Shut ‘Em Down!


Karma. I love it! Especially when I’m fortunate enough to see it come back around to someone who deserves it.   The funny thing about karma is that you don’t know where or when it will come back. But, if you are lucky enough to witness it, it’s the best front seat to have while viewing that person get shut down right before your eyes!

The Incident

Many years ago, I was hired at a major PR firm. Each day I enjoyed working with different clients. But, I worked with an insecure micro manager. This, I didn’t enjoy. From the very beginning, my work was revised, rewritten, discussed and scrutinized.  Prior to joining the firm, I was a Public Information Officer for the Fulton County Library System in Atlanta, where I wrote news articles and press releases.  There was never a problem then. So, why was everything I did a problem now?  I found myself watching the clock every morning until it was time to go in the evening.  The job that I thought was going to be my dream job, turned out to be a job that I wish I could wake up from and never return.

The Breaking Point

Almost two years had gone by and I was called into the managing director’s office.  And there it was. His speech was cloaked in I’m sorry…  I hate to tell you this… we really wanted you, but. The underlying message really was: I couldn’t write. How was that even possible? I had written mayoral candidate speeches, press releases that turned into newspaper articles, and proposals that won business for this firm. And now, I’m being told that I could not write? I was given 30 days to find another job. This was a very liberal gesture and I appreciated the ramp up. I found a job that I really liked with a major airline and worked there for ten years before I started my own company.

Karma Finally Came

For about two years after I left the PR firm, I began to experience great satisfaction and success in play-writing.    I did all of my own publicity and landed articles in several local newspapers and was interviewed by one major radio and television station. I remember  getting a call from the LA Times asking if the play was going to Broadway (yes, my press release was that good). They wouldn’t cover my play because it was local, but told me if it made it to Broadway to give them a call back.  That was the best compliment I could have received from a major newspaper.  But that wasn’t the karma.

Several weeks later I was on an airplane seated in first class (working for an airline had its perks) and the managing director that I worked for at the PR firm was walking past me heading toward coach. ( I must admit that I got a big kick out of that visual.)  I tapped him on the arm and the look on his face was priceless. “Hi Lori, it’s good to see you! I’ve been reading a lot about you lately.” I smiled and said, “Thank you.”Then I looked at him square between his eyes and said, ” I guess I can really write after all!  Enjoy the flight!”  Karma.  Don’t you just love it?







Episode 3: Podcast with Patty Binns Farinola

Get  in touch with your inner strengths and understand your true authenticity with Patty Farinola.  Patty gives a real perspective on what it means to be spiritual, to live your own truth and find your purpose.

Are you God?

Of course you are not.  But, some people act as if they are.  These are the people who act as if they are above reproach. They  always seem to find fault in everyone else. They love to connect themselves with people who may not be on their same socioeconomic level so they can be looked up to.  They like to appear smarter, wealthier and better.  Their egos are typically highly inflated  and they find it difficult to find any flaws within themselves.

The “god person”  gives the appearance that they have no worries and no trials. This person generally believes they are above the rules of society and should be given special consideration. They want you to believe  they are in control of everything because they truly believe it themselves. There is no one who is far greater, more superior, more perfect, more untouchable than they themselves.– or so they think.

For those of us who believe in God, we know that these people are a far cry from the omnipotent that we love and serve. Here are few tips on dealing with a human and fallible god.

Respect Yourself –  First and foremost, you have to lead by example.  It’s true. If you don’t respect yourself, then no one else will.  You have to be confident and remain confident when in the company of  these people.  (To thine own self be true -William Shakespeare) In other words, don’t get caught up in trying to fit in. All of us have a a gift that God has given us. Find your gift and use it.

Set Limits– You may live with this person. You may work with this person. Or, you may  have a relationship with this person. However you are connected, you will need to decide how you will keep your sanity. You have to set limits on what you will tolerate and what you won’t.  Make your own rules and have that person abide by them or else you need to move on and get out of the way. This goes back to being respectful of yourself first and not allowing others to disrespect you. It’s a choice. It may be a hard one. But, it is a decision that you will only be able to make.  What can you put up with and what is non-negotiable? Let the “god person” person know this and you make sure that they respect the boundaries you set forth and you make sure you follow through.

Assert yourself – There is a difference between being assertive and aggressive.   Assertive is to go after what you want without putting everything and everyone else at risk at any cost. What you want is to not to be demeaned, ridiculed or passed over. You have to be confident. You have to be pleasantly  persistent and thoughtful of others even when this person takes your patience to a whole other level.  You cannot allow their ways to rub off on you.    Aggressive means all bets are off. Anyone and anything that gets in an aggressive persons way can be viewed as collateral damage. Aggressive people don’t care how it gets done. They just want it done by any means necessary. And they want it done Now!  Be assertive. Be clever. Be smart. Get what you want on your terms  without intimidation or questionable tactics. After all, you are already dealing with someone who thinks they are god.  If you don’t feel as if you can deal with the “god person” on your own, consider seeking professional help.  More importantly,  seek  the real God to help you navigate through your ordeals.  God is the real deal. He knows it. Do you?



Thankful Again, Still and Always

Another Thanksgiving is upon us. As you count all of your blessings this Thanksgiving, be sure to count your financial blessings as well. Even as we struggle to “do better” with our money, most of us have financial blessings far in excess of most of the rest of the world.

This week, simply give thanks for all that you have and enjoy the bounty of the holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

To your turkey success!

What are you giving up?

This week many people set their focus on the beginnings of the Lenten season – a time for fasting and introspection, a time for focusing on one’s religion and relationship with the Divine. It begins on Ash Wednesday and covers a period of approximately six weeks before Easter Sunday.

Additionally, many try to be more disciplined for Lent and pledge to give up something that they really like to show their commitment to their religious journey.  This week many of my friends have vowed to give up a certain food, like sweets or soda. Others have targeted certain vices like cursing or drinking…some even plan to give up social media, which has become a distraction or fixation for them.

Some people find the season a good time to reboot the diet they tried to begin at the onset of the New Year and give up fattening foods in an effort to reignite that diet. Unfortunately, those same people might find that the things they love to indulge in are just too hard to give up; so early in the season, they slip up once again and find themselves back to the very beginning before their pledge was made.

They just give up.

But a lot of people give up other things. The wrong things. And they choose to give up at the wrong time.

Have you been dreaming of making a big change in your life? Have you been pursuing a goal? Is there a special project at work you want to talk to your boss about taking on? Are you in the middle of a new job search? How have those plans for that small entrepreneurial venture been going? Are you still contemplating getting that fitness instructor’s certificate? Have you been saving to go back to school to take a few extra courses or start working on that new degree? Are you trying to buy a new car or invest in property?

American billionaire Ross Perot was quoted as saying, “Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one-yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from a winning touchdown.”

You dreamed of how it would be once you made that change. You started making plans on how to achieve that goal. You enthusiastically started working towards it at full speed. But something happens. You had a minor set-back. You got discouraged.

Then you hear it. That small, little voice in your head that convinces you to stop. So you stop. You put those goals, those plans on the back-burner? Or even worse, that voice convinces you to give up?

You just give up.

So during this season of introspection, while you contemplate all those things you wish to give up, identify at this time those things you are trying to give up on about yourself, but should NOT — our dreams, your goals, your aspirations?

Don’t give up on yourself.


When A Whisper Becomes a Roar!

Recently,  I was speaking to  aspiring group of college students.  The topic was finding your IT or what I like to call your intuitive talent.  You know what that is, don’t you? It’s that voice you hear, the tug in your stomach or the tingling feeling you get whenever you do what feels right. That is probaby your IT-calling.  Your inner voice is telling you what you already know, but fear to start. It is the voice of reason that can help navigate us through our daily paths if we follow its leading.

So when that whisper in our heads becomes an actual roar, why do so many of us ignore or second-guess what we hear? If you are someone who has done this  then remember this: Trust yourself.   You are smarter than you give yourself credit for, and that’s is why it is important not to ignore our gut instincts.

For some, they have not experienced a gut feeling or inner voice. Not everyone is in tune with their inner voice and may need a little coachinng to bring out his or her IT.  If this describes you then start by making a list of what brings you happiness.  What experiences have you had that bring you a sense of joy? What activities have you done that leave you feeling happy ? It doesn’t matter how long or how short it is, only that you have take time to identify them.

