Archives for posts with tag: understanding


Filling the space between and within
Deep-seated feelings of unlove
Projected out into the world
As her plea for validation
She gives endlessly
To everyone but herself
Hoping to be loved
And to find her belonging
A brick wall protects her heart
From feeling broken and sad
Building resentment and frustration
Which makes everything mad
Sensitivity goes hand in hand
With heightened defensiveness
Creating mile high barriers
With little understanding
Words become misconstrued arrows
Of slight, hurt and slander
Actions become misunderstood slings
Of attack, aggression and anger
There is no in-between
Always just black-and-white
The difference between good and bad
Will always justify the fight
The emotional rifts widen
To expose her soft-belly core
But soon thereafter comes a rumbling
Whose tsunami flows can’t be bore
Her heart is pure and golden
Carrying the best of intentions
It’s the weight of inconsequence
That always makes her strive for recompense
I open my heart, working to be soft and kind
But can no longer bear her pain
I shed her fears and insecurities
It’s my own progress that I must gain
Thank you deeply for your love
The time has come for me to say goodbye
To the relationship that once seemed to serve
There is a new dawn, a new age with no more lies
With Love,

Day 12 – Thanksgiving Thankfulness – Kindred Spirits: The best part about my self-discovery journey is understanding what I made up of – my desires, triggers, boundaries, annoyances, pains – and then honoring them in such a way that helps me grow. I gain further clarity. I accept without judgment. I heal. While the uncontrollable remains out of reach, it is my decisions that start to become clearer because they are more aligned with who I am. There’s less back and forth, push and pull… stirring up less dust and confusion, guilt and resentment, upset and dissatisfaction. I feel more at peace. As I come closer to my truest self, I attract those kindred spirits who I get to ride the same wavelength with – this is my favorite part about the self-discovery journey. To quote Susan Cain, author of “Quiet,” during her interview on MarieTV: “I go through the world looking for kindred spirits, and there is always at least one – the person you really connect with. You really want to be with them. You want to get to know them better. You want to stay in touch.” When I meet a kindred spirit, I find that our individual energies converge into one big, better energy that is captivating, inspiring, glowing. All of the sudden, two becomes better than one. There’s less hesitation to speak my truth because we make it safe for one another to express our individuality and to play with the boundaries. In the words of Ann-with-an-e from “Anne of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery: “Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” Kindred spirits always make home feel not that far away! Thank you. Xx

Day 9 – Thanksgiving Thankfulness – Voice: Voice is one of the most powerful tools we have to communicate our thoughts and feelings, individually and collectively, internally and externally. Voice transcends vocal chords and written word – it is the unmistakable spirit that inspires and empowers us to take stands against injustice, spread new ideas, forge deeper bonds, pass on generational traditions and create a community of oneness. All it takes is an act of kindness, a nonviolent protest, a reassuring hug – no doubt your message, your intention, your voice, will be clear as can be. Amazingly, through technology, your and my voice have gained spread and meaning. Our voices can be shared amongst an entire global community to help provide support, information and understanding. To quote Sheryl Sandberg in her HBS Class of 2012 speech: “… Now ordinary people have voice… Anyone with access to Facebook, to Twitter or a mobile phone. This is disrupting traditional power structures and leveling traditional hierarchy. Voice and power are shifting from institutions to individuals.” At first, I was set on finding my perfect pitch. Now, I realize that my voice will continue to morph over time as my belief system, authentic Self and circumstances change. Thank you. Xx

Day 7 – Thanksgiving Thankfulness – Grey Area: All too often, in order to make sense of life, we pare down the world into black or white – artistic or athletic, smart or dumb, generous or stingy, good or bad, with or without. This mutual exclusivity makes it easier for judgments and decisions. However, we leave out the best parts – all those shades of grey that create shadow, light, depth and perspective. Living in black and white denies full expression of the human condition – our core needs, deepest desires, innermost emotions, intense power and probing intellect – and prevents us from living in 3D. To quote Jon Ronson, a British journalist and filmmaker: ‘… the grey areas are where you find the complexity, humanity and where you find the truth.’ The space in between, the grey area, is where we will find our connectedness and universality – where we realize that you and I are the same. Thank you. Xx

Day 4 – Thanksgiving Thankfulness – Empathy: Most days contain elements of joy, satisfaction and even a bit of flow where missteps and mistakes are fewer and further between. Some days, emotions run high, fears escalate, insecurities trigger and miscommunications and misunderstandings happen one after another. On these days, I feel vulnerable and under attack. And the situation always involves… someone else. However, if I can find my breath and dig a bit deeper, I can tap into my inner source of empathy to administer a dose of compassion. This compassion goes a long way in helping to not take things personally, to understand a different perspective and to create healing. I must remind myself that my biggest antagonists will prove to be my greatest teachers. May I learn my lessons the least hardest way… Xx


a topic, phrase or word that emotionally sets someone off. Could refer to anger, or reliving a traumatic experience. Sometimes this is logical, other times it seems like an attention grab. (thanks, Urban Dictionary!)

