A Deeper Caring: Expanding Our Circle of Concern

A Deeper Caring: Expanding Our Circle of Concern

If my conversations of late are any indication, many feel the world has grown colder and meaner in recent years. From customer service to political discourse, the tone has changed from concern to contempt. Online conversations frequently resemble the modern-day equivalent of bar-room brawls in which people fling capitalized insults at one another. Even dinner table conversations are so fraught with potential conflict that often people no longer care how they communicate if they care to communicate at all. 

Welcome to the world of "haters gonna' hate," "I don't give a fuck," and "I have so few fucks left to give." Ditto free time and discretionary funds.

Of course, we can and do...

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Listen As An Honored Guest

Listen As An Honored Guest

When we accept the invitation to visit another’s home if we have any social grace at all, we go with gratitude, appreciating whatever hospitality our host may offer. We go with a willingness to adapt ourselves as best we can to the conditions and culture of the house. 

While there, we consider our host’s preferences and needs. We mind our manners and mind our own business. We clean up after ourselves and help out as best we can. We try not to offend or break anything. Upon our departure, we try to leave everything better than when we found it and remember to thank our host for opening her home to us. 

Being a good listener is a lot like being a good houseguest...

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Reflections on the Autumnal Equinox

Reflections on the Autumnal Equinox

As darkness descends earlier and earlier each day, I find myself reluctant to embrace shorter days and long nights. The chill in the air has me reaching for sweaters and snuggles. I want to slow down even as the work-pace quickens in the compressed schedule of pre-holiday season. Getting back to school and down to business rules the day.  

Jane Austen called autumn “that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness.” It is the season of crimson, saffron, pumpkin, and gold…a season to savor hard-won harvests, colorful feasts, and warm nests amidst darkness and decay...

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Like Me. Share Me. Try me. Buy Me. Cultivating Humility in a Culture of Celebrity

Like Me. Share Me. Try me. Buy Me. Cultivating Humility in a Culture of Celebrity

Like most people with internet access, I spend an inordinate amount of time online for work and for play. While I generally love web-mediated convenience and connection, I notice that the internet feels crowded to me lately. It often feels like being in a virtual airport shopping mall in which everyone is aggressively selling cheap imitations of genuine experience while waiting for their flights.

These days, the internet is littered with social networking wanna-be stars plying their shares in hopes of generating enough publicity to join the contagion of instant celebrities who are curiously celebrated and rewarded for the least notable of talents—merely being famous. There are those who publish every event (however mundane) and every opinion, (however inane) under the impression (however deluded) that everything they share will undoubtedly interest their audiences (however limited)... 

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It's Presumptuous, Not Persuasive

It's Presumptuous, Not Persuasive

During this election season, I've participated in many conversations about politics. While I am fortunate to have friends affiliated with very different political persuasions who are willing to discuss our differing viewpoints with good humor and good grace, it seems that this capacity is often lacking. 

Recently, I commented on a friend's post:

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Trust: It's a Good Thing

Trust: It's a Good Thing

Many of you know that I regularly offer gift sessions on a pay it forward basis. Some people upon discovering this, express concern that I may be taken advantage of, especially when they learn that I do not screen potential recipients or ask for any proof of income or how they’re going to pay it forward. Although I appreciate their concern, I’m always a bit surprised. I find it hard to imagine that people would actually lie to get some free yoga, meditation, and/or coaching sessions.

More importantly, I’d rather trust people. I figure the last thing someone struggling financially needs is...

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Reflections on the Equinox

Reflections on the Equinox

Twice a year, the sun is positioned directly above the equator, and the world celebrates the equinox, heralding the beginning of Vernal Spring or Autumnal Fall, depending on where one lives. The word equinox is derived from the latin words, aequus, meaning “equal,” and nox, meaning “night,” signifying one of two occasions in which the duration of night and day is approximately equal, the balance of darkness and light.

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Compassion Lesson #10,272: Be Kind to Old Biddy Kitty

Compassion Lesson #10,272: Be Kind to Old Biddy Kitty

Early this morning (way too early), I awoke to the yowls of our cat who occasionally decides that we need to rise before dawn for no apparent reason. Since she's as old as Methusala now, I feel compelled to check on her when she yowls in case she's in the throes of death, which is the only reason any cat should be incessantly yowling at me before dawn. That, and she's completely deaf now, so shushing her does nothing to quiet her, and it doesn't seem sporting to to use a spray bottle to squirt water at an elderly, deaf cat. 

I try to think of these morning yowling sprees as developing my compassion. So I poke my head over the side of the bed. She’s there on the floor yowling up at me. I reach over and pet her. She can’t jump up onto the bed anymore, but she’s definitely not dying. Sigh...

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Keeping Quiet

Keeping Quiet

KEEPING QUIET 

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth,
let's not speak in any language;
let's stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness...

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Enlarge Your Sense of Things

Enlarge Your Sense of Things

A sweet teaching story appeared in a recent online thread. I don't know the author, so if you do, please share. Meanwhile, enjoy:

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it.

“How does it taste?” the master asked...

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The Joy Salutation

The Joy Salutation

I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep.  There is nothing I can give you which you have not. But there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take.

No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace!

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Glad Tidings for Holiday Blues

Glad Tidings for Holiday Blues

'Tis the season for gifts and giving, comfort and joy, peace on earth, and goodwill to all. 

Yet, despite the glad tidings of the season, there are many among us who feel less than merry or downright blue during the holidays. Emotional responses to personal challenges are often intensified during this time of increased cultural pressures to be of good cheer. The inability to be with loved onesbe they deceased, afar, or estrangedcan infuse the holidays with discomforting sadness and grief. Holiday consumption, impulsive spending, dietary overindulgence, un(der)employment woes, and financial hardships can create anxiety, worry, and dread.

Moreover, many of us may endure stressful travel conditions to arrive at childhood homes beset with family dynamics and expectations (unchecked assumptions, unresolved conflicts, unsolicited opinions) that may not fully embrace our current selves. Past surroundings prime behavioral patterns from earlier times. Furnishings, heirlooms, and scents often trigger residual responses and ways of being.

Sometimes, falling into familiar patterns in familiar places surrounded by familiar faces can be comforting. But...

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You Oughta Be in Pictures

You Oughta Be in Pictures

Sometimes, it seems the universe conspires to create the most delightful circumstances. Still, I was slow to recognize the gift as it was offered.

When my awesome client, Steve Thomas, suggested that I meet a local filmmaker looking for a few more interesting projects, I instantly thought of a few people I know who might have an interest in creating a promotional video...

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