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October 14, 2019
Long ago, way back in one of my college classes on death and dying, the professor told us that our death rituals -- the funeral, visitation, etc. -- were our ways of "reweaving the cloth of our community" after a loss. Grief has a process.  It is our internal response to loss, that is about how we move through and beyond that loss. Yet in our culture, we tend to have an impatience with grief and the grieving.  With the best of intentions, we sometimes push people to move through their grief.  And we push ourselves to move through our grief. We want those grieving to find happiness again.  And as we grieve, we want to stop hurting. Which often only serves to disrupt grief, prolonging or curtailing the healing that needs to come after a loss.  In our attempts to "speed it along," we slow it down or cut it off. My guest on this episode, Sarah Nannen, knows this first-hand.  With 4 young children, Sarah was widowed when her active-duty husband died in a training accident. In the aftermath, Sarah had to follow her own instincts to find space for her grief... and then she found herself once again among the living. Since then, Sarah has been helping others do the same.  She wrote a book, Grief Unvealed, and helps others to find empowerment as they process their own grief. Who is this episode for?  If you are alive... you!  Because every single one of us will be (or have been) confronted by loss.  Every single one of us will (or has) pass through grief. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Sarah Nannen's Website (and free Peace Meditation) Moving Through Grief Order, Disorder, Reorder Grieve Losses, Celebrate Gains Does Everything Happen for a Reason?
October 7, 2019
Are you up for a challenge? In the last episode of my podcast, I discussed how to hold on when life is tough.  That's when life is challenging you. But what about when life isn't so challenging... where life is copacetic?  Just cruising. It's my observation that we work hard to keep life flat.  We work hard to keep things smooth.  Cold out?  Turn on the heater.  Hot out?  Turn on the A/C.  Keep things even... even-keeled.  Flat. We spend LOTS of energy to save the energy of dealing witb challenges, big or small. But does that help (or harm) us?  Does it keep us safe or make us fragile? What if taking on small challenges actually gets us better prepared for bigger challenges?  What if making choices to expand into life helps us deal with life encroaching upon us? One of my "things" is to find little challenges for myself... new things to try, new activities to do, new tastes or sounds to take in, and new ways to try life. How about you?  What challenges are you taking on right now? Listen to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast to discover the power of a challenge. RELATED RESOURCES Learning and Life Ways to Expand Growth Mindset Lessons in Jiu Jitsu Book:  Thrive Principles
September 30, 2019
Life is tough. Not always.  But along the way.  And even after you get past one struggle, that doesn't mean there isn't another one up ahead.  That's just the nature of life. It doesn't mean you are doing anything wrong or that the world, God, or the Universe is out to teach you a lesson.  It's just the nature of life. You may notice 2 crowds.  First is the "Grind Culture" that just says to suck it up, keep on grinding, and MAKE it work.  They have a point that you have to get through some tough times.  But sometimes, it is wise to step back and ask if the fight is worth it. Then there is the "Sign Culture."  That group tells you that any struggle is an indication you are on the wrong path, that something is wrong with you, and that life "should" be easy... if you are doing it right.  They have a point that sometimes, a struggle is pointing to you moving the wrong way... swimming upstream.  But the fact is, life means struggles... at times. So what do you do to hold up when life gets you down? We discuss it... and 5 things to do... on this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Does Everything Happen for a Reason? Dealing with Emotional Pain Facing Fears Accepting What Is Book:  Thrive Principles - 15 Strategies for Building YOUR Thriving Life
September 23, 2019
What's your WHY?  Your BIG WHY?  Why you are here.  The WHY that is your life purpose? I think we all have one... even if we haven't found it yet.  It's there.  Within us.  Your first task is to find it.  That's important.  But finding it isn't enough.  Second, you have to move toward it, work toward it... try to fulfill it.  If it is big enough, it may just take you the rest of your life! But what could get in your way?? The little "why's."  Your questions about "why did this happen?", "why are things this way?", "why do I feel this way?" Those little why's can drown out the BIG WHY.  It draws our attention away from what is important.  And yet, those little why's get our attention and energy.  They keep us in circles, chasing after nothing helpful or useful.  Just stuck. In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I discuss our BIG WHY and the little why's that keep us away from the BIG WHY. RELATED RESOURCES Meaning/Purpose/Impact Showing Up Accepting WHAT IS What Can You Control? What I Learned As A Chaplain, Pt. 1 What I Learned As A Chaplain, Pt. 2 Thrive Principles Book
September 16, 2019
We ALL want MORE out of life... right?  But more of what?  More toys?  More stuff? Or are we craving more of LIFE?  Of living... more?  Living a more full life? I think that is it.  At least, that is "it" for me.  Experiencing more, connecting more, adding more purpose, living more of "me."  And I suspect that is true for you, too.  But sometimes, we aren't sure about how to do it. Not whether we want to or not. Just how to do it. In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, we cover how to Choose More in your life... and what to Choose More of! Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES You Have to Show UP Your Impact Your Thriving Body Series Thrive Principles Book
September 9, 2019
I don't know about you, but I was raised around competition.  Not so much from my parents, but from culture.  In school, you compete in all sorts of tasks... trying to prove how smart, how good, how talented, how athletic, how whatever you are... compared to the others. It doesn't stop there, but keeps on going.  Win or lose.  That's all that matters.  Well, winning.  That's what matters. Remember Ricky Bobby from the movie, Talladega Nights? "If you ain't first, you're last!"  In other words, you win... or you have lost. (Do remember, though, that at another point in the movie, Ricky Bobby is talking with his Dad... and gets challenged: Ricky Bobby: "Wait, Dad. Don’t you remember the time you told me 'If you ain’t first, you’re last'?" Reese Bobby: "Huh? What are you talking about, Son?" Ricky Bobby: "That day at school." Reese Bobby: "Oh hell, Son, I was high that day. That doesn’t make any sense at all, you can be second, third, fourth… hell you can even be fifth." Ricky Bobby: "What? I’ve lived my whole life by that!" There you go... a first... a quote in a Will Ferrell movie to make a point about thriving!) We grow up on that whole "win or learn" thing... which ties us tightly to our ego.  If we win, ego boost.  If we lose, ego bruise.  What will others think?? Maybe it is worth making a shift. Nelson Mandela said, "I never lose. I either win or I learn." When you don't win, you can learn! Great shift.  "Losing" is an opportunity for learning.  When you don't win, there is an opportunity for growth, for learning... for being better. But it is still bound by ego. What if it isn't even the win? But the learn? Then, we either learn... or we learn. Listen to this episode for more on winning/losing versus learning/learning. RELATED RESOURCES What I learned in Jiu Jitsu More I learned in Jiu Jitsu Even MORE I learned in Jiu Jitsu Trial-And-Error Mindset Three Growth Mindsets Showing UP Book:  Thrive Principles Book:  The Immutable Laws of Living ... And show some love with a tweet by CLICKING HERE.
September 2, 2019
Well, you are on to me!  Last week, I started talking about things you can do to guarantee that you DON'T thrive.  I'm sure you knew I didn't really want you to NOT thrive.  But I wanted to point out some ways people make themselves miserable... and what they might do to shift. If you missed that episode, JUST CLICK HERE TO HEAR IT. It is interesting to notice how we humans can really mess up our lives!  Life throws us enough to deal with.  Then, we tend to multiply it with our own blind spots and stuck points. With my Top 10 List To Guarantee You Don't Thrive, I wanted to point out 10 ways that people really do keep themselves stuck.  And the fact is, I see these same patterns repeated over and over by many people. So, if you see yourself in one (or more) of the stuck points, that just means you are... well... human.  Congratulations on being able to spot it!  That is the first step in doing something different... something new... something more... THRIVING! Listen in below for the REST of the ways you can keep from thriving... so you can thrive!  (Unless you don't want to... then just follow my suggestions.) RELATED RESOURCES How To NOT Thrive, Part 1 Control What You Can Dealing with Stress Gratitude Feedback Meaning & Purpose Make An Impact Book:  Thrive Principles
August 26, 2019
Over the years, I have tried to learn to thrive.  And I have tried to teach others how to thrive... even getting other experts to do the same. But today, just for a moment, let's assume you DON'T want to thrive.  In fact, you want to... well, do the opposite of thriving!  You want to be miserable and live a smaller life.  You want to feel stuck and frustrated. (I'm not going to even explain WHY you would want to do that... let's play a little mental game and pretend you just don't want to thrive.) What then? How would you go about NOT thriving?  How would you really make yourself as miserable as possible? In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I start in on my Top 10 List of How NOT To Thrive.  I cover 5 top ways to NOT thrive in this episode, and follow up with the other 5 in the next episode. Why in the world would I do this? Because if you know how to NOT thrive, then you can NOT do the NOT's.  You can do the opposite, and move toward thriving.  It is also a good way to run through the list and see if you find yourself falling into any of the non-thriving traps.  They are all around us!  And sometimes, we are doing them... not even realizing it. Listen below for part 1 of How To Guarantee You Don't Thrive. RELATED RESOURCES: It Isn't Personal It IS What It IS Forgiving Hard Isn't The Question Dealing with Fear Book:  Thrive Principles
August 19, 2019
World got you down?  Maybe even looking down?  It can feel overwhelming, like you just need to keep plodding ahead, keeping your head down. But often, that is just the time we need to look up. To the sky. Physically and metaphorically. When I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and flustered, when it seems there is just too much going on, too much to get done... I take a step back and look up. And then I have a little more perspective.  Little ol' me in this big ol' universe.  In a world with lots more troubles than I have.  Not that mine aren't important.  They just aren't as grand as I can make them feel. And metaphorically, I look up.  To a higher perspective.  My higher Self.  I remember that it really isn't all about me, but how I bring myself into the world. It also reminds me to be grateful.  To be grateful for being in this moment, in this space.  Who I am, with what I have, where I am.  And to see that as "enough."  It is too easy to let the "not enough's" call out to me, call me down, scare me. But then, I look up.  To pivot me out of my little thoughts and into bigger thoughts.  From a higher perspective. From a place of connection.  From awe. Look up. I discuss this more in this week's Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Meaning/Purpose Triad Finding Your Meaning Finding Perspective Dealing With Stress Everyday Spirituality Book:  Thrive Principles
August 12, 2019
There are days when you just wish that something would change.  The same ol' same ol' just seems to roll along.  And then there are the days you wished that things wouldn't change.  What happened?  How did things turn upside down? One simple word to explain both situations:  Life. If you don't find that comforting, let's call it the cycle of life.  Because cycles keep on rolling.  If you can't wait for a change, no worries.  Things will change.  If things seem so be changing on all sides, guess what?  Change will stop.  Things will re-configure. In life, we are always moving through a cycle:  Order, Disorder, Reorder.  The first can get a little old and stale.  But at least it is predictable and... maybe even feels safe.  Then comes the call, the letter, the diagnosis, the pink slip, or maybe just the next step.  A child goes off to college, you finish college, a friend moves away, you move away.  Something shifts and throws you into disorder. It is a tough spot.  Painful and grief-ful.  But life does not stop there.  We move through it, find a new way to keep on moving.  And life re-orders.  It is a new order.  But it is the re-order. And at some point, the reorder becomes the order.  And the cycle repeats.  From the day we are born until the day we die. The question is how we move through the cycle... not IF, but HOW. Listen to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast for moving through the Order/Disorder/Reorder Cycle. RELATED RESOURCES Dealing with Grief Dealing with Depression Dealing with Anxiety Midlife Meaning and Purpose What Is IS What Is Book:  Thrive Principles
August 5, 2019
"How did I end up here?," my client asked.  He told me that for so long, he thought he was headed in the right direction.  Now, he thinks maybe it was the entirely wrong direction. I asked him, "Did you course correct along the way?"  He looked at me rather quizzically.  So, I elaborated, "If you are sailing, you point the boat toward some object in the distance, in the direction you want to sail.  You sail toward it.  But the winds push, the current pushes, and you end up a little off-course.  So, you course correct." But then, I added: "Sometimes, you realize that where you thought you wanted to go is not really where you want to go... or maybe it isn't safe to go.  Maybe a storm or something else.  But you have to go somewhere else.  So, you change course." And I continued, "Then there are the times when you don't course-correct as you go, and the small space of being off-course begins to broaden as you go.  What might have been just a course correction at the beginning is now a course change." Then I returned to our dialogue and asked, "So, did you course correct... or is this a course change?" Just to be clear:  either is fine.  We all have the option of course changes in life.  Sometimes, it is just a course correction.  But it is okay if you need a course change. It's a part of life. In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I explore the difference between a course correction and a course change.  What does it look like, and when is it time for a change? Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Book:  Immutable Laws of Living Dealing with Change How Are You Showing Up Meaning and Purpose
