Thursday, November 11, 2010


What a word.

Do you ever find yourself compromising? About a person, a thing, an idea?

How much should you make the square peg fit into the round hole? How much should you offer forgiveness......let it pass?

Cost/Benefit analysis.

Will letting go of the disconnects mean that you will get to an outcome quicker with less effort?

Is it the outcome you want?


Friday, October 29, 2010

The audible sigh

You know the moment - you take a deep breath

others could think it means you're impatient or mad or frustrated
and you could be
or maybe you're just letting go

of the things you could say


they aren't worth it
they don't matter to what will happen
they don't help you achieve what you want out of this moment
they just add "baggage" to the situation
they are the conversation you've had so many times before - you already know how this movie ends, so maybe it's time to change the script

the time we have together is precious


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Life is about the moments

There are some moments that don't sneak by. They are powerful, positive and negative - we remember them because they significantly change our lives and who we are.

There are other moments that sneak by unnoticed. I'm trying to have less of those because life is made up mostly of these moments. Instead of letting them sneak by, I want to recognize them for how they:
  • teach me
  • make me question
  • sadden me
  • reinforce me
  • feed me
  • excite me
  • change me
There are daily reminders that life isn't what you expect it to be, so I'm challenging myself to be IN IT every moment.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Finding my way forward while blooming in existence

I've spent the last 6 months finding my way forward and blooming in existence, fiercely protecting against the notion of just existing.

It's been a hard battle at times, but one that I'd never abandon.

I know what it's like to be stuck, not moving forward. I also know what it's like to live without even thinking about whether or not you're moving forward; you just let life happen. I wish I had the answer to how to shift out of those "gears" when you're in them. Even when your well versed in what it feels like to move forward, it can be difficult or impossible to force yourself to shift gears.

I've learned two things:
  1. I need to remember that people can help keep me sane
  2. It's all just temporary

Friday, September 17, 2010

I am a collage of you - you make up parts of me

Collage: an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole. The term collage derives from the French "coller" meaning "glue".

The idea that you make up parts of me has been floating around in my brain for a few days - I even started thinking about how there's truth to that in the literal sense. Quantum physics tells us we are part of each other at a molecular level - we all share energy.

Sara F. must have "heard" my brain working because I got an email from her today explaining how she connected with one of my blogs. That email made me laugh because it reminded me of this topic again.

Sara has been in my life since junior high. She's been brave enough to challenge and confront me, but she's done it in a way that I've always felt fiercely supported. So many things would be different if she wasn't part of me.

Then there's Amanda V. She gives me an entirely new world view - a view that I would never come to on my own - about fun, responsibility, blooming, friendship. So many things would be different if she wasn't part of me.

Heather S. She allows me to be me. Unjudged. So many things would be different if she wasn't part of me.

Oh, then there's Dave S. I sometimes think Dave is talking about someone else when he talks about me but then he presents data because he knows that I'd be swayed by data in any other situation and I'm forced to admit he's right. So many things would be different if he wasn't part of me.

Tracy M.- in & out of my life, but yet always there and certain to be a piece of the puzzle in the future. So many things would be different if she wasn't part of me.

9/22 - I had to edit this and add Mark. Mark has given me the brother I never had. He's an unlikely friend, a consistent presence of humor, pondering and connection (picking up where we left off). So many things would be different if he wasn't part of me.

And now I'm overwhelmed because I could keep going and going, listing people. It makes me think of Missy's website (Missy is also part of me - she's shown me that sometimes you have to just jump)

There's all the likely sources, my parents, my sister, my kids and so on but then there's the unlikely's surprising how they can end up being important to who I am.

  • There's the person that smiled at me in the grocery store and reminded me that we have a choice to walk through life disengaged or disarmed.
  • There's Jeff F. - a hallway conversation about my belief that people are "dots" in my life that will be connected at the end to make the picture of my life - he pointed out that my "dots" should be pixels.
  • There's my fellow passenger on the plane last week, who summed up our conversation by saying, "It's nice to hear your story because it's a reminder that we are all just in different parts of our lives and it's ok to make mistakes."
  • There's Fred B, who I've never met, but taught me what a facilitator was.
It only takes one moment to change me.

