butterfly150Welcome to my Masterful Living Blog!

By Christen Resmo, RN, Life Success Coach, Retreat and Seminar Leader

Since 1998, I have routinely sent a FREE monthly newsletter, by email, entitled “Masterful Living”, to clients, colleauges and many loyal subscribers.

 Masterful Living was created as a way to share coaching tips, tools and technologies such that you enjoy more of the health, wealth and happiness that you truly want and richly deserve. Each article has been designed so that you can read them in about 2-5 minutes and then be on your way, hopefully feeling more inspired and excited about your life.

 For more information about  private, individual Life or Business Success Coaching or to find out about upcoming events, visit benchmarkcoaching.com  


Many years ago, before I met my husband, David, I had a very serious conversation with myself. I really wanted a thriving, happy, long-term relationship but I certainly wasn’t creating one. However, I was starting to see the light — I had had ENOUGH of those unhealthy and toxic relationships that were going nowhere. What seemed like ‘sport’ in my 20’s felt more like a tedious melodrama in my 30s. My sob stories of failed relationships expanded more than a decade. Ask any of my friends! They really had to put up with me.


Finally, I decided that things were going to change. I had to undo the thought-patterns that were keeping me stuck; One such pattern was this, “I have to do everything myself because nobody really wants to help me.” It then made sense why I was attracting men who openly embraced the idea of me picking up the dinner tab routinely or paying the rent for them montly; yes, in addition to paying my own! I was attracting ‘takers’ and allowing such people to take from me over and over again. So really, can you blame them?


I then imagined how good it would be to have a relationship with someone who had my best interest at heart and who I could be myself with entirely. I wanted a true partnership of healthy give and take. I pictured all the elements of what I wanted in my ideal relationship and daydreamed about the details. I even created a list of the qualities and characteristics that I desired in this relationship so my eyes could see it on paper. I then firmly decided I would settle for nothing less than what I’d envisioned, totally trusting and acting as if I knew for certain he was on the way. Only then did he appear.
Coaching Tips: If you want your life to change, start by deciding that it will change.


While you can’t control much in the world and you certainly can’t control other people, you do have control over your own choices:  your own thoughts, words, decisions and actions. Like me, you can decide what you won’t accept or put up with anymore as well as what you want more of.


For your life to change, your focus and your thinking needs to change!


Change your thoughts, change your world …


Imagine yourself enjoying the things you desire as if you already have them. You will then attract into your life the pictures you hold foremost in your mind. And be patient. We live in the world of time and space. We can create some things instantaneously, like a good mood, and other things will take longer than we want them to and think they should.  Little by little, you’ll become more comfortable working with your thoughts; especially when you understand that most thoughts don’t have instant manifesting power. There is a buffer between your thoughts and their manifestation which gives you time to make improvements and corrections as you go, and to become clearer about what you really want.
Affirm: “I can have anything I set my mind to.”
Try This: Concentrate on where you’re going and what you want to experience! Keep your mind trained on your new direction going forward! Make a list of what you really want and keep giving these desires your positive thought energy. 


If you need help, call me! I can help you shift your focus and stick with your new direction. Or, get support from someone that can be a good sounding board for you. Someone that isn’t afraid to call you out on your baloney or rough you up a little when you start to drift into a negative frame of mind. I was fortunate to have this kind of support from my friends, who were also coaches. They weren’t afraid to set me straight on what I really could create.


You CAN still have what you want, no matter what!


Choosing an Attitude of Gratitude  



 “Our attitudes control our lives. Your attitude is a secret power working 24 hours a day for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that you know how to harness and control this great force.”  ~ Tom Blandi, author



The Thanksgiving Holiday is just around the corner so there’s no better time than now to focus on being thankful.


Here is one of my favorite fables that illustrates how the principle of gratitude works: 


The Rabbi and the Two Farmers


Once times were tough. Two men, both poor farmers, were walking down a country lane and met their Rabbi. “How is it for you?” the Rabbi asked the first man.


“Lousy”, he grumbled, bemoaning his lot and lack. “Terrible, hard, awful. Not worth getting out of bed for. Life is lousy.”


Now, the Divine was eavesdropping on this conversation. “Lousy?” the Almighty thought. “You think and say that life is lousy; I’ll show you what lousy is.”


Then the Rabbi asked the second man. “And you, my friend?”


“Ah Rabbi, life is good. God is so gracious, so generous. Each morning when I awaken, I am so grateful for the gift of another day, for I know, rain or shine, it will unfold in wonder and blessings to bountiful to count. Life is so good.”


