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Who Are You Being? March 6, 2011

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in ontological coaching, Uncategorized.
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2418629901_0eceaf6e82One of my favorite questions of people I coach is “Who are you being?” (And one of my favorite most-hated questions is “Name 10 things you love about yourself.” However, I’ll save that for another day. )

What are you about?

Why do I love the question ‘Who are you being?” Because it really speaks to what you want to create in the world. And if you’re not conscious of what you’re creating, you are very likely to create a lot of muck and greatly annoy those around you. And since the guiding principle of my coaching is to get effective work done by intentionally building relationships with others, it follows that I’d like to know who you are being (or at least who you think you are being).

Who do you know?

When someone has a consciousness about who they’re being, it shows up in everything they do. Think of some of these people who are in your life. One person who comes to mind for me is Lori, the owner of Sangha Space in Media, PA where I take tango class. Lori is all about creating a tango community that is vibrant and welcoming. She speaks about these goals and her actions point to this commitment. Her energy and her desire to make everyone welcome is constant and when she’s not at the studio, the place is just not the same. Lori’s actions and words are a match and ‘who she is being’ is enriching her life and that of others. She is acting into a strong declaration about the purpose of her life.

You can be a whole bunch of you’s

Who are you being? There is no one answer to that question, of course. Sometimes I am being supportive, kind, and  loving. Other times I am being judgmental, impatient, and selfish. And I am ok with either end of the spectrum. However, I do have a declaration about who I want to be and judgmental, impatient, and selfish is not part of that declaration. So the trick is to constantly rely on my Observer—that element of myself that can step outside , take a look at how/what I am doing, and allow me to self-correct when I am not acting in integrity with my declarations about who I want to be.

Try this

This week figure out what you’d like to do more of in order to act in alignment with who you want to be. Kinder? More hard-working? Better organized? A friend to all? A setter of boundaries? You decide. Just decide. And then when someone asks you that annoying question about who you are being, you’ll have an answer.


HCG and Me June 13, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Health.
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A few weeks ago—April 26—to be exact, I started a new program to improve my health. This came as a result of being sick three times over the winter months. Have I mentioned that I take it as a personal affront to be sick? So I decided some different action was in order to improve my overall health.

I didn’t talk about my little project to a whole lot of people because it’s a bit unusual and mostly people think you are crazy when you tell them what the protocol calls for. The program is called the HCG diet and it’s been around since the mid 50’s, though I had not heard of it until about two years ago. I was told about the diet by my nutritionist who has a strong medical background, researches things to the nth degree and who has kept me healthy for over 15 years. But when Gail told me about a ‘diet’ that would improve overall health, re-set my metabolism, and provide a religious experience (well, maybe she didn’t say that), I was all ears. Then she told me that you take some crazy hormone called HCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin) that only pregnant women secrete and that you eat 500 calories a day while you’re on it. I was sure she had finally gone round the bend. I assured her that I would never do such a diet—how possibly could that be healthy?

Even though I was determined never to do the HCG diet, it was like a bad penny—it just kept turning up in my life. Fast forward two years. I have just completed a 35-day round of the HCG diet, am in the maintenance phase of the protocol and feel healthier than I have in a very long time. As for the religious experience part—yeah, I could almost (but not quite) go there.

Allow me to explain. The groundbreaking work on the HCG protocol was done by Dr A.T.W. Simeons in the 50’s and 60’s. Read his manuscript on the subject at http://www.hcgdietinfo.com/Dr-ATW-Simeons-Pounds-and-Inches.htm. Somehow or other Dr Simeons determined that HCG was able to liberate (my word, not his) abnormal fat in the body (called adipose) and give your system access to the nutrition stored in that fat  right before it(the fat, not your system) rides off into the sunset. Since you are gaining access to between 2500-4000 calories from your own fat, you only need eat a 500 calorie a day diet to keep up your energy level (relatively speaking).Dr Simeons’ research showed that using the protocol as he laid it out enabled people to lose both pounds and inches. And really, in my opinion, it’s the inches that matter because your body somehow manages to re-shape itself while you are on the diet and after.

