Open to Gifts

two hands upheld, as if accepting a gift

  11/16/20 Many of us are willing to extend a helping hand, but we’re very reluctant to reach out for help when we need it ourselves. It’s as if we’ve divided the world into “those who offer help” and “those who need help.” The truth is that we are both. – Brené Brown, from The Gifts of Imperfection This year has not been the best of years. I think most would agree, even though most of us agreeing on something is pretty rare these days. But during this year of dis-ease and … [Read more...]

Leaning into the Pause

A picture of the world as a globe, and a hand next to it as if to say, stop.

Just pause. It sounds simple, but in many situations, it’s very hard to do. I am an implementer. If I’m asked to do something, I’m on it. Lickity-split. Pronto. Edit a document? Already doing it. Write a letter of recommendation? Give me an hour. Email in my inbox? Answer sent. Voicemail? “Hello, this is Ned Andrew, returning your call.” My natural anxiety has not allowed me to pause. To wait. To consider. To reflect. To look before leaping. To give the universe a chance to chime in. (My wife … [Read more...]

The Right Thing

PD: There is an image of a beautiful blue and black bird who has landed on a flat dish bird feeder in the middle of winter. The feeder is covered with snow and the bird has selected a peanut in its shell to eat holding it firmly in its beak.

  The birds in our backyard know the right thing when they see it, or feel it. Landing on the tube feeder filled with a blend of white millet, black oil sunflower, striped sunflower and safflower seeds, they select one, determine its weight, and decide whether its nutritious enough to ingest. If not, it gets tossed aside. But that’s okay too, because a different breed of bird, who scavenges primarily on the ground, will discover a treat waiting there. As I set out to write my … [Read more...]

Finding My Voice

Three baby birds in a nest, two with their beaks wide open, as if calling out for their needs to be met.

At 62 years old, I am, after three decades, trying to find my voice. That might sound like an odd statement for those who know me, and have “heard” my voice in articles I’ve written for magazines and newspapers, or as a presenter or meeting facilitator. And yes, I’ve been able to insert as much Ned-Andrew-ness as possible into the work I’ve done, but, because of circumstances, I have not been able to speak freely. For a very long time. That is slowly, incrementally, changing. I have been … [Read more...]