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Fear and Possibility Travel Together

You’ve probably heard the saying “with great power comes great responsibility.”  In a similar vein, consider this: “with great possibility comes great fear.”

Ugh… does that feel like a bummer? Do you sometimes wish for a way to release and rid yourself of fear?  You may be surprised to hear, it's not actually a good thing to be entirely "fearless." Conscious fear serves us; it wakes us up and tells us something significant needs to be attended to and it can embolden us for important actions. On the other hand, unconscious, toxic fear about an imagined future state that is disconnected from the present is not your friend.

We are wired to experience some fear on an automatic, split-second, neuro-biological level; the brain’s primary job is to seek safety, connection and respect. When any of these are potentially threatened, fear kicks in and we hunker down psychologically, physically and even spiritually to reduce potential harm....

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The Girl with the Mustache Tattoo (aka Make Your Own Joy!)

I was recently reminded of an encounter with someone who embodied a spirit of play and light-heartedness that so many of us yearn for these days. It was, for me, a small but meaningful message from the universe. I sat down on a flight to Arizona ( pre-pandemic!)  beside a woman who was probably in her early thirties. She was dressed casually in jeans and a white and blue nautical style shirt with sparkly silver-sequined converse sneakers. We made some brief small talk, mentioning how warm and stuffy the plane felt. As she reached up to turn on the air vent I saw what looked like a small flourish tattoo on the inside of her right pointer finger.

Because I am a “hip and modern” 50-something who got a small ankle tattoo with my daughter a few years ago, I felt open to comment and shared – “oh how pretty your tattoo is on your finger.” She replied “oh, my mustache” and held her finger to her upper lip. Sure enough it was a tattoo of a...

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Affirmations for a Powerful Day

Do you use affirmations? I admit that I've been pretty skeptical in the past.  But given what I have learned about neuroscience, I've changed my mind.

Neuroscience tells us that our brain responds to the thoughts we have - just like worrying can activate the stress response, what we say to ourselves via our thoughts and spoken words activates various neurotransmitters, setting off all types of body signals. Using positive affirmations activates the reward centers of your brain and, with enough repetition, can actually change your brain - a process known as neuroplasticity. Also exciting... studies have shown that the use of affirmations can increase a sense of hopefulness (we could all use a boost of hope), can lower stress, and have even been shown to improve academic performance!

Using affirmations builds a more resilient brain!

I invite you to stand up, get your feel solidly planted on the ground and read these aloud. Maybe add some great music in the background, invite...

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Amidst Uncertainty, Find Your Purpose “For Now”

As a coach, I encounter many people, young and old, from many walks of life, who want to talk about finding their Purpose (capital P). That natural inclination is in the spotlight as we navigate the innumerable changes during this time of Covid. Many of us are re-thinking the state our lives and considering what shape we want them to take as we look to create a new way of living on the other side of this.

We are yearning to exert some influence over what is to come. It’s a natural reaction to want to gain some sense of control in an otherwise out-of-control world. We want influence on what our so-called “new normal” will look like.

Of course, this search for purpose and meaning isn’t a new pursuit that has popped up since the pandemic began; even in the earliest civilizations humans spent considerable energy focused on finding the “meaning of life” and trying to answer the big (yet very personal) questions “why am I here?” and...

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Daily Courage Can Move Mountains

Courage is a much-admired trait espoused for success in life and as a leader. We hear news of the incredible courage of essential workers caring for the sick, sexual assault survivors stepping up to tell their stories, humanitarians facing danger to selflessly act on behalf of others, and mythic stories of heroes and heroines conquering all manner of challenges. These all serve as inspiration and aspiration to develop our own courage, yet most of us need courage not for momentous, mythic undertakings, but for simple acts in our daily lives. We need courage to take or leave a job, courage to express our true feelings in a new (or old) relationship, courage to stand up for ourselves or others or even just to start over after a difficult, disappointing day. Right now, it seems we all need courage to stay optimistic about the future as we navigate a very challenging world.

Daily we face challenges, changes or difficult tasks that may make us feel fearful, unsure or hesitant to move...

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Resilience: Don’t Wait to Bounce Back

With all the collective struggles we are facing - pandemic, economic and political upheaval, remote work, unemployment - there is more need than ever to be able to respond with resilience.

But, most of us want not only to survive - we want to thrive. There is a shared understanding that resilience is having the strength to endure challenges and overcome adversity, and I think you’ll agree that resilience is a positive trait to possess. When I ask workshop participants to tell me what resilience is, the most common answer is “resilience is the ability to bounce back after difficulty.” 

I have heard this in 100% of the resilience workshops I have facilitated.

It’s not wrong, but...it’s not enough.

While “bouncing back” after failure, disappointment or difficulty is certainly good, it already implies a “reactive” tone - it asserts that we bounce back after something happens. And while that may be when resilience shows itself,...

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