Recently, in my Celebrity Expert spot that will be on CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX affiliates across the country, Bob Guiney asked me if people are put off by my tattoos. I said that my work is about being yourself and living fully. So, whether people like them or not they at least show I am walking my talk!
The world is constantly going to give us feedback about ourselves, some of which is bound to not be positive.
One of the things that I see happen to my clients is that they sometimes get caught up in the idea that since they want to improve themselves that means there is something wrong with the way they are now and they should try and change as quickly as possible. They take negative feedback from others as sign that this is true. This way of thinking is very logical but not very accurate.
There does not need to be anything wrong with a flower for it to closed for a time before it blooms, right?
Sometimes the best way to move forward is to actually love and accept where we are when we are starting. Today’s starting point, was after all, a desired destination at one point in time whether or not we were conscious of it. And, where we are headed will one day be what we are eager to leave behind.
Then, of course, there are those parts of our self that we don’t like that never seem to change at all. For example, I can’t spell and I am often late. These are not my favorite traits but I can either love them or hate them but they are more likely than not going to be hanging around for a bit.
When we are confronted with parts of our self that we just do not like, it is helpful to remember that we are multifaceted people and that our strengths may actually need our weaknesses to be what they are. Who ever came up with the idea we were supposed to be without flaws anyway? Everyone has them and somehow they are still viewed as something that needs to be fixed.
What would happen in your life if you decided it is ok to have your flaws, weaknesses, and shortcomings?
One of the things that I always liked about the Greek gods is that they are all incredibly flawed. They were not powerful because they were perfect. They were powerful because that was the truth of who they were – flaws and all.
The best change comes from a loving unfolding of who we are in the world and a deep appreciation for the truth of who we are, every last bit of it.
It is human to avoid. This trait probably even predates homo sapiens, by about a zillion years. The creatures who stayed in their holes in the ground survived, while the ones who ventured outside were eaten. It ain’t survival of the fittest. It’s survival of the most anxious.
The survival strategy of remaining frozen in your burrow clearly works to a point, but when used willy-nilly, it becomes hard to get anything done. It leads to that old bug-a-boo, procrastination. Freud’s favorite word, neurotic, can be defined as using a survival strategy after its outlived its usefulness. This genetic atavism leads to the number one problem that people present in my psychotherapy office: “I know what I should do – I even know what I wanna do – why don’t I do it?”
This monumental impediment and its fix, especially around creativity, is the subject of Steven Pressfield’s terrific little book, The War of Art.
Pressfield uses another old Freudian word to describe the problem: resistance. This progress-stopper has been called by lots of names: the gremlin, the devil, maleficent, the underminer, the underdog. Like anyone who has encountered the power of the thing that prevents us from writing that novel, inventing that app, working to end sexual abuse, or losing that fifty pounds, Pressfield knows that this is an uncanny force of indomitable strength, that by all appearances has a life of its own.
Pressfield tells us that the first thing we need to do to beat this damn thing is to acknowledge its existence and understand its power. Stay close to your friends, but get closer to your enemies, kind of thing. In pithy, compelling, powerful, and entertaining chapters, Pressfield does as good a job as anyone describing just what this nasty little demon is like. If you want to know what’s getting in your way, you’ll find the answer here.
The author then goes on to give us the solution. It’s also pretty simple: do it anyway. This requires, just in the beginning, feeling fear. Avoidance, or resistance, happens so we don’t feel the fear. Instead, we feel indifference, boredom, tiredness, laziness, or we come up with all kinds of excuses – my toenail itches, it’s too cold outside, my mother wasn’t nice to me – rather than feel the fear that actually doing something involves. So, if you take action, you will be scared. After all, you, in all probability, will screw up and fail. But who cares? It’s not like you are going to get eaten by a saber-toothed tiger.
Once you get through that hard part, and you devote yourself to the daily work come hell-or-high-water, then, Pressfield tells us, a miraculous thing happens. Other forces – benevolent forces – come to our aid. The devil has us if we are sitting on the couch with our fingers up our noses. But the minute we just start and practice, something like God comes to visit.
