Live Your Best Life Now

Where Is Your Passion?

Do what you love. Follow your heart. Isn’t that what everyone tells you? It’s on plaques, in stores, in articles, in books. It’s the in thing.

What if you don’t know what you love?

What if you don’t think you have a passion?

What if the whole idea leaves you feeling miserable because you’ve spent your life tending to your responsibilities and to others?

You are not alone! In fact, the majority of people doesn’t know their passions and can’t find the door that says “here’s your heart”. There is no formula for finding your passion.

We tend to believe that we are supposed to have it all figured out by the time we are in our mid twenties at the latest. That’s a lot of pressure.

Very few of my clients know what they want.

There was a time in my life when I had no clue.

I was raising a family and running a business. When people asked me what my passion was I had no answer. I loved reading. That came to mind. I loved the sunshine. I loved eating chocolate.

Should I follow that? Was that my heart telling me to sit in the sunshine, eat chocolate and read?

Realistically that didn’t seem like a healthy path to go down, nor did it seem purposeful…..and who was going to pay me for that?

I spent weeks and months looking for signs that might point me in the right direction. I painstakingly went over my life up to this point to see what I might be missing. One day I remembered that from a young age I used to sit with older people discussing life and the human psyche. There were lots of older people in my life who didn’t seem to mind talking to me.

In a moment of clarity I realized that from the time I can remember I liked watching people and loved conversations about why people do what they do. Wow! I saw that I am intense. I don’t enjoy trivial conversations.

Realizing that was interesting, but I didn’t like what I found. I didn’t know what I should do with it. I couldn’t accept that I’m a serious person. Living in America I’m supposed to be sunny, charming, and light, right?!

I wanted to be liked. I didn’t want to be too different.

What I finally saw was that I had to befriend myself. I was forced to let go of some judgments. I had to find compassion for myself. I had to accept who I am before I could follow my passion.

You may discover that you like flying and have to take lessons to become a pilot. Maybe you enjoy baking and make the best little cakes, or you are great with numbers. The world is full of possibilities.

Take some time and reflect on your life, your childhood, your likes and dislikes and let the feelings bubble up.

Passions can change over time.

One of my friends loved photography and was always dragging a camera everywhere. She has a fantastic sense for great photos and made a living with it. The day came when she just didn’t want to do it anymore. She was done.

When that happens you may feel like the light went out. What are you supposed to do now? You wonder if something is wrong with you.

But the truth is, we don’t have to commit to things for the rest of our lives. We have the right to change what lights us up.

Life is all about change!

No guts, no story.

Take a breath and look for what inspires you most at this point in your life.

It’s ok if it’s more than one thing.

Some of you know that I love rehabbing houses in addition to counseling. I love to turn something ugly into something beautiful. It is so exciting to me that I am able to work long hours doing that. I’m filled with energy and time disappears.

That’s what I love for now. Maybe it will change in the future.

You can’t feel passionate about something you have never experienced.

Go out and try new things. Explore. Take a class, join a group, volunteer, try a new sport. Be creative, be courageous.

You really are never too old to do what you want to do! Google people who found their calling later in life. It’s inspiring.

We all need a sense of purpose, but don’t let the search for it overwhelm you. Don’t obsess over it. Just take the next step into what you feel most inspired by in this moment.

To be continued…..

Finding Peace in Uncertain Times

If you feel confused and uncertain these days, maybe the words by Henri Juntilla will resonate with you.

When I feel frustrated and stressed it is very helpful to remember that God, life, my heart, my soul or my higher self (whatever word works for you) knows and is at peace. Then I can surrender to this moment, this time of uncertainty and stay calm.

The last few years I’ve written a lot about confusion, uncertainty, and not feeling like doing anything.

That’s because I’ve been going through these themes for the last 3-4 years.

Naturally, I’ve had to deal with my own stories, my own fears.

I’ve learned to live with uncertainty.

Uncertainty doesn’t stop me from living my life, because I don’t navigate from my mind. I use my mind, but it’s not the captain of this ship.

I’ve also noticed old projects falling away. Many aspects of who I thought I was have fallen away. Yet nothing has come to replace them.

Not yet.

I’m not entirely sure which projects will regain vitality, and which ones will be lost at sea.

