Sunday, August 17, 2014

'Life Goes 'round in Circles' until it doesn't. What's the lesson in that?

I was hit by a car. On August 16th. While riding down Paradise Drive, the last few turns before the idyllic bayside town of Tiburon, an old, dulled silver station wagon turned left. Feet in front of me. I hit my brakes. I couldn't stop. I tried to turn. Slam! My tire hit the grill. I was launched off my bike onto the car's hood, slid up and onto the windshield and then dropped off the edge onto the pavement. First to hit was my back followed by my helmeted head, bu-bump. I remember the sounds: crunch, skid, thump-thump. Then silence.
Infinity Loop
I looked up at the cloudless blue sky under which, moments before, I had been riding. And smiling. Had I cracked ribs? Crushed bones? Was my back broken? Could it possibly be, after this violent crash, that I was actually alright? What if I wasn't? Rather than my past flashing before my eyes, it was my future that I contemplated. I exercise daily. It's like water for me. What if I couldn't do that anymore? What other limitations would that bring to the rest of my life? What might I not be able to do anymore? To think that in 5 seconds, or less, my life path could be determined. By someone else.
An old, grey haired man with crooked teeth looked out of his opened car window at me. Lying on my back, I looked up at him. "You were going too fast," he said. I had been going down a hill and I was moving for sure. Did that make me at fault? Then I thought, of course, he's nervous, he's trying to absolve himself of his mistake, thinking of his insurance premiums going up, replacing my crumpled bike, worried about my medical costs, the threat of losing his license... I didn't respond.
Yes, he is at fault: a left-turning vehicle must yield to oncoming traffic. I have scraped elbows, a bruised bump on the inside of my right knee where it probably hit the center bar of my bike, another big, bruised bump on my lower right back onto which I made my final landing and a scrape on my right lower back. My neck is stiff.
So what's my take-away, my lesson? Of course, I'm thankful beyond words that I walked away from what could have been a tragic outcome. And it served as a reminder to enjoy every moment because I'll never know when it might be my last, or the last as I knew it. But there's something else. Something about a calmness that I experienced throughout the entire ordeal - from seeing the car turn, my hitting into it, flying off my bike, landing and wondering about my condition. People who know me, including me, wouldn't put 'calm' at the top of, or even on the Dana's qualities list. Yet I was calm. Receiving what came rather than fighting it or bracing against it. I went with the flow. I actually believe that it was my yielding that saved me. That's my lesson. Assert and receive. Yang and yin. Action and calm. That makes me smile.



Monday, April 28, 2014

Just a Moment

Now, look out your window. What catches your eye?
Now, take in a deep breath through your nose. What scent do you detect?
Now, touch your cheek. What texture and temperature do you feel?
Now, take a bite or sip of something. Savory, bitter, sweet or salty?
Now, close your eyes, relax your jaw, breathe normally and listen. What do you hear?

It takes just a moment to be in the Now.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Altruism - Is It OK to Reap Its Rewards?

Last evening at dinner we discussed the concept of 'altruism' - 
doing something for someone with no expectation of a 
reward or repayment. 
But, we also discussed the seeming impossibility of 
not receiving something in exchange 
(including a good feeling upon seeing someone smile, 
satisfaction from doing something good or helpful.) 
Does such a reward, be it internal or external, negate the altruistic act? 

Offer one act of altruism. What do you think? Feel?

Smiling at you,


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Father Time Needs a Time Out! For Women ONLY...

Father Time Overcome by Love, Hope and Beauty by Simon Vouet
Feeling crazed? Pushed? Pulled? Anxious, overwhelmed, hyper? Frustrated, exhausted, drained? You've got Father Time to thank. Yes, rather than pausing to consider the consequences of over-stuffing our calendars, not to mention focusing on what we really want, his wily tick-tock ways get us -- particularly women --to say 'yes-yes' 'yes-yes' at the speed of light. Oh, and how we've bought into his bravado -- ironically bragging, "I was up all night working on this project!" And to what effect? Chronic illness? Ignoring our own precious priorities? Oh, how he smiles at such deleterious results. 
It's time to stop the clock - his clock. It's time for each of us to say farewell to Father Time and welcome to My Time…my pace, my tempo, my 'yes-yes' 'yes-yes' AND 'no-no' 'no-no.'  
The question to keep asking and answering is: 
What is the love, hope and beauty that I want to 
'give-and-receive' 'give-and-receive'? 
Join me to discover how to set your own timepiece, one that promotes health, happiness and meaning. 
WHAT: Time Management and Balance: A Workshop for Women
        WHERE: HUB San Francisco, 925 Mission Street, San Francisco 
WHEN: Tuesday, April 15th  6-7:30 p.m. 

Now that promises to be well spent Me Time!

Helping you tick-tock your way to balance, day by day, minute by minute, second by second,


Monday, March 3, 2014

Personal Mission? What, Why and How.

What's so important about YOUR personal mission? It's the KEY to YOUR purpose. It's what's special about you. It's what really matters to you. It's what you bring to the world and that which draws people to you. It's what makes you feel natural, vital, energized. It provides resilience, focus and hope when things are tough, blurry or you're at a loss.

If you care where you're going and why, if you want to embrace and share
 your unique value,
 if you want satisfaction and joy, then a personal mission statement is for you. 
You can have a personal mission statement for your professional life, another for your private life. Or you can combine all components of your life into one. And not to complicate things, but such statements are not fixed. As your life changes, and as you want to change your life, so will your personal mission change. What's important is having one and making it front and center of what you commit to, spend your precious time and energy on. It's how you brand yourself. (We all brand ourselves by what we say and do, so why not make it conscious both for your own sake and for that of others?)

Identify your personal mission in 5 invaluably self-indulgent steps:
1.  Set aside an hour of uninterrupted 'it's all about me' time  (yep, calendar it). Go to a coffee shop where you won't see anyone you know; sit in a favorite place: a garden, your living room, a hilltop, the beach
2.  Take a journal and pen (re: not your phone or computer…this is your uninterrupted time!)
3.  Brainstorm - make 3 columns on a page
a. Great column: For 10 minutes write as many words as you can listing: What am I great at? What do I love to do? What personal talents inspire me? What makes me think, 'I'm proud of that quality in myself'?
b. Help Who column: For 10 minutes write about: Who and/or what do I want to help with my great attributes?
c. Outcome column: For 10 minutes list your expected outcomes: What do I hope to produce, enact, cause?
4. Circle key words in each column. Determine if your words reflect a professional, private or combo personal mission statement. Put the words together until you can see, hear and feel the essence of who you are -- at this point in your life. Look at list a. to determine whether you want one or more personal mission statements. Enjoy this 30 minutes of your journey.
5. Share your statement with friends, mentors, colleagues and family who can support you as you move forward with this vision leading the way!
This is 'don't be shy, don't hold back time. Go for it!'

Opening to YOUR personal mission,


p.s. Here's my combo personal mission statement: 'To use my enthusiastic, open-minded curiosity to elicit the best in people so that they recognize and celebrate their unique value and use it to positively impact the world.'