The Monkey Mind- A Powerful Self-Healing Tool You Are Ignoring

That negative voice in your head. Do you hear one? No, you are not crazy, it is what some meditation teachers refer to as the Monkey Mind. It talks incessantly, it has a mind of it’s own, it bounces from topic to topic, spinning it’s own truth which often has nothing to do with objective reality. Or does it? Have you ever listened to your Monkey Mind? If people heard what’s in my head, they would definitely think I’m bonkers. But everybody has it to varying degrees.

The Monkey Mind is usually thought of as a hindrance or a handicap because it interferes with focus, limits attention span, distracts us from thinking about what we want and focuses into seeing life’s obstacles, creates problems, sometimes we fight ourselves or other people in our mind.

As someone who has been meditating for 15+ years, I now see some benefits to observing what the Monkey Mind is talking about. Yes, in meditation, we are taught how to mute it, so that we can see beyond it. That is a tremendous power on its own, but after years of suspending it, I now see value in observing it. There is a lot of bad habits that your Monkey Mind has picked up from your daily life, and you might find astounding how those thoughts have become your practiced reality.

Sometimes my Monkey Mind won’t shut up, it keeps me up at night, and at other times it literally gives me a mental slap in the face. Only I am not listening. For years, like everyone else, I believed it to be a negative distraction, something to be shut off. At one point, it drove me crazy so much that meditation would no longer kill it, and I really considered asking for a prescription to dull it’s screaming voice. Then one day, I decided to actually listen to that annoying beast.

Take a pen and paper and keep it nearby as you go throughout your day. I even have a small notepad on my nightstand for those occasions when that Monkey won’t let me sleep at night. Write in as great a detail as you can, even when the thoughts and ideas repeat themselves. Do this for at least a week, a month preferably. Do you see a repeating story, a subject or idea you are stuck on, an anger or a fear that has been there for years, or a story that has actually become a real life problem?

Your mind serves an important purpose, and those seemingly useless thoughts are your body’s way of communicating with you. Spiritually speaking, there’s a higher purpose to mind-body communication, but for the purpose of this post, it is enough to say, Pay Attention! If you have anxiety, you know there are times when you can’t think clearly, if you are dealing with stress or painful circumstances, you may lose awareness, or have a hard time making logical decisions. Trust me, your mind is still operating, it is communicating with you in the best way it possibly can. It is literally screaming. All you have to do is listen.

It is astounding what I have realized about myself, my mistakes, my self-created obstacles, my personal failures, my self-sabotage, those problems I blamed on other people or unfortunate circumstance, once I started actually listening to my Monkey Mind as it keeps warning me on auto-repeat. Wow! Is that really me?

You see, I rely on meditation to ease anxiety, manage stress, but also, after many years of practice, I had some phenomenal experiences meditating that lead to it becoming a regular practice. I even found my personal power in the process. Thus, I always believed that my goal was to suspend the Monkey Mind in order to get into those higher mind states. Higher mental states are life altering experiences. Imagine not needing drugs to get high in less than 30 seconds, touching energy, seeing beyond what is right in front of your eyes. But, the mind still talks on auto-repeat, and don’t be fooled into thinking that those less high mind states are less important.

In fact, they are probably more important because those states are easier for novices to get into, and there is so much value to observing your mind. So, if you don’t like to meditate, you don’t have to. Take a pen and paper and start writing those crazy thoughts that pop into your head every few minutes. I wrote about 15 pages before my jaw dropped and I saw value in those words on paper. After 50 pages, I had some astounding realizations about my self and my own operating system.

At the risk of sounding insane, here is what I discovered. I am angry. I suppressed an anger that stemmed from childhood. I convinced myself that I dealt with it and moved on, but actually I just stomped all over it and suppressed it. Funny, that anger kept coming out and getting stronger after each failed romantic relationship. The Monkey Mind kept reminding me it is still there, I kept ignoring it. I have fear. Deep in the back of my mind, also in the pit of my stomach there is a fear that keeps bubbling up every -10 months. It is a ridiculous fear, but in the last few years that same fear has caused 2 car crashes, accidental physical injuries, etc. I see injustice in everyday situations and I play them over and over in my mind. This has caused me to say some inappropriate things to coworkers. I have had some inexplicable physical symptoms that my physician could not cure. They too made sense, when I started listening to my mind explain what I am doing wrong to my body.

It is amazing how we refuse to listen to our own mind. Why would we, it reminds us every minute of the day what we are doing wrong. It’s like that nagging mother we learn to tune out in our childhood. But the Monkey Mind is a beautifully designed mechanism that fits compactly into our head. Don’t you wish you had an app that could help you decipher yourself, waive a red flag when you are doing something stupid, warn you for the 150,000th time not to stick your finger into the electric socket?

I write about meditation a lot because I am in awe of the fantastical, mind-boggling, and empowering experiences I have had with it. But I do understand that it is not easy, and that some people don’t like to look within. If you have trouble mediating, you can still listen to your mind, by writing down your thoughts, in fact, go a step further, and write out your dreams too. They are even more powerful tools that allow you to witness your subconscious. If you live alone, talk to yourself out loud. You might hear yourself criticize or beat up on yourself, fight imaginary bad guys. Those mental fights and internal anger are just your attacks on your self. Don’t believe me?

When you are angry at a boss, a traffic cop, or your ex, where does the anger reside? Is the anger inside you, or is it inside the cop? It is yours. No matter how angry you get, you cannot put that feeling of anger inside another person. It resides firmly inside you. So who is it hurting? Only you. Who is your fear scaring? Only you. Who is your hate killing? Only you. Allow all these negative emotions to come out, don’t retaliate against your own thoughts. By allowing your monkey mind to speak, by releasing pent up emotions, you can now identify them.

The good news is that once you understand how you are hurting yourself, how your body responds to its own mind, how you create your own negative patterns, how you sabotage you own progress, it is very easy to change course. Don’t believe that it’s that easy to reverse years of negative self talk?

