a simplified life, Contentment, make better choices, Path of Peace

Getting Over What Others Think & Getting On With Creating the Life You Love

There are certain laws in place that don’t change such as gravity. There are others that are fairly predictable such as reaping & sowing, and regardless of how you drop a slice of bread, it always lands butter-side-down!

Another seemingly predictable law that is set in motion in judgment. We as humans are always judging. We measure others up one side and down the other. How nice it would be to become more like my dog who is completely non-judgmental and loves me unconditionally as a result.

It is amazing how often we have done something or have opted not to do something based on what we “think” others would say or think about our choice. This prevents us from being free to live authentically. How can we best choose where we believe God may be leading if we first have to check in with the judgment panel?

Now, I’m not saying we don’t need accountability and support in our lives. These are extremely important. People who know us well enough to be a source of support and accountability for us do so based on a certain level of permission we have given them to speak into our lives. They have listened to our hearts and shared in our joys and sorrows. They are in place because they have earned what I like to call “relational” capital and we seek the investment they make in our lives. We are better because of the check and balance system these folks share with us.

The point I am making is that there are some who really do not have our best interest at heart, but are self-appointed judges to determine and verbalize to us what we need to be doing or not doing or perhaps, doing differently. A good indicator of these relationships is that with these people, we basically feel like we have to be defensive to protect our treasures, i.e. our thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams around them because they “feel” they have the right to have a “say” in the choices we make.

Whether or not we have verbally given permission for this to happen in our lives, we are training them that this is acceptable behavior when we are not pro-active to 1) communicate that we are able to make our choices and will ask for help when we need it, and 2) we find ourselves paralyzed to move forward based on what we “think” they may “think” we should or should not do.

This limits our ability to live freely and often to achieve greater things in life. If someone cares and respects us in a way that benefits us, they are able to put their pre-judgments aside and truly listen with an intent to help us discern what would be best for us in the way of creating the life we desire to have. When we are making choices that align with our overall direction in life, they can cheerlead and urge us on. When we are considering a choice that is not in alignment, they have the courage and the permission to remind us of our hopes and desires and to question us on where we are in the journey.

The key difference is that someone who believes in us and respects our choices and our right to make them, will ASK questions as opposed to TELL us what they think. The “telling” part or the asking of “Why” often puts us on opposite ends and we may feel backed in a corner and then become defensive which can lead us to making a bad choice just to “prove” that we can do whatever we want. Nobody wins in this cycle.

I believe God has ignited a candle of passion within each of us to pro-actively seek the purpose(s) He has for us. We will experience the greatest peace and contentment when we are actively pursuing the path that lets us live out the purposes that we are passionate about. It is also a journey of continual learning and growth. We are all designed for greatness in the things that matter most in our lives. We achieve that best by aligning our will with God’s, having wise counsel and finding our gifting and passion and working and living within these arenas.

The best analogy I can have for going against our passion and trying to do life or work a job for some other reason, such as money, prestige etc. is that of certain hair types. (I was in the hair industry for many years!) Often people with curly hair spend countless money and time trying to straighten and smooth down their hair. While folks with fine, straight hair are trying to color, perm and add volume to their hair, also at a great cost of both money and frustration. I have often recommended that they work “with” what they have and not against it.

In order to get over believing that what other people think about us is so important, it is wise to remember that their opinions of us are really none of our business. What difference does it make? The only difference it can make is if we choose to allow it to make a difference. The freedom to choose is ours. The power to choose can be ours or we can pass that off if we listen too long to the voices of what others “think”.

What is the big fear? More than likely it is a fear of failure. But in reality, what’s the big deal if something doesn’t work the way we had hoped? We can choose to simply try again, the next time we will have more experience. We never truly “fail” unless we quit trying to find a way to get to an outcome that we can be satisfied with.

The best way to face the fear of what others think and get through to living the life we choose is simply to visualize the worst case scenario and ask ourselves what would we do if this or that happens? We can play it out in our mind (or on paper) and often begin to see things that may not have been as clear when our idea was merely a dream.

My grandmother always said, “when people (the ones who judge) are talking about ‘you’ they’re leaving someone else alone”. Meaning that the one thing that is certain is that as sure as people will always be talking, they will always be judging. This is something we have no power to change.

But we do have the power to choose. So, what works for you?

Do you want to live in the freedom you have to create a life you will love and be passionate about? Or are you satisfied to let other people decide what you can or cannot accomplish?

