Sunday, January 29, 2012

Opening Yourself in Your Personal Writing WILL Transform Your Relationships and lead to Greatness

My Story

One of the biggest challenges I experienced while living in Israel for 20 years before returning to the States in 2007, was to say what I wanted to say in Hebrew. Since the Israeli culture is voiceferous and direct and most usually will tell what is on their minds right in your face at any given moment, I had to be prepared for this. In New York City where I grew up for example, I was used to "silence" and very easily could be as "anonymous" as I wanted to be, but this just wasn't possible in Israel.

Silence on the Kibbutz

While I realize that our kibbutz, a communal way of living, had undergone privitization, that process didn't stop people from entering our torn down structure and examining it at all times. And if that weren't enough, they would talk about what they saw and asked us questions, made comments - some unwanted! I felt our privacy had been violated many times over. Truly, this was the Israeli way - we just happened to be on a kibbutz. Surely, this wouldn't happen to the extent that it did in Pittsburgh! Our house was the subject of talk at our kibbutz for months and months to come. When we hired a kitchen designer for example, it seemed as if everyone was copying the same designer - nobody said "wow! What a great kitchen you have.." Of course, that again, was the Israeli way!

Silence as a Teacher

Another form of silence that I talk about in my story, "Getting Out of My Way," for the Pebbles in the Pond anthology (to be released in May 2012) is the teacher silence which still painfully resonates with me until today. At the beginning of my High School teaching career, I looked to my Israeli colleagues for help, advice, to tell me what I was doing wrong and right about my teaching. But my mentor at that time had said, "It's very hard to elicit feedback from people, especially positive feedback and especially from Israelis who are very self-centered and concerned about themselves.

Concerned about themselves? Self-centered? Huh - did I miss something?

NOW I understand why I was never taken seriously at teacher-meetings and why I always felt the need to be quiet even if my ideas were super-important.

Listen to the Voice that Allows You to FEEL

There are times when silence can be a very good thing - quiet and stillness to create and ponder thoughts and meditate. But maintaining a silent voice in a new culture can be life-changing and not always for the better.

If you can write about these events from an emotional perspective, you will also come across as very transparent or as I call it, "sincere" to your reader.

What it boils down to is... how you listen to the voice of that experience as your "take-away" point and how it allows you to FEEL. Capturing these feelings is what helps your readers resonate with you, your story AND your emotional perspective.

The Power of Transforming Relationships

In retrospect, none of these events were random and they all served a purpose even if I couldn't understand "why." Perhaps, as a "silent New Yorker," I needed to experience silence from a deeper cultural perspective, in order to come full-circle.

Now that I am in the Diaspora, rereading my mentor's words put a "time stamp" on what I was feeling at that moment in Israel. All I really genuinely wanted was to feel a sense of belonging and connection. Why did it take so long for me to finally understand the pain of my own silence?

I have come to realize that by "not stepping into your truth" - aka "staying silent" and ignoring the voice of your life story, you are actually doing your readers a disservice.

When I visit blogs for example, one of the first things I’ll always do is visit your about page. You see, it’s really all about investing in relationships, right? You want to know if I’m the type worthy of investing your time and energy (relationship). I want to know the same about you.

Let me tell you about a relationship I have with my Pebbles in the Pond friends, Doreen Fulton and Ann White. I love them both. Doreen always has something positive to say as her way of giving voice to voiceless in the type of work that she does. Ann White is this amazing giving healer that you just can't help to fall in love with. Because they are both so wonderful with their comments on the Pebbles Facebook page, I made it a point to find out more about the them. When I went to their sites, I discovered that we both had something in common and I loved their websites, but I also knew that with the "miles" they travelled emotionally and spiritually, there was much more that also needed to be expressed. Then they shared their chapter stories here and here ...whoa! I resonated with their "silence" and "pain stories" on so many different levels. You hear their stories, the "emotional perspective," which I'm referring to when you write your about pages.

Through this process of communication, we have a relationship. I’ll work to help them any way I can and I know they’ll do the same for me.

In my opinion, this is where sharing our life stories can help in the way of building strong relationships with others. And through the process, we don't need to feel we are alone and be silenced. We fulfill our purpose of using our special and unique life experiences to also help and heal and serve others.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ignite Your Heart's Desire for Writing Your Life Story: The Key is Clarity!

