Sunday, June 28, 2009


Divorcee on Board: A New Form of Road Rage?
As Posted on FIRSTWIVESWORLD.COM by Deborah Mecklinger on Sun, 06/28/2009 - 11:57pm

Should there be a "Duty to Declare Divorce" to the Department of Motor Vehicles? Are the newly separated a danger to themselves and others when driving under the influence of divorce and its associated trauma? No doubt the onset of divorce is often akin to flying head-on into a Mack Truck, but does that mean you need to actually drive into one?

On a daily basis, clients share stories of their most recent fender benders, collisions and sometimes major accidents — all noted as a direct consequence of overwhelming distraction and their distraught state. In particular, men and women report that in the early stages of separation they encounter an out-of-body experience and have little recollection of how they got through their day, managed their children or performed their job.

They say that driving when fatigued is like driving while intoxicated. While it is difficult to attribute sleepiness to car accidents as there is no standardized test for fatigue like there is for intoxication, data shows that fatigue slows reaction time, decreases awareness and impairs judgment. The newly separated not only report inability to sleep and the ensuing fatigue but an overall feeling of emotional and physical exhaustion in the early stages of divorce or periods of extreme conflict.

So how do the newly separated get from point A to point B in their cars? Many have no idea. In fact, it is not uncommon for those in the throws of divorce to report locking keys in their car, driving in circles, passing their destination, forgetting where they are headed and getting lost on their way. Divorcing drivers have even commented that it was luck not presence of mind that allowed them to drive without incident.

If you or a loved one are driving under the influence of divorce consider the following strategies before getting behind the wheel:

1. Call a friend and ask for a ride. Finally, a way for someone waiting in the wings to be helpful.
2. Take a cab, public transit, or walk. Not only will you be safe, but you will have the opportunity to clear your head.
3. If you are going to drive, put your cell phone in the back seat. Resist all temptation to call your lawyer while driving, vent to a friend while at light or call your EX and rage. Eliminate an additional distraction.
4. Write down directions, get a map and put an extra set of car keys in your purse, pocket, office or other convenient location.
5. When you park the car, write down on a piece of paper the exact location of where you parked. Take the paper with you and pay attention to where you put it. Leave a pack of POST IT notes in the car to make this easy.
6. Make sure you are well rested and take a coffee, tea, or bottle of water along for the ride.
7. Never drive yourself to court. You are sure to be stressed to max on your way there only to be trumped by how you may feel on your way home. Follow 1 or 2.
8. The same can be said for driving to meetings with your lawyer.
9. If you feel like you are driving recklessly and cannot resist, give your car keys to a friend.
10. Slow down. Turn the music down. Turn the noise down. Turn the DVD player down and drive with extreme caution and care. Be aware of your distraction and focus.

If driving under the influence of divorce is on your radar, remember that it is not a chronic condition but rather a phase that can be navigated strategically and safely. At the very least, shake hands with your divorce distractions and your distress and drive with caution and care.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Big Night Out: Celebrating Big Brothers and Big Sisters......AS FIRST PUBLISHED ON WOMAN.CA

Big Night Out: Celebrating Big Brothers and Big Sisters
Friday, June 5, 2009 Posted in Career - Mentor Profiles
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Co-Host Debra McGrath Gets Personal with

altWhat's better than a big, beautiful summer night out of "pay-it-forward" fun with Deb McGrath and Colin Mochrie?

Generations of young Canadians have benefited from the tireless work of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto (BBBST).'s Career Section Columnist Deborah Mecklinger connects with Debra McGrath on this big festive occassion. The exclusive annual event took place June 4th 2009 at the Liberty Grand in Toronto. McGrath and her husband Colin Mochrie lent their talent as hosts of this spectacular event. The gala celebrates the organization’s stars – the adult volunteers and their Little Brothers and Sisters.

The dazzling event glittered with celebrities and paparazzi. Some of the stars that walked the red carpet in honor of BBST were: Michael Labinjo (Calgary Stampeders), Sony recording artist Eva Avila, ET Canada Host Cheryl Hickey, Recording Artist Sean Jones, Olympic champion Donovan Bailey, CFL Player Mike Labinjo and Gemini and Genie Award-Winning Canadian Director Peter Raymont. Honours Big Brothers Big Sisters

Our own Deborah Mecklinger meets the multi-faceted actress, comedienne, writer and performer extraordinaire over coffee.

There's only one problem, one cup of coffee is not enough – I now want Debra McGrath to be my friend and so would you. Deb is a woman’s woman. She's warm, engaging, real, intelligent, soulful, witty and anchored. Rooted in family, community, friends, marriage and motherhood – Debra takes all that to her writing, television and the stage. She also brought it to our meeting at Starbucks. Lucky me.

