Where Is the Super Effective Inner Peace Reset Button?

Overwhelm seems to be affecting most people. I see it in my clients, with my friends, on FB posts and in myself! To support my clients (including my first client – me), I’ve been paying attention to what’s most effective in giving us some relief.

For me, it’s definitely a good night’s sleep. Luckily, I sleep well 90% of the time. And, when I wake up and start my day, I can address anything. My mind is clear and sharp and ready to go. 

Another thing that eliminates overwhelm for me for a while involves coaching clients. I’m present and focused on that one client and I set everything else aside.

Where Is the Super Effective Inner Peace Reset Button?

It’s impossible for me to feel overwhelmed when I’m hanging out with these whimsical clouds and rocks and trees in the GBP.

Perhaps my favorite super effective reset button for peace involves hiking in the Galisteo Basin Preserve (GBP). I rarely see anyone. And, overwhelm literally drains from me with every step I take.

For one of my clients, a run at lunch clears her head and gives her calm, focused energy for the afternoon. For another client, meditating both in the morning and evening helps him reduce anxiety. One of my friends clears the stress of the day by taking a strenuous bike ride after work. Another client is on a news fast. She found the news was overwhelming her, so she’s not watching or reading any news.

It seems we need to be proactive and vigilant right now about consciously taking action to reset ourselves to peace.

So, what about you? What might be your super effective reset button for peace?

As always, post your comments, experiences and insights below…

And, whenever you’re ready, perhaps I can help you:

Work with me one-on-one.
(For established coaches and business owners.)
I have a limited number of coaching opportunities available for established coaches and business owners who want to make more of an impact. When you commit to your greatest contribution, miracles happen.

If this sounds like you, email me at Ann@AnnStrong.com, put One-on-One in the subject line and tell me about your Big Dream. What would you love to create? I’ll reply to schedule a Coaching Conversation for us to determine if we’d be a good fit.

Do You Have One of the 5 Powerhouse Strengths?

Recently, one of my coaching colleagues asked me about my observation of StrengthsFinder strengths that seem to have tremendous potential to both wreak havoc or make a huge contribution.

It was so much fun to share with her that I thought you might like to know – particularly if you have one, or more, of these 5 powerhouse strengths in your top 5.

Do You Have One of the 5 Powerhouse Strengths?

The 5: Responsibility, Restorative, Significance, Competition and Empathy.

The powerhouse effect can show up positively. Responsibility CAN be counted on. Restorative WILL solve the problem. Empathy DOES feel others’ feelings. Significance WILL make a huge contribution. Competition WILL win.

And, the powerhouse effect, can have negative results . . .

Let’s look at how your strength might go into overdrive and drain you . . .


  • Responsibility being overly responsible to others at the expensive of your own health and/or well-being.
  • Empathy taking in everybody else’s feelings without an outlet. They then don’t pass through you, but rather take up residence inside you.

How might your strength be used immaturely?


  • Restorative creating a problem where there isn’t one, so you can fix it.
  • Significance making a pest of itself by needing to be important, rather than contributing something important.

– How might your strength cause chaos or upset?


  • Competition not having something meaningful in which to compete, so you become depressed or make competitions about meaningless things and alienate those around you.

All 34 StrengthsFinder strengths can, and do, go into overdrive, show up immaturely and cause chaos or upset. All 34 also can, and do, make amazing contributions.

And, it has been my observation over the past 10 years, working with hundreds and hundreds of people around their strengths that these 5 strengths can feel particularly burdensome if we don’t stay on top of managing them properly.

For years, I wanted to give back my Empathy. While I was earnestly looking for the Returns Department, I had the good fortune to meet a coach who rocks Empathy in her top 5. She naturally receives the gift of Empathy without taking on the burden.

She has taught me so much. I no longer want to give back Empathy. And, I’m still learning how to be graciously detached!

As always, post your comments, experiences and insights below, especially if you have Rsp, Rst, Sig, Cmp or Emp in your top 5 …

What Happens When Love Breaks Through?

With Valentine’s Day next Tuesday, I’m happy to share this new piece with you.

Love Breaks Through

When you think your heart can’t hurt any more,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When we live courageously,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When I’m unbearably hard on myself,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When we feel so scared we’re paralyzed,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When your hatred seems justified,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When I notice my self-compassion,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When it seems there is no answer,
LOVE Breaks Through.

wild horses running in the grass

When our hearts are full,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When all you feel is despair,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When we’ve lost hope and given up,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When there’s so much tenderness in your heart,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When the injustice seems too great to bear,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When your arms are open wide,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When I don’t know which way to go,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When the rage threatens to consume you,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When it looks like we’re at an impasse,
LOVE Breaks Through.

