Never Worry Again!

thankfulHurricane Irma really took a toll on Florida.  Not only was there physical damage, there was emotional damage.  Most people do not like change and evacuation was quite a change.  Many people in Florida are still reacting to these changes even though the hurricane happened in September.  Many of us worried for over a week before they hurricane hit.  Many of us worried while we were evacuated and while the hurricane hit.    Strangely enough, many of us are still worrying and feeling strange after we realized that we don’t have much damage and all was safe.  Many of us worry too much.  We worry before, during and after the event.  Recently, I learned how never to worry again.  I would like to share this technique with you.

First, the event will happen and we will react to the event in one way or another.  It is up to us if we will worry.  These are separate actions; reacting to an event and worrying.  Let me give an example of Jane.  Jane worries about not having enough money to pay all of her bills on time.  This is the worry.  Jane is doing everything she can do to get money to pay all of her bills.  She has a good job, she sells cosmetics on the side, and she has always paid her bills on time.  Jane pays her bills but her expenses keep going up.  This is the event.

Next, Jane will continue to work and pay her bills.  She will do her best to get money whether she worries or not.  Now, how does she not worry?  Jane uses this technique.  Picture standing on a square with three squares to your right and three squares to your left.  You are in the middle – in neutral.  When we start to worry we move to the first square to the left.  Jane thinks, “I am so worried that I can’t pay my bills.  My expenses keep going up and I have only so much money that I have been bringing in.  I am doing my best but what if I can’t pay a bill?” Then, she takes another step to the left to the next square and thinks, “If I can’t pay my bills, I will lose my house, I will go bankrupt, I will have to move in with my parents.”  If she worries even more she moves to the last square on the left and thinks, “I can’t live with my parents.  I will have to move out and I will be homeless, I won’t have health care and I will get sick and die.”  Huge worry.  The end.  NOW, consider moving to the right instead.  Instead of worry, she thinks, “Even though I only get so much income from work my business can pick up and I can sell more cosmetics.  I can start paying off some credit card bills.” Then she takes another step to the right and thinks, “I paid off all of my credit cards and I am now saving money!  I have so much money in my checking account and savings account.  I can now pay all of my bills electronically and never have to worry about physically paying a bill again!”  Then another step to the right and thinks, “I now have so much money that I go on exotic vacations, I love my job and just got a raise!  I am the diamond queen status in my cosmetics job and I win free trips.  All is great!”

Finally, the event will happen but you do not have to worry.  You will work and pay your bills – the event.  But, if you went to the right and tell yourself the more and more positive stories you feel better!  Go ahead and try it for yourself.  You really will feel better!  Now, when I first tried this I thought, “this is crazy, because I think positively does not mean that my bills will be paid!” That is correct but remember, the event is different than the worry.  You will still do everything you can for the event.  It is up to you what you THINK about the event.  So, think the positive and feel better and keep doing the best you can.  Events will happen whether you worry or not.  So, why go down the path to the left when you can think positively and feel so much better?  The event will happen either way and you will do your best if you worry or do not worry.  So, don’t worry.  Use this technique and never worry again.

This technique took me some time to “perfect”.  I worked at it.  When I started to worry I would use this technique and I did feel better.  I still did the event.  I still worked my hardest at whatever I did.  Now, when I find my thoughts move to the negative and start to worry, I quickly stop my thoughts and switch them to the right and more positive thoughts.  I try to move myself all the way to the right until I laugh at the wonderful feeling and the exaggeration of that thought.  I feel better, not worried.  Try this technique, let me know if it works for you.

#worry  #emotionalintelligence  #cooltechniques

Lori blog







Hurricane Irma: a lesson in Flexibility

irma misses sarasotajpg

Everyone I know in Florida, including myself, has still not returned to “normal”.  Between the Hurricane Harvey, media, and people in the “north”, Floridians have had a most interesting experience.  This occurrence has tested our flexibility.  Flexibility is a dimension of Emotional intelligence which is so important in our personal and professional lives. Enjoy my story as I relate how emotional intelligence specifically, flexibility, plays a part in our lives daily or in this case in emergencies.

First, Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston in what it seemed to be over night.  The aftermath lasted weeks.  When Floridians realized that IRMA was headed our way most visualized our house surrounded in water, our possessions strewn all over our neighborhood.  I realized that this threat was real, on Tuesday, September 5th when I was in a meeting and one of the participants told all of us, “Irma is now a 5”.  This means that a Category 5 hurricane was heading right for Florida – we were told Miami at this time.  When I arrived home and started working, my son called and told me that they cancelled classes at the University of Miami indefinitely.  He was going to get gas, pack and evacuate to my house on the other side of the state. I was excited that I get to see him for an unplanned trip.  Yes, this type of flexibility I absolutely love, like a gift.  I always love to spend time with my 20-year-old son.  The next call I got was from a Miami gas station, “The lines are really long, I’ve been in line for over 20 minutes, it is so crowded here – everyone is getting gas, NO WAY!  Someone just hit my car – I’ve got to go”.  He is not usually very flexible and called me about every hour to report his progress.  He NEVER calls except for his weekly Sunday mom call.  Usually I get a cryptic text.  He was not harmed and his car was just bumped; seven hours later he was at my house.  This is usually a 3.5-hour drive.  Once here, he made himself at home.  We were not too worried about the Hurricane coming to the west coast of Florida.

Next, the media was giving IRMA 1oo% coverage.  Floridians were watching the spaghetti tracks of possible paths of the hurricane with eyes glued to their screens.  We saw the devastating effects of IRMA on the first islands in the Caribbean.  We heard the weather reporters and meteorologists exaggerated forecasts of what would (not could) happen to Florida.  Miami was being evacuated.  Most of my son’s friends live out of state and had already booked last minute flights home.  I-95, the interstate that goes from the Florida Keys to Maine, was bumper to bumper in Florida.  Then they evacuated the keys.  I-95 was a parking lot from Key West to North Carolina.  People were evacuating to “visit” friends and family out of state.  It was Wednesday, we put our hurricane shutters on all the windows except the sliding glass door to the pool.  I took all of my furniture and huge plants (including 3 palm trees in pots) off of the huge Lanai and into the house and garage.  The house was like a cave; a jungle cave.  The media told us that we were in the “cone” and everyone in the cone would experience terrifying and damaging winds and rain.  We were not in an evacuation zone but right next to one.  I started to pack for evacuation to my best friend’s house in South Carolina.  Now, this is where judgement and flexibility comes to play; what should I pack?  I packed everything in my safe, my computer and my jewels into a plastic container.  I put my taxes and important documents in my washing machine.  I started to put bags of water into the freezer in case we lost power.  I was almost ready to go until my boyfriend and I talked to our neighbors.  The hurricane was not going to come near us and we would get winds, we have shutters and we should not flood. They had reservations at a hotel in Atlanta but decided not to go that night and would probably stay.  We saw on the radar that the track was headed to South Carolina where we were planning to go.  We decided to stay.

The next day I went to the store and got more food.  I heard tales on the news and from many neighbors that all of the grocery stores were completely out of bottled water, a necessity for after a hurricane.  Some of the gas stations near us were out of gas.  Luckily, I had filled up the day my son came home.  When I was in Walmart I saw one woman with 2 cases of water and realized there was a line for water.  The line was from one end of the store to the other end; I stood in that line.  It moved quickly because Walmart employees were tossing 2 cases in each cart as customers rolled on to get other supplies.  SCORE!  I got 2 cases of water.  I also got my normal shopping complete and got extra batteries, wine and ice cream.  Better enjoy our last days.  Now that our decision to stay was made we hunkered down.  Many of my neighbors were leaving.  School was closed, work was closed, the local government was closed.  We watched the TV news like we were addicted. I was very flexible because I had time.  If I felt stressed for time I think I would not have been able to be so flexible to stand in a long line for water or wait for gas.  I realized that flexibility also has to do with managing time.  I am more flexible when I have the time to choose an option I normally would not choose.  If I was short on time I would not be as flexible and possibly not choose another option.

Finally, the non-Floridians were texting, Facebook was filled with “be safe” messages.  I even heard from one friend that I had not communicated with in over 2 years.  It seemed like everyone not in the path was also watching the hype and urging us to evacuate.  We figured we were just fine until my boyfriend, Angel, noticed the radar.  Most Floridians look at the radar app on their phones to check out the ever changing weather in Florida; our house is symbolized by a blue dot.  When we looked Friday, there was a red circle with a 3 on the blue dot.  The track had changed and IRMA was going to hit our house with category 3 winds.  We decided at 8:00am to evacuate.  “Let’s be ready to go by noon”, Angel said to me.  “No! Everyone on the west coast will be leaving at noon.  I can be ready in less than an hour”.  We threw some clothes, and a toothbrush in a suit case, packed up the dog food, her crate and packed the car.

Now, this you may think is total flexibility!  However, when I reflected back I realized that I was already prepared.  I had already packed the important possessions.  Preparedness, has a lot to do with flexibility.  When we are prepared it is easier to be flexible.

We realized that most of our neighbors had already left including our next door neighbors, we assumed they went to Atlanta as previously planned.  We stopped at my parent’s house on the way to try to talk them into leaving with us.  They live north west of us about an hour.  They stubbornly told us that they had weathered 3 hurricanes 10 years ago and they were staying plus they were not happy that their flight to Costa Rica out of Ft. Lauderdale was cancelled.  Is stubbornness a trait of being inflexible?

We took the fastest route to South Carolina.  Yes, my best friend, Carol had to be flexible too.  First we are evacuating, then not, then we are.  She thought this was a great time to plan “game night”.  This was a good lesson in flexibility for Carol. We did not take the “shortest” route because all of the west coast Floridians were headed north on I-75.  There were rumors of empty gas stations and traffic.  We used our google maps (again, being prepared) and headed east to I-95 most of the east coast had already evacuated. Driving east on 95 we saw many cherry pickers and power trucks heading south.  The Keys were in Irma’s direct path; Miami still was not safe.  While in the car I was posting photos of our evacuation on social media.  Many people seemed relieved that we decided to leave the impending doom.

