Remembering Who You Are

Freeing Yourself from Expectations!

Over the past few months, the weight of expectations has been a frequent topic in conversations with family and friends, and in my own thinking, journaling, and choices. Each of us has a very personal relationship with the many expectations in our lives — our expectations of ourselves, what we expect from others and, of course, what we believe other people expect from us. Can expectations be positive? Of course! My parents had expectations that […]

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YOU are so much more than ENOUGH!

I am so blessed to spend much of my time each week listening to, or reading, the stories that women share during calls, in emails, in virtual meetings, and on Every woman’s story inspires me and I learn from them all. Every single one. A theme that has been central in many recent stories and conversations is not a new topic, but one that I am certain requires re-examination before this year comes to

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To The Bright Lights in The World… Including YOU!💫

Over the past two weeks, I have spoken with three of my dearest friends who, like so many other people now, are feeling “weighed down” by events in their country and in the world. What further complicates their situations is that these dear friends are people to whom others go when they need support and encouragement. In their unique way, these friends help others reconnect with the hope, strength, and optimism needed to continue helping

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Listening to Your Own Best Advice

You generously give your love, time, attention, empathy and, of course, your thoughtful advice to family, friends, colleagues, and others who ask for it. These people rely on you, and days or weeks later they circle back and thank you. Your advice was, is, and will continue to be invaluable to many. Why, then, do you — and I — forget to listen to our own best advice? I am always inspired by the people

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People Who Love You Exactly As You WERE!

A very dear friend of mine is grappling with a situation that I have experienced many times in my own life. I suspect that you have faced this challenge, too, when someone you love is… … resisting some or all of the changes you are embracing in your life; … judging your personal growth or your evolving perspectives; … refusing to accept the version of who you are now and trying to hold on to

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You ARE enough, and you have ALREADY DONE enough!

I heard a familiar and persistent theme in five conversations or Zoom gatherings about various topics over the past three weeks. Five different women, from five different countries, voiced often unvoiced-but-deeply-felt sentiments about being enough and doing enough … … “I ask myself, ‘Have I done enough?’” … “Since I was a little girl, I have felt like I was not enough.” … “I know there is always more I can do. I just have

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Love and Forgiveness

True forgiveness is like a rainbow – a rare and beautiful gift, precious and elusive. As a child, I was often told that it was important to “forgive and forget.” No one explained that the step of forgetting – of letting go of our hurt and pain – may be even more important than the act of forgiving. I understand that now that it is. I have been thinking a lot about forgiveness and when

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Our Harshest Critic and Our Best Friend

How much easier our lives would be if we followed the advice we lovingly give to others. For many of us, this period of “staying home” has significantly limited our face-to-face time with family members who do not live with us, colleagues, and others who comprise our various communities. Time together is facilitated by technology and flexible schedules, and we are all supporting people who are afraid, or who feel alone, or who long for

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Training Wheels

I am grateful for every lesson on my path to empowerment, and for the past week I have been especially grateful to a joyful 4-year-old girl (I am guessing her age). Last weekend, in a long neighborhood walk, we saw a few individuals and families out for walks and bike rides, away from the work-from-home, school-at-home, video-conference-from home experiences that fill our weekdays now. I heard that little girl before I saw her across the

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I am not afraid!

A very dear friend of mine is wading through a morass of self-doubt and fear. Not the fear that one experiences in an abusive relationship or living in an area where violence is prevalent, but that other kind of fear that keeps us from living to our fullest potential. The fear of failure. The fear of criticism. The fear of disappointment. The fear of losing love. As I observe and listen to my friend, I

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“I was going to finish that sentence.”

Well into my career, I was in a meeting with a great group of intelligent, successful and confident business leaders. I respected every one of them. They were all men. It was in that meeting room that I found the courage to say, finally, to one of the men who had just interrupted me, “Eric, I was actually going to finish that sentence.” (There was no Eric in the meeting, but I choose to protect

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Choosing Love Again and Again

It is usually (but not always!) easier to choose love over anger, fear, frustration or other emotions when we are interacting with people we deeply love.  This is especially true when we have reached a level of unconditional love, of loving someone without expectation.  I cannot claim to love everyone this way, but I am committed to this goal. Each day, I become more aware of how choosing love improves all of the experiences of my day-to-day

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Facing into Anger

The first time I watched two talented performers dance the tango, I was mesmerized by the precision of their movements and the rapidity with which they changed direction. Anger is like that for me. Not there at all and then, in an instant, staring me in the face. My experiences with personal anger are much rarer than they once were, partly as a result of years of meditation training and partly from the related exploration

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Whom Do You Love

We celebrate Valentine’s Day by telling others how much we love them, and it is a wonderful tradition. We want people to know how much they mean to us, how much we love and appreciate them. This year, in the flurry of red hearts, flowers and sweets, we have the opportunity to rethink this holiday that celebrates love. Here are two suggestions that may make this Valentine’s Day your best in years, and maybe even

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It Has to Stop Somewhere

I am genuinely fascinated by memory, by how something from the distant past comes to mind for no obvious reason – a special moment, a long-forgotten experience. Sometimes, when this happens, I wonder why the memory came and if it holds a new lesson for me. Many years ago, my Mom was driving my brother and me home from a visit to my grandmother’s house. Suddenly, the car moved into a sheet of pouring rain.

