The costs of hiding behind a mask

The costs of hiding behind a mask

Working hard and feeling lonely? Wanting to deliver high quality, come across as having it together, on top of it all, near perfect—this is my definition of “professional,” and it has been a lifelong strategy of mine. Some might say it’s an American cultural thing, this hiding behind a mask. I can’t be certain of that, but I can imagine that to a large degree, it…

Prioritizing Self-Care  (even when you think it’s impossible)

Prioritizing Self-Care (even when you think it’s impossible)

This time of year has always been the most challenging for me, especially when it comes to taking care of myself. It was as if life went into overdrive on all fronts: work deadlines, social obligations, kids’ school festivities, gifts, holiday cards, special foods, traveling, etc. Each of these seemed to come out of nowhere, wrapped in a package labeled “URGENT!” And I’d take on each…

My kids asked “But WHY terrorism?” We found compassion & hope for peace

My kids asked “But WHY terrorism?” We found compassion & hope for peace

I woke up to the news about Paris Saturday morning (14/11), my husband out of the country, and my heart felt sunk. Next to my feelings for the victims, survivors and their loved ones, I had one primary thing going on in my mind, “What will I say to the kids?” As they’re 9 and 11, it wasn’t a question of IF I say anything, but…

Rediscovering Self-Connection

Rediscovering Self-Connection

I am all too familiar with the theme of disconnection from myself. I don’t see it in a purely negative light, but something like this: As children, we want more than anything love, appreciation and acceptance for who we are. Yet the world around us tries to shape us into “proper” self-reliant individuals. Within our unique frameworks, we develop multiple strategies to get these and other…

Emotions, useful?  You bet – here’s the why and how

Emotions, useful? You bet – here’s the why and how

It’s not often I enjoy a “kid film” as much as I did this past summer’s Pixar hit, Inside Out. I laughed, I cried, I felt connected with myself (as things resonated with me) and also with my eight-year old daughter whose hand I squeezed all throughout. I kept thinking, “How wonderfully healthy for her and all other children to be watching this movie!” At some…

 Edging Towards Honesty

 Edging Towards Honesty

A friend once said to me, “Something is gained from every act of honest communication.” I recall my doubtful reaction. Yet I’m slowly learning he’s spot on. The trick is in how we define HONESTY. Being honest is not about sharing our thoughts. It’s about sharing our real truth—the only thing we actually can know—by expressing our personal feelings and needs. My “break-ups” Since my teenage years,…

Staying connected with my partner (part 2)

Staying connected with my partner (part 2)

If you’re like me—and maybe most busy couples—I’m guessing you can also find visits to extended family a super challenging experience. Particularly when that visit involves multiple days at a time. I’ve been focusing a lot of effort on staying connected with my partner during these visits. This has been my best one yet, and I share here why that is plus tips you can try.…

Self-image: take this one critical step toward self-love

Self-image: take this one critical step toward self-love

We can learn to improve how we see, feel about and even love/accept ourselves by learning to separate who we are as a whole . . . from . . . how we judge our role performances. So many times I considered myself a “bad mother” because I raised my voice, and then was consumed with the thought for days on end. Last Spring, I convinced…

3 tips for Self-Love

3 tips for Self-Love

This is meant for you if you recognize that self-love isn’t exactly a familiar part of your life. Perhaps you’re harder on yourself than you are on others. It may be hard to accept gifts or gratitude. You find it far easier to love others. You may even tire yourself out in pursuit of love from others, in order to fulfill your need. I’ve been trying…

Nonviolent Communication in practice

Nonviolent Communication in practice

There I was, inside a circle of 30 workshop participants. I’ve never liked being in the spotlight, never saw myself teaching, and I was feeling quite nervous and scared. And then, within the span of about one minute, I felt calm, safe, and totally impassioned about moving on. What could have brought about such change so quickly? How do I within seconds achieve clarity, connection and…

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