The Terrible Tango

I subscribe to very few email lists. Sure I get my Groupon on… who doesn’t love a deal? But for the most part, I only receive regular emails from 4 groups. Mostly it’s because I believe these 4 people have some incredible content and I don’t want to miss it. One of them in particular I receive every single day. I look forward to the wisdom and insight that’s packed into this one particular daily newsletter. It’s powerful. A few weeks ago I realized that it had been over a week since I had received an email from my friend and mentor. I was used to getting them daily and thought that he must have been out of town, or super busy. In fact, as I thought about it, I couldn’t remember a single day where he hadn’t sent his encouraging note. It was not just something he took pride in; it was his work to make sure he connects with his hundreds of thousands of peeps every day. So I went to his website to see if he had indeed been posting his regular thoughts. Sure enough, there were some incredible insights posted for each day that I had not received an email. Then it hit me. Like a left hook that I never see coming. I must have done something to make him mad or disappoint him and so he took me off his newsletter email list. When I felt that knuckle sandwich it totally through me for a loop. The skin on it’s knuckles was coarse and pulled taut over those jagged bones, and made quite a connection with my jawbone. After the punch had landed it left the taste of sulfur in my nostrils and palate. A putrid punch that cold-cocked me. I frantically began to wonder what I had done that disappointed him so much that he no longer wanted me to be on his mailing list. I immediately created at least 5 different stories in my internal narrative of how I must have done something wrong to offend him.

Ridiculous isn’t it? That’s the first place I went and I sat with it for a while? Here is a guy who has thousands of people on his newsletter list. And yet somehow I thought he would single me out and remove me. And this is someone I’ve spent hours upon hours connecting with on a personal level, who has done more for me as a writer and mentor by lovingly pushing me and encouraging me than any other single person.  On top of that, it usually takes an act of congress to be removed from a newsletter.

It’s crazy isn’t it? No matter how far down the path of self-acceptance and love that we travel, we can still be blindsided by the most ridiculous thoughts. And that’s OK. It is completely acceptable to be struck out of the blue by absurd negative thoughts. We constantly have them running through our minds, ponging back and forth, even taking both sides of an argument! It’s ok to allow these thoughts to come and go. It’s when we grab on to one of them and take it for a prolonged spin on the dance floor that we end up being sidetracked from the good stuff in life.

I couldn’t shake the possibility that I had somehow done something to make my friend mad at me. I tried several practices that normally shake me loose of random thoughts of destructiveness, but to no avail. So I went in for the kill. I reached out and asked him if there was a reason I hadn’t been receiving his daily emails. Within seconds I received a quick reply that let me know that indeed they had been sent from the company he used to send his newsletters, along with links to show they had been sent, and a few suggestions as to possible problems with my IP server. To boot, there was a nice personal note of encouragement as well.

The music stopped and my dance with inferiority and the absurd ended. No sooner had those feelings dissipated than another immediately tried to take its place. Shame. “How could you allow this to happen? I thought you were past these farcical feelings and thoughts of inferiority and insecurity. How could you let this happen?”

This time, I immediately declined the request to hit the dance floor with shame. I walked away.

Have you found yourself listening to the plethora of voices that are trying to hijack your internal narrative, the story of your life? Is there a way you can go for the jugular and step off the dance floor? Is there a TRUSTED friend or mentor you can call and say, “I have this thought that won’t let go, can you tell me if this is true?” Go for it. Now. Don’t spend another moment dancing with the partner you have a hard time saying no to… especially when there are so many lovely partners that are just waiting for you to ask, “Can I have this next dance?”


