Master Walking his Talk


One of my favorite spots is our downtown Coffee shop. As a coffee lover, a latte is my favorite drink. My coffee has to have the right aroma and right taste, and I know that in this coffee shop, no matter who makes my coffee it will taste the same. 

A few days ago when I entered the coffee shop, I was surprised to see my kids’ Taekwondo teacher assistant, or as they call it: The Master’s Assistant. When he saw me entering the coffee shop, he stood up and bowed toward me. 

When my three kids joined the Taekwondo studio the Master taught us, the parents and the kids, that when we all enter the studio, we bow, when the kids go on the mattress or off the mattress, they bow. When the Master and other instructors hand you something you bow, and when you hand something to the Master he bows. 

When you bow, it signifies not only respect for your Master and classmates but respect for yourself, for the art of Taekwondo and your life in general. It is a universal gesture that signifies respect and appreciation. It is as they say without words: “I see you.”

When my teenage kids came for the free trial lesson, I could see something in their eyes and stance that I haven’t seen for a while. The Master was able to ask for respect and discipline from the students, but at the same time, he also showed respect for each student.

As you know, this is an experience that teenage kids don’t always have. I believe that most of the time when you enter teenage phase two things happen at the same time; While observing the world and the adults they are trying to understand what’s good/right and what’s bad/wrong and with those categories, they observe the adults and the world as a whole. It feels at time as they have much judgment regarding the way adults behave. They are watching closely to see if the adults are walking their talk in alignment with what they expect from the kids. 

That day, when my kids took the trial class, I could see that because the Master’s respected all students and at the same time almost demand respect, they saw the Master, an adult, whom his walking his talk. I could sense how their energy is shifting during and after the class; it was magic. 

Back to the coffee shop, when the assistant Master bowed toward me, I have to admit that I was inspired. This young man who has a dream to be a Taekwondo Master walked his talk. In today’s world, I feel that many of us walk conflicted. We behave one way in the office and another way when we leave the office.

When I mentor new coaches or coach business owners they will talk with passion about the deep conversations they have with their clients. However, when they leave the office, when they are outside with other people who are not their clients they let go of their gifts, and it is as they don't know how to utilize their strengths the same way. They hold a value or strength strongly with one group of people and don't know how to access it, how to use it in other areas in life. 


This young man knows that there is a long way for him to become a master. Even when you receive the black belt, the journey is still long. He also understands that part of his journey to become a master is to model Master behavior everywhere he goes. He holds the values of his Art strongly no matter where he goes and whom he speaks to.

I think that for some of us, doing what he did, stand up and bow in the middle of a coffee shop might sound strange, but when you walk your talk, you hold your values, thoughts and behaviors aligned no matter where you go or what others think. You stay true to what is most important to you even when others don't get it.

Do you feel a gap right now between the way you show up in one place and the way you show up in other areas of your life? I want to invite you to notice yourself. Notice your behavior, thoughts, and actions. Where does everything feel aligned? Where do you feel out of balance?

Gradually add one thing you do well to every aspect of your life and see what is available when you bring it everywhere. 

For example, curiosity, if you are curious at home, with your friends and strangers, but lack curiosity at work, try to bring curiosity to everything you do and everywhere you go. Ask, ask and ask even more and see what the impact on your life or others is. 

You might lose your balance even when you work on it, but the more you notice yourself and your gaps you will expand who you are and grow.


Many times when I speak with leaders I sense that the higher they climb the leadership ladder the lonelier they might feel.


Isolation, I remember the first time I heard that word related to my life context. Few years after our relocation, someone I met told me that I probably have a deep sense of isolation. Leaving our family, friends, and career behind was a very isolating experience for me. Until that person used the word ‘isolation’, I knew there was something, but I couldn’t point my fingers on, but that person nailed it. They were able to express the word I couldn’t find to explain what I had felt for so long. Isolation is one of the deepest experiences you have after relocation, not only you feel alone and isolated, but you tend to isolate yourself. Not because you plan to do so, it is just a natural way to be when you have the feeling that every time you leave your house you feel different than the rest around you.

