Friday, December 13, 2013

2013 Holiday Sale On Books

When I started dating and the relationship became serious, my younger son questioned me: “How can I love Mr. X and still love my dad?”  I explained to my son that just because he was letting someone new into his heart, it didn’t mean he had to kick out any of the current residents. This allowed him to release his guilt about dishonoring his dad by loving someone new.

The truth is that the heart is an ever-expanding organ. There’s no set limit on how many people you can love. Let’s also remember that all love is unique to the particular relationship, so one doesn’t replace the other.

How to find love after loss (and all the confusing emotions that go alone with that) happens to be my area of specialty. If you need some coaching or want to read self-help books on this subject, please visit me on my website at and click here to join me on Facebook for daily tips and thoughts about love, dating and the tenets of healthy relationships.

As a holiday special, I'm offering a deep discount on three of my books in an e-book format (PDF format).

Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story
$5.00 (normally $9.99 for Kindle and $14.95 in paperback)

Suddenly Single: How To Find Renewal After Loss
$5.00 (normally $9.99 for Kindle and $15.95 for paperback

Words of Comfort To Pave Your Journey of Loss
$3.00 (normally $3.95 for Kindle and $8.99 for paperback)

To Purchase Click on the Appropriate Link. 
To assure that you will receive the book by e-mail, add the address from which it will be coming to your address book:

Special Holiday Pricing

More books available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Review of Love After Loss
Diane Leifer said: A fabulous step-by-step guide on how to find love again after the loss of a partner from death, divorce or break-up. Ellen Gerst systematically guides you through the process of dealing with and healing from your loss, while clearly defining the necessary steps to take to find happiness in a new relationship. Her practical, concise writing style, combined with personal anecdotes, interesting quotes, poems and exercises creates a very uplifting and emotionally exciting read. I found the chapters on self-refection extremely valuable, as it's clearly the key to recognizing how you have changed now that you are newly single. Gaining this insight and understanding of the 'new you' is essential before you launch yourself into the world of dating. The book suggests that readers ask themselves many key questions, which can help clearly define what they are looking for in their next relationship, and then reflect upon the answers. This new sense of self plus understanding what is now important are the vital ingredients of finding a new relationship. There are a number of chapters on the 'Rules and Tools' of dating which include excellent information on how to systematically and successfully delve in to the process of on-line dating. Ellen teaches the reader the 'new rules' on how to date and how to successfully build a relationship when the right person does appear. While the relationship may not look anything like you had imagined it would, your fresh understanding of your newly evolved 'self' has broadened your horizons and allowed happiness to return. Ellen Gerst gives you the confidence to get in touch with what is truly important to you with humor, introspection and a truly personal touch. I highly recommend "Love After Loss," as an excellent guide for those who are seriously interested in finding and developing a new relationship.

Reviews of Words of Comfort
Audrey Pellicano said: As a widow and a Grief Recovery Specialist, I found Ellen's latest work to be clear and true to it's title. Ellen shares her deepest emotions and offers a guide to anyone lost in grief after the death of a loved one. She dispels some of the myths around grief and offers words of comfort and tools to apply to your life as you go forward on your grief journey. She truly offers words of wisdom to those in need. I will recommend "Words of Comfort to Pave Your Journey of Loss" to my widowed clients.

Ellen Kamp of The W Connection said: Ellen Gerst has written a sensitive and practical guide about adapting to the realities of widowhood. She addresses many of the challenges that widows deal with and provides her own experiences as guideposts for navigating these challenges. It is easy to read and is a book that one can go back to over and over again for advice. As the President and Co-founder of a non profit organization dedicated to helping widows rebuild their lives, The W Connection, I have already recommended this book to a member looking for ways to get "unstuck". I highly recommend this book to widows as well as the non-widowed.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Practice Makes Perfect

I'm a big proponent of practice dating ... that is, dating without intention. 

