With the critical inch, priorities are a cinch!

One of the biggest issues my clients face is what I call, being bloated at the banquet of life; overfed but undernourished. It manifests in the nagging experience of being both overwhelmed yet unfulfilled.

I hear the same complaint over and over, that points to a lack of clarity and satisfaction on what are their true priorities are and what in fact has been accomplished. With all the “time saving” devices, resources, and technology, we’re busier than ever, while our own soul goals sit in the archives of our grey matter, gathering dust.

So how do we address this chronic aching in our soul to really do something that we’re passionate about, and experience the true satisfaction of fulfilling our life’s destiny? Well, I love the term “critical inch” that Richard Carlson (Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff-author) uses. Looking at that next critical inch of the project or dream that will propel you forward. Often it’s the one we resist the most due to garden variety resistance, fear of uncertainty, or asking for help, but when we do it, we feel a huge relief.

What dream is still in your heart that is aching to come to fruition? What unfinished project gnaws at you? It could be a personal goal or a professional one, but when you find the critical inch and do it, it makes a huge difference. I always say the body doesn’t lie (to be discussed in a future blog), so check in with your body, feel if there’s any vitality connected with that piece of it. You could get a visceral reaction, like abject fear, which really tells you you’re on the right track, or more subtle, like your internal 5 year old having a temper tantrum screaming “No, you can’t make me.” Or it could be your breath slowing down, reinforcing how much peace that activity will bring.

I believe that if you really check in with your intuitive self, and are willing to hear the answers, you’ll know. Set a moderate goal, especially in the beginning, so you get to win! and develop a trust in your capacity to move forward.

Be careful of busy work that keeps you away from the critical inch. One of my client’s said she knew her husband was having a hard time completing his doctorate, when she came home and found he had reorganized the entire kitchen cupboards; in alphabetic order.

What’s your dream? What’s the critical inch to get you there? What structures will you put in place to get you there? With the critical inch, priorities are a cinch!

For more tips on how to live a luscious life, visit www.lusciouslivingwithlois.com

If You Don’t Throw the Ball Back, There’s No Game

Not only is life a laboratory for learning (a luscious one I might add) but it’s also a game as well. Clients come to me from time to time trying to resolve upsets or disagreements they are having with people in their lives; personally and professionally. Maybe it’s their 8 year old son who knows it drives their Mom crazy by not doing their homework until the last minute or a great first date that unfortunately doesn’t turn into a second one, or a boss who rolls his eyes as he reviews the most recently presented data.

Whatever the upset is and how passive a role you may think you have in this challenge, I truly believe that we’re still a key player in the communication game. And the quicker one can own, that in some way, they are throwing the ball back, either by what they are or aren’t saying or doing, the quicker one can make a powerful choice to not throw the ball back and in doing so disengage yourself from an ultimately unproductive dynamic.

Awhile ago I was speaking to a group about this concept and I got some push back. They said, “What if a boss is raking you over the coals, and is relentless, what do you do in that situation?” I suggested a few techniques for “not throwing the ball back” even when it’s coming at you 90 mph. Deep breathing, monitoring your own self-talk, and asking yourself, “What do I want out of this situation?”. If being right, proving or defending yourself is the answer; I can guarantee you YOU WILL BE THROWING THE BALL BACK. If creating a win-win, having a mutual understanding, addressing or clarifying a miscommunication is the response, guess what, you’ll have a far better chance. We did a few techniques in the presentation, and the following week, I received some feedback.

“My boss started to scream and rant and rave at me. In the past, I would have shuddered and took it or felt the need to defend or prove myself; neither one leading to any beneficial outcome. Instead I breathed, and focused on what outcome I wanted. Noticing that part of me was in reaction. As she screamed further, I really allowed myself to see her as a terrified 5 year old that was having a tantrum, because she messed up and was trying to cover it up. I kept breathing. I got quiet and said, “What does the team need? We’re on the same page” I said it over and over and over in the quietest most loving voice. She stopped and got quiet. I had totally dismantled her anger and saw that terrified 5 year old, I knew was there. She said, “I don’t know.” I said with a firm and kind voice, “Let me know and I’ll do my best to provide that for you.” Her heart opened and she said, “Thank you.” I have gotten several glowing reviews since that day, and she has never acted out like that. I saw the power of not throwing the ball back and the miracles it provides.

Where in your life are you “throwing the ball back,” and not realizing it? Perhaps not addressing a situation that needs to be discussed, hoping it will go away; getting reactive or needing to defend yourself? When you realize that the real prize is really about a sense of peace, authenticity in your heart, then throwing the ball back has less appeal. Do you want to be right or do you want to Live Lusciously? If you’d rather live lusciously, then not throwing the ball back is a great place to begin.

For other luscious living lady tips, visit my website www.lusciouslivingwithlois.com

Luscious Life Lesson: Create a Possibility Posse

When one finally decides to surrender one’s membership to the BMW (Bitch, Moan, Whine) Club, with all its perks, one might worry, “What in the world will take its place?”

