Friday, October 21, 2011


There’s so much talk about Spirituality nowadays. There are the books, the blogs, the forums, and seminars, and then there are the informal discussions among friends. Having had quite a few conversations on the subject myself, I’ve noticed something that often leaves me feeling a bit uncomfortable. And that is how willing we are to suffer in the name of being spiritual. A suffering that comes a little close to being masochistic. Some odd form of self-torture designed to make sure that we are getting our lessons and to confirm that we are on the right path. A test that we are able to suspend all judgment. The practice of the belief that "It doesn't matter and it doesn't matter that it doesn't matter" gone awry.

Knowing that many consider spirituality to be a practice more than it is a belief, I can see how it is necessary to put action behind our beliefs. Makes sense. But often, we think that action includes intentionally putting ourselves in the line of fire so that we can prove that we are strong; and that we are letting go of the tendency to respond to people and circumstances through our egos. We allow ourselves to be subjected to stuff that just doesn’t feel good to us; mistakenly believing that if we are able to withstand the torture without judgment, we will magically learn to transcend ego. Now, I can’t speak for anybody else, but I choose not to sign up for that one. I’m just gonna have to fail that course.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that sometimes we don’t know where we stand and what we truly believe until we are tested, but that doesn’t mean that we should seek opportunities to be uncomfortable or tolerate messiness in order to know for sure that we “get it.” There is no need to suffer unnecessarily under the weight of the belief that “it doesn’t matter, and it doesn’t matter that it doesn’t matter.” There is no need to “conquer” the ego. There is no such thing. There is only the awareness of ego. And sometimes, awareness is simply knowing what feels good or authentic to us. It’s also knowing what doesn’t feel good, honoring that knowing, and then deliberately choosing what works for us.

Ultimately, we all must take the path that we personally believe will lead to our greater good. But there is nothing wrong with acknowledging that some people and situations don’t work for us. That isn’t judgment or weakness or failure. That is growth.

-Written by Angie

Thursday, September 1, 2011


A friend of mine recently sent me an article written by a psychiatrist that outlined 10 relationship deal breakers (I’ll call them the “Don’ts”). These deal breakers were centered on toxic behaviors that negatively impact relationships. In the article, the author suggests that if we recognize ourselves in any of the behaviors, we might need to seek professional help in order to understand what’s going on with us. While I believe that seeing our nasty little behaviors summarized so succinctly and held up like a mirror to our faces can actually have some impact, I am not quite convinced that a lack of awareness about underlying causes, or an inability to control the crappy stuff that we might be doing in our relationships is really the issue. Toxic behaviors damage relationships. That ain’t a new one for us to know. I think that most of us are already aware of this and fully capable of controlling these behaviors. It’s more about what we believe that causes us the most damage- that the role of our partner is to make us happy and they are responsible for our thoughts and emotions, as well as any actions that we might take because of them.

When we believe that the source and the responsibility for our happiness is outside of us, we are far more likely to be demanding , manipulative, or downright inconsiderate of others in our quest to ensure that we get our needs met. We look at the occasional fallout as a necessary evil and we choose to ignore the fact that clingy, whiney, needy, bitchy, controlling or dismissive behaviors serve no good purpose if our intention is to have a truly loving relationship. We choose to ignore the impact that this ultimately has on us or the people we become involved with. The “don’ts” are justified and then dismissed. We are simply reacting to their failure to address our needs; their failure to do right or to make us HAPPY.

Now, of course there are some of us who actually need help because we are emotionally or psychologically incapable of avoiding the “don’ts”. But for the most part? We know what not to do. It’s called The Golden Rule. We picked that up long ago. We just don’t want to take responsibility for who we are BEing in those moments when we conveniently forget that rule-and that is a person who is choosing to play powerless and small, blaming others for our reckless behavior. Now, that? That’s the “don’t.”

-Written by Angie

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


There’s a lot of talk in internet forums and on blogs about relationships. Some humorous, and some really serious discussions about the great divide between men and women. Joking or not, a lot of us really do want to achieve some level of clarity through these exchanges. As women engaged in the discussion, we often find ourselves in complaint about those things that we find annoying, disingenuous or just flat out pathological in the opposite sex. Sometimes, we sincerely want to understand why they do what they do so that we might be more successful in our relationships.

My take on it? I’ve personally come to the conclusion that I don’t need to figure it out. Some things don’t really need an explanation. Me knowing the “why” of it all, particularly as it relates to men, changes nothing. I have chosen to stay in my lane and not sign up for the story that I need to understand them in order to accept them or be happy with them. For me, there is no great mystery to solve. They just do what they do. I just do what I do. It just is what it is, and I accept that.

Now of course, it takes all kinds to make up a world, and every person will have their preferences as to what they find appealing in terms of physical attributes and behaviors. Some of these traits are acceptable to us and some are clearly not. After years and years of grappling with this subject with limited results, why do we continue to seek answers? Is it really necessary to know why?

I’ve talked to a lot of women about this subject and most have been very vocal about their reasons. Many say that their intention is to understand so that they can make better choices in the types of men they date; be more loving and supportive in their relationships; or more simply, just not be frustrated by the behaviors that baffle and annoy us. We want to be able to “deal with” them. But, what I often hear in these conversations is that there is something inherently “wrong” with men that must be tolerated or fixed. It seems like the frustration we feel does not come from our inability to understand men, but from our inability to make them change! Simply put, it is a non-acceptance of what “is”, and we are often completely unaware of the energy that it carries- judgment, blame, and frustration.

Maybe we don’t need to figure men out. Maybe the only understanding that we need is the understanding that we could do a lot toward transforming our relationships with men by just accepting who they are without believing that they should be different in any way. Perhaps the challenge for us is not so much about understanding as it is about simply allowing what is to be. Just my two cents.


Friday, July 15, 2011


The MGM classic “The Wizard of Oz” just might be the definitive movie metaphor for life. If you think about it, a lot of us are a lot like young Dorothy-running away in search of what we think is missing at home. We make it all so super-dramatic and complicated. And like the characters that she meets along her journey to Oz, we are in search of those things like courage, brains and a heart that will make us “better” people. If we were braver, smarter, or more loving and kind, all would be well. There is something that we are in need of that is missing. Without it, we are incomplete.

And often, we spend our entire lives on that same journey. We fight against all obstacles that stand in our way while we ignore the fact that we are actually BEING, in our most honest, vulnerable, and authentic moments, those things that we wish we had. We seek out our very own wizards; hoping that they will grant us with the gift of what we most desire. But on our journeys, the wizards are many. And even though we find ourselves continually disappointed once the curtain is pulled back and the fakery is exposed, our belief is not diminished. On the contrary, we curse the wizards for their deception and their inability to grant our wishes. We swallow our disappointments and we move on in our search for the “real” one person or thing that will fix us and make us whole. And, that fix is always around the next corner. It’s in the next relationship, the next job, the next course, the next book, the next……..

But like the characters in the movie, at some point we must allow ourselves to know the truth. And that is we already possess what we are looking for. We don’t need a wizard to grant us courage, brains or a heart. In fact, no person or thing or institution can give us something that we believe that we lack.

There are still times when I find myself in search of that magical Wizard. But I know that if we would only believe, we would see that what we have been searching for has been in us the entire time.

-Written by Angie

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Sometimes we just feel stuck-stuck in a job, a relationship, or some situation in life that we fight and struggle to break free from. And often, we look for someone to blame for our plight. We blame ourselves for not knowing better, for not having tried hard enough and for not being good enough. We blame others for victimizing us; for keeping us down or thwarting our attempts to be free from our perceived oppression. We blame them for not allowing us to be great. So we remain in the struggle, fighting against the tides of opposition and hoping for the day that it will all get better.

But we pay a price for the blaming-and that is the more we blame, the more stuck we become. Blame is literally like a bag of rocks that we decide to pick up and carry on our backs. And, it doesn’t matter if we blame ourselves or if we blame someone else-the impact is the same. The weight of it slows us down. But, we assume that assigning fault will lighten the load and help us to feel better. If we blame others, we feel better because we are not at fault for the conditions that we find ourselves in. If we blame ourselves, we feel better about having taken responsibility. But blaming never helps. It only causes us to focus on what we perceive as being “wrong” with us or with other people. Blame, (and all of those little nasty feelings associated with it) becomes our point of attraction. When we focus on who’s at fault, we don’t allow ourselves to see possibilities. We see only what is that is “wrong”; not what could be.

