When You Know What to do But Can't

You’ve read what the experts say. You’ve collected the necessary tools. You are committed. You are trying. Yet nothing changes. And you feel stagnant. 

When I was a divorced single mother of four children under seven-year's old on welfare, food stamps and medical assistance, homeless and without an automobile I didn’t have time to go back to school to learn a new profession. I had four hungry mouths hanging open in front of me like baby birds. 

Failure wasn’t an option. I decided to cease seeking what was “fair”, stop throwing money away on lawyers and accept that it was a far better use of my energy to focus on succeeding as the sole provider for my children than to expect family court to give anyone a conscience. 

I had to put a plan together to hold my family together. I felt anxious, rejected and exhausted. I can’t tell you that I thought much about planning. There wasn’t time for ideal, only real. There wasn’t...

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What to do With Melancholy

I’ve had a very melancholy week. I’m selling my childhood home for my mother, listing my uncle's home for sale (the home my mother grew up in) to help my mother as executor of his estate, and saying goodbye to a majestic era. This photo is of the beautiful patio of The Hotel Excelsior Grand Vittoria in Sorrento, Italy where we stayed several years ago and reminds me that each day has a sunrise and a sunset for a reason. It’s a metaphor for life. Just as the sun has to set in orderly rise again, some things have necessary endings so there can be new beginnings.  

When we grasp onto an ending because we don’t want it to go away it’s like reaching against nature, leaving us forever unsatisfied because what we want is impossible - the energy is against us.  

Honor the memory. For me that means taking the birdbath from my parent’s backyard to my backyard and thinking of my dad who loved to birdwatch every time one of them shakes...

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When You Expect Life to be Fair

So much energy is wasted on expecting life to be fair. That’s like thinking the lion won’t eat you because you didn’t eat him. 

Reality is your friend. It’s what is. Not what was, what should be, what could be, what will be or what isn’t. Those keep you stuck.

Accepting reality is power. We get there by focusing on the moment at hand and not any other. We smile at the vibrant color of a flower, the laugh of a child, the smell of sea air, the feel of rain on our skin.

In all darkness there is light for without it we would not know darkness. Take a deep breath and find the pinpoint of light. Allow it to be your jumping-in point - sunshine, moonlight, a candle, a light on your desk, an overhead light. And share that light with someone today in a smile, a hello, a compliment on something specific, a thank-you. 

You are light and make the difference the world needs, your team needs, your friends need and your family needs. We need you now.

Do you...

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What the Oxford English Dictionary Doesn't Tell You About Moving Forward After Getting Fired

Recently a client of mine was terminated. He saw it coming. He wasn't happy in his role. He had been struggling with what action to take. Still, he is demoralized.

Below is the letter I wrote him.

I share it with you in an effort that it may bring comfort, direction and hope to you or a friend who may experience or have experienced the same thing.

If you are a manager you may have to layoff or terminate someone someday. Please do so with respect and grace.

If you are looking for resources to improve your leadership skills, this free Guidebook will be a great resource.

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Dear __________:

I am so sorry to hear what happened. That must feel so degrading and devastating after all you have accomplished in your life both professionally and personally. I would encourage you not to turn away from that pain but to “see” it, spend some time processing it and then stand up and say goodbye to it. You might even write down what you are feeling after you have witnessed it.

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