5th secret of a Can Do Life revealed…

We are all connected and part of something bigger…

Whether it is our family, our neighborhood, our school, our friends, our workplace, our faith community, our political party, our regiment or platoon in the military, our local service club, our sports teams… as humans, we all have a need for connection and want to belong to something greater than ourselves. The term “tribes” has come back into use to talk about groups people with whom we identify. Trekkies, Harry Potter lovers, Red Sox fans (not Yankee Fans), Ohio State fans (not Michigan fans), Nascar enthusiasts, the list goes on and on. I think it even includes people who want to live a more Can Do life.

In this age of technology and shutterstock_77317735“social media,” we have this ever expanding collection of “communication” technologies and tools that we use to connect: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, texting and the rest. The reason that they are so popular is that they are designed to tap into our need to be connected. Stay in touch. Be in relationship. It Group of Business People with Social Media Conceptcan be argued, and it is, that these devices and the communication they deliver are not enough and cannot satisfy us. When they are used to enhance relationships, they work well. They, however, cannot take the place of relationships. I want Siri to help me get to the restaurant for my dinner engagement, but I do not want her to go out to dinner with me as my companion!!

I believe that Can Do needs to be shared in order to grow. As I observe in The Can Do Chronicles, CAN DO is always lived in relationship – with self, with God and with others.” Can Do is strengths-based – grounded in saying YES! to life, and to each other. If my life is about “yes” and possibilities, it is also about the quality of how I connect with other people.  And, for me personally, it also relies on and reflects the quality of how I connect with my God. When I don’t stay connected, I tend to get too far into my own head and get in my own way, making it much easier for me to lose my Can Do focus on life in general.

My most dearly held belief is that the most important connection we have is to our kids – all shutterstock_60308743of our kids – and the legacy we leave behind for them. When we say we are so concerned about bullying as an issue impacting our children, I think we should start by looking in the mirror and being more aware of how we, the adults, are treating each other.  In the media and politics with headlines that accuse and sound bites that bite! And ask ourselves, “what is that teaching our kids?” Some people talk about the debt and environment that we are leaving our children. I am concerned about those, things too. But, when I see a world increasingly filled with negatives, blaming, “gotchya games,” finger pointing that is polarizing and rude, I am also concerned about the toxic messages we give, and what we are showing our kids about how people treat each other and how to make decisions.

We are all connected and part of something bigger…

shutterstock_61817020I believe we can do better. I want to be a voice that reminds us that we are connected at our core and more alike than we are different… and, of the good we are capable of and the dreams that we need to reach and teach our kids to reach.

I believe we can do better, for our kids’ sakes, because they need you and me, not football players, movie and rock stars – to be their heroes and role models! They need and want to be connected with us – and be part of something bigger.

What connections are important in your life? Want some ideas of how you can you make those connections more Can Do? There are lots of Can Do resources available, such as:

  • Have you read The Can Do Chronicles?  It is a great resource and reminder about what is important in life, if I don’t say so myself!  And it is on sale on amazon! Check it out by clicking here!
  • The Can Do Dialogues, my series of podcasts with stories of amazing everyday heroes is available by clicking here.
  • Also, there is a new online workshop, Live YOUR Can Do Life that launches on March 13th.  Check that out by clicking here!

See you next week with the Sixth Secret!

cathi_rev.slant

 

 

 

The 4th Secret of a Can Do Life is…

MAKE AND TAKE TIME FOR REFLECTION

For me, it is the hardest one of them all. I have places to go and people to see and things to do and deadlines to keep. When I was 11, I played Alice in the local library production of441926-Cartoon-Businesswoman-Running-With-Late-Files Alice in Wonderland. The only line I remember is, “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date. No time to say ‘Hello,’ goodbye. I’m late!  I’m late! I’m late!”  Even when I am on time, I always feel like I am behind – late, late, late!

