One of the problems with being endlessly curious is that I sometimes forget about something interesting and helpful that I learned in the past. The concept of Spiral Dynamics is just like that. This last week my husband Thom happened to mention it, and voila!, the light bulb went on! I instantly remembered what captivated me about the theory years ago. In my view, Spiral Dynamics is a good explanation for why some of us have a difficult time getting along with other people. Not only is the country polarized in many ways, but so too are some friends and even family members. To me, Spiral Dynamics offers an elegant understanding for not what we think, but why we think so differently. [Read more…]
Ever heard of Alan Cohen before? Thom and I have had the benefit of seeing him speak in person, and to read a number of his books. His practical, insightful and often humorous perspectives continue to bring me back to some fundamental ideas that influence my life in many ways. When I came across this one today, I am reminded that even in a changing world, we have the choice about which agreements we follow—and those we discard. We alone decide who to believe and who not to believe. And yes, I can’t help but believe that those agreements shape my reality. Staying awake and aware to that concept is a practical and SMART way to live. At least I think so. What about you?
During the next two month Thom and I are renting a home in the mountains high above our desert valley home. We have been fortunate to do that for a month or more for over 20+ years. How? The best explanation is because we rightsized our lives. As some of you know, rightsizing is the conscious choice to design a life that focuses on what really matters to you and then work to eliminate the rest. So instead of merely downsizing (often seen as a sacrifice) rightsizing is moving toward what is more fulfilling and beneficial. Naturally people are different and we all face different circumstances, but when we take the time to be conscious about what really matters to us and our families, and then follow those directives, we can call our lives rightsized. This week while taking a walk in nature, Thom and I began talking about how rightsizing really is more important now than ever before. The more uncertainty with our health, our economy or even our social structures, the more important it is to clarify our individual requirements. None of us can control all of the circumstances in our lives, but we can work to create a life that fits our needs and current times in any given period. If you would like a bit more information about how we’ve done it, and hopefully get some ideas about how it could work for you, please visit the linked vlog. Afterwards, we would love to hear your thoughts, comments or even how you’ve managed to rightsize your life in these times.
Have you ever heard the statement, “If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything?” After a week of disturbing news coming from just about everywhere, it is easy to slip into anger, despair or denial. Honestly, I’ve done a bit of it all. Especially when every new day announces something even worse than the day before. But this morning I woke up and remembered the foundation of what I personally hold to be true, what I “stand” for, and what sustains me in times of trouble. And if I focus on those principles instead of the chaos, then I bring myself back to center. So, while I’m not sure my list will be helpful to anyone else and I certainly don’t expect others to have the same, I’m hoping that sharing mine will encourage others to remember and focus on what they stand for as well.
There appears to be so much divisiveness in our world these days that I need to be constantly reminded that there is something that connects us all at a deep level. You too? I also find that a short story or parable is a great way to bring the point home. So when I found this story about frogs—yes frogs—it expressed the idea visually and emotionally for me. And naturally, I wanted to share it all with you. Here is “The Parable Of The Frogs.”
It was a pleasant morning in a small town in the heartland of the United States. Around the edge of the town was a field which had several wells and each well had hundreds of frogs. And the wonderful thing was that the walls of each well had had been painted a distinctively different color.
This weekend I turn 65. In anticipation of that big milestone, I began planning a trip to Spain and Portugal late last year. We were to fly out of Los Angeles on the 12th of May and, perhaps like many of you, my plans have disintegrated because of the current situation. At first we were hopeful that we could make the trip later this year. However, as it stands even those plans are too uncertain. But rather than throw myself a pity-party, I decided that I would go through all of my photos from all my previous trips taken during the last 25 years and pick out the ones that meant the most to me. And you know what? Just doing that lifted my mood AND reminded me of how very fortunate I’ve been in my life. If you enjoy hearing about travel and don’t mind looking through a few photos, this week’s post is all about that. My hope is that it inspires you to think back and remember the travel highlights in your own life as well as feel gratitude for the places and people you’ve seen along the way.
This has been a sort of weird week for me. Not exactly bad but not without its challenges. So rather than stress myself out even more I decided to simply find a quote that spoke to me with the offhand chance it might speak to some of you as well. This one reminds me that no matter what the circumstance, we always have the choice about how we will respond and where we go from there. Of course, it doesn’t mean we just roll over and acquiesce but it does mean, at least to me, that we work with what shows up rather than against it. And besides, who can’t use a little advice from Eckhart Tolle now and then?
Like many of you Thom and I have been watching the stock market go down and then up again during this pandemic. We’ve also read about how some of our country’s leaders are using their prior knowledge to “rig the system” while the government is throwing billions at the economy to (at least temporarily) keep it all propped up. Clearly some people are making gobs of money during this situation in spite of the fact that many others are experiencing tragic financial, emotional and health circumstances. But are those the only two options? Surely it is possible to invest in the future in ways that are both more equitable and self-sustaining? Surely it is possible to cover our own needs without throwing all other people under the bus. Those thoughts led me to consider how and why most of us invest, as well as a few SMART ways we can strategize for the future. [Read more…]
I happen to love parables or Zen Stories for the simple, but often profound truths they convey. So this week when I was at a loss for a topic to write about, I pulled out my folder of “stories” and found one that reminded me of something I felt worthy to share.
A young woman, depressed and unhappy with her life, decided to visit a Zen Monastery to seek help. [Read more…]
Even though the current pandemic crisis isn’t over, many of us are starting to ask what comes next. Will things just go back to normal? Do we want that? Was normal so great for ourselves, other people or the planet? Or is it possible to use this current experience to learn something and do better than before? This week in our April Vlog Thom and I talk about a few things we would love to see more of in the days to come. And as a surprise, we’ve asked a few of our friends to join in with what they would also hope to welcome as we recover from this tipping point in human history. While none of us expect to convince you of what you should hope to see for yourself, it is SMART to remember that your thoughts and intentions do influence your future. Remember, what you think about, you help bring about. It is done unto you as you believe. Let’s make sure our thoughts are what we hope to experience. Together we can help co-create a better world if we take the time to envision our highest possibilities. Join Thom, me and a few friends as we share a couple of ideas to get started.