Don't Take Anything Personally

be happy now Feb 17, 2021


Don't Take Anything Personally

February 17, 2021

We are continuing our journey to explore the deep meaning of Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements and the path to personal freedom. 

I like to transform The Four Agreements into a personal statement using the word “I”, creating a prayer which explicitly incorporates freedom and a positive intention. What I say:   

  1. May I Be Impeccable with My Word.
  2. May I Be Free from Taking Anything Personally.
  3. May I Be Free from Making Assumptions.
  4. May I Always Do My Best.

This month we dive deeper into The Second Agreement: May I Be Free from Taking Anything Personally. As Ruiz writes: 

"Nothing other people do is because of you. 
It is because of themselves.
All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; 
they are in a completely different world from the one we live in."  

What other people say is more about them. Try saying this out loud: May I be free from taking anything...

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Be Impeccable with Your Word

be happy now Jan 20, 2021


Be Impeccable with Your Word

January 19, 2021

In this New Year 2021, I have been reflecting on the themes of transformation and freedom. Reflecting on how much I have learned and changed in the past 10 years -- and how much more I have yet to learn. 

There were several conversations with friends over the holidays which brought me back to the wisdom of don Miguel Ruiz’s internationally acclaimed book, “The Four Agreements.”  I love the exquisite simplicity of this book which I read many years ago and has a headline  “A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. The Four Agreements are: 

  1. The First Agreement: Be Impeccable with Your Word.
  2. The Second Agreement: Don't Take Anything Personally.
  3. The Third Agreement: Don't Make Assumptions.
  4. The Fourth Agreement: Always Do Your Best. 

Many of you may have read this book. Perhaps you are like me – I savor revisiting this book every so often and refreshing and relearning the...

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On Joy and Sorrow

be happy now Dec 13, 2020


On Joy and Sorrow

December 13, 2020


Last month we delved deep into the "Heartset of Gratitude." I trust and know from your emails, we are all working on expanding our heartset of gratitude in ways that fit our journey. I believe as our gratitude grows, it gives rise to joy. I dearly want to close this last Blog of 2020 on the upbeat theme of Joy. 

However, there is a dissonance that must also be acknowledged. The year 2020 -- a year defined by the COVID-19 Pandemic, a Stress Epidemic, and Emotional Contagion -- is a year filled with challenges, hardship, loss and sorrow. The loss of loved ones, of free time, of hugs, of financial security, and on and on, is very real. It can be frightening. It is certainly humbling. I see and feel the pain.  

I asked myself how does one reconcile Joy and Sorrow? I turned to Kahlil Gibran's masterpiece, The Prophet, for wisdom. What follows is an excerpt from the chapter, "On Joy and Sorrow:"


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The Heartset of Gratitude

be happy now Nov 29, 2020


The Heartset of Gratitude 

November 29, 2020

I look forward to this November Blog on gratitude every year. Writing on gratitude brings a smile to my face because it is an opportunity to reflect and share how my gratitude journey has evolved and progressed over the past ten years. In this newsletter, we are going deeper and will explore, what I call, The Heartset of Gratitude. 

I choose the word “heartset” with intention – because gratitude is an emotion and comes from the heart. “Heartset” changes the focus from the mind and the ego to our heart. More importantly, “heartset” also brings to the fore our passion for how we are living our life – how we are seeing our own reality – as we move forward on our own unique journey.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson observed almost 200 years ago,  

“People only see what they are prepared to see.
If you look for what is good and what you can be grateful for,

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Fierce Focus



October 30, 2020


There are 62 days left in 2020. That is just about the amount of time we need to change a habit! We used to think it took 21 days to create a new habit. More recent research suggests it takes 66 days before a new behavior becomes automatic. Let's start Now! 

What is your focus to close out the year? How do you want to remember 2020? What can you do -- what is under your control  -- what will you choose to do? 

Let us each decide from our unique perspective and circumstance.  When we Fiercely Focus -- we can do anything! 

Indeed, this is One Big Decision.

Mary Oliver's poem, "The Summer Day," puts our decision in high relief: 

"Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean --
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down -  who is gazing around...

