December 13, 2020
Last month we delved deep into the "Heartset of Gratitude." I trust and know from your emails, we are all working on expanding our heartset of gratitude in ways that fit our journey. I believe as our gratitude grows, it gives rise to joy. I dearly want to close this last Blog of 2020 on the upbeat theme of Joy.
However, there is a dissonance that must also be acknowledged. The year 2020 -- a year defined by the COVID-19 Pandemic, a Stress Epidemic, and Emotional Contagion -- is a year filled with challenges, hardship, loss and sorrow. The loss of loved ones, of free time, of hugs, of financial security, and on and on, is very real. It can be frightening. It is certainly humbling. I see and feel the pain.
I asked myself how does one reconcile Joy and Sorrow? I turned to Kahlil Gibran's masterpiece, The Prophet, for wisdom. What follows is an excerpt from the chapter, "On Joy and Sorrow:"
I look forward to this November Blog on gratitude every year. Writing on gratitude brings a smile to my face because it is an opportunity to reflect and share how my gratitude journey has evolved and progressed over the past ten years. In this newsletter, we are going deeper and will explore, what I call, The Heartset of Gratitude.
I choose the word “heartset” with intention – because gratitude is an emotion and comes from the heart. “Heartset” changes the focus from the mind and the ego to our heart. More importantly, “heartset” also brings to the fore our passion for how we are living our life – how we are seeing our own reality – as we move forward on our own unique journey.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson observed almost 200 years ago,
“People only see what they are prepared to see.
If you look for what is good and what you can be grateful for,
There are 62 days left in 2020. That is just about the amount of time we need to change a habit! We used to think it took 21 days to create a new habit. More recent research suggests it takes 66 days before a new behavior becomes automatic. Let's start Now!
What is your focus to close out the year? How do you want to remember 2020? What can you do -- what is under your control -- what will you choose to do?
Let us each decide from our unique perspective and circumstance. When we Fiercely Focus -- we can do anything!
Indeed, this is One Big Decision.
Mary Oliver's poem, "The Summer Day," puts our decision in high relief:
"Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean --
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down - who is gazing around...
In this October Blog, I feel strongly it is important to speak out and honor our collective struggles and honor courage in facing the unprecedented challenges of this 2020 year of pandemic.
Initially, I had a very different message in mind … something like Fierce Focus, with an eye to closing the year strong. Honoring Courage is the message that sang to my heart. May it uplift and inspire you – and support you in moving forward.
Our focus in this newsletter is on courage -- acts of courage to face our fears and move forward in the midst of uncertainty and during what can appear, at times, to be a chaotic landscape.
I want to start with a solemn prayer and tribute to the 211,844 people in the USA and the 1,056,493 people worldwide who passed over this year after a struggle with COVID 19. (Data from Johns Hopkin’s University as of October 8th.) This is a personal and universally shared tragedy. I mourn...
Good morning! How do you welcome each new day? I am going to share my Morning Ritual because I passionately believe how you start your day is vitally important to managing stress and improving your energy at the get-go, every day.
Recently, I was honored to give a presentation at Lakeside Chautauqua: “How to Manage Stress During a Pandemic.” The emotional contagion of stress is as important as the viral contagion of COVID-19, in my opinion. I reviewed the array of research and advice from experts of the top 5 or 10 or 17 things people could do to better manage stress during the pandemic and constantly changing landscape of advice.
I chose a different approach. In my opinion and experience, focus and consistency are paramount. The ONE most important thing to do is carve out the first 32 minutes of the day for a Morning Ritual.
I am sharing my Morning Ritual as an example to get started and...
For the entire month of July, I have been posting on the many faces of courage, counting my two most recent Blogs and innumerable Facebook posts. I was just starting to plan a pivot to a related theme for my first Blog in August, when Jackie Acho's Blog, "Choosing Life Over Fear" arrived in my email.
As soon as I read her piece, I wanted to ask permission to feature her as a guest writer this month. I immediately reached out to Jackie for permission to share her Blog with my readers. Being the open and generous person that she is -- Jackie immediately said, "Yes!"
I love this Blog for so many reasons. First and foremost, Jackie writes from the heart and provides a first-hand, up-close-and personal account of what it means to choose life over fear. If you have battled cancer, I think you will hear a kindred heart. In addition, I believe all of us know a family member or friend who has battled cancer and this may help us...
My early July Blog, “Acts of Courage,” was just a warm-up. Let us look a little deeper. In fact, let us stand up and look in a mirror. If you do not have a full length mirror handy, use your imagination to see yourself.
This is an exercise I love from our Certified High Performance Coaching™ Program. Stand in front of the mirror and see yourself as your most courageous self. What do you see – in the mirror or in your mind's eye?
Total Immersion Retreat: High Performance Habits
Held at the Historic Holt Lake House on Catawba Island
August 6 - August 9, 2020
I am opening my historic Lake House overlooking Lake Erie for a Summer 2020 Total Immersion Retreat, from the evening of Thursday, August 6, through noon, Sunday, August 9th.
Experience the joy and confidence of consistently living from your best self. Invest in yourself and learn the tools and science behind high performance habits – the habits that move the needle most -- to get you from where you are to where you want to be.
This is a small, intimate, intensely energizing 2 ½- days for women to launch positive changes in their personal lives and make rapid advancement in their professional lives. In keeping with the new protocols, registration is limited to five applicants.
The Total Immersion Retreat in High Performance Habits is designed for women to dedicate the time to go deeply...
“Excessive caution destroys the soul and the heart, because
living is an act of courage, and
an act of courage is always an act of love.”
This is a quote from Manuscript Found in Accra, a captivating novel by best-selling author Paulo Coelho, published in 2012. It is a story of a city under siege, where Jews, Christians, and Muslims live together peacefully and are preparing for annihilation from the armies of the Crusades. The novel is a series of parables as spoken by a Sage about love, faith, friendship, bravery, community and uncovering the sources of human fears and anxieties, written down to preserve the wisdom of the city’s soul.
To be clear, by choosing this quote, I am not talking about the current controversy of whether to wear face masks or not. Coelho is speaking to life and death issues – from the great wisdom traditions.
Our focus in this newsletter is on courage -- acts of courage to...
First and most important, I am sending healing energy and deep gratitude for your service to everyone on the front-lines of this global COVID-19 pandemic – doctors, nurses, hospital staff, EMS, FEMA, people working, stocking and delivering to the grocery stores, and retailers, restaurants open for take-out meals, schools serving meals and teachers calling students, our nonprofits such as United Way, Salvation Army, volunteers at Food Pantries and Pay-It-Forward Cafe's, like our local Bistro 163, the public policy leaders of our cities and states, – and the list goes on and on. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
My heart goes out to everyone who has lost loved ones to COVID-19 and to families that have suffered losses at this time of physical distancing and cannot feel the warmth of hugs and solace from friends, near and far. There are huge economic challenges -- unprecedented in my...