And the other very cool thing? It’s FAST. And I like fast—I have decided to eschew the oft repeated wisdom of other diet plans that tell us that it’s a GOOD thing to lose weight slowly because…umm, I forget.  To wit, I lost 20 pounds in 35 days—not bad—actually very, very good. But the other thing that’s even better is that I feel wonderful. I also need to mention that the foods that you can eat while on the protocol are quite restricted. However, I have found my body really enjoys being on a gluten-free diet. Who knew?

I am not selling this diet—it’s definitely not for everyone—but I will say that everyone I know who has done it (both male and female) are quite happy with their achievements.

So go ahead and read Dr. Simeons’ book, if you’re interested and then watch for my next post in which I will talk in more detail about what I experienced the good, the bad, and the not too ugly.

Stay tuned!


Messages in Water May 30, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Self-Development.
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heavy_metal thank_youwater molecule

I have been drinking a whole lot of water as part of a health improvement program I have undertaken. This morning I filled my 2 liter glass container as usual. However, instead of being on automatic pilot as I usually am when I do this, I took the time to notice the plastic label that I have had adhered to the front of the container for a couple of years. It says, “Come Holy Spirit” on it and I have another one that has the word “Love” on it. There is a story behind this and while it’s in my BOO (background of obviousness, in case you didn’t read last week’s blog), I realized that some of you who read this blog regularly (and thanks and kisses to you all) might not know about the work of Dr. Masuro Emoto of Japan. He wrote a well known book called The Hidden Messages of Water. At Amazon– The Hidden Messages of Water

As a scientist, Dr Emoto has been studying water molecules for years and in the course of his work he discovered that the basic makeup of water can be changed dramatically by words, music, or names being introduced to the water. The two pictures at the beginning of the post reflect reflect two different water molecules. The one on the left shows a molecule after being subjected,er, I mean exposed to heavy metal music. The one on the right is the result of the work ‘thank you’ being typed onto paper using a word processor and taped on the glass bottle overnight. Fascinating, isn’t it? The conclusion is that water can be changed by intention, energy,thoughts and words. And of course, since our bodies are about 61% water, this certainly has implications for changing our consciousness.

This scene from the film, The Secret explains a high level interpretation of Dr Emoto’s work. (And try to ignore the reference to 90% water in the body)

So ever since I have found out about Dr Emoto’s findings I have been using words to enliven my water. I figure it can’t hurt and I believe it helps a lot.

This brings me to one of my favorite topics: intention. Dr Emoto’s work is yet another example of how the use of conscious intention in life can enhance and enrich life. The act of intending something causes us to be conscious of who and what we want to be in the world. And through this we are actually creating before the creation comes into being on the material plane. It’s being created in your thoughts and then migrates out there in the ethers somewhere. And even if nothing more than that goes on, it creates some kind of magic for the ‘intender’ (is that a word??). And magically things that we have set our intentions on come into being. So even if it all seems like mumbo jumbo or new age la-la-land stuff, where’s the harm?  It can make you feel happier and more at effect in your life. What’s wrong with that?

So how about trying an experiment this week? And of course I have a suggestion or two.

  1. Pick out a word that is meaningful to you like love, gratitude, bliss, or whatever rings your bells. Type it up and stick it on your water bottle overnight and/or each day. See what happens.
  2. Pick out an intention that you would like to realize. Start with something small—even though it really doesn’t matter how big it is. Then work with this intention every day by visualizing it clearly for 4 minutes—use a timer. Notice what happens. You could also try writing it out 15 times each day if you still remember how to write.
  3. If you’ve got someone in your life who is challenging (and who doesn’t), when you are with that person try broadcasting a positive intention with your thoughts. Something like, “Philip gets more understanding and approachable every time I see him.” Don’t be put off by evidence that looks like it’s not working. Just keep doing it.

I’d love to hear how it goes—especially if you have miracle results.

Oh, and drink your water….


The Very Best Way to Get ‘Er Done May 23, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Self-Development.
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Last week I had a conversation with my granddaughter that got me thinking about how easy it is for things to go south when you’re working with another person. The example is a little roundabout but indulge me a bit, ok?

