Friday, December 31, 2010

The Best Laid Plans

I had a lot of plans for this week. Most had to do with preparing for the arrival of 2011. I was going to do some reflecting back inspired by the crew at reverb10. In fact in my last newsletter I invited my readers to stop by this week for a special retrospective on my year in blogs.

I was also going to spend some time looking forward to what I wanted 2011 to look like. I was going to write. A lot.

But none of it happened. I got thrown a curve ball.

It started late on Christmas Day with a scratchy throat. By Sunday, the day of the big blizzard of 2010 in NYC it was officially sore and joined by feverish flu like symptoms.  Somewhere along the line my ear started to ache and my sinuses got infected. I was down for the count.

There was no writing getting done. There wasn't even reading. With nothing left in my DVR cue to watch I was relegated to actually watch commercials! Until I remembered that I had the entire third season of InTreatment on HBO OnDemand to get lost in. Maybe that was what created the migraine.

I can't remember the last time I was home sick, this sick. In my corporate days, I harbored at least one sinus/bronchial type infection a season. More so when I traveled as part of my job. Then it seemed all I needed to do to pick something up was step inside a plane and breathe in the germs.

But here I was, just one week after I was remarking that I don't really get sick anymore since I left Corporate America finding that getting up to go from the couch to the bed to be  a test of Olympic strength.

My plans, that long list of all I wished to accomplish this week suddenly seemed inconsequential. Turning out a few good blogs, finishing up my book proposal, looking back, looking forward seemed secondary to feeling healthy again.

In the delirium of my fever, thoughts and ideas raced around my head in a blur of light and color like Times Square at rush hour. And it kept going back to the wellness thing again.

My cousin Joanne (Yes, we have the same name. There is a shortage of names to go around in any good Greek family) has always been the one to remind me that when you have your health you have everything.  But strangely we all seem to forget that when caught up in our normal routine. We take it for granted as we do so many of the really important things in life until we get thrown a curve ball.

I'm lucky. My curve ball had a shelf life that was waiting for the fever to pass.

Maybe my body needed the break before 2011 starts. Maybe I needed the reminder that sometimes just because we plan for something doesn't mean we are going to do it or have to do it. Maybe there is a better plan and that includes not starting day one of 2011 with my plan firmly in tact. In any event my best wishes to you all for a joyous, abundant and very healthy New Year!

What do you do when you get thrown a curve ball?
Do you have your plan for 2011?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Naughty or Nice

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

As kids my parents used this ploy for the entire month of December. Santa would know our behavior.  He saw what no one else did. We might be able to lie to the rest of the world or at least our parents, but Santa knew. He was our conscience. He was an omnipresent figure much in the way we were taught God was, except Santa dressed in red and white suits and always seemed to be smiling and God  preferred long flowing robes with a much more serious look on his face.

But they both did have a thing for soft white beards. And they both seemed obsessed with our behavior.

Our  truth as far as Santa was concerned would be evidenced in what lay under the tree on Christmas morning. As for God, well we had an entire lifetime instead of just the month of December to get things right.

The bro and I, intent on being nice enough for Santa
For me the gig was up the Christmas Eve I spotted my father from my bedroom window loaded down with wrapped gifts that had been stored in the garage behind the apartments we lived in.

I had been on to something for a while and now I had my proof !  I could be naughty or nice and "Santa" was still going to show up. But I kept my secret quiet for a while longer. Besides, my little brother, never as suspicious as I, still thought Santa was real. My young self thought he deserved to believe a little longer.

While I felt rather pleased  that I had been right about this Santa thing being a hoax I was a little disappointed to discover my magical figure did not really exist. I liked the idea of magic. I wanted to believe in magic. Being told I needed to be 'nice' to get my reward made being 'naughty' that much more delicious.

But this was my first smack in my young head that maybe magic was not real. Maybe believing in something you couldn't see was to be reserved for young, innocent and unworldly minds. If I was going to grow up and succeed in the world I'd have to start "getting a grip" on what was "real" and what was not. I had to dismiss this idea of magic. Maybe being "nice" was not going to get me anywhere. And then it brought up the other question, if Santa was not real, did the same thing hold true for that other unseen personage, God?

I spent a lot of years not really believing, demanding proof for all I saw and wanted. I wanted concrete examples of how things were going to happen. I wanted to know the steps I needed to take. I had to get serious, never mind "naughty or nice".  I was so intent on the 'truth' that I often failed to see when the magic did show up.

I don't know the time or place I switched back, but I did. I started to believe again. In Santa Claus and in a power greater than myself. And when I did I started to notice the miracles that I could create, simply by believing and trusting in something or someone more powerful than me. Miraculously, it seemed being a little "naughty" did not have any bearing on what showed up. In fact, sometimes  a little mischievous fun  was exactly what was needed to create the magic.

So yes, this year I've been a little of both, naughty and nice.  How about you?

Have you been naughty or nice?
Do you still believe?
Have you created some magic this season?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More On Evolving

Yesterday I write about my one word for the year. I decide it is evolving. I also decide it will be my word for 2011. Today I get this quote in my email from  Abraham-Hicks  on "evolving."

"You can be fully satisfied with where you are, understanding that you're eternally evolving. When you get into that place of feeling appreciation of where you are and of who you are, and appreciation of what you are, and you accept that you are a never-ending, always unfolding Being, then you can stand in that delicate balance of being optimistic about what is to come, without being unhappy about where you stand. Find a way of eagerly anticipating future changes, while at the same time you are in love and satisfied with who, what, where and how you be. "
--- Abraham

Excerpted from the workshop in Atlanta, GA on Saturday, November 4th, 2000

After reading this, I liked my word even more!

What's your word for 2010?
What would you like your word to be for 2011?
If you haven't told me yet, please post!

PS. I'm also over at Endless Beauty today. Check out my article on Community!
And if you're interested in evolving your life in 2011 and need an assist, send me an email with  for more information on my coaching programs or give the gift of coaching to someone who does!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Year In One Word

If you are like me you are at about that time in the month of December when you cannot wait for the holiday season to be over and January 1 to arrive.  You are in that place of too much. Too much to do, too much to eat, too much to drink. You are looking forward to turning a fresh page in the calendar on a brand new year to see what you can create.

Now I am not about to suggest making a list of resolutions. I don’t believe in resolutions. I don’t even like the sound of the word. A resolution is a decision to do something or not to do something. There is nothing in the word that implies creation or desire or intention. It sounds more like a list of rules just waiting to be broken.

