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We’ve Moved!!

Thank you for stopping by to visit my blog! I realize there are lots of blogs to read, and I am thrilled that you landed on my page. I am currently blogging at: www.lizziebranch.com. I would love to see your smile over there. Won’t you join me? When you flutter over and land on my homepage, click on the “Blog” tab. We will live, learn, and love together as we walk in His grace.

Thank you for reading. You are precious to me.

 

With much gratitude,

Lizzie

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The Book Behind the Cover

Today, I am blogging about part of my story, the book behind the cover. There always is one! I will also explain why sea glass is so near and dear to my heart. The prize package represented today will be:  1 silver bracelet adorned with green sea glass and hand-made bows made by Millie Atkisson, owner of Bowtastic! You know you want this amazing bracelet!!

And don’t forget to CLICK HERE TO ENTER the prizes: a Rafflecopter giveaway   Once you click on the Rafflecopter link, you will answer a few questions and be entered into the drawing that will be held on Friday. There will be 4 amazing prizes!! (This is a safe site!! Any questions on how to enter, email me at branch626@aol.com.)

Also, click here to LIKE my Kairos Coaching, LLC Facebook page where you will be able to see future posts and where I will announce the winners on Friday!

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4 years ago this very month, I was at a crossroads in my life. Little did I know that the following year would challenge my belief system in a way that I could have never imagined. My little safe and secure world was knocked off its foundation. And, I was left with many pregnant questions.

To say I experienced a plethora of emotions would be the tip of the iceberg. Everything I had ever believed about everything was no longer certain. Can you imagine waking up every day and not knowing what or who or why you believed what you professed for years to believe?

Not only was I in the middle of a major health crisis, I was headed full speed ahead into a crisis of belief. And for someone who likes to know the itinerary and all the possible detours, this was like entering an abyss of darkness without hope of the faintest light.

I didn’t have any answers. Nor did the 12 or so doctors I saw during that time. Honestly, even today, 4 years later I don’t have all the answers. You see, I am a control freak. A perfectionist. Someone who needs to know. And when I couldn’t play the hand of cards I was dealt and I had to wait in the long dark night, it felt like my world was falling apart.

What happens when life doesn’t go as planned? When you are faced with tough decisions and bad news and dysfunctional relationships? Where do you go or to whom do you run?

Before my ship wrecked and I crashed upon the shore of life gasping for air, I could usually make things work out. I was self-reliant and competent. I didn’t need many people…or dare I say it, God.

But when I was flat on my back, the only view I had was up. And that is exactly where God met me.

We were at Topsail for a week in September of 2008. I won’t even begin to tell you how hard we had to fight for joy to go on that vacation. Let me just share the first battle. The initial house we rented was infested with fleas…

We were able to get into another home that was flea and mold free. Yes, the next 2 houses were full of mold. Finally, we were able to stay in the 4th home. I was still struggling with the unknown. I did not have a diagnosis at this point. I was still covered in a horrible itchy and blistery rash from head to toe. I felt like and was treated like a leper at times. I was still questioning God and all that I had ever been told…key words, my friend. Been told. But I was about to experience something that would be transforming to my beliefs.

I was walking alone on the beach one afternoon.  The afternoon rays of sun were dancing on something green and shiny in front of me. I had no idea what it was, but I love a good treasure so I was intrigued. Upon further inspection, it was a piece of glass and this is what I said out loud…to myself or so I thought:

“What idiot would leave glass on the beach???”

Clear as day…”I did. I left it there for you.”

Aside from the fact that I just called God an idiot, I know that God really doesn’t speak out loud like me and you. But, I really heard Him say this. To me. I am sure no one else heard it. But me. It was a message from God to me. And it was like a monsoon to the dry and parched soil in my heart. I had been praying and seeking and questioning for so long. Begging and pleading would be more appropriate.

However, as I prayed and started seeking God instead of answers over the next 6 months or so, my search for answers (without me even realizing it) was not as important anymore. I was able to sit with the questions that didn’t have answers. I didn’t have to know everything. The control freak in me was starting to surrender. One day at a time.

Did I really believe what I professed to believe before my ship wrecked? I didn’t. It was all words. Until, I wrestled with God. Then and only then was I able to rest in God (Ann Voskamp).

It was part of my destiny to find that amazing piece of green (my favorite color) sea glass that very day. It was mine. A gift from my creator. Sea glass will always be a precious reminder of God’s love for me. He gave me this vision: “I was a very solid and sturdy glass vase. Then life happened, the vase shattered into a million pieces. He is going to slowly and steadily put me back together again so that His light shines though all the cracks.” I am reminded of Galatians 2:20 – “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”

Looking back, I know I had to experience what I experienced. It was hard and gut wrenching. I wrestled with God and most any one else who crossed my path. I struggled with anxiety and fear and doubt. When I read my tear-stained journal from this season when the fields were fallow and the drought was causing the parched soil to crack and groan, I am reminded of how difficult and lonely those months were.

