Why Are Relationships So Difficult Part II

Last week we were talking about why we make our relationships so difficult. I was describing the story of a friend of mine.  She wants her boy friend to move in with her, but he cannot because he is restricted by his income.  She is interpreting this as a lack of interest and has created a dramatic break-up.

During her break-up/separation, she has been talking to her friends.  You all know what talking to your friends can mean when you’re in this condition.  It builds you up for a moment. They tell you how beautiful you are, how smart you are and to dump that loser.  Most of you will agree with them for the moment and then continue to feel bad about yourself for being in love with a man that is a ‘loser’.  Then you become wrapped up in shame about your feelings.  With all of that, you begin to cry with your friends comments reverberating in your head.  “Girl, you look good.  You can find someone better”. When all along, you just want your own comfortable ‘loser’. You don’t care, you love him.   He is yours.

Well, it did not occur to me that the guy was not a loser, here was a man that had something he was having a hard time with and needed to workout.  Maybe they will go back together, maybe they won’t. But my friend seems to be handling things in a mature way.  She loves this man and it was clear because she by no means made him wrong.  She actually made herself wrong.  We looked at her actions and she got to see that she did not take any real action in preparing for or having her boyfriend move in with her. In actuality, she was crying about regrets and upsets of not knowing what to do differently.

The first things we created a promise for her to quit crying over the phone when she spoke with him.  If she did want to talk to him, then talk to him in a way that empowered her. Instead of crying, she could share what she was up to – developments with her business, her family, friends, opportunities successes, people they knew in common, etc.  Her man was clearly in her corner and wanted her to be successful when they were together, so she should continue to share her wins with him.  In return she could acknowledge how he is doing in his world with his music, congratulate him on being busy in the studio and doing his gigs.  She could continue to share love for him in a way that has her empowered, fully self-expressing herself instead of confused, upset, feeling weak and hurt all the time.

We focused on the areas of her life that were working; her business, her money/finances, her family, her friendships. She distinguished that the only things that were not working was her relationship with this man.  However, what she was doing, like many people, is that she was losing energy by focusing on the one thing that was not working.  Focusing on one problem, would inevitably collapse all that she was committed to building.   By the time we had finished talking and laughing, the color came back to her cheeks; she was sitting taller, her eyes were sparkling again.  She was expressing herself by thanking me for supporting her to think about herself and her relationship in a way that had her walk away feeling powerfully empowered and good about herself.

If my friends relationship with this man overcomes their challenge, their lives and relationship will never be the same again.  Never again will she place herself in a disempowered way. She will not live in regret, upset and confusion by living in the past and wondering what she could have done differently.  She will take risks, speak up, by taking action in her love life and life going forward.  By being a person who takes action, she will never date like that again. She will Date Like She Means It, speaking her truth, creating what is important to her in all relationships.

So, if you are reading this and or you know anyone who is just had a breakup and they are stuck in a vicious cycle of crying themselves to sleep and slowly sabotaging themselves.  Please have them read this article and if they find value send me an email or contact me at 718-834-9450.

I love having people complete old ways of being in a relationship in a way that has them feel empowered and leave the vicious cycle of heartbreak by changing their thoughts and creating a new relationship with themselves and their partners that has them love and create in an empowering way.

READ PART 1 HERE.

20 Things To Do To Maintain Your Friendships

Screen shot 2014-09-09 at 11.39.03 AM

I am so excited to know that as long as I have an abundance of happiness and love, I am rich beyond measure. This fills my heart. My relationships with my friends and family are the cornerstone of who I am and how I live my life. If I kill off one person in my life, I feel a deficit.

What my friends can count on from me is that I will always clean up any mess I have with you. I will be 100% responsible for what I say and do not say, how I was being or not being. Just because our relationship is over does not mean I don’t and won’t love you. My love for you will never die, because there is a fine line between love and hate, if I resist my love for you I’ll be mad. So, I will use my love, where it will live as a warm memory in my heart.

Use these 20 tips to keep your friendships healthy.

