I have been a lifelong avoider of conflict.
As in I used to really, really hate it - and that's coming from someone who counsels her kids on the regular to not use the word hate. Looking back I think a lot of it had to do with being a perfectionist, and knowing that if there was conflict relating to me, it was most likely because I'd done something wrong. (Or thought I'd done something wrong.)
Being wrong is not a place that a perfectionist feels comfortable. In fact, the amount of anxiety I endured around making sure I was doing all things right so as to avoid any future conflict . . . was exhausting.
But back to this idea of conflict or dealing with difficult life situations - the deal is that you can't avoid it, you can't sit in the past, or jump to the future. (Well you can - but the results are almost always decidedly unsatisfactory!) Truly, the only way to the other side . . . is through.
In Martha Becks' book "Steering by Starlight" she uses a metaphor of our "Three Ring Life" - which includes three concentric circles of consciousness: The Shallows, The Ring of Fire, and The Core of Peace.
People who are living their lives in the "Shallows" tend to be focused on material possessions, let themselves be guided by negative emotions and false beliefs, along with hefty doses of unease, stress and a constant want for "more". Bleh.
By contrast, The Core of Peace is where no untruths can exist and there is "no apparent separation from the fabric of The Universe." Attachment to grandiose thoughts or fancy things aren't important - and we don't have any concepts of being famous, noble, smart, handsome, influential, etc etc etc. It's where we most want to be, in what Beck refers to as "the state of the Stargazer".
So why do we spend so much time avoiding it?
Because we don't want to pass through the third ring to get there: The Ring of Fire.
"The Ring of Fire is the emotional process we must go through in order to reach the core of peace. There are only two ways to accomplish this. We can disbelieve any false ideas that are causing unnecessary pain. And we must grieve any unavoidable pain, such as the loss of health or a loved one."
She makes it sound so simple!
What I've found is that the same idea can be applied to resolving conflict - in order to get to the other side (The Ring of Peace) the only way is through (The Ring of Fire!). Let me tell you, once I figured that out . . . life got a whole lot easier.
These days when my boyfriend and I have a disagreement, this is usually the thought process that goes into our discussion:
* Ask myself "What was my part?"
* Own what's mine, let the rest go.
* Be willing to be wrong.
* Do better (or differently) next time.
Do I love it? No. But I do love how much better things feel on the other side of those conversations - it really is so peaceful!
What about you? Do you have some favorite conflict resolution practices? Some people actually really love conflict (which is so foreign to me!) - I'd love to hear your stories . . . send me a note or leave a comment below!
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On May 1st an email went out to me + thousands of other people, announcing the new podcast "Casting Call" - which also included a call for entry to submit an application to be a contestant on this new show. In short: Squarespace + Gimlet Media have teamed up to create a new reality-style-podcast where three finalists will compete to have their idea turned into a new podcast - which will all be documented along the way.
Of course I decided to apply (duh!), and spent a few weeks working on the written questions, and more importantly crafting my required three-minute-or-less audio sample.
This was a bit of a herculean feat for me - choosing a story to share, writing it out, recording it only to find that it was three minutes too long, cutting out all the parts that weren't necessary, convincing my 19 year old to get on Skype with me so I could "interview" him, & recording it over and over so as to not sound like I was awkwardly reading it off a piece of paper. (Which in all fairness, I totally was.) Then editing it all down so that it seamlessly fit into the three minute time window. It was a big deal.
On May 18th - three days before the due date - I filled out the online form, linked to my recording on Dropbox, said a quick blessing and pressed the "submit" button.
Here's the funny part: Even before I sent in my application I was quite certain I was going to be selected as one of the top three - and that part of my summer was going to be spent in Brooklyn, NY learning the tricks of the podcasting trade with my future-bestie & host of the show Jonathan Goldstein.
I'm not sure if that falls into a category of "Optimistic" or "Delusional" - but the truth is that I had so much fun acting as if this really exciting adventure had already happened. With this sense of confidence I also shared my submission with a handful of friends (which historically I absolutely would not have - being a former firm believer that if you "tell" something that's important to you, it won't come true . . .), and had some amazing feedback. I was on fire y'all!
Until yesterday when I got the "Thanks, but you weren't selected . . . " email.
I was seriously confused. And then had a big "Who do you think you are anyway?" moment.
Thankfully it was just a moment. Because . . . even as I entertained my "Summer-in-New-York" fantasy, I had decided that I was going to keep moving ahead with my podcast regardless of what the Casting Call outcome was. I didn't put anything on hold as I waited for their response - and if all goes well I'll be launching my podcast in September!
I'm currently reading "Girl, Wash Your Face" by Rachel Hollis . . . and yesterday came across this gem:
"Someone else's opinion of me is none of my business."
