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What’s Furry and has Four Legs? May 26, 2011

Posted by franciecooper in life coaching, life lessons.
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What’s Furry and Has Four Legs?

“My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am.”   Unknown
Sometimes the VIPs in our lives are the furry, four-legged variety – the ones we fondly call our Vitally Important Pets.  We love them like family and, according to Web M.D., research has shown that living with pets helps lower blood pressure, lessen anxiety, and boost immunity.
Walking a dog or just caring for a pet can provide exercise and companionship. Heart attack patients who have pets survive longer than those without, according to several studies.  Male pet owners have less sign of heart disease — lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels — than non-owners, researchers say.  “Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is an animal in the home,” says Lynette Hart, PhD, associate professor at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
I had the poignant experience of losing a beloved VIP this past week.  She was a beautiful 15-year-old Golden Retriever named Natasha.  I had the pleasure of her company for only five years of that 15, but she managed to wiggle her fuzzy self deeply into my heart.
I dedicate this week’s blog to her.  She had beauty without vanity, and strength without intolerance. She offered unconditional love and companionship; she was funny, smart, and was never afraid to ask for what she needed and wanted.
Natasha was a good role model for everyone who knew her!
So, dear readers, I invite you to share a story about one of your beloved VIPs this week.  Shoot me an email  or go to my Facebook page to post a comment.  I’d love to see your pictures too!
P.S.  Friend and fellow Coach Steve Coxsey and I are talking about the importance of close relationships all month on our internet radio show, TapaPalapa.   You can listen right now to all of our episodes by clicking here.

What Flavor Ice Cream Are You? May 18, 2011

Posted by franciecooper in life coaching, life lessons.
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“What flavor of ice cream are you?”  That was the question Kathleen posed as we sat around Saturday night, fêting our friend Susan who’d just graduated Summa Cum Laude at the youthful age of 45.
In answer to her own question, Kathleen declared herself Mint Chocolate Chip.  Lesley, with some trepidation, announced she was Nutty Chocolate.  Marcey proudly claimed Chocolate with Rainbow Sprinkles!  Other friends,  Frankye and Marion, both glumly replied Vanilla, plain Vanilla – then thankfully agreed they could be Vanilla Bean.
 I shared that I am Neapolitan.
 “But, you don’t even like Neapolitan,” someone wisely observed.  Ah, true enough, but I do like experiencing lots of different flavors in my life – in the form of new experiences and interesting people.  And, when I do eat Neapolitan, I like to stir it all up, bring all the flavors together for something altogether different and still incredibly yummy.
At that point Kathleen proclaimed, “I feel a Weekly Companion coming on!”  And so here we are, discussing ice cream flavors and how they might possibly relate to the Vitally Important People in our lives.
 One of the things I took away from our little chat circle that evening was that I was, once again, surrounded by some of my wonderful VIPs.  And, that they arrived in every size, shape, color and flavor.  They were tall, short, round, thin, brown, black, white, young, old, salty, tart and sweet.  I realized, too, that I was partly
responsible for the wonderful mix of people that were present, having introduced several of the attendees to one another.  I was having an authentic, stirred up, Neapolitan experience.
So, what flavor of ice cream are you?  Do you feel plain Vanilla?  If so, do you want add more flavor, like some chocolate syrup, or better yet, a banana, some chopped nuts and whipped cream?
 And, what flavors are your VIPs? Do you surround yourself with flavors just like you, or do you like to mix it up, and have a few Nutty Chocolates and
Rainbow Sprinkles thrown in?
This week, take this ice cream quiz then shoot me a note (you can just hit “reply” to this email) and tell me about your own unique flavor.  My guess is it’s
really delicious.
Uh, oh.  Better sign off for now.  I hear the ice cream truck!  Can’t wait to see what new flavor I choose.
Your Neapolitan Coach,
Francie Cooper
P.S.  Steve Coxsey and I are talking about the importance of close relationships all month on our internet radio show, TapaPalapa.  While we won’t scream for ice cream until Thursday this week, you can listen right now to some of our past episodes by clicking here.

Help Paint My Kitchen?!? May 11, 2011

Posted by franciecooper in life coaching, life lessons.
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Do you remember last week when I wrote about the importance of having Vitally Important People in our lives?  Well, this past weekend they showed up in spades at my front door. I experienced the embodiment of VIPs when I had the, ahem, opportunity, to learn how to strip wallpaper, putty, sand, prime and paint my kitchen.
This was not a project for the faint of heart or body, and, since I had never performed these tasks, I really had to rely on some of my VIPs for assistance. They pitched in with physical labor, mental encouragement and nutritional sustenance to help get the job done.  When I tallied the results, I realized it took more than 61 woman-hours to complete.
My heartfelt thanks go out to Kathy Schimmel for her know-how, incredible hard work, and patience; to Frankye Bruce for her amazing attention to detail and Subway sandwiches; to Sherry Grubbs for sharing her delicious Shari’s Berries and good cheer; to Robert Grubbs for his stable, really tall ladder; to Beth Kauffman for pizza, chocolate, and moral support; to Julie Moyers for “put-your-pants-on” chicken and fruit salads; and, of course, to Lesley Hunt for
all of the above, all of the time.
My life is richer, more enjoyable, extra productive, and filled with love because of these individuals and many others.  The VIPs in my life support me physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually every day.
Now, for you dear readers, it is my sincerest hope and wish that you, too, have heroes and champions in your life.  Last week, I asked you to make a list of them.  This week, I invite you to choose at least one of those relationships to nurture in some way.  Write a note. Invite him or her over for coffee or wine.  Set up a lunch or dinner date.
Or, ask them to help paint your kitchen!
Your Still-Recovering Coach,
Francie Cooper
P.S.  Steve and I talk about the imortance of relationships in our pursuit of happiness on this week’s internet radio episode of TapaPalapa!  Click on the link to listen in.