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“Man, do I have one for you!”   Nothing is more scintillating than a great story, a great piece of gossip, or even a tall tale.  We love to hear a great story.  We can’t wait to find out the end of a story when the book is engrossing, and the the characters speak to us.  When a movie, book, or play has a great storyline, it grabs us and holds us by the throat-we can’t move.  The story is just that good. We get exhilarated and tantalized by a story of love and murder.  There is little in life more satisfying than a juicy tale.   Not only are stories told to us – we also tell  stories.  We tell stories of our lives. We tell them to ourselves and others on a daily basis. “Oh, I will never get that job” or “I’m not that smart” or “She certainly doesn’t want someone like me.” We tell ourselves these stories to keep us in our place and not move us too far out of our comfort zone. “People like us never get the big money” and “We aren’t lucky enough to get that” – these are the stories that have been told to us and the ones that we repeat, over and over again.   Stories like these keep us stuck.  We stay in bad relationships, dreadful jobs, and even pretty unbearable circumstance. The stories that we tell ourselves are, “things can’t, won’t, don’t change, not for me,”  “This is my lot in life,”  “I’ve made my bed.” Some folks just hide their stories being too ashamed to share them with others.  Others are just stuck in the vortex of negativity and deceit and can’t pull themselves out of the storyline.   We don’t always choose our stories, but we do choose how we tell them. Each of us has our share of heartbreak, obstacles, and setbacks.  Some more than others, but we all have them. They can all appear different depending on the storyteller. We can’t always choose the storyline, but we can choose how we view it and tell it.   Change your the story that you tell yourself and you can change your life.   Here are a few tips:   Begin to look closely at the way you talk. – Are you negative or positive?  Do you sound like someone that you would want to spend time with?  Ask others about how you sound to them.    Keep a journal – Write about your life, your day, your week.  What do you complain about?  What can you change?  Be honest.   Write your eulogy–  Yes, what will people say about you when you’re gone?  What have you done?  How have you contributed to the world?     Make your life a great story, if you do, it can only have a happy ending.   If you liked this post, please share...

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Now, there are real situations and people to be afraid of.  If someone can cause you bodily harm, that is something to fear. Unfortunately, we also have emotional fear, money fear, and fear of not being good enough.  We fear speaking, death, taxes, and the unknown.  The problem is not so much that you have fear, but more about how you handle your fear.  Some do nothing; they keep their lives ordered, compact, and ordinary.  Others, take the bull by the horns, feel the fear, and push ahead.  Which one are you?  Do your hands sweat even thinking about doing something different?  Or, are you the one that forges ahead, fear be damned?   Most things that we fear are not rooted in any reality.  Much of what we fear  resides only in our heads.  We fear what we don’t understand.  When I was 43 and learning to ski (don’t ask), my husband and I ended up at the top of a blue hill (don’t ask how we got there).  I thought “Why the hell am I going to do now?”  Then I thought, “This is a metaphor for my life.”  When something would scare me, I would turn around and try and forget  the thing that I fear.  At that point, I let loose and skied down the hill.  I didn’t die or break anything.  What I learned is that fear needed to be damned in my life.  Of course, I still get scared and am filled with fear on many days. What I am now able to do is look fear in the eye and do it anyway.   What we want is on the other side of our fear. The worse thing to hear in the world is, “I always wanted to do that.”  Really? Yeah, it’s really sad when you think about all the things that you, “wanted to do,” but isn’t it better to think about all the things you have done? Screw it, you may have lost money or things didn’t work out the way you wanted, but at least you did it.  When you do what you want, within reason or allow yourself to dream, it is then that you are really living.  Living life and not living in fear.   Three quick tips to handle fear:   Embrace the fear – Admit that you are afraid and allow yourself to fear it.  Fear is normal and doesn’t shave to overwhelm you.   Feel the fear. . . and then, go for it – Action takes care of fear.  Don’t think about it – just do it.   Gratitude – Be grateful for the fear.  The fear is there to keep you safe.  However, it is important that it doesn’t keep you so safe that it imprisons you.   It’s important that you begin to fill you life with love and curiosity.  The more that you begin to approach life as an adventure, the less likely you will live in fear.  The question isn’t, “what will people say if I fail.”  The better question is, “will I feel like a failure if I don’t do this?”   If you liked this post, please...