Waiting is agony for me, especially if I don’t have my phone or a book or my computer to keep me company. When I am on a webinar or conference call, I check my email and Facebook during the “in between” times. In between when I am paying attention, that is.  Sometimes, I feel like I have lost my ability and patience to be still. To be at rest. Quietly reflecting.

What is that all about, anyway? When I write it down, it sound absurd! It would be like only driving my car at 70 MPH. That pace of life gives adrenaline way too much power. And, it leads to burning out. I know. I burned out once, and I promised myself I would never go back there. I can still get to the “sort of crispy” point, then have learned to pull myself back in. Hey, at least now I stop for yellow lights!!

Since my chemo days, I have tried harder to make and take time for reflection. Tried. Ash wednesdayHave not always succeed, even though it is one of the Secrets, and therefore pretty important to me!  So, I set a goal that actually gets kicked off today. Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Christian season of Lent. I signed up for a retreat program through my church, based on St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, and as part of the retreat have committed myself to 40 minutes of prayer and meditation every day between today and Easter. I am excited to find out what I will discover.

Reflection. For me that means prayer and meditation as ways of connecting and communicating with my God, my Creator, my friend, and the places inside myself where that connection is strongest. To listen, to be curious. To share my dreams. To deepen my commitment to achieving those dreams.

For others, this reflection time might involved art or music, dance or nature.

shutterstock_121922443My reflection time allows me to focus on my dreams. Talk to God. Talk to myself about the why and the how, leaving the when and where to a later time. Reflection time allows my body and brain to decompress and rest. Expands my thoughts and lets my creative juices take the place of all that deadline-driven adrenaline. Balances the different parts of me – the inside with the outside. Reflection unlocks my heart to let it be heard… and to it be fed.

Some people think that refection or meditation or prayer is boring. For as much of an IMG_20140705_220935633adrenaline junkie as I can be, I really love becoming lost in the flames of a fire or the sounds of the ocean. Watching the changing colors of a beautiful sunset – or sunrise. Letting my senses stretch and hear, see, smell, taste and feel a littleMBH picture for blog more of what is going on on the inside and the outside. Inviting my soul to connect with my brain and my feet and my calendar and the rest of my life. Listen, listen, listen and learn.

No matter what your faith tradition, today is a good day to commit to making and taking time for reflection. Start with a big enough, while still manageable, goal. Build the time gradually. If reading, audio or video materials help, between Google and the library, you can find just about anything you need for free: find blogs and YouTube videos, poetry books, art books and classical music.The last section of the Can Do Chronicles has an area with quotes and prompts for meditation.

shutterstock_129151931I recommend that you keep a journal with the insights and ideas that come to you as you meditate, so that these gems do not get lost in the busy-ness of the rest of your life.

My prayers go with you on your journey….

 

cathi_rev.slant

 

 

Curious About the Third Secret? WOW…That’s Inspired!

The third secret of a Can Do Life is to be inspired and have a sense of curiosity!

The day-to-day, minute-to-minute, meeting-to-meeting-ness of life leave us surrounded by stress and mired in minutiae. Traffic. Technology. Kids’ sports schedules. Work deadlines. They seem to conspire to suck our brains, hearts and souls dry!

Enter the third secret!  Be inspired & have a sense of curiosity. Don’t stay stuck! Take time to look away from, under or behind all of the “stuff” and “ness” of life to get back to the meat of life’s meaning.

Inspired ([in-spahyuh rd]) adjective: meaning aroused, animated, or imbued with the spirit to do something, by or as if by supernatural or divine influence

Be inspired.  Do you have a favorite song, poem, piece of art, photo, prayer, essay or book that lights up your heart?  How often do you “visit” the things that provide inspiration? I have two songs: the four Jean Valjean’s singing Bring Him Home at the Les Miz 25th Anniversary concert and Peter peter-paul-and-mary-holiday-concertPaul and Mary singing “Light One Candle” at their Christmas Concert from years ago. These songs fill my heart with hope and love. Both songs’ You Tube videos are bookmarked so I can jump right to them when I need a little inspiration – Light One Candle is just a little under 4 minutes long and a great investment in keeping my light from going out!  How and where can you put and keep a little piece of personal inspiration close at hand?

