Apr 26 ♥ Frustration: the Difference between Reality and Expectation

I know. I’ve been AWOL. It’s been an interesting few weeks. My computer had decided to completely lock up and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it except take it to the Genius Bar. But the saga didn’t end happily there because I had to have the operating system completely reinstalled – which, of course, meant that everything that had existed on my hard drive unceremoniously went to virtual heaven. Happily I knew that all my files were safely tucked away in the Cloud and all I would need to do was download them and begin computing life anew. Alas, that was not to be so easy. I live in rural America, where Internet speed is only something to dream about wistfully. I won’t bore you with all of the gory details. Suffice it to say that after days, and days, and days, and weeks of trying to download by drips and drabs I have some but not all of my files. I know there is probably some Buddhist lesson in here but all I’ve experienced is frustration, anger, and more frustration, although my swearing vocabulary has increased exponentially. So, Anthony Robbins’ quote seems appropriate for this situation although I’m only now beginning to see the frustration as a positive sign! I spent so much time just banging my head against the technological wall. Until my husband mentioned that maybe I should ask for help from an expert. Well, duh. So, I’m headed back to my Apple Store, … Continue reading

Feb 8 ♥ Boundaries: You Need to Know What You’ll Put Up With

Personal boundaries are vital and an important part of our self-care because they clarify how we will let others treat us. Boundaries allow us to understand what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior from others. It’s a way for us to maintain self-respect and demand respect in return. So often we say, “Yes” when we mean “No”, we let people walk all over us and our needs or we don’t stand up for ourselves. Maybe we sacrifice our time, energy and resources to help others, while ignoring our own lives and priorities. We become too compliant, afraid that others won’t like us unless we give in. And all of this leaves us resentful, emotionally drained, exhausted and feeling crazy. Fact: setting boundaries is not about trying to control other people. It’s about drawing a line on what you will and will not allow into your life. It’s about standing your ground and recognizing that your needs are important. It’s about demanding respect from others. And, yes, some people may fall away as a result but you will have gained self-reliance, self-confidence and trust in yourself. Priceless gifts!   Now It’s Your Turn When have you said, “YES” when you really meant, “NO”? Why did you make that choice? What were you afraid would happen if you had spoken your mind? What personal boundary could you create to prevent this in the future? … Continue reading

Nov. 23 ♥ Finding Gratitude when Bad Things Happen

Most people find it fairly easy to find gratitude for their blessings But how many of us can find gratitude for the bad things that happen to us? Or for the things we don’t want in our lives? Too often we respond as the victim when something bad happens to us. Or we concentrate on all of the things we’d like to be eliminated from our lives. Fair enough. We get to be human. We’re allowed to fell anger, jealousy, maybe even resentment. Sometimes our world gets turned upside down and we become totally numb. But the problem comes when we choose to stay in that mode, as angry, resentful, victim. My first husband died unexpectedly at a rather young age. I was lost initially in the throes of anger, disbelief, and traumatized shock. And I could have chosen to stay there. Everyone around me would have understood. I admit I was locked into this state for many months, and then barely able to function for many, many months after that. If someone had asked me to be grateful for the experience, I would have raged and sworn like a stevedore. Being grateful felt like insanity — for an extremely long time. And yet, over time as I processed my grief and came to terms with what had happened, I also began to open up to other opportunities: helping other women plan for surviving their spouses, which turned into empowering women in all aspects of their lives, which turned into … Continue reading

Sept. 28 ♥ Do One Thing Every Day that Scares You

Why would anyone willingly do something that scares them? I can think of many reasons. Being scared certainly pushes you out of your comfort zone. Gets that adrenaline flowing. Wakes you from your lethargy. Puts some oomph in your day. It makes you feel alive. What if you were given the opportunity to do something scary? Would you respond with a “Yes, but…I like my life as it is. Why shake things up? I don’t have time; this is crazy; I can’t. I need a guarantee…” Ah, hello, fear! If you believe something is fearful, then it is – funny how that works. But that also makes the opposite true: believing you can overcome your fear makes things less scary! What if you broke out of the same-old, same-old and pushed your limits? What if you told your fears that you’re in charge and ready to step outside your comfort zone? There are many gifts here, with your name written on them in large, sparkly letters: I can do things I didn’t think possible! I am so proud of myself! I live life big! I can deal with fear! Don’t keep these gifts waiting. The party won’t last forever. Grab the chance to design your life the way you want it. All because you left your comfort zone!   Now It’s Your Turn What have you put off trying because fear got in the way? What small step could you take toward your fear? Who could you tap to support … Continue reading

May 25 ♥ What You Can Learn from Your Bad Habits

Ever have a negative situation that just keeps popping up, over and over? Maybe it’s the same argument with a loved one. Or always being late. Perhaps it’s spending too many extra hours at work. I’m sure you know what I mean. In all of these cases repetitive patterns just keep…well, repeating.  Why is that? These behaviors are bad habits, which get triggered by a specific event leading to some sort of reward. Yes a bad habit gets us something. And often we aren’t even aware of what we get in return. You know that same-old, same-old argument you keep having? What reward do you get for not resolving it once and for all? As for always being late? How does that serve you? And why are you really working late so often? You must be getting something in return or you wouldn’t act in any of these ways! Finding out the “why” behind your bad habits, and, of course, wanting them to be different, is the path to change. These bad habits have something to teach you about yourself, and you’ll stay on this merry-go-round until you learn the lesson waiting for you. Ready to jump off the ride? Now It’s Your Turn Identify one habit you’re ready to change and why you’d like to change it. What event triggers the habitual behavior and what reward do you get for acting this way? Look deep and hard for your current reward. The secret to making a change is to … Continue reading