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November, 18 2006

Listing Gratitudes

I love Thanksgiving. It's one of my favorite holidays. The giving thanks part though is often lost as meal preparation, family joy and general hectic-ness takes over. In fact, we tend to forget about gratitude a lot. Ask me to tell you about my latest source of angst and I can reel it off. But when asked or when I greet people or say to myself, "What's new and wonderful?" -- I say or hear a lackluster, "I dunno." Sarah Ban Breathnach's groundbreaking book, Simple Abundance, reminded us in the 90's that making a list of our comfort and joys could turn our lives around. So for years, I kept a gratitude journal and she was right. It took little time each night to list happy things and I always, always, always found something that would bring a smile or make me feel warm inside as I wrote it down. Sad to say, I haven't done that in ages and it's time to get back to that ritual and keep it up. Nearly anyone reading this paragraph has so much to be thankful for. Reminding yourself of your gifts and those you give and those you receive are hugely important. I hope you will remember that this Thanksgiving and make thankfulness a daily practice from this time forward. Happy Holiday!

November, 10 2006

Stick with it

Donald Trump has written a new book so he has been quoted a lot recently. Each time he is asked about what brings success, he answers that it is first to be passionate and second -- to never to give up. I agree. No substitutes exist. I have watched leaders of both genders for more than 40 years and you have to muster both of those traits. When I was president of the Women's Business Center, I was often asked what I observed to be the most important ingredient of a successful business owner and my answer was always the same: persistence. I have seen wonderful ideas languish on the vine because the person who thought it up didn't keep at it. And I have seen some pretty dreadful business plans really take off because there was one person behind the enterprise, who wouldn't stop -- no matter what! As I was watching the election returns this time, I made note of remarks that individuals were giving and I saw that many (maybe, most) politicians also exhibited this same ingredient. They keep on keepin' on and win or lose, they satisfied their desire to hold a particular office with a drive and energy most of us cannot even imagine. We live in a very busy society with information coming at us at a dizzying pace and I believe that some people have lost sight of how important it is to never let go of a dream or "want." We even receive advice about not "being too big for our britches." Worst of all, we are often encouraged to adjust down. The first step is to go for what you want...the second part is to keep going when the going gets tough. This little paragraph may be filled with cliche but I'm here to tell you that it also contains a basic truth. Seek out those who will encourage you in your pursuit and ignore those that don't. Stay true to your goals and think big! If you want something, never give up.

October, 27 2006

True to Yourself

In the 80's, Robert Fritz wrote a groundbreaking book called, "The Path of Least Resistance." It was the core of a course that he developed, which he first called DMA and then later Technologies for Creating. I became a DMA course instructor. It began my commitment to "co-creation." It strengthened my resolve to be responsible for my own life. It opened my eyes and my heart in a way no other book or program ever had or has since. Fritz determined that there were a few fundamental choices that we need to make in life. One of them was: "I choose to be true to myself." Yesterday a friend asked me for a quote and I thought that it might be in Fritz' book and as I opened it, my eyes first picked out those words, and seeing that for the first time in a LONG while literally took my breath away. It's such a simple choice. It's such a profound choice. It is a choice that logically is at the core of all that we do and all that we want to do and yet I had not thought about or expressed those words in a very long time. The choice of being true to myself is naturally about my value system, and that choice also guides my future direction, integrates my congruency in relationships and acts as my moral compass in day-to-day activities. When I used to say those words every morning when I woke and when I would repeat them as necessary throughout the day, it would remind me of my guidance system: performing as my highest and best self and being committed to my own leadership. I intend to go back to saying my fundamental choices more frequently and especially this one: I choose to be true to myself. Trust me -- This is a good habit.

October, 15 2006

Tickle Me Extreme

Recently a friend gave me Tickle Me Elmo Extreme for an early birthday present. It is just about the BEST present I have every received. It is a great gift for ANY age -- imagine? Something my 9 year-old granddaughter and I can really enjoy together. Plus, no one walks into my house these days without experiencing a good laugh with Elmo. My realtor would like to borrow him when she visits her clients -- (houses aren't selling right now as we all know -- mine is on the market too and it seems she feels that her clients often want to blame the messenger.) She said she couldn't envision anything better to improve a mood than this guy. Another friend, who came to dinner, wanted to have a farewell laugh with Elmo before she left. My cleaning woman, who often encounters problems with the English language, had a complete moment of connection and understanding with me as we laughed with Elmo. Are you thinking I may have gone over the deep end? Nope, not at all. I laugh with Elmo with my family, my friends, my acquaintances and myself. This is a genius toy. He has a hearty laugh and he moves around the floor, sitting, standing, lying down, pounding his feet and his arms. I've watched as others really move around too as they laugh and grin with Elmo. We find a place, deep-down, where we remember what joy it is to laugh with the same kind of abandon that Elmo demonstrates. I know these guys are nearly impossible to find right now, and no one should pay the astonomical prices that some people are charging, but when they become available and reasonable again, I can only wish that you too will enjoy an Elmo. Meanwhile, I wish you much laughter!

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