Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Why Christmas Music Saved My Relationship With Target!

I love Christmas music. I am always saddened that I only have a few weeks to enjoy it. Now that we are fews days past my ability to enjoy it without scorn, I wanted to share my favorite Christmas music story of 2010.

An unlikely friend re-entered my life this year - all on the power of music. Target.

I had not really shopped Target in the last 4 or 5 years and I cannot tell you why. But the 2010 Holiday ad campaign complete with a fabulous soundtrack sucked me in and I stepped into Target twice this holiday season. I enjoyed the reunion and am certain I'll be going back in the coming year. So how is it possible that having Christmas music at the center of the marketing campaign saved my relationship with this brand?

To me it's as simple as this...

Music connects us.

We hear a song and it grips us and pulls us into a moment - sometimes good, sometimes not-so-good but either way we are MOVED by music. It pierces our soul and changes us.

This year, Target accomplished that with our family as we were introduced to new groups and new songs. Our personal favorites were "Toy Jackpot" by Blackalicious, "Electronic Santa Claus" by Blazer Force, "Tiny Tree Christmas" by Guster

Our Christmas soundtrack just got a little bigger. And think, 5, 10, 15 years from now when our family convenes for Christmas and one of those songs starts, we are always going to remember Christmas 2010. Thanks, Target.

In case you have not had the chance to download any of the free holiday music from Target - follow this link to get it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Be Fearless

Love how this image captures my view of FEARLESS

This year, the theme of the Willowcreek Community Church Christmas Production - was "Do Not Be Afraid."

The phrase, which is ordered repeatedly throughout the Bible, struck me right in the heart.

Mostly because  it was right on time. No phrase could better send out 2010 for me than “do not be afraid."

Or better stated, BE FEARLESS

Dictionary says fearless is unafraid: oblivious of dangers or perils or calmly resolute in facing them.

The final definition, “calmly resolute in facing them (dangers or perils)” is my favorite.

Holidays have been a work in progress for me all my life. First, shortly before my fifth birthday and the start of the 1976 holiday season–I lost my mom, Betty Jean Jackson. I can't say that that was the defining event in my holiday malaise but it definitely set the tone for my childhood.  Funny,  one of the only photos I have of me and my mom is in front of a Christmas tree.  Second,  birthdays really were made big by my dad in the years he was a single guy. I remember birthdays and gifts from birthdays much more than any holiday. So I spent my 20s trying to make myself happy during the holidays.

All that changed in 2000.  Holiday season 2000 was my first with  sael Barreto who end up being the love of my life.  Holidays seem to bring out the best in him. He was so totally at ease as we spent our first holiday together in Spain far away from all his friends or family.  He was “fearless” as we navigated this new territory as a unit. Then came the Barreto kids, first Emma and then later Evan, and we've been weaving holiday traditions ever since. I can almost say it's my favorite time of year. But it was practically 20 years in the making. I had to convert my "fear" of the holidays and all the emotions they awakened each year to energy to build a new holiday mold.

This year, it's not the "normal holiday perils" that had me with a tinge of fear before seeing the program. It's the upcoming year with the next phase of my adventure as an entrepreneur.

Will my arm recover 100% from the nerve issue that (although repaired surgically in December) kept me one armed for half 2010?

Can I  build my human capital and marketing services company to a size to replace my income by Q3 in 2011?

When will I sign that elusive first contract?

These among many questions have kept me from sleeping soundly the last few weeks. Then I saw the program at Willow. And it was clear.

You see, when you know what you are called to do - just as Mary was, just as I am - you must walk FEARLESSLY into the future trusting that the path you need will rise to meet your feet. You must trust the One who gives you your mission to equip you with what you need to fulfill it. Now, while those questions remain - the tinge of fear that was creeping in is no longer there.

What are you "fearing" as we close this year?

The holiday gatherings?

A troubled marriage?

Financial strain?

A dream crushed?

Take heart and "do not be afraid." For I overcame one big "fear" and am equipped to face the new one.

So can you.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Best Gift Ever: FORGIVENESS

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With the holidays upon us, often times we are forced to interact with people we'd otherwise avoid; simultaneously, we are also bombarded by messages of "gifting". It occurred to me that the combination of these two phenomenons could actually be the solve for a happy, healthy holiday season. Give the greatest gift you can give– forgiveness.

