When I was a child I remember laying in the grass looking at the clouds and trying to recognize shapes in the whispyness floating over head. I’m not sure where it entered my mind but the strange lyrics of Joni Mitchell’s tribute to clouds stuck with me much more than I realized.
Yesterday, reading Brian Allain’s book pieces started falling into place and for the first time I have a clearer vision for my site and my direction. I’ve had a tag line for a couple of years and today I have begun to understand it a little better and am excited about living it out.
Taking dreams out of the clouds and making them reality.
Yesterday I filled out a questionnaire for the Dynamic Communicators Workshop that I am attending in a couple of weeks. I’m excited about it. I first learned about it from Michael Hyatt’s blog. Since I’ve been talking for years I thought it might be a good idea for me to actually get some training.
After looking over all of the information on the website and doing some on line research, talking it over with my husband and working out the logistics of being away from home and homeschooling for a week, it seemed like a good decision so I registered. I bought my plane ticket and made transportation arrangements. I committed. For some this may not be a big deal but this is the single largest investment in my career that we have made.
So when I answered the question “My greatest fear about attending is: That I will go through all the effort and expense to attend this workshop and come away thinking it was money and time wasted.” I’m not afraid of traveling alone. Done that. Not concerned about giving a speech or even the critic. I’m afraid that it what I’ve sacrificed for won’t match the sacrifice.
I am excited about going. I am excited about learning about communicating better. I can’t wait to come back and report what a bargain this experience was!
I spent the better part of the morning cleaning out my closet again. It just wasn’t working for me. The first thing I do when I go into my bedroom is kick off my shoes. They have been landing in a pile just inside the doorway. Usually when I look for them they are right there ready to go again. In my closet I have a nice shoe rack and it was full of shoes that never got to go anywhere while the shoes that I wear all the time were a disorganized pile. That has changed. The shoe rack has come out of the closet and is now were the shoes I wear actually are. After evaluating the shoes that had gathered dust, literally, on the shoe rack before moving it I found I like sparkly shoes. I just don’t wear them much. They have been moved to the shoe rack hanging on the back side of my closet door. The empty space where the dust collecting shoe rack had been is now occupied by my boots all matched up and supported with water bottles inside to keep them from falling over.
Why, dear reader, would you care about my closet? Because somethings in life are pretty easy to fix. You just move them around a little bit and they work better. I didn’t buy anything to solve my situation. I didn’t need to call in an expert organizer. I just needed to think about what wasn’t working and make an adjustment.
So what’s not working for you today? What adjustment can you make that will get your shoes off the floor and onto the rack? What do you need to move out of the closet and closer to the door? What do you need to dust off and, dare I challenge you, get rid of?
If it doesn’t work for you, dear reader, it doesn’t work for you. Change it. Get it out of the closet!
So, I’m in the shower this morning enjoying what I thought was my opportunity for 15 minutes alone when all of a sudden it was incredibly crowded in there.
I bought a new kind of body wash yesterday and it occurred to me that somewhere someone did a very fine job of engineering this particular version of creamy cleaner. I then went on to think about how many people it must have taken to get that soapy goodness to my shower this morning. All of the people in package design, the person who wrote the words for the bottle and the person who approved them, the color selectors and the bottle design people, the procurement department who made sure the production line people had not only the raw materials but the proper equipment to produce that bottle, not to mention the maintenance people who keep the production line running and the factory clean. Then all of the people in distribution, the account manager who made it possible for my store to carry it, the person at my store’s corporate office who decided to give it shelf space, the stock boy who unpacked the box that came off the truck from the warehouse who filled the order correctly. Then there are all the people at the magazine who did the research to determine that this body wash was going to get their stamp of approval, which only carries weight because of the reputation others built before them that opened the door for them to be on the morning television program that I have watched for years because of all the content they have produced so consistently.
Which brings me to you, dear reader. As all of these people came flooding to my mind in the shower, my thoughts turned to you. I wanted to remind you how incredibly connected you are to the lives of millions of total strangers going about their day doing what they do and never realizing their efforts brought me to a point of gratitude for you.
Because of soap, today, I am thanking God for the blessings you are in my life. May the efforts of your hands and heart today impact lives in ways you may never know and bring joy.
