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

Ring bells. Light candles.

As much as I love organization, I’m not a big fan of organized religion. I hope you don’t take offense; I know many love the church. But I struggle¬†with churches that: Continue reading

Making a new habit a priority

When you’re working on something you really connect with, you get more done. It’s weird to think that adding something to your “to do” list helps you do more – but it does. When you work on stuff you love:

  • Your energy goes up.
  • Your focus improves.
  • You manage your time better because you want to make sure you have time to get to your good work.
  • You’re more interesting to be around.
  • You feel better.

Quiet, mid-Winter days are a great time to ponder a new habit. Successful new habits start with intent – why do you want to do this?

Then you have to figure out how to make this new habit a priority. Doctor and author Lissa Rankin has a great exercise to help you figure out your priorities. Take a plain piece of paper and draw a stack of circles. Each circle is a core part of who you are. Each is something that makes you tick and makes you happy. Continue reading

Ode to brain power!

You know how important it is to exercise your body, but do you know how important it is to exercise your brain? One of the coolest ways to take care of your brain is to meditate. AND if that sounds really intimidating, help is on the way.

Sharon Salzberg, one of my favorite teachers for her practice around loving kindness, is hosting a 28-day meditation challenge starting on 2/1. It’s free to take part, so there’s no risk trying it… And if you love some or ALL of it, well, hurrah! Your brain will thank you. Here’s a link to sign up for Sharon’s Real Happiness Meditation Challenge. Continue reading

The peace of the pause

I wrapped up a big theater project last weekend and Monday morning felt like I’d hit a wall – face first! Every step, every thought took effort. What was going on? I was exhausted after 3 months of intense work, 6-7 days a week. And I was sad. Ending a show feels like the end of summer camp. You’ve had a great time with a new group of friends you know you’ll never be with again in that same setting. And while everyone is still around, you grieve the moment that’s lost.

AND to make you crazy, the songs from a musical run in a continuous loop in your mind for another week or so! Torture.

So this week I’ve spent time meditating on the challenges we met, the fun we had, and the show we produced. I’ve sent out thank you notes to add closure. And I’ve tried my best to be quiet to give myself time to pause for a couple of days between projects. Continue reading

In praise of a backache

I’m directing a big Christmas musical at a local community theater. This show has taken up pretty much every minute of my free time over the past 10 weeks and I’ve loved every minute of it. Theater for me is a passion that brings energy to all of my other work and even to chores.

For the last 10 weeks, I’ve been at the theater almost every day – teaching, directing, building sets, making props. To make time for this, I’ve read less and blogged less. I’ve skipped running and meditation. And I’ve been eating on the fly and drinking coffee. I look like a bag lady wherever I go – hauling around work, my planner, scripts, and props.

I thought I was holding it together until Wednesday night when I threw out my back, and last night missed the opening of the show.

Here’s why I’m deeply grateful for this. Continue reading

How to improve your concentration

Being focused on what you’re doing helps you do good work. And it’s fun to sink deep into a project.

If you’re feeling a little scattered, here are 5 Buddhist tips for meditation that also help with concentration.

Pay attention to where you’re working
If you’re trying to do serious work in a noisy, active place – good luck! When you need to focus, give yourself the best shot possible¬†by finding or creating a calm, quiet place with few distractions. You may think you can concentrate amidst chaos, but give quiet a chance and see how much it improves both the amount and quality of your output. Continue reading