Suffering without catharsis is nothing but wasted pain. ~ Jim MacLaren, via Elizabeth Gilbert

It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace.~ Aristotle

If you’re like me, my clients, friends and family, the last three years or so have felt as though you’ve been fighting your way through a series of battles, one deeper or slightly different from the last, but all relentlessly asking you to deal with one particular area of life, even if that area spills over to a few others. And it doesn’t help that our world has been going through its own revolution with major insanity via governments and insurgents, the misuse of technology and military/police force, and the dis-ease that Mother Nature has been rebelling against in her own way …

Maybe a war was being waged against you from the outside – perhaps in the form of losing a job or a loved one, or dealing with a health crisis, breakup, financial issues – or from the inside, i.e., confronting depression, addiction, OCD, ADD, emotional trauma, co-dependency, self-esteem, toxic relationships, negative thoughts and patterns. Either way, it’s been a time that’s forced you to go to the mattresses with your psyche, getting schooled in something or by someone, but ultimately yourself, in a probably not-so-pleasant way.

If you rose to the challenge and hunkered down to face those adversaries, you will find, as the fog starts to lift, a super-stark reality check; things that you thought to be stable or secure no longer hold that position; things that once gave you comfort, now not so much. We see things now as they really are, not how we wish them to be. Smooth sailing it has definitely not been, but if you can honestly reflect on all that’s transpired, you will see that indeed it has been quite productive!

Yes there were some casualties, but most likely they were the enemies, real or imagined, internal or external, holding you back from moving forward anyway. We might have some scars, but we’ve recognized and liberated ourselves from our own self-imposed torture chambers and internment camps. You have decided what is or isn’t important and have begun to adjust some behaviors in order to reflect your new attitude and revelations.

The most dangerous threat we all continue to face is that of “divide and conquer”; of thinking we are the lone soldier in the battlefield and that we have to suffer in silence. Sure, at the end of the day we have to vanquish our own demons, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t call in the troops and rely upon our buddies for support, even if just moral, along the way. We cannot isolate in our trenches. We must reach out to our platoons – that is what they are there for!

The good news is that after sloshing through this winter’s punch [summer’s heat], we can revel in the Spring [Fall] knowing that lighter [cooler] days, both literally and metaphorically, are ahead. Be patient with yourself and others as you enter back into civil society and express kindness, compassion and forgiveness to all you meet, even your so-called adversaries, as we have all been struggling in one way or another with our wounds and probably have a little PTSD that can be cured with a lot of TLC. It is finally time for a truce, and to surrender to the peace that is waiting for you should you choose to accept all that the Universe has asked (well, more like demanded!) you to change.

Not quite sure what you’ve gained or lost in this epic battle with yourself? Give me a buzz and I’ll help you see this particular War – what it was really good for, so you can say, “Thank you for letting me be myself again” – only a better, new and improved version of who you are truly meant to be!

(Today’s PGG was originally published March 18, 2015)

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Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

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

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!

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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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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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One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others. ~ Nelson Mandela

Revolution is the evolution of humans into a higher humanity. ~ Grace Lee Boggs

Those of you who know me or have been reading PGG for a while are aware that my passion and mission in life has always been to contribute to world peace, mostly through my work best expressed in my mantra that personal transformation is the key to social transformation.

So it should come as no surprise that I profoundly relate to and revere the lives of these two nonagenarians, Nelson Mandela who died last week at age 95, and the 98-year-old* activist and author Grace Lee Boggs.They literally embody this philosophy in every cell of their beings; they have demonstrated it externally with their activism and sacrifice for racial equality and social justice, and internally by the wisdom they have gained and generously share from nearly a century of experience, observation, and, most importantly, reflection.

Both started out as “radicals”, and were branded as terrorists with the requisite FBI/CIA files (Mandela was even on the US terrorism watch list until 2008!) because they initially saw the only way to overthrow the entrenched power structure was by employing the more literal and sometimes violent tactics of revolution through organized movements and a spirit of rebellion. But through trial and error, incarceration, and maturity, they eventually evolved; they gave themselves permission to change their minds, learn and grow in light of new information, experimentation and once again, reflection – ultimately coming to the conclusion that in order to change the world, they would have to change themselves.

