GOOP: Break Up with Your Bra

This piece was originally published on Goop.com, a publication by Gwyneth Paltrow. Read it here!

 

When you’re attracted to someone, and they are mind-blown by your body in lingerie, it’s an epic feeling. A surge of adrenaline and hormones make us giddy and invincible in that moment of power and pleasure. So when we want to be sexual with a lover, we often buy/wear lingerie that makes us feel aroused and confident.

“Apart from a wild one-night stand, it had been a year since I’d slept with someone after leaving my husband,” Ariane, a high-end fashion accessories buyer told me. “I found an incredible guy. When the time was right, and we slept together, I wore the most beautiful, sexy piece of lingerie I’ve ever owned. It wasn’t like f$cking; it was art.”

When the fantasy fizzled, Ariane was left with the lacy leftovers.

“Now they’re stacked in my drawer,” she paused. “They just sit there to torment me.”

Another client of mine, Lisa, an entrepreneur, told me: “I wear my underwear to feel good—if I have a date, or I’m going out, or I’m feeling sexy, I wear lingerie to match my mood.”

A boyfriend bought her a beautiful set—one she said she wouldn’t have splurged on for herself. “When we broke up, I hid it until the pain went away,” Lisa said. “Anything I own that reminds me of difficult times—not just lingerie—gets buried.”

So our underwear chronicles our love lives: Remember how Jack betrayed you, or when you dumped Jordan over dinner? The lingerie you wore with past lovers can carry the toxic residue of those relationships, along with painful memories. While we might not think to trash lingerie that once made us feel so good—or that we spent a lot of money on—it’s a powerful, healing gesture to make.

We all want to feel good, and self-esteem and physical appearance are such vulnerable areas. Our lingerie might be special, and beautiful, and even expensive, but while it may have made you feel desirable, the lingerie itself is not the desirable thing in the recipe here—it’s you.

To let go of the old—even if we know it makes us look fantastic—and make room for the new, a fire ritual can help release memories of past lovers. Full-moon fire rituals are ancient practices for spiritual cleansing, representing a time to get rid of the old and celebrate what’s next. They can help you release distrust, and in turn, open the space to invite new love into your life.

Whether we’re devoted to lingerie, braless, or pantiless—whatever doesn’t feel right, whatever is stripping away your sexiness, let it go. You own your story.

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THE HUFFINGTON POST: Anger is a Lonely Place

What you’re not supposed to say when you’re angry is “F*ck You!” But we all say it anyway.

Think about it: If you find yourself locked into a confrontation without an exit, how long does it take until you find yourself yelling “F*ck You!”? We’ve all done it, or at least thought it.

I meditate, you meditate; We all call upon techniques to sooth the spirit. But when anger rears its head, we often have little or no control but to watch it take aim.

“Take a breath,” You can say to yourself, “Remain calm.” But they’re just words.

Why?

Many of us experience abandonment and abuse during our early childhood. Maybe it’s our parents’ misgivings or the way we felt mistreated by our peers. But the memory stays with us, tightly tucked into our cells. And we rarely feel exonerated from the pain, until we understand how to deal with it.

Anger is about the loss of a person or thing. It’s our way of diverting our energies away from pain. As we experience loss, most of us feel entitled to be angry. And who’s to say we we’re not wrong? But when we get carried away, our words can become irrational and hurtful to those around us.

With each new love, we choreograph our emotions with high precision and hopes. We’re motivated to embrace new ways of loving, but it doesn’t take long before the same catastrophic crap repeats itself. Still, we find ourselves circling back to anger. We can’t control it. Our ego is feeling the fragility of being vulnerable.

Have you ever tried to recapture that initial first high as you fell in love? Or acknowledged a previous success? It became your headline. You’re proud of it! And as you sit around with friends, the conversation flows into talks about dating. You’re excited to participate, until a word triggers a memory. Before you know it, you’re thinking about an ex, you know – the one that blah blah blah. Now your headline reads “How I screwed up.” And you feel angry.

