Monday, December 23, 2013

Handling Sad Holidays

During the holidays some hearts are happy and light; other hearts are breaking. If you or someone you know finds the season a challenge this year, I hope it will help.

This article is based on an experience I had as a home-based hospice volunteer in Ulster County, NY. It is the first writing I ever sold to a publisher, The LA Times. Here it as it was printed by them and reprinted elsewhere by other publications.

Posted with love, 

Trust Yourself in Handling Sad Holidays

As people unwrapped Christmas presents and basted turkeys, one small 10-year-old girl watched her mother die. The three years' battle with bone cancer ended. By noon angry voices filled the apartment. Relatives argued bitterly about who would take care of her now.

Kate (not her real name) looked at the stack of cards on the coffee table, addressed to her mother, father, and family. The writers had not known that her father had left months ago. 'Tis the season to be jolly! The world's bustle and good cheer pressed in from all sides.

If for you this season of sharing brings loss—of a loved one, your health, a job, your sense of well-being—the following suggestions may help.

Trust yourself. You may not have a lot of answers now, but you can learn them with time. Even when you request advice, it's you who decides which advice is good and which is foolish. You are wiser than you think.

Ask for what you want from friends, family, professionals. Only you know what's best for you. Those who care about you will most likely welcome the information.  If, for example, you dread spending New Year's Eve alone but you aren't sure if you want to accept an invitation, you may want to ask if you can decide at the last minute, or see if a friend would be willing to spend the time with you doing what you think best from moment-to-moment.

Allow your feelings to change. You need not concern yourself about logic or consistency. No one has ever faced your situation and there are no rules. Permit your emotions to come and go; they will change as your beliefs do.

Let others take responsibility for their feelings. Some people, in their love and concern for you, will want you to "cheer right up" or "let it all out, now" so that they can feel OK. You don't have to. Spend time with people who are most comfortable with you, however you are.

Reminisce if you want to. Share memories with friends and family. Write things down or daydream. Fond memories heal deep wounds. People only dwell on matters they never complete. Your thoughts will move on when you are ready.

Be very kind to yourself. Your natural desire to take care of yourself and those you love will guide you far better than harsh self-disciplines. I once asked someone what she was afraid would happen if she followed her desire "to lie on the couch and hug my pillow all day." "I might never get up!" she yelled at me—and she got up.

Share from your heart. What you see, feel and learn during this period of heightened sensitivity is unique. It has value. Communicating about your experience to those who are open creates new bonds and strengthens old ones.

Organizations such as Hospice, crises centers, and self-help groups can be good sources support.

When someone you care about is dealing with grief during the holidays:

Maintain contact. Of course, you don't know what to do or what to say. You get 10 points for showing up. If you are embarrassed, your friend probably is too. Share that. Listening without judgment relieves more pain than all the helpful advice you can muster. You probably don't really know what your loved one should do anyway.

If distance prevents a visit or you really can't handle it, write. If you don't know what to say, just say that you care. It will mean as much as flowing prose.

Ask what you can do. Make your offer specific. "Would you like to go out to dinner?" or "May I pick up the kids?" means a lot more than the next-to-worthless, "Call me if you need anything." People who are in pain often find it hard to reach out, especially if the do not know what you want to do for them.

Permit your friend to be unreasonable. Life makes little sense to him (or her) right now. Trust that he is doing the best he can. His reactions to you or the situation have little or nothing to do with you; avoid taking them personally. Offer your patience and understanding as a gift, the most valuable one you have.

Invite her (or him) to any event you usually would. "But won't it be awkward?" seems a poor reason to exclude someone who is going through a rough time. Respect her wishes. She may not want to attend, but offer the opportunity and support in case she's worried about it too.

Include memories in your conversation if you both want to. "It's feeling that I can't talk about her anymore that's the hardest," a bereft mother stated. I want to remember the times we laughed and watched her grow, especially on holidays. People act as if she never existed, as if we stopped loving her. I feel more alone then."

Follow your heart; it's wiser than your mind in matters of compassion. You may feel helpless; may even be helpless. It's OK to cry together. If your tears turn to laughter, that's fine too.

When December 25 came again to 11-year-old Kate, her older sister asked what she wanted to do. "I think we should have an extremely large tree, with lots of presents under it, mostly for me," she replied, "and I think we should have a very good time." In her short number of years, Kate had found a lot of answers—herself.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Welcoming In the New Year

As this year draws to a close and a new one begins I like to focus on what I consciously want to welcome into my life.

Learning about your dreams and desires is wonderful too. Amazing, the things that come to pass for when we are clear about what we want!

This thought startled me today, a new addition to my usual desire for health and world peace:

I want to be nurtured and strengthened by great kindness and generosity, then to send it back out stronger and sweeter. May the circle be unbroken.

At first it seemed so selfish; then it looked like a vision!

