AND Celebrate Excellence in Its Many Forms

January 22nd, 2017

The Connecticut Women Huskies basketball team surpassed a record last week that no other basketball team, men’s or women’s, has ever surpassed. AND they then surpassed the record again in the next game. AND the major radio and television networks never covered the games, talking instead about the upcoming, not-yet-occurring men’s sporting events.

Are we afraid of excellence in this country? Do we prefer the come-from-behind victories where the best team is toppled by the underdog over the continuous wins of an excellent team? Why are the Cubs a feel-good team and their win deservedly celebrated for days when the number one women’s basketball team is pushed aside and not given the same attention? Read the rest of this entry »

AND When You See, Share the Gift

January 15th, 2017

In support of making 2017 a year to find ways to transform darkness into light and shine light wherever we find ourselves, I was particular struck by something that happened at The Golden Globes last week. If you missed the show, there is a wonderful thirteen minute piece on YouTube documenting what I write about below.

Meryl Streep was selected to receive a Life Achievement Award for her brilliance as an actress over the course of her career to date. AND the person who presented her to those in attendance was the actress, Viola Davis. Davis told a story of working with Streep on a film, of admiring her while being simultaneously intimidated by her talent, and of wanting to say something to Streep at the time and of not doing so. AND she chose to use the Golden Globes’ moment to share the Meryl Streep that she had seen then and sees today. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Find Your Way to Shine Your Light

January 8th, 2017

As I was looking at the stars that shone over the marsh, I was struck by how each one sparkled and seemed to dance in the night sky. Each one took its unique place in the constellations that lit the sky. AND each one brought a unique light. AND the quiet of the night lit by these individual lights was both heartwarming and breathtaking. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Light the Way to Dreams for 2017

January 1st, 2017

As we welcome the New Year, we say goodbye to the one we leave behind. The year we leave behind becomes the foundation on which to build our dreams for the incoming year.

For me, 2016 highlighted the need for listening and seeking to understand different approaches and points of view in our world. The divisiveness and pure nastiness in our own country became more evident through a particularly ugly political process. At the same time, there were acts of kindness and generosity that occurred throughout the year, all of them worthy of reflection and celebration. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Celebrate the Spirit of Christmas

December 25th, 2016

As the last entry for 2016, this week’s invitation is to reflect on the power of the message and intention behind words. Our most recent election has left many deflated, angry, or scared by the rhetoric of the winner. AND this week is Christmas. How might we offer a gift of reconciliation, celebration, and kindness to all as a healing step and a reminder to look beyond the words?

The words that stand out for me are “Spirit of Christmas.” At the same time as Christians are celebrating Christmas, Jews are celebrating Hanukkah. Regardless of the name of the holiday you celebrate, there is a spirit of the season that is the true source of celebration and inspiration. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Give and Take AND Share

December 18th, 2016

In this season of gifting, I find myself reflecting on three different relationships with gifts. One is giving. Giving gifts is something that typically fills the giver more than receiving gifts. The sense of delight created by giving to others is a major emotional fill up for those who love to give.

The challenge for those who love to give is often that they are less willing to receive. In fact, for some givers, who are learning to create healthier relationships in their lives, learning to see receiving as a gift they give to the others is the most natural way to help them learn to create more balanced relationships. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Choose Kindness

December 11th, 2016

A listening ear and an open heart can change a life.

A kind word costs nothing and lifts many.

A hand extended in friendship welcomes the unseen and disenfranchised.

A warm embrace can melt a hardened heart. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Pause to Reconnect With Pure Light

December 4th, 2016

In this busy season of gift exchange and decorative lights, blow-up Santas and snowmen, we are offered the opportunity to tune into a quieter and more powerful gift of the season. To do so requires that we choose to tune out both inner and outer distractions, as well as commercial pulls that fill our daily lives. It requires that we pause to appreciate a deeper beauty and a purer light…one that is always on, even if we do not know to find and nourish it. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Listen to the Whisper

November 27th, 2016

So often in life we are graced with signals to help us remember where to focus our energy to enjoy our lives more and live into the highest and best of who we can be. Sometimes it’s the words in a piece of music that are exactly what we need at the time to shift from anger or frustration to laughter and eventually calm.

I was sitting in traffic on my way home for dinner a week ago. A trip that ordinarily takes twenty-five minutes took over two hours. It turns out there were fatalities in two accidents father up the road. The backup was over six miles.

The oldies station I had on the radio played songs like What the world needs now is love, sweet love. I began to laugh, as I sang along, at the songs that kept showing up to calm me down. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Give Thanks

November 20th, 2016

With all that is going on in our country and the world at large, it is an especially good time to remember AND. These three little letters form a word that can literally shift us out of anxiety into hope. The reason is quite simple.

The beauty of AND is that it allows us to name what we are experiencing, however painful or concerning, AND to also shift our focus to what else is true that we want to create in our lives, with others, and for the world. We can hold both as true. Instead of resisting whatever is painful or rocking our world, we remind ourselves to acknowledge it AND shift our focus to something more powerful, more worthy of our talents and energy. Read the rest of this entry »