AND Separate Can From Will

October 19th, 2014

I have talked with several clients this week, all of whom are extremely capable, all of whom wake up at night questioning their decisions. Could they have done better? Could they have responded differently? And the list goes on.

A fascinating (to me) linguistic source of eroded self esteem is the unconscious use of can in reasoning that can lead to unconscious decisions. What I mean is that, as children we learned to do things we may not have wanted to do. We responded out of obligation to do as others, whom we wanted to please, expected. We developed an unconscious response system, particularly the women among us, to respond to others’ requests in terms of whether we are able to meet their needs or demands. AND just because we grew up doesn’t mean that the unconscious response system went away.

As a result, if we believe we can do something another has asked of us, we usually tell ourselves that we must do so because we have no good reason not to do as requested. What we fail to do is check with our hearts to ask ourselves whether we want to do what is asked, whether it is to attend an event or do a favor. Read the rest of this entry »

AND What Else Is True

October 12th, 2014

In moments where things seem dark or discouraging, one of my favorite questions for shifting perspective is, AND what else is true?

The news is full of stories of Ebola, war, death, and local calamities. AND what else is true? Just this week a seventeen year old who has defied terrorist threats to stand for the education of all children, especially young girls in countries which would deny them access, shared the Nobel Peace Prize for her stance and voice on behalf of those who cannot speak.

Amidst less than enlightened corporate behaviors that belittle and squeeze the life out of people who want their work to mean something, otherwise responsible and capable workers are working ridiculous hours under mental and emotional stress to do the impossible at what has become an unsustainable pace. The cost in terms of stress-related illnesses and self-esteem has yet to be fully understood or figured into the equation of corporate profits. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Stay the Course of Greatness

October 5th, 2014

Last month, friends, colleagues, family, and many prominent leaders gathered for the inauguration of a brilliant leader to a position of prominence. A woman of great intellect, emotional intelligence, spiritual clarity, and most of all, heart has been selected to lead a medical school dedicated to and known for national leadership in creating health equity.

While each of us has a unique purpose and the calling to lead from our highest selves in doing whatever our work in this world calls us to do, there are a few among us in whose presence we experience true greatness. The leader inaugurated President and Dean of Morehouse School of Medicine is one such leader and the recognition of such greatness was palpable during the investiture ceremony. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Watch for the Shadow

September 28th, 2014

It was raining when I started to walk the beach. A few steps in, I found a beautiful shell. It was a simple and common variety, small and perfect. What struck me was the pattern of alternating rings of pure white and grey, light and shadow.

A bit later into my walk, the sun began to filter through the clouds, never fully appearing, yet clearly present. How did I know? Because, as I returned home, my shadow preceded me in the sand. AND I was struck again by the theme of light and shadow.

I like to believe that we all have a perfectly beautiful essence, a core of pure light. Like the sun, which is always in the sky, sometimes our light is covered by clouds that either filter or block our light. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Behold

September 21st, 2014

I am fascinated by how technology, used unconsciously, changes our lives in ways we often don’t recognize until it is too late. In particular, I have been watching people taking selfies, as they document where they are or what they are doing. AND I wonder sometimes if we actually behold the beauty of the moment, rather than trying to capture and document it, if we might actually live more from our hearts, and therefore, live more fully and in touch with what is real.

I went to an art show yesterday to see a particular collection. While it was wonderful, I came across another exhibit that really captured my attention. An artist named Amy Stacey Curtis has done a series of small pencil drawings of simple objects…scissors, a single staple, a staple remover, a safety pin, tweezers, and the like. The care with which she studied the objects was evident in the precision and lighting of her drawings. I felt as if I could feel her beholding the objects. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Treasure What Is

September 14th, 2014

As summer comes to an end, the beach continues to fill with beachgoers trying to prolong the summer. The weather has been cooperating, as the warmest days of the summer arrive to provide ample impetus to get into the water.

A double rainbow graced the skies last night, along with shows of lightning storms out to sea. People remained on the beach, despite rain and distant lightening. I watched as cars raced to the beach in the early evening with the hope of catching the rainbow. It lasted long enough for all to park their cars and arrive to take their pictures. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Welcome Each New Season

September 7th, 2014

As the end of the summer draws near, early signals of fall begin to appear. At the same time as the warm sun continues to provide summery days, the nights are beginning to get cooler. And a few of the trees have hints of the colors that will appear in the next several weeks.

I love watching nature transition from one season to another. No resistance. More of a dance between the outgoing and incoming. As the scales gently tip from more heat to more cooler, crisper air, one season ebbs as another flows.

I find myself wondering what stops us from doing the same. As we move into different seasons of our lives, how might we learn to release rather than hold on, to remain open to what is beginning to announce itself in our lives, seeing only opportunities to grow into whatever is next? Read the rest of this entry »

AND Appreciate Those Who Work to Serve Others

August 31st, 2014

Labor Day used to herald the beginning of the school year. In many northern climates, this is still the case. Our southern friends will have been back to school for nearly a month when Labor Day rolls around. Still, I associate the holiday with the beginning of school. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Stop to Recognize the Gift

August 24th, 2014

A wonderful woman came to the beach this week. She had not been on this particular beach for almost sixty years. And all she wanted was to put her toes in the ocean. The walk through the sand to get to the water can be a considerable distance. She waited for high tide.

As her cane would not be steady enough to get through the sand, she used a walker with tennis balls on the bottom of each of the legs to maneuver in the sand. AND I looked out the window to see her walking along the beach with her toes in the water. Read the rest of this entry »

AND Practice Both Giving and Receiving

August 17th, 2014

A man who made us laugh took his own life this past week. Robin Williams was widely recognized for both his professional talents and his generous response to those in need. AND his choice to respond to whatever he was confronting in his own life by ending his life offers those of us still choosing to be here an important gift. Read the rest of this entry »