Friday, January 22, 2010

The Magic of it All

In my heart, I know that it works this way.

I know it because I have seen it and I know it because ... well, the way you just know something. 

And so, in my work, I always operate from that place of knowing. 

And yet every time, the magic of it all brings me chills.

This week, I have had those chills several times.

I'll explain.

People often come to me  wishing that their partners would change, that something within their relationship would change. 

So we talk. And as we talk, I gently bring them back to THEIR business. Often, doing so peels enough layers that a new truth emerges. 

One such example is a client who told me that she thought her husband found her unattractive and that this was the reason why they had not had sex in a very long time. A few minutes into a brave inquiry process, she shocked herself by saying that really, she was the one who found him unattractive - and why. As I watched her discover her truth, I could see her face change: she became more youthful and even prettier than she had been. I could tell also that it had been easier for her to walk around thinking that she was too fat to be attractive than to admit being physically unattracted to a man she cherishes. 

Another client was hurting from her husband's unwillingness to stop drinking and smoking. As she sat in front if me and learned to separate his business (the way he acts) from hers (the way she receives his actions), I could tell that something important was shifting. Within a few days, she reported to me how different her peace of mind had been.

This is great stuff and I love doing it. 

But then, someone else, something else, takes over my work - and that is when magic happens.

That is when, hours after leaving my office, my first client find herself making love with her husband, not having said a word to him about anything.

That is when, within a few days, my second client hears her husband mention that he has just ordered a home exercise machine and has decided to cut down on his drinking (and stop smoking!) because "it is time he takes care of himself." 

How does it work? I am not sure.

Something about being clear, something about daring to look at the truth, something about letting go of other people's stuff and becoming intimate with our own stuff... a blend of all of it. 

And mostly something about the fact that when we are connected with another human being, our own work magically affects them. Just like that. 

No nagging, no begging, no threatening ... just magic. 

I love those chills.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I am blessed with two very, very, very kind men in my life.

One is my son and as of very recently, he almost qualifies as a man.
The other is the man with whom I share a whole lot of my life.

Their kindness takes on all sorts of forms and every time, melts me.

And I love telling them of my appreciation.

But they don't always like to hear it.

I am thinking of last week when the older one of the two seemed so uncomfortable after I finished telling him how very nice I thought he was. He looked at me and said: "I am NOT nice."

And I am thinking of last night, when I thanked the younger one of the two for doing something for me and told him how kind I thought he was.

In all his teen glory, he turned to me and said: "I am NOT kind. I am bad @$$."

Liking it.

I watch my 11 year old son write himself a (BIG) note before going to bed, reminding himself of a few things to grab before going to school in the morning.

He places the note on the dining room table.

A few minutes later, he walks over to me and asks me to please put his morning breakfast smoothie on top of the note, tomorrow.

I really love this.

Monday, January 11, 2010

January 11


Ten year ago today, I handed out the keys, cookbooks, recipes, employees, customers and the fruits of many years of my life to a man I barely knew.

At 5 PM on January 11 2000, I walked out of La Vie en Rose Bakery and forgot to take all my heart with me. It took a few years and many small trips to get the rest of it. 

Most of it.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Magical Encounter and The Last Plane


After looking at my car and doing a little bit of tinkering, the thickly accented mechanic tells me to get in the car with him and go for a ride "so I can hear what he hears."

I get in through the passenger side.

He slides behind the wheel and hands me twenty dollars. He says that he found it on my seat, earlier.

I sit for a second with the sweet appreciation of his honesty.

Moments later, he sees the stacks of matched books on my back seat and I answer his silent question. I tell him that they are mine, they are the book I wrote.

He tells me that he would like me to help him write a book.

And then the words spill out.

He is Armenian. Born in Iraq (EERAK). Moved to Beirut. Left in 1975. Has so much to tell. Tells me a little more and soon, his story makes "The Kite Runner" seem cheerful.

Then I think for a second and I ask: "1975... didn't they stop flying out of Beirut in 1975?"

He turns to me and says: "right after our flight left the ground, they closed the airport. For 15 years."