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Siobhan Kelleher Kukolic

Words to inspire the belief that we have all we need to be the change we wish to see.

The way we live our lives

I was listening to The Tim Ferriss Show and his guest was Ricardo Semler.  He is the former CEO of Semler Partners and he grew his father’s business from making four million in 1982 to 212 million in 2003.  He now has a podcast called Leadwise that challenges what we think about the way we live our lives at home and at work.

When he joined his dad’s company, at age 19, he didn’t understand why they did things they way they did.  He talks about asking three whys and how by the third why, many find they aren’t really sure why it’s done that way at all. Continue reading

David Whyte

I recently came across poet David Whyte.  He has Irish and English roots and a hypnotic voice that draws you in to his poems.  There is a segment in the Waking Up meditation app where he shares some of his work.  He writes words that really cut you open and change the way you see things.  Things you thought you knew seem new again.

In The Bell and the Blackbird, he recalls an old Irish story of a monk standing by the monastary in early morning and hearing the bell ring, calling him to his work of prayer.  The monk thinks this is the most beautiful sound.  He turns to go but then hears the blackbird singing in the forest and he thinks this is the most beautiful sound.  We don’t know what sound the monk chooses to follow, but he represents us all.  Where will we go next on our journey?  We have many compelling options. Continue reading

The invisible enemy

This week I was inspired to write a poem about the current times…

In early 2020, the invisible enemy did land.

And we realized the consequences heavily first-hand.

Businesses and schools were shuttered, people sent to work from home.

While front line essential workers were left to fend alone.

People got sicker, and much quicker, than any sickness seen before.

Medical professionals sounded alarms, their unheard voices getting sore.

A virus and racial justice, mental health, and our bottom line.

Four pandemics intersected hitting all at the same time.

We overloaded on bad news, we blindly held our empty cup.

We tossed and turned with the uncertainty, when would the spiral, spiral up?

Then the researchers and scientists, funded at a new warp speed.

Discovered a vaccine to help support humanity’s need.

There were questions on the efficacy and if there would be harm.

But the final say, said the vaccine of the day, was the one closest to your arm.

As people are safeguarded, we still have work to do.

To ensure those who need protection the most, have the access that they are due.

The light at the end of the tunnel, is just a sliver streaming through.

We must do what is best for humankind and hope we have learned something new.

So many lost so much, and will never be the same.

People suffering alone, no proper goodbyes, not a number, someone with a name.

As we look towards tomorrow, may we never forget this time.

When the solid foundation we lived on, crumbled and turned on a dime.

May we reach out to each other, help those now in need.

We shed the same tears, we all love with our hearts, each one when injured will bleed.

Let us use our voice for change, so the suffering was not in vain.

May the lessons we learned be amplified so we’re ready when challenged again.

 

 

Emotions last moments not minutes

I was listening to Sam Harris in the Waking Up meditation app and he said that emotions last moments not minutes.  And if we can just give ourselves a few seconds of space to let the energy of that emotion enter our consciousness and sit there before we react, we could save ourselves a lot of heartache.

We only have so much energy to use each day.  We have an energy budget.  And if we choose to use that energy on worry or stress or blowing up in answer to an emotion that pushes our buttons, that decreases the amount of energy we can use for other things on our to-do list like growing our brains, or supporting our self-care, or helping others, or fueling our body with healthy food.  Continue reading

Heart Breath Mind

I’m reading the book Heart Breath Mind: Train Your Heart to Conquer Stress and Achieve Success by Leah Lagos and I came across an interesting paragraph.   It said, “Research out of the Medical University of South Carolina revealed that just a single 20-minute session of a specific type of deep breathing was enough to increase saliva production.  That might not sound exciting in and of itself, but saliva contains all sorts of microscopic goodies, from proteins that bind to and disable viruses and bacteria to tumour-suppressing genes that help prevent normal cells from turning cancerous.  Study participants who performed the deep breathing exercises also had significantly lower levels of inflammatory markers in their saliva, as well as increased amounts of nerve growth factor (NGF) in their saliva.  Salivary NGF has potent healing capabilities — the reason that wounds in the mouth heal faster than on the body is thought to be because they’re coated in NGF.  It also gets shuttled to the brain, where it may have powerful antiaging and possibly Alzheimer’s-protective effects.”

First, I had no idea saliva was such a treasure.  Second, I never thought deep breathing might help produce more of it.  Something simple and free to try may have countless positive outcomes.

Human bodies are truly miraculous.  Carrying the souls of the human race for thousands of years and evolving and growing to promote the best possible outcomes.  Sometimes we’re our bodies worst enemies as we don’t listen to the aches and pains, we don’t fill our cup, fuel our soul, or prioritize self-care.  We only have one body to carry us around the sun on this journey.  And we should listen to it.

As Annie Besant, British writer and women’s rights activist, said, “The human body is constantly undergoing a process of decay and of reconstruction.  First builded into the astral form in the womb of the mother, it is built up continually by the insetting of fresh materials.  With every moment tiny molecules are passing away from it; with every moment tiny molecules are streaming into it.”

What can we do to support our body during these uncertain times?  Deep breaths, early sleep, less stress, more water, authentic connections, healthy meals, morning stretches, interesting reads.  If we say no to the things that steal joy and yes to the things that build it, how might that increase our strength and our hope and our peace?  What might it do to our heart, breath, and mind?  We’ll never know unless we try.

 

Dr. Martine Rothblatt

Dr. Martine Rothblatt started a company called United Therapeutics to save the life of one of her daughters who had a rare disease.  Before that she founded and led Sirius XM radio which has over 34 million subscribers and she is also a leader in transgender rights.  When I listened to her recently on The Tim Ferriss Show, my eyes were opened in so many ways. Continue reading

Think again

I’m currently reading Adam Grant’s book Think Again and it’s such an eye-opener.  He talks about mental fitness and the value in being able to pivot our thinking.  He says that often we have a belief and when we speak of it, we become a preacher, a prosecutor, or a politician.  He writes, “We go into preacher mode when our sacred beliefs are in jeopardy: we deliver sermons to protect and promote our ideals.  We enter prosecutor mode when we recognize flaws in other people’s reasoning: we marshal arguments to prove them wrong and win our case.  We shift into politician mode when we’re seeking to win over an audience: we campaign and lobby for the approval of our constituents.  The risk is that we become so wrapped up in preaching that we’re right, prosecuting others who are wrong, and politicking for support that we don’t bother to rethink our views.” Continue reading

Most overnight successes take at least five years

Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired Magazine, has a weekly newsletter called Recomendo.  This week he wrote, “Most overnight successes take at least 5 years.  As Dave Perell notes in his newsletter Monday Musings, ‘[Marques Brownlee] is one of the most popular technology-focused YouTubers in the world.  As I write this, he has 13.6 million subscribers and his videos have been watched 2.4 billion times.  But when he recorded his 100th video, he only had 74 subscribers.’  In other words, he made and posted his first hundred videos with the tiniest possible audience.  To make something great, keep showing up!  As Perell noted in another of his issues:  ‘If you create something weekly for 2 years, you will earn an audience.’  That is, make 100 creations before you have a big audience.  Every ‘overnight’ success I’ve ever seen was preceded by years of relentless, and sometimes unappreciated, hard work.” Continue reading

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