Listen to what Virgina Satir  says about the importance about our interactions with each other. Give it 3 min 45 seconds & ignore the cheesy voice & the fact that she's talking about therapists. We're all therapists, teachers, facilitators. (Thank you, Michele K.- whose facebook posts continually remind and teach me.)
There have been people that have been toxic and they have served to remind me that I can choose to believe in myself or I can be detoured by them.

There have been people that have been supportive and they have served to remind me that I can choose to believe in myself or I can be detoured by others.

(Then there's Tom M. who has reminded me that time in the lunch line is well spent. It's like "windshield time.")

Monday, August 30, 2010

baby steps......

I firmly believe in baby steps. (I don't know if you have the same experience, but every time I hear that phrase, I picture Bill Murray in "What About Bob?")

Baby steppin'.

It's the concept of breaking something into pieces - into manageable goals - not being overcome by an overwhelming goal......"chunking" it up.

It's also connected to the concept of perseverance for me. I can just baby step. I can make progress, even it it's small progress, with baby steps.

I know that eventually I'll get there or get it or do it. It's ok if it's not tomorrow but I KNOW that it will BE if I keep baby stepping towards it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Face life as you find it - defiant and unafraid.

Mother Nature clearly stands proud, defiant and unafraid.

Follow her lead. Hold your head high, unwilling to cower, strong, proud.

Life has many milestones, some good, some bad, all creating you. Face them as you find Mother Nature - defiant and unafraid - willing to throw down.

Life is never what you expect it to be. Embrace it for what it IS.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I believe.......

Stumbled across this - I found the bolded statement posted in the copy room 5 years ago :

I believe our background & circumstances have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
Only through knowingness can you become who you want to be.

I believe my friends & I can do anything or nothing & have the best time.
If you tune into the moment, you can find beauty and appreciation everywhere.

I believe we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
Most of the time, you can choose how how you feel and how you show up.

I believe that no matter how good a friend is, they’re going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
Everyone is on a journey. Reach out your hand today because you might need one tomorrow.

I believe that you can keep going, long after you can’t.
You can even if you don't know it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

How did you get here?

I met Darrius on the plane a couple of Sundays ago. It was one of those moments where you're trying to decide, "Am I going to talk to this person? Should I just go to sleep? What if they talk my ear off about a really boring subject?" I chose to talk. Little did I know, I was choosing to be surprised.

We had a great conversation about religion and life philosophy and marriage and learning and realizations and kids and who we wanted to be and how we are.

And then Darrius stopped me in my tracks. He asked, "How did you get here? How did you get to the point where you believe the things you do? Did you read a book? Where do these things come from?" I didn't know the answer. I still don't know the answer. I'd like to know the answer. The only thing that I've come up with is people, moments, thinking, books, reflection, learning, feeling and guessing. Seems like I should have more details. There should be vivid pivotal moments that made me me. I'll have to keep pondering - maybe I'll ask for help from the people that were the witnesses.

But it's a question for all of did you get here?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Static: characterized by a lack of movement, animation, or progression

Have you ever found that when you look at things closely enough, the things that you thought were static are not really static at all?

The building across the street made me realize that. I thought it was just a building..........sitting there. BUT as the days passed and the time of day changed and the weather changed, I noticed the building changed. In the sun, it's bright white with reflection. In a rainstorm, it turns putty gray. In the morning, the doors open to do business. In the evening they close.

It made me wonder what other things are changing that I might be missing and not appreciating because I wasn't paying close enough attention. Me? Am I changing in ways I'm not realizing? Others? Are they changing in ways I'm not acknowledging? That building is further proof that there's value in tuning in......there are things you see that you would have passed right by.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Just a path........

I walked this path before.

In the crisp in-between of fall.
In the cold winter moonlight.
In the hints that are spring.
And now, in the fullness of summer.

