Category Archives: media

Freedom Cry: The RE-Abolitionist Movement

If you know nothing else about your GoodWitch/ BadWitch, you know that I’m all about personal FREEDOM for all. I coach it for personal and business living, I try my best to maintain it in every sphere of my life. But the fact is…

We are NOT all free! So all the more, Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. While some people make it a tradition to jump on a Freedom Train to celebrate, this also made it the perfect day to bring to light a topic I have known about only on its periphery for the past five years in every state in America (and around the world): Human Slavery Trafficking. While most of us associate it with sexual slavery trade, the numbers show that only accounts for about 20% of the slavery occurring, oftentimes, right under our very noses. Domestic slavery still exists! It’s 2012, our culture is not used to seeing or thinking about slavery as a current practice. 

Dr. David Bastone, PhD, professor at USF, took a year sabbatical to travel and research this modern day event, and figure out ways people can come to action. He calls it the Re-Abolitionist Movement. His site NotForSaleCampaign.org is chockful of eye-popping info, and actionable options. The social site SlaveryMap.org notes real sightings and case notations of documented slavery cases possibly in your neighborhood and all across these free United States.

No one is free until we all are.  —Simone

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Calm Ass(ertive) Goddess & LoA Coaching.

Blowing a gasket stuck revving at Neutral? Stop struggling, it doesn’t have to be so hard! Learn how to align your enerCHI and get what you really want. Transform—modern life. Email me at: coaching@stillsitting.net.

 © 2009-2017 ManifestGroup and Simone da Rosa. All rights reserved.

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Word! Deleting Slut & Ho from Our Vocabulary(inspiration)

“Slovenly language corrodes the mind.” ~ John Q. Adams

“We ought to esteem it of the greatest importance that the fictions which children first hear should be adapted in the most perfect manner to the promotion of virtue.” ~ Plato

“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.


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Word! Deleting Slut & Ho from Our Vocabulary (BW)

Words hurt — but only if you let them. I’m a staunch believer of the playground wisdom, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” to this day. Yet it is undeniable that words are powerful. One of my favorite pieces I wrote ‘Don’t Be A Pussy’ was about the harmful effects of the ubiquity of misogynistic, negative slang phrases. My rant is easily extendable to abating words like Slut, Whore and ‘Ho from our vocab because, while used obviously derogatorily, they are more dangerously ubiquitous. When we are so familiar with a thing that we no longer see it, hear it, or are aware of its true meaning anymore, is when it has an insidious power to do its deepest damage to our individual psyches, our collective culture — because this negative slam-slang is just accepted as a fact or a truism. But I am a Big Picture seer: when female power and the word “vagina” are cute-isized and made non-threatening as hoochie, vajayjay, and other dumbed down terms, it’s hard to avoid recognizing a pattern of misogyny and the fear of female power still runs deeply in our society, culture, and most of the world at large even in the 21st century. Hillary Clinton at this year’s TED Women’s Conference on The Empowerment of Women & Girls: “We need to reach out to faith leaders and community leaders to change the perception and treatment of girls, and to persuade men and boys to value their sisters and their daughters, their talents and their intrinsic worth.”Words are powerful. As I say at my zen pop culture blog, “Use your power for good” by: 1) Knowing who you are; 2) don’t give fear of other’s opinions (just words) of you the power to paralyze or stunt you; and 3) shed a light on or speak out against ignorance whenever you hear it as a “that’s how everyone talks”-ism. No it isn’t.

How do you feel about words like “bitch” and “’ho” used interchangeably for “women” or “girls”? Do you talk about this with your daughters?  — BadWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Voting, Elections and American Teenagers

What’s the count for your teen voting tomorrow? The importance of voting and reasons teens should get involved with their future today.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Please help me motivate my teenager to vote!! We feel so strongly about this but somehow it’s not discussed or encouraged enough in school and he just doesn’t see the point and has even made some pretty cynical comments (“it’s rigged,” and “It doesn’t change anything anyway”) about the process. We’ve already tried the arguments: “You are the future of this country,” and  “it’s important for you to voice your opinion” and nothing works. Elections are right around the corner, please help.  — Ballot Buster

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Dear Ballot Buster,

Sorry we only just saw your email (anyone else having difficulty reaching us in email please PING US AGAIN) — but as we’re still in time (squeeeak! VOTE ON TUESDAY, November 2, people!), here goes.

I agree with you and MTV that it’s important for teens to vote. Let’s start with what you’re facing: the average teen isn’t informed about the issues, isn’t a taxpayer, and is only concerned about any issues that may or may not affect him (i.e., the draft, or possibly sexual orientation issues.). Try giving him a broader understanding about why voting is important (hundreds of thousands of people have fought and died for our right to vote which many of us now take for granted. At least know that it’s still NOT like this (free and open society, rights to express oneself — and the vote necessary to maintain those privileges) everywhere around the world today, son. A free, dynamic, growing and evolving society (especially one as young as America, much like you) takes the involvement of its citizens to voice their opinions (by voting) and stand for something (care about themselves and the community (local government) they live in and the larger society (federal government) they will eventually die in). Give more reasons as you find/feel them.

Try appealing to your son’s stage-typical self-concern: our country is still not in peace time, you may be called to serve; you may not be able to picture it, but it’s a fact that your future starts now and money (taxes and services), gas costs, healthcare to retirement issues all affect you and your friends now, etc. Kids should understand that the constitution, for instance, is not a static document guaranteeing its rights (including freedom of speech, of or from religion, from cruel or unusual punishment, and from unreasonable search and seizures). Freedom is responsibility, and voting is just the beginning.

Share your personal story about voting, whatever it may be. What does your son care about in the abstract? Maybe you can connect it to a current proposition or local/state candidate’s stance.

Vote because you’re an American, young sir, because you won’t always be one…a kid. Start early, vote frequently (joke in a single election, my challenge to you moving forward). If you haven’t already, register to vote for the next election now.

Vote on November 2,

BadWitch

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Dear Ballot Buster,

First explore MTV Rock the Vote designed to influenced younger voters to make their voices heard. Complacency now can take us more than a few steps backward.

Start the conversation again. There is a black family in the White House. Does your son really believe that if the voting was rigged THAT’S who  “The Man” would put in the Presidency? When we vote we begin to turn the wheels of change. And there are some major changes in the work.

In California we are looking at legalizing marijuana, which is another good example of how the system is NOT rigged. Choices of leaders who will help those in financial stress during these ongoing nationwide economic struggles and those who are bought and paid by corporations for whom enough money is never enough are at stake in this election. Does your son really believe these choices will not effect how much he has to pay for college, what classes he can take and how much or little financial aid will be available to him? If he’s not going to college, does he think these choices won’t effect how and if he finds a job anytime soon?

Mind you, my thoughts reflect my own liberal leanings, but whatever your beliefs and choices are get out and vote. The vote elects the people who can make the changes. The vote makes the changes. The system may be flawed, but it’s not rigged. It may turn slowly, but every vote is needed to make a move at all.

History is on your side with this one, pull from it to make your point. Use the logic of the rebellion of the vote, which should be effective with a teenager.  Change can happen, but only if we all rock the vote!

Let your voice be heard,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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CBS Money Watch Picks Up StillSitting & St. Bernard Project Partnership Story

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW ORLEANS, LA – We are proud to announce our online de-stress program StillSitting(.net) has partnered with the New Orleans-area, Presidentially recognized non-profit St. Bernard Project to help rebuild its thousands of community members and their mental health.  StillSitting offers an accessible and private alternative to cope, heal, and re-set for in-need residents who can’t recover from one disaster before the next storm, hurricane, oil spill, housing challenge hits them. Add employment, and (mental and physical) health services cuts to the mix and you have a perfect storm for depression, PTSD, bi-polarism, and other more “mundane” chronic stress disease issues (including heart disorders, obesity and diabetes) to set in and take root in this hard-hit community. This is against a cultural backdrop in which mental health disease, its issues and even seeking help remain closeted or taboo topics. Traditional support like family and friends, and churches are waning and many have closed.

