• Optimism is a muscle. Exercise it.

    Hi. My name is Mo. I believe in the power of positive energy and intuition. I believe when you tune into energy it leads you to the answers you are seeking and ultimately, the life you want to create. I'm a no nonsense, practical, grounded soul and if you want to cultivate greater awareness of energy, then start reading.

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Who is Talking: Your intellect or your intuition?

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I was in my 20s when I first learned that your intuition always has the right answer over your intellect. It felt right to me on many levels. So, I began playing scientist. I continued to read as much as I could about intuition and observe my everyday choices. I wanted to be clear on how it felt when I was trusting my intuition vs. my head, or when I was using both in decision making. I remember my first tests of intuition being in my simple everyday choices. Should I take a taxi or subway that day? Should I stop for a latte or should I go right to the office? I would find the answers by being flexible with these little choices and then letting the answer unfold as my day moved on- was it seamless or challenging? I would take notes when perhaps I talked myself out of the taxi because my mind said don’t spend the extra cash and then take the subway, only to find that it was delayed, throwing my day off. I would notice that my intuition was right: I should have taken the taxi. I don’t take a taxi every morning, so if that thought even drops into my consciousness, then that is spirit saying, “Make your life easier and take a taxi today!” Try it yourself. Maybe you don’t live in a city, but find something that you can “test” and use it every day. This will strengthen your ability to tune into your intuition and listen to your spirit. That is, try to start recognizing when your Spirit is trying to help you with an “aha” suggestion.

 

Intuition can be referred to as your “gut,” or a feeling that moves you. Your mind, which is equally important, should work with your intuition, not against it. Your mind is the one that slows you down and makes you question yourself, just like it did in my taxi transportation experiments. So, if you are trying to better tune into your intuition, know you are using your intuition when you don’t overthink your decisions. Instead, you are making a decision based on how it feels. I had done this countless times before I read books that explained to me I was in fact using my intuition. It has changed my entire life to gain this understanding. I believe that if we all worked on really trying to feel our intuition and listen to our spirit, supported by our logical mind, then the world would be a much easier and more harmonious place for everyone.

 

I find it can be more difficult to distinguish between your intellect and your intuition when making important decisions. The sure-sign way I have figured out whether my mind or intuition is talking to me is by observing my actions. Yes, the old saying, “Actions, speak louder than words,” is the truth. For instance, have you ever thought, “I don’t think I want to go to this event or party,” but something within you gives you a feeling that you should just go? That’s your spirit dropping in and your intuition telling you to move ahead. This is when I will literally talk to myself and say, “Mind, please stop. Spirit is moving me to get dressed, so I’m just going to trust this feeling and go.” This is when it is so important to be open and trust. In order to live by your intuition, you must be flexible and move with life.

 

When anxiety or fear pushes you to do something, it is your mind—not your intuition—speaking. This leaves you feeling drained and frantic. Spirit does not drain you when you are moved by your intuition- it moves you. You are moved out the door to something that doesn’t make sense, causing a disagreement in your mind; you are moved to take an action by maybe stopping somewhere, or emailing or calling someone.

 

Finally, what I have observed from being a scientist on the topic of intuition is that almost all of the very successful people I have gotten to know during my last 17 years in this city are extremely intuitive and live that way without thinking about it. They trust when Spirit just drops in and go with it. They might not classify it as intuition, but they trust themselves or their gut. They don’t over think it. One could call it a carefree way to live, or even brave. I think it is brave, or maybe someone would call it having faith in situations, but I think they are one in the same. What I think it comes down to is that living by your intuition and spirit requires you to move with life and be fearless while working with your mind in harmony, which ultimately creates a journey of wonder and surprises. It makes life interesting, for sure.

 

Try it. Experiment. You won’t be disappointed.

-Mo

Featured on the Cover of this Month’s Autism Parenting Magazine

I am both proud and honored to be featured in this month’s issue of Autism Parenting Magazine. In their 39th issue, APM highlights ways to “work together to help ASD children and their families communicate better. In addition to highly-recommended forms of therapy, such as applied behavior analysis (ABA), speech and occupational therapy, there are small steps you as a family can take to help facilitate improved communication.” This wonderful issue helps families of ASD children take significant steps towards communicative breakthroughs.

My article, “5 Tools for Communicative Play,” featured inside the issue as well as on the cover, aims to help adults work together with children on the autistic spectrum in fun and playful ways.

Be sure to check out Autism Parenting Magazine. You can find more about them at http://www.autismparentingmagazine.com.