The choice, either way, is yours!

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Writer, Realtor, Wife & Mom.

Contentment, Life Coaching, Path of Peace, Simple Living

Learn to Be Vacationally-Minded as a Lifestyle …

Consider the mindset that you enjoy on vacation. You are free to set your own schedule, not worrying about what you have to do today, not worrying about the time — just being — minus the anxiety. Now imagine the mindset of being busy at work: doing one task while being anxious about many others, worrying that you may not be doing the right task, interrupted by others, distracted and stressed.

These are two different mindsets, and yet, what if we could enjoy the vacation mind while working? Well, we would need to forego the lazing around, but the mindset could be the same. This has the potential to result in a more sane lifestyle, not just living for the weekend or the little vacation time we have, but the ability to navigate life so that we are truly happier every day.

How can this be done? We would need to practice and develop a few small habits that will make more sense as we go along.

What would the vacation mind look like at work?

Often just thinking about work tasks can alter our mindset from relaxation to anxiety: worry for what we need to do, deadlines, dealing with difficult people, information overload, being on the right task, even concerns as to whether we may be missing out on something important. (A life, perhaps :)!)

A vacation mindset lets that anxiety go and is simply present in the current moment. Time is less important, enjoying yourself is the priority. You let go of the anxiety. You aren’t worried about getting it all done, or doing the right thing right now, or all the things you have to do later. You are immersed in enjoying whatever you’ve chosen to do at the present moment.

So how would this look? You choose to work on a particular task, perhaps writing something. You, obviously, have quite a list of things to do but this is the thing you decide to work on at the moment. Could there be other things you should be doing instead? Of course, there always are and will continue to be. As for the best thing to do right now, the moment of perfect certainty never comes, so just pick something and do it.

Practice being able to enjoy the task at hand. Let other tasks take their rightful place, the time to do them will come. Immerse yourself in the current task. Focus on enjoying yourself as you do it. At times, you may mentally step back, come up for air and take a look at the bigger picture, and then return back to the project. This is what I like to call “laser-focus”.

And you can do this when you talk with a co-worker or client. You can do this with an important email, or processing paperwork/small tasks, designing something, programming, creating art, helping a patient or student. This is a learned strategy / discipline and it is doable.

We can’t just flip a switch and be good at these things today … they take practice, like any other skill. I can say that they’re worth practicing, even if you never master them, because they can transform your relationship with work.

Here are the practices that you can consider working on a little every day:

  1. Pick something, get immersed in the act of being creative. Focus on the enjoyment of creating something that is uniquely your idea. Being able to work from this relaxing mindset affords you the time to think with a higher level of energy. This will play out in everything you endeavor to do.
  2. Let go of anxieties. This takes practice. Learn to recognize when you begin to feel anxious and notice the source of the anxiety. This is typically focusing on an outcome you want to happen, such as, looking good in front of others, being highly productive, controlling a situation, etc. Realize the desired outcome is merely a fantasy, and other outcomes can work out just as well. Realize that holding on to this fantasy of how it should turn out causes stress. Let go and restore your creative energy mindset.
  3. Come up for air and see the big picture. Diving in is great, but it is also helpful to step back at times, and assess what is going on around you. Notice people who are nearby and if anyone needs your attention, how you’re sitting (and whether you’re sitting too long), etc. Is there an appointment you should get to? See the big picture, then go back into immersion.
  4. Be less worried about time. Time is important but we can be mindful of it while not being “lorded over” by it. It matters that we show up on time for appointments we have, paying attention to completion deadlines, billing clients etc. There are times when we can waste time worrying about the time we need to do or not be doing something. Practice a balance of being aware of when time matters and when there can be some leeway.

You may be considering if this is truly doable. The answer depends on you. You’ll be surprised what you can do — if you have the “want to”. 

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Mentor, Realtor, Wife & Mom

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What I Love About….Coming Home

What I love about Sundays:

The meaningful conversations that can happen when we unplug from the weekday routine.

Today, Mama wanted to talk about her cancer and God wanted to encourage my heart through the words and bonding that occurred.

This the the 2-year Anniversary Month of my coming back home to a world I grew up in and having heard all my life that “you can never go back home”, I have to say that (if God leads), I wholeheartedly DISAGREE!

Although, I didn’t roam too far (Atlanta), I find that the culture and speed of life here in Savannah is where my heart truly has always resided.

