IT’S Not Going to Change. You Will.

It’s got to get better this year.

It’s got to work out this time.

It’s going to change.

Nope. No. It won’t. Your life will repeat. It will follow a pattern. It will habitually reproduce your outcomes.

There is one way out of reliving the same things over and over.

You change.

HE, SHE, IT will not change. YOU are the one who needs to change.

Your partner will not change. Your family will not change. Your job will not change. Your financial situation will not change.

YOU change. Then see what happens.

Recently, my friend told me he was having problems with his kid. He decided to try something new. He changed. He went to a therapist.

The therapist told him this awesome news: He can’t control his kid. But if HE CHANGES, things will change. If HE LEARNS SOMETHING NEW, things will change. If HE STARTS BEHAVING DIFFERENTLY, his situation will change. The kid doesn’t have to do therapy with him (although that would be ideal!).

YOU change. Then see what happens.

Free yourself from complaining about your current situation. Free yourself from worry about others. Free yourself from trying to change other people. Leave other people alone.

Here is the most powerful thing any human being can do: YOU CHANGE.

Is change easy? No. That’s why most people don’t do it.

Is doing what you’re currently doing and getting the same outcome awesome? Great. Keep doing it.

Is doing what you’re currently doing and getting the same outcome upsetting you? Great. You have an opportunity on your hands.

Beautiful, smart, you know what I’m talking about reader: No one in your life wants to change for you. So do yourself a favor. Let them all off the hook, because hooks are sharp. Let yourself off the hook. Now that you’re off that hook, take back your incredible power.

You change. Then see what happens. Loving you out there! XO

It’s Possible You Can. It’s Possible You Will. It’s Possible. So Many Things Are Possible.

Gorgeous! Gotta tell you: Your brain, unsupervised, wants to worry. Your brain, without a planned activity, wants to default negative. Some teachers and researchers call this the “negativity bias,” and argue that most of our 70,000 thoughts a day will skew negative as the “default mode network.”

So… This means that if you worry and stress, you are normal.

If you want your brain to think positive, it needs supervision and training.

You are 100% capable of supervising and training your brain. There are so many wonderful tools available. Mindfulness will change your life.

Lately, I’ve been geeking out on Kyle Cease.

You can hear Kyle speak on Lewis Howes’ podcast and you should read his book “I Hope I Screw This Up.” He is a comedian that investigates spirituality and personal development. So fun and INTERESTING. I’m so into him. I do what he says instead of just listening to him. He persuades me to take action.

Kyle convinced me to meditate for an hour a day. I’ve been doing it since December 1st, 2019, and the results are off the charts. Try it!!!

His latest challenge has been to make possibility lists. This practice needs to go in all leader toolkits. Please start doing it every day. I have been doing 10 minutes a day and I’m thinking I need to up the time commitment.

Here’s the deal. Sit without distraction and set your phone timer for 10 minutes. Then, start listing your possibilities out loud. Your positive possibilities. Your dreams come true.

Do not censor. Do not stop. I often start crying during the process but I do not stop. Keep going with what could be possible for you. I have spoken some wild things aloud to myself.

I have surprised myself.

I have delighted myself.

I have started believing that my possibilities are endless and will come true.

I can feel, when I say things out loud, if I doubt the possibility (fear) and if I believe the possibility (knowing).

Maybe you are like me. Despite the degrees and the training, I still worry a lot when my mind is unsupervised. Now, I have a new activity for my busy brain. I think in possibilities. I redirect to what is possible.

It’s possible that it will work out.

It’s possible they will love my class.

It’s possible that everyone wants to sleep with me.

Ha ha! I said that to my friend the other day and we had a good time believing that could be true.

Maybe that’s too creepy for you… but is it possible that everyone wants to work with you? To tell you good jokes? To come to your event?

Yes! It’s possible! It’s possible people want to pay you a lot of money too.