How do you eat an apple?

I was eating an apple the way I have always eaten an apple. I had it in my hand and was taking bites from the apple until it was gone. (Unlike many people though I eat the entire apple, core and all. A remnant from many days of dieting in which I wanted to eat everything I was allowed. And yes I know it’s weird but it’s what I do.)

My granddaughter watched me as I ate and then asked me a (to her) perfectly logical question, “Grammie, why are you eating the apple like that?” That stopped me for a moment. Hmmm, isn’t this the way everyone eats an apple, I thought. But then, since I am such a devoted grammie, I really thought about her question. Obviously she asked because she wanted to know. And then I got it. Five year olds don’t eat apples in that way—their mouths are too small to eat their way around an apple. Five-year-olds have their mommies (or daddies) cut the apple into slices so that they can eat each slice in a bite or two. While I still didn’t have a good answer to her question other than” That’s just the way I do it,” it did start me thinking about something called background of obviousness.

Our background of obviousness is part of us

Everyone has a unique background of obviousness that is made up of their experiences, conversations, training, and family culture, to name a few sources. And that background says that the way I do things is the way everyone does them—or at least the way they should. Only problem with that is that everyone’s background of obviousness (BOO) is different. And I bet if you thought a little bit you could come up with some disaster scenarios that have been created when you assumed (you know what they say about assuming, right?) that others were thinking and acting just the way you would in a situation.

However, so you don’t have to distract yourself by thinking of a situation, allow me to give you one to ponder.

Here’s an example

John Z is a manager in a small financial company. Because the company had been growing in staff he noticed that office space was becoming very scarce. People were sharing offices.  It was obvious to John that something had to be done to alleviate the situation.  No one could do their best work in such crowded space. Deciding to take the initiative John found out that there was some office space available two floors down in the building. After finding out the details of the lease possibilities John took the information to his boss, sure that he would be delighted with the information. Unfortunately his boss had not seen a problem with the existing set up and was angry that John had spoken to the leasing company without his agreement.  John’s relationship with his boss took a hit that day because they were both operating from two different BOOs.

Try becoming aware of your background of obviousness

Figuring out your own background of obviousness or at the very least realizing that you have one can enable you to avoid a lot of misunderstandings. So how does one do this? After all by definition, it’s in the background. You may not always get it right but the best way is to be open to the possibility that there are different interpretations to almost everything in life. So what you think should be perfectly obvious to everyone seldom is.

Take the position that you’re not always right

Try this for a week: Every time you find yourself getting frustrated with another person for being stupid, obtuse, uncooperative, or a PITA (not that you ever do), try taking a look at your own BOO and see what is causing your frustration. Once you come up with something, perhaps you might even take the time to have a conversation with that person in order to see what they see….Try it…You’ll be surprised at what you learn…And you might even get it done right the first time… And if you find this working, how about adopting it for a permanent practice?

More Lessons I Learned From Dancing May 11, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Self-Development.
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As in dance, so in life. Now that I’ve been dancing for some 16 years, (Yikes! I told my teacher that I should be better than this after 16 years but that’s not what this post is about) I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on the lessons that dancing teaches me about life. And since so many people seem to be taken with ballroom dancing these days, (could it have something to do with Dancing With the Stars??) I’m going to share some more of these lessons today. I wrote a post about this last August Dancing is Life if you’d like to check that one out.

Lesson #1 Always make your partner look good.

In dancing this especially applies to the man—usually the leader. The very best dancers are the ones who have a knack for showing off their partners. This means giving her a lead that she can follow and knowing that if she doesn’t do the right step it’s because she didn’t get the lead. It also means selecting steps that are in her repertoire and that she does well. When this happens, lovely synchronization of movements follows and everyone is happy. Might this not be a helpful idea when you’re up to something with another person—be it a work project or a marriage—especially a marriage. Giving leads that can be followed and synchronization of action make life a whole lot easier.

