Blog Post # 213 – Your Very Best

Maybe, you are full of crap.

Maybe, you don’t mean half the things that you say.

Are you honest?

Are you aware of how you really are?

Do you have an accurate understanding of your place in the world?

Wake up.

These stories that you have been telling yourself ….

They are not reality.

You give yourself excuses.

Forgive yourself so easily.

Perhaps you need more honesty.

More hard truths.

More action.

No free passes.

No excuses.

No more BS.

Your time left on this planet is sadly limited.

Each passing day gets you one day closer to your date with destiny.

So we support you, we love you and we forgive you.

But this is about you and your relationship with yourself.

What are you going to do differently today?

How will you strive?

What will you change?

Drop the pretense and get to work.

We don’t have time for your excuses.

We need you at your very best.

Today.

Blog Post # 212 – An Invitation to Centeredness

What do we do when the focus won’t come?

When the distractions reign?

When we feel buffeted by the to-do’s and the mounting things to remember.

It can be very overwhelming, this life of ours.

We live in an amazing time defined by connectivity, as well as unlimited access to data and information.

But our brains are not smart phones.

We can, still, get trampled by the cavalcade of remembered tasks.

The monkey brain run amok.

Chatter, chatter, chatter.

We fall into the brain pattern equivalent of the violently shaken snow globe.

Brain dust spread all around.

Keeping us from clarity.

Denying us focus.

Centeredness seems unattainable.

So what do we do?

For me, it helps to drill inside even deeper.

To first recognize the chatter.

To let it swirl around in there.

To reach me – the real me.

The ideas, the tasks, the memories – they can swirl around but we get to our calm place.

It may be harder on days of the swirling, but the opportunity to focus is there.

An invitation to centeredness. It awaits us whenever we check in and allow the swirl to swirl.

The other thing that helps is gratitude. A spirit of thankfulness for all of the activity.
Grateful for a full life and all of the people we have in our lives.

For today, let the world whirl, the mind spin, the clutter to gather.

We dig deep, we center ourselves and we take the lead in living our day the way that we want to.

The snow in the globe will settle. And we will inherently know what we are supposed to do next.

Happy in the clarity.

Blog Post # 211 – The Bird That Nests Inside You

There’s a bird that nests inside you,

Sleeping underneath your skin.

             A Murder of One, Counting Crows.

For all these years, when I sing along with this excellent song off their debut album, I thought the words were “there’s a perfectness inside you, sleeping underneath your skin.”

The idea of a bird nesting inside us seems so much better than perfection.

Perfection is a myth.

Perfection is a false idol.

Perfection is the enemy of getting things done.

Forget perfection.

Never going to achieve it.

Never going to have it.

No such place.

What if instead of seeking perfection, we seek to find the bird that nests inside us.

The falcon, the owl, the hawk, the oriole, the eagle, the robin.

Instead of searching for perfection, we sought to find that which will allow us to soar.

To be our best, strongest, fiercest self.

From the inside out.

Perfection is, ultimately, a cop out.

An excuse for inaction.

If we can’t be perfect, why even try?

But if we find that bird nesting inside us, we can take flight.

To see the world from a new vantage point.

To soar.

Blog Post # 210 – Mind Spinning

Be still my beating …. mind.

Sometimes, as soon as I awaken, my mind is off to the races.

Tasks for the day, the Presidential race, mistakes I made yesterday, what am I going to have for breakfast, blah, blah, blah.

Checking the smartphone takes it to the next level.

Mind spinning. Can’t catch up.

My morning meditation thwarted by the things that must be done and the things I forgot to do.

But it is okay to own that.

There is value in simply being aware that the mind is racing.

To at least be aware of it.

Plenty of times that I lack the awareness of the racing mind.

It just runs on autopilot.

Deep breaths help.

Focusing on a particular thought and trying to clear my mind helps too.

Might not be able to outrun the cavalcade of pinging thoughts.

But I can try to ease into a place of acceptance.

Of gratitude.

A return to clarity.

If even for a few seconds.

Can carry me through the day in a more introspective, deliberate manner.

And help me be the best person that I can be today.

Blog Post # 209 – The Power of The Mastermind

Jim Rohn used to say that you are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with.

I like to think that people are a bit more complicated than that, but I certainly understand the sentiment.

Spending time with Negative Nellies and old sourpusses does little to help us get our mindset right.

Conversely, if you spend a lot of time with winners, with people striving for success and with people who can teach you a thing or two, you will probably begin to engage in more winning, more striving and more learning.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of spending the day with 14 other lawyers who “get it.”

My friend John Fisher assembled us together in Chicago for a mastermind meeting.

Each participant was asked to bring their most vexing law firm marketing or management problem to the room and to share on that for five minutes.

Group members then used their collective brainpower to help develop strategies and solutions to these problems.

This is a mastermind and the one yesterday was extremely powerful.

An amazing thing happens when you open up to virtual strangers about some frustration or big problem that you are facing.

By admitting out loud the nature of the problem, it gives it definition and takes away some of the power that the problem may have over you.

But more than that, having group members chime in with real world advice and practical tips is invaluable.

You also get to see that you are not the only one with issues to overcome.

Spending a full day with winners charged my battery and I walked away with tons of practical, real world solutions not only to issues that I am facing but also to issues I was not even aware of.

For today, let us strive to find people in our lives who build us up, motivate us and inspire us to take great action.

