June 28, 2011

Madras Vegetable Curry--SO GOOD WITH GHEE!!

Ok. Do you love butter?

Because I love butter. I really do.

Even more than butter, I love GHEE. Ghee is clarified butter which means it is butter that has been clarified; having had the impurities of saturated fat and milk solids removed.  Ghee is lactose-free.

Fat is really important to good health, so make sure you're eating the GOOD kinds. Not all fat is alike. Ghee is your fat friend.

I grabbed this recipe from the interwebs and made it several weeks ago. It is fast, easy and delicious (you know I like my recipes that way).

This past Sunday, my beloved and I were sitting at home taking a much-needed restful Sunday to ourselves. I proposed taking her out to dinner vs making food that night which would give us leftovers for the week!

Guess which she chose? To cook at home together.

This is one of the many reasons why I love her.

She chopped veggies, I did other prep and together we made this delicious meal in about 35 minutes. We watched a few episodes of Friday Night Lights in between. Can you believe Coach Taylor might leave AGAIN?! We already went through this in Season 2...sheesh.

I digress...

Here's MADRAS VEGGIE CURRY take 2--THIS time I added ghee at the end. I should have used it instead of the peanut oil that the recipe called for. I can do that next time and I'll let you know how it goes--better yet, you try it and let me know!

  • 1 Tbs peanut oil (or ghee!)
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 Tbs curry powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut and broken into florets (smaller pieces)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 15-oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 5 or 6-oz package of fresh baby spinach leaves (we used frozen this time, it was still really rad)
  • 1 cup nonfat (we used low-fat) yogurt
  • Place a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat and wait 2 minutes. Add the oil and wait about 30 seconds, then add the onion, curry powder and salt. Cook, stirring often, for 5-8 minutes or until the onion is translucent and beginning to soften.
  • Stir in those chopped sweets, carrots and cauliflower, making sure they get completely covered with the curried onions and saute for another 3 minutes or so.
  • Stir in the veggie broth, tomatoes and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, partially cover the pot, and cook gently for another 8-10 minutes or until those carrots and sweet potatoes get tender.
  • Add the spinach and give it a stir. If it's fresh, it will wilt within seconds. If it's frozen, it will melt and blend nicely.
  • Stir in the yogurt and remove from heat.
  • SERVE over brown rice (see Brown Rice Life Lessons), millet, or quinoa.
  • if it needs it---stir in a wee bit more of ghee and salt. LOVE YOUR FOOD!

No Magic Pill-Be A Winner, Instead!

I used to roll with alot of people who thought there was an elusive magic pill to making their lives perfect.

This meant a life with no physical pain (without doing any exercise), all the money they wanted (without doing any work), all the free time to watch tv (N/C), the perfect partner (with none of the natural conflicts that arise in relationships)...

you get the point.

These are people who pop an Advil at the first sign of pain or complain endlessly about the job they hate, the people who cause them endless grief, the headaches they get, the crap hand they got dealt at the job they hate...you see the pattern.

I have intentionally and compassionately eliminated folks like this from my life.

The people in my life now are people who know the value of hard work and the reality of the trials and tribulations of life. They know that there is no magic pill to eliminating the adversity that comes their way, but they know there ARE better, more constructive ways to accomplish their goals. They name the struggle, they express how it challenges them and they meet the challenge with gratitude (even if it is sometimes accompanied with a slight grimace).

My friends are like this.

My clients are like this.

My colleagues are like this.

I INTENTIONALLY surround myself with these people to improve my own attitude towards life. I consume their approach to life, their tenacity and strength, as I do the fruits, veggies, proteins and grains in my diet.

I roll with winners. Winners who love their lives because they have CHOSEN to live a life of joy, abundance, courage and LAUGHTER!

I mean, would you LOOK at these guys?!!

It isn't always easy, but it is SO much better than living a life full of sadness, pain (inside and out), dread and boredom (yeah, you. I mean you--sitting there at your desk at a job you dislike working for a boss who doesn't know you love to write and want to write a novel...or become a massage therapist, or an events planner, or a nurse practitioner or a life coach...)

