There Will Be Failure

You’re going to fail. I will too. During this winter holiday season we will all fail in some way or other, at least once. We’ll say the wrong thing, omit a present, eat poorly, rush ourselves and our loved-ones, maybe snarl at someone just doing his job, or worse, snap at someone close to us. Most of all, we’ll forget that we have control over how we react and a choice about how we manage moment to moment. (For tips about how to Turn Your Day Around in 180 Seconds, you can get the Move Into Change newsletter here.)

Failure is real and, though we might not realize it, we’re successful because we fail not in spite of it. We fail continually during each and every day. When something doesn’t work out (a form of failure) we adjust (a form of success) until we transform a small mistake or an epic fail into a different success. Ryan Babineaux (Fail Fast, Fail Often) calls this process “failing forward,” a term I’ve come to adore.

So what of the failures you’ll inevitably encounter during the next few weeks? How can you take some control over the sense of overwhelm that causes you to miss opportunities? How can you strengthen your relationships? How do you ease the stress that causes you to make a default choice instead of acting on a deeper commitment to yourself?

You can begin by understanding more about the value of failure (look for future posts).

And, you can pause to bring some compassion to yourself for your mistake.

It’s possible to pause any situation you’re in. It’s possible to take a mere 5 minutes to check – in with yourself so you don’t check-out by responding more like a puppet than the terrific person you are.

Often it’s at this time of year that you wish you had already built stronger  resilience so you’d have something to rely on now, when you need it most. If you’ve already been practicing, the holiday season can make it more challenging to carve out 30 minutes to meditate or an hour to exercise amidst all the shopping, wrapping, cooking, cleaning, socializing and traveling.

It’s never to late to start to develop your Pause Ability. You don’t need a guru, fancy equipment, or find non-existent hours to devote to it.

And, with the gift of the pause, there will be success.

New In 2015 INTRODUCING! The Pause Ability Place.

I’d love to hear about the miniscule and gigantic ways a simple pause helped you. Or, if you use PauseAbilities, tell me about that. I’ll share your stories in future newsletters (with your permission, of course). If you aren’t receiving the newsletter yet, you can see a sample or sign up and get started on making change in your life with my complimentary workbook, “Permission Granted: Move Into Change With Your Own Approval,” here.

A story from my life to start us off …
The other day, I was organizing my office closet. It was going pretty well. There were problems and re-adjustments that flowed so quickly from one to the next the process felt almost effortless. Then, there was that moment… half of my files, books, coaching materials and office supplies were still piled up outside the closet and the closet was full. Ugh. After too many tries, I still couldn’t figure out how to make it all fit. Frustrated, I was tempted to walk away or shove it all in  and slam the door (not gently).


Instead, I paused. I noticed the tightness in my chest & shoulders and the tizzy I was in. I could hardly sense my legs because there was so much going on in my mind; “Look at the mess, I’ll never find a place for everything. What possessed me to start this project today?!” I needed grounding. I took out my phone and following the prompts from PauseAbility #3, I felt some relief. I realized I was trying to squeeze an idea from my frustrated mind, and within the space of the pause, a new idea came to me. Ah, much better.

Here’s another…

I am holding this space for you to reply to me and share your story that will appear in our Pause Ability Place coming in 2015. With the next story be yours?




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Wednesday Words: Billie Jean King

Self-awarenessSome people learn about themselves in the crucible of competition. Others- through taking risks in as many different ways as there people on this big green earth. Exhorting people, locker room-style, to become champions isn’t my thing. But getting in touch the whole-hearted conviction of a champion, and becoming curious about inner experience – yours and mine- is.

What do you think Ms. King meant with her words? Even more important,  do they mean something to you?

Leave a reply. I’d really like to hear from you.

Wednesday Words


People who are able to live without clutter trust themselves to make good choices.

Marion Franklinknowledge

Do you agree?

In what ways are self-trust and clutter (internal and external) related?

What methods do you use to get more spacious?

How do you go about making decisions about what and who you want in your life?

If you like what you read here, please share with your friends. And, you can go to to find out about coaching and coaching with me too!

Wednesday Words


Art is a step from what is obvious toward what is concealed.
– Kahil Gibran
Last Wednesday I wrote about changing our relationship to a problem by investigating the metaphor hidden within it. Today, we look at finding out more about the problem we’re having and what it has to offer us (besides frustration), by making a collage (for me, a most accessible form of visual art).
Engaging in creativity is a soul satisfying way to bypass the endless loop of  thoughts that are not helping us with a particular problem (whatever that may be). See below for instructions on how to use a collage to give you insight into whatever is stuck.
Inner More Collage – adapted from Mona Costantini
You’ll need:
1 hour or more of uninterrupted time
A work space
Magazines of all types
Scraps, Doodads
Pens, Markers, Crayons
Large paper, poster stock – brown paper bag could do too.
Glue stick
Wax paper (to use as a place to glue)
Cell phone or timer
Digital camera – optional
What to do:
  1. Get quiet and do some deep grounding breaths
  2. Identify an area, issue or problem in your life that could use some insight. Silently ask yourself to be playful and allow creativity to help you.
  3. Set your timer for 15 minutes.
  4. Go through the magazines and tear out anything that grabs your attention. Don’t plan what you pick and don’t question why you chose it, just keep moving.
  5. Stop when the timer goes off – really, do it.
  6. Set the timer again for 20 minutes.
  7. Ask yourself to hone the pile of images down to 12- 15 or less.
  8. When the timer goes off – stop.
  9. Arrange the images (without gluing) and add any other scraps, marks you’d like. Feel free to cut, reshape, tear, add onto images – anything that comes to you.
  10. OPTIONAL: If you have a digital camera, take a photo. Take photos as you take up each layer. I do this to help me remember which pieces were in which layer so I can glue in order.
  11. Glue.
  12. When complete, have a conversation with your collage by writing questions as if you weren’t the artist. E.G., Why did you put that red line there?
  13. Now for the cool part – answer each question by writing with your non-dominant hand.

I’d really love to know how this activity works for you. Were you amazed? Did something new appear? Nothing happen? I can’t wait to hear from you.

If you like what you read here, please share with your friends. And, you can go to to find out about coaching and coaching with me too!

Wednesday Words



the problem is

more with our

Relationship to

 the problem


                            the problem itself.       –Judy G.

smackdown_tug_of_war-e1280514048904Have you noticed this too? I get to relearn it when I’m stuck-every time.  Luckily, I know fun and effective ways to investigate the relationship and shift it.

Sometimes that’s enough, the problem dissolves; and other times, the problem shrinks and becomes much less big, hairy, and scary.

If you like words, here’s one way to begin:

  1. Make a list of all the ways this situation (problem) makes you feel, all the negatives – any and all thoughts, feelings and images.
  2. Ask yourself what all this reminds you of.  Is there a metaphor for this situation? (The metaphor will describe your current relationship with this problem.)
  3. Now list all the ways you’d like it to be – use lots of adjectives. What do you want this to be like, feel like, instead? What do you want more of? Do this in positive language – steer clear of “I don’t want it to…”
  4. Now ask yourself what this reminds you of? Is there an image that comes to mind? (This metaphor will be a new approach to the situation or a new way of relating to it.)

Don’t be afraid to be playful, wacky or kooky.  Much like a  joke can break tension in a fraught situation,  “silliness”  loosens and lightens a heavy problem allowing fresh new ideas to come in.

If you like what you read here, please share with your friends. And, you can go to to find out about coaching and coaching with me too!