Archives for category: random

Dawn lights on a canvas of freshly raked sand.
The first colored grains spill from my hand and settle into place.
Wind of desire, wave of passion
Create movement of life,
Patterns, colors, design of the day.
Playful creation of beauty and wonder yet no thing,
Loose, light, bright delight
In shifting sands
To be raked clean, clear
For the new dawn.

The sight of a rainbow brings joy,
A smile to the onlooker’s face. Like magic,
Gracious clouds project these reminder rainbows
Of the beauty manifold in light.
This light is a constant,
Hidden in plain sight.

We need but the eyes to see. Just as
Light all around us — light in us
Burning bright is oft hidden.
Rediscover your light.
Share the joy of your rainbow.
Be your own personal prism.

Shine.

Being Between Heaven and Earth

You are like no one I’ve ever known,
Yet so much like me and everyone I’ve known.

Getting back to me through growth and change;
Loving you, loving me for the willingness to flow.

Led by faith.
Guided by feeling.
Striving to know.
Just surrender and grow.

Today, I saw several different variations on the theme, “Woman Walks Dog”.

In the morning, heading for the bus, I saw an older woman wheeling a one-eyed, older dog in a stroller.

During the day, I watched a woman patiently wait for her dog, who was wearing a coat, to finish sniffing and then move on to the next spot. The dog seemed engrossed in inhaling the world; the woman was paying attention to what the dog was doing and at what pace.

On my walk to the store this evening, I saw a very familiar sight. A young woman was walking her dog, who was pulling her in the opposite direction–toward another dog. The woman was talking on her phone.

Will this young woman go through all these phases with her dog(s)? Going from being lively but separate to more appreciative of the time spent together and cognizant of the other’s path to catering completely to another’s perceived needs? Probably not; but these three scenarios are often seen in human relationships.

This young woman was not engaging with her dog other than by tugging on the leash.

From my knowledge of dogs, it would be important to stay focused on the dog–and most definitely go to dog training classes when it is a young dog, to establish the boundaries and the hierarchy. A dog wants to know what the rules are; it wants to know how to win your approval. In order to make this reality, it is necessary to establish the guidelines of what you want from your dog and how to make yourself understood. This takes practice.

With a young dog it is easy to believe that the leash will be guideline enough. A young dog tends to stay closer to its owner. It all seems to work out with a few tugs on the leash–a puppy doesn’t put up much resistance. As the dog grows, gains in weight and strength, and acquires its own desires, the tugging becomes more of a war.

All too often that is also the way we choose to communicate with our fellow upright companions. As long as we are sure they are along for the ride (or walk), we take it for granted. If we notice that they are on a slightly different heading, a few words will pull them alongside again. We don’t engage with them enough or ascertain that we are both heading for the same goal before starting off. Additionally, it is easy to get distracted, dividing our attention and not fully engage in a dialog. We let ourselves be distracted, by career demands, project deadlines, other people, etc.; falsely believing that relationships will grow and develop in the desired way without our attention.

In a relationship, it is essential to take the time, put in the effort to build solid lines of communication to not only get to know your partner well enough, but also to practice expressing your own needs and desires. Additionally it is necessary to evaluate your partner to know if your goals and values are aligned and if you both are roughly headed down the same path.

This seems unimportant, unnecessary in the first stages of dating, when the chemistry is strong, the desire to make a good impression and the novelty of it all demand attention. The small tugs we feel–the slight differences in direction–don’t make much of an impression compared to the fun and excitement.

Eventually, however, once the honeymoon phase if over, the demands of daily life once again push to the forefront, diminishing your time and attention spent on the relationship. To retain and perhaps even strengthen a relationship, it is crucial that strong communication patterns have already been established.

It remains important to continue investing in the relationship. After all, you do enjoy spending time with your partner, right?! So, just like the young woman with the pulling dog, both of them would have found more pleasure on the walk and with each other not only with established guidelines of going on a walk, but also engaging with each other.

Yes, we are all busy, but what is your relationship worth to you?

Take time to get to know a new someone special. Evaluate values and goals, etc to see if enough common ground is there. Build healthy patterns of communication.
Schedule and spend time with your partner and other important people in your life. Get creative on how to fit it in to a day. Be mindful of each other, communicate well, and enjoy!

This past week at the Letelier/Moffit Human Rights Awards Ceremony,  I heard Sweet Honey in the Rock sing. I had never heard of the group and will never forget the feeling I got hearing their beautiful voices.

One diddy really got me.

If there is light in the soul, there is beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person, there is harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home, there is honor in the nation.
If there is honor in the nation, there is peace in the world.

This is what I seek to do for myself and my clients: help keep the light in the soul burning strong.

My colleague from International Coach Academy (ICA), Mark Reinisch, gives some great tips in his latest newsletter regarding living in the moment (check it out at Shift the Paradigm.com). He also quotes one of my favorite books, Flow.

A couple tidbits that Mark mentions that jive with my thoughts today–movement, striving to improve oneself. Both of these help us reach our goals/dreams. Additionally, in my reading today, I came across the thought “find your life (by centering on yourself) and you will lose it; lose your life (by centering on your partner) and you will find it.” This refers to the interconnectedness of our needs within a relationship.

Again, it comes down to focusing on your goals, setting priorities and putting one foot in front of the other.

Trust that even if you (feel that you) get off track, you can refocus, set priorities and put one foot in front of the other. The journey may be like the Beatles song, long and winding. Look how successful they were, and their music certainly did not remain the same! It changed and grew in complexity over the years, they were not afraid to experiment or incorporate new ideas.

So, take care of yourself, do something relaxing, strengthening, keep your dreams in sight and keep moving toward them even if you have to wind around/over/under various rocks in the path–the sweet honey is there!
This will keep a light in your soul.

