Thursday, December 24, 2009

Super Fiona Rules as Queen of the World

Eric's Little Super Heroes: this run's for the girls! | KOMO News - Breaking News, Sports, Traffic and Weather - Seattle, Washington | Eric's Little Heroes

This video came across my email this morning. (To view the video run your cursor over the link above. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries to get the video to run!)

I receive a lot of videos, but never one with quite the same “flava” as this one. Humorous, bubbly, effervescent, light-filled and downright smiley…this video brought a giggle to my soul and a tickle to my heart.

It pulled up something from inside that I’m having a difficult time moving from “feeling” to “word.”

So…here’s where I’m going to just let go. YOU…TELL ME WHAT THIS VIDEO BRINGS UP FOR YOU? Either email me at or better yet comment here. Let’s see how much fun we can have with this. Not sure where any of this is leading, but I'll be curious to see what words we all come up with!!!

Oh and of course…I wish for you, a season filled with joy, love and peace!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Politics and Driving To Work: Different Routes with a Common Goal

“The fish only knows that it lives in the water, after it is already on the river bank. Without our awareness of another world out there, it would never occur to us to change.”

Alright folks. It’s that time of year—time to take stock in where we’ve been, where we are and where we are going.

I am, as most of you know, a devout believer in the notion that we create our future. My mom used to always say, “You’d better be careful what you wish for…because you might just get it.”

Of course, it is a smart and fiscally sound practice, for any organization to take an inventory every one to two years…to see where it’s been, where it is and where it’s going. In the business world this is called a strategic planning retreat. Girls on the Run had its strategic planning retreat with board and staff a few weeks ago. The strategic plan will serve as the map (with coordinates) for our next 1 to 3years.

Lately I feel as if I’ve been on my own personal kind of strategic planning retreat. The world has introduced a number of people that, on first impression, seem to have very oppositional views to those I have held for the last twenty or so years. Their entry into my life carries a mysterious quality with each “hello.” Surely, I must have “invited” these opposing viewpoints into my life for a reason.

But thanks to their persistence and my willingness to enter with an open-mind, I’m discovering that in many instances we are all wishing for the same thing. The desired outcome of our world-view-strategic-plan is the same…it’s the “how to get there’s” that may be different; and even after further discussion and semantically picking apart the words we use to describe the “how to get there’s”--even those often have a similar route. The dots all connect. It’s just the WORDS WE USE that are different.

Digging deeply into how I came to believe what I do in my life, specifically in the political and spiritual realm, has revealed to me that I have, for much of my life, believed in what I’ve been taught by the people around me. I guess that’s pretty obvious. These recent introductions to people outside my typical day-to-day life have revealed to me how much I don’t know…how much I’ve been a victim (for lack of a better word) of my own up-bringing. I’m not in any way suggesting that my up-bringing was lacking. I’ve become the person I am because of it and the life experiences I’ve had since then…but the recent knock-knock-hello-in-there—from people who are far more educated and studied on the topics of spirituality and politics have humbled me, intrigued me and inspired me to learn more, know more and as Brooke, my Girls on the Run (11 year old) friend said to me last week, “Be the boss of my own brain.”

In an effort to become the “Boss of my own Brain” I decided to launch a to-do list…a cerebral kind of checklist that I would engage in the approaching year. Here’s what it looks like:

1. Meditate every morning or at least as many mornings as is possible. I’m going to take at least 20 or more minutes to empty my brain of everything. This is harder than it seems, but I’m going to give it a shot anyway!

2. Research and read five books that give an unbiased overarching portrayal of our nation’s political history and landscape. I want to understand the framework on which the various political parties position their party platforms.

3. Ask a lot of questions of the people in my life. “Explain your viewpoint to me.” “I don’t understand how you came to that conclusion. Please do tell.” Using another one of my Mom’s favorite quotes, I will “Seek first to understand and then be understood.”

4. Take a different route to work every day for the next month. This action will be a physical reminder to me that there are many different ways to any desired goal. I want to experience that on some level, even if it’s just in this small way, everyday.

5. Volunteer (I have limited time I realize) with a population that is unknown to me. I will have absolutely NO preconceived notion for this group of people. I want to base my experience with them solely on the experience. I want to draw conclusions based on what I learn from them…not from established systems, studies and research…but on what I will know…being there. (I’m not sure this is possible, but it’s worth a try.) There have been some opportunities for me to do some alcohol recovery work with women in prison. I think that would be a good place to start.

6. Journal about it all.
In closing, I’m sincerely asking you to help me. Help me figure out other physical, mental and emotional tasks I can add to my to-do list that will push out those notions that I’ve adopted “just because” or “because that’s what I’ve always known, heard, believed” and help me “be the boss of my own brain.”

What do you say? What actions do you take to keep an open-mind? What questions do you ask to fire up untouched and unused neurons in your brain? Come on. Tell me something I don’t know! Awareness awaits!!!

Email me at

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Watch the Candle Burn

“A candle loses nothing, by lighting another candle.”


