December 29, 2009

Happy New Year!

Most of us live by a set of rules taught by parents, teachers, and friends...rules which we have internalized, programs, really, which run silently in the background. If we could hear all those "rules" out loud, we would be astonished by that bossy voice!

Some of us go through life obediently doing out best to follow the rules, perhaps not even realizing that we are not behaving of our own volition...while others spend a lifetime rebelling against them.

What becoming "present" really means is achieving full awareness of that part of us which is really US, and becoming free to do what we really desire. Until we reach that stage, we can lift much of the burden of all these "shoulds" by being gentle with ourselves.  

I very much like what Ian Paul Marshall says about New Year's resolutions:

"As we begin the new year let's make it a time where we finally decide to ignore all the "should's" in our lives. Let's let go of resolutions and let's develop resolve. A fortitude to forgive ourselves for all our self-criticisms. A determination to develop a deeper wellspring of joy and happiness. And a courage to boldly bring into existence the dreams that silently sleep within our hearts."

May we see the perfection in every outcome and be able to give thanks, for then every day will be a happy one!

December 24, 2009


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

--- Max Ehrmann, 1927


December 21, 2009

Speak Up!

There is a balance to be struck in close relationships, between accepting the other person as they are and instructing them on how you are to be treated.  It is important to forgive little lapses in attention and thoughtfulness, but at the same time, you should also make it clear that you are worth attention, that you expect thoughtfulness and that you are deeply worthy of love. Do not walk through life bruised and wounded, taking each little thing to heart, always injured and hurt by the slightest thing. People are far too distracted and most social oversights and slights are really just their responses to anxiety and pressure.  In these times, you must teach them how to act.

Today observe yourself as you relate to other people and compare what you say and do outwardly to how you feel inwardly. And this is particularly important in your relationships that are difficult or in which you feel slighted, in relationships of some importance to you.

If you find yourself dismissing and then yearning, you should become aware of this and then correct it. If you say, "That's all right, go ahead without me," and then feel hurt when you are taken up on this offer, you must take responsibility for this. How much better to actually ask for what you want, to say, "Would you mind waiting a moment for me?" This gives the other person the opportunity to know what consideration you would truly like. It instructs them on how to treat you and gives them the chance to actually treat you in well. Do not blame others if they are unable to read your mind and instead respond to your words and your manner. 

Are you bowing your head and withdrawing when you might be lifting your chin and stating what it is that you want? Are you walking around feeling bruised and injured, even though you have not expressed to anyone what it is that you want and need? Aren't these old habits left over from a powerless childhood?  They are not serving you now, are they?

December 18, 2009

An Acronym for Feeling Good

From Ian Paul Marshall comes the following advice about feeling good:

Be grateful for what you have
Enjoy this present moment
Touch base with someone you love
Turn within and enjoy the silence
Experience something new
Realize that you are loved always

For the most part, getting happy is an inside job.  If you observe others very carefully, you will see that happy people may or may not have material success. Some of the wealthiest, and most gifted people are discontent, while some of the poorest glow with peace. 

Consider making a "feel good" journal for yourself.  Write it full of quotes which uplift your spirits, and paste in happy images.  Make this your "Go To" when you need a little inside nudge.

December 13, 2009

Self Love

It's next to impossible to have a peaceful, joyful life or to love others unless we first love (and forgive) ourselves.

One of the ways to love the self more is to stop comparing yourself to others. Although you are part of a whole, you are also an individual self, with your own path. The group and family belief systems you have taken on as your own can be obstacles to your self-love. The challenge of loving the self is to step aside from everything you are told, and ask, "Does this fit me? Does this bring me joy? Do I feel good when I do it?" It is ultimately your own experience that counts.

December 12, 2009

Word Play

From Marney Makridakis comes this wonderful idea which I share with you:

I was out running some errands a few days ago and I did a little eavesdropping experiment.  I listened to the conversations around me and made a note of how many times I heard the words "busy" or "tired" or "stressed".  Perhaps not surprisingly, given this bustling time of the year, those words or something similar surfaced in almost every single conversation I heard.

The holiday season is equated with a dizzy busy that has become so normal, we've come to expect it.  But does this have to be the case?  When did it become so acceptable to be over-busy, over-tired, and over-stressed…during the holidays or, for that matter, any time of the year?

I think that it's easy to forget that we have a choice in the matter. I've found that it can be as simple as making a different choice. Our choices are the pieces of the quilt of our lives, and the words we use each day are the threads that hold those choices together. Just because everyone else around us is stressed by the holidays, doesn't mean that we need to be. I'd like to share a fun little ARTsignment™ exercise that I developed that combines creative word play with the powerful act of reframing our choices. 

I believe that changing the words we use is one of the most powerful things we can do to change our lives.  And it's probably no mystery that I love word   So for this simple little exercise, all you do is start with a word that describes how you're feeling…and then see if you can find a rhyme or pun that transforms the word into something else.

For example:

Instead of feeling stressed...try feeling blessed

It looks so simple, right?  But this simple word association is actually a very powerful tool!  With this Transwordation, you now have an instant reminder the next time you are feeling stressed; you can change your thoughts, and instead of being overwhelmed with stress,  you can start thinking about all the things for which you are grateful.

