Archives for the month of: April, 2013

There is a tree outside my window that marks the passage of time with its cycle of leaves that float to the ground in Autumn, whose branches remain bare throughout the Winter until one day I wake up to find they have sprouted little buds that eventually turn into the lush greenery of Summer, only to then slowly turn yellow, fall off and go dormant again until the Spring. No matter how extreme the weather is – and we’ve had some doozies lately – my little tree never ceases to amaze me with its remarkable and reliable transformation year in and year out.

Most of us who are either born or become city slickers find ourselves existing in a concrete jungle filled with technological wonder and have to make a conscious effort to get our green on. But spending time in Nature is not just about breathing fresh air and taking a hike in the forest or swim at the beach – it’s about realigning ourselves with how the world really works, not how us humans have manipulated or want it to be.

It’s easy to forget that we are made up of the same elements as the trees, birds, oceans and stars and have within us an innate nature, that if we tune into it, will always serve us exactly as it should – but this means we must tune out the loud voices and headlines screaming for our attention telling us how we should feel, what we should do when, who we should be afraid of, or what we should buy; we need to block out the many warped perceptions of how long things should take and in what way they should transpire.

Spending quality time with yourself each day strengthens your ‘you muscle’ so you can get to know, love and accept who you are and operate accordingly. Music is a powerful tool to counteract the ‘noise’ of the day and get you into your own space, so make sure you are feeding your soul with a good dose of melodies, harmonies and/or lyrics that uplift, soothe or energize depending on what you need at that moment to create peace in your little world.

What if you don’t quite fit in the status quo? For example, being an introvert and a night owl living in a society that favors and rewards extroverts and early birds might require more effort to assert and maintain, but the more you go with your own flow and march to the beat of your own drum, the less stressed and more rewarding life will be.

You can then experience the joy of synchronicity, because it is when you are so connected to yourself and with the Universe that ‘magic’ happens: you see a scene or hear a line in a movie or come across a book that speaks directly to you, find out about an event or run into a person that helps get you your dream job, or perhaps receive an unexpected check in precisely the amount you needed just in the nick of time. It all comes down to having trust and faith in yourself and your path; and trusting in the very process of life itself is the best way to honor being alive.

Those of you who know me know that one of my favorite sayings is that everything happens ‘in time and on time’. In Eastern philosophy this goes hand in hand with the concept of Wu Wei, loosely translated as “non-action” or “effortless doing’. I am also here to remind you to have patience, because life doesn’t happen overnight or like an instant message; there is ebb and flow, a shedding and a blossoming and an unfoldment that is under the control of something far wiser than our little pea brains.

Feeling a bit tone deaf trying to find your own rhythm in a world of distraction and dissonance? Give me a buzz and I can be like a piano teacher with a fancy metronome who gets you back in the groove to make beautiful music in every area of your life!

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY: Click here to take advantage of my special Spring Cleaning Coaching discount offer for April

P.S. For related thoughts on this topic, check out my posts: Tangible Schmangible, Leap of Faith, Just Go With It , and One Day at a Time

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I recently attended the funeral of a good friend’s father.  He was Ukrainian, along with most of his relatives and friends, so everything was conducted in his native language.  At the brunch after the burial, a woman stood up and read with great emotion what she had written on a few sheets of loose leaf paper while many of us choked up.

I saw her by the ladies room soon thereafter and mentioned how beautiful her speech was.  In broken English she went on about how she messed up and it didn’t come out the way she wanted etc.  I stopped her mid-sentence and said, “I don’t speak a word of Ukrainian.”  Puzzled, she replied, “Well, I just spoke from my heart.”  And I said, “Yes, that’s why it was so beautiful.”

I often begin my seminars reminding the audience that someday, hopefully in the very distant future, they will die.  Perhaps it’s morbid, but like change and taxes, death is one of the few certainties in life. When you look at your existence through that lens, before a crisis forces you to do so, it can be extremely powerful in helping to organize your thoughts and actions in a way nothing else can.

When we can accept it, our own mortality, or that of those closest to us, really puts things in perspective: what is it that we value, what and who do we hold dear, what is real and meaningful for us?  And when you look back on your life, how do you want to have used your time and energy while you were here?  What is the mark that you want to leave on the world? How do you want people to remember you when you are gone?

It reminds us that when all the external stuff falls away – what’s left?  You can’t take that designer bag, fancy car or impressive job title.  It cuts to the core and brings us to the one essential thing that every human being desires: to love and to be loved in return.

At the end of the day all you have is the impact of the life you led, mostly found in the close connections with others and memories you’ve shared.  We may never know the affect we’ve had on strangers, and family dynamics can of course be complicated, but remember, you choose your friends, and true friends who have been a part of your journey are precious; they are there regardless of too much time having passed or petty misunderstandings.

A crisis will always give us clarity as to what’s important and what we can offer one another.  If you let it, all that comes to the surface is love and compassion.  And to be there for someone, to have the opportunity to be a healing presence in whatever form that may take, is a gift for both the giver and receiver.

As we approach this significant week in two of the world’s major religions as well as embrace the energy of Spring*, think about which parts of yourself can bite the dust, giving way for the rebirth of and deeper commitment to honor and cherish your relationship with yourself and the healthy ones you have with others, to cultivate new connections that will enrich your journey, and to reaffirm your relationship to life itself.

Not sure what you would want to hear when you go or simply want to develop more fully all that you can’t leave behind?  Give me a buzz and I’ll help you Walk On, and be able to feel good about it all, here and now.

