Saturday, April 29, 2017

Self-medicating with busyness

In talking with my coach this week, I had a big insight. I've always sort of known that I'm addicted to overworking. I like feeling productive (it's a reliable positive feeling for me) and I like being needed by my clients and doing them a good service with my editing and coaching. It's a win/win.

But over the years as my interests have broadened out, especially in the creative direction of writing and painting, this overworking habit is not serving me so well because I'm just trying to cram more in and feeling more and more stressed about it. I've set up blog commitments and writing commitments and painting commitments and work commitments and social commitments that leave me pretty ragged.

And what I saw Monday was not only is overworking a well-entrenched habit, it is a form of self-medicating. And oddly, a kind of preemptive self-medicating. I overwork not only to get the good feelings of productivity and being useful. I overwork to prevent boredom, restlessness, and any other uncomfortable feelings. In a way, this isn't a bad thing. I don't want to be bored or restless or sad or unhappy. But at the same time, I don't let those feelings come up and move through me. I'm numbing them out with work and commitments.

I don't think I'm the only one who does this, the only one who's nervous about downtime and what might show up. I do know that I don't want to be self-medicating in any way. I want to be fully in my life however that appears. So change is needed.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

What would it take to make this the best part of your life?

In my decades as an intellectual cynic, I would have found this question ludicrous. I prided myself on being a realist (I focused on realist literature for my doctoral work after all) and didn't believe in personal transformation or the ability to create what we want. Now I do believe in that.

Sobriety from alcohol, abstinence from sugar and other simple carbohydrates have proven to me that we can change how we are, how we feel, how we "be" in our lives. And while we are powerless over many things, we are not helpless. We always have control over how we react to circumstances and how we respond to what life presents us.

Two years ago, I was pretty despairing. I was mired in food addiction, obese, only sort of healthy (I did have a consistent exercise program). Now I'm in better health than in a long time. I have a lot of gratitude for all the blessings of my life and a lot of curiosity as to what else can happen. I'm not sure what it might take to make this the best part of my life, but I'm sure interested in the inquiry.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Bright Line Eating discounts

Bright Line Eating is starting another boot camp on April 24. I have coupons for $100 off the cost of the bootcamp. Email me at

Monday, April 17, 2017

Getting off the fence

I got to watch a master coach last week help a woman work through her indecision about a long-distance relationship. The details of her dilemma are not important here, but his coaching was so valuable that I wanted to share those ideas. This is what I saw.

It takes tremendous energy to be on the fence. The energy we put into thinking about the issue (and most often, it's worry, not just thinking), the energy of stuckness, is energy that doesn't go into other meaningful things in our lives.

Fence-sitting drains our energy in two other ways. We often feel bad about ourselves that we are indecisive and that drains us. And we are in fear, fear that we will make the wrong decision. And that drains us.

But most important of all, we can't move forward if we're on the fence. We've usually fallen into what is jokingly called "the paralysis of analysis." We play out the pros and cons, make lists, discuss it endlessly with friends or family (who may begin to lose patience). And nothing changes.

The coach encouraged the woman to decide. To step out of the relationship and see what happened. Or to step much more fully into the relationship and see what happened. She wouldn't know, couldn't know until she stepped down off the fence one or the other.

I've lived some long stretches on the fence. I know understand why that was so dreadful.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Monday, April 10, 2017

An amazing article on our right to choose

In the early 1970s, I worked in Houston as a counselor for women seeking legal abortions in New York and California, where it was already legal. This article really speaks to my heart.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

A great post from my rabbi on managing expectations

Managing Expectations
As you might or might not know, I am an accomplished magician. Every year since 1979, I’ve gone to Tannen’s Magic Camp
 – first as a camper, then as a counselor, and now as a member of the senior staff.
The best magicians will always let you know before you are fooled how you are about to be fooled. They might say “Wouldn’t it be amazing if…” and give you a sense of where the magic is going to happen. They hint at it. The general rule is that you don’t want your magic to be anything completely unexpected.
Surprises undo us. Most of us dislike being completely fooled. We don’t mind if a spoon bends, and we don’t mind if the signed card is now in a wallet — as long as we were somewhat expecting that to happen. We are comfortable with our expectations being messed with as long as we are expecting our expectations to be messed with. We do not like when things happen far outside our expectations.
The recent election of Donald Trump was outside of the expectations of a majority of Americans and many people throughout the world. (I'm still quite baffled by it.)
We don’t like to be fooled.
We don’t like the world to be other than how we want or expect it.
We dislike it a lot. We really don’t like the world not to conform to what we expect.
We ask the doctor, “Will this hurt?” We ask people who have been down the road before us, “What’s it like?” We seek all types of counsel to help us control, predict, and prepare for the future.
That’s what this newsletter is about. With regard to some of the spiritual-religious aspects of your life, I help you make some better sense of this world. And, I push you, gently and with love, towards making it a better place.
 might be keeping God out of your life – no matter your understanding of the word gee-oh-dee. Observation bias underscores this notion that we tend to see the world as we think we will see the world .  For example, if you are a teacher and you think a student in your classroom is “trouble,” you will see countless examples of that child misbehaving. If you think a friend is rude and  interrupts the flow of conversation, you will see that happen.

You should be astounded, literally, to realize that what you expect to see is almost synonymous with what you see. - rB

Maybe the world is only how we see it because that keeps us comfortable?
I awoke the other day with a quote by Martha Beck in my mind: “The repercussions of one person living in stubborn gladness are incalculable.” I was struck by the word “stubborn” and decided to spend the day in stubborn gladness – and while it took work, I managed to do it.
If you want to see more love in the world, start looking for more love in the world, and you’ll see more love in the world.  If you expect to encounter wondrous things, there’s a much greater chance you are going to see wondrous things. If you are expecting to see a beautiful world, a beautiful world can be seen.  (If you want help in this spiritual paradigm shift, please ask. I would love to help.)
Perhaps the universe doesn’t want to fool you too hard by making the universe anything other than what you expect. That’s how good magic tricks work anyway.

Rabbi Brian Mayer  has a great blog on Monday mornings. You can sign up for it here: Sign up for free! -

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Celebrating with my MD

Today I had an appointment with my doctor to review lab work I had done last week. Because I've been at risk for a number of the obesity- and sugar-related diseases (heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes) for a number of years, I do blood work about every 9 months. (There's also some genetics at play here too.)

For the first time in the 18 years that I've been seeing this doctor, all of my blood work was normal. NORMAL. NORMAL! 

My cholesterol with medication was 206. With half that medication, it's now 131.
My glucose was 108; it's now 78.
My A1C, an inflammation marker, was 5.8; it's now 5.1.

Everything else is now smack dab in the middle instead of too low or too high,

Such encouragement to stay off sugar and flour!

If you're interested in exploring Bright Line Eating and its bootcamps, I have coupons for $100 off. Email me at

My latest book: Candy Girl: How I gave up sugar and created a sweeter life between meals.
Available at: