This past week has been tough on former Vice President Joe Biden. Several women have come forward to say they were uncomfortable with Biden’s touchy-feely ways such as hugs, forehead kisses and other instances when he invaded their personal space.
Biden’s response? That wasn’t my intent.
As I discussed in a previous FB live, your intent doesn’t matter.
How your message is received is what matters.
As George Bernard Shaw once said (or didn’t, who knows, but it’s a great quote), “the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
In this case I’d say the biggest problem in communication is assuming other people understand your intent.
We tend to think that intent covers all manner of sins. Listen to kids play (and fight) and you’ll hear, “I didn’t mean to!” as if that makes whatever happen, ok.
Regardless of your intent, if the person you’re communicating with receives a different message, that’s on you.
Great communicators are constantly adjusting their message both in terms of content and delivery. By watching how people respond to your message, you can adjust accordingly. In my work I teach people how to read permission; the nonverbal indicator of receptivity.
And that’s exactly where Joe Biden went wrong. He assumed permission he didn’t have. This is often the case for people in power positions. Because those around them are afraid or intimidated, they don’t often clearly communicate their discomfort or fear. Which is why people in those positions must never assume permission and instead, play it safe.
This, by the way, has nothing to do with being politically “correct.” Regardless of the message or the context, if you want to succeed at communication, you’ll keep an eye on how your listener responds to your message instead of merely relying on your good “intentions.”
It's spring! In the Pacific NW, we get early tulips and daffodils popping through, and cherry tree blossoms. People start mowing their lawns. It's warm enough to be out in a light jacket, and the birds start going to town on their annual songs.
Of course, here in the "upper left," we also are the epitome of "April showers bring May flowers." You never know when you'll get caught in a downpour. So, adventuring requires close monitoring of the weather app, and making sure your jacket has a hood (umbrellas are for wimps!).
Still...nature calls to the heart of man, woman and child. It's time to breathe in the great outdoors.
Today’s self-care tip is to remind you to GET OUTSIDE.
I live in Portland, Oregon (well, Beaverton, a suburb) and due to it raining nearly EVERY SINGLE DAY (ok, not every day, but a lot!) this advice is personally difficult to follow.
But as this article reminds us, there are several research-backed reasons to get your ass outside. Among them:
…and even lower overall risk of death. (Death!)
But seriously, do you actually need RESEARCH to tell you what you already know? Being outside is FUN. Isn’t that a good enough reason?
For example, last summer we bought bikes. Nearly every weekend we’d ride our bikes along the Fanno Creek trail here in Beaverton.
Was it good for my health? Yes. Is that why I did it? No.
Being on a bike reminds me of my childhood where I rode my bike everywhere and it’s just plain fun to recapture that as an adult.
Whether it’s research that gets you outdoors or the fact that it’s fun, just get out there.
Spring has sprung, get yourself outside!
“We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”
How can I talk about getting outdoors without talking about Walden; or, Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau?
Published in 1854, Walden details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years, two months, and two days in a cabin he built near Walden Pond. In the book, Thoreau compresses the time into a single calendar year and uses passages of four seasons to symbolize human development.
A great read, I highly recommend it.
A huge part of self-care is getting outdoors. We won’t be able to continue to enjoy the outdoors unless things change.
From their website:
“The Nature Conservancy is tackling some of the toughest problems facing people and nature today, replicating good ideas to save many places and improve people’s lives. We are grounded by local experience and leverage our science, real-world solutions and partnerships to influence global decision-making.”
This organization is helping conserve the natural world. To learn more, donate, or get involved, click the button below.
Ever since I began working with trial attorneys, I’ve noticed that the journey from “beginner” attorney to “rock star” attorney was circular.
Meaning, when attorneys first begin, they look to the greats and attempt to copy what they’re doing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched a trial attorney come through my office and present an opening statement or conduct jury selection using the same words, voice tone and body language of the originator. Nearly every time it falls flat.
Anyone, in any profession goes through this same learning curve as well. When I first started out, I copied my mentor all the time. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this. It’s how many of us learn.
But it’s not until we come back to ourselves that we finally find what we’re really looking for.
After trying to mimic the people in your life or profession you admire, there comes a time when you must let go of attempting to be someone else and become who you were always meant to be.