What would you like to show up in your life  now?

I'll share more "I welcome" thoughts in the next few days.

Looking forward to yours.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Clear Desire and Happiness

"I finally did it," my high-tech friend, Jeffrey Pease, announced. "I took some time to think about it and wrote down a few things I know I want."

"You know what I noticed?" he asked. "I really like to solve puzzles. I realised that sometimes I feel a little guilty, as if I'm wasting time, when I spend a half day fixing a computer to donate to a group that gives them to kids and the computer is only worth an hour's work. I just like seeing if I can make it work."

"It surprised me to see that I if I enjoy fixing something, it's OK." he concluded.

Why does it feel so good to know what you want? Because it frees us from the unconscious energy-drain of trying to get things we don't really want. We focus, we strategise, we worry, plot and plan how to reach goals we think we should want. Then we wonder why the results deliver such a weak punch.

Goals are great. Striving for a mighty result with all your heart -- well, I can't think of anything to top it. It's the striving with none of your heart that sucks the life right out of you.

Perhaps the legacy of auto-pilot adherence to the myth that desire is bad keeps us from taking a quiet moment now and then to see what we want to move toward or attract to us. That clarity always feels good, so light. The pure energy of it bears no resemblance to the heaviness of effort and struggle. Happiness and desire make magic.

Here's a suggestion: for today focus on the experience you want rather than the things and circumstances you may believe will deliver it. How about --

  • Intense curiosity
  • Belly hurting laughter
  • Peace
  • The warmth of good will
  • Love
  • Kindness, given, received or both
  • Feeling your body move well
  • Solving a puzzle
  • Learning something new
  • A good lunch
  • Sweet rest
  • Completing a task, well done
  • Or? What would you like to experience today?

Wishing you clarity of desire and many happy moments.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving: A Virtual Gathering

What if we could all gather in an enormous circle. We could share the blessings in our lives and the gratitude we feel.

Oh wait, we can! This is your invitation to a virtual celebration of Thanksgiving -- here in the US and all over the world. I'm extending my hand and grasping yours. My heart fills up with love and gratitude for you and all we share.

I'm taking a turn now. I'm grateful for:
The blessing of beauty
The love of my family, Barnaby, Sheri, Emery, Siem and my cousins
Dear friends old, new and yet to meet
Everyone who ever read my books and readers to come
Having extra to share
Peacemakers everywhere

That's a start. What are you grateful for? "Post a Comment" below and take a turn. It means so much to hear from you.

Happy Gratitude!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Encouragement! The Power of Pats on the Head

Did you ever have one of those days when it seems like "all fetch and no pats on the head?" Your to-do list stretches forever. Your oh-boy-can't- wait list is very short.

On a recent day like that, I noticed all I really wanted, more than anything, was a big pat on the head. Simple acknowledgement holds magical powers to lift spirits, remove boulders from shoulders and inspire creativity. Encouragement moves mountains.

Here's some for you:

Good job!
Atta girl! Atta boy!
You are so wonderful.
You do so much for all of us.
Even when you hit a long stretch of no pats on the head, you keep going.
Your kindness means so much.
You have no idea the difference your generosity makes.
You've been through a lot. It must have taken courage.
Woo Hoo for you!
You mean the world to me.
Thank you!

Please pass it on. Someone may need a pat today.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ready for a New Direction? Self-Help for Recovery

When you are heading in the wrong direction, going the extra mile is not a good idea. Sometimes, in order to succeed and flourish in a happy life, you need to:

  • Stop! Look around. Now look inside. Are you in a good place? Really look.
  • Are you moving toward more of what you want in life or away from it?
  • Open your heart and mind. Are you willing to see your situation clearly? Is there more information available? Do you welcome or block it? 
  • Alter your course. As you follow your heart's desire, you have to alter your course as new information becomes available or you will head for a seriously mismatched destination.
  • Recover! If your spirit is injured, clean the wound and help it to heal before you make any big decisions or strike out in a new direction. You will take a different path when you feel better. Read "Travelling Free: How to Recover from the Past by Changing Your Beliefs" to see how.
  • Break out from limiting, unconscious beliefs about perseverance and blind loyalty. It is not a virtue to remain loyal to something (or someone) that does not nurture your growth and well-being. Sticking to something that does not work does not work! 
  • Assess and re-balance. To achieve a healthy balance in your life, do you need to be more patient and tolerant or do you need to be more proactive and put up with less. 
  • Be Happy! When you are happy where you are, you can move in any direction you like.You tap into the greatest motivation; are open to inspiration; do not fear the truth, see opportunities and take advantage of them more easily. 
Happy journey!

Recommended Resources available in paperback or for Kindle at Also available through Amazon UK, Europe, India. Did you know you can read Kindle books on any PC, Laptop or notebook accept Apple products?

