What is the story you tell about yourself and the world around you?

On a scale of 1-10, what would you say your chances are of getting what your heart desires?

I pay close attention to the stories people tell themselves about who they are and how the world works with or against them. I offer them tools to update their identity in a way that often leads to more than they had imagined. I listen deeply for desire and then we work the puzzle together to flesh out what wasn’t visible before.

Do you remember a time when you DIDN’T DO THE WORK and as much as you craved something new, nothing changed?

I do. Among them, a time that comes to mind is 20-something-me, whose mind was full of creative business ideas. I got idea downloads often and I’d get so excited. But the ideas stayed in my head or on paper. I watched as others acted on similar ideas and it was undeniable–the longest yard was the distance between thinking about ideas and actually DOING THE WORK, doing something about them.

How would you say you approach your heart’s desires now?

Many of us hold Olympic records for procrastination. We have an enormous capacity to endure what isn’t working anymore (or perhaps never worked).

If you’re thinking–I’m tired, it’s too late, I’m too old, please hear me out.

Meaningful change is rarely easy.

Resistance is real.

We can do hard things.

If our understanding is that many circumstances seem to block us from getting what we want, it is often based on the framework or mindset we carry with us. We change that and we change.

If our understanding is that because we think about something, write, talk, or complain about it, that we are actually doing The Thing (which, given the amount of energy, can masquerade as THE WORK), we are destined to fall short of fulfilling what we want.

Find a way into THE WORK and meaningful accomplishment becomes possible.

I’m proud of my amazing coaching clients for doing the work. In coaching, doing THE WORK includes being present for truths that have been avoided. Having difficult conversations. Reallocating time, skills, and resources. Acknowledging success and what can be learned from failure. Managing the inner critic. Asking for help. Building a supportive community.

As a result of showing up for themselves, doing THE WORK produces results like leaving a corporate setting to build a thriving medical practice in the middle of a pandemic; becoming a non-profit executive who nimbly envisions, pivots, and leads her organization to prosper; revitalizing an existing corporate role that stopped allowing for professional growth; starting a business from scratch to align with passion and values…you get the idea.

Big strides, to be sure. But before the strides, there were crippling doubts, complaints, indecision, and wishing things would be better. There was disbelief that things could improve.

Once they got down to the business of slowing down, showing up consistently, and putting healthy habits in place–they gained clarity, sought accountability, followed through, and celebrated wins–once they started doing THE WORK, things really started to change.

Often, it’s a matter of updating the tools with which to create positive change and updating our relationship with ourselves. As Brené Brown says in Atlas of the Heart,
“Our connection with other people is only as solid and deep as our connection to ourselves.”

Powerful Leading True Questions: When was the last time you checked in with yourself and your needs?  What could use an update or mindset shift?

Name it to claim it. Tell me what you discover.

For Further Reading:

Atlas of the Heart, Brene Brown

Body of Work, Pamela Slim

Daring Greatly, Brene Brown

Rules of Estrangement: Why Adult Children Cut Ties and How to Heal the Conflict, Joshua Coleman, PhD

The Art of Possibility, Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander

The War of Art, Steven Pressfield

The Creative Habit, Twyla Tharp


Product Resource: Wirecutter, New York Times (included with New York Time subscription). From gifts to gizmos, they do research I count on before I select certain products.

Shows I recommend:

Daisy Jones and The Six. It’s a riff on a band that resembles Fleetwood Mac and it takes many liberties with the true story. I enjoyed the series more than the book by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I liked it for the peek into what it’s like to be on the road with a band and how they came to famous. For the original music and relationships.

Shrinking. So many people recommended this show, and I had to see what the fuss was about. Loved it–the humor, poignancy, terrific acting, and script.

What I’m reading: I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy. I thought the title and book cover were somewhat unsettling and did not expect to like this book. I found it engaging–a child actor’s (and the woman she becomes) need to please everyone else (especially her mother)–and its real cost with surprising candor and introspection.

What I’m having fun with: Photo collage. I reworked a collage that highlighted family summer fun through the years. It sparked memories of all the hours I’d get lost in collage creations in my teens and 20’s.

What I’m anticipating: Spring bloom of spectacular pink peonies in our yard. A true highlight of the season is the flowers my mother transplanted decades ago from her yard in New Jersey to ours in Maryland. They only last a week or two, but the aroma and memory linger.