Pissed Off is Not a Power Position (Day One of Big Dog Series)

What leash are you are wearing that keeps you from playing full out?  What is the next step you can take towards living the life you know you are meant to live?

Big Dogs

This is the first post of the Big Dog Series. Let’s talk about what I mean by Big Dogs. Am I talking about the leader of the pack, the best of the best, a-list bloggers with 20 K twitter followers? No, that’s not what I mean by Big Dogs. Hey, don’t get me wrong, those people may in fact be Big Dogs, but you don’t have to be all that to be a Big Dog in my book. There are a lot of ways to define a Big Dog but I  think a Big Dog is one who has tuned in and knows what he or she is meant to do and then takes one step after another in order to get there.  Does a Big Dog feel afraid? Hell yes. Fear is part of the deal. But they check in with themselves and those that they care about, assess the situation, make a decision and take their next best step anyway.

If you are a dog person,  you may know that real dogs are hard-wired not to show any signs of weakness or illness, until they are really bad off. Back in the days when dogs roamed in packs in the wild it was an effective strategy to keep safe from the other dogs vying for leadership. This is not such a great strategy for the domestic dog who won’t show his owner there is a problem. Some of us have similar wiring. I know it is familiar territory for me being the oldest of seven children and being a clinical psychologist. My safe role is that of caretaker, teacher, leader. Certainly not to show weakness. Nope, somebody has to be  in charge here. Again maybe that strategy has its benefits but as with the domestic dog sometimes it gets in the way of getting our needs met and real power sometimes comes in the ability to be vulnerable. There is always that period of vulnerability in taking the next step to what we want in life. It is unknown whether it is learning Tango or growing your business.

Dog in Hiding

Doing this series had me step outside my safe-zone. I had to actually ask people to write guest posts for me. Doesn’t sound that hard, but let me tell you, I stood on the edge of that precipice for a couple of months using I am too busy as my excuse. This series has also presented me with a choice. I can to play it safe in the role where I can hide or I can step out there. I am stepping out there.

I just returned from the World Domination Summit where the question was asked, ” What are you going to take from these 3 days that will change in your life that will make the biggest difference to you this next year?” I immediately knew the one thing that was the most salient for me. This is where I have have a chain on, and the stakes on this one are really high. I have gained 100 pounds. Yes, 100 damn pounds in seven years.  The leash I have been wearing has stopped me from taking serious action because I don’t like it and am pissed off.

Shortly after I turned fifty,  I was normal weight and training to do a triathlon.  A month before the race, I developed a bunch of weird symptoms where my whole body was stiff and painful. Frozen shoulder, Achilles tendinitis in both legs and weird leg and muscle stiffness. WTF was going on? Of course, I couldn’t do the Triathlon, nor a lot of the other things I loved doing, dancing being one of them.

Over time, I  was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I have always hated these kinds of mamsy pamsy syndromes.  Fibromyalgia is a catch all diagnosis that means used when the medical profession has no idea why, but your body has started to attack itself causing weird pain and stiffness.  After a year or so,  I went to a different doctor who told me to cut gluten out of my diet. No wheat and it is damn near in everything.  I did cut gluten out of my diet and most of the really painful symptoms abated. But, by this time I had gained a lot of weight and worse yet, continued to do so. It seemed that something had happened to me, and my metabolism, and what I had done in the past to lose or even maintain my weight, was not working. It was devastating to feel such a lack of control.

The doctors also told me I had low thyroid and gave me gave me pills which did seem to make make any difference in my metabolism. I started walking an hour, 5-6 mornings a week and have been doing it for a year and a half. It has probably saved me from having diabetes, but hasn’t done sh*t for my weight. I have tried to stay on this diet or that and have not able to stick with any of them and vacillating between anger and denial. Being pissed off about something liked this is not a power position. In fact it is just about the lowest place one’s spirit can hang out. So what did I do about this major health challenge?  I decided to ignore it. Pretend it was not there. I mean how bad could it be?

I am here to say it is never a good idea to ignore that voice in your head when it is telling you to pay attention to something important. If we ignore it, the voice just gets louder and if we don’t pick up, the consequences get worse and worse. Sixty pounds turned into one-hundred and I am waving the white flag. I give up. Something drastic has to happen here. Do I want to talk about this? Hell no! I do not like to be that vulnerable. It makes me want to throw up and go get under the covers. But guess what? Everyone who knows me knows about this already. There are some problems a person can hide, but this is not one of them.

I have come to a place where I am not going to hide out about this anymore. I can sit here and be pissed that this is happening to me or I can treat the fibromyalgea and my weight gain like the major illness that it is and get off the porch and do something about it. I would like to trade it out and take on some other less noticeable illness, but this is mine to deal with.  I can’t sit here another minute and be pissed off that this is happening to me.  This is what stops me and it stops most of us.  We decide it is not fair and we stop.  We decide we tried and we stop. We decide we can’t do it anymore and we stop and take the softer easier way. Climb down off the diving board. Back away from the edge of the cliff. But the way I see it now, I really don’t have that luxury. I have to take the next steps.

