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Elizabeth Barbour, M. Ed.
The Revitalized Business Woman
Missouri City (Houston), Texas

Call Today: (281) 778-7298

Latest News

Wednesday
Mar082017

How Can You Love Your Body More?

The weather here in Houston stinks.

It’s hot and muggy one day, then it’s cold and rainy the next.

Winter consisted of exactly three days in January where it got cold enough to freeze and kill all of our plants. But within days, it was back up into the ‘80s.

As a result of the temperature roller coaster, a lot of people are sick.

Colds, sinusitis, bronchitis, allergies… you name it, people have it.

And unfortunately, I’m right in the mix with everyone else on my third bout of “sickness” since Christmas. Can’t seem to shake this crud - cough/bronchitis/allergies/whatever it is!

I’ve tried acupuncture and herbs. I’ve done two rounds of antibiotics. I’ve tried essential oils and massage. I’ve tried to sweat it out in the far-infrared sauna. I’ve tried going to bed earlier.

Not much is working.

Last week, I enjoyed reading Kate Love’s blog Leaning Into a Lenten Season of Rest.

Her post reminded me of one of my best friends from college who chose the spiritual practice of writing in her journal for 40 days.

I did not come from a religious family so I was in awe of her commitment.

I had Catholic friends growing up and they ate fish on Fridays and their typical sacrifice was giving up chocolate during Lent but that was it.

But committing to doing something positive…now that sounded special!

So last week, when I was reading Kate’s blog and pondering the state of my health, it dawned on me that my Lenten spiritual practice this year might be really powerful if I chose to love my body more for 40 days.

I wrote it in big letters at the top of my journal.

My Lenten commitment is to LOVE MY BODY MORE.

And then I asked, “So what does that look like?”

For me, the answers were:

  • Rest when tired.
  • Meditate more often.
  • Move in ways that feel good (walk outside, gentle yoga, jazzercise when I have the energy)
  • Eat only when I’m hungry.
  • More veggies. Less sugar.
  • Think good thoughts about my body.
  • Believe that healing is possible. (I’m not always going to be sick!)
  • Be grateful for my body. Treat it as a sacred vessel.

I can’t say that making this list and reading it daily has helped me to be magically cured overnight.

But I can say that making this list and reading it daily has helped me to be more mindful of how I’m caring for my body.

I’m not pushing through things as much.

I’m going to bed earlier.

I’m crawling into bed and taking 15-minute cat naps when I can.

I’m walking the dog in the woods between client calls.

I’m eating veggies for breakfast (In a frittata! But hey, it’s a start!)

I’m eating less sugar (most days).

I’m feeling mentally better, if not physically better.

I’ve written before about listening to your body and the importance of rest.

It’s a subject that is essential to our self care foundation.

If we don’t care for our bodies, who’s going to do it for us?

 

Revitalizing Action:

  1. Ask yourself “What can I do to LOVE MY BODY MORE?”
  2. Make your list.
  3. Post it someplace you’ll see it every day.
  4. Notice how you feel after a few days.

Here’s to loving our bodies more!

Elizabeth

P.S. What’s on your list? If you feel like sharing, simply hit “Reply”.

Wednesday
Mar012017

Who Needs a Life & Business Coach?

Several years ago, I was backstage on set right before a television interview. I was chatting with the news anchor and she told me that one of their staff members had asked with a patronizing tone “Why are we interviewing a life coach? Who needs a life coach?”

But the news anchor understood what I did and how I help my clients and she was excited for the interview. (Thank goodness!)

It’s funny, I usually have two diametrically opposed reactions when I meet people and tell them what I do for a living.

They either say “Oh my goodness, I NEED YOU! I could really use a life & business coach to help me get my act together!”

Or they are like the newsroom staff person and say “A life coach? What’s that? And why would I possibly need that?”

The difference between those two types of people is pretty clear to me.

The first person is someone who WANTS MORE out of life and wants to take action to manifest their dreams. They see their reality and aren’t satisfied – perhaps they desire more work/life balance or want to improve their health or get organized or grow their business. They have goals and dreams and they just need a little help and support to make them come true. They understand they have a choice and can create a life they want to live. They know there is more to life and they want to experience the joy and fulfillment of living inspired every day.

The second person is usually someone who’s stuck, unhappy, frustrated and thinks life happens to them. They’re often really independent people – the kind who don’t like to ask for help because they see it as a sign of weakness and think they “should” be able to do everything on their own. They would rather white knuckle their way through life and believe that stress, frustration and overwhelm are simply necessary evils of their human experience.

The truth is, successful people ask for help. They seek advice, they read books, they learn from other leaders. They attend seminars, they have spiritual mentors and they love to learn. People who live happy lives have meaningful communities and networks of people who love and support them, who encourage and inspire them. It doesn’t matter if these folks are life coaches or business consultants or mentors or wise men and women. They know that the key to success is surrounding themselves with supportive people.

