August 17, 2017, marked my 10-year anniversary of being a professional coach. Holy moly. It seems surreal to even be typing that.

It’s been a wondrous and fulfilling journey, one in which I am constantly learning and continuously developing. I truly love what I do and I am immensely grateful for how it has organically taken shape and form over these years. Coaching has served me and my own personal growth as much as it has allowed me to serve others, so if you are one of those people who trusted me with the privilege and honor of working with you, either individually or as part of a group session – THANK YOU.

Throughout August, I have thought about highlighting this milestone, but because of everything going on in our country and the world it seemed indulgent or insignificant in comparison to the very real issues we are dealing with as a nation, and I wanted to be offering PGGs to help you navigate these stressful times, provide a little respite and hope, and inspire you with ways to improve your world and the world around you. And I will continue to do so …

But a 10-year anniversary comes along only once, so I decided to finally share it here, because I realized it is the very thing we need to do in times like these: Celebrate who we are and what we have accomplished so that we are reminded we each have the power within us to effect positive change, evolve and make our mark on our corner of the world – whatever that looks like for you, in whatever capacity, big or small, it all matters, it is all important when you come from the highest and best good within you. We can all recognize, encourage and be examples for one another.

When you are aligned with who you are and what you are supposed to be doing with your life, it means you have a sense of purpose, ease and sanity that is essential to creating peace in your life, and hence peace in the world around you. Our country needs as many of us out there to do this – STAT. I view my role as helping people get on their path – no matter where they are in their career or life – as part of my contribution to the overall well-being of the planet. I do this by providing clarity, balance and direction that allows you to achieve your version of success, even if that is simply finding a way to be content with where you are at.

As I reflect on my career each August, I always remember and give a shout-out to my very first client, who was a young woman named Lisette Miranda. I don’t recall our session in much detail; what I do remember was her being interested in PR, but during the course of our conversation, she admitted that she wanted to be on the red carpet someday, not behind the scenes supporting someone else.

We have been friends on Facebook for a while now, and it just so happened that on August 1 she changed her profile picture to the one I’ve included here. Amazed, I tagged her, shared the photo and here is our exchange:

Do you realize how auspicious it is that you changed your profile picture to this today, August 1, 2017?? As my very first coaching client, one of the things I remember from our session is you talking about how you wanted to someday be on a red carpet. Ten years later – almost exactly to the day – here you are!!!!! Who knew the journey that would get you there, and in what context, but you made it happen!!

I will always be grateful to you for trusting me – one DECADE ago this month – as I began this journey doing work I truly deeply love and am constantly inspired and amazed by. Thank you and CONGRATULATIONS on all you have accomplished thus far – can’t wait to see how you continue to grow and evolve! 

Lisette replied: Thank you! I remember our session very well. I was so young and uncertain. I felt like i couldn’t map out my next meal let alone my next professional steps. I was at a cross roads and I needed an “outsiders” perspective. You gave me some sound advice and I proceeded to redirect my professional course. I was about 23 and a decade later – I couldn’t imagine the life I have now. Everyday I do what I love. I feel like I have a bigger purpose and effect the lives of young women who will be the future leaders. Gracias a ti ❤

What is so great about Lisette’s story is that she is a perfect example of how what we see for ourselves can happen in a way we could never imagine – and it is a process that takes TIME. No, Lisette is not some starlet in a film at Cannes, but after living and studying abroad for several years not long after our session, she began a fantastic internship and immersion program in Spain called PINC International, and therefore spends much of her year traveling around Europe. This is a photo she took after this summer’s interns successfully completed her program.

Also this month, I received a perfectly timed message from a recent client who demonstrates so beautifully what I do, as expressed by this testimonial:

What I found most appealing, and what sets Kristina apart from other career coaches, is her emphasis on your “whole picture.” She considers everything you were exposed to or experienced, how that ties into your life’s goals and how to find the best path forward from there. Talking with Kristina made sense of all the ideas and confusion running around in my head. The initial session further confirmed the direction I want to go in and visualize where I want to be; doing her homework helped me become more confident in owning what my gut is telling me and fueled my passion to pursue what I know deep down is right for me. As a result of working with Kristina, I now have the tools, motivation and perspective to create my dream career and life. Because of her insights and expertise, I am the happiest and most content I’ve ever been and found an incredible peace of mind. ~ Alyssa C.

Alyssa’s is a different type of result, as hers is a journey that has just begun, but in the initiating of the journey she has already achieved success of an inner kind.

