WRITE A NOTE TO YOUR SELF...let it rip! xo
Thursday, February 28, 2013
WRITE A NOTE TO YOUR SELF...let it rip! xo
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
When our time here ends, unfinished business can’t be finished. Our focus shouldn’t be merely on the finish line no matter how exquisite we envision it; our focus should be on the business we tend to in between the start and the finish so we can delight in crossing the actual finish line.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Thursday, February 21, 2013
I smile. It truly comes naturally to me and I find myself smiling for no reason at all as I walk through my day. When I am out and about, I like to make eye contact and smile at those who pass my way so we can connect. I am always amused by how many people will be confused by my smiling at them, looking perplexed and asking, "Do I know you?" When I tell them that I don't know them and explain that I was just smiling at them, they thank me and we both end up smiling (and chuckling too). HOW FUN!
When I used to lead workshops and spoke about the power of a smile and eye contact to connect us, people would share amazing stories about shifts in the attitudes of co-workers from smiling more. One woman told that she had smiled at a co-worker as she walked through his department every morning as she entered the facility. He never once smiled back at her. This irritated her over time that he never reciprocated so she decided not to smile at him, ignoring him as she walked by. Within an hour, he came to her department and approached her asking why she didn't smile at him. He confided that her smile always brightened his day. They made a pact to smile at each other every morning no matter what.
The Dalai Lama told a story when I went to see him at IU Auditorium. There was a missionary that came to visit the village where he was living. The people were Buddhists and she was Christian. She said to him, "I love you people but you have no religion." In response to her comment, he smiled. He shared, "I smiled at her. That is compassion." He knew that she believed what she believed and could honor that not trying to convince or argue or tell her how stupid and ignorant she was being. He simply smiled. His smile brought healing into the moment as he says kindness is his religion.
PROJECT: Smile! I invite you to observe the kindess effect, the power of your smile. Experiment with this for a day, a week, a month and see how it makes you feel to connect through this joyful exchange. And as my mom always said, "Smile...it's free!" It won't cost you a thing but it can pay huge dividends to you and those new friends you meet wherever you go.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
- HUMANITY: If you planted hope today in any hopeless heart, if someone's burden was lighter because you did your part, if you caused a laugh that chased a tear away, if tonight your name is mentioned when someone kneels to pray, then your day was well spent.
- I shall pass this way but once. Therefore, any good that I can do or any kindness that I can show, let me do it now for I shall not pass this way again. - William Penn
- Kindness Matters.
- Leap Fearlessly.
- Company and fish smell after three days. - Thomas Jefferson
- Just Be.
- Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see. - Helen Keller
- All I know of love is love is all there is - Emily Dickinson
- Enter with a Happy Heart
- What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. - Emerson
- There will never be another day just like this one...There will never be another human being just like you.
- Count Your Blessings!
- It's not a dress rehearsal: Live the Life You've Imagined. - Thoreau
- We don't remember days, we remember moments...
- Be bold in the dreams you dream for your life!
- Be gentle with yourself...
- I exist as I am. That is enough. - Whitman
- Your love is the miracle!
- Be still. I want to know God's thoughts, the rest are details. - Einstein
- Every ending is a new beginning...
- Live the Passion.
- Let Your Life Speak.
- All You Need Is Love.
- Nourish Your Soul.
- It's All Good.
- Miracles Happen.
- Expect Miracles.
- LIVE A GOOD LIFE...And in the end, it's no the years in a life, it's the life in the years. - Abraham Lincoln
- Never Give Up! The challenges of today teach us the lessons by which we live tomorrow...
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
I believe we all want the same things in life: to know we matter, to love and be loved, to connect honestly to our Self and others.
Monday, February 18, 2013
The love of music can be equally as stirring as our love of an individual. Both feed us in unexplainable ways. SOUL stuff!
My lifelong friend, Alison introduced me to all the classic Rock n' Roll bands as well as the 80's rockers who made the cut on her short-list. She would crank up the stereo in her 1972 Toyota Corolla and sing every single word on pitch at the top of her lungs as we headed down the road raising a little hell.
