Category Archives: psychology

Be Learning About Shame/Guilt 

Brene Brown is the shame expert in our generation, but I want to add my two sense as shame has been my game for most of my life.  I have been shamed, shamed others and watch people shame.  It’s powerful emotion and one that can be used as a tool to destroy! 

Your spirit.  

Your belief in yourself. 

Your belonging.  

Your being.  

First, let’s talk about the difference between shame and guilt to get this emotional, mindset roller coaster rolling down the track.  


For me, the difference between shame and guilt involves the external versus the internal.  Have you every had anyone ‘put’ something on you, that’s most likely shame.  My most recent example was when someone criticized what I said during a conversation they overheard and then, without me asking for feedback, they told me what I ‘should’ have done.  When I get ‘should’ on, I know it’s shame.   Someone is trying to tell you what to do and wielding the shame sword to get you to do it.    My father recently told me that “I thought mom and I had brought you up better than that.” Yup, I am 43 years old and that is called good ‘old’ shame.  

No should.  

Just could.  

No shame.  

Just guilt.  

No swords. 

Just freedom.  

Guilt for me is a super power that comes from within.  It moves you to deeper places.  It helps you grow.  It’s the feeling inside, “Oh, I could have done that!”  You realize your mistake and seek answers to make it better for next time.  It completely happens within.  It could have been triggered by an external event or conversation but no one ‘put’ anything on you.  It’s 100% coming from you.  This happened recently with something I ate.  I felt guilty afterwards because it wasn’t fueling my body but instead was feeding an emotion.  My guilt allowed me to move into a new place thinking about fuel versus feeling foods.  

Your spirit. 

Your belief in yourself. 

Your belonging.  

Your being.  

Free to live your life.  

Free to make mistakes. 

Free to listen within. 

Everyone living without shame ‘put’on each other.  

Free to get off the shame roller coaster.  

Free to step aboard the guilt train. 

Be Free.  

Be Enough.  

Be Floored by a Ted Talk 

Creating and playing using words is my love.  

It soothes my soul and brings me great strength in moments that I feel weak.  

Today, I watched this Ted Talk TWICE and his stories, experiences and words on rejection brought me strength as I reflected on my stories, experiences, and my words. 

May this bring you as much freedom as it brought into my day! 

Jia Jiang – What I Learned From 100 Days of Rejection

Be Open to Others Stories 

Our family got yelled at today!

Yup, “retired” guy yelled at us.  

Full on angry ‘yell’! 

Here’s the scenario and you can see the story from both sides: 

Our family of five had skied across the mountain to get to our favourite run almost on the backside of the ski hill.  It was a gorgeous, sunny, slushy-snow kind of day.  

We made it to the run right as the ski patroller was putting up the closed sign.  I spoke to him and asked if he was closing it because of hazards.  He said, “No, I am just closing it because it’s the end of the day.”  I looked at my watch realizing we had plenty of time to get down the run and then asked if we could take the run, even though he had just put the closed sign on it.  He asked if we were good skiers.  I assured him we were.  He told us to go ahead.  

As we stood at the beginning of the run, with its closed signs at the top, a “retired”guy came off the t-bar and proceeded to yell at us saying “Don’t you know the run is closed! It’s closed!”  

We chuckled and floated down the pristine, diamond-flecked snow on our skies.  And we talked about this valuable lesson.  

How often do we judge what others are doing as ‘wrong’ in our minds? 

I know none of us would yell at strangers, but how often to we do this? 

How often do we see what others are doing and create stories in our own minds about what is going on? 

Imagine now, like we did today, if we took the time to be open and get to know others stories.  


Imagine if we lived our own stories and just sat in openness about others? 

Kindly. 

Lovingly. 

Not being yelling “retired” guy in words or thought.  

Sitting in an open posture. 

Living our stories. 

Day by day. 

Being open to others stories. 

Kindly. 

Lovingly. 

Listening.  

Learning.  

Living in our story.  

Open to others stories. 

Be Searching for Something 

As I sit watching the sunset, I ponder that ‘something’ I search for.   That ‘something’ that will fill feelings of grief, sadness and overwhelm.  

That space that I try to fill every time I open my phone to check Facebook. 

The hole I avoid when I run away from what I am feeling.  

The darkness I turn from every time I sit in numbness, not wanting to feel, not wanting to go down old trodden paths of pain.