She goes on to say:
"These words are never more profound than when we're creating something. Maybe it's a book, a blog, a company, a piece of art, or your fashion sense. When you're creating something from your heart, you do it because you can't not do it. You produce it because you believe your creation deserves to be out in the world."
Of course in my case I'm creating a podcast - one where I'll interview Courageous Mom's, Parenting Experts, and Fabulous Teens about why they sometimes do crazy shit. It's going to be amazing!
Am I a teeny bit disappointed that my idea wasn't selected for this fun new audio reality show? Of course! And I also know that the contest application totally motivated me to a) Just Do It! (& not worry about being perfect), and b) Learn a bunch of technical things in a hurry that I would have otherwise probably approached with my traditional slow-poke attitude - all of which I'm so grateful for.
It also makes for a great story.
You can listen to my three minute audio submission below - which is the tale of the toilet on my 2nd floor.
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In the last month I've been working on manifesting a variety of things: New projects, a better relationship with my 20 yr old, podcasting magic . . . and more!
In classic woo-y fashion - I've been employing all the manifesting tools I know . . . meditating, saying my daily mantras (out loud & proud!), putting new practices into action, consulting oracle cards, having mini New Moon manifesting ceremonies, getting into my Core Desired Feelings, lighting candles & arranging my crystals, future writing, turtle stepping my way into what I want (& how I want to feel when I get there) - you name it I've been on it!
And somewhere in the middle of that - of trying to do it "right", I realized a piece of me was totally attached to the outcome . . . that the energy surrounding my dreams was that grasp-y, want-y, clingy, claw-ing, desperate feeling. The kind that The Universe generally does not respond well to. Oops!
I'm glad I could see the humor in the fact that despite my very best intentions - I was bringing a few things to the table that I decidedly did not want. So how exactly do you switch things up mid-manifesting-stream?
I recently read an article about the Immunotherapy trials happening at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute here in Seattle, where a patient reported a feeling of the large tumors on his neck "melting away" a week or so after his initial treatment. Wow! (You can read more about that here - it's fascinating.)
At any rate - once I decided to change the course of my manifesting ship, I literally had this vision & feeling of all that clingy energy melting away. Yes it's a rather dramatic comparison - but I'm rolling with it!
Then I decided to replace all that desperation with a new approach: "Wouldn't It Be Cool If . . . ?"
I wrote an intention statement - letting go of what wasn't working, and creating what I wanted in its' place.
And then reminded myself that everything happens with divine timing, and that the Universe always delivers. Also if you're a believer in coincidence, "signs" or energetic "winks" . . . they've been showing up almost daily in my little world - a reminder that I'm on the right path and to just keep swimming! Phew!
Disaster Averted. :)
What about you? Are you manifesting anything special these days? Do you have a favorite way to go about bringing your dreams into reality? Is it working? I'm so curious to know! Send me a note or leave a comment below!
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A couple of weeks ago I wrote about taking a pause between projects - and apparently I really took that to heart because last week for the first time in over two years I spaced out and didn't write a blog post!
In hindsight I think it was some combination of not feeling creatively inspired (or that I had anything interesting to share . . .), and being totally exhausted. The latter being a side effect of my new crazy workouts at Orange Theory Fitness & not drinking enough water. Yes, I still struggle to stay hydrated - I think I'm going to be working on that for the rest of my life.
So there have been lots of solid naps, finishing a book (with two new ones arriving from Amazon this week), and baking!
Yep - sometimes I become my Mom and baking (and feeding people) becomes my love language. The first batch actually started out as a thank you gift for my sons' friend who let me interview him for my podcast last week (it's going to be awesome!) - but then my kids wanted some too, and I had a few . . . and then it turned into lots & lots of scones.
The are so yummy and generally so appreciated . . . I thought I'd just share the recipe with you.
Preheat Oven to 400°.
1 Cup Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 Tbsp Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
Mix dry ingredients in a small food processor. (or in a bowl).
Blend in 2 Tbsp Butter.
Add 1 egg (saving a little white on the side), and 3 Tbsp sour cream. Mix until it turns into dough.
Turn onto floured board & knead a bit "until nice." Add currants or candied orange peel if you wish.
Pat into a circle & cut into 1/4 or 1/6.
Transfer to greased aluminum foil, brush with reserved egg white, and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 400° for 12-15 minutes.
& VOILA! (or VIOLA! As one of my co-workers used to say . . . cracked me up every time. :) )
After making these for years . . . here are my notes:
Yep - that's my well-loved recipe from about 20 years ago!
Do you have some favorite recipes that you find yourself making when you need a break from "Life"? I'd love to know - leave a comment or send me a note!
Meet me here on Saturdays for some weekly vibes - honoring the week that has past, and clearing the way for what's new. Gather your journal and favorite pen, along with a hot cup of coffee/tea/chai - and settle in for 30 minutes dedicated to YOU.
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