Tag Archives: focus

Fashion Trend: Good Choices Best Accessory

Playing dress up is for kids. To riff on Madonna, grown-ups dress themselves in their love. Finding balance in and out of your closet for every budget.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW —i know this is my own fault but I was always known for having the hottest clothes and accessories of all my friends. Now I’m learning how to pay off my debt, and that makes me feel good every month. My problem is that I am going crazy not being able to go shopping and feel I have to still keep my image up. Can I buy one nice thing every month since my bills are going down? — Undressed for Success

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Dear Undressed for Success,

Honey, I feel your pain in the wanting to buy nice things department (but you’re not going to like my answer). Congrats on starting to get your bills under control— that’s huge — unfortunately, you had not learned to curb your impulses (leading to habits) earlier, and are now paying the consequences and (literally) the bill that’s come due. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater (by not shopping) doesn’t work in most cases. Try to come to a balance, and I’m not talking about just your shopping.

Your thinking is what begins the chain of events that ends with your monthly bill paying (literally and figuratively). Realize that our fast food, instant gratification society is an outgrowth of lazy and poor thinking, immature behaviors, and an insecurity that comes from…somewhere. It’s never too late to get with your own best program, and good choices does not equal all work and no play, no fun. Privately take genuine and deep inventory about how you feel about your self, choices you have made (still not talking shopping yet; what choices did you make from school, to acquaintances, friends and lovers — the people and influencers with whom you have chosen to share your life). Get naked! Really see what priorities you’ve made, what messages you’ve bought into about “success”…in other words, the life you have chosen for yourself. True examination helps lead to a life lived well, better, best for each of us. There is no blame or shame in this game I’m suggesting to you. When you know better, you can do better. Live consciously.

Window dressing always optional,

BadWitch

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Dear Undressed for Success,

Well, first off, I don’t know your budget, the amount of your debt or your shopping habits. But, I will say, paying off your debt and learning to live with less, BRAVO! Not an easy thing to change your lifestyle around.

And, let’s face it, keeping up with the image of the joneses is an addiction not easily walked away from — which is where I think your current state of discontent arises. You’ve carefully crafted a reputation of being “It” with all the hot clothes and accessories. You’ve crafted an image of yourself as carefree, stylish and solvent, though you were digging yourself deeper into debt. You certainly were not alone in this. Let’s face it, living within our means has not been considered chic for some time.

But the readjusting can feel like you are being punished, rather than doing something positive for yourself. A couple of tips:

1. Don’t try to diet or restrict your habits in any other ways until this new lifestyle becomes second nature.

2. Do not restrict yourself to the point of feeling pained. At some point the pressure will become so much that you really may blow your progress thus far in one ultimate shopping extravaganza. Not good.

3. Do allow yourself to buy one item every month, as long as ALL monthly bills are paid (at least minimum amounts, preferably more for the sake of your interest and long term financial security).

4. Do not buy designer straight off the rack. You will pay full 3-4 digit prices for these items. Shop designer overflow stores like TJ Max (Yeah, I said it) or designer recycled clothing stores like Cross Roads Trading.

True, you may no longer be ahead of everyone else’s curve, but you’ll be looking like a hot fashionista to your friends while looking like a responsible adult to yourself, your bank teller and your creditors.

And one last thing, who you are and what people love about you may be your knowledge of fashion and your love of cutting edge culture, but if they are only in love with what “Fashionista Barbie/Ken” looks like and the benefits they believe that are somehow conferred upon them by hanging out with said Barbie/Ken, please kick them to the curb with your Manolos. Users have no place in your life and certainly not driving you further into debt to satisfy their vampiric needs.

Do it for you,

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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Job Offer Relocate or Reject & Stay?

When partners can’t agree on one’s job offer that affects both, the job at hand is to choose the best compromise.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — My wife has a (lateral) job offer from her firm that necessitates our relocating across the country. We know no one in that state, its job prospects for me are on par with most any other state, we could buy a lot of house there by selling ours here, and we have one preschool child. Here’s the kicker, I want her to pull the trigger more than she seems to want to. She seems satisfied with her work but I think they’re trying to save her job with this offer. I fear she will stay and then get laid off and we need both salaries. We’ve talked and talked but just can’t come to agreement. Suggestions?  Worried Hubby

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Dear Worried Hubby,

Since you say you’ve both talked it through so much, let’s not debate the merits of your wife taking this job as you’d like. Let’s have you two honestly explore your individual fears around both her scenarios: accepting and rejecting the offer.