Imagine you are an athlete, a runner, and you noticed a very light, dull ache in your knee after each run. Of course that is normal for an athlete, so you quickly dismiss it. Only the ache persists. You keep ignoring it as long as you can still run. It takes moths, or years for the pain to get worse, but you are so used to it you can’t remember life without that annoying ache. Until one day, you hear a crunch, your knee freezes, and now you can no longer move. If you are paying attention to your own body, you know you caused the pain by yourself by running. At this point, will you stubbornly keep running? You can’t, it’s impossible, your brain knows any attempt to run will do more harm. Even if you took a painkiller, your understanding of how you have caused your body pain would stop you from running and seek medical attention. By that same token, awareness of what you are doing wrong with your thoughts, helps you to easily pause, then change your thoughts. Could you now go to your physician and tell her that the knee hurts because someone made you run too much? Could you convince yourself that the pain is caused by something else? You wouldn’t be able to once you become aware of how you created your own injury.

Awareness of your own thoughts is an extremely powerful self monitoring tool. It allows you to objectively see how you create your own issues, precipitate your own problems, project your negativity onto others, how you are sabotaging yourself. The beauty of this is that it allows you to make changes to your own behavior before that behavior turns into a permanent injury, a crime, an addiction or something that could cause lifelong problems.

The best part is that seeing your own Self as it truly is, allows you to make adjustments. You can now refocus, manage your thoughts, stop certain habits, and create new ones that will drive your life into a different direction.

Your Monkey Mind is like your personal GPS system. It warns you when you are about to derail yourself, and no matter how many wrong moves you make, it will always keep talking. “Course correction, make a U turn”, “Your wheel fell off because you kept driving into that pot hole over and over again. Didn’t you see the pothole you silly goose?”

Don’t fight your Monkey Mind, and don’t force it to shut off. Just, listen. Life’s most important realizations come from within.


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Who Determines A Woman’s Value?

A friend who is also in the private “Goddess” forum said something that truly resonated. “Women have to understand that they are they are the only ones who can determine their own value”. What did she mean? Often women derive their value by how men or the outside world treats them. Those women who get everything, or those girls who are treated like princesses must be valuable, but those who get kicked to the curb, must not be. That isn’t true at all. Often those are the same women. When a man needs a woman he treats her very well, and when she is spent or when he is done, he tosses the same woman aside. But women who derive their value from how others treat them will never have any value at all. Their self worth is based upon the behavior and opinions of others.

For most people it takes a lifetime to learn that we build our own self-worth. Most of us weren’t born with it, most of us had to learn the hard way that we have to value ourselves. For most women, these are just nice words that are rarely and often reluctantly put into practice. But, how people treat you is a reflection of how much you value yourself, so doesn’t it make sense to invest your time, money, your spirituality and your growth into yourself?

When I was young, I rebelled against my parents because they thought that their words should have a greater impact on what I do and how I feel about myself, which I knew was demeaning. But, later when I was married, yes I derived much of my self-worth from how my ex treated me (luckily he treated me very well), and how happy he was with the marriage. (eeew, but yes, that was me). Later, as I experimented with many men for almost a decade, I realized that the only ones who valued me were the ones who admired my boundaries, my ease of saying No, my willingness to stand up to them, even lose them. The ones who did not respect me were the ones who crossed my boundaries easily, without me putting up much of a fight.

So, while there may be low quality men in this world, you can’t blame your low value on how they treat you. You have to take responsibility for finding worth within yourself. When the only way you can feel loved is when the man shows you his love, you will always fall short. No human could possibly love you the way you should love yourself.

Building self worth is a long and painful process. It takes years. But, it is the best investment I ever made. When your level of worth is much higher than any person could give you, relationships become much easier. A lot of low value people will not even bother to approach you. A high value woman is “too much effort” and low value men like them nice and easy. A lot of mediocre men will try you for their own amusement, and give up when they see you don’t give attention to what doesn’t meet your personal standards. Those people will fall out of your life easily too. And a lot of high value men, will first test you. All healthy humans value character, integrity, truth, honesty and authenticity, so don’t be surprised nor offended when people test that. When you are all that, you don’t need to prove yourself to anyone except the few you are interested in. Trust me, they will easily recognize you.

I now see myself as Teflon. All greasy, slimy men fall off me 🙂 There’s nothing they could say to hold my attention nor stick to me. But all the value I posses is my own. I built it, so I own it. No one can take my value away by offending me, making me distrust myself, making me feel insecure, questioning my judgment. I know myself, I trust myself, I respect myself, I own myself. How can anyone take away that Self that I created?

Today, all this seems very easy. But, like everyone else who earned value, I had to earn it through blood, sweat and tears. But, that friend who said that we are the determining factor of our own value wasn’t exaggerating. You have no value at all, unless you build it all by yourself. Otherwise, your value is dependent on others, and that can easily be taken away.


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Why You Can’t Walk Away

That one limiting factor that scares women from walking away is having no place to go. Having no destination is that difficult circumstance that blocks women from leaving controlling lovers, toxic friends, dead-end jobs. Here is how to walk away purposefully, powerfully, and confidently.

Walking away is the most powerful move any human can make. It is a well known fact, that in any relationship, whether romantic, friendship or work situation, it is the person who cares the least who has the most power, and the person who cares or needs the situation the most has the least power.  Healthy relationships should not be a power struggle, but often we find ourselves in situations with people for whom control is the definition of a relationship. They simply cannot relate to another, nor feel safe in a situation unless they have complete control. And rather than relate, they manipulate people and situations until those people and situation conform to their needs and wants. Is that healthy?

Walking away is a practical life skill no one should ever feel insecure about. Walking away is a choice, you are choosing yourself as opposed to that toxic situation, and there is nothing more honorable than to honor the self. It seems cold, callous, unsympathetic. We have discussed the cost of catering to other people’s needs and sympathies countless times. But a lot of women fear walking away. Yes, they fear it. Why?

“How will I live without friends?”, “What will people think of me?” “I am not an uncaring person, I’ll just give this toxic person another chance”.  How about that toxic work environment, or that parent who drains the life out of you? Our livelihood and our parents are keys to our survival, but sometimes our devotion to something that isn’t bettering our existence, is a devotion to self-sabotage.