Of course outcomes and timelines will vary, and we are all works in progress. The reality is that everyone is on their own path, traveling at their own pace with various circumstances and internal or external hurdles to overcome; and quite frankly, some put in more effort than others (i.e., I can’t make you do the homework!). But if what I do via my coaching, writing or speaking can help you experience some semblance of happiness and, more importantly, peace of mind, along the way, then I hope to be celebrating another milestone 10 years from now, and then another and another …

(Today’s PGG was originally posted on August 30, 2017.  Today actually marks my 11th anniversary!)

***As a special gift to you in honor of my 11th anniversary as a professional coach,I am happy to offer an 11% discount off any of my standard packages throughout the month of August. ***    

Click here to learn more and book your private coaching session with Kristina  

Click here for some tesimonials from past clients 

       AND as a super-special gift, I’m offering a ONE HOUR PHONE SESSION to the first 11 people who sign up for just  $111 – approx. 50% off my normal rate!   

Must complete session by August 31, 2018. Only 11 slots available (7 left!). 

Click here for more info and payment

  I look forward to working with you soon!  

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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!

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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 ten 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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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 fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

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When Lenny Kravitz came out with his anthem in 1989, the world was at once very different and exactly the same as it is now. The Cold War has been replaced by the War on Terror, the Middle East remains a mess, and there are still far too many people on the planet who live in the midst of hunger, disease and injustice. Racism and religious bigotry are alive and well, and economies and the environment are in the tank. Heavy sigh…when will we ever learn?

So what is little ole’ you to do? Well if, as the saying goes, peace begins with me, then the question is, Are you at war with yourself or with the people closest to you?

A loving relationship with yourself must come before you can be in one with another, or to even just get along with your family, neighbors or strangers on the subway. We have to take the time and energy to forgive and love ourselves and others.It’s our responsibility to dig deep to see what is going on inside us, understand it and then have the courage to communicate honestly and lovingly first to ourselves, and then to those around us when appropriate.

Love is the most powerful force in the Universe when used intelligently and intentionally; it can move mountains, heal, connect and transform.

What are you waiting for? There is no more important time than now to let love start ruling your world. Love of yourself, love of each other, love of your work, and love of life itself – the very breath and heartbeat that is allowing you to read this!

Need a little mediation between your head and your heart, what you earn and what you’re worth, your desires and your reality, or you and your significant other? Give me a buzz and I’ll be the peacekeeping force that helps you reconcile all the conflict zones in your life and make love the law of the land!

(Today’s PGG was originally published on September 28, 2010)

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

***As a special gift to you in honor of my 11th anniversary as a professional coach, I am happy to offer an 11% discount off any of my standard packages for the month of August. ***   

Click here to learn more and book your private coaching session with Kristina   

Click here for some tesimonials from past clients 

AND as a super-special gift, I’m offering a ONE HOUR PHONE SESSION to the first 11 people who sign up for just $111 more than 50% off my normal rate!   Must complete session by August 31, 2018. Only 11 slots available.  I look forward to working with you soon!  Click here for more info and to book

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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 ten 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

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

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 fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

Join Mailing List

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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

Twenty-first century guru Deepak Chopra tells us, Relaxation is the prerequisite for that inner expansion that allows a person to express the source of inspiration and joy within.”  He seems like one chill and content dude to me, so he must be on to something!

With the lazy hazy (i.e. hot & humid in NYC) days that arrive with the dog days of summer comes a natural slowing down that includes an increase of time spent outdoors, at the beach, in a park or in the country, which is especially important for us city slickers. As a great ad by the Bronx Zoo reminds us: Connecting with Nature. There’s no app for that.

If, like many of my clients, you’re someone who tends to go, go, go and give, give, give and feel like every minute of every day needs to be ”productive,” you may have a difficult time adjusting to this slower pace and doing things that are seemingly frivolous and serve no purpose.  But it’s essential to have a balance of both kinds of activities in order to grow and heal, because it’s in the relaxing that we are able to receive – whether a thought/idea/solution, the love and affection someone is offering us, or the love that we give to ourselves by doing something healthy that we enjoy and feels good.

This August, why not make it a goal to power nap at least once a day, breathe, check in with yourself periodically, write in a journal, listen to your favorite tunes, lose yourself in a good book and savor the space between the tweets.

