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In this political season, I have started to think about labels.  You know, democrat, liberal, conservative, republican, and so forth. Perhaps you are one or the other. Perhaps you are neither.  It seems to be human nature to label things.  It keeps everything and everyone in its place. Our brains crave order, and labeling can help us to feel more in control.   But, labels can help us to understand things.  We buy things depending on how they are packaged.  We are obsessed with  brands like Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, and Jimmy Choo.  In fact, my experience has been that sometimes, people want the label, it helps them to understand why they feel and act the way they do.  I would say that this is helpful labelling,  though it should be done with discretion.   Labels also hurt people when they are  categorized in a way that is unfair.  We judge and interact with others depending on how we label them.  The labels can be unmerited for and good or bad.  Have you ever met someone famous that you greatly admired only to find that they were pretty self focused? Or, the opposite. Someone you thought was a loser only to find that they are a wonderful person?  Labels can be both helpful and destructive.   Children are often labeled as smart, dumb, problem, etc.  All of these labels can be detrimental to the child and something that they will carry for a lifetime.  It is always important to let someone be who they are and not label them because it makes us feel more comfortable.  Don’t we all want to be loved and accepted for the person that we are and not for what someone thinks we are?   What type of labels are or have been assigned to you?   How have you been affected by negative labels?   How have you labeled others?   In our need for order, we want to put people in a box.  It makes life easier in some ways, because then we don’t have to think too much about our assumptions.  I encourage you to think about how labels have had a negative or positive impact on you.  It may just change the way that you assign labels to others.   If you liked this post, please share...

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I have a dirty little secret.  Perhaps it is not that dirty or even that much of a secret. I have ADHD. Yes, now I admitted it in print. I am an adult who can leave a room looking like Pig Pen has set up residence. It is a source of comedy and shame for me.  I have learned to laugh at my mistakes. I have made an art form of leaving things behind. It is really irritating but I’ve learned to live with it. I know that things won’t change, so I’ve accepted this as part of  my life.   We live in a culture that rewards and loves organization.   I noticed that most of my daughter’s grade school teachers were highly organized.  It seemed to me that some of them were hired for their ability to keep an neat classroom. Hell, we even hire people to help us with our organization.  When Americans part with their money, you know that something is a high priority for them.   Therefore, organization is something that is rewarded. When you are disorganized, it always feels as if you should be punished.  I can tell you that disorganization is punishment enough. People who are challenged in this area are usually considered  stupid or lazy.  I am neither. School was torturous. Although, I did well, it was a struggle to stay focused.  I remember telling someone, “I hated kindergarten, graduate school isn’t much better”. I have to think long and hard about organizing things.  My ADHD has caused me to be judged, teased and pitied. I deserve none of these.  It is something that I would sell to the first bidder (anyone game? anyone?)  However, I have learned to accept and even enjoy it.  There is nothing better than reaching into your pants pocket and unexpectedly pulling out $20.00.  Everyday is Christmas when you have ADHD, you never know when you’ll get a surprise.   My strategies to cope with ADHD Hire a cleaning person – I have found this to be invaluable.  She is worth every penny that I spend on her.  I don’t see this as a luxury, it is a necessity for sanity.   Have places to put things – “Everything in it’s place” is never something that I have understood. When someone says that, it feels like Charlie Brown’s mother is talking. However, I do have specific areas that I put things like paperwork, keys and glasses If it is not in one place it is usually in the other allocated spot.  It is the area of “so they don’t get lost – things’.        3. Losing objects –  St Anthony (the patron saint of ADHD )  is my man.  I pray to him when something  is lost and  voila, it shows up.  The other thing that I do is say the object’s name out loud. Sounds crazy, but it  usually does the trick.   Colored file folders – These help lots with organization.  Manila folders give me a headache.   Reduce clutter –  I am doing this presently.  This helps a great deal and makes me feel better. I have learned that less is more. ADHD is not a death sentence.  It is a way to enjoy life in an unusual way.  It is a...

