Archives for the month of: July, 2014

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’s PGG was originally posted on April 30, 2013)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!  Click on above links for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today.

Join Mailing List
Like me on Facebook  Follow me on Twitter

In 2009, Southern Australia experienced some of the worst bushfires in over 20 years.  But the climate and landscape make them a regular occurrence, and many flora and fauna have adapted over time to use these periodic blazes to fertilize its soil, spread their seed and regenerate more quickly. New species that can thrive in such conditions have been introduced and folks in many places have even used controlled forest fires to remove underbrush and clear land for other constructive uses.

So with all the heartache and devastation that accompanies such incidents, it’s important to remember that there is a positive and negative aspect to everything – even disasters can ultimately be productive and have a silver lining.  One thing is for sure: You cannot ignore a fire.  

Sometimes we get to the place where destruction is required for something to be addressed/corrected/acknowledged and/or given the opportunity for that which is new and improved to exist.  The riots in London, the stock market and debt ceiling madness, the crises in Syria and Somalia, extreme weather [current version: U.S. Border, Ukraine, Middle East, Iraq, police brutality, Detroit to name a few….] and other ‘fires’ both here and around the world are ablaze, calling us to pay attention to them in one way or another. It’s up to us to know what needs to hosed down, and what needs to simply burn baby burn.

In many ancient cultures, it is said the immortal mythical phoenix dies many deaths by bursting into flames only to return once again, rising from its own ashes for all eternity.  As you look upon the landscape of your own life, what needs to be consumed and let go of in its current form in order to be reborn anew more magnificently?

Can’t quite see through the smoke or feel the heat? Give me a buzz and I’ll show you which fires need to be put out, which need to be stoked and where one might need to be consciously lit under your butt so that something better can sprout up in its place and you can move forward in any area of your life.  I’ll either be a spark to Light Your Fire or help you with Burning Down the House…  

(Today’s PGG was originally posted August 18, 2011)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!  Click on above links for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today.

Join Mailing List
Like me on Facebook  Follow me on Twitter

Actors, when interviewed about their craft, often talk about finding out what the “truth” of the situation is for their part; Shakespeare tells us, “All the world’s a stage, all the men and women merely players.

We are all characters in our own play or movie acting out daily scenes, but it’s easy to forget that we’re also the producers, writers and directors, especially when it comes to our relationships.  We can, to a certain extent, cast who is in our life, assign them certain roles and create all the drama, comedy and romance that we want.  We can even re-write the script when we have the courage to do so.

The best way to do this is to be honest with yourself so that you can communicate from the heart exactly what it is that you want and need. Since most people don’t walk around with ESP, it’s really up to you to say what you mean and mean what you say (in an appropriate way, of course!) and let the chips fall where they may, knowing that you honored what is real and true for you.

If it’s not a common practice, speaking your truth can feel uncomfortable and even messy, and can make you or the other person feel like a deer in headlights- but at least you’ll get to the bottom of things and set the stage to make the next scene better.

You can run but you can’t hide from the truth, and telling it to yourself is the first step.  If you’re too scared or unable to see it, give me a buzz – I can be the spotlight that illuminates what’s really going on and help you create the starring role with a happy ending you so deserve!

(Today’s PGG was originally posted May 18, 2010)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!  Click on above links for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today.

Join Mailing List
Like me on Facebook  Follow me on Twitter

When author and self-help/relationship guru Iyanla Vanzant was asked what her prayer is, she answered that she had three. The first one is “Help!” The second one is “Help Now!” And the third one is: “Thank you.”

Yesterday I went to return a bunch of DVD’s to the library and there was a ridiculously long, slow moving line. At the end of a hot and humid workday, when all you want to do is get home and sit in front of the fan or A/C, the patience of many was being tested.  But rather than succumbing to the apparent frustration of the situation, I instead turned to my practice of gratitude to keep me calm, cool and collected.  “Thank goodness the library even exists,” I thought to myself, “thank goodness for all the free movies I’ve watched – many I hadn’t even heard of but because they do not cost me anything I took a chance and discovered a variety of films that I have thoroughly enjoyed and been inspired by.” Suddenly waiting on the line was not such a big deal after all.

