An Accidental ‘a-ha’ moment

Uncategorized Sep 22, 2021

I’ll admit it: Since COVID, I’ve had a very rough ride.

My mental health suffered. And so did my marriage.

As psychotherapist Esther Perel says, disasters and crises often function like relationship accelerators. We suddenly have a strong sense of our own mortality, and life seems shorter than ever. So we want to take immediate action – such as moving in with someone or leaving them.

I am discovering my spiritual side, which was lacking in my overall health equation.

Since COVID hit, I have been attending Jewish Sabbath services every Saturday. My Rabbi has set up a tent in his driveway.

While I’m not particularly religious, I try to use the Sabbath as my white space: I make a point to not work, to be offline, to relax, think, read and just be present. It’s like my vacation day every week.

Everyone could benefit from this.

I light the candles every Friday at sundown on the Sabbath and have a moment with God, my new BFF :). My new GPS – God...

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Today is my birthday!

Uncategorized Sep 17, 2021

And the best gift was an early morning surprise visit from my son Josh (a Junior at Miami University) who just flew in to spend my birthday weekend with me. Pure JOY :)

Check out this video.

At the young age of 57, I am experiencing a re-birth:

Becoming a better, different version of myself (like a paradigm shift).

Focusing on BEING and not always doing. And being more present.

Being kinder and more compassionate with myself.

Practicing self-love.

Connecting with my spiritual side.

Finding meaning and purpose in my life forward (COVID hit me hard).

Discovering and embracing my core values.

Letting go of that which does not serve me and/or drains my energy.

This will take a lot of courage to share my story. As Brenee Brown would say "to walk into our story and own it, we get to write the ending ... and when we don't own our stories of failure, setbacks, and hurt - they own us."

Join me on this journey, following the new (Jewish) new year. New me.

And if you have an words of...

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You know your battery needs recharging when ….

Uncategorized Sep 02, 2021

A few weeks ago I made a quick stop to Whole Foods on the way home from my doctor’s appointment.

Things did not go as planned.

After loading my groceries and purse (containing my car keys and iPhone) into the car, my FOB chose that moment to lock me out – which is not supposed to happen with a BMW – during one of the hottest summer days.

Unbeknown to me, my FOB battery died.

Then, my Apple watch battery suddenly died, too, just as I was calling AAA to rescue me.

While waiting for AAA, I reflected on 5 lessons learned from this experience:

1. Prioritize Prevention

  • You never know when a system will fail…until it does.
  • Many people don’t take charge of their health until after a crisis such as a heart attack, being diagnosed with pre-diabetes, well on the road to obesity etc.
  • Just like my FOB battery that needed to be replaced, it’s important to know when your energy is running low and you’re in need of a re-charge.

2. Manage and...

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Got lower back pain? Get moving!

Uncategorized Aug 11, 2021

Sitting all day while at work or during meetings and conferences is a sure-fire way to get ‘Desk Jockey Syndrome’ – chronic lower back pain. If you’re experiencing this, you are not alone: Millions of people suffer, and there’s a simple way to alleviate it: Movement.

An August 2020 systematic review and meta-analysis study revealed that yoga offers great short-term relief from back pain, and walking reduces discomfort both short-term and long-term (greater than 6 months). If you sit less and move more, you’ll reap positive health benefits. Here’s how to integrate both activities into your lifestyle.

Try yoga

If you’re just starting out on your yoga journey or looking for ways to integrate yoga into your virtual or hybrid meetings and workdays, I have a library of short, curated yoga video breaks that are easy to do between sessions or as stretch and mind-body breaks throughout the work day. These include bedtime yoga practices like...

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How Will You Pivot in Today’s Post-Lockdown Reality?

Uncategorized Aug 04, 2021

Remember this hilarious scene from Friends, when Ross, Rachel and Chandler try to squeeze a huge sofa into an elevator? According to Ross, it was all about ‘the pivot’. All these years later, that’s the buzzword on everyone’s lips: Since the pandemic hit, we’re all thinking and talking about the new normal, life after lockdown and ….pivoting.

But what’s the best way to pivot when you want to make small or big changes?

Heading into any next phase starts with these steps to action:

REFLECT

  • What did you learn over the past year?
  • How have these key learnings changed you?
  • What was the best investment you made in yourself?
  • New hobbies? New skills? New connections? Re-connections?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What emotions are you feeling about life after lockdown?