The  in-house Mental Health & Welllness Program of the award-winning St. Bernard Project promotes clinically-proven de-stress tools that are complementary to those within StillSitting — but they simply can’t get help to the multitudes of people who need it by themselves. StillSitting offers online accessibility and a privately self-paced channel of assistance and support. We are committed to our work to help the clients of St. Bernard Project rebuild…mental and physical health and wellness.   — BadWitch

Images: (boy) Caroyln Cole. // St. Bernard Project Development Director & Co-founder Liz McCartney, CNN.

SS-SBP-newsrelease-GWBW (PDF)

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Working Parents Guilt. Dancing With the Stars and Beyond

No dancing around it. Our society is still conflicted about the role of the “good mother.”    — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Ok my circle of friends includes men and women and we can’t agree on the Kate Gosselin on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ thing. Should any primary caregiver spend so much time away from their kids?   — Dances With Guilt

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Dear Dances With Guilt,

Whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout, Willis? Kate was working to support her kids via this show, not simply raising her celebrity or party time. Given that, I am not one who subscribes to the notion that what qualifies primary caregivers is only lots of face time with growing, developing kids. Quality counts. Also among primary caregivers’ responsibilities to children, is ensuring their kids’ circle of trustworthy, accountable adult guides/-ance is as wide as (relatively) possible. I don’t believe mommy (or daddy) at home is the only way to raise healthy, happy kids — now or even during Donna Reed daze.

Parenting is individual, but from the viewpoint of a former child whose mother loved working outside of the home, and then alternated having to stay home for a couple years with previously having a nanny, it’s not about the number of hours spent with kids, but consistency and structure of foundation of the family vision/mission— the kind of consistency I’m talking about, from a kids’ point of view, extends to when the parents are home or out of the house. This builds a true Northstar that kids can understand and rely on. Personally, when I think of “mommy at home” my first image is of mine crying out of frustration (no judgments!, she also baked cookies and played with us quite un-conflicted). The consistency and love in our home and family let me know undoubtedly that I was loved and wanted, but also that my mother was frustrated by her bubble with low to no daily adult stimulation. I Got how happy her work fulfillment made her, and how much easier and happier we were as a family unit when those things were in place. I was 6, the same age the Gosselin sextuplets are, I wasn’t confused (and doubt my brother was, either); kids are smart. Yep. Love, and happiness- and esteem-building are the consistency I’m talking about.

Did you ever watch their 5-season reality show (Jon & Kate Plus 8)? That mama ain’t no angel! But I’d love to get your take after your group debates what impact the actions of their “too-famous-to-get-a-job” dad who left them to have his mid-life crisis, then banned the show (the family’s primary income) from being produced without him, might have on their childhood development.

No guilt needed,

BadWitch

UPDATE: Cosmic unintended timing notes – Congratulations Nicole Scherzinger DWTS winner. R.I.P. Gary Coleman.

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Dear Dances with Guilt,

What?! So we have kids and then we’re suppose to hang up our dancing shoes forever? I think that’s how we end up with Texas Cheerleading Moms who live through their kids to a super-unhealthy degree.

As I heard it, she had a dance studio built in her basement, practiced there and then traveled to tape the show. So, is she not suppose to work on her career because she;s needed at home wiping noses? Isn’t that why God created babysitters? After all, how is she suppose to support said kids if she ends up as a reality TV footnote? “*Was married to a putz. Had 8 kids and a short run reality TV show on TLC.”

As a mother, you do not push out a kid, sign the birth certificate and turn in your juju so you can be a capri-wearing-cropped-bobbed-hairdo-having-lunch-box-stuffing mother and nothing else.  Kate Gosselin spoke up, said she wanted to be on Dancing with the Stars She got her chance and worked hard to make the most of her dream. Now people want to judge her for reaching her dream while having the nerve to have kids? Really, if folks spent more time worrying about doing what is necessary to achieve their own dreams, there’d be a lot less hate and envy in the world.

I, too, am a single mom reaching for her dreams. I work full time and have extra curricular activities that do not include my children. However, I am in constant touch with my kids’ teachers, a member of the PTA, a cupcake baker, play date host and easy-listening my door and my arms are always open kind of mom. I believe showing my children the example of a hard-working, loving mom who knows how to multi-task and go after her dreams is one of the most potent gifts I can give my two girls.

