Were You Picked on in Grade School?


I was picked on as a kid.

I’m  not telling you this for you to get indignant about what happened to me.  Nor am I sharing so  you and I can commiserate about all the terrible things that have happened to us at the hands of others. I’m just putting it out there because I promised myself that I’d write a post every morning whether I felt like it or not.  I promised myself 60 days of showing up and writing, publicly and the fact is I actually cleaned the dishes before coming up here to write because I felt like I didn’t have anything to write about.

Yes.  The coach who works with dozens of writers and would-be writers each month was playing the same head-games her clients do.  The game is a neat combo of “I don’t have anything worthwhile to say,” + “I’ll just wait til I’m hit by inspiration” + “Why would anyone read what I write.”

Irony! You are my dance partner it seems.

Still, the sentence, “I was picked on a lot” kept dancing in my head. Sometime yesterday as I was thinking about what to write in a blog post and in my ezine today, that vision of me, being tied to a tree by Roberta and Angela and their gang in 4th grade kept popping up.

When I spilled my coffee all over my grandmother’s antique gate leg table that was generously gifted me from my sister, I was thinking about it. I was also probably chastising myself for being clumsy and congratulating myself on being stealthy enough to postpone the writing a little longer. And I played with the way the sentence was short and sweet and staccato, just the way I like my sentences to be.


The deeper questions are why was I picked on?  Why, out of a class of 20 girls was I the one that got drafted to be tied to the tree in the woods behind the school, only to be untied when the girls had to come clean as to why I hadn’t gotten back to the classroom after recess?  (For the record I was more concerned about being ‘tardy’ to the classroom than being tied up).

In the haze that’s descended over 40 years I don’t really remember that day well.  I can imagine it, as I still dream of that school, its halls, the deep and loamy scent of the pine trees surrounding the big back hill where we sledded in the winter, but a clear memory of being tied to that tree doesn’t exist.  Frankly, I’d completely forgotten about the incident altogether until Angela apologized at our 20th High School reunion. At that moment I sensed that picking on me had created a much heavier  burden for her than it had for me.  She’d carried it for about 30 years and I’d forgotten it before I reached 8th grade.

Was I bullied?

I’m not sure.  We talked about bullies but not bullying when I was growing up. My parents knew that I desperately wanted to belong and yet continued to feel left out, but I have a tendency to be a storyteller (exaggerate) and have always wanted my parents to feel good and happy and comfortable (oldest child syndrome) and I suspect I kept the more painful details of my school day from them.  I know that had I told my parents about the tree incident, there would have been a call to the school and to the other girls’ parents.  The parents were pretty cohesive in those days.  If I did something wrong or hurt a kid I went to school with I would have been reprimanded and likely punished. The same would have been true had I told on Angela and Roberta and their cohorts.  I don’t think they told me NOT to tell on them, nor would they have threatened me if I did.  I’m sure my 9 year old brain thought of the incident as a type of initiation ritual, that if I put up with the humiliation, then I would finally be accepted into the Clique.  As it was I spent the next three years floating in and out of the Clique until I left that school altogether and found a group of amazing friends to hang out with.  By the time the twins and their cohorts made it to the same school, I already was established in my own right.

I’m sure I thought about all this after Angela apologized 11 years ago. Today it takes on a bit of a different flavor as I reminisce about how all these moments are part of a larger journey.

These incidents weren’t just about “toughening me up” as I might have been told as a kid, but rather about opening me up to the work I do now. I have the opportunity to see where I chose to go along and where I desperately tried to fit in and how often I was shoved aside,  or put in a position to “learn” that people aren’t worth trusting.  I would try to get into a group or organization that I thought held the “key” to success and love only to find out that there was still an empty feeling. As I reflect I see how all this frames what is in my fingerprints.  I didn’t know that at the time – in fact Richard Unger was just getting started with his studies when I was in 4th grade! Still the need to fit in and the need to own and trust my own power and worth are on-going themes and I’m grateful to be able to see them for the gift they are now.

Reflecting on childhood can be bittersweet, I’m glad to put those memories in the context of my entire journey here on the planet.

What childhood memories or heartbreaks have stuck with you? Is there a way to reframe them from today’s vantage point?

Do You Have Marriage Lines?

You are now either hoping you do or don’t have these mysterious Marriage lines. Either you’re single or coupled and either you’re happy or unhappy about your status.

Relationships are so often convoluted and confusing and you might have noticed that you base a lot of your self-esteem on your relationship situation.  You might even think that “everything” will be “better” when you are “finally” married.

Is it true?

My experience has shown me that getting married can exacerbate every single insecurity I ever had. My two marriages taught me that all those cliches are true – you really OUGHT to be whole before you marry another person.  I learned that you can’t lump your worth into the basket of how well you “fix” him (or her).  Falling in love with potential just wasn’t the wisest move for me.

