“Hi there! Nice to see you!” I exclaimed cheerfully, as I walked toward a fellow businesswoman on my way back to my wellness center. It was a sunny winter day in Minnesota and we were both in our warm jackets and hats, the fog from our breath drifting lazily upward.
“Dawn, I would like to talk with you.” Her normally bright
voice sounded a bit serious, and I paused to give her the proper space to voice
whatever was on her mind.
I nodded affirmatively, as I sipped coffee from the warm cup I’d just picked up
from the café down the street. I wonder what’s wrong.
“Well, I was at the award ceremony a few weeks ago,” she started.
Immediately, I felt my whole body warm at the memory and a large smile
overtook my face. The business I’d grown from scratch had been given the “Service
Business of the Year” award by the Chamber of Commerce.
“I thought you behaved unprofessionally, hugging everyone at that
event.” Her voice was matter-of-fact and empty of any emotion.
What? I felt my heart
drop as confusion overwhelmed me and my face flushed with heat.
“The way you hugged people was completely inappropriate,” she scolded.
My mind quickly retrieved the vivid memory of that evening in the decorated casino ballroom,
recalling how elated I was—how surprised and honored
that enough people felt connected to and nurtured by my staff and myself that
they voted for us. I had bounced around the full tables of professionals on my
way to the stage to accept the award and thank everyone, thinking Grammy
winners couldn’t have been more excited.
After my gushing yet short speech, I’d floated off the stage in a cloud
of pride and love, making eye contact with those I knew and hugging at least
fifteen of my friends on the way back to my seat, consciously restraining
myself to not hug everyone I knew. When I’d settled back in at my table,
I’d given hugs to my two staff members seated next to me.
She interrupted my thoughts again, “I’m just trying to help you understand that is no way to act in a business setting.”
What is she talking about? Is it really offensive to hug people I know in a moment like that? Is she right? Did I offend people? Should I not be hugging people in these settings—ever? I felt my body start retreating into numbness as the impact of her words set in.
Today is a lovely upbeat day. I’ve noticed a pattern of having one upbeat day followed by one that’s completely opposite. It is a great opportunity to tune into myself and find where my sensitivities lie and what I can do to pull myself out of the dark hole of self-sabotage that enveloped me (I addressed this in my last blog HERE) and would have become much worse without my close friends stepping up and checking in. I’ve been spending time catching up with communities overseas, as well as hearing the updates and amazing stories of from their perspective. I’ve been hiking and exploring in the rain, drinking thyme and ginger tea, and eating fresh garlic. I know-a bit odd, but I love all those things and the fact they have antiviral properties gives me a good excuse to indulge so frequently-even if they have no proven effects for this outbreak.
But what has me curious and thinking is about people engaging with touch and communication right now. I read a great New York Times article called What Do We Lose When We Stop Touching Each Other? How are people touching different within their own families and communities they are at home with? Who is really suffering from the lack of touch, and who is being overwhelmed by the touch they are exposed to right now? Who has increased their fears of being touched (or touching) so dramatically that it is having a negative impact on their health and well-being?
I was out for a run the other day, and ran around a couple walking on the path. There was a second couple coming toward us, and I moved “into their lane” to get around the walkers. Even though I was a good distance away, the man coming toward me visibly cringed and stopped in his tracks. It caught me off guard. I felt both awful that I created that reaction in him and sad for him that his level of fear was so high that even more than 6 feet away he felt he had to shrink away.
People have been sharing the memes of dogs versus cats handling this stay-at-home situation. How dogs are crazy excited yet cats are abhorred by the fact their owners are invading their territory and are preventing the cats from napping and going about their daily routine. Luckily, my cat loves having me home, and keeps perching on my shoulders and lap to help me work.
I have been through many situations in my past where I have gone from lots of touch to only a little. Some time periods were self-induced, some were situational, and I feel quite fluent moving back and forth between high and low touch. I’ve wanted more touch lately, and have been lucky to get that from my roommates and cat, but have also developed skills to function when the ability to interact with others is less. I talk quite a bit about it in my upcoming book, but am curious to hear from all of you what your personal experiences are at this time.
