I’m not a big one for New Year’s resolutions, but I do find myself at the beginning of each new year, thinking about my major life themes; such as how about 15 years ago I decided to stop taking myself so seriously and try being a Fool instead.
For me, at least, the ability to be in-the-moment, present, did not come easily. Just this morning, as I snuggled my 14-month-old grandson before laying him down to nap in his Pack-n-Play next to my desk, I gazed into his beautiful trusting eyes and thought about when it had happened, and how.
This is one of my favorite paintings. I go to it often for a burst of energy, optimism, and peace. I hope it does the same for you! Love & Light! Andrea
I am a very good parent. I am also a very flawed parent. As I have learned, you can’t really be one without being the other.
It took me a (shamefully?) long time to recognize this about my own parents. I was nearly 30-years-old before I saw them as the people they are, and not just as extensions of their parental roles (and therefore, of me). By then, I had managed to be mad at/disappointed in both of them for at least a decade. Our relationships were painted by my judgment of them.
True subject matter expertise -- mastery -- can't be faked. The depth of a master's skill, knowledge, and ability to synthesize new information is best observed through how much more inspired, informed, and aware you feel when you are in communication them.
It’s hard to know what is true in the world. I don’t think it’s a modern problem; I suspect it’s always been this way. The only difference now is that we have access to so much more information. So whereas in the past it was hard to know what was true because there was so little information, today it’s hard to know what is true because we have so much.
There is no doubt in my mind that we create the world we live in. It's not always easy to choose love over hatred, trust over cynicism, forgiveness over grudges, acceptance over judgement, selflessness over selfishness.
Oh, but wait a minute . . . it is! It IS easy to choose love, trust, forgiveness, acceptance, and selflessness! We can choose these things as easily as we choose what to wear in the morning or what to eat for breakfast! And since it's the only way to be happy, my holiday wish for every one of us is that we each choose to fill our own experience with those attributes, so that together we can create a shared world that's worthy of living in.
Happy Season of Love!
There is a story in the Talmud that is often used to summarize the essence of Judaism. During the first century B.C.E., a revered rabbi named Hillel was asked to sum up Judaism while standing on one foot. He replied: "Certainly! What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the Torah. The rest is commentary, now go and study."
The leaves have fallen from our Burning Bush, but the bright red berries remain. In its branches are four deep gray Dark-Eyed Juncos with their flashy white-tipped wings, two scarlet-capped Common Redpolls, and a comical Downy Woodpecker trolling up, then down, its branches. The Blue Jay is wandering on the snowy ground just beyond, probably casing the joint but looking benign for the moment. I could never hope to decorate a tree to be as lovely -or entertaining -as this.
I am writing this blog while walking 2mph at my desk. My treadmill desk. This has probably cracked a few of you up already, because I am no fitness buff. But in the past year I’ve noticed that my energy and my creativity aren’t what I want them to be, and this concerns me, as does the extra 25 pounds I’ve put on and what that means for my overall health.
I didn’t just start worrying about this in the past week. It’s been on my mind for, well, several years. But what to do? I own a business, work about 60 hours each week, help care for my grandchildren, and I’m the primary educator for my home-schooled 13-year old granddaughter. What do I enjoy most in my precious little downtime? Knitting. Hardly an impact sport.
There are natural consequences for taking more than one gives or expecting more from others than one does from oneself. We are all capable of abundance and happiness, but these blessings only come from internal motivation, energy, discipline, and personal accountability. Those who wait for (or expect) others to fill in their emotional, financial, or physical needs sadly guarantee that their needs will never be met.
The Pope is leading again.
He has taken personal responsibility and apologized for the sex abuse by Catholic Church. I honestly didn't know which category to put this commentary in - the business/leadership blog or my Saints & Sinners section - because it is deeply relevant to both.
From the Catholic Church perspective, there is a long way to go before true healing can take place. Injured people are still fighting for validation and reparations from a generally hostile Bishopric. But this accountability, this personal willingness to take responsibility for things that he was never personally a part of, this is the essence of leadership, and it will enable the healing to begin.