Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Best Medicine

It seems to me there has been an unusual lack of sun in Northern Michigan this winter. It has felt exceptionally drab and dreary. My observation was confirmed last night on the evening news. 120 inches of snow makes for a lot of overcast skies. 

But wait! There are hints that something is breaking loose. This too-long quite winter is getting noisy. I hear a giggle coming from the woods around my home. Could it be the longer daylight is beginning to make a difference? I think so. It's starting with the red squirrels and the blue jays. They have always been the leaders. They're taking personally the job of waking up the woods. They've been here all winter. And just a week ago, they were scurrying and flitting about, quietly and seriously searching for food. Now they sit on the tree outside my bedroom window with no other purpose but to chuckle. By March, today's chuckles will become guffaws as everyone gets in on the act.

I can take a hint. I can make my own sunshine. So each day I will sit quietly and let the laughter come to me. I’ll let it bubble up from the bottom like a long-suppressed, runaway spring. I’ll let the corners of my mouth turn up and the fizzy turn into involuntary giggles. I won't turn back. I don't even need something to laugh about. All it takes is a willingness to risk losing a little control. Laughter is free. And it takes nothing away from the seriousness of other activities. We don't need to delay laughter for an earned day off.

Can I become as contagious as those rowdy jays and disruptive red squirrels? Can I pull in the curious who will be unable to leave me without their own little chuckle? I hope so. The jays and squirrels have brightened my surroundings and broken the long silence of winter. I'm eager to pass it on.

Take some time each day to laugh out loud and let the gifts that laughter brings come to you. Then snatch up those gifts and giggle at what has presented itself. The world outside you and the world inside you will appreciate it.

"At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities." ~Jean Houston

"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face." ~Victor Hugo

"Even if there is nothing to laugh about, laugh on credit." ~Author Unknown

"When people are laughing, they're generally not killing each other." ~Alan Alda

Monday, February 04, 2008

Resource With A Bit Of A Rant

A couple of weeks ago I was listening to the program This I Believe on National Public Radio. I heard the speaker say something to the effect that we must look at what we do if we want to know what we believe. I think she's close to getting it right. I say listen to what you say if you want to know what you believe. But, looking at what you do will give you a clear indication of what you know to be true. That the distinction between a belief and a knowing is the difference between just talking about and actually doing.

Why do we shy away from saying “This I know?” Do we feel we are being rude or pushy in an arrogant way that will turn our listeners off? Are we afraid that if we firmly state what we know we are unable to change our mind? Perhaps we are too insecure and we are only willing to go as far as believing what we have been told.

What we know is more simple than what we say we believe. Perhaps what we know is so simple that there are no words. Our body simply knows this or that to be true and takes action.

My coaching and writing are filled to the brim with distinctions and musings like this. I love them. And I think distinctions are critical to understanding who we are and what we mean to say. Please don't be lazy in your communication. Find the right word.

For those of you who love words and creating distinctions, check out Visuwords™ Online Graphic Dictionary. Wow, what a resource!