Monday, November 13, 2006

A Better Bomb

Crayola Bomb

Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air - explode softly - and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth - boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn't go cheap, either - not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with their imagination.

Robert Fulghum

Robert is the author of the book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. There is a 15th Anniversary edition available with 25 new stories. I can hardly wait to get my own copy. You can't get too much inspiration, if you ask me.

Precious Gifts

This is an awesome story I came across at Emotional Freedom Technique is a sort of accupressure tapping technique that helps clear our pain and stuck emotions to pave the way for healing and moving ahead.

We all have precious gifts within us that are intended to be expressed for the blessing and healing of ourselves and others. The more we express these gifts, the more we grow, heal and experience the abundant life that is intended for all of us. The wonder of love is that it is never diminished in the giving, just as a candle flame can light countless other candles without ever losing it's fire.

So, the story goes...

"There was once a wise woman traveling in the mountains who found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and she opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked if she might give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But only a few days later he came back to return the stone to the woman who had given it to him.

"I've been thinking," he said, "I know how valuable the stone is, but I'm giving it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. I want you to give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone."
-Author Unknown

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Gift of Proportion

Wow! I just opened up this e-mail from Michael Norwood, author of The 9 Insights of the Wealthy Soul, and I loved what I read. This is the kind of insight that has helped me tremendously over the past few years.

Michael writes, "Whenever I think of the extraordinary Gifts we receive when
we live through a major adversity, the Gift of Proportion is
the first that comes to mind.

Surviving a major adversity gives you the opportunity to be
able to put 'in proportion' every other adversity you face.

The Gift of Proportion enables you to use your greatest
adversities as a Resource of Strength rather than an excuse
for weakness or failure.

Your roadblocks, your setbacks,your disappointments and your
mistakes, through the Gift of Proportion, all are
automatically transformed into stepping stones to your
greatest triumphs."

You can actually read The 9 Insights of the Wealthy Soul free for 21 days. What a courageous thing to do!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Working Through a Slump

How do we work our way out of a slump? We start by realizing that this is just a temporary state. There is some lesson to be learned or demonstrated, or maybe some seed of growth is germinating. At the appropriate time, things will start happening again.

When a seed is planted, for quite some time, it will appear nothing is happening. This germinating period is normal and healthy.

I have found that these periods often precede periods of rapid growth. I am looking forward to just such a growth period and I am confident this will occur soon.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

What Love Language Do You Speak?

I've never really thought much about this, but we cannot feel someone else's love. We can feel grateful or loving or joyful in response to something someone else says or does, but we are not actually feeling their love. We would have to be hosting their heart to do that. What does it mean then when we say we feel loved? It means we perceive that whatever that person has said or done is a demonstration of love.'s where we can get bogged down very easily. Because what represents love to one person means nothing to the next. Maybe you brought home flowers, and she didn't seem to care. Or maybe you gave him a warm hug, and he still acts distant.

Have you considered that perhaps your language of love differs from your significant other's? We naturally want to show our love for others in terms that we understand as love. But the person we are trying to communicate our love to may not understand that love language, and so they don't perceive the act as loving at all. We think they are rejecting our expression of love, when in truth, it is as if we are speaking to them in a foreign language. They can't receive the message because it is not being communicated in a language they understand.

The five love languages include physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time and receiving gifts. If you are not aware of this, you may be giving him gifts when what would really make him feel loved would be for you to iron his shirt. Or you may be cooking her gourmet meals when all she really wants is for you to tell her how wonderful you think she is. It would save us all a lot of heartache if we took the time to learn the love languages of others and to communicate our love to them in a way they understand.

This is true of our kids as well. If we help them feel fully loved, we are going to enjoy a much more joyful relationship with them and also help to insulate them against peer pressure and exploitation. Kids whose love needs are met at home don't have to go looking for love in all the wrong places. It's having a love hunger that never quite gets satisfied that makes kids vulnerable to anyone who will come along and offer counterfeit love in order to exploit them. I'm not saying this is the case every time a kid gets exploited. I'm saying having unfulfilled heart needs makes them more vulnerable to exploiters. We may not be able to make 100% sure our kids will never be victims, but we can take steps to make it less likely to happen.