Take on that Storm

It is how you take on that storm that creates your destiny.

On the East coast, September signifies the transition from a carefree summer to a breezy, beautiful fall of colors before the deep freeze of winter.  So many people say spring and fall are their favorite seasons. I don’t have a favorite, but I know my least favorite: winter. I can take about one month of it and then I’m kind of over it. I always have to buckle down and plan a trip to somewhere warm to break the cold winter months up.

Winter’s energy is a bit too intense for me. The city streets can turn into wind tunnels, which go right through to my bones.  I fight it in waves, depending on what the day may bring. Sometimes it’s by drinking lots of warm tea, wearing cashmere sweaters, fur hats, down coats, and on the really cold days, layer whatever it is with fur vests.  When I was in my 20s and first starting out in New York, my late cousin once said to me, “You cannot live in New York without a fur.” Well, that sounded very adult and “New York” of her to say.  I didn’t really quite know what she meant because I hadn’t lived here that long.

After more than 17 years in New York, I can now find truth in that statement.  That simple advice actually wasn’t so simple.  In so many words, she was saying, “This is how I fight the cold; get a fur for yourself, it helps.” On the frigid days of winter, it’s my daily ritual of warm tea and layering that sustains me, along with a much-anticipated trip to somewhere warm. It is the best way I know how to weather the literal seasons of life.

The seasons and the transitions they require remind me how I have to transition in my everyday life – in relationships, health, work, play— you name it. There is an ebb and flow to the waves of life. It isn’t the waves we need to worry about, but learning how to ride them and not get stuck in the undertow.   Sometimes a wave pummels you, but you must keep going until the next wave comes and things even out.  This is life.  This is everyone’s life.  You can ride a wave of something intense, have a breather and then a calm – we need to expect these waves and learn how to move with it, most importantly with positivity.   One way we can get pummeled by the wave of life is if we take it too seriously. We need to expect life to flow, but within that flow, we have to expect that there will ultimately be something we have to fight for.

I believe we all have certain life lessons chosen before we take our journey of life. Accepting and learning these lessons can be a good fight, or it can be a fight that overtakes you.  Don’t let it overtake you.  Decide you will not let it and find anything positive in whatever your fight is.  This is always your destiny; it is also always your greatest learning tool. The challenges that we don’t expect or blindside us are all of our greatest learning tools. It is how you take on that storm that creates your destiny.

I’ve experienced a countless number of unexpected waves through the more than dozen jobs I have taken working in all different industries.  I would not settle.  Instead, I would ride the wave to the next unknown experience, trusting in the journey.  I love this city—it is my home and something in it tugs at my soul, so I have always fought to find my way in this city and not leave.  For instance, I would finish a job in casting for a movie or episodic and I wouldn’t know where or how I would get my next job.  I would find a source of positivity within me and just hit the pavement, which included talking to people I know, calling headhunters, and looking to the universe for clues as to where to turn next.  These experiences have taught me countless lessons in intuition, humility, looking beyond the circumstances, and everyday miracles.

My point is, don’t let any wave pummel you. Swim through it with all of your might.  It might throw you.  Thrash back at it.  Be fearless. It’s a decision and it may be the hardest thing you will ever do, but it will be the most important thing you choose to do while here on this journey. So, whether it be a health issue, a relationship, a work challenge, or something that you never believed you could bear in life—You can.  You just have to decide that you will win over whatever it is everyday. We all have choices, and you have to choose to not be a victim.  Fight the good fight, and then smile and cry tears of joy, because you won the battle.

God’s speed.

– Mo.

Abundance is the Way

Happy August!

I am lucky enough to be spending my time working in Southampton, New York for the rest of the summer.  For anyone who has not been to Southampton, or the Hamptons, it’s a place that reminds you of everyday miracles with its abundant beauty of nature that surrounds you. Being surrounded by this abundance of miracles inspired my topic for this month’s newsletter, because I think we all deserve abundance.  For this article, I’m asking you to be open and change your mindset a little, because I’m going to be a bit more direct than usual, but I’m sure you can handle it.

So, what if it is our birthright to live abundantly? Imagine if we all popped out the womb being told that the world is our oyster, and that you can do anything you put your mind to.

Guess what—you did. Everything and everyone else that told you differently was wrong, and now I want to remind you of that birthright.

I think limitations are bullshit. They stop energy and put you in a negative space. Drop them. Drop any limitations (“You don’t have enough time/money, you’re too young/old, you’re sick, your physical state, you can’t travel, you can’t quit your job,” etc.) that you put on yourself for the next 5 minutes. How did that thought make you feel? Like superman (or woman), right? That’s your natural state.

