Pack up your conflicts and go to the beach.

Pack up your conflicts and go to the beach.

  • April 16, 2014

When I need to detox my mind and soul, I pull out my favorite conflict resolution tool: I go to the beach. One of the easiest conversations in my family is about potential destinations for a short get-away. Ten times out of eleven, the decision is unanimous: Let’s go to…

Continue Reading →
No beating up on yourself allowed.

No beating up on yourself allowed.

  • April 2, 2014

Are you stuck in a hole of could, should and would? Beating up on yourself over past mistakes won’t help anybody. In difficult conversations, everybody messes up on occasion. It’s inevitable. Because we’re human. What’s equally human is our tendency to beat up on ourselves afterwards. We get caught up…

Continue Reading →
Success requires showing up.

Success requires showing up.

  • March 25, 2014

Sometimes, the toughest part of a difficult conversation is showing up. Show up to a difficult conversation insufficiently prepared, and you’ll likely make a mess. You may make a much bigger mess by showing up too late or not at all. But what if you don’t feel ready? Ask anybody…

Continue Reading →
Got Dragon Breath?

Got Dragon Breath?

  • March 1, 2014

Are you regularly setting people’s ears on fire when you talk? Hold your dragon breath, please. One of my favorite cartoons as a kid growing up in Austria was the story of Grisu, the little dragon. His dream was to become … a fireman. There was only one little problem:…

Continue Reading →
Forgive. Because You Deserve Peace.

Forgive. Because You Deserve Peace.

  • February 15, 2014

We often resist the notion of forgiveness.  Why should we let people who hurt us off the hook, when they clearly don’t deserve it? Set aside for a moment whether or not someone deserves to be forgiven. Instead, ask yourself: Do I deserve to forgive that person, so that I can…

Continue Reading →
Breathe.

Breathe.

  • February 1, 2014

Breathe, Lisa. This is what my martial arts instructor frequently tells me. Yes, as a species we have now evolved to the point where we pay someone to remind us to breathe. And honestly, most of us need the reminder, especially in a potential conflict situation. Picture this: Your neighbor…

Continue Reading →
Bow.  Learn.  Repeat.

Bow. Learn. Repeat.

  • January 15, 2014

In my martial arts journey, I have learned countless important life lessons.  Some basic and obvious, some rather complex and subtle.  What they all have in common is that I keep learning them, over and over again.  I’m never “done” – just further along on the journey, with a deeper…

Continue Reading →
Leave Knowing You Did, Rather Than Wishing You Had.

Leave Knowing You Did, Rather Than Wishing You Had.

  • January 1, 2014

‘Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.’  ‘Stuck between a rock and a hard place.’  ‘Whatever I do, it’s wrong.  I just can’t win.’ Unfortunately, this describes the underlying sentiment of many unresolved conflicts, and is often the reason why they are not addressed.  When faced with the prospect…

Continue Reading →
Going in Circles?

Going in Circles?

  • December 15, 2013

Do some conflicts leave you feeling like a spinning top?  Hopelessly dizzy from going around and around, waiting to fall down because you’re running out of steam? You know what I’m talking about – those arguments about what appear to be “the issues” that just keep going in circles.  Who…

Continue Reading →
No Blocking, Please.

No Blocking, Please.

  • December 1, 2013

I was icing my bruised forearms, feeling grateful.  Not because all my bones were still intact.  Okay, maybe that too.  I was grateful for the opportunity to participate in an advanced martial arts seminar with the grandmaster, a tenth degree black belt in Kenpo Karate.  I was grateful for deepening…

Continue Reading →