1. Accept your friends as they are and not as you think they are (do this and you won’t be disappointed).
2. You and your friends might be similar however, you are different in a lot of unknown ways (this experience is sometime a bitch to learn).
3. Your experiences are yours, they are not theirs (share, share, share and don’t expect them to know everything).
4. Give your friends the same freedom you want in your life (don’t blame them for their choices).
5. Differences in friendship are what makes the friendship exciting and powerful (opposites create fun, courage and risk. Hello!).
6. Tell your friends what you expect. (They cannot and don’t want to read your mind)
7. Happiness is a subjective phenomenon; and is experienced differently by everyone. It means different things to each of you. (Variety is the spice of life)
8. Focus on what you have in the friendship and not what you don’t have.
9. Create with your friends what you are committed to in your friendship (Recreate it daily)
10. Honor you word in your friendship. (Do what you say you’ll do. If you can’t ,say so)
11. Know what you value in yourself so you can share it with you friends (Now they know)
12. Let your friends know that you value and love them
13. Don’t forget how it feels to receive respect and affection from your friends. (Express and share it)
14. Take time to celebrate yourself, and your friendship openly (I am so glad we are friends. I love you).
15. Recognize your friends and their strengths (My friend Kim has style, Jacquelyn is great with structure, Mike rocks the house with music. My sister makes my stomach muscles hurt with jokes).
16. We are humans and we all make mistakes, do not kill off your friends for mistakes (Gee, thinks everyone is a stalker because they love her)
17. Give to your friendships with an open heart
18. Don’t take your friendships for granted (furthermore, practice not taking yourself for granted).
19. If you have negative thoughts toward a friend challenge it and immediately create a positive thought (This takes mega practice).
20. Open your heart in your friendships. Be willing to be moved, touched and inspired with your friends. (I feel weepy, that was so special)
The happiest people have lots of friends, and have the ability to build supportive relationships and they spend time with happy people. Knowing your communication style is important as knowing how to share your affections and emotions, as well as building trust. It is important to spend time investing in and maintaining your relationship if you want to build a great friendships.

Live Life Your Way,

Noreen Sumpter Life Coach

Removing Emotional Armor

I first noticed I was hiding behind emotional armor with a friend of mine that I loved very much. It was difficult and I choose to give up my emotional armor and become vulnerable.  We used to go skating in Central Park every Sunday, she, her husband and my husband (now ex) and I.  They were all good at skating. I was awful and gradually over time I became better. One Sunday we had a skating picnic for a friend’s birthday in the Central Park. My friend wanted me to skate with her like we always did and I said “in a minute.” However, that minute never happened she got angry because I didn’t skate with her that Sunday.

We lived in the same building; we were neighbors, so I couldn’t avoid my friend who got really angry at me and we started fussing, me standing my ground that I did not have to skate.  During those times I did not have the context of having it all, I lived in a one-or-the-other world. We both went home to our respective houses upset.  However, the fussing continued with our respective husbands until they became fed up.  My husband called friend’s husband and they both came down to our apartment and we all came together.  Our husbands knew that they would not be getting any peace while we were upset with each other.  They let us hash it out. I was by the bathroom with my arms crossed and my lower lip pushed out sulking, she was on the corner of our couch, arms crossed in a slouched position.

Keeping on your emotional armor creates a whirlwind of emotions.
Keeping on your emotional armor creates a whirlwind of emotions inside.

I loved my friend very much, and I felt the love and the upset I could feel both emotions were whirling around inside me. I did not want to acknowledge either of them.  It was in that moment that I accepted that I had armor. I wanted to be right, and upset, rather than ask her to forgive me and admit that she was disappointed. I knew that if I continued this way I would lose my friend, which would meant losing all the fun that we had together, the skating, parties, cocktail hours, conversations in the garden, shopping, everything and most of all the intimacy and trust we ever had.  This was the first time that I realized that this is the way I acted when I felt attacked or made wrong.  I would just cut off the relationship.  I saw that I was prone to suffering rather than cleaning up the messes.

I took a leap of faith and took responsibility for my armor. It was a protective shield that I had created years ago to avoid feeling vulnerable.  Being vulnerable for me was a weakness and I didn’t want to look or feel weak.  Accepting my fear of vulnerability opened me up to a sense of power. I became honest with myself and my friend. I’m human, at some point in my relationships and interactions I will experience or cause upsets, disappointments and communication breakdowns. Life is not black and white and my fears were valid, and my actions or inactions have consequences.

I’ve learned that anger is an important emotion and if not expressed it ends up becoming resentment.  Anger is here to help us deal with our perceived violations and perpetrations. I can choose to express it or repress it.  If repressed it becomes a vicious cycle and I will continue experience lack of control. I feared my anger because I felt that it was bigger than me. I repressed anger not knowing it was the same experience, Ieaving me with feelings of constant defensiveness.

