Have You Painted Yourself Into a Corner?

paintedintoacornerGrowing up, both sets of my grandparents were well-to-do—country club memberships, new cars every two years, large suburban houses, golf carts and lots and lots of shopping.

My parents, on the other hand, always did OK, money- and work-wise, but never cracked the ceiling of upper middle class. I could sense the tension between them — my grandparents seemed palpably disappointed that their kids hadn’t done better for themselves. My parents seemed uncomfortable when they were around my grandparents, as if they were kids on their best behavior but secretly rolling their eyes.

In my immature mind, I decided it was the fact that my grandparents were rich that was the source of all the tension.

I didn’t really think too much more about it until I was in my 40s, and I started to unspool some of my hidden beliefs about money. Having lived in New York City for 15 years, I knew I scoffed at perfectly coiffed Upper East Side women with their Birkin bags, believing my downtown neighborhood and scuffed boots to be far more desirable.

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One Question to Help You Get Out of Indecision

maybe ladyAs a naturally non-decisive person, I can say this with confidence:

Indecision is a subtle form of self-torture. You think about that choice even when you’re not thinking about it. It’s there, waiting for you, when you wake up in the middle of the night to pee, and won’t let you go back to sleep.

It keeps you in a not-quite-here-and-not-quite-there space (that I learned in my symbolic anthropology class in college is called liminal), and prevents you from committing to other opportunities.

But sometimes, you’re just not ready to decide. At least I’m not. I’m the sort who has to wait until I feel a definite yes. Sometimes that’s instantaneous, and sometimes it takes some marinating.

And every once in a while, I can downright drive myself crazy. Read more…

This Relationship Secret Saves My Sanity (and My Marriage) Every Time

our wedding dayI love my husband, I truly do. He makes me laugh every day. He is creative, intuitive, passionate, irreverent and steadfast. He doesn’t do anything half-way and he cares about things that a lot of other people are fine to ignore—things like being genuine and honoring your word.

And yet, naturally, he can totally drive me crazy. He will freely admit that he is a great starter of things, and not so much a finisher of things. He has opinions on everything, and sometimes in my only-child-ness I don’t really want to stop and consider his views (a place where my stuff and his stuff clash.) He never thinks I make enough food (he is the youngest of five boys; I swear there is not a meal big enough to take away that fear that the food will run out before everyone is truly sated); I think he should be grateful for the quantities of food that I do make.

I have written before about how we used to fight about doing the dishes (it’s hands-down my most popular post ever!).

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What If You Don’t Really Want What You Think You Want?

How can you tell if you really want somethingThis is for those of you out there who are contemplating some change, be it big, little, or something in between.

It’s about the secret reason why you might still be in contemplating mode (instead of moving-forward mode).

I’m not talking about the dime-a-dozen doubts that will invariably show up. Such as: What if it doesn’t work out? What if you mess up and lose something—respect, confidence, money? What if you’re not any good at it? What if it ends up being a waste of time?

These are all variations on garden-variety resistance—which is generally produced by your ego in an effort to try and keep you “safe.”

But there’s one reason that runs a little deeper. It’s this: “What if I get what I want and I don’t like it?” This is bigger, because it doesn’t mean that you’re listening to your ego. It means you’re not trusting your gut.

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Your Mess Is Your Message

mess is your messageWhen we moved to Providence four years ago, I was nervous to tell the people I met what I did. What would happen if I told them I was a coach and the author of a book on reducing your stress, and they saw me losing my patience with my kids at the playground?

Wouldn’t they think I was a sham?!

The horror!

This was seriously a very big concern for me. I, like so many other people, felt I had to be above reproach in order to do what I wanted to do. I had to be perfect.

No pressure there, right?

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A Tale of Two Augusts

BeachLast August, I made a conscious decision to work as little as possible. I still had coaching calls with existing clients, but pretty much everything else I let slide. I wanted to do a deep dive with my kids. I wanted us to get tan and dirty, and spend days making mud pies (or whatever random thing caught our fancy).

I didn’t worry about making sure my first-grader was reading regularly—I honestly wanted her to be able to forget about school as much as possible and just be a kid.

It seemed like a great idea, until September came along. We had all lost so much momentum. After having my best month ever financially in July, I had my one of my worst months ever in September. I hadn’t been marketing myself, or booking speaking events, or doing anything to make the ideas I had in my head a reality. It felt like I was starting from zero.

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Adventures in Time-Tracking

July13Who here feels they have all the time they need to do everything they want?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. I know it is possible to feel this way, but I also know that most people don’t.

I’ve been unspooling my subconscious thoughts and beliefs about time for a while now, which you can see in these posts:

So You Think You Don’t Have Time for You
Make Time for Your Soul Work, Protect It With All You’ve Got
There Is No Such Thing as Too Late
What If You Stopped Squeezing Things In?
What If You Stopped Rushing?

It all started when I read The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, with a seemingly random chapter tacked on to the end titled “Einstein Time.” I then read some other time management books that honestly didn’t strike me as particularly illuminating or helpful, and then I discovered Laura Vanderkam’s books—168 Hours and I Know How She Does It.

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What My Peri-Menopause Has to Do With You

the author withinI sat down today to write an utterly compelling post designed to inspire the handful of you reading this who have been thinking of writing a book for months (or years) (or decades) to check out the cool new book writing program that I’ve been working on behind the scenes for these last few weeks.

But all I really want to say is: Hi, I’m Kate, and I’m peri-menopausal.

So what does the status of my reproductive years have to do with it?

Well, hear me out.

For years now, my mom has been telling me that both she and my grandmother were done with menopause by the time they were 45. I understand that she’s trying to help me manage my expectations and that she wants to share valuable information about our family medical history. But I felt like she was trying to tell me how my own experience with menopause was going to go down. (Isn’t it hard to be a mom to a daughter? You try and be helpful and they basically tell you to talk to the hand.) Also, it made me think, I’m a yogi and eat really healthy and there is no way it is going to happen to me that early. And, a little bit, I’ll worry about that when I’m 45.

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The Life-Changing Magic of Mixing It Up

Kate - necklaceThis past December, when I was at our local bookstore picking some things up for the folks on my list, I left with something for me, too. I knew as soon as I read the title The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up* that it was going under the tree for me –to Kate, love Kate.

I don’t really enjoy cleaning—which to me says scrubbing, vacuuming and getting dirty. But I really get in to tidying—putting things back where they go, clearing a crowded counter so we can use it again, restoring order to chaotic room. And life-changing magic—who’s not intrigued by that?

You’ve probably read about the approach the book takes – that you should systematically go through everything you own and get rid of anything that doesn’t “spark joy”—perhaps you’re even one of the 8 million people who have read the book! I’m not going to tell you about how I rearranged my t-shirt drawer or fit all my jeans in one boot-box sized storage container.

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What’s Available If You Just Keep Going

Sam&DaveI read a great book with the kids (technically, they read it to me, which has been a really cool thing to witness—but that’s a subject for another post) and it has such a great lesson in it, I had to share.

It’s called Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, about two friends who decide they want something spectacular to happen today. So they decide to dig a hole until something cool occurs.

This is what happens (spoiler alert, kind of): Read more…

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