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When I was in sixth grade, my elementary school presented the Norma Gold Human Relations Award to three students from our class of about 100. To my shock my name was called, and to this day it’s one of my proudest achievements — mostly because I had absolutely no idea the award existed or that I had done anything special that warranted attention. I was just very involved and gave my all to whatever I did; at that young age I unconsciously expressed the best version of who I was and got recognized for it.

I am not a competitive person and although athletic, I never wanted to play school sports for that very reason. But sometimes we need to have that extra bit of eyes-on-the-prize attitude to take us to the next level. In the movie Remember the Titans, a racially integrated football team came together to be undefeated champ of its division, a victory that was symbolic of so much more in a newly desegregated South. Prior to the final game, Denzel Washington, playing Coach Boone, declared, “I’m a winner. I’m going to win.”

Every field has its pinnacle of achievement and earned recognition, so why not set your sights on one? In the midst of this season with the Grammys and Academy Awards on their way, it’s a good time to consider: What is the equivalent of a Superbowl, World Cup, Olympic medal, Emmy or Tony in your life? What’s your version of the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize? What would your criteria be and what would you call it?

Define in every area of life what your standard of excellence is that makes you a champion. Set that goal for yourself this year or for your bucket list — even if you never attain it, raising the bar for yourself can only make you better in every way.

The next step is to believe that you are worthy of the accomplishment. When Tango Diva held a contest for their 2007 Diva Visionary Award, at the last minute I decided to nominate myself. I then found out after the fact that -gulp – I would have to ask people to vote for me in addition to being judged. The whole process made me incredibly uncomfortable, but I realized at some point I had to decide that I wanted to win — and that decision took but a minute. I figured I deserved it as much as anyone else and had to just go for it. And lo and behold, I WON!

Sometimes you have to seek the recognition (remember producers run Oscar campaigns), make the commitment to it and push until you win, and sometimes it’s a surprise that just falls in your lap. Regardless of how the victory comes, it won’t occur without the intention of doing and being your best. And as you prove yourself and are honored along the way, remember that once you win it, you must own it.

Don’t think you have any horn to toot or mirror ball trophy to win? Everyone excels in some area, so give me a buzz and I’ll help promote your hidden superstar and find an arena for your unique MVP to shine!

(Today’s PGG was originally posted on February 8, 2011)

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Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

Click here for a video that explains some ways I can help

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.  Slowly building my YouTube channel so you check that out and subscribe too!

Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to be added to my mailing list and be in the loop with my coaching and workshops as well as have these essays delivered to your inbox!

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Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)” In this excerpt covering the final ten minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

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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. 

Read over fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

Join Mailing List

 Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn  View on Instagram                 

Read more about me and my work in these past PGG’s:

All Roads, Same Place | And Now, A Word from Our Sponsor | Strong Medicine | 10,000 Hours | A Decade of Doing What I Do | Express Yourself

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There’s a saying that warns about not seeing the forest for the trees, a metaphor for when one is too mired down in details to recognize the big picture of whatever a particular situation encompasses, or your life in general.

These days, it is easier to get lost in the trees in the most unconscious ways. Now more than ever we are sucked into dealing with all the daily minutiae of responding to emails and texts, updating and reading tweets and Facebook posts, paying bills, cleaning out/up our homes/offices etc.  – all of which are, to a certain extent, are necessary and make us feel productive, but they are not moving us forward or getting us closer to our goals.

Fairy tales often center on the woods and the mysteries they appear to contain or reveal. Be sure to make regular visits – not just once upon a time – to a forest near you (and bring your journal!) to experience its magic and wisdom. But keep in mind that in those fairy tales, the “enchantments” that accompany the journeys always point to the fact that the answers, tools and courage our heroes seek already exist inside them, and as a result transformation occurs.

So the irony of that famous saying then is that being literally surrounded by trees is one of the best places you can be in order to see the forest!

But if you can’t make it upstate or to the woodsiest part of Central Park for a few hours, give me a buzz and I can be like one of those Ents from Lord of the Rings that shepherds you with a bird’s eye view to help you live happily ever after all the way through!