Here’s a quick process to help you deal with anger:

Lots of pain may not have survived as long as it did, if we had asked ourselves, “What am I losing from the get-go?” By that I mean, the moment you sensed a crisis and felt anger, you must stop and ask, “What am I losing?”. And then keep asking it until you get in touch with your sadness. This internal process will take you directly to your loss. As sad as you may feel, this is your first step to taking care of you. Yes, it hurts. But it will help you get away from a heated situation until you’ve calmed down.

It’s easier to get angry than to go to an unshakable place of loneliness. But the truth is your arbiter: It will free you from falling down that too-familiar hole in the road. Like most of us who have chased after something lost, except for grief or a heinous act, we’re better off without it. We’ve become more liberated at last.

Malcolm X knew this too well, as he once said, “There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.”

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This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post.

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THE HUFFINGTON POST: Flirt With Your Inner Genius

Prince celebrity death 2016 life coach

It’s your time
You got the horn so why don’t you blow it
You are fine

– Cream by Prince

We always think there’ll never be another Bowie, Prince, Cohen, Fisher or Michael. We easily feel abandoned as our favorite icons prove to be mortal.

We console ourselves with their music, and with Carrie Fisher, her movies and books. Their talents remain legendary and for us, personal.

Inspired by such virtuosos, we can’t help but ask the question: How talented are we? It’s almost impossible not to know their work and crave a piece of genius.

So, let’s take a leaf out of their successes, and figure out where our genius gene hides deep inside ourselves.

Some of us argue we were born less fortunate with little or no starting points. But I think we are all born with some genetic genius, maybe passed down from our great, great ancestors. But if left dormant, it becomes lifeless.

Emily is an elusive recluse and a keen observer. She is convinced of her greatness as a poet and had a hard time getting published. Who is she? She was born 1830 in Massachusetts and her name, Emily Dickinson.

As an American poet, she had no more than a dozen poems published during her lifetime. But her raw talent and her genius lived on. In Dickinson’s case, it had nothing to do with how famous she would become – far from it. She never lived to see it. Vincent van Gogh, a failed and starved artist, died impoverished. Franz Schubert, an Austrian composer, saw but one concert of his own.

Like many great artists, they all contained a superhuman force of endurance. That feeling of ‘dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t’ drove them to hone their craft. Suzanne Farrell, founder of the Suzanne Farrell Ballet at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., says it best, “I set as my goal to be the best dancer I could be. Not the most famous, or the highest paid dancer, just the best I could be. Out of this discipline came great freedom and calm.”

When you choose to sit there saying, “What’s the point of playing guitar? I’m not Jimmy Hendrix,” then you might as well admit, you’ve inherited something worse than a genius gene. YUP! It’s called the simple gene. But keep in mind simple doesn’t mean stupid. The simple gene means you have an inclination to avoid change at any cost.

Dictionary.com defines genius as “natural ability or capacity; strong inclination: a gift or talent.” And as we seek our first steps towards our genius, the word ‘natural’ becomes our ally.

Prince says it all with in his song Cream: “Make the rules, then break them all ‘cause you are the best.

So, the question is, how do we cultivate our genius gene? Like most of us who hide behind the bathroom shower curtains or steering wheel singing, there is always a talent within us, waiting to burst. So let’s break the rules of what you can and can’t do and start playing that guitar, or hit those chords singing. And dump the fame game.

Still nervous of what people think? Let’s take a different route and perform our first act in disguise. For example: If you are a writer and terrified to come out for fear of humiliation, try using a pseudonym. Or if you’re hungry for leadership, invent a small blog that ignites your cause. Try creating a fictitious persona. Use an easy name, as not to attract too much attention. This will help ward of any humiliation.

And for corporate folk, use the same approach to promote your ideas via an imaginary third party or person to ensure you’re clear from any backlash and well on track.

This process will keep you tightly secure and allow you the space to grow.

We are not all born prophets or superheroes. But we do have innate abilities and these are natural gifts. So, whether you’ve inherited a genius gene or similar brilliance, you deserve the chance to explore it. Do it for you, and because you can.

And who says it better than David Bowie?

“I’m just an individual who doesn’t feel that I need to have somebody qualify my work in any particular way. I’m working for me”.

