The Doctor is In!

The Doctor is In!

Did you love “Lucy the Psychiatrist” in the Peanuts comic strip as much as I did? Lucy’s brash self-confidence is juxtaposed with Charlie Brown’s shyness and perpetual self-doubt. Taken together, these two aspects could represent the poles of energy we all experience – our confident assertive thoughts and actions verses the negative ruminations that would stop us from asserting our competence and following our dreams. In this latter place, how tempting it is to look to others for their ideas and opinions. But, I’m reminded by Lucy’s sign that, “advice is cheap”- only 5 cents, and even a child can provide it.

How much better to look to our own deep intuitive wisdom to guide us in life. As a life coach, my work is to facilitate you in doing just that. After the early sessions to discover your Essence and Life Purpose, I’ll guide you in designing a life based on passion, freedom, and

the manifestation of your own dreams.

I know it’s possible. As a clinical psychologist for over thirty-five years, I’d had two psychoanalyses and years of psychotherapy to combat a history of depression. But it was the last eight years of coaching that allowed me to complete a book six- months ahead of schedule, find the love of my life, create a successful additional career as an ontological life coach, and most important, feel joy and appreciation every single day.

Now that the New Year is no longer new, what are you itching to change, to explore, to create? Hiring a coach can help you focus and discover what’s next. As one of our early motivational speakers, Jim Rohn, said:

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.”

He also said, Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills.”

Professional coaching can provide you with the skills to release old patterns and limitations, and support you in creating a vision that you can live into powerfully. To quote Deepak Chopra:

The most creative act you will ever undertake is the act of creating yourself.”

Some years ago, I had a children’s series of stories featuring Asa the Baby Elephant. I named the little elephant Asa because the name, in Hebrew, means “teacher,” “healer,” or “physician.” The implication here is that we are all capable and called-upon to heal ourselves. In fact, the ancient Biblical saying, “Physician heal thyself,” is closely allied to the ancient wisdom-teaching, “Know thyself.” And I would add, “Believe in yourself.”

I would love to be your coach and facilitate you in creating the next chapter in your life. Call or email to set up a complimentary introductory phone session. And read some of the following descriptions of how coaching has impacted the lives of some of my clients:

  • “I will be forever grateful for the gift you have given me, Gail – the key to my very own inner strength and wisdom” Carla R. -Teacher
  • “Dr. Feldman: Thank you for helping me shine a little light on the blocks to my greater achievement. I now know I can accomplish anything I set out to. I feel like I’ve sprouted wings.” Christine M. -Business Owner
  • “Dear Gail: You have been a dynamic force in my life. You have taken me through a supportive, yet complex un-layering of work-life-balance issues to reveal my true essence. From that place, you’ve encouraged me to see the grandest vision of my life’s purpose. Each session has been an Aha! moment giving momentum to my goals and desires.” Dr. Lori E., Physician
  • “I feel like a different person! Almost a Scrooge-like transformation. Thank you, Gail, for facilitating this huge life change.”- John D., Musician
  • “Thank you for your gift of insight and knowing. You have made my coaching a tremendous journey and I know the best is yet to come.” Sarah R. –Fire Fighter
  • “My coaching with Gail not only helped me develop a new outlook on life- I was also able to manifest a new job!” Marlene F. –Executive Secretary
  • “Thank you so much for sharing the life coaching experience with me. The practices I learned are life changing for my stress management and overall wellbeing. The visioning, goal and reward setting processes were invaluable and will help keep me motivated. You were a pleasure to work with, your joy and passion for life and learning are contagious and inspirational. It was so helpful to my growth–physical, mental, emotional and spiritual!” Ana B. –Author & Business Owner
  • “Deciding to partner with Dr. Feldman as a life coach has proven to be a wise decision with an enormous return on my investment. Although I consider myself a motivated and disciplined individual, I nonetheless recognize I create the obstacles that prevent me from achieving my personal and professional goals. Working with Dr. Feldman as a life coach has cultivated my awareness, acknowledgement and appreciation for my essence and life’s purpose. This cultivation is enabling me to live more skillfully and to shift my energy away from self-created obstacles to open doors of possibility and living my best life. I am grateful for Dr. Feldman.” –Karen C. –Attorney, Author