The concept of walking away is misrespresented. Women who walk away easily are referred to by all kinds of names, yet for men walking away easily is a sign of manhood. Why? Shouldn’t a woman respect herself enough? Shouldn’t a woman make choices that honor her? Why is a woman expected to whine, cry, or have a hard time leaving? Are we really supposed to be devoted to difficult people, disserving situations, dead-end relationships, and painstakingly deliberate between choices that honor us and choices that honor other people? Somehow, to a lot of people, service to others makes a woman proper, caring, a real woman, but the other kind, the kind of woman who honors herself first is calculating, shrewd, cold, unfeeling. I have feelings, but I won’t be a victim to those feelings. I have a heart, but when my heart is bleeding, I will honor that heart first, and tend to it rather than destroy my self-respect for the benefit of other people.

Walking away was a skill I picked up at a young age, it was a matter of my own survival. And I learned right away, that when I walk away from people and situations that don’t honor me, I am more powerful, more confident, more respecting of the self. What I wasn’t expecting is that this skill has earned me the respect of a lot of people. Sure, the toxic people you leave behind will resent you forever, but the healthy ones who are watching your every move will take note.

Walking away from difficult, toxic bosses, has earned me career respect. Other executives were watching and noticed that I don’t bow down and submit to disrespectful treatment. I have taken pay cuts, demotions, been called “difficult” for having an opinion, but people were watching. The first thing that happened was that coworkers started asking if they could work for me. Why? They felt safe and honored by me. I won’t throw coworkers under the bus for having the guts to tell me when I am wrong.

The second thing that happened is that those no-nonsense executives who value good work with no drama started inviting me to join their projects. A lot of good managers value honor over politics, they value strong opinions, in fact, they surround themselves with people who don’t bullshit, are capable of validating their opinions with quantifiable facts, and won’t pay to have their egos stroked.

Walking away and choosing your honor first is difficult, but it is valued by honorable people. What kind of people do you want in your life? I didn’t start practicing honoring myself 100% of the time until my 40’s. For decades I felt guilty, I doubted my stubbornness, and like many women out there, I actually believed that there is something wrong with me for leaving toxic people behind. Why can’t I tolerate more? Why can’t I make peace with that manipulator? I must not be a people person, I don’t possess people skills. Wrong.

I do possess people skills, and people do appreciate that. I honor people who act honorably. I don’t honor everybody else. I respect people who have earned my respect, I don’t respect those who demand it. In fact, demanding respect is a red-flag. In my choice to walk away, I am choosing to walk toward healthy friends and relationships, I am always walking toward more happiness, more health, more knowledge, more growth, more experience. Yes, in order to have those better options in life, you do have to walk away from whoever or whatever is keeping you stuck. You can’t earn anything in life unless you are willing to walk in that direction.

What makes walking away easier is 100% devotion to honor. That’s not easy, to many of us that feels selfish. You will get guilted and shamed for choosing your own happiness over others’. Back when I felt guilty for choosing my sanity, my health and me, I struggled to explain why I won’t be loyal to anyone but myself. Somehow, you are supposed to have the loyalty of a dog, and struggle through toxic situations, and remain devoted to them forever. Nope, not me. What made it easier was to say that I am loyal to happiness, health, wealth, positivity, knowledge, growth, expansion, and discovering my own path. No one can argue with that.

Don’t let anyone tell you that walking away is cold, callous or mean. Walking away is your super-power. It demonstrates your self-respect. Anyone who will guilt you for respecting yourself, or try to negotiate a longer stay in what isn’t serving you, does not have your best interest in mind. They have their own.

There are two very important factors to walking away. The word No, and direction. ‘No’ is the most powerful word in the world, and it is a signature word of a woman with strong boundaries. Practice the word No frequently, get comfortable saying it with no other explanation and no apology, start saying it to those people who are the most difficult to say it to. Trust me, it gets easier and easier, until saying No frees you from guilt or their judgment. The second factor to walking away successfully, is direction. You must know what you are walking towards, or people will drag you back to them.

The absence of direction in life is perceived as you having no goals or options, and that makes it easier for people to take up your time, and use your energy toward meeting their needs. You must always have a clear direction to walk to. For example, a man who knows you have no other options can easily keep you bound to him. Where are you going to go? A boss who knows you are not ambitious, knows you are not interviewing and that no other employer is making you any offers. Will she willingly offer you a raise? A friend who knows you are starving for friendships and relationships knows you are not surrounded by better people, and that you will always do whatever it takes to maintain good standing with her.

You will never walk away unless you have a direction to walk in. So, where are you going? When you lack direction, you are easily caught up in the affairs of other people. You start tending to their needs. They won’t value your time, because your time is free and not focused on anything important. They help you be useful by letting you tend to their needs. You become their utility. Why not, you have nothing better to do?

Having direction does not mean that you have to have some high-reaching life goal to change the world. Your goal can be you, and your direction can be your path of self discovery, learning, balance.

People will respect your walking away when they see how easily you maintain your boundaries using the word No, and when they see that you have clear direction when you are walking away.

Think of it this way. When you were a child, did you ever pack your tiny suitcase and try to run away? How far did you get? Chances are that your parents found your plight amusing, maybe they even let you go, because they knew you weren’t going far. With just a dollar of quarters in your pocket, and a few goldfish crackers in your belly, they had nothing to worry about. They knew you’d be back by dinner time.  Do you see now why walking away fails for a lot of women who can’t say no, and have no direction?

Controllers, manipulators, toxic bosses, bad lovers and friends know a loyal dog when they see one. Where would the dog go when there are no other neighbors to feed it? The dog will always be loyal to whoever feeds it.

No one will respect your time, friendship, or work when they see how freely you give it away, how few options you have, how easily you can be swayed to participate in their affairs, how you lack a better place to go. And if you find walking away so difficult and painful, perhaps it is because you have no better place to be. Perhaps you haven’t made that better circle of friends, you have not updated your resume or sent in any applications, perhaps your parents know you’re not moving out of their basement and that you won’t move far from their fridge.

