Category Archives: Gratitude

Lessons from Hitting the Wall

Wile E. Coyote’s ACME Instant Tunnel at MIT” by Kenneth LuFlickr: Wile E. Coyote at MIT.
Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Last week I had a colonoscopy.

I had been dreading it for months. Or more accurately, I had been dreading the pre-procedure preparation which involves fasting and drinking a foul-tasting laxative so that my lower intestine would be nice and clean for the camera.

While drinking my second 16-0z cup of laxative at 3am, I seriously questioned whether a colonoscopy was worth it. I was well aware of the risks a colonoscopy is supposed to address. I even know someone for whom the early detection made possible by a colonoscopy was, literally, a life saver.

When the procedure was complete and I was told everything looked fine, I felt a sense of profound relief. I assumed once the sedative wore off, I could simply pick up my life where I left off.

Not quite.

I expected that after fasting a full day and emptying out my digestive system I’d be ready to eat out the refrigerator. I was looking forward to pigging out on some comfort food like mashed potatoes or pancakes.

Oddly, however, I had very little appetite. Instead, I felt mostly bloated and nauseous…as though I had some kind of stomach bug.

I could only manage a little ramen and some cranberry juice before I went to bed that night.

The day after my procedure, I still felt bloated and nauseous. In addition, I was also feeling weak and dizzy. After running a few simple errands, I could barely drag myself into bed.

I guess being someone who is almost always in good health has left me with very little patience and ability to deal with feeling sick. And in this situation, I was feel so much worse, I panicked thinking something terrible was happening to me.

I wondered if I should call 911 but it didn’t feel like I was in danger. What was freaking me out was the fear that danger was imminent and just a matter of time even though I didn’t know what that danger might be. I didn’t understand what was happening in my body and I think what was ultimately most upsetting was there was no one I felt I could ask for help.

There was a time when I would have called my dad who was a dentist and had medical training. Even if he didn’t have the answer, he would listen to my symptoms and suggest what my next steps should be. My dad was the first person I turned to when I needed advice and reassurance. But my dad is now 83 and I was concerned that calling him would do nothing but upset him and upsetting my dad would upset me even more.

What I finally did was to reach out to people. I wrote an update on Facebook, I called my husband, and paged my doctor.

Like everyone, I hate asking for help. I hate being vulnerable and needy. I hate being in a position where I feel I have nothing valuable to offer and am at the mercy of others giving to me.

I was so afraid no one would respond. No one would be able to give me what I needed and then I’d really be in trouble.

But people did respond.

The nurse on call was reassuring. She suggested I drink a sports drink to restore my electrolytes and take probiotics to get my digestive bacteria working again. Quite a few of my friends and acquaintances on Facebook responded with good advice and wishes that I feel better soon. My husband sat with me while I cried and complained and experienced some really painful emotions.

And slowly, day by day I’ve been feeling better. My appetite has not fully returned. I’m still not feeling entirely back to the way I felt prior to the procedure. But I’m eating and I definitely feel more myself.

“Hitting the Wall” is when I feel that deep pain of isolation and the despair that there’s no one out there who can or will respond to my cry for help. This wasn’t a situation filled with trauma or drama. But trauma and drama isn’t a requirement for being in a dark place. I’d call this more a moment of extreme quiet desperation.

The good thing is I didn’t stay in that place. I reached out and asked for help and I received the reassurance that I have people in my life who care and want to help.

I feel deeply humbled and deeply touched by the experience.


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Day 14: Radical Forgiveness – One more thing


I’m still feeling tentative about this process. It’s a new habit and it feels fragile. Like my new won sense of peace and equilibrium could easily be upset. It feels like the crystals are just beginning to form and it wouldn’t take much to dissolve those little buds.

That’s why it’s important to keep doing this for 30 days and not stop today after an initial success.

There’s also a certain amount of comport and reassurance knowing that this process is always available. I feel more willing to take emotional risks than before knowing that one bad experience won’t send me spinning into “victim rumination mode.”