And although many of us take pride in our ability to make strides while carrying our bag of rocks (we are strong, right?), what we fail to realize is just how much faster and farther we could go without carrying the weight of blame, shame or guilt. We fail to grasp the joy and the freedom that comes with deliberately choosing to let go of the weight and living in the knowing that we can be, do, and have whatever we want.

So how do we stop carrying the weight? By deliberately choosing to put down our bag of rocks and allowing ourselves to know that no person, situation or institution holds us apart from what we want. Blame and fault finding fixes nothing; it only slows us down on our journey towards where we ultimately want to be.

-This post was written by Angie

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


At OvertheStory, we talk a lot about “stories” – manufactured tales of how we should be and what we should do that have been conjured up from our own minds or have been handed to us by others who intended to teach us what we need to know on our journey through this thing called life. Often, these stories are larger than life myths that exist to encourage us to continue our investment in the belief that at some point, the stories can or will pay off for us.

And what is one of the biggest stories of all time? The big, whopping tale that with experience comes a wisdom that will transform our dating and relationship lives; that at some point, we will have gone through enough stuff to know what it takes to mitigate our relationship damages. We will finally come to know exactly what it is that we need to do in order to succeed. At some point, we will know better. And because we will know better, we will do better. And then, we will get it right.

But, we have seen enough of our friends and family (and even ourselves!) repeat the same relationship patterns, with limited results, to know that this is not the absolute truth. Once burned, we are far less likely to touch a hot stove, so what is it with relationships that causes us to make the same “mistakes” over and over again?

I believe that it’s because when it comes to relationships, just as with everything else in life, it’s a “be” thing, not a “do” thing. It’s not so much what we do that yields us the results that we want. It’s what we believe, and who we are BEing in the space of that belief, that makes the difference. We need only to BE transformed; and that we can accomplish flawlessly if we are willing to allow ourselves the freedom to do so. The perfect thing to DO will come naturally; without the need to act in a way that we think looks different from our past. We won’t need to look for signs of what happened before to determine what we need to do in our future. We won’t need to choose better next time. We won’t need to get it right. Who and what shows up will be a perfect reflection of the relationship that we have with ourselves-as it has always been.

-Written by Angie

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


As women, we pride ourselves on being selfless and giving. We are the backbone of our families. We are our partner’s support. We are our children’s greatest advocates. We are the shoulder that our girlfriends lean on in times of trouble. We give, give, give ourselves away, even if we resent doing so. Why? Because it’s what’s expected of us? Or is it because we have signed up for the story that being selfless makes us good people? Somehow, somewhere, we got sold a bill of goods. We were told that giving our all in service to those we love is what we “should” do, and that the more we give, the better we are, and the more we will be loved , adored, and cherished. We are led to believe that there is no middle ground for us. We are either selfless or we are selfish, and heaven forbid that we should ever be called selfish. And so, in the story of being either good or bad; selfless or selfish, we sacrifice ourselves in the name of being good. We sacrifice our own happiness, or so we think, to benefit others. We often say that it’s because we have to or because we have no choice in the matter. The truth is that we don’t always have to and we do have a choice. Now, I’m all for giving. I believe that giving is good for the soul, but when we begin to feel diminished because of it, we may want to consider a radical idea. We may want to consider sucking it up, defying convention, and allowing ourselves to be………selfish.

Me? I choose to be selfish. I choose to put my personal health and well-being before anything and everyone else. I choose to say “No” and “No, thank you”, even when I am met with resistance, guilt and blame. I am quite convinced that I owe nothing, other than the authentic expression of me, to the people in my life. I know that I cannot be the best possible “me” in service to others if I am not grounded within myself. Because I choose to be selfish, I am free to give and be present with loved ones without feeling overwhelmed or burdened. There is no need for me to take “me time”, because I know that every moment of my life is just that-“me time” and I am free to choose how I will spend it. Do I sometimes do things that I would rather not so that others might benefit? Is it sometimes necessary for me to go to the back of the line so that others may be served first? Of course, but in doing so I am very much aware that even that is my choice. It isn’t duty and it isn’t obligation. It’s my choice. And in my choosing, I allow myself to be responsible to and for the only person in my life who holds the key to my happiness-me.