Walking away gets easier with time, because it forces you to always have a direction. Walking away is powerful for women with options, and impossible for people with no options. Your walk away from any situation is totally dependent on you having something to walk toward. You won’t go far without a destination.


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The Mate To Your Soul Versus Your Teacher

How would you recognize your soulmate, or the mate to your soul? What is so different about a relationship with your soulmate or what I call your perfect counterpart, as opposed to a relationship with anybody else?

The difference is in how you reached that person. The difference is in the path. A wise friend said “The perfect counterpart is someone that you can only experience harmonious union with while you are in harmonious union with yourself.” In other, less harmonious and less healthy connections, the relationship crumbles when one person aligns with his or her true self, finds his or her true path, while the other person struggles to adjust and align himself to that.

Those connections don’t last long, but they are still valuable teachers. Those connections teach us balance. As long as we struggle to balance ourselves with the relationship or with the other person, we throw ourselves out of balance. Through years of trial and error with various relationships, we always lose our balance when we try to align ourselves with someone outside ourselves. For many people, this lesson lasts a lifetime. They repeatedly try to align themselves with other people rather than align with their true self. In the process they lose themselves, they lose their identity, they lose their pride, they lose their stability. Those relationships seem like a losing game, and many people eventually throw in the towel, give up on looking for the One completely, and then through some much needed solitude, unintentionally find a connection to themselves.

What happens when we connect with that self? We fall in love with who we are, what we have, our circumstances, our life. After all this is all our creation. In this space, the lucky few begin to appreciate their losses, their failures, all their bruises and scars. The process of connecting to the self is long, most people can’t be bothered with it. But for the few who manage to connect, this is a life altering experience.

It is a time for self-discovery, learning, inner growth, editing, discarding beliefs that no longer serve us. The process cleanses us and lightens our load. There is a dark side to the process, it is much more uncomfortable, yet still an enlightening experience. Make no mistake, this is a long journey, one that most people will give up on. However, it is all worthwhile. In that process, we achieve harmonious union with ourselves. We became unshakably loyal to our inner being, our inner truth, to our selves. Other people cease to be as important to us as we are to ourselves. We understand that others cannot create our happiness, and as we gain balance within ourselves, create our own energy, feed our own soul, we reach a state of self reverence. It is the ideal place to be for a being who has mastered herself.

In this state of self-reverence, we all become more attractive to others. In fact, we become magnets for both balanced and imbalanced people. Balanced people, who are like us, acknowledge us, enjoy our company, but stay balanced on their own. Unfortunately, we become extremely attractive to the imbalanced ones too. Why wouldn’t we, we are the epitome of stability, strength, wisdom, truth and alignment.

At this point it is extremely important to become discerning about friendships and romantic relationships. People see in us what they lack within themselves, and often become attracted to what we can provide. Unfortunately, most of them have not achieved balance or alignment, and often seek to lean on us, or extract from us what they lack within themselves. Having given a few of these relationships a chance, I learned the hard way that there is absolutely nothing that I can do for a person who has not achieved their own balance, or done their own inner work. As well meaning as I am, I fail every time.  Those relationships drain me, destabilize me, take away from the quality of my own life. I don’t blame anything on them, my willingness to give energy shows that I too can still lose balance. I need to strengthen my own alignment.

However, I do notice that as time goes by, I am more able to remain aligned despite who is near me. I now determine the health of a relationship by checking in with myself and measuring my balance, asking myself whether I am leaning on someone or is someone leaning on me, how centered am I as the relationship progresses?

I do find that now, after a decade of doing work on myself, I appreciate people who too have done that work. I value their experiences, I can learn from what they have become. I am better able to discern potential relationships by paying attention to the person’s inner world (if they have one), and am more apt to see what they need from me, and what they hope to achieve through the relationship.

But my most valued tool for assessing how balanced the other person is, is remaining in continued alignment with myself. When I can maintain that for short periods of time, I can easily filter out those men who struggle to find their equilibrium and their own power in my presence. What happens most often is that with my awareness locked into myself, they struggle to find my weakness, a need, a crack in my foundation, a way to gain a foothold as they climb up to my tower. They often fall flat on their faces. I don’t help them stand up. Others play feeble mind games, or employ trickery like NLP to control my attention. It doesn’t work, but it helps me identify them.

When I can maintain my alignment for extended periods of time, I am in harmonious union with myself. Some who have achieved this state claim that it is lonely at the top. I think there are fewer people up here who can maintain their alignment for so long. However, here we instantly recognize each other, we resonate with each other, we are among equals. There is nothing to prove to anyone, because we all ARE. There is no asking anything of anyone, because we all HAVE. There is no seeking, because we have all found ourselves. There is no leaning on other people, we are all balanced. Can you imagine how harmonious relationships are among people who aren’t seeking to gain anything from anyone, when no one is feeding off anyone, when all people have completed themselves? There may be fewer people here, but they are all enjoyable.

Relationships should be enjoyable, they should be in independent harmony, they should reflect our highest values. As long as they are not that, relationships are just our teachers. How many excellent teachers have I had? I am grateful for the life lessons, I hope they all found what they were looking for, I wish them nothing but the best that life can offer. But, I am in that place where I can hold on to my own alignment and maintain my own balance, and those who haven’t achieved that are not my equals. I wish them a pleasant journey.


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Am I The Toxic One?

Have you ever thought, hey, maybe it’s me? Maybe, there’s nothing wrong with him, him, nor him. Is it possible that something might be wrong with me? After all, aren’t these negative dating patterns happening to me? Not other people. Very few people can be so self-reflective to ask themselves that difficult question, could this pattern of self-sabotage, chasing the wrong men, allowing crossed boundaries, participating in toxic behavior indicate that I am toxic too? I said that once to a Goddess in training, and she got so angry at me, she turned beet red and screamed how can you say that to me? Well, if you keep finding yourself in toxic situations over and over again, if you keep repeating situationships with toxic men, it is quite likely that the pattern is your own and that you are toxic too.

