• What Other People Think of You is None of Your Business

    Car Communication, Talk, Self Talk

    Listen to Your Still Small Voice Within

    In preparing for an upcoming course I'm teaching, I was reminded of the lesson that speaks of the Divine spirit being found not in an all-powerful, cacophonous presence, but rather in a kol d’mama, a “still, small voice”.   Every single time I hear these words, it stops me in my tracks. And then I find myself taking a long slow exhale and getting quiet, turning inward.  Every single time.  Even if just for a moment or two.

    So often we look outside of ourselves to help us figure out what we’re supposed to think, how we’re supposed to feel, and what’s the best thing to do in a given situation.  We spend so much time concerning ourselves with what other people think about us, that we forget ourselves in the process.  We spend so much energy trying to get inside other peoples’ heads in order to be sure we know what they’re thinking about us, that we neglect to get clear about what WE think about ourselves.  What matters to us.  The whispers within us that we need to listen to.

    Well, here’s the thing— 

    What other people think of you is none of your business!

    Take a breath and sit with that for a moment.  

    When someone tells you anything about you (even a sweet compliment), they’re giving you information about THEM, not about you.  They like your outfit—that tells you about their preference.  They suggest you should go to graduate school—that tells you about their thoughts and opinions.  They tell you you’re looking in the wrong places to meet your future partner—that tells you what they believe they know about the topic.  What they think you should do, be, have, etc. is about them, not about you. What they think is THEIR business, not yours. 

    Well, here’s another thing—

    What YOU think of you is 100% your business!  

    Of course, you can always ask others to share their opinions, as you wade through the myriad possibilities and decisions that come your way in life.  And you can certainly benefit from considering and learning from other people’s experience, knowledge and wisdom.  The key is to choose, on purpose, because it makes sense to you.  NOT because you think someone knows better than you.  How could they possibly?  You are the expert of you.  Now, go be the boss of yourself!

    It’s often in the quiet moments where inspiration rests, waiting to be heard.  Waiting to be breathed into being.  It’s up to us to get quiet enough, focused enough, and trusting enough to listen to our inner still small voices. And then, it’s up to us to be courageous enough to embrace the inspiration and do something every day to feed it.  That’s how wispy dreams become solid realities.

     Need help finding and listening to your kol d'mama, your still small voice?  Let's talk!  I can help.

  • Why I Choose to Embrace Clarity and Say Goodbye to Struggle.


    Sit with the word for a moment or two.  

    Ask yourself how it feels when you’ve got it. 

    How does it feel when it’s missing?

    So much of our struggling and suffering rests in our lack of clarity. 

    What do I really want to do?  What do I really want to “be”?  What do I really want to have in my life?

    • When you lack clarity, so much of life feels like a slog.  It’s when we spin our wheels, waste time and money, feel out of sorts, and often devolve into self-demeaning thoughts…SO NOT HELPFUL!!
    • When you lack clarity, fear lurks around all the nooks and crannies of your mind.  For some, fear makes you freeze and not take any action.  For others, fear itself makes you go, go, go, nonstop—spinning like a tornado.  Sometimes fear makes you lash out at the people you love the most.  For many, fear makes you turn around and run the other way.
    • When you lack clarity, it’s almost impossible to set a course for where you’re going.  And this can be problematic.  In the words of the late, great Yogi Berra, "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else."  For some people, enjoying the journey as it comes might be just fine.  For most of us, lacking that sense of clarity causes a great deal more OY than joy! 

    What I have learned from just about every coaching client I work with is:

    • When you are clear, what you really want will begin to show up in your life.  And the extent to which you are clear makes a huge difference. 
    • When you are clearthe struggle dissipates. Choices become easy to make.  Motivation and excitement about the future show up regularly, and taking action becomes something you look forward to.
    • When you have clarity, light reflects your way forward, and you begin to create what you want in your life.  It’s impossible for this NOT to happen.

    It's just that clear!

    I KNOW this to be true.  I have seen people make incredible shifts and strides in their lives, as they become more clear about what matters most to them.  And I have my own stories to add to the stash of evidence.  One of these days I’ll share some of them here, as well!

