I will continue to use my voice, the one I was told is important and matters. ~ Rosario Dawson

I’m not a huge fan of American Idol but have watched it here and there, and the theme I noticed this season has to do with contestants “finding their voice” and being artists who are true to themselves. Now there’s a new kid on the block called The Voice, and the X-Factor coming around the corner as well.

Although on one hand we are attracted to the idea of being plucked from obscurity and thrust into the spotlight, I think our more subconscious obsession with these shows stems from how powerful that little box in our throat really is, because not enough of us use it to its fullest potential.

I have a client who feels she is not heard by her boyfriend, another who is trying to find his voice in his job, another who gets stuck when trying to articulate anything about herself. Shania Twain, who made a living and a fortune living by her voice, lost it after the devastating news of her husband’s betrayal and coming to terms with a traumatic childhood. Nothing is more effective to show us just how essential our voice is to who we are than when it is not there.

I recently had the privilege of meeting one of the most distinctive and profound voices in our society today, Dr.Cornel West, who was being honored, along with Rosario Dawson and former Mayor David Dinkins, at the very aptly named Voices, the annual gala for The Brotherhood Sister Sol, an organization that empowers low-income Black and Latino youths to become agents of social change through education, activism and spoken word. West, a frequent guest on mainstream TV talk shows, always has an intelligent and entertaining discourse with his host and speaks my kinda language about love, courage and shared humanity; he is an extremely unique voice of reason in a sea of media madness.

At the end of the event, the students’ poem said you “can’t sing when your guard is up and your mouth is closed…..The consequences of silence are intolerable.” No matter who you are, without your voice and your Voice, you are lost.

The logo and ads for The Voice show two fingers up in a V; I realized it’s no small coincidence that this is also the sign of peace and victory, as they are all intertwined. Because when you find your Voice and use it, you feel at peace with yourself and can be Victorious in overcoming any obstacle — and that is Vital.

Whether you want to sing like Christina or Shania, speak out like Rosario and Cornel, or are from Madonna’s generation or Gaga’s, it’s up to each of us to use what we’ve got, so give me a buzz and I’ll make you see how wonderful it is that you were Born this Way and then help you Express Yourself hey hey…

Today’s PGG was originally posted on May 10, 2011

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Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)” In this excerpt covering the final seven minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

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We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves. — Dalai Lama

He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home. — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I was recently asked by an attendee at one of my talks, “Are you happy?” It was the first time I had been so directly posed that question, and it took a minute to figure out how I would answer, because for me, happiness is not a state of being; it’s a superficial feeling, a temporary, descriptive way to express a reaction to a gesture, creature comfort or occasion.

I answered by saying I don’t really think about being “happy” but am generally able to navigate life in a way that does not fluster me at my core. In other words, my overall evaluation of my existence does not depend on whichever way the wind is blowing. At this point in my life, I am grounded in and connected to who I am, surfing the unpredictability and chaos of external circumstances as they arise, experiencing joy and pleasure when appropriate, and mitigating the inevitable stress and sorrow with various tools and techniques I have gathered and developed to get me through when times are not so hunky-dory (there are plenty!).

And I am grateful for it all, as I know in the end whatever is happening is for my greater good.

I do work that is immensely fulfilling and have relationships I value tremendously. I am constantly growing and evolving by overcoming challenges big and small, and I allow myself to rest and reflect until another cycle begins. I am human, therefore I strive to understand and accept everything that entails.

I have my own issues and areas of growth and healing that call out to be addressed; I feel my feelings and give them the space, time and respect to inform me of what has to be confronted or released, either internally or externally in a particular situation, and then heed the call to the best of my ability. I pay attention to and take care of my needs. I go with the flow. I recognize and honor the fact that I am a creative being. I love and trust myself.

It was a long answer to what appeared to be a simple question. The next day, upon further reflection, I realized the simple answer: What I was saying was that I am at peace, which is far more profound. Or put another way, having a sense of inner peace = my version of being happy.

With all the emphasis and research in our current culture on “happiness” — an obsession only magnified and distorted by social media — you can be easily fooled into thinking you are somehow deficient in this department. The better question to ask yourself is “Am I at peace?” Happiness is great while it lasts, but that’s the point — it’s transient. Yet with awareness, practice and discipline over time, peace can be permanent.

