Tag Archives: life strategies

Playing The “What If? Game


what if

Fear can have a powerfull negative impact on our lives especially when it spirals into dread that grows from anticipated unknown  or troubling possibilities.

Our imagination can run wild with vivid details that can chain us to a life that is unwanted an unhappy.

The fact is no one can scare us better than we can. Most “what ifs” focus on worse case scenarios…”What if I lose my job?” or “What if I can’t pay my bills?” or “What if someone gets angry at me?”

Years ago I was having coffee with a colleague and the topic of fear came up. He asked me about one of my fears and I answered, “I have a fear of losing everything and being out on the street living as a homeless woman or a bag lady.”

He challenged me to heighten that fear and suggested the following scenario:

Imagine that I found myself in a town where I knew no one, had no money, no clothes except the ones I was wearing, no family, and no friends. As if I was just dropped there and had nothing except myself. He asked, “What would you do?”  I could feel the panic beginning to escalate and I didn’t want to play.

After my initial shock, my answers began to pour out. I said, “The first thing I’d do is look for work. I would accept any kind of job I could get to earn immediate cash. Then I would look for some place to sleep, any shelter that felt safe.”

The more I talked about what I would do, the calmer I felt. This “what if” scenario reminded me that I’m a thriver and willing to do whatever it takes to land on my feet. I always have and reminding myself of my abilities, tenacity, and courage was comforting. Whew!

In the same situation, what would you do?

Playing the “What if?” game can help to expose the truth about your fears so that you can claim responsibility for what you will do if the worst happens. You can realize that these horrific situations are more manageable than you imagined. AND you can also see that many of the things you imagine never, ever happen!

Our negative fears view life through a narrow lens and eliminate creative options and solutions. This game can help to expand your viewpoint and invite you to see things from a fresher perspective.

Here’s how to play:

Make a list of the specific fears that occupy your thoughts and might keep you up at night. After each “what if?” write down what you would do if your worse fears actually came true. Describe in detail what would happen and what you could do about it. Consider your options, resources, support, people….

After you’ve done that exercise, consider the opposite position

Make a list of all the best scenarios you can imagine. In other words, “what if everything you ever desired, dreamed about, yearned for…. happened.”

  • What would you do?
  • Would you be able to receive all this good with open arms?
  • Who would you become?

I recommend journaling your feelings and observations. Reflect on what you learned about yourself that can become your growing edge.

And remember that in every moment, you do not walk alone. The Divine is always with you as your life partner in creating a joy-filled abundant life!

Have a great day :D



Surrender and Control: “It Is What It Is”

Someone cuts you off while you’re driving, your computer goes down, you have a conflict with a friend, a client fails to hire you, your cash flow is tight, your commitments and intentions for the day go awry…. and you kick into high gear with your thoughts and feelings going in all directions until you feel pretty bad, right? Exhausting, isn’t it? Dramas!!!

If you can relate to getting caught up in that mind trap (and most of us can!) you might not know much energy and inner peace the emotional turmoil costs you. Tons, actually.

The only one who really suffers is you.

Whatever you expect, anticipate, imagine and become attached to may actually manifest, which may be more of what you don’t want. Have you heard the phrases, “Life happens when you’ve made other plans, or If you want to give God a laugh, make a plan”, often hooks us into those pesky mind traps.

Reactions do not change the outcome of what has already occurred. Your thoughts and feelings make no difference in changing what has already happened. You have the power to affect what happens next as long as you are able to surrender and accept the present moment instead of struggling against it.

Because…..It is what it is.

Not good or bad, right or wrong. It just is.

Surrendering invites you to be present and being fully accepting of what is, in the moment. By releasing physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual struggles, you experience the freedom to respond to life, rather than living life through reaction.

That’s been an area of focus for me for the past few months - surrendering without resistance especially when the present moment sucks.

In your daily life, do you surrender to your experiences or attempt to control the outcome of what happens, or doesn’t happen?

The need to be in control is a sure sign of fear operating in your life…..

What needs to occur or change before you let go? I don’t mean becoming a doormat, complacent to your experiences and sacrificing your well-being: I do mean being open and flexible to the unpredictability of life and flowing with them with a sense of curiosity and adventure!

Surrender allows us to attract new possibilities and invites the Universe to shower us with blessings and gifts. Surrender connects us with the Divine and defuses fear.

So, the next time things don’t go your way, and you become aware of mounting stress and irritability, take several deep breaths and exhale slowly. Remind yourself, “It is what it is” and ask, “What is mine to do?”

Practice accepting the present moment because the only moment you have is NOW. Let go of any hopes and expectations that are unrealistic. Save your energy for things that are more pleasurable and productive.

St Theresa’s PrayerMay today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.


