4 Steps to Process Regret

ImageIn THIS post, I talked about freeing “energy” to think about the future.

Today I am putting this into practice, in context of regret. This applies to small regrets, and big ones too.

It’s my last day of freedom before I return to work. In the two hours I have been up this morning it has been easy to focus it on how un-restful this last week has been. How busy, and un-ideal, and un-vacation-y.

Why do we do this? Here’s my hypothesis, beyond the need to process when things “don’t go our way”, I think we feel it helps to justify our upset/regret/sad feelings. I think that it is part of us grieving the past pieces in life that didn’t go the way we wanted them too…BUT I think we are doing it in a way that is hurting us. It may feel good, but it’s hurting us.

If I go on with the rest of my last summer day, focusing on all that this last week could’a, would’a, should’a been… I will only have MORE could’a, would’a, should’a-s at the end of the day. Somehow I want to learn to… (more…)


Chronic Remorse

“Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.”  ― Aldous Huxley

Past, Present & Future

After writing THIS post on Pollack’s grieving-the-past quote… I had a sad realization!

I think we all naturally gravitate to either PAST, PRESENT or FUTURE living.

I naturally am good at accepting/embracing PAST and I idealize being PRESENT. I am realizing that I sort of STINK with future planning/dreaming etc. It’s SO RISKY.

How about you? Which do you naturally do well at? Which do you want to be better at?

Where do you spend the most physical, mental and emotional energy? These questions can help you figure that out… (more…)

Learning to Grieve the Past and Plan for the Future

“It has become evident that a very crucial element for successful aging is the ability to mourn for prior states of the self. When one can accept aging and its changes and mourn for the past the result can be liberation, a freeing of energy for current living, including planning for the future. – George Pollack

[ANNA TRANSLATION: HELLO PEOPLE! Don’t ignore the past, don’t over-cling to the past; face it. Do what you need to. Heal. Accept. Make amends. Once that’s taken care of, you have the mental, physical, emotional energy to BE PRESENT and DREAM FUTURE.]


This may sound odd, very odd, but I find this quote to be moving and inspirational in my present life. I do realize that relatively young, and yet this quote brings me much hope and healing.

Even as a young girl I would journal about what it would be like to be old and loose my 12-year-old self. Sort-of dreading the passage of time, and pre-mourning something I hadn’t even lost. I think it comes from enjoying my present so much that I don’t want to think I will be without it. Living in this sort of process and mindset, however, is rather depressing and debilitating. It is the opposite of “liberation, and free-ing”. It’s grasping so desperately at something we cannot. It’s wasted energy. (more…)

Living in an Attitude of Abundance Instead of Scarcity

Isn’t music a beautiful universal language?

I watched an interview clip with Bobby McFerrin, where the interviewer asked about people copying his style and using what he has invented. McFerrin could easily react with offense and rightly defend what he has created. However, that’s not how he reacts at all. McFerrin states that he has something to share and likes that other people are making it their own too. He goes on…

“As long as it’s redeeming, positive and fills people up… Music is so powerful, it needs to be used for redeeming work to lift people’s spirit’s souls”

This is truly an attitude of abundance, of generosity and of giving. Our human logic tells us that when we have something good, have created something good, or when we discover something good we should keep it for ourselves because WE DESERVE IT. McFerrin proves the opposite as he lives in an attitude of abundance and not scarcity. He lives in the attitude where there is enough for everyone. Music doesn’t need to be hoarded.

We often live in an attitude of scarcity in other areas of our lives too. We are insecure. We think that somehow other’s blessing negates or lessons the blessings in our lives.

What about leadership? Do we hoard leadership or do we empower those under us to go beyond where we have gone?

What gifts and areas of your life do you need to practice an abundant attitude?

Looking at Shame and Empathy

Brene Brown does it again. This video is killer. Here are my favorite take-away quotes below:

“…Shame is the gremlin who says, “Uh, uh. You’re not good enough. You never finished that MBA. Your wife left you. I know your dad really wasn’t in Luxembourg, he was in Sing Sing. I know those things that happened to you growing up. I know you don’t think that you’re pretty enough or smart enough or talented enough or powerful enough. I know your dad never paid attention, even when you made CFO.”

“We look up and the critic that we see pointing and laughing, 99 percent of the time is who? Us.”

“The thing to understand about shame is it’s not guilt. Shame is a focus on self, guilt is a focus on behavior. Shame is “I am bad.” Guilt is “I did something bad.” Guilt: I’m sorry. I made a mistake. Shame: I’m sorry. I am a mistake.”

“Shame is highly, highly correlated with addiction, depression, violence, aggression, bullying, suicide, eating disorders.”

“For women, shame is do it all, do it perfectly and never let them see you sweat. Shame, for women, is this web of unobtainable, conflicting, competing expectations about who we’re supposed to be. And it’s a straight-jacket. For men, shame is…do not be perceived as… weak.”

“You show me a woman who can actually sit with a man in real vulnerability and fear, I’ll show you a woman who’s done incredible work. You show me a man who can sit with a woman who’s just had it, she can’t do it all anymore, and… he really listens — I’ll show you a guy who’s done a lot of work.”

“What do women need to do to conform to female norms? The top answers in this country: nice, thin, modest and use all available resources for appearance. When he asked about men, what do men in this country need to do to conform with male norms, the answers were: always show emotional control, work is first, pursue status and violence. (Mahalik at Boston College)”

“If you put shame in a Petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence and judgment. If you put the same amount of shame in a Petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can’t survive.”

“I know it’s seductive to stand outside the arena,because I think I did it my whole life, and think to myself, I’m going to go in there and kick some [butt] when I’m bulletproof and when I’m perfect. And that is seductive. But the truth is that never happens. And even if you got as perfect as you could and as bulletproof as you could possibly muster when you got in there, that’s not what we want to see. We want you to go in. We want to be with you and across from you. And we just want, for ourselves and the people we care about and the people we work with, to dare greatly.”

50 Ways to Take a Break

I love this poster by Karen Horneffer-Ginter. It so well articulates and reminds us how many ways there are to take a break and care for ourselves.

Our mind is always ready to give us “50 Ways to Stay Busy”, things to do, things to accomplish… and this reminds us that there are also many ways to take a breather and recharge.