Peace allows you to be the calm in the center of a storm, and the glow of joy in the midst of abundance.

Peace acknowledges that there are ups and downs and stresses in life, but it never lets you be affected by them in the deepest part of who you are.

Peace means even in times of anxiety or fear, you are just observing surface feelings that wreak havoc on your psyche until you recognize what they are trying to teach you — which is usually an exercise in love and acceptance of yourself and the here and now and/or what you can and cannot control.

Peace is the solid foundation that becomes integrated in every cell of your being and accompanies you with whomever and wherever you are.

As the great Mahatma Gandhi said, “Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.”

I often quote the song, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” It may be too hippy-dippy or cliche for you, but it’s true. As I say in my talks, we all have our individual spheres of influence, i.e., “happy wife, happy life.” We all know how it feels to be around someone in a good mood, who’s truly relaxed, maybe just back from a vacation or in love, or one of those rare folks who just embodies a sustained level of chill and contentment. Conversely, when someone is really down, toxic, or generally negative in outlook, we know how that can permeate the entire environment.

Emotional energy and good or bad vibes are contagious — especially to those of us who are highly sensitive. You must realize then that no matter who you are, you have more influence than you think you do. Who do you want to be: someone who brings peace, calm and/or joy wherever you go or in times of crisis, or the Debbie or Dougie Downer, the Negative Nelly or Neil, the one who poisons the atmosphere around you? Here’s where you don’t need a special superpower or fancy costume to be a hero!

Train yourself to be mindful of what you are putting out there or carrying with you; go inward to listen to yourself instead of automatically focusing outward to distraction or detachment. Express gratitude wherever you can in thought, word and deed. Bring your awareness and attention to every moment, to what are you thinking, feeling and sensing about the truth and reality of the situation AS IT IS — not as you are doomsday-ing it to be or wishing it was or regurgitating some imagined past version of a problem — because today’s realization is what creates tomorrow’s solution.

The more you can Be Here Now, the more you can exercise that presence muscle, the deeper the well of peace you can draw upon when you need it most.

Have you been crying lately, Thinkin’ about the world as it is? As I have often said, especially in these tumultuous times, each of us has a responsibility to create “peace in our piece of the pie.” What are you doing to contribute? ’Cause out on the edge of darkness, There rides a Peace Train.

Want to get all aboard but not sure how? Give me a buzz, and I’ll be the conductor who puts you on the right track. We’ll fire up the steam engine and get you smiling on a regular basis, thinking about the good things to come!

Today’s PGG was originally posted on May 23, 2017

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Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)” In this excerpt covering the final seven minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

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A human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind,” was the conclusion of a Harvard study whose research was conducted using an iPhone app. It is a sentiment that many religions and philosophies have proclaimed for centuries and can best be summed up by the popular phrase “Be here now.”

If researchers had a window into our minds, they’d see that we are almost never fully engaged in what is right in front of us, whether we’re thinking about the past or future, or simply not focused on the task at hand — and that causes unhappiness.

According to Andrew Bernstein’s book The Myth of Stress, it’s not the activity or situation that is the stressor, it’s our mind’s perception and reaction to the situation that causes the stress. By recognizing the reality of a circumstance and truly comprehending why it is happening, you can greatly reduce your adverse response to whatever is taking place.

I am always talking about process and “understanding where you’re at.” Most unpleasant situations you find yourself in are impermanent; by simply accepting that they are temporary, you can greatly increase your sense of inner peace and balance. Because life is constantly in motion you need to learn how to “go with the flow” and knowing that “this too shall pass.”

Remember that if you show up mentally, as well as physically, to that meeting, event or conversation, you’ve already done half the work, and the Universe can meet you halfway to create whatever it is you want or need.

Out of chaos always comes clarity. Need a little help living happily in the unknown and keepin’ it in real time? Give me a buzz; I can be a human app that checks in to show you how to make sense of and make the best out of any situation you find your present self.

Today’s PGG was originally posted on November 16, 2010

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Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to be added to my mailing list and be in the loop with my coaching and workshops as well as have these essays delivered to your inbox!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)” In this excerpt covering the final seven minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

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No matter what the topic, I always talk about two things in my seminars: how can we expect to have peace on this planet if we don’t have peace in our own lives; and everyone should cook. Ergo, we must have peace in our kitchens in order to have peace in our lives in order to have peace in the world.