They came to understand that indeed humanity is made up of humans and that humans were going to have to deal with other humans in order to get anything done. So we’d better be the best we can be as individuals and try to get along and get past our differences and disagreements, because the reality is that we must co-exist harmoniously – whether in a racially divided African country, a rundown bankrupt American city, or in your very own household.

We are living in extraordinary times, and it is no accident that you are who you are at this moment in history.

What does your humanity mean to you? As our world continues to go through turbulent changes and upheavals, it will be up to us individually and collectively to do our part to “tear down” where necessary and rebuild a more enlightened society that reflects our evolved humanity. But we have to start with ourselves and do what we can in our immediate environments to demonstrate our own revolution – which, by the way, does not happen overnight or with a magic pill, silver bullet, or special app.

Only through keen observation, deep reflection, and inner and outer sweating effort and energy over a long period of time directed towards improving ourselves and serving others that true transformation can take place. Then, if we’re lucky, by the time we reach our 90’s we can look back and see how our journey has positively and productively unfolded in both a personal and political way, and be proud of what we accomplished and the legacy we will leave behind.

Wondering how it will all go down if you take up the cause? Give me a buzz and I will incite a riot in your heart to make the most of what you got, so at the end of the day you know it’s gonna be alright. 

(Today’s PGG was originally published December 11, 2013)

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Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

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

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!

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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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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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In 2009, Southern Australia experienced some of the worst bushfires in over 20 years. But the climate and landscape make them a regular occurrence, and many flora and fauna have adapted over time to use these periodic blazes to fertilize their soil, spread their seeds, and regenerate more quickly. New species that can thrive in such conditions have been introduced, and folks in many places have even used controlled forest fires to remove underbrush and clear land for other constructive uses.

So with all the heartache and devastation that accompanies such incidents, it’s important to remember that there is a positive and negative aspect to everything – even disasters can ultimately be productive and have a silver lining. One thing is for sure: You cannot ignore a fire.

Sometimes we get to the place where destruction is required so a situation can be addressed/corrected/acknowledged and/or given the opportunity for something new and improved to exist. The riots in London, the stock market and debt ceiling madness, the crises in Syria and Somalia, extreme weather [current 2019 snapshot: U.S. democracy, British government, global border crisis, climate change, Amazon forest fires, women’s rights, Hong Kong, the Middle East to name a few] and other “fires” here and around the world are ablaze, calling us to pay attention to them in one way or another. It’s up to us to know what needs to hosed down, and what needs to simply burn, baby, burn.

In many ancient cultures, it is said the mythical phoenix dies many deaths by bursting into flames, only to return, rising from its own ashes for all eternity. As you look upon the landscape of your life, what needs to be consumed and let go of in its current form in order to be reborn anew more magnificently?

Can’t quite see through the smoke or feel the heat? Give me a buzz and I’ll show you which fires need to be put out, which need to be stoked, and where you might need to have one lit under your butt so that something better can sprout up in its place, allowing you to move forward in any area of your life. I’ll either be a spark to Light Your Fire or help you with Burning Down the House…

(Today’s PGG was originally published August 18, 2011)

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Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

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

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

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

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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Each generation doubtless feels called upon to reform the world. Mine knows that it will not reform it, but its task is perhaps even greater. It consists in preventing the world from destroying itself. Heir to a corrupt history, in which are mingled fallen revolutions, technology gone mad, dead gods, and worn-out ideologies, where mediocre powers can destroy all yet no longer know how to convince, where intelligence has debased itself to become the servant of hatred and oppression, this generation starting from its own negations has had to re-establish, both within and without, a little of that which constitutes the dignity of life and death. ~Albert Camus (Nobel speech, 1957)

Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose. ~President Lyndon B. Johnson (Thanksgiving Day speech, 1963)

The huge Barnes & Noble, a staple of my neighborhood and one of the anchors and few big bookstores left in Manhattan, has closed its doors after 21 years. This follows a pattern of many other longtime rocks and havens in my ‘hood: the diner, a dry cleaner, two grocery stores, the nail salon, even my super — most of which had been there two decades or more. So many other businesses have vacated the premises over these past several years, only to make way for yet another bank, chain drugstore or fancy condominiums I’m not sure who can afford. Yes, this has been the trend of the Big Apple as it changes and mall-ifies, and people, including some of my friends, if they stay in the area, have been fleeing to greener, and/or less expansive pastures in places like Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, New Jersey or Westchester (forget Brooklyn at this point!).

