life coaching

In a Crisis? Good. Here's 3 Reasons Why.

I think it can universally be agreed that being in a crisis never feels good. However, it is in times of crisis that we are often pushed to grow out of our comfort zones and deepen our understanding of ourselves so there is a lot of gold to be found in these dark times that we go through.

This video is dedicated to all the physics geeks out there... Enjoy!

So... What Exactly is Coaching?

So, I asked you guys for help last week on Facebook and boy did you deliver! The first thing you gave me? A reality check. THANK YOU for reminding me that sometimes it's good to start with the basics...

With over 2,000 views is just 24hrs, we were overwhelmed by your support but also reminded of the fact that coaching is still a relatively young industry so an explanation was in order. If you've ever wondered what it is that coaches actually do, this one's for you!

If you'd like to skip the pleasantries and get to the core message, fast forward to 3:00. We realize it's a lengthy but we needed to express our gratitude to you for being so awesome! ❤ As always, feedback is most welcome and remember to subscribe, subscribe, subscribe!

Thank God for 2016

Looking at my newsfeed I think it’s pretty safe to say that most people I know can’t wait for 2016 to be over. 2016 was the year we lost Bowie, elected Trump, and allowed Aleppo. The world it seems, has gone mad.

To make matters worse, as soon as I started thinking about writing this piece, I went online briefly and read that George Michael, and with him it seems like the music itself, died. Not going to lie, the frustration mounted and I doubted whether to continue.

Being the silver linings enthusiast that I am though, I couldn’t just accept the idea that 2016 was just the worst year ever. In my mind, nothing is ever really ‘the worst’. To think so means you’re lacking in either perspective or imagination…

So, after some serious thought I’d like to share with you three reasons, other than all the positive stuff that happened this year (yes, there were positive things) why I’m actually happy that 2016 happened. With them, my aim is to offer you a different perspective and hopefully give you some hope for the future.

Reason #1: Energy. (This one is a bit technical but bear with me) In physics, the law of energetic conservation states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it transforms from one form to another.

In essence, life can be boiled down to a continuous and cyclical exchange of energy between already existing particles. For this exchange to be possible there are two types of energetic reactions: anabolic and catabolic.

Anabolic reactions build larger compounds and molecules from smaller ones. To do this, they consume energy. Catabolic reactions, on the other hand, break down molecules and release energy by breaking down complex molecules to simpler compounds.

Simply put, what anabolic reactions create and grow, catabolic ones disassemble and destroy.

Worth noting? If the law of energetic conservation holds true, then it is the energy released during catabolic reactions that enables anabolic ones to happen because they require energy. Without one we cannot have the other.

For example, by now we know that for your body to function correctly it must be in a constant state of cellular regeneration. This means that cells have to be perpetually dying to create room for new ones to fill their place. If they don’t, mutations or conditions like cancer often develop. The end result? Death and destruction at a higher level (organs, organ systems, bodies).

Because we usually associate growth as being good and death as being bad, it’s easy to fall into the trap of unfairly judging anabolic energy as positive/desirable and catabolic energy as negative/undesirable. Understanding the science behind it helps us realize that it’s wrong to do so.

So what would happen if we looked at today’s current events under this lens? What if all the crap that happened this year is simply a much needed catabolic reaction to create space for new growth? What if our current way of living, spending, and being has simply run its course? Could it be possible that it’s time to create room for a new way? Our belief systems change as our values do. If anything, what’s happening right now is a great excuse to take a look at what those values are and if we need to re-evaluate their importance.

After all, we co-created this mess we’re in whether we want to admit it or not. The silver lining? That takes me to my second point:

Reason #2: Distance. We live in an era where boredom rarely exists. We have access to entertainment 24/7 through our many devices and are constantly bombarded with information packaged cleverly to feed our growing information addiction. We compulsively use our phones to fill our time because being bored is not an option when you can escape your reality and step into the lives of others through the simple click of a button.

Needless to say, our ability to reflect has been compromised by our constant pursuit of external stimuli. By constantly focusing outwardly, we have largely ignored our own internal GPS.

But hey, this isn’t a sermon on how we allowed Putin or Rupert Murdoch and his media buddies to collectively screw us. Our brains are, after all, a muscle. It just so happens that to our detriment, the information most easily accessible happens to be stuff that is highly entertaining but not very useful.

We have in essence been going to the entertainment gym for the last 15 years and because of it, we didn’t realize just how bad things have been progressively getting in our country and the world around us.

Because of this perfectly normal human tendency to follow the path of least resistance, personal growth tends to be cyclical in nature as well and the cycle usually looks a bit like this: We’re happy —> it hits the fan —> we take a step back and try to make sense of what happened —> as we gather our thoughts we realize a couple of important things that inform our choices in the future—> we make different choices —> we move on with a new level of self-awareness and grow from the experience —> we’re happy again. If we’re doing it right, as we get older, we also get better at making some of that sweet proverbial lemonade.

As a coach it’s not by coincidence that most of my clients come to me after having some sort of a crisis or when they find themselves at an important crossroads in their lives usually caused by external factors—the relationship, the job, the accident, the death in the family. You see, when things are good we rarely take the time to reflect on why that is. Why would we? We’re too busy smelling the roses and enjoying the ride!

2016 was the moment we were rudely awakened, forced to think, and get some distance. We’re now awake and aware. There’s no turning back. We simply cannot become unconscious of what we learned this year and that’s a good thing. That leads me to my third and final point…

Reason #3: Clarity. It’s very hard to solve a problem you haven’t defined. 2016 leaves us with a pretty clear to do list for 2017. Black Lives Matter, Brock Turner, Trump, Aleppo and Standing Rock among others forced us to look in the mirror for the first time in a long time and to realize we have some serious issues to work out as a nation. 2016 gave us the map. What we do with it now, is up to us now so I propose that we take a coaching approach to 2017.

