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Friday, August 1, 2014

It’s the New Drug….Sort of

Let’s face it…

We could all be asking better questions.

Questions that lead us to the answers we’re looking for.

Questions that feel better.

The quality of the question determines the quality of the answer.

When you ask the questions that feel “off”, the answers you get will be “off”. 

And you can discern the quality of the question by the way the question feels.

The following is a list of questions that I ask myself often.  I don’t always get the answers immediately, but I do believe that these questions lean me in the direction of feeling and seeing my world differently, which also leads me to having a more satisfying experience because of the different perspective that they evoke. 

I’ve adjusted this post from previous blog I’ve written…

Here are some of those questions:  (and this is a short-list) ;)

Ask, How can I move forwardOr, “What can I move toward”?

Rather than, “what’s holding me back”?

Ask, How do I want to feel/prefer to feel”?

Acknowledge how you do feel, knowing that how you feel doesn’t have to remain stagnant.

Ask, WTF (what’s the feeling) I have when I think about that”?

If you want to read more about WTF…redefined, you can find it here:  http://tell-a-different-story.blogspot.com/2014/07/wtfredefined.html

Ask, What if I could, or can”?

Rather than affirming that you can’t.

Ask,How many good-feeling moments can I experience today”?

Without needing to attach how you feel to any particular conditions or circumstances.

Ask, “How easy can it be”?  Or, “What if it could be easy”?

Rather than, “Why is this so hard”?

Ask, What’s already working”?

Instead of listing what’s not.

Ask, What are the pro’s of this”?

And leave the con’s out.

Ask, “What’s good right now”?

Because there’s always something good that you’re living right now.

Ask, How flexible can I be”?

Without needing to hold to some rigid “rules” you’ve established for yourself or others.

How you focus affects the life you live. 

The content of your thoughts determine your mood and attitude. 

Your mood and attitude affect your perspective and your perspective…is everything. 

Your perspective translates into your point of attraction.

 Your perspective is what you’re living. 

Great leaning questions aren’t the only way to engage my focus.  There are also things I do daily to keep me receptive to embodying the life I want to live.   Here are some of those things:

I look for:

Points of harmony vs. how things are hitting the fan and breaking hell all over.

What I like or prefer vs. what stinks.

What I easily enjoy or love about my surroundings, the people in my life or what’s in my world.

What I want to move toward and what would move me forward vs. what’s holding me back.

Pros and leave the cons out.


Ways to appreciate vs. ways to criticize or to complain.

Reasons to like and I use dislikes to clarify what I do want.

Ways to make the best of it vs. ways to make the worst of it.

What’s right about any given situation vs. what’s wrong with it.

Reasons to compliment and praise vs. reasons to disparage and insult.

Reasons to make peace vs. writhe against.

Reasons to be willing vs. unwilling.

Reasons to be flexible vs. rigid in my approach or beliefs. 

Add to these, play with these.  At first, if you’re not accustomed to managing your brain waves intentionally, it’ll feel hard.  It does get easier…and you might even get addicted to doing this because of how it feels. 

How it feels is the new drug, of sorts.  Just remember, it’s not different from when you’re learning a new language, a new skill, or getting to the gym to do that workout.  It takes practice.  It takes application.  Once you start seeing the results of your intentional focus and how it feels to you, it’ll make you want to do it even more.

Old habits of thought can be replaced with new ones.

Give it a try and let it become your new habit. 



Saturday, July 19, 2014

WTF…Redefined

You flip one off to someone because they cut you off in traffic...WTF?

You don’t get the job you were sure you’d get…WTF?

You end up in the hospital when you thought you were doing so well...WTF?

But what about……???

You buy a brand-new blue Porshe convertible…WTF?
You want to go to Machu Picchu…WTF?
You want to dance naked…WTF?
You want to live by the ocean…WTF?
You live in a mansion in the city…WTF?
You watch a movie or read a romance or listen to your top favorite songs…WTF?
 
