Friday, November 23, 2007

Holiday Preparation

This morning after Thanksgiving I sit in my recliner stretching the morning for as many hours as possible. I watch the news reports and see the masses circling the stores in search for the best holiday deals. Thousands of people seem to be enjoying what I would find so stressful. They dart in between strangers, reach to grab the last prized item, stand in long lines, and melt into a humanity of people on a quest for what they don't have and want to give... all in celebration of the holiday of peace...

I marvel at their ability to smile through it all.. how they seem to enjoy the rush.. and wonder why I have no desire to join them.. I would rather shop online or at a small mom & pop store in a smaller city downtown area for the one of a kind gift..

I wonder how black Friday became a tradition.. I understand our economy depends on it... I am grateful to those willing to step up and shop creating the needed economic indicators... I salute them all with my second hot cup of coffee cuddled comfortably in my favorite chair!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Intimate Strangers

We are crowded in an elevator facing a metal door, we stand behind each other with baskets in a check out line, we sit in a crowded doctor's waiting area, we stand with baggage through security lines... waiting... spending moments or hours together but politely isolated... who are these people I have spent so much time with... who are those taken off balance by a smile and suspicious if a comment is made.. who clutch their bag more tightly if a movement accidentally places us too close... I suppose I will have to wait to know..

Southwest Airlines A - B - C

Southwest Airlines offers "A" seating where the passenger is allowed to board the plane first. In this initial group there is the best chance that you will get premier sitting of your first choice and have a comfortable trip to your destination. What gives me cause to wonder, though, is when the fellow passengers, who will be joining me in the 2 hour trip, will stand in the "A" line for 2 hours to ensure they have the very first choice in comfortable seating for the 2 hour flight.... it just makes me wonder...

Breaking the Thundering Silence

Have you ever been in a situation where the silence was deafening? I have found in those situations a gentle gesture or touch or kind act speaks louder than words and eases the transition back to healing communication.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The next 5 minutes

There will be days, in most of our lives, that moving that next step seems impossible. Just plan for the next 5 minutes. that is all.. If that is too much go to 3 minutes. And, take one of those minutes to say, "I did it, I can do it again" ... things will get better, but they may get a lot worse before that too. My son says, it always ends up okay, so if it is not okay then it isn't the end.

I am sorry it is hard. That can be what is real for these 5 minutes, and maybe the next .. but don't take care of it except for by those minutes so maybe, just maybe it will get easier the next five... and remember you made it through the last.

The Power of a Question

Being in charge isn't so much about having all the answers: It is knowing the right questions and who (and how) to ask...

When an employee asks you a question, even if you know the answer off the top of your head, take the time to show them where to find the answer.. explore it with them. Those few minutes, will save hours in the long run and you can make certain, through the conversation of exploring, that the employee came to you with the question that really needed answering.There are times that the question being asked is not what will solve the real problem at hand.

My sister told me once that you have to let people go three questions deep to get to their real question. She said that the first two are just testing the water to see if they trust you not to make them feel stupid. She advised me to ask a follow up question that opens the door: why did you ask?.. does that cover it all? .. is the project hitting some bumps? etc.. I have found, that my sister is right.

When someone makes an error statement in their report presentation, you won't put them in the position of having to defend an inaccurate stance, if you ask a question rather than telling them they are wrong - give them a "this is your way out" question. For example, "You may not have had the latest figures - was the report given to you?" "Did you get a chance to talk to XX?" Did I let you see XX?" .. each question allows the person to back down from their mistake without a reflection on their work.

Most often people will take that opportunity. It saves you time from listening, arguing, and/or correcting; they go back and work on the information; and, they feel respected because they didn't feel belittled. With those people who don't back down, it becomes clear that not only do they not know when they're drowning, but they will sink a life preserver when it is thrown to them. They may not be the one you want sailing your boat...which is a good question to have answered.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Saturday cleanup

A point of view does create much insight. We must be careful though as it often seems to cause one's sight to go inward and stop. Perhaps it is best if we move ideas around, dust off our thoughts, and look out for viewpoints that may be blocking us from new ideas. It could be our point of view is up front protecting our feelings (those which stand guard in front of fears or pride or guilt). Every now and then we should have a cleaning day of viewpoints we hold as fact.. just to make sure that we are really sharing our view instead of hiding from ourselves.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Who I am vs Who I want to be

My son told me it isn't being published which makes one a writer; it is being rejected and deciding that you will keep writing... I like that.

