Friday, December 31, 2010

Reach HIgher

Enjoying a walk because I can 
On the last day of 2010
174 days of walks this year
191 left to meet my goal.

Another year to walk taller
Take a chance and reach higher
To catch an unreachable goal
Who knows where it will take me.
  
20 minutes walking

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Community Gardens

Gardens are being used in schools, universities and nonprofits to create a healthful environment for education, improved self-esteem, and economic empowerment for students and families. For example the Yale University's "Sustainable Food Project" brings people together around shared food, shared work, and shared inquiry. Exploration, research, testing, and evaluation are career skills that are learned in the garden. For more about community gardening and empowerment see my article, "Gardening as a Tool for Career Development" in the National Career Development Association’s Career Convergence online magazine.

First Lady Michelle Obama and California's First Lady have been promoting gardens in schools for health and learning. This is an exciting trend for improving health and education. Gardening kids get excited about planting, maintaining, and eating vegetables. They learn responsibility while seeing results for their work.
 
"A lot of answers to life's questions can be harvested from a student garden. A child who nurtures a tiny lettuce plant is more likely to enjoy a salad. As the plant grows, the child develops, learning about nature, nutrition and responsibility." Read more about schools with successful community garden programs in the article, "Seeds: School Gardens Offer Learning Opportunities" Debbie Arrington online !2/12/2010.
 
We are planning a winter garden for the first time. According to the Urban Organic Gardener website, coconut shells make great starters for planting winter greens. Blogger Mike Lieberman believes in the importance of growing at least some of your food. 

I'm not a natural gardener. None of my thumbs are the slightest bit green, but I think there is value to being outdoors and growing and caring for a garden. When I water the plants I am connected to something living and growing and providing me with health and nutrition.

 70 minutes walking

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Feather

I felt the cold slice through my coat and shirt. It was like snow cold although it rarely snows in Sacramento. I looked at the ducks happily swimming in the pond as the geese and egrets strutted around for our amusement. They were quite comfortable in their attire.

Cotton, rayon, polyester. Is that really progress? Maybe a feather would be better.

30 minutes walking

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Put Me in the Scene

When I tell a story whether it is to communicate an idea to a friend, share my experiences in a job interview, or write a scene for a story, I need to put my audience in the scene. By describing details, observations, or feelings, I can bring you into my story. I want you to care about what is happening. If you've had a similar experience, or you know me or follow my blog, I may be able to bring you into the scene with me.

Step outside and notice how the air feels on your cheeks, your hands, your feet. Is the air dry or wet? How do you like it? What does the color, scent, or temperature bring to your memory. Try describing the experience verbally or in writing.

There are so many ways to tell a story or share an experience. You might describe a scene differently to a friend who knows you than you would to a stranger. You can read the scenes below and see if I was able to put you in the scene in either scenario.

Scene #1
I could barely feel my tingling cheeks and heavy fingers as I walked against the cold wind. Droplets began to blur my vision. I wasn't prepared for the rain. Despite the chill my hands warmed up on the walk home.

Scene #2
I went for a walk and came back because it was cold and rainy.

40 minutes walking

Just Write

Can I learn something about myself by just writing when I have nothing to say? My pen feels heavy yet empty. My mind draws a blank. Not feeling creative or inspired, I just write. The light tapping of the keys tell me where I am going. Soon the action of my fingers reach my mind and I feel a stirring.

Writing down hopes, dreams, and wishes are a great way to find out what you really want. Journal your dreams, walk and observe, find new ways to test your strengths. Walk and write when you don't want to just to build character. .

Walking is definitely not a hobby or something I love to do for the sake of getting outdoors, but every day is new and I want to experience it. I want to be healthy and creative, so I walk.

20 minutes walking

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ordinary Day

I have a goal to write everyday.
I look for joy, inspiration, and meaning in each day.
I feel so inspired I'm not sure how to express it.
I look for deeper meaning
Something unique
A reason to write.

Some days I just need to take action
To start writing when I feel I have nothing to say 
Not knowing if anyone is listening
I just say what my fingers are typing
On an ordinary day
I'm thankful for living.


40 minutes walking

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Make Peaceful Moments

Make peaceful moments in your day.
A time to think,
A time to act,
And a time to "just be."

50 minutes walking

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Changing Seasons













From  hot summer days to midwinter rain, enjoying  walking and seeing the changing seasons.


30 minutes walking

Friday, December 24, 2010

Peace, Family, Joy and Love


Dear Friends,

This is the perfect time of year to listen to family stories, practice multi-cultural traditions, and bring joy to the season however you celebrate it. As families mix and mingle we can learn new traditions as we share our favorites.

This will be our grandson's first Christmas. We will share a few gifts, play games, and join in music and laughter.

Have fun listening and giving as you grow your relationships old and new. Whether you are an entrepreneur, manager, job seeker, or retired, your relationships are the most important part of the business of you.

Take a walk, smile, and have fun this Christmas season.

With Love and Happiness,

Nancy Miller, M.S., CCM
Creativity Coach
Credentialed Career Manager
"Spread happiness like a quilt of warmth and joy!"

30 minutes walking 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fragile

As the fall turns into winter, the moon is covered by an eclipse, and the nights get longer. The light evaporates so quickly it seems to get wisked away.
 
Digital information feels so fragile. One minute I am secure in having put my pictures on my computer, writing, researching and neatly gathering my thoughts and ideas on my computer. Then one day my computer starts acting erratic. It doesn't recognize the ports or network, and I wonder if I will lose all of my information.

 I want to hold onto my stuff. I wondered how I would feel if it all just flew out the window. I want to hold onto the past as I move into the future. I wonder why I really have so much stuff.

With over 2 gigs of memory, I have so much storage space that I rarely need to sort and delete until I can't find something. Now I am going through hundreds of pictures and documents to let go of the old and make room for the new. I can't move on as long as I am just shuffling through the old.

40 minutes walking

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Enlightenment


A spot of clear blue surrounded by white, grey, and black clouds. An orange glow peeks out from under a blanket of clouds. I looked at the sky with a sense of anticipation. Something is coming! The heavy clouds seem to descend on a radiant blue sky. Will the cold air bring a rain storm or another sunny day?

Learning is like the winter sky transitioning from light to dark to bright. In the light life seems simple and thoughts are clear.  As clear as the translucent sky. New information floods my senses everyday. Where does it fit with my understanding and beliefs? My mind, heart and emotions get stirred up and cloud my thoughts until a faint glow of enlightenment streams through my consciousness.

Knowledge follows dissonance. Learning comes out of confusion.

