Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Holidays and Remember to Reconnect!

What I consider miracles that occur as a result or during the process of coaching include a deep sense of reconnection with ourselves. It still catches my breath, when I hear a client tell me how everything in her/his life is working out so beautifully and how they can correlate this flow to their coaching experience. It’s one of those things that I didn’t know about coaching and certainly, I didn’t really focus on during my training to become a coach. Ironically, it is all I focus on these days! When the client is reconnected to their true, authentic SELF, is when the miracles start rolling out.

So in this season of busyness, families and parties, I wish you all a deep sense of connection with your true SELF, so you can feel fulfilled, complete, and rejuvenated. Be well and happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Manifesting Personal Power

So often I meet people who are completely identified with what they do, their accomplishments, their family roles, or their stories that they do not comprehend that there is anything beyond that. At this time in our history when our financial institutions are collapsing and our economy is troubled, many are panicked and fearful of losing their jobs, their livelihoods and their material security. More than that though, it is the loss of identity as a person who works at company X, a person who has a place to go to every day, a person who can buy what he/she wants or needs, etc. What’s happening is not just a financial earthquake, but an internal earthquake that is disorganizing and ripping apart many of our beliefs. People who have lost or are losing themselves are great clients to work with! It’s like building from scratch instead of knocking down walls and rearranging the furniture. I’ve never been interested in furniture placement. I’ve always been interested in what the foundation is built upon. Ironically, that is where most people are starting to realize. Without the proper foundation, any building can come tumbling down.

Last night, I had the privilege of listening to a talk by Laura Berman-Fortgang, a very successful coach, author and business woman and she so wisely put it: there is no such thing as a career crisis, the only crisis there ever is, is when you’ve lost yourself and sense of connection with who you are. So many people who have been doing jobs they don’t particularly like in organizations they don’t particularly care for are angry at what is happening in the world. They believed that at least, they were making money and had a job. With that security gone, they are left with little, or little that they can identify with.

So, if you have lost everything or are in the process of losing things, this is the perfect time to take a look at what it is you are identifying with. Personal power does not come with money, or anything that money can buy, and what better way to learn that than watching money disappear in front of our eyes! Personal power comes from connecting with our core selves. This brings us back to the question of who we are. Once we understand who we are then it truly doesn’t matter what we do. Haven’t you ever come across people who have “small” jobs, maybe a mail carrier or a janitor with a strong sense of self and living his or her values every day. That person has more personal power than someone who has a salary 100 times greater but who lost the sense of who they are in the process of getting there. What’s amazing is that the person with true personal power is not ever affected by what happens on the outside. The question we should be asking ourselves today is “who am I?” And if somehow we’ve forgotten or are not sure, it is our job to find out. Because without knowing who we are, we have no personal power to lift ourselves out of what is happening around us.

Monday, November 17, 2008


We live every day expecting certain outcomes or events. We wake up and expect to be able to get out of bed, dress ourselves, go to work, etc. Under those mundane activities is the expectation of being treated a certain way: “I smile at the person I see and say hello, and they return an equivalent greeting”. It gets deeper: “I am loved the same way that I love” or my favorite: “I am cared for the same way that I care for others”. All of these beliefs are based on the fundamentals of “expectation”. We expect the world, people and events to be a certain way whether we are consciously aware of it or not. We expect to be healthy and when we are not, we expect to get better. We expect to die only when we are ready at a very old age. We expect our children to be geniuses in school and well-liked and successful. We expect our parents to be proud of our accomplishments, and on and on these go. What happens when our expectations don’t turn out? Unhappiness, anger, disappointment, sadness, etc. are all results of our expectations not turning out.