    If you want help, I’m offering a super useful program that helps people get clear about what matters most to them.  I LOVE this process.  It includes 2 coaching sessions and a whole lot of great information for an introductory price of $99.  Check it out here.


  • It's my Birthday...and That's Good News for You!

    Today is my birthday!   I'm actually 55 years old, but this picture still resonates. I'm not going to spend hours of my day thinking up "55 lessons I've learned..."  I've got celebrating to do.  But I do have a birthday ritual of doing a quick gratitude download.  Here's what I came up with this year.  

    15 things I’m thinking about today:

    1. I am so glad to be alive,
    2. It’s good to be 55,
    3. I adore my husband and my two sons, my mom, sisters and brothers
    4. I love that I have close relationships with family far away…
    5. And with “chosen family” (you know who you are), closer to home 
    6. I am grateful for my students and my teachers, and
    7. For my friends and for those who challenge me to keep going and growing
    8. Mindfulness matters…always
    9. Laughing often, makes for a better day
    10. It’s important to me to remain open, even when I think I disagree
    11. Some battles really are worth fighting…most aren’t
    12. Where the mind goes, energy flows; what we resist, persists
    13. I feel incredibly blessed and fortunate
    14. Life is as long as it is…so it’s important to live fully now!
    15. I love what I get to do for work.

    Here's the Good News for You:

    Because it makes me happy, I’m giving myself a birthday present: 

    Free Coaching Sessions for the first 20 people who respond!!!

    Email me here

    Write: "Happy Birthday Coaching Session" in the subject line.

    If you’re wondering if you would benefit from coaching, this is a great opportunity to find out. 

    • Do you find yourself stuck in a rut or asking yourself, “What’s next” and not getting there on your own?
    • Looking for your soul-mate or wishing things would improve with your current mate?
    • Feeling stuck in your current job or ready to make a career shift? 
    • Are you on the yo-yo dieting train and ready to get off and lose weight and get healthy once and for all? 
    • Struggling to get your work team to perform?
    • Do you feel like your kids are more in charge than you are? 

    If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, LET’S TALK! 

    Per #15 above:  Coaching is one of the most powerful forces for change on Earth, and my clients provide me with evidence for this thought every day.  Seriously, very little makes me happier than when I get to do this work.  That's why I'm offering this free coaching.  I want to share the magic!

    Remember:  Email me, and write "Happy Birthday Coaching Session" in the subject line.

    Next Up:  What I'm planning for the coming year.  I'm excited to share it with you!!



  • The Power of a Pause

    Oh, this quote…the quiet, elegance that encapsulates with absolute clarity the belief that we possess the power to choose how we greet whatever the world throws at us.  It is the cornerstone of my coaching work.  It’s just that good!

    In our typical everyday lives, things happen and we react.  A colleague doesn’t show up to a meeting, and you think she’s being flighty or disrespectful.  You react by sending an email telling her as much. Your spouse comes home after work and doesn’t want to go out.  In your disappointment, you say unkind things and make accusations, leaving both of you feeling crappy.  Your child wakes up for the third time in as many hours.  You feel exhausted and frustrated, and stomp into his bedroom and angrily give him a piece of your mind. 

    Things happens, to which we mere mortals assign meaning. Our thoughts trigger feelings, often very strong emotions.  And based on how we feel, we do what we do…we react.  And especially when we are angry, hurt, frustrated, emotionally exhausted (pick any strong negative emotion), our reactions don’t typically help the situation get better nor help us feel better.  And yet, this remains our typical pattern.

    Here’s the thing:  It doesn’t have to be that way!  

    We have the choice to RESPOND rather than REACT.   What’s the difference?  Reactions are typically un-contemplated, knee-jerk things we do immediately following something happening (the stimulus).  Responses, on the other hand, are what follow a “pause”, during which we consider, and then choose, what we will do.  In Frankl’s “space” lies our ultimate power as human beings…the ability to manage our own minds, emotions, and, ultimately to respond in ways that can make our lives more peaceful, pleasant, loving and fulfilling.

    So remember, when stuff happens (and it will!), PAUSE.  BREATHE. Give yourself some SPACE to consider what you want the outcome of your response to be--and then take action. Each of us has the sole power to choose what we will say and do.  And in owning that power, taking full responsibility for our actions, we gain ultimate freedom.  How awesome is that?!!

