"Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing." — Laurie Buchanan

In the course of a week, month, or even a day, we encounter people expressing a variety of human emotions. Smooth as a Georgia peach, sharp as a prickly seed pod, or somewhere in-between:

  • Withdrawn or outgoing
  • Cheerful or sullen
  • Anxious or peaceful
  • Sweet or sour
  • Sad or happy
  • Hopeful or hopeless
  • Uncertain or confident
  • Grateful or unappreciative
  • Inconsiderate or respectful

The list goes on…

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Emotionally speaking, on a scale of 1 to 10, if:
Smooth as a Georgia peach is 10
Sharp as a prickly seed pod is 1
And you can’t select 5…

…where do you think others most often experience you on the emotion scale?

Note: The peaches in the header photo aren’t actually in Georgia. I took the photo in Homedale, Idaho while Len and I were visiting their local airport.

© Laurie Buchanan

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Swept Off Our Feet

Thirty-five years ago — March 17, 1980 — Len and I swept each other off our collective feet and eloped on St. Patrick’s Day.

Each wearing jeans, tennis shoes, and Snoopy t-shirts, we drove lickety-split in my fire engine red Dodge Colt from Escondido to The Chapel of Happiness in San Diego where after paying $32.50 we were pronounced husband and wife. Averaging 92-cents per year, it’s — bar none — the best investment we ever made.

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What’s the best investment you ever made?

© Laurie Buchanan

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In Celebration Of

Our walks often include the Bethine Church River Trail on the Boise River Greenbelt. Strategically placed along the way are rough-hewn log benches for contemplation. Next to each bench is a flush-with-the-ground “In Memory Of…” marker.

Recently we walked a little further and came upon a raised marker. It said, “In Celebration Of …”

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On the return walk home, Len and I discussed the difference. We agreed that while they’re both wonderful, to us the “In Memory Of…” marker has a past-tense feel to it; while the “In Celebration Of” marker feels present-tenseongoing.

We concluded that although we’ve elected to be cremated with our ashes placed in earth-friendly containers (biodegradable urns designed to convert into a tree), we’d each like a celebratory marker at the base of our individual trees.

Do you want to be remembered, or celebrated?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Standing Alone

Connecting with like-minded people heightens awareness of our inherent unity. When we’re warmly included—validated—it nurtures a warm sense of belonging; a sense that we’re part of something bigger than ourselves.

There are many times in life when other people agree with our principles, beliefs, and/or choices we make. I suspect that to some degree this “sameness” strengthens our sense of validation.

However, there are times when we find ourself standing alone. Maybe we took a different stance while serving on jury duty, or in the workplace, at home or school, with family, or friends.

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“Be strong enough to stand alone, be yourself enough to stand apart, but be wise enough to stand together when the time comes.” — Mark Amend

When was the last time you stood alone?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Humanity’s Mortar

We’ve all heard the expression “shoots from the hip” used to describe someone who “says what they mean, and means what they say.” Their style of communication is decisive and strong.

In my perspective, communication is the mortar that holds humanity together; it’s the very currency of our society. Each of us dips our toes into four communication styles, but works from a primary stance:

  • Expresser — relies on feelings, tends to ask “Who?”
  • Relater — relies on relationships, tends to ask “What?”
  • Analyzer — relies on data, tends to ask “How?”
  • Driver — relies on cooperation, tends to ask “What?”


There are people in each category who are clear, concise, and articulate in their delivery style.

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Likewise, there are people in each category who are a bit fuzzy in getting their point across.

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What is your primary communication style?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Burned Out

A few weeks ago while out walking, we happened upon a burned out vehicle. There wasn’t any police tape indicating foul play; there was nothing about it in the newspaper or online, so we don’t have any idea how it happened.

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The scene reminded me of a conversation I had with a person many years ago who opened the conversation with, “I’m burned out.” When I asked for details, she said:

 “My schedule is so over-committed that I don’t have any ‘me’ time. I don’t have time to exercise, and because of time constraints, meals have become a steady stream of fast food. I’m not sleeping well so I’m physically exhausted. I can’t seem to focus at work, and my relationship is falling apart. Frankly, I’m not enjoying life anymore.”

It all boiled down to her inability to say “no.” A people pleaser, she said “yes” to everything requested of her. Quite some time ago I learned how to effectively say no with finesse from my friend and personality expert Sheila Glazov: That does not work for me.

Is it difficult for you to say “no?”

© Laurie Buchanan

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The Elixir of Life

Author of several books, Dr. Masaru Emoto was an internationally renowned researcher who gained worldwide acclaim by showing how water is deeply connected to our individual and collective consciousness. His message was simple, profound, and far-reaching — water reflects the intention of our thoughts and words. His landmark water study shows that words positively change the molecular structure and vibration of water and other substances.

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Consumed once a day, Len and I each place a glass of water on the kitchen window sill with personal words of intent written in indelible marker on each one.

My words are: Joy, Laughter, Health, Vitality, Forgiveness, Creativity, and Peace of Mind.
Len’s words are: Health, Strength, Wisdom, Abundance, Love, Clarity, and Gratitude.

What words would you write on your glass?

© Laurie Buchanan

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