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Not to Decide is to Decide

If you haven’t made a lot of mistakes in  your life, then you haven’t lived. Before we have time to say, “Yeah, that’s the truth!”, our chorus has shoved that out of the way, claiming to have brought us back to reality. You see, fear doesn’t want to let us leave the house because it is doing its job which is to keep us safe. Guess what?

SAFE IS ANOTHER WORD FOR STUCK.

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I spent a lot of time, both awake and asleep this past week struggling with a big decision in my love life. If you could have crawled into my head and heart, you might have said, “this woman says she helps people find and keep love in their lives?” I was so busy weighing and measuring, making a list of pros and cons, wondering how my friends would feel, looking at every “mistake” I had made in past relationships, and thinking that everyone else but me would be better at it, I forgot to eat. That is never good. Ask my boyfriend about that!

 

Fear of making mistakes controls our lives. It is as if to make a “bad”one will be the end of the world as we know it and  irreparable damage will be done. What is really behind that terror of making a mistake?

Shame looms out there like the headless horseman. It is as if we will die should that decision or action be less than perfect.

 

Here is the truth. There are no wrong decisions unless you make them with an intention to harm someone or something. Those merit some thinking, and most likely some counseling. The rest of the decisions, when made carefully and with reasonable amounts of thought and heart, are not the end of the world waiting to happen. Not to make them is to be frozen and not able to fully live your life.

 

So, take a chance today. Make a decision knowing that you are doing the very best you can to make a good one. If you decide later you wish you had done otherwise, give yourself a big hug like you would a best friend…tell yourself how courageous you were and that you truly did the very best you knew how to do. Then, go treat yourself to a piece of chocolate!!

 

 

 

 

What is Real is What Never Changes

It is easy to get lost and forget who we are and what makes us happy. It wasn’t always that way. When we were born, we knew deep in our marrow exactly who we were and we lived it because, thank GOD, we didn’t have a choice. Not very many days and months into our sweet new lives others’ words began to shape us. People are unaware of the power of words like those that shaped my early life…”tomboy”, “stubborn”, “skinny”, and “willful” were a few.

 

I was reminded of that “willful” word as we walked my son’s twins up the hills of his trendy San Francisco neighborhood. From the time I walked into the birthing room just a year ago and peered into that bassinet, I recognized in one of them something so familiar. She was ready to get out of there! Nature has cooperated and now, she is off and running. Her “willfulness” is who she is, and with love and support from her family, she will learn to treasure it.

 

Words are incredibly powerful and shape our our sense of self, but they cannot ever fundamentally change who we are. The more critical those words, the longer it may take us to shake them or redefine them to bring ourselves back to what we know in our hearts and souls to be true.

 

When you are faced with life transitions and asking yourself what you want and need in a relationship, love, career, artistic expression or in asking where you want to live, you must listen for the moments when you feel the joy and happiness that were part of you from birth. You need to pay attention free-baby-crochet-patternswhen you are filled with that certainty again that makes you want to dance with joy. You’ll know it when you feel it, but only if you take the time, open your eyes and your heart and leave your smart phone behind!

Re-Humanizing the Job Search

Searching for  Job?

Searching for a Job?

Have you ever seen a psychology experiment with a mouse in a maze? It is really painful to watch. That poor little creature, excited by the smell of food runs into walls, backs up and does it again and again, until finally, bruised and battered he reaches his goal. That is exactly what looking for a job feels like for most of us.

Most often, the only way to apply is through an online application never touched by humans.  “Genius” software scans them in milliseconds looking for “keywords”. Of course, what they find are scores of applicants who know how to create resumes and cover letters that say zero about who they are because everyone is filling every nook and cranny with those keywords. Try reading one of those resumes one day and see if you can feel anything at all.

When I was new to the Bay area a few years ago, my friends from “away”, bless their hearts, were all saying the same thing. “Donna, just call ___________, or go by there and ask to talk with someone.” Believe it or not, you used to be able to do that, but not today. Human Resources Departments are behind lock and key most of the time. They would tell you it is to protect confidentiality and information, but the real reason is because people who have been trying to submit online applications to no avail, and the unemployed who have sunk into deep depression finally come looking to see if there ARE any human beings there and sometimes, they bring baseball bats.

So, what can you do to humanize the job searching process? First of all, remember that the best way to find a job is to have one. When you are in the job market, it is often a good idea to accept a position that might be less than you are seeking. If it is in the same job arena, it is more likely that you will hear about job openings, know about upcoming changes in that industry resulting in additional jobs, or talk with coworkers who are leaving the area or the workforce.

Personal networking offers the breadcrumbs to most job hires. It is truly “who you know” or at the very least getting to know people in your job arena that will land it for you. Most importantly, just being with other people is necessary and healthy for job seekers. In addition to possible leads, it helps you stay more positive and hopeful while you search. Get out into the world, even if it is just to your favorite coffee shop or Meet Up group.

Your cover letter is the most crucial piece to your search. Even if you want to up your odds by using keywords, be sure the letter is clear, the grammar correct, and that it contains a bit of your heart. In the end, it does matter to most employers that you have both a heart and a brain, so tell them in a heartfelt way why you want to be part of their organization or company. If you have passion about the work, and here’s hoping you do, be sure they know all about it.

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