Archive | be present RSS feed for this section

Be The Answer: Alec’s Story (or “The only answer to a prayer I ever needed”)

I’ve been an educator most of my adult life.  Over the years I’ve seen many children whose small and innocent lives were consumed with anger and depression — traumatized by violence, deprivation, and untenable circumstances. But, there was one boy who was by far the saddest, angriest child I had ever met. And there was […]

1 Comment Continue Reading →

Be Present: Ten years from now, what will have mattered to our children?

Ten years from now . . . Ten years from now, it won’t have mattered whether or not the sink was perfectly scrubbed. Ten years from now it will have mattered that I stopped scrubbing the sink to listen to a problem they were having in school. Ten years from now, it won’t have mattered […]

14 Comments Continue Reading →

How To Be Patient: Rethinking Red Lights

When I was little, I used to love traffic signals.  I loved the way they kept our car rides interesting by punctuating otherwise tedious trips with spontaneous, colorful light shows.  I loved how they glowed at night like magical beacons in the darkness. I enjoyed the way they blinked and winked, like friendly robots that […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

How to be Present to Beauty: A Memory

All I wanted was a little peace and quiet.  A moment alone.   I longed for the kind of happiness that a little self-imposed solitude might bring.  And I had it all set up just as I had envisioned it:  A cup of tea in my hands. A novel (enthusiastically recommended by a friend) sitting temptingly […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

How To Be Relaxed: Don’t give in to “Prepositional Panic”

I suffer intermittently from a widely suffered yet rarely diagnosed syndrome.  It’s called Prepositional Panic.  I thought I might describe the symptoms to you so that in case you suffer from the same ailment, you might seek treatment for your symptoms.   Those who suffer from Prepositional Panic might find that they suffer from a […]

1 Comment Continue Reading →

How To Be Curious: Do you know what’s in your neighbor’s garage?

A couple of weeks ago, my children and I were visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Ohio.  In the afternoon of our second day, my two daughters and I decided we would go for a walk.  As we wandered the unfamiliar landscape we passed house after house with garages.  One-car garages. Two-car garages.  It may […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

How To Be Real: Be Present to Life’s Sweetness

I have a bad habit of knitting my brow when I am lost in thought.   One day, a few years ago, I was sitting and watching my son playing Legos in the living room.  I was gazing absently at his play, but my mind was lost in some tangled problem I was trying to […]

1 Comment Continue Reading →

Be Mindful: Do the dishes just to do the dishes

“Washing the dishes is at the same time a means and an end; that is, not only do we do the dishes in order to have clean dishes, we also do the dishes just to do the dishes, to live fully in each moment while washing them.” – Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh It was […]

3 Comments Continue Reading →

How To Be Transformative: Turn your troubles into treasure

Our troubles are like compost.  From all outward appearances, they’re unsightly and smelly.  We’d like to shove them away into a dark place where we’ll never have to look at them again.  But just as compost will yield rich soil if we are willing to let it be — if we are willing to care […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

How To Be Real: You don’t have to settle in Cynicsville

Imagine, if you will, two towns:  Cynicsville and Pollyannatown.  Two towns beset by troubles large and small.   And yet the residents of these towns look at their troubles in decidedly different ways. The residents of Cynicsville feel they’ve seen it all.  No matter what the turn of events – good or bad — they […]

Leave a comment Continue Reading →