Friday, July 31, 2015


The stories of shape shifters permeate most cultures. 

They range from our werewolves and Dracula through the Native American cultures that portray shape shifters as both malevolent beings and guardian spirits with healing powers.

A clue to how much we actually love this concept is its pervasive presence in our ever present video games!   

Why so prevalent?

Perhaps one way to look at this phenomenon is that we all have a tendency to morph!  Slip sliding into different aspects of who we are. 

If you can acknowledge this in yourself and others, if you can catch it happening, you create another tool for understanding your world and your reactions to it!

An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...


Did you ever stare at a kaleidoscope and make out shapes?
How about staring at clouds and watching them morph?  You know, bunnies and kitties turning into fire breathing dragons?

Take a moment and watch the people around you and allow yourself to begin recognizing the morph…

Some people can actually see it happen!  WOW!
For others of us, we can identify the shift only after it's complete. 

The more you practice this one, the easier it gets and the more useful a tool it becomes! 

Here's a true story that one of our readers shared:

"Once I realized that one of the people I'd most like to shake, spent most of his time morphed into Golden Retriever energy the desire to shake him was gone and instead I was super clear on what to expect:  galumphy Golden energy!  They are really cute, but get over yourself if you expect them to get quantum physics!"

To comment click below

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Ever been in a totally sequential, logical, understandable conversation with someone and all of a sudden find yourself left in the dirt wondering what happened?

Where did they go and where did that conversation take such a radical turn…

I was talking to my logical, compassionate, very mature friend and suddenly… Whoa!  I was clueless!

What happened?  She was ranting and raving, arms flailing… And then it hit me!  SHE MORPHED!

This was her 3 year old self throwing a total hissy fit!  OMG

I could see the image.  And it changed everything.  Instead of feeling confused and stressed and perhaps like I did something wrong, I started to laugh... 

Quietly, of course.

And then there was another recent time: 

A friend came to help me with a minor problem and as he was leaving - too far down the hall for me to respond - he turned around and got a totally squinty-eyed, evil look on his face and made a very nasty comment…

This time I got it right away!  SHAPE SHIFTER!  LIZARD MAN!

And again, instead of getting caught in the melodrama I smiled in delight…

Hey, I don't like scaly things with those long yucky tongues, but at least I don't blame myself for the way they act!

What do ya say?

Can you see how recognizing the morph can help you create a healthy separation between what's yours and what isn't?

To comment click below

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


To neutralize a toxic substance you are exposed to it helps to know its ingredients. 

It is an interesting phenomenon that humans usually look for their own 'fault' in whatever happens.  'How did that happen?' our parents ask us during our childhoods.  'What did you do?'

With Dark Cloud People it is important to realize that most of the time you are irrelevant to the mix… 

Dark Cloud People carry an enveloping cloud of anger with them that can contaminate everything that it comes in contact with.  

This anger comes from all their perceived hurts, insults, lack of acknowledgement, and sustained emotional injuries throughout their lifetimes. 


When they dump that cloud on someone else they feel a sense of relief!

An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...


Sometimes we are in a position to totally avoid these bad news folks…but sometimes they walk into our lives in the guise of family, office mates, neighbors…

Hubris (you know that arrogance of ours that makes us think that we are truly unique and can handle anything) often allows us to see how the Dark Cloud Person is raining their toxic mix down on others, but leads us to believe that we will be spared. 

False!  Sooner or later this barrage of poison will be directed at you…

To protect yourself:
1)  See it coming. 
2)  Recognize that you are not immune - it's just a matter of time!
3)  Don't look for your fault!
4)  Duck! 

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Ever know any of those people who carry negative energy around them like … a circle of dark flies hovering over their heads?

These are the folks who walk into a room of happy people and the tone drops - CRASH!  BANG!

Or they walk through a lobby and you swear you can see a trail of snail slime behind them!

Okay, I'm getting a little gross here but we all have run into these people, right?

What do ya say?

Know how to zip up and avoid the slime?

