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Transitions and “Happily Ever After”

Periods of transition (like going from single to married) can be happy and exciting, but also painful and frustrating. You have an expectation about how you should feel—all sunshine and roses, right? How could you be anything but elated to marry the love of your life? So why are you also feeling crappy and confused and anxious? It’s because your expectations are based in fantasy, not reality. They come from what you’re “supposed” to feel. But negative feelings don’t mean you’re moving in...


Surviving to Thriving: Leisa Peterson

In this episode of “Surviving to Thriving: Overcoming My Darkest Moment,” I talk with money coach, author and educator Leisa Peterson. Growing up the daughter of hippie parents who were always in financial struggle, Leisa thought money was the answer to everything. Rejecting her upbringing where she felt like a misfit, Leisa pursued a lucrative career in finance, married her college sweetheart and had two kids. The outside looked perfect, and although she wasn’t happy, she didn’t question...


Journey of Attachment: But Isn’t It Too Soon For That?

When it comes to dating and relationships, people sure have a lot of timing rules: it’s too soon to talk about marriage, I can’t meet his/her parents until we’re officially a couple, it’s too late to have kids. These rules are fueled by a fear of loss and lack of trust in yourself. They serve as a crutch because they feel safe, but they can also be used to judge yourself, “Things fell apart because I did this too soon!” Your readiness should be determined by how you feel, not some...


How We Keep Life Predictable

How neat and tidy do you like to keep your life? Do job and relationship issues have to be a certain way, and do people need to fit into a particular category so you know what to expect? Black and white is predictable. Grey is messy and unknown so it’s hard to know how to act. The problem with this neat-and-tidy mentality is that it’s incredibly limiting in how you see the world and the your place in it. It’s really hard to move out of a comfortable existence if you don’t challenge your...


Journey of Attachment: Swallowing Childhood Pain

We all have childhood pain to some extent, but we come up with ways of avoiding it or looking for something to take it away. You may set up your life to avoid feeling it by people pleasing or trying to be perfect to avoid criticism, but it doesn’t work. When you swallow your pain, you tend to strategize to make it go away, but what happens instead is that your emotional reactions are even more painful because you haven’t dealt with those feelings. You don’t realize how deep you’ve buried...


The Difference Between Relief and Feeling Good

People often confuse relief with feeling good, but there is a BIG difference. Relief is external. It’s temporary and doesn’t require you to leave your comfort zone. Relief is going to a therapist as a means of catharsis—so you can vent about everything that isn’t working in your life, then leave. Sure you may feel better immediately after, but how long does it last? And more importantly, what has changed? Feeling good is internal. It comes from taking action and it actually lasts. Talking...


Surviving to Thriving: Shayna Hiller

In this episode of “Surviving to Thriving: Overcoming My Darkest Moment,” I talk with yoga teacher and certified health coach, Shayna Hiller. Growing up in an affluent town in New Jersey, Shayna was desperate to be liked. This led to an eating disorder and obsessive/compulsive exercising that lasted for years. When she hit 67 pounds, she was actually proud of her achievement, but it was her mom’s reaction one morning that turned things around. As Shayna laid in bed, her mom shrieked in...


Journey of Attachment: Choosing A Life Vs. A Lifestyle

People often stay in bad relationships because they are afraid of losing their lifestyle—the house, group of friends, money, vacations, etc. It’s not just losing a partner, it’s losing the whole package. The problem is, that fear is often worse than the reality and it’s used as an excuse for staying in a dysfunctional relationship. Staying provides a false sense of security… but do you want a lifestyle or a LIFE? Maybe you’re in a “transactional” relationship or a quasi-friendship with...


Why Is Compassion So Hard?

Compassion is such a nice word but it’s hard to do, especially when you have an attachment to your judgmental feelings. Compassion isn’t about giving away your power. It’s not feeling sorry for someone and it’s not excusing or accepting poor behavior. It’s a state of grace that comes from love. When you practice compassion, you understand other people are flawed with their own patterns and negative beliefs, so you can allow them to be who they are. It’s similar to love in that you must...


Journey of Attachment: I Was Raised By Wolves

Not literally! I was raised by parents who through no fault of their own possessed no self-awareness and lived by very dogmatic rules. This resulted in creating insecure feelings, but of course I didn’t know that’s where the seeds were sown. If you were also raised by wolves (used facetiously, of course) your emotional needs were probably not met, although you sure did work hard to try. This may have led to believing something was wrong with you, as if you had some fatal flaw. But guess...


