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I’m working on a piece about how the emotion of loneliness (usually associated with a negative feeling, anti-social and “isolated” feeling) and solitude (more often associated with a more “exploratory”, mindful feeling of “freedom”), and how these feelings relates to, and defines, your behavior. Found your blog post of great interest and value for not only dating after divorce but for the struggle people who don’t feel they are good enough or wanted, go through.

Lessons From the End of a Marriage

I received a message the other day from a woman who was recently divorced after fifteen years of marriage. But that’s not why she was reaching out. She was instead asking for help dealing with the utter devastation she was feeling at the end of a six month relationship.

She seemed surprised at the depth of her response.

I wasn’t.

Dating after divorce is often a journey through murky waters. Every encounter and action can have multiple layers, as we work through the end of one marriage, heal ourselves and learn to be in a new relationship. Those events take time and often result in certain stumbling blocks in dating after divorce.

Beginning Deja-Vu

If you were in a long marriage and you were faithful, it has probably been a long time since you have experienced the particular thrill that can electrify the early stages of infatuation. In fact, the last…

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The word coaching is indeed widely used – from management support services, to a wellness coach in our fitness club. For clarity, let me explain what I mean by coaching.

For a moment, think about the arts and crafts of frame making…framing a picture in such a way that it can unfold its full expressivity is an art that few people have mastered. Rembrandt was quoted as saying that during his whole career it was more difficult for him to find an appropriate frame than to paint the picture!

Now, think about coaching as framing a piece of art…As a coach we create a frame (of thought) for the individual or team in which his or her goals, solutions, and first steps can shine. The frame constructed by the coach consists of goal-oriented questions, reinforcing feedback. present listening, and useful summary.

It is the task of coaching to ensure that the individual or team receive the appropriate frame. But just like the frame maker, the coach would never start actively creating the picture.

Next time I’ll tie it all together in my Mindful Solution-Focused Coaching model.

Until then ThinkLARS – Think Life stress relieving Awareness and Resources for your Success 

A helping hand...coaching

A helping hand…coaching

Being Focused on the Solution of a situation rather than the cause – the problem – is the driving force behind SF coaching.

The idea being that it’s more useful to focus attention on building solutions for problems than on analyzing causes of problems, trusting that any person is competent to solve his or her own problems, but may need help finding solutions that fit his or her unique circumstances; individualized solutions that are really owned by the coachee/performer/team. 

  • Problem talk is negative, solution talk is positive and future focused.
  • The future is both created and negotiable. People are not locked into a set of behaviors based on history and problems of the past.
  • If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. If it works, do more of it.
  • The solution is not necessarily related to the problem. Talking about and acting upon what will be different is the focus, not uncovering why the problem occurred.
  • No problem happens all the time; there are always exceptions that can be utilized. These exceptions can be used to create the solution.
  • Small steps can lead to big changes. Being solution focused means using a series of small manageable steps to build the path to a Solution.
  • Again, problem talk is negative, solution talk is positive and future focused.

Next time I’ll talk about what Coaching is…and tie it all together in my Mindful Solution-Focused Coaching model.

Until then ThinkLARS – Think Life stress relieving Awareness and Resources for your Success!


...being positive and future focused

Being Solution Focused…











Mindfulness is awareness of, and an alert observing of your thoughts, emotions, body sensations, desires, memories, images, personality dynamics, attitudes, motivation, behavior, etc.

When you are mindful of something, you are observing it, not caught up in it and not identified with it. With people, you become more settled into being fully there with them, more peacefully relaxed in awareness of them and you and what’s happening, less identified with pleasant or unpleasant reactions that arise, less caught up in the past or future or sense of needing to make something happen. We can feel it immediately when someone else is mindfully present with us; similarly, others can feel it when you are that way yourself.

Hmm...being in the presence

Hmm…being in the presence










In my next post I’ll answer what it means to be Solution-Focused.

For now, ThinkLARS – Think Life stress relieving Awareness and Resources for your Success!

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, M.B.S.R., and Solution-Focused coaching operate out of the understanding that by being aware of, and learn to consciously and systematically work with stress, pain, illness, and the challenges and demands of everyday life, by not turning away from them, but learning to be resilient with and through them, and to be willing to “own them”, YOU, together with your Coach, can design small do-able changes that will help you be more aligned with your beliefs and values.

Let’s look at that definition in more depth and let’s start with Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Ralph Waldo Emerson said “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” Mindfulness is about being fully aware of whatever is happening (good or bad) in the present moment, without filters or the lens of judgement. It’s about being aware, and living in the here and now. You may say, that’s fine but how does that reduce my stress level I live with day in and day out…?

What if you could become mindful of your stress reactions and learn to respond to them in a more constructive and harmonious way than for example respond to being stuck in traffic by cursing, becoming agitated, angry, frustrated and honking your horn as if that would open up a lane for you to drive away and escape the bumper to bumper traffic…?