The darling chirp steals my attention from the whisper of my steps through the grass.
Takes me to the vision of deer running in the night.
And the choosing of fresh blossoms, yellow and white.

Same place. Different time. Different me.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Simple, happy moments accumulate into a spectacular happy life.....

While I was recently chasing the Happy Cloud, I found myself admiring the green of the cornfield and contrasting it to the green of wild weeds - both we're beautiful and both made me smile. Greens.

A few moments later, I found myself asking whether it was ridiculous for Greens to make me smile. What a silly thing to smile about. There's nothing grandiose about the green of a field. It's not Important to the world. It's not Fashionable. It's not Intellectual. Michele, it's a cornfield!!

Fast forward a couple of days. Driving and the sky was beautiful. Blue. Damn it. Here's another simple thing; a simple moment making me smile.

Then I started to do math. One moment + one moment + one more moment + lots of other moments.........all those moments matter. They all add up to make a life and the more simple, happy moments you can find in your day will lead you to a spectacular happy life.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Cloud

Yesterday, I was driving down the highway, admiring the green and I saw this happy cloud - a sole cloud in the sky. I told my daughter to look up.

She said, "Isn't it cute?" lol.

It WAS cute.....all by itself in the gorgeous blue sky. I wanted a picture, so took the next road and found myself in the country, on a road that seemed like it could have gone on forever. Imagine the the road stretched out in front of you, the sky bright blue, and surrounded by green corn fields......undulating.

I kept driving - saw horses, cows, black birds.......and then stopped. I told my daughter to listen - to the wind and the birds and the nothing. Look at THAT green & THAT one.

Then I was amazed that this unplanned 20 minutes on a country road gave me energy & made me smile.

Never did take a picture..........

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What do you worry about?

Worrying is like hoping.

Stop worrying
Stop hoping

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Living Poetically

I always thought that poets were people that write poems. From

1. A writer of poems.
2. One who is especially gifted in the perception and expression of the beautiful or lyrical

On Sunday, I realized that I am a poet, not because I write poems, but because I think I'm especially gifted in the perception of the beautiful or lyrical.

It stops me in my tracks, forcing me to pay attention. I see it everywhere and in almost everything and definitely in everyone. I even see beauty in ugliness. It makes me giddy, smile, gleeful and it makes me appreciate.

and it makes me want to share so that everyone can see it.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What's in your backpack?

Finally watched Up In The Air last night.

The moment that Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) talks about comparing your life to a backpack and that sometimes, in life, we fill our backpack with so much that we can't move.

We get stuck.

And that's how we live the rest of our lives.

When's the last time you dumped your backpack out? What people and things would you purposefully put back into it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Last night

The storm arrived.
I watched as it snuck up.

It was exquisite indigo, the kind you could sink into.
It took its time. Willing to sit with itself.
Without an announcement.
Calm, but undeniably present.

It started with silence belying the lurking force.
The landscape hushed.
The birds grew louder in comparison.

Next came the soft pitter patter tip-toeing across the pond.
A harmless messenger.
Just a warning.

But then the sky unraveled.
An opening statement.
Declarative and beautiful.
Dancing light.
With idiosyncratic booming.

The wind and rain swept in, erasing all previous notions of hesitancy or tentativeness.
Replaced by boastfulness, bravado, strength.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

What else matters? bliss, blooming & knowingness

Just imagine having the combination of these three things:
being happy - knowing that what makes you happy should be making you happy - AND flourishing and shining

deep breath.

bliss: 1 : complete happiness 2 : paradise, heaven
knowingness: 1 : having or reflecting knowledge, information, or intelligence 2 a : shrewdly and keenly alert : astute b : indicating possession of exclusive inside knowledge or information 3 : cognitive 4 : deliberate

bloom :1 a : to produce or yield flowers b : to support abundant plant life 2 a (1) : to mature into achievement of one's potential (2) : to flourish in youthful beauty, freshness, or excellence b : to shine out : glow 3 : to appear or occur unexpectedly or in remarkable quantity or degree  4 : to become densely populated with microorganisms and especially plankton —used of bodies of water

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Follow your bliss - a birthday wish

I have to share these words from a magnet given to me on my birthday.
  • begin.
  • attempt.
  • expand.
  • transform.
  • imagine.
  • create.
  • vision.
  • dream.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Are you feeding YOU in the ways YOU need to be fed?