It’s time to begin that process of reflection, healing, and purpose-driven action that will enable us to move forward with a renewed sense of hope and unparalleled vigor. It’s time to stop pointing fingers and assume the responsibility that we all have in this. And hey, if this didn't inspire you enough, just keep in mind we still have Betty White. ;)




**(I picked I've Got To Go On Without You by Shirley Brown because she sings about moving on better than most and I've been on a soul and blues binge for a week now. Enjoy!)**

The 7 Pillars of an Epic Jam Session: An Abridged Life Manual


I haven't been on a stage professionally in three years. I haven't written a song in 18 months. I haven't been in a recording studio for as long as I can remember and I haven't done anything music-related regularly (other than listen to it) in a very very long time.  However, like with all things that are meant to be on your path, music keeps finding its way back to mine and I couldn't be any happier.

For the last three months, I've had the pleasure of witnessing and partaking in some truly magical musical moments. From soulful performances at the Caveau Des Oubliettes with strangers to impromptu karaoke in front of the opera house and random freestyling by the river Seine, the magic of music keeps enriching my Parisian experience more and more often and in a way I've never felt before. 

So why were these moments different? Why do they feel unique and stand out in my memory more than most formal concerts I ever did? Why do I feel infinitely more inspired today than I ever did when I was recording an album and working on television? I think the answer is abundantly clear. None of those things were planned and all of them were 100% authentic.

ALL of them were born out of the deep love for music the people involved shared and the joy we all expressed while performing together. There were no expectations. There were no rehearsals. All there was was a desire to play and a desire to share. The rest was unscripted and it was wonderful.

You'd think I'd leave it at that but being the humanity geek that I am, I had to dig deeper and find the reason why those moments were so wonderful. To my surprise, the things that make an impromptu music experience or a jam session good, are exactly the same ones that make life worth living. Check them out for yourself and see if you agree:


The 7 Pillars of An Epic Jam Session: An Abridged Life Manual


Be present: The beauty of a good jam session lies in the improvisation created by the chemistry between participants. In order to make magic, you must be fully present. Only then will you be able to understand each of your collaborators' energy and be able to flow with it. Energy, is like rhythm. Infectious. If you're not tuned in, you'll fall behind the music like a German tourist dancing reggaeton in the Caribbean. For anything to be truly satisfying in life, you must be present to enjoy it.


Be flexible: Nobody likes to jam with people who are too rigid or structured to the point where they make experimentation impossible. More often than not when you're jamming, a song that starts off sounding like something recognizable will end up being a surprise.  

Some of the best moments in music come from moments where somebody in the band just takes off in a different direction because their muse pays them a visit. Call it inspiration, call it curiosity, call it testing the limits of the self. Whatever it is it needs to be integrated by the rest of group in the quickest and smoothest way possible in order to avoid any dissonance. This places a premium on flexibility. In life, like in music, being flexible is a great advantage because it makes you less vulnerable to your circumstances and environment. 


Take risks: Jam sessions are largely enjoyable because they carry none of the expectations that shows do. There won't be a group of disappointed people if you perform poorly and nobody paid to get in. In essence, you don't owe anybody anything and that should feel damn good.

That said, with the elimination of expectations comes a freedom that should be taken advantage of, the freedom to risk! Because of that, jam sessions are the perfect opportunity to go out on a limb, to experiment, to 'screw up'. All jam sessions have a beginning, a middle, and an end and all lives do as well. What matters most in the end is how much you enjoyed the experience. If you risk nothing, you're likely to get a mediocre result. Are you ok with that?


Make room for others / Recognize its a group journey: Writing and playing on your own can be a lot of fun. That's true, and fine, and dandy. In my opinion it's not a true jam session unless you've got other's to play with though. On your own you miss out on so much of the growth and fun found in collaboration! 

With that said and considering the previous pillar, it's important to note that for it to be a true collaboration everyone deserves their time in the sun so play nice and share the benefits of the spotlight if it lands on you. Nobody likes a microphone hog or a never-ending guitar solo unless you're Jimmy Page and you're playing Stairway to Heaven. Giving is oftentimes more satisfying than receiving. 


Play on: Played the wrong chord or sang off key? Play on. Your friend screwed up a transition into another chord progression? Don’t sweat. Nobody likes to play with the guy who feels the need to correct everyone or stops playing when he makes a mistake. A good jam session stops for no one until the whole group is on board. Just imagine if we were to stop playing every time someone made a mistake with the music... The vibe, the chemistry, the magic(!) would be very hard to replicate and rebuild. In a jam session, as in life, the pursuit of absolute perfection is the enemy of fun and most importantly, impossible to achieve. Keep going. 


Pick a good band: In a good jam session, as in life, it is crucial to surround yourself with people who understand that we are incredibly lucky just to be here. Look for people that practice the pillars we're describing here. Look for people with similar interests but also different outlooks to challenge yours. Look and surround yourself by better musicians and singers, you will only grow from the experience. You don't have to know each other to play well together. All you really have to do is come into the experience with a shared respect for each other and the desire to create and have fun. The rest is gravy. Now if I only knew that in high school...


Take a minute to take it all in and be grateful: The last but perhaps most important of the pillars in my opinion. Why? Gratitude invites more things to be grateful for in your life. By taking a moment to reflect and enjoy, you create a rose-colored filter through which you will see the world. The fact that you’re reading this means you’re alive and breathing. That alone is something to be grateful for. Why not start there and make a list? It may surprise you how long it is!


There you have them, I hope they prove useful to you. 


