1291 Chapters
Medium 9781576754399

Chapter 8 Receiving and Gratitude

Castle, Victoria Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Our dog Ginger dedicated her life to pleasure, ours as well as hers. She taught us to walk in the woods, but always seemed a little disappointed that we never learned to get down and sniff and roll and pounce. Ginger would race ahead on the trail, then stop and turn, puzzled that we weren’t barreling after her, following suit. Didn’t we want to have fun, romp, and be happy? Endlessly patient, Ginger never gave up on our education. Many of her lessons unfolded in our own backyard.

When you live in the Pacific Northwest, as we do, every moment of sunshine is precious. Ginger’s personal research project was discovering how much sun and heat one dog could absorb on any given day. In the morning she started on the red brick patio near the back door so she could face and welcome the eastern rays. When the sunlight was eventually blocked by the cedar trees, Ginger would move from her established warm spot to the far edge of the patio, reassume her position, and absorb. Wherever the sun went, Ginger followed. By afternoon she had relocated her sun spa to the lawn, and after a few more hours of proper baking, she repaired to the flower bed, once again settling in to soak up the warm sunlight. By late afternoon, the shadow of the house intruded upon this tactic and a new strategy was called for.

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Medium 9781608682508

12. Align with Your Values

Jim Donovan New World Library ePub

Our values are one of the most important components of personal development, yet we often overlook them. By values I mean those principles and qualities that you hold dear. We all have a set of values — such as love, success, compassion, freedom, contribution, adventure, and security — that are important to us and determine our happiness. That is, our happiness or satisfaction in any situation depends on our most important values being met. And our behavior in any situation will be directly related to our particular set of values. Identifying and understanding your values will go a long way toward helping you create a life of joy and happiness.

Additionally, we attach importance to these values in a particular order and, as you’ll see below, have established “rules” that govern what has to happen for us to experience a particular value as being met. Do not be concerned if this sounds complicated. It is really pretty simple, as you will see as we go on.

Understanding other people’s values will improve communication and, in the workplace, will enable you to understand what drives your colleagues and how best to work with them. In business and sales, identifying a person’s values will raise you from being an ordinary salesperson to one who truly serves the customer. You will know how to present your product or service to address your customer’s most important concerns.

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Medium 9781591202455

14. Sara: Lost and Wounded

Malcolm N. McLeod Basic Health Publications, Inc. ePub

My life closed twice before its close—
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me.

—EMILY DICKINSON (1830-1886) as quoted by Sara

I had been meeting with Sara since 1984, seven years before George first walked into my office that day in 1991.

I first met Sara in the hospital. She had been admitted because of a second suicide attempt. Her excellent and dedicated psychiatrist at the hospital called to ask if I would evaluate one of his patients and offer a “second opinion on this enigma of a patient.” I readily agreed.

Before seeing Sara, her psychiatrist and I sat down and discussed her current and past history. A thick, voluminous chart sat on the table before us. He told me that Sara was in her late twenties and had been under psychiatric care for four years. Two years prior she had made her first suicide attempt. She had been hospitalized several times since then (over the past two years) because of depression and anorexia. During the past week before I was asked to see the patient, she had attempted suicide again.

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Medium 9781609949327

Chapter 11 Take a Break—Is It Over Yet?

Leider, Richard J.; Webber, Alan M. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

You’ve gone through each of the six practices that make up the Life Reimagined map. So this must be the journey’s end! Right?

Actually no.

In fact, the journey is never over. Remember Yogi Berra’s famous dictum, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over”?

When it comes to the Life Reimagined journey, good old Yogi had it wrong. The truth is, it’s never over.

When you reach Act, the sixth guidepost on the map, you haven’t arrived at your destination. You’ve actually just started. Because after you Act, your next step is to Reflect. You pause and see how your action feels to you: Does it sit well? Is it uncomfortable in an uncomfortable way? Or is it uncomfortable in a satisfying way, like the first day at a gym doing a new exercise regime? You know that workout might make your muscles sore—and you also know you’ll feel a little proud of yourself for having made the effort.

After you’ve gone around the Life Reimagined map for the first time, you’ll want to check in with the members of your Sounding Board. You’ll want to report in on how your journey is going. You’ll want to invite their feedback, to add their insights to your own experiences.

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Medium 9781523094578

6: Acceptance

Murphy-Shigematsu, Stephen Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and attend them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of all its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.1


Shizuko was 43 years old, in the mid-stages of ALS and losing voluntary control of her body. The first time I sat by her bedside and talked to her, I became aware of an intense feeling of fear inside myself. I wondered what it was like for her, living inside that crippled body. I struggled to be mindful, but kept imagining how beautiful she must have been and how tragic it was that her body was now being ravaged by such a debilitating disease.

Despite her deterioration, Shizuko always smiled when we were together. I was confused and doubted her sincerity at first. Why wasn’t she crying? Why wasn’t she raging against her cruel fate? Instead, she expressed gratitude and appreciation for the doctors, the nurses, her family, me, and the good life with which she was blessed.

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