30 minutes walking

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Celebrating Love

I look at the trees on a winter day and see deep roots, a strong trunk, and the shedding of leaves and dead branches. The wind carries away the the loose leaves and sometimes even pulls off a branch or two, but the tree stands tall.

Building a strong relationship is like growing a tree. If the roots are deep and the trunk is strong, it will withstand the stormy seasons. By shedding the old anger and fears, we can move on to grow and blossom in the spring. Today I celebrate 36 years of marriage. Like the rings in a tree trunk each year marks the transitions from old to new. Each year brings new opportunities for celebrating love and growth.


60 minutes walking

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Gift

Bundled up in my red scarf and gloves I hardly felt the cold wind. Wrapped in the warmth of friendship, I was blessed with hand made scarves from creative crafters. A warm winter scarf is a great gift for anyone who walks.

30 minutes walking

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Be the Light


It was a dark wet day. If I had stayed inside, I would never have seen the rain splatter on the sidewalk or the wet leaves that stuck like glue to the grass.

For a few minutes the sun shone through the gray clouds. “It must be time for a walk,” I said. Within minutes the sun was lost to heavy skies. I smiled and put on my raincoat. Today I am the light. I can smile, share, and find joy in the day.

“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

20 minutes walking

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Barren Branches


Have you ever noticed the barren branches on winter trees? Peeking out of my hood through the rain, I noticed how each of the bare trees looked so different. I hadn’t noticed the different shapes of the branches when they were covered with leaves.

Some trees have branches that are straight and smooth while others have curling gnarled branches showing years of uneven growth and harsh winters. Or was it a scorching hot summer that caused the unusual shapes?  Different types of trees in the same park were affected differently by their environment.

We each have such different temperaments that, like trees, we can be in the same family, job, or activity and each respond differently to our environments and challenges. From the outside, we see the popular styles and colors, but if we look deep enough to see the barren branches, we will discover the beauty and uniqueness underneath.

40 minutes walking in the rain




Friday, December 17, 2010

Krochet Kids

I had the chance to go to a Krochet Kids International party this evening. I bought a beautiful white silky scarf made from bamboo. It was fun to watch the video of the guys who started the Krochet Kids after learning to crochet in high school. The smiling faces of the Ugandan women who made the hats and scarves was contagious.

"Being avid snow sports enthusiasts, we liked the idea of having our own unique headwear on the mountain and, though it was not a normal hobby for high school guys, we reveled in the novelty of it." Dubbed "Krochet Kids" by a hometown newspaper, the boys went to college, discovered the plight of Ugandan people who had been living in camps after the ravages of war. They eventually started a nonprofit that has been helping women support their families. Some of the women have gone on to start their own businesses and the nonprofit is growing rapidly. It was a blessing to see the women's jubilant faces as they are learning a craft and supporting themselves.

"Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds." Plato

I saw this quote by Plato and I thought of the high school boys who were able to have so much fun learning and teaching.




20 minutes walking

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Be the Change


“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
—Mahatma Ghandi

Change is escalating faster and faster. We can easily feel like we are being caught up and carried along with the changes, but we don't need to be blown around by the winds of change. We can take charge of our lives and careers and be a significant force in the direction of our lives and the lives of others.
20 minutes walking

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A New Way

When I stay inside the house or office the walls are the same color, the consistent glow of the lights don't change, and the air grows stagnant. I step outside and everyday is different. One day is bright and the next is hazy. Green trees in the spring bare a kaleidoscope of colors in the fall.

Walking outdoors everyday gives me a new perspective each day. When I look at the same scene in a different light, I see an old scene in a new way. Walking is one of the best ways to stimulate your mind and gain new understandings.

"That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all of your life, but in a new way." Doris Lessing, Author of The Grass Is Singing.

20 minutes walking

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dark Rainy Day


 A dark damp rainy day is great for contemplating, reflecting, and stirring up ideas all at the same time. As I looked out the window, I thought about how the rain does so many things at one time. The rain cleans the air, washes the sidewalks, waters the garden, wets your windshield, and sprinkles your glasses as it washes the leaves into the gutters. I'm sure you can think of many more things that rain does. Amazing!

As I shop for gifts for my grandchildren, I look for toys that do multiple things. When I write I want to infuse meaning, often multiple meanings in one book. In fact, with all of the options we have for creating books these days, I can create multiple forms of a similar idea. It can feel complicated and confusing at times putting ideas together in different ways, but when it works it's like the rain serving several purposes at one time.

20 minutes walking


Monday, December 13, 2010

Brainstorming

In workshops and classes, I love to have everyone brainstorm. In the past I didn't like the idea of brainstorming because anyone can share whether they seem to have a good idea or not. But the point of brainstorming is to come up with as many ideas as possible in a short period of time. One idea leads to another. Brainstorming is an intuitive creative process that I had to learn to appreciate.

As Nobel laureate Linus Pauling said, “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” When writing, problem-solving, or inventing, unproductive ideas can lead to creative designs and failure can lead to success. In her article, Creative Arts and Creative Thinking Are Not the Same Thing! Abby Connors defines creativity as the "ability to generate multiple responses."


When I tap into my intuitive feelings and responses I come up with multiple options and a slew of ideas. I can choose which thoughts and ideas I want to share and how I want to share them, but first I want to be honest with myself. Journaling, blogging, and brainstorming are great ways to delve into finding my true self.

Brainstorming, writing, and walking are great ways to generate ideas. Try a Walk About U! to brainstorm ideas with a LifeWork Coach.

25 minutes walking

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gardening Kids

"A lot of answers to life's questions can be harvested from a student garden. A child who nurtures a tiny lettuce plant is more likely to enjoy a salad. As the plant grows, the child develops, learning of nature, nutrition and responsibility." Seeds: School Gardens Offer Learning Opportunities. 2/12 Debbie Arrington. December 12, 2010. SacBee.com


Schools are collaborating with businesses, hospitals, and gardeners to create amazing learning opportunities. Grant High School in Sacramento has an extensive community garden, sustainability, and entrepreneurship program.


Gardening is a natural, simple, and sometimes profitable way for children to learn. With First Lady Obama, and California's First Lady Maria Shriver supporting gardening in schools and communities.


40 minutes walking

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Reward for Work

"The highest reward for a person's work is not what they get for it, but what they become by it." Paul Stevens, The Centre for Worklife Counseling.

The work we choose to do, whether we are working for pay, helping the family, or working toward the greater good of the community becomes a part of who we are. Our identities, values, skills, and character are all developed through our daily habits, activities, and thoughts.


