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Lauren Handel Zander

Co-founder and Chairwoman of Handel Group

Lauren Handel Zander is the co-founder and chairwoman of Handel Group, an international corporate consulting and life coaching company. Her coaching methodology, The Handel Method®, is taught at over 35 universities and institutes of learning around the world, including MIT, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, NYU, and the New York City public school system. She currently lives in South Salem, New York, has her bachelor's in environmental studies from George Washington University, and is the author of Maybe It's You: Cut the Crap, Face Your Fears, Love Your Life. Handel Zander has spent over 20 years coaching thousands of private and corporate clients, including executives at Vogue, BASF, and AOL. She has been a featured expert in the New York Times, BBC, Forbes, Women’s Health, Dr. Oz, and Marie Claire, and is a regular contributor to Business Week and the Huffington Post.

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What is your wellness philosophy?

Want the secret sauce to happiness and my overall wellness philosophy? Have what you say and do and think forward your dream. The ability to make and keep a promise to ourselves that is a match for our dream is what I call personal integrity. It is the alignment of your heart (your desires), your mind (your plan), and your body (your actions). When you can keep a promise to yourself, you become not only proud of yourself, but you can trust yourself. Happiness, self-esteem, and personal pride come from knowing you can count on you. Most of us walk around like personal integrity is something we have. But we don’t realize how crappy (technical term) we are at keeping promises to ourselves. Keeping promises to others? Sure. But ourselves? Not so much. And I promise, we feel this unconscious breach to our core.

What brought you into wellness?

What I’ve found in my 20-plus years of coaching, developing my method, and teaching it is that not many are really asking the right questions. And few are really teaching us how to live a life worth living. We are all so busy reacting to life, so inundated with reading 700 books we’re going to forget, getting into college, paying off college, and achieving all our goals that we’re not really designing our dream life at all. We are so much greater and more capable than this, except we’re not breaking into our own lives and discovering our real voice, our real truth, and our real ability to live a life we care about so much more than the one we’re seemingly stuck in. I was ever and always determined to help people get unstuck, connect the dots, and make uncommon knowledge common.

What does You. We. All. mean to you?

If you looked at the fine print (or not so fine) on our species packaging, we’re a bit darker than most of us admit. But then we wonder why we toss and turn at night, overeat, and so many of us are on antidepressants. I think if we got honest about our dishonesty, learned to gracefully tell our truths, stop excuse-making, blaming, feeling guilty, and wishing we were different, we’d be a happier lot. We’d have to see that finger-pointing and feeling bad were not real actions and, in seeing that, we could get out of our own way and get into the right actions––you, we, and all––to cause the change we’ve been wishing to see.

What empowers you?

People willing to do the work to hack into their own lives, cause change, and get on their rightful mission here as opposed to the default one they’re currently on.

What renews you?

Being inspired and deeply moved by my clients and my "job" here. I mean, come on, I get to help grow already huge and great humans into who they truly are and achieve the impact they could really make when they fully stand in what they’re here to do.