well being


Half Empty Half Full

FULL of Possibility

I’m clearly a ½ full kinda gal – ask anyone. In fact, if truth be told (and I want nothing less) I tend to see the glass as overflowing most of the time. I am a master at spinning straw into gold. Yes, I do believe that I was born with that proclivity, but there are days when I actually have to work at seeing life through those rosy glasses of mine. I see positivity as a muscle – work it and it grows!

Okay, “So what?” you ask. Well, I’ll tell ya… Scientists have proven that a positive outlook actually makes a difference in life; health, wealth and emotional well-being. Expecting good things to happen naturally leads you to taking actions that produce more positive results. Expecting bad stuff to come your way can actually keep you from doing the very things that might have minimized or avoided just that!

But the value of a positive ‘see the glass as ½  full attitude’ about life is not the whole idea behind my blog today. The real question I pose is this: You may think you have a positive outlook, but are you REALLY a ½ full person? Most of us claim to be, but that positive outlook shows up in our speaking as well as in our thoughts! What are you saying and what are you thinking? What do you notice first about the people and the world around you?

Do you start with the premise that there’s good news everywhere? Do you notice what’s present… or what’s missing? Do you wake up in the morning and celebrate another day of life or bemoan the fact that you have to wake up and get to work? When you look in the mirror do you smile and see a living, breathing person with body parts that work and the ability to see and touch and taste and feel and love? Or do you look in the mirror and notice that your youthful skin is becoming wrinkled, the thick, shiny hair is disappearing, and your high school physic is gone? Do you notice the impending rain clouds or that sliver of glorious sunshine? When you meet someone new, do you first notice what you see that attracts you or are you looking for flaws? Are you even aware of what you see and think? As usual, becoming aware is always step one…

And, when it comes to your life, are you more inclined to first notice what’s ‘missing’ (like money, love, joy, health) or do you celebrate what you have (like money, love, joy and health)? Are you on a mission to fill the holes, or are the holes just something you notice in passing and use as a guide…

Case in point: I have a client who considers himself to be a positive  ½ full guy… he told me so. Then, two minutes later he flat out said that he doesn’t consider himself successful because he “can’t even afford to buy a house”. Whaaat? (NOTE: His attention was clearly on what’s missing; not what he has.) After a few minutes of coaching and conversation he recognized the ½ emptiness of his speaking and realized that, of course he could buy a house – just not his dream house…YET! I asked him what he could afford and he began again – a roof over his head with running water and indoor toilets and an office and a little yard (he went on and on) and finally saw that what he could have right now was pretty terrific AND a step toward that dream house.

So, notice… if you claim to be a ½ full person, do you first notice what you have (i.e., count your blessings) or take stock of what’s missing in your life?

My glass is ½ full (with clean fresh water) – the other ½ is filled with possibility!

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



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?