A client of mine recently had a job interview and the first question posed to her was, “So what do you do for fun?” Caught off guard like a deer in headlights, she searched the cobwebs of her memory to come up with something from the last decade.

I often advise folks to relax and take time off and have to convince them that a healthy dose of pleasure is indeed productive. When I suggest that they do something that is a treat for them, an automatic excuse is that they “can’t afford it”, but there are many things you can do that don’t cost a lot of time or money.

You can find joy and relaxation in simple pleasures like listening to your favorite music, taking a Zumba class, playing bridge, laughing with a good friend, cooking a delicious meal, being on the beach at sunset or sunrise, talking a walk at lunchtime, riding a roller coaster, drinking a cold beer on a hot summer day, cuddling with your pet, reading a good/ trashy novel or fashion/tabloid magazine, or enjoying the swirly goodness of Pinkberry made extra special by half -off happy hour prices! And don’t forget, our bodies are built for pleasure, so be sure to make time for that, too, and reap the scientifically proven benefits that accompany a good roll in the hay with that special someone in person, or in your head….(Javier Bardem anyone?)

All work and no play, or too much play and not enough work, will most definitely not keep the doctor away. As in all things, balance and awareness are key. Taking a few moments, hours, and days to adjust on a regular basis will make your life more refreshed, energized and focused – and contribute to landing that next job!

So if the last time you remember having fun dates back to Janet Jackson’s 1986 hit song, or you can’t seem to allow yourself to let go every now and then, give me a buzz and I’ll give you the permission you need to put the pep back in your step and the zest back in your quest.

(Today’s PGG was originally published on August 3, 2010)

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John and Abigail Adams. King Hussein and Queen Noor. Bill and Melinda Gates. Barack and Michelle Obama. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. Kim and Kanye? These are just some couples who appear to have a great partnership as well as romance and passion in their marriages. ( I suppose the jury is still out on Kim and Kanye…..)

Back in the day (and in some parts in the world still) being hitched, especially for women, was linked to survival or a business transaction between families. In the 21st century, when woman now lead successful, independent lives, where does that leave us with the whole question of saying “I do”? (For an interesting musing on the subject check out Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Committed)

The “fruits of feminism” have at times confused us all. As I recently heard in a lecture by sociologist and masculinity expert Michael Kimmel, if a woman is captain of the ice hockey team and top of her class at Yale, the guys subconsciously think, What the heck does she need me for?

Male or female, we all have needs, along with the things we think are needs. You may not need another person to take care of you physically, emotionally, financially and/or spiritually, but everyone wants someone to love and to be loved in return, whether you’re woman, man or even a fish. We look for partners, friends, lovers, intimacy. And that has nothing to do with what gender you are, what era you were born in, or who the object of your affection may be — it is a timeless, eternal and basic human instinct.

But before you tie the knot with another (or at any point throughout your journey to nuptial bliss or blitz), I always recommend marrying yourself first — whatever that means to you. Because if you don’t promise to love, honor and cherish yourself, why would anyone else?  

Can’t quite make it to the altar with yourself or your beloved? I’m no Dr. Ruth, Millionaire Matchmaker or internet-ordained minister, but I can serve as a justice of inner peace and help you discover that first comes self-love, then comes some form of marriage, then comes whatever it is you desire, even if it is just a cabbage.

(Today’s PGG was originally published on July 20, 2010)

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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 who’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 are – 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 new found 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 the era of social media’s “Look at my fabulous life” updates and photos, there is comfort in knowing we’re not the only one struggling and that 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.

But 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 published on December 14, 2010)

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Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is active; it is concentrated strength. ~ Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet. ~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau

I find it curious that the word patient has two distinct meanings, yet both encompass bearing some level of discomfort over a period of time (even if it’s just being in the waiting room of a doctor’s office!).

We all have individual and collective anniversaries, memories and milestones that we share to some degree or another; regardless if they were positive or negative, hopefully you are able to see the growth and healing that has since transpired. Tomorrow will mark three months to the day* my mom underwent open-heart surgery, and after minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day, week-by-week attention, care and rest,  she was back out at her clubs  (yes plural, and yes, as in nightclubs/dancing) this past weekend. [originally posted in 2012]

It’s truly amazing what time can do when you give it a chance to work its magic. But in this action-oriented, left -brained, results-demanding, pill -for-everything, instant-information, fast-food society, time gets a bad rap.  Faster is perceived to always be better and action trumps rest in the eyes of others.  With almost everything available to us on demand and bottles of 5-hour energy at our disposal, we’ve grown impatient beyond reasonable expectations.