    If you want to learn more about this concept, I highly recommend reading Victor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning.

    And if you find yourself in the spin-cycle of negative reactions, I'd love to help.  Contact me and let's get to work!

  • Let It Be

    Mindfulness is being present, on purpose, without judgment, and with kindness. 

    Geeta Cowgali and Jon Kabat-Zinn~

    I recently completed a 9-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course.  A friend had asked me if I’d be interested in joining her, and I decided to enroll as a way of gaining helpful tools to use with my coaching clients.  This was my story, my motivation and my predominant thought, as I began my mindfulness practice:  I'm doing this as professional development.  Ironically, I was so busy thinking about how mindfulness practice could benefit my clients, I didn’t really allow myself to fully (mindfully) engage with it! 

    And then I surrendered…

    Here’s the magical thing about mindfulness practice:  You can’t do it for someone else.  And if you do the practice, you can’t help but to encounter your own stuff, in all it’s “fullness”.   My teachers were wonderful and kind, thoughtful and responsive.  They gave us tools, guided and contextualized for us.  But, in the end, it was each of us who had to get to know ourselves and see our minds and feel our bodies, as they were, in that moment. 

    And let me just say, IT WAS HARD!

    When I finally allowed myself to be in my own mind, it was cacophonous!  My thoughts were all over the place, and I kept trying to control the traffic!  Slowly, slowly, I learned to just let my mind be, without judgment.  And soon, curiosity and fascination set in, along with a healthy dose of amusement.

    Seeing ourselves clearly is not always easy.  It can be hard.

    But hard isn’t bad, it’s just hard. 

    And that’s ok. 

    Let it be

    I set out to gather strategies to help my clients, and I ended up learning a way of being that has immeasurably enhanced my own life…and my coaching toolbox!

    Is your life “noisy”?  Are you finding yourself stuck in a thought loop that isn’t helpful?  Are you ready to create a new path for yourself?  I'm here to help. Let’s talk!  

  • Turning the Page: 5 Keys to Launching a Fantastic 2015

    The days are getting longer, and we are just a couple days away from turning the page of the calendar. Here are 5 things to consider that are guaranteed to help you get your year off to a great start.

    1. Take Stock—Before racing full-speed ahead into the new year, you might want to slow down and give yourself the gift of looking through the rear view mirror:  What did you accomplish?  What goals are yet to be reached?  Any regrets?  What would you like to do differently next year?  These are the categories I consider, when doing my year-end reflection:  Health, Relationships, Work, Finances, Community Service, Spirituality, Intellectual Growth, Fun/Play
    1.  Clear the Clutter and Get Organized—What do you want to carry with you into your new year?  What do you want to leave behind? What is the “stuff” of your life that no longer serves you?  It might be overflowing cupboards, closets, shelves and drawers.  Are you ready to lighten your load?  The go-to questions I ask myself when deciding what stays and what goes are:  Do I really, really love it?  Is it essential/do I need it?  Does it carry positive/pleasurable memories?  And once you’ve done your “winter cleaning”, get organized.  Make sure you know where things are and where they go.  You’ll spend a lot less time worrying about where you put things and where to find them. 
    1. Manage your Mind—Not all thoughts are created equal, and all thoughts are a choice!  The thoughts you choose to bring with you into the new year will determine how your year will begin, and how it will continue.  Check your thoughts.  Are you choosing thoughts that feel full of opportunity, or ones that are self-defeating?  Are your thoughts ones that feel motivating, or do they leave you feeling sapped of energy?  Do they feel like helium, or like lead?  One of the most powerful coaching tools I have (and we all have it) is the knowledge that we are all capable of managing our minds and choosing thoughts that are helpful.  Try it, you’ll like it! 
    1. Choose Wisely—Tis the season for making resolutions. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, although 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, only 8% of us actually follow through with them.  However, people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to follow through than those who don’t.  So, what do we have to do to succeed?  Choose wisely.  Less is more.  Keep going!  Manage your mind, choose helpful thoughts that feel motivating, take action, reflect, adjust, and keep going!
    1. Write a Letter to yourself—Date it December 31, 2015.  Write a letter to yourself that describes the wonderful, successful, satisfying, and fulfilling year you’ve had.  Have fun with this and get as detailed as you can.  ENVISIONING and RECORDING your upcoming fabulous year is a sure-fire way to set yourself on the path to realizing it!