It's been said that 'music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole and flows from the heaven into the soul'. I couldn't agree more. Music has been a key component of my journey into adulthood and into myself. Music is an integral part of who I am and will continue to be so in the future. 

Moments like the ones I described at the beginning of this piece are what keep me curious and free-spirited. They teach me things about myself and life that I'm more than happy and honored to share with you. The more energy I devote to them, the sweeter they feel because they remind me of what really matters.  

With that my friend, I ask you...

What is your 'music'?

What's the thing that offers you perspective in a unique way and connects you with life, others, and yourself? Whatever it is, give it your attention. It's bound to be rewarding. If the spirit moves you, write us and tell us what that is! We'd love to know. 


(Cyrille Aimee is an extraordinary musician and singer whom I have much in common with (musicians, influences, performance style) but have never had the opportunity to meet. She learned many of her improvisation skills from Gustavo Rodriguez, a brilliant pianist who taught me a lot about Jazz and who I had the opportunity to sing with on more than occasion. Nuit Blanche is a beautiful example of what being present can create as she performs the whole song just her voice and a loop pedal. 

Lessons From a Guru & Redefining The Meaning of Integrity

On the way to meet Guru Dada J.P. Vaswani I wasn't quite sure what to think. Just seven days prior I'd had the opportunity to listen to and briefly meet Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, another incredibly influential guru and the founder of The Art of Living Foundation. It seemed surreal that in just a matter of hours I had been granted a private audience with a man who has captivated the hearts of millions of people worldwide. Was the universe trying to tell me to keep searching? Go back to India? That I'm on the right path?

Walking into the room I felt a bit nervous. I'd had the opportunity to do some research and even before meeting him I already admired the man I was going to meet. There he was. A lovely man sitting on a chair dressed in all white and definitely not looking 96 years old. A bit hard of hearing but incredibly lucid and quite funny. What was most striking about him though, was that he had this uncanny ability to create a beautifully open and nurturing space for our conversation to unfold and yet filled that very space with his unbelievably powerful spiritual presence.

Some people just radiate peace. He is one of them.

In the time we spent together, Guru Dada imparted on us (we were accompanied by his staff and my beautiful friend Fati who facilitated all this) enough wisdom to last me a year. He spoke slowly but clearly and one of the things he said that resonated with me the most was strikingly simple yet had far reaching implications for me personally. He said:

'We own nothing. Everything we see here--the table, the chair, the lamp, our bodies--everything is on loan.'

Pretty simple and to the point. No fuss. No complicated language, no decorative metaphors. In fact, I'd heard something similar said before... To some, it may have even felt a bit anti-climactic and if I'm being honest, a couple of years ago the idea that I'm a perishable good wouldn't have really made me think much had been phrased that same way. Other than bringing up feelings of fear and uncertainty around the concept of death, nothing about that statement would've captured my imagination like it did this time around. Now I realize that the true message for me was always out there, it always has been, and always will be. I just wasn't open or ready to hear it.

What makes Guru Dada's phrase particularly special, is that it's closely tied to a concept that is perhaps not the most obvious. For me, while this phrase provides wisdom around the idea of attachment and the importance of not developing too much of it, its true value lies in the fact that it speaks to the way I've chosen to define integrity.

But what, you may ask, does integrity have to do with the fact that we have a shelf life?


To me, living with integrity means that we come at life from a place of gratitude and appreciation because we understand that our existence is fragile and transient. It's a short ride folks, a gift. None of us has tomorrow guaranteed.

When we truly understand how lucky we are to be alive there's no reason or justification for bad behavior or the mistreatment of ourselves or others. We learn to love our bodies, our minds, our souls, our faults, our past, and our futures.

I can't help but ask though...

What would happen if we truly put those words to practice and were grateful that we're here now and allow that simple fact to become our moral compass? Wouldn't we also understand that other people's lives are just as precious and just as short? Wouldn't our shared journey and fragility help us see each other almost as an extensions of ourselves and by default motivate us to start living a life of integrity defined by that partially shared meaning? The whole 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you' shpiel would almost become irrelevant because we would realize we are our brothers, we are our sisters. There's no real separation.

In the grand scheme of things we are all in this trying to do the best that we can with what we've been given to work with. The time we have to do it in is comparable to how long that head of broccoli you picked up yesterday at the supermarket survives in your fridge... Perhaps longer than you expected, but never long enough.

Integrity shouldn't feel like an externally imposed moral obligation. Integrity shouldn't be the expected but terribly 'unsexy' word used in corporate mission statements, political speeches, or plastered on a cheesy poster of some guy climbing a mountain in your gym locker room.

Integrity is a code, unique to each of us individually that we choose to follow when we get aligned with our truth.

We choose it because we understand and are grateful for the journey we're on. Integrity should be each and everyone of us honoring the opportunity we've been given to do something beautiful and meaningful in whatever way that means to us.

Wouldn't that alone make the world a better place but also a more interesting and fulfilling world to live in?

Nobody is ever going to be able to live your life for you. Shouldn't that be more of a reason to make it count? We all have that luxury and responsibility. We are all creating our own and future generations futures...

Shouldn't that make all of us want and strive to be the best humans we can be? Wouldn't doing so also make us better people in the long run?

I for one plan to chew on this a bit more because I feel like I haven't gotten the full story yet. Will you join me?




(This is a post about integrity. Because of this Miles Davis needed to be featured as our musical accompaniment. Nobody plays or has ever played the trumpet with more integrity than he did. This also happens to be one of the most beautiful songs in existence. If you read the article and didn't hear the song, do yourself a favor, press play, and enjoy!)