Here are a few more silly little examples for words that can actually be powerful if we let them transform us this holiday season the way we can transform them. So,

Instead of feeling busy
what would it mean if you were feeling bliss-y?

This might mean that when you're feeling busy, you can stop and ask yourself, "what could I do to bring more bliss into this short moment?"  You get the idea....Have fun with it!

December 7, 2009

Take the Pledge!

As you see from the comment to my last post, the author of The Law of the Garbage Truck has been found, David J. Pollay.  To the law,  I add this pledge, also authored by Pollay:

 The No Garbage Trucks!™ Pledge
I do not accept Garbage in my life.
When I see Garbage Trucks,
I do not take them personally.
I just smile. I wave. I wish them well.
And I move on.
And I do not spread Garbage to others.
I am not a Garbage Truck!
 I do not accept Garbage in my life."

December 4, 2009

Law of the Garbage Truck

This little anonymous story has calmed me a few times, and I am posting it here in the hope that it will be of help to you as well.

The Law of The Garbage Truck
One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.  My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches.
The driver of the other car whipped his head around, started yelling at us, and flipped us the bird.  My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.  So I asked, "Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital."

This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks.  They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you.

Don't take it personally.  Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.  The bottom line is that people whose goal is to be happy do not let garbage trucks take over their day. 

Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so..... Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't. Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it.

Have a blessed garbage-free day!!

November 16, 2009


“Life needs continuous growth. The moment you stop its growth, it starts dying. So go into the world full of songs, full of dance and abundant love, and give it unconditionally, without any judgment, to anybody who is receptive — and you will go on growing in the experience both deeper and higher.” OSHO

Yes, it can be scary as it's a leap into the unknown, but it's really impossible to stand still....and it sure takes a lot of energy trying!

November 3, 2009

Being, not Doing

The concept of being vs. doing can be difficult to grasp. We think about what we want to do, but how do we just “be” as it takes not thinking. Activities that allow us to connect with our hearts and feelings help us learn how to “be."
A helpful tool is making a comfort list, things that bring joy and peace, keeping you “out of your mind!” The list may look like this:
  • Listening to music
  • Walking along the beach
  • Taking a warm bubble bath
  • Reading a great book
  • Listening to wind chimes
  • Watching candles glow
  • Listening to the silence
  • Spending time at a bookstore
  • Talking with friends
  • Watching the sunrise
  • Watching the sunset
  • Having a massage
  • Giving a hug
  • Collecting your favorite things
The more we allow ourselves time for these comforting activities, the more connected we become with our center, creating a balance within ourselves. Being in the moment is realized as pleasurable.   (by Joanne Susi)

August 25, 2009

Message from Abraham

We're asking you to trust in the Well-being. In optimism there is magic. In pessimism there is nothing. In positive expectation there is thrill and success. In pessimism or awareness of what is not wanted, there is nothing. What you're wanting to do is redefine your relationship with the Stream. We do not ask you to look at something that is black and call it white.

We do not ask you to see something that is not as you want it to be and pretend that it is. What we ask you to do is practice moving your gaze. Practice changing your perspective. Practice talking to different people. Practice going to new places. Practice sifting through the data for the things that feel like you want to feel and using those things to cause you to feel a familiar place. In other words, we want you to feel familiar in your joy. Familiar in your positive expectation, familiar in your knowing that all is well, because this Universe will knock itself out giving you evidence of that Well-being once you find that place.

May 18, 2009

What's on Your Mind?

This blog has a low readership, and so I am considering stopping to keep it current, even...perhaps...closing it. I have now enabled comments, and and I would appreciate your feed-back. Is this blog meaningful to you? Do you have any ideas about how it can attract more readers? Please let me know what's on your mind.

May 16, 2009

Being Oneself

When you don't play roles, it means there is no self (ego) in what you do. There is no secondary agenda: protection or strengthening of your self. As a result, your actions have far greater power. You are totally focused on the situation. You become one with it. You don't try to be anybody in particular. You are most powerful, most effective, when you are completely yourself.

"How can I be myself?" is, however, the wrong question. It implies you have to do something to be yourself. But 'how' doesn't apply here because you are yourself already. Just stop adding unnecessary baggage to who you already are.

The ultimate truth of who you are is not I am this or I am that, but I Am.

(Eckhart Tolle)

May 12, 2009

Unhappy? Check Your Thoughts.

The only thing that makes the difference in the way you feel right now is the thought that you are thinking right now. It doesn't matter how much money you've got; there are joyful people with no money, and there are unhappy people with lots of money.

How you feel is about how you are allowing the Source that is You to flow. So when we talk about the Art of Allowing, we're talking about the art of living; about the art of thriving; about the art of clarity. We're talking about the art of being who you really are. (Abraham-Hicks)


Sometimes it's much easier to understand principles when observing them at work in others. In my volunteer work I assist others to obtain food, clothing, and bits of financial help. I find that there is no relationship between their attitude and their actual situation. No matter how dire their actual circumstances are, there are people who have gratitude, hope, and faith, while others with more resources and options see themselves as victims. It's NEVER someone else's fault! You are always in charge.

May 10, 2009


May my heart become my only perceiver and my eyes be full of light.
May angel wings be lent to me, that I might fly above
the noise and turmoil of the world.
With every moment's flight may something beautiful be revealed to me
and become part of who I am.