The second time I chose to use the word isolation was during my last leadership role. You see, there is that unique paradox in leadership. Leaders lead, and when they lead others they need to connect with them, they need to communicate their passion and vision so people will choose to follow them.  When you enjoy leading processes and people this is an exciting experience, but mostly you can not escape the challenge and sometimes the challenge becomes a drama. I could sense in some moments how I escalate when I stepped into the path of a challenge with another person, or a difficult situation. I can even sense how I want to dive into the drama. But with experience, you learn how to manage yourself and see what are your options in the situation. But here is the thing, many times when you are there, in the challenge, you are there all alone. Sometimes your friends are part of the organization and you choose not to gossip about the situation, and again, the higher you go the harder it becomes to share your challenges. With some leaders sharing their challenge might look like they share their weakness, a path they are not willing to take. So what’s left? a mentor or a coach can help you go through the experiences and learn what you can do better, or help you make a new choice, make a different decision, or show up differently. These are one, or two hours in a timeline of many constant struggles, where the leader feels alone.
This is when the sense of isolation showed up again, how can I support myself, especially as an extrovert persona who needs to talk through her challenges with others, how can I go through this experience on my worn? There were many moments of frustration, and a huge need for self-care until I found few different ways to support myself beyond my coach and my mentor. I started with a friend a masterminds group.

Masterminds group was one of my wants, to have conversations with a diverse group of leaders and business owners from different business areas and different perspectives. The main thing that connects us all is our want to be challenged by others, willingness for a new perspective and a deep want to grow as people. It is amazing to see the changes that each one of us went through since we started this group, and this is one of my favorite meetings each month. There is something compelling about knowing that others have challenges as you, and it is inspiring to listen to their vision, creations and willingness to share.

This is when a new idea started percolating. What if I could engage the structure I have created in different Masterminds groups and we could meet outside? There is nothing better than facing your challenge in nature with other bright minds around.  I allowed myself to take some time and think it through, I asked different people for their feedback and then reached out to my friend Ronen Divon who is an integrative healer, yoga teacher and focus on energy work and we co-created a masterminds group that engages mind, spirit, and body.

I am very excited about this program, you know this newsletter is for sharing my messy ideas, and experiences, but feeling messy as a leader created this program, because I can see the need with my clients who are busy people, who never have the time to support themselves, nor to breath but crave walking in nature, or having a deep conversation with another human being while just being themselves.

I believe with all my heart that the more leaders connect with other leaders rather than isolating themselves they can create more impact in our community and beyond.

If you are curious to learn more about this program click here, and if you have a friend or collogue that you think might gain from this program would you be willing to spread the word and share with them?

My question to you – are there areas in your life where you isolate yourself?

When Reality Bites

A few months ago I attended a business summit where one of the speakers taught us how to go live on Facebook, or as we call it: Facebook Live. At the same time, I was working on a special short keynote speech for a conference in front of a live audience. It was somewhat like a five minutes TEDx talk speech. Now I am not new to speaking in front of an audience, but I tell you, to craft a five minutes’ message on stage was one of the most challenging projects I have ever had had in a while. Beyond the message, there was another component in the room: seven video cameras that will capture my message in one shot, no retakes. Which means that the video could turn out to be a professional video that represents my speaking skills, or not. 

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Back to the presenter at the Summit, one of the things that pulled my attention when the speaker was sharing his knowledge about going live on Facebook was the idea that the more you use Facebook live, the more comfortable you feel in front of a video camera. Although I started using more and more videos as part of what I do, I could still sense that I am not as comfortable as I wanted to be with video cameras. Since I wanted to get better with video skills and feel more comfortable in front of a camera, at that moment, I decided to experiment with Facebook live.

And that’s how one journey evoked another journey. To find a way to commit and be consistent with my Facebook live, I decided to connect the Facebook live with another activity – my runs. I run 2 or 3 times a week, depends on my schedule, so I decided that after each run I will do a Facebook live. I called my Facebook live: “on the run.” These Facebook live talks are casual talks; me with pink cheeks after a run, still catching up my breath, sweating and sharing a thought that came to mind while running. Beyond the practicing I felt that going live on Facebook will be an opportunity for me to walk my talk of getting messy, It wasn’t about creating the perfect well-crafted speech, it was about showing up with my raw thoughts and share them with my audience with no editing. And that’s how it all started.

