Our Responsibility

Hello, We are responsible for each other in a way that may not seem obvious.  I don't mean as mother and child, husband and wife, brother and sister.  I don't mean in the way of volunteering by handing out food and clothing to the disenfranchised.  I don't mean by taking care of an elderly neighbor's lawn in the summertime or helping someone across the street.  All of these things are wonderful and natural ways we show love to one another but there is a responsibility that I feel we have failed miserably in meeting.  We don't allow others to be who they are.  We don't give people the space to become who they are and support needed to blossom into their ideal selves.

What we do is quickly give humans the rules to what is right and what is wrong.  Humans get bullied from very early on.  Before we ever find out what someone wants we tell them what is and isn't ok to want.  We set up a system (in every culture) that is  based on things we were told, that were based on things that the ones who told us were told, etc. without giving that much thought to whether or not most people are ok with the system or whether the system actually works.  When someone doesn't fit into the structure that was set up before they existed they are either crazy, evil, an abomination, wrong or a misfit.  There isn't a lot of room to be accepted when you don't fit the norm in most societies.  When we create right we create wrong.  You cannot say something is good without deciding that there are things that are bad.  When you create an extreme you create it's opposite; is this what being responsible for one another means?  To determine who is bad and who is good.  What do we base it on?  What the majority are doing or not doing (that they will admit to)?  What some religious document says?  What happens to those who are wrong in our society?  What happens to the misfits?

I truly believe that we are responsible for those who feel left out, bullied by a society that never gave them a chance;  told that they were wrong for feeling, thinking, saying something that went against what society has determined as ok to say, think or feel.  When we set up a system that automatically rules out certain types of people as worthy in a systematic way (the way that we do in this country) we have neglected our responsibility to love each other as ourselves because we are connected.  We have forgotten that we cannot exist separate from one another.  We are all necessary and important and responsible for each other in a deep way that never touches on aiding with groceries to someone's car… though that is important and it does matter.  However, we are responsible to each other in the way to not cause harm, to not destroy, to not judge.  When we decide that someone is less than we tear a part of them away.  We build up rage that at some point will have to come out.  We create dangerous situations and hazardous environments when we push others down for being who they are.

I believe we need to allow what is.  We need to allow everyone to communicate who they feel they are, what their desires are and how they see the world.  We need to learn boundaries at a young age so we can become aware of where I begin and you end.  We need to help others love who they are and find their own voice.  We need to discuss what it means to be aware.  We need to be very careful with each other's hearts. We need to take ownership of our feelings and not blame others for the things that don't belong to them (like our feelings).  We need to understand when we judge others we are judging ourselves.  We need to understand that we cannot always be comfortable and things aren't always going to be the way we would prefer them to be, nor are people.  We need to understand that it isn't our responsibility to put one another down or to marginalize each other, but to uplift and propel each other forward.  I believe we need to first do this for ourselves, once we are no longer in the direct care of others.  Once we have given ourselves permission to feel what we feel and be who we are without the judgement, we can decide if it is what we want to keep or not.  Acceptance is power; the power to change, the power to heal; the power to move on.  Our responsibility, in my opinion, is to accept each other.  Embrace each other.  To love.



All Grown Up

Howdy! Sometimes you feel like a kid, like everyone is going to see right through your grown-up body and realize that you are just pretending to know what is up, where to go, how to do this or that.  Sometimes you feel small and the world seems so big and you just want someone to take care of you.  Sometimes you feel lost and lonely and believe that you are alone.  You have learned to pretend, you have learned to fake being an adult (whatever that is) and mature but every now and then the masquerade becomes a bit overwhelming and you just want a break.  Sometimes you are tired.

We are rarely kind to each other around the very things we ourselves go through.  It is amazing how we will see someone doing something that society has deemed inappropriate and we will judge it all over the place.  We will decide that we are better because we don't have the same issues (or no one knows about our issues).  We will decide that we are more enlightened or smarter, more spiritual, kinder, etc. because of someone else is demonstrating human qualities that we would rather hide.  If at these moments of self-righteousness we could remember feeling small, feeling like we didn't know it all, and relating to 'being found out'  we could be better at connecting, stronger in supporting and brighter in our show of compassion.

