My Father Was Never Good To Me

Question: My father was never really good to me, I was born the second child, I’m a woman, my father loved his firstborn, my sister but wanted a boy. I came along. Then finally his third child was a boy. He never abused me but never treated me well either compared to my older sister or younger brother. He lives far away overseas with my mom. I have guilt in that I want to “be a good daughter” and I know it hurts my mom that I don’t speak to him. Complicating things is my daughter who my dad loves. In terms of integrity I don’t want to play games and pretend I want to connect with my dad, any advice coach?                HB

Frank’s Answer:
As with all family issues this is complicated! The middle child complex is a well known one where the middle child feels left out or unimportant between the first child (everyone loves the first child) and the baby (babies yes!). Let me give it a crack. What I’m hearing is a conflict in important values that you have, both are very important and this is when it is challenging as you want to honor both but feel you can’t.

The first value you are trying to honor is “integrity” and/or fairness. By having little to no decent relationship with your dad, your fairness value and intuition tell you that you don’t owe him anything due to his weak efforts to be a great dad to you and clear preference for your two other siblings. You also want to be in integrity with a “rule” that you created a long time ago called “I must be a good daughter”. I assume this means having a normal relationship with dad.

The second value you are trying to honor is “family/connection”. This value tells you that you should do anything possible to maintain the family (it is also tied to the above “good daughter” rule”. There is an unmentioned but implied rule that you must stay connected no matter what (even trampling on your own needs to do it).

In terms of the Law of Attraction, you need to take care of your needs first to be able to hope to give to anyone else. You need to be “selfish” and really dig deep to see if your current attempts to be a “good daughter” trample your need to be a “happy person”. You moved overseas away from your parents, a good indication of your need for independence and freedom. It may also be an indicator that you want to move past that “old” life back home including your dad.

I believe since you are now a mother, you should do all in your power to ensure your issues with dad don’t impact your daughter’s need for her grandfather, as then you would have double guilt!

Guilt is a very low and toxic emotion, #21 on the Emotional Scale, it lingers and can cause cancer. As such, resolution is key here. You can continue with the “good daughter” shtick until it no longer feels right, which may be never. The fact is, your dad will probably never change and attempting to wish that or push him will never work. All you can do is focus on you, ask these questions.

1. Am I still a good person even if I don’t get along with dad

2. Am I willing to risk my self-confidence and self-worth by ignoring my “integrity” value?

3. How can I find a win-win scenario for myself where I honor my “mothering myself”, aka. protecting yourself from your dad’s absent or lacking love for you

4. How do I honor my daughter’s needs for her grandfather (if he shows love to her only)

5. How could I get my daughter to support me in whatever I choose.
I realize #5 can be challenging but, the best solutions come from unorthodox approaches, maybe her opinion will support you or give you new perspectives. Good luck!


“To Have Lived, Loved and Lost….”

    1. I was reading in a business weekly magazine about a man in Indiana who had risen to super rich status through the acquisition of multiple businesses in many industries. The story was about his stratospheric and rapid rise to the upper echelons of society where he supported many local politicians with substantial contributions.
       This man was also into partying, he would fly in 20-30  Playboy bunnies or other models to his estate and party hardy! He had over 30 luxury classic cars, a yacht etc. Finally it was all a ponzi/pyramid type of scheme and he got caught and is now living at his sisters’ house and is awaiting trial. They ask him at the end would you make the same choices again, and he answered, “definitely, not”.
      So he got caught doing illegal things and is now deep trouble. Let’s ignore for the sake of my argument the fact what he did was illegal as most of us would agree that’s wrong. What we do weakly is when we “say good for him” BECAUSE we are jealous of what he lived! He made a bad choice obviously but at least he dreamed and lived big, not playing small.
      What fascinates me is the angle that he lived for at least 5 years the life of opulence many (openly or secretly) dream of living but never will. Here is the question I posit to you:
      “Is it better to have lived like a king for a few years and then like a pauper, or is it better to just have an average and regular life but never have the crazy highs and lows this gentleman experienced?”
      I keep flipping back and forth but mostly end up on the side of really living full out (without crime of course!) as I have done with my (100% admittedly) unstable life path. Remember, I moved to California on a wing and a prayer just over 2 years ago!
      It harkens back to the classic adage, “Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all” by Alfred Lord Tenyson. Many people just decide it’s too much pain to love and risk our heart again and decide to either settle with a partner they don’t really love or never risk again.
       Life is about the connections we make and the growth we experience on whatever path we chose. Remember, “not choosing” is a choice and usually a poor one as it does not reward with any pleasure, or pain or experience. By not choosing, we refuse to go towards what our Most Brilliant Life calls us to  become. This “not going/risking” feels safe and protective but it is a lie and any time we don’t go to what we are called to become we die inside and shrivel up like a raisin (no offence to my good friend the raisin!).
       I may be in the minority, but I say live that life, take those chances, fall on your face, love, cry, laugh because that is what it is to be alive. It’s who you become when you keep getting back up and living a full life.

