Tips for getting through these uncertain times

The entire world is dealing with an unprecedented amount of change and uncertainty right now, and everyone is doing their best to figure out how to manage and make sense of it all. Along with the pandemic, people are working from home or losing their jobs, kids are out of school, store are closed, cities are on lock-down. It’s a lot to take in and process at once. You may feel scared, isolated, anxious and fearful. As an integrative wellness and life coach, change management practitioner and author of Destiny Do-Over, I wanted to share some tips to help you navigate the range of emotions you may be going through and offer tips for making the best of this situation.

First, here are some things we know for sure…

  • Reaction (and sometimes overreaction) is a normal way we process information. Human beings are programmed to react to situations, especially when it’s a sudden change and disruption to our normal way of living. It’s the fight or flight response we learned about in school. Everyone will deal with this differently, including going through a range of emotions such as fear, denial, blame and panic. Whatever you are feeling right now is completely normal. All of these emotions can also be seen via social media reactions and news stories, some even sensationalizing the situation for attention or chastising people for not following protocol. Much of this behavior is a reaction to fear, trying to control the situation the best that we can. Don’t get me wrong – people absolutely should be social distancing right now, but what good is it doing if you post on social media to berate those that are not? They don’t know you and aren’t listening to you and you are just getting yourself worked up. By posting or reading those posts, are you feeling better or does it make you feel angrier?
  • Stress causes, or at least influences disease. There is scientific evidence that stress worsens or increases the risk of health conditions including, but not limited to, depression, high blood pressure, obesity and gastrointestinal issues. The more stressed you are, the higher your likelihood of getting sick or making an existing condition worse. Keeping stress levels to a minimum is super helpful in times like this. I know it’s hard when there is so much tension around us. Here’s the thing. In our lives there will always be good moments and bad moments. You can live your like as a continual train of bad times with a few good moments peppered in, or a continual train of good, with a few bad ones here and there. Both are temporary and both will happen, so why not choose to live in a ‘good-state’ knowing that, even when bad moments happen, the good will return soon enough.
  • Coronavirus does not discriminate. The entire world is in this together. While certain people may be more susceptible, this virus doesn’t care about your race, religion or gender. It teaches us that we are all one human-kind, in this together. The whole is stronger than the sum of the parts and when we work together and each do our part, we could not only come out on the other side, but appreciate one another so much more. Placing blame and bullying people simply because of there ethnicity is not doing anyone any good. Be kind to others and, more importantly, be kind to yourself. Coronavirus is contagious.. but so is kindness and compassion. We truly are one world, one race, one love. I absolutely love that right now my hometown of Staten Island is rainbow central. Houses, business…and now even the Empire State Building are decorated in rainbows to help spread positivity and hope, and build community. That’s what it’s all about.

So how can you manage and deal with all of this change and uncertainty?

