Maryland Life Coaching And Hypnosis

Maryland Life Coaching And Hypnosis


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7 Years Without Tears

Posted on March 21, 2017 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (4)

So I was brushing my teeth and doing some reflecting. It seems I always go into deep thought while engaged in the mundane task of life. I started thinking about my 20 years as a crisis counselor working in the HIV/AIDS community. I recalled this one specific night.

It was December 1st, World AIDS Days. I was at a walk and remembrance in Annapolis Maryland. At this point I had been working with the disease for a few years. Interestingly enough, I was almost persuaded not to work with this population. It was the late 80’s/ early 90’s and we still did not have a full understanding of the disease. And for that reason, my family pleaded with me not to. They were scared that I would end up contracting the virus.

While at the remembrance I was talking to a volunteer and told her that just a few months ago I was at a funeral for one of my clients. While at this funeral a social worker from the local Health Department said to me “this is a sad day”. Being young and un-phased I replied, “yes, but this is nothing new.” {At that time we were losing about 1 client a week to HIV/AIDS.} The social worker looked at me and said “you haven’t heard”. I asked what she was talking about. She informed me that I had 3 clients all die on the same day and all were being buried today. I literally fell to the ground in disbelief. All I remember this volunteer saying to me was “Oh my God”.

As we started up the street on our silent vigil, my mind was racing. By the time we got to our destination I was completely numb. During the after walk presentation, we were supposed to write a name of someone who passed away on our candle and put it in the middle of the room. Here is where it gets fucked up. At this time I had probably buried 30-50 clients. Would you believe I could not remember a single name? Not one. It gets worse….

After everyone finished placing their candles in the middle of the room, we stood there holding hands in silence. It was at that time I noticed another volunteer looking at me. {I was considered the counselors counselor. I ran support groups to prevent caregiver burnout. They all thought, as well as myself, that I was invincible.} When my eyes locked with hers, every bit of emotion came pouring out. I started crying. She ran over to hug me. It was at that point I realized that I had not cried in 7 years. Now, I could not stop crying. {I’m crying now just writing about it.} We were so busy burying our clients that I forgot to live. I literally was lost in the world of the dead.

In 2011, I was running an upscale addiction center. Leading a support group one morning {again it was December 1st}, the presentation I was giving was about the risk of HIV associated to addicts. Halfway through my talk I lost it again. I quickly recovered and it actually made a lasting impression.

So I’m brushing my teeth tonight and thought, I want to live and feel alive in every moment. At age 51 I know statistically speaking I have another 20-25 years of life left. I want to feel every moment. I want to embrace every sunset. I want every kiss to have meaning. And most of all I want my life to have meant something.

May God Bless you all.

Relationship Killers. Learn To Slay Them!

Posted on February 28, 2017 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (2)

I get asked all the time about relationship killers. While many couples can overcome many problems, I have found that it is usually an accumulation of problems that untimely kills the relationship. So I have put together a list of the biggest relationship killers that clients have talked to me about.

Please keep in mind that the below list does not necessarily mean your relationship is going to end. It simply is a list of issues I see when combined, tend to lead to relationship discord and failure. With professional help, these issues maybe overcome if both parties are willing to do the work and commit to the process. I'll talk about that more later in this article. But for now, lets get to the list.

1. Infidelity. This is a big one. Many couples fold when infidelity occurs. There are many good articles out there on this subject alone. {Look for my upcoming article on infidelity,} Without going into detail, yes relationships can survive infidelity. However, it takes years to build back trust and professional help to facilitate that process.

One interesting note. Approximately 85% of women compared to just 50% of men were right when they suspected their spouse was cheating. Which leads me to the next issue.

2. My spouse doesn't listen to me. The healthiest relationships have the strongest communication. I hear couples talk all the time about having date night. And while this is good in theory, if you're not checking in with your spouse everyday, something will get missed, or someone will feel slighted. Take the time to talk. That's right. Put down the phone and have a meaningful conversation daily. If you get nothing else out of this article, take this piece of advice with you.

3. Sexting with other people. More often than not when we check-in with our spouse on a daily basis, the need for external attention drops dramatically. Those couples who lack in this area are prone to seek attention else where. And while many argue that sexting with someone other than your spouse is not cheating, when you deposit energy into an extra marital affair, it clearly is robbing your relationship of intimacy.

4. Work gets in the way. While this does not always present itself to be a big problem, when it does come into play, it certainly can cause a divide between two people. It is true that some will spend time at work as a means not to go home and participate in the relationship. Not in all cases. We have to work and be responsible. But we must strive for balance. In those times of prolonged work hours or stretches, it is imperative that you find a way to have connectedness to your spouse. {Are you starting to see the big picture?} Communication is key.