(*Today’s PGG was originally posted on April 4, 2012)

One Week Left!: Click here to take advantage of my special Spring Cleaning Coaching discount offer for April

 P.S. For other thoughts that might be appropriate this week, check out my postsBeauty in the Breakdown , Let the Sunshine InValidation Nation

Justice is what love looks like in public. Tenderness is what love feels like in private. ~ Cornel West

Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~ Plato

I’m a pretty even-keeled gal, and have become somewhat adept at managing/mitigating stress in my life, which I share with others through my work.  Part of that strategy includes limiting/filtering my daily dose of news and media so as not to get overwhelmed by the gloom and doom that is the majority of what is broadcast.

But lately I’ve been feeling like the character in that famous scene from the 1976 movie Network: mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore.‘  Just pick a topic, whether our broken political system, the war on women’s reproductive health, the global economic mess and decline of the middle class, or vigilantes and blatant attacks both here and abroad, including massacres and ethnic cleansing, both overt and subtle, of particular races, religions, sexual orientations and nations. There are so many things under siege in our culture, society and around the world that it’s easy to get lulled into the feeling we can’t do anything, but we can take matters into our hands – in a responsible way.

Besides using your voice, signature and/or pocketbook to make a difference, we can check our egos at the door and let balanced emotions guide our actions, not uncontrolled rage or fear.  There is plenty of wonkiness/intellectual and pseudo-intellectual approaches to go around, and unfortunately pure hatred and insanity as well to fuel many an action, so the question that each of us needs to answer is: How can we inject more love, understanding and compassion in order to effect the change we want?

A good place to begin is to think about how we can create more justice and peace in our own lives, starting with our relationships. Are you unfairly punishing, harshly judging or incorrectly perceiving people closest to you whether family, friends or those you work with? Are the thoughts and actions towards yourself and others around you positive and constructive, or negative and destructive?  

Since today is the first day of Spring*, it’s a good time to clean out your mental and emotional closets as well as your physical ones.  By making more of a commitment to create your own just and peaceful world, only then can we expect it of the world around us. ‘Cause guess what? That world is made of us!

Do what you can to activate love and compassion within yourself, scan reactions and prejudices, don’t throw stones, and stand up for those who can’t.   Most of all, go easy on yourself – we’re often our own worst critics and judges and end up imprisoning ourselves and those around us because of it. Most people are doing the best as they can. As so eloquently stated in a TED Talk by Bryan Stevenson, remember that “Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done” and “Our humanity depends on everyone’s humanity.”  

Not quite sure where you need to balance the scales of justice in your life? Give me a buzz and I can be a softer, gentler version of Judge Judy, helping you to separate fact from fiction in your court of personal opinion so you can spring yourself from whatever slammer you’ve put yourself in!

Click here to take advantage of my Spring Cleaning Coaching discount offer

P.S. For related thoughts on this topic check out my posts: Let Love Rule, Deja Vu All Over Again

(*Today’s PGG was originally posted on March 20, 2012)

“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…

Click here to take advantage of my special Spring Cleaning Coaching discount offer for April

*Today’s PGG was originally posted on November 16 , 2010

For related thoughts on this topic, check out One Day at a Time

A regular Personal Growth Gab post will be back here next week, but since Spring has finally sprung (well, at least according to the calendar…!) I’ll be offering a special discount for my coaching services throughout the month of April.  

With the season’s energy of re-birth and re-generation it’s a great time to re-assess where you are at in your career and life, decide where you want to be going next and then plant the seeds to harvest come Fall!  Simply give me a buzz and we’ll get you on your way…

2013 Spring Cleaning Coaching Special

Take advantage of the opportunity this month to do a 360 of your life, clear the cobwebs and put a spring back in your step!Working with Kristina will give you the purpose, clarity and support you need with whatever personal and professional changes you want to make in order to become the most fulfilled version of yourself you can be.

Enjoy special rates now through April 30th*:

Scroll down for more info on all services

For new clients: 

*$50 discount on an Essential Self Consultation (Regularly $395)

*$20 discount on a 60-minute phone session (Regularly $150)

For returning clients a 10% discount on any of the following services:

*90-minute in person session (Regularly $225)
*60-minute phone session  (Regularly $150)
*Three session 90-minute in person package (Regularly $595)
*Three session 60-minute phone package (Regularly $390)

* To take advantage of the Spring Cleaning rates, please note that appointments must be scheduled and paid for prior to 4/30/13, and must take place no later than 5/15/13. Special rate three session packages must be paid for by 4/30/13 and be completed by 7/31/13

What’s it like working with me?  Click here for a list of comments from my September 2012 survey and find a few below:

 She has a laid-back approach, but don’t let that fool anyone. Her ability to read people is amazing and her assessments of how a person can enrich their lives/careers are spot-on. After she asked me lots of questions, she was somehow able to give me an assessment that was frighteningly accurate and illuminating.   

I like everything about how Kristina works because it almost seems custom made for the individual she is working with. 

Kristina gave me permission to be myself!  I can say no other person has empowered me in that way as much as she has – and I am TRULY forever grateful for that.   

A session with Kristina is always an investment in myself. I never feel like any time was wasted and I always leaving feeling better and more inspired than I did when I got there.

If there is another option you would like to consider that you do not see here, feel free to reach out to me.  I look forward to providing the clarity, balance and direction you need in order to enjoy the most fulfilling and peaceful life possible in 2013 and beyond!

Click here for more information  or Contact Kristina to schedule your appointment today

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