Are You a True Leader?

Statue of Abraham Lincoln


There is a leader inside of you. Yes, you!  In spite of any shyness, or feelings of inadequacy at a task as large as leading others, or doubts and questions like, “How can I possibly make a difference in the world?” you can learn to inspire others. And that’s what true leadership is all about.

Too often we think of leaders as people in positions of power: presidents, CEOs, managers, directors, kings. While it’s true that one definition of a leader is someone who is in charge of others, another, purer definition is someone whom people follow. If you can inspire people to follow your lead, you are a leader, whether you are a CEO or senator, or not.

Inspiration comes in many shapes and sizes, and anyone can be a leader. A leader is simply someone who has done the requisite work to get to know themselves, has thoughtfully and consciously formed their core values and beliefs, and is fully committed to those values and willing to stand up for them. Who can you think of who fits that description?

You’re probably thinking of people like Martin Luther King Jr., Ghandi, Jesus, or Mother Teresa, who were all, of course, great leaders who prompted changes that have rippled out through generations. But there are lesser sung leaders, too. Think of a man who organizes his entire neighborhood together to build a community garden, or a little girl who campaigns to convince the school board to donate all leftover cafeteria food to the local homeless shelter. Everyday people can become leaders and effect change in large and small ways, and you can, too.

The first step to finding your inner leader is to find your true self. This requires some self-discovery. You must delve into your soul to fully understand who you are and what you stand for. What is your higher purpose? What are your core values? Why are they important to you? The better you understand your belief system, the easier it will be to ensure that your actions match your words. No one likes a dishonest or hypocritical leader.

Because you are the only person who can define your personal convictions, take some time to get to know yourself! Journal each night before you go to bed and write out all your deepest fears, your greatest joys, your hopes and aspirations. Meditate daily and open your consciousness to your highest self. Meditation not only calms the mind and spirit, but allows us access to our higher selves and the unified field beyond. If you have trouble connecting to your higher self or purpose, there may be blockages in your chakras that need to be dissolved. Healing courses or working with a spiritual teacher can help open the doors to your true self, and clear any obstacles between you and your inner leader.

Once you are attuned to your higher self and purpose, you can begin to inspire others by exhibiting your passion. Suze Orman, financial guru, has said that you can’t inspire others if you’re not inspired yourself. You have to care about your mission deeply. Perhaps you want to effect change on a personal level with a goal like losing weight; or maybe you’ve set your sights on starting a business or running for local office. I gave up practicing law when I realized my passion lay in energy healing, and even after assisting in the transformation of tens of thousands of people over the years, my desire to continue this work has never waned.

Whatever your ultimate purpose, passion is a key ingredient for leadership. How are you going to motivate yourself to exercise each day if you’re not passionate about feeling healthier? How can you expect your townspeople to vote for you if you’re not showing your enthusiasm for the betterment of the city? In order to be a leader who inspires others to action, your actions must inspire them, or yourself as the case may be. Without passion there is no inspiration, and without inspiration there’s no leadership. But if you’ve connected with your authentic self and are truly committed to your goal, your fervor will no doubt get people moving.

Your inner leader must also demonstrate unwavering intention. Did everyone listen to civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. or Mahatma Ghandi the first time they spoke out against injustice? No. Leadership takes more than a fleeting impulse—it takes a solid commitment. Ghandi and King both spent time in prison, and were verbally and physically attacked for their convictions, but they did not respond in kind. Instead, they continued to practice their protests with grace and demonstrated forgiveness for their assailants. Hardship is a test of a leader’s dedication, and great leaders like King and Ghandi don’t compromise their values even when things get tough. That’s why thousands of people trusted and followed them. Each man’s commitment to his authentic self and higher purpose could not be derailed, and they inspired thousands of people.

Inspiration brings transformation, and true leaders know that. With a firm foundation in your authentic self and higher purpose, a passionate attitude, and commitment to your beliefs, you can awaken the leader inside you and make significant changes in your life, your household, your community, and beyond.


True Love is Closer Than You Think!