Patience is a virtue” and “Time heals all wounds” are two of my favorite adages because they express the type of ‘muscles” I’ve exercised and “tools” I’ve developed – you guessed it, over time – as they become realities when you see the proof in the pudding. In my coaching and speaking work, I am constantly trying to get folks to understand that although we are living in a 24/7 instant access technological wonderland, Nature does not work that way – the acorn does not become an oak tree overnight!

Clients are often frustrated with me when I advise them not to do anything that they consider as “doing” or will have a direct and immediate impact on their job search or life’s path. What I suggest doesn’t mean they should sit around twiddling their thumbs; it’s about understanding that there is a process, and it’s inner work through activities that don’t seem “productive” or results-producing, when in fact they are the true heavy lifting of personal growth.  We all have wounds that need to be healed, and not addressing them or allowing them the time and space to do so is often what blocks us from moving forward; therefore, that is where time and energy needs to be spent.

I am always planting seeds when I work with clients, giving them ideas and suggestions they may not necessarily be ready to implement immediately, but should think about, pay attention to and consider down the road. I also guide them towards the many stepping stones they need to take on the path to their ultimate goal, whether or not they are aware of that goal.

The philosopher Kierkegaard said, “Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown.”   I have had the pleasure of finding out recently how many of my clients are beginning to reap what they have sown, with projects, jobs and opportunities that are only now coming to fruition, one, two and even four years after we met, which is extremely rewarding and only reinforces the “method to my madness.”

The paradox and balancing trick, of course, is that time doesn’t stop; it can pass us by quickly, so we need to be in motion with it and “make hay while the sun shines.”  But on the other hand, we need to accept and be comfortable with what is realistic in terms of how long things take to change and develop. Just like we are all students in this school called Life, we are all patients in the healing of our lives which is part of what growing means – healing the wounds of our past so we can move forward ever more healthy and strong.

Need a little help on your journey from acorn to oak tree, or from wounded to well? Give me a buzz and I’ll take a look to see how you can use the gift of time to speed things up or slow them down, keeping in mind, that might just be the opposite of what you think…

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(Today’s PGG was originally published on September 11, 2012)

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When we are no longer able to change a situation…we are challenged to change ourselves. ~ Viktor Frankl

I recently read about a pill being developed that would erase unpleasant memories, kind of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-ish. Of course I was appalled. It’s bad enough the American public is seduced by quick fixes to deal with many physical ailments that a simple change in diet and exercise, a reduction in stress, a healthy dose of self-love and/or a little mind/body/spirit elbow grease would take care of. Now they want to get rid of negative memories?!?! We’re already a society who overeats, overdrinks/drugs, over sexes, over technologizes, overworks and over reality shows to avoid what we’re feeling!

There’s a saying that many athletic coaches and trainers use: No pain, no gain. Yes, that can certainly apply to losing 20 pounds or training for a marathon, but it also applies to our inner workouts. As humans we like to avoid pain as much as possible, but pain can be a very useful tool if we let it. Emotional, mental, physical or spiritual/soul pain shows us where we’re out of wack and where attention needs to be paid and adjustments must be made in order to learn and grow in any area of our lives.

To the extent that you are “asleep,” the Universe is going to use some big ol’ version of its alarm clock to wake you up and give you a big kick in the butt to do something about it.  And a kick in the butt doesn’t feel too good, but we all need one now and then to propel us into action. Most of us don’t want to endure prolonged suffering, so the pain forces us to take action. In other words, as I mentioned in an article I was featured in on  Well & Good.com, we often need to have a breakdown in order to have a breakthrough.    

Remember that without pain we wouldn’t know joy. When we are experiencing something akin to the “dark night of the soul,” think of the caterpillar who thought the world was over just before it became a butterfly, and that “it’s always darkest before dawn.” Sometimes we just need to go there; these are the times that are meant to test our mettle and force us to rise up like the phoenix from the ashes in order to evolve into a better version of ourselves – and who wouldn’t want that?

