Building a Bridge to End Racism with a Simple ‘Hello’

Racism is top-of-mind for many people lately. The ‘mattering’ of lives, whether black or blue or brown or beige, heightens the awareness of external, outer distinctions between us and the undertow of history that makes them full of meaning. Living here in the South Bronx where I see and rub shoulders with more people who do not look like me than people do, I’m aware of a shift in how I think. A Shift in Thinking that Grew from a Simple 'Hello' Most mornings, for … [Read more...]

Glance, Cringe and Look Away

When was the last time you glanced at someone and quickly looked away? Perhaps you looked away because you were embarrassed for that person. Perhaps what you saw raised judgments in your mind that you didn’t know how to handle. There's Something About Mary My beautiful friend, Mary (pictured above), recently found out what it feels like to have: A face that makes children stare and adults look away. That's the way Mary's sister described her face. Two weeks ago, … [Read more...]

Try a Bit of Deep Listening to Get More Out of Life

Do you ever get the feeling that you are just skimming the surface? That life is passing you by and you're barely aware of what's going on? That's been my experience recently and I was wondering what was wrong and why it didn't feel quite right. Then, by chance, I was able to sit in on a rehearsal of a Pauline Oliveros Deep Listening performance. So What is Deep Listening? If you haven't heard of her, Pauline Oliveros, is a musician of sorts. Why "of … [Read more...]

How Perfect is Too Perfect?

Over the last several weeks, I've been making "screencasts" for the new course I've developed for Capital Campaign Masters. That's the process by which you create slides and then record your voice over the slide show. The result is a little movie. You can write out a script and read it as you record. Or you can just watch the slides and ad-lib. To my ear, reading a script sounds a bit stilted. (I really don't know how Gwen Ifill sounds so very real, even though I'm … [Read more...]

Stand Up Straight, Improve Your Focus

I like walking and, as you may know, most mornings I go to Saint Mary's Park here in the South Bronx for my walk. Sometimes I jog when I get there. Sometimes I even run. Full out run! But today I walked around the track for two miles trying my best to concentrate on standing up straight and in balance and alignment. When you find that perfect alignment, your body flows from one step to the next with a minimum of strain. It feels like you could walk a hundred miles … [Read more...]

Using Your Inner-Scheduler to Meet Deadlines

Do you work to deadlines? Do you set a deadline out in the future and watch with increasing anxiety as the deadline marches toward you? Then, perhaps on some specific day -- who knows which one -- you see the writing on the wall and you kick into gear. Trusting Your Get-Going-NOW Mechanism For some projects, you get going the very day it's due. For others, you may kick into gear weeks beforehand.  But for most of us, it seems that whatever triggers the … [Read more...]

Increasing Your Money Awareness

I've never been very good with money. Somehow, it has never felt super important. I roughly moderate my spending to correspond with what I have, not through any serious budgeting process, but just by listening to the little voices in my head that warn me when the balance between spending and earning is off. Becoming More Aware of Money in My Life But this year, I've decided to consider money differently -- to consciously become more aware of dollars and cents and … [Read more...]

Weird Money Stories and My Quest to Improve

Most of us have weird money stories and sometimes they really don't make much sense. So what's my weird money story? My Weird Money Story I often worry more about little expenditures than big ones. I fret about buying a Kindle book for $9 more than I do about a trip to Cuba for $3,000! (Yes, we are going to Cuba over Christmas.) These strange, counter-intuitive ways with money are quite common. I see them in my friends. Some of my friends are so poor that they … [Read more...]

Reporting on my Incremental Improvement Plan

Turns out that change, even little step by little step, isn't so easy. Two weeks ago, I wrote a post advocating making little changes day after day after day. And I created the list of changes I'd make daily for fourteen days. Below is my little list of 1% improvements along with my report of what I did and didn't do.  And here, perhaps more importantly, is what I've learned. Little Lessons Learned It's easier to do something new once than it is to keep doing it day … [Read more...]

The Discipline and Practice of Gratitude

Have you ever gone out of your way to do something nice for someone and not been thanked? How did that feel? Conversely, how do you feel when someone lets you know that they both notice and appreciate your help? Stop reading for a few seconds and conjure up those feelings. Pull back that slightly bitter sensation that you went out of your way for someone who didn't even let you know they noticed. And now, remember the little sweet glow you felt when someone let you … [Read more...]