Subject: Tip Ten: Life Doesn’t Have To Be Hard
Welcome to Celebrating the Journey!
Wednesday, October 10, 2001
Issue #73


1. Welcome Notes
2. Tip Ten: Life Doesn’t Have To Be Hard
3. Coaching: Look Through A Different Window
5. Wisdom for the Journey
6. Celebrating Out Loud!
7. Resources for the Journey
8. Humor: Definitions
1. Welcome Notes

It is an extraordinary morning here in the Roaring Fork
Valley. Last night was the first hard frost of the season,
and this morning the rooftops and grass are glistening
white, sparkling in the sun that is just now peeking over
Basalt Mountain. A flock of 50 birds feeds at the feeder on
my lawn and on the lichen and algae in the gutters of my
house. I write to the rhythm of their pecking and
chattering. It is delightful company. Like Meg in her
Celebration below, I invite you to step outside and breathe
in the healing beauty of this time of year.

A warm welcome to our new subscribers. I continue to be
gratified by the growth of this family. In these challenging
times, it is so vital for us to share community with one
another. Thank you for being a part of the Celebrating the
Journey community.

I am introducing a new section of CTJ called Wisdom for
the Journey. This section will contain a short story or fable
or nugget of wisdom for you to take with you on your
journey through the coming week. The wisdom will
come from you, our readers. We all have favorite stories
or parables, fables or nuggets that help to guide our lives. I
invite you each to share yours with our CTJ family by
sending it to
Celebrate your growing wisdom by sharing it with us all!

This is the last of the series on The Top Ten Tips for
Having the Life You REALLY Want. If you missed the CTJ
which gave all ten, you can find it and the issues on the
first nine tips on my website at

For a formatted, color, hard copy version of the Top Ten
Tips, e-mail your snail mail address (where you get your
regular mail) to

2. Life Doesn’t Have To Be Hard.

As a matter of fact it isn’t supposed to be hard!

About three years ago, I made the choice to stop efforting
at life. I worked very hard at my life for much of its
duration. When it was too easy, I created problems that
made it hard. And when it was, in fact, hard I made sure
everyone around me knew how hard it was so they could
see how well I was dealing with all the problems in my

I didn’t think very highly of who I was back then, and the
only way I knew to create any sense of self-worth was to
overcome problems. It took so much effort to overcome
the problems in my life that I didn’t have any time or
energy left to even see the joy and love and peace and
freedom that was available for me, much less experience
and celebrate it. Some of us only feel worthwhile when
we are pushing, striving, efforting, working really hard at
our lives. It is the only way we know how to feel like we
are enough. If it isn’t hard, it doesn’t count – WE don’t

That’s not how the Universe intends for life to be!

Efforting at life happens when we obtain our self-worth by
overcoming problems; when we live our lives based on
what other people think and want rather than on what is
important to us; when we are so busy getting our needs
met that we don’t know what we value; when we do what
we “should” do rather than what we are drawn to do;
when we try to figure life out rather than listening
to what our hearts say. In short, efforting happens when
we are not living our own dreams.

Yeah, but… I can hear all the buttons being pushed! But,
living our dreams or not, life is hard sometimes! Nope!
Challenging, difficult, strenuous, arduous, tough? Yes, life
can be all those things! Hard and an effort? No.

It is in part a semantic game I am playing here to
differentiate between the challenges life presents us and
the attitude we bring to them.

Life brings us challenges. What we do with those
challenges and how we feel about them can make life an
effort, a struggle and exhausting. Or satisfying, joyful and
energizing. Which do you choose?

3. Coaching: Look Through A Different Window

Think of the challenges in your life and write down the
answers to the following questions:

Which challenges feel overwhelming, burdensome,
more than you can do, a weight around your whole
Which challenges feel stimulating, energizing,
motivational, an opportunity and invitation to grow?

What is the difference between the two lists?

Often the difference is at least in part how we are choosing
to view the items on the lists. Picture a one-room cabin,
with windows on all four sides. Each side will have a
different view of what is happening in the house. One
window gives a shaded view: dark; heavy; problems and
challenges lurking behind the furniture; people inside
sitting, heavy-headed, in silence, pondering the bleak
future. The window on the other side shows a sunlit
room: bright; light-hearted; solutions peeking from
behind chairs and tables; folks talking animatedly about
the possibilities of their lives.

The room and the people are exactly the same. It is only
the view that changes.

This may be an exaggerated analogy. It is nonetheless
accurate. A request from your child or your spouse or your
boss that is no problem one day when you are rested and
grounded and taking great care of yourself, becomes
overwhelming and resentment-inducing from a different

The request is the same; our attitude is what is different
and determines our response to that request.

We are in an intensely challenging time in our country
and on the planet. It is a time of uncertainty, mourning,
and reevaluation. We can be overwhelmed by how hard it
is and the fear around it or face the challenges presented
to us and welcome the opportunities that accompany
them. Fear or opportunities? It’s all in which window you

How can you bring more ease and peace and satisfaction
into the areas of your life that feel hard? Walk around to
the other side of the “house” and look in a different
window. You’ll be amazed at how life lightens up.


Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.

