AND Cool Off

July 23rd, 2017

On a blistery hot day at the beach, I noticed the variety of activities going on. There were children digging in the sand, people riding boogie boards in the surf, games of catch and Frisbee, and many adults either walking the beach, reading, or playing bocce. AND it was quiet.

People were happy. They moved around each other with nods, smiles, and ease. Any adult walking close to the surf knew to keep eyes peeled for running children who would otherwise drench them on the way in or out of the water. All simply moved around each other gently, often laughing and smiling as they passed. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Choose What to Feed Carefully

July 16th, 2017

Despite a forecast of hot and sticky weather for the day, I found the early morning air to be quite cool. The fog hung heavy at the shore, blocking views from one end of the beach to the other. The sky was a gorgeous configuration of clouds with the sun peeking out at times.

It is quiet and peaceful early in the morning, where the only sounds are made by the sea and the shorebirds. People either greet each with a silent nod of acknowledgment, some form of verbal “good morning” or no connection at all. Lost in their own worlds, many appear deep in thought. Others appear to walk in wonder and awe at the beauty of the surroundings. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Listen for Intent

July 9th, 2017

With so much upheaval in the political landscape, changing business practices and priorities, and life itself bringing its welcome or unwelcome changes, I find myself watching and listening for positive intent. AND with the intention to find positive intent behind seemingly less than desirable behaviors, all of us will find that others and we are often doing the best we have with what we have.

Medical systems in this country can be slow, cumbersome, unwelcoming, and ineffective. AND even within these systems, there are people trying to make a difference, trying to offer care and support. AND while they may be awkward or distant at times, we can recognize a good heart being constrained by the rules of the system. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Choose Freedom Consciously

July 2nd, 2017

With the celebration of United States independence coming up this week, I have been reflecting on the themes of independence and freedom on both a collective and personal level.

Freedom or independence from tyrannical thoughts, repressive behaviors and the like is as important these days on a personal level as on a collective or geopolitical level. The willingness to seek freedom, to look inward courageously at ways we hold ourselves hostage to others’ approvals and judgments, shrinking the brilliance and light we are here to bring is as critical as it has ever been.

Hundreds of years ago the immigrants in this country sought to separate themselves from a regime in England they found imposing. They banded together to create a set of principles and laws for how they would treat each other in this new land, in effect specifying the ethics by which they would live together. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Look Again

June 25th, 2017

I have fun coloring the daily calendar on my desk. With an artist’s box of colored markers, I color whatever print is in front of me, if I like it. Recently I paused to notice what coloring teaches me that is different from what I experience when I draw or doodle freestyle.

Coloring in someone else’s picture offers me the chance to decide whether I like others’ lines or not. Sometimes I ignore the picture or coloring-opportunity altogether. If I do decide to color, doing so consciously also reminds me to create me own patterns within the broadest lines possible, and not be trapped by all the details someone else thought would be fun. I get to decide what gets my focus, attention, and creativity.

Ignoring some of the lines reminds me not to just respond unconsciously to what is presented in life. I get to consciously choose what colors I want to add and where I wish to put them. I think of coloring as a metaphor for how we use our energy, insights, and gifts. We are presented many situations to which we may respond and we get to decide how much energy to give to which thoughts, situations, and people. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Celebrate Dads Everywhere

June 18th, 2017

He’s been a dad for over six decades, nearly two thirds of his life. The little boy who rode on the handlebars of his older brother’s bike to get rations during WWII to feed the family, the young man who played and coached baseball, himself pitching a no hitter, the veteran who served in the army during WWII, the firefighter who saved many lives and was a leader in making and fixing toys for children at Christmas, became a dad who worked three jobs to provide for his wife and three daughters.

He’s the man who could not take my telephone call one day because he was on the floor having a tea party with his two year old granddaughter. And he’s the same man who took his grandson with him to fix things on his workbench and learn how to use the tools. He taught his own kids to be thankful for all we had, help others when we could, and find the humor in life. And we were always relieved when Mom told us, after misbehaving, to wait until Dad got home from work for our punishment because we knew he could never keep a straight face. We would get him laughing and that was the end of punishment. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Plug into What Is Life Giving

June 11th, 2017

The greatest gift and contribution any of us might make in a lifetime requires each of us to become the highest version of who we can be AND to invest our thoughts, intentions, and energy in what is life giving. While this may sound a bit like motherhood and apple pie on one hand and out of reach on the other, I believe it is exactly the invitation before each of us every moment of every day. AND I further believe that saying yes to the call produces a life of impact, contribution, inner peace, and joy. AND the invitation is open to all, without exception.

What does this mean? Well, for starters, it means that we must know what thoughts, dreams, conversations, people, and causes fill us up. What causes us to feel connected to inner joy? What makes us feel alive and filled with energy? The answer can be anything from the kind gesture and smile extended to all we meet all the way up to supporting world peace and beyond. Whatever puts a smile on your face, warms your heart, and gives you life is where to focus your energy. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Say It Again

June 4th, 2017

It’s been just over eight years of writing this blog every week. I usually sit down and wait to see what appears. I am laughing because I originally wrote an entry for this week, read it to my friend who gives the thumbs up or down to publish what I write each week, and she told me I had written the same essential message two weeks ago.

So I stepped back to see what wanted expression this week. AND then I realized that rather than writing a new AND, I was being reminded to do something that I have done at least once each year for the past eight years. AND that is, to pause to reprint my first entry from 2009 which explains why this blog is called, “And.” So here it is: Read the rest of this entry »

AND Remember With Kindness

May 28th, 2017

On this Memorial Day, when we pause to remember the sacrifices of those who have fought for the values of freedom and equality, may we also remember those who have returned from war with emotional and physical scars. For those of us who get to live in a country with many rights and freedoms, may we also remember the obligation to participate in creating the conditions at home that embrace and include those who need our help today.

Each of us is in a position to pause to see the person behind the uniform. Who carries the scars underneath? Who might need food, medical care, or a home? Are we creating the society, communities, neighborhoods at home that live the values for which others have given their lives? Read the rest of this entry »

AND Bring Your Inner Sunshine to the World

May 21st, 2017

All week long, as I talked with clients on this coast or the other, I could hear the smiles in their voices. No matter how crazy their worlds, how fearful they are about their organization or bigger political and social issues, they were smiling. Why? Because for the first time in awhile, the sun was out and the temperatures were warmer than they have been for most of the spring.

Think about it! If one day of sunshine can change a life view, produce a level of hope and optimism in a world of hurt, just imagine what a smile, warm greeting, or hug could do to the hopefulness and optimism of people feeling burdened by illness, or less than generous political decisions, corporate behaviors, or family dynamics…every day. Read the rest of this entry »