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Tag: life coaching

Feeling Our Way in New York City

The first day of our New York City tour, I am on the top deck of a bus driving down Fifth Avenue past the Flatiron building when I remember there is a Kate Spade store coming up on the left. I pause for a moment to stare down from my high perch. Its founder has just died by her own hand two days before and it is still raw in our national psyche. I turn to Mirna, my tour companion for two days, and nod toward the store, taking a deep breath. Moments before we had been sitting at a traffic light, moving easily to Alicia Keys and Jay Z and their catchy ode to New York. It’s part of the soundtrack pumping into our ears. The next day our bus is crawling through Times Square at dusk. With so much stimulation in every direction at this iconic place, my eyes look right and fix on the marquis at the Hard Rock Café – “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Anthony Bourdain. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. We will forever miss his love for great food and travel.” Yes, that very morning he had been found after taking his own life. I first heard it on the radio. Just hours later I was on a bus riding past CNN and thinking about all the...

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In the Life Coaching Trenches

Ever since that charmer Tony Robbins showed us how entrenched misogyny can be even in what might be widely considered an ‘enlightened’ profession, I have lingering thoughts about the shadow this famous life coach has cast on people doing the work in the coaching trenches. We – yes, I am a life coach – have already accepted how we’re portrayed in entertainment. You can bet that if there is a life coach character in a TV show or movie, that person is going to be flaky and/or the slick, fast-talking type. That character will be the butt of a joke or be exposed as a charlatan. This is nothing like the professional coaches I know. Then, of course, there is the image of coaches who preach from a mountaintop of their own making. Robbins falls in that category. He has helped a lot of people. He’s motivated them to overcome their fears and rethink debilitating thought patterns. He also holds the distinction of being arguably the most famous coach in the world. People see his riches, the arenas he packs, and are drawn to his swagger and presence. He has earned his place in the upper echelon of self-help experts by virtue of all of that. But the Robbins model represents a small fraction of professional coaches. Meanwhile, among the coaches I know (and we’re talking the cream of...

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An Ode to Therapy

Almost immediately as I began reading Born To Run, Bruce Springsteen’s memoir, I had this thought – this is written by a man who has had some very good therapy. The writing is not only lyrical, but there is an ‘awake’ component that comes through on almost every page. Then, boom, on page 312: “The results of my work with Dr. Myers and my debt to him are at the heart of this book.” **** Around the same time I published my first book, a memoir, this popular fellow Jersey native published his. It was late 2016 and I was in promo mode, not reading mode. Then one recent day I was in the library looking for something else and there it was – Born To Run. To be frank, I went into it with low expectations. Another so-so celeb book? Still, I was intrigued. Very quickly I realized I was wrong. And what a joyful comeuppance it was. This immediately became one of those rare books I can’t read fast enough yet don’t want to rush through because I don’t want it to end. Push-pull. Hurry-slow down. At points I was reading it from my ‘writer’ mindset and marveling at a poetic turn of phrase: “Here we live in the shadow of the steeple, where the holy rubber meets the road, all crookedly blessed in God’s mercy, in...

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Understanding the Essence of the Artist

Back in 2000 when Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were on their Reunion Tour, I caught a couple of those shows at Madison Square Garden. Included in the set list in all 10 sold-out New York concerts was American Skin (41 Shots) and it was met with some controlled hostility from the crowd. The song, written about the shooting of unarmed Amadou Diallo by four NYPD officers, expressed what so many of us wondered – even if a mistake is made and you think a wallet is a gun, how is it possible that so many shots are fired? Is it a gun? Is it a knife? Is it a wallet? This is your life I recall thinking how courageous it was for Springsteen to sing it, even in the face of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association calling for a boycott. It didn’t feel political so much as humane. All these years later — amidst the throes of my own artistic growth spurts as well as those of my life coaching clients who are mostly creatives — I see it more as necessary than brave. Artists must express. And not just about our broken hearts or sexual hunger or the cool car we had when we were coming of age. Real artists speak from a soul level to what is eating at us, terrorizing our thoughts, cycling through...

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