Bountiful Busybody Busy People!

If I hear one more person complain of just “how busy their life is” I’m going to lose it! A close friend this week mentioned to me how he was too busy to do anything he wanted, his life was filled with “commitments he had made for reasons other than my happiness”. He also confirmed that he was trying to meet a woman for the first time and she had the same problem!

I thank him for sharing this as it highlights an observation I’ve made in the last few months. This adds to the many times people are too busy to go out and see a movie or have a drink. Are we really busy in our lives or are we “acting busy” by scheduling ourselves to within an inch of sanity for other reasons? I think many fear too much idle time as society has pushed all to strive to be workaholics. But it’s not just work people are filling their time with. Many people are afraid of a day that they are not “needed” or “wanted” or “required as a key asset”.

If this is just a Toronto thing, then so be it. But I feel it’s bigger than that. I would love to hear back from readers whether they think it is just a Toronto or “big city” affliction or a more generalized condition.

Listen, it’s your life. If you are always “overscheduled” and feel stressed about it (this includes self-medicating with TV, shopping, alcohol or cigarettes) you should get courageous and authentic.

I challenge you to take a list of your daily activities. I would say if less than 30% of those activities give you joy or pleasure, you are at risk of “living a practice life”. Arrange your life in terms of the things that bring you joy. Do not allow the media to paint you a picture of a “cold” and “grim” (Halloween anyone) world. It’s just not true, I see smiling happy people and am one of them, so sue me! I challenge you to decrease your commitments so you have time for optional activities like an evening to vedge out, sleep, drinks and movies. Downtime IS NOT A luxury these days, don’t let your health remind you.

The gentleman I wrote about a few weeks ago passed away last Friday. I wish him well on his journey on the other side and know he got and we also all got exactly what the universe wanted us to get from this information and experience. I know I have, life is sooo precious, really. Try waking up and appreciating all you have every morning,as I have, it’s so releasing and puts us at ease!


What we Focus on Grows

                What we resist persists, what we ignore haunts us no more. It is a common misconception that the more we focus on a problem the faster we resolve it. The Law of Attraction says the complete opposite. I know when I have what I “perceive as negative news” I am tempted to “talk it out” with everyone I know. I have found in the last few years however that what works for me (borrow it if it resonates with you) is to intensely speak to a few people. I find I find my own solutions as I talk it through. Once that initial blast is done however, I give the matter very little additional attention.
I have found that talking about the “negative” only brings more negative thoughts and ideas and very little new insight or better feeling thoughts.  Remember, a negative event is rarely what it seems, and rarely as bad as you make it out to be initially. I love the following little parable I have heard.
“In a long ago time of strife and war, a Chinese man wished his son to have a long and healthy life.
One day his son fell off his horse and broke his leg.
As the city folk learned the “terrible” news, they told the man, “what a terrible thing happened to your son.”
The man replied calmly, “It is not a terrible thing, I don’t know why but I know this will turn out to be a good thing!”
The next day, the army came into town and took away all the men except his son.”
Next time “bad” news “befalls” (we attract all we receive actually) you, tell yourself, this is all meant to be and just because you don’t know why doesn’t mean it’s not for your best. You just don’t see “why” yet.


Popular Animal Related Sayings and the Law of Attraction

I thought this week it would be fun to analyze some popular sayings related to animals through the lens of the law of Attraction. Some of these were real brain twisters hope you enjoy them. If you would like to challenge or add to my points drop me an email!

So here goes!
1. There are plenty more fish in the sea.

The Law of Attraction would agree and add that with the right emotional level you can hang out and attract with only those you are similar to as your vibrations match. For example, if you have recently been dumped, it was probably because there is someone even better waiting and you had a lesson to learn.

2. Don’t count your chickens until they have hatched.

Here the Law of Attraction (LoA)  would disagree If you really believe many will hatch then they will, if you don’t believe many will then they won’t. This is a fear-based and “scarcity” perspective (the world is abundant!)

3. A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush.

Here the LoA would disagree. Visualizing what you want (but don’t have yet) will attract it. Feeling like you already have it ensures it is on its way and feels better to boot. On the other hand if you are only looking at what you have you won’t attract much more.

4. Let sleeping dogs lie.

Here the LoA would agree. What you focus on grows, every time you bring up negatives more will come and your vibration drops. Many times ignoring or NOT focusing on something you have deemed “negative” will remove it or at least diminish its impact on you.
5. Early bird gets the worm.

Here the LoA would disagree. This dictum argues early and massive action will beat out competition.  The LoA maintains there is abundance everywhere, and your having it does not remove it for someone else. The LoA is firm in its stipulation that 99% of action that is out of alignment (not from real feeling good emotion) will fail. So aligned action will get the worms no matter the time and many of them as the action comes from a great feeling place.
6. Kill 2 birds with one stone.