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In the movie, “Freaky Friday”, the psychologist mother drops her daughter off at school ending her good-bye with the words, “make good choices.”  The adolescent daughter rolls her eyes. What else can she do?  She thinks her mom’s an idiot. The other thing is, “how do you make good choices?”  We don’t have a crystal ball and we don’t know how things are going to work out. And yet, “making good choices seems like a smart thing to do.”   Our choices decide the life that we will lead.  The road we take will determine our happiness or unhappiness. Certainly, circumstances like illness, poverty or lack of education will impact some.  But for the majority of us, the choices we make will have lasting impact upon our lives and perhaps on the lives of our family and friends.   We choose careers, partners and even the way that we want to feel. We make choices every day some big and some not so big, many will impact us for a short amount of time and others for a lifetime. We are in charge of our lives. Many want to blame others or circumstances on the choices that they make.  Unfortunately, the “buck stops here.” We are responsible for what we choose and the consequences that come with it.   We choose to remain in negativity and blame.   We choose to stay in addiction rather than get help.   We choose to remain in unhealthy relationships   We choose to allow others to run our lives because we don’t have boundaries.   Here are some tips to making good choices.   Be honest with yourself– Are you making this choice because it seems like the easier thing to do in the short-term?  “I don’t want to exercise right now, I’ll do it later.” Or, do you look at the long term effect of your decision.   Weigh your decision– Sometimes our choices are good and bad, good and good, or bad and bad.  It may not always be clear.  Sometimes the choice is the lesser of two evils.   Not making a choice is making one – When we avoid making a choice, circumstances and not you will have made one. Research – Information is always an important element when making a choice.  An informed mind is more likely to make a good and proper choice.  If you rely on emotion alone, you may be disappointed in the end.          5. Talk it out –  talk to someone who has more experience or someone who has been referred to you.  Bouncing your ideas off of someone that you respect will help you to make better choices. Getting a different perspective will help you flesh out the pros and cons of your decisions.   Make a choice as if your life depends on it…because it does.   If you liked this blog, please share...

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Silence is my favorite theme of the holiday season.  This time of year is filled with silence. We are reminded of it in the songs that we sing, ”silent night…holy night.” Silence fills the air in the darkness of the winter evenings that envelope us with their ebony cloak.  I dare anyone to walk in the softly fallen  snow and not be taken with the silence that surrounds them. In the winter, silence is everywhere.  It is the earth reminding us that we need to rest and grow quiet in order to experience rebirth in the spring. We can choose to enter into the silence or fight against it. We can appreciate it and use it wisely  We can also use it for evil.  It depends on us and our attitude toward silence. Silence is powerful – it is filled with mystery. When someone doesn’t speak at a social gather, we become uncomfortable. We will sit there wondering, “Do they not like me?” or “Did I say something to offend them?”   The silent person at the meeting holds all the cards (the poker face). When someone doesn’t speak, we tend to project our own feelings on the them, usually accusing them of nefarious thoughts and deeds.   In intimate relationships, silence is devastating. We get angry….silence We don’t like something….silence We don’t get our way…silence When we don’t say what we think or feel, nothing changes.  Resentment will arise within the relationship.  Resentment leads to contempt and contempt leads to the end of the relationship. Silence can signal the withdrawal of love.  Have you ever argued with a friend, lover, parent and have them withdraw into silence?  It is not just a withdrawal of dialogue, it can feel like a withdrawal of love.  It is rejection.  Silence can be very hurtful. Silence is not always golden.  It can be warm and comforting, but it can also be used like a weapon.    Silence can soothe as well as break a heart.  When has your heart been healed by silence and when has it been broken?  The pain of silence can be hurtful and leave you questioning.  What did I do?  Without a discussion, you will never know.  Silence can leave you hanging…sometimes, forever. Silence has two faces. May your Christmas be filled with only the glorious silence of the season. Merry Christmas! If you liked this blog, please share.  We are in the season of gift giving:)...