Please – comment below or post in the Touch Remedies facebook page. How have your touch habits and awarenesses changed during this pandemic? Are you getting the type and amount of touch you want and need? If not, how can I support you thorough this time? I have many tools that help people set boundaries, ask others for what they want, or, if fully isolated, find ways to get that hit of oxytocin and serotonin -two important hormones released with healthy touch- all on their own. I think it is such an important conversation to have. How do we navigate the tricky terrain of touch during this time? How do we tune into ourselves, into others, and into our communities in a way that supports everyone?
Beyond working online I have been following worldwide homeopathic threads on the latest Genus Epidemicus and what remedies are helping so I can more quickly and efficiently help others who are experiencing flu-like symptoms. (If that interests you and you need support with that, give me a call.)
I’m also still offering free online EFT/tapping classes so you and your loved ones can find a place of calm and peace amidst the stress that may be present in your lifestyle. You can find those HERE.
No matter what is happening in your life right now, please reach out if you need any support or help through. I truly care about my communities and will do anything I can during this time.
Have you ever been so excited about something? The perfect opportunity, job, or relationship? That new fitness program or lifestyle change? Then for some unknown reason, you do or something that screws it up? That destroys it?
Well, you can try to make amends. Ask for forgiveness, rebuild trust, or do what you can to get back on track. Sometimes that works. For example, when I was interviewing candidates for a receptionist position, I had about fifteen applicants and five that I called in for an interview. One was a twenty-year-old woman, who had great qualifications, fit all my requirements, and who came in looking professional and holding herself with confidence. But she was anxious and unclear while answering questions, and by the time we were done, I had already decided she was not a good fit. I walked her out, and as she opened the front door, she turned to me and said, “I know I really screwed up that interview, but I want you to know I will be the best receptionist you’ve had if you hire me.” Then she walked out the door.
I was impressed. She had acknowledged her shortcomings and confronted me with honesty and integrity. I ended up hiring her and she was right. She was efficient, friendly, organized, and if she didn’t understand my directions or if I gave her conflicting information, she would clarify with me and make sure she got it right.
Other times, it doesn’t work so well. I’ve self-sabotaged in the past. For example, I’ve procrastinated and missed deadlines for speaking engagements because I had already decided I “wasn’t good enough” to speak there or my message wasn’t powerful enough. In January I had about three hours worth of edits to do on my book. Every slot I had set aside to do it I delayed. I did little things that didn’t matter and that weren’t important. But then, it got worse. I started getting angry at myself and let my mind tell me how awful I was, how stupid, and how this is why I would never be successful. I recognized my pattern and started therapy with one of my healers. She observed my level of self-sabotage and reminded me how sometimes our beliefs from childhood or past experiences prevent us from stepping forward and embracing all that we are. The subconscious can also tell us we are unworthy of something or someone and make us do something that destroys the opportunity.
I had a situation recently where I said something completely out of character for me to a person I care about deeply. I didn’t even know where it came from or why it came out of my mouth. It broke trust and destroyed everything that had been built over years. My friends were shocked that I would say something like that. Back to my healer I went, who has me looking at the following questions.
Do you believe you deserve this?
What could happen if this did work out? How does it leave you vulnerable?
Where in your past did you get hurt in a way that you subconsciously created this problem as a defense mechanism?
How can you heal that past so you don’t do it again?
I know if I don’t look at my past, I will keep self-sabotaging over and over again in future situations because I haven’t healed the root belief and the root fear that my subconscious is protecting me from. So, I am working on it and trying to forgive myself for the times I failed, the times I got hurt, and the times I hurt others. It’s going to be a long road. I’m hoping I’ll be forgiven. I’m resisting the self-forgiveness for sure. As many of us do.
