Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

Dream a New Dream

Have you ever had a dream that left you disturbed upon waking? Then throughout the day, the dream popped up making you wonder what it meant? Well, today we are going to talk about those disturbing dreams.

Good morning to all the Early Morning Wakers, the Late Night Netflixers, and the Coffee Sucking Heros of the Day! I’m glad we get to face this new day together.

Everyone dreams a little different, but most of us have had dreams to which we can all relate. How about that dream of finding yourself in school but you’re not wearing a shirt? Or standing at your locker having forgotten the combination and you’re late for class? Or the dream where you’re chased by something or someone terrible? Or a pending cyclone bearing down on you?

Disturbing dreams have a way of sticking with you long after you wake, and if you’re introspective like me, you may wonder, “What do they mean?” Well, Freud and Jung and psychoanalysts may disagree about the meaning of dreams, but I have found there are some consistent DREAM THEMES that help us uncover our inner feelings. I believe that dreams are an extension of our unconscious. Long after our day is over, our unconscious is hard at work, piecing together the fragments of our feelings until it’s put together a full puzzle. When our unconscious is piecing together a disturbing dream, it is a sign that there is an unresolved problem in the psyche that needs to be attended to.

Your disturbing dream is a message to you that your psychological state- or your inner life- needs some attention.


  • Fear that the deep or embarrassing parts of you are exposed to the world.
  • Fear that you will be seen as weak, dumb, incompetent or value-less.
  • Fear of being controlled, or powerless.
  • Fear of being left alone in the world.
  • Fear of trying, trying, trying but never getting it right or being enough.
  • Fear of being exposed as a fraud or impostor.
  • Fear of dying.

Oh gosh, that seems like a depressing list. Take heart! These are just your dreams telling you to pay attention, to heal what is broken, nurture what is hurt, or comfort the part of you that is scared.

A while back, I had a recurring dream that I needed to go back to college to take one more class because I apparently never graduated. I tried and I tried to enroll for that last class, but was stopped by various things- tidal waves, grumpy registrars, no available apartment or dorm rooms. This recurring dream came to me several times over several years. I couldn’t figure out what it meant in its entirety. Incidentally, I had been working on an issue with my counselor seemingly unrelated to my college dreams simultaneously.

Well, one night, I graduated. I really Graduated! I was trying to register for my last class, AGAIN, and a Mark Twain Professor Einstein looking guy told me that I finished that class and was already graduated. Yippee! I have never had that dream again.


  • Pay attention, but don’t be alarmed.
  • Ask yourself what you’re really afraid of.
  • Remind yourself that you’re ok, and that you’re going to be ok.
  • While awake, write a new ending for your dream- the way you want it to end. Remember, it is a DREAM, so you can write a wonderfully fantastically happy ending to your dream.
  • Talk about it with a friend or counselor to get some perspective.
  • When you figure out what your dream might be alluding to, take action. Give yourself the power, the comfort, the support, the protection you lacked in your dream, and make your happy life a reality.





Don’t Read This if You’re Going to Feel Guilty

Psychologists who study human behavior know that motivation is best understood on a continuum. On one side of the continuum is pleasure and on the other side is pain. At a primitive level, humans are motivated to avoid pain and achieve pleasure.

 I believe we do some things (maybe a lot of things) out of a sense of guilt. I hear people say, “Well, I’ll feel bad if I don’t do _____________,” or “If I tell him the truth, his feelings will be hurt…. And then I’ll feel so bad,” or “I better do ___________ because they’d think I was a ____________ if I didn’t.” They think that if that doing something to avoid guilt, they will be avoiding the pain. But the pain is just delayed. It always catches up.

When Sweet and Sassy were in elementary school, the pressure to be a volunteer was mounting. Holiday Party sign ups were the worst. The other moms (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!) brought Easter watermelons carved into flowers, and Halloween cheese balls that looked like brains with crackers that looked like spiders, and Coconut sprinkled snowmen that were too cute to eat. I brought wrapped cheese sticks in a Safeway bag. Boom! I figured the real reason I was there was to make the other moms feel good about themselves.