Now, don’t go jumping off any buildings and think you will fly. First, you have to take those limitations off of yourself and your life, but then take them off the world around you, as well. What if you could let go of the limitations you put on others and the world at large?  What if you focused on the abundance they bring into your life every day? What if you chose to not look at any negativity you might receive everyday, only finding positive things? What if you focused on the abundance that your spouse, your child, or your coworkers bring to you each day, and not whatever annoying thing they did or do that you don’t like?

Again, just let it go. Let go of the petty thing called limitations. The “you’re too tired, you don’t have enough will power, you don’t have the right connections, you don’t have a enough money”….whatever the limitation is.  Imagine whatever obstacle you feel there is in your life and remove it.  It’s no longer there. Just poof—gone.

Now, let’s go back to talking about the opposite of limitations: Abundance. Be relentless about abundance. Expect it everywhere you turn. Expect your life to flow. Expect that the right person or conversation or thing that you need to show up. If you anticipate it and expect it, it will show up.  That is, don’t get stuck in looking at whatever issue or obstacle you think you have and instead, look at the possibilities.  You don’t have to earn abundance; you don’t have to guilt your way through it, but you do have to consciously be open to it.  Being open is being real. Real to me is being vulnerable and flowing with life, trusting and being humble, and what is real is the fact that if you take whatever your dream is and relentlessly focus on this vision –feel it, see it, live like the hope is there— then it will find it’s way to you.  It will become real, because you will have created it. We all create our own reality.

Our reality is the environment that surrounds us. If you don’t like what you see around you, then you best get to envisioning, and then get to relentlessly thinking about how wonderful it will be when you have whatever it is you desire. It may not happen overnight and it’s not going to happen if you aren’t consistent, but you know what? They say we think the same damn thing over and over in our heads every day- 90% of our thoughts are the same every day. That’s astounding.

How f–g boring. How limiting.

If you feel stuck in monotonous thoughts, then shake it out of you by creating anything, imagining, and taking time to play.  Get out of that rut or “box.” Boxes are limiting to me unless they are presents.  Please, break out—open a present instead.

How? Just add one new thought a day, and see what it does. Read something new, communicate a new way, envision something new, do something new, find a new way to laugh, find anything new that stimulates positivity within you that is uniquely you and keep doing it. See what happens.

I’ll tell you what happens. Good shit happens, and good shit = abundance. Spread the word. Wouldn’t that be awesome? A world that just keeps on creating off the thoughts of total abundance? I’m not talking material abundance (although you can add that in for fun), but abundance of the heart, abundance of the mind, and abundance of the world.  This ultimately creates more joyful moments and a happier, more flexible, go-with-the-flow attitude toward life, because you are expecting good things to show up.

Think it and then get back to me after you’ve tried it. The truth of the matter is, we are all artists who are creating every single day—by our choices, and our choices create positivity (or negativity) and that creates our daily experience, which in turn shapes our life experience. You can fill your mind and day with 90% of the same crap, or you can start creating little miracles—just like that first abundant miracle of being born. Yup, that birthright that I first mentioned.

Believe it, I’m telling you. Abundance is the way.

We Are All Special Needs

 

I’m all for thinking outside the box, but not for putting people in boxes.

 

I’m for categorizing, but only for the purpose of helping that person get the tools they need to succeed. While you read this post, I want you to contemplate the idea that you are a special needs individual who can relate to any and all of the individuals we currently categorize as special needs, because ultimately, we all have special needs in some form.

 

I first discovered the idea that we are all special needs during college at Loyola University in Maryland, where I majored in Speech Pathology. Upon graduating, I was led to the extraordinary children that I taught and wrote about in my book, Solitary Genius. Solitary Genius was a bit of a large onion that I peeled away at to find my true message within the pages of my manuscript. I was certain that I wanted the reader to see that they could relate to children who are classified as “special needs.” We all have special needs within every single one of us. Society has chosen to put people in a box for differences such as ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, being on the spectrum, and learning disabilities, to name a few. I know because I was put in one of those boxes – a learning disability box. What I wish I knew then was that this “disability” that made me feel ostracized from my peers and individuals was actually a gift.

 

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2 Things Women Need to Do for Themselves and Each Other

 

 

My post today is dedicated to the women of the world. Guys, you might want to skip this post entirely. Or, you just might want to read on about how women as a whole are much too hard on themselves, just so you can go do something nice for that special someone in your life.

 

Here’s the deal: recently, I have sat down and spoken with 2 of my fabulous girlfriends (at separate times) who both all of a sudden went into a mode of not feeling that they are good enough for whatever the next thing is that they want in their lives. Of course, I immediately did my best to correct them of what was obviously not true. Then, I sat down and had to put my sadness to paper: How could these two fabulous ladies get so down on themselves and be so self-critical? Why were they being downright mean to themselves?

 

They can only answer that themselves, but our conversations put me into self-reflection: I have found that this way of thinking is, unfortunately, all too common for women. It is a pattern of judgment women put on themselves that needs to stop, and that we need to help one another stop by reminding our women friends how wonderful they are, especially when they are having a tough time. This trend can be stopped by a friend telling them like I did, or it can even be healed before that—from within—by deciding first to love who we are, no matter where we are in life, and that we will just keep at whatever it is that we might want to change.

 

Women all-too-frequently put a great deal of pressure on themselves to be the best in every area of their lives. Typically, we as women want to look, feel, create, and present ourselves in the best light to others. This is understandable, but we also need to recognize that we all have different paths, and we don’t need to do it all. We can ask for help; in fact, I think asking for help should be a requirement.

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6 Skills That Will Make You Invaluable in Any Industry

I love my neighborhood. I love its energy, and the fact that when I walk my dog, I run into people that I know are my neighbors somewhere in the buildings that surround me. I don’t know all their names, but I definitely know their faces, and they know mine. We have those brief, friendly conversations that generally last no more than 3 minutes because we are all New Yorkers who have places to be. It’s an unspoken understanding. If I run into someone I know, I take this as the universe telling me that I am in the flow with life and on the right track. Seeing my “people” shows me that synchronicity is at work and to keep going.

Recently, at different times, I ran into a couple of my older neighbor friends that I chat with on the sidewalk. I realized that they say similar comments to me. They always seem happy to see me, just as I am happy to see them. Then they ask me what I am up to because I always have something going on that is interesting. I think to myself, “These people have interesting lives, too!” After all, we live in the same city, with the same abundance surrounding us.

These threads of comments show me what makes me different in this diverse place: In the 17 years that I have lived here, I have switched careers many times. I’ve had jobs in different industries, and that is unique. When hearing all the industries I have worked in, people ask me, “How could you do that? “ By that, they mean to ask how could I go from casting to a talent agency, from an antique showroom (to the trade), to interior design, with other things mixed in between? How could someone do all these things? I have a very simple answer for them: they all involve the same skills, just different lexicons. All of my skills are transferable to each industry, and the only difference is a matter of learning the language of that field.

From being in so many industries, I have learned that anyone can switch careers as long as they have these six things:

  1. A positive attitude.
  2. A “can-do” frame of mind that stems from listening to your intuition.
  3. The ability to get along with people.
  4. An understanding of when to speak and when to keep quiet.
  5. Knowledge of how to make things happen (and quickly)
  6. Acceptance that the first one to two years in a new industry will be the most challenging and most likely interfere with your personal life, but after that everything will settle and become almost routine.

If you are willing to go through the awkward growing pains of learning and being persistent and organized in your process of learning, you will create value. If you create value and make yourself invaluable through persistence and thoroughness to whatever industry you choose, there will be a demand for you, not only there, but in other places as well. It’s all in the details. You must adjust to any and all changes, whether it be a daily happening or a completely different job industry, and if you accept this, all the rest will fall into place.

Whether you are 25, 40, or 65 and want to do something different, you most certainly can. It’s a matter of your tolerance for knowing there will be a transition period that will be a little uncomfortable, and after that, things will fall into place.   I know this because I have done it more than a dozen times. Allow yourself to be led to the next and most unexpected opportunity, and allow yourself to begin something new.

It’s not going to be easy. Transition is uncomfortable and takes effort – a lot of effort. As the saying goes, there is no free lunch. But know that you really can change anything in your life. While some elders say “You are different, Mo. You are a go getter.” But I’m not anymore of a go-getter than anyone else. We are all go-getters, as long as you believe in yourself and your capabilities. You either sink or swim, and sometimes you almost drown, but you will find a way to pull yourself back up. I have always been dependent on myself and drowning is not an option. There were times I thought I was about to drown, but I held on to what felt like the eleventh hour more than a handful of time and EVERY single time a lifeboat appeared. This is true for all situations in life. Ride the wave and trust that you will make it through no matter which way you are thrown. But if you don’t take a dive into the unknown every once in a while, that is giving up on your brilliance, and in my book, that is not an option.

You are too magnificent for that option.

-Mo

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