Weeks after the hurricane most Floridians still feel a bit lost. I feel like a newly retired Floridian, not knowing what day it is (because of the cancellations of school and work).  I lost jobs because everything was closed or the power was out.  As I reflect on the Irma experience, I realize that flexibility is a must in these types of situations.  My experience was not bad compared to most.  Sure, I was inconvenienced by the lack of gas, rumors, and the traffic.  My family, including my aunt and uncle on Marco Island all made it home and are repairing the minor damages.  My son is back at school, boyfriend back at work and I flew to DC to work.  Most in the keys had all of their possessions lost or ruined.  Flexibility is key in these types of situations. We learn from past experiences such as Harvey, listen and are influenced by the media and our friends and family.  I realized that being more flexible is easier when you view a change as a gift, have time on your side, are prepared, and not stubborn.  Hopefully, you enjoyed this blog article.  Feel free to comment on your experience with flexibility.





#hurricane  #irma #flexibility #emotionalintelligence

Lori blog

“Don’t you EVER think before you speak”?

business people conflict working problem, angry boss argue scream to colleague businessmen and women serious argument negative emotion discussing report meeting at outdoors cafe during the lunch breakAll of my life my mother has always asked me this question.  It was only after I took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) training at OKA that I realized why I was programed to speak with out “thinking”.  Actually, I speak to think – I am an extrovert.  My sister, Kelly, it the opposite.  She thinks to speak.  Learning about the differences in how people think to communicate has helped me with my coaching and training throughout the years.  It has also helped me in my relationships that are one-to-one.

Kelly, my sister, has been called shy, quiet and a loner.  She once tried to go through an entire week of high school without talking to anyone.  She succeeded.  I could not get through my first hour class in high school not talking, even with strep throat and laryngitis.  We have been so different in our communication styles since birth.  This is just how we were made.  Now, as adults we are more blended.  I do think more before I speak and she is more of a talker in her small group of friends (that she has had for ten years).

Introverts need to think about what they are going to say, how they are going to say it and how it will resonate with their audience; they think then talk.  Like Kelly, they are not what I call sharers.  Kelly would not share anything about herself without being asked by someone close to her.  If asked she may need to think about the answer…pause… wait… then maybe offer something.  Maybe not offer anything, or say, “I’m not sure”.  This was frustrating to me growing up.  But, the more she and I talked, the more she trusted me and the more she would open up to me.  I just thought that she did not think as quickly as I thought.  That she was slower – not as smart.  But, I knew that I was wrong.  I knew Kelly was very smart and knew the answers.  She just would not share her answer until she felt comfortable in her head, in her thoughts.

My first advisor for my dissertation committee was an introvert.  I would go into his office full of ideas and plans.  As he sat behind his Mac I would talk and talk about my latest theory or ask question after question.  I would answer most of them myself because he just sat there.  I would get so frustrated because when I really NEEDED an answer I would wait.  He would tap some keys on his keyboard, look to the ceiling, and take a deep breath.  I would wait. I would get impatient and ask another question.  I am sure that I frustrated him.  Later, I learned that if I waited long enough he would come up with an excellent answer.  I had to switch my advisor because I was not patient enough or educated enough in MBTI to realize that he was an introvert.  Finally, I figured out that if I emailed him a question he would email back an awesome response in a day or two (sometimes a week later).  I learned how to be more patient and how to work with this introvert.

Extroverts talk to think.  I had never heard that saying before I took the MBTI class.  It resonated with me.  I brainstorm with friends, on the telephone, in person, whenever I can talk to people.  When no one is available, I talk to myself.  Yes.  I do.  I always joked that at least I knew I was talking to an intelligent person.  Ha!  I love to take a concept or thought or idea and ping pong it around with someone.  My best friend, Carol, is also an extrovert.  She and I can play with an idea for hours.  The idea is like a shuttlecock being swooshed from racquet to racquet.  We bat the idea around and it morphs into a ping pong ball, then a baseball then… you name it!  We can play with an idea until it forms something that we are both satisfied with…the outcome of the conversation.

I am sure that Kelly and my advisor would be so frustrated with me during our conversations.  I know I had been frustrated with them.  I have been told on many occasions to just “shut up”, that I talk too much, and ask too many questions.  Talking to them was like “pulling teeth”; painful and bloody awful.  But, after years, I finally learned how to communicate with my introvert friends and colleagues.

Knowing these difference is so important in business, training and coaching.  I have learned some techniques to work with both groups at the same time.  During meetings, I ask people a question and have them write it down then give 5 minutes of quiet so we can individually work on it.  Or I prepare an agenda with roles assigned so everyone knows what is expected of them, and they can be prepared.  Then, I do some brainstorming.  I find that the extroverts jump in and ping pong the ideas around.  When the introverts are asked, they usually read what they have written.  I think that is just fine and all can participate that way.  During training, I have journaling, individual exercises, or reflection.  I also create discussion activities but give time for the introverts to respond.  Coaching introverts is more difficult for me but I have learned through practice to wait…wait…wait for the answer.  Or send pre-work and be ready to discuss it during our sessions.

Learning the differences between speaking before thinking and speaking to think has helped me with my communication in my work.  I hope that this blog post has given you some techniques and insight about the differences in communication styles.  Let me know if you have techniques to share for coaching, training or meetings.


#MBTI #extrovert #introvert #communication  #training


Open Heart Breathing – a great exercise to bring joy and healing

open heart breathingThey say that what does not kill you makes you stronger.  After time has passed, I am now inclined to agree.  When my heart was broken years ago I felt so vulnerable.  I was crying in the bathroom at work.  Sobbing from a broken heart.  It took me a few months to heal my broken heart.  Now, I can look back on that time and realize what I did to make myself feel better and how I healed.  One very important technique that I just started doing, I call open heart breathing.  I share this little secret with my coaching clients and it seems to help.