Anyway, one of the main reasons I even went to these parties so I wouldn’t feel guilty for missing it.

This is more my style...

This is more my style…

I’m here to admit that I will still do things in order to avoid the guilt that would accompany NOT doing them. But I’m fully aware what’s motivating me, and that is sometimes half the battle.

Being aware of the WHY you are doing something gives you more power the next time of whether you do it at all. Once you call it what it is, you have power over it.

Remember Adam in the garden of Eden? He was in charge of naming the animals, and then he was given dominion over every living thing he named. Same thing here. When you and I can name our Motivation- THE WHY- we can have dominion over it. Here are some “For Examples:”

  • I yell at my kids because I feel out of control
  • I drink  at night because I’m stressed/depressed.
  • I don’t exercise because I feel I’m too far gone.
  • I have difficulty setting a boundary with someone because I don’t want them to be mad or disappointed in me.
  • I do __________________  so others will think I’m a good person.
  • I Read this blog so Michelle won’t think nobody reads her blog. (I put that in there for giggles.)

If you’re doing something in order to avoid pain or to achieve pleasure, or simply not to feel “bad,” then call it what it is and sit with that for a minute. Then determine if you’d like to keep on doing it. 

If you read this blog because you’ll feel guilty if you don’t, or disloyal, or whatever, then STOP reading it RIGHT AWAY! That goes for anything that you’re doing out of guilt. Doing things out of guilt steals our life-blood like a leech on a plump fanny. But if you read this blog because you feel inspired and connectivity and energy- and because it brings you pleasure, then keep on.

“This lady keeps feeding me, so I keep coming back!”

When we do things out of love and passion instead of guilt and obligation, God’s in it. His love makes more love. His blessing makes more blessing. But doing things out of guilt and fear breads more guilt and fear. Like rats in London. Like rabbits in a garden. Like rampant baby vampires that want to suck you dry of anything good.

How about you? How have you stopped guilt motivated activities? What do you do instead with your time and energy? I’d love to hear from you.

Cheers to the Guilt-Free Freedom Fighters, the Mavens of Motivation, the Princess of Passion and the Sojourners of Love!

Something We All Can Relate To

Good morning to the best people on earth! Some of you may know that I have the honor of serving on the Board of Directors of Acres of Diamonds. AOD is a local non-profit transitional home for homeless women and their children. Last weekend, at our spring fundraising event, our executive director, Jen Paddock gave the following message. It was so powerful and well written, I wanted to share it with all of you. I think you will be able to relate with these stories, because homelessness, at it’s core, is about broken relationships. And that, is just a part of being human. 

“At Acres we serve a different population than the one you see on the street corner. We serve women and children who are predominantly lifelong victims of domestic violence, most were raised in homes with addiction, crime and certainly significant poverty. They are sleeping in cars, crashing on friends’ couches, or bouncing between shelters.

 It is pretty typical for us to think “we can fix this homeless person’s problems if we give them a job, or some money. Even a house.” But you may be surprised to learn that these things won’t cut it. Not on their own. The need something more. 

I want to give you an opportunity to try to put yourself in the shoes of a typical woman we serve.

 Imagine if growing up, you never felt safe. Your home was always changing, your parents were sometimes loving and other times angry and neglectful. It became pretty clear, pretty fast that no one really was going to look out for you. Which really made you angry and it made you sad.  Eventually your dad started hitting your mom, and he hit you too. Mainly when he was drunk… which you didn’t really understand, but you knew sometimes he just went crazy. Mom wasn’t much help. She just let it happen. At some point dad just sort of disappeared. As much as he scared you, you miss him and wonder why he left. What did you do wrong? Why didn’t he love you? It must be your fault. So your anger, sadness and self doubt grew. You knew in order to survive you would have to figure out life for yourself. No one could tell you what to do. Why would you let them? They can’t be relied on and they can hurt you when you least expect it.

