Like Something the Cat Dragged In…





The Bat Chick (left) The Rock Fairy (right) and kiddie talk show host Totally Lauren (middle)


Let me say right off that I have nothing of any substance to convey to you this week. I’m recovering from a head cold that my wonderful kids gifted me so I’m giving myself the week off from any attempt to produce something of quality. But I still wanted to talk to ya… Read more

Maybe Everything That Dies, Someday Comes Back.


I remember the day I got sent home from a job for being a lousy salesperson. It was 1986 and I had a sales job in Phoenix. I was general manager of the business and I was doing pretty good, although I was working  7 days a week, 12 to 13 hours a day.

I went into a sales slump. All of a sudden Read more

Please Look Into My Eyes….

A number of years ago I did a self-development seminar called the Landmark Forum. It was a life changing experience for me but it’s  not for everyone.

One of the exercises we did during the seminar was to stand across from another person and look into their eyes for five minutes without saying anything. When the exercise was announced, I heard someone sitting behind me say “What a stupid exercise. I look into people’s eyes all day long, I don’t need to pay to do it in a seminar.”

I’d never done this sort of exercise but I thought it might be interesting. Well, it was a lot more interesting than I thought.

I stood across from my parter in the exercise and looked into their eyes. Immediately, a conversation started in my head, and it went something like this:

 “God, this is wierd, I don’t even know this person and now I’m staring into their eyes. This is a little embarrassing. I wonder what they think about me. Geez, I hope I don’t have any eye boogers. Should I smile? If I start to smile, but then I might start laughing. That wouldn’t be cool because they might think I was laughing at them. Now they’re smiling at me. What does that mean? How much time has passed? When do we break for lunch?”

Some people did start laughing,  little nervous laughs. Then some people started crying, one of whom was the woman who thought the exercise was stupid.

The conversation in my head started to quiet down. I stopped thinking about me and started to think about them. What were they like? What did they do? I thought I saw some sadness in their eyes. What happened?

Then something very interesting happened. The conversation in my head stopped and I found myself with another human being. Not doing, not talking, just being with them. Without knowing any of the details of their life, I realized that I knew everything about them that I needed to know. I felt connected with them, and it felt comfortable, and, well, good. It was an incredibly powerful experience.

When the exercise was over, the woman who complained shared her experience with the group. She said I wept because I realized I never look into anybody’s eyes. Even when I’m in front of someone, I’m never really with them.”

I’ve had the opportunity to do this exercise in workshops more than once and each time I’m blown away by the experience.

It makes me aware that many of us, myself included, have the tendency to go through the day in a way that is closed off  and sealed tight. Eyes averted, face stiff and hard. “Let’s get this over with asap” we say with our body language. Sometimes at networking events, when I shake someone’s hand they’re not even looking at me.

We come into contact every day with so many people but often it’s no more personal or meaningful than getting a soda out of a vending machine. Sometimes I’m aware of talking with my children without even looking at them and the talking is automatic. “yes, oh, that’s nice, yeah, uh huh, ok…”

 It takes courage to look in someone’s eyes because to do that you must reveal yourself. You let the other person in a little. You let them “see” you.  This is can be  threatening.

But when I remember to look into the eyes of another, then every contact is an opportunity for connection with another. You might think this would get exhausting, but the amazing thing is that it gives me energy, a feeling of lightness. I acknowledge them, and they, me.

When I stop what I’m doing and look into the eyes of my children, I become present to their innocence, their beauty and their incredible aliveness. And I get some of that for myself.

We’re all trying to feel better. Be happier. Trying to feel less isolated in the solitary but cramped spaces of our minds.

Try this just for today: look into the eyes of each person you come into contact with. See what comes up. Discomfort? Self consciousness?  Maybe you’re already good at connecting with people in this manner. If so, then notice how many people have trouble meeting your gaze.

If we could learn to look  into each other’s eyes with respect, acceptance and compassion, then we just might see the soul behind those windows. Then perhaps we would see each other for who we really are: vast, infinite, limitless and magnificent.

If you liked this post, please leave a comment and/or share it with your social networks.

