Personal Lesson from UPS


I just had a very frustrating experience with UPS. I won’t give all the details because this post would be way too long. In summary, I felt they had done something wrong and I was going to get them to admit that and do things my way. You can imagine how that worked out!

I notice I have a tendency to want to be right. When something doesn’t go the way I want, I want to show the other person why what they are doing is wrong and my perspective is what matters. I employ all my skills of perception and speaking to get my point across. I can even get emotionally pushy.

Since nothing I did fixed my situation with UPS, I decided to turn it into a personal teaching moment. There are three things I learned from my zeal to get what I wanted from UPS.

The first was there is NO VALUE is trying to get the other person to admit they did something wrong. I want that so I can feel righteous and I already know that’s not useful.

The second lesson is that I took my eye of what was more important. I was embarrassed that something I wanted to get to someone wasn’t going to get there when I wanted. I started talking to many people at UPS and the result was exactly the opposite of what I wanted – to get the package delivered a quick as possible even if late. The result was the package will take over twice as long to get to the recipient.

The last and for me the most lesson is to remember none of this is personal. I made it about how I felt, which in the end is not anyone’s job but my own.

Whew a lot to learn from a UPS experience

What the Heck do I know?


I find it so easy to have a story to explain almost everything I wonder about. Recently I was at our local food coop and noticed one of my favorite products was no longer on the shelves. Immediately I was sure it was because… (I then provided my version of the reason).  I was so sure I was right I shared my view with others with great authority. After all, what I said made perfect sense.

Yesterday, I was back in the coop and happened to see the manager of the area that included the product in question. I asked him why the product was no longer stocked. He gives me a clear picture of how they make decisions about stocking products. He then walked with me to the section where the product in question was in the past so I could see what he was talking about.

Now what he shared with me had no resemblance to my story. Wow… I didn’t have a clue!

After I left, I thought of many of the times when something happened in my world that I had a ready-made story to explain. My need to understand actually limits my life. Rather than simply saying to myself “I don’t know and I’ll investigate” or “it doesn’t matter and I’ll just forget about it”, I go with whatever my minds creates. I often don’t take any time to consider if this is just my opinion or something I really know.

Good to pay attention to those stories I like telling myself!

Personal Reflection May 30, 2019


I was listening to the father/son duet of Jack and Tim singing their song, We are the Lucky Ones, on Britain’s Got Talent. It’s moving to feel the power of gratitude in such a raw form.

I got to thinking about the power of gratitude in my life. Just last night, I was in a snit because something expected didn’t happen. In hindsight, I see if I’m not paying attention I can quickly get into a mood of irritation and resentment. Never very good for me (or anyone else I come in contact with either).

The good news for me was recognizing my mood early and then applying the universal antidote – feeling gratitude. So much to be grateful for in my life that so overwhelms any little complaint I feel.

Why do I forget gratitude? I’m not sure and it’s an area of exploration.

I work with organizations of all sizes and a broad spectrum of industries. In every organization I’ve worked with, I have seen what I call a “gratitude gap”. There is little attention to being grateful and so much attention on what needs to be done and what’s not getting done. Why? Again, I’m not sure and I’m committed to open the gates of gratitude with everyone one I encounter in every day that remains.

Personal Reflection May 28, 2019


Yesterday I was distressed by a conflict with someone. I asked myself, “Why did this happen?”

My mind wanted to find something wrong with this person so I could see why they were the culprit. I got all revved up with righteousness.

Later, in a call with a friend, they suggested I look inside for the cause.

Didn’t take long for me to see that, yep, I invited this and through my reactions kept it going. I wanted the approval of the other person and my need created the whole experience.

I forget the simplest path to understanding what’s happening in my external world is to look inside. Not always a comfortable route and always where the truth lies.

Personal Reflection May 27, 2019


Why is it I hold on to from the past?

This morning’s musing was about some past “injustice”. I was puzzled as to why I was even giving this any attention. I considered the question, “have I been pushing this away?”. You know, like avoiding it. I do that sometimes with the inner story, “you are better than this!”.

