The Very Best Holiday Treats

In a previous lifetime, when I was in radio, there was an expression:

“You can tell how successful a disc-jockey is by the size of the trailer attached to his car.”

car-and-trailer-cartoon

This was a reference to how often on-air personalities had to pack up and move, usually seeking larger markets or better opportunities.

Such is the saga as to how Humboldt County became my home.

Much like Harry Chapin’s song, “W-O-L-D,” I bounced around the western U.S., ending up as morning personality and music director at a classic rock station in Southern California, where I also published an industry newsletter. A newly hired consultant for a pair of radio stations among the redwoods followed my periodical and brought me up here. Initially, my strategy was to remain “a couple of years” and take family and trailer to San Francisco. If 31 years constitutes “a couple of years,” I might still be on track. Elsewise, it looks like I’m here for the duration.

After leaving radio with a background in promotion, I earned my take as a marketing consultant (which I still do at times). Some of my clients were political campaigns.

Following so far? (There will be a test.)

Anyhoo, a dozen years ago, I was one cog in the wheel of a team that helped manage the successful campaign of a local official, who was since been re-elected twice, and is now retiring. We don’t see each other very much these days. It’s not that there’s any animosity, quite the contrary; he’s always very warm when we bump into each other. It’s just, you know how life is, right? He’s doing his thing and I do mine. However, recently his “team” personally reached out to me, extending a special invitation to his retirement soiree, basically saying, “You were there at the beginning. It would be great if you showed up.” [Read more…]

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Giving thanks in Confusing Times

Consider this column a holiday public service.

family reunion

Consider it an aide memoire of what really matters. Consider it anything you wish. However, I wanted to take these moments, particularly at this time of year, to remind us — me — of some reasons to offer up thanks. After all, despite what sometimes passes as common belief, Thanksgiving is not a caloric competition.

With beheadings and renewed violence in the Middle East, an exaggerated Ebola scare; a frightening escalation of global warming; vitriolic hyperbolic, unproductive, childlike exchanges among “our leaders” about everything from affordable healthcare to immigration; a still-shaky standard of living for far too many; gridlock in Government, and — oh yeah — the worst drought in centuries here in California, we’re having quite some time of it all.

In times such as we find ourselves, it is vital to recall the words of Francois de La Rochefoucauld,

“Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favors.”

The future will be better; be assured. Yet, while we are still chopping though the rough seas of today, some reminders might be in order.

Nonetheless, what really matters is that many of us will be surrounded by family and friends, people who support and guide us.

When we are off course, they redirect us. When we are on track, they congratulate us. When illness ravages our body and beats our spirit, they, like angels, sit by our side and heal us. When we are overwhelmed, they hold us near. When infused with joy, they join us in song. What a blessing, in the midst of seas of swirling, chaotic, pandemonium, to find islands of protection where we can have a rest and reclaim our souls. To say to them, “Thank you,” is woefully, pitifully, inadequate. Yet, it can do no harm.

[Read more…]

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Your Feelings are Real

dog-emotions

Whatever you are feeling, whenever you’re feeling it – is real.

Your emotions are as real as your limbs and they have vital functions.

Of the four “primary colors of emotions:”

  • Sadness cleanses
  • Fear and Anger are each designed to protect
  • Happiness builds community and enriches your life

It’s no one else’s right to change what you feel or to tell you you’re wrong. [Read more…]

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State Your Intention Clearly

What is your intention?

yelling-guy-with-megaphone

The spoken word is the least important part of communication.

Studies have shown that over 90% of communication is non-verbal, such as tone of voice and body language. So, since attitude obviously communicates, make sure you attitude is “clean” before talking to others.

Ask yourself, “What do I want to come from this communication?”

For example, some intentions might be:

  • I want someone to know how I feel
  • I need more information
  • I want to “teach a lesson”
  • I am looking for a deeper relationship
  • I want to resolve a conflict

Notice how each intention will change the outcome of the communication.

[Read more…]

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Are you Sure You’re Really Angry?

The anger you feel might not be real.

4-primary-colors-of-feelings

The four “primary colors” of emotions are:

  • Sad
  • Mad
  • Glad
  • Afraid

Virtually all other feelings come from some combination of those.

[Read more…]

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