How to get over self-sabotaging thoughts and feelings? Part 2 of 3.

How to get over self-sabotaging thoughts and feelings? Part 2 of 3.

This is the second of a three-part series about limiting beliefs: how to identify them, uncover their emotional power, and ultimately transform them into thoughts that “spark joy."
Click
here to read the first part.


It's 11:45am on a rainy Parisian spring day. I walk into an empty restaurant where I have plans to meet a friend for lunch an hour later. 


I tell the woman behind the counter that I’m early for lunch, but that I’d like to have a coffee and sit and work a bit before my friend arrives. 


“There’s no one in the kitchen now,” she snips. 


“That’s fine, I’m not ordering any food yet,” I say.


“How many will you be?” she asks. 


“Just two.”


She points to a table by the door and tells me that’s the only table for two that’s available. 


It’s raining and chilly outside and I ask whether I can sit somewhere further inside.


She points to another table in the back, by the toilets. 


I’m not feeling that location either. Especially since every single seat in the place is currently empty and it's just a casual, neighborhood place. 


I spot a little table for two on the cushioned couch in the center of the restaurant and ask if I can sit there. 


She rolls her eyes, let's out a huge exasperated sigh and nods “yes” reluctantly.  


I walk calmly over to the table, take off my backpack and my bright red raincoat. As I start to sit down I hear the dull thud of old coffee being banged out of the portafilter and the hissing of steam on the espresso machine. 


I turn around and say, “oh, I’d like an allongée” (an americano)  not the regular short café that I assume she’s starting to make.


She lets out another enormous sigh, so loud this time that I can feel her distain wash over my body like the Polar vortex.


My throat seizes, my heart starts racing. I want to scream and run out of there. 


In the 45 seconds that this entire scene unfolds a million thoughts have raced through my mind. 


“I hate this woman!”

“I’m going to walk out of here.”

“I’m going to leave a bad review on Yelp.”

“I should contact the owner and complain.” 

“This would never happen in America.”

“People are evil.”


The emotions that boiled up were a mix of hatred, anger, even guilt. ("How did I provoke this?")


And then I took a deep breath and thought about my last message to you about tracking self-sabotaging thoughts and feelings, which brought on a wave of new ones:


“She must be having a hard day.”

“This job clearly isn’t working out for her.”

“Interacting with humans is hard when you're miserable.”

“It’s not you Zeva, it’s her.”

“Write about this and you’ll feel better.”


I suddenly felt more calm, grounded, confident, and even grateful as I found the tools to transform this experience into something positive. 


How did that all happen? If we slow down the process frame-by-frame, like in a comic book, this is how thoughts and emotions work together.  (Click over to read more)

How to get over self-sabotaging thoughts and feelings? Part 1 of 3.

How to get over self-sabotaging thoughts and feelings? Part 1 of 3.

This is the first in a three-part series about limiting beliefs: how to identify them, uncover their emotional power, and ultimately transform them into thoughts that “spark joy" and help you move forward with meaning. 


Marie Kondo has helped millions of people rid their homes of objects that clutter their lives. 


“My mission is to spark joy in the world through tidying,” she says in the first episode of her Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo before we meet an overwhelmed couple with two young kids and a house busting at the seams.


“The cluttered house seems to be affecting their relationship as well,” says Kondo about Rachel and Kevin, the exhausted homeowners and young couple who are having a seriously hard time liking each other.  


“I would like to help this couple focus on what matters most to them, time with their family,” she continues before helping them bring light and joy back into their home. And, more importantly, back into their couple. 


Where focus goes, the energy flows. 


By asking people to wake up their objects, hold them close and look for a spark of joy in their bodies, Marie Kondo is teaching people how to identify and focus on what's most important. 


She’s also helping people learn a physical and emotional language in order to do so— a new tool to put in their self-development toolbox.


What I love about her concept, dear reader,  is how poetic and simple it is. 


And how it can be applied not only to objects, but also to the beliefs in your head. 



Click over to find out what I mean by that.

How to get a full-body YES when making a big life decision

How to get a full-body YES when making a big life decision

I pulled out a black-and-white marble notebook and drew a big line down the center of a page.  

 

It was Spring of 1992 and I was a Senior in High School. My mom, step-dad and my best friend Helen were with me celebrating at Fiorentino’s, the best Italian restaurant (RIP) in all of Brooklyn.

 

We had just finished off a couple of orders of “spiedini alla romana,” the deep-fried mozzarella with anchovy sauce that the restaurant was famous for and that I still dream about to this day.  

 

And now it was time to get down to some serious business before our main dishes arrived. Deciding which college I would go to the following year. 

 

So we did what most people do when faced with an enormous, once-in-a-lifetime decision: a pros and cons list! 

 

What a concise and curious way of making a huge life decision, don't you think?

  • We challenge ourselves to get really, really cerebral and serious about a decision.

  • We write down a bunch of items in each column in a factual, dissociated way.

  • We diligently count up the number on each side. 

  • We make a decision based on the column that has the highest score.

  • We stick to that decision OR scrap it all and decide what we really want to do. 

  • And we try to complete the task all before the check arrives!

Even though I’m pretty certain I made the right move when it came to college, as a coach I’ve learned that pros and cons lists are terribly flawed because they often neglect the physical and emotional components of decision making.


A better way to “experience” a decision is to travel into the future and try it on for size, looking for clues to what its impact may be from an emotional, physical and intellectual perspective.


