What Will Your Greatest Accomplishment Be? (Revisited)

One of my long-time heroes, the renowned feminist activist, Ms. Gloria Steinem, recently celebrated her 80th birthday, and it got me thinking about something I posted last summer. It was about the time I had the privilege of meeting Ms. Steinem at the University of Connecticut Women’s Center. You see, I helped found the Women’s Center back in the 70’s, and when great things happen there I can’t help but smile (and often jump at the chance to be part of them). This event was particularly exciting, though, because Ms. Steinem was appearing as their keynote speaker. During her talk…

Read More »


The False Choice: Our Calling and Our Income

Last week, I talked about challenging ourselves to be brave. You shared a lot of beautiful responses and dreams – everything from learning to dance to leaving your agency to open a practice. Your stories and goals are inspiring to me. There’s so much each of us has to contribute to the world, and yet it’s easy to allow issues of bravery or other limiting beliefs to hold us back. Our limiting beliefs can be about anything that has to do with our identity or potential, but today I want to focus on one tricky area in particular: money. Ask…

Read More »


Hello, I am calling from England

This is part two of the mini-series of blog posts I’ve asked Bill O’Hanlon to do on how he got started on the speaker circuit.  This is the story about Bill’s first opportunity to speak internationally. At this point, he’s spoken in 24 different countries throughout the world, but everybody has got to start somewhere . . . In the early 1980s, I wanted the whole field to know about Erickson’s approach. I was sitting in my farmhouse in Nebraska, excitedly reading yet another book on the work of the late psychiatrist Milton H. Erickson, with whom I had studied…

Read More »


Guest Blog: “I can do better than that!” An Experienced Speaker Looks Back

I’ve asked Bill O’Hanlon to do a mini-series of blog posts on how he got started on the speaker circuit.  Today, we know Bill as a very successful speaker – but he wasn’t always . . . The way I began teaching workshops was perhaps a little strange. I got angry. I was just learning about a new approach created by Bandler and Grinder, later to be called NLP. I had read a book about it and gone to one of their workshops. When a well-known Gestalt psychiatrist came to Tucson, a two-hour drive from my Phoenix-area home base, to…

Read More »


Public Speaking: the Stage Fright Phenomenon

Within certain circles I have a nickname: “Ruth the Reluctant.” I seemed to have earned this while trying to decide whether to accept an invitation to give a talk at a very large upcoming conference of psychotherapists. Besides wealth and fame, there are many advantages to being on the speaker circuit – building your practice, positioning yourself as an expert, boosting sales for your book, among so many more. And while many practitioners would jump at the chance to speak in a large venue, there are those of us (I know I can’t be the only one) who need to…

Read More »