What is possible for you? Start cooking it up. Saying it aloud. Staying with your emotion as it comes and goes. Looking at it all. Being curious.

Gorgeous, worrying, normal brained reader: This is our one, precious life. What is possible for you? This week, be mindful. Train your busy brain to start thinking POSSIBILITY.

Loving you out there. It’s possible you love me too. It’s possible that, together, our love will heal the world. XO

In 2020, Resolve to Read

Hello, gorgeous reader! What are you doing out there today?

I was reading. And enjoying it. And then I thought:

Reading would be a great resolution. Resolve to read!

And so I am here telling you about that.

Successful people read. Rich people read. Highly effective people “sharpen the saw,” which means they continue to learn.

How do you learn? I read. And listen to audiobooks. And devour podcasts.

What are you reading lately?

My mom and I had a really interesting conversation about “The Girl on the Train,” a novel by Paula Hawkins. It was one of the books I read this year.

My mom hated the book, couldn’t get through it. She gave it up.

I wanted to give it up. It scared me and haunted me. And yet, I couldn’t put it down. It challenged my thoughts about novels and protagonists. It surprised me. I learned the technique of the “unreliable narrator.”

UNRELIABLE NARRATORS! So fascinating. The concept delights my brain. It expands my imagination. It makes me so intrigued by Paula Hawkins and her ability to play with the reader and toy with our ideas of truth and trust and reliability.

Ooh! So good. What a good book.

No advertisements. No pop up ads. No notifications buzzing while I read. Nothing but the deep delight of focusing my brain and expanding my imagination and building my empathy.

Rich people read. Successful people read. Emotionally intelligent people read. Highly successful people read. Reading is super fun.

What are you waiting for? It’s the best new year’s resolution ever. Forget your body and your weight and your insecurities.

Beautiful, adorable, interested reader: Keep engaging and expanding your mind. In 2020, resolve to read.

Loving you out there. Now back to my book… XO

Irritated, Frustrated, Angry You is Still 100% Lovable

You mad, bro?

Interesting.

Know what? That irritation and frustration is showing up to be loved.

Your anger is showing up to be loved.

Your sadness is showing up to be loved.

Your feelings don’t need to be ignored or numbed away.

Imagine a kid running up to you crying, “I feel so embarrassed.” Would you ignore him? Punish her? Tell that kid to go away? There’s another choice.

Instead, you could open your arms and say, “Come here, love.”

Hold the child.

Soothe them.

Tell them to breathe.

Tell them it’s ok.

Tell them that you love them no matter what.

Ask them what happened and what you can learn.

You may need your own attention this week. That’s what feelings are for.

No matter what comes up for you, it is always coming up to be loved.

And understood.

And healed.

Gorgeous, brave, human, emotional reader: All of your emotions are 100% lovable. They are there to get your attention. To be understood. To guide you and teach you.

Feeling negative emotion? That’s 100% lovable.

Turn towards yourself. Soothe yourself. Listen to what you need. Our emotions are not problems to be solved. They are beautiful information arising for you to get curious about. They are showing up for you to learn, for you to understand, for you to love, for you to grow.

Loving you out there! XO

You don’t need to say “No” to people. You need to say “Yes” to you.

Do you have a hard time saying “No”?

If so, you’re not alone, and one of the most popular requests I get from workshop participants and students is for me to teach them how to say no. 

As a communication PhD, of course I have many tools for you to say no, and I’ll give you a bunch of messaging strategies later in this post. There are many ways to say no in a professional and polite manner.

It’s just that… I really want you to come clean. 

You already know how to say no. 

That’s right. 

You’re an intelligent human being who knows what you want and knows how to get it.

It is not hard to say no.

You just say, “No.”

Or “Thank you, and no.”

So the really fun question is: WHY DO YOU KEEP SAYING YES?

If you really want to make positive changes in your life and feel a whole lot better about the way you fill your calendar, you will dig deep and answer this question. 

