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Dear Maddisen:
When I was growing up, my father was depressed most of the time, impatient, angry, and criticized everyone including me. I blame him for my problems. Why is life so unfair? CM

Dear CM,
This is a very real dilemma that many people face, and I appreciate your bringing it forward. I’ll offer my theory on this and then provide a few simple steps to help you graduate from the University of Adversity and into a life of more solutions, healthy empowerment, and even happiness.

As much as we may try to elevate or separate ourselves from the forces of nature, the truth is: we humans are part of nature. We are impacted and formed by our life experiences in much the same way as non-human forms of nature. For example, mountains are formed when two earth plates press against each other until the land is lifted and folded over itself, causing them to melt, and then the melted rock rushes upward along cracks and weak spots, bursting out as fiery volcanoes, which over time, become mountains. We could see this as a very violent and destructive process, but on the contrary, most of us see this as an awe-inspiring, creative miracle. Nature grinds, burns, and thrusts to form beauty and life.

And so it is with our human experiences. Except that we are impacted and formed by each other and by our environments and experiences! It starts with our parents or those who raise us, and continues with our siblings or roommates, teachers, strangers, colleagues, lovers, spouses, friends, foes, our environments, and basically everyone and everything we experience.

Abraham-Hicks refers to this as “contrast”, and suggests that our job is to use the contrast to see what we don’t want, so that we can then define, focus on, and manifest what we DO WANT. I agree with this and believe that the reason for all experiences is to inspire more positive and loving lives for ourselves and others.

Here’s the secret: if we experience a lot of adversity or unfairness, we tend to remember that negative pain or suffering, and then we tend to focus on IT, and that becomes our habit or pattern – focusing on the unfairness and what we don’t want – and then that’s what we tend to see everywhere and attract into our own lives. For example, perhaps you’ve had the experience of noticing a specific make and model of car, and then notice that you’re seeing that car everywhere. The mind tends to look for and attract more of the same.

Therefore, now that you know that adversity or contrast is meant to serve you and help you define what you DO want in life, NOW you can begin to focus on and look toward and take inspired actions toward the experiences you’d prefer to have!

Step 1: Starting now, take a look at your life experiences and ask yourself how these experiences may have helped you clarify and define what you DO want. Write down the positive things you DO want in your life.

Step 2: Read your desire list daily for 32 days. And practice putting your attention on the positive things you desire. On the list, you can also write: “This or something better for the highest good of all concerned.” If you notice yourself putting negative attention on what you don’t like or want, gently refocus on what you DO WANT.

CM, it sounds like it’s your time to graduate from the University of Adversity, and begin making positive choices that feel better. Try it – I believe you’ll like it!

Your Life Coach,

Copyright 2011 Maddisen K. Krown M.A.

Saturday, 08 January 2011 22:42

Is Your Lover a Dream or a Nightmare?

Written by

Dear Maddisen:
I keep picking the wrong guys. They’re like my worst nightmares come true! How can I stop doing this? Thanks, JK

Dear JK,
That’s a loaded question! Whether you’re a man or a woman, hooking up with someone who feels like a healthy and happy match can be a big challenge, and a big mystery! But I believe, and my experiences have been showing me that we definitely have the ability to be more at cause over what we experience in life, and more specifically, what kind of people and love partners we attract.

It sounds like you are ready to get out of the trunk and into the driver’s seat, and to do so, you must get clear about what you want, and then practice thoughts, feelings, and actions that support what you want. Taking control of your own life and changing from the inside is the most empowering and effective way to experience changes on the outside. Your intentions and the energy those intentions emit out into the world will tend to attract people and experiences with similar intentions and energy.

Here’s a simple and powerful exercise for women and men seeking parthership:
1) Write down all of the qualities you are seeking in your man (or woman). Be specific and try to think of everything that’s important to you.

Realize that your intention should also be to embody or practice embodying all or many of these qualities yourself if you expect to attract your someone with the same qualities.