I have gone through some pretty major life changes over the past couple of years, and these disappearing touchstones of “home” have compounded and affirmed the sensation of being reincarnated in the same body, and feeling like I’ve moved without actually having moved. The surroundings are familiar but feel different; sometimes it’s like being in one of those dreams where everything is a bit topsy-turvy.

Oh yes, and then there is the political landscape … . Never before in the history of this country (need to fact-check, but am pretty sure) have we participated in and witnessed the slow dismantling, unraveling and unhinging of our government, culture and citizens at large, mutating into an almost unrecognizable caricature of our former selves. It’s been a rude awakening for many in this nation that racism indeed still exists, and that being born a certain color can in fact determine whether you live or die in even the most benign of situations; that gun violence and extreme masculinity, rampant impropriety, dinosaur consciousness and medieval principles are coming out of the shadows and are alive and well, kicking and screaming, trying to hold on for dear life as the future marches on at an ever-increasing pace.

And in this digital landscape — where things are warped, exaggerated and regurgitated ad nauseam — we must be careful of how we relate to life, to become mindful of when we are living more online than off. What are we doing? We must be hyper-aware of and ever vigilant about when we are letting outside influences, the manipulation of media and/or external distractions affect our ability to think for ourselves and control our most precious resources of time and energy. We must be the producers of our own plots and storylines in which we are the writers, directors and stars.

The advent of virtual reality and its widespread use in a variety of circumstances will confuse our brains even more in distinguishing time and place, and what is real or not. But remember, you also create your own virtual reality, for example, when you are thinking of something that has already happened, your brain cannot tell the difference between present and past, hence you re-experience those memories and emotions as you replay them over and over. And because those experiences were more than likely the negative ones, you are constantly re-injuring yourself, causing unnecessary suffering and a skewed perception of your actual current state of being.

As the saying goes, like death and taxes, change is one of three things that are certain in life. But more recently we have been living through big upheavals and endings, not just of chapters, but of eras. Therefore, now more than ever, letting go of the past is one of the most important things you can do in order to adjust to and situate yourself in this new uncharted territory. You must liberate yourself from the chains of the past and be fully present as to what your reality is today — whether you chose it, or like it or not — before you can start to build, create and expand within this newfound orientation.

Who do you want to be as we move forward in this new era? What do you want to accomplish? How do you want to live? Are you at least living in your own body? Can you get so comfortable in your own skin and inner being that you could be plopped down in the middle of Mars and still feel “at home”? It’s important to spend a little time pondering these questions and sowing the seeds of their eventual harvest that will come days, months and years from now.

Just as we are all going through an accelerated evolution as individuals, so is our country and the world, which is why so much upheaval and chaos abound; gotta clean out the junk in the basement and attic and do some demolishing before you can remodel … . And just like that process, we can remember, incorporate and/or hold on to the good and let go of the bad.

It’s time to get back to the essentials of why and how our country was created: what we stand for, who our founding fathers intended us to be and what they hoped we could accomplish as a nation. In so doing, we must recognize that a nation is comprised of people, and therefore it is people who are entrusted with doing the right thing, making big decisions, coming up with solutions to problems, and then allocating the appropriate resources to take care of and protect its citizens — which is the sole purpose of government.

No doubt we need to change as a country, but what is the thoughtful approach to that process? It’s not a shocking headline, clever meme, funny GIF, or a superficial spouting of patriotism; there is real work to be done, real structural changes that must happen, and most importantly, a genuine cultural shift and unification that needs to coalesce. But how do we do so without throwing the baby out with the bathwater? In other words, how can we help the country reincarnate in its own body, its own basic framework, while recognizing, mitigating and/or eliminating the inconsistencies of our past declarations, deeds and demonstrations so that we grow wiser and stronger?