To which I say, “Create a Possibility-Posse” instead. While initially it may feel cathartic to spew your discontent and have it sent back at you, a sort of pathological ping-pong, I strongly suggest that instead, you surround yourself with a group of fabulous folks who support you in feeling heard while empowering you to live lusciously. I call this group your Possibility Posse.

It wasn’t until I started coaching others, that I realized that I had intuitively created a Possibility Posse for myself leading up to attracting luscious life partnership. Each friend/mentor in my sacred circle served such an important role, I just didn’t realize until years later what their respective roles were.

My dear friend Vicky lovingly nailed me on my need to sugarcoat things and encouraged me to be real, and to be honest instead. When I was “sort of upset” she got me to see the level of hurt I felt, etc. She was (and still is) my emotional BS meter. She also continues to be a great role model on how to be in a long-term successful marriage.

Aliana, my Salsa Sista, offers rapt attention, and is a glowing example of gutsiness and heart all rolled up into one. When I have lapses, and stay in “Caterpillar Mode,” she shakes me up and says, “Salsa Sista, you’re a Butterfly, get your wings (and your act together) and fly!”

Leigh was a fellow traveler on the luscious life partnership path,  served as colleague and audience. I would come home from horrific dates and when I shared them with Leigh, she screamed with laughter. Her reaction was so contagious that I started to take notes of what she thought was humorous, and eventually created a one-woman show, “1001 Dates from Hell..And The Woman Who Lived Through Them,” which unfortunately, was autobiographical.

Jerry was the beacon light of clarity, always reflecting back, “What do you want? What are you committed to? What actions can you take today to make that happen?” My dear friend Richard, a gifted healer, reminded me of the lessons that were available to me at every juncture.

Coaches that kept reflecting what I wanted back to me with a keen eye and a lighthearted touch.

Remember, life is easier when you’re on team. Who’s on your Team Luscious?

For the month of February, I’m offering a complementary 30 minute relationship readiness assessment.

Are you ready or just ready to be ready for luscious life partnership. You need to know!!!!

Luscious Lady Lois signing off

Luscious Life Lesson- Let February be the month of Love-—Starting with Yourself!

Too often February is associated with romantic love, and very rarely, self-love.

Well here’s the deal, if you don’t have a deep appreciation for yourself, who you are and what you bring to the world, all the flowers, candy and re-runs of “Sleepless in Seattle,” will get you bupkiss! (don’t you just love that word, thanks Grandma Lily)

“So, nice theory Luscious Living Lady, but how do you do that when you’re feeling stressed and stretched.”

It doesn’t have to take a lot of time., Take 5 minutes out, or do it while you’re walking or commuting. Make an appreciation/acknowledgment list,  mentally or on paper, listing not only your accomplishments, but what you bring to people’s lives, and your unique qualities. Ask three friends, “Hey, what are the 3 major qualities that I exude or what are some ways that I contribute to our friendship?” Why not do a partner exercise with a friend and reciprocate. You can do it over the phone and it doesn’t have to take a long time. Write those qualities down and put them on an index card in your wallet and look at them regularly.

Develop the “inner sweetie voice.” When you goof up, forget things, and fall short of your goals, instead of saying to yourself, “Wow, how can I be so damn stupid?” you breathe, let yourself feel the pain of sabotaging yourself, or disappointment, this is not about ignoring your feelings, and then you talk to yourself the way the most loving person in your life would speak to you, and add a “sweetie” for good measure.

“Sweetie, that was really painful, we’re gonna need to find other ways to keep track of your stuff, or wow, you really are disappointed, huh!?

Many years ago, after decades of dieting and a pretty wicked eating disorder, I did the most self-loving thing I could do, gave up beating myself up for overeating and developed the “sweetie,” voice for myself.  I still paid attention when I did overeat, but instead of criticizing myself, I let my sweetie voice run the show, “Sweetie, you were really nervous about that blah blah blah, (fill in the blank) it’s okay, you’re human, we’ll find other ways to do it without overeating.”

As a result of that single action, I lost 30 pounds and have maintained it for 15 years. The more kinder I was towards myself, the less I needed to medicate myself with food. Do I still overeat? Yes. But when I do, it’s automatic for me to talk to myself about it in a far more gentle loving way, and the irony is, the pattern just stops.

For the month of February, I’m suggesting to my clients, colleagues and friends to take on one act of self-love a day. Keep it really simple. Don’t even plan it. Just create one in the moment. One day, it can be letting yourself sleep in for 15 minutes, because you’re exhausted, the next day it could be NOT sleeping in for 15 minutes, so you can get up and do your much needed core routine. It could be saying “No,” to doing a favor that would leave you severely overextended, or saying “Yes,” to a frozen hot chocolate with a friend at Serendipity at the last minute. You get to decide.

Want more luscious living tips? Go to www.lusciouslivingwithlois.com