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November 2014 - In This Issue:
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In music, we know that if we want to learn a new song, we need to practice it. And, if we make a mistake, we try not to keep playing it wrong. We pay attention to the part that is giving us trouble, break it down, and practice playing it correctly. Then we put it back to together.

We do the same thing in sports or exercise. We practice lifting weights using correct form, and we get stronger and do not injure ourselves.

For some reason, this idea seems to break down when it comes to our emotional lives. We don't seem to notice or be able to control our thoughts, and so we keep practicing negative thinking. I have had coaching clients who say things like: "I will never get a decent job." "I am cynical." "I can't focus."

I hear them say out loud and to themselves statements that are not helpful and that seem to reinforce their sadness. Researchers are discovering that, "What you practice becomes stronger." If I keep telling myself that I don't have skills, then I start to believe myself. I have a hard time noticing the skills that I do have. I belittle my strengths and think that no one will be interested in what I have to offer. It then becomes challenging to get out of the hole in which I have put myself.

Meditation teachers suggest, "Don't believe your thoughts." What if my client didn't believe that she can't focus. Then perhaps she would figure out ways to try something different. She would practice doing one thing at a time for five minutes and see how that goes. After practicing that many times, she would increase the time to 10 minutes. In other words, she would do the same thing she would do if she were building physical muscles. Except this time, she is building mental muscles.

To continue reading this story click: What You Practice Becomes Stronger
CULTIVATING A MINDFUL LIFECultivating a Mindful Life book cover 

Cultivating a Mindful Life, a collection of 35 stories, is an e-book

available from Smashwords and Amazon.   


Check the Smashwords FAQ for assistance on how to download the book to your e-reading device or as a PDF.  


The beautiful book cover was designed by Megan Barra.


If you have already downloaded and read the book, please consider writing a short review on the site where you purchased it.

Photo of Sue Schleifer

I recently received the following quote from a coaching client:

"I highly recommend Sue Schleifer as a leadership and life coach. Her integrated "whole person" coaching approach and straightforward dialoguing technique helped me enormously to better understand where I was in my life and where I wanted to go.

Sue worked with me to clarify my priorities and establish a few clear doable personal and professional goals which we periodically discussed and which I achieved for the most part. Our coaching calls were invaluable in helping me work through and problem solve sometimes difficult and complex work issues. Her knack for seeing through my occasional b.s. didn't hurt either."

Contact me for a complimentary coaching consultation to learn how we might work together for your success and happiness.


Click here to learn more about Coaching Services.
Zen and Travel Stories of Trust - Book

The Key to the Castle: Zen and Travel Stories of Trust is a book about inner and outer journeys. It is available in print and e-book formats on Amazon and Smashwords. And, if you have read the book, please consider writing a review on one of those sites. 


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To read reviews of the book, please visit The Key to the Castle web page.


Thank you!

Sue Schleifer 
Oak Communications Coaching and Consulting 


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