personal growth – Perspectives & Possibilities

Tag: personal growth

"what's the answer" | Author: Erich Ferdinand | License: CC BY 2.0

Quests and Questions

As long as humans have told stories, we’ve shared tales about people going on quests. There is a long list of these tales about quests of one sort or another in history and in literature. Here are a few of the more famous quests. About 2,000 BC, Gilgamesh embraced the quest to find the secret to eternal life. He started out as a cruel despot who raped any women he fancied. After losing his best Read More

Title: _MG_3044 | Author: Hugh Letheren | Source: Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Courage and Creativity

It’s scary to be outside the margins of “normality.”

As any person (whether they they think of themselves as creative or not) knows, introducing newness goes hand-in-hand with disruption of established rules and expectations. But if we can find the courage to break out of rigid structures, we may be rewarded with finding a clearer path to joy, meaning, and purpose.

"Basalt Columns of Giant's Causeway" Credit: pictruer / 一元 马 | License: CC BY 2.0

Fast-Slow-Stop-Look-Listen

My nickname growing up was Rapid Rick. I always got things done quickly. Not always accurately or perfectly, but fast. After 70 years of taking pride in this reputation, I finally realized that slower is better. Ouch!

Yes, there were some advantages to my “now is good” approach to life…but now I wonder at what price.

"014b," by Elton Eerkens, www.eltoneerkens.tumblr.com

P and E Trump I and S

When I was a kid growing up in the 50s, my whole life revolved around kickball, basketball, running, climbing and hanging out with a neighborhood full of friends. My community consisted entirely of white, Christian, straight (as far as I knew) people. My world was physical and emotional. I measured success by goals scored and games won, and by how many friends I had in the In-Group.

"Lego Wars," Credit: FFCU on Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/free_for_commercial_use/ (License: CC BY-SA 2.0)

Letting Go and Letting In

It seems like we always have to let go of stuff. As babies, at some point, we have to give up our pacifiers or security blankets. As young adults, we have to let go of our dependence on parents and become independent. As we grow older, we need to let go of our defensiveness in order to let in constructive feedback. Over the course of our lives, our security blankets and dependencies change, but we Read More

Photo by Joe Beck

Mindful and Joyful Living, Learning, and Working

My four-year old grandson is an old soul. He is one of the most loving, sensitive, kind and joyful people I know.   He also has a hyper-active body, an incredibly curious mind, and relentlessly intense feelings. It’s a lot for a child to manage. It’s a lot for anyone to manage. The question is: how can we help our kids and each other stay in touch with the unfettered joy and love we were born Read More

"Porst SP Old Plank Road 2," by Flickr user J Jakobson https://www.flickr.com/photos/30811353@N04/

Concepts and Skills

Stephen Ambrose, in his new book describing the construction of the Transcontinental railroad, Nothing Like It In the World, suggests that trains were the primary vehicle for introducing the industrial revolution. He quotes an engineer who said, “where a mule can go, I can make a locomotive go.” The poetry of engineering requires both the imagination to conceive and the skills to execute. We use concepts to frame our imagination, we use skills to build Read More

https://www.flickr.com/photos/melisande-origami/

The Seven Dimensions of Leadership Assessment

In my work as an executive coach over the past 30 years, I have developed a useful methodology for assessing leaders. It combines the best approaches I have learned from multiple sources. When I first started in this profession, the prevailing perception was that anyone who needed a coach was in trouble. The coach was hired to fix a problem. Fortunately, that perception has evolved over the years. Now, executives without a coach are questioned Read More

Sagrada Família nave roof detail by Flickr user SBA73 https://www.flickr.com/people/7455207@N05

Endings and Beginnings

In 1984, we formed a book group in Basking Ridge, NJ with 6 other couples. Our first book was George Orwell’s 1984. We met monthly (with few exceptions) for the next 32 years discussing a diverse mixture of books: fiction and non-fiction, simple and complex, light and heavy, funny and sad, uplifting and depressing. Each book gave us an opportunity to share our thoughts and feelings and to get to know each other on a Read More

Mirror Pond at Belton House, by Flickr user Rich Bamford (https://www.flickr.com/photos/myrialejean/)

