Playing Full Out

My homework is to PLAY FULL OUT.

Well, I did great for most of the day considering I didn’t sleep much due to the VERY LOUD THUNDERSTORM.

It was my first night in my beach house for this winter. I moved in yesterday.

I tried to calm myself amidst the loud thunder, bright lightning and heavy rains.

“Was my car flooding?”

“Would the house break apart or float away?

“What was that loud dripping that sounded like it was inside?”

Oh shit. It WAS inside. The bathroom ceiling was leaking and the bathroom floor had water a few inches deep. Great. I put down the towels to mop it up, put the garbage can to catch the water, and tried to go back to sleep.

The next morning my landlord texted. “How is everything after the storm?”

I told her about the roof.

Then I tried the shower. It didn’t work. Neither did the faucets. The leak must have broken the pipes. NO SHOWER FOR HOW LONG? OMG.

Luckily, though, it wasn’t a burst pipe, it was the water company working in the area. PHEW!!

I handled all this very well. I did my work playing full out, calling people I normally wouldn’t call.

Then, I checked my dating app. The one cute, normal guy had disappeared. He was THE ONE. Where the hell did he go? GHOSTED.

Then my 4:00 and 5:00 calls didn’t pick up. That’s when I stopped playing. It tipped me into the land of I am a blob and nothing matters and where is the alcohol and what salty crunchy food can I eat?

The good news: so far I haven’t drank and I’m still counting my points, but, the real question is:

What will I do in 10 minutes on my last Getting Unstuck call? Will I be a blob and tell them I know things never work out and they should give up OR can I play full out and get some freaking energy into my body?

Maybe I could do a tequilla shot? Maybe some sugar?

Or, just not make it about me and listen to these fine ladies and create life out here in dialogue.

After all, that’s my commitment for the world. That people are free to create lives they love.

Who cares that 2 people forgot I was calling? And that Brad dropped off of Bumble?

8 minutes to go – I feel like the guy in Meatloaf’s Dashboard song……

Yes or no?

Now I’m praying for the end of time so I can end my time with you……..

OK, I digress. I will give it my all, folks. With the energy I have. I think my energy means something and it doesn’t.

I will take care of people and see what is their next step since this is our last session.

Thanks for listening and have a great night.

Something Happened on the Way to the Post Office

“Something happened on the way to the post office,” Lynn texted a few days ago.

“What?” I texted back.

“You’ll see when you get your mail in a couple of days,” Lynn answered.

I was intrigued. I thought maybe she was mugged by a gorilla and there would be gorilla prints on a ripped up/torn envelope.

Today I finally got the envelope. Inside was a Sympathy card and a Get Well Soon card. I know who they were for and it wasn’t me.

“Did THEY get MY CHECK?” I texted.

“Yes, they laughed, and it’s already in the mail to you.”

This is a check that has been promised to me for many months. As they say, “the check is in the mail. STILL!!”

I just have to laugh. At this point, if I ever get it, it will be an extra bonus.

Life is funny these days.

Besides this card snafu, I’ve been observing people who are in quite a tizzy. They seem to be addicted to the news. The world is “the worst it’s ever been.” And they are upset.

For me, I know that if I watch the news, I get upset, too, and feel like the world is ending.

If I don’t turn on the news, and listen to a meditation instead, I feel joy, the world is wonderful, and I am living in abundance.

I am way better off when I consciously choose the conversations I am participating in.

I am not judging the people who watch the news.

I just choose not to. It is very negative and it gets my negative swirl going down down down and takes WAY too much energy to come back up.

What do YOU choose to listen to?

Does it serve you or upset you?

I’d love to hear.

Caught In The Middle Again

I seem to have this thing that I am “caught in the middle.”

If two people have opposing views and they both voice them to me, I start getting agitated.

Like I’m supposed to do something.

Let’s take the vaccine. There are two opposing views:

  1. If you don’t get vaccinated you will die and you are ruining the world because the virus is mutating because of you. You are selfish and stupid. What is wrong with you?
  2. The vaccine causes blood clots, cancer and possible death. Why would I do that to myself? Why is this a political matter? Who is behind this? What is wrong with our country?

Now, if I take these at face value, someone is right and the others are in deep trouble and could die. Which side is right? Who do I have to convince to change their mind in order to save their life?

This weekend I was in a course and I looked at this “being in the middle.” It really seems like there is something I have to do to “save people.”

I got that way last night, too. I was hearing complaints about my mom that she wasn’t behaving properly with her caregiver. My job was to see what is going on since I live there. I got frightened.

“Mom, you have to behave. If you don’t, no one will be able to take care of you and they will take you some place else you might not like.”

“Who will take me away?” she asked, curiously.

I didn’t say anything. I don’t know if that will happen. Maybe it’s not true. Maybe I made it up because I am frightened and think there is something I need to do to save her.

It seems to be a theme. That I need to save people and if I don’t, somehow the consequences of their actions and opinions are my fault.

It is a big burden and very egotistical if I really look at it. Why do I think I need to save the world? That people don’t have the right to their own actions and beliefs? That I should come in with my cape and save people? It’s ridiculous if I think about it.

Maybe it’s better if I can just take care of myself and trust that others can take care of themselves. Then I could live a more peaceful and less stressed life.

I don’t have to be upset when I hear different opinions. I don’t have to worry about what is the truth.

I can be present and be love and trust the universe. I think I will try that. I am really tired from trying to do it the other way. It’s exhausting and there is no end to the struggle.

Do you ever feel like you need to save somebody?

Do you ever feel like you need to fix somebody?

Do you ever worry about someone else and think you need to do something?

What if you could let all that go and enjoy your life? How would your life look?

Let me know what you think in the comments. I’m curious to hear what you see.

Thanks for listening and have a great day.

How Not Having My Shit Together Taught Me To Enjoy Life!

A few months ago I was calling someone and couldn’t find my papers  with the notes from our last conversation. I couldn’t remember what we had talked about and what I was supposed to be following up on. I was wildly throwing papers around my desk, desperate to not look stupid.

I was so frazzled.  The guy picked up and  I blurted out  “Well, one day, I’m going to get my shit together. And then all this will be gone and I’ll know what I’m doing.”

And the guy said, “Really? I thought that would happen to me, too. But one day I just realized, You know what? I’m never going to get my shit together. This is it! This is life! And I can stop waiting for that day to happen and start living right now.” 

Hmmm.  I said, “Wow, you’re right.  I’ve been this way my whole life, thinking one day, I’m going to be different.  I’ve been waiting and waiting and getting more and more frustrated with myself.”

Here’s what I realized:   

✔️I’m not an organized person. 

✔️I don’t remember who tells me things. 

✔️I don’t remember what I’m supposed to do next. 

So I’ve created systems.  I take notes.

This is what we talked about and this is what I need to do next. 

And I put it in my calendar for when I need to do it.  With the notes so I don’t have to rely on my memory.

I’ve accepted myself the way I am!

I’m just wondering, is there any part of you that you’re not accepting, that you think one day it’s going to be fixed, and then you could start living your life?

Well, guess what? You might as well start living now and just work around it, develop systems for it, talk to people, maybe ask, “Hey, you’re really good at this. What do you do?” 

Or something like that. But just don’t wait.

Don’t wait to start living. Start living right now!

Let me know what happens in the comments. 

This is Hilary Burns!

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All of A Sudden I’m Unworthy?

I’ve been “dating.” I’ve had 11 dates since I signed up on all these dating apps around 8 months ago. I started seeing people in person when COVID started easing up during the winter.

I didn’t need a second date with any of them.

Not my type, no chemistry, living with their kids, stone cold broke, struggling financially, hung up on the girlfriend that just broke up with them, still married, etc.

No one that was going to add to my life and I certainly don’t need another project. Here’s the thing. I used to think I “needed” to have a guy to be ok. It made me sort of desperate – I held onto the wrong people, got upset when a date was bad, and panicked when thinking how to go about meeting the “right” guy.

I’ve been doing a lot of work to create a new context for relationships.

“You need to fall in love with YOURSELF“, one of my teachers told me.

Hmmmm. How do I do that? I’ve heard that I need to love myself but, REALLY? How could I love myself when inside I thought I was disgusting, dumb and powerless and couldn’t have what I wanted? That was my undistinguished context for my life. It just didn’t seem possible. Why would I love that person?

Well, now, I have a new context for my life: Being A Fun, Bold Stand. When I recognize that I’m being the old context: “disgusting, dumb, powerless, victimized and miserable”, I can simply recognize it and return to being a Fun, Bold Stand.

Let’s try this on the court.

I found Ed on Bumble. He is absolutely gorgeous and an ex-professional athlete. In his profile he wants to travel, dance and go on adventures.

I selected him and said, “let’s travel.”

“Where would you want to go?” he asked.

“To a 5 star resort on an island.” I texted boldly.

