The shape we take

Personality has always seemed a solid thing to me, as part of the original package as our genes. After all, who we are certainly couldn’t be developed as haphazardly as a bad habit we pick up. And yet as Lao Tzu maps it out, there […]

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A spectacularly bad idea

When I was in college I worked in a traveling tent theatre for a summer. A guy from my hometown was also employed with this outfit and so at the end of the summer I caught a ride home with him. His plan was to […]

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Full-body immersion

I read a memoir once about a high-level executive who lost her job, sending her into a downward spiral. Her recovery involved a lot of therapy and soul searching from which she learned a great deal about herself. As she went through the process of […]

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Leaving your mark

There is a lady who walks her dog on State Street in Portland every day. When she gets to Mercy Hospital, she takes a little detour so she can place a painted rock on the hospital’s front entrance steps or the guardrail going down to […]

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Scene 6 — the playbook

I’ve been promising the steps of a self-leadership playbook for thousands upon thousands of words now, spanning across 7 long stories. In an act of unprecedented brevity, here they are in 4 numbers and 4 words: Anchor Identify Integrate Act Logically progressive. Beautifully efficient. And […]

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The doodle that gets it done

I managed to lure a co-worker over to my house so she could lay on my kitchen floor for two hours and create this unbelievably beautiful piece of artwork called a mandala. (The funny thing about this arrangement was that Jen Boothroyd, the artist of […]

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Crazy loops

I’ve walked under the branches of this tree on my walk for the last 12 years, but it wasn’t until just a few days before the new year that I noticed the loop in that low-hanging one. The way it took that sudden bend up […]

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Making sandwiches

When my daughter was in high-school she worked at Bagel Central, an iconic establishment in downtown Bangor. Laid back and sunny with floor to ceiling windows and wire baskets of bagels; racks of Danish, rugelach, muffins and cookies; and glass cases of endless desserts, spinach […]

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Rocket boosting

When former CNN host and current inspirational speaker and author Mel Robbins was 41 her life fell apart. She was unemployed and bankrupt with a failing marriage. Staying in bed was her plan, until one day while watching tv, a rocket shot across the screen […]

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The problem with bragging

I embarrassed myself in a meeting the other day having, once again, found the opportunity to brag about my sister who is a doctor in a high-level position at Mayo Clinic. (The Mayo Clinic.) I’m very proud of her. And I’m also clearly not above […]

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The Great Balloon Escape

One of life’s big existential mysteries grabs up a 3-year-old, his middle-aged grandmother and a random old guy walking by. We drove up under the canopy of the retirement community, opened the trunk and the passenger side door and grabbed the first load of birthday […]

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