Mapping your personal ecosystem

Having a stable network can play a huge role in how much you get done and how happy you are.

  • Building a stable network takes time, energy, and focus.
  • A stable network isn’t static – it’s in a constant state of change.
  • When you have a stable network it’s hard for one outside influence to take down the whole eco-system because the connected parts sustain the larger whole.

So let’s make a map of your own personal ecosystem as it stands today. Continue reading

A delightful mystery

Life is full of mystery.

  • Who we are…
  • How long we have on Earth…
  • How we’re connected…
  • How the earth and stars were formed, and how long they’ll be here…
  • If there’s one universe or multiple universes…
  • “What happened to that ring I lost my senior year of college?”… 🙂

We tend to believe what we see and can prove. This is who I am. This is a table. This is what stars are made of. This is how the world works.

Then science and physics open new portals and we can “see” at an atomic level. And we can “see” a billion years ago in the night sky.

We’re living at a time of massive, innovative technological change. And what we “know” changes. Dramatically. Daily. Continue reading

Ask your guides

Sharing ideas on “best practices” is a great way to learn from someone who’s doing work that’s similar to what you’re doing. When you learn something new, you feel a jolt of positive energy. And when you share best practices in return, it can make someone’s day. You win. They win. And we all get better work done.

A couple of years ago, I was getting back into consulting work and decided to go on a road trip to hear what friends in the direct marketing industry were doing for best practices. I planned a week-long trip through western Massachusetts with a zig to upstate New York, then down through the mountains of New Hampshire with a few final stops in Vermont.

I headed out and all was well until day #4 when I realized I was on the last disk of a Dennis Lehane novel – and that was it for audio books. Anytime I’m in the car I listen to audio books. I get them from the library and listen to them to learn new stuff as well as to be entertained as I drive. I’m pretty much never without an audio book in the car. But as I pulled into the parking lot at Kripalu in western Mass, I broke into a cold sweat. My next stop was Burlington, Vt. There’d be plenty of bookstores in Burlington, but that was four hours away. Continue reading

What is the Universe trying to tell you?

If you want to do really good work it helps to understand how you tick.

  • What do you love to do?
  • What attracts you?
  • What repels you?
  • What motivates you?
  • What do you like to think about?

If you want a snapshot of this that comes right from your gut, try making a soul collage.

You’ll need a few supplies: Continue reading

Take a breath

I’m loving listening to Sharon Salzberg’s free daily meditations this month. I met Sharon in 2007 when she was speaking at an Omega Institute Conference in NYC. Of all the classes I took that weekend, Sharon’s is the one that has stayed with me the longest. Sharon lives a Zen life, and her advice and teaching are always about finding the middle path – not too relaxed and not too tense!

In her meditation prompts this week, Sharon focused on breathing, something we barely notice and yet… try not taking a breath! I start each of my talks on Organizational Zen with quiet breathing. This is a great way to help you feel focused. And I like how even five minutes of quiet breathing helps transition you from one space, or project, or idea, to another.

Here are a few of Sharon’s exercises to get you breathing. Start each of these sitting quietly in a comfortable chair or on the floor. Make sure your back is straight. There’s something magical about having a straight back when you breathe. Your backbone is like an antennae to the Universe! However you sit, you don’t want to feel either too tense or too relaxed. You want to feel attentive and alert. Continue reading

Living a hygge life

There are so many ways to get good work done. Getting grounded in a hygge atmosphere can bring you back to simple pleasures in life that are easy to miss in our over-planned, e-driven world. Hygge (hoo-gah) is a Danish word that has many, many layers – each one more inviting than the next.

little-book-of-hyggeI just finished reading Meik Wiking’s Little Book of Hygge. Here is Mike’s “Hygge Manifesto.”

How many of these elements can you invite into your life, praise them for being in your life, and talk about how cool they are to have in your life?

Create an atmosphere at home and at work that’s warm and inviting. With lamps that create pools of light. Candles. Great music mixed with times quiet enough to listen to the weather outside. Natural wood and colors. Vintage furniture. Plenty of books. Plump pillows. Continue reading

Getting in the flow

Can you remember a time in your life when you were working on something that completely captivated you – and how delicious that felt?

Author and thinker Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes this as being in a state of “flow”. Flow isn’t a random thing that just happens from time to time. Flow is something you can look for and welcome into your life.

How can you bring flow into any activity?

Choose what you’re working on. Think about why you’re doing what you’re doing. What is your intent? There’s lots of stuff you have to do. What do you want to do? Continue reading

The plot thickens…

In the secret world that only you know, what does your ideal life look like? This isn’t the world that other people see for you. Or a world that everyone else wants. This is your world.

  • If you were writing the novel of your life…
  • What’s the plot line? Is this a historic novel? A romance? A mystery? High adventure?
  • What century is it? Are you in revolutionary war France? The wild west? Ancient Rome? Current-day America?
  • Where do you live? Is it warm or cold? Mountain or shore? Continue reading

We’re in this together

In times of uncertainty and divisiveness, it helps to be mindful of the people around you and to recognize that we’re all in this together.

Patriot’s Day weekend, 2007, I was at an Omega Institute class in mid-town Manhattan with Zen teacher Sharon Salzberg. The topic was mindfulness. At the end of the class, Sharon asked us to look around the room and imagine that we were going to be stuck in a subway car with this specific group of people – for eternity.

“If you know you’ll be with this group for eternity, does that change how you feel about them? Does it make you more curious? Are you going to get to know them? Or are they going to continue to be strangers?” Continue reading