Two years ago, just before the full push of the holidays in 2008, I gave the greatest gift you can give to someone (and yourself), forgiveness. It was a situation where I would've been fully within my rights not to forgive. (Aren't they all?)This person had wronged me and my family. Trust had been violated in the most egregious way. The pain of the situation was so intense that there were moments when I physically felt like I could not breathe.

Yet, my first reaction to this was to forgive. Not the knee-jerk, Christian cliché "I forgive you" sort of forgiveness, but the brokenhearted, "what else will bring me peace" brand of forgiveness.

I was angry, hurt and broken down in spirit just as “the most wonderful time of the year” was starting. How could I possibly face the holidays in my brokenness? and How was I going to live in the same community with this person? were a few of the questions that swirled in my head almost constantly. And all the while, my heart was telling me to reach out to this person and offer forgiveness. I was even moved to invite this person to my house for Thanksgiving dessert. I remember it like it just happened. The few weeks leading up to the invitation - I was certain would be declined - were strangely calm. Our marriage and family counselor advised me that I could rescind the offer because I had "nothing to prove." I tripled checked with my husband that he was comfortable with my decision, which he was although it was clear that he did not understand it.

Finally, the doorbell rang on Thanksgiving day just after we'd finished eating and right on time for dessert. With no hesitation, I answered the door and invited the person who wronged me and their family into my house. As I greeted them with a hug, I felt an immediate relief and peace come over me.

Not because I was some “saint” who'd done that person a "favor" forgiving them and inviting them to my home after they'd wronged me. Nor was I relieved at the obvious shame and brokenness I felt in their embrace.

I was at peace in the depths of my soul because I'd put action to my forgiveness. I had not only “told” them they were forgiven but I'd displayed my forgiveness in a very real way. Did I instantly forget the damage this person had inflicted? No, of course not. Did we rekindle our friendship and resume where we'd left off before the problem? Not at all, that was actually the last time I saw them in a social setting. We are no longer in contact. That is not the point.

To this day, I am still amazed at how that act of obedience and true forgiveness set the tone for what ended up being a wonderful holiday season and has benefited me over and over again. I am not recommending everyone do what I did, however I throw out the challenge to consider giving someone in your life the gift of forgiveness.  It is truly the best gift you could ever give.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Stretched: Why We Are Worth The Extra Push

Kermit stretched out is a great depiction of how I feel after my first therapy session.

That's how I feel after my first therapy session post surgery on my right arm. I don't know about you, but “stretched” isn't exactly my favorite place to be. And I've been there many times...

stretched at work
stretched in my marriage
stretched in my faith
stretched mentally, and most recently
stretched physically
My tolerance for "stretching" has increased over the past few years particularly because of the incredible growth that occurs during these seasons of life. As uncomfortable as it is, I've come to look forward to the "stretching" times in my life.
When we stretch - we push ourselves beyond our current position. We reach for what, at the moment, feels impossible. We make ourselves more flexible for what is waiting around the next corner. We exercise "muscles" that we sometimes didn't even know we had. We gain confidence in areas where there was fear. We feel pain and joy - in explicably together in the same moment. Most importantly, we transform, little-by-little, each time we stretch. And before you know it we are not only growing ourselves, but we are pushing others to stretch as well.
So the next time you're faced with a "stretching" season - don't whine, complain or deny - just lean in and warm up up those "muscles" you rarely use and STRETCH with all you've got. 
You won't be sorry.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Surgery: Relationship, Transaction or Both?

Tomorrow, I will have surgery to relieve a compressed nerve in right forearm that has slowed me down to all but a crawl in the last 4.5 months.

All the interactions with the doctor's office and the hospital leading up to the big day have really got me thinking about how "transactional" this deeply personal relationship appears to be.

Let's face it - some relationships in life are transactional by design and by nature.

When stopping to think about that, it's a tough thought.

On one hand, there are transactions between humans all the time - some on a regular basis, some intermittent and some once in a great while. So we are always weaving in and out of some type of transaction or relationship with people.  Understood. No issue.

On the other hand, I believe that some relationships - however brief - mean more than others and should be treated that way. The health care industry sits in this category.  Whether it's a long term relationship you a doctor or a short relationship with a surgeon - everyone in the relationship stream must strive for every interaction to feel deeper than a mere transaction.