It sounds simple but I like a good pro/con-type list for such quandries, and especially if I’m in one with someone else. Writing it out will help you two see your own and each other’s underlying fears more clearly and completely, and that allows you both to connect the dots to your actual line items of financial impact, realistic stability of her company/current job,  your age(s) to starting over elsewhere, the tax benefits between your current versus a more inexpensive home, and so much more. I am suggesting this list be developed and written as objectively as possible, and using different color pens will help you see each other’s points all the clearer.

Your primary challenge is not to be right, but to untangle the emotions from this situation, to make the best decision for your family together you know how.

More teamwork, less worry,

BadWitch

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Dear Worried Hubby,

There is more to moving than the bottom line. I get what your concerns are, and they are valid. However, I think you may be overlooking your wife’s concerns.

Yes, you can have more house, but your salary in this new place is not guaranteed. And the amount of that salary will probably be commensurate with the state, as opposed to what you are making now where you are. Also, you will have no support.  That may not seem like much now, but no one to ask for last minute help. No one to invite over for pizza, beer and communing that you know you can let down all your pretenses with and just hang. Babysitters, schools, friends will all have to be vetted again in the hopes of carving out a niche in a community you can really feel at home in. You are ready to make this leap, but my guess is, your wife may not be as ready to be cut adrift in a strange new place.

Perhaps you two can work out how you are both feeling about your options in a couple of lists. One lists is your pro and con list on moving, another is hers. The next list is ideas for making it work if you stay and she gets laid off. Another may be lists of possible job opportunities and starting salaries in the new state. Get a better sense of all the factors. Do you know % of joblessness in the new state vs. where you are? Do you know whether there are more jobs in your wife’s field or yours? Who will have an easier time finding new work?

Both of you should start applying to jobs—she should look where you are now and you should look in this new place. See who starts to get positive feedback. Maybe she finds work where you are now, doesn’t have to give up her community and you two don’t need to incorporate the chaos of moving into your lives. Or maybe you get some great results from your new job search and spark her interest. Seems like you both need more real world research to know what the best choice is.

I know you are worried and looking for the best possible outcome for your family. Trust that your wife is as well. Now, investigate so you can make decisions based on real world opportunities rather than unrealized fears. It’s the best way to put that worry energy to good use and limit regret.

Mantra: We both want what is best for the family. We will not react from fear, but from knowns. If we act together, we can make it through whatever changes are ahead because we are a family.

Happy researching,

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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House Remodeling a Home Wrecker

When putting a pretty face on is deconstructionist, you need more foundation work than spackle to hold it together. Building needs strength, not dominance. — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — My partner and I are remodeling our house. It’s a wreck and I’m seeing how it’s showing the cracks in our relationships too. We started out with the same ideas and now when the contractors are around, there seems to be a power struggle. The most recent one cost us $3000 more than budgeted. Help us! He doesn’t know I’m writing you so don’t publish my name.Seeking One Roof

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Dear Seeking One Roof,

I hope we answer you in time, but remodels never finish on schedule (and, in fact, feel endless), so I’m sure your issues are still standing…!

What a great non-question question. To push your building metaphor, you hit the nail on the head by pointing out your power struggle as the issue. Oh, and money is such an underscore. Privately (not in front of contractors or other workers, most of whom already need aligned management) set some boundaries by mutually assigning tasks to each other’s strengths: design, color, budgeting, architectural details, and managing contractor relationships, to name a very few. No need for redundancy on single projects (or rooms). But if you both feel your strengths are too similar to split up tasks/responsibilities, then do as I said and split “ownership” by rooms. Each of you should be accountable to meet the budgets for your assigned task or room. Also, a weekly progress and accountability meeting will be highly productive to keep you on track and “honest” with each other, as well as yourselves.

Just because this is about your home and personal finances, there’s no reason not to treat this like any other business project and handle items accordingly. If anything, it sounds to me like your personal business will benefit from some professionalism.

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” — J.K. Rowling

BadWitch

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Dear Seeking One Roof,

Who’s causing the power struggle over budget? What I mean is, is your contractor playing you two off each other, pushing buttons for more line items on the job? Or are you two not on the same page about what you actually want the house to look like (read represent) after this remodel?

It sounds like you two need to sit down with an art pad and list of house fixes and go through one by one describing your blue-sky, no limits visions. Allow each one to take it to the farthest reaches of imagination. Write these descriptions out side by side, and then compare. Are you two trying for the same end vision? Now, realize, blue sky is not reality. It is just a chance to see where each of you would be headed if there were no limits, restrictions or financial obstacles.

