How to Manage Your Boss

10 pieces of advice your boss won’t tell you!
By Woman’s Day

Follow her lead.
If you’re not sure whether your boss prefers to communicate in a meeting or via email or phone, ask, suggests career and executive coach Lauren Mackler. Also ask what she wants to be consulted on and what she prefers you handle on your own. And take cues from her personality, says Mackler: If your boss is introverted, don’t keep pushing for face-to-face time.
 
Toot your own horn.
Your boss can’t possibly keep tabs on what every employee is doing every day—it’s up to you to let him know! “When you wrap up a project, send a congratulatory email to your team and CC your boss,” suggests Mackler. You might also send him a monthly overview of the projects you’ve completed and other accomplishments, and have these month-to-month emails on hand at your annual performance review. And speaking of performance reviews…click here to read the entire article.

Interview with The Best of You Today

Can You Be Happy Alone?
Written by the Best of You Today   

solemate paperback cover-thumbThe Best of You Today was given the unique opportunity to speak with Lauren Mackler about love, life, and the imporatnce of uncovering your true, authentic self. The conversation reminded us that true happiness and contentment lies no further than our own hearts.

Lauren Mackler is a world-renowned coach, keynote speaker, bestselling author, and host of the weekly Life Keys radio show on Contact Talk Radio. She has risen to international prominence by developing Illumineering, a groundbreaking coaching method that integrates family systems work, psychodynamic psychology, and coaching to help people free themselves from the shackles of their life conditioning, and create the personal and professional lives to which they aspire.

BOYT: What was your inspiration to write Solemate?

 LM: I married at 23 and built my life, career, financial security and emotional well-being on my husband and his life. I moved to his country, worked as a therapist in his business, and let him handle all of our finances. As a result, when my marriage deteriorated 13 years later, my life, career, security and self-esteem collapsed right along with the marriage. After hitting bottom, I sold everything I owned to pay for flight tickets and returned with my children to the U.S. in 1995. I was emotionally devastated, penniless and terrified, with no means to provide for myself or my children.

Stuck in a small town with limited resources, I realized I had to find a way to climb out of my emotional and financial abyss. I created a “self-renewal program” for myself, comprised of specific daily activities, goals and action steps that, over time, not only changed my life, but changed me. When I realized that my program could help others, I turned it into a workshop called Mastering the Art of Aloneness, which I’ve been teaching at Kripalu, Omega, and other centers since 1998. A couple of years ago someone suggested that I turn the workshop into a book. Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life was released in 2009 and the new paperback edition was just released on April 15 of this year.

 BOYT: You offer a suggestion in your book to “become the partner you seek.” Can you explain this philosophy?

LM: Many people spend years waiting for an ideal partner – a “soul mate” to make them feel complete. The problem with waiting for Prince or Princess Charming is, all too often, people sabotage their own lives by living in a kind of limbo. I’ve had coaching clients who put their lives on hold, waiting for a man or woman to complete their life picture. They might hold off on buying a house, delay plans for an advanced degree, or turn down job promotions. They spend their leisure time watching television, hiding out at home, and staying in their comfort zone instead of actively developing their interests, pursuing their passions, and fully engaging in life.

Instead of pursuing an ideal partner, “Solemate” provides a pathway for readers to become the ideal partner they seek. My premise is that instead of looking to someone else to transform your life – that special person who will make you whole – it makes more sense to focus on making yourself whole. The question isn’t, “How do I find my soul mate so I can have the life I want?” The better question is: “What do I need to do to create the life I want for myself?”

BOYT: A struggle for many women is maintaining a strong sense of “self” while in a relationship or marriage. Why do women lose themselves while in a relationship and often end up feeling unfulfilled at the end of the day?

LM: When we’re born, we are whole, integrated human beings with tremendous potential. Growing up, we respond to our life conditioning by adopting habitual thought and behavior patterns, many of which erode our innate wholeness. One part of our innate wholeness that’s often diminished growing up is our self esteem. In an attempt to feel a sense of worthiness, people with low self esteem often become habitual “people-pleasers.” They make others’ needs more important than their own and say or do what they think others want or expect. When you always make others’ needs more important than your own, you’re not free to pursue your own interests or meet your own needs. Not only does this leave women unfulfilled, but it often leads to feelings of anger, resentment or depression. It also causes a lot of stress, which, over time, can compromise your immune system and make you more susceptible to life-threatening illnesses.   

