Monday, January 26, 2015

Greatness- Coach K

In honor of my sister, I just have to give a big shout out to Coach K for becoming the first Division I men's basketball coach to win 1,000 games (& it all went down at Madison Square Garden!  You know how I feel about about making dreams come true in NYC :).  He truly exemplifies a man of greatness, resilience & integrity...
My Duke basketball post from a couple years ago:

"The great arises out of the small things that are honored and cared for.  Everybody's life really consists of small things.  Greatness is a mental abstraction and favorite fantasy of the ego.  The paradox is that the foundation for greatness is honoring the small things of the present moment instead of pursuing the idea of greatness." - Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

My sister went to Duke & is a huge Blue Devils basketball fan.  I didn't understand what all the hoopla (hahaha ;) was about until I went to visit her one weekend & we went to a game at Cameron.  It was like being part of a crazy elitist cult for a few hours, even I was sucked in against my better judgement....when in Rome, right?!  I recently watched a documentary on the Kentucky vs. Duke 1992 NCAA Championship Game, considered by many to be the greatest college basketball game ever played.  What really stuck with me was Christian Laettner's explanation for how he maintained his composure & stayed completely in the moment to make that legendary "Shot Heard Round the World" at the buzzer.  As a child growing up in upstate New York he was obsessed with becoming the best basketball player he could be.  Every night when his mom would call him in for dinner he would pretend he was taking the winning shot at the buzzer...."3..2..1...Score!!"  And sure enough when it came down to that moment for real, it was old hat.  That small moment practiced consistently became a moment of greatness.

photos: 1/2

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hudson Valley Winter

"I get a little warm in my heart when I think of winter..." -Tori Amos, "Winter"

sublime & beautiful (the song too), if a bit cold....
photos: me (Marbletown, NY)

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword

"The more space I get the better I write.  Oh, never I write, but if ever I write, I need the space to say whatever I like."  -Jay Z, "Change Clothes"

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

My Only New Year's (& Life) Resolution

Over the past month my methodical & pragmatic German genes have been in their glory.... I've been plotting, planning, list-making & strategizing my little tail off.  Agendas are full, color coded spreadsheets have been created, vision boards are proudly on display...yes my friends, by all accounts I've engineered the perfect plan to be a sexy little 2015 beast of mantras, meditations, workouts, business goals, personal goals & just overall fabulousness (ha ;).

But after all of my beautiful & meticulous handiwork was done something unexpected happened...I took a step back & thought, This seems like a lot of work & who the hell knows what's really going to happen?...Where's the joy & fun?...Bueller? Anyone?...What is the point of all of this anyway?  And then it dawned on me that it all really boiled down to one thing...I just want to be happy.  (As a side note, by happy I really mean something more like inner peace.  There are of course moments when we are not going to be happy & this is perfectly normal.  But the goal is to strive for inner peace as much as possible.)

So despite my concerted efforts to create the perfect recipe for happiness I'm going to screw the ingredients & just head straight to the cake.  Yes, I'm going to have happiness be my starting point & guiding principle.  Why not just start with the end result & let everything else pan out?  If you wait for everything on your checklist to happen before you allow yourself to be happy you will never be because even as you check things off you'll just be adding other goals.  You have to recognize that happiness will always be elusive when you are depending on external things for it.  It's just a moving target.

Happiness is a MINDSET & comes from inside. Make it your goal to be happy & you'll change your external environment.  You create your life from the inside out.  Contrary to popular belief, it does NOT work the other way around!  No external thing (people included) will ever "save" you or make you feel whole & worthy & happy.  That kind of thinking is giving your power away & is total danger zone.  You have to find a way to feel whole & happy & loved right this second regardless of any external circumstances or experiences you've been through.

How am I feeling right this second?  Well, I've had about half the vision in my left eye for over a month due to an eye infection, I have a sore throat, my lower back has been hurting for over 10 years, I have some mental anxiety & one of my friends shared with me a heartbreaking story of losing his entire home & beloved cat in a fire & I'm sad for him... but snow is falling outside, my cats are sleeping peacefully, we're all warm, I'm helping my clients with their homes & wardrobes & hopefully these words are helping you in some way.  Happiness & sadness, joy & pain are all part of the beauty of life.  It's all perfectly imperfect.

Here is what I do to stay in the happy zone:

- Fully experience the present moment-  It's the only time we have to live & experience joy.  Regrets & pain over the past & anxiety over the future will instantly kill the joy & aliveness of this moment.  Our time on this earth is limited, don't waste a second of it choosing to live in the pain of your thoughts over experiencing the joy of being alive in this moment & the promise it holds.
- Have gratitude-  Gratitude connects you with the Source & brings even more to be grateful for into your life.  It's amazingly powerful in transforming your life internally & externally.
- Give- The ultimate feel good.  The reason we are on this planet is to love & help each other.  One of my morning prayers to the universe is, "Please bring me the people I need & the people that need me."  Not only are you helping someone but giving takes you out of your own head & issues & insecurities.  Giving is its own gift but it's also a dynamic flow & the more you give the more you'll receive.

Goals & plans & dreams of grandeur are great & I am all for making things happen but don't believe that they are tickets to some elusive happiness in the future.  You don't have to wait for happiness, jump through hoops for it, deserve it or earn it. You already have what you're trying to get & you have the power right this second to be happy.  Just give yourself permission to claim it & live it.  Don't settle for the ingredients when you already have the cake!

photo: me (gorgeous Hudson River sunset)