AND Pause to Reconnect With Pure Light

December 4th, 2016

In this busy season of gift exchange and decorative lights, blow-up Santas and snowmen, we are offered the opportunity to tune into a quieter and more powerful gift of the season. To do so requires that we choose to tune out both inner and outer distractions, as well as commercial pulls that fill our daily lives. It requires that we pause to appreciate a deeper beauty and a purer light…one that is always on, even if we do not know to find and nourish it. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Listen to the Whisper

November 27th, 2016

So often in life we are graced with signals to help us remember where to focus our energy to enjoy our lives more and live into the highest and best of who we can be. Sometimes it’s the words in a piece of music that are exactly what we need at the time to shift from anger or frustration to laughter and eventually calm.

I was sitting in traffic on my way home for dinner a week ago. A trip that ordinarily takes twenty-five minutes took over two hours. It turns out there were fatalities in two accidents father up the road. The backup was over six miles.

The oldies station I had on the radio played songs like What the world needs now is love, sweet love. I began to laugh, as I sang along, at the songs that kept showing up to calm me down. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Give Thanks

November 20th, 2016

With all that is going on in our country and the world at large, it is an especially good time to remember AND. These three little letters form a word that can literally shift us out of anxiety into hope. The reason is quite simple.

The beauty of AND is that it allows us to name what we are experiencing, however painful or concerning, AND to also shift our focus to what else is true that we want to create in our lives, with others, and for the world. We can hold both as true. Instead of resisting whatever is painful or rocking our world, we remind ourselves to acknowledge it AND shift our focus to something more powerful, more worthy of our talents and energy. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Change Starts In the Hearts of Each of Us

November 13th, 2016

When I was little, my mother used to tell me, If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

After last week’s elections, I thought about ending this week’s blog with the above. With a little reflection, and some still unresolved anger about the kind of sexism, and incivility we appear to be accepting for ourselves and our children, I am aware that this is a time for clarity before any action.

Who does each of us want to be? How will we show up in the world? Angry because we didn’t get our way? Willing to blame others or judge them negatively because we are afraid to listen to points of view different from our own? Unwilling to stand for values and treatment of ourselves and others that demand compassion and acceptance? Read the rest of this entry »

AND Stand for Something

November 6th, 2016

As we in the United States begin this week, we are invited to engage in the democratic activity of voting. There are countries in this world where such activity is neither valued nor allowed. Our country is built on the freedom to speak one’s truth and cast a vote for what we want the next steps in our self-governance to be.

There has been much media attention on polls for over a year, as we prepare for this week’s elections. So many pundits and commentaries have focused on what to vote against that many people have adopted a victim stance that their vote doesn’t matter unless it is cast to block the opponent. Such peer pressure, manipulation, and group think do not lead us to stand for a candidate or position. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Play with the Metaphor

October 30th, 2016

I love seeing the orange lights, helium filled pumpkins and scary ghosts on people’s property around Halloween. Local shop owners who construct elaborate Halloween decorations for the public are greeted with delight, laughter, and appreciation from visitors. So, in the spirit of trick or treat, I invite you to play with me.

I love metaphors, patterns, and whatever goes beyond the literal, concrete occurrence of something. The expression trick or treat got me thinking about childhood experiences of choosing a costume and presenting ourselves to neighbors for something sweet. AND I wonder sometimes, in our everyday lives, if we play the same game. How often do we choose costumes to perform roles in our lives to delight bosses, family, and colleagues in the hopes of receiving something sweet—praise, laughter, a gift, recognition, or validation? How often do we choose costumes to hide behind in order to become someone else that we wish we were? Read the rest of this entry »

AND Find the Teachable Moment

October 23rd, 2016

As we near the end of a very long election cycle in this country, I am struck by the patterns that play out on a large and small scale, seeming to signal warnings for us to heed. One such observation comes from the third and last debate this past week. It is about our value for learning from those who think differently AND our willingness to stop seeking validation that we are right over discovering whether there is a better way.

We appear to be reinforcing polarized listening patterns in our government, workplaces, personal relationships, and wider society. AND I would submit that we do so because we are engaging them in our individual lives, while our technology feeds the bias. What I mean by this is we decide what we WANT to see and hear and that is what we listen for and that is what we listen to. So, of course, we find evidence to support what we want to hear, to a greater or lesser extent. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Action

October 16th, 2016

In these crazy times when so many things may feel upside down, I find myself thinking about the directives used in filmmaking… Lights! Camera! Action! And I wonder whether they might be helpful with our daily choices in living into the best of who we can be, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Again

October 9th, 2016

Nature is such an amazing teacher…constant, present, and waiting for the ready student. What struck me, while driving on the back winding roads filled with trees is the importance of showing up in full splendor, whatever that means for each of us, to greet each day.

In an autumn when the lack of rain has hampered many trees from turning into their full, bold, and vivid colors, a few trees have managed to stand out in a landscape of muted rusts or crumpled brown leafed trees. After noticing the bold ones, I found that they actually create the space for appreciation of the muted ones as well. Perhaps it is also the muted rusts and golds that remind each of us to do the best with what we can and know that that is enough. The invitation is to show up fully and give whatever is ours to give, with no attachment to what anyone else thinks or does. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Welcome What Comes

October 2nd, 2016

It’s that time of year again when one season attempts to hold on, even as it is replaced by a new one. Such a great reminder to us not to resist what shows up in our lives. The warm summer sun is still high in the sky and the beachgoers continue to come to the beach to capture those last warm rays.

Even as the temperatures chill in the evening and early morning, some people arrive with their tents, jackets, and blankets, determined to soak up what remains of the season that is departing. I personally love the invitation of the crisp fall air to breathe in the refreshing newness of the season.

The shore birds gather and linger by the water, before the next season takes hold. I love that the seasons arrive like the tides, predictably showing up and yet showing up in ways that are not quite fully predictable. It is more fall than summer this week. Who knows whether summer will try to issue one last gasp before fading behind the cooler temperatures next week? Read the rest of this entry »