The Beautiful Dreams We're Made Of

I made a dream catcher the other day. Don't know why but I did. I figured it was just another one of my occasional urges to make something as I've been known to satisfy my creative impulses with everything from origami birds made from lottery tickets in casino restaurants to robin’s egg blue coffee tables that now sit in my living room. Truth is, when the muse hits I’ve made it a point to listen because experience has taught me that she knows best.

Back to my story though...

I ended up assembling my dream catcher 3 weeks after gathering materials (thank you Desi) on a beautiful Sunday after a barbecue with some of my closest friends. When I was left alone in my apartment molding wire and cutting jute rope, I started thinking how peculiar it was that I’d chosen a dream catcher as my project this time around. Was my subconscious telling me to be more deliberate about giving shape to my future? Had I been so focused on building my business in the past couple of months that I was ignoring what made me take the risk to go solo in the first place? When was the last time that I had actually allowed myself to have a minute to just dream like I did when I was little?

I decided to embrace the symbolism behind my project and as I worked I channeled all of my dreams for the future into what eventually became the dream catcher you can see in the picture above. With every twist of the rope I encouraged my imagination to run wild and I surprised myself as I noticed how much those dreams had changed in just a matter of a year.

My new dreams had clearer emotional footprints rather than physical ones. The 'what' didn’t matter as much as the how it felt. I found myself imagining experiences and connections more than anything else and with that I realized how deeply my definition of happiness had changed and how my dreams for the future had seamlessly followed suit.

With great pride I finished the dream catcher and hung it on my bookcase because I wanted my dreams to be nestled in the wisdom of some of my favorite books and close to some of the things I love most like pictures of my loved ones and souvenirs from my travels. It hung there for two weeks as another one of my craft projects and a reminder of the life I’m trying to build.

Today though, something shifted.

Maybe it’s because Mother’s Day is around the corner or because I simply miss my mom but as I look at the dream catcher now, I can’t help but think of her. My beautiful mother Claudia. As I do, I also can’t help but notice the similarities between the two.

You see, like my dream catcher, my mother isn’t perfect but she’s beautiful. Like my dream catcher she is privy to all of my hopes and dreams for the future and she keeps those dreams nestled securely in her bosom but gently enough to give them a place to rest with no conditions. Like my dream catcher she is a patient but constant reminder of the person I have set out to be and reminds me to think in the realm of possibility. ‘Sky’s the limit!’ she says...

Like my dream catcher my mother is filled with nothing but good intentions and while she isn’t the loudest piece on the shelf she’s by far the most memorable. Why? Because she carries in her heart all of the good that I have in mine. Because my dreams wouldn't exist without her tireless support and the wings she gave me to fly with as a child. Because today, one of those dreams is to be half the woman she is.

That is our bond and it is beautiful. 

Let this be a reminder for all of us to make room for our dreams and call our moms.



Stuck Making a Decision? Read This.

Feeling stuck making a difficult decision is one of the few things in life that we all experience and can universally agree sucks. Regardless of what it is that has you feeling that way— too few options, too many options, fear, etc.— that feeling that you get at the pit of your stomach is never a welcome emotion. So how to break the cycle of dread associated with making a tough call and finally commit to something when the proverbial pro and con list falls short and you have no clarity?

Fortunately, there are 3 things most people ignore that you can do to make moving forward with any decision a bit easier:

1. Play, Then Ask. As I mentioned in last week’s post, Go Play, play is a great way to connect with our higher selves and intuition. When we play we temporarily drop the limiting beliefs and fears that are usually responsible for making us feel stuck in the first place. Our minds and hearts are able to disassociate from the negative feelings attached with the decision at hand and we’re able to connect with our joyful selves.

I don’t know about you but in my book, my joyful self also happens to be my most successful self and I love the feeling of success. Because of this, I firmly believe that revisiting a decision making process right after you’ve found your happy will give you the best opportunity to allow your higher self to do the thinking for you and move you towards better alignment with what you want at your core. Trick is, go with whatever pops into your head first. No ifs, ands, or buts.

2. Find the Gold and Drop The Fear. If you’re reading this, it’s pretty clear that you have survived even your worst decisions. Scarred from them? Maybe. But alive. Alive and hopefully a bit wiser from it. Many of the most valuable lessons that we learn in life come from making bad decisions. In coaching land, many people refer to those lessons as gold because of the value they bring to our lives. While dealing with the consequences of them is never easy, they provide us invaluable opportunities for growth.

If we’re being real with ourselves we must acknowledge that we’re going to keep screwing up. That’s life. Fortunately for us as the conscious humans that we are, we’re also going to keep growing from it too.

Why then, if mistakes are such valuable sources of wealth for our soul do we allow ourselves to be so afraid of making them?

3. When in doubt… do. Whenever you find yourself with a decision that requires a choice you aren’t 100% clear on, sometimes the easiest thing to do to get clarity on that very issue is to commit to either option with action by random choice. Flip a coin, ask a stranger, do whatever you can do to end your analysis paralysis by taking the decision out of your hands. The key to success is in this particular scenario is a total and judgement-free commitment to the answer you get.

Remember, it’s only by actually doing something that we ever get any indication of whether it was the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ choice for us. We can analyze the bejeezus out of anything without ever trying it and only have hours of stress to show as a result.

An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it… And if you can’t, re-read the previous point and let it really sink in. At the end of the day it all boils down to the same win-win scenario:

Either things went your way, (yay!) or darlin’, your soul is singing all the way to the bank.

Doesn’t seeing it that way feel so much more empowering? 


Go Play.

(This should really be called 'Stop Being Such an Adult and Go Play' but I deliberately kept it short in an attempt to help you appreciate the glory of the couple in the picture above. Can't see them? Click on the title of the post.)