Today, I feel that there really is nothing to be fearful of about my anger.  Owning anger and using it as an alarm system to realize when our boundaries have been breached. Note that when we are angry it looks like we are angry at the other person.  However, if we are honest with ourselves we see that we are angry at ourselves when we distinguish this, it become a form of sadness, and I have now learned to deal with it in a way that supports me.  I can be with my anger.  I listen to what aspect of my boundaries have been breached. Katherine Woodward Thomas so eloquently says:

“Listen to its power and its fury.  Underneath the resounding whirlwind of rage is a very important message that we obviously need to hear.  When anger consumes us, there is information present that is much like gold that must be searched for and minded.”

We can then restore our integrity and personal safety.  Anger becomes an opportunity to take positive action – where relationships thrive, friendships are maintained and love is present.  It is a powerful opportunity for balance in relationships.

We cannot have or keep love and friendship alive without experiencing our emotions and growing without doing the work we are resisting.

You do not have to answer the questions below – however, by doing so and taking action you might be able to put your boundaries back in place and restore your personal integrity.  You might see and opportunity for true forgiveness.

  • Who are you angry at?
  • What are you most afraid of?
  • What are the violations of your boundaries?
  • What is your responsibility?
  • What if any actions are you willing to take or not take?
  • What could happen if you take no action?
  • When will you take these actions or have the matter be complete?
  • Is there a place for forgiveness of yourself or the person involved?

NoreenSumpterCoach.com

I would love to connect with you on social media. Please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

How to Repair a Broken Friendship

Photo by Arne Hendriks
Photo by Arne Hendriks

Last week I talked about friendships and what happens when they suddenly end. I have been pondering my friendships to understand what happens and what it will take for me to be a great friend as well as an incredible Life Coach in the area of Confidence and Self Esteem.

What I saw in myself and my friendships was shocking.  I’ve been being a bratty demanding friend and ending relationships with the Kiss of Death.  I want you to know, that I have been doing some powerful work in and around my friendships. I have taken  immediate action, cleaned up and have gotten rid of olds way of behaving that no longer work or serve me.

What I know is that I love my friends. My friends love me and love being with me.  However, what I saw about myself is that I do not have space for them to make mistakes in their friendship with me.  I want my friends to be perfect and not cause me any concerns or hurt me in any way that I deem unsuitable for a friendship. So the moment I experience an upset or cause for concern, real or imagined, I confront them. If they do not act the way I want them to, I end the relationship. I am gone.  They’re dead to me. This has cost me a lot of friends.

This is just a basic example of what I do:

I send them a text or email which is filled with love and the Kiss of Death.
I erase them from all my communications, Facebook, phone etc.,
When I see them around, I ignore them.
I don’t want to know anything about them ever because I’ll get upset.
Whenever I think about them and have unresolved emotions.

This is what I am left with:

Friends that I have ignored or mentally killed off.
Friends who even if they wanted to be in communication, cannot reach me they’re blocked or ignored.
I have am upset, angry and miss my friends.
I am left with longing with memories of great friends and times that are no long present in my life.
Continuous conversations and stories about what happened or did not happen.

What I’m already being is:

Stubborn – I’ll be dammed, l’ll no longer communicate with them.
Justified – They are wrong, I am right.
Angry and pissed off – To hell with them!
Sad and replaying memories– I’m stubborn and I will not surrender.  They have to say they are sorry first and confess the wrong they have done me.

In the end, what I discovered is that I need to accept my friends as humans. They are going to do and say things that I do not agree with.  Whatever happens in my friendships is not personal. I can accept them anyway they are and are not. I realize what was missing is: vulnerability, integrity, love, patience, kindness and graciousness.

I took on what was missing in my life and what I saw was the piles up upset feelings I created for myself and for my friends.  I realize that this way of being is not who I want to be in my life. I proceeded to call my friends and send email to them and one by one.  I put the integrity back in my life and my relationships by sharing my experiences and how I felt about our relationship.  I let them know I could be counted on going forward.

The response has been great. They got to share how it was for them being on the other end of my stuff (crap.) For those I spoke on the phone with, I have declared that I will clean up with them in person as well.  I shared with them what was there for me, what had me kill off the relationship and how the fear of being told what to do, of being wrong, judged and evaluated, actually impacted our friendship.  I had no compassion for my friends and was being a spoiled brat. The person who was being hard on me was me.

