Remembering Sonia March Nevis

I learned this morning that my teacher and friend Sonia March Nevis passed away.  I've been enjoying my memories of that wonderful woman, calling back the ways in which she changed my life. A Kind Gesture Softened My Heart Sonia was the cofounder of the Gestalt International Study Center on Cape Cod. Some years ago, I participated in a leadership program at the Gestalt Institute. Over the course of several days, we were assigned to teams that then were given an extended, … [Read more...]

What Makes Your Life Significant as You Age?

In the first two quarters of life, the question of significance don't seem to matter much. What's Significant in Your Life, and When? Q1. In the first quarter -- 0 to 25, you are doing your best to become self-sufficient. You learn skills. You grow into and explore your body. You get an education. You go from being fully dependent to being somewhat independent. And grappling with those things is a full time job. You are still immersed in yourself. Q2. In the second … [Read more...]

7 Ways Women Get Better with Age

As I scanned the magazine racks in the Hudson bookstore at JFK on my way to Italy earlier this month I saw nothing -- absolutely nothing -- written for women over 50. Actually, that's not quite true. Allure had a cover story about "Hot Dame" Helen Mirren and an article on "7 Things That Get Better With Age." Curious about what the Allure magazine staff thinks gets better with age, I picked up a copy. As I read their version of what gets "better with age" I couldn't … [Read more...]

Traveling Through Life: Setting a Destination and Wandering

I just got back from 11 days in Milan, Italy. 11 days away from the U.S. news. 11 days away from my computer. 11 days just to wander in a new city. 11 days to clear my mind. Here is a lesson I learned over those eleven days that you may find helpful too. Set a Destination and Wander Wandering without a destination in mind feels aimless quickly. And feeling aimless soon leads to a sense of ennui. It's hard to maintain the excitement and curiosity when you … [Read more...]

Fighting Procrastination: Walking Through Walls of Resistance

Every time I have a big project to do -- one that take thought and attention and care -- I've got to find a way to walk through a wall. Again and again, I walk right up to the wall of resistance and turn around to do something less stressful. Comfortable Procrastination Rituals I admire people who seem not to be plagued with walls of resistance. People like that (perhaps you are one of those lucky folks) know what they have to do and simply set about doing it. It's that … [Read more...]

What Values Do You and Your Community Live By?

Do you take the values you live by for granted? Do you ever discuss them? Or do you assume that you and the people you associate with agree? And who is your community, anyway?  Your family? Your neighbors? Your clubs or special interest groups? Your living community? In all likelihood, you have several communities. And the values that determine the way the people in each group function may be different from one of them to another. But I've come to think that we don't … [Read more...]

Avoiding Frustration: Scheduling a Meeting for a Large Group of People

I've been working on scheduling a meeting of a diverse group of a dozen people. It's my Condo Board and I'm the secretary. Super High Frustration The scheduling process of pinning down a meeting time for these 12 people has been super frustrating. I've been reminded how subtle things can make a huge difference. I must confess that for a while my frustration was so high that I just about resigned my thankless task thinking to myself, "If no one cares enough to respond, … [Read more...]

Don’t Do it Yourself – Ask for Help

You've probably heard the old saying: Want advice, ask for money. Want money, ask for advice. It's a phrase people often use in the fundraising world. A phrase so simple that it masks the profound power of that sentiment. Think of it this way... If you do everything by yourself, you're effectiveness is limited to your energy and knowledge and understanding and abilities. Don't get me wrong -- you may be tremendously capable and may, on your own, be able to … [Read more...]

One Good Deed Inspires Another

This morning I picked up the trash at St. Mary's Park, as I often do. One Good Deed... I bring some latex gloves with me when I go out the morning and spend the first 15 or 20 minutes of my time at the park walking around the track, looking from side to side for candy wrappers and fast-food packaging and bottles and bottle caps and plastic bags and all sorts of other litter. Piece by piece, I pick it up, put it in a plastic bag and into the often overflowing trash … [Read more...]

Fighting Trump’s Tyranny: Eye Contact and Small Talk

Shortly after the election of Donald Trump, I felt a compelling urge ... even a need ... to be visible with my disapproval of the outcome of the election. I created prototypes of black armbands and my husband and I wore them for a while. But they didn't have the reaction I had anticipated. In fact, most people simply ignored them. From Armbands to Buttons... The next effort was to create buttons. With the help of a friend, we designed a logo and I had 500 buttons … [Read more...]