But I do believe January is about setting intentions. What do you want your year to look like? What would you like to create? And I do believe that one of the more productive things you can do in these waning days of 2010 amidst all the gift buying and holiday preparations is to take a look back at what the year was like for you so you can determine where you want to go next.

What was the year really like ?

Of course, when I do that the first thing that happens is my memory fails me and my mind draws a blank.  What was the year really like ? Did I accomplish anything ? Who was in it ? What were my highlights ?

I stumbled upon this project. Reverb#10.  The creators have been issuing a writing prompt each day of December in an effort to do just this. Look back so you can manifest forward. Just what I needed. A little push to help me along.

I found it on December 5. Not one to start anything in the middle I went back to December 1. The prompt was to encapsulate 2010 in one word.

One Word ?
I am not a one-word person. I write phrases and sentences to describe. Sometimes paragraphs and pages. I couldn’t think of one word. I was stuck on Day 1 on Day 5. But I kept reading the daily prompts and wrote nothing. Especially my one word.

I decided to revisit my blogs from 2010. That would help me to find my one word for sure.  But what I kept discovering as I read the next series of prompts was that I had written whole blogs on those topics. That I had indeed accomplished a lot in 2010. I had ridden a rollercoaster of my own choosing, living, laughing and loving through the ups and downs.

Then my word came to me. My one word. Evolving. My work, my life, the people in it. Evolving. Developing. Progressing. Advancing. Growing . Expanding. Changing. Transforming.

The second part of that prompt is to choose one word that you would like to describe 2011. Since my life continues to be a work in progress, I choose the same word.

What one word encapsulates 2010 for you?
What one word would you like to describe 2011?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Baking The Bread

Today I am baking the bread. The recipe I got from my mother who got from what her sister had pieced together from their mother’s recipe. The recipe had never been written down but brought with my grandmother when she came to this country from Greece over a century ago. And I imagine this same recipe has been in my family for generations.

This is the fourth time I have baked this bread. The first was a feeble attempt that resulted in loaves that would better serve as door stops than sweet bread to eat on New Year’s morning. It turned out that while my mother did have a written recipe, it didn’t include every step. Much of it remained in her head ready to draw on when needed.

The second year I baked it with my mother. I took my lap top with me and this time, wrote my own version of the recipe, with all those missing pieces. It wasn’t easy getting it all out of her but I managed. That year the bread was a success.

Last year was the first time I succeeded on my own. The bread was delicious even if not the perfect round that my mother’s has always been. But Mom approved, deciding it looked like a bird.

The Bird Bread. December 2009
There were still several calls to my mother, some necessary and some just because I wanted her to feel involved in the process.

See Mom has always been the baker. Not me. I prefer to cook, sometimes elaborate meals, always the kind where you needn’t be so exact with measurements as you must be in baking. But Mom stopped baking the bread four years ago. It was too much for her. Her knees don’t allow her to stand up for that long and her arthritis gets in the way of the kneading.

You see this recipe does not use any modern baking machines. The kneading is by hand, for a full twenty minutes, according to Mom’s directions. There are three risings and so it requires a full day in a warm house that is quiet and full of love.

Love, in addition to a secret Greek spice called mahlepi, I found out the year I took my own notes is the secret ingredient.

Which is probably why I get so emotional when I make this bread. I feel as if I am standing in the kitchen not just with me, but with my mother and all the generations of women in my family who came before me. I never knew my grandmother Marika. She died long before I was borne. Yet this morning as I marveled at how well the yeast had doubled and pressed my fists into the dough I was sure I could feel her smiling next to me. 

My mother told me yesterday how proud she was that I was continuing this tradition. I told her I did it for her. With great love.

Are there family traditions you continue each year?
Are you a baker or a cook or both?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Missing the Bus

Sunday I went to go and catch the cross town bus. A half block away I spotted the M66. It was at the stop, doors shut waiting at a red light. I started to pick up speed, considered darting in front of the uptown traffic to make a run for it, but within the seconds the light changed and the bus sped away. I was too late. And now I had the decision to make.

Did I wait for the next bus or did I go to Plan B?

Plan B included walking, of which there was really not enough time to meet my lunch date . The other option was taking a taxi, which I am not as cavalier about spending the money on as I once was. I looked at my watch. There was still enough time to make my appointment without being late even if I had to wait a full ten minutes.

In theory a NYC bus is supposed to show up every ten minutes. But if you live here, you know that is not how things generally work. Most of them travel in packs of two and three as though they are afraid to travel the city streets alone. That  "schedule" that is printed out is more a theory than a practice. Especially on a Sunday. The question was what did I do today?

I like to live as if everything has a reason. So I pondered my philosophy as the clouds loomed heavy in the sky, ready for another downpour. What if that just wasn't my bus? What if I was supposed to be waiting for the next one for a reason only the Universe had an answer to?

That might sound a little too hokey for a lot of you, but when faced with bumps in the road it is a much easier way to travel through life.

As I tried to relax into that idea, I had a vision of my former corporate self. She would have jumped right into the next taxi. She would have been angry at herself that she had answered that last email unnecessarily before leaving the house. Had she not, she would have made that bus. She would start to panic that she might be late as if being late were a federal crime. She would have been filled with so much anxiety that had she decided to wait for that bus, she would wonder if her bus was ever going to show up. And when it did, twenty five minutes later, she would not even be able to  experience one iota of joy that it was finally there.

But she, as it turns out, no longer exists. She decided she had just gotten an idea for a blog. She made some notes in her Voice Memo app and she smiled as the bus pulled up, less than six minutes later. Plus, she got a seat.

What do you do when you "miss your bus"?
Do you wait and regroup and rest it is on it's way?
Or do you immediately jump into Plan B?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Plan A or Plan B

A lot of people will tell you to have a Plan B. As soon as something isn't working out, the advice is to consider Plan B.  A few years ago I would have told you the same thing. In fact I still will.

Have a Plan B.

Know what you would do if money was not an issue, if there were no how is that ever going to happen infiltrating your brain, if all of your "handcuffs" disappeared into the ether and you could just go for it. I encourage you to know what that looks like.

But what I also want you to consider is what if your Plan B turns out to be your original Plan A?  What if Plan A is not the plan you are living, but the one  that you never got to act on? The one you've been calling Plan B?

For too many of us Plan B is the one that was always there whether we chose to recognize it or not. It's been lingering somewhere in the recesses of our imagination. It's the one that we were too afraid to say aloud because it seemed too impossible to achieve. Or the one that we were told was no way to earn a living. The one that our young self was determined to go for despite all  the odds until something sidetracked us towards a path that seemed more sensible or more stable or more easily achievable.

