Posted by: susanrmeyer | July 26, 2008

Farewell, Randy Pausch

If you still haven’t seen Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture, take the time to honor his memory by watching it now. Or see it again. Send it to your friends.

Take a moment to honor a remarkable man who, at 47, crammed more into his life than most people do in twice the time.

Pausch’s example makes me take a good look at what I’m doing and what I hope to do and pushes me to push beyond the limits I think I have. It reminds me to honor my friends, to laugh every day, to have fun, and to reach out a hand to help.

Are you living each day fully?

What will your legacy be?

Posted by: susanrmeyer | June 2, 2008

To Market, To Market

As Spring … well … springs, my thoughts turn to markets. Specifically, the Union Square Greenmarket, where  will spend as many early Saturday mornings as possible watching nature at it’s best. There have been ramps for a month now and I’ve been sauteing them with glee. Asparagus is in. Hydroponic tomatoes foreshadow the late summer return of heirlooms.

Other markets come to mind as I make the round of flea markets and street fairs or as I drop into Ten Thousand Villages to view goods from local markets around the world. These markets are on my mind this week.

I recently received an invitation to adopt a market from the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund. This event, dubbed a  “friendraiser,” will be held in New York City on June 4, 2008. It will raise funds for programs as diverse as providing nursery school materials and entrepreneurial training through microloans to actually building a rural market. As the first woman President of Liberia, Sirleaf herself is remarkable. As the granddaughter of a market woman, she understands the importance of this step into entrepreneurship and economic self-sufficiency. 

While I don’t have $100,000 at my immediate disposal, I plan to make a small contribution to this vital effort and hope that others will want to help create this vital transformation as well.

Posted by: susanrmeyer | May 16, 2008

The Whine Continues …

This is a bit of shameless self-promotion. I’ve read a lot of articles in the past month addressing the power of whining. It’s a wonderful way to get to the objections and resistances we may be holding. It helps us consider what we might want to rule in or rule out. It’s therapeutic – as long as it’s temporary.

So now the shameless self-promotion:

Finally! Productive whining! Discover the valuable information about your next steps that’s lurking just beyond that resistance. How often have you known that there was a next step for you to take… but didn’t want to take it? For example, you know you need to or “should” lose weight, eat better, and more.

Maybe you want to take a course to improve your skills… but.You might be saying, “I don’t wanna”… do the work, take the risks, explain to those around me what I really want.

Join Ann Fry, President of Humor U and Head Boomer at It’s Boomertime, and me for the “I Don’t Wanna” teleclass. For one hour, we’ll explore the “I don’t wannas” that hold us back and how to navigate through them.

To register, email me at drsusan.meyer@gmail.com and I will send you the phone information for the call. If you’re feeling stuck or resistant – not moving ahead , take an hour to kick-start yourself on Tuesday, May 20 at 11:00 AM EST, May 28 at 8:00 PM EST, or June 3 at 1:00 PM EST. No cost except normal phone charges!

We’re planning to have a lot of fun.

 

 

Posted by: susanrmeyer | May 1, 2008

May Day

Ah … the merry month of May is upon us. As I admire the tulips and daffodils that abound, even though I’m bundled up against the chill, I am filled with anticipation of warm breezes and gentle days to come. This season makes me want to relax and float and spring into action on a thousand new projects all at once.

What does May hold for you?

The Mayday of distress or the Maypole dance of joy?

Posted by: susanrmeyer | March 10, 2008

Transforming Women Worldwide

From February 25 to March 7, women and men from around the world gathered at the United Nations for the 52nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women. There were representatives from 100 countries and back-to-back workshops on issues as wide-ranging as funding for gender equity, Muslim and Jewish women building bridges, conflict resolution in East Asia, decent work for women, and economic literacy.

  I was asked to be part of two panels on empowering women through meaningful work. For the first, the room was packed – women young and old eager to discuss what empowerment in the workplace would look like. Actions described ranged from union initiatives to increase the number of women in nontraditional careers, through equality at the C-level, to programs in India to move women from collectors of human waste to builders of public outhouses. 