BOYT: What are steps that women can take to identify their true passions and purpose?

LM: Pay attention to what you pay attention to. Notice what captures your interests, the books you like to read, the activities you enjoy, and the tasks or projects that truly engage you. One of the types of coaching I do is career coaching to help people find the work that’s best aligned with who they are and the contribution they want to make in the world. An assignment I have clients do is something I call the “Soap Box Exercise.” I have them write a narrative about three topics or issues about which they have very strong opinions or feelings. This is a powerful exercise to help you uncover your greatest passions. More often than not, by the end of the program the new career, position or business we’ve identified as their new objective relates in some way to the issues they wrote about in their Soap Box narrative.  

BOYT: As mothers, what advice can we offer our daughters?

LM: Find out who you really are and honor who you are in every moment and in every choice or decision that you make. This is the path of least resistance and makes life a lot smoother and fulfilling. Living a life that’s not aligned with your innate personality traits, strengths, passions and values is painful and creates a lot of inner and outer conflict.

It’s also very important to achieve self-sufficiency before entering into a committed partnership or marriage. Being emotionally or financially dependent on someone else is a risky proposition, because if that person dies or you end up divorced, you lose your emotional or financial wellbeing right along with your partner.

BOYT: Our feeling is that a woman’s girlfriends are her lifeline. “Solemate” highlights the importance of building a strong inner and outer support system. In your opinion, how important is it that women nourish their female friendships?

LM: Women and men are inherently different and both genders have their own unique strengths and gifts. Although there are many exceptions to this, women tend to be more feeling-oriented by their nature and are thus more comfortable expressing their emotions than men. In general, women have a greater need to connect emotionally than men, so having good women friends with whom you can share this connection is an important part of developing a strong outer support system. Many women try to get their emotional needs met by their mates, which is often a source of frustration when those needs aren’t met. 

BOYT: What part do you feel society plays in the “fairytale” notion that women need to be married and have a family to be considered complete?

LM: Most people still believe that marriage is the ideal lifestyle, and we’re barraged by media messages reinforcing this notion. In television commercials, most adults wear wedding rings. In TV ads for nighttime cold medicines, couples are typically shown in a double bed, while in ads for sleep aids, singles are shown struggling alone to find their way to sleep. And in the Sex and the City TV series, a show devoted to the subject of four strong, independent females living on their own in New York, the final season ends with four romantic couplings.

Romance sells. It’s fun. And sharing a loving relationship is wonderful. What’s troubling, though, is the pervasive message that a romantic relationship is a cure for whatever ails you. Of course, many people don’t have to look beyond their immediate families to get that message. Many of my clients complain that they’re pressured by their parents to find a mate, marry and have children. Once they hit their 30s, people who remain single often experience feelings of abandonment, sadness, low self-worth and shame as their single friends dwindle in number. They feel increasingly surrounded by married couples – many of whom, they find, no longer extend invitations to them simply because they don’t have partners. It’s not surprising that many people who are alone feel bad about it.

BOYT: We often hear that women give so much of themselves to others and don’t feel they deserve to give the same time, love and energy to themselves. How can women begin to nourish their own spirit?

LM: By consciously developing what I call your Inner Nurturing Parent. This technique is one of the cornerstones of mastering the art of aloneness and transforms people’s lives. With it comes the ability to love yourself, to nurture yourself, and to create joyful relationships – starting with your relationship with yourself.

Many people don’t treat themselves very well. They break promises to themselves, eat poorly, are self-critical or engage in unsupportive relationships. In fact, if most people treated others the way they treat themselves, they wouldn’t have many friends! To begin treating yourself better, instead of judging yourself, send loving messages to yourself like, “I love and appreciate who you are.” When you do something well, pat yourself on the back and say out loud, “Great job! I’m so proud of you.” Get in the habit of doing nice things for yourself. Make a cup of tea with the nurturing energy you’d have when preparing tea for someone you love. Make your bed everyday. Buy yourself flowers or treat yourself to a massage or candlelit dinner. Your relationship with yourself is like any other; the more you feed and nourish it, the better it will be.