People also inspire me. In the Can Do Chronicles, I wrote about several people in my life who are everyday heroes that inspire me. I talk about Lorna, Steve and Julie, and how their lives and our relationships help keep me focused on what is important. I add to that list on a regular basis. Recently, I find that the people I am interviewing for the case stories about Can Do Workplaces for my new book really inspire me: Michelle, Karen, Frankie and Sandy; Michael and Evelind; and Errol, Jenna and Michael. Their commitment to and respect for the people they serve draws me into their stories and inspires me to share them with the world!  Who in your life inspires you?

curious (kyo͝orēəs) adjective:  meaning eager to know or learn something.

Have a sense of curiosity!  Ever been around a 3 year old who is filled with questions shutterstock_1296518and the energy to explore his or her world with unbridled curiosity?  You can almost feel those brain cells lighting up, expanding and connecting, driving that child to search even harder, explore even more!

shutterstock_116496178 (2)Where does all that curiosity go?  Somehow, as adults, it seems to get replaced with a different kind of drive – an urgency to get someplace and do something and a frustration if it takes more time that we think it should!  Life is so much bigger than our little worlds, and there is so much to explore!  When was the last time you took the “scenic route” just to find out what was there? Or asked someone why they like their work, home, car or hobby to learn more about their interests?

95f33/huch/1413/hl0152Michael Gelb is the author of several books on creativity and innovation, my favorite of which is How To Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day. In what he calls “the self-help book that Leonardo never wrote,” Michael presents seven principles, the first of which is

Curiosita: an insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning. 

Michael believes that “curiosita – the quest for continuous learning – comes first because the desire to know, to learn, and to grow is the powerhouse of knowledge, wisdom and discovery.” In the How To Think Like Leonardo Workbook, Michael challenges us to make a list of 100 important questions. Most of us get stuck at around 8 or 9 questions. I challenge you to make a list of 10 to 20 questions, and then to go out and explore, satisfy a little bit of your curiosity looking for the answers!

Thinking Woman Making Decision And Have An Idea. She Looking UpThe cool thing about curiosity is that the more things you do to try to satisfy it, the more it grows!  Questions beget questions.

If one of the things you are curious about is how to get and keep more “Can Do” in your life, then I suggest subscribing to the blog via email on the main Can Do Blog page. That wayyou don’t have to go looking for new posts!  They will come to you every Wednesday!

Have a great week until next Wednesday when I reveal the 4th Secret of a Can Do Life!

cathi_rev.slant

 

 

 

The Second Secret of a Can Do Life Is…

…to be and stay goal driven.

Can you name your life’s goals as easily as you can name your favorite foods or your favorite vacation destinations?  Do you set goals, yet never seem to make enough progress toward accomplishing them?  Are your dreams real for you, or just something you use to think about as an escape from your current situation?

Goals are dreams with deadlines - motivational phrase on a vintaThere are so many things that I could say about goals, their connections to dreams and the power that they have to change your life, much more than this little blog post can hold. The message I want to communicate here is about the importance of having and working toward your goals, and making sure your goals are connected to your life’s dreams.

Why is being and staying goal driven the second secret?  Because our goals based on our dreams give our lives meaning… and they give us hope when life gets hard and messy. Our goals can provide us with the motivation to overcome life’s challenges that come between us and our dreams.

shutterstock_105026252

Setting meaningful goals requires us to be able to define and describe our dreams. It is never too late!  Age does not matter. In fact, I would argue that as we get older, it is just as important to us, and to the world, that we work to know, aspire to and reach our dreams.

