May 3 ♥ Keep or Toss? Change the Question…

I have been in this minimizing, clean-out mode for the past month. At first I would carefully consider every item: keep or toss? Seemed straightforward enough. Yet, somehow a “decide later” pile kept appearing. I wasn’t making the kind of progress I had envisioned. I kept plugging along, knowing that I really had to get rid of some things. So I gave away the clothes that were never, ever going to fit me again. I also got rid of all my professional work clothes. No longer had a need to wear them, so what possible purpose were they serving in my closet? And then I added those things that no longer support who I am right now. Adios to books on topics that had once interested me; books I would never read again. Farewell to old cards I had received, magazine articles I planned to read, shoes for special occasions that would never be repeated. Things associated with long-ago hobbies. Yarn that was never going to see the light of day as a garment. Good riddance to things I was “going to get to” once upon a time. Suddenly I have picked up momentum. I have become more ruthless in what I am discarding. And the more I have eliminated the more free and unencumbered I feel. There is more space in my home, and in my being. I am clearing out what no longer serves me or supports who I want to be in the world. I want my home to … Continue reading

Feb 22 ♥ Asking for Help Shows Strength and Vulnerability

So many of us shy away from asking for help. Intellectually we know that we can’t do everything on our own, and yet we hold back, fearing that we will appear weak or vulnerable, that we will burden someone, or we’ll get caught in a quid pro quo and be unable to reciprocate, or that we can’t manage on our own and therefore must depend on others. But these are stories we tell ourselves. And so we exhaust, overwhelm or cause injury to ourselves, spinning and spinning because we’d rather tough it out than seek assistance. And in believing these stories we deny someone else the opportunity to happily assist us and share in our burden. Think of a time when someone asked you to help. Did you turn them down? Did you think less of them for asking? Or were you genuinely delighted that you could do them a favor by using your skills? Giving yourself permission to ask for help shows your strength, courage and self-awareness. You recognize that you don’t have all of the answers or skills for every situation. You believe “it takes a village” to get things done. You allow others to shine and experience the joy that comes from giving. And you know that if someone turns you down, it’s not personal. It just means “no”. Asking for help shows it’s possible to be both vulnerable and strong. It’s worth the risk!   Now It’s Your Turn Who can you ask for help from … Continue reading

Jan. 18 ♥ 5 Lessons Learned from Living without the Internet

I had every intention of posting a blog last week, but I involuntarily had to quit the Internet. This is the story of the lessons that I learned. There had been a severe ice storm over the weekend and the tower that delivers my Internet connectivity was damaged. That tower lives on the top of an 11,000’ mountain, so the environmental conditions meant that it took 5 days until crews could safely ascend and make the necessary repairs. And during those long five days I had no Internet, social media, Netflix, electronic news, email…well, you get the picture. I had tried using my phone as a hotpot and depleted my data plan. I felt completely cut off. The first day wasn’t so bad, just a minor inconvenience. By day three I was actually feeling withdrawal. So much so that I drove the 25 minutes into town and camped out in a coffee shop multiple days. I was miserable. However, there were lessons to be learned once I began paying attention. A slower start to my day. I could wake up in a more relaxed manner since I couldn’t reach for my iPhone or iPad to catch up on what had happened in the last eight hours. I didn’t rush to check my email. Social media didn’t consume me. I actually started my day on my own terms rather than adopting the vibes out in the ether. More focused attention throughout the day I could maintain focus on what I was … Continue reading

Dec. 27 ♥ Celebrate and Complete 2016

So many people have looked upon 2016 as the worst year, ever. And yet… There have been really good times, right? This is the time of year when many of us hunker down, stay close to the fire and wait for the wintry blasts to end. And yet… We want to feel hopeful for the bright New Year. I’m recommending that we all — me included — take some time for reflection on this past year, taking stock of what occurred in our lives. It’s really important to find the gifts, lessons, challenges and blessings from the year that is ending. In this way we can truly celebrate what has come before and release whatever needs to be so we can start fresh with clarity as our New Year arrives. Along this lifetime path of discovery you will come to deeply know yourself, grow in wisdom, and rejoice in sharing your own, unique gifts, which the world sorely needs. You need to review this past year to recognize it happened to you for a reason. You may totally understand that or maybe the meaning is hidden in a cloudy mist right now. Either way, it’s OK. What’s important is the process of introspection and celebration that will help you clear the debris so that beautiful, gorgeous you can make room for the new possibilities that will be coming in your New Year. And so, I am offering a gift to help you examine this past year and set your intentions for … Continue reading

Oct. 25 ♥ Apologize, But Not Too Much

I’m sorry. Oops, sorry. I’m sooooo sorry. Sometimes we use these phrases to avoid conflict and offset potential anger: “I’m sorry to bother you but…”. We think this helps keep the peace and ensures that people will continue to like us when this actually creates an imbalance in our relationships because we are putting ourselves in a submissive position. Or maybe we’re so eager to foster cooperation and community that we apologize just so we can move on. What we’re really saying is that our honesty takes a back seat to getting along. The common denominator here is that we’re giving away our power, freely and willingly. When we apologize inappropriately the implicit message is that there’s something wrong with us and that we don’t know what we need. We somehow don’t measure up. When we do this often enough it becomes our truth. So what’s the remedy? We need to say what we mean, without apology. Instead of “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you”, try, “Would you repeat that, please?” Feel the difference? We need to apologize only when it is necessary. Like when we hurt or disappoint someone. And we need to stop using “sorry” as conversational filler or when we have no control over what happened. There are great gifts waiting when we stop over-apologizing: improved self-respect and self-awareness, and more honest relationships with others.   Now It’s Your Turn Pay attention to how often you apologize and stop and reflect on why you’ve said, “I’m sorry” … Continue reading