There's no magic pill to make your headache go away. 
But I know how to help it.

There's no magic pill to make your boss be a better boss.
But I know how to help you manage it.

There's no magic pill to lose weight.
But I know how to help you do it without dieting.

There's no magic pill to get better sleep.
But I know how to help you get more and wake up feeling amazing.

There's no magic pill to living the life you WANT.
But it IS possible.

If I can do it, YOU can do it.

Are you a winner?!

June 27, 2011

Brown Rice Lessons

Cooking brown rice has taught me some great lessons.

Growing up, we were a white rice family. Those little bags of Uncle Ben's (racism in advertising, btw) went KER-PLUNK! into the boiling pot of water and minute later...voila! White rice served beside the entree of the evening. Usually chicken.

There was no rinsing, soaking and cooking rice from scratch where I grew up. There was NO TIME!

That's what I was taught, anyway. Was there time? Maybe. Probably.

Over the past two years, I have taken to cooking rice by myself. No box. No plastic bag inside a box. No refined white rice in a plastic bag inside a box.

I buy it right out of a bulk bin at Whole Foods for $1.19/lb (on sale this week!) A pound seems to be about 2 cups. 2 cups = 4 cups cooked. 4 cups cooked = alot of meals for my and my girlfriend. Buying in bulk is good for the environment and good for my wallet!

While it sounds pretty easy, the process of pouring a cup of rice, adding it to a pot and letting it cook has taught me some great lessons about cooking and about life.

Here's the biggest takeaway:

do your best to set something up for success (add rice to the pot with water in reasonably measured amounts), put a lid on it (literally, not metaphorically), leave it alone and it will be fine.

Cooking brown rice (I eat brown because it includes the bran which is the fiber part of the rice grain. Strip that bran off and you might as well be eating table sugar) struck me a great metaphor for the way I want to approach life.

If you constantly mess with rice as it's cooking by lifting the lid, stirring it, making sure "it's ok"---you're going to mess it up. Really alot.

Just setting it up correctly and leaving it alone, coming back once to see if it needs anything...it will just do its thing and be ready and delicious for you in about 25 minutes.

Set it up, turn your attention to other things, don't obsess, just relax.

Good advice for all of life.

DING, DONG, the Gays Can Wed!

In case you were busy on Friday night, New York passed a very important bill that night which will now allow folks who aren't straight/hetero to marry in that state.

For many, this is a big deal.

It means that people who live in NYC can marry their partners and now SEEK a partner with good intention to marry that person in about 30 days from now. Now it feels less pointless to date and love someone--because now you can actually marry them and benefit from the hundreds of legal benefits that come with marriage.

Pretty cool, right?!!!

Yeah. Pretty cool. It's been a long road for those folks who live there and so many hours of hard work went into the passing of this bill. Congrats to all those people who worked so hard and here's a high-5 to all those people who have been paying taxes all these years to the state and country DESPITE the fact that your tax dollars haven't been able to buy you a marriage license.

Forgive me for being a bit bitter and low-brow, but when you're sitting on this side of the computer monitor and have to find the bright side of legal legislation that makes hard-working human beings considered "a bit more human" in the eyes of the law...it really brings out my Italian temper.

It's hard to be grateful when these people are dealing with the same reality that I anticipate living here in Massachusetts (and upon getting married myself someday): if we go on vacation to say, Colorado--we are no longer married. If we travel to Florida to "gay it up" at the Keys, we are no longer married.  That's right, the license is legit in your state. NOT across America. It's like Monopoly money only in some ways worse because it really messes with your mind and your heart. It's hard to Savor Your Existence with this daily reality.

My friend and colleague, Robyn Ochs, summed up the status of the country really well in her facebook note on the evening the bill passed:

Things are changing rather quickly, and the US is a very large country with 50 states as well as as the District of Columbia and territories and other colonized places, so it can be difficult to keep up. Here's a quick summary about where we are right now in terms of partner recognition:

STATES WITH FULL MARRIAGE EQUALITY (as of 6/24/11): Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, NEW YORK, Vermont. And the District of Columbia. 

