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Laser Coaching with Cheryl

Below find excerpts from recent Laser Coaching sessions with our Facebook community. I hope these questions and answers help you too.

Love, Cheryl

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I’m dealing with a "split" household. I choose to see abundance everywhere and in everything, while my husband struggles with living this way. Any suggestions? - L.

Dear L., This is the beauty of spiritual partnership. We tend to join with those who challenge us to find a balance in how we approach life. For example, you might be a financial optimist who needs a bit of grounding in the practical aspects of caring for your financial health, and your husband may need to learn to focus more on what he does have rather than what he doesn’t. Also, start affirming, “I enjoy a harmonious and respectful relationship with my husband and it brings us closer together every day.”

What is the best way to stay present and not revert back to the "child" when around family? - S.

Hi S., To stay grown up while with family, get the book: Growing Yourself Back Up by John Lee -- you'll LOVE it ;)

I use a lot of different methods to move through my fears, yet this one has me stumped, or stumbling... I have been asked many times to keynote speak and teach. Each time, I fall into a deep fear and turn to food, yet it is something I desire to do. I have tried visualizations, being gentle with myself, practicing with friends, and it seems I am at a loss on what else I can try... I would appreciate any suggestion. I believe it comes from a deep seated need to remain invisible, or deep rooted belief of not being good enough.. I have been working on that, yet I consciously fall into fear around this.. - M.

Hi M., Check out Lee Glickstein's book "Be Heard Now" and join Toastmasters. Don't do anything else but that first. Public speaking is a huge fear for most people, so it's probably just normal fear and Toastmasters will give you a safe place to practice. I only delivered a keynote speech long after I had lots of practice with smaller talks :)

How do I get back to writing in my journal? I’m kind of afraid of what might come out. I did it years ago and it was a useful tool...and yes, things did come out! - C.

Hi C., Start your new journal by affirming in writing: "I can trust myself to take good care of myself." "I know exactly what I need to do to take care of my Emotional Self." "I love journaling and discovering new things about myself." "I get the help I need with anything that occurs to me when I journal."

My apartment gets very little natural sunlight. I wanted to change apartments. One came up, but at the time I had a huge review at work and it was Thanksgiving ... I didn't think I'd be able to do the whole move, so I told the landlord I changed my mind. He said I can stay in my place but he's not renting a new place to me. I'm here in my dark apartment now, though, and am thinking I made a huge mistake. At the time I thought, by saying no, I was "gracefully disappointing others", taking the "too much" off my plate and slowing down. Now I'm wondering if I made a huge mistake and lost an opportunity to have a well-lit place with a view, i.e., when opportunity knocks we should take it. Did I make a big mistake? Is there hope for me? :-) And how do I go about fixing this? -A.

Hi A., What a wonderful opportunity to love yourself right now in spite of the decision you made that you regret. To me, that is the bigger issue. Get yourself a light box to enjoy natural sunlight for now, and be sure to let your landlord know that you regret the decision and would love to hear about anything else that opens up. Who knows? The Universe might have a better place in store for you somewhere else ;)

I struggle with creating routines. With several major life changes recently (all good and due to relocation) I need some help with the best way to implement some new routines - i.e., start of day, before bed, daily, weekly, and so on. Any pointers? Thanks again for all you do! - S.

Hi S., Great question. There is a whole chapter on this topic in The Art of Extreme Self Care. Routines have been a godsend in my life. Just start with one - and I'd make it a commitment to get to bed by a certain time of night, first.... Make your bedroom comfy, cozy and a relaxing place to be. Don't do anything else but read, listen to relaxing music or meditation tapes, and set yourself up to enjoy the experience of going to bed. Focus on that - and nothing else but that - for at least 30 days and it will get you started. :)

How do I get organized once and for all? I feel like I am constantly putting out little fires and don't have the time to get everything totally organized. - L.

Hi L., First of all, make your goal a SMALL one :). Forget about getting organized once and for all - it's unrealistic for most of us. Start with one small area and get help in discovering what's causing the chaos BEFORE you begin to organize.

