Wake Up to Life to Get the Sleep You Want

While I’m in Sedona, Arizona, attending a business mastermind retreat, I’ve asked a few fabulous coaches to step in with blogs. Today’s guest blog is by Jodie Rodenbaugh. As a coach who works with widows, Jodie embodies the importance of self-care in the face of life’s biggest challenges.

While talking to someone yesterday they asked me, “What keeps you up at night?”

I thought about this for a second. I know many people who don’t sleep at night or wake up in the middle of the night–and honestly I used to be one of them.

Before my husband died, I would toss and turn while he lay there sound asleep. He’d wake up excited for the day at the crack of dawn ready to take it on, saying things to me like, “Come on Babe, it’s a beautiful day to be here. Get up, love me, and be happy!

My response would be something short of a grunt, and his “happy dance” irritated me even more.

I never knew how he could fall asleep so fast, stay asleep, and pretty much sleep wherever he laid his head.

I never knew why I couldn’t fall asleep, stay asleep, or why the perfect sleeping environment was so important to me.

I never knew any of this until I the moment I woke up like I’ve never known awake before. The day my young, vibrant, alive husband was accidentally killed during a “routine” local block anesthesia procedure prior to shoulder surgery.

I went to bed that night and slept.

Through that first week I wondered why I was able to sleep at a time like this when I had such a difficult time sleeping before. I wanted to know why my biggest fear had become my reality and could sleep when I hadn’t slept before.

Was it because the things I thought that mattered before didn’t actually matter? I realized that there was not much in those weeks after he died that I could control but the one thing I could control was what I chose to feel.

That was a new concept to me because over the years, after many other smaller hurts, I got pretty good at hiding my feelings—or even ignoring them all together.

Becoming a widow was so sudden. It left me standing there completely vulnerable and naked. The only thing I knew for sure is it felt worse than any pain I had ever known and I didn’t want to stay in that feeling.

On the other hand, I recognized the beauty in feeling the emotions that I had shut out for so long. I learned that by ignoring my negative emotions—like sadness, shame, anger, resent, and blame—that I was blocking the positive emotions—like peace, freedom, love, and pure joy—from entering my heart.

I learned I was hiding from vulnerability and when I found myself completely vulnerable—feeling as though I had no choiceI learned that I really do have a choice.

I could ignore those feelings I was really good at hiding OR I could embrace them, show them, and receive them. I could open myself up to choosing life and loveand that’s exactly what I did. 

After four years, I still have struggles with trying to control an outcome or person, and worrying that something “may” happen in the future. I sometimes wonder what I “should” have done in the past, or what others think.

But the difference is I feel it, I allow it, and then I start digging.

I know the behaviors that tell me I’m ashamed or feeling alone, and those behaviors are pretty simple: hiding, blaming, complaining, shaming others, not completing tasks or committing to things. When I catch myself I have to ask:

  • “Why is this bothering me?”
  • “What am I ignoring by trying to control the things I cannot control?”

What I find is real, raw, and sad pain–and I let it come. The vulnerability that comes from feeling alone, like you don’t belong in the world, or plain old shame that comes from feeling “not good enough” or standing out in a crowd when others are afraid of your bright light.

Finding the “cause” quiets those thoughts down and I have an opportunity to sleep.

No one’s going to die if you go to sleep. More money or time isn’t going to magically appear if you stay awake and the problem will not go away in the morning, because you still see it as a “problem.”

Problems and struggles are only problems and struggles because you see them as problems and struggles. Start looking at things as opportunities to grow and ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen if I go to sleep now?”

Jodie xo

Jodie Rodenbaugh inspires young, widowed moms who feel overwhelmed, alone, and uncertain to catapult beyond their existence in the “widow” status so they can allow themselves to know and adore who they are, be confident in what they want and feel empowered to love and live a life they never knew could exist for them. 

Jodie holds a Masters in Education and spent 16 years dedicated to teaching children the love of learning and eventually expanded her practice to coaching teachers. Her decision to leave education, a Masters degree, and a full-time paying job in which she was comfortable enough not to ever worry about money came from the experiences she had after suddenly becoming a young, pregnant widow. 

