Sunday, April 29, 2018

I love this poem

If All My Relationships Fail and I Have No Children Do I Even Know What Love Is

Patrick Rosal

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Changing how I monitor and schedule my time

I've been taking an online class on creative focus from Jessica Abel and finding the time to do our creative work. We began immediately tracking our time to see where it was going and how we wanted to shift things. Then the next assignment was to schedule a perfect week. I dutifully printed out the form and sat down to do it and then stopped. I've done this exercise many times before and it never really changed anything. So I wondered how I could do it differently. And this is what I came up with.

Instead of focusing on goals and tasks (which I can still have), I focus on what I want in my life (I'm calling them domains). There are nine: connecting, reading, creating, learning, moving, maintaining, resting, reflecting, and earning.  In every week (every day is even better), I want a healthy measure of each of the first eight (the ninth, earning, may or may not happen some of the time). Some of these happen spontaneously or are habits (for example, taking a shower/maintaining or mediation/resting and reflecting); others are best included through focus blocks, where I set time aside to be in that active in that domain, like creating or reading. Some things I do satisfy several domains. For example, AA meetings are connecting, reflecting, learning. I'm liking tracking this to see what happens.

What might your domains be?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Some new thoughts about anxiety

I've been reading Harriet Lerner's book, The Dance of Fear, and one of the conversations in the book has really struck me. When people live with low-level anxiety all the time (not the big panic kind but the kind that begins to seem normal), they tend to respond in one of two ways to most encounters or challenges. Either they under-function or they over-function.

Underfunctioners give up. They step back, feel helpless, confused, weak, passive. Overfunctioners step up, take charge, move into the situation rather than backing out. That may seem more positive but many times, it's not. Because we overfunctioners--and I am definitely one of those--step up and into places we shouldn't. We give unsolicited advice, we try to fix other people, we act like know-it-all's. I find myself doing this in particular with those of my friends that I perceive to be underfunctioning.

For the first time, I can see what was propelling my childhood bossiness. It wasn't so much a need to push people around as a need to mask my vulnerability and uncertainties. What a revelation!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

5 Moments of Grace and Gratitude

My friend Rabbi Brian Meyer and I have been emailing each other in the evening for several years about the highlights of our day or answers to a question we pose. I recently asked him for a new idea and he offered this one: note five moments of grace or gratitude each day.

This totally brilliant suggestion has delighted me. It's brief, simple, and allows me to rethink some of the less joyful moments as grace and gratitude too. We do this in an app called Grid Diary, which I've mentioned before, but it could easily be a simple email.

Here are my 5 from yesterday:
Beauty. Driving home on Hwy 6 from the coast.
Amazement. How long it took to put everything from the retreat away.
Love. Time with my cats.
Pleasure. Coming home to a clean house.
Gift. A wonderful poem sent by my friend Sue

If you pick up this practice, let us know what you think.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Bright Line Eating recommendation and discount coupon

It's been two and a half years since I ate any sugar or flour. I find this to be a miracle. I had struggled with sugar addiction for most of my life but never named it that. But its similarity to be struggles with alcohol were so evident. A friend sent me a link to some videos from Susan Peirce Thompson, the founder of BLE, and that same friend encouraged me to sign up. I will be forever grateful.

Over these past many months, I've lost a lot of weight (about 80 pounds) and my self-loathing, that self-hatred we feel when we can't stop doing something we know we should. I eat better, feel better, live better without that addiction in play in my life. I even wrote a book about my experience called Candy Girl: How I Gave up Sugar and Created a Sweeter Life between meals (

If you struggle with food and sugar, you might want to take a look at BLE. I have coupons for $100 off the program. Just email me if you'd like one. (