-This post was written by Angie

Friday, March 11, 2011


We’ve all seen someone do it, and at some point or another, we’ve all done it ourselves. We make what we consider to be a mistake that’s too obvious to hide. It’s done and it’s out there for the entire world to see. So what? Stuff happens. It’s a part of being human. We could give ourselves a break, but only if the mistake is with something that our ego hasn’t attached itself to. And because the ego’s job is to keeps us invested in looking good, we have to make up something. We have to tell ourselves something so that we can feel better about our shyt.

It isn’t our fault when our relationships don’t work. It isn’t possible that our vibrational picker could be off, or that we are too difficult, or too clingy or too dismissive, or too……something. Our relationships don’t work because the men out there just don’t get us, or they are players, or they are too immature, or just not “right” in some way. That project at work didn’t go south because we failed. It happened because “they” sabotaged us or didn’t give us all of the information we needed to get the job done. We didn’t sit back and not participate, contribute our fair share, or carry our part of the load because we were being lazy. No! It was because somebody else made us feel that our contribution didn’t matter, so we figured, “what would be the point in trying?” We weren’t an hour late for dinner because we failed to leave home on time. We would NEVER treat our friends so carelessly. We were late because of traffic, and everybody knows how bad LA traffic is. We didn’t snap and go off because we were feeling on edge. We are far too nice and too spiritual for that. We snapped because we were pushed to the limit by someone else and the object of our wrath deserved exactly what they got.

And that’s just what the ego does. It is the ultimate victim, and it is also the ultimate liar. It points fingers and tells us that we would get along just fine if it weren’t for all the people and stuff that keeps getting in the way of our good doings. It makes us avoid the truth about who we are being. It makes us avoid facing the challenges that could help us to more fully develop into the people that we want to be. The ego keeps us in bondage and keeps us playing small.

But consider this-what would it look like if instead of telling ourselves something so that we can feel better about our shyt, we actually allow ourselves to sit with the gnawing, uncomfortable feeling that we could have done more, been more, or had more if we had just made different choices? What would it look like if we gave ourselves permission to be imperfect during those times when we just don’t have it in us to give 100%; to choose not to blame, complain or justify ourselves to others? And what would it look like if we gave ourselves permission to learn from all of it? That just might look a little like freedom.

-This post was written by Angie

Friday, February 25, 2011


“You can’t take sides against anything. If you would just leave the “against” part out; if you would just be the one who is FOR things-you would live happily ever after…..”


As I read this quote this morning, it got me thinking about what it would look like if I could just completely focus on what it is that I DO want- what I desire to create, and what I wish to experience. We are all so geared towards fighting against something, taking sides, pointing out what’s “wrong” or how things “should” be, that we often lose focus on what it is that we truly want. We make it mean something to join causes that fight against injustice. We make it mean something that we are able to identify “wrongs” and point out where others, even ourselves, have failed. But in doing this, we allow ourselves off the hook. We don’t have to be responsible for our mis-creation. After all, it isn’t us. Other people or circumstances are ”bad” or holding us apart from our greatest good. We take a position against those things and very vocally express our displeasure. We believe that, in itself, means that we are taking positive action.

My personal challenge is to focus solely on what I want to create; to deliberately choose to be FOR something. Too idealistic, some would say. They would argue that there are things that are wrong in the world, and that we must take a stand against those things if we wish to see positive change. But, something tells me that the real magic is in being able to see our corner of the world (our personal experience) as we want it to be, and in taking a stand FOR that which would bring us the most joy and peace. That is my goal for my life today and each day forward.

-This post was written by Angie

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


A good friend of mine was sitting at a restaurant bar enjoying a drink when a man (I’ll call him “Mike”) walked up and sat next to her. They began a friendly conversation and eventually, the topic of relationships came up. Of course, my friend had to ask, “Why is commitment so hard for men?” And that’s when Mike dropped a bombshell….

“Well, it’s obvious when a man doesn’t want to commit, even if he has been involved with a woman for a long time. But a lot of women have a problem with commitment, as well. It just looks different for them. A woman will choose to be with a guy knowing that he is not worthy of her or that he isn’t relationship material. That way, she can avoid having a real commitment and not be held accountable.”