July 29, 2019
Over 40 million people.  Every year.  That is the number who suffer from insomnia, in the United States alone.  It's just a little "missed sleep," right?  Maybe a little cranky in the morning, but nothing that a cup of coffee can't fix. Right? Wrong. First, insomnia is incredibly frustrating.  When you want to sleep, but can't, it is frustrating.  Especially if everyone else is peacefully slumbering everywhere else in your house! Second, a lack of sleep is detrimental to our mental and physical well-being.  Each year, more studies show how important sleep is.  It is implicated in anxiety and depression.  It is tied to higher rates of accidents.  It contributes to high blood pressure, diabetes, dementia, weight gain, and many other chronic issues. Let alone that crankiness that can make the day so hard! In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I discuss curing insomnia with Ruth Stern.  After suffering from insomnia for 19 years, Ruth set out to find a solution.  A trained therapist, Ruth turned to an energy psychology technique to help herself to heal from insomnia.  An overnight cure?  Nope.  But it worked.  And has worked for many others. Listen in as Ruth Stern and I discuss curing insomnia. RELATED RESOURCES Your Thriving Body Series Starting And Ending Your Day Right Dealing with Depression and Anxiety Grab Ruth Stern's Healing Your Sleep Now Mini-Training HERE
July 22, 2019
How's your life going? The way you want?  Or not quite?  Do you want to "level up" and play a bigger game?  Have a bigger life? In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I chat with David Wood, successful-entrepreneur-turned-life-coach.  Nope, not a business coach (although he does some of that), but a life coach.  Helping successful people "level up" to more success. While David had been successful in his work, something was missing -- connection.  Tied to an early childhood trauma (we talk about it), David decided to "play it safe" with relationships... and then realized that "playing it safe" kept him disconnected and distant. How? Playing bigger.  Taking risks.  Daring.  And Caring. David starts with a question, "What if we are living in a maze, running it every day?  We can keep doing that, or we can step back and decide to play it bigger." Using his 3 Pillars and 4 Point Plan, David points the way to anyone wanting to play on a bigger field.  To play "full out" in the game of life -- which David notes is a very important game! Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: David Wood's Website (Free Assessment and/or Free Session) My Interview with Jack Canfield Fear and Your Life Showing Up
July 15, 2019
We have a sectional couch.  My spot is right in the corner.  I can sit one way, stretch my legs out the other way.  And my dog, Ziggy, settles in right beside me.  Why do I tell you that?  Well, when I am crammed into that corner, you might say I am "balanced."  No way will I fall over, in any direction.  I'm propped up and held in position. Other than that, balance is something I work at.  You do, too.  Even if you aren't aware of it.  We humans stand on two feet.  Quite a balancing accomplishment.  Your legs and feet are constantly readjusting, trying to keep you upright.  You are, in other words, always a bit off-balance.  Walking?  Simply falling forward and catching yourself.  Balance... not so much. Then, you open up tons of self-help literature that tells you that happiness comes from "balance in life."  But what if balance is... well... a myth? The challenge is in trying to find some balance, deciding what to balance, and when to be off-balance. If you follow me and my podcast much, you know that I have been doing jiu jitsu for nearly 1 1/2 years.  That pretty much makes me an advanced white belt (soon to be blue, though).  And along the way, it became clear that the moves work sometimes because I have established a balanced spot ("base" would be the term), and at times because I am willing to be off-balanced, shifting momentum in my favor.  Same in life.  Sometimes, I need to find my base.  But many times, to get the momentum, I need to be a bit off-balance. And if you have found yourself thinking, "I need to find balance," let me (and my guest) go ahead and shoot that down.  It is the myth of balance you need to know and understand. This week, I interview Jarrod Castillo.  When I first met Jarrod, he was in the middle of a ballroom, doing a handstand.  And he was the only one doing it.  That caught my attention. Jarrod and I discuss the myth of balance and why that is so important to understand.  Join me for a great interview with Jarrod (Wolf). RELATED RESOURCES Show Up What Can You Control? Responsibility Jarrod's Website
July 8, 2019
Your subconscious mind is constantly active, constantly scanning your world.  It controls our choices and actions, emotions and feelings.  Scanning for threats, it is relying on old scripts and patterns. And that is why our subconscious is often running us, not the other way around.  It is running our lives, not working as a tool for a better life. Dot Campbell is trying to turn that around.  She is out to show the world how to use their subconscious mind as a tool. While most people believe their conscious mind (the judging, analyzing part of your mind) is in charge of decisions.  But the subconscious mind, always accumulating information and running your emotions, often runs the show. Join me as Dot and I discuss her 3A's of using your subconscious mind to build a better life. RELATED RESOURCES Fear Gets You Using Fear Showing Up Dot's Book, You're Not The Boss Of Me
July 1, 2019
We tend to give up our "True Self" along the way, victim to our Ego -- what we show the world. Your True Self didn't go anywhere. It is tucked deep down inside, "protected." Not really protected, though.  The Ego and our defense mechanisms are trying to protect it.  But in the process, it gets buried.  Deeper and deeper over the years.  Unless we do some digging.  Some growing.  Some nurturing. What buries it?  Traumas.  Bruisings.  Brushes with pain and fear.  Which is why we keep trying to compensate.  To react and keep those "dangers" away... which is really our way of keeping fear away. According to Dr. Avis Attaway, we have to move through three phases to get back to our True Self: Self-Awareness Self-Mastery Self-Expression In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, Avis and I discuss how to get back to that True Self, our best self. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Dealing with Fear What We can Control Avis Attaway's Website
June 24, 2019
Did you know that repetitive dieting and relentless exercise can actually break your metabolism?  Your body has an amazing capacity of adjusting to circumstances around you.  If you simply drop your caloric intake, your body will assume there is a famine... and will reduce your metabolism. If you take part in "chronic cardio," endless cardio exercise (running, biking, climbing machines, treadmills, etc.), even if the heart monitor tells you that your pace is in "fat burning zone," your body will quickly adjust... and you will suffer diminishing returns. Unless you "hack" your approach, dialing back to an older energy method of your body.  That is the heart of the ketogenic approach. In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, the "High Energy Girl," Tracee Gluhaich, joins me for a discussion of her own story through diets, and how she coaches people toward healing their metabolism... and healing their relationship with food. Tracee was raised on body-shaming beliefs that put her on a course (crash-course) through a multitude of diet and exercise approaches.  Until it all fell apart. From there, Tracee had to rebuild, relearn, and heal.  Now, she helps people to heal their metabolism.  And she helps women to heal their relationship with food... many people trying to fill their void with food. Join me as Tracee and I explore food, emotions, metabolism, and healing. RELATED RESOURCES Tracee's Website (And Her Resources) Your Thriving Body Mastering Habits
June 17, 2019
I've rolled and been rolled, tapped and been tapped.  My journey into jiu jitsu continues! Since my last post on lessons I have learned in jiu jitsu (LIFE lessons -- not just jiu jitsu moves and techniques), I've continued on my journey.  The first time I posted, I was just a few months into my study.  When I completed my Combatives belt (a Gracie standard), I added a second post. This past month, I hit another achievement, having been awarded my Blue belt.  So, it is time for a bit more reflection and thought. After 16 months of fairly intense study, I realize that the deeper I dig, the more there is to learn.  Kind of like life.  Something seems so simple... until you start in.  Then, things become far more complex. Mastery is the point when the complex becomes simple again.  And I am far from that. Join me as I explore 5 more lessons I've learned (and relearned) from my time studying jiu jitsu. RELATED RESOURCES Lessons Learned From Jiu Jitsu More Lessons Learned from Jiu Jitsu Growth Mindset Gracie University Gracie Jiu Jitsu Louisville (come join us!)
June 10, 2019
Sometimes, we spend so much time trying to think through a problem that we just get stuck.  Our minds tend to spiral on the same thoughts over and over... not really giving any new information or help. "What should I do?" is usually followed by an almost endless loop of "What should I do?"  Or worse yet, we take action, but then realize that our thinking was more limited than we thought. There HAS to be a better way, right? According to Greg Lee and Antonia Van Becker, there is!  We just have to shift from listening to our thoughts.  It is not shifting to listen to someone else... not a friend, spouse, relative, or even a therapist or coach (OK, you may want to consult with someone else, but that is not the only place). So, where do you turn?  As it turns out, not too far from your mind.  Just a bit, ummm, down. To your body. Let me freely admit that for lots of years, I chose to NOT listen to my body.  I lived from the neck, up.  It would seem that one day, my body decided to get my attention.  And let's just say that the resulting mess was painful and scary.  But my body got my attention! Even if I didn't know how to listen at that moment, I knew I needed to pay attention to it. Greg and Antonia take it much further.  They suggest you can even ask your body for guidance... and your body will, well, guide you. In this episode of the podcast, Antonia and Greg share what it means to "listen to your body."  And they share 6 steps to follow when you hit a tipping point in your day (or your life). Listen below! RELATED RESOURCES 3 Powerful Toos To Inner Wisdom SelfHealthInstitute.com Your Thriving Body Series
June 3, 2019
We can fail in so many ways.  Often, it is just a matter of stumbling through, not looking for a better path.  We forge new paths to failure.  That is often "life on automatic." If someone has succeeded, though, they leave a trail.  The more people who succeed that same way just make the trail more clear, the path easier to follow.  Success always leaves a trail.  Everywhere in life. When I wanted to write a book, I knew I could stumble through... and maybe I would succeed. Or maybe I would fail. An easy way to fail?  Never figuring out how to start.  Never writing.  That would certainly keep me from writing a book.  But there were lots of other ways to fail at it. Or... I could talk to others who had done it. Success leaves a trail. Corey Poirier is a professional speaker.  But he has another distinction.  He has interviewed over 5000 high-achievers.  And over time, he noticed some common traits of high-achievers. I had a chance to interview Corey... while he was getting rushed out of his hotel room!  The life of a speaker! Anyway, in our interview, Corey shared the 5 top traits of high-achievers.  These traits are not just about business (although they apply there).  They are also about life! Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Corey Poirier's Website Success and Purpose Boundaries Best Start To The Day
May 27, 2019
What is "reality"?  Is it "out there" or in us?  Or more importantly, is there something about us that creates our experience of reality?  And if so, can we somehow find a way to "re-write" reality in a way that shifts it to more of what we want and less of what we don't want? There are plenty of philosophical wonderings in there.  Lots of spiritual traditions have tried to tackle this one.  Are we dreamers or being dreamed?  Do we construct everything we experience?  Is there only what we see and experience?  Do we "cause" everything that happens to us?  Is this just one big hallucination/delusion/matrix? Big questions that can keep us thinking for a long time.  And yet, the thinking may not mean anything to our daily lives. In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I interview Carl Hunter.  At one point in his life, things were not going the way that Carl wanted.  He was adrift, unhappy, and frustrated that he couldn't make headway. So, he started searching.  Was there some way to make a shift?  To build a life the way he wanted it to be? In his search, a friend told him about a course that the friend's family member was going through.  That course promised to help people build a life they wanted... through the process of "reprogramming the sub-conscious." Carl didn't know if he believed in the process.  But he had nothing to lose by trying.  So, he made himself the guinea pig of the process.  He tried it out.  And according to Carl, within 12 hours, life was going differently.  First in a small way.  But as Carl continued to experiment, life was changing in bigger and more significant ways. Over time, Carl did more and more research, refining the methodology and techniques.  He calls it "switching from manual to automatic."  In today's interview, Carl proposes the "manual" method for you to try.  No need to accept his theories.  Test them for yourself. Listen in to learn the simple method.  Then, test it out! RELATED RESOURCES Does Everything Happen For A Reason? MindFlavors Website Free MindFlavors Ebook
May 20, 2019
