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Jan
01

WELL, YA’ NEVER KNOW

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Are you truly open to changing the things you are not happy with in your life? Sometimes we think we are completely open, yet bad things keep happening and we roll over in submission, unable to see any possibilities.

Robin Roberts says,

“If you are Depressed – 
You are living in the past
If you are Anxious
You are living in the future –
If you are at Peace – 
You are living in the Present”

So, where are you living?

The beginning of the New Year is a good time to take an inventory of attitudes you would like to leave behind – then stop looking back!

Here’s an exercise to help you let go that I call the “Well Ya’ Never Know” Experiment.

Think of the biggest disappointment you have suffered in your life and describe it. Then chart out three major changes in your life that occurred in the three subsequent years. Can you find some ups and downs and twists and turns that are surprising to you now?

Perhaps you now see that some solutions were there, ready to reveal themselves when you stopped looking in the rear view mirror. Often we don’t see what’s right in front of us – even when it’s the truth. For instance:

I was diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis in 1985: BIG DISAPPOINTMENT.

CONSEQUENCE 1: My fiancé not only left me, he left the country.
HIDDEN TRUTH: He was bad for me.

CONEQUENCE 2: I had to start working less: 
HIDDEN TRUTH – My business was killing me.

CONSEQUENCE 3; I had to learn to balance my life.
HIDDEN TRUTH: I had no life – just work, balance could save me.

CONSEQUENCE 4; There were no medicines to heal me.
HIDDEN TRUTH; I needed to learn about holistic medicine and learn to help myself.

Well ya’ never know. Do you see how that big disappointment led to a lot of Hidden truths? And, when revealed those truths healed my life. One year later, I met and married my soul mate. 2 years later I sold my advertising agency and wrote a book which led to 3 books, home study courses and a speaking and coaching career. 3 years later my symptoms were gone and I was a healthier person in all 12 areas of my newly balanced life.

The truth is, when we come to a crossroads, there is always a point where we must make a leap of faith. We must look for what we are meant to learn, how we are expected to change, what we are guided to do. Sometimes a bad thing happens, but it brings a greater good. Sometimes a crisis occurs that guides us to a new path. Sometimes there is not an answer available for us to immediately discern. If we give up to the crisis before endeavoring to find the good, the message, the purpose, the healing, the direction in which healing will lead us – then, from my experience I have only one thing to say, “You may miss the potential of your life by shutting yourself off to the possibilities.”

So, let’s look back at 2013 one more time to find what we are meant to learn and take forward with us. Then say good-bye to the old as you step forward into 2014 with new possibilities.

I’ll share to get you started: In 2013 I worried too much about my husband’s health and lots of things I cannot control. As a result I got a few little MS symptoms returning. I found myself in a spiral of worry and symptoms. I had one foot in the past and one in my fear-based future, and in my awkward straddle, I could not live in or enjoy my present.

Near the end of the year, I began to practice what I preach.

Jack is doing much better and is about to receive his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. My symptoms are almost gone again. I am grabbing on to today and enjoying it for all it’s worth, because that truly is what we have.

Good-bye 2013 and to the worry monster that consumed my life. Hello 2014, I embrace you with peace in my heart and promise to wake up each morning to the possibilities that day will bring.

I invite you to share your Well Ya’ Never Know experiment as well as your 2013 Good-bye and your 2014 Possibilities.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! May love push out all the fear in your life.

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As seen in the Huffington Post

As the holidays approach, let me ask you a question – I’ll even make it multiple choice to put you at ease:

What do you think your life is about?

A) Being successful, getting married, having a family.
B) You being happy
C) Doing good so you’ll be remembered
D) Everyone in the world

The answer, surprisingly, is not “you” or your happiness or your success. It’s everyone in the world, according to Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God. I learned this lesson the hard way over 20 years ago. I was in an intensive course for Children of Alcoholics taught by Jael Greenleaf. She gave us the following homework which was practically impossible for me to do.

Exercise 1: Stand on a BUSY street corner and every 30 seconds or so, loudly proclaim the time. I had to stay on the same corner for at least 5 minutes. I was horrified! I thought I’d be apprehended for mental care or be laughed at, for sure.

But, no. Surprise, surprise… no one noticed or cared. They were too busy living their own lives. I was slightly offended, but I got over it with one important lesson learned. Everyone is the center of their own lives; I am not the center of theirs.

Exercise 2: Go to a full service gas station and buy only $1.00 worth of gas. Again, I was shamed by the exercise.

Remember, this was at time when $1.00 could actually buy a gallon of gas. Again, the service attendant didn’t care. He took my dollar, washed my windows and checked the oil. I couldn’t wait to leave, but the lesson was the same. I was just a bit player in this young man’s life. He had a job to do and didn’t care about my silly shame.

It’s amazing how the struggle in your life will decrease when you realize life is not about you; it’s about everyone in the world. Prejudice and bigotry will decline when sharing space becomes more important than “my” space. Being right, or the winner, or the star will fade when teams and groups and partnerships preside. Isolation, loneliness and fear will subside when everyone stops taking “selfies” and starts pointing the camera outward. The “Me” versus “them” thinking will soon decrease and take the gridlock in government with it.

I love to achieve, but there’s a big difference in doing it for me or doing it for the greater good.

Last night on TV’s 60 Minutes, my husband and I watched a segment about the billionaires of the world forming an organization. The only requirement is to make a pledge that they will give away half of their acquired fortunes (with a minimum buy in of ½ billion dollars) to solve problems of poverty in the world. I first thought, “How wonderful.” Then I thought, “I’d like to have a billion dollars so I can do that.” Uh-oh, I slipped back to the “me” focus on my world. Ah, but there are other ways.

So, on this Thanksgiving, I’ll be asking: How can I give of my heart to share the healing force of love? How can I give of my brain to share the lessons I’ve learned with those who have not had the opportunities I have. How can I be in touch with the world of all possibilities so that solutions are always abundant and scarcity is no more?

I will be thankful for the answers that I receive and I will be thankful to everyone with whom I share this world – everyone. And since nobody’s perfect, I’ll take a picture of myself being thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. (Snap!)

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Aug
09

PROOF THAT YOU WERE HERE

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At what age do we start asking the legacy questions: Why am I here? What will I be remembered for? Have I made a difference in the world? Did I do what I was supposed to do?

I sat in my living room tonight after watching the news and looked over at a beautiful, fawn colored suede chair. A departed friend of mine sat in that chair at a business meeting, and accidentally stained it with his black ink pen. He was horrified – so embarrassed, he wouldn’t come back to my house for another meeting. Now I look at the ink stain and I remember him with love – his humility, his talent, his big heart, his willingness to help others. That little ink stain keeps him alive for me.

I’m quite sure that he wouldn’t want to be remembered by that stain. But, we don’t always get to choose do we? And, that’s exactly why we have to live our lives like we want to be remembered.

I want to be remembered for the great kids I raised, for the best sellers I wrote and for the movies I made that changed the world. Alas, I didn’t have children of my own, and my best selling books and movies have yet to be made.

Where does that leave me on the memory scale?

Well, I’ve been helping young people in their careers since I became successful in TV production at the age of 23. I’ve been the best- I-could-be-step grandma and great grandma to my husband’s family. I’ve written books that change lives – one at a time and I’ve devoted myself to being the best wife possible to my husband of 25 years and counting. Is that my legacy?

Maybe part of it; maybe not.

So, what is it? What really stays behind when we pass over to the great beyond?

I’m beginning to think it can be summed up in just one word – CONNECTION.

The irony is that the things you’ll be remembered for are the ones that happened while you were so focused on your passion and probably on someone else that you had no time to think about yourself or your legacy.

And, the things you think are insignificant or unimportant about yourself, well, those will probably trigger people’s memories of you: The time your dress was hiked up in the back when you were giving a fantastic speech and the audience pretended not to notice; the crinkle on the side of your nose, the snort you make when you laugh hard, the tears that come when someone else cries or during hokey Hallmark commercials, the fanaticism that takes over when you’re looking for just the right gift for someone.

We connect in the reality of our lives, not the fantasy. We connect when a little, homeless child raises her arms up in the air for you to pick her up and hugs you so hard you can feel her heart beat. We connect when we teach something to someone and see the light go on behind their eyes. We connect with touches and hugs and smiles and tears that non-verbally say, “I get it.”

We connect when we share our stories and moments in life that are therefore not quite so scary, sorrowful or sad when another has been there, too. We connect when our hearts touch another’s. We connect when we stretch to better ourselves, to help others, to make someone’s day and find someone stretching to meet us.

Here’s a way to explore the proof that you were here.

TEST 1

  1. List your 5 closest friends/family and ask them what they find most memorable about you.
  2. Then write down what you find memorable about them.
  3. Get together and compare lists. Write down the surprises.

TEST 2

  1. Make a list of all the people, places, things, ideas and activities to which you feel connected.
  2. Make a list of all the connections you would like to make.
  3. Choose one new connection a week and take action to make it happen.

A few years ago I was having dinner with several speaking friends of mine. We were going around the table telling stories and laughing our hearts out. Walking back to the hotel, one of my buddies asked me, “Are the stories you just told in your speech?”

I answered, “Of course not, they are too personal.”

He smiled knowingly and said, “That’s just what your audiences want – a glimpse of the “real” you because everything you have to teach is based upon who you are.”

Needless to say, the stories are in my speech now.

I encourage you to gather your stories. Share them generously. Study them to get a glimpse of the proof that you were here.

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How much of your power are you giving away by the way you talk? Is your language self-defeating or self-empowering? Are you spending more time beating yourself up or respecting what you do and who you are? Does your speech leave you burdened or enlightened? Are you a victim or a leader of your own life?

Sometimes, the very best thing you can do to change your life is give yourself an Attitude Make-over and that starts with every word that comes out of your mouth. Watch for sentences that use these words, I’m stuck, I’m afraid, I can’t, It’s too much, They have all the power, it’s their fault. With these words, you give away your power by simply handing it over to “them.”

Then there are the Burden words, like should, have to, need to, I’ll try – that can simply be replaced by I could, I choose to, I want to, and I’m completely responsible.

Let’s not forget how many times we beat ourselves up in a day with words like, I’m stupid, I have no luck, everybody else has what I want, I’m cursed, I’m too late, I’m not enough. Do I hear VICTIM in all of these words? You bet I do. When my clients get into this territory I have them write a rant. Go ahead, try it yourself. Think of a situation in your life right now that is making you unhappy. Then come up with every reason, excuse, complaint and whine regarding why you’re a victim and you just can’t make the situation any better because the world’s against you and you don’t have any luck because everyone else does but you. Blah, blah, blah.

When you’re done whining, ranting and crying, take each sniveling sentence and turn it into a positive declaration. I can’t becomes I won’t, Nobody appreciates me becomes I am loved. I’m afraid to do it becomes I embrace the challenge. You get the idea. Write your own success script.

A shortcut to get your attitude makeover started is to promise yourself that you will eliminate all judgment, criticism and blame from your speech. That means no judgment, criticism or blame of yourself as well! I have my clients do this for a week. Most can’t last more than an hour, as they get better and better at it, however, a habitual frown is often replaced by an easy smile.

In parting, I’ll give you 2 more attitude makeover gifts. One is to look in the mirror at the way you present yourself when you talk. Are you animated or bored, enthusiastic or filled with doubt? How’s your eye contact? Do you lean into he person you are talking to or take a defensive distance? Are your words clearly enunciated or mumbled as you slump into yourself?

And, finally, how about that posture of yours? I caught a look at myself in a department store window the other day and I was SHOCKED. My normally erect posture was slouched. My usually perky smile was overtaken by a furrowed brow and my brisk walk was slowed to a tired shuffle. Who was that, a voice screamed in my head? I looked more like my dear, departed mother than me. I now work on my posture daily, because believe me it’s like a trumpet heralding your mood and your attitude for the world to see as you enter a room.

If you’d like a jumpstart for every day, make sure your first thought when you open your eyes is a good one. Perhaps, “Hello world, let’s make it a good day.” Then roll over and sit up on your bed as you take a few deep breaths followed by a smile. Get up, stretch and connect with the energy around you as you seize your day in control of what your spoken words and body language have to say abo

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Set Up Goals That You Can Meet

Are you as sick of New Year’s Resolutions as I am?  All those promises that make you feel guilty, anxious and full of shame when you run out of energy to accomplish them 2 weeks into the year.  The anxiety is caused by a heavy dose of “You should” voices in your head coming into conflict with what you’re actually doing.

Sure, we’d all like to hit reset at the beginning of every year?  But, that’s not possible.  Or is it?

There is hope when we bite off less than we can chew so we can handle the bite, accomplish our intention, and feel good about continuing to accomplish our goal without any “you should” finger pointing.

So, where do we start?  With intention which Sharon Salzberg author of Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience, defines as “our overall everyday vision,”  what we long for, what we believe is possible for us.  In other words, our meaning and purpose in life which  Caroline Myss, author and medical intuitive defines as your spirit.  She explains, “Your spirit is the part of you that seeks meaning and purpose.  It’s the part drawn to hope, that will not give in to despair.”

At the beginning of every year our spirit reminds us that every day we make hundreds of choices and it asks us to decide whether those choices enhance our spirit or drain our power.

What do you believe is possible for your life?  Are you empowering yourself with the choices you make?      Or, are you draining your spirit by allowing your villain voices to drain your spirit?

A sure sign that your villains are draining your spirit is if you hear phrases like, I don’t deserve this, why try, I never succeed. I’m too guilty to get what I want.  Somebody else is better, more qualified, prettier, luckier, etc.  I’m not enough.

Dump these villain voices that are holding you hostage to your past by drowning them with actions that are rooted in the present – small and steady everyday actions.  Villains hate action.  They want you to be stuck, ineffective, paralyzed, unable to move forward…

Villains are helpless when you decide you are worth living a life of power and purpose free of judgment and the burdens of others’ expectations. *

Three little words will help you on this path and they are: Is, True, Present.  When making a decision, a choice in your life, ask yourself: Does this reflect what is in my life at this moment?  Does it speak the truth of my life now? Is it rooted in the NOW, the PRESENT.

When you focus on the IS, the PRESENT and the TRUTH in your life, you will always have the power to change your attitude to fit the circumstances, to choose your own way.  An amazing thing will happen when you stop trying to find happiness or mourn over happiness past and instead focus on choosing your way, your attitude to fit your NOW.  You’ll find lots of reasons to be happy when you stop pursuing happiness.  As Viktor Frankl writes in his 1946 book, Man’s Search for Meaning, “Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.  One must have a reason to be happy.”

One reason to be happy is to connect to what life expects from you every single day – to connect with your uniqueness, to use your highest strengths and talents to serve something larger than yourself.  Forget those high pressure resolutions.  Gratefully embrace the purpose you can find in every day and your villains will be overcome by your realized intentions – step by step, slow and steady, one action after another makes for a meaningful life.

* If you’d like some help with your villains, I’m offering my Bust Your Villain Coaching program, starting February 6th.

 

 

 

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The Shuttle That Inspired Endeavors In Us All

Again, as I feel some anger bubbling up inside of me, I revisit the topic? Why are so many people so angry – including me? My answer today is that we are trying to control the uncontrollable – which is just about everything. We can’t control the people in our lives, the crazy election we’re witnessing, the economic downturn we’ve been sludging through, or the bad news we just got. If we keep trying to force out control we end up like me over the past few months. I have a rock in my back, a knot in my shoulder and a lightening rod of pain up my neck. I can name each area of pain – a family member tiff, my husband’s illness, and social media.

So, I’ve been working it. I’m actually seeing a physical therapist, I do detailed sets of exercises every day and I try valiantly to practice what I coach – to journal, to meditate, to deal with my emotions, to B-R-E-A-T-H-E!

While all of that helps, the true answer came with me doing what is hardest for me. I had to let go of the outcomes I was hanging on to for dear life. I learned again, that forcing my will to get my desired outcome often causes something to break. In my case…it’s my back.

The real magic comes in substituting consciousness for control. At every decision making moment, slow down and think about what you want to do, and realize you have a choice. No one is forcing you and you’re not forcing anyone. Realizing you have a choice actually gives you (dare I say it) a little bit of control, now renamed POWER.

Your homework is to try a new form of communication:

1) Express your opinion, desire, or request, then let go of your perceived outcome.

2) Listen, without criticism, judgment or blame to the answer you are given.

3) Wait for 15 to 30 seconds to respond which gives you time to think about your options and make an objective choice.

4) Get ready to be surprised at a better than expected outcome.

A week ago, my husband had an encouragingly good health day – the first in a long while. Sadly, that was followed by several that were not nearly as good. We were disappointed. Then his acupuncturist said, “If he had one good day, he can have another. He’s not broken.” The lesson was to focus on the good day and to know there would be more – not in our control, but definitely out there.

September 21, 2012 was a really good day. I lived a moment of history that I will never forget and that proved to me once more that consciousness is key. I heard that the Space Shuttle Endeavor was going to fly right over our home in Malibu on it’s way to landing at LAX. I decided I really wanted to see that. So, I got on the internet and found the pathway and approximate times on ABC’s website. It was estimated to be flying over Malibu at 12:03. I got my camera, went out on the deck and was ready. I tried to get my husband to come out, but he was busy. Then suddenly, there it was and I was overpowered with emotion. I didn’t want to take the pictures, I wanted to cry out to the tree trimmers below and everyone who could hear, “The Shuttle is here, it’s beautiful.” So, I made a choice. I screamed out in joy, I cried at the beauty, I ran beneath the shuttle for as long as I could, and then I marveled at an exquisite event that would live in me forever. While I could not control the moment, I could revel in it completely and savor it for eternity thanks to being in my full consciousness.

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As I sit before clients who are searching desperately for either their first move or the next move on their career path, I’m constantly reminded that everything you’ve done in your life matters and may have a surprising answer for you.

I started out wanting to be a teacher.  Most of us girls started that way in the ‘50s.  But falling in love with Annette on the Mickey Mouse Club soon changed my aspirations to dancer, entertainer.  My first job was as a hostess at the Sizzler Restaurant – skill set necessary: friendliness.  Next came waitress at the Charlemont Cafe – skill set: determination, hard work, absolute certainty that this would pay for my college education.  Next job PBS hostess for fund raising nights – skill set: Great voice and sincere personality for TV. This led to my selection as a documentary producer and my receipt of a grant which helped with my college education.

Next job after graduation from college, Sacramento Board of Realtors Public Relations Director – Skill set: writing and people skills. Next job – receptionist at advertising agency – Skill set: Quick wit and a bit of creative gambling as I took down information from new client calls and presented the message with a complete proposal to my boss the next day. This led to my moving up to Vice President of TV production within 3 months.

One year later, a local TV station offered me double the salary to produce commercials for Sears. 3,000 commercials later, after starting my own production company to produce national commercials, I had a new skill set: complete knowledge of production & how to run a small business.

7 years later I was encouraged to move up and out of the market.  I moved to LA and took a job for a Production company that soon morphed into an advertising agency all my own.  My agency’s Specialization in the Healthcare industry came in handy when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.  I knew western medicine was not my only answer.  As I healed due to complementary approaches my career changed again, and here is where the dots connected.  Follow the italicized words.

With what I learned from my own healing and years of research, I decided to write a book and teach others how to navigate difficult transitions in their lives, find what’s blocking them and bust through to find their real purpose.  My determination, hard work and certainty that MS happened to me so I could help others, gave me courage to start a new business.

My trained voice & sincerity made it easy for me to produce my first products – audiotapes. My writing skills led to books and home study courses on CD.  My quick wit and ability to creatively gamble and morph bad news into unforeseen opportunity led to a great speaking reputation and my brand, BLOCKED TO BLOCKBUSTER.

My knowledge of production and how to run a small business helped me grow the product end of my business.  And, my years of advertising Healthcare chains, products and services opened my eyes to what Western medicine can and can’t do, thus making me willing to explore alternative options.  It also made me better able to help others combine Western medical and Eastern healing concepts as I had to do.

To bring this full circle, I started out wanting to be a teacher, and now I am one, thanks to a life full of experiences that led me to my purpose.  Now it’s your turn.  From childhood through today, what do the dots on your career path tell you?  Often we find it’s the oddest jobs, the most shocking experiences and the quirkiest aspirations that lead to the most satisfying occupations.  Leave your comments and let me know where your dots lead you.

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Mar
06

THE HEATLH DETECTIVE

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Fortune tellers, horoscopes, crystal balls, tea leaves, tarot cards, psychics, and of course experts of all varieties including teachers, preachers, pundits and peers—many of us are looking for answers in all the wrong places – outside of ourselves. Truth is, the answers come from the inside – of each one of us. Yes, we are all the source of our own answers.

I did not want to hear that when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease (AD), multiple sclerosis, in 1985. I was numb from the waist down, partially blind and told I’d spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. The doctors even dared to tell me to sell my advertising agency. At the time, they had no answers, no medications, and no cure for what ailed me.

So I began working my way through some emotions – fearful, blame-filled, disgusted, helpless, hopeless – until I got to ANGER. I was mad as hell that no one could help me, and that actually helped me plug into the determination to help myself BIG TIME.

I became a detective, a Health Detective. After all, I’d been a journalist, a writer, a producer – I knew how to ask and answer the 5 W’s. So here goes. Feel free as you read along to apply these questions to any challenge you may be facing at this time.

Question 1: WHO “done” it to whom? Me! I was the victim and the accomplice rolled into one. And, somehow, I had to learn to become the victor. Or, as I call it, I had to move from BLOCKED TO BLOCKBUSTER. The crime of Multiple Sclerosis had been committed against me. It had robbed me of my health, my hope, and my ability to focus on the subject of my choice. Now, I had to focus on it and WHY it had happened to me.

Question 2: WHY? Why was I numb from the waist down? Why had I lost my central vision? Why was I out of balance? Why did I experience an electric shock traveling down my spine whenever I looked down?

Could it be because I numbed myself in childhood not to feel the horror of my alcoholic father? Could it be that I trained myself from the age of 4 only to look straight ahead and to simply not see what I could not handle? Could it be that I lost my balance because my life had none? And, that electric shock – could it be that my central nervous system had short circuited – that it simply was refusing to send the messages I intended because it was frazzled out on overload?

YES, YES, YES, AND YES as far as I’m concerned.

Question 3: WHAT? Multiple Sclerosis that’s what! In a sense I had prepared myself emotionally all of my life to have multiple sclerosis. Instead of dealing with the heartaches, disappointments, losses, failures and fears of my life, I focused on WORK, WORK, WORK. So, the emotional wounds, I call them MULTIPLE SCARS, hung out in my body where eventually they could pair up with physical symptoms and make me very sick.

Question 4: WHERE was I when the symptoms attacked? My first symptom happened when I was driving back to the office from a stressful client meeting. I couldn’t see the center section of a billboard almost directly in front of me. As I sank into denial and pretended to see just fine, more symptoms joined the first. The harder I worked, the more symptoms that appeared. So, I got to work on a timeline to compare the where, what and when of my emotional life with my physical symptoms.

WHEN? Now! I had to find the motive now. Perhaps to save my life, to introduce me to love, to open my eyes to the world around me and outside of me, to guide me to a purpose in life…? I would not listen to my body. In fact, I hated my body for betraying me. My body was in my way.

And the weapon in the crime of MS? My own thoughts and emotions.

If I was going to get well from MS, I was going to have to become a detective and put the pieces of my life back together again. I had to find the answers tucked into the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY of my life – and as I did, my symptoms disappeared one by one.

I hated that the answers were inside of me and not in some magical outside source. But, now I love helping others learn to be the detective in their own lives to find the answer they seek regarding health, relationships, careers, finances and more.

Just as in an AD, when healthy bodies attack their own cells, often people attack themselves by not finding their own truth.

How many things do you carry inside of you that attack you? Ask a lot of questions and then ask some more. If you have trouble finding answers, then call on me, the Health Detective, symptom-free of MS for 20+ years. Your thoughts and emotions may not be the ONLY reason you have an illness, or other problems in your life, but no one knows how large of a part they play, and they are the only part of healing we can control. So I say, solve the crimes in your life by disarming the weapons your thoughts and emotions hold.

Note: Attend a free one-hour webinar that teaches 8 Block Busters for Mastering MS or other Autoimmune Diseases, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming your own Health Detective. (See related article in this issue)

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What are you struggling with that you just can’t get off the ground? Is it your health, your finances, a relationship, your purpose in life? Three little words will lift you out of the struggle and deposit answers in your lap – ATTITUDE DETERMINES ALTITUDE.

In short, you can’t fly until your attitude reflects where you are going or who or what you want to attract in your life. Recently, I was running out of patience with my husband’s lack of hearing. With each repetition of the same sentence, my voice would grow in volume and anger. Our communication was grounded.

What did I do? I changed my attitude. I swallowed my lack of patience and responded with kindness and love every single time. I leaned in closer to him, I made eye contact, I changed my wording, I caressed him rather than glaring at him. Surprise, he started to hear me with fewer repetitions and rewarded me with his own change of attitude.

In the beauty salon this morning, my hairdresser (also the salon owner) was complaining about the immaturity and outright rudeness of his co-workers. I shared my 3 little words, and I could see him start to soar. He decided to raise the attitude bar by setting the example he wanted others to mirror. Immediately, the atmosphere in the shop changed. He had been sinking to their level rather than giving them the opportunity to rise to the desired level of their shared business attitude and atmosphere.

My bookkeeper is going on a 5-day silence retreat in a Monastery. She’s worried because her friends and family think she’s crazy and destined to fail. I shared ATTITUDE DETERMINES ALTITUDE with her along with a reminder that their perceptions are not her truth. I also asked her to predetermine her success by focusing on the outcome she wants and opening her heart to wonderful outcomes she may never have imagined.

Here it is, 3 BLOCKBUSTER steps to achieve 3 little words, ATTITUDE DETERMINES ALTITUDE:

  1. LISTEN inward for an old attitude that is keeping you grounded from accomplishing an important current goal.
  2. OPEN YOUR HEART to a new behavior and attitude that will help you lift off to success. (This is often the opposite of what is keeping you blocked)
  3. FOCUS on the outcome you want from your attitude makeover and say good-bye to old behavior, habits and routines that keep you stuck in the old attitude. 

By the way, these 3 little words came to me “uncredited” from a motivational speaker group I belong to on Linked In. We were all asked to share our favorite motivational quotes. Mine was, “Wake up with joy in your heart for what the day may bring,” a quote from my ever-optimistic husband. He and his quote are definitely part of the reason my altitude stays high when I’m conscious of fueling it with my desired attitudes.

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“I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, only more love.”

Mother Theresa

I found this quote in the program for a charity luncheon I attended last week, benefiting TEEN LINE, a teen-to-teen hotline and outreach program affiliated with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

The luncheon proved to be the last time Maria Shriver, Arnold Schwarzenegger and oldest daughter Katherine were together without the black cloud of “separation shame, cheater, father to an illegitimate son, disgraced wife” ripped through their lives. Then the saturation news coverage began, all Schwarzenegger Scandal all the time, blah-blah-blah. Add to that TV’s drama fictionalizing the reality of guilty male politician shaming “The Good Wife.”

As the world watches the Schwarzenegger meltdown, I have been simultaneously coaching several 30-45-year-old men who are attempting to love deeply – even to the point of commitment after failed relationships. But, guess what? They don’t know how. One man contemplating breaking out of a 4-year relationship wants to line up at least 3 new relationship possibilities before jumping out of his “safe” one. Another, already separated, wants to run back, but not really, as he struggles over the impact his leaving has had on his 3 kids. Both admit they are not sure what love is.

So, the question is, what lessons are we teaching our children about lasting love? Do we teach love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, only more love?" No, we teach love until you get an “owie,” then run. Do we teach “work on it, don’t give up, nurture the one you love?” No, far too often, we espouse, “When the going gets tough, get out.” Do we teach to “Deny ourselves temptation,” or do we rationalize human weakness and rally around second chances? One female client after another comes to me crying about men who lack a sense of responsibility, who are commitment-phobic, with no sense of trust, and who have very little connection to even a basic sense of right and wrong.

What’s the problem? FEAR! Frightened people need to yell before they are yelled at, bully before they are revealed, stop loving before they are hurt and run before they are caught. They have a giant hole inside that is filled with MORE – more money, more sex, more highs, more attention, more power.

Ironically, the power they seek by gorging on more, different and new in the “grass is greener” unconscious mode, leaves them empty of the fuel of life, and that fuel is LOVE – of themselves, their lives and the people with whom they connect.

Arnold is the epitome of the “LOST LOVE” Villain. If he had filled up with love, there would have been no room for the fear that fills his life and threatens the happiness of those he “governed.”

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