Here, Pressfield is right on. He tells us not to wait for passion or inspiration, because it isn’t there in the beginning. We don’t get it for free. Inspiration is a gift we receive for hard work. It comes long after we begin.
I’ve watched these powers at work over and over again in my own, and others, lives, and I’ve tried to enlighten my clients about this about every way I could think of. But Pressfield lays it out better than I can manage. The only part I don’t like is when he tells people not to go to therapy! Having tried every technique against this formidable foe, I accept that there’s no magic formula to what is gonna hit the magic button for someone.
Just buying the book, and even reading it, is no guarantee of getting the message. When that inner critic is in force, he can even snark out Pressfield’s sage advice. But don’t listen to that cigar chomping skeptic that sits on your left shoulder who tells you that Pressfield doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Pressfield isn’t somebody who found it all easy and just gets to lord it over us mortals with his elephant poop wisdom. It took Pressfield seventeen years to have his inner breakthrough. And when he did, at fifty-two, he finally sold something. He wrote The Legend of Bagger Vance, which was turned into a movie directed by Robert Redford, starring Will Smith, Matt Damon, and Charlize Theron. Now, if that’s not a proof that miracles come to those who just keep doing it, I don’t know what is.
reblogged from www.glennberger.net Dr. Berger is a Dr. Berger is a psychotherapist, relationship counselor, business coach, artist coach, and young person’s mentor.
Making a positive impact in the world starts with our everyday actions and with a deep sense of caring for our own lives. Here are 10 simple and profound steps you can take today.
1. Be kind and generous: In every moment of every day it is possible to change someone’s life. Sometimes, it is as simple as just being kind. Whenever you have an opportunity to go the extra mile for someone – take it.
2. Be clear about what does and does not work for you: People cannot work with you if they do not know what you are all about. If you are always compromising yourself, you will not be as effective. Be honest and direct about what you are willing to take part in.
3. Be your full self: Holding back because you think that is what others want is not helpful to anyone. You would not be who you are if it was not needed. Expressing yourself authentically may cause waves at first, but in the end it will surround you with the people and circumstances that truly reflect your inner experience.
4. Let others be their full selves: The same goes for anyone else. If you think others need to be different, you are wrong. Let people be who they really are. If you don’t like it, figure out how to work with it. One of the most generous and healthy things we can do is just let others be themselves.
5. Say thank you: People love to be appreciated. Let them know when you are grateful. When you do, you are more likely to keep receiving these positive things.
6. Look for ways to give back: Don’t lose track of making a contribution. No matter where you find yourself in your life, you can give back in a way that helps others.
7. Tip well and tip often: If you have money — and some might argue that this is true even if you don’t have money — make sure to support the people who Support the things you believe in: Purchase what you want to support. Spend your time doing what you want to support. Talk about the things you want to support. You get the picture?
8. Care for your health: It is hard to be our best selves when we are under the weather or treating our bodies badly. When we are not taking care of our physical self it spills over to the rest of our life and then to the others around us. Conversely, when you care for your body you not only are inspiring example to others, you will have more energy to give back.
9. Really listen: Most people are not listened to enough. Pay attention to them and let them know they are important. When you really listen to others you increase your connection and consequently your appreciation of others.
10. Focus: Know what you want to create and how you can help others. Then do it. Most everything else is a waste of time.
Want more ways to make your life and the world around you change for the better? Write me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a time to talk about what next steps are right for you!
I am writing you from 30,000 feet. It is 10pm and I got delayed. I should have arrived three hours ago. I’ve been doing a lot of travel this week and am hungry so naturally I am up here in the air thinking reflecting on unhappiness!