  • “Your kindness, support and wisdom as my coach have led to more happiness than I’ve known in years.” Nancy H. -Psychologist
  • “You have done such an excellent job coaching and always had the resources, knowledge and intuition to combat any situation. You have made some very difficult times much easier and meaningful. And you have given me many tools to help me operate from my essence. I thank you tremendously for your expertise and friendship.” -Beth B., Attorney

* “Thank you for all the seeds of wisdom and the insight you share with me to help me to see more clearly what my heart is desiring, and the encouragement to continue to pursue it.  You are the best! With much gratitude.” – Liz A., Photographer

* “Since starting coaching, I’ve accomplished a number of goals related to clarity, perspective, and balance. I’ve become healthier, with a greater sense of well- being. I’ve faced several very difficult interpersonal situations and have created a new, more positive reality for myself.  I’m happier, more productive, and truly enjoying the fruits of my labor. I recommend coaching for anyone who sometimes feels overwhelmed with the many important and pressing priorities in their lives.  Having someone to share and collaborate with can make a profound difference. It has for me.”

-Keith H., CEO

  • Gail has been a great coach for me and helped me to make significant progress towards my goals.  One of the things I especially appreciate about Gail is that she provides me with concrete tools and behaviors that I can implement and then follow up with her on my progress.  She helps me not only in working towards my goals, but in raising my own awareness levels about how some of my own unconscious beliefs are getting in my way.  Gail takes the time to work with the whole person (our physical, emotional, and spiritual selves) and not just merely focus on a single issue or two.  She brings years of experience, research and personal expertise to the process of coaching, which provides her clients with a wealth of approaches and benefits.  I highly recommend her to anyone seeking coaching, either for personal growth and development, or to help move forward on specific goals or issues.

–Michael D., Management Consultant

I look forward to discussing my coaching services with you.

Warm Regards,

Gail

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One Door Closes, Another Opens

  1. As the door closes on 2017, give yourself time to make a list all of your accomplishments during this year, big and small, in the important areas of your choice: family, work, health, money.
  1. Then read over your list and acknowledge, savor, and plan to celebrate all that you achieved in this past year.
  1. If you noticed a, “Yes, but…” regarding incompletions, list those separately. Then re-read that list and make declarations as to what you’ll proceed with and renew your efforts toward, or declare satisfaction with your progress and declare it complete, finished or not. You get to say.
  1. Choose some rewards and enjoy planning, scheduling, and

creating your celebrations. (At the very least, for small successes, give yourself a High-Five in the mirror!)

  1. Design and declare new intentions for this new year of 2018.

The following poem illustrates this combination of strength and flexibility, holding and releasing:

“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.” Rumi

Completion is a form of balance. It frees our time, attention, power and focus. It allows us to be ready for what’s next.

What will you open the door to in 2018? If you need inspiration, go to Napoleon Hill’s 1937 classic motivational book, Think and Grow Rich. Not just about money, Hill’s program for goal-achievement will

help you take the first step and focus on your “definite chief aim.”

Write the one thing you wish to accomplish this year. Declare it possible and write a vision for how it feels and what life is like now that this goal has been achieved. Create actions to take and find others to support you in your endeavor. Energize your vision every day and bring enthusiasm to your work.

Know that you are up for every challenge and that the Universe is supporting you.

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.

Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” – Goethe

Embrace the magic and have the happiest of New Years!

I will serve others in every way that I can and I will practice what I teach about Wonder Woman: to be the

Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Badass Wonder Woman Goddess I came here to be!

From this exercise, you’ll notice how you can release the past and hold fast to what and who supports you in every circumstance in the future.

“My point is, life is about balance. The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The pina and the colada.” Ellen DeGeneres

  • What will you acknowledge and honor about 2015?
  • What can you release, bless and be complete with?

Let’s make sure we have both the pina and the colada!

