KindEdge.com is a collection of bite-sized action steps that help people make transformational changes in their lives, even when there seems to be no time in the day to get such grand endeavors in motion.
I built this suite of guides for myself. They enabled me to pile-drive my dreams through the chaos that was my life. After decades of consuming self-help and guru content I remained stuck and running in circles. I only saw true progress when I applied my consulting “change management” approach to my own life. I developed short, well-defined decision and action tools that enabled me see progress every day, even if life landed me in the emergency room lobby at midnight to tend to a child’s sports injury.
I now live a fundamentally different and better life that I designed for myself. I wake up every day energized to live out my purpose and enjoy a daily arc that fits me. I’m a mom of two incredible young men and one beloved black lab. I’ve lived in many cities within the US and abroad. Read more at: https://kindedge.com/about-mary/.
Now here’s to you pushing to your edge… to arrive at a sustainable way of living out your purpose.
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Change is a Muscle
Nervous asserting at work not b/c it was imaginary, but b/c boss had threatened job / other before when I could not work at 11pm on a Friday night… I grew awareness that responding to any threat or undesirable usury agreement was ATTRACTING undesirable usury arrangements… the more I jumped I did not gain approval, respect or freedom… I gained usury. Muscle for change is learning that tough boundaries that potentially break a bond with a person, job, or structure are uncomfortable but critical to continually weeding out your life. If you do NOT have any uncomfortable discussions and if you do not disappoint others you are absolutely going to be run over by weeds. Muscle for change is weak. Take on small experiments first to build it up. Do you flinch when you have to disappoint others to assert your own priorities or quirky goals? That’s your muscle for change cramping up. It takes many trials at disappointing others to achieve a calm, in-your-skin natural state that easily responds to anyone “This is what I’m doing now, it matters to me, but I get that it doesn't matter to you.” ;”I never break my daily habits of doing x because I’m building toward something that’s important to me.” “I get that it’s hard to imagine something you can’t see. I’m not doing this to show things to you, I’m doing it because it’s important to me.” “It sounds like you are really uncomfortable with the way I’m changing. I know you have other things in your life, but if this keeps you so upset, your therapist can definitely help you with that.Bye!”
We must exercise our muscle for change every day
If we do not exercise our change muscle on a daily basis, we will never build up the fortitude to tackle the tough choices needed to truly change the path of our lives. When we truly test our strength for change, we get clearer on the forces around us and the agreements that invisibly bind us. When we don’t push, we get pulled into supporting roles in someone else’s vision.
When we don’t push, we get pulled into supporting roles in someone else’s vision.
In my life, others around me created urgencies that I would allow to trump my planned goals. Year after year I attempted to negotiate to fit my goals into my family’s goals. But when the rubber met the road, these agreements were sneakily silenced by “emergency” business trip boondoggles and more. I had to deeply evaluate how my addiction to duty left me always reactively diving to catch all the balls left in the air when others would disappear. After two decades I began to see these behaviors were not accidents; they were manipulations of my life with little compassion or attempt to recover time lost. The clock just kept ticking.
I realized the conversations would need to get tougher and I would need to build a very strong muscle for change to effect results amidst the unwritten agreements in my life. The over-arching agreement was: no matter what happens, I’ll drop my goals to catch all the balls that fall. These balls were big, children, health, finances, family, and social commitments. Which of these, if any, would I ever put at risk for my own goals?
It took years of deep work to map this out. But along the way I started exercising my muscle for change. I began to observe the many ways in which my duty addiction sabotaged my goals. For example, I had a goal of working out and accomplishing certain goal-based tasks at certain sanctioned hours of the day. But I observed that I often canceled those plans any time a peer “needed” to meet at that time because their own classes or appointments. The old me would quickly accommodate others’ needs and drop my plans, and then wonder why weeks went by wherein no progress occurred on my goals.
I started exercising the skill of pushing back to find a win-win solution in all agreements. I started with the easiest interactions, insisting that all doctor and dentist appointments be scheduled for the late afternoon on a Friday. This ensured that my week would not be broken up by appointments and when they did occur, they were set at a time when my brain was generally ready to check out anyhow. This small step was a critical retraining of my reactionary behaviors, shifting me from immediately accommodating others to automatically and planfully selecting a timeslot that supported the best flow for my productivity.
From there I moved into slightly more uncomfortable negotiations: disappointing friends. If a friend texted asking to move back a meet-up by several hours, instead of letting time drag on, I’d say “let’s just reschedule for next week.” The old me would have let others’ schedule changes ruin my 5:30am workout or leave me killing precious time midday.
It took a lot of work with therapists and expert reading to get clear on the largest barriers to my life goals and the tough choices would eventually need to make. But by practicing changes to all my behaviors and assumptions every day, I got really good at knowing where I wanted to be and who I was willing to disappoint to protect my vision.
I got really good at knowing where I wanted to be and who I was willing to disappoint to protect my vision.
Changes we can practice every day include letting go of conveniences, redesigning time patterns, asserting ourselves without apology, observing others’ disappointments without reacting, and holding others to fair agreements and walking away when they are not upheld. We can also note and document any people or environments in our current life that are incompatible or unsupportive of our intentions. This is a LOT of work, but it grows our muscle for change.
There is a finesse as we work to change old assumptions. We need to learn to push without causing everything to break. KindEdge is the concept I dubbed when, after two decades of always giving in to others and delaying my own goals, I finally dropped the palliative self-care time-wasters and injected a dose of wise warrior into my mindset.
I needed to maintain daily rhythms that were rewarding, repeatable and sustainable: kind. But I also needed to ensure my practices were truly pushing me to my edge, enabling me to get uncomfortable and out of my element, in order to truly grow and change. With that growth, my muscle for change bulked up. I got clear on who I wanted in my life and what environments aligned with my greater goals. I completely lost any form of guilt over prioritizing my remaining minutes on earth for whatever got me jazzed. My gut became the boss; any person or thing that I felt was a time-waster, I’d happily skip.
This concept of kindedge has framed every day from there forth. Transformational change is a long-game. The KindEdge mindset enables my health and personal priorities to be nourished in each day while also calling for tough trials that further my range each day; I push myself in ways that scare me, but that move me further towards the life I’ve always imagined.
My momentum snowballed. I began to see how seriously I had to take all the agreements I make in my life. I had to see that dropping one commitment to myself was the beginning of a pattern. In the years that had flown by I could see the evidence of how those delays play out. Good intentions lay frozen in time for decades. This is serious business; this is the project of YOU before you die.
This is serious business. This… is the project of YOU.
I’ve taken a practical approach to all of my changes. If life is short, and if I take myself seriously, I can have no patience for soft goals or woo woo concepts. I sought out science-based expertise and I designed action-oriented guides for myself to ensure progress was visible “IRL” (in real life).
I’m telling my story, and sharing my tools, to help you accelerate towards kind, sustainable change… pushing to the uncomfortable edge where you can see the cliff, and the beauty beyond, and finally take the leap.
*My self-sabotaging duty-addiction was replaced by an addiction to letting my gut guide.
*NO blame of others – I realized I walked into my life 2 decades ago without key skills and I hold myelf accoutnable for building and uing them. I looked at all my agreements – and saw so many. I recall being lauded in work for giving up my birthday plans, and for leading an international call when I – and my family – were all throwing up ill – … b/c my boss was ill and could not lead the call. I also recall sliding into a ditch in a snow storm while my kids were in teh bakc seat and I was leading a call in a similar situation of covering someone else. NO – NO – NO. None of these things were to be rewarded. There is no person in the world to blame, but with mhy new skills… all was getting better.