Archive for September, 2010

It was the day after Christmas…

It was the day after Christmas. I was 34.

I hated the man who stood before me.  And I loved him,

I wanted to hit him.  Scream.

Instead, I met his glance with silence.

I stared right through him.

As he turned to leave, an intense sadness spread throughout my being.

I ached with an emptiness that invaded the cells of my body.

The tears I couldn’t hold back any longer, silently streamed down my face.

I wanted to speak, but I couldn’t say a word.

I was terrified.




Out of control.

Once the man of my dreams,

My husband of nine years,

The father of our three-year old daughter

Walked out the door.

The click of the latch behind him, punctuated the last sentence of our fairy tale gone awry.

This was the story that everyone thought would close with “happily ever after.”

But it didn’t.

I surveyed my life.

What did I have?

I had no job.

No money.

No help.

I had a three year old daughter I couldn’t care for alone.

I had fear.

The one thing I could count on to remain with me was my greatest enemy.

I severe rheumatoid arthritis and I hated it. 

I had been in constant battle with the disease since I was diagnosed as a teenager. 

It had wracked my body with crippling pain and deformity.

A flare-up sometimes meant that I would have to be carried from room to room. 

Or that the weight of the bed sheets on my skin would be unbearable. 

Or that I would be so frozen with pain I could move nothing but my eyes. 

I had watched my body slowly deteriorate

And as each year passed, I found I could do less and less.

I could never count on this disease to leave me as silently as my husband had.

And I didn’t have the power to do anything about it.

I asked myself what I had to live for.

The pounding of my heart filled my throat.

I sat down.

How could I deal with living when it took me two minutes to cross a room?

How could I care for myself, much less my daughter?

It was the lowest point of my life.

And in the lowest moment of this lowest point,

Ending my life seemed the only escape.

Then a remarkable thing happened.

At that moment, my daughter ran into the room.

She put her arms around me and looked into my eyes.

I felt like I had awakened from a deep and prolonged sleep.

It was as if every cell in my body had realigned itself.

I looked back into her trusting eyes.

I realized that my choice to live had already been made.

It was made the day she was born.

Even more than a choice, it was an agreement and a covenant between us.

I knew I had to keep my word.

In that same moment, I realized that what I really wanted was a wonderful life for her and for me.

I didn’t have a clue how I was going to do it, but I was clear that I wanted it.

I was clear that opting out had ceased to be an option. 

I knew it was my choice. 

I knew it was completely up to me.

As I surrendered to the reality of truth, I took the first step of an incredible journey of self-awareness.

With a fierce commitment to discover love and joy and freedom once again,

I got back in the driver’s seat of my own life.

What a ride it has been!

Since that fateful day in my living room, I have faced other challenges of anger, hurt and fear.

What I have learned and practiced – and what I now share – is that

I now know how to get my power back!

My disease has subsided substantially.

The pain has almost completely disappeared and I am completely independent.

I have a level of understanding for my ex-husband, and my belief that he is doing the best he knows how with his limited view of life, frees me from anger and resentment.

Our daughter is a grown woman who remains my single most powerful reminder to love. She must manage her own relationship with her father and learn the lessons that are there for her.

I enjoy healthy, joyful relationships with the remarkable people I am blessed to have around me.

I have created four successful companies and coached CEO’s and senior executives of Fortune 500 companies to successfully face professional challenges.

I have supported countless thousands of people nationwide to achieve dramatic breakthroughs in their own personal lives.

 continuously work on myself.

Some days are smoother than others.

I personally and intimately strive to live the systems and concepts in my book, Your Survival Strategies Are Killing You.

Therefore, it was with great caring and understanding that I wrote it.

Because I’ve lived this work and I have seen how powerful it is, I am passionate about it.  I am also firm and relentless and will require you to be the same.  There are no short cuts to personal growth and development, but there are many tools that work. However, there is one thing you must have to succeed that you cannot get from anyone else: your willingness to have your life work.

I invite you to pick up this book. 

That, in itself, will be a clear indication that you are ready to learn, to grow and to powerfully love. 