I believe one of the biggest tragedies of adulthood is the fact that we allow our responsibilities to take over our lives and we forget about play. We get so caught up in progressing to the next milestone that we lose track of the fact that enjoying ourselves for the sake of enjoying ourselves is a crucial part of living that perfectly well-balanced life that we so desperately seek. We get so caught up in the rat race that it's easy for play to take a back seat because the benefits of it aren't as tangible as let's say a promotion or a clean house.

In my opinion, the most powerful benefits of play are spiritual in nature and can therefore be easily overlooked when our day to day life offers us little opportunity for spirituality unless we make a conscious effort to cultivate it.

So what are the spiritual benefits of play that make it so important?

Traditional eastern forms of spirituality teach us that enlightenment is a state of constant bliss and that our feelings are good indicators of our alignment with our higher selves. Those who are further along their path to spiritual enlightenment experience a sense of joy regardless of what life throws at them because they remain judgement-free and connected to themselves, each other, and everything around them. In other words, the single most important reason why play is important is because play is a powerful manifestation of the joy that connects you to your higher self.

When we play, we get back in touch with the side of ourselves that knows and feels that life is beautiful. When you're by yourself in the car and your favorite song comes on the radio and you sing it at the top of your lungs there's no expectation that the guy in the car sitting next to you in traffic is going to give you a standing ovation when you're finished is there? No. There's no agenda, there’s no reason, things just flow and you sing because you feel like it and because that song is simply irresistible. In my mind, for a second you experience that bliss I mentioned earlier.

I know most of us have been there so my question is simple... Just how good does belting that song feel? I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that most people would say amazing. So why on earth wouldn’t we prioritize and purposefully cultivate more of that feeling in our lives?

Joy is also the fuel of true creativity.

The more self-aware you become, the clearer the correlation between your experience of joy and your overall spiritual progress becomes. Not just that, you will also notice that your most inspired moments come from the times you give yourself permission to truly enjoy life because you are connecting with the highest spiritual expression of your being which is the joyful you. As I like to call it, the you minus all the fuss.

While everybody probably has a different definition of what creativity means to them there is one thing I know for sure—we do our greatest work when we are personally invested and genuinely interested in what we’re doing. When our work is a reflection of who we are when we are happy it doesn’t feel like work.  Better yet, when the work is a catalyst for our happiness, we relish in the effort because it engages us at our deepest level and we find that energizing. In my case, the experience is such that I lose track of time and sometimes forget to even eat or sleep. The outcome always feels like more than just work completed, it's bigger. When you really think about it, creativity is really just your intelligence, well… at play. Now ain't that a thing?!

Great, so what to do?

Find your path to whatever success means to you, stick to it and work hard to get as far as you can. Yes, by all means follow that path. On the way though, remember to admire the view, stop and smell the roses, surf that wave, have that cup of coffee, dance like an idiot, sing at the top of your lungs, and take it all in while you get to where you’re going because it's bound to be a helluva ride.


Coachella: Art, Music and An Unlikely Lesson

I had the pleasure of going to Coachella for the first time this past weekend with a phenomenal group of people and like most who went, had an experience to remember. Also like most, I took pictures and videos of my favorite things and ended up with a sizable library of photos and videos that ate up all of the memory on my phone.
Post festival and on the flight back to DC I decided to take a break from reading 'One More Thing' by 'The Office' funny man B.J. Novak (highly recommended) and took a minute to admire the interesting subjects that I had captured on my phone. As I whittled them down one by one to a smaller compilation of the best shots, I was struck by something that I felt compelled to share.
Turns out that my favorite pictures of the Coachella experience weren't those that I expected. While I was predictably impressed by and captured some amazing shots of the scores of music acts the likes of Tycho, Stromae, Florence and the Machine, and art installations (Butterflies! Giant lamps! Hippo Corporate Headquarters!), my favorite pictures of the festival were the ones of things that didn't deliberately fight for my attention... Things as mundane and 'blah' like the sky, parking lot fences and incoming traffic had made for what in my mind are some really beautiful photographs. (look below and see if you agree)
The lesson? Anything, captured under the right light and at the right time, can be stunningly beautiful. You just have to know how and when to look. Talk about a life metaphor.
What do you think?


My experience has taught me that when you’ve experienced true loss, the type of loss that never quite goes away because you feel it at your core, you often find that the words “I miss you” simply don’t cut it.


Maybe if the phrase ‘I miss you’ really meant


"I miss you. All of you. All parts of the whole and beautifully imperfect you."


"I miss us. All of us. Harmonious even in our disfunction."


"I miss what we could’ve been led by our dreams and what we weren’t because we followed our fear."


"I miss the idea that I would’ve ever have had the chance to thank you for teaching me that we all deserve a great love and that half of that great love is me, stripped of all the ego-driven storylines and strengthened by my raw vulnerability and surrender to the beauty of the love itself…"


Most of all though, if 'I miss you' meant


"I miss having had the opportunity before you were gone to understand that life runs its course regardless of how we feel. That a tomorrow together isn't a given so we must honor the space between 'no longer' and 'not yet' to find truth in ourselves and each other"


then yes, I guess a 'I miss you' would suffice.


I wonder, why do we insist on waiting for the painful 'I miss you' tomorrow and not practice the infinitely more satisfying 'I love you' today?





From now on all blog posts will be accompanied by a song that I feel captures the essence of the writing in musical form. In this case Rodrigo Amarante's piece Irene, from the album Cavalo, creates the perfect moment in time for me to tell my tale. I truly love this man's ability to communicate so simply yet so profoundly. Please enjoy the song and if you must, re-read the piece. It really feels more whole with the music.

Finally, if you're moved, join me in supporting this amazing human being and master storyteller by buying the album. You won't regret it.