What are you afraid of others knowing about you?  What have you been taught to judge as wrong that you, yourself do?  How does that make you connect or disconnect from others?  Do you find yourself putting someone else down who has similar secrets. Often we do this to distract from our own shadow.  Point the finger at someone else feeling small so that you don't bring attention to your own insecurities.  The thing is, we can embrace feeling like we are faking it.  We can accept that we have faked it before and that being a grown up isn't what we have been taught and that there aren't hard and fast rules that one must follow.

When you accept that you feel small, alone, lonely and phony you will be able to communicate to others and find out how not alone you actually are.  Your fear becomes less scary and less exhausting.  We all understand what it is like to feel unprepared for life.  We all understand what it feels like to be overwhelmed and unsure.  We just have to call it up when we are with others who are feeling that way so that we can remember to be understanding and accepting instead of being judgmental and condemning.

Love each other… love yourself.




Howdy! We have all felt stuck.  We have all felt like we weren't able to get out of wherever we are.  We have all annoyed our friends because our lack of action to move away from what is seemingly hurting us.  The bottom line is you will stay where you are until you are ready to leave.  Period.  Know this.  No one can make any choices for you and you cannot rush being ready to choose.  There are things that you are learning, valuable things that you will never forget… it is hard to have perspective when you feel that you are in the middle of hell.

Remember that how someone behaves towards you is an example of how they are treating themselves.  It is hard to remember to not take things personally when you are the one being treated one way or another… but we are all bringing to us what we need to learn from and that is the difficult reality that most would choose not to face.  The universe hears us and has a completely different definition of love and compassion than the ones we would like them to have.  The universe knows that love is giving you what you need to learn what you must in order to move forward.  The universe doesn't play favorites, it isn't biased.  It answers our soul's longing for growth and creates what we resonate.

Resonate.  Resonate.  Resonate.  This is my message for you today.  Imagine you are a guitar being strum.  What notes will you produce if you were being played?  What music does your heart make?  If you were being played in a music hall, who would come to fill up the seats and listen?  What type of crowd would line up around the block to hear one note from your symphony?  Would you have people who were crying and lamenting being drawn to you?  Would your audience be pensive or melancholy?  Would it be a crowd that was filled with angst and anger?  Or would you have a crowd that was so filled up with love and joy that you were lifted up by their presence as they are by yours?  Resonate.  Resonate.  Resonate…on purpose.  Because you do it anyway.  Make the music you want to hear.  That music you make changes the 'where you are' to the 'where you want to be'.

Have a great day!



Personal Space

Great Day All!!! Not everyone understands boundaries at the same time everyone understands boundaries.  There are a lot of different kind of boundaries, energetic, physical, political, emotional… and our boundaries grow and change and sometimes disappear.  Boundaries are supposed to be put in place to keep us safe.  When we no longer have use for them it is important to let them go, individual boundaries that have no purpose can create walls and isolation.  I am someone who has learned how to have clear boundaries after years of feeling violated in one way or another.  I have found that even though I state what I need for myself there are those who have no desire to respect or adhere to my boundaries.  I have also encountered many people who have more than a difficult time setting boundaries and walk the earth feeling victimized and put-upon by friends, family and anyone else they encounter.  Usually the ones without boundaries feel like they know about you, will tell you things you didn't ask them to and expect to have access to you and your life in ways you don't feel comfortable.  There is a feeling of entitlement to others that goes beyond day-to-day, person to person interaction for the boundary violators.

