Sweet Potatoes

The Absurd Tale of Three Sweet Potatoes

Sundays are pretty routine around my house. Coffee. Errands. Dinner. 60 Minutes. Bed. No, I’m not 85 but my grandmother is and Sunday was her day. Mother’s Day. For her gift, mawmaw (grandmothers are mawmaws when you’re […]

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Will we be extremists for hate or love

A Master Class in Mindful Communication

52 years ago today, Martin Luther King wrote Letter from a Birmingham Jail. It’s an important document not only for its defense of the civil rights movement, but also for its eloquence. This isn’t a word we […]

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8488172_waves_sketch3

The {Right} Way to Make Waves at Work

Kindness may not be the first word we typically associate with the top ranks of corporate, but that’s changing fast thanks to people like Patti Johnson. A former senior executive with Accenture and current Founder and CEO of People […]

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No one cares

Okay. Breathe. Then Release the Script.

Whenever I get love notes here on the blog, it’s usually because I’m willing to be completely exposed. Full on open kimono. But the truth is, the page is easy. Safe even. What’s hard is exposing yourself […]

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Love image

A Tale of Two Miracles

Pinkwashing. That’s what it’s called when you take a challenge and spray it with positive mantras. Fired this morning? Oh-well. It was meant to be. Colleague getting on your nerves? Oh-well. Just blast them with light. I […]

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Road

When “Normal” Crashes, What Now?

Some of you have been emailing to ask where I’ve been. I know it’s not polite to promise a weekly blog and then disappear for two weeks and so, for that, I apologize. To answer the obvious […]

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Monastic Area 1

The Trick to “Finding God”

So I feel like I owe you more from the monastery visit than one lone story about annoying a movie star. When you take a week off to hang with a bunch of monks, you expect something […]

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Lessons from a Movie Star

Lessons from an Angry Movie Star

Yesterday I returned from my visit to the monastery. There were some deeply meaningful things that happened there I can’t wait to share but – for now – let’s veer off into something “seemingly” insignificant. During our […]

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BBALL

A Simple Story of Grace

My youngest son is part of a basketball league and, for the past few months, I’ve been very judgmental toward one of the coaches for his – shall we say – overly disciplined approach. As an example, team members who don’t […]

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Surrender

This is What it Looks Like To Surrender

As you’re reading this, I’m preparing to spend a week – alone – in a monastery. Odd, huh? That’s what I keep telling myself too. Of course, that’s what my logical brain wants me (and you) to […]

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Terrorism2

Watching The News Without Fear

This summer my best friend and I were traveling together around the time that ISIS – and the murder of James Foley in particular – were all over the headlines. I was glued to the TV while […]

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Dandy

Love Deeply. Hold Lightly.

I used to have a parking space next to a Honda with a license plate that read “Austin’s Mom”. Since the car was always there when I arrived and gone when I left, I never actually met […]

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Luck

The True Source of Happiness  

At the beginning of my career I worked for a woman who was going through a nasty divorce. She knew the marriage wasn’t right for her, but the experience of “uncoupling” shook her to the core. And […]

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In the World

In The World But Not Of It

It all starts with expectations. We’re expected to keep up with the Jones’, but who are those people anyway? Are they actually happy or just putting on a good front while secretly stressing over credit card bills? […]

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Ripple

Are You Really Centered?

“Come back.” “Come back.” “Come back to center.” We’ve heard it a million times, but what is “center” and how do we know when we get there? In mindfulness training, students are taught to “center in” for […]

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turtle

Letting Go of the Need to Know

It’s been said the only constant in life is change. While I can’t promise I’ve always embraced change, through mindfulness I have learned how to surf its waves versus pointlessly swimming against the tide. In the first […]

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Mosaic

Cleaning the Lens of Perception

Some of you may know the most influential book in my life – by far – has been A Course in Miracles*. There are countless quotes I could share from the text that have shaped my thinking, […]

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Big Picture

Keeping the Past in the Past

If I gave you a penny to carry for the rest of the day, it probably wouldn’t be a big deal, right? But what if I gave you a penny every day for years and expected you […]

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The Illusion of Upset

As a student of leadership presence, it’s exciting to deconstruct something so seemingly-abstract in an effort to put it back together again in a teachable format. And it’s clear that those with supreme composure – obviously I’m […]