So let’s say you start to do stuff that makes you feel happy for a little while. And for an added bonus it makes the adults in your life mad.  Maybe you discover the buzz that comes with alcohol, maybe sex, maybe drugs. Something that makes you feel OK for a while. Not mad. Not sad. Confident even, for moments. OR maybe you found someone like your dad… who said he loved you, but hurts you a lot. You don’t feel safe, but it does feel familiar. Feels maybe like what you deserve. Since you clearly aren’t worthy of love. Or someone would have fought for you.

This goes on for a while… and then you get pregnant. A part of you REALLY wants to make a different life for your child. But you can’t even begin to think of HOW.

You look around and you see other people with families, homes, grandparents who care, jobs, education… and you feel like you just aren’t the same. You are uniquely messed up. You got a raw deal, and you don’t have the first clue how to change it. You know you have made some really bad decisions. And you feel like you don’t deserve a chance. But you keep thinking about your baby. And what will you do?

 Lots of people have advice for you. They tell you to stop doing drugs… to stop having sex… to get a job… to be nice. But how would you find the strength to do that? And what will make you feel safe and happy if you let those things go? Even for a moment?

What would it take to break free? A house? Some money? Classes?

All of these things are good… but when you put yourself in these shoes, can you see that not one of them is enough? Not if the foundation for your life is broken.

Here’s the thing about homelessness. It isn’t the problem. A house isn’t enough if the person inside is broken.

There is a tearing down and a building up. Tearing down of the old ways that didn’t work and a building up of something new.

Tearing Down is painful. Giving up the old destructive way of living is hard. 

At Acres we believe that if we can walk with our families through healing and restoration, they can end up not only being able to put a roof over their own heads… they can fill it with a life that is completely different than the one they had before. A life filled with love, joy, forgiveness, peace, self control. The life they were created for.

  Isaiah 61:1 – “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. HE has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.

This is what we do – this is what Jesus does through His church. This is why we exist.        It’s exciting to watch new life begin. To see something new begin to form on a new foundation. This is why we do what we do.”

I wanted you to have a chance to read Jen Paddock’s words because each of us can relate to this human condition of suffering, rejection, getting to the end of ourselves and starting again. We all have felt the “tearing down and building up” process in our lives. We know what it’s like to lose, to fail, and to be hurt. We know how it feels to recover from something devastating. And we also know how God is able to bring us back stronger. I hope by reading this message you are able to find and share a bit more grace with yourself, and more connection with the people around you.

living the Authentic Life

Living authentically is living dangerously. Playing it safe, just won’t cut it. You know the feeling: you put yourself out there, you say the thing you’ve needed to say for a long time, you unashamedly act on your own behalf. And then. Something happens. Silence. They are surprised. You are surprised. The wind changes directions, and the atmosphere settles. For a moment, you feel yourself grounded, strong and light all at the same time.

But then.

Then you realize the gravity of what you’ve done changes everything. Living your authentic life means you can’t go on living the way you used to.  It means that you will have to be honest with yourself from this point on. And they might not like it.

You’re going to have to go against the grain, make waves, and disappoint people’s expectations of you. You’re going to have to say hard things, and choose honesty above courtesy, and stand tall even when you’d like to hide. You’re going to have to voice your opinion and stand up for justice and protect those weaker than you. This is risky business.

At first, they are not going to understand. they are used to the “old” you and this “new” you is confusing, and maybe a little threatening. They are afraid you’re going to mess up everything. Can’t you just go back to being like you were? You know, before you found your “voice?”

 It’s going to take a strong will to live authentically. But, really is there any other way? 

My authenticity has been tested lately. Life has delivered a few disappointments in the past month that challenged my sense of well being. I began to question my work, my calling, and my skill. My journal was full of questions and prayers and what ifs and whys. 

I asked myself, “Can I be strong in the face of my own shortcomings?” I asked God, “Is accepting my weaknesses, my mistakes a way to make me stronger?” If so, I’m going to have BEHEMOTH strength! I’m going to be the best accepter-of-weakness there is!

Authentic Living is a both/and. It is humility and strength, truth and grace, sensitivity and firm resolve,

It’s God sense of justice and mercy embodied in love.