Here the LoA would agree and raise you a few more birds! We’ve all been in that state of “flow” when everything seems to be going well. We get the promotion, feel healthy and get the perfect partner all seemingly “out of the blue”. Usually we were feeling great just before and had visualized all we wanted. It appears “out of the blue” to those who don’t know how the LoA works.
7. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

The LoA agrees. Forcing yourself or anyone else to do something they don’t want to will never provide a meaningful long term positive outcome.  All action should be aligned action from an emotion of optimism or higher on the emotional scale (numbers 6 to 1).

Remember: The definition of suffering = worrying about things/people out of our control.

8. Take the bull by the horns.

I don’t know about this one! On the one hand, moving towards what you want is taking charge. On the other, too much action out of alignment will get you tossed into the crowd or gored to death. Like a bullfighter dances with the bull, LoA says to be easy fluid and allow.

This was fun! I’d love your feedback and/or comments.


Back from Holiday Hell

Regular readers will confirm most of my newsletters are very positive and aimed at growth. I don’t complain much.

This week though I need to vent! I really hated the holidays this year. I won’t bore you with the gory personal details but I’m glad the holidays are over!

I was deluged with an overbooked schedule, too much concentration of family and issues don’t even mention the over-eating. Additionally the huge swath of 14 days (I thought I had) off felt busier than my normal busy weeks.

I don’t mind busy on my own projects, as that feeds me! Not so much on projects that depend on other people’s decisions or moods for task completion.

Remember: the definition of suffering is wasting precious mind energy on attempting to control anything outside ourselves.

Another annoyance was the fact I was trying to go down south solo over the break. Once the super-expensive ticket adds in the single supplement the price is north of $2,000.

I chose to buy myself the following things with the money I didn’t spend!:
Motorcycle Boots (this didn’t happen, but is now, April 26, 2012)
New motor for RC monster truck (new passion!)
Toaster Oven
Sunglasses (to replace last pair I wore for 4 weeks then crushed in my car’s trunk). (ditto boots)
Running Shoes (ditto sunglasses)
Self-Publishing fee for “Cobra in the Closet”
Pay creative designer for rebrand to new logo concept
“                                    “      website creation

As you can see, I won’t be sporting a tan but will have well distributed the “I would have spent” money.

How about you buy yourself some gifts if Santa wasn’t on course for you this year (mine was great btw!!!).


When was the last time you Sat Under Your Sink!?

This morning as I was walking in the quiet woods of the park with my dog Riplee (Believe it or Not!) I was in appreciation. I appreciated the nature around me, the beautiful sky and sun, the mild (for January 20) weather. I was in a good place as I always am when in nature.

A thought jumped out at me. Five years ago when I certified as a coach one of the exercises we had to do was to sit under our kitchen sink for 30 minutes with the door closed. What !!!?? You may say. The exercise, which I attempted (I lasted about 20 minutes) was a great example of shifting our perspective. The time under my sink really showed me how much of my intimate space I thought I knew well (turns out not much at all!). Once the initial “what the hell am I doing here?” of my ego quieted down, I began seeing an intricate world I’d never experienced. It showed me that even places I thought I knew well, I really only knew from one view. Another exercise: lie on the ground in your living room staring at the ceiling! Look around, see things you know from crazy new angles. Once we suspend our judgment of the activity (“this is stupid, immature, etc.) we can enjoy it as children do.

This week, I had a close friend over and as we discussed the mysteries of the universe (isn’t that what everyone talks about? lol), I found myself in a new place in my residence. I was standing in a place I had never stood. I was seeing things from an angle I had never seen, and it was fun! I have a hanging set of small “birds”, about 10 of them on a string. They are multi-colored and really cute. I have had that “mobile” for over 2 years but have rarely really noticed it based on how I move around my place. Seeing it from that crazy angle reminded me how, if we switch perspectives we see new (beautiful) things.

Weekly Challenge: I dare you, sit under your sink and email me how it was!



Reframing Tragedy Into Triumph

           The following is a quick personal example of reframing a “bad” experience into a positive one. Two weeks ago, a virus wiped out everything personal document on my hard drive. The computer repair person confirmed there was no way to recover over 4 years of my personal work including thousands of forms, 4 books and numerous projects in various states of completion. The initial feeling was that of nausea, despair and hopelessness (all #22 on the Emotional Scale (the absolute bottom).

I realized I didn’t have a time machine to go back in time to fix this! Plus I didn’t control anything other than my reaction (remember Suffering = Trying to control the uncontrollable).     Within hours I realized that I needed a better perspective so I found one! I looked for the gifts in this event. I began realizing that the “fire” (virus) cleared out all the dead wood (unfinished/stunted/unfinished/ rudderless projects) and allowed me to focus on what was critical. Luckily the universe helped me find backups of certain key projects and all the really important ones I had emailed to others! Now I realize this “loss” gave me wings in supercharging my 4 most key projects (Robodog, Cobra in the Closet, Soul Play and Men’s Circles). I challenge you to look for the gifts in your trials and tribulations!


How to Live to 100!

         I completely support and strive to live my life in this way, I hope you do too! Thanks BY for the link!

As always, I’d love your feedback and/or comments.