Lesson #2 When you screw up just keep dancing

When this has happened to me (too many times to count) while dancing, I just keep smiling and even assume the attitude that I meant to do it that way. Now I am not advocating that if you have just done a major screw-up at work you smile like an idiot. That will at the very least make people hate your guts, at worst it might get you fired. What I am suggesting is that you remain philosophical about your ‘mistakes.’ Don’t berate yourself or others. Know that we all make mistakes, makes amends where you can—and keep on dancing.

Lesson #3 Fighting about who is right causes inelegant results

I have frequently noticed what I call the “the married couple syndrome.”  A couple signs up for dance lessons and in the course of their instruction they begin to have their usual disagreements about who is doing it right and who is not. The result of this is that tension develops and one person wants to quit. If they do persevere their development as a dance couple is limited by their interpersonal conflicts.

Getting caught up in who is wrong can make any work go to hell in a handbag. Yes, I know it can be very satisfying to prove that you are right and to state that assessment definitively. And how has that worked for you in the past? Yeah, I thought so. So perhaps taking the higher road will produce the results you are after. But if you want to try the low road, well, then go for it. (Just don’t come crying to me.)

Lesson # 4 How you dance is how you do everything

My teacher Dave Hansel is fond of using my friend Terese and me as a case study. Terese is a scientist by training and by temperament. She approaches her dancing with minute attention to detail. She and Dave can spend her whole lesson discussing and practicing the position of her foot in a fifth-position break. She practices for hours in front of a mirror critiquing every small move. In short, Terese is a great technician and when she competes she is often rewarded for this by the judges.

I.on the other hand, am totally bored if the conversation about technique goes longer than 10 minutes. I acknowledge that the technical aspects  of the dance are important and I do my best to honor them. But for me, dancing is an expression of the soul.So when I dance I exude the passion that I have for dancing. And if I get the step just right, great, and if I don’t I’m still loving it.

I’m sure you’d be shocked to find out that I approach all my ‘work’ with the same outlook. I learn the technical and then I connect to it on the spiritual level. So my point here –and I do have one—is that how you do anything is how you do everything.

How about try getting a little more conscious of what dance you’re doing and what you could do to make it a more elegant one? Get your personal observer fired up or ask someone else to give you feedback about the results you are producing and how you’re doing in your relationships. You might be surprised at what you learn.

And whatever you do —just keep dancing.


Love Mother Earth April 25, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Environmental Concerns.
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Earth Day is officially 40 years old this year. Gee, it seems like only yesterday that it started…does that sound like somebody’s grandmother talking??? Well, I am somebody’s grandmother, so I’m allowed.

We use more than our share

Even though Earth Day has been around for a while, we still need to pay more attention to how we use Earth’s resources, especially  we Americans. It’s sad to say but we use something like 70% of the world’s energy resources but we certainly don’t make up 70% of the world’s land mass or population. It just boils down to the fact that Americans use more than our fair share of resources and we need to stop.

I attended a one-day workshop yesterday that was held in a Philadelphia Hilton. At lunch each person was given a lunch that was packaged in a plastic box that had a recycling symbol on the bottom. Good, I thought. One of the hotel employees was coming around to collect the containers. “Are you recycling these?” I asked. He shook his head no. So, about 200 plastic boxes were to be dumped into a landfill—and this is just one hotel, one event on one day in one city. Multiply this by who knows how many and the effect boggles the mind. And it drives me crazy. My intention is to write to Hilton and ask them to review their practices.

And that’s what we all need to do. Even if we take baby steps we need to become more conscious of the little (and big) things that we do that are wasteful. We even have a mainstream word for this now—‘green’. I guess we’re making progress—at least it’s now in our vernacular and our mega marketing machines have taken it up. So good, we are moving in the right direction.

Try these things to be greener

In the spirit of taking on a greener consciousness, I offer a short list of things you (and I) can adopt to do our part.