I'm always unsure whether I have just got the personality makeup of Emily Dickenson or whether I also have some social wounds that won't heal. How do I tell which it is? I don't have a lot of social connections, but only poetry and fiction seem to give me a whole sense of connection. - L.

Dear L., What a beautiful, honest, and vulnerable question. I would absolutely employ the loving support of a good therapist to explore this issue. It may be your natural disposition to spend more time alone, and that's perfectly OK. And, having the loving partnership of a therapist who can help you get to know yourself on a deeper level can be a great gift. It certainly has changed my life.

I’m dealing with the loss of my Dad a week ago. Do you have any healthy suggestions on how to COPE and MOVE FORWARD??? - L.

Oh, Dear L., I'm so, so sorry to hear about the loss of your Dad. Please, don't worry about moving forward - it's all about extreme self care right now. First of all, please send your address to chris@cherylrichardson.com so I can send you an audio version of The Art of Extreme Self Care. My hope is that listening to me talk to you directly might be a bit of comfort during this difficult time. Keep asking yourself: What do I need right this minute to take extra special care of myself? Then do it. Cry if you need to (it helps to release the grief), take a nap, watch TV, talk with a friend, or take a warm bath and hug yourself. YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS AND LIFE WILL GET BETTER. But for now, losing a loved one is just plain hard. I'm putting you on my prayer list :)

I can forgive others for making mistakes, but I can't forgive myself! -M.

M., “I can't forgive myself” is an affirmation. Start affirming the opposite: "I'm getting better and better at forgiving myself." Say it all day long. Say it to yourself while looking in the mirror. Say it to your friends. Pretty soon you'll believe it ;)

How do I handle having no money to get my children something for Christmas? - T.

Hi T., Gifts of love are better than any holiday gift you can buy. Go through the archived newsletters on my website and look for great gift ideas that cost almost nothing. Your children will remember them forever...

How do I just get beyond feeling, “Am I good enough to do this?” - B.

Hi B., YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH TO DO ANYTHING. Now just go do it :)

How do you establish emotional boundaries without hurting a friendship? - J.

Dear J., Sometimes setting boundaries means you will hurt someone. Your job is to do it graciously and with kindness. You can't be responsible for how someone else experiences it.

I need help dealing with repeated family drama which intensifies around the holidays. How do I decide when to deal with it or to set up boundaries? - J.

Hi J., I have a rule that I PULL BACK from any repeated drama, especially during stressful times like the holidays. You can do so graciously. You might tell a family member, “I love you and I've decided to sit this party (dinner or event - you fill in the blank) out this year.” Set a boundary by simply not engaging. You may be challenged to sit with the anxiety that comes from doing things a bit differently, but in the long run you'll be so glad you did!

How do I keep being the cheerleader my husband needs and still be my own cheerleader? I'm starting to run on empty… - T.

Hi T., The fact that you say you're burned out tells me that you may be having to do more cheerleading than is appropriate. We can't be a cheerleader to loved ones all the time. It's exhausting. Your hubby may need to find other people to support him...and you can tell him this gently and sweetly - like this: “Honey, I love you. I really, really do. And while I want to be your support person all the time, it's impossible for me to do it. Let's talk about ways we can both find additional support.” (Life Makeover Groups might be good for you both, too!)

I struggle constantly with keeping myself on task and focusing!! - L.

Dear L., Start saying "I used to struggle with focusing but I don't anymore!" Keep repeating that affirmation instead of affirming the opposite. (This is a little trick I recently learned from Louise Hay).

I'd like to know how to stop berating myself. -LW

Hi LW, I'd start with Louise Hay's mirror work. Go to a mirror right now, look deep into your eyes, and say: “I love you. I really, really love you.” Keep doing it until it feels more comfortable. It's a beautiful way to begin building a new kind of relationship with yourself and while it might feel a little strange or silly, it WORKS! Do it several times a day - whenever you see your reflection anywhere :)

How can I learn to focus better - say, on a writing project. How can one learn to stay on task? - C.

Hi C., What's helped me is to find a consistent time either every day or every week and stick to it. Then you might set a timer for an hour or a half hour, remove any distractions (like Internet access while writing), and practice pulling yourself back to the task. Most writers grapple with this issue. Also, please listen to my conversation with Julia Cameron by visiting cherylrichardson.com under the community section and "special guests." She has lots of great ideas!

I'd like to know how to make changes when you find it hard to take consistent action. - D.

Dear D., The quick answer is to find a partner and support each other in doing one small action each day or each week. I find that procrastination lives in a vacuum when we keep our "stuckness" to ourselves. Let your secret out. You feel stuck, you want to move forward, and you need support. You might check out our Life Makeover Group section at cherylrichardson.com to find or start a group near you!

I was just laid off, what advice do you have for considering a career shift or at least and industry shift (after 18yrs). How do I hone in on what to accentuate on my resume' especially coming up with an "objective statement"? ~ Lois

Hi Lois - two resources that will help: pongoresume.com careerfirm.com :-)

I have been reading your "Extreme Self-Care" book and enjoyed it. Recently, I seem to have lost my steam or sense of discipline with many things that help me be happy and healthy- exercising- (I used to love walking the bridge over the bay here in Sarasota several times a week), my singing practice (which is tough because um, I'm a classical singer & teacher) and even my meditation practice has gotten a bit off. Oh, and I almost forgot I haven't been going to yoga every week either and I used to really enjoy that. Just one by one, things have been drifting away from me. I wonder, what to do to get one's motivation back to do the things you know are good for you? I used to do all of these things with joy. ~ Martha

Hi Martha, I wonder what's going on dear... has something happened over time that has caused you to pull in? Do you need to mix things up or change things a bit? If not, then just pick up one - ONE - good practice again and do something about it today. We all fall off the self-care wagon - I do all the time, and I've learned it's more about learning to get back on track rather than stay on track :)

How can I stop sabotaging good things in my life? :) nice simple question there for you... haha ~ Susan

Hi Susan, Walk around singing "I love good things! I celebrate good things! I accept good things! I revel in good things! I love when good things come into my life!" Awareness can be 50% of growth and the fact that you know it's a problem is helpful. If it keeps happening, you may want to get the support of a great therapist to uncover the subconscious motivations... could be a wonderful learning experience. Then you can help others to accept good, too!

Do you have some tips on staying positive and letting go of all negativity, it can be so hard to trust and let go but is the right way for me, why do I fight it? Thank you ~ Leslie

Dear Lesley, Embrace it all... focus on adding positive affirmations, thoughts, actions to your life and the negativity will take care of itself (assuming there is not a psychological issue that needs to be addressed). Rather than put energy into "not" doing something - which gives it more power - put the energy into doing something positive.

Cheryl you're the best. I'm in Limbo and I want to move forward with my life. I'm waiting for more court dates and I can't seem to escape this demon in my life. ~ Torva

Dear Torva, Sometimes limbo is exactly where we're supposed to be. When I'm in limbo I learn: patience, how to manage my mind, how to choose good thoughts, etc. Also, keep asking - what can I learn from this situation that will make me a better person and make my life better in the future.

Can someone make you feel with so much anger just with their presence? ~ Claudia

Dear Claudia, We are all affected by the energy and emotions of others. If being in someone's presence makes you feel very angry, I'd ask yourself questions like: When have I felt these feelings before? What age was I? What is this person trying to show me? What unresolved issue is this person inviting me to look at?

What is the best way to stay focused when overcoming obstacles? ~Linda

Hi Linda, First of all, I'd suggest putting your attention on achieving goals rather than overcoming obstacles. Important distinction. Then, choose one goal and take forward action - the action you most want to avoid :) That will get you where you want to go faster...

Am renovating house and having creative fatigue (had to redo a lot as I had a cowboy builder) and have run out of vision - any tips to pressing through and getting voice heard by contractors/architects etc? ~ Vanessa

Dear Vanessa - for creative burnout you always need rest and time away from project. If you can, take a break. Re: contractors - I've learned to accept that their way of operating is and always will be different than mine :). Acceptance goes a long way in reducing stress.

