Archive for Relationships

12 Simple Ways to Manage Stress and Overwhelm While Visiting Family for the Holidays

If you find yourself stressed and overwhelmed by an upcoming visit with your family, here are 12 simple ways to manage that stress. Whether you are taking two weeks to spend time with your family, or whether you are spending a day with the in-laws, use these tips to manage your mood. Many of the tips outlined below take less than 2 minutes to use and can easily be woven into your holiday. Mix and match your favorites.

1) Essential Oils – Simple smells can quickly change your mood. Essential oils dabbed on the wrists or on the temples are quickly integrated into the bloodstream. Peppermint is useful for headaches, mental blocks and is great pick-me up for fatigue. Orange is helpful for uplifting moods. Essential oils are small and are easy to pack. Keep a small travel pack with you on the plane or in the car. Essential oils can be the perfect remedy before a good night’s sleep.

2) Hydration – Even mild dehydration can affect one’s mood, energy level and the ability to think clearly. While traveling you may lean towards not to drinking water, especially if you are expecting a long flight or long car drive. With all the holiday gatherings how much water are you drinking? If you notice yourself becoming crabby grab a glass of water, or two. Start your morning with a glass of water. Hydrate.

3) Elimination – This time of year we are eating all sorts of food that we normally do not eat. This is okay! It is good to feed the soul as well as the body. Indigestion and constipation can have a terrible effect on our mood. If you experience indigestion or constipation from your food choices here is a simple trick to get things moving. Two large glasses of warm water first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything will help move things along. Also one or two green drinks from your local grocery store will help keep the digestive system moving this holiday season. Grab a green drink while snacking.

4) Herbal teas – Pack your favorite teas for your trip. If you know that tea has a calming effect for you, pack a few of your favorites. Chamomile tea about ½ – 1 hour before you plan on going to sleep can help reduce inflammation in your stomach, and possibly balance out the acidity levels as well. It also does wonders for relieving stress, which can trigger acid reflux, and will help you sleep through the night as well.

5) Eye mask – If you are staying at a relative’s home it may take a bit for your body to relax. I live in a large urban area and my family lives in a rural area. The first night back is a major adjustment for my body. An eye mask (I recommend one with the puffy eye pillows) will help your eyes relax into the sockets. When you eyes drop and relax into the eye sockets this quiets the mind. An eye mask is great for the times where you have no control over the amount of natural light where you sleep or if you share a room with another.

6) Ear plugs – Our body has become used to the sounds around us. On a long flight it is easy to be distracted by loud conversations around you. Ear plugs can muffle the sounds. Much like the eye mask, ear plugs can make the difference when you sleep. If you sleep late and your family are early risers…or if you go to bed early and your family goes to bed late, grab your ear plugs and get a good night’s sleep. It may make the difference if you are sharing a room with a loved one that tosses in their sleep, talks in their sleep or snores.

7) Music – Pack your favorite tunes for your holiday trip. Choose a selection of tracks the lift and pick you up. Pick music that relaxes you and mellows the mind. Music can restore energy, elevate your mood and can help relax the body. Listen to your favorite songs first thing in the morning or right before bed to set the tone of your day.

8) Your favorite inspirational book – A light inspirational book can offer a new perspective. Are you being challenged by family members? Are they repeatedly asking about your relationship status, your work status, your weight, your kids? It is easy to become triggered with certain conversations or questions. This is true if you are visiting your family and a good meaning aunt and uncle happens to ask you “how’s work?” Little do they know this is the twentieth time someone has asked you this question and in the back of your mind you know that work is stressful. Choose a collection of quotes that can keep you grounded and in perspective. Remember most of the time your relatives mean well and care. Much like music a good quote can set the tone for the day.

9) Meditation on the breath – 2 minutes in the morning, 2 minutes in the evening quietly meditating on the breath physically relaxes the body and quiets the mind. A simple practice where you tell yourself “I breath in…I breath out” with the attention only on the breath can quickly change the stress and anxiety you feel in your body. Meditation on the breath is a technique you can use in the car, sitting at the dinner table, or while sitting on the coach. Invite some mindfulness into your holiday.

10) Movement – It’s cold. It is rainy. You look out the window and the gray of the morning has you head for the covers vs diving for your yoga pants. Tis the season for more rest and 5 to 20 minutes of movement a day is great for joint health. The more exercise you get the better it is for your body, your mood, and energy. Don’t wait until January 1st to begin your exercise regime. Take 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes to move your body. Lift your arms to stretch. Take a 10 minute walk with a niece or a nephew. Schedule a yoga class or dance class just for you. Mark it in the schedule ahead of time. Invite a friend.

