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.
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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

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