Tag Archives: gratitude practice

Thank you to Dr. Brene Brown and the Daring Way Survey….

relax-569318_1280I am very fortunate to belong to a community of practitioners called the Daring Way™.

I got here the hard way, by doing the classes from Dr. Brene Brown and taking tests and following their rules and guidelines.

It was a lot of work and I loved every step of the way.

I was very happy to participate in a research survey that the community sent out a while ago and decided that I should do my part to further along the research that is the foundation of her amazing books and teachings.

So I logged in a began.

It was long, I was getting a little tired of it and considered not finishing but then something about the answers that I was giving really hit me hard.

A lot of the questions were about my feelings of worth and whether I felt my life was going anywhere and also, did I frequently compare myself to others?

Half way through the survey it occurred to me that my answers to statements like “I do not like myself” or like “when I think of my accomplishments I feel I have done less than others” ( I did not pull these from the survey, they simply reflect the sentiments from the survey), I found myself answering almost never.

What did this mean?

Simply put, it means this:

  1. I liked myself.
  2. I feel accomplished by any ones standards.

This occurred to me about half way through the survey THEN I was pumped to complete it.

I even told myself to BE HONEST, that Brene wanted honesty so I reread the stuff I had answered and carefully answered the rest…

And what do you know?!

I actually like myself and I actually feel good about what I am doing and feel good about being able to laugh at my mistakes and do not allow others to determine what I think of myself.

This is NOT at all reflective of how I felt just 10 years ago.

As recently as 2005, I was still comparing myself to others, beating myself up for not being up to par or not as good as almost everyone else in the my world. I was not a good enough coach, or writer, or business person, or mother or, or or. The list went one forever.

Also I was always catastrophizing. If one thing went wrong, it meant everything else was going to go wrong. If someone disappointed me, it meant I would be doomed to a lifetime of disappointments.

It was quite exhausting to live this way. I knew no way out.

I put on a great show of being outwardly confident but I was always on the look out for evidence that I was not good enough.

The evidence always came.

It came in the form of people’s words about my life choices (I was a bad mom because I was pursuing a new dream) or in the form of a societal or cultural message
(You are traveling too much. Who takes care of your home? One family member even asked who cooked food for my husband.)

The evidence was ALL around me.

I had to really close my ears and eyes to all the messages I was hearing. All the nay saying that was trying to get into my psyche.

I even had to listen to close friends and family tell me how silly and unrealistic my dream of doing something about ending violence in the world was.

After all, I did not have a degree in psychology, or any experience in the real world. I never worked at a not-for-profit nor had I had a job in the last 25 years!

Yes, they were lined up to tell me the way I was living was not acceptable to them, not at all.

I had to be deaf and blind to those voices all around me and to try to tune into the voices within my own heart.

The inner KNOWINGS that I wanted to do more, be more than a housewife (I had done that for 20 years) and I wanted to create change in my world.

I saw that survey as a way to go back into my past and to tell the younger me that she would be fine!

I gave her examples of the questions that would have brought her to tears just a few years before, those same questions that now brought a huge smile to her face, warmth to her heart and ONE single sweet tear to her eye.

The tear of clarity.

The tear that acted like a magnifying glass through which she saw herself in all of the accomplishments and all the experiences and all the loving people surrounding her.

I sent my younger self blessings and thanks for not ever giving up and always finding ways to burn off the fog of unworthiness and shame.

Thank you Dr. Brene Brown. You may still be collecting your data, but you have already shown me my results.

Daring greatly, rising strong and thanking you,

A grateful student.

Thankful for a great 2014….

nwlrbb50b76a9dc4871As we prepare to join loved ones this holiday season, let us take just a few moments to sit in silence and speak softly the things that pop into our heads that we are thankful for.

For me, it always starts with the simplest things:

  • My health
  • My family
  • The deep love of my children and husband
  • The warmth of my home.

Some of the more significant events are:

  • Visits to India and Trinidad to start global programs.
  • The first Train-the-Trainer in Austin.
  • Train-the-Trainer in Trinidad and how well we all formed community.
  • The ILF Team.
  • The love, support and brilliance of Andrea J Lee.
  • The new knowledge that Kate Roberts has spied about the way I teach and the way it can impact behavior change.
  • My ongoing partnership with PSI and being on the WIN team with Melinda Gates and The Princess of Norway and a group of female philanthropists who are ready to change our world.

What does your list look like?

Please let us know in the comment section below.

May you be at Peace.

Love and light,


LABL 006: Being Present – Be Physically and Emotionally Present

Welcome to Episode #6 of the Live a Brighter Life Podcast!

In this episode of the Live a Brighter Life Podcast Indrani and Andrea discuss being present. Specifically you will:

  • Reflect on all that you have learned
  • Determine your easiest path to living a brighter life
  • Reflect on your experiences over the course of the workshops
  • Assess your own shift in self-perception
  • Write a letter of self gratitude

Podcast Recording

When the going got tough… I had to find a way to keep going

*Psst.. Did you know you can highlight any sentence in this post to automatically share it via Twitter or Facebook? Go ahead, give it a try!**

cheerful-happy-woman-enjoying-nature-beautiful-sky-balloonsI have been having some significant issues the past few weeks.

Most of the time I am able to stay in the moment and to stay out of negative thinking and self judgment. However, a few days ago, all my resolve fell apart and I had nothing left.

I could not crawl into a hole and hide. I could not run away from home. I could not stop caring for the people around me.

I had to find a way through a difficult 24-72 hour period.

So I chose to live by the positive psychology of PERMA.

P is for Positive Emotion
E is for Engagement
R is for Relationship
M is for Meaning and Purpose
A is for Achievement

These five elements are what make life sweet.