Just like the sea glass, I had to experience the rough waves and coarse sand of life to smooth my jagged edges. And in due time, the sharp and dangerous piece of glass was transformed into a thing of enormous beauty. With smooth edges.

Out of the ashes, the beauty ascends.

Sometimes you don’t know what you believe until you are faced with a life experience that forces you to practice what you preach.

Everyday that I get to live, I am thankful that my vase shattered. For in the shards, even though very painful, true life and light was found.

Living full and free today!

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Check back in soon!! We will be launching the new website on Friday morning and raffling off the prizes!!!! Can’t wait to see who wins!

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This is Why I Write

Today, I am blogging about how my writing career began and how it relates to coaching. I have always been a wordsmith. My favorite teacher of all time gave her English classes weekly A to Z words that helped to enlarge our vocabulary. I still have the word lists almost 25 years later! Little did she or I know that this was the beginning of my love affair with words.

However, first things first:

The prize package today includes : 3 children’s books: “Completely Different, but Totally Normal” by Lizzie Branch and illustrated by Amy Toler and two books from author and life coach Cheryl Scanlan, “Parable of the Silly Sheep” and “Parable of the Little Maple Seed”. 


Come join us! CLICK HERE TO ENTER TO WIN THE $25 Starbucks gift card and other amazing prizes:  a Rafflecopter giveaway Once you click on the Rafflecopter link, you will answer a few questions and be entered into the drawing that will be held on Friday. There will be 4 amazing prizes!! (This is a safe site!! Any questions on how to enter, email me at branch626@aol.com.)

Also, click here to LIKE my Kairos Coaching, LLC Facebook page where you will be able to see future posts and where I will announce the winners on Friday!

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Why I Write:

As a mom with two young children, I am constantly learning something new. My children teach me more on a daily basis than I will ever teach them in their lifetimes. It is no surprise to me that my blogging adventure started with a post about my children!

I was feeling a bit nostalgic during the summer of 2010. My daughter would be starting Kindergarten in a couple of months and I wanted to capture the pivotal life changing moments in our lives in a written form. Unfortunately, I was highly ineffective with a paper and pen journal. I would write an entry and not open my journal again for weeks. I struggled with starting and never finishing. But that was about to change…

I very courageously hit the publish tab on my very first blog post in August of 2010. I jumped in the deep end and to my surprise, I swam!

Soon after I started blogging, I wrote a children’s book during the winter of 2010. My sister, Amy Toler, did an outstanding job with the illustrations. I self-published and finally began to accept the notion that maybe, just maybe, I was a writer. For real!

And, I have not looked back since God helped me understand that I am hard wired to write. I blog and write because I can’t not write. It is part of the fiber of my being. The threads of my tapestry. He is a master weaver and wordsmith, dear friends! Anything we create reflects His glory. We are imitating the best!

I also love to bridge the gap between everyday and eternity by connecting the dots. Everyday, every minute of our lives is linked to eternity in some way. We may need to adjust our perspective or lens, but He gives us eyes to see those moments that I describe as Kairos moments. They don’t have to be random, sporadic events. You can live a Kairos life by seizing the opportunities and redeeming the time every day of your life.

And, that is where writing and coaching intersect. They are both deeply connected. Coaching is more intimate and personal than writing or blogging. When I coach with a client one-on-one, her life and those she comes into contact with are affected by her coaching experiences. When I write about how to connect the everyday moments in our lives to our eternal destiny, more people can be impacted.

My desire through coaching and writing is that people will be able to connect deeply with the world around them. To be more aware. To stop sleepwalking and embrace each and every moment. To fully live.

Along the process of discovery and becoming more aware in my own life, I have had many mentors along the way. None have been more impactful in my life than my friend, coach, and business partner, Cheryl Scanlan. She has taught me more about coaching than any class I have ever taken. I am also grateful for Contessa Siegner, my web stylist. She is phenomenal. There is an amazing story behind our connection, but I will save that for a future blog post! If you need an excellent web designer, let me know and I will give you her contact information!

Needless to say, there have been many that God has given me to learn from. I think Sir Isaac Newton, brilliant mathematician and physicist, said it best: ‘If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Tomorrow, I will share more of my personal story and why sea glass is such a reminder of God’s presence in my life and love for me.

And one of the small ways I can say thank you to YOU for reading my blog is to offer a raffle with fabulous prizes: CLICK HERE TO ENTER TO WIN THE $25 Starbucks gift card, children’s books, jewelry/bows, and the AMAZING grand prize:  a Rafflecopter giveaway.

GO put your name in the drawing so you have a chance to win!!!!

Grateful for YOU!

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What Coffee and Coaching Have in Common

When someone mentions Starbucks, what comes to mind?