Taking time to savor a meal with someone you care about, reach out to someone as a fellow human being, and smile while doing work that needs to be done builds character. Finding things to do that enrich your mind and bring you joy will also enhance your physical well being.


Smile! Enjoy a walk and a vegetable whether you want to or not and become happier and healthier.


45 minutes walking

Friday, December 10, 2010

Breathe

I feel guilty if I just sit and let my mind wander. I may be trying to think of something meaningful to say, or maybe my mind went blank. If I can't think of anything, I feel unproductive and frustrated.

Instead of feeling like I'm not doing anything, I have been taking deep breaths and relaxing. When I allow myself time to breathe, relax, and stop worrying about what I am accomplishing, I begin to think better.

Often busyness is seen as synonymous with productivity in American culture. To stop, breathe, relax, and contemplate may be seen as idleness. But deep breathing is not only relaxing, it is good for your heart and immune system.

Enjoy some deep breathing in the fresh air outdoors.

20 minutes walking

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Deliberate Practice


We all have a story to tell, and more people than ever are telling their stories, writing fiction, and promoting their businesses through self-publishing. Authors, entrepreneurs, and consultants are joining the publishing craze by learning to publish their own books.

"The DIY ethic (do it yourself ethic) refers to the ethic of being self-reliant by completing tasks oneself as opposed to having others who are more experienced complete them for you. It promotes the idea that an ordinary person can learn to do more than he or she thought was possible." Wikipedia

I am in the process of discovering my story through writing blogs, articles, and a book. I sometimes wonder why it is taking so long. As I read about the DIY's, I realized I have been learning to be a writer and publisher. Setting a goal is the first step, but developing the mastery to accomplish the goal is an even greater leap.

Research by K. Anders Ericsson and others have shown that the right environment, deliberate practice, and study have a greater affect on expert performance than inborn talent or intelligence. In an interview with Fast Company Magazine, Ericsson says,

"Successful people spontaneously do things differently from those individuals who stagnate. They have different practice histories. Elite performers engage in what we call "deliberate practice"--an effortful activity designed to improve individual target performance. There has to be some way they're innovating in the way they do things."

Disciplining myself to walk everyday, practice writing daily, and learn about writing is helping me improve my skill and expertise. Having friends, family, colleagues, and other professionals who give me feedback, publish my articles, and support me in my work gives me an environment to grow my talent. We'll see where it leads me.

70 minutes walking

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Recycling the Story

I had a little trouble throwing all of those words in the trash yesterday. Some definitely had to go, but others stuck with me. They just didn't fit in the book I was working on. I realized that I had more than one way to tell the story.

I am working on writing about how job seekers and business owners need to take charge of their lives and have a plan. In fact, even if you are retired you still have expectations, dreams, and hopes. Developing a simple LifeWork Success Plan™ will help you think about how you want to spend your time and money no matter where you are in your life.

I was writing about how to develop a plan and kept interjecting my own experiences in developing and using the plan, then I had an example of someone else using it, and then how you can use it. Whew! Too much even for me.

I realized that I can recycle some of the material into an eBook. Like raking the leaves in the fall and moving them to the garden to grow new vegetables, I can move words to another place and change the focus of the story.

I realized that in my own life I sometimes have too many thoughts, memories, and emotions all tangled up together. Some can be moved somewhere else and put in a new story. My own story can be told in so many different ways. I can't control all of the experiences and circumstances in my life, but I can decide where I want them in my story. Some thoughts and memories become headings large and bold while others are tiny footers hardly noticeable.

Long walks with family, friends and colleagues, cool breezes, baby smiles and ocean waves are all big bold headings in my story.

30 minutes walking

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pruning


I need to prune the roses
Baring tender stems.
Crinkled buds protect from frost
Til washed by gentle rains.

I need to prune my chapters
Painful as it seems.
Spattered words undo the finish
By hanging in the sentence.

I hit delete to terminate
Useless tangled words.
Replaced “the it and there”
With descriptive names and places.

The practice of organizing words in the form of poetry is a good exercise for developing good writing skills. I wanted to write about my struggle with organizing and editing my writing. As I rewrote this poem several times I asked myself these questions:

What am I trying to say?
How do the words sound out loud?
Do I have unnecessary words?
Would another word better convey the meaning?
Do I want to keep making the poem better or finish?
Is it worth my time to write this?

I decided it was worth my time to practice exploring word choices. Then I needed to get it done and move on. Tomorrow is another day and another walk.

25 minutes walking







Monday, December 6, 2010

Take a Comma

"Writing clearly isn’t easy.
 Writing, clearly, isn’t easy."

While I agree with both of these statements, the commas give each a different meaning. In her article, "The Best Use of Commas," Mary Morel shares her advice on how to use, or not use, commas. Commas are like shadows giving pause before the next burst of sunlight. Sentences need commas to give a break, short release, or meaning, just as we need breaks in our energy/work cycles. Take a comma, I mean a break, and I'll try to avoid the run on sentences.

60 minutes

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Green Bean

Today I feel like a green bean. My ideas are still immature and develop seemingly independently within an outer pod. I don't want to say much. I feel like being protective of my inner thoughts until they ripen further. I'm comfortable in my shell.

"Green beans are picked while still immature and the inner bean is just beginning to form. Green beans are in the same family as shell beans, such as pinto beans, black beans and kidney beans. Yet unlike their cousins, green beans' entire bean, pod and seed, can be eaten." The George Mateljan Foundation for the World's Healthiest Foods.

30 minutes walking

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Calories

I was shocked and confused to see an additional pound for the last two days when I stepped on the scale. I walk therefore I lose, or so I thought. Standing on a digital scale makes it easy to forget that scales are a balancing act between weights. The numbers seem to magically get larger or smaller. But the image of the balancing of two scales reminds me that calories consumed on one side of the scale versus calories burned on the other determines the weight on the scale.

I resolved my dilemma when I realized I had been walking less than usual. I pulled something in my hip while bouncing my ever growing grandson. My pace slowed and my walking time was reduced. Burning calories is a balancing act between consumption and energy. I simply got out of balance by burning fewer calories than I was consuming.

 The Walking Site offers interesting information about walking and burning calories:

There are approximately 3500 calories to one pound of body fat.

For most people losing one to two pounds per week is a healthy weight loss goal (more than that can cause loss of bone and muscle mass.


In order to average one pound per week it would be necessary to burn an additional 500 calories per day. (7 days a week X 500 calories per day = 3500 calories.)

This will vary depending on the individual, speed walked, terrain, etc. An average person can lose approximately 100 calories per mile.


An average fitness walking pace is close to a 15 minute mile.