Hey writers and creative people!

I'm responding to a response to a survey question I shared on my FB page, "Giving a Voice to the Voiceless"

One respondent posted, "Getting clear about it," to my question, "How will writing your own life story ("pain story") and/or personal storytelling help you connect to the power of your own emotion and find your own voice?"

Getting clear about your story has a lot more to do with your inner motivation, drive. From a creative perspective, both your own creative message (the way you choose to honor the way your story emerges) share your message)

I'm quite inspired right now after reading Sonia Choquett's Your Heart's Desire: Instructions for Creating the Life You Really Want, and principle number one in her book focuses on bringing your dream into focus. Yes - bringing your dream into focus. She gives lots of practical bite-sized chunks for taking steps closer to the dream you want.

I thought about my own empowerment of personal [pain] story writing for the writers, storytellers and other creative/free thinking people who connect to their truths and who they want to be.

This is a transforming exercise, so be prepared for lots of surprises in clarity!

Macro level of clarity:

Why is it important for you to write your story? What will you accomplish by writing it? What message will you share with the rest of the world? How will the world benefit from your message?

As you clarify your desire for writing your life story, you'll also deepen your desire to connect to the voice of your story.

Creating the space for understanding your real heart's desires gives also clarity for your soul. When you get clear about what you want, it is also easier to manifest it.

"Desire directs focus. If your desires are vague, your focus will be blurred. If your desires are heartfelt, however, your focus will be sharp and clear. That's why vague desires will never materialize, but clearly focused Heart's Desires will. Clear focus is the mind's magic wand." (Choquette, Your Heart's Desire)

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Do you know the key to becoming a more powerful YOU?
I just finished watching this powerful video – thanks, Kimberly Barclay, you rock!

Presented by the fab Mel Robbins, a "tell-it'like-it-is" life coach, cements the understanding in twnety minutes, of how we can easily get caught up with our thoughts and how simple it is to break the pattern we've endured forever, but not easy to implement.

And it inspired me to share with you just how
You can dig deep to spread a message like it is, as it is happening to you
So powerful it can actually change
your own course of action, thinking, words, thoughts and deeds.
But first, you need to be aware of all that is happening in the moment.
For the last two weeks now for the Get Your Book Done program under the guiding intuitive hand of Christine Kloser, I’ve been writing about helping people understand the meaning of their lives through stories.
Just getting the information out there on paper gave me
The momentum I needed
Every day, I step out of my comfort zone by writing about my vision and making Going to the grocery store and picking up my son from school – I didn’t feel like the same person anymore.
I didn’t spend moping about what other people would think about me – which has been one of my problems all along.

But let me get to the good part….
And this helped me get past ALL the voices of limiting beliefs, understanding and expectations of “THIS IS HOW IT IS MEANT TO BE AND DON’T FORGET IT”
“NO, IT’S NOT!” I said.

And then, all of a sudden,
I asked myself:
“DORIT - What is the Message YOU want to SHARE with the REST of the World?
I saw how all the dots of my past experiences connected.
I’ve watched – but this one was culturally unique in that the social and cultural landscapes are different than what I experience.
At a first time basketball game yesterday at the university where I teach, my husband said, “Yeah, the stadium like the size of the hall of Emek Hahula, the school and the kibbutz where I taught for seven years.
Well, it put the size of it into perspective, but what about MY world perspective?? Didn't that count for something?

Perspective – Diversity – Israel- New York – Pittsburgh… Hmmmm
All the dots of my past experiences – ALL connected.
For me, my work is ...

all about rising above your limiting world views and feelings of an outsider no matter your diverse landscape and finding your own emotional freedom despite how your "landscape" has changed from the outside.

That’s my message I want to share with the world and I am the perfect person to share this because of my own life experience.
Well, I’m sharing with you this
“BOOM- BOOM CLARITY OF WISDOM” (Hey, it rhymes!)
At an imperfect moment, you can make the most impact... a thought triggers some kind of visualization and deep feeling from the soul and gut causing you to then take some kind of imperfect action.
So my point is, you have everything you need to succeed. Never in a more needed period of time, does humanity needs your voice.
So what are you waiting for?
Try it!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My Own Transformation as a Teacher

I have always been a very different kind of teacher. During my early days teaching EFL (English as a foreign language) back in 1993 in Israel, I aimed to observe my students more, indulged in listening to their conversations, and participated in their learning experiences as I sat next to them.