Different things float to the surface of my conscious awareness: the color green, Seattle, expensive, gift cards, a nice hangout, my friend Cheryl, and coffee. Now, I know my mind is a little left of normal, but did you notice that coffee was 7th on the list. 7th?

Now, notice something else. When someone asks you an open question because they are truly curious about you and your response, amazing things can happen.

If I assumed that your response would be coffee when I asked you the question above, then look at all the other fascinating responses that I would have missed out on!

Asking curious and open-ended questions is the cornerstone of pure coaching. And if you would apply this one simple tool in your life, your relationships would change dramatically.

As part of my new website launch this week, I am giving away a $25 Starbucks gift card. Why you might ask? Am I trying to bribe you? Well maybe, but mostly not. I want to help you understand how your life can change by incorporating a few coaching tools. And a hot cup of coffee or tea helps to create an environment similar to Starbucks that is conducive to listening, learning, and leaping into bold new change.

To begin with, what coaching is and is not:

Coaching is for people who are searching for balance and harmony, feel stuck, desire growth and accountability, are experiencing transitions, become tired of the same old habits, and desire and embrace change.

The coaching relationship is a powerful partnership between the coach and the client where the client sets the agenda and learns through action. Coaching is forward moving and the coach assists the client in creating a vision for the future. Coaching focuses on the client’s whole life. The coach asks tough questions and the client through a process of self-discovery, discovers the answers.

Coaching is not counseling, therapy, consulting, mentoring, or a form of discipleship. The coach is not the expert and the client is healthy, creative, and resourceful.

Coaching is transformational and life changing. As a coach, I partner with clients and help them on their path of discovery. I never know what the itinerary will be before I get on a coaching call and the first question I always start with is: “If we could fast-forward 45 minutes, what do you want to take away from our call today?”

Lastly, what does coffee and coaching have in common? You determine what you want in your cup of coffee and you determine what you want your coaching partnership to be. Some people like their coffee black and strong. Some like it hot with extra cream and easy sugar. Some don’t like it at all and prefer a cup of tea.

The same is true of coaching. Every coaching partnership is different. In coaching, you determine what you want your life and vision to be. I am the amazingly blessed and grateful person on the other end of the line having her Venti iced black tea with no syrup and extra ice.

Come join us! CLICK HERE TO ENTER TO WIN THE $25 Starbucks gift card and other amazing prizes:  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, click here to LIKE my Kairos Coaching, LLC Facebook page where you will be able to see future posts and where I will announce the winners on Friday!

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Guess what??

It’s finally here! We will launch the new and improved Kairos Coaching, LLC website on Friday. We are combining my blog and my website to streamline the process and make things smoother.

I know I have been teasing you for weeks with Facebook posts regarding the launch for the new and improved http://www.lizziebranch.com. And you will be rewarded for all of your patience with wonderful prizes. Here is a schedule for Monday through Wednesday and Friday with the prizes that correspond to each blog post:

On Monday, I will blog about coaching, what it is and what it is not. I will also show you how it all began and how I “stumbled” into coaching. The prize will be a $25 Starbucks gift card!!!

On Tuesday, I will blog about how my writing career began and how it relates to coaching. The prize package will be : 3 children’s books: “Completely Different, but Totally Normal” by Lizzie Branch and illustrated by Amy Toler and two books from author and life coach Cheryl Scanlan, “Parable of the Silly Sheep” and “Parable of the Little Maple Seed”. 

On Wednesday, I will blog about my story, the story behind the story. There always is one! I will explain why sea glass is so near and dear to my heart. The prize package will be:  1 silver bracelet adorned with green sea glass and hand made bows made by Millie Atkisson. 

On Friday, we will reveal the blog and offer the  GRAND PRIZE!! 2 session coaching packaged valued at $200, 1 silver bracelet adorned with green sea glass, “Completely Different, but Totally Normal” by Lizzie Branch and illustrated by Amy Toler, and “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp

The drawings for all prizes will be held on Friday morning and I will announce all winners on my new blog and website: http://www.lizziebranch.com. There will be 4 winners in all. To enter, click on the link below and follow the directions.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER:  a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have any questions regarding how to enter, please let me know! You can click on the link NOW and get a head start on the week! If you are feeling generous, please share the link to this blog post on your facebook wall or twitter.

Stay tuned to my blog for the history of Kairos Coaching, LLC and how it all began. This week promises to be fun!!! So grateful you are along for the adventure.

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Book Review #2: “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

It’s Sunday! And you know what that means. I take a break from all my “traveling” to offer a candid book review! We are docking the boat today and pondering all the wonderful places I visited last week.

I rank the books I read by where I would place them on my personal bookshelf, if at all. My ranking system is 1 through 5 with 5 shelves being the highest.

