Breaking Barriers down barriers to love

Let’s face it, after dating for a while, we build barriers to protect our hearts. Breaking down barriers to love requires courage. But it’s worth it.

I was just working with an amazing client last night who is doing a beautiful job of seeing and breaking down her barriers. She reminded me of my own ‘strategy,’ which was dating unavailable men.

I didn’t even realize what I was doing until I took a step back and had a hard look at my patterns. Once I owned it, I asked myself: “WHY — what’s in it for me?” The answer went deep into the sinkhole that lived in my heart: “it’s not going to work out for me, so why date someone real? I deserve at least this bit of fun.” Ick. 

Except I deserved all. Once I let go of that tired old story that it wasn’t serving me, I met the man that is my all a few weeks later. 

Other common protection strategies include hiding in work or with friends, staying stuck on your ex and not asking for what you need. 

If you are ready to take a deep breath and break down your barriers to love, ask yourself:

  • Do you have a “protection strategy”?
  • How is it benefiting you?
  • What is it costing you?

If you are ready to break down your barriers and open up to a healthy, satisfying relationship, please join me at Empowered Dating Saturday, November 8thThis is for small groups of 8 so reserve your spot today before it sells out!


PS – If you are not in NYC but you want a similar workshop in your area or online, just hit reply and let me know what you’re looking for. 

How does coaching work?

Fair question. While coaching has been around for decades, many people are not familiar with how it works. As there is increasing overlap between professions, I have tried to lay out what coaching is according to the governing body, the International Coaching Federation. I have supplemented this by personal experience being coached and as a certified professional coach.

This post addresses: 

  1. What is coaching?
  2. Does it work?
  3. When to hire a coach?
  4. What to look for
  5. How to get the best results.

What is coaching?

Have you ever been asked a powerful question that opened up a new perspective or an easier approach to a situation? Maybe the question allowed you to see an elegant solution that had been hidden from view. If you have experienced this you know that profound shifts can occur in a short period of time with masterful coaching. Coaching is a highly effective short-term service that focuses on a specific goal and mastering personal change. One of the reasons it is so effective it that it guides you to discover and create solutions that work best for you, rather than tell you what should work. Some of the hallmarks of powerful coaching include:

  • Powerful questioning to open up new perspectives and solutions
  • Insight to see and release blocks
  • Accountability to keep you moving
  • Non-judgmental support

Does it work?

Yes. The ROIs are huge. Wellness programs have an ROI of 300% and professional coaching has an ROI of 597% A meta study of coaching clients found the most common benefits are: greater self-confidence, enhanced relationships, more effective communications skills, better work-and-life balance and an improvement in wellness.  When to Hire a Coach Look for a coach when you are committed to investing in yourself and making profound changes.

  • Ask yourself: what will happen (or not happen) in 3 to 6 months if you keep doing the same things?
  • Don’t worry if you have no idea HOW to do it. Leave that to the coach.
  • If you can’t find the or energy time for it, hold off.

How to Choose a Coach vs. Another Professional

1. Make sure the approach fits your goal.  State your goal and ask how their programs work. Many practitioners use a hybrid approach.

  • If you seek clarity, creating a way that works for you and support mastering changes, coaching is probably a good fit.
  • If you want to get to the bottom of why you do something, try therapy.
  • If you want someone to diagnose your problem and tell you the solution, then let you implement it, look for a consultant.
  • If you want support and advice from someone who has been there, look for a mentor.
  • If you want industry expertise, hire an expert.

If your challenge is something you have not been able to solve analytically or rationally (such as relationships or life changes), you may get better results with mind-body approaches that allow you to hear your heart. Additionally, style can vary widely. Some coaches are ball-busters, whipping clients into shape. Others are more scientific. I know some softies who want a ball buster and vice versa. My style is supportive and straightforward. I listen, focus on what’s important and love you every step of the way.

2. Choose a coach you trust. Being honest is necessary for the process to work.

3. How important is it that the person has been through something similar ? For some, shared understanding is important. However if the coach only draws on their personal experience, this is more mentoring than coaching. A good coach will focus on your experience with open curiosity.

