The Blog

How Well Do You Accelerate Through Transitions?

roadAmericans woke up today to a new world. Some of us are elated with the presidential outcome, while others are dismayed, paralyzed with disappointment, and perhaps even afraid. We are in transition indeed, and must each find a commonplace for ourselves despite our contrasting values. We must find ways to unify our nation, not divide it.

While I don’t ever talk personal politics, I am deeply struck with its impact and metaphors. Unfortunately, this election was arguably the most malicious in history but it is finally over. Rather than hyperfocusing on the analytics ad nauseum,  we can only hope the hatred exits with its jaw dropping results.  For the defeated, this is a hard day. Easier said than done, to suggest to just pick up the broken pieces and embrace the change. This clearly cannot happen in a day.

Just like Daylight saving time (DST) punctuated the end of one season and yet it marked the beginning of another, we are at the pinnacle of a more significant change in America.

Transition suggests movement.  It is not a stagnant block of time. We must propel forward and navigate our “next.”

The brilliant ruby reds and blood orange leaves are beginning to fade and shed, yet another reminder that time and seasonal change transforms all things.  With the shorter days and early darkness, these noticeable changes affect our mindset.  But on this post election day, the fallout changes are far more dramatic than nature could possibly draw, both literally and figuratively.

This pivotal moment requires tweaking and shifting. The need to  calibrate our body clock is far easier to adapt to than embracing the new political landscape.  This will take time. The country is broken and needs to heal. Acceptance is critical.

As individuals now, we may feel powerless to fix a country.  But perhaps we can use this transition to wake-up our own personal productivity.  Make it an opportunity to not only re-stock, but take stock of ourselves, and our own goals.

Last week we turned back our clocks, but let us not fall back on our personal locomotion. It’s time to get our heads straight and move forward. Shed the hatred and turn over a new leaf.  Embrace the season with opportunities for positive change in your physical, mental, and emotional state.

Think about how you navigate the changes in the air.  What next steps are you taking for a smoother transition?

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Life Lessons from Nature: We Change When We Are Ready

blog-1OK, call me sappy but I’m a sucker for seasonal change.  I can never get enough of summer sunsets and I’m totally intoxicated by the fall foliage.  Truth be told that on more than one occasion, I have stopped my car on the shoulder of the road and have been ever so bold as to make a complete 360, just to capture yet another pic of the magnificant turn of color.

It never ceases to amaze me how unique each and every tree changes from year to year.  No two are ever sun-kissed in exactly the same way.

I’ve written many blogs about seasonal change as influencers for personal change. As we recall, the bloom of spring usually activates a welcomed change from the previous cold harsh winter.  With each day, our lawns got greener and wiry branches became fuller and festooned with colorful flowers.  As the season launched, there seemed to be a very natural eagerness to crank up our productivity.

For me, the fall change alerts me in a different way.  It’s a two-fold influencer. For anyone in the northeast, the first transition is hard to ignore.  The spectacular autumnal colors can take our breath away and nudges us to notice nature’s magical beauty.  When we pay attention, and in that one small second that we stop and pause, I believe we all can feel an internal change.  It’s a poke of sorts, a reminder that time does not stand still and that change is in the air.  For most, this imagery could mean nothing more than a great Instagram post but for some, this shift can be felt more deeply. The air is fresh, the leaves are crisp, and the temps are cool. A profound setting for change, indeed. I like to think about it as a wake-up call for the soul. Time to embrace change, new opportunities, maybe even new beginnings.

Physical changes around us can have a strong impact on our mental state and spark mindfullness. In fact, it is the seasonal change that is likely the trigger that wakes us up, and perhaps evokes a personal change. 

But there’s a second part to this transition. As slowly and organically as this beauty unfolds, with just a couple of forceful gusts on a blustery windy day, the brilliant colors will soon vanish leaving our landscape bare and barren.  Like no other season do we feel this exit and disparity so suddenly.  And just like that, it’s over.

Each season reveals its own distinguished beauty and can exude a different personal change within.  Our perpective is altered because each season feels different to us, don’t you think?  It’s a notable change.  And we sense this physical change, it is likely to elicit an emotional response in our day-to-day lives.  These changes can easily affect our moods, behaviors and productivity.

Apparently, fall is so strong an influencer for me as it has compelled me to blog after a long imposed pause. Blogging has always been a very personal cathartic practice. I don’t write just for the sake of writing, and I never force a blog.  I need to be inspired. Today I felt this powerful influence. I was ready.

What are your strongest influencers that call you to action?  What makes you ready for change?

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Weather is a True Influencer: Has it Changed Your Perspective?

seasons_opt-3I think we’ve all had enough of this deep freeze, but the harsh reality is that this brutal winter is far from over. The good news is that time does not stand still.  It marches on and so shall we. Nothing lasts forever; neither the good nor the bad.

Life’s guaranteed forecast is abundantly clear.  Time fleets and change is inevitable. 