(Marianne Anderson)

May 7, 2009


An essential part of awakening is the recognition of the unawakened you, the ego as it thinks, speaks, and acts. When you recognize the unconsciousness in you, that which makes the recognition possible IS the arising consciousness, IS awakening. You cannot fight against the ego and win, just as you cannot fight against darkness. The light of consciousness is all that is necessary. You are that light.
(Eckhart Tolle)

May 5, 2009

Kindness & Integrity

I love simple definitions which are easy for me to remember. Recently, I found definitions for two vague terms: Kindness, and integrity. We all have an idea of what those words mean, but that idea is kind of fuzzy, isn't it? I think that this lack of clarity makes our actions "fuzzy" as well, enabling us to slide by. I'm sure one can add a lot more to the definitions I am going to give you, but why not begin by getting clear on just a few? For those of you who want clarity, here it is:

Components of kindness are:

One component of having integrity is honesty:
Stand up for what you believe in.
Stand down from a position where you feel compromised.
Stand back from a situation that doesn't feel right.

May 1, 2009

Working Through Transitions

The elation we feel when we have learned an important lesson, achieved a goal, or had a big breakthrough can sometimes be met with a period of downtime afterward. During this period of transition, we may feel unsure and not know where to turn next. Many people, during the pause between achievements, begin to wonder what their life is about. These feelings are common and strike everyone from time to time. Human beings are active creatures—we feel best when we are working on a project or vigorously pursuing a goal. But there is nothing inherently wrong with spending a day, a week, or even a month simply existing and not having a plan. Just be. It won’t be long before you embark upon your next voyage of growth and discovery.

The quiet lull into we which we fall between ideas, projects, and goals can make life seem empty. After accomplishing one objective, you may want to move immediately on to the next. However, when your next step is unclear, you may feel frustrated, disconnected, or even a mild depression. You may even perceive your lack of forward momentum as an indicator of imminent stagnation. To calm these distressing thoughts, try to accept that if your intent is personal growth, you will continue to grow as an individual whether striving for a specific objective or not. Spending time immersed in life’s rigors and pleasures can be a cathartic experience that gives you the time you need to think about what you have recently gone through and leisurely contemplate what you wish to do next. You may also find that in simply being and going through the motions of everyday life, you reconnect with your priorities in a very organic, unforced way. (The Daily OM)


Most of us are so accustomed to charging from one thing to another, we feel truly lost when we are in transition.....when we are finished with one thing, and not yet begun the new thing. The first step is to notice that we ARE in transition, that there is really nothing at all "wrong". We need to remember that it's human to feel discomfort, sometimes acutely. It's a period which can be used for introspection and great personal growth if you will allow the gap. For creative people, it is a period of incubation. Lastly, we need to keep in mind that gaps are always temporary, and so is any discomfort we feel.

April 28, 2009

Law of Attraction

Start telling a better-feeling story about the things that are important to you. Do not write your story like a factual documentary, weighing all the pros and cons of your experience, but instead tell the uplifting, fanciful, magical story of the wonder of your own life and watch what happens.

It will feel like magic as your life begins to transform right before yours eyes, but it is not by magic. It is by the power of the Laws of the Universe and your deliberate alignment with those Laws. (Abraham-Hicks)

April 25, 2009

Making Our Lives Work

The lives we have now are a result of thousands of small well as a few big ones....we made over years. Most of us are only aware how the large marry a particular person, take a particular job, move to a particular city, etc....have built the life we now have, but there were many more smaller decisions which determined what our present life looks like. And, of course, NOT making a decision, fact...a decision.

Living more consciously certainly has its rewards beyond the obvious. The more conscious we are, the more we are able to shape our life to one we actually want. With every small decision we shape out life.

If we want something to work better, we better change something!

April 22, 2009


The most common form of withholding is what we commonly call "the silent treatment," but withholding encompasses any unwillingness to express your true feelings. It also includes an unwillingness to give support, praise, or positive attention to the people you love. We have all known someone who is impossible to please, and many of us have suddenly found ourselves at the other end of a chilly silence with no explanation. At the same time, many of us will recognize our own tendency to withhold our emotions rather than express them. Most of us have seen both sides of the withholding dilemma. Emotional pain is at the root of our tendency to withhold, and withholding causes pain to the people subjected to it. It is a dysfunctional pattern that creates a breakdown in communication and understanding.

No one deserves to be subjected to withholding. Feeling ignored, disrespected, or shut out, and to not know why, is a terrible feeling. The first thing to remember if this is happening to you is that you are not to blame. You are caught in someone else’s pain pattern. This person does not know how to express feelings in a healthy way probably because this is what they learned when she or he was a child. The second helpful thing to remember is that the withholder is acting out of pain. They are stuck in a habitual mode of response that is self-defeating and alienating to the people they love. Remembering this will help you feel compassion for the person hurting you. However, if you have suffered too long with this pattern, you may need to get some space. Take some time to look at your own patterns and understand why you have taken part in this drama. If you are dealing with people in a family situation, you can step up to the plate to help break the chain of this behavior patttern.

If, on the other hand, it is you that tends to withhold, understand that this is a learned response and it can be unlearned. Find safe places to begin to express all that you’ve been holding back. Begin to make an effort to say what you’re feeling and thinking. Give praise to someone you love. The more you do this, the healthier you and your relationships will become. What was learned over a course of a life cannot be changed overnight—remember, one day at a time.