WTF?
Oh!  You thought I meant, What the F*ck???
F*ck, no!
What’s the Feeling???
You look at pictures…
You love someone…
You hate another…
You play an instrument…
You go to a game…
You play a sport…

You text someone...
You make sand castles…
You paint…
You get tattooed…
You pierce a body part…
You wear your clothes…
The list is endless.
You do the things you do because of how they feel.
You want the things you want because of how they feel.
You say the things you say because of how you feel when you say them.
WTF What’s the feeling????
What’s the feeling you associate with the thing(s) you want?
What’s the feeling you have when you think about that person you love?
What’s the feeling when you think about the money you want that you don’t yet have?
How it feels is the key to everything.
How it feels is the key to why you want anything.
How it feels is the key to why you don’t want something.
How it feels...is what you want.  

The thing you’ve acknowledged that you want, just represents that feeling for you.
What if you could feel it now whether or not you have it?
What if you could feel it now whether or not you’re living it?
What if you could feel the way you want to feel anyway?
Rad, maybe.  Essential, yes.
Because unless and until you feel the way you think you’ll feel when you have the thing you want, not only will the thing you want be longer in coming, but you’ll also not enjoy your way to the things you want so much either.
It’s kind of like eating an oreo cookie without the middle. Or an ├ęclair without the filling.  Or an orgasm without the lead-in.
What’s in the middle is part of what makes the entirety of it so much more complete and satisfying.
You may think you need to have that thing, or be with that person, or see your bank account line up with zero’s behind a single digit.
But you don’t have to wait until….
You can feel it now.
Ask yourselfWTF?

And feel it now….

Friday, July 11, 2014

On Dancing Naked and the Power of Letting Go

I danced naked on the sidewalk the other day.  Ran circles around Franki as she stood, also naked.

Let’s back up a little….


We’d just finished swimming and had come inside to dry off.  I stripped my bathing suit off and wrapped a towel around me.  Franki, bottoms off, top on, said she was cold, so I suggested she take her wet top off and wrap the towel around her as I had. 

We walked toward our front porch to hang our suits up to dry and when we got out there, her towel came off and she exclaimed, “Let’s have a naked dance party”!!

I laughed and said, “Sure, go ahead”!

Spontaneous dance parties are not unusual around here.  Franki naked is not unusual around here either.

But her determination about me taking my towel off, was. 

“Come on, mama.  Let’s do it”, she said. 

My eyes darted left and right and off into the distance.  No neighbors in sight.  No one looking.  Six foot high ornamental grasses surrounding me - offering cover, and yet, I hesitated.

“Come over here.  It’s ok, mama”, she said with certainty standing several feet away from me.

I paused, feeling timid about her request.  She was asking me to take my towel off, bare my nakedness, walk down the steps to the center of our sidewalk…and dance. 
With flip-flops on.

She wanted me to leave the security of my towel on the chair.  Let it go.…
Not keep it near me. 
Not hold it. 
Walk away.
Leave it. 

And she wanted me to follow her to a place that seemed far, far away….what seemed like miles away from the safety of the fabric wrapped around me… but really only about 15 feet away.

The mere idea of it washed over me as self-consciousness. 

The desire to do it and the hesitation, at odds with each other. 

I questioned myself as I looked around, “Can I do this?”, as I wafted from feeling self-conscious and bare to exhilarated at the idea of, “dare I do it”. 



It’s pretty normal for Franki to be walking around the house naked.  For me?  Not so much.  Although I have sat topless at our kitchen table, eating lunch with her.  But that’s a whole other story….

Franki hasn’t yet been trained to be so conscious of self or her body.  She hasn’t formed a set of beliefs that limit her experience in the way I have.  She hasn’t heard criticism from others and no harsh voice of her own has taken residence inside her head.   

In that moment, I recognized the metaphor. 


The towel I was being beckoned to shed - a symbol of my limiting beliefs, old thoughts I’ve held and carried about myself, the concerns about judgment, the self-consciousness of being seen – really seen in the expression of who I am.

Franki – representing freedom, unapologetic expression and the life and desires I’m reaching for – calling me out from the towel I’ve wrapped around me.