What are your dreams? I encourage you to take some time in the next few days to think about those dreams. Mine dream has been to be a writer… to use my words, images and stories to motivate and inspire people to reach their potential.  I am in this moment, quite literally, living my dream!  And, it is AWESOME!

Our goals provide the road map on our journey toward those dreams. Newton’s first law of motion is: a body in motion tends to stay in motion; a body at rest tends to stay at rest. Coridan’s Corollary is that a life in motion tends to stay in motion… We need to be and stay goal driven to keep our lives moving in the direction that meets our needs and keeps us healthy. Otherwise inertia creeps in, and we know that a life at rest does not achieve its dreams!

Not all goals are the same. For one thing, they come in sizes. There are big goals, like buying a house, getting a degree, raising a family, retiring to a warmer climate… and then there are the smaller goals that lead us to the big ones, like saving money, enrolling in a class, meeting someone special with whom you would consider raising a family, and again, saving money. Breaking things down into a smaller, more manageable size makes the goals easier to achieve.

America Football field with ballI like to think of the need to set smaller goals as the “rule of the first downs.”  I am a big Ohio State Buckeye Football fan. I know that this dream that we just realized of becoming the National Champions did not all happen with big plays and dumb luck. The team focused (in part) on working together on basics, on getting first downs and building the momentum and the rhythm to be ready when they have a chance – and THEN they made the big plays. When I watch football, I sometimes yell at the TV to remind the Buckeyes, or the NY Football Giants, that when they have the football, they don’t have to do any more than get that next first down unless the opportunity is really solid for the big play. First downs create scoring opportunities and build momentum. First downs win games.

Do you want to become more goal driven?

Set Goals Hand Red MarkerTo help get you started, I have several questions: What are your big goals?  The ones that you focus on for a year or two at a time?  How are they connected to your dreams?

Then, what are your smaller goals, the ones that form the steps on the way to your bigger goals?

Where are you starting?  If your big goal is to run a marathon next year and you have not worked out in five years, I hope you will create a different plan than if you have been running 5Ks and are ready to step it up!

Start by writing your goals down today!  Work with them, revise them, talk them over with your family and friends. Start small and build – daily, weekly and monthly goals function to help keep things manageable. Losing 5 pounds usually comes before losing 10; running a mile comes before winning a marathon! Writing your goals down lets you put big red check marks next to them when you are finished – and I find that checking off completed goals is a great way to build and maintain momentum.

shutterstock_122400934

Be and stay goal driven… it’s not such a big secret, is it?  But, it holds the key to achieving your dreams!  Goal setting unleashes the power of Can Do to help you become the person you were meant to be!

The First Secret of a Can Do Life Is….

TodayIt starts today!  Each Wednesday for seven weeks, I will share one of the Seven Secrets of a Can Do Life on this blog. These are not earth shattering revelations by any means. They are what I like to call “hidden in plain sight.”  In naming them and focusing on them, these secrets emerge and connect to make life fuller, healthier and more rewarding. They are distilled from my years of training and work in behavioral health, trying to find better ways to support people to work through problems and live a healthier life. And they come from reflecting on my personal life-changing experiences that I narrate in the Can Do Chronicles.

So, without further delay, here is….

The First Secret of a Can Do Life:

GratitudeDevelop and keep a positive attitude, grounded in gratitude every day.

Sometimes so easy. Sometimes so difficult.  Always, so worth it!

So easy? Really?

Yes! Take 5 to 10 minutes every morning to intentionally focus on what the possibilities are for the day and what you have to be grateful for. Make it a habit. Do it while you brush your teeth or while you get dressed or something else you do every morning. Then write it down. See?  So easy you can hit the EASY button with this one!

BUT WAIT!! It’s NOT so easy when life gets so full of distractions and stress that the first thing we do when we wake up is look at email messages on our phones and start building our anxious mental list of TO DOs and off we go….into traffic and meetings… with people and deadlines… and stress and problems.  Into the “messiness and stressiness” that is life!