(The Daily Om)


Oh, I still whine and get gloomy at times, but more and more I shy away from negative words such as withholding" is. I mean, can't you just feel the pain when you see the word? I think both the giver and the receiver hurt a lot. New thought for me! The one who is doing the withholding is not just being a jerk. Perhaps, this will help you, too.

April 20, 2009

Solving Problems

"Today's problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them."
~Albert Einstein

We can look at problems from many perspectives. For most of us it is difficult to shift our perspective and that's why it's often helpful to get feedback from others. It isn't that they are better problem's because they are likely to look at the problem from a different perspective.

April 18, 2009

Perhaps, The Most Important Advice

There are two ways of going through life: Gather everything in sight, just in case you need it. Or, trust that you'll find exactly what you need, just in time. Guess which one lets you really stop and smell the roses?

Shortly after World War II, executives at Japan's Toyota Motor Company made a decision from which, I believe, we all can benefit. They decided to make cars the way they'd make, say, sushi. Unlike most manufacturers, which bought and stored massive stockpiles of supplies, Toyota began ordering just enough parts to keep their lines moving, just when those parts were needed. This made them spectacularly productive, and turned the phrase "just in time" into business legend.

I know of the Toyota case because in my former life as an academic, I taught international business management. My students and I had some rousing discussions about just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing, as well as its alternative, which is known as just-in-case (JIC) inventory. These students were the first people who hired me as a life coach (perhaps because I could never resist applying business theory to everyday life). When we discussed JIT versus JIC management as a lifestyle strategy, we concluded that Toyota's business innovation could positively impact all of our lives. If you feel overburdened, overstressed, and anxious, I'm betting the same is true for you.

Step 1: Why Just-in-Case Is Just Crazy
Step 2: Why Just-in-Time Just Makes Sense
Step 3: Making the Switch

Why Just-in-Case Is Just Crazy

Most people live with a just-in-case mind-set because for most of human history, it made sense. The primary fact of life for just-in-case processes is: "Everything good is scarce!" By contrast, just-in-time systems rely on the assumption "Everything good is readily available." Well, until quite recently, the former claim was true for most humans—it's still true for many. But most magazine readers like you live in settings where basic necessities, like food, clothing, and other humans, are plentiful.

Living in an abundant environment but operating on the assumption that good things are scarce leads to a host of dysfunctions that can be summed up in one word: excess. Most of us are living in some kind of excess; we work too much, eat too much, rack up debt buying too much stuff. Yet, driven by the unconscious, just-in-case assumption that "everything good is scarce," we just keep doing and accumulating more. We've all seen some of the unfortunate results, and I've found that most fall into the following four categories:

Starving off the Fat of the Land
For years I noticed that my clients who lived in a mind-set of scarcity had trouble controlling their weight, even though they dieted assiduously. I also read studies showing that poor women—particularly those who periodically starved themselves to feed their children—were particularly plagued by obesity. Researchers hypothesize that when the body knows it may be starved, whether by poverty or by dieting, it activates automatic just-in-case mechanisms that store fat on the body to get through the next "famine." Ironically, this biological just-in-case mechanism puts fat on precisely the people with the discipline to starve themselves.

Stuff Tsunamis

Just-in-case thinking triggers primal, unconscious impulses to hoard good stuff, fat supplies being just one example. Combine JIC attitudes with a superabundant culture, and things can go wildly off kilter. There have been several cases like the one in Shelton, Washington, where a woman recently suffocated under a pile of her own possessions. To recover her body, police reported having to "climb over [clutter] on their hands and knees. In some areas, their heads were touching the ceiling while they were standing on top of piles of debris."

Money Madness

My wealthiest clients have taught me that having lots of money doesn't quiet scarcity-based, JIC anxiety. This point was reinforced for me when I heard about the suicide of the German billionaire who lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the recent financial crisis. Now, this poor guy wasn't literally a poor guy. He still had a personal fortune. But to a just-in-case thinker who's used to billions, it wasn't enough to keep him from throwing himself in front of a train.

Love's Labor's Lost

Just-in-case thinking destroys relationships faster than—and sometimes with the assistance of—a speeding bullet. Along with the impulse to hoard objects, it also triggers excessive attempts to control our supply of love—that is, other people. So anxious lovers have their partners followed. Parents micromanage children. People-pleasers try to manipulate everyone into liking them. This behavior isn't love; it's a fear-based outcome of believing love is scarce. If you've ever been on the receiving end of such anxious machinations, you know they make you want to run, not bond.

Why Just-in-Time Just Makes Sense

As Toyota execs and my graduate students concluded so many years ago, hanging on to a just-in-case worldview in abundant environments is plain bad business. And as I've seen in countless coaching scenarios since, switching to a just-in-time mind-set ("Everything good is readily available") restores health and balance to our lives.