Hmmmmmm. Maybe this guy was on to something (even if he didn’t directly answer the question!). As she shared his comments with me, we both had to admit that it wasn’t exactly the most profound thing that either of us has ever heard, but it opened the door for a great conversation. We came to the conclusion that there was a lot of truth in his statement. How many of us have gotten involved with a man knowing that he is ultimately not going to settle down and become the “ideal” mate (at least not for us)? We get to be the ones who are totally engaged and committed (at least in appearance) to making a relationship work. We get to be the long-suffering partner who makes all of the sacrifices. We get to walk away looking good when the relationship finally implodes. We get to fail and still look sexy. It’s not our fault. After all, we did try our best, didn’t we? But the million dollar question is, “If we sign up to play on a losing team, are we really trying to win?” It seems to be a little too convenient that we get to place so much of the blame on men. The fact is that if we spend our time focused on how wrong they are, we never get around to looking at ourselves.

Some may argue that we as women are all about the love and that it isn’t our fault that there are men out there who are into playing games or who are afraid to settle down with a good woman. Others will argue that we cannot help who we fall in love with and the fact that we are willing to stick it out is proof of our willingness to commit. Some will say that Mike is a typical guy looking to blame women for what we perceive to be men’s shortcomings. In the end, it really doesn’t matter what Mike’s intentions were when he made the statement. He spoke a truth that is worth examining. When we develop a pattern of becoming involved in relationships that lack commitment, how committable are we, really? We are the creators of our own experiences, and that includes relationships.

Of course, this isn’t about blame. It isn’t about giving a pass to the guys out there who make a sport of being elusive in relationships. And, it’s certainly not meant to accuse every single woman of being an undercover commitment-phobe. It’s about us being willing to take an honest look at ourselves, without feeling the need to examine someone else’s behavior. It’s about clearing our own path, coming into our own happiness, and becoming very deliberate creators of the type of relationships that we want to experience. When it comes to relationships, are our actions in alignment with what we say that we really want or are we setting ourselves up to fail? Just a little something to think about…….. Thanks, Mike.

-This post was written by Angie

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


It’s a new year. Out with the old and in with the new. Many of us have made resolutions that were broken two weeks into the new year, or that we are well on our way to backsliding on. I’ve never been really big on resolutions. Maybe that‘s because ever since I was a child, I’ve been hearing that most people break them. It’s almost a cliché. And so I figured there was never a point to making them, other than to tell ourselves or the world that we want to make a change. We have identified that there is something “wrong” with us that needs fixing-something that we have full control over, but have been too busy, lazy, or fearful to take control of. So now, as the new year begins, we resolve to buckle down or take the bull by the horns, or whatever it is that we make up in our minds to do. We are ready to face our challenges head on and do what we know it will take to get the job done or to accomplish our goals. We are ready to make a fresh start and take control of our lives, our careers, our weight, our destinies. We create a plan and set it in motion.

As I thought about resolutions and wrestled with how to accomplish all of the things that I already know that I want, intend and/or “need” to do (because it’s actually the same stuff that has been hanging around since last year-and maybe even the year before, but that’s another story), I became really clear about one thing. My “struggle” hasn’t been in doing too much of one thing or not enough of another. It isn’t even a lack of commitment. My struggle has been in my resistance to surrender. And, I do not think that I am alone.

We get so caught up in what we think we know, or in judging ourselves for what we think that we “should” know, that we won’t allow ourselves to surrender. We plot, strategize, schedule and calculate our way into being successful, but we often find ourselves unsatisfied with the results. We have to fail over and over again, only to start the cycle again the next year. We think that if we let go and allow ourselves to be divinely inspired that we aren’t taking enough action to get to where we want to be. We aren’t pushing ourselves hard enough. It never occurs to us that all of the good stuff happens when we just sit still and allow; following in the path that is set before us. We mistakenly believe that surrender is an admission of weakness or apathy, so we instead wrestle with resistance to what is and use force to get us the results that we desire. But, surrender is not weakness and it certainly isn’t laziness. It’s an acknowledgment of a Source greater than ourselves; a Source that knows the fastest and smoothest way to get from point A to point B. And, as I sat with these thoughts, I heard a voice say, “start with the basics.” And the basics is simply knowing what I want and where I want to be; giving up the belief that I know best about how to get there.

And this is where I am, today. My prayer is, “I know nothing. Teach me.” I am unlearning the habit of making something happen and truly coming to understand that it isn’t about committing myself to more or better activity. It is about allowing myself to be inspired and following the path of that inspiration. All else is like the thrashing about of a drowning man; and there is no need to drown. I can float.

-This Post was written by Angie G.