Winter trees in fog

When I feel so alone,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When we have no idea how to solve this,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When you become aware you’re numb,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When it feels like there’s only confusion,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When we can’t seem to move forward,
LOVE Breaks Through.

sunset over the blue waters of Northumberland Strait, Prince Edward Island, Canada

When you feel like you’ve tried everything,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When I’m railing against what is,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When we aren’t sure of the question, much less the answer,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When we get comfortable with discomfort,
LOVE Breaks Through.

When I must say the hard thing,
LOVE Breaks Through.

Through every joy and every sorrow,
LOVE Breaks Through.

With every breath we take,
LOVE Breaks Through.

Breaks Through.

So, what about you? When do you notice love breaking through? What happens for you when love breaks through?

What If You Have the Key to Your Freedom?

“So oftentimes it happens that we live our lives in chains
That we never even know we have the key . . .”
~ Lyrics from Already Gone, Eagles

Earlier today one of my clients sent me these lyrics because they reminded her of some of our coaching conversations. The Eagles were my sister’s favorite band when we shared a room in the mid seventies. I’ve probably heard that song a thousand times and never heard those lyrics on their own.

It’s strange that I had never picked out those specific lyrics because they are meaningful to me. The foundation of my life purpose involves helping us free ourselves from our innocently self-created prisons. Thank you Eagles for planting seeds in my teenage psyche!

So what is this key?

Over and over again, as I grow and evolve and as my clients grow and evolve, I see that the less involved we are with the content of our thoughts, the more free we are.

When we recognize there is actually a witness to all these thoughts – and that we are that witness – we begin to realize we may not be as crazy as we have feared. Indeed, we tend to have some crazy thinking, but we are not that. We are the witness of that.

And, when we recognize that we can choose to not engage with trying to take care of all the problems that seem to be in our thoughts, we have freed up a whole bunch of time and energy for living.

What If You Have the Key to Your Freedom?
Ah, to living!

Imagine if we never again tried to answer the question, “I wonder what he is thinking about me?” Or, if we simply noticed that we were once again upset for being upset but allowed ourselves be okay with it. Nothing to fix. Or, we started to rehearse what we were going to say and realized we didn’t need to rehearse.

So, what about you? What if you are not your thoughts? What if you don’t have to fix the problems of your thoughts? What if you don’t have to attempt to control every aspect of your existence? What if you notice that your true identity is part of All That Is? And that life is organizing itself beautifully without addressing all that repetitive thinking inside you?

What a glorious key to our freedom . . .

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for transforming stress and overwhelm into clarity and purpose”)

How Do Our Unconscious Conspiracy Ideas Harm Us?

“In one of my favorite studies described in The Storytelling Animal, a team of psychologists asked shoppers to choose a pair of socks among seven pairs and then to give their reasons for choosing that particular pair. Every shopper explained their choice based on subtle differences in color, texture, and stitching. No shopper said, ‘I don’t know why this is my choice,’ or ‘I have no idea why I picked that one.’ All of them had a story that explained their decision. But here’s the kicker: All of the socks were identical. Gottschall explains that all of the shoppers told stories that made their decisions seem rational. But they really weren’t. He writes, ‘The stories were confabulations – lies, honestly told.'”

Brené Brown
From the book, Rising Strong

rising strong

Brown goes on to say, “The most dangerous stories we make up are the narratives that diminish our inherent worthiness.” When something in our lives feels painful to us, instead of feeling the hurt, we tend to jump to meaning-making.

Instead of feeling the pain of losing a client or learning our partner had an affair, we tend to explain these events with one of our core wounds. “See, there it is again. People always end up abandoning me.” Or, “Of course they left, of course they cheated. I’m not good enough.”

Our brains find comfort in patterns and our core wounds are familiar patterns. This is the booby prize.

If we are instead willing to feel our feelings, then we have the opportunity to be present with ourselves. We create a powerful pause that helps us to not automatically choose fear-based, self-protecting stories that end up keeping us scared and shut down.

By being willing to feel our feelings, we give ourselves the opportunity to then choose to look at the story we are creating. This begins the process of ending the pattern of innocently dooming ourselves to repeat the story of our core wounds over and over again.

Instead, we can get curious about “the story I’m making up is . . .” We can explore our emotions, bodies, thoughts, beliefs and actions. As we are willing to examine our stories and reactions, we come to see that there may not be a conspiracy after all.

We become less self-protective and more generous in looking at our assumptions. In the end, we become more wholehearted.

If you haven’t read Rising Strong, I highly recommend it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences . . . post them below in the comments section . . .

