Happy Holidays! 

This week I had multiple conversations about falling in love. It's so interesting how many different ways people define that experience.

If you fell out of love, was it love to begin with? Can you fall in love with someone who doesn't love you? Does love at first sight exist? Is there someone in love with you without you knowing it, and if so, is that truly love?

Is love an agreement between two people? Can that agreement be broken without mutual consent? Can you be in love and not even know it?

From all the opinions I've heard about falling in love, the common theme seems to be that when it comes to defining love, context is everything.

I believe that to fully experience love, you have to see it as both a feeling and an action. They feed off of each other. The more you feel love, the more you are driven to express it. The more you express it, the more that action inspires you to feel it.

I don't consider falling in love to only be romantic. Romance doesn't have a monopoly on love - love is bigger than everything. You can fall in love with anyone, including yourself.

And that's my holiday wish for you - to fall in love, to fall back in love, over and over, starting with you.

xoxo

Francesca

Posted
AuthorFrancesca Hogi

Happy Friday! 

I've gone to the gym more in the past two weeks than I have in the previous three months combined. 

I hurt my knee back in August at Burning Man (I know, I know - a Burning Man injury isn't exactly dignified), and other than a few yoga classes and a couple of hikes, I had stopped working out since.

My knee has been better for awhile now, but I'd created a new habit - a sedentary one. 

Two weeks ago I went to a dinner party where I struck up a conversation with two people I didn't know. The conversation turned to exercise and I lamented how completely unmotivated I felt to set foot inside the gym. 

One of the guys I was talking to immediately suggested we agree to work out at least once before the following Monday. Monday was 5 days away and I still cringed at the thought of committing to a single workout in that time. 

But the other dinner guest chimed in that was a great idea and I begrudgingly agreed. Since that night, we have a group text where we report our workout activity. Now we've all committed to twice a week, and I'm already ahead of schedule and earning extra credit for this week!  

It's a phenomenon I've observed in my own coaching practice as well as in other areas of my life - sometimes you need a stranger to hold you accountable. 

These guys don't want to hear my excuses about how busy I am and how the day got away from me and on and on and on. And frankly, it'd be too embarrassing to even try to justify to them not meeting our modest collective goal. 

And so, thanks to some virtual strangers I am back on track with working out. 

Is there something you've been neglecting to do? Could you use some accountability? 
 

Find a buddy to answer to, and make it happen! 


We got this!

xoxo

Francesca

Posted
AuthorFrancesca Hogi

Happy Friday! 

As hard as it is to believe, the end of the year is upon us. 

The holidays are a perfect time to reflect on all we've been given. And of course, to give to others. 

I'm not much of a holiday gift giver -  but I do want to share with you some charities I really believe in. 'Tis the season for giving and I hope you consider giving to a worthy cause that you believe in.

Your time, your dollars, even your encouragement are all valuable ways to give. 

Flying Kites: A few years ago I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in support of Flying Kites. FK is an amazing organization that provides a home and education for orphaned children in Kenya. 

Donors Choose: DC directly supplies underfunded classrooms with the supplies they need. You can pick from a classroom's wish list or simply give a donation in any amount. 

The Human Utility: This is so genius - this organization pays the past due water bills of poor families in Detroit and Baltimore. Turning the water back on - a wonderful gift to give a family for the holidays. 

Global Goods Partners: If you are in the market for beautiful and unique gifts, please consider GGP. All of their items are made by hand by well-paid women artisans in developing countries. GGP pays the women directly for their wares. 

Thank you for reading. 

I wish you beautiful gifting and receiving this season! 

xo

Francesca

Posted
AuthorFrancesca Hogi

Happy Friday!

I recently learned that one of the couples I've long admired started their relationship while one of them was married to someone else. Decades later, no one would doubt that they are one of those "meant to be" couples. 

My own parents met when my mother was dating someone else (whom she promptly dumped for my dad). I actually know quite a few couples who met and fell for each other while one of more of them was involved with someone else.

My knee-jerk reaction is to feel that leaving your partner for someone else is morally questionable, to say nothing of the dubiousness of outright cheating. But who am I to judge another person's path to happiness? Is staying in one relationship when you're in love with someone else doing you or anyone else any favors?

I'm not so sure. 

Let me be clear - I don't tell you this to say that cheating is good - in fact, I think that cheating is a bad idea. Morality aside, it typically doesn't end well, which alone is enough of a reason not to do it. But I have to recognize that judging other people for a set of circumstances I didn't personally experience is just as morally dubious as anything I might judge in someone else.

