What The Hulk, Inspector Gadget, and Dorothy Taught Me

Doubt your limitations, not your potential.  #Awareness

I grew up in the 80s with a TV the size of my one bedroom apartment in NYC that looked like an armoire. When you opened the armoire-like doors, don’t touch the screen for fear of the wrath of my father – a scratch was a sin and the screen a deity. My precious little brother would look up at me with his Doritos in a tupperware bowl straight from a party my mom just finished hosting. His big brown eyes looking to me for the decision as I held our fate in my hands with the remote (the size of my 6-pound Pomeranian) as I chose what show to watch on TV. I always chose.

There were 3 characters I watched, religiously. And I ended up copying them in my life – in acting, loving, eating, and many other verbs for sure. The 3 characters? The Hulk, Inspector Gadget, and Dorothy.  All the characters doubted their potential.  Every single time. And I found myself doing it every day of my life. And even though I presented oh, so confident, I was just duping myself.

Doubt your limitations, not your potential

Often anger kicked in the minute someone said something I didn’t like or whenever I was disappointed. The Hulk came out and it was not pretty. Or I could be totally clueless – like Inspector Gadget – using a million inventions; focusing on the wrong things while the world around me – my mother, brother and friends –  would cope for me and I got all the credit.

I never really learned how clueless I was because no one let me fail. So more doubt came into my life. And then Dorothy. My poor brother watched that movie so many times and then as teens, we looked for the dead munchkin a million times in that scene. I’m here to tell you there is no dead munchkin. But, like Dorothy, I had the answers the whole time. I just needed to let go so I could…

See Possibility.

The real thing is, I needed to not only see possibility but also take action to move towards solutions and try a bunch (not just one or two) without giving up when one doesn’t work out. Giving up to cope leaves you in Stuckville.

Choosing to cope without destructive habits changed my life.

And I’m dishing productive habits weekly. To get in on the life changing magic (for free!) every Friday at 8 AM, click here.

And when my mom died there was no longer anyone to keep my head above water the way she could so effortlessly. But you know what? I knew how to swim the whole time, just like Dorothy and the damn shoes walking around singing for help and killing witches. My girl Dorothy and I could have solved our problems in record time if we weren’t so anxious, fearful and constantly doubting ourselves to cope. Remember it’s all about raising your awareness so you can take action.

Love Lessons During My Manicure From The Beatles

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Sitting in Tribeca, doing my self-care thing (my cuticles had sent a major SOS) I couldn’t stop thinking about a recent client convo about how messy love really gets. As I played back the convo in my head, The Beatles started playing via surround sound.

I love when music orchestrates my thoughts while the lyrics miraculously provide newfound insight.

I mean honestly, we want love to be this neat, romantic fairytale, right?  But if you are really in it to win it (as they say) then love gets messy. Plain and simple. Love will be: messy, uncomfortable, wild, unpredictable, triggering, passionate, tender, beautiful, intimate, and terrifying.

In order to have real love, we need to learn how to let it be (release control and your fantasy).

If your love life is neat …chances are you are not doing INTIMACY.

 

Sad to break it to you but neat love is missin’ something. The people I know who keep love “neat” (*cough* looking at myself here!), they tend to look like this (whether single or married):

  • getting themselves “ready for love.”
  • spending time looking for the perfect mate.
  • dating but never really committing.
  • coasting in a safe relationship.
  • never having the tough conversations.
  • criticizing more than communicating.
  • keeping the routine as opposed to cultivating REALationships.

I used to always say, “Well, I am just working on myself right now…” or “I am focused on career right now.” I coasted. I almost married the dude I coasted with (not a real love at all but I didn’t know that then). And I hated tough conversations.  I avoided them like the plague.

REALationships are messy. Fake relationships are neat.

When the smoke and mirrors subside and I want to run for the hills (or fear they will), I had to learn how to work through my stuff with someone. Stay in the room, communicate. Sounds easy, but for me it wasn’t. What about you? And the same goes when you are married, folks. Because that’s where the real relationship begins.

If you have a fairytale vision of love staying neat, you are going to be disappointed. And as I was listening to The Beatles, I decided “Let It Be” is a song we should all fully know for times of hardships.

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

And perhaps that’s the road to “Real Love” (yep, another Beatles classic).