My commitment is that I am not going to pretend. I am not going to stop. I started making changes a week ago and will do whatever it takes to allow my body to heal. I am not approaching this as a diet but as a life overhaul.  I have taken off the chain and want to get my self back. And just the act of cleaning up my side of the street will give me my power back.  This is what a Big Dog does and I can’t do anything less and expect my clients to do the work they need and want to do.

I am privileged to be able to work with people who are at turning point in their lives. Most of my clients are starting new ventures or are now ready to take their business of blog to the next level and need to develop their brand and online presence. This process brings up huge emotional reactions.

One of my clients a fiercely competent Yogini, who has become a friend on mine, reminded me how she cried during her first meeting with me about developing a website that would allow her to take her business to the world.  Another new client, excused herself to go to the bathroom and throw up, during her first visit with me and then ended up taking a three-hour nap in my garden.

More than one client has cried when I unveiled their newly completed site. Having me see them and create a web presence that reflected their true self blew them away.

Then there are those people whose fears of economic insecurity and change is so great that they imbue their new website, every pixel and parcel of the design, with the power to make them or break them. Their fear and all of their anxiety gets focused on the web design and the web designer to make it perfect and rescue them. And a client with this emotional pattern has a difficulty producing any content for their site because they have a fear of being seen as wrong. Let me tell you, this kind of fear can cause some snarky behavior, which, by the way, is not a great motivator to someone working for you, but this type of person is not good with change and is basically pissed off. “Damn it, why isn’t my old website bringing any clients any longer? It use to work just fine,” they lament. I don’t want to have to write blog posts. Why can’t you just put some meta-tags on the page and be done with it? Their need of perfection isn’t attainable and without taking those awkward first steps there can be no improvement.

Yes, there is a lot of emotion in this process of taking the next frightening steps in whatever it is we went or need to do, including growing our businesses. When I come across these issues, I know  they are coming from fear and work with this for the person with the tears, as well as the snarky perfectionists. These panicked vulnerable feelings are human reactions to needing to take that next big step towards realization of our potential or even our survival. It seems a lot safer to stay “on the porch” and not take the risks. It seems safer not to put ourselves out there; to tell ourselves we can’t be that vulnerable, to keep the leash on tight.  But it is not safer. The safety of playing small is just an illusion and it will surely kill our spirit. I am taking off this leash and taking action on my health. I can’t get to the places I want to go and do the things I want to do without addressing my health. I want to rock my business and I want to dance again.

I am going to end with the same questions I opened with.  What leash are you are wearing that is keeping you from playing full out?  What is the next step you can take towards living the life you know you are meant to live? What is it you want to do and what’s stopping you?

Talk to me and each other. I will be responding to all the comments. And you can use the hashtag #bigdogs in your Tweets! If you haven’t signed up you can do so here and get the daily e-mails.


Like this? We Would Love If You Shared The Love:


  1. says

    Wow, Judi – I knew you would come out of the gate strong, but I could never have anticipated you digging this deep. I'm so proud of you for announcing this intention, and whatever I can do to help – I'm here.

    Vulnerability is something I've come to embrace lately, although it certainly doesn't come naturally. A big leash that I've been wearing is my 'go it alone' mentality that has kept me from collaborating with others as much as I could have in the past. The fierce entrepreneurial spirit in me can sometimes get in the way of my own success. I can happily say that over the past year, I've reached out to others and I continue to invite collaboration on some important work that I've involved with.

    I like the 'stepping off the porch' metaphor. For me, it's 'leaving the Bat Cave.' 😉 But seriously, the acknowledgement that I need and actually want to work with others to share the message that I'm compelled to share is a big deal to me.

    Thank you so much for inviting me to participate, and for starting off this series with a post that really reaches deep. I'm incredibly impressed and inspired by your leap here.
    My recent post Thanks- Dad

    • says


      Vulnerable is the key word for me. I hate feeling that way, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to embrace it like you are. But who knows…

      Glad you are participating in this series.

    • says

      Brandon, Meeting you again at Creating Irresistible Presence and becoming friends and co-conspirators has been a highlight of my year.I am so glad to also have shared the amazing experience of the World Domination Summit with you. I like how we play off each other and get inspired to greater things. Thanks for being in my corner. I appreciate you in my life.

  2. says

    Judi, saying "good for you" doesn't really do justice to your post. I love the honesty and gutsiness here, and while I don't doubt it's gonna be hard I know you'll stick to your guns and see things happen. As Brandon said, let me know what I can do to help out.

    My leash is two-fold I think. One is about that economic insecurity you mention – I have a heap of debts that stem from my late 20's and early 30's when I was an absolute idiot. Really, if stupidity were people I'd be China. So that has put in place some practical limitations to what I can and can't do, has meant that a lot of time and energy has to go in a direction that I don't want it to go in, and has also given me some patterns of thinking that I need to get rid of.

    Second is getting the right people around me. I also have that "go it alone" mentality for all kinds of reasons (or excuses), and perhaps the biggest takeaway from WDS for me was that I simply don't have the right people around me here in the UK. Gotta figure out how to get a team together so we can support and encourage each other.

    I think I mentioned my CFS during out night on the town in Portland, but I wasn't aware you had Fibro. Sucks, huh. One thing I've come to see is that I can accept my fight with it in much the same way as I accept the limitations it places on me – the 2 things aren't mutually exclusive. I think I'm slowly turning my frustration and sadness about it into a deep desire to beat it – and that comes from both embracing it and my fight with it.

