Category mindfulness

One more

The Layers

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.

Of both earth and heaven

I am awed by the intelligence that flits through my back yard on a daily basis. I hang 2 ounces of sugar water from the awning in a tiny plastic tube, and a ruby-throated hummingbird finds it in a matter of hours. How does he do that? What sense leads him to this little tube in the midst of the vast world? Ditto for the chickadees who know when I’ve replenished the nyjer seed and the downy woodpeckers who drop in when the suet feeders are full. How do they know this? Do they instant message each other?

Here’s another mystery. I have lots of travelers, especially in the spring and fall.

A reminder

“It is the stepping into the unknown, again and again, with our heart facing the direction that we value, that matters.” Jack Kornfield, writer, psychologist, Buddhist monk.

Sounds simple. Straightforward. Oh, that it were.

What direction is your heart facing right now?

The way out is in

I recently got an email asking for an update on a coaching client, a woman I’ve worked with for about 3 months. Typically, I submit a list of coaching goals early in an engagement. But just a few days before this request arrived, I realized that the client and I hadn’t finalized any goals. So when the request came, I felt badly for letting this slip through the cracks. I began drafting a response. I tried to explain why the goals weren’t done. It was tough because I couldn’t violate the client’s confidential privilege, and I couldn’t adequately explain without providing details. I’d write and delete, write and delete. Then it hit me: the struggle wasn’t my desire to protect the client; it was my desire to protect me!

I had to laugh at myself. All the time I spent trying to craft a response boiled down to a simple truth:


When Bob took over as head of a large business unit in his organization, he inherited a chief operations officer, Mary Jo. Initially, he was reluctant to keep her. The unit had financial problems, poor morale, a toxic culture, and a lot of people blaming Mary Jo for the problems, so he was watchful. But he realized quickly that she was very good at her job, and decided to hold off taking any action.

Fast forward a couple of years. Bob is moving his unit forward. He’s a systems

What we call feedback rarely is

In order for people to grow, adapt, and perform at their best, they need information about their own performance. One source of information—feedback—has earned a bad reputation. The word first came into the language to describe the self-correcting information built into mechanical systems and electronic circuits. Information was fed back into a system as a means of regulating system performance.

Thermostats, for instance, feed back information in order to maintain a set

Trusting the universe

I had a situation arise recently that reminded me, once again, of the power of trusting what we cannot see. Last fall, I talked with a woman about collaborating with her and several other coaches on an executive development project. I was interested and let her know. I heard nothing for 5 months. Then last week she emailed to say the project was ready to start, and was I still interested?


The brilliant wisdom of my clients never ceases to delight me. The other day a client told me of an image a friend gave her long ago. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and like you’re drowning, the prayer is to help me breathe underwater. Rather than resist, be present to whatever you’re surrounded by.

Symptoms of inner peace

This week I was listening to an old CD by Dr. Wayne Dyer. He offered a list of “symptoms of inner peace” from Peace Pilgrim, a pacifist and peace activist who walked across the U.S. 28 times. It’s an interesting turn of phrase: symptoms of inner peace. When I heard it, I discovered that I have a lot of “inner peace.”  What about you? Here they are.


A tendency to think and act spontaneously

Entering fully

This week, one of my clients said that her goal each day is to be fully present to what she is doing now and to enjoy what she is doing now. Why? Because when she worries about everything else she wants or needs to do, she misses this moment. “If I enter everything fully,” she said, “I will come out changed.”

I love that perspective. She’s absolutely right. It’s the classic struggle between doing and