  • Give yourself a “do-over”. You are human and are programmed to react to situations, good and bad. First and foremost, don’t be so hard on yourself. Your emotions are raw and real and the daily statistics and news are a lot to take in. Whenever you find yourself going down the rabbit hole of negative thoughts and getting sucked into panic mode, take a breath and have a do-over. Choose a different thought. In fact, for every fearful thought, think of three (3) things that make you happy and that you are grateful for today. Focus on your mind on something positive. Remember that where your thought goes your energy flows.  Here’s an example, let’s say above you is a really dark cloud, and a few blocks away the sky is bright blue. Would you stand under the cloud and complain that you are getting wet from rain, or walk a few blocks and bask in the sunshine? You can choose how you see the sky and choose to change your thoughts from the clouds to the sunshine. Here’s the thing; a belief is just a thought you keep thinking, and your reality is made up of your beliefs. So if you constantly keep thinking that you only have dark days and the world is ending and you are going to get sick, etc., then your mind will believe it and it will become your reality. We cant always stop negative thoughts from popping into our head, but we can choose a ‘do-over’ and think about something more positive in our lives. Which brings me to my next tip:
  • Surround yourself with the GOOD. My family is spread out around the US and always busy. We can never seem to connect with one another. Well, with social distancing in effect, for the first time ever we were all able to join a Google Hangout call and really talk to one another. It was like a family reunion. There are also less cars on the road helping with the carbon footprint. In Venice, Italy the canals are clearing up. In LA the smog is getting better. All around the world, families are spending quality time with one another. And, let’s not forget the helpers – medical personnel, delivery personnel, grocery stores, etc – so many people risking their own safety so that we can get and stay healthy. So, in a world with so much dire news, look for the good in the situation and be grateful for everything you have and everything that is going well. It can help raise your spirits and your energy.
  • Distance yourself from the ‘drama mamas’. We all know the saying that misery loves company and right now there is no shortage of people spreading bad news and panicking messages. Not to mention that much of social media thrives on the drama. The best way to not get sucked into that is to let go of what is not serving you well. If there was a food that made you sick, would you keep eating it anyway? No, you would look for something else to eat and stay away from it. Same thing here. If there are people or newsfeeds or anything that makes you feel bad or mad, distance yourself from it. Unfollow friends on social media, turn off the news, read a book, have a dance party of one. Opt to only post happy stories on your own social media and don’t respond to the haters. Everyone has their perspectives (including me), but remember that too much mis-information is just as bad, if not worse, that not enough valid information.
  • Focus on what you want. One of the reasons that people freak out (eg buy hoards of toilet paper) is that we don’t know what the future holds and we do our best to control the situation. The reality is we don’t know what tomorrow holds any day and we cannot control the outcome. What we can control is what we do today and what we think about today. To that point, your mindset is magic. It’s not just about what you think, but how you think. Here’s an example. If you keep saying “I don’t want that donut, I don’t want that donut, I don’t want that donut”… what are you think about? Chances are you are thinking about donuts. So, Instead of saying “I don’t want to get sick” say “I am healthy”. See the difference – you state what you want, state it in the positive, believe it is true and you state it as if you have it today. It really can make a difference on a cellular level.
  • Pay attention to your choices. This is a big one. Every day I hear from people that they have already eaten a tub of ice cream or finished their contingency food supply, even though they weren’t hungry. You see, our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual systems are all interconnected, and many of us are stress eaters or bored eaters. What you believe informs what you think, which informs how you feel about something, which drives how you react – it’s all related. So, when you get stressed you eat a tub of ice cream which then makes you depressed and feel fat and then you find yourself in a negative mindset. It’s all connected and it can be a vicious cycle leaving us feeling worse than we started. Instead of reaching for the ice cream, maybe do 50 jumping jacks, or meditate, or pet the dog, or read.. Or maybe in this moment you need that ice cream. Sometimes that’s OK too. Just be mindful of your choice and why are you choosing something. Are you really hungry or is the food just a crutch for something else? Will your choice make you feel better or worse later on? The whole goal is to allow yourself to process information and emotions in a way that will empower you to feel better.
  • STOP (Sit-Think-Own-Proceed). I use this acronym in my practice often and it really is a great exercise to shift your focus. When you find yourself really getting worked up and your heart is racing and you just want to crawl in a hole and cry; when it’s more than just shifting one thought and when everything is consuming you: STOP. SIT – find a quiet place to sit alone (heck go into the bathroom if you have to) and have a journal or note pad with you. THINK – think about what’s troubling you/your pain, write it down – all the gory details. OWN – own your emotions, write them down. They are real and they are now. Consider your mental, emotional and physical states. PROCEED – decide your next action. What can you do to alleviate your pain at this time? This is not about solving the whole problem, but simply enabling yourself to raise your emotions one or two notches, to maybe put that bag of potato chips down and do something more productive instead, or to recognize you are in that downward spiral of negative thoughts. The STOP method is really about pausing for a moment to examine the current state of your well-being and then taking action to help bring it just a little bit more into balance. It also helps reduce the overreaction or detrimental actions.

Remember, we can’t always control what happens to us or to the world, but we can control how we react to it. Energy is a powerful thing and every day we make choices that inform our thoughts and behaviors. It’s easy to get sucked into the social media frenzy and to become really anxious, upset or angry. Taking time to be kind to ourselves, to focus on the positive, to bring light and happy energy to our daily lives can really bring a sense of empowerment in an otherwise uncertain world. Consider this.. Either way you are safe in your house right now (notice I didn’t say “stuck” – again positive thoughts over negative). You can choose to be grateful and appreciate what’s going well or crawl into a hole in despair. Either way, you’re still in your house -how will you choose to feel?

