Category: Life Lessons

Life Doesn’t Have to Be a Struggle

Let me be the first to say that I believe heart and soul in the power of perseverance. I busted my tail through several college degrees, always studying hard to get the most out of the experience. I worked for a start-up company where long hours and imminent deadlines were the norm. I powered through those days, learning a ton in the process. Now with a 1-year-old child, I’ve had all the stereotypical experiences that define new motherhood: sleepless nights and constant worry. These experiences have helped define me and I would not trade them for the world.

That being said, they are not the only things that have defined me.

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Letting the Silver Sparkle

I am letting the silver sparkle. Shimmery strands of light, dancing through a somewhat mousy head of hair. I am letting them grow, and I like them. But I have found that not everyone does.

One of my co-workers could barely contain her shock when she noticed it … “You need to get your hair done”, she thoughtfully pointed out. When I explained that I’d decided to let it grow in, she was amazed. “But why??” she demanded, peering at me beneath a thick mane of what can only be described as pomegranate-colored hair. “Me ? Never! I’m turning 49 this year, and I intend to fight it all the way!!” There was no point in arguing with her, but as we parted company, I too, wondered why … why do we feel we have to fight this wonderful privilege of growing into a beautiful time of our lives – a time of wisdom, and peace, and understanding?

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Hold the Wheel and Drive

When I look back on 2011, I see both the most painful and the most illuminating year of my life. I can understand now that everything needed to happen the way it did for me to grow as a person, but I still hope never to relive anything like it.

The year began with me attempting to cope with the humiliation of my failed engagement. To make it worse it was a failed engagement that practically unfolded under the spotlight, stage right for all my friends, family, and coworkers to witness. Every day I had to face the people I respected and loved while trying not to show the pain in my eyes. But there was no chance of that. Sometimes I would even disguise my feelings so that I wouldn’t have to acknowledge them, being unreasonably jovial or enthusiastic about something meaningless in the still turbulent wake of recent events. But as much as I tried to believe I was ok, I was not.

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Listen to Your Gut

I knew my first marriage would be a disaster, but I went through with it anyway.

I tend to analyze things. It comes with the territory of being a project manager. So when it came to marriage, I thought about it like a logic problem. How compatible are we? Would I be happiest with him? What if I never found anyone else? The scenarios rolled in my mind, and I even wrote a pro and con list of why we should be together. Ultimately, I decided getting married to someone I had been dating for 6 years was a safe bet.

If this approach seems a little off to you, you’re on the right track. There are two basic approaches to problem solving. Analysis is one way to look at a problem. Let’s say my primary doctor had retired and I needed to get a new one. If I had used the questions above on compatibility, happiness, and worst case scenarios, I probably would have found a decent doctor.

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Dealing with the Unexpected

To say that life doesn’t always goes as planned can be the understatement of a lifetime. I got a large dose of that reality last month when I gave birth to my first child. My beautiful daughter Eleanor was born by emergency Caesarean section on July 21, 2011, weighing in at 7 lbs. 8 oz. and 21 inches.

Being a project manager by trade, I tried my best to anticipate what would happen during the birth. I created a “birth plan,” which outlined everything I wanted to happen from my first contraction to leaving the hospital. Of course, I knew that labor can turn into an emergency, but after attending several birth classes, I felt assured that I would have a less traumatic experience. I mean, I prepared beforehand, right? What could go wrong?

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Don’t Think About It. Do These 5 Things Instead.

Most of us learned early in life that “thinking about it” is always a good idea. That is what reasonable, intelligent people do when they have a big decision in front of them, right? They think about it.

The truth is that quite often, when it comes to the big questions in our lives — Should I take the job? Should I start the business? Should I marry her? Should I relocate? — thinking gets us stuck.

By thinking, I don’t mean all neurological activity. I mean our everyday definition of thinking: the furrowed brow, fist at chin, solitary activity in which we muse on a subject, evaluate pros and cons, make internal arguments and then supposedly “figure it out.” This often leaves us more confused than when we started, further away from our own answers.

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Will St. Peter Call Your Name?

“For some reason I can’t explain, I know St. Peter won’t call my name. Never an honest word but that was when I ruled the world.” – Chris Martin (Coldplay), from Viva La Vida

Christians believe St. Peter, who was one of the twelve original Disciples of Christ, stands in front of the gates to heaven and is charged with the responsibility of announcing, upon our deaths, who is entering heaven and who is not.

The belief is we are not guaranteed a spot in heaven – we have to earn it. Only upon hearing our names called, are our souls allowed to enter into a blissful eternity.

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Infinite Possibility, Infinite Flow

In recent weeks, several friends who are experiencing financial challenges have posed this question to me:

Why is that so many aspects of my life seem to be flowing, but when it comes to money, I feel so stuck?

Or,

Why is it that when I’m meditating, creating, writing or “in the zone,” I feel alive and vibrant, as though I’m living at the highest of frequencies, but when it comes to finances, I come crashing back to earth?

These are important questions and the answers are both simple and complex.

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What Makes a Good Life?

Some time ago now I came to realize that how we define particular words – success, happiness, love, etc – can have a major impact on the way in which we live our life. One term that I hear thrown around often is “good life”, eg “he lived a good life” . But what is a good life exactly? This term will mean different things to different people, and yet I believe there are some ingredients that all “good lives” share. Here are a some of these ingredients:

Being present in the moment

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One Year On. How Fatherhood Has Changed My Life.

It is hard to believe that a year has passed since the most nerve-wracking, yet exciting and wonderful, moment in my life. It was a moment that seemed to take forever to arrive (in addition to the standard 9 months, Kathryn went 2 weeks overdue), but when it did I knew that my life would never be the same again. And I couldn’t have been happier….

In this article I want to share with you how fatherhood has changed my life. Although this is a very personal article, I believe there are many lessons that anyone can take away from my story. The realization that I was to be a father was a catalyst for change in my life, but I am sure there are a number of different paths people can take to the outlook I have today.

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Understanding the Role Humility Plays in Everyday Life

“Humility, like darkness, reveals the heavenly lights.” – Henry David Thoreau

When do you consider your life “finished”? At what point can you hang up your hat and say that you truly have done everything you wanted in life, you are perfect in every way and that you have learned all you need to know? The answer for all of us is the same – never. None of us can ever say with absolutely certainty that we have truly arrived and there is nothing more for us to do. Just like life is a never ending journey, the goal of being all that we can be in life is also never ending. We all have work to do – be it in our personal lives, our careers or in our community. There are always areas we can work on improving, new ideas we can learn and new experiences we can have and share with others.

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Green is Not a Color

I suspect some people are nodding their heads, thinking, “Exactly. Green is a lot of colors. You’re going to talk about fashion and forest green and emerald and hunter and Kelly.”

Others are thinking, “Of course green is a color. What else would it be? A political leaning? This guy’s probably going to try to evangelize me.”

No, sorry, to both groups.

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