Health

Health

We have all heard (and perhaps have said) "the most important thing is health." But it's not until you or a loved one face health challenges that those words taken on full meaning. In an instant, grievances that may have existed instantly vanish. The thought of losing or the suffering of a loved one brings clarity that previously eluded us. It is a gift we're given and the good that come out of a sad and frightening situation. I hope I don't squander it.

Spring Cleaning Revisited

Spring Cleaning Revisited


As the end of Spring draws near, it's still a good time for Spring cleaning. No cleaning job would be complete without some time given to de-cluttering. But de-cluttering is not simply a matter of getting rid of things. As organizing guru, Marie Kondo advises, it's keeping only the things we love.

Uncontrolled consumerism is largely a result of not loving what we have. If we filter our purchases by asking ourselves "do I love this?" we wouldn't ever feel the need to de-clutter.

Make A Statement

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Make A Statement

Retailers use product to make a statement. Some, like these Oakland, CA merchants go a step further. Making a statement doesn't have to be political or controversial. The statement can be about anything that matters to the retailer. A retail store is a platform. Why not use it to educate and raise consumer awareness? 

RIP Chris Cornell

RIP Chris Cornell
 

I can't say I new much about Chris Cornell or Soundgarden until this week. Even so, Chris Cornell's death affected me as does the death of any great artist. Their words and images help us discover, define and describe our range of feelings. Musicians take it a step further. I believe their music engages our emotions more deeply. It taps into something primordial in all of us. I may not know a lot about Chris Cornell, but I know his music touched, moved and inspired many.

RIP Chris Cornell.

Doing the Impossilbe

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Doing the Impossible
 

Doing what we've never done often seems like an impossible task. -- until it's done. My mantra when approaching something new is "how hard can it be? Followed by "it can't be harder than (fill in the blank)." When I think of challenges I've overcome, it puts whatever I'm facing in perspective and it gives me the strength and confidence I need to get the job done. What good are life's experiences if they don't serve as a reservoir? This doesn't make completing the task at hand easy, but it at least enables me to get started. That's usually the biggest hurdle. Once I started, finishing is almost always a certainty. 

Commitment

Commitment

I'm either all in or not all. A lukewarm commitment would be a disservice to myself and others. That's why I am very selective about what I commit to doing. 

Spring

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Spring


According to the calendar, Spring is here. However, Spring is fickle. Just when you think the cold and wet days of Winter are behind us, there's a Winter reprise. That's one reason why Spring is my least favorite season. It's disguised optimism.

Account-ability


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Account-ability

My afternoon is spent reviewing and categorizing expenses. It's all about the ability to account for every expense. It feels good to have things in order.

Eating


Eating

Stress eating. We've all done it and it usually consists of eating things or quantities that aren't good. Next time the urge comes on, I will remind myself that is eating well is a form of self respect.

Inspiration


Inspiration

I went to the New York show with the hope finding new products and inspiration and found both. However, inspiration came not from the show but visiting ABC Carpet and Home. This stores is a feast for the eyes -- and the soul. Never preachy, "In Pursuit of Magic" messages are sprinkled throughout the store and reinforced by products. ABC is not just a shopping experience. It is magic. 

Creativity vs. Competition


Creativity vs. Competition

I attended the Las Vegas Market and ran into other Principals of sales agencies in the Northwest. Some would call them my "competitors." I don't. That's not my world. I live in the world of creation -- not competition.

My perspective on the companies I represent and how I display and speak about them is my unique interpretation.  How one interprets ideas or products gives them a uniqueness. I've seen high-end products relegated to dollar bins countless times. Without creating a context to showcase products, they're nothing but worthless commodities. The key is to create an environment to support and romance products. The product alone seldom carries the day. 

In the world of creativity,  I don't have to look over my shoulder or worry about being "ripped-off" or "knocked-off." It's liberating.

Me Time


Me Time

Over the last couple of months, I've kidded y business partner about requiring his "me time." We all do, but I sensed he felt guilty about taking time for himself. Rather than to say, "I need some time for myself," he withdrew emotionally ever so slightly but enough for me to notice. He's not alone in feeling guilty about taking time for ourselves. I too struggle with taking time for myself. 

A few months ago I began a daily routine that includes reading, journaling, meditation and exercise. My "me time" has produced great results. It has actually given me more energy and stamina to face the challenges of work and family. A a little bit of "me" has translated to a better "we." If I'm OK, everyone in my sphere is better for it too. 

Looking for Christmas


Looking for Christmas
 

 A few years ago, my husband and I spent Christmas alone. When spending Christmas with relatives, our day is usually spent stopping by the home of various family members. Without family obligations, we decided to start the day by going to mass. I was secretly hoping I would find Christmas there and I did.

The setting was perfect -- a beautifully decorated church and a choir who began mass with a spirited Joy to the World. At one point the doors of the church flew open by a strong gust of wind, toppling over several poinsettias. Was "He" announcing his arrival? Mass continued in the usual manner but with a great number of parishioners taking communion than on a non-holiday Sunday. It ended and then Christmas appeared. I saw mothers taking their children to see the nativity scene and taking care to explain who the characters represented and tell them about the birth of Christ. I also saw people in deep prayer, one man embracing a crucifix with one arm and raising the other as if reaching for God. To witness such profound love and devotion was deeply moving. On a day overrun by commercialization  and materialism, I managed to find Christmas and it was a miracle.