5. Arguments. We all fight. But not all fights are fair. This particular issues deserves an article all to itself as well. So I will briefly say learn to set ground rules. Just as a professional boxing match for example, they cannot do certain things that would be detrimental to the other fighter, so should you not do things that could permanently damage your spouse. If you need help with this, make the investment of a session or two with a relationship counselor.


Using the analogy of a boxing match, a relationship counselor is like fighting with gloves on verses fighting with bare fists. Yes we get hurt in a fight. But with the right skill-set, we do not suffer long term damage.

6. Friends and family are not the answer. We all want our friends and family to be a part of our lives, but what happens when they know every imitate detail? Truly a relationship killer. And we're seeing it at the most inappropriate places. Not every detail of your relationship should be shared with friends and family. And certainly do not post them on social media. When you do this, you are inviting a third party into a two party scenario. Is three a crowd? Oh yeah!

7. The relationship is not a priority. I cannot speak for everyone, but if you're married, your relationship is most likely tied into your mental, spiritual, physical and financial health. When couples do not make their relationship a priority, they are subject to collateral damage in the aforementioned.


When we do not invest in our relationship, we see a chain reaction from neglect to anger causing discord between the two. We are entitled to outside interest {even encouraged to have them}, but we should think in terms of priorities.

8. We don't spend money equally. Many professionals would argue this is the number one relationship killer. While I don't claim to know if this is true, I do know that it is a cause of many problems for many couples. I go back to balance, priorities and communication. If you can master these, money will not be an issue.

9. Not spending time with the kids. Our children are an extension of us. When we neglect our children, we neglect the core of our relationship. Cultivating your children is an affirmation to your spouse. When one is not pouring into the children, the other shoulders all the responsibility. It’s a trap. I see and work with too many men {and women} who neglect, miss out and then blame their spouse when their children have issues.

Can a single parent raise a healthy child? Absolutely! But it took two of you to make a child. And if both of you are in the picture, you should be in the picture.

10. Porn. The root of all evil. Not hardly. However porn has increasingly been problematic in many relationships. This subject too is deserving of an entire article, but for the purposes of this article I will keep it short.

I will only speak on the point of relationship intimacy. Many couple use porn in their relationship. Where problems arise is when porn becomes the norm, and sexual function cannot happen without it. When porn takes away from the intimacy and connectedness of the relationship, it may be time to reevaluate the porn consumption. Porn addiction is real. And when porn becomes a problem within a relationship, it may be time to talk with a professional.

Relationships are living entities. And just as they can die, they can thrive. When we do the work, our relationship becomes the very foundation that we stand on. So do the work. Slay the 10



Relationship Robbers

Posted on February 7, 2017 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (1)

Perfect Date Night


You've been dating awhile or perhaps you have been married for a few years. You wonder if your spouse is still interested in you? You spend time together, but you never really talk anymore. And when you do, its not meaningful like it was in the beginning of the relationship. You can't help but think, is this is good as it gets?


This is actually pretty common. Couples who genuinely care for each other but lose the ability to communicate with one another. Between work, family, friends and checking the phone {to name a few}, your partner may be present, but they're not present. I like to call these the relationship robbers.

Relationship robbers are the things we do or get involved with that keep us from connecting on a deeper level with our loved one. Some of these things we may not be able to avoid. However, what we can control is how we spend our time with our loved ones when we are with them. For so many it comes down to priorities.

Surly there will be times when we all are a little preoccupied. But that is no reason why this should become the norm. Cultivating intimacy takes work. When we first got involved in our relationship, it did not take work. Why after months or years does that change? Is it because we got "the got"? If that's the case, how do we keep "the got"? I know it's terrible to think of our partner as "the got". Yet so many people do. Be it unconsciously or not. When the newness wears off, the relationship robbers go to work.

Think about it. When you first started dating, it did not matter if you have to work overtime or had a family obligation to get to, you found away to check-in with your partner in a meaningful way. Maybe it was a quick phone call or you swung by their house for a good night kiss. Whatever it is that you did, you found away to connect. Fast forward to years later, you decide to stop for a bite to eat with your coworkers after mandatory overtime instead taking your spouse out for dinner. While that is not inherently a bad thing, it can be a relationship robber.