Whether you consider yourself the next Top Chef or think heating up leftovers in the microwave qualifies, my go-to recipe that gourmets and gauche gourmands alike can make is pea soup. Cooking in general, and especially something like soup, is extremely meditative and teaches us that life does not always function like an instant message; this forces you to slow down, be more present, have more patience and then literally enjoy the fruits of your labor.

One ingredient alone won’t cut it, and you can really make the recipe your own. Each chopped up piece of onion, carrot, celery, garlic, (ham, kale, turnip, parsnip, sweet potato…whatever else you want to put in there) and of course split peas, ultimately blend together in an harmonious way; the whole meal is highly nutritious with many healthy benefits, and the subtle combination of these diverse components, over time, brings out the best in each other. Yum.

The United States has been called a melting pot, and as a struggling global superpower, if that can truly be realized in its most positive sense, the rest of the world has a pretty good shot as well. So, as you’re making the soup, perhaps visualize the ingredients as Red States and Blue States, the Rich and the Poor, White, Black, Muslim, Non-Muslim, Gay, Straight, Liberals and Conservatives — and why not throw in the countries of the European Union as well, since they need all the help they can get at the moment…

But if you really are a menace in the galley, you can always take a mental ride on the Peace Train or imagine yourself a member of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, with 100 artists from over 30 countries playing more than two dozen diverse instruments, coming together to create that beautiful universal language known as music.

Still feel like your Jong is kind of Il? Give me a buzz and I’ll help unite your body, relationships, career and life so they can be peas in a pod and you can make your contribution by experiencing a deeper sense of peace in your piece of the pie.

Today’s PGG was originally posted on December 20, 2011

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If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!  

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Click here for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today. 

Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

Click here for a video that explains some ways I can help you as a coach

**CLICK HERE FOR MY PODCAST-STYLE INTERVIEW WITH RICK YOUNG OF WHAT’S IN YOUR HAND RADIO SHOW**

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.  Slowly building my YouTube channel so you check that out and subscribe too!

Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to be added to my mailing list and be in the loop with my coaching and workshops as well as have these essays delivered to your inbox!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)” In this excerpt covering the final seven minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

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It has always bothered me that most New Year’s resolutions seem to revolve around losing weight and getting in shape. Gyms especially bank on this, with classes and machines overflowing those first two weeks in January, only to slim down to those who have been going all along. The attrition is a perfect example of not heeding our internal ebb and flow, not to mention Spring being a much more natural time to make such changes. So don’t feel bad if this describes you!

Instead, why not think about detoxing and tuning up your mental and emotional diets, adjusting your atmosphere and exercising a more positive attitude toward yourself and others?

In 1981, the advent of something called Music Television (yes kids, that was MTV in the olden days) meant that Video Killed the Radio Star. Although the sentiment initially applied to the music industry, it has evolved to include our 24/7, multi-device-always-on entertainment/info news cycle, and delivery of much nonsense and nuttiness through a gazillion distribution channels both online and off. The combination of media and technology is a powerful force that can either enhance or erode our humanity, but with the direction we’re going in, it seems like video has killed our sanity.

In a way, we’ve always been our own little radio towers with what we think and feel, but now we are literally transmitting these thoughts and feelings in a more tangible way with our gadgets and gizmos. What are you receiving and what are you broadcasting? How is it impacting your state of mind and mood?

What do you tune in to on a daily basis? Which intoxicating sights, sounds and stories infiltrate your being: cat videos, pundits, housewives, serial murders, frenemies? I admit I enjoy a little Mickey D’s now and then, but like Morgan Spurlock, remember what happens to you when you ingest that all day, every day. If we are what we eat (and we are), then we are what we read, watch and listen to as well. In the smorgasbord of programming out there, the pickings are slim when it comes to nutrition. Whether TV or social media, strive for the majority of your consumption to be thoughtful, uplifting, educational and/or informative, and know that good comedy is actually medicine.

(P.S. I hear there are some quality series that exist — but it’s curious we’ve coined the term to “binge-watch” say, Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad. What does that do to your sensory digestive system? What kind of hangover would you have from that? How could you have used your time and energy in a more productive way? When you are cranky the next day, is it due to your emotions or Walter White’s?)