It’s no accident that this happens only after we’ve “tried on” other people’s styles. Except for the rare bird that is born knowing exactly who and what they are, most of us have to experiment a bit before we find out how we want to show up in the world.
But find out we must.
Because when you stop searching and realize the person you’ve been waiting for is YOU, everything starts to shift.
You are enough. Just as you are. Are you ready to forge your own path and find your own way? Enough with the copying. Let’s find out what you can do when you embrace who you are, flaws and all.
I’m excited to see what happens. Are you ready?
Join the waitlist on the home page to learn more.
In a recent convo with a friend, she was using some really harsh language to describe herself and her recent actions. I had to stop her right then and point out that the way she was talking about herself toherself was the voice of a bully.
"Would you talk to ME that way?"
"Of course not!"
"Well, what gives you the right to talk to YOURSELF that way?!"
This weekend, check in on your self-talk. Build yourself up the way you would build others up. Don't be a bully to your inner self.
About a month ago, I talked here in this space about the importance of mental breaks. Today I’d like to remind you to give YOURSELF a break.
But what I mean this time is, lay off the negative self-talk.
Most of us are so hard on ourselves. We berate ourselves for our mistakes, perceived or real, and constantly talking to ourselves this way has negative consequences. In terms of power, it’s a major power drain.
It’s one thing to do nice things for yourself: baths, chocolate, time with a hobby, but none of those things really count as “self-care” if your internal monologue is constantly beating you up.
Give yourself a break. When you’re being hard on yourself, stop and ask if you’d talk this way to a friend. Practice telling yourself what a great job you’re doing, how good you look in that outfit and how grateful you are to have the life you have.
If you’re really committed to self-care, practice being kind to yourself on the inside as well as the outside.
Here’s a podcast episode that might help.
“Remember, you have been
criticizing yourself for years and
it hasn’t worked. Try approving
of yourself and see what happens.”
Alrighty, I’m about to get REAL woo-woo
on you and introduce you to Louise Hay
and her book You Can Heal Your Life.
Louise Hay might just be the pioneer of self-help, and even though I resisted buying this book for years, I finally succumbed and have to say I count this as one of my favorite books of all time. I ALWAYS grab for it when I’m feeling down. And bonus? She has a section on various physical ailments and the thoughts that create them. (I told you, woo woo.) I dare you to look up a few. This woman is RIGHT ON THE MONEY nearly every time.
If you’re serious about getting rid of your negative self-talk, then you’ll buy and absorb this book. I remember reading this line: “Loving the self, to me, begins with never ever criticizing ourselves for anything.” I about fell out of my chair. NEVER criticizing ourselves for ANYTHING? What? Get the book to see how you too, can do this.
This book is life changing. Get it. Learn it. Live it.
Girls Inc. believes girls need a space to learn how to be their best selves and have even created a Girl’s Bill of Rights which includes the right to be themselves, express themselves, take risks, accept their bodies, have confidence and prepare for independence. You can read the Girl’s Bill of Rights here.
From their website:
“The network of local Girls Inc. nonprofit organizations serves girls ages 6-18 at more than 1,400 sites in 400 cities across the United States and Canada. Our research-based programming is delivered by trained professionals who focus on the development of the whole girl, supporting, mentoring, and guiding girls in an affirming, pro-girl environment. Here, girls learn to value their whole selves, discover and develop their inherent strengths, and receive the support they need to navigate the challenges they face.”
This organization is helping empower girls. To learn more, donate, or get involved, click the button below.
Years ago, I was working with a trial attorney in my office. After several attempts to get him to open up his body language, he still remained closed.
Frustrated, I finally blurted out, “Ok, what’s the story?”
And out tumbled a story about how he’s afraid he’ll say or do something that will turn the jurors against him and how this fear had been eating him alive.
When our communication is “off” there’s always a story behind it.
Body language starts in the brain. What we think gets communicated through our nonverbals.
This is dangerous.
Walk into the break room and see two people abruptly stop talking and you make up a story that they were talking about you.
See a juror frown and you make up a story that they don’t believe you and your version of events.
Your spouse is late coming home from work and you make up a story that they’ve been in an accident.
All of these stories have consequences because we communicate based on our stories.
Think your colleagues are talking behind your back? You’ll start avoiding them and acting strangely when they’re around.
Think a juror is against you during trial? You’ll start getting nervous about trying new things and play it safe.
Think your spouse has been in an accident? You’ll increase your stress and may lash out at your child.
It’s nearly impossible to stop making up stories because the brain is wired to make sense of our experiences. So instead, ask yourself, “Does this story serve me?”
If your story causes you stress, worry or anxiety, it doesn’t serve you. So ditch it. Tell yourself a new story.
Maybe your colleagues were sharing a personal story and were embarrassed if others heard.
Maybe the juror has a stomach ache.
Maybe your spouse got stopped by his or her boss on the way out of the office and didn’t have time to text you before getting in the car to drive home.
Are these stories true? It doesn’t matter. The point is, they serve you and your mindset. If you end up getting more information that gives you a clearer picture, great! Reframe your story. But until then, pick a story that serves you.
Here’s a podcast episode you might enjoy.
No, I'm not talking about cocktails with the girls. I'm talking about WATER! I've had to really get used to drinking water and build up my habit, but boy...I can't imagine not drinking it now. In fact, I prefer it to other beverages (just don't try to take away my coffee! I'll fight you.) and end up drinking it all day long.
This week we're talking about all the great work water does in our bodies and the need for it throughout the world. Plus, we take a look at creativity as it bubbles up inside us through one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. Get yourself a glass of water, sit back and let's POWER UP!
Drink your water.
If you want to be a focused, clear communicator, drink that water down. Water and brain function are intimately linked. Lack of water can cause memory lapses, problems focusing, fatigue, headaches, trouble sleeping, depression and more.
Over 70 percent of the body is composed of water. Every function in the body is dependent on water, including the activities of the brain and nervous system. Studies have shown that for every 1% that you dehydrate, you will have a 5% decrease in cognitive function.
I don’t know about you, but in my job I need to be clear and focused. Now, do you need to drink a gallon of water a day to get the benefit? Not necessarily. You just need to be drinking more water than you probably currently are.
I personally try to drink 72 – 96 ounces of water a day. I fill up my water bottle first thing in the morning and sip it through the day, attempting to refill it two to three times.
Yes, I have to pee all the time, but people ask me all the time about my skin (it’s pretty awesome) and I feel so much better when I get all my water in. Bonus? It helps you lose weight too.
Drink ya water. I’m serious. It’s simple but can have a MAJOR impact on your cognitive functioning, not to mention your health. If you want to be powerful, you’ve got to take care of your body.
“A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life,
a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a
lot more interesting life. Living in this
manner — continually and stubbornly bringing
forth the jewels that are hidden within you — is a
fine art, in and of itself.”
I love books. So a majority of the Stuff I Love Sunday posts will be sharing my favorite books with y’all.
This week I’m sharing Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. For anyone looking for a little more creativity in their life, this book is a must read.
Elizabeth Gilbert is best known for the best seller Eat Pray Love, but in this book you’ll learn how to break out of your ruts and really go for it, whatever “it” is.
Give it a read and let me know what you think.
charity: water is working to change that. 100% of every donation goes towards bringing clean water to people in need.
From their website:
“charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries. 1 in 10 people lack access to clean water. We’re on a mission to change that.”
This organization is helping empower people through access to clean water. To learn more, donate, or get involved, visit: https://www.charitywater.org/
Do you suffer from this?
Symptoms include: feeling inadequate, fear of being “found out,” never feeling good enough and a host of other shitty feelings.
I used to say everyone suffers from it, but I’ve recently changed my mind.
No, the only people suffering from Imposter Syndrome are those who are living lives of courage.
Listen, if you’re living a comfortable, cushy life where safety is your primary concern, where making sure you never fail is on your agenda and where you never risk looking stupid, I can guarantee you don’t suffer from Imposter Syndrome.
It’s only when you’re out there living a big, bold life, attempting to realize your potential that Imposter Syndrome sneaks in.
That doesn’t mean you don’t suffer. Pushing the envelope and reaching for the stars can activate Imposter Syndrome and make you feel miserable. The fear that someone will find out you have no idea what you’re doing can eat you alive.
Here’s what you need to remember: you’ll never know “enough.” And that’s because there’s always more to learn! No one ever feels 100% ready when taking on new challenges. And waiting until you do feel ready means you’ll keep waiting and waiting and waiting.
You’re not an imposter.
When Imposter Syndrome rears its ugly head remind yourself this is a good sign. It means you’re stepping out in boldness and living into your potential. Take Imposter Syndrome and flip the script: see it as evidence that you’re willing to feel uncomfortable in order to live the life of your dreams.
Here’s a podcast episode you might enjoy
My body is always tight. Even with my awesome bed (I will tell anyone who will listen about my bed. Ask me. I'm serious.), I find that I still wake up with tension that I carry most days. Between all the computer work I do, picking up my daughter, and trying to get my weekly workouts in, I sometimes feel like I've been hit by a MACK Truck (and no...not a truck carrying awesome make-up).
That's why a daily yoga practice is SO IMPORTANT. It's simply the way that my body holds itself together and keeps working for me. It's also what my brain needs. Learn more about the body-brain connection below and join me on the yoga mat this week. (Well...not literally. You get your own mat. I'll be on mine. Ha!)
Last week I talked about meditation, today let’s talk about yoga.
I’ve been a yoga devotee for over 20 years. Because I struggle so much with turning my brain off, yoga, in addition to meditation, gives me an hour of brain-free time that’s simply divine.
Now, the reason my brain turns off during yoga is because I need to be so focused on my body. Holding the poses takes every bit of energy I’ve got both mentally and physically.
Most of us live sedentary lives; stuck at our desks. Yoga stretches both the body and the mind. After doing yoga, I feel like I’ve just had a massage.
Yoga seems complicated to some, but it really isn’t. All you need is a mat and comfortable clothing. You can do yoga at the gym, in a yoga studio, or at home. There are different types of yoga: relaxing yoga, power yoga and even yoga in heated rooms, but don’t worry too much about the type. Just pick what seems interesting and get started.
You don’t have to do straight up yoga if you’re not inclined. Merely getting up to stretch at regular intervals throughout the day will also give you benefit.
Listen, we communicate who we are. Taking care of your body isn’t some side project, it’s PRIMARY. Whether it’s yoga, stretching or some other method of opening up a body that’s continually overworked, take a few minutes a day to give your body a break.
Check out my Stuff I Love Post below for ideas on how to get started.
I love yoga. Which means I love yoga stuff. What stuff you ask? (BTW, I don’t receive any commission on recommending these products, I just love ‘em!)
First off, I love this yoga DVD called Yin Yoga. Yin Yoga is a type of yoga that has you hold stretches for a long period of time but don’t require much strength. Perfect for those of us who are tight tight tight, I try to do this type of yoga at least once a week.
If you’re looking for a book to try yoga poses at home, I really recommend this book, Essential Yoga.
If you’re looking for a yogic approach to eating (no, not ayurvedic, just a “listen to your body” approach) I really like this little known book, Yoga of Eating.
Any and all yoga mats will do, but if you’re wanting to try hot yoga, you’ll want a special yoga towel to cover your mat that’s non slip and will catch your sweat. I really like my CORCOPI yoga towel.
My favorite yoga pant? Zella high waist crop leggings. They keep my tummy in place as I attempt the downward facing dog.
Alrighty, you’ve got what you need. Now go yoga!
From their website:
“The Give Back Yoga Foundation supports and funds research-based, clinically tested yoga programs for marginalized populations. We also provide supplies to help kickstart yoga programs, inspiring grassroots social change and community cooperation in under-resourced areas. Join us in sharing the transformational benefits of yoga with the world, one person at a time.”
This organization is helping empower people through yoga. To learn more, donate, or get involved, click the button below.
A week ago, I was speaking at a conference for female trial lawyers called Embrace Your Inner Bad Ass.
One of the lawyers asked a question during Sunday morning’s Q & A. She asked, “Could you talk a little about self-care?”
My answer? “Sure. My tip for self-care is to design a life you don’t want to escape from.”
In other words, self-care shouldn’t be used as an escape from a life that is soul-sucking.
But it’s not always that easy.
It’s one thing to talk about designing a life that you love, and it’s quite another to actually do it.
For example, what about people who don’t feel they are able to “design their life?” Either due to circumstances beyond their control or because they’re in a period of their life that feels overwhelming at best? (Any parents of young kids out there?)
To that I’d say: You still have choice.
Designing a life you don’t want to escape from begins by recognizing that we often aren’t allowed to choose our circumstances, but we can always, ALWAYS choose our response.
