Second Acts

November 19, 2005

Volume 1, Issue 4 - November

"...what's most important during the Holiday Season is that "We Thrive."


Finding Your Joy During the Holiday Season

This Issue ...





"the 3 Rs to "Flourishing Through the Holidays"... Reconnect. Renew. Rejoice."




Finding Your Joy During the Holiday Season
By Michele Alexander Owner of 4 The Perfect Fit Coaching and Consulting

If, the holiday season is filled with so much joy and anticipation, why does it also cause so much stress and anxiety? Do our personal and professional expectations create these challenges? Everyone will have ideas and possibly solutions; but, what's most important during the Holiday Season is that "We Thrive." This newsletter has articles that will offer tips to make the holiday season more pleasurable to those who try them. It will also give you a jumpstart on your New Year's resolutions. Just make a few changes in your behaviors, thoughts and actions and enjoy. Don't forget to spread the Holiday Spirit by sharing your ezine with a friend.

Thank You All for Your Support this Year!!!

Happy Holidays!!!

How to - Reconnect! Renew!! Rejoice!!!

By Michele Alexander

The holiday season can be stressful for any family; but for a family comprised of a single person, especially a woman, it can be overwhelming. Being single can create a new anxiety because the holidays seem to be a time of year where family is celebrated everywhere. But, if you follow the 3 Rs to "Flourishing Through the Holidays" and you may not only find yourself surviving: but, enjoying and thriving during the holidays. What are the R's? Reconnect. Renew. Rejoice. Its easier than you think use them. Let's get started.

  1. Reconnect - The holidays offer a natural time to network and rebuild relationships personally, professionally and spiritually. In most cases, the same people you want to reach out to would love to hear from you. Its hard for anyone to make the first step. This is how you can do it.

    Make a list of all of your personal and professional contacts; especially the ones that you have hesitated - making that phone call or sending an email, to. Decide how you plan communicate with them: send a greeting card, an email, or make a phone call. However, greeting cards work well this time of year; especially, when a personal note is included. Its O.K. to follow-up with a phone call, too; but, don't be surprised if you hear from them first.

    To Reconnect - Spiritually, the holidays offer wonderful opportunities to revisit or explore your spiritually. It's a time when many faiths reach out to communities to meet and welcome new members, as well as rebuild relationships, with members that haven't attended in a while. Visit a church, hall or temple and sign up for their announcements. They might even have a forum for new or renewing members. Spiritually, is always important part of personal fulfillment.

  2. Renew. During the holidays take stock of the people and communities that have supported you, even though you, might have taken them for granted. Set aside some special time for a loved one you've been neglecting: a parent, friend, child, sibling, etc. Tell them how much they mean to you; don't assume they know … and listen. Try to renew the relationship with mutual respect. Go back to your church, hall or temple and attend services or meetings. Fellowship if possible during a reception hour with your spiritual community.

    Finally, don't forget to send thank yous or gifts to colleagues, customers and vendors who have helped you through the year. All of these relationships are important to you being able to function, thrive and flourish independently. A Thank you goes a long way especially when its heartfelt.

  3. Rejoice -Enjoy your holidays.
  • Accept invitations - Go to parties, concerts, receptions. This is a great way to celebrate and commune with friends, family and colleagues.
  • Volunteer - This will allow you to share your celebration with others who may need support due to their personal circumstances. It is a scientific fact that the act of volunteering is good for both the giver and receiver.
  • Create a Tradition - Throw a party, decorate, organize a potluck with your neighbors. This will allow your family, "You," to share your visions of celebrating the holidays.

Sharing the holiday spirit not only shares part of you to others; but also, offers you personal fulfillment.

Now take these tips and have fun while celebrating with old and new friends. Happy Holidays.

To give me feedback about this article, email Michele Alexander at

…and remember

"To many people holidays are not voyages of discovery, but a ritual of reassurance."

--Philip Andrew Adams—

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The Miracle of Holiday Networking
By: Rhonda Sher

Do thoughts of going to all those parties during the Holidays leave you feeling a bit short on the joy that this season is supposed to evoke? If so, Santa has the perfect solution to get you in the mood.

He knows that the Holidays are in fact a 'most wonderful time of the year' to network and meet new people. That's why he trains Santas all over the world to adopt his jolly demeanor and make sure he doesn't forget anyone on his list. By the time his Santas-in-training graduate, networking becomes as natural as breathing... just like it is for the real Santa!

Yet for many of us, taking on such a demeanor to succeed seems like too much 'hard work'. So what if, you stepped outside your preconceived notions for a moment and looked through Santa's eyes? Would you not then see a wonderful atmosphere of merriment that makes it even easier to meet new people and reconnect with others you've not seen in a while? With everyone infected with the feeling of the Season, what could be a more perfect time to begin 'trying on' your new way of growing your business.

Every smart Santa knows that networking, when done like a 'seasoned pro', can exponentially grow your business and widen your circle of influence. After all, who can resist a warm Santa-like smile and a twinkle of the eye? And what about those other endearing qualities of his like always having a gift on hand, promptly responding to all fan email, delegating with finesse and faith, and paying full attention to everything you say. No wonder everyone falls under his magic spell.