Blog Post # 208 – Superman Down

The photo in my Facebook feed was very strange.

Batman standing over a little boy in a casket.

Action figures combined with flowers all around.

I asked my friend James, the person who posted the picture, what it was all about?

The little boy’s name was Jacob Hall.

He was six years old. He was in kindergarten.

A 14-year-old with a gun shot Jacob while he was playing on the playground during recess.

The shooting left Jacob “brain dead” and he was taken off life-support earlier this week.

Jacob’s mother asked all of the mourners to wear superhero costumes to little Jacob’s funeral.

And that they did.

Thor, Superman, Batman, Spiderman, the Incredible Hulk and Iron Man served as pallbearers.

Jacob’s mother dressed as Robin, the boy wonder.

And little Jacob was buried in his Batman costume.

What a tragedy.

What sadness.

What a black mark on our society that we cannot fix this problem of angry people with guns.

This is not a political post.

Just a recognition of the humanity all around us.

The fragility of life.

Columbine, Sandy Hook, the Aurora movie theater.

A six year old boy getting shot on a playground while on recess.

This is not how things are supposed to be.

It is certainly too late for little Jacob.

But maybe we can save a few future superheroes from a similar tragic fate.

Superman and Wonder Woman – we need you now more than ever.

Blog Post # 207 – For You

For you.

What do you do, for you?

No agenda.

No deadline.

No timetable.

We do so much for other people, but we cannot forget to take care of ourselves.

When do you find space, for you?

10 or 15 minutes to sit and meditate.

Think.

Reflect.

Exercise – mind, body, spirit.

What can you do today, for you?

Be gentle.

Be deliberate.

Be present.

So much of time is wasted with trivialities.

Being deliberate and focused on how we spend our time gives us the opportunity to find that space we need.

Who can you forgive today, for you?

Not for them.

But for you.

Forgiveness for them = freedom for you.

The world owes you nothing.

The flip side of that, however, is if you don’t devote some of your time to you, no one else will.

Be free.

Blog Post # 206 – Yearbook Photo

Try to look tough.

Try to look pretty.

It is your freshman yearbook picture, after all.

The teenage years are so awkward, so uncomfortable.

Everything seems so very, very important.

Can I cover my zits?

Is my nose too big?

That guy is so much better looking than me.

I’m the ugliest girl in the whole school.

We look back at our high school pictures with a variety of emotions – sadness, recalled hurts, giggles, despondency.

But at the time, how we looked and the person that we were becoming seemed so unbelievably important.

Our hormones wild, our emotions high.

Everything on high alert.

There are some lessons there for our present day selves.

Our looks and others’ perceptions of us were not really all that important.

The trials and the tribulations faded away so that we now just have vague recollections of the moment.

Any slights, hurts, and failures were long ago forgotten.

Hopefully, at least.

Those photos from long ago were just a split second snapshot of who we were for one moment.

Our present day moments will pass as well.

The slights and sorrows of today will fade to distant memories.

All we have is today. Everything else, fleeting.

Blog Post # 205 – Panoramic View

The panoramic view.

Seems like most major cities have at least one restaurant at the top of a skyscraper that offers a 360-degree view of the city.

Similarly, these new cameras that offer a panoramic view picture are remarkable.

While I have not actually figured out how to shoot such a picture, the broad stroke photos that they produce really stand out.

Too often, we forget to take a panoramic view.

Instead of looking around, we focus on one thing continuously and obsessively until something else takes its place.

Our thinking grows linear and a bit myopic.

Perhaps we should aim for more of a panoramic view in our day.

To look up, look down, all around as Dave Matthews prescribes.

Stepping outside our narrow little point of focus frees us up to think differently.

Just looking out of the corner of our eye – using whatever muscles it takes to see over there – gets our brain moving.

We can actually feel the gears shift a little and our mind opens a bit to see things in a new light.

The closed-mind, myopic view can lead to faulty thinking and bad decisions.

When we limit the amount of input to our brain, we forget about our options. The freedom that we have. Our choices.

For today, let us step outside ourselves. To think in a new way.

To look all around us – 360 degrees if we can – when figuring out how to tackle the problems of the day.

Blog Post # 204 – Help Somebody

Our job in life is to help others.

If we are an electrician, we help people live better lives by having functioning electricity in their homes.

A magician, we bring joy and happiness to children of all ages.

If we are a nurse, we serve others by helping them recuperate, restore and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Most occupations involve helping others – in small or big ways.

Our intention is so very important in this regard.

If we trudge along, clock in and clock out, and do the bare minimum at work, we will have an unfulfilling work day.

But if instead, we view our role as a helper, a facilitator, an ally and a fellow sufferer, our job can be transformed to one of meaning.

Some may view an immigration lawyer as one who completes forms.

But that is not it at all.

We help change people’s’ lives.

Bringing spouses together, helping families begin a new life together in America, keeping families intact – this is what we do.

We often liken it to helping people into a big boat – a big boat called America.

Our job is to patrol the waters and help as many people into the boat as possible.

This metaphor works for whatever type of people you serve.

Uncle Seth would call it building a tribe.

We liken it to staying connected to everyone we had on the boat and got safely to shore.

For today, let us frame the work that we perform in the spirit of helpfulness.

Ease the suffering of another or simply make their life a little better today.

There are certainly worse ways to spend the day.