The “Give-Yourself-A-Pause” Phrase

Nov 28, 2016 | No Comments

I work with lots of folks on how to take good care of themselves…how to listen to their own needs and set boundaries that work for them. One challenge that comes up a lot is that, in social situations, conversation can move so quickly that it becomes really hard to be able to:

  1. Pause.
  2. Sense your reaction to the request or situation.
  3. Come up with a skillful way to respond or set a boundary.

But being able to do all 3 of these things is central to respecting yourself and your needs.

There’s nothing wrong with, for instance–saying “yes” to going to a party this weekend and then, after reflection letting the person know that you’re actually beat from the holidays and need a quiet weekend at home. But retracting a “yes” is often uncomfortable for people.

So here’s a little tool for your toolbox to help create a little more space in conversation when you’re asked for something and don’t want to say “yes” (or “no” for that matter) prematurely. Let’s call it the Give-Yourself-A-Pause Phrase.

“That sounds really nice!…I’ve got to check my calendar first…can I let you know later today or tomorrow?”

“Wow…I’d really like to be able to do that. I need to think about it a bit first. Can I let you know in a day or two/hour or two?

“Hmm…interesting. That’s cool. I really want to ponder that one before I make a decision. Can I let you know soon?”

“Thanks for thinking of me. Let me think about what I’ve got going on for a bit and I’ll get right back to you.”

These are cheerful and positive. It’s also a-ok to say, “You know, I’m kinda overwhelmed at the moment…can I let you know in a bit?” or “It’s been a hard day…I think I’ve got to think about it and let you know.”

These can work when you’re:

  1. Asked on a date.
  2. Asked to join a committee.
  3. Asked out for drinks after work.
  4. Asked to travel somewhere for the holidays.

What do you think? Are there some other phrases that have worked well for you?

Healthy boundaries—>Healthy person.




The Adulting School (or Why I’ve Been MIA)

Nov 3, 2016 | No Comments


Hi! I miss writing for The Open Heart Space, but I’ve been busy with a super-creative project!

I’ve started a new business and it’s been taking up a ton of time! The new business is called The Adulting School and it was created in response to my observation that a lot of my clients were experiencing stress from a lack of concrete skills-based knowledge in their lives…And also from the question I’ve asked—and you’ve probably asked—“Why didn’t they teach us that in school?”

We’re teaching, writing, and talking about: budgeting, paying off debt, meditation, relationship skills, how to cook a meal with what’s in your fridge, and tons more.

The Adulting School holds events and offers info to help fill in those gaps—but in a friendly, accessible, non-threatening way. The events we host have good food and drink and we’re all about having a good time while we learn the stuff we need to know to be successful adults.

If you’d like to know more, check out our website at and here’s a link to our first blog post from the site on “Why Yesterday’s Adulthood Became Today’s Adulting.” And take the Adulting IQ quiz you’ll find on the site.

Happy reading and I’ll be getting back to blogging for The Open Heart Space next month after The Adulting School’s premiere Summit on 11/13!

Mindful Sex and Meditation

Jun 27, 2016 | No Comments

This article was published a couple of years ago but has gotten over 3,000 views and so elephant journal has reposted it to their front page! Thought I’d share it again with all of you! Happy Monday!

The media is full of images and headlines about how to have great sex: hot bodies and new moves, gymnastic positions and pearly pink sex toys will “spice things up” and help you either give or get the mind-blowing pleasure you’ve been looking for.

One thing often overlooked, however, is whether you’re actually in your body while you’re having sex. By this, I mean are you planning your schedule for the next day? Are you going over your grocery list? Are you worrying about having or giving an orgasm? All of us have internal mental chatter while having sex, but when thoughts come up and we ride away with them we lose contact with the sensations and subtleties of the present moment. When this happens, we limit the richness and depth of the sex we’re having. (click to read the rest…)

Know the Truth About Soul-Mates

Jun 17, 2016 | No Comments

Here’s an article I wrote for the website:

You know the story about the man in the flood? He was waiting for God to save him and when a row boat passed by to help him to dry land, he turned it away because he was waiting for God. Then when the water was up to the second floor a helicopter came by and he turned their rescue down because he was waiting for God to save him. When he was on the roof, and the water was about to swallow the house he yelled at God, “I had faith in you and you’re letting me drown!” and God said, “Who do you think sent the boat and the helicopter?!?”

My point?

If your eyes aren’t open to what healthy love looks like, you might pass it by because it doesn’t fit your picture of “soul-mate.” (Click here to get the scoop on a new definition of soul-mate!!!) 

Watch for Ways Your Mind Re-Writes the Past

Watch for Ways Your Mind Re-Writes the Past

May 20, 2016 | No Comments

This is an article I wrote for a series on “How to Heal A Broken Heart.” on the website Love, Evolve, and Thrive. For anyone suffering, this piece was entitled: Watch for Ways Your Mind Re-Writes the Past:

The human mind is so creative that we have come to rule the planet so-to-speak. However, there are two tendencies of our minds that often cause us a lot of trouble.

1. We tend to focus on the negative in the present moment and in our speculations about the future.

2. We tend to remember the past with rose-colored glasses.

Usually, I write about the ways that the first point affects us. But here I want to focus on the second point and the ways that it skews our reality during a breakup.

Think about physical pain and how quickly we forget how much it hurt. People joke about how our world’s population would be much smaller if women didn’t so quickly forget the pain of childbirth.

Think about how many people like to tell the exasperated parents of young children how “it goes so quickly” and “enjoy every minute because they grow up so fast!” These people have forgotten how frustrating and exhausting it was to change diaper after diaper or handle tantrums and spoon applesauce.

It’s good, in some ways, to let go of the negative in our past and move forward into the future. But in a painful breakup, this tendency can really hurt us. We feel the immediacy of the pain and look back longingly at the moments our lover held us in the night…the ways we laughed together…the ways he or she made us great spaghetti or traveled with us to New York or Paris.

There’s nothing wrong with mucking about in the longing for a lost love—for a limited period of time. It soothes something inside to go over those sweet memories and release the tears of loss. But then, come back. Remember that the sweet times were true, but no human, no relationship is only sweet.

Ponder, too, the farts. Remember the times he was late. The way she always used up the last of the juice and didn’t buy more. Remember that he or she didn’t always understand you. Didn’t always respect your needs. Didn’t always listen. Not necessarily because he was unkind (though maybe he was) but because he was human. This is a human loss. Keep it at human scale. It hurts and it will heal. Remembering to remove the rose-colored glasses of romantic loss helps.