Creating my intention to share my thoughts on Facebook required a new skill, from pure connection with self, I had to figure out what topic I should speak about after each run. 
Sometimes I knew right away what the topic is going to be, but sometimes no real topic came to mind and I could sense how I am trying to force the topic on me. This is how I learned that I need to manage my thoughts, sometimes what I needed was to surrender, let go of finding a topic and allow the topic to find me. I had to learn how to quiet my mind and allow my running time to be what it meant to be for me, a time to think about nothing else, to connect with nature and see endless opportunities in the blue (or cloudily) sky. 

Last week, when I went on my run, I felt that maybe I should shake things a bit and change my running route, and rather than turning left in the usual way I turned right. The moment I turned right, I smiled and told myself: Cool! Here is a topic for today’s Facebook live, I can talk about habits and how great it can be to shake things around, find a new way to do things, see how a new way can impact you and what you can learn from the experience. Perfect!” But at the same time, something unusual had happened, I had a sharp pain in both knees while running, it felt like needles pinched my nerves again and again and then it stopped. Ha! I told myself, my body doesn’t like the change, should I listen to what my body is saying to me?
I decided to keep going, but I could sense how this little change in my route felt so uncomfortable for my body; the downhill was uphill, what used to be behind me was now in front of me everything felt a bit off. But the sky was blue, and I was so excited to share my experience with my FB Live audience. I was almost home when I passed a lady who was walking with her dog. The lady and I smiled at each other, as we do in our neighborhood, I kept some space from her and the dog, but I know that Labrador-Retriever dogs are very calm and smiley dogs.  And then it happened faster than the wind, the dog jumped, I thought it was a friendly jump to say hi, but then I could feel it. I looked at the lady with pain and told her: “Your dog just bit me!” we both looked at each other with surprise. I was hurt, not because of the pain from the bite (yes it did hurt!) but you see, I love dogs, as a child, my house was filled with dogs and animals. Beyond the burning pain, and the anti-tetanus shot and antibiotics and canceling all plans with clients, I think what hurt the most was that a dog, an animal I love so much just bit me. 
For the rest of the day I kept asking myself, what had just happened? Did the instant pinching pain in my knees was my body way of communicating with me that I should not choose the opposite direction? Should I listen better to my body rather than going against it? What is the lesson I should learn?
But there was also another thought that brought a smile to my face: remember what I shared? I planned to share on Facebook Live how beautiful it can be to change our habits and see what we can learn from them but sometimes, just sometimes... reality bites… 

Oh! If you want to check my 5min keynote talk – you can check this link.


Open Heart Leadership Mindset


We all have that person in our life that we can not tolerate. Isn’t that a great opening for a Valentine’s Day post? I think it is. 
A few years ago, I decided to walk my walk of coaching. To walk my walk of coaching meant that I would hold the principles of coaching not only when I sit with my clients face to face or meet with them through the phone but also to hold those principles when I am not with my clients when I am not coaching. You see, the core of coaching is to partner with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. If you strip the fancy words ICF used for coaching, the nutshell of coaching is the relationships I establish with my clients from the first conversation. Establishing the coaching relationship is what allows me to have a different conversation with my clients.
What I mean by that is that when we start working together, I get curious about my client’s needs and wants in this relationship. They know better than anyone else (including me) what they need. Of course, I make sure that they don't speak the mantra of shoulds and needs that others put in their head. I make sure that they express what is the heart of their want, not the others' want. But to make sure we both can hear the real want we need to have trust. Yes, trust that thing, that "space" as coaches like to say, that makes you want to share your want with me, even if it is uncomfortable. 
What makes people trust you? There are many possible answers to this question because there are many people with different wants and needs. But when you let go of judgment by listening with much curiosity to what they say and shift your focus from what you need or really want to say right now to allow them to talk they trust you because your focus is on them. Also, it is also important that we will ask the person what they need that when we share our feedback or share what we hear, sense or curious about that they will be open to receive our feedback. Think about it, in each relationship the responsibility to give and receive is on both sides. No matter if you are a leader, a business owner or a parent, you are not the only one responsible for the conversation. Think about it,  I can be the best coach with the best tools, and you can be the best leader with the best communication skills, but if the other person in the conversation is not willing to receive your insight or feedback, they just won’t! It is not because we did a crappy job, we followed all the rules, step by step, but we didn’t do something important. We didn’t ask what they need and wanted to be open to receive our feedback. We assume that by asking what we need to do differently, the relationship will get better.

