Posted Tuesday, December 04, 2012
Did you grow up in a dysfunctional family? Me too.
One thing that I think is true for all of us—we never completely drop the roles that we developed in order to effectively give and get love, how to feel safe, how to make people love us. We learn what is OK to say, what our parents want from us, and how to feel good.
I for one played the role of the "hero" or "rescuer" for much of my life. When I saw someone in need—well it was my job to make sure that I met their need.
Eventually, this doesn't work. The role I created to make sure I got my needs met in the end wasn't going to be able to help others. As soon as I stopped getting what I needed, I had to either pick another codependent role or another person from whom to get my needs met. I did both of those things with lots of consequences.
How do we stop living in our codependence? How do we choose to create something different for our life? Read More »
Posted Thursday, August 30, 2012
So, I've seen my share of tough times. So have my friends. My clients.
I've made my share of unwise choices. Choices that brought consequences that no one would wish for—ever. So have my friends. My clients.
I've experienced my share of betrayal, infliction of pain, and just plain irresponsibility at the hands of those that had power to do so with me. Parents. Family. Lovers. Friends. Bosses. Co-workers. So have my friends. My clients.
With that said, I don't sit in a place of naivety or even a place of denial when I ask myself or I ask my clients to sit with this one idea, a mantra of sorts: Read More »
Posted Friday, May 18, 2012
These are the words of my client. All this "BE-ing" stuff is just so boring.
She's trying so hard. Trying to learn how to "BE." I must be doing something wrong, she thinks, because it's so much work to get there and when she does—it's just plain boring. Why bother?
Here's a truth. If you are struggling—it isn't being.
Maybe you've had this issue. Your friends—your neighbors—your co-workers suggest to you that life isn't about the DOING—it's about the BEING. So you try. You decide to embrace this new way of life. You take yoga or qigong classes and learn what it is like to be totally present with your body. You go on silent retreats to discover what being with your own thoughts will bring you. You meditate in the morning—every day—in order to center yourself and experience your day from a place of fullness and presence.
And this is exactly what many of us need to incorporate BE-ing into our lives. Some of us though—don't see the point. We struggle to quiet ourselves and then find no value once we are there. What's wrong with this picture? Read More »
Posted Friday, May 11, 2012
About a year ago—my second marriage came to an end. Somewhat suddenly with circumstances that make most people gasp. However, this is not a story about the ending. This is a story about the beginning.
You see—my former wife and I became engaged to be married in DC during the summer of 2006. It was a fairy tale engagement. I showed up at her work on a early Friday afternoon and swept her away in a limo to the airport. We made our way to the bed and breakfast in DC where I pulled out all the stops to make her feel like a princess: rose petals, wine, a concert, clothing, a picnic in our favorite park with huge waterfalls, and of course a poem expressing my desire to be with her. Forever.
Last week I was in DC. I've told you that I love it there.
My cousin took me for a hike and I had no idea where I was going. It soon became clear after we arrived that we were at the park where I had asked my former wife to marry me. My first thought: "Ughh—I don't need this—maybe we should go somewhere else." My second thought: "I wonder what the universe wants to teach me today. In this place. With so much emotion. This should be fascinating."
I chose to stay. Boy am I glad that I did. Read More »
Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2012
If you have a teenager, you know. If you have a sibling or a spouse that you desperately want to see live differently, you know. If you—looking at your own life—ever had a way of living that you couldn't bring yourself to change, you know.
Information does not change us. Logic has little to no effect on us in terms of moving us in a specific direction. If we implemented 10% of the information in the books we've read—we would be exponentially richer, thinner, smarter, and happier. Read More »
Posted Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2011
I asked my readers on facebook the other day— why be authentic?
Here are a couple of responses:
- Authenticity is our only connection to reality. It's not always pleasant, but it forces us to enter into places that really need to be restored. It's also profoundly engaging (or disruptive) to people bombarded with superficiality, showmanship and deceit on a daily basis. And once exposed, it forces you to decide...will I be authentic or will I continue to hide?
- Because I am constantly seeking truth. Whether or not if the truth is pleasant I'd rather deal with the truth and make an informed conscious decision based on truth. With that being said, I'd rather be authentic to set expectations and examples to the people in my life. How does the saying go? "Do unto others...." As complex as human emotions can be, I believe being authentic increases sincerity, clarifies intention, and minimizes confusion.
I think authenticity is hard. It's dangerous. It leads to pain. It's like driving up the Pacific Coast Highway. There are twists, turns, and all sorts of places that require caution…ahhh, but the beauty is worth it.
Read More »
Posted Monday, June 27, 2011
I've been devastated in my life. Many times. I've cried through pain beyond belief...wondering if I would ever be OK.
I love deeply. I throw my whole self into relationships. I don't believe that we should do this thing called friendship with anything less than our full selves. One caution however, this way of doing life has consequences.
In my 20s, I had a best friend; we were together often and we met for breakfast every Friday for several years. Our families did stuff together and everyone thought of us as brothers.
One day, I had been trying to get ahold of him to borrow a card table and when he finally answered...he said that he didn't want to lend me his card table and he didn't want to be my friend anymore either. I slumped onto my bed and asked him to repeat what he said. He did and I went into shock.
I didn't understand what had happened. It turns out that he had been building up resentment towards how I rubbed him the wrong way for years and simply kept it to himself. Something I did that week set him off and he was done.
I could not function at work the next day. I was a mess.
I'd like to say that we talked and worked it out and repaired our friendship but the truth is that we never did. He had never said there was anything wrong until that day.
Then and now I will own my issues...own my mistakes. I learned many things about myself from that relationship. I learned that I can come across as thinking I'm better than others when my insecurities are in full swing. I also learned that although he wasn't going to be my friend anymore...it didn't mean that I was unworthy of friendship. Read More »
Posted Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Have you ever felt like the universe was trying to tell you something?
Several years ago I decided to go to motorcycle safety school so I could buy a harley and hang out with my best buddy on Saturday afternoons in the summer. My plans were changed when I fell off my bike during the training and although I wasn't hurt physically, I ended up with a concussion and amnesia. It was probably the scariest day of my life as I couldn't remember anything in the last several months of my life--including going to see the team of my childhood in a playoff game.
My memory mostly came back (I still don't remember the fall) and a few months later I started considering going back to the class and going after my dream of having a motorcycle. My buddy was headed to the Bike Expo and I decided to come along. On my way into the building I was walking through the parking garage--just minding my own business--and I rammed my head into a pipe that was hanging down. I hit it so hard I saw stars.
It was in that moment that I decided that the universe was saying as loudly as it could: DON'T DO IT.
Read More »
Posted Thursday, May 19, 2011
So, what’s the stench in your life? The one you don’t notice? What’s the fragrance in your life—the one that only other people smell?
Think of it this way. Have you ever come back from vacation and noticed the odor of your house? I’m not talking about forgetting to take out the garbage—I’m talking about that special smell that other people know as the fragrance of your home but you rarely smell because it is yours.
You also have a way of looking at life that is uniquely yours—or unique to your community. That smell or odor or fragrance—whatever you label it—that’s a piece of you. That’s your perspective on life.
Once upon a time—not long ago—my odor contained quite a bit of judgment of others, better than-ness, and self-righteousness. I wouldn’t be surprised if the odor still lingers although I am working hard to exchange it for inclusivity, friendship, and authenticity.
Read More »