Tag Archive | female speakers

Are you living life from the cheap seats?

ImageWe all aspire to live the best life we can right? But in order to really do that we need to clean house and work through whatever issues we may have that is getting in our way. I know this because I did it. Every time I hit a brick wall in my own life I had to get uncomfortable, get out of my own way and let the healing begin. Every one of us has our stuff, our issues. Within the process of life there will be obstacles and many times issues from our past will surface and obstruct our view, hence, life from the cheap seats.

Every time I meet with a women and we begin our work together we talk about this very thing and they love the cheap seat metaphor ” yes that is exactly it” they say. We all want those cushy velvet reclining seats up front but in order to get them we have to be wiling to do a few things. 1. Be okay with not being okay 2. Be ready to roll up our sleeves and work hard 3. Get out of our own way  4. Know that change takes time, it is not going to happen overnight. The rewards of course are many. Just being aware of the crap that bogs us down and beginning to change our inner monologue will greatly improve our lives and make us happier.

Depression in women has doubled from 2000 to 2010. Staggering right? I almost fell of my chair when I read this. Now let me be very clear, I am not an expert on depression. I am however an expert on myself and I have suffered at times with depression and I know that all of the women that I know personally and professionally have as well. It is normal to a degree. Life can be cruel and we cannot help but be effected by it’s roller coaster ride.

Self work can be the best time you spend with yourself and it is worth the investment of a good therapist or coach. Love yourself enough to want out of the cheap seats. Don’t be afraid to do the work. Like I told a client just yesterday, “we just need to dust you off a bit” because under all of this is the bright, shiny , beautiful and best you. I can see you in those velvet seat from here.


Enabling and Co-dependency

Everyday, all around us there are women living in unhealthy, co-dependent relationships. It is virtually everywhere. Women living with addicts, abusers and overall unhealthy individuals. These women are wives, mothers, partners, daughters and friends. I know these women because I used to be one of them.
If you love someone who is an addict or an abuser that I can guarantee that you are living a life of fear, walking on eggshells, and being controlled by someone else’s dysfunction. You dread going home and you walk around with a massive lump in your stomach waiting for the other shoe to drop. Your life is void of peace, happiness and joy. You are miserable and feel trapped. Depressing isn’t it?
I think you deserve a better life than this. I think you deserve to have peace and joy restored to your life. I think that you deserve all the good and positive things that this life has to offer. I know where you are, I have resided in that very place. But I got out and so can you.
My message to you is this; help is out there and is just a phone call away. Whether you get it working with me or take another approach, just get help for yourself. I promise you this, there is light at the end of this tunnel and you have the power and the strength to get there. All you need is the desire and enough love for yourself to say no more, I deserve better.

Stop whining and get to work!

2013 came in like a lion for me, so many new opportunities and changes that I am excited about. I have not blogged in a while because I was busy writing my first book From This Day Forward; Letting go of the addict you love, available on Amazon. My second book which is also finished will be up in early March. A new website is also being built as we speak and women are finding their way to me everyday. Life is good. As we begin this new year together I encourage you to let go of the past that is dragging you down. Stop being afraid of change and begin to embrace exactly what you want for this one and only life that you have. Most of all stop complaining about what is wrong with your life and channel that energy instead into creating positive changes. I must tell you that I am sick to death of negative women who want to sit across from me and piss and moan. I get it, you have issues, we all do. You carry those issues everywhere you go, like rocks on your back. You walk around with your head down like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. Pessimistic, gloomy and depressed. I do the work that I do because I love to lift women up not to have them drag me down. If you want a place to be pitied and dig through your past and everything bad that ever happened to you, then get a shrink who is into taking your money and allowing you to wallow in your crap for the rest of your life. There are plenty of them out there. There are also some really good ones who would probably tell you exactly what I am telling you. However you decide to proceed do it with the attitude that you have the power to be exactly how you imagine yourself to be when you are at your best.  Roll your sleeves up, do the work and stop being afraid of facing the demons that have you so stuck. Change that old tape in your head from I can’t, I’m afraid and I am defeated to I can, I will and I am worth it! Get uncomfortable and get those rocks off your back. Stay the course and know that it will take time. Don’t quit. Take back your power and kick Eeyore to the curb!

Are you living life from the cheap seats?

I had a meeting with a client yesterday and after I had listened to her for a while I commented that I felt she was shortchanging her life, living it from the cheap seats. “Wow” she said “what a great metaphor, that is exactly how I feel”! I think we all deserve those big cushy velvet reclining seats up front but they don’t come easy. They are more costly and the price is this; your willingness to get out of your own way and do the work. I have personally had to slay this dragon many times in my own life. Kicking and screaming I went, but the reward was worth all the discomfort and harsh realities. We need to get right with whatever is wrong.

