AND Decide Again

February 7th, 2016

Recently my business partner and I were notified that someone had hacked into our website and installed malware. What is it that causes people to spend their precious gifts trying to destroy the creations of others? If they are so good at trying to break into others’ web sites, why wouldn’t they use that talent to create something great of their own?

I am sure there are many theories about why such behavior persists and what types of personalities and social circumstances support such destructive choices. AND focusing on those theories is not where I choose to invest my energy. It happened. Address it. Move on. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Here Is to the Happy Camper

January 31st, 2016

My father loves life. He loves his family and friends. He remains curious about things around him. He’s rarely at home, running here and there for friends, out to eat with more friends, and myriad other activities.

My father understands something about nurturing and nurturance. He cares for and cares about those he loves. He won’t shake hands with women, instead informing them that he only hugs women. AND believe me they stand in line at church to share a hug. He nurtures loving relationships and expects little or nothing in return, often surprised when people are kind to him. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Make Sure You Have the Full Picture

January 24th, 2016

In this country, the election process for President seems to go on forever. Early on the ads are manageable. Now, as we get closer to primary season, the ads on television make it barely watchable. One thing that makes me shake my head, among many in the political process, is what the candidates leading in the polls seem to be reflecting back about us, as a nation.

Are we becoming an entitled society that expects our leaders to fix whatever is not working in our lives? When I read or hear that the young people in our society are supporting the most blustery idealists on both sides of the political spectrum, I get concerned. It feels like shades of the movie, Dead Poets Society repeating themselves in our elections. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Be Thankful When the Heart Trumps Logic

January 17th, 2016

Maya Angelou is credited with having said, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” I have found her statement to be a wonderful reminder to ignore the pundits and analysts who crunch the data and then say how we should behave or most likely will behave, according to logic and probabilities. The more powerful approach is the one that Dr. Angelou and a liberal arts education teach…read the original text, and don’t rely on others’ interpretations and summaries to know what is possible and true. Engage and observe for yourself.

I find myself relying on the wisdom of Dr. Angelou’s quote, as I observe the Powerball lottery fever that has dominated television airwaves and radio talk shows, as well as personal conversations for days. At a time when political campaigns drive fear and anxiety about the future, when the stock markets holding the dreams and savings of potential retirees drop, and media amplify the antagonism between competing individuals and countries, people choose to invest hard-earned money in lottery dreams. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Invest Wisely

January 10th, 2016

With each new day, I find myself shifting between content and context, as I consider where to invest my energy—emotional, mental, and physical. How much healthier might our lives be, if we were to consider every piece of news carried by social media, social situations, and more traditional media as context, rather than getting hooked by the content of what is presented? We could choose to consciously label whatever we confront or encounter as nothing more than an invitation to invest our precious attention, instead of immediately investing our focus in whatever the invitation is about (content).

How much more calm and joyful might we be, when we stop merely giving away our attention to anything that enters our mind, line of sight, or awareness? Instead of investing in everything that piques our initial interest as content to be addressed, considered, reacted to, or worthy of investing our hearts and minds, we would pause and consciously choose whether this invitation to engage is where we want to focus. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Start Again

January 3rd, 2016

Our human desire to mark things as complete certainly figures into our New Year’s celebrations. We create a space to mark a discrete ending to a time period that allows us to act as though we are filing loose papers that have been sitting on the desk, mark them as finished, and clean the desktop (or whatever) so we can start anew.

I find that naming a year and using that frame of reference to review life tends to lead to a good year v. difficult year perspective. Our ability to give ourselves permission to start anew, to get a redo is eased somewhat by the formal noting of time past. If we are not careful, we make our intentions for the future more from reactions to the past than from deep yearnings of the heart.  AND while our incomplete recollections of what has passed can provide insights and effective mirrors, reactions only reinforce past patterns. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Welcome the New Year with an Open Heart

December 27th, 2015

As I write the last entry of 2015, I am reflecting on what it means to welcome whatever appears in the New Year, AND what it means to let go of what 2015 brought to our lives and world. Consciously choosing to let go is a part of creating space for what presents itself next in our lives.

It is so much easier to let go when there are things we wish would disappear, or had never appeared at all. We live in challenging times for peace to take root in our lives. Our media bombard us with all manner of violence and unkindness in our world. Yet, a closer look at goings on in our lives and neighborhoods simultaneously reveals a more complex picture that includes people helping others and sharing their gifts to make a difference. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Find the Peace in Stillness

December 20th, 2015

As sounds of celebration, laughter, hustle and bustle fill the air this holiday season, I find immense peace in moments of stillness and quiet. The other night, with no television or other media to distract my senses, I watched the candles in the window cast light in the stillness of an otherwise dark night. The Christmas tree, small and unassuming, decorated with ornaments, each with its own unique story and personal meaning, lit up the first floor of my home.

AND I was drawn to how, in the presence of darkness and stillness, small lights create a very calming glow. The quiet was not shattered by loud sounds, movement, or neon lights. Rather, the simple essence became more prominent when the small, humble gesture of one light or a small tree was not crowded out by other sensory distractions. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Gift Consciously

December 13th, 2015

In this season of celebration and the exchange of gifts, I find myself reflecting on the gifts of both giving and receiving. Both have the potential to make the heart sing. Yet, I wonder sometimes if we truly recognize the gift being given.

Sometimes the gift is that we, as the receiver, recognize the offer, the kindness, and generosity of the giver. It not about whether we accept or receive what the giver offers. Conscious receiving is about recognizing how much is enough, what truly matters to both the receiver and giver, and how we wish to respond. AND the willingness to decline one apparent gift, while celebrating the giver and her or his generosity can be more meaningful than unconsciously giving the giver the impression that more such gifts are expected or valued when they are not. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Presence Presents Presents

December 6th, 2015

I was listening to the sound of the word presence the other day. The homonym of presence is presents. AND I couldn’t help smiling at the connection between the two. The title for today’s entry that came to me was AND Presence Presents Presents. Again a smile.

I thought of a colleague I worked with decades ago who would have simply told me that this title was too cute by half. Again, a smile. Read the rest of this entry »