May 282012
 

Cheri Britton is one of my bestest friends, and she’s also one of the most talented and funny motivational speakers, authors, and coaches I know. Cheri inspires people and organizations to break out of the old mindsets that hold them back by showing them how to lower the bar to raise their game, find the funny in the frustrating, and kick their  “big ol’ butts” to the curb.  Here’s what is on Cheri’s mind this month:

“Who and what is making you crazy?  Is your co-worker not pulling their weight? Is your partner’s mess making you want to bolt for the door? Does your friend’s whining have you reaching for some wine of your own? Well guess what? If you can spot it, then you got it. Chances are you are doing some of the same behaviors that are driving you bat-shit nutty? So, find some compassion and start working on yourself.”

Find out more about Cheri at http://www.CheriBritton.com.

 

Apr 022012
 

I read once that we think somewhere between forty and fifty thousand thoughts per day. Our inner dialog determines in large part how effectively we operate in the world. Words lead to thoughts, thoughts to emotion, and emotions to energy. One way to raise your vibration and operate on a higher level is to focus on four personal “power words.”

Power words are beautiful, positive words that inspire you. Examples include: loving, grateful, serene, beautiful, inspired, enthusiastic, optimistic, clear, caring, patient, gentle, giving, effortless, and committed. Let’s determine yours. Write out as many power words as you can. Then go back through your list and select four that particularly resonate with you.

Mar 212012
 

Meet Kam Parker; she’s my personal trainer, and she kicks my butt. Kam has more than twenty-three years of experience helping people lose weight, get in shape, and have fun doing it.  Here’s what’s on Kam’s mind these days:

“I’ve been a personal trainer for twenty-four years now, and I’ve never seen a trend like this: some people are doing all the “right” things and are not losing weight. After recently reading The Vitamin D Solution by Dr. Michael F. Holick, Ph.D., M.D. and Wheat Belly by William Davis, M.D, I may have found out why. Without vitamin D and/or the elimination of wheat and/or gluten peoples’ metabolisms may take months to heal before they can burn fat—or worse, they may not heal at all.”

You can visit Kam at www.havefunburnfat.com.

Mar 042012
 

I’ve ask several of good friends to share their tips, trends, and random thoughts on a wide range of topics dear to their hearts.

Besides being one of my best friends, Roy Otwell is the founder and co-proprietor of the ultra-hip home store Switch Modern (http://www.switchmodern.com). He’s a dedicated student of popular culture, cool trends, and good style. Roy says “Fashion is about trends but style involves authenticity and a point of view.”  Here’s Roy’s post for this month:

“Finally it’s winter in New York. Long coats are back but with a twist. No longer extra long and bulky, these overcoats are tailored, fitted, and worn with a casual vibe. I’m digging this look with slightly opened, calf-high boots. Maybe green Doc Martens?  Match with stiff skinny jeans, a Nazi era haircut, and a bulky sweater and you’re ready to head downtown for a Rob Roy and some meatballs. Ahhh. Everything old is new again.”

 

Mar 012012
 

One of my girlfriends and I have been experimenting with the concept of intuitive eating. She’s been at it longer than me, and she looks wonderful. But then again, Kathy always looks wonderful.

There are four things to keep in mind when eating intuitively:

One: Eat whatever you want.

Two: Eat when you want.

Three: Stop when you satisfied, and that can be different than being full.

Four: Be totally present to the experience of eating.

I am finding the first three far easier than the fourth. When I eat alone, too often I am thinking about what’s next on my “to-do list,”  and when eating out with a friend, I’m focused on the conversation rather than the food on my plate.

Author Geneen Roth writes a lot about this subject. She offers these additional five tips:

One: Eat when you are hungry. (Truly hungry, body hungry not mind hungry)

Two: Eat sitting down in a calm environment. This doesn’t include the car.

Three: Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspaper, books, intense or anxiety producing conversation and music.

Four: Eat only what your body wants. (Big difference from what your MIND wants!)

Five: Eat as if you are in full view of others. In other words, don’t “sneak” food.

Most experts agree that when we learn to eat intuitively we never have to diet again. Our bodies find their natural weight and guide us to the foods that are best for us.

So far, I’m enjoying the experiment. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Feb 262012
 

I’ve ask several buddies to share tips, trends, and random thoughts on a wide range of topics ranging from New York street fashion to fine food and wine.

Meet my dear friend Cheri Britton; she’s one of the most talented and funny motivational speakers, authors, and coaches I know. Cheri inspires people and organizations to break out of the old mindsets that hold them back by showing them how to lower the bar to raise their game, find the funny in the frustrating, and kick their “big ol’ butts” to the curb. Find out more about Cheri. Here’s Cheri’s thought for this month:

What is it about Betty White that charms us all?  She’s lived ninety glorious years in the spotlight when other iconic stars like Whitney have burned out too early? Here’s my best guess: she has employed what I call the 3 H’s of success…Humor, Humility and Hubba Hubba. You kick “but” Betty!