I’ve come to trust that life brings me what I need to navigate through these stormy waters.

I could listen to my mind, but it doesn’t know what’s coming. It only wants illusory certainty. It grasps, searches, and clings.

Life seems to know when and where I’m needed.

If I try to force progress, I exhaust myself. I put extra strain on my ship by trying to go against the flow.

My mind may say “I don’t know what’s going on. We have to figure this out. Do something.”

But my heart, the true captain, is relaxed.

I’m going with my heart, even if I end up “failing.”

It’s unlikely that I’ll fail, but that’s how my mind tries to coerce me into living in its world of fear.

The mind is always trying to come up with a strategy to get something.

Get success. Get love. Get money.

It wants those things, because it thinks that’s the key to everlasting happiness. But it doesn’t work that way.

Happiness is not a cause. It is not something that comes. It is something you tap into, or open, like a fresh can of soda (ptsssch).

You become happy when you decide to become happy.


I don’t know what’s going on. And that’s fine.

My heart navigates the ship just fine. I take one step at a time.

I pay attention to what resonates, and what I have the energy for.

I’ve been doing this for 14+ years, so I’m familiar with the ebbs and flows of life.

Yet my mind wants to complicate things. It wants to figure things out. It wants to get freedom and happiness, yet none of those come from the mind.

They come from letting go of grasping and controlling life.

I’m excited about what’s to come. I don’t know what it is, but I can glimpse land on the horizon. A new port. A new chapter.

Let’s see what happens.

Sometimes we all need a little guidance and if you are in the San Diego area contact or email me at

Getting to the Beautiful Things in Life

When were your best memories made? How did the most beautiful things come about in your life?

I bet they happened without your plans or organization or determination. When you allowed yourself to be spontaneous. When you let go of the rules for once. When you let go of your lists and plans.

Structure is a good thing. We all need some routine. It’s on a continuum, some people need more, some less. It makes us feel safe. It’s important for raising children, building a business, a relationship, even building a house. Structure is a way of organizing our lives so they make sense.

Structure is the skeleton that gives shape to our lives. It creates a sense of ownership, order and organization in our life. Structure is a routine throughout our day and week, making a plan and following through. It is setting goals and planning ahead.

A life without structure can add anxiety, depression, frustration and stress. When there is a lack of structure, things get forgotten, there is no point, life can become chaotic and we turn to negativity.

If a writer doesn’t have structure he simply rambles and jumps from thought to thought, confusing the reader.

If a child experiences no structure they cannot learn to feel safe. They cannot trust life. Once there is structure, their little spirits can relax and learn the things children have to learn, like walking, talking, responsibility and how to function in this life.

If you never let yourself stray from your schedule, there is no room for something new and different to come in. Every day is the same and you can expect more of the same.

If you get too rigid, if you hold on to your routine as if your life depended on it and never deviate, you miss out on the wondrous, magical things in life.

Several years ago I decided to write a little book about people’s careers, wanting to find out how they chose to do what they do and how it came about. In my interviews I discovered that a large majority fell into their vocation. It wasn’t in their plan. They met someone, something happened and – boom- a business or career was born.

Think of all your favorite memories, the best times with others, the sweet connection with a stranger, finding that treasure you carry with you everywhere….none of that could have happened while you followed your carefully laid out plans.

A client, we’ll call her Susan, had a strict routine for her weekdays, which included a workout after work, then home for a healthy dinner and staying in to look over her cases (she’s an attorney at a law firm).

She consistently refused any invitations. She was afraid that if she allowed herself any deviations, she’d compromise her health, her sleep and fall behind at work.

But she also worried constantly about finding a husband, especially since she was on the downhill side of 30. Susan wanted to be married and have children.

When one of her colleagues had a mid-week celebration, Susan struggled to come up with a good excuse not to go. Finally, she told herself she’d go just for ½ hour.

At that party she met a wonderful guy. They couldn’t stop talking, she stayed much longer than ½ hour and he became her husband several months later.

This would have never happened had she stuck to her structured, highly organized week.

The moral of the story: Don’t be too rigid with your routine! Beautiful things await if you let go, surrender and allow yourself to meander every once in a while.


