DON’T TALK THAT WAY TO SOMEONE I CARE ABOUT!!

Sometimes I hear the shit my clients say about or to themselves, and I want to just scream. STOP BEING A BULLY!! DON’T TALK THAT WAY TO SOMEONE I CARE ABOUT!!

Bullying pretty much means to use strength or influence to intimidate someone to do something. It’s considered abusive when we see it in children, right? I’m serious. We can be so mean to ourselves.

Instead of screaming, I ask my client why she is being a bully. The answer is usually one of these three things 1) I don’t know 2) I hadn’t noticed it or 3) I’m trying to motivate myself to be better.

These answers are bullshit. That doesn’t mean they aren’t true, they’re just nonsense. You do know why you do it and you do notice.  You aren’t trying to be mean, you’re just trying to be better. Your intentions are good, but it’s still a bullshit habit that doesn’t even work. If it did, you’d be skinny/have your PhD/be perfect already, right?

We could spend some time trying to figure out where you learned this habit. Is that your mother’s voice you hear? Or a teacher? Or a swimming coach? Somewhere, you went from helpful critique to constant criticism.

But let’s cut to the chase: if you know it doesn’t work, why do you choose to keep doing it?  Because you don’t know what else to do? Aha!  What if I told you that you will get better results if you’re nicer to yourself? Really!! You don’t need to be afraid that you’ll fall apart if you slack off on the yelling.

Think about it.  Now that you’re a grownup, how do you like to motivate people? Is it by yelling at them and telling them what a failure they are? No, of course not. Is it by love and support and challenge and gentle correction? Giving feedback in a supportive and non-judgmental way? I thought so.

Why not try it on yourself? Pay attention to what you say to yourself. If the words aren’t what you would say to someone you love, don’t say them to yourself. Find new things to say to someone I care about – YOU!

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Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

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Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

What’s This Tapas for the Soul Stuff?

Five years ago I started my coaching practice. I picked the name “Tapas for Your Soul” for my company, because it really spoke to me in so many ways. I took a slight detour – in both niche and name – but I’m back to my coaching roots! I have had a few questions about the name, so I thought I’d explain in a blog!

There are two meanings to the word “Tapas” that are relevant. In Spanish cuisine, tapas are small bites or small plates, which allow you to taste many different dishes. In Sanskrit, Tapas means deep meditation in an effort to achieve self-realization. Both work for me!

In life we often behave as if we’re in our favorite restaurant.  We order the same thing over and over.  Not because we don’t like other things, we just don’t step out of our comfort zone to try new things.  It’s easier to go with our tried and true favorites. Sometimes we think we won’t like something, even if we haven’t tried it.

We get stuck. We don’t know how to get unstuck. We think we need to make big changes, but that just seems so overwhelming!

I think the key to getting unstuck is to try little bites of things that interest you. Fill up your plate with samples of things to feed your mind, heart, body, soul and spirit. Whet your appetite. Try lots of things until you find the thing(s) that really move you.  Move you forward. Feed your soul.

Life coaching is all about achieving self-realization, living our most full and best life.

Blogs are like intellectual tapas – little thought bites. I love variety, so a meal made up of appetizers is ideal. And a company made up of tapas is just plain awesome!

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Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

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Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

What you did for love….

What do you do – or not do – just so people will like you? Do you have any idea?

Are you a people pleaser? Even just a little bit maybe? Do you even know?

This isn’t a rhetorical question.  I am asking if you know this about yourself.  There are lots of tools and quizzes and articles to help you understand, and some of them are very good. Some are silly. Some will make you think you have deep seated issues…

Maybe you are just very, very kind, polite, nice, considerate, agreeable, patient, flexible, etc.

Okay. But maybe you resent always being the one who apologizes. Maybe you feel restricted not being able to give your opinion.

I think it’s pretty useful to understand how much you let other people’s opinions – real or imagined – shape your life. You aren’t bad or stupid or weak if you’re more of a people pleaser than you would like to be – this is a no judgment zone. It’s just good information, and knowledge is power, right?