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for transforming stress and overwhelm into clarity and purpose”)

What If We Didn’t Fight Ourselves?

After studying A Course of Love for 10 months, I finished reading it a couple of months ago. At the end of the book, it instructed me to begin again – read it a second time!

Since then, I had resisted rereading. After all, it is not light summer vacation reading.

Then, a couple of weeks ago in my study group, I was guided to re-read several specific chapters. In the past two weeks, I have repeatedly read and re-read seven chapters.

These chapters addressed what to do about not liking several situations in my life. My takeaways: I do not have to like the circumstances, but rather I need to accept how I feel about the circumstances.

What If We Didn’t Fight Ourselves?
Homage to an Audi.  I loved this car, my dream car.  Such a beautiful car and an amazing driving experience.  And a few weeks ago her engine died.  To say I didn’t like this is a ridiculous understatement.  I’m still grieving.  And, I have accepted that I’m still grieving.  And yes, I know she was “just a car.”  A car that I loved.

This has been life-changing for me. I quit fighting myself and my feelings.

I wonder if every war there ever was, internal and external, was started to get away from feelings we didn’t like.

What a simple solution to accept that I feel sad or mad, lonely or hopeless, envious or not enough rather than wage an internal battle against these feelings or try to get away from them.

As I’ve accepted my feelings, I’ve felt this new tenderness for myself. It’s also been heartwarming to witness how quickly my feelings shift as I am willing to embrace them. And, I’ve noticed that I’m advocating for what I need and desire in a more clear and direct way.

I highly recommend accepting whatever you are feeling.

I’d love to hear your experiences . . . post them below in the comments section . . .

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for transforming crisis into clarity and purpose”)

How Do You Restore Inner Peace? In Just a Few Minutes?

You may not realize this, but chances are good you already know the answer for you!

Let me tell you my answer, and then let’s explore yours . . .

A few days ago, several challenges occurred on top of each other, minutes before I was to meet with my next client on the phone. Instead of attempting to resolve all of them in that time, I instinctively went outside and laid on the ground.

I am still astonished by how quickly Mother Earth restores my inner peace even though I have known this since I was a little kid. And, I love that my job requires me to be in a state of inner peace!

During those few minutes of laying on the ground, anger dissolved into love and open-heartedness around one situation. A second challenge became easily resolvable. I found kind wording for dissolving a third challenge. And, the exhaustion I had felt disappeared.

All that in less than 10 minutes and I was ready for my client a few minutes ahead of schedule.

That’s how I restore my inner peace.

At some point, this conversation comes up with almost all of my clients.

One realizes that walking her dog, even just around the block, almost always does the trick. Another puts on loud music and dances like crazy for 3 to 5 minutes. Yet another asks himself, “What is the Big Boy response here?” Years ago, one of my clients took her kids to the park. Now that they are growing and grown, she goes for a run in the park.

So, what about you?

For many of us, it’s a physical thing. For a few, it’s some kind of mental challenge. For others, engaging in or reading something that touches their heart or stirs their creativity. For some, it involves extending kindness or care to another.

I challenge each of us to make a written list of our top 3.

How Do You Restore Inner Peace? In Just a Few Minutes?
In addition to laying on the ground, I find sitting on the ground and stacking rocks brings me back to inner peace.


  • Laying or sitting on the ground.
  • Shaking out every part of my body to an energizing song.
  • Singing along at the top of my lungs with one of my favorite songs, currently “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon.

Post them below in the comments section . . .

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for transforming crisis into clarity and purpose”)

How to Create a Stress-Free Zone in Our Lives

I learned earlier this week that my car needs a new engine. And, I learned this the way I learn many things – experientially.

Sitting on the side of the road waiting for AAA, I realized that, as we always do, I had a choice. I didn’t have the choice I wished I had – choosing my car to get back on the road, drive to Whole Foods and then drive home.

I did have the choice of where to focus my thoughts and attention. My human inclination was to think of all of the things I should have done differently in the past to have created a different future.

And then I heard, clear as could be, “we spend our lives trying to manipulate the future to correct the past.” In that moment, as I felt the cool evening breeze coming in the car window, I realized the insanity of that.

How to Create a Stress-Free Zone in Our Lives
How rich are our lives when we truly receive the moment, moment by moment?

We have the opportunity in any moment, no matter how much we assess the situation as “bad,” to receive the gifts of the present.

When we are willing to let go of our thoughts about the past or the future, we create a stress-free zone in the present. When we are willing to focus on what is right in front of us, we don’t need to manipulate or change anything. How freeing is that?

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for transforming crisis into clarity and purpose”)