Now, if you want to create an ode to travel that inspires the urge to pack and explore, while your partner is creating the ultimate lounge spot that inspires burrowing and all the creature comforts that mean you almost never need to leave the house, well, you can see how the visions for the house and the relationship are no longer on the same page. Find out if your big visions are compatible.

If they are compatible, figure out how to express your needs and your partner’s needs in the real 3-D, boundary-driven world we live in. For instance if your partner wants more built in shelving to store sports equipment and you want those same built in shelves to store your bottle collection, see if you can either have two sets of shelves or devise a new way to store sports equipment or a new cabinet for your bottles. Maybe the shelves are split in half between your needs and his.

What I’m saying is, don’t let unbridled growth in what may be two separate directions cause you to split the house in half. Check in with each other on big vision goals and dreams. Realign that vision. Then work out compromises so everybody’s needs are met. When and if the power struggle starts, remind your partner that you are on each other’s team. That you are willing to support you partners dreams, but your must be supported as well. Smooch. Remember why you love each other. Then work it out.

If that doesn’t work, it may be time for couples counseling. Power struggles can led to the end of your relationship if you let it. But remember, it takes two to tango. Doesn’t mean you should just roll over and obey, but it does mean if you refuse to participate your partner will be left to work with you or have a tantrum.

Mantra: A power struggle requires to people pulling in opposite directions. I choose to work with my partner to find solutions. We are one the same team.

Look for the middle way,

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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Booster Shot: Team Building Fun

Not all team building activities need be forced, formal or make eyes roll. Having fun in the office together builds healthy bonding and productivity.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — What can I do to boost the morale of my team? I’m a supervisor who’s more hands-on with face time than our department manager who travels a lot and I know I can have her blessing if I present solid ideas. We actually have a pretty strong rapport but I want to keep them happy and engaged. Do you have any non-monetary ideas for a busy professional but not corporate environment.Booster Shot

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Dear Booster Shot,

I take your question seriously, but I think it’s cute. Make sure you do this more for your team’s morale than your own popularity and/or advancement, and whatever you do will be a sure-fire winner. The main suggestion I have for you is to put yourself in your team’s collective shoes and think like it does on most days. You know better than me what your professional environment is like and will/can tolerate, and more importantly…could use more of. So I say: make it fun, make it low-key and don’t over-think the thing — the more natural and spontaneous, the better. We used to improvise water bottle bowling with a random Nerf ball. We threw up a tape of something or other, spanning between a cubicle wall and the actual wall and limboed under it (be careful; those of us who participated were fit and not litigiously minded). Another of my offices consisted of several music lovers, so maybe something around a music trivia game would have been fun. Whatever we did, we did spontaneously, had a blast, and I never had to actually tell people (who only participated if they needed and wanted to) to get back to work, which they did willingly, refreshed, refocused and more productively than ever. After all that some people will need to hear this: yes, we booked multi-million dollars of business in this atmosphere. Occasional informal communal silliness can be a breath of fresh air especially in an office with windows that don’t open!

Group “hug,”

BadWitch

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Dear Booster Shot,

I love where your head is at! In this economy some managers completely forget the importance of boosting team morale for best product output. You have no idea how many people I’ve heard from who complain about bosses and managers threatening them, rather than inspiring best work.  Kudos to you!

OK, that said, answering your question, your attitude and wanting a warm, cooperative work environment has already gone a long way towards creating that environment. People can feel whether a manager is invested and willing to give back or not. Your willingness helps foster willingness in your employees.

Now, to keep that moving without capital investment, ask for feedback. Creative juice meetings designed for feedback on current projects or upcoming projects will help your staff to feel like valued members of the team. There is nothing worse than feeling like another meaningless cog in the wheel. When asked to participate with ideas and input on company projects, staff feel needed and important members of the team with something to offer. That is the best way to keep them invested.

Also, strangely enough food works wonders for making folks feel appreciated. I know, you want a no financial investment idea, but I gotta tell you, Friday morning bagels are a cost effective way to say, “You are appreciated.” It’s not something you need to do regularly, just a once in a while, “thanks for working so hard” gesture. And, further surprise, you’ll get much office gratitude for the food and the appreciation.

