Archive | January, 2018

Being bigger than my thoughts

29 Jan

I was in a seminar all weekend and I kept thinking I didn’t belong and I wasn’t up to what everyone else was up to.

And the funny thing was that other people said the same thing.  That they didn’t think THEY belonged, either.

I’ve decided not to listen to my thoughts.

My thoughts keep telling me that what I shared was stupid.  And I’ve been feeling like it was true all night.  Going over and over what I shared.  But I just I realized that it’s just my brain trying to protect me from getting hurt.  Thanks, brain!!!!

What I realized over the weekend is that I have kept my self separate from people all my life.  I was so afraid of getting hurt, criticized, made fun of, condemned, etc that I got rid of people before they could get rid of me.

But if I can love my children unconditionally, then I can love everyone else that way, too!!  If someone snips at me, then they are upset and need comforting.  Instead of taking it personally and starting a fight and badmouthing them, I can turn things around.  I can take care of them since they are obviously hurting.

I can live in a win/win world instead of a win/lose, elevating the other person and not being afraid that if they win, I have to lose.

I can listen to people from strength and success, instead of what they are doing wrong and how they are not fulfilling MY agenda.

It all sounds good, right?  I just have to remember this!!!!  Please remind me!!!  Good night!



25 Jan

In my old Amway days, they would say people had “HUB.”  It stood for Head Up Butt.  Anyone who didn’t get “it” had HUB.  Or anyone who didn’t listen to “good” advice, etc.

And I have been suffering from HUB for a few good days now.  Obvious from my last few blog entries.

Today I was still suffering.  Then I got on our daily “Wisdom” call.  I “got into communication” as I talked about yesterday and told them that I couldn’t see any miracles in the last year even though I know I’ve had many.  I couldn’t remember ANY!!!  NOT ONE!!!

And Joyce, our wise leader said that sometimes not killing someone is a miracle.  True, I thought and in my case, not killing myself.  (Don’t worry I’m not suicidal (Suey – we used to call it(Wow, double parens, let’s go for triples))).    OK – I know, it’s not excel where the parens have to match in the equations.  I’m having fun here.

But I digress………..Our challenge was to write to someone from each decade who had made a contribution to our lives.  They had to be alive so of course all I could think of was my dead piano teacher.  He told me I had talent.  I never knew that and never practiced until the day he said that.  I memorized my 4 pieces for my senior recital.  You never saw a girl practice so happily after those 3 words.  So, thank you, Richard, may you rest in peace.

For the live people, I decided to call my mother.  She’s the one that always believed in me no matter what.  She never stopped loving me despite my various moods.  When I interviewed her 20 years ago for a course, all she had to say were kind words.  I was waiting for the bad stuff.

“What about my moodiness?” I asked, cringing and waiting for the negative.

“I don’t even give that a second thought.  I think you are wonderful.”

“Are you sure you’re not just being nice?”  I asked.

“Nope.  That’s all I see is the good.”  Wow!!!!

And so I called her this morning and acknowledged her for each decade of my life.

The first decade she took care of 4 kids under the age of 7.  Enough said.  (And still kept it together when she had number five a few years later).

The second decade she carted me to all sorts of music lessons.  Piano, flute and harp.  Unbelievable.  Each private lesson cost money, too.  And my parents were very frugal, so it was even more special.   And she never stopped believing in me and didn’t admonish me, even when I didn’t practice.

Third decade:  When I got rejected from Wharton the first time I tried to transfer in from the liberal arts school at Penn, I called her crying.  I was done.

“Try again,” she said.  “You can do this.”

“You sure?”  I asked, not wanting to get rejected again.

“Of course,”  she answered.

I decreased my class load, got the grades required, applied again and got in.  Thanks to her encouragement, I graduated from one of the top business schools in the country.

Fourth decade:  She supported me through the horror of trying to nurse my first child.

“Bring him to me,” she said.   I did.  She held him while I could get my s—t together.

Another time I called her at wit’s end.

“Jesse fell and broke his arm.  He’s downstairs.  Haley (the newborn) is crying upstairs.  I just got out of the shower.  I’m naked and can’t move.  I can’t even figure out what clothes to wear or who to help first.   HELP!!”

