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Making Relationships Last – Part 1

Posted by on April 13, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Making Relationships Last – Part 1

I was reading research on relationships by Prof John Gottman, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Washington. Gottman was recognized in 2007 as one of the 10 most influential therapists of the past quarter century. Research at the Gottman Institute in Seattle USA has focused on why some couples stay together while others fall apart. Their research shows that to make a relationship last, couples must become better friends, learn to manage conflict, and create ways to support each other’s hopes for the future. This blog is...

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What makes a good life?

Posted by on January 3, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

What makes a good life?

This Harvard University longitudinal study on Happiness landed in my inbox this week. I found it riveting and profound. Besides adding to your quality of life in the here and now, happiness is a protective factor into old age of both your health and your intellectual sharpness, and even your ability to cope with physical pain. I hope you find value in the findings of this unique study that was begun during the Second World War and is still continuing today. It reveals the most productive area of your life where you should invest your time and...

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When things fall apart.

Posted by on September 25, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

When things fall apart.

In the film The Best Marigold Hotel, Evelyn says, Initially you’re overwhelmed. But gradually you realize it’s like a wave. Resist, and you’ll be knocked over. Dive into it, and you’ll swim out the other side. Sometimes life falls apart on multiple levels all at once. Perhaps bereavement or a divorce, coupled with resultant emotional adjustments, family relationship strains, moving home and some financial chaos – all happening concurrently! I had such a year in 2013 when my life seemed to go over a cliff on multiple...

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Anthem – Sadness and Regret

Posted by on August 30, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Anthem – Sadness and Regret

A friend of mine in her fifties wrote to me with sadness about how she felt she had not reached her potential nor achieved the life she had imagined for herself when she felt so powerful at the age of 22. She said, “I think I was really smart!!! My life has been a mess! Never turned out the way I imagined it!” I think she is not alone in her experience, and so I would like to share in this Blog my reply to her, in case you may find something helpful if you too are feeling this way: One of the wisest things I ever learnt was at the age of 21....

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Part 5 of a series on weight loss – The worst kind of eating: don’t let yourself do this!

Posted by on August 19, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Part 5 of a series on weight loss – The worst kind of eating: don’t let yourself do this!

I’m not speaking about people who have genuine and deeply psychological eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia. I’m referring to people who have a mildly dysfunctional relationship with food caused by the diet industry and the messages we get from the media about the shoulds and musts of eating. If you were to ask most of these people what the worst kind of eating is, they would probably speak about binge eating – you know, the classic Hollywood scene of the girl who gets dumped by her boyfriend: cut to a week later, and the apartment is...

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Part 3 of a series on parenting – Yes, you will tidy your room!

Posted by on August 19, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Part 3 of a series on parenting – Yes, you will tidy your room!

Parenting can often be a battle of wills – a standoff between adversaries that can degenerate into aggression and negative feelings, which if repeated often enough, can tarnish a very important life-long relationship. So how does one constructively handle these difficult situations? I first learnt about this technique when my first baby was a year old, and it has been one of the most powerful lessons I have ever learnt – with profoundly positive long term benefits for my relationship with both my children! The first thing to watch is your...

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Duchesses and Flower Girls

Posted by on August 19, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Duchesses and Flower Girls

Do you find that your relationships at work or in your family are less than ideal? Perhaps characterized by conflict, or worse – distant and cut off – as though people have stopped trying to bridge the gap with you, they’ve just given up? We can never change other people, only ourselves, so it may be a good idea to quickly do a personal check-in with regard to how we are relating to other people. Basically, it’s in our attitude to others, which shows up very, very strongly in the quality of our listening. There are two kinds of...

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Making music out of Life.

Posted by on July 17, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Making music out of Life.