I let go. 

I took that towel and threw it, following Franki’s lead to dance naked on the sidewalk donning only the flip-flops on my feet.

Your desires will cause you to expand. 

Your desires will have you stretching beyond your current beliefs about yourself, your abilities and the possibilities that lay before you. 

When you’re asked to take that towel off, what will you do?

Hold the towel and wrap it around even tighter?

Perhaps loosen it, if only a little?

Or, will you take that towel off completely and go dance naked on the sidewalk?

Life is filled with moments where you can make new decisions about who you are.  You’re going to find yourself throwing that towel off and then finding another towel, wrapped tightly around you. 

Don’t let it stop you.

Choose to dance naked and let the towel go.





Friday, June 27, 2014

When Peeing on the Pavement Is Not in the Plan....

Yesterday, on our way to get ice cream, Franki and I found ourselves slam-dunk in the middle of a very long traffic jam.  There was little or no movement and no way of knowing how long we’d be there. 

I hadn’t planned on idling for two hours on the freeway, en-route to ice-creamy deliciousness that was a short distance away.  Neither did I plan on Franki having to pee during this extended halt in the car.  What to do?  No toilet in sight.  No movement forward.  No way to pull off the side of the road.
This little event was not planned…..


I didn’t plan on my mother leaving when I was a young child.

I didn’t plan on divorcing my husband of 15 years, leaving the country and ending up in PA.

I didn’t plan on getting pregnant, having a child, or having a girl.  I always thought if I did have a child, it would be a boy. 

I didn’t plan on being a life coach.

I didn’t plan on having the lady in front of me at the grocery store inviting me to cut-in ahead of her.

I didn’t plan on going to the store and having one of the best conversations ever with a lady I’d only met briefly once before.

I didn’t plan on having a cardinal fly in front of me at just the perfect time, inches away from my car.


You didn’t plan on getting cancer.

You didn’t plan on going bankrupt…financially or emotionally.

You didn’t plan on having the best time ever on that weekend getaway that you didn’t really want to go to.

You didn’t plan on selling the business that you thought you loved to do something completely different.

You didn’t plan on travelling the world to end up building a house in Bali.

You didn’t plan on having the most delicious lunch you’ve ever had.

You didn’t plan on becoming a professional volleyball player 20 years after you left college.

You didn’t plan on having three kids or living in Missouri.

You didn't plan on cancelling your wedding ceremony due to wildfires.

You didn’t plan on having a lover ten years into your committed relationship.

You didn’t plan on being the CEO of the company.

You didn’t plan on living in Seattle all of this time…or ever.

You didn’t plan on being the owner of 14 companies.

You didn’t plan on having only green lights on your way to work.

You didn’t plan on getting flowers from your husband when he came home.

You didn’t plan on leaving your wife to pursue what you needed.


Some things you plan and other things you don’t. 
Some things you see coming and other things you don’t.   
Some things you can explain and others you can’t. 

Planned or not, sometimes you still have to pee smack-dab in the epicenter of a traffic jam.

I made a suggestion to Franki.  I suggested I could come around to her side, open the door and she could pee on the pavement...just like she does at home in the grass.  Who knew that skill would ever come in handy?  Initially she declined my innovative idea.  Then, she said, “I like your plan.  Let’s do it”. 

And so, Franki went with the unplanned-plan of peeing on the pavement.  She hiked up her dress, pulled off her undies and hovered over the pavement, splattering my toes as I giggled at the sight.  Memorable….

The story of your life is written as you live it; no matter what.

Don’t hold yourself frozen to a place, a name, a face or a way that it has to be or a way it needs to be.

Don’t let the things you didn’t plan on, break you.

Let the things you didn’t plan, unleash you.
Leave your heart open, untamed, and not in a cage.

Loosen your grip on life, not needing it to be a particular way.  Embrace the moment; embrace whatever it is and make the best of it. 

…even if it means peeing on the pavement in the middle of a traffic jam.