And I’ll add to The Beatles (thank you very much) and say, “Do everything in your power to grow yourself with your partner while you learn how to let it be.

Be courageous and committed enough to learn how to:

  • Communicate your needs while hearing someone else’s needs.
  • Take the space you need in a relationship while learning how to reconnect with your partner after you took the space.
  • Grow yourself while growing the relationship.

 

Love is not something you give and get, but something you nurture and grow.  

Where can you “let it be” more this week? Real love is ours for the taking.

Email me your thoughts or leave a comment below. I want to know. I’m learning right along with you – always.

What Chardonnay Taught Me

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I wrote this story for Huff Post never knowing what would be around the corner 6 months later…

With such love and compassion for my incredible mom, I hope this story inspires people to rise strong.

You can change your family legacy. But first, you must share your story.

Turn your wounds to wisdom.

Click here to read what Chardonnay taught me and my family.

What Chardonnay Taught Me

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I wrote this story for Huff Post never knowing what would be around the corner 6 months later…

With such love and compassion for my incredible mom, I hope this story inspires people to rise strong.

You can change your family legacy. But first, you must share your story.

Turn your wounds to wisdom.

Click here to read what Chardonnay taught me and my family.

How to Be Lucky All the Time

Everything you’re going through prepares you for what’s to come.

Oh man, did this statement piss me off.

But then I realized – ya know what? If it all just grows you, then it’s all for the good.

Honestly, the fight in me got tired. And this fight was my negativity, fear, pessimism, and belief that life would never get better – only worse because I was too strong. I used to believe the stronger you were, the shittier your life would be. My negativity was how I coped until I realized the truth – I actually had two choices:

  1. Live like it’s always the worst day ever.  Let me be straight up – I lived like this for years; surviving at the bottom so I couldn’t possibly fall further, rarely taking risks and wondering why I didn’t have what I desired. I do not recommend this way of coping – it’s how we create our own limitation. Pessimism + Rarely Risking = No Bueno.
  2. Live like it’s the best day ever – trusting that the bad grows the good. Alright I know that sounds rainbows and unicorns, but the truth is, life isn’t easier per se. In fact, I am currently facing some of the hardest times in my life but somehow I feel pretty darn fabulous because the difficulty prepares me for what’s to come. I may not be able to solve every problem but I can think about my attitude to see how I am contributing to the problem.

It’s not your luck, it’s your perspective that creates the change

Listen, I am not an expert I am human and flawed and that has what’s made me better at life. So this week, I ask you what happens if you get better at life with grace + grit? What becomes possible? Email me or leave a comment below. Share it and then go out and make it happen.

Compassion? Sure. But How?

If being hard on yourself worked, it would have worked by now.

How true, right?

But man did I work hard at being hard on myself.

The old Di Ana used criticism as a motivator in two ways:

  1. I was hard on myself in my head: You are so fat, Di Ana. You are a slacker, Di Ana. That was not your best work, Di Ana. You are too old, Di Ana. You are too short, Di Ana. You are a waste, Di Ana. An awful, harsh way to live – just saying.
  2. I, hand to god, thought the world was criticizing me – that they must be saying things like: She is not talented enough to make it. She is not a good enough writer to publish. She really would be so much prettier if she lost a little weight. She is not so smart. She is a joke. It’s an exhausting way to live – don’t you think?

And I worked that program of criticism + projection for ((years)) and stayed in Stuckville.

The truth? Criticism was how I coped and copped out of doing anything courageous or kind for myself. But then I got on this path and it freakin’ changed my life…

The compassion path allows for growth.

 

And at 36 years old, I finally stopped trash talking in order to motivate myself and realized my perceptions of what people thought were so damn W-R-O-N-G.

COMPASSION MOTIVATES MORE than criticism.

Compassion is what allows you to give yourself another chance – not criticism. You only get another chance if you give yourself one.

But after you gain more compassion for yourself and others is that all you have to do?

Nope, there is one more crucial step after compassion – Courageous Action.

Courageous action makes things happen.

Not sitting on the couch, compassionately eating Bon Bons. I honestly wish they taught this in schools because when you learn how to be compassionate with yourself, you have the chance to change your life.

Compassion + Courageous Action is how you make the change and that is so DiStyle.

So what is your compassionate, courageous action this week? Email me or leave a comment below.

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