New Beginnings

The Easter Season has always been a time of new beginnings and new life. We celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. It’s a sacred day as well as the beginning of Spring with flowers and trees budding around us eager to burst with color. As we prepare for this day with whatever tradition we practice, let’s remember all those who have lost loved ones in the Brussels attacks. It’s easy to get so caught up in getting ready for Easter that we don’t even think about what people like us are experiencing in parts of the world where war is commonplace each day.

I am visiting my mom this Easter week. We have talked about Easters from years ago and how wonderful the day was for our family. She and my grandmother cooked and baked all week, the house was blessed on Holy Saturday and we attended all the church services. I whined having to sit through such long services yet now I find any long service to be a time of mediation and prayer. How I have come full circle!!

Easter Sunday was always joyful with amazing food and lots of family around the table. No one was pressured with a work deadline and everyone was fully present. There were no cell phones causing distraction and the food was prepared with healthy ingredients and especially made with so much love. I can remember Easter night when everyone went home, we had The Ten Commandments playing on the television as my mom cleaned up. She loved this time because it was quiet and years later she said that it was her mediation and down time to take in the events of the day. Sometimes, at night you would hear one of us sneaking downstairs to dive into the left overs, especially the Icebox Cake. It was a special time; a simple time.

The Easter vacation break typically was spending a few nights at my grandparents’ house which was a time of being totally spoiled. My grandmother had Captain Crunch cereal waiting for me at the breakfast table each morning and we went into town (Cranford, NJ) to shop which usually ended with an ice cream cone. The big night was Thursday as that was my Nan’s bowling night and it was so exciting to head to Garwood Lanes. Nanny bowled well into her 80’s!! These were the simple things that made the Easter holiday really special growing up.

Today, as I reminisce with my 91-year-old mom while holding her hand, I remind myself that these simple things are treasured times. Though we can’t ever go back, we can bring these traditions to our present life and keep it simple as we embrace the season of new beginning.

Foster Compassion over Fear, Love over Hate and Prosperity over Poverty.

This is my country, a place where I was taught I could be anything I want when I grew up. And it is a land of opportunity. While I don’t agree with some of the limiting conversations about certain topics, I’m proud of America.

Over the past few weeks there have been many disturbing scenes on TV regarding the 2016 election. While it’s not a good thing to mix business with politics, I’m taking a stand as a diverse business owner to make a statement.

Listening to any individual bully people on the news is horrific. This is a major issue that we are working hard to protect our children and our workplaces from this behavior. Why would we now allow it and laugh at it with anyone who wants to be a very important leader in the world? AdNet will not allow discrimination towards any diverse group and will not support leaders in corporate or government roles who demean others.

I get that many people are angry about the inequities within our system. There are way too many incidents with negative impacts!!! It faces all of us yet fostering hatred does not change it. The political system of greed needs to change which includes all sides. The hatred that candidates are spewing is like fanning a fire. What good is it doing? Nothing!! The events on the news is messaging to children and adults that it’s okay to be a bully, that it’s okay to make sexual harassing comments to women, that it’s okay to make personal attacks on competitors looks and to keep people out of our country when the issue is that the system in which the government vets people before they enter the country needs to be more thorough. We have critical problems with multiple shootings across the country which again is linked to a vetting process. We have issues in workplaces because there are deficiencies in the vetting process and the middle class is working harder for less money and women are paid less than men. Why are they shouting over each other? Stop – Listen – Change!!! Our children are looking to the adults for direction and it is our responsibility to communicate empowering messages that get good results. We owe that to them no matter who we are.

As a caring citizen and business owner, however this election goes, AdNet/AccountNet stands for equality and for empowerment for all people. I pray every day that the universe guides our country to the best choices so we can foster compassion over fear, love over hate and prosperity over poverty.

How Many Hats Do You Wear?

Whether we own a business, work in a corporation or are part of a household, we seem to be wearing lots of hats in today’s world. Yet, when I think back to stories my mom and grandmother shared of the “good ole days”, the women took care of the children, had hot meals on the table, cleaned the house, cleaned the clothes, helped kids with homework, got everyone moving for church, were involved in school activities, sewed Halloween costumes, did the holiday gift shopping and somehow the list goes on and on.

Today, typically both parents work, yet why is it that we feel overwhelmed in not being able to juggle everything needed to keep life going smoothly? When you add to the equation the fact that women are now in the workforce versus previous generations there is so much more expected of women. And the partners are sharing responsibilities. While all of that sounds wonderful, the % of shared duties among households is still less than it should be. The Working Mother Research Institute published a study that 79% of working mothers today are responsible for household duties and twice as many handle cooking the meals. Men still handle the bulk of the outside chores yet in today’s world, those duties are now outsourced so where does that leave the working mother? She/We are still handling the bulk of what it takes to run a family.