Feb 062012
 

Last week, I wrote about the power of attunement. I wrote: “To find attunement, we must first be attuned to ourselves. The journey toward connection challenges us to become more self-aware. By shifting from hypervigilance to attunement, we own our feelings, become more open and receptive, and pave the way for authentic communication.”

To find attunement, we have to separate our feelings from those of other people. We have to monitor our emotions, thoughts, judgments, tension and calm. We have to ask ourselves, “What am I feeling now?”

Psychotherapist Charlotte Kasl in her wonderful book If the Buddha Married offers these additional questions to help us be more attuned to ourselves and others:

  • What is going on with me?
  • Am I afraid?  Am I angry?  Am I hurting?
  • Am I calm?  Am I open?
  • Am I really asking for what I want?
  • Did I agree to something that I don’t really want to do?
  • Are feelings of inadequacy or confidence underlying my words?
  • Am I being honest?
  • Is there a more skillful way to handle the situation?

Finally, when we think we know what another is feeling it can be valuable to ask if we are projecting our own feelings onto others. Is it us or them who are feeling angry, elated, hurt or content?

 

 

Jan 232012
 

Have you ever stumbled upon a book that made your world a little larger? Years ago, I found a wonderful book by prolific author Joseph Dispenza, The Way of the Traveler: Making Every Trip a Journey of Self-Discovery. Little did I know then that Joseph would become a valued mentor and dear friend.

In his book, Joseph says travel is an excellent means for spiritual growth and self-discovery when fueled by intention. He writes: “Travel in the outer world is a metaphor for the epic journey inward. And the reward for this sacred sojourn is the spiritual gift of grace: the grace of peace, the grace of self-knowledge, the grace of wisdom.

To guide readers along this path, Joseph offers a series of insightful exercises. One of my favorites is to pack those values you would like to take along with you on your trip.

For the past six days, I’ve been in Paris. In preparation for the trip, I followed Joseph’s advice. I wrote four values in my travel journal that I wanted to accompany me on the trip. They are: openness, courage, gratitude, and connection.

These four values have been my constant companions and have enriched my trip. Thank you, Joseph.

 

Jan 162012
 

Nothing spotlights sagging self-esteem stronger than when people judge others. Growing up, I was the supreme judge. A fat kid (I had to wear “Husky” brand pants), I constantly put down others in an attempt to pull myself up.

I now know that judging serves me poorly. My judgments separate me from others, and above all I want connection in my life. I also know that self-esteem is an inside job; it must come from within, not by putting people down.

When judgments bubble up, they must be examined. Writers Carol Kurtz Walsh and Tom Walsh recommend applying “The 90/10 Rule.”  When judgment rears its serpent-like head and we experience a strong negative emotional reaction to another, assume that only 10 percent of our reaction is based upon the situation, leaving a whopping 90 percent that belongs to past.

When we consider the psychological principles of projection and transference, the Walshes’ counsel makes sense. A projection is something that we don’t want to accept about ourselves, so we bury it and then observe it someone else. Years ago, I was in a men’s support group in Atlanta. One man in the group drove me crazy. He was so emotional; he cried at the drop of a hat. Several years later when I began to experience my own shut-down emotions, I was able to reclaim my projection.

Transference occurs when we assign traits to someone that really belong to someone else, and nowhere is transference more apparent than in our primary relationships. I used to transfer negative traits belonging to my mother and father onto my romantic partners until I read the eye-opening imago work of Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. Hendrix’s research shows that we seek partners who have the predominant character traits of the people who raised us. He believes that we do this subconsciously in an attempt to heal old childhood wounds.

Old habits are hard to break. Although my self-esteem is much stronger than it once was, I still catch myself becoming judgmental toward a person or situation at times. When I do, I try to remember the 90/10 Rule and these wise words: “When you point your finger at someone else, there are four fingers pointing back at you.”

Jan 092012
 

Many mornings, I ask for direction for the day and draw a tarot card. This morning, I draw “Patience.” My first thought is, “Damn!” Patience is not one of my virtues. Still, I couldn’t have picked a more perfect card.

I am frustrated; it is the second week of January, and I still feel stuck. 2012 was supposed to be a better year.

The card reminds me this is a time that “all that is required is to be simply alert, patient, and waiting.” On it, a pregnant woman patiently waits while the phases of the moon pass overhead.

Osho writes that we have forgotten how to wait. Yet, “the whole of existence waits for the right moment.” Nature knows when to let go of the leaves and when to grow new foliage. Osho continues, “In silence and waiting something inside of you goes on growing—your authentic being.”

I take a deep breath to allow this message to sink in. Once again, I am reminded of the Divine Order of life.