What if the whole time you've been strategizing Plan B you discovered your  Plan B is the one you've been living and Plan A was the one you never got to try?

What if it turned out there were no Plan As or Plan Bs there were just choices you made and paths you took?

What would you do then?

Do you believe in having a Plan B?
Are you living Plan A or Plan B?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Embrace The Nausea

I gave one of my clients a homework assignment yesterday. I watched the somewhat pained look on her face as she scribbled it into her laptop  and I smiled.  I knew I had done my job.  I asked her if it had made her nauseous. Her answer was yes. I told her that was a good thing.

Yes, a good thing.

Nausea is a sign we are on to something. We avoid the feeling. The queasiness in our stomach, the spinning behind our eyes. When we feel it, our tendency is to step away. No make that run away. Far and fast. We no likey rough seas.

But I say no. I say step towards it. Open your arms to it. Embrace it.

If you're not nauseous you are treading water. A calm sea is pleasant and relaxing but there is not much movement. If you want to shake things up, if you want to step into whatever is next for you, personally or professionally, things are going to get rocky.  The waves are going to hit and if you are like me and prone to seasickness you are bound to get nauseous.

I admit to being nauseous at least twice a day. I get a little nauseous every time I hit publish on a blog.  But it's part of the journey I signed up for.  That's why I say that change is not for the faint of heart.

If you're not the least bit nauseous chances are you are not growing. You may be OK like that,  basking in the sun on a slow moving raft and throwing an occasional pebble in the water to create some movement.

But if you're not, if you want a real ride, with bumps and turns and challenges, the kind that gets you someplace new and different, someplace that you've been longing to go,  expect nausea. Embrace it. Learn to see it as a good thing. A sign that you are on to something and it's most likely something really great.

Do you experience nausea when you are challenging yourself?
Do you embrace it or do you run from it?
Does the thought of nausea make you nauseous?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Gift Guide

If you're like me you like receiving gifts. And if you're really like me, you also like giving them. Especially when you come upon something a little different, clever, or creative. Something that really suits that person or that they would not necessarily think to get themselves. Something that does not say mass produced.

Here are a few of my off the beaten track ideas for gift giving,
all created by entrepreneurs !

The Gift of Giving Back
Check out the store over at the Flawless Foundation!
 "Flawless takes a stand for more humane, compassionate care for children and adolescents who live with mental health and neurodevelopmental challenges."
A percentage of all purchases will benefit this wonderful organization founded by Janine Francolini. You can choose from a custom designed Flawless necklace and a variety of beautiful handloom scarves.

The Gift of Intuitive Healing
This is perfect anytime of the year, but even more so during the holiday season when chaos abounds and your heads seems disconnected from your body. A healing session with Laura Wood is truly like a visit to the spa for your spirit! In fact this is one gift  you might want to give yourself!

The Gift of Thoughtfulness
Wendy Knox, like me is a corporate expatriate reinventing her life. In fact when I first found her site I read her story and it sounded remarkably like mine. Now among other things, she designs these gorgeous OhMyGoddess! Cards, appropriate for a variety of occasions, gift boxed and ready to give the goddess in your life. As an extra benefit, a portion of the proceeds will go to, a non-profit that empowers high school girls through mentorship and self-expression.

The Gift of a Good Read
Yes, I consider an author an entrepreneur. And books make great gifts. Clever authors like Claire Cook will even send you a signed book plate to make your gift a little extra special. (note to self: I will be using that idea when my books go to press!) Check out my bookshelf at Goodreads for more ideas on great reads!

The Gift of Burlesque
My good friend, long time entrepreneur and owner of Brazil Bronze Glow Bar tanning salons, Sally Blenkey-Tchassov's  latest creation is Burlesque Bikini Boot Camp which incorporates "aerobics, strength training, ballet and yoga with the burlesque art of the tease " for a fun and very sexy workout. Gift one session or a packet of five or join the fun at the Naughty to be Nice Party this Tuesday in NYC benefiting the House of Loveness.

The Gift of Jewelry
If the recipient of your gift is like me and covets jewelry that is unique and elegant, check out Linda Stryker Jewelry. And if you are feeling really generous, give the gift of a gift certificate for a custom designed piece that Linda will create to the gift receiver's specifications.

The Gift of Coaching
Yes, I am wrapping up this gift list with a little self promotion. I'm offering a special ninety minute coaching session with follow up. This is the perfect gift for that person is your life who is ready to get serious about shaking things up and seeing what they can create next. There is not a better way to start the year than with a little introspection on how to get it off to a good start! This is another of those great gifts you can even give yourself!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Myth of the Handcuffs: A Story

"What else am I going to do?" 
There was a time you never asked that question. But that was before, when things were different. It was another century when you thought they cared about you and about what you might contribute to the organization. When you believed. Before it became clear that it was only about the money, how much and how fast it could hit the ledger. .

"What choice do I have, do any of us have?" 
You try to move your hands but they are locked behind your back. You shift your body. The handcuffs hurt today, more than most days.  It seems the more you twist the deeper they dig into your wrists.

"There is no other choice."
Everyone around you agrees. There is no other option. Not for any of them.

"Besides, how can you possibly leave all this?"
There is too much at stake. Money. Benefits. Retirement.

"At least we're all in this together."
Those handcuffs are not yours alone. Everyone else seems to have a pair pressing against their wrists. They come in a variety of colors, some tighter and larger than others. But you're all locked together, each at your respective desks, all convinced you have no other options. You laugh and make jokes and rationalize that this is just the way things are.  Because really, what is the other option? You can't really get out, can you?

"But there must be a way."
In the back of your mind you are sure there has to be a key around here someplace. But where? And who holds it?

"They've got the key. They've got the power."
You hear that so much you start to believe it. You are just a cog in the wheel. "They" are the only ones who can change this. But that can't be right. Can it? This is America.

"There has to be something else I can do !"
You're getting stiff in this chair. You start to struggle. You're trying to get the feeling back in your hands.  You look around for the damn key. You wiggle your fingers.  You feel a button. You press your thumb against it. You push and the cuff on your right hand releases. There wasn't a key after all!  You weren't locked in. Not really. Your wrists are sore and the cuffs have made a mark. But you've escaped!

"But what are you going to do now?"
The voice in the chair next to you, their arms still stretched around the chair's back, not moving, sounds worried.

"I'm not exactly sure. But I've been thinking alot. I have some ideas."
An energy floods your body that you have not felt in such a long time. Excitement. Anticipation. Possibility.

"Ideas? But isn't this safer?"

"Maybe. I guess it's how you define safe."

Your workmates looks confused. They have never seen this side of you before.

