Say no to a plastic life

The gift of having survived a tragedy is a more authentic life.

We see the fakes. We no longer pass judgment. We no longer settle. We are more willing to make changes. We lecture less. We listen more.

Things that mattered so much before don’t matter at all. Success isn’t defined as pots of gold and luxury cars but as trips with family and get-togethers with friends.

To achieve your more authentic self, be more willing to apologize and forgive. Don’t hold yourself hostage for choices that were not within your control. Understand that humility is your friend. Don’t let … Read more...

Let’s talk about our failures

What if executives did a whole series on their screw-ups and failures? What if social media had less “ta-da” and highlighted more reality? What if teachers shared more about their own vulnerabilities with students? We tend to put our successes on display more than our efforts that bombed. But it’s the failures that teach us the most and what can teach others, too. It normalizes it and instead of instilling fear of it happening.

I’d love to see a series just like that. So honest and naked you’re in awe. And I don’t mean a kind of self-punishment that ends … Read more...

I’ll give you this cupcake if ….

If you leave me a review, I give you this cupcake. That’s if you read my book, of course. The rest of you can just buy one if you have not already. You see, we new authors need those reviews. They are so important. So yeah, I’m offering a cupcake. A picture of a cupcake, actually.

Imagine what this would look like if I tried to mail it to you especially since it’s so warm here. But a picture of this cupcake! What a prize. That’s better than a trip to the Caribbean. It’s not like you can’t google one … Read more...

5 Ways to Cope with an Unsettled World

Robert E. Lee, Confederate General statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond VA

Some of you will look at this picture and be very angry that this statue was vandalized.

Others will see it as a beautiful expression of anger and pain that has long been bottled up.

COVID-19 hit us like a blunt force trauma, stunned some of us into isolation and others onto a frenzied front line. That was followed by the senseless death, or murder, of an African American man named George Floyd at the hands of police.

A lot of people have asked, “Why did this … Read more...

Protests over George Floyd’s death

Charles protesting downtown in 2014

Had Charles been alive he would have been at the protests in downtown Richmond over the murder of George Floyd, an African American man killed by four policemen when they wrestled the handcuffed man to the ground and put a knee on his neck. Charles would have been so outraged and my youngest always expressed his fury with action. He was not violent. But he was passionate–all brimstone and emotion.

The picture above is one in which he ran into a friend who was protesting and got involved. This was a response to a grand … Read more...

Isolation forces you to feel

When there are fewer distractions, you have to face your issues. There’s nothing to hide behind or duck under. No way to minimize or justify it. There you are lying bare naked next to your pain.

As it gets bigger it threatens to consume you.

You might want to mask it with a flask. Or consume some Ben & Jerry’s double fudge chocolate ice cream. But does that solve anything?

Maybe it’s time to face it. To stop circling the wagons. Besides, all that circling takes so much more effort. And that much longer. Diving in and working through it, … Read more...

COVID-19 pledge

The safety of our tribe members and employees remains our top priority at Emotionally Naked. Except that we don’t have employees but that’s beside the point because I want this pledge to sound exactly like all communications you have received of late in your inbox from t-shirt to light bulb companies.

Hundreds of companies have sent you links to the CDC COVID-19 Pandemic page because you are so anxious you cannot possibly find those resources by yourself. (CDC= Center for Disease Control in the US)

As concern for the Coronavirus grows, we will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation … Read more...

It’s hard to build resilience with so many referees

ref

When I say we have too many referees I don’t just mean the ones in black and white striped shirts but referee parents, educators, and more.

I remember when play review was integrated into college basketball. I thought it would be amazing to have the ability to review every play in addition to the three referees. Certainly, it would make it more fair, right?

That first year we had it, the game got longer and we were robbed of the momentum and excitement in return. We learned that too much “refereeing” was not a good thing after all.

We spend … Read more...

Life hurts. So how are you going to cope when it gets tough?

There is both joy and sadness in life and both can happen in extremes. The devastating days make me think the “bad days” are not so bad. The good days have me dancing on a cloud.

How will you cope with the events that challenge you to the core, crush your heart like glass?

In Hollywood, they cope by going out to the bar. Or by eating pints of ice cream. How good are these long term?

You don’t want to hurt, to suffer. It’s not fun. Is it avoidable? Some think so. But when they try to numb it, … Read more...

Mushy and hallmarky

This is a mushy time of year.

For those of us who’ve lost someone before their time–a sibling, child, parent, spouse–tears hover closer to the surface. So we give back more to balance the pain and ease that persistent ache. It’s how many of us manage the pain of that loss that is sharper during the holidays.

We are less likely to get caught up in shopping frenzies or black Fridays, focusing more on our loved ones, friends and neighbors. Life is not about stuff but more about connecting, remembering, finding hope and joy, grieving and managing hurt so it … Read more...