Tomorrow’s my birthday! And you won’t believe the surprises I have for you that are being announced on my blog tomorrow (visit to subscribe to the blog so you get the announcements when they come out! One surprise is just good tomorrow!). Oh.. and if you’re anywhere in Colorado on August 21, I’m kicking off a 60 day nationwide tour with a powerful talk (The Truth About Giving and Receiving) and workshop (21 Days to a More Abundant Life) at Unity of Longmont Spiritual Center. Talk is at 10:30; workshop is on a love offering basis from 1-4pm. Hope you can join me there or at one of our other events. I’ll be driving back and forth across the entire US which reminds me of something that happened when I was much younger.

Back in my early 30’s, I was driving a wee too fast on a windy country road on a rainy day. Coming around a curve, I found myself hydroplaning across a puddle. Off the road I flew, on a sure path to hit a large fence post head on.

Without a second thought, I turned the wheel TOWARD the fence post. My natural instinct was to turn the wheel away from the crash. But my training overrode my instincts. That training (from my father, who taught me to always steer into a skid) not only saved my life, it spared my car from damage. All except for a whacked-off side mirror.

That fence post made solid contact like a Louisville Slugger connecting with a fast ball. The mirror flew into the car and caught me square on the left wrist when I raised my arm to protect my face. Remind me to show you my scar. That little C-shaped tear-drop reminds me every day of the importance of moving TOWARD rather than AWAY from conflict.

My late friend, race car driver Daria Finn, said the most important thing to remember when there is a crash on the track is to steer directly toward where the two cars collided. Because racetracks are sloped inward, by the time you get to where the crash occurred the obstacles will be out of the way. The surest way for a driver to get caught up in the conflict is to try and avoid it. When you steer AWAY from the conflict is when you wind up smack dab in the middle of the moving pile-up!

Trying to avoid a conflict ALWAYS creates more conflict or escalates a situation. When we avoid the chance to communicate, we miss the chance to create peace of mind.

For example, let’s say you owe a creditor. They call you every day. You dodge the phone calls, hang up on them, or toss their letters and bills into the trash unopened. Then “suddenly” you discover your paycheck has been garnished, or a judgment is being levied against you.

And then you wonder “How? How did this happen?” It happened because the creditor didn’t have any communication from you. Now, I guarantee that what a creditor wants to hear is that you’re going to pay them back now, in full. Knowing this and knowing you can’t pay them, in full or in part, you dodge them.

You avoid your creditors or your boss or someone else you’re in a conflict with because you want to avoid the conflict of not being able to give them what they want. So what if you didn’t avoid them? What if you simply took their call and sincerely expressed 1) your desire to pay, 2) your inability to do so and 3) your willingness to communicate regularly to keep them up to date with your current status?

What if you told them you would call them every week and let them know your status AND actually followed up on that commitment? Even if they threaten to take something from you, tarnish your reputation, garnish your paycheck, take you to court? Communicating may not change the outcome but it does empower you. It keeps you informed of what they’re doing and it keeps them informed of what you’re doing.

I once had a client who was a restaurant owner. She was behind on paying a food supplier and the supplier was threatening to withhold delivery orders unless she got caught up on her past due bill. Looking at the situation objectively, I helped her communicate with the supplier.

My client explained to the supplier that the only way she could stay in business, and therefore be ABLE to pay the supplier in full, was if the supplier was able to continue delivering produce. She told the supplier she very much she wanted to find a way to pay off the past due bill. She wanted to make sure the supplier didn’t lose a client or the opportunity to get paid.

She asked the creditor to consider continuing new deliveries on a cash basis AND take a small extra payment each week toward the past due bill until it was paid in full. The supplier agreed. Problem solved. Everyone goes home happy.

I know it can cause you great anxiety when you have to ask for or offer something that is less than or different from what the other person wants. But the WORST thing you can do is to do nothing. It takes training to learn how to overcome this natural fearful state. It takes training to learn how to steer effortlessly toward the crisis or conflict. But it’s so worth learning how to do it. Because what you’re really doing at that moment, whether you know it or not, is steering toward the solution.