One of the most important things I realize and accept for a fact is that life is messy and filled with challenges and detours that are out of my control on the path to achieving my goals and dreams. That is why taking that time everyday to make that intentional commitment to possibilities and gratitude is so important to me, and why it is the FIRST and most important secret.

I know when I don’t take those special minutes in the morning, or even sometimes more than once a day, to make that commitment to stay focused on the positive and grounded in gratitude, that those are the times I become unglued and stressed out. Life starts to run me, I don’t run my life!  And, I lose sight of the many, many things and people that I have to be grateful for and the many, many possibilities that life holds for me each day.

In the old days, I really thought it was okay to blame other people for how I felt and what was going wrong… the contract with deliverables and deadlines that were impossible to meet… the staff that did not follow the directions… the data in the report was wrong, and on and on and on… I had a hit list of people and reasons that my life was not going according to plan!  I call it the chip on my shoulder, and the but in yes…BUT!

Then I grew to realize that it is not the circumstances in my life but how I react to them, my attitude,shutterstock_45177145 that makes all the difference. I am responsible for my attitude = how I react and how I feel. It is a real value to me that I keep control my attitude and take the BUT out of my YES to life. Blaming other people and things puts them in charge of my attitude, and to some extent, in charge of me! And, I don’t want to give control of my attitude to other people, whether things are going well or going poorly!

Taking that time every day to focus on the possibilities and grounding the day in gratitude keeps me more focused, and life’s “messiness and stressiness” are much less annoying. I am open to discovering new ways to approach challenges and solve problems, rather than hitting the mental “play button” with a rant about how life is not fair.

Making this commitment every day – and like I said, sometimes more than once a day! – has built a very healthy habit that helps me resist hitting that “play button,” protects me against stress, helps me think more clearly and makes it much easier to recover when things aren’t going well. And, I have realized that it makes me a much more attractive, enjoyable and engaging person to be around! That discovery is one of the biggest things in my life that I am grateful for.

There you have it. The first secret. I hope this little secret makes as big a difference in your life as it has in mine!

cathi_rev.slant

 

 

 

HELPFUL HINT: Make and keep a gratitude list every day. You can have repeats, but add at least two new things you are grateful for to the list each day.

 

Announcing the Seven Weeks of The Seven Secrets of a Can Do Life

Seven Secrets Workbook CoverThe first Seven Secrets of a Can Do Life virtual workshop series wrapped up its two week run last Friday. It was fun and filled with many firsts and special moments for me, including taping the two videos using my laptop webcam and coordinating the new series of podcasts. Taping the videos was definitely outside my comfort zone, and fraught with crazy mishaps like the calendar falling off the wall with a LOUD crash, and the cell phone that I thought was turned off creating very loud feedback BUZZ in my computer speakers about 9 minutes into a REALLY GOOD take!  Through it all, I learned not to take it all – or myself – too seriously!

My biggest fear was “what if I gave a workshop and nobody came?” so I was thrilled that dozens of people from around the world signed up, and then showed up and invested the time to make a Can Do difference in and with their lives. The feedback so far has been quite good, and I am still waiting for a few more of the workshop-ees to complete their surveys on Survey Monkey (hint, hint, if you can hear me,  you know who you are!). Part of me wishes I could follow it right up with another series and build momentum and keep it going and growing, but I want to let my experiences and their feedback simmer together, and carefully unpack the lessons-learned before making final decisions about the next round of workshops that will start in the spring. And, I am working hard on my new book, The Can Do Workplace, which has grown to be an engrossing project, filled with great wisdom in the case-stories I am currently writing about some awesome people and five extraordinary organizations from around the world.

So, I asked myself, am I just going to stay quiet about these Can Do Secrets until the spring? NO WAY! So, what to do? I thought about it for a while and came up with a great idea!

shutterstock_72101557

Starting next Wednesday and for the following seven Wednesdays, I am going to use this blog to reveal the Seven Secrets of a Can Do Life to the whole wide world, one secret at a time!