When I heard the news of Jackie passing away last week, I was surprised by my own reaction. It was very similar to when I learned of the passing of my father. In both cases, their deaths were expected and not a surprise. In fact, secretly, I was relieved that they both had passed. The relief however, was a mental one. I was glad that they did not have to suffer anymore. Then, why was I sad? No, it wasn’t that I missed them, at least not in the immediate days or weeks following their passing. It was the knowledge that neither of them would be a part of life (in this world) anymore. My sadness was based on the fact that my expectation that things will be this way for ever was no longer true. Even though, in my mind I knew that both would die sooner than later, somewhere in my heart, I was holding on to status quo. We are creatures made up of belief systems that go beyond our minds. We like predictability; we like to know that for every action there is an expected reaction. But when that reaction isn’t quite what we had expected, we are disappointed.

Recently, I attended a gathering that I was very excited about, because I expected to learn new things and make some new and meaningful connections. It ended up being quite boring and I didn’t make the connections I had hoped for. In fact, I was getting angry at having to spend my time in this manner. In the midst of my experience I realized that my anger was just due to my expectation of it being a certain way and it not being that way. So I stopped myself and took a few deep breaths. I decided to stay and allow it to unfold. It was very hard, as I am not a patient person and am rather selfish with my time. However, I decided to allow the occasion to teach me whatever “it” wanted. I know this sounds crazy, there is no “it” to be wanting anything. Bear with me, what I mean is that I took myself out of the picture. This act, opened me up to receive whatever showed up without my agenda. And I found myself interested and engaged. No, it wasn’t what I had hoped for, but by not hoping (at least half way through the day) I allowed myself to receive the moment as it showed up. So many times, we insist on getting what we want that we forget that maybe if we loosened up a bit, we might get something even better!

In the Eastern traditions, they call it detachment. Detach in order to experience peace. Our expectations keep us attached. What we don’t realize is how many we have. It is part of our consciousness. It is why we are unhappy and confused. Ok, so now that we know why we can be unhappy, how do we detach, how do we stop expecting? That’s the tricky part. It all starts with awareness. Once you are aware of your expectations as you go through your day, you can release them. What’s amazing in this process is that when you notice that you are expecting, you already are in a place of choice. If you choose not to expect, just to experience, your state of expansion and bliss begins. Once you stop expecting, you are no longer in prison. You are free from mass consciousness and now you can choose who/how to be. In that moment, there is complete peace and contentment. Life feels bigger than you and you feel a part of it all. So, with the holidays coming up, it might be a good opportunity to practice awareness of when our expectations creep up on us and the choice to release them. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Memorial To A Friend

This is not a typical blog post. My friend whom I visited regularly in a rehab hospital passed away yesterday morning and I had to honor her in some way. I have nothing of Jackie’s except her memories. Three years ago when I left my “real” job in search of significance, I decided to volunteer to visit an elderly person and to be a companion. The agency hooked me up with Jackie, an 84 year old French lady who had just moved in with her daughter after losing her husband and not being able to live on her own. That’s how the story of Jackie and I began. In these three years I witnessed her physical deterioration as well as her mental deterioration, especially in the last 3 months. She was a constant in my life as I changed direction and focus many times. Jackie told me to write her story and that was the impetus for my writing. I am working on a book and her story is in it woven into other stories.

I will miss her wit, courage, sense of humor and will to live. She was the most determined person I have ever met. She was rough and tough, but we always said, “I love you” when we said our goodbyes. I did say my final and real goodbye to Jackie during the last visit where she was still coherent and sharp. In fact, she told me “goodbye” and she said, “This is our goodbye”. She insisted that she wanted it to be that way. That was in August, and that was truly our goodbye even though we saw each other several times since that time.

