April 24th, 2016
Have you ever stopped to just notice your surroundings? How do you feel in the place you call home? Work?
I stopped to look at my home a number of years ago and noticed that in more than half of the rooms in the house I had a desk. Clearly my relationship with work was out of balance! Today I still have my favorite writing desk, separate from my office and plenty of space for artwork somewhere else, and I never use that writing desk for work. It holds a story and carries a beauty that makes me smile. Read the rest of this entry »
April 17th, 2016
As I was walking past the marsh the other day, a beautiful blue heron flew in front of me. The huge wingspan and graceful flight put a smile on my face. Native American lore suggests that this amazing bird is a reminder about not getting stuck in conventional logic.
The blue heron has long spindly legs like an ostrich or dodo bird. Its wingspan can be many feet wide. It doesn’t look as if it is designed for flight, and neither the ostrich nor dodo bird was. AND yet the blue heron flies…and beautifully so.
In the pace of hectic lives, schedules, and multiple demands for our attention, we can quickly dismiss dreams as impossible because logically we don’t see how they could become real. Many people settle for less than fulfilling relationships, whether personal or professional, or less than fulfilling work because they tell themselves that what they want is not rational or logically possible. Read the rest of this entry »
April 10th, 2016
In so many conversations with clients this week I have been struck by the levels of exhaustion and frustration with the pace and games they experience in their workplaces. Most, not all, of those I have been hearing from are professional women. Willis Harmon, decades ago, labeled women the canaries in organizational settings.
Coal miners have used canaries to tell them when the air in the mine was unsafe to breathe and they needed to get out before they died. When the canaries stopped singing, the men knew to get out.
At one point in the nineties, women started leaving their workplaces in droves and starting their own companies, built on different values, ways of managing, and treating people. They were signaling that ways of working in their workplaces were not healthy AND they were unwilling to serve values and practices they believed hurtful to themselves and other people. Read the rest of this entry »
April 3rd, 2016
It’s that time of year again when new birth shows up after the barren winter. The trees blossom with new leaves, brighter than the mature greens they will become. Despite the pollen that makes us sneeze, we bathe ourselves in the smells and colors that are spring, as we smile more and feel more alive in their beauty.
I love that my favorite little red songbirds have returned, although not with their regularity yet, as winter is still exerting its force to hold on, even as spring begins to take hold.
In a time of re-birth, re-growth, and re-turns, we are re-minded of the importance of pausing to ask ourselves where we want to grow. What do we want to devote our emotional energy, thinking, and hearts to, as the season of growth is upon us? Read the rest of this entry »
March 27th, 2016
I was listening to a wonderful talk by author Rabbi Kushner. My favorite story that he told was of taking very young children on a tour of the synagogue. He told the children at the end of the tour that there was a wonderful surprise behind the curtain that he would show them when they came back at a later date. Sometime later, their teacher reported to the rabbi what several children thought was behind the curtain.
One thought, much like any good television give-away show, that there was a car behind the curtain. Another declared there was nothing behind the curtain. A third proclaimed that there were Holy Scriptures behind the curtain (accurate, of course). And the fourth children said there would be a mirror. Read the rest of this entry »
March 20th, 2016
If you turn on the news, lead stories are almost always about something not going well. Coverage of our political process seems to emphasize the sensational. The tone is negative. The pace is very fast, hooking us into fear and “ain’t it awful” kinds of scenarios. At the same time, workers report crazy levels of intensity, politics, and sheer pace required to keep up in their day-to-day work, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
In a climate of bombarding messages about all that is not going well, we still have a choice. We can pile on and join the negative, allowing the fear and anger to color our worlds. We can choose to resist it, fighting and defending an alternative point of view, denying that the anger and fear are present, while not realizing that we have become just as angry and fearful. AND we have another choice. Read the rest of this entry »
March 13th, 2016
Have you ever noticed how your whole perspective on something can change when you change the preposition that describes a relationship? Think about how different you feel when you say, “I work for her” or “for a certain company” and when you say, “I work with her” or “with a certain company to help people.”
One focuses on a power relationship. The other reminds us why we do the work we do, and may even remind us not to give too much power to the hierarchical structure in which we work. One empowers and frees the heart; the other limits, and sometimes crushes, it. Read the rest of this entry »
March 6th, 2016
I would be stating the obvious to declare that our political process is less than healthy. In the way we galvanize people, we have degraded civil conversation and healthy debate to ignite emotions that support divisiveness, rather than unity.
With a fervor characteristic of celebrity worshippers or sports fanatics, we stop listening to learn and appreciate the value a candidate might bring. Instead we do whatever is necessary to only hear what we want to hear and reward those who say what we want with votes.
Our social media connections allow for immediate amplification of messages and lemming-like responses that cause those who do not listen critically to join those whose friends they want to be in supporting something or someone they don’t understand. Are we supporting increased blindness and denial in order to be accepted by more influential peers? Read the rest of this entry »
February 28th, 2016
Have you ever stepped back to notice how you structure your days and whether those structures work for you? As I contemplate what I might like to do this morning, I am aware that I will need to make space this morning to write this blog, if it is to go up, as promised, tomorrow morning. The structure of a promise to write a weekly blog drives me to look for space in my life to make it happen.
I know that having a requirement, albeit self-imposed, of posting at the same time every week actually supports my writing. I know myself well enough that I can be delighted with virtually anything on my desk or elsewhere in the house to avoid writing. The same wonderful distractions magically appear whenever I think about making the space in my day to exercise.
Making the space for what I intuitively know will serve the best in me has short and long term implications for my health and ability to serve in ways that matter to me. While I might like to stay in bed longer, I also know that making that space to brew and enjoy a cup of tea each morning is something that begins my day well. Read the rest of this entry »
February 21st, 2016
As I look out the window, a dark cloud looms overhead, even as the sun rises and shines over the water below the cloud. And even though it is winter, a little bird pauses on one of the posts of the deck. A lot is going on in this picture. I can only really appreciate it because I am still.
The roar of high tide crowds out most other sound, just as the advancing clouds increasingly diminish the bright light of the sun. Amidst all this action, I find that if I pause to be quiet and observe all that is happening, there is a calm that descends on me. Read the rest of this entry »