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There is a growing epidemic called the “disease to please.”  I have diagnosed it for years but lately, I’ve seen a surge in those who suffer from it.  Men have the disease, but  women seem to develop it in greater numbers. What is this disease, exactly?  It is when you put the needs and desires of others before your own.  It is noble to care for others, but disastrous when it is done consistently with little or no regard for your own needs.   Women are conditioned to care for others.  Many of us, from the time that we are children, are taught to care for baby dolls, younger brothers and sisters, and even our parents.  We are told that we’re selfish if we have desires or needs of our own. Often, we grow up believing that our value comes from taking care of other people, while ignoring ourselves.   Pleasers will impale themselves on the sword of, “I just want them to be happy.” They share this disease with family, friends, and co-workers. Everyone comes before them.  Their secret fear is that others won’t like them or may leave them if I don’t do everything that others want.  Inside, the pleaser is angry or resentful, while putting on a happy face for those around them.  Pleasers never get what they want, and in many cases, they don’t know what that is.   The Cure   You have the right to be happy – You don’t have to do what everybody else wants. You, too are a child of God and have a right to be happy. You need to be authentic – When being honest with someone and setting boundaries, you are showing your true self.  When you reveal yourself, you will be set free. People will like you – When you say no, people may be disappointed, but they will still like you.  If they don’t, you never had a true relationship with them. (Oh, and by the way, they were using you!) It says a lot about you – If you don’t think people will like you when you express your true feelings, perhaps it says more about what you think about yourself then what they think about you. Health is in the boundaries – Creating healthy boundaries is not selfish.  When you just get along to get along, you will eventually feel used and weighed down.  It can lead to anxiety and depression.   Be confident. The next time you think of your needs or say no to someone, remember that you  have every right to do so.  And honestly, don’t you deserve it? If you liked this post, please share...

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We all struggle with the question of purpose: Why do we exist? Why did we come into the world?  How can we make a difference?  Can we be a service, yet still be happy with our lives?  These are questions that haunt us, and yet the answers lie not in acquiring things or even information.  The answers lie in ridding ourselves of unwanted, unnecessary things.   We find our life’s purpose in a journey.  We never get the answers all at one time.  Sometimes, the answers may feel hazy and muddled, and at other times, they are crystal clear, as if we’ve known them all our lives.  We can’t  allow ourselves to be distracted by the “stuff” of life.  Too many things, resentments, or negative emotions weigh us down.  They either impede the journey or bring it to a complete halt.   The first step in the road to finding purpose deals with clearing space.     We must have space to see the signs and opportunities that present themselves.  Space allows the positive to come in and fuel the journey.  It takes a lot of energy to hide our feelings, lie to ourselves, and navigate a home full of junk.  Studies have shown that we are more productive in clean, organized areas.   In yoga, we are told to create space in our bodies.  Not only do we need to create body space, we also need to create space in our minds and hearts.  It’s in the nothingness that questions arise and are answered.  It’s here that we become more aware of our creativity and the magic of who we are.  According to the creation story, God created the world in emptiness, no “stuff’ involved.   3 Tips to Creating More Space   Make it a priority –  Too often people create time only after everything else is done.  Creating space in your day to pray, meditate, and think can no longer be seen as a luxury but rather a necessary part of every day.   Breathe –  Creating space means that you have time to breathe.  Take a few minutes every day to breathe.  It is prana: life force.  When we pay attention to our breath, we feel more alive and at peace.  It gives us the foundation to proceed with our life’s discoveries.  Breathe in calm, breathe out negativity.  It is a vital part of changing.    Take an inventory – Pay attention to those thoughts and emotions that get in the way and crowd out positive energy.  We can’t move forward and create our path if we are weighed down by disturbing thoughts and unwanted junk.  Become aware of those things that you no longer need and release them. If you like this post, please share...