From this list of the qualities you desire in your lover, pick a few of the most important or potent qualities, and write them on a post-it. Post this on your bathroom mirror, by your bed, on your computer, in your handbag, or anywhere you might scan it during your day. I say “scan” and not necessarily “read” the post-it’s, because this will be a good way to reprogram your unconscious.

For your conscious programming, read the full list of qualities every day for at least 32 days. Be aware of the types of men (or women) you're interacting with and considering as a potential partner. Your intention should be to hook up with a companion who matches or aligns with your llist of desired qualities.

JK, let me know if you notice positive changes within and with the types of men you’re attracted to and attracting to you. From the driver’s seat, may your journey into loving relationships align with your dreams.

Your Life Coach, Maddisen

Copyright 2011 Maddisen K. Krown M.A.


Saturday, 01 January 2011 23:13

We Are Here To Thrive, Not Just Survive

Written by

Dear Maddisen:
Another year has passed, and I feel like I was sleeping for most of it. I’m young, and I want to make this life count, but I’m feeling a little lost. How can I thrive? I need some direction. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks, and Happy New Year, MS

Dear MS,
What a great realization and a perfect question for the New Year. I agree, we are here to thrive, not just survive. And I understand how all of us may, at times, fall into different forms of complacency. The great news is: it is NEVER too late to start living with more interest, eagerness, focus, direction, and satisfaction. We can start fresh on any new day.

To help ignite your eagerness and a sense of direction, take an hour or more and answer these questions, which are actually part of my personal New Year’s program. I do this every year around this time. It fuels me forward in an empowering way, so that I know I’m thriving and not just surviving. You can do this alone, or with a partner or friend(s).

Your 2011 New Year’s THRIVE Program

Get comfortable, and answer these questions as best you can. Take notes.

1) How did you care for yourself in 2010?

2) If you had specific goals, how did you fully or partially create and experience them in 2010?

3) Acknowledge yourself for any and all growth or progress you achieved.

4) How would you like to care for yourself in 2011?

5) What are the goals you’d like to work toward and experience this year in 2011?
Write down your key goals/intentions for 2011. Look at them as often as you like – for example, once a week.

6) What are 3 or so personal qualities you’d like to call forward this year? For example, clarity, patience, kindness, thriving, inspired action, trust, courage, wealth, humor, etc.

Write down your qualities and keep them in a place where you can read them regularly. I write mine on post-its and keep them on my computer and bathroom mirror!

7) How can you support yourself or work with a friend or coach for support, on a weekly basis, to stay on track and acknowledge your progress with your milestones and goals? Consider keeping a weekly goal & quality journal where you write about your inner growth and outer actions.

Practice self forgiveness if you need to release any self criticism that comes up at any time. Remember, you can start fresh on any new day.

May these simple actions help you to thrive in your life. Happy New Year to you, and to all of my readers!

Your Life Coach, Maddisen

Copyright 2010 Maddisen K. Krown M.A.


Thursday, 23 December 2010 16:54

Is Bisexuality Wrong?

Written by

Dear Maddisen:
I consider myself a heterosexual woman. I really like being with men. But sometimes I’m sexually attracted to women too. Is that wrong? R.A.

Dear R.A.,

I do not judge attraction to both sexes as wrong. In fact, I believe it’s natural. I’m sure there are a wide range of opinions on this, so you’ll have to trust your own inner knowing.

If you read about bisexuality on the web, you’ll find lots of information. For example, Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, theorized that all human beings are born with an unconscious bisexual disposition, but that actually being bisexual is a neurosis. Psychologist Wilhelm Stekel also believed that everyone has an innate bisexual predisposition, but contended that this initial bisexual potential leads naturally to having relationships with women and men. He felt that both homosexuality and heterosexuality are symptoms of a neurosis, since being exclusively attracted to one sex requires suppressing or redirecting a basic part of oneself. He was quoted as saying, “There are no monosexual persons!”  Later on, biologist Alfred Kinsey did extensive research that highlighted the inadequacy of reducing human sexuality to either heterosexual or homosexual. And so on…

Just about everyone has an opinion, and since you’re asking mine, I’m suggesting that bisexuality is not wrong. However, you are the one who will have to decide if it’s something you wish to explore further. If it feels ‘right’ to you, perhaps set an intention to just allow it to be ok, give it space, and be open to healthy experiences that are in your highest good and the highest good of all. Being ok with how you feel may be all that’s needed here.