Bits of Wisdom

Sometimes we all need a little reminder, a little bit of wisdom to help us move forward.

Anyone can hide. Facing up to things and dealing with them, that is what makes you strong! Anyone can keep super-busy, watch TV, play video games and blame others for life’s mishaps. Really looking at what works for you and what doesn’t, accepting the consequences, making changes….that’s what will give you strength and a feeling of success!

Confront the dark parts of yourself, shine a light on them and practice forgiveness. This will make you whole. Do you feel anger, jealousy or greed? Do you frequently feel depressed, negative or lonely? Whatever your dark side is, acknowledge it, examine it and lovingly forgive it. This will change your life!

Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me. Sometimes we want someone else to make decisions for us, or open doors for us, but it is always up to you and only you to do something different in spite of the current situation.

Perseverance and discipline are powerful. The turning point may come with your next step. Just stay with it. Don’t give into your feelings, stay focused. Practice discipline and success cannot elude you.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Look at your goal, whether that’s cleaning a really messy room, planting a garden, deciding to go back to school, starting a business or moving to another country and just take the first step toward it. This will lead to the next, then the next….that is how you reach your goal.


What Getting Older Is Really Like

This aging thing takes you by surprise. You hear of it, you read about it. You know it’ll happen, just not the way it really does, all at once. Of course you know in the abstract, you just don’t really know. You don’t understand how it’ll unfold, don’t expect these ongoing losses.

When we are younger we don’t fully get that we are part of this cycle, too, that we will grow older too.  Somehow we think in our thirties and forties that everything will stay the way it is, forever or at least until we cease to exist. We don’t expect this public dismantling of our physical being.

I wasn’t afraid of aging. I welcomed it…because I “knew” that I’d be the same me, just older and wiser…. on the inside! Nothing prepared me for all this evidence of gravity on the outside, this decline in every area.

We look at our parents or grandparents and they seem to have always been that way, permanently old or middle aged. Their white or grey hair seems intentional somehow, a style choice, along with their thickening waist and protruding bellies. We think they brought it on themselves. They didn’t watch what they ate, didn’t exercise. They hadn’t taken care of themselves. They chose to be that way: soft, flabby, slow, old, not straight and energetic.

We think that they do everything in a dawdling manner on purpose….to annoy us. They don’t care about speed or grace. They choose not to stand up straight, or hold in their stomachs.

They choose to drive slow and don’t know where they want to go. They don’t keep up on purpose, can’t figure out that smart phone or laptop; some secret inside joke to irritate the heck out of us.

They pretend to have less energy. They can’t keep up in the gym. They take forever to get out of the car. We get so impatient and think they just need to stop acting old!

We believe that we can preserve our youth and health if we just eat right, keep it fit and firm. We assume that things will always be that way, like the real estate market before the crash.

What we don’t see or chose to disregard in our society, is the transformation happening within. The wisdom, the compassion and understanding that comes with many seasons on this earth. As we age, our heart opens up (there are exceptions) and softens to people and experiences that we ignored in our youth or judged not worthy of our attention.

Older people have seen the ups and downs of life, the light and the darkness, gains and losses, betrayals yet also incredible love. As we are pushed through this refining process, we learn the true value of life. It isn’t in things, outward appearances or accomplishments. We come to know, real deep down in the bones know, that it’s the spirit within others that lifts us, empowers us and sustains us. It’s companionship, not cars and houses and stuff, that brings us joy.

Less westernized cultures still recognize this truth. We may think that they are poor, because they lack the possessions and things we take for granted.  In reality they are rich with belonging, true connections and companionship.

May we experience the grace of truly being seen in the eyes of our loved ones while we journey through this place. May we again become a society that values the wisdom and lessons from the elders. May we see with our heart, may we see the spirit of a human being and recognize the truth of this mysterious life, which is that only our connection to each other matters, young or old.

Life Will Break You

Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” -Louise Erdrich

Getting Real

By Tiffany Compton:

What’s wrong? Don’t cry. Don’t be sad. Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about. Geez! You’re so sensitive! What’s the matter with you? Just focus on something else. It’s not as bad as you think. Go start a gratitude journal.