Work on Your Now by taking time to think if the things that bring you joy are really a part of who you are, or are they a part your purpose and where you really want to go in and with your life.

It’s Time to Fire Ima!

Who is Ima? Ima is that friend in your head. Ima also is the one you treat as your scapegoat.

You refer to Ima often when you exclaim things like, “Ima lose five pounds,” or when you say, “Ima de-clutter the junk drawer one day.” You put her in control of your projects when you profess, “Ima organize and clean out my closet and give away a few things real soon.”

Ima is the one with whom you entrust your future. She is the one that you pass the buck to whenever you begin to think about a task you should be doing or something you will do one day in the near future. “Ima do better saving money.”

Ima gets burdened with all those tasks that tend to get put on the back burner to tackle later. It’s usually a task that needs to get done, but you haven’t mustered up enough motivation to get started. Maybe the truth is you’re not too jazzed about starting the task because it seems overwhelming, or quite frankly, you don’t know how to get started. Most tasks require time, focus, and a little foresight.

Have you also entrusted Ima with the responsibility for changes that could impact your health or your career? “Ima start exercising and eating a healthier diet.” “Ima budget better.” “Ima update my resume soon.” “Ima improve my computer skills.” “Ima start looking for a new job.”

Here’s the thing. Ima has a last name: Procrastinate.

Ima has an uncanny way of making you complacent with your current situation. Ima gives you a sense of false security such that once you turn over the task to her, you no longer feel obligated to take charge of the responsibilities they represent, as if just claiming that one day soon you are going to do something somehow satisfies that need and takes you off the hook to actually get started doing it.

It’s time to fire Ima. Today.

It’s time to take back sole responsibility for YOU. Now is the time for you to devise an actual plan on how and when YOU will tackle those tasks — be they great or small – and take charge of making a real difference in your life.

So long, Ima!

Maybe Now Is the Time to Become More Spiritual

Maybe Now Is the Time to Become More Spiritual.

You have probably heard others speak on being ‘spiritual’ or being focused on developing their ‘spirituality,’ but exactly what does the term mean and how can it enhance your life?

While there is no single, widely agreed upon definition of spirituality, scholars tend to define it as condition achieved by engaging in meaningful activity, personal growth, or blissful experience. Spirituality refers to a process of re-formation of the personality, mind, and of course, the spirit.

Webster defines the spirit as the inner quality or nature of a person or the force within a person that is believed to give the body life, energy, and power.

Centuries ago, being spiritual signified having an attachment to religious values, or matters of the spirit, rather than material or worldly interests. However, in modern history, the definition of spirituality has expanded to mean reaching higher levels of consciousness, such as when using meditation, yoga, and similar practices.

Others consider spirituality to be a state in which we are connected to God, nature, each other, and the deepest part of ourselves.

Despite its nebulous, ever-evolving definition, spirituality is important in our lives.

To fully function as a human being, the various aspects of ourselves must be in balance — our mind, body, and spirit have to be in harmony with one other. It is hard to focus on your career when you are stressed out over a personal relationship. That personal relationship suffers if you are not physically or mentally healthy. As you can see, balance is necessary to achieve harmony in each facet of your life. We cannot successfully focus on any aspect of our lives and neglect the spiritual.

Being spiritual is neither difficult nor demanding. In fact, it can be quite simple.

You are being spiritual when you listen to a beautiful piece of music, when you are captivated by an amazing work of art, or when you are reading an inspirational book or poem.

Exactly how is that spiritual you ask? Well, were you immersed in it? Did you derive some pleasure from it? Did it touch your soul? Did you connect to the artist and/or the creation itself? Then it was spiritual.

You can experience a spiritual moment while walking through the woods and connecting with nature, by walking along a sandy seashore, or by watching a sunset.

You also can experience a spiritual connection working with others to work toward a common goal, like volunteering or raising funds to help those in need, or playing on a sports team, while performing with a choir or a musical group, or anything that involves teamwork and cooperation with others.

These acts — tuning in with God, nature, each other, and ourselves — are being spiritual.

There are a few things you can do starting now to be more spiritual in your life.

Make time for yourself…just yourself.
Restore your spirit and revitalize yourself by listening to relaxing music. Read inspirational literature (or more blogs here on the WOYN site.) Book a soothing massage or even a quick a Mani/Pedi.

Reach out and help those in need.
The Dali Lama is quoted as saying, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
When you lend a hand to someone else, you grow spiritually because you are connecting with humanity. Volunteer as a big brother or sister, coach a youth sports team, serve on a committee at your house of worship or in your town, or donate to the food shelter. Every little bit helps.

Practice gratitude… celebrate the ‘good stuff.’
Each morning reflect on all the various things you have to be grateful for in your life. Acknowledge how fortunate you are for family, friends, and all the opportunities placed on your path.

Observe your world.
Be more aware. Become responsive to your environment. Be conscious of yourself within your environment. Enjoy the colors and smells of nature around you. Enjoy the feel of rain falling on your face and the wind blowing your hair. The revitalizing, fresh state of awareness you will experience is spiritual.

Be more expressive.
Pop diva Madonna said it best, “Express Yourself!” If you don’t already engage in some form of artistic or expressive activity, what are you waiting for? It’s time to expand your brain’s right-side function. Learn to dance, sing, play a musical instrument, or take art lessons. We all need to balance the logical, linear aspects of ourselves, so give the left-side brain a rest.

Recognizing and refining your spirituality helps to create a much-needed balance in your life and a sense of purpose. Take a moment, look at your daily schedule, and identify ways you can nurture your spirit.

Would You Give IT ALL UP?

Would you quit your job, sell your  car, your home and all of  the rest of your belongings –if it meant that you could live the life you have always wanted to live?  Does this sound freeing to you or stressful?  What a wonderful feeling it would be to unburden ourselves from the pressures of what society dictates is the American Dream.  Not everyone’s dream is about money.  Many people just want a sense of fulfillment and to live out their lives with a purpose and meaning.

In my book Working On Your Now there is a chapter called Find and Recognize Your It. Our IT is what I like to refer to as  our intuitive talent.  That voice you hear, the tug in your stomach or the tingling feeling you get whenever  do what feels right is probably your IT–your calling. Your inner voice is telling you what you already know, but fear to start.  It is the voice of reason that can help navigate us through our daily paths if we follow its leading.

The next time you hear your inner voice, take time to listen to what it has to say. The next time you feel something stir inside your spirit that you cannot explain, do not ignore it.  It may guide you to where you need to go. Trust your instincts. Trust your gut. Trust you.

Check out this article on this woman who gave up her $95,000 a year job to go scoop up ice cream! This proves that our IT does not always have to make sense to other people.  Our  IT is who we are. We have to own in and revel in it– just like this lady did! Now, go out and find YOUR IT!

Are You Your Own Hire Power?

The determination and strength in humans is amazing. German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, said: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” I’m certain we have all had our challenges of having to remain strong when adversities have arrived.
Some of us have become immune to hearing about people who don’t know where their next meal will come from or how they will even pay bills. When we see tragedy on television, albeit we are shaken, but unfortunately because we see it so often, we are not compelled to move with an urgency to help that individual in need.
Yes, challenges will always remain a part of life and some people handle them better than others. Our source of strength comes in many forms. Some rely on a higher power or their faith to help them move through the personal trials that they encounter through the journey, we call life. Others lean on friends, family or support groups to assist.
There are those that don’t believe in a higher power. They call themselves agnostic or even atheist. I’ve heard people say that the only reason they have made it this far is because they relied on no one but themselves. They don’t feel as if they have ever been given a hand up, let alone a hand out. They feel self- made, they stand alone and they are closed to any thought of someone being more of a higher power than they are.
For me personally, I do believe in a higher power. There is no way that I am solely responsible for all of the wonderful blessings that have been bestowed upon me and my family if it were not for God. The truth is, I would be very afraid to believe otherwise – not to mention selfish.
How about you? What are your thoughts on how you got to where you are today? Who or what has gotten you out of a very bad spot? Did you make it through what seemed like an untenable situation on your own or  with help?In other words, where are you in your spiritual life? Do you believe that you have one?