AND Spend Your Energy Wisely

October 22nd, 2017

Have you noticed how important AND is these days?  Remembering to live from and and not but is critical to tapping into a healthy perspective on life itself and our place in it. What I mean by this is simply that our news is no longer much about news or what many of us deem important. As correspondents chase every distraction without thoughtfully asking about relevance to people and the world, as we also learn of weather-related and other human disasters, we find ourselves distracted and barraged with negativity.

AND as we focus on stories of harassment, terrorism, pain and suffering, and the like our ability to remember the goodness and kindness so many experience on a daily basis gets buried. The stories that we find in our social media, television, internet, and other means of digital connection reflect only some of what is going on. Where are the stories of people helping one another after the wildfires and hurricanes? Read the rest of this entry »

AND Look Beyond the Label

October 15th, 2017

I was listening to a podcast that suggested stubbornness might be a critical asset in creating change. That idea got me thinking about what we call stubbornness.

In my experience, the label of stubborn is levied by the one who feels unsuccessful in getting someone else to change her mind or behavior to accommodate the one who wants her to change. In times of shifting priorities or changes to the status quo, whether personal, organizational, or societal, the early leaders are challenged to hold strong when others pressure them to return to conventionally specified roles and behaviors. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Choose to Support Brilliance

October 8th, 2017

I love the autumn colors. The trees show up in their most beautiful colors, much to the delight of leaf peepers. The onset of cool crisp nights, after warm sunny days, supports the changing showcase of color each day.

One other critical nutrient in the process is rain. Without enough rain, the leaves fade and wither before they can show up in their full splendor. They are still beautiful, although understated in their brilliance and boldness. This is one of those years when we have not have had enough rain to feed the leaves in their process. AND the resulting muting of potentially brilliant color has me thinking. Read the rest of this entry »

AND We Are Stronger Together

October 1st, 2017

I have been watching what appears to be growing divisiveness in our country and the world. Last week’s news in the US focused on athletes taking a knee during the national anthem and related tweets on social media. While some people became angry on either side of that issue, there was another issue that divided us at the same time. And that was the question of why the news focused on this story when other prominent national and international stories, such as storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, received less prominent coverage.

The BBC published a story about hackers from Russia who had been feeding both sides of the standing vs. kneeling during the anthem story with fake news on social media to feed the divisiveness. AND after I read the story I got to thinking about where and when I have seen the same patterns of divisiveness created by or stoked by third parties and what the results have been. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Trust the Inner Barometer to Light the Way

September 24th, 2017

So many of our large systems today are collapsing or failing under the weight of old leadership styles and lack of diversity at the top. From businesses and universities to health systems, the Equifax breech, and others, we can see the cost of not thinking together about complex problems and allowing ourselves to create new ways of operating in the world.

In an atmosphere of unconscious standards where bigger is better and money rules the bottom line, many people are lost trying to find a place where they feel seen, valued, and able to contribute in meaningful ways. When fear rules, we default to control, the old familiar ways, and conventional thinking about what matters.

AND nothing could threaten our vitality, joy, creativity, and ease with whatever life presents us than giving our power to outside voices to tell us who we are and what is special about us. These times might be just the impetus needed to cause us to ask what really matters to us. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Look to the Heart for Courage

September 17th, 2017

I was thinking about what it takes to live with courage in our times. The word courage comes from the French word coeur, meaning heart. Living from the heart would require us to respond to people and situations in our world with compassion, rather than judgment.

We would need to pause to connect with love and light, rather than judging others harshly. We would be willing to see the pain and suffering of those fleeing their countries and homes of abuse and tyranny, or dealing with the devastation of homes and communities after storms and earthquakes. And we would actually want to reach out and help where we could, with empathy and kindness. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Welcome the New

September 10th, 2017

On a recent drive through the back roads, I noticed a few bright red leaves appearing on the trees. Early harbingers of autumn, they signal the change of seasons in progress. AND I marvel at the consistency of Mother Nature.

As the long summer days begin to decline and the nights grow longer, the temperatures begin to shift. The warm sunny days are often followed by the cooler nights that characterize a New England autumn. They began to appear in the past few weeks and grow stronger each week.

The birds began swarming on the beach last week, as they prepare to leave colder climates for warmer winters in more southern locales. AND I paused to notice how nature signals the changes to come. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Celebrate Those Who Labor

September 3rd, 2017

I love this time of year when the beaches go quiet, the shore birds run freely, and the warm days give way to cool nights. As we greet the new season, Labor Day presents itself as a kind of unofficial mark of the end of summer and the beginning of fall. AND Labor Day is a good time to reflect on those who labor daily to provide for their families, care for others, teach a new generation of future leaders, and generally make life special for those they serve.

One of the people who stands out for me is a wonderful woman who works very early hours at a bakery in a local seaside town. She is always smiling, and willing to play with me by joking about the calories in the delicious goods and the miles needed to walk them off. People like her remind all of us that we build communities together with warm greetings, playful banter, and an appreciation for what each other does to make the day a little more fun, and the connection more personal. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Make Each Moment Special

August 27th, 2017

The convergence of the solar eclipse with market opportunities to sell glasses and memorabilia and people’s desperation to share in something special with people we love created the perfect storm for us to celebrate something positive together. The opportunity presented itself. People saw what the opportunity could be, prioritized it in their calendars, and made the moment special.

AND the solar eclipse was going to occur whether we paused to notice it or not. So… Now might be a good time to pause. What would we create together if we devoted the same kind of attention to looking for and finding what is special every day? In every shared “hello”? In every conversation? In every sunrise? Read the rest of this entry »

AND Choose Wonder

August 20th, 2017

Again this week, I was struck by the power of one single monarch butterfly to issue the invitation to get out of my head and any heavy thoughts and follow the beauty and wonder of this tiny gift in our world. The feeling of glee that comes from joining in the butterfly’s freedom and dance is magical. Children know this.

The child’s wonder and awe connect us with the beauty and joy that exist in our world. They don’t usually make the evening news, although reporting on wonder would do more good for our world than what we report on today. AND we all have access to states of wonder and awe. Read the rest of this entry »