I just sent my son off to college and I'm a wreck! I can't even go into his bedroom without crying! how in the WORLD am I going to do this!!??? ~ Deb

Oh Deb... I'm sending you a BIG HUG. You're supposed to feel sad. It's normal for a mom who has dedicated her life to raising her child. Just make sure you get support for your grief from someone OTHER THAN your son. He needs to find his own way and you need good support right now from other adults - friends, colleagues, other moms, etc. And maybe a good therapist for a while...

Does the LOA (Law of Attraction) work if you are living in a foreign country for which you feel unable to adapt to linguistically or culturally? ~ William

Yes it does, William, just start seeing yourself as fitting in beautifully ;)

I have been divorced for about 12 yrs and since haven't dated anyone for longer than 6 months. I have done a vision board and every night I imagine my soulmate lying next to me and I feel elated.... however, I'm still single!!! My life is great except that one missing piece. I tell myself to be patient but I'm getting old :( ~ Karen

Hi Karen, How about getting some objective advice from a professional? I'd probably explore what's going on with a great therapist who can help me to see how I might be getting in my own way...

I'm lost, lost, lost. I don't even know where to begin. I think I have a full life but feel like I'm searching for something - but don't know what. I'm only fill fulfilled lately when I'm at the beach (Lynch Park in Beverly, MA - know it, Newburyport Girl?) listening to Hay House. ~ Jennifer

Hi Jennifer - look at how smart you are! Go to the beach every day and keep listening to Hay House - trust me, you'll find yourself (you already are.. .you just dont' know it)

My kids will both be enrolled in full-time school and I'm looking toward the first break I've had in about 7 years. How should I budget my time alone? ~ Christina

Hi Christina - spoken like a true, organized mom :) Don't budget a damn thing... enjoy your time alone! For the next six months, give yourself permission to live spontaneously :)

How do I truly learn to listen and follow my heart and to trust in myself and the universe? ~ Ina

Dear Ina, with little, tiny, loving steps every day. From what you eat to how you move to what you watch on TV. Ask your heart and soul what it wants most in this moment :)

I own a business that has been steadily growing and I just know I'm about a year away from it supporting my family - however, my husband's business is now slow from the economy and he thinks I should let my business (2.5 years old) go and g...et a job that will support us. We are in debt and I know we need the money - but I'm 51 and I feel like this is my last shot at making this business which I love, love, love successful. I feel if I give up and try to pick it up later I will have lost my credibility and all the sacrifices for the last few years will be for naught. ~ Debbi

Hi Debbi, I'd see getting a job as helping your business - and what about your hubby. Can he get a new job, too? Debt and financial pressure do not support the growth of a business - and it's never too late - ever!

Hi Cheryl- I understand in theory "Feel the fear and do it anyway" and "Being true to my authentic self" but I still struggle with it.... I'm having marriage issues and am wanting to change careers... but I'm letting the fear in. Any suggestions? Even if it's baby steps? ~ Pam

Hi Pam, Deal with marriage issues first - forget job for now. It's too important and affects every area of your life. Get help from a good therapist - email my assistant for some referrals - chris@cherylrichardson.com

I think I am addicted to TV. ~ Tambra

Hi Tambra, then reach out for help. Addictions can rarely be dealt with alone. You might even consider a 12-step meeting and use the steps for TV rather than alcohol - it's free and meetings are everywhere!

How do you get out of a "rut" of resentment when you are the sole caregiver for a ill and elderly family member and you have asked for help and don't receive. I have an autoimmune condition, a 10 year old, a job and a house of my own.... grrrr... self care should be number one on my list but it seems to come in last and the frustration comes in first. ~ Beth

Beth, I know how you feel. Been there... you must ask for help from lots of people and accept it even when it's not good enough for what you want. Experience has taught me that there are always people ready to help, but resentment can keep them away. I wouldn't deal with what you're dealing with without a therapist to talk with every week either...

