Completing a Negative Self-Appraisal Gets Us to Gentleness

Ah, geez. I am a week late on the continuation of a self-appraisal. Please forgive me for my tardiness. Last week was a week from hell and it just got away from me. Luckily, you were left hanging in the positive self-appraisal points, and not the negative ones.

Today’s task is looking at your negative points, your areas for improvement. Grab your writing stuff and make a list of all the negative things you do, say, and think about others AND yourself. Try to be detached when you do this. The point is not to beat yourself up, but rather, to identify the things which you can improve.

Look at the things you have done which were unkind or hateful. Own your behavior… be honest about it. You may owe an apology to others, or to yourself, for that matter. Follow through with this task with humility. Just be humble. There is no need to grovel while asking for forgiveness. Just be matter-of-fact, and sincerely apologetic.

Look at this list and determine if you are willing to change the things you do that are mean and hateful. Ask the Universe or God to show you the way.

After you have established your willingness to change and what to change, it is time to look at the past 3 days and to write down everything you did during that time period that was unkind, impatient, and generally mean to others or yourself.

Be sure to include yourself as you look at how you acted negatively. Once you have made this list, look at it to determine your level of willingness to make a change in negative behavior. Own your stuff, the bad behavior you displayed. This may mean apologizing to someone for what you have done.

Remember, we are each human, and in being human, we have both positive and negative qualities. Look at this exercise in a detached manner. Learn to say things like, “Oh. I see how I was mean to Suzi when I x,y,z.”  Rather than beat yourself up or have remorse and guilt, make plans to apologize to her; vow to change your behavior on an on-going basis.

There is nothing quite as freeing on the pathway to gentleness as doing a self-appraisal. You will find you do one continually throughout the day, keeping a check on your behaviors and actions. A self-appraisal will become second nature to you and you will gain tremendous peace as you keep continual watch over yourself.

How was this process for you? Was it enlightening and did you make apologies to those you harmed, both physically, verbally, and spiritually? Consider carefully before you apologize; sometimes to do so would hurt the person more and in those cases, we often do it to feel better ourselves. Remember, this is about the other person, not about you.

Go forth and complete the appraisal, and may you find it fruitful. Join me later this week as I continue the discussion about how to find gentleness.


In Search of Quiet Gentleness

Good morning to each of you! Thank you for your steadfast following of my blog! I hope you find it of use to you. As I promised in my last post, I’m going to spend a couple of days talking about the quietness found in gentleness.

The first step in the search for that gentleness is to envision it. See in your mind’s eye what gentleness would look like for you… a soft and quiet place in which to rest. See a less harried mind and heart than what you currently have today. Take the time to see it before you start…

Once you have a vision of what you want your gentleness to look like, then you can start on the process to get to that point. The first thing to do is to develop willingness… willingness to see the world from a new perspective, with new eyes. Develop willingness to have a one degree shift in your thinking. When you do this, you open the way for major things to shift inside of you.

The next step we’re going to undertake is that of performing a self-appraisal. This will yield you great information about yourself. The point of doing this is to locate yourself in the world, to determine the ways that you are so you can alter your behavior, actions, and thoughts to become who you want to be… that gentle and peaceful person you envisioned.

Start your self-appraisal by becoming willing to look honestly at yourself. Next, get writing stuff ready. Then, make a list of all your positive traits. List out what you see as those traits, as well as things others have told you. Include your skills and talents in this list. If you are having trouble identifying your positive traits, google positive character traits and use what comes up as a guide to possible traits.

Once you have this list completed, spend a day reveling in it, being in awe of who you are in your essence, at your core. Then, take the past three-day period and list out every kind and considerate thing you did for others and for yourself during that time period.

Now I’d like you to just “be” with those lists, soaking in deeply the goodness of your soul. Do this for a couple of days. Then, we will continue… Join me again on Monday, and we will go further into the self-appraisal… We’ll continue with our search for gentleness…


7 – Day Forgiveness Challenge – Day 5

Good morning to each of you and welcome back to our forgiveness challenge! Today, you will look at your not-so-good actions, behaviors, and qualities. This is necessary in order to determine if you did something to get the ball rolling in the resentment.

Got ready to make two more lists. First, list out your not-so-hot qualities, the things upon which you want to improve. Be honest with yourself. Know that we each have a side of undesirable traits.

Then, consider the past week. List out all the not-so-desireable things you said and did. See all of this objectively, without getting upset over your areas that need improvement. In fact, look at what you identify as just that – areas needed for improvement.