STATES WITH CIVIL UNIONS OR COMPREHENSIVE DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS: California, Delaware, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington Hawaii will join seven other states - California, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington. And beginning January 1, 2012: Hawaii too. 


And finally, California is the most complicated of all! It had marriage equality for a few months in 2008 until voters passed Prop 8. As a result, couples married in California (or elsewhere before November 2008) during these few months are recognized as married in California, but same-sex couples cannot marry there at present. A challenge to Prop 8 is going through the courts, and so far things are looking promising.

And of course, nationally, DOMA prohibits recognition of same-sex marriages at the federal level and does not recognize domestic partnerships or civil unions.

Much progress has been made, and much work remains to be done.

I hope that you will join your state's equality organization and get involved in moving us forward. (If you don't know your statewide group, google "EQUALITY" plus the name of your state.)

Never turning back,
With love,

Thank you, Robyn! Robyn is great. Check out her site: http://www.robynochs.com/

Back to my bitterness...

No seriously! I can be bitter about this. It's great. But it's also pretty dang silly that intelligent, REALLY intelligent politicians have to spend this much time debating the topic in 2011.

Maybe it's me. Maybe it's because this is my daily reality. It's hard to watch people (like my own parents) get married and divorced and do it over and over and I still don't have the option to ask someone to marry me and take her away somewhere that it won't be Null and Void.

Hooray, New York! Great to have you on board with us here in Massachusetts. Can someone please talk to Senator Diaz about his crazytown male privilege?!

This guy turned his 2 minute opportunity to talk into 8! 8 minutes! How did he do that exactly? Well, he spent about 4 minutes arguing...
my jaw hit the floor as I watched this...

my favorite quote is from 5:25 "you are taking away my right..."  OH! the IRONY!

Seriously. The last 4 minutes of this video are SNL-worthy.

June 22, 2011

What the World Eats---in pictures

If a picture's worth a thousand words...
what do 
these pictures say to you?
(click below)


June 20, 2011

PSA Announcement: Blueberries Almost Are In Season---EAT LOTS OF THEM!

Summer is here! And you know what that means?!


YES! These antioxidant-rich fruits are one of my favorites because they are delicious, nutritious and easy to work with! Why do you need or want to consume antioxidants? Well, it's complex but here's what Wiki says:

An antioxidant is a molecule capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions. When the chain reaction occurs in a cell, it can cause damage or death. When the chain reaction occurs in a purified monomer, it produces a polymer resin, such as a plastic, a synthetic fiber, or an oil paint film. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibit other oxidation reactions.

Easy, right? Yeah. Just eat foods with antioxidants. That's all you have to remember.

Blueberries can be added to oatmeal for breakfast, salad for lunch and with ice cream after dinner.

My favorite way to eat them nowadays is fresh out of the carton but I have memories of my Grandfather freezing them in the freezer in wee paper cups and giving them to us when we were hot from playing outside. Ah, nostalgia.

Watch out for imposters! I saw an ad today for the new waffle breakfast sandwiches from that famous coffee company. Two waffles with an egg-like food and sausage-meat-product in-between. And now the waffles have blueberries! It is my suspicion that those are not real blueberries but are actually chemically produced blueberry dots (a combo of artificial color and flavoring), but that's just an educated guess.

You Work Hard for Your Money, Honey. 
Spend it Well.

Eat Real Food.

Discouragement Happens on the Edge of Greatness

Bummed. Depressed. Depleted.


Have you been here? I mean REALLY been here?

Cool. I know this place. It's called DISCOURAGEMENT.

My most recent trip to the Land of Discouragement led me to realize a few things, mind if I share?

1) The word itself tells you what's happening. DIS-COURAGE. You have reached your personal limit of courage. You literally can't see yourself giving more, striving more, reaching more---DOING MORE--because you think there is no point. The challenges have surpassed the payoffs or payouts and you don't feel up to being so brave anymore. Why bother?

2) Reaching a place of discouragement is good. This is what needs to happen to foster more growth. If you've reached this place, give pause and pat yourself on the back. If you weren't working your ass off toward personal growth of some kind and just lazing around like a scrub, you wouldn't even know the mere existence of this crappy feeling called discouragement.

