A World Gone Mad

Thought for the day:

Never has there been a greater need for hope, faith, charity and love. In a world gone mad; in a world and country that have become fractured and divided in these turbulent and uncertain times, may we each remember that good exists among the evil, light co-exists with the dark, and love has the power to unite, just as unbridled fear will surely divide us all.

By all means, act. Act with prudence. Act with integrity. Act with intention. Indeed — we must defend our liberty and the values for which we stand. But in the process, let us not allow those that sow terror daily to serve their ideological rhetoric bully us into thoughtlessness and reactivity, rooted in fear instead of intelligent mindfulness and prudence.

There are no simple answers in these difficult times. What we can do, however, is to start with where we are. To find and celebrate the small moments of joy. To hug and love our families and friends. To work with a sense of purpose beyond just serving ourselves, recognizing that we are each part of a larger whole that together, whether for good or ill, makes up all of what we call humanity.

Editor’s Note: As we move into a season of Thanksgiving, faith and hope, I will be taking a break from this blog — to celebrate my own moments of joy and to hug my own family and friends who give meaning to my life and drive a sense of purpose to my own work in the world.  See you in the new year!

The Meaning of Work

We can choose to focus on achievement, position, and power as an end game, or we can focus on how our work can inspire, influence and create value for others.

I’m curious to know…

What brings meaning and value to your own work? Are you influenced more by what you can get or what you can give? If you are being driven by, is there an end in sight…a point when you can say I’ve achieved ‘enough’? How might the relentless ‘chase’ rob you of the ability to create true meaning and value in your life and work?

Shedding Skin

Sometimes we have to shed our old skin.

Because it is outworn.

Because it no longer fits.

Because we need to keep growing.

Only we resist it…

We resist it because for a while, the process of shedding the old will require us to feel naked and vulnerable (and none of us like to feel that way for long).

We resist it because the known, however outworn, outdated or ill-fitting it may be, breeds a certain comfort of familiarity.

We resist it because shedding our old skin requires immense Faith in that which is still unseen and unknown.

Growth and change, by anybody’s standards, are hard.






But necessary…

Necessary, when we find our inner lives out of alignment with our outer actions.

Necessary, when though we may not fully be able to define it, we intuitively know our true gifts and talents can better serve others elsewhere.

Necessary, if we are to make room for the new in order to reach the places we are trying to go.

Not someplace ‘out there’.

But the place within….

Our heart place.

Our heart space.

I’m curious… 

Have you ever found yourself needing to shed your old ‘skin’ to make room for something new?  Did you fight the process, or surrender to the unknown?  Have you ever stayed too long in an old ‘skin’ because it was safe and familiar, even if painful?  What risks have you taken to live from your heart space?

The Gift of the Struggle

GiftAs we journey through life, sometimes we have to struggle to uncover the gifts along the way.

Sometimes we must step away from the known, the familiar and the comfortable, before we can finally make our way back home.

Sometimes we must face fear or the temptation to quit, that we might learn to overcome and persevere, and in doing so, develop the courage to live our convictions out loud.

Sometimes we need to be challenged to finally know our value, stretched to learn our limits, and tested to understand our strength.

Sometimes we must climb hills to develop endurance or visit the valley of tears to know true compassion, for how can we offer to others what we have never experienced for ourselves?

Sometimes we must endure the disrespect of others on our own journey towards self-respect, or have our egos shattered and dismantled before we can learn to see the true light of humility in leadership and service to others.

Sometimes we must suffer pain to know healing or deep sorrow to know joy.

Sometimes we must endure the sting of betrayal to know the honor of truth, or suffer the pain of false masks, that we might finally learn to walk in the truth of who we authentically are.

Sometimes we must experience painful loss that we might know gratitude, uncertainty that we might know Faith, and disappointment that we might know hope.

Sometimes, we must simply journey through the dark forest of our lives to reach the clearing on the other side — for in every darkness there is light, in every failure there are learnings, and in every struggle the gift of growth and invitation to journey on.

I’m curious…In what ways have you been tested, challenged or stretched on your own journey called life? Do you view these challenges as gifts of growth or another burden to bear? How have your struggles strengthened you, enabling you to become a wiser learner and leader in your own life? What are the lessons of your own journey?

Making Peace

Sometimes achieving peace without begins within. It begins with reconciling our heart with our head, facing head on those things we might rather avoid. It means taking a personal inventory of our behaviors and choices; making amends with those we have hurt or been hurt by. It means meeting others where they are and as they are… choosing to forgive and let go from a place of love, not ego; from a place of compassion, not resentment, without an expectation of reciprocity.

In celebration of International Day of Peace, recognized on September 21st, I’m curious to know and ask…

How do you achieve peace in your own life? What role can personal accountability, forgiveness and compassion play in achieving peace with others? How can holding space for another and/or opening a dialogue from a place genuine respect, create a bridge to deeper understanding and acceptance? As you inventory you own inner life, are there areas where you need to make peace, whether with yourself or others?

Photo credit: Chris Devers

Seeds of Possibility

Living from the inside out is not about self-aggrandizement or the belief that we are the sole architects of our life. Rather, it’s believing in the value of ourselves enough to act and lead from our core, instead of allowing the world to define our own value and worth. In doing so, we become co-architects in our life, accountable as much for the seeds we sow, as for how we choose to tend the very garden we grow, for even the best planted gardens will become unwieldy if left untended for too long.

Seeds of Possibility_1

I’m curious to know…

What seeds of possibility will you sow in the garden of your life? Will you plant seeds of love and compassion, or envy and pride? Will your garden leave room for new growth or will it be smothered by the trappings and chokeholds of life?

Holding Space

Sometimes the moment calls for saying less, not more.

Sometimes the moment calls for holding space in respectful remembrance of those who have gone before us, whether through illness, old age, or unforeseen tragedy.

On this day, September 11th, let us pause long enough to reflect, remember and remind ourselves of the value of every human life and the responsibility that comes with the very freedom we fight for, whether for ourselves or others.


Photo credit: Sander Lamme, 1992, Wikimedia