Imagine This

Lately, I have been seeing a world where we are coming together in unprecedented ways, even as polarized as we were before the pandemic. We hear it every day and it is true that “we are all in this together” and we are united now like never before, to turn away the threat of COVID19.

We are helping each other regardless of our religion, race, ethnicity, politics, class, country of residence or economic status. Yes, some groups are seeing greater impact than others. Yet there are still so many examples of people helping each other, regardless of most of these distinctions.

One of my favorite songs is “Imagine”, by John Lennon. It has captured my imagination since it was first released and I have let myself think about the implications of the vision Lennon sung about with such conviction. In part, he invited us to:

“Imagine all the people living for today,

Imagine all the people living life in peace, and to

Imagine all the people sharing all the world.”

Look around at the examples you see of how we are working together to get through the CV19 crisis. What if, 50 years after Lennon imagined his new world, we are able to sustain what we have done to work together in these new ways during 2020?

Look around at how we are supporting each other in this time of uncertainty. What if, we could learn that when we truly are able to reach out and help another because they need us, that it actually works?

Look around at the outpouring of care and compassion that is happening for each other, for the sick, for those threatened most and for those impacted in so many ways. What if, we were to look at the new choices we could make to continue this spirit of love?

We have shown ourselves we can shift on a dime and adapt to new circumstances, when it seems absolutely necessary. We have shown we can transcend our differences, without being disrespectful of the other. This disease has shown us that it cares nothing about who we are, where we come from or what we do. What will it take for us to further engrain a similar mindset, that attitude of working together, as we start to reopen and move forward?

Yes, “I know I am a dreamer” …. and  “I’m not the only one” !

Give yourself a chance to acknowledge how we have been coming together in this crisis. Give yourself permission to see that amazing people, all over are answering the calls for help. And seeing this in small ways and in some big ways, let it be an opportunity to point us to the real chance we have to see that “the world can be as one”. Go ahead…imagine this.

Is It Just Me?

What if we are all here to bring love into the world, in our own way? What if all we really have to do is be loving, in our own small part of the world? And what if all we need to do is pay attention to the love that is already in our lives?

Is it just me or do you see that too?

I had a dream once – more like a vision, actually – of the Earth being showered with love from above. The entire globe was surrounded with a blanket of continuously flowing love. It was such a peaceful, reassuring image. It left me knowing that, despite all that happens in the world every day, there is this love always engulfing the planet – and each one of us. There are times when I recall this image and I slow down for just a moment to find an example of love or appreciation in my life right now. When I do, it helps me recalibrate and find perspective. It helps me move through a tough moment. It enables me to touch a place of joy….and then be able to better deal with what I have in front of me.

Is it just me or does that work for you too?

I am aware of the many hardships happening at this time. I know for me, the isolation and the restrictions are horribly inconvenient (at best) and are bringing up fears and other very real challenges. If only for a moment, there is a way to recognize and acknowledge that fear, see the impact it may be having, work through it and let it go, then there is a chance to create an opening to let some of that ‘love from above’ come in to replace the fear. When that love can find its way to a heart that is hurting, tired or broken, it can mean a moment of relief. Even a moment of comfort or perhaps a moment of healing. From there a strength to go on can be found and it is possible, then, to tap into a resilience that fuels resolve.

Is it just me or does that happen for you too?


Is it just me that wants this Covid19 thing to be over? Of course not, we all do.

Is it just me that wants help in getting through this? Not at all, I believe we all can use some help. And look at how many of us are providing help in some way.

Is it just me that believes we can get through this and come out in a much better place than when this pandemic all started? I believe many see that possibility. I think there are examples each day of people taking steps to make changes now, making new choices or questioning old ways, that will all lead to a better place for them individually and perhaps for us collectively.

Never in my (or our) lifetime has such a pervasive change of this magnitude, happened to all of us, all at the same time. That causes me to pay attention in a new way. It has pushed me to go back to that vision that came to me of how this world is engulfed in love and to hold that vision in my mind. When I do, my heart is touched, it is opened and I know we will come to a good place soon.

Yes, it is just me, feeling my heart touched in those moments …. and then, what heart does that let me touch in the next moment?


When Time Stands Still

There are moments in our lives when time just seems to stand still. It may be a brief fleeting moment or one that lingers, searing into our memory a scene that will always be remembered. A scene that, in some way, will have a lasting impact or may even be one that changes the course of our life.

I remember the moment when I was sitting in 7th grade band class and the school intercom suddenly came on to announce that President Kennedy had been shot. Time stopped in that moment and seemed to stand still for the next 3 or 4 days, as the nation grappled with what had just happened.