I am grateful for having her witness my transition as I witnessed hers. I don’t know if she knew that Obama had won the election, she did like him a lot! “So, here’s to our guy Jackie, he did win! Thank you for being in my life and au revoir, until we meet again”.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Right Equals Wrong

During a recent visit to the Boston area, I had the pleasure of visiting the Plimoth Plantation ( with my family. It is a must see for both children and adults. What is truly impressive is the museum’s ability to re-create the experience of both the native Wampanoag and the English colonists of the 1600s. The actors playing the different parts are so believable that you’ll truly feel like you are having an out of time experience! Before I walked through the plantation, I thought I knew what to expect and I am truly delighted to say, I was wrong! It is amazing how one’s views change when one is placed in another one’s situation or walked in their shoes. In this case, I was expecting to be sympathetic towards the Wampanoag and harshly critical of the colonists. How else could you be, after all the English were responsible for the killing, spreading of diseases, taking slaves and obliterating native cultures. At least, that’s what’s been written in the more accurate recordings of the history of that time. But a visit to the plantation and the experience of living and talking to the colonists in addition to the Mayflower museum, gave me a better feel for what it was like for the English. Imagine having just left Holland on the Mayflower and traveling for 2 months over the Atlantic, losing your family members, getting sick, not knowing where you are going or what to expect, leaving the comforts and convenience of the Europe of 1600s (the cobble stone streets, brick houses, fashionable clothing and furnishings, culture, etc.) to arrive in an “uncivilized” land, facing people of a different color, language, little to no clothing, pierced and tattooed with different customs and having to start life from scratch. They wanted to create a world they knew and had liked for the most part. After all, if they had stood up to the Catholic Church, then they could certainly battle a few natives in this strange land. And so it goes…

Now, this is certainly not about early American history and who did what to whom. I am merely sharing a story that has been told many times from different perspectives and narratives to illustrate how easy it is to lose sight of the big picture. Seeing the big picture is only easy if you are not in it. Hence, this is the reason why companies and corporations have off site team building meetings and retreats facilitated by well paid consultants and trainers. Whether they know it or not, they are creating a space where their managers can now see the bigger picture and interact with their colleagues without their personal agendas, learning to cooperate through friendly games that enhance cooperation and team work. For the most part, these meetings are successful and the decisions made are sound and for the good of all. That is until they all come back to work and try to implement whatever was decided on. Now in real time, and in the middle of the picture, much is forgotten or lost. So what happened?

What happened is what happens in most conflict situations. One party believed that their version of the story is the truth and the other party’s is not. Since the question of who is right and who is not, cannot be answered especially if the intention is to find the “wrong” party, it is best to accept that both are “right”. Yes, it is possible for both to be “right”. In the case of the Wampanoags and the colonists, they were both right in their perspectives. But what didn’t exist was the possibility that both truths could have existed side by side. If they had stopped trying to convince each other or worse yet, convert each other, history might have turned out differently for the native Wamponoags. This suggestion here is not merely a “why can’t we all just get along” side by side. It is a shift in consciousness that no one has to be wrong. In fact, it is possible that there is no right or wrong. And the sooner we stop trying to find the guilty party, the sooner we can solve the problem together.

Since humans are the ones who created this concept of duality in order to make sense of the world and themselves, it is also possible for them to deconstruct it. We are at a time in our history and evolution where we are running out of the old standard sources of energy, tensions and conflict are building up everywhere in the globe while corporations and businesses are becoming global, and fear is prevalent which disallows candid and open dialogues without agenda and preconceived notions. Fixing the symptom, is at best fruitless in addition to the fact that there is no time. Human consciousness needs to make a huge leap in order to expand and survive. It is time to keep our egos in their place and to realize that what worked thousands of years ago doesn’t any more. There is no wrong or right, we have to work together to make sense of this world and to provide a safe place for our children and theirs. It is time to re-examine our belief systems and make the appropriate changes at the true source of the problems and not somewhere downstream, where we’re bound to keep on repeating the same mistakes. It is time for our self-righteousness and our egos to take a back seat to our creativity, cooperation, and sense of being connected to each other so that we can solve our problems together. It is time for change, real change that can only come about if we can change our beliefs.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Manifesting Balance

