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

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Which do you see... the color all around you or, are your shadows in the way? When we pause... really find our center, we can usually list all the beautiful things in our lives for which we are grateful. But what can we do when the shadows become our focus and we can't see all the good in our lives? Well, as a coach, I always say that first we accept whatever emotion is there... really take it in, own it, feel it wherever it lies within us. Only by accepting our emotions... even the shadow ones, can we begin to release them.

Last week my dear husband was diagnosed with a chronic condition that he will most likely live with the rest of his life. It may come and go as far as symptoms, but it will be a part of our lives... at least that is what the research is telling us.... I'm still studying. The first emotion I felt was compassion for Rich in his pain; then a mixture of frustration and relief that it had taken about four years for this disease to be diagnosed. The following day I moved into fear and anger. If you have read my other newsletters, you know this has been a tough year so far for my family. Mother passed in January, my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer a week later and immediately had surgery and then further treatments. Finally, in May we were able to gather the family for a lovely memorial service for Mother. I had begun to feel that I could "get back to work" and get myself grounded again... then Rich's diagnosis was delivered. So, my anger was about more "stuff" in my otherwise peaceful and busy life. My fear was the unknown of what this disease might bring to us. Then, I moved to anger at myself for playing "poor me"... after all I haven't been diagnosed with any major disease and my life is pretty special... which sent me into, "well, it's about time you had something...". Sheesh... can you see the tale spin I was in??

Coaching myself is the hardest thing I choose to do... I usually let someone else take on that job. But I felt it was time to use what I know and do some major shifting.

First, I allowed all those negative emotions to just be... to cry, to moan, to fuss. Then I began to observe just where they lived within my body: my stiff neck, my tight lower back; that clutch in my solar plexus. Now, I could use what I know and believe. When I observed my neck getting stiff, I would pause and shift my body, actually my head and back to a place where the stiffness abated a bit. Then I checked in with my emotions to see if they had shifted to something that served me more... even if it was just a little more. Experiencing "lighter emotions" lifted my head to see all the colorful "strings" around me; my thoughts began to shift also and I was sounding more cheerful even to myself. I know that I have a choice... a very real choice, in accepting what emotions come, allowing them to just be, and then making a choice to let them go or choosing to do what I know to help them go. Finally, I actually select or sometimes just allow another more pleasing emotion to appear. As the body shifts position, the emotions and the thoughts and words shift with them. "It is a choice... it is a choice... it is a choice. Ahhh, so good to remember!!

Want to know the science behind this newsletter? Read about the research.

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,