20 minutes walking

Friday, December 3, 2010

Education


“It has always seemed strange to me that in our endless discussions about education so little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming an educated person.” Edith Hamilton

Walking outdoors, observing, counting, touching, smelling, and seeing the dynamic balance in nature is true education. It stimulates the mind and creativity. When teachers are allowed to inspire and stimulate the mind of a child it is the greatest gift they can give.

30 minutes walking


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Harmony


“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Gandhi

30 minutes walking

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fire in the Sky


The blazing sun hovered over the horizon burning through the clouds. Soon it would slide over the earth and leave darkness in its path. The fiery sun is like the passion I have for my work. It seems to consume me, and then the evening comes, the fire cools, and it’s time to stop, breathe and see what has been accomplished. Sometimes I’m amazed and other times disappointed, but the sun rises again, the fire burns in the sky and I am at it again.

25 minutes walking

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Meaningful Experiences


I had a lovely “Walk About” with a colleague. Despite the sounds of traffic over the phone, we were able to have a conversation about meaningful experiences. I asked him to think of a time when he had done something that made him feel really good about himself. He recounted the trips he had taken overseas years ago to entertain the troops in Viet Nam, Thailand, and other countries. As a ventriloquist, he was able to create and entertain which brought him great joy.

Think of a time when you did something that made you feel really good. Something you would love to do whether you got paid for it or not. Remember where you were, what talents you used, and who if anyone you were with. We can’t go back and recapture previous experiences, but we can determine what made them meaningful and create the essence of the experience in something new.

50 minutes walking

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Power of Beauty

"Our world is filled with breathtaking structures of incredible beauty, but mostly, our eyes are closed to them. I suppose it's like the old saying, the fish can't see the water it is in. Today, you will be surrounded by gorgeous, stunning, exquisite, magnificent structures. If you begin to look, your eyes will become open to an aspect of the world most people miss seeing. Something wonderful can happen as this universe within the world opens to you." Robert Fritz

It was time for a walk, so we bundled up and went out. I said I would walk everyday, so I will. I walk the same path several times a week, and occasionally very my destination. It's easy to see the same neighborhood, park, benches, and trees without marveling at their wonders. But then I look again and see a tree that is a brighter shade of red, sunlight sparkling on the grass, or clouds passing over. A smiling face or a dog barking as he enjoys a frolic in the park. Everyday is different even if it is the same. A new adventure is waiting to see what you bring to your day.


45 minutes walking

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Trash


Cans, bags and bottles discarded on the sidewalk or the side of the road. How can people be so thoughtless that they can just leave trash for others to pick up? There always seem to be a few people who let their dogs loose, drop papers, and fail to pick up after their pets. They expect someone else to take care of their responsibilities. I don’t understand how a person can walk past a trash can and then dump their trash on the ground.

Our neighborhood is blessed to have a couple who pick up the trash others have left behind. It’s unfortunate that people need to take on the job of picking up after others, but I’m very glad to have them.

45 minutes

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Orange


What a surprise to see a bright orange pepper growing in the garden. All types of peppers need sunshine and warm weather. They thrive in the summer months. After having rain, frosty mornings and cold afternoons this week I expected to see the peppers wilted and barren, but orange, green, and yellow peppers survived. 


As I took a nice cold walk today, I wondered what it takes to be resilient and survive adverse conditions. I listened to a TED video  of Zainab Salbi on "Women, wartime and the dream of peace." What was it that allowed these women and children to survive crises, abuse, and war? There were mothers who put on puppet shows as missiles sailed across their homes so the children would be less afraid. Teachers kept schools open in war areas so children would have a future.

What keeps us going when we are out of our element, being challenged, or asked to be heroes? Maybe it's like the heat of a pepper that clears the sinuses in small doses, but causes discomfort, blisters, and scarring when used in excess. As Ms. Salbi describes so well, it is important to bring in the flavor and influence of women and children young and old as well as the politics of  domination. We who have so much can make the world a better place for those who are surviving extreme challenges.

20 minutes walking


Friday, November 26, 2010

Simplicity

 Nature always tends to act in the simplest way. Bernoulli 

I find ways to complicate things
to find another way
to do it different
and see what has been done.

I look things up
and find what someone else says
no research is good enough
without further study.

I end up with a jumbled mess 
of facts and information
Now to find a simpler way
To write it in a book.


40 minutes walking

 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Circulation


Frost on the grass and the temperature is 43 degrees. Warm compared to some parts of the country, but chilly for our neck of the woods. What started out as a cold morning got warmer as I stepped up my pace and got my oxygen and circulation flowing.

I’m thankful that I can get out and walk on Thanksgiving Day before gathering for a nice meal with family. Say a prayer for those who must be away from their families over the holidays.

Count your blessings and have a great day with family and friends.

30 minutes walking

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fuzzy Warm


Black leather gloves, a fuzzy warm scarf, a jacket, and warm shoes. I’m protected from the weather and ready for a nice walk on a cold day. Storms may pass through my life, but I have the support of family, friends, and colleagues. I have a network of people I can call for warmth and support. I am thankful for having warmth from the outside in.

Being out on a freezing cold day without a sweater and gloves is similar to managing your life without support. There are so many people in the world who have had their family systems shattered. My prayers go out to them that they will find warmth and peace this holiday season.

25 minutes walking

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Warmth


I’m thankful for the warmth of my home with candles burning, familiar pictures of my family and the sea, and a warm cup of tea. After a chilly walk on a late fall day, I am thankful for warmth.

Not everyone is blessed with a place to call home this holiday season. We find ways to give a can of soup or turkey dinner which is much appreciated I’m sure, but hope comes to people who are valued for their talents, challenges, and needs and have an opportunity to work and support themselves.

20 minutes walking

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Week of Thanksgiving


This is a great week to say thanks. Being thankful, saying thanks, and smiling all reduce stress, increase optimism, and improve health.

I’m thankful for
The warm pot of coffee
Brewing in the morning

I’m thankful for
The walk around the corner
Greeted by smiles

I’m thankful for
Family near and far
Gathering and sharing blessings

25 minutes walking

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stretching


It was a beautiful day today. Yesterday’s rains left blue skies and clouds in shades of white and gray. Yet, I didn’t want to take a walk. I could have come up with many excuses, but I made a commitment. I set a goal to walk and blog everyday whether I wanted to or not. My daily discipline of writing is helping me build the skills I need to meet my daily, yearly, and five-year goals.

I want to master the ability to write a book. It is slow going and frustrating, but if it were easy everyone would be doing it. In his book, Drive: The surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel H. Pink says that the best predictor of success is something called “grit”—the persistence or passion for meeting long-term goals.