Plus, we will have happier kids. And happier spouses or significant others or friends. Happy people are much more enjoyable to be around and their happiness contributes to an atmosphere of happiness wherever they go. It's a viral kind of thing.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


What is one thing you can invest in that's a sure thing? "Oh, come on, Cathy", you say. "Nothing is a sure thing." I beg to differ. Maybe you have thrown money after businesses or stocks that seemed to be unsinkable, only to find out better via the sting of loss. Let me set your mind at ease. The sure thing I am talking about isn't a thing at all. It's a who. Or rather, a whole lot of who's.

I'm talking about investing in people. People who know, know that there is no more certain ROI than that secured by investing in people.

Consider the laws of sowing and reaping:
1. You reap what you sow - you can't plant corn and expect to harvest beans;
2. You reap more than you sow - a few little seeds can yield a whole lot of fruit;
3. You reap later than you sow - it takes time to see the fruit of your actions, but it will happen.

We reap what we sow. When we mistreat others, we are ultimately mistreating ourselves because we are a part of whatever we are undermining. If we do our co-workers or our company wrong, we are part of that team or that company we are damaging. If we hurt our family, we are part of the family we are hurting. If we do wrong to any other person, we are part of the humanity we are injuring. In addition, we now have to live and work in the negative atmosphere we have helped to create.

It's not rocket science. It's agriculture. People understood this long before there were college degrees for agricultural science.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bring It, Providence!

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in ones favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: 'Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.'" --W.H. Murray, of the Scottish Himalayan Expedition

This quote has been an inspiration to me since I first heard it in massage class at The Phoenix School of Holistic Health.

It contains two of my favorite elements, inspiration and passion. Add a little courage and you have one hot recipe for living the life of your dreams.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Stories We Write, Roles We Play

What story are you telling with your life? What roles have you decided to play in your own life story? What roles are you playing in the life stories of others? Are they still working for you?

Maybe you signed on to play the lonely spouse or the victim. Or maybe you took on the role of the one who always screws up, or the one who always loses, or the one who never gets the girl, or the one who never feels good enough no matter how outstanding her performance may be. Is that still working for you? Or have you outgrown those roles, and your story line is due for a change?

Maybe there are stories in which you will always play some part. You share some kind of life-long bond with that storyteller, perhaps as co-parents or in some blood relationship. But if the events of that story deplete your life force and detract from your health, joy, satisfaction or success, perhaps it's best to play only bit parts in that particular story.

My life story began as a horror story. The first few years of my life were spent navigating dangerous territory, both physically and emotionally. The next thirty years were spent surviving. Yes, I was a survivor. But that was a deeply dissatisfying place to be. Try being passionate and expressive, but locking that up inside because you think you have to fit into the roles others have written for you.

It wasn't until I experienced an emotional "rock bottom" that I was able to move past survival. I was so done with surviving. It was such a bland existence, and I craved flavor and texture and color, fragrance and harmony and delight. I decided at that point that I wasn't going to survive any longer. It had to end right there and then. A part of me died there, but in the end, Life won. Love revived all that was real and genuine and loving. I didn't lose anything worth keeping.

I am still learning to flesh out my decision to live the fullest, most joyful, most passionate and adventurous life possible, and part of that is re-writing my life story as an adventure/inspiration/romance/comedy. Some of the roles I once played no longer fit my story line. I gave most of them up. Some of the people who played supporting roles in my story of tragedy and pain were out of place in my passionate, joyful version. I let go of the ones I could and relegated most of the others to bit parts. I still have some editing to do.

What about your life story? Are changes needed in your story line? Are there characters you need to write out of your story or relegate to smaller roles? Are there stories you need to be recast in or written out of because you no longer fit the roles those storytellers have created for you? It's your life. It's your story. It's your choice. Make it.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Why Do I Write? I Love The World, Too, Elwyn.

"All I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world."
--E. B. White

I'm with you, Elwyn. I like what you said about planning your day, too.

