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5 Ways to Get to Forgiveness – Even If It Seems Out of Reach

Did somebody do something to you that you simply can’t forgive?

Perhaps your sister embarrassed you AGAIN at a family gathering with something she said. Perhaps your husband chose your mother-in-law’s side in a discussion about where to spend Easter. Or a good friend forgot to invite you to her Cabi party.

And are you so angry, so hurt, that you just can’t get past it?

I am here to tell you that you can.

Holding a grudge is one of the worst things that you can do for your health. So don’t!

Here is my latest: 5 Ways to Get to Forgiveness – Even If It Seems Out of Reach

#1 – Recognize that everyone is human.

Everyone is doing the best that they can. Let me say that again. Everyone is doing the best that they can.

The person who you are today, right now, is the result of a lifetime of experiences, experiences that include how your mother loved you when you were a child and the way that taxi driver splashed you with a muddy puddle this morning.

It is a combination of those things that determine how you react to something the way you do. The same rules apply to other people.

You know that co-worker who is rude to you every morning when you come into the office? Who doesn’t greet you with a smile and small-talk. Do you resent that person, think perhaps she is a bitch? Do you spend way too much time thinking about it during meetings?

That co-worker is just a person, doing the best that she can, and you have no idea what she is dealing with. Perhaps she has an autistic child who needs to be dropped off at daycare in the morning and the process is devastating every time. Might that person not be able to greet you with a happy smile in the morning? Might that person be more in need of some compassion from you?

Don’t assume anything about anyone. We are all just doing the best that we can. We are human, after all.

#2 – Don’t take everything personally.

It is not all about you. Again, it is not all about you.

“What’s this?” you think. “Of course it’s all about me.”

When someone hurts you I can guarantee that they almost never set out to hurt you. What they do might be insensitive but more often than not hurting you is not the reason why someone does something.

When your husband sides with your mother-in-law about Easter Sunday he is not doing it to purposely hurt you. He is doing it because he wants to please his mother or even perhaps because he genuinely believes her plan is the better one.

He does not do it because he has no respect for your opinions, because he does and he demonstrated this last week when he applauded your actions around a problem at work.

He did it for his own reasons, ones that have nothing to do with you.

Not taking everything as a personal affront is an excellent way to take steps towards forgiveness. Know that people do things for a variety of reasons and hurting you is rarely one of them.

#3 – Look to the future, not the past.

Do you want your present and your future to be based on the past? Or do you want your future to be bright and full of possibilities?

If yes, stop looking to the past and look forward with an open heart.

I have a client whose husband left her a LONG time ago and she still can’t get past it. Everything that is wrong in her life she blames on his leaving her. Everything.

In an effort to help her forgive her husband and move on, we have been working on her building a life for herself. She has found a great job and is under contract in a wonderful apartment. She is dating again and spending lots of time with her grandchildren. For the first time in years she is happy.

The more that she focuses on her present and her future the less time she spends obsessing about the past and all of her perceived losses. Because that’s what her losses are, perceived. She has no idea how her life might have been if her husband had stayed with her. What she does know is how amazing her life is now.

And that is what counts.

#4 – Take responsibility.

This is a hard one – to take responsibility for our role in a perceived hurt. But it’s a very important one.

We all play a role in every interaction we have. And, like it or not, our role is as relevant to outcome as the other person’s.

In the case of my client who was irate for not being invited to her friend’s Cabi party, I asked her to take a good look at why she thought she might not have been invited.

At first she said that she had no idea, that her friend was just a loser. But then, after some reflection, she realized that she hadn’t really enjoyed the last Cabi party and that she might have expressed those feelings to a few of their friends.

Perhaps her friend hadn’t invited her for just that reason? Not because she was a loser and wanted to hurt her friend but maybe because she knew her friend didn’t enjoy the parties and wanted her not to feel compelled to attend?

Hm, that changes things a bit doesn’t it?

#5 – Be honest and let it go.

You know when you stay up all night, playing and replaying something that your sister said to you on the phone? How it was just like something that she has said to you your entire lives? How it drives you crazy every time?

Have you ever told her that it drives you crazy every time? Perhaps now is the time.

Being honest with someone about something they are doing that hurts you is important. And it’s important to do so in an honest, non passive-aggressive way.