SecretsWant to hear a secret?  Looking for some motivation to keep your New Year’s Resolution alive?  Need some inspiration to offset what is on the news and to beat the winter blues?

Check back here next Wednesday and you will find just that!

 

Until then, I hope you remember to imagine and discover what you Can Do!

 

cathi_rev.slant

 

 

 

You have to start someplace, so why not start today?

For me, the “getting started” part of a new project or working toward my new goal is the hardest part.

I want to wait to put my best foot forward, so people will be impressed with my “smarts” and say WOW!

I want to be sure I have the best equipment. That can be the shoes and “active wear apparel” at the gym. Or, have the state-of-the-art camera equipment for the videos I am making, with lights and sound to make the video (and me!) look awesome. Or, when my friends come to visit me, I want my home to reflect my great taste and personal style.

So we wait, and lose out on valuable time in achieving our goals!

shutterstock_55922362Give yourself the green light to start where you are. With old sweats and worn sneaks… with a laptop camcorder… with laminate counter tops in the kitchen and family room paneling!

Start!  Get going!  Work out in your old sweats and sneaks!  Make the first videos on the laptop camcorder. Don’t wait to have great times with your friends until your house is perfect.

Start! Move a little bit today and then a little more tomorrow. The workout outfit will not Aerobicsmake the muscles tone any faster. The camera does not convey the key messages you want to communicate. And, your real friends love you, in spite of the laminate!

Remember Newton’s first law of motion, and Cathi’s second corollary: a body in motion tends to stay in motion and a body at rest will never achieve its goals!

Don’t wait to build a more meaningful, healthier and happier life for yourself.

Get Started Today

Start today with the you and resources you have to live A Can Do life.

I bet you will be glad that you did!

cathi_rev.slant

 

 

Need a Resolution for 2015? How about a more Can Do Life?

2015 On Athletics All Weather Running TrackAs 2015 rolls into existence later this week, some people are scrambling to figure out their New Year’s Resolution.

I am sure that there are many people out there who want to make a difference, be better parents, volunteers, bosses, employees, friends and caregivers – or be healthier and happier –  but just don’t know what to do differently. They set goals every year to “be a better ______” fill in the blank. But they get frustrated, busy, distracted and give up, and are disappointed in themselves until this week every year, when they start to make their resolutions again!

Here’s my recommendation:

The FREE Seven Secrets of a Can Do Life virtual workshop series might offer just the ideas, resources and support you need to make a Can Do kind of difference in 2015.

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” E.E. Cummings

The benefits of a Can Do life go way beyond what it does for us individually. I believe that there are many people who can use the Can Do model to become a Can Do Role Model for the kids (and some of the adults) in their lives. Become people who say YES! to life and focus on building their goals and achieve their dreams. Individuals and teams that make decisions based on possibilities and potential. People who quietly inspire and motivate others, sometimes without knowing that they do it.

With so many “sports heroes” clearly focused on themselves and having a good time, with so many so-called pop stars trying to outdo each other with odd, immature and weird behavior, and with the political leaders competitively tearing each other down, I say it is time for some everyday heroes to commit to show up, step up and speak up!

Seven Secrets Workbook CoverThe Seven Secrets of a Can Do Life virtual workshop series provides the resources, tools, inspiration and motivation to become an every day hero to the important people in your life, starting with you!

This new – and FREE – virtual workshop series starts on January 2nd and includes 2 videos, 2 podcasts, a workbook and a live tele-workshop on January 7th.

Registration is open. Click here for more information.  

You owe it to yourself and the ones you love!

