Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Once again, the start of a brand new year has come upon us.  As we enter into new possibilities, may we all be reminded that we have the ability to be, do, and have anything that we want; that there are no mistakes, only lessons; and that the love and happiness we seek is already within our grasp.  It’s easy to make resolutions and renew our commitments.  It’s a little harder for us to just BE and know that we are loved, perfect, and abundant- just as we are.

During 2012, we all grew some, laughed some (a LOT, I hope!), shed some tears, and came to some new realizations.  We reached some of our goals, gained some victories, and also came to more clearly define the things we want to have in the future.  All in all, we have truly been blessed!  

As we begin 2013, my prayer is that we continue to grow and find the space within ourselves to know, beyond all doubt, that there is nothing more that we need to do in order to be complete.  We don’t need a new exercise plan, more money, a better job, a new car or a bigger house.  All we need is a willingness to allow ourselves to feel good and to be at peace in the present moment.   All we need is gratitude for all that we have, and all that we have had the pleasure to be and to experience.  That is the starting point from which all other things will flow into our existence. 

Happy New Year, to all!

With love,

Angie G.

Friday, November 30, 2012


From an early age, many of us are taught that there is a formula for success; a carefully measured plan that enables us to win at the game of life. Those who follow the formula are the winners.  Those who don’t?  Well, those are the losers.   And as children/young adults, we are taught what it means to win.  We are taught to get the best grades, attend the right college, obtain the right degree, and follow the right career path.  Of course, we are told that we can be whatever we want to be, but the goal is always to succeed.  And we learn that success is primarily measured by how well we are doing compared to others; and so the size of our paycheck, our office, our cars, and our home becomes the gauge for determining how far ahead we are in the race.

Having worked for many years to be a winner, I am proud to say that I am no longer on the road to success.  Not because I have reached the highest heights in my career.  And not because I see myself as a loser and chose to give up.  At a certain point, I stopped and asked myself, “Why?” Because I asked that one simple question, I was finally able to see life clearly.  I no longer see through the lens of “what it takes to make it.”  What I now see is something that I wish someone had shared with me many years ago: “making it” is a story.  And not only is it a story, it’s a bad one at that. 

Many of us invest so much time in the pursuit of “making it” that we fail to stop and think about exactly what it is that we are going after.  All we know is that we are supposed to want it, and we just assume that once we finally get it, we will be good.  But some of us wake up one day and wonder what happened.  We wonder why we are not satisfied with the life we have worked so hard to build for ourselves.  And then we realize that it really isn’t our life.  We realize that it is the life that we were led to believe that we should want.

Just like everyone else, I could very easily justify and rationalize every choice that I’ve made.  After all, I learned very early on that there is a “right” way to do things and I made choices that I believed were the best for me according to those standards.  But at a certain point, like so many others, I began to feel disempowered and defeated.   I realized that I had not really been calling the shots in my own life.  I had allowed my parents, teachers, and mentors to be in control.  None of them meant harm, I know.  They had only passed along the formula that they had been given-a formula that didn’t include personal satisfaction or fulfillment. I suppose that we somehow believe that those things will automatically show up. And while we are all familiar with clichés like, “Success is nothing without someone to share it with” or “Money can’t buy happiness”, they mostly fall on deaf ears.  We choose to believe that the casualties of success are a result of the misapplication of the formula and a failure to seek balance.  But that won’t happen to us.  We will be the ones to get it right.

Yes, it is true that some of us have been rewarded for our diligence in using the formula.  Our names can be found on that sign on the door.  We might have the money, the car, the house, and maybe even the “perfect on paper” husband.  But for far too many of us, there is something missing.  We don’t feel the sense of joy and peace, and well….happiness that we always thought we would have once we achieved all that we thought that we should.

Once I was broken open, I finally learned that the true formula for success is having the ability to recognize the special and unique gifts that come from our own souls; nurturing those gifts, and having the courage to share those gifts with the world.  I now know that true success is measured by who we BE, not by what we have and certainly not by what we do; unless what we choose to do is done with joy.  

-Angie G.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Humble adj: 1: not proud or haughty: not arrogant or assertive 2: reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission 3: ranking low in a hierarchy or scale: INSIGNIFICANT, UNPRETENTIOUS

Humble vb: 1: to make humble 2: to destroy the power, independence, or prestige of

I have to be honest. I’ve never looked up the word “humble” in a dictionary. Like many of us, I learned from my parents and other adults what it meant. I learned that it was a bad thing to be too proud or too confident or too sure of myself; that it was okay for others to compliment or praise me, but never was I to act as if I thought I really deserved it. That would just be arrogant and well…wrong. But lately, I’ve pondered the true meaning of the word and whether or not our obsession with others seeing us as being humble has done us more harm than good. I wondered if we’ve been getting it all wrong.