So whether or not we can even imagine the possibility of warmer days,  let us remind ourselves that this is not a hopeless situation.  One thing is certain, this too shall pass and Spring will eventually get here.

For those of us that live in parts of the country that have four seasons, we understand that seasonal changes in weather impact both our physical landscape and our psychological mindset.

The diverse seasons punctuate the cycle of a full year through the changes in our activities, the clothing we wear, the places we go, etc.  But those are not the only things that change. Our perspective is altered because each season feels different to us.  It’s a noteworthy change.  When we sense the physical change, it is likely to elicit an emotional response in our day-to-day lives.  These changes can easily affect our moods, behaviors and productivity.

This long frigid winter has been particularly challenging and isolating. The record-breaking big chill has kept more people indoors than ever before, as evident in fewer shoppers and less pedestrians on the street. As Northeasterners, one could even argue that we now have an even greater appreciation of nature’s changes. For us, warm sunny days and azure blue skies are not our typical year-round climate. Hence, our delight in spring’s bloom and the breathtaking autumnal changes of the fall are notable, and rarely taken for granted.

The extreme seasons, however,  tell a different story.  Our tolerance for severe cold winters and unbearably hot summers are increasingly low. Moreover, our memory is short.  Ironically, we not only have forgotten about whining over the steamy and humid days of summer, we actually yearn for them now.  And yet, as soon as summer’s heat wave escalates, we find ourselves itching for that first autumn day or the promise of an early snowfall.  We are indeed a fickle bunch.  Morphing from season to season very differently, our perspective is continually influenced by these changes.

The natural fleet of time urges us to propel forward.  We all move on, but not necessarily change.  But weather, undeniably, can be the powerful instigator.  In fact, it is the seasonal change that is the likely trigger that wakes us up, and perhaps evokes a personal change.

I wonder for those of you that live in a fixed climate where weather is not a strong influencer, what invites you to change?  I welcome you to share your perspective.  Come join in the conversation.

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A New Season Gives Reason to… Change?

Spring flowerAfter a brutal Winter, most of us are all too happy to embrace the Spring. We are ready to climb out of our ruts and spring forward into a new rhythm. As this warmer cycle unfolds, I think a revealing positive energy sprouts too. The days are longer and brighter and we sense the excitement of the warmer season yet ahead of us. Change is in the air.  Do you feel it?

I write frequently about seasonal change as a natural motivator for personal change because I’m continually struck with its powerful impression.  It wakes us up in a very organic way and pokes us to take another look at where we are.  For those who are “self-reflect-ers,” we feel this very deeply.

Spring is my favorite time of year because along with its glorious bloom, it is filled with hope and promise and opportunities not yet realized.  Every season has its unique beauty, but the contrast from bare naked trees to lush green lawns is as drastic as black and white is to color.  The delightful fragrances of spring flowers like lilacs, hyacinth, and freesia are intoxicating. It simply cannot go unnoticed.

In just a matter of weeks, we will open the windows again and allow the fresh air to revitalize our homes. Our senses will be heightened with the scent of freshly mowed lawns and the cacophony of children’s laughter playing outside once again. Outdoor activities will surge and we will notice more and more people biking, jogging as if it were an ordinary day.

But before you fail to notice these change any longer, and before we take it for granted, take that small window of time to stop. Acknowledge that a new season can open up new possibilities.

Spring cleaning can mean so much more than the “physical” clearing out of our dusty and cluttered spaces.

It can be a great opportunity to re-align ourselves once again.  With so many positive physical changes in the air, it may cause you to feel very different too.  Spring signifies a time of beauty, freshness, bloom, change, and growth. It is the ideal backdrop for inspiration to cultivate and perhaps instigate a shift in thinking about our own personal growth.

In general, any kind of change is hard, and changing bad habits even harder. But if there are but a few things you would care to change, consider the NOW.  The smallest change can make a significant difference;

    • Appearance:  You might think about changing your appearance; a new haircut or change of hair color.  Men have the opportunity to noticeably change their look by growing facial hair or shaving it off.  Modifying appearances can make a huge impact on how a person feels.  Changing up your wardrobe by buying something new can spruce up your look and boost your spirits.
    • Time-management & Productivity:  Adjust your routines and schedules and take advantage of the longer days and warmer nights. Consider the time-wasters. Energy is up and so it’s likely to impact your productivity as well.  In fact, you will probably notice you’ll want to do more.
    • Self-care: Spring may spike your health and fitness goals that may have been otherwise dormant. This is a great time to get fit and eat healthy.  Inspire to look good and feel good.
    • Spring Clean: Give your home a new make-over too. Assess the NOW.   Let go of those things that no longer provide value, any longer.  Start fresh.
    • Try Something “new”: Perhaps this spring will ignite a new passion.  Let it.  Try something new. Plant a garden or take a hike…the possibilities are endless. Challenging yourself promotes self-growth.
    • Gratitude:  Maximize your outdoor activity and embrace the splendor of Spring.  Unfortunately, it is short-lived. Enjoy the NOW. Time fleets from Memorial Day to Labor Day in a blink of the eye.