When I look into what got us to this place, I hear chants of “more, more, more”. In fact, it is a chant that has been yelled and carried out by mass consciousness for decades. I hear it in the corporations who want bigger numbers year after year. "If we don’t produce, the consequences will be dire: no bonus, no pay increase, or even loss of a job". And of course, the consequences are always worse for those at the bottom of the totem pole while those at the very top are barely touched except for by their own cancerous desire for more. So, if I had to tell a story it would go something like this: there was once a giant that had been afflicted by a disease. The giant did not quite understand how he got this disease, nor did he care about why he felt the way he did. It is as if he forgot he even had a disease! He kept on demanding more from the little slaves that served him. The slaves ran around like armies of soldiers obeying their orders: “more, more, more” yelled the giant. The slaves were very good at getting the giant what he wanted and managing to save some for themselves. They were afraid of the giant and never questioned his demands. This went on for years and years, the giant got bigger and bigger and more demanding than ever. The slaves were bigger too, but they could not do any more, they started running out of food because instead of looking for new kinds of food or planting new seeds or inventing new things, they were eating the same food until it ran out. Now, no one had any food, not the giant, nor the slaves. The story has not ended yet, the ending is yet to be written.

If you step even further back from this story and go to the core reason for the giant’s disease or unconsciousness, it has to do with a flawed belief. It comes from the belief that you don’t have enough and only if you had more you’d be satisfied. It comes from a lack of trust in oneself and one’s own sovereignty. Now, I am not saying that we are all 100% self-sufficient, obviously we have certain needs and desires. Also, there is a healthy hunger to advance in life which is not what I am writing about either. I am writing about when the healthy cells turn cancerous and out of control and when we hear the news about corporations and CEO's and their salaries and lifestyles in comparison to what any human would need, we can see the disproportionate insanity of it all. And again, this would all be just an experience in greed except that it cost even those CEO's their concept of SELF. How truly powerful and sovereign are you if you need all that wealth? And they passed on this lack of self-trust to those under them and on and on it went. The giant and the slaves believed that they did not have enough and there was not enough. In one sense they were right, there was not enough. Not enough of what they wanted anyway.

In my practice I see marriages falling apart at an unusually high frequency. However, what is even more surprising is that these clients are actually happy. They are happy that they don’t need this other person anymore. They are free, even if the consequences include: less money, no security, unknown future, etc. Now that they are liberated from the chains of a dysfunctional marriage, they finally feel free to be themselves. They are free from the self-imposed need to be with another. And I also hear from friends within my community, open and honest conversations among people who would have never admitted to troubles in the past. There is a sense of freedom that is emerging from the destruction of the systems that we so loyally trusted. Perhaps it is an existential realization that we are more than what we have, who we are related to, and where we live. But we are not all at the same place in this journey. There are many of us still, panicked and holding on to the rubble and the illusions of the past, hoping to blink ourselves out of a bad dream. Fortunately, awakening to the reality of who we are and how truly powerful we are, is not an illusion and it is happening right now. With every ending there is always a new beginning. However, what the beginning is all about, is up to us to decide. Many slaves could survive the dead giant, and through this process learn that they don’t need the giant. Nevertheless, many a revolution has ended up in giving in to different fears and creating structures that freed us from our past but chained us to something we did not really want. It is highly crucial to create out of the rubble a new consciousness that supports our divine and human need to be happy. This moment could be about creating systems and structures that support our inherent desires to be fulfilled while providing the supports for others to feel the same. This is a tremendous opportunity to start from scratch and create with our true heart’s desires for the quality of life we really want, that is if we can remember what that is!

Quite a few of my fellow coaches, facilitators and I feel that this is the best time for revolutionary change that would benefit the whole planet. However, it is also the right circumstances for re-creating other frightful scenarios. I hope that we all find the awareness required to make significant changes that will bring us back to our true humanity. In other words, I hope that we somehow find a way to live without a giant, that we can come up with our own creative solutions to express our sovereignty and our true inner leadership, so that we do not continue being chained to petty illusions.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Manifesting Detachment

The global economic crisis is doing a number on all of us. Some of us are affected directly by losing our jobs, savings, homes, etc. Some of us are in fear of losing those things. Some of us are losing our livelihood as a consequence of others losing theirs. And on and on it goes. Many of us are panicking and are angry at the injustice of it all. Those of us in the U.S. who are facing an election are now looking at the two choices we have in a different way. Regardless of ideology or political affiliation, we are asking ourselves who will be more likely to get us out of this mess and bring us back our sense of security and prosperity. Some just want things to go back to the way they were, as if this never happened. Some are questioning the whole system and wondering how this could have happened. Some want justice done, and someone to pay for their loss.

