The Fine Art of Appreciation
The holiday of giving thanks is upon us, and for me, it always provides a welcome opportunity to pause, reflect, and take stock. What or whom do you think of when it’s time to give thanks? When I think of the people in my life whom I love, family and friends and neighbors and colleagues and more, I recognize my immense wealth. Material things come and go, but it is the love we share that is our true measure of success.
The words that come to mind for that feeling of love – thankful, gratitude, appreciation – are somewhat interchangeable, but to me, the most powerful among them is “appreciate”.
To be grateful is to look back at the blessings, and kindnesses that have come your way. Thankfulness is an action word that describes how we make the conscious effort to express that gratitude – to let whoever we’re grateful to know that we see and value what they’ve done for us.
But, for me, the most...
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 saw one another. It always took me a moment to consider before my answer would emerge. Which was just exactly what she hoped for. 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, the grades we (or our children) make, the time we spend at the gym. Businesses and other organizations focus on the bottom line or quality control. But how often do we assess the most important relationship in our lives, our relationship with our own soul or our highest and best selves?
In 2001 Peggy showed me the collection of quotes she had been writing. I said: "Peggy, you should write a book!". She replied, "I will if you do the watercolors." I...
Have you noticed all of the “noise” in your life lately? The constant chatter on emails, texting, Face Book, Twitter, political debates, talk radio and talking head news, it is endless. It seems everyone is talking but is anyone really listening? Social media offers so many options to “connect” with anyone, anywhere, anytime that a conversation now consists of emojis or single letters vs words.
While it’s wonderful to instantly send off a text or email to a friend or colleague for quick interactions, yet at the end of the day, how meaningful are those exchanges? Are you reminiscing about the beautiful text you received and how it made you feel as you’re falling asleep at night? Or are you feeling frustrated because your in-box is overflowing, and you don’t have time or energy to respond to everyone who wants something from you?
Many of my clients have the problem of staff “over-sharing” emails. ...
Has your summer flown by? School’s in session already, Gator football has begun, and Hurricane season is in full swing. The big Labor Day arrival of Hurricane Dorian in my home state Florida has everyone on edge.
With Floridian’s anxiety meters shifting from low gear to high, it’s easy to begin to dread what this storm might bring. In addition to all the usual storm prep of batteries, water and cans of tuna in the cupboard, and an evacuation plan, it's also important to stay emotionally balanced. I begin by asking myself three questions:
Yesterday I could feel my anxiety rising as the gas stations were running out of fuel and news stations were showing the horrific devastation this storm could bring. I had to stop, and consider my intent, “I want to be calm in the storm”. No matter what storm arrives, Mother Nature’s fury or a personal or...
How are you ever gotten to Friday and thought, “what did I accomplish this week? Nothing!" then feel pretty lousy because of it?
You are not alone. I certainly have felt that way on many Fridays and promised myself that next week I’m going to do it differently.
Watch the video to get 3 tips on how to get your week started off on the right foot!
Hope you have a great one!
When We Give a Little Too Much
“It’s better to give than receive”: As noble an ideal as that is, there’s a limit to giving that too many of us involved in caregiving choose to ignore. Where does it lead us?
Those of us in healthcare and other service fields have been taught that giving is honorable and receiving is selfish. So, we give of our time, our money, our wisdom, our ideas and our love without restriction or any overt expectation of return. It feels so good to give, seeing the smiling and grateful faces of those we serve is the reward in itself.
But what about the other side of that equation? What happens when it’s time to receive? Is receiving as easy and pleasurable as the giving side? Very often the answer is no. We are taught to continually push past our limits, that asking for help is a sign of weakness. When we are given a compliment or accolades for a job well done, our automatic reply is “it was nothing” and deflect the gift....
"People facing death can be our greatest teachers. Their lessons may not come with lightning speed or in conventional ways. But they often come straight from the heart, and are more lasting than any other lessons we can learn"
Patti Moore, APRN, RN
This quote is from my book No Mission No Margin: Creating A Successful Hospice With Care and Competence and it jumped out at me today. My 35 years of hospice work has exposed me to many, many people who knew they are facing death. Each person gave me something to add to how I wanted to LIVE my life and I say a prayer for them, my unintentional teachers.
This past weekend was filled with tragedy. I heard of my colleague and friend Kathy Brandt's death. Kathy dedicated her entire professional life to hospice and palliative care and served in many national roles. Kathy made a difference on a grand scale. When Kathy discovered she had terminal cancer she chose QUALITY...
My husband and I recently took a trip of a lifetime to celebrate the 20th anniversary of my company The Watershed Group and our 37th wedding anniversary. Starting in a small alpine village in the Austrian Alps,
then journeying to north of the Arctic circle to the Lofoten Islands off the coast of northern Norway.
We were in search of beauty and peace, tonic for our souls.
As so often happens in travel, we found much more than we were looking for. Beyond the majesty of the Alps and the wild, wind-swept beauty of Norway’s scattered islands, it was the people that we met who shine brightest in our memories of the trip; random strangers who reached out to connect with us, human to human.
There was the young customs agent from the island of Jersey who chatted with us while we waited an hour for our rental car in the Munich airport. We listened, enraptured, to his stories of life on a tiny island in the English Channel and his quest to achieve his triathlon dream in Nuremberg,...