So if you’re feeling like you’re about to crack, have been sleepwalking a little too long, or need someone to push you off that diving board, just Let Go, jump in, what are you waiting for? Give me a buzz and we’ll find the amazing beauty in whatever type of breakdown is occurring in your life.

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(Today’s PGG was originally published on April 24, 2012)

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Hello

I love myself

I love myself

I love myself

We are so happy to be alive

I love my life

Our lives are great

We love ourselves

We love being alive    

“I Love My Life” ~ Song & lyrics by my special friend Zachary Miles Lefkowitz, age 4 1/2, September, 2013

When at a wake recently with my 14-year-old nephew, I recalled to him the time he was about to turn four and I asked if he was excited about his upcoming birthday. He began to cry hysterically saying he didn’t want to have any birthdays. This was because he spent a lot of time around my ailing grandmother who had just passed away in her 80’s and he made the very astute observation that getting older means you are one step closer to dying.

I asked now what it was about death that bothered him most.  He did not hesitate for even a second and simply, and very seriously, said “Because you won’t have the exhilarating feeling of being alive.” 

I thought this was a profound answer as folks around us were suffering with the loss of our loved one; Jake homed right in on the crux of the matter: We are alive, and we should experience and treasure every moment that aliveness brings us. 

Over the weekend I had my first massage in over two years, and it really brought home to me these conversations in the most basic and visceral of ways.  Being alive means we are here, in a very physical body in a very physical world. Our body is our vehicle to experience all that life has to offer, so we need to love, appreciate, and take care of it – and, we are also here with other human beings we are meant to love, appreciate, and take care of in a physical way.

Most of us tend to live in our heads and are quite disconnected from our bodies and/or emotions.  Getting a massage – whether by a therapist or having a friend or family member give you a little hands-on tender loving care – affirms our beingness, our aliveness, and our connection to and need for one another.  Numerous studies have documented the necessity of touch, especially for newborns and the elderly; it is literally what keeps them alive and determines their health and longevity.

Diana Ross famously sang, Reach out and touch somebody’s hand / Make this world a better place, if you can.”  If you’re lucky, you have close relationships where you can exchange physical, affectionate touch on a regular basis.  If not, there are lots of alternatives like hugs  and various forms of bodywork you can receive from others in appropriate ways and settings.

And sometimes the most special touch can come from a stranger , like from the tourist in Bryant Park over the summer who, while having her photo taken nearby sensed/saw me distraught and crying (even though I thought I was incognito with my sunglasses, hair covering my face and downward glance!), and in one of the most generous, kind moments I have ever experienced, gently put her reassuring, healing hand on my shoulder for a few seconds as she walked by, saying with that one gesture,   “I see you, I feel your pain; I don’t know you, speak your language or know why you are upset, but I am here to offer you what comfort I can as a fellow human being.”

So as we go further down this technological highway with its isolating side effects and embark upon the holiday season with the increasing commercial madness it brings, remember the basics:  you are here, we are here, let’s love our lives and love one another, and demonstrate that love and compassion in the most tangible and meaningful ways possible.

Not quite sure how? Give me a buzz, because like Robin Thicke reminds us: I got it. You got it. We got the magic touch. 

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(Today’s PGG was originally published on December 3, 2013)

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Special note: With these changing and extraordinary times, my writing might seem to be getting more political (and longer) than usual (even though to me it’s more about the bigger scope of our democracy and humanity in general, as I am a nonpartisan person), and this PGG reflects some of my personal views.  If it’s not your cup of tea, have no fear, regular PGG’s will be back next week, and essays like these will only occasionally pop up.  You can now also read me on Medium, so be sure to follow me there, where you can like, comment and share!

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Friday, January 20, 2017, was a rough day. I chose not to ignore but to face head-on everything that had happened since November 8 – after having fully subjected myself to both sides of the presidential campaign for the better part of a year – and by the end of an entire day of exposure to the inaugural events (the finale and final date of a marathon during which I kept hoping that perhaps the Titanic would not actually sink), I needed to take a steam bath to detox it all. After sweating out what I absorbed, I share with you what emerged.