PREPARE

  • Choose to return to work, return to conferences, return to the gym, return to social connections in a way that makes you feel safe and comfortable.
  • Meet yourself...
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Don’t let your feet take a beating this summer

Uncategorized Jul 28, 2021

In my 6/30 email, I shared how my killer heels taught me an important lesson about walking outside my comfort zone. Foot care is such an important part of overall self-care.

Did you know, for instance, that peri-menopausal and pandemic bodies can change shape? The same is true for your feet: Mine have widened over the years. I learned this the hard way on a two-week vacation in Eastern Europe, pre-pandemic.

Six cities – Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest, Krakow and Prague – touring on foot, with five to 10 hours of daily walking. That’s 12,000 to 30,000 steps a day. Every day! This is how I had to walk at the end of the day on that trip:

I returned home with a massive heel spur on my right foot and doctor’s orders to stop weight-bearing exercise until my foot heals – no pun intended! After six months, it got better, but then I got plantar fasciitis on my left foot.

I was out of commission for a full year because I had developed a chronic...

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​What I Learned From Being at the ‘Back of the Pack’

Uncategorized Jul 21, 2021

I’m just getting back into cycling after many years being off the bike. In my past life, I was an avid cyclist, and I biked through the South of France, exploring the French Riviera and Provence. And as a Ph.D. student right through my early career years, my old clunker of a bike was my sole means of transportation – I rode up to two hours a day to and from work.

About seven years ago, my husband bought me a beautiful road bike for my 50th birthday. It had skinny tires, curly handlebars and clipless pedals. I loved it, and got back into cycling for the next two years.

But then – you know what’s coming – I got busy. Work and life got in the way, plus DC summers were way too hot and humid to do any productive cycling. So for my 55th birthday, I got a used Peloton bike, which continues to sit directly in front of my desk collecting dust.

Why? Shortly after I got the bike, I was diagnosed with osteopenia, which subsequently devolved to osteoporosis. I...

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Why I Abandoned Yoga, and How I Found My Way Back to it

move Jul 14, 2021

Pre-pandemic, I was an avid yogi, practicing five times a week at my local studio, Village Yoga, which is a more athletic vinyasa studio. I completed a 200-hour Yoga Alliance-accredited instructor training program just before the pandemic hit.

But then, everything changed.

For the first few months during lockdown, I tried doing some online yoga classes, because I was being super COVID-cautious. Before long, though, I dropped out of yoga completely.

Two months ago, I tried virtual yoga classes again but it just wasn’t working for me. Why?

I wasn’t being honest with myself.

I struggled to be fully present at home: I was too busy multi-tasking, checking text messages and emails, and taking breaks during the practice.

It would take me several hours to do a one-hour class – I’d do 30 minutes, get distracted by another task, and tell myself I’d resume the second half of the class later. But it never happened.

I became complacent. And I wasn’t...

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The Secrets I Learned from the Soil in my Backyard

Uncategorized Jul 07, 2021

It’s no secret that throughout the pandemic, many people became overwhelmed with anxiety, homeschooling and working from home. They experienced total burnout, quit their jobs or both. Arianna Huffington recently wrote about this, citing one expert who described this experience as post-traumatic COVID disorder (PTCD).

Slowly, we have begun redefining success and ourselves. For many of us, that meant tapping into inner peace and joy.

I recently took up a new hobby: gardening. I figured it would be the ideal way to relax and add more Zen into my life. There’s something very soothing about plunging your hands into the earth and watching beautiful things grow.

Here are 10 things I learned about how tending my garden helped me tend to my soul.

  1. Garden beds infested with weeds rob flowers of their health.
  2. Getting to the root of the problem requires pulling out weeds by their roots, which reduces further onset of weed infestation.
  3. Weeding is not a one-time fix. It requires...
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What my killer heels taught me about walking outside my comfort zone

Uncategorized Jun 30, 2021

Last week, I attended my first formal meetings industry gala in a long while – MPI Potomac’s Evening of the Stars – which took place at the beautiful Warner Theater in Washington, DC.

The men looked dapper in suits and the women shone in cocktail dresses, gowns and …. high heels. From the way most of the women were attempting to walk in high heels – kind of like circus acrobats teetering on a tightrope – I felt seen!

I love shoes, but despite having a major shoe fetish and collection, I’ve pretty much been barefoot for much of the pandemic. I’ve been doing yoga barefoot and barely left my home except for my daily power pole walk in sneakers.

In a hilarious video skit during the MPI event, the two women MC's discussed transitioning from slippers to stilettos being no small feet… I mean, feat! I definitely needed Training Heels, along with training time – just like when you’re training for a marathon – to get in...

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