"You know, you're not really locked in either. I can show you where the release button is."

"No, no. Mine are different. There is no way out for me." 
Their heads shake, convinced they are right and you are wrong.

You understand. You wanted to believe that too, for a long time. It was easier that way.

Are you handcuffed to your job?
Do you believe you have options?
Is it scarier for you to stay or to try something new?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Shoe Shopping & A Lesson In Manifestation

Nothing can update a wardrobe like the right shoes. I was in search of a new pair that would update some of my former work dresses and make them look less corporate and more fun.  I had a shoe in my head that would fit this picture. The only problem was I couldn't seem to find the shoe.

Everything I found was either not comfortable enough or so comfortable they looked like they should be paired with yoga pants. There were heels that were too flat, which I have discovered over time hurt my feet as much as those that stand me at six feet tall. I tried the discount stores and the high end stores. I couldn't even find a pair that matched my vision of smart, stylish, a little sexy and able to walk in that were too expensive for my budget. And trust me, I was nearing the point were I might be tempted to pull out my credit card for just such an item and not care.

But I held out. I reminded myself that I had been here before and I was a lucky shopper. I always find what I want. Sometimes it happens quickly and sometimes it requires patience.

Which is how I found myself at the Theory sample sale last week. No they were not selling shoes. But standing next to me in the open space that passes for a dressing room at these sample sales was a woman with really great shoes. In fact they were almost exactly what I wanted. If the heel was just a tad lower they would be perfect. I kept looking at the shoes. I complimented them. She looked up momentarily from her Blackberry to thank me.

But I couldn't stop looking.  As I stood half naked trying on a khaki green shirt I asked her where she got them. Another pause, this time from the Blackberry and her conversation with her girlfriend, and she proceeded to give me the name of the company, tell me they had a new store on Bond Street and a website. And oh, they came in a version with a lower heel and they were surprisingly comfortable.

Now I know my shoes, but had never heard of United Nude. Funny how when desire is about to be fulfilled my memory never fails me. Back home, in front of my computer I managed to remember the name, looked them up and made a phone call to check for my size. A couple of hours later I was on the B train and I had my shoes. Turns out they were reasonably priced and 10% off!  I had found my shoes and as a bonus had a gotten a much needed lesson in manifestation.

The Lesson:
Know what you want. Trust you will get it. Hold the vision clear, but not so tightly that you might be pressed to settle for less than what that picture is. Believe. Don't think the manifestation will necessarily occur in an expected arena.  The  clues to fulfilling that desire might appear in unusual places. Look for signs.Take Action. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Unexpected Acknowledgment

I am a big believer in acknowledgment. I thank people when they do something nice for me, whether it is opening a door or buying me dinner. I try not to take even the most simple kindness for granted and recognize those around me, from the stranger who might offer me his seat to those closest to me for their generous and unwavering support. I even thank my Twitter followers when they like my post enough to retweet it to their friends.

I think it is good karma. You get back what you send out. Yet I am always surprised when I am the one receiving acknowledgment. I rarely expect it.  It took a long time but I've learned how to  gracefully say thank you. Still, as my Aunt Jean remarked to me recently it is much easier to give than to receive.

I was especially caught off guard when I received a note stuck in between all the bills and catalogs in the mail over the Thanksgiving weekend. Yes, there was actually good old fashioned mail in there, the kind in the form of a letter, handwritten with a stamp on it. Nothing  electronic about it.

But what amazed me the most was the content. It was a thank you note. For no obvious reason. I had not given the sender a gift or helped with a project. I had not recently hostessed a party or cooked them dinner. It was not from a client happy with the results of our coaching sessions or a reader that really likes my writing.

It was a simple note of gratitude for me and the role I have played in their life.
Wow, huh? 
That's how I felt.
Humbled. Appreciative. And yes, as is par for the course for me, with tears in my eyes.
I was moved.

Because you see, I really didn't know.  Yes, we get along well. Yes, I have offered my advice solicited and unsolicited countless times. It's what I do. Yes, we are family by marriage and so there is connection. But I hadn't really known how they saw me. And it meant something really great to hear it.

Do you acknowledge others in your life for no apparent reason?
What would happen if you did today, if you sent someone a note and let them know?
If you used the phone instead of a text message?
Go ahead, I dare you!
Extra credit if you use snail mail!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ya Gotta Play To Win

I never win anything. OK. I stand corrected. Once in a while I win something, just not very often. But my low odds never stop me from buying a MegaMillions ticket and dreaming.  And it does not stop me from entering the occasional online contest, just for the fun of it.

Take for instance a few weeks ago when one of the websites I like to visit, StyleSubstanceSoul was giving away a pair of shoes. I liked the concept, SpareSoles, handy little ballet flats that fit into your purse for those moments when you just can't walk one more step in the shoes on your feet and want to run barefoot. Clever idea. And ever so practical if you live in a city like New York and have a penchant for shoes with style like me.

I filled out my name and email address and let it go. And then just yesterday afternoon I got a note from their swag department informing me that I had won! Yes, me the person who rarely wins contests but still harbors eternal hope had won her very own pair of Spare Soles!

The experience turned around an otherwise ordinary day. You see, I saw this not just as a prize, or one more pair of shoes to add to my collection. I saw this as a clear reminder that you have to play to win. Whatever it is, from filling out what might seem to others as a silly little contest form to taking a small step towards living a life you love. If you don't at least try, you never know. And if you don't take that first step, your chances of moving from the spot you are standing in dwindle. So today, I dare you to play to win.

Whatever it is, from buying that Lotto ticket to calling that hot guy you've been dying to go out with to submitting a story to a literary contest or your resume for a job that you are certain is already filled. You'll never know if you can win if you don't take a step to play.

Do you think winning is for everyone else but you?
Do you get in the game and play or sit on the sidelines and wonder why nothing changes?
How will you play to win today?

Stop by StyleSubstanceSoul , an online gathering of women who strive to look good, feel good, do good.
Visit Spare Soles and check out these genius flats that make wearing heels more fun

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Full Plate

I like to carry a full plate. Most days I think it to be the most fun way to travel. I like diversity. I like having a variety to choose from. It's one of the reasons I chose to create this part of my life to include multiple revenue streams. I never get bored.

It wasn't always like that for me. I used to stop when my plate got too full. There were only two ways I knew how to make room for more. One was to remove something, the other to become paralyzed, look at the crowded plate and spend more energy wondering how I would handle it all instead of doing anything about it. One day a friend remarked that when my plate got too full, I should think about getting a bigger one.

I liked that idea and whenever I find myself angsting about all I've piled on I remember that comment.