“Why does it have to be so hard?”
“It doesn’t.”
Margo Chisholm and Becky Jackson

One way to get high blood pressure is to go mountain
climbing over molehills.
Earl Wilson

When you’re doing what you were always intended to
do, you’ll experience an exquisite, effortless joy like
nothing else. And once you’ve tasted that joy,
nothing like a little work, rejection, or failure will keep
you from it. Creating your dream becomes too pleasurable
to resist.
Coach Barbara Luther

5. Wisdom for the Journey

This gem came to me from Doreen Pollack, fellow Coach.
You can learn more about her and her work at

A Native American Story

A Native American Grandfather was talking to his
grandchild about how he felt about the Sept. 11 tragedy.

He said, “I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my
heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The
other wolf is the loving, compassionate one.”

The grandson asked him, ‘”Which wolf will win the fight
in your heart?”

The grandfather answered, “The one I feed.”

This is a new section of CTJ called Wisdom for
the Journey. The wisdom will come from you, our readers.

We all have favorite stories or parables, fables or nuggets
that help to guide our lives. I invite you each to share
yours with our CTJ family by sending it to Celebrate your
growing wisdom by sharing it with us all!

6. Celebrating Out Loud

Celebration is like rabbits: it procreates at an amazing
speed! We need all the celebration we can get right now.
Please share yours with us at Birthday,
anniversary, spiritual experience, simple beauty, a baby’s
first tooth. Share it here and enhance your journey and

October 6: Vicki celebrated 18 months clean and sober. A
marvelous occasion to share with us. You can celebrate
with her at

In a similar vein, this week Tom from England celebrates
20 years of sobriety and 16 nicotine-free years. Freedom
from addiction of any kind is a wonderful window from
which to view our lives! Tom may be reached at

Meg’s celebration of the beauty of fall deserves to be
included here as she wrote it. Celebrate Mother Nature
with her at

“My celebration to share with all is this incredible Fall!
The colors, the warmth of the days even until this
morning have been incredible. … It is as if Mother Nature
wants to remind us, in spite of the violence, loss, grieving
that we are experiencing, that there are patterns that are
greater than human patterns, and that there are huge
cycles at work even through our tears! So, I would
recommend that everyone step outside at least once every
day, or make a pilgrimage to their favorite Fall place and
breathe the reassurance of the beauty they find there!”

7. Resources for the Journey

Changing the view of our lives requires being present to
what is happening and what we are feeling right here,
right now. Breathing is a very effective way to bring us to
that sense of presence. When life feels hard, notice your
breathing. Slow it down and breathe from your belly
rather than the top of your lungs. I have discovered a
lovely website that invites this shift to deeper breathing in
a relaxing, calmly energizing way. Visit for a lovely respite in your
day. It will lower your shoulders and quiet your mind.

The contact information for Patrick Williams, author of
the piece in last week’s Resources for the Journey was
incorrect. You can read the piece in the CTJ archives at, and you can
reach Dr. Williams (who is an EdD rather than a PhD) at

8. Humor: Definitions

Here’s a treat from my friend and colleague Dr. Philip
Humbert. They made me chuckle. I hope they do the same
for you. Enjoy.

ADULT: A person who has stopped growing at both ends
and is now growing in the middle.

BEAUTY PARLOR: A place where people curl up and

CANNIBAL: Someone who is fed up with people.

CHICKENS: The only creatures you eat before they are
born and after they are dead.

COMMITTEE: A body that keeps minutes and wastes

DUST: Mud with the juice squeezed out.

EGOTIST: Someone who is usually me-deep in

GOSSIP: A person who will never tell a lie if the truth
will do more damage.


INFLATION: Cutting money in half without damaging
the paper.

MOSQUITO: An insect that makes you like flies better.

RAISIN: Grape with a sunburn.

SECRET: Something you tell to one person at a time.

TOOTHACHE: The pain that drives you to extraction.

TOMORROW: One of the greatest labor saving devices of today.

YAWN: An honest opinion openly expressed.

WRINKLES: Something other people have. You have
character lines.

Give yourself the gift of a different window this week.

Namaste, Margo

Hiring a Life Coach is a great way be supported in taking
the steps that will lead you to your own dreams.
Margo has a few slots open for motivated clients who
want to shift from, “My life is good, but…” to “I have a
great life!” Visit our website at for additional resources
and tools. To schedule a consultation, send an e-mail to

If you received this copy of Celebrating the Journey from
a friend and would like to subscribe, visit or send an e-mail to
and in the body of the text include
subscribe tothesummit youre-mailaddress.
To stop receiving CTJ include
unsubscribe tothesummit youre-mailaddress.

My purpose in publishing Celebrating the Journey is to
provide you with resources, motivation, inspiration and
energy for YOUR journey of creating success and freedom
in all areas of your life. CTJ will use stories from my life
and others, coaching tips and resources, quotes and
humor to deliver a learning experience that can enhance
your life. I am always looking for comments, ideas and
ways to improve CTJ. I welcome your e-mails at

Copyright © 2001, all rights reserved, by Margo

I invite you to share Celebrating the Journey with your
mailing list, friends, and associates. We ask only that the
entire e-mail with copyright and credits be included. The
author of this article is Margo Chisholm. You may contact
her at (970) 704-9336 or at

“Until he extends his circle of compassion to include
all living things, man will not himself find peace.”
Albert Schweitzer

Margo Chisholm
Coach, Speaker, Author, Therapist
Partnering you in having success,
freedom and joy in all areas of your life
970-704-9336 fax 970-704-9346


Celebrating The Journey is a free, weekly
email newsletter, full of resources and
quotes, humor and coaching to support you
in having the life you REALLY want. Visit to subscribe.