How to Get the Best Results

1. State a clear goal at the outset. Focus on 1 goal. Most coaches will have some type of intake form.

2. Be vocal. If something isn’t clear or a suggestion doesn’t resonate with you, be honest about why. It’s your program.

3. Do the work. Change happens in real life.

4. Be honest instead of perfect. No one expects you to be perfect and pretending will rob you of lasting results. The point of coaching is to get around roadblocks. So be honest about what you are experiencing and curious about what you’re doing. Taking the perspective of a non-judgmental observer will help.

5. Prepare for each session. Reflect on what worked and what challenges you are facing. Choose a topic for the session. If you have any further questions on whether coaching, or coaching with me, is right for your personal situation, please contact me here.

Cutting the cord

This one comes from a reader who asked:

“I fell in love with a man who was so right for me. We became pregnant but lost the child. Soon after our relationship ended and he is now with someone else. I know I need to let go, but I can’t. HELP!”

Ouch. I feel for you. That was a very intense connection.

It has been said, and I believe, that each time you have such a strong connection with someone, they are either your mate or your teacher. Perhaps this experience was given to you to teach you something you would need for in the future.

It’s not always so easy to let go though. I remember after loosing a deep, soul connected love thinking I was done. No one else would ever make me feel that way. Which is true — no one else can ever make you feel exactly the same way.

Your next love will be different because you will be different. You will be stronger and more aware of what you need and desire in a relationship. More aware of the kind of partnership that works for you and what doesn’t work for you. All of this is good.

But first you must clear space in your heart to welcome your new love in.

I find the cutting the cord ritual is a powerful way to cut the emotional ties that keep you focused on a past love. It may seem hokey but taking action to perform this ritual provides the closure many people need.

There are several ways to cut the cord. The one I like best is below, but you can adapt it to your own style.

  1. Draw a warm bath and add 1/4 cup of salt to the water.
  2. Immerse yourself in the water and recall the good things about your relationship. Thank the person for what you learned from them. Then say, “I am ready to let you go now.”
  3. Visualize a cord between you and this person. Imagine holding a machete or huge scissors. Visualize cutting the cord, repeating “I release you, I release you, I release you.”
  4. From then on you will feel less tied to this person. You will think about them less and when you do think about them you will be able to move on quickly by repeating “I release you.” Keep repeating that phrase until they fade into the background.

With this new space in your heart, focus on the love you want to experience. What does it feel like to be with this person? To put it out there, share this with us below!



Are you a professional woman who is ready to meet your partner?

Drop the games and running around to events you don’t even enjoy. All that stuff doesn’t matter.

After interviewing tons of women in long, happy relationships, I heard a lot of “just be yourself.” But when you listen closely, what they actually did was create a loving confidence, embracing every bit of themselves and others with love instead of fear, which then attracted love. 

For why it works and how to create it even after disappointment or years of dating, check out this video: Ready For Love. (Bonus it makes you feel amazing right now!)

The Ready for Love Workshop is on Saturday, November 8th from 3-5pm in NYC.

Register For $39 by Friday October 17th! Regular Price $49.

sign me up scotty

The art of slowing downThis year I vacationed on the island of Sardinia, Italy, renting a rustic stone home or stazzu with friends. Since I never set up my international cellular plan and there was only a weak satellite connection, I had no internet for a week. It was heaven. All we did was sleep, run, sit on the beach with books, amble the local markets and prepare a local feast each night.

I still felt a twinge of guilt though, as millions of Americans do, and had to remind myself of the benefits of slowing down. My favorites are: it improves your performance, rekindles relationships and helps you see the bigger picture.

The last one has been huge for me. My first step in starting this business and falling in love was to create downtime, the space to be myself, to rest, daydream and connect.

Slowing down didn’t happen over night. I made one change at a time and got comfortable with letting some of the little things wait. But it was a beautiful journey that has added so much richness to my life I would never go back.