    Coaching is a great way to set yourself up for success. I'd love to help!  Contact me.

    Now, go embrace your New Year!!

  • Tic-Toc…What’s it all about?

    My friend Susan and I had to cancel our walking date this morning.  “No problem,” I said.  “How does your December 7th look?” 

    And then I felt my stomach sink and my breath catch. 

    How can it possibly be almost December 7th?  Where has this year gone?!  My mind began to spin and stop and reverse and lurch, as I tried to remember everything I said I was going to do in 2014.  Did I achieve my goals?  Was I even clear about what they were?  Did I work hard enough and smart enough? Did I support my community to the best of my ability?  Do I still have time?  What if I don’t have time? And what about everyone else in my life?  Are my kids doing what they need to do to move forward in their lives?  Is my husband?  Are my siblings and mom healthy?  And so on… 

    This all took place in probably 10 seconds or less! And then I just smiled in fascination at how quickly I could go from rescheduling a lovely walk, to becoming a crazed, self-judging, inadequate worrier in the space of a fraction of a minute!  What an amazing, wondrous thing the mind is!!

    And…deep, cleansing breath.  Here’s what I know for certain (and my coaching clients will attest to this):  The stuff of life does not make us feel crazed, “judgey”, inadequate or worried (or any other way).  It’s what we make it all mean that causes us to feel the way we do.  And here’s the secret sauce that has the potential to change everything:

    What we choose to make it all mean is completely up to us.

    How utterly empowering is that?!  I get to decide for myself what I want the stuff of my life to mean!

    So, I’m hitting the reset button:

    “It’s almost December”--I’ve had a full and generative year.  I have fabulous clients who honor me with the privilege of helping them navigate through their challenges.  My husband and I successfully completed a 2-year process of designing and building our wonderful new home.  Our sons have both been awarded university degrees in their chosen fields of study.  We were fortunate to be able to travel to visit and celebrate with extended family over the summer and share travels together to places we’ve never been before.  My family and friends remain sources of joy and comfort, and I have a husband who makes me laugh every day and with whom I share mutual love and respect.  In the things that I value most in my life—love, health, family, friends, purpose—I am rich beyond measure, and I look forward to creating more deliciousness in the year to come!

    If you’d like help re-setting your own path, contact me.  I’d love to help!

  • Now What...?

    Now What…?!

    These two words put together carry SO MUCH WEIGHT, and I hear them often in my coaching practice. 

    • The college grad who hasn’t yet decided on her path:  “Now what?  How do I figure out my life’s purpose?”
    • The 30-something single woman (or man) who wishes to be in a long-term relationship:  “Now what?  Will I ever find “the one”?
    • The parent whose 2-year old begins to climb out of her crib in the middle of the night:  “Now what?   How will this next developmental stage impact on my life?  Will I ever get a good night’s sleep again?”


    • The parent whose 16-year old just got his driver’s license:  “Now what?  How will I know where he is and that he’s ok?  Will I ever get a good night’s sleep again?” (I could go on for pages with circumstances that lead parents to ask, “Will I ever get a good night’s sleep again?”!)
    • The business executive who feels overburdened and lacking the time to effectively manage her team, let alone take a much-needed family vacation:  “Now what?  How do I get balance in my life?”
    • The 50-something man who unexpectedly finds himself unemployed—for the first time in 30 years:  “Now What?  What am I supposed to do on Monday morning, and how do I talk about myself (what I do) when people ask?”
    • The mom who finds herself feeling unmoored and empty, when her last child leaves for college:  “Now what?  Who am I?  What am I?”
    • The recently retired person:  “Now what?  Who am I without the sense of meaning and purpose that I left behind when I stopped working?”

    Notice anything interesting in these circumstances?  For me, it’s fascinating that they all have to do with significant moments of transition.   Most of us feel better when we know what to expect, and moments of transition are, by definition, times of uncertainty.   

    “Now What...?” is really a response to the shakiness that we feel when there’s a shift of circumstances in our lives.