Yes we should all vote, but there is more we can do, which may or may not involve running for elected office. We all have a part to play in restoring dignity to our democracy and society at large, and in preventing ourselves from imploding. We have more power when we acknowledge and assume responsibility for our own lives, and the part we play in improving them for those around us, because we are all in this together. That may require us to take time away from Facebook or bingeing on the latest Netflix series, or at least learning to use them in a productive, balanced and constructive way …

And so my fellow Americans, my plea to you today as we rapidly enter this new era is to express yourself as positively as possible and develop your fullest potential, which will indirectly, or perhaps even directly, develop and express this country’s potential, and set our course, and that of the world, in the right direction, lest we will very soon be dealing with even Stranger Things.

Not sure what star or stripe you have to contribute to this terra incognita? Give me buzz, I’ll help you find, inhabit and make your true Home on the Range the best it can be, so that collectively we can make Our House a very, very, very fine house.

(Today’s PGG was originally published October 5, 2016)

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Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

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

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

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

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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I recently read that “a person’s success in life can usually be measured by the amount of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” Many people begin the year by starting a new exercise or other routine that can have them feeling sore or out of sorts, and doing this with your patterns of interaction and communication can also reap rewards. Like any muscle, growth happens outside of your comfort zone.

Maybe that uncomfortable conversation needs to be with your boss, that contact for your dream gig, your partner, a parent, your neighbor, that cute guy/girl you’ve been eyeing, that celebrity you’d love to talk with, or just putting yourself in a foreign social situation.  But it’s also that honest conversation you need to have with yourself in order to face the reality of your life as it is versus the way you’d like it to bebecause the one common denominator in your life is YOU, and taking responsibility for why it is the way it is is paramount, if not always pleasant.

The good news is that by chatting with yourself on a regular basis, you can know what changes you need to make to move your life closer to your ideal!

Not quite feeling it? I say, “Fake it till you make it” and remind you that, like Einstein said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” So if things aren’t going your way, why not try a slightly different approach from your usual MO? Or you can go whole hog and be like George Costanza in the Seinfeld episode where he does the exact opposite of what he would normally do, to some hilarious effects and success!

So this year resolve to have those challenging conversations, not care what people think, try new things without worrying whether you’ll look foolish, stand out in a crowd, and be OK with not being perfect. (Well, those were some of mine…just insert whatever makes you uncomfortable!)

Wondering how to get from here to there? Give me a buzz and I’ll be your personal trainer to stretch those inner muscles, help you have that heart-to-heart with yourself, and make your discomfort as comfortable as possible along the way!

(Today’s PGG was originally published January 4, 2011)

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Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

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

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

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

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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Mental happiness is total relaxation.~ Yogi Tea

Just as I was going to work on this PGG, I made myself a cup of tea, and out of any message I could have received on the little tag, I got the one above. Thank you Universe for confirming what I am about to write!

I’ve been through a lot these past few years, and my closest friends wonder how I manage to exist and do the work I do. My response is always that I practice what I preach, and there are many tools in my toolbox; I use them all, but one of the easiest to access, yet hardest for many people to apply, is the simple act of doing nothing.

When I say nothing, I mean NO THING. No doing, no thinking, no feeling (unless they come up), no reading, no TV or movies, no music (well, sometimes soothing music), not even meditating: JUST BEING. You can do this on your couch, in your bed, on the beach or in a park; you can sleep or doze or just be in a neutral state in whatever space you’re in. It’s about taking a conscious time out on all levels to let your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual batteries recharge. It’s been my best medicine to remedy all that I’ve gone through and is better than any other food, drug or other substance – and there are no side effects or hangovers!

My guess is lately you’ve probably felt like a warrior on the battlefield of stress, combating what feels like all the forces of nature against you. So think about it – even if you haven’t been physically straining yourself with a sword and shield somewhere, (and perhaps even getting enough sleep), you have been exerting yourself on levels you might not be aware of and it takes its toll nonetheless. Hence the rest.

Most people only rest when they are forced to due to an illness or trauma to the body. But we also need to shut down after a period of mental and/or emotional turmoil, sustained physical exertion or sensory overload. Especially if you are an introvert or an empath, it’s easy to become subconsciously overwhelmed by so much coming at us from the outside, whether electronic ions, ubiquitous wi-fi, sound waves, disturbing images and picking up other people’s “stuff” in and around your environment.

Mind you, this is not being lazy or sick, and I’m not even talking about catching up on sleep (although that is critical if you need it); I’m talking about simply resting on all levels, and giving your body quality time to process, catch up, heal on subtle levels so you can keep on keeping on in the most healthy way in mind, body and spirit.