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December 17, 2014 · 6:12 pm

Day 11: Kicking the Online Shopping Habit

What Would Epic A Do?

As I’ve been contemplating perfectionism I’ve been asking myself, what does it look like to be unconditionally lovable?

It’s hard for me to get there myself. I mean it’s hard for me to imagine myself as unconditionally lovable. Perfectionism is a hard habit to break. Every time I think about not doing something as well as possible a lot of resistance comes up.

So I’m using my cat, Gus, (A.K.A. Epic A) because I find it very easy to love Gus unconditionally.

We adopted Gus from a when he was barely 8-weeks old. He had the feline herpes virus which is very contagious and he had been separated from his litter mates and other animals.

Even when he was little Gus just got along well with people. He’s the kind of cat that greets you at the door and he always checks out visitors. My theory is that Gus was socialized at such a young age (he was barely weaned) he considers himself human or he considers us to be strange-looking cats.

Besides being very handsome, Gus has a very endearing “catsonality.” He seems to live his life assuming that everyone will love him and his needs will always be taken care of. Unlike most cats that meow and look worried when their bowl is empty, Gus purrs loudly and gives me friendly head butts until I figure out what he wants.

I nicknamed Gus “Epic A” for “Epic Adorableness” because he’s so naturally lovable. My teenage son cringes when I use this name because the word “epic” is so overused and because things the nickname “epic A” is just completely over the top in a nauseating way.

But I can’t help myself.

What’s important here is this: Gus does nothing useful in our home. Like most cats, he’s basically ornamental. But his lovability makes him incalculably precious to me. When I’m out of town, I miss him. When I return I can’t wait to get in the door to give him a cuddle and say hello.

In the scheme of things, my husband and son are way more important to me. There’s really no comparison. However, Gus is important because he’s the best example I can think of when I try to imagine what it would be like to be perfectly imperfect and yet be very easy to love.

When I described how I feel about Gus to a friend, she commented, “That’s how the Divine feels about you.”

This is a very beautiful idea and one I’d like to feel with ease. I believe when I feel that way about myself I am in the best possible position to do the work the Divine wants me to do.

So my question, “What would Epic A do?” is a serious one because Gus would never walk into a party with any worries about “will they like me? am I worthy of their attention?” He would be his curious, friendly self and assume he would be liked.

That seems like a really nice way to be in the world.

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Filed under Compassion, Gratitude, Habits, Perfectionsim, Receiving

Day 10: Kicking the Online Shopping Habit

Oops! Road SignIs this a slip?

A couple days ago I purchased a software application to convert videos so I can play them on my iPhone. The newest version of IOS requires a different file format and videos that I could previous play on my iPhone no longer worked.

I did some research and found an application that did what I needed, bought the application online, downloaded it and began using it. The whole process took less than an hour and the software itself cost $35.

This felt reasonable to me. It feels different from what I would call addictive shopping: spending hours searching for a particular item before buying it. I haven’t been struggling since then with the urge to buy more.

My husband and son disagreed.

My intuition and past experience tells me I didn’t slip. But I think this is one of those things in which time tells.

One other thing to mention. Yesterday I received the last item I had ordered via online shopping. Sometimes I can stop buying things online while things are arriving. But after a week or so of not getting new items, I’ll feel justified in buying a “little something extra” because I’ve been “good.”

So perhaps the real challenge will be whether I can continue after not receiving shipments?


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Day 8: Kicking the Online Shopping Habit

My post of perfectionism was exactly joyful but sometimes I need to look at the things that are making it hard to be joyful to have more joy.

One joyful, happy thing I want to mention: one awesome benefit from not shopping online is that I don’t dread paying my credit card bills. Usually I feel a little pang of dread and guilt when I have a new credit card statement. Today I felt a sense of gratitude and relief because I no longer have to worry (Omigod I bought so much stuff last month, can I pay the full amount?)