Clearly, the airline and airports made a few mistakes to get me here but the most bothersome part of the flight delay that let to my missing my next flight is that during the whole thing no one even showed an ounce of compassion. I swear they were all Zombies. I get it – airline employees deal with so many problems in the course of the day. But the degree to which these people were unhappy with their jobs and unhappy with me by proxy was astounding. So I want to focus this week on joy.
At any given time, there can be one or more parts of your life that you are less than totally satisfied with. Some of this has to do with the continual changes that we are going through –what once worked now does not. However, sometimes we never had satisfaction to begin with.
If you do not take care of what is making you unhappy, you will find yourself shutting down more and more –turning into an emotional zombie. There are some rules of thumb when it comes to being a happier person that can never hurt for us to be reminded of.
Know that you are 100% responsible for your life –every last bit of it. It may seem like this is a recipe for misery but it is a crucial component in being happier in every moment.
Take care of the things that are not working for you. When your engine light comes on, if you do not take your car to the shop it is only going to get worse from there on. Your life is the same.
Be kind to people – including yourself. This is the reminder that I got from the people in the airport. Even if you are in a bad mood, do your best to find it in yourself to be authentically nice to all the people you encounter.
These three steps alone will help you feel more energetic, joyful, and help you feel alive as you go through your life.
Do you know that the above changes can make you happier but not sure HOW? Consider working with me and get the tools and support you need to create change! www.katesiner.com
Wow, I am really having a really busy time right now! I am writing this newsletter standing up at my kitchen counter scarfing down tangerines because I haven’t had time for a real meal. I know that I am often talking about balance but sometimes regardless of what you do you still need to sprint at full speed and this is one of those times.
Not only is it the holidays but I am working on a finishing up an new image for my business, making my national network TV debut , and starting my own radio show. In case you have to ask, that is a lot of work! 2014 is going out with a BANG or maybe that is better said with a ZOOM.
What I am really grateful at when I am this busy is how well I am supported. Not just by others but also by myself. It has taken time to put my life together so that I can persist and thrive even when I am in such a busy time!
I know Thanksgiving was two weeks ago but there is never a time where gratitude is unimportant. Today I want to talk about gratitude for support.
This last Thursday I was at the Massachusetts Conference for Women. There were literally thousands of women in attendance and the message I kept hearing as I connected with people is “It is so good to be here because I feel so much support.”. I think most of us were on a high to see so many women stepping up for themselves and for the world and to feel that we are doing it together, each in our own way.
If you have every found yourself thinking that you did something all by yourself, whether you felt proud or lonely, you were wrong. While it is so important to acknowledge our own efforts, the bottom line is that we never succeed without the help of others. NEVER! As a matter of fact, there is really no aspect of our life that is untouched by another person.
That being said it might be helpful to take a moment and think about who is in our corner. Maybe it is time to let them know how grateful you are for their support. Take a few moments this week to go out of your way to notice the support you get from others and acknowledge them for their efforts.
I would like to lead by example:
First, a deep debt of gratitude goes out to my sister and right hand woman. Not only has she helped me advance my business but she is also a continual inspiration to me. I am certain I would not be the person I am today if she were not a part of my life –and I also forget many less appointments which simply cannot be overrated!
My second debt of gratitude is for my friends. It is a blessing to have the phone ring and hear a voice that has been a part of my life for years or even decades. Nothing beats laughing with someone who has seen you through both the good and the bad times.
Clearly that is just barely the beginning of a long list of people who have made my life what it is, made ME possible. As I said things are crazy busy and I am still standing here still writing this, finishing my tangerines. But now I am smiling. I may be busy and at moments stressed but I know I have the ability to face any challenge that comes my way because of my awesome support.
Last week, my husband and I went to an Aimee Mann show. We’ve seen her perform before, and she was as wonderful as ever.
During that show, I had an epiphany about myself, my sacred work, and my business that I wanted to share with you because the questions it raised and answered are truly VITAL to any business owner out there.