In the past week alone, I confronted one too many triggers.  One after another arrived at my doorstep – uninvited, unexpected and unwanted.  For some reason, past scars, hurts, inadequacies and insecurities wanted to commingle with my present.  These pushy, loud, obnoxious visitors forged their way into my personal space and made themselves way too comfortable.  They started to create an upheaval, stirring up and muddying the clear waters of soul-searching, life-affirming efforts I had been planting, implementing, executing.  Up until now, I had felt relatively safe and secure during this time of transition.  Now, these pesky visitors reinstated fear and failure as the mainstay of my mindset, almost as if they served as a harbinger for my future.  As they took over the first floor, I retreated to the second.  I was becoming a stranger in my own home.   
Upon their arrival, I canceled my life and did what any good Cancerian does – hid under her shell to protect that soft, sacred inner space so that nothing else could get in.  Luckily, I was afforded the time and space to shut the door, but I knew I could not stay closed in for very long.  Besides, my visitors knew where I was and would eventually make their way upstairs… it was only a matter of time.  There was no way to continue avoiding them. 
Therefore, I had no other choice but to face the onslaught of their emotional heft.  Just like my stomach, so long as it felt relatively satiated and satisfied, I could prevent the hunger pains from cropping up.  However, even after being fed well-timed, good-proportioned and tasty meals, my stomach can operate from a mind of its own.  Without much notice, I could find myself just a few short hours after a filling meal feeling the pings and pangs of hungry peckers.  Damn those hungry pecking peckers.  And much like those hunger pains, my emotional pains were quick to appear and oh-so-slow to go away.  At times, it felt like agony. How agonizing.   
My retreat was the quick short-term fix.  It was the numbing agent that distracted me from the pain so that I could regroup and eventually sit with it, confront it, ask it what it wanted, then work with it to administer the long-term solution it needed so that it could heal once and for all.  Will there ever be a once and for all? 
I don’t know.  The only thing I did and do know is that I had to pull the emotional trigger and start to confront each debilitating feeling.  My best coping mechanisms included:
Make It Manageable – Get Grounded
Despite working on being more grounded and feeling more grounded, the emotional surge I felt was like a tsunami – little to no warning, fast and furious and destructively debilitating.  For the most part, when discomfort or emotion sweeps over me, I have learned to sit with it and let it pass.  This time, I felt completely blindsided.  My tactic had to change.  In order to bring back some semblance of order and understanding to face this head on, I took a time out to find my grounding.  This way, I could try to see a bit more clearly and figure out how to proceed.  So, when life knocks you off your feet, figure out what kind of time out you need – turn off your phone, go for a run, sit with it.  Get grounded in order to get back up.
Figure The Triggers – Develop Understanding
These triggers unfortunately have some sticking power, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it was neither their first time nor their last time around town.  If you don’t like the aftertaste they leave, my suggestion is to trace them back to their origins as best as you can.  For me, I’ve been working with mine for a while now, so I can at least more readily identify what the trigger is and from where it’s coming.  Sometimes just knowing this can help quell and calm me because I at least have some knowledge about why it happened.  Understanding then leads to empowered choices that you can make in dealing with it.  In the process of understanding, you will also gain some self-compassion so that any feelings of victimization (i.e. failure, fear, hindrance, etc.) can be transformed into empowerment.  Understand to create understanding.
Cleaning Up The Aftermath – Chase The Truth
In some circumstances, our triggers may have only impacted ourselves.  However, more often than not, our reactions will spill over into other areas of our lives, impacting those around us – co-workers, lovers, friends, possibly even strangers.  For me, my triggers were instigated by other people – the things I perceived as them doing, feeling, saying.  My mind seemed to carry this well formed template that attracted anything that remotely fit into it.  As soon as one piece seemed to slide in, my mind went chasing down the other pieces in order to complete its picture puzzle.  It didn’t matter what the truth was, my mind was on a mission to make it fit.  And in the meantime, it made me believe the truth that it was presenting – that of an old, broken record trying to relive its worn out glory.  However, in these moments of haze, I really didn’t know any other truth than the one my mind was presenting to me.  Therefore, as I took back my control, I chased the truth.  I approached those who were impacting me to seek the truth because that was the only way I was going to quiet my mind. 
Previously, triggers had the power to control mind and body – they would be the one steering my life.  I felt powerless and helpless as they shaped my perceptions, charged my emotions and created my reality.  Today, I am still learning.  While my mind still sometimes takes over my life with its own version of the truth, I now know now to let it continue down its own path.  I take over the driver’s seat so that I can steer my life in the direction I want to go in, which includes clearing up the misconceptions.  Luckily, I am surrounded by people who want to create a shared understanding, so are willing to work with me through the triggers.  However, I also know that I need to own this better – it takes time, patience and a lot of self-control over that oh-so-powerful old brain of mind screaming: Alert! System Shutdown.  In the meantime, I continue to play in my playground… and hope that one day, my triggers don’t scream as loudly. 
With Love,