I’ve written about Viktor Frankl before. Viktor was a Jewish man held in a concentration camp during World War II. Viktor was, in the most extreme sense of the word, powerless. He couldn’t leave. He couldn’t change his circumstances. He couldn’t do much of anything.
He could control how he responded to the situation.
He had power over his response. He didn’t need to have control over his circumstances in order to own his personal power. He still had choice even when the Nazi’s took everything else away.
You always have choice too, even when it seems you don’t. When the pipe bursts or your kid is suspended or your spouse leaves or you have to declare bankruptcy, you can choose your response. You can decide, right then and there, how you want to be with whatever is happening. And how you want to be will inform what you do next. All doing flows from being.
So the next time you feel powerless, ask yourself, how do I want to respond to this? In that way you can reclaim your power and continue to design a life you love, even when things seem out of control.
Designing a life you don’t want to escape from begins with owning what you can control and what you can’t. Start by controlling your response to your circumstances. That is where the power lies.
"Quiet please!" I'm not telling YOU to be quiet. I'm telling my brain to pipe down. My brain works overtime it seems; running a mile a minute to manage my time, my focus, my emotions, my communication, etc. Phew! It needs to get some rest and to refresh. Sure, sleeping accomplishes that partially, but the practice of meditation can really launch you into powerful control over your over-functioning mind.
Today let’s talk about meditation.
I bet the minute you read the word “meditation” you thought of someone sitting cross legged, wearing white clothes, sitting at the end of a pier on some tranquil lake.
You probably didn’t envision me, in my sweaty workout clothes, in my cat cave (my third bedroom used for relaxation and meditation adorned with IKEA cat curtains) lying on the ground with a pillow under my knees trying to quiet my racing brain, did ya?
The point is, ANYONE can meditate, and EVERYONE should. Look, I hate throwing the should word around, but ma-dudes, meditation can change your life.
I won’t waste your time listing all of the benefits of meditation that you can easily google yourself. Suffice it to say that if you’re serious about living your best life on your own terms, you should (there’s that word again) seriously consider a meditation practice.
Now notice what I just said. A meditation practice. Because, lordy lordy, does it take practice. Our brains are wired to constantly chatter at us and it takes practice to quiet that shit down. But quiet it down we must if we ever hope to fully embrace this chaotic thing called life.
Look, my brain wreaks havoc with me all the damn time. It’s incessant. That 20 minutes I devote every morning to practicing turning down the noise in my head is essential to my happiness. It’s like putting my brain through the dishwasher. (Ok, that’s kind of a gross visual. Apologies.) After meditating for 20 minutes I feel more ready to tackle my day and I know you will too.
I can’t tell you how many clients, after attempting meditation, complain to me that they just can’t quiet their inner voice. Hello! That’s the point. Meditation is a practice; one you must do every day to get better and better at turning that voice OFF.
Nothing we own can survive being “on” 24/7. The same goes for your brain. Give it a rest. Try meditation. And if you don’t know where to start, check out my Stuff I Love post below.
Inspired to get started with meditation? Great! Here’s a wonderful resource: Oprah and Deepak’s 21 Day Meditation Experience.
I know, I know, it’s Oprah but this stuff is great, and it’s also FREE. Every so often Oprah and Deepak launch a free 21-day meditation experience and they’re offering a new one: Manifesting Grace through Gratitude that begins on March 25th.
What I love about these 21-day meditation experiences is that they focus on a specific topic. Oprah introduces the topic, and Deepak guides you deeper into the meditation before giving you a mantra to use and then letting you meditate before bringing you back. It’s all very structured, which I love. In fact, I’ve purchased many of the 21-day meditations because I wanted to do them over again!
You can register for the upcoming free meditation by clicking below.
From the website:
“The David Lynch Foundation helps to prevent and eradicate the all-pervasive epidemic of trauma and toxic stress among at-risk populations through promoting widespread implementation of the evidence-based Transcendental Meditation (TM) program in order to improve their health, cognitive capabilities and performance in life.”
This organization is helping people who suffer from toxic stress and trauma. To learn more, donate, or get involved, click below.
Sari's passion is to help you TAP into your power from the inside, out. "Power Tools" provides real talk that gives you tools and reminders for tapping into your power instead of giving in to your excuses.