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5 Ways Speaking Up Makes Our Lives Better

Yesterday I had the opportunity to co-facilitate a discussion on the theme “Dare to Speak Up and Be Heard” with the organization, Women Standing Together. It was a great group of interesting, competent, accomplished women. Still, most agreed on one thing: it’s too easy to hold back and not say things we want and need to say. Speaking up can be hard and scary. Too often, with women in particular, there is a fear that speaking up and saying things in a direct manner will produce negative emotional reactions in others and make us vulnerable to being seen as mean, defensive, stupid, or incompetent. My observations about effectively speaking up are different. I think the common outcomes of thoughtfully sharing our observations is a positive one. Here are some surprising and very real benefits of saying (skillfully) what’s on our     . . . read more

Excuses, Excuses: What Gets in the Way of Attending to Your Health?

Yesterday I wrote about what I think it means to be truly healthy. I know this kind of discussion easily lends itself to excuses and talk of how hard it is. I get it, on some level, but I really want you to be healthy. It’s too important. So humor me and read why I think the following excuses are mostly bunk:  I want to be healthy, but it’s really selfish No, it’s not. Wanting to feel well in your body is not selfish, it’s a healthy and normal desire. If you are willing to starve your children to ensure your own well-being, I’ll concede this point. But that’s not usually the case with this excuse, is it? It’s usually well-meaning people who think if they take some time and attention on their food, exercise, and emotions the world will fall     . . . read more

Are You Healthy? How Do You Know?

Everything we do and experience involves our body. Physical and mental health are not separate things. Emotions and thoughts are physiological experiences, as much as any body process. The way we eat, move our bodies, use our minds, and experience the world are all parts of overall health. This means you can’t treat your body like crap and expect to have mental health. You also can’t eat super healthy but have deeply negative thoughts about yourself and expect to be healthy. Everything you do and think impacts your health. What does it really feel like to be well? I get the sense that most people don’t even know to aspire to this because they don’t know how good they can actually feel. I’m startled at the number of seemingly well people who tell me things such as, “My stomach hurts all the     . . . read more

Mind Your Own Business, For Your Own Sake

I spend a lot of my day encouraging people to bravely and effectively speak their truths, which makes it a little weird to have this post devoted to the following message: There are lots of times when you should really shut up. I believe our words, time, emotions, and energy are all important resources that are to be used wisely. However, it is increasingly commonplace for folks to comment on just about everything people do. Maybe it’s because you can literally comment freely on social media. But, I don’t really care why. It’s a ridiculous waste. And it’s unhealthy. Some examples that really irk me are based on my own life experience… It’s weird to me that so many people are down on pregnant women for (gasp) exercising during their pregnancies. Maybe they are continuing to run or do CrossFit, because     . . . read more

Attention Perfectionists: Please Stop

I hear it announced all the time. It’s slightly boasting, but safely under the guise of being an admission: I am a perfectionist. Listen up, self-professed perfectionist. I say this out of love and concern: You need to reconsider your stance. It will not go well for you. You need to wake up or you’ll be a bitter, miserable person in no time at all. This is a problem, not a merit-badge in the making. I loathe perfectionism because it’s an impossible task. A fool’s errand. But it looks really cute and appealing. You get a lot of praise for it. (That’s why it’s so insidious). But it will destroy your life. Why? Perfectionism is nothing more than a cloak of fear hellbent on sucking the joy out of your life. Yes, fear. It’s all about this one promise: If     . . . read more