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Choosing the “True” Perspective

If I asked you to touch your head right now, you could. If I asked you to touch your belly button right now, you could. If I asked you to touch your anxiety right now, you couldn’t. […]

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Thoughts Are Just Thoughts

One of the questions I get asked most often is “why did you decide to teach mindful leadership?” My answer is an honest one, albeit clichéd at this point. We teach what we most need to learn. […]

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The “No Language” Exercise

As I was leaving for the airport after a recent speaking gig, I heard a voice calling me from behind. “Ms. Bennington?”  I turned around to see a handsome guy of around 30 staring back at me. […]

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Step Away from the Story 

I travel a lot for my job. Usually it’s pretty uneventful but today was a notable exception. As I boarded a flight to Chicago, I noticed the attendant was greeting passengers while forcefully scooping ice into a […]

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The REAL Key to Connection 

In my career, I’ve been lucky. Call it the right place. The right time. Fate. Chance. Who knows. But I’ve been blessed with five extraordinary mentors. Not just one – five. They each have completely different jobs […]

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Something BIG to Share With You

In my work, I meet a lot of people who feel stuck somehow. Stuck in jobs that don’t feel remotely meaningful. Stuck in reactive, compulsive behaviors that damage relationships. Stuck in comparison traps that trigger feelings of […]

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What Is Mindful Leadership Anyway?

It seems this post is overdue. For years I’ve been touting “mindful leadership” as the intersection of career advancement and personal fulfillment – and yet a lot of folks have no idea what I’m talking about. I’ve […]

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Perfect is Inauthentic and Unsustainable

As someone who teaches emotional control, I have to admit it was embarrassing to be hiding out in an Embassy Suites bathroom trying to pull myself together. Especially since just moments earlier I had breezily walked onstage […]

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It’s Time to Interrupt the Story

I often tell my seminar audiences that nothing riles us up faster than perceived disrespect. I see this so often it would be comical were it not for how quickly our perceptions can morph into all-out drama. […]

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You Naughty Monkey Brain

When you write a book about women dominating in business, a funny thing happens. People call your bluff. And so they begin to rise up and put mics in your face and say things like, “Um, that’s nice and […]

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The Danger of Righteous Anger

By now I’m sure you’ve heard of the 200+ schoolgirls who were kidnapped in Nigeria. Like so many others, I’ve been deeply affected by this story and – as usually happens – I find myself swimming through […]

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Silencing The Inner Mean Girl

In my group coaching sessions, I ask participants to keep a worksheet called Where Are Your Thoughts? It’s a quadrant where each box is labeled either past, future, emotional, or strategic, and every time members “catch” themselves […]

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The “Gut Check” We All Avoid

What is it that you really want for yourself? What is it that you wish for every year when you’re blowing out birthday candles and how close are you to actually getting it? Do you think about how much better your […]

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Handling Anything Is Everything

On Wednesday my mother had a mastectomy. Knowing her recovery process would be long and somewhat lonely, I invited her to my house for a bit of post-surgery peace and quiet. By Wednesday evening, everything was going […]

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108 Ways To Find Sanity FAST

This week I hosted a webinar for a group of 1,000 executives. Since many were new to mindful leadership, I decided to go heavy on the self-awareness piece, which is the heart and soul of this practice. […]

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The Cult of Personalities

In 2011 I went to a conference where I was hoping to snag an interview with one of the keynote speakers. For reasons that will become obvious in a moment, I won’t give you her name but […]

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How To Be A More Conscious Leader

Two years ago I wrote about a former boss who casually mentioned after a work dinner that he had been away from home for 16 nights in a row. 16. nights. in. a. row. In the highest echelons […]

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What If You Only Had Five Years To Live?

