Inner Guidance: Can it be Trusted or is it Mumbo Jumbo? & Artisan Workshop Designs


The other day, I was talking to a friend of mine about Inner Guidance. He asked, “Can it be trusted or is it all mumbo-jumbo and woo-woo?”

I gave him the technique I shared with you yesterday of naming and personifying the different thought groups that are the chatter in his mind.   I explained that this technique will help him discern the voice of his Inner Guidance from all the other “stuff” going on in his brain.

Then I asked him if he’d ever said the following phrases:

~Against my better judgment…

~I knew in my bones…

~My gut was telling me…

~I knew I should/shouldn’t have…


I told him that this was his Inner Guidance speaking to him.

He said: “But at the time I had no proof that it was right.”

“EXACTLY!” I said, “Which is why it can be scary and difficult to pay attention to it.”

Oftentimes, our Inner Guidance seems to be off-base and that if we listen to it we’ll go in a totally wacky direction. I’ve found in my own life, and have observed in others’ lives, that even though it may not make sense,

if we keep getting the same poke or prod to do a certain thing, then we should listen and follow through on it.

Steven Jobs in his now famous commencement speech at Stanford University, he talks about this very thing. He followed his Inner Guidance and even though he did things that didn’t seem to have rhyme or reason (taking a calligraphy class), they turned out to be a significant building block in a future endeavor (the calligraphy class showed him the importance of font styles and, thus, all the choices we now have with our computers).

Again I urge you to follow through on the pact you made with yourself at the beginning of the week that you’ll take at least 5 minutes each day for quiet solitude. In this gift to yourself, just be and listen. That’s it, just be and listen.

Oh, and follow through on the prods!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,



Inner Guidance: A Technique to Separate Your Inner Guidance from the Noise


As we talked about yesterday, giving yourself the daily gift of quiet solitude is one of the most effective ways to hear and connect with our Inner Guidance. Maybe you’re like me, though, and find that when I’m sitting in silence, it’s amazing how noisy it is! All the chatter, all the angsting…. Oy!

I came across a technique that is simple yet packs a powerful punch: naming and personifying the chatter in your head.

For instance, when you take a moment for silence and turning within, you notice your thoughts are those of worry: worry about the project at work, worry about paying the bills, worry about your kids, worry about the challenges your spouse is dealing with….

Or perhaps you find a very judgmental voice: she’s not nearly as smart as I am; his kids are far less talented than mine; she thinks she’s ‘all that’; he struts around like he’s so cool….

Maybe your thoughts are bullying. For instance: you should have known better, who do you think you are, you aren’t very talented, you’re getting way too big for your britches….

Your thoughts might be infused with sadness, such as: nothing ever works out for me, no one knows I even exist; I don’t matter….

Give names to the different groups of thoughts you have.

For instance, your thoughts of worry can be called Warren the Worrier, your judgmental thoughts can be Judy the Judge, Billy the Bully can be the thoughts that beat up on you, and Sadness Agnes can the thoughts that bring you down and make you feel hopeless and helpless.

Give personalities to them.

Perhaps Warren the Worrier is constantly wringing his hands and speaks in whiny voice. Judge Judy can be huffy and uptight, where as Billy the Bully might have mean little eyes and a grimace on his face. Sadness Agnes might have lank hair, be dressed in dull browns, and mope about all day.

When you have named and personified the chatter in your mind, it’s easier for you to choose whether to listen to the chatter or to move it to the side. When you move it all to the side, then it’s MUCH easier to hear your Inner Guidance.

Remember to name and personify your Inner Guidance as well. Then, you’ll be able to quickly and easily tune into it.

What are a few of the names and personalities you’ve given to your inner chatter? Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way, named her inner critic Nigel. She pictured him as a fussy, up-tight man who speaks with a British accent!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Inner Guidance: Six Inspiring Quotes


The unshakable foundation of a soul-prospering life is built by being deeply connected with your inner self, your true self. Through this connection, you clearly hear the Still Small Voice.

Here are a few quotes to ponder:

Build your inner environment. Practice silence. I remember the wonderful discipline of the great ones. When we used to talk and chatter, they would say: ‘Go back into you inner castle.’ It was very hard to comprehend then, but now I understand the way of peace. ~Paramahansa Yogananda


The quieter you become the more you are able to hear.   ~Rumi


 Trust your instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. – Ralph Waldo Emerson


Listen to your heart for guidance and be guided by its message of comfort or discomfort. Your heart is the junction point between your mind and your body. If the choice feels comfortable in your body, move into it with confidence. If the choice feels uncomfortable, pause and see the consequences of your action with your inner vision. Honoring the guidance that is provided by your body’s intelligence will help you make the most evolutionary choices for yourself and those in your life. — Deepak Chopra


Solitude is not an absence of energy or action, as some believe, but is rather a boon of wild provisions transmitted to us from the soul. In ancient times, purposeful solitude was both palliative and preventative. It was used to heal fatigue and to prevent weariness. It was also used as an oracle, as a way of listening to the inner self to solicit advice and guidance otherwise impossible to hear in the din of daily life. — Clarissa Pinkola Estes


At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want. – Lao Tzu


Take time today for stillness and quiet. Just be.   Listen.