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2016 has proven to be the year of the outlier.  Donald Trump was elected president when many thought that he didn’t have an ice cube’s chance in hell. He was victorious because he wasn’t like everybody else.  You may agree or disagree with his politics, but you can’t deny- there’s something new in Washington DC and things will never be the same. In the spirit of the 2016 election, I think it’s time to make Christmas different.  I can’t tell you how many people I’ve spoken to who complain about how stressed they are this season.  You know, they’re  wrapped up (no pun intended) in all the traditions.  The things that they “MUST” do, or it just isn’t Christmas. For many of us, we’re like addicts trying to capture our first high.  We want to relive the Christmas’ of our past.  When it really “felt” like Christmas.  There was no stress, no pressure and certainly no anxiety about making it all perfect.  We were simply in the moment and the wonder of the season was at our fingertips.   It’s impossible to recapture the magic of the past and our children won’t be scarred because of it. Folks want to remake the Christmas’ of their childhood for their own children. There is nothing wrong with that sentiment.  IF you don’t need to kill yourself in the process.  I propose starting new, easier traditions to replace the old.  Enjoy more moments and have a more fulfilling holiday season. Here are three tips for a better and more manageable holiday Limit gift-giving– Buy three gifts and give the rest in gift cards. Takes the stress off of you and they can buy what they want.       2. Don’t make, buy –  Don’t spend hours baking and cooking.  Decide what is affordable to buy and do it.  Homemade              is not best, if you have done nothing but stress about it. Time–  Give yourself the gift of time.  Make time to spend with your loved ones.  There’s no money involved and they will always have that memory.  Build a fire, make hot chocolate and watch White Christmas. Just remember to create a memory with the ones you love.        Please share this post!  Merry...

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Are we angry as a nation, or has the 2016 election just made us feel like we are?  So many people in the media have talked about people feeling marginalized and forgotten.  Personally and professionally, I can vouch for the fact that people are angry on both sides of the political landscape. They don’t feel like they have been heard or their position has been validated.  Few things infuriate people more than not being heard.  When people feel like they don’t have a voice, they feel impotent. When you feel impotent, you are filled with anger and shame. Neither side is immune to feeling this way.  Both do and both have made it known in this election. Many years ago, on a trip to Italy, I was asked by our tour guide, “why are you Americans so angry?”  Wow!  I had never thought of us as an angry people.  He went on to say, “in Italy we will steal your purse, but we won’t kill you for it. In America, they will”. This conversation was well before 9/11 and the proliferation of terrorism. In those days, terrorism and immigration were a non issue. I had never thought of us as a particularly angry nation.  Had I been wrong? Certainly, this Italian saw us like that.  He concluded with saying, “you have everything. Why are you so angry?” Had we become the brat of the world, stomping our feet when we didn’t get our way? I respectfully disagree with the media and my delightful tour guide. I do not believe that we are angry as an entire country, but we are scared. Our fear fuels our anger. We are afraid of a changing world.  Our economy, our lifestyle, and the things that we have held dear as a nation are changing, not getting worse, just changing.  We were a powerhouse after WWII.  The world had been disseminated, and we had the resources and ingenuity to rebuild it.  However, just like the Industrial Revolution ripped through the agrarian society, technology and globalization are ripping into us.  Eventually, it will right itself. It just feels really painful and scary now. After this election, things will change in our country.  Some people believe that it is high time for  change, others wish that we had more of the same. Both sides are scared for very different reasons, and their reasons may be very valid.  We don’t know what to expect.  Fear is dangerous. It makes people do dangerous things.  Perhaps love will overcome the fear.  The Bible tells us that,” perfect love is without fear”.  Let’s make our love rock like we never did before.   Here are four simple steps to deal with the fear Educate yourself – Get to know all you can about what is going on.  Learn about the economy and it’s challenges.  Watch all the major news organizations. NPR probably gives the most balanced coverage on a variety of topics. Act don’t react – Get involved with whatever you believe in, there is no right or wrong way to think.  Take ownership of what you believe in, and do something about it.  Anger or fear alone change nothing.  Listen really listen to the other side –  Both sides have valid points. You don’t have to agree, but I think...