Obviously, this is a question we don’t like to think about. It’s dark. Scary. And it forces us to examine our lives in hard, often painful, ways. But it’s also an extremely clarifying question – if we […]

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Finding The Space To Lead

Today I have a special treat for you. Janice Marturano is a rock star in mindful leadership. She is credited as being the first to bring mindfulness into the corporate space during her tenure as vice president […]

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Mindfully Preparing for a Big Presentation

The fear of public speaking is well-known. In some studies it ranks above the fear of death, prompting Jerry Seinfeld to joke once that it’s better to be in the casket at funerals than delivering the eulogy. […]

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Something You Never Want to Hear

Last night my mother told me she has breast cancer. If you’ve ever been in a situation like this, you’ll recognize the flood of emotions that hit you all at once. Sadness. Guilt. Anger. Future tripping. Regret. […]

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Mindfully Managing a Snow Day

This is the view from my living room window. Looks beautiful, I know. White. Fluffy. It’s the kind of snow that belongs in a painting. The kind that makes me want to curl up with my kids […]

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Are You Chasing The Rabbit?

It’s been said that chasing success is like chasing a rabbit. The more you run after it, the more it runs away. How do you catch the rabbit, you ask? Easy. You make it come to you. […]

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“The Four Questions” For Wise Decisions

A while back I was having a jam session on mindfulness topics with my friend and Ready To Lead co-facilitator Debra Hickok. Debra is a gem. She is the founder of Featherstone Personal and Professional Coaching and […]

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Becoming About Things That Matter

Years ago psychologist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Carl Rogers was speaking to a group of college students. “Who among you,” he said, “are going to be the great engineers?” Silence. “Who among you are going to […]

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Lessons of Being Poisoned

As you may have heard, a hazardous chemical was leaked into a river in Charleston, West Virginia last week – poisoning the water supply for 300,000 residents. What you may not know is that I am one […]

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The Breakthroughs in Anger Breakdowns

Some people think the benefit of mindfulness is that it enables you to avoid the far edge of emotions like anger or frustration. Not true. As human beings, these feelings are hardwired in us for a reason […]

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10 Inspirational Quotes for 2014

Twelve years ago my then-fiancé (now husband) was transferred to South Carolina. This of course meant I was being transferred too. It was a tough move away from family, friends, and a job I loved, but the […]

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My #1 Mindful Leader of 2013

It’s the end of the year and so, by tradition, it’s time for news outlets to break out the lists. This one, 10 Women Who Shaped 2013, caught my attention – not because of who made it […]

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Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway

As I write, it’s 3:31am and I’m sitting in my kitchen with a freshly-brewed cup of coffee. This is not normal, but I can’t sleep. Then again, maybe it is normal. If 47% of adult Americans say […]

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This Is How You Do It: Networking

Last week I spoke to 4,000 women. Two back-to-back sessions at the Massachusetts Conference for Women with 2,000 attendees each. It was incredible. Exhilarating. Amazing. And – I should also mention – the crowd wasn’t there to […]

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11 Things Mindful Leaders Know

Since February of this year, I’ve been helping a community of women executives become conscious leaders. In the process, I’ve spent a lot of time researching what it takes to actually make this transition. For example, what […]

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Emerging From a Mother Funker

Recently a friend of mine posted one of those emotionally-obscure messages on Facebook. You know, the ones that force everyone on the other end of the news feed to decide whether to keep scrolling, write some perfunctory […]

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How To Increase Your Executive Presence

One of my favorite things about hosting Awake Exec is creating videos that answer specific member questions. So when I got one about how to have ‘executive presence’ I knew I wanted to tackle it. Truth is, […]

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How Do You Know It’s Working?

If there’s one question I get asked more than any other, it’s how you’re supposed to know when mindfulness is working. The answer, I’m afraid, is not very satisfying. Truth is, mindfulness is working when nothing happens. […]

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Mindful Eating During The Holidays

This time of year used to be especially tough. As a recovering food addict, being faced with the sequential temptation of Halloween candy, Thanksgiving feasts, and Christmas parties felt like being an alcoholic trapped in a bar… […]

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Mindful Response to Overwhelm

In the spring of 2012 I had my busiest career stretch in recent memory. I was two months overdue on the manuscript for Who Says It’s a Man’s World. I was working on a series of six webinars […]

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Can’t We All Just Get Along?

When my son was 18 months old, we had him tested for autism. He was slow on motor skills, had sensory issues, and, despite the fact that his playmates were already stringing together sentences, the only word […]

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Free Training From Yours Truly

Every once in a while a topic comes through Awake Exec and I get so excited about it, I have to share. This is one of those times. Because this month I led a training on career […]

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Two Questions for Breaking Gridlock

I’ve been thinking a lot about stalemates this week. Specifically, who should give in and when? Obviously, we want to be steadfast as leaders – but at what point does being resolute cross the line from something […]

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Too Woo Woo For Corporate?

