Category: Uncategorized

Lessons Learned While Picking Raspberries

By meredith, July 22, 2013 11:19 am

Who would have thought that raspberry picking could be such a fitting metaphor for my life? Or at least give me some perspective. It’s hot, and my son is in the baby carrier on my chest. We don’t have too much time before he is ready for a change of scenery, but I want to pick as many raspberries as I can because the ripe ones won’t last until the following day…


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Thoughts on spreading joy

By meredith, May 29, 2013 10:33 am

Giving birth to my son has got me thinking about the various ways we can spread joy. When I got engaged a couple of years ago, my sis in law wrote a note that mentioned that my happiness with my partner is a great way to spread joy. I think about that often – a new way of spreading joy. It made me joyful to think about that – here I was, unintentionally spreading joy through my joy. Beautiful.

My sister in law in turn had inadvertently sparked a chain of positive feelings by pointing this out. I found myself thinking about other ways that I spread joy without even realizing it.

Having a baby boy to introduce to the world has become another means to spread joy. Every time I introduce, or reintroduce him, to friends, family, or complete strangers, their faces light up. Sometimes I can walk by someone on the street who will look from me to baby and back to me, with a big old ear to ear grin. And I feel so connected, and well, joyful.

r bear

It’s another way to spread joy – that’s free. And simple. And so precious. It’s a cliché, but these are the things that money couldn’t possibly buy. And they spread many more smiles than the material things money could buy. I’m grateful to my sister in law for pointing this out. And to my mind for continuously seeking these ways we spread joy without even realizing it. Think about sharing the inadvertent joyful moments with your loved ones – it feels really good!

Yoga is a practice.

By meredith, January 21, 2013 9:48 am

Cassie Puppy Pose

Yoga: a Sanskrit word for “join” or “unite”.

During my prenatal yoga practice at home with Yogaglo the other night, I was getting really antsy. In fact, I can’t remember struggling with as big a case of the antsies (both physical AND psychological) during an attempt to be mindful (yoga, meditation, etc.) for as long as I can remember.

Maybe it’s my new job working with adults with severe mental health issues I’m dealing with; or it’s being pregnant and missing one of my favorite go to coping skills – drinking a glass of wine! (healthy or not, it’s a good quick fix, okay!?); being pregnant and newly married and maneuvering the nuances of my relationship with my husband as we embark on our married life together while also preparing mentally and logistically for a new baby; I could go on and on. It’s probably a combination of everything all at once.  I’m experiencing some very important life transitions right now. And these are BIG life events. But life’s always changing: that’s the only thing that’s constant in life, so they say.

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Build a Garden: Watch a Community Grow

By meredith, July 5, 2012 3:23 pm

Annie Shaw started with an idea for a garden one night, and created one the next. I bumped into her when I was visiting my brother and noticed a beautiful garden had been built on his street, right next to the freeway. My brother, myself, and my nephew met Annie when we walked through the garden. She was holding a watering can in each hand, and more than willing to share her story.

Read on about the importance of rolling up your sleeves, getting your hands dirty, and building something you care about…


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Putting the HOLLA! back in Holiday Party

By meredith, December 19, 2011 12:11 pm

I’m 3 for 4 in attendance of holiday parties this year. Well, I guess you could call it 3 for 3 since the once I didn’t go to wasn’t directly related to the holidays. Before each of those two parties, I was trying to psych myself up. I didn’t really feel like going, but I knew I would be happy if I did. And I was. Both of the parties, in their own way, were a blast.


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Acknowledging Our Abundance

By meredith, December 16, 2011 1:48 pm

Do you ever wonder what it would feel like to believe you had everything? I don’t mean the second or third house and the fancy car and the trip to Europe. Nor do I mean discounting basic needs, like food, and shelter, and a sense of safety. I mean the things that really matter (or so, we are told, or we learn, as we get older), like healthy relationships, to love and to be loved, some meaning and purpose in life, laughter, sunlight, exercise, fun. Because when I think about what’s really important to me, I truly have it all.


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Tara Mohr: On Finding the Courage to Speak Your Voice

By meredith, November 28, 2011 10:18 am

Tara Mohr is a most inspirational writer, blogger, and teacher who helps women find their voices.

A quote from her web site that I love:

‘Most brilliant women don’t see their own brilliance and are “playing small” and they know it: not speaking up, doubting themselves, seeing themselves as “not yet ready” to launch the big idea, the organization, to put themselves at the table. The 10 Rules, and the other work I do with women leaders are about learning how to quiet self-doubt, clarify purpose, and become comfortable with taking bold action in the workplace and in the world. That is what I teach, and I love to teach it because I’m still learning it myself.’

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Kim Meninger of Great Heights Coaching

By meredith, November 21, 2011 3:55 pm

After 10+ years in the corporate world, Kim left her company to raise her baby and find what it was that was calling her. That was when she started Great Heights Coaching, a company through which she helps individuals and organizations maximize success. Kim has an MBA with a concentration in organizational development from Boston College and her career and life coach certification through the Life Purpose Institute.

