My Blog:

A Dose of Insight

If you’ve ever started a business, moved somewhere new, or made a big life change, there’s always a moment at the very beginning when you first hatched the idea.

Some of those ideas come together right away, and sometimes they need time, months or years even, to gestate, take shape, or wait until their time has come.

When all you have is an idea, without any sense of how or whether it can happen, things like doubt, overwhelm, or insecurity can creep in.

And those feelings can take over. Like the ivy vines taking over my neighbor’s 100-foot tree.

Each feeling on it's own isn’t a big deal, but they multiply if left unchecked.

When I have a day off, every so often I'll find myself being torn and conflicted by how to spend it. I’ll relax and do nothing which is great. Initially.

But then I start to feel compelled to get things done that will never otherwise happen. I start a project, then realize I’ll just wear myself out and regret it. So I bail on it.

At the end of the day I have a trail of mess from things I started, nothing actually got accomplished, I’m tired, and I’m annoyed at myself.

The original inspiration of having a whole luxurious day off, with all of its possibilities, gets lost in the shuffle.

Thought doesn’t care how we use it. If we let it ‘overthink’ all the fun out of our day off, it won’t stop and say, “Are you sure you want me to do that?”

But thought will also give you the feelings of hope, enthusiasm, and freshness when you get connected to an idea or a vision. And it will bring you a cold draft when doubt and insecurity start to move in.

In each of our lives, for every life change and every idea we brought to fruition, that feedback system has been our guide.

In today’s podcast interview, I talk about how, after 18 years with my family business, I decided to leave and start my own practice. All I had was a little slice of enthusiasm and clarity, and a resolve to let those feelings lead, and my business took on a life of its own.

Click here to listen. This will take you to the podcast series called 'Real Business, Real Lives' by host Barbara Patterson.

Barbara is not only my colleague but she also doubles as one of my closest friends. Her programs and content are always insightful and practical, and her delivery is down-to-earth and engaging, with a side of humor. To learn more about Barbara's work, click here.

One of the most destructive sources of friction for couples is the little stuff. Not the big stuff. The little stuff.

People can unknowingly start to anticipate, track and fester over their partner’s habits - he’s messy, she interrupts me, he thinks he knows everything...

Those little habits are harmless on their own. But when someone starts unknowingly collecting and carrying that irritation and upset, it can create more threat to the relationship than any of the bigger issues.

People can develop a level of bitterness, hostility, disheartenment, or doubt about themselves, their partner, their relationship, even their future. People simply get caught up in a doubt-ridden, fault-finding state and don’t realize it.

And more importantly, the bitterness that creates in them makes them unfit to navigate any relationship problems, big or small.

Relationships aren’t easy. But we stick with them because we want to feel connected to someone. We want that feeling you get when you know someone’s in your corner, they get you, they’re here for you.

The irony here is that at one point or another, we all turn on our partners, often unknowingly, and fester about them. We get carried away and before we know it, we have bad relationship morale.

You’ll know it’s happening because the bickering goes up. You’ll start feeling irritated before they actually do anything because you’re anticipating it. That’s the engine noise of bad relationship morale.

And the fact that we all get caught up in our own bitter thoughts is evidence that we’re truly in it together. You fester, and chances are, so does your partner. We all have weaknesses and human frailty, and that’s a perfect demonstration of the power of thought.

Having the humility to know how easy it is to get lost in our relationships is what brings that connection back. It’s not a relationship problem, it’s a you problem. Realizing that will give you hope, reassurance, and shine the light on the part of the relationship you can change in an instant.

In today’s podcast interview, I talk about how naturally graceful we are at certain moments in our relationships, and yet how clumsy we can be at others. Getting lost and finding your way back is actually the easy part. Knowing you’re lost can be the hard part.

But no matter how messy things are, if there’s a desire to work things out, the potential for a turnaround is always there.

Click here to listen.

The hosts of this podcast episode are my good friends and colleagues Rohini and Angus Ross. To learn more about the exceptional work they do, click here.

  • Erika Bugbee, M.A.

In certain ways, young adults are very different from us. There’s a lot going on in their world that’s invisible to parents.

For one thing, the typical young person handles WAY more than it looks like from the outside. Like a plant, there’s a big and elaborate root system underground, they’re collecting food, fighting disease and insects, searching for water.

But to the naked eye, they’re just sitting there.

Just today, for example, these are the topics my young adult clients were trying to weather: a secret and silent eating disorder, panic about career paths (a 15 year old), pressure around disappointing the parents, self-loathing that never shuts up, and a "best friend' that's sometimes sweet and fun, then suddenly cold, secretive, and fake.

And today was a short day for me.

Keep in mind that includes a few clients that are coming to improve their athletic and academic performance and are generally stable and relatively un-troubled. Even the young people that are relatively stable and confident are generally much more tormented about certain things than they may let on.

Often parents know their kids are struggling with certain things. But they only see part of the plot, or don’t realize how much they’re struggling.

That’s because young adults don't tell us, the parents, about their problems. We wouldn’t understand. We’d tell them what to do, tell them what to think, or somehow be dismissive. We’d tell them there’s people in 3rd world countries with real problems, tell them they’re being dramatic, or involve ourselves in their situation in order to be helpful.

And many young adults are very private and prefer to do everything ‘in-house.’ Less risk and less energy involved that way.

And because we don’t understand them, we tend to underestimate them.

As a result, since young adults are caught up inside themselves trying to handle things, and we can’t see any of it, they often come across as self-absorbed, ungrateful, and fragile for what seems like no reason at all.

And that, understandably, creates frustrated parents, tension, conflict, and drama. For everyone.

But what parents also don’t see is that just like plants, young adults are also connected to a universal intelligence that guides all living things, which we only catch glimpses of occasionally.

If you look carefully, you’ll see fleeting moments of maturity, sensibility, and compassion that surprise you. A moment when they’re the responsible person in the friend group. A problem they figured out themselves. Good solid advice they give a friend that seems beyond their years.

Here’s my point: just like plants, young adults are heartier and more resilient than they look. And that resilience is like a muscle group that’s getting exercised and strengthened constantly by the struggle and drama they’re handling.

So you don’t have to save or fix them. In fact, what I find is that the more perspective and insight parents have around their kids’ natural intelligence, the less worry, frustration, or I-wanna-strangle-them moments parents have.

And in turn, without fail, parents with more composure, common sense, and clarity respond to their young adults in a way that improves life for everyone in the house

Today’s recording is designed to bring you a dose of that perspective and insight.


This interview was hosted by my colleagues Rohini and Angus Ross as part of their interview series The Soul-Centered Series. For more information about the amazing work they do, click here .

*This is a pre-recorded webinar - and is not taking place live on 23rd March 2021

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