Give yourself a TV and Facebook fast; cook delicious meals with produce from a farmer’s market. The idea is to use this season to learn the discipline of relaxing and taking pleasure in simple things, which gives you room to grow. And then you can take your new habits into a more daily routine year round…

But if you’re having a hard time going from 60, 70 or 80 miles an hour to 20, 10 or even zero, give me a buzz and I’ll show you how to put on the brakes, linger in the leisure and move like the groove heard here having some Hot Fun in the Summertime!

(Today’s PGG originally published on May 31, 2011)

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If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person! Click here to learn more and book your private coaching session with Kristina 

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 ten 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

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

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 fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

Join Mailing List

 Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn  View on Instagram                 

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

When things aren’t quite going your way, it’s easy to fall into the grass-is-always-greener syndrome. But as the saying goes, before you judge a man (or covet his life), walk a mile in his shoes.

You don’t have to turn back the clock, eat a magical fortune cookie, ride in a souped up DeLorean or relieve yourself in an enchanted fountain to discover your life and relationships are exactly as they should be, or get the kick in the butt you need to make them better.

The fact is, our lives are the sum total of all the choices we’ve ever made up until this point – a combination unique unto ourselves. That means we have, on some level, created the situation we’ve wanted or needed in order to learn and grow on this journey called life.

So whatever your state of affairs, take full responsibility for it. The good news is that if you don’t like it, because you got yourself into it, you totally have the power to get out of it!

A lot of my clients right now are at the point of no return, where there’s no more delaying the inevitable.  The only thing they can do is to go through – there is no way around, there is no way back – they need to make a change or take action in a certain direction because there’s no alternative, whether because of forced external realities or an internal malaise and dissatisfaction that they can no longer withstand.

Why changes haven’t been made up to now is a more complicated and varied topic for another time. Often it’s a stronger sense of obligation to others, what they want or would make them happy, that prevents us from moving forward to the beat of our own drum. But contrary to Hollywood movie plots, we are the ones who have to live in our bodies, so it’s up to us to do what needs to be done. It’s time to go big or go home.

Not fully convinced that you can move forward without going all topsy-turvy or time travel-y to get it right? Give me a buzz and I’ll be like a freaky fictional device that helps you wake up and smell the coffee. I’ll help you understand and appreciate where you’re at and what changes you can make so that you can learn and experience whatever you need to be the best you can be, Right Here, Right Now.

(Today’s PGG originally published on September 25, 2012)

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If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person! Click here to learn more and book your private coaching session with Kristina 

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 ten 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

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

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 fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

Join Mailing List

 Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn  View on Instagram                 

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

Actors, when interviewed about their craft, often talk about finding out what the “truth” of the situation is for their part; Shakespeare tells us, “All the world’s a stage, all the men and women merely players.

We are all characters in our own play or movie acting out daily scenes, but it’s easy to forget that we’re also the producers, writers and directors, especially when it comes to our relationships.  We can, to a certain extent, cast who is in our life, assign them certain roles and create all the drama, comedy and tragedy we want.  We can even rewrite the script when we have the courage to do so.

The best way to do this is to be honest with yourself so that you can communicate from the heart exactly what it is that you want and need. Since most people don’t walk around with ESP, it’s really up to you to say what you mean and mean what you say (in an appropriate way, of course!) and let the chips fall where they may, knowing that you honored what is real and true for you.

If it’s not a common practice, speaking your truth can feel uncomfortable, even messy, and can make you or the other person feel like a deer in headlights – but at least you’ll get to the bottom of things and set the stage to make the next scene better.

You can run but you can’t hide from the truth, and telling it to yourself is the first step.  If you’re too scared or unable to see it, give me a buzz – I can be the spotlight that illuminates what’s really going on and help you create the starring role with a happy ending you so deserve!

(Today’s PGG originally published on May18, 2010)

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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 ten 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

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

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 fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

Join Mailing List

 Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn  View on Instagram                 

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

I LOVE my country, which is exactly why this year was not a “Happy” Fourth.

It was a somber day, like when you love someone who is struggling with a serious illness and they may or may not make it. We can be grateful and positive, but jubilation is just not appropriate.

This is because when you zoom out from all the petty, salacious and direly serious details and disturbing discourse to look at the big picture, you can see that our nation is dis-eased in three ways:

1) Like when you have an aggressive virus or cancer that is wreaking havoc and is currently resistant to treatment. It’s probably been there awhile and was latent or in remission, but it’s now activated and rearing its ugly head for you to deal with, mitigate, and then keep in check.

