The greatest gift my father gave me

Years ago while going through my divorce, my therapist suggested I do an exercise about my parents.

I was working through some stuff around my own marriage, as well as the one that had been role-modeled to me by my mom and dad.

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The exercise involved taking two pieces of paper and drawing a vertical line down the middle of each.

At the top of one column I wrote “my father.” And at the top of the other, “my mother.”

On one of the papers I listed all the traits I liked about my parents. On the other, all the ones I didn’t.

Needless to say it was a very powerful exercise.

One I’ve never forgotten.

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Start before you’re ready

About a month ago – or “BTP” (before the pandemic) – I created a YouTube video called Start Before You’re Ready.

Given the climate at the time, the video was light and encouraging. It was meant to inspire you to overcome your fear of imperfection, failure/success, or procrastination.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

To do the very thing you love. No matter what.

And to do it now.

Before you’re ready.

Since that time the whole world has shifted. But I’ve come to realize that those words “start before you’re ready” couldn’t be more relevant. Or more true.

Or more important than they are at this time.

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Be gentle on your soul

Years ago, a thoughtful manager of mine wrote “be gentle on your soul” inside a beautiful journal she’d given me as a going away gift.

I was leaving my job to move across the world, in hopes of starting a new life in Scotland.

Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

I was young and full of hope.

Both excited and nervous about taking such a huge leap of faith, into the unknown.

I’ve never forgotten how good it felt to open the cover of that journal, and read her words for the very first time.

Be gentle on your soul.

Ahhhhhh.

I loved the way those words sounded. 

They resonated deep within me.

And gave me the permission, I unknowingly craved, to treat myself more kindly. As I took risks, and moved forward into the uncharted territory of my life.

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Moving through my fear

For over a year now I’ve had a burning desire to post videos on social media. I’ve always enjoyed being in front of an audience, so it’s no big surprise.

But what is surprising (at least to me) is that I wasn’t making it happen.

No matter how much I wanted to, I just couldn’t take any action.

I felt frustrated and stuck.

I was paralyzed with fear. Of putting myself out there.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Every time I got close to posting something I’d think: “don’t be ridiculous, who the heck is going to watch you?”

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The answer to your question lies within

Not long ago my teenage son had a difficult decision to make, about which path to take moving forward.

unsplash-logoMarten Bjork

He was frustrated. And feeling stuck. Unable to choose between option A or B, for fear of letting someone else down.

As I tried to uncover more details in order to help guide him, he slumped onto the sofa and grumbled: “I feel like no matter which decision I make it won’t be the right one.”

I totally got it. It didn’t seem like either choice was a very good one. While both had their pros and cons, there really wasn’t a win-win choice. 

At least not from his point of view.

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