If you want to change your degree of People Pleaser-ness, you’re going to have to do some work. It’s all gonna be in your head – you’re going to have to change the way you think about some things, including yourself.

Here are a few prompts, to start the thinking ball rolling:

  • What if nobody cares very much about what you do?
  • What if they aren’t judging you at all?
  • If they do care, what if they are wrong about you? No, really. So what?
  • What if you really are good and kind and polite and patient, no matter what anyone else thinks?
  • What if people like you (or don’t like you) no matter what you do, because they have their own stuff?
  • What really happens if you speak your opinion, choose which movie to see, say “no thank you” if you want or fail to apologize for things that aren’t your fault?

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Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

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Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

Fear isn’t an Excuse. It’s an Emotion. Or Your GPS

Why didn’t I try this sooner? I was afraid.

Why didn’t I want to admit how I felt? I was scared.

Why didn’t I take a chance? Fear.

Why didn’t I raise my hand to volunteer? I panicked.

As if fear were a reason.

As if being afraid was a good reason not to do something.

I’m tempted to say that fear isn’t a reason, it’s an excuse. But you know what? Fear isn’t even an excuse. It’s just an emotion.  It’s an unpleasant emotion, sure. Sometimes fear is useful – like when it gives us that shot of adrenalin that allows us to move quickly out of the way of that car backing up.

But fear is not useful when we use it as an excuse not to do something.

Fear is an emotion. We feel fear because we think that something bad is going to happen.

57.725% of the time, what we fear is actually ANOTHER EMOTION!! We fear being vulnerable, being hurt, being embarrassed, feeling stupid, invisible, hopeless, sad…you fill in the blank. (yes, I made that number up)

We experience emotions. They will not kill us. They might be uncomfortable, sure, but they are the stuff that makes up our human experience – the pleasant and the unpleasant emotions alike. If you sit through an emotion – even an unpleasant one – you will see that it will pass. It just does.

Why do we waste so much time being afraid of feeling emotions? Our brain is trying to protect us, of course. But we’re grown-ups now, and we don’t need as much protection as our brain thinks.

Consider this: Fear just might be useful information – or not – but you are the one who gets to decide what you will or won’t do. You can decide to be brave, right?

My teacher describes fear as our GPS – telling us exactly where we should go, because that’s where our next challenge is. Love.

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Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

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Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

Would You Like a Personal Assistant?

Wouldn’t you just love to have a personal assistant? Someone to do your research and prep and help you evaluate options and clean up your mind and help motivate you and gently remind you of things and suggest new ideas or whatever else you’d like help with?

Well, you have one. She’s right inside your head. Kinda like with angels, you just have to ask for help. Oh, and give her some instructions, of course.

I have one, and I call her my Intentional Assistant. She lives inside my brain.  I give her some tasks to do and tell her when I’d like them done…and it’s almost like magic. I’m not kidding. You know that you can do that, too, right?

Your brain loves to solve problems. It just needs you to give it an assignment, and it will work away in the background. You know how when you can’t remember the name of the kid who sat next to you in 5th grade, but you know your brain will wake you up at 2:00 am with the answer – it’s like that. But when you actually harness your brain for good, the power is astounding.

I start my clients out with the assignment to create their own Intentional Assistant, and the results are really wonderful. The first assignment is to watch what happens during the week, and to tee up insights before our next call. It’s amazing how many clients say that it works. Then they assign their IA the task of watching out for thought errors, or outdated beliefs or to remind them to stop being a bully to themselves or some other wonderful job.  The more she’s assigned, the more she delivers!

It’s awesome having an assistant. You should try it!

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Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

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Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

It’s So Damned Loud in Here

I have to confess. I don’t really like bars. Or festivals. They are so loud. I can’t hear myself think.

There are so many people with all of their emotions and insecurities and body language and voices… that couple over there fighting… that insecure girl talking herself into starting a conversation… that child shouting because she doesn’t want to (okay, probably not in the bar)… that bully over there trying to make himself feel better… that mom telling her daughter to stop slouching and get off her phone and that she doesn’t need the fries… that pompous ass pontificating over there….and and and. It’s just so loud. I’m miserable.

