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

Dec. 21 ♥ Advice for the Holidays: Live without Expectations or Resentments

‘Tis the season to have expectations: Everyone will get along. The food will be perfect. Every gift will be just what they wanted. Happiness will abound. Every family member will be on their best behavior. Ah, Norman Rockwell may be alive and well in our memories but that’s not the reality of our lives around the holidays. How often have you planned how an experience was going to unfold only to have your expectations rudely thwarted? And how often did you then let your frustrations come spewing forth onto those around you? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why are we so certain that we know how the future will unfold? Why do we continue to believe we have so much power over life and other people? Want a recommendation for a more peaceful holiday, whichever one you celebrate: let’s all act as if we have no idea what will happen. Let’s recognize that we can only control ourselves; everyone else is on their own autopilot. Let’s relish being in the moment, however that moment turns out. I promise you, you can eliminate frustration, anger, disappointment, and sadness if you just let go of any preconceived ideas about how things should happen.   Now It’s Your turn What can you let go of this holiday season? What difference will that make to you? To your friends and family? … 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

Nov. 9 ♥ Have Your Gathered in Your Harvest?

Here in the Northern Hemisphere the nights are getting cooler. The skies are a brilliant blue, colors are more vibrant, and shadows are sharp. It’s as if Mother Nature were producing one last, stupendous hurrah before the darker, colder months descend upon us. As I look out my window, I appreciate this time of change, these golden autumnal days, and I give thanks for the fruits of the summer. As the final agricultural harvests occur, I’m also reminded that this is truly a time when we reap what we have sown, both as fact and as metaphor. Fall is a perfect time to review the previous months of this year, to note our harvests—the experiences and accomplishments we’ve had. Reflecting on your year, which of these have flowered and brought something into your life? Which have been more like weeds, crowding out your dreams? As the final agricultural harvests occur, I’m also reminded that this is truly a time when we reap what we have sown, both as fact and as metaphor. Fall is a perfect time to review the previous months of this year, to note our harvests—the experiences and accomplishments we’ve had. This exercise is not about noticing which list is longer, the flowers or the weeds. It’s a time for reflection so you can express gratitude for what you’ve done and who you’ve become. And equally important, it’s a time to recall how you have dealt with any challenges that may have occurred. Both offer you opportunities … 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