See Your Wealth [on Merely A Thought Monday]

your day copy

Not only does 20 take care of DogDog and Babycat while we are away, he always has a hot meal waiting for us when we arrive home. He is our anchor, our safety net. Our brother.

Once, a week before our wedding when we were harried and exhausted, we sent Linda a text. “Can we come to your house for dinner?” She fed us a feast. She and Jim made us laugh. We drank wine. They feast us to this day.

John and Michele watch out for us. They are the source of a thousand kindnesses. They tell stories that make us cry with laughter. They live with intention and inspire us.

When I was sick Russ showed up at our door with food. MaryKay plied us with brownies.

I call Horatio, Skip, or Arnie to stir my thinking, to seek perspective, or just because. They are always available. Always.

Dan helps us fix things, protect things, make things better. He is always on the lookout for ways to make our lives easier.

The Up-North-Gang comes to find us when we’ve been out in the canoe too long. “It’s time for snacks!” Jay says. We laugh with them and go on adventures. We drink special recipe Long Island Iced Teas and then have to sit down.

We call Jen and Brad for advice. We call them when we want to bounce ideas off sensible minds. We call them when we want to hear loving voices. They rejuvenate us. They lift our spirits. We look forward to every ounce of time spent with them.

Fact: it is the people in our lives that make our days some kind of awesome. Ask me if I am rich and I will smile and say, “Yes. Oh, yes. More than you can possibly know.”

 

read Kerri’s blog post about AWESOME

 

wineglassesthreehands61 website box copy

UpLift [on Merely A Thought Monday]

cohesion copy

And, what is the opposite of cohesion? Incoherence. The lack of clarity or unity. Fracture.

For a period of time my work on this earth was essentially a meditation on power. Power with. Power over. After a while I understood that power-over was not really power at all; it was control. Control and power are two very different things. They are often confused.

Power is something created with others. Control is something done to others. The equation is simple: the more controlling a person is, the less powerful they actually are. A person who understands his/herself as powerful has no need to assert control over others.

A leader invested in control has only one sure route to controlling: to fracture. To divide. It is the way of the truly powerless. Incoherence and chaos are great tools if control is the aim. Destroy the unity. Play to the disgruntled. Feed the fire of those who are feeling powerless. Promise them control. Pushing others down to elevate the self can only end badly. Everyone drowns.

People secure in their power create cohesion. They unite. They uplift. Power is a force that grows between people. It cannot be owned by one. It is always the province of the community. A person secure in her/his power generates unity. What else? The power they feel within is an expression of the power they experience with.

Community is a word that implies cohesion. To commune. Common. And, what could be more common than a central focus, the intention to support and bring out the best in all.

What is the opposite of a powerful person?

 

read kerri’s blog post about COHESION

 

alice's restaurant, california websitebox copy

 

 

 

Train Your Eyes To See

an illustration from my unpublished children's book, Play 2 Play

an illustration from my unpublished children’s book, Play 2 Play

Laundromats are liminal places. Enter a laundromat and you leave behind the known world. You step into the great  “in-between,” the land of “not here, not there.” I am in the land of “not here, not there” because Tripper Dog-Dog-Dog came in from the yard with muddy paws and blew past our usual clean up stop. As Tripper was coming in, our neighbor let out his dogs and, apparently, the perimeter needed immediate protection, which required a Dog-Dog mad dash through the house, a leap onto the bed, and loud, raucous barking. So, muddy paws met white bedspread and although the paw prints were beautifully applied, smeared, and reprinted (a perfect composition), the bedspread needed washing.

As I wait for the cycle to finish I’ve been watching people. The proprietor is wearing a Santa cap and sits at the counter scoping the patrons; he is looking for anyone who might need assistance. He jumps at every opportunity to help patrons having problems with a machine. This is his kingdom and I have the illusion that he’s created it so that he might help others. He laughs a lot. He likes his kingdom.

A young man, clearly a regular patron, is quick to help the older clients lift heavy loads (the proprietor is at the ready but recognizes this unique circumstance). They are all regulars and lifting laundry is the organizing principle of their relationship. They ask the young man how he is doing. He is humble yet delights in their attention as they delight in his assistance.

