When I was much younger, there was a TV show called, To Tell the Truth. In it, three people would come on the show and present themselves to a celebrity panel. One of the three people had a unique story to tell – they had an unusual occupation or experience – while the other two pretended to be that person. The panel had to determine who was telling the truth. The two imposters were allowed to lie while the person being her/himself was required to tell the truth.
When I think about that game now, I think the person required to tell the truth had the most difficult job. Why do I say that? Because sometimes I’m afraid to tell the truth even though I hold truth-telling as a major value. When I say “I,” I don’t mean my conscious self, I mean my subconscious self. I’m not aware that I’m not telling myself the truth. It’s that at a subconscious level, I’m afraid to access my deepest feelings. And, like the beautiful poem, Our Deepest Fear, by Marianne Williamson, it’s usually because I’m afraid to stop being small and to dream big – afraid to trust and believe in myself or afraid to admit that I want a more expansive life.
What dreams are you hiding from yourself? What would it take for you to believe in yourself?
Burning the Old Year
“So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.
Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.”
-Naomi Shihab Nye, excerpted from Burning the Old Year
As I look back over last year, I have much to be grateful for and few things that are crackling after the blaze of the New Year. I had three important priorities that I successfully worked on: (1) my relationship with my daughter; (2) international travel; and (3) writing a book
I was able to combine two of these priorities when I traveled to Vietnam with my daughter last summer. We spent a week volunteering at a bilingual school in Hanoi teaching English and two weeks traveling around other parts of the country. Soon after, my daughter started Read more
Any kind of change can be hard but the hardest changes are the ones that impact our identity and sense of self. After taking my 18 year-old daughter to college at the end of August, I experienced that kind of transition. Once she was gone and I was left with an “empty nest,” it wasn’t so much her absence that was the most difficult (although of course I miss her), it was the feeling that part of my identity had ended when she left. Read more
If you are feeling stuck and unable to move your goals and dreams forward, you might be interested in the online course Dr. Herukhuti and I co-created entitled, Getting Unstuck and Moving Forward which will help you tap into your inner power and reservoir of potential.
Peace and joy,
Speak, your lips are free. Speak, it is your own tongue. Speak, it is your own body. Speak, your life is still yours. See how in the blacksmith’s shop The flame burns wild, the iron glows red; The locks open their jaws, And every chain begins to break. Speak, this brief hour is long enough Before the death of body and tongue: Speak, ’cause the truth is not dead yet, Speak, speak, whatever you must speak. -Faiz Ahmad Faiz
Clients often come to me because they find themselves struggling over how to engage another in a “difficult” conversation. They know they need to have the conversation but find themselves held back because of fear. It is only when they are able to realize how much more empowered and energized they will feel if they speak what “[they] must speak,” that they find the courage and the words to engage the other person.
How many times do you find yourself wanting to say something but squelching it? Is it fear of saying something stupid? Fear of hurting someone’s feelings? Fear of getting someone angry?
How many times have you found yourself standing in your truth and speaking your mind? Not to hurt or anger another yet not holding back even knowing that that might be a possibility?
Which feels better?