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Beat the Blues With Bright Spirits This Holiday Season

Declare your intention to be happy and upbeat during the holidays. Your word carries weight and your declaration will be a promise to yourself to stay in the spirit of the season. Be Love, Joy, and Blessings.
Be your own event-planner. Don’t be at the mercy of others or the victim of
traditions you no longer enjoy. Carefully craft a list of exactly how you want to spend each part of the holiday and who you want to spend it with.
Gratefulness is an antidote for stress and depression. At the end of each day, ask, “What or who, made me happy today?” “What or who inspired me?” And, “What or who made me feel deep comfort and calm?” At a holiday dinner, let each person around the table express three things they’re grateful for. Drink a toast celebrating your abundant blessings.
Honor loved ones who have passed on by placing a special ornament on the tree for them or lighting a candle.
Delight every one of your senses: Play music that makes your ears tingle and your heart soar; burn scented candles so fragrance meets you in every room; treat your taste buds to sweet and savory foods; wear soft cozy clothing so you can snuggle and stroke and touch the textures. Splash bright colors into every space you occupy- a bowl of red and green ornaments in the family room, a basket of red, green and yellow peppers in the kitchen.
Practice Supremely Supportive Self-care for the Season: Make a food plan
that’s nutritious and also allows for a few splurges. Keep moving through your regular exercise routine, or ramp it up a notch; add a new class you’ve
never tried before- and believed you never would! Practice self-compassion.
Laughter is good for the immune system. Yell “Laugh Attack!” every  afternoon at three no matter where you are. I guarantee people will join you in laughter, or think you’re crazy, or both.
Make cards or string popcorn or cranberries with children– your children or someone else’s. Do something “crafty.” The feeling of caring and engagement with the next generation makes us feel more alive.
Contact someone you care for, but haven’t seen in a long time. Catch-up and share what’s gone on in your lives.
Wear something outrageous on New Year’s Eve- add bangles on your wrists and bells around your ankles. Before midnight, write yourself a note on a beautiful card thanking yourself for all you’ve accomplished this year.
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SPRING INTO ACTION –Move From What Stops You to What Calls to You!

** What fears or anxieties stop you from moving toward your greatest dreams and aspirations? Are you experiencing “political anxiety?”

** How can you make the shift to Optimism and Action?

** What would your boldest vision for the future look like? Can you find the courage to write it and use it as a roadmap?

Growing up, the word “Spring” was always followed by the word, “cleaning.” My mother took the cleaning part very seriously- like cleaning every slat of the venetian blinds, moving the furniture to insure that “dust mites” would not inhabit the house dust, and so on. My mother had left Oklahoma as a child in the 1930’s, moving with my grandmother’s family to escape the drought that led to the Oklahoma of that era being called “The Dustbowl.” They settled in a small agricultural town in the desert-lands of southern California before my mother, as a young woman, moved to San Diego.

Even though I have no reason to be daunted by any form of cleaning now, that early training led to a tendency, as Spring approached, to put-off almost everything that I might interpret as work- like this article, which I’d intended to write and post in early March.

I am now declaring a shift – from equating Spring with the drudgery of cleaning, to viewing Spring as an opportunity to create a more beautiful, expansive, and fulfilling life.

It’s easy to hold this view for my clients and my friends:
1) Diane, an energetic woman somewhere in her sixties, was planning ahead to relocate to the east coast to be with children and grandchildren in the next chapter of her life. Retirement was an option; money was not a particular problem. It was anxiety that was stalling her. She confessed that the anxiety was related to taking on the cleaning and organizing of her house. “I don’t know if I would technically be called a hoarder, but after 40 years in my big house I can’t imagine and feel over-whelmed every time I think of what it would take to get it ready to sell.”

I introduced Diane to a short meditation practice, Heart Breathing, as taught by the Heart Math Institute. Five minutes of breathing love into the heart and breathing out fear lowers heart rate and respiration right away, and taking the last minute to “breathe out love to all other beings” leads to a sense of deep calm. Diane was thrilled to start feeling less anxious so quickly. She was further relieved to know that when she felt ready, a professional organizer friend would be more than happy to guide her through the process of preparing for a move.

* While depression is thought to be a deep sadness about the past, anxiety typically represents a fear of the future. I’ve found that since the presidential election, many people are experiencing what we psychologists are calling, “political anxiety.”

2) Sandra, a young woman client who’s also a psychologist, came to me in a state of panic. While she is blond and “Anglo,” as we say in New Mexico, her physician husband is Mexican. “My children are brown- they look Mexican. I’m so afraid of how they might be treated now that Trump is president.” Sandra was reminded that her strengths- the positive attitude and the spirituality that helped her overcome challenges in her past was exactly what she needed to practice to overcome her fears now. She also recognized her need to get back to regular exercise as a stress- reliever.

