More from and about
Leslie Levine
(biographical info at bottom of page)

  

I have collected friends over a lifetime, friends who many not know what movies I've seen or even the length of my hair. But they know other things, things that transcend the miles that separate us and the years that compose our history.

   

Why is play so elusive for some grown-ups?  Because we are so strongly attracted and attached to a profoundly goal-oriented, work-ethic-driven society.  Like other forms of nonwork, play connotes wastefulness, a stoppage in the way of what needs to get done.  Yet often what really needs to get done has more to do with our hearts and spirits and less to do with a deadline or longstanding project.  Play beckons to us, urging us to live in the present moment, a moment that becomes more luminous when we disallow interruptions like work and worry.

      
As adults, we tend to overthink and overanalyze. We also forget to pay attention.  Before we know it, an opportunity is gone. A friend gets tired of waiting for you to respond to an invitation. Your child's impromptu, after-dinner performance can't compete with your need to clean up the kitchen. In the business world, opportunities come and go in a heartbeat. . . . Certainly, careful examination is essential in many situations. But it's not always possible to know what's around the next corner.
  
Then winter arrives, and for many this marks the beginning of a long wait until the first robin appears or the quietest crocus peeks out of the softening ground. Yet winter is not without its beauty. On a sunless day, the grays merge to form a somber and peaceful landscape.  Think of the silhouette of a leafless tree. Its leafy abundance may be missing, but its beauty is still intact. For me, winter often serves up a wellspring of precious childhood memories packed with hours of sledding and big mugs of marshmallow- and whipped-cream-topped hot chocolate. What can you remember? How about a few magnificent snow days spent playing outdoors?
   

It's important to give yourself a gold star. Recognizing your achievements--big and small--is an important part of honoring who you are. Gold stars have the powerful effect of undermining and dethroning all the critical stuff you've heard about yourself.

     

Beauty is so abundant; even if it's not within immediate reach,
it's not hard to find. Indeed, it may be right in front of your nose,
something you take for granted until someone else points it out.

   

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I don't know if you can live inside each and every moment. But when you can, try
to stop, look, and listen long enough to be right where you are, not in your past,
not in your future. Just right in the middle of a split second in time.

   

A few years ago, I sat on my son's bedroom floor folding some baby clothes
that he'd outgrown. I could feel the sadness and regret creeping in, but
I wanted so badly to feel OK about the passage of time. I quickened my pace
to push the pain away. I wanted the moment to be over. Suddenly, though,
I looked up and notices a very blue sky staring down through the window. Just
feel it, I said to myself, as I slowed down, trying to focus on the task in front of me.
I held a shirt close to my face and inhaled as deeply as I could. My heart seemed to
crack and fill up at the same time as feelings of hope and loss collided right there in
a pile of little boy's old clothes. When I finally got up to leave the room, I wasn't
sad anymore. Instead, I thought about the miraculous growth of a child, whose
shirt size is less about loss and more about the gift of life itself.

   

When you make the decision to look at. . . your own life and the way
you think about it, you do something courageous. You dare to be yourself.
It may be terrifying to search inward, particularly when it's so easy to look
over someone else's shoulder. After all, when you peer inside, it's hard to
know if you've made the correct choice. What if the answers are wrong?
What if you don't know enough? But even if someone else's answers are
right, they may not be right for you. Making the distinction may not always
be easy, but once you see the benefits, you'll develop more faith
in what's inside your own heart.

   
    
I am a writer, speaker, and public relations professional.  As a publicist, I've helped many individuals and organizations create, polish, and promote their images to a wide range of media with placements in national and local radio, TV, and print publications.  Iíve taught writing and lectured extensively through various programs sponsored by many different organizations. I've also been on radio and TV, including the Today Show, CBS This Morning, and Fox News.  Plus, I am the PR blogger for Allbusiness.com.

Also, Iím the author of three nonfiction books, including Will This Place Ever Feel Like Home? Simple Advice for Settling In After You Move (McGraw-Hill), Ice Cream for Breakfast: If You Follow All the Rules, You Miss Half the Fun (McGraw-Hill), and Wish It, Dream It, Do It: Turn the Life Youíre Living into the Life You Want (Simon & Schuster).  Plus, Iím a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

Iím currently at work on a novel (revise, revise, revise) and will keep you posted on my progress.

I earned a B.A. in English/Humanities from Ohio Wesleyan University, an M.S. in technical writing from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and an M.B.A. in marketing from Marymount University of Virginia.  I also spent time as a substitute teacher, but basically my school days are over.  Of course whenever Iím asked to speak to a group of students I am always delighted though walking through the halls of any high school still makes me nervous.

  

  

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