We discussed everything from having to be better than men in order to be equal to having to wait until after dark to relieve ones self because there were no facilities. We talked about how to promote community and mutual support. Young women asked how they could stop bullying, gossip, and meanness in their high school.

   It was a heady, eye-opening and humbling experience. The stories were moving and the strength of the assembled women  was inspiring. At the end of the workshop, the participants were still buzzing – making contact, making suggestions, making connections.

  The second panel was smaller and more informal. It was equally moving. A group of about 20 generated ideas to create equity in the workplace. These will become a part of EBBF’s running list of 101 things you can do first thing Monday morning to create a better workplace.

   Moving and painful stories were told. We were reminded, following a story about rescuing two enslaved children, that child trafficking is the third most profitable industry in the world – right behind drugs and guns. We were told how doctor’s salaries in Puerto Rico have decreased as the number of women physicians increased. 

   Yet, the event was hopeful. A small group of optimists generated wonderful ideas. And discussed how they would implement them. Friendships were cemented. 

  Imagine the energy all these women and men will take back out into the world. Imagine the possibilities for change. Imagine what can happen if every person there follows up on one action – and, perhaps, convinces one more person to take action. Now that’s a bunch of transformational  girlfriends!

Posted by: susanrmeyer | February 25, 2008

To Whine or Not to Whine

Pretty much every coach, consultant, motivational speaker, entrepreneur I know believes in the power of the positive. And so do I. Most of the time. Almost always.  

Whole books have been written on happiness. Fields of practice – Positive Psychology, Appreciative Inquiry – have grown around taking and maintaining a positive stance.  And these are a big part of my work. And yet, I often wonder, is there a place for whining, yenching, moaning? Is there some constructive place we can get to from that unconstructive place? 

Ann Fry and I are toying with hosting a series of calls entitled I Don’t Wanna! This will be an experiment in constructive whining. Anyone can call in and have a little whining space, but they don’t get to leave in the same place.

Why create a whining space? Because there is information in the shadow – in the negative. Because only by verbalizing our supposed roadblocks (I think) can we see them for the houses of straw they actually are. Because the exaggerated whine can only end in laughter.

Now, I’m not talking about real pain and misery here. I’m talking about that I just don’t want to turn off the TV and buckle down and get to work. I’m proposing a five-minute whine party. And a clearly marked exit path.Whine – laugh – plan action. What do you think?

Posted by: susanrmeyer | January 27, 2008

The Tortoise and the Hare

We all know a hare or two. Their businesses triple in size within a year. They lose 40 pounds in the blink of an eye. Their investments grow. They make the Best Seller list. Everything happens so quickly for them! And perhaps, in your all-too-human moments you, like me, have stood in awe of the hare. Perhaps even awe tinged with a bit of jealousy.

But not everyone moves at the speed of the hare. The tortoise is slow. The tortoise is deliberate. The tortoise will not be pushed or rushed or pressured. And, after all,  Aesop tells us that the tortoise won the race.

Slightly past the midpoint of the first month of the new year I find myself already reviewing my progress towards my goals. In the past, I have often found this process painful – I should be further along. I should have accomplished more. Perhaps I’m wasting time or not good enough to reach my goal, or one of the thousands of little demon messages I might think.

This year, I’m taking the long view. I’m looking back further and appreciating the significant growth and change that has occurred – not in three weeks, but in three years. And in taking the long view, it’s possible to see big changes that are not apparent in the extreme close-up that marks the hare’s perspective.

I am reminded that the tortoise lives hundreds of years. And that a turtle holds the world on its back. Perhaps slow and steady is, after all, my style. What view are you taking of your life? What pressures are you creating if you are, by nature, a tortoise but masquerade as a hare?

Posted by: donnakarlin | December 30, 2007

Choices for 2008

A good friend of mine told me a while back that if I couldn’t articulate in my mind what it was I wanted for my life I would never get it.  She was right.  It’s not that I don’t know what I want for my life even though most of us can articulate what we don’t want a lot easier than what we do want.  Once we say it, think it, or write it down, it’s tangible…it’s out there, and we can no longer ignore it. 