When you first step into the dating pool, you may be feeling a bit intimidated or nervous. Saying YES! to all who ask you out can help you to become more comfortable in your dating skin as you hone your vision of the type of person for whom you are looking.

Posted below is a very short video on this subject.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What's The Big Deal About Valentine's Day?

It’s Valentine’s Day and, if you’re single and bemoaning the fact that you don’t have a valentine, will you consider the following for a change in perspective? 

February 9 was National Toothache Day. 
Are you upset because you don’t have a toothache? 

March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day. 
Are you avoiding this day because you’re not Irish? 

March 24 is World Tuberculosis Day
Are you upset because you don’t have TB? 

May 12 is International Nurses Day. 
If you’re not a nurse, are you upset? 

August 20 is World Mosquito Day. 
I don't know about you, but when the pesky mosquito gets assigned its own day, I think we need to re-examine the concept of celebratory days! 

The larger point is that Valentine’s Day is just a day … and one that is mostly perpetuated by jewelry, card and candy makers. 

It puts artificial pressure on both well-established couples as they fret on what to buy for each other AND newly-established couples as they worry whether they should buy a present and, if they do, how big or little it should be. 

Here’s the question. If you are in a good relationship, do you really need a national day set aside that “forces” you to express your love? Instead, you should be telling your partner every day (with your words and actions) that you love him or her. 

Don’t be intimidated by Valentine’s Day. You can welcome love into your life in hundreds of ways. In fact, it all starts with you and love of self. If you’re spending the day alone, use it to fall in love with yourself!

Friday, February 8, 2013

First Date Advice

Nervous about dating? 

Listen to the video below for some pointers on how you can allay your fears. 

I especially like my tip on firing up your sparkly eyes, and it's one I've used for many years, as you'll learn in the video.

This technique involves igniting your eyes from inside your being so that they are bright and shiny. In other words, get excited (without any expectations) by your upcoming meeting and the new things you might learn about yourself, your date and your world. Your eyes will serve as a beacon of warm light that will invite open conversation. Your positive attitude and interest in another's words will make the meeting go well and can distill any nervousness about the encounter.


 “People love to talk but hate to listen.
Listening is not merely not talking, 
although even that is beyond most of our powers; 
it means taking a vigorous, human interest in what is being told us. 
You can listen like a blank wall or like a 
splendid auditorium where every sound comes back fuller and richer.”
 ~Alice Duer Miller 

The preceding is an excerpt from Finding Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story, which is available as a Kindle or soft-cover book via Amazon. 

Click here to purchase soft-cover.
Click here to purchase Kindle version.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Quotes For All Occasions

I admit it! I have been an incorrigible quoter since I was a teenager. In fact, on my 18th birthday, my boyfriend even bought the book “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations” for me, which contains a whopping 1500 pages of quotations on every topic imaginable. This may not sound romantic to you, but it was to me because he bought me something he knew I would cherish forever vs. some trinket that could become outdated or break. 

He was pretty smart for one so young (which is probably why I eventually married him!). Without knowing it, he was following the Platinum Rule, which says that you should not only love thy neighbor as thyself (which is what the Golden Rule promotes), but you should also love thy neighbor the way thy neighbor wants to be loved. 

I have always found inspiration in reading quotes, and I tried to pass this on to the high school English students I taught. Each day, I posted a new quote on the blackboard with the hope that it could help them navigate the dangerous jungle of high school.

I’m also a big believer in not reinventing the wheel. So if you can find someone who is regarded with respect and authority and can beautifully express your thoughts, I say quote them! After all, as Julio Cort├ízar said, “In quoting others, we cite ourselves.” 

I’ve continued this practice on Facebook and in my many self-help books because as Shannon L. Alder said, “Inspirational quotes are dances of light that shine in dark places during your life.” And we all could use a little ray of hope and light to brighten up the days of our lives, which is what I aim to provide for my readers and clients. 

