Archives for the month of: February, 2015

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays for a variety of reasons, and not just for the day off, barbeques and fireworks.  America’s birthday holds special place in my heart for the idealism it inspires and the respect and gratitude I have for the wisdom, sacrifice and most of all, courage, that our Founding Fathers displayed that fateful summer of 1776.

As I always mention in my seminars, the root of the word courage is ‘cor’ the Latin word for heart. This means that anything requiring courage is something that comes from the heart, from a place of deep love, a passion for that which one is pushing oneself to do.

The Founding Fathers’ profound love for Life, Liberty and Justice laid the foundation for the birth of a nation that promotes the growth of its most precious natural resource – the freedom of its citizens, i.e. We the People – to use our time and energy as we see fit, expressing ourselves and living a life we choose that is without harm to others. Because of the diversity of the 13 colonies, each with their own interests and identities, unfortunately the ideal at the time had to be compromised regarding the institution of slavery in order to gain a unanimous vote for independence from England…but we had to start somewhere, otherwise we might really have been affected by Kate & Will’s nuptials across the pond, or all our TV hosts would be British…oh wait…

Our country is by no means perfect and will continue to have its ups and downs, but ultimately it’s up to each of us to make it the best we can. So what will your contribution be to this great experiment?  How will you leave your symbolic “John Hancock” on history?

One thing we can all do is make the question Where is the Love? obsolete in our corner of the world.  Each of us can exercise that freedom 24/7, so be sure to consistently unleash your love on that special someone, your work, your friends and family, your community, a cause, the nation, the planet, strangers and life itself.

You say you want a Revolution?  Give me a buzz and I’ll help you ring the Liberty Bell in your life because we are all Free to Be … You and Me.

(*Today’s PGG was originally posted on July 5, 2011)

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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.

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Do you have the discipline to be a free spirit? ~ Gabrielle Roth

In the movie Silver Linings Playbook, t he main characters Pat and Tiffany are in training for a big dance competition that turns out to be much more than a fancy booty-shaking contest. A unique romantic dramedy, it’s a film that shows there is a fine line between sanity and insanity, acceptable versus unacceptable behavior, and the beauty of living life to the beat of your own drum.

In the movie The Sessions, Mark O’Brien is confined to an iron lung 20 hours a day, existing on a gurney, unable to move from the neck down, and yet he writes poetry, is a professional journalist and decides to hire a sex surrogate so he can experience the most human of experiences. We go along on his journey (based on a true story!) and find him to be one of the most alive, loving and liberated individuals to have ever lived despite such extreme physical limitations.

And as seen in the movie Lincoln, our 16th president is clearly not your Average Joe. He was always thinking out of the box, used his quirky sense of humor to diffuse or illuminate situations, and took numerous risks throughout the most heart-wrenching circumstances our country has endured. He stretched the Constitution to its limit, working within an established framework while implementing his own interpretation and/or bending the rules based on his hard-earned wisdom, keen observations and superior judgment as unprecedented needs arose and critical decisions had to be made in order for progress to occur.

In the conscious movement class I take, we are told to ‘dance it your way’ and have breaks of ‘free dance’ where we boogie as we see fit; it’s not chaotic because there is an organized structure and unity contained within the flow as we come back together intermittently as a group throughout the hour. It’s a super-small class because for many people, when given the opportunity to move and think for themselves, even for just a few moments, it is a daunting and uncomfortable feeling; it’s an empowering exercise that requires more effort and less inhibition, and many simply don’t know what to do if they are not following the instructor. And that, my friends, is indicative of a larger problem with implications reaching much farther than a gym studio.

Spielberg’s Lincoln asks, “Do you think we choose to be born? Or are we fitted to the times we’re born into?” As citizens of the 21st century, we are certainly living in extraordinary times that will require us to become the fullest and most unique beings we are meant to be. We each have something that needs to be expressed, something no other person on this planet – no one who has come before or will come after -can express. Right now we need new ways of looking at old problems and to change old ways in order deal with new problems, so it’s more important than ever for you to do your own thang, because there is no other way to generate inspiration and birth innovation.

In any era it’s easy to get stuck in past habits and sucked into the zeitgeist of the day. Resist the urge to follow the herd, fight to honor yourself, think and speak your own thoughts and begin to know and create yourself anew every moment of every day instead of getting swept up by social media, news, commercials, and even your peer groups, work and ethnic cultures or family and friends who are all, consciously or not, forces that can easily grab hold of your mind, body, spirit and/or bank account. Don’t let your physical characteristics, family roots or societal dictates squash all the rhythms inside you that might be quite different from what those outside influences might have you believe, say or do.

Not sure exactly what your groove thing is? Give me a buzz and I’ll get you started with some basic choreography and point you in the right direction, because ultimately You Should Be Dancing your own steps throughout life, hopefully with a fun disco floor beneath your feet along the way!

(*Today’s PGG was originally posted on November 28, 2012)

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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.

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Perfection is the enemy of good. ~ Voltaire

Unlike what Fox News, ISIS, PETA or Kanye might have you believe, there are very few absolutes in life, and extremism in thought, word or deed is never the route to go. Like the Buddha says of a string on the sitar, if it’s too tight it will break, too loose and you won’t get any sound from it.  Either way the music dies. Life does not exist in black or white, but in fact found in the many shades between.