This is my 8th blog as part of the the #braveblogging project initiated by Illana Burk of makenessmedia.com

No gimmicks.  No bullshit.  No upsells.  Just brave blogging.




Friday, June 20, 2014

From Awesome to Roarsome

When I was thinking about leaving my first husband, I feared that I was being stupid.  I doubted I could do it.  I didn’t know if I should.  I didn’t know where I was going.  I didn’t know the steps to take toward what I wanted.  I feared that I was leaving a man and a relationship that were really great and maybe would never realize the more that I was reaching for.

I had stability, and an exquisite home; we had a thriving business together.  We traveled, had great friends and we were the hub of gatherings for family and friends.  Money was ours to spend freely.  We even loved each other.  We got along.  We respected each other.  We had fun. 

It didn’t make sense to me… why would I want to leave when what I had was so good?

There was nothing fundamentally wrong with our relationship.  There was nothing that I could say he did or didn’t do that I couldn’t live with.  There was nothing that I can say I needed to run away from.

But I did feel a sense that I wanted to run toward more.

Did I dare want more than I had? 
Did I dare go from really good to awesomesauce? 

Did I dare???

I have clients who have great careers who want more.  Others who are in reasonably good relationships who want fantastic ones.  Some who live in outstanding homes in desirable locations and want even better.  And plenty others who want improvements over the exceptionally good life that they’re living.

And they wonder….


Can I dare to ask for it?

Can I dare to go for it?

Can I dare believe that I can have it?

The answer is yes. 

You can go from good to great or from awesome to roarsome. 

You can.


What I realized those years ago is that although I had the guy and the things that we mostly come to believe will make us happy, those weren’t the things that were making me happy.  Those were excuses and reasons to be happy, but not the basis of my happiness.


I needed to discover that happiness starts from within.
I needed to know that I could be happy without before I could be happy with.
I needed to believe that there was even better than I had, before I could know the better that I wanted. 

When I married him, I thought he was my forever guy.  I planned on being with him forever.

Nineteen years later, I found myself following a different path than I’d planned or thought would be.  
I found myself running toward a path less wandered; but one where I didn’t feel lost. 

A path that wasn’t so familiar; one that wasn’t based on needing things to stay the same.
A path that wasn’t based on things I knew and had come to know; one that wasn’t based on holding myself to good, to forego great.   

I didn’t know specifically where I was headed; I didn’t know all the steps onward; I didn’t have certainty in terms of a clear path, but I felt certain that I was taking the path that was right for me. 

I could no longer ignore what I felt so strongly compelled toward;  though I couldn’t define the specifics of it, I could feel the rightness of it.

The Universe knew where I was headed.  I just had to listen.

And when I did, the path continued to unfold before me.

I trusted.  I let go of needing to control, needing to confine, or needing to define anything. 

I committed myself to feeling good and following my bliss, however that unfolded, rather than staying where I was.  I committed to discovering my internal happiness rather than assigning it to anything outside of me.  I committed to being happy for the sake of happy.  

The details – the why’s, the what’s, the how’s, the “what are people going to think”, the doubts, the contradictory thoughts to the strong momentum I felt compelled toward, began to subside the more I decided to feel good and think less.

I chose a path that felt irresistible.
A path that led me to me. 

I didn’t have to leave him to follow that path.  I stayed until I knew I’d done the inside job first.  I stayed until I felt certain that staying was no longer an option.  I got happy.  I made peace with where I was.  I achieved a state of being that felt like appreciation.  I took the credit for how I felt…about everything.  And when I was consistently there, the path became clear to me.  I discovered that I could stay and be happy and have a really good life – but I knew that staying would also keep me resisting the more that I wanted. 

You don’t have to leave your guy or your gal; you don’t have to leave your cushy corporate job; you don’t have to run from your business or get out of town.

You can’t really run from anything and leave it behind. 

You can’t leave a place when you feel everything about it is wrong.
You can’t be more about what you don’t like and don’t want and have it unfold in ways you’re going to like more. 

But you can run toward something.
You can run toward something better.
You can dare to believe that you can have it just the way you want it to be.

