Focusing on the Good

  I have this bad habit, sometimes, of focusing on the wrong stuff in my life.

But habits can be changed. That's the good news.


It takes work, though. Like REAL work. Effort. Intention. Persistence. And all of that requires tools and support.

That's why I have a coach. Because this bad habit called misdirected focus finds me concentrating on the wrong stuff. Seeing the bad. Dwelling on the negative. Whatever you want to call it, that's what I do. That's my vice, since I have given up virtually all the others.

Why does this happen? Why do we do this? It seems to be a pretty common thing, I'm finding, as I hang out with friends and clients. As I peruse facebook, I see that we seem to like to fixate on that one person (or people), the one body part, the size of our house, our paycheck--the things that make us feel wrong, inadequate or imperfect.

We focus on those things and completely forget about all the good things we do have--the abundance all around us. No matter how many times I've talked about it, I still fall back to the same bad habit. And then I realized something today, and it changed my whole attitude about it.

1) I'm halfway there: Focusing on what needs work (a.k.a. isn't perfect) or what doesn't feel right or good is a sign that I want better--for myself and for others. I want to have an impact that helps me and others move forward in some way. I am still working on exactly what that means, but I have a goal. I have a vision. I am driven from the inside to effect positive change and evolution. Awesome, Dillan! That's great news. But it's only great when I'm feeling great about it. When I use that vision to improve things or myself and I end up feeling rotten, hopeless and discouraged I end up helping no one. In fact, I have the opposite effect. I swirl down the drain of despair

2) it always feels so much better when I climb out: If you do this, too, you know the horrible, gross feeling of being down, depressed and hopeless. It's like, horrible. It sucks, big time. Each time I go to that place and fixate on someone who dumps their crap on me or an email I forgot to send or some body part that isn't chiseled to perfection and I think to myself, oh my god. This is the worst day of my life. I can't even imagine spending another day or even a minute feeling like this. But then, I focus on something good--usually because my coach gives me a good ass-kicking, reminds me of what I already know and gets me back on track.

And there is nothing, I mean nothing, better than pulling myself out of the slump. It's up there with ice cream and ponies and a good home-cooked meal.

How do I do this?

I focus on the good. I redirect away from what's wrong, what isn't working or what feels imperfect and I think about someone I love. I make a phone call. I count my blessings. I eat some greens. I simply choose to change my focus.

Next time you find yourself forgetting to focus on the good just remember: it's a habit. And habits can be changed.

Can you relate to this?

What is one thing you can remember to be grateful for the next time you find you're focusing on the wrong stuff?

A Tale of Two C/Kates---Part Deux

When we last left the Tale of Two C/Kates, you had met my client, Cate. She's a winner. Truly. She ran the Boston Marathon after sitting on a couch mere months before. She's changed her habits around grocery shopping, sleeping, eating---and now----HER JOB. Yes, that's right. As a result of our work together, Cate has removed herself from a job that limited her self-confidence and contribution to the world around her. She didn't complain about it for months, being a victim of her experience. In fact, when we first met, she didn't even name it as an issue in her life. She was trying to finish up her degree so she could move forward in life.

Funny---just 4 months later, she is a successful graduate and now---has a brand-new job. She just got herself out there, interviewed and POOF! That glass ceiling in her life is no longer there. AMAZING, yes?!

Now, I'd like to share a tale of Kate. The story I want to share about Kate is quite different from Cate's. I am inspired by Cate's tenacity, courage and intention to improve her inner and outer world through making lifestyle changes. She's going to make the world a better place because she is learning how to make HER world a better place.

Kate--she's also doing that. I want to tell you why.

Kate is my new personal trainer. I have resisted the gym for too many years--making up stories that I told myself and other people about how I could "get all my working out done outside. I don't need to pay a gym to do that."

Good try, Dills. Good.

Trouble with that story? I wasn't actually doing it.