I am not anti-TV/media/technology. I say all things in moderation. The trick is to become conscious and not be spoon-fed whatever the suits and advertisers want us to eat! Try a TV fast and realize you’re not missing all that much. You’ll have time to sleep more, learn to cook or finally begin to meditate. It’s up to us to control our technology and not allow our technology to control us.

So if you’re dragging in the morning, think about what you watched on your screen the night before. If you can’t get any work done or fall asleep, how many hours did you allow yourself to be led astray via random Facebook or Twitter feeds? And what is it that you are creating or contributing with your Wi-Fi and widgets?

In an increasingly desensitized and distracted world, with so many folks feeling stuck, confused and frustrated in their career and life, and with so many searching for purpose and meaning, wanting to enjoy better health and relationships in their lives, we must constantly pull out the weeds of static in and around our thoughts and emotions in order to operate at a higher frequency and create the best environment for ourselves and others.

Much of what is on television and the Internet these days is white noise, so protect yourself with some radio silence. Not quite sure how to detach from the media madness? Give me a buzz — I’ll help you march to the beat of your own drum in harmony with the independent soundtrack of your soul and keep away the Karma Police, who are there to remind you that you always have a choice.

Today’s PGG was originally posted on January 8, 2015

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Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.  Slowly building my YouTube channel so you check that out and subscribe too!

Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to be added to my mailing list and be in the loop with my coaching and workshops as well as have these essays delivered to your inbox!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)” In this excerpt covering the final seven minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

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I am not a teacher, but an awakener. ~ Robert Frost

The dream begins, most of the time, with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you on to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth . ~ Dan Rather

Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher. ~ Japanese proverb

It’s that time of year when notebooks and knapsacks abound and all sorts of new beginnings and nerves are in the air, bringing the possibilities and excitement that arrive with the start of an academic year. Whether or not we find ourselves in an actual classroom this Fall, we are all students in this school called Life, which means that anyone and any situation can be our teacher, and education can come in all shapes and forms.

It is often those who are closest to us who teach us the exact lessons we never knew we needed (or wanted) to learn — either directly, like my six year old niece, who in her own words very calmly told my brother she wished he hadn’t found the prescription sunglasses he lost for the umpteenth time because he needed to learn to pay better attention to his personal possessions and the harsher consequences of their non-recovery; or indirectly, like a co-worker, friend or family member who likes to talk a lot forces you to be a better listener, have more patience and/or set boundaries.

And whatever “class” you are in, sometimes you must first fail miserably in order to then pass with flying colors, because you can’t learn anything without making a few mistakes, a little trial and error to perfect that which we need to master…. Hopefully you can figure out that the experience itself was the teacher, or have someone around to help glean what you need to learn and grow as a result. The good news is that you will never repeat a class when you’ve truly learned a lesson the hard way, and if you’re lucky, sometimes you can even have a teacher who helps you skip several grades.

Whether you think like Pink Floyd or feel like Lauryn Hill, learning is a lifelong process and everything serves its purpose in the bigger picture for you to graduate at the end of your life with honors.

So this September, be grateful for all those amazing teachers you’ve had both inside the classroom and out. Thank the role models, mentors and instructors who serve as great examples of achievement and inspiration as well as the challenging bosses, employees and clients, the bullies and mean girls, the tough coach, your current or ex-boy/girlfriend/partner/spouse, your pain in the neck big or little brother/sister, anyone who gave you a hard time, and especially those difficult “tests” you endured because they too helped form your character and are all opportunities to make you a better you.

Need to repeat (or stop repeating) a few classes or get a little tutoring to bring you closer to the grade you deserve? Give me a buzz and I’ll be sure you get a gold star or A+ on that project, because you can make your life much closer to a 4.0 than you could ever imagine!

Today’s PGG was originally posted on September 6, 2011

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Click here for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today. 

Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

Click here for a video that explains some ways I can help you as a coach

**CLICK HERE FOR MY PODCAST-STYLE INTERVIEW WITH RICK YOUNG OF WHAT’S IN YOUR HAND RADIO SHOW**

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.  Slowly building my YouTube channel so you check that out and subscribe too!

Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to be added to my mailing list and be in the loop with my coaching and workshops as well as have these essays delivered to your inbox!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)” In this excerpt covering the final seven minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

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Earlier this summer after having dinner a friend’s house, I looked at her husband and told him he was pregnant. Not in the transgendered real-life man-mother way or the fictitious Arnold Schwartzenegger way, or even that joking ate-too-much way, but in that “there is something in you that is just waiting to be born,” itching-to-see-the light-of-day-way. In fact, in some Latin languages “to give birth” is literally translated as “to give light.”