The technicalities of how we got here in the end belong to a man with the initials VP, whose manipulations took advantage of and exacerbated our weaknesses; he didn’t cause them. Besides the virulent last hurrah of racism and sexism, and the imperial karma we have collectively incurred as a nation, along with capitalism run amok, the deeper material of what this is about – beyond red states/blue states, liberals/conservatives, black/white/Muslim/Mexican, etc. – is the obsession with shiny objects and our quick-fix syndrome; the backlash against the “other” and glorification of hyper-masculinity; and our unresolved daddy issues.

Most Americans want someone to blame for, fix their problems or, as we see now, both. We live in a culture that tells us we need to have instant envy and that something is inherently lacking in us; that a pill, lotion, clothing, gadgets will make us feel good and have a fabulous life. That we have to be assertive and desperately grab these things at any cost, both monetarily and socially, instead of being receptive and attracting authentic prosperity in its many forms by our own value, effort and trust (then we find out we don’t need most of what is being sold to us anyway), and that if we don’t achieve a certain fabricated version of success it’s someone else’s’ fault or issue to deal with.

Blinded and lured by glitz, special effects, selfies, a reduced attention span and taking the easy way out, technology has only magnified and monetized our trend toward total superficiality and increasingly addictive behaviors.

People think, “Oh he looks good, his family looks good, he’s done well, etc. …” They are projecting a glamorous image of what they think a “successful businessman” is without knowing, of course, the corrupt and unscrupulous ways he has succeeded. The new POTUS and his brood are the Stepford Family of America, a group of people seemingly put together from central casting to make a supersize Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, and they now have the most powerful seat in the world.

Then there is our laziness, combined with anxiety about our own existence and shadow selves, which we project onto and then fear “the other,” as in any person, group, place or thing that is unfamiliar or takes us out of our comfy zone. This is a way of anesthetizing ourselves to the outside world and the broader perspective, wisdom and experience that often come as result of our interaction with it. Instead we would rather retreat into “other” words via our remote control, binge-watching TV series, playing virtual video games or seeing IMAX movies of superheroes divided into good and evil, killing each other and blowing stuff up and saving the day (again the daddy, savior complex, and the hyper-masculinity – even women heroes are portrayed in a masculine way). As a result, we avoid confronting real-world multifaceted and nuanced situations that require patience, understanding and compassion, and the many shades of gray that comprise human interaction.

We are a society that is emotionally constipated. Our culture has become filled with emotional porn (i.e., extreme/gratuitous violence, actual porn, real housewives/girls behaving badly, and/or overusing exclamatory words in a disproportionate/inappropriate way to get your attention, as in “This is EVERYTHING!!”), which is used as a laxative to get things moving around inside.Then when things are backed up so badly and reality becomes too real, we have verbal diarrhea and tantrums at the least, and physical violence at the worst. This is also the root of our addictions in all their many forms.

The backlash against Obama was because he was emotionally mature and thoughtful, and he embodied a feminine approach to his worldview, which includes dialogue and inclusivity. (I always said from day one that if Bill Clinton was our first “black” president, then Obama was our first “female” one.) And if he is a leader, by definition, people look to him as an example, and that’s what should be emulated and encouraged. In fact, in Obama’s first inauguration speech he talked about “the time has come to set aside childish things.” But apparently Americans didn’t want to grow up.

Hence, with Trump, we now have the opposite, as in, “Don’t worry, we have a big, strong man like Daddy (or God via POTUS and/or a narrowly defined Jesus, or a classically abusive husband) who’s going to protect you from the big bad world and take care of everything and make our country great again.” As long as you flatter him profusely, stay in line, be loyal and don’t piss him off, he will get you whatever you want and keep you “safe.”

The bigger, perhaps more urgent, issue is that humans, especially Americans who subscribe (consciously or not) to mainstream culture and consumerism, are resistant to allowing for real inner growth and maturity and taking responsibility for their own lives and happiness.

The cold, hard truth is that at the end of the day you are still going to be miserable until you assume control over your own life – taking into consideration and acknowledging outside circumstances, but working around and with them to the best of your ability; being creative and exercising new skills and growing in the process; and having faith in that process and the very nature of Nature itself.

My philosophy has always been that personal transformation is the key to social transformation. We are living in the most tumultuous times in our country’s and the planet’s history, and the grass-roots efforts we need to make are internal as well as external.