  1. Take reusable bags to the grocery store—every time you go. C’mon, this is a small thing and it’s not difficult. I used to forget them every time and have to go out to my car to get them. I have now trained myself to remember them more than 90% of the time. We don’t need a gazillion plastic bags in our lives. And most grocery stores now offer cool reusable bags for a nominal price. These bags are also quite useful for other things as well. I am particularly taken with the ones that Trader Joe’s sells. They are strong and attractive.
  2. Be conscious of how you use resources like water and electricity around the house. Don’t let the water run if you are not using it. Like when you’re brushing your teeth or cleaning up in the kitchen. Just turn it off—there’s no charge for using the faucet a bunch of times. And turn off lights when you don’t need them on. This is not rocket science…
  3. Consider buying a carbon offset when you are traveling by air. There are lots of web sites that offer this. What it boils down to is that when you fly or do most anything for that matter, there is a price to pay in terms of greenhouse gases . So you can buy a carbon offset credit that can offset this effect. The companies that sell carbon offsets then invest the money you spend into projects that are environmentally supportive like planting trees or supporting wind power-producing.  Here’s a link that explains how to go about buying carbon offsets .http://www.wikihow.com/Buy-a-Carbon-Offset
  4. Recycle everything that your municipality allows. Most people are good with glass and plastic. But there’s more. My borough’s service allows cardboard, newspaper, magazines and all types of plastic. On recycling day, I don’t see my neighbors recycling everything that’s possible. In fact, some of them never put out their recycling container. What’s up with that?
  5. Use cloth napkins, permanent coffee filters and real plates and glasses. Forget about the plastic and paper. (And we won’t even talk about disposable diapers.)

We can do this!

I could go on but as I said, baby steps. Everything in the list is do-able. We just all need to bring a new consciousness to this issue. It’s not optional—really.


We Teach What We Need To Learn April 18, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in ontological coaching, Uncategorized.
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books6 by Brenda Starr

When something keeps coming up in my world I have learned to pay attention to it. The latest ‘earworm’ that has been haunting  me is the phrase, “We teach what we need to learn.” Since it’s been coming up for me, I guess it’s a good topic for today’s blog. But what does it mean?

What are you a stickler about?

My interpretation is that the things that we are sticklers about are things that we ourselves need to learn. It is also possible that we are sticklers about things that we have already learned and seen great value from the learning.

Here’s an example of my own. When I work with executive coaching clients, I often get on their cases about paying attention to time. This pertains to things like starting meetings on time, meeting your deadlines, or accurately assessing the time it will take to deliver on a promise. But as my clients would tell you, it most particularly pertains to getting to appointments on time.

I had to learn this

Why is this something I focus on? Because I had to learn it myself. I have a tendency to be a procrastinator, waiting until the last minute to meet my promises. I used to think it was just fine to be five minutes late to a meeting—everyone else was, after all. And then I met the coach from hell, I’ll call her Gloria K. (’cause that’s her name). Gloria was teaching me and my colleagues a body of work based on the work of Fernando Flores. The object of the work was to build productive relationships with other people in order to be able to produce excellent work together. (This is the work I still teach others today.)

Gloria had a no budge approach to the start time of our sessions. Woe to you if you came into learning session even 30 seconds late. Her point, which I later came to appreciate was that in being late to a meeting you are failing to meet a promise that you have made to others. In addition, you are wasting valuable minutes of time for everyone involved. Multiply this by 10 meetings a week (a modest number in many organizations) and you can see how much time is wasted by a seemingly unimportant action. Quite simply you are robbing others of valuable minutes of their lives by being late.

I am now Timezilla

Gloria was a tough coach but she gave me many gifts, not the least of which is the ability to coach others. So now, I am Timezilla with my clients. It’s not about the time so much as it is about being judicious about managing your promises to others. So what I teach I needed to learn (and still do upon occasion).

What do you teach others?

So what things do you teach others? Are you a nut about getting a project finished once you’ve started it? Are you always counseling others to be patient? Are you critical of people who disregard the feelings of others? Do people who are negative drive you up a wall?

These are all examples of ‘things you are teaching.’ Take a look at the lessons you ‘teach’ others. And then take a look at yourself. Is the lesson something you have already mastered and strongly value? Or is the lesson something you have yet to learn?

Isn’t self-exploration grand?


Why We Do Things That Don’t Make Us Happy—Part 3 April 11, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in ontological coaching, Uncategorized.
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Avoir que de la gueule by Tywak OK. It’s Sunday morning, time to write one more installment about why we do things that don’t make us happy. I think this is the final part of this homily but it’s not written yet so anything can happen.