(Today’s PGG was originally posted on July 13, 2010)

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Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

Click here for a video that explains some ways I can help

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.  Slowly building my YouTube channel so you check that out and subscribe too!

Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to be added to my mailing list and be in the loop with my coaching and workshops as well as have these essays delivered to your inbox!

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

Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)” In this excerpt covering the final ten minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

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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. 

Read over fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

Join Mailing List

 Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn  View on Instagram                 

Read more about me and my work in these past PGG’s:

All Roads, Same Place | And Now, A Word from Our Sponsor | Strong Medicine | 10,000 Hours | A Decade of Doing What I Do | Express Yourself

The opposite of collective joy and collective pain is dehumanization, and we are in a time of rampant dehumanization.~ Brené Brown

… [T]he truly free individual is free only to the extent of his own self-mastery. While those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them.~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. ~ Sun Tzu, The Art of War

A couple of weeks ago I realized that my phone was not lasting very long once charged, and instead of having to get a new one, I found out I could bring it in for a battery replacement, as it was indeed dying. It became more involved than just dropping the device off at the Genius Bar for an hour – I ended up having to go back three days in a row to have it resolved – but the two hours straight without it was unnerving to say the least: It was as if my link to being alive was cut off, and this was incredibly disturbing to me. Of course, I now have a new battery and my phone is refreshed and ready to text, email, photograph, talk, and mostly take on whatever Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook want me to pay attention to … #notaddicted?!

Prior to this tech episode, I had been through a pretty long stretch of very little interaction with folks who know me well. Of course there are clients and daily neighborhood exchanges (although my banker, whom I’ve hugged every time I go into my branch, just left!). These can be helpful points of human connection in their own ways, but connecting with a good friend or family member brings a different kind of nourishment that is generally much more nutritious and satiating

When I get into these cycles and start to feel relationally malnourished, one friend and I have a code word for saying “I know you’re busy and don’t have time for a long conversation or catch-up, but I really need to at least hear your voice and connect for a few minutes.” (Relationally malnourished, by the way, is a perfect metaphor I just came up with since loneliness is a condition as primal as thirst or hunger, and is now just as dangerous a health threat as smoking or alcohol, if not more.) That code word is “charge” – as in the bars in my soul are running low and I need to plug into another familiar human in order to get that percentage out of the red. I will text her and ask when she might be free because “I just need a charge.” It could be a 5-, 10-, 15-minute call to vent, discuss a particular issue, or anything, really, simply knowing we are linking up through our direct energy. It’s like taking a power nap – and then I can go back to my life feeling refreshed until a more luxurious, deeper sleep. It really helps.

I also have a deal with one of my brothers who doesn’t live in the city but works within walking distance of my apartment. He is extremely busy with his job and family, and he travels often, but he is one of my favorite people to hug, due to both his big size and big heart, and is the balm that I need from time to time to feel connected and loved. So sometimes I make a date to meet him outside his office or before he gets on the train for 10-20 minutes for the explicit purpose of getting a charge in the form of a big fat hug! #grateful

Just like monitoring your intake of food, drink and oxygen, connection is essential to human survival. We are an inherently social species and are becoming endangered in more ways than one because of this increasing perversion to our core DNA. And the condition of loneliness – which is a lack of consistent, meaningful connection, and a transient or temporary condition whose causes and effects I believe are more situational and physiological than mental – is becoming an epidemic; so much so that the UK appointed a Minister of Loneliness to study its pervasiveness and address it as a serious public health issue.

It’s the great irony of technology that so many people are feeling alone and isolated, because we have the appearance of being, and indeed are, more connected than ever, but generally only superficially. As with anything else, the internet and its accoutrements are a tool that can either enhance or hinder our lives, but the current reality is that many people are falsely assuming their “social” media consumption is like eating a home-cooked or delicious farm-to-table meal, when it’s really more like several stops a day at Mickey D’s. And just like our bodies would suffer on a diet made up mostly of Big Macs and fries, so goes our emotional selves and psyches that are chronically ill from these often crappy and distorted fumes of discourse and sharing that masquerade as genuinely satisfying relationships and interactions.

One way we can prove we are biologically wired to need human connection for our existence is by studying orphanages where children’s basic survival needs like food and shelter are met, but who are devoid of emotional attention, touch and interaction, and they become sick, autistic or even or die as a result. As adults in the modern world, we have to be more cognizant of and vigilant about this, as we can generally feed and clothe ourselves, and hence feel “fine,” but when we’re not connecting with other humans outside of the online world on a regular basis, we can find ourselves consciously or unconsciously depressed, anxious or sick at the least, and suicidal, brainwashed or radicalized at the worst.

We can see how this is profoundly affecting the fabric of society and creating even more “lone wolves” and people getting their sense of identity and belonging from an online tribe, especially if compounded by mental health or socio-economic conditions. It’s basically a tinder box for anyone on the outside who wants to manipulate us, and can foster extreme and irrational acts of violence and hatred.

Brené Brown, in this powerful guest sermon, talks about how we are living in a time in which “we have sorted ourselves by ideology into bunkers … and factions,” yet “the more sorted we become, the lonelier we are.” As it turns out, she says, “Behind the barricades of belief is not real connection – I think we just hate the same people.”

My life’s work, whether through The Women’s Mosaic or my coaching, writing and speaking, has been about helping people know, understand and connect to themselves and each other in order to create both inner and outer peace. There is no more urgent time for you to do the work to know yourself –  who you are and what you’re supposed to be doing, as well as what you need to care for yourself, and take action or seek help when you need it. To acquire this self-knowledge requires introspection, which actually requires time ALONE; you just need to be mindful about using the alone time you have in a healthy way; to check in with yourself – your own thoughts and feelings – and separate them from what you’re shown or being told about how to think and feel, whether overtly or subliminally. This solitary activity is essential so we can come back to others and socialize in a meaningful way, and also be aware when we’ve crossed into the realm of loneliness.

Also, if you haven’t taken that time to build a firm foundation of knowing and checking in with yourself, the extremes of the religious and political spectrums, or even the cultural mainstream through Hollywood and advertising, would rather spoon-feed you with their agendas than have you think for yourself or question them – and you don’t want to be fertile breeding ground for anyone to grab hold of your mind or money. Besides, you gain a certain sense of dignity, self-sufficiency and confidence by doing your own observation and analysis, integrating what you know to be true for you rather than buying into someone else’s perceptions of what is right or wrong or makes someone dangerous, successful or powerful.

Only when you are solidly connected to yourself can you truly connect with another, and this is what the world needs now more than ever. Not quite sure how to charge your battery in order to cut through the BS and better bond with yourself and your buds? Give me a buzz and I’ll help you plug into the genuine juice that will make you both eclectic and electric, so instead of enabling the enemy, you’ll be able to excel in every way!

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Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

Click here for a video that explains some ways I can help

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.  Slowly building my YouTube channel so you check that out and subscribe too!

Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to be added to my mailing list and be in the loop with my coaching and workshops as well as have these essays delivered to your inbox!

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

Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)” In this excerpt covering the final ten minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

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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. 

Read over fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

Join Mailing List

 Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn  View on Instagram                 

Read more about me and my work in these past PGG’s:

All Roads, Same Place | And Now, A Word from Our Sponsor | Strong Medicine | 10,000 Hours | A Decade of Doing What I Do | Express Yourself

Throughout the Halloween season we are bombarded with spooky images and haunted houses to remind us it’s that time of year to face our deepest fears . But the majority of things that frightens us isn’t conjured from external forces. Like the creepiness that comes from being in a house of mirrors, what usually freaks people out the most is seeing themselves multiplied a hundred times!

When in your own personal house of horrors, no matter how many cobwebs and shadows you find, know that we all have darker aspects of our personality, and we’re never confronted with anything we can’t handle, so we should never be afraid. Whether your fears and ugly parts are real or imagined, the key is not to run from them. The only thing to do is to shed light on the source of our anxieties and perceived inadequacies, get to their roots and make adjustments that will bring us closer to the most fulfilled and peaceful versions of ourselves.

And like the end of a scary movie, it comes down to you and only you to fight for your life. There is no magic formula or genie in a bottle, no Calgon or knight in shining armor to take you away. Taking responsibility for your life centers you in who you are and what you want – fantasy and illusion, or simply ignoring things, move you farther away. It’s up to you to create your own happiness and what you want in your life, and ask for help along the way.

So if you need to do a little exorcising of your inner ghouls and goblins, who ya gonna call? Like Ghostbusters or those meddling kids in Scooby-Doo, I will expose and expel the real cause of your heebie-jeebies and things that go bump in the night so you can move forward and make the changes you need to be all of who you are in the bright light of day!

(Today’s PGG was originally posted on October 26, 2010)

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Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

Click here for a video that explains some ways I can help

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.  Slowly building my YouTube channel so you check that out and subscribe too!

Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to be added to my mailing list and be in the loop with my coaching and workshops as well as have these essays delivered to your inbox!

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

Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)” In this excerpt covering the final ten minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

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

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. 

Read over fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

Join Mailing List

 Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn  View on Instagram                 

Read more about me and my work in these past PGG’s:

All Roads, Same Place | And Now, A Word from Our Sponsor | Strong Medicine | 10,000 Hours | A Decade of Doing What I Do | Express Yourself

If you are like me, my clients, family, friends and the rest of the world, you’ve been through some stuff the past six months (well more like the past two years, oh heck, since the Fall of 2008!) that has tested, stretched, stressed and made you confront some not-so-pleasant realities about yourself, your life and the people in it.

This meant lots of changes, whether forced upon you from the outside – i.e., having no choice but to move; getting laid off from your job; dealing with a divorce, breakup, or loss of a loved one – or internally, i.e., you were so sick of yourself or your situation that you had to do something, not the least of which was to change your perspective, or finally accept the reality of how things are, rather than how you imagined or wished them to be.

The more challenges you have and the more you resist, the worse things get. This has been a time of “go with the flow,” so whatever you’ve been through, know that it is exactly what you needed to make you stronger and get you to where you need to be next.

A lot of my work is about teaching you to trust yourself, have faith in the process and possess the patience to let life unfold as it should – even with those bumps in the road and unexpected twists and turns along the way. As long as you are intimate, honest and honoring with and of yourself while consistently being in action (which is sometimes non-action), whether internal or external, have confidence that things will shake out the way they are supposed to, in time and on time, in whatever form the Universe deems is best for you.

It all starts with knowing and owning who you are, where you’re at, what you truly want, and realizing you have the power to be the fullest, deepest expression of yourself if only you make it your responsibility and yours alone.  It means we have to grow up.

One of the tools I gave these ninth-graders – which I referred to it as a superpower- was to be grateful whenever things get a little rough. Like those magic words “Open Sesame!,” by simply focusing on something you can be thankful for, all of a sudden the pressure is lifted and a metaphorical door or window opens to let in a cool breeze, provide an answer to that riddle, or reveal a hidden treasure.

So no matter what you’ve been through recently, make sure you see the gift in the gristle, which is GROWTH.  Give it up with a great big letting go of the past, and exhale heartfelt gratitude for whatever life handed to you, having gotten through it, and embrace all the good you’ve gained and have yet to experience as a result.

Need to survey the lay of the land as the dust settles to sort out who’s who and what’s what? Give me a buzz and I’ll help you thank that unexpected messy house guest  who disrupted your home, but in the end left it better off than it was when he got there.

(Today’s PGG was originally posted on May 14, 2014)

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Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

Click here for a video that explains some ways I can help

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.  Slowly building my YouTube channel so you check that out and subscribe too!

Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to be added to my mailing list and be in the loop with my coaching and workshops as well as have these essays delivered to your inbox!

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

Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)In this excerpt covering the final ten minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

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

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. 

Read over fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

Join Mailing List

 Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn  View on Instagram                 

Read more about me and my work in these past PGG’s:

All Roads, Same Place | And Now, A Word from Our Sponsor | Strong Medicine | 10,000 Hours | A Decade of Doing What I Do | Express Yourself

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself . ~ FDR

Do the thing you fear the most and the death of fear is certain. ~ Mark Twain

It used to be that scary movies only came out around Halloween, and there were just a handful at that.  Nowadays they seem to be released throughout the year in waves and are more creepy, disturbing and bloody than ever.

Besides the usual monster mashes and alien invasions, there are the stories that prey on our defenselessness to natural disasters, biological vulnerabilities and other such forces beyond our control. Then there are the films and shows that simply glamorize and cool-ify violence and revenge as well as people who are clearly negative, like serial killers, drug dealers, vampires, ghosts and witches to name a few.  That last group scares me the most, as they are slowly but surely desensitizing us to characters with qualities we should not want to be chummy or fall in love with.  But I digress…

When it comes to our ‘real’ lives, there are all sorts of metaphoric and literal things that go bump in the night, but the biggest one – and root cause of all the others – is the fear of the unknown. Whether wondering what that noise in the basement is; what havoc a major hurricane, earthquake or terrorist attack will wreak; to being unsure of where your next meal, paycheck or retirement income will come from; or what happens when you have to speak in front of a crowd or after you take your last breath…. all the possibilities that can run rampant in your head boils down to one outcome: not knowing what the outcome is.

Most humans, especially Americans, and particularly New Yorkers, like to control everything. And because we are constantly active and living in this 21st century distraction-filled, overstimulated world, the paradox and irony of the antidote to the fear of the unknown is, for many, the biggest fear of all: knowing ourselves.

The best way to deal with any fear and anxiety (no, not grabbing a Xanax) is to be in the present and confront what is right now, not what was or what could be. And to be in the present, you have to be with yourself.

By being in touch and comfortable with who you are and what you know and are capable of, you can take control of your life in a healthy way and come to trust in the process of a Universe that is always conspiring for your good. At the same time you must be vigilant and discerning as to what might be posing an actual threat or leading you astray. The goal is to balance that faith and trust with information, knowledge and understanding by being practical, realistic and prepared without becoming or succumbing to an alarmist, getting caught up in others’ fears or letting your imagination run wild – because it’s almost never as bad as we think it will be.

There is a school of thought that says the opposite of love is fear, which makes sense since the way to overcome fear is with courage, a word whose Latin root means ‘heart’, the muscle we use to express – you got it: LOVE. So whatever it is you are currently afraid of, Put a Little Love in Your Heart, and notice the fear starts to melt away.

Feeling like the Lion in the Land of Oz?  Give me a buzz and I’ll show you what fears are real and imagined, and help you develop the courage to move forward on your own personal yellow brick road. I promise you’ll be stronger, braver and wiser for having made the leap of faith to a new normal where you will wonder, What was I so afraid of in the first place?     

(Today’s PGG was originally posted on August 30, 2011)

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Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

Click here for a video that explains some ways I can help

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.  Slowly building my YouTube channel so you check that out and subscribe too!

Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to be added to my mailing list and be in the loop with my coaching and workshops as well as have these essays delivered to your inbox!

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

Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)In this excerpt covering the final ten minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

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

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. 

Read over fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

Join Mailing List

 Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn  View on Instagram                 

Read more about me and my work in these past PGG’s:

All Roads, Same Place | And Now, A Word from Our Sponsor | Strong Medicine | 10,000 Hours | A Decade of Doing What I Do | Express Yourself

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays for a variety of reasons, and not just for the day off, barbecues 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 what 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 its own interests and identity, 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 [Meghan] & Will’s [Harry’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, 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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Click here to learn more and book your private coaching session with Kristina  

Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

Click here for a video that explains some ways I can help

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.  Slowly building my YouTube channel so you check that out and subscribe too!

Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to be added to my mailing list and be in the loop with my coaching and workshops as well as have these essays delivered to your inbox!

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

Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)In this excerpt covering the final ten minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

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

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. 

Read over fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

Join Mailing List

 Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn  View on Instagram                 

Read more about me and my work in these past PGG’s:

All Roads, Same Place | And Now, A Word from Our Sponsor | Strong Medicine | 10,000 Hours | A Decade of Doing What I Do | Express Yourself

Wisdom and folly both are like meats that are wholesome and unwholesome, and courtly or simple words are like town-made or rustic vessels – both kinds of food may be served in either kind of dish.

The inclination to seek the truth is safer than the presumption which regards unknown things as known.

We sin when we have our loves out of order.

~ All quotes courtesy of St. Augustine of Hippo (last one paraphrased via David Brooks)

Over these past few weeks it feels like once again we’ve been kicked in the gut, bamboozled and sucker-punched. We have been experiencing an assault on our senses that takes extreme discipline and vigilance to filter and sift through, lest we become casualties of a different sort: reacting out of fear, being dragged into a divisive tornado, or simply being unable to function due to the magnitude of it, all of which affect us physically, emotionally and/or mentally. Or we pretend nothing is happening because it’s just too much. We can’t seem to catch a break.

We are interconnected and impacted by each other more than ever; events everywhere are harder to ignore even if we wanted to, as social media only amplifies all that’s happening. On the other hand, there are legions and layers of news – or narratives – that barely, if ever, get to see the light of day from whatever story has hijacked the news cycle. And for a while now, that’s been a revolving door of mass shootings, climate change/extreme weather, police brutality/racism, reproductive rights, domestic and foreign terrorism, refugees, and a Kardashian – interspersed with ads telling us to buy, buy, buy, now, now, now – all having their moments interchangeably ad nauseam. The fear – and war – mongering is relentless.

It’s easy to feel powerless during these times, but we can do our part, as I always say, to “create peace in our piece of the pie.” The first thing you can do is check your own thoughts and perceptions, then consider the source of the information you are receiving, what is behind and underneath what has occurred. Look beyond face value and put yourself on both sides of the equation:

Just because you behaved badly doesn’t mean you are a bad person; perhaps your behavior is controlling you due to an addiction, personality disorder or mental illness.

Just because you are Muslim doesn’t mean you are fundamental extremist, and just because you are a Christian doesn’t mean that you are not.

Just because you are a police officer doesn’t mean you are innocent, and just because you are a poor person of color doesn’t meant that you’re not.

Just because you don’t have an abortion doesn’t mean you are pro-life, and just because you did doesn’t mean that you aren’t.

Just because you were incarcerated for a crime doesn’t mean that you were, or still are, a criminal.

Just because you have a lot of money or a fancy title doesn’t mean you are right, and just because you are poor or uneducated doesn’t mean that you’re not.

Just because a nation has a dictator doesn’t mean it’s entirely evil, and just because a nation’s motto is “the land of the free” doesn’t mean that it entirely is.

Just because you wear baggie pants or a hoodie doesn’t mean you’re a crook; just because you wear a suit and tie doesn’t mean that you’re not.

Just because you don’t believe in climate change because it affects your bottom line doesn’t mean that it isn’t indeed changing and affecting the ocean line.

Just because you produce a slick TV commercial that uses pleasant images and soothing music doesn’t mean you’re selling a product that is benign, helpful or necessary.

Just because there are loud music, bold fonts and special effects doesn’t make a topic urgent; just because something barely makes the news doesn’t mean it isn’t.

Just because you see beauty on the outside doesn’t mean you won’t find ugliness on the inside, or that what you consider unattractive does not possess a beauty within.

Just because you are a talking head on a major media outlet doesn’t mean you know what you are talking about.

Just because you believe in a God doesn’t make you moral, and just because you don’t doesn’t mean you are not.

Just because a picture is worth a thousand words doesn’t mean those words are correct without first knowing the context or the curator.

Just because you are an immigrant or a refugee doesn’t mean you’re a terrorist, and just because you are a citizen doesn’t mean that you’re not.

Just because you read something on the interwebs doesn’t mean it’s true, and then again, it could be the only place to find the truth.

You get the point … (I hope!) The world, and life, has never been black or white, but man, that gray is getting more gray and muddled day by day.

Because what I do for a living is help my clients connect dots, see what isn’t being seen and hear what isn’t being said, and my core belief is that personal transformation is the key to social transformation, I can’t help but apply the same process to these world events. This “client,” let’s call her Gaia, is at crossroads and going through some stuff, all of it resulting in violence, anxiety and disease of one kind or another, and I think the best question to ask is why – what is the common thread of the discontent and imbalance? – and then dig deep beneath the surface, as things are never what they seem or what we are told.

We need to constantly think beyond what is fed to us, to see how things are framed. Who is shaping the narrative and to what end? Who is trying to influence you for what agenda and why? What are we being asked to focus on to distract from what is going on behind the scenes or in another place? We must use our critical faculties. I know this takes work. I know this is not like scrolling through Instagram. I know the truth is sometimes hard to swallow – but as the saying goes, “Know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

We must fight for our right to understand the story based on truth and facts – but unfortunately it is getting more and more difficult to find unbiased sources for either….

(PGG continued on Medium…..this one is really long [and remember was originally published in December 2015!] so click here to read more)

(Today’s PGG was originally published on December 8, 2015)

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Click here to learn more and book your private coaching session with Kristina  

Click here for some testimonials from past clients 

Click here for a video that explains some ways I can help

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.  Slowly building my YouTube channel so you check that out and subscribe too!

Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to be added to my mailing list and be in the loop with my coaching and workshops as well as have these essays delivered to your inbox!

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

Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)In this excerpt covering the final ten minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

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

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. 

Read over fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

Join Mailing List

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Read more about me and my work in these past PGG’s:

All Roads, Same Place | And Now, A Word from Our Sponsor | Strong Medicine | 10,000 Hours | A Decade of Doing What I Do | Express Yourself

You teach best what you most need to learn.  ~ Richard Bach

No matter where you are along your journey, Life is constantly giving you opportunities to learn and grow, and offers up situations that test or reward you for that growth.

For today’s PGG, I thought I’d share two stories I posted on my social media this week (be sure to like or follow if you haven’t already!) as a way to illustrate how I practice what I preach…

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Last Saturday, my day began with an anxiety attack.

I am not normally an anxious person, but I am human, and a highly sensitive being, so occasionally this does happen, and it is not pleasant, to say the least.

Because of who I am and the work I do, I am fortunate to have a bunch of tools in my toolbox to employ on such an occasion, so I was able to get out of it relatively quickly. But as you may well know, it can take a toll.

One of the tools I used was to connect with a good friend and get out of my immediate environment. That led to a new vista, quite literally, as I had offered to cross the river for dinner, and my friend suggested we check out the waterfront – somewhere I had never been and she hadn’t been for a while. It just so happened it was the first clear night in two weeks, an ideal temperature, and we got there just before sunset.

Who knew what a feast for the eyes and spirit would await me less than half an hour from my home?! With a skyline and lighting that looked fake, it was like stepping into a scene in a movie … . Of course we had to seize the moment and took many, many photos (which I will surely use here over time ;)) in between appreciating and absorbing the wonder of it all. How could this be right under our noses and we never knew it? It was a perfect night, just what the doctor ordered, and honestly these are only a few gems captured.

I share this because if you had seen only the photos, you might be projecting or assuming lots of different things about me and my life, as we are prone to do on social media, so I wanted you to know the backstory: that I had begun the day struggling, but because of that struggle, I was led to this magical ending. 

Always listen to yourself, and trust that for every challenge there is an opportunity, and a beautiful sunset to be had after any storm.

And then on Tuesday I shared an experience I had that day which reinforced the very thing I ask of my clients and audiences:

I received a few “Congrats on your work anniversary” messages last week and realized LinkedIn was reminding me that it’s my 16th anniversary as a speaker/seminar/workshop leader. (I started when I was 12 😉 )

How fitting then that as I was settling into my local Starbucks this morning, a man came up to me and asked if I was a speaker at New York’s Science, Industry and Business Library. I said yes and he told me how he had attended one of my talks a year or two ago and he really enjoyed it. He liked my “creative” approach and that I, as well as some of the other speakers there, helped get him through a very difficult time in his life. He recalled the value he received from my talk, affirming my passion and presence, and that I was definitely “different” from the others but that was a good thing.

The fact that speaking is even part of what I do for my work is mind-boggling to me as a bona fide introvert who used to get stiff necks and coughing fits at the mere thought of public speaking – but every time I did it, what I said seemed to resonate with people, so I just kept doing it. I’m actually not very good technically (lots of filler words, no PowerPoint, often ramble, limited vocabulary, talk with hands, etc. …), but I am passionate about whatever I’m talking about, speak from the heart, and offer some unique perspectives on common topics.

I’ve been told that I’m very “down to earth” and that’s also why most people dig listening to me. The way I speak to my audiences is the same way I speak to a client, a friend, or the barista.

In other words, I learned long ago that just being myself was enough, and that people benefit from it.  

Never doubt that your combination of skills, talents and passions are the *exact* thing that can help another (or many), therefore your real job is to accept, own and embrace who you are and shine!  

Not sure how to strut your own stuff down the evolutionary road to sublime success? That is exactly what I can help you do, so give me a buzz and we’ll get you on the path to demonstrate the dynamic diversity of your DNA so you can do what you do best for us to benefit!

(P.S. And if you are in need of a speaker for your company, ERG, association etc, be sure to be in touch, too! )

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

Click here to learn more and book your private coaching session with Kristina  

Click here for some tesimonials from past clients 

Click here for a video that explains some ways I can help

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.  Slowly building my YouTube channel so you check that out and subscribe too!

Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to be added to my mailing list and be in the loop with my coaching and workshops as well as have these essays delivered to your inbox!

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

Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)In this excerpt covering the final ten minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

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

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. 

Read over fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

Join Mailing List

 Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn  View on Instagram                 

Read more about me and my work in these past PGG’s:

All Roads, Same Place | And Now, A Word from Our Sponsor | Strong Medicine | 10,000 Hours | A Decade of Doing What I Do | Express Yourself

“A human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind,”  was the conclusion of a Harvard study whose research was conducted using an iPhone app.  It is a sentiment that many religions and philosophies have proclaimed for centuries and can best be summed up by the popular phrase “Be here now.”

If researchers 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 about the past or future, or simply not focused on the task at hand – and that causes unhappiness.

According to Andrew Bernstein’s book The Myth of Stress, it’s not the activity or situation that is the stressor, it’s our mind’s perception and reaction to the situation that causes the stress.  By recognizing the reality of a circumstance and truly comprehending why it is happening, you can 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 you find yourself in are impermanent; by simply accepting that they are temporary, you can greatly increase your sense of inner peace and balance.  Because life is constantly in motion you need to learn how to “go with the flow” and knowing that “this too shall pass.”   

Remember that if you show up mentally, as well as physically, to that meeting, event or conversation, you’ve already done half the work, and the Universe can meet you halfway to create whatever it is you want or need.

Out of chaos always comes clarity. Need a little help living happily in the unknown and keepin’ it in real time?  I can be a human app that checks in to show you how to make sense of and make the best out of any situation you find your present self.

(Today’s PGG was originally published on November 16, 2010)

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

Click here to learn more and book your private coaching session with Kristina  

Click here for some tesimonials from past clients 

Click here for a video that explains some ways I can help

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter for up to date posts, helpful articles and inspirational thoughts.  Slowly building my YouTube channel so you check that out and subscribe too!

Text CLEARLYKRISTINA to 22828 to be added to my mailing list and be in the loop with my coaching and workshops as well as have these essays delivered to your inbox!

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

Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)In this excerpt covering the final ten minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video

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

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. 

Read over fifty 5-star “Yelp” style reviews here

Join Mailing List

 Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter   View our profile on LinkedIn  View on Instagram                 

Read more about me and my work in these past PGG’s:

All Roads, Same Place | And Now, A Word from Our Sponsor | Strong Medicine | 10,000 Hours | A Decade of Doing What I Do | Express Yourself

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