    You said "I want to dance again", which was a phrase that leapt outa the screen at me. I have no doubt that you will.
    My recent post World Domination Summit- The Quiet Roar of Change

    • says

      Steve, I so appreciate your reaching out and commenting here. Yes I am admitting I have been hiding out. Yes we we went out in Portland that night, you mentioned the Chronic Fatigue and that would have been a good segue into talking about my issues with this other weirdo bag of symptoms that is Fibro. But I didn't because I was snitching french fries from Marla and having cocktails.

      As to the sins of our past, the debt is very much like the weight and one of those things that just because we are ready for it to change doesn't mean that we don't have the baggage of the past to deal with as Leo Babauta said, one step at a time. I do know it makes all the difference in the world to have support and you can count me in on your team. Thank you.

  3. says

    "… the fear of being seen as wrong."

    Why do we resist our imperfection so? It's in our blood, after all.

    Judi, thanks for this post. I know it resonates with me – and so many out there that still need to 'get off the porch' as you say. :-)

    I'm ready to run with ya. us #bigdogs gotta stick together. :-)
    My recent post Comment on Dare to Be A Different Kind of Bold by Lisa Robbin Young

  4. says

    OMG, Judi! I had to read this once, take a break and then come back to it! I feel like you were right inside my head! I applaud you for taking control of your health NOW and listening to your body. I ignored all kinds of signs – signals, slaps in the face, punches in the gut, etc. – all telling me to "slow down!" , but my ego wouldn't let me. Now I am paying for it in ways I didn't even think were related. But now, I get up everyday, determined to do ONE thing towards growing my business. If I happen to do 3, that's fantastic. I have learned to pat myself on the back for every "small" step – it's what gets us to the big leaps! I'm not sure I answered any of the questions you posed, but thank you for being so honest!
    My recent post How To Get Over The “NO”

  5. says

    Oh Judi! Just love love love you for stepping off the porch and taking off the leash.

    Your bravery is inspiring. You are moving on this path with such grace and beauty! I am so thrilled to know you and see this!

    I am so excited for what greatness you have in store for this series!

    Continue to work on your health as this will allow you to continue your graceful journey of enoughness!

    So grateful to know you!

  6. says

    What an inspirational post Judi,I can feel your anger, passion, and determination to defeat this intruder who came uninvited into your life, designed to put your on a leash for life, but to its suprise, no shackles of bondage can hold someone with your strength, wisdom and determination hostage, we pray for a quick recovery, and expect it to be done. My leash is, the fear of just stepping out there, getting my blog together, and learning by doing all of the things I have to do to be Leader, I'm excited about this series, and hope that it will get more people off of the porch and start running with the Big Dogs. Love you, Henry & Cherlyn Cooper
    My recent post Hello world!

    • says

      Henry, You have always been there for me and I appreciate it so much! For some of us the problem in stepping off the porch is that we are afraid or resistant to Doing What We Know. But sometimes it is really that we need direction on Knowing What To Do. Which is it for you? What is the next step you can take towards your goal?

      • says

        I would say it's the, Just Do It thing that's got me boxed in, because I want to do everything right,so I've been to hesitant to just jump out there and make my mistakes before I become a professional marketer, so I guess that's my fear and I got to get over it,this new media is totally reverse from the theory of selling that I have come acustomed to in my business experience, so the technical part of how to set up some of the systems and intregrate them together froze me up with fear and disapointment and I never really felt like I could do it, but when I discovered you I felt that you could help me overcome my fears inside by teaching me some of the required fundamentals that I need to overcome the fears and come out of the cocoon and fly like the eagle that I truly am inside.
        My recent post Hello world!

        • says

          I don't know if you noticed but I had to send that darn link out three times this morning before I got it right. That need for perfection keeps us from getting off the porch.
          I love this quote from Donald Miller's book, A Million Miles, in a Thousand Years,
          "Fear may have been designed to tell us to be safe and careful and keep us from being humiliated. But it is also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living boring lives."

  7. says

    I love unexpected moments like this. :) What a beautiful post. I am so grateful for your presence, honesty, and ability to inspire. You are such a yogi! Thank you for holding a mirror up to me as I reflect on the fears that I am learning to confront. My leash would have to be this subtle hint of unworthiness. Almost like I am being irresponsible for investing time in something I truly love and believe in. Thank you for a creating space that has already inspired and motivated. I am so excited to transform fear into creativity.
    I'm ready to roll with the #bigdogs !
    My recent post Yogi in the Community- Deavin Hansford

  8. Sue says

    I have information that has been sitting on my desk for two weeks about a contracted position I think I could do and looks very interesting to me. However, I have not taken the time to pull together my resume, etc in order to apply, because I am terrified of interviewing! I have been contented to take on all the projects that come my way through word of mouth and fortunately, over the years that has served me just fine. However, as the new sole source of income for my family, I have to break out of my word of mouth comfort zone and pound the pavement – not easy for someone who hasn't done this in over 25 years!

    You've given me courage, Judy. I am so happy to have met you and consider myself lucky to call you my friend!

    ps – many of us can relate to the weight issue… I'm pulling for you!

