Archives for the month of: July, 2012

I recently attended the screening of a very cool documentary called Connected.*  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 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 in 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!  

(*Today’s PGG was originally posted on September 27, 2011)

P.S. Stay tuned for my summer specials and be sure to check out and share with others the article I was featured in Forbes.com: What I Learned Working With a Career Coach

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The greatest gift you can give to the world is a healed life.~ Dr. Christiane Northrup

What is to give light must endure burning. ~ Viktor Frankl 

Last month a white buffalo was born in Goshen, CT and its naming ceremony is taking place this week.  This is a sacred and rare event in the Native American tradition, the significance of which varies in interpretation, but auspicious nonetheless, and at the very least is yet another sign of the extraordinary times in which we live.

We’re at a point where we can no longer ignore the problems that on some level we’ve known all along we must address – whether climate change, the economy and our government, our physical, mental or emotional health, our relationships with ourselves, our family and our friends; the gap between the fantasy of how we perceive our lives to be versus the reality of what they truly are. We must bring to light that which is holding us back and stop living in denial or distraction and take responsibility for our own happiness.

For many of us, our limitations are rooted in the infinite search for approval from others and the pain that is felt when we don’t get it, especially from those closest to us. Our culture seems to have exploited this, whether you are singing in front of millions of people, walking on a red carpet, living in a literal or metaphoric glass house, deemed worthy of receiving a rose from a bachelor or bachelorette, or more perversely, and often magnified by mental illness, strapping a bomb to yourself in a crowded area, becoming a despotic ruler or embodying a pseudo-character in a movie and committing mass murder knowing the attention and infamy that will bring.

In this Time of the Season, who’s your daddy? Are you seeking approval from parents, friends, partners, bosses, the opposite sex, the same sex,  Facebook likes, Twitter followers or the public at large? As comedienne Margaret Cho reminds us, we have to be ones that we want.  We cannot be defined by others so let’s get honest, let’s get real with ourselves. Because when we choose to avoid delving into the deepest parts of ourselves, we turn to indulging or over-indulging in unhealthy relationships, food, TV, work, the internet, gossip and bullying, drugs, sex, alcohol, video games, gambling and movies and so many other things to numb us. Instead of masking whatever feelings may be lurking down below, we need walk through the fire; there are no shortcuts. And remember, if you can’t feel the bad, that means you can’t feel the good either…!

We are the only ones who can give meaning to our own lives, and we are constantly reminded of just how brief that life can be. We must dig deep within our souls to find the stuff we are made of and the things we must release in order to move forward, to heal our lives. We need to discover and then liberate ourselves from who or what is owning us by making us feel validated. That process may be uncomfortable, and yes, even painful. But in allowing yourself to go there you can then leave there once and for all. Our country and the world are depending on it.

Need a little help Digging in the Dirt to open up the places you got hurt? Give me a buzz and I’ll be the support you need to tear up those roots and replant the seeds of healthy self-esteem that bloom just for you.  Should you by chance attract an admirer or two,  that’s simply a byproduct of bringing  your own special brand of beauty to a world it so desperately needs.

Every life we have some trouble, but when you worry you make it double. ~ Bobby McFerrin 

As the saying goes, there are three things that are certain in life:  death, taxes and change. Change comes in all shapes and sizes, some more scary than others. Climate change, career change, graduations, marriages and relationships changes, TV changes, sex changes, change of residences, and regime change to name a few – and June* seems chock full of them!

The reality is that time keeps on slippin’ into the future, so we have no choice in the matter of change, because like Kevin James’ dancing in Hitch [ff to 2:10], “You can’t stop this, you cannnoottt stop it… ”

Most folks have a hard time with change.  We’d rather stay comfy and/or miserable rather than letting go of our crutches and seeing what else life might have in store us.  We cannot control things but we can control how we respond to them: we can resist and go kicking and screaming or we can accept that change happens, and just go with the flow.

Going with the flow means listening to yourself, and giving yourself what you need at any particular moment. The best way to navigate change is to trust in yourself and be your own best counsel, so it’s important to have that ‘muscle’ in place as you go over the white water rapids of feelings that come with this thing called life.

Change is not always fun, but it’s almost always for the better, because change forces growth and growth is good. And once the change happens, we can’t be like a goldfish who lived in a fishbowl his whole life but then when put into the ocean swims around in a little circle as if he were still in a bowl!  

David Bowie tells us time can change you but you can’t trace time. So this summer, if you feel you are ready to be hatched, then fly, be free! Not quite like Mork’s egg, but more like Steve Miller’s Eagle or with the help of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds and the wonder of that other Stevie who sings, Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing   

But if you’re not quite ready to fly the coop, walk without those crutches, or swim in the big blue ocean, give me a buzz and you can  Lean on Me until you get strong and carry on!

(*Today’s PGG was originally posted on June 7, 2011 )

P.S. Haven’t seen it yet? Be sure to check out the article I was featured in Forbes.com: What I Learned Working With a Career Coach and share with your peeps.

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.

(*Today’s PGG was originally posted on February 1, 2011)

P.S. For related posts on this topic check out New Rules, Something’s Gotta Give and The Year of Living Uncomfortably.

P.P.S. Stay tuned for my summer specials and be sure to check out and share with others the article I was featured in Forbes.com: What I Learned Working With a Career Coach

Those of you who have been receiving these emails for a couple years know how much I love Independence Day; you can read the related posts Don’t Tread On Me and Free Love, but I felt strongly that this week the following post from December 2010 had to go out instead….enjoy them all and have a Happy 4th!

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 As a career/life coach I have a unique vantage point to observe all types of people and notice certain trends and patterns that emerge. In addition to my clients, there is my circle of friends and family as well as my own personal experience, since I, too, am not immune to it all!

Lately the theme has been that of warrior being challenged in one or more areas of life, confronting unpleasant people or situations, dealing with loss, or relentlessly fighting a seemingly uphill battle at every turn. If you’ve been feeling tested (or testy) in the areas of relationships (all kinds), work (too much or not enough of it), finances (‘nough said), or having a health or identity crisis – essentially, the stuff of life – raise your hand and know that you are not the only one that’s been beaten up these past couple months.

As difficult as it may be, the key is to acknowledge and recognize through all the discomfort/frustration/stress where growth has occurred, understanding has transpired, and wisdom will eventually come. Don’t spend too much time figuring out why things have been going the way they are – instead save your energy for ‘what can I do and learn as a result of what I’ve been through and how can I incorporate these new found strengths moving forward’?  

‘Misery loves company’ is a phrase we’ve all heard. It’s not a concept that I would normally promote, but in these times of technological isolation and the era of social media’s “Look at my fabulous life” updates and photos, there is comfort in knowing we’re not the only one struggling and that it’s okay to share the truth of how we’re really doing.

The trick is not to have a pity party but to find community and provide mutual support; to take a collective heavy sigh and deep breath and have a good laugh about it knowing that we’re all in a similar boat and do what we can to make things better.  At end of the day, we are human and can offer one another a hug and a smile to get us through the hard times, which are always temporary.

But if you want to dig a little deeper and sort out the who, what, why, when, where and how of what’s been going on, give me a buzz and I’ll help you see the lesson in the lickin’ and the light at the end of the tunnel.

P.S. Stay tuned for my summer specials and be sure to check out and share with others the article I was featured in Forbes.com: What I Learned Working With a Career Coach  

P.P.S. Want more patriotic posts?  Check out U.S.A and TWM’s Independence Day Message

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