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Thankful. Grateful. Appreciate.

Thankful. Grateful. Appreciate.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  When I think about the 3 words around this season, they are thankful, grateful, and appreciate.

 

It is the time of giving and receiving the most valuable gift we have…Love. Love comes in all sorts of packages, a phone call to a friend, a donation to the food bank, a card to a family member, a small meal or an enormous feast, a glance of understanding by your beloved, or the curling up of the kitties in your lap. These are the gifts of the heart of Thanks Giving.

 

Gathering with friends and loved ones around a meal can be an act of Grace. The laughter and stories and food and joy all create a rarified atmosphere. A place where time can become irrelevant, and memories become alive again.

Like this memory of my niece Tori 15 years ago when we made Martha Stewart worthy pumpkin pies!


 Or this post-turkey photo of 4 generations of our family with sweet squirmy nieces and nephews that we...

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How Goes It With Your Soul?

self care Nov 12, 2021

How Goes It With Your Soul?

How goes it with your soul? That's the question my friend Peggy Dyson would ask me each time we spoke.  It always took me a moment to consider before my answer would emerge.  Which was just exactly what she hoped for. Prior to working in hospice, Peggy was an associate minister of the United Methodist Church. John Wesley, the joint founder of the Methodist movement in the Church of England, used this question two centuries ago when his followers met in small gatherings. 

We measure our lives in all kinds of ways—the hours we work, the salary we earn, our children’s successes, the number of days we workout, our titles, and the letters after our name. Businesses and organizations focus on "best practices" or "quality control. But how often do we assess the most important relationship in our lives, our relationship with our soul, our spirit, or our highest and best selves?

 

My friend Peggy taught me how to pay attention...

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Fear and Faith

FEAR AND FAITH

Halloween is a time of tricks and treats, pumpkins, costumes, and scary masks. And of course medical masks!

The irony of Halloween is that most people live masked from their deepest reality all year long sometimes all lifelong. We sometimes let other things, people, and thoughts hide our true ambition or dreams.

“Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.”  Martin Luther King

I’d like to ask you just one question and it’s not what will you dress up at Halloween. Instead, it’s something deeper, darker, and far scarier than any haunted house or horror flick.

The question is…”What are you afraid of?”

In life, relationships, family, business, health, and even success?

The great philosopher Yoda said: “Named must be your fear before banishing it you can”

We all have fears both known or unknown that hold us back from even greater fulfillment, prosperity, achievement, and peace of...

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Mercury is retrograde

Mercury is Retrograde!

Have you had any challenging communications in the past week or two? Any confrontations or frustrations in making decisions or working things out with others? I have been talking with friends and family and colleagues and there is a lot of wacky stuff going on out there these days!

 

So far this week I personally know of an assault on a hospice facility security guard by an irate family member, a major theft from a family member’s bank account, a friend who couldn’t take it anymore and suddenly quit her job, and a friend who after being super CDC careful for the past 18 months was diagnosed with Covid19 and is now in bed sick and frustrated.

 

Can you relate?

 

We bought a new vehicle this week. For months, Steve had searched high and low to find the perfect truck to replace the one we’ve had for 18 years. We spent 3 frustrating hours with the slick salesman and finally signed the deal. We got our new truck, drove it for 2 days...

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Respite



RESPITE

RESPITE

For the past 18 months (which feels like 18 years!) we have talked about endurance and resilience and bucking up to stay strong during these crazy times.

 

But today is about relief! RESPITE.  In the Medicare Hospice Benefit, there is a level of care called Respite. Where caregivers can get a rest by having their loved one admitted to a facility for up to 5 days to give the caregiver a much-needed break.

 

What kind of a respite do you need today?  What will give you a breather from the chaos swirling around all of us? A nap? Is it a walk?  Is it a drive to see Fall unfolding?  Is it a funny movie or blueberry pancakes with extra syrup and no guilt? 

 

Things that fill my soul offering respite from my daily routine and reality are a boat ride and a walk in the wilderness on Cumberland Island, GA  then watching the sunset with my sweetie. 

