Be In The Moment.


Keep Your Mind Where Your Body Is

In The Moment.

In The Moment.

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who wasn’t there? Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and you weren’t there? Have you ever been in a meeting and no one was there? Most likely, you could unequivocally say yes to all of the above.

From time to time, and more often for some of us, we allow something outside of ourselves to distract us from what’s important in the moment. I often allow myself to become distracted. I allow something to take me on a metal detour, whether I’m diverted by other people’s behavior or drawn into their drama. All of these diversions mean my mind is not where my body is.

When we allow ourselves to be distracted from what’s happening in the moment, those around us suffer. People are affected, including our children, our spouses, our partners, our friends, co-workers, or anyone we might be connected with in the moment. When we go astray mentally or emotionally, we send a message to the person that he or she doesn’t matter. That he or she is not important enough to hold our attention. Our words may say “you matter,” but her actions scream something else.

Not long ago, I was sitting in a meeting with a honking began outside the window. It was loud and continuous. Many of the attendees, including me, became obsessed with the noise for the entire hour and a half. The honking was a condition we could not control, but we could control our reactions to it. We gave each other looks and whispered about the noise. We got so bothered by the outside condition that we ourselves ultimately became the distraction.

You Have A Choice.

Perhaps we were justified in being disturbed. But in truth, each of us had a choice as to whether to give away our power.

We each made a decision, conscious or otherwise, to allow a condition to control our experience. I allowed my attention to be stolen right out from under me. Those of us who choose to be distracted suffered because we missed out on the valuable information offered by the speaker and instead spent the entire time being angry about something we couldn’t control. The presenter suffered because he was never able to recapture the attention of the 15 or 20 people who went along with me for the mental ride. It was a  lose-lose situation for all concerned.

So what can we do to be more present? How can we bring our minds more in alignment with our body?

  • For starters, admit your mind it’s not always we are your body is. Denying any problem is a prescription for failure.
  • Become aware of those times when your attention is diverted in another direction. Call it what it is!
  • Be willing to see the damage to yourself, to your relationship, and to your serenity when you are not fully present. Get honest about how it affects you and others. A bold move is to ask someone you’re in a relationship with how your behavior affects him or her.
  • Be a careful and attentive listener. Listen to understand, and not to judge.
  • Practice quieting your busy mind. The noise in the brain is sometimes overwhelming that we simply must shut it off.
  • Practice staying in the moment. Hold your attention. When your mind wanders, gently bring it back.

I invite you to be aware of how often you are distracted. During an important meeting, you were thinking about what you’re having for lunch. Maybe during lunch, you were thinking about work. Maybe when you’re with the kids, your attention was diverted to something else that made you not able to give them your full attention.

Then practice staying in the moment. You may find it challenging at first, but after a while, it’ll become easier. Whenever your mind wants to move away from where your body is, gently bring it back.

Treasure Your Friends


Two happy teenage girl friends playing with hair as mustache

Treat Friends Like Treasured Items

Our connection was immediate on our first day of law school. We now have a soulful bond that has spanned over 20 years. Who would have thought the two of us, from such different worlds, 11 years apart in age, could come together as lifelong friends? Yet we have. She loves animals; so do I. I root for the underdog; so does she. She is an old spirit, wise beyond her years. And when I met her, I had lived a life far beyond my years. Her heart is bristling with the love of all things living, and her spirit is quite courageous.

That first day of class when Lorene challenged our contracts Professor, I knew we would be friends. Career changes, relocations, marriages, disagreements, aging, failed Bar exams, two law school reunions, we are still friends.

What is friendship?

It’s a voluntary connection, a bond between two or more people that transcends race, religion, gender, or political persuasion. It’s showing we can count on someone to be there when we need him or her.

It’s unconditionally being loved, no matter what. It’s having someone to laugh with, dance with, and celebrate with. It’s having the courage to tell the truth and having the courage to be told the truth.

Friendship is trusting someone enough to reveal that side of us that we dare not reveal too often. It’s knowing a friend will deliver on the promise. It’s offering of whatever we have to give to make our friends road just a little easier: an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, a sofa to crash on, our heart, our attention.

Friends are like a warm, cozy fire on a cold, damp night. True friendship is a gift from God that we are required to take care of.

How do we get friends?

I heard years ago that to have a friend, you must be a friend. For years, my mentor Louise reminded me that if I found it necessary to sleep with other woman’s husband’s I wouldn’t have any girlfriends. What a novel concept. Yet the truth is, that at that time in my life I didn’t think I needed women in my life.  “Women are too competitive,” I’d say. “They can’t be trusted. They back stab you.” Of course, I knew that was true because I helped to perpetuate this by my own behavior. Today I know the value and ultimate unity of same-sex friendships.

