Be More Open Minded and These 6 Things Will Happen

Once, I asked a transgender man what his “girl name” used to be.  

I was naive.  I wasn't aware that this was an impolite questions to ask a transperson.  Fortunately, the gentleman I was talking to steered me in the right direction.

"I don't make it a habit to answer that question. It isn't who I am, so it's not important for me to share," he said with a smile. 

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5 Tips For Surviving Crisis

A while back, I hit a big milestone birthday: 40. 

I always thought forty would be a pretty big celebration of "Hell yeah! I'm killin' it at this life thing! GO ME!" 

I had a lot of expectations for forty.

I expected to be married. I expected that life would begin to really settle in and feel safe and secure. I expected that my career would be at an all-time high and still climbing. I expected that I'd have enough financial security to allow me occasional travel and a splurge once in a while. I expected that I would be incredibly content with my simple life.

Remarkably (and to my parents' surprise, I'm sure), I had all of those things at forty.  I had achieved my goals! 

But then, just 5 weeks after that milestone birthday, my life was rocked harder than the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.  Job loss and divorce simultaneously showed up and kicked my ass.  It was total collapse. Fiery destruction and rubble left everywhere. 

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5 Things To Let Go Of Before The New Year

I always look at January 1st with a smidge of trepidation. All my self-imposed expectations for the upcoming year can be intimidating.  Resolutions are made, I make promises to myself (that I inevitably end up breaking), and I SWEAR UP AND DOWN that "this year is gonna be MY year! Yeah!!"  But something always seems to go haywire by ... oh... February 1st.

Why doesn't it work? Because I've been trying to add things to the upcoming year without letting anything go.

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A Surfer's Guide to Bravery, Risk, and Failure.

As I sit in the sand on the shore, basking in the Christmas Day sunshine, I watch tan-skinned men walk by.  They carry lightweight, colorful surfboards.  Each of them stops near me to look out at the water, putting their hand up to their brow to shield their eyes from the sunlight.  They stare into the ocean.  

Every once in a while, one of them will take their surfboard, and begin to jog towards the water. They get about knee-deep, and as they begin to run a little harder, they slide themselves on to the board and begin to paddle.  

As a surfer, in order to get to the 'good' place to wait, you must paddle past the breaking waves. It's wintertime, and the waves are monstrous and wild this time of year. 

I watch a boy stop to search the waves. He can't be more than 13 years old.  He carries a white surfboard. The sun has kissed his hair enough for it to be a shade lighter than his own skin. My maternal instinct watches the waves and watches the boy, and I am instantly worried for his safety. 

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The Letting Go

“How do you want it to feel when this is over?” Lauren, my life coach asked.  

“Like flying," I replied. 

And thus began the process of letting go of everything that I didn’t want to take with me into 2015.  

My journey to Letting Go didn’t come easily.  It came at the hands of a lost job, the end of my marriage, a lot of wine to forget, countless tears on my pillow, and a continuous mask of happiness over what was pure broken-heartedness underneath.  I’m incredibly well-versed in the art of the mask, the charades.  So well-versed, in fact, that it was one of the top things on my list of things I knew I needed to let go of.  

My list eventually would reach 25. One by one, I wrote them on a rock with a big, bold Sharpie: each thing that I wanted to release before 2015 showed up. 

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Great Hair & Great Hugs: The Lesbians Who Tech Summit 2015

I am a personal and professional development coach. There's not much technology involved in what I do - in fact, many coaches I know still use a landline for their coaching calls, and I still take notes with a pen and paper. Even the concept of talking to a client on the telephone sometimes eludes people.  No one uses their phone as a phone anymore, and yet it is the number one required tool in my work. 

However, because I work almost exclusively with women who identify as LBTorQ, when I was asked to participate in a coaching workshop at the Lesbians Who Tech Summit in San Francisco last weekend, I gleefully agreed, and showed up not knowing exactly what to expect. 

Here is what I found: 

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The Moon Taught Me What I Already Know.

I watched the moon as I drove the slow road into Poipu. She is on her back as if she's relented to the exhaustion of the year. If 2014 has been as much of a inconsiderate, malicious, greedy little bastard to the moon as it was to me, well then she deserves to lay down and rest for a while. 

 

As I sit alone on Christmas, in a restaurant perched on the rocks with the water below, I am reminded of the demands I have placed upon myself to close out this year. Just as the moon reflects on the waterfront, dancing to the whim of the wind and tide, I am attempting to reflect back on my year and find the beauty in closing a chapter.  

The last time I was on this island, I believed in the truth and unwavering commitment of love, and was thrilled to spend the next week with my wife in tropical, wedded bliss. However, the memories that I have of our time on the island are sketchy at best, because within a month of our return, my wife had filed for divorce. 

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