Where do you self-sabotage in your relationships, your career, your health? How do you prevent yourself from opening to happiness, health, and ease in all aspects of your life? I encourage you to explore your own healing, whether with a healer or therapist, or on your own. Really sit and figure out what you want. Then go for it. Commit to yourself and the process even if it means being uncomfortable for a while. It’s how we grow. I’m right here with you.
Dictionary.com defines it as “the act of directing one’s interest inward
or to things within the self.” As
someone who has defined herself as an extrovert since the age of nineteen, the
idea of being defined as an introvert again scares me.
But why do I have to define myself? As a child, my parents and friends knew me as
an overly-talkative, playful, and goofy character. My mom recalls me laughing at “free air”
signs at gas stations. Why on earth
would people charge for air? But
when around strangers or in groups, I was quiet, compliant, and docile. I liked being outside for hours playing with
my Labrador, Ben. I charged myself by
pondering things like love as I wandered the deep forest with him. I loved
reading until the wee hours of the morning. It all changed when I moved to Salt
Lake City, Utah to go to massage school.
How would I meet people? How
would I survive? I adapted my dad’s
personality, and forced myself to talk to anyone and everyone in my class. I was surprised to make friends quickly and
as I celebrated my twentieth birthday there, I realized I was more than the box
I had been subconsciously relegated to—both by myself and by others that knew
I returned to Minnesota expressing myself differently than many
had seen me before. Suddenly, I would
talk to anyone, I presented myself with confidence and assurance, and I even
stood up to my boss who committed insurance fraud under my name and kept about
five-thousand dollars of my wages as punishment. But it wasn’t the social aspect alone that
had changed. Suddenly I found
rejuvenation by being with people; anyone around me at that time could tell you
I processed my thoughts outside myself, as most extroverts do.
I was extroverted in my travels last year. I met great people, and developed friendships
that continue with a few of them. I
explored and connected through the new and the unexpected. This year has been
startlingly different. Writing a book
about The Touch Crisis in our culture and shining a light on feelings and
patterns I hadn’t exposed to others brought me back inside myself for a deep
level of transformation and preparation. I spent much of my journey at safe
spaces with friends instead of exploring.
I deepened relationships, took advanced trainings in EFT/tapping, homeopathy,
and CranioSacral. My hikes were more
about rejuvenation and connecting with myself and nature than exploration. I recharged being alone, versus with
people. I started thinking inside and
then communicating instead of processing externally (although both happen for
different reasons.) I learned that when
one takes pictures of the Northern Lights, many more colors show than visible
with the naked eye. Isn’t that a great
representation of what others see in us and what we truly are? Who sees all of our colors in purity and
My mind races sometimes with unanswered questions. What will people think? What will I do when people attack me or take
offense over what I have written? How do
I step back into my relationships as my new self? How will this impact my business and my
Tapping and homeopathy have helped me tremendously to overcome
these questions and settle back into myself.
This journey was about finding flexibility. I have concluded: I am all of it. I am an extrovert in some seasons, and an
introvert in others. Overall I have
remembered that health is about flexibility.
About being to express all of ourselves when we want to. I have been stuck in introversion, and have
been stuck in extroversion, but being able to move between the two as I need is
a sign of health. It’s a sign of
breaking free of social programming.
It’s the ultimate freedom. I had
thought freedom was exploring and traveling and not caring what people thought
as I wandered carelessly through the world.
I was wrong.
Freedom is being flexible within myself. Freedom is communicating what I want and need
and not being afraid of the outcome.
Freedom is understanding why I am upset and learning from it; addressing
it with tapping, healers, and talking to friends; struggling and coming through
the other side; breaking free of the fear of being ‘not enough.’ Freedom to me is choosing who I want to be
with—even if that’s just myself. Freedom
is returning home after many journeys a different person and allowing others to
react how they wish, but staying true to who I am now, instead of playing a
role that doesn’t fit me anymore. It will get even more intense when my book is
released in January, and I’m okay with that—finally.
I question you. Where are you in a box that doesn’t fit? What role are you playing that doesn’t suit you? Do you feel you are not as happy as you wish to be? I’ve been there. A few times in my life. I would love to help. If you are ready for something new in your life…to let go of old emotions, habits, and beliefs, or to transform yourself, your life, and your relationships, let’s chat about the possibilities for you. Click HERE to book a 30-minute session, or we can chat at your next appointment.
I look forward to connecting.
With love and gratitude,
P.S. If you are interested in hearing when my book comes out, SUBSCRIBE HERE.
As I write my book and encourage people to communicate more clearly around their own touch boundaries and needs, I find myself observing, even more than usual, the ways individuals communicate and touch in various cultures and situations. I also observe the ways that people create strong and clear connection without using touch, as this is just as important.
I have observed cross-cultural use of many of the ideas that business gurus and communication professionals have been recommending for years, e.g. reflective listening, looking others in the eye, and body language. But I have also noticed, being a non-native speaker, on how people interact with me and with others who are from other countries. In the tourist areas, some English-speaking natives start by asking ‘do you speak English?’ but many will automatically start talking English, and hope the other person knows what they are saying. Many workers are adept at picking up on cues from their patrons and can identify whether to speak a native language or start with English, as English is default to those who know multiple languages but not the language of the country they are in.
I start my conversations with as much of the foreign language I know before I switch to English, ask for clarification, or request slower speech. I find people are more communicative and warm in return than if I just lead in English. My mother is visiting, and she says in Swedish ‘do you speak English.’ It seems to me that people are also more open with this level of communication. Perhaps because it shows a basic attempt to learn and respect where we are?
People I have met are more than willing to help me learn their language. They are willing to speak slowly, use simple words and phrases, and say things in a different way if I don’t understand. They will switch to English if they know it and I cannot understand, but if I ask them (once I understand the words) to say it again in Swedish, not only will they say it, but they will help me pronounce it correctly. It’s amazing and heart-warming and really fun to be able to learn to communicate this way.
However, sometimes I don’t attempt clarity. People speak to me and I just pretend I understand, even when I have no clue. Maybe I think I know what they said, but instead of clarifying, I just respond and then watch them give me an odd look because my reply wasn’t congruent with what they said. Every time I don’t ask for clarification, I reflect on it later, usually with a bit of regret at a missed opportunity to learn and connect. Usually I don’t clarify because I am in the midst of self-judgment or ego. Frequently I am afraid I will be perceived as stupid by the native speaker, other times I just am being lazy. At times I recognize the words and am upset at myself for not remembering them, so I “punish myself” by not engaging. Now and again I default to English, as I can’t even think about how to say a sentence under my own perception of pressure but after the situation is done, I think of three or four ways to express what I needed to, even if I do sound like a 4-year-old. (At least I will learn that way!)
We all have to start somewhere with clarifying communication-at work, in relationships, and in social media. It’s important to speak clearly and gently with others. To take time and trust the other person is doing the best they can in the moment. I encourage you, as I am encouraging myself, to let go of the ego and ask for clarification if you are being triggered by another’s words, or if you don’t understand. Take a few breaths, know that communication is one of the trickiest things we engage in. Give yourself and the other/s time and space to really understand. It’s time to be kinder and gentler with ourselves-and each other. Communicate what you want, what you need, and what you want to understand. Allow engagement, allow for mistakes. I am, and am finding it’s one of the best and most rewarding ways to learn.
I have officially hit the half-way mark with writing my book, and
thank goodness I hired a writing coach to help me. I write in spurts of energy and enthusiasm,
but then hit blocks. I wonder how to
phrase my ideas. Are they too
repetitive? Will they trigger someone or
make them feel uncomfortable? I find
myself getting upset as I poke around at old memories and lay them out for the
world to see in an open and vulnerable way.
