Tuesday, September 17, 2013

To Know Yourself Is To Express Yourself

If you ask most people what matters most, physical appearance or one's inner character, the common answer will be "It's what's inside that counts". And, I couldn't agree more. However, in today's fast paced and competitive world, first impressions are more important than ever. So, if what's inside is what matters most, how to express that outwardly would be an important thing to understand. But, there's another important reason to present an authentic image. And, that's for yourself.

Your image not only represents to others your character and values, it is a form of personal empowerment, too. Truth is, we often ignore the steps necessary to create the experience of personal empowerment through our dress for the sake of fitting in with the role and expectations we've assumed others have of us. Not only will this sabotage your ability to represent to others what is unique and important about who you are. It weakens your own self confidence.

What are your strongest personal characteristics? Those you most appreciate in yourself? Those you most want to express and to contribute to others? If you've never made a list, literally, then how can you be absolutely certain when you are expressing your Truest Self.

It's interesting, I think, that the term, "taking inventory of ourselves", seems to be so much about identifying weaknesses and things we need to work on. And, though we may do so with little deliberateness, most of us have come to think of identifying our failings as a way of motivating change. But, setting our minds on changing without bringing just as much consciousness to our strengths and positive personal characteristics will just perpetuate the notion that we need to change without ever learning to accept those traits within us that only need to be expressed. Not changed.

Making this personal profile is one step of a process of learning to acknowledge the person you are committed to being. And, by association, effecting your circumstances to be a greater reflection of what you want in your life.  You might call the act of making such a list a catalyst for the movement and personal growth that lies ahead.

This list will be as unique from anyone else's as a finger print. And, just as no finger print is better or worse than an other's, nor would your set of personal characteristics. Wouldn't it be great if we could all be true to ourselves around each other? Rather than posing or pretending to be someone better or different? We could all experience our Selves and others being authentic, humble, and as accepting of each other as we've learned to be of ourselves.

So, here's the way to do this.

Sit down in a comfortable position with a journal or legal pad and begin making a list of 50 single words, or adjectives; Personal characteristics you consider true to who you are. Those you think of as positive. Go at whatever pace you want. This could take an hour or more. There's no rush. This is not about how fast you can do it. It's about giving yourself the time necessary to be thoughtful and honest. You could even make it a nighttime exercise. Writing a few words a night till you get to 50.

The next step, to be done with the same intentionality, is to reduce the list to 25. These would be the 25 adjectives, out of the 50, that you believe most represents personal characteristics that you want your relationships and circumstances to be reflective of.

Sit with these 25 characteristics for a week. Share them with others. Read them nightly. And think, as you do, how they might contribute or be contributing to your relations and circumstances.

After a week of this kind of reflection narrow those 25 down to 10. Highlight those you believe will most empower you to be authentic and positively impact your relationships and circumstances and, ultimately, contribute to creating those relationships and circumstances to be more fulfilling.

Again, sit with these 10 characteristics for a week. Share them. Read them nightly. And think, as you do, how they contribute to, or will contribute to, greater satisfaction within your relationships and circumstances. These ten words represent your personal qualities and characteristics that will empower your ability to be authentic. And, by committing yourself to bringing them forth, not just in the way you dress but in all ways of self expression, you will find greater self confidence, self acceptance, and acknowledgement.

Give me a call if you want to prioritize your list or want support in being more authentic in your self expression.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Do I..... Or Don't I.... Matter

Do you ever ask yourself if you matter? Kind of like wondering to yourself ... "Do I make a difference?" Or, "Am I having an impact?". "How do I fit in?". Etc.?. Do you ever find yourself immersed in thought and questions like these?

If you do, and when you are, do you find yourself to be less fully present then you'd like to be? Regardless of your surroundings or whomever your with, whether alone, by yourself, or in the middle of a conversation with somebody, this inner self questioning will distract you from wherever you are, whatever you happen to be doing, or with whomever you're with. It's as if you believe that finding the confidence to say, "Yes. Indeed I do matter!", will allow you to be more fully present to the situation or circumstances at hand.