So I decided to look to look the word up, and as I came across “humble” in the dictionary, I was struck dumb. One definition in particular jumped off the page and smacked me across the face; “to destroy the power, independence, or prestige of.” There it was in black and white. Seeing those words before words before me, I finally understood.

Like most, my parents wanted to ensure that I would not grow up to be haughty or pretentious. Their intention was to raise me to be a “good” person, and it became clear to me early on that it was not acceptable for me to think or act like I was “something.” But, if I wasn’t supposed to act like “something”, what was the alternative? As I observed the adults around me, looking for clues as to how I should behave, I began to see how important it was for everyone to ACT humble. I picked up all the little expressions, mannerisms and sayings that were meant to convey my humility to others, and I learned that it was not important enough for me to BE humble. In order for it to be “real”, others had to see it and from what I could gather at that time, that meant that I was expected to play myself down. And if I didn’t, I would be brought down. I would be “destroyed.” Like any good girl, I played by the rules but I couldn’t reconcile the concept that in order to be “good”, or “nice” as others thought I should be, I would be required to diminish the self that I knew, as all children know, myself to be: a shiny and bright light, the fullness of which was meant to be shared with the world.

And as I look around, I see so many of us, even in our adulthood, struggling to shine- to be proud of ourselves, to be noticed, and to be adored. But we have suppressed the bright light of our authentic power and have instead settled for flimsy representations of our extraordinary selves. We wear the “right” labels, drive the “right” cars, have obtained the “right” degrees, know the “right” people, and belong to the “right” organizations. We yearn to be great, but allow ourselves to be buried by the stuff; forgetting that there is nothing that we could buy, wear, or have that could ever outshine who we really are.

In our desire to ACT humble, we have concealed our own natural, beaming light. We have become reluctant, embarrassed, or even ashamed to share what’s truly good about us for fear that we will be criticized or judged for thinking too highly of ourselves. We have camouflaged our brilliance. We have become “humble”, but at what cost?

-Angie G.

Monday, July 23, 2012


As we grow older, we find ourselves pulled in many different directions.  There are the children, the spouse, the career, the side interests, and somewhere in the mix, there we are.  We just don’t have time for all of the “extras” anymore.  It is a sentiment echoed a lot lately by many of my friends.  A sentiment summed up in two words:  I can’t.

And what we can’t seem to do anymore is spend an inordinate amount of time catering to the whims and drama of others.  Now, it just seems like a lot of unnecessary nonsense.  Besides, we’ve got our own business to tend to.   When we were younger, we were far more likely to engage in all manner of tomfoolery; we tolerated so-called friends who really weren’t friends at all, we came to the rescue of those wayward siblings who always seemed to make it a point to find trouble, and we sacrificed for those boyfriends who really weren’t worth our time.  Granted, some stuff was serious and real, but it all seemed so crucial and necessary then.  And although the words were never spoken, we assumed that there would eventually be a return on our “good deeds” investment.  

But something changed.  We got older and we realized that it was no longer worth it.  We began to realize that all of the extra time and energy it takes to cater to others was no longer worth the extra time and energy.  Along with that realization, something else happened (well at least to some of us).  Some major event occurred in our lives and the very people that we put so much energy into were not around.   For many of us, our initial reaction was hurt or anger.  It just wasn’t fair.  We cried and complained because we had given generously and often, presumably with no expectation of recompense or reward, but the ONE time we found ourselves in need, we were left abandoned on the side of the road.  In our story, we had been used and so we vowed to shut it all down-at least for a while.  Because of course, they needed to know.  They needed to be taught a lesson.  They had mistaken our kindness for weakness.

Then came the pushback.  The pushback from all the folks that we had seemingly made dependent on our good deeds. They couldn’t understand our new attitude.  Our anger surprised them.  After all, nothing had changed for them, except maybe our newly found resistance to making ourselves available to them.  Some even went so far as to get mad and tell us that we were trippin’.  Now ain’t that something?  The nerve.  The nerve and the unmitigated gall. 

But in the midst of it all, we lost sight of the real issue.  And that is the fact that we had elected, appointed and nominated ourselves to be “Superwoman.”  We had freely signed up to be everyone’s go-to girl.  We got to be the one with all the answers.  We got to be the strong one; the level headed one, the mature one.  Some of us might argue that we didn’t choose it and that all of that greatness and responsibility had been thrust upon us.  But that isn’t true.  Despite our protestations and justifications as to why we took on the role, the fact remains that we did indeed choose it.  Something about it made us feel important or special.  We could at least be honest about that.  And for me, along with that honesty, came the understanding that my choice to give does not in any way create an obligation for those I have chosen to give to. 