Life is a fairly constant flow of goodbyes and hellos.  Sometimes, those goodbyes are incredibly painful.  The death of a loved one, the loss of a relationship, the loss of a job or role.  All can be painful. And sometimes, those goodbyes feel like the end of the story.  But many times, there is more.  More to the story, more to life.  More to live.  Those are the hellos. When you are caught up in the grief of a goodbye, it may seem like a hello is impossible.  It takes courage.  Vulnerability.  A willingness to live again. We can live behind a fortress, trying to protect ourselves from hurts.  But that also keeps us from connecting and loving... living. Sure, the goodbyes hurt.  But that is part of the deal with life.  Sometimes, the pain breaks us open to new possibilities and new people. In this Thriveology Podcast episode, I interview Terese Castellanos.  As a therapist, Terese helped people through losses and life struggles... and one day realized that she, herself, was faced with the same thing.  Her husband was dying. In our interview, Terese and I look to her story of goodbye... how that felt like the end of the story... but it wasn't.  So, we also discuss hello.  And how to live through the goodbye, open to the hello. RELATED RESOURCES Dealing With Grief Lessons From A Chaplain Lessons From A Chaplain, pt. 2 Terese's Website
May 13, 2019
Do you find yourself a bit rebellious?  Maybe you just don't want to be told what to do.  Or maybe you just want to find your own voice.  I think we all have some rebellious place in there.  That rebellion can serve us or keep us stuck. Ilana Kristeva tells me she was born rebellious.  Colicky and anemic as a baby, Ilana just pushed back.  She reports lots of parent/teacher conferences, since she didn't much like directions.  Then, her body rebelled. As diagnoses started stacking up, Ilana lost more and more control of her body, finally ending up in a wheelchair.  Unhappy and frustrated, Ilana finally hit a wall.  Literally and figuratively.  Coming down the hall in her home, Ilana collided with the wall, finding herself stuck.  And suddenly laughing. That was the starting point of her healing.  In fact, she decided to take a stand-up comedy class (still in her wheelchair). Slowly, Ilana began to understand that every cell in her body had the potential to heal, grow, and regenerate.  She decided to honor that. To use her conscious thoughts to speak to her body, even singing to herself. Along the way, she realized that she had to take her own health into her own hands.  Sure, she could listen to the professionals.  But she had to take responsibility, if she were to find healing.  It was then that she converted her rebellious nature to a focused purpose.  She became a Self-Care Vigilante. As Ilana and I chat in this Thriveology Podcast, we discuss the elements of being a Self-Care Vigilante.  How others can adopt the same mindset, taking control and responsibiliy for their well-being.  How they can live in gratitude.  Listen in for how to get a copy of Ilana's books. RELATED RESOURCES Personal Responsibility Thriving Body Series Growth Mindset Ilana's Book:  Instant Gratitude
May 6, 2019
Many times, life just kind of, well, hits us.  We have a major transition. Or we just hit a plateau.  What if you know there is more... you just can't get there?  That's when we have to find our "untapped strengths." Angela Stillwell is the "Vulnerability Warrior."  Why?  Because she discovered that struggling with tough times can keep in in "survivial mode." Angela came from a dysfunctional family situation, with divorce and affairs, abuse, and the loss of her mother when she was young.  Yes, she "survivied" (as people would tell her), but that was not enough. She knew there was more;  passion, purpose, perspective, service.  And Angela set out to find it. As Angela shares with me, there are 3 steps to thriving: Connection Perfect imperfection Resurrection Sounds like a pretty good formula to me!  Listen to this week's podcast, as Angela shares her formula, step-by-step. RELATED RESOURCES: Meaning & Purpose Dealing with Tough Times Acceptance Vulnerability Warrior Quiz
April 29, 2019
? What if your "future self" can help your "current self?" And maybe even help you make sense of your "past self!" In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I chat with Valerie Lemme about her journey from painful childhood and struggling adulthood to thriving. Valerie discovered that by accessing her Future Self, she could move beyond the beliefs and stuck points she was experiencing. But in order to get there, Valerie had to go through mental, physical, and emotional pain. Through mood swings, insomnia, panic, high blood pressure, and horrible back pain, Valerie kept looking for an answer. She trained as a healer and hypnotherapist, but couldn't find healing for herself. On the verge of giving up, Valerie tuned into a webinar on FutureVisioning, and her life was changed. After that, Valerie decided to help others with that same process. And today, Valerie "pulls back the curtains" to share the 7 basic principles of the process. Her principles might be a challenge to what you believe. But if what you are currently believing isn't quite working, it might be time for a shift. Or at least some thoughts in a new direction. Tune in as Valerie and I discuss the 7 Principles of FutureVisioning. RELATED RESOURCES:ResponsibilityControlLife PurposeFuture Visioning Worksheets
April 22, 2019
My friend tells me, "Aging ain't for sissy's, but I ain't ready for the alternative!" It happens to every single one of us who are fortunate enough for it to happen.  We get older.  Moment by moment, day by day, year by year... and hopefully, decade by decade. Personally, I am planning on being around for a long time.  I'm already in what I refer to as "Bonus Time," after a health scare over 15 years ago. One of my things to do is look for "aging mentors."  These are people who are older than me, at varying levels, who seem to be doing it right.  Not so much in the fact that they are still alive, as in how they live. Ron Kaiser is one of those guys.  81 years old, still a full time psychologist, still doing yoga and exercising, still engaged in learning... still engaged in living. Recently, I had the good fortune of interviewing Ron.  He and I met at a conference and I said, "I have to get you on Thriveology.  Your information is important at any age!"  And now, I have. Be sure and listen in to the interview below. RELATED RESOURCES: The Mental Health Gym Dealing with Grief Showing Up Your Thriving Body
April 15, 2019
How are you with your emotions? This isn't a question on whether you are "in touch with your emotions" or not.  It is how you process the emotions. Some people have, well, "emotional diahrrea."  Emotions just dump wherever and whenever. Others have "emotional constipation."  They just can't get them out.  Emotions get stuck, lodged in hurtful and painful ways. Maybe we all need a little "emotional potty training." When Rachel Kaplan was 14 years old, her boyfriend killed himself, leaving Rachel emotionally wounded.  She blamed herself and tried to make sense of such a tragedy at such a young age.  The emotional wound stayed with her for years. And it led Rachel on a quest of healing.  First, she wanted to find her own healing.  But over the years, she began to use her new knowledge and skills to bring healing to others.  Trained in Western and Eastern healing approaches, Rachel began to see her work as "emotional potty training." She helps people who have buried their emotions deep in a "basement of shame," which means the emotions cannot process through.  Her task is to help people to find their Authentic Self, to heal their core wounds, and discover their worth. Listen in as Rachel and I discuss Emotional Potty Training. RELATED RESOURCES Discover Your Core Wound - Rachel's Quiz Healing Feeling - Rachel's Podcast Resilience Dealing with Grief
April 8, 2019
It's never too late!  Until it's too late! We all have an expiration date!  But up until then... there is time.  But don't take up too much time not getting there.  The sooner you do, the better your life will be, for as long as it goes on. Isn't that a dichotomy?  It's never too late to make a change.  But don't put it off! Here's the thing.  If there are things you have wanted to do, but haven't... you can really be hard on yourself.  You can chastise and shame yourself for not having taken action.  All the while, you are putting it off even longer. OR, you can decide that the moment for change is NOW.  Not "someday."  Not "maybe tomorrow."  Today. On her 60th birthday, with a full day of celebration planned, Lorraine Hoving woke up in a panic.  It occured to her that if she was fortunate enough to live to 90, she was 2/3rds of the way through life.  And that was assuming she was headed for 90! That very day, Lorraine thought about all the goals, hopes, and dreams she had... and had not yet hit.  At that point, she was overweight and hiding from life.  And on that day, she decided things had to change. Lorraine says she took "100% responsibility for how" her life went.  She forgave herself.  She forgave others.  And she took control of her life. Now, she is on a mission to help others build their life... they way THEY want it.  Starting now.  It's never too late... until it's too late. Listen in as Lorraine Hoving and I discuss how she took control of her life and made it a life she loves. RELATED RESOURCES: Lorraine's Website Taking Responsibility Starting Now Forgiving Book:  The Forgive Process
April 1, 2019
Life can turn in an instant:  a phone call, a letter, a knock on the door.  Everything you thought you knew, everything that was "normal" is pulled apart and thrown upside-down. In that heart-stopping moment, you know life will never be the same.  And sometimes, it can feel like life isn't just changed... but over. For Nada Hogan, that knock on the door was a pair of police officers.  While Nada was trying to figure out what was going on, she noticed that one officer's badge said "Chaplain." Nada's 18 year old daughter had been killed in an accident. Her already-stressed life was thrown into a tailspin.  Some days, she could barely pull herself out of bed. Then, she decided to make a change.  To honor her daughter, Darah, in living a life of purpose. One little step at a time, Nada pulled her life back together.  She found a connection to something bigger than herself... and eventually, to a purpose bigger than her grief. Now, Nada helps others move through their heartbreaks to find healing.  She starts at the place where you might not even want to get out of bed.  She knows that spot!  She's been there. Join Nada and me as we discuss how to heal after heartbreak. RELATED RESOURCES Video Series - Giving Your Dreams Direction (by Nada) Grief and Loss Accepting What Is Does Everything Happen For A Reason? Your Purpose
March 25, 2019
What happens when you do all the right things:  get the degrees, marry the "right person," and think you are living your dream... only to discover it is someone else's dream? You may just push on.  You may just run away.  Or you may stop and realize that YOU are the one who needs to change... to transform. Many times, that happens at midlife.  Call it a "crisis."  Or call it an "opportunity for transformation." Marie-Elizabeth Mali decided it was time for transformation.  Having taken on what Marie-Elizabeth refers to as an "inherited identity" (the one others want for you), she realized that she was not living her authentic self. So, she made a LEAP (which is also the acronym of her approach) to transformation. Listen in as Marie-Elizabeth and I discuss her LEAP approach to making transformations. RELATED RESOURCES: Grab Marie-Elizabeth's Resource Learn To Show Up Taking On Responsibility Book:  Immutable Laws of Living
March 18, 2019
Over the last 2 episodes, we have been talking about YOUR Engaged Life. How to build a life of passion, purpose, and presence. Amplifying that life through gratitude, spirituality, and awe. Here's the thing... not to be a downer here... you and I, we are going to die.  Someday. Likely, you don't know when that will happen.  I don't know when I will die.  I just know that it is in my future. Why does that matter? That very fact is what makes life valuable, makes TIME valuable.  If you live forever, what you do today doesn't matter so much.  You could do it tomorrow or next year, or in a hundred years. But knowing we only have so much time... that changes things.  We have 2 tasks:  to live as fully as we can, in the time we have... and make that time last as long as possible. At least, that is MY task.  How can I live fully?  And how can I live fully? If you are thinking that might be YOUR task, listen in to the podcast below. RELATED RESOURCES 3 P's Of Engaged Life Amping Your Engagement Your Thriving Body Series Stress To Rest Book:  The Thrive Principles
March 11, 2019
In the last episode of the podcast, I started a series on living The Engaged Life.  We continue that series in this episode. If you have focused on living those 3 P's of Passion, Purpose, and Presence, you can amplify your Engaged Life with attending to 3 areas.  All 3 come from within you.  You can bring more engagement, more connection, more depth, and more meaning into your life. Amplifying is all about adding Power to those 3 P's.  And all about enlarging that Engaged Life for yourself. Listen in to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, so that you can amp your engagement. RELATED RESOURCE 3 P's of Engaged Life Your Spiritual Life Gratitude in Your Life Book:  The Thrive Principles
March 4, 2019
Do you ever that you are "playing small"?  That there should be more to life?  More for YOU to do in life?  More your life should be about? That life you are thinking about... that is the Engaged Life.  Living with more engagement, more depth, more meaning... more purpose. Over the years, this has been a fairly constant refrain from clients:  "There should be more to life than THIS."  There is.... Engaging in life.  Being engaged in life. Living a bit deeper... a bit wider. Over the years, 3 P's have emerged as the Path to living an engaged life.  Those 3 P's:  Passion, Purpose, and Presence. When you are focused on building those 3 areas, your Engaged Life builds. In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I cover the 3 P's of Living an Engaged Life.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Meaning and Purpose in Life Showing UP in Life We Have Fears Book:  Thrive Principles
February 25, 2019
I bet you hear it as much as I do.  You may even say it.  "I'm so stressed!"  The malady of the modern age.  Stressed out, exhausted, and frustrated. But what IS stress? As much as we toss that term around, sometimes almost as a badge of honor, you may not think about what that term is REALLY about. These days, I tend to push my body, physically.  I take a good long walk in the morning, usually do a workout after that, then go to jiu jitsu 3 to 5 evenings per week.  My body can, indeed, get stressed. When we talk about "stress," in everyday life, we are more talking about psychological stress.  Which is really just a term for something else.  Something we'd rather not claim. But once we recognize what it really is, we can do something about it.  So, let's figure out why we stress... and what we can do about it. Listen below to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast. RELATED RESOURCES We ALL Have Fears Your Thriving Body Dealing With Anxiety Dealing With Depression Thrive Principles Book