It takes two to tango. No one can push you into a relationship you don’t want to be in, no one can make you text him at 2am all your frustrations, no one can play a mind game with you unless you willingly play too, you can’t stay in toxic relationships for months then expect to not be toxic too. So, is it possible that you have had many negative dating experiences, accumulated a lot of toxic beliefs and low expectations, and rather than work on yourself to shed those bad habits, you keep projecting them into men, expecting certain kind of treatment, and choosing men who fit a past pattern? They look and act familiar, they match your own level of toxicity, they are willing to meet you in your mutual mind game, and every time the relationship goes wrong, you feel validated that your belief system is true and that your predictions about the connection are quite accurate. It makes no sense to keep repeating the same pattern and blame the pattern on the other person, when the pattern is happening to you. It is YOUR pattern. It’s your own dating script. It is your relationship blueprint. Whom shall we work on?

Yet, a lot of men and women keep chasing the prize, marriage, relationship, a soul-mate, a binding agreement, not realizing that they are not healthy enough to even be in such a situation. What could you possibly bring to that new relationship? Your old self? That same old blueprint you tried and failed with a dozen times?

I have worked with some professional women who themselves are therapists, and they too are incapable of looking within, admitting their own broken love circuits, and who insist that bad relationships are happening to them because men are bad And then, I have met with some who are eager to do work on themselves, they immerse themselves in every latest spiritual and psychology book, they love their new therapist, and then they drop everything the very moment a man asks them out. ‘It’s working! My therapy worked, there’s a healthy man in my life!’ They drop everything and disappear, and a few weeks or months later, they have sunk to an all time low. Why? They never found out what is wrong with themselves.

If you don’t have the answers to the following questions, you really shouldn’t be dating anyone.

1) Can you describe your own toxicity? Many women answer this question with an answer that shifts the blame on the man. “Well, I keep selecting toxic men, so that is my problem”. Nope. What part of YOU is toxic? What are your own toxic habits? What beliefs and toxic thoughts do you keep playing in your head like a broken record? What past patterns do you keep chasing, and repeating again and again? Can you write a chapter on what makes you toxic? Women who have not done any work will have nothing to say about their own toxicity. They are sure that they are victims of flawed men.

2) Am I able to identify red-flags, questionable behavior, personality traits of toxic people, can I monitor my boundaries and successfully act when there is a security breach? Most women can spot the red flags in hindsight. They see questionable behavior up front, make an excuse for it, brush it under the carpet, and then wonder why they are blindsided by that same behavior later in the relationship.

3) Am I capable of exiting a toxic relationship quickly, without willfully being dragged into more drama? Again, most women don’t exit, most will stay in the situation as if it has more power over them than they do. But if you don’t know how to leave, why are you chasing relationships? All the pain in a situation stems from not being able to leave what is hurting you. If you are still not capable of leaving unhealthy people and situations behind, if you are hurt by having to act in your own best interest, then you are not healthy enough to date.

4) Do I have any addictions? Am I codependent? What unrealistic expectations do I have of men that they refuse to deliver? Should I change my expectations, or continue chasing men who refuse to give me what I want? A lot of women are addicted to rejection, addicted to relationships, addicted to mind games, addicted to their own toxic patterns. Many women ARE exactly what they accuse the men of being. The only way they can relate to a human is to control and manipulate, trade feelings for actions or behavior, then they wonder why he wants to escape control.

I will write a longer list of signs that you are not healthy enough to be in a relationship, and please add your own below. But, the healthy thing to do is to begin with yourself. Take a long time-out from men and relationships, and give yourself the time and space to figure yourself out. You are not going to lose out on some opportunity, there’s no shortage of men in the world. As long as women are here, the men are not going anywhere. That’s my guarantee. But if you keep playing with men on some low relationship level, it is because you haven’t graduated from that low level. You are on the same level as they are.

I highly recommend going on a man diet- no men, no relationships, no flirtationships, no dating for 1-2 years until you feel balanced and clear. What can you do right now, today, to reflect upon yourself?

Pretend that you are writing an autobiography about your unhealthy relationship habits. Write a few chapters about your own dating history, what repeated patterns have you identified in your own relationships, where did you learn these patterns, what have you not resolved that makes these patterns repeat. Pinpoint your own toxicity and what toxic habits do you bring into the relationship from day one. If you feel like blaming a man for a bad treatment, look within yourself to answer why you allow that treatment? Why do I keep interacting with abusive men after I have identified the abuse? Why do I open the door and let them in? What am I seeking from that experience? Why do I refuse to leave? Why do I refuse to say No? Don’t criticize yourself or beat yourself up. The purpose of this is to objectively identify your own toxic patterns and habits so that you can face them, understand them, and resolve them.

Bad relationships don’t keep happening to you, they ARE you. You are not ready for a new man, until you have stopped a repeating pattern from the past. And please don’t jump into relationships if you have trouble leaving them. Would you dive into a pool, if you don’t know how to swim? The relationship won’t take care of itself, a man won’t take care of it for you. You have to be able to take good care of yourself, and leaving a bad situation behind swiftly and easily is a sign of a healthy and self-respecting woman. Can you leave easily? Or do you complain when you have to save your life?


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Is It Smart To Let Men Take The Lead In Relationships?

Is it smart to let men take the lead in relationships? Think about it, how is that smart? How is it smart to let him be in charge of the outcome? Is it smart to allow him to think that commitment is totally his decision? Is it smart to be in suspense while he is exploring other options and thinking about whom to keep seeing, whom to eliminate, who is too much trouble to deal with? Is it smart to let him dictate the terms of the connection, then go with his flow, when you are truly after a totally different kind of connection?

I don’t think so. I do believe that you can give him the lead, when that lead allows you to observe what is he truly after, who is he on the inside, what is his agenda, how much effort is he making, where is he when he is not with you, is he healthy? Placing him in the lead is your own strategy,  that allows you to see his motive. Just watch and learn. Pay attention, ask a few questions, but use his perceived lead to gather pertinent information so that you can make the right decision for yourself.

