A war of words is still war…

I’ve really noticed lately how much conflict language there is around these days. Maybe it’s always been there and I haven’t noticed. But I notice it now, and I’m on a…I almost said “rampage”…mission to change things.

It’s everywhere and it shapes how we think about things.

The language of conflict implies a battle, requiring winners and losers.

It evokes inner thoughts and feelings of struggle and fighting and pushing other people out of the way and fierce competition.

It feeds hidden beliefs, because it’s language we just take for granted, we don’t even notice it. Monsters and demons and enemies.

It’s meant to motivate us, right? And it does. Slaying. Epic. Bad-ass.  So prevalent in the business world. In media.

We get used to things when we are exposed to them over and over again. Sometimes it’s wonderful. Take TV for example. I think it was a lot easier for some Americans to elect a black president after seeing David Palmer on 24 – even if it was on Fox! Or how we don’t even notice it anymore when a female character talks about her wife.

But exposure isn’t always wonderful, and I think that over exposure to the language of conflict numbs us to the impact and meaning of that language.

“Kill two birds with one stone.” Why not “Feed 10 cows in one pasture?”  What others come to mind?

Words matter. Be aware. Choose wisely.

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love and light,

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Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace. A mini session is a short coaching session, where we can talk about what’s holding you back and what you can do about it. What do you have to lose? Literally!

There is nothing like STRONG

Time for a little confession. It’s not an accident that this post follows the one about guilt being a poison, because I think guilt is the toxin that started this phase of the story, but it isn’t the point of this particular chapter, so we’ll just let it sit in the corner by itself…guilt, you just sit there and think about what you did. Leave us alone. We’re busy.

About a year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with melanoma, and an ugly one had to be removed from my leg right away.

I’m an amazing healer. I have a history of healing in record time and amazing all the doctors and nurses and physios. I’m pretty much used to it.

So I had the surgery a year ago June. All good, all clear, no more cancer. But I didn’t heal well. The site opened up as soon as the stitches were out. It got infected. Really infected and wasn’t responsive to antibiotics.  I had an open wound for 6 months with weekly wound care appointments. The body doesn’t like open wounds, by the way. It wants to be whole.

During that time, I couldn’t really be more active than gentle walking, maybe a little stationery biking. I had to be pretty sedentary. Not my way at all.

Around November, I was remarking to my wound care nurse that this was so unlike me, to not be healing faster. She said, “Well, that’s just because you’re getting older and your body starts deteriorating.” I was stunned. I had to tell her that I didn’t believe that. I don’t believe that there’s any evidence that says aging HAS TO BE a process of declining health. When I said it out loud, I realized that I needed to hear that. I finished up the rest of the healing pretty quickly.

The next part is what’s really awesome. I had been pretty sedentary for a while now. I didn’t like it. I gradually started increasing my activity. Then one day in March I just decided it was time. I started playing around with exercise. I started with cardio. At first I had to modify things a lot, but I really did see rapid improvement in my flexibility and endurance. By June I was ready to go all in and start lifting and HIIT again. It’s August, and I’m lifting more than I ever have before. Ever.

There is nothing like STRONG. That’s the feeling I want all the time – for all my life, up to the very last second.

Strong isn’t just physical. It’s confident and brave and powerful and comfortable. It’s authentic and connected and loving. There’s no judgment in strong. Strong is accepting and open and vulnerable. Strong is a belief system. Strong is incredibly grounded, and yet fierce.

Yes, for me having a healthy and strong body is a big component of Strong, but it’s not the only piece.  I completely understand why communities claim strength after a traumatic event, like #SonomaStrong after the fires last year.

STRONG = Life Force.

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love and light,

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Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace. A mini session is a short coaching session, where we can talk about what’s holding you back and what you can do about it. What do you have to lose? Literally!

BS Files: #4 Anything worth doing is worth doing well

The BS Files are kinda like the X-files – full of myths and urban legends and mysterious things. I feel that it is my duty to tackle them (occasionally). Because, you know, the truth is out there…it feels like time to return to the case files.

Here’s Case #4. Anything worth doing is worth doing well.  Bullsh*t!

Oh this little sucker had it’s teeth in me for a long time! It’s the perfectionist’s theme song.

It’s also much loved by procrastinators.  I remember hearing my dad say this a lot when I was growing up. He thought he was instilling a great work ethic in his kids. What he was doing was setting an example of how to not ever finish anything – he was really good at that. Actually, he was even better at never starting anything. Because, you know, to do it well was going to take a long time.

When I started writing my first book, I was sure that it was going to take a long time, lots of rewrites and be really hard. Because, of course, I wanted to do it well.  I wanted it to be perfect.

Before I began writing, my editor spent a lot of time prepping me. She said to always write forward. Keep moving, keep learning. Finish. You can always come back to rewrite. But this is the most important thing: a book that is perfectly written, but only 3/4 finished and unpublished is not helping a single person. I was writing in the self-development genre, so this really hit home. I wrote my first book in 3 days. I had minor rewrites. It’s not perfect. But it’s pretty good. And it helped a bunch of people. And I learned a lot, and my second book was much better as a result.

Worth doing well enough. That’s a concept. It’s a line in the sand.