If you aren’t familiar with Aimee Mann, she is a musician who has been around for over 20 years now with a successful and long-term career. Her music is deep and soulful and really full of rich content, melodies, and ideas. She has had a few “bigger” hits, but for the most part her work has received a ton of critical acclaim and a consistent following of loyal fans, without making it to the Top 10 on the charts.
At the show, for whatever reason, I started comparing it to what I imagine a Lady Gaga show would be like:
Aimee wasn’t playing in an arena with thousands of seats. Instead, the theatre held about 500 filled seats and I know she sells out to crowds of about 500 every night of her tour. There weren’t flashy light shows, but instead gorgeous stained-glass windows that were lit up in the theatre. Aimee didn’t have back-up singers or dancers or change outfits 10 times throughout the show. She spoke directly to her audience and told pertinent stories about her life. She joked around with her audience. She put on no pretenses and even came out on stage to play a few songs with her opening act before her set, not worrying that this was some kind of showman’s faux pas.
And then I paused. And I looked around the theatre at the fans that were in a trance with the beauty and power of the show. And I realized something so obvious, yet so important:
Aimee Mann isn’t Lady Gaga, and probably doesn’t want to be.
Meaning: her music simply wouldn’t make sense in a huge arena. It would get lost in there. In this more intimate setting, it was much more powerful. And, it didn’t seem Aimee needed to be in front of more folks or having thousands upon thousands of audience members present. It appeared that everyone at that show was there because they absolutely loved her – they were loyal, devoted fans, not passing audience members momentarily getting sucked into big name hits. It was clear she was delivering so much value in that evening, and she loved doing it.
And that realization brought me to an even deeper one: When it comes to my own business, I have a choice about what I want. My choice is to be more like Aimee Mann than Lady Gaga.
My work is deep and powerful and intimate, and right now it fits better in a “theatre” than in a “stadium”. I’m not interested in droves of strangers unfamiliar with me and my work being in the room. I prefer a loyal following of engaged women who really want to do the work and really resonate with my message. I’m interested in long-term relationships with my clients instead of temporary fans, and I am committed to being myself and showing up authentically, without any pretenses, no matter what.
I admit, it’s sometimes easy to get lured into the image of being a larger-than-life superstar, to think I want a flashy business with a million followers. But when I really connect in to my heart and soul and what I want for myself, my work and my personal life, it’s so clear to me that being a “larger-than-life” super-coach guru isn’t my calling. At least not for right now. ☺
That doesn’t mean that I don’t strive to create more or more visibility. Of course I do. But I do it knowing where I fit best, how I serve best, and being in control of how I want my business & life to look instead of an empty longing for a stardom that doesn’t really suit me.
Now, I’m not saying that Aimee Mann is better than Lady Gaga. Not by a long shot.
What I’m saying is that it is so valuable to get clear on who you are and who you want to be, and live by that. If you reach into your heart and find that you truly are a Lady Gaga, then YAY! Strive for that and go for it.
But if you reach into your heart and find that you’re an Aimee Mann or a Madeleine Peyroux or a street performer or anything else – EMBRACE it. Love it. Take joy and pleasure in knowing that you know who you are and set goals that reflect it. Don’t blindly yearn or strive for the biggest or grandest business ever just because you’ve been told that’s what’s best.
Know yourself. Be yourself. Appreciate all the diversity and paths that are available. And take pleasure in who you are.
Joanna Lindenbaum is the founder of Soulful Coaching for busy women. She believes with every fiber in my being that women have the power to transform the world. Because of this, she coaches busy women who are looking to nourish their creativity and take their lives to the next level.
Creativity isn’t a physical product: a story, a painting, a wreath. Acquiring the skill to make items takes practice. Creativity, on the other hand, takes a commitment to a certain mindset. As Robert Henri put it “The object is not to make art, but to be in that state which makes art inevitable.”
Creativity is the intangible quality of being able intelligently synthesize concepts in a fresh way. But how can access this place of innovation and new thinking?