3) Recently, I was asked to give a talk to one of the resistance groups, called, Indivisible. I spoke about Resilience- What it is and how to do it. One psychological definition of resilience is: “The capacity to cope with adversity and even catastrophe, and return to homeostasis afterward.” I stressed that the first coping mechanism is to feel your grief deeply, whether it’s the confusion of disbelief; the pain of anger, the crazy-making of obsession, or the anguish of depression. Take time to be with it, write about it, talk about it, think about it. As you honor and process your grief, you become able to practice the greatest attributes of resilience: Optimism and Self-Efficacy. Optimism means that you can hold a higher vision for the future. Self-Efficacy means that you believe in yourself- knowing that you can be an influence for good in every situation.

4) To accomplish this, use your SOAP daily:
S – Spirituality; Social participation; Service; Meditation/prayer; church; community, volunteering, mentoring
O – Optimism, Self-Efficacy, Confidence, Create a Power Pose; Make a long list of your strengths
A – Appreciation, Gratitude practices; Affirmations and Declarations of your Intentions
P – Purpose- Powerful Commitment to life work & to the Self-Care that is Required to Do the work, and to the over-riding value of Love!

5) To receive more guidance for your meditation practice, read the section in my book: From Crisis to Creativity: Creating a Life of Health & Joy At Any Age in Spite of Everything! (the 3rd edition)- starting on page 237:
“Relaxation – Trance – Meditation – Prayer”

Have a Wonder- filled, Happy Spring!

All Blessings,

Gail

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Your Creative New Year! 2017

red-tree

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo painted her first significant self-portrait following an accident that nearly killed her. She gave the lovely Italian Renaissance-style painting to her boyfriend so that he would always remember her. This gift to her first love was an obvious memento. The gift to herself was less obvious, but more profound. It was a declaration that she had survived. After this, Kahlo chose to be a painter rather than a doctor. Following each of more than thirty operations, she made bold representations of herself, each one nearly shouting that she lived, despite her wounds and her physical and emotional pain. She lived and lives on through her gifts of art.

My definition of creativity (as described in From Crisis To Creativity) is “the art of growing self-expression.” In every way that we express an idea, a thought, a plan, a feeling, we give someone – especially ourselves – a gift.

Georgia O’Keefe said, “The days you work are the best days.” She was referring to her art, of course, which was her passion. In this New Year, why not view all of our work as our art? In doing so, every activity in which we invest our passionate energy will become our personal creative contribution.

Businesswoman Ruth Handler is best known for creating Barbie and Ken, teenage stars of her mega-toy company, Mattel. In the 1970s, she survived a radical mastectomy from breast cancer, and from her grief came the idea for a comfortable, natural breast prosthesis. She worked with technicians from her company to create the “Nearly Me” line of breast replacements and from her vision manifested a gift to many other women.

Sarah Dixon studied to be a teacher. This young woman was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, genetic problems that gave her parents little hope that she would live to adulthood. Like Frida Khalo, Sarah had thirty operations to restore physical functions. She now lives, works, studies, and even completed a trip around the world. Sarah reminds us to respect every life experience for its inherent growth and creative potential. Her life and poetry exemplify the “determined overcoming” which is the hallmark of the resilient and creative person.

Right now the world needs our “determined overcoming” – in every way that we can express our values and our commitment to the *”Heart of Democracy.”

“There is a community of the spirit.
Join it, and feel the delight
of walking in the noisy street,
and being the noise.” – Rumi “A Community of the Spirit”
So go and Be your Authentic, Bold, Badass, Creative Self this year!

Many Blessings,
Gail
*I highly recommend Healing the Heart of Democracy by Parker J. Palmer

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A New Year, A New Life- With Intention

Gail Feldman, PhD January, 2017

  1. Why do our New Year’s resolutions lack RESOLVE ? What is it that has us drop them after a few short weeks? While they seem like good ideas, (we do want to lose those extra pounds; we would like to save toward that vacation), our motivation may be based on our weakest rather than our highest values. For example, wanting to lose weight to look good at the next high school reunion won’t be as powerful as using the HS reunion as a springboard to support the high value you place on increased health and longevity -to be lively and strong for your children and grandchildren.
  2. VALUES are the power behind the success of our Declared Intentions. If you value integrity, commitment, loyalty, it’s more likely you’ll follow through on your resolutions. It is values that keep us accountable and responsible. Values are the power behind our word.

