Coincidentally, on a day when I was feeling particularly stressed, I opened my email box and found a message buried within the many random emails I get from mailing lists I don’t remember signing up for but often look forward to reading.

You must let the stress go – it is the only way you can bring what you want. The emotion of stress is saying strongly that you do NOT have what you want. Stress or tension is the absence of faith, and so to remove it all you have to do is increase your faith!

Sometimes it is easy to fall into a “woe is me” approach to life, allowing the stress and unhappiness to weigh you down. We forget the importance of counting our blessings and how doing that can actually relieve us of our stress.

I need to learn how to manage my stress because I am finding that it is taking over my life in negative, unproductive ways.

In happy, productive and inspiring news, I cleaned my desk and worked really hard today on prioritizing my tasks. I made a to-do list that was no more than 6 things. (Typically, my to-do lists will number in the 20’s) But today I wanted to be as effective and productive as possible and in order to do that you need to be efficient in deciding what needs to be done and what can be put at the end of the list. In other words, you put the items at the end of the list if they are the ones that are less pressing and don’t need to be finished immediately. And do you want to know what happened? I got everything done AND had time to spare. I stayed conscious of all of my actions throughout the day and would periodically ask myself if what I was doing was contributing to the greater cause (i.e., was it helping me lessen my work load). If it wasn’t, then I stopped doing it immediately. My stress level decreased and my accomplishments for the day were at an all time high. And I stayed on top of the clutter on my desk and threw things away!

{photo above is not my closet…but it is what I plan to someday provide for my future daughters. Clean, organized…and PINK!}



When a man fails, he blames someone else. When a woman fails, she blames herself. Women have this appalling tendency to internalize everything.

He didn’t call. (I must have done something wrong.)

The job went to someone else. (I am good for nothing.)

It’s been a bad day. (I am the unluckiest person in the world. )

The waitress is rude. (She hates me.)

Women have this rapacious need to not only have an answer for every one of life’s disappointments, but to also blame themselves. Why do we insist on being the axis on which the earth spins? Is it possible that not every failure is directly caused by our own existence?

Men have a completely different approach to the obstacles in life.

She didn’t call. (Who cares?)

The job went to someone else. (Who cares?)

It’s been a bad day. (Who cares?)

The waitress is rude. (Who cares?)

Okay, so I may be oversimplifying the male reaction, but I suspect I’m pretty close. Essentially men have the effortless ability to take many of life’s burdens and neutralize them immediately. These “failures” or obstacles are not a specific punishment for one person, they are just examples of the ups and downs of life. A common occurrence and one not to get worked up over.

These events are not defining moments alerting us to our personal failures in life. As women, we take things far too personally. The statement I hear quite frequently is, “It’s not personal, it’s business.” But to me business is personal. The people I interact with daily are a part of my life. How can I not take things personally? I blame it on my overachieving tendencies in life that started at an extremely young age. I always wanted to finish my homework early. My book reports were completed a week before deadline. My handwriting was impeccable.  I was always on time. I never misbehaved. I was, essentially, a teachers’ pet from 1st grade through college and prided myself on my blue ribbon life. But that doesn’t last forever.

In adulthood, things change. People are not going to like you because you do everything “right.” Staying within the lines doesn’t guarantee friendships or love. Business associates don’t care if you tried your hardest. There is no “A” for effort.  And so we beat ourselves up internally. We fail on a daily basis. And yes, we may take this all too personally. But it is our life. The only one we have been given. If we want to keep striving for that blue ribbon, no one is going to stop us. But there is a catch! There is only one person who is capable of awarding us that ribbon, that symbol of success and achievement, and it isn’t our boss, our husband, our children or our parents.

The recognition has to come from within.

We have to stop blaming life’s mistakes and failures on ourselves. No more heaping it onto our overburdened shoulders. When we get knocked down, which we will, we have to pick ourselves up and move on. And when that happens, we will hold tight to the blue ribbon that is nestled safely in the palm of our hands.

Do you take things too personally?

Do you think men have a healthier approach to failure?

Do we become more accepting of ourselves with age or achievement?

Sleep On It


There was a fascinating study reported on in Tara Parker Pope’s NYTimes Well column about the helping power of dreaming. Apparently, people who take their problems to bed can end up dreaming their way to a solution. As someone who has the bad tendency to stress about all of my problems, issues, obstacles right before bed, this is something I had typically tried to avoid. I try to put all questions out of my mind, clear it of the clutter, and sleep peacefully. Now I am wondering if I should allow these questions to ruminate. Let them stir and swirl inside my head as I prepare for sleep. Maybe these questions will be answered in my sleep. Maybe the answers will come to me in my dreams. Maybe I will be able to see the obstacles from a different perspective and begin to understand the choices that make the most sense for me and my life. Could our dreams really help us untangle the knots in our lives? It’s worth giving it a chance.

Have you ever found an answer in your dreams?

Do you think about all of your problems before going to sleep?

Have you ever followed the guidance of a dream?