Link Love II.

I might make this a weekly thing.


Doutzen feels really bad about looking this good.

OH SHIT, a global wine shortage may soon be upon us- via The Huffington Post.

You better watch your mouth Kaiser! Karl Lagerfeld’s rude remarks come back and bite him in the derriere- via Huff Post Style.

The Cheerleader Effect explained- via The Cut.

Why husband shopping is so 2012- via Elite Daily.

Reasons to love Ataturk, and to feed my obsession with Turks – via Time.

Supermodel Doutzen Kroes apologizes for being so perfect- via PopSugar.

10 things every girl  woman should know by 25- via Cosmopolitan.

The More I Shop, The More Miserable I Feel. Retail Therapy Analyzed.

original article published in The Huffington Post.

Forget meditation and yoga: For many stressed-out Americans, the best remedy for a stressful day at work or the sting of a painful breakup is the smell of brand-new clothing, the feel of a silk dress and the sound of a credit card being swiped. If you turn to retail therapy in times of anxiety, you’re not alone — according to a recent survey, nearly one in three recently stressed Americans (which accounts for 91 percentof the general population) shops to deal with stress.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey — an online poll of over 1,000 U.S. adults commissioned by the Huffington Post — found that women were twice as likely as men to use retail therapy as a way to cope with stress (40 percent vs. 19 percent). And in turn, men were more than twice as likely as women (34 percent vs. 16 percent) to say that they had never shopped out of stress and would never consider doing so in the future.

But gender aside, there is one trait many “stress-shoppers” have in common: They tend to seek distracting, temporary fixes to alleviate their stress. HuffPost’s survey found that those who shop to deal with anxiety (versus those who do not) were also…

  • 46 percent more likely to exercise to cope with stress
  • 86 percent more likely to eat to cope with stress
  • 76 percent more likely to worry about their weight

In other words, the stress-shoppers are also “stress-eaters” and “stress-exercisers.” Those who used retail therapy tend toward the “flight” side of fight vs. flight, distancing themselves from the stress with an unrelated activity rather than facing it head-on. In contrast, the respondents who said they never shop to deal with stress were more likely to cope by finding the root of their anxiety and confronting it.

And yet stress-shopping is still an appealing coping mechanism — and it helps that it’s super convenient. Many of us shop online using our iPads, laptops and even cell phones. “It was so easy to lose track of how much I was spending,” Darleen Meier, a self-described “Gilt addict,” told HuffPost Women in 2011. “At the high point, I was getting boxes delivered to my doorstep every single day of the week. It was time to stage an intervention.”

As temporarily uplifting as an afternoon of store-hopping may be, excessive consumption can leave a lingering toll on your credit card statement that may ultimately lead to higher stress levels due to financial concerns. Unsurprisingly, those who turned to retail therapy were more likely to feel stressed out by unexpected expenses (55 percent vs. 44 percent) and to be concerned about how they’ll pay their monthly bills (59 percent vs. 34 percent).

To curb a stress-spending habit and avoid accumulating debt on impulse purchases, try to avoid shopping altogether when you know you’re feeling upset or anxious. If you do need to shop, go with a list of items that you actually need to buy — and stick to it. Women’s personal finance resource Learvest also recommends leaving credit cards at home and carrying cash instead, unsubscribing from email newsletters from your favorite retailers and avoiding shopping with wealthy friends as ways to tame an impulse-buying habit.

Of course, that’s all easier said than done. Do you ever shop to deal with stress? How to you try to curb your stress-shopping habits?

Does Society Reward Women For Being Less Attractive?

original article published on The Huffington Post

It is well known to the point of why am I even saying this that men are under less pressure than women are to be beautiful. What is not so often mentioned is the extent to which men are rewarded for not looking beautiful. Not simply for abstaining from whichever “metrosexual” grooming endeavors or definitive challenging of gender norms (i.e. makeup), but actually looking a big ol’ mess.

Which brings us to a phenomenon I’ve discussed on (and off) my blog that I refer to as “too brilliant to bathe.” This is when a man — who may or may not be genetically endowed with square-jawed good looks, but it helps if he’s not — is able to attract accolades and acolytes by being thoroughly unpresentable. One sees this in the more intellectual professions, and among students, but not so much among finance-types. It involves greasy hair, perhaps green teeth. No physical exertion. A man will own just the one shirt, it will be some mix of tucked and untucked. If a button-down, buttons will be missing, or simply missed, askew. There will be ill-fitting pleated khakis. They will be stained.

Oh, and his manners won’t be so hot, either. Nor will he be any good at staying organized, but who cares? A woman — various women — will deal with the practical. Mom or a secretary will keep his papers organized, while female admirers or, if he’s older, Mrs. T-B-T-B will grease the wheels in social situations, and cook and clean, and remind him once a year that it’s time for his bath.

Thus, in exchange for looking his worst, a man will, under certain circumstances, be taken more seriously. It will be assumed that the time and effort he didn’t put into his appearance went to something more noble. Not video games, but “Being and Nothingness.” (Thus the importance of worn-out slacks, not sweatpants. A subtle distinction.) Maybe he was off finding the route to Mideast peace via comments to Facebook status updates, which didn’t leave him time to address a body-odor situation. Or maybe solving an as-yet-unsolved math problem got in the way of removing the remnants of yesterday’s lunch still crusted onto his blazer. Something really amazing is going on in his mind, and we know this not because of anything he’s produced, but because he looks the part.

There’s no female equivalent to this phenomenon. A woman is taken less seriously if she shows up to present on Kierkegaard looking like a TOWIE cast member. But for a woman, there’s no silver lining to not looking one’s best. Equivalent grooming-laxity in a woman is associated not with brilliance but with either radical feminism (it’s about making a point, not genuine absent-minded indifference) or mental illness. A woman who’s especially lacking in the conventional-good-lookingness department might be imagined to have other qualities that surely compensate (the proverbial great personality), but is not generally assumed to be a genius. Our image of a brilliant woman is that of an incredibly competent one. A Hillary Clinton, a Condoleezza Rice — put-together and efficient-looking. The kind of one-in-a-million abstract-thinking mind, the sort that must almost exist without a body attached, is not one it is popularly imagined a woman could possess.

Too-brilliant-to-bathe is something I generally associate with, well, sexism. Why does a man have the option of letting himself go and then some, only to be praised for this? Why do so many intelligent and very presentable women think so little of themselves as to consider unpresentable men as romantic partners? Why does society persist in believing true brilliance is only found in men?

But too-brilliant-to-bathe isn’t necessarily such a great deal for men, either. Why should men who do make an effort have to deal not only with societal suspicion (rooted in homophobia) but also a sense that they’re somehow less-than intellectually? And isn’t it likely that the cliché of the unwashed genius leads us to ignore a great many men who really are suffering, who don’t have it together socially or professionally, but whom we figure are just fine, because some men (but no women) are just like that?

Every time I delve into questions of male vs. female beauty, the only answer I can come up with is trite but unavoidable all the same: we need to expect more, effort-wise, from men, and less from women than is currently the case. How this is to come about, I have no idea.

The top 8 excuses people make for their unhappy lives.

Original article retrieved from The Huffington Post

In honor of the exciting new year upon us, I’ve been thinking of my many clients this year — my wonderful, reluctant, often overwhelmed but always resilient clients who’ve made enormous positive change in their lives and careers this year. It’s been a heartwarming experience to watch their lives unfolding in astounding ways. I’ve thought long and hard about what makes these individuals able to bring about dramatic change and why others don’t or won’t.

People who are able to make life change have a sufficient dose of clarity, confidence, courage and commitment. Those four ingredients can make all the difference between a miserable life and a brilliant one. Folks almost never start out with all of these assets, but their commitment to changing what hurts and limits them urges them into a flowing river of change that brings more clarity, which in turn gets them in touch with their worthiness and confidence, which then gives them access to more courage to create life as they want it.

Can everyone do this? Yes, everyone CAN, but only a few WILL. Why won’t thousands of unhappy and unfulfilled people create life in the image of their dreams and visions?

Because they make excuses — millions and millions of excuses (both conscious and subconscious) that keep them from believing they are worthy of an amazing life or trusting they have what it takes to create it.

I’d like to share what I’ve seen are the eight most damaging excuses people make — excuses, faulty reasoning and destructive myths that keep people down, and make their lives smaller, less joyful and rewarding than they ever need to be.

Here are the eight most damaging excuses people make:

1. I don’t have the money to do this.
How people respond to the idea of getting outside help (coaching, etc.) acts as a metaphor for how they deal with their problems and their lives. I can’t tell you how many hundreds of people reached out to me this year desperate for assistance, asking me for free help and claiming they don’t have any money to spend on getting the help they need, though they realize that outside help is exactly what is necessary now.

I know this will inflame some readers, but here’s the reality — if you believe there’s no way for you to generate even $250, if you can’t think of any way to be of service to someone else that would generate more income for you, then you’re stuck in the biggest excuse of all — that money is the problem and the root of scarcity in your life.

But that’s completely incorrect. What’s lacking is your understanding of your enormous capabilities, talents and gifts, and how you can be of service to others and the world. No matter who you are and what your life experiences and history have been, you have something important to offer that others need and will pay you well for.