Many other people post quotes on Facebook, too. Even Abraham Lincoln said, “It is a pleasure to be able to quote lines to fit any occasion.” Or maybe people use quotes because “they are short on time, but long on big ideas,” as Bruce Edwin suggests. 

Personally, I think it’s interesting to share quotes but to also report how it affects you or what you think it means. Now, not everyone is going to agree with your interpretation, but reading alternate meanings can open up doors for new thoughts. And it is new thoughts that can change your perception of how you see the world. In turn, this allows you to make beneficial changes that can enhance your life.

Jay Woodman said, “Notice, when looking at quotes of each person – you'll never agree with every single quote of anybody's. We all have a different view of reality, of what is meaningful. This is why we can never argue, or there would be no man left alive – we have to agree to disagree, and just get on with it, maybe laugh a little too. It's wonderful really – delightful – the infinite variety of wisdom and beauty! Let's accept it gladly.” 

I’d love for you to share your favorite quote in the comment box and tell why it is so meaningful to you. Or, perhaps you have a special saying that you have thought up by yourself. And, if it resounds with me, I'm letting you know that I'm going to quote you too!

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Chemistry of Relationships

Chemistry: a branch of physical science, the study of the composition, properties and behavior of matter. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds. 

When it comes to dating, chemistry is an often discussed topic, and many make the decision to pursue a relationship based on whether they feel it or not. But, let’s take a closer look at chemistry and what it really means. 

If you accept the premise that every item in the universe is comprised of energy – of positive and negative charges in constant motion – that means humans are beings of energy, too. Moreover, according to the definition at the top of the article, that makes all our interactions chemical reactions, for chemistry is the study of the behavior of matter (or how atoms interact with other atoms). 

The fact that there are positive and negative charges reflects the natural duality of the world, and, as such, a chemical reaction can have a positive or a negative effect. 

For example, take the statement, “We have chemistry!” 

This can mean that the sparks were flying when you first met someone. However, were these sparks igniting feels of lust/love OR was there such friction that you rubbed each other the wrong way? 

Personally, I think the idea of chemistry at the outset of a relationship is highly overrated. Of course, you want to be attracted to someone, but sometimes that takes more than one meeting. Furthermore, isn’t it true that once you get to know and like/love someone that you are attracted to their beautiful “insides” more than their less-than-perfect “outsides”? 

Getting to know someone inside out is what relationship development is all about, and that is what creates a real and lasting chemical reaction. 

Here are some of my favorite quotes about chemistry in regard to relationships.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Have You Turned Your Intention OR Your Attention on Finding Love?

Whether you are looking to find love or working towards attaining another of your goals, it is important to examine and understand the difference between attention and intention.

ATTENTION can energize your body, for good and bad. On whatever you focus your attention, the stronger it will become in your life. If you are stuck emotionally on being lonely, afraid, sick, or broke, and you focus all your attention on feeling sorry for yourself or angry at finding yourself in this place, you will only perpetuate these factors in your life. 

You can wish and desire all you want in order to move through these less than desirable circumstances, but that is not enough. Desire alone is weak because, in most people, it is simply attention connected to attachment. That is, you are attached to the outcome.

Instead, try focusing your attention on the present and practice not feeling lonely, afraid, penniless, etc. This will trigger your intention to NOT feel that way. 

INTENTION is what transforms your thoughts into reality. In order to accomplish this feat, you must first quiet your mind. Meditating is a good way to do this. It allows you to access your intentions/desires. As you affirm them, you release your intentions to the universe and create the energy to start the process of realizing your goals. 

Once the energy is set in motion, you can then let the universe decide HOW this process will be revealed to you – always keeping in mind that there is not always one path and one favorable outcome. In other words, try not to become attached to how you see it happening. Let yourself just know it will happen and be surprised at how it comes about!

