Tuesday, December 18, 2012

How Can I Help and Be Good to Our Planet?

I am originally from the northeast and reserve a soft spot in my heart for the people and places connected to my early beginnings. Many inhabitants in that area are still hurting in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. I am doing what I can to support these dear friends, neighbors, and family and made a donation earmarked for Sandy flood relief. My heartfelt thanks go out to the volunteers and helping professionals who are involved in the cleanup efforts. For those of you who can lend a hand and haven’t done so already, you’ll find a link below to charities that are working to raise funds for this worthy cause.

However, this disaster reminds me that global warming is accelerating at an alarming rate. Note the report below.

For a visual, check out the YouTube video from National Geographic that demonstrates this phenomenon.

After reading reports of the recent Philippines’ Typhoon, Bopha and its resultant 300 deaths, I followed the dots from this disaster to global warming. I also linked climate change to the scores of severely hungry Haitians, who have been hit hard by an unusually active storm season. The severe drought and unprecedented heat waves in the U.S. Midwest and Southwest have taken its toil in economic uncertainty, soil erosion, and created a deteriorating atmosphere. Parched earth, clouds of dust, and increased cases of asthma and other breathing difficulties are results I personally attribute to global warming.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Create a Conversational Bridge, Harmony

Post Election Ideas from Nan and Guest Blogger Loren Ekroth.

Nan writes:
For me, post election time is a great time to affirm that to increase peace and even joy in my life, I need to take actions that help me move closer to my best self and others rather than look for ways to separate or cause disharmony. 

I work toward this goal by pausing before communicating with others to ask myself: What is my motive and am I being direct, honest, and kind in expressing my thought? Do I think it will make me happy, make me right, or fill my ego by getting the last word in or one-upping someone else? Try out the suggestions below to find common ground with your neighbor, family member, business associate, or newly elected or re-elected politician. Shine in the glow of equanimity.

Make conversations more productive, spacious and free. Practice the art of good listening, practice compromise or at least agree to disagree respectfully and civilly. What motivates your communication? Do you strive to really "hear" another person? What benefits has that brought to your relationships? Please leave a comment by clicking on the white envelope below this post to share those techniques that work for you.

Loren Ekroth, publisher of Better Conversations Newsletter “Raising the Standard of Conversation in Life,” is my special Guest today.

Loren writes:
I delayed publishing this week's Talking Pointer by one day, because many were preoccupied with the election (dated 11/7/12).
Pointer: You Don't Have to Disagree. Instead, You Can Understand

You can disagree and say so. Or you can choose to understand. That's your choice.
Dr. Alan Weiss suggests: "Don't feel constrained to tell someone when you disagree with a position. You're an adult. Someone else's opinion which has no bearing on you needn't be responded to in an eternal game of 'gotcha.'"

Instead, try understanding. Say "Help me understand your position. I'll listen carefully."

The late Steven Covey wisely counseled, "Seek first to understand." Good counsel, indeed, but not often put to use. Seeking understanding is about the conversers being emotionally mature and not easily prone to argue.

Here are two obstacles to civil discourse:
1. Many folks are closely identified with certain positions and candidates and become upset when others hold alternative or opposing positions. They ARE their positions. (A different way of thinking is to recognize that while you may hold certain positions, you are not your positions.)
2. Some people use another's beliefs or positions as a "litmus test" for friendship: Like "birds of a feather," they want to spend their time with those who share the same beliefs and preferences, and they become uncomfortable around people of a different persuasion. As a result, they gain very little experience trying to understand people with different points of view.

Unfortunately, rancorous disputes among friends and relatives are rather common during heated political seasons. Family members stop talking to one another. Work and business relationships are fractured. Even couples become estranged. (I have a longtime friend and a cousin who have "unfriended" me because I hold positions different from theirs.)

One more thing: If your candidates have won, don't gloat. If your candidates lost, don't whine and blame. Get over it. Then seek to heal any rifts.

Permission to reprint the proceeding from the “Better Conversations” Newsletter has been granted by Dr. Loren Ekroth,Ph.D., a specialist in human communication and a national expert on conversation skills for business and social life. Subscribe to "Better Conversations" newsletters at www.conversationmatters.com

The quote for today:

"We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak." - Epictetus

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Discovering Artist Barbara Rogers

This past weekend I had an opportunity to visit the Tucson Museum of Art, ostensibly to see an exhibit, Henri Matisse. The works were interesting, but for me the real excitement of the day occurred when I discovered the wonderfully colorful creations of an artist who is new to me. Barbara Rogers: The Imperative of Beauty, A Fifty-Year Retrospective 10/06/2012 - 01/13/2013 is a visual feast for the soul. The retrospective encompasses early pieces from her Berkeley days, those she did while in Hawaii, and later works too. Check it out yourself and take a chance on a raffle for an original piece of art.

For those who can't read the caption under the canvas that is going to be the prize-it is titled Games, Barbara Rogers, oil on canvas 36 x 48. Permission to use the photo by Tucson Museum of Art (BW).

Tickets can be purchased at the Museum Store or by calling 520-624-2333 ext. 111. The drawing will be on November 8 at 7:30 pm after the Barbara Rogers’ lecture and book signing event in the Museum Lobby.
Proceeds benefit the Tucson Museum of Art.
Learn more about this fabulous exhibit at the Website below.

Today's quote- "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." So many are credited for saying this, that your guess is as good as mine!

Have any of you come across a new talent recently? Please let me know by commenting on this blog by clicking on the white envelope.

Thanks. And have a visually magnificent day.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Joy at the beach, celebrate the moment

This picture conveys it all. Have a joyful day and wonderful Labor Day weekend. Happy September 1st.

Here is the quote for today from Thich Nhat Hanh:

"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."

Do you find that this concept resonates with you? Please let me know.

In Peace and Health, Nan


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Eerie Sky and Humility, Mother Nature and My Nature

Eerie sky. Monsoon threatens. Earlier today, while briskly walking outdoors, I pondered the power and changeability inherent in nature. Then, I was reminded that coping with mother nature is a metaphor for how I might improve my relationships to those things I can't control.

I am at choice today to get bent out of shape when a storm washes away my plan to have a picnic, my computer breaks down, someone is late for an appointment, or other people, situations, or circumstances don't act the way I think they should.

I can get angry, feel resentful, or take things personally. However, for today, I skip down the higher road. This choice allows me to opt for peace, equanimity, and well-being.

Dear reader-when you are at a crossroads and are perplexed about whether to choose conflict or peace-what guides you to walk on the higher path? Please comment (by clicking on the white envelope under this post) and explain what helps you to put things into perspective. Does being in nature nurture you and replenish your spirit? If so, does it help you tread more lightly when dealing with yourself and others?

 Hope you make the best of your day, whether the sunshine springs out from behind the clouds or it rains so hard it reaches the top of the reservoir.

The quote for today:  "Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy-your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself." Annie Leibovitz, photographer

In Peace & Health, Nan

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fwd: guest blog from Michaele Lockhart

Date: Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 2:52 PM
Subject: guest blog from Michaele Lockhart

Thanks for inviting me to comment, Nan.

Your definitions of web sites vs. blogs were thought-provoking. They were good general guidelines, but often the distinction is not that clear-cut.

A web site is a first meeting, a first impression, and that encounter where we decide: "Do I want to get to know this person better?" A blog is the actual invitation to step inside, sit down, and share in a conversation. It's definitely more intimate.

A web site usually has a purpose, but sometimes graphics and trailers are so convoluted that a casual visitor might have trouble figuring out what the purpose is. The web visitor spends an average of three seconds making up her mind if she is going to stay. A precious three seconds—maybe wasted? Marketing can or may be a part of the overall site.

Here's where the distinctions get fuzzy. A good web site is designed for information sharing, but so is a blog. Are the type font and size easily read? Is the layout calming or distracting? The site or blog should contain contact information. Where can you be reached for an interview? What is your expertise? Why should we move along to your blog (if you have one)? Of course, if you're an author you'll probably be promoting your books.

Who can forget the charming movie Julie and Julia? Julie starts writing a blog about cooking and her self-challenge to create everything in Julia Child's cookbook within a year! What drew her readers in was the blog's central theme. We don't know what happened afterwards, because theoretically there would be no forward momentum.