For those of you who've already graduated from Santa's finishing school, you know first-hand the many benefits of networking. Have you ever stopped to add up the lifetime value of an ideal referral? That's what happens when you know how to convey the merits of your services to others. And how about the resulting referrals from serving that perfect referral well? Likewise, the same holds true when you do onto others the same professional favor.

So why not begin now... while the Season provides you the perfect playing field to fine-tune your style to become a year-round Santa. Then you'll grow to understand that networking is more than just being in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. Rather, it's the art of having your heart in the right place and your mind set on being a resource to others.

Alas, what if for all these wonderful miracles of networking, you still feel that talking to strangers is more difficult than going to the dentist? Know that Santa has been listening to make it feel less like pulling teeth.

He's even jotting down a few 'insider' tips' he's gathered over the centuries to help you feel more at ease with mingling:

  • Greet people as if they're old friends and you've not seen them in a while.
  • Be both interesting and interested in people. Use the person's name, ask open-ended questions and be genuinely interested in what they say.
  • Be conscious of your body language so you appear receptive and always respect the personal space of others.
  • Practice (until you sound natural) an effective 30-second response to the question, 'What do you do?' Leave your listener intrigued and wanting to know more.
  • Continue that memory of warmth with random acts of kindness.

Above all, seek to understand others. For it is not your credentials that sell you, it's becoming a trusted resource and friend. Then your Rolodex will runneth over... all year through!

About The Author

Rhonda Sher is author of the best selling book, The 2 Minute Networker, and the just released ebook SANTA'S SECRET TO HOLIDAY CHEER: How to Network All Through the Year, endorsed by such networking masters as corporate mogul, Gordon Becker. Visit NOW!

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4 The Perfect Fit Coaching & Consulting

New York, NY 10128

(212) 987-6177


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Ten Tips for a "Real" Holiday Season
by: Toni Raiten-D'Antonio

Holidays and the start of a new year inevitably make us think about how we can improve ourselves, and have the life we want in the future. We make resolutions - I must lose weight, I will save more money - and then lose our way. That's because we aren't matching our resolutions with who we are inside. We're more likely to succeed if we work on discovering our inner, Real selves, appreciate who we already are, and then take a chance on custom-made changes, not one-size-fit all resolutions. Here are ten tips for making the new year better in a Real way.

  1. Let your values be your guide -- There are plenty of people who will tell you what should be important to you, if you let them. Friends, co-workers, family, even the mass media, bombard us with opinions and ideas. Don't just accept what others say. Decide for yourself what matters most and let those values set your course.

  2. Take a long-term view -- Bad habits, difficult relationships, and other disappointments don't develop overnight. Similarly, life doesn't get better in a moment. Change happens slowly, step-by-step. Have the patience to see it through.

  3. Let Go of the "Shoulds" -- When you were a kid, you needed grown-ups to tell you what was right and wrong and what you should do in a given situation. As an adult you can make these choices for yourself. "Shoulds" produce resentment and anger. Instead, do what you know in your heart is right, and set your own standards.

  4. Define Yourself as Beautiful -- Fewer than five percent of us believe we are beautiful, but whenever I meet someone, I can see something beautiful in her right away. You may not fit the mass media image of conventional, external beauty, but there are things that make you attractive. Remember, beauty is an inside job.

  5. Let Go of Being Perfect -- As much as we hear that "nobody's perfect" it's awfully hard to believe. This is because what we constantly see in the media are air-brushed images of people who appear perfect and we come to believe it is a reasonable goal. When we fall short of perfect, then we feel like failures, just for being ourselves. This year, why not just forget that whole concept and replace it with "I don't have to be perfect." The truth is, the people who love you know that you have flaws and just don't care. You don't have to either...

  6. Stop Competing -- Life is not a game to be won or lost. It is more like a dance that never ends. People who make life a competition live in fear of losing. But if you understand that there's no first prize and no finish line, only opportunities to grow and experience things, then that fear is replaced by appreciation and wonder. Try to think about growing rather than winning.

  7. Try a Little Self-Empathy -- We all hope to be kind and considerate when it comes to others. But have you ever made an effort to think about yourself in the same way? Most of us spend too much time judging ourselves harshly. It's hard to be happy when you let that little voice inside you endlessly say mean and critical things.

  8. Make Friends with Your Flaws -- When you stop believing in perfection, it's a lot easier to adopt a new view of those things people call flaws. In many cases, we can redefine these differences and understand them as gifts. What makes a mole a beauty mark? The answer is in your perspective. Why not adopt a perspective that honors all those things that make you different?

  9. Listen to Your Body -- Many of us lead lives that are so fast-paced and stressful that we push ourselves to the point of getting sick. In most cases, our bodies send us signals -fatigue, aches, hungers - when it's time to slow down, rest and examine our emotions. We can avoid a lot of sick days if we pause to listen to our bodies and respond with gentle self-care.