Thursday  I looked at my Thanksgiving dinner plate filled with a little bit of everything, turkey with gravy, sausage stuffing with chestnuts and pine nuts, roasted potatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts, and spanokopita (hey, I am a Greek American).

I was full after just a few mouthfuls. Had I piled too much on? I wasn't sure, so I took small bites and tried to savor each one. And I remembered that this was just the beginning. This was the official start to the holiday season. No matter how big a plate I reach for, it's going to get full and quickly.

So what do you do when you are in the habit of carrying around a pretty big plate to start with? How do you fit in the December side dishes, the holiday cocktails, tree trimmings and cookie baking. The shopping, the gift wrapping,

Is this one of those times that no matter how big that plate is, not everything is going to fit? And if it's not, how do you decide what should stay and what should go? Or do you just wear the clothes that are a bit more comfortable and give yourself a daily quota of cocktails and cookies?

I finished every bit of my turkey dinner. I even had an extra dollop of stuffing and spanokopita and finished that off with a dessert that officially marked the end of my two and a half weeks worth of birthday celebrations.

When I started I didn't think I would finish half of it.
I wonder if that is how I will feel on January 1.

What do you do when your plate gets too full?
Do you reach for a bigger one or wait until you get through the one in your hand?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Abundance Challenge

I've been working on creating more abundance in my life. That can be a little challenging in today's world. The media wants me to stay fixed on lack. They can't seem to help themselves from feeding off the fear factor that there just isn't enough to go around anymore.

Our 24/7 information cycle likes to focus on what is missing. Gratitude seems to be absent from their equation. Too many of us get caught up in the spin. I try not to.

You see I believe in Universal law which simply stated is if you want more, whatever more looks like, money, love, relationship, home, a new pair of shoes, you have start from a place of gratitude for what you have now, however small and paltry it might look in someone else's light.

This is not easy. Even for one who practices it as I. Just last week when I sent out my first ever newsletter, I noticed myself mired in the four people who chose to unsubscribe. For a few minutes I sunk into that place of lack, forgetting about the dozens who sent me personal notes of congratulations, not to mention the rest who did not unsubscribe. I caught myself. I let myself be really grateful. I focused not just on saying the words aloud but on feeling it.  And just like that I had more than four new subscribers to replace the others. No kidding!

We forget to be thankful. Especially when life poses those really difficult tests. We forget to express gratitude to ourselves, to others, to whatever power we  might choose to believe in that is greater than us. We often lip sync the words and forget that true gratitude is more than words. It is a feeling.

This isn't easy. It takes work.
But it is the kind of work that can be fun if you let it.

I challenge you this holiday to make a list of what you are grateful for. It doesn't have to be pages long. A short list of ten will do.

I further challenge you to share that list with whomever you are fortunate enough to spend the holiday with. And if by chance you are spending a quiet day at home by yourself with a turkey sandwich and a good book, pick up the phone and call someone. Share that list. See how it feels. Let me know what happens.

In gratitude, for you, my readers and for living in a world where I can have a blog on which I can write and publish whatever I so choose, without fear!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DWTS: Live Or Staged?

Tonight is the finale of Dancing With The Stars.  This used to be appointment television for me. But as you know DWTS and I parted ways at the beginning of the season over a difference in the definition of what being a star means.

Of course even without having once turned on the show all Fall,  I would have to be living under a rock not to know that somehow Bristol Palin has managed to get herself into the final three.  Bristol Palin's weekly scores  are apparently more significant and warrant more media attention than the Start Treaty.

As a seasoned viewer I can tell you that she is  hardly  the first not so great dancer that should have been voted off weeks earlier but managed to survive longer than she should.  She has one of those fan bases that is more dedicated to the interactive voter aspect than your average viewer. But usually by this, the season finale what you are left with are truly the best dancers.

Not so this time. Two really good dancers and Bristol. Or so I am told by the press and  the few people I know who still watch the show.

The Palins and their fan posse will tell you it is all fair and honest and there is no truth to the questionable methods being tauted by the coalition of conservatives rallying to see her win. That people can relate to "poor Bristol" because she is like them, that this is harder for her than it is for the other contestants because she has never been on a stage before, that she is an unwed teenage mother just trying to put food on the table for her child.

To which my answer is  that is  why you are supposed to be a real "star" to participate, so  being the center of attention is not foreign or uncomfortable for you.

I for one do not relate to Bristol or her family. I was too terrified at her age to have unprotected sex for fear of getting pregnant and the repercussion from my father, not to mention moose hunting is not, has never been or is likely to make it to my bucket list. And my mom never reneged on a commitment to a job halfway through. Overall I find their "authenticity" feigned and staged in much the way a dance is choreographed.

As for the economics, has anyone seen the money her mother is raking in since quitting her job as Governor of Alaska?

But I digress.

The bigger question, is it possible that she might win tonight?

I think it is.

And if it happens what message are we sending out there? Are we telling teenagers that it is OK if you get pregnant because you too might turn your life around and get a contract for a reality show? Have we completely denigrated the word "star"?  Or has what was once a fun reality show filled with entertainment become yet another political platform for Bristol's "stage" mother?

What do you think?

Friday, November 19, 2010


This past weekend I spent on the beach in Miami in the midst of  a community I  discovered seven and a half years ago. I was pretty resistant to this group when I first stumbled upon them. They were a bit too happy for me, a bit too positive, a bit too believing in the idea they could create anything they wanted.  But I had one of my hunches that I best not dismiss this too quickly. That Regena Thomashauer and her School of Womanly Arts were on to something. So I signed up for one course which led to another and then another and watched as my life changed.

It was there that I first had the courage to say out loud that what I wanted to be doing more than anything else was to write. It was there I started to believe I might actually be good at it.  It was there I began to see a picture not yet in focus of a life that looked different than the one I was living at the time. It was there that I found a community that supported me in whatever I chose to do. And it was there that I learned the foundation that stopped me from getting all crazy and doom and gloomy when I got my pink slip two years ago.

Until I met Regena I did not really understand community.  Yes, I was raised in a large, supportive and loving family, but believing in yourself and going for your dreams and what made you most happy was not part of the culture or the times. Yes, I had many wonderful friends and colleagues that became my friends. But my core believed  that whatever I wanted to achieve in life would be about what I did. I could do it alone. I did not need any help. I had limitations.

I had no idea how wrong I was.

This past weekend amidst pink sunsets and palm trees I was reminded of what I only first started to learn when Regena got her hands on me. That everything happens faster when community supports you. That doubt gets erased when the faces you look into believe in you when you don't. That transparency and authenticity are more scary but a much fulfilling way to live. That dreams do come true if you give them the space and the support they need to manifest and surround yourself in the energy that allows them to breathe.