He broke up with me and would not even talk to me.  I was devastated.  We had been in a relationship for five years and I thought it would end on good terms.  I guess it did for him but not for me.  I thought I would see him when I was visiting Florida but he said “NO!”.  My soul sister and fellow race car driver, Kay Rongely invited me to visit her house in Lake Placid, Florida.  While she went to the grocery store, I took a walk near water and a park-like area in her neighborhood.  As I was walking, I felt the crying coming on again so I let it rip.  I cried as I walked; so glad that her neighbors seemed not to be outside at that time.  Tears streamed down my face and I felt so alone and so sad.  I did feel “weight” on my shoulders even though I was in the best shape of my life.  I felt heavy and burdened with my sorrow and my pain.  I felt empty or whatever was inside of me was not “good”.  Usually, I have an good disposition; positive and happy.  I usually smile and share my joy with other people.  Not now.  It seemed not any longer.

I looked up to the sky and put my arms over my head.  “God”, I thought, “Please give me some good feeling – some goodness inside of me”.  I pulled my arms in toward my heart as if capturing the goodness from the heavens and pouring it into my body.  I felt a little better.  Next, I breathed out what I imagined to be “bad stuff”; my pain, my sorrow, my tears.  As I breathed out I took my hands from my heart and pushed them down, my hands palms down to the ground.  Again, I reached my arms up and breathed in all of the goodness, love and joy and pulled it to my heart.  And breathed out all of the bad moving my arms down.  I actually felt physically and emotionally better.  I felt like the good was coming back into me if only for that moment.

Then, I made a deal with God.  I promised that I would take this joy and this love that I was feeling from “taking” and I would use it to heal.  Then when I was healed, I would give my joy and love back into the world/heaven.  I would breathe it back into the air so other people can take it to heal.  That was over 10 years ago.

I have since healed and now during my walks through the forests/woods or walks on the beach you will see me with my arms out stretched up to the sky.  I am giving joy, love and peace to the world as I breathe it out of my soul.  It is a different method than when I was so sad and needed the good for my own healing.  Now, I breathe in all of my joy and love into my heart; I feel the energy fill up my lungs with joy and love.  Then, I raise my arms to the sky and breathe it out into the world.  I imagine all of the good that I feel in my heart shoot out into the world.  You see, I have healed.  I feel love.  I feel loved.  I love myself and all that is.  I want to share that love with those who need it, just as I needed it on my walk in Lake Placid.

I call it open heart breathing because I feel that I am opening my heart and sharing all of my good feelings, joy and love.  I take my hands from my heart and fling them out over my head “shooting” all of the goodness into the air.  As I touch my heart with both hands and breathe in I imagine all of my joy and goodness ballooning in my lungs and heart.  I “open” my heart as I throw all of my goodness into the world in the hopes that someone will use this good energy for their healing as I did years ago.

So, please use this tool, exercise, whatever you wish to call it to help yourself, your clients or your friends.  If they need open heart breathing for healing or if they wish to share their goodness with the world.  Both types work.  Many of my client say it works to make them happier.  When we finish coaching and I ask what helped you, what do you remember that worked?  Many of them say the Open-heart breathing.  It seems to have a very quick, immediate effect and it lasts for a while because you can do it anywhere.

Do you have techniques that you use similar to open heart breathing?  Please comment so that we can continue to share the good energy and help those who need to heal.

#coaching  #love #joy #emotionalintelligence  #healing


Is she drowning? Ethics on the beach. What would you do? Part 2 of 2

thumb_20170624_202352_1024In my last blog I told the story of my very strange and scary 4th of July experience.  I was sitting on the beach with my boyfriend and my wine watching the sunset.  I noticed a woman dressed in shorts and a bikini top.  She had long brown hair that was loose down her back.  She started to swim out into the gulf of Mexico.  There were other people in the water as the sun was going down, but they were within the waves breaking close to the shore.  This woman swam out past the buoys, past the boats, past what I deemed was safe.  I was the only person who noticed that she was so far out – others were watching the sunset and now the fireworks were starting.  She swam so far out that I could only see her head as a shadow far out in the water.  I thought that she may be trying to kill herself.  I asked in my last blog – What would you do?

I was not panicked.  I did not scream.  She was too far away to hear me anyway.  My boyfriend suggested that I call 911 earlier.  Now, she was very far out and it did not look like she was going to turn toward shore.  I could not see her head any longer.  It seemed like she had gone too far.  Then I saw what I thought was her head.  I called 911.

I told the operator where I was and where the woman was.  She asked me some strange questions as I kept trying to see the woman’s head bobbing between the waves.  “Is anyone hurt?” “Uh no”.  “OK, I just have to ask”.  She told me she was sending a rescue vehicle to the beach.  I told her which road was closest to the woman.  She asked me if I could still see the woman.  I said not really.  She was drifting to the south, down the beach.  I started walking south down the beach so I could keep her in sight as the sun was setting.  It was getting darker and it was harder to see what I thought was still a head.  I felt stupid calling 911.  I told the operator that I was not sure that the woman needed help but I was worried.  She said that she was glad that I called because someone was swimming on that beach last week and went out and never returned.  “please stay on the line” she asked me.

