Layers, Life and Learning

May 21, 2016 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Play by Play 

“The heart is where the pain comes from. And this is why you feel so many disturbances as you go through the day. You have this core of pain deep in your heart. Your personality traits and behavior patterns are all about avoiding this pain.” – Michael A. Singer (the untethered soul)

The pain he is referring to is the fear. Its an underlying fear that is based in things we experienced during the forming years of our childhood. As a child, we are so full of wonder and so open the small things (and big things for many) created a slap to all that wonder and openness. We began to build armor. This layer was to protect ourselves from the pain. Think of a child of a divorce. This places one parent as a main caretaker (today that has changed with a more shared responsibility – parenting plans that put the children with each parent equally are encouraged) the other parent becomes an every other weekend parent. Think about how excited that child gets when it comes to that weekend they get to see that other parent. They were used to having that person in their life 24×7 and now it’s every other weekend. The excitement best windowthat builds up is huge. Now witness what it might feel like to that child to be sitting there, bag packed, waiting on the bed looking out the window. A glance at the clock. Back out the window. Its 5 minutes past time. Now 10. Now 15. The phone rings in the other room. The other parent is sick, not feeling well – they aren’t going to to make it. That child may not be able to fully put the thoughts together, but they feel pain. If they were able to put it into words they might ask or wonder why that parent was able to be with them while they all lived together. Hadn’t they spent time together when that parent was living at home and ill? Why would they cancel a visit? A child might not think logically through this. All they feel is pain. So, there is a layer built around that heart to cover pain. The next time the visit comes up, the bag is packed but suddenly there is the added listening for the phone to ring. The majority of the time it doesn’t ring – but they are still arriving past the time they said they would. Sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes an hour and still sometimes that call did come saying there was too much work, that they didn’t feel good or stating some other conflict that was going to keep them from seeing each other. Humans are adaptable. As something like this happens to a child they build a layer over their heart to keep from feeling the pain. Eventually they are still packing their bag, but their true expectation (this is the protection) is that the visit is not happening. That way when it does happen it is all fun, great and fantastic. As the child grows up, more often than not, that pain never goes away. We aren’t usually taught how to handle that pain, we keep it all inside. Every time there is a plan with anyone they have that same underlying fear. There is an expectation that they will have the person they have plans with change at the last moment.   Now when they are looking at the clock and their date is 5-10 minutes late it is a physical reaction. The heart beats faster, the mind starts racing and imagining that they will cancel, there is a fear and anxiety that they no longer connect with those childhood moments. Only the fear is there. Protective armor and thoughts kick in. But it is that pain from childhood that is being felt. This can trigger hurt and even anger. The other person gets confused and hurt. They wonder why the person is angry and maybe even wonder why there is anger and not worry about safety. And wouldn’t you know it? The universe brings people into our lives that trigger that pain on purpose. They bring a chronically late person into our lives. Thus, the conflict and opportunities for growth and learning.   The rehashing of these wounds can lead us to personal and spiritual growth if we choose that.

“This is why simple everyday interactions can affect you so much. If the core pain was not motivation behind proving yourself each day what people say” (or do) “would not affect you. But since avoiding the core pain is why you’re trying to prove yourself you end up bringing the potential for pain into everything that happens. You end up so sensitive that you are unable to live in this world without getting hurt” – Michael A. Singer (an untethered soul)

In the book I have been quoting, an untethered soul, he says there are two choices. The first is to leave the pain inside and continue to struggle with the outside events that keep triggering the pain. The second choice, he says, is to make a conscious decision that you no longer want to spend your entire life avoiding the inner pain. I pull a handful of things out of his writing that would help with this:

  • Don’t be afraid of it (the pain and fears)
  • View this pain and fear as a temporary shift of energy.
  • Realize rejection, abandonment or the other associated fears are truly, in reality, nothing to be afraid of.
  • Know that to be free and enjoy life spending the energy and time worrying about the “what if’s” are going to waste valuable time that could be spent enjoying the NOW and just BEING.
  • This would mean that when someone is late, that the person with these childhood fears would look at the pain, feel it, and realize it is a fleeting emotion, just some energy.   Realizing that there is a choice to be made to feed into the fear or release it is ours to make.