If the details of each day put a little deposit into each of the buckets and you can look at the day and feel good and positive about what you accomplished then you are living with PERMA.

Here is an example:

Let’s say you are facing some significant personal issues and you have no energy to  do anything for anyone but you want to do a little something for a few key people and you want to feel great about what you do.

Pick a person who needs a little help and do just a small thing, like maybe giving them some tea or a meal or just a call on the tele.

When you do this small thing you will get Positive Emotion from the deed.

You will be Engaged with the person you love.

You will be building the Relationship with that person.

You will have done something that gives Meaning and Purpose to your life.

You will have Achieved something with and for them.

Stacking up these bits of PERMA during a tough day will make you feel a lot better AND will flood your brain with Positive emotion.

It’s not always easy to find something that fills all the buckets, so just being able to fill 3 or 4 is a great start.

Love and light,


The Department of Emotions….

fengshuiyourcubicleIf you should see a sign above a beautiful doorway in a lovely building that reads Department of Emotions, you may be curious.
You may enter cautiously, with glee or maybe with anxiety. Let’s assume that you do enter and begin to look around.

Within this department, you may find floor upon floor of beautiful offices with open doors and nicely dressed people working away.
These employees have the job of dispensing emotions to the whole world. They actually love their jobs.
The way they do it is that they get telegraphic requests and they dispatch emotions at the speed of light.

You want Joy? Done.
Gratitude? Yes, lots being dispensed these days.

You look around some more and realize that some employees are sitting still, making no movement with no work to do.
You look at their titles and there seems to be a theme….Bliss, Ecstasy, Passion and you wonder why.

Then you wander some more and see some employees over-burdened, just dragging and stressed and you glance at their titles.
You see another theme…

You ask them why they are so exhausted and they don’t even have time to look up or answer you.
One of the other employees, the one called Ecstasy, tells you that some emotions are overused and the guys dispensing them cannot catch a break. No time for rest or sleep. No one seems to be taking breaks from fits of anger, rants full if rage or blinding hatred.

Then you begin to realize that you too have overused some emotions and woefully underused others.
You cannot remember the last time you telegraphed for Bliss or Passion and forget about Ecstasy.

Dear reader,

I know that this blog is way out there. I hope that it gives you pause to consider which emotions you over use and which others you ignore.
I encourage you to use less anger and rage and use more of joy, bliss and passion.
Find something to be passionate about…a hobby or a cause.
Find Joy in the everyday stuff, even little things like the gift of sight or the ability to still climb stairs.
I believe it was Albert Einstein who said we can behave as if nothing is a miracle, or as if everything is a miracle.
Let’s live the miracles that are all around us.
Love and light,

Ego or preparation?

Sticker-ShockThe invitation was issued and I accepted. I was going to be one of the key note presenters at a very significant World Conference.

What would I wear?
How did I want to present myself to the attendees?
These and multitudes of questions rushed into my already overcrowded brain.

I decided that I wanted new luggage.
Luggage, I imagined, was part of the first impression….so I began to shop.
I saw that Tumi had some great designs out there and I had a 20% off coupon.
Ok, not paying full price, already a coup!
I got two pieces, one large and one carry on.
Half of the first impression done. Check.

Next, what would I wear on stage?
I had some very professional clothes that I loved and I thought I was set.
THEN, while window shopping one day, I saw IT!
The ensemble (yes, it was an ensemble and it did feel quite hoity toity to say it) was magnificent.
The colors were pink and orange and gold!
The dress even had a name, Horizon Sunset!
It was by a designer and I have never bought anything designer.
I was “talked into” trying it on.
I was mesmerized
It was perfect.
It would be the ray of sunlight that would lighten my topic of Gender Violence.
It would bring sunshine into the room.
The designer was there and she fitted it to my body. It would be a perfect fit, she said.
The dress arrived two weeks before I was due to leave. I had a final fitting and it was made to fit me perfect.
So, I happily packed my larger suitcase and more happily packed my carry on.
I have my sunshine dress, the shoes to go with it and two more outfits, just in case my luggage gets lost!
First impression… Ready set go!


Mishap ONE:
The BRAND NEW TUMI carry on BROKE on the first flight and I had to buy a cheap one to take its place! I called Tumi and let them have the full extent of my anger. “So sorry,” she said “we will be happy to fix it!” Really? Can you get me a new one NOW for the rest of my trip? “Ummm….no, but we are really sorry!”

Mishap TWO:
I get to St. Moritz, where I unpacked all my clothes and had them all professionally pressed so as to really make that perfect first impression. The day of my speech, I rest, I meditate and I put on the sunshine dress. I do my thing (and people love the dress!), I go up stairs to change for the dinner event, I take off my lovely dress and THERE… A LARGE GAPING HOLE where a seam ought to be! I was so upset! I let loose some choice words about the designer… and vowed to get every cent of my money back.

What did I learn?

Lesson ONE:
My old luggage was plenty good enough. I did not have to spend more money for new luggage.

Lesson TWO:
The clothes in my closet were plenty good enough and I did not have to suit up in any designer duds to try to impress anyone.

Lesson THREE:
People were coming to hear all the speakers and to be inspired by the good work that everyone was doing. I did not have to do any more than the work I had already done. My work spoke volumes.

Lesson FOUR:
I am cured of designer duds!

I was super disappointed at the stuff that went wrong but at the end of the day, I was happy with my performance and how I handled myself despite all the mishaps.

My work shone more brightly than the designer ensemble and held up under pressure better than the Tumi bag.

Let’s remember what is really important in life…it’s the stuff we DO, not the stuff we own!
I think I allowed my ego to run amok and I got clobbered for it.

Next time, I am shopping my closet and borrowing bags from family members.

Love and light,