Ought we not “latch on” to this sense of spring awakening and “catch” the fever?

Will spring fever infuse a personal change in you? What kind of changes are you ready for?


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Endings, Transitions and Beginnings: Don’t “Fall Back” Just Step Forward

6235842449_optFor most Americans, daylight saving time (DST) will end with a “fall back” to standard time on Sunday, November 3, at 2 a.m. Not such a bad thing, really.  We get an extra hour of sleep and an earlier sunset.  This may punctuate the end of one season but yet it marks the beginning of another.

Both the change in time and the need to calibrate our body clock is somewhat of  an “organic” wake-up call. With the shorter days and early darkness, the noticeable change can often make this transition difficult. It can wake us up both literally and figuratively.

But let’s consider the glass half-full thinking as we explore the benefits of morphing into a new season.  Change is in the air. We all can feel it.  Holidays are just around the corner and we can sense new energy and new possibilities. Seasonal changes are natural motivators for evaluating what changes you might want to make in your daily life. It’s a perfect time to explore what’s working for you and what is not.

Here’s just a couple of ways to inspire:

Now is an opportune time to take a quick tour of your closet and evaluate what you wear and what you never will. Take an inventory of your stuff. That fall sweater you saved from last year might look a little more ratty than you remembered.  Organize your closet by “like” categories, so that you can see what you are lacking.  Then, you can go shopping to add to your wardrobe without duplicating something you already have. Ditto to the shoes and boots.  If they can be salvaged, bring them to the shoe repair now, and not wait for the day you want and need to wear them.

Check the buttons on all of your overcoats and toss that lonely glove whose mate never turned up from last winter.  Maybe it’s time to purge the threadbare socks too.  Replenish.  Start fresh.  Organizing also means preparedness for the upcoming season. Be ready.

It’s not too early you begin thinking about the holidays. Take a small bite out of the bigger chunks of your grandiose to-do’s. Reduce the overwhelm by planning just a little bit ahead of what you did last year.  Anything you can do now may minimize the holiday havoc  later.

Productivity tip:  Albeit only an hour, this usually throws many people off schedule.  Technically, we gain an hour sleep but we rarely modify our bedtime, and so we generally feel more tired in the mornings. For the first week, try to acclimate to the hour change by making adjustments in your sleep routine. Resuming energy through any transition is always challenging. 

So transition should not mean procrastinate until the snow day.  Make it an opportunity to not only re-stock, but take stock of yourself and your things.  It should mean get going, get with the change and march onward.

Don’t fall back.  Turn back the time, but not your locomotion.  Set your clocks back, but move forward. Embrace the season with opportunities for change in the physical, mental, and emotional sense.

So what changes are you ready for? What’s your secret for a smooth transition?

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Reflections, Wake-up Calls, and Change… sans Mirrors

You do not need to look in a mirror to realize your successes or failures, nor to measure your range of happiness.  If you are self-aware, you know the truth. But there are certain times of the year that inspire you to pause, look inward a little more deeply. How do you really see yourself?

When do you soul search and what makes you change?

There are all different kinds of triggers that awaken us into self-evaluation.  Sometimes it’s brought on by a happy life-cycle event like a birthday or anniversary.  Reflection is also inspired by commemorating a sad time with an anniversary of a death or a tragedy, like 911.  But typically for most, it’s the finality of the year’s end that generally punctuates personal reflection with the coveted new year’s resolution.

These are all annual reminders and wake-up calls.

But seasonal changescan invite self-analysis as well.  Personally, I am a very introspective person and the change in seasons always affects both my mind and my soul.  It’s not simply a physical change.  As the weather changes,  my thoughts are infused with change.  I’m so very cognizant about the changes around me.  I pay attention.  The physical change stimulates my mind and alerts me to assess the past in a very natural way.  It’s an automatic comparison to connect the then with the now.

As Fall encroaches, I actually feel different.  I switch clothing, I switch gears.  I’m already thinking about the days differently. The summer beach towels are stored away and my days are organized with a new mindset.  Another year or another season, it makes no difference.  For me, it doesn’t take much to give pause and reflect.  I’m a thinker, bordering on “over”-thinking.  But I’m working on it, or at least “thinking” about it, lol.

Reflection is cathartic. We all should make time to engage in the process.  It can breed change but it doesn’t necessarily have to.  When you reflect, you are self-evaluating and that can be very validating.  If all is good, no need to make changes.  Enjoy the positivity of the reflection.

As the Jewish New Year and the High Holy Days approaches, it is the ultimate time for personal reflection.  We look inward and recognize our shortcomings and atone for our transgressions. We reflect with gratitude.  Grateful for the past healthy year and my loving family, I pray that the coming year is a repeat.

What does it take for you to ignite reflection? What wakes YOU up?

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