Getting out of the nest

I stumbled on this quote from Pema Chodron in a book I was reading this week:

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.”

Isn’t that counter-intuitive? When you’re organized and doing good work, doesn’t that mean you keep control of your time and your days? And when you’re truly engaged with your work, isn’t that when you feel fully alive and awake? And when you’re “continually thrown out of the nest,” doesn’t that feel crazy and chaotic? Continue reading

Walking the Artist’s Path

I met last night with a group of 11 women to start working our way through the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I read this book about 20 years ago with a couple of friends. Reading it got me back into the theater – first teaching it to kids. That lead to getting back on stage. Then I started writing for the theater, and now I’m writing, directing, and running a theater group. All good. All high energy!

What I like about The Artist’s Way is that it assumes that creativity is part of everyone’s nature but that it can get lost in the day-to-day shuffle of life. The book has fun, simple exercises that help you remember who you are and get you back to practicing “the art of creative living.” Continue reading

A life well lived

One of our speakers at the library last week, John Baugher, has a new book coming out about the joy of end-of-life care. I’m certain I’ve never heard anyone speak about end-of-life as being a joyous time. Most of us face end-of-life care, for ourselves or for others, with a certain amount of dread. But John’s decades of working with hospice have left him feeling otherwise.

But John’s talk didn’t center on the end of life. It centered on a life well lived. And not as a reflection – but as a daily practice. His question was:

“Was your life well lived – today?”

Continue reading

Standing firm in a time of change

From your first breath as you emerged from the water of the womb to your last sigh as you leave the earth, each breath connects you to nature, to your work, and to fellow human beings across the world.

Can you tell I just finished reading a book on Wind work? 🙂

Author and shamanic healer Renee Baribeau’s book, Winds of Spirit, blows you around in all manner of directions. Here’s my #1 takeaway:

If you’re feeling disconnected from your work or your life, take off your shoes, step outside, and take a “wind bath.” Start off with a few deep breaths. Then ask yourself a question. Continue reading

Feel gratitude for everything

My daughter, Samantha, graduated from Duke a couple of weeks ago. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, was the commencement speaker and gave a great talk. I love that we have guides everywhere. When you’re open to new ideas, a hot morning in a football stadium can turn into a cool well of inspiring thought.

Here were a few of my favorite take-aways from Mr. Cook. Continue reading

Mapping your energy

If you’re trying to bring more energy into your life, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans prescribe making a fun, mind map in their book Designing Your Life.

It starts off easy! Think back on a time when you felt energized and engaged with life. Continue reading

The significance of choices

Is it too mysterious to think that for every major choice in your life where you headed off in a new direction that you also continued in the original direction?

That you simultaneously went to more than one college.

That you have your current friends and you have friends from that other life, the one you’re not living.

That you got divorced and you stayed with your ex. Continue reading