure by which to reflect—with the full intention of continuing forward in freedom.

It may not be a physical structure like the Vietnam War Memorial, but it should be a finite time block established for the same purpose—to reflect upon the life that was. You enter it to honor and reflect upon that which you’ve left behind, overcome, and accomplished.

Memorial Day has become a time to give thanks for the sacrifice made by heroes and innocents, all in the name of liberty. But one cannot give thanks to those who, in the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln, “have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom” without reflecting upon freedom itself. That’s why Memorial Day has become so much more than a day to honor the dead. It has become a day to honor the living as well—we who enjoy the freedom sacrificed by the war dead.

You may be dealing with a few personal wars of your own…wars that have left painful battle scars. But instead of killing yourself with sorrow, free yourself by rejoicing in what you’ve endured. You’re still breathing. Yes, life hurts, but if you look back at your journey through clear glasses, you will see plenty worth celebrating. You need only set aside a block of time to reflect constructively and honestly—a time to memorialize your achievements. When you do this, you motivate yourself to continue forward in freedom.

01 May

Word Coaching: Are You Connected To the Words That Guide Your Life/Business?

Word Coaching: Are You Connected To the Words That Guide Your Life/Business?As a speaker and new writer, I’ve always had this love‐hate relationship with words.

It’s hysterical, really.

Whether speaking or writing, I can go borderline crazy searching for the right word needed to elicit the mental image and/or message I want to convey.

One word can change the entire context or meaning of a sentence, passage, even an entire story.

One word can also give that same sentence, passage, or story clarity and direction. Words are beautiful and ugly, corrupt and convincing.

They sell products, services and programs. They lift spirits and touch lives. They mold character and destroy or give hope.

They bond us together in love, and send us reeling in great pain.

They are the defining mechanism of legacy and the wonderful palate of many great artists.

But most of all, the word was, and continues to be, used by God[the Holy Spirit] to reveal Himself to us and to guide us in His ways, to hold us fast to a course, and to steer us clear of danger. Are you listening?

Today’s Coaching Lesson:

Be mindful of the words that guide you. Pay attention the dominant words in your life

Ask yourself two questions:
1. Am I being guided by the words that truly reflect my desires?
2. How can I be more aware of the words that are guiding my life?

11 Mar

Emotional Hurt: 3 Steps to Dealing with Emotional Pain

Emotional Hurt: 3 Steps to Dealing with Emotional Pain by April GregoryI don’t have to tell you that pain is an unpleasant physical and emotional experience.  Or that it’s associated with increased emotional stress and actual damage to the body.  And you already know the intense pain of stubbing your toe at the foot of your bed.  OUCH!  It really, really hurts, right?  What about the agonizing pain of slamming your finger in a door? Soreness for days!  Am I right?

So when go through a situation that causes physical pain, what do you do?  You immediately go to the medicine cabinet, pharmacy, or emergency room seeking relief right?

Once you get that initial care or relief, you do everything possible to keep from re-aggravating the injury.

You want to give your body time to heal. Subsequently, you find yourself more careful when handling the next slamming door, etc.; but you don’t stop going through doors, do you?

So what do you do when you experience emotional pain?What happens to you when you go through an emotionally charged break-up?  Or, what happens when you can’t shake the rejection or abandonment you feel from your mother or father—or anything else that causes you emotional pain?

Do you shut down? Do you stop living? No.

You take the same approach as if it’s physical.  You zone into the pain, acknowledge it, and depending on the level of pain, you go to your bookshelf or audio collection, fall to your knees in prayer, or seek a coach and professional help for relief.

Then, after receiving that initial comfort or relief, you give yourself time to heal, making every attempt to avoid aggravating the injury. Just as if the pain were physical, you follow the healing process to completion.

You don’t cut people, places and things off completely. After all, no person is an island, right? God made us social beings. Isolation is the devil’s playground.

Instead, you heal—rejoicing in your blessings while keeping closer watch on the doors you go through. In short, you learn from the experience and become wiser.