Master the Art of Preparation

I was reminded of the concept of preparation recently when my husband, who is a chef, received his association magazine, Mise en Place (a French phrase for "put in place"). In the chef's world, the term means to organize the necessary tools and ingredients for the evening meal. When you master the art of preparation, you are not just focused on the details, outcome and possibilities.  While these things are important, preparation means that you have armed yourself with not only the necessary tools, resources and knowledge to get the job done but you are also prepared mentally and physically. Most of us think of preparation as the steps we take to get ready for an event or undertaking such as preparing for a party. We are usually well … [Read more...]

Lofty Expectations from Imperfect People

Lofty expectations from imperfect people are a recipe for disappointment and unforgiveness. As children we see our parents, grandparents, family members, and teachers as perfect specimens of human virtue. As we grow and mature, we begin to see their faults, mistakes and other shortcomings. And while the world you grew up in may have been filled with imperfect people (some more imperfect than others), you must learn to forgive and move on. More than likely, the people around you were operating out of their past experiences and not in ways to harm you or your self esteem. There comes a point in your life when you realize your parents aren't perfect - Mia Wasikowska As the prolific poet and writer, Dr. Maya Angelou says, … [Read more...]

5 Ways You Can Live the Life You Deserve

You're entitled to live the life you deserve unencumbered by the perceptions others have of you.  "What others think of you is none of your business," says Byron Katie, best selling author of the book, Loving What is. If only we could embrace that truth, our lives would be filled with less drama and confusion. Recently I spoke to someone who had formed a flawed perception of who I really am based on misinformation, opinions of others and experiences that had nothing to do with me. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end that kind of behavior, you know exactly what it’s like. I haven’t always been able or willing to decode others’ perceptions or understand how they feel about themselves is a direct reflection of their interaction … [Read more...]

Show Kindness to Yourself

Show kindness to yourself even when you make a mistake, decision you regret or choices and experiences have you stuck, unmotivated and angry. We all make mistakes. If a friend made a mistake or choice that landed her in a shaky situation, how would you respond to her? More than likely you would be there to support, encourage and uplift her. So, why not extend the same courtesies and show kindness to yourself when you've made a choice that didn't turn out the way you expected? When you are beating yourself up with negative self talk, stop and use the following tips to show kindness to yourself: 1. Show kindness to yourself in the same way you would a friend who might be going through a rough patch. Speak encouraging, … [Read more...]

Mother’s Day is Every Day

Mother's Day is everyday for the brave, loving, supportive, sacrificing and caring women who fill the role of mother. Happy Mother's Day! Mother's day is every day if you are a mother or mother figure. Every day mothers are privileged to receive sloppy kisses, heartfelt hugs, handmade gifts, pampering and an outpouring of love and affection. Sunday, May 12 is the day set aside in the United States to honor, celebrate, pamper and shower mothers with gifts, phone calls and cards of appreciation. Whether you’re being feted with sloppy kisses, treated to a lovingly prepared meal, given a fragrant bouquet of your favorite flowers, you are blessed to witness mother’s day every day.  Every day is Mother’s Day when we stop to celebrate the … [Read more...]

Make Commitments Not Resolutions

At the beginning of a new year, most of us focus our attention on how we can make meaningful changes in our daily lives (e.g., wipe the slate clean and start afresh) by changing some aspect of who we are - what we do, how we do things, when we do certain things and exploring why we act and respond in the ways we do. You may call this process of introspection as making a new years resolution or you may call it something else. I prefer to look at this process as making a commitment rather than a resolution. The beginning of 2013 is the perfect time to refocus, think deeply and make a commitment to be the real you. I believe a commitment is stronger than a resolution because you are the central character and the commitment is a pledge or … [Read more...]

Escape the Responsibility Trap

Are you feeling confused, trapped and overwhelmed by the seemingly endless "responsibility trap" that zaps your time and energy? Have you ever found yourself saying? "I don't have time for me" "I have to take care of everything or it won't get done" "I feel guilty when I say "no" "Something or someone always gets in the way of me taking time for myself" If you've said or thought any of the above, you are not alone! Our lives become unmanageable when we don’t you fully understand the differences between responsibility and choice. Responsibility means you have some control or authority over a situation or another person. Choice means you have options and the right to make decisions based on what you … [Read more...]

5 Tips to Boost Confidence

                      Have you ever watched a self-confident woman enter a room? Did you notice the purposeful walk, the smile that says "I'm here in all my glory" without seeming cocky or boastful? Did you also notice how she seemed to look into the eyes of everyone she passes with a genuine greeting and smile? Did you pay attention to how she seemed to focus intently on the person she was talking to? Have you ever witnessed someone like that woman and wondered "how does she come across so confident"? "What's her secret"? Confident people make mistakes – they admit to it; they know who they are - warts and all. When an end result is uncertain, … [Read more...]

Doing Ordinary Things Extraordinarily

When you think of greatness, who comes to mind - Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Joan of Arc, Oprah, Muhammad Ali, Bobby Fischer, Deepak Chopra? Guess what, none of these people are any different that you or me. They didn't just wake up one day and decide to be great. At one point, they all were everyday, ordinary people who ended up doing extraordinary things. And they followed the calling they had to bring their gifts to the world. Greatness is not about becoming famous, powerful or rich. It's not about having millions of dollars. It's not about banner headlines. It is about making a difference in someone else's life. It is about recognizing difficulties and moving past them. It is about finding your purpose in life, being … [Read more...]

How to Conquer Fear Tip #2

  Has fear got you stuck in unfulfilled careers, relationships, or other situations that don't honor you? Fear is just an unpleasant feeling of risk or danger, either real or imagined. It serves as a motivation to escape or retreat not as a means to hold us back from doing things that we could enjoy and achieve. Often, we do a lot of things that will comfort us to avoid the feeling of fear. For example, if you have a fear of flying, you most likely will seek other modes of transportation. I can recall the time fear had me in its grip.  As an adult, I wanted to learn to swim. So, I took the bold step to sign up for swimming classes. As soon as it was time to step off into the deep end of the pool, I froze!  My knees … [Read more...]