I set a goal to write 2 books and publish 5 in the next year. This seems optimistic since I have yet to finish one of the 3 books I have been working on. The purpose of a goal is to stretch. It’s like doing exercises. If you never stretch your muscles and reach higher than you think you can, you will never build any strength. Julius Irving, the fifth-highest scorer in professional basketball history said:

“Being professional is doing the things you love to do on the days you don’t feel like doing them.”

I set a goal to write a book and blog because I finally had the freedom to do what I really wanted to do. Then I found out that I don’t always love to do what I wanted to do. So I’m stretching and reaching to see how far I can go.

50 minutes walking

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Carpet of Color


A carpet of color made especially for me as if elves in the night had been decorating my path.  Walking in the rain, I saw leaves stuck to the sidewalk turning shades of pink, yellow, and orange. Cold, rain, and colors made for an exhilarating walk.

The purpose of this blog is to find joy in every day and every season. Today the weather service said it would be rainy with possible storms. A rainy day clears the air, a storm leaves a mess in its path, and a tsunami brings disaster and loss. Enjoy the rain and storms, clean up when life gets a little messy, and you will build the resilience you need to endure the tsunamis of life.

30 minutes walking 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Paddle-wheeler


A small paddle-wheeler was scraping algae from the surface of the pond. Under a blanket of clouds and a heavy jacket the navigator swept the surface of the water. It looked like fun to tool around the little lake in a boat on a cool morning.  Then I noticed the boat full of algae banked on the edge of the water. Removing the algae and disposing of it didn’t look like fun. So I just went on imagining I had a job driving a paddle boat around the lake on a cold fall morning.

60 minutes walking

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Full Moon

I love to walk in the evening. The only problem is that evening doesn't last long enough. I cherish every minute of it. The pink sunset glows in the west while the round moon shines faintly above. It is the time between day and night. The magical hour that the sunset shifts to an earlier time during the winter and then procrastinates on the warm summer nights. Evening is not a set time or temperature, it is that illusive interval for relaxing meditation.

20 minutes walking

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cinnamon

The scent of cinnamon apples filled the house all day. Apples from Apple Hill were baking in the crock pot. The smell of cinnamon was warm, relaxing, and welcoming. Noticing the pleasantness of the cinnamon scent, I thought about how good cinnamon makes me feel. Recent Research by Dr. P. Zoladz found that just smelling cinnamon improved memory and thinking. Must be why I felt very productive today. I even went for a second walk.

In her book, Healing Spaces, Dr. Sternberg says that sounds and smells from nature and fond memories are very healing. The results of studies on pleasant smells may lead to hospitals piping pleasant smells into the ventilation systems in hospitals. Outdoor scenes and pleasant smells had a positive healing affect on patients. I can just bake with cinnamon, notice all of the wonderful fall smells, and find healing in my own home and neighborhood.

90 minutes walking

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Symphony


Rustling, winding, swaying on the branches,
A symphony of leaves singing in the breeze.
The music played as I moved on,
Waited too late and missed the finale.
Had I known what awaited me,
I would have quickened my pace.

30 minutes walking

Monday, November 15, 2010

What Are You Saying?


What are you saying about yourself on the internet? I used to hide away my journals, poems, and notes. Some of us even put password protection on our personal thoughts. Now we write, blog, journal and discuss our breakfast choices as we transmit our messages all over the web.

It’s a nice idea to do a search on your name and business to check what is out there about you. Sometimes blogs or comments you made years ago will show up through Google Maps or some other search engine.

Know what your online impression is saying about you. Research yourself and your business online.

This kind of transparency can be very effective in showing us loud and clear where are activities and values are. It also lets everyone else know.

It pays to be tactful, honest and ethical in our communication online in and person. In the show “The Human Face” researchers showed that people are more likely to be courteous when they see someone face-to-face than they are in a car or online. There is something about seeing someone’s face, body language, and reactions that make us more polite.

As an employer, consultant or job seeker, do you check prospective employees or businesses on social networking sites? I check professionals that I may want to work or collaborate with. I want to see how they write and what their writing style is. I check to see if a site is all marketing or if I can get a glimpse of their product and expertise.

The Human Face

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0280262/

20 minutes walking

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Handful of Grass

We see it everyday in parks and front yards. In fact, I don't notice the grass very often unless it is immaculate or brown. It's just normal grass. But when a 7-month old baby touches the grass like it is gold it suddenly seems a bit magical. Chubby little fingers grasping a few blades and looking at them with fascination. It's amazing to see something that I take for granted everyday become a source of interest and amusement. Grab a little green & enjoy the simple pleasures.

50 minutes walking

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Eating in Season


Zucchini, basil, lemon balm, garlic chive, red & green peppers plucked straight from the garden mixed with brown rice, cabbage, onion, garlic and carrot mixed with cream of chicken soup and soy sauce made a delicious dinner rice dish.

Wow! I couldn’t believe I ate all of those vegetables. They were colorful and delicious. I used to just eat green beans, now I am aware of the vegetables that are in season. As much as I can, I like to eat locally grown vegetables from our backyard garden or the farmer’s market. They are fresher, healthier, and less travel creates less impact on the environment. Eating in fresh vegetables in season also means eating a variety of vegetables.

I supplement the fresh fruit and vegetables with frozen blueberries and avocados which are my favorite. But fresh produce in season provides the more vitamins and flavor.

30 minutes walking

Friday, November 12, 2010

Work That Needs Doing

A counselor, a teacher, a personal career coach... My list of possible careers was much longer. When I went to graduate school and studied career theories, I thought about my natural strengths, experiences, and interests and imagined all of the things I would like to do. The opportunities for an idealistic graduate student seemed limitless.

After graduating my life quickly changed, the economy sank, and my career options seemed to shrink. After years thinking about what I really wanted to do, where I wanted to work, and who I would like to work with, I found that the opportunities were not as I had expected. Instead of working at a university, I started a career center at a nonprofit. I worked with people in crisis, transition, and recovery. After months of helping people find training and employment opportunities, I found that my heart went out to people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Everyone has unique challenges, and everyone has a story.

I recently decided to start a publishing business to help people tell their stories, share information, and promote their businesses. The work I am doing did not show up on any of my "personality type" or "interest inventories". I am not even necessarily in the "flow" while I am working on these projects. It's work! But it's work that needs to be done. I have developed a positive attitude over the years toward the work I need to do. I am sometimes even in the "zone" for part of the work. But my purpose for work is not just to satisfy myself, but as Sunny Hansen says in her Integrative Life Planning Theory to ask myself, “How will what I do in my life contribute to community?” How will it affect my family and make the world a better place to live?