Yesterday one of my clients used the metaphor of relationships as a cards game and here is the deal, I see you, I listen to you, I focus on you, but at the end of the day there are rules to the game. I need to get the rules from you, or we will play on the board game without a win for you for too long, that can be exhausting for both of us. What do I mean by that? First I share with you how I work with you, but then I also ask for your wants and needs beyond your goals, I need to understand what kind of conversation, a way of communication you would like to have that will serve you. Some clients need more of quiet time to process, and for me to stay quiet and wait, some clients want me to challenge them a lot, while others don't like if I push too hard, some need to report about their progress in between sessions while others need to process on their own. I dance with each one of them differently while also get the permission from them to be me. There is no one size fits all, there is no recipient there might be a need to switch the dairy with nut milk for one person, and the wheat with almond flour with another. So how do I walk my talk outside the coaching session? I see people as people. This is the heart of a strong leadership. I think in the last few years it became more and more of a narrative in leadership, parenting and owning a business - see people as people, see the human in the other no matter how different they think and behave. 
But what does it mean to see people as people? I love to use the explanation that Arbinger Institute use in their books. The core of seeing people as people is to stop seeing them as objects. There are three ways to see people as objects:
1.    Seeing people as an obstacle -   when you look at people as something that gets in your way of achieving your goal you see them as objects. If a person slows you down and becomes a barrier in your way, you become impatient, when you become impatient you communicate that with your body and with your words. It can happen with the cashier in the supermarket or one of your team members who doesn’t deliver what you need. You stop seeing them as people, achieving the goal becomes more important than the people themselves.
2.    Seeing people as a vehicle - you can also stop seeing people as people when they become a tool for you to achieve something, a vehicle. You all experienced when someone used you as a vehicle. It will start when they come to your desk, or stop you on your way and probably flatter you on what you wear and then ask you if you can give them something they need that you have. Did you ever experience being a vehicle for someone else? I sure did….
3.    Not seeing people – this is when the other person is invisible, we don’t notice their existence. Have you ever experience sitting in a meeting with another person and they talk about their business/themselves/their mission for 60 minutes and never find the time afterward even to ask you one question about yourself? Would you do any business with that person? 
How do you see people as people? It starts with noticing that we all at times see others as objects. Me too. Now, when we are ready to admit that we have our moments when we don't see others as people, we can start noticing ourselves and learn to switch. How can we switch? We move our attention from focusing on our needs and wants to the needs and wants of the other person. A little example from our current flu season. Like many of you, our family hit with the flu as well. Since Thanksgiving every week I had one or two family members sick in our house. A few days ago while my two older kids stayed home with a cold and a fever I drove my youngest to school. My husband was on a business trip, and I was tired. My little one got into the car and said: “mom I have a headache and I feel like I am going to throw up” It was the sixth time that he used that excuse in the last month. Twice he did have something but this time like the two other times the week before he did not have a fever or anything else. I was tired. I was ready to just go to my meeting with a client and get some peace and quiet from all the germs in my house, so I did what sometimes parents do when they get tired. I yelled. Remember this is a messy blog. I yelled that enough is enough and he is going to school. There was more yelling from my hand, but the underneath the yelling was my try to say to the world to let me be. My youngest gave me the unhappy nine years old guilt look, and we both stayed quiet until we were one minute away from his school. That's when I noticed myself. I shifted from seeing my son as a barrier, being in my way of achieving peace to a child that might try to communicate with me a need or want. “Hey little guy," I asked him "is everything is okay at school? Do you have trouble with your friends, teachers?”, 
“yes mom,” he said, “I have some trouble with the assistant teacher.” 
You see, stop seeing people as people, is something we do more than we think, not only with our team members, or with our clients, but also with our family, or when we go to the supermarket or at networking events. Don’t be upset with yourself, just notice. The more you notice yourself, the more you will open your heart. 