Luckily, I also create time to hike to ground myself back to the
earth and breathe. I also do a lot of
tapping/EFT work with myself. I’m even
using my EFT practitioner once a month to help find deeper sources of patterns
I cannot see on my own. It’s been an
invaluable tool of healing and processing emotion so I can neutralize the past
and keep using those stories to help others.
I started reading a book once called The Way you Do Anything is the Way you Do Everything. I got about halfway through it, like I do with most books that are not fiction. But the point was valid, and the video below I took reminds me of that book.
I started hiking a mountain, but hit snow. I wasn’t sure, due to the melt, if I should
walk across it or not. I know a lot of
these mountains have deep crevices and holes that are buried under snow, or
streams that run deep underneath, creating potential pitfalls for the average
hiker wandering alone. I wandered at the
same level for a long time, entertaining myself by building a small snowman,
and taking pictures. Then-I found tracks
in the snow leading up. So, I followed
them. I had planned a 3-4 hour hike
round-trip. The book had said 3.5 hours,
6.9 km (4.29 miles), but I had already deviated from the path and circled the
mountain to a different path— a ninety-degree difference on the map.
I kept going, bit by bit, checking in to see how it felt to go
farther. Was I going higher up because I
wanted to? Because I felt I should get
to the top because I was already halfway?
So, embracing my inner child, I just did what I felt like at the moment. I took a rest on some rocks in the sun. I thought about patterns of pushing myself for others. How often I do things in life because others expect me to, want me to, or because I just want to prove that I can. I forget to tune in sometimes.
As I write this book that asks people to tune into their bodies
as they learn to integrate physical contact into their life in a way that is
both comfortable and consensual for everyone involved, I realized I better
start doing that in all areas of my life.
Tune in. Be present. Make
choices. Say ‘no’ when I want to, even to myself, no excuses needed.
I did make it to the top, after checking out a live bug hanging out on the snow with me, here and thinking about how I want to overcome and make a bigger impact on the world. 17.72 km (11.07 miles) and 6 hours later I was back at the bottom, waiting for the bus.
Perhaps, if I can allow myself to conquer the mountain bit by bit,
using play and exploration to figure it out, I can do that with the book as
well. I can use the support of my coach,
my friends, and my own healing tools and get it done. No rush, no timeline. Of course I’d love to have it done before I
come home in January so I can focus on my business. Yes, it would be amazing to have it done by
November so people could have it for holidays.
It would be even more exquisite to have it done before I leave the
safety of my friend’ s house in Norway in a week so I’m not stirring myself up
and trying to travel at the same time.
But, I am going to remain playful. I am going to heal the world by balancing a wooden spoon on my nose. I’m going to try to be zen, or at least laugh, even when being surrounded by black flies.
I encourage you to do the same. Find something that you do habitually, a pattern that exists in your life, and shift it to something that suits you more. That allows you peace and balance and freedom. That allows you to tune into yourself and your relationships on all levels. Be prepared-bring a carrot along for the snowman you want to build, but upon finding no snow, eat it instead for energy.
Let me know how I can help you tune in. You can email me from my contact page on my website, put a comment below, or give me a call. My work phone works in Norway! I would love to hear from you.
weeks of self-imposed peaceful isolation to write my book on community bonding
and touch has created a bit of loneliness in my heart. This morning, I made the choice to open Facebook and
catch up on my dear friends and family.
As I scrolled down the feed, my heart sank and tears came to my
on earth am I supposed to help us connect with each other when we cannot even
use civil tones with each other on social media? I sighed, as I scanned
faster to avoid the barrage of hatred laid out in front of me.
people lie, people do bad things—not liberals, not conservatives, not
whites, not gays, not the immigrants, not the millennials, not the elderly.
There are hate groups, of course, but in general communities of all styles, individuals make these choices, the same way my individual
friends make the choice to use tones of hatred.
goal seeming suddenly hopeless, I stepped away from my computer and wandered
aimlessly around the small house in the Norwegian valley. The windows offered the same view to the
beautiful mountains, and the sound of the waters rushing down them hadn’t
changed, but it all seemed suddenly worthless.
mind drifted back to an exercise at my Blandin Community Leadership training. If
only people understood how much our beliefs are actually part of our brain
am going to put you into groups based upon your Meyers Briggs results and have
each group figure a way to solve this problem.”
