AND Welcome Spring Cleaning

April 13th, 2014

It has been a long winter for many this year. Almost all of our snow is gone, with the exception of the remnants of huge piles of grey ice from the plows. Even if you love snow and winter, as I do, there comes a time when it is time to say good-bye to one season and welcome another.

Spring is such a rejuvenating time with birds returning to build their nests and flowers blooming. In the context of this new growth, spring is a wonderful time to sweep away the clutter, dust, and cobwebs. With spring cleaning, comes a willingness to look at what we want to polish and use again, what needs discarding, and what needs repair to welcome the growth, fullness, and vibrancy that spring can bring. Read the rest of this entry »

AND live our humanity every day

April 6th, 2014

Two Boston firefighters were laid to rest this past week, killed in the line of duty. Firefighters came from around the world and lined the streets to honor the fallen. There were thousands gathered in a brotherhood that did not need to know the surviving family members of the fallen firefighters. They clearly stated, when interviewed, that they wanted to honor their brothers and support the families.

In times of loss or crisis, we stop or are otherwise forced to stop the daily minutia to connect with what is real. Love is real. Compassion is real. Connection with the lives of others is real. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Celebrate With Gratitude Those Who Touch Our Lives

March 30th, 2014

I marvel at the many gifts and lessons bestowed on us by members of the Greatest Generation, aptly named by Tom Brokaw. I am so grateful for those members who have played such a critical role in my life, teaching me something new about myself, life itself, and themselves in each new conversation.

What do I love and revere about the members of the Greatest Generation? Stamina, perspective, the wisdom of a life lived through the adversity of a world war and Great Depression, resilience, strength, sense of community–how to build one and sustain it, willingness to stand for principles, and openness to learning are some of the gifts I celebrate in members of this generation. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Choose Health

March 23rd, 2014

I confess that when the discussion turns to health care in this country, I find myself exasperated. Our focus on removal of illness, even prevention of illness, still focuses on illness—not health

I wonder what it will take for us to recognize that we create our own level of health by the thoughts we entertain and choices we make for how we allocate our energy and time. We may have a family predisposition towards certain health challenges. The question is whether we entertain thoughts that direct us to worry about those illnesses occurring or convince us that we have no choice, the illness will appear. The alternative is to engage in thought patterns that acknowledge the family history and focus on making choices that strengthen our health in that area of predisposed vulnerability. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Live the Season You Are In

March 16th, 2014

Living in the northern part of this country, I am especially aware of the length of winter as we approach its waning months. Unlike many of my friends and family, I love this season. Despite the cold, the winter brings clear air and peaceful quiet. Fewer people are outside when the air is biting cold and winds blow. Yet nature continues to provide spectacular shows of beauty. The sunsets and sunrises arrive in full color against the snow and barren trees. The ice forms on the sand as steam lifts off the ocean to touch the horizon. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Listen Deeply Again

March 9th, 2014

In a recent planning session with a wonderful group of volunteers spanning five decades, I was struck by both what we have in common and what unique gifts we can offer each other. Although on the surface our lives may look very different, this group has the ability to appreciate what we have in common.

This ability to appreciate what we have in common is an invitation to all of us to see the humanity present in every situation in which we find ourselves. Beneath the packages of race, gender, age, body type, nationality, and myriad other differences is the person. The person, devoid of roles and expectations for performance, exists in all of her or his splendor for each of us to discover. Sometimes we are so stuck in expectations of others based on our needs, desires, fears, and unconscious upbringing that we fail to connect with the humanity underneath, the desire to be welcomed and seen, accepted in the nakedness of who we are at our core—as opposed to what we can do for someone. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Support Their Dreams

March 2nd, 2014

 I have only watched the Olympics in brief spurts. Although many people are impressed by the big match ups, as in hockey, figure skating, and the like, my favorite moment so far was none of these. My favorite moment occurred when a Canadian coach ran out to a skier from another team whose ski had broken and fastened a new ski on the skier so that he could finish the race. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Be Thankful For The Unexpected

February 23rd, 2014

 Like most of the East Coast, my home was buried in snow recently. When I got home, after being away for two storms, I arrived to find inches of ice beneath a few more inches of snow.

The next morning the sun came out and I decided to try to shovel. Armed with shovel and ice chopper, I set about chopping as much ice on the drive as I could. I seem to be the only one on the street who uses an ice chopper. Most seem content to simply drive over the snow until it is relatively packed. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Little Things ARE The Big Things

February 16th, 2014

 I was at a wonderful Thai restaurant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, recently with a group of friends, three of the five gathered have allergy-related diets. One is quite severely allergic to certain foods.

Our server brought drinks and then gave us plenty of time to relax together. In fact, he only came to the table after we signaled him that we were ready to order dinner. The member of our group with the most severe food allergies explained her condition and asked about various options to know whether the server could guarantee them to be free of all substances that affect her. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Just Play

February 9th, 2014

 Sometimes writing this blog reminds me of taking piano lessons as a child. I loved the idea of playing the piano. I loved the music. I just didn’t love to practice. Somehow I just did not make space for a half hour to practice piano each day. AND as a result, I would invariably have two and a half hours of practice saved up by Saturday and would need to do it all at once. Read the rest of this entry »