I am new to this podcast. I am new to all self-coaching podcasts, in fact. I am taking that step. I am all in. But, do you remember what got me here? Not just that one night of darkness, but many nights – even maybe years – of not knowing how to be any better than I already was. I knew something needed to change, but I didn’t know the HOW of that change. Desperate. Dark. Lonely. Not knowing where to start. Well, my friends, after a dark night comes the sunrise.


“As you start learning the tools, it feels like the sun is starting to come up. This first stage I call ‘awareness’… you’re gaining awareness about what is actually creating your experience versus what is not.”

It’s all me. I am entirely responsible for creating my experience. It is not the things outside of me that create my life-experience.

Confession: I knew that. I have known that for years. But I have never known what to do with that information, to internalize and benefit from “knowing”.


  1. Interaction I had with ____________ last week.
  2. What happened: the fact.
  3. What was I thinking. What was I feeling.
  4. What result did I create for myself in that situation.

I did it. A few days ago, after first hearing this podcast, I completed the thought-work for Stage 1. Bry and I discussed my work after I had let it sit for a few days. And then I did it again today, addressing a different situation. For having learned and applied the skill earlier, I was surprised that it didn’t come more easily the second time. I will keep at it.

Awareness. A sunrise is incredibly illuminating. We see more clearly what is happening – what it is that’s actually creating our experience.

A sunrise is also incredibly hopeful – the sun starting to come up.

STAGE 2. NOON ILLUMINATION. The sun is high in the sky now. If you are in Stage 2, you understand the concepts – they are familiar. Not only are you aware of how your current thinking is creating your current problem, but you are then able to find a different thought to create a different result. This is exciting! Changes are happening!

“Your marriage that you thought was always going to be hard and challenging becomes so much more enjoyable and peaceful. Your relationship with yourself starts to improve and your confidence. You start pursuing your goals… Suddenly certain areas of your life that maybe were challenging to you for even a very long time start to get better.”

STAGE 3. THE SUNSET. This stage is beautiful!

“As nice as middle of the day is, as nice as it is to have the sun high in the sky … and everyone smiling, there’s something about sunsets that is even more beautiful. Stage 3 is what I call embracing humanness.”

The human experience discussed in DAY #4? Remember that? This third stage embraces that experience. It is less anxious to change negative emotions because we are no longer afraid of feeling them. We are not running around trying to fix ourselves or others, all the time.

“There is a lot of beauty in our suffering at times. There is a peace behind it.”

Several months after Matthew died, I would get a glimpse of the sunset. I would “lean into” my pain, and not wish it away – not because I wanted to wallow in self pity, but because the pain validated the love and the loss.