The great news is that just one mental shift—focusing on the abundance of your environment—switches your psychological settings so that your life automatically improves in many areas you may think are unrelated. This is essentially a leap from fear to faith; it's not religious faith but the simple belief that we'll probably be able to get what we need when we need it. When the issues above are considered through abundance-based, just-in-time thinking, it's a whole different ball game:

Food Fulfillment
I've never been a weight loss coach; my focus is on helping people go from fear and suffering to relaxation and happiness. So I was baffled when many of my clients told me, "I'm finally losing weight—and I'm not even trying." This intrigued me so much that I spent years researching and writing a book about it [The Four-Day Win]. After reading thousands of studies and interviewing dozens of experts, I'm convinced that the thought "Everything good is readily available" kicks the body out of its panicky, fat-storing mode and into a state that helps it shed excess fat.

Stuff Sufficiency
Dianne is 50-ish and newly divorced. Part of our coaching work helped her develop just-in-time confidence about money (which allowed her to leave the financial security of her emotionally dead marriage). During our final session, she said, "Something weird is happening. All of a sudden, I'm tidy. I've always been a stuff person, but now I don't add clutter. It's a wonderful, spacious feeling." Dianne didn't achieve this by forcing herself to clean up. She simply developed the confidence of a just-in-time manager, and her behavior changed almost on its own.

Mellow Money Management
"I got really panicky when the economy went south," says Jackie, one of my fellow coaches. "All my business dried up, and I was really scared. But I hate feeling scared, and I'm a coach, so one day I coached myself back to trusting life. I felt better immediately, but what's strange is that clients started coming out of the woodwork. I had to start a waiting list."

This, as any Toyota alum will tell you, is what happens to people who have enough confidence to run a just-in-time operation. I can't quite explain this; it often seems nothing short of miraculous. Perhaps this is why the authors of the Bible included the story of the wandering Israelites who were given manna from heaven, but only permitted to gather enough to supply their needs until the next manna-festation. Whether you take it literally or metaphorically, this tale was considered important enough to become holy writ. Why? I believe it's to counteract the just-in-case anxiety that makes billionaires keep hoarding more money. The Israelite story-keepers wanted to remind readers that, miraculous as it seems, just-in-time confidence keeps supply lines clear and prosperity flowing.

Lasting Love
I've done my share of just-in-case controlling when it comes to love (I'd like to apologize to anyone who once wandered into my danger zone). Happily, I've learned that setting people free, not trying to control them, ensures a lifetime supply of love.

Here's the closest thing I know to a genuine love spell: "I'll always love you, and I really don't care what you do." This is not a promise to stay in a relationship with someone whose behavior is destructive. It's a simple statement that you aren't dependent on the other person's choices. That means you can respond to someone as he or she really is, instead of trying to force a fallible person to be infallible. Knowing that love (like all good things) is readily available, we don't need to control any individual. And oh, how people love being loved without a care.

Making the Switch

Making the Switch

When I meet someone who's a mess of excess, I just itch to coach them. I know that if they'd reroute a few simple brain habits, their lives would improve almost effortlessly. The transformation wouldn't take much work—no need to exhume childhood traumas or hook up an antidepressant IV. We'd just throw the neurological toggle switch that exchanges fight-or-flight mode (the sympathetic nervous system) for rest-and-relaxation mode (the parasympathetic nervous system). Most animals experience this switch in response to environmental conditions. We humans possess an unparalleled ability to create it with our thoughts.

It's almost too easy: Simply by taking your attention off thoughts of scarcity and persistently focusing on observations of abundance, you can replace the nervous, just-in-case mind-set that kept our ancient forebears alive but is killing many of us. The best way to effect this shift is to use these simple exercises:

1. List 10 times you thought that there wouldn't be enough of something and you survived.

2. List 10 areas where you have too much, not too little.

3. List 20—or 50, or 1,000—wonderful things that entered your life just at the right time, with no effort on your part. Start with the little things (oxygen, sunlight, a song on the radio). You'll soon think of bigger ones. Most of my clients realize that the most important things in their lives showed up this way.

I started doing excercise 3 several years ago, and I still haven't finished my list. Once you deliberately focus on abundance, you'll be overwhelmed by all the good things that show up like manna in the desert, without much effort on your part. If this seems too easy, you can go back to fearful, just-in-case thinking (you'll need a diet ounselor, a housekeeper, and a financial planner, but that's okay—they can substitute for friends). But if, like me, my business school students, and my clients, you decide to try just-in-time thinking, you'll find yourself struggling less and accomplishing more in ways you'd never expect. You may kick yourself for not discovering this sooner. Relax. I promise, you're just in time.

(Martha Beck)

April 14, 2009

Choose Thoughts Which Feel Good

We always have a choice in just what to think, and some of us are in the habit of thinking of worst case scenarios in the hope, perhaps, that we will handle it more easily if our expectations aren't too high. I used to believe negative thinking to be a necessity, a matter of survival, but believing this certainly made me anxious and unhappy. Choosing better feeling thoughts is what we need to do if we wish to be happy.

If you get a diagnosis that is not what you want to hear, the tendency is to say, "Oh, my god! how did I get so far away from something I want so much?" And we say, it isn't big like that at all -- it's just a series of little things. It is the, "I could choose this thought which feels good, or this thought which doesn't feel so good. But I've developed a pattern for what doesn't feel good. And so, it is the daily dose of not being in the receiving mode that keeps me not in the receiving mode." And that's all that it is! (Abraham-Hicks)

April 12, 2009

Keeping It Simple

I think it was Abraham Lincoln who said that most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be. In the beginning I thought this to be a ridiculous statement, but logic...and experience...won me over.

