I usually notice it first as an outward manifestation of what's going on inside. Perhaps I just won't be able to jog as quickly, or it'll take an extra cup of coffee to get me going, or it'll take an extra shimmy to get into those pants. It's usually a sluggishness that will start to come forward and is a sign for me that I've been disconnected from my choices and because of that, I'm not always making the right ones.
For me these choices include not eating mindfully or often enough and when I do, not eating the right foods. I go to foods that are quicker, easy to assemble meals, many meals out, definitely alcohol. All of these things don't serve me or my body being and feeling my best. When I feel this way (as I do right now as I'm typing this), I know that I've got to stop, listen, hold myself accountable, and start making better tiny decisions.
I'm grateful when it happens and I can notice it, because now I listen. When I do, I know I...
Climate change is a very real thing. Over time, nature and animals are remarkably adaptable...maybe we will be, too?
Recently, my own ability to adapt was challenged not once, but TWICE in a one month period of time when flights from Chicago to the East coast were cancelled. The strong storms and winds hitting the entire east coast were enough to ground flights for days.
The first time, I was traveling back to NYC with my Mom and brother after a wonderful family vaca to Yellowstone. We ended up having to crash in Chicago overnight and then took a regional flight to a cab to a train to the Acela to get home. Exhausting, but better than trying to fly through the huge storm that was impacting the coastline.
Then two weeks later, I was in Chicago for a wedding (which was lovely), and our Sunday morning direct flight from ORD to LGA got delayed...then delayed...then delayed...then cancelled 4 hours later. The tricky thing this time was that we...
The past 4-6 weeks have been a lot over here. The amount of change, challenge and overall impact of stress has shown up in my life in different ways than ever before. I know it's a part of growth, and for that I'm grateful. I'm sure there is a place for all of this in the way I want to show up for others in service. I'll be able to add it to my toolbox from which I draw ideas and can find connection for clients.
In the meantime, it's been quite a challenge to remain in the observation deck in my life. To the contrary, it's felt like challenges have been tugging on my buoy of life more aggressively lately and the result is that I've had to take a moment personally in order to find peace and regroup. It's so important to me to show up in a full and authentic way and in order to do that I've had to take a beat.
In theater, there is a period of rehearsals before the show opens that's called "tech" - or technical rehearsal....
Life is dotted with switchbacks...and maybe they are here to help.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to explore some of the wonderful National Parks of the United States. On the itinerary was a few days in Utah, hiking in Zion National Park. I was SO excited! Zion is an amazing place to be - from high cliffs to wooded back trails to beautiful winding waterways - nature is on full display here.
Going in, I was curious and energized as guides explained to us the varying difficulty levels of the hikes we could choose from. I was feeling rested and ambitious, so I didn't shy away from effort that day, and off we went. It was going to be a long trek to the "plateau" where we could access the famous Angels Landing.
The walk started off easy enough, but before too long I encountered twists and turns in the trail: switchbacks. Looking in front of me, I could see that the trail winding back and forth to accommodate a smaller...
I recently started practicing my music and singing again.
For about a decade of my life, I practiced singing and music for at least an hour every day. For a decade before that, I practiced piano, too. Getting back into a more formal practice around music making has felt like coming home in many ways for me. There are moments where it has felt like riding a bike - and then other times where I realize that the bike. is. rusty. That's OK too, I decided. It's through careful and deliberate, consistent practice that I know my body will get back into the familiar ease of music making again.
As I practice again formally, I find myself just singing more throughout the day as well. In between meetings, or as I'm getting ready for the day, I will notice myself humming a song or fully singing out loud and really being in that moment, enjoying the journey that the music takes us on. It's been really wonderful to reconnect with myself this...
This past week the New York Times put out a call for submissions from anyone who wanted to send in a voice memo and honor a loved one who moved on due to the COVID pandemic. A few nights ago I found myself with phone in hand, finger poised to press "record", and a few bulleted notes in front of me to keep track of my thoughts. A voice memo with a few poignant memories seemed an impossibly incomplete offering. Yet there I was.
I have every voicemail saved on my phone, though I haven't been able to listen in over a year now. Thinking of her always brings a smile to my face and offers extra warmth inside a tiny part of my heart. I miss her deeply, and also still call on her all the time.
It got me thinking about legacy and what we leave. It got me thinking about how we define ourselves while we are here, and how others will define us afterwards. I think that it's worth it to consider how to live in such a way that how you define yourself is...
It's been three months since I have written anything here. Three months since I had a quiet piece of time to sit and think and listen to myself. Three months since I've been in an emotional place to do it.
It's not that I didn't HAVE the time - certainly not that I could not have MADE the time. It was more that I knew I didn't have the clarity of what to say next. So it's been three months.
A lot has happened, practically, in these last few months as well, and that needs to be acknowledged. Trauma and grief and joy and celebration have all crammed into this time. For me personally, both sickness and health cycled in as well. When I write all of this down and take a look at it, it's easier to give myself a break and be kind and understanding with myself about why so much time has passed without me feeling like I could authentically engage. Of course.
But each day while I was moving through it, it didn't feel like I could...
As any of my friends will tell you - I just LOVE a cleanse.
Typically every month or so, I'll take a few days and eat a little cleaner and simpler - getting nutrients from juices and smoothies and just giving my body a little break. My body loves me for it. I find that doing this physical process not only helps me shed a few pounds, but also gives me additional energy, enthusiasm and clarity. I can't recommend them enough.
In the same way, a cleanse of your stuff and space is massively helpful and is a healthy thing to do on a regular basis. I usually do some kind of cleanse of my stuff about every quarter - to shed the things that aren't serving me and make sure that the space in which I'm living really sets me up for success.
There are SO many research-based reasons why we should all prioritize cleansing our space and keeping our lives tidy. Beyond just the cleanliness aspect of reducing dust and dirt, there are real psychological...
What I wanted to write about today is particularly timely for me personally.
The last few days I have been feeling run down, like I need to tap out and retreat a little bit. It feels like I need to cease with all the outward-facing energy and efforts I've been engaging in, and recommit to the inward-facing work that is so important and restorative. I also know that if I don't choose to take heed and listen to what my body is saying to me right now, my body will make me listen before too long. :)
It's perfect timing, because what I'm living through right now is exactly the Reminder that fall offers to us. The way we approach this time of year is important in our own cycles. We all have a periodic "fall". But that doesn't mean we are weak or failing or losing steam - it means that we are given the deliberate opportunity to take a beat and go inside to listen and prepare for what's to come.
The fall is still a very active time,...
I grew up going to New Hampshire a few times a year to visit family. We would pick blueberries and go camping in the summer, and stock up on maple syrup and admire the beautiful changing of the leaves in the fall. There is nothing else like a walk in the White Mountains - the smell of nature, especially in the morning; the colors on the trees so vibrant that not even a 96-color coloring box could cover it. Stunning.
Later, going to school in upstate New York, I got to experience it all again. Sometimes the crisp air and smells around me would take me right back to a cool morning, waking up inside the tent and pulling back the zipper to climb through and help start a fire.
It is because of experiences like these, and many others, that I have a profound appreciation and admiration for the fall. Many look around and see the changes around us just as falling leaves; "everything is dying". But I don't see the adjustment that way.