People can sense when you see them as objects, think about it, see me as a person someone compliments me, see me as an object someone compliments me, do the compliments feel the same? 

Happy Valentine's.




Yesterday was Christmas and we woke up to a quiet winter cool morning. We celebrate Hanukkah, the holiday of light and hope, but one of the muscles I have developed with the years is the muscle of my curiosity, being open to learning about other cultures, about other religions and also about different perspectives of different people who think and do things differently than me. One of the things I have learned about Christmas is the importance of the word peace and its link to Christmas. So when I saw a quote yesterday about peace it inspired me to write about my journey with peace.

Shalom (Hello),

As an Israeli who grew up and spent her first 30 years of life in the middle east, I didn’t realize that what many of us are craving, peace, was part of our daily conversation. We use the word peace so many times a day but with a little twist. You see the word: “Shalom” is what we say when we greet each other with hello/hi, sometimes it might mean: welcome, but the real essence of the word Shalom that we use so many times each day in Hebrew, and in Arabic too is the same word we use to talk about PEACE. One words two main usages and it makes sense since the original greeting was a bit longer: “May there will be peace upon you.” Which again is the same in Arabic and Hebrew. It strikes me now, how I was caught up in my daily habit of greeting others with the word: “Shalom” that I haven’t really paid attention to the deeper meaning of this word. Since this blog is all about getting messy it was interesting to notice myself in the creation of this blog post and the thoughts that were running in my head while writing these lines, it started with a very judgmental perspective about my lack of connection with my behaviors, and then I was able to find compassion for myself then and understand that I needed to disconnect and detach myself so I would be able to believe and hope that in an environment of constant external conflict, still what many including me want and crave for is peace.



After the move to the US, the external conflict transferred into an internal one. For the first time in years there was so much noise in my head that I wasn’t able to hear anything. It is like you walk around with an untuned radio station, no matter how much I was trying to listen to the stations clearly it felt like constant noise. My husband was talking and I couldn’t listen him, my kids were speaking to me while we were walking or playing together and I couldn’t really listen to them, my friends were talking but I couldn’t listen them. All I heard were constant noises in my head saying: When are you going to figure out your plan? What are you going to do with yourself? Why are you so stuck? Why did you lose your confidence? Why did I do to feel this way?

I had so many internal conversations with myself, but were they really conversations? When I look back I can see that they were more of question after question after facts (or maybe opinions) about who I am, or maybe who am I not being and it was painful, and exhausting and burning and confusing that when others tried to talk with me, I lost the skill of listening. They were just background noises. I was craving quiet; I was craving internal peace.



Few years passed by, first I had to learn how to listen to others and it started with a different listening to the noises in my head. I learned to choose how I listen to those voices and then I was able to listen to others. It started by learning to be quiet internally and move my attention from listening to myself to listening to the heart of others, to be curious about them, to listen without the need to tell them what is their need, I waited for them to share their needs. And with the learning of how to listen to others I was also able to contain a new perspective about external conflicts that were part of my life: conflict in our core family, conflict in my workplace and a conflict that was in the middle east. One day while having a conversation with my kids, something in the conversation opened my heart to listen to something that I haven’t noticed before. I realized how easy it is to hate, it takes a millisecond to hate, but it can take lifetime to learn how to love again the one you hate. In that moment I promised myself that I will bring peace one heart at a time and it started with taking the time to learn how I can bring peace first  to my heart. I signed up for a special training that teaches the heart of conflict and I learned how to show up differently in relationships with others and myself. I learned that we all tend to focus on fixing others, especially in relationships, and what we are trying to fix is what we push the others to do even more, I had to learn that if I want others to change I need to change, and only when I change others will choose their path toward me. If I change for them to change, I don’t really impact a change, but rather a manipulation for the sake of me. I had to feel pain from others so I can teach myself to stand still and be okay with what they did, and then I had to learn that what they did was not always with the focus on "doing it to me" -  I had to learn that when I think that others did something to me it might have only been my personal interpretation but not their intention, I had to learn to hold them with love while they were hurting me, and I had to learn that many times what others do to me, is not really them trying to hurt me, but rather they being messy with themselves and the impact is on me. I had to learn that in the midst of my anger, my pain and my hurt to hold myself and my emotions with compassion and that’s when I learned that peace is not about quiet my thoughts or others’ noises, peace is about holding everything you have, notice it and open your heart to be okay with it. Most important I have learned that like everything else, there will be times when I will be better with staying at peace, and times that I won’t and that’s okay too, what I can offer myself is to always try again to practice being at peace.