It’s up to us as individuals to find security in ourselves and navigate these waters until we find some terra firma once again.

It’s up to you* to figure out what your talents are and the best way to utilize them now in order to create some kind of living for yourself in the economy of shifting sands in which we find ourselves – mostly due to the ubiquitous, ominous nonpartisan phenomenon called technology, not the outsourcing of jobs overseas – and not blame any one person, group or thing for your current situation. (*Or enlist the help of someone like yours truly to help you do so …)

It’s up to you to create an atmosphere of peace and safety by not militarizing your posture and being antagonistic, but instead by connecting and building bridges and applying the Golden Rule. The bad apples will always be there, but there are fewer than you think and that IS what law enforcement is there to take care of. Just make sure the enemies are real and not imagined, projected or scapegoated.

It’s up to you to filter and synthesize a broad swath of perspectives ……

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Humanity with all its fears,

With all its hopes of future years,

Is hanging breathless on thy fate.

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Those words may seem a little dramatic, but many of you know my philosophy is that personal transformation is the key to social transformation.  And as I also always say,we are living in extraordinary times.

There is a reason why you are born in the year and place you were, with the characteristics – physical, mental and emotional, every circumstance, that you alone possess

Our country and our world is in the midst of an identity crisis which brings with it some tough growing pains. Things are shifting and reaching their breaking point on every level – whether being fed up with racial injustice, fighting for a government and economy that works without legislating by greed or medieval definitions of morality, having the courage to speak up for what it means to be comfortable in your own skin regardless of the gender you appear to be vs. what you know you are and your rights to your sexual orientation; the Earth crying out for healing with earthquakes and extreme weather, and the subsequent destruction and crisis’ that force us to work together; or even collectively lamenting the end of an era with Dave and Jon’s exit from their late night posts – the Universe is pushing us to our limits and asking us to stretch our ultimate acceptance of each other as part of the same human family.

Change brings with it the unknown, which makes most of people kind of bonkers. Perhaps you or a loved one is going through a health crisis, experiencing a breakup or loss, recovering from a natural disaster, transitioning from male to female, or are in between jobs or graduating into the “real” world.  Not knowing what’s next, or realizing that what once was can no longer be is unsettling to say the least when we don’t have the tools and perspective to cope.

One antidote to this anxiety is remembering that everyone has a gift to offer, and when you both discover and use that gift in the present, it is much easier to trust what may come tomorrow. 

If you want to heal others, you don’t even have to be a doctor or a nurse; you can be like the 23 year old young man who so lovingly, respectfully and skillfully transports extremely vulnerable patients from their hospital bed to their procedures; making their day just a little less stressful, and provides much comfort and ease to help alleviate the fear such a situation entails.

You can connect and find common ground with, or event protest for, the rights of someone who is seemingly different from you. You can send a text to see how your friend is doing. You can write a song or book or paint a picture that brings even just a few moments of joy and upliftment to someone in the midst of a challenging situation.  Dr. Christianne Northrup talks about how the greatest gift you can give to the world is your own healed life.

Maybe you do have the big, profound idea that will literally change the way we live, or save millions of lives, but maybe you just allow yourself to be who you are and pursue your highest calling, no matter what that is or what it looks like, or how different it may be than everyone currently around you, knowing that someone will benefit from your efforts should you have the courage to walk that path.

You matter. Everyone has a part to play in the healing of our planet, regardless how big or small. We are all trying to survive and thrive the best we can.  We must resist the tendency for technology to make us robots and feel disconnected to others; we can all do something everyday that is of service to someone else or expresses gratitude for the service someone has offered us.

Life matters. What we do right now determines how we will live tomorrow.  As the poet Mary Oliver says, “The patterns of our lives reveal us. Our habits measure us. Our battles with our habits speak of dreams yet to become real.”   We are here to heal the wounds of our world and to lend our voice, talent, passion, money and action to leave it a better place with our having existed. What kind of presence – not wishful thinking – are you giving to today, knowing that it will make a better tomorrow?

Not quite sure what your part in the future is? I’m no Disney-fied version of George Clooney, but can nevertheless inspire you to make the most of today, and if not, assure you like a little orphan named Annie, that the sun will always come out, because tomorrow is only a day away..