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This piece was originally published on The Huffington Post Blog.

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THE HUFFINGTON POST: Don’t Let Trump Say “You’re Fired” – Say “I Quit!”

Delete button donald trump life coach blog

Donald Trump is playing a game by spreading fake stories. And you are letting him win by playing into what you already believe or what you want to hear.

People are in a lot of pain right now: Either fearing for their futures, or facing serious physical or verbal threats. Our political talking heads are waging congressional conflicts, and the rest of us feel like we are struggling to breathe underwater.

These times are so fraught with fear and desperation that we look outside ourselves for leadership more than ever. We’re witnessing our delegates fold to the wrath of autocracy. We look outside ourselves for community, when the truth is that we are seeking something that is already within us. We must rely on our smarts for the truth, first and last.

Whether you like Trump or his transition team, he’s keeping us on our toes with a guessing game of ‘What’s Next?’ And he’s doing well with that tactic. If he has become your No. 1 conversation topic, then he’s got you where he wants you. He’s seeping into your blood stream and making you his addict.

Trump thrives on attention. It has served him well as a businessman, a reality star and now as our future President. Whether you think he’s pretending to care or not, he doesn’t. He’s counting on you to become addicted and to him.

If you find yourself addicted to the latest Trump bombast: STOP. Take back you. The President Elect does not determine your life; You do.

Try looking beyond the fear tactics and shock value that Trump’s media team is playing up. Focus on making positive change, instead of getting wrapped up in a negative gossip loop.
Whether you’re watching, listening, predicting the future of United States or asking yourself “What game is Trump playing today?” You’re playing the game.

If you choose to enter the game, do so with a clear impartial eye to recognize the bull. Or else you risk being played by fake news, misinformation, or trumped-up statements – so to speak.

I am not asking you to block all news or stop paying attention to politics at all, I’m asking you to take a minute and look for news that report the facts. It’s time to re-program your mind to detect credible sources.

The next time you’re configuring the latest hype, try this:

Visualize the DELETE button. You know how to delete; you do this every day on your computer or iPhone. You press the key and the content disappears. The same applies as you command your brain to delete toxic thoughts. I can’t tell you how many times a day we relive or rethink the poisonous things that others say. By deleting all negativity consuming you, you help reverse the anxiety, and send it back to where it came from! Even if you can’t remember who gave you the thoughts, delete them anyway. Do it all day if you have to.

If your goal is to grow and be a smarter person – without getting taken advantage of – then it’s better to sift through the information around you and find the facts. It’s okay to call out the lies, even if nobody around you does. Break through your fear; be the one to stand up and question what’s true and what’s bull.

You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for his own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.
—Marie Curie

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This post was originally published on The Huffington Post.

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THE HUFFINGTON POST: Chase Your Dream, Not Your Dragon

I’d like to say I had an ordinary week of meetings with clients, a hot date, and regular news purge. But as things go, I had the unusual task of working with a new client whose dream is to run for Congress.

Jenn is a humble patriot looking to make a difference. She’s a grassroots supporter with little experience. Her passion for contributing was spent as a volunteer, knocking on doors, and handing out campaign jargon in this year’s election.

And because she is a dedicated and loving being, Jenn wants to heal the toxic political climate.

But after last month, she was left disheartened, with post-election blues.

“We’ll never give up,” we say to ourselves. And the years go by, and we sit idly watching our dreams as they fade.

We are all unique. There is nobody like you on the planet, and with the right development, we can attract the support of others who will welcome our dream, too.

With growth, there will always be an opportunity to attain the thing you want, no matter how it shows itself. To imagine a life without a dream, even the tiniest one, is submitting to a world of mediocrity.

Jenn is principled, articulate and passionate – but running for Congress is a steep climb.

According to Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers and the ten-thousand-hour rule of “deliberate practice,” which asserts that to become a world-class expert in any field, a person must practice their skill or trade for ten thousand hours. The Beatles did it in Hamburg and Steve Jobs in a high school computer lab. Gladwell believed that by reaching 10,000 hours (that’s about 90 minutes per day for 20 years) of practice you can become an outlier – the “Tipping-Point” of greatness.