I saw a staggering statistic the other day. Depression in women had doubled between 2000 and 2010. Process that for a moment. Now I do not profess to be an expert on depression and I am aware they there are varying degrees of depression as well. I do feel however based on my own experience with it that all of us go through times of despair. Women are programed to be stoic. The nurturing mothers, the dutiful spouses and partners, and the fixers of all things. We carry that flag proudly but sometimes we just need to be ok with not being ok. We carry around baggage from our past and let it define our present and determine our future. We shortchange ourselves, and put everyone before ourselves.

What has worked for me and what I pass on to others is self awareness and accountability. Look at your situation and if it is not working for you and creating a positive space in your life, then it needs to change. Don’t fear this change, be ok with admitting it, sharing it and getting uncomfortable around it. That is when the change you desire will manifest. Change evolves out of discomfort. Invest in the support of a good therapist or coach. Allow those who can help you the privilege of doing so. The benefits that show up as a result of working on yourself are huge.

As I left my client yesterday I told her that I welcomed the opportunity to work with her and be an ally for change in her corner. “You just need a little dusting off and before you know it, you will have a front row seat, a cushy velvet seat to your own life”.

Going Elsewhere

By the time we get to be middle aged we have all experienced the death of someone we love. Some of us like myself have experienced many deaths. It is hard to imagine when we are kids that these people will ever not be around. I am in process of writing two books. One about addiction and enabling and one about death and grief. I write based on my own life experiences with these two necessary but rather unpopular subjects. I am somewhat of an expert on both, not by choice but by life and how unplanned and unpredictable it can be. Death is a natural part of life, I knew this, yet was so unprepared. So taken aback by what I knew would be the inevitable.

When I write of death, of losing my family and of forging ahead without them I talk a lot about “going elsewhere”. This for me became a coping tool . I mastered this tool….like a lumberjack with an axe.This was something I could do inside my own head when I simply did not want to be in reality. It is emotional dislocation. Reality can be terribly painful, elsewhere can be anything we need and want it to be. After my father died I went elsewhere right before I landed in Albany. I would imagine Dad would be there to pick me up garbed in his same winter p coat he had since my birth, black wool hat that my mother hated and snow boots that had seen better days. Huge smile intact, arms extended. I could almost feel the bear hug. I could hear his voice “hiya hon” “are you getting younger”?  Dad always the smooth talker. We would drive home and pull up to the house where I knew Mom was waiting inside having just returned from church ( always) and making dinner. I would see her little head in the kitchen window. Funny the things I seem to remember and miss the most are small little things like my moms head in that kitchen window. Like dads tattered winter clothes, like “are you getting younger”? I really miss that one!

Now we have landed and the reality sets in, no Dad, no Mom, no hug, no what used to be, just reality of what is no longer there and let me tell you….it bites. Elsewhere is a comfort and a painful reminder at the same time. My mom has been gone 11 years and I still have to stop myself from pulling things off the rack in the store that I think she might like. I allow myself to go elsewhere for just a second, just long enough to comfort myself. Long enough to feel the feeling again, just for a moment.

I have always been great at pretending, maybe that is why I got so good at this whole thing. I find myself creating elsewhere scenarios all the time with my parents. I imagine they are visiting and wonder what we would be doing and how they would react to certain events. For example I will be having my second hip surgery in ten days and if they were alive they would fly down to fuss over me and lend a hand. Dad would make jokes about how I am going to be bionic and cook us up wonderful food and mom would worry and pray and tell me I need to wear a better bra and make sure I bring panties to the hospital cause it will be cold. Mom used to sell ladies fine lingerie, can you tell? But no matter, they would be here and going to my elsewhere place allows me to experience it just for a moment. For me this has been a big part of my healing.

In the book “The Year of Magical Thinking” Joan Didion writes prolifically about death and grief. She captures the essence of loss so beautifully when she speaks about how in the beginning we pretend they are coming back. She pretended her husband John was coming back. Very much like going elsewhere. Joan has been  there, to this place in the brain where hope resides, restless hope, unrealistic hope, irrational hope, hope against hope. Hope that does not exist. We go there and we wait.

I never wanted to know the language of grief. Through the process though I have also found enlightenment and a love and appreciation for what is here today. I have learned to take nothing for granted, especially those I love. I still visit elsewhere sometimes when I need to but mostly I live in the now and carry on the legacy that my parents left me. To simply be a good person, stay close to family and be happy. I miss them everyday but I know they are with me standing on the sidelines and as I coach others…..they are coaching me. I think they are happy.