Get Up and Get Going!

pool of waterWhat is holding you back from stepping on the path that waits beside you for a better life?

How many of us are waiting for some outside force for a jump start?

How many of us use boundless excuses to stay stuck in the same place? Might it be an unsatisfactory job or work environment, or doing what it takes to get in shape, or a relationship that isn’t meeting the desires of your heart and soul, a friendship that continues to pull you down?

How many of us stay in a woe as me frame of mind saying over and over, “You have no idea what I have suffered or gone through”?

How many of us allow feelings of fear of what we don’t know trap us from doing something new, something different, something even exciting yet possibly challenging or different from the norm?
How many of us are missing the blessings that are all around when all we need to do is get up and get going?

How many feel like the man by the pool in Bethesda many centuries ago who had been ill for 38 years? When asked why he continued to lay right beside the pool waters that could heal him, he responded, “That no one would put him in the pool and if he were to try another would beat him to it.”1  What in your own current situation is keeping you from getting into the water? What is keeping you from getting up and get going?

I love Jesus response, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”* Do you know anyone whom you would like to say to them, “Get up and get going?” Better yet, notice the command was not only to rise, but to pick up, clean up where he laid, and walk away from it. Putting an end to all that had come before. Everything that lead up to that moment didn’t matter anymore. All that mattered was moving forward. All that was needed was to step into the blessing that awaited.

How telling for us in that command to get up, pick up, put an end to what has been up to this day and to walk forward.
How freeing! I love what Eileen Caddy wrote, “It is resistance which causes suffering. The new is unconventional and that goes against the grain with many. People find it hard to understand or even believe that I would ask anyone to do anything which does not fit into a nice, neat, conventional pattern.”2 Our creator designed us to desire more than just a status quo life, he designed us to be open for greater possibilities.

Are you laying in a mess that needs to be cleaned up and stepped out of to live life well? Do you know someone that is struggling with all kinds of excuses and hang ups as to why they can’t get up and get going? Sometimes we need someone to say, “Get up, get going, clean up where you are at, walk towards a full life that awaits. You must get up and step into the blessing by your side, instead of watching others part take or staying stuck in a puddle of excuses -Jump into the pool of life.”

See you on the path where blessings abound!!!
1 John 5:5—8 Holy Bible Modern Version English Personal size large print edition copyright@2015
2 Caddy, Eileen (1971). Resistance Causes Suffering God Spoke to Me 68-69.

copyright@2016 Austin Lifestylist, Margie Presley Burciaga

Grief – A Journey to Living with Loss Part 1

Grief quote of running into youDeath leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. ~From a headstone in Ireland

The last couple of weeks have involved a lot of loss and as a grief coach it is even hard for me to grasp the measure of what has taken place. Yet I know professionally it is a place we can’t remain; it must be a place that we pass through if not for ourselves to live for those we have lost.
Some say grief never ends instead we only change how we continue to walk through it. My grandmother lost her oldest son, my uncle, when he was 55. She said then what I have heard many times since that we should not out live our children. She changed that day she lost him. Not who she was but how she walked through life with a different set up eyes and feelings that guided her. Since then I have experienced seeing over 30 in fact almost 40 people I know lose their children. This journey began when I was pregnant with my last child with one of my dearest friends losing her little girl as she was crossing a street. In the last two weeks, a class mate and friend here in Austin lost their sons to tragic car accidents – all these losses of children have been tragic actually.

Words- what words we know we could speak thousands and not bring the lost back or comfort the loss. Tears of which there are plenty,in the millions, and beyond and yet they too do little to soothe the soul or bring back the lost love of someone so dear.
So how do we move forward? Baby steps for those that feel like they are drowning on life, can’t come up for air, exhausted from treading griefs waters.

Next posting will be on the steps of grief. Rest assured to grieve is not a sign of weakness nor lack of faith it is the best measure of love for those we lost or for those we love that lost.

