Monday, October 29, 2012

Weathering a storm

As the East Coast watches the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, I appreciate my warm, generously lit home that allows me to sit by the fire, and enjoy a cup of tea.  There are two thoughts that I ponder today. The first is the fear of the unknown.  Although we had notice of this storm coming, the weather is unpredictable. The stores sold out of batteries and water as people anxiously prepared to lose power for a period of time. Much of life confronts our fear of the unknown. We truly do not know what will happen throughout our lives. The important thing is to not take a good life for granted.  

The other thought that I ponder this stormy evening is the many storms that I have already weathered in my life. Of course, I am not referring to physical storms, but the emotional storms of one’s life. Life has its challenges. What have been the storms in your life? How did you weather such storms?  There are many unknowns in life that allow us to develop trust in self and in the Universe.  Although you may not know what will happen next, you know that you have navigated difficult waters in the past, including illness, financial issues, childbirth, child rearing, job loss, separation, loss of loved ones, and much more. There were indeed many storms.  May you continue to know the strengths within you to weather whatever storms that lie ahead.  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Do you give up or give in?

Do you give up?

To give up is to Surrender. It is the feeling that you will not win regardless of what you try and so you choose not to try. You throw out the white flag and surrender to the loss. You could try, but trying would require effort toward what feels hopeless. When you give up, you are attempting to avoid the familiar feeling of failure.  People who give up already feel like a failure and therefore want to avoid adding additional demerits to their low self-worth. 

Do you give in?

To give in is to experience Defeat. When you give in, you surrender your power to someone else. You subconsciously allow another person to lead, and to decide for you. You defer to them. This is a pattern that tends to occur for the person that lacks self-worth. When you lack self -worth,  you are at risk for allowing others to lead you, as your worth is determined by someone else.  You only feel worth something if someone makes you feel that you are worth something.
A person may also give in for fear of conflict. In an attempt to avoid conflict (AKA angry reaction), you acquiesce to the desires of someone else. It is only after some time of doing so, that you then convince yourself that the other person is controlling or manipulating you, and react by pushing them away. In truth, you subconsciously asked to be led and then eventually resented it, as it is disabling to the self-esteem. It keeps you stuck in failure mode.

Whether your tendency is to give up or give in, you choose to fail. You fail to develop your sense of self, your confidence and your knowledge.  Learn to TRY, regardless of the outcome. You will learn how to do things for the next time. You will learn from your mistakes. In the end, you will feel like a success and not a failure, as you developed knowledge and skills that you take forward. Speak up and allow others to know your feelings and needs. Perseverance and Assertiveness brings SUCCESS!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Your level of emotional reaction is directly related to
your level of perceived responsibility.

The more responsible you feel for the welfare of others, the greater the tendency to emotionally react. When a loved one struggles, you feel responsible. It is as if you have unconsciously made yourself the CEO of everyone's life. And therefore, when they struggle you react strongly, as if it is life or death. When others are upset or cannot find something that they need, you mistakenly believe that it is your fault.  They are not likely saying that it is your fault, but you automatically assume it is. Consequently, you react from a place of shame and inadequacy that causes you to feel frustrated or defensive. They do not understand why you are reacting so strongly.

Take a breath.

Know that you are only responsible for what happens to you. Allow others to be responsible for what happens to them. In this way, you can observe rather than react, and be understanding as opposed to feeling blamed. You will teach self-responsiblity, and free yourself from emotional reaction. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Many people look for love, while settling for companionship.
Some people look for connection, while experiencing friendship.
If you long for another, you look for the freedom from loneliness
If you develop loving connection, you experience fulfillment.
If you struggle, you look for another to create ease.
If you love with an open heart, you gain peace.

A loving connection differs from any other relationship.
It is not seen merely through the eyes, but felt and experienced in the heart.
It is not an escape from life's responsibilities, but a togetherness in moving mountains.

Cultivating Healthy Relationships November 9-11. 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dependency or Self-Reliance?

As a human being, it is possible to become dependent on other people. Perhaps you feel afraid of being alone or believe that you are incapable? Thus, you create a dependency on another person to take care of you physically, emotionally or financially. You are physically dependent when you allow someone to do your laundry, cook your dinner, or make your dental appointment. You are emotionally dependent on another person to make you laugh, to reassure you, or to tell you that you are capable. You are financially dependent when you allow someone to provide for you by paying your bills, buying your dinner, or paying for your entertainment.  It may seem warm and wonderful to be taken care of by another, particularly if it is perceived as nurturance.

However, problems arise when  depending on another person:
1) You feel guilty or ashamed for not being able to take care of yourself
2) You come to believe that you are incapable
3) You feel like you are a burden to others
4) The other person may eventually resent taking care of you
5) You are likely to remain dependent.

The gift of self-reliance is that you share your time with loved ones, but do not need them to take care of you. You feel confident and secure in providing for yourself physically, emotionally and financially.  You assume responsibility for meeting your needs. You take care of your laundry and pay your bills. You make yourself happy. You have the power to create an enjoyable life for yourself.   

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Did you hear me?