Authentic living pushes on- in the face of disappointments, letdowns and mistakes. There is no hiding or turning back with authentic living. Even when faced with “not getting picked,” or “being turned down,” or “being let go,”  authentic living accepts the “what is” and hopes for the “what will be.”

Yeah, it hurts. And yeah, shame buttons get mashed. And yeah, self doubt comes a callin’. But authentic living keeps you showing up to life with that beautiful brave smile, and that quirky confident walk.

Because you’ve embraced the truth that authentic living is more about being real than being ideal. And although you might wonder, and doubt, and shout out loud- you also know that your voice matters. It matters in the valley and on the mountain top. God wants to hear that voice. When you speak authentically, it’s soul language to God. Soul language reaches further, produces more fruit and lasts eternally.

Authentic living may incur some judgment from others. Your authentic choices, boundaries and passion may trigger others in their place of shame. people will judge you for the thing they are most ashamed of inside themselves. The unhealed places inside of them will react with your healed places. Don’t judge them back. Don’t get mad. Accept that we are all in different places of authenticity. God’s in charge of them, not you.

Let’s walk this authentic living journey together. I love my big girl panties. They fit awesome. I’ll see you on the road!

How to Be Your Own Best Friend: Especially When Loneliness is Knocking

Hello to the Best People on Earth. I’m so happy you joined me today to talk about intimacy with The Self. For the last three weeks, we’ve been discussing how to nurture intimacy in your relationships. Intimacy is often intimidating because it requires risk, self- disclosure and willingness to feel vulnerable. Humans don’t naturally like these things. Intimacy takes courage.

But what about intimacy with yourself? What if you’re alone in your house. No one is calling. No one is texting. It’s Friday night and loneliness settles over you like a dark fog? Or what if the discord in your family relationships is so thick that even though you’re in a house full of people, you still feel shut out?

Loneliness is a depression trigger. If loneliness starts to settle in to your every day life, depression might be hot on its tail, leaving sad and sleepless nights in its wake. Loneliness speaks. It says things like, “What’s wrong with you? Everyone else has someone but you,” and “Other happy families are going places and doing things together, and “You missed the boat. Your chance at relationship happiness is over.”

Loneliness needs a muzzle, don’t you think? These kind of thoughts are no bueno because they are grossly exaggerated, they lack evidence, and they are just unproductive. 

Here are some ways to cultivate intimacy with yourself, thereby muzzling the criticism of loneliness.

  • Don’t Abandon Yourself. Just because you are alone, doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. You are not BY YOURSELF, as much as you are WITH YOURSELF. Re-frame the way you see alone-ness. Frame it positively instead of negatively. View your alone time as an opportunity not afforded to all, to meditate, to dig deeper, to think through, to curiously research, to formulate ideas and put them into practice- to mine the gold of your own soul. 
  • Do What You Want: Alone time gives you the opportunity to explore, experiment, practice and create what you really want to do. Find out what you like and get really good at it. practice it, work at it, master it. 
  • Take a Risk: the fact is, you need other people, and other people need you. Invest yourself in a group of people who care about you. I believe that the best groups are structured groups. I learned a few years ago, that unless I structured my time to see my friends, I would never see them. I joined the groups they lead, the classes they taught and the teams they were on. Yes, I went to PTA meetings I didn’t want to go to, and I cycled through SPIN class I cursed myself for trying, and I looked idiotic at Zumba- but, heck I was with my friends! Which was the whole point. Take a risk, and find a structured environment that nurtures friendship. Invest your time and heart into these environments and they will pay you back in big ways.

My brother and sister were 10 and 12 years older than me. By the age of 7, I was raised as an only child with two working parents. I spent a lot of time alone and there are still times, though surrounded by loving Mr. Dashing, Sweet and Sassy and the neediest dog on earth, my past gets triggered. My one constant from childhood till now, is my faith in Christ. I often feel God’s presence in the sunset, a favorite poem or the humming bird that visits the porch. 

Intimacy with the Self is a life long goal and can be practiced when we feel most alone. 

My “Relationship Savvy” blog gives you tips, advice, and flippin’ fantastic feel-goods to help with your most difficult relationship challenges.

Subscribe to our mailing list