I have been followed, chased, touched, harassed, raped, obsessed over, told that I have no right to push someone out of my life (by that someone I was pushing out), verbally assaulted for setting boundaries and more in my 38 years on this planet as Aina.  I have learned that boundaries are helpful for me to move about my world with a sense of control.  Obviously, we can violate one another whenever we choose, if we choose.  Boundaries, however, can serve as a deterrent for those who would choose to cross the line.  Boundaries are not a sure thing but they certainly have a high success rate of keeping one safe.  The first thing we must understand is that we are born with the right to set boundaries where we see fit in regards to ourselves and as fellow humans we are somewhat obligated to respect the boundaries that others set.

In order to respect others right to boundaries we must remind ourselves that all of us that walk this earth are equals.  We all have the same rights.  I was just setting a boundary with someone recently when they replied with a stipulation in regards to respecting my boundary.  They wanted me to understand why they did something (that triggered me needing to set a boundary) in order for my boundary to be accepted by them.  Boundaries aren't up for discussion.  They aren't there to be haggled with and they most certainly are not about the person that is being told what the boundary is for someone.  Boundaries are specifically about the person setting them.  There is never a need to ask for understanding when someone is asking for safety.  Safety is personal.  We each have individual needs in order to feel protected and safe.  As humans on this planet together we can all relate, and we would all want that.  It is important to not allow our own fear of not having something override our ability to relate and be empathetic.

When you are faced with either setting a boundary or being asked to respect it see what happens for you.  Are you uncomfortable?  Do you have fear around the idea of setting or respecting?  Why?  What goes on for you when you ask someone to follow a rule you have set for your life.  There is much to be learned in the setting of boundaries and the ability to honor the boundaries of others.

Enjoy the exploration.



Keep Calm

Hi! Sometimes our heads can be scary places.  We have so many voices telling us so many things.  We have voices that are dedicated to putting us down.  We have voices that are dedicated to criticizing others, doubting what we know, knowing too much and so forth and so on.  We have a lot of activity up in that noggin of ours.  It is a wonder how we get anything done ever with so much chaos and ruckus going on internally.  We spend so much time in our heads that we sometimes assume that other people are there, in our heads, making us happy, pissing us off, or staying centered.  The truth is we make up the direction someone's voice or actions goes; we decide which filter to push it through and then we ask for assistance around something we created.  It is pretty amazing actually.

The thing is, most of us have no idea when we are making things up so I thought I would give you some clues to be able to bring awareness to your own brand of crazy:  When you think that someone did something on purpose to piss you off.  Well, this is just ridiculous.  As I have said to many people, "I don't think about you enough to plot against you."  I mean, really?  Who is sitting around trying to figure out ways to deliberately upset someone?  The next time you imagine that someone is focused so much on you and is trying to find a way to make you angry, instead of saying anything just reach for the nearest set of workout clothing and go run, walk, or move your body and get a grip.  When you think that you will never  Well, never say never, eh.  This is another time where I find something clever to say like, "Save the drama for your mama."  Basically, relax.  You may not have an understanding, love, friends, the body you want, money, whatever now but you can't say that is won't ever be the case.  How do you know about ever?  What about you is fixed, unchanging?

Basically we need to sometimes back up, think about what we are really saying and how we are behaving and find it in ourselves to really look at the situation.  Why would anyone do anything to you to hurt you?  Why would the universe put you here to keep you stuck in the same place?  Are you the only thing in the world that won't change?  Honestly?  Movement is a part of life, love is all that exists when we open ourselves to it, and the world isn't out to get you.  Give yourself, the universe and everyone else the benefit of the doubt and see where that leads you.



Take A Chill Pill

Hello there, We sometimes look at others and wonder why they do what they do.  We sometimes get impatient with others not figuring things out quickly enough.  We may judge other people and decide that they are doing something on purpose to piss us off.  We aren't always the most empathetic or compassionate of folks.  We are rarely forgiving or understanding immediately.  The conclusions that we come to when we aren't pleased with others borders irrational and can often times be considered unloving.  Why do you think that is the case?

When you find fault in other people, when you are impatient, judgmental and unforgiving you are in the process of a revealing or revelation.  It is only that what we have within us that we recognize outside of us.  You aren't actually able to put a name or a feeling to something that you don't encompass as well.  I know you may get this, intellectually, but how have you incorporated this into your world.