Consider this : If you tell your child you’re picking him up from school at a certain time, when the time comes to leave for school, you would never say to yourself: “I don’t really feel like doing this today. He won’t mind if I say I forgot just this once.”

You would never let your infantile, selfish voice sabotage your commitment to being a loving parent! BUT WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES routinely!

  1. We are not ACCOUNTABLE to ourselves; we are not RESPONSIBLE to ourselves; we do not RESPECT ourselves. We do not LOVE ourselves enough to do what’s possible and what is in our highest interest. We rationalize, we deny the importance of our wishes and our dreams. “It’s not a big deal,” we might say. “I’ll start next week.” IT IS A BIG DEAL! Let’s not derail our dreams this year!
  2. Viktor Frankl, the Viennese psychiatrist who lost his entire family in the death camps during World War 11, survived 3 years of hard labor and emerged barely alive with a few others who survived Dachau, the camp where 30,000 died.

Several years later, after dealing with near-suicidal grief, he was instrumental in creating the new field of Humanistic Psychology. In his most famous book, Man’s Search For Meaning, he is insistent about his belief that what keeps us going through the biggest challenges and the deepest suffering are our strongest values. He believed these values to be:

1. LOVE

2. CONTRIBUTION & Commitment to Others

3. RESPONSIBILITY and a DETERMINATION to OVERCOME SUFFERING

Please support your aspirations and dreams this year. Create your resolutions with Focused Intention and Strong Self-Regard:

Here’s an exercise:

  1. List your 3 strongest Values
  2. List 2 ways to express each one
  3. Declare your Intention to practice these 2 things (now 6 things)

Every day for three months! Your word is all-powerful!

Write it and Post it for all to see.

  1. Use an Accountability Buddy: someone who knows your plan to hold you accountable for follow-through
  1. Make a list of rewards and give yourself one at end of each week (Food must not be on your reward list! Be creative!) If (when) you fall off your plan, do the following:
  1. Forgive yourself
  2. Open your heart to success and get back on your plan
  3. Be grateful for your past successes and the ones that are now to come!
  4. Give yourself more love this year!

Have a Happy New Year and a Happy New Life!

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Ontology and the Equinox

The Fall Equinox falls on September 21st, which happens to be my birthday, and it reminds me of several things: First, the equinox represents one of the two times of the year when there is a balance of day and night, a relatively equal duration of lightness and dark.

What a beautiful metaphor for my work as an ontological coach. Ontology, the study of the nature of being, of existence, is a focus that balances the facilitative coaching of achieving intentions and goals with the equally important focus of creating time and depth for personal peace, self-care, fulfilling relationships, and complete self-expression. We know that for overall health and well-being, this balance is essential.

The other thoughts that September bring to mind are of Labor Day, the end of summer; the return to school, or the renewed efforts to settle back into one’s work and to commit to even stronger inspired accomplishments in the next year.

*In what ways might you find greater balance in your life?

*What areas in your life would you look at to create greater health and

well-being?

Responsibility and Resilience

As well as celebrating each year, I believe that birthdays, like anniversaries, should remind us of our responsibility to evaluate our lives; acknowledge our accomplishments, and practice resilience. We are blessed to have the freedom to commit to creating lives that we love, but we often don’t take the time, or don’t have the tools to do so. With each accumulated birthday, I feel we also have the responsibility to share our knowledge and wisdom. How well and in what ways are you sharing your wisdom?

Stephen Covey wrote in The 8th Habit, that in this age of wisdom and service (beyond the industrial and information ages), the task is to “Find Your Voice and Inspire Others to Find Theirs.” My mission in this year beginning with the September Equinox is to help others find their voice.

*What would “finding your voice” look like for you at this time in

your life?

*What are the higher accomplishments you would like to achieve

in your work?

*What have you always secretly wanted to do, but thought it just

a dream that could never be achieved?

I would love to support you in making discoveries about yourself that would transform your life and make your dreams possible. Professional coaching raises the bar and takes one to the highest level of personal functioning. Why not blow the top off all limitations to your greatness?

Call or email me today to arrange for a complimentary phone session to introduce you to ontological coaching!

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.Goethe

Let’s make magic!

Gail

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