Friday Review: Awareness

How aware are you of what’s going on around you, and inside you? Here are a few related posts you may have missed.


“We are sitting under the tree of our thinking minds, wondering why we’re not getting any sunshine!”




“It’s got to happen inside first.”






“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”



Keep your attention on your present moment efforts

Keep your attention on your present moment efforts. Forget the summit and focus on each step of your journey.

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Alessandro Erbetta

As kids on road trips, we kept asking our dad: Are we there yet? Most of our trips took less than two hours, but our “ants in our pants” impatience made them seem like eternity.

When our own children were young, Wendy and I lived in Michigan. Most of our road trips were ten to twelve hours, heading back east to visit family, and of course, our annual trip to the Pocono Mountains. With better car radios, cassette recorders, games, and interesting places to stop along the way, I don’t recall ever hearing those four little words.


How focused are you these days in reaching your personal and professional summits?

How would greater appreciation of the steps along the way make your journeys even more memorable and remarkable?

Don’t worry if you’re making waves just by being yourself.

“Don’t worry if you’re making waves just by being yourself. The moon does it all the time.”

Scott Stabile, Inspirational self-help writer and speaker

Image from Unsplash by San Sahil

Did you know that the moon only shows us one of its sides? Not until we sent spacecraft and men to orbit our neighbor did we see its other side.

Perhaps this is wise council for each of us as well. Being our true selves and showing the world who we are with all our impact craters may not be such a bad thing.

The moon has been tugging on us for billions of years. We were so fascinated by its pull we decided to visit it in the 60’s and early 70’s, and plan to return in the coming years.


How can living true to your nature—even if it makes a few waves—attract the people and opportunities you most desire?

One kind word can warm three winter months

“One kind word can warm three winter months.”

—Japanese proverb

Image from Unsplash by Ditto Bowl

How have you been trying to stay warm this winter? Cranking up the thermostat, breaking out the thermal underwear, and adding another log on the fire are common ways to keep the goose bumps at bay.

But external strategies don’t keep us warm on the inside. Winter can be a lonely time for many and seasonal affective disorders from the reduced sunlight seems to be more prominent than ever.


Words and acts of kindness always warm our hearts. How are you keeping the kindness fires burning beyond the recent holiday season? With the appropriate people, perhaps a bit of cuddling under a cozy blanket can keep things toasty as well.

Nature offers us wonderful examples of growth

Nature offers us wonderful examples of growth, renewal, and transformation when we allow each of its seasons to guide our life.

Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Ian Schneider

What is your perspective on winter? What activities make up most of your days during the winter months? How much time do you spend outdoors?

Except for periodic brisk walks and sprinting from one building to another with my car acting as a shuttle service, I live a predominantly indoor life when it’s cold. Although I admire the grit and fortitude of people who choose a frigid lifestyle, I prefer to hibernate or fly south.

Instead of feeling bad and self-critical during these months, I’ve learned to embrace more inner efforts as a necessary and valuable aspect of living on a planet that circles the sun on a 23 degree angle.


How can and do you embrace each of nature’s seasons and the opportunity they offer? What inner and outer work lies ahead for you in this new year?



How do you view prejudice in your life and the world around you? Here are a few related posts you may have missed.


“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”




“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”




“Dogs bark at those they do not know.”




Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate

“Still round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, 20th Century writer, artist, scholar, linguist

Image from Unsplash by Steve Johnson

Many people live their lives going in circles.

Like a revolving door to one of those fancy hotels in a big city, if we don’t exit at some point we keep going around and around.

How often do you take new roads and go through secret gates?

Where are you both looking and stepping around the corners of your world to discover new wonderful places around the bend?

What may be stopping you from going beyond your safe, well-worn paths?


How would a bit more “Hobbiting” in your life lead you to new and wonderful places?

What adventures may await you!

The purpose of education is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions

“The purpose of education is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions.”

James Baldwin, 20th Century American author

Image from Unsplash by Kyle Glenn

It’s pretty common at this point in the year for people to continue wishing each other a happy new year. I feel comfortable doing so even into early February.

As the days after the winter solstice become slightly longer and we pine for an early spring, many of us hope that 2023 will be a better and brighter year.

What were some of the most significant decisions you made in 2022?

How did they influence where you are today and the trajectory of the months ahead?

Perhaps it may be time to head back to school and expand your educational opportunities.


Instead of—or in additional to—formal schooling, please be sure to enroll in the “university of you.”

Consider creating your own personal and professional curriculum.

What would you like to learn? Who will be your teachers?

How might the lessons learned help you look more closely at the world and make even better decisions moving forward?

Become responsive to the solicitations of silence

“Become responsive to the solicitations of silence.”

Jean Klein, 20th Century French author and philosopher

Image from Unsplash by Nick Fewings

I am writing this post in my favorite chair in my upstairs office, with only the sound of my furnace operating in the background. As it kicks off only occasionally due to the recent frigid temperatures, I can now hear the slight sound of the ceiling fan that circulates the warm air.

Although I very much enjoyed the busy holidays with family and friends, I also have a strong desire and need for solitude and silence to regroup and re-balance. These cycles of extroversion and introversion feel like the beating of my heart and the pace of my breathing during and after a workout.


How loud and noisy is your life?

How and when do you explore the sounds of silence to discover the hidden messages between notes?

Consider reading or re-reading Susan Cain’s wonderful book—Quiet—for some additional perspective on this topic.

When you receive criticism take a moment to pause

When you receive criticism take a moment to pause. Let this time be a kind of speed bump to slow down and “try on” what is being said.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Brett Jordan

No one likes to be criticized and judged. We like the way we are doing our lives and anyone who disapproves is clearly wrong!

Oops! What just happened? How can it be that we, too, may be just as critical of others, and they don’t care for it very much either?

What if instead of blocking this feedback and defending our positions, we simply paused to consider their perspective?

What would happen if we actually looked for the potential value in what was being said?

How might new ways of looking at ourselves create new opportunities for growth and self-improvement?


How would slowing down for the seemingly critical speed bumps offered by others make your travel through life smoother?

How might the ideas that are shared actually fit if you “try them on” for size?

If you still find them too tight, loose, itchy, or the wrong color, you can take them off.