  9. says

    Thank you for your raw, honest, vulnerability, sharing your journey in such a way that we can all be inspired. I'm going through a similar challenge and my chiropractor recently asked, "What's something you don't do anymore that you'd love to do again?" My response – dance. Let's make a date to go dancing together next year at WDS 2012!

  10. says

    Amy, I am so happy to have you be one of my Big Dog authors. I am inspired by your path this past year and love that you have found a name for what you do, Soul Caller. How totally appropriate. It is hard to keep a balance between body, mind and spirit. But each is so important and if any one of these muses is not attended to I have seen that it will up the ante until we respond.

  11. beth lord says

    What a great idea Sandy…a date, a commitment, a goal!

    Judi…I just want to say that I am proud of you and I love you! I knew from the moment we met that we would become great friends. I was immediately comfortable and felt such a connection. Little did I know at the time just how much we would have in common…sometimes so much so, it is quite scary to think about. I remember telling both Susan and my mother that it was as if I was looking in the mirror or watching myself from another place. You have taught me so much about myself and continue to give me the confidence to push forward.

    So…to answer your questions, I suppose I am what gets in my way. I think my fear is two-fold as well…fear of failure and fear of “going it alone”, just the opposite of Brandon and Steve. Because of my fear of failure, I have always elected to have someone else in the boat with me. I can pretend that I want them there so that we can work together and find strength in each other. If I am being truthful with myself, I really just want them there to tell me I am right, to feed my ego and to be my scapegoat should something actually go wrong. This has been my MO all my life. I can remember early in my tennis career arguing with the coaches about not wanting to play singles…I was good at tennis, real good actually (duh, I don’t do anything I am not good at for fear of failing at it). If I play singles, there is no one else to blame if I lose and I hate to lose. Ok…so I am a bit competitive as well.

    My new venture is mine…all mine. Right or wrong. Win or lose. Success or failure. It will all be mine and I am scared to f*ing death.

    Thank you Judi for your raw honesty, your encouragement and for your friendship. xoxo

    • says

      Beth, Thanks you. You are a precious gem. I am so glad that you are in my life. I know you have an amazing vision and you have the energy and enthusiasm to make it come to fruition. While you don't need anyone else in your personal boat. You have many people, including me, in your support boat/ life raft.

      My first draft of this post included a bunch of stuff about other people. A friend read it and then took a red pen to it and said, Judi this is about you. All you. Get these other people out of your post. They have their own websites. I knew that she was so right. I was obfuscating because getting this vulnerable scared the shit out of me. Love you!

  12. says

    Lori, What a gift it has been to meet each other. I have watched you circling around and around that sweet spot like the dog that is trying to find the right position to settle in. I know you are close. What is the next big step you can take in that you can take that will put you in the "right" place?

  13. says


    Thanks so much for inviting me to this blog series. I really can't believe you are starting a new path to healthiness. I am supposed to start walking tonight with my daughter and then start an exercise program that I purchased over a year ago (I am embarrassed to admit). She's begged me to see the specialist about my knee & since I can still walk I figure there's no point. She'll probably run the mini-marathon next May but I don't know that I will be ready-too much weight to lose I think.

    And I am afraid…what if my knee gives out? What if my asthma flares up and I can't catch my breath?

    I guess that'll be my leash to remove this year. As the weight comes off, I'll hopefully have more energy and less pain. At least I will be a better living example for my kids.

    Looking forward to the rest of this series Judi. And looking forward to both of our new healthy lives!

    Thanks again. Lori

    • says

      Lori, It makes me smile when I see you on twitter and I always appreciate your contribution to the conversation. Glad we had a chance to meet at #CIP. It is great that you have your daughter to be your cheerleader and workout buddy. Here's to walking and taking those first steps.

  14. says

    Judi this is a great first post for this series!

    I am very excited to see what you have in store for all of us.

    "What is the next step you can take towards living the life you know you are meant to live"

    My next step is whatever is next on my list. I've taken the time to look towards the future and write down where I want to be with all of my current ventures, and the steps to get there.

    I tackle things one week at a time while trying to maintain the regular work load, and slowly start moving myself away from the day to day operations and more into the 'big picture kind of guy' place :)

    Your advice has always helped me out and I am very thankful for that.

    I wish you the best of luck with your own leash and am confident you'll be where you want to be in no time :)

    • says

      Bret, Love your drive and your eye on the ball. You see something that needs doing and you do it. If I was ever on the show, Online Survivor, I would want you on my team.

  15. says


    You're post was amazing. I'm really proud to be your daughter, and so thankful for everything that I have learned from you.

    I know I need to get of the porch and run with the big dogs in several ways. I hate to do things that I am not good at, and so that is a fear I always have. I don't like to ask for help, or, as you would say, I ask for it and then often don't take the advice.

    I'm not quite sure what my next "big goal" is in life. So, I guess my big goal is to get out there and write down my wish list.
    love you

    My recent post Sonoma’s pig roast was a huge success!

