My presidential litmus test

Do you inspire me to be a better citizen? Would I want you as a boss? Would I trust you to lead my most important initiative? Do you seem to truly care about anyone outside your inner circle? Are you willing to have real conversation and compromise? Do you care about a future you won’t be living in? Is your popularity based on fear? What have you actually accomplished?

These are some of the questions I’m asking before I vote.

The Code

I wrote 12 words on a chalkboard on my bedroom wall. They are the 12 words I see each morning when I open my eyes, before I speak, before I reach for my phone to check in with the world.

THE CODE. These words, imperfectly scribbled by my own hand, are a reflection of not only who I am, but more importantly what I aspire to be. They are my intent. My values. My ground truth. Continue reading

Making a new high tide

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If you’ve ever been to Bar Harbor, Maine, you’ve likely heard about Bar Island, the tree-covered sanctuary that sits isolated in the harbor for most of the day. When the tide drops, however, a wide sandbar emerges as a walking path between Mt. Desert Island and Bar Island. For about 90 minutes, twice a day, Bar Island becomes a bustling thoroughfare of tourists, giggling like children at the idea of walking across the harbor on foot, collecting rocks and shells on the way. Continue reading

My friend, my brother, my equal

I sat at my desk on Friday morning, tears welling in my eyes. My news feed lit up in a celebration of rainbows at the same time the skies outside my office window let loose the joyous deluge that I fought to keep inside.

The Supreme Court of the United States had just made marriage equality the law of the land. My girlfriend texted me with her own excited tears, “Did you read the decision?” Continue reading

Focusing through the social media noise

cruella

I sat in a small dark room. My ears were covered, creating an unnerving silence almost too loud to bear. A little bit of claustrophobia crept in, broken only by the sound of her voice. The contralto of Cruella de Vil, sliding into my ears.

I glanced at her from the corner of my eye, as beautiful as her voice is smooth. She sat behind a pane of glass, with a warm but distant smile.

“If you can hear the tone, please raise your hand.” Continue reading

Renewing myself at Emiquon

March has been a month unlike any other.

My work responsibilities have expanded and new opportunities for professional growth appear daily.

I’m helping guide a group of 10- and 11-year-old boys as they learn what it means to be leaders as Boy Scouts.

I’m doing my best to give my son my undivided attention when we’re together.

I’ve been intentional about being present and investing in those relationships that I hold dear, those close and across the miles.

I’ve even been able to dabble in the world of garden speaking, presenting three workshops to Illinois gardeners whose senses have awoken at the hint of spring.

I’ve never felt more engaged in life, yet I’ve fallen down when it comes to taking a moment to recharge myself in the best way I know how — getting outdoors and allowing Mother Nature to fill me with renewal.

Continue reading