The Good & Bad Of It All – By Tsgoyna Tanzman

“That’s good. That’s Bad.” I recalled this tag line from one of my favorite children’s’ books by that title, as I watched nature unfold while on safari in Africa. A lion was in hot pursuit of an antelope. “Oh, that’s Bad.” The antelope, away from the protection of its herd, leaped into the water to halt the lion’s pursuit, just narrowly escaping certain death. Oh, that’s good. But almost immediately a crocodile surfaced with wide-open jaws and the antelope succumbed. Oh, that’s bad. Life in the bush is a constant tale of, “Oh that’s good. That’s bad.” But so it is for our lives as well. Out in the bush, I was away from the horrific news events that occurred in Seville, Spain and in my own country in Charlottesville, and now in Houston. How is it possible to remotely think of, “That’s Good,” with tragedy, loss, and devastation? Those events… Continue reading

Myers-Briggs or Candy Land? – By Tsgoyna Tanzman

“I want winning!” the three-year old seethed as he plucked the dreaded peppermint candy card from the pile.  He was so close to the castle, the finish line, the grand ending where he could declare himself the winner, but instead he boomeranged back to the beginning only to watch others race to the finish. Candy Land is a game of momentary thrills and devastating setbacks. It’s a game of chance– pick a card — see what you get Like life itself, it reveals one’s general resilience and stress tolerance when external circumstances happen. In plain talk:  You get to see who you are when Sh%$ happens.  The game is about trust and tolerance about enjoying the journey and about dealing with the unexpected turn of bad news just when you thought you were at the top of your game. Everyone covets the ice-cream cone card. It’s the winning lotto ticket… Continue reading

What’s Better Than Understanding – By Tsgoyna Tanzman

We all want to be understood.  This is a fundamental principle of our being. To feel that someone truly “gets us, knows us, feels what we feel, and can relate to us.” This resonance and simpatico is the strength of relationships. But when it comes to “understanding” problems, discovering our motivations and why the problem is what it is, understanding may just be the very thing blocking progress. Examine the word for a moment Under-Stand To stand under something is to not see it. To not see it, is to not know it. To not know a way out or around it. To stand under something is to have a weight above you—something impenetrable and too heavy to shake off. Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” So we need a way out. Perhaps OVER standing our problems is a beginning. To overstand means… Continue reading

How Setting Boundaries Keeps Us Closer – By Tsgoyna Tanzman

How can a boundary that’s essentially a barrier enable you to become closer to someone? It’s not a riddle, but an enigmatic truth principle. Avoidance and distance are our natural defense mechanisms built in to eliminate the pain of those who trod on us either emotionally or physically. But what if there were a better way to communicate? Many of my clients tell me how strained their relationships are, or non-existent, because (among many scenarios) either a spouse, their parent, or a friend is constantly overstepping his boundaries by asking for money, deliberately undermining their parenting rules, being verbally abusive, using their clothes and not returning them, or constantly being late. My first response is some of those “violations” are not actually boundary issues but rather expectations. So how do you sort out a boundary violation from an expectation? For starters, defining the word helps. Boundary:  a line that marks… Continue reading

And The Award Goes To? – By Tsgoyna Tanzman

With all the Hollywood buzz about the upcoming Oscars, I began to wonder what if our lives had annual awards. Would we notice our epic wins, our memorable and noteworthy dramas and comedies? Would there be a category for most valuable contribution to humanity? What would our original score be or mean? But what if the most coveted award was… for being ENOUGH? What if that was the award we gave ourselves daily? And the Award goes to… me….for being enough? Simplicity is deceptive. We often can’t speak an affirmation like, “I’m beautiful, I’m confident, I can handle this” ….and believe those words. But the simplicity of stating “I am Enough”….is nearly irrefutable. Ok maybe not irrefutable. You scream….“But I’m not enough, I’m a loser. I don’t have a job, I’ve been divorced three times, I have no friends.” But try saying this….“I’m a loser, but I’m still enough. I don’t have a… Continue reading