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

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.
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Get happy = get healthy

I’m traveling in Virginia this week, and a good friend told me about a study out of UCLA that explains four ways to make you to feel happier. The Dalai Lama worries that Americans don’t feel they have a right to be happy and that being happy shouldn’t be a goal. He says that’s nonsense, and if the Dalai Lama says “Go for it – it’s okay,” who are we to argue?

Here’s what’s important about happiness as explained by UCLA neuroscience¬†researcher¬†Alex Korb:

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The Creamer Dinners

A few years ago, it occurred to me that I had said the same phrase several times without taking action on it: “We should get together sometime.”¬†Mostly this came up in the theater where I met folks in a show, got to know them, and then didn’t spend time with them again until I worked with them on another show and would once again hear myself saying, “We should get together sometime.”

As much fun as theater is, you don’t get a lot of time to talk and I was hungry for a good conversation with many folks I had met.

And I got to thinking about other friends and family I saw often but always in big groups. Big groups are fun but aren’t always great for conversation. Continue reading

How Do You Define Yourself?

This poster came out my first year of college. I had never heard the term “preppie” – then looked around me at the University of Virginia and realized I was surrounded by them. Was I a preppie? No. But would my choice of college tell others I was? Probably.

Like it or not, you’re defined to a great measure by the groups you choose to be part of or choose to not be part of. At UVa, I knew that preppie wasn’t my crowd, but they appeared to be the leaders and I like running things, so could I try to fit in? Continue reading