parfaitI resonate strongly with all of this. In my heart I know that being able to look at these fears in this way is a tool.  Stopping the habit, building new neural pathways, is harder than a book (or blog!) makes it sound. The layers for me (and I believe for all of us) are complex. It is taking a lot of time and patience, which I often lack) to get to know myself, to understand the reactions and feelings I have been covering up with layers of protection for so many years now.  As each layer is peeled away, there are new things there. The path of life is a journey – there isn’t a final destination. Taking things one day at a time, smelling the flowers along the way, listening to music and DANCING, finding love and joy right from the heart is my goal. Making the way through the layers is just part of life – We can choose to look at layers like onions, or we can look at layers like PARFAITS…..

Stepping Into Fear – Towards Love

May 19, 2016 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Play by Play 


“The spiritual journey is one of constant transformation. In order to grow, you must give up the struggle to remain the same, and learn to embrace change at all times. One of the most important areas requiring change is how we solve our personal problems. We normally attempt to solve our inner disturbances by protecting ourselves. Real transformation begins when you embrace your problems as agents for growth.” — Michael A. Singer (the untethered soul)

Knowing that the challenges and problems of life lead to growth is not new for me. I live my life, both work and personal, purposely and intentionally on a clear journey of improvement. I am always looking for ways to improve, be better; get better. Finding ways to be a better mom, a better leader, have a better team.  As I have focused on this recently I have recognized a pattern in my love/partner relationships. I believe we often look outside ourselves and at the other person as being the issue, but there comes a time in life where we realize that it is never about the other person. It is all about ourselves. Opening our eyes wide enough to see the patterns is key in helping us take the next step to growth and learning. And it is that time for me.

It’s time for me to learn and grow and make some changes. It is time to stop participating in the pattern by default. The pattern can be comfortable but when I truly look inside, I know I am not happy with comfortable. I am ready for discomfort. I am ready to step into the fear and move from comfort to authenticity and joy.

We enable the continuation of these patterns through different learned behaviors. As I am making this line in the sand and saying – time to change – some of the behaviors I will be focusing on are:

Lack of boundaries: By not creating boundaries it becomes easy to accept things that after a prolonged period of time together aren’t conducive to having an intimate relationship.

fear coasterFear: There are fears we all have – if we let them run our life we can easily escape from not only things that are good for us but the lessons learned even from someone or something that is not

Woundedness: We all grew up with certain levels of dysfunction in our lives. That, in whatever form it came in, created a part of us that reacts from a wounded place. Perhaps a compliant caretaking place, or controlling fearful place or anywhere in between; or even seesawing between different ends of the spectrum.

Self Love: Most of us don’t.   Even those with lots of big talk about how great they are, even they and maybe even more so, they have a gap around loving themselves. My heart absolutely knows that it is important to know that focusing on having a strong base and a true love for the self is important work and can help create a true ability to not only be comfortable with our selves in all kinds of circumstances but only when we love ourselves can we be truly authentic and find the ability to not only love but be loved.

The inner work I focus on to an exhaustive level (big sigh!), I know – has been a key to my getting more in touch with myself. The largest part of this consists of recognizing my reactions and feelings that I was not cognizant of earlier. The more in touch with my feelings the more I realize how much I have been on automatic pilot. The more I see how very reactionary I have been.   I withdraw and fly away as quickly as I can. Instead of running, what would happen if I step into the fear. What would happen if I stay, learn how to communicate my feelings, take conflict head on, tell people how I feel?

As I start blogging again, that is what I am hoping to share with my one or two readers.  I have realized that this writing is not necessarily about getting readers but helping me organize my thoughts. To take the things that I am learning and hearing and reform it, rewrite it in some format that I am working on the message again… all for myself… and hey, if one person reads it and gets something from it… its like the starfish story that I have used many, many times —


Amygdala Hijack!