One of the program leaders said, standing in the middle of the U-shaped
table formation near the front of the room.
rural community leaders, a variety of ages, backgrounds, gender and race had
been chosen after a lengthy application process to learn to build and sustain a
healthy community. We were learning
about ourselves, where individual and organizational blind spots may be, how we
interact with others, how to see problems from a higher perspective, how to build positive social structures, and
how to resolve conflict. Quite an undertaking for a five-day retreat.
should be interesting, I thought, as she divided us into three groups. The last
few exercises taught us all a lot about individual roles and reactions, but
this is the first big group problem-solving exercise. I smiled as everyone
stood up and a cheerful buzz filled the room, as people grabbed their materials
and re-organized themselves.
the situation,” she interrupted the chatter as people organized into smaller
circles, “You are on the board of
directors of a nonprofit organization.
Your bookkeeper, a volunteer who has been loyal, accurate, and timely
for 15 years, suddenly starts making mistakes in the financials. The mistakes seem to be growing slowly, and
one day it is brought to your attention that someone smelled alcohol on her
breath while she was at the office. What
do you do?”
stepped back and smiled knowingly. “Does
anyone need me to read that again?”
not quite as challenging as I anticipated, I thought as I turned back to my group
with a thoughtful look on my face, I already know what my plan of action
of course we need to have a conversation with her,” one member piped up right
away. “We don’t know what’s going on or
if it’s true she really had been drinking.”
“She is a volunteer,” another person chimed in. “But we do have a duty to our organization, especially when it comes to finances.”
we definitely cannot sacrifice our organization if she isn’t able to continue
here duties well, but if she needs a bit of time away from the job to deal with
a personal issue, we could find another person to help temporarily,” the next
this is easy, I
sat up straighter and looked around the rest of the conference room to see how
the other two groups seemed to be getting on. Looks like there’s a lot of
agreement in the other two groups as well, I noted, people are smiling and nodding and
seem enthusiastic with their hand gestures—-at least the extroverts.
giggled to myself. Blandin had broken
our 16 types down into sub-types, giving us further insight to each category,
and I could see that playing out in the room. Our group is much smaller than
each of the other two, I noted. We only have about ten, and the other
two are around twenty people each. That
must make it a bit more difficult to come to a resolution.
have three minutes left. Please pick
someone from your group to present your decision to the group.” The leader interrupted loudly over the
hastily picked a leader, had her summarize our final decision to us quickly,
and turned to the front of the room, waiting.
one, please present your results.”
A prominent businesswoman stood up and projected the decision easily and clearly over the group. “As the board of directors, we have no choice but to terminate her volunteer position immediately and find a replacement. We cannot tolerate any financial impropriety in the organization, as it could cause a negative impact on our nonprofit status, our revenue, and the community trust in our organization.”
that is super harsh, I
thought, stunned. No communication?
No making sure that there wasn’t some other error in the system or an
update that wasn’t her fault that was creating the errors? Wow. So much for years of loyalty. I know how much time that stuff can take.
three, go ahead,” the leader interrupted my thoughts as I shook my head and
turned my body the other direction to hear the verdict from the other side of
the executive director of a nonprofit stood and faced the group. “She has had 15 years of loyal service. We thought it was in our best interest to sit
down and have a conversation with her, offer her help, see if the matter was
one in which she wanted to leave the position temporarily or permanently. We will give her support in finding help with
her drinking if that is necessary, and do what we can to get her back on track. She is a volunteer after all, and we don’t
need to jump to harsh conclusions or actions until we understand the totality
of the problem.” She sat back down.
that doesn’t seem to protect the organization fast, and is completely opposite
of the first group’s answer.