Along with Music, Poetry, Art, Nature, laughter, BEAUTY, and yes, college...

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Stillness

Stillness

Very often my mind is so full and active it’s like New York City in there, churning and noisy, I have conversations with myself that often run me in circles.

 

At night, I’m tired, I go to bed, pull up the covers, and close my eyes and my brain says “YEA! No distractions it’s time to solve problems and wonder ‘why I did I say THAT to THEM’ or ‘why did I eat that for dinner?’ or WHAT IF I CAN NEVER GET ON AN AIRPLANE AGAIN?!…” and on she goes. 

 

I do all sorts of things to distract myself to quiet my mind and find some stillness. 

 

I will begin with repetitions like “all is well, and I am well” or “the time to rest is now” and say it 20-30 times, just to get my mind to slow down.

 

Or, I’ll begin to say the Lord’s Prayer in my head until I find myself saying… “Our Father, who art in Heaven … hum, what I should cook for...

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ARE YOU THE LEADER YOU NEED?

ARE YOU THE LEADER YOU NEED?

 

For the past 18 months, the Covid19 pandemic has revealed many things about ourselves and our organizations. As someone who’s been an executive, a management consultant, and a leadership coach, I know that there are all kinds of effective leaders out there.  Some styles are more effective in certain situations than others. Great leaders share some important traits, like resilience, courage, openness to opposing ideas and staying grounded by listening to their workforce’s point of view, and a good dose of humility. Great leaders must be self-aware because without understanding your own strengths and prejudices, and your leadership style, you literally don’t know what you’re missing.

 

The same organization will need different kinds of leaders at different points in its life cycle. A startup company or in these times of crisis a Risk Taker is needed.  A leader whose tolerance for risk is high; someone daring,...

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From A Distance

From A Distance

I’ve had an earworm in my head again this week. This time its’s the song From A Distance first recorded by the late Nanci Griffith and was a major hit for Bette Midler.

 

Lately, it feels as if the turmoil and chaos around the world are overwhelming. The Covid Delta variant is spiking, earthquakes in Haiti, wildfires, floods, hurricanes, and Afghanistan. I find myself becoming discouraged and stressed. Then the song pops in my head…From a Distance...

 

From a distance the world looks blue and green,
and the snow-capped mountains white.
From a distance the ocean meets the stream,
and the eagle takes to flight.

 

Watching the news often results in an increase in my stress level. But then, I pause, take a breath, step back and I’m reminded the sun still came up this morning! Gravity is still working! I am still breathing, and my heart is beating without me doing anything!

We are on a planet that has been around for 4 ½...

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We All Just Want to be Liked…

We All Just Want to be Liked…

 

My summer Collaborative Group Coaching program has just finished with an amazing group of women leaders. The group was brave enough to open their hearts to the challenges I presented. As a result, they discovered more brilliance about themselves and each other.

 

The group grappled with this question: “what is one limiting thought that you have thought or focused on about yourself for way too long?”.

 

Topics came up like: “I’m not good enough”, “I’m afraid I won’t be liked”, “I too often compare myself to others” or the ever-present imposter syndrome, “someone is going to discover I’m not supposed to be in this job”.

 

Most of us want to be accepted and liked. Somehow, we go from toddlers filled with joy and speaking our minds without regard to anyone’s opinions. To adulthood jumping through hoops to be what we think others want us to...

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Olympic Leadership Lessons

Olympic Leadership Lessons

 

The XXXII Summer Olympics are upon us…and like everything else in the past 16 months, these Games are unlike any other. I love the Olympics when the world‘s greatest athletes come together to compete for the highest honor in armature sports.

 

I had the good fortune to attend the 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal Canada and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Two decades apart and many lessons learned from both.

 

In 1976 I had never been more than 600 miles from my hometown in Florida. There I was in Montreal, where the primary language was French!  People from around the globe were gathered wearing their national colors, speaking their native languages. I remember meeting people from Mongolia, Singapore, Russia, and Turkey. What an experience! The universal language was a smile. My eyes were opened that the world is a big place with so many different points of view, yet the common denominator can be a smile and...

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