2) As in being so sick and feeling like you’re going to die because you’re going through a detox process – have you ever seen what a heroin addict goes through? In other words, there’s hell to pay before the purification and relief. But then there will be a need for constant monitoring so as not to relapse.

3) Because the harsh reality of our country’s karma is manifesting in full force. Karma is a boomerang; it’s gobsmacking us and asking us to LEARN THE LESSONS and pay our debts. In other words, the actions (or inaction) we have put out there either in our own country or elsewhere are coming up for review and accounting.

If you love this country too, and especially if you’re a praying/visualizing/affirming type of person, you can use your tools to seek healing and unity with the least amount of collateral damage. Because everyone has a part to play, and everyone will have a price to pay.

Please know my thoughts here are meant to be uplifting –  it’s been a rough ride and things are ramping up, so my goal is to improve how you are feeling by suggesting you tap into a different perspective on how you look at what we’re going through. We need both, of course, but sometimes it’s more helpful (and wiser) to look at things in the macro/metaphorical sense rather than in the micro/literal one.

As a nation we are sick, so the most immediate and practical thing we can do is to take extra care of ourselves and each other physically, mentally and emotionally, with conscious compassion and intelligent love. In this way we contribute positively to the ocean of energy we share with each other, because whether you like it or not  – red, blue, white, black, purple or polka dot – we are interdependent and thus in this TOGETHER: E pluribus unum!

Life is an inside job: We must get things right with the inner to make the most of the outer. Remember that we ALL contribute to the fabric of this beautiful experiment in organizing humanity, whether we are aware of it or not.

My motto for years, and the thread in all my work, has been “personal transformation is the key to social transformation.” So what have you done this Independence Day week to bring yourself out of the darkness and into the light? If we each take responsibility for that, then we will all be doing our part to make America truly great.

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Special note: Those of you who have been on my list for a while know that I occasionally comment about the current state of affairs. Although these kinds of essays might seem political, I am always looking at things through a personal-growth lens. This is what I posted on my Facebook page for this past Fourth of July, and I thought I’d share it here.  If it’s not your cup of tea, have no fear, you’ll have a more typical PGG next week 🙂

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Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.

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 ten 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

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

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 fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

Join Mailing List

 Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn  View on Instagram                 

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

In the movie Clash of the Titans, Perseus is half-man and half-god, a truly unique being bridging the worlds of Argos (humans) and Mt. Olympus (the gods).  He finds out about the Olympian part of him as an adult, when men are at war with the gods who were responsible for killing Perseus’ beloved family.

Perseus is then enlisted in this battle, as he is deemed the only one that could give humans a victory precisely because of his special background.  But he refuses to utilize his god-power and the gifts that his father, Zeus, gave him because he despises the gods who ruled the land so mercilessly, and would never consider himself one of them.

For much of the story, our hero is too proud to use all that he has been given and completely denies half of who he is – until he finally realizes that what he has is indeed exactly what mankind needed to defeat Hades.  It was essential that Perseus get to the point of self-acceptance and just be, and by doing so, prevented the destruction of humanity!

Now you may not be a revenge-seeking character in a remake of the sweeping tale of a kitschy 80’s sort-of Greek mythology movie, but you do have a few things within you that are the keys to making you who you are and what you are meant to do! Once you discover and accept that, then the sky is the limit for you to soar. And by doing so, we will all benefit.

Not sure what your god-given gifts might be? Give me buzz and we will uncover what part you can play in contributing to the greater good, which is needed now more than ever!

(Today’s PGG originally published on April 6, 2010)

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Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.

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 ten 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

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

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 fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

Join Mailing List

 Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn  View on Instagram                 

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

Synergy – the bonus that is achieved when things work together harmoniously.~ Mark Twain

I find it curious that the words desperate and disparate sound so similar; although their meanings are distinct and technically have nothing to do with each other, I think there is a correlation.

A well-known strategy used by one group to influence power over another is to “divide and conquer”; it keeps people, things, countries, ideas and religions feeling separate and often opposed to one another. This way they are unable to come together as a unified force and don’t have the strength to accomplish their goals and objectives, which disempowers them. It is an extremely effective tactic, regardless of whether the power desired or deserved outcome on either end is good or bad.

The most obvious place to observe this happening is in the military and political arenas, but there are more subtle ways that this truth can affect us in our everyday lives – within our families, at our jobs, in our neighborhoods, in the media and entertainment we consume, and often, within ourselves.