January 11, 2014 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Play by Play 

Before yesterday I would not have had a label for it…  amygdala

Today – I experienced it.

This term was coined by Daniel Goleman.  He is behind EQ – Emotional Intelligence.  His work is based on the neuroscientist Joseph E. LeDoux’s focused work on the mechanisms of fear.   In a high level description, it is the activity that takes on in the brain when one experiences something that scares them.  Often this can be something that is not even rational.  Based on our own dysfunctional upbringings we have things that we are overly sensitive over.  Someone can say or do something that flips a switch inside of us and we find ourselves reacting irrationally before we have the ability to get a hold of the emotions.  Voices may raise, our physical bodies react – our heartbeat quickens, we stop breathing, our blood circulation and blood flow is actually reduced, there are chemicals released into our body.  When we experience that hijack and we feel a reaction and go into a flight or fight mode the adrenaflightfightl glands release hormones called CATECHOLAMINES – adrenaline and noradrenalin are released when our bodies experience this Amygdala Hijack.

From the thalamus, a part of the stimulus goes directly to the Amygdala while another part is sent to the thinking part of our brain. If there are experiences recorded in our memory that tells us this is a flight or fight situation, the Amygdala will take over the thinking part of our brain by releasing the hormones. The emotional brain registers activity milliseconds earlier than the rational brain so we end up reacting before the rational thinking responses can be activated.

Goleman explains that this hijack exhibits three signs:  “strong emotional reaction, sudden onset and post episode realization that the reaction was inappropriate.”

I was having a loving, nice conversation with a family member when suddenly they said something that triggered this response in me.  My reaction actually caused the same reaction in them; which took the conversation into a very ugly drama filled experience.  Afterwards, I worked to capture the things said and done by myself and them so I can review and work to find a way to respond rather than react when something like this happens again in the future.   Although I believe my thinking brain did re-enter the scene the hormones within the body made it very easy for the thinking brain to be slow to the respond to their reaction.  What a vicious circle.


It is quite the coincidence that discussion in a leadership class I attend discussed this hijack yesterday.

So…. I can label it – now to be able to find the ability to always be present enough to let the thinking brain be faster than the Amygdala!!!!


Motivation Monday – Don’t Ever Quit

January 10, 2011 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Motivation Monday 

Don’t Quit Till You Have Nothing Left

We can all do more than what we think we can do! Can we be our own coach and drive ourselves to the point that we have nothing left? Till we reach our desires? To continue working with our kids to help them reach adulthood with a good base to make it in our world; to learn and grow?

Friday Funny-Animals

January 7, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Friday Funny 

Friday Funny – RIGHT FROM THE HEART!!!

Thursday Thunk – What is Success?

January 6, 2011 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Thursday Thunk 

What do you think success is? It is completely subjective, it is different for every person out there. John Maxwell, someone who has been in the business of leadership and success describes his finding. He said it is understanding your purpose in life. Knowing your purpose in life becomes a stability for ones life. It creates true focus and it becomes an anchor in life that becomes a confidence based on a knowledge of purpose.

As I have moved into finding my passions and purpose, I agree with what he says. How about you? What do you think success is?

Wednesday Words of Wisdom-Zig Ziglar

January 5, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Wednesday Words of Wisdom 

 Today’s Words of Wisdom come from Zig Ziglar. 

Zig was one of the first teachers/motivational speakers I heard and he still is one of my favorite. I want to share some of the notes I have about his thoughts on success!

 “Success is never about acquiring what you want in one area of life but in every area of life.”

It is important to balance out your life and to me – I feel that is isn’t so much a balance but the idea of harmonizing.  You never really BALANCE – you focus on one area and it will improve and then there will be something else that falls out of the current, but basically to have success one must harmonize the work that they do on themselves in every area of life.

“People often complain about the lack of time, when lack of direction is the real problem”

Without having some clear goals your actions and time are spent floating to what ever might seem most important at the time.  Your time ends up being spent on things that are someone’s fire, they could be yours, or perhaps… not.  If you live your life always putting out the fires without knowing what direction you are headed it is very possible that the resulting feelings and emotions are overwhelmed.   Having goals gives you that direction. 