    Consider all of these life-altering circumstances (transitions):  Graduating, becoming a couple, starting a family, being diagnosed with an illness, ending a relationship, beginning a new job or business, becoming unemployed, retiring, becoming a grandparent, etc. Transitions happen, whether we’re ready for them or not.  Life is, to be certain, a series of transitions.   The truth is, not one of these circumstances is necessarily “good” or “bad”.  They-just-are.

    It’s what we make them mean that causes us joy or fear, excitement or dread, fascination or judgment, expansiveness or limitation, gratitude and appreciation, or resentment. 

    If you’re struggling with a moment of transition in your life, and you want help figuring out “Now What…?”, CONTACT ME.  I would love to help. 

    Shift HappensLET'S GET TO WORK!

  • The Power of Thoughts

    “Whether you think you can


    whether you think you can’t…

    You’re right.” 

    Henry Ford


    13 words that can pack a wallop…in a good way!

    Let’s break it down.  When you read this sentence, what words pop for you? 

    Whether?    You?    Think?      (you) Can?    Or?      (you) Can’t?    (You) Are?    Right? 

    For me, each one of these words carries weight, and together they carry remarkable meaning.  Here’s what I mean:

    Whether”:  Connotes choice.  Yes!  I have the choice (we’ll come back to that later)

    You”:  Actually “I”.  This is about me, my choices, and, ultimately, my responsibility

    Think”:  My mind, my thoughts.  Nobody has control over my thoughts, unless I choose to give it to them

    Can”:  Oh so full of potential!

    Or”:  Again, I have a choice

    Can’t”:  The pin that bursts the balloon of possibility

    You Are”:  This is a definitive statement…nothing wishy-washy about it!

    Right”:  Evidence to support my “think”

    Now put it all back together:

    I (YOU) have the choice (WHETHER) to use my mind intentionally (THINK) to believe in my potential (CAN). And I also have the choice (WHETHER) to use my mind (THINK) to burst my own bubble of possibilities (CAN’T).  And because I’m invested in believing myself (different from believing IN myself), I will always find evidence to support my thoughts…to prove to myself that what I think is “true” (I “ARE” RIGHT).

    One more time, without the parenthetic insertions:

    I have the choice to use my mind intentionally to believe in my potential.  And I also have the choice to use my mind to burst my own bubble of possibilities.  And because I’m invested in believing myself, I will always find evidence to support my thoughts…to prove to myself that what I think is true. 

    In my coaching practice, and in my life, I see this played out every day.  We all have stories that we tell ourselves about why things are the way they are, or why “change” can’t actually happen.  And boy, are we ever committed to our stories! 

    When we living in the “Land of Can’t”, our thoughts might sound like this:  “I don’t have enough money to start a business.” Or, “I’ve dated 17 people in the last month, and none of them made me happy, and I don’t believe I’m ever going to find ‘the one’.” Or, “I’m scared of succeeding at my job, because it will mean getting a promotion and I’ll have to manage people…and I’m not good at managing people.”  Basically, the formula looks something like this:  “I can’t do XXX, because of YYY.”  When you say it, you believe it, and if you believe it, you will never try to do XXX, because you don’t believe you can succeed. Nice, clean and circular.  No action, no possibility of failure.  GUARANTEED! Poof, you’ve proven you’re right…and how’s that working for you? Living in the Land of Can’t can be a comfortable place to stay settled, even if it’s not serving us well.  After all, taking risks (which is what it will take to change addresses) can be scary. 

    The flip side of this equation works just as well.  Living in the “Land of Can” might sound something like this:  “I’m excited to start putting together my business plan, so I can figure out specifically where I need to get some help.” Or, “I’m looking forward to meeting this person, because I can get to know her and learn what makes her tick.”  Or, “I’m honored that my supervisors value my work and are willing to invest in my professional development, and I can continue to progress in my career.”  

    The good new is we can all learn to manage our minds, choose thoughts that lead to helpful feelings.  And once we’re feeling good and filled with the possibilities that are alive and well in the “Land of Can”, then we will start working on “making it so”.   Why? Because we want to prove ourselves right!  And succeeding feels so good. 

