Mind the Gap

I love when I’m traveling in England and the government courteously reminds me to “mind the gap” when exiting a train or subway.

As a life-philosophy, you also want to “mind the gap” between what you say and what you do. When you meditate or spend quiet time with yourself, it’s easy to think kind, generous thoughts. To feel connected to the earth. And to will the energy of the Universe to allow you to do your best work.

But if you’re cross when someone crosses you, or immediately feel disconnected when things don’t go your way, then it’s time to mind a gap in your life. If someone crosses you and you snap, practice stepping back mentally from the scene and sending that person loving kindness for whatever is going on with them. And see yourself from a distance, like a loving angel, and think, “That poor girl! I wonder what made her cross?” It takes practice to be non-judgmental with the world and with yourself but what a nice practice it is.

If you struggle with this, here are four things that may help you close the gap. Continue reading

Feel gratitude for everything

My daughter, Samantha, graduated from Duke a couple of weeks ago. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, was the commencement speaker and gave a great talk. I love that we have guides everywhere. When you’re open to new ideas, a hot morning in a football stadium can turn into a cool well of inspiring thought.

Here were a few of my favorite take-aways from Mr. Cook. Continue reading

Beware of GIGO!

I’m hosting a songwriting workshop at the library, and our fearless leader, Jud Caswell, mentioned something last week that resonated with me.

“Beware of GIGO!”

Asked to explain, Jud said simply, “Garbage in. Garbage out.”

In the context of songwriting, Jud was saying that if you want to write good music you need to surround yourself with music you love. There’s no “right” when it comes to music. There are just some notes that make your heart sing and that’s what you want to listen to.

If we take Jud’s metaphor a step further, think about the work that brings you the greatest joy. How can you surround yourself with the best that’s out there? Continue reading

What’s the best part of your day?

I love this exercise from Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. You do stuff everyday. Some of it you choose to do. A lot of it you have to do. Each day your energy flows around your tasks, sometimes up and sometimes down.

If you want to have more up-energy, try tracking your energy flow for a week. You can either set up an activity log, or better yet, just mark up your planner. At the end of the day, look at each thing you did and check off or highlight things that raised your energy.

What’s cool about us is that we’re all different. A high-energy part of your day could be: Continue reading

Start where you are

How’s this for a premise: “If a problem isn’t actionable, it’s not a problem. It’s reality.”

Bill Burnett and Dave Evans develop this idea in their new book, Designing Your Life; How To Build a Well-lived, Joyful Life¬†as they apply “design thinking” to making important life choices.

When you’re organized, you don’t like to waste time. And what’s a huge waste of time? Worrying – especially when you worry about stuff you can’t change. This doesn’t mean you don’t have stuff you wish you could change – a grouchy boss, a noisy neighbor, an obnoxious family member. But if you can’t change them, then they aren’t a problem – they are reality. And you can’t outsmart reality or bend it to your will. It’s still reality. Continue reading

Picturing your space

As I get to work in our yard and gardens, I’m reminded how calming it is to get your hands in the dirt, to actually get “grounded.” Being outside in a garden touches on most of your senses – from the feel of the dirt in your hands, to the look of freshly trimmed perennials, to the smell of cut grass and early spring flowers, to the sound of surrounding birds. It’s a whole-body experience.

If you’ve never gardened, even a small flower box or barrel planter will give you the taste of setting a plan, purchasing what you need, and creating something beautiful.

AND if you don’t have room outside or know you don’t have time to keep up even a small garden, how about creating a paper one inside? Continue reading

Hot tips from the Food Revolution Summit

I am loving listening to the free, online Food Revolution Summit this week. The Summit runs 3 hours a day for 8 days each spring. Each day, there are three presentations from a mix of presenters – doctors, nutritionists, disease survivors. I don’t catch all of the sessions and some resonate more than others, but I have to say that listening to the Summit over the past couple of years has drastically changed how I eat and how healthy I feel.

We’re about half way through this year’s Summit and here are my key take-aways compiled from listening to a number of speakers. Continue reading