She followed her heart and the many clues she was given from God and the Universe and took the biggest leap of faith—in herself—as she resigned from education to share her lessons and passion for life. She helps widows untangle from their fears, overwhelment, and pains that are suffocating their hearts and controlling their thoughts so that they are free to live and love again. 

Learn more about Jodie and read her blog at www.widowfindsloveagain.com

Are you struggling with your weight?

Are you worried about holiday weight gain?

Are you ready to get the body you really want?

I have 2 coaching spaces open to help you love your way slim. If you are serious about transforming your mind and body so that:

  • You create the holidays you really want and never feel deprived.
  • You start the New Year energized and feeling fabulous.
  • You break the cycle of losing and regaining weight—once and for all.

Secure your spot now by emailing me at hannagoss@goss-coaching.com by November 11 to schedule your complimentary breakthrough session. These powerful and empowering sessions are available on a limited basis.

Don’t wait till Jan 2 to take inspired action. Start creating the body—and life—you want today.


Are You Getting Adequate Rest?

Getting adequate rest is vitally important to being able to maintain physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energy. Do you ever feel so tired you have to force yourself to stay awake? Do small problems sometimes elicit big emotional reactions? Do you get things done through sheer willpower even though you’re exhausted?

You may not be getting adequate rest.

I certainly saw a huge leap in my ability to react appropriately, get things done, achieve physical goals, and see situations more clearly when I made getting adequate rest a priority and worked my life around that. And I see those things deteriorate if I don’t consistently follow my self-prescribed guidelines for getting enough sleep.

What I also noticed, however, was that getting tied to a specific number of hours of sleep or type of rest created limiting beliefs about what I could and could not do. If I didn’t get that magic number of hours of sleep one night, I would expect to feel bad and struggle the next day. And so I would.

But did it have to be that way?

One day I asked myself if getting that certain number of hours of sleep every night was a Universal Truth, meaning it is True no matter who, no matter what? I recognized that it wasn’t. I could actually point to several high-functioning people who consistently got less sleep and did just fine.

This meant that a certain number of hours was then generally true for me. Those magic hours were still the goal I wanted to shoot for, but that if for some reason I didn’t get those hours it didn’t automatically mean that my day would be an energetic struggle. In other words, I could occasionally get less sleep and still have a great day.

So I began changing my thoughts about sleep. If I naturally woke up in the middle of the night, I asked myself what I wanted to do. Did I want to get up and accomplish something? Relax and meditate? Ponder what I would consider the perfect solution to a situation? Or just bask in appreciation of my life and the world?

And occasionally things come up in the evening that mean I don’t make my bedtime, and sometimes, I just make a different choice.

In all of these situations I give myself permission to do what feels right and still get up and feel vibrant, alive, and eager the next day.

I still strive to consistently get that magic number of hours of sleep every night, but my goal now is to get adequate rest—whatever that looks like on any given night. And I can monitor my energy levels to let me know if I’m tilting toward needing more sleep.

What does adequate rest mean for you? How does getting adequate rest impact your energy levels? Where might you be creating limiting beliefs about the amount of sleep you are or are not getting? How does getting adequate rest impact the quality of your life?

Together we can do it!


Are You Tempted?

I’m packing today to go on my first cruise to celebrate my 20th wedding anniversary. To say I’m excited is an understatement!

But I’m also aware that I will be facing lots of temptations, and it might be easy to let my attention to health and wellness slip a little—or even a lot. I’m already feeling vacation’s siren song of rest, relaxation, and indulgence.

Making wellness a lifestyle means consistently practicing healthy thoughts and actions no matter where you are, even a cruise. To me, it also means finding balance and a little bit of freedom without undoing all the mental and physical momentum I generate on a daily basis.

My intention is to enjoy myself and to feel like I’m having a vacation, but also to come back feeling good, balanced, and with my healthy habits intact. To fulfill that, I’ve created a plan.