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I was in New York last week.  There is nothing like the infectious energy of that city.  You feel it when you are in the midst of a crowd on the streets, riding the subway or strolling through Times Square.  I defy anyone to walk down  Broadway and not feel the of the pulse of the city.  I believe that it is the diversity that gives New York it’s joie de vivre. It’s a city that is a true melting pot with a whole lot of hip-hop.   New York has always celebrated difference. It welcomes people from all over the world. You can’t walk down the street without hearing different languages.  It is as if New York says, “come here, you are welcomed to join us”.  As with most difference, it’s not always pretty or neat, but it is full of energy and excitement.  If we were all the same, life would be boring.  New York would no longer have it’s vibe and would seem more like Pleasantville than the Big Apple.   We think it is our similarity that binds us, when in reality, it is our difference that unites us.   Couples come to see me distressed over the fact that they have nothing in common. I try to put them at ease, by telling them that difference is good and it’s the glue of any healthy relationship.  A relationship, much like a city, is like a jigsaw puzzle with pieces that are very different, but work beautifully when put together with love and patience.   It’s not about criticizing or scorning each other’s interests, but rather appreciating and recognizing the other person’s uniqueness.  Just because you are married or in a committed relationship, you aren’t the same person. Your partner won’t think the same way, feel the same way, or do the same things.  Hallelujah!  We never date or marry ourselves. Your partner brings a set of interests and characteristics that are unlike yours, they add zest to the relationship.  You can’t join fully with someone who is like you, there  just aren’t enough empty spaces to attach to each other.   Don’t stress over your differences as a couple; celebrate them.  The difference will be clunky and weird at times, but allow it to propel you forward.  Let the tension of the difference be the mojo that keeps the relationship alive. When a relationship stops being exciting it dies or you feel like you are dead in it.  Here’s the deal, of course you can grow in your similarity, but where’s the fun in that?   Difference is what adds spice to an otherwise tasteless dish.   Give me diversity any day-in cities and relationships.  It brings tension, but it also provides vibrancy and a little mystery.  A city and a relationship without difference is boring and lifeless.  I say bring it on.  Viva la difference!   If you liked this post, please share it.  ...

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Dreaming is a funny thing.  We have all sorts of attitudes toward it. Often, dreamers  are seen as being lazy, with their heads in the clouds, not rooted in reality.  And yet, without dreamers there is no new discovery, no invention, no USA.  Our country was founded by a group of dreamers, men who knew that they were launching an experiment, one that could easily fail.  However, they knew that it was something that they had to at least try.  They were dreamers who could see beyond their own reality to a bigger picture of a great country.   What do you dream about?  You know the thought that your mind drifts to over a cup of coffee in the morning. It is the thing that makes your heart beat a little faster and palms moisten with gleeful anticipation. When I asked a friend of mine, a retired surgeon, what it was like to perform surgery for the first time, she responded, “I had thought about it so many times, it was as if I had done it a million times before”. That, mine friend is a dream.   A dream is a vision with an emotion connected to it. The vision brings up the feelings of excitement, passion and fear.  You can’t imagine life being complete without fulfilling your dream. Yet, you slug away day after day, watching others achieve their dreams while all the time feeling like you don’t have a right to your own.   Of course you have the right to dream and to bring that dream to fulfillment.  It doesn’t matter if you are a parent, teen, senior.  We all have the right to live our dreams.  Our dreams are put into our hearts for a reason, not to live them means that we are not fulfilling our purpose, our reason for being here.   Three top reasons that you have a right to your dream.   Your dream is your destiny – Your big dream is the reason why you are here.  The world needs what you have to give.  To hold back is a disservice to you and to others. Do something this week to put your dream out there.  Tell a friend, put it on facebook, whoa! Have some accountability. Dreams are practical – It is necessary to think beyond your current situation.  Imagine life without  computers, phones, light bulbs, all of them are here because someone had a dream. Write down three ways that your dreams are practical. Share what you wrote with your significant other or best friend. You are a child of the universe – You have a right to be here and a right to dream.  You were not created to play small.  A great job, relationship, business, prosperity are your birthright. Jesus tells us, “ Knock and the door will be open for you.”  A generous invitation to dream, don’t you think?  Start asking for what you want and see what happens. Just ask for what you want. Join me  at the Women’s Wisdom Circle on Friday July 8th from 5:30 – 7:00 at Coffee Buddha.  The topic is:  Making Your Dream a Reality.  Register today at:...

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When you come to the edge of all that you know, you must believe one of two things: there will be earth to stand on or you will be given the wings to fly. Author Unknown   When I was about 13 years old there was an ad in the newspaper that said: Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  I found that idea fascinating.  In fact, I was so captivated with it, that I cut it out of the paper, taped it to my closet door, put a border around it and read it every day.  I knew, in my 13 year old head, that the choices that I made would determine the rest of my life.  Looking back, I can say, that I’ve made some great choices and the not so great.  All in all, I am happy with the choices that I’ve made.  Would I make different ones and perhaps dream bigger?  Absolutely.  However, today is the first day of the rest of my life, so I say, let’s go dreaming.     We determine our lives  in the choices that we make.  It’s difficult to admit that we determine our lives.  We want to blame someone.  It’s far too easy to have a pity party and feel like a victim of our circumstances. “I didn’t have a choice” or “I didn’t know any better.”  Truth is, we always have a choice, sometimes we need to educate ourselves or learn from our mistakes, but we always have a choice.  Unfortunately, sometimes we may really bizarre choices that profoundly affect our lives.   Our lives are also determined by our ability to dream.  If we don’t believe in ourselves or our potential, our dreams will be small and weak.  In turn, our lives will turn out the same way.  We won’t meet that soulmate, or go to Europe, or have over-the-moon success with our business. Our lives will be a  reflection of what we dream and the work that we do to make that dream a reality.   There is comfort in dreaming small.  We can kid ourselves into believing that this is what we really want.  Fact is, many of us lie to ourselves because we can’t accept the truth that we are living a mediocre existence when what we really want is awesome.  We can’t let our dreams get too big because we get scared.  Scared of what we would need to do in order  to achieve it.  Scared that we will look like a fool.  Scared that we are getting too big for our britches!   If you want to stop sitting on the fence.  If you want to dream big and make your dreams a reality, here are some strategies to help you to do  just that.   Dream a big dream –  Don’t shrink back.  Make your dream really big.  Now, break it down into small chunks.  This      will take some time.  Strategize.  Write it down, talk it through,  think it through.  Figure out how you can achieve your goal in a realistic manner.          2. Be crystal clear – Makes sure you know EXACTLY  what you want.  Hold the dream as the goal that you are moving          ...

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I sing the body electric I celebrate the me yet to come I toast to my own reunion When I become one with the sun   “I Sing the Body Electric”, Fame   In yoga class the other day the teacher instructed us to pay attention to our breath.  He told us to breathe in deeply, to feel the coolness of the air as we breathed in and it’s warmth as we exhaled.  My entire body felt light as I focused on my breath.  It was as if the peace of the breath and the surroundings filled me up.  I wasn’t doing anything special.  I was just breathing.   The focus of the breath made me think of the bible verse that says, “we are wonderfully made, wonderful are your works.” Our bodies work beautifully and harmoniously.  All too often, we either ignore our bodies or focus on everything that is wrong with them. Why not make the change today and start thinking about what is right with them?   Every day we wake up with the ability to see, hear, touch, taste and smell. Imagine your life without even one of your senses.  Can you fathom living in the dark or your world being silent? Can you wrap your head around not being able to taste or smell a red, juicy, delicious strawberry.  You know, the kind where the juice runs down your arm.  What about missing that brilliant sunset?  Unfortunately, we tend to take all of this for granted.     You see, your body is perfect, just the way that it is.  You’ve got legs to get you places, arms to hug, hands to create.  Perfection!  Appreciate your body, tend to it and treat it like the amazing machine that it is. Just like we only have one life.  We only have one body.  Treat it well, because sometimes what we lose can never be regained.   Tips for honoring your body.   For one week – say only positive things about your body.  Start to catch yourself when you start getting negative. Become appreciative – instead of ignoring or being critical, start to thank your body for the amazing things that it does. Care for your body – Breathe, exercise and eat healthy, whole food.  We want ease not dis-ease in our bodies....