Happy New Year!

cathi_rev.slant

 

 

 

 

Moving from My Story to Our Story…. A BIG Step

Stories not only teach us how to act – they inspire us to act. Stories communicate our values through the language of the heart, our emotions. And it is what we feel – our hopes, our cares, our obligations – not simply what we know that can inspire us with the courage to act.  Marshall Ganz

cover.finalLast year, when I wrote The Can Do Chronicles, I was attempting to find my voice, to tell my story out loud and in the open. I was such a reluctant author! I told my story of personal transformation during a prolonged time of challenge and adversity, hoping that someone, somewhere might maybe, possibly get some inspiration from it. The whole experience felt awkward, like I was walking in high heels on a slippery sidewalk, and one false step would either totally humiliate me or cripple me for life – or maybe both.

I got the story out there. Whew! Met that goal. Ticked that box! Then in the months that followed, I realized I want to do more with it – with this Can Do “thing” that had become the center and focus of my life.

I want to share more than just my story. I want to spread my Can Do world view and its life-giving message.

I want to shift from telling my story to leading to shape “our story.”  Sure, shutterstock_945275my background in counseling, nonprofit leadership, training and writing comes together and positions me very well. But O.M.G., it’s taking a big leap of faith and courage for me to get out there!

But, I need to do it, so I am! I don’t want to keep it to myself because I believe CAN DO is too important!  

Why? In today’s world, where there is so much division, blaming, negativity and drama, I am totally convinced that a Can Do attitude and world view makes a fundamental difference in peoples’ personal lives, families, neighborhoods, workplaces and communities. I feel called and compelled to GET THE WORD OUT THERE about the promise and potential of Can Do.

So, for the last few months, I have been busy creating, writing, discussing and developing numerous strategies, venues and channels to GET CAN DO OUT THERE!  I am very excited and, I have to admit, more than a little scared about pushing, marketing and being OUT THERE. The age old anxiety questions pop up: What if you don’t like me or my message?  Or don’t agree with me?  What if I mess something up?  shutterstock_70290889Well, questions or not, I have put my “Big Girl Shoes” on, and back out there onto the slippery sidewalk I go!  I know it will not all go perfectly, but I am giving it my best shot with the resources I have today. I trust the voice inside me which has guided the creation and growth of Can Do for almost five years. And, I gotta say, I am pretty darned proud of myself for doing that!

So how and where is it all GETTING OUT THERE, you ask?  Here are a few good places for everyone to start:

  1. The Seven Secrets of a Can Do Life FREE virtual workshop series launches on January 2nd
  2. You can read The Can Do Chronicles with this early bird special savings of 15% – it’s the quiet launch!  To take advantage of this special offer, click here and when you check out, enter discount code 5K243YTD. The Chronicles is still available in Kindle format on amazon.com, but without the updating and refreshing I did for the paperback.
  3. The Can Do Dialogues, my new series of podcasts with inspiring guests sharing their Can Do stories, launched on December 2nd. The newest post is a great, fast-paced conversation with my friend, colleague and fellow cancer survivor and writer, Judy Leaver. Check back regularly to hear new, inspiring stories.
  4. I am writing my second book, the Can Do Workplace, and I just learned last week that it was accepted to be published by Motivational Press later this year. WOW!
  5. I have restructured Coridan Consulting to provide writing, training and interim thumbnailexecutive services that help nonprofits and small businesses navigate change & growth with excellence so they can make a Can Do kind of difference.

I am grateful that I have the combination of leadership experience and the gift of words – written and spoken – that allow me to share my story and begin to tell “our story” of the promise and potential of Can Do.

BUT

I cannot do this alone! My BIG 2015 goal is to use the phenomenal potential and opportunities afforded by the internet and virtual technology to create an online Can Do Community that spans and touches all part of the globe. Check back, I will be posting much more about it in the weeks to come.

In the meantime, I hope you will check out other posts on the Can Do Blog, take advantage of the early bird discount code to buy your copy of The Can Do Chronicles, listen to the the new post on the Can Do Dialogues and sign up for the The Seven Secrets of a Can Do Life FREE virtual workshop series…. And, imagine what our world will be like when we all make a little bit of a Can Do difference every day.

