A few months ago, my friend Steve emailed in response to a blog I wrote (the one where I got chased by coyotes), and we got to talking about how we can trust our intuition – and how to know if what we're hearing is our intuition in the first place?
Steve had studied this extensively in regards to addiction – first, with his own addictions, and then in his graduate work, and now as a counselor. His insights were so profound and applicable to all areas of life that I had to share them with you. Here's his story…
I work with many clients who have lost their ability to trust their intuition. Many use their substance just to feel normal each day. Addictions, including alcoholism, affect the brain by overriding the executive function. That's why people will choose to use a substance against their better judgment, knowing there will be negative consequences. In other words, an addicted person's intuition doesn’t stand a chance. (In the addiction field we call this...
One day last year around this time, I got home from walking my dog, Sadie. The trees had just started to bud, so there were hints of green and purple throughout Riverside Park. The sun was out, and I'd only needed a light jacket. It was starting to look and feel so beautiful outside, and yet, I realized as I stood in my kitchen, wondering what to make for dinner – I felt awful.
Heavy, dragging, like I was carrying fifty extra pounds. Closed-in, cramped. I felt like winter, and I wanted to feel like spring. That's how I knew it was time for a detox.
I usually do a detox once or twice a year, and always in the springtime, for precisely that reason: I need to shed that heavy winter feeling. I want to blossom, open up, to spring into a place of lightness and freedom and movement.
Recently a friend asked me what detoxes did for you. "Are they really useful?" she said doubtfully.
Her question made me think. Here's what I told her:
Last year, I decided for the fiftieth time that I would start getting up early, once and for all. No more hitting snooze, no more rushed, frenzied mornings. I would have long, leisurely stretches of time before going into the office. I would calmly get my kids ready for school, meditate, maybe journal, and set up my day for mindful productivity. I would be one of those mysterious, semi-mythical people who are always refreshed, well-rested, and energized, even at 5 a.m.
I have tried to do this before, but every time, it has taken Herculean effort, and it still has not stuck. I've tried everything – keeping my phone across the room, happy ring tones, timing my alarm so I'd get exactly 4 REM cycles – you name it. I usually do okay for a few days at a time, but inevitably, I would slip back into my old habits of hitting snooze. This time, though, would be different. I would will it into being.
The first morning of my new life – this was a Thursday – my alarm went...
Last year, I worked with a client I'll call Michelle, who had recently gotten out of a long-term relationship. She had a good job at a publishing house, and she loved working with writers. But she felt lost. She wanted to feel centered and purposeful, but all she felt was anxiety. Finally, a mutual friend referred her to me.
"I feel like I've completely lost my direction," she told me during our first session. "I just got out of this relationship, so now's the time to do something special, something meaningful. But I don't know what to do."
"Tell me about a time you're proud of," I said. "Something in your life that you look back on and think, Wow, I did that."
"Well," she said, "I'm proud that I work in book publishing. It's a competitive field, so…" She trailed off, sounding unconvinced.
"What's something you're really proud of?" I said.
She thought. "I guess…there was this writing contest in college, and I won first place for a story. It was nothing big. But that's...
Last week, I heard from "Gina," an old client I'd lost touch with years ago. Gina wanted to meet for coffee, and so we met at a vegan café on the Upper West Side.
"I wanted to thank you in person," she said as we sat down.
"For what?" I asked. I'd only coached her for one session before she moved, so I didn't know if I'd had a real effect on her.
"It was you who first encouraged me to start exercising," she said, "and that has changed my life – my work, my mind, my emotions. Everything."
Then she told me her story.
When we'd first met, Gina was struggling. She loved her work as a research professor, but she felt she was missing out on pretty much everything else: friends, family, romance, her mental and physical health. Lately, she'd been feeling tired and foggy, and was having a hard time focusing.
I know what it's like to not be able to focus! When she told me that, back in our first coaching session, my first question was this: "Are you exercising?"
