Saturday, April 14, 2012

How Do You Want to be Treated?

Relationships, and life, is a mirror for our thoughts, feelings and our beliefs. Buddha has stated “There is no ‘out there.’” The Talmud has shared with us: “We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.” It can be a very different way of looking at things – and a much more empowered way! Rather than being a victim of other people’s behavior and actions, we have the opportunity to look at ourselves and determine how another’s actions are mirroring our relationship with ourself.

At one point while I was struggling in my dating life, I asked Spirit a very direct question: “Why can’t I manifest a man who loves, adores and respects me?” A very clear message dropped into my awareness: “Because you do not love, adore and respect yourself!” After contemplating it for a moment..I had to admit it was true. That was the day my relationship with me became the most important relationship in my life.

We have all heard the saying “treat others the way you want to be treated.” I believe this is important. But additionally I believe it is vital to treat yourself you way you want others to treat you. Everyone attracts, and allows close to them, people who treat them they way they treat themselves. So if someone does not deeply respect themselves, they will not be attracted to someone that does. So in truth our relationship problems are not “out there” they are within ourselves.

Consider for a moment a pattern that is showing up in your relationships, or your life, that you do not like. For example: “I have been experiencing a pattern of people (or life) being harsh with me” Then ask yourself: “How am I harsh with myself?” Next take some time to consider what you would like instead: “I would prefer life being kinder and more gentle with me.” Now ask yourself how you can be more kind and gentle with yourself. Some options might be getting a massage or allowing yourself to take a nap when your tired. Perhaps it can look like taking some quiet time for yourself in nature, buying yoruself flowers or making yourself a fabulous meal. Consider what you find a way to do it for yourself. If you commit to this process, and to your loving relationship with you, within a short amount of time you will start to notice a shift in how you are treated in your relationships as well as all areas of your life.

The process is actually very simple, though not always easy. It is about taking 100% responsibility for all of your experiences, and I know how compelling it can be to make others wrong and bad for not treating us better. But if this is a stance one is determined to maintain, their relationships will never improve. The question that comes to mind is: "Do you want to be right? Or do you want to be happy?" I was right for many years about how others had done me wrong - and I was miserable. Once I gave up being right and started treating me the way I wanted others to treat me, my life shifted and transformed in seemingly miraculous ways. So my answer to that question now is a wholehearted “I WANT TO BE HAPPY!” What is your answer? What do you want? And how can you treat yourself that way now?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Living With an Open Heart

Living with an open heart seems to have its advantages and disadvantages. If we don’t want to hurt or experience painful emotions, it may seem like a logical choice to guard and protect our hearts. Who wants to feel pain? Certainly not me! It is easy to buy into the notion that to erect walls around our hearts can prevent hurt from overwhelming us and can keep tears from flowing - unfortunately, it is not all that effective.

I think I avoided shedding any tears for over a decade. My heart felt pretty protected. I thought it a compliment when people called me the Ice Queen. However, I suffered constant colds, bronchitis and flues. A healer told me it was from repressed grief....and I needed to cry – a lot. I did not want to heed her advice, or even allow one tear to fall and resisted it for as long as I could. However, the circumstances of my life became so overwhelming I finally cracked; the dam broke, and a torrential downpour of tears ensued. I felt my heart break into a billion pieces as tragedy after tragedy presented in my life. I thought the tears would never stop, but eventually they slowed down and an interesting thing started to happen. I started to feel more alive, my health started to improve, and there were brief glimpses of happiness.

As I was meditating one day I asked the question: “How can I be happy?” The response was: “Allow your heart to guide you home.” And isn’t that what we all want? A sense of being home? I have come to know my heart as my best friend and unfailing inner compass that always knows “true north.” I used to think my emotions were the enemy and that sadness made me vulnerable. But in truth, my heart and my feelings are my best friends. When we shut our hearts down to one end of the emotional spectrum, (sadness, grief, anger) we shut off to the other end, (joy, happiness, love). The very walls we erect around our hearts to keep out hurt and pain, also keeps out love, happiness and that sense of connection we so desperately want. I have come to know this quote from Deepak Chopra to be a great truth: “The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers.”

I now live with an open heart and highly recommend it to others. Of course it takes great courage and commitment, but the rewards for saying YES to this adventure are beyond words. I believe opening my heart has not only helped me manifest an incredible relationship with a remarkable man, I have deep authentic friendships, I connect easily with people I meet every day, animals and kids love me, and I have a sense of profound love, connection and support from the Universe. I am open and able to receive guidance from my heart and the universe, Guidance = God, You and I dance!