 Ted A. Moreno

Personal/Small Business Coach
Certified Hypnotherapist                                                                       
 (626) 826-0612

Life is Hard but That Doesn’t Mean That You Suck.

One day many years ago, I was packing up my clothes to move out of a house that I had been renting with a girlfriend. We were breaking up and  I was deeply depressed. This scenario had happened all too often in my life, another failed relationship. The effort it took to pack up my stuff felt crushing and immense. At one point I sat on my bed, despondent,  and unable to continue.

Just at that moment the phone rang. It was a healer, an older woman who I had been seeing for some physical problems. Hearing the anguish in my voice, she asked me what was wrong.  I told her and finished with a pleading and desperate question: “This is not the first time this has happened, what is wrong with me?”

She said, “There is nothing wrong with you, dear.  We all have certain challenges that we must deal with. Life is hard sometimes, but you’ll get through this.” I did get through it, and I moved into a happier and more peaceful place, both literally and emotionally.

Life is hard sometimes.  But here’s the important thing to remember: Just because life is hard doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you.

There is a book by David Richo called The Five Things We Cannot Change ( and the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them.)  The five things are:

  1. Everything changes and ends.
  2. Things do not always go according to plan.
  3. Life is not always fair.
  4. Pain is a part of life.
  5. People are not loving and loyal all the time.

So much insanity and deep unhappiness comes from believing  that life should be different from what it is. And when it doesn’t turn out  the way we think it should, it’s easy to feel that we are completely to blame.  We can be so invested in “doing it right” and “looking good” that when we fall short of our own or other’s expectations we make it mean that there is something wrong with us, that we are no good, or that we are in need of fixing.

What does it mean when life is painful, when the plan falls apart, when people betray you? Well, first and foremost, it means you’re alive and probably human. It might also mean that there are things you need to learn. Better choices you need to make. More careful planning. Greater consideration about  who you decide to associate with. How do you learn this stuff? Well, mainly by screwing up. Life’s a joker, ain’t she?

I don’t feel too bad when my car breaks down and I’m unable to fix it on my own.  It’s not a skill I’ve acquired and I’m not really interested in learning.  But when the money is not coming in as fast as I want or need, the “I suck” conversation comes up pretty quick! But it doesn’t mean that I suck, it just means I need to learn more about creating wealth. I can be OK with that, and then make the choice to learn. But it’s hard to be OK with “I’m not earning what I think I should earn, so there must be something wrong with me”.

Once we accept that life is hard, once we accept and embrace the five things we cannot change, then the only question is “What am I going to do about it?” It’s a much better question than “What is wrong with me?” or “Why is this happening to me?”

Of course, you can always answer the question “What am I going to do about it?’ with “Nothing! That’s why I suck!” or I don’t know how.., I can’t.., I’m afraid..,It’s too hard… But these responses are not very empowering.

Let me suggest some powerful responses to the question “What am I going to do about it?” when life gets hard.

  • I’ll do what I can do.
  • I can’t do anything, so I’ll accept that this is going to be tough and I’ll just get tougher.
  • I can’t do anything, so I’ll just have myself a good cry and carry on.
  • Nothing. I choose powerfully to do nothing until I choose to do something. I’m willing to accept the consequences of doing nothing.
  • Who can I ask for help?
  • How can I learn to deal with this effectively?
  • A challenge! Cool. I love challenges.
  • What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.
  • Life is getting hard. Interesting. I’ll use this experience to: write my blog/song/book/paint my masterpiece/help other people going through what I’m going through. 
  • Are you kidding? I’m a frickin’ Master of the Universe! These puny challenges are nothing compared to the stuff that’s going to come up when I really get rolling.

Life will be hard sometimes regardless of what you believe about yourself. However, if deep down inside you carry the belief that you are up to dealing with life when it gets hard, then you can turn “Life is hard” into “That’s life”.

If you liked this post, please leave a comment and/or share it with your social networks.


p.s. If you’re stuck out on the limb of “life is hard/there’s something wrong with me”, give me a call and I’ll talk you down with a free half hour phone coaching session.  (This is in line with the powerful response “Who can I ask for help?”) This offer is for the first five people who call or email.