11) Journal – Need to let off steam? Grab your journal and let your mind free flow whatever is on your mind. It can be challenging to find the time to squeeze this in. First thing in the morning or toward the end of the evening is a great place to give mind chatter space. Most people experience the ‘monkey mind.’ Don’t believe everything you think. Don’t keep it bottled up either. After you finish free flowing your thoughts in your journal, take a breath, at the end of page write THANK YOU. The more we suppress our thoughts the more they boil on the inside like a tea kettle. Acknowledge that subconscious part of you that may feel crabby.

12) Gratitude – Finish your day writing down 3 things that you are grateful for in the day. Maybe it was having a slice of your favorite pie. Maybe it was the sleep. Look for the good in your day. Do this right before bed. As you drift off to sleep gratitude becomes part of your subconscious. What we focus on before we sleep has a huge affect on how we feel first thing in the morning and the dreams we have at night.

We have more control than we think over our stress level and how we manage it. Most of these tips can be done first thing in the morning or in the evening. Prep for your holiday! If you find yourself anxious, stressed, or angry, pull out this list and try something new.


From Wedding 9-2012

Meta Lackland is a Life and Business Coach. She specializes in the Mind Body Spirit connection in Life and Work. For more information or to learn how to work with Meta, find her at Receive daily inspirtation at Facebook. Follow on Twitter and Google +

Ancestor Support for Stressful Times Audio


This month my good friend asked me a question.  How can constellation work give us strength when there is so much chaos in the world?

I was reflecting on this with the knowledge that throughout history there have been stressful times.  Through our ancestor lineage there are many who came before us who survived, had strength and persevered.

Download this month’s ancestor support audio.
Connect to the strength that has always been a part of you.


How to Create an Effective, Believable Affirmation


Affirmations are a wonderful way to say something kind, powerful and true about ourselves. We experience life through how we think.  We experience the majority of life through our repetitious thoughts.  These thoughts are rarely challenged.

For example, if we think of ourselves as ugly, our experience of ourselves through the world is mostly that, Ugly.  In order to change this we need to create some new habits of thought.  Affirmations are a way to create this.

If you are new to affirmations, a simple affirmation may sound phony, and frankly like BS, bullshit.  Most people stop saying their affirmations because it doesn’t feel true or they feel very uncomfortable saying it.

Here is a simple, super effective way, to believe your affirmation after you create it.

Create your affirmation using I AM statements.  Powerful affirmations are created in the present tense.  “I AM a rock star at creating affirmations!”
No worries if your affirmation feels untrue.  In fact this is quite common and the reason for its creation.

You may create your affirmation to counter balance a negative belief you have about yourself.  For example, “I am beautiful” to counter the “I am ugly” negative self talk that replays in your head.

Special Note about the affirmation process:  This process works best when you say the words out loud.

Step 1:  Create your I AM statement.
Step 2:  State your affirmation with clarity, out loud.  In order to believe it…State your affirmation.  Then go ahead and state why it isn’t true.  Out loud.  The mind’s objections to the affirmation.  Let it out. End it with simple Thank You.

“I am beautiful.”
“That’s just crazy.  Did you see my outfit tonight?  My hair is frizzy.  And my skin…”  Thank you.

Step 3:  State you affirmation again. Simply, with respect.
Say again aloud the objections. State it simply and with dignity.  End with Thank you.
“I am beautiful.”
“But my hair’s not brushed…there’s some weird dot over my eye…”  Thank you.

Step 4:  State your affirmation again. Simply with respect and dignity.
Say aloud the objections.  Simply.  End it with Thank you.

Step 5:  Repeat this process several times.

After each time, notice the objections are less and less.
You will reach a point (usually around 7 or 8 times) when there are NO objections.
A simple quiet clarity.

“I AM beautiful.”
Step 6:  State your affirmation again.  Feel the truth of the words.

That is how you create an effective, believable affirmation.
Every time you state it afterwards, feel the truth of the statement.
You are that.

Family Constellations- Family Dinner Visualization

In this Youtube video-I share the family dinner visualization.
This visualization illustrates how we relate to money and abundance in our life.  The purpose of the exercise is to notice what type of emotions come up as you sit at the table with your family.

Where in life are you experiencing similar emotions?

How to Get Back on Track in Life

Life has a funny way of taking us on detours.  We believe we are on track, engaging in business, doing great in our job, we settle into our normal routine of life.

