How Do You Get What You Want?

Getting what you want is not all about “things” and “stuff.” We all want and deserve more than just material possessions, though those are nice, too. What we also want and deserve, among other things, is to be heard, to have loving relationships, to feel valued and respected, and to live joyful lives. So how do we get all that we want?

Much has been written and spoken about the Law of Attraction, and there remain many misconceptions for a variety of reasons. What I want to do here is to give you the simple truth and simple steps to attract more of what you want in your life. The first and most fundamental simple truth is that it all starts in your mind, with what you believe and continue to tell yourself to be true. If you believe you deserve to have a joyful life and loving relationships, and if your inner-voice continues to affirm that belief, then you will attract others with similar beliefs and, thereby, those attributes in your life.

You may be thinking, “That sounds too simple…,” and that may be true. The more difficult part is continuing to believe when events in your life don’t seem to reflect what you want. The key is to continue believing, because the truth is you do deserve, and good things will come to you. To this end, the second simple truth is to want what you have. Wanting what you have is essentially being grateful for what you have, and the power lies in gratitude. Being grateful not only for what you have but also for what your life is teaching you, is a powerful affirmation that you deserve. When you continue to believe that you deserve the best of life even when things seem difficult, and when you continue to be grateful, even for those difficult times because you learn and grow from those times, then you are living a life that will reward you with all that the best life has to offer.quo_edickinson


One of my teachers and mentors, Helene Rothschild, wrote, “The truth is, no matter what anyone says or does…you deserve to be happy, healthy, and successful!” The truth is, to realize the life you want and deserve in all its glory, you must believe that you deserve it with every part of your being. You must continue to believe that you deserve the best life, regardless of any events that seem contrary. When you truly believe that you deserve the life you have dreamt of, and when you live congruently with that belief in every way, you will realize that dreams really do come true. How cool is that?

From Victim to Victor

Many of us have had an accident of some kind and may have suffered an injury.   Some may have suffered other injuries, either physical or emotional.  When something like that happens to us, it is understandable to think of ourselves as victims, especially when another party is involved and seemingly responsible.  What is a potential negative consequence of our feeling like or believing we are victims, and perhaps even believing in “accidents” of “suffering injury?”

In Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), which is the study and application of how we form beliefs and how those beliefs drive behaviors, we look at the role of language as one factor.  Language is more than simply the spoken word and includes nonverbal language as well as our internal dialogue.  What you say to yourself is important in recognizing why you may behave in a certain way. It relates to the notion, “What you believe, you will achieve.”  The caveat is that you need to be careful about what you say to yourself, because it may just become your truth.quo_gandhi

If you believe you are a victim, is it possible that you have relinquished not only your power but also responsibility for your circumstances?  If you are not responsible for your circumstances, then what purpose is there in learning new skills, in making good decisions, in eating healthy foods that support your body, in exercising, and in being a good example for your children?  Have you ever known someone who always blamed everyone and everything else for their circumstances?  How often have we heard a child say, “That wasn’t my fault?”  My mother never accepted that excuse because she told me it was my responsibility to not allow myself to be in a situation that could result in my being hurt or getting in trouble.  It was my responsibility to leave a situation before getting in trouble or being hurt. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that lesson taught me much about responsibility, which carried over to all aspects of my life.

When you think of yourself as a victim, you give away everything that allows you to accomplish all the wonderful dreams and goals you deserve.  When you take full responsibility for what happens in your life, you become the victor over your life.  When you think of yourself as the victor, the master of your circumstances, then anything is possible.  How cool is that?

In the Eye of the Beholder

Have you heard the expression, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?” Many of us have heard that one, as well as, “You can’t tell a book by its cover.” Both expressions have something to do with the fact that what we see with our eyes is subjective or filtered in some way, by our own opinions or beliefs or ideals. For example, some people don’t like the color green, while others don’t see “green” the same way you do, and they may not even be colorblind.

When you are in a discussion with someone about a particular topic and it becomes clear that you are both seeing the same situation differently, what comes to mind or how does that make you feel? I know some people who are so set in their ways and feel so strongly about their own beliefs and opinions that it is nearly impossible for them to even consider someone else’s point of view. I have great compassion for them, because I think they are missing out on learning and growing and actually becoming happier people. Wouldn’t it be awful to be so boxed in to a set of ideas that you felt alone because you couldn’t, or wouldn’t, see others’ points of view?

A word I use often is “perception,” because it is important to our understanding of the world, and more specifically, of our own world. When you observe something, is your observation the truth? When you hear a story, do your interpret that story the same way someone else does? When you hear music or look at a painting, do you hear or see what your neighbor hears or sees? It isn’t a matter of who or what is right. The way you perceive something is your truth, and the way the others perceive something is their truth.

Lord Thomas Dewar said, “Minds are like parachutes; they only function when open.”  If it could be possible that there might even be the slightest difference in perception and ones truth, would it make sense to compare, to share the experience with another while keeping an open mind? By doing so, you just might broaden your own view, and at the same time, you might just broaden the horizon and view of the other person, too. How cool is that?

A Lesson Learned – More About Lessons

Each of us has a story to tell. Each of us has endured hardships, experienced wonderful moments, and has fallen down to then get up. It is the power of the human spirit, or is there more? I believe there is more, but for now I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned that may help you navigate your life with more joy.

I grew up in Denmark and The Netherlands, even though I was born in New York. I learned how to read and write English as a ten year old, and it wasn’t easy. During a good part of my childhood, I felt like an outsider because no matter where we lived (we had moved nine or ten times by the time I was 12), I was the new kid or the foreign kid. Suffice it to say, I always felt I was on the outside looking in.