Help someone else and stop thinking about yourself. You must not be spiritual enough. You’re not trying hard enough. This is your fault. You’re a bad person, and this is why you feel this way. You brought this on yourself. You really aren’t sad. You’re just feeling sorry for yourself.

You are so selfish. You think you have it bad? Other people have it worse than you. You don’t have any reason to feel that way. Stop it! I’m sick of this!!! Enough of the drama already! You are seriously fucked up. You make me sick. Just smile and you’ll feel better. Think better, and you’ll feel better. Act better, and you’ll feel better. There’s something wrong with you. If you did what I told you, you wouldn’t be feeling this way. Just pull yourself up by the bootstraps. Fake it ‘til you make it.

You know what I have to say to this? It’s all bunch of shit! I am so fucking sick of being told feeling sad or depressed is wrong or bad and needs to be fixed.

I’m so fucking sick of telling myself that there’s something wrong with my feelings and that I need an attitude adjustment.

I’m so fucking sick of people treating sadness as if it’s leprosy and anyone dealing with sadness needs to be shunned for fear that they will catch it like it’s some contagious disease.

All of my feelings are valid, even my sadness.

How does sadness feel when it is shamed? I’ll tell you how my sadness feels when she’s shamed. More sad. It doesn’t help to shame feelings. It doesn’t help to tell feelings that they need to go away because they are bad.

Feelings aren’t bad or good. They just are. Just like the weather isn’t bad or good, right or wrong. It’s just weather. The rain is just as important as the sun.

I’m sick of shaming my feelings. I’m sick of telling my feelings what they need to do and how they need to change because they’re wrong or bad. I’m sick of not having all of myself and my feelings being welcome. All my feelings are welcome and valid. I’m not shaming my feelings anymore.

You know what my sad feelings are getting? Love! I’m throwing sadness a party. I’m celebrating her. She’s important too. She’s going to be indulged with decadence. Not out of fear, but out of love.

She’s going to be swept away to get a massage, a nice stroll on the beach, and a dip in the ocean. She is getting a luxurious time at the salon, having her hair washed, cut, and dried. She is going to be draped in a gorgeous party dress and taking out to celebrate with her friends. We are all going to sit around the dinner table toasting to her value and beauty.

Sadness is important. She has gifts. She is just as equally worthy of love and gratitude and joy. Sadness doesn’t need put downs or scolding. She doesn’t need to be told to change or that there something wrong with her. She wants and needs to be celebrated just as much as the other feelings that rise and fall within me.

So, yeah, sadness is going out in style. No more put downs. No more forcing. No more rushing. No more gas-lighting. No more blaming. No more of any of that shit.

Sadness is worthy. Sadness is important. Sadness has value. Sadness has gifts. She deserves a long overdue celebration where all of her tears are praised, loved, and appreciated.

Sadness and I are getting reacquainted with each other. I am making amends to her, and we are starting fresh. It’s the start of a new friendship that will become one of the most beautiful love affairs of my life.

I love my sadness, and she’s getting a big hug and a kiss from me. If feels good. This is something we both been missing a very long time. This is the path to heaven.

Here’s a great book to help understand this:

Please share if this was helpful. To receive more insights leave your name and email address.


Feelings? Fuhgeddaboudit!

A friend recently told me when sharing her feelings in a group setting; she is usually the one to cry or laugh, sometimes both, while most of the other group-members act very calm and matter of fact.

Her emotions are always crowding in. She was worried that she feels too much and didn’t think that was normal.

It left her feeling like something is wrong with her.

In fact, she experiences her life in highs and lows… with intermittent calm periods.

She is not alone!

The majority, but not all people experience this up and down. However, we are well trained to hide it from others. Our cultural norm, our American norm, is to always feel “fine” and have it all together, meaning we pretend  we don’t feel lonely, rejected, sad, jealous, abandoned or God forbid needy.  Isn’t perfection what we portray on Social Media. We look good, we feel great, and our families are amazing.

We have been conditioned since childhood to be removed from our feelings. We’ve learned that our real feelings need to be tucked away. Many people never realize that they aren’t connected to their emotions.

Turning away from ourselves is what we’ve been programmed to do all our lives.

Mamma mia, Italians let it all hang out. They scream and yell, talk with their hands, pound the table… quick as it starts it’s over. Fuhgeddaboudit.