It’s been my experience that most of my coaching clients already have a supportive network. But when they hire me, they want someone in their corner who isn’t their mother, sister, best friend or colleague. They want an objective voice who can be a sounding board, a resource person and an advocate without judgment or bias.

Need help with…

  • Exercise goals? Hire a personal trainer.
  • Eating healthier? Work with a nutritionist.
  • Your financial goals? Invest in a financial planner.
  • Decorating your house? Hire an interior designer.
  • Selling your home or office? Hire a realtor.
  • Growing your business and balancing your busy life? Hire a coach!

Want success in an area of life and can’t get there on your own?  Then hire a professional. If you find the right person for you, they will help you get to where you want to go faster, easier and with better results.

If you could benefit from working with a coach, reach out and let’s talk.

Remember, the more we enlist support and ask for help, the more successful – and satisfied – we are with our businesses and our lives.

I need a life & business coach! How about you?

Elizabeth

 

Wednesday
Feb222017

Love Languages at Work and Home: What's Yours?

On our first date, my husband arrived at my doorstep carrying fresh tomatoes that he’d just picked from his garden.

(Even though I don’t like tomatoes and I gave them to my neighbor, I didn’t tell him until more than a year later!)

On our second date, he arrived with a book. One I had never heard of. It was Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages. Have you read it?

Chapman teaches that we all have a primary and a secondary love language and that is how we feel appreciated and receive love in the world. The five love languages are:

  1.  Words of Affirmation
  2. Acts of Service
  3. Quality Time
  4. Physical Touch
  5. Receiving Gifts

Eric didn’t know it at the time, but my primary love language is receiving gifts! So he got serious brownie points for bringing me gifts on our first two dates!

We read this book together – and discussed it with some couple friends – early on in our relationship. We learned that we have completely different love languages (mine is gifts and words of affirmation, his is physical touch and acts of service) so that was valuable knowledge. I gave him (what I thought were) meaningful gifts and flowery cards professing my love for him. He gave me back rubs and changed the oil in my car.

As we learned to apply the principles in the book, we realized that we were giving what we wanted to receive. And that to help our partner feel really loved, we need to give them what THEY want. So I learned to give him foot rubs (his favorite) and did some gardening at his house. He was reminded to buy me jewelry and leave me little love notes from time to time.

Until one day, we’d been married more than a year and the gift giving had fallen by the way side and I was feeling a bit neglected. He was on his way to the grocery store and I asked him to bring me home a “surprise.” He looked at me quizzically and I said “Look, I just gave you a hint. Remember what my primary love language is? You can figure the rest out!”

As he headed out to the store, I had dreams of what my surprise might be: Godiva chocolates, some lovely tulips (my favorite), maybe an Oprah magazine, perhaps some chocolate dipped strawberries.

When he got home he said “I’m so excited! I found the perfect surprise for you! Close your eyes.”

So I closed my eyes, held out my hands and he placed something plastic and cold in my palms.

When I opened my eyes, I looked at it and said, “What the ---?”

And he exclaimed “It’s a CAN OPENER! See how it opens the can so that it removes the jagged edges so that you’ll never cut your fingers ever again?! Isn’t it the coolest?!”

Remember, his love languages are physical touch (Don’t hurt yourself, honey!) and acts of service (practical, useful gift for the kitchen).

Needless to say, he was in the doghouse for a week!

Now that we’ve been married for 12 ½ years, we laugh about that darned can opener all the time.

Even though he knew my love language…

Even though I prompted him…

Even though he thought he was on track…

He still missed the mark big time! …But he thought he had done SO GOOD!

I share this story with you not to pick on my sweet husband but to point out the fact that even when we think we are telling someone we love them or that we are appreciating them, if it’s not in a language that they can understand, THEY WON’T HEAR YOU.

Gary Chapman has gone on to write several books, applying his core principles to different relationships. Recently I learned that he has co-authored The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace. All five languages apply in the workplace, too, with the exception of some modifications for physical touch (Only appropriate touch in the workplace, thank you very much! Handshakes, fist bumps, high fives, a hand on a shoulder, a hug if someone is needing support, etc.)

So often we express our thanks to people verbally – perhaps a “thank you” phone call, a hand written note or an email – but we often neglect the other languages of appreciation! What about taking someone to lunch? Pitching in to help on a big project? Giving a small gift that they’d like (a cup of coffee or some Girl Scout cookies!)

This week, I invite you to check out one or both of these books and take a look at both the personal and/or the professional relationships in your life. See if you can identify your primary love/appreciation language and then talk with the key people in your life (spouse, partner, best friend, assistant, clients, etc.) and learn what theirs is.

I’d love to hear what you learn! Send me a note!

Just don’t buy your beloved a can opener, OK?

Elizabeth

P.S. He also has editions for kids, teens, singles, men, military personnel and more! Check them all out here!

P.P.S. If you want to show yourself some love (or a special friend in your life) this is the last week to register for the Revitalization Retreat for Professional Women in April in Galveston!