Love & Boundaries

Boundaries and Love
I used to think that if I cared for someone, I showed that care by flexing and bending to what they liked and not getting too attached to my opinions. Sharing my opinions seemed selfish, damaging and overly dramatic. As a result I had a hard time sharing my voice, even over the simplest questions.

"What do you want to eat for dinner tonight?"
"Oh, I don't care."

While my approach was conflict-avoidant, my inner world was rife with conflict. I grew resentful, wondering why everyone else seemed to get what they want but not me. I beat myself up for not being more assertive. I would set a boundary with someone, only to have it crossed days later. I said nothing.

I looked around and all I could see was the selfishness of others. I couldn't see how I was contributing to this dynamic.

Fast forward to last week. My friend, Tony, told me the best definition of boundaries he'd ever heard: "My love for you is unconditional, but the terms of our relationship are not."

This sentence took my breath away.

Our love may be unconditional and unwavering and yet the way we behave in that relationship are not written in stone. We get to decide the terms of how we engage with one another in that relationship

Our love can remain intact as we negotiate the terms of our relationship. When we do, we genuinely let go of resentment and we step into joy and deeper connection.

Boundaries are not about building walls. Boundaries are about negotiating the terms of the relationship so that connection is deepened.

This is why I created the Boundaries for the Holidays webinar course. It's for you no matter where you live. It's six weeks long. It starts October 14th. It's $250. It's totally worth it. Are you in?

Promotions & Impostor Syndrome

In one moment you can feel like a total fraud and that you're not good enough to be in your position. The very next moment, you're wondering why you're getting passed up for promotion, offended by the injustice of it all.

Welcome to Impostor Syndrome.

One of the things to remember is that Impostor Syndrome is not about ability. It mostly affects high achievers, people that are able to successfully tackle the most complicated and meatiest projects.

As we navigate these complex and tricky projects, doubt is sure to rise in us all. That's what makes you good at what you do. You are self-reflective, questioning your actions, wondering how you can make a bigger impact, thinking about your next move.

It crosses into dangerous territory when you begin to hyper-focus on your mistakes, and ignore your gains; When you are second-guessing yourself, not for strategic purposes, but because you're trying to avoid getting in trouble; When you're quietly doing your work but not showcasing it because you're worried about what other people will think.

This is how promotions go to other people.

Companies may be data-driven when it comes to making promotions and decisions, but they are mostly focused on quantitative data, not qualitative data. It's hard to measure one's energy, influence, soft-skills, etc. Yet, these factors absolutely impact one's ability to influence others, be seen and move up the ladder.

Holiday $h!t Stew

Holiday Eating of Shit Stew

In December, most people think about presents, Santa and the next holiday party. As for me, this is the time of year that I think about Shit Stew.

Let me explain.

When my husband and I lived close to my family, we would go home for the holidays. It was tradition to have Christmas morning at my mom's house, then go see my aunt, then go to my dad's house and, finally, we would end the night at my brother's.

My husband thought all the driving around was crazy and exhausting. While I agreed with him, I also pointed out that I wanted to see everyone and this is how my family always did things. After driving our crying newborn daughter to every neighborhood in the Sacramento area one Christmas, my husband was all done with this "tradition" and I was finally open to hearing about other options.

I stopped and asked myself, "What kind of Christmas do I want my children to have? What kind of Christmas do I want to have?" The answer was clear. I wanted peace, relaxation, warmth, snuggles and joy. Driving to everyone's house and checking the box on each relative we were "supposed" to see had none of these qualities.

So I made the tough decision and told my family that we were going to stay home for future Christmases. I told them about the feelings I wanted our kids to remember about the holidays and I didn't want it to be about travel, stress and tension. It was difficult and uncomfortable to break tradition, but our lives are so much better as a result.

In any family it is easy to get used to things that seem crazy from the outside. Toxic patterns can repeat for generations. We can wear a mask around our families of origin, pretending everything is fine when it's not.

It's like we are all eating Shit Stew, a special family meal that has been passed down for generations. It often takes someone from the outside to see that while we scarf down Grandma's old recipe, it is still Shit Stew. While we may see the delicious carrots and potatoes in the Shit Stew, our partners/friends/confidantes are not fooled. They can smell that shit from a mile away.

Yes, the holidays are stressful with all the events to attend, presents to buy and places to go. But it is also stressful because this is the time of year that we sit together and ceremonially eat the Shit Stew.

This holiday season, enjoy your family. Savor the positive aspects of your time together. And when the Shit Stew is passed around the table and old, familiar patterns emerge, just observe your family's special recipe. You can still eat the Shit Stew, as it will be expected that you do. But you can do so with a renewed awareness and be conscious of how much you want to put on your plate.

Boundaries for the Holidays

It seems early to talk about the holidays, doesn't it? My kids are about to go back to school and I'm not ready to let summer go yet.

But here's what I know: This is the time of year that holiday plans are made. I also know that the holidays bring dread, anxiety and exhaustion like no other time of the year.

But the holidays don't need to be that way. We can be with the people we love and really step into what this time is meant to be. We can build boundaries and not walls. We can take better care of ourselves so the holidays aren't something we have to "get through" but something that we can savor and enjoy. 

That's why I created a six-week webinar class called Boundaries for the Holidays.

Maybe you give everyone everything and you end up feeling resentful and unappreciated. Maybe you feel like climbing the walls because you just know that your mother is judging your every move. Maybe you have that crazy brother-in-law that you can't stand. If so, this is the class for you.

Christmas Vacation Cousin Eddie

We're going to look at common pitfalls in relationships (and how to avoid them), how to have difficult conversations, strategies to take care of yourself when things get stressful and so much more.

This class brings together the "greatest hits" of my workshops and coaching tools and applies it to our personal lives. But let's be honest, this isn't just about personal growth. If you can set boundaries and have a difficult conversation with your mother, you can certainly do it in the workplace, too.

Boundaries for the Holidays starts October 14 and goes until November 22. There will be pre-recorded videos, supportive worksheets and live video calls where I'll answer questions and offer group coaching. You can go at your own pace and even access the live recordings later.

It's my goal to make this information as accessible and affordable as possible. I don't want you to suffer through the holidays, I want you to enjoy them.

That's why I'm offering the entire class for my usual hourly coaching rate: $250.

Weird Al

Why offer so much time, material & content for so little?

Because I want this work to reach as many people who need it.

If you are someone who dreads the holidays because of weird family dynamics and the pain of putting up a fake facade, then this is for you.

Register here or send this blog to a friend who can use it. I'll see you then!


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