“Staying motivated takes daily work, just like you need a daily bath”

Because what our minds take in is 80% negative (a study that Zig refers to) it is important to ensure we are working with as much motivational and positive stuff that we can.  In addition to keeping motivated, keeping up with this spiritual/mental work will help you work with your own self limiting beliefs.  “You are what you are and where you are because of what’s gone into your mind – You can change what you are, you can change where you are, by changing what goes into your mind” 

“You can have anything in your life you want, if you will just help enough people get what they want”

We are living in a world of teaming and collaboration.  If you sincerely and freely help others get what they want, if you work from a place of true service, it will get you where you need to go to do the things that you want to do.  And that helps you become the person you want to become.  

 This Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom brought to you Right From the Heart!

RSS Feeds – Introduction

January 4, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: RSS Feeds, Techie Tuesday 

This is my first Techie Tuesday blog!  As I start doing these, I thought I would share and teach some of the things that I do that help save me time.  This first blog is about RSS Feeds.  I use RSS feeds to get the information I need without having to surf for it, or have a ton of bookmarked places that I go check.  This helps by notifying ME when there is new information.  I do not need to take time finding the information I need.  I have several feeds due to having several interests.  I have interests in Personal Development, improving my blogging, social media activity and also I watch new technology; how it could affect my business.

What is an RSS Feed?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.  It has also been called Rich Site Summary.  It had been started by an individual who worked for Netscape but wasn’t supported by Netscape and was continued in a working group that enhanced and improved it.  It is used to feed blog posts, news headlines, and other information in a standardized format.  The feed can include a summary or the entire feed.  You subscribe to these feeds.

How do you  read an RSS Feed?

An RSS feed is read through a “Reader”.  A reader is software and aggregates all of the feeds that you subscribe to.  The software can be web-based, desk top based or can be read on a mobile device. 

What Readers Exist?

There are hundreds of readers!  For a great list and comparisons see the great wiki site.

What are the first steps in order to start?

First step is to choose a Reader.  I use Google Reader so I will show how to use the Google Reader, but I will also show you how to use the IE (Internet Explorer) built in application as well. 

To register for Google Reader, go to

Create an Account (If you have a gmail account (or any other google based account) you can use this account.)

Fill out the information required to get started with Google reader.

Verify your account; (Google makes a phone verification to ensure that automated applications are not setting up accounts and access.  You will need to send a verification code to your cell phone or have them make a live call with the code.)

You are now ready to subscribe to feeds.

Subscribing to feeds

There are two ways to subscribe; one directly through the site and the other is by copy/pasting the URL into the reader directly.  

You find the RSS symbol at most sites, be they blogs, or news sites.  If they have the RSS symbol, like my site; you can click on the RSS feed symbol

After you click on RSS different things will occur.  If it comes up and gives you different options, Google Reader will be an option.  The other scenario is what you see when you click on my RSS you get the following:

After clicking on Subscribe to this feed you will see:

After this point you are subscribed to the feed and will be able to view this feed in the IE reader, but this is not your Google Reader.  To view in IE; simply click on the “Favorites Center” shown below:

When you click on that star — you will get a menu that allows you to read it —


This green arrow will then lock this in place and you will then be able to see your subscribed feeds; without adding it to Google Reader.

More on RSS feeds and especially on how to get this added to your Google Reader next Techie Tuesday!!!

Any questions?  Please feel free to contact me –

Review: Walking Through Illusion

December 29, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Book Reviews 

Walking Through Illusion –
By Betsy Otter Thompson


“All my decisions had brought me growth in one way or another. I learned that taking responsibility for the love, or the lack of love in my life, was the tool through which to create a different experience.”

“Where once I’d been dealing with guilt, I was finding growth; where once I’d been dealing with hate, I was finding compassion; where once I’d been feeling resentful, I was feeling autonomous.”