Lately I’ve noticed a lot of folks are feeling disjointed, fragmented and compartmentalized at best; discombobulated or defeated at worst. Everywhere we turn, there seems to be a sledgehammer creating wedges, with myriad of distractions coming at us from all sides: It’s us against them, head against heart, black vs. white, profit vs. people, logic battling intuition, young vs. old; material values vs. spiritual ones, mental vs. emotional health vs. physical health.

As the saying goes, we can’t serve two masters – we must be unified in that which we revere and honor, integrate our disparate parts and connect to who we are, so that we can connect to others for the greater good. Because when we don’t we feel lost and alone, which can lead to feeling desperate. And that is never a good place we want to be – because decisions made out of fear and desperation are never the best choices.

So if you’re having a little trouble synthesizing your yin with your yang, make sure you take some quality time with yourself and/or give me a buzz; I’ll help arrange all your internal and external parts so just like Stevie and Paul’s piano, they too can live side by side and you can live with yourself and others in perfect harmony.

(Today’s PGG originally published on April 5, 2011)

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Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.

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 ten 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

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

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 fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

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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

This essay was originally posted on September 27, 2011 as is dedicated today to all children everywhere, especially those separated from their families. To see a color version and special note about what’s been happening click here for the PGG.

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I recently attended the screening of a very cool documentary called Connected: An Autobiography About Love, Death & Technology. An ambitious undertaking, filmmaker Tiffany Shlain has presented some interesting ideas and factoids in a unique visual way about the history of who we are and the connections we have to each other from the past, present and where we might be headed in the future.

One of the best tidbits I learned was that if you hug someone for six seconds or more, a dose of the feel-good hormone oxytocin is released.

Many of you who have worked with me individually, in a group, or have talked to me after one of my workshops or seminars, know that I’m a big hugger.  In addition to hugging my clients and audience members, I tend to hug strangers after a meaningful conversation, and even in more professional situations, say after a meeting, which may or may not be kosher, but I can’t help it!  I often randomly hug friends, family members and co-workers because I somehow sense they need one, and I will occasionally request one myself (especially from a super-good hugger, like my bro!)

Why? I’ve actually never thought about it.  It’s just always been a natural extension of who I am, the work I do and my love of people in general. If I had to intellectualize it, perhaps it’s about sealing an interaction with a Yes, I see and hear you, you see and hear me, and we can show mutual love, respect and care for each other as human beings in the most tangible way.”

And let’s face it, who couldn’t use a hug now and then?  We should be able to give and receive hugs freely, but for those of you who need to justify your request, there’s a scientific explanation, because hey, who wouldn’t want to get a little shot of some naturally feel-good feelings?!  So forget about the economy and the Internet, because the true currency of connection is the HUG, and the good news is that it’s available worldwide and abundant in infinite amounts.

Feeling a little stressed or simply need a boost to brighten your day?  Instead of reaching for that Twix bar or beer, have no fear, don’t you pout, just say hello and hug it out! 

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Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.

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 ten 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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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 fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

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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

Last Friday I found myself devastated by the news of Anthony Bourdain’s passing. In order to process and make sense of my feelings I wrote this essay that night and published it on Medium; I thought I would share it with you here as a PGG.

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This morning I felt like the wind got knocked out of me. I was up unusually early to head out for the day, and as I was getting ready, I heard the breaking news that Anthony Bourdain was dead. Two years ago, my stomach sank and I teared up when I heard about David Bowie, and then months later about Prince. Although I was a fan of those two icons, my appreciation of what they accomplished and contributed to our culture with their art actually grew once they were gone. I’m sure there were other instances of shock and sadness when public figures passed – Robin Williams and Muhammad Ali come to mind – but some hit home in a more deeply emotional way than others, as if you knew them personally, and this was one of them.

The last time I remember feeling this personal kind of loss over someone I’d never met was when King Hussein died in 1999. I was so distraught, I went to the Jordanian store owners in my neighborhood to tearfully express my condolences, not even knowing the exact reasons; I just knew that I felt he was a great soul – but not perfect, as none of us are – and that the world would be missing a bright light and great hope now that he was gone.

But with Anthony Bourdain, it was immediate and visceral and specific as to why this loss was so profound, and I struggled not to go into a full-on heaving cry because I needed to be composed as I walked to the subway en route to a full day of meetings. I knew exactly what he had done for the world, what he had done for me, and what a great example of a human being he was – messy, magical, mischievous, magnanimous and masterful all in one. Although on the surface he was known for his passion for food, writing and travel, I believe his biggest purpose in life, like King Hussein, was to be a peacemaker.

