To contact me or make an appt send an email using the form below or call or text me (339) 502-0009
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    To Book an In-Person, Skype, or Phone Session:

    Portia Nelson's Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

    Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

    By Portia Nelson


    I walk down the street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
    I fall in.
    I am lost ... I am helpless.
    It isn't my fault.
    It takes me forever to find a way out.


    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I pretend I don't see it.
    I fall in again.
    I can't believe I am in the same place
    but, it isn't my fault.
    It still takes a long time to get out.


    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I see it is there.
    I still fall in ... it's a habit.
    my eyes are open
    I know where I am.
    It is my fault.
    I get out immediately.


    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I walk around it.


    I walk down another street.

    Copyright (c) 1993, by Portia Nelson from the book There's A Hole in My Sidewalk. Reproduced with kind permission from Beyond Words Publishing, Hillsboro, Oregon.

    Dennis wanted to add a Sixth Chapter:


    I walk down the street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I jump in.
    That's what holes are for.
    It is Life's doing.
    I have fun climbing out.
    I will do it again.


    Failing well is often the key to success

    I posted the link below to Facebook, but wanted to be sure to share with all of you too.

    We learn everything of value in life from our failings. A toddler learns to walk from falling down. The failure of selfishness is what teaches us the primacy of love.

    Trial and error and learning is the basis of evolution itself. We learn nothing from success.

    Failing well, meaning failing gracefully, with minimum fuss, and being willing and able to learn from our mistakes, is a key to success in every aspect of life.

    You don't want to succeed. You want to fail and fail fast and learn from that failure and recover from that failure -- quickly, and then keep going and succeed -- not because you were lucky or talented or right, but because you learned how and put into practice what you learned. You want to succeed because you earned it.

    Studies show:

    That being a poor sport, meaning blaming others or being upset with oneself, is what makes someone a consistent loser over time. Blaming is a sure sign of weakness. Self-pity or self-attack makes things worse.

    That winners face loss and gain with unbroken determination. That winners are not frustrated or deterred by loss, they maintain their composure and rise above adversity.

    That anger is indicator of fear and weakness while remaining calm and even-tempered is a mark of strength.

    That, while competing, we perform best when we cultivate a sense of restful alertness, focusing on what is wanted and letting go of any tendency to panic, cry, tremble or curse.

    We are at our best when we keep it together, stay relaxed and calm and focus, positively and singlemindedly, on what we're doing.

    Grit, meaning steady, calm determination, is the key to success in most undertakings. It is a necessary toughness born not of detachment or numbness but equanimity and practiced steadiness.

    Now read the article:


    How to network successfully

    Here's what I think about networking: We're all already connected, we're already part of a network. We're all members of many communities: big communities like people who pay taxes, and small communities, like fans of Frankie Beverly.

    This is your starting point. You're already part of lots and lots of interlocking networks. Networking is owning it, making use of it, getting some benefit from it. Networking is making use of the communities you already belong to, and signing up for new communities with those with whom you have an affinity.

    Whenever you communicate with people in one of your networks (twitter, facebook, the corner store, people on the street, Starbucks addicts), whatever, you ACTIVATE a relationship and a network that already exists. You tap into a resource that's always been there for you.

    Acknowledge someone, ask a question, share something, invite someone and the channel opens up. Ask for an email and the channel stays open. Get open, get friendly, stay open, stay friendly.

    Networking is utilizing the common bond that already exists between you and everyone else on the planet, one link at a time. It's your birthright.

    Need a job? Need a place to live? Need a friend? Need information? There are tons of online networks,,,,, -- tune in, drop in, participate! And there are tons of face to face networking opportunities, everywhere you go. Make it a point to get in the habit of NOT being anonymous. Smile, say hi, acknowledge, share, ask questions... see what happens.


    Here's a link to a great blog article on networking:


    The grand scheme of a life....

    "The grand scheme of a life, maybe (just maybe), is not about knowing or not knowing, choosing or not choosing. Perhaps what is truly known can't be described by creativity or logic, science or art, but perhaps it can be described by the most authentic and meaningful combination of the two: poetry.

    "As Robert Frost wrote, "a poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. It is never a thought to begin with."

    "I recommend the following course of action for those who are just beginning their careers, or for those, like me, who may be recovering, midway through: heed the words of Robert Frost. Start with a big, fat lump in your throat, start with a profound sense of wrong, a deep homesickness, or crazy lovesickness, and run with it. If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve. Do what you love, and don't stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities, don't compromise and don't waste time. Start now. Not 20 years from now, not two weeks from now. Now."

    Note from Dennis: I did not write this. I found it somewhere on the Internet and thought it important to share. I would love to know who did write this, so if you know could you please share that information? Thanks.

    Follow up: One of our readers has identified the quote as belonging to Debbie Millman, artist, designer, philosoper teacher extraordinaire. Many thanks, M. for the assist!


    "I look for the good." A 109 year old Holocaust survivor shares the wisdom that helped her thrive amidst terrible adversity.

    She survived a Nazi concentration camp, she beat cancer at age 83 and at 109 years of age she still plays piano three hours a day. She credits optimism and her profound appreciation for the beauty and goodness of life as what helped her to not only survive, but thrive in the midst of terrible adversity.

    Watch this short film:



    Innocence is much more than being above reproach or free from guilt. It is a return to our natural state of being, an insight into our true nature. It is the essence of all spiritual teachings, east and west, what we love most in nature, in children, in animals. And something we have a great deal of difficulty feeling in ourselves, because we have been taught to believe the opposite, that we are wrong by default, and only through great effort and discipline are we able to feel "good" or "right."

    But feeling our natural innocence is not "I didn't do anything you could call wrong." It's "There's nothing really wrong."

    A sense of innocence is naturally empathetic, naturally moral. It inclines us toward the good. Wrongdoing and hurtful behavior have their basis not in a sense of innocence and empathy, but in a learned sense of guilt and shame.

    What do we teach our children? That they are naturally innocent and good? Or that they must work hard to suppress their inherent tendency to be selfish and "bad." The guilt and shame that is heaped on people in this way does far more harm than good. It divides people against themselves, and is the basis of many inner conflicts.

    Anne Frank said at the end of her diary, "Despite everything, I still believe that people are naturally good." She was right. People are naturally good.

    The evil we do has more to do with guilt and shame than it has to do with innocence.

    Empathy is the basis of kindness, and innocence is a prerequisite to empathy. Innocence = empathy = kindness.

    Click to read more ...


    20 Things Happy People Do Differently...

    Happy people know that happiness is a practice, not an accident. They've somehow cracked the code and understood how to enjoy their lives.

    And what's even better, their happiness is making the world a better place for everyone!

    Take a look at this blog post to find out what makes happy people so happy :)