Marina Lombardo, LCSW
Within Every Challenge...

...Are the Seeds of Opportunity


In This Issue...

Feature Article
What's New
Feedback from Readers

Marina Lombardo
Psychotherapy, Counseling & Personal Coaching
Lake Bennet Medical Center
1151 Blackwood Avenue, Suite 120
Ocoee, FL 34761
(407) 615-0848

Welcome Everyone!

These days, it seems that there are a lot of people walking around with heavy hearts. Maybe I see a bit more of this because of the kind of work I do, but I think it’s more than that. Too many of us have gotten lost within the pressures of life, in our comparisons to others, and in a desperate longing to measure up, but a deep fear that we never will.

Not long ago, a young woman came to my office carrying her own version of this story. Even though she was a teenager, I think that what she shared can speak to all of us.

Let Your Heart Sing

Fifteen-year-old Kristen sat in my office, looking as if she were carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. Kristen, normally well-behaved, had recently started acting out, and her parents were concerned. Her grades were slipping, she wasn’t keeping to her curfews, and the week prior, she took her parents’ car, without permission, and without a license.

The youngest of three children, Kristen felt as if she just couldn’t measure up. “My brother got the smarts. And my sister, well, she’s just a natural athlete.” Both of them had gotten scholarships into college, and Kristen, just a sophomore, felt as if she didn’t have a chance. So she stopped trying. “What’s the point,” she said, as she shrugged her shoulders. “I’ll never measure up.”

I looked at Kristen and saw what she apparently did not; a beautiful young woman, bright and talented in her own right. How often, I wondered, do we each do the same thing Kristen was doing; so busy comparing ourselves to others that we are blinded to the light that we also are.

“What do you love to do?” I asked her. “What’s the one thing that, when you do it, everything else disappears?”

Kristen didn’t hesitate. “I love to sing,” she shared. And in an instant, I watched as Kristen became bright, transformed, and shared her love of performing, and what it’s like to watch the faces of others as she sings and gathers them into herself.

And then suddenly, it was gone. “But there are no scholarships for singing,” she muttered. “What’s the point?”

Both of us sat silent for a moment. And then, I remembered that earlier that week, I had seen an old rerun of the Wizard of Oz. I hadn’t seen that movie in years, and I had watched with new found appreciation for the richness of the movie’s message.

Then, much to my surprise, I heard myself say, “But don’t you see Kristen, singing is your yellow brick road. Your job is to follow that joy wherever it leads you, and trust that it will take you places you can’t even imagine right now. Your brother and sister, they can’t travel this road. It belongs only to you. But if you don’t take it—if you don’t let your heart sing, you’ll never know what your life could have been.”

Every single one of us has a yellow brick road. It may be an actual talent, like Kristen, but it doesn't have to be. Anything that bring you joy qualifies: playing with your grandchildren, digging around in your garden, laughing with friends, watching a sunset. What it is that bring you joy, cultivate it, nurture it, make time for it.

In this new year, may you find joy in the simple pleasures that let your heart sing. There's no telling where it will take you.

Until next time…
Be well!


What's New

My new book, “I am More Than My Infertility, 7 Proven Tools for Turning a Life Crisis into a Personal Breakthrough”, which I co-authored with Linda J. Parker, is now available! These universal tools can apply to any crisis or life challenge.

These tools are universal and timeless, just like the experiences of transition, challenge and crisis.

I’ve had friends and colleagues who have read the book who don’t suffer from infertility issues at all. One just lost her job, another is dealing with the realization that she will never have grandchildren, and still another runs a hospital group for spinal cord traumas. In every one of these situations, their feedback has been the same: “These tools work for everybody, no matter what the situation.”

You can purchase a copy from either one of my websites, or The book is also available on

Conceive on Air!

Listen live on Wednesday, at 2pm, EST by logging onto If you missed any of my prior appearances on this program, you can log onto my website,, for archived radio shows, as well as prior newsletters. Just navigate to “Helpful Links.”

Conceive Magazine

Next issue is scheduled to be on newsstands at the end of February. Don’t miss my Emotionally Speaking column, The Trying Time, which talks about preparing your relationship for parenthood.


Feedback from Readers

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