Here are some tips that may help out when things seem stagnant:
Be playful. That’s the first rule. Creativity will not flow freely from an uptight, unwilling source. Don’t be afraid to be irreverent or silly, or to create something that is not your best. Looking at your life or business from a playful attitude may help you see things in a new light.
Embrace failures. You’re going to have ideas that flat out will not work. But that doesn’t mean that parts of your ideas aren’t useful or can’t be recycled for later projects. Don’t give up after just one draft of an idea, but whatever you do, don’t force bad ideas to happen. Instead, put them aside and you may reinvent them later.
Keep a record. Write it. Draw it. Record it. Whatever you do, make sure you take note of the things you’ve done and keep these notes in a central location. It helps you gain creative momentum. Once you see the great ideas you’ve come up with, it gives you the confidence to keep pushing them further. Keeping a creative journal can help you draw from past, unused ideas and watch yourself progress. It doesn’t have to be fancy or even intelligible by other people. As long as you know what your shorthand means, your notes are invaluable.
Try something new. I’m sure you have heard the quote “Same actions get same results.” So, when in search of creative thinking, try something (anything!) new. Attempting new things may shed new light on the things you’re interested in. The more versatile you become, the more experience you’re able to use to leverage your creativity.
Flâner. A French word meaning, “to walk around aimlessly without a plan.” (It actually means something closer to I would like to meet/stroll around with you). The phrase has roots in the actions of 19th century writers, who would would leisurely loaf around Paris seemingly without purpose. However, this downtime has two purposes: you can draw inspiration from taking in the world around you, and you can let the ideas in your head marinate and mature. Take a break from your hard work and nap. Drink a cup of tea and watch a thunderstorm. Loaf around and be with your thoughts. Some of the most creative ideas come when you focus on yourself, or even when you focus on nothing at all.
Cultivating a creative mind takes some effort. Challenge yourself. The more you can put yourself in a space of creativity, the more you can imagine greater potentials for your life or business. And what you can dream, you can do!
There is something both comforting and beautiful about the end of the year rituals of our holiday celebrations. No matter what you choose to celebrate, each year we return to what we expect to be the same events – perhaps this is a party or meal, purchasing gifts or attending certain religious or spiritual ceremonies.
With the beautiful parts, we also return to the less beautiful – for some of us this is the stress of family, or loneliness, or financial burden. Because of this, it is a perfect time to work toward change. Instead of accepting these stresses as a given, an unavoidable part of the season, what could be different?
How can you use this time of year to grow your sense of how GOOD your life can be?
Below are 18 tips from www.greatist.com to help you reframe many a potentially stressful holiday situation.
Let It Go. For many families, the holidays are the only time everyone is in the same place for more than a hot second. What better time to bring up a forgotten birthday, an unpaid debt, or a longstanding childhood feud, right? Um, no. If you can’t let go of an old grudge (and please, please try), don’t turn a holiday gathering into an airing of grievances. If forgiving someone just isn’t possible at the moment, put on a smile and focus on other matters.
Stand Tall. Being around family has a way of making us revert to our childhood selves. Resist the urge to whine at Mom, fight with siblings about the remote, and, most importantly, defer to others about your own life. Grandma might not approve of your job or lifestyle choices, but when you’re an adult your life is your business. Don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself. Go With the Flow. Someone forgot the dip, a baby cousin wailed through dinner, and the dogs ate the leftover roasted chicken. A big holiday gathering can bring out the control freak in many people, but resist the urge to make everything Pinterest-worthy. Relax and breathe, and remember that next year no one will remember the time you dropped the Christmas pudding (Okay, we can’t promise that. They might remember. But it’ll be a lot more fun if you laugh along — because c’mon, it’s pretty funny).
Be Self-ish. Nobody likes to hear it, but each person can only control his or her own behavior. Stop trying to make Mom more cosmopolitan or Grandpa less nostalgic. The holidays will be much less strained for everyone if each person only worries about his or her own actions. Of course, with a meddling family this can sometimes feel impossible, but focus on being your best self.