LIVING WITH LOSS Part 2

tear picThursday will be three years since I lost my fiancé, best friend, and the dreams we voiced for our future together. Though I have had a lot of loss in my life over the years, nothing could have prepared me for losing a life partner whom we were so soulfully connected. Like many who experience deep emotional loss, I too, even as a professionally trained bereavement coach, had to walk my own journey through grief. In the last few months I have had to say good bye to three friends, join others in grieving the loss of a friend’s son, and learn of the passing of a high school classmate’s son. Though Kubler-Ross has set a globally known standard for stages of grief, we know there is no one standard or set of rules for the steps through grief. Each person handles grief differently and every one experiences loss.
There are all kinds of losses ranging from divorce, a pet dying, letting go of a dream, breaking up of a relationship, sense of security due to a traumatic event, loss of a child, partner, parent, friend, colleague, financial stability etc. We all must face loss, and the time frame to reach acceptance of the loss in order to carry forward in life will be different for each of us.
From bewilderment to shock, numbness, being dazed, overwhelmed, and convincing oneself they’re fine and ok are all symptoms of denial in the grief process. Even guilt can be when used to think “if only”. I must have played every scenario over in my head hundreds of times in the last 3 years about the conversations my fiancé and I had with doctors of what we could have done differently. Never did any of those times bring back the man I lost. Yet I have been able to use the information obtained from reevaluating circumstances to assist others in their own journey to fight their illness and help them realize this is a step to the stage of acceptance for loss.
Anger is a crucial step that many will find themselves in after loss. Anger after loss will vary in length along with feelings that will ebb and flow as one encounters various life experiences especially when memories are triggered. In anger, one can find oneself trying to assign blame; be it to a doctor, another person, misplaced rage or envy towards someone that seems like the right target to dump those feelings onto whether they were responsible or not. Many will blame God too. Those supporting a person at this stage may find it very difficult to care for them or be with them. Abandonment often surfaces at this stage along with resenting others that are happy and enjoying life.

Where do tears come into play for loss? Some cry a lot; others cry hard then are done; for some it comes and goes. What we know is tears are a big part of grief.
When facing impending death many will enter what is called a bargaining stage of grief. This is more often done with one’s God. Promises are made to do something if only the one facing death could have more time. If only I could see my child marry, a grandchild be born, or attend a graduation, etc. We will use this to sooth our pain and create hope for another tomorrow.
Depression, though a very normal part of grief, yields to caution for those you know that enter into what is termed “complicated grief”. Complicated grief is where a person gets stuck mourning the loss for generally beyond a year or so and can involve feelings of suicide, self-destruction, and an inability to cope with day-to-day activities including work. Depression tends to be the deepest stage of grief for most. It was hard losing Steve as well as some other difficult losses, when it seemed like the world just didn’t get it. I didn’t understand why it didn’t stop and pause with me, but instead kept moving forward along with those around me. Some like myself will realize once through this stage there may be little you remember about those weeks or months when going through this part of grief. A common symptom due to loss is physical pain. It felt like my heart was truly broken when losing Steve, and I wondered if it would ever heal. I can truly say moving out of this stage was due to incredible support of friends and family. Other physical symptoms might be fatigue, insomnia, weight loss or gain, and even phantom afflictions. This stage would probably be a good place to tackle what not to say to someone struggling with grief. However, I will save how to re-frame comments for another post.
How does one get to acceptance? First, acknowledge the loss is real no matter what kind it is. Helping one get to this stage will involve lots of positive affirmations and encouragement to reach out for support along with taking baby steps to move forward with life. I remember a dear friend showing up right after I had gone through my divorce and then again after Steve’s death to get out my Christmas decorations and just start doing it so I would follow along. The décor probably would never had gone up had she not taken a time out of her day to help me take that small step forward. Additional small steps taken were helping raise money to fight lung cancer, advocating for others fighting the disease, and assisting others on how to save their relationships or to get out well due to my own experience with divorce. Today as a certified life coach, all the circumstances surrounding my own losses are used to help others work through their challenges and reach their personal and professional goals. Loss is hard as it is already!

Having found out the hard way, one doesn’t get over loss; one learns how to live with it.

@2015 Austin Lifestylist, Marjorie Burciaga

How To Avoid Being A Square Hole With A Round Peg?

Sq hole round peg
Wondering what’s missing in your relationship? Whether you are married, dating or in a long term relationship it is not uncommon for one of the partners if not both to wake up one morning feeling unfilled or asking why we can’t get to the next level, commit to marriage, or question continuing to wake up next to the person beside you, or even struggle to go home to whom awaits there. Once one acknowledges this concern, now what? Would it not have been better if from the get go each person had created a vision of what they wanted in a life partner?
Instead we often find ourselves dating, meeting someone by chance without really looking, finding someone that fills our temporary needs, or pseudo commit to someone that seems like they could be the one for the long haul then start accessing how to make the relationship better so it feels more right to stay in it. All in an effort to possibly avoid having to begin again to find a suitable mate by prolonging the inevitable of ending a relationship that isn’t working on all cylinders. This is especially true due to the high numbers of couples living together verses being married. The relationship becomes too entrenched in areas that probably should be left to when a couple is willing to make a lifelong commitment. Like getting too enmeshed in the children’s lives, even grandchildren, careers, as well as each other families, etc. This is not to say that when dating we should not be spending good quality time with each others family and friends.
Would it not be better to know how to avoid “being a square hole with a round peg”? Close your eyes. Envision a square hole and a round peg that will fit the hole, but there are spaces around the peg. That’s what happens when we don’t first create a vision and define the character, qualities, values, morals that we desire and need from an ideal mate. When I am working with clients they are asked specifically to do this exercise including going through a long list of values. Otherwise, we end up wondering after a while how to fill the spaces around the peg. We end up unfilled, wondering if or how to get out of the relationship instead of knowing what the ideal mate needs to be before trying to fit him or her into our life. It is also wise to make sure that one’s whole self is being brought to the table before starting the dating process. It comes as no surprise that studies estimate over 50% off all marriages end in divorce, about 75% of those that live together before marriage end in divorce and the statics aren’t any better for 2nd, 3rd marriages.
What makes matters worse is we start making excuses for the other person or even ourselves all the while knowing it may be wrong for us which sometimes builds up resentments that don’t serve either person well. “Fear” of what will happen if the relationship ends is probably the greatest self-defeating, emotional obstacle that holds one back or keeps oneself from progressing to take steps for a better future. We stay for all kinds of reasons, even very valid ones, like its’ the first guy my kids, family, or friends really like, or she has been really helpful in building my business, my boss really seems to like me with her so he takes us out more and gives me better leads, he is so handy and nice to all my friends, at least we are financially stable together, or can’t find something really wrong with him and those we know keep telling me I should marry him but… what if I don’t feel it or know in my gut something keeps holding me back? Yes, all good excuses from keeping you from getting the love you want, desire and deserve for a lifetime. Breakups are hard! So why not do all we can to assist ourselves upfront to “creatively design the life we want”?
©2015 Austin Lifestylist
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“Expectations” Is Not A Dirty Word