February 18, 2019
Like a broken record... or an endless audio loop.  Those thoughts that just keep turning in your mind.  Okay, in MY mind.  But I bet it happens to you, too. Let's say, hypothetically of course, that I get up to 2 emails.  One is complimentary, thanking me for resources, books, podcasts... things like that.  Then there is another email, critical and harsh, telling me how useless my info was. I read them both and head off to walk my dog. Do you think I ponder that kind one?  Or keep looping back to that unkind one? Yep, you guessed it.  And I bet you guessed it because it happens to you, too. And that thought... it isn't just a passing thought.  No.  I find my body tense up, the anger/hurt churning in my gut. The other day, I was out for my morning walk with my sidekick, Ziggy (our silver lab).  We were about half-way through and I realized my palms were sweaty, tightly gripping the leash (which is a waist leash, so I don't even need to be holding it!).  My chest is tight, my stomach is tight.  I ask myself, "why am I ready for a fight?"  Nothing had happened. Nothing. Except a thought I was having... not just having... looping.  It was about an experience that happened 3 decades ago.  One I don't typically think about.  But today, it popped in my head and I was stuck in a loop.  Looping on an old thought that was making me feel a certain way in the present. I dropped back and followed my own little routine when I find myself looping. You can't stop the loops from starting.  But you can decide how long you run the loops. Let's talk about how to stop those pesky loops.  Podcast below. RELATED RESOURCES Thoughts are Thoughts Anxiety and Thought Dealing with Depression Living In The Present Book:  The Immutable Laws Of Living
February 11, 2019
The gyms are emptying out.  The running shoes are no longer going out for runs.  Comfort food is replacing health food. What gives? February. Actually, it is just long enough that those resolutions made in January are starting to crumble. "I'll start exercising, start eating better, stop ______, stop ________."  You fill in the blanks.  Resolutions are usually starting something new or stopping something old.  Building new habits or beating old habits.  Or changing new habits for old ones. Many people get off to a good start.  They join the gym, throw out the junk food, buy some new clothes, a few new books, and... enthusiasm wanes.  Old habits kick back in. And it is back to square one. Don't blame yourself!  Habits are tough.  Tough to make, tough to break. We go back to the old habits because they are comfortable, easy, and the path of least resistance.  Even if they don't get us where we want to go! We just seem to fall right down the Habit Hole! So, what should we do? Listen in to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast for more about the Habit Hole. RELATED RESOURCES Habits Series Making An Impact Changing Limiting Beliefs Book:  Thrive Principles
February 4, 2019
I don't know about you, but I don't much enjoy feeling fear.  I'd rather it not be a part of my life. And yet, it is. Fear is part of our wiring, deep in our DNA and deep in the circuitry of our brains. It keeps us safe -- sometimes super-safe.  Which is the problem. There is a central life coaching question:  "Where do you want to be?"  (Few people seek out coaching because everything is great, they are happy, and life is where they want it to be.) The next question is "What keeps you from getting there?"  When I dig in with clients, that question often hits against external barriers.  Things the client can't change. But dig long enough and dig deep enough, and you hit fear.  Fear is what often keeps us from getting what we want in life, from getting the life we most deeply dream about. If fear is a fact of life (it is), then fear isn't really as much in our way as we let it be.  After all, other people (who also have fears) have made it. What breaks through the fear, to get us to the life we want? It is not being "fearless."  That won't happen... although you can have LESS fear. Nope. It is COURAGE.  And courage is not the opposite of fear... it is action in the direction of fear.  Which is what dissipates fear. Let's talk about fear... and more important, courage... in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast. RELATED RESOURCES We ALL Have Fears Facing Fears Your Fierce Life Book:  Thrive Principles Book:  The Immutable Laws Of Living
January 28, 2019
"Where should I start?", my client asked. Lots of times, we want to make changes, we want things to be different.  And sometimes, we want things to be different before we make any changes. We want a different starting point. If you've ever been at a park or mall, looking at the map to figure out where to go, you might notice that one very important feature, "You Are Here."  It points to the spot where you are now. Not where you want to go.  Not where you want to be. But where you are. If you are at the mall and see the store you want... on the other side of the mall, you might wish you were standing nearby, near the destination store.  Not all the way across the mall. But if you are on the other side of the mall, that is where you are.  Navigating to the destination from a closer point -- a point where you are NOT -- is not likely to be effective. You start where you are. And you might just find... it is a pretty good place to start. Listen to this podcast episode for how to start where you are, and why where you are is a pretty good place to start. RELATED RESOURCES Accepting What Is Limiting Beliefs Making Changes Book:  The Immutable Laws of Living
January 21, 2019
Kinda like taxes, tough days are unavoidable.  You may see the tough times coming.  But sometimes, they just roll right over us.  A conversation, a text, a phone call, or an event.  Something hits and the bad time is here. Some people will say that tough times are a sign that you are "off-course," not living right, not doing what you "should" be doing. But guess what?  One cost of living is dealing with tough times.  Illness, accidents, losses, and deaths -- they are all a part of life. You don't have to like the tough times.  But we do have to get through them. Which raises the question of how to get through the tough times. I cover handling tough times in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: Growth Mindsets for Tough Times Lessons Learned as a Chaplain Building Your Resilience Muscle Dealing with Roadblocks Two Targets to Thrive Book:  The Immutable Laws of Living
January 14, 2019
I always find it helpful to have some "rules" to live by.  Short statements that help keep me pointed in the right direction, ready to handle the challenges of life. And let's be honest:  challenges are an unavoidable part of life.  Those who tell you that having struggles, challenges, or illnesses is an indication that you are doing something wrong?  They are wrong and misguided.  Life is going to challenge each of us... right up until we die.  Which every one of us will do. So the question is how we live our lives.  Today.  Right now.  Regardless of what life is throwing your way. What we often do, in the face of a challenge:  Worry, Complain, Avoid.  All three keep us stuck, frozen in place and to the challenge ahead of us. So, I have decided instead, to adopt the rule of "Act or Accept."  I will either act toward resolution, or I will accept where I am.  And the acceptance?  It need not be permanent.  It is about where I am right now.  It may be waiting for a possible action. Let's talk about this rule and how to apply it.  Listen to the podcast episode below. RELATED RESOURCES Getting Unstuck Anxiety Resources Rules for Living Thrive Principles Book Immutable Laws of Living Book
January 7, 2019
Anyone who tells you that you can go through life without getting hurt and feeling pain is either lying or hiding. Life is rough-and-tumble.  Pain is unavoidable. But there is a type of pain that we can leave behind.  That is more a result of our own thinking than anything external, any injury either physical or emotional. Call it "Dirty Pain."  Which is distinguished from "Clean Pain."  Clean pain, that is the initial hurt.  When you hit your foot, it hurts.  That is the bodily response to the injury.  When someone says something to you that is mean and spiteful, your feelings are hurt.  That is the emotional pain.  It is initial. But what if you chastise yourself about your being "clutsy," or about your "stupid action" that led to that foot injury?  Or what if you made that hurtful comment about you, and not about the person who said it?  What if you kept dwelling about it? Let me be clear:  it is fine to ask how you might prevent an injury in the future.  It is fine to listen to feedback from others, that might give you some insight into things you need to change. It's the next step after that.  When you keep berating yourself.  It's when you take the next step... you attach to the pain.  Buddhism refers to that as suffering.  You and I can think of it as "Dirty Pain" (a term coined by ACT - a mode of therapy).  It is dirtied by our own mental state -- not the cause of the pain. What do you do about that?  We discuss it in this week's Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: Life Is Tough Letting Go What You Can Control The Forgive Process Book
December 31, 2018
The New Year.  It is upon us.  And along with the start of a new year is an opportunity for us to re-start.  To make some changes.  To find some ways to charge into the New Year, with a new approach.  Maybe even a new attitude! Many people make resolutions around this time.  And most of those resolutions are broken by February.  Gyms are full in January and quiet again in February.  Health foods fly out the doors in January, only to be tossed to make room for cookies and chips in February. Change is a tall order... unless you have some clarity to your change.  Some simple approach that makes your hopes and dreams a part of your life. Let's make a 4 step plan for charging into the New Year.  (And even if you listen to this episode at some other time in the year... guess what?  You can use the exact same 4 steps at any time!) Start the year right... by making a fresh start! Listen to the podcast episode below. RELATED RESOURCES: Your Word Gratitude What You Can Control Thrive Principles Book The Immutable Laws of Living Book
December 17, 2018
On multiple days each week, my wife and I play a game.  She points to a bruise and asks, "How'd that happen?" Fair question.  But I don't have a specific question.  All I can say is, "Rolling at jiu jitsu."  Yep, my 52 year old body has to tolerate my decision to take up jiu jitsu last January. A few months after I started going to jiu jitsu, I posted a podcast episode on Lessons I Learned At Jiu Jitsu. Well, here we are, some 11 months later.  And I have learned a few more lessons. Since I posted the first episode, I have continued going to class throughout the week.  And with continuing to go, I also progressed.  In the Gracie Academy framework, I earned my Combatives Belt back in November.  That means that... well... I am still a white belt.  Just an advanced white belt! Which means that I am now allowed in the advanced class, the Blue Belt Cycle. Which meant that everything I had learned up until then was met with a block or defense when I tried it on a higher ranked belt.  It had worked fine before!  But now, I was back to square one. As I have told a few people, it is kind of like when you are in the last year of middle school.  You think you are "top dog," and strut around a little, pretending to own that school.  Then, you go to high school.  And you discover you are at the bottom of the ladder.  Back to beginner.  That would be me.  Back to beginner. Humbling?  A little.  But more of a reminder that progress includes lots of new beginning points.  So now, when I can't make a move (or more likely, when I get submitted and have to tap), I just have to laugh... then learn. Listen in to this week's episode for 4 more life lessons I have (re)learned from jiu jitsu. RELATED RESOURCES Life Lessons from Jiu Jitsu You Have To Show Up When Your Ego Trips You Up Perspective Book:  The Immutable Laws Of Living Book:  Thrive Principles
December 10, 2018
Have you noticed how we all like to keep things in a narrow band of comfort?  We keep our houses not-too-warm, not-too-cool.  Most homes, all year long, stay in a very narrow band of temperature. Most of us go to the same restaurants, listen to the same music, hang out with the same friends, and do the same activities.  Every now and then, something new.  And then, back to the comfortable. But not much growth happens in comfort. If you want to improve in yoga, you have to stretch a little bit further, hold the position a little bit longer... be uncomfortable. Discomfort accompanies growth.  Sure, you can be uncomfortable, and it just be that -- discomfort.  But if you are growing... if you are changing... there will be discomfort. If we simply avoid discomfort, we also avoid growth. Or, we could embrace discomfort.  See it as a sign of growth.  Use it as a potential sign that we are growing.  And accept that when we grow, we will be uncomfortable. I discuss Embracing Discomfort in this podcast episode. RELATED RESOURCES: Embracing "I Don't Know" Embracing "We'll See" Certainty and Variety Growth Mindset
December 3, 2018
For me, "We'll See" was my philosophy of survival when I was sick. The doctor gave me a diagnosis with a bad prognosis.  Lots of ways I could be sick and die.  Lots of ways my body could betray me. Oh, and this was 15 years ago.  WebMD was the "go-to" for facts on how we would die from any symptom or condition.  So, family and friends let me know all the ways my body could fail me, based on my diagnosis.  And shared the facts in excrutiating detail. I was not in denial.  I simply knew that there were many ways things COULD go wrong.  But that meant little on how things WOULD go wrong. It was overwhelming to face the "could's."  I had only space to deal with the "would's." So, I took to a single response, "We'll see."  For a bit, the tone and volume would go up.  Until the person realized that "We'll see" was where I was standing. I find it most helpful to deal with things as they happen, not trying to figure out all the many things that might happen. This is something I suggest for all of us.  So many things we could worry about.  Or we could just use the energy to deal with what is.  What becomes.  What happens. Embrace "We'll See."  I discuss it in this episode of the podcast. RELATED RESOURCES Dealing With Worries Dealing With Change Facing "What Is" Embracing "I Don't Know"
November 26, 2018
