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Becoming A Deliberate Something

I’m often asked how I became an ultrarunner, and the short answer is, “One step at a time”.  The deeper answer has something to do with loss and humility.

I started running in my teens as a means to an end.  Whether that end goal was to lose weight, produce positive endorphins, or just clear my head, running was an activity I did solely for the result. It was something to be won and done before I could start or see my day as complete. 

I applied my “hard-charging and no prisoners” mindset to running as equally as I did to the rest of my daily activities.  Although I got the proverbial job done, I was often less than present and deliberate in the doing.  I ran an average of 4 miles a day - enough to call myself a runner - but I was rarely connected to my body when I did it.  Running was a transaction for me. 

Until it wasn’t. 

Like so many others have experienced, I started to feel strange and new pains in my...

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Harvest the Wisdom of Life During COVID

“Slow down” is a phrase I can legitimately say my long-time clients are sick of hearing.  What they don’t realize, is that it’s a message to me, even more than it is to them.  It’s true that slowing down is the most valuable skill and practice I offer to my clients, but it’s like the biggest onion ever; we keep peeling the layers and still, there’s more.

 

I’m in my 50s, and still catch myself wanting to go fast, yet I intentionally bring myself back to the moment.  I do this because I know that the value I’m trying to create, the impact I want to have, and the experience I cannot wait to enjoy can only be done right if I do it with presence and purpose; and we cannot step into either of those states of being when we are rushing.  I know this to be very true.

 

After all these years of practice, this is the first thought that comes to my mind when I open my eyes in the morning:...

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What About Me?

I absolutely love my work.  Folks ask me if I’m exhausted at the end of the day, having been in deep coaching conversations for 8-9 hours.  I secretly believe that most people think I’m lying when I say I’m far from exhausted.  In truth, I’m even more energized after countless sessions.  Don’t get me wrong - I schedule plenty of time to rest my brain and body, and being very familiar with the symptoms of overwork and burnout (both in myself and my high achieving clients), I incorporate all the life balance and integration systems I teach my clients into my own life.

 

But burnout is more often the result of an emotional challenge rather than a physical or mental one.  In my work with clients, two main culprits present most often when we find ourselves experiencing burnout.   The first is the thought and ensuing belief that our work is not meaningful, and the other is that we are not appreciated.  Let’s focus...

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The “Just Do It” Myth

If you regularly beat yourself up because you continue to do or say things you know, for a fact, are not good for you and don’t serve you - just stop! Don’t beat yourself up, you’re actually being completely normal.

 

 

Nothing is wrong, broken or self sabotaging about you.  You don’t suck because you’re unable to do the “right” thing, even though you know the right thing to do.  If you, like me, heard the saying, “To know better is to do better”, and decided that something is wrong with you because you know better but you’re not doing better, keep reading and let me share why knowing and doing are not related.

 

Gaining more information leads to more knowledge; a worthy and beautiful thing in and of itself.  Being knowledgeable allows us to be more interesting, smart, and useful to others.  We have so much to share, and there are not enough hours in the day to dispense...

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Intimacy is not a Feeling, it's a Result

work/life balance Feb 25, 2021

What is the first emotion you experience when you hear the word, “intimacy”?

 

If you’re like most of us, the emotion is surprisingly confusing, loaded, and falls somewhere within the purgatory of emotions that should feel good, but somehow don’t.  So if you think this word should evoke love in you, but find yourself experiencing fear, confusion, loneliness, shame or guilt instead, well, you’re not alone.

 

Because words are the building blocks of conversation, and conversations are the building blocks of my work with clients, I’ve always got my head in the dictionary.  I want to know what a word means to Webster, which then gives me a base to understand what each of us has made that certain word mean to ourselves.  Curiously, I never wanted to read the dictionary definition of intimacy.  And I think that’s because I truly believe words can’t adequately describe this extraordinarily important...

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Get Off The Bicycle!

