Monthly Archives: January 2015

Day 12: Taking the Struggle Out of Life – The Specialness Issue


Yesterday, a friend forwarded a promotion to me from a coach we both knew. The cost of this coach’s program was in the thousands of dollars; a far higher price than I’ve ever considered charging.

But it wasn’t just what this coach was charging. Hearing the coach’s name, I’ll call her “Iris” brought up all kinds of feelings and memories for me. None of the them good ones.

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Day 9: Taking the Struggle Out of Life – Breaking Out of the Rejection Avoidance Trap


No one enjoys rejection but I seem to go out of my way to avoid rejection.

I didn’t always see myself this way. I used to see myself as more in the middle when it came to handling situations in which rejection was likely. I’ve experienced quite a bit of rejection and I’ve always been able to bounce back.

But in retrospect I’m not sure I’ve bounced back. I think what I’ve really been doing is using some old coping tricks which work to a degree but have also kept me stuck and, in a way, imprisoned.

Which naturally raises the question, why would anyone willingly keep themselves in imprisoned?

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Day 7: Taking the Struggle Out of Life – Finding the Potholes


Last week I didn’t write much because I had The Cold from Hell. My son, who gave it to me, kept assuring me that it wouldn’t last long. He was right but those were three days of pure misery, I went through 4 boxes of Kleenexes and a small bottle of ibuprofen.

It feels so good to breath through my nose again!

I’m going to look at ways I can trip myself up as an Enneagram 4.

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Day 3: Taking the Struggle Out of Life – Appreciating My Gifts


One thing that has emerged for me is how important it is for me to appreciate my own gifts.

It seems that I have been in this weird space of desiring recognition from others in order to feel what I do best is somehow legitimatized.

But I’ve taken the “marketplace” acceptance piece too far. I think I’m so skeptical of my own value that I’ve placed the burden on outside recognition and that doesn’t work.

Today I’m exploring how to change this so that I am my own best champion.

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Day 2: Taking the Struggle Out of Life – Getting Out of the “Doom Loop”

Type 4 Doom Loop

Most of us have some kind of bête noire that seems hang over us during at least some point in our lives. Enneagram Type 4’s tend towards what I call “The Doom Loop of Longing for  Love but Never Good Enough to Have It.”

I’m exaggerating my language a little to keep this light. When I talk about shortcomings I can get heavy very quickly.

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Day 1: Taking the Struggle Out of Life


This week I’m focusing on using self-observation to more clearly see where I tend to self-sabotage and get in my own way.

To begin, however, I want to write about the natural strengths persons who are Enneagram type 4s. My reason is so often I dwell on what I’m struggling with and it can begin feeling pretty heavy after a while. It feels like a good idea to begin with looking at what’s right.
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A Shift in Focus: Thriving as an Enneagram Type 4


I’m still going to work on de-cluttering my closet but there’s a more compelling issue I want to focus on for the next 30-days which has to do with self-growth and feeling more joy and freedom.

My coach suggested that, based on what is working and not working in my life, the Enneagram would be a good tool to help me move forward.
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Day 5: Clutter-Free Wardrobe

I haven’t added anything to this project because I’ve been in the “School of Hard Knocks” learning about just how much time and energy less than perfect clothes take up.

And..not so great shopping strategies.

I’ll start with shopping strategies.

The end of the year/beginning of the New Year is a time when I check to see if any of the things I’d been drooling over during the year have gone on sale. If yes, I take advantage of the sale assuming the item is still in stock.

But I’m rethinking this strategy because I’m realizing just how time consuming it’s become.

I used to prefer shopping online because it saved me time. This has changed for a few reasons:

  • I’m no longer at an age in which most things look good on me and the question is more “do I like this enough to keep it?”
  • I’m pickier about what I keep. I have to really love something to keep it.

I think being picker is a good thing. One of the reasons I have to declutter to begin with is because I used to keep things that were “good enough.” Keeping things that are “good enough” is one of the reasons I’m the proverbial “woman with a full closet but can never find anything to wear.”

I really want to love everything in my closet!

As for age, I find because fashion is oriented towards women in their 20’s and 30’s, a lot of things just don’t work on older women.

I know I pay a lot of attention to color and details because as I’ve gotten older, it’s easier for something to overwhelm my features. And if something is less than perfect in terms of shape, the way it drapes on my body, and tailoring, I can look like I’m wearing a sack.

So I ended up returning nearly everything I ordered and it takes time to do returns. I don’t know how other people return things but I’ve always spent time making sure everything I buy is clean, folded, and returned in salable condition because I hate to lose a refund because the seller can’t resell it.

I also take time to scan the invoice so I have a copy in case there’s a question.

So by the time I’ve tried things on, packaged what I want to return, and arranged (sometimes paid for) return shipment, I’m looking at at least 2-3 hours per package.

Even though going to retailers and trying things on takes time, it saves time and guess work. As I said at the beginning, when most things worked, getting things delivered worked for me. That is no longer the case.

I also find myself disappointed by the quality of a lot of things I’ve bought lately. I find that some of the brands that used to be reliable when it came to quality have changed. Often I find the quality is uneven. Sometimes what I buy is great. Sometimes it’s really disappointing. Last year things I bought from two “old reliable” retailers developed problems I wouldn’t have expected. Trim fell off a belt and a cashmere sweater developed a hole after minimal wear.

The best thing to do is to actually look at things and how well they are made before I buy.

The last argument for shopping “in person” is it’s better to see the item “in person” rather than rely on photographs. Recently some of the items I received looked so totally different from the way they were pictured and described I wondered if that was the item I actually bought! And of course, you never know how something will look until you try it on.

So often the way something looks on a model looks entirely different on me. Sometimes that’s actually a good thing. There have been times when I liked how something looked on me better than the way it was photographed but that the exception to the rule.

As I write this, I feel like I’m writing a “blinding glimpse of the obvious.” But going back to the “School of Hard Knocks” definition, sometimes I need a critical mass of negative experience to make changes in the way I do things.

Bottom line: one way I’m decluttering is by only buying things I can see and touch rather than assuming an online purchase will work.

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New 30 Day Challenge: Dealing with Clothing Clutter

You would think after spending time on radical forgiveness that turning my attention to my overflowing closet would be going from the sublime to the ridiculous.

But I believe anything taking up my energy is worth looking at and I’m finding that I spend way too much time and money cleaning and organizing my wardrobe. Plus, I’m one of those stereotypical women who has a “closet full of clothes and nothing to wear.”

I need to do something and I’m devoting the next 30-days to taking action and dealing with the mess.

My plan of action is:

#1. Deal with the easy stuff first. Sell, donate, or toss all the clothes I’ve already decided no longer works for me.

#2. Go through the rest and see what else I can weed out. (This is the area I’ve always gotten stuck).

Be gentle with myself and remember a lot of useful stuff comes out of just going through the process.

Tomorrow I’ll be writing about how I’ll decide what to sell versus what to donate. And the actions I’m taking.

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Day 30: Radical Forgiveness: The Imposter Syndrome

Boy Wearing Men's Dress Shoes and Suit

Today my plan was to use the Radical Self Acceptance process on the quality of introversion.

I often blame my introversion for holding me back from “greatness.” If I were only more outgoing and more motivated to “get out there” I would have been more successful, sooner.

Just as I began the process, an image popped into my mind that made me realize there was a bigger issue.

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