You may want to think of attachment as blinders on a horse; it only lets you see and desire one outcome. You become so attached to the end result that you’re not aware of a world full of available possibilities. For example, you may miss a wonderful friendship, if you are only desirous of a love connection. You may be better off, if you don’t force “your” solution. Instead, step back and witness it emerge from chaos and confusion. It is when you are in a state of confusion that you will find yourself in a true state of grace, for it is here that "spirit" (or your inner guidance) can provide you with the answers you seek.

The preceding is an excerpt from my book, "Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story." It's available as a soft-cover, Kindle, or ebook in pdf format. 

Click here for soft-cover.
Click here for Kindle version.
Click here for ebook version.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Are You Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions?

According to a survey, forty-five percent of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions. The most popular resolutions are (in order from number one): (1) lose weight; (2) get organized; (3) spend less and save more; (4) enjoy life; and (5) stay fit and healthy. 

Unfortunately, out of the 45%, seventy-five percent of the people only maintain their resolution(s) through the first week. Forty-six percent maintain their resolution(s) past the six month mark. To put those numbers into perspective, what that means is that in a population of 100 people, 45 people make resolutions, but only ~33 of those people keep the resolution past the first week. By the time six months roll by, only 20 people are still keeping to their resolutions. 

So, today, we are 4 days into the first week of 2013. If you made a resolution, how are you doing on keeping it? 

Unfortunately, follow-through is not very strong on the resolutions many of us make for the new year. Perhaps it is because many of the ones we make tend to deprive us of pleasurable activities, such as eating great food, drinking and shopping. When you feel deprived, it usually increases your desire for it ten-fold, and it eventually leads to a breaking of the resolution with an overindulgence of the so-called pleasure. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a big believer in setting goals and making resolutions to accomplish them. However, it’s important to create these with a positive mindset that rewards you for “good” behavior vs. a negative one that punishes you for “bad” behavior.  

I like Ellen Goodman’s take on it when she wrote the following. 

“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room,
drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. 
 Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives ... not looking for flaws, but for potential.” 

In regard to dating ....
There are many who put off entering the dating arena because they feel they are too flawed, have too much baggage or have a negative body image. Are these excuses because they are afraid of rejection? For example, in regard to body image, do they subconsciously sabotage their weight loss efforts so they have an excuse to put off attending social events, etc. A favorite saying might be, “I just want to lose 10 pounds before I try to meet anyone.” Those 10 pounds never come off and can become an immovable obstacle unless the reason behind the avoidance is addressed. 

I’ve written a short book, Understanding Fitness and Weight Loss From A to Z, that speaks to 26 subjects and address some of these issues. Following is an excerpt on overcoming obstacles. 

SPECIAL OFFER: I’m offering a FREE download of the book from January 4 to January 6, 2013 via Amazon. It’s a Kindle book, but you don’t need a Kindle to read it. Just download a free reading app to access it on your computer, tablet, or phone. Links following. 

Click the book title name to access the free download of Understanding Fitness and Weight Loss From A to Z. 



OVERCOMING OBSTACLES: conquer, defeat, get the better of difficulties 

There is no such thing as a free lunch! In other words, every individual has his own obstacles to overcome in order to reach his goals. 

To an outsider, some may seem trivial and easy to resolve. However, you cannot truly understand another’s perspective until you have walked in his shoes. 

As you work towards overcoming your personal obstacles that are keeping you from the healthy and fit lifestyle you desire to live, there are two ways with which to confront them. In spiritual terms they are referred to as acting in object-referral or acting in self-referral. These represent two methods of dealing with your emotions and circumstances. 

Very often, a negative emotion is regarded as a weakness and dealt with in an inappropriate manner, such as the renunciation of responsibility for the creation of the circumstances that gave rise to the negativity. This is an example of acting in object-referral. 

However, if every time you experience negative emotions, you choose to learn and grow spiritually then you will be able to turn seemingly negative situations into positive experiences. This type of behavioral pattern is referred to as acting in self-referral

It is the choices you make on how to deal with your emotions that determine the outcome of the situations with which you are confronted. As Eleanor Roosevelt said: “In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”