Besides being a bookend for the season, Labor Day is the beginning of harvest time, of reaping what you have sown earlier in the year. Whatever it is you are trying to manifest, you need to be sure it is a labor of love, then dedicate yourself to the work necessary for it to come to fruition. And if you haven’t already started, don’t be sitting around waiting for an immaculate conception.

These things only happen with commitment, focus, time, energy, and a bit of elbow grease. After the appropriate gestation period, persistence and deep breaths take you into the homestretch. No pain, no gain, as they say, and everywhere in Nature we see that the moment of birth requires an extra push to get on through to the other side.

As for my friend, he needed to start doing more creative writing, which perhaps might yield a novel. At the very least, it would activate a part of him that was simply not being used in his day job or his role as husband and dad.

A favorite quote of mine comes from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran: “…. To love life through labor is to be intimate with life’s most inmost secret….WORK IS LOVE MADE VISIBLE.

What kind of “work” you trying to give birth to? A special project, healthy lifestyle, your own business, solid relationships, bustling career, creative endeavors, expanding your family, or simply a new and improved version of you?

No matter what you desire to bring into being, (yes, even an actual baby), give me a buzz. I can be a metaphorical midwife that helps welcome your bundle of joy into the world as easily and effortlessly as possible…

Today’s PGG was originally posted on September 7, 2010

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Click here for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today. 

Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

Click here for a video that explains some ways I can help you as a coach

**CLICK HERE FOR MY PODCAST-STYLE INTERVIEW WITH RICK YOUNG OF WHAT’S IN YOUR HAND RADIO SHOW**

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Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to be added to my mailing list and be in the loop with my coaching and workshops as well as have these essays delivered to your inbox!

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Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)” In this excerpt covering the final seven minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

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As a career/life coach I have a unique vantage point to observe all types of people and notice certain trends and patterns that emerge. In addition to my clients, there is my circle of friends and family as well as my own personal experience, since I too am not immune to it all!

Lately the theme has been that of warrior being challenged in one or more areas of life, confronting unpleasant people or situations, dealing with loss, or relentlessly fighting a seemingly uphill battle at every turn. If you’ve been feeling tested (or testy) in the areas of relationships (all kinds), work (too much or not enough of it), finances (‘nough said), or having a health or identity crisis — essentially, the stuff of life — raise your hand and know that you are not the only one that’s been beaten up these past couple months.

As difficult as it may be, the key is to acknowledge and recognize through all the discomfort/frustration/stress where growth has occurred, understanding has transpired, and wisdom will eventually come. Don’t spend too much time figuring out why things have been going the way they have — instead, save your energy for what can I do and learn as a result of what I’ve been through and how can I incorporate these newfound strengths moving forward?

“Misery loves company” is a phrase we’ve all heard. It’s not a concept that I would normally promote, but in these times of technological isolation and social media’s “look at my fabulous life” updates and photos, there is comfort in knowing we’re not the only one struggling and it’s OK to share the truth of how we’re really doing.

The trick is not to have a pity party but to find community and provide mutual support; to take a collective heavy sigh and deep breath and have a good laugh about it, knowing that we’re all in a similar boat, and do what we can to make things better. At end of the day we are all human, and can offer one another a hug and a smile to get us through the hard times, which are always temporary.

If you want to dig a little deeper and sort out the who, what, why, when, where and how of what’s been going on, give me a buzz and I’ll help you see the lesson in the lickin’ and the light at the end of the tunnel.

Today’s PGG was originally posted on Decmber 14, 2010

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If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!  

CLICK HERE TO BOOK ME AS A COACH

Click here for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today. 

Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

Click here for a video that explains some ways I can help you as a coach

**CLICK HERE FOR MY PODCAST-STYLE INTERVIEW WITH RICK YOUNG OF WHAT’S IN YOUR HAND RADIO SHOW**

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.  Slowly building my YouTube channel so you check that out and subscribe too!

Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to be added to my mailing list and be in the loop with my coaching and workshops as well as have these essays delivered to your inbox!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)” In this excerpt covering the final seven minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

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I got my patience and I’m making do

I learned my lessons from the ancient roots

I choose to follow what the greatest do

~ Anderson .Paak, The Bird

We’ve been through, and continue to go through, so much turmoil and loss these days, it seems to be the norm as we move from one tragedy and outrage to the next.

