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On Sacred Dreams

white hot truth: what's true for you?

I'm posting another writer's article today, basically because I think she rocks and would like to introduce you to her (in case you don't know her yet.) She is Danielle LaPorte of

Wonder what their dream is

Our dreams and desires define us. Be they broken, scarcely remembered, on the verge of reality, or in full bloom. They pilot our choices. Dreams have the power to shape the entire landscape of our lives. Because they tend to be so precious and potent, many people keep their dreams and aspirations to themselves.

A dream is a very sacred thing to share.

If you knew someone's dream, you might look at that person very differently…with more tenderness, more respect, more familiarity, and more wonder than before. Dream-sharing melts boundaries and it calls forth resources and commonalities.

Look at everyone you meet this week and actively think to yourself, “I wonder what their dream is?” Ask at least one person this week what their dream is. You can do it subtly, and traditionally, like, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” or “What did you want to be when you were growing up?” Or you can just go for it, playfully and momentously and ask, “So, like, what’s your big dream?” So many people never get asked that. And fewer are really listened to. And for those who are stumped by the question, I guarantee they'll be thinking about it for days to come. Just the asking of that question sets essential things in motion.

The guy in the cubicle next to you may be working on novel about unicorns and espionage. Your sister might be fantasizing about her own cabaret break out performance. Your postal carrier may be patenting the next great invention. Make no assumptions about your partner, your workmate, or the bus driver.

Small, mighty, seemingly impossible, or simply pure – when you know what someone’s dream is, your perspective leans toward openness. And every dream needs space to run.

Oh, my dream-stream... Inspire freedom seeking and engagement with life in a big big way for a long long time. That means my next book, White Hot Truth is a stunning success in every way possible, and I'm wearing suede boots and big gold hoops on stage and laughing "you-know-what-I'm sayin'-don'tchya?" laughs with thousands of people.

And I dream of Morocco and France and a koi pond in the back yard of my mod pre-fab house. Collecting art. Magazine coverage. I dream about communion with my man that blows both our minds. I dream of sitting 'round a fire with leaders and lovers of progress. Being able to give yeses and make phone calls that open doors and new dimensions for people.

I dream of children being taught mindfulness in school, and a movement of conscious birth choices and parenting, and technologies that heal. And I dream of invitations that humble me, and more magical connections with people who I recognize on a cellular level, and we band together to leverage change, and to support and care for each other in the way that reminds you how great it is to share space and time. And I dream of feeling more electric and sweet every single day.

But mostly, I dream of being amazed.

How 'bout you?


Well, I dream of so many things... love, passion, joy, world peace, healthy self-esteem for all, living in a society without money, making a positive difference in people's lives, being a size 10, having conversations with singers and movie stars, having time to read all the books in the world and friends and family to discuss them with, playing the piano, speaking every language on the planet fluently, traveling extensively - and very deep down, I dream of feeling truly 100 % content and rooted within myself.

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What makes you You?

Philosophers have been debating the question of the Self for centuries, as have religions. There still are debates about self and ego. According to Jung, we cannot find our "true selves", because they contain unconscious parts, which by definition we will not become aware of.

Just as conscious as well as unconscious phenomena are to be met with in practice, the self as psychic totality also has a conscious as well as an unconscious aspect.

We are more than what we seem. We are complex.

So, who are you? Are you the sum of your experiences and choices? Can you be defined by a four-letter type? A job description? Gender?

I don't think so.

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 8.35.18 AMGeert Hofstede differentiated 3 levels of human understanding in the early 80s in the form of this pyramid. I think it's a good start. Yes, all of us have DNA and a biological make-up that is comparable. We all have feelings (except sociopaths), we all bleed, need to eat, want to procreate - human nature. We all grow up in different circumstances (Culture/Nurture) and show different behaviors (Personality).

I think we have to be careful with the vocabulary, because there are so many different interpretations of the words. In the Jungian Type sense, personality would probably be seen as part of the human nature foundation, because all humans come into the world with certain predispositions for brain patters that will reflect in personality type preferences. So the Hofstede personality is probably meant more like a social style or behavior.

