A Deadline Driven Life

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um-100213-emailIt was a leisurely afternoon with friends on a pontoon boat sitting under an awning to protect us from the sun. We drifted slowly across Lake Cachuma chatting about life, listening to music, and eating home made foods.

Another person and I gravitated easily to talking about business as we floated along, a subject we obviously enjoyed. I had met her once before. She runs her own specialty food company. At some point she turned to me all serious and asked, “Could you stop working?” Although she is younger than me by a few years, I guessed she is wrangling with the question for herself. read more

Is Fear Underrated?

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um-090313-emailI went to a party! Squeezed it into my busy schedule. Drove 2 hours to get back to Santa Barbara to attend on a Monday night. I knew 2 people besides my husband, and got to meet 8 more. It was fun, light-hearted, and a celebration.

Then something different happened.

A young man asked a question at the sit down dinner around a large table that accommodated all 12 of us comfortably. It was sometime between the salad and the next course, when he asked, “What was your greatest fear, and how did you overcome it?”

Everyone shared their stories and we learned more about each other as a result. My initial hit was I’m not afraid of anything. But maybe that was the wine talking. What was more interesting to me was what happened the next morning on my commute back to Los Angeles. I thought about the question, and I received a new insight. Fear is underrated. read more

6 Ways To Survive Routine Thinking

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um-082013-emailRoutines are regular and habitual. Coffee in the morning is one of my favorite routines. If I asked you to name your favorite routine, it would probably be something you do that is unvarying and rote, predictable. For that is the nature of routines.

But something happened where I started to question not what I do routinely but what I think routinely.

The question came after I sat with my husband and did breathing exercises for 20 minutes and then yoga for 40 minutes.

An hour of peace, expanding our lungs, minds and bodies before we started our day. We looked in each other’s eyes and laughed knowing how easy it is to rush past the morning and get right to whatever busyness the day brings. read more

Reset

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um-041013-emailI had a conversation that didn’t end well. After the fact I wished I had a reset button and could start over.

I was practicing yoga this morning when it came to mind how simple it is to reset a factory with new equipment, or reset a life with new practices, but impossible to re-set past actions or conversations. Apologies and forgiveness mitigates the past, but the words and actions still stand.

As I stretched into the forward facing hero I smiled. Facing forward is always easier for me then facing backward. read more

4 Ways To Stop Waiting and Start Now

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um-022613-emailI listen to people every day who stop themselves from doing anything new by giving an excuse (same old story) that can sound true (family, time constraints, work issues) about why they can’t start now what they want to do that is both fulfilling and nourishing.

I could give a cursory, understanding nod. It would take less then a blink of the eye. Instead I stop what I’m doing and look them in the eyes with a smile that envelops both of us. I may be the one person, the only person who doesn’t believe their story, and so I declare:
You can stop waiting and start now!

Over the course of 2013, I will share with you my tried and true “stop waiting start now” practices. Here are 4. read more

Micro Management Or Micro Measuring

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um-020613-emailI was listening to the radio on my drive to work and a mortgage commercial yelled, “By now you’ve quit your diet and exercise regime” and then went on to say that they wouldn’t quit on you!

Wow. What a positive affirmation. Not!

But there was a measure of truth to it. It made me think about how often we’ll announce a new goal but don’t take any steps to make it happen. Just hoping that it will magically manifest out of our desire, instead of micro managing the details to turn the course of events in the direction we want to go.

So how do you micro manage? You start micro measuring! read more

8 Ways To Stop Waiting For Happiness

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um-123112-emailIt’s startling how many people wait for happiness as if it’s going to come in the door once everything is perfect!

Thinking happiness will happen when all conditions are met is an outside in approach. Think about it. Outside in means you have to wait to be happy. Outside in means happiness is capricious and random where you are at the whim of circumstances in your life.

Now I know it’s easier to be happy when all is working according to your expectations of how life should be. But hold on … you may already notice that your expectations sometimes just don’t match reality. read more

Calling All Angels

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um-122212-emailWelcome to the first day, after the last day on earth. For some who believe in prophesies, or better yet interpretations of prophesies, yesterday may have been the day they gave away their car to the next stranger who walked by, because they believed they wouldn’t be needing it.

At work yesterday several people noted cheerfully that we’re all still here! On my drive back to Santa Barbara last night, the news reported that some experts are saying the date was wrong. The newscaster said some say it could be Sunday and others put the date sometime next year.

Fact or fiction?

I have to confess I love reading fiction. Great storytelling gives me a way of looking at life from a new angle. read more

Miracles

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um-112012-emailRunning down the road in Santa Barbara I was filled with gratitude for a life worth living.

The blessings of every day life floated blissfully through my mind, keeping tempo with each stride I took.

The air I breathe
The love I feel
The health to run
The bounty of work
The power of friendship
The peace of relationship
The endless opportunities
The beauty of true love
The acceptance of family for hanging-in forever through thick and thin

Last week I was reminded of Albert Einstein’s reflection on miracles. He said you could see life as if nothing is a miracle or life as if everything is a miracle. read more

How To Avoid Cleaning Up

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um-10.24.12-emailAt last someone is going to tell you that you don’t have to clean up! Finally the secret is out.

Drum roll please!

You avoid cleaning up by not making a mess in the first place.

I could just say that life is messy, and so of course you’ll have to clean up as you go. But there are some messes that you could avoid and save yourself hours of clean up.

Any immediately come to mind?

There are three areas where the “messes” show up for me, and probably you too!

  1. Physical Space
  2. Conversations
  3. Incompletions

My physical space is sacred. I can work with papers all around me, but at the end of the day I’m not cleaning, instead I’m reordering my space so when I walk in the next morning it’s waiting for me fresh and ready. read more