I was following a heart felt approach to teaching as a way to straddle the hurdles of American and Israeli cultural differences of my own identity even if I didn't know I was doing the right thing.

I had come to the conclusion, that I didn't need to think and feel like an Israeli to survive and thrive in the cultural classroom, but just be myself. This approach led me to try and listen more, but I always had to fight the urge to react no matter how difficult the cultural clash. I'll never forget how, one homeroom teacher had brought in a suspended student who had caused havoc and disrupted other students and whose parents claimed that because he was on retalin, needed a second chance. (more like the fifth chance) I had been in those situations before, but because I didn't respond with "chutzpah," my linguistic efforts thwarted.

There I was, dripping with sweat. The homeroom teacher had literally flung the child in the classroom, the child looked bewildered and looked at me, then at the homeroom teacher, and finally shrugged his shoulders and ran to greet his friends while I looked on in silent horror. It was a confusing moment on many levels and much of it was culturally and emotionally grounded. I was filled with frustration. I felt like a doormat.

That silent voice of years past.

Fast forward to the year 2012. 2012! I now no longer teach Israeli students. I live in Pittsburgh and teach adult ESL students at two universities since I arrived in 2007.

Every time a new semester begins (like today), I tell my students that we share this cultural classroom together. But today, I told them what it was like to feel "voiceless." To live and learn a new language in another country. This eases them tremendously - I can tell by their body language and eye contact. This is my first time I'm sharing the word "voiceless" in the cultural ESL classroom. I don't know if they immediately get the point, but I am sure glad I've allowed myself to share on this level. I feel naked, but nobody brushes me aside. All eyes are on me. And the funny part is - they continue to listen. This heals me.

Since I've arrived in Pittsburgh, I can't seem to get the concept of being a "voiceless" teacher, teaching "voiceless" students out of my head. I watch the "Freedom Fighters" movie and I fall in love with how a band of students are transformed through the power of personal story writing.

In the summer of 2011, after signing a contract to write a book on teacher collaboration for English language learners for Pearson, I felt the divine calling to sign up for Christine Kloser's "Transformational Author Anthology Pebbles Program" - it would be my opportunity to write about my journey and how I came full circle. It was the perfect gift to my soul. Talk about rock sliding collision of forces and energies!

I had just began the process with "Pebbles" chapter for the anthology (May 2012).

You just can't imagine the surge of energy I have felt since starting the "Get Your Book Done" program for modeling every step of the process for writing my book, Giving a Voice to the Voiceless every single time I sit down to write.

If you're interested in learning about the Get Your Book Done program, click here.

The writing is just so effortless. I have never felt this kind of transformative power before as a writer. WOW!

And yet, on days when I feel voiceless, or "emotionally trapped," on those lonely days where there is no "ground," I constantly need to remember that I'm on a path towards recognizing just how powerful I can be using the tool of self-discovery for personal story writing to help move closer to the light as I acquire a more insider experience and away from the feelings of an outsider.

But the most transformational process as an author for me, began during the writing process. I discovered, through meditation, that I was able to visualize a whole new path waiting for me and step and claim my higher powers, which I never knew existed. I saw myself healing others as I wrote the section, "Transforming your personal world of darkness." THERE WAS A WHOLE NEW PATH JUST WAITING FOR ME!

I connected to my reader when I wrote the section "connecting to your own personally diverse voice." I am drawn to diversity, of all forms, shapes and sizes - all have unique voices and those who have lived abroad for any period of time, are extensively "poetic."

When we share our experiences with others either in the "ether" or face to face, we bear witness to a very powerful thing. And when we are able to write about the transformational process, that is us, sharing our Dharma, our purpose emerge for the highest level of good.

I never thought I'd get this far. I'm a different kind of teacher. Yes - it's the new 2012 me. I guess I haven't abandoned the Teacher's Diversity Coach over at I'm just playing with "diversity" from a different angle.