You are entitled to friends, hobbies and even alone time. What I am getting at here is when you are with your loved one, you both should make an effort in taking an active interest in each others day. Don't assume everything is alright. Asking questions is a great way of saying I care how you're doing. That you matter to me. Put the phone down and honestly check-in.

And while we always won't be able to stop the relationship robbers, all the more reason to connect intimately when we can. It's literally like making a relationship deposit. And the more deposit your relationship has, the richer it will be.

Groundhogs Day

Posted on February 3, 2017 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (1)

I see it several times a month. A client will come to see me for relationship help and complaining about their partner. They go on to say that they're tired of relationship fails. That every relationship they have, seems to have the same pattern. Thus, they all end the same way. It is at that moment they ask me why this happens? Seeing this all too often, I tell them that it is Groundhogs Day.

What?! There was a movie years ago called Groundhogs Day. The premise was a reporter woke up on Groundhogs Day and relived the same day over and over again. Eventually he realized that he could change the outcome by doing things differently. So, I tell my clients that they are living in relationship Groundhogs Day.

So many of us find we are making the same mistakes. We chase the same type of person and even use the same language from one relationship to the next. When then get upset when the relationship takes the same course as all the previous ones. We are expecting a different result, but applying the same principles. Frustrated, angry and hurt, the relationship ends.

What is interesting to me is that many of my clients are complaining about the behaviors of their partner, yet refuse to look at their own behavior. If we do not take the time to grow and cultivate our own behaviors and attitude, we are doomed to relationship Groundhogs Day.

Not many people want to take a look at their faults. And by shifting the focus to our partner, we can circumnavigate our own shortcomings. But this will only get us so far. That is usually the time I point out to my clients that they have enlisted the help of a relationship coach, and now is the time to be honest. When we learn to identify and call out ourselves on our own BS, when can then take the steps to ensure that we don't stay in a Groundhogs Day relationship.

The reward of doing the internal work is learning your worth. As we evolve, we attract individuals into our lives that will compliment us, not complete us. It is in that space that transformation takes place. I see it happen with my clients, and I have witnessed it myself first hand. Once I realized what I was doing, I was able to step out of my Groundhogs Day.

And that space of transformation? By being honest, authentic and vulnerable, led me to my wife {of 14 years}. The process of self-discovery leads to reward. And although it is not always easy, by being honest, you are presenting your true self and attracting people who will not require you to change. Because when you're honest, people know exactly who you are. They are not investing on a surface level. They're investing in the core of you.

So here's to the groundhog not seeing his shadow because you want to see an early spring. Do the internal work and say good-bye to the relationship Groundhogs Day. It’s time to experience the rest of the days on the calendar.



Rehab Relationships

Posted on December 29, 2016 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Its a trap. Run! Don’t do it. This is what I usually say to everyone who ask me about getting into a relationship while you’re in rehab for addiction. Having spent the past 30 years on and off again working in many treatment centers, I can honestly say that I’ve never known even one rehab relationship to last. That’s not to say that its not possible, but I’ve not seen it in my experience.


While it is common for many in treatment to get involved in a relationship, it is not advisable. In every facility that I have worked at there were strict rules permitting them. This is for many reasons. Lets take a look at the 2 most common.


Who Are You?


So many who enter into treatment have been under the influence for many years. It is really hard to manage feelings for another when you’re just learning to manage them for yourself. When someone is in active addiction, the focus is on the drug and not themselves. When getting clean its the complete opposite. The addict must often re-define and rediscover who they are. This process can take years {depending on the severity of the addiction.} Being involved in a rehab relationship can devalue that process. I have always encouraged my clients to invest in a relationship with themselves. Learn who you are before you try and learn someone else.




Not in all cases but certainly many, the rehab relationship is a means to distract oneself from applying self to the process. Many were the clients that I have worked with who were court ordered to treatment. In such cases, these clients are often not fully vested in their treatment. The result is distraction. What better way to distract oneself with the help of another. Take it a step further someone to distract you by making you forget where you are and why you are there.


When the addict engages in a rehab relationship, many times it is not because they want to fall in love with another. It can be because they don’t feel that they deserve love their self. Pouring their time and energy into another has properly diverted the thoughts of self love and self worth.


What’s The Rule?


So what’s the rule for dating when someone is in treatment? Honestly, don’t! If you’re in rehab, now is not the time to start a romance. If you are in recovery, the answer would more than likely be different. How so? Are you new to recovery or has it been a year or so? Have you worked the steps, have a sponsor and been able to maintain a job? Do you have a supportive community?