It’s entirely possible that your sister doesn’t know how she repeatedly upsets you. If you tell her you are giving her an opportunity to change, or explain, her behavior. And if you understand the reasons behind her behaviors you can accept them and let them go.

Because who wants to stay up all night perseverating about their sister’s words and actions? Sleep is a precious thing that shouldn’t be squandered needlessly.

So let it go. Get some sleep. Be happy.

So there you go, my 5 Ways to Get to Forgiveness.

“To err is human, to forgive, divine.” So said Alexander Pope in the early 1700s. He knew even back then the virtue found in forgiveness. He knew that we were all doing the best that we can and to forgive is to find God.

So practice forgiveness. Cut those who upset you some slack, accept responsibility for your share of the blame, let go of the past and make yourself a bright future.

Because that’s what we want. No matter how dark our past we want our future to be bright. And with forgiveness it can be.


 

Looking for other ways to get to forgiveness?

Contact me now and I can help!

 


 

 

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution – Even if You Never Have Before

I think the worst part of New Years is the pressure to make a resolution. Now don’t get me wrong, I think that the New Year is a great time to take a look at one’s life and figure out what one might do differently but the prospect of making and keeping a RESOLUTION seems so overwhelming and fruitless.

I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be. There are ways to make a resolution and stick to it and bring about real change in your life. You just have to approach it in a way that will ensure success.

Here is my latest…5 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution – Even if You Never Have Before.

#1 – Like, no LOVE, your resolution.

There is lots of pressure to come up with a New Year’s resolution. I mean what else can you talk about at your New Year’s Eve party other than your drama filled Christmas dinner?

The first rule of keeping a resolution is to actually like it, to be passionate about it. Sure, we can all say we want to lose 5 pounds or be nicer to our kids or spend less time at work but is that what you REALLY want. Does thinking about your resolution get your heart pounding, your blood rushing, your cheeks flushing?

If yes, go for it.
If no, it’s not the right resolution for you.

What you want for your resolution is something that will make your heart sing. Something that you really, really want to happen, something that you will make a priority in your life.

Because if you want something really badly you are more likely to work hard to get it.

#2 – Make your resolution a little smaller.

Most of our resolutions are BIG. Big because we want to bring about big change in our lives and we tend to like to go BIG when we make declarations.

The problem with BIG is that it sounds good at conception but is hard to complete during follow through. We live chaotic, jam-packed and exhausting lives and trying to pack in a whole bunch of change at once is simply not sustainable.

And when something is not sustainable we give up.

So make your resolution smaller. Want to lose weight, eat better and get more exercise? Sounds great but chances are if you try to change your diet, get off your butt and lose weight all at the same time you will fail because that’s a lot of change at once.

So choose one of these things as your resolution.

Try choosing exercise. Make some time for exercise 4 days a week but continue to eat the way you do. You might find that once you start exercising regularly you will want to tweak your diet a little bit because you are feeling so good and once you do that you might lose weight.

Or try choosing to eat better. Tweak your diet a bit, without adding the pressure of exercise. You just might find that eating better makes you feel healthier which might get you exercising more which could lead to weight loss.

See how this works? Choose one thing. Anyone can do one thing, especially you.

#3 – Write it down.

A sure fire way to succeed in your resolution is to write it down.

It’s easy to declare at the stroke of midnight what you are resolute about in the New Year but putting your resolution onto paper is a key to succeeding at keeping it.

Capturing your words on paper will serve two purposes. The first is that the words are no longer just floating around in your head but they have been captured. And words that are captured are more easily remembered.

The second reason to write something down is that now you have physical proof of your resolution. This proof you can put at the top of your to-do list or on the fridge or next to your bed. Somewhere where you will see it regularly and be reminded of it.

So write down your small resolution. Be as specific as possible. Don’t say “get more exercise” say “walk 1 mile 3 times a week.” Don’t say “eat healthier” say “add vegies to my dinner during the work week.” Clear, measurable items.

#4 – Find someone to hold you accountable.

We all mean to keep our resolutions. Really we do. We share them with our friends and family and they are excited about them but then they go off to keep their own resolutions and forget about yours.

And more often than not they fail at those resolutions and don’t want to talk about resolutions at all, ever again.