Where do you avoid conflict in your life or abandon situations, people or your own power? Where do you think “it’s just not worth the trouble?” Explore all the ways you avoid conflict and build everyday healthy strategies for dealing with everyday conflicts. Empower yourself today! Our 7 Weeks to Gently Overcoming Conflict Avoidance teleclass starts September 1. For details and to take the next step to transform your life visit,


CONFLICT DISSOLUTION: Leverage the Power of Your Negotiation Trigger Points

ON A POSITIVE NOTE: Harness the Power of Conscious Choice

FINANCIAL RECOVERY: Deed-in-Lieu versus Short Sale?

SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT/TITHING: Where Are You Eroding Your Integrity?

PAULA IN THE NEWS: Live and in person, on TV or virtual, you can find events with me at


Whatever we see in another person (and rail against), like insensitivity, is what we don’t want to look at in ourselves. When we become willing not just to notice the mirror, but to truly study our reflection in the mirror, healing and transformation occurs. Recognize the beauty in all and you will recognize the beauty in yourself. Judge the faults in yourself and that is all you will see in others.

All it takes is a willingness to change your perception of others in the instant the judgment occurs. When you find yourself thrown off center emotionally, stop and look at what you’re seeing and ask yourself: am I willing to see this rightly? Am I willing to see this in myself and heal it in myself?

CONFLICT DISSOLUTION: Leverage the Power of Your Negotiation Trigger Points

Do you have any idea how many negotiations you work through in a single day? Everything involving someone else is a negotiation. For example, say your daughter wants a new pair of shoes. She wants you to take her to the mall. You agree and then something comes up. There’s a meeting you need to get to at the same time.

And so the negotiation begins. Rather than tell your child you CAN’T help her get shoes, you offer options. You can go with me to my meeting and then we can go to the mall afterward. I can go to the mall and get the shoes for you, or someone else can drive you to the mall. The trick is to know your child’s trigger points – and yours!

If your child always plays the “your work is always more important than me” card (and you think you’re a bad parent because you worry about this too), be sure to state up front as you start the conversation that you WANT to honor your commitment to them and that the FORM is changing shape, that’s all. If your child is attached to the form, it’s harder to think outside the box. So help them.

Maybe your child doesn’t like your taste in shoes – so you would want to make sure they showed you on the internet and printed out a picture of the exact shoe make, model, color and size on it so you can do the “teen shopping for dummies” approach and hand the paper to the salesperson.

The same goes for any other type of negotiation. Say you’re negotiating a raise or an exit strategy from a company you’re a partner in. Pay attention to your attachment to the form. Is an extra two week’s vacation, or every Friday off with no change in pay worth more to you than a raise of an extra $1000 a year (after taxes that works out to about $13 extra per week, FYI)? Or if you’re leaving a company, let go of your attachment to form of the compensation you’ll receive. If you’re willing to take either 5% of the future value of the company or one million dollars, or a combo of both, you keep your power in the negotiation. Even if you wind up at 2.5% and $500,000, you’ll be happy. But if you’re attached to “I want a cash buyout and ONLY a cash buy out,” you may miss the bigger opportunity to get more of what you truly want. A lump sum payout may freak a company owner out if they’re feeling cash-strapped. But a future payout or something that costs them no additional money but gives you big benefits may create a bigger payoff for you.

Before I let any of my negotiation clients anywhere near a phone or a negotiation room, we strategize to determine what’s likely to trigger a reaction in the other party, what’s likely to push their buttons. Start by asking yourself these questions: What are the other party’s triggers? Who am I reminding them of? What do I know about the other party and their attachments and fears? And what do they know are MY trigger points. For instance, say you’re looking to leave a company you brought others into.

If you think the people who came in on your good word are being treated unfairly, the other party will leverage your sense of fairness and your desire to defend the other party’s interests. They will use this information to reduce your bargaining power. Remove your attachment to helping others and know that you’ll figure out a way to benefit them or make sure they receive their fair share in a separate negotiation. This diffuses your trigger and gives you more power in the negotiation.


With a Compassionate Mediators Pre-Negotiation Strategic Consultation, you gain insight about yourself, the other party, and the negotiation before you ever come to the table. For help keeping your negotiation on track and improving your chances of a successful outcome, visit

ON A POSITIVE NOTE: Harness The Power of a Conscious Choice

The secret to being free from fear and anxiety is simply this: Affirm “I CAN choose peace instead of this. I therefore consciously CHOOSE peace instead of this.” Affirm it over and over again. NOTHING is more powerful than an act of conscious choice.

