Are You a Trash Can for Others’ Negativity?

Carmen, a client of mine, told me at the end of one of her sessions, “I’m no longer willing to be a trash can for others’ negativity.” “Wow!” I said. “I’m delighted to hear that! And I love that metaphor!” Carmen is a lovely, warm, intelligent and compassionate young woman in her late 20’s. Coming from a very narcissistic mother, Carmen learned early in life to be safe from her mother’s anger by listening to her mother’s complaints. She learned to put aside her own feelings and be a mother to her mother. Of course, no matter how much she gave to her mother, it was never enough. It wasn’t until Carmen started her inner work that she discovered was …

Are You A Time User Or A Time Waster?

If you are like me, you’ve often wished there were 48 hours in a day instead of just 24. There never seems to be enough time to get everything done that you want. Since we just have about 16 hours a day not counting sleep time, it’s important how we use the time we have. On the average, people waste about 2 hours a day. This is mainly from poor planning. If a person is unorganized, they waste time trying to find things, they miss appointments, they only do one thing at a time when they could be doing two. Good time management is a major building block to success. Oftentimes, it’s not how much time we spend working but …

Are You a Success Liar?

Would you like to know why it is that I’m not as rich and successful as Donald Trump? Or why it is that you are sitting there with less success and a lot less money in the bank than Warren Buffet? One word will answer that conundrum: liar. I’m a liar. You’re a liar. Pretty much everyone you know is a liar. I’m not trying to pick a fight here – just pointing out that one of the most basic human traits – and the biggest obstacle to our own success – is our ability to pull the wool over our own eyes. We tell ourselves all kinds of things to justify our actions (and more often inactions), but when …

Are You a Self-Saboteur?

Take this questionnaire to get clear on what you may be doing to undermine your own success and happiness in life. An explanation of your score awaits at the end. 1. When someone offers help you usually answer no without even thinking consider for a moment, but then decide their help would be inadequate consider for a moment, but then decide it would be asking for too much happily accept 2. Your level of organization is catastrophic — you can’t even find your toothbrush at night okay, except that when it comes to your dream you tend to keep everything on tiny slips of paper that get lost not bad … you organize everything. It’s just that you never act …

Are You a Negative Thinker?

Barbara sought my help because of her chronic fatigue. She had been going to different kinds of doctors and trying different nutrition plans for years and nothing was helping her. One of the doctors suggested that she try psychotherapy. In became evident early in our work together than Barbara was deeply addicted to thinking the worst. Constant negativity went through her mind about every aspect of her life. She would get out of her car and worry about getting robbed. In social situations, she would tell herself that people didn’t like her. She was always worried about money, even though she was a successful graphic designer. Her husband could never do anything right. There was something wrong with every doctor …

Are You a Habitual Starter?

How many things have you started and put aside? If you can answer, many, you are a ‘starter’. Do you tend to get excited about doing something, start it, then get sidetracked by interest in something new. This can be a project, new career, hobby, business idea, investing idea, whatever, that has been put aside before completion for another. If you can relate to this, you are also likely quite frustrated with the lack of money, satisfaction and happiness in your life. What’s the problem? You try so hard; you are always doing something yet no results. Here is what is going on with the vicious cycle you are in. You don’t have an overall direction in life to serve …

Are You a Free Thinker or an Intellectual Prostitute?

As a father whose world revolves around his eight-year-old son, most of what little television I’ve watched over the last eight years has been kids’ shows, primarily cartoons. Although I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, one of my current favorites is “SpongeBob SquarePants”. I don’t know why, it just is. 🙂 One of my favorite episodes of “SpongeBob SquarePants” is titled “Selling Out”. In this episode, SpongeBob’s employer, Mr. Krabs, sells “The Krusty Krab” restaurant for a trailer filled with suitcases full of money to a corporate conglomerate that intends on turning “The Krusty Krab” into a big chain. Although it’s what he always wanted, Mr. Krabs, now rich beyond his wildest dreams, quickly discovers retirement isn’t all he thought …

Are You a ‘Yes-Dog’?

There was once a time (and there still is, to a certain degree) when I would say ‘Yes’ to every opportunity, request, suggestion, good idea, and even mediocre idea that came my way. And let me tell you, it was exhausting. It was like I had this automatic, knee-jerk reaction to accommodate any suggestion that came my way – as if it were my karmic duty. I call this auto-response being a ‘yes-dog’. Perhaps you know the feeling. When you’re a yes-dog, your entire being is all about making other people happy; you knock yourself out doing it. No task is too small – you figure you’ve always got room in your psyche, your schedule or your soul to squeeze …

Are You a …

Do you find yourself struggling to “win” arguments? Do people ask you why you always have to be right? Does conflict you engage in typically end with you having the last word, but no one feels good about the argument? Do arguments you engage in usually escalate to shouting and anger? If you have said yes to any of these questions, you are likely a right-fighter! What is a “Right-Fighter” A right-fighter is someone who struggles to win arguments, even if they doubt their own view. A right-fighter is someone who gets overly emotional or angry when people do not agree with them and their opinions or beliefs. A right-fighter is someone who insists on having the last word in …

Are We Running out of Time?

