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Don’t Make Assumptions

June 29th, 2017

How and where do we make assumptions in our lives? Ahh – let me name a few examples you may be able to relate to:

  • We assume we know an answer so we do not ask the question.
  • We assume we know the result so we do not even try.
  • We assume what other people are thinking and we take it personally.
  • We assume something to be true and do not seek out our own truth.

We make assumptions to explain things to ourselves. We make assumptions because we do not have the courage to ask the questions. We make assumptions because somehow we believe people should know automatically how we feel, what we are thinking or why we are acting a certain way.

  • Making assumptions leads to misunderstanding and miscommunication.
  • Making assumptions often allows us to cast blame on others.
  • Making assumptions enables us to be the victim.

I am vividly aware of how I make assumptions in my own life. My daughter just graduated college and is now in LA, started a new job and in the first months of her new adult life. Every piece of me wants a constant up date, to hear about her job, to know how she is doing, how is the commute….. Mostly I just want my own fears for her to be squelched by her telling me everyday that everything is okay!

However – my daughter is on a communication hiatus. And of course my mind decides to run wild with all sorts of crazy assumptions: She is upset with me for something I did. She is in some kind of trouble and avoiding talking about it. She is really unhappy and does not want to share that with me. I could write a paragraph about the things that are going through my mind.   All of these assumptions are swirling and spinning in my head everyday creating a lot of chaos, some raw emotions and making me mad that she does not WANT to speak with me (another assumption.) Continue Reading

Live Without Expectations

April 26th, 2017

Expectations: The act or state of looking forward or anticipating that something is going to, or should happen. A perceived notion of how something or someone is supposed to be.

When we have expectations we create a belief system that certain outcomes SHOULD happen. And then, what do we do if things don’t happen the way you expected them to?

We also have expectations for how other people SHOULD behave or react. And when they do not act as expected we are let down, hurt, angry or sad. We may even believe we have been disrespected or offended in some way.

We might expect that our partner will notice or new outfit or hair cut and say something. We might expect that a co-worker will compliment us on a job well done. We might expect that our kids will notice a mess and pick it up.

We expect people to do certain tasks automatically (event though we never made the request). We expect people to appreciate us, reward us and compliment us. When this does not happen we often grip and complain, “they SHOULD have complimented me, they SHOULD have noticed me.”

A SHOULD is an expectation imposed on one person by another. A SHOULD is a personal belief system being hailed as the RIGHT BELIEF and pushed onto another. Maybe their SHOULD is not the same as your SHOULD? Continue Reading

Take Risks. Make Mistakes.

March 19th, 2017

Thank you for joining me on this journey as I share with you in 2017 the 12 Chapters of my soon to be book, A Woman Alive. The 12 Principles for Living Alive. The 12 Guiding Principles are all of the lessons I have learned along the way, all of the tools and ideas that have helped me to re-frame the story of my life.

Our third Guiding Principle is
“Take Risks.  Make Mistakes”

When Jessica, my daughter, was 10 years old we made the decision to sell my house and move to New York City. Jessica was homeschooling and in a Homeschooling Dance program that was not really working for her. At age 9 she had drawn a picture of our apartment in New York City (an apartment that did yet exist) and declared that she was going to go to LaGuardia Performing Arts High School – a school that became well known through the movie FAME.

I had no idea what lay before us and was in a bit of shock that I was willing to give up my home that I loved in Medway MA. We had many good and dear friends yet no strong ties. Jesse was dancing a lot and really wanted to consider dancing professionally.

I remember the day when I told the other Moms in our Dance program that we were leaving, selling the house and moving to NYC. The response that most stunned me was, “You are so lucky that you have a choice.”

For many us we make-up the story that we do not have a choice, we have convinced ourselves that are stuck in our current situation. We believe there are just too many variables out of our control that lock us into our present circumstances.

I believe that in truth we always have a choice. What prevents us so often from making a new choice is the fear of the unknown, the fear of taking a risk when we do not know the outcome, the fear of making the “wrong” decision, the fear of making a “bad” decision.

And so we sold the house and made the move. Continue Reading

Gratitude and Appreciation

February 15th, 2017

Thank you for joining me on this journey as I share with you in 2017 the 12 Chapters of my soon to be book, A Woman Alive. The 12 Principles for Living Alive. The 12 Guiding Principles are all of the lessons I have learned along the way, all of the tools and ideas that have helped me to re-frame the story of my life.

Our second Guiding Principle is
“Express Gratitude and Appreciation Daily.”

As I rang in the New Year on December 31st of 2014 I made a commitment to make 2015 the year of Gratitude. December had been a rough month. I was feeling sorry for myself because I was single and alone. I had just moved to a new town where I knew not a soul. I was totally blind in one eye due to a detached retina surgery and the clouds in my other eye made vision a challenge. I was deep in the process of ending my consulting career and knew I wanted to teach yoga and coach full time. Yet I could not quite figure out how to make that happen. I felt like a deer in headlights. I knew I needed to move into action in some way but I felt glued to the moment, glued to negative thoughts and feeling like nothing in my life was going right.

As the clock chimed midnight, I sat alone in my apartment blinking away another round of tears. I realized the only power I had at that moment was the power of my thoughts. It was time to change my thinking, to change what I was saying to myself. So in that moment of lonely terror I choose Gratitude. I decided then and there to focus on, think about and talk about only the things that were positive in my life, the things that I was grateful for.

I remember calling my Dad often during this time and we would go through the list of all of the great things about my move to Port Jefferson. At first it was a challenge and we would laugh trying to think of what could be positive about my having to go to the laundry mat to do my laundry, or not being able to read because of my eyes. Yet we always found something to add to the gratitude list! Slowly over time the list grew… Continue Reading

Past, Present & Future

December 20th, 2016

The 12 Guiding Principles are all of the lessons I have learned along the way, all of the tools and ideas that have helped me to reframe the story of my life.  Over the past 10 or 15 years I have spent a lot of time exploring the power of story – the stories we tell others and the stories we tell ourselves.   I have experienced over the past couple of years what is possible when we firmly decide to reframe the way we share and consider our stories from the past, live consciously in the present moment and then write a new story, the story we desire, the story filled with endless potential, with unlimited possibility.

Our first Guiding Principle is:

“Learn from the Past, Live in the Present
and Intend for the Future.”

One of my father’s favorite sayings is, “You can not dwell in the past.”  I am pretty sure I have heard him make this statement over a thousand times.  I often want to shout back at him, “but I just want to tell the story!”  Why?  Why is it so important for us to re-tell that same story over and over again?

Many of us dwell in the past because it is the known versus unknown.  We tend to be more comfortable in the known even when it is uncomfortable.  We may dwell in the past because it keeps us in a place where we can be the victim. Our stories of the past provide proof that certain things can happen or that certain things can NEVER happen. Continue Reading