In his own rock ‘n’ roll, tough yet tender, sensitively macho, sarcastic and sincere way, he was able to bring together people of every background. Whether sitting down with them in one of the 80 countries he visited, or more recently highlighting different cities and cultures here at home, he brought the world to millions of living rooms so we could share the experience. In a unique and highly entertaining yet respectful way, he gave us an inside view of mostly ordinary people, especially those we might consider adversaries or outcasts. He allowed us – including those who can’t travel or don’t even have a desire to travel – to observe what life is like for others, and therefore hopefully gain more understanding of each other.

I have been a huge fan since his No Reservations show on the Travel Channel, and then of course Parts Unknown on CNN – and must have seen at least 80 percent of his programs, always being so intrigued and inspired by the journeys he made and people he met. I gain new knowledge and perspectives each time I watch, often accompanied by a good laugh. Sure I love food and like to learn about different cuisines, and I enjoyed watching him eat things – often in honor of the culture that had invited him in, and many things I don’t think I ever could. But I also learn so much about these cultures in the process (one of the most powerful episodes that comes to mind is when an Inuit family allowed him to participate in the meal of a seal, which they eat raw, and every part).

I’ve always been passionate about and have committed my life to promoting peace and the upliftment of humanity through various vehicles and forms (you can read my essay “All Roads: Same Place” for some insight): From wanting to work for the UN, having a career in the travel industry, founding a nonprofit organization focused on intercultural understanding with the tagline Recognizing Our Unity; Celebrating Our Diversity, then later writing, coaching and speaking about how people can make their lives more peaceful and fulfill their role personally or professionally in making the world a better place. It’s my underlying m.o. and I can often sniff it out in others, whether it is obvious/conscious to them or others or not.

Anthony Bourdain, like me, didn’t define himself (or his show) in any particular category (chef, journalist, writer), because he is really about all aspects of being a human and showing the condition of humanity no matter who you are or where you are from. He most often did it through the medium of food because, as my dear friend Dan (who also tragically died as a result of mental illness) used to quote his Jewish grandmother as saying in a Yiddish accent, “You have to eat!” – so what better way to get to know each other than through a meal? This was the original concept and initial execution of The Women’s Mosaic’s programs. And when it wasn’t through food, Bourdain did it through his essays, which is also the only form of writing I do (see my book, these newsletters etc.).

I relate to and also seem to possess his ability to connect with anyone he meets, and he was known as being the same person on camera as he was off – he just brought his authentic, unique self to wherever he was and whomever he was talking to, from busboys to Obama. He told it like it is and wanted to show people our common humanity, and teach a bit of history and politics along the way. He shed light on whatever he felt merited attention and was recently a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement and immigrant rights – similar to topics and issues we tackled in small and big ways with The Women’s Mosaic.

He had no facade and could see through BS. He was a people and life expert; he was a natural introvert but could talk to anybody; he was a writer who wrote the way he spoke; he did not put up with pretentiousness and searched for the truth in any situation. I have not struggled with drugs or depression, but I have lived through my own tragedies and, like all of us, struggle with my own limitations and dis-ease, and have had glimpses of what it might be like to not want to be here. Although I’m not a foodie per se, I would definitely name food as one of my main physical pleasures in life, if not the main one. We are both tall.

In other words, as I write this, it seems the connection might not be not from viewing him as a separate celebrity stranger out there who did great things that are in alignment with my vision and values, but instead I am seeing the many ways in which we are more closely part of the same tribe, however differently we might have played our parts within it.

Perhaps, then, this is hitting me so hard because I feel I lost someone who is more like me than I ever realized, someone who was doing what I am trying to do, so it’s like a little piece of myself is now gone. From the outside, looking at each of our lives this way seems ridiculous, but you (especially if you know me) and now I can see the many ways in which we are cut from the same cloth. So in his death I am seeing my life, which seems like a very self-centered way to talk about his passing, but isn’t that perfectly fitting as part of what he was here to do? It’s about seeing yourself in another and finding your commonalities and shared humanity, no matter how disparate we may be on the surface or in the lives we lead.

Well, I guess I answered my own question about why this one hurts so much, and now I appreciate him even more.

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Click here to here me speak about asking for help
Click image for video about asking for help

   Please be sure to reach out to loved ones and/or seek professional counseling should you be suffering in any way…. There is always help available  ❤ ❤ ❤

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Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.

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 ten 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

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

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 fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

Join Mailing List

 Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn  View on Instagram                 

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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