Category Archives: Just Life

10 Benefits of Calm

The so-called fight or flight reaction is an excellent one to have in life or death situations, but in our modern life, the stress reaction is not usually accompanied by the need for heightened physical response.

Unfortunately, many of us are so consistently stressed that our bodies are continuously and needlessly flooded with adrenaline and other hormones, which taxes our nervous systems and drains our immune systems, thereby making us susceptible to a range of physical and psychological ailments. Insomnia, heart disease, anxiety, depression; all have links to constant and unchecked stress.

Cultivating deliberate calm in your life can make an appreciable difference to your emotional and physical well being. There are many ways to cultivate more calm, but no matter how you do it, the benefits are huge and can make a real difference in your life.

Here are the ten biggest benefits of having more calm in your life:

1. Calm makes you feel happier in general.

2. Calm helps restore both good health and energy levels.

3. Calm raises mental acuity and increases concentration.

4. Calm inspires you to create and to enjoy yourself.

5. Calm helps you develop your intuition or learn to listen to it again.

6. Calm slows down the physical and mental aging processes.

7. Calm helps you connect with yourself and build better relationships with others.

8. Calm enables you to relax, let go, and rejuvenate.

9. Calm increases your capacity for hope, forgiveness, and compassion.

10. Calm allows you to spend more time on what is important to you.

So spend some time cultivating calm – emotional brain training, cognitive behavioral therapy, yoga, mediation, whatever is best for you – and make a real difference in your life.

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Don’t Dwell on the Past

To the Brig!

It’s January 1, so there must be a new project in the offing.

This year will be different, however, because the stress of not getting anything done, not achieving the goals I set for myself, and not making any appreciable change in my life, is beginning to affect my physical health. Something needs to change, and I’m determined that this is going to be the year because I can no longer accept feeling the weight of it all on my shoulders.

I’m not making resolutions, just a promise to myself to clear something, to write something, each and every day for the next 365 days.

My husband has decided the time has come to move towards minimalism, so I’m cautiously optimistic that this may actually be the year we get the house and garage cleared out, after watching my space get more cluttered and feeling progressively more blocked each day for the last many years.

From the day we moved in together, my space and our shared space has become more cluttered, and my stress levels have risen as the walls of detritus have closed in around me. It’s laughable at this point; my friends know that we’re always in the middle of a big cleaning or organization project.

My friends don’t care, but as a suffocated neat freak, my cheeks get hot and I want to hide under the floorboards whenI allow myself to think about it.

Our son is beginning to pick up his father’s habit of collecting things and I have to stop it. I can’t move forward in any appreciable manner with the clutter and stuff all around me.  I’ve been struggling to get my coaching business off the ground and I’ve finally realized that where there is clutter, there is stagnant thought and energy. I sometimes find myself not caring about the mess, which is a huge red flag to me that I’m entering into some state of Stockholm syndrome.

I don’t want to be that person.

When I was on a call with my coach in December, she asked me what I wanted for 2018, what one word I would pick. Immediately I said clarity.

So, today begins my journey to clarity: clarity of space in my home, clarity of mind and direction , clarity of purpose and movement in my business, and balance resulting from that clarity.

Today’s project is clearing out the downstairs office. Pictures will be posted.

Until then.

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Filed under Just Life, Moving Forward, Self-Improvement, Uncategorized

The Midas Touch


The subject line of the message was “Should you sell your engagement ring?” Continue reading

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Filed under Coaching, Divorce, Just Life, Moving On, Self-Improvement, The Beauty of Living, Uncategorized

The View From Here: On Being a Jewish Mother


This post was originally published on Jen Hall’s blog, Dancing in the Rain,” on August 28, 2014. The terrorist attacks over the the last two years – Paris, San Bernadino, Orlando and Nice, to name just a few – had not occurred when this post was written, and thus they are not referenced.


I worry about the sensitive soul we are raising, the little boy who is scared of bugs and wants them gone, but who cries if I kill them. My heart is in my stomach most mornings as I scan the headlines. I am horrified by the recent election results in several European countries illustrating just how much of a political uptick in anti-Semitism there seems to be.  The violence in the Middle East, the anti-Semitism that feels more visible daily, rattles me. Continue reading

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Sunsets and Parenting


At 16, my parents dragged me, along with my four-year-old sister, on a rainy and miserable family vacation to a television and telephone absent vacation rental in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

My overriding memory of that week is sulking around the neighborhood dodging the mosquitoes, hoping the sky would clear so we could at least take a walk to the beach or do something – anything – outside.  So intent was I on not being inside that I destroyed my virgin white Members Only jacket by spraying Avon’s Skin-So-Soft on it as the preferred bug repellent of the 80s. Continue reading

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Filed under Just Life, Memory Mining, Parenting, The Beauty of Living, Uncategorized

Trust Your Instincts

Image result for trust your instincts


Sometimes you just need to stop over-thinking and trust your instincts.

