December 2017
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Archive for the ‘Coaching Tips’ Category

Fall Equinox 2017

Last Friday was the autumnal equinox, marking the end of summer and the beginning of fall.   A time of harvest, of relaxing, rejoicing and enjoying the fruits of our labor.

It is a special time of year.  The air is crisp, it’s smell unmistakably autumn.  It is an opportunity for deep reflection and appreciation for the beauty of the Goddesses of the harvest season.

“Autumn is the second spring when every leaf is a flower.” Albert Camus

“Listen!  The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”  Humbert Wolfe

I invite you to celebrate this sacred season.

Inequality

There are plethora of inequalities; social, cultural, religious, racial, economic and gender, to name a few of the obvious.  The inequality that caught my attention this week is the gender pay gap.

Google is under federal investigation for it’s alleged pay discrimination against women.  And a class action lawsuit has been filed against Google Mountain View on behalf of women employees.

Although the gender pay gap has narrowed since the 60’s and 70’s, it still remains steady at 20%.  Women comprise almost half of the work force.  Women attain more college and graduate degrees than men, according to the Institute For Women’s Policy Research. https://iwpr.org/issue/employment-education-economic-change/.

The long term affects of this policy of systematic prejudice is stunning; amounting to thousands of dollars of lost income over time, as is well documented in the article, ‘The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap’, http://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/.  And CNN Money, http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/04/pf/equal-pay-day-gender-pay-gap/index.html, has an excellent report on the ‘5 Things to Know About the Gender Pay Gap’.

It will be interesting to track the process of the suit against Google as they have the deep pocket resources to wage a prolonged battle. A battle that will no doubt bring to the forefront the specious argument that one of the primary reasons for the gender pay gap is that women take time out to have children, therefore interrupting their opportunities for advancement (equal pay).

To achieve equity, I propose that women consumers be granted the exclusive right to receive a 20% across the board discount on all purchases of goods and services.  After all, it only seems fair.

Precious

I have a recent blog post using ‘Precious’ as the word of the week (January 15, 2017).  Current, unprecedented and catastrophic events have brought ‘Precious’ resoundingly into my consciousness… what is of great value, to be deeply cherished; treated with great care and respect.

As we hear repeated over and over by survivors of devastating fires, floods, earthquakes and other cataclysmic events… ‘I/we have lost everything, but we are alive.’

This week we have squarely before us the opportunity to reflect and embrace gratitude for what is most precious in our lives.

“Bad things do happen;  how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life.  I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.”   ~Walter Anderson

“Your problem is how you are going to spend this odd and precious life you have been issued.  Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.” ~Anne Lamott

 

Weather

The power of extreme weather is profoundly affecting millions of Americans.  The south is drowning in a sea of polluted water dumped by Hurricane Harvey.  The west is ablaze with raging wildfires, stretching from Washington to southern California.

Loss of homes, of precious resources, of lives and of normalcy is unprecedented.  These are indeed trying times, and trying times elicit the best and the worst of human nature.

“We should expect the best and the worst of mankind, as from the weather.”  Luc de Clapiers

“The signs of climate change are visible across the nation, from the drought-stricken fields of Central California to the flooded streets of Michigan.  Extreme weather is turning people’s lives upside down and costing communities millions of dollars in damaged infrastructure and added health care costs.”  Frances Beinecke

“I have seen many storms in my life.  Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature.”    Paulo Coelho

Resilience, spiritual strength, love, compassion and faith are demanded of us all during these difficult times.

 

 

 

Pinnacle

A pinnacle is a lofty peak.  We strive to achieve pinnacles of success in the important areas of our lives, to reach lofty peaks.  We admire the achievement of others as they reach pinnacles in their professions and in their personal lives.

“There are lots of people shaping decisions, and so if we want to predict correctly, we have to pay attention to everybody who is trying to shape the outcome, not just the people at the pinnacle of the decision-making pyramid.” ~Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

“You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity.” ~Thomas Wolfe

Savor the pinnacles of your life experience.

Poetry Therapy

Poetry Will Save Your Life by Jill Bialosky created immediate curiosity for me.  In her beautiful and powerful memoir, Bialosky chronicles how poetry gave her strength, hope and comfort through the challenges and heartbreaks of her life’s journey.  Poems “…might be about what hurts,”  but they “…remain a sustaining source of comfort.”

