Full Stop — What a Traffic Ticket Taught Me About Being at Rest

Posted by on May 23, 2013 | 1 comment

A while back I got a ticket in the mail for failing to stop at a red light. This New England girl had been caught on camera doing a “California rolling stop.” I was mortified, and upset at the steep fine. My husband was remarkably cool. Apparently he had noticed my tendency to roll through intersections and had been worried about it. “I’m just glad nobody got hurt,” he said.  That made me feel even worse. You’d think I would learn my lesson, but I continued to tap-and-roll through intersections more often than not. So this week I recruited my children to help me “brake” my habit. They were...

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Get Your Gratitude On – For Its Own Sake

Posted by on Nov 22, 2012 | 1 comment

All over the country this week bloggers are holding forth on the subject of gratitude. And I’m all for gratitude, not just in November, but daily, maybe even hourly. But too often gratitude is touted not as an end in itself but because it will help you achieve some goal:  being grateful will make you happier, or improve your relationship, or make you a better manager. Practicing gratitude does have some great benefits, but the heart of gratitude is not as a means to an end. Gratitude is not about you. Life coaches exhort their clients to keep a gratitude journal to help them feel happier and...

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Mindfulness Lesson on Ice

Posted by on Dec 27, 2011 | 0 comments

Today at the ice rink, the present moment collided with the past and the future. And I’m not talking about science fiction here. I received a lesson in mindfulness. For the first half hour of our family outing I skated slowly, holding hands and guiding each of my children as they found their balance and gained confidence. Then I handed my youngest off to my husband and did a few circuits solo. It was bliss to whizz around the ice, weaving in and out of teens, couples, and families in an arena echoing with laughter and barely recognizable classic rock. And that’s when it happened:...

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The Four Bs of Balance

Posted by on Nov 30, 2010 | 0 comments

When my pals and I were in our twenties, I don’t remember worrying much about finding balance in our lives. We worked hard, played hard, stayed up late and damn the consequences. But now as a mid-career professionals, many of us with children, I find we are all talking about it, and I also hear it from my clients. We know that imbalance is inherently unstable and unsustainable, but it can be hard to envision a different way. So what is balance, and how can we achieve it? Stand on one foot and you’ll see that balance is not static. You wobble and waver. Even if you manage to stand...

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Cultivating Gratitude

Posted by on Nov 24, 2010 | 1 comment

“Truly grateful people don’t make lists of things to be grateful for any more than happy people make lists of things to be happy about.” says Hank Deveraux in the epilogue to Richard  Russo‘s hilarious and poignant novel, Straight Man.  And there’s a certain superficial, if cynical, appeal to his reasoning. People often make gratitude lists when they feel down, hoping that making the list will cheer them up. And many people keep gratitude journals in part because without the journal they feel in danger of losing sight of their blessings. Sounds rather forced, or...

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Happiness vs. Pleasure

Posted by on Sep 12, 2010 | 0 comments

I have a confession to make: I didn’t actually feel very good at the gym on Saturday. My triathlon training session  — especially my somewhat labored running — was not pleasant. It didn’t actually hurt, but it was hard work for me. I thought of the blog I had posted just the evening before and felt a fraud for having blithely promised that I would be happy at the gym the next day. Would a passer-by think I looked happy? Probably not. Red-faced, perhaps even grimly determined … yes. But happy? Really? The answer was yes.  Because happiness and pleasure are not...

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