For those who write personal blogs, ask yourself "Does my blog contain momentum?" This will ultimately help attract readers. Is there a "call to action?" No, you don't need to do anything drastic or start a revolution somewhere. In the personal journal-blog, your "call to action" will be teasers and an invitation to your readers to reflect and respond about issues that you've addressed.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Home from vacation, blog and website differences

I enjoyed the refreshing change (temperature wise and blue ocean views) that a short jaunt to the West coast (Newport Beach, CA) provided. This is the first opportunity I've had to blog. Glad to be back!

I'm motivated to do research about the difference between blogs and websites (partly work related and partly to help my readers learn what's new and good). I do need input from you out there, so hope I'll get some feedback, especially from those of you I know look at my blog, but haven't commented. Here's what I've discovered so far:

          content based on its timely nature
          journal format
          informal style (usual purpose is part social and partly to network)
          spans one or two topics at the most

         content based on a structured or static basis
         professional or business purpose rather than social
         provides clear information to a specific audience and/or for a definite purpose like book-selling
         features good website navigation and is updated less frequently than a blog

See more details at the sites listed below:

How to Make an Official Websitehttp://www.ehow.com/how_5843839_make-official-website.html

http://www.intuitive.com/blog/whats_the_difference_between_a_blog_and_a_web_site.html from strategic business thinking and management consulting by entrepreneur, business and technical guru and popular writer and speaker Dave Taylor

Please let me know what you've discovered about blogs and websites. And a Big thanks for reading my blog post today.

The quote for today comes from Thinkexist.com

“It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.”
 Dale Carnegie quotes (American lecturer, author, 1888-1955)


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Water Conservation, Protect our Water Supply

An article written by Tim Vanderpool in the May 3-9, 2012 Tucson Weekly caught my eye. Vanderpool sites a January 2012 report, “Moving Forward from Vulnerability to Adaptation: Climate Change, Drought, and Water Demand in the Urbanizing Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico (A cooperative effort of US-Mexican researchers Margaret Wilder, Christopher A. Scott, Nicholas Pineda-Pablos, Robert G. Varady, et al). This study points out that drought conditions in the Southwest areas mentioned above puts its inhabitants in a vulnerable, if not perilous place. See article “Water Ways.” www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/water-ways/Content?oid=3336059.

Water Ways Tucson Weekly

I’ve read the full report. I believe it shows that the lack of clean water and the myriad complexities that creates, rather than shortages of fossil fuel, is the biggest challenge we in the Southwest face today. Read the report and see whether you agree with me.
A Government Accountability Office survey of water managers across the country showed that at least 36 states were anticipating local, regional, or statewide water shortages by 2013, even under non-drought conditions.”
 link to EPA Info . For Further Information from the EPA:
Helpline: (866) WTR-SENS (987-7367) |
WaterSense, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Wastewater Management (4204M), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.Washington, D.C. 20460

Here are some points to ponder

What are we, as citizens, actively doing to keep clean (potable) water clean and available? Are we prepared for skyrocketing water rates in the near future? And, do we think it’s wise policy to allow those controlling the southwestern states allotment of water from the Colorado River free rein to sell this precious commodity to other states? Are we frozen in dismay or apathy, because we tell ourselves that we can effect no change as just one person or one household? Do we minimize this problem, quiver in fear, or suffer from ignorance, greed, or denial?

EPA statistics indicate, “Private homes use more than half of the publicly supplied water in the US.” Half the pie is a big chunk, so we actually can make a big difference. Look at the choices you make in your water usage, and conserve, reuse, and recycle whenever you can. Act responsibly by participating in planning for the future and express your views by contacting public officials and voting for candidates that support water conservation.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It's spring and spring has sprung!

This is a succulent growing in our garden in the southwest.

Spring is in the air-it is a lovely southwestern day! Springtime may be a great time for you to clear out the figurative cob-webs in your mind, home, closets, car, or office. Time to reduce (donate, sell, or give-away), reuse (repair), and recycle (transform) items that are cluttering your life. Clear the decks; create spaciousness in your living environment. You may be surprised to discover that spring cleaning and clearing has a ripple effect at work and in your personal life.

Check out the link below from Sue Rasmussen at Making Room for What Really Matters. Plenty of suggestions and support.