"It takes but one positive thought when given a chance to survive and thrive to overpower an entire army of negative thoughts." - Robert Schuller
"Question: Why are we Masters of our Fate, the captains of our souls? Because we have the power to control our thoughts, our attitudes. That is why many people live in the withering negative world. That is why many people live in the Positive Faith world." - Alfred A. Montapert

One Day Self-Love Challenge

Yes, I do believe that one of the single most effective and powerful things we can do to participate in the Divine’s transformation of our own lives is to learn to love ourselves more.  Time and time again, as I work with people, when we get to the core of the problem, be it limiting belief, addiction, etc., it is a lack of self-love.  The thing that’s behind the thing that’s behind the thing is that they have placed a very low value on their life and don’t believe they deserve to be happy.    It is the most messed up thing of all and most people are barely aware of it. I genuinely think people want to be happy.  Yet deep down in places they haven’t explored often, they don’t believe they deserve to be happy or are worth it.  It’s the most devious trick in humanity.  Somewhere in our life we were told that we aren’t worth it.  We either were treated that way by those who were supposed to love and protect us when we were young and vulnerable, or because of decisions we made in the past, mistakes, we buy into the lie that we don’t have value and we aren’t worth being loved.  And yet we can spend our whole lives trying to prove that we are worth being loved and go to incredible lengths to try to show everyone that we are of value.

But you don’t have to prove anything.  Let me say it again.  You have nothing to prove.  The fact that God created you is enough.  That oxygen flows in and out of your lungs, bringing life to your blood cells, is enough.  What if instead of constantly trying to prove ourselves to ourselves and everyone around us, we just acknowledged that because we are alive and loved by the Divine, that we are enough.

Tomorrow is the one day self-love challenge.  Now if you just read that sentence and rolled your eyes a little, I understand.  I used to respond in the same manner.  And then I realized that being a control freak and a perfectionist, and being harder on myself than anyone else hadn’t really gotten me the things in life I want… peace, happiness, self-control, etc.  Has the way you’ve been living your life taken you to the heights of your dreams?  So why not take one day and commit to loving yourself?  Why not take one day to be completely and utterly gracious with yourself?  Why not take one day and instead of criticizing yourself for making a mistake, simply affirm that you love yourself anyways, just the way you are?  Here are a few places to start...

1.  Make the commitment to love yourself for 1 day:  Make the commitment and choose love for yourself.  Do it now.  If love is the greatest gift we have to give, what could be possibly wrong with loving yourself for one day in all your thoughts and actions?  Go ahead and literally write it out right now or type it in an email to yourself or send it as a text to yourself.  "Tomorrow I will commit my entire day to practicing self love."

2.  Affirm yourself verbally throughout the day:  Think of the most loving thing you could say to yourself, and repeat regularly throughout the day.  Get up and repeat it OUT LOUD to yourself first thing.  Write it on a post it note and stick it on your bathroom mirror before you go to bed tonight.  If you are having trouble coming up with something loving to say to yourself, try starting here.

3.  Forgive yourself immediately after any intentional or unintentional mistake:  So you just screwed up and maybe no one else knows it, but you do.  Immediately forgive yourself.  If it helps, you can allow yourself to feel your remorse and then say... "I totally and completely forgive myself for ____________________ and I release myself of all my anger and all my disappointment."  Try it.  Forgiveness is incredibly powerful and it is the one of the most freeing things to experience.  In fact, maybe you want to start your day by forgiving yourself for everything you've done that you have yet to forgive yourself for.

4.  Give yourself a gift:  Choose one thing to do for yourself that you know brings you life and you know cares for your soul and heart.  Maybe you love going for a run but haven't had time lately.  Maybe there is a good book you just haven't allowed yourself to read lately because you haven't had time.  Read it.  Maybe there is a friend that always brings you life that you haven't spent time with or talk to lately.  Ask them to hang out or simply call them and just talk.

Taking the one day self-love challenge is a gift that you can give to yourself with no strings attached.  It's only one day.  How bad could it possibly be?  A better question and motivation is, how incredible might it be?  What if you discover some things about yourself?  Wouldn't it be worth it?

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me via the website and I will be glad to get back to you before you wake up tomorrow.  What do you say?  ARE YOU WORTH IT?