One of the most beautiful things about life is that we all have many different paths - we could never guess the twists and turns our lives will take. And what is more unpredictable than love? 

On a more everyday scale, I talk to people who spend a lot of emotional energy judging themselves for their own paths. Whether they're embarrassed they're on a dating app, or that they don't yet have children or the "perfect" career, body, home, etc...

Imagine a world where we practiced more compassion towards ourselves and towards others. That's a world I want to live in. 

xoxo

Francesca

Posted
AuthorFrancesca Hogi

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well." -Voltaire

I appreciate you so very much. I am sending you much love and gratitude this weekend, and always. 

xoxo

Francesca

Posted
AuthorFrancesca Hogi

Hi there,

This past week and a half has been rough for just about everyone I know. Election 2016 was not a joke. We've been in such a collective state of stress and anxiety for so long, I suppose it was inevitable that no matter the outcome, half of the country would come down hard. 

I consider myself to be a very emotionally resilient person, but the past week and half has been trying to a degree that has really surprised me. I felt unmotivated, depressed and like I was walking around in a fog. 

On Wednesday, two things happened that helped me to see the light again. First, I went for a hike and I came across the LA version of the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris - AKA the "love locks" bridge, which is a fence along the trail. 


Seeing all those locks, with names and dates written or taped or carved into the locks, helped me to remember that love will always survive any dashed hopes - love is simply who we are. And that is not changing. 

The second thing that happened was I received an email from a former client with the subject "Found love". She wanted to share with me that she had fallen in love with a wonderful man and they had decided to commit to each other. She thanked me for my help in her journey, but I am the one who is grateful to her. Her email was right on time! 

I believe in signs - and I was reminded that while we might have to peer through fog to see them, they are still all around us. 

Now is the time to prove to ourselves that we can continue to live our values, that we can rise above the darkness and be the light. Now is the time for us to choose how to move forward. I choose love. 

xo

Francesca

Posted
AuthorFrancesca Hogi

Hi there,

If you've been on my list for awhile, you know that I normally send pretty short emails. I write them every week, just for you. Except this week, where I am going to share something I wrote on Facebook on Wednesday. 

The election is dominating much of my emotion and mental energy right now, and I've tried to sum up my thoughts. It's a bit long, but hopefully you will enjoy.
 

What to say on a day like today… I have spent hours today crying, comforting others and being comforted myself. I have received so many text messages, phone calls and emails from people checking in on me because they know how invested I was in Hillary Clinton being elected our next president.

Last night, while I was at the Javits Center at what was supposed to be Hillary’s victory party, I kept hope alive as much as I could, as long as I could, until the bitter end. Watching the excitement of the night devolve into an eerily silent convention center filled with thousands of people was a stunning and surreal experience.

When I woke up this morning, exhausted – like everyone else in this country today, I had a few thoughts that I wanted to share with you.

First of all, I do not cede my country – the country of my birth and the country built by generations of my ancestors and many others, both enslaved and free – to hate, bigotry or fear. So I won’t be moving to Canada or anywhere else. I’m staying right here.

Second, this pervasive sense of unease that many of us feel - that we are surrounded by hostile, silent (and not so silent) enemies needs to be channeled into something productive. The divisions of this country that truly threaten to tear us apart from the inside out are what got us to this crisis point. Those same divisions are not going to get us to the promised land. I don’t know what the solutions are, but I do know that rather than throwing our hands up in the air and proclaiming “it’s over, we’re fucked”, we have to channel all of our anger, confusion and pain into action.

I am a black woman who is aware every single day of my life that I am surrounded by people who view me as less than. But I am also privileged in many ways, and it’s easy to get comfortable inside the bubble of privilege. That bubble has burst, like all bubbles eventually do. I feel different today. As my friend Chris texted me today: “We’re activists now. That’s what our lives are about.”

And lastly – I am aware of some of the people I know who voted for Donald Trump. Others of course have kept (and still are keeping) their mouths shut for fear of being ostracized. It’s very easy and very natural to see Trump voters as evil people “out there” somewhere. But they aren’t “out there”, they’re next door. And are they evil?

I personally view Donald Trump as a morally bankrupt, misogynistic, fear-mongering sexual predator and bigot. But I also know that there are people in this world who I respect and maybe even love who voted for him. This is really hard for me to reconcile, and it’s been the source of a lot of tears and cognitive dissonance for me today.

