AND Follow the Leader

August 2nd, 2015

I was walking the beach the other day, fascinated by very little children playing by the water. I watched one little girl. She was somewhere between one and two years old, dressed in a ruffled bathing suit and sunhat. An adult man accompanied her at a pace that clearly indicated that he would let her choose what they did and when.

When she plopped herself down several feet from the water, apparently fascinated by something she found in the sand, he stopped also. No hemming and hawing. No impatiently tapping his foot. He seemed perfectly content to watch her fascination with whatever was right in front of her. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Counting Tells a Different Story

July 26th, 2015

Each week, I wait for something to strike me so I can write this blog. Sometimes, several themes knock on the door at once, and I write multiple entries. Other times, I am at the deadline, thinking I will write about one thing, and fascinated that when I turn on the computer, that is not at all what I write.

What strikes me as I write today is the entry number. Although the number is not posted, I keep track of entries by entry number. Only by looking at the number do I have any idea how long I have been writing this blog. That number, of course, has no meaning and tells no story unless I or you create one about the amount of time I have been writing or you reading. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Let Freedom Ring

July 19th, 2015

Living in a place that is very sparsely populated three seasons out of four makes it easy to feel connected to the beauty of nature. I stop to appreciate the sunrise and sunset, inspired and comforted by the colors, clouds, and reflections that inspire the most amazing artistic creations.

In a sparsely populated area, there are fewer human disruptions and the pace of nature prevails. That pace is such a contrast from what most of our lives have become. AND that contrast becomes amplified in the summer when the crowds of humans descend like bees.

They buzz around with activity and stuff, intent on some mission. Some show up and just sit facing the water. They usually arrive early, before the crowds descend, or at the end of the day, when they leave. Others bring their cell phones and myriad other things that distract them from the natural magnificence of the backdrop. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Appreciate the Context

July 12th, 2015

I was walking the beach last weekend and came upon what seemed to be a father and son, an adult and child. To their right, on a dry spot on the beach sat two reasonably large toy vehicles and two remote controls.

What thrilled me was that the technology was just sitting there, while the two were skipping rocks. I stopped to watch as the young boy seemed to be learning how to make the rocks skip across the water.

The adult would skip the rock and the child would then search for the rock in the waves and try to return it. The reminder that the shore has many gifts to offer, if we stop to look, put a smile on my face. Such a sharp contrast from the need to bring technological toys to entertain oneself! Read the rest of this entry »

Entry 304 AND Simply Enjoy the Summer

July 5th, 2015

The crowds arrived for the Fourth of July Celebrations. The promise of friends, family, food, and fireworks drew many to beaches, camps, and other gathering places. This holiday in the U.S. seems to open the summer vacation season for many.

In a recent conversation with a European friend, I learned of a particular difference between many European beachgoers and American ones. The Europeans arrive with their bamboo mats rolled under their arm, open them on the sand, and lie in the sun. The Americans, in contrast, look like they are moving in. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Choose the Story You Want to Support

June 28th, 2015

Lately I have been noticing stories and the power we give them. We experience something in life. Then we assign it a meaning and create an entire script around what we remember, or choose to focus on. The story becomes the truth. AND we invest inordinate amounts of energy retelling it and acting as if it were the same as what we experienced. We are essentially amnesic or in denial that we deleted elements or focused on certain other elements to preserve the story as we want it to be.

Some of us cast ourselves as heroes. Others cast themselves as victims. We tell ourselves, and others, these stories and perpetuate them unconsciously. The stories we make up about others, according to our own rules about how the world should be and the role we should have in it are little more than creative accounts, if not pure fiction. They came from our minds and imaginations. Yet, we can make our own and others’ lives more difficult by spreading our stories to more people, thereby locking ourselves and others into caricatures. Of course, the reason we do this is to reinforce the image of ourselves we want to portray, to others or ourselves. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Thank You, Dad

June 21st, 2015

I just love the holidays we set aside to honor those who give so much of themselves to help others. AND for me, Father’s Day is one of those special days.

Much has changed in parenting in the last fifty years. Very often it has been men’s roles that have had to shift dramatically, as women moved more into leadership roles in the workplace. Today there are more men at home directly involved in raising children, with many doing it full time. And, as we know, if the parent loves to nurture and support children, that gift of love, nurturance, and support keeps on giving. We are healthier, as a society, when children are raised by loving and caring adults. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Also Appreciate the Lack

June 14th, 2015

After many days of brilliant sunshine, the skis turned grey. Some gentle rains fell against the windows and on the roof. As much as I love the gorgeous blue skies and wispy clouds that gather against their beautiful backdrop, there is something magical about the grey skies, too.

I suppose, if I lived where it rained almost continually, I might not experience the grey skies the same way, although I don’t really know because that is not my experience. What I love about the grey skies is a kind of reflective quiet that seems to come with the pall that comes over everything. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Smile Now

June 7th, 2015

When I was little, my father used to tell me how it made no sense to him why people get angry with others, themselves, or a situation in the moment only to find the humor weeks or months later. Why not see the humor immediately? That wonderful insight has always stayed with me.

We often need time and distance from people or situations to step back and recognize how much emotional energy we waste trying to control them. We hold others to expectations we have of them and then react emotionally when they don’t live up to our requirements. We replay conversations and fears over and over in our heads long after they have happened or well in advance of their happening (if they happen at all). Read the rest of this entry »

AND Let Beauty Speak

May 31st, 2015

On a sunny and uncharacteristically warm spring day, I slipped out for a walk between clients. The sky seemed immense. A light blue backdrop with fluffy white clouds and what looked like airbrushed wisps of white covered everywhere the eye could see and offered a beauty that enveloped the world below.

It is easy, when walking the beach, to notice the patterns in the sands from tides that were once there and have since ebbed back into the ocean. The footprints crisscrossing the sand mark the paths of travelers I meet or who came before. It is otherwise an expanse of light tan wherever I step. Read the rest of this entry »