For more updates on the giving the "Voice to the Voiceless" movement and book and how you can get involved, please join my facebook fan page.

And just out of curiosity - Do you know any teachers (or anybody else) who underwent a transformation process? Please share your comments and thoughts. I'd love to know. Let's dialogue about this great shift in consciousness for 2012 as THE transformational year for YOU.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Why Playing "Unsafe" is Better than "Being Safe" - Welcoming the New You Transformation 2012

Earlier this afternoon, I had planned to take Ivry to an afternoon of fun at the nearby JCC Clubhouse.

What fun! I could get two hour's worth of writing for my new transformational book, Giving a Voice to the Voiceless and reach the 10,000 word mark. But as to be expected, the JCC was closed for New Year's which I had completely forgot and I could say goodby to "peace and quiet."

My son however, didn't have a problem. He was grateful to track back in the snow and help pick up the snow off somebody's car, whose owner was already scraping the last bit off his windshield.

When I think of the transformational work I'm doing, I realize how life's setbacks is part of what the universe has in store for us including these scheduling changes.

This past year's highights included some deep and intense lows and highs of my evolving self - the ying and yang of life's dualities. I went through an abortion, my mother-in-law passed away, I visted my home in Israel after four years of returning back to the States, I started a meditation challenge that changed my life and finally connected me to spirit and source, (which I'd managed to push away for years,) I spoke at the International Reading conference, said goodbye to a dear friend who passed away of breast cancer, my mom, who has Alzheimer's and has spent more days in hospitals than ever before, I got a contract to write my book, Greater Collaboration for K-6 English Language Learners, I said goodbye to old friends and habits who weren't serving me and began to welcome the new.

I just want to play it safe, I thought. I just don't want all these problems. i just want to know that I can continue to do the work I need to do.

Need to do. Need to do. Not meant to do.

As David Ji, from the Chopra Center says, "You can go from one physiology to another, but you, deep, deep deep within, your core essential being is timeless and essential in the world."

But guess what? Life is hairy horny, thick and scary at times.

The perfectionist and self-control freak in me wanted to hold unto to something dark and deep from childhood that would continue to keep me safe.

But what I was really looking for was a safe place to begin something important and transformative.
And then I realized. With all my concern for emotional safety" to work in the traditional way I had learned, I had evolved into another "pair of shoes." the old way of thinking was that I had to choose just one direction - be an ESL teacher. Now, my new way of thinking is to create my own "center" with all the different "hats" that define my work as a language diversity coach, but with a creative side of personal story writing. I coud choose to write on any curriculum I create. I could coach writers with my new curriculum. This had been a call for some time and nothing would prepare me more than this very moment.

In fact, I couldn't ask for a more perfectly raw and spiritual moment to write my book. The snow dreamily falling like from "Merry Christmas Charlie Brown."

If I look back at my life's events for the past twenty years and when I see myself in another 5 years - I see one major glowing difference: a calling to be somebody else, bigger and deeper than myself. I've tapped into this energy for the past five months, but I know, deep deep within, that 2012 will be a Major shift for me in the gifts I plan to share with the world.

And so with all the uncertainty right now in my life,(and some certainty) when there are so many shifts in emotional and creative consciousness, there's no better time than the present for me to start my brand new spanking path.

And so, I sit in front of a computer, finishing this blog post and moving to writing my chapter. I have everything I need to succeed. I am ready for this moment and I write my heart as my seven year old son plays with his Lego and gazes at the falling snow.

And so, I'm reminded by Steve Jobs (z"l) who said: "Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

As Rebecca Ocean says in the article, "Three Keys for Setting Transformative Resolutions to Realize Your Gifts & Birth the True You in the New Year"

"...If you chose your chrysalis well, hitting a trouble spot is a good sign. Rather than indicating failure or the need for a new structure, these places are Divine neon signs pointing to where the truth lies hidden behind your false self. As you remain steadfast for your dream, fueled by your love, what’s false dissolves and what’s left is the beautiful truth of who you are and how life wants to shine its glory through you in the New Year."

May we always be able to distinguish between what is "safe" and "unsafe..." as I welcome and lovingly embrace the new 2012 ME...

And my son is only all too happy to watch the snow and wait for mommy to be finished with her writing....