Then in a day everything changes.  You receive a phone call.  You learn a loved one is seriously ill.  One day your pet dies.  You wake up to find someone has busted your car window.  Some detours are small and take a short amount of time to get back on track.  A few hours or a day.  Other detours are life changing and can change the course of who you are.

When the detours happen how can you get back on track?  

Here are a few tips that can help.

Recognize that this too shall pass-If you are dealing with any kind of loss (money, family, friends) there is a period of time of grief.  That period of time is different for everyone.  Time does heal the wounds.  There will be moments when the pain lessens, a moment where you begin to focus more outward, less inward.  Give yourself time to experience the emotions.  Try not to make yourself wrong if you are not on your A game and are not doing the things you normally do.  Sadness, anger, frustration, all of these emotions cloud our ability to think clearly and to take action.

What helps you feel good- Is it your yoga practice?  Your silent meditation in the morning?  A cup of tea with a friend?  A walk?  A favorite blog?  Your book group?  Happy hour?  Music?  Everyone’s oasis is different.  People tend to forget what helps them feel better in times of stress. Once a day, for 10 minutes a day, do something specific for you.  Choose a time, early in the morning or late in the evening where you are certain to not be interrupted.

Consider Life’s Pause Button-One thing I hear from my clients is the frustration of having to put their life on hold when these things happen.  They feel irritated at themselves for not keeping up with their classes, their businesses, their career, their health.  Consider this stressful time a place where you press the pause button on your project.  It isn’t going anywhere.  We sometimes judge ourselves harshly for not getting it all done.  Each one of us only has 24 hours in a day.  In times of stress, the number one priority becomes You. 

When you are ready to jump in again unpause the button.

In the meantime when you are in the in-between space of feeling normal and feeling stress…

1). Reach out to friends and colleagues who are doing the things you want to do.  Say hello.

2). Stay connected to your project with blog articles, videos, websites.  Choose how much or how little is right for you. 

3).  Connect with your support team.  Your life coach, a mentor, a friend, minister, teacher, counselor, therapist, nutritionist, massage therapist, etc.  These individuals can help support you through the stressful times and lessen the amount of time you spend there.

trail (3)


Family Constellations-How to recover from a visit with the family after the holidays


The holidays, the time of year where we eagerly travel to see our loved ones. Some people travel only a few miles. Some individuals travel several thousand miles. We seek the company of those who we belong to. People we shared our journey from childhood to adulthood. There are moments these same loved ones can say something simple and trigger a whole host of emotions-irritation, anger, frustration, exasperation, sadness…to list a few. You thought you were playing a simple game of scrabble. Then something else happened.

How do you recover from this? You arrive home. Back in your sanctuary and the feelings linger. Maybe you find the more you think about it the more the feelings grow. What you really seek is to let it go, for peace and calm.

Here is a simple exercise to gain a new point of view.

Three Chair Perspective. You will need three chairs, space to set them up about a few feet apart. Set two chairs facing one another. Set the third chair a few feet out to the side, distance directly in the middle of chair 1 and chair 2.

It should look like the below diagram.

Use this Chair picture








The 1st Chair-This is your point of view.
The 2nd Chair-This is the point of view of your family member that you are having the strong emotions with.
The 3rd Chair-The meta position. The objective 3rd party that can see both sides of the story.

1st Chair
Sit in the first chair and experience the situation through your own perspective. What are you experiencing? Feeling, thinking, hearing? What is your body posture like? Can you look over at the 2nd chair? As you look across to the second chair, in your mind’s eye, see the family member you are having the strong emotion about.

Now step out of the 1st chair. Leave your perspective in the chair 1 and walk over and sit in the 2nd chair.

2nd Chair
As you sit in the 2nd chair, step into the point of view of your family member. In your mind’s eye see yourself (Chair 1) sitting across from Chair 2. What is it like for this family member to look at you? What are they feeling? What are they seeing? You can speak out loud as if you were this family member.

Now step out of the 2nd chair. Leave the family member perspective behind and sit in the 3rd chair.

3rd Chair
As you sit in this chair-observe both “people” in the other chairs. Notice how these individuals relate to one another and to the situation. What can you see that the other two people cannot? What would you want the two of them to know?

Now step out of the 3rd chair. Go sit in the Chair 1.
What is your perspective now? Has your point of view changed?

This exercise is a fantastic way to see a new perspective, to say words that need to be said and to fix disagreements you may have experienced. Notice that the feelings change when you see things from a different point of view.