Just like a kid going through puberty, America seems to be having a growth spurt. It’s as if we are in junior high all over again, with the requisite bullying, name-calling, ugliness, awkwardness, manipulative reasoning, unnecessary emotional and physical cruelty, faulty judgment and disturbing sensationalism that come along with adolescent behavior, only to be magnified, rewarded and abused by the Internet, social media and reality television (which includes our news broadcasts).

Because of the experiment that our country is, we have always needed extraordinary people to rise above the fray, to serve as a moral voices and bearers of Light, Love, Peace, Justice and Reason — to make sure our hormones and lower selves don’t rule the day, that neither mob mentality nor corruption of power nor relentless greed takes hold in a way we will eternally regret; to steward our democracy and remind and inspire us through their words and deeds that our “better angels” must prevail.

The passing of Elie Wiesel, one of the most influential standard bearers of our time, significantly and symbolically, just before our Independence Day celebration, was not lost on me, however it did seem to get lost in the shuffle of hysteria and hyperbole that we unfortunately have also come to know as the norm in our mainstream media and discourse.

No one was talking about or honoring this great man on television with any sort of coverage like we saw with two other great souls we lost recently, Prince and Muhammad Ali. Instead, all I saw was nonstop regurgitating and fanning the flames of the mudslinging and nastiness between the two presumptive presidential candidates, and the other incessant topic of terrorism, with the headline in big bold letters, Why They Hate Us.

It made my stomach sick that such an opportunity to focus on what Elie Wiesel’s message was and what his life represented was not used, consciously or not, as a balm, an antidote to all the negativity being spewed. And it made me sad to think that yet another giant of goodness and voice of decency has left the planet, because who is coming up behind them?

We cannot underestimate the impact these three humans had on our modern times and how their absence creates a void, a vacuum that needs to be filled with comparable or better gifts than they bestowed on us:

Prince, a musical genius, whose example of profound and prolific creativity encouraged us to get our sexy on and not deny those natural, healthy urges, because when repressed too long and too far down, they can mutate into rape culture and generalized violence. He wanted us to make love not war with each other and was a behind-the-scenes crusader for social justice.

Muhammad Ali, a tower of strength, boldness and courage, who taught us self-worth and discipline and being your own moral authority, doing what’s right when necessary, even if it goes against popular opinion, personal gain and an unjust system. He taught us that standing up for justice and equality, and fiercely defending the concepts of religious and racial tolerance and love for all people everywhere is the greatest fight of all.

Elie Wiesel, who understood pain and horror on an unimaginable scale firsthand, served as a witness to and reminder of the worst we are capable of doing to each other. Yet he turned his experience into one of insisting that we bring out the best in each other, emphasizing the importance and value of friendship and brotherhood, that we should never be silent in the face of injustice anywhere to anyone, and that the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.

On the outside, these humanitarians couldn’t be more different: Just think of the contrast between Muhammad Ali, physically big, strong and conventionally attractive, who was outspoken and sought the media spotlight and challenged authority, and Prince, a wisp of a thing probably no wider than one of Ali’s legs, extremely soft-spoken and media shy, almost to the point of being a recluse. (Interestingly, Ali often made himself “smaller” while in the boxing ring to tire or outwit his opponent, whereas Price exploded into something much larger than life on stage.) Then, of course, there is Wiesel, known more as an older man, who because of his minority status as a European Jew during WWII was literally fated to be extinguished but instead became a beacon of light to humanity, especially to those who are persecuted anywhere. Yet they shared so much in common.

We can also talk about the price of not heeding, or instead expressing the inversion of, their ideals and principles, like the Orlando massacre, the Brexit vote and the terrorist attack in Istanbul. In their most simplistic terms, you could deduce that the Orlando massacre was caused by the repressed sexual feelings of the shooter (un-Prince), the Brexit vote was about not accepting the “other” and challenging authority to mandate that view (un-Muhammad Ali), and the terrorist attack in Istanbul used religion to justify the annihilation of another (un-Elie Wiesel).