The quote for today is :  "I think people want very much to simplify their lives enough so that they can control the things that make it possible to sleep at night."
Twyla Tharp

This post has appeared on
Live it Up at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Blog Hop #21

Check out the other great posts there @
Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Blog Hop #21

Have a Lovely Holiday/Joyful Day!

In Peace and Health, Nan

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Reframing My Vision, Immersion Communication

I recently discovered Frank Rose's book, The Art of Immersion  How the Digital Generation is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the Way We Sell Stories. As a blogger and freelance writer, his title captured my interest and I read the book. Rose's vision of media/advertising/gaming in the recent past, today, and in the future gives me much to ponder. Some salient points I discovered are that interactive stories/games can be used to provide information, hook readers, movie-goers, and web consumers and sell in the new age of "hyper-connectivity" by positioning an item, person, or concept in all the right places. In the age of "emotional connection through social media," we can look forward to instantaneous modes of communication where we are an integral part of the show.

The quote for today comes from The Art of Immersion.  http://www.artofimmersion.com

"We share information. Sometimes we overshare. But why do we share at all? Because life is a constantly functioning information exchange." Frank Rose

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Free Time, Leisure, How can I relax and renew?

I like to be productive and thrive on activities that create order and enable me to complete projects at work, home, and in my personal and social life. That being said, today I want to take a break from "doing" to relax, restore my spirit, and just loaf. However, this is a challenge for me. My underlying work ethic tells me to keep on pursuing my goals, striving to fulfill my obligations, and proceed with whatever tasks I think are on my plate for the day. Luckily, an inner knowing I call my wise woman, tells me to take time to look at the clouds, savor a moment of stillness, and breathe.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Using Grammar Correctly?

A little more than a week ago, I met several interesting people at a meeting of the Society of Southwestern Authors in Tucson. Today, I want to share about one, Ron Mead. I found out that he combines his skills as teacher, speaker, and author to support his mission. "To raise the literacy level by encouraging All people to read more and to overcome common writing and grammar errors." Please check out his website to learn more about this worthwhile goal: www.ronmead.net

Quote for the day: 
Literacy is not a luxury, it is a right and a responsibility. If our world is to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century we must harness the energy and creativity of all our citizens. 

- President Clinton on International Literacy Day, September 8th 1994   
            Quote from www.readfaster.com/LiteracyQuotes.asp

Monday, January 2, 2012

Availability, Giving of Myself

The quote for today is: “The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.”

Today I am determined to rededicate myself to expanding my horizons by looking inward for personal growth, insights, and learning. The start of a New Year creates space for me to set an intention to be more fully available (emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, energetically) to myself and others than I was able to be last year.

Upon reflection, I surmise that in order to move forward toward this goal, I may need to practice non-judgement, kindness, gratitude, and living in the moment. Let me tell you why...

My default setting for new adventures is, at first, fear. With non-judgement, I can acknowledge my feelings, check to see whether my fear is justified, and/or consult with a trusted friend to hash things out. With kindness, I can be gentle with myself and others in any situation, as I encourage us along. With gratitude I can appreciate progress and recognize the power inherent in learning by trial and error. By living in the moment, I can truly honor myself and those I interact with, by planting my mind, heart, attention, and energy into the soil of whatever I am involved in. Here are some ways I've thought to work on this.

  1. Do only one thing at a time.
  2. Plan for one day at a time to reduce the "doing too much" syndrome.
  3. Listen to my secret longings, dreams, and preferences when determining time-choices.
  4. Deal with minor irritations before they turn into explosions.
  5. Consider others' needs, but don't forget to focus on my priorities.
  6. Laugh at myself and lighten up.
  7. State boundaries directly and simply, without attachment to another person's reaction. 
  8. Refrain from offering advice to anyone who doesn't ask for it.
  9. Reserve time and energy for exercise, relaxation, spiritual pursuits, and fun activities.
  10. Practice flexibility by being willing to regroup, re-frame, recycle, or shelve.
  11. Act only when fully cognizant about my motives.
  12. Appreciate all my blessings and acknowledge the wondrous gift of being vitally alive.

Thanks for Visiting

Hope you enjoyed your visit and will return again. Be well. Live well. Lead a colorful life! Warm regards, Nan