Remember Me?!


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Nicole had changed her mind a million times before she finally booked the flight to go to her 20th high school reunion. That’s why I was surprised to see her glowing after the trip.

“It must have been a great party!” I said.

“You know what? It really was. In more ways than one,” she said, smiling.


“Oh, yeah,” Nicole agreed. “I never expected to run into Thom. We dated a little during our senior year, but I lost touch with him once we went to college. He came over to my table after dinner and that was that. We flirted, we couldn’t stop dancing, and talked and talked. It was…I can’t even describe it!” she said in a dreamy tone.

I was happy for Nicole. And concerned. Her marriage to Jeremy had been on auto-pilot for the last few years.

“What was Jeremy’s impression of Thom?” I asked cautiously.

“He didn’t meet him. Jeremy bailed at the last minute, so I went with my hometown friends.” She leaned towards me. “Did I mention Thom’s wife didn’t come, either?”

Are you thinking what I was? “Oh, Nicole. Run! You’re playing with fire, girl!”

Let’s face it: There’s no way her real life, snoring, weekend pajama wearing husband is going to compare to the ghost of Christmas past dressed in an Italian suit. Every time she compares the two, Jeremy will always come up short.

But let’s look at Nicole’s story from the angle of our February series about staying open, Make Room for Love. Love was knocking on the door of Nicole’s heart, just not how she expected. The spark she had with Thom reminded her of all the things she once loved about Jeremy. It was as if qualities like being light-hearted, listening, and laughing together were shaking her by the shoulders asking, “Hey! Remember me?!”

Did Nicole need those qualities? Yes. However, should she leave the life she had built with Jeremy? Not yet.

Giving her marriage one last chance means having a fair conversation, not provoking Jeremy into breaking up. Which discussion sounds like it comes from an open heart: “Hey, honey, I’m back from my trip and ready to tell you the 10 things wrong with our relationship!” or “Let’s find ways to have more fun together. It’s important to me that we’re close—not just on vacation or every once in a while. Week in and week out.”

Whether you’re single or coupled, listening to someone’s big plans for Valentine’s Day could be bittersweet. You might be feeling a little disappointed, just like Nicole. But don’t bury that feeling. Don’t let it make you feel depressed or less than. That’s Life whispering to you about what matters most.

This week, tune in to the message your instincts are sending, and use it as a catalyst. Start inviting those qualities in, whether they’re with your partner or friends, family and co-workers. And make sure you’re reciprocating.

Playfulness. Kindness. Being close. They’re all asking, “Hey—remember me?!”

Good Find Friday: 4 Tips for Easy Travel


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Let me give you a Seattle weather stat: 25 out of 26 days rainy.

That means it’s time to take a trip! If you haven’t been on the road since last Summer, use these four tips to make life easier:

  1. Protect your plan. Here’s a new outlook: Your trip actually starts the night before you leave, and it should include a good night’s sleep. (Raise your hand if you’re like me and wait until the last minute to download movies.) Squawkfox has the ultimate pre-travel and packing list available for a free download. Make a travel plan and stick to it!
  2. Protect your place. Let a friend or neighbor know your itinerary, even if you’re only going for a long weekend. I learned this lesson recently when my sump pump alarm went off while I was out at dinner. Imagine that for 2 weeks straight. No thanks!
  3. Protect your cash. If you’re traveling outside the US, RFID accessories are a must (try Travelon and Pacsafe). And you can learn how to skip those surprise transaction fees by reading the US News article, “Best Credit Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fee“.
  4. Protect your sensitivity. Take good care of yourself by taking along little things that make you happy (and this is especially helpful if you’re traveling with sensitive kids). Invest in noise cancelling headphones. Buy travel sizes of your favorite soap or lotion. Pack fuzzy socks for your long haul flight. Travel will go from being a hassle to a delight.

Bon voyage!

The List


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Surely you’ve heard of The List.

You know the one – where you write down all your ideal qualities in a mate?

There are a lot of reasons to make The List. It tells you who you are in this moment. It helps clarify what matters. And it can be a tool to weed out anyone who has trouble lining up their walk and talk.

But can we get too caught up in The List? Can it leave us cycling in our mind rather than joining head and heart? This month, we’ll talk about how to keep our heart open in a challenging world in the series, Make Room for Love.