“I get up every morning determined to both change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes, this makes planning the day difficult.”

I am an explorer. Sometimes, I like to get into my car and just follow a road to see where it leads. I may not be charting new territory on the earth, but I am continually exploring in the realm that knows no limits - the realm of imagination.

Albert Einstein said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." I so agree.

Words to Inspire and Enlighten

Words that enlighten the soul are more precious than jewels. ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

That is what I hope to do with words. Enlighten souls. Even more, I want to emblazen souls.

One of the people who served as an angel on my path emblazened my soul with a simple phrase of appreciation. He said, "Thanks for being who you are." That single sentence completely changed my life.

At the time, I did not know how to give myself that validation. Those words revealed to me a path to love - loving and accepting myself, which has only served to increase my love for others.

I love the way Leo Buscaglia expressed this, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

Friday, September 29, 2006

Love and Profit

"You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love." Henry Drummond

This is so true in my experience. When my words, actions and thoughts stem from love, I am on top of the world. Anything and everything is better when infused with love. A meal created and served with love tastes better. A team that is bound by love performs better. A work that is created in love touches hearts at the deepest level.

Businesses and individuals that have the courage to lead from the heart have the greatest opportunity to create lasting value for everyone involved - the giver and the receiver.

Nothing knits hearts together and bonds people together in common purpose like love. I look forward to observing more companies come to this realization and get past the fear that things will spiral out of control if love becomes their basic operating principle. Love and profit are not mutually exclusive.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Is It Necessary to be Realistic?

Think about this. If everyone was realistic, nothing outstanding would ever be accomplished. Nothing is real until somebody makes it so.

At one point, it wasn't considered realistic to sail around the world. It wasn't considered realistic to fly. Many of the things that are now part of our everyday life were once science fiction.

Everyone who has ever done anything significant has had to deal with people who thought they were crazy, or at the very least, unrealistic.

So, what's wrong with being unrealistic? It's the people who aren't afraid to dream of what could be that bring to pass the innovations that make our lives easier and more enjoyable. There's a lot to be said for people who take things that are already in existence and make them better, but somebody had to be the visionary that made the impossible or the improbable real.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What If Average Is Not As Bad As We Think?

Seth Godin says, "In every category, in every profession, half the people are below average.

I never really thought about this. I have always had a somewhat negative association with the word "average". But when you consider it, no matter how good a group of people is in any given metric, half of them will have to fall below average by virtue of being part of a group that is being measured.

Perhaps everyone being measured in any given group is excellent, as in remarkably good. In that case, the standard for average is higher. This is not profound truth. It's just something I don't think is considered often.

It has definitely created a paradigm shift for me. I will no longer look at "average" as necessarily being a negative standard, though I don't know if I'll ever lose my desire to be in the top half whenever possible. Maybe I could learn to cut myself some slack. It's possible.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Security or Steve Irwin Daring?

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."- Helen Keller

Steve Irwin is an admirable human being in my book because he lived his dreams. He didn't limit his life by playing it safe, and as a result, he enriched the world with his wonderful gift.

I feel for his family's loss, and I believe we all feel we have lost a friend. The thing I am taking from this is that we don't know how much time we are going to have on this earth. We may do everything in our power to stay safe, but we can't hide from death. It will find us wherever we are. I suggest we stop hiding from life. Let's get out there and take whatever risks are necessary to make our lives the grandest version of the greatest vision of all life can be for us. Let us not die having never lived.

"The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all."
My sense of securitywas recently challenged by an event that occurred in the shop my sister and I operate in Old Town Spring. But I strongly feel that terrorists and perpetrators only have power when we give it up to them.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I am a firm believer in inspiration. Still, in order to set something on fire, it has to be flammable.

The expressive work of inspiration is the part of the inspirer. The receptive work of inspiration is the part of the inspiree.

The vast majority of people who listened to Christ Himself failed to be inspired by Him. He changed the world, anyway.

I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit. - Dawna Markova

Monday, September 04, 2006

Challenged to Grow

Life has its challenges, but challenges are designed to help us grow, stretch, expand and progress.