If money has been the key reason why you won’t get help or make life or career change, let it go, and understand that the more you empower yourself to take control, the more you’ll access your ability to be of service and make more money. Don’t play the victim anymore. (If money is a recurring problem for you, read the groundbreaking book The Energy of Money, by Maria Nemeth).

2. I’m not ready to do the work required to change.
Hundreds of unhappy and unfulfilled people admitted to me this year, “I’m just not ready to make change.” Here’s a stark reality folks — no one is really ready to make change. We resist change fiercely. We change because what we have created in our lives has become intolerable and we finally realize there’s no way to overcome it except moving through and beyond it, and that takes energy and courage.

As we embark on 2013, I ask you this — can you let go of your belief that you’re not ready? Can you simply accept that if you want something different in your life, there is no better time than now to bring that into being, despite how “ready” you feel?

3. I’m afraid of what I don’t know.
Welcome to being human. We’ve all heard the expression, “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.” But in truth, this is just another excuse for staying stuck. The only way to have an exciting and enriching life is to stretch way out of your comfort zone and to take on challenges that make you feel afraid of failure and embarrassment. Once you make facing your demons a common occurrence in your life, you’ll realize that “the devil’ is simply your ego fearing its demise. In other words, you are deathly afraid of making mistakes, walking through the unknown and appearing (to yourself and others) as “less than.” But that’s what life is — unknown, uncontrolled and unlimited. Go for it — find the one area that would excite you the most and stretch into the unknown. (Download my free Career Path Self-Assessment to understand what would excite you most in your career in 2013.)

4. What if it doesn’t work out?
I hear this excuse weekly: “What if this big change I’m trying doesn’t work out?” Well, then you’ll deal with it, and you’ll become stronger, more confident and more capable than you were before you tried this new direction. This happened to me after my 18-year corporate stint and before I launched my career coaching practice, I became a marriage and family therapist. After serving as a therapist for five years, I faced the reality that I simply didn’t enjoy or feel well-suited to the professional identity of a therapist. Some would say that “it didn’t work out.” But I believe it did — I use every single tool and strategy that I learned in my therapy training in my coaching, writing, speaking and training work. In the end, it did work out — I just needed to find the right avenue in which to apply the powerful and transformative tools that therapy training offered.

5. What would people say if I did this?
Let’s face it — many people in this world are judgmental, negative, naysaying and critical, and don’t believe in power of your (or their) abilities. It’s a fact. But are you going to let this type of thinking keep you from changing what needs to be revised in your life? It’s a group mentality that says we have to keep doing in life what makes us miserable. Embrace a more individualistic and self-reliant view. Trust in yourself, and believe that you have the right and the worthiness to live your life as you dream it. Don’t let the naysayers hold you back.

6. My family needs me to keep doing this job I hate.
No, they don’t. Your family needs you to be ONE thing and one thing only — all that you are meant to be in this world, nothing less. You didn’t come to this planet at this time simply to pay your mortgage. Of course, you have financial obligations that must be fulfilled. But while doing that, always plant the seeds for your future self, for the self that wants to grow, and be bigger and better and in service to the world in ways that give form to your highest and best life intentions. Families demand a lot, but don’t kid yourself that your being a great family person, parent or provider has to mean that you give up on yourself as a highly contributive and fulfilled individual in this world. (If you long for a better career, get the career growth training you need from my Amazing Career Project and download the free homework “Assessing and Closing Your Power Gaps.”)

7. I don’t really believe it’s going to work out.
People who are chronically miserable and underdeveloped often have at their core a faulty belief that no matter what they really want, it’s not going to work out. If you have this belief, look at your childhood,and the messages you learned growing up with the family you were given. Understand that the belief that it won’t work came from someone or something else outside of you. We’re not born believing that the universe is unfriendly and uncaring. We learn that. What you want is most certainly possible for you, but not if you don’t believe it is.

8. This is just me — I can’t change it.
Anything you think and feel can be changed. You are NOT your thoughts. You are separate from your thoughts and emotions. But you must become aware of your thoughts and emotions before you can be free of their hold on you. I’ve personally witnessed the transformation of hundreds of people’s lives once they realize they can change what they think and feel. (And I’m a living example of how we can overcome extremely limiting beliefs and experiences to reach a much more joyful way of life). If you’re chronically unhappy and dissatisfied, this isn’t “just you.” This is a version of you that wants modification. You don’t have to live with chronic unhappiness — get the help you need to be free of it. (If you are suffering from a chronic depressed mood or thinking, therapeutic assistance may be of help to you. Ask your doctor for a referral or visit the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and find a therapist in your area. Don’t wait.)

If you want something different in 2013, stop making excuses. Embrace the fact that your longing for something better means you are ready for change. You deserve it, you’re ready, and it’s time.