I’m rambling a bit, but the point I want to make is – by hating the people who voted for Trump (or for Hillary, if you’re reading this as a Trump supporter), we are doing the most harm to ourselves. Both as individuals and as a country. We are not anonymous masses – we are neighbors and colleagues and friends and even family. We can’t give up on half of our country, on these people with whom we think we fundamentally disagree.

I FEEL like I have a fundamental disagreement of values with anyone who voted for Trump. But I KNOW that feelings are not facts.

And I know in my heart that on a 1-on-1 human level of connection and communication and empathy and LOVE that mountains of difference can be overcome. I know that mothers have forgiven the murderers of their children. I know that warring soldiers have found friendship after attempting to take each other’s lives. I know that abusers have come to recognize their brutality and fight for victims.

And so I know that there is a way that we can bridge this divide between us. It can’t happen on CNN or Twitter or someone’s Facebook wall. It can’t happen if we view our neighbors as the enemy. It can only happen between individuals who want to find this healing.

We can and will fight for equality while also fighting to retain our humanity and our sanity. We can and will mobilize and organize while also sitting down and employing massive amounts of empathy for those with whom we disagree. I truly do believe that love is a superpower. And it’s time for us to activate it.

Who’s with me?

xoxo

Francesca

Happy Friday!
 

Yesterday was my birthday! I used to be one of those people who didn't want to celebrate my birthday. 

The attention of celebrating myself made me feel uncomfortable. I didn't feel like I'd done anything to "earn" it. 

How often have you felt uncomfortable receiving love, praise, accolades, attention?  Even a simple compliment or a birthday greeting? 

We feel uncomfortable receiving love because we feel that somehow we aren't worthy of all that attention. As if wanting love means that we are admitting that we alone are not enough. And the biggest fallacy of all is that we truly aren't. 

I know now that I am enough. I also know that I am so fortunate to have as much love in my life as I do. On November 3rd and every other day, I want to receive love from as many people who want to send it my way.  

My birthday is over, but the warm feelings remain. Birthdays are only once a year, but there are so many opportunities to receive love in many forms, all year long. 

And that is my wish for you today. That you are reminded of all of the love in your life. It might be from your family, your pet, or your best friend. 

Bask in it. You deserve every drop. 


xoxo

Francesca

Posted
AuthorFrancesca Hogi

Happy Friday!

OK, this might sound weird to you. But I haven't fully recovered from the trauma of being an adolescent. 

I don't want to sound overly dramatic - I had a perfectly "normal" adolescence. There was no big traumatic event. What I feel is a generalized trauma, a result of the overall insecurity, cringe worthy moments and poor choices of those formative years. 

And also the hair. Such bad hair...

Sometimes I'm going about my life feeling very adult and like I have my sh*t together when I have a moment that reminds me that the insecure teenager I once was is who I still am, at least on the inside. 

It's humbling and not altogether terrible - because at least now I have my "grown up" voice, my true, evolved voice that is usually loud enough to drown out the teenager inside me. 

I completely lacked compassion for myself in my adolescence, but luckily for me I have actively cultivated self-compassion as I've gotten older. 

In short, I'm much better equipped to deal with being a teenager. Better late than never. 

xoxo

Francesca

Posted
AuthorFrancesca Hogi

Happy Friday!

Here in the U.S., it feels like we're in a national limbo at the moment. Collectively counting the days until this endless presidential election is over, all while hovering between seasons awaiting a fall that's slow to arrive. 

I too feel like I'm personally in limbo. Transitioning from one business I've worked hard for years to build to one that's on a much bigger scale. In the span of a few weeks, I've gone from describing myself as a dating coach to a startup founder. 

It's all simultaneously exciting and scary. 

One of my personal mantras comes to mind a lot these days: 

Nervousness and excitement are two sides of the same coin. 

It's all about your interpretation. Change is always happening, whether we like it or not. And it's natural to feel nervous, even when that feeling is the result of a change we've deliberately sought out. 

Thinking this way helps me to feel better and more relaxed when things are in flux. We don't have to feel comfortable with the uncertainty - we only have to accept that it exists and move forward the best we know how. 

Here's to moving forward!  

xoxo

Francesca

Posted
AuthorFrancesca Hogi

Happy Friday!
 

Yesterday I cried in public.

I was at the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. (Side note - it is a BEAUTIFUL, important museum and you should go visit it as soon as you can.) 

I was about 10 minutes into the section about the origins of the slave trade when I started to feel like crying. I spent the next 10 minutes trying not to cry. And then I finally asked myself why I was holding back my tears. 

I had no good reason. It was just my ego not wanting me to look weak or uncomposed. (I don't think that's a word, but you get it.) The fact was no one else was crying and I didn't want to be "that" person who was standing out.

