Friday, September 30, 2011

It Takes Discipline of the Mind

I'm reading "Working with the Law" by Raymond Holliwell for the third time now. I absolutely love this book-every time I pick it up, I find new insights!

My latest "aha moment" is around discipline. Holliwell writes of this one woman, "She lacked discipline in her mind except where others demanded it." The moment I read that sentence it really clarified something I've been allowing in my life. I am disciplined in meeting everyone else's needs but when it comes to being accountable to my own tasks and needs, I fall short. My tendency is to give attention to whoever or whatever enters my mind at the moment versus taking planned disciplined steps towards completing something. No wonder I have so many personal projects half way done. Had these projects been for a client, they would have been done!

That little distinction between allowing myself to be disciplined to respond to others needs and not when it comes to my own is tremendous. It's exactly the nudge I needed to bring clarity around why I always feel busy but not getting anything done. I need to give as much attention and relevance to my own tasks and projects as I do for others. I can then take planned action and start getting these things done. I need to make room for my life and start treating myself like a client. Sure enough, once again the answer lies in changing your mindset!

Monday, September 12, 2011


As I sat remembering and watching the events of September 11th, it brought to mind a trip we took into New York City that following Thanksgiving. We were moving from CT to Virginia in the coming spring and it had been a wish of mine since a very young age to see The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. I had grown up on Long Island and the events of 9/11 seemed so unreal, like a Hollywood movie playing out before our eyes. I knew it had really happened on one level but felt pulled to visit Ground Zero almost to seal it in my mind, "Yes, it's true". I just could not picture lower Manhattan without the sight of the Twin Towers in the skyline.

As much as 9/11 will stay in our minds forever, that day visiting Ground Zero will stay in my mind forever as well. I remember walking up to the site and shaking my head as I fully comprehended all the pictures on TV were indeed reality. What once were two gleaming beacons of NYC were now reduced to a smoldering pile of twisted steel. What once had been a bustling financial district in NYC was now a ghost town. The surrounding streets resembled what I would imagine a war zone would look like. We watched as workers and cranes carefully sifted through the pile. I found myself drawn to the only recognizable piece of the Twin Towers that stood in the midst of this pile and said a prayer, fully knowing a large number of those who perished on 9/11 were still under that pile.

Perhaps the most significant memory for me was all the signs posted around Ground Zero looking for loved ones lost on that tragic day. So many of these signs appeared to be fresh, showing their enduring hope that there still may be survivors. It broke my heart to read the detailed descriptions of their missing loved ones. It made the magnitude of the loss of life that much more real. I saw one person posting a new sign and just watched and cried imagining the intense pain they've had to endure. While we would go back to a Thanksgiving meal with our family by our side, this day would only intensify their grief and loss.

Amidst that scene one word kept coming to mind, "hope". The signs looking for missing loved ones represented hope, the workers carefully sifting through that huge pile of twisted and mangled metal represented hope. We had lost so much on 9/11 but the one thing that still remained was hope. As we walked away, I knew my life would be forever changed by not only what I witnessed on TV on 9/11 but more so what I saw firsthand at Ground Zero that Thanksgiving Day.

As I sat yesterday thinking how can I pay tribute to those who so innocently gave their lives on 9/11, I came up with the idea of setting a burning candle on my front porch that night to honor their lives and symbolize the power of light to always overcome darkness. I will do this now each September 11th, because we haven't forgotten and yes, we still have hope! I hope you will join me in remembering them next year.