Does Your Self-Love Desert Enact Ecoterrorism?

Every month the Soul Savvy team creates a video for the month’s Soul Themes and Tools. See more info at

At an anxious client’s first session last week, he asked me about how his high anxiety came to be. “My parents encouraged me, believed in me”, he noted. It was a loving home. There wasn’t any abuse. Well, as many parents will attest, sometimes babies arrive with strong characteristics in place. There’s the sweet-natured, sleep-through-the-night-babe, and their sister, the colicky cranky pants.

In addition, no matter how wonderful the parenting, as you grow there are usually areas of the self that get left out or get less approval. There is a continuum of trauma with that, from mild to horrendous. Even with a mild lack of reflection or criticism, children learn to disown parts of themselves.

In many spiritual traditions, it is just considered part of the journey that recreating wholeness is part of the adult seekers landscape. Returning to the fullness of the self, and reintegrating all parts, takes some time and attention. Becoming whole requires you to heal, to re-member, and reclaim, all parts of the self, the good the bad and the ugly. Or those so-termed.

Before wholeness is achieved, these gaps of wholeness can wreak havoc. They can form a self-love desert, or a wound. These ignored or underdeveloped areas become blind spots deep within. Mostly unconscious, they always cry for attention and healing. They often obstruct peacefulness and connection.

When there is abuse or trauma, these wastelands of disconnection are more deep and widespread. Some of my clients with severe abuse take a long time to have very simple self-awareness and self-regard. The brain is a powerful thing in these cases. Still, healing and wholeness are possible.

OK. Just a little background here for one of two Soul themes that showed up for August. Loving the Unlovable – First within, then without. I’m still unpacking this, and I welcome your thoughts. Continue reading

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Self-care Saboteurs: Time Management, Perfectionism

One of the soul themes for July is self-care, and it’s the last week of the month. The final two of the four saboteurs to Self-Care genius? Time management fumbles, and Perfectionism. Let’s discuss these together, because I’m out of time, and there isn’t time to make this perfect. How perfect!

Saboteur 3: Time Management Fumbles

This is a topic many study for years and years, and still fumble with verve. Part of it may be how people are wired – more left brain or right, or a sneaky taking-turns dance between the two? Then there can be the way that not all projects get counted. Or that feeling that you need to catch up and sprint to the finish on several projects, and then create that sanity in your scheduling.

The short list of time mgmt fumbles:

1) Too much on the plate, plus an inaccurate sense of how it’ll take
2) Lack of good planning – including prioritizing most important areas, and giving them time blocks (or “focus blocks” as *CG says)
3) Overdoing then crashing when plans and timing are off
4) Not having cushion in your schedule for life’s surprises, and the all-important recovery time
5) Not having your to do list and projects, aligned with your values, and what really matters

I could go on but those are the basic areas that can repeatedly cause trouble for your self-care needs, and life in general. For the self-care area, for each time block that is focused, you then need to plan a recovery block of time. Those can be fifteen minute breaks, or an evening movie. After two long work days I recently was advised to take the next day off. What a concept! I don’t do that, but I do take the morning and early afternoon for my nature reset / hiking time.

One more key area here is delegating, asking for help, hiring help for non-genius work. That can be a challenge. Continue reading

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Self-Care Sabotage 2: False Beliefs Undermine Sanity

In this Self-Care Series, we look at Self-care Sabotage #2: False Beliefs that Undermine Sanity. Everyone has limiting beliefs that rise up now and then. When you bring them out in the open by naming them, you often see how inaccurate they are. Then you can tame them, reframe them, “sane” ’em.

Limiting beliefs (LBs)! You can’t live well with them, can’t live without them. It’s like a factory that keeps pumping out pollution, or a planet that keeps up global warming practices that endanger life. No matter how much inner work you do, they still rear their pointed little heads or share their smell now and them.

What are these LBs? These are negative thoughts that say in some way or another, you don’t have what it takes. Ultimately they want to keep you safe, and the same! Gay Hendricks in his book, The Big Leap cites 4 ‘False Beliefs’ about why you can’t succeed or shine: 1) You’re fundamentally flawed in some way. 2) If you fully succeed/expand you’ll end up alone, leave people behind and be disloyal to your roots. 3) More success will bring a bigger burden. 4) If successful you’ll outshine others, and make them look bad.

Luckily, within the #SoulSavvyWay, we have ze ways to transform zis smog into ze crystal clear, fresh scented reality that zis zessential for zis time. (Oopz I zink zis is ze mad energy healer appearing…)


A personal story. A stress mgmt. consultant for two plus decades Continue reading

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Self Care Saboteurs: #1 Puritan Work Ethic

One of July’s themes is self-care. This article looks at the systemic impact of the Puritan ethic, which undermines self-care via a punishing work ethic. Self-care is viewed as a weakness.

We have deluded ourselves into believing the myth that capitalism grew and prospered out of the Protestant ethic of hard work and sacrifice. The fact is that capitalism was built on the exploitation and suffering of black slaves and continues to thrive on the exploitation of the poor — both black and white, here and abroad. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

No pain, no gain. Is this true? Wouldn’t it be fun if Judge Judy type shows could investigate these types of assumptions, in service of really setting things right? Because if this isn’t true, the entire basis of capitalism, of the Western World and its philosophy, could be way off. Big surprise! These days with Covid, mega change is needed in many foundational structures and economic systems.

Effort effort effort. Don’t stop. Make sure everything’s done, before you get to relax. Push push push. Never enough. Sound familiar? Some are blessed with an ability to relax. How do they do it? This doesn’t always mean they get less done, funny enough. One friend gets most of his creative ideas when he’s resting and napping. He does this a lot. If he decides to teach a course (Nap Yourself Productive?), I’m first in line.

You get many messages, when it comes to self-care. What did you learn? The first layer is often this Puritan ethic stuff – self-denial, effort, and driven-ness. The sense that resting is weakness. The next layer might be your ethnic input. Many workhorse ideas are rooted to generations ago, anchored in survival fears of that time.


The next layer there, has history and clout still. What might religious beliefs say about how to take care of yourself? It’s better to give than receive? Continue reading

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Soul Savvy Courage Story: Tom Rath

Tom Rath is a great scientist, author and fellow human who is a tribute to the benefit of getting to your deep work. His back story is an even more compelling example of courage, and an advanced level of stress management. Like a true Soul Savvy example, his work continues to evolve in fascinating ways. See links at end for his books and follow him on Twitter @Tomcrath.

Tom Rath is an inspirational human. An American consultant and author re: employee engagement, strengths and well being, he’s best known for his studies on the intersection of strengths based leadership and well being. He synthesizes the science and research in helpful books and frameworks.  All well and good right? A man who has evolved his genius work, and is doing it for the good of all. Or at least, it has the potential to benefit many of us humans, if heard.

As a cancer counselor in years past, I found his back story also compelling. To me, he is a prime example of the best use of courage, as well as advanced stress management skills.

Tom was diagnosed with cancer at age 16 – high school, yes. It was a type of eye cancer, and in his treatment, he lost that eye. But there was more. He found out during his treatment that he happened to have a rare genetic disorder. As a result, he was missing the all-important tumor suppressor genes. His cancer was treated, yes. But he was told that he now faced a lifelong challenge, Continue reading

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Self-Care Saboteurs: 4 Ways Self-Care Gets Waylaid

4 Costly Self-Care Detours

Do you work too hard? Push yourself beyond your energy level most of the time? Inject caffeine and sugar to circumvent natural rest periods in the day? Then crash hard, or sleep poorly? Phew, I feel this pain too. Luckily, it’s #JulySelfCare month, and it’s time to walk the talk and strengthen new approaches. Approaches that don’t insist on the moldy and punishing Puritan ethic. And pacing that doesn’t leave you burnt out and joyless, never mind dry of inspiration and creativity.

In thinking about why such a crucial thing like self-care gets left behind, and why the US has such a deformed work ethic, there is relevant history. That Puritan ethic, aka Calvinism is part of the picture. This conditioning that compels you to ignore signs to stop and rest. Related to this is a warped moral sense that it is indulgent and a sign of misguided character and conceit, to stop and high five yourself regularly. Even the common sense idea that productivity benefits from regular recovery time – well it’s often hidden or obscured.

Myths to debunk to revive your self-care

Let’s debunk this poor programming. Here are 5 inaccurate reasons self-care gets sabotaged.

1) Those misguided, cultural and moral myths that say hard punishing work is the only way to succeed. Too much rest and joy, and it’s thought you’ll lose your advantage, your “edge”.

2) Fears and limiting beliefs (LB**), often unconscious. Even when you’ve done a lot of inner work, these old fears and limiting beliefs reinvent themselves constantly.

3) Time management fumbles. Sure, you studied this and made lists endlessly, but never quite mastered productive momentum. In the end, you’re too often over-committed and overwhelmed.4) Independence at all costs, and aversion to ease/help. Continue reading

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Feminine Courage: A New Quiet Strength & Daring

Courage – the state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.
Derring do – action displaying heroic courage; daring action

What does courage mean in your life today? Is it wearing, or not wearing a mask? Is it climbing a mountain? Courage used to be very identified with guns and war; thankfully, that is changing. Let’s invite in a new, feminine side of courage. More of a gentle strength, a brave daring. And guess what! This type of courage can even get you over the hump when motivation seems a bit lacking.

I’ll give an example. I have a musical gift of singing. But I often don’t get time or have “motivation” to make time for it alongside the work Continue reading

Posted in Healing Ideas, Quantum Leaping, Taming Fear and Doubt | 2 Comments

Business Unusual: Resources and the Riots

Greetings friends and readers. My last post was posted on Memorial Day 2020, before George Floyd’s death. Since then… (moment of silence; let’s take a pause to breathe, to integrate), a lot’s been happening. Business unusual. And, this revealing feels necessary. This unrest, outrage; this explosion to say, “No More! Enough!”

And it’s pointed out, this is all happening while dealing with Covid. My meditation today noted, there is a battle raging. And we were already at war, due to this pandemic. Somehow, that seemed helpful to note. The first step of stress management is to look at what is.

