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  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.

“One of the simplest paths to deep change is for the less powerful to speak as much as they listen, and for the more powerful to listen as much as they speak.” — Gloria Steinem Way back when I was a student and budding practitioner of psychotherapy, I took refuge in the wise words of writer/therapist Sheldon Kopp. He borrowed the title for his book “If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him!” from an ancient Buddhist Koan....

When you think about the great leaders in your life, what qualities do they generally possess? Since we are all leaders in some way (I’m talking to you, mothers, healers and even administrative assistants!) it’s a good question to ask. I’ll bet on your list is an ability to find humor in many situations, without treating serious ones in a flippant manner.

Years ago, I learned about my limitations from a dog I rescued up the road. This summer, when we picked up this rascally-angel from the pound, I sensed we were in for it. Kedra (for my Facebook followers who saw the post introducing her, {click for cutie-pic!} there really is no “n” in her name, it’s just that since everybody adds it, I thought I’d simply introduce her that way), the new addition to the family, is a lover, a...

In the middle of a risky conversation with a steady boyfriend, one in which we were confessing our doubts about moving to the next level, he brought up the dreaded N word. The other N word. He was concerned that I might be a narcissist. Gulp. I had just come from a conversation with a colleague who referred to the selfie stick as “the narcisstick,” complaining about our culture’s bloated obsession with self-promotion, and, since I do a fair amount...

If you have been hanging out online, you’ve probably noticed the copious amounts of free stuff that entrepreneurial practitioners like myself — teachers, coaches, artists, writers, etc. — have to offer.* To begin with, there are blogs and articles that showcase skills, philosophies and advice — information you used to have to purchase via book, magazine or other publications. Blog posts and other online written materials enable you to get to know a practitioner’s voice. The idea is that if...