When I first picked up this book, my first thought was “uh oh”… I often shut down when I hear or see something I consider “religious”. This is something I am learning to be more open minded and tolerant of.  Reading this book gives me even more evidence that I should be more open and and a push to be less judgmental!  Had I missed out reading this book because of an initial judgment that it was religious I would have been the one that missed out.

As my aim is to do things Right From the Heart, her preface captured my full attention with the first sentence. Betsy Otter Thompson’s first words of the Preface are “The heart is a magical organ.” She goes on to describe how she feels our hearts work independent from our body system. This book is basically her conversation with Jesus made through her heart. She indicates that she “opens her heart, receives a feeling, and lets that feeling express.” Do not expect the book to be historically accurate as that is not the purpose. The book takes and discusses topics; twenty-three of them in total. At the end of each chapter there are a set of questions that deal with the topic just read often leading you to think through something about yourself. After these questions there are some more that lead you to evaluate yourself even more. And at the very end she ends with her own personal insight and what she learned working through the particular topic. This book takes you on an internal spiritual journey that provokes emotions, thoughts and an analysis of yourself.

The title: Walking Through Illusion; refers to the idea that all we have around us is an illusion. It is a life we are living; but we only experience things as we assign meaning to it and that’s it… by changing the meaning we assign the experience we can completely alter our lives. This makes whatever we are dealing with – only an illusion. As she (and Jesus) describe in her book, we are actors working through lessons that we chose to learn and work through prior to entering this specific life. “They were illusionary experiments to expand our hearts so that when we left these dramas, we had the needed emotion for the next performance taking our hearts even deeper.”

I loved all of the chapters, they were all thought provoking; however, I thought I would discuss at a high level a few of my favorites.

Obstacles: What obstacles stymie growth?

“Obstacles enter your life when you deprive others of what you think you deserve.”

This chapter deals with obstacles, whether that be illness or lacking – basically any dis-ease. The key is to realize that all obstacles, no matter what they are – are emotional. This gets back to the illusion again, they aren’t something “out there” they are “in here” and all obstacles offer some type of personal development. Everything offers some type of positive outcome in the end.

Opinions: Can we control our opinions?
Bottom line, this chapter says you respect other’s opinions when you respect your own. As one fault finds; this puts our focus on the thing that is negative and it hurts and it also will cause the mirror to reflect on ourselves what we are inflicting on others. If we find ourselves in judgment it is important to focus on finding who it is we ourselves are judging. This chapter also dealt with blaming; how we often blame our parents. We can’t change our past, but we can change our future thus it is important that we look and decide where we want our future to go. Even if those we are blaming change that will not change our problems, it will improve their life, not ours. We can only deal with us, our emotions and what we-ourselves are dealing with.

Advice: Whose advice is worthy?

“Trust that you are everything you need to be. Trust that life has meaning. Trust that goals have purpose, trust that ‘being’ is enough.”

Because I often get defensive when others try to give me advice (more so for those that are closer to me – like my husband!) this chapter hit home. This chapter points out that we are always mirroring our own behavior. Thus I was urged to look at my own life and understand how often I offer unsolicited advice. Understanding that if I focused on giving others support and only offering advice if asked that I would break through the illusion of having others offer their unsolicited advice. I now see a very interesting illusion in our family. Between my daughter and husband, they are both telling each other how and when and why to do things and I am left out of most of this interaction.

Hearts (of course!): What constitutes a big heart?

“An obsession with the picture to the exclusion of his heart created a mind out of sync with its purpose. A mind out of sync with its purpose created a body out of sync with its purpose. A body out of sync with its purpose had no reason for being.”

This chapter spoke to purpose and legacy, which, is at the top of my list of topics (am teaching it at CFU) so this chapter also resonated with me. It is important to look at the different legacies we want (and perhaps do not want) to leave. I took away from this chapter that it is important to appreciate life and that our bottom line purpose is to look for personal growth and development within our own lives.

Betrayal: Why is betrayal so painful?