Among McGrath’s accomplishments are: Women Fully Clothed, Paradise Falls, Getting Along Famously and Little Mosque on The Prairie. Writer, director, actress and comedienne are only some of Deb’s hats. As local evidence of Debra’s talent, she recently received her star on the Scarborough Walk of Fame. Debra described the overwhelming emotion she experienced as she received this honor with her life-long friends, extended family, son and husband there to celebrate with her.

I decided to take the interview to a place that Google did not steer me to. McGrath, a very open and wise woman’s woman, was gracious enough to open up and share. Here are some words of wisdom we can all benefit from.

On living your best life: “Take a good look in the mirror and be so appreciative of your body and how it looks and how it feels and love what you see. I promise you will look back and say, why the hell didn’t I know how good I looked?”

On risk-taking: "Go for it, take chances. Don’t be afraid. Take risks. I do it now in my way and am no longer afraid of making a fool of myself. Don’t be afraid to fail, don’t play it safe – don’t settle for middle ground."

On happiness: "Give yourself permission to do what makes you happy. I am no longer doing anything in my life that makes me miserable, and if it does, I am getting out of it. I am doing what makes me happy.”

On friendship: “Surround yourself with those who bring something positive to your life. I have weeded out or been weeded out by those that don’t bring me pleasure or add to my life.”

On marriage: “I am proud to say that I have a stupendous marriage of quality and joy. We laugh all the time. Say what you like and don’t like, apologize, accept criticism if it is done constructively, do things together and change it up. A good marriage involves falling in love over and over again with the same person.”

On laughter: “Laugh at each other, laugh with each other and laugh at yourself.”

I left my meeting with McGrath feeling positive and empowered as she shared her approach to living her best life. I could think of no better woman to share the stage as host of the Big Night Out Gala than a woman who is a role model and mentor for learning how to live their best life. 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

SEE JANE LEAD....As First Posted on

Lois Frankel on Taking the Lead at Work

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Books to Boost Your Career

See Jane LeadWomen lead households, fundraising committees and the PTA. We plan weddings, surprise parties and family vacations. We can even lead our "school-phobic" children to the classroom with the precision, inspiration and conviction of a world class leader.  In her latest bookSee Jane Lead, The New York Times best  selling author teaches women how to utilize their innate ability to influence people to achieve their full potential in the workplace.

Author of  Nice Girls Don't Get RichNice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office and Stop Sabotaging Your Career, Dr. Frankel gets to the core of what holds women back from reaching their potential. Filled with advice, tools and strategies from positive female role models and successful business leaders, Frankel offers a blueprint consisting of 99 strategies to help women unleash their natural leadership skills.

Frankel explores the dated male model of "command-control" style of leadership, and contrasts it with the transformative and collaborative approach that comes naturally to women. Frankel explores how womens' relationship building skills, ability to motivate, and their EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient) equips them to be ideal leaders in today's world.

Frankel shows women how to let go of the "self-sabotaging" behaviors that get in their way and use the resources, skills and traits they already possess in order to succeed. Read See Jane Lead and ignite your inner leader. Whether you to take your "inner leader" to the soccer field, the bedroom or the boardroom,  Frankel will ensure that you use and improve the talents you didn't know had.



99 Ways for Women to Take Charge at Work

By Lois P. Frankel, PhD


By Deborah Mecklinger, LL.B., M.S.W, A.T.C

Professional Coach

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Blackberry Storm Blows Down Cheating Spouse: What To Do If You Want To Know The Truth


If your 6th sense is screaming that your spouse is cheating ask yourself if you really want to know. If you have been walking around riddled with anxiety and suspicion that your spouse has broken with tradition and is committing adultery it is no coincidence that you may be the last to know. The anxiety, pain and fear of the truth, is the only thing keeping you from being a sleuth.

When you get to the place where you can no longer manage to ignore the signs with a marital bandage it may be time to take control and get in the know. If you fear the city is talking and the neighbors all know you can be sure the Blackberry is the host of the show. The compelling desire to stay connected is fueled and supported by the technology Blackberry’s effected. The number of calls and texts most lovers send is enough to put their secret to an end.

Once you decide to turn signs into proof the following tips will turn you into super-sleuth:

Go For The Oscar: Do not tell your partner you are suspicious. If you already have – take a break and act like you believe them. They will be more likely to slip up if they don’t feel “watched".

Repeat Performance: Pay attention to patterns. Most cheating spouses meet at the same place and at the same time each week. Cheaters find it easier to create routines. It makes it easier to “get away.” From the standing Wednesday evening “Board Meeting” to the Thursday Pilates class, the “standing” excuse goes along way.

Black and White: Take written notes regarding warning signs. The patterns will appear before your very eyes. If you don’t put pen to paper you will ignore the details and it won’t seem real.