Awareness with Acceptance

Call it serendipity. Call it luck. Call it random events that just happened to be connected. Call it anything you want, but I just experienced a strange coincidence that boggles my mind a bit. I had been thinking about a new post (yes, that’s what I do with most of my free time) about the notion of awareness and acceptance. Incidentally, my process for writing posts is to latch onto an idea from something I have read, Read More

“Modernism 2.0,” by Nick Stathopoulos http://www.nickstath.com

Timelessness and Transcendence

“This trip had dimension and tone. It was a thing whose boundaries seeped through itself and beyond into some time and space that was more than all the Gulf and more than all our lives.” -John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez We just returned from the Sea of Cortez on a trip with National Geographic to watch the whales migrate from the tip of Mexico to the Bering Strait. The beauty of Read More

"The Sad Hulk," by Thomas Hawk

Connect, Create, Collaborate

I recently attended a week-end workshop on Calm Clarity conducted by Due Quach (pronounced Zway Kwok), a Vietnamese boat refugee who grew up in a drug infested and gang ridden inner city and then went on to: graduate with honors at Harvard, complete a Masters Degree at Wharton, work for one of the most prestigious consulting firms in the country, scour Asia for the most enlightened spiritual sources, and create the Calm Clarity organization which Read More

Photo by Sérgio Rola | License: CC0

Range and Reach

I recently visited the Picasso Sculpture exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. It was a stunning display of the range and reach of Picasso’s work over five decades. As the introduction to the exhibit suggests, Picasso upended categorical distinctions. The retrospective collection provides ample evidence to support that observation. What struck me as I moved from room to room through MOMA’s beautiful exhibit spaces was Picasso’s range of materials (plaster, bronze, wood, Read More

Title: one size – fits all | Author: Cees Wouda | Source: ceesjw on Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Labels, Limits, and Levels

Dr. Bill Anthony, the highly respected, world-renowned, executive director of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center at Boston University, initiated classes with new students by throwing the DSM into the waste basket. This dramatic statement was intended to communicate to people entering the mental health field that labels limit our ability to see the potential and possibilities of another human being.

"Stools," by Ai Weiwei | Photo Credit: Daniel Silliman

Stages and States

I just completed an on-line course through MindValley Institute entitled “Beyond Seeking” taught by Ken Wilber, whom I mentioned in my last post. The course triggered so many ideas that I wanted to filter them through my lens and write a post. So here it is. As the title of this post indicates, throughout our lives, we can experience many stages and many states. In my last post, Spiritual Awakening, I constructed scales for Wilber’s Read More

"Ai Weiwei at AGO," | Author: Alyx Dellamonica

Development or Deterioration

As I turn 70, I’m sure the first thought that crosses peoples’ minds when they meet me now is, “He’s old!!” Most people associate aging more with accelerated deterioration than continuing development. But I think there is no end point for development. Growth may take a different form or shape, but it doesn’t need to end.

Photo of Traverse City sunset by Rick Bellingham

Strength

Strength is working through, not walking over It means confronting pain, dealing with sadness, living with fear   Strength is expressing feelings, not repressing them It means shedding tears, breaking down, getting it back together   Strength is opening up, not closing down It means being vulnerable, sharing fears, seeking connections   Strength is looking in, not looking out It means finding a place inside that nourishes the soul   Strength is being grateful for Read More

Author: Elizabeth Lies

Conscious Dualism

Dualism means the tendency of humans to perceive and understand the world as being divided into two discrete categories. Dualism exists in many belief systems including Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Taoism and Confucianism. In these beliefs the universe is divided into the complementary oppositions, e.g. good and evil. In traditions such as classical Hinduism, Zen Buddhism or Sufism, a key to enlightenment is “transcending” this sort of dualistic thinking.

Image by Thomas Hawk

Being at Home in the Universe

An Internal Space or an External Refuge At my older daughter’s wedding, she sang the song, “Feels Like Home to Me” to her husband. It struck me that we are all searching for a sense of home in our lives and I was so grateful that she had found a man with whom she felt at home. Her beautiful voice filled the reception hall and my hope for everyone there was that they felt, in Read More