You might have a completely different experience. I have friends that started dating in High School and they’re happily married to this day. I suspect that seeing his potential at 16 led her to want to live up to the potential he saw in her.  Sometimes that happens too.

We each have our own stuff and experiences to learn from here on Earth. Whether you fall in love, marry and live happily ever after with your high school crush or not, your relationship story is part of the way you become whole.

Does that mean you can rely on the fortune-teller who told you that you have no marriage lines to mean that you will be alone for the rest of your life?


First off,  your lines can and often do change. Especially those little lines.  Secondly, don’t be one of those people who says you want to claim your free will and then starts a self-fulfilling prophecy based on a statement from a stranger you paid 20 bucks when you were slightly buzzed on a Friday night out with your friends.

Here’s the deal.

Some people have tons of lines in their hands. There are lines EVERYWHERE you look.  Other people have three lines that you can easily see.  That’s just how they’re made. Just like your eye color, skin color or shape of your toes – you were made that way. Don’t fret. It’s perfectly you.

When someone presses me to tell them if they have marriage lines I tell them I’d rather talk about the way they show up in relationships and their expectations of others. Then we’ll review their Mercury (Pinky) finger, heart line, and other places in the palm that speak to communication savvy, boundaries and people skills.  We’ll also review areas in the hand to look at how open they are to change and how willing they are to trust and surrender control.  These pieces of their hard-wiring clue us in on how open they are to a relationship, how realistic their expectations are and how likely they are to really show up in a great partnership.

After a decade of reading hands I know that everyone is capable of love and that love is a universal need. Your hands have shown me that partnerships are always meaningful and that “forever” isn’t always what the fairy tales told us. A relationship can have meaning for us throughout our lives, even if we’re not physically still together. In a way that’s forever.

Instead of asking if you have Marriage Lines, ask yourself who you’d have to be to be in a madly passionate, committed and joy-filled union.  Get clear on whether marriage is or is not an institution that floats your boat.  Then be the person you’re meant to be now.  No more waiting to see what “fate” has in store.  Go out and love and ignore the fortune-tellers trying to scare you or assuage you.  Be you.

How to Get the Help You Need

Our hands show us the “easy” way and the “hard” way to make things happen in our lives. It’s not just “fortune-telling” or mumbo-jumbo. Your hands show how you’re hard-wired. How the neurons are swirling and connecting in your brain. The way you process information and your “go-to” process for showing up in the world. Especially when you feel challenged, or scared.

Running a business can sometimes be challenging and scary. Still, there are those of us that can’t seem to stop the madness – we insist on working for ourselves. (Even if we dabble in part-time work to pay the bills or learn new skills, from time to time).

The thing about your hands (all hands for that matter) is that they’re multi-faceted.  You’ve got layers, like an onion (or Shrek) and they all contribute to our hard-wiring.

So as far as hiring help – you have a way that instinctively makes sense. We can see that in the hands. If it’s effective and you go with it, that’s a win. If it’s not effective, or not the way you think you should go about hiring help, well, we’ve got a dilemma, don’t we?

Things your like life purpose, life school, life lesson (as depicted by your fingerprints), your gift markings, your hand shape and your dominant and secondary lines all come together to form the instinctive map that guides you. When I look at your hands I can see what comes/came naturally for you and I can see the places that you’ve put in time and energy and force-feeding to change an instinctive process so you can be more “accepted” in the “normal way of doing things.”

In some cases, it probably benefits you to concentrate on creating processes and getting things done in a consistent fashion (versus say, sitting on the couch, watching Star Trek reruns while waiting for the muse to appear so you can start looking for a job.)  in other cases, you maybe forced yourself to believe that you should be seen or not heard, or that you didn’t have anything useful to say, or that you were ugly and unworthy…and you’ve worked hard to hide into that version of yourself.  Your hands show it all.

So help.

How to get it.

Your hands have some ideas.

I do believe that there are such things as “natural” leaders, but I also know for a fact that anyone can develop a good, solid leadership muscle if they want one.

So if you were looking to bring on some help for a project or the company, we’d look at your leadership beliefs – starting with your first (Jupiter) finger. We’d take a look at your thumbs to see how you normally get things done – are you a plan, start, work, work, work, finish person or do you wander about in your process? Your thumbs will also give us an idea of how you expect others to get things done (tow the line or let it flow?)  After that we’d spend some time looking at your head line (to figure out how you think), your heart line (to understand your relationship needs at work) and your pinkies – to pin down your communication style.

With all that intelligence gathered we’ll be in a good place to set some goals and create a realistic hiring program specifically for you and your business.  So much easier than simply following a one-size-fits-all system, right?

So if you’re facing some challenges around hiring help right now – let me know.  Your hands, combined with the Hiring Help (Team-Building) Mojo Accelerator can be exactly what you need!