“Put on the clothes you wore yesterday and I’ll meet you at the doctor’s.”  And she did.

She was always there.  She never complained.  She just gave and gave and gave.

And now, in my 50’s, she is still there for me and my family.  Our house is being rebuilt so there is no home for the kids.  She graciously took them and their father in.  No complaints.  Happy to feed them, help with their laundry, support them and love them.  No bitterness.

So there you have it.  My mom.  And you know what, just by focusing on her and all she’s done, my head was removed from my butt.  I feel grateful instead of thinking I need to be fixed and what is wrong with me.

Yet another technique for moving to the “right” side of life.  Acknowledge someone.

So I will now take the time to acknowledge the three women who have made a difference for me this year in Wisdom.  It is coming to an end and I will miss Saturday’s completion in New York.  So here goes:

Thank you, Joyce, for your genius in creating these challenges and all the other things you do to further the Wisdom conversation.  You have made a difference for me by believing in me when I can’t believe in myself.  Your generosity, discipline and creativity among many other wonderful traits are inspiring.   Your ability to tell one on yourself keeps me smiling and able to honor my own humanity.

Ana Maria Garcia is a gift to me as well.  Her courage, generosity, love, and compassion are also inspiring.  I am blessed to know her and to be able to be in communication with such a wise and amazing person.  She enables the phrase “never give up.”  Kudos to her and her ability to source the program no matter where she was.

And, Nina, my little red headed bundle of wonder.  Her unfaltering dedication to our team is also a gift.  She never gave up and always believed in me despite what I was saying about myself.

Thank you to the 4 amazing ladies in my life.  I love you.



Getting Back Into Dialogue

24 Jan

When I am really feeling bad about myself and my life, I tend to hide.  It’s “the other side of life” that I refer to in the description of this blog.  The blog was designed originally to lower the amount of time I spend on “the left”, where life looks like it just sucks.

I started developing techniques for getting back to the right quicker.  And they are great.

But sometimes, like this week, I forgot there was a left, and that I even had techniques. And it seemed like life really was the horrible way it seemed.

Said another way (I hate that phrase but I’m using it anyway), the way it was this week was:

  • everything sucks
  • I suck
  • I can’t talk to anyone about this because no one wants to listen
  • I shouldn’t be this way
  • something is VERY wrong with me
  • everything is hopeless – work, relationships, weight, everything
  • and I suck (did I say that already?)

So it seemed like all I could do was wait until the fog lifted.  And in the meantime, pretend everything was fine, hide, sleep, or just feel hopeless.

Today I fought my inertia and remembered that “getting into dialogue” is one of the techniques that works to get back to the land of the living.

I was on a call of wonderfully happy people.  After about 20 minutes, I forced myself to open my mouth and “share.”  I just went crazy saying all the things I had been thinking and what I didn’t want to do and what a bitch I had been to my mom and everyone around me.  And how I withhold myself instead of speaking up.  And, finally, that I was just sad.  And I started crying.

When I stopped talking, I told myself (of course) how stupid that was and what an idiot I was to say all that.

That’s when the magic happened.  People commented on what I had said in wonderful ways.  I started to feel good about myself and to realize that it was ok to say all that and to feel however I was feeling.  And the fog lifted.

And then, an even better gift.  Sura, one of the women on the call, called me.  And shared what it was like when she lost her dad.  And we had a wonderful chat.

And, I felt like maybe I’m not that bad.  Maybe my sadness and upsets and sharing can be a gift to others.  Because we are all human.

And my pretending everything is fine when I don’t feel fine just doesn’t work anymore.  That’s what sucks.  Not me.

I can be just how I am – upset, mad, bitchy, frustrated, and even mean.  Instead of just taking it all from everyone and acting like I’m fine.  Even when I am hurt, disappointed or frustrated.

It’s new and I’m not very good at it yet, but every step forward is a step forward.

So thank you, Sura, and everyone else.  For letting me just be me and still letting me speak.  I appreciate you all.

