When was the last time you did a cartwheel?
A year ago, my daughter tumbled sideways around my yard, calling out, “Look at me doing cartwheels!”
My brother, who was visiting, watched for a bit and then asked me, “Can you still do a cartwheel?”
I had no idea. It had been over a decade since I’d last tried. But I gave it a shot.
I was surprised to find I landed on my feet. I was also surprised to find (more…)
Yep, I did it again. Totally screwed up. But this time, not on purpose.
Awhile back, I spoke at an ICFNW Coaches Meeting. I guess it’s not fair to say I “totally” screwed up. I developed a new presentation with solid content that I organized well—that was good. I knew the material cold—that was good. And I delivered the talk with decent presentations skills, such as voice tone, pausing, and gesturing—that was good.
So where did I fail?
I didn’t show up.
Ironically, a big point in my presentation was this: (more…)
Next to “Have a firm handshake,” the most prevalent body language tip out there may be “Look people in the eye when you’re talking to them.” In Western culture, we dearly hold to the myth that making eye contact communicates respect.
But I bet you can remember times when you felt deeply disrespected by the way someone looked at you. Anyone ever leered at you? Glared? Sneered? They may have been making eye contact, but they certainly did not communicate respect.
Years ago, I read Dr. Ross Campbell’s book How to Really Love Your Child. One of the three ways that Dr. Campbell suggests we learn to communicate love to our children is through Positive Eye Contact. “It is easy for parents to develop the terrible habit of using eye contact primarily when they want to make a strong point to a child, especially a negative one,” Campbell states.
Eye contact doesn’t communicate respect. It communicates engagement. (more…)
Every January, a brand new year begins, full of promise. Every square on the calendar is empty, waiting for us to fill it with life well-lived. The beginning of this year is more special to me than most, as some good friends just welcomed a brand new baby girl into their family. This new year brings with it new life, also full of promise.
When you see a newborn baby, you can’t help but be awed by how beautiful and amazing human beings are. (This is especially true if the baby is sleeping, as opposed to crying.) I have an acquaintance who recently gave birth to a son with cleft palate—and it struck me that the birth defect could not diminish the sweetness and beauty of that little boy.
My daugher, Juliana, holding our friends’ new baby, Emma.
It’s not how babies look that makes them amazing—it’s who and what they are. Those precious snuggly cuddle-bugs are a bundle of gifts and talents, personality quirks, strengths, emotions, and unique traits that make each of them a work of art.
That goes for every person on the planet.
Yes, everyone. Everyone is amazing.
The problem is that we’re also broken. (more…)
“Guess what, Mama!” my daughter called as she burst through the door. “GUESS WHAT we found in the backyard!!!!” She giggled and hopped and danced and spun, excited.
“What?” I asked. But she wouldn’t tell me. She beckoned me into the backyard, gleefully covering her mouth as if to say “You have to see for yourself!” And, of course, I followed. No matter how many times I asked what she’d found, she didn’t say a word.
At the age of 5, she has already learned the power of silence.