“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”  - C.G. Jung

"Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion. "- Margo Anand

"Well-ordered self-love is right and natural." - Thomas Aquinas

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When 'They' won't Love you Back

Recently I was helping a client work through some limiting beliefs and behavior. He did not realize that his beliefs were limiting him, but it couldn’t be more obvious to the intentional observer. He was explaining to me about a woman whom he is friends with but he wanted more from the relationship. His world revolved around her acceptance and response to him. His days become judged by whether or not she paid the kind of attention to him that he desired. He had confessed his love to her several times over. Every time he did, she would respond by telling him that while she appreciates his friendship, she didn’t have those same feelings of romantic love towards him. Time and time again he would try to win her over and time and time again she would turn him down. According to him, she couldn’t be clearer about not wanting a deeper romantic relationship. She was not leading him on.

And yet one of the reasons he came to me was to ask me to help him figure out a way to win her over. Interestingly enough, that’s not what I do. I help people recognize their own limiting beliefs and behavior patterns, and help them break those limits and choose healthier and more loving beliefs and behaviors. Anyway, he wanted to be with her more than anything and this pointed to one of his biggest limiting beliefs… “My value comes from other people’s acceptance and love.” So I asked him, “why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you?” Without a thought he responded immediately, “because I love her.” So I asked him again, “but why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you? And this time, for the sake of argument, you can’t respond that you love her.” Silence. Through a couple simple exercises we quickly got to the core problem. He had determined that he was not going to be valued unless a woman that he desired ascribed a value to him. It was that simple.

This brings us to one simple truth. Our value and worth is not based on who loves us and cares for us. It is not based on how many people love us or care for us. Our value is based on the Divine’s love for us, and subsequently, our love for ourselves. Stop. Go back and read those italics sentences one more time. We cannot find our value in the love we receive from other people. Because our value does not lie in other people. It lies in the Divine and the Divine within ourselves. And once we realize this, and choose to believe it at the core of who we are, we are free to actually love others without stings attached.

Now don’t hear what I’m not saying. I’m not saying that community isn’t valuable and necessary. I’m not saying we weren’t made to love and be loved. What I’m saying is that no person can ever give us our worth, identity, and purpose. So I’ll ask you. Why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you? It’s one thing to share love with someone in service who may or may not want that love. But there are a whole new set of strings attached when we tie our worth and value to receiving love back from them. My friend has come to realize this. I would venture to say that he already realized this but never put it to words. His road forward is not impossible, but it will take some time to break those limiting beliefs and affirm truth. But it can be done. I know. I’ve done it.

Where does your value and worth come from? How many people respond to your status update? How many people read your blog? The amount of numbers attached to your paycheck? How your kids respond to you? We both realize that I could go on and on with these questions, but I won’t. I’ll end by asking this. Does your value come from the love of the Divine and your love for yourself? If not, email me. I’d love to help.

________________________________________________________________________________________ “There's nothing like rejection to make you do an inventory of yourself” ~James Lee Burke

“Rejection, though--it could make the loss of someone you weren't even that crazy about feel gut wrenching and world ending.” ~Deb Caletti

"I really wish I was less of a thinking man and more of a fool not afraid of rejection.” ~ Billy Joel

Power and Motivation for Change

The health of your habits will be in direct proportion to the amount with which you love and value yourself. What? Ok, let me put it this way. The more you love and value yourself, the healthier your habits will be. This seems like a simple concept right? A no brainer. The more I care about myself, the more I will want to actively care for myself. And yet how many of us have habits that we know aren’t healthy and wish we could change, but we feel powerless to do so? This is true at every level. Some of us have paralyzing addictions that keep us from having any sense of clarity and tend to compound poor choices upon more poor choices. We don’t love or value ourselves much, so we don’t put an end to the self-destructive behaviors that we engage. These behaviors are what we are comfortable with and we aren’t sure how to cope in any other fashion. Breaking the gravitational pull of these habits can only be done when we determine that we are more valuable than we previously thought.

