What Happens When You Dream

Over six years ago, I walked into a room that would change my life forever. My parents had just taken a 30-hour personal development course, and could not stop raving about it. When I heard that my dad, my stoic, reserved dad, cried during this course I had to check it out.

I’ve assisted at The Living Course (TLC) every single time since my initial course, and I learn so much about myself and humanity during these intense hours (after you take the course once, you can come back to every course afterward for free!). One of the focuses of the course is realizing a dream that is bigger than yourself; a dream that can guide your decisions and instill your life with purpose. The second time I assisted at the course, I told a room full of people that I was going to create an artist’s colony where creative people can learn from each other and support each other.

As soon as I proclaimed this dream I realized I had no idea how I would achieve it, and I didn’t even know where it came from. Mind you, this was years before I started The Heso Project (but the course was one of the reason why I started The Heso Project). TLC gave me an environment that was so supportive, so loving, and so energetic that it allowed me to tap into an intuitive part of myself that I never heard before.

T4Years go by and I’m constantly recognizing lessons from TLC popping up in my life, but the dream I had announced didn’t seem to stick. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I realized I was taking huge steps toward that dream I put into words during the course. The Writers Work Conference is a supportive and nurturing space for creative people. I am now setting up a retreat for writers in the Catskills for this winter, and a reading in Manhattan for emerging authors this November. These are concrete steps toward the dream of creating an artist’s colony.

I’m so grateful to The Living Course for asking me to find my dream, giving me the support to go after it, and helping me to unburden my past. The world would be so much more passionate, nurturing, and fun if everyone took this course. I hope you will be the next person to enroll. The next course is Nov. 7-9 in Rye, New York. If you sign up by Oct. 15, you’ll get $100 off! If the price tag scares you, I ask you to take a moment and really question how much you are worth. You deserve to spend that much money on yourself. You deserve this course!

When Will It Stop?

When will you stop making excuses and start making changes?

When will you stop letting your childhood fears control you and start letting your adult dreams guide you?

When will you stop living in protection and start living in possibility?


The next TLC course is set for March 14-16 in Tarrytown, NY.

People ask me how I have the guts to try things out like Brutal First Impressions or travel without any plans, and the answer is TLC created a safe environment for me to tap into and develop facets of my personality that I didn’t even know were there. Any time I leave my comfort zone, I call on the tools I learned from TLC and suddenly it becomes easy to take risks and live the life I want.

You’re going to sign up for the next course because:

  • You deserve it.
  • You are too smart to keep running into the same problems.
  • You know you have a wealth of potential and you have only begun to tap it.
  • You are curious and you know that sometimes you just need to take a chance.

Stop putting it off. Sign up now.

And if you don’t believe me, here’s what one of the amazing students said about the last course:

It’s hard for me to believe that 5 short months ago I was a very different person. Don’t get me wrong- I was the fun Diane I still am today but my heart was heavy & filled with unspoken anger & bitter disappointments in where my life had been & where it was going.

By all appearances I had an amazing life & was fortunate to have the resources to go places & do what I wanted. But it wasn’t enough for me. I was lacking true happiness in spite of my charmed life. I had a tremendous amount of anger deep inside that had been building for so long it scared me. I never knew when or how it was going to surface. Worst of all, I didn’t know who was going to bear the brunt of my anger. I never felt worthy of true love.

I came to a TLC weekend on the recommendation of a good friend who had been through the course. It took me awhile to commit. I thought I didn’t really need it. How could a weekend with a group of strangers change my life? I knew I was stuck in a pattern of behaviors that were no longer serving me- in fact, they never did. Doing the same thing the same way & expecting different results is pure insanity so I committed to going for the September class in 2013.

It’s impossible to put into words what TLC has done for me. I consider that weekend to be my real “birthday” as my eyes were opened & I discovered a new way to live my life. I have never been happier. People in my life wanted to know what was different about me after that weekend. “You are glowing!” “Did you lose weight?”(my personal favorite!!) “What’s different about you? Did you get a new haircut?” I am excited to share TLC with whomever will listen. But honestly, you need to experience it. It will change your life for the better. I know because it did for me. Thank you to my TLC family & friends for your unconditional love & support. You are all a shining example of the good that is possible in this world. 

The 4 best hugs of my life

Atom Structure

I can still remember the moment my high school chemistry teacher, Mr. Moffit, explained that electrons can leave one atom and enter another atom. I couldn’t believe everyone else was just sitting there calmly, taking notes. Did they not understand what he just said? I stared at my pencil, imagining the contents of the pencil and the contents of my hand flowing back and forth. If our atoms didn’t respect their boundaries, where did I end and the pencil begin? I looked at the most popular girl in the room and wondered if we were sharing any electrons. I wondered if any of the electrons that ended up in my atoms had ever been to Mars. That chemistry lesson was probably the most profound thing I learned in high school because it taught me that we are all truly connected even if we can’t see it.