Here are a few ideas for practicing the fine art of slowing down:

  1. Set a clear boundary with time and technology. Try these or create your own.
  • Rent a vacation house with no internet or unplug the router.
  • Create work email free day or weekend. If that is not possible, then check and respond only during specific windows, such as 11am and 5pm.
  • Remove time sucking apps from your phone.
  • Carve out technology free times every day, such as meals or commuting.
  • Remove technology from the bedroom.
  • Cancel cable and get Netflix instead.
  1. Commit to sleep. The best hours to sleep are thought to be between 10 and 2 am. What would you need to do to get in bed by 10:30 pm every night.
  2. Make quality time your objective. I used to have several projects, (I’ll just read these 5 books or write this presentation) planned for each vacation, causing my family to get mad for ignoring them and me to be frustrated that I wasn’t getting enough done. Instead, make people and being present your only objective.
  3. Do one thing at a time. Fully engage in whatever you are doing, including a conversation, work, sitting in the sun for 5 minutes a day or going for a walk. When you need to move on, excuse yourself.
  4. Do it the slow way. Slow cook a meal (try my slow cooked marinara), take the country route, amble around an outdoor market or pretend you are an Italian man from an older generation and sit around the table all day long. The pleasure of doing nothing.

What do you do to slow down? I’d love to hear it below.



7 Reasons even you need real downtime

A recent survey revealed what most of us feel: that millions of Americans feel guilty about taking downtime and work on weekends and vacations.

Let me relieve you of this guilt.

Unplugging, napping and daydreaming make you better.

  1. Daydreaming finds solutions to complex problems. According to research by Dr. Letivin, our brain has two dominant functions: task driven and daydreaming. It can only do one at a time. When you are unplugged and daydreaming your brain makes connections from seemingly arbitrary information and thus comes up with creative solutions to a problem. This is why great insights often come when you are folding your laundry.
  1. Sleeping longer improves athletic performance. A recent article by Tony Schwartz of the Energy Project claims sleep, namely 8 to 9 hours per night, as a competitive advantage. He cites research by Dr. Cheri D. Mah of Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic found that athletes performed better and reported better moods and more energy on an excessive sleep (10 hours a night for 6 weeks).
  1. Vacation increases performance evaluations. Tony Schwartz also notes a study of Ernst and Young employees that found that for each additional 10 vacation hours they took, year end performance evaluations improved 8 percent.
  1. Naps improve concentration and performance. Alertness declines throughout the day and can be revived with a 10 to 20 minute nap. A great article by Ferris Jabr summarizes the research and benefits of naps.

 More importantly, downtime is good for your life.

  1. It allows you to see what you really want. When you aren’t following your to do list, you can follow your nose as my grandmother would say and do what you crave. For the first few days, it may be rest. So give yourself permission to sleep. When you awaken, you may crave connection or fulfillment or creativity. This craving can feel uncomfortable if you don’t know how to satisfy it immediately, but resist the urge to make yourself busy just to avoid it. Instead, acknowledge it and ask how could you bring more of that into your life. Listen for what answers appear over the next few days.
  1. It helps you let go of what’s not working. Much of work is done on autopilot, responding as we always have. Taking a real break creates physical and emotional space to see patterns that need to be upgraded.
  1. It creates more satisfying relationships. When we’re stretched, it’s impossible to truly connect. Besides feeling a little empty, studies have shown that lacking strong relationships is as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Taking the time to rest so you can be your best and truly present with your loved ones can rekindle and deepen relationships. (For best results, nap together.)

Try a 10 minute nap, technology free meals or 20 minutes puttering time around the house. For more ideas, check out my post on The Art of Slowing Down.

Sardinia Market

The secret to great marinara sauce, or so I am told not being Italian myself, is to slow cook it until it turns slightly orange, which takes between 2.5 and 3 hours. I tried it while on vacation in Italy and got rave reviews!

Serves: 4 to 6

Time: about 3 hours


  • 1 yellow onion
  • ¼ clove of garlic
  • 8 ripe roma tomatoes
  • 1 large tin crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bunch oregano
  • 1 bunch rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • 3 pinches of Salt
  • 4 grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 2 sprinkles of white pepper


  1. Mince the garlic and chop the onions into 1 inch squares for a chunky texture
  2. Place a deep sauce pot on medium high heat, add two swirls of olive oil and then the garlic and onion until they brown (3 to 4 minutes)
  3. Slice the tomatoes into about 4 slices, then halve or quarter them for a similarly chunky texture. Add the tomatoes & crushed tomatoes to the mixture, along with the herbs and spices.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for hours. Check periodically, adding a bit of water and more salt and pepper to your taste. Once the sauce begins to turn slightly orange, remove it. This should be around 2 hours and 45 minutes, give or take 15 minutes.

Enjoy with pasta or Sardinian Fregula with Sea Bass & Mussels


Adelma (that’s me cooking in a funny apron with a poofy black flower in Sarda)

Adelma Cooking

Marketing in Sardinia

Sardinia KitchenFor years I’ve been dreaming of a cooking vacation in Italy, so I was ecstatic when my dear friend Becca suggested renting a rustic Italian  “stazzu” in Sardinia.

We spent our afternoons ambling through local markets, tasting fresh local olives (at 13 Euro a pound), prosciutto, parmesan and the island specialty – cinghiale (wild boar). Cinghiale is gamey and quite nice if you like that sort of thing, which all did.

Each night we feasted in the slow southern Italian style with a magnificent meal. Men prepared meat and Beccs and I prepared cheese (her), pasta (me), fish and veggies (both of us).

Below is my interpretation of the traditional Sardinian Seafood Pasta dish. Imagine an Italian flavored paella with fregula, the local pasta which is a cross between risotto and a nutty cous cous. Pasta usually doesn’t satisfy me, but I found the earthiness of fregula exquisite.

Serves: 4

Time: 1 hour


  • 1.5 lbs Mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 1 lb Sea Bass fillet
  • 1.5 cups marinara sauce (try my recipe from scratch)
  • 2 cups fregula (on Amazon)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • ¼ clove of garlic
  • 1 bunch rosemary
  • ¼ cup Red Wine
  • ¼ cup White wine or stock (optional)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Mince the garlic and chop the onion into small ¼ inch squares. Place a risotto pan or sautee pan with deep sides onto medium high heat and add two swirls of olive oil and then the garlic and onions. Cook until brown (about 3 to 4 minutes).
  2. Add the sea bass, skin side down and cook until it turns white (about 8 to 10 minutes).
  3. Add 2 cups of fregula with the red wine, 2 cups of water, sprinkle of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir periodically and add more water if it all boils off.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the mussels.
    • If they have not already been cleaned, scrub them and debeard them by pulling the hair sticking out of the shell sharply down toward the hinge or point. Remove any opened mussels.
    • In a deep pot, add ¼ cup of white wine or stock and dump in the mussels. Steam on medium high heat, covered by a lid for 12 minutes or until all mussels are open.
  5. Returning to the pasta, add the 1.5 cups of marinara sauce, the bunch of rosemary and cook for another 10 minutes before adding the mussles for flavor. If you prefer your pasta a bit al dente or crunchy, it will probably need another 5 minutes or so. If you prefer it soft, add another 2 to 3 minutes

Serve and enjoy!

Sardinian Fregula with Sea Bass & Mussels


Chocolate SauceChocolate Sauce Pour










Chocolate Sauce with Coconut Oil

Ok, I admit it. I am a sucker for chocolate sauce. My favorite kind is rich and thick with a hint of sweetness. As you can see, this one pours very slowly.

My grandma’s recipe is fabulous but loaded with butter and corn syrup so I adapted it with coconut oil.

Serves: 6 to 8

Time: 15 minutes + cooling time


  •  16 oz Semi Sweet Chocolate (2 boxes)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of coconut milk


  1. In a small sauce pan or double boiler, melt the chocolate on medium heat.
  2. Stir in the coconut oil until it’s creamy.
  3. Then add the coconut milk and stir until it’s mixed in completely.
  4. Remove from the heat and cool.

Note: This chocolate sauce can be kept outside of the fridge for at least a week. It’s never lasted longer than that in my house! If you prefer to refrigerate, it will become solid so heat it for 30 seconds before serving.



IMG_1342Sometimes I like a bite of  something light and slightly sweet to finish off dinner. Sautéed peaches hit the spot in the summer.

They’re so easy you can put them on and let them cook while you eat dinner. Be ready for rave reviews.

Serves: 4

Time: 25 minutes


  • 6 soft white or yellow peaches
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • olive oil
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 2 to 3 grinds of black pepper


1. Rinse & slice the peaches into 1/2 inch slices.

2. Place a frying pan on medium high heat and add 2 swirls of olive oil and the peaches. Cook for about 10 minutes.

3. Add the (rinsed) basil, salt and pepper and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until the peaches soften as shown.