Kate may not be the best dancer, but juggling rehearsals, performance and parenthood, I give her a 10!

More Mojo for All,

GoodWitch

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Image: ABC, Adam Larkey

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.

Bully Schoolyard, Parents Want Discipline

Bullying in schools is pushing its way around again. Studies show girls bully emotionally and boys bully physically and emotionally. When bullying respects nothing and no one, and the parents won’t do anything about it.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I’m at my wits end! My daughter is getting bullied at school by another girl. This has been going on for months. Now, my daughter’s backpack was stolen last week, but the school library books from the backpack returned! WTF?! I’ve tried talking to this girl’s parents, but they refuse to believe their “little angel” would do anything wrong. They think my daughter provokes the abuse! Again, WTF?! What can I do? This is an impossible situation for our whole family and, of course, most especially, my daughter.  — Over This Bully Bullsh–

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Dear Over This Bully Bullsh–,

It sounds like you need to get the school involved—teachers , principal. I know a lot of times kids who are being bullied are unwilling for their parents to get involved, but getting this out in the open is the only way to get this to stop. The bully needs to know there are consequences for her actions.

Now, as far as the girl’s parents protecting their “little angel,” remember bullies are made, not born. Something is clearly troubling this girl to leave her over-flowing with aggression. I’m not saying this to blame or excuse the parents. It sounds like it is time to have a hard-nosed talk with her parents. If you really believe this girl is responsible or the missing backpack, have her parents check her room. No one deserves to have their personal belongings stolen. No one deserves abuse. If they still don’t get it, go through the school.

Remind your daughter to go through the appropriate channels when the bullying starts. Trying to handle it her self simply isn’t working. Also, both you and your daughter should do some self-esteem and stress management training. Work with her to give her the tools she needs to grow into a confident  woman. Remind her that tomorrow may hold an entirely different future. Don’t let her get stuck here, seeing herself as a victim. Give her the tools to rise above it.

My heart and my prayers go out to your family. Constantly dealing with someone else’s misplaced aggression is frustrating, depressing and maddening. You need to remember and remind your daughter that petty tyrants are our best teachers. Help your daughter define how she contributes to the situation. Does she retaliate instead of seeking assistance from a teacher? Does she refuse to stand up for herself, protecting her rights? Changing our behavior has the effect of changing a dynamic and with it people’s reactions. Remind her that bullies target those who they will get a satisfying reaction from–once achieved they continue to bully to get more of that reaction. If your daughter stops reacting or changes tactics by telling a teacher, there is a good chance the bully will move on to another target.

Talk to your principal. What strategies do they have in place to deal with bullies? Research and connect them with groups that do bully workshops. Get other parents involved and educate the educators if need be. Be proactive.

Sending you waves of support,

GoodWitch

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Dear Over Bully Bullsh–,

What right thinking person would disagree that our schools, not just should, but need to be a safe haven for children against bullying? When today’s bullies come in all shapes, sizes and social ranking, but often teachers and schools are still opting for the elaborate Time Out (and resulting in yet more bullying to suicide), it’s way past time to step up our tools. I’m not usually a fan of attempts at legislating how people get along, but the apparent lack of good parenting, and schools’ tied hands, against this well-noted rise in school aggression, anger and bullying, seem to call for it. This national epidemic is in need of Congressional legislation to help in providing teachers and schools training, proactive peer counseling/motivation techniques and supportive rules and laws against violence and bullying. Hey, if it takes laws to get the job done, perhaps our larger society’s PC-silence, violence enabling and anti-violence laws will toughen up to reflect this disturbing and growing trend of child disrespect, coarseness, and bullying-as-conflict-resolution (learned and perpetuated by their own slack online-social mores, violent video games and movies, and a seeming lack of adult guidance to civility and cooperation).