I will know my plan was a success if when I come back I have maintained my weight and feel good physically and mentally.

Select and Sample

One thing I know I will be facing is lots and lots of food options. It’s important to remember that there’s no way I am going to be able to eat everything I want, and trying to go there will mean paying for it later.

So I plan to use the plentiful food options to my advantage. What that means is that I will be able to select healthy food and portions most of the time.

My intention is that I will be selective and eat those treats that I truly want, but I am going to choose not to eat as much of them as I might want. A bite or two that I savor and enjoy is truly enough. I find that after that, the taste of what I’m eating becomes less intense and what I’m doing as I continue to eat is trying to regain that first taste-sensation.

Although I’m having visions of drinks with little umbrellas, celebratory champagne, and superb wine pairings, I am also going to be careful with alcohol, which is where empty calories can sneak in so easily.

What I’m going to do here is choose one each day. Once a day I will have either a Pina Colada, a glass of champagne, or a glass of wine with dinner. (And I will choose lower-calorie and better for me wine or champagne most often.) Since I normally don’t drink much, any one of those will be an indulgence. My head and body will thank me in the morning (and after the trip), if I maintain some moderation here. Drinking plenty of water during the day will also be key.

I’m bringing along protein bars and individual portion packs of almonds for quick and healthy snacks while on excursions. By not letting myself get too hungry between meals, I will be much more likely to stick to my plan.

Pack Workout Clothes

The ship we’re sailing on has a gym, outside track, climbing wall, surfing simulator, and even an ice rink! While I’m nursing a mild back injury, there should be plenty of fun ways for me to move my body every day.

A workout doesn’t have to be perfect to leave you feeling better and more energized. You just have to do it.

Catch Some Zs

One of the keys for making sure I stay on track while traveling is to get adequate rest, which can be a challenge in a strange bed hearing noises that I’m not used to, as well as having so many fun things to do that I’m not getting to bed until late.

I know what adequate rest means for me, so I intend have fun, but allow myself to get the sleep that I need.


I would also like to ask you fabulous readers to hold me accountable when I get back. Knowing that I’ll have to report to you on how I did at following my plan will absolutely help me think twice before sticking my fork into some delicious dish.

And if I do find that I drank a second glass of wine, heeded the call of dessert, or chose having fun over sleep, I won’t beat myself up. To achieve optimal wellness, we only need to be consistent, not perfect.

What do you do to maintain your wellness while on vacation? Please share the travel and vacation tips that have worked for you. The best way to learn is from each other.

Together we can do it!

Photo by Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Who Do You Want to Be for the Holidays?

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in doing, particularly this time of year. Shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking, holiday cards, etc., etc.—there’s so much to do to make the holidays special for everyone else.

But what about you? Are you feeling the Happy, Merry, and Jolly? Chances are, not so much.

It’s easy to be so focused on the to-do list that we forget to be. We buy in to the idea that our value is demonstrated by what we do, and we forget that who we are being is so much more important.

Just ask yourself if your family would rather have that extra decoration, another batch of cookies, or even that extra gift, or if they would rather have you truly present, relaxed, smiling, engaged, and laughing?

If you have been going in overdrive to get everything done and as a result have been eating poorly, cutting back on sleep, skipping exercise, and are feeling the stress, how likely are you going to show up over the holidays being who you are meant to be? It’s more likely that you’ll be short-tempered, anxious, and miss most of the fun.

I think that’s been the most important reminder for me as I’ve struggled with having to let go of doing while recuperating from surgery. My ah-ha moment came yesterday when I remembered that my purpose in life is not to do something in particular, it’s to be the fullest and broadest embodiment of who I am.

No one else in the world can be you. You are unique. No one else has had the exact same experiences, or perceives things in exactly the same way. The gift that you bring to the world is who you are.

How can you rethink your to-do list? What are your priorities and what can you let go of? What do you need to do to remember the true value that you bring to the holidays?

Together we can do it!


Photo by Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net