A well-organized miracle

I just wrapped up production of the musical Brigadoon in Freeport, Maine. I have loved this musical since I was in it in high school and jumped at the chance to direct it for the theater group I run. We pulled together a cast that included some of the best singers in the area, and put on a wonderful, mysterious show. I hope being in Brigadoon provides awesome lasting memories for the cast and crew, and know we touched the hearts of our audiences.

Toward the end of the run, I kept hearing one line from the show run over and over in my head: that the mystery of Brigadoon is a “well-organized miracle.” I have decided to carry that line with me as I head out next February to travel and write. I want to get everything as organized as possible – thinking through where I’m going and what I’ll need and won’t need in the car, to make order out of chaos so I use my time well. And I’m going to trust that along the route, I will encounter miracles that shape the direction I go and the words I write. Continue reading

Living a creative life

Have you read Liz Gilbert’s book Big Magic? There are so many great ideas to ponder in this short gem of a book. I’m re-listening to the audio version this week as I zip between work and directing Brigadoon in Freeport, Maine; we open on 8/30 – oh, my!

Here are my big reminders from Liz: Continue reading

Share what you know

How much do you know of your family history?

You most likely know back one generation to your parents. Maybe you knew your grandparents. And maybe you were lucky enough to know your great grandparents. After that, things usually get a little fuzzy. But how much do you know about any of them – even those who have been part of your life? 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

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

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

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