Sunday, March 10th, 2013 at
This week I had to take a long hard look in the mirror. Without realizing it, I had grown so resentful of someone whom I once called a friend, that I couldn’t be in this person’s company or see pictures of them on my newsfeed without the bitter ooze of hatred burning in the depths of my soul. Somehow, in the midst of the harsh realities of a relationship gone bad, I had grown so angry that I couldn’t bear to see the happiness of a person who had caused me such relentless, seemingly unnecessary pain.
It had happened so slowly over time that I found myself suddenly surprised by what my feelings for this person had become. I was also taken aback by what I had become in the process – someone I didn’t know or like very much to be honest. Suddenly I understood the truth in Shannon Adler’s statement, “Anger, resentment and jealousy doesn’t change the heart of others-- it only changes yours.”
It became clear to me that I had to do something about the bitterness in my heart because I couldn’t allow it to keep growing. And as this is a place where I share the lessons I have often learned the hard way, I thought my (very humbling) epiphany worth sharing with those of you who also find yourself living through the aftermath of a hurtful relationship.
Here are five things to remember when trying to overcome resentment: Read the rest of this entry
Thursday, November 1st, 2012 at
One of the most beautiful parts of what I do is that, as a Counselor, people allow me to see who they really are. For most of my clients, as soon as the office door closes behind them, their walls come down with a sigh of relief and they let me in. Do you know how exhausting it is spending all of your energy trying to be strong, when really all you want to do is to curl up into a little ball and cry?
Those deep, dark places can be very scary. They are often filled with self-doubt, anger, and sadness, and are locked away together with memories and fears that we don’t know what else to do with. We don’t often talk about those things.We’d much rather hide them from others out of fear that they render us broken, tainted, or worse yet, unlovable somehow. So we put a big ol’ band aid on our hearts and act like big kids.We decide it best not to talk about our problems because if we don’t see it or if we pretend that the pain isn’t there, it won’t hurt, right? Wrong. The problem is,
It is very, very lonely behind the walls that we build to keep ourselves safe.
It makes me sad that so many people have shown me parts of their hearts that even their loved ones don’t know about. It seems incredibly counter intuitive that although we are infinitely capable of love, compassion, and empathy, we shut others out in an effort to avoid vulnerability. The result is that we all walk around trying to convince the world that we have our ‘stuff’ together, when in truth, I’m pretty convinced that most of us don’t. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday, September 27th, 2012 at
A couple of weeks ago a beautiful e-mail arrived in my inbox unexpectedly from a Chasing Your Fire follower. I hadn’t received much mail from readers prior to that, so it was a complete shock to me and definitely made my day. In truth, I was about at the point where I was doubting whether anyone was actually reading and benefiting from the messages that I poured my soul into each week. So you can imagine that I felt like a kid on Christmas morning as I unwrapped the beautiful words in front of me.
Having recently liberated herself from a high profile career that made her miserable, Ilse’s message is a powerful one that she desires to share with others in her position. With her permission, I have included her beautiful words below so that her story of courage, self-discovery, and hope will inspire you to also chase your fire – whatever that might look like for you.
In Ilse’s own words:
It was with great surprise, or perhaps better yet, great divine intent that your page “Chasing Your Fire” appeared in my Facebook news feed! So I thought that I would share my story of great realization with you, given the impact of your post’s miraculous appearance in my news feed.
Let me start by giving you a bit of background as to how I ended up where I currently am. I loved every bit of my life up to my graduation from University. Then, like the majority of graduates I set out to seek employment. I was subsequently appointed by a specialist recruitment consultancy in [city], who won numerous awards for being the best company to work for at the time. However,
I soon realized that I was killing my passion and losing out on precious friendships and relationships which I so dearly wanted to foster.
Read the rest of this entry
Friday, July 6th, 2012 at
“Do you want to have a career that meets your needs, complements your personality, inspires you to develop your potential, and supports your vision and purpose?”
This little gem of a question jumped out of the pages of The Career Fitness Program today as I was reviewing textbooks for the undergraduate Career and Life Planning course that I teach. As if I had written the words myself, “Don’t just settle for an average life. Liberate your best self. Be extraordinary!” seemed to be a natural call to action to follow the question.
