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Are you solving problems you don’t have?

Did you know that a major obstacle keeping people from achieving their goals is that they spend their mental energy on solving problems they don’t even have?  I call this “The Governor of Kentucky syndrome”, as illustrated by a personal story I heard from Marilyn Graman, a Psychotherapist, Workshop Creator and Leader, Author, Interfaith Minister, and Shaman Practitioner in New York City:

Two women ate lunch together in a small Kentucky town after not having seen each other for some time. Continue reading

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Grandmothers swatting flies

I’m trying to get some work done here. Really I am.  And this damn fly just won’t leave me alone.  There’s a whole huge screened-in back porch here, and he just won’t stop flying next to me, literally, right in my face.

I don’t want to or have to kill him. I mean, I could.  It’s a skill that I learned from my father, how to kill flies by clapping your hands just above where they are going to fly, unsuspecting, upwards.  I can get them almost every time. Continue reading


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3 tips for getting everything you want this holiday season (and in life)

My mother used to tell a story about a Christmas morning early in her marriage to my father.  She had her eye on a certain camelhair coat displayed at a department store.  Her anticipation grew as Christmas drew near because a box appeared under the tree that was exactly the right size for the coat.  She described how she reserved opening that particular present for last. Finally, she tore off the paper, opened the box, and… it was a toilet seat cover! Even telling the story decades later her face would contort in an expression of disappointment and resentment.  It was meant as a practical joke by my father, but it fell flat, and he still rues the day he bought it. Continue reading


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How resilient are you in the face of breakdown?

At the beginning of my seminars I ask attendees to share what they want to create as a result of participating. People say things like, “get a new job” or “find my soul mate” or “earn more money,” “get healthy” or “lose weight.” What I find interesting is that for the most part the things they want to create are already within their reach.   Take the topic of being healthy for instance. Everyone knows how to lose weight, right? Eat less, exercise more. But if it were that straightforward (I won’t say easy) wouldn’t everyone be healthy? Continue reading


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Is That a Leader or a Follower?

Thinking back to my youth, I can definitively say that 7th grade was the worst ever.  I attended a small town “junior high school” that consisted of just 7th and 8th grade.  The main form of entertainment at recess for my group of friends was to stand in the far corner of a blacktop lot and smoke cigarettes.  I don’t ever remember a single teacher coming over to check on us or to break it up. In fact, the space where we stood was clearly visible from the school and anyone could easily see the billows of smoke rising above us.  I remember being much more concerned about how I was being accepted in social circles than I ever was about getting good grades, since that was, if not “uncool”, at least not cool. Continue reading


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School Lunch Trays Hamper Our Children’s Future

Growing up in a rural community, I attended a small elementary school, where the school lunch was 35 cents.  Every morning my sisters and I took our change to the office where the office assistant would tear off an orange ticket from a large roll and give it to us.  The trick was to keep track of the ticket until lunch time when the cafeteria lady would collect them.  From there we would pick up a cafeteria tray from the head of the line and make our way slowly down the counter while food was dished out onto real, ceramic plates.  We ate our lunches and then took the trays, dishes, and silverware back to the counter to put them into tubs set out for that purpose, splashing them into the slightly murky water. Continue reading


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Personal Growth vs. Transformation

Personal Growth vs. Transformation

The model of “personal growth” has been consistent throughout the “empowerment” age:  find out what’s wrong, and fix it.  Its proponents work to understand and heal the past to create a different future.  The idea is that over time your true and authentic being will emerge and take hold.  Progress is slow but steady if the plan is followed consistently.  All that’s needed to succeed are understanding and discipline.  Over time, heath, wealth, and fulfillment will become part of your life. Continue reading