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Who Stands Between You and Your Dreams?

I have been thinking a great deal about my friend Adam (not his real name) who died several years ago at a relatively young age. He comes to mind nearly every time I observe someone who is not pursuing her/his dreams. Adam wanted to study law after college, but his parents had other plans for him and he followed their dream instead of his own. Unlike some people who fall in love with their profession

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Choosing Love Over Fear

Every minute of every day, we are faced with choices that shape our lives. There are big choices related to our relationships, our beliefs, our work…and smaller choices (or so they seem) about what we will do with our day, with whom we will speak, how we will invest our time and energy. Our days might look very different if we consistently asked this question: “Am I making this choice from a place of love,

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The Life We Create In Telling Our Story

We create and re-create our life in the stories we tell others about ourselves and in the stories we tell ourselves. Several years ago I heard Ben Zander, conductor of The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, speak about the impact of our answer to a simple question most of us are asked many times each day – “How are you?” As we reply to this question from others, we also signal to ourselves how we feel about

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Quieting Our Inner Critic

I recently met a young woman who is making a significant difference in her community, a woman who is helping people transform their lives. If you had been listening to our conversation, it is unlikely you would have known how amazing Anna is. Hearing her describe herself and her work, you might have been underwhelmed. But I knew something about Anna before meeting her, and in our conversation it was clear that her inner-critic was

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To Whom Do You Give Your Power?

I love kaleidoscopes because they remind me that in an instant, everything can change. In many of the “kaleidoscope moments” of my life, I have been able to see long-held beliefs or fears in a new and completely different way. So what does this have to do with our personal power, and how we give it away? Two years ago, I wrote a draft post called “Do they hear you?” The point of the post

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Celebrate YOU this Valentine’s Day!

I absolutely love the idea of a holiday during which we celebrate LOVE with paper hearts, cards, flowers, chocolates and, of course, hugs and kisses. Love is an essential component of our human existence. If I asked you to make a list of all the people you love, it would probably be quite a long list of family and friends (and perhaps a celebrity or two). But who would be at the very top of

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The Difficult Decision to End An Unhealthy Friendship

Most of us vividly remember the joys and pains of adolescent friendships, and the dramas inherent in them. Thankfully, as adults our friendships with other women are deeper and richer, influenced and enriched by the shared experiences of navigating life as a woman. The depth of these wonderful friendships is difficult to describe, and it is even more difficult to describe the comfort found within them, within a cocoon of support, understanding, encouragement and love.

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What color is the elephant in your room?

In recent weeks I have been watching as two very dear friends navigate the emotions that result from deceit, betrayal, and destruction of the deep trust they shared. It is painful to observe their drama play out and, most obviously, extremely painful for them to live it each day. Everyone one of us has experienced betrayal of some kind, and the very word often evokes a physical response in our gut. Memories can flood back

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Becoming the true you!

The most significant changes in our lives are obvious to those who know and love us (and even to those who do not). A change in careers, a marriage or divorce, the birth of a child, the death of a loved one – these are life events that spark outpourings of congratulations, caring, celebration, or condolences. But there are also important but subtle changes in our lives, those that result from the decisions we make

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Navigating Others' Expectations

Some of the best advice and insights I have ever received has been offered by children. In some cases, they were words actually intended as advice – ”Don’t get into a car with someone you don’t know, Sharon.” But far more often the insight had an unintended impact, a thought spoken with the clarity and conviction beautifully alive in most children. Several years ago, I was visiting friends who have three children. The oldest, a

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A Moment Just for You

2015 was not off to the start I had imagined. Illnesses, slips and falls, and other life challenges faced by family and close friends in the first two months of the year had left me feeling a bit frayed at the edges. In the midst of the various “pulls” in my life, I had planned a quick dinner with two wonderful women whom I do not see as often as I would like. The drive

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Help is Always There When We Need It

I am convinced there should be a mandatory course for totally responsible, self-sufficient women (and men). The course title would be: “How Asking for Help Can Significantly Improve Your Life.” So few of the women I know ask for help and, even worse, many actually refuse help when it is offered — “No, thanks. I can handle it.” (or some variation on that theme). I recognize the condition because I suffered from it for many

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Nine Words That Are Changing My Life

I often arrive at the end of my day having accomplished a lot, although rarely all that I had hoped. I’ve tried many approaches to setting and resetting priorities, and confess to being a nearly obsessive list-maker. While lists remind me of what I want to do throughout my day (and sometimes my evening), they do not help determine how much time to spend on any one activity or project. By now you may be

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Honoring Aunt Tucker

The voice I heard when I woke from a dream this morning was my Aunt Tucker’s. Not actually her voice, but definitely her. I could not go back to sleep so instead I begin celebrating Aunt Tucker’s life. On this day when her body will be placed in a grave, her soul is dancing with the moon and her sister stars. She has already sent us small but distinct signs that she is loving us

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Creating Your Best Year Yet

There is much fanfare over the first day of the New Year and many people make resolutions about things that they will start or stop doing when January 1st rolls around. I do not limit myself to starting over on the first day of January, as sometimes the early days or months of a new year seem more like what I wanted to leave behind than what I planned to carry forward. Letting Go of

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