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Honoring Courage


Honoring Courage

October 9, 2020

In this October Blog, I feel strongly it is important to speak out and honor our collective struggles and honor courage in facing the unprecedented challenges of this 2020 year of pandemic. 

Initially, I had a very different message in mind … something like Fierce Focus, with an eye to closing the year strong. Honoring Courage is the message that sang to my heart. May it uplift and inspire you – and support you in moving forward. 

Our focus in this newsletter is on courage -- acts of courage to face our fears and move forward in the midst of uncertainty and during what can appear, at times, to be a chaotic landscape. 

I want to start with a solemn prayer and tribute to the 211,844 people in the USA and the 1,056,493 people worldwide who passed over this year after a struggle with COVID 19. (Data from Johns Hopkin’s University as of October 8th.) This is a personal and universally shared tragedy.  I mourn...

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My Morning Ritual

be less stressed Aug 29, 2020


My Morning Ritual

August 30, 2020 

Good morning! How do you welcome each new day? I am going to share my Morning Ritual because I passionately believe how you start your day is vitally important to managing stress and improving your energy at the get-go, every day. 

Recently, I was honored to give a presentation at Lakeside Chautauqua: “How to Manage Stress During a Pandemic.”  The emotional contagion of stress is as important as the viral contagion of COVID-19, in my opinion. I reviewed the array of research and advice from experts of the top 5 or 10 or 17 things people could do to better manage stress during the pandemic and constantly changing landscape of advice. 

I chose a different approach. In my opinion and experience, focus and consistency are paramount. The ONE most important thing to do is carve out the first 32 minutes of the day for a Morning Ritual.   

I am sharing my Morning Ritual as an example to get started and...

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Choosing Life Over Fear


August 5, 2020 


For the entire month of July, I have been posting on the many faces of courage, counting my two most recent Blogs and innumerable Facebook posts.  I was just starting to plan a pivot to a related theme for my first Blog in August, when Jackie Acho's Blog, "Choosing Life Over Fear" arrived in my email. 

As soon as I read her piece, I wanted to ask permission to feature her as a guest writer this month. I immediately reached out to Jackie for permission to share her Blog with my readers. Being the open and generous person that she is -- Jackie immediately said, "Yes!" 

I love this Blog for so many  reasons. First and foremost, Jackie writes from the heart and provides a first-hand, up-close-and personal account of what it means to choose life over fear. If you have battled cancer, I think you will hear a kindred heart. In addition, I believe all of us know a family member or friend who has battled cancer and this may help us...

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Your Mirror of Courage


July 22, 2020

My early July Blog, “Acts of Courage,” was just a warm-up. Let us look a little deeper. In fact, let us stand up and look in a mirror. If you do not have a full length mirror handy, use your imagination to see yourself.  

This is an exercise I love from our Certified High Performance Coaching Program. Stand in front of the mirror and see yourself as your most courageous self. What do you see – in the mirror or in your mind's eye?   

Be specific.

  • Are your feet solidly planted on the ground, with your feet shoulder width apart? You are not on your heels – or leaning back, right?
  • Are your shoulders straight and your posture erect, like you have an imaginary cord pulling you up to the ceiling? Your shoulders are not slumped, you are not hunched forward, right?
  • Are your hands expressive, reaching out, palms open and inviting? Your arms are not crossed, or rigid at your side, or behind...
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Total Immersion Retreat: High Performance Habits


Total Immersion Retreat:  High Performance Habits 

Held at the Historic Holt Lake House on Catawba Island 

August 6 - August 9, 2020

I am opening my historic Lake House overlooking Lake Erie for a Summer 2020 Total Immersion Retreat, from the evening of Thursday, August 6, through noon, Sunday, August 9th

Experience the joy and confidence of consistently living from your best self. Invest in yourself and learn the tools and science behind high performance habits – the habits that move the needle most -- to get you from where you are to where you want to be. 

This is a small, intimate, intensely energizing 2 ½- days for women to launch positive changes in their personal lives and make rapid advancement in their professional lives. In keeping with the new protocols, registration is limited to five applicants.  

The Total Immersion Retreat in High Performance Habits is designed for women to dedicate the time to go deeply...

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