3) You have a choice: you can stay here or you can get some support to make a step forward. It's a big deal to realize you have a choice. Many people don't think they do. We all do. Every moment of each hard, freakin' minute of each day, we have a choice to quit or keep moving forward. Just remembering that the choice is ours is what can help us take the next step.

4) Take the next step. Whatever that means. Does it mean calling a friend? Going for a jog?  Drinking a cool glass of water? Scheduling an appointment with a therapist or coach? What does the next step look like? See it and do it.

5) Celebrate when you moved out and through the discouragement. This is no small thing. CELEBRATE your resiliency! Let it be known to family and/or friends who love you that you made it through a tough moment. Many people don't. You are strong, unique and deserve to be celebrated!

In my personal experience, and from what I've seen in the lives of my clients, it is the act of moving through a "stuck moment" that shows you what you're made of. Your resiliency, your tenacity--your COURAGE to resist defeat.

This is the path to greatness.

Next time you're feeling down---try to remember, "I need this to be great."

Notice how it changes the experience for you.

June 17, 2011

Silent Inner Critics, Seasonal Eating and Veggie Gumbo--OH MY!

When I began posting this recipe I thought, "people aren't going to want to eat this in the summer! It's hot! Post a recipe that's about fresh, raw veggies to promote the idea of eating with the seasons!"

Those limiting thoughts. Those negative self-defeating patterns. MY GOODNESS, how persistent they can be!

Then I thought to myself, "self, you are being judgmental and critical. Stop it. Gumbo is eaten in New Orleans where people are hot almost every day of their gosh darn lives. I can teach people about eating with the seasons AND post a hot recipe. Both can happen."

See how easy that was?

This post is about silencing your inner critic, eating with the seasons (as a dietary theory) AND making easy and amazing vegetarian gumbo.

Ready, Set, GO!

Shut Up Your Inner Critic:

This is an easy concept but it's difficult to practice.
Basically, the next time you have a limiting thought or a negative self-defeating pattern rears its ugly head---just notice it (you can see me using my spiritual practice here) and replace it with a positive one.

See my example above.

Eating with the Seasons:

Also a fairly simple idea, but often difficult to practice.

The goal is to focus your daily diet around what is growing locally and in abundance at that specific time of year. For example, since our summer was a bit delayed here in Boston, the Farmer's Market is selling alot of veggies plants and leafy greens--the best their crops can do right now. In the coming months, there will be an abundance of veggies like tomatoes, zucchini, peaches, etc. As the summer ends and fall approaches, you'll see tons of squashes, apples and root vegetables like carrots. Your body may naturally crave the foods that are aligned with the growing seasons---as the weather warms, you will crave light, crunchy water-filled fruits and veggies. As the weather cools in the fall, you will crave rich, warm soups, stews, etc. This theory is awesome and I follow it as much as I can. The biggest bummer for me is finding leafy greens once they disappear from the summer fields of Massachusetts. The ones shipped from Cali just don't do it for me.

If you live in Boston, however, you have 45 degree weather in mid-June and warm vegetarian gumbo sounds absolutely perfect.

So, here you go! I snagged this recipe from a magazine, the title of which I will post asap.

Vegetarian Gumbo

Serves 8

Here, the rich dark roux of a Louisiana style gumbo is laced with okra, parsnips, carrots and green beans, but feel free to substitute any vegetables you choose (good opportunity to use what's growing in season...)

1/2 cup vegetable oil (this was hard for me, because I'm not a fan of vegetable oil, but I use it so infrequently, I let it slide)
1/3 cup flour
1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
3 stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups fresh or frozen green beans
3 carrots, sliced (2 cups)
1 parsnip, diced (1 cup)
1 cup fresh or frozen sliced okra
1 Tbs. ground cumin
1 Tbs. paprika
1 Tbs. dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1. Stir together oil and flour in heavy-bottomed pot until smooth. Cook over high heat for 10 minutes or until roux turns a dark caramel color, stirring constantly.

2. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook 5 minutes, or until vegetables are softened. Add remaining ingredients a 4 cups of water. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook 40 minutes or until carrots are tender. Serve over rice, quinoa or millet.

Yeah. Simple, fast and it made tons of leftovers (because we don't have 8 people to feed). We just ate it 3x each instead.

;) Silence the inner critic, cook what's around you (when you can) and make food that is healthy and leaves leftovers for later when the pace of your week picks up.

June 16, 2011

You Are So Dumb, You Are REALLY Dumb, For Real*

Ok, you aren't dumb. Our country can be, however.

For instance, the person who tried to hurt Antoine's sister, Kelly. Watch the whole story but especially Antoine's reaction at 1:20:

Just left the gym and had a thought. Lemme know how it resonates...

Gym restrooms are what we queers/gays call "heteronormative". They stick to the "norms" of heterosexually-accepted society and really reinforce the gender binary--MALE and FEMALE, WOMEN and MEN. Unless, of course, you are a gym designed for all women--so they don't have to be around men? What is the reason for the creation of these places, exactly? If we are told that heterosexuality is RIGHT, why do they keep separating these poor folks like their lives are at stake if they are together?

No matter how you slice it, the message that comes through: men and women are the norm. Follow these rules in life. If you don't, you don't fit in. REPEAT.

Here's my question: why are men's and women's restrooms separated? I assume it's to keep the dudes from checking out the women due to the fact that most of them will be sexually attracted to them---right? Is there another reason I don't know or aren't thinking about? Is it a safety issue? Does this bathroom system really prevent violence against women and help keep the sky-high numbers of sexual violence down?

Ok. So here's my question: (aside from the fact that I'm partnered) in theory, I'm sexually attracted to women (mostly)---so don't I belong in the men's room? I mean, what is the difference between ME being there seeing them naked and a heterosexual MAN being in there? Really, really let that one sink in. What is the difference---? Similar to dorm rooms. They won't put men and women together, but DO put two women or two men together...separating hetero people---for what reason? Sex? But put two people together, one or both of whom might be sexually attracted to the person of the same sex.

As I left the gym today, I asked myself that question aloud and thought---I wonder if more people think this and what a solution would be, if there was one and if people cared enough to explore it. I ADORE when I see the word RESTROOM printed on the door. I literally say a prayer of gratitude. Better yet--if the establishment has several doors with these signs. It says to me, "we are humans. Humans have to pee and poo. Enter to do so."

Nevermind the whole issue of whether my life would be in jeopardy if I used the men's room because it felt more appropriate for me.

And really---the WOMEN'S sign still has the figure in a skirt? What is this---1950?

It just feels SO DUMB. REALLY DUMB, to me.

*apparently other people agree. Check out this article posted on NPR on 6/23/11, a mere week after my posting here.  The End of Gender


June 8, 2011

It's My Birthday and I'll Eat Where I WANT TO!

It was my birthday on June 5th. I had a wonderful day. Can I tell you why?

I listened to my gut.

Do you do this enough?

I have been doing this more and more in my life of late and you know what? It's awesome. Truly. When I wasn't doing this, I was frequently anxious, depressed, sad, angry and I felt like a victim far too often. It was no way to go through life. Hardly a Savored Existence.

The most important part of being a health coach, for me, is to walk the talk. I learned the art of this teaching 8th grade---8th graders smell a phony at 10 feet. You don't wanna mess with them if you aren't going to be an authentic, honest person. From these fine young folks, I learned to show up and be myself--professional but warm and approachable.

So here's the scene for my birthday: my wonderful girlfriend had planned to take me out to the North End in Boston for dinner. We ended up in the entry of this upscale establishment. The host and hostess were dressed nicely but the young woman had a sour look on her face. First sign that something wasn't right.

Because it was such a nice day, my girlfriend immediately asked if we could be placed by the open windows. Sour look #2 from the hostess and attitude-laced comment, "yeah, sure. Whatever," as she grabbed two menus and walked us around the bar and sat us. No "enjoy your meal". No "thanks for dining with us". Nothing.