In few days the new year will knock on the door and I will welcome her (I just feels like it is her) with a smile and say: “Shalom 2018,” and to you I wish PEACE in your heart even when the noise is surrounding you.

What do you wish for yourself in 2018?                                                 

 “Peace - It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” - unknown

Giver vs. Receiver (not a taker)

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to all the Givers out there. A true story…

Funny enough when I started writing this blog post I realized that today is Giving Tuesday. So it is a good place to start and share my thoughts about Givers.

Here is an interesting learning, until not so long ago I was a pure Giver. You might have read the book The Givers, by David Callahan. I didn’t know I was a giver, until a few years ago when I read this book and realized that this is me – I am a Giver. As much as I have enjoyed being a Giver at times, I also suffered from being the victim (yes, yes… it is my pattern, and I have learned how to shorten this way of being) of the takers. I haven't noticed this trend until I was part of a special program where I realized that some people picked up the phone or met with me only when they needed some information to understand the material in the program. But after they took the piece of information they needed they disappeared and when I needed something from them? They were no way to be found. That is when I have learned that takers will take knowledge, but will never share it with others.

Givers, on the other hand, will give knowledge, time and resources to anyone in need. They don’t see knowledge as power; they don't even understand this conversation around power, mostly they will come from a place of abundance. By the way, if you are not sure if you are a giver, here is a clue for you, you will always leave a meeting with another person too late because you want to make sure they got everything needed from you.

But the thing with givers is that we Give, and we enjoy giving, but because we put people before tasks, and many times we will also over commit to too many things, one day we wake up with the victim feeling and say: “Hey! What is happening here? I give and give and give, and no one is supporting me! no one is referring business to me, no one shows a place of an open heart to me, and the people I have trusted and helped grow to his or her leadership had turned away." How come that a Giver who comes from a place of kind heart suddenly feels as if no one cares?

I believe some of you were thinking to themselves: "Hey Givers! make up your mind! Do you help others just because you want to do something out of the goodness of your heart, or do you all just a bunch of manipulators who give so you can get something in return?”

No, True Givers don’t want anything in return, they are so inclined to give that they get to the point (and it happens again and again) where they just feel as they have no resources left. A deep sense of sadness and exhaustion arises, and then stress and fear crawl to the inner giver who steps into an overwhelming state. So what they do? They shut down, close the door and roar at anyone else who is trying to steal their time. Without saying a word, they look at you as they say: “Stay away! This is MY time; it is MY MY MY time to take care of myself because no one else does! I have some work to do, do you see the “No Disturb” sign? until I am done, I am not here!”

So after years of being a pure Giver, I felt as something is missing for me to enjoy giving, and then I asked myself: “What if I will become a receiver? What if I will allow my self to choose when I want to be a pure Giver but will also open my energy to receive?” And that’s when an interesting journey started for me because after years of giving without anyone leaning my way, suddenly people just showed up and asked: “Can I help?” sometimes they didn’t even ask, they just Gave without asking if I wanted to receive. Actually, they didn’t need to ask – because I communicated it without words, I communicated it through a new energy and new way of being that now I am willing to receive, they were able to sense.

When I was looking internally, I was able to notice that for years I was stuck in a positive way of being that blocked any opportunity I had to receive. I must confess that I know what was the reason I blocked my way of being as a receiver, but I will not go there. Still, if you are a giver who wonders why? Why no one leans my way? Ask yourself if there is something within that blocks you from wanting to receive, maybe you have learned long ago that when you receive you need to pay back for receiving? Maybe you have learned that when you receive you lose your power, or it might even bring a sense of shame? Perhaps you have learned that receiving could diminish the giving? and maybe you are confusing receiving with taking? When you go deep, ask yourself what is it that you block from receiving that doesn’t allow others to help/support/promote/mentor/advocate behalf of you/for you? 

So how would it be to Give and also be a receiver?