    • says

      Hey Amanda, I am so glad you came by and read my post and commented. You are fabulous. I am very proud of you and so glad that you're my daughter. You have been successful at so many things in life even at your age. But it does come in handy to be able to stand going through that "I 'm not good at it" phase of trying new things. Take it from me. I think my style is to lean into it and learn as fast as I can so that part of the raw beginner is over as fast as possible.

      I wish you were closer by and could just drop in and hang out with me right now. We'll do that soon. Love, Mom

  16. says

    I am so excited about this series. What a brilliant and courageous kick off! Thank you for sharing your journey. You are an amazing woman, and I love how you are continually stepping into and expanding your power. Watching you grow over the past year is inspiring.

    So this is the kick in the ass I needed to see today. After spending the past 3 days sick, with a sick kid and no help (yeah bring out the victim car, going for a ride!). We know I've been languishing on the porch, hiding in the corner. Fear and unworthiness are my leashes. I fear myself, actually. I know somewhere inside is a kickass visionary who doesn't fit into this business model or that one. But I chose to hide since I don't trust my instincts as to what I should be doing. It's comfortable to be stuck. It's easy to get lost in the overwhelm of chaos in the house, raising 2 kids alone, deadlines for projects I hate doing, finding shiny objects to distract me. However, the cracks are opening wide, and it's getting harder and harder to remain hidden. I need to lose weight, address my lousy marriage, earn a living on my own while raising my 2 kids who are still pretty young. I don't want to settle with the crappy freelance design biz. It doesn't fit my big thinking. My overly creative brain resides outside of the box I throw myself into. I have no friggin' clue what I'm supposed to be doing. I recently learned "my people" are healers. Visionaries who want to take their lives/businesses to the next level. Looking to me to help them find the solutions and help them launch their big ideas. Great. Can't do that in hiding, now can we? I keep toeing the edge of the spotlight, letting fear keep me out of it. That's where I am now. Tomorrow is a new day. Thanks for giving me a space (and the courage) to share. xoxo, Lori

  17. duanesolem says

    Your post should be proud to have been produced by one of the best, bravest, finest, people on the planet! I'll bet once the heart said "screw it" a lot of words poured out through your fingers faster than you could type. Edit later. I'm looking forward to having the same experience. Truly a masterful move, sweetheart!

  18. Trish Myler says

    I think my new mantra must become: "How Interesting…ponder and look with non-judgmental eyes at the idea that I CAN take different and new steps" NOT: "My situation is different, I can't do it because…" NOT: "I'll never be able to change…" NOT: "I'll never be as good/fascinating/rich/loved/athletic/successful as…" At first, I read Judi's post and all its responses and immediately began my "YEBBA" (yeah, but) thinking –"YEBBA, all these responders to Judi's post (and Judi) are all so much more industrious, clever than I'll ever be. YEBBA, no one would ever want to listen to me, to work with me, to be a client of mine. YEBBA, I'm not …" And then it hit–BREATHE these new ideas and attitudes in, EXAMINE them, ALLOW them to be, LOVE them, TRY them. I am thankful that Judi was inspired to write her post, which will help me to lovingly remind my selves (the brave and the scared) that we ALL have a unique gift. She's reminded me that facing our fears and doing something different allows us to honor OUR uniqueness (AND that of others) and find the creative tribe we were meant to work and be with. I wish I knew Judi better–we've only had one Creative Session together, but it doesn't matter; her words (like anything true for me) still resonate with what I've been feeling lately. Her first BIG DOG post in this series should be tagged as SLEDGE HAMMER, CREATIVE SOUL WAKE-UP CALL, INSPIRATIONAL, CHALLENGE, MUST READ, LIFE-CHANGING POTENTIAL So, in honor of what Judi wrote, and to honor the me I like the best, I've already done a NEW thing today to further my business goals (in fact a real LEAP for me. OMG did I REALLY do it? Yep.) , and I'm about to go "dance" with a horse I'm training to work in an equine therapy program (because for ME that is another way to honor my creative self).

    • says

      Trish, I love it. "SLEDGE HAMMER, CREATIVE SOUL WAKE-UP CALL, INSPIRATIONAL, CHALLENGE, MUST READ, LIFE-CHANGING POTENTIAL" I am so Tweeting that out. I wish I knew you better too and am dying to know what was the OMG thing you did to further your business goals?

  19. Isvari says

    Wow Judi, this is awesome. I am so proud of you!! I am here for you all the way and will help you with this demon. Thanks for allowing us all to see how vulnerability is a strength and giving us the freedom to unleash and walk through our fears with grace. I hope I can be so real. Thanks for being my mentor. Love Isvari

  20. Calvin says

    Hi Judy, first of all I admire your courage for speaking out about your inner thoughts and laying it on the line. For vigorously speaking out about an area which you perceive as a problem in your life. What we think about ourselves is a very important part of our lives: and what we think about ourselves has great power over our lives. We have all tried to unlock that great mystery that is within all of us are us. That mystery is understanding who we are, what we are, and why we are the way we are? We are always looking back and trying to understand all the decisions we have made in our lives; which have brought us to this point and time.
    I admire your courage for stepping outside the box and putting it out there for all the world to see. To stress to those who may not have the courage to show us who they are, what they are, and why they are the way they are? This confirms the fact that what we think about ourselves is one of the most important aspects of our lives.

  21. says

    Judi, you hit it out of the park with this one! I'm so excited about your blog series … can't wait to keep reading!!! Your post was also perfect timing. Like you, my weight has become a major "leash" in my life. It has sabotaged my self-confidence, my feelings of self-worth, my self-esteem. I started taking action a couple months ago when I joined a great gym (Lifetime Fitness) and started making small, incremental changes to my eating habits. Those changes have become more significant recently (eliminated gluten – you're not kidding, it's in freakin' everything!) But the difference it's already made is amazing. And just the act of moving my body on a regular basis has done wonders already. And I'm in complete control. These extra 100 pounds didn't happen "to" me; I opened the door and invited them in. It's up to me to kick 'em out.

    Last week I bought my son, Taylor, a new bike. A Schwinn, nothing fancy. Kinda retro. But pretty cool. And when I watched him pedal away down our street, I felt a pang in my heart and had an immediate flashback to a younger me, flying down the street on my bike. I practically lived on that thing – rode it everywhere! And right then and there, I decided that when I reach the 25-pounds-lost mark, I'm buying myself a damn bike. And I'm gonna ride her everywhere. =)

  22. says

    Hi Judi
    Excited to be part of this and looking forward to getting a clearer picture of how to take charge of my life and what I want to do. And what do I want to do? Be creative. There is no time and/or energy and/or enthusiasm for my creative pursuits and that is what pisses me off and stops me from finding the time and/or energy and/or enthusiasm. So enough with that. Time to look to the future and make it a reality.
    BTW one of the things I loved about this was that it took three tries to get the link right, and the post is full of typos, and, most importantly, neither of those things matter. It shows the rest of us that perfection doesn't make a Big Dog, but authenticity and courage do.
    Here's to a great 10 day run!
    My most recent blog post http://blog.swelldwellonline.com/bid/57420/Swell-
    My recent post Swell Sounds 3- The Film Festival Eddition

  23. says

    Wow, I just wrote such a great comment about how great this was and how much you have influenced me. It was all about my perfectionism and how it leads to me not doing anything because I'm in fear of things not being perfect. Well apparently perfect means that when I hit sign in and I enter the incorrect password and then try to go back to just enter my comment it will be erased. For today perfect is leaving a shorter comment and just saying thanks Judi! We love you and I'll see ya tomorrow!
    My recent post First Lesson Learned

  24. Sandra says

    Part !
    Judi, my long-time friend, I have always admired your ability to "get thing done". And, my God, the things you've accomplished in your life! You have always inspired me with the (limited) knowledge I have of your long-list of accomplishments. A 100-pound-leash is a mighty one, but so is the 15 pound one that I'm carrying.. A year ago, I was in the best shape of my life. I'd lost 32 pounds, had been working with a trainer in L.A. for almost a year and was feeling great in my body. Then, I let the carbs seep back in and
    here I am, 15 pounds heavier. Fifteen pounds is not a huge amount of weight, but I am aware of how different I feel with it on my body: older,matronly, weighed down. "Safe". Yeah, right. Safe in what? In being
    back in a familiar territory where nothing ever changes in any substantial way. ( to be continued…)

  25. says

    Thank you Judi for your post. I started reading it this morning but would have had to rush through it to make it in time to a scheduled appointment. I'm glad I waited until I could really sit down and relax with a cup of tea and read word for word. I would have missed so much if I had.

    I can appreciate the journey you have embarked on. My leash was my previous job before being laid off. I was in a rut and it was easier to just stay there. The money was good, and it was convenient. I just was not happy. I was slightly pushed into starting my own journey in January going after my own dreams and living my life the way I want it when I was laid off. Change is everything! I am so happy for you that you are sharing your walk with us. There is something about sharing that inspires others and gives them the courage to make changes to better their own lives. I will be there rooting for you! You are an amazing lady!
    My recent post Home

  26. says

    Hey Judi – this kind of honesty kicks me in the backside in a really good way – thank you!!
    So, at the beginning of the year I was about 256lbs, at some point in the first 6 months I was down to 233lbs. This morning – 250lbs! I drive myself crazy! I did complete a sprint triathlon in May, but even this did not flick the switch in my brain to make me a healthy eater.
    Here is what else is true – when I am eating healthy and exercising regularly, I am also being productive, achieving other goals, making progress, moving forward. And the opposite it true – when my eating is a mess and the exercise is not happening, everything else goes to pot too!
    Like I said, I drive myself crazy! I don't know which of these constitute a leash. Maybe it is inconsistency, losing site of the goal, losing impetus.
    What is my next step? Well, I did run 1.5 miles this morning, so that is a start. The food was iffier.
    I need to set my mind and intention in the right direction every morning, without fail. If I enter the day without a determined path, I'll wander the easier way of unhealthy food and no movement. If I set the path for my day, I have a much better chance of making good choices.
    On we go…
    My recent post trust30 – One Strong Belief

    • says

      Helen, so glad we sat next to each other at the Clyde Commons that first day in Portland. It made me happy every time I ran into you.

      It's a bitch that some people seem to be able to be inconsistent without experiencing bad results. But I know I can't. I know I feel better in all ways when I don't eat wheat, sugar and alcohol. It sounds extreme but my body works better that way. It isn't going to change it for me to stamp my feet and say I don't like it.

      My mom was the race director of a triathlon at Pensacola Beach for fifteen years and I have a few sisters that win them. Like I said, It's a bitch!

      Thanks for sharing what's going on with you. Starting this series has been amazing even with the screw ups. But screw perfection. With everyone's help I got it out of the gate!

      • says

        Oh boy, sisters that WIN triathlons – yuck! I came last in the one in May!!
        Plus… you are right about the wheat/sugar thing. I have been stamping my feet, complaining, pissed off – but that does not change a flipping thing! Oh well….
        On the plus side – there is no wheat, sugar or alcohol in bacon – which I love!!!
        My recent post trust30 – One Strong Belief

  27. Sandra says

    Part 2
    But then, if I were to ask myself, "Where else am I weighed down?" I'd have to also address my reticence about "going public" with my memoir and the incumbent fear of rejection and "failure" that it entails. Last summer, when I was visiting Atlanta, you gave me the run-down on how to go about getting it out there. "It's time to do it," you said. "It's time to set up a blog" (you told me exactly what to do). Of course, this would have
    involved me taking off my dinosaur costume and taking part in 21st century technology fully (something which I am hesitant about). Here I am a year later and I still haven't done what you counseled me to do last summer.
    Mainly because I've hidden behind "not knowing how." All it involves is learning something new and I'm certainly capable of THAT. So, as reticent as I STILL am to get it all going, I am making a commitment to set up my blog by the end of the month. (even as I write this, I feel simultaneously elated and woozy).

  28. Sandra says

    Part 3
    Regarding that 15 pounds: I've already gotten back on track with that and will keep crackin' away at it. I know about getting stuck in "pissed off position". "How the HELL did I end up back HERE?" I asked myself once I ended up back here. It was no mystery: when I lost the weight, I ate practically no refined carbs – or any carbs for that matter.
    My body was so happy! Then ……… I just have to accept what IS: my metabolism has a problem with excess refined carbs. And there will never be enough of them to quell my "appetite" which is really an appetite for more
    creative outlets, a suitable love partner, a home of my own. In brief, the realization of the image of the life that runs through my head. Fifteen pounds ago, I didn't know what to do next to advance me towards the next
    phase of my dream, so I retreated to known coordinates. Now, I want to experience some new internal and external territory. All that means, really, is that I have some new things to learn. And, people are always
    willing to help me. Thanks for your honesty, Judi. I know it wasn't easy for you. And, you're one of the most wonderful people I know. So generous, so open, so alive. I KNOW you're going to succeed and, in the process, you may learn a lot about what your appetite is all about. Then, we'll go for a walk and trade stories. I love you, Judi.

    • Sandra says

      Sandra, you are one talented Big Dog and you know it. Thanks for helping me get real. I knew I could count on you. You have a terrific mind, quirky sense of humor and ability to see the soul. I am sure you will have that blog up so you have a forum to share your gifts. I KNOW "you" are going to succeed!

      • says

        Sandra, you are one talented Big Dog and you know it. Thanks for helping me get real. I knew I could count on you. You have a terrific mind, quirky sense of humor and ability to see the soul. I am sure you will have that blog up so you have a forum to share your gifts. I KNOW "you" are going to succeed!

  29. says

    Your comment :" well someone has to be in charge", my words growing up , 12 year old in the midst of sudden chaos in my family ; a sub text : " because I seem to be the only one who sees how crazy this all is, here's the bad news, I get it and THEY don't.. a 12 year thought she was alone, had to be strong, take care of everything, everyone. You once said to me to know the distinction between "detaching with love and detaching with contempt.". It's that contempt , (fear) t keeps me stuck.
    . What I took away from our time at World Domination Summit was an affirmation of a world that is alive and well, a community that supports each of our vulnerabilities to create safety for our strengths and dreams. I am , risking writing this, putting my work out there, & blogging. I sure don't want to be stuck in the front yard barking at all the passerbys.

    My recent post Visit My Booth at the Wedding Day Hooray – Indie Craft Experience

    • says

      I am very proud of you for what you have done in your life and now getting onboard with learning so many new technologies and blogging and all of that. I am amazed really. We are so fortunate to be living in a time that these things exist to actually be able to find our "right" people, clients, friends wherever they may be in the world. It thrills me to see the Mail Chimp report light up from England, Vietnam, New Zealand Maylasia and back again.
      I am glad you are at the point to be able to focus on your art and I think blogging about that with your own opinions and commentary that comes from years of being a therapist gives it a very special quality.
      You are the older sister I never had and I love you.

  30. Kitrina says

    Whew! I am grateful to have begun to get caught up in the whirlwind of energy of the 'Big Dogs'. Big Dogs of all kinds who are in differing points of change in their own lives. Those who are willing to risk vulnerability to create momentum to catapult not only themselves, but to invite and inspire others to join in their journey forward. Those leading the way to new heights and depths of freedom. I am drawn to the blogging scene and only hesitate in inexperience. In fact, I am taking the plunge with this, my first post ever! I have watched from the sidelines but have not known how to begin and have felt very small next to the giants of experience…..wondering how I could ever come along side, never mind catch up! I appreciate the opportunity to be caught up in the whirlwind with the determination and hope of never being the same!

