Tag Archives: happy

What a Strange and Bumpy Road Trip It Can Be

curvyroadWhen planning a trip, the best way is to Map it and study the route, get in the car and drive directionally. Sometimes we find obstacles on the road that delay our arrival, but we either wait it out, or find an alternate route to get to our destination. It is a rare trip that goes uncompleted, and usually, as we find out in hindsight, because we weren’t really supposed to go there. Map it, commit to your route and direction, pack provisions, gas up, and…get in the car and…steady as you go. See you there.      BadWitch


Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW – I am a single parent raising three children. I got laid off 6 months ago and have still not found a job. Unemployment benefits definitely help, but my savings are basically gone to keep gas in the car and food on the table. How am I supposed to keep going when nothing is working for me? How do I hold on when there is nobody else to hold onto?    — On the Edge, Los Angeles, CA

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Dear Edgy,

If you’re down flat on the ground and want to hoist yourself up, the best way is to be lighter for that task is by thinking “up.” I’m not talking positive, up with people-thinking like ‘Don’t worry, be happy,’ but rather right thinking. Directionally. Up. Focus on the right things.

You have been gifted with three kids, a car and a table to eat at. Focus on the tasks each day, the direction you are determined to move yourself and family towards. Focus. It’s about staying present; it’s about not working like your life depends on it.

I know this can easily sound trite or “easy for (me) to say,” but the last thing I’m about is platitudes, it’s about attitude and right focus (read more ‘Optimism’ in archives, March, by BadWitch). As love is not an emotion but action(s), behavior(s), so is happiness…and hope.

And if that rubs you the wrong way, you’ll really not like this one: our lives are a reflection of what’s going on in our hearts – the result of what’s going on in our minds. Please put the right, present in the moment, thing-you-can-control thing in your mind: the highest good of your family’s and your own well-being and life time happiness.

With respect and admiration,

BW

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Alas, the fair GoodWitch be ill today.

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Hear the coaches – Podcasts coming. Talk to the coaches! –  Personal and group coaching available.

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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Kids to Parents: Why Ask Why??

mom.daughter.chatS-E-X. Made you look. Now let’s get you talking. To your kids, that is. Kids expect their parents to know everything…until they come of a certain age and then it’s, “OMG, moommm!, daaaddd! Don’t you know anything?” The blessings of parenthood are numerous, but so too its own questions. Last week, the world heard an American 13-year old girl on Oprah say, “Oral sex is the new good night kiss!” Translation: Parents, time to get past When they’re Ready, Set, and get onto “Go!” — BadWitch

READERS ARE SPELLBOUND & PERPLEXED…

Dear GW/BW – I have a ton a questions to ask for example: If we as parents say the sky is blue, how come our children respond, “No it’s green!”? At what age is it a good time to talk to your kids about sex? — Parental Oracle Long Island, NY

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Dear Parental Oracle,

Oh, those darn kids! Well, as a single mom of two daughters, I get this “I know more than you,” syndrome—regularly. Why, just this morning my 9 year old attempted to correct my count of the number of pairs of shoes littering the living room. I said 4. She countered, “It’s only 3.” I placed the last pair (#4) at her feet and asked why she thought it was a good idea to push my buttons instead of doing what I asked.

It’s testing boundaries and it’s also the smarmy nature of kids to believe parents are out of touch, embarrassing, know-nothings. It’s OK. It means they are developing appropriately, as frustrating as it is. Surely you remember thinking your own parents were out of touch, embarrassing know-nothings. Keep a sense of humor. You’ll need it.

I usually make jokes about the smarminess. Though this morning all I could say was, “I have no sense of humor right now. Don’t push your luck.” Boundary pushing ceased moments later. I have found, however, that most times, my kids just want to know they are in some control of their lives—that they can be the one with the right answer. The more we joke about each of our human foibles, “accidents happen” kind of laugh at ourselves, the less they seem to need to play the smarmy role.

In the case of “The Talk,” early information (age appropriately, of course) is better. My parents shielded me from ANY real knowledge about sex. I heard that I could get breast cancer from a boy kissing my boobies. No lie. So, I learned on my own (unwise) and was an easy target for predators. Teach your kids now so other people can’t convince them they have their best interest at heart and then take advantage of them in ways that will affect them for YEARS.