As I watch the birds and geese busily working on feeding, grooming, and cleaning the water, I don't see them contemplating about what they most want to do that day. (Although that could be what they are chattering about.) I think they are looking for work that needs to be done. In all of our efforts to find the "stuff" we love to have, and the work we want to do, it's worth considering the "work that needs doing."

40 minutes walking

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

The park is familiar. I pass the same houses often and say hello to the neighbors. After a nice long walk, I came home and fixed a lovely breakfast of apple-cinnamon pancakes and eggs for the family. The dining room is filled with pictures that remind me of trips to the beach, family visits, the zoo, and Apple Hill.

On Veteran's Day we remember the sacrifices the military families are making.  Sacrifices the families have made since the first person went off to fight in a war. Families are separated. The familiar sight, smells, and hugs are missing for sometimes long periods of time. The comforts of home and family are gone. Today we are thankful to the military families and individuals for all they are doing for their country.

45 minutes walking

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Zappos

I was so happy to get my new Earth Exer-walk shoes from Zappos. My shoes are the most important part of my wardrobe. A good pair of shoes puts a bounce in my step and propels me along. Zappos.com claims they are "powered by service." It is possible for a business to make a profit and put the customer first. With free shipping both ways I was able to keep two pair of shoes and send one back with no shipping cost. Whether the shoes work or not, they just want the customer to be happy. That's my plug for Zappos. I want to run my business in the same way. Making the customer happier than they were when they started working with me.

I walked in the wind as the leaves were cascading from the trees. The branches were blowing and the leaves were flying everywhere. I felt like I could just let go and fly.

Structure and discipline keep me productive, but sometimes I just want to blow with the wind and see where it takes me.
30 minutes walking

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Time Change


This is the third day since we changed the clocks. The days seem longer and I feel like it is later than it is. I somehow feel like I’ve gained an hour. My internal clock is trying to catch up with changing of clocks.

Despite the seemingly longer day, I didn’t reach my goals for writing. I wrote and lost what I wrote, I loaded pictures on my computer and they are a mess. It was just one of those days. I felt discouraged. Then I realized that if I had something to say, I needed to just say it again. Nothing is lost. Just as the birds migrate and come back, the leaves fall and grow back, and my thoughts come back in a slightly different form if I let them. Instead of trying to capture what is past, I moved forward, and I was quite pleased with the result.

20 minutes walking

Monday, November 8, 2010

Winter Sun


I stood at the edge of the park and smelled the musty damp grass basking in the sunshine. The wet leaves stuck to the sidewalk from yesterday’s rain, and everything smelled fresh and crisp. The warm sun on my back was soothing and relaxing. I drank in the sounds of birds, the cool breeze, and the bright green grass. I love the warm sun on a cold day. I call it “winter sun” because the warmth is unexpected and such a contrast to the cold shade. I stopped and captured the sounds, smells, and sights.

Tonight I can visualize my picture of the park. Not everyone can walk in the park everyday, but most of us can capture a picture, sound, or feeling. I have a colleague who had to cancel his “Walk About” last week because he was feeling dizzy. You may not be able to go out for a walk everyday, but you can usually find some “winter sun,” a splash of rain, or the sounds of the outdoors. It’s easy to stretch, walk around, and step outside when you can. Bring a little of nature indoors with pictures, misters, and pleasant sounds.

20 minutes walking

A Pleasantly Rainy Day

It is lovely to have a pleasantly rainy day when you are prepared for it. I had my raincoat, umbrella, and a good pair of shoes for the rain. The dogs loved getting out, and my husband and I had a nice conversation. Getting out in a nice fall rain is like having a mini crisis in your life. You can feel grumpy, agitated, or just plain annoyed. If the feelings build, then a big storm will come up and make a big mess. That's how I used to feel when I walked in the rain without an umbrella or warm shoes--wet and soggy. I was unprepared for the rain that comes every year. We know that misunderstandings happen. It's as if we communicate in different languages at times. The pressure can easily build up without realizing it. If you are prepared with a little protective gear, then every situation isn't personal or disruptive.

Expressing your feelings in a positive way, walking, getting outdoors, and learning good communication skills helps prepare you for the normal storms that come up. Just don't let your feelings build up to the level of a full blown tornado. Taking time to build relationships with your kids, your partner, friends, and colleagues will create a strong foundation for weathering the winter storms.

30 minutes walking

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sand Hill Crane Festival

Today on our walk we talked about the Lodi Sand Hill Crane Festival. There will be artists, speakers, and a bus tour to Stanton Island for the Sand Hill Crane fly over. Bruce will be the Volunteer Naturalist representative from the Cosumnes River Preserve. The festival runs from November 5-7.

40 minutes walking

Friday, November 5, 2010

Apple Hill


Gold, red, bronze and brown leaves flying in every direction. It was a perfect fall day at Apple Hill. A family day in the beautiful California hills with sunshine and a 7-month old’s first trip on a kid’s train, bare toes in the green grass, pumpkins, hugs, and lots of smiles.

Walking through the apple ranches we were met with the smell of fresh apples, the aroma of cinnamon apple pies baking in the ovens, and rich pine trees. The air was fresh and clean. Then coming down the hill we could see the haze hovering over the city. Back home, walking through the neighborhood, I could only reminisce about the cool clear mountain air.

30 minutes walking

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sparks of Light

Bright spots of light
in the shadows.
Sparkling grass,
long shadows, and
random sunbeams.

Walking through the park, I thought about how my ideas seem like bright sparks of thought that shine through the dark. Then a shadow passes over me and the thought is gone. I try to capture the light, write the idea and organize my thoughts before they disappear into the shadows.

30 minutes walking

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Reinvention

Everyday is new and different when I walk outdoors. Each day is a new story in the evolving seasons. Next week it will start getting dark earlier in the day. Birds will migrate, the air will get cooler (I'm hoping.) The days and nights reinvent themselves.

As I work in my office at my computer, it's easy to feel like things are staying the same. There is a certain sense of peace that comes with knowing what to expect, but I also begin to put myself in a box expecting the same thing of myself everyday.

It's great to know what my strengths are and build on them, but it is also exciting to challenge myself in new ways. When one door closes, find another door. I can reinvent myself through the stories I tell about myself and the directions I choose to walk.

