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Your Thursday Assignment

1. What brings you the most joy?

2. Why does this bring you joy?

3. What two actions can you take today to have more time for 1?

4. How committed are you to taking these two actions? (1-10)

5. What would it take to move the commitment to 10.

Take 6 or 7 minutes for all the questions. Don’t get bogged down in analysis. Don’t let barriers rise up. Just let the answers flow from you. Write them down. Put this sheet away and reflect on your answers for a day. Tomorrow come back to your answers and jot down what you notice. If you are satisfied and ready for a small step, act on one of your actions. If not, answer question 1 again. Rinse and Repeat.

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My Artist’s Date and my Personal Manifesto…

I am exploring examples of personal manifestos and there is lots in Estrella’s I like.

Life's a stage - WebBlog

I’m a bit late in posting about my Artist’s Date, which was the assignment for Week 18 in the year of loving ourselves fearlessly.

In my last blog post, I said how great it’d be to take yourself on a date and do something that inspires you. And I was hoping that for me, it would be as simple as a walk in the Botanical Garden which I’ve been meaning to write about (and a relaxing walk through it while taking lots of photos sparks my creativity, and at the end of said walk I’d rush home to put all my thoughts to paper).

Well, needless to say that walk never happened. The Tulips aren’t in bloom anymore, so I put the walk off and haven’t realized it until the week had past.
So my big date turned out to be a Saturday in. I went out to toss the trash…

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Gifts

Again from Dumb Little Men “What are your talents? It’s been said that we each have at least one gift we’ve been given, and that the true purpose of our lives is discovering that gift, and sharing it with the world. There is much truth in that statement, and an important part of this process is discovering your gift. What are you good at? What talents do you have? What have you shown an aptitude for in your current and previous jobs, in school, in your personal life? Anything goes here.”

I am not sure if it is all that simple to discover your one gift but I am sure that you all have talents that can be used to improve your life and the lives of others.

Are you a planner – help a nonprofit develop a strategic plan. Are you good with numbers – assist with financial planning. Do you have the gift of the gab or writing skills – jump into a communications role. Do you listen well- offer to mentor. Do you love being around animals? Outside? Cleaning? Lifting? Running? Look at your talents, skills and gifts today and find a way to use them to assist someone else.

Make Today Remarkable, by sharing your gifts,

B

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I Guess I am One of Those People.

You know them. They appear at every public meeting. They are invited to dinner parties. They are in our neighborhood coffee shops. They are in our clubs, our churches, our gyms, and our parks. Those people who have an opinion about everything are everywhere.

Apparently I am really one of those people. When invited into a conversation, implicitly or tacitly, I join in. I am told that I can dominate because I appear to be so certain of my position. I’m not. Not always. I admit to using words as a provocation. I have said many things I wasn’t sure about or that I might not have believed in order to move the conversation. In my defense (classic, statement from someone who is  deflecting) I am listening to the responses, mostly out of curiousity, and hoping to learn something new.

Discussion is too important to not be generative. Your words urge me to add and I hope my words compel you to join in.  Does that approach  work for extroverts and introverts equally? My real opinion is that we are becoming isolated and distant from each other because we don’t spend enough time in deep, meaningful conversations. We are missing opportunities to connect, to get to know each other, to enter relationship.

Take up the challenge with a safe group – family or close friends and see if you can draw them into a 30 minute discussion about something that is important to all of them.

Make Today Remarkable, by having a discussion,

B

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Questions about Worth

What if we were measured by what we did for our family and community rather than what we own? What if my net worth was expressed in terms of my contribution to my neighbors? What if you were rated by your generousity, caring and service?

Would it change how we chose to spend our time? Would I see people around me differently? Would you still have the same friends?

How much is a phone call to a troubled colleague worth? Is there a price I can put on driving my elderly neighbor to the doctor? Do you value someone who is there for you, when you need someone?

There is a Chinese practice known a quanxi that in its purest form means relationships. Dictionary.com defines it as “a Chinese social concept based on the exchange of favours, in which personal relationships are considered more important than laws and written agreements” This isn’t quite what I am referring to but the expectation that I will respond when someone reaches out seems honorable regardless of the motivation. If we practiced quanxi with our family, friends and neighbors would this enrich our lives? Our relationships? Our communities? I believe so.