With heartfelt thanks –

cathi_rev.slant

The Can Do Chronicles, Ferguson, MO & Thanksgiving

coverFor the last month, my life has been fully focused on the publication of my little book, The Can Do Chronicles as a paperback, moving it off the cyber-shelves of e-book status and “getting it out there.” I am in the final stages of developing workshops and workbooks designed to help people make “Can Do” decisions and say YES! to life every day. I have two white boards and two calendars filled with notes, deadlines and outlines for the mid-December launch. The To Do list has several items that are marked URGENT and IMPORTANT that were intended for “first thing this morning.”

URGENT and IMPORTANT got pushed aside with the sad news of the violence and destruction overnight in Ferguson. I have postings on my Facebook page from good friends from many years who see the grand jury’s decision as an injustice and are angry at the disparities and afraid for their sons of color. My heart hurts for them. Above and below them are also numerous postings about Thanksgiving, ranging from political cartoons about who the real immigrants are, to recipes for the green bean casserole, to prayers to share, to petitions to keep the stores closed. My Facebook page is my life’s little melting pot – so much diversity coming at me in just one news feed.

I took a walk this morning to clear my head, say my prayers and enjoy the last warm morning for a while. It gave me time to reflect on the deeper meaning that Can Do has for me, how it relates to Michael Brown, Darren Wilson, the people of Ferguson and the hundreds of youth and families of color that I have known and worked with through the years. I thought in new ways about the potential and promise of my Can Do message that has motivated me write my books and blogs to focus on sharing and spreading Can Do. My reflection was on the systems we have and how they fail us, in many ways and on many levels.

How many lives will be changed, some ruined, by moments in our history like Ferguson? What and where are the Can Do Answers or Can Do Directions when the guidelines become less clear? What are the lessons learned from these moments to help us get better, not just more bitter? How much bigger will the divide get – the divide that gets filled with blame and anger, finger pointing and righteousness? Where is the Can Do of Ferguson, MO? There are no easy answer here.

As I try to make sense of it all a few days before Thanksgiving, I remember part of a November 2013 article from America Magazine that was reprinted in our parish bulletin this week.

Some reflections of the origins of Thanksgiving might help us to renew this wonderful, truly American “holy day.” In 1863, in the midst of the horrendous Civil War, Abraham Lincoln make Thanksgiving a national holiday, calling in his proclamation for “humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience.” He urged repentance, a turning back to God, as well as gratitude for God’s bounty.

During this week when Ferguson and Thanksgiving are juxtaposed, with such intense media focus on what divides us, I ask myself what CAN I DO to find more ways to bring people together? With so much focus on what is not there, how can I, and we, find new ways to shine the light on what resources are there, somewhere in the ashes, to build on and work with?

This Thanksgiving, I will pray for Michael Brown and his family, and for all the families impacted, including Darren Wilson and his family. And, for the members of the grand jury who had such a difficult task; and for the lawyers, the police and the lawmakers to have Wisdom guide their actions.

I have spent many of the over 40 years of my career working with hundreds of youth and families that others have given up on. What I know in my bones is that those kids are only doing what we, the adults, are teaching them to do. We are their touchstones, their guides and their hope. This Thanksgiving week, I pray especially hard for all of the young people of all colors who have given up. And, I will pray for our country’s adults to not stop looking for new and more ways to say YES! and to show our young people how to say YES! too.

What is it we CAN DO going forward that will make a difference? At the core of my CanGratitude Do world view is my complete conviction about the power of gratitude to transform lives and unite, rather than divide, people. In the words of Mr. Lincoln, let us claim Thanksgiving as a day for forgiveness, a turning back to God, as well as gratitude for God’s bounty – and that from that vantage point of grace, let’s each one of us find just one little YES! that can start to unite us. That is my prayer for us all this Thanksgiving.