How much can any of us really know? But how often do we still choose to have an opinion on everything?  Someone asks about a topic, and we give an opinion.  Then, we have to back that opinion up. According to neuro-science, we look for evidence to support opinion we created, based on emotions.  In other words, our opinions often come first - based on emotions - and our reasons come second. That sounds a bit dangerous around complex issues, doesn't it? Not knowing is a great ending point or a great starting point. Maybe the question is about a topic over which you really don't care?  Knowing about it is simply not that important.  "I don't know" is a great way of admitting you don't know and don't care. Or perhaps it is something over which you care... but which you don't know right now.  "I don't know" can start the process of learning. The danger is in trying to know... when you don't. I discuss how to embrace "I don't know" in this podcast episode. RELATED RESOURCES: Growth and Change Dealing with Change Showing Up
November 19, 2018
If you are in the States, we are on the cusp of the Holiday season, kicking off with Thanksgiving in just a few days. For me, the Holidays throughout the year are moments to step into gratitude.  Not just in a little "thank you for that gift," but in a gratitude for being alive.  For being here.  For experiencing life. Each morning, while walking the neighborhood with my dog, Ziggy, I reflect on 5 things for which I am grateful.  That starts my day with an attempt to shift my attention to thankfulness, to gratitude. Granted, some days, that feeling quickly evaporates when the work piles up. But I try to remember to be grateful on a daily basis. How about you? Did you know that research shows how simple gratitude habits can re-wire the brain... away from fear and threat?  Away from depression and anxiety?  Just by thinking with gratitude.  Just by focusing on things for which you are grateful. In this week's podcast, I discuss the power of gratitude to shift your thinking and re-wire your brain... just in time for a day we set aside to be particularly Thankful. Know that I am thankful for you, my reader/listener.  Wishing you the best of Thanksgivings! RELATED RESOURCES Gratitude & Appreciation Two Targets To Thrive The Appreciation Approach Stop Trying To Change The Past Thrive Principles Book
November 12, 2018
Blame is rampant in today's world.  We all quickly point the finger at someone/something else, proclaiming, "It's not my fault!" Interestingly, I also notice how rampant it is for people to take the credit for successes. They/we claim credit for what goes right but refuse blame for anything that goes wrong. We live in a "culture of blame." Which is what often keeps us from growing.  From changing.  From learning from our mistakes.  If someone/something else is to blame, what could I (or you) do?  Not my fault... not my problem. Change requires us to change the equation.  To take responsibility, when we are responsibible.  To share credit when others deserve credit. Great leadership is about accepting ultimate responsibility for mistakes and problems, while giving credit for successes. So, how do we turn the equation around?  I discuss it in this week's Thriveology Podcast. RELATED RESOURCES Responsibility NMF Syndrome In Marriage Showing Up Thrive Principles Book Immutable Laws of Living Book
October 29, 2018
What do you do when you think your life is right where you want it... and then it all falls apart? That's what happened to Kristine Carlson.  Her husband, Richard, was traveling the world and sharing his message of Don't Sweat The Small Stuff.  Kristine was doing some writing in the series and raising their teen girls. As his plane was descending, on the way to yet another presentation, Richard suffered a pulmonary embolism and died.  He was 45. Kristine was left with life without her soulmate, and with the mantel of her husband's message. What did Kristine do?  She grieved.  She questioned her life.  She questioned "why?" and "what now?"  And then, she found a path through the grief.  She found herself on what Joseph Campbell called, "The Hero's Journey." And here is what Kristine realized:  we ALL suffer losses.  We ALL have struggles.  And we ALL have to make a choice about the path we choose. Many of us want to take that same journey, that path to our Hero-ness... but we don't know how. So, Kris decided to share her journey in her new book, From Heartbreak To Wholeness. And I had the joy of having Kristine on my podcast for this second time, to discuss the journey.  And to discuss how this is everyone's journey.  How do we choose Hero over Victim?  Listen in as Kris and I discuss this important journey. RELATED RESOURCES My First Interview With Kristine From Heartbreak To Wholeness Website Kristine's Blog and Website
October 22, 2018
Do you feel anxious?  Have anxious moments?  Maybe even struggle with anxiety attacks? If so, I want to offer some strategies to help you deal with those feelings... the emotional storm that can hit. Anxiety isn't a sign of weakness.  It is actually a sign of ancient survival strategies that have ramped up to the point of over-reaction.  Hyper-vigilance has taken the survival strategy of fear and caution to a level that can interfere in daily life. There are some strategies, though, that can help you cope, re-wire, and live with lower levels of anxiety. Don't let it run your life!  Learn to cope and move beyond anxiety. RELATED RESOURCES Dealing With Anxiety A Thought Is A Thought How To Beat Depression Dealing With Down Days The Immutable Laws of Living
October 8, 2018
You apologize.  Now what? Are you finished?  Is it now up to the person to whom you apologized? Nope.  That is only one part of the process. Understand that apologies, forgiving, reconciliation, and trust are all separate functions.  Each is tied to the other, but independent.  Forgiving does not require an apology.  An apology does not mandate forgiveness.  You can apologize or forgive, and still not reconcile.  And in the end, it is a choice to trust or not. So, let's step back into what you can do, so that you can "clear the air" and move forward.  In other words, to make sure you do your part. I suggest 6 steps to this process, and I cover each one in this episode of the podcast. RELATED RESOURCES: Anatomy Of An Apology Forgive Resources Making Change Limiting Beliefs Responsibility The Forgive Process
October 1, 2018
Life can really dish it out, can't it? A sunny (metaphorically speaking) day suddenly gathers rain clouds.  And then, the storm (metaphorically speaking) hits! As I recorded this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, people were still trying to dry out from Hurricane Florence.  I had family in the path, so I had a vested interest in following it closely. Which reminded me of those other "storms of life," when something hits you... illness, loss, change... things you were not wanting or expecting.  They hit, though.  Sometimes, with some warning.  But sometimes, "out of the blue." What do you do?  How do you weather those storms of life? Because, guess what?  They WILL hit.  Not if they hit.  But when.  What do you do? I talk about some strategies for weathering life' storms in this week's podcast episode. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Dealing With Loss Live Each Day As THE Day Control What You Can Does Everything Happen For A Reason? The Forgive Process Book
September 10, 2018
Have you heard of Kaizen?  It is the principle of continuous improvement. Continuous improvement is a great model for change.  It is based on constant changes toward a better outcome.  No need for sudden upheaval or change (although that is sometimes necessary).  Instead, course corrections are made along the way, nudging something toward improvement. That "something"?  It might be a product (like Japanese automobiles, where Kaizen became the method of them becoming excellent automobiles), companies, or even individuals. But how, you might wonder, do you actually DO that continuous improvement? Let me offer a super-simple tool that you can apply to your own life, to your company or workplace, or even to a relationship or organization. SSC - Start, Stop, Continue Three benchmarks:  What do you need to Start?  What do you need to Stop?  What do you need to Continue? In this week's episode, I discuss how to apply SSC to your own life... and to other areas in your life. Listen in for a new tool. RELATED RESOURCES Dealing with Change Why We Avoid Change Paradigms Limiting Beliefs
September 3, 2018
Did you know that it is common to find a lost person with a broken compass?  No, they are not lost because their compass was broken.  They broke their compass because they didn't believe the compass.  They believed they were somewhere other than where the compass said.  And many times, they decided that the map they were using was also wrong... and they were right. Survival experts refer to this as "bending the map."  They are trying to force their map to match what they perceive, rather than letting the map inform their understanding of where they are. Guess what?  It doesn't just happen in survival situations.  We do it every day.  We bend our perceptions to match what we want to see... not what is there to be seen.  And we often find ourselves way off-course.  So far off that we might have just compromised our values. The good news is there are some simple ways to keep this tendency in check.  This is a skill we desperately need these days. Listen to this week's episode to learn how to not bend your map! RELATED RESOURCES Raising Standards Careful of Thoughts Perspective Thrive Principles Book
August 27, 2018
Let's just assume that you have decided to forgive other people.  You do it (maybe even following my 6 step process).  Things are going well.  You are getting unstuck. And then... snap!  You are pulled back, stuck.  Feeling bad. But this time, feeling bad about yourself -- your actions, your words, your inactions, or silence. You know that voice?  The one that starts with "How could you....?"  It reminds you of something you said or did... or something you didn't do or didn't say (but should have). "Why did I do that?? (or didn't)", you ask yourself.  And then, you replay the event all over again in your head... just like you have countless times before. Sometimes, we find it easier to forgive someone else that to forgive ourselves.  We just can't seem to clear it out, let it go, and release ourselves. Well, that is the topic of this week's Thriveology Podcast, just to get you to consider forgiving yourself.  This is NOT about ducking responsibility or denying what happened.  It is about moving beyond that, to something better. Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Taking Responsibility How To Forgive How To Show Up Control What You Can Can't Change Past The Forgive Process
August 20, 2018
I've noticed that many times, when someone is stuck, it is because they have something that keeps hanging on to them, dragging them down.  They have something they need to release... someone they need to forgive. And when I note this, I often get a knee-jerk answer of "how dare you tell me to forgive! I have been hurt! That person does not deserve to be forgiven." To which I note that this has nothing to do with "deserve."  Because my suggestion to forgive really has nothing to do with the other person. Forgiving is for the person who is doing the forgiving, not the one being forgiven (at least primarily). In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I explore some reasons to consider forgiving -- some even being health reasons!  But most are about getting unstuck and moving forward in your life. Take a listen below! RELATED RESOURCES Book:  The Forgive Process Myths of Forgiving Responsibility
August 13, 2018
Have you noticed how we talk about time and money the same way?  You can spend time/money, waste time/money, or save time/money.  But never confuse the two. Money... we can always make more.  Time... it is passing moment by moment, day by day, not to be recaptured or held. We all have the same 24 hour days live.  The question is whether you feel like you have some time to "spend" as you want (Time Affluence) or whether all of your time is claimed and out of your control (Time Poverty). Research repeatedly shows that material purchases (buying stuff) does little to influence our overall happiness (once basic needs are met).  Interestingly, experiential purchases (doing something, going somewhere) has been shown to increase happiness.  But you can't do stuff and go places when there is no time left to do it. In a study a couple of years ago, over half the respondents said that they would give up a day of pay each week for a day of freedom each week. And yet, many times, we "spend" our time in ways that don't foster time affluence -- leading to a feeling of time poverty. How can we make shifts in life that bring us more Time Affluence?  That is the topic of this week's Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES Time As Precious Resource Spending Time Finding Purpose, Making Impact Life Lessons The Immutable Laws of Living Thrive Principles
August 6, 2018
Have you ever wanted something... just knowing that if you had it, you would be... happy? And if you got it, did you find yourself happier?  Not just for a few moments or days, but long-term? Sometimes, the "buyer's remorse" sets in right after the purchase, with you realizing that no, that shiny new object didn't make you happier (and may have even become an instant burden), and no, happiness did not suddenly appear. The term for our wanting those things that don't actually lead to satisfaction or happiness is "mis-wants."  The wants we have that aren't as significant as we thought.  We literally "miss" when we aim at those "wants." And guess what?  That is MORE often true than not.  Rarely does that thing get us the effect we want and expect. What DO we want?  We think it is happiness. But it isn't. Not really. Listen to the episode for more on those Mis-Wants. RELATED RESOURCES: It's Not About Happiness Purpose and Impact The Happiness Trap The When/Then Trap Book:  The Immutable Laws of Living
July 30, 2018
My coaching client was wanting to thrive.  He told me he was constantly studying about self-growth.  But he wanted to really transform his life.  And, he told me, so much of what he was reading was, to quote him, "woo-woo stuff."  He used that term as a reference to ideas he thought were "out there." So first, let me just say, what is "out there" to one person is commonplace and sensible to another.  But I knew what he was saying.  He wanted to change things in his life... but he wanted it based in research and reliability.  He wanted to get it down to the basics. I told him we could easily look at the "low hanging fruit," the easy things to accomplish -- the ones that give the biggest bang for the effort... pretty much guaranteed. In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I outline 4 areas to improve, all in very "non-woowoo" ways... and very simple ways... so that you can get the biggest bang for your efforts. Listen in for the details! RELATED RESOURCES Fueling Your Body Exercising Your Body Resting Your Body Dealing With Stress Building A Thriving Life
July 9, 2018
