Finding your tribe

Yesterday, I drove 4-1/2 hours to Presque Isle, Maine for a one-hour class. Then I drove home again.

Why? Because John Cariani, a Broadway actor and author of the #1 most rented show in 2016, Almost Maine, was teaching a Master Class in writing. I knew I wouldn’t learn a lot in an hour of teaching, but I wanted to make the connection because John is part of the tribe I like to hang with.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten as an entrepreneur is to find other people who do what you do and figure out a way to hang out with them. If you like someone’s blog, read it, comment on it, and engage with the author at a conversational level. If you want to act, find other actors and figure out a way to hang out with them. If you want to write, join an association of writers or find people in your area who write and ask if they want to get together to talk. Continue reading

Listening to silence

I’m listening to Eckhardt Tolle’s audio book Peace in the Present Moment. Being present and having a clear intent about how you spend your time is only a small part of what I talk about in my Organizational Zen presentations – so it’s awesome to hear six or seven hours on this one topic!

My big takeaway yesterday was on silence. We all know we could use more of it – but then what do we do with it? In our society, silence is an uncomfortable state. If you’re at a meeting or a party where everyone is quiet, there’s almost a race to fill the void with talking, a joke, data… Or when we get home to turn on the radio or TV. It almost feels sinful to be caught somewhere without something to do or something to think about or to listen to. When we have a quiet minute, we grab our phones or a magazine or a book. We dare not be caught in a moment of silence! Continue reading

The energy of passion

On our last day in St. Augustine, Florida, my sister, niece and I stumbled on a textile shop that felt like it came directly out of the 17oos. The shop featured historically accurate clothing, leather shoes, bags, wooden games, and mock guns. It was a delight to all senses.

My sister asked the proprietor a simple question: “How’d you get started with this shop?” And that’s when the passion energy started to flow. Continue reading

A clan gathers

In the past, clan members from different nations and cultures would walk for miles and even days to show off new children, play competitive games, drink, and eat. And we’re really no different from our ancestors.

Remi is our newest clan member

I was thinking this morning about how important it is that our “clan” gathers at least once a year at the beach. I always think I’m going to get a lot of reading and work done, but most of our time together is spent relaxing, hearing stories, cooking together, and having fun exploring new towns. In our family, there’s a silent commitment to set aside our differences for the week – which is really important. And we make an effort to be sure everyone feels included in whatever activities are going on.

Think about times in your life when you’ve gathered with your clan. Births, weddings, funerals, family trips. You spend some time reflecting on the past – telling old, funny stories. But you also spend time getting re-acquainted and strengthening family bonds. Continue reading

So I happened on a joyous razor clam…

I’m visiting in St. Augustine, Florida this week and was walking the beach yesterday morning. I was surprised there weren’t many shells when I happened on five beautiful razor clams. They looked like potential flags on a sandcastle and I carefully gathered them up.

Once I found the five razor clams, my walk shifted from random to focused, and my eyes moved from seeing very little to seeing patterns, colors, and textures. I ended up collecting dozens of razor clams along with a few olives, a couple of cat’s eyes, some pink barnacles, and even a beached, nearly complete purple and orange sea star. Continue reading

The peace of being who you are

Your internal self is what you think, feel, and know about yourself. Your external self is how you present yourself to the world. The closer you can get these two in sync, the easier it is to get through the day. It’s easier to breathe. To relax. You know who you are. You dress the way you’re comfortable. You laugh when you want to. And you’re joyous about the work you’re doing.
Continue reading

185 million grandmothers

I love listening to audio books in the car so even a trip to the grocery store has a quiet moment of learning or storytelling along the way.

This week I’m on a road trip through the south and the hours in the car have been filled with such interesting thinking! I started off listening to the History of the CIA. I’ll listen to the history of pretty much anything, but this one is so dark, I had to take a break and cut over to Richard Dawkins book, The Magic of Reality.

Dawkins is much more of a realist than I am. I love magical thinking; Dawkins is all facts. But he shares wonderful examples of myths and then the science behind what’s really there – like how rainbows are formed. Or why we have earthquakes.

My favorite chapter was on human evolution. Here’s the mind-puzzle he offers. Continue reading