Today’s PGG was originally published on May 5, 2015

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Today is the 100 year anniversary of International Women’s Day *[2017 ref: Women’s March on Washington], so in honor of this occasion I’d like to give a special shout-out to all the men out there and encourage you to celebrate all the ways women make your lives better, acknowledge what you can learn from them, and get in touch with your feminine side with unabashed pride.

Dan Abrams just came out with a book called Man Down, a tome that provides extensive research proving that women are pretty much better at everything than men. Whether or not you believed that already, the key here is to remember that we are not in a Battle of the Sexes, but more that everyone, regardless of the gender you identify as or associate with, needs to demonstrate the best characteristics of both worlds.

You would probably agree that most men have a problem expressing emotion, long considered a “girlie” trait. The amazing coincidence is that as I am literally in the midst of writing this, I flip the channel and catch the end of Charlie Rose interviewing David Brooks about his new book The Social Animal. Charlie, who is clearly an exception to the rule, admits how important it is for people to have the “power to express yourself and have emotional intelligence.” David comments how he, and most men, struggle with this and how he admires Bruce Springsteen as someone who is a “manly working class guy who can be emotional in a respectable way.” (Thanks fellas for validating my post right as I type it!)

Most men will never know What It Feels Like For a Girl, so since International Women’s Day also falls on Mardi Gras this year, what better excuse is there to “dress” in metaphorical drag and try your womanlike alter ego on for size.  I don’t mean like a full-on Tootsie or Ms. Doubtfire, but more like the guys in I Love You, Man or The Boss in all his glory; allow yourself to be just a little more sensitive, intuitive, creative, and expressive of what it is you’re feeling.

Whether your birth announcement was pink or blue, we all need to balance our Mickey with our Minnie, so give me a buzz and I’ll show you the way to make the most of all of who you are, without having to shave your legs, put on a fake moustache or become like SNL’s Pat

*Today’s PGG was originally published on March 8, 2011

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If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!   Click on above links for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today. 

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Cheers to the 3 million+ women AND men who came out all over the world on Saturday to march for equality and justice for all.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. ~ Jimi Hendrix

If you have been receiving PGGs for a while, worked with me individually or come to one of my group sessions, you know that I talk a lot about love. But the love that I talk about is not some airy-fairy, namby-pamby, hippie-dippy notion or one that has been misused, watered-down, misunderstood, or simply lost its meaning with lip service.

Real love is the real deal. As Mahatma Gandhi says “Love is the strongest force the world possesses, and yet it is the humblest imaginable.”  Fifty years ago we witnessed an era where our civil rights leaders and all those who were part of that struggle dug deep and called upon this force within themselves to withstand the immense opposition and cruelty they experienced on a daily basis in order to transform society as it existed at the time.

More recently we could not have had a more immediate, direct and tangible example of this phenomenon when one single woman, Antoinette Tuff, used it to save the lives of over 800 people, most of them children, from a lone, heavily loaded mentally ill gunman in Decatur, Georgia.  If you do not know the story, or haven’t seen this extraordinary woman talk about what happened, you must learn about her. (Google the numerous stories, or watch this interview and listen to the entire 911 call).

As humans we are all built from the same stuff.  Love doesn’t know race, sexual orientation or religion – if you are human you can love.  If you are human you respond to love.  As Antoinette and Michael Stipe say, Everybody Hurts sometimes. Everyone needs connection and affection. Compassion and empathy are palpable and are the best antidotes to fear and pain.

If you’ve seen me speak, you know I am always mentioning the fact that the root of the word for courage is Latin for ‘heart’.  Which means that  true bravery is about connecting to that part of yourself, knowing its innate power, and having faith in a force greater and wiser than yourself (or beyond your ego/brain).

So the next time you find yourself in a challenging situation or being attacked in some form, whether it be mental, emotional, or yes, sometimes even physical, instead of using violence to counteract violence, why not call upon the most powerful weapon at your disposal: L.O.V.E.

Need a little help harnessing the heft of your heart? Give me a buzz and I will show you how to give it a good work-out, because at the end of the day love like is a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it will become – and who knows what miracles will occur in your life or the lives of others because of it!

(Today’s PGG was originally published on August 28, 2013)

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If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!   Click on above links for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today. 

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

Join Mailing List
Like me on Facebook  Follow me on Twitter

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 | Express Yourself

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