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Are there alligators in your way?

Last month I went to a stimulating business conference in Orlando.  Surprisingly, the most memorable learning experience for me came out of a nature walk I took on the hotel grounds.

I discovered the hotel had a nature trail on its extensive grounds when I first arrived.  Getting to the path seemed straightforward enough on the hotel’s map, so I decided to walk it the next morning as a way to start my day.  I imagined that I would get fresh air and exercise while enjoying nature and becoming grounded.  With this clear vision in mind, I ventured out into the chilly Florida morning. Continue reading


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Lambs in the basement: a winter flashback

A hot cup of coffee.   Crispy, almost burnt toast.  An uncomfortable sense that I’m already behind in my day.  The only thing missing in this flashback to my childhood is the sound of bleating lambs coming from the basement, awaiting their breakfast.  I half expect my mother to turn the corner into the room, berating me for still lingering at the table instead of mixing up their vanilla-smelling milk concoction, made from powered Real Imitation Milk. Continue reading

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Does a bear care?

Last week, while my sister and I were having breakfast at my country house, a bear walked across my lawn.  The movement in the bushes initially caught my eye, and at first I thought it was a deer.  Then it stepped boldly and assuredly onto the open lawn, where it traipsed along seemingly without concern towards the woods on the other side.  “Oh my God!” I breathed to Ruth Anne, “That’s a bear!”  I jumped up and grabbed my camera, pulling off the lens cap and dropping it all in one motion.  As the lens cap hit the wooden floor with a “chink,” the bear, which was at least 100 feet away, looked up in our direction.  Yikes!  Then, deciding he was in no immediate danger, he continued on his journey towards the woods.  With a racing heart, I took a series of photos from the relative safety of our screened in porch. Continue reading

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Who is your inner visionary?

When you think about your vision, do you think about what your life will look like in the future?  Do you envision big houses, fancy cars, leisure time, committed relationships?  Perhaps it’s a bestselling book, notoriety in a professional field, or a bank account constantly flowing with money that swims in your imagination.  If your idea of your future is more low key, do you see yourself sitting around drinking coffee with your family and laughing?  Going to school or learning to do something you always wanted to do? Continue reading

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The Consequences of Prosperity

Years ago in New York, it was common to see people handing out flyers in the subway.   En route to work each morning, I would often see one particular group who offered commuters bright orange flyers.  The evangelists would scatter themselves along the corridors in groups of twos and threes, such that I would have to weave in between them to avoid their outstretched hands. I had my approach down to a science – a slightly lowered gaze, tightly gripped purse, along with a short, terse shake of the head – to indicate that I was not interested.  Still, the next person down the line would insistently shove the paper toward me, forcing me to repeat the same gesture until I was out of the minefield. Continue reading