2?” The leader prompted.
spokeswoman, who worked for a large corporation, stood up and announced our
decision, an exact blend of the other two.
Starting with compassion and curiosity, and if the issue wasn’t fixed,
to take strong disciplinary action.
brain wiring determines how we make these kinds of decisions. Holy crap. And my group’s brain wiring has a blend of
both sides, which is why we are smaller and have a blend of both answers.
understanding hit me as ways to increase communication and synergy to pull two
conflicting sides together became clear.
and nurture both influence how we see and interact with the world as
individuals. The drama in the media of
all sides now shapes the tone and grace, or lack thereof, in which individuals choose to share their
opinions and the stories they hear.
mom told me that if I can’t say anything nice—-don’t say anything at all. I don’t believe that is true. Communication is necessary for a vibrant
community. We need to be able to
disagree, to have respectful conflict, to speak our minds, to share what is
disturbing us and why. However, it can
be done in a curious, educational, and amicable way. Are there people spouting melodrama and
hatred out there? Of course. Does that mean you need to match their
tone? Absolutely not.
something someone says triggers you and makes you extremely angry, is there a
way to pause, take a breath, and reply in a manner or tone that conveys your
disagreement in a way that opens communication? What kind of attitude and tone opens you to
listening to an opposing point of view? Try using that.
my challenge for you this week. Whether
it’s a disagreement with your child, your coworker, your friend, or on social
media, take a breath. Realize that
everyone has a right to their own opinion, no matter what information or lack
thereof informs it. You may not be able
to change someone’s mind, but you won’t for sure if you attack them. Ignore those who haven’t learned these lessons
yet, except to prompt them to please use a different tone.
give ourselves a chance to heal our communities and our relationships. Let’s
say what we need to, nicely.
I am finally writing my book about “Touch!” The word “touch” suddenly seems to have negative connotations, so I am using the phrase “Physical Connection.” This book has been in process for a few years. When I was giving presentations around Minnesota and California to women’s groups on how ‘Healthy Touch Connects Communities,’ women became inspired to connect more strongly with others around them, and communicate more around touch-with people they wanted connect with as well as those they observed were not connected. They also thought about different ways to speak to their children about touch. Many people told me I should write a book, and I thought about it…for over two years.
The time is here. But as I talk to people about how they connect, the common theme is always around communication. That’s a big subject! I remember hiking in Sweden, and I got lost in a small town while I was trying to take a back way to the grocery store from an art park. I walked for about 30 minutes before seeing ANYONE, so when I saw a woman walking towards me on the street, I was extremely excited. I asked her if she could point me to the store (in my really poor Swedish) and she indicated that she was deaf and couldn’t hear me.
What happened next still bothers me. Instead of pausing for a minute, and trying to communicate using the few signs I do know and spelling the rest, I shrugged my shoulders, made a gesture as if I was SO disappointed she didn’t understand me, and went on my way.
SERIOUSLY? I just ran into a beautiful person who cannot hear, and instead of taking the time to try to communicate and say hello and step into her world, I shrugged her off because it was such an inconvenience for me to not be able to talk to her while lost in a foreign land? I can make all the excuses in the world about why I didn’t try to sign (first being that I was thinking so hard about how to talk in Swedish, I forgot that I knew some basic sign language), but the reality is I didn’t stop and pause and think about the best way to connect and communicate.
Another time I froze in communication where it could have made an impact was when I arrived in the Lake District in England. I was walking to my hostel with my laptop and my rucksack after an exhausting day of travel, and saw four teenagers ahead on the sidewalk throwing around drink bottles and chasing each other. Not wanting to get caught up in the splatter, I moved toward the road and tried to sneak past them. One of the girls stopped me and asked for help. She said the two boys were bullying her, and wouldn’t give her and her female friend their drinks back. I gave the boys A LOOK and they returned the bottles. She then shared with me that her friend was ignoring her so she could chat with the boys, and allowed the bullying to happen. In retrospect, perhaps I should have given them all a bit of a lecture about treating each other with respect, especially the girl who was ignoring her friend. But I didn’t know what to say at the moment, as I was caught up in the tragedy of the teen years and how people treat each other. I wonder to this day why I didn’t, in that moment, tell her she deserved to be treated like that, tell her friend not to treat her that way either if she was a true friend, and to tell the boys to treat the girls with respect, especially when they say “STOP.”