Around Valentine’s Day, retailers from Macy’s to Rite Aid start selling love-themed gifts in displays with red and pink heart decorations and images of diaper-clad cupids with their love bows and heart arrows. Bouquets of roses and ads for lingerie, champagne, and chocolates are everywhere. It’s enough to make even the happiest of couples feel pressured to act more romantic. And for those of you who are not currently in a relationship, this candy-coated holiday may leave you feeling more sour than sweet.

But true love is closer than you think. You only need to look in the mirror.

Many of those I help ask me how they can find love. As a trained Energy Healer, I often sense a blockage in the fourth chakra—the heart chakra. With a bit of probing I discover that my client is still affected by a past break-up or rejection, an abusive partner, childhood traumas, and many more emotionally charged events that have settled in their energy field.

Take my student, Paula, for example. I sensed in her energy field a toxic residue from a previous relationship. She had been cheated on repeatedly and lied to by her last partner, a man who finally stomped Paula’s heart into dust and left her broken. That emotionally abusive man also left a psychic wound that prevented Paula from trusting or loving anyone, including herself. As long as that wound went untreated, she would not be open to accepting love, despite how desperately she wanted it.  As I helped to heal her heartache, I asked Paula two life-changing questions: Do you love yourself? Do you feel worthy of love?

Tears poured out of Paula’s eyes as she shook her head, no, and she is not alone. It’s amazing how many people answer no to both questions, often in a choked whisper as they realize what this means. How can they ever hope to find love without first loving themselves? How can they allow anyone to love them if they don’t feel they deserve to be loved? Like Paula, these poor students’ hearts are literally frozen; no wonder they can’t find love.

If this sounds like you, please don’t despair. You can still learn to love, and love better, by first learning how to love yourself. Here are five easy steps you can take right now to begin to find your one true love: yourself.

1. Know You Are Worthy of Love

This is the first step. You have to believe that you are loveable, that you deserve to be loved. In my healing courses and workshops, I help you understand that no matter what your mom or dad or first crush or high school boyfriend or first partner said or did that made you feel unworthy of love—they are wrong. I cannot comment on their issues, but I can tell you that you deserve love. You are already loved by the Divine, constantly and unconditionally, and knowing this is the gateway to being able to accept love first from yourself, and then from others.

2. Forgive Your Imperfect Self

We are often more willing to forgive others for their mistakes than ourselves. Many of my students are their own harshest critics, making lists of perceived failures and other reasons they are “not good enough” to be loved, and creating a self-perpetuating cycle of rejection and loneliness. You are not perfect, but no one is. Forgive yourself for those past errors, accept yourself for who you are, and live with positive intentions.

3. Practice Self-Love

This might sound strange to those of you who were taught that loving yourself was the same as bragging; that you were selfish if you took care of your own needs first. But love is like emergency oxygen masks in an airplane: just as you must put on your own mask before assisting others, you must love yourself first in order to love others next. So begin each day by practicing self-love. Breathe love in before you get out of bed. Use a journal to keep track of moments you’re proud of, or make a list of your strengths. If you keep a gratitude list (which I highly recommend) be sure to add things about yourself you are thankful for. Love yourself as you are—an imperfect being moving toward the light.

4. Work on Your Spiritual Development

Connecting to the infinite love of Source will help you connect to earthly love as well. Begin with a daily practice of meditation and not only will you begin to experience a sense of calm and peace, you will also attune your body, mind, and soul to an energy that can begin to clear your emotional blocks. Developing your spiritual practice, whatever that means for you, can open your chakras so that you can accept the love that is sure to come your way.

5.  Get Rid of Toxic Relationships

Toxic relationships are like black mold to your energy field. Once that negativity gets a foothold, it will spread and spread until it has choked off your access to the light. And like with black mold, it’s not enough to clear away each flare-up, you need to cut it off at the root. If possible, remove yourself from the abusive partner or friend who disguises insults as compliments.  If elimination is not possible, protect yourself spiritually by creating a psychic shield.

