Sparkling 7: Advice Gems That Just Might Change Your Life


Bad advice is like a clumsy dance partner, it steps on our toes and turns us at the wrong time. Good advice invites us to dance with it, even if we’re not sure how.

Can’t say I always knew that these 7 gems were the nuggets I needed when they first came my way. But, something about each one lodged somewhere in me  so  I couldn’t forget it.

Perhaps that’s the way we know a gem from a fake…it sticks. It may not be comfortable but it resonates.

It’s possible that at least one of my Sparkling 7 can be useful or even epiphany inducing for you. If you’ve got some gems you’d like to add to our collective treasure – yes, please!

In random order:

1. Not everything requires a response.

Are you super duper available and patient? Do you pride yourself on being kinder to others than you are to yourself? Do you think that just because someone asks, the law of “niceness” requires you answer? You’re nice, even if the “asker” isn’t being kind or considerate? Do you get drained easily? Are your thumbs constantly poised to answer texts, tweets or email? These are clues that you might not believe you can delay a response. Do you know you are free to chose not to give one at all.

2. Worry is the least effective way to show love.

Worry is a habit that not only robs you of this moment but future moments too. Worry much?


3. Always carry mad money.

This was one of my mother’s gems. In her time, carrying her own money was self-preservation in case a date went badly, a subversive act for a young woman who was expected to rely on a man for safety & fun.  With her words in my ears,  I kept an emergency savings account when I was single and still do. And, as I get older, “mad money” represents  more than a financial cushion, it means nurturing sovereignty in all its forms.

4. Pause.

Taking a break is healthy, you know this already. There are a gazillion ways to pause, some of them not so beneficial for you, like smoking a cigarette. Certain types of pauses, especially those that help you connect to your body, bring about greater calm, steadiness, and focus. A “pause habit” can seriously alter your ability to find solutions to problems, and your self-confidence too.

pause button

Click the button

Hint: try this in place of any unhealthy habit you’d like to change.

5. Start where you are.

Seems too obvious to be on this list, but stay with me because this could turn out to be the most valuable gem yet. Though many of us have a sense of where we’d like to be in our lives, or the way we’d like to be in our lives, we are less skilled at discerning where we actually are. Imagine using a map from the wrong “you are here” icon!!

6. Sacrificing (giving up something deeply important to you) for another person is seldom a good idea for you, them and, or the relationship.

Sacrifice breeds resentment. Period.

7. Only you can prevent forest fires.

Smokey The Bear is a zen master. His message, that our actions have consequences, is intense because he knows that one thoughtless act can set something beautiful ablaze. If this was a  metaphor for life, how would you treat the things you take for granted?  The people? Your inner environment? I’ve set off a few “forest fires” in my life. because I blamed others for my unhappiness. Have you inflamed a situation with a word or action? Only you…


Zen Master

Would love to hear your gems!

Warmly, Judy

Judy Garfinkel
Life,Career & Learning Coach

917.450.1524 (cell)
Release yourself from stress, indecision and fatigue with a simple Pause