Friday, September 30, 2016


We're actually not talking about a clinical diagnosis.

No, what we're referring to is that garden variety, every day, getting stuck on a theme that most of us find ourselves sliding into from time to time.

This mild form of obsessing is common enough that it can probably go into the category of 'normal but annoying' human behavior.

Remember we are not referring to a prolonged or constant behavior that needs more serious intervention!

DANCE WITH IT!   EXPERIENTIAL APPS                           
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas…


Obsessing about something often indicates 'unfinished business'.

Ask yourself what you can do to be done with the subject you are stuck on. 

Do you need to change how you are handling something?

Do you need to have a conversation with someone?  An imaginary dialog?

Do you need to find a productive way to handle anger that you might be feeling?

Thursday, September 29, 2016


"So, I've invented this new thing for myself…"  

She was smiling and obviously very delighted.

"Every time I start going on and tormenting myself about old business - you know things I've already looked at, worked on and dealt with - I imagine an alter ego popping up with a stop sign… and I hear some version of a 'stop' song."

"When I do this I crack myself up… and it works!" 

"I really do stop - until the next time, but no problem, my crossing guard self is there, ready and waiting with that sign!"

What do ya say?
Give it a try and let us know…

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Our most powerful organ - our brain - can create amazing changes. 

We can use it to suffer - to feel like victims and obsess about what we needed and didn't get or…

…we can use it to consciously take active roles in our healing of past emotional, psychological and even physical traumas.

We are not talking about denial and pretending that something was different than it was.

The idea is to grab hold of the reality, face it and then find ways to heal and make changes.

DANCE WITH IT!   EXPERIENTIAL APPS                           
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas…


Rule #1 - Be creative
Rule #2 - Be flexible
Rule #3 - Be persistent
Rule #4 - Be conscious

So, what does this mean? 
In order to make changes in how we feel, first we need to acknowledge the feeling. 

Next we can do something creative to release some of the energy connected to that feeling - this is where some of that creativity comes in! 

Use your imagination to stage dialogs, to act out different scenarios.  Release comes when you find yourself laughing or even crying!

Now, again using your brain power, decide what needs to happen to allow yourself to heal. 

Is it forgiveness of others?  Of yourself? 

Is it creating an alternate reality that you consciously 'adopt'? 

Perhaps part of it is taking in love and good feelings from nature, from any sweetness that you see around you? 

Might it be from allowing that inner cheerleader of yours to take over from the internalized bully voices of others that entered your past reality? 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Check out this story:
"She was a really rotten mother and my husband can't believe I still talk to her… but I do it for me. 

I know it sounds weird, but I needed to find a way to get rid of the pain she caused.

And amazingly, when I watch her with our baby, how loving she is, somehow I feel like I'm receiving that love too…"

Here's another one:
"He was an awful father, a real bully - demanding, and mean. 

Now he's in his 80's and at first I felt really bitter about all the help and support he needs and never gave to me…

But when I'm with him, I am conscious of giving him what I wanted him to give me throughout all those years growing up - love, support, kindness...

It amazes me, but somehow giving it to him now is slowly shifting all that old pain and closing the wounds…"

What do ya say?

Does this make sense to you?

Friday, September 23, 2016


Life isn't linear - no matter what we've been led to believe - or even hoped for!

A wonderful and more realistic image is the ocean's waves moving on the sand of a beach.  They get close, they move away, they get a little closer… and then they pull back until the whole thing starts all over again.

Even pro-athletes go through slumps, catch their breaths, maybe re-think their strategy and then get back in the game.

DANCE WITH IT!   EXPERIENTIAL APPS                           
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas…

Try this:
The minute you commit to a goal, 'hire' your own personal inner cheerleader.
This is the part of you that always has your back.
Typical cheerleader sayings:
'Yes you can!'
'Hang in there!'
'It's ok!'

If you don't know this part of yourself now's a great time to find it!

You can 'borrow' the voice of someone supportive in your life, or take a sound that you like from the media.
          How would this part of you look?
          What would it say?
          Where would you position it? 
          In a particular room?  
On your shoulder?  In your head?  At your back?
Would your cheerleader always be there and accessible, or get triggered at certain moments?


Thursday, September 22, 2016


Remember that Paul Simon song?

'Slip slidin' away
Slip slidin' away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you're slip slidin' away'

Check this out:
"It is so frustrating and mind boggling!" she ranted.
"I make a goal, really work at it, and get so close… and the next thing I know I'm miles off base!"

"Why does this keep happening?"

Her goal in this case was weight loss but I could have been anything…

What do ya say?
Been there?

How do you deal?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Here's today's question:  When do patience, persistence, and determination morph into stubbornness?

How do we mark that boundary between hitting our heads against the wall and giving up too soon?

An interesting and important question, right?
On the one side strength, on the other side rigidity…

DANCE WITH IT!   EXPERIENTIAL APPS                           
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas…


Here's an interesting way of thinking about these feelings:

Persistence, patience and determination have a certain 'color' and 'sound' - a feeling of 'Yes!
Stubbornness is a different 'color'.

