The Danger of America’s “Power-On” Corporate Culture

I have a unique lens through which I see the world. I am beginning my 20th year as a Wealth Management Advisor on Wall Street, specializing in working with Senior Corporate Executives, Entrepreneurs and change-makers. I am a Senior Advisor in my firm, and I spend every workday serving men and women in Senior Leadership positions. All top of their game. Many at the pinnacle of their career. I have known for years that in my corporate culture and in the other corporate cultures I have witnessed, the more senior you are, the more demanding and all-encompassing the work becomes, and the more people expect you to be “on” at all times. I know Senior Executives that take calls and read emails into the late night. Many schedule back-to-back calls during their commutes, to maximize their work time. My ex-husband, who is still a Senior Executive at a large tech company, used to come home from work nightly and put his laptop on his placemat, ready for more. For many of these men and women, taking a mid-day break is not a reward, it is weakness. A sit-down lunch, unless it is with a client, is considered indulgent, not deserved. It has become a Senior Corporate badge of honor, a masculine-energy strategy and a super-woman strategy to “Power-On” regardless. It’s not a woman thing or a man thing, really. It’s unsustainable. It’s the opposite of well-being. It’s a mistake. I used to be that “Power-On” person, eating lunch at my desk (if you consider a Diet Coke lunch), and smugly feeling that I was being so productive. I wasn’t. I was running my body into the ground. Many of you know I learned the hard way with my health challenges: the high blood pressure, the two auto-immune diseases, the early-stage cancer. They are all gone, thanks to me revamping my life. I remember about six years ago, I was having a Vedic Astrology reading, and I asked, “Am I destined to have ongoing health issues?,” and to my shock, he answered, “You are destined to understand the consequences of running a racecar too many times around the track without a pit-stop.” Amen. The other day, I was working from my home office, and well-being aficionado that I am, I decided to treat myself to a nice lunch (by myself, gasp!) at the Veggie Grill. I had worked so hard...
Read More

Our Well-Being, Our Exes, and What I Know For Sure

My ex-husband is getting re-married tonight in a traditional Indian ceremony, and my daughters, 11 and 13 years old, have their hands hennaed, and their jewel-toned Indian dresses ready to go. The big life moment seems even more surreal with the added exotic flair. But, this isn’t about him or about my girls. It’s about me, and how I am celebrating too. I was divorced five years ago, in 2010, and let me first admit that I experienced every bit of my sadness that year, let it pass through me. I was heartbroken. Fast forward five years, after countless hours of time alone, of reflection, of joy, of kindness to myself, of deep healing, of interesting, sexy, growth-inducing relationships…. What do I know for sure? That every romantic relationship we have ever had was meaningful. There was a gift there, something your spirit, your deepest essence yearned for, wanted to experience. Focus on what that gift was. Reclaim and own it for yourself. Focus on your gratitude. Some relationships were meant for a short time, others for years. I picture each of the relationships I have experienced, whether my 12 year marriage, or my most recent five month one, as the gift that they were. I envision each like a treasure chest, some more gilded and golden than others, with the best of what that man brought to me, and the best of what we shared. And importantly, I envision that “treasure chest” outside of my body (not in my heart- need the space for my next soulmate), and also importantly, the lid is respectfully closed. With gratitude, I can move onward. Emotions like anger, scorn, and the feeling that “justice was not served” are like poison to your physical and mental well-being. I can make you sick. During the year of my divorce, I could barely walk without limping, My auto-immune inflammation numbers were three times the normal level. You must find a way to first acknowledge and then release those negative feelings and get them out of your body. Carrying resentment is like throwing your body at a fence…does it hurt the fence? No, it hurts you. Do therapy, do a gratitude journal, see healers, get bodywork done, pray like mad, get busy spreading your gifts and your love to such a degree that you ARE love, you ARE forgiveness. Lastly, forgive yourself for carrying that crap....
Read More

Are You Celebrating Enough?

