3 Easy Ways to Improve Any Relationship

So often in life we struggle with having harmony in our relationships.  More than once I have found myself arguing with people only to realize later how unnecessary the argument truly was. I found myself getting defensive, irritated, assuming the worst about other people's intentions towards me. I was creating an enemy out people who probably were only trying to help me solve a common problem, or do the best they could under the circumstances. Unfortunately, I let my fear get the best of me and I didn't take the time to see the bigger picture. These situations happen in every kind of environment, at work, with friends, loved ones, and even strangers.  So I began to ask myself how to avoid the stress of these types of relationship difficulties, because I found they were creating stress, tension, and unhappiness in my life. I came up with the following answers I would like to share with you. Also, as I am always looking for more ways to improve my relationships I would love to hear your ideas in the comments below. 1. Try to Understand Where the Other Person is Coming From This is one of the best ways to … Continue reading

How to Overcome Your Fear of Failure and Face It Head On

So many times in life we are afraid to try something new, go after what we really want, and expose ourselves to failure and rejection. So often we find ourselves plagued by fear and afraid to put ourselves out there.  Lately, I have been confronting this issue.  I have been in the process of launching a new endeavor and find that as I put myself out into the world in a new way, old thoughts creep in. Up until recently I have been a theatre director and so at times like these I tend to reach for theatre analogies.  The whole process of creating something and then sending it out into the world is familiar to me.  This experience reminds me of opening night.  Prior to opening night I have been creating in a cocoon, my struggles have been behind the sacred walls of the rehearsal room.  It hasn’t been easy, sometimes it has been messy, sometimes miraculous, but through it all it has been shielded from outside eyes.  Finally opening night comes and it is time to draw back the curtain. As I sit at the back of the darkened theatre I wait desperately for that first laugh, a … Continue reading

The Power of Laziness

Did you know that giving in to your lazy side is sometimes the most productive thing you can do? Have you ever found yourself stuck and unable to move forward? I have. Lately I’ve been in a rut and struggling to get out if it.  I went from being completely motivated to not wanting to do anything at all.  I don’t like this feeling.  I enjoy when I am filled with passionate purpose and a sense of direction and drive, but sometimes we all need what my Alexander teacher called a “good old slump”.  The Alexander Technique is a movement technique that teaches performers how to have good physical alignment.  The premise is that we are born with a sense of natural alignment, but over time our body develops habits that create obstacles to our alignment.  To correct this we have to first notice our habit, then take a minute to pause so we can redirect our body to go into better alignment.  This is a process that continues over and over again all day.  But sometimes we need a break and that is when we take our “good old slump.”  The idea is to remind us that we are … Continue reading

5 Great Tips to Let Go of What's Holding You Back

Letting go is one of the biggest lessons we are continually learning in our lives.  I have found myself working on this in a huge way recently.  In the last few years I have quit my profession as a theatre professor and director, moved back home to take care of my father who has Alzheimer’s, and am in the process of starting a new business.  Everyday is filled with unpredictability, change, and loss.  What I have come to witness is my intense need to hold on, to control, to find normalcy in a sea of uncertainty.  But as they say, “what we resist, persists”.  So I have begun to practice surrender.  Letting go is just that-surrender.  We forget how good surrender feels and how liberating it can be. Alzheimer’s I think is the greatest lesson.  It is a slow, monumental, and surprisingly abrupt decay.  What was true yesterday is no longer true tomorrow.  Patience is required on every level.  You can’t take life one day at a time, not even one hour at a time, but you must take it one moment, one second at a time. When you slow down and really face each moment something miraculous happens, your … Continue reading

10 Ways to Make Your New Year's Resolution Stick

New Years comes around and we make a pact with ourselves to improve our lives, end bad habits, and commit to long neglected goals. But two weeks later all our good intentions seem to always fall by the wayside and we wind up feeling guilty, defeated, and frustrated at our inability to make our new years resolutions stick. Here are some great tips that might help you stay on track and turn that short term goal into long term results. Let me know what you have done that has worked in the comments below. Start Small This is one of the most important things you can do.  So often we make a long list of everything we want to change and quickly get overwhelmed when we try and accomplish it all. It is key to find one pressing thing that you feel would be enjoyable for you to do and focus only on it.  For example if you are going to go on a diet, pick one aspect like don't eat sugar, or eat less, or eat more vegetables.  Instead of radically changing everything at once. If you change to much, or put too many things on your plate, you … Continue reading

How to Slow Down, Be Present, Make Every Moment Count and Remember That Life is Groovy

"Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last. Just kicking down the cobble stones. Looking for fun and feelin' groovy.” - Simon and Garfunkel - 59th Street Bridge Song As of late I am realizing how difficult it is to remember that life is groovy.  So often I find myself caught up in life’s inconsequential problems when really there is so much to celebrate.  Instead of acknowledging this, I get in a funk, beat myself up, and succumb to downward spiral thinking. So I asked myself, why is this?  Why do we let all the hassles, fears, and worries take over and control our emotions and actions? How do we slow down, make the morning last, and enjoy all that is groovy? When we are presented with a struggle or obstacle it becomes our focus.  We find ourselves concentrating on the gap, the distance between what we want and how to achieve it, instead of focusing on what is available to us right now- the power of the present moment. In the present moment anything is possible.   It is the only place where joy and miracles exist. Osho has a great quote that explains this … Continue reading

Eulogy for my Father

A Eulogy for My Father In a letter my father wrote to my brother’s he said “I have rarely felt sad about myself as a person.  Somewhere in my past, probably as a result of not having anything, or feeling that good at anything, I said to myself when I was pretty young what’s really important in life? The answer I came up with was the kind of person you are – not what you accomplish.  This is the psychological base from which I have operated on.” Now my father actually had a lot of outward success, he was elected to the Illinois State High School Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, he won city championships, many tennis trophies, had a column in the newspaper, was athletic director of flagship Chicago public high school, but by far his greatest accomplishment was the kind of person he was. My father was the kind of person who was never bitter, despite the fact that he was born the day after the stock market crashed, was in an orphanage for 5 years during the great depression, lived in the projects in Chicago and got picked on for being Jewish, put himself through college, and … Continue reading

10 Great Sedona Hikes off the Beaten Path

Sedona is one of the most spectacularly beautiful places in America.  Part of Coconino national forest, it hosts numerous breathtaking hikes.  Living in Sedona 20 years has made us privy to many lesser known trails that you might want to check out to avoid tourists and see amazing views. CR Ranch/Mayan Maiden This is a smaller, barely marked, neighborhood trail.  To get here you drive down Verde Valley School Road about 2 miles until you see a sign on the right that says CR Ranch.  This is where the trailhead is.  You can park either right in front or across the road in a pullout parking area.  This trail has a few directions once you enter, but the primary hike is to the right.  When you enter stay on the path to the right (at one point it splits -stay right).  Eventually you will come to an open space - take a sharp right on a small, narrow, path (there is a fallen tree next to the path).  This takes you up the the ridge.  When you get to the ridge you can either go right or left.  The right path leads you to the Mayan Maiden. which is a … Continue reading