Public Speaking/Stage Fright

Are Women’s Groups Necessary in an Age of Hillary Clinton? Speaking to Smith College Alums on a Historic Day Comments Off on Are Women’s Groups Necessary in an Age of Hillary Clinton? Speaking to Smith College Alums on a Historic Day

Are Women’s Groups Necessary in an Age of Hillary Clinton? Speaking to Smith College Alums on a Historic Day

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Events, facing fears, Facing Forty Upside Down, Fear of Failure, leadership, mentoring, Public Speaking/Stage Fright, Some Nerve, Women's empowerment

I love speaking to women’s empowerment groups. I’m often asked (yes, by men) if women’s groups are even necessary anymore, in an age of Hillary Clinton breaking the highest glass ceilings. Aren’t women empowered enough? I have to put on my most patient face and say “A big crack in the biggest glass ceiling is tremendous. But it’s not like there’s only one glass ceiling.”

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How to Think Outside the Box 9

How to Think Outside the Box

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Aging gracefully (more or less), Courage, Events, exercise, facing fears, Facing Forty Upside Down, Fear of Becoming Boring, Fear of Change, Fear of Failure, fear of rejection, fitness, midlife, Public Speaking/Stage Fright, Relaxation, Some Nerve, travel, triathlon, Trying new things, Writing

“Think outside the box” is advice you often hear. But what if you’re STUCK in a box, a routine, a view of yourself or how others view you? Options for doing things differently may seem like too much effort (“That could be hard, and it might not work”) or just plain ludicrous (“That’s just not me!”). It can be easier to decorate your box and make it more comfortable than ever by sticking with what you know and calling it self-awareness. How many times have we said “I don’t do that,” end of discussion, thereby tying up the box with a bow? I was a master box-builder. I did what I was competent at (career, family) and what I had to do (housework). Outside the box meant outside my comfort zone, which meant the possibility of failure, and as the child of Chinese immigrants, failure = falling into an endless black abyss, SO WHO THE HECK WANTED TO GO THERE? But IN the box, was fear, restlessness, children who wanted to run free, and once I slowly let them, there was me yearning for something more. When I started Facing Forty Upside Down, I started with baby steps, learning to dive into a pool, to do a handstand, proving that I...

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“I Can Do It!” What Graduation & Recital Season Offers Kids of All Ages 1

“I Can Do It!” What Graduation & Recital Season Offers Kids of All Ages

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 in Courage, exercise, facing fears, Facing Forty Upside Down, Karate and Martial Arts, Kid milestone, parenting, Public Speaking/Stage Fright, running, Trying new things

14 year old G graduated from middle school last night and I held it together pretty well until the very end, when the principal said “Hello High School Class of 2019!” Of all the mountains she has climbed, of all the views over the edge toward what’s to come, this one feels the most significant so far. She is nervous about high school and adulthood beyond, probably because she has overcome enough obstacles to know how much work it’s going to be. She won her grade’s Science Award and made Honor Roll this year and earned an adult 3rd kyu brown belt in karate by sparring grown men despite exhaustion and nerves: 9 year old R, meanwhile, conquered stage fright in order to play Charlie “But he doesn’t know the territory!” Cowell in a kids production of “The Music Man.” And threw herself into every Field Day activity with an “I don’t care what anyone else thinks I’m going for it” confidence that I never had at her age: But it’s not too late to get it now: I ran my first 10K! Small strides compared to our kid’s major triumphs, but why not? We all need to go for it, work and play with all of our hearts,...

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Listen Up! Your Mother Has Something To Say! 5

Listen Up! Your Mother Has Something To Say!

Posted by on Apr 7, 2015 in Books (not Some Nerve), facing fears, Facing Forty Upside Down, Listen to Your Mother Show, parenting, Public Speaking/Stage Fright, Some Nerve, Writing

My Chinese mother would say, “You people! Ting hua! (Listen to me!)” She was a master of the short imperative. I am channeling her now when I say: People! The LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER ANTHOLOGY is published today! GO BUY IT! Why? Why you ask why? Because I told you! Because it’s full of stories that will make you laugh and cry, and understand your mother, your mothering, better. That will make you understand other families better. That will start conversations, friendships. That may even start you thinking about your own stories, get you talking up on stage or writing down on a page, as part of a movement of national readings by and about motherhood produced by Ann Imig. My story “The Cookie Jar” is included. I told it at the Listen to Your Mother Show NYC 2012: Backstage photos  here. And you can read about my LTYM audition jitters (and performance snafu) in the “Public Speaking: Being Heard” Chapter of Some Nerve. I invited my agent Brettne Bloom to the event, saying “there are so many talented writers in the group” and lo, she heard Una LaMarche, spoke with her after about writing a book, and Unabrow, Una’s hilarious collection of essays was just published! I’m a huge Una fan (so much...

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Highlights 2014 – Thank you for a great year of facing fears! 3

Highlights 2014 – Thank you for a great year of facing fears!

Posted by on Dec 31, 2014 in Bicycling, Books (not Some Nerve), Driving, exercise, facing fears, Facing Forty Upside Down, Fan mail, Favorite Posts, fitness, Handstand, Highlights, New Year, Public Speaking/Stage Fright, Remembering - Special people, Some Nerve, Some Nerve Retreat, Trying new things, Water/Swimming

2014 marked the 5th anniversary of Facing Forty Upside Down (I named it when I was 39 and thought I’d try blogging for a year or two – and here we still are, facing our metaphorical “40” yet again! I won’t tell if you won’t…). I particularly loved this year at the blog because so many of you shared your stories of facing fears or trying new things – THANK YOU! I wasn’t able to narrow it down to a Top 10 list so I’ve made an index of highlights instead. If you need a dose of inspiration read about these brave people:  “Goodbye Fear of Driving” – Kris P. hits the road “Finding a Tribe, Finishing a Triathlon” – Catarina Cabrera “I started Tae Kwon Do when I was 4 mos Pregnant with my Third Child” – Eileen W. “How 2 Friends became Entrepreneurs” – the story behind Momentum Cycling & Fitness “Life begins Outside Your Comfort Zone” – Mary-ann Mastreani, Hastings Yoga “Transforming I Can’t into I Did It” – Fran dives, Elizabeth paddleboards “Trekking in Memory & Hope” – Mina prepares to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro “Who’s got Crazy Friends?” – In praise of the instigators “How to Conquer a Fear of Improv” – a music teacher’s story “Happier,...

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