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

7 steps to create a nice mess

If you’re serious about cleaning a room, make it messier before you clean it up. Pull things out of drawers. Empty closets and shelves. And clear off the tops of every horizontal surface.

Then sort out what you have by putting similar items together, looking at each item to decide if you want to keep it (because you really love it), pitch it, or give it away.

Then clean all the surfaces, reassemble putting everything in a thoughtful place, and throw out the trash.

Easy peasy – the room is decluttered and all is well.

Except if you still have an edgy feeling that you aren’t doing something, or that you’ve missed something big. Now the issue isn’t a room that needs to be decluttered – it’s your head and heart that need a cleanup. Continue reading

Who is the Crazy Maker in your life?

I just returned from a weekend at the Kripalu Center in Western Massachusetts. The class I took was on Creative Myths and Monsters and was taught by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way. I have all sorts of ideas to pass on to you but will start with the last discussion we had – talking about the Crazy Makers in your life.

What’s a crazy-maker? Think about someone in your life who may be charismatic, charming, and persuasive, but who also: Continue reading

Choosing energy

It’s so easy to waste time. Look at all the temptations! TV, Netflix, Facebook, email, computer games, movies, parties, magazines… What’s your poison?

Distractions can be fun and have social elements to them, but are they the best use of your time?

It’s hard to hold the line, once and for all because your time demands and needs change. For me, the #1 reason to not do an activity is if I lose energy even thinking about it. Continue reading

Starting a “love to do” list

Want to have some fun and get a bump of energy?

Grab a piece of a paper and a pen and brainstorm a “love to do” list. This is a list of 20 things you’d love to do but aren’t doing now. If 20 is easy, go for 30. Or 40. My experience is that the last few things I struggle to add to the list are often the most interesting. Continue reading

How can we be more inclusive?

I heard a great segment on NPR last week about a Council of Mayors from around the world who meet annually to share best practices about how to get things done. Mayors aren’t like national politicians. Mayors live in the communities where they work. They have to know which roads and bridges need repair. Which schools need help. And how, or if, the community is working together for the good of all. They deal with local businesses as well as residents, and they have to get things done because they’re going to run into you at the grocery store or at a school event, and they know that you’re expecting them to do good work.

In Thank You For Being Late, Thomas Friedman writes about this from a slightly different angle. In St. Louis Park, the city in Minnesota where he grew up, the City Council awards grants to neighborhoods to help them organize community events to help foster a spirit of inclusion across a neighborhood – whether someone’s lived there for 30 years or they’re brand new. Continue reading

How much of your life do you choose with intent?

How much of your life do you choose? And how much is you walking down a path you’re on?

Before you roll into weekend plans, I challenge you to pause and think about what your intent is for a myriad of aspects of your life.

Did you choose, or did you happen upon:

  • Where you live
  • Who you live with
  • What you eat
  • What you do for work
  • The people you hang out with
  • What you do with your free time
  • What you watch on TV/Netflix/Hulu, et al.
  • What you read – books, magazines, newspaper, and online sites
  • How you spend other time online and/or on your phone
  • What you do for volunteer work
  • How you present yourself – what you wear, how you hold yourself, when and how you speak; is your driver fashion, comfort, to make a statement, to blend in?
  • How you decorate and keep your home – precise, comfortable, colors, textures, style, messy, neat, etc.
  • How you tend to deal with others – speaking, listening, teaching, being directive, being kind, sharing knowledge, being funny, etc.
  • How you get around – walking, biking, in a car, using mass transit, running, etc.

Continue reading