Former Cafeteria Catholic's Musings on Faith and Spirituality

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be” -Lao Tzu


I’ve noticed that nowadays, a lot of people when asked whether they are religious or not answer by simply stating that they aren’t but that they are “spiritual”. It’s almost become the predictable cool kid answer. It seems like more and more people that I know personally are embracing a mix and match approach to fulfill their spiritual wants and needs.

I myself, for years identified with what most would refer to as a 'Cafeteria Catholic'-- stuck somewhere between the notion of a being a devout believer and a pragmatist with no desire to be a part of a 'church' as it has been defined by modern day society. I believe in God, lead what most would consider a Christian life morally speaking and I am well aware of what it takes to be considered a good practicing member of the faith that I was baptized into. Problem is, I just don’t buy it all.  In my mind, there are too many generations of power struggles, senseless violence, scandals, and too few women in key positions for me to see that as my truth. But I digress…. Seeing that I’m not alone in my nonconformity with organized religion, this leads me to wonder:


What does it mean then, to be spiritual?

Merriam Webster defines spiritualism as: “the view that spirit is a prime element of reality.” George Vaillant, a world-renowned psychiatrist defines it as “the amalgam of the positive emotions that bind us to other human beings – and to our experience of “God” as we may understand Him/Her”.  I believe that both definitions imply the existence of faith seeing as neither “spirit” nor “God” can be empirically proven but seem to be concepts that draw people closer together regardless. I also happen to agree with both definitions. 

You see, most forms of Spiritualism that I’ve encountered teach detachment from our physical world--material objects, our bodies, all the things that you can see, touch, hear, smell, etc. and places utmost importance to the things that can only be identified by genuine feeling and are therefore the product of faith in something you “know” is there but intangible.  We are, after all, just conscious energy.

Because of this, I’ve come to the conclusion that the methodical study and understanding of feelings is the single most important component in anyone’s path to real spiritual enlightenment. It seems almost oxymoronic to want to apply logical thought to the very things that make us irrational but I’ve found that in practice, it is a very useful exercise because it makes us at the very minimum conscious of our most valuable asset—our psyche. (Which also happens to be in my point of view God’s manifestation of him/herself inside of us and Vaillant’s definition.)  By being conscious of, and constantly evaluating our feelings, their roots, their expressions, their consequences, we can develop an awareness of our deeper self and only then advance in our spiritual path.  


Being spiritual then, has a much looser definition than being or belonging to any other conventional religion does. It implies no rituals, traditions, and dogmas... It just is.

Most people I’ve spoken to about this topic all have a general idea of what it would take for them to move forward in their spiritual path. They know exactly which behaviors, habits, and feelings get in the way of their knowing themselves better and in a sense, get over themselves.

Why is it so damn hard to do so then?

In my opinion, true freedom comes through acceptance. Acceptance comes with true faith. And no, I don’t mean faith in just a traditional religious sense… I mean faith in an uncategorizable higher order, a system that is in constant motion and searches for balance just like we do. Some people call it God; others call it the Universe, while others rely of the laws of physics and chemistry to explain it. Whatever “it” is, it’s there. All we have to do is channel our inner George Michael and have a little faith in “faith” to find it.

Donald Miller said it best in Blue Like Jazz, “The trouble with deep belief is that it costs something. And there is something inside me, some selfish beast of a subtle thing that doesn’t like truth at all because it carries responsibility, and if I actually believe these things I have to do something about them. It is so, so cumbersome to believe anything. And it isn’t cool. I mean, it’s cool in a Reality Bites, Welcome to Sarajevo, Amnesty International sense. Chicks dig it up to a point, but you can’t be all about it; you also have to want a big house and expensive clothes, because in the end, even our beliefs have become trend statements. We don’t believe things because we believe them anymore. We only believe things because they are cool things to believe."

Ok... And?

When we feel inadequate, outside of the mold, or better yet not “cool”, we feel insecure. Needless to say because of this, insecurity is very prevalent in our society.  Precisely because it’s so prevalent, we have conditioned ourselves to believe that we are all in one way or another insecure and have thus indirectly made it socially acceptable to the point where we don't question whether or not it's good for us. Like spirituality it just "is". But should it be?

What we don’t really see is that people’s insecurities lead them to “want” and “wanting” is the opposite of “accepting”… and isn’t the whole point of spiritual growth to find true acceptance?  The type of acceptance that doesn’t come from others but from within?

I feel like we find shelter in our insecurity and therefore allow it to hinder our spiritual growth. If we know the difference between our current life path and the “right” way spiritually, is making the decision only to embrace certain aspects of this more “righteous” path a reflection of a lack of effort or is making excuses for yourself to not do so okay? Better yet, is it possible to see this situation completely removing the notions of “right” and “wrong”? Is it then simply a question of preparation? Is not doing what you “know” you need to do a bad thing if you’re not ready or open to it?  More importantly, will we as a human race ever be ready for it?

I honestly don’t know… but I sure hope being “spiritual” stays cool for long enough so that we can one day collectively have the cojones to take the road less traveled and eventually find ourselves and the answer to that question.



Unicorn Woman

This is an ode dedicated to all the women who inspire me daily with their strength, compassion, humor, intelligence, femininity, and grace. You are proof that miracles do exist and the world is lucky to have you. You know who you are and I hope you know I love you.


A unicorn woman chooses. A unicorn woman chooses to be both unapologetic master and bright-eyed apprentice because in her abundant universe the understanding is that they’re one and the same. She chooses her journey and learns to find beauty everywhere—particularly in her struggles. Happiness is a choice and she chooses it courageously.