As you probably remember I embarked on this topic at the request of a friend. Thought it would be a simple and short post of some of that wisdom(it’s my blog and I can call it that) that rattles around in my head. However, I kept having more thoughts about the topic. So here’s what I’ve been thinking about this week.

Dharma? What’s that?

Human beings are most happy when they are fulfilling their purpose—sometimes known as living their passion. The Hindus have a word that describes this: dharma. Dharma is defined as the natural universal laws whose observance enables humans to be contented and happy. Anything that helps humans reach God is considered to be dharmic. There’s a lot more to it and if you’d like to dip into it, start by going to Wiki entry at http://hinduism.about.com/od/basics/a/dharma.htm.

However, for my purposes here, I’ll just keep it simple. Your dharma is what you have a passion for and when you are doing this thing, you are content and happy and being of service to the world.

My dharma is….

As always, I have an example. As I have mentioned I am an executive and personal coach. Coaching is definitely my dharma. I am passionate about helping other people to lead more fulfilling lives. I am committed to doing this, one conversation at a time. How do I know that coaching is my dharma? Cause it’s fun—about 98% of the time. I can listen to minute details of my clients’ lives endlessly, without getting bored. I, who am not the most patient person on the planet, can be patient with the foibles that cause others to create what they don’t want in their lives. That is,as long as they are committed to changing it. If they just want to whine, they need to find a different coach—hence the name Edgyangel. Edginess is good in the right balance.

So I am fortunate to have found my dharma and even more fortunate to get paid for doing it.

What’s your dharma?

What is your dharma? What things in your life are you passionate about? Here are some examples taken from my friends, family, and clients.

  • raising children
  • employing and teaching others about the curative powers of essential oils
  • styling hair
  • doing accounting work (my accountant actually gets a real charge out of her spread sheets—and I thank God for her every year at this time.)
  • snowboarding
  • sewing clothing
  • writing blog posts 🙂

An interesting list, is it not? It illustrates that your dharma can be found anywhere and doesn’t have to be of the magnitude of say, Mother Theresa or Barack Obama. The important (and sometimes tricky) thing is to figure out what it is. But once you do, and you start consciously living into that dharma, you can’t help but find happiness.

What lights you up?

So, if you are feeling less than satisfied with the current state of your life, start figuring out what your passion is. There are tons of books written on the topic. But start looking at the things in your life that light you up. That’s a great place to start. And don’t give up till you find it—unless of course you want to keep doing those things that don’t make you happy.

I’ll end with a quote from the amazing poet, Hafiz.

“Ever since happiness heard your name it’s been running through the streets trying to find you.”

Just so…


Why We Do Things That Don’t Make Us Happy –part 2 April 4, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in ontological coaching, Self-Development.
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by Robbert van der Steeg

Ok—it’s Easter Sunday and a beautiful day outside and I really don’t feel like writing about why we do things that don’t make us happy. But I have finished hiding Easter eggs in the yard for my grandchildren and making messages from the Easter bunny. So anything that could legitimately garner my attention has been taken care of. (Besides it was fun.) And I do have some more to say about why we do these crazy-ass things that don’t make us happy. And since this is part of my dharma (more about that later), I can get my mood to a productive place about doing it. .So here goes….

Last post I mentioned that one of the reasons that we do things that don’t make us happy is that we don’t have the distinction of what we really want to do. We just do what we think we should do.

We all have tapes.

We also have what I refer to as ‘tapes’ that are on continuous feed inside our heads. Your own tapes come from a variety of places, not the least of which were your parents or caregivers as you were growing up. Actually where they come from is not really my concern—if it’s yours may I suggest a good psychologist? I am more interested in working with what’s present, period.

As I said our tapes run on a continuous feed and give us scintillating messages like, “Only a bad daughter would move so far away from her parents,” or “ I have to do all my work before I can play,” or (my personal favorite) “I have to be perfect in all ways.”

What are your tapes telling you to do?

So what are your tapes? And even more important—what are they causing you to do in your life that doesn’t even come close to making you happy?