 Ted A. Moreno
Personal/Small Business Coach
Certified Hypnotherapist                                                                       
 (626) 826-0612

Answering Your Questions about Teds Tips for Transformation

I have had a number of people asking me questions such as what is the difference between your blog and your newsletter, why are some words underlined and in color, where do you get those cool pictures? These questions are usually asked by people that are new computer users. I’m happy to respond to these questions.

My blog is what I post at I create a new post usually once a week. My newsletter sends out by email whatever I have posted over the past week. Some people get my blog via Twitter, some see it on Facebook and some see it on LinkedIn. If you are not currently receiving my email newsletter you can subscribe at

If you see words underlined and in different colors like above, that means that if you clink on the word it will take you to another website. If you click on the graphic it will take you to the site where I got the graphic.

Feel free to ask any questions or make any comments regarding what I write.


p.s. Oh, I almost forgot. Some people ask why I call myself TMan, insinuating that I think that I am some kind of superhero. Although I believe we all have incredible superpowers, I have been called TMan for many years. Other nicknames are Ted the Fred, Tedster, Tedley, Ted- a- roni, Tedamundo, T the Flea, and T Marini. You can see why I prefer TMan, the T standing, of course, for “Transformation”.

Best Wishes for a Happy New Year!

I hope you’re having a wonderful Holiday Season so far. Mine has been busy, busy, busy.

I’m going to give myself a little break this week. Here’s wishing you a very Happy  and Prosperous New Year. Thank you for reading my newsletter. Tune in next week for the “Key to Sucess”…..when we  talk again in 2010.

Good Grief! The Holiday Blues

I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel.

When I was in 6th grade I was chosen to play Charlie Brown in my school’s production of  “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.  Unless you are from another planet, then you know that Charlie Brown is the lovable loser of the famous comic strip “Peanuts”. In a Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown finds himself depressed with the approach of Christmas despite all the decorations, cards and presents.

As fate would have it, I was chosen in the 7th grade to play the Grinch in our school’s production of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” Unless you’ve been living in a cave all your life, you may be familiar with the story of the Grinch, a bitter, cave dwelling creature who lives on the top of Mt Crumpit and who looks down on the residents of Whoville with distaste and envy as they prepare for Christmas.

I don’t know whether it was my incredible ability to transform myself into any character (probably not) or my own somewhat cynical nature even as a kid (probably), but my experience in the past with the holidays has been similar to those two characters. I’d either get annoyed by the commercialization of the season or I’d look with disdain on those that started to scurry around right after Thanksgiving, gathering gifts and decorations like squirrels gathering nuts. In other words, I would pretty much get a case of the Holiday Blues each winter.

Like Charlie Brown, I’d muddle through each season with melancholy and/or aggravation, or like the Grinch, I’d simply refuse to participate. Maybe I thought I would be able to steal Christmas and stop it from coming by staying perched on my mountain of cynicism. But come it did. Either way, I simply did not enjoy the holidays or look forward to them coming.

There really wasn’t anything in my life to be depressed about. I almost always managed to get home to be with my parents and 7  siblings,  never had anything tragic happen during the holidays, and always had enough money to buy some token gifts. However, I knew many people who could not say the same.

Anyway, it was in the last few days of the 90s, December 25th, 1999, that I found myself sitting  in the Saguaro National Park outside Tucson, Arizona.  It was one of those few years that I didn’t make it back to LA. I had hiked into the desert on that  clear, sunny morning to sit in the warm sun and just be by myself. At first, it felt strange that I wasn’t  hanging out with some friends, or maybe even in church. But you know what? Sitting there in that magnificent desert felt more peaceful to me than any church.

I realized then that I had a choice, that I could make the holidays mean whatever I wanted them to mean, or ignore them completely if I chose. I also realized that if I wanted to feel cynical or depressed, well, that was my choice as well. The reality was that I was indeed very fortunate to be sitting there in that desert in the first place, that I had someone to call if I wanted to, and that I really did had nothing to complain about. I made the decision then and there to quit playing the Holiday Blues and find a new tune.