It really is no different than a typical and traditional family drama on a grand scale with many involved. In a family drama, there are the directly involved members and those who are involved by association, family bonds, or just a sense of righteousness. The only people who are immune from the drama are those who know about it, are in the middle of it, but are not attached to any one side or outcome. They are the objective observers. They are the ones who can see how this happened, how everyone participated in it, and how no one person is to blame because it is a collective contribution to the drama. Usually, in a family situation, the person(s) who is not attached is known as the wise one(s). The one(s) everyone wants to get on their side, because they are the ultimate vote so to speak. That wise voice is the one everyone listens to and respects. The wise one(s) can even look at the drama as an opportunity to change the way things were, create new, more meaningful relationships, communicate to those we never did before, etc.

Who are the wise ones today in this crisis we are facing together on the planet? Who is being an observer detached from the outcome(s)? Who is not blaming any one side, but sees this as a collective participation in creating the grandest drama of our times? And more importantly, who is looking at this as an opportunity to create something truly grand for the good of all? Who is willing to not point fingers, but take responsibility to change and start from scratch to create a system that makes sense? Who is going to change the way they’ve always operated and thought about things in order to live a more balanced, responsible and fulfilled life? Ultimately, no matter how you look at what has happened, it is a result of many imbalances in the system. If we all commit to living a balanced existence on every level, take responsibility for ourselves, our needs and our shortcomings then collectively we are bringing balance into the consciousness of the planet. This huge personal act on every person’s part can only help in the evolution of consciousness. It is time for us to live responsible lives regardless of who we think we are. This situation is affecting all of us, and so all of us need to change to make a collective contribution to the change we want.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Manifest Self-Trust

Recently I had a medical concern that could have been something very serious. I ended up having a relatively easy procedure done and it was determined that it wasn’t serious, i.e., I didn’t have cancer. It was a very scary month for me and going through it provided me a great deal of compassion for those of us who are not as fortunate and end up having serious diagnoses. The other gift of this episode for me was the realization of how much I still need to learn about trusting myself. I consider myself a fairly intelligent and informed person with a good dose of self confidence, yet when a nurse from my doctor’s office tells me that I have to have a procedure done, I buckle in. First, is the realization that something could be seriously wrong with me and I could die. Next, is the rage at the injustice of it all. Then, some self-sympathy mixed in with a whole lot of fear. And finally, for me it was the rage at the doctor who couldn’t have picked up the phone herself to tell me this. This bothered me the most. This lack of compassion was unacceptable from a physician who has been my primary care giver for the past 6 years. How often do we give our whole trust to people who frankly don’t deserve it. But today, I’d like to address the trust in ourselves.

In the place where I had my procedure done, there were many women like myself. Some with huge envelopes with past X-rays and diagnoses, or better put, with their sentences in hand. Some with heads down and sheepishly waiting for their name to be called. We are so vulnerable when we are sick and we’ll do anything to get better. Anything that is, but to trust ourselves. We give away our trust to the nurses, technicians, doctors and anyone who is an “expert”. It is as if we are saying, “take me and fix me, make me better, please…”. And what is interesting is to observe that nurse, technician, and doctor. They are just doing their job. If being friendly is part of the job, then they are friendly. If making sure the machine is working properly and that you are situated on the bed the right way, they are doing their job. I wonder how many of them actually look at the patient and see a whole human being, scared out of their wits and begging to be healed. Perhaps they are too busy to look at the patient that way, perhaps they are too professional and good at their jobs to be interrupted by such thoughts. Or perhaps, because no one asks, they don’t offer that kind of compassion.