What is time? Do we need more of it? Can time be your greatest asset and your greatest liability? Will time ever end? Is there an end and a beginning? If there is no beginning how can we have an end, and if there is no end how can there be a beginning? End, beginning, beginning, end, when will this madness end? We as humans believe in the birth of our selves as spiritual beings and that we have a soul. I’ll go one step father and say that we all came from the one source and that source is the reason we can say that time only exist in the now here and not in the ever after were …

Are These People Putting You In Danger Of Eternal Hell Fire?

Most people put a lot of effort into being like others around them. We also tend to follow the thoughts or opinions of society threw television, movies, books and the internet. People just have a natural tendency to just want to fit in. But, as believers we are under particular scrutiny, especially by people who do not share our faith. We should be Holy because we should reflect God’s character, He is our heavenly father, He has created us, He has chosen us as His own, therefore we should be Holy because He wants us to be like Him. So instead of trying to fit into society we should be concentrating our efforts on fitting into God’s plan and likewise …

Are The Stars Out Tonight? Reconnecting With The Power Of Mystery

On a crisp June night I’m lying in my sleeping bag at 10,000 feet in the Sierra’s Desolation Wilderness. Here, far from the light and haze of the Bay Area, the sky is deep black, but thick with twinkling dots and dim wisps of cottony light. When I look from the corner of my eye, the dim lights become more defined, easier to perceive as stars. To count them all would take years, if it was even possible. The number seems incomprehensible. And the mystery of what could exist out there, somewhere, at once inspires and humbles me. Enthralled by the night sky, I struggle to keep my eyes open, knowing with a disquieting certainty that upon my return to …

Are People Scribbling On Your Dreams?

I recently took my kids to a movie titled “Shark Boy and Lava Girl”. In the movie, a boy named Max dreamt of a planet where children could have endless fun. He called it Planet Drool. He recorded all his dreams in his dream journal. So real were Max’s dreams that he actually dreamt the planet into existence until one day when the class bully, Linus stole his dream journal and scribbled all over its pages. As a result of Max’s dream journal being defaced with scribbles, Planet Drool was thrown into danger of destruction, so Shark Boy, Lava Girl and Max had no choice but to try and save Planet Drool which they obviously did in the end. It …

Are Millionaires and PhDs Really Smarter? The answer may surprise you!

I’ve had a vast array of job experiences. While in high school, I worked as maid for a local motel. While attending college, I worked as an office worker in the Sociology Department and Museum of Fine Arts. After college, I was a social worker for six years. Following a career change, I spent the next several years working as an editor and technical writer in various publishing and software companies, including Microsoft. And…whenever I had any spare time, I worked on my true passions: creative writing and art. I’ve worked with maids, nurses aides, office workers, people with PhDs, and millionaires. I’ve worked with people subsisting on welfare and those living…and dying…in nursing homes. I’ve worked with software engineers, …

Appreciating Diversity During the Holidays: It’s About More Than Just A Simple

Guess who’s not celebrating Christmas this year? Millions of people in the US. That’s right. Tens of millions of Americans don’t celebrate Christmas religiously, either as followers of non-Christian religions (Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews) or as individuals with no religious affiliation. Because many stores tap into the cash value of Christmas with their plethora of Santas, ornaments, and Christmas fanfare at your nearby mall, we can easily overlook the depth of the diversity present in America during this season. In reality, many different events, both spiritual, religious, and tradition based, are being celebrated in many different ways during these times. It used to be that being inclusive meant sending out PC “Happy Holidays” greeting cards and changing Christmas office parties …

Anyone Can Play a Harp with Confidence from the First Time They Try

A player at any level of skill can draw soothing music from a harp It may seem daunting to imagine yourself playing a harp. But it really isn’t such an impossible task. To ease you into that possibility, let me share some perspectives with you. Learning to play the harp is like painting by numbers. You will get there by the end of this article. When you think of a harp, the image in most people’s mind is the grand, gilded harp of the symphony orchestra. So it used to be. The popularity of Celtic music, and relaxing harp music, now widely available in recorded form, is replacing that image with ones much closer to the real ancestors of this …