“Great, I’ll book you for the spa day and massage.” he answered.

I couldn’t believe it. A guy who knows what I want? A guy who is attuned to what women want? I responded that I’m in and he is a real find.

He said he wanted to come to Westport and please invite him. I did. He wants to come Friday.

Holy Shit. My brain is now going crazy with the following. I might as well get my negativity out of my head so I can return to being present:

  • he’s too gorgeous – I am not perfect like him
  • he must just want sex – when he finds out I live with my mother for another month he may get violent and kill me
  • my last date couldn’t be bothered to talk to me – what if this guy is rude as well?
  • what will I wear?
  • how could he be interested in me? He is perfect
  • what if he talks like he’s from _____________________. He’s wasting a long trip.
  • I feel sick – I better cancel – I am not worthy – it’s easier to hang out with my mother than to “be bold”
  • what if I fall madly in love and he can’t stand me?
  • what if he’s just full of shit, sucks me in and spits me out
  • what if all men really do lie? what if I attract another liar? why torture myself?

OK, that was fun. Those thoughts have been under the surface. I can just keep letting them surface and blow them away.

Here’s a new direction:

  • what if he’s really great?
  • what if we really hit it off and travel together and have a great life?
  • what if he is really fun?
  • what if something does happen?

Can I trust the universe to deliver someone great? Do I trust that I can REALLY create the life and relationship I’ve always dreamed of?

Why not? Why hold onto the negative, fear based, ego based scarcity and hopelessness?

Good question. I guess it feels safer than exposing myself.

The thing is that I really have nothing to lose. If I’m disappointed, it’s ok. I’ve survived that before. And, if I have a great time, this guy gets who I am FOR REAL, and he’s for real as well, could I actually handle being happy? Not sure, but I can certainly practice it.

This was helpful for me to get this out. I am at a client and waiting for the next person to come in so this was a really great use of my time. I’m getting excited to meet Ed, AND, I’m still nervous. But now it’s a good nervous instead of terrified for my life.

Thanks for listening and have a great week.

My Whole Life I Thought I Had To Be Nice…..!

My whole life, I thought I had to be nice.  I was nice, people pleasing, and pleasant.  

But inside, I was resenting people and not enjoying my life.

What I found out recently is that there’s a difference between nice and kind. 

Nice isn’t even real! Nice isn’t even authentic! Nice is pretending!

I don’t know if you’ve ever met someone who you kind of like, they’re nice, but you kind of just don’t feel a good vibe from them. And you can’t put your finger on it.

Well sometimes that’s me.  Because I always thought I had to be nice.  I thought the only other option was MEAN.  And that just wasn’t me.

What I’ve learned lately is that I can be kind, direct and firm, Instead of nice, pretending, and accommodating others.  I can take care of myself and what works for me, without being mean.

For example, some people like to talk to me for a long time on the phone. In the past, when I had to get off, I was afraid to tell them.  I didn’t want to hurt their feelings. I would just listen, roll my eyes and hope something would happen and I would be able to escape. 

Now, what I’ve learned is I can just say, “Hey, I got 10 minutes. How can I help you?” 

I can be kind, direct and have the life I want instead of being a victim and resentful. 

My question to you is, where in your life are you being nice because you don’t want to be mean, and not getting what you want and suffering? 

Where could you turn that to kind and direct and have life work for you, as well as them?

That’s my question for the day. I hope it helps. 

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How Remedial Driving School Cured My Adrenaline Addiction!

[Title]

How Remedial Driving School Cured My Adrenaline Addiction!

[Image]

Me Flying Through Red Lights – No Time To Stop – Gotta Go!!!

Last month, I got a notice in the mail saying I had to go to remedial driving school.  I called the number on the letter and said they must be mistaking me for someone else.  

“You’ve had 3 infractions in the past 5 years,”  they said.

“No I haven’t,”  I replied.

They refreshed my memory. Here’s what I slowly remembered:

I was always running, running, running, so much that sometimes when there was a yellow light, I would just keep going and be under it as it was turning red. . I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway.   Who could stop safely at that speed anyway, I rationalized?

One time I was on a phone call, holding my protein shake and waving my other hand since I was telling a story, and all of a sudden I was being pulled over by a cop.

“What’s going on?” I asked, confused.

“You are a mess,” he said.  He explained that it’s illegal to hold your phone while driving and gave me a ticket.   “I could put you in jail for not having your insurance card with you, too, but I won’t.”

“Thank you,”  I said.  I got back as he drove away, and finished my story, now adding my ticket to for more drama.
 