Going forward, my friends get to choose powerfully if they want to engage in a relationship with me from nothing.  I get to accept them as they are and as they are not. If I cannot accept them how they are, then I have no right calling myself a friend.  I don’t have to make them wrong and me right.  This approach does not work. I am a Life Coach and create transformation in other people’s lives.  It was a young conversation which caused me to get reactivated and where I did not have language.  Well, I have the language now and I will use it.

With all that said, I want my friends to know that I love them. I am transforming my old friendships into friendships where I have understanding and communication, where I will be being vulnerable, loving, gracious, and kind. They get to be however they are and choose powerfully if they wish to be friends with me. Together, we create relationships that work.  With that I no longer have to experience fear of loss, upset or some impending hurt.  Whatever way my friends choose to be is fine.

Where in your life are you willing to take action and reclaim your friendship with people you have killed off by giving them The Kiss of Death?

Love, Noreen Sumpter

What are you willing to do to put fun back in your life?

Last week I was exploring how the past impacts my life in areas that are so young that I did not know that I even had those barriers. I don’t realize these barriers exist until something triggers a response. I do not have the memory of what happened just the response I created to survive.  I also got to see that even though I am playing and having fun in my life,  I am not really playing in areas of my life that matter to me.  One area is a love relationship as I don’t have a man. I also saw that while I am very serious about my business, there is no play in that area at all.
I also got to see a big fat area of my life where there is no play.  I have no play in the area of money and that I do not relate to money as a fun tool.  My adult life has no real spontaneity of play.  So, knowing that I am taking a look from where I am now and creating where I would like to go. What will it take to upgrade my inner conversations t0 first class so I have a first class that is created with ease, grace and freedom.

 

There is an old adage that says whatever you want, give it away. So I am creating having a first class life in all areas of my life with a focus of love, and abundance and I plan on sharing this with you.

Photo by AForestFrolic
Photo by AForestFrolic

The questions below are something for you to ask yourself.

  • Where in your life is play missing and what would you be willing to do to put play back in?
  • Answer these questions honestly to yourself. You can even answer them with another person.
  • When you talk with others, are you in monologue or dialogue? Could you share more of yourself by being in a open and free dialogue?  Yes or No?  If yes, try it?

Play exists in conversations and is a back and forth experience.

  • What is your experience of play? Is it hard work, easy or do you just not play at all?
  • Are you having relationships and conversations that are back and forth – free of jumping to conclusions, experiences upsets, releasing anger and losing control?
  • Does playing make you feel uncomfortable?

Think back to when you were a child and were really good at playing:

 

  • What were your favorite games?
  • When you became an adult, did you notice that you stopped playing in your life? When and why did you stopped playing?
  • What are the nature of the kinds of conversations you are currently having in your life? Are they complaints? Are your conversations exciting and happy? Or are your conversations leaving you exhausted or afraid?

 

Do You Know How To Protect Your Heart?

Photo by Katerha
Photo by Katerha

As a Confidence Coach, I believe setting personal boundaries is a way of protecting and taking care of yourself, your heart and not allowing this get twisted by people comments, thoughts or feelings about you. It is important to be able to tell people when they are acting in ways that are not acceptable to you and to be able to know that you have the right and duty to protect and defend yourself. It is your responsibility to be clear on how you want others to treat you.
I coach my clients to you learn how to state your feelings verbally and let people know how they feel in a way that communicates clearly. By stating your feelings verbally you affirm your right to your feelings and you know that you are not your feelings you have feelings and they can change from situation to situation, moment to moment. By affirming your feelings it allows you to  take responsibility for yourself and your life. Owning yourself, your reality and your voice is empowering. The result of self-ownership, allows other people to hear and understand you clearly.
Some people might say that setting and having boundaries is not a more sophisticated way of manipulation. So they are set boundaries when in fact they are attempting to manipulate people and situations. The difference between setting boundaries and manipulation is that boundaries are healthy,give people choices and allows you the freedom to let go of the outcome. Whereby, manipulation is not a clear form of communication and it exploits people into doing what you want them to do, by using methods that cause confusion. This confusion has you

create outcomes that only the manipulator is clear about.It is unhealthy to have relationships with people who have no boundaries, who cannot communicate directly, honestly and freely. Learning how to set boundaries is important and necessary for you to be a friend to yourself and others. It is your responsibility to take care and to protect yourself. It is important to love, honor and respect yourself. You cannot truly love yourself if you do not take responsibility. Loving yourself allows you the opportunity and freedom to be a creator in your life. How well do you set boundaries?  