But sometimes life doesn’t give us a chance to avoid.  

It allows us the privilege to sit up, to notice, to see our grief journey clearly and how much pain we have turned into gratitude.  

This search for something that is really nothing outside of us at all. 

We can’t avoid living life and why would we want to. 

The privilege to be with our people, to see into the eyes of their souls and to get to know them on a deeper level. 

Yes, Facebook could do that. 

Walking away could help us reflect. 

And that darkness I talked about, well, that only helps us see the brightness of the light.  

See, I have learned to let go of my sense of judgement as things are neither good nor bad, they just are.  I have also learned to be present with what I am feeling, as these feelings are neither good nor bad, as well, they just are! 


So, as you search for that ‘something’ today may you first look within your soul, your beautiful unique self sitting within you.  Resting in your spirit.  

Being you! 

Then may you look around you at those imperfectly perfect people around you. Building Knex, asking about the birds and the bees, reading books, playing with pillows… are what my people are currently doing. 

Being them! 


Search for that something that is already within you. 

Beautiful.  

Imperfectly perfect. 

Neither good nor bad. 

Just being. 

Full of strength.  

Overflowing with hope.  

Sitting in the presence of His peace.  

Knowing you are loved.  

Searching for nothing. 

Found! 

*written for a special person in our life on this significant ‘something’ kind of day! 

Be Getting Untangled by a Weed

When I was a child, I never wanted to jump off the boat into the water.  The only way that I learned how to water ski was because I was afraid to fall into the weeds, so I decided to never fall.  I wouldn’t swim out to the buoys because I couldn’t see the bottom or I could see the weeds down below.  I am not sure which was worse.

Today, I swam two point one kilometres (1.3 miles) across our local lake with over 1200 other swimmers.  Six weeks ago, I couldn’t swim longer than 300 metres (984 feet) without putting my feet on the sandy, shallow bottom.  Yup, swimming along the kiddy area trying to keep my heart in my body!

Over the six week, I trained with a group who met every Saturday.  I listened.  I watched.  I put my head down into the water and did my best.   Throughout the week, I swam with a new friend who was in a similar place as me.  We made shrill shrieks as we entered the cool water.  We swam together.  We drank some lake water.  We eventually went around and around those buoys, but we had never swam across the lake.

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Until today.

Today, I awoke to the still lake water.  I watched it shimmer as the sun peeked out from behind a cloud.   I watched excited, nervous, wide-eyed people, over five hundred newbies, get ready to swim across this lake.

And you know what happened?  Within a few moments of starting the race, my leg got tangled up with a week.  Right leg started kicking, my mind was annoyed.  I had a choice.

Carry this weed throughout the race or shake it off and move on.

I kicked my right leg and off it slid and on I went.

Full of strength and grace.

Supported and lovingly held by this beautiful water.

Feeling like a dolphin, a mermaid or even a fish heading home.

I untangled more than that weed today.

As I swam head down, stroke by stroke,

I realized that that weed was a symbol of my emotions.

Am I willing to acknowledge where I am at in any given moment?

Am I will to shake it off, untangle the emotion and let it go?

Am I willing to swim my race, allowing the emotions to come, and just continue?

When you are swimming, there really isn’t much choice, but swim.

In life, there really isn’t much choice, but to live.

With our emotions.

Wherever we are in our stroke on the lake of life.

Riding the waves, like I did with my grief.

Finding camaraderie among people on the same journey, listening, learning.

With the strength and grace of practice, mental mindset and allowing myself to be.

Being me.

Being enough.

While getting untangled by a weed.

I am post-race untangled here!  Oh what a beautiful feeling!

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(Note from the author: Thirty-nine minutes swimming in a lake will bring up such metaphors.  I had the most mental clarity and mental “stillness” in that water today than I have ever had in any moment in my entire life! WOAH)

 

 

Be Finding Solace on Skis 

Being present to what we are feeling and thinking takes awareness, especially during the holiday seasons.  

It is easy to let time zip by in busyness, unaware of our body, mind and spirit.  It is easy to get wrapped up in wrapping just doing without being.  

Holidays are often wrapped up in a beautiful package of past memories and experiences that create our present life.    In my book, I talk about my ‘be enough’ mindset and allowing myself space to care for my soul.    

