What Now? 6 Things You Can Do Daily To Advance The Feminist Agenda After The March

It’s January 23rd and two days ago millions of women marched in my unofficial hometown of Washington, DC and hundreds of cities across the world for the Women’s March. I was upset to miss it because the protest was in support of virtually all of the issues that are important to me as an American woman. Particularly close to my heart however, is the feminist cause.

You see, I’ve lived in Hong Kong for about 7 months now and while the culture shock has been significant—way more so than in any of the other countries I’ve lived—where I feel most out of place most often is oddly enough during conversation with other expats when I proudly state that I’m a feminist. The comment is usually received with the same puzzled look that dogs give their owners when they pretend to throw the tennis ball but hide it in their pocket instead and they’re left wondering how it magically disappeared.

I don’t look like I’m being oppressed. I’m white, college educated and in a stable relationship. I’m my own boss, make good money, travel when I want to, and to the surprise of some, often choose to do so alone. Why on earth would I feel so passionate about furthering the feminist agenda if there seems to be no obvious need for 'feminism' in my daily life? Where exactly is my struggle?

Well, for starters, the world is becoming a scary place right now and I happen to reside here and care about people other than myself. I also happen to believe that it got to this scary place because we as a society have misguidedly defined leadership through the lens of virility for too long. The the ‘take! take! take!’ approach championed by conscience-less capitalism and power play politics which is so attractive to men as an extension of their natural biological directive to conquer/spread their seed has also led us to erroneously define success as the positive result of a zero sum game rather than the result of a win-win collaboration.

Whether you believe in traditional archetypes or not, we’re in a tough spot and it wasn’t because women were running the show. However, as feminists we must also assume responsibility for letting things get to this point and must diligently work to change that as soon as possible.

I firmly believe that in order to restore balance, one of the most important things that we have to work towards is the achievement of gender equality. In Chinese philosophical terms, we need more yin to balance all the yang in our world current order. Fortunately the millions of women (and men) marching all over the world this weekend showed us, if nothing else, that there are plenty of us out there who care enough to continue making a difference.

But how to move forward? How to shift that balance? How can we show up for feminism every day?

As a coach I always approach problem solving from an individual mindset perspective first and then build from there. Once an issue has been identified and understood, I encourage my clients to look for small, ‘palatable’ changes they can incorporate into their lives that will in turn make conscious action on a bigger scale more effective.

Oddly enough when thinking about this issue, I found some of my answers in those conversations with western expats I mentioned previously. I identified 6 specific things that we can do daily as feminists on an individual level to keep the momentum of our movement going strong and to keep our sanity as we work to build a better, more equal, future. They are:

1. Spend your energy wisely--understand you’re not going to convert misogynists. This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Denounce misogyny, yes. Try to talk somebody out of it? Good luck. With some folks, sometimes the best tactic is to wait it out a generation or two and let progress do it’s thing. Public opinion is shifting in our favor and will continue to do so if we focus our work on lifting each other up and on dialoguing with the non-believers who actually have the potential to become allies.

I’ve found that most of the decent people I’ve spoken to who don’t believe in feminism feel that way because they have an outdated definition of what it means to be a feminist or they don’t understand how bad things really are and how deeply entrenched the patriarchy is in our collective psyche.

Many people are reluctant to embrace feminism because they associate it with the notion that feminists are a bunch of man-hating women burning bras and screaming for equal rights while resorting to aggressive ‘masculine’ tactics to secure them. As feminists today we know that that couldn't be further from the truth and knowing that means part of our effort lies in raising awareness and doing so with an open mind and heart. That brings me to my second point...

2. Don’t be a tree with low hanging fruit. Particularly when engaging in conversation with folks who don’t believe in feminism it's easy to get frustrated. It’s important to keep our cool and not to take things personally. When we take things personally it's more likely that our emotions will get the best of us and we'll fight back on a personal level as well. When we let that happen, we make it easy for those we’re discussing with to shift the conversation from the subject of feminism to the way that we reacted while discussing it.

When we do that, we also make it easier for people not to question their beliefs and we put ourselves in the position of having to justify our behavior rather than our convictions. Don’t give non-believers an easy way out of such an important conversation by giving them some low hanging fruit to pick their way out of the discussion. Make them work for it. There’s too much at stake not to.

#3. Arm yourself with patience, facts, anecdotes and… questions. Because the last point is easier said than done, you will need patience to get through many conversations and you will need facts to support your points. Want an opportunity to express some of that pent up frustration and emotion? Channel it intelligently by sharing an anecdote of when you experienced or saw an indisputable case of sexism personally and how it affected you.

