Children will not remember you for the materials things you provided

“Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them.”

Richard L. Evans, 20th Century writer, producer, and announcer

Image from Unsplash by Ben Wicks

Do you have children or grandchildren? If your do, how many of them remember the gifts you gave them during the holidays last year?

To what degree do your little ones light up when you walk in the door empty handed but with arms wide open for some big hugs?

In what ways do you agree with the statement, ”The best things in life are not things”?  How do you show the people you care about the most that you cherish them?

EXERCISE:

Consider reading or re-reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  Over the years, he has expanded his work to include books related to children, teenagers and other groups.

Associate with people who are likely to improve you

“Associate with people who are likely to improve you.”

Seneca, Stoic philosopher of Ancient Rome

Image from Unsplash by Joshua Hoehne

How would you like to….

  • Improve your hand-eye coordination?
  • Enhance your mental alertness?
  • Improve your ability to concentrate?
  • Burn more calories?
  • Make more friends?
  • Improve your balance and reflexes?

If these attributes sound pretty good, you just might want to take up the sport of ping pong!

I am currently in Florida, with a terrific group of very active folks who help each other improve all these abilities, six days a week.

EXERCISE:

Where do you have a sincere desire to improve a particular skill?

Who are the people who challenge and stretch you beyond your current capabilities?

How can and will you make the time to associate with these people more often?

When you live on a round planet, there is no choosing sides

“When you live on a round planet, there is no choosing sides.”

Dr. Wayne Dyer, late American self-help author and motivational speaker

Image from Unsplash by gebhartyler

The health of our planet and therefore ourselves depends on many factors.

Astronauts speaking from their experience in space say there are no lines separating us like on our maps. Our air, water, and even the network of fungi below the surface of our world connects us in ways we don’t always recognize.

Within the past century or so, man’s use and often abuse of this planet’s resources have created an increasingly urgent cascade of climate and environmental issues that are affecting us all.

EXERCISE:

Where do you find yourself taking sides in your various communities?

What can you do to help them come together to make things better for everyone?

Consider listening to the 2010 song “We are the World” as a good reminder that we are all in this together.

Please read The Carbon Almanac and help carry its information and message of hope to others.

If you enjoy fiction you may also want to check out The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson.

People may hear your words but they feel your attitude

“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.”

John Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author, coach and speaker

Image from Unsplash by Frame Harris

In many ways all living things—including ourselves—are like machines.

We run on fuel and generate billions of electrical impulses each second. Even when we examine ourselves on an atomic level, electric and magnetic fields are constantly flowing.

When two particles—and in the case of today’s quote two people—interact, the energy fields between them can fluctuate.

Words alone compared to words with a positive attitude can be felt, and an experience of alignment and resonance can be experienced.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can and do you generate the feelings of excitement and engagement in others?

How do the people you know use their positive attitudes to offer you their magnetic personalities to engage your deepest listening?

It takes two people to create a pattern, but only one to change it.

“It takes two people to create a pattern, but only one to change it.”

Esther Perel, Belgian psychotherapist

Image from Vecteezy.com

Take a few minutes today to do a relationship review.

Closely examine the health of your most significant personal and professional interactions.

What word or phrase would describe the pattern of these engagements?

Where do you experience difficulties getting along and find yourself judging and being critical of others?

Most of us would love — from time to time — to have a magic wand to wave over others, to have them think and behave as we’d like.

Although we have no such power over anyone else, we do have the magic touch when it comes to our own ability to change ourselves.

EXERCISE:

Display Tuli Kupferberg’s quote, “When patterns are broken new world will emerge” in a well-trafficked place in your life.

What patterns can and will you break to have a new world of more successful relationships emerge?

“I wish getting along with people was as simple as enjoying their food.”

“I wish getting along with people was as simple as enjoying their food.”

—Valerie Bertinelli, Award-winning American actress

Image from Unsplash by Mae Mu

Consider the importance of food in your life. Chow down on this topic to examine how much it influences us beyond providing the nutrients to keep us alive.