The Almighty roared with laughter. “Good?” You think your life is good now? I’ll show you what good is!”



The moral of the story: What you focus on grows! Be grateful for all that is good in your life, and trust that more good is on the way. Expect it!


Personally, I like being around people who radiate a ‘grateful, life-is-good-no-matter-what’ point of view. These folks seem to always have more than enough to be truly grateful for, too, as though their lives are moving in an upward spiral simply because they said it would.


I’ve been working with a new affirmation lately that I’ve been repeating to myself a few times a day:  


 “Good things are going on in my life at all times. Good things are  happening today. Thank you for all of the good that is coming my way; even if I can’t see it yet!” 



Whenever I remember to think or say this, or a version of it, I instantly feel lighter, because I’ve set myself up with an attitude of gratitude.   


What if you and I consistently chose this position? What do you think would happen? My guess is that we’d be much happier. And we would also begin to see the appearance of those things we say we’re grateful for. This means that we actually begin to generate and create more of the very things that we put our positive attention on.


What if I Don’t Have Much to Be Thankful For?


The truth is, there is always something to be grateful for as long as you’re alive!


I was standing at the check-out counter at Subway earlier this week, waiting to pay for my sandwich. The man at the register was so cheery and friendly that I made a positive comment, “You’re really happy today.” He said, “Hey, I woke up this morning!! Everything else is just a bonus!” It made me laugh out loud because he was right! We are all given so many bonuses each day; so many chance to do things over again or to change our minds, our attitudes or our direction.


On those bad days when it’s hard to feel good about much, look for even the smallest things that are good and keep your mind focused on them. Even the small things can turn out to be big. For example, even before you get out of bed in the morning, be grateful for that favorite, old, cozy blanket. Be thankful for the bed itself, for the dog curled up on the floor, the morning sun poking through the clouds. As you do this, the little things just might grow into bigger things. Last week, I pulled a muscle in my back during exercise; so today I was simply grateful that I could easily walk from my bedroom to the kitchen and grateful for the hot cup of coffee that my husband had waiting for me.


Challenge yourself to be grateful for the smallest of things throughout the whole day. “Hey, the elevator worked!” “The car started!” “The light turned green just in time.” Have fun with it. Play. Look for anything and everything to be happy about and to be grateful for. 



Try this quick exercise: Say out loud, “This is the best day of my life, thank you, thank you, thank you!” and mean it. See how great it feels? This simple act will raise your perception to a whole new level. From this vantage point, you’ll begin to notice all the positive things around you, putting you in an upward spiral of positivity versus a downward spiral of negativity. Even if nothing earth-shattering happens, you’ll be in a better mood. And this mood helps create more to feel good about.


Before you go to bed at night: write down at least 5 things that you are grateful for! Watch for what happens and see how it feels. 



Switch Your Focus

When we continue to wallow in disappointment because life is hard or events don’t turn out the way we want, we can stay stuck a negative, self-fulfilling thought pattern. 
Again, one of the simplest ways to switch your focus is to ask yourself “What am I grateful for?”  Although this may be difficult at first, once you shift your focus, that same part of your mind that had you noticing the negatives will now supply you with better things to direct your energy toward.   

Principle of Gratitude = what you focus on grows



  Energy flows to where our attention goes!


The glass is both half empty and half fully. How you choose to relate to the glass makes all the difference. Be grateful for what you already have and you will attract more good into your life. 

“Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.” 

~ Sarah Ban Breathnach, Author of Simple Abundance

no matter how many times you’ve been down!


“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”   


~Nelson Mandela, South African Statesman and Nobel Prize Winner

 A baby that is learning to walk falls a lot. You did too and yet that simple fact didn’t stop you from eventually learning to walk. The adults in our world knew that we would fall when we learned to walk. They even prepared us for it and supported us through it, so why is it so unacceptable for us to fall now? As we grew up, we began to believe that falling at something meant stopping. Falling doesn’t mean stop. Falling just means that you have something more to learn or practice. As adults, we can take ourselves so seriously sometimes; but in truth, it’s no big deal if you fall whenever you’re trying something new.

Learn from the fall or the “failure” and do it differently next time. Pick yourself up after a stumble, brush yourself off and continue moving forward.


You Will Stumble. Just Pick Yourself Up


Here is a new way of looking at failure: Thomas Edison told us that we should expect to fail many times in our lives, and not only should we accept failure as a part of life, we should invite it! After 10,000 attempts to create electricity and failing, Edison was asked how he felt about his failure. His reply was this: “I now know the 10,000 ways not to do it!” Edison would not be defeated because he knew he was 10,000 steps closer to his goal. Can you imagine how different our world would be if Edison chose to stop trying?


