Saturday, June 2, 2012

Superheroes Converge at the UN

Just back to work following two days at the Social Innovation Summit held at the UN, an invitation-only conference that examines the intersection of social causes, business & technology. Hearing from and interacting with many truly incendiary agitator/activators - it reminds me that the fate of the world is truly in our hands. And what better hands than ours?

From the usual suspects including CEOs of Timberland & Seventh Generation, to senior executives representing corporate social responsibility from behemoth contributors such as Verizon and Intel, there is a LOT of good being done. Reusing resources to preserve what we have; extending connectivity to those whose lives may depend upon it; ensuring that we leverage all we have to make sure our world is as good as it can possibly be. So inspiring, so externally focused. Not that this external focus is bad - it's the spirit of altruism. But are we applying this same good-attention to our own lives?

Seriously. I saw hundreds of fervently passionate folks in the room, fueled with ardor for optimizing lives from every angle from wellness to technology, safety to skill-cultivation. Their passion for their causes is a given. They're up to the moment on what is needed to hydrate, educate and empower those who need it most. And yet so many of those faces looked harried, so many bodies showing obvious signs of neglect. As wisdom paths have taught us from the begining of time - we must attend to our own lives to effectively attend to the lives of others.

Here's my query: how much are we leaders acting as good keepers of our most precious resource - ourselves? It's time for a little personal activism by the world's most intelligent, privileged lives in support of attending intelligently to the lives we are primarily responsible to. What if we honor the good fortune so many of us enjoy of having adequate security, sufficient access to medical care, technological systems and resources, and a ready supply of food and comfort by assessing what the eco-system that is the human body and take strident measures to care for it's needs in a way that aligns with it's longevity, productivity and effectiveness over the long haul? What would be different in your life if you did that? As much as I like to think I attend to my life as a good steward, I know there is much I can improve upon.

During the lunch break, I headed to a patch of grass on the edge of the East River. An everyday, often-ignored occurance happened just feet away from me and struck my heart: staffers of the UN having their own little informal walking club. Just three of them. Walking. On the grounds, doing laps. Nothing glamorous. In their work clothing. Their quiet self-respect and intelligence in taking even the smallest action in support of their own sustainability spoke loudly of a level personal mastery I aspire to emulate.

Think about it: if the fate of the world is in our hands, shouldn't we start by taking better care of ourselves?

Monday, May 28, 2012


The first I ever heard of Telomeres is when Dr. Justin Boren (Santa Clara University) and I teamed up to scheme around integrating this into Balance Integration's immersion programming with clients. I'm so happy to see they are hitting the mainstream - no hopefully they'll figure more importantly when we craft our thought stream, activity stream, etc. Thanks to worklife writer Judy Martin for bringing this to my attention. Check it out by clicking here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Big love for Mac Attam's March 3 post...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pop Quiz

Whether you belive there's a divine teacher, you gotta admit that the world is really a huge, complex, neverending Rorschach test.

Ask yourself: What do you see?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Clarity NOW!

Chances are you're not going to head to a cave to search for the meaning of life anytime soon. Here are five things anyone can do to feel more clarity RIGHT NOW!

1. Name It – most people experience stress as a generalized or vague state of overwhelm. Take a moment to clearly identify what’s got you down by these three categories: 1. In your sphere of control - Something you can take action to address immediately (an action you’ve delayed taking), 2. Requires growth - Something that requires more information/research 3. Beyond your control - Something that requires adopting a new attitude, patience or even surrendur. Let labelling your stressors empower and drive your next actions.
2. Intention Disarms Tension – sometimes from the moment we get up to when we go to sleep (whenever that finally happens!), we are in respond mode – fighting fire after fire. Starting the day or specific activities by clarifying your intention allows you to move out “react” mode and into a proactive, determined state. Before you make your next call or go to your next meeting, clarify not only what you want to accomplish but also what state of mind you want to maintain throughout it. Then if things get heated, remind yourself of your intention before you respond rashly or inappropriately.
3. Declutter Your Calendar – this might sound more like time management than mind management, but it’s actually both. By loading your calendar mindlessly accepting every commitment that comes your way, you scatter your attention and talents, decreasing effectiveness and enjoyment, and dilute your ability to accomplish the goals that really matter to you. Take a look at your calendar over the next week: how many items there truly align with your professional or personal goals? If it doesn’t, get rid of it.
4. Power Pause – got a few minutes waiting for a train? Elevator at the top when you’re at the bottom? Resist the quick flash of impatience and use these “captive moments” to practice relaxing. Instead of reaching for your phone or furiously jamming the call button, try shifting your awareness to your feet and relax them in your shoes. Imagine your whole body relaxing and feel your next inhale slow and deep into your torso. Notice how your whole torso expands, focusing on your belly exhale just as slowly. Repeat till the train or elevator arrives.
5. Breathe=ease – when we get stressed, breath tends to get short and tightened as well. The next time you feel your thoughts racing, before you hit send on that frantic email sit back in your chair, relax your shoulders and jaw, and try just slowing down. Shift your thoughts into your breath rhythm, and see if you can slow it down by counting how long your exhale is and how long your inhale is.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

YOU: A Story in Progress

In case you wondered, the story on you isn’t yet written – at least not to completion.

Whatever you believe to be true about yourself, choose a better story.

If you’ve given up, get up.

If you’ve lost hope, look for it again.

You can let your life be your teacher – and if you’re smart the lesson you learn will not be one of too little, too late, but one of “just in the nick of time”.

Check out Kathy Martin’s story.

Be well,