Silence over Noise- Wonder over Answers-

Dear Readers,

This past weekend I took myself to see a movie which is one of my very favourite self-care activities. Note my smile!

One of reasons I love movies so much is they offer the chance for us to be quiet and just watch and take in something as it unfolds.

I saw “It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood” and as with anything that reminds us of our humanity and the need to slow down and be kind, I am onboard and here to listen to it.

I don’t think we give that gift anymore (the gift of silence). I’m very concerned that our society is much more interested in information than wonder. In noise, rather than silence…how do we encourage reflection? Oh my, this is a noisy world. I get up every morning at least by 5AM. I have a couple hours of quiet time, reflect about what it is important. What can we do, to encourage people to have more quiet in their lives, more silence? Real revelation comes through silence.– Mr. Fred Rogers

I watched an interview with Tom Hanks and he was talking about how hard it was to slow down and pay attention to every person as though they were the only person in the world. This was the overarching piece of advice he got when asking others about Rogers, preparing to play him. He admitted to being terrified to play the part for fear of getting it wrong.

That quote and this movie got me thinking, in our very loud and busy lives, how often do we stop and listen? The other day I found myself getting impatient with the person I was talking to and as soon as I realized it, I said, “Gosh, my mind must have wandered, can you say that again, please” and I felt my frustration lift, and real comprehension took place.

Yes, I even get impatient with these two, and forget to be silent and explore the wonder.

This happens all the time, so this week I wanted to invite you to find ways to find wonder and look for places to be silent as you listen intently (ala Mr. Rogers) to spoken and unspoken things being shared with you.

Think About It.

Six PM Social Media Shutdown!

Dear Readers,

A couple of weeks ago I saw a delightful picture online which of course I can’t find now, but the sentiment stayed with me.

What if the internet closed every evening at an appointed time?

What would that world be like? How much more “connected” might we be if we “disconnected” from our phones or the things that emanate light for just 2 hours a night?

I can hear the objections now, I mean, how would the WORLD turn minus technology? Planes wouldn’t fly, people couldn’t work or drive minus GPS to guide them, right?

So, this idea has flaws, but the premise of taking an intentional sabbatical from the internet, that my friends, is solid.

Perhaps 2 hours feels like a lot, okay, try 30 minutes, no technology, let yourself be bored and see how good it feels.

Maybe your family sits down to dinner at 5, so 5-6 no devices. Try it, listen to your kids or partner grumble and try the high/low game – “What was your high today?” What was your low today?”

If you are by yourself, relish the sound of nothingness and let yourself be awash in boredom. It’s good to be bored. ~ Jenn Haston~

It would be great if we could all agree to put those pixels down at a certain time every day or night but I am fighting a strong habit here so it’s okay to ask for help with unplugging.

In fact, there are applications for that, so please go check them out. Moment is one that I use and have found it to be a good accomplice in my self-imposed digital diet. I did this when I noticed that my 3 year old daughter knows what a phone is but has never used one, and is always grabbing for it, so I started to keep it in the other room. When it buzzes or rings, I don’t always answer it or look at it right away, because I don’t want my technology to own me or our family, I want to use it to enhance the relationships we have and tell my electronic assistant we need bananas or coffee from the store, while sitting on the ground tickling my munchkin and hearing her peals of laughter. It truly is the best sound in the world.

Remember the only thing we don’t get back is time, so let me ask you, how are you spending yours?

Think About It.

Free Rodney Reed. Your voice matters, use it.

Dear Readers,

If you have not been following the Rodney Reed case, let me fill you in on what’s going on in this case.

Rodney Reed is sentenced to die next Wednesday for a crime that he is accused of but that there has not been sufficient evidence to prove that he committed.

He has been proclaiming his innocence for twenty years and according to NBC news recent article breaking down the case and advocating for Freeing Rodney Reed

This article includes witness statements and forensic evidence uncovered since the victim died should allow Reed a new trial.

In the same article, by Eric Ortiz, the sister of the victim is fighting to keep Rodney Reed alive so they can get “justice for Stacey”

Does that sound like she thinks he is guilty?

Why would she come to Rodney’s defense if she did not believe in his innocence.

While thinking about that, here are some facts.

  1. DNA was never collected from the belt used to strangle Stites.
  2. The home shared with the victim was never searched for evidence.
  3. New witness accounts have not been allowed into evidence.

What can you do? Well for starters, familiarize yourself with the facts so you can make a judgment call about what you think given the following-

Are you done reading? Good, now it’s time to act.

Time is of the essence.

Rodney Reed is scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, November 20th.

I implore you, read the site, Sign the petition- and then get to dialing, and then share and tweet and instagram the living daylights out of this message. This man does not deserve to die due to racism and bias.

Don’t let this be another case of someone who is executed and then exonerated. Please do something before it is too late. 

Often we use the internet to share memes and jokes, but no one is living or dying because of it.

No one has a voice like you. Use it. ~ Jenn Haston~

You signing a petition and making calls and sharing this could SAVE A LIFE.