You know Booster Shot, I just have to say, you are doing a great job. Keep up the good work! (Felt good, right? Well, I meant it. Now pass that sentiment on to staff in the moment when they deserve it. They’ll feel it too.)

Mantra: My attitude affects work from the top down. If I am invested, appreciative and supportive of my staff, I inspire my staff to be invested, appreciative and supportive of  the team and our work environment.

Great job,

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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Money, Irresponsibility & Angry Siblings

When adult siblings view responsibility and money differently, someone can end up eating an angry, bitter sandwich.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I know I’m a shit but I can’t take it anymore. My sister is a total loser and left everything for me to do with our aging, frail mother. I love her and wouldn’t not take care of her! All her life our parents helped that family charity case out, and now she’s nowhere to be found, but mom always asks me if she’s ok and needs money!!! I have to do every f**g thing by myself and I already know she’s going to get at least half of all of it when mom dies. Should I seek legal recourse? Mom would never go for it I can already tell you.   Under the Bus

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Dear Under the Bus,

Muffin, I hear ya. Make your own daily life easier (if only by the law), by as early on as the situation makes appropriate, taking control and getting Power of Attorney. It’s tough enough you have to do all the work, it’s untenable to feel or be obligated to get approvals and sign-offs from absent (or even unqualified) siblings. I’m afraid the broad strokes of your scenario are so common as to be stereotypical: the care of aging parents often falls on one sibling while the other(s) very often do absolutely nothing to help and disappear (if they ever scuttled into the light) back into the woodwork. I know. I know. This is life at its unfairest of all, Snow White. Addressing possible extenuating circumstances why a sibling may choose not to help an aging parent(s) can range from super clear and absolutely legit to totally false and lazy — so I will not insult you by pointing out any of those reasons. If I had The Answer to this problem (that will only increase in our aging population), I would have a truly golden inheritance (but I thank the Universe that not all siblings are absent burdens!). Instead, I will just offer you the support that sometimes responsible and fair-playing adults left out in the cold need: despite appearances, you are not alone. If you have one, lean on your belief system that says the just will be vindicated — whether with a heavenly reservation or frequent karmic reward points. I say, don’t focus on people’s shortcomings and their inability/unwillingness, rather work on your own weaknesses, expand your own abilities, willingness in life, and reward own damn self by simply recognizing your love for a parent(s) who likely gave you all they had to give, and possibly sacrificed silently for your betterment over their own immediate gratification, and — this is the trick and the trickiest of all, I find — be your own best parent in the darkest times. [And you know what, BadWitch thinks that aging parents are very probably getting the best choices made for them by the one child who is actually doing all the hands on work, than by a committee confederacy of reluctant dunces, anyway…]

Get out of under & drive your bus,

BadWitch

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Dear Under the Bus,

I wish your situation was an anomaly, but I’ve heard it too many times before. My heart and my prayers go out to you and your aging mother.  Personally, I recognize how lucky I am to have siblings that care as much and work as hard (if not harder) in some cases than I do in caring for my elderly parents. But every time I call a doctor or caregiver about my parents, I hear the shock that a child is following up to help her parents. What?! Apparently responsibility is a virtue some just do not know how to step up to.

My suggestions? Write up a letter of expectations for your sibling. Outline not only the hours but expenses you have incurred in order to take care of your mother. (Yes, I would include gas and mileage, as well as phone costs.) Outline what you would like her help with. Be clear though, she’s not stepping up without some push back. Don’t give her critical jobs (paying caregivers, rent, etc.) But have her follow up with docs and caregivers and report back to you. Sadly, you will probably have to check up on her in some micromanaging way. Yes, even following up with the doctors after she does so you know she is giving you thorough, accurate reports.

This will frustrate you initially and piss you off to no end. But the truth is, you need to treat your sister like a tenured employee with no sense of responsibility. You want to fire her. You want to yell and kick her to the curb, but you can’t. She’s family, not an employee. But in the end if you can show her how to step up and help you, you may have the assistance you want in the end.

However, just in case she continues to be self-obsessed, irresponsible and unavailable, even after you have outlined what’s what, keep a thorough record of your expense and hours of work for your mother, as well as all the times you asked for assistance and her response. At some point very soon, you will have a document, which clearly shows her lack of care in black and white. Then consult an attorney to see if you have any recourse. If yes, time to talk turkey with your sister so she knows to step up or lose out.

The truth is you will never change how your mother babies your sister. A mother can go to the grave making excuses for the ones she loves rather than facing a hurtful truth. Is it really your job to make your mom fee any worse than she already does because her kid’s a flake?