FINANCIAL RECOVERY: Q&A Deed in Lieu versus Short Sale?

Dear Paula:

I’m trying to avoid having an investment property foreclosed on. We have a buyer for a short sale, but the bank wants us to come up with an extra $12,000 above the selling price or they won’t agree to the sale. Someone else suggested we just do a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. What are the pros and cons? – J.J., FL

Dear J.J.:

I’m not a “financial advisor” so I can’t give you financial advice. However, I can give you some facts and let you make your own informed decision.

Both a deed in lieu and a short sale will give you a tax liability if they forgiven the deficiency balance. (the difference between what they sell it for and what you owe on the property). Both are better than a foreclosure.

Here’s the bottom line difference though. If you want to do a deed in lieu of foreclosure, unless it clearly says that the deficiency balance is forgiven, you’ll still owe that amount. If it does state that the balance is forgiven, you’ll owe income taxes on the difference between what they sell it for and what you owe. Their sales price could be less than what you would get for the short sale.

I would suggest calculating the taxes you may owe on the difference between the short sale price and the loan amount. If the taxes will amount to more than $12,000, then you can expect to pay that much or more in taxes whichever way it goes.

If it were me, I would do a short sale ONLY if 1) the $12,000 is less than what the taxes would be on the deficiency AND 2) they will take the $12,000 as payment in full for ANY and all deficiency amount AND 3) they put it in writing. This would do away with those taxes and get the property sold for good and get you out from under the rest of the debt.

SPIRITUAL ENRICHMENT/TITHING: Where Are You Eroding Your Integrity?

I was recently at the Boulder Farmer’s Market one fine Saturday. I stopped in a stall to buy a head of red lettuce. The stall was fairly crowded. As I approached, a woman put down her empty coffee cup on the produce table and started to walk away.

We made eye contact and she hesitated, took one step back toward the table, made the slightest hint of a turn and then you saw the “click” occur in her mind. That little tiny rationalization that told her it was okay to act out of integrity. It was okay to leave her trash sitting on the “store” display table and walk away. It would have only taken a few extra steps to walk to the nearest trash can or a few seconds to ask the people at the booth if she could give them her trash to toss away.

These little acts of justified chaos, dishonesty and disharmony are what erode our integrity. Each act gives us permission for the next act and the next, until suddenly there is nothing left of honor and truthfulness in us.

The good news is: this mind disease IS completely reversible. It only takes the tiniest willingness to re-connect and pull ourselves back into the universal flow of Supreme Good. The next time you’re tempted to believe that the rules don’t apply to you, check yourself. And choose integrity over the fear of losing something you value more.

Nothing is more valuable than your integrity. Many people will try and take it away from you. Don’t do their work for them, okay? Walk your talk and your life will be forever enriched!

Peace and prosperity,

Paula Langguth Ryan

PS Remember to subscribe to the blog at so you don’t miss my birthday surprises. And check out to see if I’m coming to a city near you. We’re still booking venues, so call if you know a place that would like to host an event! Areas still with openings: Minneapolis (Aug. 25-26), Roanoke (Aug. 28-Sept 4), OR Greensboro, NC (Sept. 4), October dates still open for: Baton Rouge, San Antonio, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles area, Las Vegas.

Spiritually fed by my work? Tithes and offerings are gratefully accepted and passed on to do additional good work in this world. You can easily tithe online by sending a tax-deductible tithe via Paypal to my ministry at The Village Gathering. Just send it to the Paypal name; or if you prefer to send your gift via mail:

Paula Langguth Ryan
The Village Gathering
1121 Annapolis Road, Suite 120
Odenton, MD 21113

When remembering our work in your will or your tax planning, please designate it as The Village Gathering of which Paula Langguth Ryan is a minister, with headquarters in Merritt Island, FL. When making donations of appreciated assets, such as stocks, property, and other large items, please list the recipient as The Village Gathering. Many thanks and richest blessings, as my colleague Rev. Catherine Ponder would say!