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Breaking into Pieces

breakingintopieces Breaking into Pieces

Many years ago a family member offered one of my daughters a shiny new helium balloon.  She was very excited.  We were outside on an overcast and windy day. I attempted to help her hold on to it, thinking it might fly away.  She was an independent three year old that wanted to do it alone.  The balloon was loosely attached by a clip to her dress.    Eventually the clip failed and the  balloon  slipped from her grasp.  We all watched the balloon float farther and farther away.  My little girl fell apart into a inconsolable storm of pain, loss and anger.  I knew it wasn’t just the loss of the balloon.  We had just moved to Alaska from the East coast with out her father.  The balloon was another thing removed from her small world.  I will never forget her pain.  I will never forget feeling so lost and helpless as a parent.  It seemed like I could not ease her heartbreak.

Most adults have experienced the same overwhelming emotions and sense of loss my child did at three; just for very different things. Often we experience our losses with extraordinary anger, pain and grief; because it is tied to something else.  Regardless of our age, we can loose control in the surface wave of emotions, that pull us back into thick muddied waters holding  past events.

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What Heals Your Ego Wounded Self?

close-up-shot-of-hand-holding-yellow-leaf-of-heart-shape-with-sun-picture-id1036050176 What Heals Your Ego Wounded Self?

The journey of healing our ego wounded self is a profound and deeply sacred journey.

“Does the wounded self ever get healed?”
“How does the wounded self get healed?”
“What happens to the wounded self as we heal?”

My ego wounded self, like everyone’s, came into being when I didn’t receive the love I needed and I decided that it was my fault – that I wasn’t good enough. I hid away my core self and went about trying to figure out how to be to get love, avoid pain, and feel safe. I developed many of false beliefs about myself and others, and learned to be very judgmental toward myself to have control over getting myself to do things “right”, so that others would like me and not get angry at me or reject me.

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59 Hits

Life Can Be Easy - The Choice is Yours!

easybutton Life Can Be Easy - The Choice is Yours!

Do you remember when one of the big office supply stores developed the big red "Easy” button as a reminder to "keep things easy at work"? Years ago, one of my fellow staff members at The Ford Institute started bringing a big red "Easy" button to all of the in-person workshops and trainings we did. He would keep it out at the staff table at the back of the workshop room. It was actually a perfect reminder for all of us that an invitation for transformation exists in every moment and it can happen in an instant if we choose to open up and receive the invitation. Unfortunately, most people don't recognize the miracles that are always dancing right in front of them as well as their innate power and ability to shift what they are experiencing in each and every moment.

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146 Hits

How To Deal With Negative Feelings

contemplating-her-next-move-picture-id515643880 How To Deal With Negative Feelings

Your feelings are a signal giving you feedback.

They are communicating to you, showing you what you need to pay attention to.

We are conditioned to only feel what we think of as “positive” feelings. And we tend to do everything to avoid “negative “ feelings.

We must realize that the more we suppress our sadness, the more we limit our capacity to feel joy.

Consider this: Feelings are neither good or bad. These are just labels we place on them as a means of survival.

Feelings are feedback.

Feelings are energy.

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65 Hits

Tips For Overcoming Overcommitment & Overwhelm

work-is-making-her-miserable-picture-id1064567962 Tips For Overcoming Overcommitment & Overwhelm

Do you get anxious thinking about your “to-do” list?

Do you constantly wonder how you’re going to possibly get everything done?

Are you exhausted, feeling it’s your job to take care of everyone and everything?

 

The other day I was talking to a group of women. Some had high power jobs, some worked part-time, and some not at all. There were single moms, working moms, stay-at-home moms, grandmoms, and women whose children are older but are now taking care of their moms. Although their circumstances differed, one of the issues they all had in common was feeling overcommitted and overwhelmed. As they shared how they try to manage their lives, striving to find a sense of calm while juggling their obligations, tasks, and to-do lists, it became apparent that their tendency to multi-task was not only the source of their exhaustion but also a form self-sabotage. They all agreed that something needed to shift but questioned how. Below are three tips for overcoming overcommitment and overwhelm.

 

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140 Hits

Learn to Be a Storm Watcher

stormwatcher Learn to Be a Storm Watcher

Before we can learn to free ourselves from our own fearful reactions to unwanted events, we must realize just how worthless fear actually is -- especially when we turn to it to protect us from what are essentially bad dreams wrought from the darkened works of our own imagination! When it comes to these stormy moments in life, what we resist always persists. In truth, it is our not wanting to be in a psychological storm that produces the very storm of unwanted feelings that we don't want!

One of the things that make uncertain times so hard to bear is the flood of fearful feelings that seems to travel with them, like hard rains we are sure will soon fall from a distant, dark cloud on the horizon. But such fear is neither a natural nor necessary part of uncertainty, and this you can prove to yourself if you're willing to be a conscious storm watcher.