When it comes to making full-body decisions I’ve seen my clients have huge revelations with the “sit and scan” technique we do together. 

 

So, what’s the “sit and scan” technique, how does it blow pros and cons lists out of the water, and how can you learn the steps to make full-body YES decisions all on your own?

Read on to find out.

Taboo vaccines and fear inoculations

Taboo vaccines and fear inoculations

She looked down at the screaming woman’s face and instantly felt her stomaching tightening up into a tense little knot.  

The fierce and wild expression seemed out of place with all of the softer pictures and words in her collage.

Like someone else had stuck it there by accident, or worse, glued it there intentionally to make her sick.

Over the last few weeks I’ve done four vision board workshops and spoke with dozens of women about what they see in their collages.

Each collage is made up of cut-out images and words that my clients choose quickly and then edit and arrange on their boards with care.

When the collages are all done and everyone has started talking about the lovely things they see in their boards, I shift speed and throw out a doozy of a question. 

What part of the collage makes you feel uncomfortable?

That was the question I asked that led us to “the scream.”

The question hits hard, especially since all of the other questions are as sweet and cuddly as a basket full of puppies. 

It’s my favorite question. (And no, I’m not a sadist.)

So, why do I love that question so much?

Anne-Sophie Roquette finds her "pelote de laine" at L'Atelier13

Anne-Sophie Roquette finds her "pelote de laine" at L'Atelier13

Pelote de laine


It means “ball of yarn” in French.


And it's crazy how often my clients use that expression in our sessions. 


Not because they’re knitters, or obsessed with sweaters, or particularly manual. 


But because unraveling their web of fears and desires feels a lot like untangling a jumbled ball of yarn. 

You know what I mean, right? When you're searching desperately for that little thread at the beginning of the spool so that those tight intersections can start opening up and letting loose?


And when your fingers finally it everything starts to settled down —your shoulders relax, your eyes soften, your breath calms down. The relief and satisfaction is huge. At last, you can start getting on with your stuff!

I'm fascinated by the “pelote de laine” stories of everyday women who figure out how to loosen up their tangled web of interests and doubts and confidently put their ideas into action. 


That's why I’d love to introduce you to Anne-Sophie Roquette, founder of the French fashion and accessories brand L’Atelier13, who found her career calling by listening to what her fingers were telling her as they worked through a real “pelote de laine.” 


Read my interview with this super inspiring women who went from corporate life to entrepreneurialism while raising three small kids. 

Tools in Your Pockets

Tools in Your Pockets

Pockets. They’re designed to keep useful tools close by. Against the body. Like an appendage. So that when you need to jot something down. Remember a task. Fix something. Hold something for later. You don’t have to scramble around like a basket case trying to find it. 

Or rely on someone else for help. 

In short: they help you be better at being you.

Up until the French revolution women had large pockets tucked under their voluminous skirts that were large enough to hold books, mending materials, writing devices, and even lunch. 

But as fashion became more streamlined, women’s pockets moved off the body and into handbags. 

More distant. Easier to misplace. Or have stolen. Making essential tools harder to find and more difficult to access in need. 

Pockets speak to this question of preparedness, and your ability to move in public and to be confident. It’s really difficult to get around if you don’t have what you need, and it’s about, I think it’s about mobility and movement in public,” says Hannah Carlson, a lecturer at the Rhode Island School of Design who was interviewed about the politics of pockets in the awesome podcast, Articles of Interest.

So what do pockets have do you with you?

Introducing the wonderful world of Chez Cameil and the woman who built it

Introducing the wonderful world of Chez Cameil and the woman who built it

Following your gut. Listening to your dreams. Building your fantasy business. It’s wayyyy easier said than done.


You could be the most creative and focused person on the planet but when self-doubt, fear and insecurity pop up those dreams will scatter away to some safe little corner of your mind, or deep down on a to-do list that you’re sure to forget. 

That’s why I’m totally fascinated by people who find the clarity and confidence to follow through with their dreams, even when it scares the hell out of them…

Which is why I’d love to introduce to my friend Cameil Kaundart.

I met Cameil years ago while I was working for Yelp. She was running around the kitchen with a floral headscarf and a couple of trays of American cookies, testing recipes weeks before the launch of my friend Marc’s cafe, Bob’s Bake Shop. She greeted me with such an insanely warm vibe that I loved her immediately. 

Fast forward to today.

I’m officially the luckiest coach in Paris because I get to see Cameil (and her cookies) three days a week at the cozy new space she launched this Fall. Located in central Paris, Chez Cameil is a cheerful, colorful loft where people come for healthy food, yoga classes, lectures, events and other well-being services, like coaching and hypnosis. It’s where I see my clients three days a week and I absolutely love it!

But Chez Cameil was lodged in Cameil’s head for years as a “maybe-one-day-I’ll-finally-get-it-together-to-make-this-happen” kind of dream. 

I had Cameil on the phone this summer the day she had to tell the landlord whether she was going to take the space. It was not a light decision to make for loads of reasons that I’m sure you can relate to (self doubt, money, and the huge responsibility that come with following through) but on top of that she was also just separating from her French husband and reconstructing her identity as a single American on French soil. 

I so, so admire her for finding the clarity and courage to just go for it! So I’d thought I’d share her story with a little Q&A with her below about how she made it all happened. Hope you find Cameil as inspiring and fascinating as I do!