Now I’m off to get a cup of coffee. I can only begin to imagine what that took!
Lana is a gift giver. I say that because she does it in so many forms. Her heart is filled with love and out of it comes mindfulness, prayer, and so much more. I first met her in person at Denny’s on the Vegas Strip where we laughed and cried over so many shared stories. I left that restaurant with so much because Lana at her core is a gift. One of my favorite Proverbs, 18:16 tells us “a gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.” and I am inspired to be giving in my own life by those that gift well. Seth Godin explores this concept in his book Linchpin and blogged about it in The hidden power of a gift. Recently Lana and her husband Matt sent our office a special gift, a money tree. As we unpacked it I could not help but think that they had much more in mind than just a plant. She knew that this package would continue to give both metaphorically and physically. Our company was established on solid values that place at the top human dignity, love for God, excellence in our work and art. I can only imagine as the tree grows, how we will continue to look at it and remember how fitting Lana’s gift is as well as those values. Lana is a very wealthy woman and it shows.
A few weeks ago I asked some of my blogger friends to guest blog for me. John said he would if I promised to post whatever he wrote. Since he is also on the Admin list for my site today he dropped this off. Since I promised to post it, here it is unedited and with tears flowing. Thanks, John.
One of the things I used to love about fall was getting my rhythm back. Hubby off to work in the morning, drop favorite tween off at school, run an errand or two, come home and make my rounds, back to pick up from school, homework, start dinner, hubby home, quiet evening, 10 o’clock news and off to bed to do it all over again Monday through Friday.
A couple of years ago that all changed. We enrolled our daughter in a school that involved much more parent interaction in the class room. Part of my routine was now shortened by 6 hours a week. Then my husband got laid off and the morning routine was changed. He’s back a work with a very flexable schedule now.
Half way through last year we decided to pull our daughter out of the public school system and home school. Actually, what we’re doing is called Independent Study. It’s through the school district and we get lots of support from them. All of the books are provided and we have a check in meeting once a month. There are also 2 6 hour school days for her on the first two Mondays of the month. Add a rotating schedule of band at the neighborhood Jr. High and her own private harp and voice lessons and you can see why this feels like my theme song this year….
Some of the most profound changes are very simple to say and remember. But, oh so, hard to implement. How much easier is it to frown than to smile a genuine smile? How much easier is criticism than compassion? How much easier is it to talk than to listen? How much easier is it to rush than to wait?
Yesterday some things changed. And there’s a good possibility something happened today that was different. Tomorrow is pretty much up for grabs. I’ve heard it said that the only constant is change. So why do we find it so difficult to accept? Why do we dig our heels in and resist?
There are whole departments in companies who’s sole focus is to create something new and different. Medical research is devoted to changing the human condition. Research and Development think tanks devote years to devise a better widget.
Is this moment, the way things are so great that you want to preserve it? Don’t get me wrong. Some moments are much better than others. But to be stuck there…I don’t think so. As great as your wedding day might have been if you stayed in that day you would have missed the birth of your child. As great as holding that precious child was, if they never changed you would still be changing diapers. Everything changes!
Even our memory changes. I used to listen to my father in law tell stories. He could recite the same story the same way over dinner every night for a week. He remembered the story but forgot he told it last night and the night before. It was on his mind and he wanted to share it. I learned after listening for a while that if I broke into his recitation and asked him a question the story changed. He remembered other details and the story expanded. Things he had forgotten came back to him. Not by the recitation but by the questions.
It’s the questions that generate the change. Why is it doing that? How can we fix the problem? Where can I help? Who needs me?
And when you embrace the questions you learn to embrace the change.
Today I celebrate the 30 years that are my son’s life. He is a talented artist going to college and living in a small apartment near campus. He gets terribly embarrassed when I brag about his talent.
Yesterday we had a b-b-que to celebrate. It was good to see the people who love him come together. Friends from the Lion’s Club, the blind center he volunteers at, from college and even his Sunday School teachers from when he was in the 1st grade came together to talk and laugh and share stories about how he has touched their lives. It was a very good day.
It was an answer to so many prayers over so many years. If you ever wonder if prayer works, I can tell you….it does.
Danny with his Great-great grandmother.