Things Turned Around

24 Jan

One of the people that told me I was “too sensitive” yesterday was my mom.  I was really annoyed with her after she said that.  (See yesterday’s blog).

Today, Tuesday, I was just felt off.  I didn’t know what was wrong.

I didn’t accomplish what I wanted to at work.  I had two no shows and scheduled no new appointments.  I’m behind in my numbers for the quarter and I don’t see any rainbows coming on the horizon.  The girls at work were complaining and negative, and then made some comments about me that I didn’t like and didn’t react well to.  And to top it off, I was up .2 at weight watchers (not a big deal, but it goes with the flavor of the day so I’m including it).

I guess I was just living “on the other side of life” where everything looks bleak.  I even thought of stalking my old ass hole boyfriend which is totally ridiculous.  That’s how bad the day was.

On the way home I was talking to my son and realized the darkness was just masking sadness.   My mom does so much for my kids and I and sometimes I get impatient, frustrated, and bitchy with her.  It makes me feel like a real heel.

After finally letting the sadness out with a good cry, I wanted to make ammends.

I tried to call my mom but she didn’t answer.  I got home and just tried to relax.  I had three new messages on my home answering machine which I never listen to.  They are always about some girl who is in very bad trouble and she needs to call the number back immediately.  They sound very harsh.  (I’ve called them and told them it’s a wrong number, but they keep calling anyway).  I don’t know if it’s a scam.

Curiosity got the better of me and I finally listened to them.  The middle message was from my mom apologizing for making me feel bad yesterday.  She loves me and doesn’t want me to be sad.  She likes me better when I am laughing and joking so she felt bad.  It was very sweet.

I called her and apologized back to her.  She understood and forgave me.  I feel much better now, the sadness is gone and my affinity for her is back.  Which I am totally grateful for.

On a separate note, I was disturbed that my computer fixer guy had been ignoring my requests for help for a month.  I didn’t know why.   Of course I thought I had done something to bother him.  Taking it personally as usual.

I decided to change up the communication.  I emailed him today and said I would pay him before talking to him if that’s what it took.  He answered immediately and apologized.  He already fixed my computer as of a half hour ago.

Fixing these things that take up my mental energy really helps my overall mood.  Especially when I blame myself for what is wrong.  Once I know it’s not me, I can get over it.  It frees me up to think about more productive things.

Two good things today which made the day improve a whole lot.

Tomorrow is a new day.  I’ll just get back out there again and do the best I can.  Thanks for listening.


People Pleasing

23 Jan

Do you know anyone who always wants everyone to be happy?  Who can’t stick up for themself to save their life?  Who doesn’t want anyone upset?  Who gets walked all over and doesn’t say a word?  Who gets insulted and criticized and just pretends everything is fine?  Who goes out with people who treats them like dirt and all they want is more of it!!!

I do.  The person is me.  Yup me.  Sad, but true.

I figured out why I am like that.   But it doesn’t help to know why.

(OK, I’ll tell you since you want to know.  Here’s the story):

When I was young, a very close family member got really mad at one of my siblings and I literally thought that person was going to kill my sibling.  In that moment, life became unsafe.  And I decided that I better not get anyone mad.  Or I could die.

So it’s really hard for me to speak up when I don’t like something.  Or to argue.  Or to be in the middle of two angry people where I can’t please both.  Or to make sure I am being treated with respect.   So I don’t do it.  And the consequences have not given me the life I say I want.

In the past year I decided that I would start to speak up.  And I have.  And it doesn’t always go well.  Just this week, two people responded with:   “well, I guess I can’t say anything to you.  You are just too sensitive.”

My whole life I thought I was.  That it was my fault that I was upset.  So it’s interesting that they are telling me this.  I can see that it’s another opportunity to do something different other than blame myself.

I could say “stop being mean” or “stop being an ass hole.”  I’m just not there yet.  But I’m really close.  At least I said something.

And there’s at least one other girl who is really nasty to me.  And I haven’t said anything to her because I want her to like me.  And then there’s another family member who is always making negative comments about me and my kids  And I don’t know what to say to her either.

