Life and Spiritual Coaching

November 19, 2008

Being Creative

Filed under: Communications — by Donna Ritter @ 1:46 pm
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Here are 9 practices I personally use to help me in ‘cultivating’ creativity.

Practice:

  • Being Relaxed – Take a moment to do something that makes you happy; that brings you joy; that you love; that centers you. Meditate, take a walk, go for a swim, read something that puts you in a good mood, journaling – writing down your thoughts (this can be so rewarding!).
  • Gratitude – Thinking about all things you are grateful for produces a positive energy flow and vibration. As you feel the love in your heart for all the wonderful blessings and gifts in your life, you will instantly relax and feel all warm-and-fuzzy inside. In that moment of warmth and love, you are open to creative energy.
  • Tickling Your Imagination – Imagination is highly visual. I’ve found it helpful to practice seeing vivid images with my eyes closed.
    • Try it. Close your eyes, and imagine that you are in a scene, any scene. Okay – pick your ideal scene, practice seeing the details of your environment in this scene. See the colors, the textures, touch something. What does it feel like? What do you hear? What do you smell? What is the temperature like? Etc.
  • Being In the Moment – Every outstanding musician or artist will tell you that when they are creating great music or art, there are no thoughts, they are completely in the moment, and experiencing flow. Athletes call this ‘being in the zone‘. You can practice present moment awareness by giving full attention to whatever you are doing: eating, washing dishes, making your bed, etc. Meditation helps tremendously. The book “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle is also highly recommended.
  • Being Inspired – Practice seeing beautiful things that moves you emotionally. Flip through a book containing thought provoking images, go to an art gallery, read something inspirational, talk to someone who calms you.
  • Drawing – This may sounds funny, but one of the effective ways to practice getting in touch with your creative side is to start drawing. Drawing forces you to see things differently. I highly recommend the book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” and the workbook by Betty Edwards. This book was designed for people who has never drawn before. I first heard about this book from a psychology textbook. I have gained much from its insights.
  • Seeing Alternatives – Be curious. Practice asking yourself how to do something differently. When seeing the solution to a problem, ask yourself, “What are some alternative ways to doing this?“. Develop the mental attitude that “there is always another way” even when alternatives seem ‘impossible’.
  • Being Open – Never shut down any idea that comes your way, do not make judgments about it. Appreciate any idea that comes to you, even ones that seem “stupid” or “obvious”. This way, you encourage more creative ideas to surface from your being.
  • Think on Paper – With a bunch of loose paper (or notebook, I prefer loose paper so you don’t feel restricted that you have to keep the page ‘straight’ and organized.), start jotting ideas down. Write everything down that comes to your head: random words, phrases, ideas, thoughts… sometimes you might want to circle things and draw lines to connect ideas. When an inspiration hits, follow it. If you suddenly have a different idea, jot it down somewhere on the page or in a new page. This is how I construct blog articles. I start with ideas and points, sometimes really crappy points at the start, and once I fall into ‘flow‘, the article will take shape before my eyes .

November 16, 2008

Let Me Be Known By The Company I keep – a poem by Beth Moore

Filed under: Bible,Family — by Donna Ritter @ 6:03 pm
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I just finished a bible study by Beth Moore called “Living Beyond Yourself”. This is the poem at the end and I’d like to share it to you. It has spoken to me.

THE COMPANY I KEEP

 

Let me be known by the company I keep

By the One who determines each day that I greet

From the moment I wake til He rocks me to sleep

Let me be known by the company I keep!

Let me be known by the company I keep

When the valleys are low and the mountains are steep

By the One who holds fast when swift waters are deep

Let me be known by the company I keep!

Let me be known by the company I keep

By the One who implores me to sit at His feet

And quickens my soul to discern what is deep

Let me be known by the company I keep!

Let me be known by the company I keep

Eclipsed by your presence that I may decrease

Til all You have chosen this traveler to meet

No longer see me but the Company I keep.

—Beth

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Gal. 5:22-23).

 

 

November 15, 2008

Moving Out for the First Time – Advice

Filed under: Family,Life Coaching — by Donna Ritter @ 3:20 pm
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·        Always pay yourself first. Put as much money into savings as you can and leave it there until you have enough to live on for 6 months or so. You will never be sorry. Start your retirement fund early and don’t touch it. If you go to work for a company that matches your contributions, take advantage of it.

·        Be wary of credit cards. They are too easy to get and too hard to pay off. If you have to buy it on credit, you probably can’t afford it anyway and most likely don’t need it. If you use credit cards regularly, you will pay many times for the same item. Save buying on credit for two major purchases, a car and a house.

·        Invest your money in things that you understand. If you don’t understand it, then either educate yourself or find something you do understand. This understanding will help you decide when to invest, when to hold and when to sell.