Another time I was driving through a 20 mile an hour speed limit, but I got pulled over for speeding because I was doing 40. 

Oh, okay.  I had forgotten about these things.  They were so “little” in my mind.

The third and most recent was a month or so before the letter.  I was at a red light, stopped, and putting in my Weight Watchers points for the breakfast I just ate.  All of a sudden, I was being waved over to the side of the road.

“What?! I wasn’t even doing anything wrong. I was stopped at a light.  You know, I was multitasking.”

They gave me a ticket anyway.  

I tried to talk my way out of the remedial driving school but I couldn’t.  I had to go to a driving class for a day. 

I found out that if I got another ticket within five years, I would lose my license for 30 days. And if I got a second one, I would lose my license for 60 days. This was not good.

The instructor said, “In order to stay out of trouble and avoid getting more tickets, drive the speed limit.”

“Wait, seriously?  Do people really do that?  My father used to say, ‘The speed limit is for idiots. No one goes the speed limit.’” I literally thought no one did that,”  I said, shocked.

The woman just laughed.  I was serious.  I couldn’t believe it.

Here’s another thing:  I was once told I was addicted to adrenaline. I’m always doing too much and trying to do multiple things at the same time. 

I didn’t even have time to stop for red lights. Well now, because of the threat of losing my license if I get one more ticket, I have to rethink my life.

And slow down.  And breathe. 

This is what I’ve learned:  There’s something called the vagus nerve. When you breathe, it apparently calms you down, and stops your racing heart.

I have learned to breathe, slow down, only do one thing at a time, and relax.  It’s a much more enjoyable life. 

I’ve realized that before I was kind of in a fight for my survival.   Well, my survival is not actually at stake, it just felt like it was.

I don’t have to be in a rush all the time. I can take my time, look around, smell the roses and get the same amount done without that panic and without that craziness. Because when I’m not present, I’m not doing a very good job anyway.  And I can’t afford to lose my license. 

So that’s my story about how going to remedial driving school taught me to take a breath, let the adrenaline go, and not be in fight or flight. 

Where in your life do you feel craziness? 

Like something bad’s going to happen if you don’t get something done. And you’re driven by something and you’re not really present. 

Are there any places like that for you? Take a look and let me know in the comments below.

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“You Don’t Like Me”

Last Sunday I was on a zoom call sharing my little heart out.

One of the women on the call, Sue, made a weird face.

“Kim, do you want to share?” she asked another woman on our call.

“Sure, thanks,” Kim said and proceeded to launch into an animated conversation.

My good mood turned bad.

“Sue thinks I was talking too much,” I decided. “That’s why she interrupted me. And, she doesn’t like me. I KNEW she didn’t like me. Last time we talked she spoke to me in THAT TONE. Well, I don’t like her anyway.”

For the next few days, my mind kept reminding me how much Sue doesn’t like me. I was getting really annoyed.

Wednesday night I happened to have a scheduled call with Sue. I debated whether to say something, but knew, for my peace of mind, that I needed to check this out.

“Hey Sue, can I ask you a question before we start the call?”

“Sure, but this will now be your second question,” she answered.

I ignored the snark. Maybe that’s just how she is……

“The other night I decided that you thought I was talking too much and that you don’t like me. I’m not sure if I am paranoid or have a great sense of people. What would you say?”

“You totally made that up,” she said. “That is not true. I’d say paranoid.”

“Wow,” I said. “For me what my brain was saying was the truth. I’m so glad I asked.”

The conversation went WAY better than it would have if I hadn’t spoken up.

Later I checked my texts.

“Thank you,” Sue texted. “And I think you’re great.”

I smiled. Amazing.

Where do you think you KNOW what someone else is thinking or how they think of you?

You might be shocked if you just CHECK IT OUT!!

Thanks for listening.

You’re Addicted To Drama!

“You’re addicted to drama,” one of my teachers said yesterday.

“Me?” I asked, batting my eyelashes. “Moi? No, you must be mistaken!!” I wanted to say.

“The reason why I know that is because I was addicted to drama, too, in my past,” she said before I could react.

“Oh…….you were?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said. And she proceeded to tell me about her life. Not only was she a drama queen, but threw tantrums when she was bored and created mayhem just for the fun of it. I felt a little better after hearing that. “And I’m not anymore. I don’t tolerate it in me or my friends. It’s not necessary,” she added.

Hmmmmm. I remembered an episode from 5 years before. I was on the stage in front of 500 people, sharing during a course.

