Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Near Zero Waste Life Style...

I thought I was doing great to have only a tiny bag of trash each week.  Lauren's choice is inspiring:




Wednesday, June 3, 2015

We need to talk...

Get the BookMy friend and colleague, Andrea J. Lee, has just published her newest book: We Need to Talk: Your Guide to Challenging Business Conversations.

First off, Andrea is not only an incredibly gifted business coach, she is an amazing businesswoman.  So initially, even before I read her book, I was excited about it.

Now that I've had a chance to read it... well--it is nothing short of brilliant.  You will find it engaging, wise, funny, essential, painfully on target and above all, incredibly honest. Don't wait--grab your copy --especially if human connection, transformation and any form of business conversation is in your future.  It may change your life.  At the very least it will encourage you to be authentic and courageous in your business relationships.   Get the Book

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Cultivating Compassion - Today and Every Day ...

As our nation enters into another season of political campaigning, cultivating compassion is as important as ever.   We need to ask ourselves in our deeds and in our language: What are we teaching our children about what it means to be human?    

Compassion is not weakness—rather, it is a decision to connect deeply with our fellow sojourners, both human and non-human, and in the process  engage in the positive transformation of ourselves and our world.  Compassion may be one of the more powerful ways we transform our world for the better: it allows us to see things from another point of view and it is one means by which we can live our positive intentions. 

Cultivating compassion starts with self-compassion: connecting with the deepest part of ourselves.  In doing so we seek to understand what motivates us, we suspend self-judgment and negative self-talk, and allow ourselves to be present to whatever we are experiencing in the moment.   The act of noticing, of paying attention and of experiencing gives us the information we need to make decisions and choices about where to spend our energies. This ultimately leads us to take action that transforms our own internal structures and, in doing so, the world around us.

Both to offer and to receive compassion is a blessing.   Paradoxically, by cultivating compassion, we also experience the pain of our world and the pain of others while at the same time living life more fully.

Cultivating compassion, as a practice, creates the conditions for positive change in our own lives.   The decision to cultivate compassion, and the powerful practice of noticing but not judging, in itself creates good benefit for ourselves and others. 

Many communities around the globe are endorsing the International Charter for Compassion as a way to bring awareness to their own community and promoting the cultivation of community compassion through action.  The Charter for Compassion is a worldwide effort launched by noted religious scholar Karen Armstrong and elaborated in her book Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.  The Charter for Compassion document, now translated into more than 30 languages, transcends religious, ideological and national difference, and is supported by many leading thinkers from many spiritual traditions.  From the Charter:
“We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.”
The full text of the Charter for Compassion is well worth reading and can be found online at www.charterforcompassion.org.  



Sun, my sail and moon, my rudder,
As I ply the starry sea,
Leaning over the edge in wonder,
Casting questions into the deep.
Drifting here with my ship's companions,
All we kindred pilgrim souls,
Making our way by the lights of the heavens,
In our beautiful blue boat home. 
--Peter Mayer,  Blue Boat home

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Not-So-Silent Spring

In the midst of the California drought, I admit, I think about frogs. 

I think about them a lot.

So last summer, I hatched a plan.

I decided to hand dig a miniature garden pond.  My intention was to create a tiny oasis for creatures who might need water—and attract beneficial insects to the garden.  Plus, I thought—what better workout?  

So each morning, I dug for about an hour.  Fueled only by my imagination of the future oasis, I dug.  This was real work!  After a month of chipping away at the hard ground, I had successfully created a six foot long, four foot deep dry pit.

It looked more like a shallow grave than a future pond.
 
This is where my imagination helped.  If I squinted I could imagine what it might be like filled with water and teeming with life.  A masterpiece.
 
I carefully placed sand in the bottom of the pit to prevent rocks from puncturing a pod liner, and then installed the liner, surrounding it with stones I scrounged from elsewhere on the farm.  This was just in time for the first rains.  I collected rainwater, invested in a few pond plants to keep the water clean, and added a few “mosquito fish” (guppies, really) to keep us safe from pests.  Then I waited.

And I waited.

And waited.

First came the algae, which I dutifully skimmed off the pond.   
Imagine my delight at the sound of the first bullfrog. It worked!  I had a real pond!

What I did not consider when locating the pond was how loud frogs can be.  One frog became two, then four and then...   many. 
The tiny pond is a living oasis, a cacophony, drowning out conversation one might enjoy on the front porch.  As we walked by, the pond suddenly became silent, only to resume when we were a safe distance away.

Frogs make me smile.

Apparently, given habitat, frogs happily reproduce.  Thousands of frog eggs appeared in the pond just a two weeks ago.  Of course! 

Lesson: Create the conditions for life, and life will thrive.

With new life, comes joy...  and abundance.
Every frog on eleven acres was looking for a wet environment for its offspring.    Each day brings a new discovery.  At this writing, thousands of frog eggs have turned into polliwogs.  Song birds have arrived to celebrate the food source, and dragonflies dance above the oasis.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Both Books for you May 7-9

Both of my books: Tending the Soul's Garden and Entrepreneurs and the New Story are set to FREE download from May 7-9, 2015. If you haven't yet grabbed your copies, you can get them by clicking the book links here:

Tending the Soul's Garden

Entrepreneurs and the New Story

Sunday, April 26, 2015

4th Quarter and Goal...

I continue to be amazed at the grace and wit of this man in the face of ignorance and unimaginable indignities:



As a bonus, the "Anger Translator" is hilarious.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Whole Day

Earth Day 2015... we awoke to ten deer in the orchard.  Deer represent gentleness and self care, and that
is how we plan to celebrate this most holy (whole) of days.

Happy Earth Day