    This is powerful—the idea of using our minds and managing our thoughts to create the outcomes that we want for ourselves! 

    This is the heart of my coaching work.  I’m not suggesting that all you have to do is think your way to your desired outcome.  It will take effort, initiative, action, and then more action.  But when you start with an understanding of the power of your mind and how to manage your thoughts, I promise you will be more than halfway there! 

    Are you ready to make a change in your life?  Are you feeling unsure of what to do or where to begin?  Are you ready to START?  I’d love to help!  Click here to contact me.  I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

  • The Power of Words

    This I believe:  The words we use have the power to create, heal, enlighten, engage, strengthen and join together.  They also have the power to destroy, hurt, diminish, cut and tear apart.  We can use them as tools, and we can use them as weapons.

    These are the “definitions” I’m using:

    • Wordsthe utterances we use as a primary way to communicate.
    • Powerhaving the ability to affect change.

    According to a 2007 University of Arizona study, both men and women use approximately 16,000 words a day.  That’s a lot of potential power flowing out of our mouths each day!   16,000 utterances that can heal or hurt, build or destroy, enlighten or diminish.

    And, to borrow from Voltaire:  “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

    This begs the question:  What does it mean to use our words—to communicate—responsibly?  In a nutshell, responsible communication is the cornerstone to healthy relationships, whether in business, at home, volunteering in the community, with friends, or with ourselves. 

    Here are my “10 Ways to Use Words Responsibly”

    1. Intentionally choose words that help, rather than hurt—It’s your choice.  PAUSE, think about what you want your outcome to be, and only then speak.  If you want to welcome the continuation of a conversation and the nurturing of a relationship, be sure to use words that engage positively:  “Tell me more about that idea.” vs. “You’re wrong”.  “Thanks for helping me set the table. I appreciate your help.”  vs.  “I’ve told you a hundred times, that’s not where the knife goes!” 
    2. Replace “but” with “and”:  The word “but” serves as a sharp pin that pricks and deflates (think of a balloon).  See what happens when you use “and”, instead.  “And” allows for possibilities, expansiveness, potential.  “But” limits, narrows and controls. 
    3. Mean what you say, and say what you mean:  Be as specific and accurate as possible, and avoid using absolute terms like “never” and “always”.  And do so with kindness, compassion, and respect for yourself and others.  It doesn’t help anyone if you say “yes” when you really want to say “no”, or if you say something in order to make someone think a particular way about you.  Ultimately, responsible communication is about being truthful and not intentionally manipulative or hurtful.
    4. Check your assumptions:  There’s an old folk saying that says, “The wise one hears one word—and understands two.”  Pay attention to how you are feeling and what you are thinking when someone is speaking with you.  Are you sure you understand their intention?  If not, check in. (“What I think you’re meaning is…Did I get it right?”)
    5. Watch your tone:  Make sure your tone matches your intention and words.  If you are worried, make sure your tone/words are compassionate, and not angry.  If you’re happy and excited, make sure your tone is joyful and positive, and not sarcastic.
    6. Use humor, respectfully:  And not at another’s expense.  An example of responsible use of humor is when a person uses it to help set a positive and fun tone, diffuse tension, or help people feel relaxed and comfortable.  Humor, and sarcasm in particular, can often be used in a cutting way that leaves another feeling small.  Avoid the urge to use this kind of humor.  It might seem funny to you, but often feels very much not so to the person who’s the butt of the joke!
    7. Make sure to leave space for the other:  Avoid the temptation to be at the center of every conversation and to be the one to find solutions for every problem presented in a conversation.  Respectful communication also means honoring the wisdom and capacity of the person or people with whom you are speaking, no matter the age or experience of the others.
    8. Listen…fully:  We were born with two ears and only one mouth, so, the saying goes, we should listen at least twice as often as we speak.  Respectful communication means listening completely, and not formulating your rebuttal while the other person is sharing their thoughts. 
    9. Minimize judgment:  Rather than receiving information with judgment and criticism, try curiosity, fascinating or compassion instead.  This one small change in thinking can be one of the most significant shifts you can make in a relationship.
    10. Model for others:  Whether or not we intend to, we teach others all the time by how we interact in the world.  When we use language that is respectful, honoring, kind, caring, compassionate, appropriately humorous, judgment-free, and helpful, we provide an opportunity to help others do the same.  And just think, we’ve got an average of 16,000 opportunities a day to do so!