It is very simple. If you want to be happy, find out what makes you happy. Is it family? Your pets? Flowers? Friends? Books? What ever the things are that bring joy to your soul, spend more time there! Invest yourself fully in that which makes you feel happy.

The other side of it is, that there are also things in our lives which make us unhappy. A good many of those things we have no control over. Let go of trying to control them! Steer clear of things which you know make you unhappy. You always have choices. Always. I believe every one can figure this out for themselves, but if you need help, then get help! Sometimes, a few words from an impartial person is all that's needed to jump-start your journey to happiness. It is not complicated. Don't allow anyone to tell you it needs to be complicated. Keep it simple.

I'm going to be happy. I'm going to skip. I'm going to be glad. I'm going to smile a lot. I'm going to be easy. I'm going to count my blessings. I'm going to look for reasons to feel good. I'm going to dig up positive things from the past. I'm going to look for positive things where I stand. I'm going to look for positive things in the future. It is my natural state to be a happy person. It's natural for me to love and to laugh. This is what is most natural for me. I am a happy person!


April 9, 2009

The Golden Rule

From Christianity to Buddhism, from Islam to Hinduism....this one basic rule of behavior is taught. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

At heart, every human being on earth wants to be happy. Within all the particular ways in which we seek a joyous life, certain broad rules apply. It's not difficult to understand that if you wish to be treated in a certain way, according to your rules of happiness, that the best place to start is to treat others in a similar fashion.

The Golden Rule carries with it no guarantees. Everyone would have to adhere to it for it to be a certain road to happiness. But it does give you a fighting chance in world filled with strangers, pitfalls, and unknown circumstances. By treating everyone you meet as you want them to treat you, your world has the potential to be bereft of enemies and filled with friends.
from "Yo Meow Ma" by Joanna Sandsmark

Unfortunately, we don't hear about the Golden Rule very often any more. And, yet, in a "shrinking" world, and interacting with more disparate neighbors, it is more important than ever. We don't win by fighting with them. We only win when everyone makes an honest attempt to treat each other....especially those apparently different from ourselves.....the way we would like to be treated ourselves.

April 7, 2009

Free Yourself

It is good to remember that one of our goals in life is to not be perfect. We often lose track of this aspiration. When we make mistakes, we think that we are failing or not measuring up. But if life is about experimenting, experiencing, and learning, then to be imperfect is a prerequisite. Life becomes much more interesting once we let go of our quest for perfection and aspire for imperfection instead.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t strive to be our best. We simply accept that there is no such thing as perfection—especially in life. All living things are in a ceaseless state of movement. Even as you read this, your hair is growing, your cells are dying and being reborn, and your blood is moving through your veins. Your life changes more than it stays the same. Perfection may happen in a moment, but it will not last because it is an impermanent state. Trying to hold on to perfection or forcing it to happen causes frustration and unhappiness.

In spite of this, many of us are in the habit of trying to be perfect. One way to nudge ourselves out of this tendency is to look at our lives and notice that no one is judging us to see whether or not we are perfect. Sometimes, perfectionism is a holdover from our childhood—an ideal we inherited from a demanding parent. We are adults now, and we can choose to let go of the need to perform for someone else’s approval. Similarly, we can choose to experience the universe as a loving place where we are free to be imperfect. Once we realize this, we can begin to take ourselves less seriously and have more fun. Imperfection is inherent to being human. By embracing your imperfections, you embrace yourself.

The Daily OM

April 5, 2009

Changing Channels

I believe that life is supposed to be about joy, not struggle...and that if we are struggling, we need to change "the channel". Many of us feel guilty about laughing and feeling good when so many people are suffering, but how are you helping them by not giggling your way through life? Aren't you far more likely to think of ways to contribute to the welfare of others if YOU are coming from a place of joy?

Life is supposed to be fun. You said, "I'll go forth and choose. I'll look at the data, and I'll say, yes to this, and yes to this, and yes to this, and I'll paint a picture of the things that I want, and I'll vibrate about them, because that's what I'm giving my attention to. And the Universe will respond to my vibration. And then I'll stand in a new place where a whole new batch of yeses are available, and I'll say yes to this, and yes to this, and yes to this." You did not say, "I'll go forth and struggle into joy", because from your Nonphysical Perspective you know it is vibrationally not possible. You cannot struggle to joy. Struggle and joy are not on the same channel. You joy your way to joy. You laugh your way to success. It is through your joy that good things come. Abraham-Hicks

March 30, 2009

Radical Gratitude

One of the amazing aspects of gratitude is that its high vibration works with both the wanted and unwanted. When giving thanks for the destructive negative aspects, the high vibration of gratitude melts, dissolves or releases these negative energies. On the other hand, gratitude increases the strength and potency of the aspects that are positive and wanted. This makes the process very easy; give gratitude to everything and everything will naturally sort itself out.

The process of giving thanks for something you do not want creates an energetic shift that opens to healing and ultimately release. Sometimes people have trouble giving thanks for something they do not want. However, in gratitude and giving thanks, the process of resistance dissolves the old and creates an opening for the new. When the neglected and hurt parts inside are filled with gratitude they can then transform. The old carved out spaces of pain, suffering, fear and trauma have created massive room in the body that can be transformed through gratitude to house more of your essence to create deeper joy and delight in your life.