Why Is Dating So Confusing?

Dating? What is it? Why is it so confusing? Dating is a form of courtship that focuses mostly on social activities between two people for the sole reason of accessing whether they are suitable for each other as an intimate partner or potential mate. Dating as an institution is a relatively recent phenomenon which emerged in the last few centuries.

During the Middle Ages in Europe, weddings were seen as business arrangements between families.  While romance was something that happened before and outside of marriage, discreetly in covert meetings.  Can you imagine being in a loveless marriage that was a business transaction?  The only way that people were able to pursue love and intimacy was by having affairs.   A 12th-century book, The Art of Courtly Love, advised that “True love can have no place between husband and wife”.  Can you imagine?  I think that we are still at that place given the number of divorces we are experiencing in this time.

Dating is two people together in public, exploring if they should become romantically involved. Each person is in chorus evaluating the other as a possible future partner, and at the same time is being evaluated. Dating is stressful. Some of what happens on a date is guided by a mutual understanding of societies rules. In my opinion, dating becomes scary because of a set of mythological rules from our reptilian brains and how its effect on our emotions.  Dating is not based on logic.  It turns smart successful people into confused bumbling idiots.

What is dating anyway? Why does it catch us off guard? Why do we have all of these negative conversations surrounding dating, most of which we make up in our heads?  What is it that has so many people confused, frightened and upset?   I’ll tell you what I think. It’s because we are all trying very hard to avoid the experience of being vulnerable.  We do not want to be responsible for what we really want in relationship and we have a fear of rejection.

We believe that being vulnerable is a weakness, when being vulnerable is actually one of our strengths.  Being vulnerable allows us to be truthful with ourselves and our feelings. Vulnerability does not operate on the side of logic.

My personal experience with being vulnerable was when I was trying avoid my feelings.  I was feeling anxious, worried and outside of myself.  I do not like these feelings.   So, I do not dwell in them for a long time.  The moment I shared my vulnerability and what I was afraid of, I felt like I rebalanced myself.  I experienced a sense of relief.  It gave me power and the self-awareness of how I was shutting myself down and not being open to my feelings.  I found out I was resisting my emotions by constantly complaining to anyone who would listen.   I discovered that I was creating the same problems in every relationship that I encountered.  I didn’t express my feelings and wasn’t vulnerable, then I became distant or resentful.

When you are considering dating, it is important to know what it is that you want to create for yourself.  What is the intention of dating? Be honest and clear with yourself.  Take nothing personally.  Accept that your date is having their own variation of what it is you are going through.   After you gain clarity about your needs, wants, and expectations, be courageous enough to share them, knowing that not every person who wants to date might be on the same page as you.

proscar

What happens when you are secure in yourself

When you are secure in yourself, your thoughts and ideas are great because you know intuitively that you don’t have to defend anything about yourself.  You thoughts, ideas and dreams are yours and they will never be the same as anyone else’s.  You know that no one has to agree with what you think as you are empowered.  However, the areas of your life where you are not empowered and lack confidence are the areas where the thoughts, beliefs and ideas are not your own. You seek validation or you get upset, angry and downright nasty, when you feel challenged.

Whenever you feel challenged and have to defend something about yourself, try this question on for size – “If I were a man would I have to defend myself for my thoughts and ideas”.   Now, I am not saying become a man in any way shape or form.  The question I am asking is “Why do I feel I have to defend my ideas or thoughts?”  You never have to defend anything. Did I say “anything” about yourself? You are perfect just like a rose. You have thorns. But just because you have thorns, when you feel them coming out, (unless it is an emergency and someone is physically attacking you), you need to take a look at why the thorns are coming out.    You never have to make an excuse of being disgusted with the way your life is going or not going.   When something is not working for you change gears. Look it square in the face and say,  “Fuck it, this will not do.  I desire something different.” Stop doing what does not work and choose something else.  Do not worry about anything else. 

People can really say anything they want about you. They can ask you anything and you have the right to choose how to feel.  If you’re upset, you have the right to let off steam in a responsible way. However, bare in mind that something is going to change and you’re going to change it.  It’s important that what matters is what you say about yourself and how you transform your life.  Your occurring world is what is important and if it is not supported by positive thoughts, what you will be if you don’t feel secure, is defensive.   You have to be okay with you. Only you can choose, you have to be willing to take responsibility for your life and not be sorry for your choices when you realize who you truly are. Outside forces are irrelevant because you are not your circumstances, you have circumstances.  We need circumstances in our lives.  What you need to do is give yourself a goal. You must be specific and clear about your target, as without one you will never feel secure and you will never get on the road.