I opened the menu with a bad feeling crawling in my gut and read my options. I had mentally prepared for simple, authentic Italian food, but the chef of this establishment was reaching for loftier goals with the cuisine. It had ingredients that sounded tasty but weren't what I wanted. I expressed this to my girlfriend. To my right was a placard advertising all the other establishments owned by the restauranteur. It felt tacky and arrogant. Second sign that something wasn't right. This guy cared more about showing off than providing good customer service via his staff.

I wanted to leave. I felt like I should stay because they had already served us water. My girlfriend said about 6 times in a row, "we can leave". I sat. I felt paralyzed.

CUE the limiting thoughts:

I have to be polite (even though they hadn't been).
I have to stay there and choose something to eat (when though it wasn't what I wanted to eat).
I have to make the best of it (even though it was my birthday and I deserved the best experience possible).
I don't want to hurt my girlfriend's feelings (even though she had laughed about it, said it was ok and had encouraged me to stand up so we could leave 6 times in 45 seconds).

Funny how we do this to ourselves, huh?

I looked at her smile. I listened to her words. I listened to my gut that said, "you don't have to eat here if it's not what you want". I stood up and followed her out the door. As we walked out, I turned to the host and hostess and said, "thank you, we've changed our mind." They grunted.

We walked across the street into a different restaurant, Fiore, and received a warm greeting from the woman by the door--like we were family! She was warm, authentic and upon hearing the reason for our visit, said, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Let's get you on the roofdeck--it's so nice today."  As we sat down, I literally felt the tension in my gut replaced with a warm feeling of contentment.

This is how life feels when you're living in alignment with your needs and desires and
not working against them.

Can you believe they sent over a waiter named Nick who had the same birthday as me?! What a charming touch! He was friendly, cordial and had great eye-contact.

Warm, generous, down-to-earth customer service. A sunny, breezy day. My loving partner beside me.
The food was fresh, tasty and simple. Nothing fancy. Authentic and delicious.

It was a dining event to remember forever and it was only possible because I said, "it's my birthday and I'll eat where I WANT TO."

Empower yourself to live the life you want to live and have the experiences you want to have. No one can do this for you.

June 7, 2011

The Missing Ingredient-GREENS

If you've received an email from me recently, you've probably seen my new closing salutation is Eat Your Greens.


Because hardly anyone eats enough of them. They are the most missing ingredient in the modern American diet.


Why do you need them?

There is a list a mile long. Here are a few reasons why I recommend my clients eat more greens:

·       purifies the blood
·       helps to prevent cancer
·       strengthens the immune system
·       promotes healthy intestinal flora
·       improves liver, gall bladder and kidney function
·       lifts the spirit and fights depression
·       clears congestion (especially in the lungs), and reduces mucus
·       improves circulation
·       keeps skin fresh; clears blemishes

More often than not, my clients come back to their next session with me and are pretty puzzled how they can get more greens into their lives. It's not easy, I know.

If you try this exercise, however, it might become easier:

EXERCISE: Whenever you're cooking or about to eat, think to yourself, "what's the missing ingredient?" And answer yourself with this one word:  GREENS

What would go well with this sandwich? Greens.

What should I have for dinner? Greens.

What should I put on my grocery list? Greens.

What did I not eat enough of today? Greens.

Do this several times a day for a week and see what happens.

Don't know what I mean by GREENS? Email me and I'll send you a great piece of paper to help you out. ;)

Git 'Er Done!

I love this television show called Friday Night Lights. That's a big deal because I don't watch any television.

Around 2000, I prioritized my meager teacher's salary and decided that cable wasn't high on my list of "must-haves". That was the beginning, probably, of a LONG list of such things, or even just my increasing awareness of how I wanted to spend my hard-earned cash. How was TV improving my life, really?

It wasn't. Films? Films do improve my life, therefore I have a 40" flat-panel HD television. Splurge in 2007. Go, me!

Friday Night Lights is my television-watching exception. If you haven't seen this show or don't know what the HECK I'm talking about...you can checkity-check this great show on NBC on (you guessed it) Friday nights. We are closing in on the end of Season 5, the final season, but you can catch up with the prior seasons on Netflix.

