What Do Opiates and Instagram Have in Common? How do we get real… create a life that’s truly happy?

We are a nation obsessed with feeling good. And there’s nothing wrong with that. What everyone wants in life is to be happy.  We want to be as happy as possible, the fastest way possible and with as little work as possible.

The problem is, there are no shortcuts to long term happiness.

We want to be an overnight success. A reality star, an Instagram model. And we don’t just want to feel good. We want to look good too.

We’re not living our lives with Instagram filters, we’re living our lives IN Instagram filters.  Where if “it’s” not good, we can edit it to look better than it is.

So what that means is a lot of people don’t work harder at making a better life, they work harder at making their lives look better. And that sucks.

It sucks because while people are trying to look good, no one’s actually genuinely good. And then the seeking starts to put a band-aid on a flesh wound.

The drug of choice becomes the new filter. Whether its opiates, shopping, sleeping, or binging on Netflix or Oreos, the filter manipulates you and you get hustled into thinking your life is happier than it is.

How do we get real? How do we start to create a life that’s truly happy?

#1. We get honest about what’s really going in

That means we make a decision to stop bullshitting ourselves and people around us. And if they start to feel threatened by that, then we know right away that those aren’t the people we want around us. Mainly because they are just going to bring us down. We find someone to talk to. We get a life coach and we lay it out.  We get a therapist and we dig it up, we check ourselves into a program that will help us get our head on straight. We decide to stop pretending that everything’s fine.

#2. We stop trying to put band-aids on flesh wounds.

I’m not talking about throwing a filter on a beautiful moment we actually experienced. I’m talking about the people who market their business with a woman standing on a yacht but can barely pay her rent on her studio apartment. I’m talking about taking a substance to feel better right now instead of doing the work to feel better long term.

We are an instant gratification society.

People in older generations understood that things take time. They just forgot. Younger generations get impatient when a website takes 5 seconds to load.

We need to be willing to be in our lives for the long haul. The good, the bad, the real.

If social anxiety is a problem for some, find a person who can help you be better at being with people. Don’t pop a Xanax.

If your marriage lacks intimacy or passion, work with someone to fix the problems within you that prevent you from connecting the way you won’t. Don’t drink 4 glasses of wine.

If you are in a job you hate, quit and find something else, don’t take pills so you can be motivated enough to go in and punch a time clock.

If you aren’t happy with your business, don’t spend hours trying to find out how you can “brand” yourself to look more attractive. BE more attractive to yourself by removing anything that actually robs you of your self-esteem. 

#3. We decide who we really are and what we really want and pretend it’s 1980 and no one’s watching.

Seriously, if no one gave a shit, what would you be doing? How would you be spending your time? Who would you be spending it with? What really makes you happy? How are you wasting your time? What really matters at the end of the day?

Find out what fulfills you and peruse those things.

#4. We take 100% responsibility for our lives and everything in it.

We stop blaming people for what went wrong 20 years ago or today. I get it. I know your parents didn’t give you everything you needed to be successful. I know that ass hole left you and you felt blindsided. I understand that you lost everything at some point in your life.


So what, now what?

Instead of waiting for the proverbial pat on the back from you dad, or an
“I’m sorry” from your mom or the “I was a fool to leave you” from your ex, what if you decided right now to be the father to yourself you always wanted? What if you were going to take on the role of mother to yourself? What if you were going to be your own true love and you decided to take yourself seriously?

You’d take your happiness into your own hands. You’d stop medicating with food, alcohol. pills, or Instagram filters.

You’d just find what makes you happy. But then…you would actually do the work necessary to get there. Because as your own mother, you’re not simply obsessed with looking good. And you don’t really on feeling good either.

If successful people only did what they felt like doing, nothing would ever get done.


So, you have to be willing to stop trying to feel good all of the time. You would embrace the frustration. Because you know that sometimes it takes being unhappy to give yourself the push to start moving in the right direction.

If you want everything to feel good, you’re screwed.  And if you want everything to look good, you’re lying to yourself.

It doesn’t always look good. And you know what? I think people really appreciate that.