A hug is the perfect physical representation of that idea. If done right, you can feel yourself becoming a part of the other person. Here are the four best hugs I’ve ever been a part of:

  1. IMG_8075I started going to Nicaragua when I was 12 years old to help build houses and schools with an organization called Bridges to Community. On one particular trip I really connected with a mom who was receiving the house we were building. I can’t remember her name, but I can still remember the hug. At first it was just a polite good-bye hug, but then she held me tighter, and I could feel myself letting go of any notions that we were separate. Although we had very different lives I had never felt closer to anyone before. We hugged for a long long time, crying mostly.
  2. CIMG0064On our second date, Mike took me to the county fair in Middlesex, NJ. It was an incredible night, and when the last train arrived, we held on to each other, not wanting the night to end. I knew then that I wasn’t ever going to stop hugging him…and now we’re getting married and no train schedule is ever going to keep us apart 😛
  3. At every Defy Ventures event we start off the evening with ten bear hugs. First we look into one another’s eyes, say the person’s name, and one thing we love about them. Then we hug. In prison, these men learned that it wasn’t safe to touch anyone. For years they went without any physical contact. This is a huge part of the healing process. For the volunteers, it’s a great reminder that these men have feelings, insecurities, and needs – the opposite of how they are normally portrayed in society: scary, unpredictable villains.
  4. I can’t pinpoint the best hug I’ve received during all the TLC courses I’ve taken because they’re all so heartfelt and unguarded. Research shows that eight hugs a day releases oxytocin and lowers blood pressure. I definitely get a year’s worth of hug benefits in those three days.

Here are some tips on giving a great hug:

  1. Don’t pat the person’s back. It makes them feel like a baby getting burped, and it also feels like nervous fidgeting.
  2. Don’t be the first to pull away.
  3. Try to breathe in and out at the same pace as the person you’re hugging.

Wow another 2 day deal!

I’m all about discounts, and here’s one that’s priceless.

I talk a lot about The Living Course (TLC) because it had a huge impact on my life. In three days you’ll gain a whole new perspective of your life. It’s challenging, eye-opening, and most importantly, empowering. This is not a course to take when you feel like your life is a mess. This course is for intelligent, competent people who feel like their life can be better.

When I first heard about it, I thought it sounded ridiculous. I went to art school where self-reflection is a part of the curriculum. I knew what my problems were, but I also knew that there was no way I was going to solve them in 3 days. And the course was so expensive (almost $800!).

By the time I left, I knew exactly what I needed to do to make myself truly happy. The problems I thought I had seemed so superficial – they were all just symptoms of much deeper problems that I never recognized until I took the course. I look at all the changes in my life since the course, and I can’t believe I ever thought that I wasn’t worth $800. I would pay that on a professional development course, so why not on a personal development course? YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Since I took the course (almost 5 years ago), I’ve assisted with 6 more courses. I’m still surprised by how it works with so many different people. I’ve seen brain surgeons, unemployed actors, housewives, principals, stockbrokers, you name it, they’ve all taken the course and they’ve all said that they wish they took it sooner.

If you live in the New York area, even if you live hours away, TAKE THE COURSE! If you sign up by tomorrow you can save $95! The course runs from Oct. 12-14 and it’s in White Plains.

Don’t over think it. If any part of you says this sounds interesting, sign up immediately, or else you’ll talk yourself out of it. Don’t let fear stop you from living your best life. SIGN UP TODAY!

I do not work for TLC, I don’t get paid to do this. My only reward is watching people change their lives, and knowing that I had just the tiniest part of it!

Three Reasons Why My Body Is Smarter Than My Brain.

I’ve been running two to three times a week for over a year now and I’m a huge fan of the positive effects. Not on my waistline – that hasn’t changed much – but on my mentality. One thing running has shown me time and time again is that my brain has no idea what is possible. Here’s the proof:

1. For years I thought I couldn’t break a 10 minute mile. I’d feel like sh*t at that pace so I didn’t bother pushing myself to go faster. Last night I decided, oh what the hell, I’ll just run a half mile at an 8 minute pace. After four minutes I decided, heck, I’ve gone this far I might as well see how much more I can do. I finished the mile in 8 minutes and 10 seconds. Take that brain!

2. For years I thought I couldn’t run more than 2 miles. A few weekends ago I decided every Saturday I would just run for 45 minutes straight at whatever pace I could handle. I’ve been running four miles consistently since then. I guess I thought wrong again.

3. Whenever I think I can’t go any further I increase the speed on the treadmill. This is a trick my dad taught me when I was a kid. Always sprint the last quarter. It reminds your brain that it has no idea what your body can actually handle.

