Visualization

Guts you don't regret

Guts you don't regret

Tis the season of report cards, graduation ceremonies, and mid-year reviews. A time to appreciate the gradual yet often excruciating achievements of the year (like future tense conjugations in French).

 

It’s also the time when a big day shows up in my calendar. Not my birthday or wedding anniversary or my kids' birthdays. None of that. 

 

It’s July 6th. The day I did something so scary I literally thought my heart would explode in my chest. Even thinking about it now makes me quiver a bit. 

 

On July 6th, 1999, I boarded a one-way flight from NYC to Paris, leaving behind my family, my friends, my boyfriend, my four cats, my job, my apartment, and my beloved Brooklyn. 


And for no real reason.


I mean, there were reasons. But they weren’t life-or-death reasons. This wasn’t anything like the exoduses my ancestors took to save their skin generations ago. 

 

It was just that I had this nagging feeling in my belly, this constant, flickering sensation since childhood that I had to live in Paris. 

Five Empowering Life Lessons From Michelle Obama (That You May Have Missed)

 Five Empowering Life Lessons From Michelle Obama (That You May Have Missed)

I’ve had Michelle Obama in my ears for the last month. In the morning as I walk to work, doing my groceries on the way home, heading off to meet friends for dinner, on the park bench while watching my kids play soccer.


She’s become a trusted advisor. A wisdom whisperer. A funny pal. Her impeccably articulated stories now etched into my day-to-day memories.


In the fifteen hours that I’ve listened to her a few key moments stand out. Not the rousing moments woven into her sold-out live book tour performances (that I loved, BTW!), but softer moments.


Subtle and quiet, they show shifts in perspective as Michelle takes more and more responsibility for her own happiness and fulfilment.


Learning how to take charge of your own happiness and fulfilment is a theme that means a lot to me. Why? Because it’s the bedrock of the coaching journey—the springboard that creates big leaps forward.


So in a celebration of subtle springboards, I present you with:

Michelle Obama’s Five Discreet Life Lessons On Taking Charge Of Your Own Happiness and Fulfilment (That Didn’t Make It To The Book Tour)


Lesson 1: If You Want To Find Your True Self You First Have To Stop Worrying About What Other People Think Of You

Michelle Obama lived the first 28 years of her life as a happy control freak, following a strict recipe of hard work and determination. Even her stuffed animals were stiff. When the question “Am I good enough?,” regularly popped up in her head, she pushed herself even harder to prove her worth to others. Following a success-driven path on a straight-and-narrow road landed her in the corner office of a swanky law firm with the prospect of climbing even higher up the lawerly ladder. But then she met Barack, a late to meetings, unpredictable, out-of-the-box thinker with a wild drive and no clear path. Falling for Barack was a challenge ideologically and emotionally. It meant rebelling against predictability. Against the establishment. Against the perfection impression she hoped to project. Allowing herself to fall in love with him was the start of her swerve off the predictable path into a windy, challenging, imperfect, but deeply more satisfying one.

In Michelle’s Words:

"This may be the fundamental problem with caring a lot about what others think: It can put you on the established path—the my-isn’t-that-impressive path—and keep you there for a long time. Maybe it stops you from swerving, from ever even considering a swerve, because what you risk losing in terms of other people’s high regard can feel too costly."

Click over to read the rest

How to get over self-sabotaging thoughts and feelings? Part 3 of 3.

How to get over self-sabotaging thoughts and feelings? Part 3 of 3.

This is the final instalment of a three-part series about limiting beliefs: how to identify them, uncover their emotional power, and ultimately transform them into thoughts that “spark joy" and help you move forward with meaning. Click here to read the first part and here to read the second part. 


A bow-tied Jiminy Cricket with a head full of question marks

A black, viscous, oily splotch 

An oval face with empty eyes and a gaping mouth

A green carnival mask 



Are these clues from a dated detective board game? 

Or elusive fragments from an epic dream?


All good guesses, but they’re actually illustrations of limiting beliefs drawn by some of my clients. 


And they play a critical role in how to send your self-sabotaging thoughts and emotions packing in order to free up space for those that spark joy instead.  


Before we get into that, let's recap what we’ve uncovered in these last two blog posts:

  • We learned how to detect thoughts and beliefs that are self-sabotaging and fear-based.

  • We learned how those thoughts and beliefs trigger emotions and then actions.


I’m not sure which beliefs you’d like to transform, but let’s play with one that many women hear with the volume on full-blast. 


“I’m not good enough.”


Did you know that if women don’t feel 100% qualified for a position they won’t apply for it, while men apply if they think they meet just 60% of the job criteria?


That’s exactly how a limiting belief like “I’m not good enough” can translate into emotions such as fear and insecurity which then trigger actions (or inaction in this case). 


So how do we go about unraveling that belief, or at least diminishing its grip on our lives? Click over to find out.

How to get a full-body YES when making a big life decision

How to get a full-body YES when making a big life decision

I pulled out a black-and-white marble notebook and drew a big line down the center of a page.  

 

It was Spring of 1992 and I was a Senior in High School. My mom, step-dad and my best friend Helen were with me celebrating at Fiorentino’s, the best Italian restaurant (RIP) in all of Brooklyn.

 

We had just finished off a couple of orders of “spiedini alla romana,” the deep-fried mozzarella with anchovy sauce that the restaurant was famous for and that I still dream about to this day.  

 

And now it was time to get down to some serious business before our main dishes arrived. Deciding which college I would go to the following year. 

 

So we did what most people do when faced with an enormous, once-in-a-lifetime decision: a pros and cons list! 

 

What a concise and curious way of making a huge life decision, don't you think?

  • We challenge ourselves to get really, really cerebral and serious about a decision.

  • We write down a bunch of items in each column in a factual, dissociated way.

  • We diligently count up the number on each side. 

  • We make a decision based on the column that has the highest score.

  • We stick to that decision OR scrap it all and decide what we really want to do. 

  • And we try to complete the task all before the check arrives!

Even though I’m pretty certain I made the right move when it came to college, as a coach I’ve learned that pros and cons lists are terribly flawed because they often neglect the physical and emotional components of decision making.


A better way to “experience” a decision is to travel into the future and try it on for size, looking for clues to what its impact may be from an emotional, physical and intellectual perspective.


When it comes to making full-body decisions I’ve seen my clients have huge revelations with the “sit and scan” technique we do together. 

 

So, what’s the “sit and scan” technique, how does it blow pros and cons lists out of the water, and how can you learn the steps to make full-body YES decisions all on your own?

Read on to find out.

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?

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.