This week I’m getting on my soap box for a second because the past month has been rough for lots of us. Maybe it’s the mercury retrograde we’re in (doubtful) or maybe it’s because it’s the tail of the Horse year (less doubtful, but only because I like Chinese Astrology :). In my world, relationships have been going through some serious upheaval. After years of partnership, partners are making the brave move to be authentic and honest with themselves and consequently their partner. This effects change and can incite panic and despair. But panic and despair only because of the stories we’re telling. Regardless if it’s due to a relationship or not, any negative emotion we’ve got going on is because of the picture we’re painting in our heads. We’re storytellers. We recount our past, we describe our present, and we envision a
I remember in grad school I had this eureka moment in the middle of a dream analysis workshop with expert Jeremy Taylor. It was one of those aha experiences that happen when something big shifts inside – kinda like what solving a hard math proof feels like. He offered up a way of approaching dream analysis that was so eye-opening and powerful, it has since forced me to use this approach with ALL interpretations I make. Now hold up, you may be thinking, “Dream analysis?? Blah. I don’t want to read about that. Too hocus pocus for me.” Got it. But never fear, this post is not a deep dive into analyzing our subconscious. Instead I share a fabulous trick derived from coaching and dream analysis principles on how to most powerfully and effectively communicate interpretations. Interested? So let’s talk dream analysis for a second… How many
When do you feel anxious or nervous? Chances are it’s when you have to speak to a group of people. Today my colleague and I are giving a talk to a large group of government employees on the effects of stress and stress management. I’m really excited because I love this topic. But I’m also getting hit with occasional waves of nervousness. Through the past week I’ve wondered: “What if I completely bomb this?” “What if others think I’m terrible?” “What if I’m met with a lot of resistance?” I’m noticing a very real experience of anxiety. Over the past month, I’ve also noticed this theme emerge in conversations with my clients and friends: “I’m having a really hard time speaking up in my meetings.” “I’m going away for the weekend with this new guy I’m dating and I’m really nervous.”
Alright, here it is… the one question that, if you ask nothing else, will change everything. Whenever you feel the least bit miffed, hurt, disappointed, sad, angry, stressed, or rejected ask yourself this: “What did I just make that mean?” If you do only this you’ll liberate yourself from a whole bunch of lousy feelings. And at the end of the day, it’s really just the lousy feelings that keep you from being joyful, right? Right. It’s not that annoying co-worker you can’t stand. No, it’s not your irritating spouse that doesn’t listen to you. And no, it’s not even the poorly managed kitchen remodel that’s taking FOREVER. Stuff is happening. Stuff is just stuff. You tell a story about it to make sense of your world. The question is: is that story serving you? Look at it this way.
Can you imagine your world if this were true? It’s a practice for me. Sometimes “no” painfully means “yes,” and “yes” begrudgingly means “no.” Oh, and there’s: “No… kay.” It’s exhausting. I do a LOT of inner work and I’m crazy reflective of my mental and emotional experience. Interestingly, I have an pretty hard time setting boundaries. Truth be told, I would love to answer a flat out “NO” when that’s what I really wanted. But the thought of actually doing that makes me shaky. My heart seriously skips a beat. Why do I get so consumed in pleasing others? It all comes down to the story I’m believing about myself. It’s that simple. (In concept, not necessarily in practice!!) If I’m being a yes’er then I’m probably motivated to keep peace and make others happy. What could possibly be wrong
Take on these 10 simple tips and seriously improve ALL of your relationships. I’m going to admit it, up until the past few years I don’t think I’ve ever been a very good friend. It took becoming a coach for me to realize this. And it’s changed my life – no longer can I blindly go about in my relationships and be what I was: a girl trying hard to be heard and valued all the time. In every relationship and interaction with another, I was silently asking the question: “Do you like me?” I discovered that I’ve been subconsciously seeking approval underneath everything I thought, said, or did within any relationship. Coaching has awakened me to this and though I understand what’s going on, that need to be heard and valued is still there. But I know I’m not alone
You *should* read this. Ready for a small idea with huge implications? All we are going to do is eliminate one word from your vocabulary. One word that I guarantee you say, and probably way too much. “SHOULD.” I “should” make more time to sit down and write. I “should” be getting more sleep. I “shouldn’t” be eating so much. I “should” be better at this parenting thing. I should, I should, I should…. When you hear or say “should,” how does it make you feel? Heavy, burdened, obligated, stressed? Now ask: “ ‘Should’ according to who?” “Should” according to YOU. What?! Now why would you do that to yourself? We all have this idea in our head of how things should be. We fear that if we don’t keep up with our shoulds, then things will fall through the cracks and we’ll fail miserably. I challenge