But to do that, you can’t be squirming or complaining about where you are.
You’ve got to be more about what’s right.

Because you’ve heard the saying… “Wherever you go, there you are”. 

If you don’t tend to your emotional content; if you don’t do the inside job first, nothing you run away from will be very far awayWhen you feel differently first, it changes everything.

When you can feel better about right where you are, clarity becomes yours.  You have more access to your internal compass.  When you’re no longer angry, resentful, blaming, fearful, or frustrated with where you are, the path lights up for you.  The way becomes clearer.  You align more with what you want, than with what you don’t want, and when you do, where you are can transform to become the better that you thought you were leaving for. 

Roarsome can be found right where you are.

Maybe it’s a different journey than you planned or thought you wanted. 
Maybe it doesn’t look quite like you thought it would. 
Maybe it appears in an altered way than you had intended.

The Universe knows where you’re headed.  You just have to listen.

Sometimes, the answer is moving away from one thing, changing the scenery, the face, the name or the place.  Sometimes that’s your easier way.  Why?  Because even though you take you with you, when you’re not in the physical space you were in, it’s easier to find the feeling place you’re reaching for.  It’s easier to stop noticing so much of what you don’t want; which then ceases the attention you were putting on what you didn’t want.

Make the best plans from where you are.  Rather than take steps forward in uncertainty, wait.  Find a way to feel sure first, to trust more.  Think about what you want and how it feels.  Feel better just because it feels better…about anything. Just feel better. 


And the way…the answer…will become clear.
Stay where you are or run toward something else. 
You can have better than you’ve got. 
You can reach for more. 
You can dare to believe that you can have it. 
It’s probable, not possible.

Good to great.
Awesome to roarsome.
Magnificent to phenomenal.
Outstanding to astonishing.

Dare to believe and let your belief reveal every little detail and experience that you dared to believe in. 


This is my 7th post as part of the #braveblogging project with Illana Burk of makenessmedia.com


No Gimmicks. No upsells. No tactics.  Just show your colors. 


Sunday, June 8, 2014

I Just Told My Kid to F*ck Off.....

I just told my kid (in my head, not out loud) to fuck off and leave me alone.  Oh yes, I did. 

There’s nothing that will make you (or me) madder than a 4 year old; and there’s nothing that will make you (or me) feel more love for anyone on the planet than a 4 year old.  Fuck.

I can’t control her.  I don’t want to control her.  I want to control her.  Sometimes.  I don’t want to control her.  Most times.

What I really want to control, is how I feel.  Because it’s the only thing I can control.

I can try to assert my authority on her.  I can make her do what I want.  I can bully her into a corner and say, “because I said so”.  She is smaller and younger than me, afterall.  ……But that’s not the way I want to parent. 

I can make all kinds of rules from my out-of-controlness; from my needing or wanting to control her, but that’s not what I want to do either…although I think I do when I’m in the middle of a “situation” where all I want to do is scream and make her behave the way I want her to behave…cuz it’s just sooooo much easier and manageable when she does.

Adults, in general, have learned to “perform”. 

We’ve been taught to be nice and we’ve been rewarded for being polite and patted on the back for cooperating and eating all of the food on our plates.   We’ve  acclimated to what was expected or demanded from us as children (mostly) and we behave modem automatic.  And certainly, it feels better to love, to cooperate and to be nice (mostly) than to say “fuck you” in the face of someone.  But…..

We also “act” nice, rather than feel nice.

We also “act” polite rather than feel polite.

We do things; we say things, we be ways…because it’s the “right” thing to do.

We are responsible, because we should be and we were taught to be.

………

Our 4 year old hasn’t learned that.  And I’m happy about that….mostly.

I want our child to feel nice and to be nice and to feel cooperative and to be cooperative because she’s inspired to and not because she has to be because I told her to be.

I want her to integrate into her classroom and I want people to like her; but not because she’s always the way someone else wants her to be. 

I don’t want her to act appropriately because it’s what someone else wants.  I want it to be her desire, in her own way.
  