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Book: “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

Author:  Dale Carnegie

Ranking: TOP-SHELF book (5 out of 5 shelves)!!!!! A must read! Here is a description of what it takes to be TOP-SHELF: One of the best books I have ever read. Took it with me everywhere I went. Soul stirring and changed me for the better. Added it to my “top shelf” of keepers and books to refer back to. Underlined 83% of the book (or more!). I grew sadder as I turned each page knowing that the adventure would soon end.

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Okay folks. I have a confession. I am a little bit of a snob when it comes to two things, books and food. And, to earn a spot on the TOP SHELF of my bookcase is quite a feat. But this little gem is very deserving to live in the penthouse suite of my cherished green bookcase. Here’s why:

Dale Carnegie was a very bright man. He definitely understood people and how to relate to people. His best selling book, written in 1936, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is still very popular today. Now that I have digested it, I know why! It is a four part book:

  1. Part One: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
  2. Part Two: Six Ways to Make People Like You
  3. Part Three: How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
  4. Part Four: Be a Leader – How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

People skills can be learned but are often not taught in school. Instead, we settle for Algebra, Biology, and Latin. However, we need to know how to relate to people every single day of our lives. I can still conjugate Latin verbs…but when will I ever need that information? Jeopardy is not begging me to be a participant!

If you choose to read this book, you will learn how to put the golden rule into practice “treat others as you would want to be treated”. That would be the number one reason I would encourage you to read this book.

My favorite part of the book was Part One: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People. This section of the book would make a fantastic college course. And I would remember more of it than I have remembered from any of my college courses!

In ‘review’, here is a very quick summary that condenses all of my thoughts:

Would I read it again? Yes

Would I recommend it to you? Yes

Would I pay full price for it? Yes

Did I stay up late reading it? Yes

Did it change my life in some way for the better? Yes

One of my favorite quotes: “If you and I will inspire the people whom we come in contact to a realization of the hidden treasures they possess, we can do far more than change people. We can literally transform them.” page 217

My big take away: My words and actions or lack there of are influential and monumental in the lives of others. By doing simple things, I can make a huge difference. In my job as a life coach, this is what I get to do most every day. Grateful indeed.

If I haven’t already convinced you to do so, you need to read this book. NEED. Period.

Drum roll please……………………

 

The book for this week is “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen. A quick little read that already has me thinking!!! ( ;

Stay tuned for my new blog this week. We are launching the new http://www.lizziebranch.com on Friday.

Lifting the anchor and heading into deeper waters, friends. Won’t you join me?

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Listen to the Whispers to Avoid the Tsunami

My mind takes me to places I’ll never see. Some of them are on my bucket list and require long plane rides across the deep, dark, and blue.

And at other times my mind drifts to people in my life. Some have already gone on to bigger and better things. Other dear ones struggling this very moment for the next breath.

Two are cackling in the room down the hall. They bless me with their presence every so often to make sure I am still upstairs. That I haven’t moved.

I see decades into the future with this powerful mind of mine. All in the same moment, defying chronos time, my mind drifts to the past. My mind is the ultimate time machine. It knows n0 time. It captures every experience. The joys and the sadness. And everything in between.

Memories blazed into the deep gyri and sulci of my brain. An organ that science will never be able to counterfeit. Nothing man can invent will ever come close to the majestic miracle known as our brain according to a neuroscience article I read recently.

A mass of cells and blood and synapses. The mastermind of being. Where everything literally makes sense.

But does it really ever make sense? Will I ever really know all that I need to know? Even today as I am praying for a friend of mine, my mind wants to know. I want to really be able to look into the future and see the end results. To be able to see what her future holds. But I can’t. And it kills me.

It kills me because I care about her.

And that is where this whole brain thing is flipped upside down. We are more than our brains. What we know {and don’t know}. We are feeling and responsive beings. We are deeply emotional and relational. Our brain is only part of the equation as brilliant as it is. Our soul/spirit (mind, will, and emotions) all work together in a harmonious euphony.

A dance that never ends.

Our physical body provides a temporary dwelling place for our three part beings. Our mind, will, and emotions that comprise our soul are so intricately woven together that they cannot be separated. Ever. We often try to compartmentalize our emotions or our thoughts temporarily. But when we attempt to ignore them completely, trouble is around the corner. Life is full of left turns.

When you ignore or suppress your thoughts and emotions, they will cry out for attention. And if you ignore or suppress them long enough, they may do crazy things to get your attention. To force you to pay attention. You can only stuff it down for so long. It will come back up.

Sort of like that person you run and hide from when you see her at Wal-Mart. Don’t lie. You know what I’m talking about.

What needs attention in your life? Where do you need to be more aware?

Sometimes it starts with a simple whisper. When you hear the whisper, that is your chance to take action. To pay attention. You will save yourself a lot of pain and misery by doing so. Don’t wait for the earthquake and the tsunami that will quickly follow!

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