Archive for the ‘Executive Coaching’ Category

To speak truth to power takes enormous courage and strength because in front of you exists a mass of threat, abuse and hurtful lies against you.

In an attempt to silence you, you will be demeaned, undermined, attacked, blamed and ignored. Yet never forget…

“The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. One word of truth outweighs the world.”

 Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn


I Was Molested at Age 15

I was 15 years old. I was at a relative’s wedding reception at the home of the bride. I was in an upstairs room viewing the gifts that were on display. I was alone. A man came up from behind me, aggressively turned me around and forcefully thrust his tongue into my mouth with a long French kiss. I was shocked at first and then tried to pull away, but he had a firm hold on me.


Upon releasing me he said, “Remember, this is our secret,” falsely implicating that I was a willing participant, and then he went downstairs to joyfully socialize with the married couple and their guests. The man was the Catholic priest who had just married them.


I was stunned. I stood there frozen with confusion, trying to process what had just happened to me. I couldn’t. It didn’t make sense. I remember going down the stairs, joining my parents and remaining silent. I watched the priest being adored by the people surrounding him. I remember the jovial social laughter. I remember feeling disconnected from it all as if I was in a bubble.


This salacious “secret” remained in that bubble for many, many years. I told no one, not even my closest friend or my loving, supportive parents. I wasn’t ashamed because knew I had done nothing whatsoever to provoke being molested, but for reasons I did not understand, I remained silent.


Perhaps it was the dominant male culture, or that he was a priest, or because he was loved by all or because there were no witnesses and it was my word against his, or because I was young and innocent to the ways of the world. I don’t know why I, a very independent, outspoken, confident girl (even at 15) remained silent…but I did.


In the many years following, I occasionally revisited that experience and when I did, I pushed it back into the protective bubble. It was not until the scandal surrounding the Catholic priests molesting children became public that a long held anger welled up within me. The bubble burst! Reality hit. I, too, had been physically and sexually VIOLATED! It was NOT okay and I would no longer remain silent.


I immediately called my relative, (the bride), and asked for the priest’s name and contact information and she told me he had died. It was too late to get him, but not too late for me to stand up for those who have experienced any form of sexual molestation.


I was one of the luckier ones. I was not raped nor did he attempt to rape me. I was not forced into other sexual acts like so many countless millions…yes…millions of others who have suffered at the hands of men who feel they have a right to use and abuse the vulnerability of others for their own satisfaction.


If you have never experienced any form of sexual molestation, and if you do not believe a woman remembers who did it, then you need to shut up and listen, because you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.


I remember that priest’s face as if he were standing in front of me right now. He was a complete stranger, but I KNEW who did it. I do not remember arriving or leaving the reception. I do not remember anything more about the house and I have no idea of the address.

I do remember the stairs, the upstairs room, the wedding gifts on display on a large table, that I was wearing my favorite light blue dress, AND seared in my memory is the attack.


There is not a woman alive (or a man) who does not remember who violated them. You do NOT forget that kind of thing. You do NOT confuse that person with someone else. You KNOW who did it and you will remember him for the rest of your life.


I have not forgotten a vulgar, unwanted French kiss and I cannot imagine how anyone could have the audacity and ignorance to challenge the memory of a clearly courageous, credible woman who has experienced the violence of an attempted rape.


Virtually everyone who heard Christine Blasey Ford’s account of the sexual attack on her, admits that she gave a very credible, compelling accounting. She was not making it up. Clearly, it has had a profound negative impact on her life as her therapist notes from several years ago validate. There is not one single person on the Senate judicial committee who does not believe that she experienced a traumatic event.


To not believe her is like victimizing her all over again. I cannot even imagine how I would have felt  had I spoken up as a 15 yr. old and not been believed.

This is NOT a political issue for me. To politicize this outrageous, painful event is disgusting. To mock Dr. Ford publicly at a political rally as Trump has done is disgusting, But even more disgusting are the people who clapped and cheered in support.

Worst of all are those on both sides of the Senate (once deemed to be the most distinguished body of leaders in the world) who blatantly disregarded her testimony, some even before hearing her.


However, of the 51 Republican senators, it appears only 3 (two of whom are women) think she “might” be telling the truth when she identifies Kavanaugh as the attacker. All of the others believe she is confused, messed up, mixed up, or is lying for political purposes and is mistaken when she accuses Kavagnaugh.


Of the 49 Democrats, 46 of them believe her. Three (one of whom is a woman) are “unsure” of Dr. Ford’s testimony when she says she is 100% certain Judge Kavagnaugh was the sexual perpetrator.


I absolutely believe her. I KNOW you never forget someone who violates you, especially an attack like she experienced — in a locked room with two male predators, trapped beneath one who was sexually grinding against her while trying to remove her clothes…and covering her mouth so not only could she not scream, but also could not breathe. You do not forget who those people are.