One of the most effective ways human beings share information is through stories. Stories are sometimes more powerful than statistics because they facilitate empathy. While it’s hard to empathize with numbers and statistics, it’s much easier to do so with Kate who was passed up for the promotion three times in favor of her other, less experienced and prepared male colleagues.

Was Kate’s story ineffective in illustrating your point? Perhaps a question is in order. Questions are a very powerful resource in debate because they help you to A) let your ‘opponent’ know you're genuinely interested in their opinion (which lowers their defenses) and B) force them to reflect on and clarify their stance in real time. Chances are, if their stance is half-baked and unclear, that will come to light and it will help you see where to take the conversation from there.

In order to achieve that though, it’s important that we:

#4. Listen--not to speak but to understand. Just because we happen to be fighting on behalf of equality which is a righteous and noble concept, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the people who don’t share our opinion are ignoble or evil. People will generally tell you everything that you need to know about them if you listen carefully enough.

We should listen to their words and to their body language. We should develop the skill of uncovering hidden objections and unspoken truths. If we do, we will realize we have more in common with each other than we may initially imagine. Remembering that will help us engage people more effectively in spirited debate since our approach won’t feel as antagonistic. As the marchers in London so kindly reminded us, this work is about building bridges, not walls.

Now that the talking bit is out of the way, let’s move on to the more action-based items on the list.

#5. Be solutions oriented and do. While so much of the work related to feminism has to do with the generation of awareness, the work definitely doesn’t stop there. It’s crucial that we walk the talk. It’s important that we invest our time, money,  and energy doing things to further the cause. We should write, volunteer, support woman-owned businesses, vote, and mentor when we have the opportunity to.

There are too many feminists out there stuck in the cycle of militantly complaining on social media. Justifiably so, but merely complaining nonetheless. As I mentioned earlier, highlighting injustice is important for building awareness and many of us are pretty great at doing so in the comfort of our own homes shielded by the safety of our keyboards. What would happen if we spent a portion of that time and energy actually being proactive rather than reactive though?

Also worth noting? Facebook's algorithm is designed to show us more and more of what we want to see so our efforts to raise awareness are likely falling on ears already friendly to the cause. 

It is equally important that we do something to fight the current status quo. The Women's March was an amazing first step for many of us but protesting is effective only when it’s followed up by sustained and focused action. There are a million ways to actually live feminism. It’s time for all of us to get a little bit uncomfortable and get a little more committed.

That extra dollar spent at a woman-owned local business instead of a Walmart may hurt a little as it leaves our hands but it will make a difference. That extra half an hour a week spent on mentoring a recent college graduate will as well. It is our duty to create those opportunities to practice what we preach and to lead by example.

On a final note, as women and as feminists it is important that we:

#6. Be good to other women and to ourselves. I find this one particularly interesting lately because I’ve seen some of the staunchest feminists I know publicly shaming other women online for their choice of dress, career, lifestyle, or men among other things. As feminists, it’s important that we not partake in the petty jokes, demeaning comments, slut shaming, or judgment of other women that is so prevalent in our society…with each other and especially in front of men.

Although it can seem harmless at the time, even the slightest 'colorful' and misplaced comment makes it harder for us to progress as a whole. Yes, that even includes comments about easy targets like Kim Kardashian and now Melania Trump. We must remember we’re all in this together. How do we expect the men of the world to respect us if we don’t respect each other?

We mustn’t forget that this extends to our treatment of ourselves as well. It’s been said that in a society as twisted as ours, self-love is a revolutionary act. As revolutionaries we must beat the patriarchy by stopping the negative self-talk, treating our bodies like the beautiful temples that they are, and losing the comparison syndrome. Contrary to what we're being sold by the media every day, we're enough just the way we are and we should act accordingly.


I have every hope that this past weekend's march heralded the beginning of a new era for feminism worldwide and I hope that these 6 points help you be a more effective feminist moving forward. We have a long road ahead of us but I'm convinced we will achieve great things together if we stay on message and lean on each other for support.



**I picked 'Quiet' by MLCK as the song for this post because I came across the video from the march I also shared with you on my news feed. The performance you see was never rehearsed live. Those women practiced online and came together to sing this beautiful and powerful song for the first time together in DC this weekend. There are no words to express what listening to that made me feel. If you'd like to support MLCK be sure to buy the original track (you can listen to it below the vid) by clicking here.** 

***The image I used for this blog belongs to my friend Rachel Cargle who started an intersectional activism collective to give ALL women a platform to have their voice heard called The Ripple. You can follow them on IG @the.ripple.***




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.