Can you let yourself experience that difference?

Imagine giving a color to each of these emotional states.  
What would it be?

Now imagine giving them a sound.  
Try this until you hit something that feels right.  
Try humming it. 

The idea is that the sound or color becomes almost automatic, and gives you an emotional heads up.

The goal is to help you experience when you shift from healthy and strong to rigid and stultifying.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


I'm sitting in the doctor's waiting room when an elderly, clearly handicapped man drops a wrapped toothpick on the floor.

"I'll get it!" I scream as he totters back and forth honing in on that tiny sliver.

He clearly does not want help and I watch hypnotized as his body weaves and wobbles slowly, very slowly, getting closer and closer to his goal.


What do ya say?
Is this a lesson in persistence and patience, or what?

Friday, September 16, 2016


Things happen to us and to those we love.  We get older, our parents get old.  We get sick, people die, accidents happen.
All of this is the nature of life.

Doom and gloom?

No… just part of our reality and no matter what we have to deal with, how we position ourselves in relation to these events has a significant impact on our experience.

Feel like a Victim?  Out of control? 
Studies actually show that this life position makes us hurt more and heal slower!

Feeling sad is a real and natural emotion.  Being angry and feeling scared are also real.  

These emotions come and go as we deal with moments in our lives. We experience them and move through them.  This is a natural part of being human.

Being stuck in one position is usually an indication of a malfunction of this natural flow of emotion.

An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas…


Do you find yourself saying:
          'It's not fair!'
          'Why me?'
          'They have it so much easier!'
We all go into this position sometimes… and sometimes is ok…

Ask yourself how often you do this:
          Once a week?
          Only when something difficult happens?

How long do you stay in this position?
          A minute?
          An hour?

Who are you comparing yourself with?
          A sibling?
          A friend?
          A mythical/movie character?

Now ask yourself if continuing to hold onto this position is what you want.
If you decide to release yourself from this Victim grip try this:
Every time you find yourself sliding into the role, exaggerate it. Add sound effects, facial expressions, wolf-style howls …

See what happens as you do this.



Thursday, September 15, 2016


"So," she moaned, "I am really dreading my future life dealing with my aging parents!"

"Yeah," her friend replied. 
"It will be horrible!  Everyone says so!"

What is it that everyone says?

That aging is horrible?
Or that their skill set for dealing with it sucks?

What do ya say?

Can you see it like it is and find a way to adjust…

And maybe even become wiser and stronger for the experience?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


The good:  Recognizing danger.

The bad:  Denying it exists.

The ugly:  Panicking and feeling paralyzed.

The best:  Acknowledging what frightens you and understanding what's behind it and coming up with healthy life strategies to deal with the situation!

What are you afraid of?
Yeah, we all know snakes, right?  
But unless you live in a snake infested area, this one isn't too high on your fix-it list…

The dark?  
Ok, another of those probably, hard wired primitive ones.  
But unless you live in an electricity free zone this one's easy…

So, what really frightens you?

DANCE WITH IT!   EXPERIENTIAL APPS                          
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas…


Try making a list of what frightens you.
Is this difficult to do?

Next, ask yourself where and when those particular fears came into your life.

See if you can deconstruct your fear to the degree that it actually becomes understandable - that 'Oh, yeah, I got it!' moment.

It might be a scene from your childhood when you felt helpless to defend yourself…
Or a moment when others had more power to make the rules…
How did you deal with it then?

Are you still really that same powerless little person?

Feel your grown up strength and power.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


A very wise Dad, who had been a navigator in World War II, was trying to teach his child about the value of fear…

"During the War," he said, "the one type of pilot we all dreaded having to fly with was the guy who never experienced fear."

"That was the one," he continued, "who would get you killed!"

What do ya say?You get this, right?

Friday, September 9, 2016


Ever have a toothache that you just can't stop probing with your tongue?

Or a mosquito bite you just can't resist scratching?

As these areas become red and inflamed you know this is a bad strategy… but somehow you just can't resist!

Maybe we can blame it on something biochemical or hormonal… or we could fall back on our 'it must have originally been useful in those pre-historic times'…

But the reality is that by agitating the hurt we increase the irritation and inflammation - and don't solve the problem.

Our repetitive recitation of emotional hurts has this same result - it increases irritation without resolving the problem!

DANCE WITH IT!   EXPERIENTIAL APPS                           
An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas…


Use the itch - that desire to keep going over something - as an indicator of unfinished business!
Be resourceful.  You can:

Talk to the person who is causing you the agitation in reality or with an imaginary dialog.  Remember, the sign that something is resolved is that your litany of 'wrongs' with this situation goes away - or at least changes!

Talk to a third party about what is bothering you.  Therapists are great for this, but so are friends if they understand what your goal is; ie to get rid of the feelings not increase them!

Ask yourself what feelings this situation has caused in you:  Anger?  Sadness? 

Are you feeling like a victim?  
Use your imagination to creatively release the internalized anger that comes with this feeling.  
Fantasies are a great release and don't actually cause harm!