Friday, December 14, 2012

Today I Went Stopping....

Today I decided I was taking my dog stopping, instead of walking. I took the time to stop and listen to the babbling brook, stop and watch the huge white sycamore swaying against the blue sky, stop and see my shadow stretching out in front of me in the afternoon winter sun. 

The walking/doing is wonderful exercise, energizing in its own way. And the constant motion tends to blur the passing landscape/day. When I stop, I can take in the beauty, let it wash over me, and feel its richness. Each moment became the present moment as I stopped and grounded right here, right now. Stopping was my focus, and walking got me to my stops.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Listening to Krista Tippett with Brene Brown in her show, the topic was vulnerability. There is a fascinating interplay between fear, vulnerability, and courage which she found through her research. Brene recognized that we often think that courage coems from strength. Her discovery is that our courage comes to us because we fear and move through that fear anyway. And most of the time that fear is in being vulnerable.

As I discussed this topic with a friend, it was fascinating that we had two separate concepts of vulnerability. My friend's concept of vulnerability is of information that one keeps hidden because of the likelihood that others would use that information about you for creating an advantage over you. In other words, exposing yourself in a certain environments that would likely result in an attack on you is the definition of vulnerability. This assumes a hostile environment, such as in a work situation where advancement thrives on tearing down fellow  team members.

Yet there are many possible ways of being vulnerable that can actually create a positive advantage for the relationship. I'm reminded of speakers who are not vulnerable, perhaps too polished, perhaps cold and analytical, who will not enjoy as much engagement from their audience. Whereas the speaker who shares personal failings and  foibles of their own life will find an audience identifying with them and trusting them to be authentic and honest.

Vulnerability can also disarm conflict. Instead of personalizing them and what they are saying, I personalize myself and my viewpoints. I can explain the facts of my position as well as quantifying the feelings that I have about it. The interesting (and fun!) aspect of this process of exposing my feelings is that there is nothing with which to argue. No one can say that my feelings are wrong or untrue. THey may say that it is stupid to feel that way, which might seem like an attack, but I am not responsible for that. If I am self-differentiated enough, I won't buy into their dialogue if it denies my feelings.

There is danger in vulnerability, and that is why courage is so necessary to engage in vulnerability. The result is connection. A risk and a reward. Is it worth it?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What Thanksgiving Means To Me

When we think of Thanksgiving, we usually think of the colonists at Plymouth Rock who had a Thanksgiving feast in their second year on the continent to celebrate the abundant harvest that year, and to share it with “the friendly Indians,” as the colonists referred to them.

After arriving on the Native Americans’ homeland in May of 1620, the first year saw starvation leaving 57 colonists out of 99 to survive the following spring.  And then an amazing thing happened.

“The friendly Indians” came to the colonists as they began to plant the fields. The Native Americans showed the colonists how to plant crops so that their harvest would be abundant.

And in Jamestown, as well, the colonists were short on agricultural skills. And, at their own peril, the Native Americans shared their corn with the colonists several times each winter over the following 3 years, despite the behavior of the colonists over that time. Over and over, Native Americans demonstrated how to co-exist and cooperate, offering peace.

What I see in Thanksgiving is the powerful demonstration of indigenous peoples to recognize the essence that is present in all peoples, even if they look different, sound different, and wear funny clothes with belts on their hats. Native Americans did not come from a place of lack. They know that we are all one, and they celebrated the abundance of the creator by sharing it, knowing that there is more than enough for everyone.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thinkers & Feelers

At a recent presentation at Legacy Center, a business education center, there was a review of the personality polarities included in the Briggs-Meyer personality assessment. It really started to come into focus for me when the presenter explained how the polarities might be expressed.

Thinkers have a tendency to think in numbers, "this" therefore "that", black or white, A+B=C, etc. Feelers have a tendency to look at the consequences of the decisions that such "equations" can create.

Feelers tend to look at human consequences, organizational consequences, process consequences, customer service consequences.

This really brought to light for me the need for both polarities, to embrace "both, and," as opposed to "either, or." If one of us has a tendency toward one, the inclusion of the other polarity will create a better balance of perspective and outcomes.

As I look at the political climate in our country, I also see the Thinkers and Feelers of our world. When a position is stated from the Thinker perspective, it is usually spoken in such terms as to leave the human consequences subjugated to the mandate of yes or no, or absolute numbers.

I would hope that we could find a balance within ourselves and our nation to look for the "both, and" answers that will create safety, prosperity, and healing for all. That is my vision.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Growing Up

"Getting old is inevitable. Growing up is an option."

It's funny how many directions this little quip can send my brain. And then my old beliefs catch up and add a little color to the tapestry.

I'm really beginning to look at growth as part of my life and awareness, since it is a huge part of what I do with my life and in my work. And this concept of growth has really hit me full force after my experiences over the past two to four years.

In terms of growth, I was thinking of a young child, and the bursts of growth they experience and that we observe in each day/week/month. And yet, we have no judgment about where they are in their growth. They are where they are, in their physical abilities, their speech, their social skills, and their spiritual awareness.

And do we have the same compassion for those around us? I know I am grateful for the tolerance of everyone around me over these many decades, to accept and allow for my place in my growth. To find the joys of my innocence, to tolerate the gaffs of my social ineptitude, to observe my blooming essence.

Now it is with this compassion for, and acceptance of, myself that I can connect with everyone around me. Perhaps I am the 4 year old instead of the 2 year old, and there are plenty of people more developed than I who can show me by example. I also have the opportunity to be the presence in others' lives as I grow up and acquire new skills that give me joy and peace, while living in the Universe that is my playground.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

These are photos from the last Rock Solid Workshop that I conducted at WatsonClay Studios with about 7 participants who explored their meaning of eternal essence and spiritual self in the transient world of the human experience. This "playshop" is a time of pure play, as children, as people who don't have the answers, yet are brave enough to explore the questions metaphorically.
I live in a beautiful valley that has been compared to the Smoky Mountains National Park right here in Northern Kentucky, 20 minutes from Cincinnati.
Join us. I don't have the answers. You do. You can never do it wrong. Find your courage. Discover.
May 26 1:00 - 4:30
lunch - 11:30 -12:30 at Tokyo Dragon
Fee is $45 or a gift that makes you feel good. Deposit of $20 with registration at Eventbrite (below).
Maximum of 12 people.
Register at

Thursday, April 26, 2012

After a powerful course in Heartmath, I was able to discover what my positive core values are. As I find myself discovering what discipline means, I realized the usefulness of those core values.

What are core values? Where do they come from? What do they mean? When do they come into our daily activities?

I'm pretty excited to explore these concepts with you in the next few articles.

So, what are core values? My first attempt at defining core values was similar to a corporation's attempt at a mission statement: full of ethereal, ambiguous, esoteric words that are intended to make everyone feel warm and fuzzy. And just like those vague mission statements, my first stab at core values consisted of descriptions of intangible "things" that could not be quantified. Worse yet, they covered a lot of stuff by mere application or intention. In other words, they were far from a litmus test in my life.

So I had to take a step back and look at the tangibles in my life and how they affected me. Which activities and pursuits light me up?

That's it. Simple as that. What activities and goals get me excited and energized, and can move me into the "flow?"

Once I had these 7 or 8 things in a list, I could then evaluate my life in any particular moment based on how much I was involved in those activities/pursuits.

Why would I care? It was made clear that when I am NOT involved in those core values, I experience stress. And nothing is more important than that I feel good.

Next article will explore the source of our core values.

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Larry Watson
Mastermind Guru.