Archives for the month of: September, 2015

Leadership expert Steven Covey says, “When we listen with the intent to understand others, rather than with the intent to reply, we begin true communication and relationship building.”

While sitting in Bryant Park recently, two bright young lads approached me and asked some very personal questions about my thoughts on life.  Although they didn’t come right out and say it, turns out they were missionaries for the Unification Church, otherwise known as the Moonies.

The funny thing is that the very day before, I had watched an interview with the creators of the highly acclaimed new musical Book of Mormon and the topic of missionaries and religion was top of mind, so I was more open than usual to engage with them while soaking up some sun.

Instead of automatically dismissing them, I asked where they were from  (one was from Wyoming, the other from Washington state), what they had experienced since they’d been in New York, and what they hoped to gain while here. I did offer my opinion about how trying to convince people of what to believe was a pretty fruitless endeavor, that each individual is on their own path and needs to come to their own understanding of religion, spirituality, etc., in their own way, in their own time.

I suggested that they should just do what they love, be the best version of themselves  that they can be, which in itself would accomplish more than anything else. I hoped that they would savor this experience of traveling and meeting so many different types of people,from themselves, which would do more to enrich their lives and connection to humanity than actually recruiting others to their belief system.

It was a pleasant and respectful conversation, and I think we each came away feeling it was a positive interaction. I did ask about some of the principles and mission of the church, which I did not necessarily disagree with, as I can always find points of connection with just about anyone – because there is a little bit of all of us in each other, and a little bit of truth in everything if you listen and look for it. We have much more in common than we think we do.

With so much anti-Muslim sentiment and political divisiveness these days, on top of a crumbling planet and economy, Brotherly (& Sisterly!) Love, under whatever label you’d like to call it, is the only glue that will hold together a planet that is currently patched together, to coin a good friend’s term, with bubble gum and rubber bands.

So if you’re feeling like Humpty Dumpty, Little Bo Peep’s lost sheep or Michael Stipe, give me a buzz and I’ll proselytize you to yourself, converting you into your biggest believer, so you can get out there and make your corner of the world a little brighter for us all!

(*Today’s PGG was originally posted on March 29, 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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Looking back from the station, I imagined a world in which people set aside their differences and realize that each and every one of us is riding through the Universe together on this Spaceship we call Earth. They realize that because we are all interconnected, we are all in this together and because we are all family, the only way to solve the problems we all face is together. ~ Ron Garan, Astronaut 

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. ~ Maya Angelou             

The Overview Effect is a powerful one, causing those few who venture into outer space to then experience their inner space in a much more profound way; seeing the planet from that very rare vantage point puts everything into perspective, not the least of which is how fragile, seamless and beautiful our Gaia truly is, and how now, more than ever, we need each other to survive. With our increasingly micro-focused obsession with frivolous and trivial mundane matters, it’s always a good idea for us to do the same, sans the spacesuit and shuttle.

And what better time of year to do so than now, a month of fresh starts and new beginnings, as we go back to school, perhaps eat apples and honey , and usher in a new season.  In NYC this is also when world leaders come to town, replacing the fashion models and tennis fans for a more serious UN General Assembly, Clinton Global Initiative, Global Citizen Festival, and this year, a visit from none other than his humble holiness hailing from Vatican City – all ceremoniously gathering to solve the most pressing problems facing humanity.

It’s a time when change is in the air, not only from the crisp temps, multi-colored leaves and sweaters coming out of the closet, but even more palpable after a summer, or longer, when you probably experienced unexpected shifts, fundamental transition, major moves, and/or perhaps, like me and several friends of mine, the loss of loved ones.

Death and dying is an important theme that I have always thought about and express in my talks, but nothing makes it more real than to actually lose someone close to you and then interact in the world, in their world, without them, and on their behalf.  And there is something quite primal about losing both parents, especially a mother, that activates a flesh and blood desire to be part of someone with the same DNA, the unsettling feeling of not having a direct tangible link to a very specific tribe or lineage. The challenge for us is to evolve beyond that, knowing that in fact, not just theory, we are each a part of the human tribe of Mother Earth and are all seeking community, connection, a feeling of safety and belonging, acceptance and being understood, regardless of where we come from, the color of our skin or the god we pray to.