And then there are other, more subversive unhealthy habits that we may have formed. Co-dependence, emotional soothing eating patterns, working all the time, searching for validation through social media, and lack of exercising, to name a few. What are some of the habits that you wish you could change? That you feel you really want to change, but haven’t succeeded yet.

I used to think that it was a matter of just really wanting the new habit or really wanting to get rid of the old habit. But habits are simply a by-product of how we view ourselves. You can’t ‘make’ yourself ‘want’ something more than you do. But you can choose to love and value yourself. The more you love and value yourself, the more your ‘want’ for caring for yourself will grow. Love for yourself will break the gravitational pull of any unhealthy habit and will automatically replace the poor habits with healthy ones.

In the past I’ve tried to shame or fear myself into changing the way I lived my life. I need to exercise more. I need to stop smoking. I need to eat better. I need to get more sleep… and so on and so forth. I would literally try to do mental gymnastics to convince myself and attempt to motivate myself to make changes. But the reality is, I was only going to make the changes that I felt I deserved. I was only going to live the life that I valued.

The real kicker is that loving and valuing ourselves is a choice. We can decide to love ourselves. We can determine that we are worth it. It isn’t a matter of convincing ourselves as much as it is a matter of believing the truth that we have value. That we are worth being loved. Making a choice is a powerful thing. To agree on a daily basis that you are worth it, that you do love yourself, will have ramifications that will reach your children's children. And then actually making choices to actively love yourself and value yourself. Instead of playing mental gymnastics, you can put your energy towards making decisions to care for yourself.

Not long ago, these concepts were completely foreign to me and seemed too ‘self-helpy’ or too ‘Stuart Smiley-ish’. But with some age, and a little bit of maturity, I began to realize that there is nothing as valuable as caring for, loving, and valuing myself. In loving myself I’m becoming a better person. In becoming a better person, I make everyone’s life around me better. I'm absolutely still learning how to value myself and love myself. But I'm finding the more I do, the better my choices and habits become.

So how about it? Are you stuck in some unhealthy patterns? Do you beat yourself up for not being the kind of person you ‘want’ to be or think you should be? Why not simply make the decision to determine that you are valuable and choose to love yourself? I dare you to say it out loud with conviction. No seriously, I double dog dare you.


“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I'm not going to let myself pull me down anymore.” ~C. Joybell C.

“You leave old habits behind by starting out with the thought, 'I release the need for this in my life'." ~Dr. Wayne Dyer

"I think the most important thing in life is self-love, because if you don't have self-love, and respect for everything about your own body, your own soul, your own capsule, then how can you have an authentic relationship with anyone else?" ~Shailene Woodley

Winning approval does Not make you a Winner

Last Thursday was part 1 of following your intuition, today is part 2. Just because someone agrees with my opinions and thoughts does not mean that I am anymore connected to them, to humanity, or to the Source.  Just because someone lets me know that they think I’m ‘right’ does not mean that they have shared love with me, or I with them.  It also doesn’t mean that I’m right, by the way.

And the opposite is true.  Just because someone disagrees with me does not mean that they hate me or that we are anymore disconnected then we were a moment before.  It also doesn’t mean that I’m wrong in my opinion or thought process.  Just because someone thinks I’m wrong doesn’t mean that we cannot love each other and be connected on a deep level.

Abraham Maslow said “be independent of the good opinion of others.”  Dr. Wayne Dyer drives this point home by saying that “you can’t get anywhere by simply doing what other people say or listening blindly to what your tribe tells you to do.”

I’ll go a step further and say that you have to own who you are, what you believe, and what you want for yourself.

Trying to please everybody means pleasing no one, especially yourself. In fact if you were trying to please everybody around you one thing I will guarantee is that you will never ever, ever, ever be happy (3 evers, that’s making a point).

I'll also guarantee you that you'll never truly know who you are what your purpose is.  If you are always trying to please others you will never know where you belong.  Because if you spend all of your time trying to make other people like you, trying to make other people happy or trying not to disappoint anyone, you will have spent no time figuring out what you like, what you want to do, and who you want to be.   It's not sustainable.