You may have to suck it up. It sucks, but your mom needs care and you can only do so much to make someone else step up to assist you. In truth, my suggestions may still lead to more work, no help and no recourse, but as with all things in life, you gotta try the best you can to make things work out. Not trying will leave you empty, angry and bitter. And if in the end your sister does not step up and help, you just have to accept it because that is what is. The inheritance your mother intends to leave your sister is not because of the work she has or has not done. It is because your mom (for better or for worse) loves her child and wants to leave her part of what she’s accomplished in this life as a reminder of that love.

Your job is not to make your mom see your sister is a flake. Your job is not to try and ruin whatever imaginary, co-dependant relationship they have before your mom leaves this earth. Your job is to do your best to live the best life you can for you, which, yes, includes taking responsibility and caring for your mom. Bottom line: life is not always fair, but karma is. Know that in some way at some point in time the Universe will say “thank you,” for all you’ve done. But whatever you do, do it with an open heart of love and giving. Gifts steeped in resentment can leave a nasty after taste—for you and your mother. Know that you are doing what you do for the right reasons and everybody who needs to know that, really does. Including your mom, whether she’s able to express that to you or not. But you know. Find a way to make peace that you know what you do and you are proud of what you do. I am proud of you.

Mantra: I give because I want to and the giving feeds me as much as those I give of my time, energy and dedication. I cannot compare what I give to someone else, I can only express my best work every day and express my gratitude to myself for doing so. I am at peace leaving the ultimate judgment and tally to karma, knowing all is divinely perfect— even if I cannot see how or why right now.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Image: Jose Luis Merino

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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Trapped! Horrible Job, No Hope

Life can be hard enough without feeling like you’re cornered with no options to a job you can’t stand. How to stop waiting for rescue and take charge.      — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I’m underemployed. I hate my work but feel trapped. Bills and my laid off husband make me feel I have no alternatives again. When’s it my turn? Frustrated  End of Liner

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Dear Frustrated End of Liner,

No doubt about it, these are weird at best, trying times at worst. Personally right now, I don’t know anyone who has or is not undergoing some sort of “trial” at whatever level his/her life (might) need it. I’m saying, I think these are learning times. Other times are doing times. Right now, our broken status quo is in need of a severe and meaningful make-over. Whether we are mostly happy (by nature) or not, the situations, people, circumstances that face each of us today seem, to me, to be laying the foundation of opportunity for some change(s) that are fundamentally different, and hugely paradigm shifting.

Now as for your question, Frustrated, go talk to your husband and make sure he knows in no uncertain terms that you feel trapped with no alternative today because your family (like all of us) has bills. Stuffing is for turkeys, and misdirected anger is passive-aggressive. Make sure you don’t use blaming (of him, timing, circumstances) language, and own your own (frustrated, and the dashed hope ones, too) feelings in this conversation . When you’ve finished expressing your feelings (not to be confused with  actual facts) clearly and non-judgmentally, give him his turn with no interruption. If your marriage is a partnership, I’m sure he is looking for new work and unhappy about this personal or familial situ, too — something in common. You’re in this together. You chose partnership. Let him be your partner in your frustration. Be his champion in his job search. Make individaual and team goals with deadlines for related tasks together. Show your kids what you want them to know “family” means in tough times and in the best times when it’s easy breezy and a no-brainer.

Move the chains,

BadWitch

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Dear Frustrated End of the Liner,

Don’t give up hope! Today’s trials are preparing you for the next turn in the road. Face them with a determination to create a better life and the diligence to work hard for what you want. In the end, you may very well find yourself with opportunities for that better life.

I could write a whole lot more on the subject. After all, I spent three years under-employed, as a single mother, worrying how to make it all happen (rent, clothes, school supplies, and even gas in the car). But I kept trying. I kept looking for opportunities—taking any possible freelance gig that came my way and sending out resumes non-stop. Eventually, my world turned. All my hard work prepared me for a new full time job, a few freelance gigs on the side and, of course, my own business (StillSitting). Now, my task is to decide on priorities and turn away the gigs that do not move me further down my path.

Maybe I showed the Universe through my diligence and willingness that I was ready for the next stage of my life. After all, my diligence led me to the off-hand Facebook post which eventually led to the full time job I have now with the Owning Pink Center, doing what I love with like minded people.

