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Celebrating Life and Love

by Donna Steinhorn on April 5, 2013

I was writing a blog on perfectionism, and then my mother died.

It’s not like it was unexpected. She’d been ailing and deteriorating since she broke her first hip in October. But mom was a miracle woman by her own declaration. She had survived so much: the Nazi’s and concentration camp, losing all her family, the communists, starting all over yet again in the US with no family of her own. Caring for dad through his heart attacks and Alzheimer’s. And so many bouts with illness of her own. But through it all she maintained her sense of humor.

As we sat in her living room after the funeral, the parts of her I did not know — those that belonged to other people — unfolded for me. I heard story after story about her kindness. How she always gave advice and how they learned to take it unquestioningly in the face of both her determination and it’s impact on their lives. How kind she was. And most of all how wise she was.

I learned how she’d seen patterns in concentration camp that allowed her time after time to miraculously escape “selection.” How she gave and gave, and refused to take. How she didn’t judge people. And how much she loved me, and the rest of her family. And story after story. Funny ones, inspiring ones. A view of her that I had not had. As we went through her photo albums, there were photos I had not seen in decades. I regret not having asked her more stories about them. I regret not writing down more stories. And the names of people. But of course, I thought we had more time. We always think that. But other than those regrets, I have none. We always said what we needed to say in the moment. And in the last few months in particular, I always let her know how much I loved her, even when I was exasperated with her.

Mom died in my arms.

I had been told by a few friends who had been down this path, that to have your parent die in your arms was an amazing experience. One described it as “radiant.” I admit I was skeptical, yet in the last hours of her life I didn’t want to leave her side. So I held her. And it was incredible and beautiful…the true meaning of Awesome. I will carry that with me all the rest of the days of my life.

She’s only been gone a few days. But already I find myself channeling her. Finding words come out of my mouth that were her words. Hearing her in my head. She was a remarkable woman; I am learning that more and more.

My son gave her eulogy and his message to the mourners, and to all of us really, was to love each other. To really know each other. To be grateful for the people we have in our lives.

This morning as I prepare to go back to her house for another day of mourning, I am really celebrating life. Celebrating my mom. And celebrating love. I welcome you to join me.


by Donna Steinhorn on November 14, 2011


You CAN lead the exceptional life you have dreamed about and enjoy the journey getting there. Whether you are in transition, stuck in a rut, or just want more joy and success, together we can identify your goals and the actions to get there personally and professionally. I love working with motivated people who are willing to take the steps necessary to make over their lives. The way I coach reflects my positive nature, sense of humor and rational approach to life. Together we can start creating the life you were meant to live.

Coaching will help you excavate your hidden gifts, strengthen your boundaries, get rid of the things you are tolerating, and then live life in a way that honors your values and meets your needs. You will begin to live life in a way you always wished for, but never thought was possible.

If what you want is to take an honest look at yourself: your flaws, your strengths, your dreams and goals. We can do that!

If what you want is to define success in YOUR way…not the world’s expectations…we can do that.

If you want more balance, more success, less stress, more joy, changes of all kinds…together…we can find that.

Can you do it yourself? Probably. Can you do it faster with a coach? Absolutely!

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What makes you want to change?

by Donna Steinhorn on August 12, 2011

[polldaddy poll=5403732]


In the beginning

by Donna Steinhorn on August 11, 2011

As babies in the womb, we live in a perfect environment.  Food on demand.  Climate control.  All our needs are instantaneously met. Once we come into this world, we begin an almost immediate search for perfect environments.  In the beginning, those environments are created for us.  Our rooms, what stories we are read, what and when we are fed, who we go on playdates with, what we learn in school.  Eventually we begin to design our own environments, choosing items for our rooms, picking our own books, selecting our own friends, choosing a major in college.  As our world continues to change, we adapt to the new environments.  We have only to observe the aged who have not kept up with technology to see how the failure to adapt constrains us.

Along the way, we create environments that support us in the lives we live, and those environments become familiar and comfortable.  Those environments….our relationships to people, possessions, surroundings, ideas and more can either hold us in place, or support us to grow.

Consciously or unconsciously, we design our environments to reflect how we think and feel.  All of these are part of our personal environments which we create to support us in the life we are living.  Many people have discussed environments as a way of choosing how you plan to live, including Julia Cameron and Thomas Leonard.  Our environments include:

  1. Your surroundings (or Physical Environment):  This includes your home, your car, your office, and nature.
  2. Your Relationships:  Family and Friends, Colleagues and Superiors, Clients and Customers
  3. Your Network: Acquaintances, larger circle of work relationships, people within organizations you belong to
  4. Your Environment of Ideas (or Memetic Environment):
  5. Your Spiritual Environment:
  6. Your Financial Environment
  7. Your Body and Health Environment:
  8. Your (inner) Self Environment:
  9. Your Career Environment
  10. Your Creativity Environment
  11. Your Leisure Environment
  12. Your Environment of Possessions
  13. Your Resource Environment

When you want to make a change in your life, you need to change at least some of our environments to support and nourish that change.Well designed (inner and outer) environments can naturally increase happiness, performance, and effectiveness and more, in effect, pulling us forward into the change we want to create.  Changing environments can support the vision and goals you have and changes you want to make.

The first step is to become aware of all your environments, determine which are and which are not working for you, and then design them to support the you that you want to become.

And that’s what the Personal Environments Project is about.