  10. Try New Things -- In the end, the important things in life are found in relationships and experiences. We feel good when we connect with others and take on challenges that allow us to grow. If you have always wanted to feel closer to someone you know, take the risk. And if you have longed to try something new - in the arts, your work, sports, or anything else -- give yourself permission to try. A little courage will bring you great rewards in the coming year.

About The Author

Toni Raiten-D'Antonio is a psychotherapist and author of The Velveteen Principles (Oct 2004), a Guide to Becoming Real. The Velveteen Principles offers advice on reclaiming joy, fulfillment and individuality drawing from the simple wisdom of the children's classic The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. To Learn more, please visit

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Your Holiday Expectations
By: Devlyn Steele

"Tis the season to be jolly?" For many the sight of decorations or hearing a holiday song creates an instant cringe leaving them to think, "Not the holidays again." When we were children waking up on a holiday morning was full of excitement; the day had presents, good food and fun. As adults we have to buy the presents, prepare the food and many find themselves alone with no one to have fun with. This results in the holidays creating stress or loneliness as they approach.

These different emotional states are often referred to as the infamous "Holiday Blues." Blues is a mysterious term. It has the connotation that sounds seasonal like getting the flu, holiday blues season. If you catch it, then you catch it and there's nothing you can do other than wait for it to go through your system making it out of your control.

People say, "Yea, I'm feeling a bit off, you know it's that time of year." However, you have not caught the flu, you simple have allowed your mind to drift into an emotional state. Rather than thinking about the emotional states as blues, let's call them holiday expectations. The emotional overload gets created from our own expectations of ourselves, what we expect from others, or what we think others expect from us.

By learning how to change our perceptions of expectations, we can take back control and enjoy the holidays and be grateful for what we have.

First, change the expectations you have of yourself:

Parties to go to and you want to look good. Do not judge yourself, you cannot make any instant changes. Love who you are and your friends and family will always be happy to see you. Avoid, overeating and over drinking this will create holiday blues, and post holiday blues. During the holidays, combat the blues with physical activity take walks, play and workout.

Towards the end of the year we tend to reflect on what we accomplished. Don't spend the holidays judging your results, or comparing this holiday to others. You cannot change the past. Today is a new day, enjoy and decide that you are going to live your life right now.

Whether you are single or not the lack of the romantic life can send us into the blues. If you are single, you might not get to spend the holidays in the heat of romance, but learning to take control will lead towards changes next year. If you are in a relationship decide to initiate romance and do not wait for it.

We have expectations that we should be with family, friends or a lover during the holidays. We don't always have that choice and feel lonely. Instead of spending your time alone, make a huge charitable donation. Give your time to others and volunteer. You won't feel lonely as you put smiles on the faces of the less fortunate.

Second, change the expectation you have of others:

Your expectations truly bring meaning to the old saying, "Expectations breeds disappointments." You may be expecting cards, presents, better presents, attention or bonus at work. We all have all sorts of expectations, but the truth is you have no control over what other people will or will not due. Nothing can ever live up to the expectations you create, but when you don't expect everything is special and nothing is a disappointment.

Third, the expectations you feel others have of you:

Don't fall in to the commercial trap of placing yourself in credit card debt. If you do, you may not get depressed during the holidays, but wait till you open the mail next month! Realize that holidays are about the spirit not the gift. Give what you can afford. Write cards and enjoy free activities.

Too much to do? Make lists and prioritize and give yourself a break. Divide tasks amongst family and learn that everything doesn't have to be perfect. Do your best, but the holidays is not what you give, or what you receive or the perfect party, it's about being with each other, so enjoy!

This year has been filled with disasters all around the world and as corny as it may sound let's try and get back to the roots of what holidays are all about, family, friends and spreading joy. As Abraham Lincoln said, "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Happiness or blues, you can choose!

About The Author

As a life coach, Devlyn has made helping people find ways to improve their lives his personal mission and passion. He is a public consultant, a private counselor, an author and creator of Tools To Life. He has hosted his own radio shows called "Tools To Life" and "Love beat" and has been a guest on over 150 various shows. You can read his articles and advice all over the internet. Devlyn has often been referred to as "America's Leading Life-Coach." For free E-books and more information visit Send Questions To:

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Inspiration Corner

The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.

--Emile Zola--

What's Going On

·          Come Join Me

November 30 @ 7PM
Harlem Grill

  Healing after Cheating!!! Relationship Coaching Workshop


·          Get more information on Upcoming Tele-Seminars

December 5   Jump-Start to a New You Tele-Seminar
January 23 My Dream, My Business
December 5   I Love My Job, But...

·          Register for Upcoming Teleclasses

Nov 22, 2005 @ 1PM Surviving the Holidays

Nov 29, 2005 @ 1 PM  

Effective Networking for Women
Nov 29, 2005 @ 4PM   How to Write a Personal Mission Statement
Dec 1, 2005 @ 12 Noon   Surviving the Holidays
Dec 1, 2005 @ 4 PM Create Action Plans for Success
Dec 6 , 2005 @ 2PM   Can I be a Momtrepreneur?
Dec 15 @ 1 PM How to Write a Personal Mission Statement

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Contact information

Michele Alexander


Phone:    (212) 987-6177



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