Today, we have new rules. We believe that if we think about one thing long enough it will hardwire into us. Our new cracked system of facts makes it possible for anyone to claim anything as reality in a post-truth era. But Gladwell’s ten-thousand-hour rule offers a greater prospect of deciphering the faux from the real deal.

Let’s be honest, for most folk winning a congressional race is near on impossible. The odds are stacked high. To succeed, Jenn would need media coverage, infrastructure and money. It takes years to build all three components, and Jenn has none. Although principled, articulate and passionate, her feelings of self-worth are now at ground zero.

Running for Congress is Jenn’s go-to story, how she defines her world. But, in truth, she has no resources or support. She has moderate experience and no plans. “If you can’t link the dots,” I told her, “Your approach will always let you down.”

She felt like she had failed. But in hindsight, she hadn’t failed at all; she was just beginning.

I had spent a good 30 minutes listening to Jenn. She must have mentioned grassroots at least seven times. There is always a clue if you listen to a person long enough. I let her know that.

My thought was to open more of a dialogue about her interest in grassroots work.

Her eyes lit up as she rambled excitingly about working as an activist. A grassroots activist. Her inspiration was back. She felt energized.

Did she want to work for an organization to help women, or apply for a grassroots internship? “Oh,” she said, “So many thoughts, so many decisions – I can’t wait to make them all.”

She smiled, and with that I knew she was well on her way towards her heart dream. And who knows, she may become a congressional winner after all.

Just really, believe in what you’re trying to do. Don’t let people alter that. Let people advise you and lead you down paths to make smart business decisions. But trust your instinct and trust that overwhelming drive that made you put all your dreams and everything on the line. —Luke Bryan

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This piece was originally published on The Huffington Post.

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THE HUFFINGTON POST: You Are Entirely Up To You

These times are quite fraught with desperation for all of us. We look outside ourselves for leadership; we look outside for community. When the truth is we are seeking something that is already within us.

It’s in that precious moment that we actually have a clear understanding. Our uniqueness of being is where we truly exist. People naturally gravitate to those who believe in themselves, à la Oprah, Beyoncé, Steve Jobs.

It starts with you liking one thing about yourself. Be it singing, dancing, styling, skill with numbers, reliability – trust this as your core.

We all come in with an authentic gift. We often dismiss opportunities to grow and welcome development. And when all is said and done, if we don’t get what we want, we feel short changed.

When we are confused, we seek advice. Somebody we know tells us how they think we should what we want. Ironically, it’s usually their way. We follow suit, all the while we are aware that something’s off. Listen to your gut, trust your intuition. Something’s off because you are doing it the way somebody else is doing it, not your way. It can’t work if you are not being your authentic you.

There is no greater time than right now to seek that passion, or be open to new discoveries. Follow your gut. Don’t give up on your dream; simplify and keep modifying. Keep your day job and learn to invest both your dream and your day-to-day life.

The minute anybody else attempts to undermine you, don’t doubt your core for a moment. Take that as your valuable warning. If we don’t contribute one authentic thing about ourselves, then others won’t provide anything either. In other words, don’t be clueless, be smart!

I’m a great believer of jumping in, but make sure to find the right expert. Treat your dream like you are already paid for the job. Do your homework. Email, contact, communicate – research before you dive head over feet. Be clear what makes you happy, more authentic. Focus on that one attribute that is yours. No one can take it from you.

Even the most ardent new age seekers among us feel that we’ve been sold a lot of airy-fairy nonsense, when what we’re all looking for is something reliable and actual: a higher goal that comes to life in this world, not the next.

Most of us cry out to a benevolent force sooner or later. Why am I here? And when we hear silence, we panic. We grab the first thought and wing it, and hope it goes viral.

Pinning our hopes with a fixed dream is disastrous. Be open to modification. Because the dream has to start from somewhere, it never comes in whole. It might not look exactly like you thought it would. Go with the flow.

A way to stimulate your transformation is by making a commitment: Try investing four hours a month to your quest.

One thing you can you do daily is to check in. Take a private moment and visualize yourself in action, doing the thing you love. Make it as real as possible. See yourself with the thing you most want, and know that you can have it. Every time we internally see our exalted selves in motion, it projects out to everyone we meet and attracts to us a world of opportunity.

As Oprah so eloquently expressed, “Change your thoughts and change your world.”

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THE HUFFINGTON POST: Thanksgiving Stories: A Recipe for Celebration

I have a strict rule about Thanksgiving, and it is simple: If you can’t cook, DON’T.

There is nothing worse than a newbie gourmet confused about the sex of a turkey. If you’re daring to make the greatest meal of the year or entertaining your politically opposed relatives, I recommend the Tom: It’s a fat, male-sized turkey, large enough to appease even the most dissatisfied of in-laws. Don’t go overboard! You don’t need to over feed ‘em; the object is to keep them satisfied, not to make them pass out.

If you find yourself stressing about preparing the right food or finding the right recipe this Thanksgiving, take a second to remind yourself what’s really important about this holiday: Family.

Family heritage isn’t just about lineage; it’s born from recipes like our granny used to make. It reminds us of good old-fashioned family values. Contained in those stories passed down through generations are the highlights of our family traditions.

Do you remember the story about Great-Great-Uncle Sam who wrestled a bear to save a village? I do! Okay, maybe that’s just a magical tale I believed when I was small. But every family has stories like that.

Our stories are about the preservation of family. Maybe your family arrived in America in the early 19th Century, and they had to integrate and learn to respect the values of other, neighboring immigrants. They came to the US for freedom, economic opportunity, and faced the most treacherous of conditions. They were proud to tell their stories, so that their posterity would remember where they came from and what they fought for.

Thanksgiving is a great time to honor our families. Why not bring a story with you to share at the dinner table? Or encourage others to tell theirs. It’s important to keep the spirit of who we are as a family alive.

As a Brit raised by a close, loving Jewish family, my Thanksgiving celebration is a unique – just like each of yours. We bring stories to the table to share every year to keep the spirit of our family’s traditions alive. Sometimes, those stories take the form of a recipe: My grandmother always loved to bake kugel, a traditional Jewish pudding casserole.

So to honor my family recipe, I am opting for a thick pudding style kugel, but adding a touch of cranberry and apple. This way I can uphold our family traditions and stories, while adding my own personal touch. My family’s story includes my own story, after all.

Here’s a recipe from Food similar to my Grandma Dora’s Kugel, with a few extra goodies to add a sweet personal touch:

INGREDIENTS
12 small apples
1 (16 ounces) can jellied cranberry sauce, or 1 (16 ounces) can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 cup oatmeal
1⁄2 cup flour
1⁄2 cup raw brown sugar
1⁄2 cup margarine
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

  1. Peel and slice the apples.
  2. Layer the apples in a 9×13 pan.
  3. Mash the cranberry sauce and layer on top of the apples.
  4. In a bowl mix the oatmeal, flour, raw brown sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  5. Then with your hands mix the margarine with the bowl of dry ingredients.
  6. Layer the oatmeal mixture on top of the cranberry sauce.
  7. Bake at 350°F 1 hour uncovered and then up to an hour covered until the cranberry sauce seeps into the apples and the edges are light brown.

I am confident that my guests will survive the experimentation of my Cranberry Apple Kugel. And coupled with a family story, I cannot think of a greater gift to share with the people I love for Thanksgiving dinner.

“My most memorable meal is every Thanksgiving. I love the food: The turkey and stuffing; the sweet potatoes and rice, which come from my mother’s Southern heritage; the mashed potatoes, which come from my wife’s Midwestern roots; the Campbell’s green bean casserole; and of course, pumpkin pie.” —Douglas Conant

Wishing you all a super nourishing Thanksgiving,

Suzannah

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THE HUFFINGTON POST: Divided Nation, Divided Family: Overcoming Political Differences

I hate that my mother voted for Donald Trump. But I love my mom.

As we look at the fierce division between Trump’s supporters and everyone else, the fear of the unknown is paralyzing. There’s a reason the hair on the back of our neck sticks up when we find ourselves in a dangerous situation. Our body is screaming out that something is wrong. But when we take on our parents, friends, family, and people we love to right that instinctive wrong, we risk shattering our home core.