My six year old knows that a Mom & Dad in love can make babies when the Dad adds his seed to Mom’s eggs in her belly. None of this has anything to do with mechanics, but even at 6 my child knows there is no stork. Thank you. I tell them when my “Moon” read monthly, starts (one bathroom, 3 people). This includes explanations of the eggs in the belly and that means I could still have a baby if I wanted to. My 9 years old is very mature for her age (acts and looks about 11). So she knows the mechanics. She’s seen the equipment in normal everyday life (no drama) since she was a baby (Dad’s & mine). Now she knows how they work together.

It’s all about age appropriate conversation. Sometimes I make comments referring to a movie about why a character should date this boy over another. The bottom line for both questions is, I want them to know they do know. I want them to feel in control and like they can speak up for themselves—who they are, what they think and how they feel. Sometimes they’re smarmy, but for girls who know themselves and know how to stick up for themselves…it’s worth it!

Keeping it real,

GoodWitch

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Dear Shaper of the Future,

I’m jumping past the green sky (they’re learning and testing limits of all kinds, right? Yours, theirs, your patience as well as how you respond?) age/stage of life question right to the…

…The sex talk part. The biggest mistake parents can make is to turn this into a huge, marquee headlining Sex Talk. The Talk. That’s too much weight for one conversation. Of any kind! Instead, I’m a huge proponent of talking early, often and in (to age appropriateness) depth about sex and all things bodily with kids. Educating kids about the facts of sex is not the same as giving them permission to have sex. It is educating them, arming them to make informed and empowered decisions when the time(s) come (and you’re not around). That is walking your talk to illustrate how your kids can actually “talk to you about anything”…which in so many cases, parents, I’m with your kids who say, Yeah right!

How we talk about sex with our kids is how we feel and talk about sex ourselves. Teen pregnancy and STD rates tell a story about how we appear to feel as a nation. Growing up my, my traditional but progressively no body-shame parents introduced my siblings and I (at ages 3-6) seamlessly and naturally to the differences between men’s and women’s bodies by having small, everyday conversations while walking into the bathroom, relieving themselves while continuing to chat, washing their hands and continuing back out into the fam room. We could see the difference, no need for them to point anything out. Natural. As we got older, we started getting more words attached to appropriate conversations. And we grew up hearing our parents use the proper words for body parts and functions (all of them, not just sexual ones). The schoolyard taught us all the silly, rude and slang idioms. But by then we had proper, grown up-introduced factual context against which we could expand our knowledge, our understanding.

Being from a family of early developers, I first heard about menstruation at age 9, and basic sexual mechanics (Where Do Babies Come From?) chat by 10. Then I could stop thinking about it. The latter wasn’t so scary when I was a year older and friends started giggling about sex. The Love and/vs. Sex talk came around 11 or 12 in our house. …But, gentle reader, we are sooo old. Today’s 9-year old girls are dieting to keep themselves thin and accepted by media images and peer pressure’s standards — and by boys.

So talk to your kids early and often about the naturalness of the body and sex. Visual aids are totally encouraged! Empower and educate with your kids with facts. That is how your girls will be empowered, and your boys will be more respectful – and in both cases, of themselves and others.

Early & often power!

BW

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Hear the coaches – Podcasts coming. Talk to the coaches! –  Personal and group coaching available.

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.

Workplace Survivor. Alliances. Strategies. Deceit. Success. …Triumph?

Survivor.logoEveryone knows these are financially tough times. And the fog of such days, can sometimes obscure how emotionally hard things have been for some of us off and on in the past. Allow me to mix and match my metaphors here: If charity starts at home, sometimes it may be a good thing to bring the home into the office.

— BadWitch


Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Help me, GW/BW – So my job is stable and I just got a bonus. I was even able to give all my employees decent raises. But I can’t say that for most of my friends. I remember a time not too long ago when I was the one laid off and many of the ones in question were not particularly helpful or supportive. On the one hand, I feel bad for them and want to cook for them or buy them dinner and a drink. On the other hand, I remember when they were not there for me. A little voice inside is saying Hah! Now the shoe is on the other foot. But the nurturing side in me does want to help. How to reconcile? I think “forgive and forget” is BS… – Survivor’s Guilt, Manhattan Beach, CA

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Dear Survivor,

I get the human urge to want to gloat especially when others have been less than supportive of us in the past, but we’re talking Survivor not Temptation Island here. In this climate of uncertainty and volatility, not so sure it’s your best strategy. So don’t get voted off like a bad player if you want to stick around to play another day, overcome your basest urge(s) and be your biggest person possible. I strongly suspect you have that quality in you more than needing (wanting is a different story) to thumb your nose or lord over others’ misfortune — and that others have seen those higher qualities in you whether you felt the appreciation or not, could very well be likely one of the reasons you’re in your current blessed position. The luxury to think of such dilemmas is your just reward enough, I say. Now, sweet P/T Mama Teresa, don’t stress it and keep your whisking, cocktail swizzling kind-hearted nose to the grindstone — and spread the love and the luck.

