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Posts Tagged ‘change’

Change Is My New Frequency

Monday, December 5th, 2022

For years, daily routines have been my habit. This month, change is my new frequency. I am changing jobs, changing where I live, and changing how I spend my time. After living in the Northeast my whole life, I recently decided to move to Florida. And after spending my whole career in the not-for-profit arena, I am now focusing more on my coaching, meditation, and writing business practices. I also took time off to create space for these big life changes. I would love to say this was for a purposeful sabbatical, but in reality, it was more of a necessity for a move that included packed boxes, a car getting shipped, and time to set-up our condo.

All of these changes reminded me of my radio growing up where you had to get the station just right so there wouldn’t be any static. I would roll the dial slowly to try to get a station in tune. It was a feat to get a radio frequency that did not have any static. Often, when I did find the station, I would just leave it on the one I found so I wouldn’t have to get any more static–even if I didn’t like the music. Changing the dial meant moving through the static.

I noticed that’s what is happening now. I have moved the dial on my inner radio station. I am going through the stations to get past the static until a station is clear and in tune. And as I have made these many big changes, there has been a lot of static! Yet, change is my new frequency. I am not sure what station or how many will come into focus, but I am open to listening to lots of stations. There is much to learn from static, the in-between stations, and the various music found in everything.

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Lead With Passion

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Great leadership demands passion.

Passion is a quality that projects vitality, joy, and enthusiasm for all the tasks at hand.  If leaders can show their passion in an authentic way, then the effect will show to the rest of the team and the result can be profound.

Passion is the way you show what you think of your job, and your role.  If you are passionate, your team will know that you care about your job, and that gives them high hope that they can care about their jobs too.

I discovered a long time ago that I loved being a leader.  And so, showing passion was never a problem.  I went into my workdays full of positive energy and feeling like I had the best job on earth.

Did it make a difference? Yes, it did.

When I received feedback about my leadership, the most fulfilling comments were the ones along the lines of “you really inspired me with your energy and enthusiasm“.

Great leadership demands passion.

It’s also a very personal thing to put yourself “out there” like that – it can put you in a vulnerable position.  That’s why passion isn’t a trait you see in every leader.

It takes some fortitude to bring emotions to the surface like that, but the benefits are well worth the risk.

And besides, passion brings something else into play that goes beyond leadership – an enjoyment of life.

Great leadership demands passion.


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Inspiration, Curiosity, & Positivity

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

After meeting some of the best and the brightest researchers and educators at a recent Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital Coaching in Medicine & Leadership  Intensive, I wanted to share some amazing quotes of inspiration:

“All great leaders by their passion and sense of purpose, and their accomplishments, live a great story.” ~Sanjiv Chopra, MD

“The opponent within one’s head is more daunting that the one on the other side of the net.” ~Sir John Whitmore, PhD

“Positive emotions help us become the best versions of ourselves.” ~Barbara Fredrickson, PhD

“Changes in the internal system will effect changes in the external system and vice versa. This means that how you relate to your Inner Team members is similar to how you relate to the people in your world and vice versa.” ~Richard Schwartz, PhD

“We cannot inspire passion in others without engaging it ourselves.” ~Richard Boyatzis, PhD

“Coaching improves psychological resources that predict higher performance, capacity to change, and mental health, e.g. increasing positivity, resilience, and self-efficacy.” ~Margaret Moore, M.B.A.

You don’t have to be a life coach or a doctor to ask, to be open, to be curious, to connect in ways that allow us to reach our deepest vision of healing and wholeness. As Paul Farmer once said, “The only true nation is humanity.”

Mary Anne

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Are You Ready to Do More Than the Status Quo?

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

In an article in the Harvard Business Review, Seth Godin speaks about Redefining Failure. Godin says, “We think failure is the opposite of success and we optimize our organizations to avoid it.” In other words, we treat everything we do as if it ought to be a non-failure. He thinks we have narrowly defined failure. Godin continues, “Failure creates urgency. Failure gets you fired. Failure cannot stand; it demands a response. But the status quo is simply embraced and, incredibly, protected.”

There are so many places in our life when keeping the status quo seems easier than going with something new that may fail and we might learn from that. What if we redefined our definition of failure so we could experience something new, make changes, and create new opportunities?

Stepping up with a new idea and failing and then making changes is far more successful than doing the same thing with little or no result. I think of my friend Joe who will move to the West Coast in January after twenty years in New York to live his dream or my friend Clayton who invests in promoting his LGBT organization by offering gift card incentives to homeowners.

I am looking at how I could redefine failure. I could stay with the status quo and continue doing really good work in New York or I could expand into Provincetown and/or other global parts of the world and see this as an amazing chance of growth—even if there is some failure.

I am ready to do more than the status quo. Will you join me?

Mary Anne

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How Are You Returning to Yourself?

Monday, September 6th, 2010

“Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.” Lao Tzu

September is a month of returning – returning to school, returning to work, returning to a new semester. There’s excitement in the air (at least for most). It’s a time when people have their new wardrobe all ready to go. As we gear up for another month and a change in the weather, let’s ask how we return to ourselves?

What are some ways you return to yourself and flow from the energy of September?

Happy September!
Mary Anne

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Who Lives on in Your Heart?

