In your dance of life, is your shadow leading?

In your dance of life, is your shadow leading?

  • January 12, 2015

I’m watching Fred Astaire effortlessly tapping away with an unusual dance partner: his own shadow. Who is leading? In the famous scene from the movie Swing Time, the incomparable Fred commands the dance floor, with a triplicate version of his oversized shadow following his lead. About halfway through the sequence,…

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No unpleasant memories left behind?

No unpleasant memories left behind?

  • October 26, 2014

No man left behind. No child left behind. No unpleasant memories left behind? We often hang on to memories of awful past events way longer than necessary. Brain science tells us that the key to remembering things is repetition. Information we hear over and over again becomes engrained in our mind….

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May we all be inscribed in the Book of Peace.

May we all be inscribed in the Book of Peace.

  • September 24, 2014

Imagine there is a Book of Peace. It determines who gets to live in harmony. Would you like to be inscribed in it? Who do you think is the author? Set aside, just for the next few minutes, any beliefs you may hold about higher powers, master plans for each…

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Don’t touch my halo!

Don’t touch my halo!

  • June 28, 2014

There are very few saints in conflict situations. Nonetheless, too many people are stubbornly wearing a halo. ‘I didn’t do anything wrong. This is all your fault.’ ‘No, you’re the reason we’re in this mess. My conscience is clear.’ People in conflict are very good at seeing the other person’s…

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Writing a different conflict story.

Writing a different conflict story.

  • June 8, 2014

Meet the helpless victim and the villain. They’re in every conflict story.  Now let’s edit. When people talk about a conflict, their stories follow a remarkably predictable pattern: Poor me. He/she is so [insert unflattering description of the other person here]. And there is nothing I can do about it. In…

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No beating up on yourself allowed.

No beating up on yourself allowed.

  • April 2, 2014

Are you stuck in a hole of could, should and would? Beating up on yourself over past mistakes won’t help anybody. In difficult conversations, everybody messes up on occasion. It’s inevitable. Because we’re human. What’s equally human is our tendency to beat up on ourselves afterwards. We get caught up…

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Success requires showing up.

Success requires showing up.

  • March 25, 2014

Sometimes, the toughest part of a difficult conversation is showing up. Show up to a difficult conversation insufficiently prepared, and you’ll likely make a mess. You may make a much bigger mess by showing up too late or not at all. But what if you don’t feel ready? Ask anybody…

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Breathe.

Breathe.

  • February 1, 2014

Breathe, Lisa. This is what my martial arts instructor frequently tells me. Yes, as a species we have now evolved to the point where we pay someone to remind us to breathe. And honestly, most of us need the reminder, especially in a potential conflict situation. Picture this: Your neighbor…

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Bow.  Learn.  Repeat.

Bow. Learn. Repeat.

  • January 15, 2014

In my martial arts journey, I have learned countless important life lessons.  Some basic and obvious, some rather complex and subtle.  What they all have in common is that I keep learning them, over and over again.  I’m never “done” – just further along on the journey, with a deeper…

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