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Practice Makes Permanent

Tom and I recently picked up pickleball as our new physical activity of choice. The rules are easy. The pace is moderate and the equipment minimal.  And even beginners can get a great workout. After just a few rounds, I felt I was getting pretty good until… I saw them. The four young men who took the court next to me. They were clearly experts. They made …

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That is One Ugly Dog!

This was a thought I had recently, looking at someone’s dog. Thankfully, that highly critical thought did not make its way out of my mouth. You’ve probably had some similarly critical thoughts at work or at home. Are you stupid? What were you thinking? You’re not going to wear that are you? Were you not listening to what I just said? This doesn’t even make any sense! Can’t you just do …

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“The No Complaining Rule”

A friend once sent me a purple rubber bracelet imprinted with the words “NO Complaining” and invited me to join her in a 30-day, no-complaining contest. I must admit that as a motivational speaker and human potential trainer, I truly thought this was a ridiculously simple request in which I would clearly have the advantage! I mean wasn’t it true that I …

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Traditions

Since the beginning, humans have created reoccurring ceremonies and traditions that help us recall important moments in our history, signify significant rites of passage, and celebrate things which unite and bond us. Since I was a child, I have always loved traditions. Growing up in the Episcopal faith, I loved the seasons of the church calendar marked by different alter …

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Hope

It happened in May at March Air Force Base, located just a few miles up the road from me near Riverside, California, in the year my mother was born, 1941. Bob Hope arrived on the base to do a radio show for airmen stationed there. And the rest, as they say, is history. He received such an amazing and heartwarming response on that …

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An Instrument of Peace

I’m not Catholic, but I love many of the beautiful traditions of the Catholic faith. My favorite is the lovely story and mythology surrounding the 13th century Italian Saint Francis of Assisi, the church’s patron saint of animals. My mother always had some stone version of St. Francis in her flower gardens, usually surrounded by bird feeders and birdbaths. Often the …

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The Song within the Silence

Sometimes, when I take a walk with my dog, Sierra, I can tell that she stops to listen to sounds which my ears cannot hear. Sounds for her within the silence for me. Occasionally, at a crowded, noisy event in the midst of competing stories, laughter, voices, serving dishes, and music, I can hear my own internal voice saying something …

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Letting Go to Leap Forward

In recent Monday Morning Stretches, I’ve written about the steps that Glennon Doyle outlines in her book, Untamed, to create a life that you design on purpose. The fourth and final step is “Build and Burn.” For me, this step is sometimes the hardest: Letting many of your past and current beliefs, relationships, ideas of home, and even the dreams …

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The Fantasy of You…

We are the only animals on the planet who intentionally create art and receive pleasure from merely looking at it. We see evidence of this from the beginning of our existence in the early, primitive art of cavemen and indigenous peoples. We have the capacity to imagine something that is not real, something that begins as a beautiful fantasy in …

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If I Had As Much Sense As a Goose…

As we approach the final weeks of 2020, I’m reminded of the feeling a few years ago when Tom and I were cycling with his friend, an experienced cyclist, Terry. It was a cold, gloomy morning, and I had not slept well the previous two nights. I was enjoying the outing but struggling to stay with my “pack.” The biggest problem was …