Happiness

How To Quit Your Job (Without Quitting Your Job)

How To Quit Your Job (Without Quitting Your Job)

This article was originally published on Forbes.com “Maybe I should just quit my job.” I heard this from not one, but two executive coaching clients last week. Both are high achievers. Both love some aspects of their jobs but find others almost unbearable. And...

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Choosing Delight

Choosing Delight

Ross Gay’s Book of Delights is an invitation. Starting and ending on his birthday, the poet wrote an essay a day about the things, people and events that struck his delight - a smile from the person selling him a bus ticket, a song on the radio, his garden, a turn of...

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You can’t tell by looking at me …….

You can’t tell by looking at me …….

We all wear masks. They consist of the parts of ourselves that we gladly show to others - qualities, attributes, feelings, and experiences that we choose to reveal in a given setting. We also have parts of ourselves that we don’t talk about or show. Maybe because...

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Experiencing Grief and Joy at the Holidays

Experiencing Grief and Joy at the Holidays

The following is a Perspective I recorded for KQED. You can listen to it here. I’m a holiday person. Starting with the Thanksgiving ritual of going around the table and ending with staying up ‘til midnight on New Year’s Eve, I treasure the traditions of the season....

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Get Your Gratitude On – For Its Own Sake

Get Your Gratitude On – For Its Own Sake

All over the country this week bloggers are holding forth on the subject of gratitude. And I’m all for gratitude, not just in November, but daily, maybe even hourly. But too often gratitude is touted not as an end in itself but because it will help you achieve some...

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Details, Details…..Confession of a Former Associate

Details, Details…..Confession of a Former Associate

It's really hard to excel at something that you don't like. At my first law job after my clerkship, I was one of forty lawyers to join a prestigious 450-lawyer firm. As our training ground, we newbies were distributed throughout the firm and assigned to help more...

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It’s Not All About You

It’s Not All About You

California may very well be the cradle of the "spiritual but not religious" movement, if you can call it a movement. Many of us are are more inclined to spend our weekends hiking or mountain-biking than in a church, synagogue or mosque. And we are not alone. The Pew...

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My New Hero

My New Hero

This post first appeared on the Perspectives series on KQED.  You can listen here. Rushing to change into my street clothes after a morning swim, I heard “can I help you with that?” I looked up to see a young woman reaching out to help an older lady  pull her shirt...

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From The Obvious Files: Get More Sleep (+ Some Tips)

From The Obvious Files: Get More Sleep (+ Some Tips)

This morning, I watched my beloved and bleary-eyed husband pour orange juice into his empty bowl. When the kids and I started howling with laughter, he realized what he was doing, grinned, and spooned his oatmeal into his glass and sat down to eat, slurping juice from...

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What Do You Want?

What Do You Want?

One of the first questions I ask new and prospective clients is "what do you want?" More often than not, the answer is: "I don't know," or "I'm not sure." The first phase of coaching then focuses on clarifying what the client wants so that he or she can begin to move...

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Re-Defining Having It All

Re-Defining Having It All

I feel the need to explain myself. My last two posts on the topic of Having It All -- both which might be interpreted as discouraging -- are probably not very good marketing for someone in my profession. After all, my job as a coach is to help people dream big and...

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Having It All Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Having It All Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

What do we mean by "having it all," anyway? What ever happened to “enough”? Anne-Marie Slaughter's Atlantic Monthly article, which I already blogged about earlier this week, asserts that we are lying to young women when we tell them that they can have it all. Instead...

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Mindfulness Lesson on Ice

Mindfulness Lesson on Ice

Today at the ice rink, the present moment collided with the past and the future. And I'm not talking about science fiction here. I received a lesson in mindfulness. For the first half hour of our family outing I skated slowly, holding hands and guiding each of my...

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How You Slice It

How You Slice It

What are your priorities? Are you living them? There's a group called NotMyPriorities.org that hands out postcards depicting a pie chart of the United States' budget. The Pentagon's slice is well over half the pie, with each of the other categories (education, health,...

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Find Abundance Through Sharing

Find Abundance Through Sharing

These days, scarcity is everywhere. As the media tell us daily, jobs are scarce, money is tight, credit is hard to get, and hope for speedy recovery is in short supply. On top of the financial pinch, many of us feel caught in a perpetual time crunch -- there never...

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The Stop Doing List

The Stop Doing List

If you're like me, you have a To Do list -- whether the high-tech version on your smart phone or the low-tech kind written on a Post-It, or perhaps just maintained in your head. But do you have a Stop Doing list? Maybe you should. I got this idea from Jim Collin's...

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Confessions of a Mid-Life Mama

Confessions of a Mid-Life Mama

Mid-Life Crisis -- the phrase conjures up the image of a forty-something man who suddenly feels his life slipping away from him,  wonders if this is all there is, and reacts by getting himself a flashy new sportscar, or a maybe a hot young girlfriend.  There's no...

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The Four Bs of Balance

The Four Bs of Balance

When my pals and I were in our twenties, I don't remember worrying much about finding balance in our lives. We worked hard, played hard, stayed up late and damn the consequences. But now as a mid-career professionals, many of us with children, I find we are all...

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Cultivating Gratitude

Cultivating Gratitude

"Truly grateful people don't make lists of things to be grateful for any more than happy people make lists of things to be happy about." says Hank Deveraux in the epilogue to Richard  Russo's hilarious and poignant novel, Straight Man.  And there's a certain...

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I’m a Triathlete (who’da thunk it? not me!)

I’m a Triathlete (who’da thunk it? not me!)