Everyone has their ways to escape or numb, whether from current circumstances and the daily grind, or from unresolved pain from the past. And when there is no awareness around the suffering and its source, the turmoil is turned inward as unhealthy behaviors, addiction or abuse, or directed outward as jealousy, hatred or violence in its many forms towards ‘others’.

In this era of plasticsurgery-photoshopping-selfie-celebrityworshopping-heylookatmyfabulouslife culture, it’s easy to think the grass is always greener, or that everyone but you has their act together or have an easy-breezy life.  As someone who works intimately with hundreds of folks for a living, I can tell you that NO ONE has it all together. EVERYONE has issues.  It’s just which issues, in which department (relationships, money, sex, career, family, physical, mental and.or emotional health), and to what extent. And if you didn’t have the issue you have, you would have another one. But you’d have one. Or two, or three, generally all connected.  It’s just the way it works.

The question is: How well do you acknowledge, accept, and then begin the process of addressing them?

The idea that there is some level of “perfection” that we can attain in our lives, in our mates, our work, our bodies, our lifestyle, is fiction. It doesn’t exist. No one is perfect. The mere fact that we are human beings means that we exist in order to heal and grow. It means that we are inherently flawed and are expressly alive to learn certain lessons and make whole the various parts of our mind, bodies and souls that are dis-eased.

When you come to terms with the fact that you are a beautifully imperfect being and become aware of the imperfections, love yourself in spite of them; then with compassion and discipline, set out to improve or change what you can. Then, and only then, are we able to start accepting one another: in our own family, our neighbors, our enemies, or anyone who is simply different from us in color or creed. Remember that fellow humans might be having a harder time recognizing and dealing with their own problems and pain right now – we all wake-up to our human-ness at our own pace, sometimes not of our own choosing – this is why we need a steady flow and heaping amounts of patience, empathy and kindness in our world.

Just like the journey is more important than the destination, the striving is more important than the actual perfection. It means we are constantly evolving into the best most kick-ass peaceful versions of ourselves. Accentuating the positive and mitigating or transmuting the not-so-positive. The daily choices we make, the love that we give and receive,  the joy and the sadness and anger and passion we allow ourselves to feel knowing that it is not going to be the same emotion every day all day. There are sunny days and there are cloudy days and we appreciate both equally.  As we experience our challenges we know that victory is right around the corner, and in those the moments of happiness we know at some point we will again feel sadness or disappointment. It’s just the way it works.

How can we move towards a balanced, healthy life without knowing where we need to focus in order to heal, grow?  As we approach Valentine’s Day, use this time like a med student would study the body, inside and out; truly see all of who you are and embrace it. Accept it. Love it. Then take a look at those around you and do the same.  Then you can make an honest assessment about what needs a little therapy, a little remedy, or perhaps even surgery.

Think you might need someone in Private Practice to make sense of it all?  Give me a buzz and I’ll help you avoid a soul-sucking Scandal and prove you most certainly cannot Get Away with Murder, preventing you from killing the dream of that prosperous, fulfilled life you absolutely can and deserve to have!

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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.

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Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival. ~ C.S. Lewis

Despite what Simon & Garfunkel once sang, we are not rocks, nor islands, as many of us (especially those drawn to live in the metropolis that is New York) might want to be. The irony of course is that the very nature of being human means we are part of a greater whole and must interact with other human beings on many levels. Yet a sense of connection and belonging doesn’t always come from the family, tribe or culture we are born into, so we must create that connection authentically, first within ourselves and then with others.

Relationships are one of the most difficult areas for us homo sapiens to navigate, and they are the biggest source of our pleasure as well as our pain.  The past three years or so, we have had an advanced course in them; I for one can say as difficult as it’s been, have learned some new and deeper versions of lessons I know will serve me well in the future, all of which culminated in a super-summer intensive, with this harvest season reaping the wisdom culled from that journey.

Some of those nuggets include: finding the balance between losing ourselves/being co-dependent versus isolating and becoming a monk (or a psychopath); having boundaries and not taking on/feeling responsible for another’s emotional or other type of well-being; nurturing yourself, no one can know exactly what you need but you; seeing a person and a relationship as they really are, not how you’d like them to be. And regarding those close/intimate relationships that are more difficult or challenging, keep in mind that person – whether parent, boss, spouse, sibling, lover, friend, child – is just the actor playing the role in a scenario you have created in order to heal and grow.  

Lastly, the people you choose to allow into your life – friends/boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse/partner should meet certain criteria. The word ‘friend’ especially has become so diluted and watered down with the use of Facebook and social media you need to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff and discern the Apples and Oranges.

The foundation of a relationship with anyone deserving of your time and energy must include understanding, appreciation and respect – you should be able to check off at least two of these to be considered a friend, and if you are fortunate to have someone in your life who truly understands, appreciates and respects you, then you are very, very lucky and should treasure and honor that relationship for the special gem that it is.

The bottom line is, You Gotta Have Friends, and making time for friendships and your most important relationships is not a luxury but a necessity. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to day busyness of life, but we need to discipline ourselves to create space for connecting with the people who love and accept us, who know and understand us, with whom we share interests and history, and with whom we have grown together, not apart.

Not sure who are your buds and who are the duds in your life? Give me a buzz and we’ll see which relationships are ripe for the pickin’ and which ones have taken a lickin’!

(*Today’s PGG was originally posted on October 2, 2012)

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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.

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