This book can help you learn how to create the experience you want in your life regardless of the circumstances, but . . .

YOU must bring the willingness to find out.

If you have not yet read my book, Your Survival Strategies Are Killing You, (was #3 on the Amazon Best Seller List) go pick up a copy right now. How much longer will you put off the power you have to design your own future?

Change your thinking. It will change your life! Learn how to do it.

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“For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.”
– Larry Eisenberg

I am completely indispensable. At work, they can’t get along without me. At home, everything would disintegrate into chaos if I wasn’t there. I am needed—desperately and without question.

If these statements reflect how you view yourself at work and/or at home, ask yourself the question: what’s in it for you to be so indispensable?

Your first reaction may be to protest that it’s not about you at all. You simply have so much to do for everyone else: your boss, your co-workers, your spouse, your children, your family, your friends…

You may even view your indispensability as a virtue. You feel good about yourself because of how much you do or give to others. The flip side of it, however, is that you may also have a lot of resentment for exactly the same reason: you do so much for others that you don’t have anything left for yourself. No matter that you were the one who volunteered, who didn’t ask for help, and who actually turned down the assistance that was offered.

You may view your indispensability as a necessity. It’s critical that you are there overseeing every little thing. It’ll all go to hell in a hand basket of you aren’t there. Nobody else seems to be stepping up to the plate. If you don’t do it . . . who will?

  1. Is being indispensable your way of getting others to like you or to help you feel important?
  2. Do you equate doing for others with showing love?
  3. Do you believe that you’re not important enough in your being-ness, so you have to “sweeten the deal” with your doing-ness?
  4. Do you think, “If it’s going to be done right then I’m the one who has to do it.”?
  5. As you do all the work and take all the responsibility, who are you keeping small and inadequate? Your co-workers? Your spouse? Your children? 

Doing all the work or doing for others won’t work if it’s not balanced. If you have gifts to share, it is truly a virtue to do so with an open and glad heart. In order to give, however, you must also receive, whether that means allowing someone to do something for you or to share in the experience with others.

Empower your employees by listening to their ideas and work with them to chart out their course of action. Get agreement on the results to be produced and then let them do it. If you are always stepping in and telling people how to do things, you will kill off their participation, smother creativity and personal responsibility. You may just discover, they will do the job even better than you.

Letting go and allowing others to do for themselves empowers them—and you. As parents know, when children reach the age of not needing help with every little thing it is important to let go and allow them to do for themselves (even if it isn’t the way you would do it). How else are children going to learn to become accountable and fully functioning as adults?

When you shift your thinking and realize that you’re not indispensable, you can let go of your need to do everything yourself or to give all the time. You can focus more on the big issues or on yourself, including the development of the gifts and talents that you have that make an even greater contribution. You’re no longer feeding the fire of resentment that burns inside you. Instead, you have greater peace of mind and those around you feel better, too!.

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A Lesson from 9/11

“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.”

Dalai Lama



As 9/11 approaches, many thoughts come to mind about that fateful day. Among them, how some very simple little things affected the course of people’s lives.

“As you might remember, the head of a company survived 9/11 because his son started kindergarten.

Another was alive because it was his turn to bring donuts.

One woman was late because her alarm didn’t go off on time.

Another was late because of being stuck on the N.J. Turnpike due to an auto accident.

One of them missed his bus.

One spilled food on her clothes and had to take time to change.

One’s car wouldn’t start.

One couldn’t get a taxi.

The one that struck me most was the man who put on a new pair of shoes that morning. He took the various means to get to work, but before he got there, he developed a blister on his foot. He stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band Aid.” 

That’s why they are all alive today. So maybe it’s good for me to remember that when I’m stuck in traffic, miss the elevator, turn back to answer a ringing phone, can’t find my car keys, hit every red light – when I encounter all the little things that annoy me, perhaps I should simply stop and trust the process. Having things be the way I think they should be may not always be what is best for me. At those moments I need to go with the flow and remember – that one little thing that frustrates me may be the very thing that redirects the course of my entire life.

Thank you to my friend, Marie Burghardt for sharing this.

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