While I may only have arm surgery once in my life (shooting prayers up as I blog this)  - the value my experience in this relationship has huge implications for my surgeon and the hospital that treats me.

Do you agree?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Contentment: The Underrated Sibling of Happiness

I tweeted no less than 10 articles that refer to happiness in the last 30 days.

It seems as though - everyone is talking about it lately - especially since Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh's NY Times Bestseller "Delivering Happiness" hit the shelves this past June.

Huge fan of Tony's and what he has done at Zappos - one of THE driving inspirations for Relationships Matter Now, LLC - no question.

But I wanted to post today on the "contentment" because I think it is the underrated sibling to happiness.

Dictionary says contentment is:

"The quality or state of being contented." And contented is defined as:

"feeling or showing satisfaction with one's possessions, status, or situation "

This past week - I started my "Rumba a la Cuarenta" or my Rumble to Age 40. We all know that as we approach the BIG 4-0 - we reflect more than normal which for me has been ridiculous, considering how much I reflect anyways. One of the big discoveries I came across this week in reflecting on the last year of my life - personally ,professionally - relationally - the best way to describe my life is contented.

There is a peace. A joy even.

The struggle of starting my company. Being a wife, mom to two active children and volunteer in my church - all while holding a full-time job and serving on the local village board. Of course, there are ups and downs - highs and lows. Triumphs, hurts, victories, disappointments but overall - I am content. And I want to encourage others today to be content. No offense to happiness but contentment is great thing to strive for.

Does this mean I am not driving toward my business goals with brute force and tenacity?
Does this mean my marriage isfine so I am no longer "working" to make it better?
Does this mean the other relationships in my life are all humming along w/ no need for care?

I think sometimes in America we misuse the word content and confuse it with something that is less than it's true dictionary meaning. Like - "settling" or "stagnation" So today - I ask you to consider your life and consider if contentment - "feeling or showing satisfaction with one's possessions, status, or situation"-  is an option for you.

For me - discovering contentment in all areas of my life over the past year has opened the door to happiness, peace and joy as well.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Embracing A Tough Reality

Love this image of embrace - it captures me
This past week, a  good friend  updated her Facebook status with the following:

"Always the lesson, never the miracle”

Those words pierced my heart because I could relate. Can't you?  How many times have we asked, “can't I just get this one break?”

If so,  then you must be like the many of us whose lives are built to face and overcome complexity.  It is just a fact that while some people may have what appears to be a much easier and less complex road to what they want, there are those of us whose path is just a little more tough for achievement.

Now I don't want to sound as if this is a pity party or “woe is me” line of thinking, but after much thought and self-reflecting this week after reading that post,  I've come to embrace this tough reality.

And tough it is.

Who doesn't want the "Easy Street" in life? Isn't that why we take our chance and play the lottery hoping that we will hit the jackpot and all will be well.  But then you hear the statistics of the people who hit the lottery–the depression, anxiety and bankruptcy. How does that happen? They all can't just be idiots. Nor do I think there is some "big curse on easy money". My theory, is that they are running from and fighting their reality instead of embracing it.

Let me tell you a quick story about a recent issue, that really accelerated my acceptance of this thought in my life:

Since July, I have had limited use of my right arm. Thankfully, we've identified the problem and it will be corrected surgically before the end of this month.  The interesting thing about this whole situation with my arm is that there were 12 long weeks of not knowing what was going on and all was revealed in an afternoon with a diagnostic test.  So why did I have to go through all that, when the same diagnostic test after the first visit  would have made the problem clear and I'd be practically recovered now vs facing surgery? I don't know the answer to that question but I don't let it bug me either, because I've reflected on each week in the journey with my arm. There is a rich story that will be told when this is all over and perhaps, THAT is the answer to my question.

In my down time, mostly afforded to me because of a bum right arm, I started to reflect on my life as a whole and found that it was full of rich stories, none of them easy or without complexity, yet all triumphant, fulfilling and challenging for uniquely this person I've become.  What freedom in that moment!  What perspective!

And do you believe that very next “complex issue” I was faced with was suddenly transformed into an intricate puzzle that I had to put my brain around to solve versus “here we go again..." And the action to move forward came a bit more quickly than normal.

Then I got to thinking, what if others who share this same path embraced it rather than fighting it? What if we all could stop and reflect on our lives and use it to grow us? I am certain our relationships with others would benefit from this.

Mine have already.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Here We Go Again: Social Networks Should Add to Human Interactions - Not Takeaway

Harris Interactive this week released findings that state and I quote, “ Thanks to Social Networks, Americans feel more connected to people. But a majority say that they have less face-to-face contact recently as well.”

Really? Is anyone surprised by this?

What burns me about this poll is the fact that there are no probing, deeper questions asked about the state of people's relationships. Read the full story here

Whoopdee you feel closer to people you don't see because you know what's going on in their lives. Further, you have less face-to-face contact with people because of all the time you spend online on social networks. Does this seem jacked up to anybody else but me?

I've said it before and I'll say it again–people should not let social networks replace intentional  interactions with people. Facebook, Twitter etc etc - can enhance your relationships but in no way should serve as the only contact you have with people close to you.

We all have many levels of relationship with friends/family/colleagues. Facebook can facilitate maintaining long distance relationships but should not replace all contact with those distant friends/relatives/colleagues. For me, it serves as reminder to intentionally reach out and when I get no response repeatedly - those folks should not be surprised that I end our "friendship" on Facebook. I'd rather not know anything and have no contact than  pseudo "know everything" and have no real interactions.

Twitter, on the other hand, has been a great facilitator of information for me, my business and my network. Surprisingly, I've also had some quality exchanges and made some great connections.

That stated - I love these social networks because I am social at heart. They just amplify my normal way of being. I am saddened yet encouraged to read the Harris piece because it validates Relationships Matter Now, LLC mission. People - now more than ever - need assistance building and maintaining healthy relationships.

Let's be wise in how we use social networks. Let's commit to using them to enrich our lives with others vs replace our lives with others.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vacation is Necessary Family Time!

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All these seem like great options - except the tent.

Now that both Barreto kids are school age,  2010  marks the first year that we are regulated to vacation time with everyone else and boy, does it stink.  We just spent much more on plane tickets for two upcoming vacations around Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve simply because of the timing. But I wouldn't change it because vacation has become a necessary ritual for the Barretos.  I'd even go so far as to say it's a necessary ritual for all families.

Whether it's a "staycation",  a Griswold-like road trip or flying away to an exotic locale or cruise–families absolutely need the opportunity to unwind together on a regular basis. Because like in all other relationships, families need the following:

Rest from the everyday routine that weekends cannot truly give
To spend time together in another environment
The opportunity to huddle together and just love on one another 24 hours a day for however many days
Build traditions unrelated to a specific place

These are a few of the wonderful fringe benefits we have encountered as we've vacationed together over the last 10 years.  Through tough times, and through times of plenty we have always made it a priority to spend time together, away from home.

So what would be Ultimate Vacation for the Barretos?  There was no agreement between us when asked.

My nine-year-old daughter and I were in agreement that Australia would be our ultimate vacation. My husband suggested a tour around the Mediterranean, including stops in Greece, Spain and Italy and not necessarily  a cruise. My five-year-old son said LA would be his ultimate vacation (and he should know since he had a blast there a few years back).

So unless some big windfall hits us or my new business suddenly lands 10 new clients, I don't see any of the aforementioned ultimate vacations in our immediate future.  With that in mind I asked the team again, what would be our ultimate vacation? The answer may surprise you but we unanimously said our ultimate vacation would involve good food, no work and most importantly, each other.
This is us celebrating Evan's 4th birthday at Walt Disney World.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Yet Another Lesson From the Arm(ageddon)

12 weeks ago, my right arm just stop working. Without much fanfare or warning.

One week ago, a diagnostic MRI was performed on that same arm and revealed a growth sitting on my  radial nerve causing havoc. Arm(ageddon) is almost over and I'll be headed to surgery soon.

All the time in between was spent treating symptoms of a problem I did not have. Truth be told, I was in shock at what the hand specialist told me. His words rang in my ear for days and I woke up the other night thinking about this and how this lesson is applicable in other areas of life.

Specifically relationships.

Don't wait "11 weeks" to do the "diagnostic work" on the issues you have in your relationships. Take the time to stop and find out the source of the problem before you ever treat any symptoms.

Seems simple, but stop and think to yourself–when was the last time I actually stopped and attempted to look beyond what I see in front of me when faced with difficulty with others?  It is human nature  just jump in and start  “fixing"  the "problem". Even when the "problem" is not completely defined or understood.

While my bum arm was an extreme case that rarely happens in medicine (or so they tell me), I know from experience that this behavior is common in human relations. So I challenge you to get at the root of whatever ails your interactions with others.

Self- reflect.

Be empathetic.

Get outside help (like my hand specialist that was called in late - imagine if they hadn't called him?).

Whatever you do - don't keep treating a problem that you don't truly understand.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

3 Ways Starting a New Biz is Similar to New Love

Over the last 90 days, I've had some familiar feelings that I have not had in exactly 10 years.

You see,  it was exactly 10 years ago in August that I met my husband in a Best Buy on a Sunday afternoon -  just thinking about it gives me chills.

The uncertainty among strong gut that "this is it".
The risk.
The heart outside your body feeling.

 I have been feeling all of the above,  all day, every day since I incorporated Relationships Matter Now.  I am convinced that the same ingredients found in new love   appear in the same form when one is starting a new business venture.

This Is It

We all know the feeling of utmost confidence living amongst traces of uncertainty.  In some areas, we move forward without thinking while other areas paralyze us.  The attraction is strong  and we can completely explain why moving forward is the best option for us at this time.   Heady certainty and giddy joy pushes us through the moments of doubt. “This is it” in love and business is the most exhilarating and terrifying statement all at once.


Perhaps one of the most  frightening part of both love and entrepreneurship is the risk.  Risk of rejection and risk of failure keep many from venturing into love or business.  Yet the endeavor of both involve so much risk that only the brave truly push through and make it happen.  The key is making the risk a calculated one. We do our homework. We look at options. We compare and contrast our intended as rigorously as our business idea. We don't overanalyze yet we move forward knowing that only great risks pay great rewards.


When you choose to love or start a new business, you are opening yourself up in ways you'd never imagine.  You literally feel as though a part of you is completely outside your control and it's true. However, it is essential to be vulnerable. It is in those vulnerable places where you really find out what you're capable of and believe me, it is much more than you think. The other really cool thing about vulnerability is the fact that it forces authenticity.   It is impossible to be both vulnerable and fake at the same time.  When you are real and true to who you are and your core beliefs, you cannot fail in love or in business. Should the relationship dissolve or the business go bankrupt - the rich life lessons you learned are invaluable and become part of your story AND contributors to your future success in both areas.

So ten years later - the love for my husband is no longer  new.  It is richer, deeper, battle-scarred and most importantly, enduring.  Only time will tell what will happen with Relationships Matter Now LLC.   My experience with love tells me gives me the hope that my experience with business will be equally good.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ode To Miss O: My Deep (Yet Shallow) Relationship With Oprah

Love this pic of Miss O in one of our favorite colors
So exactly seven days into the final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show, I am compelled to write my ode to Miss O. You see,  throughout the years (and more than 3 times in the last week) people have connected us to one another.

Perhaps, it is because we are both charismatic, BOLD black women who have the confidence to champion what we believe in, albeit in vastly different arenas.

Or maybe it's because we both act courageously from a similar place of unbrandished vulnerability that only people with "our story" can pull off.

I love Oprah, but for very different reasons than the average person. Not because of her billions, her shows or her influence but for what she has meant to me almost my entire life.

Oprah is fuel in the tank of every colored girl who has dreams of changing the world.

I, too,  will change the world like you Miss Oprah Winfrey. I am leading a movement that will revolutionize relationships on this planet. And because of these three things you taught me through your life - it will come to pass.

Transformational Beauty Comes in All Shapes, Sizes and Colors

I had just started 6th grade when she appeared on the scene in Chicago. It was awe inspiring to see her host that show with Rob Somebody (can't for the life of me remember his last name but he was pretty popular before Oprah joined him in the fall of 1983). I loved it that someone who looked like me - wide nose and big lips - right there on TV. I could go on and on about how she evolved but I can tell you this. She finally settled into who she was and she loves herself. I've achieved that, too and with much less resources I might add - inspired all the time by Miss O.

Feel Deeply and You Win

Oprah wrote the book on how to "feel" what the people around you feel. I remember the first time I saw her reach across the couch and comfort someone. Tears. Genuine heartfelt tears have flowed and I was always uncomfortable because until recently - I was never a "crying woman". I discovered in my mid 20s that I was not "feeling" what was coming my way. After my second child  (partially hormonal changes) and a host of unfortunate events - there was a break through and I was able to feel deeply. How liberating! This insight is fueling my movement to help people pro-actively care for their relationships - wouldn't have happened had I not learned to feel deeply and Miss O had a hand in validating that for me.

Stay True To You, Even as You Change

Let's face it - the whole world has watched Oprah as she's evolved from small town local TV personality to the Queen of the Airwaves. Lots of ups and plenty of downs - yet through it all she is still Oprah. Perhaps, you all can't see it but for those of  us that have been tuned in from the beginning - you hear her voice and see her actions and she is still that curious, intelligent woman who enjoys people that we collectively fell in love with in 1984. She is still as compassionate as ever. She's still enamored by celebrities. Oprah is still humble and grateful for the adoration after all these years.

Thanks Miss O for putting black women on top of the map!

I'll close with a Five Denise/Oprah Fun Facts

1. Even though we look nothing alike, I have been called Oprah in public at events more than 5 times.

2. I own a Jil Sander shirt from "Oprah's Closet" from her O Store in the early days when they let you try items on before your bought them - not sure if she actually wore it but I pretend she did every time I put it on.

3. "Our story"  like many people we have shared our painful experiences and used them for good.

4. A cousin of mine has a son with someone who works for Harpo and it has NEVER helped me get tickets.

5. I've been to more show tapings than I can remember and plan to get to one this year as well! My favorite was a Ricky Martin taping in 2007. I shook my bon-bon something fierce.

Two questions - who is your Miss O?

What is your favorite Oprah memory?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Simple Phrase - Now Apply It To People

Today, I wore a bracelet similar to the one you see here. No particular reason, mainly because the beads in my bracelet matched the scarf I was wearing today.

Have faith. Expect miracles.

So simple a phrase, imagine if we applied it to our dealings with the people in our lives.

We live in a world that is quite different than that. Instead of "Have Faith," it's  more like, "Be suspicious of everyone," or  "Trust no one."

Instead of “Expect miracles,”  it's more like, “don't expect anything” or “expect the worst.”

I say we take a new stance. Let's all, for few days to start -at least, change the above phrase and live it out like this:

“Have faith in others.  Expect miracles in your interactions with others.”

 Are you with me?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

3 Words For You When Relationships Change

Radial tunnel tenderness is what I've been suffering from in my right (and dominant) arm. I love this graphic.

Since July 14, 2010, I've had a different relationship with my right arm. Before, my right arm and I were like peanut butter and jelly. 

Abbott and Costello. 

Tom and Jerry?

All kidding aside, we were very close. We did everything together. Now, after nine weeks of doctors appointments and therapy visits, we still don't know exactly what's going on my arm. But what we do know is that I can't type with it. I can't lift anything more than 3 pounds. I can't even enjoy a cup of coffee as I drive to work anymore. However, we still have to live with one another - just on different terms now.

Have you ever had something like that happen to you in a relationship in your life? You know the story. One day, you're doing life and there are no issues; no sign of trouble. Then suddenly everything changes. Perhaps you'd seen the changes coming but did not adjust to them. Or most likely you didn't see the changes at all, they just happened and one day it was apparent. Life in this relationship was different and there's really nothing you can do about it. I've got just three bits of advice for you when this happens.


It is so easy to try and pretend that things have not changed. That is really the toughest route when relating with others. Sometimes just saying out loud that things have changed makes a difference. Acknowledgment also keeps you from living in denial too long.


Recognizing the change is always the first step but accepting the change has to follow immediately. Accepting the change puts you in a position to do things differently. Acceptance gives you the opportunity to look at the situation thru a fresh pair of eyes. 


This one may take you by surprise. But it shouldn't. I say accelerate, because that's exactly what I've had to do in the new era of my relationship with my right arm. I had to find new and better ways to live with the arm I have. In fact, this post is 100% brought to you by my favorite new toy, MacSpeech Dictate software. Not typing is not an option for me. I make my living through documents and communication.

Life changes, relationships change. How you deal with those changes is up to you.