Ultimately, it is 100% up to you whether he gets to go forward or gets eliminated. However, most women don’t understand that the entire connection is entirely up to them. He may be knocking on your door, but if you are not paying attention to figure out what he wants, you are wasting your time letting him in.

Who is truly in the lead? You are. The woman says Yes or No. The woman allows behaviors, allows treatment, loosens and tightens boundaries, and ultimately decides if and when there will be sex. Do you realize that all those things are totally up to you, and that he has nothing unless you grant him the permission to work towards you.

In their false belief that the man decides exactly what he wants, and that they simply go along with it until he has chosen them, many women disempower themselves, place themselves at his mercy, wait around for him to grace them with his attention, sex or disappearing act. Take control ladies. It is not up to him at all, it is totally up to you what you say yes to. It is not up to him to take you out on three dates then expect sex, if and when you have sex is totally up to you. It is not up to him to state he wants no commitment right now, and for you to accept that, then use sex as a last ditch effort to keep him. It is up to you to say no to that before you feed him what he wants for free. It is not up to him to decide that he can have four women at the same time, it is up to you to decide if you will be one of them. It is not up to him to decide I like you, let’s see where this goes, and for you to stay in suspense indefinitely, it is up to you to refuse to be in suspense. If you have no clear vision of where this is going, trust me it is going nowhere.

If men are truly after one thing, then why give it to him unless he has proven his devotion to you, only you, and no one else but you? Can a man prove that in three dates? How long does it take to build your trust, your confidence, your admiration?

If you and I met for the first time, we had a lot of chemistry, went out for drinks, and I asked you on the first outing to lend me a $1000, would you give it to me? No way, you’d want me to earn your trust and good friendship first. Can I earn it after three dinners? No, you still wouldn’t give me the money. You might wait until we become good friends, you’d vet my credibility, trustworthiness, my history, my ability to repay, you’d ask around, but you would be suspicious why does this woman want a $1000 from me? Either you would do your homework, or you’d be turned off that a new acquaintance with no history of proven friendship is asking for money, and you would walk away. Something is fishy here.

Yet, most women think it is just fine to get emotionally invested when he decides that it is time to get emotional. You’re a grownup, you know men bank on your emotions to get what they want, so why be flattered and excited when he is using emotions? You’re letting him lead you to what he wants, when it is totally up to you to determine what you want. The next step is never his decision. Unfortunately, by waiting around for him to make a decision and declare his next step, most women hand him their power.

So, how to remain always in the lead? By not giving him what he wants the day you meet him. I am not talking about playing games with men, or teasing them.  You are not bait. I am talking about deciding in the first 30 seconds of meeting someone, how much attention they are truly worth. It is up to you to decide how much of your smile he gets, how many pleasantries you are willing to exchange, and up to you to determine when is enough for you, then walk away. Practice that. Practice setting time limits on strangers. Practice walking away from men you don’t want anything from.

If he is not sleepable, datable, or of any interest to you, why are you still giving him attention? You are handing him on a silver platter what he is used to, free, unearned, unqualified attention. And you are exposing yourself to negotiating your attention with people you have not deemed worthy of your time. Your time is valuable, but you are sharing it with anyone who keeps talking.

You arrive on your first date, and right away you see something off putting. Do you suffer through the whole date? A nice girl would do that, but how long would a man tolerate a woman’s off putting behavior before he disappears? You don’t owe anyone your time. By giving free time to anyone to has reserved you for an hour, you are compromising your standards. Politely excuse yourself, be honest, no need to be an asshole, but walk away because you don’t need to be there if you already know he is an ass.

It is a few days later, and his level of communication or texting is confusing. It may be gross, lewd, detached, whatever you don’t want, stop giving attention to it. If you want a man who is texting you actively and making concrete plans, those are the texts you should be answering in a timely manner, and if you don’t like his texts, if they don’t indicate a sincere human with genuine interest in you, why play the texting game? It’s not for you. Again, you decide if his texts will continue or get blocked.

Several dates later, he wants to get physical. Okay, but do you want it? Stop and process this question. Do you actually want to get physical, or are you doing to it because it is the third date and that indicates some sort of a milestone. Are you going for it because you think that sex will seal some sort of an unspoken deal? Or are you going for it because you truly want his body? Be honest with yourself.

At this point, you may not be physically attracted to him at all. Tradition says to give him a chance anyway. He might become attractive later. Kiss that frog and it might turn into a prince. Tradition states that a good girl would give an unattractive man a chance to prove himself. It’s not your job to kiss frogs. If you are not attracted to him, it is solely up to you to act in your own best interest. Don’t go beyond this point.

At this point you may have no indication of his future intentions. At this point you may not have the relationship you desire. At this point he may not have convinced you that he is only seeing you. At this point, if you hand him sex on a silver platter in hopes that some day it will lead to a relationship, you have traded your power away. Why have sex with a men you are unsure of? They don’t become princes later. I have a friend with benefits for that purpose, so that I don’t have to give anyone anything that I don’t want to give. Seriously, consider getting one too.

Many women have been lead to believe that only time will tell if he is the one. No girl, only you will tell if he is the one. They have been lead to believe that they need to give men chances. They have been lead to believe not to trust their own gut, but to allow plenty of time and space to turn a frog into a prince. No amount of time or space has turned a frog into a prince. That has never happened. Quit wasting your own time. You know a frog when you see one, why doubt your own eyes?

What could you do instead of sex? You could continue to observe. You could watch his behavior and learn who he is as a person. You could ask questions and wait until all your questions have been answered before you decide you have enough clarity about his motives, his emotional availability, his commitment. This is the time you study whether he is being emotionally available at all, whether he is faking it, whether he even has the capacity to tap into that part of him. Why would you wait for him to disappear to determine he was never emotionally available at all? It’s a bit too late at that point.

Don’t have sex with men who have not given you 100% clarity, then proven it with actions not words, that they are taking actionable steps toward the relationship you want. Do not hand him a blueprint or your checklist, because with that any narcissist will follow your instructions on how to get to you. An honest man, with honest intentions to have an honest relationship doesn’t need an instruction manual on how to connect to you on a human level.