Using the power of the poetic form to help me through some of life’s most agonizing and arduous moments, as well as memorializing celebration and triumph, initiated in me a strong resonance with Bialosky.

Looking more deeply into this healing process, I discovered that there are Poetry Therapists and a group of organizations devoted to Poetry Therapy.  I am including the following links should you wish to pursue this thread.

“If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it: blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches: for the Creator, there is no poverty.”  ~Rainer Maria Rilke

“Every age has its own poetry, in every age the circumstances of history choose a nation, a race, a class to take up the torch by creating situations that can be expressed or transcended only through poetry.”   ~Jean-Paul Sartre

I am a devout convert to the comfort, joy and healing power of the poetic process.  I invite you this week to connect with your poetic muse.

 

Patience

Western Culture, especially American Culture is lacking in patience.  We want everything day before yesterday, and we want it delivered.

The advertising industry plays a large role in our inability to consistently practice patience.  However, inherent in capitalistic economic function is a built in structure for learning patience.  Patience is having control, discipline and restraint, a challenging practice for Westerners.  The ability to defer immediate gratification goes a long way toward achieving our long term material dreams and goals.

One of the fruits of a strong, vital spiritual belief system is patience.  Indeed, patience is a major factor in the function of enduring faith.

A spiritual discipline of practicing patience has the same benefit for our personal growth and maturation as it does in the material world; helping us to secure and sustain authentic relationships and substantive inner peace.

Inviting you this week into the practice of patience.

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”  Tolstoy

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.”  Joyce Meyer

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience” R. W. Emerson

 

 

Crickets

I love the cricket song!  From childhood to the present, their sound is magically compelling to me.  On a warm summer evening I am often spellbound by a cricket symphony.

Celebrated in literature,  The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens;  in poetry by Wadsworth, Keats and Du Fu;  and widely  in film.  Disney’s Pinocchio is a classic cricket movie.

In many Asian and Latin Cultures crickets are a sign of intelligence and good fortune.  Cricket and it’s cousin grasshopper, are symbols of virtue, good cheer, abundance and even nobility.  And to harm a cricket can bring grave misfortune.

I find the cricket song comforting.  I think of them as little, active warning systems.  When they suddenly become quiet, I know some creature or cricket predator is near.  And I am always delighted when the symphony starts anew.  Their song makes me happy.  I hope when you hear cricket music, it will fill you with delight too.

Wishing you all a week full of cricket wonder.

 

Unconditional

Is your love unconditional?  Do you give others unconditional support?  Are you capable of unconditional surrender?  Not necessarily easy questions to answer.

Think about the adult child that you may be financially supporting for whatever reason.  What, if anything, do you expect in return?

A spouse or love partner whose behavior and attitude often grates on your nerves.  Do you love them unconditionally regardless?

In your spiritual belief system, is the love in your heart and mind unconditional?

Unconditional love is not co-dependent, needy or lacking in self-respect.  Healthy, loving relationships require boundaries, respect, tolerance for ambiguity and forgiveness.

“Unconditional love really exists in each of us.  It is part of our deep inner being.  It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being.  It’s not ‘I love you’ for this or that reason, not ‘I love you if you love me.’  It’s love for no reason, love without object.”  ~Ram Dass

“Never give up, which is the lesson I learned from boxing.  As soon as you learn to never give up, you have to learn the power and wisdom of unconditional surrender, and that one does not cancel the other; they just exist as contradictions.  The wisdom of it comes as you get older.” ~Kris Kristofferson

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the last word.”  ~Martin Luther King Jr.

Endurance

To endure is to last, to persist; endurance is the ability to withstand hardship and/or stress, it is fortitude.

Marathon anything demands endurance to be successful.  We get to the other side of personal and collective hardships by enduring.
Assaults on our health and ensuing treatment, for example chemo-therapy, require endurance.  Surviving the grind of daily living is an act of persistence.

“Not in achievement, but in endurance, of the human soul, does it show its divine grandeur and its alliance with the divine.”  ~ Edwin Hubbel Chapin

“The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”  ~ Frederick Douglas

“Small change, small wonders – these are the currency of my endurance and ultimately my life.” ~ Barbara Kingsolver

This week I invite you to acknowledge and celebrate your ability to endure.