Usually I will use this technique (lately it’s been staying in bed all day, but even a couple of hours is better than none) after a particularly stressful experience to mitigate the effects of what I had just been through; other times it is more like a preemptive strike that my body intuitively knows to do to prepare for the challenges ahead. And it’s not every week, or even every month, just when I need a stronger dose than my daily repose, depending on whatever is going on in my life – it’s a free, immunity-boosting powerhouse that reduces any potential infirmity, and makes my mind clear and my energy able to handle whatever the task at hand may be, rather than slug through endlessly never feeling productive or operating at my fullest.

BTW, I’m sure there are scientific studies about this. For one, just think about when you exercise a certain set of muscles at the gym – the advice is always to have one day off in between for them to rest. That’s how they get stronger. Then there is the wisdom of oh so many traditions, which suggest (or mandate) some form of a Sabbath – because even God had to rest! But whether you are religious or not, it means you are consciously setting aside time to commune with your SELF.

Many folks can’t sit still for five minutes, let alone even consider spending an entire day in bed if they are not sick (or have some other condition like depression or ordered by a doctor). Because of our always on, go-go-go society, at first it’s easy to feel some sense of self-imposed guilt for not crossing out items on your To Do List or the FMO that comes along with shutting down; or you might think it’s some luxury you can’t afford. Start where you can, for however long you are able.

Think of it as being internally productive, as most healing we can’t easily see or perceive as it’s happening – like when we get a cut or break a bone that magically gets better – and know that the investment in downtime saves you time and increases your external productivity in the long run. For instance, instead of squeezing out whatever you have to do on fumes over 8 hours feeling burnt out and suffering, use those 8 hours for quality rest FIRST, then bang out whatever you need to do in a very focused, refreshed and flowing 1-2 hours. Try it, you’ll like it!

In our increasingly stimulating world, most people are being controlled by their technology, rather than them being in control of it. Besides the daily grind of commutes, work and other obligations, there are always challenging cycles of adversity and intense situations to endure. It is essential to disconnect in order to process your activities and their impact, to sort out your subconscious and integrate all you experience. You need to be able to hear your own thoughts, feel your own feelings and think for yourself.

We must make a concerted effort to create the conditions to receive inspiration, download waves of creativity, have those ah-ha moments, problem solve and brainstorm new ideas. When you make rest an integral part of your life, you will find you can be more patient with family members and friends, spouses and significant others, kids and coworkers; you’ll able to listen more effectively, be present and have more empathy with ourselves and whoever we are with, and the world around us.

The more you develop and heed your resting muscle, the more you will be able to listen to your body – its infinite wisdom knows what is best for you at any given time. Heed that wisdom and your body will reward you. You will feel more centered and alert and will naturally make you more confident, and yes there is something to what they call “beauty” sleep!

The bottom line is that we must impose our own YIN to our very YANG culture at this extraordinary time in history that is demanding our attention with the steady stream of stimulation, distraction, transition, emotional porn and more we are subjected to 24/7.

Due to this reality, it seems as if everyone is dealing with some level of fear or anxiety and feeling frazzled or out of control. Unchecked sleep deprivation and/or incessant stress on our minds and emotions can permeate our daily lives in insidious ways you might not realize because at this point you’re so used to it! However, when we’re well-rested we see things more clearly and have the strength and wherewithal to handle whatever comes our way, rather than become ill or hopeless and/or explode in some inappropriate manner which could harm yourself or others physically and/or emotionally. And, if you rest on a regular basis you won’t need to binge eat/drink/whatever, and might not even need to take a vacation!

The Roman poet Ovid so wisely wrote, “Take rest; the field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” Want to make sure you have much to harvest throughout the year? Gimme a buzz, and I’ll show you that when you make time for rest, you can be assured that life will be bear fruit in every way!

(Today’s PGG was originally published March 26, 2016)

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Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

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

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

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

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

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 published September 6, 2011)

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Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

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

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 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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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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I have a friend who is going through a major transition, trying to figure out what to do next, how to reconcile his past and secure his future; he has been doing a lot of soul searching lately and excavating his talents, skills and passions. While he was in the process of shedding that old skin, I suggested he let go of his action-oriented descriptions, telling him, You need to decide who you want TO BE not what you want TO DO.”

