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 »

AND Build Bridges for Peace

May 24th, 2015

As we pause to honor those who have fought for freedom and who continue to do so today, may we also pause to reflect on what it would take for each of us to honor the freedoms of others without imposing our own mandates on the forms those freedoms take.

The veterans of wars have returned to our shores injured in both physical and psychological ways. I wonder sometimes whether the sacrifices made by the few for the many are fully appreciated. Our society is grappling with an escalation in mental disorders, post-traumatic stress looming large among them. Do we really understand the cost of war? Read the rest of this entry »

AND Carry It Forward

May 17th, 2015

I was supposed to meet a friend after a quick errand to the bank. On the way, I passed the local high school. Out front was a very animated young man with a large sign. The sign read car wash. I was fascinated by how this industrious youth managed to make eye contact with passing cars and excitedly work to persuade some to enter the high school parking lot.

I continued on to the bank, vowing to stop on my way back. The same young man again made eye contact, and again attempted to persuade me to bring my car to the students for a wash. Laughing, as I remembered having earned my way to trips in school by participating in the same kinds of car washes, I pulled up to the young woman who greeted me. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Honor Thy Mother

May 10th, 2015

Something every human being shares, regardless of culture, geography, age, gender, or any other personally defining characteristic, is that we all have at least one mother. In some cases, our biological mother raised us. In other cases, not. Some of us have chosen to serve as mothers ourselves; some have not. Whatever the circumstances, there is at least one woman in our lives for each of us to honor on Sunday.

Memories of special moments, shared with the woman you call mother, can reappear at any time. I often think of my departed Mom when I shovel snow, an activity we both loved. There are many things I would love to share with Mom today that are not possible, in the physical sense. Yet, I feel a deep reverence for all her sacrifices to raise me and my siblings and a gratitude for all she shared with me. And she lives in my heart always. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Find Your Way

May 3rd, 2015

As I was listening to a talk recently, some words jumped out from the speaker and seemed to hang in the air in front of me. The speaker was describing what it had taken in her life to follow a dream she had had for over thirty years. The words that jumped out were find a way.

What these words do is remind us is that the first step to living your dreams is to be absolutely clear about what you want. When some dream, held deeply in your heart just won’t let you go, then the next step is to find a way. However finding a way is only the beginning. More often than not, we become attached to only one way to have the dream we want. That attachment can lead to an intensity and set of expectations that may blind us from recognizing alternative ways. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Recognize the Real Credentials

April 26th, 2015

While reading an article about a recently departed CEO, I was struck by the description of her credentials, which included how she looked in her brand name shoes and dress. Such a description got me thinking about how media coverage and choice of where to focus attention can impact our sense of what matters. Read the rest of this entry »