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Naughty Can Become NICE

Naughty Can Become NICE

The road was slick from the rain. I did not want to complain because the Bay Area needs to fill up its rivers and reservoirs as fast as possible. None the less, when a car swerved just a bit too close for comfort I shouted out from that place inside that activates stress “Watch out you jerk.” My nine year old granddaughter said simply, “Grand-mom that was not very mindful. When we get home I’ll do some of the mindful meditations we learn in school with you.” And we did. We began by showing compassion for all things great and small. We studied an orange and appreciated its beauty and smell and the good health it brings us. We looked at a flower, we ran our fingers over a book and on and on. I know from all my research in leadership development that when stress hits the hot button we all revert to patterns from childhood to keep us safe. When our buttons get pushed we all tend to react in a less than excellent way. Well, the holidays are upon us and everyone I talk with says their stress meter is at the top. I want to give you all a holiday gift of a TED Talk by my friend Meng who is a semi-retired engineer at Google. Meng invited me to speak about my book, ‘Don’t Bring It to Work’ at Google and when we finally met in person I knew I had come across an extraordinary human being. He doesn’t just talk about compassion and mindfulness, he lives it. He was interviewed on 60 minutes...
Women Leaders: We Do NOT have More Time to be Silent

Women Leaders: We Do NOT have More Time to be Silent

Rachel Carson who wrote a book of major importance “The Silent Spring” was a GUTSY woman who spoke out about the level of toxins in our world 50 years ago. Those numbers are higher and the risk more deadly. Someone recently commented that with all the toxins in the world we are living longer so why worry. Interesting point of view. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of Carson’s book. It is as relevant, actually more so, than 5 decades ago. Please read the following blog and my response. And remember, those who remain silent are guilty too.   She Was Right By: Arianna Huffington (originally posted on www.huffingtonpost.com) Fifty years ago, a marine biologist named Rachel Carson began publishing a series of articles in The New Yorker, sounding the alarm about the dangers of exposure to chemicals and the failure of the chemical industry and government regulators to protect people from those dangers. Later collected in the book Silent Spring, Carson’s prescient insights are the subject of an anniversary feature this week by HuffPost’s environmental reporter Lynne Peeples. She delivers not only a tribute to Carson but a reminder that her work is more relevant than ever. Despite Carson’s warnings, our leaders are still not doing nearly enough to regulate the potentially harmful chemicals we’re exposed to every day. As Lynne notes, more than 80,000 chemicals currently used in our country have never been fully tested, so we don’t even know how damaging they might be to humans or to the environment. And as Harvard Medical School’s Eric Chivian explains, when it comes to determining if...
First day of summer and stress

First day of summer and stress

Today officially marks the first day of summer. I don’t care that the ads have made it the end of May. This is official: longest day/shortest night…solstice. And man, is it hot on the east coast. Now that school is out and the new schedules are in place and the heat is up and the desire to just have fun is the summer requirement, what does that do to stress? Is summer a less stressful time? Is it easier since we can be outside more often and longer? Can we get away from our inner demons by throwing a Frisbee or playing golf or lounging in a tepid pool? Actually, stress is lessened in the warmer months… for many. And yet!!! if your internal patterns, you know those behaviors that have carried over from childhood are not observed, understood and transformed…..they will haunt you on the golf course, at the beach, even sipping a cool beer on your front porch. Did you know that 90% of visits to primary care physicians are due to stress? That stress causes physical ailments like indigestion, headaches, and backaches. Do yourself a favor. Take the Pattern Aware Quiz on my website and then call us. We can offer you the way OUT of the old and into the new. Call at 570-636-3858 and we will offer some tools and techniques so you can learn to practice safe stress and have the fun this summer you...
GUTSY Women and Attachment Parenting

GUTSY Women and Attachment Parenting

Time magazine May issue started a major brouhaha that is hopefully the beginning of a great dialogue about what it means to be a parent and what children really want and need. For me, the photo of the mother and three year old son at his mother’s breast brought up the controversy from decades ago about nursing moms. I was a “thoroughly modern Millie” who, along with most of my peers, saw nursing as a primitive, overly emotional aspect of parenting. After all, formula was easy and healthy…. or so the marketing ads told us. Now most of us realize we were duped into the economics of the baby food industry. There is enough research that indicates breastfeeding is the truest, healthiest way for infants to get both nutrition and nurturing. The big question women are asking right now about attachment parenting is when is enough, enough? What are positive boundaries and what is best for the growth and development of our young? Here are two important books to review. One is by an old friend, Joseph Chilton Pearce, who wrote this in the 1970’s and is still an important source of information “Magical Child”. The other is fresh off the press and again, food for thought; “Bringing Up Bebe” by Pamela Druckerman. My own suggestion is to consider what really matters. How much do I.Q. scores really mean? How vital is it for kids to be on varsity sports teams? What do we do when children say they are bored? Where do computers fit into our lives and their lives? Working or staying at home, the issues are...

Leadership and Change: Ready on a Moment’s Notice

I must really be getting old! I remember when tornadoes were only meant to happen in Kansas. In past years most of us watched “The Wizard of Oz” and went along with Dorothy on her journey, yet it was just a story, right? While tornadoes indicate sudden change and danger they were “out there” in pockets of the country. They were meant to be in Kansas, not Connecticut. Well, not until this week anyway. The weather patterns of the world have changed, the world has changed, and we all need to be more adept at adaptation. Change in the blink of an eye is required by all of us, and leaders need to have the tools of change in their back pockets. Here is an example: Yesterday we finished the second session of Total Leadership Connections and sent the group on its way. Lots of stops and blocks happened once this group left the “Magic Kingdom” of The Country Place. Someone called to tell me about a tire that blew while he was driving, fortunately on a back road just off the highway. There were plane delays, sitting on a runway for hours without even water, even a tree from a quick yet busy thunder storm blocking a road to his house. What impressed me was the balanced manner in which these momentary unplanned changes were handled. NO victims in this group. No crabbing and blaming, no anger and upset. Well, maybe some upset; after all it is okay to be human. However, whether it was nature showing its strength, or a people problem, there was calm behind the...

Coca-Cola Faces Anger

Coca-Cola Faces Anger From Shareholders About Use of BPA in Cans [UPDATE] BY Dan Nosowitz Today Bisphenol-A, commonly called BPA, is a chemical used in many plastics that in recent years has been found capable of leaching into liquids when used in liquid containers like plastic bottles. It has also been the subject of large-scale recalls, since the FDA discovered it could cause all sorts of medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and diabetes. Many organizations have recalled products using BPA, including Nalgene, Whole Foods, and Eden Organics, but one in particular has not: Coca-Cola.   Oddly enough, Coke eliminated the chemical from their plastic bottles, but as it turns out, the plastic used to line aluminum cans still contains BPA. The shareholders aren’t happy about the level of disclosure Coke has provided so far, saying the company has “failed to provide investors or consumers with sufficient evidence that it is taking steps to address these public health concerns.” In response, they’ve scheduled a vote for tomorrow on a proposal that will demand the company fully disclose all measures they’ve taken so far.   They’re right to be concerned; BPA has proven not just a health threat but a downright disaster for a company’s public image–Nalgene in particular has suffered a huge loss in trust. Hopefully this pressure from the shareholders will force Coke to phase BPA out of their products entirely.   UPDATE:The shareholder resolution received a 22% vote. Michael Passoff, senior program director of the corporate social responsibility program at As You Sow (a co-filer of the anti-BPA resolution), says: “Overall, it is a great first year...