Ask The Audience or Call A Friend: If you dare, they will bare. Get ready for the truth. Everyone else always knows.

Record Keeper Catches Cheater: Check phone bills and credit card statements. The bad news and the good news is that they talk on the phone, buy one and other gifts, stay in hotels and eat out.

Spring Cleaning: Empty pockets, check wallets and search drawers. Lingerie, condoms and receipts will be there to prove they are a cheat.

Computer/Digital Spyware: Voice-activated digital recorders left in the car and spyware on computers will tell you who and where they are. The technology is evolving faster than the cheaters can run.

GPS: Get Philandering Spouse: No need to wonder where your spouse wanders. You can follow their every move and receive email notifications the second they get in their car. Your Global Positioning System will enable you to log in and follow the cheater.

Bug Cheating Spouse: FlexiSpy for Blackberry or iPhones is software you download on the Blackberry or phone and it will collect data (SMS texts, emails and telephone calls – even deleted ones) and send it to a web account you set up. Even remote listening is possible.

I Spy: Hire a Private Investigator. The last place to go if you really want to know or the first place to start to catch someone breaking your heart

Getting to the truth will save your mind so you can move forward no matter what you find. The facts and the proof that you obtain will give you the strength to determine how you want to proceed. The information is a place to start talking about what is true without anyone telling you that you have no clue. The bottom line is that everything you need to know is probably as close as the buzzing Blackberry that is vibrating in front of you.

By Deborah Mecklinger, LL.B., M.S.W, A.T.C

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Elegant Email: Ten Tips To Help You Communicate More Effectively

As First Published in The Wisdom Of Communication: A Collection of Writings That Can Change Your Life

Is the Elegant Email a paradox or a realistic goal? Is every email we send an opportunity to forget who we are or is it another way of showing people who we are? If the “sent email” is representative of who we truly are, then it is time to think about the message we want our emails to communicate before we hit SEND!

Elegant is defined as, “gracefully refined and dignified, as in tastes, habits or literary style; excellent, fine or superior; simplicity in execution, simple and precise.” The Elegant Email is well designed, intentional and strategic. The goal of the Elegant Email is to communicate information clearly, without intricacy and uncompounded by emotion that may likely be misconstrued.
In the frenetic world we live in, with virtual mailboxes overloaded, blackberries buzzing and little time for thinking before speaking, even fewer are thinking before sending. While we all know that we should, include a “subject” that is relevant in the heading, omit slang, capital letters, bold and exclamation marks to emphasize or yell. Use spell check, double check who we are replying to, and eliminate the use of BCC to bully. There are many things we fail to consider before we hit send and end up in cyber chaos. Here are some guidelines to help you put your best email forward and show the world that you are elegant, even when you land in their inbox.

  1. Define the goal of your message before writing your email. Does your email achieve that goal? Edit extraneous information that does not serve the goal of the email.
  2. Be aware of tone and err on the side on neutral. Sarcasm, irony and humor can be easily misconstrued. The use of point form supports a neutral approach and is particularly useful with emails of confrontational or challenging nature.
  3. Tease the email through an “emotion filter.” Does the email sound like it comes from the head or the heart? Ask yourself if this email is written from the place it is coming from, and if it is coming from the place it was written.
  4. If your email is filled with emotion, is it appropriate in the circumstances? Filter your response through # 1 and ensure that you are serving your identified goal.
  5. Is email the appropriate modality of communication? Do not forget that telephone calls and face-to-face meetings are still in style and may be more suitable in many situations.
  6. Consider the pros and cons of writing an email versus having a conversation. Ask yourself if you are forgoing elegance for efficiency and evaluate the costs and benefits of your chosen form of communication.
  7. Read the email before sending and if needed, sleep on it. If the email was written from a place of anger, frustration, or any other heightened sense of emotion, save it as a “Draft” and revisit. The distance will help ensure your email is appropriate.
  8. Imagine you are the receiver of the email and reread the email from that perspective. Remember that you will not be at the receiver’s side to explain and interpret the email.
  9. Ask yourself the following question: “Is this email acceptable for the world to see?” Remind yourself that the world may see your email so, “Smile, you’re on candid camera!” Your audience may include your boss, board of directors, spouse, ex-spouse, lawyer, judge, friends and family.
  10. Ask yourself the following question: Does this email represent my best attempt at communicating clearly, elegantly and respectfully? If the answer is No, go back to Step One and rewrite. If the answer is yes, proudly press send.
Embrace your ability to email elegantly and practice a conscious form of communication in the cyber world. You may find your Drafts outnumber your Sent Messages, your phone may become your new best friend or you may go for rapport over the Reply. Either way, your elegant emails will be a model for those receiving your messages to respond in kind. With the touch of a button you will have changed the world.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Comitted Couple's Guide to Getting Back on Track


Relationship Rescue: Don't Be Afraid To Renovate

Are you stuck in a relationship rut? Do your rituals feel like rules locking you into a pattern that's stale? Are you reading a script that no longer fits? Perhaps your relationship is new but your dynamic feels old or you've been together forever and you are now talking about the weather. When you hit your couple limit and start to feel like you want to head for the hills or hide under the covers, it may be time to try something completely different.