I mentioned the following quote in a Masterful Living article a few years ago, and it’s worth repeating again. Basketball great, Michael Jordan once said:  


I’ve missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and I missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is also why I succeed.


Even when we’re told that failure is a part of being human, we don’t ever want to do so. But so what if we do? Successful people repeatedly tell us that failure was a big part of their greatest success stories. You will make mistakes, you will fail and you will come up short at times. Be patient with yourself. See your most recent failure as quite possibly the best thing that could have happened. That might sound silly, and maybe it is silly, but what if it were true? What if you saw each failure as a clear sign that you’re actively engaged in the game of life, versus sitting-it-out-safe on the sidelines looking in?


Losers never win because they never really play. And winners lose all of the time and that is also why they win.


Falling down can be so frustrating. But it’s not the falling down that matters, it’s the staying down that keeps you down. Like Edison and Jordan, all you have to do is get back up and continue going on. Keep your wits about you. Laugh at yourself from time to time.


Negative People Might Criticize You


Please understand that some people will criticize even your most well-intended actions and your most successful accomplishments. And some will actually relish in your failures or mistakes. But also understand that this criticism is not about you. Usually, it’s about the person dishing out the trash talk. Rarely should you take criticism personally. And don’t ever take it personally when somebody is happy at your expense. Be objective and be your own decision-maker. Trust that you really do know what’s best for you and remember to consider the source of such negativity. Who is mocking you? Who is disapproving of you? Is it really about you? And is this a person whose lead you would follow?

Most negative people are really just scared and many would never dream of taking the same risks that you are willing to take. Some people will stay down after a fall and then wonder why it’s so easy for you to keep moving forward. Have compassion and move on anyway.

 And some people, even good people, seek ways to temporarily ease their own pain; many times their pain exists because of their choice to let an important dream die. Your repeated attempts at success could push of few of their well-concealed buttons. For some, it’s just easier to make you wrong for striving for a better life than it is to dust off the old dreams and get going on them again.


Be Willing To Change the Way You See Yourself  

If you think you can, you CAN! If you think you can’t, you’re right. If you think you can do something, you’ll find a way to do it. You will turn obstacles and failures into learning experiences for your growth. Challenges then become something you can work through and learn from. Similarly, if you think you can’t do something or that failing is bad, you will let these very same challenges stop you. You will point to them as the reasons why you won’t succeed. Because successful people exist on the leading edge of thought and innovation, they run up against more challenges than the average person. They have many more failures than most because they’re always going for it. They don’t let themselves be stopped by challenges, and neither should you.




 Coaching Action Challenge: 

Is there something that you’d really like to have in your life but you’re struggling to get there? You might not know how to make it happen. You might be frustrated by your set-backs and failures. Well, you don’t have to know all of how to make it happen. Just get going. Pick yourself up and dust yourself off. Take the next step. Sometimes only one will be obvious to you. Then all you have to do is keep stepping.

Until Next Month!





For a Shot at Something Great !


Change, whether anticipated or not, can be difficult. Change can be hard even when we welcome our new beginnings. Life can be hard because life is all about change. Our dreams change, our jobs change, our relationships change and our conditions change, frequently and repeatedly. Change comes with the territory of being alive and we must all adapt to numerous external events and be flexible in continually shifting circumstances. 

We accept that change is normal as we move from one phase of life to the next. We’ve also learned that some kinds of change are brought about abruptly by external circumstances. We’ve been fired, our partner has broken off the relationship or we’re just so miserable that we almost rejoice in letting go and moving on. It becomes obvious that it’s time to let go because our hand has been forced somehow. The same old status quo has caused such discomfort that we have no choice but to change something pronto, even when we don’t know what’s coming next.


  But what about when the message for ‘change’ is more subtle, or when nothing is really ‘wrong’?


We’ve all experience times when something has changed on the inside, first. We start to feel differently about something or someone even when nothing has noticeably changed on the outside. We can’t go so far as to say, “this is really bad”, but we can’t deny that we’ve had a quiet change of heart. This is when we’re called upon to face ourselves squarely and honestly and therefore, make a change based on the desire to have more, be more or do more.


This is the moment when we decide if we’re willing to let go of something good for the shot at something great. 


Letting go when things are pretty good can be hard. It’s tempting to settle and stick with what we know. The known is familiar, after all, and therefore comfortable. At one time or another, each one of us has clung to past for fear of the unknown. Our old and worn out stuff has a certain appeal because it’s the devil we know.