I'm excited about the upcoming Reinvention Summit: The World's First Virtual Conference on the Future of Storytelling, Nov 11-22, 2010. "We are gathering a new tribe of storytellers: change-makers, marketers, entrepreneurs, and creatives..." I'm not sure what it is all about, but it sounds interesting. I found Michael Margolis' podcast on storytelling inspiring while taking a walk. I'm always looking for a new story.


Join Nancy J. Miller, LifeworkCoach, for a Walk About U! Tell your story in a new and unique way.

30 minutes walking

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Opportunities in the Air


It is the first day of November and a beautiful day for a walk. The windless blue skies are giving us a break in the weather before winter sinks in it’s cold damp teeth. With the holidays approaching this month and next, job seekers often say it’s a bad time to look for a job. Some employers are willing to wait until the new year to begin hiring, while others are busier than ever this time of year.

Shopping, cooking, eating out, and movies are popular in November and December. If you think about all of the different work that goes into entertainment, you will find where the employment is. People often put off elective surgery, glasses, dental work and other necessary but non-urgent needs.

You want to think like an entrepreneur if you want to find a job or business opportunity in uncertain times. As an entrepreneur, think about the products or services that would be popular this time of year. If your field of expertise is in an area other than the thriving businesses, then think about what you would do if you were the employer. If you had work that needed to be done and didn’t want to go through a permanent hiring process right now, you might think about hiring someone temporary. The right temporary person could turn out to be an easy hire in January.

If you own your own business, think about what people need or want during the winter months. Is there something you could add to your portfolio to meet an off season need? There are always opportunities for those of us who have an entrepreneurial spirit.

20 minutes walking
112 days

Monday, November 1, 2010

Entrepreneurial Spirit


November is National Career Development Month. With winter coming, and longer evening hours, it’s the perfect time to think about your career planning and job search skills. Quintessential Careers published their Job Action Day 2010 articles with a wealth of information for job seekers and entrepreneurs. Catch the buzz from the Quintzine “Create Opportunity: Job Action Day 2010!”

Don’t miss my Job Action Day article, “Creating Opportunity Through Your Entrepreneurial Spirit.


“An entrepreneurial mindset will give you the adaptability and resilience to thrive in a changing workplace. As an entrepreneur, you need to:
  • know why you are working,
  • research Models of Work, and
  • understand your choices.”

Take charge of your career whether you are currently working, own a business, or you are conducting a job search. Be sure to get outside and walk to maintain health and vitality for whatever work you are doing.

20 minutes walking
110 days

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat?


It’s national eat candy and sweets day. The day we buy treats and hand them out to the neighborhood children. The trick is that now we can start buying all of our favorite candy in black & orange packages beginning in September. I don’t normally buy candy bars, but I couldn’t resist those little tiny chocolate bars in my favorite flavors. There couldn’t be that many calories in a tiny bar. Tricked again!

 A gigantic bag of tiny little candy bars adds up to much more candy available than a large block of chocolate. They look so little, but the snacking quickly adds up.

There are so many good reasons to have a little chocolate, caffeine and sugar. I’ll share some of my reasons with you, and you can use them anytime you want to eat something sweet.

  • Helps me think
  • Didn’t get enough sleep
  • Makes a boring job more interesting
  • I saw a mini chocolate bar on the counter
  • I found a step stool and was able to climb up to the high cabinet where I hid the chocolate bars so I would forget them until “candy day”
  • Add your own if none of these fit for you

The final “trick” is that instead of having more energy, I felt sluggish as I started out on a nice long walk today. I knew I needed a walk, but I didn’t feel the usual spring in my step. I felt like I was wearing all those tiny little candy bars. Maybe all of those excuses didn’t work out very well.

I walked to the drug store and found the isles being stocked with that familiar candy now in green & red wrappers. I won’t be tricked again! Fall is the time of year for green and red apples that don’t even need wrappers. I’ll try to reign in the sugar monster and at least make something if I want a sweet treat. Making cookies for the church welcome boxes took a little effort but I had far fewer treats left to tempt me.

60 minutes walking



Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hearty Brain

Walking and Brain Volume

Walking 6 miles or so every week is not only good for the heart, but for the brain, preventing shrinkage and possibly dementia down the road new research indicates. Walking also increases gray matter in the brain.

It's easy to walk 6 miles a week. By walking everyday, I am averaging about 6 miles a week. The recommended 30 minutes everyday or long walks on weekends and 20 minutes a day should do it. Walking is healthful, and walking outdoors brings even more vitality to the mind and body.

One of the hazards of writing is that it is a sedentary task. It's easy to develop unhealthy habits while researching and writing about health. As I focus on writing about publishing, I will plan to have several short posts (sprints) and then the occasional in depth article. Just as a longer walk can take you to new and interesting places, writing deep thoughts or feelings can take you to a higher level of thinking.

Going deeper, finding the underlying meanings, and what people really care about are my interests, but a short sprint is also healthy. Just get up, take a break from reading. Log off of Facebook, take a walk, laugh, call a friend, do something quick, active and fun. Contact Nancy to schedule a Walk About U!

30 minutes walking

Friday, October 29, 2010

Uninspired

Wilted curling turning brown. Fall leaves sprinkle the sidewalk in various stages of vitality. The listless leaves caught my attention. I felt uninspired today.

Walking through the leaves under a cool cloudy evening sky chatting away about the projects I've been working on, I realized I was tired of writing and had nothing to say. This week some things were working, and some were dragging on.

I've been researching the maize of information about self-publishing this week. The low cost of printing and digital technology has birthed a whole new market for publishing. As a writer, I couldn't be happier about the trend, but it took some sleuthing to learn the ins and outs of the industry. It was overwhelming at first, but then the pieces started fitting together. It took some time to understand what self-publishers are really selling under all of the jargon. There are so many choices that it takes diligent research to find the hidden costs. As a writer and entrepreneur, I definitely find it worth the effort.

50 minutes walking

108 days

Thursday, October 28, 2010

History of My Own Fictions


It is not my purpose, in this record, though in all other essentials it is my written memory, to pursue the history of my own fictions. They express themselves, and I leave them to themselves. When I refer to them, incidentally, it is only as a part of my progress.David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

David Copperfield tells his story in the book by the same name. Through the walking, dialogues, and character development, Copperfield tells his life story as he remembers it in the early 1800's. As I listen to the audio story, I feel like I am walking with little David as he grows into a man. As I was listening, I was struck by the phrase, “…the history of my own fictions.” Granted the story is a fictitious account of Copperfield’s life, but as I read it, I thought about how my memory of my life story includes reality and fiction. Some of my memories are clear and others are shrouded in mystery.

