Instruction Manual

If you could write your own instruction manual, what would you write?  What would you put in the book that described the care and feeding of you?  When I was lucky enough to be away last week at a spa to celebrate my mother turning 70, I began to think about this.  There is something about the separation from your life that a spa allows, not unlike how clearly you see your life during long airplane trips.  You aren’t really anywhere doing anything as you fly over Topeka or relax on the table getting your shoulders unknotted.

For me, in those imposed long spaces of the facial, kelp wrap and aromatherapy massage I saw a few things clearly.  I knew exactly what I needed in my life to feel good.  At that moment I wanted to write a Care and Feeding Manual for myself. Then I could remember when life became a run away train, what I needed to look after myself best.  It would be a way to check in when I forgot what I needed.  Written down in clear terms.

The great benefit of having the right care and feeding is feeling peaceful.  That’s why you never want to go home from some vacations.  Peace is a pretty state.

Do you know that  ‘feeling peaceful’ is the number one reason people come to a life coach?  At the base of it all, with the choices they are making in life they want to experience peace.  More than happiness, which is a slippery eel to even describe, peace is the number one thing my clients want.

As a life coach, I know the argument of   “there isn’t time, and my real life isn’t like a spa is it!”

But I also know, that is a cop out answer of someone who doesn’t really want to change anything.

No, my life isn’t like a spa because that isn’t what I constructed it to be.   Ah, but there is the key.  I am constructing my life.  It isn’t happening to me.  I’m driving.

I gave myself a challenge.  I asked myself-What do you really want?  I let myself imagine the best and fullest answers, with no need to base them in reality or the world of ‘how’.  Then I asked myself – What can you do?    If a massage and hydrotherapy and daily hot tubs eliminate headaches is the fabulous answer, what can I construct back in my ‘real’ life?  Stretching daily would eliminate those headaches; I can do 10 minutes of stretching, can’t I?  If I know that meditation and quiet time for me makes the difference in a snappy cranky me and a peaceful me?  Then even though I can’t sit by the ocean and Om away an afternoon, I still could do some time very day on my mat, sitting and breathing.

And in the realm of possibility is the monthly massage or perhaps visit to a hot tub.

When you leave your life for holiday or even just to take a long walk on the weekend, notice what really feeds your soul and your quality of life. What do you yearn for?    You know what you need.  Stop ignoring it.  Grab your computer, some paper, a journal, whatever you have and start your own Manual of You.  Identify what you want and then break it down into what it is in the simple form that you can do today.

You did hear that right?


Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not next fall.

In every moment, change is possible and your chance for peace lies in what you choose in the very next moment.  Keep choosing and choose well.

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