Archives for the month of: August, 2011

I was in a conversation the other day with a colleague who was relating a situation in her workplace that needed tending. And then she said, “But that is not my work now. My work is to take care of myself and keep myself healthy.”

Choices. Priorities.  If we were to take care of every single challenge that our private and public worlds provided, we would lose touch with our work.  Her comment helped me to direct the flow of my life this week. Her comment helped me to define my work.

There are always many things to take care of, phone calls to make, people to nourish, but really, our work is what is in front of us that takes precedence over anything else; the action that will give us peace of mind.  Sorting that out, paying attention, making choices to move forward into the challenges that bring hope and promise and  that we can truly control and create outcomes for, that is the real value of our work.

Our work is paying attention to our hearts.

Our work is reaching out to the most important people in our lives.

Our work is designing a life that is fulfilling and being responsible to it.

Our work is personal.

The other? That’s a job. That’s the easy part.

Do your work. The rest will fall into place.


There is a bird that has found my windowsill of late.  He cocks his head and looks at me inquisitively.  This has me in wonder.  It has me in wonder because I have been contemplating where to put a bird feeder.  I find myself being directed by this bird.  This bird is just being.  Looking, seeing, asking.  And I am there to observe.  This bird, by its very nature, has been influential in creating an enhancement to its life.

There are things, people, events that are a gift to us.  It may be a great grandmother’s tea set, the friend who always says, “Yes, of course.  You know what you need to do.”  Or the event that is always and remains the holder of deep pleasure.

I am encouraged by this lovely visitor on my windowsill. I am encouraged  to notice the signs, people, things, that show me consistency and wisdom, support and love. Just by being.

I encourage you to do the same.  Notice what you have ; appreciate those people who are there for you; celebrate the events that give you pleasure. Take your cues from what is natural.  It might be a cooing baby, a bird making a nest, a friendly spontaneous phone call that holds all of the  things you need to hear.

There are miracles in treasured moments.  There is a newness,  even when it feels familiar.  Each time you open yourself up to wonder, an appreciative change is imprinted on your cells.  Observing, experiencing and appreciating are key elements.

Isn’t it wonderful to be in charge of your happiness?

There are no shortcuts.  There is only the way through that keeps you straight on the path and gets you where you want to go.

There is a direct way. It is well-defined, has been tested, might take a little longer, has more stopping points, but it always gets you there.  Then there are the shortcuts.

Picture this.  You are driving to a destination and there is heavy traffic, so you try the short cut.  You head down a side street and know that it will ultimately get you to the place you want to go. But, alas, there is a broken sewer pipe and many trucks are lining the street and you can’t get out. You are stuck.

Or you are in a flash flood and instead of turning back, you head down another path only to find that the flooding is far worse there than on the main street where help comes more swiftly and ably.

Or you think that maybe just this time you will not tell the truth, because what are the odds of someone finding out? No one will notice. And then they do. And it is a lifetime of explanations and justifications that finally gets you clear. One more time.

There are no shortcuts.

I was cutting an onion yesterday and I was awed by the perfect symmetry in the natural folds of the peeled onion.

Lying on its side, the onion beckoned me to follow the narrowly spaced slightly raised folds and cut down. Then, the shape changed into  flattened translucent slices to then be chopped into tiny squares.  Right before me,  I had changed the onion from a whole to parts to mini-parts.

This made me think of life experiences.  I thought of the many vacations I had so carefully planned, only to have them take on a life of their own.  It is as if the vacation had a plan  and I was along for the ride.  Experiences unfold themselves in perfect symmetry and as we move through them, we have the opportunity to be creative and reshape them based on their twists and turns.  I know that we are conditioned to control and define our experiences, but like the onion, I am always awed at the design that is there and works on its own.  A door appears and unless we go through the door, we have no idea what is there.  A door is not just a door and an onion is not just an onion.

Simplicity is held together by an intricate back stage weave of life.

I am going to keep peeling onions, noticing the veins in my plants and the bobcats that come to hang out, birth and stay awhile in my back yard.  The symmetry of life is at my door and in my yard and my kitchen.  The cues in my experiences and the surprises that enter my life give me a whole new respect for symmetry and open me up to wonder.