A unicorn woman serves. A unicorn woman serves others because to her, a life of integrity is a life lived with the understanding that she was born with gifts that don’t belong to her. She serves because while others cultivate the external and aspire to artificial thrones built through conspicuous consumption, a true queen understands that the real meaning of nobility lies in the luxury of service. She serves because she loves. To her there is no other way.

A unicorn woman celebrates. A unicorn woman celebrates herself and other women because she recognizes the power inside of her being and realizes that there's no better ally in a time of need than a healthy dose of sisterhood. She celebrates the strength she finds in vulnerability because it makes her grow. She celebrates because she is thankful.

A unicorn woman inspires. A unicorn woman inspires because she is the mirror for others to see the good in themselves they thought was long forgotten. She inspires because she owns her ‘good’ and understands that the ‘bad’ and ‘ugly’ are simply works in progress and a matter of perspective. She inspires because she aspires to be better without judgment of herself or others.

A unicorn woman sees. A unicorn woman sees that she is beautiful. She sees the laughter in her wrinkles, the experience in her scars and is more defined by the movement of her hips as she dances to the rhythm of her favorite song than by the fullness of her breasts or the circumference of her thighs. Her beauty transcends her being because her beauty is felt, not seen.

A unicorn woman is magic. She chooses happiness, serves because she loves, celebrates because she is thankful, inspires as she aspires, and sees that she is perfect. Just the way she is.


*If this resonated with you and we don't know each other I'd love to meet you!

You are wonderful. Thank you for existing.



Don't Let Anyone 'Should' On You

The last week alone I've heard several clients and friends say things like:

'I should be making more money.' 'I should be settled down.' 'I should have a corporate job.' 'I should be skinnier.' 'I should be happy in my relationship.'

Well amigos, because of this and after some reflection, today I would like to declare war on the word ‘should’. Sounds ridiculous, I know. But I really do hate ‘should’ with a passion. Why? Simply because it is the culprit behind 90% of the unhappiness that I encounter as a coach.

As a society we have become so accustomed to passively accepting what life ‘throws’ at us that we have allowed ourselves to become victims of circumstance and have lost sight of our power as creators of our own reality.  We spend so much time worrying about what we ‘should’ do that we lose track of the things we would actually want to do were we given a choice. Choice. Funny I should write that. We always have a choice, nobody has to give us anything. We tend to forget that too.

We are experts at chasing the job, the relationship, the paycheck, the likes on Facebook, the right jean size, etc. and we easily become disconnected and distracted from the ‘non-shoulds’ that make us truly happy. We spend our whole lives trying to create the life that we think the world expects from us rather than creating the world we actually want to live in...That sucks. 

So Why is Living in the World of ‘Should’ So Bad For Us?

The world of 'should' is a world seen through a lens of scarcity rather than abundance. It's a world where our sense of validation is derived from external factors and not from within… It's a world where our success is measured by our ability to fit perfectly into society’s idea of the perfect box rather than our ability to create our own identity. Basic human needs like self-expression, creativity, and independence are undermined by the carefully crafted media and societal messages that teach us what success is and in turn determine everything we do from what we buy to how we ‘should’ look in order not to feel left out.

I guess feeling like an outsider hurts more than not being able to be yourself.

But why is that so bad? Wanting to fit in isn’t necessarily a terrible thing—we are social animals after all. Wanting a nice car and a big home doesn’t necessarily preclude you from living a fulfilled life. On that same note, isn’t it good to have goals, aspirations? Sure it is!

Where we get into trouble is when we start attaching our identities and sense of self-worth to those material goals or our ability to achieve them. After all, there’s always going to be someone wealthier and better looking, a bigger house, a faster car, and what looks like a more fulfilling relationship (at least on social media). Nothing we ever do or become will ever be good enough because our standard is artificially high and perfection is impossible. But like the good yet insecure souls that we are, we try anyway.

So how to combat this? How to give the world and our superficial society’s construct of the ideal life the finger? We look within. We get to know ourselves and take a moment to identify the difference between what we’ve been systematically fed and what actually resonates with us at our core. We learn to catch ourselves when we’re having thoughts that aren’t aligned with the things we have identified as our truth and we make a choice to change them. We choose to create the change we want to see. We choose to honor and love our imperfect selves. We choose to choose rather than simply accept and channel our energy to those who support us. We learn to love the ‘should(er)s’ from afar because there is only one ‘should’ that is actually valid and it has everything to do with us as individuals.

We 'should' be happy. We 'should' be happy from our souls happy. Easy happy. Authentic happy. Happy for the sake of happy happy. That’s the only thing we ‘should’ ever strive to be because the answer to that mystery lies in the very depths of each and every one of us and can never be found anywhere but within ourselves.

With that in mind, I ask you my dear friend...


"What ‘should’ or could you be doing to find your happy?"


***In my case, I use meditation to connect with my 'should'-free self and encourage you to find whatever works for you. If you're not sure and are curious about meditation, try this guided one by my friend, colleague, and coach extraordinaire Desi. Her voice alone is bound to make you happy!***


Therapy vs. Coaching... What's the Deal?

As a coach the question that I get asked most often regarding what I do is how it differs from therapy. While I strongly believe that just about anybody can benefit from both, in an effort to make life easier for coaches everywhere and to appease any fears that working with me implies horizontal couch time, deep psychoanalysis, and a missing PhD, I offer you my two cents on the matter.

The way I understand it, there are two distinct differences between therapy and coaching.

The Focus: Therapy sessions are designed to get to the bottom of why you are the way you are and why you make the decisions that you do by looking for things in your past that have influenced you in a deep and meaningful way. Most people go to therapy because they have things to heal and a deep desire to understand themselves and their past better in hopes that it will help them decipher what do do with their present and future. 