Yep… That’s what I had done.

So…I thought and felt everything I was aware of about this past experience. Instead of having some pious response, I simply accepted how I thought and felt. I didn’t judge myself for these thoughts and feelings.

One result of not judging myself was I felt peaceful. Then I was able to really accept what happened. I realized one of my needs in situations like this is to have a “clearing” conversation with the other person. This rarely happens and I see that it’s not for them but for me.

If I can let it that need go, then what more is required? Nothing! Good lesson for today.


Personal Reflection May 26, 2019

This morning I was listening to a Ted Talk of America Ferrera. She spoke so authentically about her experiences as an actress. When
she wasn’t getting the roles she wanted, she tried to become what she thought the world wanted her to be.
Didn’t work. In the end, she realized she was defining herself in the stereotype’s others had. She was doing this because she believed what others were saying. She accepted what others said was impossible for her because she believed it was impossible
for her.
Then she said something that really got my attention. “It’s possible to be the person who genuinely wants to see change, while also being the person whose actions keep things the way they are”
Keeps things the way they are… this rang true in me. What am I doing each day to keep things the way they are? I believe some aspect of myself, maybe like I’m not always honest, as a definition of me. Believing I am this and along with so many other negative
assessments of myself becomes like a prison for my potential.. for my dreams… I lose perspective and have a roller coaster ride like experiences.
Then America said, “Change will come to each of us who has the courage to question our own fundamental values and beliefs and then see to it that our actions lead to our best intentions.”
This is my rallying cry inside. This inspires me. This is an opening to greater freedom and the life I dream of.

Personal Reflection


Every day is a walk in the woods. I awake and the thought machine is running at full speed. If I’m not deliberate this flurry of thoughts draws my attention and the next thing I know I wonder where the time has gone. Perhaps I feel I’m late or disoriented. Whatever the experience, I chose to start this precious day with reactions rather than deliberateness.

This is a glimpse of the challenge I (we) face throughout the day. How important is my commitment to the experiences I say I want to have? The simple answer is, I don’t have to look any further than what I experience today. Throughout my day, I take time out to see how I’m doing and take note of what I’m learning.

I love learning and sharing what I learn with others. In this sharing, I deepen my awareness and I help people find what they truly seek. When there is a moment of AHA by another,  I smile. When this insight is translated into action, I feel joy. This is my life.

I recently began posting short observations of what I’m learning or observing about myself and the world. These are not written as reflective pieces as other postings in the blog. What I have discovered is people identify with what I share. So why not share it here?

I begin today with posting these short writings under the title, Personal Reflections. If you have any feedback or comments, I would be grateful to hear it.

Personal Reflection May 25, 2019

This morning, I was listening to a guided meditation on unconditional love. As I settled into the meditation, I felt someone I had a judgment of. This happened as the meditation teacher was reminding me that unconditional love is given without any need to be fulfilled. I immediately extended the feeling of love to the person I was judging and had no expectations for them to do anything. Literally, like magic, the judgment dissolved, and I felt peaceful. What a wonderful experience. I take this into my day to practice.

What is a Commitment

I have taught, off and on, for the past 20 plus years about commitments. How they are created. How they work. How they are completed and what to do when they are broken. In all this time, I never really understood what I was teaching.

Sure, I knew intellectually the structure and process. I didn’t understand the heart of the matter. Recently I have experienced a number of commitments others made to me that were broken. These people decided that what they agreed upon was something they no longer could do or something else now took precedence. Whatever the reason the commitment was broken and I’m left with the consequence.

I look back and see all the times when I have done the same. I have made commitments and not taken them seriously. I have made commitments and found rationalizing stories to support my choice to not honor what I promised. I was afraid when I couldn’t meet a commitment and obfuscated or tried to make it look different than it was. Namely, I didn’t do what I agreed to.