Now, think about the person with whom you have a resentment, an anger, and consider the following two points:

  • Do you do the same thing that the other person did for which you are angry? In other words, are you angry about something that you, yourself, do? If you can honestly say yes, then you need to drop your resentment and realize that you and the other person are fallible human beings. It helps to laugh at yourself…
  • Explore the beginning of the hurt which you resent. Then consider, did you get the ball ruling? Did you say or do something that was not-so-nice, to which the other person reacted like any normal human being would, in a predictable fashion? If you said or did something mean to John and John reacted by doing something which then hurt you, recognize that you got the ball rolling; you started the whole disagreement. In this case, it is time to become humble. See yourself as a fallible human being. Drop your anger and resentment and apologize, if needed. Don’t forget to give forgiveness to yourself.

This part of the process can be difficult and you may be tempted to brush off your negative behavior. I would caution you not to do that, and urge you to look with honesty and humility at your behavior. If you are having difficulty conducting this part of the self-appraisal, or in looking at the role you played in the whole resentment, I am available for coaching you through it. That’s what I do. Simply call me at 415-883-9325 to schedule a time to talk. Or, email me at

I wish you well with this part of the forgiveness process, and hope that you can put what you illuminate to good use.


Celebrate Gratitude for Who You Are

Hello and good morning to each of you! I am filled with gratitude for the day and wish to share that with you. And I am going to take it one step further and ask you to celebrate yourself for who you are!

If you have finished the positive list for your self-appraisal, then you will want to celebrate with gratitude what you have discovered. Be loud and proud to yourself about who you are in all your greatness, all your glory, all your light. Cultivate deep knowingness about who you are, what you have to offer the world, for you have much to give.

Offer gratitude for all your experiences, both positive and negative, that have shaped who you are today, for without ALL your experiences, you wouldn’t be “you” today. Be grateful for your life and all it has taught you, for all you have learned.

Write with your non-dominant hand – printing is easier – all the feelings that arise as you read this post and contemplate your beingness, and especially those of gratitude. Be humble and ecstatic about what and who you are, what and who you find.

Have you started your week’s long listing of all the positive things you thought, said, and did during the past week? Don’t forget to do that. Be in deep gratitude for all of those positive things. Celebrate them, celebrate you!

I hope your feelings of gratitude for who and what you are carry you forth through this day and all the days to come! It all starts from your list of positive traits and characteristics. So have at it… celebrate gratitude! Celebrate you! Have a splendid day!



How Are You Doing on Your Self-Appraisal?

Good morning everyone! : ) I wish for you each a fabulous Friday, filled with much light and joy!

Since yesterday’s post was so long, I want to keep today’s much shorter. If you made it all the way through yesterday’s, bravo and thank you for sticking through it to the end.

I am curious how it all sat with you, how you took it. Many people are scared to death to do a self-appraisal and procrastinate doing it out of fear. They believe that what they will find is a hollow and empty self, or an inherently bad person. These could not be farther from the truth, though.

When I first did a self-appraisal, I was newly sober and was anxious, to say the least. I was sure I would find this bad person. After all, that’s what I’d been told all my life, right? That I was worthless, would never amount to anything, that I was fat, stupid, and ugly. These were horrible messages to hear and they scarred me badly.

So it was with much trepidation that I looked at myself. At first, and for many months, all I could see was my negative. I had no idea what-so-ever how to be loud and proud about who I was. After all, there was nothing to be proud about. Nonetheless, I set about doing my self-appraisal.

And I mean to tell you, the effect was astounding. At first, I felt deeply ashamed, but later, after talking to someone about what I had discovered, I felt like a weight was lifted off my chest. Over the years, I have repeated the process, repeated my self-appraisal, and today I can list out my positive qualities without shame or hesitation. I have become a whole person, I think, and the self-appraisal was a huge part of why that occurred.

My whole point in saying all of this is to offer you hope if you are hesitating in doing this exercise. Know that you will be heartened and filled up, not disheartened and beaten down. I recommend doing the positives first for a very specific reason – to counteract all the negatives you may have been told while growing up. If you have no such negatives, I am so happy for you, for you are truly blessed. Then listing your positives will flow easily onto the page.

One thing you could try, which I forgot to mention, is printing the list with your non-domiinant hand. That will cause you to tap into the “other” side of your brain, and all sorts of deep things will flow out without restriction.