Regena's curriculum is not for everyone. She is outrageous and courageous and will push you to the edge of your envelope if you dare. I am forever in gratitude that I took and continue to take that challenge.

This weekend I soaked in not only the sun, but the warmth of community. I remembered how essential it is to a life well lived. I remembered that it is critical to not just believe in yourself but to surround yourself with others who remind you of your strengths and who believe in you too. And most of all I was reminded that this thing we call life is a practice and if you want to get good at living a pleasurable one, as Regena would say no matter what falls in your path, you need to keep your community around you. They are the ones who help to light the way and to remind you when your practice needs practice.

Do you have a community that supports you and lifts you or do you have one that holds you back?
Do you believe you can do it all yourself or do you reach out for support?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Today I launched my newsletter!
Two years ago I launched my blog!
?? years ago I was born!
Happy Birthday to us all!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Investing In You

I always tell people that one of the first steps they can make in committing to change in their life is to hire a coach. A monetary investment is a statement that you are serious about shaking things up.

Now that might sound a bit self-serving coming from someone who is a coach. But I do walk the walk on this one. Since the first time I entered a therapist office in 1982 when I wanted to summon the courage to leave teaching I have hired numerous coaches, worked with intuitive healers and partaken in more than one group seminar. Sometimes the reasons were clear and other times the reasons were to get clear. While the investment at first might have appeared less tangible than others, I have found if done right, to have a much longer shelf life.

What I continue to be perplexed by are the people who balk at such an investment. They’ll hire a tennis coach to improve their game, they’ll invest in the stock market or real estate, think nothing of spending $2000 on a piece of jewelry or art, not to mention $300 on a pair of Manolos, but consider investing money in someone to coach them through a tough patch, to start a new business, to reinvent their career or to improve their communication skills to be a frivolous expenditure.

The only investment they see worthwhile is in something concrete with a quick return that  they can hold in their hands or at least be able to show it off to friends at a dinner party.

Ask them to invest in the part of them that most can’t see, their psyche, their soul, their spirit, their power or their dreams and they’ll tell you they cannot afford it or they can do it themselves.

Maybe it’s because I’ve never been a do it yourselfer but I’ve always enlisted support whether it was to paint the bedroom or launch a new career. But mostly it’s because I believe we were not meant to walk this path alone.

I believe that real change requires a good assist. That a good coach will guide, give you the tools you need, get you thinking, cheer you on through the ups and downs, hold the space for that which you want to transform and offer the tough love when needed.

I would not have left teaching without professional support, I would not have been successful in the corporate world, I would not have written a book nor would I have embarked on yet a third career as a writer and coach, without the help and guidance of those I hired along the way.

A good coach will help you to find your best you. A good coach will help you to see what you might be avoiding. A good coach will help you strategize your next promotion, take the seed of an idea for a new business to fruition, or take the scary out of how to start that blog you keep saying you are going to write.  

A good coach believes in you enough to invest her time.
The question is do you believe in you enough to invest?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Vote for Claire Cook

I wrote off my love affair with Dancing with the Stars at the beginning of this season. Their definition of star and mine no longer jived. It was all just too much for me to bear and so I deleted the DVR setting for Monday and Tuesday evenings and found other things to occupy my time.

But there just might be a way for the show to win me back. A petition is underway that started through Media Bistro and GalleyCat to include an author in the next season's lineup. Yes, Author.  In my book an author is a celebrity. Especially one with several publications to her credit, one of which has been made into a major motion picture.

If we can call Bristol Palin and The Situation "stars" why has not  one successful author ever  been given a chance to win the Mirror Ball trophy? Why are we not celebrating good writers who entertain us with words and story as "stars"?  If Dancing with the Stars is redefining "star" and "celebrity" why are authors not included in the mix?

With that I invite you to visit the Facebook petition and cast your vote for my friend, reinventor and author Claire Cook.  Claire has written seven books, her most famous, Must Love Dogs made it to the silver screen. She is totally up for this ride. All we have to do is convince  those casting folks over at ABC and Dancing with the Stars!

Give her a thumbs up and encourage your friends to do the same !

Monday, November 8, 2010

Can You Hear Me And Are You Listening?

In Jon Stewart's closing remarks at the Rally to Restore Sanity he said "If we amplify everything we hear nothing."  But what if we hear and don't actually listen?

When we listen we get the meaning of what is trying to be conveyed within the context of which it is being spoken. Hearing is often cherry picking words or phrases and repeating them back in a way to convey the meaning  we want them to have, not necessarily what the person saying them meant. For example the snippet of a sentence that is served back up as promotional teaser to get us to read more, watch more, or click through to the next link.

I've always been a good listener.  They used to give grades for it in Elementary School. I always got an outstanding. But even with the highest grade you could get I didn't understand. I never heard I was good at something. I heard the negative side, that I was too quiet and didn't raise my hand enough.

But that's what I mean about listening versus hearing.

Listening is a skill that includes comprehension and understanding. Hearing often reflects our own issues. Sometimes it is a process in which we look for the parts we want to hear and ignore the rest. Hearing sometimes is nothing more than a garble of words strung into sentences that if someone asked us to repeat back would be met by a blank stare.

I didn't know back in third grade that being a good listener would make me money. In my first sales job I was told that if I asked the right questions and listened to the answers the client would give me all the information I needed to close a deal. It sounded too simple to be true.

I wasn't going to close a lot of business by going in and starting to talk without knowing what the client needed and how that could match up to my radio station. But if I listened carefully, took notes and applied some strategic thinking I would have the perfect pitch and close a lot of business. Yes, it was really that easy.

It doesn't seem a lot of  people take the time to ask the questions and listen for the answers anymore.   Most seem to be talking too much. Call it a casuality of the "over amplifying" 24/7 world, but there is too much focus on getting your pitch out fast and furious so you can be heard above the crowd whether or not anyone is interested in hearing it. There just isn't enough real listening going on.

But there is a lot of hearing what we want to. And a lot more of twisting the parts we do catch to suit our purposes or worse yet, create unintended meaning.

The number one concern voters had at the polls last week was the economy, yet the new majority in Congress seems most focused on repealing Health Care. Are they listening or hearing?

At the Rally to Restore Sanity over 200,000 people turned out from all over the country because they are tired of the yelling and name calling and lack of focus on the real issues that the media spins out of proportion.  The majority of that media heard the rally to be nothing more than a comedy show. The only one who seemed to really be listening was Arianna Huffington.  The rest chose not to listen or perhaps only to hear what they wanted to. I'm guessing it's because they really like enraging and inciting and don't want to hear that most of us want them to stop.