Anyone’s karma can be a bitch,

BW

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Dear Employment Survivor,

You have a loving and nurturing heart. It is clear from your question that you are one who naturally thinks of how you can take care of the people in your life—possibly better than yourself.

Guidance we heard early in life (especially from well-meaning parents and teachers) like, “don’t brag,” “don’t get too big for your britches,” and “nobody likes a show-off” has left many otherwise functioning adults feeling guilty for taking care of themselves. We become afraid of embracing our success and congratulating ourselves for a job well done because we see others struggling. We tamper down our joy and think of ways to dole out our rewards so others will not resent us for our success. Now that’s b.s.

If there are people in your life you’ve seen struggling who have been supportive in whatever way they could be to you in the past and you want to brighten their day with lunch or dinner on you, well then, you are acting in the highest good of all. You feel good. They feel good. If, however, you feel called to act out of guilt—pull your hand back. You will be giving away emotional resources you cannot afford to expend.

Giving from the heart pays back exponentially with good feelings, good will and good karma. Giving from guilt depletes you in the same way, leaving you with residuals of shame, worry and self-doubt. This is one sure case where you should pay yourself first.

Recognize, however, this is not the same as holding a grudge. There is a difference between not offering or giving a compassionate and polite, “No.” and dangling a carrot you intend to pull away at the first opportunity out of some sense of revenge. If you are doing the former, I say, BRAVO! For respecting your own emotional boundaries. If, however, you are doing the latter, I can only leave you with the words of James Ray, Philosopher, “Holding unforgiveness against someone else and expecting them to feel pain is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Let it go.

GoodWitch

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Hear the coaches – Podcasts coming. Talk to the coaches! –  Personal and group coaching available.

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.

What a Girl Wants…Batteries Not Included

batteries

What Kind of Girl Are You? First off, do NOT lament, dude-arinos. This has not turned into a blog for women, by women. This is what it’s like to have to line up just to use the restroom. Live it. Learn it. We’ll be right back with you shortly. [But we do recommend you read this in case you have ever known at least one woman in your lifetime.]

What a girl wants, what a girl needs…may not be the same thing. Apparently many, many of us (and now I’m talking straight to you, sistah girls) are still “transitioning” from Donna Reed to That Girl! to Hilary Clinton (set your politics aside and just take the metaphor, will ya?). It’s a lot like that ridiculous question basically only a male store sales person would even come up with to  ask us when we can’t decide on Purchase A or Purchase B, or to buy it at all?, “Do you really need it?” Usually, that is my cue to say, “Need? I don’t need anything. I want it…” Beyond shoes and bags, let’s see if we can differentiate between those two biggies here.

– BadWitch


Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear Witchie Poos – As a Thinking Woman, I’m always thinking. Here are a few recent gems that popped up. Can you help a sister out? 1)How do I survive in a society that sees people as props and not as humans with a heart? 2) How do I not get jaded in this type of society? 3) How do I get guys to like me for me and not for what sexual favors I can do for them? – Girl and the Cruel City, Beverly Hills, CA


Dear Girl,

Historically, society has repeatedly sidelined some group, for one ridiculous reason or another. OK, usually for status, money or power. But despite these limitations, these groups continue to move forward and make strides. Dig deep into the essence and truth of who you are and bring that to the table. Hell, it got Obama all the way to the White House. Bring back your optimism and faith. Sure, watching shows like Millionaire Matchmaker can make you believe all guys are shallow age-ists looking for big boobs and flat-ironed hair. But we all know men who don’t fit into that category. Remind yourself of the people you have known personally who have more depth than a puddle. Remind yourself that there are people out there looking for substance. Buoy your faith so you can picture a better possibility. The second thing is to review your own attitudes on your attractiveness. Have you been judging yourself by Hugh Hefner’s view of pretty? (Because, frankly, that’s plastic, not pretty.) Listen, we’ve all known that girl or guy who is not very attractive, but has everyone looking at them like their supermodels. How? They believe it. They allow their full personalities to shine—from the inside out. They are radiant with confidence and self-approval…and believe me, there is nothing more attractive than that. Let go of any limiting beliefs about what kinds of relationships are possible for you. If I may quote Benny Ninja from “America’s Next Top Model,” “If you don’t have the confidence, no one is going to buy what you’re selling.” In short, if you believe you’re hot and you act like you are hot, people will think you are hot. But more importantly, you will take the risks and put yourself out in new ways and probably new venues and then, who knows, maybe your White House.