If you’re married or in a long term relationship, yet again the answer will be even more complicated. Is you spouse in recovery too? Do they use? Are they clean and supportive? The truth is there is no one size fit all answer. Many professionals {including myself} will say wait at least one year. But, this questions is better worked through with your counselor or Home Group.


Relationships can be a great source of strength and purpose. However, after working the past 30 years in mental health I can say that they can be the complete opposite. My best advice is to get grounded in yourself, your faith and recovery. Be honest with yourself as you do your inventories. Talk with someone who does not have any vested interest other than your well being.


No one has the right to tell you can’t be in a relationship. But, they just might have some insight that if your honest with yourself, may just be worth listening to.

Let Go, Say No!

Posted on December 8, 2016 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (1)

Let go, say all the bullshit, negativity and toxic people in your life. As we head into a new year we should affirm our worth. One of the biggest challenges I see as a Life Coach is people staying stuck or settling.

For so many of my clients they seem to have lost their self worth. This can happen over the course of time by hearing negative words being said to us from people who may or may not have our best interest at heart. We tend to give our power away by believing what's being said to us. That is why it is so important to surround yourself with supportive people.

Sometimes those who truly do care for us say damaging things to us. They may not even realize it. And because we know and trust them, hearing something over and over again we tend to believe it as truth. So that is why its called self worth. We must get that worth from ourselves.

Letting go and saying no is the most self affirming thing you can do for yourself in this coming year. If you're in a toxic or an abusive relationship, you should think about a change. If its physically abusive, you must leave and contact the authorities. While change can be scary, staying in an unproductive and unsupportive relationship can be detrimental. It is often the scars we have we cannot see.

2017. Let go, say no!

What To Expect On A Interview?

Posted on September 20, 2016 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

I often get asked what's the best way to land a job? When I'm consulting and asked to conduct interviews for a company, there are a few things that I definitely am looking for. That said, every HR manager will have their own process. I will talk a little about what I am looking for, as well as some of the HR standards.


I like to employ the 4-25 rule. There are 4 areas that account for 25% each of the interview process. If a candidate does not score 75% or better, I more than likely will not call them back for a second interview.


The first area is simply first impressions. Does the candidate show respect to the process. How are they dressed and are they prepared? I don't care what job you are applying for, please dress appropriately. Believe it or not I have actually had candidates who show up for an office position wearing shorts. I personally do not need to see suit and tie, but business casual for that type of environment.


Be prepared. If you do not have a resume, references or at least filled out an application, chances are your interview will last all of two minutes.


The second area I focus on is actual work experience. I am totally open to those who are wanting to try something new, but do you possess any of the skill set required from previous employment? This is not a deal breaker, but it does make a difference.


Next I focus on energy and attitude. I personally am a strong believer in non verbal communication. You maybe surprised at how many HR managers I have spoken to about this. A candidate can look the part, have experience and the references, but if something {energy} is off, we tend to trust it. In other words, if you're having a bad day, reschedule if at all possible.


And the last area I look at is follower or leader? There is no right answer to this. Everybody wants to be a lion, but the jungle is not full of lions. In fact there are very few. And that's okay. Know your strengths. If you're a leader, can you command respect with being compassionate? Can you provide motivation without intimidation? If you're a follower, can you be an effective part of the team? Will you show or blow up? If a candidate can mange 3 out of 4, I would personally invite them back for a second interview.


Now I want to touch base on a few industry standards. As I focused on first impressions, most all HR managers do as well. So bring your A game. Be respectful, polite and know a little about the company and position that you are applying for. Be on time, dress appropriate and turn off your cell prior to interview.


Be mindful of your social media. Now a days companies will often look at your social media. Please never bad mouth a former boss or company online. Not only is that unprofessional, we see it as a future response should we hire you and you not workout.


And the last subject I will touch on is personal responsibility. A lot of companies now a days will not only do a background check and pre-employment drug screen, they are now pulling your financial's. Companies want to know what type of investment they are making in you. And while these are not typically deal breakers, please come with the facts. A lot of companies are willing to work with you if your just honest.

Are You Ready For A Life Coach?

Posted on January 26, 2016 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (1)

You want more from you life, but you're not sure what the next step is. You're unhappy with your internal thought process which leads to unfulfilling days. Lacking in energy with no real focus. You might have tried counseling in the past, but that only left you thinking of unpleasant memories. So how do you get unstuck?

When you want more from life and you're ready to be proactive, rather than reactive, its time to consult a Life Coach. By partnering with a coach, you'll begin a process of transformation. Your coach will help outline the adequate steps you'll need to move forward. A true partnership built on trust and accountability. Life Coaching is for the individual who is motivated and ready to embrace change.