Making The List worked well for Samara. After taking some time off from dating following a bad break-up, she decided she was ready to get back in the game. Guys showed up and exited just as quickly as she compared them against her essentials.

“In the past, I would have fallen for Matt—he was so charming!” Samara confessed. “However, when he spent a lot of time texting me during the day, I knew he wasn’t serious about his career.  Adam was a mismatch, too. I thought we had so much in common when we met at a film festival. Then he admitted he only went because a friend dragged him there. He really loves camping and fishing, two things I hate. This list is really keeping me on track!”

Then Kris showed up. They went from dating to exclusive to married within the year. Thing seemed to be going well, yet there was just one problem: Samara couldn’t stop making lists.

She was still rattled after a blow-up. Samara complained, “Seeing the bills pile up made me nervous. First, I thought I would remind him they were due, but then it made sense to give him a list of all the tasks he said he would finish. Um…Kris didn’t see it that way.”

In an instant, Samara’s good intention went terribly wrong. Discussing how to split the household chores was partnership. But handing Kris a bunch of deadlines? Well, that was closer to parenting. One word let to another, and they both shut down.

We’ve all had moments we wish we could take back. Those tense times are the surprising opportunity to let more love in, says Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron:

The idea of karma is that you continually get the teachings that you need to open your heart. To the degree that you didn’t understand in the past how to stop protecting your soft spot, how to stop armoring your heart, you’re given this gift of teachings in the form of your life, to give you everything you need to open further.

Demanding perfection is like wearing a suit of armor. Whether you’re single, coupled, or simply making February the month you practice self-love, make sure your List includes room for a do-over and a chance for grace. Mistakes get made, even with your nearest and dearest. The next time there’s an error, err on the side of love.


Good Find Friday: Inclusion Starts With I


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The people who seem to be the least like us can open our heart and mind the most. That’s why diversity is a surprising, but important, topic for February, the month of love.

Practicing diversity is about much more than traversing nationality, sexual orientation or accessibility considerations. Inclusion requires accepting people whose outlook and opinions are different than ours. In short, all the people we can find hard to love!

You may see yourself once or twice in the video below. It shows how you can put diversity, kindness and tolerance front and center.

Be the face of love wherever you are this month, Soul Bosses. Enjoy!

This Is My Year


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I caught my colleague’s eye at the holiday party as he scanned the room. He. Looked. Exhausted. He had been negotiating around the clock, trying to push a big deal over the finish line before Christmas. But things weren’t going as well as you might think. As they got closer to signing, doubts began to kick in.

He shook his head and said, “The one good thing about negotiations taking so long is that it’s given us time to take a step back. This company looked great from the outside, but we’ve learned they have a lot of problems. And those problems would be our problems once we bought them. I looked around the conference table and asked, ‘Wait a minute. Does this deal even make sense?!'”

As we leave January, have you asked yourself that question? It’s easy to look at your social media feed and come up with 20 new things to do every day. But think again before you lock your 2018 intentions. A long list of aspirational goals that sit in a drawer just doesn’t make sense.

Let me give you the good news: You’re not failing. You’re actually succeeding beautifully. That’s because you’re going beyond the popular thinking of intention setting simply as a game of, “I want, I want, I want.”

Like my colleague, you’re taking a second look to understand what that intention will add to your life. You’re thinking hard before you make a commitment. And that’s because you’re already planning all the steps it will take to get there. You’re ready to follow through. That kind of insight – connecting head and heart, a key Soul Boss principle – is priceless.

Let’s recap what we’ve learned this month:

  • In Temporarily Satisfied, Sam Adams founder Jim Koch learned that the “why” of his intentions was just as important as the goal itself, the “what”. Although he was a successful management consultant, the realization of “if I don’t want to do it for the rest of my life, I probably don’t want to do it tomorrow” changed his career path.
  • In Your First Thing, illustrator Mari Andrew showed that limiting yourself to one passion is, well, limiting. Her passions like acai bowls, dancing and Chance the Rapper go much further than her drafting table.
  • In Hiding in Plain Sight, we saw how Steve and Kara thought their only intention was improving their eating habits. In truth, their desires to connect, have fun and introduce ease into their schedule were right in front of them.
  • In Accept the Download, Denise Linn showed how to align intention with action. She could only experience consistent abundance in the outer world by changing her inner core beliefs.

