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“The myth of normal is a cloak that disguises the immense diversity and complexity of the human experience, obscuring the truth that we are all vulnerable and flawed, yet capable of extraordinary resilience and growth.”

                                                                Dr. Gabor Maté, The Myth of Normal

Have you been feeling that you would like things to get back to “normal”? Whatever normal is in your mind? For some, “normal” is a quiet day on the farm where the animals and produce can be routinely cared for, ending with a warm family dinner at the dining room table. For another it is an early day and heading to their first job making minimum wage before catching a bus to their second job simply to pay the rent and purchase basic food items. Which is “normal”?

Each of us has a different history, a different lens through which we see the world, and very different expectations of what a “good” day would be like. That translates to, each of us also has a very different view of what we think an “ideal” normal would look like if we realized we had the ability to create it.

What I find most powerful in this quote that was sent to me this week, is “obscuring the truth that we are all vulnerable and flawed, yet capable of extraordinary resilience and growth.”  THAT is what so much of my work is about.

Everyone of us is vulnerable and flawed. I see folks who refuse to “allow” themselves to be vulnerable. All they are really doing is not allowing themselves to experience their vulnerability that is speaking loudly and clearly. That statement reveals their own terror at facing the truth of their experience.

Flawed, which describes every one of us, is something some work hard to deny, or will intellectually say “yes we are all flawed” yet if you mention one flaw, they feel assaulted, demonstrating their denial despite what they say. Own it, let it go, and enjoy the day. Fixating on it, whether of another or ourselves, distorts the flaws as if they are all that exist. Sadly, I see so many that fixate on their own flaws, or those of others, that they never really get to sit in the energy of the gifts, or luxuriate in the full package – flaws, gifts, humor, and an unlimited ability to dream.….

The last and most exciting part of what I found to be so profound, is “yet capable of extraordinary resilience and growth.” There is nothing we cannot overcome. There is nothing we can’t work through and release – unless we believe we can’t. I am certain you have seen or read of folks with amazing gifts of resiliency. Folks who have overcome unimaginable experiences who then go on to do great things. People from the concentration camps, surviving mass murders, losing their whole family in a fire or accident, etc. We need to want resiliency and have permission from ourselves to overcome our traumas.

And finally, “yet capable of extraordinary resilience and growth” focusing on growth. Growth: following our dreams, becoming who we are meant to be, having the ability to dream and dream even bigger than we imagined. AND becoming the person who can achieve those dreams. I shared with you a few weeks ago a few of those women completing my 10-month program for women in transition. Each of them allowed themselves to dream and grow accordingly.

With support, each took their dreams and all the inner and outer changes that come with that to new levels. Some increased their streams of income; one is in the process of selling a family business and beginning a “new normal” of living a very different life; one is going national with her organization since she allowed herself to dream so much bigger and become the woman capable of handling it and there were more…

If you are ready to recognize extraordinary growth, call me. We are never done growing, changing, and becoming until we pass. Take a risk, a wild ride, and grow into a dream you only imagined.


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.