I bet your next question is “Can I get rid of these tapes or am I stuck with them?” And my answer is, maybe. If you want to leave your tapes behind then a strong declaration to do so will go a long way. To me though the issue is to be more conscious of what tapes you play and how they have an impact on what you do. Then simply be in a place of inquiry about where your actions are coming from. And just say no if you don’t like what you are doing to serve your tapes..

Be conscious about what you’re doing and why

So if you find that you never make time for yourself—and you’re not satisfied with that—look at what tape is in play. Is it the one that says you are a terrible person if you don’t take care of everyone around you first? Or your tape says that only work is a valid activity and doing anything that is not ‘work’ is frivolous and unproductive.

Change your mind

To quote one of my idols, Byron Katie, “Is this true? If you think it’s true can you really know that it’s true?” If you really think about it, the answer will be no, the tape is not true. It’s simply a thought you carry around. The good news, boys and girls, is that thoughts can be changed. If a particular thought (tape) is keeping you from having fun, I say vanquish it—immediately, if not sooner.

And while I’m on the subject of fun—I offer that this should be another goal of your life. Make sure you include the fun element in your life—your fun,not someone else’s. My own personal motto is that if I’m not having fun, I don’t want to do it. And before you ask,–yes, that goes for the faction of my life that some might refer to as work. This girl just wants to have fun…

Your mission should you decide to accept it

What can you do that totally ignores one of your less productive tapes and have fun in the process? .I challenge you to do at least one thing this week that is simply for fun. C’mon you can do it..

Looks like there’s going to be another installment on this topic since I didn’t get to dharma. Stay tuned.


Why We Do Things That Don’t Make Us Happy March 28, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in ontological coaching, Uncategorized.
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by danosongs.com 1

I recklessly made an offer to my friend to choose the topic for today’s post. His choice was“some insight into why do we things that don’t make us truly happy.”

Wow—let that be a lesson to me. Pick your own topics, girlfriend. But wait, I think I do have some things to say about that topic. So here goes….

Do you know yourself?

One of the main reasons people do things that don’t make them happy is because they don’t have a clue what would make them happy. And why is that? Because a lot of people don’t really know themselves.

You’ve probably heard the quote, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” It is attributed to some relatively unknown guy by the name of Socrates. Did you know that Socrates left no writings of his own? We know of him only through the writings of others. But I digress (something I do when I ‘m stalling).

So back to the topic. Many (I might even venture most) people do not examine their lives. Why? Because they are afraid that what they would find might be scary. So rather than really taking the time to sit with the questions

  • Who am I?
  • What do I want in life?
  • What makes my heart sing?
  • What’s my purpose?

They’d rather plod through life looking outside of themselves for distraction from the real issue. As a result they find themselves doing stuff that is simply a time filler, or worse stuff that kills the soul.

Try this… (like I have all the answers here—just humor me)

Chances are you’ve been making choices on automatic pilot for a long time. Try this little exercise that one of my coaches assigned me over 10 years ago. Pump up your awareness of the choices that you make about how you spend your time. For the next month do only those things that you really want to do. Say no to things that you don’t want to do. OK, OK, I know there are some things that you do that you feel you don’t have a choice about– things like going to a job you don’t like or doing things for your kids or spouse that you would rather not do. So leave those in for the first month and have everything else up for examination. Do I really want to read that book for my book club? Should I write that blog post simply because that’s what I always do? It’s meditation time, do I really want to do that? Do I want to attend a meeting for a club that I lost interest in several months ago? (These are my examples but you have your own set of ‘shoulds.’)

Lose the guilt

If you find yourself doing something out of guilt, drop this one like a hot potato. Guilt is a terrible reason to do something on so many levels I don’t even know where to begin. Just say no…


A warning here. When you first start this you may not have a clue about what you want to do. That’s because you have spent such a long time doing things without conscious thought about your own desires. Don’t worry—that’s part of the exercise. Just sit with the question—and then do something with your insight.

Stay tuned for more pearls of wisdom

I now see that this post will have to be in parts because it turns out that I have a lot to say on the subject. So start on this and stay tuned….