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A woman I know was preparing to interview for a huge internal promotion. She hired a coach to help her develop her C-level persona so she could really step into the role via body language,  leadership awareness, and even wardrobe. Throughout the exhaustive rounds of performance interviews, she kept a confident stride and spoke authoritatively with the partners on how she would add to the culture. There seemed to be no other candidates with her qualifications. She had a good feeling about it.

Eden was upset. John was nervous. Eden, with her good communication, had asked John to “just listen.” John knew that meant he couldn’t fix her problem. So he listened. And when she was done talking it all out, she looked up at him with pain on her face and cried out, You’re not going to say anything?!!! John threw his hands in the air. “What do you want from me? I don’t fix and I listen, and now it seems you...

There is always comedy in the extremes, and I don’t know about you, but when I recognize the crooked truths, I immediately start thinking about ways to fix them: Single life doesn’t HAVE to be so lonely if you plan right, and married lives don’t HAVE to be so boring if you put some forethought and effort into it, RIGHT???

Everything of high value requires your protection: Your sentimental objects, your iPhone, your children, your health, your IRA. So why not your dear, dear heart? Counter to popular new age philosophy that being open with and about everything is the key to living well, I am going to counsel you to protect your vulnerability.

I usually go for seltzer water or fermented grapes, but sometimes you get the kind of news that is better swallowed with real spirits.

All through dinner prep and catching up with my friend, I breathed into my discomfort as I focused my full attention on him. My task was to really reconnect with my friend. We swapped stories and smiles, and even with the nagging provocation hangover, I was enjoying the reunion. About halfway through the meal, a miraculous thing happened. . .

I'm not going to be telling you how to "be with your loneliness" in the hopes that one day you will be more like the rest of us grown-ups, chasing kids around and secretly feeling nostalgic for the days when our lives looked like yours. I don’t hope for you -- unless it’s your heart’s desire-- that you will be partnered soon and eventually forget this time.

Every Valentine’s Day is different for me, and it’s different for each person on the planet. For some, it’s a day to remember to write a poem, make a fancy reservation, buy the chocolate, order the flowers or pick out the jewels. Hopefully, if this is you, you feel grateful, generous, hardly obliged. For many, it’s a day to remember that some holidays are commercial inventions, because companies like Hallmark and 1-800-Flowers need them to be. And retail stores definitely...