Santa’s Most Precious Gift Is Never Found Under A Tree

Santa’s Most Precious Gift Is Never Found Under A Tree

“No one ever loses their Christmas spirit…they just misplace it.” – Santa

I had a rather impromptu conversation with Santa at an event at my daughter’s school earlier this week. The topic? Christmas spirit. It seems like many people find the holidays to be less than joyful, more “no, no, no” than “ho, ho, ho”, and I wanted to get his take on the matter.

The loss of Christmas spirit goes beyond just having far too many things to do to get ready for the holidays. It’s much deeper for some, sometimes quite painful, the memories of what used to be, the reminders of what never was, the people who’ve gone and the emptiness now left behind. Sometimes witnessing the joy others experience during the holidays provides us with the contrast which only intensifies the emptiness and the lack of joy we feel is missing from our own lives.

I’ve been examining my own Christmas spirit of late and I see I, too, have let the joyous light of the spirit of the season grow dim within me. Not intentionally, but the light isn’t shining as brightly as it once did. I do remember when Christmas was a time of awe and wonder, of magical possibilities, of I’m-so-excited-I-can’t-even-sleep kind of excited, of joyous expectations! Continue reading “Santa’s Most Precious Gift Is Never Found Under A Tree”

Picking Sunflowers in the North Pole

Picking Sunflowers in the North Pole

There’s a reason you’ve never seen a sunflower plant in any image depicting the North Pole.

Sunflowers don’t grow there.

Plants are at the mercy of their environment. The proper soil, the mix of nutrients, the amount of water, temperature, and sunshine can mean life or death to a plant. So many external variables impact their viability and growth.

And there’s not a single thing a plant can do about it.

As humans, we, too, are greatly impacted by the environments we find ourselves in. Some environments are conducive to growth and thriving, while others will never let us Continue reading “Picking Sunflowers in the North Pole”

Who Will You Be Thanking For All You Have Become?

Who Will You Be Thanking For All You Have Become?

You should have seen me, standing alone on stage under the bright lights with the shinning award in one hand and my prepared speech in the other, ready to thank the Academy.

Of course, the only place you could have seen this play out was in my mind. Because it never actually happened.

Sometimes when I’m watching those award shows on TV I playfully wonder who I would thank in my acceptance speech for winning a Grammy. I envision myself emotionally thanking everyone who has gotten me to this point, those who believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, my family, my mentors, the fans…and, of course, Mom! Continue reading “Who Will You Be Thanking For All You Have Become?”

What Are You Not Willing To Allow Into Your Life?

What Are You Not Willing To Allow Into Your Life?

Perhaps you’ve seen them as well?

Each morning my travels take me on the same stretch of open road. Recently, the all too familiar view was changed dramatically with the addition of four wind turbines.

Their close proximity to the road allowed me to strain my neck as I looked upwards to see how tall these massive structures actually were. These things are huge!

Most times I drive by these majestic towers they stand motionless, their blades outstretched, patiently awaiting the wind. Windmills would never know when the winds will blow, but yet they stand readily prepared to tap into the flow of the abundance, always available to receive that which they were created to receive.

We all share some similar characteristics with wind turbines. These turbines are technological marvels, precisely engineered, purposefully and intentionally located Continue reading “What Are You Not Willing To Allow Into Your Life?”

The Greatest Gift You’ll Ever Give

The Greatest Gift You’ll Ever Give

To talk with him, you’d have no idea of all he has been going through. The smile and the usual jovial confidence in his voice did a wonderful job of covering the pain and emptiness.

But the pain was quite real, always simmering just below the surface, out of sight but never out of his mind.

Sometimes life just isn’t easy. It’s a feeling we’ve all known at some point, perhaps even right now. Sometimes life is confusing, overwhelming, uncertain, empty. What compounds the hurt is the human tendency to keep our emotional pain a secret. We’ve been societally conditioned to believe an admission of emotional difficulty is a sign of weakness. So we keep it all inside, festering, doing all we can to manage the pain, constructing facades of happiness and stability for all to see, afraid of the shameful truth we feel we need to hide from the world.

At times, the opposite is true. Some have courageously opened their deepest self and Continue reading “The Greatest Gift You’ll Ever Give”

Flowers, Weeds, and the Joy of Regret

Flowers, Weeds, and the Joy of Regret

“Why not change the world?”

This was the first slide of the presentation as we began the college tour. With each slide the university showcased it’s long history of how by creating of a curriculum and environment of innovation and excellence their students had, indeed, changed the world.

When I graduated from high school, I never went on a college tour. I was lucky to get accepted into a community college where no one was talking about changing anything, let alone changing the world.

As the presentation continued, I found myself wondering if the students in the tour group understood how huge of an opportunity this was. I know I surely saw it, wishing Continue reading “Flowers, Weeds, and the Joy of Regret”

The Top 5 Good Excuses For Not Living Up To Your Potential

The Top 5 Good Excuses For Not Living Up To Your Potential

Boy, did I set myself up for quite the challenge.

My task this week was to filter through a lifetime of learning and living and come up with the definitive list of the top five good excuses for people not living up to their potential.

Not to brag, but at one point in my life I would have been considered an expert in this field. In fact, I probably would have won the lifetime “lack-of-achievement” award for my consistent and innovative excuse making if, of course, the world actually awarded those who’ve never done anything other than make excuses as to why they’ve never done anything.

Based upon my extensive research and unquestionable qualifications, I present to you Continue reading “The Top 5 Good Excuses For Not Living Up To Your Potential”