He also quoted someone else who said - suffering is temporary but quitting is forever.

Maybe we are who we want to be as long as we don't quit trying.

The problem is that there is an "I" in FAIR

We probably have all heard the adage.. "There is no I in Team"

......some may have heard my husband's favorite response to that adage which is to ask , "Do you know what phrase has two 'U's?" That response, though, is probably best saved for private jokes and no way out, desperate situations where all that you have left to win is the satisfaction of having the last word...

But, as we were discussing... there is no "I" in TEAM and there really shouldn't be in FAIR.. too often that "I" goes first when people are measuring the fairness of an action or decision at work and really shouldn't. I truly don't think one can make a 'fair' decision because it will change with each person's "I". Perhaps we would be better served to attempt to reach decisions in justice. While there is a "U" in justice, there is also an "I" and maybe the two is what balances the scales.

Friday plans

All the chatter centers around 'plans' for the weekend. It is almost as if there was a competition which measures social success based upon the number of activities scheduled in that two day period. If that be so, then I proudly take last place. I love the silence of these two days. I love having my thoughts wander, the mundane tasks completed that had been neglected through the dash of the week, the meandering exploration for treasures at neighbors' garage sales, having time with those I love, and the writing of thoughts to a vast cyberspace crowd of really no one... now that is a great weekend.

A Grateful Heart can't harden

It seems to me that gratitude is the greatest gift you give to yourself. It is one of those boomerang presents.. you offer thanks and your heart is filled with the gratitude sent. I love those kind of gifts, where you really don't know who gave the present because both are so overjoyed with the sharing. It is easier to learn to love yourself when you find the boomerang gifts...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Me Me Me Me

Isn't it funny how we can demand attention but have such trouble receiving the genuine love of another? It is as if we are humbled when we are truly loved or maybe our great fear of losing such a treasure makes us hesitate..

Thursday counts

Have you ever thought it would be easier to hold your tongue if your mind would only hold your thoughts a little longer?

When it is out of your control... let it go

Have you ever been aware of a situation at work that is not unethical, but just uncomfortable and totally out of your control (i.e., management is delaying an announcement; decisions are made which will impact people but they aren't consulted or even informed of pending situation)?

Remember... Just let go of what you can't control... and move forward.. prepare for the reaction you know will result in management's inaction without blame, a told you so, or excusing yourself.... don't look backward, just move forward. Once you have told management your concerns, it isn't in your control. .. let it go.

Start out small

Maybe a pet, a puppy or fish... but the quickest way to find out that you are lovable is to love & care for another... the very act of caring makes you understand.. good plan actually.

Wednesday Went without a Word

Every now and then, I find it important to go a day without giving advice and finding out that the world did just fine without my words of wisdom...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Just because

It seems, for me, that when I feel the best about myself are the days that end with me realizing I never took the time to think about my own success or failures, because I was so busy working and/or helping others.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tuesday then

Have you ever felt alone in a crowd? Or the deafening silence of small talk avoiding the reality of conflict?

Monday, April 23, 2007

A grateful heart

A grateful heart and a hungry spirit... both are needed to move forward

I asked my son what made him want to go back to school.. he said, "I woke up broke and hungry."

He saw the gift in waking and in the hunger so with both he could move forward in hope.

With just one or the other, we remain just where we are, I believe. ... which isn't a bad thing on some Saturday mornings either.

Monday a.m.

With the written message the word rules, but with the same message spoken, it is your voice that is king...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Smile, smile, smile...when no one is looking

When was the last time you smiled at yourself? Really said "hello" and smiled as you looked in the mirror without judgement, just stopped by to smile at your reflection... that person in the mirror deserves to be loved by you....

By the way, I wouldn't answer that question out loud in front of anyone... or try the whole smiling at yourself & saying hello in a public restroom..

Sunday Morning -

Yesterday I told my son that the world talked too much. He asked, "Did you need to say that?"