by Suzie Cheel & Des Walsh
One never knows what one will come across on the morning beach walk. This was arranged so carefully and was such a delight to come upon.
– Des Walsh & Suzie Cheel
Volunteer surf lifesavers setting up at Coolangatta Beach
Inspiration. Every weekend, right around Australia, teams of volunteer men and women surf lifesavers turn out to spend their days at the beach, watching the surfers and often risking their own safety to rescue the unsuspecting or foolhardy. Locally, because this is a major tourist area, the city council provides paid lifeguards on weekdays. Starting just over 100 years ago, in 1907 with a group on Sydney’s Bondi Beach, the organization now known as Surf Lifesaving Australia is the largest volunteer movement of its kind in the world.
Suzie Cheel & Des Walsh
I received a few messages from folks about last weekâs blogpost, mentioning the use of both George Bernard Shaw’s quote and my own grandmother’s prompt to “pretend you’re alone,” when faced with making decisions. As a result, I’ve been thinking a lot this week, as I’ve run my errands or while exercising on the treadmill, about the impact quotes and mantras have on us (or, in the instance of this particular blog entry, me).
Anyone who has participated in self-help books or self-improvement exercises has usually been advised to place reminders in various places around their home where they will be seen. Usually in the form of Post-it notes or note cards with quotes, these sayings or goal statements serve as visual cues to stay on track. Faithful readers of this series will note that I traditionally punctuate entries with various quotes as a means of underscoring my content.
I like quotes for a number of reasons: seeing wisdom encapsulated in these written snippets provides a ballast or redirect for me. Quotes also help me when I realize that I share a commonality, in terms of understanding a mutual lesson. It is reassuring when I see that I agree with someone who has achieved a level of success to which I aspire.
As it relates to independence, I also see quotes as an invisible coach of sorts, encouraging me from the page. When I feel as though I am not getting anywhere or, worse, going backwards, seeing/remembering a quote reminds me that all is not lost. That I have the power of choice.
So I thought that today, I’d share a few quotes that provide the framework for my work across strata: as a mother; as a friend; as a businesswoman. A few days ago, on twitter, there was an exchange among three other “tweeps” who were talking about work vs personal lives and personas. My answer was that mine intersect. I work with people I like. My work is woven into the fabric of who I am as a vocation; therefore, the quotes I use are applicable across roles.
Many of my personal favorites originate with Eleanor Roosevelt. There are literally hundreds of her quotes from which to choose, but the ones that drive me:
The naturalist and spiritual seeker in me is drawn to transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. These two men drew strength from nature and endeavored to align themselves not only with their environment, but also with their inner natures.
Here are three Emerson >quotes that regularly filter to the top of my consciousness:
Of these Thoreau quotes listed below, one is literally affixed to my refrigerator in the form of a magnet!
Other quotes attributed to favorite public figures from whom I draw strength: Pablo Picasso, Maya Angelou, Albert Einstein and Oscar Wilde. Please share some of your favorites in the section below. Have any quotes made a difference in your life? How?
Molly Cantrell-Kraig is a woman with drive. Possessing an innate sense of purpose and a pragmatic, solution-based approach to empowering people, she fused these two traits in order to establish Women With Drive Foundation. Based upon its founder’s personal history, Women With Drive Foundation is a means through which Cantrell-Kraig may effect change on both a micro and macro level. By providing women with something as essential as personal transportation in order to transition them from poverty to prosperity, she, through Women With Drive Foundation, seeks to empower women to help them help themselves. Through this action, the individual applicant benefits, as does society as a whole. Follow Molly on twitter as @mckra1g or @WWDr1ve (Women With Drive)
On Easter Sunday, we think about raising ourselves up to where we belong.
Today we remember Jesus a holy man who was about others. He made his way by saying “You’re as good as I am.” He believed in the good things that we all have to offer and challenged us to bring them to each other. He spoke of a world where faith, hope, and charity — love for others — were the cornerstone. That to live to a better purpose would bring great returns. It wasn’t easy then. Never has been.
That’s the sign of a leader — someone filled with passion fin service to a great vision who communicates how together we can build something better together than we ever can alone. You could say that was his brand.
And folks followed him, because he reached out to people who might see as he did. He supported them, told people about what they did, sent them off to tell their own stories and live their own versions of that same purpose. As great leaders do he had the long lasting effect that generations of those he touched are still talking about what he said and the vision he saw.
He made meaning that changed people lives.
We can do that same thing. We can offer our service by aligning our goals with good people and sharing their goodness with others.
Go out an raise up the people who are doing good things. Add meaning to the meaning they make. Find a way to be more than one by raising up someone else. Say thank you for their work and service. It will raise you up too.
How will you change the world by noticing someone else?
We can change the world just like that.
ME “Liz” Strauss
Every Christmas my mom would bake the most wonderful cookies and fudge for weeks. Starting in October, she spent hours wrapping a roomful of the most beautiful gifts — some for kids I hardly knew. She hand wrote and addressed hundreds of personal Christmas cards. And it took her nearly a week to decorate the most sparkling, beautifully lighted tree.
Christmas was my mother’s holiday. She delighted in giving Christmas to everyone in so many ways. For days before and after, people dropped by to be part of the way she made the holiday about sharing. For those who couldn’t come to our house, she made deliveries.
Every cookie, every bow, every card, every tinsel on the tree was a thoughtful and feelingful gift for us all.
Today, I sit with my hands on these keys and realize what I can offer has to be wrapped up in words. So I offer these words to you.
May your life be sweet. Here’s a wish that every cookie or sugary treat will remind you of the sweetness in you that I see. Here’s a hope that you bring it out. Share it. Carry it on your sleeve.
May your time be beautiful. Here’s a wish that every gift you receive will remind you of a beautiful moment that you value. Here’s a hope that you capture that memory. Picture it. Write it. Tell it to someone who would know what it means.
May your relationships sparkle with joy. Here’s a wish that every star will remind you of someone who has been a light in your life. Here’s hope that you fill your heart, your mind, and your future with constellations of people who shine.
May you always know my gratitude. Here’s a wish that I can tell you that in person soon.
That’s my thoughtful wish and feelingful gift in words to you.
Only words, but then again, my mom would say, “Words are powerful things.”
–ME “Liz” Strauss
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It’s summer and I have summer things on my mind.
Bonfires, camping, the beach, music festivals. picnics, road trips with friends… You get the idea.
Today I was working away, attempting to “get things done,” as we’re all focused on productivity these days, and I just kept getting distracted. Distracted by invitations, phone calls, cars driving by with windows down, music blaring, people streaming by on their way to the pool.
I’ve been working on writing this post for two days and my mind just kept drifting. I couldn’t think of anything to write.
All and all it wasn’t a very productive day.
I started thinking about it differently when someone on Twitter pointed out that I might not be distracted by summer but distracted by work.
And you know what? Maybe it isn’t summer. Maybe I just need a break and instead of looking at it as not being productive I can look at it as an opportunity.
A wise friend I haven’t seen in a while once told me, when I was complaining about not being able to write, that in order to draw from the well you have to make sure it gets filled up.
She’s a farm girl – she thinks a lot about rain 😉
I think I’ll call her to see if she would like to go to the beach this weekend.
I’m going to use that distraction as an opportunity.