Historically, this election is one of the few times the electoral vote and popular vote are different. The resulting message to both parties should be that we need to work together now more than ever – but that isn’t happening.

People are fearful. We’ve elected someone who’s obsessed with Twitter bigotry and hate. I take to heart what Bernie Sanders said: “Our job now is to hold him accountable.”

But my mother disagrees. Seeing the rising number of anti-Trump riots and protests on the news, she has pledged her support. “They should round up the protesters and arrest them,” she believes.

My colleague is Latino. He’s always full of cheer, but today, he’s afraid. He is leery of what the future may hold. And like many others, I see how afraid he is. It’s hard for me to sympathize with people like my mother who support Trump.

Our president-elect has threatened to use presidential rights to take away the rights of many Americans. But if we become hateful, we will, in turn, become like our oppressors – and just like Trump.

We do need to fight forward, but not at the cost of losing friends and family.

We can face discrimination in workplaces, schools. and as well in the state. But it’s doubtful we’ll keep the public fight if we’re raging the war alone. Burning bridges with people we love will get us nowhere.

In an attempt to communicate, I listened to the rants of my mother. I talked about the importance of civil rights in America. Still, her hostile emails continued. I felt hurt. And like many of us whose families are politically split, we needed to find common ground. But how?

When we stop communicating with people we love, our relationships decay. The smallest slight can fire up our emotions.

I was afraid of becoming hateful. There’s always a moment where you face the option of breaking all the rules. Where you know that no matter how bad things are now, you can always make them worse with one choice.

Then I remembered when First Lady Michelle Obama addressed that same choice this election:

“When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is: when they go low, we go high.”

Michelle Obama touched a chord with her words. Faced with the proposition of becoming full of hate, I decided to ‘go high.’

I reached out and told my mother that I loved her, that I cared about her. I explained that nothing outside of us is more important than our relationship.

She took a breath and said, “I love you so much.” And as of late, she has ceased to talk about the president-elect.

There was no way I could have reached middle ground with my mother. We were both trying to make each other understand, instead of understanding the other. Now we have the opportunity to build a more communicative relationship. Or perhaps we will agree to remain respectful and go silent.

Let’s go with our gut instincts and follow our heart. Whatever our future holds, or hardships we’re facing, we will never succeed without the love of family and friends.

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

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This piece was originally published on The Huffington Post.

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THE HUFFINGTON POST: How to Embrace Your Own Talent

Life Coach Inner Talent Self Help Blog

You’re bright. You want to contribute to the world. You know you’re talented. Deep down you believe that someone should hook you up with ‘that’ job. You know, the one where your skills shine? And whether you’re working part-time or fully locked into a humdrum job, your talent sits idle on sidelines. “I’m not going to work for nothing,” You say, “I have a gift, and I know exactly how I want to use it.” But you know that will never happen, not without a $$$ check.

Have you ever wondered the secret is?

When you hear a great singer, and they move you, it’s because they’re present in themselves and the moment. You’ll hear them say later that the audience disappeared for them. Writers will say they got lost in words. There are many examples of what a person feels when they work with their gift.

It’s not enough to believe in yourself if you can’t identify the one thing you were born to do. It follows that person who loves what they do also love a unique, valuable part of themselves. And surround themselves with others who give them positive reinforcement.

Lady Gaga is the epitome of someone who owns her talent. She has never been shy to share her songs, her words, and their meaning with her fans. But to the media she was baffling; they labeled her a sleaze. Excessively ambitious, Gaga faced criticism early on in her career, and like all innovators she embraced the risks. Instead of giving up, she tried even harder.
We’ve heard it all: “Don’t do that. People won’t like you,” Or, “Don’t do this, you’ll fail… You’ll never make any money at it. You’re not good enough.”

Delete, delete, delete. Erase those thoughts from your psyche.

This kind of negativity prevents you from exploring your gift. The minute anybody attempts to undermine you, don’t doubt your core for a second! Remember: Nobody has any idea what your talents are except you. Don’t let your talent go unseen just because somebody told you that you’re incompetent. You have to realize that your talent doesn’t always fit into the social norm.

