There’s a song by recording artist and folk singer Mary Gauthier that guts me, every time.  It’s called “Mercy Now,” and the song moves, achingly, through concentric circles of forgiveness: Starting with her father, who could use some mercy now…and ending with her country, which could most definitely use some mercy now. (Lord have mercy, […]

I was in Whole Foods the other day, browsing the gluten-free cookie aisle, and I heard this little voice pipe up.  “Hi!”  And there, parked in a stroller by the almond milk, was an adorable baby girl, waving emphatically at me.  “Hi! Hi!” “Well hello there,” I said, delighted, walking over. “What’s your name?”  And […]

My friend Paula Rizzo looks like a sweet little cat.  She’s neat and orderly and totally adorable, a petite, pretty brunette with a laugh like a bell.  But don’t be fooled. Inside that kitten facade, the girl is a pit bull.  She cut her teeth in newsrooms (which are not for the faint of heart) […]

Ever go on a church retreat? I did.  Antioch Weekend at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Roseland, New Jersey. In the 80s. You got to wear your Jordache jeans and sleep over at host houses and hang out with kids you didn’t know (read: boys you didn’t know) from public school. Hot.  We […]

Ever hear of a woman named Brenda Ueland?  She was before your time, and mine. And she did not mince words.  “I hate orthodox criticism,” she wrote,  “…small niggling, fussy-mussy criticism, which thinks it can improve people by telling them where they are wrong, and results only in putting them in straitjackets of hesitancy and […]

OK here’s what happened: A woman emailed me recently and said she wanted help creating a TEDx talk. I said sure. In fact, I could do her one better—I invited her to join me for the Pop-Up Story Salon in Manhattan that week. This would give her the chance to roll up her sleeves and […]

Four years ago I gave a TEDx talk called “Stop searching for your passion.” This is not news. I memorized every word of that talk. I delivered it in a room of around 1500 people. And I walked out of there and thought, “Ok! that was fun. I hope someone outside of that theater ever […]

A few weeks ago, I told you to be wary of advice. Even mine. Why? Because it’s tempting to believe that if we just follow the right advice, we never have to make any mistakes. Ever. If your whole goal is to avoid mess, mistakes, and effort by stepping gingerly inside the footsteps of others, […]

Did I Tell You I'm Moving?

What’s going on in your world? Two big things this week in mine: Wed (the 9th) is my birthday, and I’m also moving. Did I tell you that? Not far—about four blocks from where I currently live on the Upper West Side. My requirements…

Why your work should belong to someone else

If you had asked me last week if I’d be moved by a closing performance by Queen at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, I’d say, umm, probably not.  But then on Thursday, I watched Bohemian Rhapsody, and that changed everything.  Have…

Do You Know Why You’re In The Room? (You Should)

Look at your calendar real quick.  I bet you have stuff scheduled today, and several things this week, that involve being in a room, real or virtual, with other people. Some of those meetings are obviously work-related, because they happen…

Everything is Sexy (Kind of)

You don’t know HOW many times people have said to me that the biggest problem they’re having with messaging—no matter what it is—is that whatever they have to say (sell, promote, announce) isn’t sexy enough. But in fact, it is. Why?…

Beware of Advice (Even Mine)

There isn’t a person out there right now who isn’t dying to give you their opinion. Some will charge you for it. Most will just give it to you for free.  Your inbox is teeming with bits of advice, expertise—from your boss, your business…

Thinking of Quitting?

I went on my first solo trip abroad end of June, and spent a week in Florence—in 15th century Florence...which of course explains why I had no cell service.  OK fine. I had cell service. But. I feel like I time traveled, because I spent…