Thursday, November 19, 2009


Sometimes we let ourselves get distracted, sometimes we need distraction(!), and sometimes we just can't help but be distracted. I love this poem; it describes how I'm feeling today! :-)

I meant to do my work today -
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And the leaves were calling me.
And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand -
So what could I do but laugh and go?

by Richard le Gallienne

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The California Women's Conference

Twenty-four thousand women – and a handful of men – poured into the Long Beach Convention Center in California last week, filling the huge arena and newly constructed ‘village’ of booths and stages with excited, anticipatory chatter. Vivacious meetings between friends followed serious looking women with a mission in their stride. Laughter mingled with calls across the hallway, and guides & guards were inundated with questions that all began with ‘where’. Lines at the coffee stalls alternately lengthened and diminished, as the women in them looked hurriedly at their watches then around the room for some sign that might help them decide whether they should stay in line or go to their next destination. The Ladies rooms had more progressively expanding queues, until the women in them discovered that the Men’s room had a big “Women’ pasted over its “Men” sign! Frantic is a word that could be used to describe some of the activity in the hallways and escalators, as women jostled to get to the arena in time for the celebrity talk they wanted to hear. For many, the entire scene was a tad overwhelming!

I was fortunate to be positioned in the Sanctuary, where the publisher of my most recent book (Being What You Want To See) the Shinnyo-en Foundation, had created a comfortable and beautified area for me to do book-signings, and give short presentations about stress & emotions. Or at least, that was the plan. But as we all know, the best laid plans…… As it turned out, the noise level from thousands of voices coupled with life size screens broadcasting celebrity interviews, made it impossible to be heard by anyone other that those sitting right next to me. Ahh well – just as well really, for it resulted in one-on-one (and one-on-two) conversations about the specific stress that affected each of the countless women that pulled up a chair with me; without public scrutiny & within the privacy that loud noise and huge crowds curiously allow, individuals were able to learn how very powerfully their emotions impact their body, and (The Good News!) how quickly and effectively we can each recover from stress & turbulent emotions. With help from the feedback technology described in my book, and in 10-15 minutes each, close to a hundred women got to actually see, one by one, their own physiological stress response, how distressing emotions impact the body, and just how easy it is to self-correct. Not one woman was unable to learn to self-regulate, even in this very noisy and ‘un-focusing’ environment, and even when the women in question had come over to see me just to escape the overwhelming amount of stimulation! Every woman (and a couple of men!) left telling me they felt empowered, enlightened, amazed, uplifted or at the very least expressed gratitude for valuable new information about themselves,

The very next day after the conference, emails were in my Inbox saying things like; “I have incorporated your suggestions into my daily lifestyle and I have already begun reaping the benefits." "I am feeling more empowered, relaxed, calm and energetic.” & “Thank you, again...... for the private one-on-one customized training that you gave me. The results are already amazing!”

Is it any wonder I love my job!!!! I feel humbled, privileged, and delighted, all at the same time!

Monday, November 2, 2009

This Was Shared With Us

When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.

Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.

-unknown monk 1100 A.D