When I present on Type and Culture, Nature and Nurture, I try to make sure we honor everything that goes into our individual differences and unique experiences. As a start, at least in Type circles, I like to introduce myself as a German ENFJ to better reflect my preferences and how they might show up and be expressed.

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 8.35.35 AM


Which petals would you add to this flower?



Step 4 - Recognize and Question Behavioral Patterns (again)

I'm currently finding the most difficult piece of this step is getting the balance between introspection and outside feedback. When I think I'm behaving one way, but it's coming across in another - who's right?

Behavior is driven by emotion, and we're not in complete conscious control of our emotions all the time. Some emotions are unconscious.

There are two "levels" of unconscious: one is pre-conscious, i.e. knowable through introspection and reflection. The other is sub-conscious, i.e. not even pondering about the affect will bring it up to awareness.

Clearly, introspection allows us to understand why and how we behave in certain situations, yet we may not be able to solve all the riddles. To recognize behavioral patterns, we have to first become aware of them. This may need outside stimulus. Like Sherlock's analysis of Watson, for example:

This is from the first episode, but by the second series, Watson isn't even using his cane anymore. In this case, outside stimulus (Sherlock) brought awareness to a behavior (relying on unnecessary cane) and Watson took some time to accept it (2 or 3 episodes) before changing his behavior (walking without a cane).

Philosophers like Descartes believed introspection was the be all and end all of self knowledge.

I think, therefore I am.

300 years later, Ryle posited that introspection is limited and (therefore) overrated; to obtain knowledge of the nature of the self we should take observable behavior into consideration.

When was the last time you acted out a conversation in front of a mirror before doing it in real life? 

Do you know how your face moves when you tell a fib? How you blush when you're self-conscious? How anger rises up through your body through clenched fists and jaws? Whom do you trust enough to ask and do a Sherlock on you, i.e. tell you how they observe your typical behavior?



Self-Esteem Needs - Confidence, Achievement, Respect

Copyright Bill Watterson, Awesomest Cartoonist Ever. This one's for accompanying spouses without work-permit in particular: If you are used to being employed, not earning a living changes your sense of self. America is the country of “what do you do?” and the common lack of spousal employment during international assignments is the biggest factor of discontent. Maybe you’re choosing not to work, maybe you’re planning on starting a family, maybe you’ve never worked, or maybe you didn’t get a work-permit: living abroad will burst open even the tiniest cracks of self-doubt.

Become aware of your limiting beliefs that affect your

self-worth. Many are tied to numbers: the scale, the bank account, or friends on Facebook. If you find yourself spiraling into negative self-talk, try a coaching process called cognitive restructuring.

Cognitive restructuring works for thoughts or beliefs that are causing you pain. It helps you examine them and find more helpful alternatives, one belief or thought at a time. There are resources like The Work or of course you can talk with your Coach to get a personalized solution.

There are many ways to make a difference, even if you’re not allowed to work. Learn something in the local college or through an online course. Immerse yourself in the language and culture, you’ll be building marketable skills for your return! Learn to measure your contribution not in money or numbers, but in happiness, or time spent with your kids, or memories created with your partner.

What plans have you always postponed that you could now make time for? Write a book, start to paint, let out all the creative energy you’ve been storing up.



It is often said, Western civilization tends to follow the “having” and “doing” path, where a person’s value is measured by achievement. Eastern civilization, on the other hand, subscribes more to the concept of “being”. Consider the cultural difference in the two approaches: “doing” implies a person is the steward of their own fate, there’s the potential of upward mobility. “Being” implies acceptance and is often tied to the social status you’re born into.

Respect is a two-way street. As an expat, you are walking, living, and breathing diversity. What were your thoughts on immigration back home? How does it feel to be a foreigner yourself?

