Week 24 – Applying the Tools in My Quiver

It has been a week full of good intentions and I’ve encountered many stumbling blocks along the way.  The very fact that I am NOT saying @#*% , @**%, @#*% about the hardware issues (server crash, pc acting wonky, and smart phone unable to charge) is a testament to the past 24 weeks.

I’ve tried to go about with a happy knack for what needs to be done, encountering one road block after another.  As I’ve switched tasks to accomplish something in the meantime, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on the abnormal calmness (at  least for me, LOL) with which I’ve responded.

A very marked improvement to say the least!  Now I need to scurry off and prepare for the week 25’s class, as the hardware issues have put me a bit behind schedule.  More soon!


Week 23 – Law of Least Effort

The “Law of Least Effort” is NOT the path of least resistance.

Seems I have an innate disdain (ooh, looks like some opinion forming judgmental old blue print here) for the path of least resistance.  In seeing a half-hearted attempt I’ve been known to opine that “some people are like water; they seek the path of least resistance”.  As opposed to “doing the right thing.”  Why bother with a half hearted attempt when no attempt would work as well?

Is it guilt that makes one feel they must do something, and so one does.  But then not provide enough true effort to actually succeed?

This would allow one to lament, “well, I tried.” and maybe in some bizarre manner assuage their guilt?

Acceptance – I accept things as they are, as opposed to how I wish them to be

Responsibility – I take responsibility for my situation and for all things I see as problems

Defenselessness – I remain open to all points of view

I’ll live each day with acceptance, responsibility, and defenselessness.

This however is NOT the same as complacency.

By accepting things as they are, I no longer fight with how I wish them to be.

By accepting responsibility, I realize that it is up to me.

By accepting defenselessness, I let go of negative emotions and free up energy to be put to better use.

Marianne Willaimson said it best:




Week 22A – Wattles, Emerson, and Me

It’s been both an interesting and tough week to say the least. I begin my silent period tomorrow. It will be an interesting challenge for me as I was known as Chatty Cathy as a child. Even so, I know in my heart it is something I need, and expect to uncover some answers along the way. As Mark has asked “What am I pretending not to know?”.

Monday, Mom and I were before the Illinois ARDC board. In 2005 my Aunt became the victim of an unwanted guardianship. Try as we all did, once set in motion, none of us could stop the proceedings. Our words, my cousin’s words, my Aunt’s words, all fell on deaf ears.  Two helpful attorneys are now being threatened with forfeiture of their licenses in trying to spread the word on a blog.http://marygsykes.com/about/

So, it was especially important to us to substantiate what we could to the ARDC.

Emerson says, “A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition, as if every thing were titular and ephemeral but he.”

Did my power stance for 2 minutes before I was called, had an amazing impact, I didn’t appear the shy bashful person I once was.

– More Emerson

“I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions. Every decent and
well-­‐spoken individual affects and sways me more than is right. I
ought to go upright and vital, and speak the rude truth in all ways.”

And so I did. Warts and all. At times it was obvious they didn’t like what I said, but I went upright and vital, speaking the rude truth in all ways.

  • Little bit of a side note,  Emerson’s phrase of “how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions.”  reminded me of the Milgram Experiment. What indeed has happened to our ability as a people to think, believe in ourselves, and subsequently make responsible decisions?  http://psychology.about.com/od/historyofpsychology/a/milgram.htm


I had never heard of Wallace   Wattles, but find his writing very interesting.  His books are available free of charge as they are now in public domain.

What if it’s true?  What can it hurt?    While I haven’t done this consciously in the past, there are things that have happened in my life that without a doubt came from my subconscious focusing on my wants, needs, desires, and goals. Of that I am sure.

Week 22 – What is the Harvest to Be?

In this weeks lesson, Haanel says:

“… if we wish the body to manifest health,  strength and vitality this must be the prominant thought.”

Whoa!  Is he saying that we are responsible for our own health?

Gee what a concept!   And can we heal ourselves?

Sarcasm aside, in a society who is all too apt to run to the doctor for the a magic pill to cure our latest malaise, how is one to interpret this?

We know that physicians have been chastised for over prescribing antibiotics leading to fears that our bodies may become immune to them and open us to potential ills we had previously overcome.  But what’s a doc to do?  We come to them to be healed.  If a doctor tells us to go home, get some rest, drink plenty of fluids and our cold/flu will resolve itself, how do we feel?  (like we spent $$$ on a doctors visit that wasn’t necessary?)

Or if he writes a script for the congestion and an antibiotic just to make sure it doesn’t develop into something else. Then suggests rest and fluids, we most likely have more faith that we will be well in a few days.  Surely the prescriptions will have had time to work their magic.   (ah, now we feel justified, as we needed medication.)

Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT advocating the avoidance of physicians, but realize we are a nation of people who do NOT want to take responsibility for our own health.

But what about the concept that we can heal ourselves?   Hmm, actually our bodies are in the process of healing all the time.  Cut your finger, what happens?  The cut will form a scab (barring any complications from the germs present when the cut occurred) sealing itself.  Once the area is knitted together, the scab falls off and all we’re left with is a minor scar if that.

Stub your toe, what happens? Toe might turn various colors of the rainbow and hurt like heck for a few days, but (barring blood clots or broken bones) it will most likely heal itself after a few days of your limping around.

Our bodies go about healing themselves without any special direction on our part.  But what if we could prevent disease?  Heal disease? Speed healing by the thoughts and power of our mind?  Ridiculous you say?

Meet Norman Cousins.Norman_Cousins


And if you are NOT yet convinced, let me introduce you to Patch Adams.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdCrPBqQALc


Week 21 – Virtue of Courage (A Coach, a Club, and Making Calls)

Sunday began my week to work on the virtue of Courage.  Wikipedia defines courage as such: Wikipedia_Courage

Courage can have many faces, from the willingness to confronting the threat of imminent death to doing the right thing and standing up for what you believe in. The willingness to act rightly despite the personal consequences.

I found the most amazing act of courage while watching 60 Minutes that evening. In a somewhat unusual move on my part, I was tired from a monolithic cooking spree while visiting my parents and decided to sit and watch the news program that I hadn’t seen in years.  The story was about Ohio football coach Frank Hall who did the unthinkable and in the process most likely saved scores of lives.  Frank Hall seemed a bit uncomfortable with his role during the interview and downplayed his actions a bit, but nonetheless acted most courageously and he is a hero indeed. http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/the-shooting-at-chardon-high/

As the week progressed I was presented with an opportunity to express my opinion. At first I hesitated, as it was for an online group I belong to and I’d never had direct communication with the poster.

Gathering a miniscule amount of courage, I stepped out of my comfort zone, I tactfully stated my thoughts and the rationale behind them.  I did it in hopes of providing a solution and sparing someone unnecessary pain.

I found it very interesting to realize that I am more apt to step out of my comfort zone for a total stranger or for someone other than myself. Interesting huh? Obviously something I need to revisit.

This totally explains my phone phobia, LOL.   Time now to direct that courage to benefiting myself by picking up that phone!

Week 20 – From MultiTasking Maven to Fervor of Focus

A number of years ago, I found myself at what I hope was the pinnacle of my multitasking phase.  I was sitting at my desk, with one telephone handset in my right hand, another sitting in my lap, and my cell phone on the desk in front of me.Multitasking

I was rotating from phone to phone trying to put out fires. And if you’re wondering why I just didn’t conference in my callers, it would be because as ridiculous as it sounds, I was trying to put out 3 unrelated fires at once, with the occasional employee poking their head in to ask what would hopefully be a simple question for which I could respond with one sentence, while taking a quick breath.

Was I truly accomplishing more?  Was I increasing my billable hours? Was I being a good mentor?  The answer is a big fat resounding NO!

Later that afternoon with the roar of the busy-ness still pounding through my head, I asked myself, “What on earth are you doing?”.

I’d spent about an hour and a half juggling the phone calls, giving instructions to one person and while waiting to hear the results, moving on to the next, and so on and so on.  But what did I bill each client?  Well as they didn’t have my full attention, they were each billed for about a quarter of an hour.  Three quarters of an hour for an hour and a half of my time.  Duh!     Were they happy?   Hmm, I’m not sure, no one complained, but…   Yes, I did get their issues resolved.  In what I thought at the time was the most expedient manner, but at what price?

I do believe that some people are more capable of multitasking than others, though I am NOT recommending it.  I was raised to be a multi-tasker.

Mildred_PierceOne of my mother’s favorite movies is Mildred Pierce.  We learned early on to never go empty handed.  If we were going downstairs to play and there was anything that needed to be brought downstairs, we were expected to bring it down with us.  If we didn’t we were chided about our inability to do more than two things at once.

With all that said, it is understandable that it takes effort for me NOT to multi-task sometimes, but I’m learning. (overcoming that old blueprint)  Do I want to do a good job, an adequate job, or do I want to focus with all my resources, give 110% and do the best that I can do?  The answer of course is the latter.  Most of all, I realize that in any human relations, it is best NOT to multitask.

My Uncle Tom was an amazing man who gave his full attention to those around him.  In doing so, he made you feel special.  His focus was solely on the person he was speaking with.  He paid attention and he knew how to listen, to really listen. He was a caring man, and demonstrated it in his interactions. So maybe it is no wonder that 36 since years since his passing, I still remember how special he always made me feel.

I’d gladly give up all my email, twitter, tv and Facebook time to have the ability to have the same effect.Steve_Jobs_Focus

Week 19 – From Tap Dance to Power Stance

When I was around five or six, my parents enrolled me in Miss Rita’s Ballet and Tap Class. I don’t remember much, other than it seems I started after the class had begun.  I stuck with it long enough to earn a pink tutu (used the next year as my Halloween costume), and to learn the basic tap dance steps.Whistle2

So when my best friend Val was struggling preparing for her recital a few years later, I was Johnny on the Spot ready to help her as best I could.  She taught me the lyrics to ‘Whistle a Happy Tune’ and I helped her refine her tap steps as we practiced our routine in her basement. WhistleThose profound lyrics by Richard Rogers must have had a tremendous impact on us, as a few weeks later, we performed our routine outside in Valerie’s backyard with her older siblings, parents and neighbors making up the the audience.

Wistle3I don’t remember much else about that day, other than being amazed at the huge sunflowers growing in their backyard. Whether we were a success or an unmitigated disaster is unknown.  But what I do remember, is that we had the courage to do it.

Years passed and the power of this little song was lost to me.

This week in our MKMMA course, Mark showed Ann Cuddy’s Ted Talks clip.  Seems there have been scientific studies which have proved, that we can indeed ‘fake it’ till we ‘make it’.

Acting with self confidence and power not only may have a favorable impact on the people we ‘fake it’ with, but on ourselves as well.  While we are being seen as being comfortable, self assured, and in control our bodies are busy making the hormones that ACTUALLY make us comfortable, self assured, and in control!  Our body language ‘makes’ us who we are.

Baby_Power_PoseWho would have thunk it?!!!