As we checked into the Sonoma Mission Inn this past weekend, the coy concierge asked, “are you celebrating anything special?”. My sweetie and I looked at each other, smiled between us, and I simply answered, “Yes, being together.” The concierge laughed nervously, not sure what to do with that…I could sense she was thinking….is that really a celebration? It likely didn’t fall into her birthday-anniversary-wedding choice list for hotel-sanctioned pillow gifts. Hmmm… what to do with that? The day of my friend’s first book launch was only a few days away, and I phoned her, asking about her plans to celebrate. She mentioned she hadn’t really planned anything, as she had been so busy, and would likely just have the usual dinner with her husband and kids. We had a short conversation about the true joy of this momentous moment, (that’s what friends are for) and with a sudden burst of creative energy and one email invite later, she found herself with a houseful of family and loving friends toasting her that night. She brought the moment into something extraordinary. Something to be remembered. We forget to celebrate special moments in our lives. We’ve got the birthdays and anniversaries nailed, but I am talking about the special. The ordinary. The subtle. The magical. The unexpected. Some of us are so busy accomplishing, that with all our huffing and puffing, we forget to notice we have crossed the finish line. Some of us just need permission to give thanks for that thing that happened, to express our joy, letting it rise up like a bunch of colored balloons. I remember that getting my first bra was a moment of shame and embarrassment for me. I was mortified that I was most definitely the only girl in 4th grade (yes, 4th grade) that was developing and I prayed to Jesus, Mary and God every night that it would stop. It didn’t until I reached a DD, and it took an eight grade modeling stint and years of compliments and self-acceptance to get to the self-celebration mode that I have today. So, you can imagine that when I bought a first bra for one of my daughters, I felt a change in perspective was in order. I left the aforementioned personal story in my secret archive, and instead, told her it was time for a small family (the three of us girls) celebration....
Read More

What if EVERYTHING is potentially healing?

I am convinced that the nature of everything I experience reflects the LOVE (or lack of love) I have for myself. When I am in my true essence, the beauty of the world unfolds before me like a magic carpet. You know those moments, when it’s a good day, the universe is up underneath you, when you appreciate the blooming spring flowers along the highway, the breeze feels just right, and your sister calls right after you think about her. I deeply believe that in this vibration, everything is love, and because of that, everything is healing. With your amazing mood, your high vibration, you are calling similar energy to you like a magnet, and everything lifts you. Interestingly, the opposite drags you down—a negative vibration, bad mood, and lack of gratitude. It’s damaging. It ruins healing. Let me give an example of such a funk and my funk-turnaround. Two weeks ago, on a chilly Tuesday May morning, I was at a standstill in Bay Bridge traffic into San Francisco, on my way for a check-up bloodtest, which I get every three months. My auto-immune diseases are in “full remission”(I personally call it “healed”), but instead of feeling grateful in that moment, I was feeling nervous, fearful (what if they come back someday?), annoyed (I was missing the morning of work and why did this all happen to me anyway?) and generally blah (where’s the sun?). A burst of negative energy. You’ve been there, right? A car cut in front of me, and lo and behold, no thanking hand-wave (What’s wrong with people?). This energy is damaging. It ruins healing. When this happens, like a person who suddenly realizes she’s in a dangerous riptide, I start swimming sideways to save myself. Gratitude is the best life preserver. Waiting for the Fastrak lane to move, I put on some peaceful Sanskrit chanting music (my fav, Jai Uttal), said a prayer of gratitude for my healing (I mean, let’s be serious about that gift), and suddenly noticed the beautiful new, healthy-looking palm trees they planted on the East side of the span. I thought about my girls smiling. The traffic improved and by the time I got into UCSF Medical Center, I was humming love, feeling awesome. Yes, genuine gratitude can shift you just like that. Back in one’s true essence of love and gratitude, everything is healing. Even day-to-day people...
Read More

Everything I Experience Reflects the LOVE I Have for Myself

“Do you want to meet the love of your life? Look in the mirror.” – Byron Katie “With every breath, I plant the seeds of devotion. I am a farmer of the heart.”- Rumi In my first blog of the new year, I wrote about my intention of allowing my beautiful life to unfold, without expectations, savoring the gifted moments as they arise…that beautiful tulip, that kind Starbucks barrista, that steaming cup of tea. The past few weeks taught me—and it is a BIG shift for me— that every occurrence that arises is a direct reflection of what I feel within. The nature of everything I experience reflects the LOVE (or lack of love) that I have for myself. I am convinced that the universe that I am witnessing is just a giant mirror, showing me myself and my level of self-love, in infinite ways, at this particular vibration, in this particular moment. I have really shifted. First things first. What is self-love? It’s unconditionally loving yourself with compassion, understanding, acceptance of all that you are (all!) in this moment. It’s not the self-aggrandizement that would inspire you to take a selfie because you “love” that you are in Lake Tahoe and want to post it on Facebook. Not at all…that’s your ego, seeking approval outside of itself. Rather, self-love is the love you feel for yourself when you are all alone, have time to reflect on who you really are, your deepest, truest essence, and embracing that. So how does self-love determine what occurrences arise for you? It’s because like attracts like. Similar energy attracts similar energy. I was meditating on my love for myself. I imagined a pie in the middle of my chest, and asked myself as I will ask you now: How much of that pie is filled with pure acceptance and unconditional, deep love for yourself? I have asked many people this question, and the most common answer I hear is “a half”. Others have said “a third”. For me, who has been working on self-love for the past nine years, I feel improvement daily, but I am not at 100% either. I have never met anyone that said 100%! We are SO critical of ourselves. We could lose a few pounds, we could have been a better parent yesterday, we could do better at work if we were more focused….it goes on and...
Read More