Well, I did it! On Sunday I completed the Olympic distance Marin Triathlon. It was the culmination of weeks of training, and I felt great. I am still basking in the glow of accomplishment and I am already thinking about doing another triathlon and bettering my times....

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Happiness vs. Pleasure

Happiness vs. Pleasure

I have a confession to make: I didn't actually feel very good at the gym on Saturday. My triathlon training session  -- especially my somewhat labored running -- was not pleasant. It didn't actually hurt, but it was hard work for me. I thought of the blog I had posted...

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Happiness Beyond the Comfort Zone

Happiness Beyond the Comfort Zone

In fifty-one days my husband Reece and I will be running, biking, and swimming the Marin Triathlon. There! I have set a specific, measurable, and actionable goal. Now that it is public, I am committed. So here's a cool thing I have noticed: three weeks into my...

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Five Tips for When the Parenting Honeymoon is Over

Five Tips for When the Parenting Honeymoon is Over

What do we do when the first bloom of parenthood wears off and reality sets in? In marriage, it is called the "seven year itch," when many a husband or wife tires of the reality of life with their spouse. But this experience is not limited to marital partners, says ...

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Take a Day Off From Tech

Take a Day Off From Tech

I hereby declare my first No-Tech Sunday a success! After hemming and hawing, resisting and justifying … I did it. Saturday night I sent my last email and made a Facebook post (about going offline, of course!), and turned off the laptop. So that I wouldn't forget, I...

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What’s Behind the Compulsion to Check Email

What’s Behind the Compulsion to Check Email

Do you feel annoyed and burdened by email and yet feel a perverse desire to check it throughout the day, even when you don't really need to? As if maybe something really interesting or important is waiting in the Inbox? (This hope is usually disappointed, of course.)...

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In Pursuit of Happiness

In Pursuit of Happiness

The United States' Declaration of Independence holds that all people possess the unalienable right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” I learned this in school, and then somewhere along the line I got the idea that to pursue happiness was somehow selfish...

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Drudgery Transformed

Drudgery Transformed

How can you stay motivated when you are overwhelmed by a To Do list as long as your arm? Or when everything feels like drudgery and you just can't make yourself get started? One way I help my clients get into action is to connect them to the purpose underlying what...

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The Measure of a Mother

The Measure of a Mother

I'm about to do something very un-coach-like. I'm going to suggest that you lower your standards. As a coach, I always encourage my clients to dream big, to set ambitious goals and not be bounded by what seems reasonably achievable. Succeed or fail, you're usually...

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What’s on Your Nightstand?

What’s on Your Nightstand?

  Further confirmation that I have found the right profession -- my bedside reading. Lately, my reading habits have changed. I have always been an avid reader of fiction. From Narnia and Tolkien in grade school, to romance novels in my teens, to literary fiction...

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Express Your Own Fun

Express Your Own Fun

  You can choose what you do, but you can't choose what you like to do. And since leisure time is limited, beware of forcing yourself to do something because you think you SHOULD enjoy it. Much as I am embarrassed to admit it, I really like Madonna. I admire...

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Law School Grads — Where Did Our Drive Go?

Law School Grads — Where Did Our Drive Go?

  "I don't expect to love my job. There's a reason they call it 'work.' That's why they pay me for it," my friend said to me at lunch yesterday. She is a senior associate at a big San Francisco law firm, and like many in her position, she is overworked and...

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This is Only a Test

This is Only a Test

  Today I spoke with Gretchen Rubin, best-selling author of The Happiness Project, about her book, happiness, and coaching. Our conversation touched on the importance of taking action. Gretchen's project was all about test-driving a wide range happiness theories...

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Work from the Outside-In

Work from the Outside-In

  Sometimes, when all else fails, you need to fake it. I'm not talking about Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally." I'm talking about creating an exterior that represents how you want to feel rather than how you actually feel, looking good when you feel not-so-good,...

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Getting to 50/50

Getting to 50/50

  How many women and men in their 30s and 40s thought they were going to have an "equal partnership" marriage and then found that it was not as easy as they thought, especially once kids entered the picture? Finding balance in your marriage can be tricky,...

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Mother-in Law Advice:  Just Say Yes

Mother-in Law Advice: Just Say Yes

  I have written a number of times about the power of saying "No." Today, I want to say something about saying "Yes." If you are are a parent like me, you say "no" to a lot. No to chocolate at bedtime. No to hitting your sister. No to wearing flip-flops for...

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Special Time on Your Own Doorstep

Special Time on Your Own Doorstep

  What makes an occasion special is not so much about what you do or where you go (or how much you spend) but instead about the quality of attention you bring. I already knew this truth, but I was reminded of it this weekend. After our second or third goodnight...

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C’mon, Get Happy!

C’mon, Get Happy!

  I just finished The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and I'm feeling inspired. The author spent a year test-driving prescriptions for and theories about happiness in an attempt to see if she could become happier. I love this project for several reasons....

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Awareness — Wake Up and Smell the Goldfish!

Awareness — Wake Up and Smell the Goldfish!

  Awareness is the beginning of change. Case in point: I never realized how much I was eating between meals until I decided to quit snacking. It turns out that I had been consuming a steady stream of totally unworthy calories: a handful of dry cereal, cashews,...

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Jack Welch is Right

Jack Welch is Right

  “There's no such thing as work-life balance,” says former GE CEO Jack Welch, throwing cold water on what so many American professionals aspire to – having it all. “There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences.”...

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What Are You Waiting For?

What Are You Waiting For?

  We are all going to die. I don't mean to be a downer, just the opposite: I am reminding you of your mortality to wake you up to the gift that is your life and urge you to make the most of it. Wallace Stevens said, “Death is the mother of beauty.” Life is...

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