I have been there, probably today, complaining about someone not doing something as well as I would like them to.  Maybe it was while driving or at the grocery store.  Either way, I always, at some point, see myself where they are.  I can almost always go, quickly, back to a time when I was that guy.  The one stopping in the doorway of the grocery store, forgetting that other people need to come and go.  Maybe it was when I was younger and since then I have done the work to remember to move my ass out of the way and to be conscious of those around me.  However, that doesn't mean that I didn't do it in the past and that I cannot now understand why anyone would ever do that now.  We think because we have moved on from some behavior that others should be right in step with us.  Well, newsflash, everyone else feels the same to.

We are all on our own personal journeys, and within each journey we are all at different spots for different things.  Sometimes we meet others who are in line with our self growth in multiple areas.  When this happens we feel a connection, we feel that we are kindred.  When we meet others who may stumble over areas that we have figured out, or think we have figured out, we tend to be impatient, sometimes unfeeling.  Do we do this to ourselves as well?  Have you ever said anything negative to yourself when you repeat something you would prefer not to?  Do you speak to yourself like you should have known better?  When you see something in someone else that you judge as negative, you have already done the same to yourself.  Maybe it would do you and everyone else some good if you chilled out a bit.

Give yourself and others a break.  It is worth it.  Not everyone is where you are, nor do they need to be.  We are all growing at various rates, learning what we can and in need of support during it all.   That doesn't mean you don't hold yourself and others accountable.  You just don't need to break someone down to help build them up, in every case.  :)

Sending love,



The Truth Lies

Howdy, I sit here reading all of the news about Lance Armstrong and feel like sharing.  I was, years ago, charged with a crime I didn't commit.  I remember feeling so alone, so afraid.  I remember feeling like giving up.  Years later, after I had been fighting the charges (it is amazing how long some things take) I pleaded no contest.  I did so because the chance was that it would continue to go on and on and on.  I was ready to move on, to forget about it all and get on with my life.  The charges were brought on by a stalker who threatened my world in so many ways.  She threatened to ruin my career, she followed me home, she scared my friends and co-workers.  She worried the judge who questioned her fighting the restraining order I'd brought against her.  The deal was if I was going to fight any harder I would have to come to the realization that I am a big black chick and a little white chick looks more innocent to most people, regardless.  I just don't seem like a 'victim.'  I didn't want to take any chances and I didn't want to continue to be judged any more than I was when the false charges were uttered from her mouth.  So I let it go and am so very happy that I did.

I remember when, from a jail cell, I sat horrified.  I had never (and still haven't) done any drugs.  I had never done anything to anyone that was criminal.  I went to college, paid (and am still paying) my way.  I was and am a pretty upstanding citizen who, for the most part, played by the rules.  I don't have a problem facing what I have done, it is really hard when you haven't actually done anything.  It is like you are yelling at an imaginary person.  You are fighting a fight that can morph and change because it doesn't actually exist.  It is pointless in so many ways that are hard to describe.  You basically feel like you are digging a hole the harder you push against it because you are acknowledging a lie.  You are defending something that isn't actually there.  Then, you face other people's feelings about what you 'should' have done.  One of my brothers tried to use this event against me, saying awful things about me.  I knew a few people in my life momentarily believe that I was guilty.  It was hard and scary and I got through it.  It is amazing to me how many people have opinions about things they know nothing about.  Ha!  It is very hard to understand what you don't understand.  The most you can do is acknowledge that you don't know.  It is also the kindest thing to do.

Since that event I have learned so many things, one of which is that I really, truly, don't know whether someone did or did not do something unless I was there… and that people are not to be trusted sometimes.  You simply rarely know the truth and, in my opinion, compassion is what is needed in place of judgement.  It is so easy to say that someone did something and for it to be a lie.  It happens people, it really does.  People lie, the cheat, they steal, they tear others down just to see them fall.  It is amazing how resistant we are to seeing that truth when it is all around us.