Starring in Someone Else’s Story

I have talked about the stories we tell ourselves, based on our experiences and negative beliefs… but what happens when you’re the star of someone else’s story? Maybe someone has decided who you are and what you’re about. If it’s negative, you may go to great lengths to prove them wrong. Maybe someone calls you selfish even though you bend over backwards to be generous. For reasons of their own, they have created a story about you, but you still do everything you can to be MORE pleasing,...


Surviving to Thriving: Col McGunnigle

In this episode of “Surviving to Thriving: Overcoming My Darkest Moment,” I talk with visual artist Col McGunnigle. As an award-winning graphic designer for 25 years, Col was at the top of her game, appearing in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Town & Country, and many other publications. So when a chronic illness hit in 2014, she was blindsided. At first she pretended she wasn’t sick, afraid no one would hire her, which led to a very dark place: lying face-down on the floor, feeling like she was being...


Journey of Attachment: There is No Crystal Ball, Road Map or Guarantee

A lot of people who are insecure about their situation want to predict the future. They want to know what to expect so they are prepared. If this is you, perhaps you turn to friends, psychics, therapists, etc. to assure you everything will be ok. But why? Where does this stem from. Yep, your good old friend fear: fear of loss, fear of surrender (letting go of control), fear of judgment, fear of the unknown, etc. If you know the outcome to something, you think you can strategize the steps...


Defending Yourself is a Bottomless Pit

Defending yourself is reactionary; in response to a trigger. If someone pushes your emotional buttons you may respond with, “I did that because of X, Y, Z” or “That’s ridiculous, I would never say that.” You think you’re reacting to what someone else did or said, but you’re really reacting to something that already exists inside of you. Somewhere there is a belief that what they did or said has some validity, otherwise you wouldn’t react. Defending yourself gives the illusion of power, but...


Journey of Attachment: Love is Not a Game of Chess

When you don’t feel loveable, you may strategize to get what you aren’t giving yourself, looking for someone else to fill you up. Or you’ll manipulate a situation to compensate for what you lack. You don’t realize you’re playing a game, but you are. Games involve winners and losers; right and wrong; black and white. You think your carefully orchestrated moves give you greater value or respect, but they don’t. They only serve to satisfy your head. In a healthy relationship your partner...


If I Could Just Fix This One Thing…

If she wasn’t such a control freak, everything would be fine. When he finally leaves his wife we’ll be happy. If he/she would just commit a little more, everything would be perfect. How often does “happily ever after” hinge on that ONE thing? You hold on for it to change because why throw away a good relationship just because of something that’s fixable, or may resolve itself over time? The problem with hanging on for that “one thing” to change is you are not seeing the big picture. You’re...


Surviving to Thriving: Jacquie Somerville

In this episode of “Surviving to Thriving: Overcoming My Darkest Moment,” I talk with best-selling author and founder of the School of Feminine Magnetism, Jacquie Somerville. Before Jacquie found her true self, she succumbed to societal pressures about marriage and kids, ending up the wife of a gay man. As she started connecting with her heart and challenging the status quo, she discovered something important: the more she fought against herself, the more disasters happened. This all...


Journey of Attachment: Is Mind Reading A Hobby Of Yours?

How often do you think you know what your partner is going to say or do? And how often do you act based on that assumption? Trying to read someone’s mind in attached relationships is often tied to a fear of loss. If you’re afraid the relationship may end or waiting for the other shoe to drop, you may try to preempt it by staying a step ahead of what your partner is thinking. Of course you’re not inside their head so you can never really know what they’re thinking, so this is all based on...


The Dreaded “V” Word (Vulnerability)

Just hearing the word vulnerability makes some people run for the hills. But why is it so scary? Because it feels unsafe and people think vulnerability equals a loss of power or becoming a door mat. So in an effort to hold onto the upper hand, they want the other person to go first (show me yours and I’ll show you mine!). But vulnerability is actually empowering. It is at the core of everything, and it is has nothing to do with winning or control. It also has nothing to do with oversharing,...


Journey of Attachment: What Do You Really Fear?

You think you’re afraid of losing a relationship, job, friendship, money… losing something. But what if I told you your fear isn’t what you think it is? That actually, it’s not about the actual loss. It’s your feelings around the loss you’re afraid of. It’s not your fear of being alone. It’s how you’re going to feel about being alone and what that says about you; how you might be judged. So instead of facing that fear, you stay in an attached relationship. You avoid the feelings around what...