Thursday, December 15, 2016

How are you?

“How are you?” is a loaded question when directed at myself or other cancer survivors.

There are 47 markers from a blood test that my oncologist looks at to answer that question.

I had 46 normal ones with only one out of normal range. Her years of experience and training, led her to conclude it wasn’t any problem. It did seem strange to her that my good cholesterol was 38 when it should be greater than 40. 

So, why focus on one problem, when there are like 46 other great things going on.

One or two bad days, bad weeks, bad years, bad arguments, bad meals, bad hair, bad attitudes do not define a human being.

One’s identity is not found in that one marker that is out of the standard range.

An ultra runner may have one bad stretch of a run, but by experience doesn’t pull out, because they know it is a standard part of the race.

A long-term marriage partner doesn’t pull out of the relationship when there is one or two bad seasons, for they know there will be better seasons and have experienced better ones.

A maturing person will have a few bad days, but won’t give up because they know the bad days come and go and are a part of being a maturing human being.

Markers are just marking what is.  Take note of where you are, get advice from professionals, pull from experience, deepen faith in God, make changes, keep living and focus on the 46 good markers.

Great joys are found even in chemotherapy infusion rooms surrounded by the sickest of patients with the deadliest of diseases.  You too can discover that well-being has less to do with one’s circumstances than one’s mindfulness about the 46 good markers in life. 

Consider hiring a coach to help you with your 2017 mindsets. Visit my coaching website, if you want someone to unconditionally and confidentially help you discover your way forward.  

Consider joining a community of God’s people, to help you live in community, process life and prepare for eternity. Visit our congregations website at if you want to begin thinking about joining.

Acting on these considerations could help you focus on the 46 great markers in your life, and not let that one, define you.  I understand that it is a struggle to NOT focus on the one marker.  (I increased my oatmeal intake this morning as well as ran four miles in the freezing weather and gusting wind.)

If this Christmas isn’t all merry, don’t focus on this one.  There have been good ones, and there will be more good ones.  Even the less than positive ones, have a few good markers to remember.  So what if a few situations are out of the “standard range”?  (It is our first Christmas after losing our unconditional loving dog.)

Having a Merry Christmas is your choice, so go have one, and another one, and. another…


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Focus on the Person Not the Problem

One of my mentor coaches wrote an enlightening book on this topic. (It’s very expensive.  Only .99 on Amazon Kindle and could change your life. “Coach the Person Not the Problem” by Chad Hall.)

Chad is the President of Coach Approach Ministries, and say’s, “don’t let the word problem trip you up. If you’d rather think of this as the client’s challenge, topic, or issue, that’s fine.”

I have joined CAM, and after 5 plus years of study, preparation, and practice I recently reached the first milestone of being certified by the International Coaching Federation as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC).

As the focus shifts from the problem to the person, a transformation can occur.

Consider taking the action step to focus on the person, not the problem as an offering to the Lord during Advent.  Anytime a problem manifests itself, make the attempt at focusing on the person with the same grace of the virgin born one.

Another author on this topic was the Apostle Paul who wrote: “Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Eph. 4:4 NLT

I find it difficult to be tenderhearted and forgiving, when I focus on the problematic actions of others.  I also find it difficult to remain focused on the person if I focus on a very positive action or aspect of a person.

The easy path forward is to stay the same.   A more rewarding and difficult path is to focus on the person, and not the problem or a very positive issue, “just as God through Christ has ...”.

Consider this:  Hiring me as a coach for the first part of 2017 to help you with a positive trajectory.  Visit my website and discern if I would be a good fit for you.

Also consider joining the community of Vienna Assembly of God.  Visit our website to see if we would be a good fit for you.