BOYT: What was your “aha” moment when you recognized the importance of finding the love you seek within yourself?

LM: When I realized that I was the one person I can never get away from – the only person who has been with me since birth and will be with me 24/7 until the day I die!

BOYT: Can you tell us something about you that would surprise our readers?

LM: I was very rebellious in my youth and ran away from home and hitchhiked to Florida from Boston when I was fourteen years old. Another thing that many people don’t know is that I’m an avid music lover. In my first career I was a professional singer in the female trio Tuxedo Junction

Separate Bedrooms: Friend or Foe?

BOSTON HERALD, by LAUREN BECKHAM FALCONE

Sometimes a couples retreat is better spent alone.

Separate bedrooms are becoming an oasis for co-habitators, and not in the way you’d expect. More and more couples are hitting the hay alone, not because of a bad relationship but for the chance to get some shut-eye without snoring spouses or a significant other who watches TV until they fall asleep.

Nearly one in four American couples sleep solo, according to a 2005 National Sleep Foundation survey. The National Association of Home Builders predicts some 60 percent of custom homes will have dual master bedrooms come 2015.

“We call it the Ricky and Lucy treatment,” said Ken Dietz of Dietz & Associates, an interior design firm in Jamaica Plain. “It usually starts out with the client requesting that we redesign the guest room and eventually admitting that one of them use it more often,” he said.

Why the secrecy?

“People feel funny about it,” Dietz said.

They shouldn’t. Sleeping in separate bedrooms doesn’t mean a relationship is on the rocks. Dietz said master bedrooms are becoming like hotel suites. With TVs, couches, computers and more, they’re no longer just a place to sleep and snuggle.

“Someone’s up and someone’s trying to sleep,” he said. “That’s not good.”

Lauren Mackler, psychotherapist and best-selling author of  “Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness and Transform Your Life,” agrees.

“Separate bedrooms alone can’t make or break a marriage, but the underlying issues can,” she said. “If a person has difficulty sleeping and sleeps in another room so as not to disturb their partner or spouse, that can actually preserve the relationship. If a couple is going through a crisis and are fighting, temporarily sleeping in separate bedrooms can be beneficial in defusing emotions and having more productive and respectful communication.”

But Mackler warned that separate bedrooms shouldn’t be used as a weapon.

“If issues such as emotional alienation, infidelity, or avoidance of sexual intimacy are driving the need for separate bedrooms, then sleeping separately can exacerbate alienation and the deterioration of the relationship,” she said.

Susan Schenck, author of  “The Live Food Factor,” has no qualms about sleeping in separate quarters.

“My husband and I have been together for 16 years, and 15 of those years we have slept in separate bedrooms,” she said. “One night I was tossing and turning, and since he had to get up early for work, he told me to go to the next room. I slept so much better that I stayed there! We continue to have separate bedrooms, even when traveling if possible, for three reasons: He snores, I toss and turn and we go to bed at vastly different times. I go to bed around 10 and he goes to bed around 2. If he came into bed late, he would wake me up.”

Another woman, who asked not to be named, isn’t quite as upfront.

“We sleep in separate bedrooms and we have kept it a secret from our friends and family,” she said. “Because when you mention it to anyone, they automatically sense `trouble.’  We have been happily married for 34 years, and took to separate bedrooms four years ago. He snores and wakes me up and he says I snore and wake him up. Within a year of sleeping in separate rooms we have come up with more romantic dates than you can imagine. For us, separate rooms has led us to a better relationship and a very happy marriage.”

Plastic Surgery and Relationships

The Impact of Plastic Surgery on Relationships – Lauren’s quotes in the New York Daily News. To read the full article, click here.

Healthy Boundaries in a Committed Relationship

Lauren’s interview with Quality Health about healthy boundaries in a committed relationship. To read the article, click below.