Make Today Remarkable, by increasing your relationship worth,

B

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Being Impactful and Agile at the Same Time

Have you ever felt like a tightrope walking elephant? I do most days. How can I walk a delicate line, engaging and provoking while still naming the big issue in the room without offending or alienating everyone? I likely can only manage to please half of the participants in a discussion. Walking the tightrope of ‘diplomacy’ may add supporters but not actors. Appearing neutral creates no momentum. Neutrality is always complicit with the aggressors, the bullies. Being strident about ideology only serves to create more polarity.

elephant

I do  attempt to be impactful and agile by listening to others out of curiousity. Promiscuously taking the best views and ideas from across the left/right spectrum and sticking them awkwardly together helps bridge the divide. Even when we don’t agree I try to be respectful rather than vitriolic. My big elephant feet do make balancing difficult and I have put a foot in my mouth more than once. I intend to apologize ( I don’t always have the courage) for misspeaking, misunderstanding, being rude, and insensitive. I don’t apologize for being a pain in the ass if I can insert a perspective that rattles an echo chamber.

I have had a week of difficult discussions, difficult presentations and difficult preparation and I am feeling wobbly and exhausted from the effort of staying clumsily balanced.

Make Today Remarkable, by walking gingerly,

B

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Discovery

The best teachers are those who tell you where to look but don’t tell you what to see. ~ Alexandra Tenfor

Discovery is exhilarating. Adventure is contagious. Learning something new that embraces both is remarkable. If you are given a map but not the route, it may take a bit longer to get to your destination (or maybe you find a new destination) but you may discover something completely unexpected.

What are you learning? Are you engaged in personal development? When was the last time you set out to gain new knowledge, skills, or perspective? Is it time?

For most technical, mathematical, scientific there is a requirement for some foundation but the exciting innovations or ahas is when a tangent is opened and allowed. For most of our interest based quests for knowledge, we already have a base and can take a alternate, a less conventional approach.

If you are imparting, sharing or guiding try less spoon feeding and more of generous approach. The teacher chooses how the gift is offered and you can open the atlas to the right map and then help them avoid immanent danger. We get a lot of pablum and not enough jambalaya. Doing some digging adds that spice to the dish of knowledge. I don’t remember the taste of blandness but I certainly remember where and when I was awakened by an unfamiliar flavour.

Make Today Remarkable, by adding some spice to life,

B

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You are Needed.

We need you to be a leader, to take up a challenge and serve, support and steer a group of people. You need to be open to the opportunity to share your passion, your strengths and your experiences. You are uniquely suited to guide a project, a piece, an idea in your workplace, in your faith community, in your tribe. You can leverage the gifts and experiences of those around you to achieve an as yet unimagined outcome.

Listen to your heart, the voices in your head, the revelation from those around you. Intently listen and then take up the challenge and trust that those who rally really want to add to the project or initiative. Listen to their input, acknowledge their feedback, include and celebrate their suggestions and make a well reasoned and intuitive decision. Move forward with confidence, courage and commitment.

Whether you are innovating or inventing a product, improving or investigating a service, imagining or improving an idea the process is similar. The stamp that you put on it is yours, yours alone. If someone else is forced to lead because you resist or refuse then the stamp will be something else, likely something less.  Your time is now. In this time, in this place, with the people surrounding you, you should expect miracles. Don’t settle for mediocrity.

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There are no Comfortable Problems Left to Solve.

Seth Godin expounds on the non profit sector and fundraising in this great video with 

We, all of us,  need to think about solutions. Try  different approaches. Evaluate and try again. For regular readers, this will sound so familiar but I believe it needs to be said again and again to break us from the ruts we are stuck in.

I understand the insanity of doing the same things over and over expecting a different result (Einstein) but I don’t understand not changing what we are doing.  The opportunities for as yet unimagined solutions lays in taking small persistent incremental change risks every day. Not change for change sake but change for the sake of making a difference.

Seth’s quote ” If we knew how to solve … we would have done that” also reflects that we know what we are doing isn’t going to solve the issue. If you are on a weight loss regime and you aren’t losing weight, you need to do something else. If we are attempting to eliminate homelessness and the numbers continue to rise, we need to do something differently. If you want to slow climate change through awareness campaigns and …

If we continue to manage social issues, social issues manage to continue.

Make Today Remarkable, by doing something differently,

Bunique

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A Deadly Belief

“When you begin to toss away the deadly belief of “I’m not good enough,” your life will change for the better.” Thanks for sage advice.

Jaie Hart

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 3.18.10 PMOne of the deadliest beliefs for the human psyche to hold is, “I’m not good enough.”

Now this particular belief is so very complex that likely the majority of those who hold it are not even aware that they hold it. The belief has become like an insidious form of malware hidden deep within the operating system of our consciousness.

I’m Not Good Enough

 This belief is interesting in that originally it was given us by the outside world in some way. In part we agreed to it based on the evidence our perception was convinced was real. But it wasn’t real. The sad part is when this deadly agreement was formed between the outside world’s insistence and the internalized doubt of a fragile consciousness, it ended up rooted deeply within the psyche and began to shape our view of ourselves, direct our perceptions, assumptions and ultimately our actions.

You…

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