So, my heart is with you each as you embark upon your self-appraisal. May it be an enlightening and happy experience for you.



How to Complete a Self-Appraisal

Good morning on this fine and clear day! May you have clarity and goodness in your day today!

Yesterday, I received an email from a dear friend who reads my blog, questioning things which I plan to address in today’s blog. For example, they asked about what to list out. I hope I have addressed that fully in this post. Then, the question was raised, what is honesty? I will further discuss that also.

So, how do you do a self-appraisal?

First, you gather willingness… willingness to look at yourself honestly. When I say honestly, I mean looking at your positive points first and giving yourself full credit for all your positive traits, all the positive ways in which you treat others and yourself. We often shy away from being honest about who we are, having been told that is conceited to do so. But we need to objectively assess who we are in our totality. We do this not to brag about ourselves, rather, to humbly look at who we are in our totality.

On the negative side, being honest means being willing to admit you screwed up when you did, that you treated others or yourself poorly. It is embarrassing to admit these things about ourselves, and that is part of being willing to be honest…

For example, I find myself sometimes acting in a very selfish manner, thinking of myself when I could be considering the other. In those situations, I seem to do things for others because there is something in it for me, before I give with no thought of what I’ll get out of it – giving without expecting or wanting in return.  That’s somewhat embarrassing to say, yet, it is honest.

What I do with that information, that realization, is to be aware in the future of when I start to do something for another. I can assess my motives and change them, as indicated, come at it from a different angle.

It is important to add gentleness and compassion when you look at your negative side, the side that needs improvement, or else you would beat yourself up unmercifully. Having said these things, let’s start with how to do the appraisal…

After becoming willing to get honest, list out your positive qualities and traits on a piece of paper. List them all out. Get generous with yourself. No one else is going to see this, so brag about yourself to yourself only. Be loud and proud on paper. Then sit with, “be” with, this list of traits. Let it sink in that this is you that you have listed out in all your goodness and glory. Get comfortable with feeling the light from seeing your good qualities and traits. You are trying to counteract any negative things you have been told throughout your life.

Now, take the past week and list out every good deed, kindness, and generous thing you did during the week. List it all out. If you had a kind thought about someone, list that out, too. Then allow this to sink in for a few days. Bask in your goodness. Know that at your core, you are light.

Next, turn your attention to your negative side, the side that needs improvement. We all have one, you know. List all the negative things about yourself that you do not like. Include the negative things you tell yourself. Consider the past week and list out all the mean, nasty, and unkind things you did or thought during that time. Don’t hold back, yet do not beat yourself up. Do it honestly, from an objective viewpoint.

Consider each point and look at each with compassion for yourself, a wounded person so much so that it led you to act in a negative manner. Now, right all wrongs. This may mean apologizing to some people. If this is the case, get humble yet not subservient. Drop the hostility, the defiance. Apologize with your heart and soul. Sometimes, apology is not advised; this is when it would hurt the other person more, cause them damage in some way.

When you have completed your self-appraisal, you will feel a cleanness about yourself. You will be right with the world and yourself. Resolve to keep an active and current eye on your behaviors, celebrating yourself for your wins and correcting the negative as you move through each day.

I hope this clarifies your questions, dear friend. Thank you again for raising them. : ) And I hope for all of you that by doing a self-appraisal, you find more freedom and peace. Leave a comment if you found this to be useful for you.


The Merits of a Self-Appraisal

Good morning to each of you and happy day. It is the wee hours of the morning and I just popped awake, so here I am. : ) Today, I am going to respond to the search term “the merits of self-appraisal.”

In my experience, doing a self-appraisal is the key that has allowed me to move to inner peace. Although difficult at first to look at myself, doing it has become a routine occurrence. By doing a self-appraisal on a regular basis, it keeps me on top of the things that I need to correct in my life, in other words, my behavior and my thoughts. And it allows me to see and acknowledge my goodness.

I have found that doing a self-appraisal leads to inner peace and emotional freedom because I am “clean,” my motives are pure and less selfish in nature. Also, if I have done something to offend someone, I can right that in the moment that I do the appraisal. And, by seeing my goodness, I am not so hard on myself, do not beat myself up so much.

One of the great benefits of doing a self-appraisal is that it paves the way to forgiveness, which leads to the creation of more inner peace and emotional freedom. It keeps a check on me getting angry at others for doing the very same thing I am doing, and if I get the ball rolling in a disagreement, it allows me to see that.