Since I am always advocating for people to express their authentic emotions, I realized I had a chance to take my own advice. So I cried. A lot. And it was a relief to just let myself be in my feelings. 

Next time you're feeling self-conscious about whatever emotion you're experiencing, I invite you to give yourself a break and just go with it. 

It's all a part of this human journey we're on, together. 

xoxo

Francesca

p.s. LAST CALL for 1-on-1 coaching! If you've been thinking about taking the plunge, reply to this email! 

Posted
AuthorFrancesca Hogi

Happy Friday!
 

I have long marveled at my friends. They are so awesome - in so many unique and individual ways. Best of all, they put up with me. 

Lately, I've been leaning on my friends a lot. I've been asking for feedback and guidance on my new business, Sonar. I even got the name of my new company from my friend Sonaar Luthra (Sonaar means "golden" in Hindi). 

I'm not always comfortable asking for favors, but I recently asked friends for free tickets to a Bruno Mars show and for an invitation to the White House. 

They hooked me up, and I am so grateful. 

When people do us favors, we can't always immediately return them. But we can do something for someone else while we're waiting for the chance. 

And so I'm asking you if there's anything I can do for you. I don't know if I will be able fulfill your request, but if at all possible, I will! 

So don't be shy. So much has been given to me and I want to pay it forward. You can post below. 

Have a beautiful weekend! 

xoxo

Francesca

Posted
AuthorFrancesca Hogi

Happy Friday!

Have I thanked you lately for reading my newsletter? Thank you! I am so grateful. 

I was excited/honored/grateful to be named 2016 Dating Expert of the Year at the U.S. Dating Awards a couple of weeks ago. I wore a fancy dress, I accepted my award barefoot and I was downright gleeful. It was awesome! 

Thanks for your support! 

xoxo

Francesca

FrancescaHogiDatingExpertOfTheYear
Posted
AuthorFrancesca Hogi

Happy Friday!
 

Sometimes I like when things go wrong. Not hugely, catastrophe-level wrong, but a little bit wrong. 

For example, a few weeks ago I went to Burning Man. I went spontaneously - with only a few days of planning. Not only was my trip thrown together at the last minute, but I wound up camping in an entirely different camp than I had planned. 

If the weather had cooperated, my tent would have been in an OK location. But the weather didn't cooperate, and I had to scramble to figure out how not to get blown away in a dust storm. 

Needless to say, I did not get blown away into the Nevada desert. 

The beauty of having my best laid plans derailed is that I'm forced to be more resourceful. It's a good reminder that I can figure things out and that I can rely on other people sometimes. More people want to support you than you might realize. 

This doesn't mean I court disaster. In fact, I actively try to avoid it! But I do believe that every challenge presents an opportunity to step up and do better. 

Here's to rising to your current challenges, whatever they might be. 

xoxo

Francesca

Posted
AuthorFrancesca Hogi

Happy Friday!

This week I got caught in a rainstorm. It was one of those sideways rain downpours that seemingly comes out of nowhere and chucks buckets.

In uncharacteristic fashion, I had an umbrella on me. I only had an umbrella because I happened to catch a glimpse of a TV earlier that day that warned of possible rain later that day. And I uncharacteristically remembered to grab an umbrella when I went home later on.

When the rain began and people started to sprint, huddle in doorways or just endure the soaking, I was one of the few people I spotted who had an umbrella.

My initial reaction as I put my umbrella up was guilt -- should I offer to walk the grandfather caught with his grandchild in a stroller with no protection? Or the woman next to me at the crosswalk in a dress that would soon be see-through?

I'm embarrassed to say I didn't end up helping anyone. What's worse, my feelings of guilt quickly turned to smug satisfaction. "Well, that's why you check the weather, people!" I thought to myself-- me, the very woman who has been caught in no fewer than half a dozen downpours this year alone.

I got on the subway and caught the eye of another umbrella holder. And we shared this little smile -- the self-righteous smile of two people who had quickly forgotten what it's like to get soaking wet in a downpour.

"Oh god, am I terrible person?" I wondered when I caught myself mid-smugness.

I've since concluded that terrible people probably don't wonder if they're terrible people -- they're too busy being terrible to care.

(I've also concluded I don't think "terrible people" exist -- just really, really damaged ones. But that's a different discussion.)

Chances are, at some point you might also wonder if you are a terrible person. And I want to assure you that you most certainly are not.

I felt a little proud of myself for having an umbrella and I allowed my ego to turn that pride into some feeling of moral superiority.