With the departure of each of these great souls (Nelson Mandela, Grace Lee Boggs, Maya Angelou to name a few others we’ve lost over the past few years), it feels more ominous. I keep wondering who is going to take their places, because no one could fill their shoes. Who will demonstrate wisdom and profiles in courage, who will be the new voices? It was encouraging that Jesse Williams seems to be walking that path with his activism and incisive, passionate speech on BET about institutional racism; there is Rebecca Solnit or Tim DeChristopher fighting for climate change and protesting the destruction of the environment … but where is their airplay, as most of you have probably never heard of them. If Elie Wiesel couldn’t get it, why would they?

More importantly, though: What is your voice putting out there? What is the message of your life? What example, inspiration, motivation are you being to others?

It is no coincidence that Hamilton is the phenomenon that it is right now. There is a certain magic and Universal order to these events; yes, you can say the talented performers, and of course concept and writing are to “blame” — but why now? Why was this born at this particular moment in time and not five years ago or five years from now?

I also find it interesting that some our biggest and most socially aware and/or politically active, and aging musicians are on tour this summer, perhaps for their last, like Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel and Sting, Van Morrison, and Dolly Parton; artists who have been around for decades with socially conscious messages, bridging cultures and creating thoughtful lyrics and positive vibes, thankfully playing to thousands of people to help counteract the opposite that abounds. And it seems the only movies out there are superheroes or supernatural demons. Again, I don’t think any of this is a coincidence.

I bring all of this to your attention because it seems that everyone has been experiencing their own personal crises and can barely get their heads above water. And when they do come up for air, the world seems to be falling apart and things are just too overwhelming to try to comprehend or relate to, and/or they feel powerless to do anything about them. But it’s so important that we find a way to connect our own lives and those of our neighbors both next door and around the globe, and take whatever actions we can to make it better, lest we wake up one day and find a world that we simply do not recognize or feel a part of, or at worst a world we are oppressed by or fearful of.

So instead of being swept up in the events of the day, week or month, find a balance between being aware and caring, and do whatever little bit you can to bring love, compassion, tolerance, peace into the world in your own way. Choose to show kindness to a stranger or family member; make art; put out a positive post on your social media; allow yourself to relax and breathe; express love to someone you are not feeling so loving toward; try to understand and even stand up for someone instead of dismiss or shout at them, especially if they have a different skin color, religion or political view.

Unconscious times call for as many people to become as conscious as possible, and to make an effort. Look at your own internal structures and see what can be healed or repaired, where bridges can be built in your own sphere of influence, in your family, community, even workplace. Be courageous like Muhammad Ali, and take a stand for peace and justice. Be creative like Prince and make art and love. Be compassionate like Elie Wiesel and do not give in to revenge or hatred of a real or perceived enemy.

Not sure where to start, what needs to change, or how you can make a difference? Give me a buzz and I’ll help you fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee, while playing 10 instruments and wearing purple, getting you one step closer to being considered for your version of a Nobel Prize!

Today’s PGG was originally posted on July 6, 2016

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++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!  

CLICK HERE TO BOOK ME AS A COACH

Click here for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today. 

Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

Click here for a video that explains some ways I can help you as a coach

**CLICK HERE FOR MY PODCAST-STYLE INTERVIEW WITH RICK YOUNG OF WHAT’S IN YOUR HAND RADIO SHOW**

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.  Slowly building my YouTube channel so you check that out and subscribe too!

Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to be added to my mailing list and be in the loop with my coaching and workshops as well as have these essays delivered to your inbox!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)” In this excerpt covering the final seven minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

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In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell studied highly successful people and came up with the theory that applying 10,000 hours of dedicated practice was required to perfect a skill or master a field. He talks about how the Beatles played hundreds of concerts in Germany before they performed on The Ed Sullivan Show, Bill Gates had access to computers years before most, and Tiger Woods was swinging a golf club from the age of 3.

I have also read how Beyoncé was singing and dancing in heels since she was around 10, and heard Meghan Trainor talk about writing something like 2,000 songs before making it big. And what about those Olympic athletes? How many breaststrokes or backflips did Michael Phelps or Simone Biles have to do before winning their gold medals?

Whether the 10,000 Hours rule is accurate or not, it speaks to dedicating yourself to your work, your craft, your art or sport in a serious way over a significant and consistent period of time. With our 24/7 world of distraction and superficiality, it has become increasingly difficult to focus and commit oneself to anything — whether it is a career path, a specific skill or habit you want to develop, a new relationship, or reading an actual book or even full-length article!