Nuff said.

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November 17, 2014 · 5:26 pm

Day 7: Kicking the Online Shopping Habit

Be the Change You Want to See in the World

Be the Change You Want to See in the World

One week anniversary. Hooha!

I’m going to use some of this found time to declutter.

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Filed under Appreciation, Celebration, Gratitude

2/13/13 Daily Vitamin G(ratitude)

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Things I’m truly grateful for today:

  1. Disappointments because when I’m disappointed it means I just got what I didn’t want and I can now define what I DO want and go out and get that instead.
  2. The distinction between focus on what I want to have versus what I lack. If I feel good I’m focusing on what I desire. If I feel bad (apprehensive, angry, resentful, etc) I’m thinking about what I lack.
  3. Matt isn’t seriously ill. I was worried that he might have a strep throat or mono. He doesn’t have either.
  4. There are funny movies, TV shows, and books to read that make me laugh and cheer me up.
  5. Inky and Gus my two awesome kitties
  6. Being married to my husband, Michael Murdoch.
  7. The many sweet messages I received from friends and relatives who wished me a Happy Birthday. I really felt my heart warming reading the messages and feeling the energy that was in them.
  8. When I work in the attic the cats like to hang out with me.
  9. Today is starting beautiful and sunny.
  10. Looking forward to talking with Marci this afternoon about my website. I’m really excited about it going live!

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2/9/13 Daily Vitamin G(ratitude)

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Things I’m truly grateful for today:

  1. It’s Saturday! The weekend. I love weekends!
  2. Ashi helped me clear out a lot of stuff that I was unwilling to throw out.
  3. My two feet.
  4. My eyes.
  5. My ears that work pretty well.
  6. Being married to my husband, Michael Murdoch.
  7. It’s snowing just a little but when it snows it feels cozy sitting up here working.
  8. Inky and Gus are up here hanging out with me.
  9. Got a really good night’s sleep last night.
  10. My son, Matt Murdoch is healthy.
  11. My two cats, Inky and Gus are healthy. Still young and energetic.

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2/4/13 Daily Vitamin G(ratitude)

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Things I’m truly grateful for today:

  1. My health is something to always be grateful for.
  2. Got a good night’s sleep.
  3. It’s Monday and who knows what grand and glorious adventures may happen!
  4. The audio program, Your Wish is Your Command which has reminded me of how incredibly important it is to focus on what I want rather than on what I DON’T want.
  5. Starbuck’s French Roast coffee.
  6. Central heating.
  7. Being married to Michael.
  8. Michael and Matthew are both healthy (or at least no serious, chronic health issues).
  9. Having hot and cold running water.
  10. Client problems because quite frankly you have to have clients to have problems and there was a time when I would be grateful to have ANY clients.
  11. Clients can get angry with me and that can be a sign of success on my end. There was a time when I was afraid when a client got angry at me because they would complain to my boss and I’d get in trouble for people not being happy. But if I’m a coach who focuses on helping clients make significant shifts they’re going to get uncomfortable and sometimes they’ll be angry at me. It’s actually a luxury to have the freedom to make mistakes as well as to do or say things that make people angry and not worry about having a boss who will get fearful and tell me I’m doing it wrong.

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2/2/13 Daily Vitamin G(ratitude)

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Things I’m truly grateful for today:

  1. My healthy body.
  2. Living on Earth which is a very beautiful planet to get to live on.
  3. My size 4 boot-cut jeans fit. They didn’t 5 weeks ago so I’m in better shape!
  4. Three people have signed up for a Quick Ignition Session!!!
  5. Matt just left to do his 2-hours of driving practice.
  6. The Your Wish is Your Command program.
  7. The Systematic Manifestation Program.
  8. I have two people who are interested in becoming clients on a barter basis.
  9. The headache I wok up with yesterday is gone.
  10. My cat Gus who thinks I’m his mommy.
  11. I know there are many more things to feel grateful for that I haven’t listed.

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