Both are lessons, and remind me that no matter how well we think we communicate, there is always room to grow. I would love to hear your stories about communication and physical connection, and how you use these to strengthen your connection within your own communities-both large and small. If you are open to being interviewed for the book, please contact me HERE.
Moms of Pre-Teen or Teen Girls- Join me and my friend Alissa for a fun, powerful, interactive, experiential workshop. Explore how to:
Create a stronger bond and connection through a deep respect of one another.
Clearly communicate while focusing on what’s great already.
Learn how to set boundaries that feel good and give voice to both of you.
Learn tools that empower your relationship and keep you connected now and for years to come.
Our event partner, Athleta, will be giving away a raffle prize package
an hour in the Athleta store with their stylist
a $50 ShopCard!
a Starbucks beverage of your choice while you are with the stylist!
Follow THIS LINK for more information and tickets.
There is something about hoar frost that I have always loved. It is so delicate yet so beautiful as it sparkles and shines in the beauty of the sun— even as it melts away. I love the fact that most people don’t know what it’s called, and that it is created by a beautiful blend of moisture, temperature, and light. In my memory it comes in late winter or early spring as the earth is coming out of it’s hibernation phase. Some of my favorite winter memories revolve around a ton of snow or a beautiful landscape of hoar frost.
I almost didn’t go hiking. I cut my foot, I had blisters, and I felt a little tired because I didn’t sleep well. Yet, I was restless and disappointed about the thought of staying home, and was feeling cooped up after all the hubbub over the holidays. I REALLY wanted to be in great nature and have a challenging hike instead of one along roads in towns. The previous time I hiked the trail disappeared, including all markings, just as it left town via a housing complex under development. I backtracked my steps because it was too late in the day to wander into the woods without a clear idea of where I was headed—especially since I was on a timeline to catch the last bus home.
I am so amazed that the hoar frost stayed all day. I am on the bus ride home with frost on the ground, some fog in the air, and a fantastic lengthened sunset (at 3:18 pm.) I also feel empowered, because the movement and peace helped my mind to clarify how to combine all of my skills into a lovely and beautiful healing process for everyone. I also worked through some beliefs I held about what is possible in my life (and what others expect from me) using EFT (tapping) as I was walking. Peaceful fields, hoar frost, and calming my mind by tapping easily moved me out of a place of feeling stuck and fearful back into a place of power and strength.
I am excited to come back to Minnesota to visit. I have two job offers in Sweden, so will be returning to Minnesota March 23rd to do massage, homeopathy, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT/tapping) in Red Wing and in Mahtomedi. I am finalizing dates and times currently, and will be in touch with anyone who has mentioned they are interested. I will also be holding a few free classes on EFT for those who want to learn it and use it for their own growth. It can help with many things, but the focus of these classes will be around daily use for stress, cravings, and fear.
Now that spring is coming fast, I encourage you to use the energy of growth and extended sunlight to challenge yourself in some way. What is it you want to do this year? How can you be a bit happier, a bit more peaceful, a bit more “you?” I have challenged you in previous newsletters and blogs to search within yourself and see clearly what beliefs you hold that drives you in life that do not suit you anymore. What do you do that has become pattern or habit or expectation, but does not really make you happy? Let’s work together in 2019 and get rid of that so you can be peaceful as you move through your days. With age comes wisdom and the power to dump all social expectations and step into our true selves. I wish this for you!
To continue the playfulness of last blog, and my friend who asked me to take a picture of something odd every day, I have not been finding anything odd, beyond myself, and the pronunciation of the Swedish language. No new fun toilets or anything!!