Can you talk about your career path and what led you to choose career coaching?

I got an undergraduate degree in psychology, and my original dream was to go into a PhD. program and become a clinical psychologist. When it came time to apply for the programs, I kind of froze. I thought: I can’t really afford a full time program. I’ll be thirty before I can even move out of my mother’s home. All these fears arose for me, and I realized that it wasn’t the right time in my life to take that step.

I went through a complete shift when I entered the corporate world and took a job at EMC. I loved my job and the corporate environment, which is why I was there for 9 years. I managed relationships with various business partnerships. It was a satisfying role for me because I was able to use my psychology background to build relationships, understand what motivates people, and negotiate with others. For a long time I felt a great sense of satisfaction from my job.

While I was at EMC, I decided to pursue an MBA part time.  I felt that I was missing some of the mechanics, having not studied business as an undergraduate. By the time I graduated from the program, I was ready for a change of scenery. Things had changed a lot: the company was growing wildly, but didn’t have the same focus on its people.

I decided to try a smaller organization, thinking that it would be a better fit for me. I accepted a partner management position at Monster, where I worked for two years.   Unfortunately, it just wasn’t a good cultural fit for me.  The organization wasn’t committed to developing its people or leveraging its talent.  I didn’t feel connected to the mission and just couldn’t pour my heart and soul into it as I had in previous roles.

I had a baby in 2010 and made the decision to stay home with him. Because I felt so disconnected from my work, it was hard for me to justify putting a newborn in daycare to go to a job that wasn’t fulfilling.

I was fortunate enough to be able to make that decision.  As I was settling into my new role,I started thinking about what it was that made me happy. It had been so long since I’d felt any sense of satisfaction in my career. I knew that there had to be something I did well that I also enjoyed doing.

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The Girl Effect

By meredith, October 9, 2011 8:04 pm

What’s affecting me most right now in terms of women and girls is the widespread epidemic of child marriage. You can read more about this issue at Girls Not Brides, the global partnership to end child marriage. The word empowerment means to give power or authority to. In a lot of ways, empowerment means to give women and girls the power to make their own choices. This concept was reinforced particularly during my crisis counseling training a couple of months ago at BARCC.  Instead of forcing girls to get married, we should instead give them a choice: maybe they want to get an education; maybe they want to get married, some day; maybe they don’t; maybe they want to start a business; maybe they want to work for an NGO. Giving girls options to succeed leads to greater social and economic development across the globe. It’s a positive, bold, and bright step for all of us.

Just recently a book entitled ‘I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced’ came out. This girl was sold into marriage at the age of 10 to a 30 year old by her parents who were living in poverty in Yemen. He promised not to touch her until she was ‘old enough’ but that didn’t happen, and she was abused every day. She managed to escape and went to the city and found the court house, where she sat and waited. When someone finally approached and asked her what she was going there, she told them she wanted a divorce. Human rights lawyers took on her case, and she was divorced at the age of 10. Something is wrong with this story. At least now she can go back to school and study and, hopefully, with the support of others, find some other options.  Poverty is one of the root causes of situations like this, and this is one of the types of issues that the Girl Effect seeks to alleviate.

Not that we still need to give reasons why women and girls should have investments made in them, but a big place to start is in the statistic that women tend to invest 90% of what they earn back into their families and their communities. Investing in women is an investment for entire families, communities, countries, and for the world. You can invest in girls and future women today by donating just the Girl Effect. You can choose from any number of exciting programs, or to the program in general. And you can feel great about working to end poverty by investing in 12-year old girls. I feel really good about my donation, and I think you will too!

Putting the Tao in the tao: An Interview with Ming

By meredith, September 26, 2011 9:30 am

I met Ming when I went into The Women’s Center in Cambridge, MA to interview for a potential clinical internship or volunteer position. Ming is the Center Coordinator at the Women’s Center where she is the only paid staff member; she wears many hats. To give you an idea of the wonderful person that Ming is, we had some confusion, and she thought that we were doing a phone interview, and yet, she still met with me for an hour when I came into the center. She gave me a full tour, and then we chatted for a while about her work and the work at the center, among other things….I hope I am able to convey the deep, heartfelt spiritual life wisdom that Ming so wonderfully shared with me…

Me: When we met and talked a couple of weeks ago, I liked what you had to say about people’s resilience and positivity.

Ming: Well, yes, it is something to keep me going…that positivity.

Me: Can you tell me about your career path, and, in particular, what led you to get your LMHC? (become a licensed mental health clinician)

I had always been a good listener and been there for people. Then in high school, a friend of mine said that she wanted to kill herself. I was absolutely speechless when I heard that. I didn’t know what to say. It was during that encounter that I realized that I would need some kind of training to be able to respond to people who feel that way.

I wanted to really learn how to be with another human being and listen to their stories and challenges and struggles.  Then I learned from a TV show that you could be a psychologist and sit there and listen to people’s problems.

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