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?

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. ;)

Deciphering the Breakup With Your New Year's Resolution

Yep. We all know that feeling all too well. That overwhelming feeling of“this is my year” that is so prevalent in early January is long gone and you find yourself feeling lazy, unmotivated, fat, or (insert self-loathing statement here) and It’s not even March yet!

Like most, you come up with your own version of, ‘Is my will power that pathetic?’ or “Am I even capable of making and achieving goals to begin with?” only to arrive to the universal conclusion that there must be something wrong with you. You know, because not following through on things that are clearly good for you just doesn’t make sense. This case definitely feels like a, "it's not you, it's me" scenario.

Well my dear friend, while there may very well be something wrong with you, the good news is that it’s probably unrelated to your inability to follow through on your New Year’s Resolution. Why? Because strategic goal setting and achievement is a learnable skill, not a reflection of who you are as a human being. So relax. You’re not a failure. As a matter of fact, most goals that remain unachieved do so because of one or a combination of the following 4 factors:

UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS*: We set goals because we like the feeling of achievement. Nothing can kill our goal achievement modjo more than setting unrealistic goals for ourselves. The key to setting realistic goals lies in a truthful examination of what you want to achieve and whether you have the tools to execute and are in the position to do so. Was your new year’s resolution to go on a three week European vacation over the summer when you’re $10k in debt, job hopping, and having a hard time paying your bills? Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate.

Perhaps your goals are reasonable but you're trying to tackle too many at the same time. Sure, losing weight, finding the right partner, cultivating your spirituality, and learning guitar are all doable under pretty much any circumstances but can you successfully do them all simultaneously? Long term achievement requires enough time for you to gain some traction and teach your brain a new way of doing things. Achievement also requires focus. This brings us to factor #2.

LACK OF CLARITY: When you formulate a goal it’s vital that you make your result as specific as possible because it will help you develop an actionable game plan to achieve it. Saying something like “I want to get in shape by summer” is too vague because it provides no measurable outcome or clear road map for you to follow.  A better goal? “I want to work out 4 days a week for the next 4 months.” While the end result is the same, (you will be in better shape), focusing your intentions on what you actually have to do every day to achieve it will help you stay on track and eventually determine whether you succeeded or not.

NO/ BAD PLAN: While embracing clarity is key to the creation of a solid resolution or goal, having a plan is the only thing that will ensure it actually works. Using our gym example above, you could easily say that you will work out 4 days a week for the next 4 months and watch yourself not following through because you didn’t give yourself the time or space for that in your life. Having a plan is the easiest way to set yourself up for success because it forces you to think of all the factors in achieving your goal that can become potential obstacles. For example, having a plan in this scenario would mean: A) putting your workout days on the calendar to see any scheduling conflicts B) Deciding what workouts you would actually do to avoid feeling unmotivated and directionless at the gym C) Figuring out transportation to your gym and D) Finding a good gym buddy to go with you and hold you accountable for achieving your goal.

LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY: Speaking of accountability, most of us make resolutions in an informal way and hold ourselves responsible for making them happen. At the end of the day, we have nothing to lose because we're only 'failing' ourselves! Interestingly enough, what makes accountability so effective is also the reason why people resist it in the first place. As humans we are taught to promise only what we can deliver on so we tend to be weary of what we commit to.

So how can you hold yourself accountable? Telling other people, be it your friends or the world on social media that you are committed to something means your word is on the line. If that’s worth anything to you, it’s worth protecting and therefore following through on. Plus, you also get to celebrate your achievement publicly if you achieve your goal!

Now that we’ve discussed the 4 areas where resolutions can either thrive or nosedive, I would like to re-vamp and share with you my own new New Year’s resolution in the spirit of goal setting with serious accountability:

You see, I am intent on reviving my romance with the French language. I started taking courses in mid January and have progressed but not to the level that I had anticipated for myself because other than class time and homework time, very little of my energy is spent on practicing French. Looks like 2 days a week isn't enough for me to be fluent by Burning Man (my vaguely defined goal), so back to the drawing board I go and present you this:

I, Jenniffer Green, will practice my French using Duolingo for 20 minutes every weekday morning as soon as I finish meditating, for the next 6 months.

I have picked a friend to hold me accountable during this process, put it on the calendar, shared it with you so you can shame me into doing it, and am ready to go. Now before you wish me luck though, get crackin on yours! ;)

*As a coach I felt a bit strange writing the words 'unrealistic expectations' because I operate largely under the premise that just about everything is possible. To be clear though, effecting serious change requires strong will, work, and a good understanding of where you stand.


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! ;)