How to Begin Sticking Up for Yourself

If you haven't been sticking up for yourself, it can be daunting to figure out how to turn things around. You may feel hurt by other people, frequently. You may even be thinking this is somehow your fault. You may wonder why are people stepping all over you?
Is it time for you to get on your own team? Are you needing some boundaries? Boundaries can feel really hard to establish if you don’t practice using them. Sometimes you rob yourself and won’t allow yourself to stand up for yourself when you need to. We all know that wrenching feeling in our gut when we are not standing up for ourselves.
What are boundary violations? When you are being treated badly, with rude behavior, you notice. You are not being overly sensitive. In fact, when your feelings are mocked, or discounted that way, it is a boundary violation. Maybe you are being stepped on by someone who bullies you. Maybe you feel stepped on by someone who tells you what you “should” feel, rather than listening to how you actual…

Boundaries and Messy Situations


Are you Adopting a Rescue-Dog?

There are some boundaries you may want to carefully consider before you adopt. We adopted CocoRoo two weeks ago. I had never adopted a dog, all of my dogs were raised from pups, including my Chihuahuathat I have now- Romeo. I adopted an older dog because Romeo doesn’t really like active young dogs. He likes older sickly dogs. So I knew he’d like CocoRoo.
She being a rescue was not the raised the way I raised Romeo. You can watch an older dog and see what they are familiar with and what they have been exposed to. CocoRoo doesn’t sniff anything on our walks and jumps at every sound. I found giving her short run helps her settle down for walking. She is learning about walks outside in new places, not barking at everyone and every dog.
She has not been reliably fed. She was brought to the shelter emaciated and very sick. So we feed her on a schedule that she can count on. She is learning not to dive into Romeo’s bowl when he is eating. She was used to some kind of “group” feed where sh…

We Can Stop Using Boundaries to Protect Racism

On Saturday: Before any news from Charlottesville, VA broke, I was out running on Maxwelton Road on Whidbey Island. The opposite end of the country. About halfway into my run, a young woman came running towards me waving her arms to stop me. She looked to be about my daughters age, late 20’s maybe 30. I pulled out my ear phones and stopped to listen. She was dressed in running gear and had come from the place I was heading. She said, “Don’t go up the road, there is a guy up ahead that feels dangerous!” I could sense her fear. I asked her if anything happened to her, she said no.  I asked if she lived here.We get many tourists especially on Saturdays. I wondered if some of our local people could look a bit peculiar, maybe scary if you don’t know them. She said she lived here. I told her not to be afraid, that I would turn around and run her back to town. “I will be right behind you, I have your back” This is what we are struggling to build in America.  We need to have each other&…

When She Said No, Her family Stopped Talking To Her

When she set boundaries with her family members, they cut her off emotionally. She’s happier and healthier now but feels guilty about it. What to do?

Emotionally cutting people off, not speaking, pretending you are dead, is part of some cultures and families. When you set a boundary, or say No to an elder, or break a rule or expectation, you may find yourself cut off from your family.
It is not emotionally safe for you to say No. When you are in a family or culture that is not emotionally safe there is punishment when you say No.  One of the harshest punishments is being cut off and your family stops talking to you. It is a punishment. It can make you feel very young and powerless. And in every sense you are powerless. In some cultures and families, this punishment will pass. They may not like that you said No to something or refuse to follow a rule or expectation, but they will accept your decision. Not all families will accept your position. Instead, they will cling to their power to …

Are You A Leader, Now ?

Post Election, and on Veterans Day, I am finding solace thinking about leadership. I taught leadership development for 7 years. Here is some truth about leadership:
Leadership begins when you are asked to take responsibility for what you say and what you do. This process begins when you are a child.  Many of you will have memories of those lessons.
Leadership is how you treat other people, not because someone is watching or a TV crew is following you.
It is how you behave because you have become an adult who thinks deeply about your actions, your purpose, and your impact on other people.
Leadership is something you do every single day. Not only on days when you are given a prize, or elected, or promoted. You can’t be given the status.
Leadership is not something you just “start” doing. . It is a part of your soul that you have grown, nurtured, developed. Leadership is made of your values and purpose you have held onto when faced with tough choices and difficulties. Leadership is a pro…