Like every other real, grown-up woman dealing with life’s issues, I still have moments when it gets to be too much.  But nowadays, whenever I start feeling overwhelmed and  find myself feeling resentment towards the “takers”, I think of what my best friend told me many years ago...…“When God was going around the room asking who wanted to be responsible, didn’t nobody tell you to raise your hand”…and I laugh.

-Angie G.

Monday, June 25, 2012


We are so proud of ourselves.  We have gone through enough and have had enough experience to know what we want. We have determined our type; the physical attributes, the personality, and even the financial status.  We have set high standards, but we also know those things that we are willing to negotiate on.  We also know the deal breakers.  In other words, most of us have written a relationship story for ourselves.  And in that story, people will either be a match, or they won’t.  And that’s cool for those of us who are willing to leave it at that.  Some of us aren’t so willing.  We’ve got a plan.

We take our relationship checklists out into the world, projecting them onto everyone that we meet.  We know what we deserve and we are gonna make damn sure we get it, but in doing so, we often set ourselves up for failure.   And when we don’t get what we want from these forced and sometimes fabricated relationships, we can become angry and resentful.  We tell ourselves that somebody else is at fault.  We tell ourselves that their choice to become involved with us means that they, at some point, agreed to the arbitrary terms of some imaginary agreement.  In our story, they willingly entered into a relationship contract and are responsible for the damages that we perceive they have caused.  We are quick to judge and talk about responsibility, but only as it applies to everyone but ourselves.  They need to stand up and they need to be held accountable for what they do, or don’t do, to and for us.  And so, we tell ourselves another story: our being dissatisfied with the quality of our relationships is a result of somebody else’s inability to behave in ways that benefit us.

It isn’t often that we hold ourselves accountable for the choices that we make.  We think that in expressing our wants and needs upfront, we have done our part and performed our due diligence.  What we don’t like to admit, however, is that we sometimes ignore some very obvious realities in our efforts to live into the relationship story we have created for ourselves.  We forget that we don’t have to diminish our own personal power by controlling others in order to get the results that we want.

We don’t have to give up our stories; our lives are meant to be designed as we would like them to be.  But, knowing what we want in a relationship doesn’t mean that we have to demand, manipulate or cajole others into being our perfect mate.  All we really need to do is be clear about what does and doesn’t work for us, and then be willing to live in the confidence and clarity that comes with knowing that we are ultimately responsible for the choices that we make.

-Angie G.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Some folks need to stay off Facebook-at least for a while. A brief vacation, maybe. It seems like some of us may have gotten a little beside ourselves and need to take some time off to reflect on where we have been and where it is that we want to go. And I almost hate to say it, but it seems as if the more “enlightened” of us are the ones who most need the break. I think that you might know the type that I’m talking about-the ones who start off sharing their good thoughts and positive messages with the world, but then develop some weird kind of attachment to how those messages are received. The ones who begin to run amuck and become slightly, if not completely obnoxious when they perceive that others are not responding to them in the way that they think they should. After all, they are only attempting to share good news. And we should appreciate them for their efforts.

It’s ego on steroids. It’s the rejection of ego followed by a breakdown-complete identification with ego. I have to admit that I am at times completely disturbed by it. Maybe that’s because it reminds me of just how strong this ego thing is; and just how vulnerable we all are to its machinations. The very thing that so many of us are seeking to minimize can pop up with a vengeance so strong that it can take even the most benign belief or perspective and manufacture it into a personality that we adopt in an effort to assert ourselves as morally, spiritually or even intellectually superior to others.

It’s always right there lurking and waiting for an opportunity to judge and criticize; to play the victim and be the aggressor; to compete and win at any cost. And the ego just loves social media. Left free to roam, it jumps all up on Twitter and Facebook for the sole purpose of being clever and letting everybody know just how much it knows. It seeks constant validation through positive comments and “likes”, using social media as a stage on which it can perform to the applause of thousands of adoring fans. It can be self-righteous and aggressive or self-deprecating and seeking support/pity. That ego ain’t nothing nice and it will not be ignored. It’s got something to say, and you are most definitely going to hear it.

It has a legion of personalities and disguises. So many in fact, at times it’s hard to keep up with them all. I have witnessed even the most “positive” people engage in all types of questionable shenanigans and tomfoolery because of its warped perception that it has been insulted or offended, that its authority has been challenged or its brilliance denied.