What are you doing right now?
What did you do today?
What are you doing tomorrow?

Dedicate some time to feeding YOU in the ways YOU need to be fed.
Unfiltered by shoulds, what are your wants? Start with the wants and then apply the shoulds. SPARINGLY.
Because they'll stomp all over the wants every time.

Don't think that you can keep neglecting parts of yourself.
There are no parts; there is only the whole.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

It's about opportunity costs.....

The cost of an opportunity forgone (and the loss of the benefits that could be received from that opportunity); the most valuable forgone alternative.

Aren't we incurring opportunity costs every day of our lives? Every minute of our day? We're choosing how to spend our time and where to put our energy. We're forgoing other opportunities when we make our choices. How do you know if you're choosing correctly?

Create knowingness: figure out what you want you and your life to be.
  • Do you know who and how you want to be?
  • Do you know what things you want to have?
  • Do you know what things you want to do?
 Once you have knowingness, the opportunity costs become easier to give up - only the items that help you get to YOU will get your resources.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

C'mon - borrow mine

Hold your hands out.
I'll hand one over.

Or open your mouth and I'll take a spoon and make airplane noises and pop one into your mouth.

I'll send one next day FedEx. Open the package feverishly.

It's my savior in moments of despair. It forces me to put it into perspective.
It's my mechanism for turning good into exquisite.
It unleashes, expands.

Sense of humor.
A smile.

Friday, May 7, 2010

How much of the important parts of your life can you see?  - this is for you....

Apparently I'm finding inspiration in song lately.
Sam Sparro - Black & Gold
"if vision is the only validation then most of my life isn't real"

So much of our life goes on in our heads and our hearts. There is nothing to see.
If you change one of those things, you change your reality.

It's simple. Right? It's simple.
You can just decide. It IS all invented.

But it's not always easy, is it? I'm laughing because I don't know how many times I've had this conversation, not just with other people, but with MYSELF.

Life isn't what you see. It's what you feel, think,'s faith, love, fear, hope, wonder, appreciation, perception, compassion, perserverance, curiosity........add yours.......


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Who, in your life, expects you to be somebody?

From Brandi Carlile:
All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to

The book Vital Friends asks who, in your life, expects you to be somebody?

What are the vital relationships that keep you "tethered" (my word) to the world, that keep you connected & engaged because they have expectations of you? What relationships keep you motivated and give your life context? Without them we wouldn't contribute to the world in the same way - we'd lose meaning.

So while you're figuring out how you invest in yourself, you have to realize THAT investment doesn't happen in a vacuum. The outcome of that investment depends on your relationships with others.

Soooo, who EXPECTS you to be somebody? And what do they expect you to be? And how has it effected you?

My daughter once told me, "Mom, I want you to be happy." I want to work hard to live up to that expectation.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The marble jar

I love this.

The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, people live about seventy-five years. If you multiply 75 times 52, you get 3,900, which is the number of Saturdays that you may get in your entire lifetime. How many of yours have already passed?

The marble jar:... Get a jar. Put a marble in it for each Saturday you have left. As every Saturday passes, take one marble out and throw it away. Watch the marbles diminish as a reminder that you should focus on what you want to do, what you want to have, and who and HOW you want to be – what YOU decide is really important in life.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Who are you letting in?

We've been conditioned to believe that feedback is a good thing, intrinsically good.

BUT I've found that it's not always good. Be careful about where you're getting feedback.

I give my trust away. I give it and it's up to the person to lose it. I don't make them earn it.
I give away second chances and third chances - sometimes too many chances.