It was dark and I could see lights from an ambulance down the beach.  They were too far away.  They would never be close to where this woman was last seen.  I continued to walk down the beach so I could be in line from where I last saw her.  But, she was still too far south.  It seemed that she was between the lights of the rescue vehicle and where I was walking.  I walked faster.  There were so many people on the beach now watch the last of the sunset.  The sun was down but the blues and pinks and oranges were painting the sky.  I was not feeling anything.  I was watching and listening to the woman on the phone.  I answered questions and kept walking down the beach.  Then, it looked like the woman’s head stopped bobbing, I could see her arms moving.  Not, calling for help but swimming – turing toward shore and swimming.  “Wait!” Then I could not see her arms or her head anymore.  I saw dark; dark waves, dark sky and dark water.  “what do you see?” the 911 operator asked me?  “nothing”  It is too dark.

I saw the lights of the rescue vehicle far down the beach.  I kept walking to where I last saw her.  I was still about 50 feet down the beach away from her.  Then I saw someone in the water, swimming slowly toward shore.  No arms were coming out of the water, the swimmer was just floating to the south and sort of “surfing” on the waves coming into the beach.  Then, they were on the sand bar.  Foot touching sand.  I saw the person coming out of the surf.  On to the beach.  “I think she just got out of the water”.  “I think that is her!”  She started walking toward me up the beach.  “I am going to go up to her”.  “Are you safe?” the operator asked.  “UH yes”.  As I got closer, I noticed the long brown hair dripping wet down her back.  She was wearing shorts and a bikini top.  She did not look in great shape to be swimming for sport.  I went up to her.  “Were you just swimming way, way out there?”, I asked.  “yes”.  “You scared the S***  out of me.  I called 911”.  “oh sorry” she said and she walked past me up the beach.  She seemed ok.

I was relived but stunned.  I told the 911 person that I will hang up now.  She told me to stay on the phone until the rescue people could find me.  The lights were still down the beach.

After this experience was over I took inventory.   I realized that I felt that I made the correct decision.  I called because I was very concerned that she would drown.  No one on the beach saw this happen.  Or did they see it and just ignore?  Later a friend of mine told me that her neighbor killed himself by swimming out and never coming back.  Someone reported it and his family had closure.  They never found the body.

This experience led me to examine my decision making, my feelings, and my faith in other humans and myself.  After a week I have decided that I did make the correct decision.  I am confident about that. If she did not return I would have felt that I should have done something.  I would have felt responsible.  I am still processing my emotions and feelings.  But, at the time, I was calm even though I could think of the worst outcome.  Looking back, I wished I would have asked her, “what were you doing?” but at the time it did not seem like the right thing to do.  She was exhausted and not ready to talk as she walked back up the beach.  I let her go.  Should I have followed her?  I still do know if she is a troubled soul or if she gets her exercise by swimming with the sharks in the dark.  I don’t know if I have faith in others.  Why did no one else see her swimming so far out.  Of   course someone must have seen her – but did nothing.  Then went back to their families and friends – after all, it was a holiday at the beach.  The fireworks were starting.  As far as the faith in myself; I feel as if it were some type of a test.  I have had other experiences where I did not do what I would have expected myself to do – where something happened too quickly; where I did not say what I should have said, where I did not defend someone as I wish I would have done.  But, in this instance.  I did.

When you think about all of the times that you were “tested”.  When you had those experiences where you had to make a quick decision, a tough choice or say the right thing.  Did you want to but could not?  Did someone else step up as you sat there quietly?    Or did you take that risk because you were responsible or because you knew it was the right thing to do?

#decisionmaking  #emotionalintelligence  #lifeordeath



Is she drowning? Ethics on the beach. What would you do? Part 1 of 2

2017-04-29 20.15.43It was the 4th of July and I went to the beach to see the sunset – yes – and the fireworks; Little did I know that I would be tested with an ethical dilemma.  My man and I took our beach chairs and sat down right by the water’s edge.  It was a warm evening with a beautiful breeze.  The sun was setting.  In fact, it would set at 8:29pm.  It was 7:55pm at the time we nested in to watch the sunset.  What happened next was not expected.

There were people in the water swimming.  All I could think about was that sharks usually feed at twilight.  I was hoping everyone would be just fine on this beautiful night.  An inner tube was floating away from some people.  It went past the buoys where the swimmers were to stay so the boats could not pass into the swimming area.  The raft/tube drifted out and to the south; it was drifting farther and farther away.  No one seemed to care or want that float.  Who did it belong to?   I was curious, but not enough to swim out to get it.  The tide was taking it out.  I noticed a woman/girl in front of me in the water.  She had long brown hair and was wading in the waves with other people.  What was different about her was that she was wearing shorts and a bikini top.  Most people don’t wear shorts in the water, but this is Florida and to each his/her own.

This woman started swimming out farther than the other people.  She went past the buoys.  As an ex-lifeguard I realized that she was not being safe.  She was all alone.  I was taught the “buddy” system of swimming for safety.  Was she going to get the floating inner tube?  It was very far away and was floating faster than she could swim.  I said something to my man.  He started watching her too.  Soon, all we could see was her head against the waves.  She was VERY far out in the water.  What should I do?  “You should call 911”, he said.  I noticed he did not get his phone to call 911.  Was she trying to commit suicide?  Did she get caught in the riptide?  Now, I could not see the inner tube float any longer.  It was too far away – gone from sight.  Gone.  I could still catch glimpses of the woman’s head floating in the waves.  There was a boat near her.  Will it hit her?  Does she see the boat?  Is she swimming toward the boat?  I asked myself questions as I watched.

