My father and I have a tumultuous relationship to put it mildly. From a young age I remember we would sit together in the living room watching the evening news. Then over dinner we would discuss it. We never agreed on anything (and still don’t!). My poor mother would sit between us and try to stop us from arguing. You see we are both stubborn to a fault and never back down from a challenge. As I got older I had the rare opportunity to go to work with him and watch him in his office. Now I realize how priceless that was.
He taught me a crucial business lesson that has stayed with me till today. Never give up. I have seen my father go through so much over the years, but he has never given up. What ever the challenge or difficulty, no matter how overwhelming the odds, he will overcome them. He never feels sorry for himself or blames anyone else. His faith, tenacity and strength of character see him through. Now that I’m a successful Executive Speech Coach and Keynote Speaker myself I appreciate that even more. I owe so much of my success to him and to what I learned in those formative years.
Now when I am faced with an obstacle, difficulty or challenge in my professional life I think ‘What would my father do?’ and that gives me the strength to keep going. Be strong and determined and you will succeed. Never give up on your dreams. Happy Fathers Dad! I love you.
If money was no object, would you have plastic surgery? I asked myself this question recently after having my first baby. Pregnancy changes your body forever. I gave birth to a healthy beautiful 10 lb. baby. Yes you heard me right – 10 lb.! So we’re talking serious stretch marks here. Not only that, but my otherwise svelte stomach (one of my best features I might add) was transformed into a wibbly, wobbly mess. So the other day I stood in front of my bathroom mirror and thought what if…
As I stood there sucking in my stomach , I thought of my old school friend Ashley. She was gorgeous; long dark shiny chocolate-brown hair, sparkling blue eyes, naturally tan skin and a fit physique from years of athletics. But she was blessed with one imperfection, her nose. For years I had listened to her wax on and on about her nose. I never understood how she felt. Her own insecurity and lack of self-esteem would eat away at her over the years. Her nose was too big, too crooked, too ugly. No one would marry her because of her nose. She would never find love because of her nose. You get the idea. Ridiculous I thought – how shallow!
We went our separate ways but kept in touch. One day a letter arrived from my old friend Ashley (yes this was before email…I’m that old!!!). She shared that she had been in a serious horse riding accident – obviously I was horrified, until I read that she was happy about it. She was actually happy that she had been in an accident because it gave her the excuse she needed to have a nose job! She would never have done it otherwise. I wash harsh with my judgment and didn’t flinch from sharing my opinion with her. Now looking back I realize that I had no right to judge her or anyone else.
As I write this I can hear my daughter crying. She’s probably hungry again. I take her in my arms and look into those deep brown eyes and feel so grateful to have such a gift. I hope that I can instill in her the strong sense of self-worth and confidence that my mother gave me. My little angel has helped me realize that there are things in life significantly more important than my own personal vanity. Bringing life into this world has given my own life perspective.
Even if money was no object I still wouldn’t have plastic surgery. Would you?
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For the longest time, my friends have been trying to convince me to learn how to meditate. So this afternoon, after years of badgering, I finally decided to give it a try. I put on some peaceful music, clear my mind and allow myself to just be. No worrying about the laundry I have to do tomorrow or thinking about the dishes in the sink. I try my best not to think about the emails I have to reply to or the bills I have to pay.
Once I fight through the waves of worry, I find myself in a more peaceful state. The music meandering through my mind. I feel myself drift away, not towards the light or some deeper self-awareness, but towards a place. Somewhere I have been many times before – the streets of London. I grew up in England and haven’t been back to London in many years, but all of a sudden I am there. The memories are fresh with vibrant colours and intoxicating smells. I can hear my heels as they clocked against the cobbled stone streets leading to Covent Garden. The smell of freshly baked bread and decadent pastries fills my lungs. An explosion of colour from the flower and produce vendors assaults my eyes. Laughter echoes through the murky grey air as tourists watch the street performers.
As my senses reach a crescendo, I feel a tear warmly glide down my cheek. Gradually the music comes to an end and the scene fades away into the mist. I am left in silence.
Are your weekends busy? Mine certainly are. Yesterday was no exception, with two meetings in the morning and only the afternoon to get things done. One thing I was looking forward to was lunch with my husband. After some deliberation we decided to go to a trendy new restaurant we had been meaning to try. We had heard that they serve crepes on square plates and illy coffee in tiny espresso cups. After waiting for twenty minutes and listening to the weird techno music playing in the background, we were finally showed to our tiny stainless steel table. It took them another ten minutes to get to our table and take our order. Thirty minutes later I was starving and fuming because the tables around us (seated at the same time as us) had already finished eating and we hadn’t even been served yet. With no food in sight, I politely informed the server that because of the abysmal service, we would pay for our drinks, cancel the rest of our order and be on our way.
Still ravenous, we jumped in the car and booted down the road to a small reliable diner we had frequented before. A sign near the front door instructed us to seat ourselves in one of their salmon pink ample PVC booths. They took the order five minutes later and we got the food ten minutes later. They brought our food in plain round plates and coffee in hunky white mugs. Flock of Seagulls “I Ran” was playing in the background. Everything was perfect.
We had gone from pretentious to practical and couldn’t have been happier. This was a profound realization for me, because in my younger days I was all about keeping up with the latest trends in everything. From the latest handbag and shoes, to eating at fancy restaurants so then I could say to my friends “Oh I’ve eaten there, it’s not bad. You should try the chilled fennel consomme.” Now that I have a little more gray hair (okay that’s a lie, I have a lot more!!), I’d rather eat in a diner than a fancy restaurant any day and I really don’t care what my friends think of me. When I buy a handbag or pair of shoes it’s all about functionality and comfort. Is this transformation a right of passage that we all go through or is it just me? What do you think?
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