To quote George Bernard Shaw: "The only man who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew every time he sees me, while all the rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them." Imagine a relationship that renegotiated behavior regularly based on what was needed instead of one that rested on what once worked. Picture the partnership that remodels role requirements at least as often as it redecorates. Better yet, consider how you can be the couple that cleans up their act more often than you clean out your closets.

Consider shaking things up if you are struggling with:

1. Boredom

2. Frustration

3. Feeling unheard

4. Feeling misunderstood

5. Feeling ignored or invisible

6. Lack of passion

7. Lack of intimacy

8. Lack of spontaneity

9. Lack of creativity

10. Lack of time

Before you run and head for the door and even before you fall to the therapist's floor, there are many things the two of you can do to restructure, realign and revitalize your rleationship. Start by sitting down together and agreeing that the parthership needs an adjustment and commit to begin by being your own relationship chiropractors.

In order to ensure that you and your partner are equipped with the strategies necessary to realign your relationship, stay tuned for the follow-up article entitied:

10 Postions Your Sex Therapist Forgot To tell You About

Deborah Mecklinger, LL.B., M.S.W, A.T.C

Life/Divorce/Executive Coach

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Motherhood Career Track is Full of Surprise


The Motherhood Career Track is Full of Surprise Perks


Managing Mother's Day Expectations


How many mothers do you know who make Mother’s Day brunch? How many mothers spend their day running to the soccer field, lugging the laundry and shopping for last minute groceries for their Mother’s Day event? Perhaps you know the woman who even buys herself roses for the  Mother’s Day centerpiece as she races home to cook and set the table.

Fast forward to the morning after Mother’s Day. If you were a fly on the wall at the Mother’s Day post-mortem you would know that for many, the day is like any other day. 

Consider the following tips to help make Mother’s Day special:

1. Plan ahead: Mother’s Day is on the calendar. It should come as no surprise.
2. Get a head start: Start the festivities at midnight and let her enjoy longer.
3. Clean up! Breakfast in bed looses its charm if it stays in the bed. Don’t leave mom with the mess. 
4. Get out of your Mother’s Day Flower Box. If you are known for bringing her red roses, try hydrangeas instead.
5. Be a team leader. Take children shopping, help them create, craft and share their love. 
6. Rally the troops: If your wife or mother feels compelled to make brunch or dinner for her mother or daughter - take over. Get creative. Dine out or order in.

7.Change the routine. Fire Mom from her daily responsibilities.
8. Use your voice. Ask your special woman what would make her day. Listen and follow through.
9. Go Buffet Style. Give her a smorgasbord of love, attention, pampering and free pass that lets her escape.
10. Fuel the hand that feeds you. Use Mother’s Day to replenish and nourish the woman you want to honor.

If you are having Mother’s Day dread or simply wondering how you can improve on breakfast in bed, start talking and plan ahead. Create a Mother’s Day vision that incorporates insight, knowledge and clarity to ensure the day is a success. 

Why He Didn't Call You Back

Wed, May 6 2009

Book Review


Why He Didn't Call You Back


Take a B.A. in psychology from Wellesley College, mix it with an M.Ed. degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education and top it off with an M.B.A degree from Harvard Business School and you have Rachel Greenwald, author and Dating Coach.

Rachel’s latest book, Why He Didn't Call You Back: 1,000 Guys Reveal What They Really Thought About You After Your Date, helps single women of all ages to understand what happened when their dating dynamics don’t land them the results they are hoping for. Rachel takes the million dollar question and applies a business strategy called "Exit Interviews," in order to get the answers women are waiting for.

"O" - Oprah's Magazine - calls Rachel "my kind of gutsy girl: all the kick of cheddar-on-rye minus any trace of balogna.” She spent ten years interviewing over 1,000 men about why they didn’t call back after a date, why they showed initial interest in a woman at a bar or party but then didn't ask her out or why they vanished after exchanging flirtatious emails through an online dating site. Rachel shares the top ten “Date-Breakers” and practical tips to help women align their behavior with their relationship goals. Rachel goes even further to help ensure that women choose the men they truly want to date.

Rachel’s book will be your secret bullet for dating success.

By Deborah Mecklinger, LL.B., M.S.W, A.T.C

Professional Coach

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