July, 01 2005
Sandra Day O'Connor resigned from the bench today. The airwaves, the blogs, the personal calls are saturated with the subject. This is a big change. In many, this change produces enormous fear -- what will happen to the Court? How will this affect our country? What about Roe v. Wade? A woman has gone -- who will replace her? A centrist has gone -- who will replace this pivotal position. I remember so well when she was nominated to the Court. The first woman, ever. Ronald Reagan, the conservative, appointing the first woman and to many of my feminists friends and I it had to be a disaster. We were wrong. O'Connor is smart. She is thorough. She asked the right questions. She brought dignity to the Court and she was in the most vulnerable position at the beginning. So many expected her to fail. All eyes were upon her. Conservatives didn't like the idea that a woman had broken the barrier. Liberals liked having a woman but not that woman. But we not only became used to Justice O'Connor, the right and the left respected her, applauded her, and valued her courage and independence. And so now President Bush and the Senate will replace her. I have three e-mail addresses and they are already filled with doom and gloom messages from people worrying about who is going to take her place. This is "big-league" change and we just don't like it. The only thing we know for certain is that all things change and yet we often feel anxiety and concern as we see change. This may be playing out nationally, but it applies to us individually as well. Let me say this...I may not like it and yet I know Change is GOOD. Find strength in this national obsession and examine your feelings because they may be telling you about things and situations you are holding on to because you fear change. Embrace movement. Celebrate innovation. Accept what is inevitable. Change!
June, 24 2005
Getting what you want
Getting what you want often means explaining what you need and making sure that you are communicating. I am SO grateful to Jason Bach, whose company is hosting my website now and who also redesigned the "weekly wisdom" pages. But I had Jason going in circles at first because I was using the wrong terminology and not telling him what I needed. Wish I could sasy this was the first time that I have done such a thing -- NOT! I have some skill with words and I really, really try to be precise and yet I often mislead an intention or illogically portray a situation. As a coach this can be serious and as someone who wants very much to deal honestly and truthfully with the people that I meet and know, it is disturbing. Some rules to follow are: Be explicit in the results that you want; be persistent -- keep talking until you and the other person are using the same language; check it out with the person you are talking with by asking questions and finding affirmation; and, be patient! Finally, DON'T JUDGE. It is tempting to become frustrated and irritated with the person who isn't getting your message. They haven't done anything wrong. When you find the key to unlock your thought, they have something to work with. It doesn't mean that they will agree with you, but they will hear you and you will be hearing them. It's the first step in getting what you want.
May, 25 2005
No Losers, Only Winners
My granddaughter is a gymnast. She has been in the sport since she was quite small and despite broken bones, ligament tears and some obscure injuries, she is at the top of her sport. I am amazed at her dedication, hard work and commitment. Yes, she has talent. But like in all endeavors, the talent part only takes one so far. After that, you need to move through your own resistance, show courage and demonstrate what makes you unique.
This week-end she will be competing at the National level 10 championships. Girls from all over the country will be in the Arena. Each of them has been training many hours with coaches. Their families have sacrificed time, money and energy to help them achieve their goal. And here’s what they all need to know. While there will be winners, there will be no losers. Each of these children has stepped up to the plate to give her “all.” She has pushed herself beyond where she thought she could go. She has made friends. She has been persistent. I love my granddaughter and I’m very proud of her and I hope at the end of the day, she knows that. I hope all the kids competing know that.
March, 01 2005
Not Taking Sides
Way, way too much has already been said and written about Terri Schiavo, and yet I am going to weigh in too. Because with all of the excessive media coverage, I have yet to hear or read what my thoughts are on the subject. I am certainly not going to take a side – this is such a personal decision. And I agree with the many pundits who are encouraging people to think about what they would want to do if they were ever to be in Terri’s position and make plans for it. However, as I look at this case, I see something so profoundly important and I’m surprised that it hasn’t been mentioned more if at all. And that is the importance of living each and every day as if it was the last.
We are all going to die but are we all going to live? We can all make plans for a living “Will” but do we have the will to live and are we making those plans. I am sure that each of us on some level cherishes life but what energy do we bring to living the life? I know myself and I don’t like this about me but I can numb out in front of a stupid program or programs on television for hours – my gosh, I have wasted a huge amount of time. Did I enjoy it? Not so much. I just may have not wanted to do anything else at that moment. So, who said that I had to? I could have sat quietly and appreciated the beautiful surroundings or I could have read something interesting or I could have just meditated and followed all those important breaths.
It has been raining a lot here lately and I was worried about my granddaughter (just 16) driving in a storm. Clearly that was wasted time. My angst was not keeping her any safer and I wasn’t living my life to its fullest. Everyone from the Dalai Lama to Brian Tracy haa talked about the conscious life. It can be a simple life if we only appreciate every second of it. So many of us have too much to do or we try to do too much in a limited amount of time. Scrunching in one more task isn’t necessarily living our life to its fullest – we would be doing that only if we were appreciating the life we are living.
So if Terri Schiavo can remind us of any one thing, let it be that life is precious and we should spend every second of it with that one fact in mind – Life is precious…Live every minute as if it was your last. Finally a quote from Anne Frank, "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment to improve the world."