Trust is one of those concepts that we all have had an experience with when it comes to another person. For example we all know what it is to trust or not to trust someone. However, the trust I am speaking of here, is trusting ourselves and what we are going through. When I was waiting in the waiting room with my gown on, petrified and annoyed that no one cared, I sat with those emotions. I did not run away from them, I did not resist them or talk myself out of them. I faced them and accepted their presence full-heartedly. I even asked my fear, what it was all about. I realized after this dialogue, that I wasn’t afraid of death, or pain. I was afraid of having to go through the whole process of waiting and trusting the doctors with their solutions. What if they were wrong? What if their solutions were not the best? So I kept on breathing and allowing myself to feel these feelings. There was a great sense of peace at the end of my processing. I felt relieved that I had trusted and honored myself. From that place of stillness I was able to speak to my caregivers. And amazingly, they were able to hear me. In my case, I actually told all of the care givers what I was feeling and how scared I was. I also told them I did not appreciate waiting for two hours past my appointment time to finally see the doctor. To my surprise, they all welcomed my concerns and addressed all of them. By trusting myself and not second guessing my own emotions, I was able to create a relationship where we both felt as equals. Sure, I was the one on the bed with the hospital gown and they were the ones providing the care, but they saw me as a person, a whole person. When we don’t speak our truth, we are depriving others of getting to know us and to treat us as whole beings.

After that, the procedure and what followed was like a breeze. In fact, even getting the results a week later was not as important as one would imagine. My great sense of accomplishment came from facing my own fears and loving them. I also learned that it is ok to be vulnerable and afraid, just trust and honor that vulnerability and fear. Going further, share those feelings with those around you. If they love you, it won’t change their view of you and it will help them understand what you are going through. If they are your care providers, they will see you in a different way, as a whole being emotions and all. If they are a person going through something similar, they’ll realize that it is ok and normal to be afraid and if they feel the same way, they won’t be embarrassed. So all and all, I learned a great deal from my medical scare!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Manifesting The Right Balance

When I was in the corporate world, I had a theory that the way people approach work can be thought of as two extremes on a continuum. On one end we have the ones who are the doers/movers/builders and on the other end are the ones who are “done upon”, or the go with the flowers/whatever my boss tells me/just here to collect my pay checkers. And most people are somewhere in between. Later on, on my path to enlightenment I realized that I had touched upon the classical male to female continuum or action to inaction. As I was always closer to the male part of this continuum in my personality, I didn’t realize that I was out of balance. I had never learned how to be receptive or more female.

In my training to become a coach, I learned about “doing” and “being” goals. I taught my clients how to make sure they were addressing their well-being and not just checking actions off of their “to do” list. Because I was so extremely on the male side of this continuum, I still didn’t get it. Once the title of “goal” was given to something, it meant action to me. For example, if I had “be more compassionate” as a goal, then I’d look for opportunities to “do” compassion. I had to volunteer, or go out of my way to talk to someone I really didn’t want to, etc. This way, I thought I was being more compassionate. It took me a long time and much agony to understand what being receptive is all about. I read many books including the Eckhart Tolle books to learn how to be in the “now” and in the moment and just be. It wasn’t easy.

It was only when I started losing my interest in the activities that I usually liked, that I was able to chill out. I remember, feeling very frustrated that I had stopped enjoying everything I loved to do that I realized how attached I had become to those activities. In a sense, those activities were my identity. Looking back, being ripped off of those “things”, was the best thing that happened to me for my inner development.

Today, I look at the people around me differently. Whether they are coaching clients, family members, or friends, I can safely say that whenever they are in some kind of emotional pain, it is because the balance of “being” and “doing” has tilted in one direction. And that direction is usually the one they are more comfortable with. For example, for myself, I know that whenever I am upset, it is because I am doing too much or worrying that I am not doing enough. So in other words, it is the doing piece that is driving me nuts. On the other hand, peace, real peace is when there is a balance between our male and female tendencies or our action and inaction modes. From that balance comes effortless action that is for the good of all. Action that is really a reaction based in anger, compulsion, judgment or fear is ego based action and is bound to hurt the person reacting and those in his or her way.