"Ha!" she had...
Years ago, before Stephen and I were married, I almost ruined our relationship because of my beliefs.
I had spent years living and reliving the same pattern: I'd meet a guy. We'd fall in love (or at least it felt like it). I'd put him up on a pedestal, thinking everything he did was so important and special, while everything I did was small and inconsequential.
A year or so into Stephen's and my relationship, I noticed my old habits coming back. When we spent time together, I'd pepper him with questions about his work, his day, his thoughts and feelings. But when he asked about me, I would shrink. "Oh, it's fine," I'd say, and hurry back to what seemed like the most important topic: him.
When I noticed this happening, I was horrified. Why did I keep doing this? How could the same thing happen again and again?
I was so upset that I called my mother, crying. "Mom," I sobbed into the phone, "I...
Recently, I came across this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr: "Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase."
That hit home for me, because right now, I'm looking up at a brand new staircase in my business: opening a Moticise space here in New York City.
This idea has been in the works for a few months now. It will be a place where people can come to find their core, then manifest it – through coaching, Moticise classes, meditation, special events, retreats, and eventually nutrition. This space is truly the summation of all my passions: mindset, fitness, and bringing people together to reach their goals.
But no sooner had I decided to go for it when the fears set it.
Instead of being excited, I was paralyzed. I worried that being afraid meant something was wrong. For weeks, that fear plagued me. I was so afraid to make the wrong move that I all but stopped moving at all.
One night, I had trouble sleeping. I tossed and turned, dwelling on all...
You're probably hearing a lot about New Year's Resolutions right now – but before I hear any more about that, I want to talk about the most crucial aspect of making change: stepping into your own power.
Many people I meet today are independent, motivated, hardworking, all that good stuff. But just as many of them consistently wait for permission before trying something new. It's like they think they need someone else to tell them it's okay. Often, this is unconscious. They don't realize they're doing it. Which can be even worse, because then they never do any of the work to overcome that tendency.
Earlier this year, I worked with a client I'll call Liz, who wanted to branch out on her own in business. "I've worked in IT for twenty years," she told me, "and now I have an idea for my own consulting business."
"Great," I said, and we began talking about her vision, her strengths, a potential action plan.
That's when things got hairy. When I asked her if she'd commit to a certain...
Most of us are taught as children that jealousy is bad. It's a green monster, it's a sign of insecurity, it's best to just try not feel it. Don't be jealous. Oh, okay. That advice can be about as useful as Don't be cold when it's freezing out.
The fact is, most of us can't just turn off our feelings. And sometimes, we feel the sting of envy. Someone else gets an award that you wanted. A former colleague has started her own business, while you're still pushing papers in your own cubicle. A friend calls and says he's buying a condo in Florida. "Good for you!" you say, but inwardly, you're cringing. Why not me?
I know the feeling, and I'm here to tell you, jealousy doesn't just exist to torture you. Often, it's trying to tell you something.
(Some people split hairs about the difference between jealousy and envy. Here, I'm using the terms interchangeably, since both can be useful in making a change in your life.)
Years ago, during my acting days, I had a friend I'll call Julie. Julie...
Your mind affects your body. And how your body feels impacts your mindset.
Have you experienced this? Maybe you've found that when you're physically tired, it's harder to concentrate, or when you're stressed, your shoulders tense up. Maybe you've felt your stomach flutter when you're nervous, or that physical lightness that comes with peace of mind.
The cool part is, we can harness that connection. We can tap into our bodies to help us open up our minds. We can choose what to think and believe in order to push our bodies further. We have way more control over our lives – our bodies, our minds, and our choices – than we realize.
A lot of people go their whole lives believing they can't do anything about their failures or their physical limitations. Those people give up their power – which is sad, because they are so much more powerful than they know.
So are you.
That's what Moticise ("motivational exercise") is all about – helping people understand and use...
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