Would you go into business with a partner you don’t know? Would you determine what that potential partner has to bring to the table, or would you give him 50% of your business just for the asking? He asked, so I’ll just give him my business, and hope for the best? You wouldn’t do that. You’d do a ton of due diligence, hire a lawyer to pore over every part of that contract, you’d investigate your partner’s work history, credit worthiness, strengths and weaknesses, you’d interview his past employers and partners, and if things appeared shady, you wouldn’t go forward with the deal.

Unfortunately, to a lot of women, men appear shady up front, but they hand him their power as soon as possible, then accuse of him being shady after he disappears. Your homework was to determine whether 2+2 equals 4 up front, to determine if his stories are true, if he truly is who he claims to be, if he actually is that man of your dreams. Be honest, you knew that he wasn’t long ago, you just let him lead you to this point.

So, I ask again: How smart is it to put a man in the lead of a relationship? Where do you think he will drive this relationship? Go ahead, hand him the keys to the relationship, then guess where he will drive it. Do you think he will steer it where he wants it to go, or where you want it to go? Think long at hard, how ridiculous is it to let him drive in whatever direction he wants to go?

As ridiculous as this sounds, this is how a lot of women end up married to tricksters. Or they end up being dragged for years in relationships going nowhere for no reason than to go for the ride. Be honest, how man times have you been taken for a ride?

How smart is it to put a man in the lead of a relationship? It’s not smart at all. It’s a poor choice, utterly stupid, you know you are going to regret this later. Would you tell your daughter to passively wait and see what he does, where he wants the connection to go, wait until he decides, in the mean time smile, be nice, give his some sex to see if he likes it? You’d never allow your daughter to be in that position!

How did women get this idea? This ridiculous notion that a man should be in the lead of relationships has been around for hundreds of years. It sounds like something out of a 1950‘s dating manual. Oh wait, dating and relationship gurus still swear by this tactic! What exactly is he in the lead of? I’m waiting in suspense to find out.

Ladies, you own cars, you have your own keys, start driving wherever you want that car to go. Sure, it takes two willing and equally committed participants to make a relationship, and you can’t drag him tied to the back of your car. But if he is showing you no signs of meeting your needs, if he isn’t attractive enough, if he isn’t going in the direction you are going, why are you waiting for him to decide anything? The last thing he should be receiving from you is sex. He doesn’t even warrant a phone call.

If you are not used to being in charge of relationships, practice. In between relationships, when I am not seeing anyone worth my time, I enjoy saying No with great pleasure. No, is the most powerful word in the universe, so get used to using it to limit people’s unearned access to you. ‘No, I can’t listen to you any more,’ ‘No, I wouldn’t enjoy that drink with you’, ‘No, I have no intention of sleeping with you at all’, ‘No, you misjudged my interest’, ‘No, I really can’t give you a chance’, ‘No, I’d rather dine alone’, ‘No, you can’t increase your offer, my time is not for sale’.

When a man is in charge of the relationship, most women are in a passive wait and see state of mind, which usually amounts to a lot of confusion. Why wouldn’t you be confused if only he knows what’s going on in this relationship? Why wouldn’t you be going crazy, you just handed him your sanity and are waiting to see what he will do with it? Why wouldn’t you be paralyzed and in suspense if you are willingly playing his waiting game?

The only way to put a stop to it is to take the wheel. Who decides where your car is going?

If he isn’t going in your direction, why let him get into your car? That passenger in your car is just wasting your gas and tolls while he decides where he wants to go. Pull over and tell him to get out. Now.

How many men have been a complete waste of your time? Ask yourself this question: In that same time period, have you been a waste of their time? Probably not because you have been giving them a free ride all along. If you gave them a ride, if you waited around to see what they want, if you stroked their ego, if you made him feel like a man, you wasted a ton of premium gas on nothing. Stop giving men free rides. That begins with stopping the free attention, stopping the wait and see game, stopping being nice to every man you don’t know. Most of all, stop following dating rules. They are a road to nowhere. They are a trap for women who don’t know what they want or how to get there. They are a trap for passive women who like to hand over the keys to whoever wants a free ride.

Please be advised that I AM NOT urging you to lead unwilling men into a relationship and start driving. Instead, I am telling you to put the brakes on anything that is confusing, misleading, time wasting, a mind game, disrespectful, unattractive, going nowhere. I wrote many times about what happens when we ignore people’s wants, and assume our way into relationships. The consequences of that are toxic. But, you are 100% in charge if a man can move forward with you, you have to put a stop to anything that is not moving in your direction.

So, what to do instead? To truly take the power in every relationship, you must begin from day 1, that first moment you give anyone your attention. Do not give attention to anyone you don’t find attractive enough, or anyone who isn’t sleepable, dateable or whatever You need him to be. Don’t agree to the first date unless you truly have an interest in him. Are you going on this date because he asked you out, because you have nothing better to do, or you want to try that latest restaurant? None of those reasons are reason enough to give someone your time. What is?  Ask yourself if you would have asked him out? Is he interesting enough for you to want to pursue? If not, you actually don’t have interest, you are dating out of boredom. Don’t be there.

Like Seinfeld said, 99.99% of people in the world are unsleepable. Why would you hand them your time? You disempower yourself the minute you say yes to someone or something you don’t truly want.

On the first date, make sure you are actually enjoying him. Is his company enjoyable or is it a drag? Is he attractive or off putting? This isn’t about whether the restaurant is nice, whether the food is good, it is all about is he attractive enough to you now? Is he showing you something you want, or is he looking like someone you don’t want? Your judgment should be on him, not on the food or the price tag of the meal. Remember, you don’t owe him more time than it takes to figure out if you want him. You don’t owe him a second date, you don’t owe him more chances. If he is absolutely offensive, you don’t have to stay there and wait it out. People say it is unladylike to be impolite, I say take back your power and leave if he is an asshole. Do not let an asshole own your time by paying for your dinner. Pay your share and leave. Old fashioned traditions empower and embolden men, they leave women at their mercy. They call polite women classy. Is enduring unwanted attention your version of class?