The truth of the season is that you are your one and only true love—so indulge in a little soul pampering and be sweet to yourself. Let Valentine’s Day be a catalyst for your own self-love rituals. You may even want to take yourself on a moonlit beach walk or buy yourself a special outfit. And if you want it, external love won’t be far behind.


Get Out of Fear and Into the Light

Brown bear climbing tree in Tiaga forest


Fear is a necessary component to life on the physical plane. Some common fears are heights, snakes, and water. These real fears serve an important purpose: to keep you safe. Your ancestors relied on the warning system of fright to protect them from falling off a cliff, getting bitten by a poisonous reptile, or drowning in a river. Your brain continues to use thousands of years of programmed fear to shield your body from harm.

But what happens when fear becomes psychological? Fear of inadequacy, of loneliness, of failure—these fears burrow into your psyche and can affect you a on a daily basis, sometimes even preventing you from living a meaningful life full of positive relationships and experiences. These psychological fears are unnecessary. The only purpose they serve is to damage your chances of living in light and love. It’s time to get those fears under control!

Psychological fear wears many masks you need to watch for, including anxiety, worry, depression, and embarrassment. Even fate can camouflage fear, as in, “I’ve had three bad dates, so it must be a sign I’m not meant to find love,” when really you’re afraid of vulnerability. As a spiritual teacher and energy healer, I often see the trickster of fear masquerade as logic. For example, my student Molly wanted to join a choir. The choir required an audition that Molly had prepared for and felt good about. But when the day arrived, she came up with a dozen logical reasons why it was impractical for her to join the group: the commute was too far, the choir would cost money, she was particularly busy at work, who would feed her kids those nights, etc., etc. But the real, honest reason was that she was scared of failing. The audition was emotionally risky, so fear donned the mask of common sense and convinced Molly it was a bad idea.

Fears and their guises take years to become buried in your mind and heart so you can’t expect them to disappear overnight. But here are five ways you can begin to slowly move out from under those dark clouds of fear and walk into the light.

1. Acknowledge Your Fears

As a former addict, I know that the first step to any recovery is awareness. Ignoring your fears will only make them worse and give them more power over your life. Admit to yourself what you are truly afraid of, whether it is being wrong, or being alone, or losing a loved one. Open up and identify the truth of your fear so you can start the healing process.

2. Uncover the Cause

Psychological fears always have a root source. In working with Molly, I discovered the foundation of her fear of auditioning was a childhood in which she was expected to always be the best and was met with disappointment and even disapproval from her parents when she received less than an A+ or didn’t make the team. This had created in Molly an intense fear of failure, which also manifested as anxiety over trying new things or taking risks. Ask yourself, “What is the underlying cause of my fear? What is its origin?”

3. Express Yourself

Expressing your fears helps to release the grip they have on your psyche and helps you regain the power and energy they take from you. In my workshops and healing courses, I recommend journaling as a way to release negativity and liberate those pent-up emotions. Writing allows the scared pieces of you to be exposed to the light so they can start to mend. Talking through your fears can be incredibly beneficial as well. Whether it is a trusted friend or a professional listener like a religious counselor or trained therapist, speaking your fears aloud frees them from your mind and leaves room for peace.

4. Manage Stress

When you’re stressed, you become vulnerable to attack. Fear walks right through those open doors of exhaustion and strain and settles in your mind and body. Your chakras are especially susceptible to fear’s draining energy and can become blocked. Meditation is one of the best ways to manage your stress levels so you can keep those doors closed to fear and your chakras clear and unencumbered. Meditate every day, and I promise that your fears—along with some of those pesky fear-in-disguise feelings like anxiety and depression—will begin to decrease. Exercise, including walks and yoga, can also go a long way in lowering your stress levels and keeping you protected from the constant fight-or-flight response produced by psychological fears.

5. Practice Love

Love is the greatest power in the universe, and the best weapon against fear. Work on bringing more love into your life by spending more time with friends and family, volunteering for those less fortunate than yourself, and basking in the unconditional adoration of your pets. Connection to other living beings can alleviate feelings of isolation and improve the frequency and quality of love in your life. Don’t forget to practice self-love, too! Whatever form your fear takes, love is the one thing that will truly conquer it.