Recently at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health I had the opportunity to attend a three-day workshop presented by Rick Hanson, author of Buddha’s Brain. As many know, particularly those in the world of psychology, there is much documented evidence indicating that we can change our brains from a negative perspective to a more optimistic one by developing certain skills. Changing or reshaping the brain is known as neuroplasticity. The fact that we have the capacity to reshape our brains means we have the power within us to lead happier and more optimistic lives. This is indeed good news.
The bad news is as Dr. Hanson pointed out is that, “The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive [click to continue…]
Years ago, I directed the Stress Management Department at the Pain Unit of Boston’s Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. My first mind-blowing exposure to addiction came when a diabetic patient communicated her physician’s warning that if she did not stop smoking, she risked having her legs amputated. Several days thereafter she was discharged from the pain unit. Three months later she returned to the hospital, this time with stubs for legs. Still she continued to smoke [click to continue…]
Linda, a 42 year old attorney with two young boys, felt guilt and disappointment both on the job and at home. She never quite felt that she was where she needed to be at any given time. For all of her accomplishments, she felt like a failure as a lawyer and as a mother. She strove for perfection in all facets of her life, but now was finding that juggling motherhood and her professional life made this impossible. The standards that Linda set for herself were unattainable and therefore an innate form [click to continue…]
As human beings we often dream of living better, more fulfilling lives. We wish to create lives for ourselves and our families that are happy, purposeful and passionate. We can not only dream about creating more gratifying lives, but we also possess the cognitive ability to strategize and plan to achieve [click to continue…]
Recently I had the good fortune of meeting the inspirational and highly motivated winner of the reality show, The Biggest Loser, Ali Vincent. At the recent Chat, Chew & Chocolate retreat, Ali shares her compelling story through her lens of fear, doubt and deep shame. Along her path she summons the courage and strength to challenge her greatest beliefs about herself. Ali pushes through her pain and loss and emerges not only the winner of The Biggest Loser, but fully embraces the empowered woman that she has become.
How did she find the motivation? How did she dare to stare her demons down? What lessons can we derive from her excruciating journey [click to continue…]
Three days post hip replacement surgery a small team with a large ambulance transported me to a rehabilitation facility. While there, I began to heal from the invasive procedure and relearn the act of walking.
Handfuls of medications came periodically throughout the day. One hour before physical therapy, pain medication was generously doled out so that I could tolerate the pain from the simplest [click to continue…]
Motivation moves us forward. Motivation shows up everywhere in our lives – from the execution of mundane tasks to inspired and visionary actions. Every one of us is driven by a unique set of life circumstances and genetics that propels us in one way or another.
Some women are motivated most of the time whereas others need to find ways to keep energized and inspired. The reason for this has to do with intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation, one of the keys to understanding motivation. [click to continue…]
Coaching has come of age since its emergence in the late 1980s. The coaching profession evolved from a branch of psychology known as the field of “Positive Psychology.” Today the coaching field combines mentoring, training and motivation and is here to stay. [click to continue…]
Olympians evoke an image of extraordinary persistence, hope and optimism. They embody the notion of mind over matter. Olympic athletes endure years of training, overcoming challenges, injuries, and withstand losses amidst the wins. They give up the usual social life of the young. These spectacular women and men hail from every part of the world to compete and push past boundaries. They dare to dream. They dare to go the distance. On February 13, Nodar Kumaritashvili, Georgian Luge Olympic hopeful, tragically died on the opening day of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. He lost control at a crucial moment while practicing for his competition. Perhaps it was the ice, the unimaginable speed or simply a split second error in judgment. At 21, Nodar embodied the passion, perseverance and optimism known to all Olympians. [click to continue…]
What I love about the new year is that it always feels like an opportunity to prioritize goals, reclaim sources of inspiration and get a fresh start. In December I spent some time creating a vision for the coming year.
In a previous post I told you that my resolution going forward is to create more fun in my everyday life. Mostly that means spending more time with the people I care about and playing outdoors. Creating a vision means seeing the “big picture” and then getting specific about prioritizing goals and dreams. The greater the clarity about our intentions, the better positioned we are to live our lives more fully and successfully. Ordering goals requires an awareness of what we value most personally and professionally. [click to continue…]