Category “change & challenges”

Facing Life’s Big Challenges and Coming out on Top

“Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.” ~Paul Coelho

I will never forget that day.

It is still as clear in my mind as if it were yesterday.

My son was just a little over three. He was going to a mainstream kindergarten and, well, his teacher had very gently suggested we seek a professional’s help.

You see, he didn’t understand what the teachers were saying to him. He was restless and fidgety. He also bounced form activity to activity.

This was our first ever visit to a speech pathologist, and she …

How My Anger Led Me to Forgiveness and Peace

“Genuine forgiveness does not deny anger but faces it head-on.” ~Alice Duer Miller

As an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a relative, I had become accustomed to keeping secrets. Silence, I was taught, was a good thing. It protected people that I loved.

So for over a decade, I carried the dark and overbearing weight of my past in secrecy and in silence, believing I was the only one in the world who’d ever experienced such abuse—until I learned from a college workshop that one in four women and one in five men fall …

6 Simple Personal Commitments to Overcome Low Self-Esteem

“Everything that happens to you is a reflection of what you believe about yourself. We cannot outperform our level of self-esteem. We cannot draw to ourselves more than we think we are worth.”  ~Iyanla Vanzant

You’re smart, funny, and genuinely good at heart.

You have ideas that could solve many of the problems you see around you. You could regale people with interesting stories that crack them up. You could be the perfect partner, parent, or friend.

But you don’t always live up to that potential.

Something holds you back.

Something tells you that your ideas are not worth announcing …

Today Can Be the Day You Turn Things Around

“In chaos, there is fertility.” ~Anais Nin

How did I get to this point?

This question pulsed through my brain repeatedly as I drove to my parents’ house in a state of complete exhaustion. My young daughter was strapped in the back seat, my pregnant belly pushing against the steering wheel, hot tears streaming down my face.

I was done. I had nothing left to give. How did I get here?

Gradually, then suddenly.

With eternal gratitude to Hemingway, three simple words so elegantly summarize how I ended up in a situation I didn’t want or expect.

“How did you

Reclaim Your Authentic Self: 4 Steps to Recover from Bullying and Abuse

When I was in fourth grade, a girl from another class bullied me. I was in the bathroom during class when I heard the door creak open and whoosh shut. There was silence for a moment, then the girl’s hands appeared on the top of the stall door, followed by her face.

“Whaddaya doin’ in there?” she asked.

I quickly covered myself, and replied as nicely as I could, “I’m using the bathroom.”

“Well, hurry up,” she said. “Because I want to go.” There were three other stalls, so I knew I was in trouble.

I had no idea who

Don’t Respond to Drama and Drama Won’t Come Back Around

“When you are not honoring the present moment by allowing it to be, you are creating drama.” – Eckhart Tolle

One day several years ago, I was fraught with anxiety over with how to handle an uncomfortable personnel situation at work. I had an employee that was borderline explosive and insubordinate. I was a wreck over how to best handle the situation because before I was this employee’s manager, I was her friend.

I found myself wanting to fix the problem by delving deeper into her drama, wanting to know why she felt a certain way, what I had …

8 Limiting Beliefs That Keep Us Stuck (and How to Overcome Them)

“Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

For almost three years, I’d been living out of a suitcase, relocating every three to six months. To some people, this lifestyle sounds adventurous and exciting. But anyone who’s ever lived like this understands how exhausting and scary it can be: I felt unsettled in my career, unhappy in my relationships, and completely alone in the world.

While I knew I was unhappy and that I wanted to make a change, the truth is that I felt completely stuck in the lifestyle I’d chosen for myself. When I brainstormed about what was …

What Matters Is the Choice You Make Right Now

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” ~Charles R. Swindoll

When I read this for the first time, I realized I didn’t have to define myself by my circumstances. That was huge for me, because my circumstances felt pretty shameful.

It was around midnight and I was curled up in the fetal position, mostly alone in my 7’x7’ dorm-style Manhattan apartment. It was me, countless bed bugs, dozens of cockroaches, three bottles of liquor, two packs of cigarettes, and one overwhelming mind.

I’d always felt drawn to New York City, largely because I …

The Key to Accomplishing Goals: Moving from Ego to Spirit

“Change is inevitable. Growth is intentional.” ~Glenda Cloud

My life is over.

That’s what I thought when I got the news that I’d lost my job after fifteen years with two sister companies. I loved this job. I was on the road to becoming everything I thought I wanted to be—a Hollywood studio vice president, well on my way to running a studio someday.

I was doing something I loved, developing stories. And now it was all over.

Have you ever had a moment like that? When the end of something in your life felt like the end of your

We Can Control How We Respond to Things We Can’t Control

When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~Viktor Frankl

Every year, March 13th is difficult for me. This year, I marked the day with a long hike in the woods near my house and an extra-long hug for my wife, Kathleen. My sisters and I called each other and just said his name out loud. Wherever he is, we want him to know he is gone but not forgotten.