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

The anniversary of my mom’s passing was Monday (July 12) and I can’t believe it has been 10 years. If I close my eyes, I can remember that day like it was yesterday. And yet, so much of my life has changed in the last 10 years. I’ve changed jobs twice, studied shamanism, facilitated drumming circles, traveled to Italy to stay in the Vatican, started my own healing arts company, journeyed to Louisiana to meet Mary Ann, and became a certified life coach. Through all of these transitions and changes, I have had incredible teachers, mentors, therapists, healers, and friends.

The world has changed a lot too. We have seen our first African American President in the United States. We watched the world come together through major tragedies like 9/11, a tsunami in Indonesia, Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, and an earthquake in Haiti to name just a few. We have helped one another through our times of change and turmoil.

What I have learned over the past ten years is that the earth below our feet moves and shakes. How we deal with a shaking and ever-changing earth is up to us. As the writer Dominique Browning says about life, “It never gets easy. But if we are paying attention, it can get simpler.”

For years I experienced my mom’s passing as the worst grief in my life. I have come to realize these past ten years that she never really left because she lives on through my memories of her, in my work, and in my heart. People never really leave our hearts.

The earth will shake again. This time I will pay more attention and I know it will get simpler.

Who lives on in your heart?

In loving memory of my mom,
Mary Anne

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Make More Art

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Each week there are many vendors and artists at the NYC Union Square Farmers Market. I recognize many of the artists as they are there every week.  I walked over to a table I had not seen before and saw some beautiful Buddha’s painted onto wood. The woman told me the cost of a small wooden Buddha painting. I knew I wasn’t carrying much cash with me and asked her if she would be around again. She said she would sell it for a little less. I reached into my pocket and realized I was still short a few dollars. I explained I would come back another day. She picked up the painting, put it in a bag, and told me I could have it for that amount of money.

I brought the painted wood home and put it on my bookshelf. All weekend it would catch my eye and I smiled. I love the bold colors, the three candles, and the shadows. I realize how important it is to make and share art. Art takes many forms and lives on in ways that we cannot possibly imagine. Seth Godin says his definition of art must have three elements:

“Art is made by a human being.
Art is created to have an impact, to change someone else.
Art is a gift. You can sell the souvenir, the canvas, the recording… but the idea itself is free, and the generosity is a critical part of making art.”

Ms. Solomon is the writer in the “Questions For” column in The NY Times Magazine. She was interviewed this weekend in the Book Review and asked, Is there an art to asking questions?” Solomon replied, “No, definitely not. There’s a tendency to call everything an art form, so we read about “the art of Twittering” or “the art of mixing a perfect mojito.” The word “art” should be reserved for activities that stand a chance of adding at least one beautiful object to the world.”

We need more art that has a chance to add at least one beautiful object or idea into the world. Yes, we need to make and share more art.

What art will you make that will change at least one person?

Mary Anne

The photo in this blog of the Buddha is designed by Anothai Hansen.
Visit her website: http://www.anothaiart.us/

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With Every Breath…Start Over

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

“It’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best of it or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.”

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

A friend of mine recently told me that we learn by looking backwards – too bad we have to live life forwards. Perhaps because I was watching the Oscars and saw many people tell stories of redemption or perhaps because my family has had to do some major shifting after finding a new member of the family, I began to ponder the idea of starting over.

If you were to look at all the big movies in 2008 – Milk, SlumDog Millionaire, Frozen River, The Wrestler, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Reader, and Revolutionary Road – you will see that they all touch on major issues of birth, death, redemption, decisions, relationships, and hope-filled visions. It’s in the smallest of moments when the biggest decisions are made and questions get asked. How do I say good-bye? How can I promote equality and justice? Where do I fit in? How can I love more?

It’s easy to see a speck of light in another, but often more difficult to see it in ourselves. Starting over means we can release the past without judgment and move forward without baggage. How many times have you started over? I think about the first time I moved out of the house at 17 and never looked back. I was hoping for a new environment to escape to and hopefully find a place to thrive. I found my first job in the South Bronx and moved with two duffel bags and a few hundred bucks to start over. I had to find my way, often literally, because I got on the wrong subway. After I felt like I had given all I had serving youth in the South Bronx, I changed jobs. In my new job at the Red Cross, I taught CPR/First Aide and trained volunteers. In starting over at the Red Cross, I decided I would be ‘out of the closet’ from the beginning and put a picture of my partner on my desk. After a few years, and a lot of management turn over, I left and returned to the South Bronx to help create youth focused programs.

After 15 years in nonprofit, I realized that it was my time to lead, to inspire, to create my own way, so I started my own company. With the support of my partner, a dream, and a notebook full of ideas, I launched my healing arts company in 2006. It was outside of everything that was comfortable, easy, and known, but I had to do it. I realize to start over, you may have to be willing to give up what may seem real, important, and safe. But in starting over, the real gift is that life opens new doors and gifts never imagined come into your life.

I am not sure I could ever be Benjamin Button and live life backwards, but I can take time to really ‘be myself’ looking forward. Time is more than a gift; it’s an imaginary line that moves. Starting over is more than changing jobs, it’s changing the direction of the road you travel. Every day, every moment, every minute is a chance to start over. With each breath, I hope you have the courage to start over.

Mary Anne

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