Healthy Boundaries in Committed Relationship

Emotional Affairs – New York Daily News

Lauren’s interview with Rosemary Black about the dangers of emotional affairs in the New York Daily News. To read the article, click below.

Emotional Affairs NewYork Daily News

Lauren’s Interview – Job Hunting on the Sly

Job-hunting and interviewing for new positions while still employed full-time can be tricky. But in the increasingly competitive job market today, it’s more common for employees to be constantly on the lookout for a more promising offer.

The sensitivity of job-hunting while employed–and keeping the process under wraps–varies from industry to industry. Dr. Robert Trumble, professor of management and director of the Virginia Labor Studies Center at Virginia Commonwealth University, says that it can also depend on the corporate culture. “In some, it could be the kiss of death,” he says, while other fields such as the tech industry, where talent is at a premium and individual skills are highly appreciated, fielding outside offers is expected.

Lauren Mackler, a career and life coach and author of Solemate, frequently advises clients about how to best seek out new opportunities while holding a full-time job. Here are her top tips:

“To minimize risk of losing your current job control to whom and how your resume and cover letter are circulated,” she says. Mackler advises against posting your resume publicly on job sites, as it makes it more likely that it will be spotted by your current employer. “When you do submit your resume let people know you’re doing so confidentially, as you’re still currently employed,” she continues. Instead of letting a friend or a colleague submit your resume to a hiring manager or an inside company contact, request the person’s contact information and submit your resume and cover letter yourself and use the person’s name who referred you, Mackler suggests.

On the topic of confidentiality, Mackler adds that any contact information listed on your resume should be personal–personal e-mail, personal cell numbers, etc., and you should never include any contact information that’s linked to your current employer. Running the risk of being contacted at work is bad form, she counsels.

Once your resume has made it through the preliminary screening, Mackler suggests you don’t jump at any interview opportunity thrown your way. “Only take time off from your job to interview for positions in which you’re seriously interested. The minute you start interviewing for a new job you’re putting your current employment at risk,” she cautions. The corporate arena can be a small world, and news could get back to your supervisor’s office before you do.

Job hunting on the sly can involve the panicked closing of browser windows to keep your resume and applications from the eyes of supervisors, but in some instances, getting caught can work to your advantage. Ashley Campbell, then a mid-level producer at an ad agency in Boston, found herself in an awkward situation that turned out surprisingly well. “I had my boss on a project looking over my shoulder at something, I was clicking out of windows to get to a website build I was showing her, and boom! There was my resume.” Click here to read the entire article by Meghan Casserly on Forbes.com.

Is it wise to fall in love with someone struggling to love himself: Lauren’s interview in London’s Daily Mail

Read this article by Anna Moore on DailyMail.com.

Even the most cynical would wish David Walliams and his fiancée, Dutch model Lara Stone, the best. On the surface, they seem set for a fairy-tale finish. Walliams, 38, first spied Stone, 26, last March at a Chelsea football match. He pursued and wooed her, sending flowers by the house-full. After a whirlwind courtship, he proposed in
January, popping a vintage Tiffany ring into her cheeseburger. A summer wedding is expected. So far, so fairy tale.

But the bigger picture is rather darker. Just a month before meeting Stone, Walliams gave a glimpse into his psyche when he was the castaway on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. Under probing from host Kirsty Young, he confessed to extreme ‘self-loathing’ and a ‘pathological fear’ of being alone. ‘I hate it,’ he said. ‘When I’m with my own thoughts, I start to unravel and think really dark thoughts, self-destructive thoughts.’

To avoid this, Walliams, a familiar face on the party circuit, would go out every night, surrounding himself with people. ‘If somebody said to me, “You have to spend a weekend on your own”, I wouldn’t be able to hack it,’ he admitted. Stranded on that make-believe desert island, he chose as his ‘luxury’ a gun to shoot himself with rather than be lonely.

‘I wouldn’t be able to hack a weekend on my own,’ says Walliams. ‘I’d hate it. I’d start to unravel’

Many of us are uncomfortable on our own. One American survey found that a quarter of all adults experience painful loneliness at least every few weeks. Lauren Mackler, life coach and author of international bestseller Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness and Transform Your Life, says, ‘We fear it. The very word “alone” is seen as sad and negative. It starts in childhood, as parents organise play dates for their toddlers and after-school activities for their children. If a child is happily occupied on his own, parents worry. At school, we want to be part of the crowd. As adults, we measure people by their partners and friends. We’re constantly told to work on our relationships with others – but never on our relationship with ourselves.’

However, Walliams’s own fear of being alone sounds rather more extreme – he himself describes it as ‘pathological’. Now a recognised medical condition known as ‘monophobia’ or ‘isolophobia’, it can have sufferers clinging to their partners when they leave for work, and obsessively needing company… Click here to read more.

How to Build a Better Date for Singles and Couples: Lauren on QualityHealth.com

Read this article on QualityHealth.com.

How to Build a Better Date: For Singles and Couples
By Rosemary Black

The time is set, the meeting place arranged. The mirror confirms that your hair and outfit look great. Then what’s with the butterflies in your stomach? The perfect date is well within your grasp, experts say, whether you’re single or married. You just need to keep a few pointers in mind.

For Singles

If this is your first date, be aware that the guy or girl in question will draw certain conclusions about you within the first 30 seconds of meeting. “And a lot of this first impression will be based on appearance,” says Lauren Mackler, coach, speaker and author of Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness & Transform Your Life. “If you want to be perceived as successful, make an effort to dress that way.”

Don’t give away too much information about yourself too quickly. “Be honest, but be mindful and discerning about what is right and not right to share,” Mackler advises. “Topics that are not acceptable on a first or second date include your financial situation as well as issues of low self-esteem that you are working on through therapy.”

Keep in mind that, like it or not, you’re sending certain messages to your date just by your actions. Say you’re a guy and the check comes at the end of a restaurant dinner. You pick it up and start to pay, and your date doesn’t even offer to split it. This is important information, Mackler says, to file away in your mind. “And if the guy picks up the tab and asks if you want to split it, just keep this in mind, too,” Mackler says.

During the evening, notice small things, such as how much time your date is spending talking about himself or herself. Ask questions of your date, and don’t just talk about yourself. Expect the other person to do the same. “If your date does not reciprocate by asking you questions about yourself, that is a red flag,” … Click here to read the entire article.

6 Reasons Why You Can’t Leave a Loser: Lauren’s quotes on LifeScript.com

Read this article on LifeScript.com

6 Reasons Why You Can’t Leave a Loser
by Norine Dworkin-McDaniel

You know he’s not Mr. Right. He’s not even Mr. Right Now. So why can’t a smart woman like you ditch the loser? Read on to find out. Plus, rate your relationship with our quiz…

I was in college when an older man asked me out. We went to a concert (nice), then back to his place (predictable). By morning, I knew the relationship was a non-starter.

But his attention was flattering and I was between boyfriends. Before I knew it, my one-night stand turned into a year-long relationship. He even talked of marriage.

Right then, I should have cut and run. But I’d grown used to his loud, obnoxious behavior. And at least I had a date on Saturday nights.

I didn’t get my complacent butt out of there until he raised his hand to smack me during a disagreement. Though his hand never connected, that near-slap was just the push I needed.

Any sign of abuse (physical or emotional) is an obvious relationship deal-breaker. And the same goes for addictions of any stripe (drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling). But even without such problems, we often find ourselves spinning our wheels in dead-end relationships.

According to relationship experts, here are the 6 most common reasons we stay with men we’re just not that into:

1. My family made me do it.
Blaming your issues on Mom, Dad, your siblings or the dog can get a little tired. But persistently picking Mr. Wrong does have a lot to do with your upbringing, therapists say.

“What happens in the family shapes how we see ourselves in the world, our core beliefs and our behaviors,” says life/relationship coach Lauren Mackler, author of Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness and Transform Your Life (Hay House). “Then we take those behavior patterns into adulthood… Click here to read the entire article.

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