    Are there other things that you think belong on this list?  Let me know.  I’d love to hear from you!

    And if you’d like to do some coaching work together to get clear on how to more effectively communicate, I’d be happy to help.  Contact me!

  • "Relaxing into Uncertainty" ~Marc David

    “More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity.”

         ~Francois Gautier

    This Guatier quote came across my screen the other day, and I’ve been pondering it ever since.  In my coaching and consulting work, it’s the rare person who doesn’t struggle with the need to “know”…for sure.  These are examples of questions my clients grapple with:

    • Who is the right person to be my partner in life? 
    • How will I know?
    • Is this the right job for me?
    • Am I eating the right foods to keep me healthy?
    • Will this college be a good fit for me (or for my child)?
    • Is this the person to take our organization to the next level?
    • When will s/he finally sleep through the night (get out of diapers/learn to read/get married/provide me with grandchildren, etc.)?
    • Will my team really improve as a result of this training/workshop/process?
    • What else do I have to do to get a different result?
    • What should I be doing with my life?

    What these questions have in common is a deep desire to feel more certain—about kids, health, careers, life—about our futures.

    When we feel uncertain, we lack a sense of security, and we people like to feel secure.  Uncertainty makes us feel anxious, fearful, at risk. But here’s the thing—we cannot know, with any degree of certainty, what will happen.  And when we choose to focus on what we cannot know, it fans the flames of uncertainty, the very thing we are trying to alleviate!  By striving for certainty, we actually suffer, rather than feel better.

    Now clarity—that’s a completely different story!  When we are able to get clear about our lives, our hopes and dreams, then we feel more in control, more focused, more motivated.  When we assume more control of our own lives, it feels empowering and liberating.

    Quest for Certainty --> anxiousness and suffering

    Quest for Clarity --> empowerment and possibilities

    I choose to relax into uncertainty and pursue clarity. How about you?

    Let me know if I can help:  http://danabaruch.com/contact

  • Don't Borrow Trouble...Or...Living in the Land of Joy

    I often keep memories of loved ones alive by invoking their words at key moments.  “Don’t borrow trouble” (usually followed by “Rho”, my mom’s name) was one of those gems that my step-dad Abe would say.  He would typically use the phrase when my mom worried about “this, that, or the other thing”, for no apparent reason, or perhaps with seemingly little ability to make a difference in the circumstance leading her to worry.  And as one of my mom’s kids and, therefore, a prime source of worry, I was ever so grateful for Abe’s admonition, “Don’t borrow trouble, Rho”!

    In my coaching work, I encounter people “borrowing trouble” in almost every session, particularly early in our work together.  Why is this?  Why do we worry ourselves into discomfort?   Why is it so much easier to articulate a list of things that make us feel unhappy, worried, wishing, than it is to come up with the list of things that currently bring us joy?  Why is it that we are so much more comfortable in the “Land of Oy” than we are in the “Land of Joy”? 

    In his book, The Big Leap, psychologist Gay Hendricks writes about the pattern of feeling good, then doing something to sabotage it, so that we can revert to a more comfortable “bad” feeling.  In other words, Hendricks suggests, we all have a limited tolerance for feeling good.  When we hit our upper limit, we create thoughts that make us feel bad.  And he goes on to suggest that this isn’t merely going on in our minds, but in our lives.  When we hit our upper limit of “life going well” status, we mess up our own happiness and our own forward trajectory.  Imagine…sabotaging our own happiness in order to return to a more familiar and, therefore, comfortable state of “not feeling so good”! 

    The good news here is that if we are capable of sabotaging our own happiness, then we are equally capable of intentionally breaking through that “glass ceiling” of our own upper limits and choosing a path that allows us continued, ongoing, joy-filled lives...even when life throws us curve balls and gives us reason to worry.

    And, of course, we can always choose to live in the Land of Oy.  But why borrow trouble?  I choose to make the Land of Joy my home address!

     ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  

    Are you considering engaging with a coach to help you get clear about where you are and where you’d like to be heading?  Let’s be in touch.

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