Sometimes we don't really listen because we don't want to acknowledge the truth. Say you start dating someone who tells you loudly and clearly they are not interested in an exclusive relationship. You say you are OK with that. But when you cause a big scene the night you run into them on a date with someone else they are going to ask you if you heard them. You did, but you weren't  listening.

In such a noisy world slowing down long enough to really listen, for yourself and not the way someone else might suggest you comprehend things becomes more important than ever before. It will make all the difference in what your life looks like. Because if you do make the time and you listen and not just hear words, you'll get all the answers you need to create whatever you want for yourself and the world.  Sometimes the voice speaking is the one right inside of you. But you have to be quiet first before you can hear it. And once you hear it you have to listen.

Do you take the time to listen?
Do you think there is a difference between hearing and listening?
What are you hearing today?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Half Full Glass

I choose to view the world through the eyes of a glass half full.  Many would  argue with me and say it is half empty, that I am not being realistic and need to get a grip on things.

I understand that. For a great deal of my life I chose to view things from their angle. I looked at what was missing instead of what I had. I viewed the path ahead with fear instead of anticipation. It got me nowhere, except too often feeling sorry for myself, a few creases in my forehead and a not so happy look on my face.

I thought I lacked the control to do anything about it. But I was wrong.

The first thing I could do was choose to look at things differently. I could choose to see the glass as half full with more flowing into it or I could choose to see it as half empty and draining quickly.

It's all in the perspective. It's all a choice.

When I see the glass half empty, fear sets in.  I try and hold on to what I have before it slips away to nothing. The fear does not propel me forward as some like to believe. It paralyzes. Whatever I manage to do to get that glass full seems counterproductive. All I can see is the lack. I throw the reigns of the power to do something about it to someone else.

But when I choose half full I start from a place of gratitude for what I have already. I have a clear head. I feel the abundance of what is already in front of me. I don't stop wanting more.  But I feel powerful in that there are steps I can do to fill that glass to the brim. I am full of energy to do the work.

There will be a lot of glass half empty stories today or half full depending on which side of the fence your views sit.  There will be many who will argue and debate what the "truth" of the contents are.

I say it is nothing more than perspective. You may not think you have a choice in how you want to see things, but you do.  And if you choose half full, it doesn't mean you just get to look at the glass and smile and think it's going to stay like that. It takes work. And you have to be willing to do it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Whatever your day looks like, 
whatever you are doing,
make sure you Vote! 

If you need reasons why, read my blog again or check out Seth Godin's.  If you are a woman and were thinking about staying home check out Style Substance and Soul for a refresher course on what women endured to earn the right or check out Gloria Feldt's take on why voting is a way for women to use their power and be heard.

And if you want a history lesson on Democracy told by a group of celebrity Greeks that will not only make you laugh, but make you vote and then check this out!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Road Trip to Sanity

I don't remember the last time I attended a rally much less held a picket sign in my hand. What I know for sure is that it was in a different century somewhere in the late sixties or early seventies when demonstrating for or against something was considered part of growing up.

But I did Saturday. My friend Gayle and I took a road trip that started Friday morning and headed down to DC to join the Rally to Restore Sanity. Yes, I, not Oprah, and my friend Gayle, not hers, packed up my car with  a few snacks, no GPS and no camera crew and made our way through the Lincoln Tunnel for parts South.

I lived in DC for three and a half years when Clinton was in office. I spent a lot of that time lost, trying to figure out the crazy radial system of streets designed by Pierre L'Enfant, constantly worried I would wind up in the wrong neighborhood. So to make me feel at home again, we missed our turn, wound up in one of those questionable neighborhoods and spent forty five minutes navigating our way to the hotel with the help of my cellphone and Alexander, the hotel's concierge manager.

But I digress. Yes, the first thing we did when we finally got on the right Maryland Avenue was head to the lobby bar. Over cocktails was the first time we realized we had managed to get ourselves here but had forgotten to organize signs. What we didn't know then was that two women from San Francisco would ask us to take their picture with their signs in front of the hotel Saturday morning. We also didn't know they just happened to have extras they did not want to go to waste. All we needed was some rulers and particle board to staple them to from the CVS across the street, the help of Robert, the hotel manager and we were on our way.

There is something about attending a rally when you are standing amidst 200,000 plus people that are joined because you agree on at least one thing that is immensely gratifying. Watching or in my case trying to avoid the 24/7 news cycle filled with snapshots of rage and anger and fear mongers, I sometimes think that maybe I'm the only one that isn't riddled with fear. That I am the only one who understands that taking an economy back from the brink of disaster just two years ago is not going to be easy or quick. That I'm the only one who wonders what happened to debate, to agreeing to disagree, to being polite and to compromising on solutions.

Saturday was evidence there are others just like me.

The sea of people who surrounded us was not what the research or the pundits would describe as Jon Stewart's audience. They were a mixture of  younger and older, men and women, from a multitude of races. They were in wheelchairs and with canes. They didn't regard hope  and change as bad words. They want honest discourse. They want to get things done. They were not as some might try to convince us just a bunch of  left leaning liberals. As one ordinary white guy in a baseball cap who I could not  distinguish from a disillusioned Democrat or a reasonable Republican's  sign said "I may not agree with you President Obama, but I don't think you're Hitler."  They were interested in change but as another sign held by one of those women they tell us are not going to vote on Tuesday suggested, not in taking "the country back, but in moving it forward." They were not there for a leisurely stroll on the mall on a beautiful October afternoon, although that was a nice touch. They were there to make a statement.

Yes, there were some to just happened to be visiting our nation's capital and stumbled on this event. Like the pretty young Asian woman who stopped us, no microphone in hand, no sign of Candid Camera lurking in the background. She pointed to my sign and asked what that meant, sanity?

Gayle and I knew we were never going to be able to really see this with so many people in front of us, but that was OK. We were here not to see something, but to be a part of something. To make a statement that all this rage and anger and hatred being fueled and incited by a few must stop.

We found a spot close to the stage, even if it was behind it. Gayle spotted a tent with a TV feed that we could stand next to for our soundtrack. The sun was shining, the Capitol was behind us and  Cat Stevens was singing Peace Train and yes, I felt like seventeen again.

I live my life believing that out of something bad can come good. Sometimes that is not so easy to see. But Saturday was an example. Out of all this rage and anger being spewed, the fear mongering, the lying, the lack of politeness and civil discourse a wonderful event was created and a powerful statetment was made.