GoodWitch

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Dear Cruellafied,

Life and relationships are all about stages. And I don’t mean the kind you perform on…I have a feeling you’re more comfortable on those. Having said that, ya notice how your shows go better when you start out with a plan? You may not have every word scripted out, but you know the general direction you want to head…and take your audience, your self. Love and sex and life are much like that show. And what may have worked for a girl in her 20s will not likely work for her in her 40s. I’m just sayin’: stages. Carmelized sweet cheeks, you are going to have to figure out what you want out of your life NOW (wherever and whenever you are) and start acting accordingly. If you treat yourself as a prop at the wrong stage of life, you’ll find yourself way, way off Broadway soon, and not knowing why the fast curtains from Those Who Criticize! But if you take a bigger, bird’s-eye view of your life, and where you want to be, who you want to be in it (so when you visualize them, attract them, already!), and how you will confidently and full of sparkling stars and life, account for your lifetime’s actions to your 80-year old lady self, then and only then, darlin’, will you know it’s YOU who you brought to the party. YOU are your only Plus One who counts in the end (and the beginning and middle…). Oh, and it’s perfectly legit (not to mention straight up SMART) to fake it till you make it. Also known as Practice Makes Perfect.

Love yourself first, always, but not only,

B.W.

PS Cruelified Girl, if you’re all smarting rather than actually smart and really, really don’t know who you are today, just pop this simple pill of a Cosmo Quiz – What Kind of Female Are You.

Hear the coaches – Podcasts coming. Talk to the coaches! –  Personal and group coaching available.

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.

Shh!, Listen to Your Inner iPod

ipodSometimes when things get crazy, unstable, or we don’t know where the floor is — like these unprecedented financial times — we tend to forget everything we ever knew and found comfort in, and start floundering. We blame to make things make some sense. We want to reinvent the wheel. The trick is not to sink into the fog of this hopelessness but to STOP. When things get bumpy or otherwise overwhelming, don’t take your hands off the wheel, drift and ride onto the shoulder and end up KINK! KAPOW! CRASH!, bending your frame. Stop then listen. What is your Inner Voice, your compass that’s served you so well over the years (and if yours hasn’t, honey, listen then just do the opposite!) telling you you NEED right now? Today? Stop, listen, now have the courage to FOLLOW your own inner wisdom of quiet.

So listen already,

BadWitch


Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear BadWitch – My parents were hippies during the early sixties. Can I get financial compensation for that? – Hippie Dipped, Sydney, AUS


Oh, Hippie Dipped!

I can understand your lament. However, by your age and now into the 21st century, you have to learn to earn your own compensation by making your own way in life and stop blaming the ‘rents. That means releasing some of what the parental units taught you that doesn’t resonate for you…but that you very likely perpetuate through old, dusty internal dialogue…this is you just holding yourself back. I’ll poach something your Hippie parents would probably say, “Go with the flow, man!” This time, make it YOUR flow. If you’ve got no one to talk to, but especially if you do!, journaling helps you discover (or recover) your what works or doesn’t work for you, and…sometimes this little mousy voice. Yours. Stop the blaming a little more every day, and trusting yourself will come just the same way.