Memories are clouded by intervening events, emotions, and a deluge of sensory data. Writing fiction sometimes taps into more reality than remembering actual events. Writing fiction, poetry, and journaling taps into the reality of emotions, senses, and the subconscious. Try writing the history of your own fictions and see where it takes you.

30 minutes walking

107 days


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Few Simple Steps

Have you ever watched people as they walk? Everyone has their own stride. There are those who walk straight, fast, and get the job done with little interference from what is going on around them. Others stop to look at birds, geese, and leaves. Our stories unfold as we observe, interpret, and describe our lives. Most of us have a process we go through before going on a walk whether we are walking alone, with children, or pets. I usually collect my keys, phone, sunglasses, and iPod, put on my walking shoes, and lock up the house. I just do it. I don't necessarily think of it as my "process" for taking a walk. In the same way as I started writing articles, blogs, and stories, I didn't think about the process I was going through. In fact, my methods were quite haphazard at times. Now I realize there is a method to the madness, and I am following a few simple steps to get a book written. You can follow my process and find information and links on writing and publishing on my writing blog at: www.yourlifeinwords.blogspot.com.

As I look back at my walking journal, I can see my writing improve. I find it very exciting to spark my senses, find joy everyday, and write about what I see and feel. We each have a different style of walking, writing, and processing. That's what makes life so interesting!

20 minutes walking

106 days

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Walking Journal


This blog is my story. There is so much about my story that I can create and control myself. Characters come in and out of my story. Some characters I keep and develop into deep relationships while other characters pass through my life, and I let them go. I decide what I want to include in my story. Sure there are villains and heroes and people to save. I can choose to be the hero of my story, and what direction to begin my journey. I write things out of my story if they are no longer working for me. I have stories from my past that I file away on an upper shelf where they get dusty and I rarely visit them.

Writing my walking journal is a way of telling my story and developing the “brand” of who I am. It’s easy to read about the value of walking outdoors, being optimistic, and grateful. Walking my story makes it real. Everyday I am more optimistic, I am happier, and healthier regardless of whether my story that day is a comedy or drama. Get outdoors and start your own walking journal.

60 minutes walking 

105 days

Monday, October 25, 2010

After the Storm


The air is so fresh as I look up at the white wispy clouds. The clear blue sky shows no sign of the storm that passed through yesterday, yet the sidewalk is littered with damp golden leaves. A good heavy rain cleanses the trees of dead leaves and debris. If the wind blows hard enough, the green leaves will be pruned at the same time.

Do you ever feel like a storm has blown through your life leaving a flood of water behind your eyes or a heaviness like damp leaves on the sidewalk? Sometimes a random storm or crisis comes out of the blue and wreaks havoc with your life. A wind of chaos or evil can blow across your brow. There doesn’t seem to be any reason or any good that can come of it, but crises can bring you closer to the people you care about. Take time for meaningful relationships when the sun is shining, and you’ll be ready for the unexpected storms.

Most storms are healthy and natural. If we didn’t have the occasional mini crisis, we wouldn’t clean out the clutter in our lives. We learn what is really important to us when the rain washes out the excess. Get outdoors and walk. Enjoy the changing seasons. Take a Walk About U! and have a conversation with LifeWork Coach Nancy Miller to learn ways to build your resilience for the next storm. Can’t get outside? While sitting in your office chair or sitting in front of the television, lift your legs, stretch your feet, and do the bicycle moves. Stand up and stretch, breathe, and relax. Have a great day!

30 minutes walking
104 days 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Singing in the Rain


There’s nothing like taking a big striped umbrella, waterproof Keene shoes, and a fabulous LL Bean raincoat and going out for a walk in the rain. When I tell people that my goal is to walk everyday for a year, they always ask me what I will do when it rains. My answer is that I will sing in the rain.

"Singing In The Rain"

I'm singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feeling
I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love

Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I'll walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Singing, singing in the rain
In the rain.

The beauty of singing in the rain is that no one is listening. I’m out virtually by myself. I remember some of the words to “Singing in the Rain,” have some idea of the tune, and have a great time singing. I just smile at myself as I make up the parts I don’t know. I always love singing that song when it rains.

When you are in the middle of a storm in your life, you might forget that you can grab an umbrella, embrace the rain, look up at the clouds and smile. It won’t solve your problems, but you will feel better and more prepared for whatever comes your way.

25 minutes walking

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Weather Changes


The day began with rain so I didn’t walk in the morning as I often do. A cool rainy Saturday morning has a very different affect on me than a sunny Monday morning. Just as the weather affects my mood, energy, and plans for the day, anything in the environment can have an impact on our lives and activities.

Rainy days are great for writing, talking, catching up on paperwork, and contemplating. I really enjoy rainy days. You can walk in the rain or try to catch a break in the weather. So much variety. Pouring rain, fog, and hail have a very different affect. When extreme weather or circumstances hit, there are concerns for safety, security, and whether you can actually continue with normal activities. If a crisis or extreme weather occurs, it’s time to take on a minimum amount of activities, find support, and protect yourself.

Pay attention to the weather. Enjoy the light rains, get your exercise, and plan for the occasional bad weather.

50 minutes walking

Friday, October 22, 2010

Natural Beauty


This morning I was thinking about what I want to fill myself with. I love to eat chocolate, research information, and watch television (all at the same time.) These can all be stressful activities. Getting outside, walking, growing and eating vegetables, building healthy relationships, giving, sharing, and forgiving reduce stress and increase health and happiness.

As I walked outside and took a breath of fresh air I thought about the need to leave room for things that are really important to me. It's easy to get caught up in thoughts of stuff and things. What will I wear? How will I be perceived? Is my career on track and are my investments increasing in value? Wow! Time to exhale. Let it out, and let go. If these things come my way, I will have more to share, but I don't want to be stuffed with fear and worry about what I have or don't have. 

We had a pleasant fall rain today. The grass is green and the flowers are growing. The natural beauty is all around. All of the pruning, cleaning, and decorating of myself and my home cannot compare with all that grows naturally. Get out and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.

30 minutes walking





Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ordinary Day

I was thinking it was an ordinary day. Not much to write about. Baby play and story time at the library, laugh out loud silly fun with my grandson, a little shopping with my daughter, and a walk in the park. The great thing about baby smiles is that they are contagious. The more he laughs the sillier I get. I don't even have to be funny to get a laugh out loud. As I walked through the park mothers, couples, and children smiled as they looked at the happy baby strolling by. It doesn't get much better than that.

An ordinary day is the most extraordinary day. A good laugh is healing, healthy, and reduces stress. Laughing for no apparent reason, just because you can, is the best laugh. Have an ordinary day and take a walk.

45 minutes walking