But I’m getting better.  Just not proficient yet.  And I’m making messes and getting people upset.  And that’s a good thing.

Even though it doesn’t really feel so great right now.

Yoga – A New Experience This Time

21 Jan

For the longest time I’ve known I SHOULD do yoga.  But I just didn’t want to.  The couple of times I had done it were very unpleasant…..long, painful and seemed like they would never end.  And another time I had a cold and so all I could focus on in the downward dog was how my nose was running down by nose.  Who would want to repeat that?

Lately, however, several people have recommended that I do yoga since my muscles are tight and painful.  And that I take a day off from working out at least once a week.  I’ve known both of those things.  But it wasn’t enough to get me to do it.

This morning, however, I actually considered taking my recommended day off from the gym.  Then I thought well, maybe I’ll just go do some abs and stretch.   That’s kind of like taking a day off, isn’t it?

A funny thing happened this morning.   I heard my son get up early.  It’s still Christmas break from college and he usually sleeps late.  “Why are you up?”  I texted.

“I’m going to yoga at 8:00,”  he said. “It’s a good class at the Fairfield Edge.”

“I’ll go,” I texted back before I could change my mind.  Going with him would at least be time together even if I hated it.

I immediately got nervous.  What if there’s no room?  What if the regulars are mean?  What if we are late?  I won’t know what to do.

But when we got there everything was fine.  There was room.  Everyone was chilling.    And the guy just talked for the first 8 minutes.

“If your ego is telling you this is a waste of time because I’m talking, then you are not present,”  the instructor said.  Of course mine was telling me that.  We weren’t moving.  WTF I was asking myself.

“Get in touch with your body.  Feel it.  Feel the ground.  Ignore the little voice in your head.  Relax.   Breathe.”

I actually felt myself letting go.  There was nothing to do but get still.

When he finally started doing the poses or exercises or whatever they are called, he said something amazing.

“Don’t force it,”  he said.  “Just do what’s comfortable.  It’s not a competition.”

Really?  I don’t have to show how flexible I am?  It felt different to just relax and keep my body comfortable while doing the different moves.  It was pleasant.   It felt good.

And at the end, I stood up and felt great.  My body didn’t hurt.  It felt loose.

“I don’t feel like I did anything,” I told my son.

“But you did,” he said.

I guess I did.

I talked to the instructor at the end and asked him if it was too late for me.  And do I still need to work out now?

“Strength and flexibility are equally important.  You need to do both or you will not be able to walk or move as you get older.”   They are?  I’ve never worked on flexibility.   I guess that’s why when I get out of a car I look like a cripple.  And going down stairs is not good either.

“Those big muscle guys out there can’t even sit down in my class,” he said shaking his head.  “They came in once and then left.  They never came back.

I could barely either, I thought.  Uh oh.

“They will be sorry later.  It doesn’t take a lot of time to maintain flexibility.  Five minutes a day.”  he continued.

OK, OK, I thought.  I’m sold.  He gave us his email and said he would send us some exercises we could do at home.   And I walked out of the gym.

I’m sold.  If I can feel this good every day, I’m in.  Wow.  And it happened by accident.

Glad my son happened to wake up early today.



Adding More to the List

15 Jan

Like I said earlier, I have a list of things that I have avoided my whole life.  For example, I have set up my life (my identity, it wasn’t a conscious thing) so that I don’t get:

  • criticized
  • anyone upset
  • disappointed
  • anything wrong
  • break someone’s rules
  • not look like a good girl
  • etc.

This leads to a very careful life where I feel like I am living under a clam shell, protecting myself from hurt, and not living a very full life.  I say I want a great relationship, but I’m basically hiding at home so I don’t get hurt again.

And, I always say I want to “inspire people to live their dreams.”  Well, whenever I try to do something about that, something will happen and I will stop and go back into my safe place.  It could be someone saying:

  • you can’t do that
  • or not knowing how
  • my effort don’t turn out like I want them to
  • etc.