So who is really doing the talking? Is it us, or is it the ego? And who is it that we really want people to know? Because of social media, we have unprecedented access to people all over the world and the ability to freely communicate our thoughts and ideas. This can work to our betterment or to our detriment and as always, we get to choose which one we want it to be. In the future, before we post or make a comment, we might want to consider asking ourselves the question, “why am I really doing this?” The answer just might surprise us.

-Angie G.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


How do we bridge the so-called divide between men and women? How do we create understanding? How do we heal our relationship wounds? How do we get back to…..LOVE?

Like other women, I have often asked myself these questions. I have also participated in endless discussions on this very topic. I have chimed in, weighed in, and boldly stated my opinion about what we “should” do in order to come to some sort of resolution. But after many years and countless hours of discussion, it finally occurred to me that “we” don’t need to do a doggone thing. And as a result, I am now choosing to sit down, shut up and mind my own business. No, I am not frustrated. I am not bitter. And, I am not giving up. For the first time, I have realized that all that talking might just be problem.

On a purely superficial level, it is very easy to talk about what’s going on in society. It’s also easy to point out the flaws, talk about the breakdowns in communication, rail against the false perceptions, and complain about what we consider to be the questionable actions of the opposite sex. It’s very easy to say how much better things would be if “everybody” would just do (or stop doing) one thing or another. What isn’t so easy? Turning that laser-like focus on ourselves and determining exactly what it is that we can do as individuals to improve the quality of our own personal relationships. It isn’t so easy when it comes to talking about what we can do to heal ourselves.

It is often said that charity begins at home; and knowing this, it doesn’t really make sense to pipe up about the work that needs to be done if we are unwilling to commit ourselves to doing the work. In other words, maybe our role in healing the seemingly compromised state of male-female relationships is to actually BE the change we wish to see in others. Instead of waiting for the “we” or the “them” to get on board so that we can turn this thing around, we might want to start with the “I.” In doing so, we just might begin to see the positive shift that we all want so badly to come about.

When it comes to relationships, we all know that a healthy discussion can help shed light on some of the challenges that we face with one another. There’s no denying that. But what about getting to work on those things within us that we know have caused damage to ourselves and others? It might be time to for us to stop talking so much and start doing. As for me, I’m gonna spend a little more time focusing on the “I” part of “we.”

-Angie G.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


I think we all know somebody who is always up to something; always with a scheme or a plan or some kind of hustle. They work really hard at working really hard, yet they never seem to get anywhere. Oddly enough, they rarely stop to ask themselves why. And when they do? They assume that they aren’t doing enough or that they are doing the “wrong” thing, so they change direction and throw their energy into yet another venture. Always on the move. Always looking for a way to make it happen.

As much as I admire enthusiasm and drive, I am exhausted just by watching these folks in action. Doing way too much, with no real commitment to anything except winning or coming out on top. Their energy is not one of adventure and a willingness to try new things-purely for the fun of it all. They aren’t simply experimenting or trying to find the career that best suits them. There is no joy in the work that they do. Their sole focus is on “being successful” and their energy reflects just that-forced, desperate and demanding. They are willing to try just about anything, except maybe the one thing that might actually get them to goal: sitting down.

I get it, though. From an early age, many of us are taught that we have to pick a career and work as hard as we can in order to make it to the top. So we get caught in an endless cycle of doing, doing, doing. Anything less is for deadbeats and loafers. And if we don’t go the traditional route- the “right” college, the “right” degree, the “right” social organizations, and the “right” jobs, we take our hustler spirit and apply it to whatever plan we create to make our mark on the world. But some of us take it a step further. We look around, compare ourselves to others, and if we feel less successful or less accomplished, we kick our ambition into overdrive. We have to make it. We have to win. We have to succeed. By any means necessary. For others, it isn’t about the competition. It’s about fear; the fear of failing or not having enough that is the motivation. Some might argue that it doesn’t matter what motivates us or how we make it, as long as we make it. I can’t say that I agree with that, but to each his own. Good luck and let me know.

There is nothing wrong with wanting success, but if our desire to be successful is motivated solely by fear or competition, is it really worth it? Perhaps it’s time for us to reevaluate what it means to be successful and what it takes to get there. Maybe the perfect plan for us is not the one that is conjured or forced, but the one that unfolds naturally when we are willing to sit down, if only for a moment, and listen to what’s in our hearts. What’s in your heart?