Change your life by giving gratitude for what you have and watch your life transform into your heart's desire. The high frequency of gratitude accelerates the emergence of your new reality. The river of gratitude transforms all in her path leaving depths of unwavering joy!

Excerpt from "The Art of Radical Gratitude"

March 26, 2009

Finding Your Voice

Finding your voice is not optional if you want to live a rich, confident life. Think about it for a moment. What are you speaking with before you find your voice? What are you saying and what message are you delivering? Who are you being before you find your voice?

Your life might be full of clutter and you might feel like you're searching for something, drifting through with no real plan or agenda. You'll be living and working, but you'll also be dying a slow, safe death.

It's that voice that gives you the confidence to do things your way, follow what matters and relax into yourself. based on Steve Errey's The Confidence Guy

So how do you find your own voice? The first requirement is taking the time to be still long enough to tune into yourself.....that authentic part of you.....and to trust it. Regardless of what you may have been told by others, learn to listen to and trust that inner voice. The next step requires courage. Begin sharing your inner voice with others, slowly and carefully at first until your confidence grows. Keep in mind that we all share similarities, but we are not all exactly alike. It is not about being right or wrong.....It's about accepting and sharing our own authentic selves.

March 22, 2009


When we think about being grateful, we usually associate that with the really big things. For example, paying all your bills is a pretty big thing these days. A working car, a comfortable house, a loving family....all obvious choices for which to be grateful.

But, have you ever thought about being grateful for the humble broom? Can you imagine life without it? It is such a simple object, but so useful....and, even beautiful! It's when you drill down to the simple and seemingly mundane, that you begin to really appreciate life.

March 21, 2009

Blessings from the Past

No matter what may have transpired so far in our lives, we will feel most confident and enthusiastic by recognizing the many blessings we have received from the entirety of our past. When we find ways we have grown and benefited from all the challenges and difficulties in our lives as well as the happy-go-lucky experiences, we can see that all experiences offer unique benefits when viewed from a grateful point of view. The resulting improvement in our own personal energy, or Qi, is simply phenomenal as we contemplate our good fortune. Rather than blaming people, situations, or events for what has seemed to have gone wrong, we can be grateful for what we have learned along the way.

March 19, 2009

Getting There

You don't have to go where you don't want to be to get where you want to be. You can go from where you are to where you want to be. Abraham-Hicks

What would happen if we gave up thinking everything is really complicated? What if it isn't necessary to strategize, and all we need to do is to just proceed as if it is all simple?

March 16, 2009

What Do We Need?

Maslow talks about the hierarchy of needs, and I would never want to argue the fact that it just as easy to be happy if one is sick, cold, and homeless as it is when one is healthy, and comfortable. Still, our ideas about the necessities of existence are skewed.

I amazed myself by how gloriously happy I became as I sat for days and days writing the class I am currently teaching: The Vision Board: Gratitude. The weather was cold and skies were dark. My back hurt from all the sitting. And, yet, I found myself gloriously, inexplicably happy! In writing about gratitude, I had ceased giving lip service to it and had started feeling grateful from deep within. Just like the feeling of love, it's an entirely different thing to say the words, read the words....than it is to feel the emotion. And, in order to have that "aha!" experience and to be changed, even for a moment or a day, feel we must.

When I started this blog, I did so as service. I thought by sharing what great thinkers had said and written, I could help bring about changes which would make you, the reader of my blog, happier. As your numbers did not spite of my beautiful photos and wisdom quotes :-) I started thinking about the why of it. I think I understand it now. You just are not going to feel any better by reading what I'm writing. You aren't going to feel it by reading ANY books. You are going to have to DO it.....DO the loving of yourself, DO the loving of others, and DO the thanking for the very breath you are able to take.

So, I am considering giving up on this blog. Instead, I will see if I can teach the "doing" of it...or, at least see if anyone wants to learn. We'll see what the outcome of my class is.

March 12, 2009

Your Inner Being

Your Inner Being likes to skip and laugh and think about things; your Inner Being likes to offer compliments and feel appreciation and contemplate something that is not fully understood and then feel the understanding come forth. Your Inner Being is just like your frisky two-year old who is eager for life experience. To meet up with your Inner Being just be more like that now. Abraham-Hicks

March 8, 2009

Be Gentle with Yourself

"The presence of a noble nature, generous in its wishes, ardent in its charity, changes the lights for us: we begin to see things again in their larger, quieter masses, and to believe that we too can be seen and judged in the wholeness of our character."
~ George Eliot

Too often we judge ourselves by an isolated element within our makeup or an action we have taken. This does us a great disservice because we are each much greater than the sum of our parts. When we embrace the wholeness of our being, we celebrate not only the individual notes of our character, but the way these notes combine to create a beautiful melody that is unique in the universe. When we apply this lens of wholeness to others, we discover that a single note we may have found jarring blends within their melody and together with yours, creates harmony

March 6, 2009

Good Advice

No matter what the issue is, don't try to justify why you don't feel good. And don't try to justify why you should feel differently. Don't try to blame whatever it is you think the reason is that's keeping you from feeling good. All of that is wasted effort. Just try to feel better right now. Abraham-Hicks

Your first reaction might come from your ego. "It's much too simplistic!" it might say. Consider telling your ego that you are going to experiment, have fun with this, and try it out. I have found it to be astonishingly good advice.