While my good nutrition accounts for about 80% of my fitness level, I definitely have/had some trouble areas that were becoming more troublesome as I am spending more time sitting or standing on my feet and less time running, biking, moving, etc. The biggest lack in my life? Strength and agility training.

I needed someone who possessed skills I don't have, to properly move my body so I build muscle tone and don't hurt myself in the process.

Enter Kate.

Now, before I tell you about Kate, it's important to know I had one major reservation about asking for help in becoming more fit. It's connected to my identity and the last place I expected to find the support I needed was at a corporate gym. Why? Silly personal bias, I suppose.

How wonderful was it to sit in my eval. with Kate a couple of weeks ago and tell her that my goals for my fitness included adding muscle to make me closer to the "right shape". She smiled and said, "I've never heard anyone say that--it makes so much sense." She didn't flinch when I said I identified as transgender and felt awkward in the bathroom with women--she just said, "I can see that" and she was 100% behind me when I stated specific areas to target with my weight training.

If you've ever felt weird, out of place or uncomfortable being your true self with a stranger in regards to your body and body image--imagine my relief. It wasn't easy to be on the other side of the table, so to speak, and be the person needing help adjusting an aspect of life that is very intimate and vulnerable.

Kate is an incredibly skilled personal trainer but more importantly, for me anyway, she is welcoming, kind, funny and inspiring to folks of all identities. She is upbeat, makes great eye contact and challenges me in my physical workout in a way that makes it feel fun and exciting. I hardly notice the "flaws" I've hated for years. I only feel competent and strong around her. Can you imagine this in your wildest dreams?! I never could have. I never imagined I would LOVE working out as much as I do with my personal trainer, Kate.

Her skills are a measure of her training.

The way she makes me feel safe and comfortable is a measure of her character.

Want to know her better and get her support and warm, fun presence for your personal training needs? You can find her at Davis Square's Boston Sports Club location. Tell her you came at Dillan's STRONG recommendation. ;)

No Magic Pill-Be A Winner, Instead!

I used to roll with a lot of people who thought there was an elusive magic pill to making their lives perfect.

This meant a life with no physical pain (without doing any exercise), all the money they wanted (without doing any work), all the free time to watch tv (N/C), the perfect partner (with none of the natural conflicts that arise in relationships)...

you get the point.

These are people who pop an Advil at the first sign of pain or complain endlessly about the job they hate, the people who cause them endless grief, the headaches they get, the crap hand they got dealt at the job they see the pattern.

I have intentionally and compassionately eliminated folks like this from my life.

The people in my life now are people who know the value of hard work and the reality of the trials and tribulations of life. They know that there is no magic pill to eliminating the adversity that comes their way, but they know there ARE better, more constructive ways to accomplish their goals. They name the struggle, they express how it challenges them and they meet the challenge with gratitude (even if it is sometimes accompanied with a slight grimace).

My friends are like this.

My clients are like this.

My colleagues are like this.

I INTENTIONALLY surround myself with these people to improve my own attitude towards life. I consume their approach to life, their tenacity and strength, as I do the fruits, veggies, proteins and grains in my diet.

I roll with winners. Winners who love their lives because they have CHOSEN to live a life of joy, abundance, courage and LAUGHTER!

I mean, would you LOOK at these guys?!!

It isn't always easy, but it is SO much better than living a life full of sadness, pain (inside and out), dread and boredom (yeah, you. I mean you--sitting there at your desk at a job you dislike working for a boss who doesn't know you love to write and want to write a novel...or become a massage therapist, or an events planner, or a nurse practitioner or a life coach...)

There's no magic pill to make your headache go away. But I know how to help it.

There's no magic pill to make your boss be a better boss. But I know how to help you manage it.

There's no magic pill to lose weight. But I know how to help you do it without dieting.

There's no magic pill to get better sleep. But I know how to help you get more and wake up feeling amazing.

There's no magic pill to living the life you WANT. But it IS possible.

If I can do it, YOU can do it.

Are you a winner?!