Do you remember who you were with when you lost your virginity? You bet you do and I hope it was a respectful, mutually condoned experience. Now, ask anyone who has been sexually molested (an extremely negative, sometimes terrifying event) if they remember who did it. There will not be one…not ONE (not even Kellyanne Conway) who will tell you they don’t remember, not ONE who will be confused or mixed up. They remember who did it. THEY KNOW.


Dr. Christine Blasey Ford KNOWS…


I KNOW…and I absolutely believe her.


“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth against injustice and lying… If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.”

William Faulkner


Please forward this to everyone you know!!!

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Gone, But Not Forgotten

I did not agree with a lot of John McCain’s politics. However, I have always respected him as a man who was dedicated to serve his country. He always put principle, duty and honor above party. He was honest, admitted when he was wrong and had a sense of decency.


As one who cared about the reputation and standing of the United States on the world stage, he did not regularly denigrate entire populations of specific countries or support white supremacists. He governed with integrity – not hate and fear.


He respected women and regularly mentored them to success. He never bullied people nor did he mock and bully the weak and vulnerable. He was a good and decent man with a conscience who lived with high moral standards.


John McCain showed more character in one day as a prisoner of war than Trump has in his entire life.


He asked that Barack Obama and George W. Bush speak at his funeral at the Washington National Cathedral and stated that he did not want Trump to even attend.

I hope you’re you paying attention to moral leadership my friends, because the Republican Congress is not.

 VOTE in November 








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“The only time you ever have in which to learn anything or see anything or feel anything or do anything . . . the only time you ever have to express any feeling or respond to any event or any person, is this moment because this moment is all you ever get. You’re only here now. You’re only alive in this moment.”


 John Kabat-Zin


Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow


There are two days of the week which we should not worry. Two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.


One of these days is yesterday, with all its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains. Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed; we cannot erase a single word we said.


Yesterday is gone forever.


The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow, with all its possible adversities, its burdens, its large promise and poor performance.


Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control.


Tomorrow’s sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds – but it will rise. It’s guaranteed. Until it does, however, we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.


This only leaves one day – TODAY. Any man can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you add the burdens of those two awful eternities – YESTERDAY and TOMORROW that we break down.


It is not the experience of TODAY that drives men mad – it is remorse and bitterness for something that has happened yesterday and the dread of what tomorrow may bring.


Let us, therefore, live but one day at a time.


~ Author Unknown

“Remember this . . . there is only one time that is important – NOW! It is the most important time because it is the only time we have power.”


Leo Tolstoy


Thank you to Derek Bailey, for sharing this important message with us.

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“He was not bone and feather, but a perfect idea of freedom and flight, limited by nothing at all”
Richard BachJonathan Livingston Seagull

To Fly

To Fly…

Not as if to fly away,

But to fly with courage, strength and power.

Oh, To Fly…

Not as a small helpless sparrow,

Nor with the crudeness of a vulture.

To Fly…

As an eagle,

Graceful, beautiful and strong.

Oh, to Fly…

To laugh at the raging waters below,

To glide through the storms with the lightning and thunder.

To dance with the waves that crash on the shore.

To soar along the sweet fragrances of the flowers within the deepest valley floors.

Oh, to Fly…

Commanding respect from all creatures, both great and small.

O Friend, Dear Friend,

The future is yours,

Take hold of all the beauty, splendor and magnificence.

Come Fly…

Come taste the freedom and wonder.

Come Fly

Beyond your own narrow horizons,

Stretch your beautiful wings,

Discover the power and strength that lie within.

And when it’s time to rest and be still,

Hold your head high and receive the respect that is yours.


Remember my friend,

All the beauty, dignity and strength that is yours.

Do not be afraid to spread your beautiful wings to soar.


Fly above and beyond,

Your future is vast, abundant and free.


The 1st Advanced Course    August 1-5

The 2018 Basic Courses:       Sept. 14. 15, 16 and 24/Follow Up night

                                                Nov. 9, 10, 11 and 26/Follow Up night

For more information regarding Self Mastery courses, email martha@marthaborst.com or call Martha @ (707) 433-2282

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“Humanity is my religion . . .

I believe in compassion and kindness.

I believe in empathy.

I believe in love.

I believe in the good within us all.

…even with all our flaws.

I still believe in the human race.”

When it comes to our families, we sometimes see only our differences. We see the way our parents cling to ideas we don’t believe, or act in ways we try not to act. We see how one of our siblings can be so practical or irresponsible and wonder how we can be from the same gene pool.

Similarly, within the human family, we see how different we are from each other, in ways ranging from gender and race to geographical location and religious beliefs. It is almost as if we think we are a different species sometimes. But the truth is, in our personal families as well as the human family, we really are the same.

A single mother of four living in Africa looks up at the same stars and moon that shine down on an elderly Frenchman in Paris. A Tibetan monk living in India, a newborn infant in China, and a young couple saying their marriage vows in Indiana all breathe the same air, by the same process. We have all been hurt and we have all cried. Each one of us knows how it feels to love someone dearly. No matter what our political views are, we all love to laugh. Regardless of how much or how little money we have, our hearts pump blood through our bodies in the same way. With all this in common, it is clear we are each individual members of the same family.