Do you know when I find I get the most respect? When I’m real about what’s really going on in my life or when I call other people on their bullshit.

People appreciate the relief it brings what someone actually says, “Hey Sandy, the jig is up.”

It’s like she can finally breathe.

If you were a good mother to yourself, you would allow all of. The good, the bad, the ugly, the brilliant, and then you would lovingly cajole yourself in the direction of your bliss. You would understand that sometimes it’s going to be messy. Sometimes it’s going to hurt. But you would welcome the divine dissatisfaction because you know it’s ok to not always be happy.

You wouldn’t run to medicate your life with filters.

You’d feel ALL of your life and then you’d get to work making it what you really want it. So, let’s start today!

What are you willing to be real about? What needs your attention rather than medication?

I love you,


My Toddler and Your Addict: Are they doing it on purpose?

Can an addict control their behavior?

It happened over the weekend. My precious, sweet, sometimes precocious toddler transformed into a full blown maniac, hell bent on doing what she wants-when she wants.  She spent the last three days doing things she must know are “wrong” and would upset me. Like drowning her brand new teddy bear in the dog water. But as I attempted to intervene, the sheer joy of said behavior seemed to also drown out my cries of “stop”, “no, no,” and “Doggie bowls aren’t for Teddy bears.”

She’s changed. She totally stopped listening. I mean totally. Before this weekend, I could get her to stop by threatening time out.

But now? She’s become defiant, compulsive and manipulative. And though I know she’s not doing any of this to hurt me, it feels like she is.

Especially every time I look at her after she’s just smacked me across the face and I see her smirking.

And every time I say, “Does Ellie need a time out?” and she smiles, and shakes her head yes.

I think, Crap. She KNOWS what she’s doing and she’s still doing it! On purpose! Ouch!

And then, I think about addiction.

Alcohol and drug abuse are like that. You look at your loved one and think, “What the Hell? Don’t you see what you’re doing to me? You must know that what you’re doing is wrong, bad, terrible, and hurtful. Why don’t you just listen to me? Are you getting a kick out of this?”

After I made the connection to my toddler and addiction, I remembered Dan Siegel’s work with explaining the brain. He’s a leading neurobiology expert.

Now, I must say, I am going to try and explain it. But listen to me when I tell you that I hear things, then I absorb them, then I retell them to teach what I teach. Dan doesn’t work in addiction. I do. So, I may butcher his original intention in my explanation, but it will be perfectly perfect in explaining addiction.

Also, when I first started working in addiction, 6 years ago, I spent a years studying our executive director. He’s our PhD. And I sat in on hundreds of hours of his brain groups. “The science of addiction and recovery” just so that I could dumb it down and teach it a way that made sense to me.

I’m a simple girl and I like simple explanations.

So, here we go…the toddler brain and the addict brain. Are they doing this on purpose?

Watch the video now.

I hope you enjoyed the video! Please subscribe. I think when you do, it helps get bumped up or something in the rating system so that more people get to see the video. And my goal is to help as many people as possible. So thanks for helping me help more people.

You can also do that by sharing this with your friends who are raising toddlers or who have addiction in their family.

With Love, Heidi

Is he afraid of getting hurt or does he just want your Vagina?

Is he afraid of getting hurt or does he just want your vagina?

My girlfriend’s dating. Actually, she’s Tindering. Which is hardly dating. She’s swiping and getting swiped. And she’s texting with one man in particular. They haven’t gone out yet. Mostly because he only asks her to come over to his house for some Netflix and drinks.

She keeps telling him that she’s not going to come over because she’s not going to have sex with him. But if he’s willing to take her out to dinner, she’s gung ho.

I kept wondering why she continued to give this guy the time of day. And then she explained.“I texted him the other day and I said, “Look, I know why you’re just wanting to have sex and not asking me out. It’s because you’re afraid of being vulnerable because you don’t want to get hurt.” And he texted back saying…”Maybe.”

I almost choked on my coffee as I shouted “Bullshit!”

This is the problem with men and women when they’re dating and why they end up in unfulfilling, one sided relationships.

Man shows woman where his interest lies…when he only suggests bedding her as the date.