Privacy Please. Don’t be afraid to answer a prying question with “none of your beeswax.” Every family member doesn’t need to know every detail of your life, especially if it’s something you’re not comfortable sharing. So, sorry Cousin Jenny, I’m not going to talk about why I quit my job.
Act Like Santa. Getting everything on a holiday wish list is great, but keep expectations within reason. Avoid disappointment by focusing on the act of giving and people’s reactions to those gifts. Better yet, donate time and money to a worthier cause than your shoe collection.
Get Moving. When the urge to run out the door strikes, listen to it! Heading out for a walk or jog in the brisk air can improve any mood and give you some much-needed space from pesky relatives. Plus, getting blood pumping can reduce stress hormones like cortisol in the body.
Do It Yourself. Taking on a specific project or responsibility can give you a boost of energy and motivation to do something besides watch reality TV while counting the hours until you can leave. Instead of loafing around in the kitchen, stay busy by helping with chores like collecting cans for a food drive, taking the recycling to the dump, or restocking the fridge.
Put the Bottle Down. Sipping on spiked eggnog or a hot buttered rum is part of the fun, but it’s no surprise that alcohol + crowded rooms + family grudges = a whole lot of drama. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and makes some people more aggressive, so making sure no one gets too friendly with the wine bottle is a good way to keep the peace.
Follow the Leader. When someone else is running the show, stay on the sidelines. Nobody likes a know-it-all cousin trying to steal their thunder, so let Uncle Jim teach Dad how to carve the ham, even if you have a better technique up your sleeve. Besides, trying to take on too much is a recipe for a stressful holiday meltdown.
Mind Over Matter. Feeling really overwhelmed? Find a private space and do some basic meditation to get back on track. Mindfulness meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety. Check out these 10 ways to meditate every day.
Mix it Up. If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to suggest an alternative. If everybody just picks at the traditional roast goose at Christmas dinner, try chicken or ham or even a show-stopping vegetarian dish. Just because someone always hosts the big event or brings a certain dish doesn’t mean they want to do so indefinitely. When planning for the holidays, make sure no one feels forced to carry on a tradition they don’t particularly like.
Zip It. As the old saying goes, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything. Let old conflicts gather dust and don’t create new ones by haranguing relatives and kvetching about little things like who brewed the weak coffee.
Positive Pals. Hang out with people who make you feel good about yourself. Spend the most time with supportive relatives and just catch up briefly with others. There’s no reason to be constantly surrounded by negative influencers. And if a conversation is driving you bonkers, simply stand up and leave the room.
The Power of No. Take a lesson from the classic holiday movie “Home Alone” and play to your strengths. No one can do everything, so don’t feel guilty about saying “no.” If you hate cooking, don’t let yourself get roped into hosting a festive dinner. Bring wine or decorations to someone else’s party instead!
Pace Yourself. If you’re scheduled to attend two or three holiday parties every day, consider taking a step back. When seasonal commitments pile up, it’s easy to wind up overbooked. Though friends and family will miss you if you ditch an event, it’s important to take care of yourself first and foremost. Set some boundaries around what you do and do not have energy for, and stick to them to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Keep it Real. Holiday treats are great, but you’ll probably feel better if you don’t drink eggnog like it’s water. As tough as it may be when traveling, try to stick to some semblance of a healthy routine. Allow yourself those holiday indulgences, but remember to also eat fruits and veggies and keep active for your own peace of mind. Incorporating aspects of normal routines can make that weeklong stay in a childhood bedroom a little easier.
Love Is All Around. At the end of the day, remember what the holidays are really about. Family members meddle because they love you, annoying traditions exist to bring people together, and everyone (even grumpy salespeople) just wants to be home for the holidays. When family-induced stress threatens to crush you, take a minute to think about the bigger picture and give thanks for what what’s often taken for granted. Focus on what’s going right or went right in the past year instead of what’s wrong. The holidays are a great time to practice gratitude.