Sunday, September 30, 2012

Take Time to Play

As adults we often become inundated with responsibilities. We look at life from the perspective of things that we have to do. There is the laundry to wash, the groceries to purchase, and the mortgage to pay. As children, these things never registered in our young, innocent minds. We were free of responsibilities with the exception of academics and the occasional, “please go brush your teeth.”  Therefore, adults, unlike children, begin to lose sight of the benefit of play. Our priorities are no longer about having fun, but of getting things done. Here lies the reality of growing older. But sadly, all work and little play can truly cause adults to feel burdened and resentful, not only of responsibilities, but by life.

It is not only fun to play, it is absolutely necessary. Playing and having fun keeps your heart open and your spirit alive! How did you play as a child? How did you entertain yourself as a teen? For example, perhaps you loved to draw or color as a child? Maybe you played volleyball or enjoyed going bowling or to the movies?

Chances are good that some of those same things that you did as a child or as a teen, can still open your heart and enliven your spirit.  Take time to play again. In this way you will balance the responsibilities of life with the Enjoyment  of life.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Some people think that they can't,
when they can...
Others think they can, when they can't.
Which category do you fall into?
The truth lies in Trying!
If you try, you will know for sure if you can... or you can't.  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Moon and Stars

You are the Moon
I am the Star
Together we illuminate the night sky 
Yet so different from the other
A beautiful complement indeed  
Lost without the presence of the other

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wanted: My Own Voice!

Stage 1: Childhood

In my work, I come across many people who through the years have lost their voice, also known as their personal power. If you grew up in a home where there was an addiction, conflict, abuse or neglect, chances are good that you lost your voice. It was not safe to speak up in such an environment. And so you learned to say nothing regardless of what you needed, what you thought or what you felt.  You were simply trying to survive.

Stage 2: Adulthood

It is here where your lost voice may find a voice, but it is not your own. This is a marriage made in heaven! The person without a voice often finds and marries the person with a voice. It is a natural attraction. You need someone who can know what you think, what you need, and what you feel in order to continue to not have a voice. Conflict arises, however, when your spouse gets tired of making decisions, anticipating your need and reading your supplemental behaviors and facial expressions. Spouse will complain that you don't communicate.

Stage 3: Midllife (aka Change is needed. What do I do now?)

After years of being silent, feeling lectured by others who do have a voice, and perhaps feeling talked at, you reach a place where it no longer feels good to not have a voice of your own. It leaves you in a dependent, vulnerable and lonely place where no one hears or understands you. You thought your spouse understood you when he/she could read you without your communication. Spouse now begs you to talk and relinquishes responsibility of talking for you. You feel lost. Therefore, you  must either 1) find another person willing to be your voice or 2) Finally find your own voice.

To find your own voice, you must first heal your fear of getting into trouble or the reaction of others.  These are residual feelings from childhood that is brought into the marriage. In other words, it was there before you ever met your spouse! The squelched voice whispers ( or HOLLERS in frustration for not being heard or understood),  "I cannot talk to you because you react." This translates into "I cannot talk because you will have feelings." And feelings (according to my history) are detrimental to my safety."  As long as you place the blame on the spouse, the fear of others reactions remains. You just transfer ownership to the next person.

Some suggestions for finding (and using) your voice:

1. Speak up. Increaseyour volume so others can hear you. Low voices are indicative of shame.You are afraid of being heard or being visible as it is vulnerable. People will know that you are there. Speak so that others can hear you and respond to you.

2. Look at people when you are taking to insure that you have their attention. Do not talk while looking away or while they walk out of the room.

3. Ask for clarification or validation that you have been heard. Did you hear what I said? (People without a voice blame others for not listening when in fact, they are not talking.)

4. Singing and chanting are ways of opening up the voice. If it feels too threatening, do it in the car. It is healing for your voice.

5. Ask others (who are your talkers) to not interrupt you when you are talking. Remind them that you are learning to communicate and would appreciate having no competition. You will let them know when you are finished and ready for their response. 

6. Thank those who give you space to talk. Let them know that you appreciate their time and patience as you learn a new skill. Learn to rotate "my turn, your turn."


Have you checked in the lost and found lately?
I trust that you will find it.
It just needs to be picked up!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Resentment or Love?

Resentment develops when you perceive your family responsibilities as a burden. You believe that you have to do the laundry, get the groceries and mow the lawn. You believe that others expect you to take care of what is needed. To prevent or heal feelings of resentment, one must simply choose a different perception.

The actual reason a person chooses to do the laundy, and other household chores, is because doing so allows him/her to take care of and provide for those they love.

A person chooses to take care of their family because they love their family

However, resentment builds over time when the resentful person has neglected his/her own needs and feels tired of making the sacrifice. The perception is that others needs are being met "all of the time" while their needs are not being met at all.

If you take care of your own needs, taking care of others will feel like a gift, rather than a burden.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Parents often believe that if their children do not listen to them, their children do not respect them.
 Is that true?
Is respect defined as listening to a person of authority? 
Respect is more than being heard. It is being valued.
Surround yourself with only people who respect you. 


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Avoiding Conflict

Have you ever noticed that those who avoid conflict are usually people who do not talk and do not express their feelings?

The person who avoids conflict is uncomfortable being in the presence of people who are talking and expressing their feelings at the same time. Typically the person who avoids conflict grew up in a home where there was conflict. As a result, they learned that the expression of feelings will lead to conflict, and thus, feelings cannot be expressed. Conflict is associated with feeling bad (scolded) and leads to feeling like you have failed for disappointing another.

Conflict need not be avoided. Instead it is essential for talking and expressing your feelings to others. Even if there is disagreement, much is gained from moving through a conflict to gain agreement or at best, understanding. The ability to stay present and available while you or someone else is talking and expressing feelings is an important life skill. It leads to healthy communication and strong interpersonal relationships.

It is safe to talk and to feel.      

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Why Does It Bother You?

You tell me that it upsets you that I do not laugh like I used to. 
Why does it bother you that I do not laugh of lately?  
Do you squirm in your own discomfort that you are not good enough if you fail to make me happy?
What if I am happy...and it has nothing to do with you?
What if you are sad...and it has nothing to do with me?


Monday, September 10, 2012

Running from Fear

You can run, but you cannot hide

                                       From the fear that dwells within you.

Temporary relief is not a permanent solution.

                               Name your fears. Look them boldly in the face.

Stay put, transform and heal.