Questions to ask yourself prior to reaching out to a Life Coach-

1. Am I ready to invest several months {possibly longer} to the process?

2, Do I have the disposable income to hire a coach? {90% of coaches do not take insurance.}

3. Can I be open, take direction and ready to be accountable?

4. Do I believe I deserve to be happy?

If you answered yes to the above questions, you're ready for coaching.

Now that your ready to hire a Life Coach, what do you look for in a coach? Some will say a certification, while others may say a degree, professional membership or experience. The truth is while those are important, a good rapport will often produce the best results. When you connect with a coach, true transformations can take place.

A good Life Coach will offer a free consultation. Take this time to ask questions and to see if the conversation flows and feels natural. Be sure to talk about your expectations. This is your process. You'll want to be sure that you both are on the same page.

Lastly, I want to talk about money. On average a coaching session will cost anywhere between 80.00-250.00 a session. Does paying more mean the coach is better. Not always. That is why it is so important to take an initial consultation. I believe your coach should make you feel like its a partnership. Also a word to the wise. Although I don't, most coaches will try to lock you into a contract. I'm not saying that is good or bad. I just want you to be aware of that fact.

Simplicity In Long Term Relationships

Posted on January 22, 2016 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (1)

As a Life Coach that often deals with relationships, I’m frequently asked what are the keys to a healthy long lasting relationship? After many years of countless hours of education, I think it boils down to simplicity. Speaking from my own experience in long term marriage, it comes down to fun, connectedness and something bigger than our relationship.



For many, they seem to let the relationship get stale. Being in a long term commitment they forget to have fun on a regular basis. We need not be serious all the time. In fact, having a sense of humor and doing fun activities keeps the relationship fresh and new.



When we cultivate a playful attitude, we improve not only our relationships, but our health as well. The couples that play together stay together. When couples share a positive, playful attitude, they can withstand even the strongest storm. Its simplicity at its finest.



Next we look at connectedness. The couples who are the strongest individuals yet, make time to connect seem to enjoy longevity. I think as a general rule of thumb {provided you’re living under the same roof} is spend an hour a day together.



By honoring your partner by investing an hour is a way of saying, no matter how bad, or good the day was, I want to share it with you. Be it over dinner, watching television or laying next to each other in bed reading, connecting energetically at times is just as important connecting verbally.



And lastly, we learn to make it bigger than our relationship. In my experience the couples that see the healthiest outcomes are the ones who embrace their relationship is not the end all be all.



The couples that share a common faith, be it religious, spiritual, a belief system or even a life of service seem to deal better with conflict. Not only in their personal relationship, but their community and their world. Knowing we are ultimately all connected, we strive to do better. We need not believe the same thing, to want the same thing. To be loved, to be safe and to be respected.



Having a long term successful relationship doesn’t always require hard work. But it does require work. And when you feel connected, work can often be fun.


Posted on January 12, 2016 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Despite ongoing personal tragedy for the past couple of years, I repeatedly am asked how do I stay so upbeat and happy? I have written papers and have lectured on this subject many times before. I will break it down to 3 simple rules. I find that embracing theses 3 principles, it not only makes life more manageable, but it frees the mind which ultimately leads to happiness.

So without a deep mystical explanation {which is what I usually do}, I will break it down as simplistically as I can.

Principle Number One- You can talk about your problems, but make it a quick conversation.

While it is true sometimes you just need to vent, too often this leads to feelings of pity, anger or another unhealthy emotion that does not serve you. It helps to cultivate a quick memory. Do not make your problems apart of your daily conversation. Find a good counselor, coach or therapist to help maximize your time in dealing with your problems.

Principle Number Two- You can talk about the past, but don't stay there.

Its hard to move forward when we have one foot in the past. Sometimes life is unfair. I do not want to minimize that. But expecting different results when we clearly are allowing the past to weigh us down, keeps the new from coming in. Think of your mind as a house. You can only store so much before you run out of room. To move forward you will need to clear out what no longer serves you.

Principle Number Three- You can talk about the future, but stay in the present.

If we are constantly dreaming of the future, you are doing two things from keeping you from being happy today. First, by not tending to what is happening now, you will miss the message, meaning or the experience. When this happens we will stay stuck. Even if what is happening is good, a comfort zone will offer little to know growth. Secondly, by not appreciating the present, we impede the flow of the future.

To sum it up. You want happiness? Start where you are now. The past is gone. There is no promise of a future. Now is the key to happiness. If you're not happy, what are you doing right now that will lead you there?