Channel your inner child

Life was so much simpler when we were younger. We played, we ate, we slept. We were this sponge  – absorbing new information every single day. I recall growing up on the streets of Staten Island, playing hopscotch and tag with my cousins and neighbors, staying outside until the street lights came on. Catching lightning bugs. There were no cell phones or  video games. We used our imagination acting out plays, making forts from sheets and creating shoebox dioramas.  We danced in the rain and made our own Halloween costumes from cardboard boxes.

Childhood was also a time when we challenged authority and found our voice by saying no – sometimes resulting in punishment but all the time molding us into our own unique being. We weren’t afraid to try new things, from riding a bike to playing a sport. The thought never crossed our mind that we wouldn’t do it – whenever we fell, we just got back up and kept going. We didn’t care what clothing brand our friends were wearing or whether they had a large house with a pool… OK maybe the pool was a bonus 🙂 We didn’t care about the color of someone’s skin or what religion they were. All we knew was that we were just friends.

What happened to that innocent child, the one who saw the world as endless opportunities and open possibilities, who befriended their classmates regardless of social status and shared they’re crayons with someone when theirs broke? The child who laughed for an hour at a silly knock-knock joke, danced like no one was watching and sang at the top of their lungs even if they couldn’t carry a tune?

So what happened? Life happened. As we got older, we became swayed by social expectations, formed beliefs based on our upbringing and became part of a certain crowd such as the jocks or nerds. We became aware of being judged by what we wore and who we hung out with, and wanted to fit in. Responsibility with school, work and family became a priority and our inner joy got pushed aside. Our inner voice took a backseat to social media influences and the perceived reality of this cold, hard world. We became jaded from failed relationships, lost jobs or friends who double-crossed us. Or maybe we simply lost ourselves trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses.’

Life isn’t always fair, but it is the only life we have, so why not make the most of it. It’s time to find your joy again. Choose to see the glass half full. Choose to reframe those bad experiences and be grateful for the good ones. Choose to find your inner voice and say No when something is not aligned with your beliefs or journey. Choose to dance in the rain, sing in the car and laugh… Every. Single. Day. I firmly believe in the energy in and around us and when we remain in a negative state, we attract more negativity. So turn that doubt inside out and choose joy instead. Believe that you can.. And you will. Never give up. I like to view every failure as flopportunity – an opportunity to learn from a flop and come out bigger and better on the other side. The only time we truly fail is when we stop trying.

Think about it. A toddler doesn’t try to walk once and then give up when she falls down. She keeps at it, more determined with each step, learning what works and using that to build more strength and focus. She celebrates when she can push herself up and make it across the room. She doesn’t give up learning to read because she didn’t get it on the first try. She takes it one day at a time, learning the letters, sounding them out and them putting them together to form words. And before she knows it, reading becomes automatic.

That inner child still exists within each and every one of us. It’s time to get back on the bike, find your joy, laugh, and follow the journey you were meant to experience. Live with purpose; your purpose. Take a class. Learn a new skill. Believe you can. Open your eyes to the good in the world. Run barefoot in the grass. Share kindness with a stranger. Take 5 minutes every day to do something that brings you joy and raise your vibrations. When you channel your inner child and live with a grateful heart and open mind, you raise your energy and attract more joy into your life. Remember how good it feels to feel good, to smile, to laugh. Go ahead – ask your inner child if she’d like to come out and play.

Finding your Everyday Miracles

Every year, people travel thousands of miles in hopes of witnessing a miracle, such as the Pope or religious leader healing an ill child. They envision miracles as these grand, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that take place on the other side of the world, far away from their realm of reality. Miracles that bring great joy and amazement, a feeling of gratitude and abundance. But do you really need to trek half way around the world in hopes of witnessing such an event and feeling such fulfillment and joy? There has to be a better way. There is.

You see, a miracle can be an “extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs”, according to Merriam-Webster, but it is also “an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment.” Often, we tend to overlook those events, those miracles that happen every day, all around us.

