Who me, procrastinate? WOW Talks event

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Monday, Feb. 20, 2017:  7-9 pm

Stillpoint Center, Lafayette CA

Are you ready to unfriend your “sticky” Procrastination (and also its companions, Worry and Guilt ). Join me and discover the difference between avoiding and incubating, so your intentions start working for you instead of blocking your way.

 

My Interview on VoiceAmerica radio: Tuesday 8/23/16

When the season makes that shift from summer into fall, what kind of energy emerges in you?   Do you engage with with what nature is telling you during this time, or do you fight the harvest?

Join me at 11 am Pacific Time today when I’ll be talking about balance in the fall season,  as we enter the transition in which summer fades into fall for those of us in the North.  South of the Equator, spring is beckoning to summer.

Rebecca Hall Gruyter hosts “Empowering Women, Transforming Lives” on Tuesdays at 11 am Pacific Time.   I’ll be sharing the hour with gifted master of movement Vicki Dello Joio.

You feel like what?

hih-pix_feeling-eggsStop Saying ‘I Feel Like,’ was the headline. My clients know that this would catch my attention!

As a health professional since the 1980s, I’ve identified a problem with the common saying “I feel like.”  I’ve guided clients in following “I feel” with feeling words — as a skill in honesty and clean communication.

An op-ed piece in The New York Times addresses this in the political realm.

But this is more than semantics in politics, because feelings are inherently physical and internal experiences. Expressing feelings communicates the connection we are experiencing within ourselves to others.

Sharing our feelings is not just honest. It’s an effective strategy for relating to those we care about. For instance, when you say “I feel” and then really express a feeling (upset, angry, afraid, worried), it belongs to you, inside. Someone may not like it, and they can try to argue that what you feel isn’t what you feel. But when you know what you feel and communicate that, their arguments don’t stick. So expressing what’s going on with you by sharing your feelings invites them to respond on a feeling level, too.

When you say “I feel LIKE . . .” or a common variation, “I feel THAT . . .” what follows will likely be your assessment or analysis. You’re in your head, rather than feeling. It not only demonstrates distance from your own emotions, it does not support connection with the other person, who is likely to counter your position with their own analysis. Heads talking instead of hearts sharing.

Many of us use words that seem to express feeling, but really don’t.  If you want to create even more distance from someone else, try another variation.  Just say “I feel YOU. . . .” The words that follow will usually be experienced as an accusation, even if you don’t intend it, because it seems that you’re telling them what’s going on inside them. People don’t usually appreciate that.  For instance, when you say “I feel judged” you’re not really sharing a feeling, because it implies that someone else is doing something TO you.   “I feel you . . . ” invites defensiveness and even backlash.

A healthier way to go is to dive in and feel what’s occurring inside you when you believe or think someone else is judging you.  Just start with the basic four feelings:  Bad, mad, sad and glad.

Don’t just believe what I say about “I feel like” and its variations.  Take a week and notice this in your common, everyday experience, not just in observing your own way of talking about your feelings, but in how others talk as well.

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Psychotherapist appreciation moment:  We all owe a shout out to Dr. Thomas Gordon. He was a clinical psychologist who initiated Parent Effectiveness Training in 1962 (his book with the same name came out in 1970). Gordon was a pioneer in teaching conflict resolution skills to parents. P.E.T. includes “I-Messages,” also called “I-Statements,” with an “I feel. . . ” component. Along with other skills in relationship-building, Gordon had a big impact spreading healthy relating skills to the world at large.

 

What is your drinking telling you? (Usual Suspect #1)

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Are you drinking more than you like?

Is it hard to admit?

Join the club. So many of us drink at some time in our lives that it’s a common everyday habit (It’s actually legal to drink in all but a dozen nations in the world.)

On the problem side the Habit Continuum, I call drinking alcohol “Usual Suspect #1.” Liquor, beer and wine are just plain sneaky. It can take years for them to tell you the truth. The worst side of the drinking continuum, alcoholism, is called “Slow Suicide” because it lies to you about what it’s doing to you, while it cheats you of your health and steals your future.

No wonder denial about drinking is so rampant. Who would ever want to [Read more…]

Time Travel: The Case of the Missing Key

Separating my car key from the rest of my key chain seemed like a good idea at the time!

Separating my car key from the rest of my key chain seemed like a good idea at the time!