I am always recommending that folks spend time in and learn from Nature because Nature just IS. When talking about patience and process, my favorite saying is, “The acorn does not become an oak tree overnight.” Also remember that an acorn has the inherent DNA to become an oak tree – it doesn’t question it. It just allows itself to unfold and grow as it should, but will look and feel different at every stage of the process.

Many of us have recently been confronted with doing things, working at jobs, being with people or having a particular attitude that may be good or bad, or we may or may not have enjoyed two, ten or fifteen years ago but still exist in our lives in some way that may no longer serve a purpose, if it ever did. It’s important to remember that as we evolve, we need to discern – just like those old clothes in the closet that you’ve outgrown or perhaps bought but never wore, or that simply don’t suit you anymore – who you were then is not who you are now, and adapt accordingly.  

I have witnessed the remarkable transformations my clients have made (click here for the story of my client Andrew). Because they commit to the process and then do the work, they are able to approach, interact and experience things in a vastly different way, and are stronger and wiser for the changes they have had to both endure and initiate.

Not quite sure if you’re an elm tree or an oak, or were one of those uprooted or lost during the storm? I can be the plutonium that powers your own personal time machine to let go of the past and go Back to the Future to dig around, make adjustments, and plant new seeds that will make the present moment the very best it can be!

(Today’s PGG was originally published November 2, 2010)

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CLICK HERE FOR MY 12th ANNIVERSARY COACHING SPECIAL -EXPIRES AUGUST 31st!

Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

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

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

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

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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In that famous scene from the movie about Joan Crawford, the renowned actress declares in a rage to her daughter Christina, “No wire hangers — ever!”

Hopefully you did not grow up with that kind of extreme abusive relationship, but it is not so farfetched to think that as an adult you might be treating yourself like Cinderella’s evil stepmother on steroids from time to time, subtly, overtly or subconsciously beating yourself up about the most trivial or significant things. Until we recognize and do something about it, we are often our own harshest critics when we need to be our most compassionate caregivers.

Do you speak nicely and are kind to yourself, especially in that tape that runs in your head? Do you take care of your body by eating healthy when you’re hungry, dressing appropriately for the weather, getting enough sleep, nursing yourself when sick, exercising, resting and playing on a regular basis? Do you allow yourself to express any emotion you are feeling — anger, sadness, frustration, joy, laughter — in an appropriate and timely manner? (Meaning, don’t walk around emotionally constipated!) And especially if you are a mother of young children, responsible for an aging parent, a teacher, healing professional or assumed the role of “official” caregiver, are you taking care of yourself as much as you take care of others?

Or perhaps on some level you operate like a neglected orphan, walking around searching outside yourself, doing anything for that feeling of warmth and nurturing (or a continuation of it if you did have it as a child). The bottom line is that we can’t rely on someone else — spouse, partner, boyfriend/girlfriends, parents- to provide this for us; as mature adults (which has nothing to do with age) we should strive to be emotionally, physically, financially, and intellectually self-sufficient, and most importantly, loving towards ourselves.

Whether or not you had a positive experience with whoever raised you, learn to nurture yourself as if you were your own precious child. When we are able to mother ourselves, it becomes a lot easier to give and receive love and compassion with those closest to us, and even with strangers. It doesn’t matter if you are ill, out of work, frustrated with a relationship or the state of the world — if we each commit to healing ourselves and take responsibility for our own well-being, we will begin to see positive change around us in big and small ways.

And to all the men out there, gender doesn’t matter — we each have a gentle feminine nature within us that we can call upon and develop, just like we also have a macho warrior spirit!

So tonight when you go to bed, tuck in that little girl or boy within you, maybe drink some tea, read a story and tell yourself you are sublimely cherished and grateful for all that you are, because as Lenny Kravitz’s Mama said “Your life is a gift” and “Love’s all that matters.”

(Today’s PGG was originally published March 12, 2013)

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CLICK HERE FOR MY 12th ANNIVERSARY COACHING SPECIAL

Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

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

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

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

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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Tomorrow, August 17th, marks my 12th anniversary as a professional coach! It’s crazy how time flies. And it’s a true honor and privilege to know so many of you have trusted me to provide guidance and support over the years, and incredibly rewarding to see how you have gotten unstuck and become more aligned and at peace with your work and life. This week’s PGG below shares a some of my personal story; I wrote about my very first client in a 10th Anniversary PGG “A Decade of Doing What I Do” here and you can read the journey and success story of one client in the PGG “Fruits of Our Labor” here.