Closer to home, what can you do to help and support your daughter, and foster in her trust and openness in relationships, rather than cynicism and negativity and — stop bullying now ? Try eating dinner together as a family. Limit TV daily viewing (studies show each additional hour spent in front of the TV per week at age 2-1/2 corresponded to a 10% increase in being bullied by peers; the finding suggests these kids are “learning to be just a passive receptacle”), and stick to it! My mom didn’t let us go out and play until our homework was done; adapt this to your schedule but the rule is: “Responsibilities first.” Encourage cooperation between your own children and their friends, e.g., homework to sharing and giving away (charity) toys and even TV time — then don’t forget to recognize and applaud their constructive activity, e.g., “Good job – I appreciate your helping your brother without my asking you to.” Help them build habits of cooperation, civility and connection that will serve them well on and off the schoolyard, and into adolescence and adult citizens of our society at large.

More on Bullying from us...

BadWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.

Hello, My Name is Jon & I’m Addicted to Social Networking

O!, what a tangled web we weave. More and more people feel caught in their own Social web instead of in their real life (RL). And all social skills are not created equally. — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW— Help me! I’m being held captive in a Social factory! I spend wayyy too many hours every day at my socials. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Is there such a thing as balanced online life?! — Nothing but Social Life

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Dear Nothing but Social Life,

I call obsession to being online constantly BSOS, or Bright Shiny Objects Syndrome. Let’s be clear: you have an obsession (a mental preocupation) not a true addiction (a dependency) — but sadly it’s funnier to say you’re addicted when it comes to something so seemingly small yet insidious as Social networking. This phenomenon is relatively new to the past 15 years, give or take, and it does represent a real and potentially damaging and problem for kids or teens — anyone still developing (physically (brain), academically (reading/spelling), emotionally and socially (critical thinking, emotional balance, and inter-/intrapersonal communication)). The debate’s still out on whether social networking and massive hours online for kids is good or bad. Depending on what age/stage you are, the problem as you described  it can affect one differently.

Spending the majority hours of your day online “being social” is not the same thing as actually Having a Real Life, which takes skills, time and effort, and practice. If you have a RL, then web Socials can be an enhancement, not a replacement. My advice in a nutshell: Go outside and play! One feeds the other. The inside of your head is never as fascinating a place to anyone else as it is to you. Just the facts, ma’am/sir. The classic building blocks of  social, cultural and personal development still hold true: learning how to read and write (properly) gives U a leg up 2 understndg ur world historically and presently, which assists in having conversations with others to stimulate and grow your brain’s logic, speech, spatial and judgment centers, which all add up to the ability for having a fuller, more satisfying and balanced social life.

While out of balance Social networking is an obsession rather than an addiction, I still recommend checking how OCD a personality you might have as a good starting point to help you identify some of your behaviors and/or motivations. Otherwise, “addiction” to Socials is much more akin to work addiciton than a classic addiction (e.g., sex or drugs), and coming to balance is obviously the goal.

Start there. Answer the questions in the article link above, and start understanding what motivates your persistent, maybe obsessive Social usage. You can always try implementing a couple simple Social habit-breaking rules for yourself over 6 weeks (time to change a habit).

Balance your RL & Social lives: 1) only log on if you actually have something truly interesting and/or “newsworthy” to say, and; 2) if you can say it all by spending no more than 30 minutes a day updating, Replying, or browsing your Socials. Then between Weeks 2-4 of your habit-changing 6 weeks, drop 5 minutes each week from your time online at your Socials, until you are only logging in for 15 minutes a day. I recommend the stopwatch on your iPhone (a good personal use for a mobile!) or other alarm system.

In all your newly found free time, you can develop your people watching, reading and conversational skills more often in the RW.

Logging off,

BadWitch

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Dear Nothing But Social Life,

I hope your social life happens in the 3-D world, as well. The beauty of social media is the beauty of connection. You can connect with friends of long ago and people you don’t know, even celebrities. But unless that is balanced with loving relationships in the 3-D world, you are missing out on hugs, kisses, and infectious belly laughs that roll on and on. The good news is your social obsession may be the very means of stepping back into the real world—you know, offline.

You can find people from your class living in your city and send a message to meet up. Speaking of meeting up, MeetUp.com leverages social media for a 3-D world. You find what you like to do — from archery to cooking, talking about the brain to best happy hours — in the real world and meet other folks who are into the same thing there. Joining groups with similar interests can create lifelong bonds. Jane Austen Book Club, anyone?