I believe it is also important to let people decide what is best for them and when.  Lance letting go isn't him giving up, it is him moving on.



Less Is More

Hello :) Over the years I have had to learn how to pull back.  Do less, say less, give less, in order to have the impact I desire.  I believe most of us have had the opportunity to be in a place where we have simply done too much.  Maybe it was advice to a friend, possibly unsolicited, definitely biased.  Maybe you gave your opinion on something that had nothing to do with you.  Maybe you became attached to the outcome of what your friend would do.  Either way, you may have learned (or maybe you haven't) that advice, though nice, cannot be received if it wasn't permitted.  Sometimes sitting back, letting things unfold as they may is the best way.

As a coach I have had to use my voice in various ways for all of the different personalities that I have worked with.  Some folks need a gentle approach where you sandwich critique, others need to be told straight, no chaser.  Either way you want to say whatever it is that you need to say in as few words as possible.  Too much is too much.  When you are being told you aren't doing well in an area how well do you hear, how hard are you listening?  Or do you become defensive and shut down a wee bit?  Well if any part of you shuts down or blocks out critique then imagine others doing the same when you tell them something you don't like or shine a light on an area that needs tending to.  Bottom line, pull back the reigns and let the situation breathe.  Say what you mean and let it go.  Be clear and concise instead of over communicating believing you are being nice.

Some of us have a family member a friend or acquaintance that may not be 'living up to his/her potential."  Says who?  Honestly, we all are falling short of our potential.  When you realize we are all coming from where we are, someone who seems to be not 'living up' to their potential may simply be a bit behind you in certain ways… that doesn't mean it is your duty to pull them along.  You don't give them everything they seem to be lacking.  How on earth will they figure out how to grow if they don't figure things out for themselves.  Giving in this situation is not what it seems… the giving needed here is that of love and space.  Giving others the space to figure their own life out is almost always more impact than if you lead someone around like a child, never trusting that they will learn the lessons life has in store for them.

When you are putting all of yourself into a situation, person, place and feel that frustration is what you get in return, you may be doing too much.  You may need to pull back and let things be.  It is amazing how things begin to balance out when you let them.  What wouldn't come to you now falls in your lap.  Someone who wouldn't listen is now asking for advice.  Overall you have more time to focus on why giving, speaking, doing is so important to you which may lead you to discover that you have been using these things as a tool to hide from yourself.  When you take it down a notch you see things in a different way, you are aware of how much you don't know and in what ways you too need growth.

"The universe knows how to organize itself without your help."  Marianne Williamson



What You See Is What You Can Be

Hello there!! How much time do you spend worrying about other people and what they do, don't do, think, don't think, should be doing or thinking or not be doing or thinking?  Basically, how much time do you spend distracting yourself from yourself? Not that looking at others and how they live their lives isn't important for various reasons.  After all it provides entertainment, self-reflection (it can) and distraction (which can be exactly what we need sometimes).  It is just that we can do it more than we realize and in turn stay disconnected from what is happening inside our own universe.  So how much time do you spend thinking about the lives of others while your life is left high & dry, swaying in the breeze?

What if you took that time directly after a critique of someone to see where can relate.  For example, when you think someone is being harsh or rude ask yourself why you would be harsh or rude.  Have you snapped at anyone ever?  Why?  What was happening in your world that led you to that behavior?  Would you want to do it again?  Will you?  Maybe you are feeling sensitive in this moment.  Maybe you are actually projecting because you don't feel good about yourself right now and anything anyone says may come off as harsh or rude if you are feeling deserving of that behavior.  Harsh and rude are subject to opinion after all… so maybe, maybe things aren't always exactly what you feel them to be in the moment of judgement.