As an example, have you ever stopped to consider how amazing our human body is? It basically runs on auto-pilot, breathing, transferring blood and oxygen through the body, digesting food in just the right way to provide nourishment, firing neurons to notify us pain or pleasure. All without us thinking twice about it. That is extremely outstanding if you ask me (which you haven’t but I am telling you anyway.) What about those people who seem to enter your life at just the right time, offering love and support just when you need it? Remember what happened on 9/12 – the day after 9/11? Our entire country came together, helping one another. It didn’t matter your race, religion or color. We were one. That was a miracle in the midst of a tragedy. How about the birth of a child, their first laugh and first steps? Or the way mother nature demonstrates that change can be beautiful, shedding her leaves in fall only to have them flourish again in the spring?

We tend to take these things for granted but they are all extraordinary events. These are everyday miracles. These are amazing things that, if we took the time to really acknowledge and appreciate, we could feel that sense of awe and gratitude every day. Even in the wake of a tragedy, you can find the heroes. Fred Rogers reminded us to always “look for the helpers.” It may not always be easy, but sometimes focusing on that one beam of light when all else is dark is enough to bring a sense of calm to our lives right when we need it.

If you took a few minutes every single day to recognize and give thanks for your amazing body, your friends and family, newly blooming flowers and simply waking up to live another day, your energy starts vibrating at a higher level and you become happier and more content, more grateful and kind. This is not to say that bad things wont happen. All you have to do is turn on the news and see the latest school shooting, disease epidemic or wild fires. We cant stop events from happening, but we can find those helpers, or become one ourselves. Albert Einstein wrote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” I do hope you’ll take a moment each day to find your everyday miracles. 

With love and gratitude,


What is your change challenge?

Many of us have hopes and dreams that just never seem to become a reality. Sometimes we give up, sometimes we try something different, sometimes we just assume it was never meant to be. More often than not there is an underlying reason why we never seem to be able to stick with the change and reach that finish line. Here are just a few…

1. You are friends with ‘Debbie Downer’. Energy is a powerful thing. If you tend to hang around negative people, or have people in your life that constantly put you down or discourage your dreams, that energy transfers to you. You start to believe it, you may even give up trying to change or stop trying something new. After all, if they are saying it cant happen it must be true right? Wrong! Since when did they become an authority on your life? Often, when people put you down or squash your dreams, it’s simply because they are not happy with their own lives. I know I’ve had people put me down because it made them feel better about themselves. I actually had a ‘friend’ who once called me a ‘lost puppy who just liked to follow her around and said that’s all I would ever be.’ Fast forward a few years and I am now a published author, an integrative wellness and life coach and business consultant. I guess you could say I went from a lost puppy to the leader of the pack….although don’t tell my dog that. 🙂

2. You tried the ‘fad diet’ approach to change. Seems like every time you turn on the TV there is another ad for immediate weight loss results or how to make quick money. Sometimes when we want to change, we go for the quick fix and want to see immediate results… but those changes/results often don’t stick and we end up right back where we started. This isn’t just referring to a food diet, but anything in your life where you went all-in, cold turkey or wanted to show quick progress. The challenge with fad diets is that they don’t give your mind, body and spirit time to adapt and the results are not sustained. In addition, fad diets tend to focus on just one thing….such as taking a pill to lose weight. They don’t account for the interconnectedness between our four body systems (mental, emotional, physical and spiritual). Many times if we are overweight and we overeat, it’s not just about the food. There may be an underlying mental or emotional situation where eating is just how it manifests. Simply cutting back on calories will not address the bigger problem and your issue will resurface or manifest in another way. If you don’t address all four body systems, the fad diet will be just that…a passing fad.

3. You’re focusing on the tip of the iceberg. Every day we see celebrities showing off their toned bodies or new sports cars. There are even people spending thousands and thousands of dollars to try to look like someone else. All that is doing is focusing on the surface, the exterior. To further complicate things, there are so many reality TV shows these days, we seem to have blurred the lines between a television series and what’s actually real life. We forget that there is life when the camera’s stop rolling and when the make-up comes off. We fail to look below the surface, at all of the hard work that was endured, the emotional toll of always being in the spotlight. We don’t recognize the hardships these celebrities had to overcome to get where the are today. Did you know that some of the most famous names in history were turned down, told no and faced real hardships in their personal lives? From J.K. Rowling to Walt Disney and even The Beatles – we know of their amazing success, but they were all shut down, pushed aside and passed on at some points in their career. Each time they used it as a stepping stone to rise even higher…until the tip of their iceberg was visible to us. So, you see, there is almost always much more to one’s success than meets the eye. If we only focus on the surface, the end result, we will always feel that any goal is out of our reach.