There are two levels of communication. The first level is to be HEARD. People who yell often feel ignored. Consequently they feel the need to yell in order to be heard. To be heard is to feel as though you exist. I am seen and heard. I must exist.

The second level of communication is to be UNDERSTOOD. Although your words are heard, it does not guarantee that you are understood. To be understood is to be listened to. It is the belief that someone actually "gets you" and knows you in a deeper, more complex way. There are many people who go through life never feeling understood. They say, "You don't understand." It is sometimes related to their inability to communicate effectively. It may also be related to a lack of safety in being exposed (known) to others. "You never listen" translates into "You never understand who I am or what I am really trying to tell you."

Learn to communicate in a way that allow others to
not only hear you, but to understand you.  

To improve communication:
1) Ask if you heard the person correctly (Is this what you said?)
2) Ask if you understood the meaning of their words. ("Is this what you meant?")
3) Do not interrupt. It means you are not listening. Let others speak.
4) Avoid interpreting what is being said (I think you said..)
5) Avoid making assumptions. (I think you meant...)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

True Joyfulness

Are you searching for joy in your life? Have you looked for it in the outside world to no avail? You probably thought you would find it in your relationship, in having a child, in buying a new home or driving a nice vehicle. It was a good beginning, but still only temporary. True joyfulness goes beyond the excitement of something new.

It is a beautiful place within your spirit that longs to be discovered.

Stop searching and

Sit alone in the quiet

Travelling within

            To that beautiful space,

                                     That makes your heart smile,

                                                         Your voice sing,

                                                                              Your eyes glisten,

                                                                                                And your Spirit rejoice.  
You can now bring that true joyfulness to the outside world.  

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Communication Breakdown

Communication is one of the most common complaints of couples. Often the talker is married to the silent partner. The talker wants to engage in conversation to feel closer and more connected. But what about the partner that says little, if anything?  Problems in communication have less to do with the ability to communicate, and more to do with the fear of communicating. Individuals who refrain from saying anything are afraid of the other persons reaction. Typically this person grew up in an emotionally volatile environment with an angry or reactive parent. Consequently, they learned that it is not safe to say how they feel or what they think, for fear of the consequence of a strong emotional reaction. This response can be further complicated by feelings of shame that say, "I am bad" or "It is all my fault" that the person became angry. In other words, it feels terrible to express oneself. Many such people actually not only say nothng, but shut down emotionally. This causes feelings for their partner who then emotionally reacts from feeling dismissed or ignored. Is it any wonder that there is a breakdown? The silent partner is also at risk for being passive aggressive. Instead of using words to express themselves, they use behavior. They will not tell their partner that they feel angry, but will not talk to their partner for a few hours. They hope that their partner will know how they feel based on their behavior. Of course, it typically backfires in relationships.

Direct communication is saying what you think and what you feel to your partner, regardless of the other person's reaction.  It is taking responsibility to express oneself in order to be heard and understood. Learn to speak honestly and truthfully and to create an environment that allows your partner to do so as well. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Inner Conflict

The outside projects a smile.
The words spoken are, "I am good."
You convince yourself that all is well, while on the inside..
another matter exists. 
There is conflict raging within,
the ego and the heart at war with one another.
The battle between what you think and what you feel, 
What is right and what is wrong,
What is real and what is perception, 
What is love and what is hurt,  
The ego fights, while the heart struggles.

What will it take to end this war?


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Falling Message

I see something small and orange falling
from above me,
A leaf perhaps, reminding me to
Let go,
      to be unattached,
      to be without expectation,
      to let go fully and completely.

But wait...

With a closer look and Divine timing,
I see that it is not a falling leaf at all
But a monarch butterfly
Gliding effortlessly in front of of me,
Reminding me
      to trust, 
      to allow,
      to be without fear
      And to stand in awe of transformation.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Options for Personal Transformation

There are 3 options for Personal Transformation:

1.)                        Breakup (relational)

2.)                        Breakdown (physical, emotional, financial)

3.)                        Breakthrough (Transformation)


Breakups can turn into breakdowns. It is as if you need to push away a loved one in order to breakdown physically, emotionally or financially. After all, you don’t want to hurt them. Perhaps, subconsciously, you don’t want to take them down with you.

Breakdowns occur when you struggle physically, emotionally or financially. You may get sick or injured, feel depressed or anxious, or face financial difficulties.  Breakdowns can become breakthroughs. You can get to the other side. You can learn something about yourself that you wouldn’t have known, had it not been for the breakdown. You can learn that you are strong, capable, fiscally responsible, happy, or confident.
A Breakthrough is when you push through your feelings of insecurity and inadequacy to emerge more self-aware, more self-reliant, or more capable. You transform much like the caterpillar that becomes the butterfly. As the caterpillar, you can only recognize the pain of feeling trapped, stuck, and uncomfortable.  You wonder if you will survive the pain that sometimes accompanies transformation.  And then something magical happens. What you no longer need falls away, and you are left with what you do need, although it may appear quite different than what you had previously known. Transformation has occurred, and suddenly you have so much more than you previously thought possible.   

Regardless of the route you take, may you appreciate the transformation that comes.