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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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. 

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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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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. 

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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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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. 

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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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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

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

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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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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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

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

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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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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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

As someone who is pretty dyslexic, I often switch prefixes and mash up my words when writing and speaking. When talking to a good friend who was feeling very scattered and exhausted, I somehow came out with the word “mentical” when observing how she was mentally disconnected from her physical body. It seemed to be a perfect way to describe the “dis-ease” that a lot of 21st century urbanites suffer from, and we immediately adopted it into our vocabulary. And then I told her: A walk in the woods is a way to mitigate the mentical.

[Three years ago] after spending many hours in a hospital with my mom over a two-month period, I knew what I needed to do to get rid of the accumulated “ick” from such an environment, and headed to a nearby nature preserve. I felt the benefits in five minutes! It was as if I had dipped myself in some magic potion; I came out refreshed, healed and cleansed.

Several years ago, I gave as homework to one of my clients, an African-American woman, to go spend some time exploring and journaling deep in a woodsy park. She looked at me as if I had two heads and said, “You know Black folk don’t hike…?!” I laughed and of course didn’t care, and she wisely heeded the assignment. She is now an avid fan of the activity, and has even influenced many in her circle to try it as well.

However this is not about hiking per se, in the very athletic sense of climb difficulty and the views as a reward, etc. It’s about letting the energy of those deep-green leaves absorb any negative mental, emotional, physical and spiritual vibes within and around us, and letting us take in some good ones from them. It’s purely alchemical.

Most people flock to the beach in the summer. I’ve always headed for the trees. At least in the Northeast, this is the time of the year when they are the most lush and verdant. They are at their peak of healing juiciness, and they call out to me big time!

As usual, science finally caught up with and has now “proved” what I and others have known intuitively and have been doing for eons; I was thrilled to come across this article, which justified my cure to me and others of spending time in the woods. Apparently the Japanese have coined the term “forest bathing,” and put some explanation and studies behind what I simply considered common sense and what made me feel good; now it is being used as preventive medicine as well as treatment for asthma, depression and other ailments! I bow and thank you for affirming my “homework,” Japan.

I have come to find the practice even more necessary these days with our increasing dependence on electronic devices – who knows what stuff they are emitting and what WiFi is really doing to us mentally and physically. Remember that plants and trees suck the carbon dioxide out of the air and increase the oxygen – for us city folk we need as much clean fresh air as we can get. Especially if you have been spending a lot of time in hospitals, airports, and/or inhabit the concrete jungle, it’s the perfect antidote to erratic energy, as well as recycled, conditioned and even toxic air. 

Once you get yourself to a park, preserve or forest, the first thing to do is express gratitude. Think about how the trees and plants are always there, evolving, growing, moving toward life, no matter what they’re handed or how much they suffer – they remain steadfast in supporting and healing us. By giving thanks, perhaps we can counteract some of the abuse we humans have doled out! I generally recommend going alone, or with just a few close friends/partners who “get it.” Take deep breaths and move slowly. Be grateful for the miracle that is Mother Earth. Visualize and feel the trees like a filter absorbing all the guck in us at that moment. Let yourself be grounded and feel any stress, worry or disease be released from your mental, physical and emotional bodies.

If you can’t get to an actual forest, perhaps your gym’s tread mills have one of those virtual videos courses so you can feel as if you are – now this does not give you any of the alchemical benefits I’ve mentioned above, however it is still good for meditation purposes so hey it’s better than nothing!

The beach can be the bomb in a different way when it comes to healing too so listen to your body and hear what it’s asking for. You probably don’t need to go to the extreme like Reese/Cheryl  in order to your reclaim your soul and sanity, but if you’re not sure about the who, what, why and where of your personal Nature Rx, give me a buzz. I’ll be the forest ranger in the Pharrell hat  that points you in the right direction, reminds you to take it all in, and will be there should you get lost on the trail. 

(Today’s PGG originally published on June 9, 2015)

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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

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

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:

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When traveling by myself in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2001 — just seven years after the end of apartheid — I had a major aha moment while having tea in the lobby of the historic, old-world-luxury Mount Nelson Hotel.

Feeling somewhat awkward in my solo budget-travel state, I was in the midst of sipping Earl Grey when something clicked within me on the most profound of levels. It occurred to me that due to the mere fact my skin is white — with the bonus of having very blond hair at the time — I was essentially given free rein to go wherever I desired and do whatever I wanted, and no one would ever question me, look at me strangely, or think I didn’t belong.

Yes, I was in one of the most segregated countries on the planet, but it really struck me that this applied in a broader context: No matter where I go, simply because of the color of my skin — along with being tall and reasonably well-dressed, in addition to being educated and American — I enjoy a certain level of trust, respect (this was just before 9/11) and service, and almost always inherently avoid outright discrimination and bodily harm, even as a woman (which itself is topic for another discussion, since that is only a very recent phenomenon and may apply to fewer places, but I digress…).

Suddenly the phrase “carte blanche,” which literally translates as “white card,” came into my head and I immediately made the connection to the District Six Museum’s display of various ID cards for citizens under that classified system: White, Coloured, Black, and Indian. In the United States, and in a global sense, it is an invisible card I carry that gives me entree, ease and yes, a certain unearned privilege, to live a life free of so many stresses, layers of misperceptions, institutionalized prejudice, fear, bias and/or hatred that the majority of those of darker shades must endure and are too often endangered by.

I realize that in telling this story I may sound naive, but this came at a crucial point for me. At that time, I was not only quite aware of, but particularly passionate about the issue of racial inequality, in theory since childhood, but in practice for more than 10 years. I had many interpersonal experiences, observations and relationships informing a significant understanding of the complexities all that entails, and earlier that year I had started a nonprofit organization to dispel stereotypes and bigotry in order to bring women together, with the motto Recognizing Our Unity; Celebrating Our Diversity.

