Monday, November 26, 2007

The Art of Questioning

I stumbled upon this speakers website a bit ago and now I receive an E-zine that I enjoy profusely. One item of note is his new animated movie that focuses on questions to ponder. I found it very provocative and interesting. His stuff is reproducible as long as you include this verbiage :

Michael Bungay Stanier is a professional keynote speaker, the author of the best selling coaching tool, Get Unstuck & Get Going ...on the stuff that matters and the creator of Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun and The 5.75 Questions You've Been Avoiding. A certified coach and Rhodes Scholar, he works with teams and organizations to help them do less Good Work and more Great Work.

Check it out!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

What if you really could just erase your fears? Would you do it? Can you name the fears you have that you would place on this wall?

I never considered myself a fear based person really. But most recently, I am realizing how precious life is and I am worried that I will squander my time here on Earth.

The most recent stuff I am reading suggests that happiness is in the now. Appreciating each moment and being present with myself and others around me. The theory is that if I string a bunch of worthwhile todays, I will in retrospect have a meaningful and enjoyable life.

Anxiety and fear just messes that up; creates a block to experiencing life- it injects doubt and breeds discontentment.

I have been feeling this discontentment and I am tired of it. I have to stop regretting what I could have had or wished I had. Stop worrying about the future and give it my best guess and go for it. I have been stagnant too long.

Time to wake up, walk over to the wall and erase my fears.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tree Dies - Murder Suspected

So, I am going to do it. I am going to cut down the blue spruce tree in the back yard. It is the tree that remains in and around my newly dug garden. This tree had a partner beside it which a friend and I took cut down this past summer. We did this to make room for sunshine to nourish other plants in the garden. I have tomatoes to prove that that was a good decision.

During the cutting my kids in jest implied that we were murderers. Quinn had some convincing arguments even. I must say, the accusation did tug at my subconscious (a little).

So, in honor of my garden and in order for the death to not be frivolous-- the noble spruce will become our Christmas tree.

So, the killing (I mean the cutting) of the tree will happen this weekend. Should I turn myself in? Will I be able to deal with the nagging taunts of children? Only time will tell......

By the way, I don't think my tree hugging days are over, maybe I just have it in for this tree.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

When you die, God and the angels
will hold you accountable
for all the pleasures you were allowed in life
that you denied yourself.

--Anonymous (from The Oprah magazine, Dec. 2005)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Place for Conversation Starting

If you post a comment to this spot, I will create a post to start a conversation. For example, let's say Alanna wanted to discuss Christmas, she could post here and then I would post her note as a seperate post to start the conversation rolling. Let me know what you think. Erin

Friday, November 16, 2007

My "Tiny" House

A couple of weeks ago, my very good friend Cathy came to visit from New York with her boyfriend Mark. She brought goodies from her garden- salsa, jam, spagetti sauce etc.-- a bounty to say the least. She also brought a surprizing perspective. As she took the tour of the house, she exclaimed, "It's huge!!"

I looked at her and saw her big eyes and realized that this was quite true. I did a mental inventory and realized I had a couple of competing feelings. One feeling was of pride - a recognition that I am lucky and blessed. The other was of guilt like I have way more than I need.

Cathy lives in a beautifully simple and functional A-frame house in the North Country. She has everything she needs and lives quite comfortably. Her home is a very welcoming place and holds many memories of happy times for me. It is one of those places where you feel comfortable from the get-go. So, to her, my house is HUGE and, I suppose she is right.

Not many days after her visit, Alea (my daughter) had a friend from school over. We were sitting at the table and we were talking about places we have lived and he said, "Yeah we used to live in a tiny house like this when we lived in the city". (He now lives in New Albany, OH where most houses are rather large). We continued with other trains of thought, but it occured to me that I had a feeling of "smallness" when I saw this child's innocent perspective.

Isn't it funny that we can be influenced by other's perceptions and yet have the ability to decide how we see our situation?

We have a choice about how we see what we've got. This is not a new concept but, it was so beautifully displayed for me in this scenerio and served as a reminder to pay attention to these thoughts and feelings.

Actively choose your path of thought, realize that you can pick your feelings.

So, I choose to believe that we live in a big house and I hope that we can fill it with loads of love and appreciation. And most of all, I choose to sit in the realization that we are blessed.

In a Tiny House

This is a song my mother sang to us when we were growing up. (Mama sang a line, and we would repeat)

In a tiny house
By a tiny stream
Sat a lovely lass
Who had a lovely dream
And the dream came true, quite unexpectedly,
In a gilly gilly hosenefferkabanellerbogen by the sea.

She was out one day
Where the tulips grow
When a handsome lad
Stopped to say hello
And before she knew, he kissed her tenderly,
In a gilly gilly hosenefferkabanellerbogen by the sea.

The happy pair were married
One Sunday afternoon
And they sailed away
One sunny day
To spend their honeymoon
In a gilly gilly hosenefferkabanellerbogen by the sea.

In a tiny house
By a tiny stream
Sat a lovely lass
Who had a lovely dream
And the dream came true, quite unexpectedly,
In a gilly gilly hosenefferkabanellerbogen by the sea.