Alison called me last week just after the Superbowl to catch up. She had just returned from Florida visiting with her uncle who she shared was less than thrilled that Beyonce' would be performing at half-time. When she asked him why he didn't like Beyonce', he said, as if it should be obvious to her and everyone: Beyonce' doesn't rock! She laughed hysterically as she told me his response admitting that she actually likes a few of Beyonce's songs. I do too.
I just watched the documentary Sound City created by David Grohl frontman of the Foo Fighters and formerly with the band, Nirvana. Sound City Studios was a famous recording studio in L.A. where the likes of Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, Tom Petty and Rick Springfield cut their first tracks. In 1991, Nirvana recorded their breakthrough album Nevermind there, bonding David Grohl to the studio forever after that magical experience.
The coolest part of the documentary was watching David Grohl jam with his hero, Paul McCartney and other musicians and artists. Expressing whatever came forward in the moment, they were raw, unscripted, spontaneous and so alive. They were simply guys doing what they love to do, doing what they must. They weren't playing to the cameras, trying to be rock stars. They let go completely to find that sweet spot, digging deep to touch that space that frees the music. There was perfection in the imperfection. And it was so inspiring!
Each of us has music within us. Do what you must. Do whatever it is you must do simply for the sake of doing it, for the joy it brings. Free the passion. Whether you like R&B, Rap, Jazz, Soul, Rock n' Roll, Funk, Pop, Big Band, Classical, Country, Southern Rock and so on, it matters not. You get to choose.
I invite you to turn it up and let the music stir you. Whatever ROCKS you, ROLL with it! Don't hold back. Belt it out. Silencing your voice robs the world of songs only you can sing...
Sunday, February 17, 2013
We are told to let bygones be bygones by those uncomfortable or threatened by us revisiting our history; but sometimes, it is a necessary to go back to go forward into a life free from the heaviness we have been dragging around. Visiting the past can be healing as we acknowledge all of the experiences - especially the ones we would never have wished for, no longer needing to blame others or wallow in the pain. There may be grief and unwanted feelings to process but there is gold on the other side of the rainbow if we stay the course.
Below is from the INTRO to Passing On Hope written January 11, 2007:
In my look back into what I thought was dark, scary, and overloaded with demons, I discovered an adventure lined with love, laughter, joy, creative survival, perseverance, and gratitude for it all. All those years, I had avoided looking back for fear the pain might take me down for good this time, but the pain amazingly enough dissipated as I faced it little by little. Some of my perceptions were skewed; some of them were dead on. It didn’t matter anymore. As I faced the ugliest parts of myself and my history, I was freed. For the first time I could remember, I felt whole and more present in my life than I knew was possible. The power I had given to the past dulled the joy found in each day, but no more. I wouldn’t allow myself to waste one more moment stuck back there.
My acceptance that my parents, my family, my community, and my teachers did the best they knew how to do stopped my spinning over and over how I wished things could have been. Learning to love myself and all that has led me here today, I am fueled with courage to keep going, to keep dreaming, and to keep believing in the desires of my heart. I feel that there is enough love in this moment to fill the moments of the past where I couldn’t feel it. As I allow this love in, miracles occur within me and around me. I am more than I ever knew was possible, as is everyone I meet. Fear no longer rules my life, as I open to the beauty in life.
I invite you to go back with the intention to acknowledge the truth, to let go, to heal and to reach for MORE as you go forward...spin the lead into GOLD! Find the BEAUTY and let it fill your heart.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Friday, February 15, 2013
Thursday, February 14, 2013
your Self through kindness all day long...
LOVE TO YOU ALL this day and all your days! xo
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
I never wanted to be a nurse or a mother but became both as a caregiver to my brother, mom and husband. As I type this, I hear these words echo in my mind: If you wanna' make God laugh tell'em your plans and I can't help but chuckle. Here I was this take-charge entrepreneur who knew how to get shit done, to make tough choices, to create solutions overcoming whatever challenges I faced. Then, cancer came knocking.
My brother, Michael, was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer almost 10 years ago. Our first conversation was purely strategic, mapping out the plan of how to fight this fight and beat it. I could do this all day long. This was my comfort zone. And I was actually good at researching and asking questions, advocating for my brother. But soon, I would discover that there was no fixing, managing or controlling the big C.
I found myself in new territory, surrendering my manic drive to solve the problem and going into my heart and soul. From this space, I could be present to Michael, asking his wants and desires and wishes and listening with no judgment, doing everything in my power; I was absolutely there in the moment with him to serve in any way that he needed. My agenda was out the window as it would only create a barrier and he needed all of me.
His anger, his fear, his resentment, his humor, his laughter, his coping tools, his moments of crazy and terror - I could hold space for all of it. Nothing was too big. And this was absolutely beyond me as the heavens intervened and took my stubborn will that had served me well but just wasn't useful under these circumstances.
He would thank me for being with him, his wife and his sons. I was struck by his gratitude as I knew I was being given a gift that would transform my life, teaching me the power of my presence, the miracle of being fully with another human being when he is most vulnerable.
There is such wisdom on the death bed! The person transitioning from this life to the after life is deeply connected to the essence of who they truly are: the soul. And in his connection, Michael helped me dip my toe into this healing water that freed and nourished like nothing else. He cut through the crap that often bogs down our lives, experienced profound clarity, appreciated the precious gift of this life and all life, said whatever needed to be said and inspired those who were privileged to witness him become more alive as he was dying. The last 6 months of Michael's life, we were so in the moment, we lived lifetimes within days. It was heartbreaking AND it was AWEsome.
I would never have wished for Michael's illness and ultimately his death, but I am eternally grateful for the experience that showed me I am far more than I knew I was. I may have never wanted to be a mother or a nurse but LOVE would motivate me to do what was put in front of me.
**Below is a story of caregiving for my mom. I have a million and one stories but really love the tenderness of this experience and I hope you feel this too.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Now, I love a sunshiny day as much as the next person. Even in the most frigid temps of winter, I will put my face toward the sun and breathe in the glory it offers and have a ritual of laying on my hill bundled in winter garb as if I were sunbathing on the beach. But when it is sunny, I get more restless to go out and play, do errands or get things done, making it impossible for me to hibernate and experience the joys of this alternate way of living.
The seasons are always changing inviting us to join them, to learn the art of balance between being and doing...being and doing. Making the most of our days is a rich way to live even the days we want to wish away where we curse the weather that just won't cooperate with our desires.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
WHAT IF WE CAN ALL BE ASSHOLES FROM TIME TO TIME?
(Take Your Turn. Be HUMAN. It makes you less righteous.)
In honor of today being my late-husband, John's birthday, I felt compelled to write about kindness as this was truly an effortless way of being for him. AND he could also be an asshole (albeit far less than me) from time to time just like the rest of us.
I always feel bad for celebrities who get caught on film being assholes and the clip plays over and over as the masses play judge and juror, pretending to be perfect and superior. When I see these clips, I honestly think to myself that every person has had a similar moment (well, I KNOW I have!) when the ugliest parts of us COME OUT TO ROAR. While I know it feels much better when I am kind, it is unrealistic to believe I am not an asshole from time to time.
As a coach, people welcome me into their lives, baring their souls as they share and allowing a level of vulnerability that brings healing. Perfectionism is the source of immeasurable torture in our culture. Perfectionism - not in a balanced energy where a person aspires to do their very best, but in an abusive energy where a person holds their self to an impossible standard, beating their self up compulsively for the inability to live up to this ideal, not allowing for the humanness. Perfectionism that I see is motivated by shame and guilt not out of self-love that makes healthy choices to honor their highest potential.
When I posed the question to one couple: What if we can all be assholes from time to time? This inquiry was transforming for them. It made them laugh out loud and now, they admit that when one of them is in the middle of an asshole moment, they check their self and take responsibility, owning this behavior - finding the humor instead of picking up the bat to beat their self up with shame and guilt. They even agreed to a percentage and made a sign for their fridge: 15% ASSHOLE. This new way of being has even made them more kind not just to each other but to everyone else they encounter.
When we appreciate our own humanness, we truly begin to appreciate the humanness of others, making us less righteous and more accepting of even the ugliest parts that we want to wish away. Instead of pushing away what we are ashamed of, it is more healing to be kind to ourself, befriending and integrating all of us.
Below is a workshop that I did 4 years ago: CULTIVATING KINDNESS! It is indeed a worthy practice simply because it feels so damn good to be kind and it starts with your self so be generous.