Am I saying everything will work out, guaranteed? No. Am I saying stop worrying? No. I’m saying life will throw you curve balls on a regular basis and it is how you face those hard times that define you. Do your best and the opportunities will come because other people will see you trying. And people always want to help someone trying to help themselves.

Take a little break, plan your path and then jump back in. Your turn is coming.

MANTRA: As I work hard to create the future I want, I show the Universe that I am willing and ready. It is only a matter of time before I succeed.

Good luck and good work,

GoodWitch

==

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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Social Networking Today Without Yesterday’s Baggage

Whether you’re hoping to bump into old acquaintances on a pleasure or business trip on the good new Social Network, pack lightly. Avoiding dragging baggage from old Planet Paartay! forward when reaching out to now-successful classmates.  — BadWitch

P.S. We’ll be gone all August. Please RSS or EM subscribe now (options, look >>) so you don’t miss our homecoming!

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I’ve changed drastically since college. I really feel together and hitting my stride now as an adult. Recently I saw an ex-classmate’s book published (she already had one on the New York Times best sellers list) and tried to reach out to her at LinkedIn and then later at Facebook. She hasn’t responded to me, and I know it’s crazy but am actually worried she still thinks of me as the old college party girl I used to be when nothing could be farther from the truth. I’m not broken up and taking it personally, I just want to reach out to a successful colleague. Any suggestions?  — Upgraded

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Dear Upgraded,

Facebook and LinkedIn are very different animals that require different tones for success as tools. It’s Monday, so I’m addressing the professional network, LinkedIn. Above the ones you’ve already taken, the next logical steps are obvious to me, try further reaching out to her via her publisher or PR agent’s contacts. If you do so, state your reach-out business clearly and succinctly (e.g., “In updating my profiles, I saw your name (congratulations on your recent publishing success) and realized how mutually beneficial reconnecting could be for us…”), just as efficiently, sum up why/what makes you of interest to her today. Why should she care about you? Stand behind it, send it, then stop. No need to look like you’re stalking her. Girl, have you realized maybe she’s just busy?

Because of this, sounds to me like you’d benefit from truly examining why you are personally so keen to reconnect with her. Is it simple success-by-association, maybe you want to kiss her butt or even have this successful woman see and recognize your triumphant evolution to kiss yours. Be truthful with yourself.

Giving closure to unfinished business only helps us move forward more robustly. When we reach back to connect with people, it’s helpful (more for some of us than others) to acknowledge and appreciate developmentally where we left off with them (and get real — this is the only point of reference they have to identify us with — unless we were famously or infamously more recently publicized in some way they would be privy to) and the Maybe reasons this particular person’s opinion of our successes are important to us today. What did she symbolize for you — have you fulfilled or given that quality to yourself yet? Can you give closure (through full acceptance) to your old party ways and that you needed them to become more fully who you are today?

Link yourself in first, classmate,

BadWitch

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Dear Upgraded,

Well, your ex-classmate is clearly an idiot. Social media is an excellent way to build fan base and buzz about your books. I would think the smart thing to do would be to accept all friend requests. Also, if this person cannot think that perhaps you have changed since college, as most of us do, she is either very good at carrying a grudge or stuck in the past.

For you, I would not stay stuck in the idea of whether or not she approves of you. I understand wanting to reach out to a successful friend, but if that friend does not offer a hand in return—is it truly a friend? Or a ghost of associations past.

Leave your friend request out there. She may yet respond and friend you. In the mean time, go on. Continue toward your own success. Friend requests can linger for a year before someone responds.

I would suggest some energetic work to try and bring your picture and her’s up to present time. Imagine a sphere about 20 inches away from you (think outside your personal space). This sphere represents your relationship with this woman. See the two of you as adults in the space talking across a table. Drop a grounding chord from this sphere to the center of the earth. This will bring the energetic space between how the two of you see each other. Fill the space with a pink light with gold flecks. This is the energy of compassion. It will help you both with understanding.

For you, let go of any unforgiveness or shame you are holding against yourself. Being a party girl in college is to be expected. You learned and walked your path of life. The experiences you have experienced have made you the person you are. I get that whatever self-disrespect is minor in your case, but the fact that this non-friending gets under your skin, says some shame remains. You are perfect and you always were. Any appearances of your being anything other than the person you were suppose to be to learn the lessons you were meant to learn at each and every stage of your life, is a lie. You have always been and will always be perfectly you.

Chose new lessons to learn. Clear old the old shame. Bring yourself and your relationships into present time and watch your life and relationships settle, balance and bloom.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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