inspiration


It’s Time to Acknowledge the ‘ELEPHANT IN YOUR HEAD’

Ignore Me

You know about the ‘elephant in the room’, right?  We have great big elephants in most of our rooms. They are our bigger-than-life embodiment of those juicy issues that might be considered controversial, uncomfortable or embarrassing. The ‘elephants’ are obvious to pretty much everyone in the room, and yet, no one is talking about them. Shhh! Don’t say the quiet part out loud!

The elephants are ignored, avoided and unspoken, and, although they could be the national debt, sexual preference or imminent death, they aren’t necessarily a big deal. The elephant might be the zit on your nose or the inappropriate way someone is dressed. Oh, glorious elephants: Save us from embarrassment! Shield us from controversy! Deliver us from argument!

And then there are the ‘elephants in your head’… The ‘room’ we had been keeping them in was apparently too public. So we invited them inside. And here they serve us well. We all have ‘em – emotionally charged behemoths that beg for recognition like the elephants that trunk-nudge for a peanut. No peanuts for you, Ms. Pachyderm, you, daughter of a wooly mammoth. You we avoid. Get back into the cage that is my mind! I don’t want to deal with you.

So the elephant in our head goes off to its cage… it does not go away. It is there when you drift off to sleep and still hanging out when you awaken. While you are busy not paying attention to it, it is busy ‘decorating’…hanging mental pictures all over the walls of your mind. You may not speak your elephant, but you will certainly be thinking about it.

I broke off a six-year relationship and, even after almost two years, I really, really, really missed him, being held in his arms and our late night talks. We did talk (very occasionally) on the phone – acceptable topics: his dogs, politics, my family – all safe topics. We never discussed “us”. My elephant was looming large, and apparently so was his. The tension was so thick you could cut it with a tusk!

And then, tired of feeling so suppressed, tired of fighting the elephant in my head and literally longing to revel in full self-expression, I freed the elephant. I told him how I felt, what he meant to me and that I loved him.  We both cried. No, we weren’t going to be a couple, but we were truly going to be friends. Caging our elephants had kept us caged, too. Avoiding the difficult conversations hadn’t kept either of us safe; avoiding them had brought us stress, dis-ease, sadness and loneliness. Freeing the elephants was freedom for us. Turns out you can get FULL SELF-EXPRESSION… for peanuts!

How do you get down off an elephant?
(You don’t, you get down off a duck!)

 

 


I Don’t Procrastinate… My To-Do List Is Just Always Full

Procrastination

 

Few people who know me would list procrastination as one of my traits. I’m a doer. I know the value of starting and completing. I say what I’m going to do and I do it. I’m on the edge of neurotic about keeping things neat and clean, having my blogs done on time, paying my bills, sending out invoices, picking up the mail and having my toenails painted red.  You certainly wouldn’t peg me as a likely candidate for procrastination coaching, but…

There’s that stuff that I ‘should’ do – and I will get to it, really. I know that I have to make it happen, eventually. I’ve been thinking about it. (Sometimes I even dream about it). It’s just not time yet. I’ll deal with it, promise. I’ll be glad when this is off my plate – wish it would just disappear. Someday I won’t even have to think about it any more! I will handle it, really. I know it’s important, but so is all this other stuff I’m doing. My to-do list is just full! And there’s just so much time in a day, you know. Give me time. I won’t forget. It’s on my mental list. I’ll take care of it soon.

And, ‘what if’? What if it’s even harder than I think it will be? What if I screw it up? What if it can’t be fixed? Will they find out I’m not ‘so much’? Will she be angry? Will he be hurt? Would they stop being my friends? What if it’s even more expensive than I imagined? What if the outcome is even worse than my nightmare? Maybe someone else will take care of it. Maybe it will go away if I ignore it.

Honestly, thinking about the crap I haven’t done – and ‘should’ or ‘must’ do – is exhausting. And you just got a close up view of the junk in the procrastination corner of my brain! Nasty self talk that serves only to keep me from doing what I know to do… and despising myself for not doing it.