As the temperature starts rising, and NYC tempers start rising with it, it’s good to keep that superpower (as I described it to my ninth graders) in your back pocket to use throughout the day, and cultivate an attitude of gratitude as part of your overall M.O. Many studies and notable folks have promoted the benefits and magic that the energy of gratitude unleashes; whether writing a daily list, speaking it to others in your life, or silently acknowledging everything you are thankful for as they arise in and around you, gratitude opens your heart and is the best way to celebrate your life, stay grounded and reduce your stress no matter what.

Yes we all know that Oprah keeps a gratitude journal, but even tough guy media mogul and bison king Ted Turner, in some of his darkest hours in the midst of a huge corporate mess and painful divorce, said that’s what kept him going. Every night before he went to sleep he would think about all the things in life he was grateful for and that helped get him through to another day.

Of course it’s easy to be grateful when things are going your way, got lucky or received an answer to your prayers, but what about in the midst of a difficult situation or for the things we take for granted and hardly even notice anymore?

It’s not always easy when you’re in the moment, but just try breaking out some appreciation when dealing with serious challenges and/or their aftermath (i.e. taking care of a sick/aging parent, being laid off from your job, breaking up with a long time partner, facing a debilitating illness or physical disaster), and focus on whatever good the scenario is allowing you to experience right then and there. Remember to think about other hard times you’ve gone through in the past – in hindsight you were always glad they happened, right?

There are so many ways and moments in which to use gratitude, not the least of which is in our everyday interactions – whether with friends, family, foe or stranger, the common courtesies of “please” and “thank you” go a long way and are indeed deposits in the gratitude account.

And the little things and everyday surroundings we take for granted are not to be overlooked since this truly is the stuff of life: “Thank you for the roof over my head, my functioning brain, my ability to dance and listen to music, all the work I’ve done on myself to get to this point. The fresh air, sunshine and easy access to the ocean as well as to the mountains; the rain that makes the leaves green and the air that those leaves create so I can breathe; for the good friends and people who support me and make me laugh”… you get the idea.

It’s even become automatic now that when I sit down to eat a meal, I briefly pause to silently thank the fact that I have food before me and appreciate the nourishment it gives, the miracle of nature, the variety of options available to me; for all the hard work it took to get it here, for the people at the farmer’s market and grocery store, for the fact that I had the money buy it and my ability to cook, see, smell, taste and digest it, for the pleasure it gives me – it only takes a few seconds to encompass that recognition and all of those thoughts into one acknowledging feeling, because when you really think about it, it truly is a blessing. (P.S. I LOVE food.)

And, as I approach completing my seventh year as a professional coach, I am beyond grateful to all my clients, who trust me with your time, energy, journey and dollars, and allow me the opportunity to do something I truly love that helps you to grow and heal your lives, which in turn has helped me to grow and heal mine.  And for my readers of this blog who allow me to express myself in a creative way that you find beneficial and entertaining:  Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

It’s true that “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” so if you can’t quite see the silver lining in the clouds around you, give me a buzz and I’ll help you taste the rainbow of your life.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!  Click on above links for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today.

Join Mailing List
Like me on Facebook  Follow me on Twitter

 

Our founding fathers, mothers, cousins and friends infused our nation with extraordinary concepts of human evolution and the ideals of true freedom, and we have much to thank them for.

Their “greatest social experiment in history” has had its ups and downs, and our culture is in constant motion – good, bad or otherwise – because of it.  Although we no longer exist beneath the thumb of our former rulers across the pond, we all live to some extent under the control of something or someone.

July then is a great time to step back, reflect upon and extricate yourself from whatever that might be – whether technology, bright shiny things, outdated relationships or ways of thinking, food or other substances and the illusion of connectedness and fulfillment that they all give. Find your voice among all the white noise and distractions and replace them with the enlightened, revolutionary spirit this country was founded on: your definition and assertion of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

These times they are a changin’, so in the Spirit of ’76 take this month to also perform your own experiment and declare independence from blind obedience to conventional wisdom that may no longer be conventional or wise.

If you can’t quite see through the rockets’ red glare, give me a buzz and I will show how you do indeed live in the land of the free, and can make your life a home of the brave!

                                                HAPPY  INDEPENDENCE  DAY!

(Today’s PGG was originally published on July 6, 2010)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person!  Click on above links for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today.

Join Mailing List
Like me on Facebook  Follow me on Twitter

%d bloggers like this: