Fork in the Road

The term fork in the road typically means a decision point; a metaphoric place we come to on life’s path where we need to decide between two or more options—including standing still (not making a choice), which of course is a decision.

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Creating a list of pros and cons for each option is often helpful. And if we truly learn from our mistakes—which I believe we do—we can benefit from both positive and negative outcomes of past choices. In addition to doing our due diligence (looking before we leap), we can also draw upon the “gut factor”—our instinct as it relates to the matter at hand.

As Len and I wait for our home to sell, we’re having fun researching where we want to move. We’re looking at climate, cultural offerings, property and income tax rates, unemployment rate, crime rate, occurrence of natural disasters (ie., earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods)—to name but a few of the considerations.

What was your last fork in the road?

Laurie Buchanan

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

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony

© Laurie Buchanan 2013

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Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns Grow

The squirrels in our neck of the woods are industriously gathering and hoarding acorns for winter. The empty holes in the precision-drilled oak trunks are tell-tale signs that the cheeky little fellows have additionally robbed the woodpeckers of their bounty.

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It’s no secret that great things often have small beginnings. What begin as acorns become mighty oaks, and I’ve learned a lot from observing the towering sentinels in our yard:

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  • Deep roots keep us grounded—know who I am, what I value, and why I’m here.
  • Teamwork and being able to stand alone are equally important.
  • Energy efficient, trees waste very little.
  • Stillness has many rewards—slow down.
  • Flexibility allows us to bend, not break, in stormy weather.
  • As trees close a cycle, they shed baggage to move forward into the next cycle.
  • Regardless of the weather, reach for the sky!

What have you learned from observing trees?

Laurie Buchanan

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

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony

© Laurie Buchanan 2013

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Tickling Words

When I wear my writing hat I play with words. Saying them out loud or seeing them on a page often conjures something different from the intended meaning—at least in my mind:

  • Monkey—mon key—key to a Jamaican man’s heart
  • Herring—her ring—oftentimes worn to ward off would-be suitors, as in “red herring”
  • Portion—poor shun—an ineffectual attempt to to ignore someone
  • Keyboard—key bored—a writer who’s not “in the zone”
  • Solar powered—soular powered—a person who’s plugged into Source Energy
  • Petulant—pet you lent—short-term loan of your companion animal

Communication is the currency of life so it’s important to get it right (or write, as the case may be). And in this fast-paced world where it’s hard to gain and retain people’s attention, concision is vital.

Just in case you never noticed…

DAMMIT I’M MAD  is  DAMMIT I’M MAD  spelled backward! (I saw you check to confirm).

Are you an attentive communicator?

It takes a creative mind and a steady-handed plume to wordsmith a book. Please join me in pre-ordering your September-release copy of FIRST-DEGREE FUDGE: A FUDGE SHOP MYSTERY authored by my friend and mentor, Christine DeSmet.

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Wind Beneath Your Wings

It’s no secret that Len has a mistress—flying.

A private pilot, his heart accelerates when he hears the drone of an engine in the sky. We recently went to Brodhead, WI to attend the Pietenpol/Hatz Fly-In—a precursor to the famous annual EAA Fly-In that’s hosted in Oshkosh, WI.

1920 Travel Air bi-plane — click image to enlarge

After 33 years of marriage there’s still nothing that makes me happier than seeing his kid-in-a-candy-store, split-faced grin!

2012 Zodiac 601-CH — click on image to enlarge

How does a small plane achieve liftoff, let alone a ginormous commercial plane with all that weight: passengers, baggage, and fuel? Len can explain it—with enthusiasm—in a New York minute!

Hatz CB-1 — click on image to enlarge

I don’t understand the mechanics behind flying, but what I do know is that he makes my heart soar—he’s the wind beneath my wings.

Who or what is the wind beneath your wings?

Laurie Buchanan

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

The Book — Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience — Life Harmony

© 2013 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

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Strength in Vulnerability

While mowing the lawn I happened to notice a large greyish-brown lump at the base of one of our bird feeder poles. Moving in for a closer examination, I discovered what I think was a cicada in mid-metamorphosis.

Head thrown back in pain or ecstasy—I’m not sure which—he lay himself bare; exposing his soft underbelly as he emerged from his hard, protective shell. Vulnerable.

Many of us have an aversion to vulnerability, oftentimes equating it with weakness. In actuality, strength comes when we open up to life—when we’re vulnerable.

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Had he not been willing to undergo this process—leave his bubble of safety—he wouldn’t have been able to free himself from his protective armor and reach his potential. Flight.

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He made it look easy, but it’s not. It’s taken me a lifetime to shed my tough exterior and be strong in my vulnerability.

When was the last time you were vulnerable?

Laurie Buchanan

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

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony

© 2013 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

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Life’s Nectar – Enjoy it Down to the Last Drop

Last week I had breakfast with my friend and phenomenal artist, Donna Jill Witty. Afterward—just a short walk away—I got a tour of her painting studio. Located in the lofty regions of a historic building, circa mid-1800‘s, it has at-least-20-foot ceilings and a massive 12-or more-foot window. If I had her view, my nose would stay pressed to the glass all day and I’d never get anything done!

Walking back to our cars I took some photos of this bee extracting nectar from a purple cone flower—echinacea. Head burrowed for maximum pleasure, it didn’t mind as I inched closer with each shot. On my drive home, I wondered about the difference between nectar and honey…

© 2013 Laurie Buchanan

…bees produce honey from nectar they harvest. Nectar is produced directly by flowers. Hence, vegans prefer nectar because no animals are involved in the production.

Are you enjoying life’s nectar down to the last drop?

Laurie Buchanan

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

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony

© 2013 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence
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Not Only My Heart — I Gave Him the Sky

Believing that fulfillment comes from experiences, relationships, and good health, Len and I don’t typically exchange gifts.

Recently he made me a beautiful breakfast of heart-shaped blueberry pancakes and delivered it on a tray before I got out of bed.

I filled a pail of water to catch the reflection of the sky and gave it to him — wishing him, a pilot, a lifetime of safe flight as he soars through “his” sky.

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What’s the most meaningful non-material gift you’ve ever received?

What is the most meaningful non-material gift you've ever received? Click To Tweet

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

The Spiritual Practice of Play

During lunch with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in April 2012, one of the things he shared was that he learns best when he laughs.

Our spirits need celebration! What feels joyful to us encourages us along the path of personal growth and expansion.

“You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.” — Michael Pritchard

Play is the exuberant expression of our being, it fuels our joy and wonder. Play provides the energetic space we need to feel alive; it taps into unlimited possibility, inspiring us; it resides at the heart of our creativity and our most carefree moments of devotion. Play is a powerful way to feed our soul.

When was the last time you stepped into the transformational space of play? Click To Tweet

When was the last time you stepped into the transformational space of play?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Not just for Writers — Criticism versus Critique

When I spoke at the Writers’ Institute at UW-Madison, one of my topics was why critiquing is necessary. My presentation included defining the difference between criticism and critique:

I represented CRITICISM with scissor blades facing the recipient — putting a person on the defensive. We typically react (knee-jerk) to this style of communication, viewing it as an attack. Criticism is problem-oriented, negative, and critical.

I represented CRITIQUE with scissor handles facing the recipient — putting the person at ease. We typically respond (thought-filled) to this style of communication, viewing it as a gift. Critique is solution-oriented, positive, and helpful.

When you provide feedback (at home, work, or in a writing situation), is your message respectful, honest, useful, clear, and specific?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Surfboards, Skateboards, and Vision Boards

There are numerous types of boards—longboard, snowboard, keyboard, emery board, ironing board, diving board, cork board… But to my way of thinking, the most exciting is the vision board!

Unlimited in scope, a vision board can take you anywhere! From scorching sand-whipped desert plains, to pristine peaks on snowcapped mountains; from the pulsing heart of dense jungle foliage, to the uncharted depths of the deep blue sea.

Here’s a photograph of my husband’s vision board. As a pilot, Len’s dreams and goals revolve around aircraft: with propellers, without, single wing, bi-wing, tail dragger—you name it! If it flys or glides, he researches it, watches videos about it, and attends the annual EAA AirVenture Fly-In in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Len’s vision board — click on the image to enlarge

You’ve heard it said before, “What we think about, we bring about.” That’s the purpose of a vision board—a collection of graphics that help us keep our attention on our intention; graphics that clarify intent and trigger action steps that manifest thoughts into reality.

Are you more of a vision BOARD or vision BORED type person? Click To Tweet

Did you notice that the right side of the board is empty? I temporarily cleared it of flying paraphernalia to make a point. I call this side Vision Bored. It represents a ho-hum attitude; a mindset that doesn’t carve out time to savor the juicy energy of anticipation.

Are you more of a vision board or vision bored type person?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com