We who were there are the 80% that the cameras never make it to because we are not loud enough, or rude enough or lie enough to stay something stupid enough to make a headline. We love this country as much as anyone despite reports that want to convince you otherwise. Even Saturday, when I had my speech all prepared I never saw a reporter interviewing anyone. I was in fact wondering where they all were.

No one knows for sure what lasting effect if any the Rally to Restore Sanity will have. The 24/7 news cycle doesn't want it to have any. They were right back to doomsday predictions as soon as the Rally ended, dismissing the crowd as nothing more a left leaning group with nothing else to do on a fall Saturday afternoon and deciding this in some way would have a negative effect on Jon Stewart. I beg to differ but then what do I know? I was there.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Wandering the Web

I've been wandering the web this week.

For where I have been and what I have been writing check out these two links.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Things They Are A Changing

While many like to argue that things aren't changing fast enough there are those who think things are changing too much and pushing hard and loud against it. I'm not talking politics today, although this certainly holds true for that as well, but the way we do business.

As the economy struggles to rebuild, the old rules don't necessarily apply, although many will tell you just the opposite, hanging on to my most favorite of laments,"But this is always the way we've done things." Those who are brave enough to think out of the box are not always supported. In fact they are often chided, told their way will never work and their doom is predicted before they go up to bat, especially by those who find it safer to hold on to the old ways.

But the fact is that change is a happening. Just because things have always been done a certain way does not mean it's still going to work. And just because someone or some new business enterprise decides to defy the laws of convention does not mean they are doomed. In fact it might be just the opposite.

Case in point is an interesting article by David Carr in The New York Times on The Awl. The Awl calls themselves a "web based" concern with the intention of encouraging "a daily discussion of the issues of the day."  They focus on the stuff everyone else doesn't pay much attention to but is still interesting and newsworthy.

The Awl did not skyrocket to over night success.  But two years later things are turning a corner. I  invite you to read the article in entirety for the details and to visit their site. But my point is they went against convention and it worked.

We live in a world of over analyzing, with too many claiming to be experts.  Too many more saying this is the way, the only way and if you don't follow that way, you're wrong, not to mention doomed to fail. We look for the problems instead of the solutions. We fail to pay enough attention to our instincts.

But things are a changing. Morphing. Evolving. It's one of those times in history where we can take the best of what we know and have learned and apply it in new and innovative ways.

I like what the founders of The Awl did. They created something based on what they knew their circle of friends would read. There were no high priced focus groups or infamous polling. No five year business plan.

They went with what I am sure was their instincts whether they realized it at the time or not.  They created a viable business doing what they like best. They could have failed and perhaps at another point in time they would have.  But not now.  'Cause things, they are a changing.

Maybe they were lucky. But as a boss I had early in my career used to say, there is no  luck. If you are in the right place at the right time,  doing what you are supposed to be doing you have created your own luck. These days that might mean going against convention.

Do you justify what you do by saying this is the way we've always done it?
Or do you defy convention?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Getting Political

One of the great things about having your own blog is that you can do whatever you want with it. And if some days that means going a little off course from what you usually write about you can. So today with just a week away from the mid term elections that is what I am going to do. I am going to get political.

I'm not one of the ragers. I am not a doomsday predictor. I have said more than once here I am  the girl who looks at the glass as half full and I believe change is good, even if at times it is hard to get your arms around.

But the one thing that really does incite me is when I hear the predictions that people are just not going to vote this election. That they are going to sit this one out for a variety of pundit inspired reasons, from those who are just too disillusioned there hasn't been enough change to some who are being encouraged not to vote because they are told that will make a statement to those they might be angry at. And of course there are those who think their vote doesn't count. That no matter who they vote for things will stay the same.

In most corporate organizations, those mentalities would get you fired. Can you imagine telling your boss that you weren't even going to try and sell a client because you knew already they weren't going to buy?  Or that you weren't going to make any more cold calls because the economy is awful and no one is biting anyway? Or sitting around a conference table and when it came time for your opinion you said you were passing? That you didn't have any?

Or how about those Texas Rangers? The ones who are going to their first World Series? What if they had told their managers that they should just sit out the playoffs  because they always lost  and the Yankees were going to win anyway? That there wasn't any use in even getting up to bat?

I get especially incensed when I hear it is mostly women who are going to sit this election out.  In Gloria Feldt's new book, the #1 power tool she suggests for women is to know your history. With that let me remind the women reading this that the Declaration of Independence stated that "all men are created equal", The Constitution, which so many believe we need to enforce by the letter within which it was written, was the creation  of a bunch of white men and that women had to fight to earn the right to vote in 1920, less than one hundred years ago!

You can see how that enrages me for so many reasons, not the least of which is that I don't believe in all the predictions of low voter turnout.

What I do believe is that it is media hype. Something else to fill the 24/7 endless repetition of nothing that fills most cable news networks.  (Check out Seth Godin's blog for a non politically directed spin on what I am referring to.)

The majority of us are not political pundits with a blog or show to fill. We are not answering our phones when the pollsters call. And if we are under thirty chances are our only phone is a cell phone which completely eliminates us from the process.

Pardon me if this sounds too optimistic for many of you, but I am sensing that all that rage being spewed by the few with the microphones attached to their paychecks, has now spawned the anti-rage. Enthusiasm without the anger. Enthusiasm with sanity. Sort of along the lines of what Jon Stewart is organizing this Saturday. A Rally to Restore Sanity.

I don't profess to have all the answers to all the ills we are facing at the moment. But I do believe we are moving forward, albeit slowly. And I also believe everyone has a responsibility in that.  EVERYONE as in you and me.

Voting is one small action that lets your voice be heard. (If the pundits have turned you off so completely that you are uncertain the views of the candidates in your area check out this very cool non-partisan site, Project Vote Smart.)

I worked in advertising sales through more than one recession. We couldn't wait for someone else to do the work to make our budget. No matter how tough and unrealistic, EVERYONE had to do their part. No order was ever considered too small, which meant if you were a rookie with no list or a heavy hitter with a host of clients to cajole, you were expected to do your part and contribute. A $1000 order was as important as a $10,000 order in getting the team closer to the goal. No one got to sit out.

I've chosen to use my blog as my platform today because I am not sitting this election out. If I have convinced even one of you to vote that wasn't planning on it, I'll consider this a blog worth writing.  I'll be rallying on Saturday in Washington, DC because I want to support more sanity and get on with the job of getting things moving forward.  I'll be making calls encouraging others to do their part on Election Day, so if it's me who you hear on the phone, don't hang up!  Most importantly,  I'm  choosing to vote. The question is, will you?

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