The Year of the Agenda-less Voice –I just said what??? Perhaps silence is golden.

At the turn of the year a mere 6 weeks ago my husband and I were joking about resolutions. In general, it’s not a practice either of us participates in but he laughed heartily when I seriously informed him that 2014 for me was to be the year of the AGENDA-LESS voice.
Not much else has been said since then, primarily because I don’t like to arm him with my apparent failures!! While I can’t truly classify this 6 weeks as a catastrophic failure, nor can I shine it up and call it a success.



Agenda, as defined in Webster’s is; an underlying personal viewpoint or bias. The true spirit of my year of the Agenda-less voice was to not use my language in any way to convince, manipulate, guilt, shame, nudge, sway, influence, win over or induce others with my wording. As these weeks have passed, I’ve become uncomfortably aware of how difficult it is to be 100% transparent and direct. Not because of intent to manipulate, but because of pure un-examined habit in communication. Not to mention the addictions to particular dramas and role adaptations we’ve adopted as defense and/or coping mechanisms. Yet, these too, are still simply unexamined habitual responses.
In our relationship this more often plays out in seemingly innocent ways which sound like statements inflected as questions, half sentences, open-ended statements or questions. For example;
B: “Where would you like to go for dinner?”
K: “I really don’t have a preference—you pick!”
B: “Okay—let’s try that new Swedish place.”
K: “Do you really want Swedish?” (Note the agenda being I didn’t want Swedish)

Options here could include laughing and acknowledging I did, after all, have a preference, or conceding that I had given up choice for that meal. Instead, I gave the power to my husband and then just as quickly took it away in a somewhat passive aggressive fashion!

Other innocent forms come out as statements meant to evoke a response like;
My computer is broken; You know my birthday is coming up; The dogs haven’t been fed. With no agenda, theses are simply statements, but if they are agenda filled and the transmitter’s expectation doesn’t get met, the receiver better look out!  

Some of the most soul-crushing displays of agenda in relationship include using any current hurt as an excuse to drag up the tattered laundry list of all past hurts. Using language that shames like, disappointed, should, really?, or comparing to other people or situations. A devastating use of agenda in relationship is the withholding of our words, our good opinion, our smiles and our love, just because we might not like something or agree.
So the old adage of “Say what you mean, mean what you say” applies to this year of the agenda-less voice as I mindfully learn to communicate just that succinctly.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, I seem to be keeping my mouth shut when in doubt of my intention and clarity of response. A silence I believe my husband is grateful for.

In mindful silence for a good cause,                                                                 

Active Listening!

Active Listening!


Fill the cup—Add Toppings, Weigh and Pay

Screw in Tire=agenda changer!

Screw in Tire=agenda changer!

Delicious Metaphor for life or instructions at the frozen yogurt store?

Sunday afternoon, having picked up a screw in one tire, we found ourselves in the food court at the Lihue Mall on Kauai waiting for Sears to call us when the repair was complete.  My husband was standing by the door of the Frozen Yogurt eatery reading the instructions for self-serve enjoyment of said yogurt;

 Fill the cup with Yogurt.  Add Toppings.  Weigh and pay. 

 We immediately launched into the “what if” game deciding that the only time to buy yogurt is if the line to pay is long so you can eat half of it before weighing, or maybe they should weigh the patrons upon entry to the store and again at the cash register –like they do your truck at the dump! 

We had a good laugh, making up scenarios featuring yogurt, sneaky patrons and potential topping “Cams” to thwart sneaky patrons and then went about our business of running errands, shopping and coffee. 

Home again with 4 good tires and a sense of accomplishment, it occurred to me how our outing together was much like the yogurt instructions.  We were faced with the unexpected—screw in tire; we filled our cup—made the responsible choice to take care of our stuff.  Add Toppings—we made the best of the unexpected diversion and had fun, shopped, assisted the local economy with our consumer dollars, laughed, enjoyed the day and each other.  Weigh—we had gratitude for finding the screw before things went horribly wrong or became horribly inconvenient and uplifted each other by offering no resistance to the situation we found ourselves having to handle.  Pay—we made the best of the day and the day gave us the best!  Or we paid for the tire at Sears—it’s all good! 