Why do I like this show? Simply put, it addresses all the "isms" of this country (well, many of them) with thoughtful writing, brilliant acting and it's all shot with 3 cameras simultaneously. Racism, classism, homophobia, etc. They cover it all. The actors know their scripts but aren't given any blocking so they just do whatever feels natural and appropriate for their scene. It's AWESOME!

One of the episodes is titled Get 'Er Done and it inspired my blog post today. I wanted to offer a tip for making life feel more manageable, because goodness knows, sometimes it does not. You know those days and moments when you feel stuck between a rock and a hard place? I know that place, because I've been there many a time.

It's that place where you feel like every decision is the wrong one and you feel like someone has the answer---anyone else has it---but you don't.

This episode is a perfect example of why I love FNL. I've derived so much inspiration and motivation from the characters and the ways they overcome adversity and their own personal demons. The gist of this clip below is that the quarterback Matt has been overshadowed by this other guy who had an ego the size of Texas. No offense to Texans, but your state is DAMN BIG! It makes for a good analogy and it's where the show takes place.

So Matt's self-confidence and self-worth was shaken when this other dude came to town and replaced Matt as starting quarterback. But this other dude's ego almost cost the team this very important game and it was up to Matt to save it. Matt could have been like, "oh yeah, sure, now you need me" or let his inner conflict get the best of him. I have been here. I've let negative thought patterns and behaviors almost sabotage moments when I had the opportunity to rise above and shine through, showing my maturity and inner strength.

As for the Coach? Well, he had to believe in the little guy and hand over the fate of the game to this young man, relinquishing the need to be in charge. He had to show everyone on the field that he didn't have all the answers. How often do you see men portrayed this way in mainstream media/culture?

Watch what happens:


Confidence. Courage. Selflessness. Teamwork. No ego.
That is what makes for winning moments everytime. In our jobs. In our relationships. Within ourselves.

Next time you're feeling stuck, angry, confused and like someone else has the answers---think of this clip. Think about overcoming your own negative mind and rising to the occasion. Get over your fears, get over your ego, be confident in your own opinions.

Step up your game and Git Er Done.

June 1, 2011

The World Won't Stop Turning-Take a Day Off!

I know someone who is being very brave today--she's taking a day off.


Might not sound like a big deal if you're comfortable doing it, but if you're the type who worries about your job/school more than your own personal life--it is a BIG deal. Like BIG, big.

This used to be me. Up until my second or third year of being an 8th grade teacher (GASP! yes, I was) I hardly ever took sick days. It wasn't bred into me--the rule growing up was, you didn't take a sick day unless you had a fever.

How many times in your life do you need a sick day even when you don't have a fever?

Unlike in grammar school, in the working world there is no prize for being the best. Sure, there are incentives like bonuses (depending on your field) or...I have never worked in the corporate world--what are the other incentives? I only ever worked non-profits or in schools and there weren't any incentives happening there. Therefore, I worked myself to the bone, often working long weekends or after hours and my salary only barely covered my living expenses.

Why? Why was I doing that?

Because I valued the opinion others held of me more than my own emotional, physical and mental health. I worried about being seen as irresponsible and lazy or that I would get in trouble somehow if I used a personal day or sick day and I wasn't actually in bed with the flu. I changed that mindset in my mid-20s and even moreso in the past few years once I realized that working so much was only getting me one award: Most Unlikely To Take Care of My Own Needs

When I was able to start putting myself first in this department, things improved in my life in general. Something simple like taking earned time for things like laundry, food shopping, some exercise--those essential basics of good health--is profoundly important and essential for balance. It is a radical act of self-love to say, "I deserve to slow down and take care of myself."

Imagine how refreshed you would feel and how productive you would be at your job or in school if you took a mid-week break to do things that just didn't happen during a crazy, hectic weekend or, even worse, if you were SICK over the weekend. Even stay-at-home parents--you work hard at what you do. How would your life improve if you hired a sitter for 2 hours while you got a massage or a pedicure (are those toes ready for summer, friends of all sexes and genders?!)

Take a freakin' day off. The World Won't Stop Turning if you do. I promise.

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