Here’s a hack for setting intentions. Just finish this sentence out loud: “This is my year to ______.” Whatever comes out are your true intentions. These ideas – goals that will make you feel whole, aligned or healthy this year – are messages from your soul.

You might even use Audrey Hepburn as your inspiration: “People need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed.” That sounds like five perfect intentions for 2018. Get on it!

Good Find Friday: 21 Intention Affirmations


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Are you ready to anchor the ideas we’ve talked about in the intentions series this month? Start by using these 21 affirmations, and of course, make up your own.

There are a lot of urban myths around affirmations. You might think they’re just silly. Or others may have told you that affirmations don’t work. Or that they only work if you write them by hand hundreds of times a day.

This is the year to sweep all that chatter away and put your personal stamp on affirmations. (And, by the way, that’s staying the boss of you!) Think of it all the positive reasons to start this practice:

  • Affirmations remind you of what matters most. Your priorities can get lost in the middle of a busy day. Affirmations are a way to reconnect with the best part of yourself.
  • Affirmations change scripts we all have going such as, “I’m so anxious about my meeting,” to positive ideas like, “I am capable and confident.” What sounds better – spending your day worried or optimistic?
  • Affirmations are the Swiss army knife for goals They work for what you want to accomplish this year to what you’re getting done today.

Hmm…when you think about affirmations like this, maybe they’re worth a second look!

You’ve come so far this month. Expand the Good and keep it going, Soul Bosses.


Accept the Download


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Your intentions for 2018 have probably started taking shape. Before you rush into doing, let me ask you an important question: Are you sure you’re set up for success?

Having a big vision for the year is a wonderful start, but if you want to make 2018 the year your goals go from random thoughts or wishes to reality, aligning your inner and outer world is critical. That’s how you set intentions that resonate, the subject of the January series, My Soul Says Yes.

Getting aligned was a tough lesson for author and healer Denise Linn. It would be an understatement to say Denise grew up in hard circumstances. Her family constantly struggled to make ends meet. After her mentally ill mother was committed, Denise and her siblings were left with her abusive father. You could say that lack was a way of life in every area.

What she didn’t realize was that she took her childhood history into her marriage. As soon as she and her husband, David, had more than enough, Denise’s generosity would kick into overdrive. After all, prospering others is part of prosperity, right? Was someone moving into a new apartment? Of course, they would need pots and pans, and Denise was happy to empty her cupboard.

One day, David finally had enough. He said to her with complete love and total exasperation, “Denise, will you please stop this? We need more than one pot in the house!”

It’s a funny story with a serious message. It wasn’t that Denise couldn’t be happy until she owned a first-rate set of dishes. It was that she had become so good at struggling and living poor that she unintentionally kept reconstructing that lifestyle. Looking at her intentions list every day wouldn’t make much of a difference unless she stopped giving away her possessions. And she couldn’t take new actions until she changed the beliefs that drove them.

Denise started saying, “Yes,” to receiving good things and keeping them, and that was her turnaround moment. Over time, her self-esteem shifted as she became more confident with money. Her internal beliefs changed from, “I don’t know what to do with money,” or “Other people need help more than I do,” to “I can handle money,” and “I know how and when to bless others.”

Right now, your brain could be buzzing with all the practical things it will take to realize your goals. You need to take a class to learn a new skill. You should get out more and find like-minded people. You need to set up a routine where you can get some exercise every day and eat healthy food. To be fair, taking action is essential if you want to see your intentions come to life.

But here’s the insight you need to keep in the back of your mind: The results won’t stick around unless they line up with your core beliefs.

Your mind has a queue full of updates for the new year, ready to support your new goals and habits. Have you said “Accept” to the download?

Good Find Friday: 2018 Big Game Eats


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Are the bleak days of Winter weighing you down? Then throw a party! Here are two big excuses – the Super Bowl and the Olympics, both just a few weeks away.

The links below have you covered if you can’t imagine the big game without chili and nachos. But if you’re ready to shake up that same old menu, try a simple rule of thumb: Make the table as colorful as possible.

Think small changes with foods that have gone mainstream. More vegetables than tan food (chips or anything fried). More salsa or dips that use greens, less sour cream and mayo. And edamame or nuts to munch on instead of pretzels.