In our ‘Friendly City’, folks still take time to ‘shoot the breeze’ and take time for the simple treasures. Everywhere I go, (Grocery store, Church, my neighborhood), people are pooling resources to send to the many folks affected by Hurricane Harvey.

In my neighborhood, folks stop and chat and watch out for one another. It’s a treat to welcome new neighbors and help them get to know other neighbors.

My church has truly become Family and the ladies in my Connect Group have become an amazing support system for me.

I’m close to my brother and sister-in-law and get to enjoy being a part of the lives of two very special nieces! ❤️

My lifelong (since 2nd grade) friend helped me to bridge the years and feel as though I’d never left.

I’ve been blessed with 3 dear women who are CareGiver’s for my mom and they have learned a lot about me and still love me! 😊

And in my work, I am part of a Real Estate Team that I feel a sense of belonging, more like family and ‘Cheers’ and not so much like we are competing against one another.

It’s a joy to be a part of a community where folks open doors, offer umbrellas and say ‘Please and Thank You’ routinely.

The closest thing to heaven that I’ve experienced so far, is coming home! Thank YOU, Lord!

And can someone please pass the Grits! 😊❤️

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Realtor, Mentor, Writer, Minimalist, Wife & Mom

Life Coaching, Path of Peace, Simple Living

Being in Control ~ Real or Illusion

Letting go of the need for control is one of the (many) things I have to consistently work on to achieve positive results.

My default setting is that I want to feel in control of how things will turn out — control of a trip that I’m on, of a project I’m handling, how a conversation will go or even getting my dogs to “go” in a timely manner..

Often, it becomes more frustrating than the way I had imagined it could be ~ IF I were truly in control.

For starters, I don’t think we can ever really control how things will turn out. We might think we do, but how often do things actually turn out exactly the way we’ve planned?

I know my life has been a series of unexpected outcomes, despite my best intentions to get to certain goals. Even the goals that I reach turn out to be much different once I achieve them than I had originally planned.

This has mostly been the case for this year — 2015. When we rolled over into a new year on January 1, I had no idea what this year would bring… health concerns for my mom resulting in 19 trips to Savannah so I could handle things in her best interest, the sale of our home in Roswell, a relocation and relaunch of our Real Estate Careers in Savannah, and a myriad of smaller less notable but certainly definable changes. Had I known, I may have rolled over and covered up my head :).

Through this journey, I’ve found that when I want to control the outcome of things, I become more anxious and tense. I’m less happy with how other people do things, less happy with myself, and less relaxed in the moments that I ordinarily would be able to enjoy. My relationships and responsibilities suffer because I am preoccupied with how I “think” things ought to be or how they ought to turn out.

So how do I deal with this reoccurring struggle? What I am discovering is that I am unable to stop myself from wanting to control things. I can’t even stop the urge to control outcomes from coming up in me. So I have to just notice the desire to control things, and let the urge happen. I have learned that I don’t have to act on urges that arise in me, especially if they are truly not the best for me or for the ones most important to me.

I’ve found this to be easier said, than done. My goal is to remind myself to see the urge, not as a command that I am required to follow, but simply a suggestion from the child within me. I can then be aware to look for the good things that can come from the situation, even if it’s uncontrolled. I don’t need to control things to enjoy them, I can just let them happen.

That said, I still take action. There are things I can control that have a positive effect on me and hopefully, on those important to me. I can look up information regarding a trip I’ll be taking simply because I’m curious and can then be aware of what opportunities may be available to me on a new adventure. I can be free to let conversations flow naturally. And my furry friends can take their leisure in enjoying being outside without me pressuring them to “hurry up”. These are all simply stress-management exercises from which I can greatly benefit.

I can experience the freedom of letting go when I realize I have a choice: I can choose to try to control the outcome, or I can trust in the moment.

I choose trust.

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Realtor, Wife and Mom

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New Season… New Role

It’s been several months since I’ve posted to my blog. I’ve missed it… alot!

My life has taken on a new role as Power of Attorney for my mom. This isn’t what I thought I’d be when I grew up. It doesn’t seem to fit. I’m not sure how to do this.

Recently my mom, who is a young 73, was diagnosed with dementia. This is accompanied by other challenges as well. She has a particular cycle that as the day wears on, she becomes more confused and agitated and often doesn’t sleep at night. She spends this time wandering from room to room on an unending search for something, usually from her past. A scarf. A set of keys. Even a child. It has been tough.