The tension throughout your body, rapid or irregular breathing, gripping the steering wheel so tightly that your knuckles are turning white, or the more hidden impact of anxiety and irritation, such as elevated heart rate, blood pressure, or body temperature CAN be reversed by becoming aware (being mindful) or your physical tension, return to the present moment and release your death grip on the steering wheel, breath mindfully, which will gradually regulate other internal symptoms of stress, including heart rate and blood pressure.

In short, mindfulness allows you to see your experience of being stuck in traffic clearly, and it can help you become more aware of how stress affects you, making you a more active participant in your health and well-being and experience any moment, no matter how difficult or intense, with more balance and peace.

You have just chosen a more “skillful” response to being stuck in traffic…

More to come in future blog posts.

For now, ThinkLARS – Think Life stress relieving Awareness and Resources for your Success!

“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me , I’d still have to say it.”

George F. Burns


1. One thing at a time. Do it right now. Remove distractions.

2. Simplify your schedule. Learn to say no. Leave room for down time and fun.

3. Get moving. Walk, hike, play a sport, go for a run, do yoga.

4. Develop one healthy habit this month. One habit at a time – for example eat fruit and veggies for snack, drink water instead of soda.

5. Do something calming. Find what calms you down. Housework, yard work, meditation, nature walk, reading, taking a bath.

6. Simplify your finances. Automate savings and bill payments and debt payments. Find ways to have fun that don’t involve spending money.

7. Have a blast! Have fun each day, even it’s just for a few minutes. Laugh a lot and often. Smile.

8. Get creative. If you like to write, do so. If you prefer to paint or play music or sketch or make pottery or do interior design or build things…Just do it!

9. Declutter. Take 20-30 minutes to just to through a room, getting rid of stuff you don’t use or need anymore.

10. Be early. Schedule some buffer time to avoid being late – because being late can be very stressful…and if you get somewhere early, meditate!


Now your life will probably never be stress-free – I don’t think that’s even desirable, even if is possible, because stress is something that challenges us and helps us grow. At a reasonable level. But when stress gets too high, it causes us to be unhappy and unhealthy.

“It is indeed a radical act of love just to sit down and be quiet for a time by yourself…It is only love that can give us insight into what is real and what is important. And so a radical act of love makes sense, love for life and for the emergence of one’s truest self.” —– Jon Kabat-Zinn


To bare our heart (or soul) to someone, to reveal our innermost thoughts…to undress your soul. Check out my illustration – Feelings & Expressions©.


My goal for my Self-Development spoke. In my last posting I announced the goal for my Routine spoke – one of three spokes I found I had to try and balance with my other 7 spokes (Routine, Love, Family, Personal, Self-Development, Wellness and Social). Today’s blog deals with my Self-Development spoke – which is an ongoing process that you must take in order to know and improve yourself. This entails your intellectual life, learning, understanding, memory, analyzing, reflecting, and even beliefs, religion, opinions, ideologies, spiritual growth, and everything concerning personal development, such as self-confidence, self-esteem, and more. When setting goals for yourself it’s important to align them with your interests, attitudes and values – your true purpose and priorities – and to bring you – on the road map of life – closer to your final destination. In my coaching practice I offer my assessment Managing for Success – Personal Interests, Attitudes and Values – an assessment I obviously took myself 🙂

When setting goals for the three spokes I’m working on and to  get them more in line (balanced) with the other 5 spokes of the Wheel of Life, I rely on my Personal Interests, Attitudes and Values assessment result to find goals that are in line with who I am and what makes me “take action”.

So for example in my Professional  life (or “spoke”) my ideal environment, based on my personal strengths and preferences, is one where I get assignments with a high degree of people contacts, with a minimum of conflict between people but in a stable and somewhat predictable environment in which I may deal with people on a personal, intimate basis, with a democratic supervisor with whom I can associate and where I may thrive with freedom from control and detail.

When taking a thorough look at how to balance my Routine spoke I looked back at my SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis and found that my strength is that I’m stable and persistent, but with a potential weakness of being relaxed and content with things the way they are. I’m good at analyzing situations that can be felt, touched, seen, heard, personally observed or experienced. My motto is “facts are facts”. I often think over major decisions before acting. I am sensitive to the feelings of others and able to display real empathy for those who are experiencing difficulties. I prefer to plan my work and work my plan.

Furthermore I found that I sometimes want to avoid problems, rather than face them and solve them. I’m also sometime too quick to offer my friendship and help to others who needs me and my time…So the first thing I needed to do to better balance my Routine spoke was to make sure I stopped avoiding problems and started to face them, plan and solve them as part of my new routine making sure they were not put on a back burner but rather addressed as part of my routine. my time management. I also needed to start saying no…and stop being distracted by, or making an excuse for not getting things done in a timely manner, because I helped others who needed me and my time…

My Routine will now be more in line with who I am; better managing my money, personal and professional time, by being aware of the distractions “luring” me away from my goal to get things done – in other words to better balancing my Routine.