"Travelling Free: How to Recover from the Past by Changing Your Beliefs" A Self-help/Recovery book. See reviews and order information at

"Emotional Options: A Handbook for Happiness" is a how-to, personal growth book in the strongest sense. Designed to be a workshop-in-a-book to help you blast out from beliefs that block happiness and success. Reviews and order information are available at

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Self-Help for Happiness

Just for you --
Just for now --

Take a moment.  Follow your breath in and out, in and out.

Close your eyes and ask these two questions, taking all the time you need for the answers to come:
  1. If you could feel anyway you want to, how would you feel?
  2. How do you feel?
Sometimes that's all it takes. Awareness of you you feel is often the first, sometimes the only thing you need to be happy. 

Sending love and happy thoughts to you, 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Limiting Beliefs Meet the Law of Attraction

Thank to Jewels, founder of Law of Attraction Radio, for a challenging, lively  interview. Our conversation ranged from wealth to weight, the myth of deserving, guilt, joy and despair, the beliefs that block happiness and success.

Jewels is a real expert on the Law of Attraction. She interviews NY Times bestselling authors, scientists, medical doctors and other experts on the LOA. I know an awful lot about how to find and break out from your own limiting beliefs. Together, I think we came up with a a show that will inform and inspire you. The time flew by.

If you'd like to listen in to learn how to attract more of what you want -- and less of what you do not want, here's the link:

Let us know what you think, your comments are always welcome.

Cheering you on to attract love, success and prosperity. Be happy now!



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Found In Translation

Look what I found (as opposed to the usual lost) in translation! Someone sent me an email that had been translated by one of the automatic translators like the one available from Google. It translated the term "limiting beliefs" as "restrictive faiths." I love it. That's exactly what a limiting belief is, misguided faith in something that isn't true that restricts us.

Limiting beliefs, or restrictive faiths, hamper our creativity and block success and happiness. A belief that limits you cannot be true. As the saying goes, the truth shall set you free.

As we go through life we come to conclusions based on the seeming evidence at hand. These conclusions get added to the data base that forms our individual belief systems, our private versions of reality.

We make all of our choices based on these conclusions. We act and react based on them. We move toward some experiences and away from others according to faith in our versions of reality. Each step, each choice, creates the road we travel.

Some of our beliefs are life-enhancing. Many of them, however, block happiness, creativity and success. I cannot imagine anything that has a greater influence on our lives. Yet most of us never question these beliefs. Even if we want to, where can we learn how?

I wrote "Emotional Options: A Handbook for Happiness" to show you how to uncover, explore and discard beliefs that restrict you. I've kept it in print, available, and affordable for many years. If you would like to break out from "Restrictive faiths" you hold that block your happiness and success, I hope you will read it and share it.

You can order Emotional Options from my website.

Order Emotional Options:

If you cannot afford to buy a copy and want to embark on this breakout from "restrictive faiths" adventure, send me an email and I'll give you a copy of the e-book. Use the contact form on my website.

 Contact me:

Cheering you on to happiness, success and freedom from limiting beliefs!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Easter, Passover and Spring!

Wishing you a glorious time to refresh, revive, renew and recover.

May you breakout from the limiting beliefs that hold you back and recover from the hurt that blocks your happiness in this beautiful season of rebirth and renewal.
Happy Easter! Happy Passover! Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Your Value Is Beyond Measure

Been thinking about how much we humans suffer because of  what believe about our value. Explorations into this issue with students and clients often lead us to a painfully limiting belief that we can determine our worth by how other people treat us. Here are some examples we found:

People who are abused often stay in those relationships because they believe it's the only love they will ever get. It goes sort of like this: I do every thing I can to please him/her and it's not good enough. If I'm not even good enough for him/her, how would I be good enough for anyone?

Rejection of our company, our creations, or requests tells us that they are not worth much. This belief usually thrives with a companion belief that rejection is incredibly painful. People who live by those beliefs othen avoid risking rejection unless they really have to ask for something. Because of this avoidance if someone turns them down they may have no where else to turn. Unlike a friend who once said, "I'm really good at dealing with rejection; I'm a writer."

If someone is rude to us it only stings because of what we believe it means about us.

How people treat you and me tells us a lot about what they value. It let's us know what they want and do not want. It reveals what they are interested in or not. It's useful information if you're selecting a team, an employee or employer, a friend or a spouse -- but it doesn't give you a clue about your worth.

Your value is beyond measure. You and I are worth everything and nothing. As I look at what I just wrote, it rings true. Space opens. A smile spreads from my heart outward.  Shall we dare an experiment? How about we follow our desire and curiosity? Then correct our courses as new information becomes available?

May we all find the perfect matches for enlightenment in all of our adventures.

Cheering you on to happiness and success.


Monday, February 4, 2013

The Change Challenge

The biggest challenge with change can be living in the present with your new self. As Werner Erhard said, Most likely you are fine just the way you are, but you keep acting the way your were.