But, know this. However much you believe that finding a positive answer to these questions is to any degree essential, what's even more essential is uncovering the motivation to be asking.

Bringing more light and perspective to the automaticity and frequency of your inner questioning, will open you up to seeing with crystal clarity how unanswerable and forever debatable these questions are and will continue being. Truth is, no set of circumstances will provide any factual evidence to even pose such questions.  Then why do you keep asking?


If you believe that the automaticity, investment, and frequency of such self questioning stands between you and being more fully present, engaged, and satisfied, then read on:

I often talk about two types of conversations we have going on most all the time. One is an inner conversation. A monologue or dialogue you're having with yourself. The second is public. A conversation you happen to be in, at the moment, with another.

The disparity between one conversation and the other will effect the quality of your communication.

The inability to see these two conversations going on simultaneously and distinct from each other will create communication problems. Active listening of the person(s) speaking will be compromised. How can you clearly hear, let alone respond most intelligently, when you don't know which conversation you're listening to? Chances of misunderstanding and responding poorly become greater. Quite often damaging our image and our relationship.

Bringing consciousness, shining a light on this machinery, and observing it in action, will transform your sense of self and ability to engage with others more powerfully and authentically!   

But, how can you learn to separate one conversation from the other and be more fully present, when your life as it is doesn't offer the time or perspective for you to see and employ this power?

Insight and Acknowledgment Coaching will help you slow down the questioning machinery, look into the gears that keep it running, and empower you in dismantling it's power.

Working together you'll come back to your Self, get back in touch with your magnificence, ability to engage with Authenticity, and produce results consistent with who you really are. Your True Self.

With Love,

For a free 1st time consultation?....Just ask.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Digital Excess and Cognitive Decline


With Permission, By

David Edelberg, MD @ Whole Health Chicago

Try this experiment. Sit somewhere unobserved, like a Starbuck’s or a doctor’s waiting room, and just watch people. If you see someone sitting alone, likely she’ll be checking her smart phone or laptop or plugging into music. People sitting in groups of two or more will interrupt themselves to glance at their phones, text-checking. If someone’s phone actually rings or vibrates, watch for the sudden startle response, a mini-version of the fight-or-flight response that protects us from muggers and marauding bears, now mainly used for phone answering.