As an update on my Habit post: yes, I’ve been more active. Tennis, a few runs, yoga. Today’s run was already so much more pleasant, I can feel the increase in condition. Very powerful (the feeling, that is).
I also just started a Spanish class.  So, my timeline for getting my biz off the ground is looming. I don’t think I’ll make the date, but I will get it going!

On Wednesday, in my Cross Cultural Coaching class we discussed the idea of culture. Yesterday we discussed Truth and Fraud.

Both Beate and I seemed to have done a lot of reflecting on the subject of culture and cultural differences. She, a german woman living in Singapore, and I have both experienced being submersed in a different geographic culture.

The more we progressed with the discussion, however, the more we noticed that there is so much diversity in each cultural group we tried to grasp: nations, states, gender, etc. It boiled down to each person is her own culture.

What opportunities does dealing with and being open to diversity present?
We have the opportunity of discovering new possibilities of living according to our own culture, true to ourselves – living our own truth.

In these many groups that are elements of our lives, our identities, and our cultures, to which we belong outside of our one-person-culture are many ingrained ideas, norms, guidelines by which we judge ourselves and others, and which influence our behavior. These groups may be our family, our friends, our Saturday afternoon sport group, our work colleagues, or more broadly our age group, our gender, our nation.

It is necessary to be aware of these influences to understand and to deal with them. When we understand where our ideas and values come from, we can then decide if they are constructive to us in living according to our own culture, our own truth.

Be true to yourself–become aware, seek to understand, only then is it possible to define and move toward our own truth.

How has this society become so addicted to instant fixes? 

Is it because we as a nation have been so successful at innovation, being able to solve problems by analyzing them, pooling our resources, brainstorming, and working under deadline pressure?  It seems to me that we are proud of this history; I know that I often react and think the same way in my life.  It stems from a sense of confidence, I tell myself.  Why worry today about things that may occur in the future, when it happens, we can deal with it. 

The analysis that is done can be based on personal experience, or can be based on the scientific method.  A hypothesis is formulated and then tested.  It is imperative that one identify the contributing factors and test the effect that each factor has on the situation.  (This is obviously a gross simplification of the scientific method, but I think you will agree with the gist.) 

The study I heard about this morning involved asthmatic children and the behaviors of their families that contribute to a lower risk of ending up in the ER.  The factor identified as playing a key role => dinner.  It all made wonderful sense to me. 
If a family engages in regular dinnertime activity, with assigned roles, such as setting the table, and the meal has a defined beginning and end, and if the family members authentically care about what transpired in each other’s day, then the asthmatic child was, so to speak, healthier. 

I like that word, authentic.
What kind of families engage in regular dinners?  What kind of families show that they authentically care about one another?  Are they the same as those, who do not?  What factors contribute to exhibiting this behavior?  Are these families just more functional to begin with? 
Will other families be able to produce the same result without being as functional, just by implementing a dinnertime tradition?
What does that mean to be a functional family? 

Ok.  I’ll stop, but do you understand my point?  Does it help us to believe that we can identify a single factor or behavior that “causes” a desired state, and by scheduling in that factor in our calendar, we can achieve the desired results? 
Another example are the healthful benefits of Resveratrol from red wine.  This substance has been found to extend life, prevent cancer, enhance athletic performance, act as an antiviral substance, etc.  Wow!  This is perhaps the reason that the French, who drink red wine regularly, have a lower incidence of heart disease. 

It was determined, however, that to produce the analog results in humans (yes, the studies were done on mice), it would be necessary to drink 50 bottle of wine to get the equivalent amount of Resveratrol.  Not to worry, a pill was introduced.  But alas, the findings were not positive.  What went wrong? 

Could it be that we are focusing on the wrong framework?  Do the contributing factors, which are identifiable, really have the same effect alone, as they do in combination?  Aren’t we continually also finding that, either, we just have not been able to measure or identify ALL contributing factors, or we see how elements only in combination have the desired effect?  By dividing out the single factors, we have not conquered the problem, but have squelched the synergy. 

Perhaps Resveratrol does have these wonderful effects, but very likely the lifestyle and attitude of living in and celebrating the moment goes even further.  Who is able to sit down with friends/family, eat dinner, converse, sip a glass of wine, and just be in the moment?  Doesn’t this require, at least for that timeframe, the ability to put other things aside? Often this is a forum, in which to mull over problems, seek advise, or just the act of verbalizing thoughts helps one to better see the solution.  Doesn’t it help, just knowing someone authentically cares enough to listen?  Doesn’t hearing about other’s issues and trying to help them, put your own matters into perspective? Isn’t it a wonderful feeling caring about and loving others?
Is only the Resveratrol at work? 

Does feeling light and heat on our skin have the same effect as being outside, feeling the warm sun, the breeze on your skin, hearing the activity (or lack thereof), seeing the smiles on other faces?  Does taking a pill have the same effect as savoring a glass of red wine with most of our senses – visual, olfactory, and taste?  Does it satisfy in the same way?  Or does it leave a gap? 

We strive toward more health and happiness. Are we not willing to receive it? Why then are we afraid to face the challenge of living a life filled with Authenticity and Enjoyment?

It may be necessary to first become aware of how you really are living. Understand what kind of behavior patterns you fall into. You must make the commitment to want to live a better life and take action. Is it worth it to you? This change will require only that you be honest with yourself, be authentic, and enjoy.

Changing patterns of behavior is not easy, but it is possible. To make a long-lasting change, one must make a long-lasting commitment. You deserve it.  Find support. Get started now with small things.

Let’s try to focus on the small things that make life wonderful. Be grateful that we have these things and can enjoy them. Focus on the positive things we have. Know we have the ability to master our life. Authentically appreciate the love and support we have from our friends and family. And be much healthier and satisfied in the process.