My first official lifequake – March 21, 2014. It was the day my dad passed at 67 years young. Death was something other people experienced, but I had never known the feeling of loss personally. Little did I know six years ago, that the lifequake which turned my world upside down, would also lead me to fulfilling my passion and life purpose.

Dr. Toni Galardi describes the lifequake phenomenon as something that repurposes your life. Knowing the significant loss of my father had taken such a toll on my mental and physical well-being, I knew I had to come out of that darkest moment of my life eventually, so I can be present for myself, my children and husband.  I also had a major epiphany not long after my father’s death. This so-called lifequake I had experienced made me realize that I had been filling my life with things and people that didn’t do me any good or serve me in a positive way. Turning 50 was life-changing at that time also, but in a good way, and it made me realize that I was on a mission to re-invent myself. I was ready for healthy shifts to take place. I began writing the book I always wanted to write. I began more work in my field that inspired me and helped to inspire others.  I kept hearing my dad’s voice, “keep on writing, keep on inspiring, just do it.”

Repurposing your life is what Dr. Galardi calls the abundance stage. She references the metaphor of how important it is to surround yourself with dolphins and not sharks. If we can delve deep, even during those darkest moments of our life, and recognize the signs that have a negative influence over us, it’s only then that we can decide to have courage over fear. It’s a decision that can actually help morph us into the person we’ve been wanting to become, having the life we are so deserving of – even after negative experiences.

Pre-pandemic and still going strong, I can’t tell you how many clients express to me they’re the epitome of extreme ruminators. These are parents and adolescents. With the rise of anxiety, depression, and addictions, these young adults and grown-ups actually go into full blown ruminating episodes –constantly questioning and overthinking about what they’re thinking and worrying about. 

We’re currently in a lifequake – a coronavirus pandemic and presidential election.  As we prepare for 2021, I urge you to turn inward as much as possible, drowning the outside noise that surrounds you, and pull in what actually feeds your soul – that calm voice from a good friend who listens, meditation that calms your mind and body, focused breathing (which we all tend to forget about in our daily minutiae), a walk or exercise routine that you haven’t done in a long time but once enjoyed, getting on the floor and playing board games with your kids, journaling that helps get your soul centered, or perhaps taking a break from the toxic messages of the media for a week (or more) to refresh. My husband took a break from Facebook and has never felt better.  For me, it’s writing and also dancing crazily with my teen girls, laughing while they shout, “oh no, it’s mom again thinking she’s a famous Tik Tok star!”

Whatever it is that helps bring some equanimity in your life, especially during these global, chaotic times – stop ruminating and overthinking. Stop worrying about what you can’t control, stop listening to other peoples’ opinions that get you riled up, stop questioning yourself as a parent, stop binge eating or drinking to get you through the day, stop clinging to old habits and stop making yourself small just to make others feel comfortable. Stop giving eighty-six reasons why you can’t get out of a bad relationship or friendship.

The best catalyst for change is letting go of things and people that don’t serve you anymore. And, if you’re currently experiencing a crisis or dark moment, it’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to ask for help. A lifequake can be the actual roadmap of a transition leading you to something you’ve been needing and wanting for years. 


  • Lisa Tiano

    Parenting and teen expert, author and founder of REAL TeenTalk and InnerStarGirl

    Lisa Tiano received an M.A. in Clinical Psychology in 1991, where she began working with the pre-teen and teenage population. Lisa understands teens like no one else. As a parenting and teen expert, she engages and speaks to audiences of hundreds of teens, parents and teachers on the social stressors and obstacles that adolescents face. Her recent book she co-authored, 101 Girls Tips, Everyday Tips for the Everyday Girl addresses helpful ways to navigate girl world. With an honest view on healthy friendships, confidence building, peer pressure, bullying, body image, overcoming fears and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, young girls and women can seek affirmation during a time of self-discovery and change. Interviewed on podcasts and featured on the KTLA Morning News, Lisa continues to bring her programming into schools, educate and spread awareness on the importance of teens building empathy, healing the mean girl culture and empowering kids to slow down and humanly connect with one another.