Turbulence on the way

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The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.

Peter F. Drucker

Somehow I feel like we have been in this space before. Worried, nervous, fearful, uncertain. Moving towards the “fourth wave”, hoping that in this giant ship our vaccines have been disguised as life jackets. Will they keep us safe? We threw away the other public health measures. It’s like try to navigate the high seas without a compass to guide the way.

Do we have to isolate, lock down again? Really, why can’t people just work together.

School is starting soon and anxiety is amplified. Whether you believe this is going to be a problem or not, it seems that everyone has an opinion and feels compelled to share their beliefs. And the individual holding on to those beliefs is without doubt and certain that they are the only correct ones to have.

What about shaming and blaming? Does it help? I am left wondering what our lives would be like if we were just kinder to one another. Worked towards societal collaboration. That doesn’t seem to be a viable option for many.

If we were flying in an airplane and we were about to move through turbulence, a pilot would tell us what was going to happen, what we needed to do, and encourage us by indicating that all would be okay. We would quietly pray, hope, ignore what is happening, talk through it, or simply go to sleep. But we would all do the same thing so that at the end of the rocky ride we could land safely together.

We seem to missing a pilot for this upcoming turbulent ride. I wonder if that is all we are missing.

Stay healthy and safe!

Imagine a world where…

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Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Imagine a world where:

There would be global understanding and actions on all measures required to address Covid to end this pandemic;

Countries share in commitments needed for the sustainability for vaccines and health care resources regardless of where you live on this planet;

Health care workers are shown the respect they deserve by people doing all they can to prevent illness rather than small groups banging pots and pans;

When people speak of individual freedoms, it just means being able to live in a world free of this virus;

Angry rhetoric gets replaced by care and concern for all peoples as a shared priority around the globe;

Political pandering is replaced by collaboration and co-operation to educate, encourage, and support and challenge the spread of misinformation;

Economic supports actually benefit real people so they can stay home when ill and struggling small business owners rather than bloat balance sheets of large corporations;

Efforts to continue professional sports are equally afforded to all artists so they may continue to bring their healing works to the world;

Hope becomes the driving force behind everyone’s desire to achieve a new normal where we could prevent this virus from disrupting and devastating lives again and again.

If only we could do more than just imagine a world where….

Stay healthy and safe!

Dreams vs. Deadlines

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The difference between a dream and a goal is a deadline

Gina Raimondo

Do our dreams move forward more easily when they have deadlines attached? I have been thinking about this a lot lately. One of the interesting aspects of my writing life has been my tendency to procrastinate which was not something I did when I worked full time. Although deadlines in my past life were at times stressful, the urgency with which they propelled me forward and kept me focused on meeting goals and task completion wasn’t something I ever thought much about.

The past couple of years have been remarkably deadline free but I have noticed when I am in a situation where deadlines are in play, I am considerably more productive. I just finished a flash fiction writing course that was likely one of the best I have ever participated in. In a week I produced six stories that with edits and time will likely be pieces that I will submit somewhere for publication.

Having to post a story each day was the impetus to move my writing craft forward in a way that I previously thought was missing. And I think it is all about the deadline. An externally imposed deadline. Being accountable to people in the course and the instructor by having to create new material in a short window of time was beyond motivational.

Although I had moments of doubt when words wouldn’t come or ideas didn’t gel, writing to deadline seemed to fuel my creativity. It would have been such a struggle to fall behind or to give up and miss the opportunity to receive feedback on my pieces and to lose the connection that was formed in the writing community that developed during the week.

When every member is working towards similar goals, there is a sense of collective support and camaraderie that develops quickly. And everyone is faced with the same deadline urgency so being productive and taking risks to share your fresh and raw work seems to heighten the process. Being able to comment, share and receive feedback on the work of group members also plays into the generation of creative energy.

Deadlines often have a negative connotation but I realize that they have an important place in a creative life. And if taken seriously they can elevate a writer’s work to new levels. It seems that externally imposed deadlines might actually drive dreams and take you to the place you truly wish to be.

Stay healthy and safe!

Power of a hand written thank you note

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Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it

William Arthur Ward

Recently I received a hand written thank you note. Not for any special occasion, but a simple thank you for something that I considered a rather small gesture for someone I care about. I have been reflecting on the power and simplicity of this generous and touching action.

How often do we let people in our lives know when we are thankful for something they have done for us?

And how rare is it to receive an actual handwritten thank you note in the mail delivered by a postman.

There have been trends where we are encouraged to be thankful for what we have in our lives. Like spending time to write three things we are grateful for in our journal. Or to meditate on the things we are thankful for in our lives. Sort of a self-help version of this concept yet no one would ever know about it except for us.

So I decided to pay it forward and wrote a note of appreciation to someone I care about for a small thing that I found meaningful. It felt great to do it and I learned after it was received, that person felt an emotional boost just by opening the envelope and reading the note.

I wonder how we have come to a place where this simple action that could deliver so much is not something we “do” anymore. I can’t help but wonder if our lives could be just the smallest bit better if we took the time to let those we care about know how grateful we are for even the smallest of things that they do.

Try it and see what happens!

Stay safe and healthy!