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I’ve noticed that lots of people are in a funk, not the “I can’t get out of bed feeling,” but rather feeling overall “blah.” I noticed myself feeling out of sorts, too. I wondered if it was the detox that I was doing. Kitchari, soup, and smoothies may be leading me to fulfillment, but they certainly didn’t feel like the path to excitement.  However, many of my clients have also complained about this same general malaise. They wondered if it was the weather or time of year.  I was perplexed by the  number of people who came into my office with the same feeling.  What could it be? Upon reflection and a few great conversations, I came to the conclusion that it was not what I was eating or the weather or time of year.  It had more to do with what was surrounding all of us: negativity.  It is impossible to go on the internet, watch T.V., or pick up a magazine without being bombarded with the negativity of the presidential campaign.  The hate and the energy that it kicks up can be overpowering and hard to overcome. I used to think that I was immune to all of the political negativity.  After all, I was a detoxing, meditating, energy working. I am a strong woman.  Certainly, a few nasty comments couldn’t hurt me.  I felt like I had built an arsenal of defense against any bad juju taking away my serenity. I was wrong. I just couldn’t escape it and decided that I needed to do something if I to maintain my sense of equilibrium.   Below are 3 things that I do to cope.  They are easy and can be done throughout your day. 1.I have incorporated some Kundalini yoga into my day.  It is a powerful form of yoga that taps into your energy body.  It is not just about asanas; you also do very cool mantras that lead  to feelings of peace and calm.  You can learn it on Yogaglo or  YouTube. 2.I’ve begun to walk in nature.  The earth’s energy is both grounding and uplifting. 3.I have started turning off the T.V. and stopped reading political Facebook posts.  I remember when who you voted for was a secret. Hence the term “secret ballot.” I want to get back to that! Why get my feathers in a ruffle?  It’s far better not to see it, and it certainly added to my sense of well-being. Let me know what you do to avoid the campaign negativity.  I don’t think it will be over after the 8th.  However, it’s better to have energetic protection than to be caught in this vortex of doom.   If you liked this post,please...

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In the middle of a beautiful fall day, I could not stop thinking about our need for approval.  Some people spend months, years, a lifetime, looking for someone else to approve of them and tell them that they’re ok.  I had a friend who would jokingly say, “How am I doing?” It was supposed to be a joke, but I knew that he meant it.  His life was based on other people’s perception of him.  He was never really happy because he struggled with his own value and the value that others placed on him. . We all want people to think well of us. The need for love and respect is true for everybody.  None of us goes into a situation thinking, “I hope they don’t like or respect me.”  It is natural to want people to like us.  The problem occurs when we have the need for approval.  It is when we base our entire sense of value on the opinions of our parents, spouse, boss, or co-workers.   Unfortunately, we will never receive kudos from someone who doesn’t approve of themselves.  We can wear the right clothing, work hard, make gourmet dinners, and yet, we won’t receive the adulation we desire.  If we are working hard, being honest, and loving ourselves, what difference does their approval make?  Some will love us and those who don’t aren’t worth the time or energy.   You may ask yourself:   If I never get ______________approval will I still be ok?   Will life go on?   Will I still have value?   Does it really change the way that I live my life?   Answering these questions can get you out of the rat race of looking for other people’s ok.  As long as you know that you are, no one else needs to approve of you.   If you liked this post, please share...