While life may be more “screws in tires” some days, it’s more “sprinkle toppings” on others!  It’s certainly nice when the day just “is” and flows with grace in spite of getting “screwed”!

Toppings on Yogurt!!!!

Joyfully and with warmest aloha,


Communication [or a lack there of] & Unrealistic Expectations

Communicate Clearly or Leave it up to Chance?

No Jay Walking on Kauai!

The 2010 holiday season is almost over which leaves us with only a couple of more opportunities this year to interact cleanly with family and friends.  For me, CLEANLY  means responsibly, with no hidden agenda, no undelivered or unspoken communications, no assumptions or assigned meaning, no story making, no pretending, embellishing, misleading, or withholding information, and no subjugating my true nature, peacefulness and desires for the good of anyone else.  This means allowing them—the family and friends I’m interacting with, the same courtesies, without judgment while maintaining healthy boundaries.

Hhmmmmm—my first response is, “Fat Chance with my crowd”!   Translated, I clearly have not mastered the above list.  When mastered, this will be a life of the highest integrity, the most loving allowance of self and others and a profoundly uplifting model of authenticity.  So how do you eat this elephant of uncovering your authentic self and letting go of expectations?  Like any big project, one bite at a time!

Recognizing  Hidden Expectations

   A good first step is to recognize where you harbor expectations that you’ve conveniently forgotten to mention to the person(s) you have expectations of!  Next time you feel let down in a situation, ask yourself if you clearly communicated to the other person just what you wanted.  I know for myself, if I’m disappointed or let down by a situation or person, it’s because I didn’t fill them in on what I wanted.  It sets up our friends and loved ones for failure when we expect them to magically or intuitively know what we want in any situation.  I’ve heard so many girl friends complain, “If he/she really loved me, they’d just know what to do”.   As romantic as that sounds, and as much as I’m sure I would enjoy it, it’s unrealistic, selfish and irresponsible to expect.

Unrealistic—Self-explanatory unless you date on psychic network for singles.

Selfish to expect anyone else to care more about what you want when you’re too lazy to be bothered with asking.

Irresponsible because it’s your job and no one else’s to meet your own needs or make the requests necessary to have them met.

So these last 2 days of the year, intention to be conscious and aware of what you’re seeking, what would be nice to experience, what your preferences might be.  Then, as you interact with your loved ones, coworkers, clients, etc. rather than risk being disappointed, BE BOLD and simply, clearly and concisely ASK for what you want!  (coming soon—What to do when you Ask and DON”T receive!!!)

Happy New Year, Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!



Waiting to Transform

Procrastination is not an option!

As I sit to write my first blog post in over 2 months, it occurred to me that procrastination might be the perfect topic!  I’ve been INTENDING to post a blog for several weeks, but we all know where that paved road leads. 

Marianne Williamson in “THE SHADOW EFFECT” says that we give intention much more weight and credit than it deserves, and that intention isn’t enough when a change in behavior is warranted.  ( )

This realization—which I seem to experience over and over—is a tad embarrassing as this is a huge part of the daily work I do with others.  In looking at where I need to make a behavioral change in this arena, I realize that it’s the same, tired old excuse that has been played out in so many areas of my life, and that is putting others and their agenda as a priority over my own or what’s in my own best interest.  For me, this seems to be an easy cop-out, and a fall-back M.O. that I comfortably allow. 

The trouble with realizations like this, of course, is that once it’s made, it will occur over and over as a call from our higher-self to create necessary change.   We show ourselves and others what we are committed to through our actions. 

So- I heed the call from my higher-self to show, through my actions exactly what I am committed to.  Procrastination loses today, and intention with behavioral change wins- beginning with today’s blog post!

Joyfully and with warmest aloha,