Right after my third child was born, my cousin strongly urged me to read a book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This book was designed to help artists discover and recover their creativity. There were so many reasons for me to not this read this book.
This is me (the one on the right in case you weren’t sure) attempting to pose like Wonder Woman. The original Wonder Woman.
I know I’m not standing exactly the way Wonder Woman stands. I was trying to, but my husband’s overly anxious, highly energetic, neurotic, spoiled, 13-year-old Cockapoo was wildly pulling on his leash, hence making it quite difficult to take a selfie.
Irony: The use of a word to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning
Example of Irony
I am developing an online digital program called VOICES to help people pleasers learn how to use their voice to speak up for themselves and set boundaries so that they will feel more confident and will stop secretly feeling resentful towards others.
My older brother Mark has special needs.
His “condition” has been called many things throughout the years; mildly retarded, learning disabled, cognitively challenged…
Mark lives in a 56-year-old body, but emotionally is a pre-teen who functions at a first-grade academic level.
His lot in life has been a big influence on both my life and my sister's’ life. She became a Special Needs Teacher and I became a Guidance Counselor.
We are both driven to help people.
These are my 5 favorite mantras.
1. Don’t “should” on me.
When someone tells me what I “should” or “shouldn’t do”, they are just revealing to me what’s important to them. It has absolutely nothing to do with me or my values.
This is THE most important principle my classmates and I were taught during Life Coach Training.
It means, every time we feel troubled about anything, we must sit down and self-coach ourselves.
Yesterday, I was depressed because I lost my voice.
This is what self-coaching looks like.
I am on a quest to learn how to use my voice, be more assertive, and state my opinions even when I know that other people are going to disagree or disapprove of me.
For a recovering Approval Seeking People Pleaser, this is hard work. It is way easier and more natural for me to nod in agreement, smile and stay silent so that the other people will like me.
I don’t believe in “have to’s” and “musts”. I believe in making progress and feeling happy and inspired by your goals, not pressured by them.
Picture this: bubbling champagne complemented by an artisanal cheese and toast board, sweet candied walnuts and wild mushroom crostinis with gruyere and micro greens, refreshing cold minted pea soup with creme fraiche and pea tendrils, tangy arugula salad with parmigiano reggiano drizzled with a lemon vinaigrette, lemon and dill salmon wrapped in parchment paper that is so tender it melts in your mouth, and chocolate pots de creme that makes even the most hard core chocolate addict weak in the knees. Now add seven smart, interesting, women with stories to share and opinions to be contemplated, and you have the makings of an incredible evening.
Let’s play the Word Association Game. I’ll say a word and you say the first thing that pops into your mind.
Ready? Here we go…
Okay, did you say some version of bliss? Or did you say some version of torture?
My sister Tobey and I longingly dreamed of winter days filled with basking in the sunshine (as opposed to freezing our asses off while bitching about how much we hated the cold). Of course, making a dream come true is easier said than done. Having the dream is the easy part, overcoming all of the obstacles that stand in the way is the hard part.
I marched in my very first protest.
People of all ages came.
Little girls yelled “Girl Power!”
Middle aged Pussycats roared their message.
Nasty Women dominated.
This is not a message of hope, but a message of understanding. The process of grief takes time. It cannot be rushed. You need to feel what you feel before you will be ready to move on.
While listening to my clients (whom I adore), I hear all kinds of interesting things: stories, histories, dreams, fears, and hopes.
But do you know what I hear most often? Lies.
My idea of a personal trainer: a screaming sadistic, hard-bodied czar who wears a slightly insane smile on her face because she actually gets pleasure out of tormenting her victims, I mean clients.
Want to know what comes between me and my Calvin?
Control top panty hose.
Spanx: “Higher Power Mid-Thigh Shaping Shorts”.
And a “Soma Vanishing Back Full Coverage Front Close Underwire Bra”
Underneath my “Illusion” dress, I was being squeezed and shaped by suffocating undergarments.
Do you worry that no matter how much money you make, that it is just not enough?
Do you think that you are never going to find true love?
Do you lay awake at night thinking that there is just not enough time to possibly get everything done that needs to get done?
Hurt. Anger. Disappointment. Confusion. Betrayal. Sadness. Frustration.
I hate these feelings! Why do they have to hurt so damn much? Why do we have to have them at all?
Why do people lose their joy? How do they get to the point of feeling stuck, numb, bored, or frustrated?
Have you ever been so deeply embedded in a situation or relationship that you thought there was no way out?
Are you worried that if you followed your heart’s deepest desire “Everybody” would think terrible things about you?