So find someone who will not only hold you accountable but who can help you take measurable steps to hit that resolution out of the park.

My recommendation? A life coach. Namely ME!

#5 – Reward yourself.

We all like to think that keeping a resolution is a reward unto itself and in a way it is. Losing weight would be wonderful. Feeling healthier could change your life. Succeeding would make you feel so much better about yourself.

And, yes, these things are true but really we all love rewards. LOVE REWARDS.

So think about something that you could reward yourself with if you succeed in sticking to your resolution. Something that would make your heart sing.

Last year a client resolved to be nicer to her mother-in-law. She made a list specifying what that would look like and we set out a timeline for her to make those things happen. We had monthly benchmarks to review her progress.

We decided that if she met those monthly goals she would reward herself with a manicure, something she loved but rarely indulged in. We also decided that if she kept it up for 6 months she would get a massage as well. And, the cherry on top, if she was still being nicer to her mother-in-law in one year she would get a spa weekend away.

I know, you are probably thinking that this is one selfish resolution but it worked! My client was able to consistently get along with her mother-in-law, which completely changed the dynamic in her family, and along the way she got beautiful nails and a little self care. Really it was a win/win for everyone.

So there you go, my 5 Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution.

As a life coach I am a big believer in life change. I think we all need to shake things up to keep things interesting and make ourselves happy. I also believe in doing it one step at a time.

So think carefully this year before you make your resolution. Make sure it is something that will truly make your face flush and your heart pound.

This is the year you can do it! I know you can.

Need more help reaching your goals? Contact me and I can help.

 

 

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Things to Choose if You Want to be Happy – Even if It Seems Completely Out of Reach

You know that person. The one who is always happy. Nothing seems to get them down. They are successful, have good friends, exude confidence and are just fun to be with.

Is this you?

Everybody wants to be happy. It seems pretty simple doesn’t it? But the reality is different. Happiness is a choice. A few choices actually. And it’s totally within reach for everyone. Here is my latest:

5 Things to Choose if You Want to be Happy.

 

#1 – Choose truth.

You know those decisions that make your stomach hurt. The ones that you make because your brain tells you it’s the “right” thing to do, not because it’s what you really want.

Yes. Those decisions. You probably made one today.

Those decisions are not based on your truth. They are based on some truth outside of yourself, some truth that is based on what everyone else says is “right.” These decisions are not good for you.

Making decisions based on what you really want, what will truly be good for you, are decisions based on your truth. These kind of decisions feel good in your body. These decisions allow you to sleep at night. Decisions not based on our truth can actually make us sick and definitely interfere with our happiness.

How do we stop making these unhealthy choices? We listen to our bodies.

Next time, when presented with a decision that needs to be made, pause and check how each potential decision makes your body feel. Our bodies will only tell us the truth. If the decision makes you feel slightly nauseous then it’s probably not a good one. If it makes your head hurt, the same. If it makes your heart leap, then that’s it. That’s the healthy decision.

Listen to your body. Unlike your brain, it will never lie to you!

# 2 – Choose love.

Everyone wants to love and be loved. And ideally everyone would share their life with that ONE person. The one you curl up with at night and eat cereal with in the morning. The one whose hand you hold on the subway and with whom you binge watch “Sons of Anarchy” at night. You know the person. The one who makes your heart sing.

If you have a person, don’t let them go. And if you don’t, believe that you will. Especially if you are happy.

If you don’t have that person right now you know that you have other people in your life who love you: your sister, your best friend, your neighbor. Make sure that you have contact with someone who loves you every day. In person, on the phone or via text (last choice).

And don’t forget to love yourself. You are awesome. Tell yourself as often as you can. Because you are.

#3 – Choose yourself.

You know how you choose to make everyone else happy first? You go to that raunchy movie with your kids instead of that historical drama you want to see. Or you visit your mother in law with your husband instead of working in the garden? We all do it. And it undermines our happiness.

Sometimes we do have to put someone else’s needs above our own but, really, it’s important to put ourselves first more often than not. Nobody else is going to take care of us and it’s important that we do so. If you always put yourself last you will truly come to believe that you are last. Being last will definitely not make you happy.

Think back to that fight you had with your husband while driving home from his mother’s house. Enough said.

