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Along The Path

Along the Path is a newsletter created by Coach Marlene Boas, Ph.D., BCC
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Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.

                                                                                                                                                                       Stephen Covey

Tiny Patterns = Big Changes

Four years ago we were looking for a new house and found one back in our hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. We had spent the previous 27 years in a nice suburban neighborhood with houses in close proximity.  At this point in our lives we wanted a bit more space and a place where we could commune with nature. We found a great house with a little over an acre full of trees, birds, and all kinds of flora and fauna. We moved from Ohio and should have known better but somehow a very important factor had slipped our minds; the emerald ash borer.  This tiny little exotic beetle, not indigenous to the US, found its way into Michigan a little over a decade ago and has destroyed hundreds of millions of trees in its path. The adults munch on the canopy while the larvae nestle under the bark.  During their maturation, these little creatures create amazingly beautiful intricate patterns that only become evident when the tree finally crashes to the ground and the bark falls away.

How can this tiny intruder inflict such widespread destruction and devastation?

I now look at my back yard and see the skeletons of many dead trees with sharp leafless limbs piecing the soft blue skies.  It’s sad, but Mother Nature has much to teach us if we choose to listen.

When I think of that tiny bug I am reminded of how destructive our negative thoughts and patterns can be.  They burrow down deep in our minds and slowly eat away at our health and wellbeing.  We may not even be aware of the internal destruction that’s subtly taking place as it slowly robs us of our vitality.

Being stuck in “problem” and wallowing around in it creates destructive patterns, not unlike the borer.  We must be vigilant about monitoring our thoughts and diligent about shifting them away from self defeating to self enhancing.  When we experience a challenge we can choose to welcome it, and then do what we can to make things better or practice acceptance - just like the serenity prayer suggests.  Being aware and taking action is a potent inoculation against the erosion of our wellbeing.

This tiny bug confounds the entomologist as they try to figure ways to contain it. But it has outsmarted them, all their Ph.D.s and research labs!  In the same way it may be simple for us to know we need to shift thinking away from negativity - but it’s not always easy.  Here are some suggestions:
  • Try to figure out your favorite flavor of negative thoughts is: criticism, judgment, worry, competition, anger, insecurity, defensiveness ….
  • Create ways to dispute those thoughts and practice regularly like you’re learning a new language or skill.
  • Examine your values and find constructive ways to engage in life more fully and share your goodness with the world.
  • Believe you can create new beautiful thought patterns and get to work!

Need some coaching on how to make the shift ? Contact me - or 419-357-7023
Marlene is a regular contributor on Pittsburgh Today Live.
Check out the videos.
Pack Light and Cary On - March 2016
Christmas Calamari - Dec 2015
Rearview - October 2015       
Friends - Septemeber 2015           
Hold 'em or fold 'em - Feb 2015
Decide and DeStress - July 2015
Grit - May 2015
Spring Clean Your Life - March 2015
Kind vs Nice  - Jan 2015
Managing Expectations December 2014 
Gratitude - November 2014
October - Who's Calling?
September - Note to Self
August 2014 - Lost in Translation
Copyright © 2015, Marlene Boas, All rights reserved.

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