Reading an old but pertinent article in Vanity Fair on Greece’s economic woes*, I saw the following idea: The smart person accepts; the idiot insists. This got me thinking about the concept of flow, and just how draining resistance is. In his psychological philosophy Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, Albert Ellis takes this idea further when he speaks about how the shoulds, ought tos and musts in our thinking styles cause us suffering, and how when we subscribe to this mode of interpreting our experiences, we perceive other people and the...

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Who’s the boss?

Posted by on July 14, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Who’s the boss?

What are your driving nightmares? Have you ever driven behind a really inconsiderate driver, the kind who on a nice road trip slows down up hills on a barrier line, and then speeds up like crazy just when you have the opportunity to finally overtake, so that you can’t? Or who parks on a red line which clearly means no stopping, let alone no parking, and so holds up all the frantic traffic behind! Or my favourite: the person turning right at the intersection who creeps forward timidly, making space only for himself – which means...

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Good fences make good neighbours

Posted by on July 13, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Good fences make good neighbours

Mending Wall, Robert Frost very famously said, Good fences make good neighbors. I say, fences are important even in your relationship with your significant other. Good boundaries, are a sense of where you end and others begin, and are a measure of your self-esteem and your esteem and trust in others. If on some level you doubt yourself, or you doubt your partner’s ability to show up reliably in the world, you may allow your boundaries to become blurred and try either to take responsibility for your partner or allow them to control you....

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What lies beneath..

Posted by on June 19, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

What lies beneath..

As a very young woman, I trained and worked as an actress. I still act, but these days for pleasure and not for money. But play-acting has taught me so many life lessons and also lessons that I can generalize to my Coaching practice. A play text is sparse. As an actor, when presented with a text, you see only the words the characters speak plus a few sparse stage directions. Characters say and do sometimes-inexplicable things and little context is given. It’s not like in a novel, where the writer, in great nuance and detail, fleshes...

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Part 1 of a series on parenting – Butterflies and Roses

Posted by on June 16, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Part 1 of a series on parenting – Butterflies and Roses

As a young parent, we are often tempted to compare the development and achievements of our children with that of their peers. Sometimes we coax and cajole them to do better, achieve more, attain it faster.. Who of us has not experienced impatience with the struggle of an unaccomplished child, and felt the temptation to take the difficult task out of their hands and finish it off on their behalf? In his book Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis tells the story of a butterfly he helped hatch. I remember one morning when I discovered a cocoon in...

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Part 2 of a series on parenting – Oh baby, baby, it’s a wild world..

Posted by on June 15, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Part 2 of a series on parenting – Oh baby, baby, it’s a wild world..

So how do we prepare our children for a wild, wild world? The other day I noticed a mother stopping her little boy from climbing a tree because it was “dangerous”. She was worried he’d fall out and break an arm, and she had to pull a wailing child away from the tree he was so desperate to climb. Functional parents want their children to be both safe and happy. But does keeping a child completely safe make them happy? Clearly not in this case! And I began to think, instead of protecting our children from the risks of the wild, wild world,...

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Part 4 of a series on weight loss – Joyful eating and the wisdom of the body

Posted by on June 12, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Part 4 of a series on weight loss – Joyful eating and the wisdom of the body

Eating is one of the pleasures of life. The problem with diets is that they negate this essential aspect of our relationship with food, which we eat for joy as well as for nourishment. Putting a string of embargoes on what we may and may not eat saps the pleasure from eating, and encrusts our relationship with food with guilt. It can get to a point where we never put a thing in our mouths without first evaluating it as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Where’s the fun in that? I watched a toddler the other day, whose relationship with food had not yet...

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Girls behaving badly

Posted by on June 11, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Girls behaving badly

We don’t need to be perfect. The artist Salvador Dali famously said, Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it. I was recently asked to offer specialized commentary on an online publication’s feature on “Bad girls” in society, in this case, women who behave “badly” to snare a man. But as part of the research I was asked whether I thought all women behave badly – and asked my opinion on how a “lady” should behave? My first thought was that all people, men and women, contain both good and bad, the light and the shade within them, and...

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