How open is your heart? Is it open only sometimes and only to certain people? Are you ready to say yes and open it a little wider? Perhaps expanding your heart will make you a little bit more tender, and perhaps the tears may be closer to the surface at times, but you will also experience a deeper sense of fulfillment, connection, synchronicity and lots more laughter....and don’t you think that is why we said yes to this crazy human adventure? I sure do!

Here are some simple techniques that can support you in opening your heart. Center your awareness in the middle of your heart, allow yourself to relax into a place of comfort, and then with each breath you take, imagine it starting to open wider and wider. Perhaps you can see it as a flower coming into full bloom, or feel it as a flame that grows larger and larger. You can also think of someone or something that you love, a person, an animal, or a place in nature that gives you a sense of awe, wonder and beauty. Listening to music that you love can also expand your heart. You can also pray and ask Spirit or God to open your heart more fully. I also believe the act of creativity can open our hearts...especially drawing or painting mandalas. I do one or more of these things each day to support me in residing my heart space.

Please be in touch with your thoughts, feelings, heart musings and heart expanding suggestions, I would LOVE to hear from you! And may you experience today with an open heart and be blessed with great miracles!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Price We Pay to be Right!

For most of my life I believed I needed to be smart, pretty and “right all the time” to prove my worthiness and deserve love. I would explain and, if need be, rigorously defend my position. This posture did not earn me love, in fact, quite the opposite. Looking back I can really see why I annoyed people!

It has been incredibly liberating to relinquish my need to be right…or even the need to know anything at all! I feel a greater sense of equanimity, compassion, and peace for myself, and for others. Now rather than having to be seen, explain, or prove myself, I have the experience of being open, present, and listening deeply to others. Instead of being known and understood, my intention is to know and understand.

From this place of higher altitude, I see many people fighting to defend themselves and their positions. It is clear they are carrying pain, hurt, fear and/or anger. Ekhart Tolle has said if someone is in judgment or defensiveness they are in their ego. For me ego is an acronym “Edging God Out.” It is living from a place of disconnection from Spirit, from our loving, and others. Often with that comes the need for competition, control, to be better than others, and significant emotional suffering. The way out of that suffering is to relax and release the need to be right or superior to anyone.

Everyone has opinions, everyone see the world through different eyes, so what if we do not agree? I can listen and ask questions and try to understand another’s position, not agree with them, but not let it affect my beliefs or reality. So now when I have conversations with another is like visiting a different planet, I want to understand what it is like there, rather than insist they know what it is like on “Planet Tammi.” I really know Planet Tammi and I think it is a pretty great place, but I don’t need others to like it or agree with my reality. That being said, if my reality is vastly different than another’s, I probably won’t want to play with them or hang out with them for very long! Some people are better loved from a distance.

Do you care about being right? Does it matter to you what other people think? If so, why don’t you experiment with surrendering those concepts for a week and see how you feel? I bet you will feel so free and peaceful, you won’t want to pick those habits up again! Give me a shout and let me know what you think!

Blessings of freedom, peace, grace, ease and great love!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Forgiveness - not a practice that is usually natural, fun or easy. If someone has hurt, betrayed or abused us, the last thing in the world we want to do is forgive them. They were wrong and we were right! And we can always find people to agree with our plight.

Years ago I felt terribly abused, victimized and abandoned by a man who professed to love me for life. After he had unceremoniously kicked me to the curb, I would tell my sad story to anyone who would listen. While doing so I was frequently reduced to tears and often brought people with me. After about two years, my life was still in shambles: financially, emotionally, physically and in my relationships. When I meditated about my predicament the message that dropped in was: “How do you expect to move forward when you are constantly turning around and facing your past.” Oh no, this meant I was going to have to stop telling my story! But I was right! This wasn’t fair! Then the age old question came to me: “Do you want to be right, or be happy?” I wanted BOTH! I began to realize that maybe I could only have one, so after some serious contemplation I chose to be happy. This meant I had to stop complaining, I had to stop telling my story, and in fact I had to open my mind to forgiving the horrible man that had devastated me so completely. Darn….truth be told I wanted to witness his demise, I wanted him to experience the pain he so readily inflicted it onto others. However, if I wanted to manifest a happy, love-filled, prosperous and successful life, I not only had to forgive him, I had to bless him. This is NOT the way I wanted things to look. *Sigh,* O.K. here we go.