It’s easy to walk in the mental space of understanding and engage the world like a third party. Observing what’s going on and not allowing the impact of what I do to be felt. This past week has been my opportunity to experience, to the depths of my soul, the impact of people not honoring their commitments.

I don’t find any value in being angry or wanting the other person to understand the impact their decisions have been for me. Rather, I appreciate the gift of this experience in allowing me to learn. From this learning everything about my life is different.

How does this change my life? I not sure yet. I do know that this feeling in my heart will always be my companion. I know I now see commitments as sacred. To hold them any other way is to open the door to be out of integrity. Being in integrity is something I’m passionate about. I see the consequence on me and everyone I hold dear when I don’t do what I say.

Life is ours to create. Every experience is ours to choose. I choose the direction of my heart rather than my mind. I hope that you find your way of heartfelt integrity. It offers you a world greater than you can imagine.

Consider this- “Deaths of Despair”


I believe that one of the true crisis of our time is the lack of reflection. For the first time in thousands of years, those who are in important roles of leadership are, for the most part, not spending time considering, in-depth, the social, technological and economic world we live in. They have fallen into the pattern of the day of quick sound bites and headlines.

What’s the risk? Reflection has three distinct values:

  • Deeper understanding of the fundamentals that are creating the circumstances we are experiencing
  • Multiple perspectives bringing out not-before considered options for solutions to challenges
  • Realization of the broad impact of decisions because of the interconnectedness of everything

Without reflection, we move to a transactional orientation to our lives. While we say relationships are important, the key indicators show isolationism of ourselves, our instigations and our county.  We end up with a world that is uncaring of others and the gap between those who have and those who don’t increases.

This is a continuation of a conversation I’ve had in this space many times and will. I chose to revisit this today because of news report summarizing a paper by two noted Princeton economists, Anne Case and Angus Deaton.

In 2015, Case and Deaton wrote a paper bringing our attention to the surge in mortality rates of white middle-age non-Hispanic men without a college degree. Now, they are focusing on what they call the “deaths of despair” to this same group. They define deaths of despair as either quick deaths by suicide or slower self-inflicted deaths by alcohol or drug overuse.

Their assessment is that the primary issue isn’t economic. For if it was, African American and Hispanic men should have the same high rates of “deaths of despair” and they don’t. So, what’s going on? We know that research isn’t perfect so I’ll offer my assessments from reading report. I encourage you to do the same so you can draw your own conclusions.

There are several social factors, which I hadn’t thought about, they point to as having the potential to underlying causes for the increase in mortality rates and dramatic increase in “deaths of despair”. Before I give you the particulars, it’s important to remember one of the key components of our humanness. We want to belong. The socio-economic group we are referring to have seen their traditional support network for belonging collapsing.

In the past, those in manufacturing often belonged to unions. It was not uncommon for these workers to have multiple generations working in well-paying jobs at the same company. No more. Some of the fallouts of this shift are higher rates of divorce, at-risk health and loneliness.

Our religious institutions helped bolster the sense of belonging to this group. Over the past twenty years, while we haven’t seen a decline in participation rates at churches, we have seen change in their makeup. Legacy religious such as a Catholicism and main-stream Protestantism have declined. They have been supplanted by “seeking” churches. These churches fundamentals focus on the individual and their relationship with God than the community they are part of.

Divorce is also a critical issue with this age group. It is speculated that the lower income and pervious stress from jobs have contributed to an increasing divorce rate. This is coupled with declining health and well-being.

The report’s authors also noted that this trend appears to be a U.S. phenomenon. Mortality rates for this group to be declining by a significant rate in Europe, Australia, Canada and Japan.

Why is this important to us to reflect upon? When you have a contrary social trend, it’s highly probable it will have a disproportionate impact. For instance, these underlying issues and the mood of this segment of the population may have been a contributing factor in the most recent presidential election.

I encourage you to take some time to read from multiple viewpoints about what’s happening in our society. Reflect on what you find and use this reflection to guide your decisions.