A couple of weeks ago, I was driving with my son.  Nearing home, I depressed the brake pedal and pulled the steering wheel toward the right as our car approached a turn.

Nothing happened.  The car kept going.  Shit, shit, shit.
Continue reading

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Filed under Coaching, Just Life, Self-Improvement, The Beauty of Living, The Writing Life, Uncategorized

Just One of Those Days



Sometimes it’s just one of those days and all you can do is cover your eyes until it’s over, kitty style.









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Why Teenagers Occasionally Get It Right


Do teenagers have it right? Is sinking into your emotions, settling in among the swirling colored vortex surrounding you and whipping around you like a funnel cloud the way to make sense of things, the only real way to move safely through the angst and overwhelm of intense emotions?

I’m beginning to think so.

The universe seems to be speaking to me, and lately, in the precise moment I need something, it shows up.

A recent yoga class ended with an instructor anecdote about her son falling and hurting himself.  Listening, my brain started to tingle as she recounted how she had scooped him up and soothed him, not by simply holding him and allowing him to feel, but by jumping into the silence with words. As she repeated the phrase and advised that perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to jump into the silence of feeling and fill it with words, I felt like a cartoon characters with an idea, the light bulb forming above my head.

My yoga and meditation practices have been expanding of late without much obvious emotional change (except my increased patience!), but a while ago I noticed an uncomfortable pressure in my right lower back, directly to the right of my sacrum.  It felt like nothing so much as my pelvis needing to crack.  

During this particular class, the sequences presented were heavy on twists and hip opening sequences, and as much as I wanted to cry uncle and rest in child’s pose, I fought to focus and breathe through the discomfort.

Then, in the midst of an opening twist sequence, I started to cry.  No dainty, dignified tears for me.  These tears flowed down my cheeks like salt rivers, dripping off my jawbone and soaking my neck and shirt before I’d even worked up much of a sweat.  I wanted to hide, to hang my head and wipe away the wetness, but instead swallowed and kept going, breathing through the certainty that everyone could somehow hear my tears.

I kept crying throughout the class.  It seemed as if every time I opened my mouth that day, I cried more.  Talking it through with my sister, I realized that the uncomfortable pressure in my back had started two days prior upon awakening from a disturbing dream. I couldn’t remember the dream, just the fear I felt upon waking, my heart pounding as if I had just been chased. I had been trying to  decipher what it meant, but I hadn’t allowed myself to settle into the emotions because they were frightening. I felt threatened. 

Towards evening, the pressure began to lessen a bit.  The light bulb switched on and I realized that by trying to deny the fear and sadness I felt after the dream, I had inadvertently caused all the negative energy to gather in a ball in my lower back.  Only when I settled into moving meditation did my unconscious mind take over and allow the energy to ove through my body to release.

So I do think adolscents have this thing right: settling into your emotions, allowing them to swell around you and envelop you, really does seem to be the only way to get through them without being consumed by them. It seems to be the best way to release them so you can move on.  

My back seems to think so, anyway.

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What’s in a Name?





Since I brought home my new kittens last weekend, more than a few people have asked about their names, Linus and Sabrina.

When I decided to get a male and a female kitten, I went on a hunt for a good “couple” identity in literature or popular culture.  So many of those I tried out were wrong because the story ended tragically (Heloise and Abelard), so many were wrong because the names would overwhelm babies and be unacceptably shortened to nicknames unacceptable for the regal cats into which these babies will grow (Antony and Cleopatra), and others came up short as too pretentious (Paolo and Francesca).

Cue my dad.

Although he couldn’t remember the male character’s name, he suggested Sabrina as played by Audrey Hepburn (and Linus played by Humphrey Bogart).  A fabulous film with a happy ending for its protagonists.

Hence, the kittens were named.

Welcome to the world, babies!



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It’s a loaded word.  The concept seems simple, but there is nothing easy about it.  Even speaking the truth can be fraught with triggers and uncertainty.

What if I speak my truth and somebody doesn’t agree with me?  What if speaking my truth makes somebody else angry, or makes them feel betrayed, hurt?   What if it makes other people uncomfortable?

News flash… Continue reading

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