Desire, expectations, cherish, growth, nourish, seek – all great words when considering or getting into aHeart with couple in it relationship. A couple of weeks ago, I received a long letter from a client outlining his desires and expectations for a life mate. He admittedly realized over the last several years that some of his expectations have changed after being back out in the dating world. This letter along with other conversations brought to light some insights to share.
What are your expectations of a life mate? Have you taken the time to list out the qualities and character of a mate you desire? What were the expectations when you made the pledge to marry? “Expectations” is not a dirty word, in fact when used well, allows each of us to enter a relationship on solid footing with clarity from the onset. Without vision, without clarity, I find many clients trying to fit a round peg into a square hole then wonder why there are gaps around the peg and a filling of despair and fulfillment. Needless to say backing up is even tougher once in the relationship or marriage which is why most end after the 1st year of marriage and the 2nd highest ending most often occurs after children are gone from the house. And we will take a look at the overwhelming increase of divorce in 2nd and 3rd marriages, etc. in future blogs of this series.

How many of you desire to date or marry someone you aren’t particularly physically attracted too? I would dare say probably only about 2% of all males and females I’ve visited with professionally and personally have said that “looks” are not important. This is stated under the knowledge that beauty remains in the eyes of the beholder and beauty of one’s soul is most likely judged in another context. And yet it’s a given that physical intimacy is an integral part of any whole relationship.

heart profile pic
What discipline is needed to maintain habits to ensure physical attraction can be continued throughout the relationship cycle when trying to foster what entices a mate to look at you with alluring eyes and sex appeal? How many of you have used the motivation tool “to change” to remain or with the expectation of being more content in a relationship? And how many of you would dare say the challenge to change worked for any length of time? Did illusion set in? Disappointment? A need to compare one’s mate to others? Did you find yourself going overboard in your own routine in hopes your mate would follow your example? Any yet countless studies conclude the internal drive of one’s self needs to want to make a change, want to take on the discipline to have any lasting impact. Something in one’s inner being must drive the decision, meaning you are doing it first for yourself verses for someone else, or to hold on to a relationship or a job even.
When asking someone to change, one needs to ask one’s self is the change more about you or more about them? What is driving the decision for the change to occur? Why are you wanting them to change? Tread lightly here since many motivating factors requiring change in a mate can be manipulative for one’s own sense of self-worth or gratification in the relationship. When a couple find themselves at this place in a relationship, where change is needed for whatever reason, it is very important that they have the conversation no matter how hard it is to avoid resentments, frustrations, wondering eyes, reduced intimacy, etc. Many years ago, I was taking a medication that caused me to gain about 15 lbs. in about 3 weeks which needless to say wreaked havoc on my body. I was mortified, quickly went off the medication, but it took months to repair the damage. Thankfully I already had the discipline in place to work hard to regain my figure, yet at the same time, it did admittedly impact the way my spouse at the time looked at me. Ladies men are visual – it’s a fact, they were created that way, and we can’t escape how it effects many psychological areas of their being.
Remember the childhood fable, “Jack Sprat who ate no fat his wife who ate no lean”? Clearly physical looks, along with what attracts one to another varies from person to person. Therefore, when the first inclination registers in one’s subconscious desiring a mate to change, in order to continue to be physically attracted that will vary considerably. What is most important is not expecting change to necessarily change the relationship – it rarely does. Generally a need for change, especially physical, is a symptom of something much deeper going on in the relationship.

@copyright 2015 Austin Lifestylist
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