Change Agent

Many times, in order to live into our best selves, we have to start a change process—ridding ourselves of old habits that no longer serve us, traditions that bring us down instead of up, and memories that tell a story filled with woe. But, that change, even though it’s necessary, can be work. It’s easy […]

Hammering Hope

Seven years ago, I was encouraged by my dear friend, Betsy, to join a Habitat For Humanity, “Women Build” committee. Our group was brainstorming fund-raising ideas and Annie, a member of our team (and now a close friend), came up with the concept for “She Nailed It!”—an all women, relay nail-hammering competition, that not only […]

Phenomena

Phenomenon—a fact or circumstance that’s observed, but sometimes difficult to explain or even understand. It’s about consciousness and what we experience and how that affects us. What we “feel” exists because we’re experiencing it. Psychological Phenomena refers to mental processes, like: • The Placebo Effect—if a patient believes that he’s taking something that’s supposed to heal him (even […]

Stop!

“stop! in the name of love before you break my heart think it over” (The Supremes, 1965) Asking someone to “stop” before you’re heartbroken may not work, because another person is making that decision. But, “stopping” and “thinking it over” when you’re able to make choices is very different. Many of us don’t physically slow down, let […]

Material World

Scenario 1: You’ve had a really stressful day: You worked overtime (or over-volunteered), got drenched in a downpour running into the grocery store for dinner because everyone’s screaming,” what’s for dinner?” and, when you finally get home, walk into a house that’s a mess, disorganized, in disrepair and just plain sad. You think, “what the heck am I […]

Reflections on Life

Five Really Short Stories 1. While I waited for a friend, I sat at a tiny bistro table, with a cup of cinnamon-plum tea. Two women sitting close to me were talking. One of them said to the other, “you really have a servant heart.” It was expressed so simply. She didn’t say, “you give so […]

Peace Train

Have you ever spontaneously boarded a shiny railroad car (encouraged by people yelling “come on, join us, it’s going to be fun!”), thinking, “this will be a great adventure” only to learn, too late, that the final destination isn’t anywhere near where you thought you’d end up? When that happens, you have choices: 1. jump off at […]

Singing, Pain, Tolerance, Dust

Singing   As the sun rose, I sat facing the garden. The trunk of the majestic locust tree was on the right, the branches of the stately pines, heavy with newly fallen snow were on the left. Nature was singing. I felt small—not only physically. I felt my incorporeal smallness. I thought about an evening when […]

The Pendulum

hurrier and hurrier i run, racing through daylight, before twilight dances on our earth the pendulum swings… i used to try to give the right answers now i remember to ask the right questions fueled by the knowledge that the light will fade, that the dark will come, that my days will be numbered, i […]

Clouds

Clouds are amazing, but we often miss them, caught up in our fast-paced (often frenzied) lives. We see only what’s right in front of us—myopia blocking out all else. Last week, I was driving down the road and just had to pull into the parking lot of “closed for the season” ice cream parlor because […]

Courage

When I think of courage, the first thing that comes to mind is bravery—military personnel in war zones protecting our freedom; firefighters running into burning buildings carrying out those who are trapped; donors giving a kidney or bone marrow to someone they’ve never met; teenagers standing up to bullies who, once again, are going to terrorize […]

What Do You Hear In The Quiet?

the crowd gathered around her. the world was silent; pregnant with anticipation as fellow humans waited for her to speak, but there was no sound, just the stillness, the nothingness; the nothingness that was ripe with possibility too unimaginable to be spoken; too sacred to be believed. it was as if there was a collective breathing, […]

Brass Doorknobs and Being Small

The doorknob—that the little girl was noticing for the first time—was brass. She was far too young to realize that she would, one day, think of that as her earliest memory. It wouldn’t be like the memories backlit by aged photographs, or the ones told, and retold, for decades. No, this one would be hers […]

Going Home—unpacking the message

I received quite a few comments and questions about the post from two weeks ago, so today I’m going to “unpack” Going Home. What was the muteness/polio symbolism? The little girl was born with a “handicap” (being mute) and inflicted with one (having polio). I’m sure that most of us have a “handicap”—an impairment or restriction—of […]

Groundhog Day

In the 1993 movie Groundhog Day the main character is a weatherman named Phil who gets caught in a blizzard that he didn’t accurately predict. He becomes stuck in a time warp, reliving the same day over and over until he gets it “right”. There’s a lot of literature about the underlying significance of this […]

The Pressure Washer, The Deck and The Tree

Whenever I wasn’t with clients yesterday, I was outside pressure washing our deck.  This is an annual ritual—one that’s made even more necessary because of my beloved locust tree (“The Tree”). The Tree is very messy. Each spring, seedpods fall creating a lot of residual muck to get rid of. But, in spite of the […]

Label Maker

Good Morning Beautiful Friend. How are you my Precious Daughter? You are so Creative! You’re a Worthless Loser. You are such a Clumsy Jerk! How can you be so Stupid and Ugly? You did a Wonderful job! How can you always be so Generous? You’re a Valuable team member. You were an unwanted Mistake. Why are you so Useless? Get lost you Freak! Your […]

Letting It Be

How often do we give ourselves permission to “be”— to walk past the “to do” list, to ignore the insistent demands of technology, to take the time to be fully with others, or ourselves or God, to be okay, to simply be? One day, when I had no scheduled client appointments, I chose to let the […]

Premeditated Kindness

We often have a myopic view of the world, which limits us from “seeing” outside our own—frequently very limited—life. This narrow perspective leads to behavior that can be anything from inconsiderate to downright mean. We get so caught up in our reality that we don’t “see” how we sometimes behave. I truly believe that “nice” is underrated. I also believe […]

The Light

the burgeoning light beckons to you but it can’t come in. you’ve closed the door, pulled the shades over the windows, closed your heart first, then your mind, then your spirit to the possibility of possibilities. the heartbreak, the disappointment, the pain, the abandonment created a less-than you, a you that does not trust, but […]

Intentional Resolutions

For some people, “New Year’s Resolutions” are a typical part of the winding down of one calendar year and moving onto the next. For others, resolutions have never been a part of their lives. For many of us, it’s haphazard. Some years we’re “all in”—creating a list of what we want to change or accomplish; what we […]

‘Twas the Day After Christmas

‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through the place, the din of the last day, now a quieter space. The presents are stacked, although all now unwrapped, and the family—well, they really could use a nap. The children were playing with all their new toys, while they remembered gladly the fun and the noise. We sat with […]

The Present of Presence

It’s six days before Christmas. Emails regarding last-minute presents flood our in-boxes. Anyone we’ve ever purchased anything from has exactly what we need to finish our shopping! Mall parking lots are packed with cars. Stores have long lines. Frustrated, and sometimes frantic, consumers are trying to find: the right gift, the perfect gift, the gift that says, “yes I do pay […]

Christmas Lights and Silent Nights

Yesterday, I sent two texts to my husband and daughters. The first one said, “I have to cancel family dinner for tonight and next week. I need to catch up on work, clean, finish projects, shop, wrap (etcetera, etcetera, etcetera)”. In the second one I wrote, “Made a mistake. Forgot what really matters. Will have […]