Feelings of Giving Up

Good morning and happy day to each of you! I am compelled to speak to the person who expressed “feelings of giving up.” I remember being in that state where all I could do was pray to die because I was experiencing feelings of giving up. It was s such a place of despair that I want to speak to the person who searched for it.

The reason I am so much wanting to speak to them is because I want to relay there is hope. It gets better – it really does. In fact, there are things you can do which will make it get better, which can get you out of the place where you have feelings of giving up.

One thing you can do is begin to identify the one thing that lights you up. This could be the simple beauty of a flower, or seeing a child laugh. I blogged yesterday about this, so read yesterday’s blog. Find just one small thing that can make you smile in spite of yourself and your feelings of giving up. Focus on it and bring your thoughts back to it when you begin to have feelings of giving up.

The next thing you can do is become willing to look at things from a whole new angle, with new eyes. Resolve to have this willingness. If you can’t seem to become willing, ask the Universe for the willingness to be willing to have willingness. Just keep saying, Universe, please help me be willing to have willingness.

Next, think of how you can help another. Set aside  your feelings of giving up for a brief time, and do something nice for someone else. Help an elderly person in some way, or a homeless person. Set aside your feelings of giving up while you’re helping them and you’ll begin to feel better.

Now consider what the lesson is that you are being taught, for our darkest hours can be our greatest teachers if we allow them to be.

Give these suggestions a try and see if you do no begin to get through your feelings of giving up. I hope you are feeling less like giving up and more like you have value to others in the world.

If you would like help to get to a place of feeling better about things, I coach people to get past the feelings of giving up. Simply call me to schedule a free 30 minute discovery call. On that call we will discuss what it is you want from your life and how o go about getting it. Call 415-883-8325.



7 – Day Forgiveness Challenge

Good morning, all, and welcome to another day on my blog. : ) I have given it some thought, and have decided to hold a forgiveness challenge for the next 7 days. The goal of the challenge is to get to the point of being able to forgive one person in your life.

Together, you and I will walk through the steps that will allow you to forgive that one person with whom you have a gripe, a grudge, and with whom you are just plain angry. The end result is that you will experience freedom and peace-of-mind.

Let’s start. The first thing I ask is that you get a dedicated journal to write in every day, one that you can print in with your “other” hand, your non-dominant hand. This is important to try as a technique because it has been shown that writing with the non-dominat hand brings forth your subconscious thoughts. That will become important as you go through this process.

Today, I ask that you get prepared to be willing to look at forgiveness as an option in your life. In order to do that, it is necessary to understand what forgiveness is not.

Forgiveness does not mean you condone what was done to you. It does not mean you are letting another’s behavior off the hook. You are not saying what occurred is okay.

“Be” with those thoughts. Allow them to permeate your being. Breathe deeply and slowly as you contemplate these thoughts. Then, explore your willingness to let go and get to a place of forgiveness. Write about your reaction to these statements, your gut feelings about them.

Write about your level of willingness. If you find you are resistant, not willing to consider forgiveness, write about that in your journal. Don’t hold back; be honest. If you think I’m full of crap, write that. If you feel you cannot go to that place, jot that down. Simply write down whatever comes up for you as it relates to your willingness to consider forgiveness as an option in your life, a way to obtain peace in your heart.

That is your task for Day 1 of this forgiveness challenge. Stay tuned for 6 more days to unfold.




The Power of Willingness

Good morning and Happy New Year to all of you out there! I hope you all have a wonderful year in 2013! I want to start the year off by talking about willingness, but before I do, I’d like to address the person who searched for “sometimes living is worthless.”

To you who searched for that, I’d like to say, yes, sometimes it feels like living is worthless. There appears to be no hope, nothing to do that will improve the situation. That is what it was like for me anyway, when I was praying to God to let me die in 2005.

The operative word there is “feels.” It “feels” like living is worthless. The thing is, it is a feeling, and if we allow them, feelings will come and go. They pass if we just hang in there and wait for them to do so. What worked for me when I felt living was worthless, was helping someone to get through what I had gotten through in my suffering.

In other words, I was helped through that feeling by being useful to another, and I was useful to another by sharing my story with someone who was struggling with the same feelings with which I had been struggling. It worked for me to talk through these feelings in an effort to be of service to another. When I realized that by sharing how I made improvements in my life I was helpful to another, I began to feel that life WAS worth living. Perhaps you can gain something from that and your feeling that living is worthless will ease.

Let’s move on to willingness. In fact, willingness applies in the situation above, because one has to be willing to be of service to another, willing to let the feeling of worthlessness travel through.

Webster defines willingness as acting and giving readily, cheerfully, gladly… voluntarily. I found that asking the Universe for the willingness to be willing to have willingness was useful to get me to the point of having willingness. Unfortunately for my mental health, I had to be beaten down to the lowest low emotionally and with my drinking, before I was able to gain the willingness to do something about it all. I was so bad off, I became willing to do whatever it took to feel better.

Today, I define willingness as one of the major keys to use to open the gates of my heart when it is closed. In fact, I find willingness to be the key for the basis of everything I do. The power of willingness is remarkable. When I am willing, all sorts of positive things come my way. Often, problems solve themselves with my action and God’s intervention, but I have to be willing to do the work. Then, I have to be willing to allow God to work in my life.

The act of being willing opens doors that might never be opened for us. It’s like, when we show willingness, the Universe knows how to help us attain what we want and need. It opens our mind, our heart. There is great power in that.

How do you show willingness? Leave a comment and let us know.



How to Open Your Heart More in Sobriety

How to Open Your Heart More in Sobriety” was in the search terms four times this morning. Well, the term was really how to open our hearts more, and I changed it a little, embellished a bit to add sobriety. I like adding the angle of sobriety in, because sobriety is so often what allows you to live with your heart more open.

Often, people who have been through the hell of hitting bottom and then getting sober, find that they can open their heart more than someone who has not been through hell. It’s as if the person who got sober knows what the other side is, and is so grateful to be out of there, out of that space, that opening their heart becomes a joy.

Perhaps one of the most valuable tools to use to open our heart more is that of honesty about ourselves… our actions and words, our behaviors. When drinking, we tend to be mired deeply in ourselves, concerned about how what everyone is doing is damaging or hurting us. In reality, we are manufacturing our own misery, but most drinkers would become engaged if you said that to them.

Anyway, back to honesty. When we take a real, hard look at ourselves and see our errors, our weaknesses, our bad behavior, we realize we have done the very same things we are mad at others for. In one way or another, we have. Wow. That’s a sobering realization! And once we realize we do the same things others do, we become humble, taking ourselves off that pedestal we’ve put ourselves on, making ourselves right-sized.

There is no need for shame at this point, thinking we’re a bad person. It’s just our behavior that’s bad, and that can be changed. So, once you are honest and open your heart to yourself, you can open it to others more, seeing them with different eyes, realizing that perhaps they, too, have wounds behind their bravado, their bad behavior. When you realize this, you can see with compassion and compassion helps you in your sobriety to open your heart more and more.

I don’t think that we can get to this point of having a truly open heart unless we are in sobriety. In other words, sobriety is what allows us to open our hearts more in life, to life. When we are drinking, we are too wrapped up in ourselves and our little (and big) dramas which we have created in some way or another, that we cannot get out of ourselves enough to see the surrounding world with tenderness, with compassion. We are mired in what the other guy has done to hurt us.

I am watching this very situation occur in realtime with a friend of many years. She lives out-of-state and so, everything I get is from her point of view, or the report of other friends. I have gotten the most recent update from a friend, and the truth is somewhere in the middle, but the drinking friend is driving everyone away through her bad behaviors and actions, and then claiming everyone is deserting her.

In reality, if she looked honestly at her own behavior, her own actions, she would see this and how she is reaping the consequences of her behavior. In other words, she is creating her misery. Tragic situation I am observing from afar, as I watch lives being ruined by the actions of one who is choosing to reject sobriety.

