Monday, October 17, 2016


The Mystery within...
I found myself really rattled this past week.  It was very unsettling.  Uncomfortable feelings were intense and stuck around for two days.  So I got out my little chart depicting forty-nine faces, each face illustrating a positive or negative emotion, in alphabetical order, beginning with Aggressive and ending in Withdrawn.  I recognized seven negative faces/emotions on that chart that made up my distress and even assigned a percentage to each one—Aggressive 5%; Anxious 15%; Disappointed 10%; Disapproving 25%; Exasperated 10%; Frustrated 15%; Horrified 20%.  Identifying the details of my rattle helped me begin healing my unsettledness.

And then a friend, who just happened by, gifted me with these words, “All relationships are subject to difficulty.” I marveled at the perfect timing of his reminder.  I also recalled a class I took on self-healing where it was said we are in this life to learn and we learn through our discomfort. I saw my ego in my rattle and remembered the comfort I felt when I read in the “Sophia Code” how necessary it is to first forgive and love our self so we can then forgive and have compassion for the other.  And finally I was reminded I do have a still quiet place within where I can go for healing.

“What if we could come to find the gifts in our rattles more often?”

Monday, October 3, 2016

Navigating Life

The Mystery within...
Like a river, life flows on. 

Many years ago I had the honor of having my breadth taken away on a warm, humid afternoon when I jumped from a johnboat into an ice-cold crystal clear river in Missouri.  Returning to the water’s surface I gasped, panicky, until I could finally inhale again—the water was that cold.  And then I dove back under the cold clearness and watched a giant turtle swimming under a submerged tree and was awestruck by other beauty in the river’s icy clarity.  Another river immersion experience came later when I talked my visiting brother (who doesn’t like water) to canoe with me on a stretch of the Milwaukee River near my home.  We hit a nearly submerged tree and dumped in surprisingly deep, warm, murky water.  I panicked hoping I hadn’t drowned him.  But we retrieved our paddles, pushed the canoe to the bank, up righted it, and then proceeded to search down river for belongings we had that floated.  After he returned to Colorado he sent me a note that closed with, “Dumping in the Milwaukee River—priceless.”  And then there was the raft trip I took my two youngest children on when we visited in Colorado (my brother did not join us).  When we hit the meanest stretch of wild, splashing cold water, big rocks on either side of us, holding on for our life, and screaming, I promised God if you let us live I will never do anything so foolish again.  When our feet touched dry land I apologized profusely to my children and told them I didn’t think it was going be that scary.  To which my young daughter uncharacteriscally responded,  “It’s okay.  It will help me to not be so afraid.”

If life is like a river, I’ve been on another eventful stretch with my son’s month long hospitalization, most of it in intensive care, after two major surgeries, the second one a life threatening emergency.  He’s home now recuperating.  Gratefully, life is returning to a smoother flow.  Priceless gifts, however, did come with this journey.  Trauma brought clarity.  It highlighted what is truly important in life.  It let us know that we really do love one another, and helped us not be so afraid of where the river may take us next.

What if we could go-with-the-flow of life more often--knowing priceless gifts do come wherever the river takes us next?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Successful Diversity

The Mystery within...
I continue to read Susan Cain’s book, “Quiet—The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking,” and am fascinated by her report of Harvard Business School’s preference for more extroverted students.  She also cites management theorist, Jim Collins’ study of the best performing companies of the late 20th century: 

“Collins hadn’t set out to make a point about quiet leadership.  When he started his research, all he wanted to know was what characteristics made a company outperform its competition.  He selected eleven standout companies to research in depth.  Initially he ignored the question of leadership altogether, because he wanted to avoid simplistic answers but when he analyzed what the highest-performing companies had in common, the nature of their CEO’s jumped out at him.  Every single one of them was led by an unassuming man…  Those who worked with these leaders tended to describe them with the following words:  quiet, humble, modest, reserved, shy, gracious, mild mannered, self-effacing, understated.”

“The lesson, says Collins, is clear.  We don’t need giant personalities to transform companies.  We need leaders who build not their own egos but the institutions they serve.”

Another fact that stood out for me is the employees of these unassuming leaders were more often motivated to think for themselves and offer their thoughts in a more accepting atmosphere.  It is clear to me the dynamic of more interaction and contribution sourced in diversity is the foundation for success, not just for a company, but for a country, and all of life.  I have to wonder if the growing divide between the haves and the have nots in America is exacerbated by our 21st century discrimination toward introverts?

What if we all understood the importance of the many facets of diversity more often?            

Monday, September 12, 2016

Diversity's Gifts

The Mystery within...

The importance of accepting the diversity of different personality types is being brought home for me in a new way as I begin reading “Quiet—The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain.  Societies’ growing preference for the out-going and gregarious personality is disquieting in that it discriminates against the gifts of the more quiet and reflective introverts.  I now see, in a new way, how important it is to respect, revere and promote the gifts of both extroverts and introverts non-judgmentally.

What if in accepting the gifts of the other more often, we highlight the gift that we are?        

Monday, September 5, 2016

Deep Kindness

The Mystery within...

Events in my past week have naturally led me to do some self-life review.  I coupled that with my hard won understanding of the importance of compassionate self-love and self-forgiveness.  Putting it all together led me to an experience for which I’m not sure there is yet a word to adequately describe the power of that alchemy.  All I can say is that when criticized for a past inaction, I was filled with compassion and forgiveness for the other, and myself, and knew only deep kindness and love.