What would you have to hear for you to accomplish your goal? In some cases it could be you have the job.  You have the deal. Yes, I’ll take that one.  Whatever it is that you have to hear, will be the point when you have reached your goal.   I remember when I finished my coaching training.  All I wanted to hear as a coach, and what made me a coach, was when someone said “Yes I want to work with you. How much do I have to pay, and when can we start”.   That sealed the deal for me. 

No two people’s arrival point will be the same.  However, they will have to be secure enough to keep going until they hear what they need to hear.   So it is important to

·        Make a Choice

·        Set a goal

·        Start towards your Goal

So when you are secure in yourself, anything can open up and that “anything” will be yours. 

RESPECT, Give Yourself Some

R-E-S-P-E-C-T Find out what it means to me R-E-S-P-E-C-T Take care, TCB

This is a just a few words from the song made famous by Aretha Franklin.  In order for her to have written this song, she must have had it up to her eyeballs with the lack of respect.  We all love the song because of it catchy little melody and because it resonates for most of us. 
 
Well, respect is a really important desire for all of us.  It is something that makes all of our relationships work well.  It also makes us feel comfortable and gives clear boundaries when we know that we’ve got it.  I think that respect is very important because it’s given or felt by each toward the other; mutual: reciprocal respect.  I like when I have reciprocal respect for my fellow human.  It just feels good.  It helps me understand the natural boundaries that we’ve created.  It also allows me a sense of freedom, because I know how far I can and cannot go with the person and it lets them know about me. 
 
What I cannot understand is when we do not honor our personal word.  We cannot, for whatever reason, follow through on our own word.  We cannot and do not complete actions that were started.  It is very confusing and frustrating.   I often wonder how we do business with a sickly word.  A word that resembles Diarrhea.  Diarrhea describes bowel movements (stools) that are loose and watery. Just like our words, loose and watery, with no substance to it at all.  Appointments get made with no intention of following through, saying yes when you mean no, having no follow through.  I know that when we behave in this manner, we really do not understand or might not even feel the impact of our word on another.  I also know that this kind of behavior is not personal.  As what we are in this manner is what we are all the time. 
 
Often times, this form of integrity diarrhea is so common, that we do not understand the sometimes serious affects we have on others in the sense of their time and their money.  

They do not know that one could consider a very quick remedy just like an over the counter medicine that can cure sometimes in an instant or in a matter of a few days. Consequently, the verbal integrity, can be cured with just one quick action like a phone call or an apology or whatever shape it takes the cleaning up the mess would take.
    
A question is what would have you be out of integrity and have it linger longer than is necessary? 

What kind of fear or neglect would have you shut yourself down? 

What does it feel like when you encounter the person again? 

What is the fear that has you not honor your word or integrity?

The big question is why you would continue live in this kind of messy situation?  

I have taken a good look at my level of integrity, and I have found that in the past I was not even aware of how it impacted others. I was totally unconscious of this behavior that I had become an expert in. However what is I now is that if I am out of integrity
I get it upset if I consciously ignore my word. 
I get sick to my stomach and I feel jittery
I do not feel good about myself. 
I erode my sense of personal trust
How does it make you feel? 

I have now developed a relationship to being my word and integrity to myself, regardless of the pain I might experience. What I have found is I feel so much better in my communication and all things get completed fully and I have room to do excellent business, am an excellent friend and live life openly and honestly.  I feel a sense of empowerment and I realize that nothing is ever that wrong and failure is an opportunity to win and win big.
 

Make time for happiness

A good portion of women are too busy making themselves busy so they don’t have a minute to look at the true picture of their life.  They are too busy to call a friend or too busy to return a call.  They are too busy to be the yes that they said they’d be.  What is all this busy-ness?  We have a ton of technology available to us at the drop of a dime.  Literally a drop of a dime and yet we are way too busy.  Now the with cellphones less than half a yard away from your elbow inside your bag or pocket it remains impossible to return a simple call, to a client, a potential suitor, a doctor anybody.

