Twenty-five years ago, lifeguard certification required treading water for two minutes without the use of hands. I’m not sure if holding a brick while treading was a Red Cross requirement, but to the instructor I had, it was.
Along with treading with the brick, we also
submerged 12 feet to retrieve the brick from the bottom of the pool, bring it to the surface, and swim it safely to the side under 1 minute 40 seconds.
To a 15 year old at the time, the Lifeguard Brick Test was a thrilling challenge. To a more aged woman now, a brick in water is dead weight.
Metaphorically, many of us are carrying bricks, barely keeping our heads above water. We are kicking hard, exerting energy to keep this brick in our grasp. We’ve got to pass the test. We’ve got to prove we can do it all. But, damn, that brick is heavy. (more…)
Why is it that people can hold onto anger or resentment or sadness for years, but holding onto joy seems fleeting?
I have known people who have carried a grudge for years, but I don’t know as many who have carried joy for as long.
Change may be the culprit. Change asks us to let go. It means we have to let go of what we want in a situation. It means letting go of our egos in a situation. It means letting go of our old ways of thinking.
Let’s face it – our brains prefer the path of least resistance. If you don’t believe me, just hone in on your habits sometime and pick one to change overnight. It’s difficult. (more…)
What do you think you need from others? Where do you see lack?
When you pinpoint this “thing”, you’ll find your strength in leadership.
I used to judge people who talked a lot. When extroverts began to talk, I’d stop listening. I wanted to hear from people who were quieter, who in my opinion demanded less attention, whose fewer words held more weight.
What I discovered is that I wanted to know someone who could really listen and stay engaged and reflect what I was saying – because from my discerning view, most were too busy making noise to really listen. (more…)
While driving by a prison last week, I gawked at a few men digging a new grave. Two other gravestones nearby marked newly tossed mounds of dirt.
“Hm. People die as prisoners…” I’d never really contemplated it before.
Quickly I recognized two kinds of captivity: physical and mental.
There are people who are not physically living in a prison, yet they’ll die as prisoners. Their gravestones won’t be located on the corner of the prison grounds, but they’ll be buried as a person who was held captive, nonetheless.
The mind can be a prison guard. It can run us, like automatons, if we let it. We’ll just go through the motions in life, wearing our orange jumpsuits, never really stopping to consider what the meaning truly is behind those motions. (more…)