Know When It’s Time to Move On


It really is okay if something was right for you at one time but is no longer right for you now. Very few thing are going to serve your interests or best intentions forever. It’s okay to admit that your job choice or friendships or home or hobbies aren’t matching up anymore. It doesn’t mean that you’re a failure or a fool for being there in the past. You’ve simply outgrown your circumstances and it’s time to get current with yourself.


Wisdom is knowing when a good thing has run its course; and trusting that something better awaits you at the next level. It can be extremely difficult to let go of something ‘almost perfect’ in the hope of getting ‘exactly perfect’! I do know how this feels. I have been there many times in my life too. And looking back, I’m always (and yes, I do mean always) met by someone new or something great at the next level. 


About one year before I met my husband, I ended a good relationship with a very good person. I did this in the hopes that I would find that great, perfect fit for me. At the time, it was one of the saddest, hardest decisions I ever made. But the result was that I did find my “Mr. Right.” More than once I’ve moved away from business alliances when things started to go south, even when the potential for financial growth was huge. Even when I’ve wobbled, I’ve also landed on my feet and I’ve landed on higher ground. You are no different. If I can, you can. You can end things when you need to. Listen to the call of your heart. You can say goodbye with grace and dignity and compassion. You can walk away from the good (or what used to be good) for what can be even better.


Has Something Good Run it’s Course?


Maybe you’re facing a decision now with regards to saying good-bye to an important part of your life. It could indeed be time to let 

go so that you can move toward something more fulfilling. For example, if you don’t feel challenged by your job anymore or share share mutual joy and common interests in a friendship, maybe it’s time to move on in favor of something else. You don’t need to feel bad about moving away from something painful or something that was once good, but has simply run its course. Don’t beat yourself up because you didn’t achieve everything that you had hoped to there. If it’s time to go, it’s time to go and that’s okay.


Ask yourself this:


Is it time to let go of something good to make room for something even better – something great, and something that will take me to the next level?



Go for the Great!


Be courageous. Let go of something good, so you can have something great. Step into the change that you are creating in your life right now with a positive, expectant attitude and give yourself permission to move forward without guilt.  


Making room for change means allowing for new possibilities. Be willing to open your hands and allow any draining situation to be freed. If you hold on to your circumstances because of fears such as, “What if nothing better comes along?” then the situation will only worsen and deplete you. But when you surrender a situation that isn’t working, it will either disappear completely and be replaced by something better, directly catapulting you into the world of something great or it will return to you healed. 


This can be challenging because there’s work to be done and many unknowns ahead; but once you rid your life of fruitless conditions, you’ll be able to move forward again more freely and easily. When you actively close one door, you’ll automatically trigger another one to open; and when it does, trust that you can successfully walk through that open door into a fresh new beginning!


Go for the Great and Go with the Change!



Are you feeling a little jaded about goal-setting because you think, “What’s the point? I never quite reach my goals anyway!”


If your answer is “Yes,” I can honestly say, “Me too! I’ve been there.”  I personally don’t like it when I have to re-do my goals because I set some that I didn’t reach.


Maybe you’ve set some goals for 2008 and have already lost steam because things aren’t moving along like you hoped they would. Here we are in February and some of us are already feeling a little (or a lot) behind. The exasperation that follows can cause us to give up on our goals even before we give them much of a chance to bloom.


No matter how you feel about goals, I’m going to ask that you consider dropping your aversion to them — if you have any — for one reason. And that reason is this: successful, happy, productive people have goals. And because you are human, it’s healthy to have desires, something positive to shoot for, and something good to look forward to.


Here is something to consider: It doesn’t matter if you don’t reach all of your goals. The process of going for your goals is a meaningful and worthy pursuit.


Having goals and taking action on them enriches your life, helps you grow as a person and brings experiences to you that you otherwise wouldn’t have. Plus, if you’re not growing, you’re stagnating. It’s just the way it is.


Here is my guess on why we shy away from our goals almost as soon as we set them: OUR GOALS SUDDENLY LOOM LARGE AND SEEM TOO HARD TO REACH!  I hear this from my coaching clients a lot.


So, here are my tips for getting moving again on those things that you really want in 2008…



Achieve Great Things by Attempting Small Things


Big things are accomplished by thinking small, because small things are the only things we can do right now. Don’t underestimate the power of the small. You can achieve great things by attempting small things, step by step and day after day.