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I spent approximately 10 years lying awake in bed.  3:00 a.m. – bam, I would wake up and be up for the rest of the night.  I would begin to think of everything that was bothering me or a song that I liked.  It didn’t matter if I was stressed or calm.  I would be awakened  every night like clockwork (no pun intended).  I tried OTC drugs to beat the band. Nothing worked.  I felt doomed to spend the rest of my natural life feeling like crap because I wasn’t sleeping   My husband kept reminding me that in medieval times people would always awaken at night.  They would call this first sleep.  I didn’t care what they called it.  I was sick of waking up.  I was  done with having bags under my eyes and being miserable the entire next day.   I started to research to find ways to help me sleep through the night.  Doctors recommend 6.5-8 hours of shut eye a night.   I will share with you ten of the most effective things that I did to help me get those recommended hours.  I may not get a perfect night’s sleep every night, but now I do most nights. The tips that I am sharing are ones that have actually helped me recover from insomnia. 10 tips to get you sleeping like a baby: Avoid caffeine, alcohol and soda – All of these substances will either keep you awake or wake you up during the night.  It is best to avoid them early in the day in order to have a restful night. Nest– Make your bed as comfortable as possible.  Keep your room completely dark, this signals to the brain that it is time to sleep. Keep it cool – Keep the room cool, this will keep you from overheating  and waking you in the night. Take a warm bath before bedtime – This will relieve tension and start to wind your body down for sleep. Get up and go to sleep around the same time every day – Our brains love routine and the routine of awakening and sleeping will give a signal to the brain when it’s time to be awake and when it is time to shut down. All screens, including the television, need to be shut down– The activity and the light will signal to the brain that it is time to be active. Don’t read –  Instead listen to relaxing music or a guided meditation. Alternate nostril breathing –  You can google this or watch it on You Tube.  Anyone who has taken a yoga class has done this type of breathing.  The breathing  activates one hemisphere at a time.  This is very relaxing to the brain and the nervous system. Drink warm milk with nutmeg – The milk is comforting to your body and the nutmeg gives additional warmth.  Again, it is all about  relaxing yourself. Essential oils – The smell of lavender calms the body and the mind, it can help if you spray the scent on your pillow or use it in a diffuser. I know the frustration of those who suffer with insomnia.  Sleep will improve your mood, help your concentration and act against aging.  Try one or all of these tips and let me...

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People will often say, “I am so damn tired.”  I can’t even count the number of times people come to see me and open the session with that complaint.  They are exhausted and can’t put one more thing on their plate, and yet, they do.  Unfortunately, this need for perfection and over scheduling has made us into a nation of zombies.  Many of us suffer from a lack of self-care and are basically too exhausted to  really take care of ourselves. Our society has created a lifestyle that is demanding but not necessarily all that fulfilling.   We are yawners, not because we are boring, but rather, because we are over scheduled and sleep deprived.   The pressure is on us at work, home, and now we have the addition of the internet which often influences a large part of our lives.  It is mind boggling that we were able to raise children before mommy blogs. I don’t even want to begin to write about Facebook, email and twitter.  The barrage of information that comes our way can often be overwhelming, and we are rarely aware of how it is affecting us and our stress levels.     Here are 6 tips to overcome the over scheduling blues Set boundaries – You don’t have to say yes to everything.  Yes, people will be disappointed, but they won’t hate you (and if they do, who cares?).  Check what you can and cannot do before you start to say yes.  The powerful, “let me check and get back to you,” can save you a world of headaches.   (You better sit down for this one).  You don’t have to attend EVERY ONE of your child’s or grandchild’s activities. –  (Are you still with me?)  It’s ok to not show up every time your child is participating in something.  It doesn’t make you a bad parent, and it won’t ruin your child’s self-esteem.  It is better to be a rested, fully engaged parent, than one who is only partially there.   Deal with emotions –  Yes, emotions make you tired.  If you are feeling unhappy or depressed, that can lead to a lack of energy.  Repressed emotions can also lead to fatigue.  It takes a great deal of energy to not acknowledge and deal with how we are truly feeling.  Start to deal with those things that you would rather not deal with, and you could gain a ton of energy back.   Set priorities – What are the things that absolutely, positively have to be done today?  Give yourself 3 things to accomplish, and move everything else to the next day.  Do this exercise every day, and you will get more accomplished and feel less exhausted.    Give yourself a break –  You don’t need to get everything done.  Let some things slide. I am always struck by the fact that houses and things remain long after the owner has passed away. Let it go, there’s always tomorrow.   Get some sleep – The need for sleep and space is essential for our mental and physical health.  Start paying attention to what you are doing with yourself every day.  Start to focus more on the relaxing and less on the doing.  You may find yourself thriving instead of surviving.   If...

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