January’s Promise


January offers promise….of renewal, of realizing new dreams, of experiencing more joy, delight, and awe in the adventure we call life.  When we respond to January’s offer with a burst of resolutions targeting areas we feel are lacking-be it in our life or ourselves-we often find ourselves discouraged and judging ourselves lacking even more so. What gives? 

Without tending to how we apply our promises, our resolve, what often results is the derailment of a resolved goal of change or creating something new. In “the how” of a promise is caring for what might need tenderness or compassion as we take up the actions of change. For change to occur outside of ourselves, change is needed in how we are with ourselves.

One of my January joys is going through my possessions-clothes, books, files, closets-and winnowing out what has served it’s time and is ready to move on. I used to find it very difficult to part with my possessions, fearing the possession I let go of might be useful or missed in the future. In short, I did not trust myself to know myself, nor did I trust life to provide more in the future, resting instead with believing life’s uncertainties are best met with control.

The word promise comes from the Latin word “promittere” meaning “to send forward”. When I realized the heart of my resistance to releasing my possessions was fear,  I made the choice to replace the fear with happiness for stewarding my possessions to it’s next place of service. Now others seek my aid in their process of letting go as well, for as I tell my clients, when you resolve something painful or harmful in yourself, you help others as well.

To take up January’s invitation to move forward, here are some suggestions: 

  1. Apply compassion first. When feeling the defensive emotions of shame, anger, blame, etc, apply compassion to yourself, to the other, to the situation. Not only will you change what has power, you will feel what is asking for your care underneath the defensive emotions.
  2. Your reactions are your gift of a mirror.  We judge in others what we have yet to resolve within and about ourselves. Demanding perfection-how we justify our blame and shame-harms not only our relationships, it harms us as well. Learn to receive where you blame or shame as your invitation to care for what is calling for tending within yourself.
  3. What you feel you can heal.  Books bring us information, talking with friends brings ease, and feeling our emotions offers us information for resolving what is causing us pain. Because we are taught to be afraid of our emotions, I do not consider getting guidance and support for changing an indulgence, rather a caring and loving action on our behalf.  When we are scared or in pain, it is just plain unkind to insist on bootstrapping it alone!
  4. When we trust ourselves, we love ourselves and our life more. So many people know life is precious and they are blessed, and still happiness and satisfaction elude them. They have not learned to trust themselves to take action on what has heart and value for them.  When we do not honor what we know in our heart and soul,  through actions in our daily life, happiness and satisfaction become elusive.

The gift of a human life is not a task to be completed-it is a magical and mystical journey, where courage, curiosity, and compassion enjoin our trust and passion for living our purpose and with joy. When we learn to trust ourselves, we learn to trust our life and how to trust others. When we learn to trust ourselves, we trust we will keep the promises we make, moving us forward with joy and delight in our adventures of life.


Spring’s Call for Letting Go and Letting Grow

This week, while interviewing a perspective client, I had an ephiphany about why change-even when it would bring pain relief-can prove to be challenging. While the woman’s sorrow and pain were valid given the challenge of the situation, the expert opinions and studies she offered to support her despair were not. My epiphany was not how our beliefs keep us from the happiness we want, or how fear of the unknown (change) can be more powerful than the pain we are in.  My epiphany was how much faith we place in the authority of others and how little faith we place in our divinity.

People come to me with their trust and for my faith in their ability to create more happiness, health, or harmony in their life. Our process begins with assessing how they support themselves, how they care for themselves, and how they create their choices. Together, we discover where they claim their authority for creating their life and where they are blaming others for what they lack in life. Clarity of what to grow and what to let go begins the process of creating more of what they want in their life.

If you want more happiness, health, or harmony in your life, here are a few suggestions to begin the process:

“Learn the difference between the facts of your mind and the truth of your soul” Our mind loves information, control, being right, and fear feelings as unsafe. Our soul loves freedom, is playful and curious, knows feelings bring wisdom, and wants our vast magnificence to be expressed. A conscious relationship between our mind and our soul is the foundation to creating happiness and success in life.

“Become aware of where you give away your authority to experts outside yourself and where you discount your own truth and wisdom”. Life brings us challenges and questions in trust we will share and express OUR answers for creating our world. While information can be useful as a beginning, the answers to our challenges and questions in life rest in our heart and soul.

“Essential to successful relationship is the willingness to extend respect, compassion, and tolerance for understanding each other”. Being happy and successful in life requires honoring yourself as a dynamic relationship between earth and ether. As with a successful relationship between people, a successful human honors both their humanity and their divinity as essential to being human.

“Understand all through compassion or misunderstand the situation”. Our heart is where our soul and our Self meet, our infinite spirit and our limited lifetime. When we take our conflicts, our unknowing, our confusion “to heart”, we invite the resources and wisdom of both our divinity and our humanity for a creative alchemy for solution.

We are learning how to live our divinity for our humanity and how essential the soul of our life human. We are being called to no longer separate ourselves from our divinity, often through transforming what we call impossible into possible. Life does not set us up to fail, simply we need to learn how to reclaim ourselves as the experts of our life and honor the relationship we are as humans as the magnificent alchemy of heaven and earth.

In the words of Hafiz, a 14th century Persian poet whose wisdom is timeless:

“We have not come here to take prisoners of ourselves and others but to surrender even more deeply to love and joy,  We have not come into this exquisite world to hold ourselves hostage from joy and beauty,  Run run my dear from anything that may not strengthen your precious budding wings,  Shout to your reason “O please O please come out and play,  For we have not come here to take prisoners or to confine our wonderous spirits,  Rather to experience ever and ever more deeply our divine freedom, courage, and Love”.                                          


What’s love got to do with it? Choosing love in the good, bad, and OMG! of our relationships.

Women have long been considered responsible for relationships and while this can feel a bit like responsibility assigned without consent at times, even science is validating women’s innate biology for skills and prowess in relationship. (Check out this article!)  Soooo, if we are the masters of relationship, then it would follow we are all experiencing only happiness in our relationships…not!

Biology alone does not determine how we experience life.  Our beliefs, choices, and our interpretations factor into how we respond to life and people. Believing people are either good when they behave as we want or wrong when they do not, is choosing control as our premium value at the cost of our relationships.

Measuring life-and people-with the yardstick of control leaves little room for the treasures offered by the unexpected in life. Being human is a sacred process,  passion, and purpose, not a product, perfection, nor power over others. “Either-or” thinking may keep our limbic brain happy about not being eaten, but it will not honor our power to choose compassion, to heal history, and to learn more about ourselves and “the other”.

 So the next time you find yourself reacting to the unexpected in someone, consider:

  •  Taking a few deep breaths in and out before saying or doing anything. Deep breathing brings us into our more neutral core and gives time for the less reactive parts of our brain to come on-line in our processing of what is up.
  • Remembering we always have a choice to immediately react or to pause and then respond when people do the unexpected or undesired. Choosing to respond is taking responsibility for our emotions and fears as we are being triggered by another.
  • Being inquisitive about what is being triggered within brings gifts in ways unexpected. While we may believe we know what we need in life, life’s gift of messing with our knowns, shows us the love and beauty the unknown in conflict offers us.
  • Self-love is the foundation of love we offer others and a lack of self-love shows up in judging, blaming, and shaming others. Taking time and care to love our imperfect selves is crucial to being able to love others when imperfect.

Contemporary relationship invites us into a deeper and richer experience of relationship than simply meeting needs and control. Contemporary relationship chooses healing our family and history, tending to our emotional wounds, and happiness over being right.  Tending our heart and honoring the heart of others is the foundation of contemporary relationship…a choice for peace, joy, and happiness for ourselves and our world.