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GRACE TRUMPS DIRT

I know how it feels when someone says something rude, offensive or derogatory. For a few seconds you’re stunned. In those moments of being shocked by belligerent words lays an opportunity to take a breath and recall a definition of grace – “Treating people better than they deserve to be treated.” The most common emotional reactions to verbal attacks are: anger, hate, disgust, bitterness, etc. However, with a little grace, you don’t need to go there. We had just moved in to our new home. I was digging in the front lawn when our next door neighbor came by, looked down at my project and said, “Look at that damn dirt.” I said, “Excuse me?” She responded, “Look at that …

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The Risk of Investing Emotionally

What are the close relationships in your life worth? If I offered you a hundred thousand dollars not to spend time with someone you love, would you take it? What about ten million dollars? If you answered, “yes,” good luck with your money. If “no,” well, you’ve demonstrated how important relationships are, didn’t you? To me relationships are worth so much more than any amount of money. If I gave you ten million dollars, you would probably give a little away, spend a little and invest the rest (At least that’s what I would do!). It’s the same with how we ‘spend’ our emotion with loved ones. I love introducing close friends to other people (giving away). I ask for …

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Be My Guest…Only If You Want To

I just posted the seventh episode of my YouTube show, “Be My Guest, Let’s Chat.” I take a different approach to the typical, in-your-face street interview. Instead of attacking an innocent pedestrian’s personal space with an intimidating microphone and cameraman in tow, I simply sit on a stool in front of a comfortable blue banner that says ”Be My Guest, Let’s Chat.” Every guest thus far has freely occupied the empty stool next to me, not knowing what we’ll be chatting about. Why is this? Curiosity? Looks like fun? An opportunity to perform? Hoping that this is my big break? Just taking a risk? I’ve found all of the above to be true. We all want to be special. We …

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What Kind of Day: Last or First?

My good friend Dr. Ted Klontz reminded me there are different ways of approaching your day – positive or negative, open minded or closed minded, fresh or stale.  So how do you start your day? You’ve heard the supposedly inspiring phrase “Live each day as if it’s your last.” Well, did you? Have you? Lived each day as if it’s your last? What did you do differently? How did your daily behavior change? How did it change your relationship with loved ones, or people you just met? Did you wake up in the morning thinking, “This is my last day on earth. I’m going to die sometime today?” Did you bother even getting out of bed? Maybe this is not …

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A Few Simple Words Can Make a Big Difference

This is a poem that unexpectedly changed me. I’m not a huge poetry fan. Most poetry I don’t understand. But this poem by David Whyte spoke right to my soul. Start close in, / don’t take the second step / or the third, start with the first / thing / close in, / the step / you don’t want to take. Start with / the ground / you know, / the pale ground beneath your feet, / your own / way of starting /  the conversation. Start with your own  / question, / give up on other /  people’s questions, / don’t let them  / smother something  / simple. To find  / another’s voice, follow  / your own voice,  / …

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I Love That Feeling

I know this title could go in many different directions, but it’s safe… I love that feeling when people show appreciation for something I’ve helped them deal with, especially when it’s my children. I love that feeling after finishing a project no matter how big or small. I love that feeling when I first come home after traveling and all those everyday things I take for granted feel freshly new again for a few moments. But in the middle of summer, the “dog days,” when it’s really hot and muggy in the evening around sunset, when the western sky reflects the sun saying ‘goodby’ with pink, red and orange tints – I love that cooling temperature and knowing this is …

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Being Stung By Expectations

Experiencing disappointment, being let down and not respected are difficult events to deal with. Our ego, our pride and our sense of self gets battered and stung. What I find laying behind these hurtful emotions are expectations. I thought for sure they would call me back. I couldn’t wait to receive that email or letter letting me know my work was appreciated — that I was valued. I ‘expected’ all these things to happen, because “they said they would.” And, when the expectations are not fulfilled we step into a beehive of hurt, pain and disappointment. In Alcoholics Anonymous this is referred to as “We’re not in the outcome business.” It’s true. We can do all the planning we want. …

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Driving Down the Road of Life

If you were to pretend that your life is like a car, who’s driving it? Some people may have negative responses, say, “No one is – it’s in the ditch.” or “It’s sitting in the garage and won’t start.” Conversely, some may respond enthusiastically with “I’m flying down the highway at 85 mph with the top down, and the music cranked. I’m having a blast!” How can the response to this question be so polarized? Well, because we are such emotional beings. To help you with your ’emotional’ driving skills, here are three quick tips from Dr. Rick Hansen, Ph.D., author of “Just One thing” and “The Buddha’s Brain.” Dr. Hanson has a three-step process for enhancing joy, pleasure and …

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TEXT and EMAIL vs. TONE and SOUL

Just like keeping a favorite letter, sometimes I keep a favorite voice mail just to hear it a few more times. I’m listening to the words, but more importantly, my soul hears the tone, the emotional inflection behind those words. For me there’s no match when it comes to voice versus text or email. I know. I get it. Sometimes it’s easier, faster and more efficient to communicate by sending a text or an email. Remember, however, your text email – the printed type – is the same from your phone or computer keypad as everyone else in the world. There’s nothing unique about it – just typed words. Communication experts claim that when people are face to face, the …

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The Healing Fields

This photo shows just a few of the over 3000 flags that covered close to five acres of land on a hillside at Cannonsburg Ski Area just 15 minutes outside of Grand Rapids, MI. This memorial is made possible by the Colonial Flag Foundation (www.healingfields.org). Each flag represents a person who died on 9-11. A laminated three-by-five card was attached to each flag pole with the name, occupation and a memory by a family member. I understand there were a number of these “Healing Fields” installations around the country on this ten-year anniversary of 9-11. For me, there was something different about this memorial that caught my emotional, nervous system off guard. I’ve been to all the memorials in Washington …

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Tim has launched WorkTribe Dynamics to help companies understand their employees so they can be empowered to succeed. Would you like to learn more?

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