The more you know, the more you’ll understand what motivates our behaviors. Learn about your own culture and the one you’re moving to. Recognize behaviors are influenced by our values and our different interpretations of the same. The Golden Rule, “do unto others as you would have them do to you” does not work across cultures. Apply the Platinum Rule instead: “treat everyone the way they want to be treated”.


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Who are you when you're alone?

who am iHere's a post especially for those who use extraverted Feeling in their first or second functions. You know you're using extraverted Feeling preferences when...

  • you try to please others, a lot
  • their needs tend to be more important than your own
  • their opinions tend to seem more correct than yours
  • you avoid confrontation (unless it's something you really care about)
  • disharmony stresses you out

Every once in a while I ask my hubby how he would describe my type preferences. Last time, he said he had a hard time answering that because he's seen me behave in so many different ways, always depending on who I'm with. Was there a type that always changes depending on context?

I said I wasn't sure, but that that is something I've noted as well. I used to wonder who I'd be if I were alone. I wanted consistency, clarity. A no-nonsense direct answer to the question, "who are you?" It's a tough question. I'm an ENFJ, who's like all other ENFJs, like some other ENFJs, and like no other ENFJ. I'm a German who's lived in Scotland, England, Spain, the Canary Islands, Mexico, and the USA. I am and always will be a daughter, sister, cousin, friend etc.

Today I recognize and accept that I am multitudes. I am yes, and. That, and more. Depends on the context. My truth is that I'm never alone, so asking who I'd be on my own doesn't make sense. I'm always in one of the roles described in the picture, and there are probably many more relationships I haven't even mentioned on there.

No Doris is an island.

Still - do you know what my friend Sarah said? She had just had her appendix out when she heard me talk on the phone in three different languages. She said, "you talk and behave differently in German, English, and Spanish, but you always laugh in Doris."

What do you think? Are you always the same no matter where you go or who you're with? Or can you relate to the adaptation?

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It ain't easy being Zen

staying positive is hard Greetings, my fellow voyagers on the road less traveled, aka YOUR OWN.

This is a quick post to acknowledge that we work very hard every day to

  • eat right
  • exercise
  • be nice
  • not frown
  • not slump in our seats
  • say please and thank you
  • follow our dreams
  • know our passions
  • resist temptation
  • walk the dog
  • change the diaper
  • give that presentation
  • and donate to charity.

All of these things are supposed to bring us closer to happiness, and all I'm saying today is that it's ok to be miserable for bit along the way.

Go on.

Close the door, draw the curtains, and feel what it is you're feeling. Overwhelm? Bring it on. Anger? Shout something. Anxiety? Get a fret on, I won't tell.

You have permission to question your quest for happiness, and then redefine the rules and make them work for you.



Go out and get what you want

20130101-233634.jpg "Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it." That's a quote from the Braveheart movie, 1997. When was the last time you took such empowering advice?

Well, take this as a permission slip.

Whatever you want to do, decide it, and do it.

Want to change jobs? Update your résumé, activate your network, search globally. Your options are endless, grab one. Want to go vegan? Stop buying animal and dairy products. If a traditional hotel in rural Germany is able to rustle up a tasty salad while 60 other guests are feasting on meat with all the trimmings, you can get your butt to Whole Foods and buy veggies. Stop making excuses, there is life after cheese. Want to write that book? Click on you word processing application right now. Go create. Then tell me about it in the comments or on facebook, I wanna hear about it.



Start the year off right

20121224-201148.jpg In Germany, we don't generally like boasting or exaggerations. Better to tell it like it is, even if it hurts. Some German managers I've worked with thought it was praise if they did not point out suggestions for improvement.

In the States, I'm confronted with a new "the biggest the best the fastest the you-name-it superlative" every day. Marketing and PR have become individual activities, and everyone's an expert or guru.

I'm going to try this year to find a happy medium, like the quote implies, and invite you to do the same. No reason to hide your light under a bushel, and hey - you got three PhD's? Well, it ain't braggin' if it's true.

Happy New Year!