Today, devices seem to always trump personal interaction.
If you think about it, just about everyone in your field of vision does something during the day that involves something digital. Many are engaged in what’s widely called multi-tasking. Of course when we multi-task we don’t really perform two or more tasks at the same moment. We simply spend less time on each effort, incessantly shifting focus and attention. And after a day in the digital world, we return home, where we continue to use our electronic devices for personal use, TV’s 800 cable channels and 50,000 Netflix movies at the ready.
According to the latest data, kids 8 to 18 spend 7.5 hours every day amusing themselves with screen time (TV, video games, phone) and listen to most of their music (and conduct phone conversations) with ear buds in position. This prepares them well for the adult digital life we observed in our earlier Starbuck’s/doctor’s office experiment.
Is a life like this–incessantly audiovisual when young, nonstop screen and phone checking as we get older–“bad” for us? Are there long-term health consequences? Since the digital world that dominates our lives hasn’t been around long, we simply don’t know. But given what we’re observing now, we can make some educated guesses.
Digital-free camping
For example, when psychologists took a group of 20-somethings on a five-day, digital-free camping trip, based on well-conceived psychological testing there was a 50% increase in their creative skills when they returned. You really can’t interpret a study like this to prove that a 24/7 digital world will necessarily result in a decline of creativity, but our minds do need stimulus-free down time to develop new ideas. In a beautiful phraseology, the study’s authors write: “Our modern society is filled with sudden events (sirens, horns, ringing phones, alarms, television, etc.) that hijack attention. By contrast, natural environments are associated with gentle, soft fascination, allowing the executive attentional system to replenish.”
In its own way, being on a nature trip like this, freeing your mind to wander or concentrate as you desire, is similar to practicing mindfulness meditation, a brain exercise anyone can learn that also has been shown to boost creativity.
A lot of research has been done on mindfulness meditation, perhaps most exciting its ability to rewire your brain (no matter how old you are), activating the prefrontal cortex so that your brain functions like that of someone younger than you. Practicing mindfulness meditation also increases connectivity in the very areas affected most dramatically by the cognitive decline of aging and Alzheimer’s. It’s even tempting to conjecture that cognitive decline could be prevented by 15 to 30 minutes of daily mindfulness meditation.
We can’t practice mindfulness meditation and text-check at the same time. The question then might be asked, “Are we even capable of being digital-free for a block of time each day? Is it too late to change?” Apparently, changing is a lot harder than we think.
Digital detox, now with analog games
The New York Times recently reported that an enterprising couple, themselves once severe digital addicts, were organizing device-free “Digital Detox” parties. In addition to the standard party fare of drinks and munchies were all sorts of analog distractions for idle hands, including board games, colored thread for friendship bracelets, and manual typewriters. And yes, it was very (very!) difficult for many people. The reporter writes that a woman who worked the entry door checking in digital devices “thought she had seen the unpretty face of addiction” and withdrawal, with one guest reporting “My whole life is on this phone.”
We really don’t know the long-range effects of 7 ½ hours of daily screen time on young people. Nor do we know what happens to our brains when we’re endlessly interrupted by  miniaturized startle responses. But let’s face facts–it doesn’t sound healthy. Are we in the foothills of a collective cognitive decline, just like we all might be going deaf from ear buds?
I’ve certainly observed the stress response in my patients who come into the examining room having forgotten to turn off their phones. One was in the midst of relating a troubling health issue when her phone rang (I’ve never been able to completely enjoy Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Ninth since phones started blasting it). She embarrassedly fumbled with her handbag to silence the monster. Two minutes later, it rang again. “Damn, I thought I’d turned it off. I’m so sorry.” Now she’s lost track of what she was telling me. Two minutes later, again. Now she’s really startled. “I am so sorry, Dr E, it’s a new phone and I can’t seem to get the off button right.”
These events seems to upset my patients far more than me, but as I sit and watch I worry that anyone could actually live like this. After this visit, my patient will leave the office, turn her phone on (correctly), and all day long be besieged by ringing or by its more ubiquitous cousin, “checking,” “checking,” “checking.”

This might be a good time to consider your own personal digital detox. Immerse yourself in nature by taking a trip or simply going for an untethered walk in the park. Consider a course in mindfulness meditation. Open up a few new brain pathways and…
Be well,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Impatience shelters certain emotions. Each painful to experience as they are. Each emotion molded from a thought or perspective we had in the moment of an early and unacceptable experience. I'm not sure any of us can claim not to be impatient. We all are to some degree. The frequency of times we are impatient isn't so much of an issue, though. More so is lacking the consciousness to see the underlying feelings.

Beyond what impatience looks like on the surface. Impatience is a form of self protection. The automaticity with which we become impatient prevents us from experiencing other feelings. Feelings we've decided are negative and detrimental. It's actually out of self love that we developed this machinery. Yes. Self Love. We fail to see that. But, from what else would protecting ourselves from painful feelings come from?

On the surface we think of our impatience as being caused by someone taking a greater amount of time to express their thoughts or convey a message than we think it should or some process taking more time then what we believe is necessary. So, given that in this scenario we assess our experience of impatience as being caused by something other than ourselves, we assume the roll of victim. Yes, you can say that we are all just victims of our circumstances. ...............

That is until you see that the circumstances are no more or less than just that. Circumstances. Those things are just the way things are. That person? That person is being just the way they're being. Things are just the way they are. Though you may be thinking, whatever it is, is taking "too much" time, truth is that that person or that process is taking a specific amount of time. The fact that you subjectively think it's too much time is just that, a subjective thought. The circumstances are just what they are. And, your thoughts are just they way they are. Both, just as they are...no more, no less.

So then, if the circumstances are no more or less than just what they are, how is it you feel like a victim? Why is there such a feeling of being beaten up? Or, beaten down. Kinda like David would've felt if the "David And Goliath" story hadn't gone the way it did.

If the circumstances cannot have any affect on you.. then what is? If, in fact, you cannot be a victim of the circumstances, are you a victim at all??