It's a trap.  And we all fall into it. Sadly, we set it up on ourselves, then step right into it. WHACK!  We are stuck... waiting.  And that's the trap -- the wait.  Life can't begin until.... What's the trap?  The "When/Then Trap."  You know, that time when you say, "When ____ happens, then I will ______."  When you finally get that great job, get that perfect spouse, make $$'s, win the lottery, etc.  THEN, life can finally get started.  THEN you can be happy, help others, find meaning, do... well, you get the point. It just seems that something has to change, (right?) before you can get to something else.  And so, we get stuck... waiting for that something to change.  Not realizing that there may be other ways to get there... or even other places to get to! There are alternatives to being stuck in the "When/Then Trap."  In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, we explore why and how we get stuck.  And how to get out of that trap.  Listen below. GRAB MY BOOKS ON THRIVING: Thrive Principles The Immutable Laws of Living
July 2, 2018
It seems to be a specialty of mine... getting people UN-stuck.  Which means I spend a fair amount of time noting what gets people stuck in the first place.  Makes sense, right?  If you want to get un-stuck, you need to know why you got stuck. There are some clear reasons why people get stuck.  For example, when you violate one of the 16 Immutable Laws Of Living I highlight in my latest book, you will end up stuck.  Guaranteed.  Which is why I try to spell them out for you, so you can get unstuck. One area that consistently gets people stuck is fear.  And the way to get un-stuck is not to eliminate fear.  Mostly because it is impossible to eliminate fear.  It is wired into your brain.  Just part of being alive. But, and this is the good news, you only have to do a little pivot in order to let fear help you. Before I go into how you can pivot, though, I clarify three primary ways that fear can get you stuck (and keep you stuck).  Listen to learn the three ways, and the one necessary pivot. RELATED RESOURCES: The Immutable Laws of Living Book Getting Un-Stuck Fear and Living
June 25, 2018
Have you noticed how many books there are in the bookstore on how to be happy? Which raises the question on why, in a recent poll, only 1/3rd of Americans claimed to be happy. We have fallen into the "happiness trap," chasing after happiness as if that is the goal of life. It isn't. Over the past few weeks, I have been doing lots of interviews in lots of places about my new book, The Immutable Laws of Living.  In just about every interview, they ask me about the Immutable Law, "It isn't about happiness."  Some have even asked how that can be so, since the forefathers of the United States noted the right of "pursuit of happiness." First, their concept of happiness was far deeper than our current definition of a feeling of elation -- usually about something that "happens."  But second, pursuit is different than having. When we chase happiness, it stays just out of reach.  Keeping us trapped in the chase... trying to find the next thing that will finally do it... only to find that it fails, too. What's the answer? Listen to this episode to find the way out of the trap. RELATED RESOURCES: It's Not About Happiness Chasing Happiness Chases It Away "I'm Just Not Happy" Dealing With Down Days The Immutable Laws of Living
June 18, 2018
A couple of episodes back, I discussed some lessons I have learned in my less-than-half a year in jiu jitsu.  One of my lessons was about "egoless learning."  Several people asked what I meant by my ego being involved.  And what's wrong with that... the ego? Well, the ego tends to trip us up, throughout our lives.  Why?  Because our ego keeps us focused on how we appear, what others think of us, what we look like.  And because of that, we try to keep up an image. And because of that, we trip. Soon after I learned to scuba dive, I decided I wanted to become an instructor.  Partly because I wanted to learn more, partly because I enjoy teaching. So, after some time of accumulating classes, dive time, and teaching experience, I was ready for my certification process.  It was supposed to be a learning event.  A place for me to learn more about teaching, got some feedback on how I was teaching, and demonstrated my capacity to teach. They weren't looking for me to be the best teacher.  I was at the beginning of my teaching. That said, part of my task was to teach... so they could evaluate me and help me to be better.  And to get ready, I had practiced.  I created a killer PowerPoint.  I had "show and tells."  I just knew they would see what an amazing teacher I was.  I would show them! I finished.  They offered feedback.  The first piece, "You went 2 minutes longer than your limit."  I was in the middle of a rebuttal, when I realized... I was not learning.  I was proving.  I was worried about my appearance.  My ego was there. More feedback.  More temptation for rebuttal.  My ego tripped me up, and I knew it wasn't the first time.  When ego appears, learning disappears. Listen to this episode to hear how ego trips us up. RELATED RESOURCES: Lessons from Jiu Jitsu Trial and Error Living Life As An Experiment Lessons Learned As A Chaplain
June 11, 2018
We always start at survival.  You have to survive to do anything else.  Surviving is based in dealing with scarcity and threats. Sometimes, people get stuck in survival mode... whether it is necessary or not.  For most people, survival mode is less a necessity and more a habit. Then, we live.  Living is about finding comfort.  People to support you, work to do, things to enjoy.  And for many people, this is the stage that feels like success.  The paycheck and opportunity gives enough comfort to enjoy life. So, many people get stuck in the live mode. But then, there is the opportunity to thrive. Survive >>>> Live >>>>> Thrive What makes the shift?  Realizing that the living isn't enough.  There is something more.  Something deeper and more satisfying.  It's about finding your purpose, finding your deeper meaning, making an impact in the world. It requires taking on the challenges, looking for the opportunities... growing and stretching. While surviving is about scarcity, living is about comfort, thriving is about abundance.  It isn't a change in what is around you, as much as a shift in perspective. Listen to this week's episode to learn more about making the shifts. RELATED RESOURCES Meaning and Purpose Making An Impact Building A Thriving Life
June 4, 2018
Let me be clear:  I can claim NO expertise in jiu jitsu.  I have only been involved since January.  So, what can I possibily tell you about jiu jitsu after just 6 months of practice? Nothing. But I CAN tell you some lessons I have learned from those 6 months.  Not about jiu jitsu, but about living, about starting new things, and about learning. This is not my first foray into the martial arts.  It is more a lifelong interest. During my teen years, I took tae kwon do.  Lacking in natural coordination and strength, I was gangly and a non-natural.  But I took classes for years.  I even advanced through the ranks. When I left for college, I packed up my gi and belts, and I didn't take any further lessons.  Although I threatened to many times.  I just let life get in the way. Until this year.  I turned 52 in March.  But before the new year, I decided that I would give jiu jitsu a try... at least while it was cold and I couldn't be outside as much as I would like.  After waiting to make sure our insurance policy was in place, and both of our adult children had left us after the holidays, I headed to class. This week, I'll share 5 big lessons I have learned along the way.
May 28, 2018
Forgiving is an important skill.  When we forgive people for hurts and slights in the past, we get to free ourselves from those events. (That skill is so important that I wrote a book about the process I created.  That book comes out in October.) But what about forgiving yourself? Why would you need to do that? Because we all do thing, say things, fail to do and say things, that we regret. And those regrets can haunt us.  They can keep us stuck in the past... in events that are already over. Sometimes, if another person is involved, they might not even remember what happened or what was said.  But you might continue to torture yourself, chastising yourself for what you said/did, didn't say/didn't do. This requires another skill:  self-forgiveness. Not just a way to get yourself off the hook.  Not just a way to gloss over what happened.  But a way to move forward. How do you forgive yourself?  Listen to this week's episode to find out! RELATED RESOURCE: Finding Self-Confidence Building Self-Esteem How to Forgive New Book:  The Immutable Laws of Living
May 21, 2018
Schools have based their teaching model on it.  Little league sports have revamped their approach on it.  Parenting has changed to help it. What is IT? Self-esteem. Which is a great concept, at least in the way Nathanial Branden first proposed it.  Not so much in the way we have come to see it as "feeling good about yourself."  Yep, Branden did want people to feel good about themselves, but not as the end point.  It was part of something bigger. And when we use the current popular definition, research shows that self-esteem matters little in success, health, wealth, or happiness. Does that mean we should give up on self-esteem? Nope. We just need to return to the original idea.  There is plenty we can do (and need to do) to build self-esteem -- in a way that matters for happiness, meaning, purpose... and yes, success. Learn how to build your self-esteem, in a way that matters, in this week's podcast episode. RELATED RESOURCE: Finding Self-Confidence Happiness Isn't the Goal What's Your Purpose? Make An Impact New Book:  The Immutable Laws of Living
May 14, 2018
We all want confidence -- SELF-confidence.  We want to be confident before we act.  In other words, I want to feel confident of myself before I move toward something. Or maybe that's just me!  :-) But I think that comes at it from the wrong direction.  FEAR seems to be between us and action.  Mostly because of the order we have for action: Confidence ==> Action ==> Success. But instead, we have: FEAR ==> Wait for Confidence ==> Keep Waiting If you understandt the real flow, then you can step aside and let fear pass you by, letting you take action AND gain confidence. Listen to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast to learn more. RELATED RESOURCES: Getting Un-Stuck Fear Is A Given New Book:  Immutable Laws Of Living
May 7, 2018
Ancient Stoics and Latin Christians believed that every day we should "memento mori," we should remember our death.  This practice was not to contemplate how you might die, but that you will die.  As will I.  And everyone else. Which is what makes life so precious.  And which is what gives value and power to the choices we make in how to live this day.  Not how we lived yesterday or last year, nor how we plan to live tomorrow or next year.  But how we live today.  This is THE day you have.  The only one. This moment. We live our lives, spending our time (our most precious resource) moment-by-moment.  Sometimes, time slips away... with us making little progress (or maybe even some regress) toward what we want in life. This moment. We move toward our hopes and dreams... we carry out our life purpose... we make an impact in the world in this moment, this day. It is the only one we have. In this podcast episode, we talk about living life more fully, more in the moment -- today.  In this moment. RULES OF LIVING SERIES #1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct #2 Be Present In The  Present #3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future #4 Grieve Losses and Celebrate Gains #5 Forgive to Live #6 Listen to Your Higher Self #7 Teach Others How to Treat You #8 Control What You Can; Release The Rest #9 Do Your Part and Wait for the Moment
April 30, 2018
Some people feel that they are at the whims of the world, unable to make a difference in their own lives.  (They often fall into blame and helplessness.) Other people believe that they are fully in charge, their lives entirely in their control. (Ironically, they also often fall into blame -- self-blame -- and frustration.) The fact is, life is a combination of things that happen and what you do about them -- your you respond to the situations life throws your way.  Events, good and bad, are unavoidable.  Your choice is how you deal with them, how you choose to respond. And if you are trying to get somewhere... if you have some hope or dream... then the process is to keep moving forward, making your choices and taking action.  And at the same time, you wait for the timing to be right. It is more likely that the timing will be right when you keep taking actions in the direction of what you want.  Luck follows action. Listen to this week's podcast for how you might use an equation to get to the outcome you want. RULES OF LIVING SERIES #1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct #2 Be Present In The  Present #3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future #4 Grieve Losses and Celebrate Gains #5 Forgive to Live #6 Listen to Your Higher Self #7 Teach Others How to Treat You #8 Control What You Can; Release The Rest
April 23, 2018
It was interesting to see how much my client seemed to relish her self-diagnosed "issue" when she smilingly told me, "I'm a bit of a control freak. I just want things my way.  Mostly because I know how they should be." So, I asked that tough question, "How is that working out for you?" The smile turned to tears as she told me how much pushback she was getting from people.  "They just don't know better," she assured me, letting me know that she just needed some better ways of getting people to follow her lead (ummm, demands). My client was making a common mistake.  One that leads to misery -- on her part and the part of others around her.  She was trying to control things she could not.  AND she was failing to control things she could. The desire to control comes from fear.  We fear things won't go well, won't work out.  So, we innocently try to control things... the wrong things. There are only a few things we can control. But when we switch from trying to control the things we cannot to the things we can, life opens up! Controlling what we can, it turns out, is enough. In this week's Thriveology Podcast, I cover another Rule for Living:  Control the Things You Can, and Release the Rest.  Listen below. RULES OF LIVING SERIES #1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct #2 Be Present In The  Present #3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future #5 Forgive to Live #7 Teach Others How to Treat You
April 16, 2018