In the big picture, however, the most important commitment you can make is to yourself. Knowing, accepting and loving who you are and knowing the cycles of personal growth and TIME it takes to become your very best in order to maximize your potential and prosperity — this is the root of all the other commitments. If you have done that, only then can you think about and be successful in what specifically you want to “practice” as part of the journey.

What can you commit (or have you been committing) 10,000 hours to right now? This can, of course, change as your life grows and evolves.

Over the past few months I’ve been feeling like I’ve hit a turning point in my work with clients and, thinking about this concept, wondering if perhaps I’ve hit my 10,000 hours. Then on Monday, LinkedIn reminded me it was my 9-year (?!) anniversary [NOTE: As of 8/17/21 is 14 years …] as a professional coach. I really didn’t know what I was doing or what I should call myself when I started back then, and I have no formal training or certifications, but hundreds of you have trusted me over these years with the honor of helping you get unstuck and on the right track with your career and life, and in turn that has fulfilled me in mine.

I have always approached my work in a very organic way, and the title that currently seems to fit is holistic career coach. My ability to quickly and accurately assess and advise clients about who they are and what they should be doing with their lives has blossomed more than I could have imagined, yet at the same time, deep down I trusted it would evolve in a way that would best serve those who sought my services.

That, in and of itself, has been an interesting journey for me, and the results are reflected in the feedback I have received. Here is some of the most recent:

The 30 minutes we spent discussing my general career malaise and concern over what to do next were infinitely more helpful than the hours I’ve spent discussing this with other people in my life.

By the end of the conversation, I had an actionable plan, a timeline and confidence to invest in myself that I’ve never had before.

Her questions really got me thinking and she made me aware that some of my goals were not actually out of reach but with hard work could be obtained.

After the session I felt so empowered and revved up, I felt like I was ready to take on the world! — and I still do. Kristina really listened and provided insightful feedback to get my life back or going in a more positive direction that will ultimately make me happier.

My hour with Kristina felt more like a therapy session than a career coaching session, but it turns out that is exactly what I needed!

She’s great at identifying the root cause of a problem (even when you think you might have had the answer to begin with) … I can tell you after about 20 minutes of her asking all the right questions, she wrapped everything up for me in a nice package in the final minutes and BAM I had a breakthrough.

I have a new focus for my career, and I will continue to leverage her knowledge in order to find that perfect job!

I came away feeling empowered, more confident about who I am as a job seeker and more aware of my strengths.

After working with Kristina for over a year and landing my dream job, I can say that I feel joy with every dollar I earn.

She’s not going to tell you what you want to hear, she’s going to tell you what you NEED to hear. A great listener and motivator. Time and money well spent.

And how timely that just this past Friday, right before my anniversary, I received an email out of the blue from someone with whom I did only a half-hour session weeks ago with this simple one-liner message:

Kristina, Thanks for giving me a new look on life.

What could be a better job than that? :)))

A great big THANKS goes out to all of you who have ever worked with me — your trust and faith in my abilities has allowed me to put in my 10,000 hours and I never would have gotten this far or been able to do work that I absolutely love and suits me best without your support. I look forward to working with many more of you over the next 10 years and beyond!

Today’s PGG was originally posted on August 17, 2017

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CLICK HERE FOR FULL PGG ENEWSLETTER WITH INTRODUCTORY NOTE ABOUT CURRENT EVENTS

Get essays like this delivered every Friday to your mailbox as my PGG newsletter by texting CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to join my mailing list.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!  

CLICK HERE TO BOOK ME AS A COACH

Click here for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today. 

Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

Click here for a video that explains some ways I can help you as a coach

**CLICK HERE FOR MY PODCAST-STYLE INTERVIEW WITH RICK YOUNG OF WHAT’S IN YOUR HAND RADIO SHOW**

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.  Slowly building my YouTube channel so you check that out and subscribe too!

Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to be added to my mailing list and be in the loop with my coaching and workshops as well as have these essays delivered to your inbox!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)” In this excerpt covering the final seven minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Read over 100 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

Join Mailing List

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
LinkedIn
YouTube

Read more about me and my work in these past PGG’s:

All Roads, Same Place | And Now, A Word from Our Sponsor | Strong Medicine | 10,000 Hours | A Decade of Doing What I Do | Express Yourself

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