Jan 25 ♥ 4 Ways to Kiss “Should” Goodbye

Should. Appears to be an innocent enough word. How many times a day do you use this word? On the surface it means recommendation, advisability, obligation, expectation. But it also has an implicit definition: the “should” comes from someone else’s point of view, not yours. How many times have you done something based on what other people expect? As in, “You should clean the house.” “You should dress in brighter colors.” “You should bake cookies, not buy them.” “You should lose weight.” Or the reverse. “You shouldn’t try for that more advanced job.” “You shouldn’t expect to be happy in your life.” “You shouldn’t take risks because of <fill in the blank>.” Should. It’s a powerful, judgmental voice. It implies that you don’t have your own answers. How have you been talking to yourself lately? How about making a shift? Making choices based on your values and needs, not those of others. When you feeling a should coming on, see if one of the following phrases resonates with you. Then use that section to help you discover the real motivation behind the should. Make a pledge to let go. With practice you can replace the other voices and contrary agendas around you with your own values-based choices. I feel a should or should not coming on… Whose voice is really telling me I this? Often we have unexamined values that we swallowed whole from our parents, schools, or other authority figures. Where is your should/should not really coming from? Is it … 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

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

Oct. 12 ♥ Why You Must Let Go of the Past

How many things are you holding on to “just in case”? How many clothes still hang in your closet just in case you lose the weight that keeps hanging around your midsection. Or maybe you’ve kept those shiny black stiletto heels just in case you once again go to a classy wedding? Or maybe you’ve hung on to those casual Friday combinations that are no longer necessary for your lifestyle? If you’re really honest with yourself, you know these will likely never happen again. And yet you cling to the possibilities. I’ll bet you’re just afraid to let go of the past — because these things represent parts of you, the good times, memories of who you were — back then. Yet your past is not who you are now. True it helped you become who you are at this moment, and you need to be grateful for that. But nostalgia can weigh you down — and fill your closet. Hanging on to the past keeps you tied to what was and stifles your forward motion toward who you are becoming. So, let go of material things from the past. Maybe even consider a farewell ceremony to mark your goodbyes. And donating these items will make you lighter and help others who can use them. Consciously choose to live in the now of who you are, keeping only the things that represent her. Now It’s Your Turn: What do you hold onto that ties you to your past? How might these … Continue reading