One of my questions would be do you have a trick to stop worrying and panicking? (i going through some stuff) I’ve been putting my ipod on and listening to meditations or Louise Hay CD. Any other tricks? ~ Anick

Hi Anick, I'd first want to address the cause of the worry and panic. Panic is a strong word so I wouldn't want to respond without knowing more.

Cheryl - You are amazing and wonderful! I am just finishing 21 day cleanse and need help figuring out what is next on the path to get my health back. Thoughts? ~ Julie

Hi Julie, I'd check out Geneen Roth's book - Women Food and God - it's a great next step...

Cheryl why is it that we tend to get moving and then feel like we feel stuck again and have to deal with issues all over again. ~ Micki

Hi Micki, Forget "why" and just take action when you get stuck :)

Hi Cheryl. . . what is your best advice for those of us dealing with disappointment. . .specifically people who don't follow through and make promises they don't keep. Arrggghhhh! Frustrating for sure. ~ Raven

Hi Raven, I hate being disappointed, too :). If you keep getting disappointed by the same people then you have to look at how YOU might be setting yourself up to be disappointed by choosing the wrong people. Look for patterns and decide that you will now make peace with disappointment and see any as a learning experience.

How can you get out of fear and go into TRUSTING? After you already made a bold move such as leaving a job to pursue your true dream f/t? :) ~ Young JoAnne

Hi Young JoAnne - is it fear or is it that things aren't working out the way you had hoped? For example, if you left a job and feel financial pressure, it's not smart to sit with the fear while your dream ramps up, you may need to get a job to support yourself again while your dream builds.

I have a friend whose partner is very controlling and doesn't like her to have her own friends. I do my best to stay open minded and continue to stay in touch with my friend despite this conflict. It's very hard when she is hardly ever able to get together. Any advice? ~ Molly

Yes, Molly, keep letting her know that you love her, are here for here and that you're a safe, judgment-free zone. She may be being controlled and unable to stand up to him. The better support you are for her, the better her chances of reaching her limits and asking for help.

I need help motivating my 14 year old son with his school work. He is in mixed choir now and must pass in order to participate but last year he showed very little interest in even getting by. ~ Martha

Hi Martha, Better to get someone else to help your son... it's tough for parents. Also, be open to your son no longer wanting to participate in certain activities that were once important. 14 is around the age when kids start to shift. Find a tutor, a mentor, a big brother, etc. Preferably a man... he's moving away from mom a bit at this age and that's a good thing ;)

I feel stressed in my job and feel like I'm letting fear creep in and cause resistance. Any great ways to stay grounded? or not let it get the best of me? ~ Dawn

Hi Dawn, Rather than try not to let it get the best of you, face what's going on square in the face and do something about it. Whether it means talking to your boss, looking for a less stressful, new job, or admitting and dealing with your fear. Don't tolerate less than what you deserve sweetheart!

If you are trying to stay young and fresh of mind, how does a middle aged women stay current? ~ Laura

Hi Laura, To stay young and fresh - learn something new every day, teach something you know to someone else, move your beautiful body every day, dance & sing, get a pet :-)

I gave a necklace to a friend many years ago that was from a boyfriend that broke my heart. At the time I gave it to her I was young and very angry and wanted no memory of him in my life. Now that I am older and sentimental I would like the necklace back is it wrong to ask for it back? ~ Noreen

Hi Noreen, I think it's unfair to "expect" it back. If your friend is still a good friend, I'd explain your thoughts and feelings and see what she thinks - letting her know that it's really ok to keep the necklace if she wants to... and if she does, just decide you were meant to keep the memory :)

I use affirmations everyday and I still feel stuck like nothing is ever going to work out for me and my family. ~ Kim

Hi Kim, Try this: "Everything is falling into place in the perfect way and at the perfect time." "Things always work out for me." And the most important one: "I do whatever it takes to make things work out in my best interest and in the best interest of my family." We need to marry action with affirmations :)