I worked with a successful executive who hadn't noticed that since he now delegates a lot of tasks, he no longer needs to appear busy at his desk all of the time -- or feel anxious when he's not. Feeling happier and more relaxed, he signed up for the executive gym. He decided to watch guilt-free Ted Talks for inspiration right there in the corner office with a view. Then he looked around for an opportunity to volunteer some time with kids who need  inspiration and guidance and found one.

I've taught adults to read, who then struggled to realise that they could. Like a woman who never thought to leave a note for her kids when she left home for an emergency, because for 42 years, she couldn't. Her children were frantic until she returned.

Another new reader found it frightening the labels and signs in the supermarket jumped out to bombard him with their messages. They intruded in an area of his awareness that before noticed only color and shape.

I've worked with people who grew up in a harsh environment. My job (and the purpose of my books) is to help them to break out from the limiting beliefs they adopted during painful times that still seem real. It can be so very hard for them to see themselves in the present self as lovable, or to imagine that life could be easier, even fun.

Every change in you requires adjustments from your family and friends too. Friends and spouses especially, may have signed up for a relationship with the old you. This new version may or may not fit. Patience may be called for, or letting go altogether.

Coming into your prime can be a jolt. So can leaving it as you age. I'm adjusting to accepting a helping hand with tasks I could manage easily just a few years ago. It's quite a change. I enjoy the outpouring of kindness that comes my way.

What's new with you? Your comments inform and inspire us.

Here's to the new edition of you. May you thrive and flourish right here, right now!


What's new with you?

Monday, January 28, 2013

It's Not Love

"It's not love to teach someone that unhappiness (or anger, guilt, fear) pays off" ~Bruce Di Marsico. Are you tempted to jump through hoops to avoid 'making' someone unhappy? Emotional blackmail is usually unconscious. When we give in to it though, we reinforce it. Then it works, but the price in emotional health is always too high.

This is one of the most challenging life lessons; the homework and the tests go on and on: When you use misery to motivate yourself or someone else you wield a razor sharp double edged sword.

Here are some examples:
  • Anger may help you to get your way, but it leaves a path of destruction in its wake, a path filled with words that cannot be unsaid and actions that can never be un-taken.
  • Fear may help you avoid perceived danger but it will not keep you safe. Awareness of danger and the ability to overcome or escape it will protect you more.
  • Guilt may convince someone to change their behavior, but no one likes to feel guilty. Resentment builds until it takes a toll like an explosive reaction or the loss of a relationship.
When you give in to someone you love in order to avoid their anger, scare tactics, or attempts to make you feel guilty, you teach them to get angrier, scarier, and more guilt inducing.

When you veer from your own sense of personal integrity to help some one else avoid being unhappy it may seem loving and kind. But it teaches your loved ones that being unhappy is good for them. It reinforces the common limiting belief that, "if you loved me, you would... well, basically do anything to avoid making me unhappy" and it's partner "If you don't do what I want, it means you don't care."

One of the most loving things you, as caring person, can do, is to stick to the truth as you know it and refuse to yield to emotional blackmail. You do not have to retaliate, make them wrong or push back. Just hold your own. A simple "this will never do" will suffice.

Another loving thing to do is to become conscious of your own attempts to wield that angry, fearful, guilty sword against yourself or someone else. Give it up. Find another way to communicate with yourself and others that does not sacrifice your happiness and emotional well-being.

The very good news is that you do not have to give up your desire for anything. You can still reach for anything you want if you:
  • Focus on your desire.
  • Ask for what you want from yourself, others, or the universe.
  • Practice and repeat, practice and repeat.
Cheering you on to love and happy motivation!

Reminder: there are lots of free and inexpensive resources for emotional well-being on my website. Please visit and poke around .

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Supercoach Masterclass Series Video

 I just got a video clip from my training from Micheal Neill's Supercoach     Masterclass Series. Michael is a wonderful author (You Can Have What You Want, Supercoach and more), coach, and friend. Over the last years I've worked with him in NYC and LA, training coaches in how to help their clients to break out from beliefs that block happiness and success. This time, he came up with a great new idea. He put together a combined live and virtual training with some of his favorite coaches and trainers to work with students in NYC, LA, Seattle and London. Participants from all around the world attended the live events or watched streaming video.

Bright and early at the Wilshire Motel
I taught my segment in beautiful Santa Monica. To make the adventure even sweeter, my friends Ross and Buzz and I drove in the night before to have dinner and see "The Book of Mormon". We stayed at the vintage Wilshire Motel and had a fabulous time.

Here's the link for the clip from that LA event and the one in NYC, put together by Joe Alamo. For a look inside the world of coaching, go see.

May all of your work be filled with delightful adventures and all of your adventures full of wondrous new insights.