No one on the beach seemed to notice this woman so far from shore.  The people on the beach were watching the sunset and getting ready to watch the fireworks.  I seemed to be the only person concerned that this woman may die.  She was not panicking.  She was not waving her arms to signal that she was in distress.  She just kept swimming out farther and farther.  Then she started drifting south like the inner tube.  Out farther and to the south; down the beach away from me.  Did the tide take her like it took the float?

These types of events don’t happen to us every day.  We don’t have to make life and death choices but when we do what do we rely on?  I choose to rely on my emotional intelligence.  How was I feeling at the time?  Could I name my emotions?  I was afraid for her, I felt helpless and confused.  I was afraid but curious.  I did not panic.  This moment seemed so surreal.  The sun was setting; it was getting dark – golden in the sunset but darker.  I kept trying to see her between the waves.  I had so many questions and I wanted answers that were not available.  Where were her friends?  Her family?  Why was she alone?  What is happening?  How nervous am I?  Is she going to die?  I realized that I needed to make a decision that I had to live with the rest of my life.  Ignore her and let it go?  Start yelling and get the crowd to see her.  Swim out with a raft to get her?  Call 911?  What would you do?  I took a breath, sat down and made my decision.

To be continued…

#emotionalIntelligence   #decisions  #lifeanddeath





20 ways to write an Affirmation, Intention or Opportunity Story

intentionsAfter watching the movie The Last Holiday with Queen Latifah and LL Cool J, I was taken with the idea of a book of Possibilities.  Queen L’s character created a book of possibilities.  It had pictures of what she wanted in her life.  A book version of a vision board if you will.  So, I created my book.  I am into words so I wrote stories about my future.  I would date then write my “story”.  Many of them have come to being!   Setting your intentions or writing an affirmation is an incredibly easy thing to do. All you need to do is come up with a positive intention or affirmation that describes and sums up your future you.  I listed 20 ways to help you get started to write intentions, affirmations, opportunities or possibilities.

  1. Take your intention and affirmation seriously. Believe it.


  1. Write about what you want. What you really, really want. (Thanks Spice Girls).  You don’t have to limit yourself to what you have now.


  1. Speak in the first person. Use “I” or “me” statements.  Use the most powerful words ever, “I am”.


  1. Write in present tense. Close your eyes and imagine that you are already experiencing the wonderful things that you desire.  “This is happening now”.


  1. Write with gratitude statements from the heart. Write as an expression of “grateful having”, rather than wanting or needing.


  1. Write in the positive. Instead of “I will not eat sugar” write, “I will eat healthy foods”.  Use “I am” or “I do”.  Do NOT use the word NOT.  (LOL)


  1. Write as yourself! You only need these intentions for YOU!  Use your own words and slang. Be your unique you.


  1. Write with Passion and Feeling.


  1. Write in your learning mode. If you are more visual use imagery (word pictures).  If auditory use sounds (Crunch!).  If Kinesthetic use emotions and feelings (make things move – Actions).


  1. Write your affirmation or intention or about the new opportunity as you are already there. Do NOT worry or write about HOW you are going to get there.


  1. Write about the things you have and are grateful now. Give yourself Kudos for the strengths and skills that you already have too!


  1. Write about ANYTHING. Things, feelings, experiences, relationships.  ANYTHING you wish to manifest.


  1. Don’t let your version of “reality” stop you. Go for the moon!


  1. Write many or write few. Write a story or a statement.  Do what you feel.  It must feel “right” for you.


  1. Only write affirmations for yourself – you cannot change other people.


  1. If having difficulty believing, use words like, “I choose to be…” “I am so happy that…”  “I expect that..”


  1. Be accepting of yourself and your beliefs. Do not judge yourself, your statements or your new reality.


  1. Change, upgrade and evolve as the intentions manifest.


  1. Always write the date that you wrote the intention. Then write the date that it happened.  I put the date I first wrote the intention in the upper right corner.  When it has manifested (happened – came true) I write a note on the bottom with the date I realized it came to into being my present reality.


  1. Have FUN! If writing the details is not fun – don’t write the details!  Write what feels best for YOU.  It is about you.

Enjoy your future!  Love yourself and others.

#intentions #Lawofallowing #affirmations #manifesting




Heart intelligence – Not Emotional intelligence…what is it?

Heart Intelligence“I don’t love you like I did before – it’s all different now – I’ll leave in the morning”, he stated with no emotion at 2am in a hotel room.  He didn’t love me anymore.  He told me then left.  My heart was broken.  I fell down on the carpeted floor as he slept soundly in the other room.  My heart was broken.  I couldn’t speak.  No air was coming in or out of my body. Suddenly, it felt like my heart burst open inside of my body.  Such pain.  I felt such pain.  I clutched my heart and rolled into the fetal position.  I couldn’t move.  It hurt.  My thoughts ran a million miles per hour.  What should I do?  What can I do?  I had no answers. This was the end.  I cried, I sobbed.  I had never heard such sounds coming from a human before.  Those sounds were coming from me.  I couldn’t breathe, my heart!  I clutched at my heart.