Your social life comes with distance built in. Time, location, and an electronic device come between you and your online interactions. You can edit what you say, before blurting it out and can actually delete what you say. Would that the real-world were so forgiving. That is why we can feel more comfortable behind our socials than in the 3-D.

Meld them both for optimum balance, health and sanity. Did you know hugs reduce your heart rate and stress levels — proven. People with close relationships (on and off screen, mind you) live longer than those who do not, again, proven.

Funny thing is if you were a social addict, had to be out in the world and around people 24-7, I would counsel you to spend ore time alone and draw some boundaries in your life, perhaps even using social media as a tool. But, in your case, you have bridged two worlds. You are in the world, but not of it, which may work in the Buddah’s mind to lighten the soul, but if you are here in this 3-D, in a body, well make the most of it. Get out and go places you’ve never been before, even if it’s just neighborhoods in your city. Go for walks and actually chat with strangers. Besides, if you need a hit, check your mobile and upload a couple of status updates, that automatically feed your Tweet.

There’s no cold turkey needed here. Besides the fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has already by-passed online addiction as an actual social disorder.

Screen time + 3-D time=balance.

Get Happy,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your FREE brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.


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The Stress Smell of Revenge

When we are wronged by an old friend, how can we right ourselves again? Releasing the self-imposed stress of wanting to strike back .     — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Someone who I thought was an old friend really did me wrong. I can’t stop these thoughts of revenge in my head.    — Cold Dish

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Dear Cold Dish,

Punishment! Payback! Revenge! While they make for a cool poster, are a lot better suited for the movies and soap operas than real life where that sweet taste is a shot, but a hole in the gut lasts forever. Why stress yourself giving yourself an ulcer when you can Go Green! (ok so yeah, lower case), and recycle that same energy into healing, improving and growing yourself? Believe me, this is the more sustainable model.

There’s no pain like the pain of deceit a trusted former friend can dole out. This alone makes the healing and self-improvement an uphill trek. But hiking uphill builds strong legs, lungs and buns of steel. Work on your emotions in the same way: build a foundation of unflinchingly truthful self-knowledge (did you somehow contribute to this betrayal, if not, what would your ex-friend’s motive be to hurt you?); steely resolve to learn something about yourself from this incident (like how you hurt – your hot buttons can reveal to yourself your most unhealed emotions), or how you knew something about your friend but maybe hid that truth from yourself (what payoff/need did having this person fulfill in your life?), etc.); and the life-sustaining ebb and flow of acceptance of things as they are and self-reliance (not the same as isolated). Surround yourself with true friends and family who appreciate and can support you in your growth and thriving. Remember who you really are.

Finally, sweet Cold Dish, I think you’ll be doing yourself a favor (and shortcut) to turn and face how much this old friend hurt you. Grieve. There’s a good deal of mourning your situation (and our culture at large) appears not to have embraced yet. There’s a gaping hole where there was once something very important to you and your life. Take the time to really recognize, mourn its absence, thank it for the gift it was (when it was and what it actually gave you), and let it go.

Divine it is to forgive, Yoda,

BadWitch

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Dear Cold Dish,

Betrayal by a loved one is one of the most painful experiences possible. You put your trust and faith into another person and they betray that trust through actions and/or words. Not fair. But maybe you’ve heard—revenge never helped anyone.

Truth is, thinking revenge-thoughts is perfectly sane. Most people when faced with betrayal will think horrible Carrie-esq revenge thoughts. You may envision horrible disfiguring or fatal accidents too. Again, sane. Now, taking any of those thoughts into the 3-D, insane, psychotic and, quite possibly, criminal.

So, let the revenge thoughts simmer for another day or so and then, move on. Pick yourself up and ask yourself the hardest question of all: How did I contribute to this situation. Were you too forthcoming with someone who had already showed you they were not trustworthy? Did you chose to remain blind to the signs of betrayal early on and dig yourself in deeper? Are there ways you can recover, rebound and safeguard yourself against these mistakes in the future—without closing off yourself from future relationships?

Forgiveness is just around the corner. Forgiveness does not mean to forget what happened. But stop the acid of hate and revenge running through your veins as soon as possible. You are only brewing up illness, stress and paranoia by keeping the un-forgiveness and revenge going. Unfriend them at Facebook. Change the name in your cell phone to ALERT (or something you feel may be more appropriate) so you can cancel any incoming calls from their number and move on with your life.

