Viewing entries in

Get up. Move. Perspective.

The Solution: Simply move?

Hanging on the wall in my office, there is a picture of a tree that changes color and definition to reflect the four seasons. As you walk by the angle of the print causes the tree to shift from a winter scene of bare branches and snow, through sprouting spring foliage, the full greening of summer and then the autumn leaves of fall. From my desk seat, it always looks like autumn.

I like seeing the different images of the picture. The variety, changing colors and images offers a nice change from what is often the static unchanging art of an office space. There are times when I will just move to a different place in my office to see and enjoy the picture differently. It isn’t that I don’t like seeing the fall tree, I do. I like seeing the other images, too.

Here’s my thought: My living is often the same way. It is easy to settle into the same routine, the same patterns of moving through life and soon – everything seems to look stagnant. In the same way I have to get up and move to a different place in my office to see the variety of the tree picture, I can move to a different place in my living to see life with new colors.

The business of life glowed more brightly than the drab hues of work...

From a simple move, like visiting a different coffee shop, to a more dramatic change, like ending or starting a new relationship, we can experience the very different seasons of our living. I’m not advocating change for change sake, but I am encouraging myself to remember that sometimes I need to move a little and change my perspective in order to appreciate the rich variety of life.

I sat in a meeting yesterday with a successful local entrepreneur – a very rich man. He was clearly tired, almost exhausted throughout the meeting. After we had finished our business discussions, the conversation shifted as he explained his fatigue. He had spent the previous evening volunteering at a local homeless shelter. As he begin to tell the tale of his time helping others that night his energy lifted, his spirit soared and the conversation moved me to a different place. The business of life glowed more brightly than the drab hues of work...the previous conversation about his business.

Get up. Move. See. Enjoy.

I was just thinking...

I am originally from the low country of SC and we do have some marvelous scenery. Live oaks draped with Spanish moss… azaleas heavy with dew laden blooms… the whisper of salt air and melodies of yellow jasmine… 

A picture may be worth a 1000 words, but words can paint one powerful picture. Yes?

Stumbling Block or Stepping Stone

A Story... Unicorns and Crosses... #MondayBlogs

At the risk of blasphemy… 

They say it was a spear that pierced his side that dark day, but we know different, we who slide to and fro through the shadows of humanity's denials. We are the substance of fantastical tales, of angels, demons, leprechauns, sprites and of fairy twists and turns. Ours is the story of how the divine is called to watch the human journey, to document their story and on rare occasion we are needed to brush that story back on course - not a defined course, but on at least a path of momentary preservation from a perilous extinction. That day we were simply watching another pinnacle of human cruelty acted out with a hill, a cross and the delicate flesh of God - the brush was about to take place, but not by us this time, by something much larger. 

The guard held the spear in his hand and other than a passing evaluation of the particular smoothness of the spear's tip, had no idea. He was following the simply instructions of his superior, "Grab that spear and thrust it into the Jew's side. I have no intent on waiting here all night for him to die. I have places to be." He was also following the direction of God.

We all know, though it may surprise you to hear, dear mortal, that Unicorns carry the very power of life in their veins. It is said and is true that unicorn tears can heal the flesh. It is said and is true that unicorns can ride on the breath of life and travel between heaven and earth in the beat of a monarch's wing. However, what is not said, never spoken about is the resurrection power of the fallen unicorn's horn. 

When a unicorn dies, which isn't very often, the life of the divine beast bursts into its horn, spiraling upward, and deep into the ivory tip where it is driven by the spinning of life's essence, infinitely packed and powerful and then bursts into the heavens to be reabsorbed by the Divine. This moment is known as Cretaten.  What only I know is that, if by some precisely timed tragic and horrendous event, the horn is cut from the unicorn before the Cretatan is complete, the divine is captured in the horn. That horn would be of infinite value, and if it ever accidentally found itself somewhere, say perhaps fashioned into the tip of a common spear, it would be an unnatural weapon that would be more likely to transform life anew than kill. Such things could never happen, we would never allow it. However, it might be allowed to happen, even be planned, if a resurrection miracle was what was needed.

But, you didn't hear it from me.

Careful. Your Body Is Listening To You!

Every cell in your body is eavesdropping on your thoughts
— Deepak Chopra

Sometimes you never know what you are getting into on Facebook. A friend of mine recently posted the quote from Deepak Chopra cited above. I made a simple comment of "That's good" on her status. A few minutes later I got a message from her asking me to expand on my thoughts about the quote. It seemed like a good idea, so here goes...

First, I do like the analogy Chopra uses. The visual imagine of every cell in our body listening is powerful, if not a little scary. My mind goes kinda "Sci-Fi" and sees cells with ears attending to a anthropomorphic "thought" awaiting the next utterance as if receiving a command. To snag a phrase from EF Hutton, "When your mind thinks, everyone listens." Fun possibilities there. Meaningful possibilities there, too.

Second, I think the message Chopra is sharing is that our thoughts tend to direct our focus and thus our actions. There is an old saying, "If you hang around the barber shop long enough, you're going to get a haircut." We laugh because we know it's true. If we think about it, a similar correlation can be drawn from something that precedes hanging out at the barber shop - thinking about the barber shop. Our continued thoughts about people, places and things pave the way for us to walk right up to them. In a very basic way, thought commonly precedes action. The point here is that we need to be mindful (pun intended) of how we are thinking. I'm on-board with that, and most spiritual traditions - from extreme religious asceticism to tantric sex practices - place importance on the power of our thoughts to produce action and results.

Lastly, I'd like to go metaphysical on you. If you take Chopra's statement beyond analogy and consider the possibility that there is a cellular (or perhaps spiritual connection) between the cells and processes of our bodies, then it makes sense that the energy exchanged in the process of thinking does have a butterfly effect on all of our cells and thus our body. It isn't too much of stretch to see the connection between our thoughts and our physical and spiritual well being. Of course, we might wonder if those thoughts aren't driven, as well, by the overall health of the larger system. We might also so say, "The voice of the mind speaks but the opinions are of the body collective" - (we are borg??). Nevertheless, the point is a profound one and it is my personal belief that we can make meaningful changes in ourselves by immersing ourselves - body and mind - in an environment that promotes the values of our deepest beliefs. If we hang around the barber shop, we'll likely end up with less hair. If we spend our time with negative and shallow thinking people, we might very well find ourselves with less joy and analytical capacity.

Wait!- I guess I have another point, or thought at least. Within the Christian faith, we often speak of the 'Spirit' and our connection with the Divine. Chopra's tantalizing analogy nudges my mind to think of that connection of mind and body to also include spirit. As goes one - so resonates the others. If this is true, then maybe sometimes, when we are listening (eaves dropping) carefully - we might hear some thoughts that are greater than our own - moments when we are privy to eaves dropping on the thoughts of the Divine. If thoughts lead, then perhaps God's thoughts are one way the spirit is present with us, guiding, inviting us to respond to a possibility of change outside of what we can produce on our own in any given moment in time, and perhaps - it isn't about when those Spiritual thoughts are there as much as it is about when we are intently listening. Could we then say, 'The devoted mind is eavesdropping on the very thoughts of God?" 

I like that…and all from a social media interaction.

Do You Linger...?

Linger On It

Where do you linger? There are those tastes that just grab us by the tongue and scream delight and indulgence. Do you linger with them, allowing the full force of their impact upon that moment? 


Then there are those sounds, the songs that we love to hear – every note, rhythm, and lyric as they dance into our mind and resonate within our body. Do you linger in them, playing them over again to light on each resonance and twisted phonetic? 


What about those people whose physical beauty, simply passing by grabs your core? Do you allow yourself to linger in the impression as it launches into your libido and churns ancient and primal sensations, eliminating all thought for a moment? Do you linger there?


What of laughter? When it sneaks up on you and you find your world invaded by a twist of fate or thought, a comical jolt of unexpected amusement.  Do you linger in the wake of a real gut level laugh, leaving you exhausted and spurting tears in spasms of delight?


Do you linger on the good moments of life? I think you could…

#MondayBlogs #Words Can Make Your Mind Work and Your Belly Laugh!

A few years back, I developed the habit of inserting carefully chosen words into my speech in order to demand those within ear shot attend to the task of actually listening. I especially enjoy using commonly known but uncommonly used words when answering the harmless question, “How are you?” Faced with an unexpected response and a smile, people will almost always break from their non-thinking routine into a real human exchange. I like offering that to the people in my world and find that they seem to like it, too.

Here are 5 of my favorites.

  1. Stellar 
  2. Splendid
  3. Grand
  4. Buoyant
  5. Delightful

The added bonus – when I tell people I am stellar, I often discover I am!




Let us continue...Turning, Spraining and Breaking Phrases

I love a well turned phrase or saying. Be it of colloquial origin or something crafted in context, clever phrases interest me.

My mother punctuates many of her statements with, “Don’t Ya Know?” It isn't intended so much as a question as a way of emphasizing a fact as she has stated it.

My grandmother is known for coining the phrase, in a moment of Southern Bell disgust second to none, “That just makes my ass want a cup of coffee.” I’m not sure how it means what it means, but there is no doubt what it means.

One of my colleagues often would say he was, “Frosted Flakes Great!” That one needs little explanation.

And, although I’m not sure of the origin in my own family mythology, somewhere I picked up the proclamation that one can be “Finer than frog hair split four ways.” Do frogs have hair?

Do you have any such turned, twisted or mangled phrases you can share? Feel free. Why it would be “gooder than snuff and not half as dusty,” I’m sure! 

No Buts About It AND More #MondayBlogs

The theme of this website proclaims “A place for words….” I believe in the power of words, but not just the obvious power of words that hurt or console, I believe words are woven deeply into every fiber of our communication.  Words, properly understood can reveal intent and affect outcomes. Even a small change in a phrase or word choice can have a powerful effect on our lives. Allow me to illustrate...