conveying of events in words, and images, often by improvisation or embellishment.

In Daniel Pink’s new book, “To Sell Is Human,” he explains that selling is ubiquitous – everyone is becoming a salesperson, and (almost) gone are the stereotypes of the slick car salesman and Willy Loman.  Individuals and businesses alike are persuading and negotiating everything from movements (think theDesignLife) to ideas (think theDesignLife) to brands (think theDesignLife) 😉  Moms are selling a yummy nutritious breakfast to their 5-year olds who only want to eat sugary and sweet while CEOs are selling a great new disruptive service to their consumer markets who are tied to the old way of doing things. 
I am a salesperson.  Every time I meet someone I like, have an interview, coordinate a get together or write a blog entry, I inevitably incorporate an element of salesiness into my pitch.  I want you to buy me – get me – like me – understand me – hire me – believe in me – support me.  I could muddy this with the details, but overall, they all wrap up into one in the same.  I’m selling you ME.  It’s 100% au-natur-el, too.  Our brains are still largely wired and influenced by our old, or reptilian, brain.  This small but powerful section dictates that acceptance within our social group will give us a competitive advantage while playing survival-of-the-fittest.  We are programmed to seek out love and acceptance every which way we turn because we are being told to do so!  The alternative is a too grim reaper.  Eeek.
For me, selling feels most prominent and recognized when I am interviewing for jobs, most specifically new types of jobs that don’t fall within the boundaries of my old jobs.  At this point, it is necessary for me to create a magnificent rainbow-colored bridge of analogies that will deliver my interviewers to the light – large-scale technology implementations and public relations are really the same, and therefore, I have the perfect skill set to work in public relations.  Hire ME!  
In order to craft this rainbow-colored bridge, I have realized that I must become a better storyteller.  Bullet points are great for email summaries, but a good story can be quite awesome for creating emotional connections, imprinting memories and starting a new relationship.  Below are some of my story-telling build-a-bridge techniques:
Become A Great Listener
I have to become familiar with my customer.  Who are they?  How do they understand the world?  What are their needs?  In the end, I am trying to determine if I can meet their needs, but the only way I can do that is by asking and listening.  Even in interviews, where it’s oftentimes assumed that the interviewer should be doing all the listening, I find that it’s much more beneficial to be equal parts listening and talking – you are discovering, investigating and creating a dance-of-the-dialogue.  Take note of his/her lexicon, meanings, contexts, symbols.  You will want to either mirror or make parallels to them to create a shared understanding.  When I worked in Consulting, I would have to redefine words and acronyms constantly because they would be used differently at each client.  Remember that shared understanding creates shared meaning.
Find Fundamentals
A lot of times, the fundamentals get fuzzy.  The details of the specifics take you further away from the essence of what you do and who you are.  For instance, we take 500-question assessments to determine our work styles, yet, as someone I read put it – we are a combination of thinker, manager and/or doer.  When we talk in these simple and straightforward terms, it’s easy to find the common ground or gaps.  Similarly, despite differences in industries, business practices and job titles, there are similarities among approaches, methodologies and processes used to solve problems, structure projects, execute tasks and produce outputs.  If you can find the fundamentals, it will be easier to bridge the gaps.
Make Parallels
From here, you have a good basis to start making the bridge.  Equipped with a shared set of tools – words, meanings and context – you can figure out how well what you have to offer can meet your customer’s needs.  At the very least, you will also have a better understanding of how things will fit together.  When you can illustrate a picture with shapes and colors that the other person can recognize, it becomes that much easier to start making the parallels. 
Like any good salesperson, you want to know and understand your customer’s needs and wants in order to tailor your perfect pitch.  At its essence, you need to be able to communicate effectively by finding common ground through a shared story. 
With Love,