When we look at someone else, their behavior & their actions, we are given the chance to see ourselves in that person without having to be that person.  There is always a 'reason' or 'story' that leads someone to the place they are.  When we give each person credit for their journey we give ourselves the same credit and permission to be where we are.  When we give ourselves permission and we begin to be present in our world we are able to create it how we would most desire.  No matter where you go, there you are.  We will never be able to get away from ourselves regardless of the effort put into looking at others.  If we see it in someone else then we embody it in ourselves.   Focus on the fact that what you can see is what you can be.

Happy Growing,




Assumptions & Invalidations

"Begin challenging your own assumptions.  Your assumptions are your windows on the world.  Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in."  ~Alan Alda Howdy!

After teaching my last class today I was telling a couple of co-workers about the fact that I have Bieber Fever.  I mean, it was bound to happen.  The kid isn't going anywhere and his music is getting better.  So, I gave the new album a listen and was happy to hear a little dub step and just a more mature sound.  It was nice.  I reported this to my co-workers who were skeptical to say the least.  The song 'As Long As You Love Me warrants a listen, in my opinion.  I am not overly keen on the message per se (I tend to sniff out co-dependency like a drug dog looking for contraband) but I do get the idea behind it.  He basically is saying that he cares about his girlfriend above all material things.  He has found a partner he wants to spend his days with, through thick and thin.  It is always a beautiful thing when someone can say that they want to stick it out with someone else.  As the song played on of my colleagues said, "What does he know about tough times?"  I immediately began thinking.  I realized I was feeling frustrated because I felt that a human being's feelings were being invalidated due to assumptions being made.

Assumptions happen.  I know that this is an area in my life that I must work on accepting completely because I get charged around it.  When assumptions are made about me I feel like I didn't get a chance to explain myself or be myself.  I sometimes feel marginalized.  I also observe how rare it is for people to really ask each other questions and have genuine curiosity for one another. Often we assume we know someone based on a limited experience with them.  Yes, generalizations can be made and be close to truth, however being genuinely curious is one of the best ways to get information.  Believing you know who someone is because you see them doing something once certainly leads to more errors than a little.

So when the comment was made I thought… How can this person assume that Bieber (or anyone) wouldn't  know hardship?  Is it because he has fortune and fame?  I mean everyone who has fortune and fame is happy and secure and has never had anything difficult to deal with, right?

Additionally, I began thinking about how many of us discount the feelings of people all of the time because of the assumptions made about someone because of their age, socio-economic status, intelligence (academic), etc.  Adults decide kids don't know how something feels because we believe that having a few years more on this planet (in this lifetime) means we know more.  Teens assume that older folks don't know because they are older and not where they are.  We all assume that our knowing, experience, reality is the only one that is valid most of the time.  It is no wonder we can feel defensive and bruised on a regular basis.  We are all trying to assert our point of view as the right one, often times by invalidating everyone else's.

How often do you assume?  How have you invalidated someone recently because of assumptions?  How does it make you feel when you do it?  Do you know if you have done it?  Have you felt invalidated recently?  Often when we invalidate others it is because we have been treated similarly or we do it to ourselves.  We are more likely to decide someone else doesn't matter if we have been told (and we believe) that we don't matter as well.

You matter.  I matter.  We all matter.  Our feelings are valid.  Our ideas are valuable.  We are loved and supported by the abundance that surrounds us.  Share your stories.  Own your value.  Live your truth.  Love yourself.

"Assumptions are the termites of relationships." ~Henry Winkler



Keep Your Compassionate Projection To Yourself :)

"I would like to explain the meaning of compassion, which is often misunderstood.  Genuine compassion is based not on our own projections and expectations, but rather on the rights of the other:  irrespective of whether another person is a close friend."  ~Dalai Lama Most of us believe that in order to be compassionate we have to know how the other person feels and relate to it.  In order to feel for someone we need to get into their space and feel what they feel.  Many times this leads us to forgetting that we aren't them and will never be…  Listening and asking questions is the best way to show compassion, as well as respecting that person's right to do what they decide.  Too often we have no idea that we aren't feeling for someone, we are merely projecting how we might feel in the same situation.  We believe we are 'helping' when we tell someone why something is or is not good for them.  We would do well to heed our own advice since we are actually giving it to ourselves, using the other as a screen to project what is happening for us.