My Self-Development  spoke is the last of my 8 Wheel of Life spokes that I found out I needed to work on in order to Balance My Life. Self-Development is about self-actualization which in turn is the key to self-help. While good advice is valuable, the ultimate provider of self-help is the self. The most successful and happy people are those who, when faced with adversity, find the solutions within themselves. “Self-actualized” people are confident in their abilities. They do not rely on others to set goals for them, and neither do they depend on external validation as a measure of success. They listen to their instincts and trust themselves. They break free from old relationships, say goodbye to blaming parents, spouses, or employers. They realize that happiness must come from inside.

This is a huge task to take upon yourself – and it’s the one spoke I need to spend the most time on myself over the next 5 years – the goal being that the ride will become less and less “bumpy” the more I work on the 3 spokes Professional, Routine and Self-Development, even out my wheel making the journey more enjoyable and comfortable. Plus I’ll be able to reach my destination faster and in a safer way 🙂


Life doesn’t have to be something that just “happens” to you. You have more of a say in your future than you might imagine. Of the ones I’ve coached, many, who feel they didn’t  wind up “where they wanted to be” had only the vaguest idea of where that place was. They were somehow without direction but admitted to have no focus to begin with. In other words, they were lost from the very beginning, because they didn’t have the life road map – never drew one, never took the time to write down the short-and long-term goals, their direction.

Lars: five years from now and the journey to get there starts now and it starts with me finding out a) what’s important to me about success [The Values Staircase™, a ThinkLars tool] and b) how “balanced” my wheel of life is [The Wheel of Life, a Meyer Resource Inc. trademark]. It’s about my values – the guidelines I’ll bring with me on my journey and the fuel I need to succeed. What is it I need to accomplish, to satisfy, and how do I find the most rewarding road on the road map of life? The more balanced my “wheels” are the smoother the ride, the faster I can travel (if I so choose to), or the more I’ll enjoy the ride! There are eight spokes on the wheel that, together, and if balanced, will make the wheel roll with fewer bumps and lessen the risk of “deflation”.

The eight spokes; 1. Professional, 2. Routine, 3. Love, 4. Family, 5. Personal, 6. Self-Development, 7.Wellness and 8. Social

Many people believe that having wealth and a prominent and respectable career is a surefire way to happiness and satisfaction. These types of people tend to adopt a HAVE-DO-BE attitude. The risk with this kind of thinking is that they rely on acquiring an external source or tangible material to attain satisfaction. They start by wanting to HAVE. What happens when the external source or material is gone? The the satisfaction is gone too.

The way to resolve this it to attain satisfaction that comes from within, which is demonstrated by the BE-DO-HAVE model. You must first BE who you really are, and then you DO the actions that are in line with your personality to HAVE satisfaction that emanates from the inside-out. The starting point here is to BE what you are, according to what you want and expect for yourself. That is why the first step to achieving true satisfaction and happiness in your job and career is for you to take a close look at your personality. From that point, you can determine the jobs and careers that are best suited to your personality, your strengths, talents and interests.

You need to look at each one of the eight spokes and how they are all graded/satisfied/taken care of at the present moment. I think you get the grasp of how the Wheel of Life exercise works. The more balanced the 8 spokes are,  the better prepared I am for the road ahead.

Lars: five years from now and the journey to get there is going to be a ride you don’t want to miss, so decide to follow me and my blog, pick up some key ideas for yourself along the way. And if you decide you need someone by your side who will focus entirely on you, and who will help and support you in getting what you really want, to define, set, and track your own goals – then I’ll be your Coach throughout your journey. Feel free to send me your comments (using the form below) but make sure you sign up and follow me over the next five years!! This is going to be one heck of a journey and you will have front row seats to my life-planning book that I write myself – Lars: five years from now. Actually, it’s so much more than planning. It’s about finding out more about me, self-discovery, getting to know and trust the only person who is responsible for my own happiness. And you will all have front row seats to My Journey! I’m hoping to inspire you to set sail on your own journey and if so, I’ll be there to help, support and track your progress.

Curious?  Get in touch with me for your own, no-cost, initial consultation. I promise you it will take no more than 15 minutes of your time and you will leave with a better understanding of what is important to you, what you value and what the key checkpoints on your journey will be! 🙂

“Take the first step in Faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

– Martin Luther King

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Team-Building/Cross-Cultural Trainer

Team-Building/Cross-Cultural Trainer

Lars Bolin, Team-Building/Cross-Cultural Trainer & Project Management Lite Consultant

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