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265 Hits

The Practice: Take Heart

woman-enjoying-beautiful-landscape-on-fuerteventura-island-picture-id513671582 Take Heart

What do you do when the bottom falls out?

The Practice:
Take heart.

Why?

It takes heart to live in even ordinary times.

By “taking heart,” I mean several related things:

  • Sensing your heart and chest
  • Finding encouragement in what is good both around you and inside you
  • Resting in your own warmth, compassion, and kindness; resting in the caring for you from others; love flowing in and love flowing out
  • Being courageous, whole-hearted and strong-hearted – going forward wisely even when anxious, knowing your own truth and as you speak it

When you take heart, you’re more able to deal with challenges like aging, illness, trauma, or conflicts with others. You’re also more able to take advantage of opportunities with confidence and grit.

Additionally, it takes heart to live in, live with, and live beyond times that are really hard. Your personal hard time might be bad news about your health, the death of a parent, or betrayal by others. Or it could be related to changes in your country and world, and your concerns about their effects on others and yourself; I’ve written about the importance of finding and facing facts at the level of society (feel free to skip it if you don’t want my take on politics).

There are so many examples of honorable people facing great difficulty with dignity, principle, and courage. They did it. We can, too.

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157 Hits

How can you face the fear of suffering?

fearofsuffering How can you face the fear of suffering?

Suffering seems to be a fact of life. How do we face it?

Clearly it is a stranger to none of us. Perhaps we’ve not experienced the corrosive pain of illness, persecution, starvation, or violence. We may not have lived with the deterioration and loss of a loved one. Few of us have seen the charred face of a burned child. But each of us has experienced our fair share of not getting what we want or having to deal with what we don’t want. In this, we all know suffering.

The way in which we deal with suffering has much to do with the way in which we are able to be of service to others.

Of course, not all helping revolves around suffering. Much of what we offer may be in the nature of simple support or guidance. Moving a friend’s new furniture, teaching a child to read. But it is the affliction of others that most directly awakens in us the desire to be of care and comfort.

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127 Hits

Creating Your Perfect Day

three-happy-best-girlfriends-in-glasses-making-selfie-on-smartphone-picture-id949431390 Creating Your Perfect Day

Can you believe that it's already August?

Have you gotten around to doing all the things that you said you would do this summer?

Have you had that “perfect” summer day?

I am big believer in creating perfect days! Although it tends to happen more when I am on vacation or weekends, a few times a month I religiously wake up and declare “Let’s have a perfect day.”

Now I know that some people tend to shudder at the word “perfect” since being a perfectionist or trying to get things “perfect” has caused them pain or utter exhaustion. So, when I talk about a “perfect day,” it is not about some ideal of perfection or creating a day with moments that look picture perfect on Instagram. It’s about creating a day that is perfect for you and the people partaking in your perfect day.

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308 Hits

Ending Our Fear of Death

fearofdeath Ending Our Fear of Death

Fear is a powerful force, nowhere more so than when it comes to death and dying. By comparison, the solutions for solving other fears seem useless. You cannot test your fear; you cannot feel it and move on anyway. There is little reason to trust other people who seem to have no such fear. They have no more valid experience of dying than any other person who is alive.

It is reported that near-death experiences leave survivors without any fear of death, because they have seen the other side and found it unfearful. But near-death experiences, although highly publicized, are rare, even among patients who have died on the table in the emergency room, generally from a heart attack, and been resuscitated. You can take hope from their anecdotal stories—and millions do—but the information remains second-hand.

Fear of death is unique in the hold it has over us, and we spend our lives hiding or suppressing it. The prospect of not existing seems too overwhelming to face. But in one respect, despite its uniqueness, the fear of death can be faced and dismantled. There is a cure that is available to anyone. It consists of exposing death as an illusion.

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231 Hits

Step Out Of Your Outdated Definition of Self!

proud-woman-pointing-herself-in-the-street-picture-id1135088054 Step Out Of Your Outdated Definition of Self!

Have you ever told yourself “That’s not me!” “I’m not the type of person who would…” or “Not in a million years would I…”?

Day after day, I hear stories from people who are certain about who they are, how they will react to situations, and what is or isn’t in their realm of possibilities.

They tell themselves things like:

 

  • I will never...get divorced, get married again, date someone ten years older or younger than myself.

 

  • There is no way I could...sing karaoke, speak in public, live anywhere but NYC, travel by myself, jump out of a plane.

 

  • It’s not important to me or I don’t care about…having a child, getting involved with politics, making money.

 

  • I could never... set a boundary, be selfish, lazy, or cheap, act spoiled, be friends with that person, emotionally survive the loss of a loved one.