“You love drama,” the course leader said.

I immediately crossed my eyes and glared at her, silently wishing her evil.

“What’s the matter?” she asked.

“I don’t like being called that,” I said. “To me, drama is not a good thing.”

“It’s not bad,” she said. “It just means you talk more elevated and expressive about what’s going on than most.”

Well, I still didn’t like it. When people say “no drama,” I want to punch them.

“I’M NOT DRAMA,” I want to YELL. “I’M NOT DRAMA!!”

HMMMMM………Looking back, now that I am clear that it’s not bad or a life sentence, I can see a little clearer about the whole thing. It’s just the way I ended up being. Maybe I CAN admit I’ve been a little dramatic, BUT,….since I can tell you why, I’m using it as an excuse for being that way UP UNTIL NOW. (It just helps me be responsible so go with me here, ok?)

Here’s my explanation. It’s a silly little story, but one that has shaped my entire life.

  • When I was 2, I was upset. My mother told me not to be upset
  • No big deal, right? All mothers say that.
  • Except, for me, for the past 60 years, I have been reacting to that one little comment
  • “Don’t tell me not to be upset. It’s my God given right to be upset. I’ll SHOW YOU WHO CAN BE UPSET. WATCH ME!”
  • And many many things got me upset. The world was a place where I couldn’t be myself, couldn’t have what I wanted, and that’s just the way it was.
  • I was frustrated, annoyed, and victimized a lot of the time
  • Many things that happened were a subconscious reminder of that event

Wow. What a way to live!! Who would do that, right? It seems silly, but like I said, it’s just the way it was. I was blind to my “automatic way of being.”

“What do I do now?” I asked my teacher the other day.

“Just practice being aware. When you see yourself doing your “upset drama thing,” just notice it and stop. You don’t have to do it anymore. It will take some time to be aware and to catch it sooner and sooner until pretty soon you will catch it before it happens.”

“Really? That’s it? And I have a different life?”

“Yes,” she said.

Hmmm. I keep almost going down the trap of thinking the way I’ve been being is wrong, bad, embarrassing, etc, but that’s just more drama.

And, even with my drama, I have a great life. AND, being upset all the time takes a lot of energy. If I don’t do that thing, I can focus my energy on something more productive.

Already I am booked on a podcast for next week and I have reached out to other podcasts to be a guest. I’m excited and, for the first time in a while, feel excited about my future.

Before I had snippets of excitement followed by major resignation knowing “I couldn’t have what I wanted, etc.”

Now, I have created that I am a Fun, Bold Stand. That excites me.

Stay tuned for more adventures and thanks for listening.

More Than A Woman – Coach Anne Wetzel

I went to the University of Pennsylvania in fall, 1977. Having been on my high school tennis team, I tried out for the Penn team when I got there. The coach approached me at the end of the first day.

“Umm, you don’t need to come back tomorrow,” the tennis coach said. “But you could go try out for the squash team. They are looking for people.”

“What’s squash?” I asked.

“Go in that building and ask for the squash courts. They will tell you there.”

I went to the squash courts and met Anne Wetzel. She taught me how to play squash. Anne Wetzel was there every day. I got a private lesson Monday to Friday and by sophomore year was on the varsity squash team at Penn. Senior year I was the number two player and captain.

Being on the squash team was a major part of my college experience. We travelled all over the east coast and Canada playing matches and holiday tournaments.

Coach Wetzel was and still is a character. Having 4 children herself, she mothered us and was hard on us at the same time.

“You are too heavy on your feet,” she told me once. “You have to dance.” She held out her arms and did a waltz around the court, insisting I dance around the court, too.

She drove the van herself when we went travelling. We called her Mario Andretti. She had her own style of driving and we thanked God every time we arrived to a match alive.

Last night I attended a zoom 90th birthday party for Coach Wetzel. There were over 60 people there from all over the world that she had mentored, coached, and mothered.

Her accolades are numerous. She was a national squash champion in her day and was instrumental in getting women’s sports off the map. She has so done so much for women and squash and sports that it’s easier to google her than to list it.

I was struck by the impact that Coach Wetzel had on so many young women like myself during our college years. I took her for granted back then and didn’t appreciate her generosity, strength, tenacity, love, talent and stand for each and every one of us. Listening to everyone talk about how she made a difference in their lives was moving. She remembered all of us and was interested in our lives even after all these years.

Thank you, Coach for the difference you made for all of us. I love you and Happy Birthday!!!