Your Inner GPS

March 17, 2015

Can you accept yourself? Are you sure?

In this video, I share a personal story about visiting my mother on a Mother’s Day weekend. Though she suffered from dementia, she gave me an eternal message of love: accept yourself. Acceptance is the key to the prison of self-doubt. Can you accept yourself?

March 7, 2015

Find Your Voice

One of the common problems I’ve encountered with clients over the years as a therapist and life coach is helping them find their voice.

Were you ever told, “Don’t say that!” or “Keep that to yourself,” or “That’s not nice to say.” You may have been told, “Don’t cry, don’t be angry, or don’t ask embarrassing questions.”

Our voice is how we tell the world who we are. If I don’t know who I am or I was told not to reveal who I am, then I have to start looking for my voice.

Here are four steps to help you find your voice.

 

February 3, 2015

Get serious about life and rewrite your story!

Rewrite your story!At 7 a.m. I walked the beach with my friend, Daniel. He told me about a recent conversation he had with his brother who was sliding through life, not taking it seriously. Daniel strongly encouraged his brother to take himself seriously.

I asked Daniel if there was a part of his own life that he wasn’t taking seriously. He paused for a moment and then, in a flash of insight, recognized that his brother represented a personal goal he wanted to take more seriously.

As he talked, I realized that I needed to take my writing more seriously. I love to write and create stories but often neglect promotion, a necessary part of any career.

Every story that resonates with us has a message. Once we embrace it, we’re compelled to take action and share our story with all the lessons. That’s how the human race has evolved.

A story involves a main character in search of a goal, who faces and hopefully overcomes opposition, in order to achieve success. In the process, the character undergoes a transformation. “Can Leonard, who grew up in a family with hardship and struggle, overcome his past and create ease and inner peace?”

What’s your story? Is it about being yourself, overcoming adversity, or finding true love? Your theme will show up in the books you choose to read, the movies you watch, and the drama that unfolds around you.

I encourage you to take your story seriously. Doing so requires an audience. You can talk to a friend, see a therapist, or write your story down. Once you get serious, you embark on an incredible adventure–the hero/heroine’s journey.

November 1, 2014

Slow Down You’re Moving Too Fast

Dammed BusyA friend of mine pointed out that I haven’t sent a newsletter in four months. I was about to say, “I’ve been too busy,” then stopped myself. I flashed to a letter that my mother wrote to me many years ago, when I lived in Australia. In that letter, she used the word “busy” twelve times. She was busy working, busy gardening, busy volunteering, busy shopping, busy, busy, busy. Back then, I chuckled at her busyness, resolving that wouldn’t happen to me.

Now I only shake my head at my own busyness. Mind you, I love when I write, speak, coach clients, and present seminars. However, I can easily get absorbed in my work, and when I get too busy, I neglect myself and relationships.

Over the past few months, I’ve come face to face with serious health issues of some family members. Those health challenges forced me to slow down and ask, “What is really important?”

Was accomplishment, achievement, or completing a list of tasks the most important function of my life? Not when facing the potential loss of loved ones. That wake-up call reminded me to slow down because I was moving too fast.

If you ever find yourself “too busy,” ask yourself these four questions:

  1. Why am I so busy?
  2. Is this how I want to spend my time?
  3. What else would I prefer to do?
  4. Can I make time today to do what I love?

Love helps us slow down to make the moments last. We can never be too busy for love.

Welcome Home!

June 10, 2014

Write Your Way to Success

write your way to successMany years ago, I worked with a depressed woman in her 30’s, who had a rare debilitating illness. Growing up, she was raised in an abusive household and kept to herself. She believed she was stupid, ugly, and without much hope for the future. She could barely express herself verbally.

I asked her to write a few thoughts in a journal in between our therapy sessions and bring them so I could read them. Her first entry was one sentence, illegibly scribbled on a crumpled piece of paper. I thanked her for having the courage to open her life and share her words.

Over time, she brought in a journal which I read at the beginning of each session. Her simple sentences soon turned into paragraphs. Her paragraphs expanded to pages. Her pages blossomed into completed journals.

As her writing expanded, so did her life. She grew in confidence and became more verbally expressive. She founded a support group for individuals with the rare disability, started a newsletter, and built a remarkable organization that connected families affected by the disability. In essence, she created a supportive, loving extended family. Not too long ago, I received an email from her, telling me that her story was published in a magazine.

The changes all began because of the power of words. I have witnessed countless examples of individuals whose lives have changed as a result of writing. The late Maya Angelou used words to liberate herself, so beautifully expressed in her book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Words provide the keys to unlock doors. Find the missing pieces and see the whole picture. Write your way to success and health!

Leonard

January 3, 2014

Let your dreams soar in 2014!

let your dreams soar

The best selling children’s author Beatrix Potter once wrote, “There’s something delicious about writing those first few words of a story. You can never quite tell where they’ll take you.

Beginning a new year is like writing the first words of a story. You can never quite tell what will happen during the year.

As I reflect on 2013, many events occurred that I had not originally planned. I climbed down the Grand Canyon with my two children, Melissa and Nate, and advanced to the quarter-finals (the top 100 in general fiction) of the Amazon Novel Contest for my novel, Kookaburra’s Last Laugh. During the year, I became immersed in helping a Holocaust survivor, Yvonne Carson, write and publish her memoir, Silence and Secrets: A Jewish Woman’s Tale of Escape, Survival and Love in World War II. www.silenceandsecrets.com

An unexpected health issue with my oldest sister made me pause and reflect on the fragility of life and recognize that each moment offers us a precious gift. I have become more grateful for the simple pleasures in life with a stronger commitment to practice love on a daily basis.

As I consider my intentions for the upcoming year, I know there are unknown forces at work that I have no control over. I can, however, clarify where I wish to place my energy and move forward in that direction with a sense of curiosity about the unfolding journey, not knowing where it will take me.

As you consider your intentions for the upcoming year, let your dreams soar. To paraphrase Beatrix, there’s something delicious about starting the beginning of a year. Happy New Year!

Leonard

Amazon Best Seller!

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