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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Bizz, bizz, buzz, buzz – ouch!

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With it finally looking and feeling like spring in Wisconsin, the Baby Bumblebee song from the soundtrack of my Girl Scouting days flew into my head today. Unfortunately this little gem of a diddy also tripped my earworm – ugh…

Here’s the silver lining of the earworm being tripped – the first two versus of the Baby Bumblebee song actually buzz with some solid wisdom:

I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee,

Won’t my mommy be so proud of me,

I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee,

Ouch! It stung me!

It takes courage to go after your big idea or big dream with intent – especially when it takes every ounce of bravery to reach out and grab it.

With the seemingly hard part of catching the dream behind you, you begin settling in. You feel proud of bringing home your big, glorious dream.

And then bam – you get stung by your dream. A new twist or challenge you hadn’t quite anticipated. Landing this big dream was a bit messier than expected.

It’s the stings though that pack the whollop of new learnings and insights. A whollop ultimately enhancing your big dream.

Go out and catch yourself some perfectly, perfect baby bumblebees. It will be worth the stings!

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Cue ABBA

Today looks significantly different than it did a year ago.

You’ve most likely celebrated a milestone or two. Perhaps you’ve grieved any number of losses. You’ve also experienced people coming in and going out of your life.3939254067_80f769061e_o

In all the ups and downs of the previous 365 days, perhaps someone took a chance on you.

A chance that made today positively different than a year ago.

A chance that opened up the world.

A chance that said, “I believe. I believe in you.”

Sometimes that’s all we need. One person to step up and take a chance on our perfectly, perfect selves no matter our imperfections or the trials we’ve encountered.

On the occasion where you find yourself all alone and you need someone to take a chance on you, look in your mirror. Yep there she is – perfectly, perfect you.

She’s gonna do her very best, if you put her to the test, if you let her try.

Take a chance on you – that’s all I ask of you honey – because I believe in you.

 

 

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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.

Oh, the humanity

4717326163_8317f72bf0_nTake care of people and the rest will come.

I’ve observed in both the for-profit and non-profit worlds a tendency and comfort to focus on the bottom-line, consultants and outputs rather than people. Within both worlds, focusing on individuals can be an unsettling proposition – the results aren’t always immediate.

When the focus is placed on cutting and divesting rather than investing, the results can be immediate – generally, also finite.

When the focus is placed on investing – especially in people, the results can be slow. Those results? Infinite and always more impressive.

The same is true of life – take care of people and everything else will come – in perfectly, perfect droves.

 

 

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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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