  31. says

    Kitrina, Welcome. So glad that you decided to jump off the porch. You obviously have something to share and therefor have a fascination with the tools we have to be able to do that. Now you just put one foot in front of the other. I started with a personal blog to get my feet wet and learn to manipulate around in WordPress. Plus at that time 5-6 years ago, I didn't know I would be doing this business. Follow the energy and don't stop. Congrats!

  32. says

    Sorry I'm a day late in starting this. Wow Judi – thanks for your honesty!! I too can relate to the weight issue. I've been foucussing on my weight and health for a few months now – 1 lb at a time – and it's working! I realize that I need to do this with my blog too. Get off the porch and do SOMETHING! If I just take action on 1 thing I learn at our monthly WP meetups, I'd already be much further along. Thanks for the kick/nudge in the pants. btw – I spend some timeon twitter today following more people and adding a personal comment along with my latest blog entry. Baby steps…….
    My recent post Blueberry Tart

    • says

      Hi Val, We have a saying around here at New Tricks that it is Never too Late, but it is better Late than Never, so glad you joined in. I try and take one day a week to work on my business rather than on everyone else's. So you might try setting aside some time to do that. It makes a huge difference. I great that you are getting more savy on Twitter. Send me an @judiknight so I can follow you.

  33. Tia says

    POW! Dang it Judi. Do you remember us re-meeting in the most awkward setting? LOL, I snicker just a little at the fact that we've seen each other in our birthday suit. :) Thank you for starting the BIG DOG series. My attention has wavered from my health for the last few months…and my leash of diagnosis is on tight. You are RIGHT! Health issues can not be ignored, and they do not just go away, unless you get "off the porch" and do something about it. I'm taking your hand…and will refocus my "woe is me" energy to something more solution oriented. If you're free join me for a complementary class of Kick Boxing. I go 4 days a week. Afterwards, I'm covered in a gallon of sweat and my tatas are super sore, but the weight is falling off. Let kick boxing kick your a**. See ya!!!!

  34. says

    Wow Christy what a coincidence. I guess that explains the Blackyed Pea Brownies? I'll bet it is easier to clean up the food in China. Here we have so many processed foods and our meat industry is disgusting. I am trying to avoid all of that stuff with no perservatives additives and crap and only eat organic. Who knows what it is that has set off this Fibro reaction but it is more common than people even realize. I hope you are doing well.

  35. says

    Stephanie, So glad you stopped by and I am touched by your kind words. Yes we do have to keep putting it and us out there. This series has been a huge thing for me to do. I resisted the idea for quite some time until I couldn't any longer. Then I thought if I am going to do it I may as well do it all the way. It has been liberating and very healing.

    I can put how to posts on my site all day long and that is helpful to a lot of people but there are also those who have the tools but don't use them. Can't bring themselves to take a risk and I want to speak to them more directly than I can in a post titled, How to Put a Facebook LikeBox on your Website!

  36. truemc says

    Well Judi, it is tough to keep up with you now… What a great thought provoking post. I think of all the lessons learned from a position of weakness and the strength I've gained from being vulnerable. As a designer, facing judgement every day on every project, website, logo, book, magazine, marketing campaign and more is hard on the ego, but great for learning more about people. As a mom, raising kids when there was no owners manual available to show me the way taught me to make tough decisions and putting others first. As a hurricane survivor walking out of the rubble of our home that been destroyed with us in it, I learned that life is precious, stuff can be replaced and there can be excitement in starting over! Each one of these circumstances were conquered by taking one step – and then another. It is amazing the progress you can make by taking things one step at a time. Judi, Thank you for this series of blog posts and for being a great example to the rest of us whether you realize it or not!
    My recent post Do you offer QR Code Services

  37. says

    I, too, was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, although I have virtually no symptoms. Let me tell, conventional doctors know nothing about diagnosing and treating this condition. I learned more on my own in 2 days than both doctors I've seen about it. Synthetic hormones are what they will give you but they do not address the root cause.
    My recent post Jul 26, Health Benefits of Vitamin C

    • says

      You are so right. I am on the synthetic thyroid pills but I can't tell one thing and I am in the process of having all that tested again. then they will see that something is not allowing my thyroid to even metabolize what is in those pills. I am drinking lots of green drinks and eating organic meats and vegis and have lots 6 pounds this month even with the metabolism of a slug. Yay me. Thanks for the support.

  38. says

    Most doctors will medicate you until the lab tests come back normal. Synthroid is not the answer for many hypothyroid patients, but it's all they know.

    2 books i can recommend:

    Thyroid Power: Ten Steps to Total Health by Karilee Halo Shames, Richard Shames

    Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal: A Revolutionary Breakthrough In Understanding Hashimoto's Disease and Hypothyroidism by Datis Kharrazian

    If gluten caused a reaction, you probably have Hashimoto's, an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid. Taking synthroid will not help this condition. Taking iodine makes it worse. Going off gluten 100% (nothing less) is the first step.

    I would also recommend you check out "earthing." People who do this regularly experience great improvement for their thyroid. See: http://www.earthing.com

    Eat lots of coconut oil.
    My recent post Aug 27, Antioxidants for Health and Longevity