Wednesday, April 27, 2011


“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”
~ Anthony Robbins

At our upcoming conference we have to charge for the hotel tables used by authors at our autograph party. We decided to charge those who wanted a whole table or half table for themselves. Those who were willing to sit 3 to a table, we wouldn’t charge.
As an added courtesy, the Prez said tables for speakers are free. So I told speakers their tables are free. In my mind I saw a whole table.
Tables are free = whole table . . . to me.
Now for his take on what he said. He said tables for speakers are free – meaning, we will sit 3 speakers per table. But he didn’t say that. However, in his mind he figured I’d know that the room couldn’t fit enough tables to let each speaker have their own table.
He figured wrong.
When he clarified what he meant, I thought, “Big deal. We are doing that for anyone willing to squeeze in 3 to a table. Free = you don’t have to pay what it costs others.”
Communication is more than words. It is our perceptions, our experience, our personal “filter” of logic. That is the catalyst of most arguments. Someone says one thing and we hear another. And it doesn’t have to be verbal either. Misunderstanding the tone of an email can ruin our day.
For communication problems of this nature I have a few suggestions:
1.      Don’t assume anything.
2.     Say to the person, “This is what I hear you saying. Am I right?”
3.     If it is a misunderstanding, get it straight and laugh it off.

This week if there is a glitch in your communication remember your filter, your lens of understanding is uniquely your own. You may have to readjust to get the clear picture! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011


“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ~ Jung

Yesterday my friend, Connie, and I went morel mushroom hunting—and I do mean hunting. I couldn’t find one if my life depended on it. Connie, on the other hand, found one after another. Some were as big as her fist!

You know how frustrating it is when you go fishing and one person in the boat is catching all the fish? That’s how I felt. But Connie has been hunting mushrooms for years and she has a trained eye. Me, being a newbie, couldn’t see a thing. So she started playing “I spy a mushroom” and waited for me to find it. Finally, I did! After a few rounds of “I spy” I found them on my own.

Later, I thought about how things can be so camouflaged we look right over them. Leaves, grass, sticks, and rocks hid the mushrooms. Connie had to train me to see them. 
In the same way, things like the good qualities in difficult people, the bright side of a aggravating circumstance, talent in a simple mind, wisdom of a senile person are often hard to see. We must train ourselves to look for these treasures.

It can be done. After practicing a few times I began to see morels. If we practice seeing good in others and in our circumstances, it just gets easier and easier.

This week, seek out the good things! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advise, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand.”~ Henri Nouwen

Recently, I attended a memorial service for a dear lady I have never met. She is the grandmother of my daughter’s significant other.  The morning dawned cold and rainy and didn’t promise to get any better. I feared it would dampen a lot of people’s good intentions to attend. However, when I pulled onto the church parking lot I couldn’t find a place to park!

Inside I settled on the back pew and listened to person after person from all walks of life speak about how this little lady had touched their lives with her kindness and caring. One of her granddaughters said of her that she “loved the strays.”

There is a popular question put out by philosophers and theologians, “Are you making the most of your dash?” Between the birth and death dates on our tombstones is a tiny dash that represents our lives. Are we touching other lives in a meaningful way?

This dear lady obviously had and is an example for us to live by. She accepted people and left judgment up to God. Her home and her heart was a safe haven to many.

This week be a safe haven. Let’s make the most of our dash! 

Monday, April 04, 2011


“Defeat should never be a source of discouragement but rather a fresh stimulus” ~ Robert South

Many of my friends are writers and rejection is a big part of their lives. Mine too. Last week, I heard good news from one writer friend, but bad news from many more. One friend, who has over 100 books published by a large New York publishing house, had someone chosen over him for a significant award. Even with all those publishing credits under his belt it still stings.

When we fail or when someone else is chosen over us, it is easy to be discouraged. When we hope and pray for something or someone and the circumstances just get worse, it is easy to be discouraged. Believe me, I know. When we do our best and our best isn’t good enough, it is so very easy to be discouraged.

It is during these times that we have to change our filter—our thought process. I can allow discouragement to swallow me up or I can refuse to let it beat me.

We all have that ability, but we must be stubborn enough—brave enough—to stand.

If my writing is rejected in one place, I’ll send it to three other places and then get busy writing something new. If I’m praying about something or someone and it seems that the situation is getting worse, I get stubborn and pray more. If someone else is chosen over me, I start looking for the better things coming my way and make sure I’m adequately prepared and trained.

Remember this, discouragement is just a feeling. It isn’t a fact. Don’t be defeated. Stand up and move forward.