Without going into detail about what happened during those years and later, what I have realized is that each and every experience I had, whether it was pleasant or seemingly devastating at the time, allowed me to grow into the person I am today. I am still growing, still learning, and I am quite happy with who I am. Most of us realize that we learn from the experiences of life, but do we use that knowledge? I believe the most powerful lesson of all is to believe, especially when in the midst of what seems like something devastating, that what we are experiencing is actually a blessing, a gift. If you believed that to be true, how might that change your life?

When we change the way we look at our world, then the way we experience our world changes. If everything that happened to you were, somehow, for your benefit, would you respond differently to any given situation? When we experience an unpleasant event, we might feel hurt or despair. We tend to not think about how wonderful we’ll feel and how much we will have learned once the event is over. If, on the other hand, we acknowledge the experience and our emotions and then focus on how much we will have learned, how much stronger we will be, and how much better our lives will be once we have moved past that event, then we can feel hopeful, perhaps even excited about what is to come.

Sometimes we are reminded and tested, and it may not be easy or comfortable. It may even be hard and evoke painful emotions. The blessing is, that when we are able to be true to who we really are and to get to the other side of it with our most loving intentions intact, we can be proud of lessons learned. What comes next is the realization that there is nothing we cannot manifest. Your wildest dreams are but a few winks away. How cool is that? ❤

The best is yet to come!


Why We Do What We Do

Do you ever wonder how the dimension of time seems to be so dynamic and unpredictable? Well, I have an answer but that isn’t what this post is about. 🙂

Do you know why you do the things you do? Do you ever wonder why you continue doing things that aren’t good for you? For those of you who always do everything right, whose only actions are those that support your health and happiness in every way, please pat yourselves on the back and write a comment to me about why you think that is and how you have come to be so good. For the rest of you, you can keep reading.

One of the presuppositions of NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) is that every behavior is supported by an unconscious belief that the behavior provides a benefit. We also know that every action is based on a motivation to either gain more pleasure or to experience less pain. The NLP Communication Model further explains how our behaviors are created by how we process the millions of bits of information coming at us every second, even though we can consciously process only about 134 bits of information per second. Ever feel overwhelmed?

Can you think of a behavior you exhibit that you wish you could eliminate from your repertoire? If so, would it help to understand why you do what you do? Every behavior is a result of a decision to act, driven by your physiological state (which alters brain chemistry), and based on an unconscious belief. Have you noticed that the best advertisements are those that are designed to evoke an emotion in you? There are many catchy ads that you remember, but those usually don’t cause you to go out and buy the product. Think about the process of buying a car. The salesperson always encourages you to go for a test drive (if she believes in the car she’s selling) because she knows that once you drive it and experience the feel, the quiet, the sound system, etc., you are no longer in a strictly analytical state, your are in an emotional state. Every “buy” decision is an emotional decision. Emotion is the reason you do what you do.

Of course, in this limited space, we can’t get into the details of why we do what we do, but this gives you a good primer that can help you pay attention and listen to the cues that you have about why you do certain things. When you find yourself doing something that results in an undesirable outcome, you can now ask yourself how that behavior is serving you by asking, “What am I gaining from this behavior.” Also, notice the emotion you were feeling right before you exhibited the behavior. I think it is also important to ask yourself what you could gain by no longer performing that behavior. An example might be to ask yourself, “How might my life change if I no longer….?” Finish the question with the behavior or condition that results from the behavior.

Once you have begun to notice more about your behaviors and how they serve you and you begin to behave in ways that do support you, your life will begin to unfold in ways that will bring you more energy and more joy. It will become easy and natural, and after a while, you will look back with pride and awe at how much you’ve accomplished. How cool is that?!

All the best,


Controlling the Flow of Life

This title may seem oxymoronic, and perhaps it is, but it might also provoke the question, “Do we, or can we control the flow of life?” Or we might ask, “Do we want to control the flow of life?” And then, if we can and do, “Is there a flow of life?”

I don’t intend for this to be a, “If you put your foot in a stream, is it the same stream” kind of blog post, but I was thinking about how I have gotten fairly adept at allowing things that happen to just be what they are – to not be upset by them and to learn the lesson they were there to teach me. I have gotten good at not taking things personally, generally, which is a wonderful lesson for all of us to learn. Most importantly, I have learned to be okay with not having to be “in control” of everything that happens. This is especially useful since we are not in control of everything. At the same time, it is important to recognize that about which we do have control. One of my favorite quotes is the Serenity Prayer, “God Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” (Reinhold Niebuhr) If you have been here before, you know that this quote has guided me for years, and it continues to be one of the most influential in my life.

In terms of the “Flow of Life,” I believe it is important for us to learn how to simply, “Be” in that flow. When we spend time in the past, we are unable to move forward. If we spend too much time in the future, we miss out on all the wonder that is happening in our lives, right now. We do want to be clear about what our dreams and goals are, but the “what-if” game can be harmful when it is based on worry and fear. Think of FEAR as an acronym meaning, “False Evidence Appearing Real” and worrying as, “praying for something you don’t want.” How helpful are either to creating the life that you want?

So, if we don’t have control over everything that happens and we are well served by going along with the flow, what do we have control over? We have control over our actions, our beliefs, and our responses to things that happen “to us.” You have likely heard the expression, “It isn’t what happens to us but how we deal with what happens to us that defines our success.” What if everything that happened in your life was there to teach you something of value, something for your benefit? What if you knew that no matter how awful something seemed at the time, the result was going to be great? I believe that when we see our lives as splendid, magical adventures that teach us how to be joyful and loving, our lives will prove us to be right. How cool is that?

All the best,