5 posts from April 2011

April 25, 2011

Pay Attention: Making Our Relationships a Priority in Our Lives

IStock_00familyll Paying attention to our core relationships can be one of the hardest things to do in our world today. It can seem as though everyday is wrought with a choice between family, friends, work, finances and an endless list of to do’s.  Because the to do’s are often tied to obligations, they frequently win our attention. 

Not without a cost however.

The truth is that the endless tasks we have to do each day are just that—endless.  Chances are we’ll seldom have everything done. In our attempt, however, to constantly check off our lists, our children are growing older, our partners more distant and our friends become people we check in with every now and then.  We end up spending most of our time paying attention to obligations and shoulds rather than relationships.  Eventually this catches up to us.

I can feel when I’ve been so caught up on work that I’ve allowed my friendships and family to become a distant second in my life.  My children talk less to me, I start numbing out with technology more and more and my husband and I can be like two ships passing in the night. My priorities got derailed and off track.  The last thing I want my family and friends to think and feel is that they’re second best in my life.  Too quickly, however, it can seem that way.  And I know many other families are struggling with this same issue.

Continue reading "Pay Attention: Making Our Relationships a Priority in Our Lives" »

April 21, 2011

Women and Leadership: A Call For Change

IStock_0strong businesswomanlBelow is a post from my new blog Enjoy!

I recently read an article entitled “Bad Female Boss? She may have Queen Bee Syndrome” ( and felt compelled to write this post.  In my work with more and more female leaders, I’m finding that many of them are struggling in their relationships with their employees.  Although these women are highly competent, intelligent and extremely hard workers, they are often difficult to work for. 

The article states that, “According to one group of German researchers, women who reported to female supervisors had higher cases of depression, headaches, heartburn and insomnia than if their bosses were men.”  Although the assumption has been that women will make more compassionate leaders, the reality has yet to play out that way.

Many of the female bosses I work with have had to fight their way through “good old boys” clubs, patronization, contempt and an overall hostile work environment for women leaders.  Many of these women responded to these environments by managing like men…or even tougher.  The article reports that, “The Queen Bee Syndrome is the alpha female who tries to preserve her power at all cost.”  Although I understand how women have gotten to this place, it is not at all the place where we want to stay.  Bringing more hardness into corporate America is the last thing I would like to see women doing.

Continue reading "Women and Leadership: A Call For Change" »

April 18, 2011

Do You Bring Your Best Self to The World and Save The Worst of You for Home?

IStock_0fatherscoldingsonll In my work with couples, I’m often struck by the discrepancy between people’s behaviors out in the world versus how they behave at home.  It’s not at all uncommon for someone to be seen as a great person by their neighbors, acquaintances and colleagues and entirely differently by their family.  Are we purposefully being fake out in the world?

Although it’s human nature to want to put your best foot forward in front of others, seldom are we inclined to be totally fake in our public lives.  The truth is, it’s easier to be friendly, jovial, kind and untriggered out in the world than it is at home.  There’s more at stake at home.  There’s also a level of familiarity at home that we don’t have anywhere else in our lives.  The more familiar we are with one another, the more at ease we are with letting our hair down, so to speak.  As time goes on, it becomes easier and easier to take our loved ones for granted.  It becomes easier to be unconscious.

In addition to the level of familiarity, we may bring our best selves to the world rather than home because:
•    We’re angry with our loved ones, so we treat them as though we’re angry.
•    We feel we have the right to treat our loved ones poorly if we think they’re not treating us well.
•    We’re unconscious and choose to be reactive rather than thoughtful in our actions and responses.
•    Some of us struggle at home as well as in the world because we haven’t chosen to do our much-needed, personal work.

The reasons can be countless and often vary from person to person.  The bottom-line, however, is that all these “reasons” are simply excuses for hurtful and often toxic behaviors. 

Continue reading "Do You Bring Your Best Self to The World and Save The Worst of You for Home?" »

April 11, 2011

Are You Your Own Worst Enemy? Moving From Enemy To Best Friend

IStock_0self talkll One of the most damaging things we do to ourselves is to beat ourselves up with our words.  Men, women and children, alike, are constantly putting themselves down in both their thoughts and words.

The constant barrage of toxic messages we feed ourselves sounds like this:
•    I’m so stupid.
•    I’m lazy.
•    I’m a procrastinator.
•    I’m fat.
•    What a klutz!
•    I’ll never amount to anything.
•    I don’t have what it takes.
•    I’ll never find anyone. No one will ever want me. I should just take what I can get.
•    I’m so disorganized.
•    I suck. I’m such a loser.
•    I’m an idiot.
All of the statements above -- and the thousand other similar statements we make to ourselves -- are what a client once called stinkin’ thinkin’.  This type of thinking is toxic.  It not only starts to slowly chip away at our souls, it also begins to seep into our lives and our relationships. 

Continue reading "Are You Your Own Worst Enemy? Moving From Enemy To Best Friend" »

April 06, 2011

Rescuing Siblings: Don’t Work Harder Than They Are


Below is a post from my new blog Enjoy!

It seems as if countless people have troubled siblings.  One person’s sibling is struggling with addiction, another’s with bi-polar syndrome, and another’s with depression, still another’s is in a violent relationship and yet another’s is just plain mean and reactive, and on and on.  The possibilities are endless, yet the problem is always the same: How do I help my troubled sibling?

Regardless of whether the issue is substance abuse, depression or reactivity, the key is to not work harder than your sibling is working for himself or herself.  Too often we are so anxious to help them that we end up spinning ourselves into a state of frenzy while they sit back and complain…but take no action.  Stop your frenzy.  Be willing to help if they ask, but don’t pursue.  It is even okay to offer to help…and then wait until they take you up on your offer.  And…don’t pursue.

Often people in trouble need to feel the pain of their struggles before they’re willing to do anything about them.  Make sure you are not protecting your sibling from that pain.  Do not save them, rescue them or minimize the consequences of their behavior.  Saving them from feeling the way their actions hit is called enabling.  When you soften the consequences, you enable the destructive behavior to continue.  Don’t do that.  Enabling makes matters worse.

Continue reading "Rescuing Siblings: Don’t Work Harder Than They Are" »

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