Archives for the month of: February, 2011

While walking down the street after a bizarre week of odd ‘coincidences’ and uncanny timings, I happened to look up and notice the announcement board of a synagogue with this quote by feminist/activist/author Robin Morgan, “Only she who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible.”

One definition of the word absurd is “inconsistent with reason or logic or common sense,” which means that any decisions or actions deemed as such perhaps come from a place that we can’t always understand, but know is from somewhere deep within us.

The presidents whose holiday we celebrated yesterday had a bit of that going on…George Washington’s advisors seriously questioned his determination to cross the frozen Delaware, and he intuitively knew how to present himself as a leader for this new country; Abraham Lincoln’s life is filled with examples of how he went against conventional wisdom and popular opinion.  Both men defied the odds by listening to their own conscience, inner voice and moral compass, and because of that became the great men we honor today.

Part of maturing is learning how to trust your own gut despite any outside influences.  While it can be  helpful to get advice, when we are honest with ourselves, we are usually our own best counsel. Others might not know who we really are or may not have our best interests at heart. And I’m sure we can all remember times when we’ve dealt with the consequences of not heeding the wisdom of our gut.

My guess is that Adam Sandler trusts his intuition as to what is funny or not regardless of what the Hollywood suits might say, and from his start back in the SNL days, he expressed a unique kind of silly humor that had yet to be considered commercially viable.  Well, we all know how that turned out!

When I meet with clients, often I am simply validating and confirming what they already know themselves but were too embarrassed, in denial, doubtful or repressed about to pursue or even admit.  If when a complete stranger in less than two hours, without you specifically divulging it, tells you that the ‘crazy’ idea you have, that thing you always wanted to do, the life that you always dreamed of, is exactly the direction you should be going in based on the dots I’ve connected, just go with it – it’s the green light you’ve been waiting for to produce that smash box office hit starring none other than YOU!

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It always seems a little off to me that Valentine’s Day takes place in the astrological sign of liberty-loving, independent, eccentric Aquarius, characteristics which are more suited to a people’s revolution or Grammy Red Carpet.  With all that kind of energy in the air lately,  freedom looks as good on Egyptians as it does on Lady Gaga.

Right now we’re in the midst of Fashion Week in NYC.  To many people it is a seemingly frivolous and fun affair, but the reality is that as long as there are options in what is acceptable for us to wear, there exists freedom in other areas – think of Mao suits and corsets, burkas and beards. Every since we decided to not walk around in our birthday suits, if we’re lucky, we can have varying degrees of expression in how we cover our naked bodies.

It’s been twenty years since George Michael’s classic video, when we knew the models names, they had meat on their bones and the artist was nowhere in sight, wanting to liberate himself from the bubble gum image of his Wham! days. Today it’s the designers who are more the rock stars, and perhaps appropriately so.

Devil Wears Prada masterminding and Fashion Police citations aside, the fashion industry is its own version of freedom fighters, providing us with the garments we need to protect and express who we are, which in turn fuels an environment to pursue work we are passionate about, breeds a culture that is inclusive, gives us permission to love whoever we want, and most of all enables us the freedom to be ourselves.

Pop stars and celebrities can take this to the extreme, as it requires a more courageous soul to carry off a Cee-lo or Nikki Minaj ensemble, but the more they push the boundaries of self-expression, the more they give us all permission to do so. Not sure if your style is more Bieber or Beyonce, Rock n’ Roll or Rihanna?  Give me a buzz and we’ll uncover and unleash an inner you reflected in an outer style that makes the most of who you are, inside and out!

When I was in sixth grade, my elementary school presented the Norma Gold Human Relations Award to three students out of our class of about 100.  To my shock, my name was called and to this day it’s one of my proudest achievements – mostly because I had absolutely no idea the award existed or that I had done anything special that warranted attention.  I was just very involved and always gave my all to whatever I did; at that age I unconsciously expressed the best version of who I was and got recognized for it.

I am not a competitive person and although athletic, in fact never wanted to play school sports for that very reason. But sometimes we need to have that extra bit of eyes on the prize attitude to take us to the next level. In the movie Remember the Titans, a racially integrated football team came together to be undefeated champs in their division, a victory that was symbolic of so much more in a newly de-segregated south.  Denzel Washington, playing Coach Boone prior to the final game declared, “I’m a winner. I’m going to win”

Every field has its pinnacle of achievement and recognition so why not set your sights on one?   In the midst of this season with the Grammy’s and Academy Awards on their way, it’s a good time to think about what is the equivalent of the Superbowl, Olympic Medal, Emmy or Tony in your life; your version of the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize? And if there is none, what would your criteria be and what would you call it?  Define for yourself in every area of life what is your standard of excellence that makes you a champion.Set that goal for yourself in 2011 or your bucket list – whether you ever attain it or not, raising the bar for yourself can only make you better in every way.

The next step is to believe that you are worthy of the accomplishment.  When Tango Diva held a contest for their 2007 Diva Visionary Award, at the last minute I decided to nominate myself. I then found out after the fact that -gulp- I would have to ask people to vote for me in addition to being judged….the whole process made me incredibly uncomfortable, but I realized at some point I had to decide that I wanted to win – and that decision took but a minute.I figured I deserved it as much as anyone else and had to just go for it.  And lo and behold, I WON!

Sometimes you have to seek the recognition (remember producers run Oscar campaigns), make the commitment to it and push until you win, and sometimes it’s a surprise that just falls in your lap.  Regardless of how it comes, neither would occur without the intention of doing and being our best. And, as you prove yourself and are honored along the way, remember that once you win it, you must own it.

Don’t think you have any horn to toot or mirror ball trophy to win? Everyone has some area they excel in, so give me a buzz and I’ll help promote your hidden superstar and find an arena for your MVP to shine!

Congress ushered in a new Speaker of the House, Queen Elizabeth is thinking about abdicating so that Prince William may actually get a shot at being King; Tunisia did, and now Egypt is on the brink of overthrowing their longtime leaders; American television staples Larry King, Regis Philbin and ET’s Mary Hart, whose careers took off around the same time as Hosni Mubarak came into power, are all retiring as well. What is the world coming to?!

Change is certainly in the air and tomorrow is the Lunar New Year, so it’s another good time to start fresh for the next twelve months. What are you ferociously guarding in your life- and is it worthy of protecting, or are you just doing so because it’s been that way for the past 30 years? What people, ideas, jobs, things, ways of thinking might you be holding on to that are old, stagnant, outdated, served their purpose, overstayed their welcome or just need to step down so that something better and fresher can take their place?

What about that old persona you’ve been wearing?  We’re usually our own worst enemies, so maybe it’s time to take a look at the dictator who rules our lives – benevolent or not – and see how we might be restricting ourselves or abusing our power; where we’ve gotten into a rut, how we might have outgrown our ‘schtick’, or perhaps need a new audience to reflect back to us different facets of who we are.

Often things are so ingrained in us we can’t easily recognize them ourselves, so we need some deep reflection and outside perspective. After participating in a Visioning Workshop and then working with me the following four months, a client has completely turned her perspective around, resurrected the true essence of who she is, embraced her new direction, and in turn literally looks like a different person and ten years younger!

Need a little help toppling your own personal outdated regime? Give me a buzz and I’ll help all the repressed parts or yourself rise up to have more say in governing your world, or at least get higher ratings.

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