A self-appraisal allows me to keep abreast of what I am telling myself about myself… in other words, my negative self-talk. When I engage in this, I can correct it right then and there.

There is such a feeling of freedom when you incorporate a self-appraisal into your everyday life, your everyday happenings. At first, listing out my behaviors was difficult and I did so with great shame. Over the years, however, I have learned to see my negative behavior with compassion, as I was a wounded person at the time I committed whatever I committed.

That is not to say compassion is an excuse to not be responsible and accountable for my behavior. Oh, no. I need to own my negative behavior. The beauty in owning it is that I feel pure when I have done so. It is a practice in humility rather than shame. It allows me to remember that I am a fallible human being.

These are just some of the merits of a self-appraisal. Try it yourself and you’ll feel lighter, brighter, more at home with yourself. If you want to learn how to do a self-appraisal, join me tomorrow as I describe, step-by-step, how to do one.




Treating Others Badly Is a Reflection of How We Feel About Ourselves

Good morning, everyone. I hope the day dawns clearly and brightly for you, in every way. Today, I liked the search term, “hateful treatment of others is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves.” Ah, this is so true. I had to change the wording a little to be within the allotted number of characters in the title…

Practice of Tolerance

In my book, Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, I have a stanza in the verse, Practice of Tolerance, that speaks to the issue of how we treat others when we are not feeling good about ourselves.

I have the most difficulty being tolerant of others when I am feeling inadequate, insecure, and uncomfortable with myself.

When I used to be in in this space, I found fault with everything that others did, was very critical. Later, after several years in sobriety, I began to feel better about myself and my treatment of others began to change.

The closing stanza of the verse for Practice of Tolerance is, I discover that another’s value does not diminish my own. It was only after I felt better about myself that I could realize I didn’t need to be compared with others, to others, and I stopped criticizing them.

When we feel badly about ourselves, we tend to take that self-hate and project it on to others, being very mean and hateful. Perhaps, when we witness this or are a recipient of the mean and nasty behavior, we could have an understanding of what is really goiing on, rather than strike back.

We can end the cycle of abuse right then and there by not responding, knowing that someone’s mean behavior is most likely due to their low self-esteem or self-hatred. We can, instead, see this person with compassion for the wounded person that they are, for they ARE wounded.

The other thing we can do when another’s behavior is abusive to us, is to say to them, “I will not tolerate your verbal abusiveness.” Then, we can walk away. Yes, yes, easier said than done and some people will become infuriated when we do this. Yet, to state we will not tolerate verbal abuse is to stick up for our soul, our very spirit.

Today, take a look at how you treat others. Is it mean and hateful? If you identify this, can you then do some self-examination and determine if you are feeling badly about yourself? If this is the case, if you recognize this, have compassion for yourself, a wounded person, or perhaps pushed past your tolerance level, and make changes to how you are treating another.


How to Conduct a Self-Appraisal

Good morning! I hope your day is filled with lightness and joy. Today the search term I want to address is conducting a self-appraisal. This is a look at ourselves, a performance evaluation if you will, and it has great benefit.

The purpose of a self-appraisal is to determine how we are coming across in the world. It is a way to assure we are treating ourselves and others with kindness, tolerance, and respect. Many believe that this is an exercise designed to beat ourselves up, but that is not the true way to do a self-appraisal. Let’s look at another way to do one.

The first thing to do when conducting a self-appraisal is to identify all of our positive points. List out in writing all of the things that we like about ourselves, all the things that others say are positive about us.

We study this list to praise ourselves and to realize that we are good people at our core. We don’t do it to brag or flaunt our positive points. Rather, we are humble about our goodness and we see our positive points as gifts.

Next, we take a block of time – a week, two weeks, or a month – and list out all of the positive things we did during that time period. We are looking at all of the positive actions and behaviors we performed during this time period. We are not braggarts in this exercise, nor are we demeaning or disregarding of our behavior and actions. Once these positive points are identified, we sit with them, being with them, allowing them to sink into our consciousness and awareness.

Then, to continue our self-appraisal, we turn our attention to our negative and less-than-desireable actions and behaviors. This is done in a fact-finding fashion. In other words, we do not identify these things so we can beat ourselves up or feel guilt and remorse, although these may surface.

When we identify our negative points, our poor behaviors – and we all have them – we resolve to be responsible for our behavior by owning it. To own it, we first become aware and conscious of it, then we do whatever is necessary to change it. This part of the self-appraisal involves either apologizing for our actions or resolving to not repeat the behavior. We do not apologize if it will be hurtful to another; we simply change our behavior.