Some of my male friends may be angry with me when reading this but I can’t overlook the fact that women are the backbone of the caretaking roles and still are juggling careers. Yet, we are still treated as second in the pecking order. Not fair and we are no longer tolerating being handed the workload without the acknowledgement.
I haven’t even addressed same sex marriages who really are in partnership. Sure, I’m biased because I am in a same sex marriage but I know how we both work hard together to keep all the balls in the air with career, house, families local and out of state and our animals. And we sure are dogged by the pathetic right wing for being who we are. We sure have a lot to teach the traditional partnerships who let the bulk of responsibility fall on one spouse.

For the marriages/partnerships who work together to share the responsibilities, hats off to us for caring for each other. It takes work and planning and often the quality time together gets put to the sidelines to care for everything else. So out of all the hats we wear, which hat can you share? Which hat can you take off? Which hat no longer serves you? Can one of your kids wear the hat? When we step outside the old box, there are ways to make this work and it’s up to us to talk about it.

I invite you to go on a date with the love of your life and talk about those hats. Maybe you switch off to see what the other carries. Whatever you do, talk about it and work together.

Washing The Soul Clean

At first I wanted to write, washing away grief but in reality we can’t ever forget about those we lost. Sometimes there is the residual sadness that shows up when we least expect it. Recently, I had those feelings where a minor interaction triggered feelings of loss that really made my heart and soul exceptionally sad. I couldn’t run away from it so I chose to lean into it and ride it out. Fortunately, it occurred over a time that I was not forced to be in my usual busy pace. I slowed down to a near stop for a bit and allowed myself to feel the sadness down to my soul.

Interestingly enough, I didn’t have one of those soulful cries yet I felt the sadness down to a cellular level.
Once I emerged from the intense low feeling I had to put on my happy face, head out to life again and do my thing. The day at the office, I noticed myself walking up to the main entrance slowly and taking several deep breaths so by the time I pushed the door open, I could smile and say a happy good morning to each employee as I walked to my office. Fortunately, I feel a lot of love in my workplace so I can have my feelings and gently dive into my day.

The next day, I felt pretty much back to myself yet stronger. I was proud that I was able to honor my sadness, unpeel the layers of loss and come out of my cocoon. The thoughts I had in my sadness allowed me to examine a part of my distant past and replay “how could I have done that differently” and I came up with a way to find peace with my feelings as well as grateful that now I have the tools available to make different choices and wiser choices.

It was very empowering to fall into the sadness rather than numb it. I actually got through it faster with such a sense of strength and gratitude for the lessons learned along the way. There are always those points within grief that the missing part is so final, so never to happen again, so I’ll never see them again and it has a way for me to really honor, in a really special way, the people in my life now who I get to love and be loved by all the time.
Life is way too short to hesitate, to be held hostage by and to short change ourselves when there really is a beautiful like out there to be lived fully in a very present way. So while in washing away some grief, I really got to wash my soul clean.

And I invite you to stay present to whatever sadness or loss you feel and ride it out like the most amazing wave. It will pass and it will bring you safely to the shore when you surrender to what the universe puts on our path.

White Knuckle Being-ness

Early last week I gave an interview and chose the topic of “white knuckle leadership”. As I prepared for the interview, I was reminded of many times throughout life where I held on for dear life, whether it was professionally or personally.

Imagine the visual of clenching your fists so tight that your knuckles turn white. It’s not a pleasant feeling yet many of us use this practice often and some often live their lives in perpetual white knuckle-ness. Why do we hold on so tight and why are we so afraid of letting go? That remains one of the mysteries of human nature yet when you drill down the idea of it all, fear seems to be at the core of the need for that level of control.

Have you ever had an interaction where the other person was so rigid almost setting up rules at every turn? You have to wonder what happened to this person that they couldn’t let go of the weight they have been carrying; as though the rigidity really protects them? NOT!! It typically does the opposite when we hold onto control with the intensity of white knuckles clenched so tight. I recently interacted with someone earlier in my career and found the individual was so controlled, so rigid that the egg shells I had to walk around to make sure that every word was perfect truly exhausted me by the end of the interaction. When I clicked send on the final email of information, I was relieved to be complete. My heart really went out for the person because that sense of closing a door really closed off so much more opportunity for joy. And, as usual, the universe always taps me on the shoulder as if to say stay clear as this person’s behavior is about them. Being around people who hang onto their control as though it were a badge of honor is when I look for the exit quickly.

So that white-knuckling stuff? If you find yourself leading within your organization with white knuckles, cut it out. This behavior will make you more tired, less creative and just a pain in the neck to be around.

Think about it…..an open hand feels good, is ready to receive and let’s in possibility. The clenched fist is closed, tight and ready to do battle. So free yourself and relax them white knuckles and be open for the goodness of the universe.