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For decades I had that belief that “I can do it myself.” I valued my illusionary self-sufficiency while equating it with being strong, powerful, and independent. Those were words many, many folks had used to describe me. At one point, thankfully, I came to realize that self-sufficiency is an illusion. We all need others. We need them in so many different ways. What a gift it is to reach that level of wisdom – even better to reach it sooner than later.

My daughter, who is now a wife and mother, has called me to say: “Mom, I am asking 5 women I trust. I need to get your opinion and I may or may not follow it, but I want others’ thoughts and need to use them to find my own.” It happens rarely but what an honor. To have achieved that level of knowing and emotional intelligence so early that you can recognize that someone else may see your situation far more clearly and can offer advice far better than your own – or – that they can’t offer the best advice you need but their thoughts/honesty can cause you to see things from a different angle and thus allow you to define the absolute best choice for yourself…

Healthy independence means, “I know my own needs – and – I know how to either meet them myself or who to call to support me in getting them met.” Being a powerful, independent person requires that level of self-awareness, with the humility to know when help is needed, and the inner strength to reach out for support. With all that in place, being powerful from a cellular level is the result of a deep level of knowing that we are who we are. We are not perfect, finished evolving, or even aware of all the questions much less all the answers.  

To make all this joyful and life-giving as well requires us to have that peace that surpasses all understanding. It requires us to be at home with knowing we are ever growing, changing, expanding, and following a path we are defining each and every day. It lets us see that life, and ourselves, are unlimited. The adventure that is this journey calls us, no matter how far we think we have come, to be open to so much more that is unfolding. 

A potential client told me last week that a coach/mentor/confidant isn’t going to be needed since life is going to be a totally smooth transition from a highly successful CEO with a full team to being a retiree in a new relationship, selling her home, and moving to a new location. How blessed if that is the case. I assured her, if everything doesn’t go as planned, I will be here. At times, things do run that smoothly. Usually not with so many balls in the air, however.  More times than not, at some point we each need to recognize that help doesn’t display weakness but rather strength and self-awareness.

We can frequently survive far more than we realize. The gift however is in recognizing that simply surviving is far less than we deserve. Living life with gratitude, joy, passion, and even exuberance is a choice and one we each deserve. 

While having lunch with a beloved friend from my grade school days this afternoon, he said “You have always been the one we knew would bring joy and laughter to the corner when you showed up.” My wish for each of you, is that same joy and laughter as a way of life, not an occasional moment. 

Jump into this ever-evolving journey with a true sense of your unlimitedness, your independence, and your knowing that we need each other if we are to truly live this life, not simply survive it!


Dr. Dorothy’s life story of coming from an orphanage, being raised in the housing projects of South Boston, becoming a Catholic nun, an international airline stewardess, a wife, mother, graduate faculty member, Clinical Instructor at a Medical School, and so much more provides the perfect backdrop for her message of joy, humor, passion and faith as the necessary tools for life.