Consciously Create 2014 and Let Go of 2013


The New Year is upon us.  It is the time where 2013 has come to her end. All of her offerings given.  Our triumphs, our sorrows, our victories, our defeats.  All moments have value.

As you step into 2014, what are you ready to let go of?  Let go with the dignity and respect for what it had to offer?

Can you say Thank you?  Without you, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

For those of you out there that experienced extreme heartache in 2013, maybe you can’t feel the Thank you.  That’s okay.  A simple acknowledgement can move mountains.  Acknowledgement that you are angry at the year, or sad at the year.

As the year unfolds, she shows us who we are.  How we react to life.  What we enjoy.  What we do not like.  We do not need to embrace everything.  A simple Thank You acknowledgement for the value offered is enough.

As we step into the New Year-2014, a new unfolding, what would you like?

What do you want to experience?

If your mind goes straight to “I don’t want experience that again!”  Ask yourself what would you like to experience?  How do you want to feel?  What do you want to see?  What does your vision sound like?

Conscious creation is a dance between noticing the Do Not Want and the return to what would I like.

The do not want usually sounds anguished with deep emotion.

Can you put equal emphasis on What would I like!

Take a moment to write it down.  Share your vision with trusted loved ones.  Read it out loud.  It’s magical to share.  Have a fulfilling New Year!


The Secret to Transformation


When I say the word transformation what image comes to mind?  What does transformation mean anyways?

What does it mean?  It is simple.  It simply means you want to change something in your life.  You want to be different.  You want the way other people treat you to be different.  Something needs to be different.

Most people think of transformation as the caterpillar and the butterfly.  The caterpillar builds a cocoon and then emerges as the glorious butterfly.  A complete change in identity.  Bam!  And it didn’t look like the caterpillar had to work at it.  It slept on the inside as everything changed.  Unfortunately this is NOT how we humans undergo change.

In fact our critter brain doesn’t like change.  It is focused on survival.  Which is why you may experience so much resistance when you want to change something in your life.  It focuses on: Do I belong and Will I survive?

Unfortunately for us, we can’t sleep our way through changing our life.  It takes action, will-power, dedication, and determination.  And some help with some friends.  Your local life coach, therapist, physical trainer, nutritionist and many others can help.  Someone who is trained to help you face the RESISTANCE.

What is change really like?  It’s about coming against your edges.  The edge is the uncomfortable.  It starts as vaguely uncomfortable, kind of weird, and can build from there.  The good news is this is a place where you have a choice.

I help many people to create action steps to change their life.  I see time and time again this resistance come up.  I am going to identify what RESISTANCE is in every day examples you can relate to.

*You signed up for a gym membership.  You decide 3 days a week, you will exercise.  Day 2 comes along and anything else sounds better.  The resistance is the internal debate, the feeling, the potential decision.  The edge is heading to the gym.

*You want to meet new people, have signed up for meet-up.  You come to the event determined to speak to new people.  Except when you are there the old feelings come up.  You can either talk to people anyway or not.   The resistance is the internal debate, the feeling, the potential decision. The edge is having a conversation.

*You want to attend a class you are interested in.  You think about going.  But its after work, you are tired and the commute is too long.  You can go anyway, enjoy the class or go home.  The resistance is the internal debate, the feeling, the potential decision.  The edge is to go to the class.

*Common themes to resistance are usually related to health, family, and work.

The RESISTANCE is the too tired, too long, too hard, too much to do.  It is all the reasons why what you want isn’t worth it RIGHT NOW.  That is resistance.

And there may be something valid in each of these situations.

Here is the deal.  If you want to change your life or for life to be different, you will have to be willing to experience life in a different way.  To experience the unknown, the uncomfortable, the weirdness.  This changes to comfortable and fine with time.  Especially after the critter brain realizes whatever the situation is survivable.  Most of the time it turns out to be enjoyable.  You want change for a reason.  This reason is a very good one.

What do you do?  There is no right, no wrong.  However, no one can walk the path for you.  Others can stand on the sidelines cheering you on.  A fantastic coach can HOLD THE VISION FOR YOU.  When you can’t hold the vision for yourself.  It takes a village to raise a child and it takes a village to support change.

The butterfly can be your outcome.  The road is not straight.  It is curvy, squiggly, and everyone has their path.

When the resistance comes up,  (when you want a new diet, new exercise, new job, new relationship)  you have an opportunity to make a new decision.  Notice it. See it.  Recognize it.  Invite Resistance to become a friend.  And see what happens when you take action anyway.