Archives for the month of: November, 2010

One of my favorite artists from back in the day, Howard Jones, once sang  “The old man said to me, don’t always take life so seriously….Try and enjoy the here and now, the future will take care of itself somehow.” And happily cautions in the chorus, “Don’t try to life your life in one day, don’t go speed your time away.”

Over the long weekend I came into a newfound appreciation for the wisdom of his pop songs beyond what the catchy tunes, a cute face and big orange eighties mohawk hairdo did for me back then.

Fashion and music always comes around again in slightly different forms. Nowadays with this economy everyone is cutting back and having to scale down and tap into whatever material and personal resources they have.  It’s a good time to reflect on what facets within you can be recycled and refurbished.  What things about yourself, someone else or situation can you look at and see with new eyes, appreciate and/or put to use in a totally different way? What blasts from your past – whether a song, piece of clothing, relationship or talent in yourself can you relish in now but in a more profound way?

Not sure what gems you might have forgotten about that can be dug up and polished off for your greater good? Give me a buzz and I’ll help you do some excavating to resurrect those parts of your life that have been dormant far too long and show you by doing so that indeed, “Things can only get better”!

Whenever the fourth Thursday in November rolls around, we are meant to reflect on all the blessings in our lives. Traditionally that would imply appreciating all that is good or positive and bring us joy and happiness or that we could not live without. While that is certainly warranted, why not also be grateful for the funky, not-so-positive, annoying and pain-in-the-you-know- where stuff as well: the people, things and situations that challenge us, push our buttons or make us feel uncomfortable.

There is a saying that “There are no problems, only opportunities.” Our crises and difficulties are chances for us to test our mettle, see what we’re made of, and to become stronger and wiser for it. They are occasions for us to make course corrections, adjustments, tune-ups and put ourselves back in balance or on track, or perhaps a different, better track. If things went great all the time you wouldn’t have to dig deep, really look at yourself, search within for answers, find new creative ways of doing things.  Innovation is problem solving at its most basic level  (just watch those Dyson commercials), so where would we be without all the problems we’ve had?

Whether unemployed, having a health crisis or trouble in your personal or professional relationships, take a step back and see what is the Universe trying to show/teach you?  Remember those carbon atoms wouldn’t become diamonds without  extreme high pressure and heat.

So this year, be thankful not only for the bird that you are about to eat (or tofurkey if that is more your style) but for all those ‘turkeys’ in your life: those folks and circumstances that have given you stress and grief but allowed you to go through and overcome whatever you needed to in order to grow and become the person that you are today.  And if you need a little help seeing how the cr*p in your life is really cool, give me a buzz and we’ll figure  out what should be basted and tasted, and what is simply a little fat that needs to be trimmed.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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

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

According to Andrew Bersnstein’s  The Myth of Stress, it’s not the activity or situation itself that is a stressor, but our mind’s perception and reaction to it that causes the stress.  So by recognizing the reality of the situation at that particular time, and really see why it is happening is a way to greatly reduce your adverse response to whatever is taking place.

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

Remember that if you show up, in your mind and also physically to that meeting or event or participating in that conversation, you’ve already done half the work and the Universe can meet you half way to create whatever it is you want or need. 

Out of chaos always comes clarity. Need a little help living in the unknown and keepin’ it in real time?  I can be your personal iPhone app that checks in to show you how to make sense of and the best out of anywhere you happen to be.

The American poet and educator Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said “Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.”

A marathon like the famous one NYC just held is a fantastic metaphor for life and how to accomplish what you want in it.  It begins with a commitment, after which you must prepare and discipline yourself with dedication and enthusiasm. You must travel lean – lighten your load of physical, mental and/or emotional baggage along the way.  There will be moments where you feel you can’t go on, but someone, even a complete stranger, will say or do something that will spur and cheer you on. You must have faith in yourself and know there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel.

I have a client who after being laid off from his corporate job realized he wanted to have his own business to be more in control his future.  With a deep belief in himself and a lot of trial and error, blood, sweat and tears, a year and a half later he is now a top national producer.  He keeps his eye on the prize, paces himself, and with stamina and persistence is able to get the job done (and continues to attend our weekly Thursdays at Three group to stay on track, stay balanced and gain support!).

Even with the uncertainty that it brings, he is infinitely happier than when he was working 9-5 with a steady paycheck.  Because he knew what he wanted, made the internal decision and took the necessary external steps, he now reaps the immediate and tangible results of his efforts.

Whether a tortoise or a hare, slow and steady generally wins the race, no matter how long it takes. As long as you start and finish it there is satisfaction because the journey is just as if not more significant than the goal. The important thing is not to compare yourself to others – because we are all at different places in this marathon called life; you need to know your own personal best in any area you are working on.

No one can actually run that race for you, but whether beginner or pro, give me a buzz and I’ll be a super-coach to get you to the finish line via the most direct and satisfying route, guiding, cheering and providing some motivational Gatorade every step of the way!

Elections bring out the best and worst in people and politicians, especially in this contentious climate. But casting your vote in the broadest sense means that you are exercising your right to exist and participate in life.

I have a friend 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. But in the process of shedding that old skin I suggested he let go of his action-oriented descriptions, saying “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 my clients have recently been confronted with doing things or being with people that in the past they had bad experiences or simply didn’t like or enjoy, two, ten or fifteen years ago.  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.

I have seen the transformations my clients have made.  Because they have done the work I know they will approach, interact and experience things in a vastly different way this time around, if only to show themselves that they have indeed changed.

So if you’re not quite sure if you’re an elm tree or an oak, or if you’re thinking about doing something you’ve been fearful of in the past, I can be like Christopher Lloyd’s time machine and help you go Back to the Future to dig around, let go of and adjust things to make your present the very best it can be.

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