What’s the state of your Life Buckets?  When was the last time you checked to see how empty or full each one is?

 

One of the first exercises I introduce my clients to, is the process defining your 3-4 Life Buckets.  Once we identify our Core Life Values (a separate exercise), we can then decide on the areas of our life that are of priority.  Will it be Fun/Enjoyment, Philanthropy, Career, Parenting, Intimate Relationship, Health, etc., ...?  The list goes on, but the Buckets don’t.  It’s imperative that we choose no more than 4, as difficult as it may be.

 

We do this because the biggest robber of our time and attention - the only true capital we have - is the lack of awareness and commitment about what matters most to us.  Jim Collins, the author of “Good To Great”, states that “If you have more than three priorities, you have no priorities.”  It’s the same with Life Buckets.  Any...

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Don't Be A Selfless Giver

I’m a thief - an excellent one - but still, a thief.  I have no new ideas.  Everything I know, everything I teach, coach and write about, I’ve gained by being fully present to others’ wisdom.  I used to think that I need to come up with novel ideas, talks, and teachings, but in the last decade, I’ve changed my mind.

 

Why should I torture myself to create a new idea or judge myself as “not creative” if I’m not the inventor of a concept, when so much valuable knowledge, information and wisdom already exists?  Those of you who are in my coaching community have heard me repeat often, that knowing and doing are not related.  We know this through scientific evidence, but also by looking at our own lives. 

 

I was terrific at gaining knowledge for the first 5 decades of my life, but it wasn’t until I gained the understanding of how to use that knowledge to transform my day to day life, that I began to...

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Loneliness vs. Solitude - It's About Choice

work/life balance Sep 17, 2020

Everywhere we turn, we are told that there is a loneliness epidemic, now far worsened by the mandate to social distance due to COVID.  Even before this pandemic, the data overwhelmingly points to the cost of loneliness in huge populations with people of all ages.  A ground breaking 2010 study from Brigham Young University found that weak social connections can shorten a person’s life by 15 years - roughly the same impact as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

 

In my own work, once COVID hit, long time clients suddenly began struggling with novel challenges like whether or not they wanted to stay with their long-term partners, how to interact with their adolescent children who were now at home all the time, and for my single clients (of all ages), how to spend so much time in their own company.

 

This blog is not about touting the benefits of having strong social circles, honest communication with our partners, and parenting to enjoy our children as well as guide...

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Life in the Time of Corona

These are complex times and I thought long and hard before writing this blog.  There is so much “information” being hurled at us - whether we’ve invited it or not - and I wasn’t sure I would add value by creating yet another piece of content.

So I stayed quiet and under the radar, hoping that this giving over of our minds and bodies to fear which is manifesting on an exponential level all around us, will lessen as the days go by.  But it seems to me - and I hope I’m wrong - that this is only the beginning. So what did I do? I fell for it myself.  

Those of you who read my blogs regularly know that I’m always in awe of my clients; their courage and wisdom often brings me to tears.  Perhaps you might find it surprising, but when I feel myself getting muddled in the head, confused, and ungrounded, in addition to reaching out to my own coach, I also will choose one client that I can share my situation with, and ask for his or...

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Freedom From or Freedom To?

Do you want to be free?

I’m guessing that your answer is a resounding yes.  Mine was, even before I had the language to express it.  My earliest memories are of roaming in our magical garden in Iran, and feeling like I was free to do and be whatever I wanted.  That was my 5 year old mind’s definition of freedom.

Later, as more expectations were laid on me - expectations of what a girl should be, what my religion and culture demanded, family obligations and academic expectations - freedom became something else altogether.  Freedom from, was what I longed for and actively worked towards.

By the time I reached my early twenties, I had successfully freed myself from all those chains that bound me.  I said to myself, “You can be whatever you want. Married, single, Jewish, Buddhist, a party girl, a loner, a professional, a wife, a mother…..Nobody can tell you what to be.  You’re free from all those ties that bound you.”...

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