Bats and Palaces

As an organizer, it’s a bit of a mind game to make a plan to get your best work done and still be okay with whatever happens. When the Universe is synchronous around you, it’s a great reminder that all is well, that there’s a pattern in your life, and that things are happening as they’re meant to happen. When you recognize and appreciate synchronicity, it helps you work toward an end without being too attached to the outcome. And breathing into this gives you a wonderful feeling of settled Zen.

I had a synchronous moment last week between a wild animal presentation on bats, and a book I was reading, Palaces of the People, by Eric Klinenberg. Continue reading

Two Old Women

A friend at the library recommended I read Two Old Women by Velma Wallis. This is a tiny book and a quick read, so I picked up a copy and settled in for a bit of time travel back to ancient Alaska. The cool thing about working in a library is that you’re exposed to so much knowledge on a daily basis. Here’s some of what I learned from this gem of a book. Continue reading

Are you a Stranger in the Woods?

I just finished listening to The Stranger in the Woods; the Extraordinary Life of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel. This is a non-fiction account of Christopher Knight. At age 20, Chris ditched his car and walked away from an apartment and a dead-end job, preferring to live by himself in the Maine woods rather than conform to the demands of a society he did not feel part of. When Chris fled to the woods it was out of a desperate need to be alone. To have the quiet to contemplate. To be outside. Twenty-seven years later, he was arrested for burglary and sent to jail.

There is so much interesting thinking here for anyone trying to craft a life that fits with who you are. And the book reminds us that we are all different, that what works for one person does not work for all. This includes a conventional education path, climbing a ladder, to-do lists, and that ever-present push to “succeed.” If that makes you happy, great. But if it doesn’t, what then? Continue reading

5 tips to be a successful leader

When I was working my way up through the business world, I had very few bosses I emulated. It appeared to me that to “make it” to the top, you had to work 100 hours a week and expect your employees to do the same. You had to be somewhat cut-throat and keenly competitive with others at your level within the organization. And it didn’t appear that empathy had anything to do with business.

I know a lot of that still goes on but was encouraged to read an article today in The Washington Post by Aaron Gregg and Thomas Heath about three executives from the DC area who were rated “the highest” by their employees. These are bosses you can look up for who they are – as well as for what they accomplish.

What’s cool is that these principles apply whether you’re running a small, medium, or large company. And they apply if you aren’t running a company at all! They’re simply great life ideas. Continue reading

Eyerolls and sighs

I’m a big believer in following a high energy path with anything you’re working on. If you don’t feel energy at the center of your body when you think about next steps in what you’re doing, it may be time for a change.

Eye rolls and sighs are your body’s clue that you’re on a low energy path. Sometimes these are obvious – oh, my! But sometimes only you can see and hear them like maybe when: Continue reading

Finding joy in caregiving

One of the cool things about bringing programs to our library is that I get to choose the topics and speakers, and I get to attend! I have learned so much over the last two years about squirrels, birds, writing, songwriting, democracy, art, travel, and much more.

Last week I had a new author in, John Eric Baugher, to talk about his book Contemplative Caregiving: Finding Healing, Compassion, and Spiritual Growth Through End-of-Life Care. Here are seven things I learned from John’s 25+ years of working in hospice that every end-of-life caregiver should know.

And honestly, I’m posting these today because they’re great advice for all of us no matter what we’re tasked with. Continue reading

The importance of being playful

We had Christopher Phillips in as a speaker at the library this week. Chris is the author of Socrates Cafe and Democracy Cafe which we used to model some of our programs at the library. Chris is an interesting, engaging, fun guy so we asked him back to talk about his latest book, A Child at Heart: Unlocking Your Creativity, Curiosity, and Reason at Every Age and Stage of Life

Here are some of my favorite take-aways from Chris’s talk: Continue reading