17 May Lessons from Paris

As I have traveled around the world, each new adventure has taken me on a journey of the mind, body, spirit, and soul. Some of the lessons have been harsh learning curves and while others have been glorious windows of possibility and joy! For me, Paris was more than a just window; it was a door into a beautiful world that I will never forget. Some of what I learned is mundane and the other lessons have had a profound impact on me. But each lesson is burned into my memory and branded on my heart.
Now that I am back in the US, I really miss the simplicity and charm of Paris. I also miss the people and the way of life. Being in New York, I am reminded of how disconnected and hurried Americans can be. I watch couples sit together for a meal without even so much as looking at each other because their phones captivate them. People here rarely smile. Most people look stressed and unhappy. People rarely connect physically. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I saw two people hug or kiss. It’s like people have given up on the good bits of life. So in an effort to prompt change, my advice is to live life like a Parisian for a day. Who knows, it might be addicting (or prompt a trip to Paris).
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28 Feb Please Slow Down

  As we continue into 2017, I think we should all embrace the motto “Slow Down.”  It seems that with the advent of technology, job demands, the gym, children, friends, and life, we are constantly on the go.  Work hours seem to extend from 40-45 hours a week to upwards of 60-70 hours.   We need gadgets like iPads, Smartphones, and other “Smart” accessories to keep in touch with each other. We text, Skype, Facebook, and What’sUp each other to maintain the relationships with our family and friends.   But where is all the fast-paced living leading us?  Sure we might have more money, a fancier car, expensive clothes, a nice house, and the latest gadgets.  But let’s do a “real” inventory check on where we stand in our lives.    How are you getting along in our relationships?  How are your health and emotional well-being?  Are you really happy or just getting by?  Better yet, when is the last time that you have even slowed down long enough to really contemplate on these questions.  If you are like most people, it’s been a long time (if ever).
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17 Feb What’s Happened to Kindness?

  As I move around the world, I can’t help but notice that the world seems, frankly, less kind. On a global scale, this may seem somewhat obvious to most.  But on a personal level, this is a bit more elusive, but quickly starting to become an epidemic. I decided to take the time to research my theory to see if my thoughts had any merit. First, I reviewed behavior.  What I found was that many people are curt or simply unresponsive to their fellow human beings. We have whittled our interactions with people down to simple, disconnected, rote responses consisting of “I’m fine, no, yes, sure, fine, whatever, or ok.” In addition, we text responses that consist of 165 characters or less, and we use emoticons to share feelings. Many of us have resorted only to answering our phones when we “feel like it.” Then to add insult to injury, when people do spend “quality” time with their friends, they are usually phubbing them (phone snubbing).
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23 Jan Love is the Only Bridge for Division

  While here in Paris, I have met the most interesting international travelers (mostly due to the charm of my 7 pound Maltese, Lia).  The other day was no exception. I met a wonderful woman from New Jersey.  As we got to talking, I found out that she had voted for Trump.  Now I did not vote for Trump.  But my reasons were less about politics and much more about psychology and emotional stability.  That said, I was curious to know her thoughts and the rationale behind her choice.  Now the details of the conversation are not important.  What is important is that the more we talked and listened to each other, the more we found common ground.  This isn’t to say that I agreed with all her points, nor her mine.  But it is to say that we found a space in between our differences that we infused with understanding and LOVE.
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19 Jan Perception

As I was walking down the street one day in Paris, a friend of mine was telling me how when she looks at the sky and saw the wisps of blue, she felt that God was giving her a sign that “she is loved.” As I looked at the sky, I also saw the small bits of blue peeking out from a cloud cover of gray.  In that moment, I realized how important perception was in how we walk through the world.
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11 Jan Inspiration vs. Desperation

The other day I read an article related to effective leadership.  Essentially it said that, the best leaders lead through inspiration, not desperation.  This was a very powerful point for me on a global and personal level.  First, we are moving into 2017 with many leaders around the world using desperation as their driving force.  This is a risky way to move forward as it does not inspire loyalty nor does it provide safety for the masses.  It is a long fuse on very dangerous explosives.  If we look at history, we can clearly see the impact of these types of leaders.  In the end, no one wins.
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