This morning…the rain falls. Lightning and thunder, an anomaly for this time of year, rage outside of my window. The wind howls.
A candle is lit beside me. I am mesmerized by it…the infinite number of shapes the flame takes within the glass.

Something quite marvelous is afoot.

I’m waking each morning with a delicious kind of anticipation…eyes wide open, wondering, seeking, yearning. I’m opening emails with a new kind of vigor. I’m peering into each moment with an expectation to find something new, revealing and different. I’m questioning, wondering and pondering the message tucked away inside each exchange, glance and thought.

I am reminded of Madeline. I rarely walk laps with the girls, but several seasons ago, my assistant coach took the helm and I walked several laps with a group of girls. At some point during the hour, Madeline and I ended up alone.
We walked together—my friend, Madeline, and me. Our hands clasped and our stride in sync. After a minute or two, I asked… “Madeline, how is it that you and I ended up together? What happened so that you and I have been given the chance to know each other? How does all of that work? What is that all about really?"

Madeline thought for several seconds—small puffs of air exiting her mouth with each step.

And then she spoke—with the assurance of someone who has absolutely NO doubt about the words to follow. “Well it’s like this,” she said. “God has an idea. But He has a problem because he somehow needs to get that idea down to earth. So what He does is...He wraps a body around the idea, and then sends it here to be born. If the idea is a really big one, He wraps two or three or lots of bodies around the idea, so that the really big idea can get here.

And that is, of course Molly, how we get our gifts and our talents. They are God’s tools to help us get the really big idea out of our bodies and onto earth before our bodies die.”

I took her hand, slowed our walk to a stroll and knew that this would be a moment I would never forget. That if there was a Divine—a Higher Power—God or something greater than all of us out there, or in there—He, She, It—was right there in the words of that small girl-child.

I consider the words of Madeline now as I sit in this peaceful space.

The candle beside me, burns, flickers and pulls me in. I watch the flame as it breaths in the oxygen around it…changing, morphing, dancing, burning away the wax to reveal new wick. I feel as if I am this candle, burning and breathing in the life around me, tasting each delicious new experience...wondering what each will bring to the sometimes frightening process of melting away what I have known and what is comfortable, to what I will know and that will challenge me. To, in this glorious process, reveal THE idea…the big, beautiful and bold idea around which this body is wrapped. To manifest--in a million pieces of light—my, your, our greatest human potential.

I watch the candle burn and delight in its radiance.

What elements of who you are, have been revealed thanks to the love, tenderness and gentle push from those around you? Who were and are those people who elevate you to your potential?

Let me know at

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Clowns, Roses and Bright Green Shoes

"Our thoughts create our reality—where we put our focus is the direction we tend to go.”

Peter McWilliams

Okay folks. I’ve been on the road a lot! So I’ve decided to revisit the concept of a previous posting with a slight twist added at the end. So be sure to read all the way through so you can play “the game.”

Something fun I've done with my kids in the past is the "What do I want to see today?" game.So, here is how it works. Ask yourself the question, "What do you want to see today?" The object of the game is for each person, who chooses to play, to name something they rarely see, that they want to see some time over the course of their day. The challenge, however, is that the "thing seen" must be seen a total of three times. No more, no less.

Several months ago, my daughter Helen set a pretty high bar. "I want to see three pink cars." We had no plans to attend a Mary Kay seminar in the next 24 hours so the apparent likelihood of seeing three pink cars before my daughter's bedtime was slim to none.

Well...I'll be darned if three hours later, two of the three pink cars had been spotted. The remainder of the day, as we went about our errands, we searched high and low for the final pink car...but to no avail...the car did not reveal itself.

About 8:00 just before Helen's bedtime, I realized I had run out of my asthma medication. (I was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma in my early 20's) so off Helen and I trekked to the pharmacy. The prescription was ready for us when we arrived. As I stood at the check-out counter, Helen squeals with delight. "Mom. Look! The pink car. See! THE pink car!" Helen is pointing to a small pink toy car which is precariously balanced on the magazine rack, apparently forgotten and left there by another family.

We left the car there, but OUR mission was accomplished. Three pink cars had, indeed been seen.

So…I think it’s time we played this game as a group. Consider it like a very cool scavenger hunt…a creative way to entertain yourself over the next couple of days.

I’m going to provide you guys with three sets of three items. Your goal is to find the items over the course of the next three days and then report back to me that you found them. Now, for the game to work, you have to really look…I mean REALLY look for the items. This is actually a ton of fun and proves my point, that what we wish to see, we see. If we look for good, we find it. If we look for compassion, we find it. If we look for love, we find it.

So here goes. Find three of each of the items over the course of the next three days:

Three pairs of bright green shoes
Three Clowns
Three Roses

Let me know, when (note my absolute certainty on your finding these items) you see these items and consider how you might apply this to change the world.

Where do you focus your energy? Are you focusing your sights on people, circumstances, systems and ideals that support your vision for yourself and your girls? How could focusing on gratitude, acts of compassion and people of strength create the change we wish for the girls of the world?

Let me know what you think at!