Why are you saying YES? Get out your journal. Write the answers down.

OK: Do you have a few reasons laid out? Good. Now tell me: Do you like your reasons for saying yes? If so, then you do not have a problem. You have lots of fun things to do.

If you don’t like your reasons for saying yes, then it’s personal growth time. Bravery time. Courage time. Time to face up to the song and dance you’re performing.

Why are you saying yes when you want to say no? Do you think it will make people like you? People liking you is totally out of your control. Do you think other people’s needs are more important than your own? Your needs are just as important as others’ needs. Are you making sacrifices you don’t want to make? Why would you do that? Are you disrespecting yourself and your time? Why?

These are challenging questions that will lead you to listen to your heart. It’s time to honor yourself and the gift of your one precious life.

Your calendar is a reflection of how you value yourself and your time.

Most weeks, I look at my calendar and think, “Yay!” because I like everything on it. I put all the appointments there by choice.

Do you like what you’re choosing to do?

Yay! Good for you. And if not…

Good news! Every day, change is always possible. It’s one word away.

So, for those of you who still want those “NO” tools, here they are:

8 WAYS YOU CAN SAY “YES” TO YOU:

  1. Articulate your focus and values (both are your choice):
    1. “Right now, I’m focusing on women’s leadership issues, so this project is outside my expertise and I respectfully need to decline your offer.”
  2. State a company (legit) or personal policy (make these up, as many as you want):
    1. “Since this project doesn’t fall under my current job description, I need to adhere to company rules and decline.”
    1. “Our family has designated Thursday night as family night, so I don’t schedule work events that evening.”
  3. Clarify the purpose of the request and see if YOU are really needed:
    1. “I understand you want someone to network with our vendors. Several other staff members can fulfill that purpose since I am not available.”
  4. Negotiate priorities:
    1. “My schedule is full, so if I say yes to you, what would you like me to put aside?”
  5. Offer another resource/ what you can do:
    1. “Although I can’t make it to your event, I can send a donation or I can send over my intern to help you set up.”
  6. Be honest about your emotions without apologizing or saying “unfortunately”: 
    1. “I am afraid of letting you down, yet I can’t do it.”
    1. “I appreciate and respect you, and no.”
  7. Put the request on a 24-hour hold:
    1. “I will need to check my calendar and touch base with my team/family, so I will get back to you in 24 hours.”
  8. Simply say “No.” It is a complete sentence that deserves respect.

Gorgeous, intelligent, amazing reader: You are bright and beautiful and smart. You know how to say no. So, this week, figure out why you are saying yes.

Before you will ever be able to effectively use my tools, you have to acknowledge that the way you are living your life is your choice and your responsibility and your opportunity for joy. Make your calendar an awesome strategic plan leading you to your dreams. Enjoy it.

Loving you out there! Say yes to you. XOX

A Tool For When People Judge You

Real Housewives is my guilty pleasure. SO MUCH EXAGGERATED DRAMA and judgment. Since I am a PhD in Communication, and a certified life coach, I also hear life-sized judgement unfolding in my classrooms and when I listen to other people’s stories.

This is totally human. 100% natural. Eckhart Tolle went so far as to say “All thought is judgement.” Judgement is what our brains do on a never-ending loop. It will never stop as long as you live and breathe.

I am a constant judging machine, all day long, and I hear other people’s judgements all day long.

And so, it pays to be curious about judgements.

It dawned on me the other night. Such a simple and beautiful realization. Very Byron Katie:

Whenever people start speaking their judgements, for good or bad, you can look at them in love, breathe deeply and try this:

Change the pronouns.

“She is so mean. She is trying to ruin my life” becomes I am so mean. I am ruining my own life.

“She doesn’t care about me” becomes I don’t care about me.

“He needs to take responsibility for his actions” becomes I need to take responsibility for me.

“He is so fun to be with” becomes I am fun to be with.

