There are those that say that the speed of life is accelerating. I understand that the world is not spinning faster on its axis, but there is little doubt that a by-product of the technological and information ages is that change happens quicker. Through all of the change, this one coaching axiom continues to sustain me: Change is inevitable, growth is optional. Personally, I’ve learned to embrace and ride the train of change, but for me growth is not optional, it’s a spiritual imperative. I felt that way three and a quarter years ago (my granddaughters way of marking time) when I began The Power to Act: Reflections on the Journey blog, and I still do.
Since my last blog about a month ago, several things in my life have changed. I certified as a First Degree Black Belt, attended the CAM (Conversations Amongst Masters) coaching conference, began a Chi Gong practice, and demonstrated a live coaching session at the June Houston Coaches monthly meeting. I’ve also read an e-book entitled “The Third Story” by Barnet Bain, and am presently half-way through Judy Cannato’s book “The Field of Compassion: How the New Cosmology is Transforming Spiritual Life”. No wonder that my head is reeling with possibilities.
The person I was when I tested for my First Degree Black Belt or did the live coaching demonstration is a stratosphere apart from the sixty-two year old who began Read the rest of this entry »
I got the news this week – I test for my First Degree Black Belt Certification in less than fourteen days. It’s got my Black Belt a year ago in April and I’ve known it would happen before year end, but I never expected it to happen so quickly, so now.
Usually, I show up for my Tuesday Tae Kwon Do class ready for our routine to begin. Once in the door of the Do-Jang (school), I wait for the Grandmaster to pop out of his office, I’d bow and formally greet him, and then I saunter to the dressing room to change into my Do-Bok (uniform) and begin to warm-up, practicing my patterns, kicks, and defensive and offensive strikes.
But today was anything but usual. When I entered, Grandmaster Cho was waiting for me. We exchanged formal greetings, but then he welcomed me into his office and pointed to a paper lying on the corner of his desk. His gnarly fingers, deformed from years of breaking cement blocks, tenderly held a pen for me to use. In contrast to his clipped words, “You fill this out,” was the warmth of his smile, as he spoke the words that I thought would come in July or August. There in front of my eyes, Read the rest of this entry »
A dear friend recently proposed the following question to me: What will it take for you to embrace the greatness inherent in being a woman? The inquiry exploded within me. The arid land that is my intuitive, feminine nature became exposed to the glaring light of day, and I sat there frozen and speechless.
It’s not that I haven’t always known that I am a female, but I’ve accepted it as a piece of information, like having two breasts and a vagina. It was data. What I haven’t done is really moved that knowledge from the realm of my head and held it as a gift in my heart. Just thinking about it brings me to tears. My friend’s question had thrown open the doors of possibility, but not until I pulled back to recover.
When I am in my ‘achiever self”—what I’m calling the masculine side–my usual behavior is to run Read the rest of this entry »
I spent the week overseeing workers at my home—and I loved every moment of it. I’ve been tolerating the look of my back bedroom for ever since I moved into this house twelve years ago, and the relief I felt in beginning the project was palpable.
When I first saw this house, I was drawn to the open space, vaulted living room ceilings and the bay of windows that extended across the back of house bringing the lush greenery of our backyard into what would become our home. Not that it was perfect, it wasn’t. But over the years, one project after another, I’ve transformed its sharp edges and ice cold colors, to a warm, peace-filled sanctuary. That is, all but one room—the back bedroom.
How do I know that the room was not up to my personal standards? Every time I walked by that room, my body would tense. I’d quickly close the door as if to protect myself from an unknown predator. Last week I was inspired, once again, to confront the beast. This time I came in with a white flag of peace preceding me. I came in not as a foe, but as a collaborator. With a cup of tea in hand, Read the rest of this entry »
Each February my husband and I celebrate not only Valentine’s Day, but his birthday just five days later. What to get the man who has everything? I thought this year. Then I realized that the one thing more precious than a gold watch, or an even larger flat screen television, would be to fully share the words that are always close to my heart, but are infrequently brought into the light of day. In this month, set aside for lovers, I celebrate Bruce in a new way.
I’m not writing this because I’m a romantic—no one who knows me would ever call me that. I’m writing this because I’m not. I grew up with a father whose term of endearment for his faithful and loving wife was “Butch.” Seriously! When we kids heard that term, we knew that passion was in the air. Growing up, I never heard my parents utter the words I love you, and we were more likely to find a needle in a haystack than to get acknowledged for a job well done. Since then, I’ve mastered those three special words, but I’m a neophyte in the area of properly acknowledging others. So this is what I plan to do this year. To acknowledge what Bruce means to me.
I met Bruce at the first coaching conference in Houston. There was an undeniable attraction and what I remember that day was Bruce standing with other people at the back of the conference room. When I saw Read the rest of this entry »
I was three days into a seven-day vacation in sunny Cozumel, Mexico with my sister Fran before I realized that I felt jittery and unsettled. I felt like a coin that kept perpetually spinning on its side, refusing to come to a stop. I couldn’t relax. What was that all about? Heaven knows that relaxing on vacation is not something that has historically challenged me.