All of those thoughts pop up… sometimes all at once; loud and irritating! If I really thought about it, I’d probably realize that goin’ all Nike on it (“just doin’ it”) would kill the voices and give me peace. What’s gonna forward me here? Putting ‘it’ off and avoiding whatever fear or pleasure is behind getting it done, or dealing with it and shutting up those damnable voices???

Eventually the voices are too loud, the issue festers and I move into action. Here’s what I find: It’s never as bad as I thought it could be. It’s always easier than I thought it would be. And it feels so great to have done it! So, I got my eyes checked, I changed the air filters, replaced the water filter, joined the gym and finished my book!  Dang, that feels so amazing!

Come on… WHAT’s NEXT?


MISS-Communication and the MR-y of Conversation

Cookies

 

If you have time, I’d love you to try and come over for dinner tonight.” That’s what I said to him on the phone. He seemed a little distracted, maybe watching a game on TV while he offhandedly said, “Sure.” So I made a lovely dinner of roast chicken and potatoes (his favorite)… and he never showed! He didn’t call and he didn’t show. I was furious.

I called him the next morning – still fuming. “I sat here until the dinner got cold, waiting for you to show,” I wailed. “Whaaat? You said to try – if I had time. I went bowling with a couple of the guys and by the time we finished it was after 9 so I went home.”

It wasn’t my first miscommunication (and it is not likely to be my last). Similar incidents are happening all over the world right now… as I type. They are happening in homes, at work, on the ski slopes and at restaurants. What is said isn’t ‘exactly’ what you meant’ and what is heard isn’t ‘exactly’ what you meant.

 

There’s communication and there’s ‘effective’ communication. Effective communication is simple and direct and requires, among other things, a shared understanding. Ooops, missed that!

If I had been more direct and clear the conversation could have been more like this (and we’d both be happier):

“I’m making roast chicken tonight. It’s your favorite and I want to share it with you. Can you be here at 7 for dinner tonight?”

“Sure. I’m going bowling with the guys and I’ll make sure to leave by 6:45.”

“Great, so you’ll be here at 7 for dinner?”

“You bet. I can taste it already!”

I didn’t want to sound pushy so I gave him a couple of false cues… “if you have time” and “try”. I didn’t mean either one, but I expected him to get the underlying meaning. And, although I wanted to know that he was definitely joining me, I never got any strong assurance – in fact I remember thinking that he wasn’t ‘really’ listening at all. He, on the other hand, focused on the conditional components of my conversation and felt no guilt about not showing up. We both felt misunderstood and wronged.

And so it goes, when you don’t say what you mean and mean what you say… when you don’t ‘check in’ to make sure that your message was heard and understood as you intended.

 


What Do I Say? What Do I Do? – WHAT DO YOU MEAN? 1

Why this blog? What do I mean by writing it? Well, this is my way to get in communication with you… to engage with you in a way that makes a real practical and spiritual difference in our lives. This is where we open a conversation of possibility, one that inspires you! And, when you ‘invite’ me to do so, I will joyfully (and gratefully) light a fire under you and MOVE YOU TO ACTION! I’ll light the fire… YOU take the action!

Yes, you read that correctly… I will GRATEFULLY be your catalyst for mastery, excellence and joy! That’s my passion; having the opportunity to empower you to be, do and have everything for your greatest good! You get your choice of miracles (which makes me smile inside and out). And, for giving me the gift of passion and possibility, I thank you in advance. Truly. You are about to make a huge difference in MY life – as I will in yours.

How do I do that? (Seriously, do you really care as long as I deliver?) Ok, I’ll tell you…

I have one proverbial foot in the practical ‘real’ world and one in the spiritual ‘woo woo’ world. I am bilingual! So, as I take you on a “MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR” (thank you Beatles!!!) of questions, processes, ideas and more, I will be reminding you of who your really are and what you already knew…

That’s my job. Your job is to participate – fully, here and with those around you. Sometimes you’ll have a question. Sometimes you’ll be engaged in someone else’s inquiry. Play full out – that’s how the game is won!