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It’s Mother’s Day and I am sitting on my deck contemplating what it means to be a mom. I’ve decided that we shouldn’t just honor the women who gave birth to us, but all the women who influenced us and helped us to be the people that we are today.  The unsung women who gave to us in ways that we can never repay.  All of those who took an interest in us, loved us and taught us what it meant to be a competent adult.   I was lucky to have lots of awesome women in my life.  My mom, who taught me what it meant to be a strong and independent thinker.  My dear aunts who taught me that kindness and quirkiness were valued attributes.  The nuns in school who were examples of smart, faith-filled women, who never made excuses for their choice of lifestyle or their beliefs. Sorry, I don’t have any horror stories.   I look at my daughters and continue to be amazed by their continued growth and intelligence.  They embrace and celebrate their uniqueness (must be genetic).  Both of them teach me daily what it means to accept yourself and live the life that you choose.  Each in their own way has dealt and triumphed over adversity. I am so proud of them.  They inspire consistently with many teachable moments, the ones that I teach and the ones in which they teach me.   Mother’s Day is just  one day on the calendar.  It reminds us to thank the woman who gave us life, sacrificed for and nurtured us.  In the afterglow of the week beyond, let’s remember and thank  all the women who contributed to our growth- physically, mentally and spiritually. Let’s honor them- because motherhood is more than biology.   So, thanks mom and all the great women who contributed to making me the woman that I am today.  I can never thank you enough!  Love you lots.   If you like this post, please...

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    There is a zen proverb which says:  Let it go or be dragged.  I would say “Let IF go or be dragged.”  What or who is an IF? An IF is that person who pukes all over you about themselves.  They tell you about their kids, their job, their education.  These are the people who put their accomplishments out for everyone to sample and notice.  Sometimes, they tell the truth, sometimes the don’t.  The objective of every IF is to make you feel small and insecure.   The I stands for insecure.  The F for whatever your favorite f word is.   The stereotypical insecure person is someone who is shy, doesn’t want to be noticed.  This is the person with whom we can feel superior.  They are the one’s who don’t make eye contact or find it difficult to talk about themselves.  We can easily identify them and may even feel a certain sense of superiority towards them.  They are the people that we can pity and may even try to help.   However, insecure people come in all shapes and sizes. The IF is often the most noticed person in the room.  In fact, you may even feel suffocated by them. These are the people who treat you like you don’t matter.  They talk down to you, are never wrong and are always happy to tell you about their latest accomplishments.  Facebook has become their church where they are able to preach the gospel of themselves.   You feel like an elevator with an IF.  They press every one of  your insecurity buttons.   “First floor,  lack of confidence.”   IFs  are the “experts”, “leaders”, “best parents, ever.”  Their lives are perfect, don’t you know? They seem to exude confidence.   We beat ourselves up in the presence of an IF.   We start to wonder if we will be able to ever succeed.  We just doubt ourselves.  If you walk away from someone feeling worse about yourself.  You are in the presence of an IF.   Join me and a group of like-minded women to learn tips for dealing with the IF’s of your life. We are meeting May 6 at 5:30 pm at Coffee Buddha.  Register today at www.lauraroman.com/events.  And get the IF out. This month, if you bring a friend, it is only 5.00 for a wonderful evening, promise.   If you liked this post, please share...

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