That is when I realized that my brain was not always in charge.  I have always been a logical person;  T – Thinking on the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory.  Then I discovered emotional intelligence – I realized that I can change my emotional intelligence.  The first time I took the EQ-i (emotional intelligence assessment) my scores showed that I was not that flexible (J – judgmental on the MBTI). I was determined to change this about myself to make it easier for my friend, family and co-workers.  I am still working on my flexibility but recently I learned that I changed my score and I am more flexible now than I was 4 years ago.  I also learned how to identify and name my emotions because of that assessment.  But, what is Heart Intelligence?

When I first heart about the heart-mind connection.  Learning that the heart has a higher electromagnetic field than the brain I was shocked.  The heart has intelligence?  A nervous system? This information was new to me.  I always thought the brain was the center of all human thought and emotion.   I’ve studied the brain.  There is an emotional part to the brain.  Heart Coherence is the linking of the brain and the heart.  The brain thinks logically and the heart give the brain emotional, spiritual and intuitive information.

As I meditate and slow down my mind I do feel more connected with my intuition.  I now    know that this is my heart intelligence.  So many times we are conflicted between our head (mind) and our heart.  I used to make lists of pros and cons when making a tough decision, but it never balanced because the heart is not logical.  When there is a coherence between the heart and the mind these decisions will be easier for all of us.  There is personal, social and global coherence according to this video by Gabirel Gonsalves about Heart Intelligence.  When I meditate I work on my personal heart coherence.  When I am surrounded by those I love I radiate social coherence.  After that sad break up years ago I went for a walk and asked the universe to make me happy again.  I breathed in goodness and breathed out all of my heart pain.  Today when I do yoga outside on my lanai, I throw my arms up, breathe out and give my love to the universe.  This is global coherence.

The Heart Mind Institute has been studying this connection for over 25 years.  They have created many exercises and ways of reducing stress and anxiety.  Ways to get to the “happy place”.   So, next time I will think with an open HEART as well as an open mind.

Stay tuned for more about Heartmath as I continue my research.  What are your experiences with this subject?

#heartmath  #emotional intelligence  #multipleintelligences


Retirement Coaching – Certification needed!

retired“What is a retirement coach?” asked Susan at a recent networking event.  I was stunned.  Isn’t it pretty self-explanatory?  Coaching is a relatively new profession; I get that.   Many people are not completely sure if they can trust “coaching” unless you are wearing a whistle and they are running around.  Business gurus (like Tony Robbins) suggest that we all should get a coach.  In fact, he is NOW a coach himself!  There are all types of coaching: executive, life, financial, athletic, career, skills, and performance.  So why not retirement coach?

I was thrilled when I was studying to be a retirement coach.  I had “coached” and mentored unofficially (meaning I was not certified to coach or mentor) for years.  Coaching is a profession because of the certifications but a coach does not NEED a certification to go into business as a coach.  This is similar to the workplace training profession.  I know many trainers who have their own business, “hang their shingle” and attract many customers.  Many are not certified as trainers (CPLP).   When the certification came out in 2003, I was one of the first in line.  Education is very important to me.  Experience is very important to me.  When I was selecting a business coach, I chose the one that I deemed knowledgable and skillful; Sheri Kaye Hoff.  She has a Ph.D and many coaching certificates.  She never stops learning and is always one step ahead of me.  That is what a coach should be!

Now, I was asked by Susan, “How can you be a retirement coach when you have never retired?”  Good question Susan.  I explained to her that I am certified.  I studied, I took a test, and I practiced.  Plus, I LOVE and have studied/researched older adults.  I wrote my dissertation about people who are retired (Older Adults Learning Online Technologies: A Qualitative Case Study of the Experience and the Process).  I have experience, education and a certification.  She seemed a bit amazed when she asked me, “So, why did you get certified when you already had a Ph.D.?  I get that question often – not just with retirement coaching but in general.  Why did you get your certification in workplace performance when you already had your Ph.D. in Adult Learning?

When hiring a coach, a trainer or any service professional be sure they know what they are doing!  That seems like wise advice but so many people do not take this into account when they are “shopping” for support.  I want my tax person to be a CPA.  I want my electrician to have education and experience – why not my coach?  Why not my retirement coach?  Shouldn’t our coaches be the most experienced, knowledgable and educated?  According to retirement, people spend more time planning vacations than planning for retirement. Sure, most of us plan financially but not for our psycho – social well-being.

We need to consider so many options when we retire. Where will we live in retirement?  Where should we get our first house then plan our second move if we need long term care?  How do we wish to socialize and with whom?  How do we feel about time management?  Are you a morning person and your spouse a night owl?  Sure, when we are working there are not as many issues; we get into a pattern.  We are used to our routine.  Did your work define your life or do you have another purpose to your life?  A retirement coach can help you answer these questions and more.  But remember, choose a certified retirement coach.  A coach with experience and knowledge.

#retirement  #retirementcoach  #coach   #certification  #cplp  #retirementoptions


lori photo 10-2015Lori Ann Roth, Ph.D., CPLP, is the President of Learning and…   She is a life-long learner and self-awareness expert who is dedicated to helping individuals and teams learn so that they can be their best. “Be the best YOU” is one of her favorite sayings. She is a creative and experienced learning and development professional who has been in the field for over 35 years and loves to help adults learn by facilitating a fun yet educational experience.  Lori has transformed individuals and teams to be more productive, communicate better and solve problems faster through assessments such as the MBTI, DiSCÒ, StrengthsfinderÓ and Emotional Intelligence (EQ-i).  She is a certified retirement coach.





