Say "Hell no!" to overwhelm and focus on what matters most

There’s been a bit of a dust-up in my small town since town leaders decided that all plantings on the boulevards have to go: no flowers, no shrubs, no bushes, no rocks—everything has to be pulled out. A group of residents is working to get a more reasonable stance negotiated with the city.

And I started thinking. I could help with that.  I could help draft language and help meet with the city leaders and help formulate a workable plan with these other good folks willing to step forward. I care about this; my neighbors and my mom have great boulevards and they’re worth preserving. Besides, my philosophy is that more plants are better.
All of which is completely true. But I have this problem: I try to do too much. I care about everything. And I want to be useful! I want to help! 
You already know what happens when I try to take it all on: I am not useful to anyone. 
Recently, I’ve been trying something new when I’m about to plunge...
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Gratitude 2012

For firm mattresses and soft down comforters. And mango with sticky rice. Voicemail messages cheering me on. Unwavering love. The sound of small feet making their way down the stairs in the morning.
For the salty water of the sea. And fresh water lakes. Expansive, fast flowing rivers, especially the Mississippi. For tiny rivulets, and creeks running through the woods; for cold, clear springs; for the pond in Sheila and John’s backyard.  Clean water for drinking; hot water for renewal.
For exercise balls in meeting rooms. And camaraderie of colleagues. For my office painted to match the sky. For chair massages and yoga and tai chi offered by my workplace. For children and dogs wandering the office and the resultant delight of my coworkers. For working together to change the way we have food.
For clean food, lovingly tended, and abundantly available. For the comfort and community of our coop. For a piece of hearty bread toasted, covered in avocado, a bit of salt and pepper,...
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Small groups: the most hopeful thing around

“Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead
 
I recently completed a year-long commitment to self-development work called the Wheel of Initiation. I’m left in wonder at the power of a small group of people to change the world.
We did change the world. For fifteen people, the world became a shade brighter, a bit easier to accept, and a less random and confusing place.
The world became what it has been all along: a beautiful, supportive place where people can see all of us and find us more than worthy of love and respect. Most importantly, we were able to see ourselves in this way.
What this means is that fifteen people will move out into the world differently. We’ll be more connective and less combative. We’ll accept more and resist less. We’ll find ways to get to places where we want to be more and figure out how to stay out of...
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It's biology: Why a woman is irresistible

Uncategorized Feb 03, 2012

 When it comes to women, we hear a lot about “that time of the month.” Not much of it is any good. Women are a mystery to many men, and, hell, we’re a mystery to ourselves much of the time. But I’ve been wondering why we can’t talk about the other “time of the month”: ovulation.

     Ovulation: the time when our hips move a little more fluidly, when our voices become a bit elevated, when we wear more revealing clothes, when we look good, and even our smell is enticing. This is the time of the month when women feel strong and clear and beautiful. When women are ovulating, they can do just about anything. This is also the time when we women want to jump our partners—or any man passing by, frankly—and get down to it.

     Yeah, why don’t we talk about this more often?

     As in: “Oh, it’s just that time of the month,” says the sultry woman as she...

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One simple question can help you decide how to spend your time and energy

Uncategorized Jan 26, 2012
Winter is a good time to hibernate. Sometimes, the sun won’t shine, the floor is cold, and my bed is so cozy that to leave it seems indefensible.

 

Most days, though, life demands more than shallow breathing under a blanket. To get me going, I rely on a question that always helps me figure out what to do next.

 

 The question is, “Do I want this more than I want that?” There are always different situations to fill in the “this” and “that” portion of the question. But the question itself reminds me that whatever I do is a choice, and that I am the one making it.

 

So. Do I want to snuggle in bed longer more than I want my children to have a great morning getting ready for school? Do I want to eat this piece of chocolate cake more than I want to not have a headache tomorrow? Do I want to buy this tchotchke more than I want to spend a week on the beach in January? Do I want to look at this person’s photos on...
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