We are human.

Acknowledging how close we all are, instead of clinging to what separates us, enables us to feel less alone in the world. Every person we meet, see, hear, or read about, is a member of our family. We are truly not alone.

We also begin to see we are perfectly capable of understanding and relating to people who, on the surface, may seem very different from us. This awareness prevents us from disconnecting from people on the other side of the tracks…and the other side of the world.

When we begin to understand this, we realize we are simply a part of one huge human family. When our actions reflect that awareness with compassion, kindness, empathy and love, we become fully human.

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Love Does That


All day long a little burro labors,

sometimes with heavy loads on her back

and sometimes just with worries

about things that bother only burros.


And worries, as we know,

can be more exhausting

than physical labor.


Once in a while, a kind man comes

to her stable and brings

a pear, but more than that,

he looks into the burro’s eyes

and touches her ears…


and for a few seconds, the burro is free

and even seems to laugh,

because love does that.


Love frees.


Love Poems from God by Daniel Ladinsky


Thank you to my good friend Kathy Julian for sharing this

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“Nothing is perfect in carpentry. Or in work. Or in love.”

Mark Lange


Many years ago, I wrote a Weekly Words of Wisdom Quote on corporate teamwork. Mark Lange, a Silicon Valley senior executive and client of mine (now a dear friend) responded with his following observations of teamwork and building a tree house. It is simply too good not to share…especially near Father’s Day.


“Yesterday after the kids finished their homework and music, we climbed into the tree house we’re building. It’s pretty neat (totally over the top, actually, as you might expect) – old windows from the salvage yard that Jake picked out ($5-$10 each, a splurge) and helped me load into the VW bus, redwood siding cut from cheap knotty fence boards, a sharply peaked roof soon to be nailed up with salvaged cedar shingles – the works. There’s even talk of wiring it for lights and putting up a zip line… though Mama hasn’t approved this (yet).


So there we were, aged 4, 8, 10 and 47, with the tape measure, carpenter’s square, pencil, saws, nail gun – up there in tight quarters with our common goal and real differences (in patience, enthusiasm, motor skills, numeracy, willingness to share and take turns, proclivity toward drama) – all wanting and needing to be of use, to know that our contributions are of value, to see the difference we’re making.


All of the dynamics you talk about in your marvelous piece (on corporate teamwork), they were in ‘play’ at this ‘work.’ And really, what’s the difference?


At first, when Emerson (4) would start sawing a board, he’d go way off the line Jenna had carefully measured and marked. She would chide him. Then he’d get all mad at her – strategy being a hell of a lot easier than execution. And I’d have another draw on my margarita, and mumble something about teamwork, respect for each other, everybody needing to contribute. (A margarita machine would make the average corporate manager much more effective.)


Then, eventually, Jake (10) started convincing Emerson to let him ‘restart’ the saw… because Jake already knows, at some level, that contrary to conventional wisdom, there are, in fact, times when a good carpenter blames his tools… and Emerson would go back at it, a bit straighter now… and Jenna would find herself cheering him on… and Emerson’s little chest (which not long ago I could circle with both hands) would puff out – more with pride than with effort, you could see it — his skinny arms summoning a strength only little kids have, working a saw that’s nearly as long as he is tall, sawdust falling on his sneakers like snow… and no matter how far off the line he might have gone, he’d eventually straighten out and get through it. And it was the most beautiful thing, the way the three of them smiled.


Can I find the words to express how proud I was of them? I have a state-of-the-art, geared circular saw with a laser guide that turns out perfect results in a tenth the time, but that would have been a waste of spirit. And they carried their satisfaction (like magic sawdust in their tousled hair) right to their pillows and into their dreams last night.


Nothing’s perfect in carpentry. Or at work. Or in love. Whatever you think you’re building, things go off center, get crooked, won’t be level. No matter how hard you try, how much care you take, places warp and crack where you least expect it, and sometimes, where you’re trying the hardest, they just split apart. And you think of all that’s imperfect, focus on what has gone so wrong, and imagine how it reflects on you (though really no one notices; and if they did, they’d forgive you if you let them). Because we forget it’s the effort that matters – the will to hope and work your way through everything that, for whatever reason, just has to go wrong.


But now, somehow, there’s a little house taking imperfect shape in the most improbable place (a tree?) – slowly, miraculously – and it is so perfect. Or perfect enough, which is the same thing.


Like kids, trees grow. Even the one we’re putting a house in grew just a bit more last night, I like to think, lifting the little house maybe a fraction of an inch closer to heaven. And what a ride we’re having.”


Several years ago, Mark Lange a highly regarded corporate leader, also decided to follow his lifetime aspiration to write serious commentary on some of our nation’s most challenging social issues.


He has been featured on the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor and many other prestigious newspapers and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. But I think he would proudly tell you that his most important title and life accomplishment is that of “Dad” to three remarkable children.


Happy Father’s Day Everyone!



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