Perhaps you are out of work. Maybe you’ve lost someone dear to you at this time of the year. Perhaps you are suffering from other challenges, either emotional, physical or financial. If so, try to realize that there are many different ways you can play it, if the song you are hearing is doing nothing for you.

You can create your own meaning about this time of year, one that resonates with you. You can create your own traditions. Or not. It’s your life, play your own music, what you hear deep down inside. Get some alone time, get yourself some peace. If you need help, call me.  Or click on this link and dance the Snoopy Dance, if nothing else.


What is Lost, What is Gained?

 I was checking out You Tube  one evening last week, watching Joni Mitchell play “A Case Of You”.  A song of incredible sadness and vulnerability, it speaks of lost love and the pain of letting go. The raw honesty and the craftsmanship of the song’s album, “Blue“, made it a commercial and critical success and helped establish Mitchell as one of the most influential singer songwriters of the late 20th century.

I stayed up late into the night watching videos;  from 1965,  Joni Anderson, before she became Mitchell, on a Canadian hootenany show, Let’s Sing Out, in black and white, fresh faced, a young girl on the verge of realizing a dream. In another, more recent video, a much older Mitchell in front of an orchestra singing “Both Sides Now“, her trademark falsetto gone now, and in it’s place, the smoky and husky voice of age and experience. I wondered how it felt for her to sing this song about  perspective, 30 years after she penned it. Perhaps she felt more keenly the truth of her lyrics that “something’s lost but something’s gained”.

As I continued wading into the video past of 70’s singer- songwriters, (yes I am aging myself, that’s kind of the point) I came across a live version of James Taylor and Mitchell singing a duet on Taylor’s “You Can Close Your Eyes“. A few more clicks and there’s a video of one of James Taylors early television appearances; young, almost adolescent, a full head of hair, wispy moustache, looking like someone needs to give him a good meal. He sings “There’s a song that they sing when they take to the highway, a song that they sing when they take to the sea“.  His journey takes him through self commitment to a mental institution and 18 years of heroin addiction. He talks about this in another video; he is balding, lines in his face, in the sunset of his career. “I should have died  four or five times” he says. Next, I’m watching videos of Sting and Allison Krause playing at a James Taylor tribute. Would there have been a tribute if he had not experienced what he did?

These are songs I grew up with, and they made me think about my own journey. Closing down my computer close to 1 a.m., I went outside to my backyard, stood in the full moon’s glow and thought about my travels as a single guy. I remembered playing my guitar alone in a cabin in Montana, in the shadow of the Continental Divide. I recalled  partying and dancing joyfully with fellow members of a theater group, at the director’s house in Bisbee, accompanied by whatever  we could find,  egg shakers, bongo drums, claves.  In my mind’s eye I looked down from the top of Wasson Peak on solitary monsoon  clouds drifting across the Tucson basin  like air ships floating over a desert sea.

Other memories came to me as well, not as pleasant. Sitting in a Civil War battlefield in Petersburg, Virginia, miserably unhappy, wondering why the hell I was so far from home.  I understood then why someone would want to kill themself. I thought of standing on the mall at the University of Arizona, watching the same moon, cold and alone.

I went inside my house and checked on my sleeping children, and laid down in bed next to my sleeping wife. I missed my carefree life, playing music, hiking, travelling.  It’s true that something is lost there, in time and age, but so much more is gained.  Maybe more valuable than what you lost, if you can choose it to give it to yourself.

The song that you sing when you take to the highway is not the song you sing when you take to your plow.  On the highway there is exploration, out in the fields you work, decision. There’s an intention there to create, to plant a seed, to stick around and nurture it and to see what you can harvest, even if you don’t feel like it. Transformation can happen in an instant, I have seen it, but most of the time it is a slow process, sometimes painful, almost always messy, as we struggle out of the skin of what we are comfortable with and into  what are becoming.

To move forward you must let go, and it’s not easy and sometimes it’s not pretty. Change will happen with or without you, but transformation, that is, change into who you want to be, that requires intention, focus, energy, and a willingness to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. If you are lucky you can make it happen. If you are luckier it may happen to you.