Proceed with caution when you feel like someone:
  1. doesn't seem to have the right intention
  2. makes the process of receiving feedback so toxic that it drains your core
  3. has fundamentally different beliefs or perceptions that you just can't make it make sense
Decide if you're going to let them in anymore. Maybe what they have to say just isn't valid.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Think back. Was there ever a moment that you felt defensive? I'll bet there was and I'll bet if you really thought about that moment, you'd find that you were protecting some belief that was center to you - your essence.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if in that moment of defensiveness, we could express what was at the root core of our apprehension? Instead of talking all around it, we could admit what was truly driving our reaction.

So stop the next time you feel defensive and ask yourself what you're really trying to defend.

Promises we make to ourselves

I made a promise to myself that I would blog today.

I hadn't thought about what to write, so here I am.

And now I'm wondering about the promises we should make to ourselves. How on purpose are we about the promises we should make to ourselves? Would it just be that easy? I promise myself.....and then we I would hold myself accountable to it?

I'm going to steal promises that we make to customers and employees - I'm going to just throw them out there - as a starting point for promises I need to make to myself.
  1. I promise to respect, value and encourage your opinion.
  2. I promise to be welcoming, respectful, and inclusive.
  3. I promise to enpower you, enable you, and help you grow.
  4. I promise to recognize and develop you.
  5. I promise to listen to you, resolve your issues, and take action.
Seems like a good place to start.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Speechless and appreciating

To all those people who leave me speechless.

.......when you leave me speechless; brain going a million miles an hour but not fast enough to process what you said.

You put me off balance, physically shifting my position. Leaning back. Taking it in. My eyes looking up - trying to see how the pieces fit together.

WOW. Really? Did you just say that? Did you just do that? What does that mean? You surprised me and I'm surprised that I'm surprised. I'm appreciating.

I heard what you SAID and I HEARD what you DID. I didn't just listen. I HEARD.

Now I'm challenged to make it part of me. Give me a minute, a day, or a year. It may take that long.

I love the challenge. Thank you and please keep doing it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Loan me your glasses

The world becomes blurry sometimes and I've figured out to surround myself with people that can remind me.

They remind me that the way I see the world is not the only way - they loan me their glasses for a while. They wake me up.

My friend Heather said to me a couple of weeks ago, "Isn't it funny how life gives nods and winks?" and I added, "and shouts but you find out you need a hearing aid."

I've gotten lost in the past. AND I will get lost again (lost, blind, and deaf) AND sometimes it was on the way to a dream. AND it will be on the way to a dream again.

BUT now I know to ask people to loan me their glasses. I won't wait.

AND I also know that getting lost isn't getting lost at all because sometimes when you're on your way to a dream and you get lost, you find a better dream.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

We are all........

We are all teachers.
We are all students.

We all have wisdom.
We all have ignorance.

We are all human.

Give me the opportunity to be curious.
Give me the opportunity to share.
Give me the opportunity to listen.
Give me the opportunity to hear.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Crappy day.

What made it a crappy day?



Sometimes it takes me a while to catch up with myself. I tweeted (@mrelin) 2:17 AM Mar 29th via mobile web

Doubt is definitely the enemy of faith, certainty, and confidence

Now, I would add that doubt is the enemy of self.
For most of the day, I was doubting, not knowing - without knowingness.
I didn't sink into the energizing moments; I dwelled in the bad.
I gave up my power.
I wasn't contagious in a good way; I took.

