DR. TONI GALARDI
MASTERING CHANGE…ITALIAN STYLE

Ask The LifeQuake Doctor – March Issue

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Ask the LifeQuake™ Doctor Dr. Toni Galardi

Spring is coming! March 20 marks the Spring Equinox, bringing blossoms and new life. For those of you who have already reneged on promises made to yourself, this is a great time for getting back on the horse and initiating change. Take one habit that is holding you back from becoming the “best you” possible. Expect your destiny to change—in fact, declare it! Then write to me about your progress or any questions concerning what may be holding you back.

Dear Dr. Toni:
I have been an artist for almost 20 years. I am told my work is good but I have trouble with the PR part of the business. I hate having to show at gallery openings and talk about my work. I would rather just do what I do and have an agent market for me, but I am told that you have to be part of the selling end of things.
I am writing because I think part of it has to do with the fact that my father does not approve of me being an artist. He maintains that because I didn’t go to a professional art school, I lack credibility, so I always feel like a fraud when I have to promote my work publicly. Do you have any suggestions as to what I can do to get out of my own way?
Hiding Out in Encinitas

Dear Hiding:
Ah, yes. This is a common dilemma for many artists. The personality of the individual who can spend long days creating in isolation is often quite introverted. Public openings in galleries can feel downright painful. In your case though, I think that more is at play.
I would like to suggest that you use writing as a healing tool for releasing the beliefs you inherited from your father. One way for you to do this is to speak to your “inner father/judge” using your dominant hand and respond to this critic using your non-dominant hand. What this does is open the channel to your intuition and your “wholy” self.
For example, ask this question from your critic using your right hand if you’re right handed: “Who are you to think that you have what it takes to be taken seriously as a painter?” Answer the question with your left hand. Keep asking questions from the critic until you feel enough support from the answers given by your “wholy” self that you feel more at peace and you can surrender your resistance to promoting your work. Get in touch with the part of you that has experienced joy from your art and let that be your intention for what you want people to feel when they have one of your pieces in their home or office.

Dear Dr. Toni:
I’ve started a relationship with a man who lives in a part of the country I will never move to. I work from home and could live anywhere, but I don’t want to live in a hot, humid climate. He claims that he wants to move back to California, but not for 18 months—until his son graduates. It is really hard having long separations and I am questioning if I am wasting my time on someone who may never move back.
How does one decide whether to invest in something that could end in a year?
Lonely and in Love

Dear In Love:
My dear, love is a risk no matter where it shows up. If he were here, it would come with other risks. You don’t mention how often you see each other. You also don’t mention whether this is an exclusive relationship or what has been decided regarding a future with each other. Let’s presume you see each other once a month. If you don’t, by the way, I would insist on those terms if you need more contact. Secondly, I would not make it an exclusive relationship until there is a commitment in place. What will allow you to be more patient with the process of discovery is if you continue to date others and have a social life where you let it continue to evolve. If he wants exclusivity, define what the relationship is and what each of you expects over the next 18 months.
I have one last suggestion, should things progress. If there is a way for you to work anywhere, negotiate with him what you need in order for you to move to where he is. What kind of compromises do you need from him for you to relocate: Do you need a plan? Do you need a ring on your finger? Do you need him to accommodate your heat sensitivity by providing you with constant air conditioning at all times? Perhaps extracting a promise that he will never wear flip-flops and Bermuda shorts when he takes you to dinner will be comforting. The point is, be clear but do it with humor. You will get further in your negotiations, irrespective of whether you move there or not.

Dr. Toni Galardi is a licensed psychotherapist, public speaker, and author of The LifeQuake Phenomenon: How to Thrive (Not Just Survive) in Times of Personal and Global Upheaval. She can be reached through LifeQuake.net or for consultation at 310.712.2600.

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