So, in order to shake things up and actually have the life I want to have, I am trying to “upgrade” my safety mechanisms by causing the things I am afraid of to happen.  The list so far is:

  • get people upset
  • make messes
  • get disappointed
  • make everything right
  • get criticized

And I have added a new one:

  • talk until people tell me to stop

The reason why I added this one is because I hate when people insinuate I am talking to much or they interrupt me or it feels like they are not listening to me.  It makes me feel like a bad little girl that no one cares about and I am just stupid and should disappear.  I have been known to hang up on people with a quick “goodbye” and click when one of those things happen.  Rude, but true.

Or I just disappear and leave wherever I am and don’t even say goodbye.  It’s quite the incident for me and not very mature.  It’s like an automatic reaction – I’m outa here.

By taking this on, I have been able to shorten the amount of time after being disappointed from days, weeks and years to about twenty minutes.  It’s really amazing.  I simply allow myself to really feel the disappointment, cry if I need to, tell someone if I need to, and it actually disappears within the half hour.

So now I am going to talk until I’m done, ignoring my thoughts that I am taking too much time and instead assume it is my human right to do so.

It’s an experiment and I don’t know if it will work, but I’m game.  All in the name of FREEDOM!!!!!  Let’s see if it work or if I will forget I even said it!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!





Sorting my mind

14 Jan

I haven’t written for a while.  I forgot about this blog, actually.  How weird is that?

And I forgot how helpful it is to me when my mind is messed up.  It helps me to sort it out and make an action plan.  And I am messed up now, so let’s see what I can do……

It’s 2018 and I have new goals and all that.  My kids are great (knock on wood although my son has the flu right now), but they are awesome.

I am finally back in my beach cottage.  The pipes were frozen and the refrigerator broke and except for the kitchen sink, all is back to working and it is inhabitable.  I forgot how much I love to sit here and write and look at the water.  It is calming for my soul.  I get to stop worrying about keeping everyone else happy and focus on myself.  It sounds selfish, but it is true.

I am not happy with my weight, but for the past few months I have focused on LOSING weight.  My acupuncturist told me in his chinese accent to “eat veggies so you lose weight.”  Since then what has happened?  I have gained.  I should know that that doesn’t work for me.  What works is focusing on what I am eating and doing what makes me feel better.

So, why did I make this mistake again? I was doing well until I changed my thinking and started invalidating my stomach and growing flab rolls instead of how great I feel when I eat better.  OK, learning that lesson again!!!!  Many many times but oh well.

Perky!!!  I’ve given up thinking I will be perky 100% of the time like my mother would like (at least I think that’s what she would like!!).  Sometimes I am not.  Sometimes I want to be alone and just be quiet and think.  Sometimes I am in a downright bad and horrible mood.  I have REALLY decided to accept myself as is.  (I’ve said I would quite a few times but never really did).

For the first time I am ACTUALLY going to accept myself.  Maybe THAT Is what can inspire people instead of making myself wrong for not being how I think my mother wants me to be.  How the f—k old am I anyway that I am still trying to please my mother?  Jeez Louise!!!!

SOMETHING BIG!!!  I am making myself wrong for not playing bigger.  So, I am writing which is what I love to do.  The truth is I don’t know how to do something big.  So I stop writing and just invalidate myself instead which sucks.

TIMEOUT:  There’s a bird on my deck and it’s 17 degrees outside.  Did he forget to go south?  What’s up with that?

OK – I’m back.  I have to get ready soon so more later.  I forgot how great it feels to write.  Glad I remembered.  I don’t know if this is useful for anyone else, but it is to me.  I can’t worry about others right now.

My new me – instead of trying to get things right and try to keep people happy and avoid getting criticized, I have taken on the following:

  • make messes
  • get people upset
  • get disappointed
  • make myself right

It’s much more freeing.  I just keep forgetting that I said I would do it.

So, therefore, I will take care of myself today.  I have so much more to write but need to get in the shower so I can get on my webinar.  I want to look “gorgeous” again.  (Someone told me I looked gorgeous yesterday (can you believe it?) on the webinar).  Whoopee!!!  That was really nice since I thought I looked like crap – I stared at my wrinkles all day.

OK – gotta go for real.