Two happy girls

Well, you don’t understand, I am really busy.  How busy can you be?  Are you running a small country?  What is it that you are doing in your life that has you so busy that nothing has changed in the last 3 years? I have a running conversation with clients that say to me that they are too busy to do something that they say is important to them.  Important things like their friends, their health and wellbeing.  They want to date, fix their finances or change something in their life.  Well, what I say is you are not running a city or a small country.  For instance look at Rudy Guilliani, the mayor of New York City 1994-2001. Here was a man that was busy, running NYC, visiting other states and countries and still he still found time to have a wife and then cheat on her.  Now that’s busy.  If you not running a small city, visiting other countries having a marriage and an extra marital affair, you’re not that busy. Come on!

What’s really going on is that you do not have a system to manage yourself, and you do not have a relationship with your word.  How do I know this?  Well, I know this because when the conversation comes up about you being unavailable, not following up on your promises, and not being your word, then you get triggered.  You shut down become resigned.  Some of you might even become angry.  This is not a judgment; it is something that I have experienced.

If all the things that you say you would love to have or experience are really that important to you, then it is important that you carve out time for yourself.  There is more than enough time in the day to handle what it is that you say that you desire.  The first question to ask yourself is: Am I happy?  What’s happiness got to do with time? What has happiness go to do with anything?  Well, I have come to understand that people that are happy with themselves desire to remain happy.  They share.  They are often times enjoying the work that they have chosen for themselves.  They are busy, but they are organized.  It is this kind of happiness that is important to them.  They do not want anything to interfere with their happiness.  So they make the time to do the things that is important to them and schedule time to handle all the other things.  They are happy and they want to share it with friends so they create time to talk with friends.  They are not interested in getting sick so they will create time to go to the doctor and keep a handle on their wellbeing.  They have created structure to keep on doing the thing that they enjoy doing.

 

 

 

Happiness is something that one can do for oneself. However, it is something that is better shared with another.  When you are happy in your life you become aware of whom you are.  So if you desire a deep relationship with another person, it’s important that you become aware of yourself.

The comments above are not here to make you feel wrong or written as a judgment.  I have written them as a way to have you look inside and understand that sometimes you are not aware of what you’re doing or how it impacts your life and the lives of the people you say are important to you.  It is important to see them so that you can realize how important it is to learn to concentrate and focus your mind where you choose.  You can elevate your thinking and your choices to a higher ideal rather than just merely having a view or no view at all and remain stuck thinking that your business is real and you have no time.   Then when people say that you are not managing your time or you wasted their time being busy, you don’t find yourself feeling attacked or defending yourself.

It is as though you are too afraid to take a minute to just sit down and smell the roses.  Many  women have discovered the age old art of making themselves wrong so they have something to distract them from just taking a minute to sit down and reflect.  Happiness appears as this elusive thing they are searching for.  Some are looking for it in the arms of the next lover before completing with the last one.  Some are looking for it at the end of the credit card in the next pair of designer shoes.  This is not a judgment.

What I do know is that a lot of woman are really craving, desiring and would like to have the kind of happiness that just makes you heart sing.  The kind of happiness that you feel when you are taking time out to do something that you really enjoy doing, that ignites your passion and get your juices flowing.  No ladies, not that kind.  At least not at this moment;  I mean the kind of passion that I experience when I am riding my bike and the wind is whipping around my helmet and I see life’s pleasures like a flower that had just broken through the earth.

 

 

Making Time For Friends

Friends are people you connect with.  They are people who make you feel comfortable enough to  fully share your self.  You become involved with these friends because you’re attracted to their characteristics, energy and personality.  You choose to remain friends with them because you enjoy their company and have a mutually honest and respectful relationship. You trust your friend with your secrets, ideas, thoughts and feelings.  You feel secure with these people you call friends.

Friends together
Powerful friendships allow you to give and receive.  They allow you a place to express and share your common interests and find new ones together.  Good friendships allow you to develop your self, obtain new skills and learn to relate.  The power from these kinds of friendships is that they help to meet your needs for acceptance and let you know you belong.

The company of good friends is a beautiful thing.  However, it can be for some people very difficult to cultivate and maintain.  If you remember back when you were young, making friends was easy.  You were exposed to people your own age who had similar interests and life circumstances – who were available to form friendships and whose only responsibilities were generally homework, hobbies and a few chores.  The supply of friendship and time were abundant and not much mattered.  You had plenty of time to have your friendships develop and blossom naturally.

