AND Tend the Garden

June 26th, 2016

In this season of growth, gardens are a beautiful metaphor for our lives, especially our emotional lives. What we water and prune tends to grow. Untended gardens are like unconscious lives. Because we are not paying attention, we may be watering the weeds and blocking the growth of the most beautiful flowers and plants.

One of the most beautiful flowers in the garden is gratitude. Once we choose to look for it in our lives, we find it. AND it grows. With a conscious focus on looking for the things and people in our lives to be grateful for, we recognize the many gifts growing and scattered throughout our lives. AND the gratitude multiplies. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Honor the Fathers In Our Lives

June 19th, 2016

A wise man came to visit me this week. He asked for nothing and appreciated everything. He shared stories and reflections. He basked in the beauty of whatever each moment presented. He relished a walk on the beach. He watched the sun set and the sailboat on the water.

He appreciated a great meal AND a good laugh. He would sit mesmerized at the table, watching the sun dance on the water. AND found just as much delight watching the birds fly in and out of the birdhouse.

He lives in the moment, with gratitude for all that is working in his life. He delights in sharing life with family and friends. He appreciates each special moment, person, or occasion for the unique gifts each brings. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Celebrate Each Step

June 12th, 2016

Almost one hundred and fifty years after becoming a country, the United States granted women the right to vote. This week, nearly one hundred years after gaining the right to vote, the citizens of this country have virtually completed a primary elective process that has name a woman the presumptive nominee for one of the two primary political parties engaged in a battle to elect the next President of the United States.

Whether you are a fan of Hillary Clinton or a detractor, she stands on the shoulders of many who have fought for women’s rights and the recognition of women’s ability to lead our country. History has indeed been made. AND I was struck by the joy and overwhelming gratitude in her face and demeanor when she faced the people in Brooklyn to celebrate her presumptive status. I was also struck by her focus on those who came before her who paved the way and on whose achievements and shoulders she stands today. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Redefine the Rules of the Game

June 5th, 2016

I found myself comparing the competition among talented singers on the television show, The Voice, with the competition among political candidates for our presidential election, as covered by various media. One inspires me by the raw talent and possible heights of achievement for those with great passion for their dreams and their craft. The other…not so much.

Why is it that we cheer for individuals who will put themselves out there on The Voice? Could it have anything to do with how the game is played? All participants work around the clock to learn new songs, stretch themselves, and attempt to integrate the mentorship and guidance of self-selected mentors in their field. Each one is being encouraged to continuously challenge themselves to do better, even as they support their competitors to do the same. All learn to play to the audience by connecting with their hearts and lightening up some, without compromising excellence. All are encouraged to follow their dreams, while being judged on whether they can execute against what they promise. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Remember Why They Gave So Much

May 29th, 2016

It’s that time of year again when the flags fly high, parades fill small towns, people put fresh flowers on cemetery memorials, and we pause to honor those who have given so much to serve a country’s ideals. The land of the free and the home of the brave are the words that ring out in our national anthem. AND we, who live today, stand on the shoulders of those who came before and fought to ensure that such a homeland might exist for all in the future. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Commence With the New

May 22nd, 2016

In this season of graduation and commencement ceremonies, we celebrate both completions and new beginnings. Though used synonymously, the terms focus differently on either the ending of something or the new beginning, both sides of the same coin.

So often in our lives we become accustomed to what is familiar. Even when a chapter in our lives is clearly complete, many of us try to hold on to what has become familiar. After we complete one grade of learning, we are promoted to the next, graduate to the new learnings and teachings of the new grade. Yet, some of us when faced with the new and unfamiliar, use our energy to resist the flow of life and run back to the familiar classroom and familiar teacher, if only metaphorically. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Recognize the Wise Teachers

May 15th, 2016

Recently, I spent a week with wise teachers. A group of women, individually successful in their careers, came from different places and cultures around the world to learn together. What I loved was watching the gifts of each one emerge at precisely the time those insights and questions were exactly what someone else in the group needed to hear.

As each stretched into her own questions and dreams, she offered points of insight that might be thought of as vulnerabilities, if she were trying to get others to see her in a controlled way. Instead, the value for discovering more about how to live the life of their dreams overcame the performance identity so often rewarded in our celebrity-centric world and shared insights, that might have been called vulnerabilities in another context, became precious gifts for others. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Thank You Moms Everywhere

May 8th, 2016

It’s that time of year again to pause and reflect on the gifts of those in our lives who have served as mom. Whether biological, adopted, or serving in a role that nurtures our growth and development, the women who guide our journeys and remind us to be the best we can be often work tirelessly and without recognition.

Any act of love, whether to bear a child, adopt a child, or give up a child because one is unable to raise that child, is an act of generosity, often selflessly given. Any child nurtured by loving guidance benefits. Whether mother, teacher, relative, godmother, mentor, coach, or other guiding light, the women behind these roles share their wisdom and kindness with each next generation of children, and younger adults. What a gift! Read the rest of this entry »

AND Make Some Beautiful Noise

May 1st, 2016

I had planned to write a blog about the unhealthy political environment invading our workplaces and national news. AND then I took a walk past the marsh to mail some letters…yes, something many of my readers would find foreign!

The sun shone bright. Winds were calm. The slight chill in the air was very comfortable for a walk. The gorgeous music of the songbirds along the path filled the air. I stopped to see whether I could determine which bird was providing the particularly beautiful song at each point on my walk. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Look Around

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 »