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"You have taught me to believe in myself and to take things slowly, one step at a time, keep sight of my goals, both short term and long term.

Your coaching style was both nuturing and motivating, you seemed to intuitively know some days what I needed most. Your caring and understanding was so appreciated and it came from the heart."

-Holly C.

I would recommend the Simplicity Course as an easy, practical way to start simplifying one's life. I especially liked the segments on Tolerations, Wardrobe, and Office and Paperwork.

Each day focuses on only one task, which is helpful to people who feel overwhelmed by the complexities of modern life and hardly know where to begin downshifting.

-Joan, New York

Beth has an uncanny way of, "reading between the lines" to see a person's heart. I appreciate how genuine she is.

I have already begun implementing her suggestions, and am dumbstruck at how well they are working. I am feeling so much more secure, and feel I am finally put onto a life path that will bring me joy for many years to come."

-Sue Halpern

I feel more focused and have an objective instead of aimlessly filling up the day.

-Shelli Segura



March 2005 Newsletter

Paying Attention

Creating a saner, simpler life


March 8, 2005

Welcome to Encouraging Words monthly newsletter. You have subscribed because you want encouragement in creating a saner, simpler life. Please pass it along to friends who could use this tips.

Doesn't quite feel like spring here yet. Snow is still coming down in Michigan. But, we have been enjoying jigsaw puzzles, swimming in the pool, and playing board games until the snow and cold turns to tulips and warm breezes. You can see what else I have been up to at my blog: http://encouragingwords.blogspot.com/

This is National Procrastination Week. What are you procrastinating on? To celebrate, I have marked the procrastination e-course 1/2 off ~ only $5! Read more here: http://www.encouragingcoach.com/programs-procrastinationspecial.htm


Strategy #6 for a Saner, Simpler Life:Paying Attention

"You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It's just a matter of paying attention to this miracle." ~ Paulo Coelho, Brazilian novelist

In the cartoon, Baby Blues, Mother lists tons of little things to remember - things like bring cupcakes, how her picky son wants his lunch made, and a doctor's appointment to take one of the kids to. The incredulous Dad asks, "How do you keep all that information in your head, and still have room for all the other stuff?" Her answer, "What other stuff?"

A Life Half Lived

I see so many people living life from one routine thing to another and forgetting that there is more to life then errands, cleaning and work. When life gets overfilled, people stop paying attention to their surroundings, their feelings, their needs, and other people.

Conversations are half listened to. Driving is routine unless a close call brings you back to attention. As one task is being done, ten others tasks are in your mind. We can stay in our heads so much, that we forget to look at the outside world. And our world becomes boring or we start to feel numb.

Staying Numb

Sometimes people stay busy so they don't have to pay attention. If they paid attention they might realize they are dissatisfied, hurt, or not living the life they want. They want to pretend and make believe everything is how they want it or at least that they are too busy to do anything about it.

It's easier than changing. Changing habits. Changing jobs. Quitting things that make you feel prestigious but aren't fulfilling. But, if we can wake up to our life we could live a fulfilling, passionate, purposeful life.


How much of your day are you actually paying attention to what you are doing? To stay in the present more one of my clients snaps a rubber band when her mind wanders to the past or future. I have a little note on my monitor reminding me that the time is now.

Paying attention doesn't take much time. Try using little moments in your day to notice. Take a 10 second break to look out the window and observe what is outside. Take 5 minutes to really listen and connect with someone. Take a few seconds between projects and ask yourself how you are feeling and what you need.

Making Life Better

As you notice, if you discover things that need changing, make little changes when you see. You notice you feel better with grapefruit and oatmeal than a donut for breakfast, eat less donuts. You notice something on the floor, quick pick it up and put it away. You don't have to make massive changes to make your life better.

In fact just noticing your life will make it better. Your life will feel more colorful as you take a close look at nature and your surroundings. Your relationships will be deeper as you listen more intently. Your work will go faster because you are focusing your full attention on it. And sometimes you will find that just looking at something will bring you joy.

Ideas for Paying Attention

  • Take a walk and engage in your surroundings
  • Hold someone's hand and feel the texture and the temperature
  • Wash dishes by hand noticing the feel of the water and playing with the bubbles
  • Look at the stars at night
  • Listen to your thoughts as they ramble in your head
  • Go to a market and smell the produce in the air
  • Savor your food

As author SARK says, "Live Juicy!"

Action Plan

1. How can you remember to pay attention and stay in the present?


2. Write in your journal or notebook, something that you noticed this day - every day this month

3. Ask yourself how you feel and what you need often

4. Try one of the ideas above for paying attention


Slow Down and Breathe

Enjoy Nature

Focus Attention on a Special Person



I am taking the 70 Day Challenge right now and I just love it. The challenge has fresh ideas and step by step ways to get your life together.

You can use my affiliate link to help support this newsletter: http://www.1shoppingcart.com/app/?Clk=1032165

or go straight to the challenge: http://www.changeyourlifechallenge.com/


Self-Care Tips for March:

  • Bring some music into your life by playing a song or buying a new CD
  • Visit a museum or art gallery alone
  • Enjoy petting an animal
  • Do something out of the ordinary for you

"The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention"
~Artist and author Julia Cameron


Relationship Ideas for March:

  • Dye Easter eggs with someone
  • Invite a friend over for tea
  • Talk with your oldest relative
  • See a play, game or concert at a local school with your love

"Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you." ~Augustine of Hippo

I encourage you this month to smell a flower, feel the grass, and listen to those you love.


Beth Dargis
The Encouraging Coach

A Note About My Recommendations: I provide links in this newsletter to products and services I am offering or I have personally found valuable. I have an affiliate agreement with some of the products I like.

Copyright (c) 2005 Beth Dargis, Zeeland, Michigan. All rights reserved. You may use these articles on your website and newsletters as long as the footer is included. Permission is granted to reproduce, copy or distribute this e-letter so long as this copyright notice and full information attributing Beth Dargis is attached.

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PO Box 233 Zeeland MI 49464 Beth Dargis