"Why don't they treat me the way I want to be treated?", my client asked me. So, I asked, "Have you taught them how to treat you?" The silence let me know.  But after a pause, my client said, "I guess it never crossed my mind I needed to do that." The fact is that people do not know how we want to be treated... unless we are clear about how we are to be treated.  Otherwise, we get treated the way THEY want to treat US, and not the reverse. In the end, that leaves people frustrated, defensive, and feeling mistreated. Your BOUNDARIES are what lets people know how you want to be treated.  They are your "NO's" of life.  Things you will not let people do to(wards) you. If your boundaries are solid, you are already following this rule.  But if you find yourself being treated in ways you don't want to be, time to start following this rule, "Teach others how to treat you." Listen to this week's Thriveology Podcast for yet another Rule for Living. RULES OF LIVING SERIES #1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct #2 Be Present In The  Present #3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future #5 Forgive to Live
April 9, 2018
Have you ever had that moment when you were doing something or saying something, and there was that other voice in your head... the one questioning why?  Maybe you already knew you were acting in a way you would not want to, or perhaps you were saying something you knew would be hurtful.  But you found yourself doing or saying it anyway.... Your Higher Self was talking.  Were you listening? In this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, we talk about listening to that Higher Self.  It is far more resilient and wise than that other voice, the Ego, that gets our ear (and our actions) lots of times. But when we make a shift... to that Higher Self... our lives make a shift, too.  We make better choices, treat others better (along with ourselves), and work from a place of courage. This week's Rule?  Listen to your Higher Self.  Listen to this episode for more. RULES OF LIVING SERIES #1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct #2 Be Present In The  Present #3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future #5 Forgive to Live
April 2, 2018
Have you ever noticed how many times, we get dragged into the past and the pain, even when those hurtful times are over?  Those remnants of the events can keep us stuck, frozen in the hurt and pain. Unless we forgive. That's a big word, I know.  One that is packed with meaning... and not always helpful meanings. In another podcast, I highlight my process for actually forgiving.  It is important enough that I have a book coming out on the Forgive Process (actually, the name of the book) in October. In this episode, we discuss why it is so hard to forgive, why you should do it anyway, and why this is so important as a rule for living.  If you struggle with forgiving, please take a listen.  It might just change your mind! RULES OF LIVING SERIES #1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct #2 Be Present In The  Present #3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future #4 Grieve Losses and Celebrate Gains
March 26, 2018
Losses are painful.  No way around it.  They are also normal. Or to say it differently, loss is a normal part of life.  Not an anomalie.  Part of being alive. And loss leads to grief.  That is our natural reaction to any loss.  Big grief or small grief -- that is simply how we process a loss, so that we can re-weave life and continue. Sometimes, we get caught up in the "unfairness" of a loss, and we get stuck in the grief. In the process, we lose out on life.  We fail to celebrate the gains that also are a part of life. Think of these three stages throughout your life.  We have a certain orientation to life -- we understand what life is about... until something changes -- a loss or a gain.  And then, we experience disorientation.  The process of grieving and celebrating brings us to a new orientation -- a re-orientation.  Not the same as before.  But not necessarily worse than before.  Just different than before. So, rule #4 is to grieve your losses and celebrate your gains.  Listen for details below. RULES OF LIVING SERIES #1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct #2 Be Present In The  Present #3 Accept the Past and Revise the Future
March 19, 2018
Time is an interesting thing, isn't it?  How often do we keep reliving the past, and imagining the future?  Unfortunately, when we are caught in the past and the future, the present suffers. As I have watched myself and others, I have noticed the tendency we have in trying to change what has happened.  We try to find some way to re-do what has already been done.  We want to find a revisable past. And simultaneously, we don't do what we can to revise and re-envision the future.  If only we could swap those two approaches! What if we accept the past and revised the future, versus trying to revise the past and giving up on the future? As we continue our series on the Rules for Living, this week, we look at how to accept the past and look toward the best possible future. Listen below RULES OF LIVING SERIES #1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct #2 Be Present In The  Present
March 12, 2018
Last week, we started in a new series about my own Rules for Living.  These are the rules I try to follow in my efforts to live a thriving life. This week, we head into rule #2:  Be Present In The Present. These days, the buzzword is "mindfulness."  In reality, our minds tend to be much too full.  And mindfulness is really about being present -- really being in the experience of this moment. But how do you do that?  First, you have to really show up.  Second, you have to make sure that you "distract-proof" yourself.  Third, it is all about understanding our thoughts -- and letting them just be thoughts that pass on. I cover some reasons why this rule is so important... and how to improve your "presence in the present" in this week's podcast episode.  Listen below. RULES OF LIVING SERIES #1 Let Fear Point, Not Direct    
March 5, 2018
Whenever I am playing a game, I like to know the rules... what I can do and can't do; what I can get away with, and what will get me into trouble. I have the same feeling about life.  The "rules" are principles or strategies to use when things are tough.  They give me a decision tree, to guide my choices. The rules keep me moving forward, toward what I want.  They also keep me honest and living within my virtues. I've gathered those rules together and want to share them with you.  I hope you find them helpful, even if you edit or alter them to fit for you. This week is Rule #1:  Let Fear Point, Not Direct I have discovered that fear is a powerful force for people.  It might protect us, sometimes.  But it can also hold us hostage from our dreams and aspirations. It gets in our way for one simple reason:  we use fear to direct our lives.  Fear is better used to point the way... to show us what's important. Let me explain further in my podcast this week, rule #1 of my Rules for Living series.
February 26, 2018
I admit it. Her words have stuck with me for decades now. She told me, "Don't waste it." She meant that I shouldn't waste my time... my life. Just before she died, she told me, "Make it matter." She wanted to make sure I knew not to waste the precious time I had, and to make my life matter. Her dying words to a young chaplain. And those words have lived within me in the 3 decades since. They still shape my work and my philosophy. I discussed not wasting life in a prior podcast episode. But what does it mean to Make It Matter? How do we make sure our lives matter, not for our own self, but for the world? How do we leave this place better for our being here? The MPI Triad helps to clarify. That triad holds Meaning, Purpose, and Impact. How we make sense of what happens, how we move into the world, and what difference it makes. Let me tell you a bit more in this week's podcast episode. RELATED RESOURCES Meaning & Purpose Impact Thrive Principles
February 19, 2018
Last week, I shared some lessons I learned while I was a hospital chaplain at the beginning of my career. In this episode of the podcast, I share another six. That makes a total of ten lessons. But they only scratch the surface.  My hope is to share some of the bigger lessons that emerged during that time. Few people spend the kind of time a chaplain gets to spend with people on the edges of life.  Medical staff don't have the time to spend, as much as they would like to.  Most others are only in those settings in the days of a crisis. My evening hours gave me time with patients, after the doctors and families had gone home, while the nurses were giving medical care.  I had the chance to sit with people, while they sat with the big questions of life.  I didn't always have the answers (often didn't), but I had the time to walk with them as they explored their journeys. Walking with them taught me the lessons I share today. RELATED RESOURCES: Lessons Learned, Part 1 Meaning & Purpose Impact Make It Count Thrive Principles Immutable Laws
February 12, 2018
It was in the early days of my Master's degree and my clinical training.  I spent a summer working as a chaplain intern.  Then I joined the staff of the hospital as one of the chaplains. I had the evening shift. Chaplains have a unique position in hospitals.  There to guide the tough times, celebrate the good times, and share in the spiritual journey.  And while I was there as a staff member, every day was a learning experience for me. In fact, I still look back at many critical moments in my learning about life, about caring for people, and the human struggle -- and many happened during just the few years I served as a chaplain. I thought I might reflect a bit with you about the lessons I learned in my years as a hospital chaplain, just to see if they offer anything for you and your journey. Listen below for part 1 of 2. RELATED RESOURCES: Meaning in Life Purpose and Impact Thrive Principles Immutable Laws of Living
February 5, 2018
I was watching television.  This one commercial, it spoke to me.  Not about what they were selling, but the story leading up to the product.  The product seemed irrelevant to the message. The message was about life.  About living.  About living long.  And living as if it mattered. Given my own history of a health crisis, it spoke to me.  And reminded me of a cancer patient in my chaplaining days years ago.  She grabbed my arm, pulled me down, looked me in the eyes and said, "Don't waste it." I think I did in the years after that.  Not completely, but enough that her words haunt me.  And call me to make it matter.  For as long as I can. That's what I discuss in my podcast this week.  The importance of making it last, and making it matter.  Your life, that is. RELATED RESOURCES: Thriving Body Making An Impact Finding Meaning Thrive Principles Book The Immutable Laws Of Living Book
January 29, 2018
We need balance.  Tony Robbins notes that we have several human drives. The first two are where we need balance:  certainty and variety.  We need to be able to count on things in life -- that's certainty.  But we also need new experiences and a change of pace -- that's variety. Too much of one makes most of us crave the other... until we get too much of that. Balance. That doesn't mean that we find the space equidistant between certainty and variety, but that we have BOTH as parts of our lives. How is YOUR balance? I know I am out of balance when I get exhausted by too much busyness and unpredictability (too much variety, too little certainty) or when I am bored and energy-less (too much certainty, too little variety). In this week's podcast, I discuss how to find the balance and why it is so important.  It is also a great lead-in to this week's Save The Marriage Podcast, where I discuss how this can cause problems in relationships.  But it applies to everyone, single or in a relationship. RELATED RESOURCES: Learning and Life Be an Experiment Show Up Beating Stress
January 22, 2018
Oh, if only we could control things.  Everything.  Wouldn't that be nice?  Finally, a chance to change the outcome, keep your loved ones safe, rid the world of injustice.... But... we can't.  We sometimes get caught up in trying.  In particular, we often fall into the trap of trying to control other people.  Usually, with bad results.  Sometimes, with disasterous results. And yet... those concerns.  They might keep you up at night and fill your day with worry. Worry is one way we pretend to have control. So, if we can't control those things out there, what CAN we control? That is the topic of this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen in and discover the "spheres" in your life -- what you can control, and what you can't. Then, take action to shift your focus to what you CAN control. RELATED RESOURCES: The Thrive Principles Book The Immutable Laws of Living Book Thoughts  Worry
January 15, 2018
"But where do I start?", he asked. I was at a conference talking about thriving. I'd spent a good amount of time discussing some principles of thriving. But I could tell it was a bit overwhelming to my new friend. He challenged me, "You said I could thrive, no matter what life is throwing my way. So, where do I start if things are going well, and where do I start when things are not going so well?" I thought for a brief moment and said, "Either way, you aim at two targets. They both apply, whether things are going well or not so well. When you are at the top of your game or at the bottom, these two targets remain." "It can't be that easy," he replied. "Easy? I never mentioned 'easy.' I just said that there are two targets, no matter where you are," I offered. "OK," he responded, "I'm all ears. What are the two targets?" Gratitude and Growth. Those are the two targets. Targets... you aim at them. You may not always hit them. But you aim at them. When things are good, it is easier to remember to practice gratitude -- and yet, we often forget to do it. When things are tough, there are still things for which to be grateful. But it can be a challenge. When times are tough, growth is often the outcome. But it isn't always fun to find the lessons. And when things are good, we think we have it down -- no need to learn. And yet, there are plenty of things to learn at the top. And at that bottom. And in between. In this episode of the podcast, I discuss these two targets. And how to hit them. RELATED RESOURCES Gratitude Lessons To Learn Thoughts Thrive Principles
January 8, 2018
Those thoughts, they get us into trouble, don't they? We keep looking for that thing that will make us happy. We think we know. We think that thing, that person, that place, that paycheck, position, etc., etc., will finally do it. Until we get it, get there, have that relationship, or whatever... only to find that it didn't quite work. Oh, sure, we might be happy for a brief time. But not the way we thought. That "shiny new object" just didn't do it. And back to the drawing board we go. Mostly because we keep thinking that that thing "out there" is going to do it. Notice that "happy" and "happen" share a root.  Something out there needs to happen in order for us to be happy. Which is not the path to happiness.  No matter what your thoughts are telling you. In this podcast episode, I discuss why our thoughts trick us, and what to do instead. RELATED RESOURCES: Thoughts are Thoughts Meaning  Making An Impact Happiness?
