Getting away can give us a new perspective and opportunity to reflect on how we have changed or may need to change to develop new ways of looking at the world.

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Getting away and coming home

A recent post-COVID getaway let me see friends and areas that I haven’t connected with in a few years. I was able to see these people and places in a new light and notice how things have changed (or not) with time.

I took a learning break with a course in a new area. While I do deep personal work all the time, I was frankly surprised what I discovered through the unexpected synchronicities that took me to a new level of understanding of this area and myself. There is always more that we can learn and uncover – the layers are endless as we take another turn around the spiral, reflecting on old challenges in new ways that perhaps bring different insights.

I was confronted with a part of myself that I’ve long tried to ignore, hide from and push down. Perhaps you have these parts of yourself too. The challenging aspects of our personality that we think are inherently just part of who we are, yet they can cause us and those around us discomfort. These disowned or shadow parts of ourselves are often formed in childhood as reactions to our circumstances and then evolve into protective defenses that help keep us safe. While they may have become part of us, they don’t actually have to define us unless we let them.

Early in our lives, we develop strategies to navigate the world. For instance, going along to get along and appeasing others (people pleasing or putting others’ needs first) or reacting strongly to defend our independence (becoming defensive or a fighter) or laughing off things we would rather not look at (the joker who won’t take anything seriously).  You get the idea – adaptive ways of responding to challenges that support us until they don’t.

When old habits have to die

I find we start to notice these issues when our lives feel a bit crunchy around the edges.  We start to encounter some unexpected push back to our natural reactions, such as critical feedback during a performance review at work. A recurring fight with a partner or friend about something seemingly insignificant.  Family patterns that consistently play out badly and leave you annoyed or angry.  Getting an unexpected reaction to a comment you thought was made in jest.  Or even crazy outbursts at other drivers who don’t seem to be paying attention.

These are potential signs that a part of us that may have been directing aspects of our life may no longer be helping us and is in fact now hindering our growth.  We have to question who we really are as these outer situations begin to shed new light on our hidden “identity”.

Consider if the operating system that’s been running your life needs an upgrade as new advances evolve the technology inside or around you and your system’s bugs start to become more noticeable.  Or perhaps a new program you installed (for instance, a change in your way of life) starts bumping up against limitations in your current software.  You didn’t realize you had an issue, but then your whole system freezes, and you have to pay attention.


Sometimes we can’t see what we don’t know until it’s brought to our attention.  I honor the power of 3. When related experiences occur in threes, it’s time to take notice.

I realized my tough and cynical New Yorker persona does not always need to be large and in charge. While that energy has served me well, it has an impact. It may have kept me safe on the mean streets of Manhattan, but it’s not always helpful in other situations. While I love being fierce, doberman pinchers are rarely warm and cuddly.  Recognizing when my analytical nature and desire to understand and control situations is warranted and when it’s actually counter-productive has been a valuable lesson.

Not everyone views the world in the same ways. When we can see how our past has influenced our present, the more agile we become in choosing how we respond in the current moment and for the future. Being intentional lets us become more productive than reacting defensively all the time. It’s the difference between considered planning and kneejerk, punch from the gut responses.

If you’ve been looking for deeper insight around ways you may be inadvertently sabotaging yourself or repeating old counterproductive patterns, let’s connect. This is deeply meaningful work that I am continuously doing for myself and with clients.  Awareness leads to action. This is an important key to creating positive changes in your life.  

A client recently shared her experience:

“Working with Lenore was instrumental in helping me achieve real success in many areas of my life.  Through our work together, I developed deep clarity for my career, finances, health, personal development, and relationships. As a result of that clarity and Lenore’s holistic processes and approach, areas of my life that I have been working on for years and even decades, have finally transformed. With Lenore’s coaching, I learned how to effectively negotiate and received a promotion at my current employer. Then I received another job offer and negotiated a more than 150% salary upgrade, finally achieving my goal of earning 6 figures. My health is better than ever, and I am working towards building my dream home. 

I feel more confident and have the tools and resources to support me in creating greater alignment and fulfillment as I move forward. I can’t say enough about how transformational, efficient, and effective Lenore’s approach that combines business and spirituality has been for me.” 

Amy E., Project Manager