Keeping your 2018 healthy eating habits going is easier than you might think. Here are 3 hacks to try:

  1. Drink plenty of water throughout the day (not just during the party);
  2. Eat before you go, so you’re not tempted to nibble the night away; and
  3. Set a limit on your splurge foods.

Having fun with your nearest and dearest is good for your health, reducing symptoms like high blood pressure. Just go easy on the crockpot meatballs and chicken wings!

Enjoy! (And go #TeamUSA!)


Williams-Sonoma Salsas, Dips & Spreads

Williams-Sonoma Game Day Favorites

Pioneer Woman’s Best Recipes for a Crowd

Cooking Light 20 Minute Appetizers

13 Whole 30 Appetizers

Cooking Light 16 Chili Recipes

15 Fabulous Pitcher Drinks

Hiding in Plain Sight


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Are you ready to conquer the world in 2018? Fantastic!

I just have one question for you as you head out the door. What’s for dinner?

You might think that’s a petty question, yet it’s exactly where we get off track. The little recurring problems are really important. They show us what’s blocking our way to achieving big dreams. Solving the blocks that are hiding in plain sight is one of the meaningful intentions we can have.

“What’s for dinner?” was a surprisingly complicated question for Kara and Steve. They thought their intention was simple: Healthy eating. Somehow, they never got there.

First, they were going to follow a special diet. But the restrictive list of foods coupled with their limited cooking skills made it impossible to manage.

Then they decided they would stop eating out every weekend. Dining out meant having drinks and appetizers at a local bar before moving on to a lavish meal. Although that plan was good on paper, they also wanted to see their friends.

Steve and Kara’s story applies to the way most of us start the year. We have a big, life-changing goal in mind, like flipping over our whole diet. But then reality kicks in. We start making little compromises. A load of bargains. Then we tell ourselves that hardly anyone has the outcome they want. And that’s how we get derailed by the end of January!

Let’s take a step back from the “what” of Steve and Kara’s story and think of the “why”. Eating well was just how the problem showed itself; the true issues were much deeper.

They really wanted to stop negotiating with each other during the drive home when they were both starving and irritable. They also wanted to have fun – with each other and their friends. Trying to have the cooking skills of a “Top Chef” contestant or accommodating a complicated diet every time they ate out was anything but fun.

In a sense, they wanted ease and connection. They ultimately got there through a combination of meal prep delivery, switching from pizza to salads to go, and an occasional splurge on the weekend. Practicing that kind of mindfulness has an inevitable ripple effect.

Before you produce a long list of intentions that will leave you shaking your head in a month, put the list in a drawer and sleep on it. The next day, think of the emotional satisfaction you’ll receive. That feeling is your true intention, the focus of the January series, My Soul Says Yes. Then take that feeling and plan what you’re going to do to put it into action.

For example, have you bought a shiny new planner because you’re trying to manage your time better? That’s a good start, but a meticulous schedule only works as a “what” if it supports more time available for the “why” – the people and activities you love.

This week, challenge yourself to go beyond a superficial goal and dig deep. Is the most important intention you’ll make this year hiding in plain sight?

Good Find Friday: 15 Minute Organizing – Winter Edition


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Imagine a year without stacks of stuff everywhere, quietly draining your energy. A year where you never pay late fees or waste time looking for your keys. And a year where you have plenty of time for creativity or hanging out with friends and family. Does that sound good for 2018?

Organization matters for Soul Bosses because it brings clarity. It keeps your life moving and refreshed. Most important, honesty about what you have and how you’re managing it has an inevitable ripple effect in your life.

Don’t pressure yourself to flip over the whole house in a single session. Instead, try these simple ideas to get the new year started on the right foot. They all take 15 minutes or less!

  1. Clean a horizontal surface: Clear off at least one flat surface. (Pro tip – make it the thing that bothers you every time you see it, whether that’s your dining room table, bathroom counter or bedroom dresser.) Act on it, toss it or shred it.
  2. Pick a regular day/time to handle paperwork: If you’re a stacker, choose your new weekly day and time to sort through whatever you receive, like every Sunday evening. Think of it like this: What is more appealing – a few minutes each week or an hour or more at the end of the month?!
  3. Check your coat closet: Why wait until the end of the season? Someone would love to have your extra coat, hat or set of gloves during this especially bitter Winter.

If you’re still making January intentions, decide to make your home the ultimate place of rest and renewal this year. Don’t let post-holiday clutter and mess become the boss of you!