#4 – Choose kindness.

Did you know being kind to someone else is one of the best ways to feel happy?

Think about the look on that woman’s face when you raced after her to return the wallet that she left in the store. Or the way the barista reacted this morning when, after dealing with customer after customer who had not yet had their coffee, you thanked them with a big smile and a compliment.

Being kind is not hard to do but so many of us forget to be in this crazy, jam packed and exhausting world that we live in. Making that small effort to make someone else happy can go a long way to making you feel happy too.

#5 – Choose to believe.

A key ingredient in being happy is believing that you can be. Really.

It’s not an easy thing. When you are unhappy it’s almost impossible to believe that you ever could be happy. When you are unhappy and you look ahead you are doing so with that unhappy feeling in your gut. Your future life seems hopeless because you are unhappy right now. But you gotta believe.

Believing in anything is the best way to manifest it. Believe that you will get that job and you will. Believe that you will find that love and you will. Believe that you will be happy and you will.

How to believe? Visualize that job. Feel how it will feel to have it. Store that feeling in your body and summon it when you have doubt. The same with love. Picture that perfect someone. Feel how it will feel to be loved by them. Picture yourself happy and do the same.

It really works. Try it and see.

So there you go : 5 Things to Choose if You Want to be Happy.

Happiness is a state of mind. A state of being. If you make choices that cause physical pain, that keep you from sleeping, that make you feel hopeless, you will never find it.

Try it. Try putting yourself first, loving yourself and those around you, being kind, being truthful. Believing. What a difference it will make.

I promise.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Reasons to Love Your Mother in Law, Even When It’s Really Hard

When you get married, more likely than not, you also get a mother-in-law, the woman who raised your partner. And quickly there can arise conflict between you and your mother-in-law. She raised your partner and is used to things being done a certain way and you married him or her and have your own opinions. This conflict can be really hard on a marriage. It can even destroy it.

Don’t fret! By understanding more about how your mother-in-law’s brain works you can not only improve your relationship with her but you can alleviate conflict and thereby strengthen your relationship with your partner.

5 reasons to love your mother-in-law

#1 – Remember that she has experience that you don’t have. Our mothers-in-law have been doing what you are just beginning to do for probably more than a few decades. That is a lot of experience, experience that you should appreciate and take advantage of. You are new at all of this and, whether you know it or not, can use all of the help that you can get.

#2 – Remember that she did raise your partner. I know it’s hard to imagine but she did influence your partner’s life for 18 years or more. And that shouldn’t be discounted. My mother-in-law always told me that her son could clean a toilet and vacuum like a madman. I told her that, after 20 years of marriage, I had retrained him: he cleaned nothing anymore. I see now that that was a slap in her face. She worked hard to raise the person that she did and she should to be recognized, and appreciated, for that. And remember, you did fall in love with the person she raised….

#3 – Remember that she loves your kids as much, if not more, than you do. I know that my grandmother was a huge positive influence in my life. She hadn’t been a great mother to my mother but for me she was amazing. And I have learned, from my own mother, that having grandchildren is the best thing that ever happened to her. So appreciate that this person loves your children as much as she does. After all, every person who loves your child is a gift.

#4 – Remember that she really does just want to help. Mothers in-law don’t set out to drive us crazy. They don’t mean to criticize our parenting or complain about the state of our kitchen. They are there, in the house, to be with their children and grandchildren. And, more often than not, their intentions are good. Perhaps the manner in which they speak up about our parenting or our housekeeping skills is abrasive and stinging but remember they are only human and are most likely just trying to help. Really.

#5 – Remember that you are lucky to have her and that she won’t always be there. So many mothers start out with no support. Their mother and mother-in-law is far away, or no longer alive, or absent for some reason. When we are new parents, or even more seasoned ones, we are lucky to have someone there who can support us when we need it. And remember, none of us is getting any younger so they might not always be there for us. Appreciate how lucky you are and make the best of it.

There you go. 5 reasons to love your mother-in-law. It might not always be easy but I promise you, in the long run, doing so will be worth it. After all, your partner loves her. She is his or her mother. You loving her too shows your partner just how much you love them which makes everybody happy.

Do you have conflict with your mother in law? What do you do to work through it?

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!