We practice this all the time without even realizing. I bet every meal you make isn’t perfect. But it’s good enough, right? And there are some things that you just have to get done, time is more important than quality.

The bullshit part is the word “anything”. Some things are absolutely worth doing well, worth your best effort, even if they are hard. Some things are just not worth the time and care to do perfectly – or even well. Some things you just have to get out there and make a start. Some aren’t even worth doing. Some are just worth C or C+ level work.

Here’s the thing – you get to decide what’s important to you and how much work and care you want to put in. You also get to define the quality standards. Good enough may be just perfect in some instances, leaving you time and energy to focus on what you want to focus on!

Worth doing well? Somethings are worth the time and effort. Some, not so much. You decide. Case Closed.

And remember:  in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love and light,

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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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Have a topic for the BS files? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

Guilt, why won’t you just leave me the f alone?

Guilt is poison. Guilt is a toxin. And so many people I know are (or have been) virtually crippled by guilt. As in it’s the emotion they feel more than any other – and it keeps them from living the life they want to lead.

That seems counterintuitive at first read, doesn’t it? Don’t we assume that guilt serves a purpose and the purpose is to motivate us? Maybe it worked when we were kids and just developing our moral compass and stuff. But now?

Let’s be honest. Most of what we feel guilt about has NOTHING to do with right and wrong. We feel guilty because we had a cookie. We feel guilty because we didn’t call somebody back, or because we were late walking the dog, or we left the mail in the mailbox for an extra day, or because we cut 5 minutes off of our workout, or because we snuck in an extra episode of Travelers and it almost counts as binge watching.

Sure, sometimes it’s bigger stuff. Why didn’t I know to get my mother to the hospital sooner? I should have known. We should be able to fix things for our parents, our kids, our friends, our spouse, our co-workers, the world. Right?

But here’s the thing about guilt. It’s a con artist. It pretends to be useful. It pretends to motivate us. But in reality, it is stealing us blind. It steals our real motivation out from under us. It robs us from true responsibility. And it definitely thieves meaningful action. Think about it. How do you show up when you feel guilt? Hint: it’s probably not your best self. What kind of actions do you take out of guilt? And if you do take action, what are you thinking about and feeling when you do? I’m gonna guess you aren’t thinking thoughts that lead you to feel gratitude and appreciation and enjoyment, and you aren’t striving to do your best. (Oh God, please let me just get through this and stop feeling guilty.)

So guilt is optional. Yup. You can definitely kick it out of the club. You can call it the liar that it is and say adios. Because guilt doesn’t just happen. It’s a feeling that you feel because of a thought you are thinking. That thought probably starts with something like “I should…” and maybe we don’t want to… and we make it mean that we are a terrible person because we don’t want to or haven’t already… and so we feel guilty.

As I’ve mentioned before, we don’t usually stop to fact check our thoughts, we just think them on auto-pilot. You can pick different thoughts though, because you have that super power.

If guilt is eating you alive or getting in the way of something you want to do, email me: maggie@talktomaggie.com. Let’s set up a free mini-session and I can give you some solid tips on how to kick the guilt habit.

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love and light,

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Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace. A mini session is a short coaching session, where we can talk about what’s holding you back and what you can do about it. What do you have to lose? Literally!

A tisket, a tasket, put it in a basket

You know how when you are in the beginning or middle of something, and you get this idea or thought or thing that you don’t want to lose? And you know how it can distract you completely from what you’re doing? Because you are sure you are going to forget it if you don’t either deal with it or get it on the right list – right now? And how that can completely derail you? It’s a stall tactic from your brain. I have to admit that it’s a pretty good tactic, too, because those ideas, insights and observations are often f*ing brilliant and I really don’t want to lose them.

Well, I have this construct I use for capturing the thought and then giving my brain permission to let it go and get back to focusing on what I want to focus on.

I call it a basket. It’s topical. I suppose it could be tropical, too, which is my brain distracting me from finishing this blog. Anyway, I create a basket with a topic. Like an idea basket. Or a book basket. Or a project basket. Or a lessons learned basket. It’s usually some kind of looming project Then, when I get these brilliant but distracting ideas, I write them down on a post-it or a slip of paper, put them in the basket and put it away. Sometimes I use little boxes that have lids.  Sometimes I slip in a photo or an article.  It’s kinda like a pinterest board, except that I won’t be distracted by cool mermaid tattoos that lead to crochet projects and closet makeover ideas and…

The whole point is that by creating a container, I can put the idea away in a safe place. My brain can trust that it won’t get lost. I can get back to what I want to be doing.

I use this concept with my coaching clients a lot. It’s amazing how easy it is for us to spin out on something that we just don’t even need to think about now. It’s also amazing how much better our brain feels when we know the idea won’t get lost.

When I’m ready to tackle the topic of the basket, I’ll go back in and see what’s in there.  I discovered a wonderful unintended consequence, a bonus. Once I’ve put something in the container, I feel like I’ve made a start. When I have a few things in there, I feel like I’ve got a bit of a foundation. So when it’s time to tackle the topic, I never feel like I’m starting from scratch. My brain thinks that I have a good head start already, and that this is going to be easier!

It’s very simple. But simple is just lovely.

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love and light,

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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!