But being in a place where racism had so recently been explicitly acknowledged and addressed in such a direct manner brought this concept home to me in a way that until that point in my life, because I am White, had been onlysubtly perceptible, and even then, only because I was sensitive to the issue.

A couple of years later, while waiting in the cold for an MTA bus on First Avenue in the East Village, I experienced this overtness in reverse. Two Black women chose to ditch the delayed public transportation, and I watched in disbelief as two, three, five, six open taxis passed by as they tried to hail one. Disgusted, I asked if they needed help, and of course the next cab stopped for me, but when the driver realized the Black women, not me, were getting in, he drove away. Finally I asked where they were going; I was so appalled I decided I would just get in and share it with them. The irony was that they were going to 78th Street between First and Second, probably one of the Whitest blocks in the city. It was perhaps the closest I will come to knowing what it must feel like to deal with race on a daily basis, simply trying to accomplish the most mundane of tasks.

Fast-forward to February 2012. After giving a talk at the Science, Industry and Business Library, a young Black man came up to thank me for what I had shared, how it made him think differently about his life; he pointed out what he had written down so he could make positive change. He then said he had recently been released from federal prison and asked if I would be willing to work with someone like him. Well, this began a journey in which I learned more specifically about the consequences of race and the criminal justice system, the roots of mass incarceration and the many barriers to re-entry. It has since widened and deepened my understanding of the unhealed wounds, scars and repercussions of our country’s history of slavery.

In the aftermath of injustice after injustice against people of color, we are dealing with symptoms of a very sick system that is made up of people, and people are crying out for transformation and healing. It is not a Black problem; it is not a White problem. It is a human problem. No matter what card-carrying member of our race you proclaim (or are deemed) to be, we’re all in this man-made mess together — and we will only solve it one story, one interaction, one aha moment at a time.

(Today’s PGG originally published on December 5, 2014)

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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. 

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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 (forgoing 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 Destinations and Cultures at NYU, and founding my own mini-version of the UN called  The Women’s Mosaic, bringing 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 writing; now it is over ten!]

Last week I had a big “aha 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 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 originally published on September 25, 2013)

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Want to make 2018 the year you fit your “peace” into the puzzle?

Contact me today and I’ll help you go move forward in the mystery of your mojo!

***Click here for my special Spring Cleaning private coaching offer!*** (Now extended through May 31st)

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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

Special note: For this week I decided to rerun a very particular PGG because, really, how often do royal weddings come around?! Instead of tornadoes in Alabama seven years ago, we had them right here in the northeast the other day; and although we didn’t have anything as singular as the death of Bin Laden, we’ve had similar mob mentality on social media recently for a variety of folks whose reputations have been killed for one unsavory reason or another. 

This time I got marginally sucked in to the frenzy when I watched the Lifetime movie version of Harry & Meghan’s story, and now have a greater degree of insight into their courtship than I care to or should; I guess this wedding does spark even more intrigue than the previous because, forget being a commoner, it involves an “older”  biracial-American-actress-divorcee-feminist-humanitarian bride….It’s a powerful representation and it will be interesting to see how the newlyweds use their platform once the pomp and circumstance subside. 

There are certainly other more “serious” things that could warrant all the time, attention and fanfare (not to mention the price tag!), but hey, most of us love a good fairy tale royal romance as a respite from reality, and lord knows we could use a little pixie dust, now more than ever. ❤ ❤ ❤ 

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I tried to resist, I really did.  I did not want to contribute one more thought to the nuptials of two young royals, a story which has been regurgitated, dissected and discussed in a plethora of ways ad nauseam for the months, weeks and days leading up to it.  And once it was officially over, we hoped we could move on with more important things, and I don’t mean birth certificates or transcripts.

But then a funny thing happened. Having a minor curiosity in the whole affair, I woke up Friday morning, turned on the TV, and like the tornadoes that had devastatingly destroyed much of Alabama the day before, I somehow got sucked into the vortex of everything Wills and Kate!!  It was hard to get around it, frankly, and like that darn car accident everyone slows down for, I simply could not turn away.

Besides getting the dress fix, I was mesmerized by the orderliness of the mega crowd; the sheer detail, beauty and majesty of it all, and how much global attention had been placed on this singular event, which unified a nation and the world. I thought about how people can indeed come together in positive, dare I say, innocent ways, even if much of it comes down to a shared fantasy.  And then another funny thing happened.

In the midst of writing this, news broke of the demise of a man with a turban and beard who had ties to a different royal family, and many people all around our country gathered spontaneously in the streets to revel in the news.  It received equal if not more global attention, but it remains to be seen how jubilant an occasion is it really? Significant and somber, yes, but having a party to celebrate revenge and the death of anyone is not the same. No matter how happy you are that Bin Laden is dead, that type of celebration comes from a place of hate and fear, not love.

My writing often talks about how we need to Let Love Rule, because What the World Needs Now is Love, sweet love. Fairy tales and fascination aside, no matter who you are, what you look like, or where you come from, we all want to love and be loved in return. Even with bad decisions and family feuds, weddings are generally joyous occasions, and funerals are not, but both tap into our desire for that basic of human needs, and should always unify us for good.

You may live in Queens or Kings County, but you don’t have to come from a special blood line or marry a Prince or Princess to have a charmed life. Give me a buzz and I’ll show you how to become the sovereign monarch of your own peaceful kingdom and love life happily ever after!

(Today’s PGG originally published on May 3, 2011)

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Want to make 2018 the year you make your fantasies a reality?

Contact me today and I’ll help you go from commoner to contender!

***Click here for my special Spring Cleaning private coaching offer!*** (Now extended through May 15th)

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

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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