By Carol Harris-Fike, NCOC, PCC and author of "5 Life Energies: The Choice You Have in How Energy Shapes Your Life" ©2009.

Has life been happening to you lately?

Sometimes I just want to say: slow down life... I don't need any more on my plate this month! If I were looking for your sympathy, I would tell you how my mother died in January and how my identical twin sister was diagnosed the very next week with breast cancer. I would tell you how I cry every time I drive past my mother's assisted living apartment and how I'm not only scared for my sister, but have my own fears wondering if I'm next and am I doing the "right" preventative things.

But wait... should I not practice what I tell my clients? I coach my clients with the understanding that we have choices. Choices in what we think, how we feel, and how the fear (or whatever emotion) affects our bodies.

One of the tools I use in my coaching is a set of photographs on cards*. I spread them out and have the client choose one or two that has a message around where he would rather be. So, I did this for myself and I chose this picture of the "Woman in Joy" to express what I choose to feel when I pay attention to my belief in choice.

Yes, even though I know I have a choice, I sometimes do not pay attention to that "fact" or I actually choose to stay just where I am. Oh my!

If I choose the emotion of "joy" I can then use the skills I teach my clients in how to shift the energy flow within the body. Shifting the flow of energy will change my emotion from fear to joy (or whatever I choose) and to allow the thoughts that come with that emotion to appear.

Not sure about this? it is explained in much of the brain/body research I've read that the energy flow within the body affects the thoughts we have and the emotions we feel at any given moment.*

In fear, I am hunched over in my chair, arms wrapped around my body to protect it. My energy flow is down and forward, as I'm certain that cancer must not be far from me. If I sit or stand in the body position of the woman in the statue and really allow my energy flow to shift back and up, my emotion cannot be fear... it is not possible. If I stay there long enough, I begin to think about how my 90-year-old mother was more than ready to pass on to a better place. How she had early Alzheimer's disease, knew she was "losing it" (her words), and desired so much to not be "that way." She had lived a long and good life and was ready to go on. She asked me to support her desire of "no more interventions to keep her alive". She received hospice care and died very peaceably within 9 days with her three children around her to support her passing.

I can also feel joy that there is much more known about breast cancer treatment today. My sister, Kathy, has done her research and is making her best decisions for treatment and she is strong. She told me that she had one night of feeling sorry for herself and wondering what she had done to deserve this. She made the choice to not live with the emotions that came with all that and to make a plan, take action, and believe that she was getting the best advice and treatment. Kathy also made a choice to accept all the love and care that was offered everywhere she looked, and she drew even more of this loving support to her with that decision.

Yes, life can offer us all kinds of challenges and we can make a choice to encourage the emotions that will serve us as we face them. I choose to welcome life and all that comes with it. I choose JOY!

* Check out the cards with photos I mentioned by going to

** I summarize the brain/body research in my book: 5 Life Energies: The Choice You Have in How Energy Shapes Your Life ©2009, Read the summary

Author's Bio: 

Carol Harris-Fike, ACC, NCOC
CHF Coaching and Consulting, LLC

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Carol Harris-Fike is an ICF credentialed coach serving individuals and organizations across the United States. Harris-Fike completed ontological coaching courses with Newfield Network and earned her NCC and NCOC (Newfield Certified Ontological Coach) certifications from Newfield. Carol’s thirty years’ experience in public education as a teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent enriches her work. Her study and practices with energy, including Reiki, Tai Chi, and Chi Gong support her work. She has degrees from Texas Tech University and the University of Texas at Austin. Areas of expertise include an understanding of the latest scientific research in the connections between the brain/body and how our view of the world affects how we think, feel, and move. She has designed a method for learning to shift the energy that flows within us to shift our moods, emotions, and language. She understands how this view affects the choices we make and the results we receive. Carol’s book: 5 Life Energies: The Choice You Have in How Energy Shapes Your Life was published in fall, 2009. JICT Images: Journey with Intuition & Creativity for Transformation, a set of 72 evocative photos with questions for contemplation plus a manual will be published, spring 2010. Carol and three ontological coaching colleagues created this project. She lives in Western Colorado with her husband, Rich. Learn more about Carol on her website:

Learn more about my book: 5 Life Energies: The Choice You Have in How Energy Shapes Your Life©2009,

Learn more about JICT Images: Journey with Intuition & Creativity to Transformation ©2010,