 

But then something happens and boom - they are confronted with an opportunity or some situation that challenges their belief system. They are challenged with giving up control and being vulnerable. They are faced with letting go of the safety of the self they have known and defined themselves to be. They are tested with the dilemma of remaining in or breaking free from their self-imposed box.


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112 Hits

Healing Procrastination

procrastination Are you a procrastinator? Are you ready to get unstuck?

Oscar was stuck in his life; the following issue he presented in our session was one example of how he was stuck:

“My parents are coming to visit tomorrow and, as has been my pattern, my house is a dirty mess. I usually spend the day before they arrive frantically cleaning, which I will do today, but this time I’d like to do it differently and not beat myself up and judge myself. How to get the tasks done with peace, joy, and compassion? It’s a challenge because I feel pressured and get angry with myself for letting things go.”

“Oscar, there must be a good reason that you keep your house a mess and then feel frantic when you need to clean it up. How old were you when you first started resisting things like cleaning up your room? And how old were you when you started to beat yourself up for letting things go?”

“I think I started resisting things when I was very young. I resisted getting toilet trained, and I resisted getting good grades. My mother was so controlling and invasive that I think I learned these ways of not being controlled by her.”

“So the part of you resisting is two or three?’

“Yes, that sounds right. And now that I think of it, my mom was very judgmental and I think I took over the job of judging myself when I started junior high school.”

“So you have an inner system with a young adolescent trying to control you with anger and judgment, like your mother did, and then a 2-3 year old not wanting to be controlled and resisting. As long as these parts of you are in charge, you are not going to be able to clean up with peace and joy. Is it just about cleaning up that you procrastinate, or do you do it with other issues?”

“I do it most of the time with everything.”

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211 Hits

3 Keys To Emotional Independence

emotionalindependence 3 Keys To Emotional Independence

Happy Independence Day - the day we celebrate our “unalienable rights” to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and freedom! Now of course there are many ways to achieve living life to the fullest, feeling liberated, and attaining happiness, but I can promise you that if you truly want to let freedom ring, then you must foster emotional independence.   Emotional independence is being able to stand in your power, and to make choices based on what is in your highest versus as a reaction to external circumstances. And the crazy thing is, that even though “unalienable rights” are defined as those that cannot be surrendered, transferred, given away to, or revoked by another, the fact is that most of us give away our power when it comes to emotional independence and let outside sources rob of us our joy, equilibrium, internal knowing, and sense of self.

So, if your day, mood, or reactions are being controlled by: 

  • the way your butt and thighs look in your jeans,
  • whether a person you are dating asks you out for Saturday night or texts you the day after you slept together,
  • a disagreement you’ve had with a family member,
  • someone else’s opinion of you, or
  • your desire to numb out and avoid dealing with certain situations,

then chances are you need some support in fostering emotional independence.




Here are 3 tips to aid you on your path to true freedom.

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237 Hits

3 Ways To Choose Love Over Fear

1129582082088561.NTYwUzkQTj2NGQbzXPzZ_height640 3 Ways To Choose Love Over Fear

Choosing love over fear becomes difficult when we feel as if we’re being blamed, attacked emotionally, or harshly criticized. It is in these situations that we tend to choose fear, possibly even subconsciously. If our identity or ego is threatened, we can’t continue our comfortable narrative about who we are and what we stand for. This reaction to fear creates conflict within us, and we over-react instead of simply being with that fear. We become defensive, and as a result, we can become hurtful to those we love the most. But if we can become more aware of our actions and reactions, and choose love over fear, we can live in alignment with our authentic selves.

Here are three ways to begin making the conscious choice of love over fear!

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1107 Hits

Are You Having Fun Yet?

Havingfun Are You Having Fun Yet?

Happy Summer! The season of relaxation, vacations, warm weather, and FUN! But after teaching hundreds of programs and working with thousands of people, I know that the reality is most people have a hard time having fun!   We have a hard time putting their to-do lists down, kicking back, and prioritizing our need to just have fun.   And when it comes to comparing our level of satisfaction as well as the time and effort we put into having fun, especially when compared to other areas of their life, having fun generally ranks last on the list.

Can you relate?

So, even though we are all so quick to say “Have Fun!” and it feels like it should be a relatively easy task to do, then why is it so damn difficult for so many of us to just…have fun? What is it that gets in our way? And, what can we do to increase our capacity to enjoy?

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408 Hits

An Appropriate Response: Living from an Awake Heart

man-practicing-karate-on-the-grassy-horizon-at-sunset-picture-id515148008 An Appropriate Response: Living from an Awake Heart

Much of our suffering comes from reacting to stressful situations with fear or aggression, rather than responding with wisdom and care. This talk explores the pathway of shifting from reacting to responding: this includes learning to pause, awakening the wings of mindfulness and kindness, and reconnecting with our deepest intention.

From Buddhist teachings…

The thought manifests the word;
The word manifests the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
habit hardens into character;
and character into destiny.

