You're all feeling it — the stress of multitasking, the rush of going from one place to the other, the disconnect of trying to juggle too many balls at once. The rush doesn't make you feel competent or in control. It just leaves you feeling drained and as if you're living several identities, all of them short-changed and strung-out on coffee.

All the magazines say you need to be centered, peaceful, and take your time to live in the moment. But that's pretty darned hard to remember when you're grabbing your bag to run out the door, if you even get the right bag. Multitasking itself is hard enough, but juggling our multiple identities as well — chauffer, cook, spouse, parent — makes it awul hard even to know which present to be in. It's not as easy as taking a few breaths or squeezing a meditation in between running errands. If we had the time to do that, we wouldn't need to do it.

Now, Clark Kent never had this problem. He stepped into his grusty phone booth, and simply took on a new identity. Batman had his bat cave.

Why not have yours? I'm not saying to don a cap or buld a full-fledged changing area. But why not help yourself make your own traditions by gettin gyour silly on? Get some masking tape, or designate your own special room: just make sure it's a convenient place. If you're using tape, make a box on the floor, or if you're artsy a star shape. *

Then, let the fun begin. Working on your bills when it's time to drive your kids to music lessons? Jump into your “changing space” and take a deep breath, then turn into “driving person.” Come home late and only have half an hour to cook? You guessed it. You'll need to change into Food Person for this one.

The point is, take some time to breathe, and gift yourself with a moment of transition. A little silliness can help.

* In retrospect, it's probably not a good idea to make something that really looks like you're creating a satanic ritual, especially when the rest of your family has been away and you and your daughter may not be home when they get back, because who knows what they'll think? “Mommy's been watching a little too much Supernatural, kids.” “Daddy, where are the cats?”

glpQbNU1tz94iHvu.jpgIn my coaching studies, I’ve been fortunate to come across Byron Katie, a wise, kind and patient woman who’s written great books such as “Loving What Is.” Her gig is that if you argue with reality, you always lose. In short, pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

Pain itself is hard, but it’s our thoughts about it and what we make it mean that creates significants amount of suffering on top of that. What she says is that all suffering is caused by untrue thoughts, such as “Everyone is smarter than I am,” “I’m such a loser,” and “I’ll die if I fart in yoga class.” And so we live in a continuous torment of our own making.

Katie has you methodically work with each thought, writing it down and doing what’s called “The Work.” This is definitely worth doing, but it’s heady stuff, and takes a lot of introspection and, well, work. I’ve done it with a few thoughts, but tend not to sit down a lot to do it formally. Instead, I’ve come up with a quick technique keeps me “warmed up” and constantly wiggling at those false thoughts from the beginning. Why not nip things at the bud?

I call it the “Byron Katie Bitchslap.” Basically, I  go about my life playing the “is it true?” game. “Someone else should unload these dishes.” Really? “I need to write this blog post right now.” Really?

Because I have kids, they are more than happy to help me with this and throw my misconceptions right down the shithole. Here’s a few examples of how it goes:

#1: I carry a basket load of clean clothes into #3’s room. He takes the entire contents in one armful and shoves it in a drawer. fI twitch and start to hyperventilate. “You can’t do that!”

Boy smiles. “Yes I can. I just did.”


#2: “You can’t just sit there all day playing Minecraft!”


Which goes to prove, there’s no greater Zen Master than a 10-year old boy.


A vision board is a poster of cut-out illustrations of things you’d like to bring in your life or places you’d like to go. It’s easy to think that you need hours to make one of these, along with stacks of magazines to pore through, specially purchased supplies, and a clear kitchen table.

The last time I made one of THOSE was when I shipped my entire family off to India for two weeks. This was years ago, and that one ended up being more of an anal-retentive board, full of precisely glued words and pictures, but not, well, messy visions.

So here’s an easy, down-and-dirty, no-excuses way to make a vision board:

Forget the magazines, glue stick, and board. Think up a handful of wildly improbable goals (WIGs) and do a Google search on each one. Select “Images” and find one that best represents what you have in mind, or makes your heart sing, and print it. Cut out your pictures, tape them to each other, and tape the whole mess up on the wall. Done.