My brother, oldest daughter and I have shared the responsibility to care for Mama and keep her in a homelike setting for as long as possible. Based on an updated diagnosis, Mama is in a rehab center for several weeks and then will be transferred to a long term caring facility for dementia and memory care.

I’ve experienced a huge cycle of emotions during this time. Most of them are where I try to determine what decisions my mother would make for herself if she were able. Sometimes, it’s what I would want for myself if it were me.

This has affected every part of my life and has left me exhausted, tearful and confused at times. My confusion is more about how this could have happened and what are the best decisions to be made.

I am not angry. It is what it is. God allows things in our lives for more reasons that we will know at the onset. Over time we will know all about it.

One of the most amazing blessings has been the deepening of relationships. The connection between my daughters and me, my brother and me and the reconnection of a long time friend.

I met Wanda in 3rd grade and we were friends all the way through high school. Life and marriage took us miles and years apart… even though time never separated the memory of that friendship from my heart. A few years back we reconnected on Facebook and begin to re-develop our friendship.

During these last months since my mom basically woke up confused on Valentine’s Day, Wanda has opened her heart and home to me as I have made numerous trips back to the place of my birth and growing up years. It has been the most wonderful experience and blessing I could’ve hoped for. We’ve laughed and cried together as we have filled in the missing pieces of the 30 years that have passed since we were inseparable. It seems as though the years were easy to catch up on and we have a deepened friendship and a renewed sense of connection.

Our new season in life is much like the beginning season. We have always enjoyed amazing commonalities. We are both Realtors and even have the same iPhone 6 Plus and notification alerts on the phones.

The bridge between the years has joyously been rebuilt with new memories and refreshing moments regardless of whether we are texting from where we live 4 hours apart or sharing a glass of wine together in her living room.

In every season, regardless of the difficulties we face, God always has a time and place for refreshment and support.

I’m thankful that at 7 years old, I met the most beautiful lifelong friend! Wanda, here’s to 50 more years of growing up together! I love you girlie 🙂

Contentment, Life Coaching, Simple Wisdom for Living

Why Am I Here?

Like many folks I’ve talked with, I grew up with a longing for that perfect place where I belong. I knew I was in a family who loved me. I felt safe and secure… but I believed that one day it would all come together for me in this life.

That led to a drive to pursue the goals that would lead to that mostly foggy, but greatly desired dream. That pursuit led to many hills and valleys in my life, all of which, I now realize, have been true learning curves, put in place by a faithful Father.

I lost my dad in an auto accident shortly after I turned nine. I had an amazing grandmother that I lived with most of my growing up years. God has always provided everything I’ve needed to find my path to Him.

It took quite a few years to realize that I was never truly “fatherless”. God had been there with me always through many difficulties in my life. It took me nearly 40 years to get a full understanding that His plan didn’t align with my earlier dreams that everything in this life would ultimately come together for me.

The dad that I knew was the one I mentioned. However, he was my adopted father. My mom got pregnant with me while dating my biological dad (making this a short story), and he took her to have an abortion. The doctor looked at the two of them and said to my mom, “Go home, you do not need to do this.” So she did and made plans to leave town to have her baby. She did not want to disgrace her parents in their small home town. Well, my dad ended up coming back and they got married, and then divorced before I turned 2.

When I learned this story in my teens, I struggled for some time feeling that I was never truly “wanted”, that I was just an accident. I now know, that I wasn’t an accident and that God has called me according to His purposes for me.

Because I was adopted, I knew love from another father. That led me to my Heavenly Father.

Because of my mother’s sacrifice, I learned the high cost of the price God paid for me through His Son, Jesus, to bring me to Him.

Because of my grandmother as my daily caretaker, friend, heart-mender, playmate, and example, I learned what it was like to have a Reliable Guide in the Holy Spirit.

I am not here for wealth or fame or houses or the possessions that were part of what my original dream in this life was about. I am free from the cares of those things. And, if God brings them, I have learned to love Him first and foremost, therefore, I can hold them, loosely.

In the past year, we have downsized to a small place and God has completely realigned the way we do life in this world. I have learned to thank Him for the changes, disappointments, pain, and various trials because they are the things that keep me close to Him.

So, when I think to myself, “why am I here?”, I realize that God hid me from the enemy’s plans for me and spared my life for one tremendous reason….