Where do we find friends?

Everywhere we are: the hallway in our apartment building, our job, the elevator, the gym, the Opera, and church, and a community meeting, at PTA.

Wherever we show up, there are opportunities to make friends. Some friends pass through our lives on a temporary mission. Other stay for a while, perhaps months or even years. Their charge is to assist us along the journey in a way that only they can do. Their expertise is needed at the moment in time. But then there are those who come in for the long-haul. They share our journey in a special way, and a slice of history is created.

What gets in the way of friendship? Hurt feelings, ego, family, other friends, work, communities, changing values, change and goals, and distance. And some relationships, seemingly through nobody’s fault, just fade away. Yet I believe that no relationship just dies.

Like anything else, where we place our attention is what gets fed and grows. If a relationship has reached its expiration, it’s because we have allowed that to happen for some reason.

I want you to think about the people who you have at some in time or another call friends. We will explore what you appreciate about them and ways you can let them know, and if appropriate, how to reconnect with them. Here is your starting point:

  • In your own words, define friendship. To help you, bring to mind someone you consider – or have ever considered to be a friend. List the characteristics that make him or her a good friend.
  • Today make a list of your closest friends. It doesn’t matter whether they live in your neighborhood, your state, or across the globe. When you think of your real friends, who comes to mind?
  • Now, think of someone you listed and bring to mind an experience you had with your friend that made you know he or she was on your team. Really allow yourself to reflect on that time in your life. What happened? How did you feel?
  • Contact the people on your list. Make a call, send a thank you note, or send a card saying “just thinking of you.” This is your day to appreciate people who have been there as friends. In some cases, it simply might be an opportunity to reconnect.
  • Identify two people who are currently out of your life who at one time were important. What happened? Reflect on times past, when there was love between you. Even though much time may have passed, if appropriate, make a call, send an email, or write a note saying “hi, I’m thinking of you.”

After you have done all of this, take time to rest, recharge, and regroup. What observations can you make about your behavior? What worked? What didn’t work? What seemed extra hard? Why?

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Living Your Dreams


Walk through your fear


Dreams. Goals.

Most of my early life I felt stupid.  But in 1981, at the age of 28, I set out to change the conversation. I went back to school. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever made, because it brought up all of my insecurities. Fears I never knew I had surfaced such as the fear of being too old, the fear of failure, the fear of not being smart enough, the fear of not being able to grasp the concepts, fear of not fitting in, the fear of going back to school, the fear of the coursework being too hard – the list continued. But one day at a time, after talking to advisers, researching the necessary steps, and auditing classes, I decided to face my fears and embark on a journey, one that prove to be an entry into a life far beyond my wildest dreams.

What do you dream about when you are by yourself and left with your own thoughts? What do you wish you could do “if life were different”? What would you be doing if you could snap your fingers and make it all happen?

What would you do if you were guaranteed success?

We all have dreams. Some of us make them come true, some of us talk about making them come true, and some of us wish we had made them come true. Most of us know what we long to make happen.  Perhaps you are afraid to speak it aloud, but deep down you know.  It’s your heart’s desire, a passion that burns inside you just waiting to be nudged into action. Then there are those of you who need some assistance in identifying the dream-the heart’s desire.  Maybe because it’s been stuffed so deep inside that only emotional surgery can release it.

For the rest of you, perhaps one at a time you had a dream – and now you don’t. So, let’s begin by identifying your dream.

How do you go about doing that? For this you’ll need to tap into the right side of your brain – your creative side, your playful, imaginative and inspired side.

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Be Proactive & Take Responsibility for Your Body


You Are In a Relationship with Your Body

Move your body. Exercise.

Relationships work best when we respect one another, and respect is an action. Listening to your body when it says it needs something and giving it and what it asks for – such as rest and we relaxation when it’s tired, water when it’s thirsty, nutritious food when it’s hungry, and pampering all the time – are behaviors that demonstrate respect.

It’s not enough to say you love your body, then abuse it. Forcing yourself to stay awake past your body’s bedtime is not a respectable act, particularly if it’s done on a regular basis. Stuffing yourself with more food when your body says “I’ve had enough” is not a good thing either.

The relationship between you and your body will improve when you take responsibility for your actions. It’s easy to use your past or your environment or even your feelings as excuses for not taking care of yourself, but to have and maintain good health, you must take responsibility for what you have done and continue to do to your body.

What excuses are you making?