For the rest of my day, I'm going to skip Doubt. I'm going to trust me. It IS what I want it to be.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Giving, taking and sharing moments

People talk about getting balance in their life. The notion of balance is definitely not a "point in time" notion. It's like playing the Wii Fit balance games - it's about how well you handle the back and forth, left and right, and the rare right in the middle moments.
  • I was walking in the woods with my kids and my son (12) grabbed my hand and walked with me for a while hand in hand. He was giving me a moment and I took it.
  • I stopped Arnau (the man that keeps our cafeteria presentable) by stepping on the cord to the vacuum cleaner because I knew he would laugh when he turned to see it was me. I gave a moment and he took it.
  • I asked my daughter, "Pink or purple?" She said, "Purple." Three seconds passed. We both looked at each other and said at the same time, "What about purple or blue? I'd have a hard time with that." We laughed. We shared the moment.
I feel like I've been taking a lot of moments lately. I've been amazed at the generosity of people. I try to give myself credit for the moments that I'm giving and I cherish the moments I'm sharing and I'm right in the middle.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Let me sink into this moment ripe with calm.
It bursts forward demanding recognition.

Close my eyes.

This moment - humble, yet plentiful.


Its simplicity belies its abundance.
All revealed when I step into my invisible retreat.


Let me sink into this moment ripe with calm.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

3 things I learned this week

See my guest blog on dated March 31, 2010

A preview:
1. Figure it out. Who you are now and who and how you want to be. Write it down. Start with five things. Add, cross off as you go.

2. Ask people. Send out a quick email or text asking people for 3 words to describe you. I was surprised by what I got back.

3. Tell people. Give back. Make sure you tell people what you see in them – It’s another way of saying thank you.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Connecting the dots and blooming

Seize the moment. Seize you. BLOOM.

I connected these dots………
Dot One: Don’t just exist – BLOOM in existence.
Dot Two: Missy Durant ( writes “Negative Gets You Negative”
Dot Three: Neuroplasticity.

Huh? Neuroplasticity is the science that has shown that the way you think (your mind) actively changes the physical wiring of your brain.

Negative Gets You Negative.

Neuroplasticity proves that if I consistently think negatively, my brain re-wires itself to respond that way. So, negative does get you negative; literally, figuratively and physically.

So, how do I teach my brain to BLOOM?

Dots Four, Five (okay, I’ve stopped counting):
• Dwell in gratitude (yes, that’s a Missy quote)
• Do happy. Stop hoping
• Science shows “Lucky is an easy skill to learn.” Lucky people tend to see the positive side of their misfortunes
• There is no reality without the perception of reality
• What you appreciate appreciates
• It’s all invented
• Be one with yourself and all things will come to you
• Everything in the universe is within you

When have I felt like I’m BLOOMING? I checked out my tweets (@mrelin).
• Slowly infuse your dreams into reality
• The universe is abundant when you look in the right places at the right time
• It’s always a new moment to which you can apply fresh effort and attitude
• The more I get, the more I give. The more I give, the more I get
• It’s amazing how you get trust if you give it away. Assume positive intention
• Seeing it gets you closer to being/doing/having it
• If you are unhappy, there is nothing real on the other side but fear
• Presence makes you aware of absence. It’s not until you step into the light, that you can see how much you were in the dark

How would you define BLOOMING?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tuning in and bravery

I was laying in bed this morning when this topic popped into my head. Tuning in.

We all need to do it more.

The other day I was waiting in line at lunch and the guy at the end of the sandwich assembly line didn't look happy - let's call him Joe. I watched the people in line ahead of me - their interaction with Joe was very transactional.

"Potato chips?"
"Here or to go?"
"To go."

The next person moved up in line:

"Potato chips?"
"No. Carrots."
"Here or to go?"

They were all tuned out.

You could argue that it's only a sandwich line and the interaction doesn't really don't need to invest a lot in it - it's not vital to your success and no one is really expecting you to tune in.

While I was watching Joe, I couldn't help but think about the amazing words of Margot DeWilde, a Holocaust survivor that I had the honor of hearing speak just a few days earlier. She described the moment that they tattooed the number on her arm. When she talked about it, I wondered what it must have been like to be in that moment, where you've become a number to the world. I talked to Margot after and I asked how she went through everything she did and still maintained a belief in people. Her response was, "I never hated. I always kind of felt sorry for them because they weren't living up to what we expect of people." Now, I'm not saying the sandwich line is comparable to Margot's horrifying experience, but I was wondering if Joe felt a little bit like a robot in a factory and I was also wondering if we should expect more from our interactions with people.