Here’s my invitation:

For one week, surrender (as often as you can) to as many situations that arise.


  • How often do you truly surrender?
  • What are your obstacles?
  • How is fear influencing your ability to surrender?
  • How does courageous, faith, and trust influence your ability to surrender?
  • What shifts do you need to make in order to let go? (emotionally, physically, psychologically, spiritually)
  • What are you noticing when you let go of resisting or attempting to redirect, shift or control? What happens? Are you feeling more relaxed, less stressed, clearer, happier, lighter?

Here’s a bigger invitation!

Pick an issue in your life that you have been struggling with, holding on to, trying to change, feeling angry about - get the picture?

What do you need to surrender in order to move forward towards resolution?

What do you need to let go of to expand your experience?

What gifts and blessings might you be overlooking that is in service to your growth and evolution? For example, can you find one thing good about situation that might create a different perspective?

Remember, you create your misery by how you choose to view your life. You are the Creator of your reality moment to moment. Choose wisely in how you show up either in reaction or surrender. The choices you make today create your future.

PS - Read my article on Shifting From A Victim of Circumstances To The Hero Of Your Life Story

Have a great day :D




10 Ways To Be Supportive To Someone in Emotional Distress

“Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker.  When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand.” -  Sue Patton Thoele

“Give thanks for sorrow that teaches you pity; for pain that teaches you courage - and give exceeding thanks for the mystery which remains a mystery still - the veil that hides you from the infinite, which makes it possible for you to believe in what you cannot see.” - Robert Nathan

Supporting someone in distress challenges us to be present, consciously choosing to respond from an unconditionally loving place instead of reacting with “old” conditioned behaviors and responses. Witnessing people’s distress can feel personally painful and overwhelming. It’s normal to have a desire to help those that seem to be suffering, especially when they are those you love.

Here are some tips to help you offer loving support with compassionate detachment.

1. People are unique individuals with different needs.What feels supportive for one may not feel supportive for another. Don’t presume to know what someone needs or wants from you for support. It’s ok to admit you don’t know how to help. Consider asking the question. “ How can I best support you or what do you need from me to feel I am here for you?” If they have no immediate answer, let them know that if there is something they want, to let you know and if you can say yes to their request, you will.

2. Let people be where they are. Feelings are just that – feelings. Not good or bad, right or wrong. Life experiences  evoke the full range of normal, human emotions. Feeling distress is not a negative. In truth, each experience offers a healing and growth opportunity. Often, the most difficult experiences teach us about who we are, our relationship to others and the world. Difficulties invite us to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out of our comfort zones to become stronger , more aligned with our soul purpose, more alive, happier, prosperous….

3. Listen with a willing ear and compassionate heart. Responses like “ I understand, I hear you, I’m here for you, or my heart goes out to you,” communicates understanding and empathy. So often, what people really need in times of distress is a witness who can listen with an open mind and heart.

4. Be conscious of your language and tone of voice. Phrases beginning with “ Don’t think/feel/be or you don’t have to think/feel/be….  sad, upset, worries, fearful….” expresses criticism, disapproval, and judgement. Those statements convey, “What you are experiencing is bad or wrong. Stop it or get rid of it.” The phrase “ I know exactly how you feel” may be intended to offer comfort. In truth, to truly know how someone feels you must “ be in his or her skin.” Modeling empathy or the ability to relate to the feeling or situation is inviting and heartwarming.

5. Validate the distress with acceptance, without challenging them to explain or defend their pain. Honoring the other person’s thoughts and feelings shows respect and creates an environment of safety. Resist the need to ask a lot of questions that might pull the person out of their feelings which might shut them down.

6. Resist the urge to cheer up, find the bright side, point out the blessings of the situation, or shift their focus. Offering more positive feedback can be best offered when the person is open to hear in. Rushing in too soon with  a positive perspective can feel invalidating or dismissive. Create a loving space to allow the person to say what they need to say, feel what they need to feel and ask what they might need. Support the process of healing and growth by letting go of the need to control or direct how they think and feel.

7. Be sensitive to offering unsolicited advice or solutions. Consider your words before you speak. In distress, people value being heard, listened to and encouraged to “talk about it” without being told what they should or shouldn’t do. Well-intentioned comments offered to “ help” may be unwelcome and untimely. When in doubt – ask if they are open to suggestions.

8. Check your internal reactions.Unresolved issues or discomfort impact on the ability to be objective and neutral. Know your own limits and boundaries. It’s ok to remove yourself from a supportive position. Be honest in your capacity to “ be there.”

9. Share your sincere, heartfelt thoughts. Be who you are, not who you think you should be.

10. If appropriate and welcome, offer loving touch. Being held, hugged, having a shoulder to cry on or lean on can feel wonderfully comforting and less lonely.



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