Who are you blaming for the condition your body is in? How can you start taking responsibility now?

Taking responsibility begins with gathering information. Read up on health matters in your favorite magazines. Most have a column or a regular department addressing health issues. Go to the library, look on the Internet, and ask questions of healthcare professionals. Gather information about your body. When was the last time you had a regular physical? Do you know what’s going on with your body?

Are you confused about which medical exams/screenings you should have and when? While identifying which exams you need can be overwhelming and frightening, it’s worth the effort. Ask your doctor which tests are appropriate for someone of your gender, race, and age. They may even be specific test given for people who live in certain geographical regions. Look into it.

The Internet is a wonderful resource. The more you know, the more you can help yourself. This is an important step and taking care of your health. Here’s a short alphabetical list of screenings you might want to consider: AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, blood pressure, bone density measurement, breast exam, cholesterol, fecal occult blood test, glucose, hearing, mammogram, Pap smear, problem – drinking assessment, thyroid stimulating hormone measurement, and vision. Find out which ones you need and take them.

Be proactive. Find out now. If there is a probably needs to be addressed, take care of it immediately. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Join my conversation on FacebookFacebook Esteemableacts Fan Page, or my Facebook Law Page, you can also interact with me on my Twitter Esteemable Acts page, Twitter Law Page, or on LinkedIn. Feel free to subscribe to my newsletter.

Don’t Allow Obstacles Get You Down



Obstacles can materialize in many different ways.

The appearance of a pink slip from your employer when your goal is to get promoted. Rejection letter from a literary agent when your goal is to get published. Divorce papers when you saw yourself living happily ever after with the man a woman of your dreams. A series of roadblocks when you are trying to finish a project or reach your goal.

Recently I was trying to get into San Francisco for a meeting at noon. On a good day, the drive takes about 20 minutes, but during rush hour or when it’s raining, it usually takes an hour. To be safe, I gave myself an hour and a half to get to the financial district, park my car, and comfortably arrive at my destination.  And I even took reading material just in case I had time to spare. On this day, for some reason, the traffic going south on 101 was unusually backed up, all the way to Sausalito. As I sat in the same spot for 25 minutes, two things occurred to me: 1, I was happy I gave myself extra time and 2, there was something else I could do in the face of this obstacle.  In the past, I would have been so freaked out that I couldn’t think straight. Today I felt in control of my mind, even if I had no control over my situation.

Inch by inch, as I approach the last exit before the Golden Gate Bridge, I decided to turn around, go north on 101 to the Richmond Bridge, and take the East Bay into San Francisco. With that new strategy, it’s took me exactly 55 minutes to reach my destination. I walked into my meeting with five minutes to spare. While I wished I had had more time to settle in, the fact is I wasn’t late. I met my goal of getting to my appointment on time.

I was able to think of options that allowed me to get around the problem to a solution that worked. Obstacles are a part of life. They are perceived barriers to reaching a goal, completing a task, or satisfying a dream. They happen when we least expect them, and they often take on life of their own – when we let them.

There are big payoffs to being stuck in a problem, benefits to allowing hurdles in our lives to become the focal point. We feel justified in feeling like a victim, we can get sympathy, we can give up without making a good faith effort, and we have an excuse to avoid dealing with the challenges in life.

However, there is a greater return on our investment when we have the courage to walk through our discomfort and face our challenges head on. When we don’t let them wear us down and force us to give up, we ultimately reach our destination – absolute shaken, a little weathered, and sometimes a little late – but we get there.

The more we practice facing challenges, the easier the process becomes. While its never really easy to overcome obstacles, because we’ve done it before, we know we can do it again. We gain real self-esteem because we stretch beyond our comfort zone in ways we never thought possible to discover a solution to the seemingly impossible.

It’s easy to do what’s easy. It’s easy to be happy, joyous, and free when life is free of challenges and complications. It’s easy to follow our dreams when every tool is readily available. But overcoming life’s difficulties often makes us emotionally, mentally, and sometimes physically stronger.

Below are some suggestions to help you get over the hurdles:

  • When possible, give yourself plenty of time to deal with the potential obstacles.
  • When the pressure of time is removed, or lessened you can think through your options. Know you won’t die.
  • Sometimes it seems that you’ll never get past the difficult situation. This too shall pass.
  • Don’t resort to blaming. Blaming others keeps you stuck and unable to focus on solutions. Furthermore, you often played a part in what happens to you.
  • Don’t let fear rejection or mistake stop you in your tracks.

I invite you to explore how do you;ve handled obstacles in the past and, in moving forward, take the opportunity to make some different choices.