AND Focus On the Light

July 24th, 2016

During a time of political conventions, where the one held in the past week focused on galvanizing around fear and a common enemy, I am struck by the bullying behaviors that show up when people are scared. When fear is the emotion, we are often unable or unwilling to see our own light and the light in others.

Everyone has light somewhere. Some have abandoned their light and gotten caught in fear and anger, often misdirected at people and circumstances they perceive to be blocking the lives they want to lead. That doesn’t mean that the light is gone. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Remember the Intention

July 17th, 2016

This blog has been issued weekly for over seven years. As I reflected on the number of entries and changes in my life during that time, I decided that now would be a good time to reissue the first entry describing the purpose and intention for this blog.

Every so often, I find that if I step back and ask why I am doing something, what I want to get from the energy invested, or what good I might serve by investing energy, it becomes easier for me to let go of what no longer serves and also reenergize myself to invest in what I still value.

For the benefit of newcomers and those of you who have been reading this blog for years, I offer the first edition for your reflection on its usefulness in your life today. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Feed the Light

July 10th, 2016

Anything that happens in our world, at any point of the day or night, is nothing more than an invitation for us to consider investing our energy, dreams, and emotions. AND any unconscious investment of those dreams, emotions, or energy automatically amplifies whatever gets our attention.

Barrages of tweets, name calling, and portraits of a world in turmoil pervade our political dialogue and media today. They individually and collectively issue an invitation to invest our energy in fear and anger. If we accept the way situations are framed by politicians, pollsters, and media, then we, often unwittingly, make the situation more scary and make ourselves more fearful about how bad things are or will be.

Are there events calling attention to the treatment of members of our society that have been wrong for a long time? Absolutely. Will we solve them peaceably and wisely by feeling more scared and imagining how bad things could get? Absolutely not. Investing in fear, rather than in focused and thoughtful reflection about where we want to invest our energy only makes the situation worse. Responding with fear amplifies fear.

A clear-headed response with thoughtful insights about what we want to bring into the world amplifies light and inclusivity. We might ask ourselves, when issued the invitation to choose fear, how else we could respond that would add more light and love. Rather than musing and fussing about a world gone wrong, a political environment that disgusts us, and individual and community lives in turmoil, how might we invest the power of human creativity and light to create the world we want to live in?

As I was writing my blog entry, my friend Valerie sent the perfect illustration of responding to the darkness with human creativity invested in adding more light to this world. I am not the mother of a black son, wife of a black man, or leader dedicated to advancing black men, however, I can still lend the light that is mine to give to one who is all those things, AND one who invests her human creativity to create a better world for all.

I have, with her permission, copied it into this entry on feeding light. Perhaps it will cause you to consider where and how you will invest your light. Read the rest of this entry »

AND We Are Still Part of a Larger Picture

July 3rd, 2016

With July 4 approaching on the heels of Great Britain’s exit from the European Union, I find myself looking at both independence from a larger governing unit and interdependence with other entities. In the quest to grow into our own potential, we learn to stand independent of our families and society in our own values and beliefs. At the same time, we remain connected to the broader family unit, workplace, town, city, country, and world in which we live.

The desire for freedom to become all we can be often breeds a kind of courage that propels us to stand in the face of persecution for those beliefs and values we hold dear, to be misunderstood or worse for taking a stand against conventional wisdom. We are greater together than individually AND the way we choose to be with each other can take many forms and still be productive. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »