No time for losers…

 

…we are the champions of the world.

When there’s no time for losers, there’s so much at stake for ourselves and our world.

How do we make advancements holding a binary worldview of losers and champions?

How do we open ourselves to learn from and work with one another inside a politically binary landscape?

To step into our brilliant, perfectly-perfect selves – the place where we can genuinely create and make extraordinary work for ourselves and the world – will each of us have the fortitude to embrace the lessons of sometimes being a loser and sometimes being a winner? 

The world is counting on our perfectly-perfect blended collective of losers and champions to make some impressive, glorious noise.

Go. Now. Get some sand kicked in your face.

 

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The “ov” life hack

lifehackAn extraordinary thing happened today.

Actually several extraordinary things happened today.

A friend introduced me to some new people during an inspired life celebration for Mary Louise Mussoline, a woman who lived wholeheartedly, leaving the world and the city of Milwaukee better than she found it.

When asked during the introduction how we knew each other, he responded, “We’re heart friends.”

Not, “oh we worked together on xyz project” or, “we met during the xyz event” rather “we’re heart friends.”

Humbling.

Following Mary Louise’s life celebration, complete with a dance party hosted by Radio Milwaukee, the news of Al Jarreau’s death was breaking.

Synchronicity.

On the day in which Mary Louise’s exceptional life and her ability to utilize music as a vehicle for unity in this racially divided city was being celebrated, the brilliantly talented artist, musician and Milwaukee native Al Jarreau’s life, also using music as change agent, came to an end.

Upon returning home I listened to Al Jarreau’s “We’re in this love together.”

Not “we’re in this life together.” Something much more profound – we’re in this love together – we’re heart friends.

In order to extraordinarily live each day being the change you want for the world, like Milwaukee’s own Mary Louise Mussoline and Al Jarreau, it takes a little life hack – changing up the rhythm of life to the rhythm of love.

Together, as perfectly perfect heart friends, we are indeed in this stressful, politically and socially challenging, gorgeously messy, love together.

As Mary Louise’s dance party was coming to an end, another friend shared this pearl he had learned regarding life and death: “I greet you from the other side. With a love so vast and shattered it will reach you everywhere.”

Go. Do. Be – in this life of love together.

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Conspiracy Theories

They seem to be everywhere. Nearly a day passes without one or more media outlets reporting on the latest political conspiracy theory as November nears.

Among the hyperbole and vitriol, one conspiracy theory appears to be suspiciously missing – yours.

What might your life and career look like if you decide, in this exact moment, to conspire with yourself?8466905745_a09e5c91fe

Might you make that first mark and then another and another until the painting in your head begins to take shape? Or, perhaps you might revisit those lyrics you scribbled in your journal to give voice to the voiceless. Crazier yet, you might tender your resignation from a job you’ve disliked for a decade and start shooting that film you storyboard each night.

The greatest conspiracy to have ever been conceived is just waiting for you. Eagerly anticipating that glorious moment when perfectly perfect you, with all of your magnificent imperfections, reaches down deep inside to honor and bring to the surface your extraordinary gifts and talents – for you to conspire on behalf of you.

That’s a conspiracy theory worth reporting.

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Those women

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You know. Those women.

The ones in the salacious headlines. The ones we talk about. The ones we love to shame.

Prostitutes. Whores. Undesirables.

The ones who have gigantic, beautiful dreams for themselves and their children. The ones who went to college and chose to leave school to care for their sick family member. The ones who were abused as children yet their indefatigable fighting spirit shines.

The ones who take the fall for powerful men. The ones whom powerful men hide behind.

Those perfectly perfect women with all of their glorious imperfections?

Those women?

They’re our sisters.

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Cheer Me On!

Charles is my neighbor. He’s an ace bowler. He’s an ace speed walker and runner too – watch out Forest Gump.

Generally, no matter the weather, you’ll find Charles doing laps around the block. So many that Charles sports a new pair of athletic shoes about every ten weeks.

One of the best parts of Charles laps though, is his energetic, gleeful request to neighbors and passerbys of: “Cheer me on! Cheer me on!”

A quick selfie while trying to keep up with Charles

A quick selfie while trying to keep up with Charles’s pace!

Those who know Charles unabashedly shout, “Go Charles go! Go Charles go!”

Those who don’t know Charles generally ignore him or cross the street.

As I look out the open windows on a gorgeously, exquisite spring day, hearing neighbors up and down the block enthusiastically chant, “Go Charles go,” a question forms.

What’s holding back your perfectly perfect self from cheering someone else on or, energetically requesting others to, “Cheer me on!”

Let the cheering begin!

Just a gosh darn moment

“A happy life is just a string of happy moments. But most people don’t allow the happy moment, because they’re so busy trying to get a happy life.”  —Abraham Hicks, March 15, 2003

Staring down a to-do list on my day off, that is questionably conquerable even if I had risen earlier, the urge to write the thoughts in my head is currently winning out over the to-dos.

While the tea is steeping, I’ll indulge in a brief moment of one of the thoughts in my head.

In preparation for writing my 2016 personal plan I recently spent a day with Dana Frost. Dana shared a treasure trove of informative insights to help guide my plan – one sparkling gem floating to the top –

“Ground yourself in the moment.”

The following day I set an intention to do just that – ground myself in the moment.

Giddy with excitement and hardly having slept a wink the night before, I was about to be the proverbial mouse in the corner/fly on the wall for what I was anticipating to be a series of extraordinary moments.9780679456209

Debbie Phillips, founder of Women on Fire, and a woman I feel privileged to call a friend, was interviewing the venerable Gloria Steinem. Debbie had gifted me the opportunity to be patched-in to hear their conversation in the moment it was happening.

Near the end of their inspired conversation Debbie asked Gloria the question she asks herself each morning:

“What is the love you still have to give to the world before you die?”

Gloria’s answer to Debbie’s provocative question was simply, “Love itself.”

As she went deeper into her response she used the expression of radical empathy – wanting what’s best for others, honoring what someone else may be experiencing.

Gloria ended with this:

“We all need to do the best we can in the moment as the moment may matter.”

A Nutcracker backstage moment with Gary, Paul and Milwaukee Ballet's Michael Pink on 12-20-14

A  moment with Gary, Paul and Milwaukee Ballet’s Michael Pink, 12-20-14

Over the past several days Gary Hollander has been sharing very personal moments that matter. Gary has been writing about the days and moments leading up to his husband Paul Mandracchia leaving this world last year on Christmas Eve. For me Gary’s reflections underscore Gloria’s encouragement of fully needing to absorb and understand that moments may indeed very much matter.

May each of us, as our perfectly, perfect selves full of imperfections and overly ambitious to-do lists, take a moment to make a moment matter.

The Amazings

Recently I had dinner with two phenomenal women – amazing women actually. Each exceptionally accomplished. Yet firmly grounded in the reality of living – the good, the bad, the important, the yucky, and all matters of chaos, messiness and muddlings that get mixed throughout the living.

What was wonderfully striking about our dinner was the absence of chit-chat. We immediately engaged in the sincere discussion of living lives. The values we bring to the living. How those values challenge and enlighten the living. Where we find support for living our values. The values that matter and how we go after more of those values.

1484324430_7581e20f50_nAs we said our good byes, I was reminded of author Sophfronia Scott’s quote, “Build your ark before the flood.”

Yes, absolutely build your ark before the flood. And absolutely, positively stuff it to overflowing with Amazings.

Amazings who honor and value you. Amazings who care about perfectly, perfect you with all of your glaring imperfections and foibles. Amazings who stand arm-in-arm with you on your ark or around a dinner table.

Who are your Amazings on your ark?

 
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