Wait. All of that was going on inside my own head. Seriously. I remember each of those voices – and more. And ugh. All they are talking about is me. Me. My bad choices. My inability to make good choices. My track record of choices. What people think of me. What people might think of me. What if I? Should I? why did I? OMG, did I really?

And even more embarrassing, most of the conversation was about food. Or my weight. Seriously, like that is worth talking about non-stop at high volume? Does everyone need to weigh in on the topic? Shut the F*ck Up!

I truly did not know how noisy, how relentless it was in there, until it stopped.

I didn’t know how wonderful the peace and quiet could be.

For me, I pretty much had to take the topic of food off the table. (For you, it might be a different topic.) And to do that, I had to reduce the number of micro-decisions I asked my brain to make in the moment – because that crowd really loves to weigh in on every decisions. Everyone’s got an opinion.

So 14 months ago, I started planning what I was going to eat ahead of time. Super simple, but incredibly effective. No decision = no conversation. Magic.

I’ve included a planning component in my new peaceful weight loss program, because quiet is a vital component. That’s why peace and quiet go together

How much noise do you have going on in your head? Do you even know?

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Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

*****

Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

Just EXPECT Miracles

I believe in miracles. I see evidence for them everywhere. EVERYWHERE!

I tell all of my clients to expect miracles. Not to merely hope, wish, pray or wait for a miracle – nothing less than expectation.

Expectation is a strong belief that something will happen, or will be the case in the future.  According to me, (and many other wise people)“a belief is simply a thought that you’ve thought so many times that your brain believes it. To teach yourself to expect miracles, you simply have to think the thought “a miracle will happen” over and over.  You WILL. Believe and you’ll start seeing evidence everywhere.

What is a miracle, though? I have a pretty simple definition. A miracle is something wonderful that happens even when we don’t know how to make it happen. Yet.

Miracles usually unfold. They are usually the result of a series of action and events.

When we look forward at something we want very much, but have no idea how to get there, we get overwhelmed. We know that it will take a miracle- so expect one.

Looking forward – when we have no idea how we could ever get there – a miracle seems mysterious and magical and in need of some kind of divine intervention or inspiration. True.

Looking back, after the miracle has happened, we can see the series of actions we took to make it happen (along with some happy “coincidences”). It might be tempting to explain away the magic of the miracle, simply because we can now deconstruct it. But don’t fall into that trap – now we have hindsight, so it seems obvious. Not mysterious. But remember, it wasn’t obvious when we started out. When we started out, we had no idea, so we needed a miracle – and that’s what we got.

Okay, look back at your life. Look for those times where you had no idea at the beginning of something…yet still, it happened. See, there’s lots of evidence of miracles! Expect more miracles! Lots of them.

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Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

*****

Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

View from Inside: Portlandia the Musical

I’ve decided that I’ll periodically give you a view from inside (my brain). Not because I’m unusual… just the opposite…because my brain works the same way yours does. It’s kind of convenient that I can observe what’s going on inside there, because then I can share it.

I’m a choral singer. I’m pretty decent. I’m in several groups of varying styles and skill sets. I love to sing, and I love to sing in ensembles, because I really love how it sounds and feels when a group clicks, and how lost you can get in the music- together.

I noticed recently that I was spending a lot of time in this one group, during rehearsals, complaining inside my head. Here comes the toddler voice, right?  I hate this song. Why can’t we get this? I hate this piece. Didn’t anyone else practice? I do not like this style of music. Who wrote this? Why do we have to do this piece? It’s hard.

Wow! That’s a lot of whining and misery for something I love, right? Thinking those thoughts, I was feeling pretty crappy: resentful, obstinate, resistant.  Did I want to stop singing? Oh hell no. So how could I make this better? Uh, duh. Stop thinking those crappy thoughts. Right? Because they’re totally optional. I can actually think whatever I want.