March 13th would have been my brother Jimmy’s 64th birthday. He only made it to 26.

But March 13…

Tragedy Can Help Us Find Our Life’s Purpose

“Sometimes in tragedy we find our life’s purpose. The eye sheds a tear to find its focus.” ~Robert Brault

Just over two decades ago, I happened to be planted in the Midwest. Chicago. The southside to be exact. A location once recognized as a haven for successful black people handling their business while their kids frolicked throughout the streets, making up secret handshakes, basking in the sun and enjoying their youth.

And then, as the years progressed, things began to change; our haven was becoming less safe.

As if a nebulous cloud began to form over our neighborhood with a

4 Lessons on Surviving and Thriving When Times Are Tough

“Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day.” ~Unknown

Five months ago, I was sitting outside with a friend when a mosquito bit me under the arm. I went to scratch the bite and felt a lump on the side of my breast. My doctor sent me for a mammogram, ultrasound, and fine needle biopsy. I had breast cancer.

I am a 44-year-old single mother of two beautiful young girls with primary custody. I am also Director of a psychology practice and self-employed.

The day I was diagnosed was the day I lost the carefully

How to Rewire Your Brain (and Renew Your Life)

I began practicing yoga and meditation in 1970 when I was seventeen years old.

I practiced in my small bedroom at one end our family’s long New York City apartment. My room was next to the kitchen. My parents, brother, and sister had bedrooms on the other side of the apartment.

I’d get up early and move through a sequence of yoga asanas before sitting down to meditate.

I’d sit in meditation until I heard the kitchen noises as my mother and siblings began their breakfast routine.

That was the signal that it was time for me to move from …

Let Go of Attachment: You Can Be Happy Even if Things Change

“Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

A wise old soul once told me that I needed to practice not being attached.

I honestly had no idea what he was talking about. I remember he gave me a very intelligent and understandable definition of attachment, but because it made such little sense to me, there was very little I could do with it. It was incomprehensible.

I have found that, like the definition of attachment, it isn’t the teachings themselves that give us the answer; it is our own discovery, in …

How to Deal With Change When Change Is Hard

“You must welcome change as the rule but not your ruler” ~Denis Waitley

My name is Hannah, and I find it hard to deal with change.

As much as I used to want to think of myself as flexible and easy-going, I struggle to live up to these ideals. I like to know where I am, what I’m doing, where I’m going, and to have my near future mapped out in lists, to-dos, and ideas. In short, I do whatever I can to minimize the level of uncertainty in my life.

My discomfort around uncertainty means I am usually …

A 4-Step Plan to Deal with Even the Toughest Challenge


“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.” ~Wayne Dyer

Everything in life is perception. How you perceive life depends on the things and people that have influenced you: school, society, friends, family, TV. So, you may think something is bad or good, but in reality it is neither. You were taught to perceive it the way you do.

One person might see money as the root of all evil, while another might see it as something wonderful that can be used to help others and create opportunities. Two different perceptions of …

When Everything Goes Wrong: Getting Through One of Those Days

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ~Maya Angelou

Sometimes you just have one of those days, where things happen to you over and over again, as if someone up above is testing to see if you really want to have a good day. Unfortunately, 95% of us give in and decide that it’s just going to be one of those days.

What if one of those days really meant the happiest day of your life, despite the fact unfortunate events temporarily plague your existence?

A …

Making Difficult Choices: 6 Helpful Tips

“You are your choices” ~Seneca

It was supposed to be the most beautiful day of my life. And on the surface of it, it most definitely was:

Delicious food? Check. Glorious sunshine? Check. Excited guests? Check. Radiantly happy couple? Umm…rain check?

I hadn’t chosen him. He had been chosen for me. I had agreed to the marriage without a doubt, but as I stared down at my henna-painted hands adorned with gold of the 24-carat nature, I felt poor. I felt cheated. I felt like the victim of my own decisions.

The heavy fog of doubt started to cloud over …

Forgiving People Who Show No Remorse: Have You Suffered Enough?

“That which I do not forgive in you, lies unforgiven within myself.” ~Buddhist Proverb

When I decided to forgive the driver that killed my nine-year-old son, I struggled to believe I could or should.

In the beginning of my grief I had so much anger toward her, and because she was not showing remorse, I wanted to find ways to punish her so that she would be in the same pain that I was.

She did not come forward to say she was sorry or try to meet up with me after the accident, and this was hard for …

Dance Through the Storm of Uncertainty: 5 Tips for Grace and Peace

“Make the best use of what is in your power and take the rest as it happens.” ~Epictetus

I am in an unfamiliar place and I find myself waiting. It is not clear who or what I am waiting for.  I then hear a gentle tapping at the door. I approach the door, but stand before it in silence.

My pulse quickens as I wait. I make no attempt to answer the knock until a voice whispers, “It is me.”  This is when I open the door. 

I awoke from this dream feeling a bit unsettled. I couldn’t remember the …