Twelve Benefits of Journaling


When I was 12 years old my parents left me in the car as they went shopping for two hours  and I had to entertain myself (yes, they could do that back then).  I had purchased a small book with a horse on the cover assuming it was a book about horses.  When I opened the book there were no words; the book was blank.   This was my first introduction to journaling and I have been journaling at least once each month for the past 42 years.  I define journaling as writing your original thoughts in a book, blog or online app at least 1 time per month.  As opposed to a “diary” which is an accounting of your day to day events.  Below is a list of benefits you can receive from journaling.

  1. You can sleep at night.  Before I learned how to journal I had thoughts invade my brain.  “What do I need to do tomorrow?  What will I make for breakfast?  How will I show up in the big meeting on Tuesday?  Did I turn off the light in the TV room?”  Now, I journal before bed and I write down all of my thoughts, worries, dreams, and strategies.  This helps me delete the random thoughts so I can sleep.
  2. You don’t worry anymore. Recently, I realized that I don’t ever have to worry.  I have always heard the mantra, “live in the present” but I just learned how to apply it to my life.  I write what I am worried about in my journal then I go about my day.  I let my journal worry for me and I take action to solve my issues.  We worry about the past or the future.  In the present we are living the problem so we are not worrying – we are living.
  3. You don’t hold a grudge. Many of my family members and friends that I know hold grudges.  Someone made you upset so you just don’t talk to them or you talk about them – neither is a good strategy.  I write about what made me upset and keep writing about it – I get my emotions out, then I strategize about what to do in that situation.  Then I let it go once I have my plan of action.
  4. You can “remember” the past. Sometimes the past can be blurry.  Most of us cannot remember what we ate for lunch yesterday.  I have said to myself, “what was I thinking back then when I made that stupid decision?” Yes, I have gone back years in my journal to try not to make the same mistake again.  This is indeed an excellent benefit.
  5. You remember great ideas. I keep a journal beside my bed because I get great ideas in the night.  When your body sleeps your mind is still processing.  I have learned how to ask for an answer to a problem that I have before I sleep and my mind will process the answer.  This happened to me as I was writing my dissertation.  I was fixated on the next step in my theory when at 2am – BOOM – the idea came to me.  Fortunately, I had a journal handy and wrote down my idea – I found it in the morning and totally forgot that I was awake at 2am.  It was almost as if someone else wrote the answer to my questions – in my handwriting.
  6. You feel better. According to Dr. Marty Seligman and Robert Emmons  being grateful – giving thanks – makes you happier.  Keeping a gratitude journal where you would write 5 things you were thankful for not more than 3 times a week seems to be a key to being happier.  I have been keeping a gratitude journal for the last 5 years and I am definitely happier after I write in the journal.
  7. You see answers to your prayers. I keep a prayer journal.  I learned how to do this from my roommate in college.  She told me to write the date of the prayer – the prayer – then the date it was answered across the top of the page.  I have been doing this for over 30 years and I can see what my prayers were from the past and how they were answered.  I am NOT saying that all prayers will be granted (like a genie) but I can see the date that they were answered.
  8. You won’t stress out. Have you ever been so upset and there is just no one to talk to about your issue or you don’t want to talk to anyone?  When I am so upset that I can’t even talk to anyone I write and write and write.  I get it all out.  At times, I can’t even read what I wrote but that does not matter.  I got “it” out onto the paper and out of my brain.  This is wonderful “therapy” too.
  9. You won’t lose friends. Have you ever been so upset with someone you love that you told them without your filter?  There is no way to take back what you say.  If you write in a journal when you are upset with a friend, they don’t need to know what you think or write about them.  I have done this many times.  After my emotions are out then I can think logically and strategize about what to do and how to better communicate my issue with my friend.
  10. You will lose weight. Yes, even Weight Watchers(C) knows that if you write down everything you eat you will eat less.  This strategy has been proven in many University and independent studies including WEB MD
  11. It can help you write better and faster. They say that practice makes perfect.  In the book, Outliers by Malcom Gladwell he says that after 10,000 hours of practice you can be a “master”.  The more you write, the better you get at writing.  I have noticed that my thoughts come faster and I can type as I think.  It is easier for me to sit down to write now than it was when I was in college.  Words, thoughts, ideas just come to me faster because I have practice writing my ideas in a book for many years.
  12. You can be more positive. If you saw the movie with Queen Latifah called Last Holiday, you know that she kept a “possibilities journal”.  Her journal had pictures of all of the things on her bucket list.  I have a special journal where I write what I want to happen in the future.  I have lists of things that I wish to happen in my life.  This type of journal gives me hope that I can live a better life, that good things will happen – even if it just a story I tell myself.  If find that I am much more positive after writing in my “possibilities journal”.

Now that you have these twelve benefits to journaling how do you get started?  First, I would decide what type of journal that you wish to keep. I would suggest a general journal to start.  Next, write your ideas, thoughts or emotions as the mood strikes you.  There are no rules.  Be creative with your journal or not.  Now you can start to gain some of these description of Lori


#journaling #self-awareness #happiness