This year, I continue to unwrap past Christmas seasons, grieving the loss of my mom while being aware of my desire to create magical memories for my brood of boys.

I chose to be enough by strapping on my sticks! Heading off in the early morning on cross country skiis, solo. Allowing the thoughts float on by, in silence, in beauty with birds chirping me on as I pass by.  

I chose to be enough by strapping on my boards.  Heading off during the day on downhill skiis with my boys.  Allowing laughter to pour out, looking for jumps, in beauty with my boys hooting and hollering as I go by. 

Creating space to be.  

Exactly where I am.  

In body, mind and spirit.  

Finding solace on my skiis.  

Being me.  

 

Be Writing a Book and Remembering ‘How’ to have Big Hairy Audscious Goals 

As I have the privilege of living with and watching three wee boys grow I am conscious of big hairy audacious goals.  

My five year old wants a jeep. 

My eight year old would like a humongous Lego railroad. 

Our youngest would just like everything that his older brothers want. 

Each day these three beautiful boys share their dreams, large and small. They never worry about how it is all going to work out, but the goal is forefront in their mind and their smiles are humongous. 

I have always wanted to write a book. 

Somewhere in the last ten years, I have realized that I have forgotten about my big hair audacious goals.  I had become caught up in the what and the how of daily life. 

And now I am dreaming again and dreaming BIG.  (Just take a look at yesterday’s post!) 

I am living as a ten year old and recapturing what I used to love to do and how my mind loves to wander and wonder.  

The barriers that were placed in front of me as I grew are gone.  The visions and dreams to create in my life are mine alone. 

I  AM FREE!  

Free to dream. 

Wonder.  

Live.  

Free to be me! 

Free to write a book and publish it on Amazon. 

  
Right before ‘I am Malala’ on the list.  Woah!  I am humbled! 

Be Miraculously Meditating

I have begun a miraculous journey in my mind.

Led by many loving, successful mentors.

Meditation.

What does this word conjure up for you?

I never thought I would be doing it!

For me?

It is allowing my thoughts to come and go, but always trying to come back to the present moment

To being.

To breathe.

Have you ever tried this before?

WOAH!  I can see why successful human beings have this as part of their morning routine.

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November 2nd, 2015, I began a journey with Oprah and Deepak Chopra at the helm, leading the way as I declutter my mind and look at my beliefs.   This short twenty minute intentional “mind” time, is definitely getting some of the cobwebs from the corners shaken off.   My mind feels lighter and simpler.  The thoughts no longer zing around, they are down to a slow zap!

My body is the healthiest it has ever been and now my mind appears to be moving into the same direction.

Health.

Mindfulness.

Being.

Present.

Meditation.

Being.

Me.

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Be Slaying Cake Demons

Two years of buying cakes.  

Ice cream. 

Fondant. 

Chocolate.  

Vanilla. 

Cakes. 

Made by professionals.  

Two years ago was the first time that my boys did not have a birthday cake made by my mom.  

Elmo. 

Bert. 

Pirate.  

Digger.  

Cakes.  

Whatever the boys requested, my mom would lovingly and happily create.  

My boys most memorable birthday moments have been their cakes. 

Tonight, I slayed some cake demons.  Often the hardest things create the most freedom within us and around us.  

Tonight, I made my newly four year old’s request for a fire truck cake.  

Tears in my eyes.  

Heart racing.  

Knees trembling.  

Pink icing and all. 

(Who knew red icing was so hard to make?) 

I MADE A FIRE TRUCK CAKE! 

Soul cleansing.  

Mind moving.  

New habits.  

Overcoming.  

Triumphing. 

Cake making.  

Happy Birthday OC. 

(My mom’s namesake.) 

  
What hard stuff will you push through today?   What freedom will you create? 

Be Tweaking My Neck 

Yessiree Bob, I tweaked my neck.  

No idea how.  

I wasn’t twerking.

Just living life.  

I am so grateful for this time of tweaking.  

Time to slow down.  

Time to look at the clear blue skies.  

An opportunity to be grateful.  

No matter the circumstances.  

I have work where I choose my daily rhythm.   

I can put my health first.   

I can lie flat on my back if I need to.  

No day shall pass where I will not spend time in gratitude.  

Even with a pain in my neck!

Look at this view:



Even in the midst of physical and emotional pain, we can find gratitude.  

We just need to choose to look.  

(From whatever position we may be in!)