Welcome to the Newsletter for ChangeWorks Life Coaching 

May, 2005 

There is the pain of changing or the pain of not changing...It's up to you

Written by: Maureen Fannin, LCSW

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What is in this issue?


1.  Introduction:  Preparing for the summer

2.  What is New! 

3.   Coaching Topic: The Tao of socks

4. Quote of the Month

5. Shattering The Glass Ceiling Within- Saving your inner voice

6. Additional Quotes

7. Psychotherapy & Coaching Services


1.  Introduction: 


      I love May!  It provides the opportunity to enjoy the out door weather and allows me the opportunity to open the windows and refresh the air in my home.  We have had some cool days here in Virginia giving some relief to the allergy season.   I know we are all making plans for the summer.  We have the longer days to look forward to and the lawn mowing season.  Oh well, you have to take the good with the bad.   All my neighbors are out scouting around their yards making their plans for what to plant.  This issue is about hearing our inner voice and creating positive flow in our lives.  Prepare for your summer with hope and enthusiasm!  


2.  What is New?


      May 1 is my one year anniversary of being in my own practice.  I am wishing myself happy anniversary.  It is important to mark important events in our lives.  Thanks for sharing this one with me.


3. Coaching Topic The Tao of Socks.


The condition of my sock drawer is often a good indicator of how well I'm doing in the world.  I don't mean to say that it indicates the state of my whole being.  I mean there only socks, right?  Nevertheless, the condition of my sock drawer, as well as my children's sock drawer, does have a certain "Zen like"connection to my life.


I don't know what it is about socks that are difficult for me.  For one thing, they are small and seem to have no trouble getting lost or mislaid.  After a long day, there is great of appeal in taking your socks off right where you are leaving them vulnerable to becoming separated from their perfect match. 


Another sock management issue is that they are a great procrastination item.  They often are left behind in the laundry basket never making it to their final destination of your drawers.  There they sit on my bed "I will come back for them" I tell myself.  .  But I do not come back for them As a result, they get left on the bed which leaves me the added burden of every morning sifting through the various unmatched and disorganized sock pile. 


Yes, I create my own problems.  Everyday I go through the frantic ritual of trying to find "the socks" for both my boys.  After "the socks" are secured, together we put on "the socks" and "the shoes" which is no easy feat with a two year old.   The difficulty continues since almost daily Owen removes his socks and shoes tossing them in the back of the van with reckless abandon.  I don't think he could  keep his socks and shoes on to save his life.  He thinks its funny and seems to]  relish in my obvious displeasure and irritation.  I am helpless as I watch my hard "sock" work going to waste. 


I am not always "sock impaired".  There are days when my sock management is in "tip-top" shape.  Those are the good days.  I go to my children's drawers and they all sit matched and folded waiting to cuddle my children's tiny feet.  It's a great feeling to open the drawer and be able to take what I need.  It's on those days that I know my life is working well.   I have multi tasked well and got all necessary chores done even down to the last sock.  It's a great feeling.  I don't have to go rummaging through the laundry basket with one sock searching desperately for its match or send my children to preschool with one sock that has a red stripe and one sock that has a blue stripe.  I hate those days since it hits my "slacker mom" button.


I now know that mismatched socks and frantic searches for the "socks" are signs that I am not taking good care of myself.  Perhaps you think I am taking the condition of my children's sock drawer too serious.  But I like the feeling of satisfaction when I open their drawer and what I need is there.  I have taken good care of myself.  I don't have to deal with my "slacker mom" syndrome, and I have saved myself the stress of the ten minute sock search. 


You wonder what's the point and why am I taking the time to write about my "sock management" problems?  Well, it's important to know what makes the difference between those good days and those not so good days.  Consistency in behavior is not always easy but it makes the difference between chaotic mornings and smooth sailing mornings.  Our environment gives us clues to what is not working well and when we are letting things slide.   When I am having those hectic mornings running around looking for the missing sock, I know that I am not managing things well. 


Chaotic mornings are a strong signal for me that I am not making my own life easier.  These signals range from the simple to the complex. Here is a list of behaviors that  indicate you are not taking the best care of yourself.


  • Eating too much
  • Drinking too much
  • Giving into workaholic tendencies
  • Snapping at your children and/ or your spouse
  • Spending too much money on unnecessary items
  • Not managing your money properly[GR8] 
  • Consistent and chronic negative thinking
  • Not setting appropriate boundaries
  • Saying yes when you mean no.
  • Isolating yourself
  • And, yes, not putting all your laundry away socks and all!


Action Plan-


  1. Take notice of the behaviors that are signaling that you need to take better care of yourself. 
  2. Make a plan that enhances the positive flow in your life.


4.  Quote:  Motivation is what get your started.  Habit is what keeps you going- Jim Ryan



5. Shattering The Glass Ceiling Within- Save Your Inner Voice


This section of the newsletter is to support you on your journey to overcoming underearning and develop to your fullest potential.


There is nothing worse then the burden of unfulfilled potential.  Like the proverbial elephant in the living room that sits making its presence known but is almost impossible to move.  We know the potential is there, but cannot claim it.  The world gives us tiny clues of our potential, and people around us whisper our praises.  Our past give us clues to our talents.  There are the teachers and professors who helped us see the truth of our intellect.  Trophies, scholarships and ribbons provide validation for our abilities. Yes, there was a time when we knew our own ability.


For many of us something changes as we grow into our life.  Our potential somehow alludes us and we give way to some other voice that is not our own.  Somehow we become separated from our inner self.  One day we look at our trophies but think we can no longer play.  Psychology let's us know that many of the answers come from early[ childhood and all the people we have met along the way.  Somehow we are assigned life scripts that are willingly accepted.  But that inner voice is still there and at times it whispers to us if we listen.  The scripts, labels and syndromes that make up the negative chatter in our brains are not permanent pathways.  There are new pathways to create. 


The first step is to differentiate your inner voice from all the negative external noise in your head.   This is difficult for many women since so much of our psychology revolves around our relationship with others.  Women often define themselves in relationship to others.  Therefore, it may not always be easy to differentiate our own inner voice from those we care about.  But with practice it can[ be done.


Action Challenge


One way to begin this process is to pay attention to what you are thinking and how you are feeling.  Take a recent situation  where you did not allow yourself the opportunity to succeed.  It can[ be as simple as you did not pay a bill on time or as complex you did not apply for a job you wanted.  Reflect on what you said to yourself during these experiences, and identify the outside voices. 


Then examine your feelings.  There might[ a wide array of feelings.  It is the negative outer voices that leave us feeling inadequate, fearful and anxious.  Imagine that you ask these negative outer voices to leave. Now listen to your inner voice.  What is that saying to you?  How are you feeling?  This is a good exercise to do when you are feeling stuck by your own internal barriers that are preventing you from moving forward.



6.  Quote: "Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is.  The most important product of his effort is his own personality."  Erich Fromm, Man for Himself.




    7.  Psychotherapy & Life Coaching Services


I provide individual, couples and family therapy in my psychotherapy practice.  I am currently accepting clients in my Manassas office.  Please contact me at 703-626-0381.


I also provide individual and group coaching and conduct seminars and workshops.  Please contact me at or visit my website at  I am also accepting referrals for coaching.


Good Luck and have a great month!  See you next time!


Maureen Fannin, LCSW


ChangeWorks Psychotherapy & Life Coaching Services 9315 Center Street Suite 204 Manassas, VA. 20110 Phone: (703)626-0381 E-Mail

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