Monthly Archives: March 2013

Finding Your Voice….Without Losing Your Mind

Eventually, it happens to all of us.

Some sooner; others more later than does them good.  A lucky few have it from the get go.  For the rest of us, it comes to us as it will.

New life; mid-life; end of life.  Job lost; job found.  Joy.  Tragedy.  Marriage.  Divorce.  Mercury in retrograde.  Full Moon.  No moon.  Too many hormones; too few.

The Tipping Point.  The Unstoppable Groundswell.  The “Mad as Hell and Not Going to Take it Anymore,” show-stopping line in the sand.

The day we wake up and say, “I’m done.”   Done with a major, tattooed capital D done.

Done.  Over.  Through.  Mad as hell, DONE.

Done with the  misogynistic boss; the sabotaging, subversive employee; the condescending coworker. Had enough of the hypercritical in-law; the gossipmonger frenemy.  ‘Bout ready to pop the discounting spouse; the attorney with attitude; the crappy contractor.  So completely over the client who takes advantage; the abusive customer; the snotty service rep.

We’re no longer willing to be discounted, degraded or deliberately demeaned.  We’ve finally found our voice.  And we’re ready to tell the world.

We shower-script our exits; rehearse ‘I’ll show you’ speeches; plot befitting endings while streaming old episodes of Dexter.  In short, we get a tad bit carried away.

And though I am sorry to interrupt, (since you are clearly having a very good time) I do have to urge you (most vehemently, in fact) to pull back those reins.  Because, Nellie, you’re about ready to get yourself into one mighty big heap of trouble.

So, take that resignation letter out of the inbox; put away the pepper spray; redact that tweet and consider this:

1) The Dastardly Nature of Drastic Measures.  Do not blow up your life.   Are you listening?  I’ll say it again, because it’s very, very important:  Do not blow up your life.  (At least not without thinking things through.)  You are in the middle of your very own existential tsunami so get advice; give it time.  If after exhausting all the ‘let’s fix this’ alternatives, you still believe that drastic measures are required, then okay.  But first, develop a rational plan, vet it with your ‘team’ and then go forward; clearly, soberly.

2) The Continuum of Pent-Up Demand.   Think of your emotions as points on a continuum.  By staying silent, you’ve been hanging out at zero.  When you finally get in touch with how angry you are, (about having swallowed your words for soooooo long) you’ll find yourself suddenly rocketed into the land of ten.  Productive change happens at that place in the middle.  Stay cool until you find it.

3) The Complexities of Anger.  Anger turned inward leads to depression; turned outward, can get you twenty-to-life.  Own your anger, but find appropriate, self-supporting ways to express it.  (Kickboxing is a personal favorite.  Nothing like punching that bag.)  Imposing your anger on someone else?  Not so much.

4) It’s Not Their Fault.  If you’ve gone for years letting ‘them’ get away with it, then ask yourself, who’s really at fault here?  Before you shoot, think about how you have enabled ‘their’ bad behavior.  And then ask yourself, is this relationship, this job, worth saving?  What would need to happen to make it productive, positive and healthy?  And from there, be the instrument of change.

5) It May Not Work; They May Not Get It.   Or, ‘they’ may not care enough to get the relationship back on track no matter what you do.  Finding your voice, invariably means leaving people and situations behind.  It’s just the way it is.  Which is not to say it’s easy; because it’s not––but you will get through it––you will.  And remember, you don’t need to make those big break-up speeches, nor do you have to detach completely.  Sometimes distance is all that is required; at others, it will be better to ‘go gentle into that good night.’

It may take time to find the right melody, the steady beat, but eventually, you will find that pitch perfect voice of yours.  It takes practice, but it’s there, waiting to shine through.


Nowhere in any dictionary is selling defined as: “The act of brow-beating a person or persons over the head until they see things your way.”

Nor does it involve exasperated outbursts or theatrical arm-throwing when ‘they just don’t get it.’

Selling is a relationship; simple and clean.  You give; you get.

Every time they don’t get it, ask yourself if you’re doing everything in your power to make sure they will.