I want her to be authentically her; cooperative or not. 
Nice or not.
Polite or not.
Bold or not.
Aligned or not.
And I want her to let that be ok.
And I want to let that be ok; no matter how it reflects on me.

I want her to reach for what feels better to her; not to someone else…even me.

And while that makes for what seems like more complicated parenting, I feel that in the long term, she’ll be more guided by her own terms, rather than from others.

I don’t want her to behave in ways that people need her to just because they need her to.

I want her to first, follow her guidance, regardless of what I, or anyone else wants her to be doing in the moment, and be inspired from that place.

I want her to know that it’s not about controlling the people or the conditions around her; it’s an inside job about how she wants to, and chooses, to feel.

I know…it seems like parenting should be about telling your child what to do and having her do it. 
It seems as though you should want your child to behave in public so as not to disturb other people.
It seems as though as a parent, you’re the boss and your child should listen to you.
It seems as though you want your child to be liked and to behave because that reflects on you.
It seems as though you should control your child because you’re older and wiser and damn it, it’s just easier if she does whatever you need or want her to do.

But…at what expense?

Is that really “teaching” her anything?

What if she’s here to teach me?

What if she’s here to be uncontrollable so that I can finally “get it” that it’s not about controlling other people, even my child, but rather, it’s about knowing that I can control how I feel regardless of who’s doing what?  Regardless of what’s going on around me….

Because isn’t that really all we can control????  

This is my 6th post as part of the #braveblogging project by Illana Burk, makenessmedia.com

No bullshit.  No tactics.  No upsells.  Just expressing bravely.  And fuck fear :)





Friday, June 6, 2014

What You're Judging is About You

What a mom believes is love for her child is ridiculous over- indulgence to you.

What you think is easy and manageable may be hard and unmanageable to someone else.  

What you believe to be an appropriate and timely way to respond to emails is a distraction and splitting of focus to another.

What you think is organized is someone else’s version of chaos.

What scatter-brained is to you may be creativity to another.

What over-ripe banana is to you may be perfectly sweet and delicious to someone else.

What you consider ho-hum boring and downright uninspiring could be stimulating and fantastically awesome to another.  

What you consider to be late and inconsiderate may be culturally accepted and polite for someone else.

What you perceive as forward and disrespectful may be an expression of appreciation. 

What you find necessary may be overindulgence to someone else.

What someone else describes as luxury may be pickings and slim-seconds to you.

What someone else describes as real accomplishment and productivity may be one hour’s worth of focus in your world.

What someone else believes to be the most beautiful place on the planet, is hell on water to you.

What is old and wrinkled to someone else may be beauty and power combined to you.

What someone else finds soul-filling and rewarding may be lazy and a waste of time to you.

What someone else finds weak is strength and confidence to you.

What is fashionable to one is downright ugly and despicable to you.

There are as many perspectives as there are people in this universe…about everything. 

Do you get mad because all of the apples aren’t the same at the grocery store; or because a restaurant offers several choices on a menu; or because there are different colors in a rainbow?

The world isn’t supposed to be just like you.  Not everyone believes what you do, or has the standards or morals that you do.  Diversity in people and perspectives are as desirable as options on the car lot, variety in the supermarket or alternatives at a restaurant. 

Don’t ask the world to change.   Don’t hold someone else in charge of how you feel.  Don’t let their business be yours, even if you disagree with their approach or take on life. 

What you’re judging and having an emotional response to is about you and your interpretation of it.  So keep it about you and don’t make them the culprit. 
You could ask yourself these questions:

1)      How’s this about me?
2)      What’s being amplified within me in terms of how this makes me feel?
3)      Can I be easier in my approach to this…do I need everyone to be and think just like me?

You can’t know for sure what another person wants, or where they are comparative to their desires.  You can’t know for sure the life they’ve lived, the troubles they’ve experienced, or their unique and individual perspectives that have been born. 

You can choose what you want and who and how you want to be in the world you live in, just don’t ask anyone else to be that for you.


This is my blog post #5 as part of the #braveblogging project by Illana Burk of makenessmedia.com