January 1, 2018
If you haven't heard it yet, let me be the first to say, "Happy New Year!"  I doubt I made the cut, but just in case.... One of my favorite things about school, way back when, was that the semester ended.  Each semester stood by itself.  No matter how poorly the semester had gone (and there were several), it was over.  Classes ended, assignments were in, tests were over.  Nothing I could do would change it. So, I might as well turn my attention to the next semester. It was nice to have a fresh start. Which, by the way, is available to any of us at any time.  We can always choose a fresh start. It won't wipe the past away.  But we do have the option of starting where we are and moving forward. In the moment, we have that option. Each day, we have that option.  We get up to a new day, and can start fresh. Every month, we can do the same, closing out the month and moving into something new. But the new year... that is when we really feel it! So, how do we make the New Year a Fresh Start? Let's talk about how to do it in this episode of my podcast.  Listen below. RELATED RESOURCES: Resolutions Forgiving Apologizing Letting It Go Thrive Principles
December 18, 2017
In the last episode, I discussed 3 ways we get stuck. This week, I cover 3 MORE ways we get stuck. As it turns out, we humans are pretty darn creative in how we get ourselves stuck. And how we manage to think it was someone else who did it! So, in this second round of ways we get stuck, I turn my attention to 3 ways that seem to be outside of ourselves, and outside of our control. Which is why they are such problems.  If you believe the problem is "out there," it is hard to know how to change things "in here." So, let's take a look at these three ways we get stuck, and how to turn it around.
December 11, 2017
We all get stuck. We want to move forward... but something holds us back. WE hold ourselves back. But WHY do we get so stuck? Well, we do it to ourselves. We don't mean to do it, but we just get in our own way. Which also means that once you understand WHY you get stuck, you can get OUT of your own way. You can get unstuck. Let's talk about 3 ways you get yourself stuck -- and how to get UN-stuck.
December 4, 2017
And just like that, the Holiday season is upon us! All the hustle and bustle. All the events. All the demands… in the midst of a time that you want to be enjoyable, meaningful, and manageable! Why the stress? In this week’s Thriveology Podcast, I discuss the causes of holiday stress. But more importantly, I cover the ways to cope with holiday stress. Don’t let stress rob you of the deeper meanings and connections of this holiday season.
November 27, 2017
"You can't. . . ."  "I can't. . . ."  That pretty much ends the conversation. Which is unfortunate.  History is littered with people doing the very things someone else said, "You can't do that."  Turns out, you can. And many times, we do the same things to ourselves.  We start tell ourselves, "I can't," and then believe it.  We know we can't do it.  We just told ourselves we can't. In reality, there are 4 types of "I can'ts."  One is absolutely true.  The three others are not true.  They are about capability, timing, and. . . well, that last one is important enough that I cover it in this week's podcast. PRIOR PODCAST ON CAN'T
November 20, 2017
In the United States, we turn our minds this week to being thankful. . . right before we turn our minds to sales, merchandise, consumption. . . and all the things we don't have. It always strikes me as ironic that on Thursday, we are likely going to share the things for which we are grateful, then on Friday, we will knock each other down for the next "have to have." Perhaps that is a metaphor of our daily life.  We know we should be thankful.  We know we should be grateful.  And we think we would be. . . if only x,y, and z were true.  If only we had the right job, person, money, or toys in our lives.  And in that instant, we are pulled back into a scarcity mindset. A thankful mindset shifts us to gratitude for what we DO have, takes us away from a focus on what we DON'T have, and helps us shift away from the scarcity threat. Let's be honest:  if you are able to read this post, you are among a fortunate group of people with resources.  But this isn't really about comparing ourselves to those with less (or more) as much as being grateful for whatever we DO have. In this week's podcast, I discuss the power of thankfulness, and give you 4 ways to practice gratitude in your life.  Try it out to see if it helps you to shift mindsets and thrive. OTHER RESOURCES: Being Thankful Showing Gratitude Thrive Principles
November 13, 2017
Do you ever hear yourself say (or just feel), "I'm just not happy"? What does it mean? What's keeping you feeling better?  It might be depression. But it might be something else. (If you are concerned about depression, CHECK OUT THESE RESOURCES.) There are some other reasons for "just not being happy."  In fact, in this week's podcast (you can listen below), I note 4 different reasons.  The good news is there is a path through each one.  But you can only follow the path when you identify it. If you are "just not happy," take a listen.  If you know someone who is "just not happy," invite them to listen with you!
November 6, 2017
Your mindset doesn't change what is happening "out there," but it can change how you perceive it "in here," in your mind and thoughts.  Which can also change your actions. The circumstances are the same.  But whether you feel stuck or empowered, that depends upon the mindset you carry. Over the years, I have worked to shift into more productive and useful mindsets when tough times hit. (And I promise, they will hit -- just part of life.  Not a sign that the world, the universe, God, or anything else hates you, is teaching you a lesson, or anything else.  Being alive means there will be tough times.) In this week's podcast, I try to compare some not-so-helpful mindsets with some better ones.  I want to suggest three mindsets for you.  And you can adopt them at any time! Mindset is up to you. . . once you realize it is up to you! RELATED RESOURCES Dealing with Roadblocks You and Your Thoughts Thrive Principles
October 30, 2017
You've got this muscle in you that you might not know about it.  Maybe it is strong, just naturally.  Or maybe you have built it on purpose.  Or maybe it needs a little strengthening. The muscle? Your "resilience muscle."  It helps power you through tough times, so you can bounce back from the struggles. Here's the problem:  many people don't know you can build it.  Many people do their best to avoid tough times and struggles.  And many refuse to let that struggle build the muscle. One problem:  the struggles are unavoidable.  But if you let that Resilience Muscle atrophy, those struggles are just tougher.  If you strengthen the muscle, future struggles are not so insurmountable. Let's get fit and build that Resilience Muscle! RELATED RESOURCES Damaged, Resilient, or Thriving? Thrive Principles Book What Thriving People Know About Tough Times
October 23, 2017
I noticed it sometime around September of last year. . . I was getting sucked into the news!  And for several years, I had done a pretty good job of limiting my exposure to the "news." It seems more like an addiction. . . one little taste. . . and you are pulled right back in! To be clear, I am not against the news.  I am not against reporters.  I am not against the networks.  EACH of us is responsible for how we take in the information.  It's just that too much news does little to inform, but lots to disturb. Which often leaves us feeling scared, stressed, and helpless.  None are necessarily true.  Just the way it makes us feel. In this week's podcast, I discuss how to deal with (and survive) Headline Overload. HELPFUL RESOURCES: Dealing With Anxiety You and Your Thoughts The Thrive Principles
October 16, 2017
Start with where you want to end.  Always a good plan for any trip.  Including the long-range trip of parenting.  We need to know where we want to go, if we want any hope of getting there. This week, we close out the series on Raising Thriving Children with a few reflections and final thoughts.  And the first comes straight from Stephen Covey:  "Start with the end in mind." And then course-correct as you go!  Because that is part of good navigation.  It isn't a straight path.  Clarity of the destination is important.  Being exactly on-track is not so important. As you are going through those stages, remember this:  Parenting is always toward your own obsolescence.  Your task as a parent is to make yourself unnecessary (not absent, just not needed).  We are here to raise self-sufficient, capable people.  And that requires recognizing that parenting is toward obsolescence. I provide 5 final thoughts in this week's podcast. Raising Thriving Children Series Introduction Eggs, Balls, And Turtles The Important Influence On Children Ingredients To Thriving Children Antidote To A Narcissistic World Teaching Thrive Principles To Kids Shift From Expectation To Agreement
October 9, 2017
"I expect you to _____" is the starting point to many dead-end conversations.  First, it is not a conversation -- it is a demand.  Second, it often leads to resentment, resistance, or both. And yet, it tends to be the default for many parents. Why? Because they don't see an alternative. Let me suggest one:  Agreement. "Can we agree ______?" is often far more productive -- and FAR more likely to actually happen. This is not abdication of parenting.  It is recognizing that expectations don't work in relationships.  But agreements can be built. Give it a try. Listen in to this week's podcast to learn how. Raising Thriving Children Series Introduction Eggs, Balls, And Turtles The Important Influence On Children Ingredients To Thriving Children Antidote To A Narcissistic World Teaching Thrive Principles To Kids
October 2, 2017
In my recent book, Thrive Principles, I provide 15 strategies for living a thriving life.  In that book, I note that this does not mean an absence of struggle and tough times.  I suggest, instead, that these tough times are the fuel for thriving.  They are the times we build our thriving muscles -- IF we understand how to thrive. Guess what? This is a great list of strategies to teach children and young people.  Imagine entering adulthood with those strategies and skills at the ready.  Imagine that when the tougher times come, young adults already know how to move through them -- and thrive! I've noticed that many people never learn to thrive.  And many learn to thrive only when they are at a tough point.  Then, when nothing is working, they finally have to find a way to thrive -- in the midst of struggle! Wouldn't it be easier to master those skills along the way, when we are just trying to figure out the skills of life, anyway?  What if we just learned the helpful skills -- not the unhelpful coping strategies that usually cause more struggle down the road? Take a listen to the podcast to hear how those Thrive Principles can help your child.  (And if you think YOU might benefit, LEARN MORE HERE or grab Thrive Principles wherever you like to buy your books.) Raising Thriving Children Series Introduction Eggs, Balls, And Turtles The Important Influence On Children Ingredients To Thriving Children Antidote To A Narcissistic World
September 26, 2017
Have you noticed that the world is getting more and more narcissistic?  More "Me-Me-Me" thinking is infecting society -- to the detriment to the environment, civility, and those at risk. We can't stay on this course. Is there an alternative? I believe there is a clear antidote to the narcissistic culture.  And I believe parents play a roll in inoculating their children from the narcissism. Let's discuss the family antidote to the culture of narcissism. Raising Thriving Children Series Introduction Eggs, Balls, And Turtles The Important Influence On Children Ingredients To Thriving Children
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