·        Find a job doing something that you love to do. You spend most of your life at work; it helps to enjoy what you are doing. This may seem like a strange to say that while making a lot of money is great, doing something that you enjoy and are good at will bring you more satisfaction in the long run so try to find a balance between being a starving artist and overstressed CEO.

·        Keep an emergency savings account.  In a perfect world, this would be enough to support you for 6 months but it can be as little as $1000.  The emergency funds purpose is to pay for emergencies.  I know you are saying “duh, Mom” but you have to understand that emergencies happen all the time. It is for things like the car broke down and I can’t get to work without it.

·        Setting down. When you find that special person, make sure that they are someone who will support and respect you.  Hopefully, you will find someone with similar goals to yours, both financial and life goals.  I have found that while love is grand if the support, respect and common goals aren’t there, love loses out at worst and at best your life will be a struggle. I was so lucky to meet your Dad. We were best friends for a long time before we dated and it made all the difference in the world. When hard times come, and they will, you need your best friend to support you and hold you when you think you can’t go on.

·        Your career. Whatever you do, do it with all your heart.  You are smart enough to do anything you want to, you just have to make up your mind that you are going to do it.  Don’t let anyone beat you down.  Don’t settle for second best, you deserve the best of the best.

 

 

 

 

November 10, 2008

Travel!

Filed under: Life Balance,Life Coaching — by Donna Ritter @ 12:35 pm
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When you are a young adult, you have the perfect opportunity to experience life in its fullest! You don’t have kids yet or a house to tie you to one place. Explore! If I was in college again, I’d take a year off to travel the world. You don’t need a lot of money if you stay at youth hostels and use a rail pass to travel around Europe. If you have other destinations in mind, research how you can do a work/study or an exchange student program. If you really get to know the local culture, it will teach you more than any college course could. Plus you’d have fun!

This is also the time to be spontaneous decisions, since you don’t have the baggage of an older person to carry. Be daring! Explore yourself. Get to really define yourself.

Talk to people from another culture. Try their food and check out their customs. Talk to the older people in the area. Learn about their history. This will give you invaluable experience and insight!

Before you leave for the journey of your life, check the internet to brush up on the places you plan to visit. Look for where the tourists go – and make sure those aren’t the only places on your list. You want to check out where the locals go and live. Try to learn some of the language before leaving. Also, check for travel deals offered at the time you are going to be there. Make sure you write in your journal.  

November 4, 2008

Advice to my Younger Self

Filed under: Advice to My Younger Self,Life Balance — by Donna Ritter @ 10:39 am
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This is the first of many articles I am writing that are advice I wish I could have given my younger self. It’s amazing how much you can learn over 50+ years of living that gives you insights you wish you had when you were 20. This article is meant to be targeted at advice that may have swayed my decisions when I was in college.

·         You are a unique individual who is loved for what you are – not what someone tries to make you to be. Follow your heart. Do what you have passion in. This is especially essential when you choose your major in college. Some people choose majors based on how much money they could make. In the end, you spend so much of your life at work that it doesn’t matter how much money you make if you are miserable making it!

·         Travel and learn about other cultures as much as you can. It is very easy when you are young without a house or big bills to backpack around Europe for example. You can get a train pass that lasts for months and stay and inexpensive youth hostels. Hanging out with the locals teaches you much more than going to the tourist traps. Joining the Peace Corp is another option.

·         Stay away from negative situations or people. They can easily bring your mood down the tubes.

·         Make goals in college and stay focused on them. If you want to learn music or the arts – do it! Even if you don’t major in the fine arts, they broaden your minds.

·         Make an effort to stay positive. That can be hard when you focus on others or the news, but the more positive energy we all pass along, the better off we all will be.

·         Allow yourself to have time off to play. Never lose the child within.

·         Stay close to your family. They are the ones who will love you forever no matter what (except if you are in the unfortunate position of having an abusive family). Listen to the older ones. Believe it or not, they do know more than you do!

·         Surround yourself with reminders of your unique greatness. This can be pictures, quotes, letters anything that reminds you why people love you and why you mean more than anything to God.

·         Start your day with prayer, meditation, readings or whatever is your spiritual guidance. This will make the rest of the day start off on the right foot. 

·         Take care of yourself in the way you eat, exercise and what you read and put in your mind. This is your time to soak up everything you can and decide what the most important things are that you want to keep active in the rest of your life.

·         Don’t sweat the small stuff as they say. In life there are always ups and downs. Ride them out. Each challenge makes you stronger.

·         Keep a smile on yourself. It has been proven to be good for you and others around you.

·         Forgive everyone – including you! We all make mistakes. Take risks. Failure is a way to learn and you can’t get there without taking risks.

·         Give thanks every day. Journal as much as you can. It will not only record your thoughts but also improve your writing skills.

·         Have fun! These are some of the best times of your life! Learn and experience as much as you can!

                                                                                

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