Archives for the month of: September, 2013

September is always an exciting time of year for me as world leaders convene on the island of Manhattan for the United Nations General Assembly and the Clinton Global Initiative.

Many of you know my degree is in International Relations. Early on I was a passionate student of languages and cultures, got bit 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 (foregoing chemistry and physics..), Mandarin Chinese freshman year in college, organized international student orientations, studied abroad my third year…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 & Cultures for 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 their 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’s 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.

Last week I had a big ah-ha 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 people from all backgrounds – whether foreign nationals here visiting or working temporarily, or folks that were not born here but came as children or adults to live. They hail from Macedonia, Italy, Puerto Rico, Mexico, New Zealand, Dominican Republic, China, Taiwan, Nigeria, Canada, Australia, El Salvador, Russia, Japan, Philippines, and Israel as well as 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 as humans 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 is sitting next to you on the subway, or across the ocean.  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 what is the micro in your life that 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.

 FINAL WEEK: Be sure to take advantage of my special Back to School September discount offer!

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I am not a teacher but an awakener. ~ Robert Frost

The dream begins, most of the time, with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you on to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth. ~ Dan Rather

Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher. ~ Japanese proverb

It’s that time of year when notebooks and knapsacks abound and all sorts of new beginnings and nerves are in the air, bringing with it the possibilities and excitement that arrive with the start of an academic year. Whether or not you find yourself in an actual classroom this Fall, we are all students in this school called Life, which means that anyone and any situation can be our teacher, and education can come in all shapes and forms.

It is often those who are closest to us who teach us the exact lessons we never knew we needed (or wanted) to learn – either directly, like my six year old niece, who in her own words very calmly told my brother she wished he hadn’t found the prescription sunglasses he lost for the umpteenth time because he needed to learn to pay better attention to his personal possessions and the harsher consequences of their non-recovery; or indirectly, like a co-worker, friend or family member who likes to talk a lot forces you to be a better listener, have more patience and/or set boundaries

And whatever ‘class’ you are in, sometimes you must first fail miserably in order to then pass with flying colors, because we can’t learn a thing without making a few mistakes, a little trial and error to perfect that which we need to master. Hopefully you can figure out that the experience itself was the teacher, or have someone around to help glean what you need to learn and grow as a result. The good news is that you will never repeat a ‘class’ when you’ve truly learned the lesson the hard way, and if you’re lucky, sometimes you can even have a teacher who helps you skip several grades.

Whether you think like Pink Floyd or feel like Lauryn Hill, learning is a lifelong process and everything serves its purpose in the bigger picture for you to graduate at the end of your life with honors.

So this September be grateful for all those amazing teachers you’ve had both inside the classroom and out. Thank the role models, mentors and instructors who serve as great examples of achievement and inspiration as well as the challenging bosses, employees and clients, the bullies and mean girls, the tough coach, your current or ex-boy/girlfriend/partner/spouse, your pain in the neck big or little brother or sister; anyone who gave you a hard time, and especially those difficult ‘tests’ you endured because they, too, helped form your character, and are all opportunities to make you a better you.

Need to repeat (or stop repeating) a few classes or get a little tutoring to bring you closer to the grade you deserve? Give me a buzz and I’ll be sure you get a gold star or A+ on that project, because you can make your life much closer to a 4.0 than you could ever imagine!

**Be sure to take advantage of my special Back to School September discount offer!**

(Today’s PGG was originally posted on September 6, 2011)

A regular Personal Growth Gab (PGG) will be back here next week, but since September is another ‘New Year’ according to the school (and Jewish!) calendars it’s a great time to check in with yourself and your goals, so I’ll be offering a special discount for my coaching services throughout the month.  

CLICK HERE FOR SPECIAL COACHING DISCOUNTS FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER

(Be sure to sign up to have PGG’s delivered in your mailbox each week using the “Join Our Email List” icon at the top of the page when the link opens!)

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