4. You are a back seat driver. When you tend to put everyone and everything else first – your family, your friends, your job – you basically become a back seat driver in your own life. Your personal hopes and dreams get put aside so that you can make others happy. Even when you try to direct your way, it’s ultimately the person behind wheel who is in control. Someone else starts deciding where you are going and how you’ll get there. They will pick the radio station and control the temperature. All the while, you just sit idly in the back seat hoping you’ll be happy once you get there, trying to guide them every once in a while to no avail. Slowly, you get farther and farther away from your own hopes and dreams. The sad reality is that if we don’t step up, make our own choices, ensure our voice is heard, there will always be someone ready and willing to hop right into the driver’s seat and take control. 

Can you relate to one or more of these change challenges? Do you surround yourself with negative people? Are you just looking for a quick fix? Do you find yourself comparing your journey to someone else’s achievements? Are you always putting other people first? If you answered yes to any of these, you are not alone. We all fall into the change challenges at some point in our lives. It’s how we navigate those challenges and come out on the other side that will make a difference in our own destiny. The first step is to recognize why you are getting stuck and then take inspired action to course correct. 

I’m planning a few upcoming webinars as well as an online workshop designed to empower you with the tools you need to reach whatever life goals you are looking to achieve. If you are interested in learning how to identify and overcome your change challenges, send me a note at



It’s your life, so what the “F”?

One of the most important decisions you can make in life is defining your “F”. You see, L.I.F.E. can stand for two things: Living In Fear of Everything or Living in Fulfillment of Everything. 

Fear is like a cloud hanging over your head, causing self-doubt and holding you back from realizing your dreams. Fear of failing. Hell, sometimes even fear of succeeding. Fear you’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough. Fear of the unknown or of being alone. Fear of what others will think. Fear can hold you back from reaching your full potential and can often lead to regret later in life if you choose not to overcome it. Fear is like a scared dog backed into a corner. When pushed too far, they’ll either run away or attack. Often, the people we meet who try to squash our dreams, who say we are unrealistic or question our goals, are typically just scared and uncertain themselves, living in their own fear. So, they attack you for wanting to do more.

Fulfillment, on the other hand, means always working toward something, feeling the light radiating from within, setting goals and striving to realize them. Fulfillment doesn’t mean you will always be successful, but it provides the motivation confidence and determination to keep going, to try harder and reach new heights. Fulfillment is the belief that yes you can and yes you will, and you are worth it. Fulfillment is the belief that the best is still yet to come. Fulfillment means taking risks, following your own journey, living outside of your comfort zone and surrounding yourself with those who will lift you up. Fulfillment is giving yourself permission to have a dream and then going for it.

Often the biggest and best achievements actually start from a place of fear. I mean, let’s face it. Starting something new, leaving a life behind or persevering even though we failed at something is not easy. There is a that little voice we all have that says, “what if this doesn’t work?” Fulfillment then steps up to say, “But what if it does?” Sometimes fulfillment is actually fueled from fear, especially fear from others. I personally like to leverage the negative, fearful energy from others – when they say ‘you can’t do that’ I respond with “oh yeah? Watch me.” Fear can be good for fulfillment, as long as you choose not to remain in a state of fear. 

It’s quite amazing when you look at the world around you, how every living except humans seems to live in fulfillment. That dog that had to have his leg amputated? With a few days he’s running with abandon on three legs. Plants and trees are also pretty remarkable. No matter how many sidewalks or other human-created barriers you put in their way, they will twist and turn and find a new place to pop-up or navigate their roots until they find water. Recently I had some invasive bamboo removed from a section of my yard. Every day now I am finding new bamboo shoots popping up several feet away, between the cracks in my sidewalk and even in the neighbor’s yard across the street. While it’s pretty annoying, the determination of this bamboo is really incredible and admirable it its own way.

In the end, the only guarantee in life is that one day it will be our last day. Each day you wake up, you get to choose how you will live your life. Will you reside to that fact that things just never go your way so why bother trying? Or, will you explore new things, learn from your experiences and face your fears head on?

How will you define the F in your life?