Blog

One of the things I really enjoy about working with business leaders and organizations is the ability to grow by focusing on something outside oneself. As a therapist, my focus was internal and naturally, always directed towards my clients. As we talked, we focused on the emerging stories, and intensely on each other. In that sacred space, much about relating in general is revealed. It is a binary process. In my work with businesses, our focus is on growing the initiative. Even...

I was talking to a man who started dating. He was irritated because when he took his date to the restaurant, she said, "I can’t eat here. It’s not vegan.” He didn’t mind her food preferences and thought there would be some options for her at the place he chose. But her declaration had a tone of entitlement.

A few years ago I worked with a woman who had been suddenly and brutally abandoned as a young girl by her father, who left her family for another in another country. As you might imagine, as a grown woman, trusting men in intimacy was extremely difficult. Every perceived threat of abandonment by an intimate — like a late returned phone call or decision to go somewhere without her — would set off a chain of reactions that felt real...

This weekend I celebrated the 50th year of a close friend. It was a momentous and intimate gathering, and many people who could not attend contributed their thoughts and feelings about the birthday girl via letters to be read aloud. As we sat around the candlelit table, sharing these heartfelt words of appreciation, I could feel what a profound and powerful gift was being exchanged. We were all deeply moved, ricocheting between bursts of laughter and tears. My friend saw...

Years ago I heard a captivating talk by Resonate author Nancy Duarte at the World Domination Summit. Duarte’s talk, delivered seamlessly and in fact, resonating deeply, was about the elements of a great speech.  Her talk modeled everything she spoke of: it had a good story arc in which the audience was the hero, and she, as guide, clearly illustrated the potential for our success as speakers. She spoke mostly of renown speakers like Martin Luther King Jr. and Steve Jobs, but she included just the right...

  Not too long ago, nestled between the political rants, adorable animal videos and proverbial ‘happy life’ photos of my Facebook feed, this video stopped me in my tracks. In it, a young girl with a prosthetic leg receives a fancy doll who also has one, and she is overwhelmed by raw emotion that appears to be part joy for receiving a gift she so badly wanted, and part self-compassion, sparked from the experience of being mirrored. “She’s just like...

“I said to the abbot — I’ll get in the habit, but not in the habit” — Steven Sondheim  When I was a teenager, when you could still smoke in restaurants, I studied acting at a Summer Stock program with the soon to be famous actress Mary McDonnell. I worshipped her and thought she was the sexiest, wisest, most humble and talented woman on earth. In the mornings when I had to be up early for some lame apprentice task,...

Master of one Renown writer, teacher and Buddhist nun Pema Chodron tells the story of being sent by her teacher to direct North America’s foremost Tibetan Buddhist monastery. After years of devotion, Chodron excelled at practice, scripture, stillness and meditation. But in her new position, Chodron discovered that she was no Buddha. She quickly learned that she had no idea how to lead effectively, and people were not shy about letting her know how bad she was at it. Her...

Here we are, again at the start. So many new opportunities to lead in love, to hold your own while loving another. To love, without losing you. We look for impact in our profession, in our level of success: how much did we earn, how did we lead, what contributions did we make? But we often neglect to assess the direct impact we have daily in our personal world:     Impact on our children, our parents, our partners, our...

I discovered something essential about being a leader many years ago during my drama therapy internship at the West Haven Veterans Hospital. I was left in charge of eight burly Vietnam veterans to run their weekly “relationship lab”; a group which used improvised scenes to explore styles of communication and the effects of PTSD on interactions.