And if they still don’t get it, maybe it’s time to find the audience and tribe who will.

Editing and Closets

Editing a book––or conquering any big, complex project––is a bit like organizing a closet that hasn’t been cleaned in years.

The first time you look inside and realize the scope and magnitude of what you’re dealing with, you want to RUN FOR THE HILLS.  So much stuff.  So many memories.  You feel attached to all of it.

When you finally muster the courage to take that closet on, you begin by dividing things into segments.  What you haven’t worn; what is torn and tattered; the things that no longer fit.  After awhile, patterns begin to emerge––you see that you have 400 black dresses, a single white t-shirt and only a few things with a smattering of color.  Tells you a little something about balance.

After that first pass––while you’ve gotten rid of the obvious––you still have more than you need.  You’re still having a hard time letting go because you can’t get past what it cost you to acquire those 400 black dresses; the long hours of work you had to put in to pay for them.

With each pass, you get a little more discerning; things get easier.  You’re able to say, “Even though it cost me, it doesn’t look good on me; it no longer fits.”

You keep the cycle going until you are down to the essentials––the base and foundation.  And then it becomes glaringly obvious where the holes are.  And you fill those in.  And when you’re done, you can start tweaking; adding a belt here, a shoe there––a polish and a rub.

Editing––like any big project––does not have to be overwhelming.  You just have to stand back and think before you begin.  Organize, break things down in small bites, detach from ‘what is’ and envision ‘what can be.’  And when you’re ready, you’ll know exactly where and how to begin.

The Mircromanager In Your Midst

You know the one.

The boss that hovers and second guesses; who answers for you in meetings.  The one who blames you when things go wrong, and takes the credit when everything goes right.

When it comes to the people we work for, there’s not a lot we can do to change their bad behavior––especially when they fancy themselves just as they are.

But what we can do––what we have a duty to do––is to make sure that we don’t let the people around us––especially the ones above us––turn us into someone we have no desire to be.  You may not be able to change them, but you most certainly have the power to make a claim for yourself; to choose who, and how, you will be.

And who knows?  Maybe over time, a little bit of your goodness will manage to swim itself upstream.

Resistance versus Obstinance

Resistance:  A force that tends to oppose motion; the capacity of an organism to defend itself against a disease; an underground organization engaged in a struggle for national liberation in a country under military or totalitarian occupation.

Obstinance:  Resolute adherence to your own ideas or desires; bullheadedness, pigheadedness.

See the difference?

Resistance can be healthy; even downright noble at times.  Obstinance never is.  Not ever.

You say you want to change; you say you’re ready to push through.  But when every suggestion (or teensy, tiny critique) results in a conversation-stopper, you gotta be willing to ask yourself, ‘Resistance, or obstinance?’

Is ‘no’ a line from an old script––something you’ve hung onto for so long, you no longer remember the reasons why?  Is it part of an ancient battle; an outmoded defense?  Does your ‘no’ serve you, (be honest here) or is your pigheadedness getting in your way?

Pride or growth?  The rest of us are cheering you on, but really,  it’s up to you.  Totally.

Gender Translation Software

Gender Translation Software––Wouldn’t it be great if it were really that easy?

When he says:  (Female User Input)

He means:  (Software Output)

When she says:  (Male User Input)

She means:  (Software Output)

Think of all the problems it could solve?  I’m just saying…..


Full Speed, No Speed, or Steady in the Middle

What’s your current speed?  Are you going full throttle, idling or is it something in the middle?

Full throttle bursts of energy can be good.  They can help push you off the dime and get you on your way.  But too much, for too long and you’ll quickly find yourself going from full speed to no speed.  Just like that.

And when you recover, (and the guilt kicks in) you’ll take yourself right back to where you started; pushing breakneck.  And just like your favorite yo-yo diet, the cycle will repeat itself;  again and again.

Steady in the middle may not be the sexiest girl at the party, but you can pretty much guarantee she won’t be staying up all night and running off with your best friend.  And after awhile…..she kinda grows on you.

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