Your Life Coach, Maddisen

Copyright 2010 Maddisen K. Krown M.A.


Sunday, 19 December 2010 18:20

Are You Choosing to Feel Bitter or Better?

Written by

Dear Maddisen:
I’m so tired of complaining and feeling dissatisfied with things in my life, but I seem to be stuck here. How can I feel better? H.L.

Dear H.L.,

When we’re feeling negative emotions, it often feels as though we are in their grasp and helplessly stuck, and it doesn’t feel good at all. This may also taint our clarity and any sense of power we have over how we’re feeling or the situation itself. The good news is – we have the freedom to choose how we feel.

We have the freedom to choose how we respond and how we treat or ‘hold’ ourselves as we navigate experiences like this. Many if not most of us have developed a pattern of believing that we are victims of our feelings and reactions, and the truth is – we are not. We may not have control over the way others behave or act, but we do have control over the way we respond to others and life with our thoughts, our emotions, and our actions. It’s our natural, built-in ‘response-ability’.

Here’s a priceless morsel of wisdom I learned from my teachers Drs. Ron and Mary Hulnick: How you treat yourself as you go through issues, IS the issue. So, be very kind to yourself as you take steps to break the old pattern of forgetting that you have the freedom to choose better feelings and more empowering and positive thoughts.

To assist yourself in getting unstuck from the negative emotions, move into self forgiveness. Start with the expression: "I forgive myself for judging myself for..." or "I forgive myself for judging myself as...", and then add whatever the judgments are. For example, “I forgive myself for judging myself for feeling depressed and stuck.” Or, “I forgive myself for judging myself as unworthy.” Be thorough with self forgiveness, and then complete it with “Because the truth is…” For example, “Because the truth is I want to feel better.” Or, “Because the truth is I want to live a fulfilling life.” (See my 2-part blog on Self Forgiveness for more information.)

And to keep yourself moving forward, repeat this: “I am choosing to feel better not bitter.”

Life is a full and mysterious journey. You’re here, you’re alive. Let yourself experience your life with self respect and respect for others. Practice your innate response-ability. Get out of the trunk and get back into the driver’s seat. You can choose to feel better, not bitter.

Your Life Coach, Maddisen

Copyright 2010 Maddisen K. Krown M.A.

Friday, 10 December 2010 16:03

December is Gratitude Month

Written by
This week, I’m breaking out of the ‘Ask Maddisen’ mold to speak about gratitude, more specifically, gratitude for people who touch your lives. Two weeks ago, my dear friend Alice Strouse in Connecticut made her final departure from life. She was 85, and had lived a full and rewarding life. She was a teacher at my high school in the 70’s, my first mentor, a friend, lifesaver, and great inspiration. We stayed in touch with each other through the years. She came to see me in my Off Broadway show in New York City a few years ago, and our photo from that event sits here in front of me as I write this blog.
Monday, 29 November 2010 13:26

Is Your Heart Breaking or Breaking Open?

Written by

Dear Maddisen:
I recently had my heart broken. And now the holidays are here, which is making me feel even more sad and lonely. I don’t have a partner and I don’t have family. I literally feel contracted around my heart and my stomach, and I guess you could say I’m depressed. How do I deal with this? Please help. Thanks, M.R. 

Dear M.R., 

Thank you for your honesty. I’d like you to consider that your heart is not broken, but that your heart is actually telling you it is ready to be broken open – open to more love, your love, the love that is not dependent on others.

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