I spent last weekend in the woods of upstate New York. Wait, sorry. I’m supposed to call it “taking the in breath.” That just sounds better, doesn’t it? In breath. Filling up. Yes. Please. I had travelled […]

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Wait…We’re Not Exceptional?

Countless barrels of ink and pixels have been devoted to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s op-ed in the New York Times this week. And in the hornet’s nest of back-and-forth on human rights, foreign policy, and author credibility, […]

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The Mindful Response to Atrocities

I wrote an opening for this post that described the torture of a young boy in Syria. And then promptly deleted it. I wrote it again. And deleted it again. Finally I decided you should just read […]

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I have a dream too. Here it is.

Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King delivered his historic I Have a Dream speech. You know the one. The one where he painted a compelling picture of what the United States could be, and then challenged […]

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I Can’t Stress This Enough…

I’ve built a career out of the dumb mistakes I made as a new grad working for a small marketing agency. Yes, I wore patent leather knee boots to the office. Yes, I took 20-minute smoke breaks. […]

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If you like this blog, help a sista

…I’m hoping you’ll help me with a very quick favor. It’s been a l-o-n-g held dream of mine to appear on the Forbes list of the “Top 100 Websites for Women.” But to get there, I need […]

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Remember: You Are Not Your Job

The text you see pictured is from an Awake Exec who lost her job. She knew it was coming. After all, she was privy to the numbers. Moreover, she’d watched as colleagues went into the boss’ office […]

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Disappointed Recently? Maybe It’s You.

My husband rarely makes coffee. So when he came up the stairs yesterday holding a steaming gift of liquid addiction, I was thrilled. This morning I heard his same pre-dawn rustlings around the kitchen. And like Pavlov’s […]

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A Note to New Career Moms

The other day I found myself at the doctor’s office for the second time in two weeks. I wasn’t sick. My kids were. First, one caught a virus and juuusssst as he was starting to feel better […]

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What is Justice for Trayvon Anyway?

Like so many of you, I’ve been following the George Zimmerman / Trayvon Martin case. And to be honest, I was surprised at the verdict too. But while my heart breaks for Trayvon’s family, this isn’t about […]

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The Most Important Thing

I’m writing this because I’m procrastinating. I know. Even the self-proclaimed virtuous have vices. Truth is… I’m supposed to be getting ready to do “this thing.” You know what I mean, right? “This thing” you agreed to […]

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That’s not who I am

Yesterday morning I had coffee with a fellow mindfulness teacher in the tiny town of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. As we swapped stories about how we were led to this work, she spoke of helping couples who had been […]

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Why Crazy Attracts Crazy

I don’t watch much TV but when I do it’s usually crap. And by crap, I mean reality shows. For example, despite my best effort, last night I got sucked into an episode of Couples Therapy on […]

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Do You Know Your Worth?

A few years ago when I worked in corporate accounting, my boss and I had a meeting to discuss my salary. I knew what was coming. Our firm had recently gone through a merger and, instead of […]

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Here I Go Oversharing Again

Thanks to a Conferences for Women telecall yesterday on Mindfulness as a Career Strategy, this list has a lot of new subscribers. A lot. So I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you and welcome. […]

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The Mindful Cure for Food Addiction

I know how it starts. Believe me, I’ve been there. You have a bite. And then another. Next thing you know, the box is gone and you feel like shit. (Again.) You’re disgusted, ashamed, embarrassed, guilty, and […]

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Just a few hours left…

Last fall I replaced my vision board with a bulletin board of thank you notes. The goal was to spend less energy pining over things I don’t have, and more energy appreciating what I do. Today, I’m […]

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Wishbone Versus Backbone

“EM! Come here you’ve gotta see this!” I looked over at my husband beckoning from the other room, waving like an air traffic controller for me to get up. “No,” I said. “No?!” “No,” I replied without […]

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Are You Chasing the Rabbit?

It’s been said that chasing success is like chasing a rabbit. The more you run after it, the more it runs away. How do you catch the rabbit, you ask? Easy. You make it come to you. […]

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