To comment click below


Thursday, July 23, 2015


"This guy I know, actually I thought he was a friend… I ran into him in the Lobby and he acted like I was invisible.  I mean, I know he saw me." 

"I wonder what I did to upset him."

Sound at all familiar?

You should have heard her list of possibilities.  Yikes!

It never even occurred to her that maybe the guy was in his own zone… or even more likely, maybe he was just being a total jerk!

What do ya say?
Do you always think it's your fault?

To comment click below

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Like any other 'information system' the content we feed into our brains affects the outcome…

If we believe we are constantly improving, that our efforts make a difference, we are able to reinforce forward momentum.  If we constantly judge ourselves harshly we handicap our ability to improve.

We are not talking about false applause.  If we break something we don't tell ourselves it didn't shatter!  We also don't scold ourselves for being a klutz!   Instead we can say,' Hmmm, I wonder what that was about, and what information it gives me to up my game.  Was I distracted?  Is there something I need to take care of that I didn't realize?'

Perfection is a false and truly problematic concept.  Improvement is an attainable reality!

An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...


One of the greatest threats to our self improvement is anger - directed at ourselves in the form of our inner Victim and our inner Bully.  To keep your game at its best do a daily sweep for these two 'bugs'…

1)  Ask yourself it your self talk sounds Victimy… You know how this sounds, right? Hints are:  'poor me', 'I never get it right', 'I can't', 'life sucks'.  The word 'try' is a great Victim indicator… As in "I'm trying, but…"

2)  Look for the Bully.  Again most of us know this routine…   
 Hints are:  Any scolding statements ie. 'I can't believe you did it AGAIN!', 'You are hopeless', 'You are __________(fill in any pejorative adjective!)

3)  Ask yourself what you are angry about.  If you are being a Bully or playing Victim there is always anger!  Make 3 anger statements:  "I'm angry that______."  and see what comes up.

4)  Do something healthy to release that anger.  Try imaginary dialogs with others, hit a pillow, a punching bag, ride a bike, dance hard…

5)  Do 3 sentences every day of your loving compassionate voice.  (No, don't gag!  This is really important!)  This is your internal cheerleader.  Come up with 3 'Yay yous'!   


To comment click below

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


When someone asked the wonderful master cellist Pablo Casals why, in his 90's, he continued to practice everyday he responded that he was beginning to notice some improvement…

Enough said, right?

Each of us can practice every day - and truly - though maybe slowly - begin to notice some improvement.

In what?

In our attitudes about ourselves!
Being pro-active (practicing every day) actually sends messages to the brain which combat those pesky feelings of inadequacy and depression.

And what difference does it make to the world whether we are down in the dumps or actively enjoying and learning from the moments of our lives?

To paraphrase another wise elder, the Jewish sage Hillel is famous for reminding us of this in his words: 
 "If I am not for myself who is for me? … And if not now, when?"

…and finally we can interpret the words of another great leader down to this same personal level:

What do ya say?
Can you get this one?
To comment click below 

Friday, July 17, 2015


How do we develop the skill set that allows us to find the 'gift' in any experience?  Are some people just born with this ability? 


At the same time we do have a wonderful capacity to learn.  Once we recognize the need for an attitude evolution, a reason that makes sense to us, we have a tremendous ability to shift in the way we look at things.

We rarely make changes because we should, whether that mandate comes from someone else or our own internal bully voices…

We change our outlooks when we understand that we do have a choice, and that we can upgrade our attitude in a way that improves our quality of life!

An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...


Remember that old saying: "Fake it till you make it"?  Well this is a variation on that theme with a bit of movie stardom thrown in…

Think of someone you know who is inspiring in their attitude towards hard times.

Imagine you can be that proverbial fly on the wall and watch and listen to how they go about dealing with difficult things…

Now get your actor thing going and take on their role as if you were really studying for a part in a movie!  Imitate their voice - copy their body movements - facial expressions…

Be them for a few minutes.  (Actors often talk about how they expand their own awareness by taking on roles for a movie, stating that after the gig is over they find something in them has changed.)

Take a minute in this role and let yourself experience a somewhat altered reality.  How does this feel?