In an effort to please everyone you will add no value to this world. But if you take the time and you do the work to figure out who you are, what you want and what your purpose is, then you can add extreme value to this world.

You don’t have to please people to truly love them.  You don’t have to make people happy in order to act out of love towards them.  You don’t have to have people like you in order to add value to their lives.  But if love is the aim then you will have done your part to connect them and you to humanity.  Now that is adding value.

How can you love those who disagree with you?  Maybe its by engaging them, or maybe its by completely ignoring the way they so negatively announce that they disagree with you.  How can you love those with whom you can seemingly do no wrong?  How can actively love the people around you and free yourself from the chains of approval or disapproval?

The First Step towards Change and Growth

There are ways in which we think about ourselves that often we aren’t aware of. Take self-acceptance for example. There is nothing more powerful than the ability to love yourself. And the first step to loving yourself is accepting yourself, just the way you are… right now. Not 1 year from now, or 3 years from now. Not when you have a different job, the great promotion, the right life partner, the right children, the right house, car, etc. But accepting yourself right now, just the way you are. Here is how most of us operate. There are things about our lives that we aren’t satisfied with. Maybe it is something as simple as not being satisfied with our job. So we don’t accept that part of our life until we end up having the kind of job we like or the kind of income we desire. We tell ourselves that once that happens we can accept ourselves and really begin loving ourselves. What we often don’t realize is that isn’t how self-acceptance and self-love work. It doesn’t just begin to happen when we reach certain ‘goals’. No. Self-acceptance and self-love begin when we make the choice to accept ourselves. And this is a choice we must make day after day for the rest of our lives.

Now the job scenario was an easy one. Lets dig a little deeper. Maybe there is something about yourself that you just can’t stand. Maybe it’s the way you can never keep to a diet or an exercise routine. Maybe it’s something as simple as the inability to quit smoking. Or maybe you don’t like how judgemental you are or you don’t like how easily you give yourself away physically because you’re just desperate for love and connection.

There are several issues that arise when we aren’t accepting of ourselves. The first is we often take on a sense of shame and ownership in a very negative way. We believe that because we’ve made a mistake or messed up again, we deserve the shame and many of the negative emotions that we feel towards ourselves. Secondly, we tell ourselves that this behavior is unacceptable, and so, we are unacceptable. This is such a huge block to growth in our lives.

It is nearly impossible to make changes in our lives when we are being motivated from a place of disapproval, unacceptance, and self-dislike. Nothing drains us more of motivation and energy than to dislike ourselves. Nothing blocks our hearts off from the love of the Divine more than our own self-hatred and self-loathing. And this is the nasty dirty little secret of life. We want to change because we recognize that we want to live better lives, but secretly, in ways we often aren’t aware of, we hate ourselves for making the mistakes we make on a regular basis. And self-hatred is completely counter-productive to growth and change.

But what if we radically accepted ourselves right now. Without hesitation. What if we CHOSE to accept ourselves with all of our warts and blemishes. What if we accepted ourselves right now, even though we are addicted to ____________________ or can’t help ourselves when it comes to _______________________.

When we accept ourselves just the way we are, by simply making the choice to, we relax our hearts and open them to be filled with new life. Our hands, that were once clinging to self-hatred and disapproval are now free to reach for and hold onto hope, change, and growth. You will find it almost impossible to make change based on self-hatred and disapproval. So make the choice to accept yourself just the way you are and begin to experience the motivation and energy to change because you care for yourself and want the best for yourself. It’s the difference between night and day within your own heart.

If you believe in a Higher Power you might start by asking For help in this area. If you don't believe in a Higher Power you might start by taking five minutes to sit with the decision to accept yourself.


Even though I can’t stand that I always ______________________________, I choose to totally, deeply, and completely love and accept myself, just the way I am. In loving and accepting myself I am choosing a better way of life.