As a college freshman, I remember the moment I got the call from my mom, saying come home, your dad’s going into the hospital for heart surgery. Even more vivid, is that last moment I saw him alive, as he smiled at me when they wheeled him into the operating room. Time seemed to stand still for that entire summer, as my mom, my two sisters, my brother and I, grappled to hold ourselves together as a family.

I remember walking into the break room at work on 9/11, standing there looking up at the TV, seeing the attacks unfolding on the World Trade Center. Time seemed to stand still with each picture that was broadcast in the following days of first responders shifting through the rubble.

More recently, I remember the moment the ICU doc pulled us into the hallway and in a strong but clear and empathetic voice, said “there is nothing more we can do”, as my late wife Kathy was losing her battle with cancer. Time stood still that day when friends and family streamed-in to say their goodbyes, while she lay there in a quiet coma.

Now, here it is April 2020 and life for everyone has started changing in almost everyway imaginable. At this point, I can’t say, “here is the moment it happened for me”. It is as if in “real-time”, time in some drawn-out, surreal way is now standing still. It’s like I’m watching a slow-motion movie of my life and all of life around me.

One of the main pictures that is getting seared into my brain, as the visual marker for this unprecedented time, is the thank you sign I see in yard after yard on my daily walks, honoring the front-line health care workers. Those walks are refreshing moments that help clear my head and allow me to reflect and recharge. They are moments when time actually seems to start flowing again.

Yet, when back “sheltering-in-place”, I find that strange sensation of time standing still again. Yes, I am busy doing work, phone calls, Zoom conferences, household chores and chiding my puppy dog to stop bothering the sore on her leg. Even with all the doing, the isolation looms large and the time available now seems endless.

I believe this experience is changing my life and all of our lives, in ways both seen and unseen at this point. This can also be a time to let go of some of that doing and allow for more deliberate reflecting and create a chance for making conscious changes. It’s back to what I said in my previous post: what do you choose?

It certainly may be that the best choice is to simply go back to as close to the way things had been before this Covid19 thing hit. On the other hand, while time is in this weird standing-still kind of place, it could be the opportunity to look for and then act on a couple of areas ready for a new approach or perspective.

Kathy Cramer’s last book was called, “Lead Positive – What Highly Effective Leaders See, Say and Do”. From that book, I want to paraphrase three powerful “what if” questions, as a way to think about what might be ready to change:

What if, this is a time to practice seeing more possibilities, in our individual lives and in the world around us, than the problems that we are inundated with everyday?

  • As I said before, YES these are real problems to be dealt with AND we can also choose to find the opportunities – or possibilities – that might be waiting for us to act on, if we were to look.

What if, now is the time to start saying to loved ones and friends why they are so important to us and the impact they have in our life?

  • This does not have to be a complicated thing, just a heart-felt expression. Try using the feedback template: What I appreciate about you is________; this is (you are) important to me because________; the impact this has (you have) on me is________.

What if, this could be a time to do one or two things that are out of our comfort zone, such that we can learn and grow in a new way?

  • It is so tricky to self-initiate anything “out-of-my-comfort-zone” and that’s no kidding! And if time is “standing still”, then this just might be the right time to deliberately choose to try something new you’ve been thinking about doing, but putting off. Think about all the things you’ve been “forced” to do differently since we have been in pandemic-mode. What’s one more change at this point?!

And then alternatively, as I said, there is simply “going back to normal”. It could be this is a time to just be okay with the way things are. No need to look beyond life as it is now, no need to make judgments on something needing to be better or different. Let it be okay to simply find a way to return to normal when that time comes, even if it is a new normal.

Be easy about it, either way. Time may have the feeling of standing still for you, as it does for me…..and time is moving on, so we might as well be willing to go along with it! Make the choice that works for you and see the perfection for you in that choice.

Emptiness Can Lead to Fullness

I believe that what I choose as my focus, determines what experiences life brings me. In this “new world” experience that is happening all around us, there are so many examples of the negative impacts CV19 is having. The negative can’t be denied …. nor can we overlook the positive. YES, we must deal with all the problems AND we can highlight and build on the good that is happening at the same time. In that way, what is now “empty”, can become “full” in new ways. What do you choose as your focus?