Think About It. Now, what are you going to do?


From Shaun King-

We need to persuade Governor Greg Abbott, the Board of Pardons and Paroles, the Bastrop County District Attorney Brian Goertz, and other conservative elected officials to stay this execution, review all of the evidence that exonerates Rodney, and eventually grant him a new trial.

It’s in their hands, but they have to know how much we care. 

I need you to call ALL of the people. If you’ve never done this work with me before, we’re kind and respectful when we call. Be firm and thorough. Be persistent, but be kind. People are more apt to respond to kindness than they will anger. Leave a message if you have to. Ask to be transferred to someone else if nobody is available.

And when you call, let them know that you are calling to advocate on behalf of Rodney Reed, an innocent man who has been wrongly convicted and sentenced to death on November 20th.

We have set up a tool that will connect you these influential people back-to-back. Each group of people has a slightly different role to play in the process. Here are the dial-in numbers for each group-

  1. Call the governor, TBPP, and DA Brian Goertz: (512) 967-0567

  2. Call Governor Abbott’s Staff: (512) 488-0698

  3. Call Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s Staff: (770) 800-0689

  4. Call The Board Of Pardons and Paroles Staff & Members: (737) 214-3944

Tell Fear To Shut Up, You Are Too Busy Being Awesome!

Dear Readers,

Ever wonder how to fight that nasty imposter syndrome?

Today I heard a great idea (from Jena Vivian- a fellow career coach) for counteracting those feelings of insecurity and doubts that plague your mind when you step up to the plate, take the bat, and get ready to swing and get ready to connect.

Just as you do, all that fear and uncertainty tells you for sure you are GOING to strike out instead of hit a home run.

Why do we do that? Why does our mind cast immediately to the worst possible scenario and set of circumstances? Well, if you are anything like me, it’s because you spent the majority of your life watching things “not work out” or in fact, “fall spectacularly apart” or more accurately “waiting for the other shoe to drop” but it really all comes down to the same thing. FEAR.

Stepping out into the unknown is HARD.

Any time we have the audacity to challenge the status quo or attempt something outside the normal or mediocre and THAT is when fear starts rearing its ugly head and starts saying things like,

“Who are YOU to write a book?

“You are too old to go back to school, it’s too late!”

Who are you to audition for “The Voice”?

<Insert your big dream here>

You want to know the antidote for fear and doubt?

It’s simple. Any time someone (a voice or another person) tells you that you can’t do something or questions your ability to try, take a minute and refute that fear with truth.

For example-

Fear says- Who are YOU to write a book?

You say: Well, I have these ideas that will not turn me loose, so I am pretty sure I am SUPPOSED to write a book, so shut up, sit down and watch me do it.

Insecurity says- You are too old to go back to school, it’s too late!”

You say-

Well, you need to check your facts, pal.

Julia Child released her first cookbook at age 39, and got her own cooking show at age 51.

Vera Wang failed to make the Olympic figure skating team, didn’t get the Editor-in-Chief position at Vogue, and designed her first dress at age 40.

So, shut up and watch me prove you wrong

<Insert your big dream>

You get the idea.

The other thing that helps and I mean this sincerely.

Surround yourself with people who want to be in the circle- Professor Haston

I am not sure if it will work for you, but I keep a kudos file, a record of voicemails, letters and emails or as it happens, confidence inspiring photos of past moments of swaggery (which is bad***ery and swagger combined)

-Thanks to Shonda Rimes “Year of Yes” for that one.

to remind you of the pure and unadulterated awesome you TRULY embody.

Trust me, you need something you can call up any time those other voices get loud and nasty as you wait in the wings for your turn to shine.

Think About It.

Then get busy telling Fear to get lost.

Strong, Smart, AND Cute!

Cute. It’s a word that gets thrown around a lot, especially when describing little girls, in this particular instance, mine.

I mean, yes, she is, AND she is so much more.

She’s three now (HOW?) and just the other day I heard her say, while putting her hands next to her face, “cuuuute” – not sure if she was describing herself or the outfit, and I saw an opportunity to reverse a seemingly innocuous habit.

Allow me to explain- I absolutely think my daughter is cute. I also know she is smart and strong and that’s a narrative I want her to believe from as early an age as I can to negate barrage of people telling her that she is “cute” but forgetting all the other things she is too.

So my husband and I discussed it and agreed we will teach her to say, “Strong, Smart, and Cute” when describing herself.

I never want her to think that “cute” is ALL she is.

I am proud to report after just a few days, she is saying all three!

(Thanks to Aunt Rachel for the dress!)”

Growing up, I was definitely recognized as Smart, but that was all.

I think it was good to grow up with that notion and hearing people say that about me, helping me to believe it about myself, and I am also sure it would have been greatly beneficial to believe all three about myself and, as I have grown, I have come to believe it.

I could leave it at that, but I think the important takeaway here is YOU.

What words do you use to describe yourself?

Are they true or false?

Are they aspirational or accurate?

Taking it even further, what are you saying about others, what words are you using? They matter, so

Think About It.