 

It’s not a matter of being self-centered.  It’s saying I will no longer settle for what comes my way.  I want to choose. 

 

So for the new year I’m making choices and putting them out there so they’re real and I can’t ignore them.  Besides which, there are too many people in my life who will call me on it….so here goes…  

 

  • I will no longer do things out of obligation but by choice

  • I won’t do what’s expected of me if it goes against my fundamental values or personal ethics. 

  • I recognize people will make their own choices but in order for them to do that, they’ll need to know where I stand too. I can’t expect them to read my mind or my heart.

  • I will make a point of learning something new every day, mostly from other people’s experiences as through their stories, my world opens up too

 

I know there will be quite a few more but for now, this is a good start.   I have a feeling this is going to be one amazing year for us all. 

 

I shared this a ways back but I think it’s fitting for this post so will share it again….

 

“How we dream is what gives our lives value.  How we choose to live is what determines whether our dreams have value.  I believe we each carry a dream of a life we were born to realize which shows up through desire.  And I believe that we all have the ability to realize our personal and professional dreams if we commit ourselves to not settling for anything less than what we really want.  It is when we move toward our passions that we experience our own greatness and it is then an incredible contribution to ourselves and to the world is made by being who we truly are”. – Donna Karlin 

 

All the best for 2008 and beyond.  May it bring you the realization of your dreams and then some!

Donna K 

Posted by: communicationcoach | December 20, 2007

Looking back before looking forward

As the last page of the calendar streaks by with alarming speed, let’s grab a few minutes to check the rear view mirror and invest some precious time to assess where we (and our organizations) have been. Noticing what we’ve achieved in the past 12 months is an excellent way to launch the plans we make for the new year.

With our eyes firmly fixed on where we’re headed, we often forget to celebrate or even notice what we’ve already accomplished. As a coach, I often ask clients to catch themselves doing something well and stop to savour the moment. As a busy person, I can forget to take my own advice.

Last week, I made time to do that, as I joined with a friend and fellow solopreneur to refine our business plans and set action priorities for 2008. Our first activity was to make a note of what we’d each achieved. At her suggestion, we also listed the names of people who had helped us get there.

It was an interesting and useful exercise and a bit of an eye opener.

One of my observations – as you may have guessed – was how much more I had accomplished than I knew. Like most people, I underestimated the variety and value of the things I had done. On my list were things I never imagined I’d do – speaking at conferences, writing a book that’s almost ready to publish and (perhaps the most amazing) perfecting the art of making scones.

A less obvious discovery was that the achievements I was most excited about were things that had never been on my list of “Goals for 2007.” These were opportunities that just showed up, often because colleagues invited me onto their projects. Not only were they not on the priority list, they were often outside my comfort zone.

As a planning-oriented creature who has lists of her lists and mindmaps of her mindmaps, it’s not easy to admit that some of my greatest achievements of 2007 weren’t even on my mind, let alone on my list, as I began the year. It reminds me of a quote from author Joseph Campbell – “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

I’m still in favour of planning and goal setting. If we don’t know where we’re going, the only way we’ll get there is by accident. Let’s plan to leave some space for the unexpected. It may bring our greatest rewards.

Cheers – Sue

Posted by: natalietm | December 10, 2007

Speaking of books…..

After some months of preparation and creation, Ageless-Sages.com is launching it’s inaugural offering, Lavender Ladies.

When I think back to July and the beginning of Transformational Girlfriends, Picture Books for Elders was just a sapling of an idea. The idea that grew from the relationships I was forging with elders at a group home. To see it blossom into this tangible creation is more exciting than I can express.

Thanks, everyone, for the support and encouragement along the way. I pledge to provide the same to you when you need it. ;-)

Please use the above link and watch and listen to Lavender Ladies, a story where, author Christine Hohlbaum says, “The rhythm of the words will draw you in. The beauty of their truth will set you free”.

Smiling broadly and appreciatively,

Natalie

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