This liminal space is filled with generosity and acts of kindness. It reminds me of the game I played not so long ago during my walk about. Each day, as I walked, I counted the obvious acts of kindness. There were always more than I could count. Always. The game was not so much about tallying goodness as it was about training my eyes to see what was right in front of me. It is too easy to see the road rage, the aggression, and the selfishness. It is too easy to believe in the monsters. That stuff is there. But, when you take the time to see it all –really see it – the generosity always far outweighs the miserliness.

title_pageGo here to buy hard copies (and Kindle) of my latest book: The Seer: The Mind of the Entrepreneur, Artist, Visionary, Innovator, Seeker, Learner, Leader, Creator,…You.

Canopy by David Robinson

Canopy by David Robinson

Go here for fine art prints of my paintings.

 

Let Hope Catch You

796. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

A few days ago I was on my way to get a morning cup of coffee and passed through the plaza that borders the international district in Seattle. It is a threshold place. Beneath the plaza is the light rail station. Bolt buses from Portland and Vancouver board passengers from the plaza. The train station is just across the road so travelers make connections to and from the train through the plaza. It is a crossroads.

A young woman loaded with a heavy backpack and bedroll slipped off her burden and sat on one of the large stone benches. An older man sitting on a facing stone bench, thin and striking with a long gray ponytail, called out to her. He said, “I hope you’re going toward something instead of running away.” She smiled and replied, “Mister, I’m not chasing hope. Hope is chasing me.” Her response stopped me in my tracks. The older man laughed and she sat facing him. They started a conversation.

Many weeks ago when I was in a low mood Megan suggested that I act as if the entire universe was conspiring for my good. Essentially she was suggesting that I walk my talk and her reminder was timely and helped lift my spirits. Why would I assume otherwise?

Sometimes I play the game of tracking back in time the choices that I made to bring me to this moment. Last week I met an amazing woman, a musician living in Wisconsin that I’ve been corresponding with for the past several months. One day last December she sent me an email. I responded. She replied and a conversation blossomed. Last week a job took me through Chicago I jumped off the plane and we met. She told me that she almost didn’t send the initial email for fear of what I’d think. I replied to her outreach and today I have a new friend.

Many hours after my morning cup of coffee I walked through the plaza on my way home and the older man and young woman were still talking only now they shared a bench and a cigarette. They’d been talking for hours and by the intensity of their conversation they’d be talking for many hours to come. She chose a bench. He chose to ask. I smiled as I walked by and thought, “This is what hope looks like when it catches you.”

Just Ask

695. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

The snippet of paper on the desk in my hotel room states, “Help is available.” Help with what, I wonder? I’m sure I must need help or will need help at some point in my life. I usually need help with technology though today I have no intention of wading into the i.jungle so at the moment help is wasted on me. I’m glad that help is generally available and I find it comforting that there is a notice on my desk incase I find myself perplexed. And, since the snippet is without a phone number or reference point I’m left to assume that help will simply know when I need it and will magically appear.

Perhaps help will come with 3 wishes or wand or magic dust. Or, maybe there is a secret door in my room. I’ll not confess to trying to move furniture or peak behind the mirror. The thought never crossed my mind. Really. The question remains: how will help know when I need it?

If I were adrift in a rubber raft in shark-infested waters my paper snippet implies that the coast guard will automatically know and find me. An avalanche is certainly scary but since help is available, I’m comforted knowing that the ski patrol will somehow know of my predicament and dig me out before I run out of air.

My snippet of paper might have carried the message, “Have Faith” and I would be much less comforted. The blanket statement, “Help is available” implies readiness of action. Help is standing by. Faith is amorphous when help is required.

Of course, help might also be available to me in less extreme circumstances. I am easily lost in new cities and I find that help is always available if I ask. Today I facilitated a workshop in organizational culture change and I needed markers and paper and help was available – it was almost immediate, too. However, when driving and lost, help is certainly always available but for some reason when behind the wheel I become male-stubborn and I am reticent to ask for help; I’d rather figure it out for myself so help obliges me and is noticeably unavailable.

Once, while walking the lake country in England, Roger was delirious with fever and it was pouring rain. We were miles from the next village. I was scared and thought, “I don’t know what to do. I need help.” And, out of nowhere a Winnebago emerged from the mist and stopped. A nice couple picked us up, wrapped us in towels and warmed us with hot cocoa. Then, they drove us to the next village where we found a nice place to stay and medicine. Help knew and was waiting for me to ask.

So, my mystery is solved. I just modified the paper snippet on my desk to assist the next guest. It now reads, “Help is available. Just ask.”