Coaching

Not your problem

Not your problem

Over the last couple of years I’ve had the immense fortune of speaking with over two hundred women about what they want most in life.


From Tokyo to London by way of Montreal and Paris, the most common “problem” I hear is: “I don’t know what I want to do with the rest of my life professionally and I’m scared of making the wrong decision.”

The thoughts ricocheting inside their brains sound like this:

  • “What am I legitimately good at?”

  • “What do I really want to do with my life?”

  • “How can I be certain that I’ll make the right decision?”

  • “What’s the perfect next step for me?”

You know what l've learned from speaking with and coaching women who share such similar thoughts and feelings about their future? 

The best way to find the answer to their “problem” isn’t to dig in it, pick it apart and dissect it. Nor to hold it up on a pedestal and cower at the heels of its powerful presence.

In fact, the best way to solve the “problem” is:

1) To politely ignore it.

2) To turn the lens on the thoughts about the “problem” instead.

Basically, you solve your “problem” by questioning the questions you use to find the answers. By thinking about your thinking, you develop new ways to think. 

We all assume that our thoughts are rigid and 100% real — like permanent black marker streaks on a pale wood table top. They are alarmingly true and NOT going anywhere. 

But that’s not the case: thoughts are as nimble and flexible as you allow them to be. And the key to changing them is to start thinking about them. 

Taboo vaccines and fear inoculations

Taboo vaccines and fear inoculations

She looked down at the screaming woman’s face and instantly felt her stomaching tightening up into a tense little knot.  

The fierce and wild expression seemed out of place with all of the softer pictures and words in her collage.

Like someone else had stuck it there by accident, or worse, glued it there intentionally to make her sick.

Over the last few weeks I’ve done four vision board workshops and spoke with dozens of women about what they see in their collages.

Each collage is made up of cut-out images and words that my clients choose quickly and then edit and arrange on their boards with care.

When the collages are all done and everyone has started talking about the lovely things they see in their boards, I shift speed and throw out a doozy of a question. 

What part of the collage makes you feel uncomfortable?

That was the question I asked that led us to “the scream.”

The question hits hard, especially since all of the other questions are as sweet and cuddly as a basket full of puppies. 

It’s my favorite question. (And no, I’m not a sadist.)

So, why do I love that question so much?

When Ideas Get Under Your Skin

When Ideas Get Under Your Skin

I had a very intimidating social studies teacher in High School named Mr Savage. 


He would walk into the classroom, silently go up to the blackboard, scribble a provocative open question, like “What is democracy?” in his chicken-scratch handwriting and then stare back at the class with his beady little eyes. (can you tell how much of a fan I was??)


He’d smile slyly with pinched lips revealing a little scar alongside his mouth. Then he’d gesture to the class to let the debate begin. 


I dreaded that moment. I was a shy and insecure adolescent and that kind of intellectual dogfighting made me shrink even further into my shell. 


Mr Savage didn’t give homework, but he did assign two big writing projects per year that were famously tough. For one project we had to propose our ideal presidential candidate and then argue and defend why we thought he or she should win.


Like bad ass flowing water

Like bad ass flowing water

I reluctantly turned down a perfect margarita on the rocks at the lively Mexican restaurant we were dining at. I had to drive the whole kit and caboodle back to my mom's house in upstate NY and the roads are tricky there at night. 

It was a good thing I didn't indulge.

Fifteen minutes into our drive we had to shut off the radio, get the kids to stop fighting and seriously focus on the road because we were suddenly caught in a thunderstorm so intense it felt like an end-of-the-world action film.

I’ve never seen that much water fall that hard and that quickly. And for miles and miles and miles. I kept my calm for the kids but I was freaking the hell out. 


It reminded me how bad ass water can be. It’s super discreet until it’s totally not. And it never seems to try that hard. 

Death to perfection and the rise of the real

Death to perfection and the rise of the real

When I started learning about values I discovered “authenticity” was a bad mama jama value for me. 

When I meet someone I don’t want the glossy, airbrushed, everything is “GREAT!” version of life, I want it real and raw. I want the cracks in the pavement. The frays around the edges. 
 

THE MOMENT SOMEONE DROPS THE MASK AND LET’S YOU IN — THERE’S NOTHING ELSE LIKE IT. 


Knowing that they trust you with their fears, doubts, or fantasies (of wanting to slowly roll out of a moving car to escape kids screaming in the back, for example). That’s the real deal. That’s connection. That’s the juicy stuff that makes life worth living. 
 

Everything else is like a canned laugh track from an 80s sitcoms. You can sniff that fake nonsense from a mile away but after a while you become totally numb to it. 

Wonder Women: Lean In, Lean Out, Toughen Up, Soften Up, Be Your Best or Just Be?

Wonder Women: Lean In, Lean Out, Toughen Up, Soften Up, Be Your Best or Just Be?

My coaching is focused predominantly on women. I coach high-potential, creative women in multicultural environments that have a special spark in them that hasn’t been fully nurtured yet. Maybe they know their spark well, maybe they don’t, but they feel it bubbling under their skin like spaghetti sauce at a slow simmer. They feel its presence, can smell its aroma, but they haven’t plated it, tasted it and shared it with the world yet. And they know that if they don’t start facing, listening, and stoking that spark with the nourishment that it longs for they will regret it forever. And who wants to die with those kinds of regrets?