Woman refuses to see this and assumes it must be a deep embedded psychological problem that she needs to help him overcome.

Man sees this as an opportunity to play along to bed her. Beds her, and still never makes it to dinner.

People are not that complicated. They are always showing us who they are, what they value, how they operate. But we complicate our relationships with people by refusing to see them for who they are.

Let’s pretend he was a guy who was just interested in her vagina. And she accepted that. Now what? Now she can decide if she wants to share that part of herself with him knowing he’s not interested in anything else north of the border.

Then, she’s empowered. Not confused.

She’s in control, not trying to manipulate or convince another human being of her value.

She doesn’t strategize how to get him over his imaginary problem. She decides if what he’s willing to offer or take from her is enough.

And there was another problem here. She was looking at his unwillingness to take her out as a challenge to be overcome. It triggered her rejection chip and put her into full blown “win him over mode”.

It’s not your job to win over people. It’s to find the people who are already convinced of your awesomeness and who are willing and eager to be a part of it.

“When people show who you who they are, believe them the first time” Said the great Maya Angelou.

If you know a sister who needs this wakeup call…please share.

Let me be the bad guy. Ring Ring!

I love you!



You have to be louder than the asshole. Even if the asshole is you…

You could be doing what seems to be a bang up job at the office. But one day, you get called in for something. Anything. And your world crumbles. That’s what happened to one of my readers who asked me to write about this topic. And it’s not just about the criticism. For her, it’s a feeling that she’s never quite measuring up in any area of life.

So, I’ve decided to break down what’s really happening when we get sucked in, overwhelmed and taken out by perceived criticism and how to fix it in three easy steps.

Let’s say you’re in a meeting at work and it gets a little heated. Shirley from sales is being a big jerk, questioning how you handled that phone call she only heard half of. Your mouth starts to dry up, your throat constricts and you feel a flush of red running from your legs to your face. Shit! You’re getting upset.

You mumble something that seems like a halfhearted defense. You’re having trouble coming up with something perfect to say. Mostly because you’re sitting there in shock that Shirley is calling you out in front of your boss. What the fuck?

Didn’t you just go to lunch with her last week? And pay for her sandwich? She’s got nerve! How long has she been plotting to take you out like this?

Why is she trying so hard to make you look incompetent?

“Jane?” Your boss interrupts your inner chat. “Do you have anything to say about this?”

You go numb. You can think of nothing other than how it would feel to give a round house throat kick to Shirley.

“Ummm, no, sir.” You stumble.

Shit! You blew it. Now you spend the rest of the day obsessing about that jerk Shirley and all the perfect things you could have said to her.

You replay the incident over and over hundreds of times.

The thing is, you can spend the drive home trying to figure it out, but this ain’t about Shirley.

#1 Name it to tame it.

What’s this bringing up? What’s this really about? How have you been triggered?

There is a core “go to” feeling that you have whenever someone criticizes you. For me it’s usually one of two.

Rejection. I feel Rejected in some way. Like someone is saying they don’t like me, want me around or approve of me


Incompetence. I believe that someone is underestimating my competence or questioning my ability to perform.

Your trigger feeling is a familiar feeling that’s been embedded somehow along your journey through LYF. (Learning to Love Yourself First).

Maybe you were a young child who had not so nice, abusive, or even controlling parents. If you did, you are definitely going to move through life with a high sensitivity to criticism. You will almost be hyper vigilant, on guard, waiting to be “”found out” and rejected somehow.

So, as you can imagine, a person on high who is hyper focused on avoiding criticism will surely find it.

And it could be minimal. Maybe it NEVER really happens. I could happen one time in 2 years at your job. But in that one time in 2 years, you could potentially feel like it’s been the whole time you’ve been there.

Why? Because your triggered state starts telling you lies. Then it asks you to search for more evidence of it being the truth.

Here’s what I mean. Let’s say you have a fear of looking incompetent. You know how to do your job extremely well. You get lots of feedback from your clients that they are pleased with the work you do.

Your boss doesn’t really seem to notice the good stuff.  He mostly keeps to himself, except when something’s wrong.