Based on my own personal journey, I have summarized the steps involved in obtaining peace that comes from getting the balance right:
1) Determine whether you are predominantly action/male or inaction/female driven
2) Make an inventory of the events in your life that were significantly negative or positive and determine if you were actively participating or just let it happen to you
3) Stretch yourself when you can on the small stuff, i.e., if you are always doing stuff, stop and smell the roses; if you never plan anything for the weekend, pick a Saturday and plan 5 significant activities and then do them
4) What did that feel like? Do it more and monitor your feelings. Ask your loved ones, how they see you. Have you changed?
5) If you successfully accomplished steps 1-4, then congratulations, you are on your path to a more balanced existence! If not, call a life coach to help facilitate and support you in this huge endeavor.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Manifesting Audacity in Living

As a life coach I have noticed that most of the time in a session is spent around clarifying what it is the client wants. I have also noticed that when I summarize what I have heard, and say it back to them, they get a little uncomfortable. Usually it goes something like this: “Well, I’d like that, but I know I can’t because …” So before they even attempt to accomplish their desire, they already come up with reasons why they cannot, how it is impossible, or how it is dependent on other circumstances that will never happen. I finally realized that most of us have become experts at rationalizing ourselves out of what we really want. Chronic rationalization out of our dreams leads to developing a lack of clarity and purpose. Eventually this can lead to living but never feeling alive. The life that we want, the results we seek seem to be unattainable due to years of solid, experience based “proof” that “it ain’t gonna happen”.

When we observe this from a wider perspective and outside the realms of coaching, it points to a wide-spread epidemic that threatens us all. Somewhere, somehow we lost the boldness required to live a fulfilling and deeply satisfying life. Maybe it happened after our hopes and dreams were crushed by an unforeseen event or unfaithful partner, years of being told we were no good by an ignorant parent or sibling, extreme poverty or health crisis that did not support bold living. It could have been a combination of all of these or other factors that bring us to a place where we feel like we’ll never get to where we want to be. And what is truly sad is that people have stopped even dreaming big because they believe that they will never attain their dreams, so why bother. It is one thing to dream big “knowing” that you will not get there, but to not even dream because you never have, or you were not allowed to, or you learned early on that it is a waste of time, is disheartening.

Most children have vivid imaginations, they pretend and role play at an early age. They are born with an inherent gift of seeing “outside the box”. This together with a certain amount of fearlessness brings them joy and makes them fulfilled beings for the most part. I am afraid that as adults, most of us have lost our imagination and our ability to dream. We think it is a waste of time and unproductive. As most learning experts would agree, nothing could be farther from the truth. Creativity and imagination are essential to learning. And as a life coach, I say, “imagination is essential to living a fulfilling life”. So, even if we’ve learned that it is unproductive and trained to believe that it will not get us anywhere, I say, “dare to imagine”. “Dare to dream big and then feel it. Feel the grandness and joy that your dream brings you.” And that is the first and sometimes most uneasy step in achieving what we want.

Many are alive, but few are living life audaciously. We see the athletes who push themselves to obtain that medal or win that tournament. We see those who go against the odds to get to where no one else has gone before them. We hear stories, like the illegal immigrant turned into a world renowned brain surgeon and we think that these people have what we do not. But the truth is that we are all born with that audacity. Perhaps it did not get cultivated or nurtured, but it is in us, in all of us. We have to stop looking at others who are in the spotlight for their accomplishments as if they are preferred or born with gifts that make them special. It is time to look within for our own gifts and personal courage that will help lift us up to live an audaciously fulfilling life. It is time to allow that long ignored, gift of imagination to soar and fill us with hope and desire to accomplish and become who we always wanted to be. Actualizing the dream is actually less challenging than dreaming it. So, let’s be daring and dream big for ourselves, our families, our communities, our countries, and for the world!