Chalk it up to experience. Realize this person has offered you the gift of a transformational lesson. Use this experience as a springboard yourself into a more alive, compassionate person. Use this lesson to grow more into the amazing person you are. That is the best revenge. The loss, the forfeit, the crappy karma is all theirs. Let the Universe sort out the punishment. Focus on your rewards. Even the darkest moments have brightness to offer us if we are willing to look into the blackness. Look. There’s a better, freer you on the other side.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Juicy Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your FREE brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.

I Pronounce You Bridezilla On Da Dance Floor!

Are First Dance lessons a must today, in your wedding budget, or are you just out of your wedding planning mind? Something borrowed, Groom to Bride: “Shall we Dirty

Dance or Two Step ever after?”   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I’m a bride-to-be but not a Bridezilla. Do you think we look bad if we don’t getting dance lessons for the First? Funnily, it’s my fiance who wants to, but I don’t see why when we’re both good dancers naturally.  — Mrs. Twinkle Toes

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Dear Mrs. Twinkle Toes,

The first dance of the bride and groom is symbolic of you to dancing together through life. So the question is, do you prefer that dance be choreographed or a free-form expression of the two of you together in the moment?

I believe the beauty of dance is how much fun you are having while you’re doing it. But, looking good in front of friends, family and out of town guests is not to be undervalued. So knowing the best dancers know how to lead and how to follow. Compromise may be the best solution of all. Take the classes and learn some new tricks. Work out some new styles and steps and then have a few Dance Dates at home. Integrate the moves you learn (a salsa step here, a samba hip there) and make it a part of your own style.

Don’t get too wrapped up in the “perfect” wedding, because believe me, the things you remember and cherish years later have little to do with how well you did the first dance, which cake topper you chose or the seating arrangements. A good party flows naturally—not too controlled. Allow yourself to get back to the basics. You will remember the ceremony, the vows, the first kiss. You will remember who came, who you shared a laugh, a drink and, most likely, a tearful hug. Focus on bringing meaning into those moments.

Make this dance your own. Dance together as an expression of the synchronization, spirit, love and fun of your new life together.

Dance like there is no one watching,

GoodWitch

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Dear Mrs. Twinkle Toes,

Full disclosure: after hardballing all my vendors, I sent our wedding invites with American flag stamps on them. Got me? So of course I wouldn’t think that your first public glide out together as Mr. & Mrs. should be an audition for So You Think You Can Dance. Ok so get dance lessons if it’ll tame your four left feet and shy nerves, but I say you’re better off doing the junior high gawky slow jam into your new life to your own beat, Fred and Ginger. If you’re really no Bridezilla, why on the dance floor would you let others’ wedding trends lose you this precious, potentially revealing teamwork challenge opportunity? They say men don’t care about weddings — hello?, most of them don’t care about overwrought, unrealistic weddings. Nowadays, very often how a couple starts out together is a real indication of how you will walk through life as a team.

Unless either of your families are the Aileys or Barishnikovs, your fiancé must be kidding himself to even think any sincere celebrant of you two gives a poop…or would dis your skillz, such as they are. Trust me, you’re better off spending half the time you’re inclined to on planning the Big Day, and doubling the time anticipating, planning and then actually preparing for the real partnership event. Honey. If more couples did that, the divorce rate in this country would very probably drop from 50% to 25% right off the bat (and then comes the real work). Think and talk about real decisions that matter: do you both want children (if so, by when, how many?), money (who’s going to handle the house finance admin; what do you expect of each other contribution-wise (e.g., working vs. stay-at-home); and will you mix or match financial burdens, expenses and dividends?), and lifestyle (where will you live, city or ‘burbs; chore division; entertainment; all the way to the fidelity expectations end of the spectrum).

Start off on the real right foot together by considering (healthy debating is fine) these Real Life concerns before they become deal breaking issues later. And yes, over half my adult life later, people are still recalling to us our super yummers cake (!) and how much our unique wedding truly reflected us.

Congrats without the Jazz hands,

BadWitch

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Image, Christiaan David Photographer

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