I decided to do an experiment. There was one piece I really did hate. No way I was going to change my mind on that. And I wouldn’t believe it if I told myself differently. But that wasn’t my only option. I needed a better feeling thought that I actually believed…hmm, what could that be?

The first thing I tried was humor. I started making fun of the piece in my head, and envisioning it as a scene from Portlandia, if it were a musical (hence the title of this blog). Nope, that didn’t work. While I was amused, I still resented having to work on it. Try again.

I landed on I don’t need to love a piece to be able to sing it well, because I’m that good. Yes, I can believe that. Yes, it feels very different to think that thought – capable and challenged (in a good way).

Voila! I got through that concert season without any more resentment, and actually improved my own skills in the process. BTW, I did not learn to love the piece. I did not even learn to like it. But I was still able to bring my best to the challenge, and to love the concert experience in spite of that one piece. I look forward to the opportunity to try the exercise again – but only occasionally!

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Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

*****

Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

What a Shift Looks Like from the Inside

The shit we tell ourselves. Sheesh. I’m doing this challenge to write 30 blogs in 30 days. Here’s what I heard inside my head: “I don’t know if I can do that. I’m so busy. What if I don’t have that many ideas. I don’t know how. I’ve never done it before. I don’t know if I can find my voice. Should I swear? What if they don’t like me?”

But I’m doing this challenge…and I can do hard. So I look around for something to think that feels better than all that noise up above. “Wait…I’ve written three books (duh). Blogs are just a page, maybe even shorter. I loved writing my books. I love writing. Really, really love it.”

“And I love coaching. Really, really love it.”

“I’ll write a coaching blog. I love every word in that sentence. I’m gonna love this month!”

And suddenly everything has changed. I’m 5 blogs in and can barely stop myself to get up and pee, even though I really need to… just let me finish this paragraph first.

I don’t have to do this every day for the net 30 days. I just did it once. Because, SHIFT.

So that’s what a shift looks life from the inside. I’ve written about a shift before. It’s like a whole chapter in one of my books. But there’s a really good saying: “If I had more time, I’d have written a shorter letter.” I have plenty of time…but that’s the subject of another shift!

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Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

*****

Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

The Struggle is Real…..I call Bullsh*t

How often do you hear yourself use the word “struggle”? Or a better question is this: how many times do you say it and not even hear yourself?  Who said that anything  worth doing is worth the struggle? Bullsh*t.

Struggling is not heroic. Struggling is permission to be stuck. Struggling stops us from succeeding.

How do you feel when you say that you are struggling? That’s a big hint right there. For me, struggling doesn’t feel good. I don’t feel strong or successful or focused. I don’t have a whole lot of belief that I’m going to succeed. For me, I’ve learned that when I say I’m struggling, I’m saying it to myself in a kind of whiny little girl voice. Like I really wanna quit because it’s haaaard.

Here’s the deal – the struggle is inside your head. It’s your brain telling you that this is too hard. It’s dangerous. You’re probably going to fail. You’d be much better off (translation: safer) if you just stop trying. Stop struggling. Go back!

It makes sense that our brain would try to protect us – that’s one of its main jobs, right? But that same little girl can also stomp her foot and say “you’re not the boss of me” – and that’s actually who I want in charge right now. When my brain tells me I’m struggling and I should quit, I want to say that I’m in charge and I’m not going to quit.  I want to say that this is just uncomfortable because it’s hard, but I DO HARD!

Now how does it feel when you think I can do hard? Totally different than struggle, right? Strong? Determined? Committed? Hell yeah, I’m gonna do this!

And how are you gonna show up when you feel strong and determined? That’s right – you’re gonna be wearing your superhero cape!

So next time you hear yourself saying that you’re struggling, call BS and stop saying it. Change how you think about it. Tell yourself that yes, it’s uncomfortable – of course it is, because it’s hard. But I can do hard! See what happens, and tell me about it!

BTW, everything here applies to the word “trying,” too. Any others?

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Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

*****

Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!