There may be frustrating moments, when multiple challenges rush in as if to fill a vacuum you weren't even aware of, but frustration is only a feeling, not a fact. It passes, and life and work go on.

I have made the decision not to lower my expectations to match the level of certain people's behaviors. I intend to maintain high standards and expect my staff to reach for them. Some may decide not to, but people generally live up (or down) to our expectations of them.

There may be a few who don't want to put forth that effort. They want to fill a time slot, draw a paycheck and do the minimum required to keep their jobs. They are welcome to do so somewhere else.

Fortunately, I have several who are self-motivated and who care deeply about our success. And that's what I intend to build on.

It has been my experience that when you are passionate about what you are doing, you tend to set whatever is flammable on fire and annoy the rest. That's a good thing, because what will remain will be those who are ready and willing to do the work necessary to create prosperity and achieve greatness.

Nothing less will satisfy me.


In order to live a full, joyful life, there needs to be balance. Work can't satisfy all by itself, just as we cannot expect our every need to be met by one personal relationship.

It is important to make a valuable contribution in our work, and also in our family life, personal life, social life and community life. The best lives are those that enjoy growth and reciprocation in each of these areas and who personally develop spiritually, emotionally, socially, physically, and intellectually.

Change Your Mind, Change Your Experience

When I realized on Tuesday that we were facing a seemingly impossible situation, I started getting stressed because our earlier brainstorming had not discovered any possible solutions. But in a little while, my new patterns of thinking kicked in and I remembered that stress and frustration do not present solutions. Besides, people pick up on their leader's vibrations and take their cues as to how to respond to the situation by how their leader responds.

So, I took a few deep breaths and told myself everything was going to work out well and that solutions would present themselves and that is exactly what happened.

It's how we program our minds that determines whether we will turn a difficult situation into a successful one or whether the situation will turn us into a basket case. We all have default programming that was completed before we knew any better. But we can choose to install new programs that will serve us better and override the negative ones. And at any point, we get to choose which program to run.

Being at Peace

Today, I took 15 minutes to sit outside and just be. I actually used a timer because I am working on making this a daily discipline.

I just sat there on my front porch and experienced God's gifts in the form of the gentle breeze and the pleasing sights and sounds of the leaves rustling in the wind. I watched the butterflies and dragonflies going about their business and just let my thoughts and imagination go.

Some people might deem this time unproductive. That is a mistake. It was definitely productive time. What it produced was a spirit of peace and tranquility, as well as emotional, mental and spiritual energy that can be utilized to further my goals.

If you think you are too busy to enjoy 15 minutes of quiet time, you are definitely too busy not to. It only takes a shift in perception and priorities. I know, easier said than done, but absolutely worth the effort.

Friday, August 11, 2006

To All My Angels, Earthly and Heavenly, I Love You

"I love you, not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you, not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out; I love you for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart and passing over all the foolish, weak things that you can't help dimly seeing there, and for drawing out into the light all the beautiful belongings that no one else had looked quite far enough to find. I love you because you are helping me to make of the lumber of my life not a tavern, but a temple; out of the works of my every day not a reproach, but a song. I love you because you have done more than any creed could have done to make me good, and more than any fate could have done to make me happy. You have done it without a touch, without a word, without a sign. You have done it by being yourself. Perhaps that is what being a friend means, after all." - Roy Croft

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


I am now an official member of Toastmaster #2892. That means I am one step closer to actually making my first speech. To be honest, it's a little scary, but I am not as scared as I once was. The funny thing about fear is that the more you face off with it, the smaller it appears.

"Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain." - Mark Twain

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Wow! I WIsh I'd Thought of That!

It never ceases to amaze me how people mirror back to us exactly what we need to experience growth. I can't tell how many times I have found myself suggesting an action to someone else and heard the echo in my own head, "That's exactly what you need to do or think or say." Ouch!

This goes for judging others, as well. Whenever I find myself approaching others from a lack of understanding, I often find myself in the same position they were in. It's the hard way to come to understand others. The easy way is just to choose to. I much prefer the easy way. What can I say? I'm a "flow" person.