It is with a heavy heart that I wrote about that situation because I know if she took the route of sobriety, she would be able to open her heart more to others, to herself.

At any rate, after honesty is used to help open your heart in sobriety, openness of heart and mind follows. It is crucial to be open to suggestions and new ways of thought once you get into sobriety. And, of course, willingness is the key after honesty and openness are achieved. Willingness turns the key in the lock of a closed heart. You can have all the honesty and openness you want, and until you have willingness, you cannot put your sobriety to work for you.

Once you have looked at yourself with honesty, openness, and willingness, once you have added compassion to the mix, your sobriety will be enhanced and you will be able to open your heart more.

How about you? Are you able to open your heart more now that you are sober? Leave a comment and let us know.




Willingness is the Key to Sobriety

Good morning. I see that I forgot to write yesterday and I apologize to those of you who visited and found no new post. I think from now on, I will take Sundays off from blogging…

Today, the search term that caught my attention was “willingness is the key.” I wanted to write about this because it IS the key to sobriety and to so much more. Willingness is the thing that can bring so much into your life, when you practice it.

Webster defines willingness as the noun of willing, which is to act readily, cheerfully, and gladly. Notice it is to “act,” so willingness takes action on your part. I have found that to be willing, I have to approach situations with a new look, with new eyes. I have to let go of my idea of how things need to go, for example, take action and see what evolves as a result.

Willingness involves being open to what can happen in your life – open to change, open to new ways of doing things. It is a softening of your resistance so you can accept in the new. In the case of sobriety, it is being open to try it, to do it, to commit to it. If you are having trouble being willing, ask the Universe for the willingness to be willing to have willingness.

Once you show just a little willingness, the door opens wide and the ability to be willing comes flowing in to you. It is not just a softening of your resistance; it is also an excitement of anticipation of what can happen. In the case of sobriety, willingness will make or break your efforts.

First, you have to be willing to even get sober, to try sobriety. That involves acting readily to let go of alcohol as your friend and companion. Next, you will need to have the willingness to approach what you find in sobriety with an open mind – open to new ideas, new ways of doing things. It means getting rid of your contempt prior to investigation. The act of willingness allows you to look with excitement at what you are doing.

Along the way, you will need the willingness to feel your feelings without numbing them out with substances or activity, just being with them. If you show the willingness for this, the Universe will help you through your feelings.  You will need the willingness to take others’ suggestions, even when you don’t want to. You may need to be willing to seek professional help, for example, to get through emotions related to the past.

Yes, willingness is truly the key to getting sober and staying sober. It is the key to open the doors in so many areas of your life. How do you practice willingness? Does it come easily to you, or do you struggle with it? Leave a comment and let us know.


What is Kindness

“If this is not the time to be kinder and gentler to each other and to ourselves, when will it be?” This is the verse from my book, and the next topic we will be discussing today – what is kindness?

Friendly, gentle, tenderhearted, sympathetic, generous, and cordial are all terms Webster uses to define “kind,” with “kindness” being the state or habit of being kind. So that answers what is kindness…

How do you treat others with kindness? Perhaps by using many of the things we have discussed up to this point. Things like being gentle, having compassion, being willing to be kind, and having an open heart can all contribute to acts of kindness.

Having a good sense of who you are is also needed for you to be kind, both to others and to yourself. When you feel more at home with yourself, you have less need to strike out in anger, defensiveness, and fear, or to cut yourself down.

The next time you feel the urge to say a disparaging word about someone, hold that thought and allow your heart to soften. Allow in a kind thought, and say something kind instead. Become willing to do this.

In like fashion, every time you catch yourself saying unkind things to yourself about yourself, come into awareness that you are doing that. Make the choice to stop, and think something kind about yourself instead.

This all may sound easy, yet it takes consciousness and practice. When you have the urge to be unkind, or if you actually are, do a self-appraisal and examine what you were feeling at the time that prompted you to act unkindly. If you were feeling “less than,” treat yourself with compassion and gentleness.

What is kindness to you? What are the ways in which you are kind to others? How about to yourself?