Have you ever gone tent camping? Years ago, I took a solo camping trip to prove to myself I was an independent woman who could pitch my own tent and make my own way. The north Georgia state park where I spent my first night was virtually deserted. No other campers were enjoying the cool October evening and my resolve began to waver. What was I doing out here alone in my brothers’ pup tent protected only with the pocket knife my father had given me before I left?
Darkness encircled me like a blanket thrown over my head. Every sound was amplified, and fear began to creep in. Then that magical moment happened when I struck a single match to ignite my merger campfire, and the darkness was at bay. A single match had made the difference between my fear of being alone in the woods and the confidence of seeing beyond my immediate surroundings.
Each of us has the opportunity to be a single flame to keep the darkness at bay. Every great movement started with one person,...
Recently my beloved Steve retired from a long and accomplished career at the University of Florida (I have not retired but am working virtually most of the time).
Our new chapter in life has begun with a 5-week camping adventure in our 30-foot Airstream travel trailer. Neither of us has ever taken off this long and it is VERY different to have an open schedule vs. trying to fit a vacation into 2 weeks!
I made plans in my usual manner: look for interesting places to go, do as much as we can at each stop, eat out at some nice places, have some campfires and s’mores and keep moving.
Traveling in a self-contained travel trailer requires a very different focus of attention. It takes longer to get to places, and campgrounds come in all shapes and sizes from the fancy ‘resorts’ with lots of amenities, to some that have us lined up tight as sardines, to the mom-and-pop places with grassy fields.
When we arrived in the...
“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”
― Umberto Eco
FATHERS AND FREEDOM
Sunday is Father’s Day, a day we acknowledge dads and their contribution to our lives. Sunday is also Juneteenth Independence Day or Emancipation Day. It marks the day in 1865 when the last enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas got word of the end of the Civil War, and the end of slavery. This occurred more than 2 ½ years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had become official on January 1, 1863.
Juneteenth has been celebrated as an African American holiday. It is now it’s a federal holiday and one that all human beings should be proud to celebrate. This isn’t about politics; it’s about acknowledging the freedom from 1 human being owning another human being. We...
June! It is a time for summer vacations, weddings, graduations, and for endings and beginnings.
Some years ago, on my 50th birthday, my husband gave me an exquisite cloisonne pendant of a dancing figure, arms up over her head in joy titled by the artist, “new beginnings”. My beloved knew exactly what I needed to lift my spirits as I reached that major milestone. I felt like my youth had ended and something else was taking its place…a new chapter in life.
With each year that passes, new milestones are reached, and new discoveries abound. Yet, to get to the new, very often we must release some of the old. When I left my job leading a wonderful hospice many years ago, I wasn’t certain about what was ahead for me. But once I began to have the time and grace for some “breathing space” to just relax, all manner of ideas and inspirations revealed themselves to me, and The Watershed Group was formed.
This week the 56-year-old brother of a dear friend of mine died, of Covid. We like to think it’s over, but it’s not. Perhaps the worst is behind us…a million people died of Covid in the US and millions more are grieving due to this incredibly tenacious virus. But people are still getting sick, and death continues to loom in the shadows.
This is where kindness comes in. And compassion. And the commitment to listening. When those things occur, change happens. Here are 3 small examples of how our words can impact others for the rest of their lives.
A nurse in my course Awaken To Your Purpose relayed a story of a hospitalized patient she was working with to help him arrange for discharge. He was discouraged and his symptoms were preventing him from going home when he hoped. She said, “I just kindly and told him I had high hopes for him to be going home the next day and that he should too, and I just encouraged him to stay...
Upon re-entry into Humanity
For the past two years, I have been more or less a hermit. At least in terms of my physical exposure to other human beings. This is not my nature. I am a card-carrying extrovert who is energized by being around other people and engaging in lively conversations!
When the world closed down in 2020 I was in a tailspin. My routine of traveling two or three times a month to visit clients coast to coast and attend meetings was stopped. My commute became from my kitchen to my home office vs. through the Atlanta Hartsfield airport.
Over the past 25 months, I have only occasionally eaten in open-air restaurants, I’ve only attended gatherings of less than four people (who have all been vaccinated) and my daily exposure to humanity has been on the Zoom screen of my computer.
Now the idea of traveling two or three times a month on an airplane and staying in a variety of Hampton Inn hotels, ordering the proverbial consultant’s...
What if most of what we know about the process of growing older is wrong? What if we could free ourselves from our presumptions about aging’s inevitable decline, and by doing so come to a new, richer understanding of what our late-life years could and should be? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.
Visionaries are those who see how tied they are to all we “know” – all the conventional assumptions we mostly accept without examination - and choose to cut that cord, to untether themselves from those limitations, and imagine a better world.
From among them spring the innovators – the mavericks who kick-start revolutions and movements that change the world. Our aging society...
It is SPRING!! We have new green leaves sprouting from the cypress tree branches in our yard.
Easter lilies are yearning to burst from their buds and the northern hemisphere will soon be awash with flowers to brighten up our world!
For the past two years, most of us have been focused on managing what is right in front of our eyes. It’s time to consider what’s next.
It’s about vision and the intention for how you want to show up in the world. Moving forward, what really matters to you?
When civilizations have no vision they perish. It’s Biblical. It’s true individually as well. If we don't have a vision for next week, next month, or even next year we can lose connection to the dreams of our future, and our happiness begins to evaporate.
Thanks to my many years of working in hospice I think about death on a regular basis. I know, it’s a morbid topic for many of you, but to me, it helps me recognize the...
Goals and Intentions
I have been thinking a lot about intentions lately. Merriam Webster dictionary defines intention as “a determination to act in a certain way”, and goal as “the end to which effort is directed”. Generally, my intention for each day is to feel good and be happy. My goals are often specific tasks and objectives.
In these days of turmoil and crisis and uncertainty, it can be difficult to stay focused on my intentions. My commitment “to act in a certain way” can be challenged. The small annoyances can seem large, and the large ones can feel enormous.
This week on a group Zoom call with participants in my Awaken To Your Purpose course, my internet connection was dismal. In fact, it was nearly non-existent. It would have been less frustrating if it had been completely non-existent, but it was teasing me with a few glimpses of the group then ZAP, it was gone.
My goal for the call was for the group to feel heard, supported, stretched,...
WORK-LIFE (OUT OF) BALANCE
Steve Jobs said "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it."
He was dead at age 56.
Those of us in the working world often talk about “work-life balance”. For workers in the US, work consumes the largest part of our waking hours. If we find work that we love doing, it doesn’t really feel like “work”, it feels like Life.
My new course Awaken To Your Purpose has begun and I have a group of amazing women participating who are over-achievers. Each of them has contributed to the world in great and meaningful ways because they have loved what they do. Remember, Mr. Jobs says “…the only way to do great work is to love what...