"Projection: The unconscious transfer of one's own desires or emotions to another person: we protect the self by a number of defense mechanisms, including repression and projection."

Just recently a family member asked for positive support around a possible move for her and her immediate family.  What she received in return was a good number of supportive replies and a couple of comments that basically told her she was too old to change.  That change would be detrimental, not only to her, but to her family as well.  It is funny to me that even after asking directly for support she received comments that told her she was making a mistake.  What I learned about the person who replied with warnings was that they, themselves, felt they were too old, too saddled, and too stuck to do anything other that what they are doing at this moment.  The idea of change is scary for them and they would prefer it if others behaved with similar fears so as to not stir their own issues up.  It is always best to never take someone's judgement around how you live your life too seriously.  Listen to them, if you choose.  Understand that they are telling you about themselves and love them for sharing.

When someone is doing something that isn't what is expected, how do you feel?  Are you supportive or are you threatened?  Do you feel like they should be following the 'rules' or do you have a twinge of excitement and inspiration with them forging their own way, doing what dare not be done?




Do you have someone in your world that exhausts you simply by existing?  We all know one or more energy suckers.  Heck, you could be one of those people for all I know.  This isn't about judging people as bad or good, it is about being aware of how you are reacting to someone and dealing with it in the way that makes the most sense for you and helps you feel energized and not drained. One of the things that makes a vampire a vampire is that they have very poor listening skills.  When you speak to them they tend to take the conversation and make it about them.  They often have drama that never ends and seem to never make any attempt to end it.  They don't pick up on "subtle" cues to stop talking, leave, or make space for you during an interaction.  They talk about themselves most of the time.  They tend to see most things in a negative light and feel that the only way to be heard is to complain.  They tend to 'rain on parades' without much effort.

Most of the time we want to blame the person for 'making' us feel exhausted or for 'draining' us.  It is true, the energy that they send out isn't uplifting and energizing… however they haven't forced anything on us that we didn't allow in.  After all you know the people in your world that you feel drained after being around… and you still end up hanging out with them.  Now, don't begin making excuses.  There is something to this.  Why would you continually put yourself in a situation that you weren't getting anything out of, actually, you were having your soul sucked out of every pore.  So, what is in it for you?  It is important to ask yourself this question.  Does it make you feel helpful to listen to the same issues over and over.  How is that helping if the person complaining literally just wants to complain.  Do you value your own time?  Is this how you show love to yourself and others?

If you are someone who feels responsible for others (co-dependent) you may be using this person or people to make yourself feel worthy or worthwhile.  You are in a little relationship that is mutually beneficial, both parties are needed in this dance.  If you own that you are a wiling participant in the dance you can decide to change the steps or leave the dance altogether.

I have certainly had my share of these type of relationships.  I have been the 'savior' for so many folks, let me tell you.  I had to give myself away, over and over and live the same cycle of being exhausted, sometimes to the point of depression, after 'helping' someone in order to finally realize that it wasn't helping me.  Over the years I had been told that I needed to stop giving my energy away in the way that I was giving it.  Once I changed how I saw people, their concerns, and my urge to be of help in a different way I was able to shift my viewpoint.  I set up boundaries within myself and haven't felt that same drain since.

What are proper boundaries?  Well, those are up to you.  But you have the right to set boundaries with people in your world, specifically with yourself.  You are not responsible for how someone views, reacts or interacts with the world.  However, you can change how you approach the world and in that way change the world you live in.  You can limit your interactions with those who exhaust you.  You can ground yourself so that you don't take on the other person's energy (I recommend doing this anyway).  You can change the energy by lifting your own energy when you are around people who drain you.  You can begin to see how someone else is allowing you to work on yourself by bringing up the things that need work in you.

"Compassion automatically invites you to relate with people because you no longer regard people as a drain on your energy."  ~Chogyam Trungpa