And this is where a lot of stress mgmt and time management falls apart. Where it loses effectiveness at times. For example, you may have had a next quarter business plan or June plan, right? And now? Very hard to focus. Hard to have the same excitement about inviting others’ attention.

More importantly, emotions and historical pain are running high. Yes, emotions and dark thinking often can block progress and momentum for creatives and entrepreneurs. Yet there are times a pause is very needed. This is where spiritual time management can work better than any left brain, OCD authors’ takes on how to wrestle your negative mindset back into shape.

From the SoulSavvy perspective, a time of healing is here. The timing was not predictable, and that’s OK. This is where you adjust your timeline, and adapt to what’s being asked. The question continues to be: Continue reading

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Thoughts on Memorial Day 2050

Memorial Day. Veterans. Wars. That led to more Safety. Independence. Overthrowing mal-intended regimes. Then the questionable side. US vs. Vietnam. Iraq. Power abuse. Resource takeover. Indigenous disregard. Destruction.

Remembering has a spiritual side, as in re-member-ing. Restoring previously missing parts. Lost parts. Wounded, traumatized parts. AKA Soul retrieval. On the road to healing, to becoming whole again.

The question: How will we remember COVID in 10 years? How would we wish our children and the next generations to remember this time? A turning point. Taken? Or another ignored message from earth. Message to earthlings. Come in, come in.

I respect the past wars and military service of my family and yours. It served a purpose. It was part of how our species evolved. Yet dontcha think – killing each other is so… over? Past stage? That lying, and stealing, and lying about the stealing, is no longer concealable? That people are more wise and see behind the false stories? That abusing power, whether it be for resources, or another person’s body, or some other way of taking advantage of those less powerful … ?

That it is time to make these things, things of the past.

How do we make this turning point turn for the betterment of the species? Continue reading

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Therapy is a big investment and not a walk in the park. It is often time-limited, and certain phases of life are great times to seek therapy. To make the most of this healing corridor, here are 7 ways to create a good therapy experience as a client.

1) Be real in therapy, be honest about how you’re feeling. Notice what is coming up – in your life, in the therapy sessions and the relationship with your therapist.

2) Set a clear focus in therapy, your ‘treatment plan’ it’s called. What you are working to change or improve? Revisit this plan often, stay on track. What would it look like to be complete? What would that give you? You should be able to see progress on this goal as you go along.

3) Keep a notebook, notepad or list of the things that come up during the week that would be relevant and useful to explore with your therapist. That includes conflicts, progress and wins, ahas and insights, big emotions and moods.

4) Take time during the week for homework and reflection. Try new tools like expressing yourself or asking for help. Try new approaches like meditation, working with thoughts, staying neutral or open with negative emotions and moods.

5) Show up to any tension or challenges that come up in therapy. You may need to challenge your therapist, too. How to do this? Try saying things like, “This felt strange to me last session”… “I wanted to discuss how therapy is going now”… “I’m finding I’m not sure how therapy is helping me / if I’m making much progress”… It’s often helpful to check in like this along the way. Sharing progress or things you’re noticing for the better – that’s also very welcome.

6) Plan ahead / share early on what you’d like to focus on. Bring this up early in the session, especially if it’s a challenge area. Often clients may wait until near the end of the session to ask questions or address important areas. Naming your ideas early on works better.

7) Take time for a clear ending. Bad endings and communi-cation break downs are more the rule than the exception in life. This can be true in therapy too, if you’re not careful. Honor your work and investment by having at least one session to end. This is an advanced skill in using therapy well. Even if you’re taking a break for now, it’s good to summarize and finalize this phase of your work.


The final session is where you review the therapy – what went well and what you learned. You can get and give feedback. When you’ve had a good experience and a good ending, you know you can come back any time things come up. Perhaps you’d like a tune up or refresher. That’s a great support to have in life. If you do hit a major challenge, you can get support right away versus needing to research again and wait for an appointment for weeks or months. Good endings in life build resilience, as often facing endings is a challenge, but pretty unavoidable.


When you have a bad experience or a less than satisfying outcome from therapy, don’t give up. You’re human, therapists are human. It’s usually not about bad intentions. This may have been an introduction from which you’ll create a better experience. Therapists are also learning how to be their best. It’s OK to see a new therapist. It would be good to note in the next round of interviews what didn’t work so well.

Think about it – when people hire coaches, they don’t stop after their first experience. It often gets better as they grow their experience, and learn how to hone that coaching container so it works best for them.


You may have heard the analogy of how pilots flying planes set their course. Once the course is set, they have to constantly watch and correct it as they go. Isn’t that wild? It’s not just “autopilot” after all. Good therapy takes conscious and caring input and feedback all along the way. Ideally, it’s an active collaboration. While it’s natural to hesitate at first, or feel shy when some course correction might be needed, it’s get easier. It can really deepen after those moments of redesigning or speaking up about something you need. Tweak away! Express your side of what’s happening. Share any needs that aren’t getting met or questions that have arisen. You’ll develop more skills to use in the rest of your more fulfilled and authentic life.

What else would be helpful to know about creating the best therapy experience? How has getting started in therapy been challenging?

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