March 4, 2009

The Energy of an Embrace

The need to touch and be touched is established early in our lives, as we develop and grow in the omnipresent embrace of our mother’s womb. Once we are born, separated from that sanctuary of connectivity, we begin to crave the physical embrace of our parents. As we age, we become more independent. Yet during times of triumph or trouble and during those moments when we are in need of reassurance, we can’t help but long for a hug.

Because a hug requires two active participants, each individual taking part in the embrace experiences the pleasure of being embraced and the joy that comes from hugging someone. As both individuals wrap their arms around one another, their energy blends together, and they experience a tangible feeling of togetherness that lingers long after physical contact has been broken. A heart hug is when you put your left arm over someone’s shoulder and your right arm around their waist. As they do the same to you, your hearts become aligned with one another other and loving, comforting energy flows between the two of you to flood your souls with feelings of love, caring, and compassion.

A hug is a pleasurable way to share your feelings with someone who is important to you. Depending on your relationship with the other person and the kind of message you wish to send to them, a hug can communicate love, friendship, romance, congratulations, support, greeting, and any other sentiment you wish to convey.

A hug communicates to others that you are there for them in a positive way. In an instant, a hug can reestablish a bond between long lost friends and comfort those in pain. The next time you hug someone, focus all of your energy into the embrace. You will create a profound connection that infuses your feelings and sentiments into a single beautiful gesture. (The Daily OM)

March 2, 2009

Too Busy

It goes without saying that if you've bitten off more than you can chew in a day....or in a'd better step back and change your circumstances if at all possible. Let go of a few activities. Peace of mind is more important, and healthier, than those few extra accomplishments.

But if you can't or don't want to change your circumstances, you need to find the most serene and beautiful way to live the life you have. In the end, if you persistently and unpleasantly feel too busy, remember this: It is not a fact. It is a choice. There is one who is not too busy. That one is you.

February 26, 2009

Message from Abraham-Hicks

When you take the problems of the world on your shoulders, your body doesn’t feel good. It’s just that simple. Leave the problems of the world to the individual problem-makers of the world, and you be the joy-seeker that you are.

February 24, 2009

Wisdom from Abraham-Hicks

Hypothetically, people worry about everyone being selfishly oriented. "If everyone did exactly what they want to do, what kind of world would this be?" And we say, a really, really good one. Because if everyone did what they wanted to do, everyone would feel free. And if you feel free, you feel empowered. And every negative emotion that exists—hear this—every negative emotion that exists is because there is some sense of loss of freedom somewhere in there. Abraham-Hicks

This statement may require a large shift in our thinking.:-) We were all taught that there's virtue in doing what others want for us. And, this is so ingrained in us that even when what our loved ones really our happiness, we insist on going right ahead and doing what we imagine is "required" of us, instead of what makes us happy.

February 23, 2009

We Can All Be Heroes

There are heroes all around you if you'll look beyond stereotypes and notice the kind of everyday courage it takes to live a good and giving life. The man who gives a percentage of his salary to charity, the woman who volunteers at the blood bank, the teacher who stays a few extra moments to help a troubled student, or the person who looks at you from the mirror each morning can all
be heroes.

This is not to cheapen the sort of deeds we usually consider to be heroic. But, those examples are bold, bright, and obvious. The small moments in a less extraordinary lifestyle also need to receive their due. If more people saw the greatness in ordinary people, perhaps they would strive to become heroic as well.
(from The Wisdom of Yo Meow Ma by Joanna Sandsmark)

February 20, 2009

February 19, 2009

Inner Purpose

"Your inner purpose is to awaken. It is as simple as that. You share that purpose with every other person on the planet – because it is the purpose of humanity. Your inner purpose is an essential part of the purpose of the whole. Your outer purpose can change over time. It varies greatly from person to person. Finding and living in alignment with the inner purpose is the foundation for fulfilling your outer purpose. It is the basis for true success." Eckhart Tolle

How many people struggle to discover their inner purpose, and in so doing, miss being alive in the moment?

February 17, 2009

Think Big

As long as you are going to go about your day thinking anyway, you may as well "think big". Anyone can think small, and most people do. In fact, most people keep themselves in the same place in life, doing the exact same thing, without significant growth or change because of limited or conditioned thinking.

It is probably true that many of your current and future clients are living in that place right now. Who better to support them than you? The coach who is thinking big.

Don't just think about what is possible, think about what might seem nearly impossible, that would require you to grow and move beyond who you currently know yourself to be. Think about what you have always wanted to do or have in your life ... those things that your heart speaks of.

"If you can dream it, you can do it." ~Walt Disney

Thinking big equals going big. Thinking small means staying small. You decide. You get to choose your thoughts.

(from The Coaching Compass)

Have you noticed how very simple advice like this seems when you are flying high? Those are the times when we both think and speak like this. But life is frequently a series of ups and downs, hopefully gentle "hills" and "valleys" and not like riding a roller coaster. If we are spending too much time in the "valley", we may need help in changing our thoughts to more positive ones. We are all interdependent. Call on a good friend, a wise relative if you have one, or a professional.