How does food compare to the other essentials of water and air? What are the sensory experiences of each and how much pleasure and enjoyment do they offer? Food — and our rituals around it — provide us so much more than fulfilling a biologic need.

Although we sometimes find ourselves standing at the fridge eating alone, we most often seek out the company of others to deepen our bonds and create community. It is these bonds that we all need desperately to truly thrive.

EXERCISE:

When was the last time you attended a pot luck dinner where everyone brought a favorite dish to share? Consider hosting such a gathering in the coming weeks. I hope you enjoy many delicious dishes and the people that brought them!

 

Trust is a product of vulnerability that grows over time and requires

“Trust is a product of vulnerability that grows over time and requires work, attention, and full engagement. Trust isn’t a grand gesture — it’s a growing marble collection.”

Brene Brown, American research professor, lecturer, and author

Image from Unsplash by Acton Crawford

The development of trusting relationships is considered by most people a highly worthy pursuit. Considering how it might be metaphorically related to a marble collection intrigued me.

As a boy, I never collected marbles although I played with them from time to time. For me, it was bottle caps and baseball cards. Examining my efforts, to shoot, flip, and throw these objects with increased mastery, I can recall the various friendships surrounding these times. The connections with the kids in the neighborhood had a richness that went well beyond us simply growing our collections.

EXERCISE:

What are some of the ways you develop and grow your own treasured collection of trusting relationships?  Consider reviewing my trust-o-meter assessment for additional ideas to grow in this area.

“When things feel heavy, reach out to whomever is near and distribute the weight.”

“When things feel heavy, reach out to whomever is near and distribute the weight.”

—Mark Nepo, Author of The Book of Awakening

Image from Unsplash by Rémi Walle

This past spring and summer Wendy and I began and eventually finished our move from Michigan to Pennsylvania. Our last move prior to this was 29 years earlier and we had the services of a corporate relocation company that handled all the details — including most of the heavy lifting.

The added years and the lack of corporate support made this move far more demanding physically, mentally, and emotionally. Thankfully we were blessed with the help of our amazing children, friends, and some interesting out-of-the-blue strangers who came to the rescue to lighten our load.

EXERCISE:

Where have certain aspects of your life become heavy and difficult to manage? Who are some of the people in your various communities that can and would happily let you distribute this weight? Who in your life needs your assistance at this heavy time in their lives?

 

“We need to stay current with each other.”

“We need to stay current with each other.”

—Angeles Arrien, PhD, late Basque-American cultural anthropologist

Image from Unsplash by Aleksey Oryshckenko

I hope you had a happy holiday and the chance to safely be with family and friends. Catching up with those you love is a great bonus to the food, drink — and of course — your favorite sporting events and binge-watching interests.

How many holiday cards did you send and receive? How many of these well-wishing cards had photos of families with kids growing like weeds or even a separate insert with the highlights of the past year?

Staying current with our close and extended communities has been considerably more difficult due to Covid. Even with texting, e-mail, and video chats, many of us still feel isolated and alone.

EXERCISE:

What efforts can and will you make this year to remain current with the people you care about the most? Who could your reach out to today that you may have missed over the holidays?

“To be a good fisherman you must detach yourself from the dream of the fish. This makes whatever is caught or found a treasure.”

“To be a good fisherman you must detach yourself from the dream of the fish. This makes whatever is caught or found a treasure.”

—Buddhist saying

 Image from Unsplash by NOAA

I have a client and good friend named Rich, who loves to fish. Hearing him talk about his passion is a blast. Last year, he invited me to join him in his passion at a local lake.

With an early start on a promising day, we switched places and Rich became my coach. During our five-hour excursion he caught numerous fish and I — with all my giggling — came up with a single small-mouth bass, just prior to us calling it a day. Later, over a meal, I came to the realization that it was our treasured friendship that was the big fish I caught that day.

EXERCISE:

Where have you caught or discovered new things to celebrate and appreciate on your way to some other intended place? Where might detaching yourself from things you expect open you up to new people and experiences to treasure?