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Many of you know my degree is in International Relations. Early on I was a passionate student of languages and cultures, and was bitten by the travel bug at age 12 after a trip to Spain, Portugal and Morocco with my grandmother. By senior year in high school I was studying Spanish, French and Italian (foregoing chemistry and physics…), and in college I took Mandarin Chinese, organized international student orientations, studied abroad…you get the picture.

My dream was to one day work for the UN, as my intention and mission in life was to contribute to world peace (I simply didn’t understand why people and countries couldn’t get along just because of race, religion or anything else), so that was a seemingly logical goal. Who grows up wanting to be a career/life coach? Like so many professions today, that didn’t even exist when I was a kid!  Ah, but the Universe has a funny way of working things out.

Once I discovered that being employed by the UN did not ultimately fit my skill set or desired environment, I set out to create my own international experiences – teaching middle and high school Spanish, working and traveling with an upscale educational tour operator, teaching Tourism Destination sand Cultures at NYU, and founding my own mini-version of the UN called The Women’s Mosaicbringing together women from different cultures and backgrounds to learn from and be inspired by one another.

As a result of that creation, I got hooked into the UN, met several times and received praise from Kofi Annan, have attended many of its conferences (I still get verklempt when I am in the auditorium wearing an earpiece…), and before any of this, without consciously trying, ended up living in the very neighborhood where the UN headquarters is situated! So for my entire adult life I have been surrounded by diplomats and their missions, sharing my coffee shop, gym and grocery store with them 24/7.

Fast forward to more recently, as my interest and passion for personal growth, empowerment and healing along with my ability to relate to just about anyone, combined with x-ray vision, supersonic hearing, and broad knowledge base of industries, careers and other resources have combined to make me into this very interesting and profoundly effective person I will call a career/life coach for lack of a better title….and I have been helping people professionally in this capacity for over six years. [at the time of this August 2019 re-publishing; now it is exactly 12!]

Last week I had a big “ah-ha” moment after a Skype session with a new client in Hungary who had attended one of my talks while here on holiday. Although that was only my second international call, I realized just how diverse and, yes, global my clientele is! I have worked with well over a hundred from all backgrounds – whether foreign nationals visiting or working here temporarily, or folks who came to live here as children or adults. They hail from Macedonia, Italy, Puerto Rico, Mexico, New Zealand, Dominican Republic, China, Taiwan, Nigeria, Canada, Australia, El Salvador, Russia, Japan, Philippines, and Israel and they embody the many diverse ethnicities and religions found here – African-American, Haitian, Indian, Persian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Quaker, and so much more; many of my clients have accents, as English is their second or third language! So DUH, here I am using my degree in international relations yet once again, simply in another form. Pretty cool, huh?

I share all of this not just to illustrate how the thread of my interests and passions have run through everything I do, but also for this: My work with individuals only confirms my theories, thoughts and ideals about countries and humanity as a whole. The more I learn and observe intimately the intricacies of all these seemingly different folks’ journeys and backgrounds, the more I see the hard evidence of how we are all wired with the same desires, dreams, hopes and challenges. No matter what corner of the globe you are from we have far more in common than you can imagine.

Think you’re so special? You are. You have a uniqueness that you bring to this planet. But you are also made of the same stuff as that guy or gal across the ocean or sitting next to you on the subway. And because of things like technology and climate change, we are more interconnected than ever. So this week take a moment to expand your horizons: Who can you learn about, chat with or help in some way that is out of your normal sphere of influence? How can you Imagine your world for the better? What can you do to think globally but act locally?

Not sure how the micro in your life that will affect the macro? Give me a buzz and we’ll translate the language of your soul to see how it will weave into the tapestry of history and become that much needed piece of the peace puzzle we are all a part of, no matter who you are or where you come from.

(Today’s PGG was originally published September 25, 2013)

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CLICK HERE FOR MY 12th ANNIVERSARY COACHING SPECIAL

Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

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

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

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

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

 Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube

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