“Betrayal is an act of doing in a way you’d hate to be done to.”

My notes from this chapter: If I am resenting others, I am resenting myself. If I resent myself others will resent me. If I resent myself resentment poisons the mind. If it poisons the mind it will poison the body. Basically outward actions reflect an inward action. Betsy’s personal notes captured much of what I felt as well. When you hear the word betrayal you picture something quite bad, but betrayal is basically doing things to others that you do not want done to you… thoughts, judgements, laughs, snickers and any other minor offense counts.

Bottom line – READ THIS BOOK!!!!

About the Author: A native Philadelphian with a B.F.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, Betsy worked as an account executive for WFIL radio in Philadelphia, and from there went to radio stations WPEN and WFLN. After that, she became a commercial print model and acted in television commercials in New York and Philadelphia. For seventeen years, she worked in Los Angeles at the motion picture and television company Castle Rock Entertainment as the Assistant to the Chairman and CEO. In August ’99, she followed her boss to Warner Bros. as he took a new position there as President and COO, and became his Executive Assistant. She is now writing full time. Betsy’s writing began unexpectedly while going through an especially difficult time in her life. She believes that her books were the answer to her prayers.

It’s Time

December 15, 2010 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Play by Play 

I ran into this as I was reading comments from one of Darren Hardy’s video blogs.  I thought it was great and wanted to share it with others!

“It’s Time.”

I once asked an old man to say something wise,
and the words that unfolded – were a welcome surprise.
He started by saying, “Tell me, son – What is it you seek?”
“Success in hurry,” I blurted, “because my future looks bleak!”
“Times are tough.” I continued, with a little regret.
Because what he said next, I will never forget.

“If quick success is what you seek to find,
it’s already been found – and it’s a matter of time.
You say ‘times are tough’ – and now look at this clock.
There’s more to these hands than the tick and the tock.
You see only one hand in motion, but I can see all three.
It’s the way all things work, just take it from me.

The ‘Seconds’ hand moves fast, so it’s easy to spot;
Soon you’ll recognize it’s the seed, to plant in your plot.
Most see ‘small’ as insignificant, but I know it’s the start;
for your very life lives with the small beats of your heart.
If those never started, or continued – Then where would you be?
Nothing’s insignificant, you see – because seeds become trees.
Your seeds are the small actions that you must eagerly take;
the seconds sprout into minutes – the right time to cultivate.

Keep on moving here, because it takes time and vital care;
we all know who won the race of the Tortoise and Hare.
It wasn’t because the Tortoise was slow that he won the race,
he proved, ‘steady’ fares better than any back-breaking pace.
Minutes are the well-formed habits that add-up to become Hours,
just like seeds become buds, and then those become flowers.

This is a tough time for many – in fact, most will quit.
See, our culture has taught that good results must always come quick.
‘If you’re doing it right – you’ll see results right away.’
But, that’s not the way things work – I’m sorry to say.
Cultivation comes before the harvest – It has always been this way!

As the Seconds become Minutes, soon the Hours will begin to pass.
You’re on the track to success, just check your looking glass.
Your looking glass is in your mind’s eye – and only you can see it there,
Look there for your results, or else you’ll begin to look elsewhere.
Consistency with a purpose is what you are after,
and vision for outcomes is what you will master.
The fruit of the harvest, has arrived in your mind,
taste it, and feel it – it’s the best of it’s kind.
Hours and fruit, you’ll have all you need,
Minutes of nourishment, and Seconds of seed.

Although success can’t be hurried, it can be assured.
Don’t be like the others – who’s vision got blurred.
The key to getting started, is to start right away.
Don’t be like the rest – getting started ‘someday’.
Someday never comes, I can say without doubt.
See the tears in my eyes? My time has run out.

Success is not a secret: You have all you need!
It’s your time to get started: Now you are my seed!
You’ve asked for success, and now have the keys in mind,
it’s not about talent, luck, or even hard work – you’ll find;
Success is just a series of simple small steps, repeated in time.”

~ By Tobias Sedillos

Next Page »