When you think about how your life will be looked at and celebrated once you are gone, what will people say about you to your loved ones? How did you make them feel? What have you created?  What material stuff have you left behind and who will benefit from or be burdened by it? The more we can start looking at our own lives with the overview effect, the more we can plan for our highest and best exit when the inevitable day arrives.

I have been blessed to increase my appreciation of and connection to my mom through those whose lives she touched, and embrace how others who expressed their sympathy to me but didn’t know her thought she must have been great because they are so impressed with and impacted by who I am.  Because I have kept myself open and vulnerable, and allow myself to feel my feelings, I have deeply absorbed and sincerely integrated all the heartfelt sentiments coming my way (thanks to so many of you who reached out with your condolences!)  The whole process has only reinforced to me that the most important thing on this journey is demonstrated love – experiencing and knowing you are thought of and cared for, and that you thought of and cared for others in whatever form it may take; that you exist and your existence matters.

One thing is for sure: We reap what we sow. And once you’re physically gone you’ve still left an imprint on this planet. What will you leave behind? What quality and quantity will the harvest of the fruits of your life yield?  What intentions, thoughts and actions will you plant in people and on this planet today that will help make its inhabitants thrive and become more peaceful, loving and abundant? Remember, in order to have good crops you must begin with good seeds and soil – and it’s never to late to cultivate that which you want to grow.

Not sure how to Prepare for Liftoff? Give me a buzz and I’ll make sure you’re like John Glenn , ready to have a blast and make the most of your orbit, with or without gravity, and whether or not you relate more to being a farmer or a foreign delegate!

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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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CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE Personal Growth Gab (PGG) Volume One FROM AMAZON

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**Special offer:  Buy PGG between NOW and Sept. 15th and receive a 10% discount on Kristina’s coaching services!** (must have proof of purchase with date, i.e. email receipt)  

A good friend would often quote a Yiddish saying to me: Mentsch tracht, Gott lacht; Man plans, God laughs.

The renowned Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh more eloquently elaborates on this as: “People sacrifice the present for the future. But life is possible only in the present.”

In this era of instant everything and a world of answers literally at our fingertips, one of the hardest things for us to do is live in that space where we don’t know what will happen next. With the unemployment at record-high rates, more and more people are learning the hard way how to experience life in this manner.

People in career transition, artists, and freelancers have to operate without knowing where their next paycheck will be coming from.  People in new relationships are at often at sea in uncharted emotional waters.  Whenever we put ourselves in unfamiliar social territory or a take a trip to a place we’ve never been before we journey into the unknown – which is why it’s so important to travel; it is one of the most natural ways to be in the present.

An easy way to add anxiety and stress in your life is to allow yourself to be overwhelmed with all the things you think you need to accomplish in the near or not so near future. The reality is that we can’t possibly know what tomorrow will bring so we might as well trust that the right decision or action today will lead you to where you need to go, even if you don’t know where you are ultimately going.

So when life is a big question mark, a blank slate, or if you find yourself in terra incognita, I can help you fill in the blanks and navigate your way through, or simply show you how to be where you are.  Give me a buzz and I will be the lighthouse in the fog or the compass in your pocket, to help guide you to your most authentic destination, in time and on time!

(*Today’s PGG was originally posted on September 14, 2010)

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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.

Join Mailing List
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CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE Personal Growth Gab (PGG) Volume One FROM AMAZON

**Special offer:  Buy PGG between NOW and Sept. 15th and receive a 10% discount on Kristina’s coaching services!** (must have proof of purchase with date, i.e. email receipt)  

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 the possibilities and excitement that arrive with the start of an academic year. Whether or not we find ourselves 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 you can’t learn anything 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 a 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/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!

(*Today’s PGG was originally posted on September 6, 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.

Join Mailing List
Like me on Facebook  Follow me on Twitter

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE Personal Growth Gab (PGG) Volume One FROM AMAZON

**Special offer:  Buy PGG between NOW and Sept. 15th and receive a 10% discount on Kristina’s coaching services!**
(must have proof of purchase with date, i.e.email receipt)  
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