Make a pact with yourself that you will take time–5 minutes is a great baby step–every day to listen, to just be with yourself in quiet solitude.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Leaving: Techniques that Help



I came across a good article on the Internet about steps to take and things to do to make leaving easier.   The article is geared toward leaving a relationship, but the techniques can be applied to any scenario of leaving.

Here are a few suggestions the article made:

Establish new boundaries

While this is important in relationships, it can also be important in other scenarios, such as taking a new job. It might be necessary for you to stop going to the lunchtime restaurants or the after-work gathering places that you and your former colleagues went to.

Take a communication break

Stop thinking about and regularly communicating with people from your old circumstances. This will make it much easier to focus on your new situation.

Establish a new support system and communication network

This one may take a little time to establish, but be patient.

Let yourself grieve

There will be times in your new life that might be difficult and you may have wistful thoughts of your past circumstances. Be gentle with yourself during these times and let yourself grieve for what once was.   It’s normal and natural to miss things from your past, but also don’t wallow in self-pity and don’t second-guess your decision to make a break and move on.

Stay busy

Give yourself whole-heartedly to your new situation. Get involved with it. Meet new people, see new places, find interesting and fun things about your new circumstances.


Keep looking forward!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Leaving: Hello!



Yesterday we talked about taking ourselves in hand and giving ourselves a good, old-fashioned talking-to when we find ourselves backsliding in our quest to make a break from things that are not serving us. The other part of that process is to then give a warm welcome to the new direction in which we’re headed.

For instance, suppose you wan to spend more time goofing around with your kids but work, chores around the house, volunteer activities, and the like, keep tugging you away.   You realize it’s time to take yourself in hand and stop with all the excuses, justifications, and reasons.

It’s time for a good, old-fashioned talking-to!

I recommend sitting yourself down in a quiet place where you won’t have any distractions and you won’t be disturbed for about 15 minutes.

Step 1: Talk to yourself candidly and bluntly–NOT harshly but rather blunty, which means you aren’t sugar coating anything and you aren’t letting yourself off the hook.

~Remind yourself just how important your kids are to you.

~Remember when your parents spent time with you when you were a child and how that made you feel.

~Recall when your parents didn’t have time for you and dismissed you or, perhaps, they didn’t follow through on something the said they’d do for you or do with you. How did that make you feel?

~Do you think your kids are any different than you–that they’d have different feelings and emotions than you did?

~If you keep putting off spending time with them, do you think they’ll be less hurt than you were when your parents put you off?


Step 2: Add the warm welcome.

~Remind yourself how good you’ll feel knowing that you’re re-connecting with your kids

~Picture in your mind following through on tossing the ball back and forth with your kids or the fun you’ll have in making a batch of cookies with them.

~Focus on taking things in baby steps.

~Keep telling yourself that you can do it; it’s about connecting and not about perfection or everyone laughing and smiling and talking. It’s about being fully in the moment with your kids.

~Give yourself credit for the efforts your making and the following through on your intentions.   They all add up!


Although our example is about parents reconnecting with their kids, the steps can be applied to anything your making a break from and anything you’re moving toward.

Let me know how this works for you. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,



Leaving: A Good Old-Fashioned Talking-To


Yesterday, we talked about how turning your back and walking away is the second part of making your break from the thing or person or memory and making a fresh start.

It’s one thing to release and let go, but it’s a whole different matter to actually make a break. You might find yourself backsliding every now and again, perhaps telling yourself it wasn’t so bad and maybe you were a little hasty in turning away…. And then one day you find that once again you’ve got to go through releasing, letting go, and leaving.

How did this happen? You were doing so well for a while.

It happened because you let your thoughts have free rein and then you listened to them.

You’re probably thinking that all you have to do then is to control your thoughts. It’s true. It really is that simple. However, it isn’t always easy.

There are techniques and tricks for getting hold of your thoughts: mindfulness, breathing techniques, meditation, and a host of other things that you can do. I encourage you to do a little research and come up with a list of actions you can take to get control of your thoughts.

Oftentimes, though, it comes down to the fact that you just have to take yourself and your thoughts in hand. Dispense with the tricks, the techniques, the cajoling, and the bribes. Sometimes you have to give yourself a good old-fashioned talking to and tell yourself to grow up. Remind yourself that you know very well that going down a new path is the best thing you can do for yourself. Tell yourself: “So then, let’s behave like an adult and let’s get on with doing what needs to be done.”

Then do it and be done with it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Leaving: Letting Go and Releasing versus Leaving


This week as we’ve talked about leaving, which sounds a lot like the act of releasing and letting go. But, it occurred to me that there’s a big difference between releasing and letting go versus leaving.
To me, releasing and letting go means that although you have made your break with a situation or a person or memories, there’s still a connection–a subtle one.

Releasing and letting go is a passive act. In a sense, you’re still looking back; you still have a longing for that thing, person, memory that you let go of. It can be likened to when a child is holding a helium balloon and it slips out of their grasp. They cry as they watch it float off into the sky, hoping that somehow something will change and make the balloon come back to them.
Leaving, on the other hand, is active and decisive. When you leave, you’re stepping away, turning your back, and moving in a different direction.

In fact now that I think about it, releasing and letting go is the first part of moving on and leaving–turning your back and going another way–is the second part of moving on.

The next time you have trouble moving on, even though you’ve released and let go of what’s bothering you, perhaps you need to take the next step of turning your back and walking away. I’m certainly going to keep this strategy in mind!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,