Take a moment and think about how others’ beliefs influence you. Reflect on the programming that you received as a child. How many times were you asked to sacrifice something you deeply wanted? Do you remember how that felt? Perhaps the waters of loss have washed over you, and you still yearn for what could have been.

If you’re one of those folk, look around you. Take a good hard look at the people who share your life. Do you have anyone that believes in you and your talents? It’s vital to find belonging. And having someone believe in you is priceless.

But let’s be honest, people are going to think what they like about you. Start to ignore what other people think. It’s just their opinion. It’s time to form your own.

Focus on that one attribute in your possession which is not up for grabs, and that nobody can undermine. Start with a baby step: maybe you cook or style hair, or you’re a genius at interior design. Whatever it is, own it. Talk about it, and stop hiding behind the veil. Take action towards it.

Quick Insight: How to Form Your Opinions

  1. Think about a talent that you know you have.
  2. Write out your ideas, thoughts, and opinions about it.
  3. Notice how you feel, and what emotions surface from this activity.

The fastest way to turn your gift into something remarkable is to inject emotion into it. Share how you feel about your talent with your most trusted friend. A good friend will always support you.

A moment of understanding like that can change your entire future and your whole reality. The smallest step can lead to a journey of a thousand smiles.

There is no real secret. If you want your gift to stand out, do it!

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” — Henry Van Dyke

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This piece was originally published on The Huffington Post.

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THE HUFFINGTON POST: Release Your Inner Witch: Celebrating Wickedness This Halloween

Life Coach Halloween Advice

Do you want to get into the monster spirit of Halloween, but you just can’t cope with wrangling a costume? Don’t despair! Why not bring out your bad self? After all, Halloween is a night where all hell breaks loose and witches celebrate their dark rituals – so why not join in the fun and tell off all the people that irritate you most! Most of the time we walk around politely, trying to maintain a peaceful aura, while deep inside we are longing to spit out how we feel. But All Hallows’ Eve is our night to reveal our inner witch.

Haven’t you quietly craved to tell your bestie she’s annoying the crap out of you by constantly talking about her boyfriend? Or have you been dying to tell your work colleague that he’s neurotic and you’re sick of it? If so, go for it! Tell everyone what you think; after all, it can’t be any weirder than dressing up as Cruella Deville.

Telling your own truth, with black kohl eyes and bloody lips, is a gothic kind of sexy. And as you exorcize your toxic thoughts by expressing them out loud, you’ll find yourself roaming with the rest of the ghouls. I suggest you speak your foul thoughts with blackened teeth and a huge smile. And as you climb onto your broomstick (for a quick get-away) it doesn’t hurt to offer them a goodie-bag of spider nest cookies. Most folk would rather succumb to your dark joke than look humorless; nobody wants to show a bad spirit of play on Halloween.

In all seriousness, we do hold onto strong and sometimes nasty thoughts about others. And until it’s expressed, they will never know the truth about how we see them, just like we’ll never know the truth about how someone else sees us. I recommend you take this moment to express yourself, even just half-heartedly. How many times have you spoken about your friends behind their backs? Or held a secret grievance against them? Well, this is your chance to air your feelings, without the ramifications of a back fire. Take a leap of boldness and let your inner witch do the talking.

Judy Gold once said, “Halloween is an opportunity to be creative.” But it also provides us an opportunity to be a tad naughty! What’s the worst thing that can happen? While the dead of the earth roam free, you can have a blast being bad. How bad is up to you, as long as you remember it’s all tongue-in-cheek.

And at the end of the night, you can pour yourself a nice Jekyll and Hyde and celebrate with ghoulish confidence.

“I love horror. I love ‘The Shining,’ ‘Friday the 13th,’ ‘Halloween,’ all those kinds of things. I love zombies, especially ‘28 Days Later’ and ‘28 Weeks Later,’ where the zombies are going faster than the George Romero ones. I love being scared; there’s something that’s awesome about your heart rate going up like that.” — Ricky Schroder

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This post was originally published on

The Huffington Post.

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