As we grew and left school, adulthood arrived with its many responsibilities of paying bills, developing careers and looking for mating prospects. Friends started to go in various directions.  Creating and developing new friendships does not appear as abundant as they once were.  When you meet new people you’re compatible with, you have to schedule time to develop the relationship.  However, the general truth according to what people say is that they just do not have enough time.  People are constantly complaining about not having enough time.  However, we are are all apportioned the same amount of time-  24 hours per day.  It all depends on what you do with it.  Do you use it or do you waste and lose it?  Are you so booked and scheduled that you can’t muster the energy to make an invitation for lunch?  Are your lunch breaks usually booked?  Do you barely have time to take lunch cause you’re running errands or working at your desk through lunch?

friends arm in arm

Like anything you have to commit.  I have clients who are constantly telling me that they don’t have any friends and they have a hard time making new friends. However, after working with me, you discover that as you begin to align time with your priorities, your opportunities for friendship increase.  You will discover that you are the one who has to decide who you’re going to be friends with.

Trust is one of the issues that people who do not have friends are always concerned about.  However the lack of trust, I have discovered, is internal.  When self trust is developed, you start to give trust differently.  If it is friends and relationship that you want to develop, then you have to start taking risks and being approachable.

Here are some questions that I ask my clients:

What do you want in a friendship?  On a scale of one to ten, how satisfied are you without friendships?
What do you believe that having friends would add to your life?
What actions do you take that allow you to meet and make new friends?
What do you do that keep friends away?
What do you do that pollutes your friendship?
If you were to transform and deepen your friendships what would that be like?

The Art of Manipulation

Have you ever had a friend that just severs ties with you and you don’t know why? 

 

Well, I have.  This was a person that I had known for nearly 20 years.  I considered our relationship to be one that was exceedingly valuable.  It was a friendship filled with fun, laughter and travel.  Even though there were significant differences in each of us, I accepted our friendship for what it was.  I loved to talk; my friend was more of a listener.  I loved to do and take action; my friend would rather leave things alone. I bought things that I loved; my friend bought things based on economical value.  I am a communicator; she left things unsaid. I cleared things up and got on with the business of life; she kept malice.  I know that no two people can ever be alike, not even siblings, so to expect any more of my friendship with her was based on clarity up until our friendship ended.

Photo by woodleywonderworks
Photo by woodleywonderworks

During my friendship, I never judged her; I accepted her and our differences.  Then one day I called her and she did not return my call.  It remained unreturned for one day, which turned into weeks, then turned into months, and now has turned into years.  The fact that she didn’t return my call or contact me still concerns me.  During that time I sent her emails, and I continued to call her worried that something was wrong.  Never once did she pick up the phone and call me.  This type of behavior is selfish and just plain wrong; it is called Manipulation.

 

Manipulation is a very sneaky and cowardly way of behaving.  It is a very disempowering way of being. The manipulator appears to have the upper hand because the person they are trying to victimize has no idea what is going on with them.  It is a way of controlling situations where you clearly do not have any power.  Powerful people state what is going on with them clearly and precisely, they do not feel the need to control or use manipulation as a way ending relationships.

 

Little did I know that my friend had malice toward me, and was using her manipulation to control this one sided situation.  An adult who has strong boundaries and a good sense of esteem allows a person to know that they have been offended or had a boundary broken. A confident person will not have another person going around in confusion, not knowing what it is they have done. With regard to my friend, how was I ever to know what it was that I was supposed to have done to warrant being banished? I was never told.

 

For me, it is not only the loss of the relationship that was upsetting, sad and disappointing, it is also not knowing what it was that I had done;  the incompletion of the end.

 

Today, six and a half years later, I am still in the place where I have no idea what I have done.  This is the kind of non-communicational manipulation that destroys numerous people, leaving them afraid to develop relationships and trust people.  Today, six and a half years later, I am not upset or disappointed for the loss of the relationship.  I now know that these were my expectations not hers.  So, I have given up my disillusionment.

 

Friends have disagreements.  It is important to share what it is you want or don’t want.  It is important that you share with others when you feel that you have been offended in some way or if you have caused some kind of upset, to be able to share in a way that will help clear the upset and help you remain in a positive friendship.  If the relationship should crash and burn, at least both parties will not be left in the dark.  They can agree to disagree and part amicably.

 

Take responsibility for your actions; take responsibility for your upsets.

 

People have feelings and even if you do not value the relationship, stop for a minute and know that it takes two to have a valuable relationship and maybe your friend values this relationship even if you do not. To be in communication within a friendship is learning to accept your friend for all they are and all they are not.  These steps are the makings of great friendships.