Now, take a deep breath and step back into your own shoes.  Can you feel the shift?

To comment click below

Thursday, July 16, 2015


The last two days posts on 'Take Aways' brought so much response that it is obvious there is more to say on this one…

Check out these three great comments:

The first came from a woman who has just gone through two deaths in her family.  

"I think I'm pretty good at the topic of yesterday's post," she stated with justifiable pride. 
"The last year has been a non-stop learning experience for me and I know I am a stronger and healthier person now then I was before these losses." 

By learning about her own resilience and strength she is able to interact with others in a new way, taking better care of herself in her world.

Another one of our readers also used adversity as a transformative experience, taking some truly frightening legal situations as an opportunity to work out unfinished emotional family business, coming out of the situation actually lighter and happier!

The third true story comes from a man who had a really frightening medical emergency that nearly killed him! 

When he told me about his experience he did mention the details of what happened, but his focus was on the positive 'Take Aways' -  the sharp ER room tech who diagnosed his condition, his amazing medevac helicopter ride, the wonderful nurses who advocated to get him exactly the care he needed and the magical experience of his hospital roomie who filled the space with evangelical prayers, laughter and joy.

What do ya say?
Can you take the ride?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


Ever notice how some people seem able to go through life's ups and downs without becoming disillusioned?  And others, maybe even less plagued, walk around angry and bitter?

One perceptible difference between these two types seems to be the ability to learn from whatever comes into their path…

To paraphrase one of our favorite quotes from the Dalai Lama:  those who come out on top seem clearly to be those who can take, or gain from the 'lesson' and leave the experience behind!


An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...


You can do this experiment by yourself or with a partner:

*Focus on an experience that has you upset or blue.
*Describe what happened.
*Who were the 'players'?  Describe their behavior and demeanor in this story.
*How did you feel?
*Now take it to the extreme and do the 'VictimDance'. 

We all know how to do this one!  Exaggerate your position of being 'done to'.  Moan and groan about the unfairness of the whole thing.  Really get into it.  The clue that you have it nailed is when you crack a smile or even manage to giggle at the absurdity of the whole thing.

*Next play 'WiseSage' and help yourself find the gold. 

This means looking at this past experience as a learning tool - you know you've got it when you can take a deep breath and feel some of the tension leave your body.

To comment click below

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Have a bad experience?  Feeling bitter and blue?
Done in?  Done to?
Find the 'Take Away'!

If you can find the gift hidden in the garbage…
If there's a way that you can point to a 'life lesson'…

The idea is to find something valuable to you - something that you learn that will make your life better going forward…

You know, one of those 'Ah Ha!' moments…

What do ya say?

Can you let yourself mine for the gold seams - even in life's rubbish?

To comment click below

Friday, July 10, 2015


We all sometimes have difficulty setting healthy boundaries with others. 

We put up with their 'stuff' because we are afraid of the repercussions…


On the one hand, we are afraid that if we call them on their behavior they will:
- not like us
- leave us
- tell everyone what a horrible person we are
- call us too demanding
- point out no one else has problems with them, so clearly it's us

On the other hand, if we don't call them on it, we have to tolerate their obnoxious behavior…

Interesting choice, right?

An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...

Adults set healthy boundaries and deal with the consequences. 
They recognize their own worth.  Their time and feelings deserve to be respected!

Children can't set boundaries.  They don't have enough power - yet!

Ask yourself this one crucial question:
Do you feel respected by the other person's actions?
If the answer is 'no' give yourself permission to set a healthier boundary!

Thursday, July 9, 2015


"Well," he said talking about his sister, "she's obnoxious but you know, we all tolerate it… She's family and after all she just can't help herself…"


Why not?

Maybe, just maybe if someone cared enough about her to call it like it is, she'd wake up and realize that her behavior is seriously not okay.

Maybe she'd have one of those transformative moments.  It is possible, you know…

Remember the Emperor's New Clothes'?  read the story

What do ya say?

Do you really think you do someone a favor by letting them walk around with their 'you know what' hanging out?

To comment click below