It was noisy in the cafeteria, but I thought I heard Joe say, "Do you want a beer?" to the guy in front of me. I quickly realized he just asked if it was for here.

Then, it was my turn.


"Yes, chips to go."

I paused as he put the chips on my plate. "You know, I thought you offered the guy before me a beer and I want a beer too! Actually, I think I'd take two if you have them."

Joe looked at me and smiled. "Yeah, I could drink a couple of beers about now too." Laughing.

"Have a good weekend."

That wasn't hard. I tuned in. He tuned in.

I was telling my daughter (8) this story and I gave her a couple of other examples of tuning in and she said, "Mom, that could be scary because what if they don't respond." She was thinking about the emotional risk you're taking.

Be brave. Tune in.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


My parents had hard childhoods. They didn't have much, which, I think, contributed to the two parental goals they established. The first goal was that they wanted us to realize that life was about more than what you see around you every day. In order to teach us that, we traveled. Now, please know that my parents were blue-collar, hard-working people, so traveling didn't fit easily into our budget and it was considered extravagant by friends and family.

To put it in context, my mom worked at a meat-packing plant and then went on to shovel steel shavings for years in a manufacturing plant. I can remember her coming home from work from both jobs. From the first, she'd smell of meat - can't even say it was a pleasant smoke smell - it was a MEAT smell. They unloaded and killed the animals there by electrocuting them and my mom used to talk about how horrible it was to work in that environment. When she shoveled steel shavings, she came home filthy. Black, head to toe. I can't imagine what it was like to step into the shower like that with the goal of washing away that stubborn layer but never really being able to be successful because those tiny shavings had a way of digging themselves into your skin and hiding in places that made it impossible to feel free of them.

My dad worked in the foundry and on the manufacturing line. He was union. I can remember the strikes and the UAW meetings and seeing the local TV personalities at the meetings (Dr. Max & Mombo). I also remember him working third shift and stubbornly fitting classes into his life because he was determined to get his B.A. - I think for a lot of reasons: (1) He wanted to prove to himself that he could do it, he was good enough. (2) He had a strong belief that education opened doors in your mind and in the world. (3) He wanted us to know that education wasn't optional. (4) He wanted "management" to know that he wasn't just a cog in the wheel.

Back to the goals.....their second goal was to ensure their kids had better lives than they did. I think I can say they achieved their goal........

WELL. all of this was just a long introduction to my "a-ha" moment yesterday. I realized that I haven't clearly defined my parental goals. Of course, I had this "a-ha" moment while someone was sharing their life with me. I find part of the beauty of people is that they remind me of so many things.

I think I'll adopt my parents' goal of teaching that life is not what you see around you every day. I haven't done a good job of that. Yes, my kids have traveled but I don't think they've truly been exposed to the radical differences in the way people live. I'll need to be more purposeful about that.

I think the other goal I want to set is making sure my kids live life consciously. I want them to really be on purpose about knowing who and how they want to be, what they want to do, and what they want to have. It's only when they know those things that they can truly ensure that each moment is dedicated to the pursuit of those outcomes - or if it's not - I want them to be fully aware of the choices they are making. I want them to know when they're sacrificing their dreams, what they're sacrificing them for, and think about whether it was worth it.

So, dream journals will become a regular part of our lives and our discussions. In fact, I'm going to put it on the calendar. Maybe I'll make it a monthly event. We'll plan something special. We'll have a sleepover together or we'll go out to eat, but it'll be part of us.

I want to create knowingness and blooming.

It's never too early or too late

It's never too early or too late to think about your legacy.
It's never too early or too late to decide what's important.

It may require you to travel a previously unexplored path.
It may require you to commit to a point of view.
It may require you to change your behavior.

It will necessitate your prescence.
It will necessitate authenticity.

It will get you closer to knowingness.
It will get you closer to blooming.

Who and how do you want to be? Write it down.