One thing I’ve learned from TLC, is that we often think we are living our lives at 100% when in actuality we’re living at 20% or 50% at best. I am constantly reminded of this when I run. I always think I’m giving it my all, but that’s simply not the case. Imagine what we could do if we really pushed ourselves in all aspects of life; If we stopped letting our brains say, “that’s impossible.”

We are so much more capable than we think.

All You Ever Need to Know

Look into this baby’s eyes. Could you ever say or do  anything to hurt him? No, it’s impossible. This baby deserves to be loved and protected.

Every single person starts off just as beautiful, innocent,and magnificent. They deserve to be loved and protected. They deserve to be treated like a precious gift. However, as we grow up we do get hurt. Sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally, but nevertheless, it’s never warranted.

We figure out how to survive; how to go through life without getting hurt. Sometimes our defenses help us but other times it keeps us from getting close to others. And usually our defenses end up hurting other people even if we don’t realize it. Hurt people hurt people.

If you can look into a person’s eyes and forget about who you think they are now, and just see the beautiful, innocent, magnificent being that’s inside them I guarantee you’ll treat them differently.

Now if you can recognize this innocent beauty inside of you, it’s possible to stop criticizing and doubting yourself. Imagine how different we would all treat each other if we did this.

How can you not love her???

Find a picture of yourself where you can see how happy and innocent you were as a child, and keep it in your wallet. I started doing this, and every now and then I look at it and remember that I need to take care of myself, and that I need to show as much love towards everyone else. I’d highly recommend it.

This is one of the lessons I learned from The Living Course. I took this course 4 years ago and it had a profound impact on my life. I’ve assisted with 6 courses since then, and I still get so much out of it. I first came up with the HeSo Project during a TLC course when I realized how little I think about what would fulfill my heart and soul.

I wish everyone could experience the joy and self-empowerment that this course brings into the lives of everyone who takes it. If you live near New York or Michigan I urge you to take the course. I know the world will be a much better place if everyone could do it!

The Living Course

This past weekend I had the honor of assisting in The Living Course (TLC). I was a student in this course three and a half years ago, and I’ve never been the same. Before that course I was afraid of taking risks, and having a serious relationship – right afterward I signed up for and met Mike (one of the best people in my life) and I moved out of my parents house.

This was my 5th time assisting and I realized that TLC has become my anchor in life, and has helped me make the big and difficult decisions that make my life the way I want it to be. It’s only a three day course, but I’ve seen people’s lives change right before my eyes. It lets you see what you’re doing to prevent yourself from having the life you want and deserve. I made the decision to quit my job at the last course, and at this course I met someone who I want to work with in the future.

After I got back from Spain, just  a week ago, I felt stuck. I kept thinking I would take time to figure out what my next job move would be before going to Spain, and then when I’d get back I could get started. But after Spain I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. I felt disappointed in myself. But I decided there’s no point in putting myself down about it because then you turn inwards and I needed to stay open and ready. So here’s a good story about staying open to opportunities:

While having dinner during the course I was sitting with a few women, and one named Amy was talking about an episode of Oprah from five years ago that she’s never been able to erase off her DVR. I told her that that show really effected me too. It was about The Challenge Day when a high school shut down for the day and did exercises to build trust, vulnerability, commonality, and forgiveness  among the high school students. I loved it so much that I tried to do it with my middle school students (I was a student teacher at the time). Although they were a little too young for that work I think they still got a lot out of it. I forgot about the show, but as soon as Amy started talking about it I got almost giddy. Then she said she always wanted to do a course like that but she didn’t have any support. Before thinking I said, “I’ll help you.”

She then continued to talk about how hard it is to follow your dreams when you don’t have any help. That’s when someone else at the table said, “Didn’t you hear Tracy offer you help?” Amy paused and said no. This happens all the time. We’re so busy thinking of how hard something will be that we ignore potential help. I was guilty too. As soon as I offered my help, and she continued talking I just nodded my head and agreed with her about how hard it is to get support instead of insisting that I’ll be her support. It let me off the hook, but in reality I didn’t want to be off the hook, because this is something I believe in. So now Amy and I are making plans to bring this program to the schools in our area. Even writing this on my blog scares me because now I have to follow through. But that’s why I need to write it down, because I want to follow through. And I’m super excited!

As soon as we start to talk about what we want people want to help. And then the crucial part is to listen, because people are offering their help all the time, but we ignore it because it’s easier to complain rather than do something. Have you ignored someone’s help? Today I dare you to tell someone about something you want to do that you can’t do by yourself. I bet you anything that person will offer to help you. And do yourself a favor. Believe that their offer is genuine because it probably is.