Well, one day, you didn’t do things the way your boss expected you to. So, you get “talked to” about your performance.

Your TRIGGER gets activated and goes into a tornado effect. It starts small, gathers speed and sucks up everything in its presence.

You start with the questions:

“How long has he felt that I’m not doing a good job?”

“Doesn’t anyone around here know how hard I work?”

“Who does he think he is, telling me how to operate? He’s not doing a good job himself!”

“I wonder how long he’s been wanting to tell me this?

“Shit! I wonder if they want to get rid of me?”

“This isn’t what I need right now. I already feel like a failure in my marriage.”

“And I haven’t been the best Mom either.”

“I’m a total loser.”

And in a blink of an eye, you went from a criticism at work to a full blown assault on yourself.

Part of the problem here is that you won’t realize it’s you doing all of this.

You will blame your boss for making you feel this way. When in reality, all he did was offer up an observation about a particular aspect of your job, on that particular day, under that particular circumstance.

You’re the one who brought your kids into it.

#2 Now, it’s time to change your perception.

Did you notice how I changed the word criticism to observation?

The way you use language seriously impacts how you experience everything.

Is it a disaster? Or an inconvenience?

Is it ALWAYS happening? Or is it just happening in this moment?

And in the big picture…Is it happening in this moment or is it happening in the past?

Most of this scenario was anchored in the past. If you were in the present only, you would see this for what it is. Just feedback.

But because we all have a filter we run everything though, we don’t see it as feedback. We see it as rejection, or disapproval, or a trial where we have to defend ourselves.

And that filter tells you how to behave.

So, let’s change the filter we see things through. This is what we call perception.

We perceive how things are. We don’t see them how they truly are until we check our baggage and make up a meaning about what’s going on.

If the filter is, “I’m not enough” then we get into trouble.

If the filter is “my boss wants to help me get better and has some feedback for me because he cares.”

Then that’s a horse of a different color.  And it’s not a rose colored glass either.

It’s usually true that your boss DOES care and that he does want you to be better.

That after all is his job and his job depends upon how well you do your job.

At first, I can choose to tell myself the story about my boss really having my best interest at heart and not believe it. It might sound like bullshit!

After all, my boss might be a righteous asshole who seems like an emotional sado who secretly gets off on handing me my ass.

And guess what? Maybe he is. But what does that have to do with you?


That’s about him! And even more ammo for you to consider when you start telling yourself the story about not being enough.

#3 You have to be louder than the asshole. Even if the asshole is you.

When you feel like no one likes you~ it’s usually just you.

You are the one making yourself feel awful. You are the one telling yourself the story of being rejected. You are the one telling yourself the story of being incompetent.

And so was I.

And the truth is, the only hater you really have to win over is YOU.

Because if you can love yourself, that will be enough.

So, how do you love yourself?

As you know, I believe there are 7 distinct practices that we need to develop in order to love ourselves. And all of those can be found in my LYF Program on my site at www.lovecoachheidi.com

But for now, let’s start with one daily discipline that can change your life if you will dedicate yourself to it.

Talk to yourself the way you would’ve wanted to be talked to when you were 5 and you felt sad, threatened, scared, or when you really felt like you messed up.

What would you say?

Would you say, “That’s right Sarah, you spilled your milk. And I was waiting for you to do it because I knew you would. There it is, all over my clean floor. You’re such a little ass hole, never doing anything right. What a little shit you are. And you aren’t good at coloring either. You suck. And you’ll never be able to pick out a decent outfit. So, everyone will probably hate you if they don’t already. I know you got picked last for dodgeball last week, Typical. Idiot.”

I don’t think so.

I think you’d say, “Aw honey. The milk spilled. Let’s clean it up.”

So when your boss tells you that you blustered your TPS reports, you don’t bring your marriage into it.

You say, “Ah, Jane. We need to fix those TSP Reports. Thanks for your help, boss.”

Not all correction is criticism.

Sometimes it’s feedback. Sometimes, it’s just spilled milk. And you don’t need to cry over spilled milk.

Go on and watch the video for even more clarity.

I love you! See you next week! Oh~ make sure you’re subscribed!