Chinese Philosopher Lao-tzu wrote the Tao Te Ching, or “Great Way,” more than 2,500 years ago. His wise guide remains a relevant source of inspiration today. In it he wrote:


“A tower nine stories high starts with one brick. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” 


I think that might be the most commonly quoted phrase from Lao-tzu’s entire work because it’s so encouraging. We can begin from where we are, right here, right now. It doesn’t matter what set of life circumstances we’re dealing with.


Thinking big makes our goals seem daunting and unrealistic, unachievable even. And when we’re overwhelmed, we tend to procrastinate and stagnate.


Don’t get me wrong. I want you to have BIG dreams. I am a believer in the philosophy, “The Bigger the Dream, The Bigger the Dream Come True,” but I’ve learned that goals and dreams can be accomplished ONLY by us choosing our next step and taking it — over and over again. We get to the end result through daily action, not by fretting or daydreaming about the final destination. 


If You Can’t Do A Lot, Do a Little


Taking action is not to be confused with going at a frantic, exhausting pace that leaves us feeling burned out and unable to enjoy life as we’re going along. Taking action should feel empowering. It builds lasting motivation because the feeling of accomplishment is generated from the inside.


If you can’t do a lot today, just do a little and chalk that up to “being enough”.


Think about this: Before you say “I’ll do it tomorrow” and put off taking the next step to advance your goal, do just ONE thing today. People that study human behavior tell us that it takes about 20 minutes to get into any task. So be good to yourself and honor the goals that you’ve set for your life. Give yourself a full 20 minutes to drop into action and get into the flow. Do just ONE thing today; after that, if you’re still not in the mood, leave it alone for the rest of the day and pick it up again tomorrow. At least you’ll know that you did something positive, even if it’s just ONE thing.


If you do just ONE thing to advance your goal every day for one full year, you will be 365 steps closer to your goal!!!


And 365 steps are a LOT of steps. Surely you will be much further along with any ambition you have in your life. And you’ll progress quite nicely without burning yourself out or turning your world upside-down.


Coaching Tip — Take It One Day at a Time

Great results are achieved by taking daily action, one day at a time. You don’t have to deliver anything big today so take the pressure off.  Just keep the wheels in motion. Keep the mojo going. Begin today and let your momentum take care of the rest. Yes, you must take part in your life and show up to participate but you don’t have to take the joy out of living by setting yourself up to be nothing less than superman (or woman).


For example, I have a woman in my practice who is running a business on her own. She recently told me, “Daily action, one day at a time, is all I can do right now. And so far, it seems to be the only thing that has ever really worked for me.”


So you have your goals. That’s awesome! You’re off to a great start. One day at a time is all that is required of you now.


“He Who Would Travel Happily, Must Travel Light.”– Antoine de St. Exupery  


Did you know that the average child laughs 300 times a day and  the average adult laughs a mere 12?


I’ve done some research on this to back my facts and it’s true! We know that laughter is the best medicine. In fact, doctors tell us that we need a few good belly laughs every day to enjoy optimal health.


The simple act of throwing your head back and roaring at any kind of humor has multiple benefits both mentally and physically. Laughter actually increases you immune system, making you stronger and better able to fight off disease. And all that humor has you breathing in more oxygen, which revs up and refreshes your entire body. Laughing has been proven to lower blood pressure, burn calories and exercises almost the entire body, which explains why we get sore sides after a good laugh. In addition, laughter lowers stress hormone levels, keeping us calmer.


So, what happened to us as we grew up? Perhaps the seriousness of life has caught up to us or perhaps we’ve chosen to take ourselves too seriously. I’ve had some adults tell me, “It’s not that I don’t want to enjoy my life, I’ve just forgotten how.” Isn’t that sad? We ask ourselves, “Is it really okay to be child-like again, and to find the enchantment that we once knew so naturally? I think “yes”; In fact, we must. For our own health and well-being, yes.


Depression and anxiety are almost non-existent in people who have a great sense of humor and who are able to laugh at themselves. These people automatically see the world in a different light, simply because of their sense of humor.



Coaching Tip: find something to laugh about

Everything seems clearer after a good laugh. Our sense of wellbeing returns instantly. It’s okay if you have to start with a joke book or comedy movie or calling a friend who makes you laugh.  



Coaching Action For this month, build lightheartedness & laughter into your plan. Add things into your life that make you laugh and feel light.



Coaching Question: In closing, my question is, can you laugh at yourself? 


If not, drop the intensity for just a little while today.  Instead, see the humor all around you. You know that humor can change your mood instantly! So practice it. It’s very hard to stay angry when something strikes you as funny. Yes, laugh today. Look for a reason, and you’ll find a reason.