Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2013
I just watched Lance Armstrong confess to doing exactly what I was sure he had never done.
As a teenager, I idolized professional bike racers. So, I got a road bike, rode all over Milwaukee County and I pictured myself riding the hills of France someday. So when Lance (who is only 16 days older than me) won his first tour, I was hooked. I followed every tour, every stage, every interview. I believed him and defended him to anyone that would listen. Even as the evidence piled up, I'm sure I was one of the last to admit to myself that he probably cheated. He was my hero. He duped me.
I'm not mad or even disappointed in him today. I'm sad for him and glad for him. Sad that he had to create such outlandish lies and hurt so many people that he cared about. Glad that he can finally enter his own authentic life.
I see irony in the most common term for him these days: DISGRACED. It's ironic because I think for the first time in his life he is understanding what the word GRACE means. For the first time in his life, some people (even if only a few) are demonstrating care for him simply because they do. Sometimes it takes being "disgraced" to know who will be there no matter what. Read More »
Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012
I was recently on a plane and the flight attendant spoke up about the safety information she was about to share. She said, "It is better to know this information and not need it than to need it and not know it. This information could save your life." Good point!
Here is a list of "truths" that may save your life—specifically save you from living a life that EVEN YOU believe is not worth living.
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Posted Thursday, April 26, 2012
You could hear a pin drop. The once lively discussion that the group of us were having moved to reality and we all sat with his words.
There was no judgement. We ALL knew exactly what he was talking about.
You see, there is real life going on all around us and somewhere along the way we were taught that avoiding truth and avoiding our feelings will keep us safe. Really? Do you feel safe? Do you feel at ease?
This is a big deal. There are people in intense pain at every turn. We self-medicate with TV, with food, with alcohol, and prescription drugs. We also do it in more outwardly "healthy" ways like exercise and work.
I feel deeply for my friend. He doesn't want to be alone. He's willing to endure misery in order to ensure that he doesn't have to be alone. At least he has the courage to admit it. To admit that it's his choice—he knows that it's a fool's bargain—but it's his bargain and the only one he knows how to make right now. We've all been there. I would venture to guess that we are all there right now—one way or another.
So what do we do now? Read More »
Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012
Imagine you in your home, winding down from a long day and the door bell rings. You open the door and there is a solitary unicorn standing there. You are understandably surprised. You are shocked when the unicorn starts speaking to you and in english says, "Get on! Let's go for a ride!"
What's your response? Of course you are going to get on the unicorn. You are either in a dream or it's a chance of a lifetime—so no matter what—you are going to go for a ride.
Is there anything magical in your life? Anything that has you in awe? Is there anywhere in your life where you experience unbridled joy?
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Posted Tuesday, October 04, 2011
It's 9 days ago. I'm lying face down on a tattoo parlor table. The pain is beyond what I imagined. It's not stopping. I tell myself it will be over soon. Soon is taking quite a while. Each branch of the tree has to be traced and filled in. The leaves need to be added--each leaf another needle. Eventually, I embrace the pain. I stop cringing. I lean into it. It becomes the metaphor for why I'm here--1000 miles from home, alone, getting a tattoo of a tree on my back.
I'm here because my friends loved me and believed in me and sent me to a world class leadership program. I'm alone because I must be, and I'm getting a tree on my back because the tree is the symbol of my true life.
Beauty and pain are inextricably linked. Authenticity--what my new tattoo represents--is not possible without pain.
So, many years ago I set clear intentions for my life: I want my insides to match my outsides. I want to be real. I want to live authentically. I knew at the time that this was not an easy task. I knew it would cost me things to live out those intentions. Mostly I knew that I would have to drastically change for those intentions to turn into reality.
Today--I turn 40.
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Posted Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Posted Thursday, September 08, 2011
I know, I know…you were there and I wasn't so how can I say that your stories are made up. Easy. All of our stories are made up.
I'm not saying the facts or details aren't true—I'm just saying that when you tell yourself that story today—YOU make up the meaning and give it the power to influence your life. Someone else who went through the exact experience might have a completely different story.
Let me illustrate. So the biggest story of my life got flipped on its head recently.
I come from a big family. I have a total of eight siblings. However, when I was five years old, my parents divorced and my mother quickly remarried and moved to Germany with her new husband. I was one of the youngest and was raised by my father and stepmother with almost no contact with my mother.
So my story went something like this: "My life was ruined when my mom left me." I believed that I was abandoned by the one person that I needed most in the world. This story had HUGE consequences on how I showed up in the world—both good and bad. Read More »
Posted Thursday, July 28, 2011
So, Canal Street. If you don't know about it, you haven't done much shopping in New York City. If you have, you know exactly what types of watches, purses, and electronics are available here. All fake, all illegal, but some of them very convincing fakes.
Here's the problem though—once you buy it—you know it's fake. You know that when you walk into a room with your gorgeous Prada or stylish Rolex, you are really only wearing $50 worth of merchandise—not the $5000 that the real thing might cost.
Do you get the same satisfaction that you would have gotten by the compliments and noticings that might go on? Do you feel happy about your wealth? Do you feel like you belong with the other people in the room with actual Rolexes?
Read More »
Posted Thursday, July 21, 2011
I saw the new Harry Potter movie tonight with my teenage daughter. A must see. Really.
I know this happens in real life too—but there is just something about movies where you get to see people living out of their true selves—really experiencing their fear but deciding to face it and do what they must do for those that they love.
It makes me think of Braveheart—another story of good and evil with betrayal, death of a hero, and freedom winning in the end.
I was asked who I admired the other day. Living or dead. Real or fictional. The first name that hit me was William Wallace. I tried to push it out to come up with a "better" name but my sub conscience wouldn't have it—William Wallace was the choice. Then came the follow-up questions: what is it that you admire? What are the specific traits. What inspires you about this person? What resonates with you?
Try this yourself with someone you admire, my answers are below: Read More »
Posted Monday, June 27, 2011
I've been devastated in my life. Many times. I've cried through pain beyond belief...wondering if I would ever be OK.
I love deeply. I throw my whole self into relationships. I don't believe that we should do this thing called friendship with anything less than our full selves. One caution however, this way of doing life has consequences.
In my 20s, I had a best friend; we were together often and we met for breakfast every Friday for several years. Our families did stuff together and everyone thought of us as brothers.
One day, I had been trying to get ahold of him to borrow a card table and when he finally answered...he said that he didn't want to lend me his card table and he didn't want to be my friend anymore either. I slumped onto my bed and asked him to repeat what he said. He did and I went into shock.
I didn't understand what had happened. It turns out that he had been building up resentment towards how I rubbed him the wrong way for years and simply kept it to himself. Something I did that week set him off and he was done.
I could not function at work the next day. I was a mess.
I'd like to say that we talked and worked it out and repaired our friendship but the truth is that we never did. He had never said there was anything wrong until that day.
Then and now I will own my issues...own my mistakes. I learned many things about myself from that relationship. I learned that I can come across as thinking I'm better than others when my insecurities are in full swing. I also learned that although he wasn't going to be my friend anymore...it didn't mean that I was unworthy of friendship. Read More »