What do you do?

For those of us who have a number of jobs, it’s tricky answering the simple question, “What do you do?” People like clarity and telling someone “what you do” helps them understand who you are and how you fit within the community. If you hesitate answering, you see them smile and take a step away. People who can’t say what they do are suspicious!

But what if you’re retired? Then you end up explaining “what you used to do.”

What if you don’t have a job? How do you define yourself then?

And what if you do volunteer work. Is that “what you do?”

And how about when the job you have doesn’t define you in any way? “Well, this is what I do but I don’t really like it.” Continue reading

Pay attention to coincidences!

Life is full of chance encounters that aren’t as random as they seem. The person you sit next to on a plane that gives you an idea for a new project. A conversation you have that months later leads you down a new path. The choice you made buying a house or choosing a school that led to all sorts of new relationships. A book you pulled from a shelf that gave you new insight on how the world works.

My latest awesome coincidence came out of the writers’ group at the library. One of our attendees mentioned, in passing, that she had a friend who wanted her to read The Artist’s Way. That led to our Artist’s Way group which has set me off in all sorts of new directions with writing as well as with beads. And all it took was listening as Tyche mentioned a book and a desire. And then listening to my gut to take action.

When I started this blog, I wrote about my Book of Coincidences. Here’s how that started… Continue reading

Out of a rut and onto a curious path

When you’re in a rut it’s a great idea to get off the path you’re on. You never know what cool thing is just around the corner. Or maybe your next great idea is hiding in front of you in plain sight. All it takes to find it is a little curiosity.

Here are a few ideas to jump-start your energy and get you onto a new, curious path. Continue reading

Business advice from a successful Brewing Entrepreneur

Last week, I facilitated a meeting of a new Entrepreneur’s Group here in Cape Elizabeth. Our guest was Peter Bissell from Bissell Brothers Brewing. If you don’t know anything about the business of brewing, it is thriving! Here in Maine, we have over 130 breweries and that count is growing by the month. If you love beer, Maine is a great place to live and to visit.

But what could we learn from this young entrepreneur? A ton! Here are my notes.

Continue reading

What happens when you break a habit?

I’m reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron with a smart and heart-warming group. The book is a platform to make you think. And the group is a platform for great discussions! It’s a cool combo.

Last week, one of the “tasks” in Chapter 5 was to not read for the week. Cameron believes that most writers stall on writing by reading. We have rebelled as a group against many of the tasks Cameron prescribes, but this one took the cake. To most of us, the very concept of not reading was repellant. And for a whole week? No way! Besides, I am working on a class at Boston University and I had to finish the reading for that. And I had a library book, nearly done, that was due back. So of course, I finished that.

But then I paused. Could I take a hot bath without reading? Could I go to bed without reading? Could I eat breakfast without a book open in front of me? I took on the challenge and here’s what happened. Continue reading

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

The gift of time

I drove my daughter to NYC this weekend and helped her move into a new apartment in Harlem. The time I had with Bea got me thinking about the gift of time. Most of us don’t know how much time we have here on earth so it’s easy to waste it. It seems like we have an unlimited amount of time so why worry about it? Continue reading

Looking back at the path you’re on

December is a great time to look at the path you’ve been on over the last year. If you want to shape the direction you’re headed, it helps to look back at where you’ve been.

If you can find a quiet moment this week, take out a clean sheet of paper and jot down the big events that happened to you this year. Brainstorm first, then think month by month to help spur your memory.

What events did you experience this year for… 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