-Angie G.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


As we grow, some longstanding friendships will fall by the wayside. When they do, many of us feel the familiar guilt that comes along with the story that we have somehow “abandoned” our friends; even when we know that these relationships no longer serve us-the “us” that we have become and are becoming. And so, we find ourselves stuck in the “how do I end this relationship?” quagmire; so completely over it, yet feeling some strange sort of obligation to hang on in there. Now, I’m not talking petty differences or throwing away perfectly good friendships over a simple misunderstanding. I’m talking about the relationships that drain us emotionally, mentally and physically (and sometimes financially!); the friends who leave us feeling diminished whenever we are in their presence.

Now I’m just as guilty as the next girl when it comes to this, but after a recent conversation with a close friend about this very subject, I realized that there comes a time when we all have to man or woman up. Nobody ever said that every friendship is meant to last forever. The energy that we bring to these stagnant and sometimes toxic relationships is heavy and uncomfortable at best, and extremely strained at worst. So, why do we choose to torture ourselves? Out of loyalty? Because we are good people? Or is it because we are holding on to memories of a time that has long since passed? Then again, it could just be that we are more concerned with how other people will judge us for walking away than we are with our own comfort and well-being.

At a certain age, we are very clear about our likes and dislikes. We know exactly who and what works for us; and when we know, we owe it to ourselves to honor that. When the quality of our relationship with ourselves improves, so does the quality of the relationships that we choose to have with others. And on our journey towards better defining the types of relationships we wish to have, sometimes the best thing for us to do is to lovingly say, “Goodbye” to those who no longer fit.

Admittedly, I have never been one to have a lot of “friends.” But now more than ever, as I go through my own process of weeding out relationships that no longer fit, I cherish that small number of people in my inner circle. Those beautiful women (and men!) who inspire me; who lift me up, but who are also willing to shut me down; who love me at my most unlovable, and always see me as being the wonderful possibility that I am; who don’t need labels or grand gestures or pretense; who seek to enhance, and not diminish, every life they touch. My intention is to be and do the same.

-Angie G.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Valentine’s Day is known as a time to express love, show appreciation, and celebrate relationships. But for many, it is merely another opportunity to put on an act-an elaborate production designed to show the world that we have been chosen and that we are worthy of love. Along with the production comes the familiar pressure to receive some grand token of affection, and often, we believe that display must be made publicly to have real meaning. Somehow, the story of the “what” and the “how” becomes bigger than the intention behind the gesture. It is a story that must be shared. It is a story about how much our partner loves us.

And, in our effort to prove to our friends and family how much we are adored, we lose focus. Valentine’s Day becomes less about an intimate expression of love and more about the show. But it isn’t about the roses vs. lilies, really. It isn’t about the diamond earrings vs. the diamond engagement ring. It’s about how we interpret what those things mean to us; and in that interpretation, we might just be missing the point.

As we look back on Valentine’s Day, was it all just a show? It could very well be that our expectations for the day were based on fear; fear of how others, even ourselves, would perceive the level of love and commitment in our relationships. But when we really know where we stand in our relationships, there is nothing to show. There is nothing to prove.

-Angie G.

Monday, January 23, 2012


It’s a New Year and once again, I’m already tired of hearing all the chatter about resolutions. I just can’t help it. I tend to cringe when I hear folks talk about their resolutions as if having one (or more) is some kind of obligation- as if the act of making a resolution, in and of itself, is something that we should do to prove that we mean business. We are finally going to lose that extra 10 pounds, get in shape, start that new project, or leave that funky job that we always hated. We believe that if we are strong enough or committed enough to take on the challenge, we will miraculously shed (literally and figuratively) all those conditions that we perceive as standing between us and our happiness.

But the truth is that happiness is always a choice, and we have an opportunity to make that choice in each moment of every day. We don’t have to change or improve anything about ourselves in order to feel good and experience happiness. All we need is a little gratitude for all that we have been able to accomplish and the many blessings we already enjoy (for starters, how about having breath in our lungs!?!) to get that good energy going and to create fertile ground for more happiness to grow.

As ever-evolving people, it is only natural for us to want more, seek an improved condition, or look for opportunities to experience joy. However, when we are seeking to change because we believe that who or what we are in this moment is not good enough, we are not creating our lives from our highest possible perspective.

So, instead of picking apart all that is “wrong” and seeking to change those things, let’s begin this new year by asking ourselves the question, “Who and what do I ultimately want to become?” This helps us to create a vision of what we DO want, not what we DON’T want; and having clarity about that distinction goes a long way in helping us to achieve our goals. No resolution required.

-Written by Angie G