Have you ever had something happen that put reality sharply in focus — even if it wasn’t a big life-changing event?

One Saturday evening a few weeks ago, my weekend snapped to attention in 10 seconds.  On this particular weekend, before going on a walk with a friend, I inadvertently locked my keys in the trunk of my car — along with my computer, phone, purse with drivers license, credit cards and cash, too.

It was a test. A chance. You’ve been there, too.  Even when the consequences are minor, when stuff happens, managing the situation itself is just details. The real opportunity is in our capacity to manage ourselves.

What does that mean — managing yourself?

You could put it on a continuum, for example: From responsive to reactive, from even-tempered to overwrought, from calm to irritated to outright angry, from accepting to rejecting, from self-loving to self-critical.

There are layers. One is managing the situation.  Another is even more important: How you treat yourself when it comes to how you handled the situation.  It’s easy to stay in a Judgment Free Zone when you’ve handled something calmly, but what about when you haven’t?

Have you grown your capacity to stay in a Judgment Free Zone, as best as you can?

I bring up my moment of distraction because there was a time when I would not have manage myself effectively — and I would have been filled with self-judgment. Even “I can’t believe I did that” has an edge. In this case, it was ultimately a GREAT experience, from feeling merely unsettled to accepting what is, and finding the good.

That night I was cut off from the typical means of contact that we all take for granted — except old-fashioned face-to-face. With the help of friends and neighbors, things worked out, but it took well into the next day — and in between I had a chance to time travel — back to times when there were no instantaneous answers: No phones, or computers or world-wide web. No drivers license, no credit cards or cash to pay for anything.

What a delight!  No email. No Facebook. No looking up funny videos or political stuff on YouTube. No phone ringing or temptations to make a call.  No work (I couldn’t even post my podcast — first time in three years, though I did catch up later)!

This kind of vacation is something I’m going do more often, and I won’t even have to lock the car keys in the trunk to make it happen!

Would you rather HEAR this than read it — and practice a stress-reducing exercise, too?  CLICK HERE for a podcast on this topic.

An Everlasting Gift From an Extraordinary Woman

Many years ago, I met an extraordinary woman. I knew this by how she handled the situation of our meeting — with graciousness, despite the insult that I had perpetrated on her.

It was 37 years ago this month, and I was a young journalist in Memphis, Tennessee. I came to work that day with no particular plan in mind, but fate was on my side from the minute my editor rushed up as I approached my desk.

Handing me a slip of paper with a name I did not know, my boss told me to leave immediately for the cafeteria of a nearby college, where the interviewee was scheduled to [Read more…]

New skills for the new you (mini-retreat)

Join me on Tuesday, 05/20/14

San Francisco Bay Area, USA

REGISTER HERE for my next mini-retreat for women and men.  In just an hour, you’ll tap into your habit patterns and begin developing skills to support you in creating your changes.  First time is free, then $20 if you sign up at least 48 hours in advance ($25 after that if we have space for you).  Or save and sign up for the 6-session discount.

Heal the habits that are blocking your way!

Friday, 03/21/14:  —

REGISTER HERE for my interview on the Quick Shots tele seminar.

I’ll be one of the guests at this 30-minute free teleseminar series, a great idea for busy people. I’ll share 3 common mistakes that keep you stuck in life and business, 2 attitudes to help mend those errors, and 1 new behavior to reset your direction.

Food Pioneers Are Thinking of You!

When I tossed the french fry cooker, there was no place to go but up.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the changes so many of us have made away from diets heavy on meat and processed foods to fresh organic greens. Two women  led the way 42 years ago — practically ancient history if you were born after 1971.

That’s the year Frances Moore Lappé and Alice Waters came on the scene — Lappé with her book, Diet for a Small Planet, and Waters with her restaurant, Chez Panisse. Both of these visionaries had a big impact on how we think of healthy food today.

Not too long ago meat-heavy meals were routine — and vegetables were not just side dishes. They were overcooked side dishes.  That was before Lappé’s book.

One thing Lappé disclosed in Diet for a Small Planet is the fact that we grow enough [Read more…]

Link between Schizophrenia and Marijuana Use

I want to pass on this article from a physician in the Department of Psychiatry at The Yale School of Medicine reporting on the link between marijuana use and mental illness. While everyone isn’t vulnerable, for those who are — marijuana can trigger serious problems.