Terrible? No. Ridiculous? Frequently. And that's a terribly human thing to be. I'm grateful I noticed it and I'll hopefully do better next time.

I wish you a weekend (and a life) full of compassion for yourself and everyone else, in all of our humanity, even the ridiculous bits.

xoxo

Francesca

Posted
AuthorFrancesca Hogi

Happy Friday!

I am interested in success. Success for my clients, success for myself and how others achieve success.

There are a million roads to success in anything, from love to business to fitness to raising children. And of course the very idea of success is subject to vast interpretation.

It's important to define success for yourself. Once you've done that, I've found that you need two things to succeed at anything in life:

Self-awareness and self-compassion.

Without self-awareness, you'll never truly understand what the best path forward is for you. Life is not one-size-fits-all. Knowing who you are is the first step in figuring out how you succeed.

Once you have self-awareness, then the need for self-compassion comes in.

We all mess up. We all make mistakes or procrastinate or say or do the wrong thing. But as long as we can be compassionate towards ourselves we can take responsibility and move forward to do better the next time.

Beating yourself up isn't holding yourself to a high standard. It's actually a cop out. If you tell yourself you suck, that's a great excuse to give up.

If you tell yourself you are going to do better next time, then you're ahead of the game. From that place of self-compassion it's possible to strategize and learn the lessons you need to achieve the success you want.

You get creative when you're compassionate towards yourself. You root for yourself. And let's face it - if you can't root for yourself, you're going to have a hard time achieving anything in life.

Try it - it works for everything from getting in shape to finding a new job to finding love. For reals.

xoxo

Francesca

Posted
AuthorFrancesca Hogi

You've probably seen this quote being circulated on social media a LOT:

"The best way to predict the future is to create it."

It's one of those Steve Jobs-ian type quote cards that people share, presumably to inspire you to become some sort of visionary.

Aspiring to be a visionary feels like a lot of pressure to me, which is probably why that quote never really resonated with me. 

But then I saw the correct Abraham Lincoln quote this week, which reads:

"The best way to predict YOUR future is to create it." 

So, now I get it. Being a visionary for the whole world feels daunting. Being a visionary for my life feels like something I can do. 

Intention is powerful. Having an intention for a project, a season, a trip or a relationship is powerful. Intention setting really can create your future. 

Here's to creating the future! 

xoxo

Posted
AuthorFrancesca Hogi

Happy Friday!

I am a slow learner.

Not about everything, but I've always had some stubborn pockets of complete incomprehension. One of my biggest areas of challenge?

Flirting.

Not to toot my own horn, but I'm a pretty masterful flirt -- now. But it wasn't like that for a looong time. I would look at other women who could flirt with any man they wanted with complete ease. And I would wonder how it was possible.

I assumed that flirting was something that came naturally to you or it didn't. End of story. But then - luckily -  it occurred to me that just maybe I could figure out how to flirt.

It took a while, but I figured it out. And as it turns out, there are lots of women who find the idea of flirting completely intimidating.

For all of the women out there I can't coach 1-on-1, I created a FREE mini-course called How To Flirt Effortlessly (http://francescahogi.zippycourses.com/course/ howtoflirt) .

It tackles flirt phobia and also provides concrete, actionable advice about how to develop your own flirting style. I wish I had this information ten years ago!

If you or someone you know could use some help unleashing her own inner flirt, feel free to pass along this email.

You can sign up for free at any time HERE.

xoxo

Posted
AuthorFrancesca Hogi

Happy Friday!

Tension is not a bad word. We need tension in life because we need balance. If we relaxed too often, nothing would ever get done. We would lose our drive to do anything. Humans wouldn't be around for long without tension.

I know this logically, but I have a tendency to have a more zen approach to life. It has served me well in many cases, but not always.

A few months ago, my mentor Paul Brunson pointed this out to me. "You're too zen" he told me. He went on to explain that while I was great at attracting good things to me, I wasn't as proactive as I should be in making great things happen in my business.

I had to admit, he was right. I wasn't doing everything I could to grow my business. I wasn't going after things so much as I was letting them come to me.

I am all about attracting the good. But nothing attracts the good like action.

You take action and then you relax, with the faith that every action has an opposite and equal reaction, as Newton's 3rd law of physics teaches us. It's a reminder that I need to hear from time to time. And I hope it's useful to you as well.

If there's anything you are wishing and hoping for in your life right now, I challenge you to take one step towards making it happen, no matter how small. Let the tension motivate you to action.

xoxo

Francesca

 

Posted
AuthorFrancesca Hogi