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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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Random Encounters

Uncategorized Jul 09, 2021

Random Encounters

 

Have you ever had a memory of someone pop into your head and wonder “where did that come from, I haven’t thought of her in decades”? That was my experience this morning and it was Bunny Johns who emerged.

 

One spring about 40 years ago on a solo trip to the Nantahala Outdoor Center in western North Carolina I met Bunny Johns. Walking alone on the railroad track alongside the spectacular Nantahala River, I recall how she appeared to me: confident, kind, curious, athletic, and at peace. She said, “Hello, I don’t see many people out this way where I like to walk, it’s beautiful isn’t it?”.  

 

I was on a quest to discover myself, and it felt like serendipity to connect with a woman like her. She invited me to go paddling with her sometime and I agreed hoping she knew what she was doing because I sure didn’t.

 

Turns out Bunny Johns was an elite paddler of the open canoe and had earned...

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It's Summer!

focus intention summer Jun 25, 2021

It’s Summer!

 

Summer is generally time to take off and have some fun. While this summer is a far cry better than summer 2020, Steve and I are still staying close to home. I’m just not ready to get on a plane and travel freely yet.

 

My incredible 97-year-old mother in law has been staying at home these past 15 months as well. She told me recently of the joy it brings her to sit in her recliner, look out her window and see the magnolias tree with buds beginning to bloom. She has looked out that same window for 60+ years onto her wooded back yard and still even now, she is finding unexpected beauty.

 

Each day she shares the number of buds that have blossomed into flowers and the delight in her voice is palpable. She inspired me to be more intentional about appreciating the beauty in small focused spaces around me. It’s easy to look at a view you’ve seen a million times and not really “see” it.

 

It’s also easy to look at...

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SHARED VULNERABILITY

SHARED VULNERABILITY

 

Why do certain groups add up to be greater than the sum of their parts while others add up to be less?I have worked with organizations around the country of different sizes and shapes. I marvel at the success of some groups and the challenges of others.

 

Team culture is one of the most powerful forces on the planet and one of the most difficult things to put together and maintain. A Harvard study of more than 200 companies over 11 years revealed that a strong team culture increased the net income of those companies by 750%!

 

I LOVE Teams which is in part why I love hospice. We were the first to require interdisciplinary teams where everyone’s voice is valued. 

 

Think about the most well-functioning teams in your organization and see if they have these components:

  • Safety
  • Belonging
  • Shared vulnerability
  • Shared purpose

 

A shared exchange of openness and vulnerability is the most basic building block of cooperation and...

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