Category Archives: Happiness

Garbage Happiness

I’m going to be that crazy old lady picking up garbage off the street. Middle school these days requires five volunteer hours per year to graduate – which doesn’t sound voluntary but whatever.  My 7th-grade son decided to fulfill the requirement by picking up garbage in the neighborhood. This was bliss for me. I get to go on a dog ...

My Daring Greatly

An old friend asked me what I thought of Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly. I stumbled, trying to be insightful, and then gave my copy to someone who needed it. This is what I should have said. Her book has given me a new vocabulary.  It has given me a linguistic shortcut that describes what is happening when I dare ...

2013 Desires

A friend asked me what my goals are for my coaching practice. I looked at her blankly. “I don’t know,” I said. “Maybe you should think about it,” she said archly. Of course I have goals for my business. But I wasn’t paying attention to them, other than the financials. They weren’t written down. I wasn’t tracking them. I began ...

Blues Antidote

A friend teased me, saying dismissively, “You think going for a run is the answer to everything.” It’s bugged me ever since, because, well, it’s true. Yesterday I woke up blue. Maybe it was the weather, maybe I was fighting a bug, but I woke up despondent. I had a headache. I wanted to curl up on the couch and ...

Highway Fear

I have a friend who is afraid of highways. She loses sleep if she knows she is going to have to drive on one. Loses weight. Organizes her life to avoid them. I respect deep-seated fears and don’t tend to mess with them. I did wonder, though, how this fear was making her life smaller. So we came up with ...

The List

A favorite client struggles with a god-awful boss. Demeaning, incompetent, aggressive (no, I’m probably not talking about you) – not a fun combination for my client to manage every day. My client is in an active, highly-organized job search. She’s leaving this boss as soon as she can. In the meantime, she has to go to work every day. And ...

Heavy Weights

As a personal coach, I spend a lot of time helping clients clean up and throw away the crap in their lives that takes up a lot of emotional space: stuff ranging from dirty man caves to “taker” friends to unrewarding jobs. As a coach, I’m really interested in what clearing that detritus makes room for. Last week, I got ...

Small Joys

“I’m not a crier,” said a favorite coaching client. “I’ve tried to cry over this, but the tears don’t come.” My client has a young child — and a job she loves. She’s an executive at a company you’ve heard of.  “I feel splatted,” she says. Her travel schedule involves flying to a different city every week this month. I ...

Thank You, Aliens

Aliens have abducted my husband. My Spock-like software engineer of a husband – or his alien clone – put a gratitude journal on both our phones. Who is this guy and what has he done with my husband? Every morning at 7:30 this app pops up, disrupting whatever else I happen to be doing, and I have to stop and ...

Finding Flow

Several (well, many) years ago, I said I wanted to learn how to play the piano before I turned 40. The piano has always seemed like one of those impossible mysteries, like speaking French. Or dancing. As my 43rd year looms, I’ve started piano lessons. I got a free ($200 to move + $200 to tune = free, my partner ...

The Wet Blanket

I have a favorite coaching client who wakes up to dread every morning. She wakes up dreading her day. I asked her what the dread felt like. “Like a warm, wet blanket,” she said. “A gray, wet, stifling blanket.” She can feel it heavy around her shoulders. “Does it find you, or do you seek it out?” I asked. “I ...

Lockdown Frugality

Everyone’s going skiing. “See you on the mountain,” someone called after the last soccer game of the season. We won’t be there. We’ve been in lockdown frugality since I quit my full-time job last year. The answer is now “No!” to things like skiing. I’ve been surprised to discover an odd thing about our newfound frugality: It’s a lot easier. ...

Mess or Music

I’ve been thinking about mess. Messy rooms; messy corners of life. I have a coaching client who is trying to turn down the noise in her life. Too many demands, too much complexity, too much chaos. She doesn’t have room to think or breath. We started with the literal. She cleaned up some messes that had been distracting her: the ...

The Running Group

I had a random idea awhile back. What if I started a running group and invited people who had never run before to come with me? Running is all well and good, but I only do it for that clear, calm, washed clean feeling afterwards. There’s a lot of spaciousness in that feeling. A lot of power. What if I ...

Name Neurosis

I never remember names. I can know people for years and not have a clue what their name is. This has developed into a pretty rich neurosis, where I won’t say someone’s name even if I’m sure what it is, because what if it’s wrong? This is ridiculous. It inhibits my ability to connect with people. I’m distracted by an ...