So watch your thoughts with care,
And let them spring forth from love
Born out of compassion for all beings.

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203 Hits

Igniting the Fire of Your Inner Desire

uncontrolled-energy-picture-id474675205 Igniting the Fire of Your Inner Desire

I am always in awe of people who start with a passing conversation or idea and then actually make it happen! Many of us have a great thought or a brainstorm yet it never gets off the ground or comes to fruition. So when it comes to creating something from nothing, doing something you have never done before, or putting yourself out there in a whole new way, what drives those who do versus those who just think or talk about it? What have they tapped into inside themselves that fuels their fire and carries their commitment?

Answer? Desire!

Desire is the most important catalyst for bringing about radical change.

It is the spark that ignites the flame of your soul and illuminates your innate creativity, passion, and vision. It is the impulse that seeds your ambition and sources your energy to share your unique talents with the world. It is fuel that has you go through whatever tests, training, or development necessary to be all that you can be.

In its purest form, desire drives you to let go of the safety of your status-quo. It makes you want something so badly that you are willing to do whatever it takes in order to manifest your dreams. Yet generally desire does not come without a long list of doubts! And for many of us it is our fear, insecurity, or doubt that has derailed the pursuit of our desires.

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365 Hits

Beware Anger

anger Beware Anger

Have you been wronged?

The Practice:
Beware anger.

Why?

Anger is tricky.

On the one hand, anger – feeling annoyed, irritated, resentful, fed up, mad, outraged, or enraged – alerts us to real threats, real injuries, and real wrongs that need correcting, and it energizes and fuels us to do something about them. In my family growing up, my parents had a monopoly on anger. So, I suppressed my own, along with a lot of other feelings, and it’s been a long journey to reclaim my interior, including anger, and be able to feel it fully and (hopefully) express it skillfully.

Whether in personal relationships or in the halls of power, people in positions of authority or privilege often tell others that they don’t deserve to be angry, they shouldn’t get so worked up, it’s their own fault, etc. when in fact they have every reason and right in the world to be angry. It is certainly important to know in your heart what is actually happening, how bad it is, what the causes are, and what to do – and decide for yourself how much you want to get or stay angry.

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247 Hits

How to Live Beyond Your Limits

lifeline How to Live Beyond Your Limits

“We’re not the cause, we’re the effect.” - Nipsey Hussle

I am always in awe of the divine design of life. A true believer in the philosophy that “there are no coincidences,” I am always fascinated by the people who cross my path. Whether it be someone I am standing next to in a long line or the person who sits next to me at seminar, workshop, or dinner party, I am always curious as to what the connection will be and why we are crossing each other’s path at that moment in time. This is especially true when I travel – I am always intrigued to see who will be in the seat next to me and why.

About nine months ago, I was flying from Miami to Los Angeles. Trained to get on the plane as early as you can to get that overhead space, I was all settled in and just waiting for my flying partner to appear. A man in his thirties wearing big gold with diamonds chains finally came and claimed the seat next to me. As he got comfortable in his window seat, I realized that many of the people walking by seemed to know and pay homage to him with a high-five, thumbs-up, or some sort of gesture of recognition and respect. Now totally curious as to who he was, I decided to ask. He humbly and gracefully explained that he was a rapper. Later he shared that his name was Nipsey Hussle.

Admittedly, I had no idea who he was. However, being someone who works with so many people who feel stuck, cannot get out of their own way, or remain the victim of their past or some life situation, I am always in awe of the people who manage to move past their stories of victimization - “Oh woe is me” or “life is unfair” - and manifest huge success. Wanting to learn more about who he was and what had driven him, we chatted for a while. He shared about where he had come from, his family, his work ethic, his different business ventures, and all that he was doing to give back to the community. Reflecting on all he had created, he said that what really struck him is that one day he woke up and found that he had “crossed that imaginary line.

My conversation with Nipsey has stuck with me. The fact is, whether we realize it or not, most of us have this imaginary (or, for some people, very vivid), line of what we think is possible. We have stories filled with limiting beliefs about what we think we can achieve or manifest in our lifetime. Think of the times you have told yourself that you can’t do, have, or achieve something because of your age, background, physical appearance, finances, education, or life circumstances.

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315 Hits

The Fear of Loving

depression-picture-id663870814 The Fear of Loving
Loving holds within it the greatest joy and the greatest pain in life. Yet, without it, life is empty.

Love. We all want it. We develop many ways of trying to get love and be loved. From the time we are infants, we do not thrive without it. When we don’t get it, we may turn to many addictions to fill the emptiness that occurs when we don’t feel loved. When we feel loved, we are on top of the world.
Yet many people have a fear of loving. Not a fear of being loved – a fear of loving. 

Why Would Someone Fear Loving?

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585 Hits