Take the word “but” for example. We use it often, “I understand that, but I think it’s deeper than that.” “I want to, but I’m too tired.” “Yes you did, but that’s not what I meant.” The power of the word ‘but’ is that it negates anything said before it. Someone said once, “’But’ is the great eraser. It erases the value of anything before it.”

It is my observation that there is no better fuel for an argument than a hefty and well placed “BUT!” 

I find it very interesting to practice using another word than “but.” Try “and” for example. “And” is a good alternative it makes an acknowledging, respectful way to add another piece of information or perspective to a statement. 

“I understand you feel that way, and I still want you to get it done.”
“Yes you did, and that isn’t what I meant.”
“I want to, and I’m too tired.”

Using “and” gives value to both statements and allow us to add information and often depth to a conversation in a nonthreatening fashion. We can acknowledge what someone has said and then add our perspective. 
 I’ve tried to eliminate the word “but” from my daily speech. It takes some practice and it seems worth the effort. Give it a try. Let me know what happens.

5 Life Pacing Tips- Make Some Life Space #Intimacy

 The Dave Matthews band calls it, "The Space Between." Marketers say, "White space sells." Advertisers refer to "The pause that refreshes." All of these folks and their sayings come to mind when I find myself overwhelmed by the business and intensity of living.


Life comes at us pretty hard, sometimes. The multiplying demands of parenting, the self manifesting lists of tasks for work, the bombardment of feelings from our relationships - all take their toll on us. Our lives become crowded. Sometimes we carve out more time by sleeping less. Other times we try to tilt the scales by omitting leisure time and hobbies. These things, these accessories to our living are 'luxuries' after all, right?  Soon we become tired, anxious, angry and hungry for some down time. Devotion to family, church, non-profits, and even our pets tugs at us with passionate attachment.

We all know in our minds that down time brings balance, even serenity to our living, yet... too often we lack the white space between the business and activities that make demands of us. Here's a short list of 5 things we can do to create more white space in our living.

  1. Manage our use of time. When we begin to feel that we don't have enough time in the day, that there is not enough of us to go around, we can remember that there is always 'enough' time. Time doesn't vary. We have 86,400 seconds in every day - everyday. The issue is trying to do too much. Make a list of everything that needs to be done, then organize your day accordingly. Group similar tasks together (computer tasks, errands, phone calls) and then complete similar tasks together. Delegate to someone else what you can (don't be afraid to ask for help from friends, colleagues, even relatives). "To everything there is a season..." -Ecclesiastes 3:1
  2. Plan for your hobbies. Many of us don't think of our 'play' time as important. Carl Jung reportedly spent hours 'playing' during his most difficult periods of his adult life. The solution to our biggest obstacles is often dependent on us allowing our creative minds to play. Make sure that 'play' that you enjoy is on your list. 
  3. Exercise. The spirit may be willing, but if the flesh is weak, stress and fatigue will overcome us. As strange as it seems, the times when we are most 'tired' are often because we have neglected our bodies. Exercise that engages cardio and muscle strength - even in 20-30 minute daily doses will work wonders.
  4. Use advocates. We all have people who understand our need to rest, relax, create, ponder and otherwise have down-time in our lives. If we can get the support of a loving friend to hold us accountable for our self care, we are likely to be more successful. It is easier to say 'no' to one more demand if we have an advocate in our corner. 
  5. Do nothing. There is a Spanish proverb - "How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterwards." Plan for some nothing time. A cup of coffee on the back porch. A restful moment before you start your morning commute. Stare at the stars. Stand in the dark and feel yourself breathe. Sit in a chair, close your eyes and listen to music. Heck, even God rested on the 7th day. Make some 7th day time!

Even the language we use only makes sense because of the space bar, the breaks between letters. Having white space in our living helps, too.


What more can you add to the list? How do you know it's time to slow down?


Achilles Heel? What?

I was speaking to a room of business owners and referred casually to a chronic problem as the 'Achilles Heel' of many sales professionals. I noticed a few tentative, confused expressions among the attendees.

Later I spoke privately with one of them and ask if she had a concern with my referring to that particular problem as significant. She said no. However, she wanted me to explain what an Achilles Heel meant.

I grew up on ancient mythology. I read The Odyssey in elementary school. I watched Sunday afternoon movies about Hercules and Ulysses. I was surprised that this individual and as it turned out, three other people in the group admitted to not knowing the reference. Another person "got it" only because he had seen Brad Pitt play Achilles  in the movie Troy.

It makes me wonder if the lessons once so commonly learned from classic literature are being neglected and thus lost? I've written before here on the value of myth for our learning and understanding of life perspective. 

Do you know the story of Achilles? Does Cerberus make you tremble? Ask a 'kid' about one of these ancient heroes and see if they've heard of them. I'm curious.