God “chose” me, because He wants to reveal Jesus Christ through my life!

He wants to do that through your life too….

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Writer, Realtor, Wife & Mom

Contentment, Life Coaching, Path of Peace

Viewing Myself through the Eyes of Acceptance…

Earlier this year, I had laser surgery on both eyes as a preventative measure against narrow angle closure glaucoma. During the weeks of my procedure and healing, I had to wear my glasses during my waking hours and not use my contact lenses. Not so bad, right? Well, not anymore. But, it wasn’t always that way … At age 11, my already coca-cola bottle thick glasses were upgraded to bifocals. Pretty tall order for a little girl who weighed just under 50 pounds. Not the accessory that I wanted to add to my daily wardrobe. It didn’t matter how pretty my frames were, no one could see them for looking at two eyes that appeared to be a “uni-eye”.

The fun really started when I wanted to start wearing makeup. Guess what makeup does — it enhances your eyes so they can look larger. I tried every way possible to get mine to look smaller. I prayed often for my eyes to be healed.  If that wasn’t enough, I had overactive sebaceous glands and large pores.  So add acne to my list of “how do you see me now” wonderment and you get the idea of what middle school and high school were like for me. I was blessed to have cool, name brand clothes. But, no matter how I wrapped it, the package that I presented caused people to stare and whisper.
There were many times that I came home in tears wishing I never had to go to school again. (I homeschooled my girls, probably, in part, to feelings that I carried from this point in my life).Fast forward to age 17 – I discovered benzoyl peroxide, got my braces off and found a doctor that would fit me for contact lenses. With an overall improvement in my appearance, and starting college, I was moving up from stay-to-myself-shy to Sheri-the-social-butterfly. Suffice to say, my life in college was much different than high school, except for the grades. I had been a bookworm for way too long – at one point, in life, around age 13, I would read a Nancy Drew Mystery every single day. I was probably the only kid who checked out the maximum amount of books at the school library and actually read them every one!
Over the course of life I married, had my daughters, (when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, Angel, I prayed every day that she would have perfect eyesight, straight teeth, clear skin and curly hair)! Everything I didn’t have… and she’s pretty well batting a thousand, apart from a little astigmatism. I prayed for AnnaLynne and Rachel too, but probably not with such fervor about their personal appearances.I learned that my self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth were not necessarily better because I had evolved from my moth stage to the butterfly phase. Regardless of the outward changes, inside I still felt empty, unlovely and unlovable. I equated outward appearance with love and acceptance. What a disappointment to find this wasn’t the case at all.

At 22, after having grown up in church and spending some years being the prodigal, I got my business straight with God.   At 39, I began doing a weight loss program, Weigh Down, and through this time, I learned that God had been with me for all those years as the Father I needed to teach me how to do this life well. Having lost my dad in a car accident at age 9, I missed out on the valuable male insight he may have provided about guys, dating, not compromising my values to feel loved, marriage, car repair, career paths etc.

I began to ask Him for the abundant life His Word promises. This would take me on a journey that led me to value people but to no longer be driven by my desire for love and acceptance from them.  I began to see myself as He sees me. I saw that I am beautiful and that every struggle I have faced has served to draw me closer to Him and to the understanding that He has seen me at my best and my worst and loves me unconditionally.

All the while, He was patiently teaching me to love myself. He sent little messengers along the way, like the little four year old girl who put her hands on my face and told me that I was pretty, that Jesus loves me, and when I get to heaven He would heal all the “holes” (acne scars) on my face.  Recently a friend that I serve with at church told me that regardless of the acne scars that I have, the more he had gotten to know me, the more they seemed to disappear and they in no way “detracted” from my true beauty. I was proud of him for his courage 😉

So today, when I wear my glasses and someone says something about how thick they are, I can respond without feeling embarrassed. I smile when I touch my skin and find that as my daughter Rachel suggested, by eliminating foundation makeup and simply using a concealer as needed has caused my skin to actually improve.

Sometimes, I still ask God to heal my skin and eyes. I know He can if He chooses too. I am now happy behind my peepers, when I choose to wear them, and in my own skin. It probably helps me to be more considerate in my actions so that my inner beauty can shine through.

So at the end of the day, and in the midst of the many times I’ve felt embarrassed, having learned to love and see myself through my Father’s eyes truly is a fair trade 😉

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Mentor, Writer, Wife & Mom