In coaching, the past is acknowledged and validated as the primary source of data points in your present ‘story’ but is never acknowledged as the full picture. I put the word story in quotes because if we look at it from a detached perspective, our past is just that—a compilation of experiences, characters, and plot lines that have determined the way we see and relate to ourselves and the world around us.

What if we were to arbitrarily decide to divorce ourselves from our ‘story’ and start writing one that is more aligned with with what we truly want without the limiting beliefs and judgments from our past? What if understanding that the ‘why’ of the past is less important than the ‘who’ you want to be tomorrow and the development of an actionable plan for ‘how’  and ‘when’ to get there? Therein lies the meat and potatoes of the coaching conversation. 

The second major difference between therapy and coaching lies in the relationship between therapist / coach and client.

The Relationship: The cool part of coaching for me is the partnership component you enjoy as co-creator with your client. Unlike with therapy, where the therapist is clearly regarded as the knowledge authority in the room, coaches don’t give a diagnosis or advice for a client to consider. We are trained to ask the right questions to structure your inner dialogue in a way that serves you and the goals you are trying to accomplish. That’s it. We have no agenda and no answers, you do.

With that said, you may be asking yourself what exactly it is that we accomplish with all that poking around and no advice giving. Well, for starters we help you get aligned with what you feel is your innermost truth. That's a huge breakthrough all on its own in my experience... We then help you change your 'story' to one that allows you to relate to yourself and the world from a standpoint of possibility and empowerment. Once that's done, we put you back in the driver’s seat and hold you accountable for what you say you are going to do to ensure that you get to your desired destination. We support you along the way and once you’ve finally accomplished your goal or reached your target, we let you go and say Namasme. ;)

The 10 Commandments of Effective Bitching

Bitching. We all do it. We’re human…It happens. As a coach, I’ve come to appreciate that there is a huge difference between bitching and effective bitching. While I deal with a fair amount of both, I am definitely a fan of the latter for the simple reason that it makes life easier in the long run. In order to understand why, it is important to understand what it means to bitch effectively… So without further ado I present to you the 10 Commandments of Effective Bitching:

  1. PICK WISELY WHO YOU’RE GOING TO BITCH TO: First things first. It is absolutely crucial that you’re aware of who will have the joy of listening to your emotional tirade. Pick someone whose opinions you respect and who will be able to give you good advice. Ask yourself: Is this person mentally, emotionally, and psychologically equipped to hear not just what I’m saying but everything I’m not? Effective bitching isn’t just about getting relief, it’s also about getting resolution and moving forward. Pick a good teammate!                                                                         
  2. PICK WISELY WHO YOU’RE GOING TO BITCH TO: (Seriously) If you’re one of those people who is capable of bitching and forgiving and forgetting, don’t vent to a person who is particularly good at holding a grudge. Telling your mom that your bff Christy stole your boyfriend in fifth grade and wondering why she hates her to this day? Maybe you picked the wrong person to talk to!                                                                                                         
  3. PICK WISELY WHO YOU’RE GOING TO BITCH TO: (Point made I hope?) The last thing that you have to consider when picking the right person or people to vent to is what they will do with the information. Chances are if they shared with you private information about another friend, not much is going to stand in the way of them doing the same with your stuff. Make sure you’re comfortable with that. If you’re not, talking to yourself is always an option!                                                                                                                                              
  4. CREATE THE TIME AND SPACE TO BITCH PROPERLY. It is important to get it all out in one go (more on that in point #8) so pick a place and time where you can fully express yourself without holding back. On the phone in the metro? Probably not. Not only can you not really say what’s on your mind (unless you really don’t care), it’s rude to subject innocent bystanders to your anger and negativity in public spaces.                                                          
  5. GIVE YOUR AUDIENCE FAIR WARNING. Nobody likes an inconsiderate bitcher. Ask permission, pick a time that is good for you AND for the person privy to your complaining. Nobody wants to go to the basketball game with the expectation of a hot dog, beer, and a good time to be later surprised by Debbie Downer and her boss that just won’t listen.                                                                                                                                              
  6. REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THE SITUATION IN ANY WAY POSSIBLE. Ask, if I were forced to look at this a different way, what would that be? Considering the different angles of a situation, particularly a problem (as ridiculous as they may seem), enables us to step away from our personal biases and can oftentimes provide opportunities to find common ground.                                                                                                                                          
  7. ONCE IT’S OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM DON’T HARP ON IT. From an energetic perspective, it’s best to bitch once, bitch well, and get it over with in one go so make sure you have enough time and are in the right environment to do so. Why? Negative feelings have a tendency to stay with us longer than positive ones do (Proof here!). If you keep re-hashing how you’ve been wronged over and over again because you didn’t get it out properly in one go, you will extend the misery associated with the situation you felt compelled to vent about in the first place. So bitch freely, bitch magnificently. But bitch once.                                                                                                                                                
  8. BE OPEN TO HONEST FEEDBACK. A truly epic bitching session not only offers you relief, it offers you possibility. Feeling the need to vent is usually an indicator that you are personally invested in a particular outcome or had expectations that weren’t fulfilled. In other words… “you’re too close” to the issue to be truly objective. Unfiltered feedback from a friend may just be what you need to regain a little perspective. Embrace it!                                                                                                         
  9. DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY. Remember, what you say is what is in your heart, what others hear is reflective of what is in theirs. This applies to whatever prompted you to bitch in the first place and the feedback you’ll receive from your friends or family.                                                       
  10. TRY TO FIND THE LESSONS IN YOUR STRUGGLES. Every single experience we live is a blessing. Chances are if you’re complaining about it, there’s something that needs to be worked out and therefore learned from. Learn to appreciate your struggles as purveyors of wisdom and maybe, just maybe they won’t be a reason to bitch about! ;)