You see, ideally, if given the choice, I believe most of us would answer yes! yes! yes! and yes! in response to that question. We would admittedly desire a purposeful and meaningful life instead of settling for what is necessary in order to make ends meet. Notice how I snuck the work “ideally” in there because in reality, despite the most sincere intentions, making the decision to start chasing your fire (as I have urged you to) isn’t always enough to actually make it happen.
You can’t just close your eyes and somehow painlessly wake up to the life you have imagined. The reality you are living now should not be ignored, as your circumstances have likely played an important part in keeping you from pursuing your passion. Maybe it is the pressure of your mortgage and bills, the lack of support from loved ones, or limited resources that have kept you from your best self. These needs will likely continue to stand in your way unless you find a way to meet them. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012 at
As a proud member of Connect: Professional Women’s Network on LinkedIn, I enjoy reading and engaging in discussions relevant to women’s issues. The fellowship with other professionals is priceless, especially in light of the growing importance of online networking. Recently, Christine Sternfels, Founding Director of A Dollar A Day For A Year, posed an interesting question to members of this group:
If you knew then what you know now,
what advice would you give your younger self?
In the discussion that followed, several incredibly talented and accomplished women offered a wealth of candid career and life strategies. I felt compelled to share them with you – not only because I am a sucker for a good quote, but because I believe there is value in taking a moment to learn from those who have gone before.
The advice that follows is categorized based on focus and will be presented in three parts. This is the second post, which focuses on advice specific to relationships and raising a family. The first post in this series focused on career advice, while the final post will offer success tips related to life in general (finances and health/diet). I hope you’ll find the comments as inspiring as I did!
1. Stay focused on your core values and don’t worry about the small stuff. - Elena Filimonova - IT Manager at UnitedHealth Group
2. Your real friends show up when your life is a mess and help without being asked. Embrace these people and always be there for them. - Catherine Clinch - Columnist at MEDIA GRAZING column in Film News Briefs Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 at
If active networking is not part of your current job search strategy, it really, really, should be. Today’s economy has left countless job seekers eager for employment opportunities, and employers often experience an overwhelming response to position postings. With so many strong candidates waiting in line, many employers find it easier to fill job openings directly instead of advertising on job boards or with placement agencies. The result? CNN has estimated that 80% of jobs are never advertised and instead filled through networking and employee referrals!
I hope that statistic made you wonder how many job opportunities you’ve inadvertently missed out on. Never ever underestimate the power of your connections during your job search. Networking opportunities exist all around you – not just at professional conferences or business meetings. You never know who might be sitting next to you on the train, or who might share an elevator with you during your lunch break. Show a sincere interest in those around you, as that might just be the seed needed to start growing a mutually beneficial networking relationship.
It might not come naturally to everyone to strike up conversations with near strangers. Just like riding a bike, practice will make perfect. You might choose to start building your networking skills with everyday people who are not intimidating, and then work your way up to professional networking events with higher level executives. You might find this recent Forbes article helpful for finding non-awkward ways to network with others in everyday situations. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday, March 8th, 2012 at
Work is part of life; it is healthy and constructive. It pays the bills. It gives the reward of real accomplishment and useful participation in community and society. It doesn’t matter if you are a Career Counselor like I am, a pizza delivery girl, a corporate executive, or an aspiring rocket scientist. Work can be wonderful and fulfilling if the fit is just right. However, as you might have learned, if not managed correctly, a job can also take a toll on your relationships, health, and overall sense of well-being.
The harsh reality of the current economic climate is that most of us are forced to do more with much, much less – both at work and at home. In today’s chaotic world, it is a safe bet that there just isn’t enough time in the average day to meet the responsibilities of work, family and friends. And, since our bosses hold a tight rein on our paychecks, it is likely that our family and friends are the ones who suffer. If you’re anything like me, you probably can’t find the time to return phone calls or remember to send a birthday card to your Aunt Betty. Thank goodness for Facebook! That’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Read the rest of this entry