We are totally honest in this part of the self-appraisal, not cutting ourselves slack or giving excuses for our bad behavior and actions. The point is to shine the light of consciousness and awareness on them. Once we have done this, we own it, as I said above.

Bad behavior includes gossip, by the way, as this is spiritual assassination of another. We stop engaging in this behavior as a way to apologize to the one we denigrated. Often, we have done something that was mean to another, they reacted in a predictable, human way, and we are now resentful of their response to our meanness. If this is the case for us, we let go of the resentment and apologize, if it’s appropriate.

The benefits of a self-appraisal are that we feel more peace, more freedom of mind and heart. We become more gentle, tolerant, and respectful of people. Inside, the feelings we have for ourselves improve, become stronger and more positive.

I cannot say enough how freeing doing a self-appraisal is. We will be amazed at the benefits we experience. It will make us better people, less angry and bitter toward others In fact, the article I wrote on going from anger to forgiveness spells out the entire process and is something you will want to read. You can get it by leaving your name and email to the right. So leave them now and you will receive the article, which will further this process of the self-appraisal.

Armed now with the way to do a self-appraisal, we can now enjoy the peace and freedom we experience.




Self-Appraisal Leads to Inner Peace

Well, it’s been a few days of a heavy topic, and today I’m going to lighten things up. I’m going to talk about my experience at a networking event last night, and my discovery of how a self-appraisal saved the evening.

I had a vendor’s table at a women’s networking event and it was a shopping extravaganza… except at my table. Oh, I had several lookers, but no one bought my book, nor any of the numerous photographs of wrought-iron gates I had displayed. It was very disappointing, very disappointing indeed.

I had come armed with a full box of books (weighing 56# I might add…), a box of framed photographs, and a box of flyers and other info to lay out. Luckily, the tables were 8 feet, so I had room to create a pleasing arrangement of all my wares. The people that stopped by were admiring of my work, but no one bought. I was occupied with my own table, and didn’t see if they were buying from other vendors.

I could come up with all sorts of excuses why I didn’t sell, but I think I know why they didn’t buy. I think it was because I had too much on my table, too many choices. Like the monkey that has two bananas to choose from and can’t make up it’s mind so chooses none, so I believe it was with my table.

Anyway, throughout the course of the evening, I was chosen to come up in front of the audience and state what I do, so I said I work with Vietnam vets to help them find forgiveness of the American people for how they were treated when they returned home. Afterward, a man approached my booth. I could see from his name tag that it was Stan.

Stan outstretched his hand, and said, “I’m a Vietnam vet and I want to thank you for the work that you are doing.” Boy, that made the evening worthwhile, to have let another vet know there is hope on the other side of the resentment, the bitterness. I was humbled. He even took my card to pass along the word of my work.

Earlier in the day, I had stumbled across a site that was a group of Vietnam Vets in San Quentin. I wanted to become a part of the volunteers who visit these men at that prison. I had, after all, visited a friend in Quentin for several years, so was familiar with going into the prison. I discovered, to my disappointment, that because I had been a visitor, I could not be a volunteer. Boy, and I was so excited to be able to go in and talk with the group… So my disappointment of the evening was a continuation, in part, of earlier news.

Let’s look for a minute at the lack of sales last night. I could use excuse after excuse, but as I said earlier, I believe it was because I had too much on the table, too many choices. In other words, I found a reason why what I was doing was not working, rather than blame it on everything else… like, they gave me a bad spot, etc.

The ability to look at myself, to look at my actions and how they contributed to a negative outcome has just occurred for me in sobriety. Being able to do that has been very freeing. No longer do I go seething about, looking for something outside of myself to blame. I can hold myself accountable. I can do a self-appraisal, a performance eval, and see how I contributed to a situation. Again, how very freeing this has been.

It took some practice over time, but my ability to go to seeing my part in something by doing a self-appraisal has been finely honed and I go right there, well, almost right there. The cool thing is, I have 2 more big events coming up during which I can test my theory by having just a few things on my table. I’ll let you know how that works.

Today, when you are tempted to blame everyone and everything around you for your difficulties, take a look at what role you played in the affair. How did you contribute to the negative outcome? Take a look, be humble and willing to accept responsibility for your part. It all starts with a self-appraisal, and a smile at yourself.