I made a committment to not to give into the temptation to tell my story. Additionally every time “he” dropped into my mind I said to myself “God bless him on his path, God bless me on mine.” I also did a forgiveness ceremony, where I lit a candle, invited Spirit in for the highest good of all concerned, and visualized cutting the heart cords that connected us. I placed him in a bubble that floated away and put a bubble of love and protection around me. I decided to give myself two months and if life wasn’t getting better, I was going to start hating him again. Well, life did start to improve and in fact, the anger and hatred was actually dissipating. At first the practice did not feel all that authentic, but after a while, it did. I think with the practice forgiveness it is indeed a practice, there can be layers and layers to peel off - and sometimes we have to fake it until we make it.

Today I am happy to report the forgiveness is complete. In fact, in truth I realize there was nothing to forgive. This man was a character in the drama of my life, playing out a part I assigned to him. He was a reflection of how I treated myself. And if it wouldn’t have been him, it would have been someone else like him. He motivated me in setting different intentions and get really serious about a Spirit-filled, love-filled, and empowered. Today I am in a long term marriage with a solid, beautiful, generous loving man, I have my own radio show on, I am an artist who is compensated well for my paintings, I am a sacred art facilitator, counselor, I have a double Ph.D. and a book, that supports, inspires and uplifts others. Thank God this man left me, or I never would have became who I came to Earth to be!

So, we don’t choose to forgive another for them…we choose to forgive them for ourselves. It is about a “learning orientation” to life, rather than the victim stance. When feeling really upset or angry about what another did or did not do, first ask yourself if you treat yourself that same why? And second ask yourself what your soul is trying to learn. When I asked myself those two questions, the answer was, yes, I was extremely harsh and abusive to myself and secondly it was time to quit giving my power away and be the star of my own life. Such great advice and wisdom from the depth of my soul!

It is through the process of forgiveness that we become free, empowered and truly happy. Withholding forgiveness takes so much energy, wouldn’t you really use that energy for something else? And really it feels so much better to be in our loving than our hatred don’t you think? Please write me with any thoughts, feelings or questions and may you be blessed with the profound power of authentic forgiveness!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Be Really Whole

In a healthy relationship I believe it is important to make God first, our self second and our partner third. It doesn’t sound very romantic does it? But romance, although fun, heady and sometimes euphoric, is not the best foundation for a long term partnership. Two halves don’t make a whole; in fact it makes for a codependent mess! In order to really have that healthy, functional, working partnership, there needs to be two whole people. I envision the MasterCard symbol with two overlapping circle’s where there is shared space, but each circle has its own center and clear boundaries. Then there are parts of the circle that do not overlap. Boundaries are vital so that we do not take on another’s pain or projections and we do not expect them to take on or fix ours.

The path to wholeness is ultimately a personal journey inward. Becoming aware of any limiting beliefs, unconscious issues of unworthiness, and learning to love oneself warts and all. When we do this the natural by product is attracting someone who will love us unconditionally. Water always finds its own level; this is the law of attraction. So, if you really love and respect yourself, if you are comfortable and confident in your own skin, and can make mistakes and still have great affection for yourself, it will be inevitable that you will attract great people in your life. Because, in fact, you would not consider settling for anything less. You have probably heard the saying, “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” and that is great, but I think it is even more important to treat yourself the way you want others to treat you!

Often in couples counseling people will say something about their partner like: “She is rude and harsh with me.” My question to them is: “How you are rude and harsh with yourself?” A very common complaint is: “He never listens to me.” So my question: “How do you not listen to yourself?” Or this one: “I don’t feel appreciated,” then my inevitable question: “How do you not appreciate yourself?” I am often met with blank stares and then widening eyes: Wow, I really AM harsh and rude to me! Man, I really DON’T listen to myself, and no, I don’t think I do appreciate myself.

Once we start treating ourselves with kindness, respect and appreciation, a funny thing happens - our relationships transform! They either get better or they get worse. Either way is GREAT! Things either smooth out and improve or you energetically weed the garden and clear the space for that new person who will treat you in this new kinder, gentler way. Let them get out of the way, that great guy right behind them is really a much better fit for you!

So consider what you want in your relationship? How do you want to be treated? What are the qualities and characteristics that are important to you? Now ask yourself, how can I be that way with me? This process will support you in becoming really whole…and having that solid foundation to build anything you want on! Lao Tzu has a wonderful quote: “Be really Whole and all things will come to you”. Make yourself the nubmer one priority in your life, live in your truth and love yourself, and everything else will take care of itself. This is living from the inside out….Write to me with your thoughts and questions, I would LOVE to hear from you!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Do Fairy Tales come True?

We all grew up listening to fairy can be blamed if we bought into them? I really DID want to be a princess, I really DID want to be rescued and adored by the handsome, doting, powerful prince. After a series of painful experiences with whom I believed to be royalty, I realized this prince thing was not working. I love this quote by Tom Robbins, "We are our own dragons as well as our own hero's, and we have to rescue ourselves from ourselves."