In any given moment you have to act in your own best interest and if giving him your time and energy feels unpleasant, you don’t need to drain yourself. Contrary to dating manuals, it isn’t rude to leave an unpleasant date, it is rude for a rude man to expect you to tolerate his rudeness.

Assuming you are still interested, take as many dates as you need to ascertain who he is, what he wants, how committed he is, how likely is he to remain in a relationship, how emotionally available and healthy he is, and feel free to exit any time. It is easier to exit when you are not emotionally invested, so if sex is your weakness, you don’t owe him any.

You have to accept the fact that any man will exit the relationship if he isn’t getting what he wants, and it is your prerogative to exit a connection if you are not getting what you want. It is much better that he exits before you have had sex, than after. You are weeding them out, not asking them to stay in the running. If he exits, let him. It is a sign that he has not shown you any qualities that warrant sex, intimacy, or emotion. Save your energy for someone who can give you that.

How long it takes you to ascertain his worthiness is solely up to you. If you are still not convinced after 3, 7 or 10 months, stop him from wasting your time. You don’t owe it to him to keep trying. You lost nothing, you didn’t give him sex or emotions just for the asking. You remained detached, in observation mode until he shows you qualities you like, want and need.

How many times have you discovered unacceptable qualities in men long after you are emotionally attached to him? Could you have found those qualities before you gave him anything? That is the goal.

If you want a man to prove that he is relationship material, then let him audition as your boyfriend. Most women are the ones auditioning because they are used to giving up everything, placing all their cards on the table, then hope he doesn’t walk away with her cards. That’s what you get for following dating manuals and tradition.

You should be auditioning a few men at a time. That is easy to do when you are not sleeping with any of them. You are not wasting your energy on anyone when they are the ones doing the work to convince you they are worth your time, attention, presence and consideration. Remain detached, observe, do your homework, make judgments. Yes, use your best judgment to judge who is in your best interest. There is nothing wrong with that.

Never waste attention or time on men you have no intention of dating. A lot of insecure men ask for friendship because they know they won’t have to do the hard work, and as a friend they don’t have to pass tough harsh scrutiny. They hope to catch a few breadcrumbs in your weakest moments, maybe you’ll accidentally find yourself in his arms. Don’t let men use your friendship to access your energy. Some men are happy with crumbs.

Also, waste no time on men who have no intention of giving you anything serious. Don’t let them suck you in with the wait and see game, the I don’t know what I want game, the you need to complete with other women game, the I have too many options game. If he is showing you his options, why are you still looking at him? It’s a game. Don’t play it. It is totally up to you whether you decide to stay in suspense. Block it right away, so the game doesn’t drain you.

So, for the last time, is it smart to let men take the lead in relationships? Take the lead woman. You already have what he wants. You don’t have to give it to him until you are fully satisfied.


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A Man is Not a Man Unless I Think So

Don’t let a man negotiate how you feel about him. He showed you he is an asshole, you think he is an asshole, but he doesn’t like that you think he is an asshole. Guess what, he still is an asshole. The worst thing a woman can do is question her own judgment. And that usually happens when we don’t trust ourselves, or don’t feel confident enough to stand up for our own opinion. Often women are made to feel guilty for being judgmental. I see nothing to feel guilty about. Good judgment is a sign of a sound mind. Often women are shamed for their opinion, or for daring to make a man not feel like a man. Well, if his manhood depends on how others feel about him, he’s got no manhood at all.

Assholes often have like-minded friends, and those friends will often jump to his rescue when they see he needs help to preserve his reputation. Friends will stick up for the nice guy automatically, and gang up on whoever dared to make their friend feel less than. It’s no wonder that most women would back out of their own judgment than face a firing squad of other assholes. If you back off, and change your opinion of him to win the approval of assholes, you are stepping on a grenade. You just showed him that he can be an asshole, and that you will change your mind at the first sign of pressure.

A couple was fighting because he said something that was deeply offensive to her, and he was trying to negotiate her opinion of him. She called him an asshole, a chauvinist, and a pig. He laughed, and argued with her for a minute, then changed his tactic. “Okay, I take back what I said, my apologies”, and with a bit of sweet talking, she said “Okay, you’re not an asshole, even though that comment was absolutely offensive”. Wow girl, did you forget he offended you a minute ago?

Does taking back what he said change what he said? If he is allowed to take back what he said, does that mean that his opinion on the subject is now changed? If he takes back something offensive, does the woman owe it to him to not be offended?

When a man doesn’t like how you perceive him, do you let him bully you into perceiving him more favorably? Do you let him buy you something to show you that he is now a nice guy? Come on ladies, honor your own opinion.

A man will never take you seriously when he sees that your opinion of him can be bought. “Let me buy you lunch to make it up to you.” Does that work on you? Is your price tag higher than lunch? If your opinion of him can be bought with an expensive gift, even a Ferrari, how valuable is your opinion, or your company?

Too many women are quick to change their estimation of men as soon as he shows his displeasure at not being treated like a man. Who handed him his manhood on a silver platter? His mother?

A man is not a man unless you think so. And before you state that, make sure that he has earned his reputation by showing you his character, his opinions, his reputation, his willingness to stand by his word, his respect for your judgment and your opinion by accepting that your opinion of him is valid.

A man of character would expect you to have a negative opinion of him when he has done or said something wrong. He would expect you to stand up to him, state your case logically, then prove with actions that your judgment is non-negotiable. He will expect a woman of strong character to leave.

An asshole or a douche bag will start negotiating how you feel. A man of character will not. Your opinion is valid to him, he will not take back what he said if he can substantiate his opinion, and he will not expect you to take back what you said either. You could accept the fact that you are very different and that you don’t have to date each other, and that’s far more respectable than negotiating with assholes.

If men don’t take you seriously, check yourself. Do you let them tell you how you should feel? Do you let them bully you or buy your opinion with a nice gesture? Do you let their friends gang up on you because they expect you to treat him like a nice guy?

Your opinion is the only one that matters. Standing up for it shows that you have self-respect. Not negotiating her mind away is a mark of a Goddess.

Remember, a man is not a man unless you think so.



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