Begin Anywhere

Begin Anywhere

The  yoga studio where I practice has some sayings in frames on the walls and this one of them: Begin Anywhere. It’s one of my favorites! I chuckle every time I see it. I laugh because it reminds me of how I have a tendency to overcomplicate a lot of things…and I’ve noticed that many of my clients do the same thing too.  When I am not centered and my monkey mind is racing, my inner critic can be so brutal. “You haven’t been to yoga in 5 days. You used to go all the time. No wonder your arms are getting flabby. You used to be able to do side crow and front arm balance and now you can barely do regular crow. No wonder you’re single right now. You’re losing everything you worked for when you came all the time.” And that’s just in a few seconds in my head. That voice was one of the reasons I used to drink and use drugs. And thank god I have tools and routines now to quiet that voice. It may never completely go away (believe me, I have tried to make it!), but now I can manage it better. Which is why I love the Begin Anywhere sign. And so we begin again. Isn’t that a huge part of life? We start a new job, a new workout, a new relationship, and it’s good at the start, right? Things seem fun and fresh in the beginning. This time I’m going to… And then life happens.  There is a bump or three in the road.  You catch a nasty...
What Louis CK can teach you about screwing up

What Louis CK can teach you about screwing up

Most people love Louis CK and I must admit, I do too. But not for all the obvious reasons. I respect his writing and his delivery. I think he’s a great actor too. Sometimes I think he takes it too far. It kind of depends on my mood. But that’s not the point. I admire him because he is truly a master. I’ve watched his early clips and he was very forgettable. Maybe they just picked him to be on TV because they needed a red head (that’s the kind of stuff that happens in TV, seriously). My point is that he kept working on his craft. His writing, his comedy, many of his creative outlets. He wrote for other comics on TV and he kept doing stand up. And he got better. He kept honing his skill. Then he got his first show on his own - Lucky Louie, and it didn’t last long. It was not a great show (even though I did do voice-over on the show). But again, my point is that he learned from it and he kept going. And then he got his next show and he knocked it out of the park. And he’s never stopped writing and working on his craft. He’s talked about his writing, directing, acting, and all of the other things he’d done and he always comes back to his comedy. He thinks that that’s the hardest and he loves it the most. This is his brilliant opening monologue for SNL, but I must warn you, it’s rated R and you might get offended. My intention is that...
Warning: Dangerous Topic Here! Not for the Faint of Heart

Warning: Dangerous Topic Here! Not for the Faint of Heart

You probably don’t want to read this… Ok, you’ve been warned. You’re still here? Well, today I want to talk about death. For most of us, this is not a “cool” topic. I’ve  been thinking a lot about death lately, and here’s the reason. One of my best friend’s mother passed away this week. She was 86 and she had a great life. She was one of the most generous souls I’ve ever known. I knew her from my spiritual community here in NJ. She was small but feisty; sweet but had a tough bark when she got mad. Mostly she was kind, loving, and supportive. She’d lost one grown son and an infant baby in crib death. She’d been through a divorce. She had another son who survived and she’d adopted a girl when she thought that she couldn’t have any more children. She’d had some ups and downs, but she kept going. She was very active in her community and with her grandkids. I’d ask her how she was doing and some days she’d say:” Horrible! All my friends have died, my body hurts, and I can’t breathe. Then she’d say: But I’m still here and I’m still kicking. She told it like it was. And we loved her for it. I didn’t realize how many other people she’d helped until she passed this week. The entire 60 minute meeting on Tuesday, the day after she’d gone, was filled with funny, loving stories about her and how she’d helped so and so and so and so. She lived her life out loud, imperfectly, but from a loving place. We’re...
Space, Wiggle Room and a Little Bit of Love

Space, Wiggle Room and a Little Bit of Love

I’d like to tell you a story, since that that’s how we learn the best. And most of us enjoy a good love story, right? I coach men about relationships. And I coach women as well about relationships, health and fitness. I’ve been a marathon runner, a personal trainer, and a workout nut for over 20 years. Clearly, I am a type A personality…in case you haven’t guessed. One of my clients, named Claire, came to work with me. She was burned out in her life. While she was succeeding in her career and in good physical shape, she was not satisfied or content. Her dating life was ok. She worked out several times a week, but just felt like she was on the treadmill of life. You know that hamster wheel feeling? The one where the little guy runs and runs on the wheel, but doesn’t get anywhere? Yeah, we’ve all been there. We had a session together, and we kept going deeper into what was really going on with her. After all, on the outside, she looked just “fine” according to most people. She was not satisfied, or “lit up” about her life. Whatever You Resists, Persists As both a coach and one in the transformational world for 19 years, I know that whatever you resist, persists. So at first, she did not want to go there. She kept saying she was fine. However, my job as a coach is to get into what’s going on underneath that fine exterior. This is the juicy part of my job. After doing some work, Claire realized that she was...
Spring Break, Shame and Recovery

Spring Break, Shame and Recovery

Spring is coming! I’ve always loved spring. My birthday is in March. So is my sister’s and her daughter’s, so it’s always been a fun thing to look forward to. And for some reason, spring was usually a harder semester for me than the fall. Like most students, I couldn’t wait to have Spring Break. I remember feeling pressure from other students and myself about making sure I had a super fun Spring Break—one that was worthy of bragging about. I had talked my best friend, Anna, to drive us down to Padre Island, in south Texas. My parents had forbidden me to go, but I just lied to them. Anna had not wanted to go because she was self conscious about her body in a bikini. But I begged and pleaded and so we drove the 8 hours it took to get there. Blackouts and Closets The first night we were there, out with friends, Anna had gotten into a fight with a guy at a club, and then later she and I got into a fist fight. Of course there was alcohol involved and somehow we managed to stumble our way home to sleep on the floor of a friend’s condo. The next day we were both filled with remorse and shame, so in order to escape dealing with those feelings, we went to Mexico to “shop”. After a day of margaritas and Coronas, somehow we managed to get ourselves back over the border into the US. This is where it gets a bit blurry for me. Suddenly I found myself at a party in a condo...