When employed, I’d leave my concerns about work, like my cats, back at home in the competent hands of others. To go on vacation meant that I worked harder prior to departing. And when I returned, unresolved issues would be waiting for me. It was a price that I was delighted to pay for periods of carefree time.
When my husband joined me to build our coaching business, we shifted into an easy rhythm of work and vacation time together. There is a unified exhalation of relief when our garage door closes and we are backing out of our driveway. By the time we are on the highway, three minutes from our home, we look at each other, laugh, and declare ourselves ‘on vacation.’ And, as we drive away, I feel the day-to-day stresses of life and work disappear behind me.
Each morning on this recent trip to Cozumel, after exercising and enjoying the first repast of the day, Fran and I would change into our bathing suits and saunter down to the crystalline, white beach in front of our hotel. We looked like any of the many sun-birds seeking the perfect perch from which to Read the rest of this entry »
It’s early January with the festive glow of Christmas and New Year’s fading into the background of my daily life. The sun is warming our day, and with its bright presence, redefining winter. Today the temperature will break sixty degrees, yet there is crispness in the air. Is winter over? I sure hope not. Instead, I’ll think of today’s mildness as a wonderful fluke of nature. It is one of those rare days where all of the random meteorological conditions responsible for weather align into crystal-like perfection. It is a picture-perfect day to stop and soak in its beauty and muse about the advent of this New Year, and that is just what I am doing.
Sitting outside of a local café house teaming with activity, I’ve found a seat away from the umbrellas that will be needed soon enough to provide shade from summer’s blazing sun. Right now, my iced Chai latte in hand, I sit back with my face turned up to receive the sun’s filtered warmth. The weather today is a flawless reflection of my outlook for the coming year. All is perfection, in this moment, but it hasn’t always been that way.
Previously, I would let my outlook on life be determined by what I heard from the media—newspapers, television, radio. Today I sum up my relationship with mass media with the phrase: Read the rest of this entry »
There is something new going on within me. I’m feeling strong and happy. Not a giddy hyper-happiness that has me flitting from one thing to another, bubbling over with joy. I’ve felt those feelings before, and this is different. This happiness has me greeting each day with a warm, contented smile that is still with me when I climb back into my bed at night, pull the down comforter over my body and drift into sleep. It is not an emotion contingent on what is going on around me, or the attainment of a desired object. Rather, it is a mood that took root about a week ago and has been steadily growing ever since.
It is more of a feeling or a state of being. It resides within my body and emanates out of me into the world. It feels spacious—as if the boundary of my body is opening up to the Universe. I feel that if I were to stick my finger into a socket, I’d illuminate the room—I feel that electric. In Tae Kwon Do, my patterns are sharper, and there is a sense of energy exploding out of me. Each movement through the day has a new sense of grace and flow with it. What is its source?
One probable cause is that, about three months ago, I began working with a Chinese doctor to open up the energy meridians within my body. It is a gift that I gave myself for attaining the dubious distinction of joining the Medicare generation. She prescribed, along with energy treatment, a morning regimen of Read the rest of this entry »
I’m a “Thanksgiving baby,” born during one of the last seven days of November. Actually, my twin brother and I were born on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day, but we have always celebrated our birth on the auspicious national holiday. This year the two important celebrations coincide. I will celebrate this year with my dear husband in the West Village in New York City surrounded by my son and daughter-in-law and our granddaughters seated around an oval maple table laden with my favorite comfort foods. I love everything about Thanksgiving – and, my cup flows over with the multitudes of my blessings.
In anticipation, I’m transported to the many images from my youth that flood this season. The brilliant fall colors and rustling leaves, the brisk morning walks, and dried corn stalks, the football games and high school rivalries – to name a few. But the most vivid of images and memories came from my grandmother’s tables (yes, there were two) neatly covered with ivory lace Irish linen table cloths and napkins. The aroma of a thirty-pound stuffed turkey would assail my senses as we Read the rest of this entry »
On Friday afternoon, we packed our car and joined the hundreds of other vehicles clogging Interstate 290 traveling northwest out of Houston. As is our mode of operation, we filled our Starbucks cups with our drug of choice, cranked up the music, and shifted into vacation mode for the quiet weekend my husband had suggested. Turning off the highway and following the winding back roads of this rural community, we glimpsed spread after spread, each attractive farmhouse unique. Driving up our hosts’ road, I spotted their white-planked fence in the distance. When we turned our car onto their property, I recognized the same buttercup yellow farm house sitting sixty feet from the road nestled in a grove of spindly hundred year-old white oak trees.
The sound of the wheels of our car as it crossed the cattle guard must have been magical, like the Pied Piper playing his flute, because the Holsteins came a running – that is, as fast a cow can run. The small herd bellowed to make their presence known, as if anyone could ever miss either their mooing or the immensity of their size. There were about ten of them with two calves trailing behind their mothers. What they wanted, I later learned, was to be fed. Since our delight in their presence did not satiate their need, within a few moments, they rambled back to their pasture. As I took in the expanse in front of me, I wondered, Read the rest of this entry »