It’s clearly cultural!!

Expressing our feelings is healing.

It’s human nature to have conflicting, confused, ambiguous, strong and sometimes crazy feelings. Admittedly, some more than others.

Being vulnerable and at peace with your truth is your path to FREEDOM.

My life has felt like an emotional roller coaster. One minute I’ll experience profound gratitude and joy for the phone-call from my friend. In the next minute my partner will say something that brings me back to one of our most painful moments in our relationship and I’ll plummet.

I may be driving down the road reflecting on something with half a mind, another driver cuts me off and I end up at a red light. Somehow that triggers a memory deep within and suddenly I am in a black mood.

Conversely, if I feel despair over parts of my future and I go out to a museum or some creative event, I suddenly can’t remember why I felt hopeless when the world is so wonderful.

I’ve watched this up and down most of my life and have come to the conclusion that I’d rather FEEL everything than be disconnected.

What a beautiful rainbow of feelings that show us we are alive.

I feel others’ feelings; I feel animals’ feelings and sometimes it all feels like too much. Then I know I have to take some time out for myself.

I’ve come to accept most of my feelings, but I can tell you that this took a while.

Having grown up with a father who ridicules feelings and a mother who died from feeling too much (never finding support), I saw my feelings as the enemy.

I started out disconnected, being opinionated and in control to cover up my feelings of inadequacy, often behaving harshly like my father. Moving to America and having children gradually changed this for me, softening me and allowing the ups and downs to show. But, guess what, as my children grew they began to criticize my ability to express my feelings and called me “dramatic”.

What cosmic irony!

It felt awful, my own children rejecting the very parts of me that took so long to accept. What was I supposed to do with that? I could dismiss their criticism, but I want a good relationship with my kids.

Back to ….

More introspection.

More observations of life and others.

More confusion with my boundaries.

If you’re looking for a happy ending here I have to disappoint you. It’s an ongoing process. I have to trust that I raised my kids with the permission to feel …and maybe they are just momentarily caught in the web of cultural norm and the typical phase of reflection in which the parent represents what they struggle with themselves.

I am finding acceptance.

In my observations, I discovered that the strongest people accept and show their emotions, their feelings, because it takes courage to make yourself vulnerable.

Some books that have helped me on this journey:

Hinds Feet On High Places  by Hannah Hurnard

Feelings Buried Alive Never Die   by Karol K. Truman

Please share if this was helpful or I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Body Image – not just for women

“My thighs are too fat” she said after they had completed 6 sets of 130 stairs.

“You have beautiful legs” was his response.

She did, in fact, have beautiful legs!

But isn’t that what most of us struggle with? We don’t think we are enough or there is too much of us.

Too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, not enough of this or that. Our hair is too thin, too curly, too straight…. Our face is too long, too square, our eyes are too small, and our lashes are too short. OMG it literally has no end.

I see 10 and 11 year old girls already obsessing over this.

This is apparently also becoming a thing for young men.

Did you realize that if we start with this distorted body image when we are young we are likely to carry it with us throughout our lives?

It rarely gets better by itself!

I grew up during an era when the skin and bones look was in. The Super-model of the day looked like she might break in half if the wind blew too strong.

She was on every magazine cover; there was no escaping the message.

Alas, I had curves, a J Lo butt and curly hair.

Boy, did I feel ugly!

I also had a beautiful mother who spent hours in front of the mirror perfecting her look. The women in my family had strong of opinions about how other women should look.

In other words, they were very critical of others.

My parents used to spend weekends and holidays with another couple.  I loved them, they were fun; they laughed a lot and were nice to me. We were frequently invited to their lake-house and all of us females wore bikinis. My mom’s friend had stretch marks on her belly and it definitely wasn’t a six pack, but she had great self-confidence. She wasn’t shy, she felt good about herself.

My mom, however, couldn’t stop criticizing. “How can she walk around in a bikini looking like that? The nerve! She shouldn’t be wearing a bikini”.

My dad was a prominent businessman in town and everyone knew and watched us.

We had to be perfect. Kind of like a celebrity on a smaller scale.

My dad only complimented us when we looked good, never about our personalities or abilities. He loved showing my mom off. My parents went to spas to lose 10 pounds, if they ever gained any weight. We never had candies or any kind of junk food in our house.

When I finally received some allowance, I spent it on candy. It was the most exciting thing for me to be able to buy some of this sugary stuff. My mom’s comment was: “You’ll get fat if you keep eating all these sweets”.

I, of course, heard that I AM fat. So, off I went into my teenage years FEELING fat and unattractive, which I wasn’t.

That’s the environment I grew up in.

Being an observer, I noticed the many different perspectives of my girl-friends. Some were equally self-conscious about their bodies, some were not at all and some were in between.

The ones that weren’t shy about their bodies seemed to have more fun.

They jumped into the pool without worrying how their hair might look afterwards. They freely participated in games, while those of us who felt inadequate physically sat back and watched…..with our perfect hair and sucked in tummies.

Like I said earlier, this distorted perception of self never goes away on its own.

It is such a profound burden! It made me miserable to constantly worry about my appearance, as if I had no other redeeming qualities.

Continuously stressing about what foods I could and couldn’t eat. What outfits looked most flattering, what things I could and couldn’t do.

I had to find a way out of this messed up belief system.

The one thing that helped me the most is something that was not on my radar. My father had a huge Birthday party with a belly dancer. That was my first exposure.

Afterwards, serendipitous events began to happen.

We visited Egypt and saw several belly dancers.

We spent a week with friends at their beach house, where we all played music and danced. One of the women there (I didn’t know her very well) was very confident and frequently danced for all of us.

She was a Belly dancer. I was intrigued.

On Face Book I discovered that she also performed on stage and I noticed that in some obscure corner of my mind there was a small part that was envious.

Then a friend suggested that we take a class together. I was not fully ready to put myself in that position, but I did it anyway.

Turned out my friend couldn’t make it and there I was: by myself. This is what I discovered.

  • This is a complex workout! I learned to move parts of myself I didn’t know I had.
  • I had to connect fully with my body, from my fingertips to my toes.
  • There is a deeply feminine sensuousness at work that goes beyond the physical self.
  • I saw all sorts of bellies and after a while I began to accept my own belly… whole body.

I believe for each of us there is that one thing that will help shift a faulty body image, something that allows us to become whole. Belly dancing may not be right for you. It could be surfing, dancing, hula hooping, yoga, excelling at a skill……whatever it is that begins to take the focus off your appearance and onto your whole being.

  • It’s important to be healthy. Eating fresh foods, eliminating sugars and processed foods makes us feel better.
  • It’s important to exercise. Human bodies are not meant to sit all day. They are made to move.
  • Find that one practice that makes you feel good about yourself in every way, not just physically.
  • Every day take a quiet moment to check in with yourself and know that you are more than your physical appearance.
  • Have people in your life that emphasize your inner beauty, not your physical hotness.
  • Let’s compliment and encourage girls for their qualities, not their looks.

We need to find our answer; we need to become explorers until we find it. The alternative is insecurity, misery and/or lots of plastic surgery.

If you are interested, here’s more to read and see about belly dance:

Find Your Tribe – Don’t Stop Searching

Find people who can handle your darkest truths, who don’t change the subject when you share your pain, or try to make you feel bad for feeling bad.

Find people who understand that we all struggle, some of us more than others and that there’s no weakness in admitting it. In fact, few things take as much strength.

Find people who want to be real, however that looks and feels, and who want you to be real too.

Find people who get that life is hard, and who get that life is also beautiful and who aren’t afraid to honor both those realities.

Find people who help you feel more at home in your heart, mind and body, and who take joy in your joy.

Find people who love you, for real and who accept you for real. Just as you are.

They’re out there, these people. Your tribe is waiting for you. Don’t stop searching until you find them.

Written by Scott Stabile

Where Is Your Passion?

Do what you love. Follow your heart. Isn’t that what everyone tells you? It’s on plaques, in stores, in articles, in …

Finding Peace in Uncertain Times

If you feel confused and uncertain these days, maybe the words by Henri Juntilla will resonate …

Getting to the Beautiful Things in Life

When were your best memories made? How did the most beautiful things come about in your life? I bet they happened without …