July 2016

What's Next Life Coaching with Penny Rackley

Inspiring Lives Podcasts
 Podcast 12: How to Really Use that Fitness Tracker (and see results!)

Do you use that fancy fitness tracker 
to genuinely improve your health -- 
or just monitor mediocrity? 

In this podcast, champion bodybuilder and Serious Results fitness coach 
 Adam Hammett teaches us how 
to get the most accurate information 
from our fitness trackers, and then tells us what to do with that data 
 to see real change.

Suggestions for future podcasts?
Write me at pennyrackley@mac.com. 

--- Taking a Break --
See you soon for LifeInspired

I'll be back soon at Inspire Yoga Highland Village and Inspire Yoga Denton with another free group coaching session. 

Send your requests for specific session topics to pennyrackley@mac.com.
I'd love to hear from you.

Enjoy Your Summer!

Highland Village studio
1401 Shoal Creek | Suite 268
Highland Village, Texas 75077

Denton studio
321 W. Hickory, Suite 104
Denton, TX 76201

It was exactly a year ago that one of our sons (and I) spent two weeks in the hospital for yet another big-deal surgery. We've done the same or something similar every summer for the last eight years.

He's much better now, and I'm so incredibly grateful for our world-class medical care, but those stays felt like endless prison sentences, where time and life just dried up and drifted away.

It was friends who got me through. Deanna with kitten videos, Mary with funny stories about her girls, Monica with celebrity gossip, Leanne with a delivery of pastries and magazines about yoga. 

I didn't know Leanne very well back then, but she lives close to Baylor Dallas Hospital, came for a quick visit. She chose a sunny spot for us to sit in the lobby, asked a few easy questions, caught me up on our mutual friends' doings, let me talk or not talk, didn't freak out when I let a few tears drop, then gave me a hug and that was that. I went back to the room feeling so much better, and a little bit healed.

- Penny
A Little Help?
What do you do when someone you love is sad or hurt or sick? It's awkward these days. Easy for them just to go for take-out or have food brought in. CVS delivers prescriptions. Kroger and even Amazon will bring groceries right to your door. 

Cards? Do we bother with cards now? Or is it email? My sons roll their eyes and report that emailing is about as current as the abacus. People might just miss your condolences altogether with an email. 

Maybe text? Do we text significantly suffering/bereaved people? Is that crass? Or better than nothing? It's a puzzle, being considerate in this emoji-expressed era. 

How do we do it? How should you declare love, good intentions and concern for people, without being overbearing or smothery or making it about you? So easy to blow it off, but don't.

Here are some ideas. 

If you know how to cook, make something that you enjoy and are proud to share. (Of course, first check that the recipient can eat what you make.) If this feels kind of old-fashioned or over-the-top to you, GET OVER THAT and do it anyway. I have never one time heard anyone say, "Homemade bread with a stick of butter? How inappropriate!"

If you don't mind sitting still and being quiet, you're perfect to visit the hospital-bound. This is your gig! Take a book to read, don't expect or force conversation, turn your ringer off and just be present and available to make phone calls or go out and bring them some things they might need.

If you want to surprise your friend with a gift, these would be appreciated by anyone who's hospitalized:
  • magazines or books about their favorite sports/food decor/music/pets/religion/philosophies
  • a phone charger or new earbuds (these are forever getting lost and left behind)
  • $1 bills for the vending machines
  • some nice face wash or makeup wipes 
  • a pad of paper and a good pen or markers
  • fuzzy socks. Hospitals are always cold
  • I thrill to a new crossword puzzle book! Include a pencil
If your loved one is stuck at home, or waiting and waiting for test results, well, that can be completely crazy-making. I think one of the nicest things you can do for someone in that spot is to ask a few, light questions and test the waters as to whether or not they want to talk about their situation. 

Set aside your curiosity in this conversation (very difficult for me) and LISTEN CAREFULLY to what your friend does and doesn't say. Let them lead this dance. Be respectful of what they want, and lean that direction. 

If they need to talk, set aside your to-do list and dinner plans, and focus solely on what they're saying, and what it means for them down the road. Let them talk through their feelings, without offering too many opinions or finger-wagging advice. You can do this, and the judgement-free space to think through things out loud will mean everything to them. 

If their vibe reads "COOL IT. I can't do this right now," then be prepared to shift accordingly. This is the moment when you might tell a story about something interesting or funny (but not scary or sad) that's happened in life or in the news in the last few days. Something to make them feel connected to the world outside their circumstances, offering them a little window out of their heads and back into life, you know? Actively listen for when they become tired. Then give them a hug and leave. 

One last thing. It is always, always, always better to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING to acknowledge the people who you know are hurting. A text, pretty card, flowers, funny puppies email, link to a favorite YouTube video, coupon for a free hamburger, maybe some old photos of a great day together, a gift card mailed to their home - anything that says "I know this is a rough time. I love you!"

Coaching with Penny


If you want to make a life change, are recovering from a loss or just need help defining your goals and reaching them, then you might be a good candidate for coaching.


My first session is always free, so we can get to know one another. Call 214-793-1503 or email me at pennyrackley@mac.com for an appointment.