Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category


Topic: Uncategorized| Comments Off on Fear

We don’t have to  look very far today to have our basic sense of security threated. Our jobs, our savings, our country all seem to be up in the air. Living in this state of uncertainty helps to fire up underlying insecurities and worries. Whether it is the loss of our security or the loss of face, it does not matter. We respond.

Fear is a catch-all word, much like anger. Both are powerful emotions that are born of complex internal interactions. They are tied to our disappointments and our hopes. Fear and anger are very basic emotions that are easily stimulated and manipulated.

We are all familiar with having our buttons pushed. The media and the political machines are adept at this. They know how to tap into the basic, primal emotions that drive our decision making. Next time you watch a commercial or see a political advertisement, notice your response. What are they stimulating? Is is a basic insecurity? Is it a fear for your safety? Is it a worry about your ability to survive financially?

Notice the emotion. Notice your body’s physical response. Then notice where your thoughts go.

If you hear yourself thinking thoughts like “If only I had not ….” or “I’m never going to be able to…” or “this is hopeless” or even “there is only one answer” these may be signs that your buttons have been pushed and you are being manipulated. Step back, if you can, and see if you can figure out where those thoughts originate. Is it really the case or have your emotions been called into play?

When you are mindful of your response you have much more control. Pause….take a breath….calm the emotion. Then, look at the FACTS. Sometimes we are to blame. Sometimes there are few options. But there are many more times when that is not the case and our emotions are used to sway our decision making. Be aware of what is happening and then engage in your decision making.

Topic: Uncategorized| Comments Off on

January 30, 1978.  It was just another day. My Dad was here to help wallpaper the kitchen. I hadn’t thought much about that time. The wallpaper was heavy vinyl and held up well to many years of use. I probably should have replaced it sooner…well, you know how that goes.

With some time off for the holiday, I tackled the job of removing the wallpaper. As I peeled the vinyl from the wall I revealed the date. When he worked on a project, my Dad would always place the date somewhere – sort of a time capsule event.

So here I am, 30 years later, pulled back in time, as he intended. With it being Memorial Day, I also remember his proud service as a Marine during WWII. I know that was not his intent, but I cannot help but remember  growing up in the post-war era and how I learned about what is important in life. By his example,I learned about heroism – the quiet, attention to duty and doing what was needed, regardless.

Semper fi, Dad.


Topic: Uncategorized| Comments Off on Change

Spring is an awesome experience of rebirth and change. It is cleaning out the old to make way for new growth – sometimes cutting away last year’s growth to allow for this year’s. I would not be original in expounding upon this. Poets, artists and philosophers have done this well.

It is Spring and I am just noticing and experiencing the change.

Change is.


Topic: Uncategorized| Comments Off on Empathy

Relationship maintenance and repair is a funny thing. There is a commonly held view that we must talk about IT and the act of talking about IT has a curative effect. We get caught up in the emotion, the pain of disappointment, and somehow we are supposed to be able to talk our ways through the crisis.
It is important to talk with our partners. But talking itself is not the answer.

Step back for a moment. What is the big picture? What is the other person’s point of view? We know how their actions make us feel, but how do our actions effect them? What are they worried about?

Communication is a total process. Talking. Listening. Understanding. Letting go of “musts” and “shoulds.” Learning. Doing. Sharing. Just being together.

A verbal explosion when you are worn down and frustrated does not fix much. It only states your position at that moment. A relationship is about interaction. It is more than being right or wrong.

Take responsibility for your own words and actions. Allow yourself to experience empathy. Work on this together.


Topic: Uncategorized| Comments Off on Time

Time is an interesting concept. At the beginning of a new year we are bombarded with resolutions and the deadline of beginning to change our behaviors solely because the calender changes to a new page. Time does not change behavior. Deadlines alone do not establish new patterns. We all know this, yet at the beginning of each year (even the cynics among us, through exposure to media hype and perhaps the efforts of some well-meaning friends or relatives) we fall in to the trap of coming up with some worthy behavior change. Lose 15 pounds….stop smoking….read a book….clean the closets…you know your list.
I do not intend to say that we do not benefit by examining our lives and goals from time to time, but relegating introspection to an annual event strikes me as simplistic. An alternative approach is to evaluate progress towards goal achievement on a more regular basis. For example, if a healthy diet is the the goal, weekly assessment of progress provides much more timely feedback.
Life happens day by day. We change. We learn. With real time information, we can make adjustments before we either disregard or give up on our goals.

So, now that this first month is nearly complete, look back at what you were thinking. What are the changes on which you really want to focus? What have you learned about yourself by trying to change your patterns? What did you not realize when developing your plan for change? What do you know now?

Time is fluid. Jump back in to the flow.

Seasonal stress

Topic: Uncategorized| Comments Off on Seasonal stress

At this time of year there are sufficient sources of stress to stir up all sorts of emotions. The weather is unpredictable and messy; financial demands are plentiful. Expectations of perfect celebrations and reunions are raised, fueled by incessant media models of what we should do and how we should feel.

An alternative is setting your own expectations. Think of this as an opportunity to identify and maintain boundaries and limits. Balanced with healthy lifestyle choices such as sufficient sleep and high quality food, it may it is possible to keep it all in perspective. Finish the year on your own terms – with principle, compassion and control.


Topic: Uncategorized| Comments Off on Gratitide

Thanksgiving is a holiday that is unique in several ways. It is a holiday we can all celebrate in spite of our differences. There is no religious origin. There are no gifts to give. It is virtually ignored by the media…nothing much to sell except for turkeys and cranberry sauce. If you are vegetarian, there is even Tofurky…such an accommodating holiday.

Gratitude is hard to argue with. Take a moment… much do we take for granted? How often do we pause to acknowledge and give thanks for all those who have helped us along our journey?

Stop for a moment, right now. Take an honest inventory. Ask yourself:

“What have I received during this past year?”

“Who were the people that made my lifestyle possible?”

“Who were the people who supported me?”

“Who did I learn from?”

Take a moment to look inside; to reflect honestly and humbly.

Celebrate Thanksgiving!

work stress health

Topic: Uncategorized| Comments Off on work stress health


Three words that don’t always go together.

We spend so many hours of each week using stress to push ourselves to achieve and succeed, but there comes the time when our resources are outstripped by the need. Where do we go then?

Options are available: creativity….problem-solving….knee-jerk…..defeat….

Sometimes pure fatigue rules.

There comes a point when you know something has to change. What to do then?

Of the constructive options, stillness is particularly effective.

Stop for a moment. Are you breathing? How long has it been since you’ve taken a deep, deep, lingering breath? Go ahead. Try it.

What do you think?

Now take a moment and feel your breath…just air…flowing in and out.

Enjoy the moment.

Now, back to work.

Topic: Uncategorized| Comments Off on

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