"If you master your mind, you'll master your life."
I'm passionate about the success of women. My vision is to amplify our collective power, goodness and authenticity.
I grew up in Boston, raised by very strict and conservative parents. My parents, whom I love dearly, and I didn’t see eye to eye on most matters.
Although they meant well, they operated from very different cultural and generational perspectives. For example, they didn’t approve of my dating white boys in high school and, when I found a nice, smart young man from a good family to date, my parents disowned me (they eventually un-disowned me). None of it made any sense to me. I was a good kid, getting good grades, staying out of trouble and, by all measures, doing well. I didn’t understand at the time that their outlook had very little to do with me but more to do with my parents’ lens, which was shaped by their unique upbringings. My upbringing has not only shaped my perspective of the world but it has also strengthened my curiosity in human behavior and motivation.
My formative experiences led me to pursue a degree in psychology. I was curious about the motivators that drive our intent, shape our perspectives and experiences and ultimately our behavior. As a psychology major, I reveled in learning about reward and punishment, acquired and learned skills, and how our experiences color the lens with which we see the world. A love affair with human behavior was born.
I consider myself a die-hard New Yorker, having lived here on and off for over two decades. As with any relationship, there are elements of NYC life I simply adore and never tire of, alongside the grime and intensity, which can deplete New Yorkers over time. I moved to NYC to attend Barnard College of Columbia University, a wonderful all women’s school nestled within a fiercely competitive co-ed university. Although a majority of my classes were intimate seminars led by powerful* women (*as defined by their authenticity and intellectual prowess), I always felt that I was part of the larger co-ed community as we seamlessly moved between campuses for classes, socializing and other activities. Looking back, having had strong, powerful, bold, and successful female role models in college certainly further helped to shape and strengthens my view of the world.
Since college, I have worked in both the private and public sectors at financial institutions, including a hedge fund, but I eventually decided to bridge to the public arena in the aftermath of 9/11. Although I didn’t pursue a postgraduate degree in psychology, and instead received my masters in public administration and policy at New York University, I continued my study of psychology and human behavior informally outside of the classroom. Professionally, I have always served in a people-facing role and as a result, I have been able to continue to use my psychology background to uncover people’s motivations for finding common ground.
In my personal and professional life, those who have sought my advice over the years have called me a trusted advisor and a thoughtful and insightful leader. Sharing my experiences, the lessons I’ve learned and also encouraging individuals to live authentically is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my day as I believe that each of us has the tools at our disposal to manifest the life we envision. Being a small part of someone’s journey is a privilege and a joy. I am not only grateful to those who entrust me to help them to grow and move forward but I am also appreciative of those who have paved the way for me. I thoroughly enjoy these types of interactions and never considered it work. It certainly didn’t occur to me to pursue this line of work more formally.
Over these years of mentoring, questions about dating kept popping up over and over again. How are you always in a fulfilling relationship?Where do you find quality men to date even though you’ve never used an on-line dating app? What’s your secret to relationship success? My responses were always honest and forthcoming as I’m happy to share my perspective and experiences. I also held the underlying assumption that people generally will do what they want to do regardless of sound advice. And that’s okay. Your life has to be measured and defined by you, and you alone.
I am just as guilty as the next person in this area. Unless I am truly listening with an open heart, and being honest with myself about what is or is not working in my life, I am not motivated to change. Change requires work and who wants more work? Our intent informs our thoughts, our thoughts drive our emotions; our emotions drive our feelings; and our feelings dictate our behavior. If you master your mind, you’ll master your life. It starts with intent and culminates with taking concrete action steps toward your goal. The idea is similar to getting in shape: we need to go to the gym regularly, be mindful of the food we eat and practice this way of living consistently over time. It requires work but don’t all great achievements come with hard work.
Some time ago, a dear friend came to me in desperation. Although on paper she had a fabulous life (smart, successful, attractive, life of the party...), her dating life was a disaster. She didn’t understand how her actions and words were producing negative results in her intimate relationships. She felt that none of it was her doing and that others were responsible for her unhappiness. She asked me for advice. It is a credit to her that she recognized that something needed to shift within her and she was proactively taking the first step (often the first step is the hardest). I gave her advice believing that she would not make any real changes (back to the assumption that people ultimately do what they have always wanted to do). Much to my surprise, she came back the following week and said, Wow, everything you said to do, I did, and I already see different results. What’s next? So, over the course of several months, we worked together implementing small action steps to produce different results. During this process, she was willing to be open and honest in a way she had never been before. She took responsibility for her part in relationships and took ownership of her life. Essentially, she took her power back. During this process, I realized that people do want to change (I was wrong); it’s just that they don’t know how. If I am able to hold that person accountable and continue to encourage them throughout this process while laying concrete next steps, beautiful things will come to pass.
Today, I can happily share that my friend is a different person, perhaps an elevated version of herself. She has clarity, is focused on what she wants and needs, and oozes a different level of confidence and joy in her day to day. As a result, she is attracting much different, high quality, honest and authentic people. Even though our work centered around her intimate relationships, she realized that having clarity and a vision based on realistic and practical goals also shifted her relationships at work and at home.
One day, she asked, Why the heck are you not doing this type of work? She went on to say, You clearly have a gift and you need to share your experiences and knowledge so that others can also benefit. She motivated me to follow my passion and pursue goals that may have been on hold due to fear: fear of failing; fear of not getting started; fear of not being good enough. But as I have learned, I now know to make choices out of love, not fear, and I believe that when we are in alignment, the universe conspires on our behalf.
I strive to live each and every day with gratitude. I take pleasure in the simple moments and strive to be fully present, accepting things as they are and learning new aspects about the world and myself. I am also passionate and committed to giving back. I currently serve on the Board of Directors of several New York City-based nonprofit organizations. I am also grateful to my alma mater for their support and for providing me with a solid foundation. Thus, I stay actively engaged with my college, serving as class chair and also by taking part in a mentorship program every year. For the 6th year in a row, I will be working with a graduating senior, helping her make the transition from school to work.
I live in Manhattan, enjoy running, playing tennis, traveling, reading nonfiction and memoirs, cooking and eating, of course, and spending time with the people I love. My goal is to live every day as an active participant of life, love and happiness, and in my own way, make a difference.
Thank you for being a part of my journey.