Tag Archives: be happy

Re-purposing behaviors…I want that!

A couple of months ago I spoke with writer Paul Carr about his journey to quit drinking. I know that he has created some controversy and this post is not taking sides on those issues.

This post is about him being astute enough to treat himself to something expensive JUST beyond his normal sober reach. He mentioned during our chat that he bought a lovely pen that was just shy of $1,000.00. He said that some people were upset that he wasted money on something like that.

His take was that he had wasted $1,000.00 on many bar bills and had nothing to show for it at the end of the splurge except a nasty hangover.

I agree with him. I agree that we spend money on things that we think will make us hurt less, fear less or some other magical thinking.

When we continue behaviors that “we have always done” without stopping to wonder if those behaviors still serve us, we are being quite robotic. We are unthinking. Perhaps not thinking allows us to pretend that “all is well”. Often, though, not thinking just keeps us trapped in the same old hurts, pain, and challenges.

A few years ago I met a cabbie in Philly who told me that she longed to go to Jamaica on holiday. I asked why she had not gone and she said that she had too many bills, including rent on a storage unit she had for quite a few years. I asked her what she was storing and she said furniture for her kids and her books.

I asked her if the kids wanted the furniture and she said that she did not know. I calculated how much rent she had paid over the course of the rental agreement and she almost choked. Suffice to say it was many trips to Jamaica.

I felt her pain.

While back in Philly a few months later, I called her to pick me up. I asked her about the storage unit and if she had gone to see it. She said she had and that the furniture had been eaten by termites and her books were ruined with moisture. I felt so bad for her.

I gave her a little tidbit of coaching. I told her to pretend she still had the unit and to create a special Jamaica bank account and to pay into it each month what she was paying for the rent on the storage unit. I explained that she already knew how to budget her monthly income for the rent, so she could use that knowledge to make her dream vacation come true.

There is a lesson to be learned here.

What behavior can you re-purpose for your happiness and joy, and not just do it mindlessly as you have been doing?


Love & light,


Why can’t you read my mind?

When my kids were very young I told them
that I could read their minds. That got them to “own up” pretty quickly to who had done what. That lasted all of 3 days. I must admit…they were pretty smart for their age.

One thing that was worse however was that I expected other people to read my mind and to automatically know what I expected and what made me happy. I mean, if I actually had to ASK for what I wanted, then what was the good of it? I not only expected it, I was UNAWARE that I expected it. Further, I had NO idea what I really wanted! So even if someone did something awesome, I could not fully appreciate it.

The first inclination I had that something was really skewed with my thinking was when a therapist asked me “what I wanted from life”.
What kind of stupid question was that?
“I want what everyone wants!” was my sarcastic quip.
“Really?” he replied. “What does everyone want?”
“People want to be happy! I want to be happy!”
He, in his infinite patience replied, “So what would make you happy?”

Then I was stumped.

I DID NOT know the answer to that question.

My brain felt like it was on the spin cycle and no one was going to press the done button.

That was the beginning of my quest for what would make me happy.

I tried to continue to please everyone, but with GUSTO. I mean if I really LOST myself in making others happy…then surely I would be happy?

It did not work.
Some of those people that I was DYING to please STILL were not happy.
They wanted more and more and still more.
I tried to find the “more” and I became LESS. I had less energy for my dreams, less energy for my self-care and less connections to the people I cared about. In trying to please the FEW, I neglected myself and everything else that was important to me.

The term “DYING to please” was very real to me. I put anything healthy for myself on the back burner. Hell, it was NOT even on the stove top. It was stored away with all the junk that I no longer needed.

I had to learn to put myself back on the stove, then FIRST on my list.
I had to learn to say out loud what it was that I wanted and not expect people to read my mind.
I had to learn to set very clear boundaries around what I would and would not do.
I had to learn about what made me happy.

I saw everything as a lesson. Some lessons I loved and others I hated.
I did less and less of what I hated and more of what I loved.

This is how I learned to speak my truth and how to stop expecting others to read my mind.
Thinking back now, I can’t believe that I ever wanted someone to be able to read my mind.  All my secrets would be fair game and that is a scary thought.

Love and light,