Big group hug,

BW

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Dear BadWitch – I am at a loss as to what is a good solution to retirement savings at this point. I feel that I do not trust many institutions or the advice given by “professionals” as to what is a safe bet for the future. I feel somewhat in limbo. Part of me wants to invest and help the economy and the other part says just stick with the mattress. – Mattresszonia, Ogden, UT


Dear Mattresszonia,

Darling! You’re not alone. Know that I am a I Believe in America! girl, who points out: If Warren Buffet’s company stocks took a 62% hit during those crazy last weeks, then what is this world coming to, right? Looks to me like Mr. Buffet is recommending we stay the course. I recommend this sort of “staying” in general, in life. If you have ever invested in the stock market, then you know it is mostly about your own comfort level. So go get (if you haven’t already) your little wringing fingers on one of those Investment Risk Tolerance questionnaires Investment Risk Tolerance questionnaires (like Rutgers’ at http://njaes.rutgers.edu/money/riskquiz/) and take the darn thing. See if you are a Conservative, soap sliver-saving Sally, or a balance-loving Centrist who treads the yellow dotted line in the middle of the road, or a Vegas-bound crapshooter willing to throw all caution to the wind for a guaranteed thrill return. Then see if that’s how you have been decision making and behaving all these years leading up to this national ID crisis (every once in a while, it’s good for ya, so keep asking yourself till you bore yourself with that Duh! moment) Back to your financial question, for those literalists who need it pointed out that I haven’t actually strayed from it…

I’m not a financial expert* nor play one on my blog, so I won’t ask you to pay off your debts first given our current climate, consider your age to retirement, or debt-to-credit ratio-type of drill downs, instead this life coach is asking you to consider the tally between your head and heart. Which has been winning that race over the last decade? Overall, has that race been mostly a “win” or “loss” for your gut over that time period? You may find that the sheet you most need to balance is not on top of that bury-it-under-the mattress option, but the one where you are investing in yourself (on all the levels that is possible), which will have you supporting the economy…and ultimately funding your fabulous, putter-wielding, rockin’ old retirement self.

Reconcilingly yours,

BW


* This blog makes no claim or representation of financial expertise. This blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and is presented on an As Is basis.

Hear the coaches – Podcasts coming. Talk to the coaches! –  Personal and group coaching available.

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.

BadWitch: Finding Optimism

roadjourney

Be optimistic during times of strife and stress? What are you thinking?! And even if you are a Half-Full kind of person, doesn’t the Sybil in you just want to ask: yeah, but full of what? If this is you, click yes and keep reading me. For the rest of you, keep reading me.

Some people are tempted to be smarmy about “optimism,” but the quest for this quality during challenging times doesn’t have to be a ridiculous, trifling or an, um…optimistic ideal. I solidly believe in this esoteric idea: we already know everything we need to know to be happier, centered and highly functioning in life. All we have to do is to remember what we dreamed to live our largest life possible. See?, now that is the ridiculously challenging quest! But I believe in you.

Parse the smoke and mirrors. During times like these when financial pundits, foreign policy experts, and Joe the Plumbers alike espouse “never seen anything like this before”-isms freely and regularly on CNN, FOX News and other squawk boxes 24/7, the trick to surviving the mess with less stress isn’t “knowing what to do,” but rather “how to (think).” The problems are still going to be there whether you know what to do about them or not. I’m not saying shirk your responsibilities; just stop worrying about worrying, and start thinking right.

The trick to remembering your “how to (thrive)” is focus. Right focus. Right focus, even through all the distractions, external and the noise you bring. Devil’s playground, and all… Best to practice shutting your own mind trap first. The rest of the din grows surprisingly quieter soon after. Discipline your child, discipline your mind.

Optimism is just another goal. A choice. What you think and the choices you make are the difference. Be the Optimism you want to see, grasshoppa. Redirect all that thinking at your Big Picture, not the petty, annoying or worrisome details you usually allow 95% of your brain cache. Garbage in, garbage out, yes? Then once you’re focused on your Big Picture, you have a place to go, a.k.a. a destination. Now, I know everyone loves to get all Joseph Campbell-y about “the journey” and I’m a JC believer like that, too!, it’s true, life is a journey not the destination. But that’s not always how our silly big ole Humunkie minds work, darlin’s. Switch it up. Right focus on the Big Picture of the life quality you came here to create for yourself, then go all Nike action plan and just do it. And then get up and try again the next and next day…

So I’ll ask you again: What are you thinking? It’s as simple and hard as that. Attaining a lasting inner peace, especially when tested during loud, thin, false distraction-laden and hard times like these, takes practice. The practice of conscious intentions (Big Picture) and right focus (the daily walk of your talk). Practice is what we all do between birth and death. With any luck, we’ve all got a lot of practice to do, so better get offline and…just start wherever you are.

Hear the coaches – Podcasts coming. Talk to the coaches! – Personal and group coaching available.

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.