“She has such a great smile!” becomes I have a great smile.

Human beings are all the same. We want to be seen, to be heard, to be understood, to be loved.

Here is the danger… We try to outsource these needs.

We try to get stuff from other people.

We create drama trying to control other people.

We don’t see that we can stop and breathe and simply do this:

Change the pronouns. Then apply self-compassion and love. Then make the changes in you.

Beautiful, judgmental, human reader: Where are you creating drama in your life? That situation is the most beautiful teacher you have ever met. Look at yourself with love, breathe deeply, and listen to your judgements. 

Change the pronouns. Be relentlessly curious, compassionate, forgiving, and loving. Take your power back.

I’m loving you out there. I think you’re amazing. Do you see how I can also turn that judgement around? Feels great to us all. XO

The Dark Side of Being Cheerful

Are you sprinkling fairy dust and confetti on everyone and giving them endless pep talks? Maybe, like me, you think that is helping. 

… Is it helpful? Are you helping?

In today’s blog journey, I’m thinking critically about when to comfort and cheer people. Come with me as I look at the light and dark of “cheerful” things.

I often think that there is no bad time for a pep talk. And yet, pep is not always needed. Neither is talk. Acceptance and silence are always options. Why not choose those? Maybe you don’t realize how helpful they are. Because you’re trapped in pep. And here are three reasons you may want to cool it on cheering people up:

1: You may be draining your creative energy 

Your energy is beautifully generated in you to be guided toward your life passions. You are choosing how to direct your energy. Is being cheerful draining your energy? No? Then continue. Yes? Then stop and redirect people to the beautiful energy of professionals and coaches. YOUR energy is needed to create and fuel your passions.

2: If you’re cheering people up, they don’t learn how to cheer themselves up

Emotionally strong adults know that cheer is an internal job. If someone can’t calm themselves down and cheer themselves up, they need help and tools. Are you a happy enabler? You can’t do internal work for someone else. They have to learn to do it themselves. You wouldn’t buy vodka for someone with an alcohol problem. Choose not to spread cheer to someone with a chronic negativity problem. 

3: If you think someone needs you to make them happy, you’re condescending and forgot about their power

People are fiery, awesome, balls of power. Don’t let them fool you. Did someone in your life forget about how powerful they are? Remind them. You are not better than they are at solving their problems. You have your own problems. Your energy needs to go towards your spiritual curriculum. So stay in your lane. Be the boss of you. Learn. Grow. Direct energy. Let other people be the boss of them. Encourage them to get help or get to work on turning their situation around for themselves.

Hey, dudes, listen. I am NEVER going to stop spreading the gospel of greatness to all my students and family and friends. 

What I am going to stop is the urge to be awkwardly cheerful.

I am helped by the following knowledge:

If someone you love is experiencing extreme discomfort, there are professionals of all kinds who are the right people to help. If they are experiencing human levels of discomfort, nothing has gone wrong. We are brave human beings and and, through discomfort, we are all growing every day. 

If someone you love is angry, they are being given an opportunity to find the power they’ve given away to someone else.

If someone you love is sad, they are learning to connect to others and ask for help.

If someone you love is jealous, they are learning to build self confidence.

All emotions are powerful messengers. Jeff Foster wrote:

“Once, I ran from difficult feelings

Now, they are my advisors,

Confidants, friends,

And they all have a home in me,

And they all belong and have dignity.

In the depths of my wounds,

In what I had named “darkness,”

I found a blazing light

That guides me now in battle.

I became a warrior

When I turned towards myself.”

Beautiful, human, caring, wanting to cheer reader: If people turn toward you, never stop encouraging and cheering them on. But remember, every time, the best thing you can ever do is encourage people to turn towards themselves. Be curious about themselves and compassionate about themselves and mindful of their thinking and their behavior.

Turn toward their fiery, awesome power.

Loving you out there. Turn towards you. Become a warrior. XO