What we were not told in regard to the fairy tales, is that each of the characters is an aspect of ourselves. I needed to find my inner hero, before he could show up in my life. I needed to love me, in order to attract true love! It is so simple...but far from easy.

Loving from the "Inside Out" is putting ourselves at the top of our Love List – Not expecting to meet someone that gives our lives greater meaning or completes us. Learning to listen deeply to that still small voice within, and make ourselves a priority, is not something most of us are taught at home or in the class room. Most of us are taught to behave, do as we are told, be quiet, get good grades, clean the bathroom, etc. We learn we have to be a certain way and do certain things to earn acceptance and approval. The problem is, as we venture into the world, this "Outside In" way of being doesn't work very well.

It is an enormous transition to go from other-oriented to self-oriented, but this is when life can really start to work. To ask oneself "what honors me now" or "what does loving myself look like right now" and acting upon the information that comes forward, can start to change our relationship with ourselves and improve our lives almost immediately.

Now that I take care of myself first and foremost, I have more to give to others. I give from a place of abundance and overflow, rather than a deficit depletion and exhaustion. I no longer look to others to take care of me or replenish me, but I do receive support graciously when offered. I now live a life of greater gratitude and grace - because I am no longer running on fumes!

So, are you ready to make yourself more important in your own life? Are you ready to be higher on your list of priorities? What would life look like from this perspective? How would it feel? I promise, not only you have more energy, you will attract more generous and loving people - because you are being generous and loving with yourself. As Buddha has said “You as much as anyone deserves your own love!” If you commit to treating yourself with more love, compassion and affection, your life will undoubtedly transform in miraculous, exquisite and wonderful ways! Write to me with questions and to share your stories. I would LOVE to hear from you!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Opening Pandora's Box

We learn about relationships from what we witness and experience as children. Patterns of thoughts and beliefs eventually emerge in our lives, giving us information to support us in making conscious choices and changes. Most of us do not tend to question what was handed down to us from our parents and grandparents, until our lives become unmanageable, unworkable or excruciating. This was certainly the case for me! After a series of horrible relationships, I was finally ready to look within. I had to admit there were distinct patterns in how I was treated by men. Was it simply a coincidence? Were all men lying, abusive, cheaters? Did I DESERVE to be treated badly? I was tired of my reality and tired of buying into these beliefs. I wanted to happy, I wanted a great relationship, I wanted to believe in true love. But it was clear that I needed to do something radically different to get a different result. So I surrendered, I prayed, I asked for help, and I chose to look inside.

I was afraid of opening my personal Pandora’s Box. I had always thought there was something inherently wrong with me. What I found as I lifted the lid, were outdated beliefs, some guilt, some shame and a lot of misunderstandings. As I sat on the floor sifting through the painful contents, I asked Spirit how I could manifest a man who would respect, cherish and love me unconditionally; I got that I needed to respect, cherish and love myself unconditionally. I thought REALLY? Then I thought YUCK! Then I thought, ISN’T THERE ANOTHER WAY? Nope, not unless you want to play games the rest of your life! I was in my 30’s…I wanted to be done playing games. I decided to dive back into my Pandora’s Box and learn to love myself no matter what.

I faced my vulnerability, I faced awful mistakes I had made, I faced my disappointments , and my pain. I cried hundreds of suppressed tears from the recent past as well as from my childhood. I love this quote from Marianne Williamson: If you have 100 tears to cry, 98 will not be enough. I had always thought of myself as stoic and strong, often holding back tears that burned the back of my eyes. What I did not know was those tears were still in me, bouncing around, weighing me down and distorting the landscape of my life.

Crying my tears made me feel lighter and more free. It also changed the terrain of my life. It is by grappling with our darkness that it can be brought into the light and pain can be transformed in to understanding. In this way suffering can be a powerful catalyst and used as a springboard to self awareness. So what I found as I kept digging and digging, at the very bottom of my box, was something brilliant, beautiful, pure and precious. It was like finding the Hope Diamond - it was my Spiritual Essence. We all have the this diamond and opportunity to tap into Spirit within, after all it is what breaths us and beats our heart - but first we must muster the courage and make the commitment to our healing journey.

The upside from doing this work is a greater sense of connection, compassion (for ourselves and others) and remarkable relationships. Is the journey sometimes uncomfortable? Yes. Will there be tears? Probably. Is it worth it? ABSOLUTLY! My book “Manifesting Love” serves as a guide supporting you through this confusing terrain, and so will I! So, please write me with any question or comments, I would love to hear from you and be honored to support you.