YES, there is no:                                                          

  • Playing on empty playgrounds AND with kids now at home, parenting has taken on new meaning – and new stress
  • Teaching in empty classrooms AND students are recognizing a new delight in learning, as teachers get creative on-line
  • Working in empty office buildings AND businesses are finding new productivity, as we ”Zoom” with each other all day
  • Production in empty factories AND millions are now feeling the growing economic loss as very significant
  • Eating in empty restaurants AND we are rediscovering the importance of family dinners together
  • Drinking in empty bars AND we are crowding into virtual happy hours…. with no DUI to fear
  • Preaching to empty pews AND yet somehow, we are feeling closer to God/Source/the Universe… and each other
  • Competing in empty stadiums AND we are finding the fun of family games in new ways
  • Performing in empty theaters AND we are finding new drama (and comedy) at home, with our loved ones in starring roles
  • Singing in empty concert halls AND from afar, we are hearing songs each evening from the balconies
  • Shopping in empty malls AND we are finding (almost) all we need on-line and doing porch-drops for neighbors
  • Partying in empty banquet rooms AND streets are filled with dance parties, featuring family and friends – 6’ apart!
  • Flying in empty planes AND there is a welcome rest from the hassle and needed restoration in the quiet
  • Sleeping in empty hotels AND at home now, we have discovered new-found family time and deeper relationships
  • Driving on empty rush-hour highways AND we are noticing skies are blue again and skylines are becoming clear of smog
  • Gathering of friends on empty front porches AND every night at 8pm those porches are filled with neighbors clapping and cheering in gratitude for our new “front-line” heroes
  • Grieving in empty chapels AND we hear choirs serenade their condolences for our losses from curbsides

Yes, there is nonstop care-giving happening all over, in hospital wards that were once empty and now are overflowing. Care is expanding into venues never imagined as ICU’s because ER’s are crowded beyond capacity.

And new healthcare heroes are emerging on these front-lines every day. Deep, deep dedication has been demonstrated beyond what anyone could ever have thought possible. Newbies and retirees both are stepping-up to serve. Selfless care-giving is being taken to new heights.

Breathe for a moment, pause and hold all of this current reality in your awareness and let the enormity of it all touch your heart deeply. Let yourself become aware of the fears this may be calling forth in you. Be present with that fear, let that fear pass through you and make room for your own inner-courage to emerge as a strength that is there in each of us. And let that strength propel you into new choices, for a new reality, we will soon have a chance to create together.

Yes, it is true we are experiencing suffering and loss on a scale never seen in our lifetimes….

And at the same time, we are finding our resilience and resolve, as we learn to work together in new ways. Work that will bring us to a fullness never before experienced, if we let it.

Yes, we have been living in a world that is deeply polarized….

And at this time, we are finding bridges that take us beyond our differences. We are coming together against a common enemy, that knows no boundaries nor cares about any differences we may have been proclaiming as important.

Yes, we are all in this together….

And we can emerge with a oneness the world has never before experienced…. if we will only choose to learn from each YES-AND moment we are now experiencing every day.



Our Open Hearts

Here it is early in the spring of 2020 (Easter morning actually) and the world as we knew it just a month ago, seems like a distant memory, thanks to the Covid19 crisis. The scale of disruption and change is beyond anything I have certainly experienced in my lifetime. The new normal is so abnormal, it is hard to know at this point what we will be going back to, once the pandemic has eased. 

With this level of change, there already is and will continue to be losses we will all see in many facets of our lives. Losses are and will continue to turn into hardships, shattered livelihoods, closed businesses and for many, loss of loved ones through death from the virus. 

While in this “sheltering-in-place” quiet, I find myself thinking about the writing I was doing in the year after Kathy died. I shared some of that at and is part of what I did to help me move through my grief process. I decided now might be a time to morph that personal perspective into something new, since collectively and of course individually, there is and will be a lot of loss, that will lead to a lot of grieving and eventually healing, as we continue through the CV19 global crisis. 

As I was working through my personal journey of loss, I knew I was headed to the point of (having to) getting to create a new life for myself. As I look at this period of upheaval we are in, I see some parallels of what is becoming a collective journey through loss, that will undoubtedly give us a chance to create an entirely new life. I am now deciding to explore what might lie on the “other side” by taking the blog that was “My Open Heart” into something new for today, that I will call “Our Open Hearts”, now at .

That title describes what I both want to see happen and what I actually believe is happening. In this upheaval, I am seeing hearts opening. Opening to each other, as we find ways to help family, friends, coworkers and strangers through the new challenges. Opening to ourselves, as we have more imposed time of isolation, that perhaps enables reflection and reassessment. 

I am making some clear choices in terms of where I am putting my focus. I am choosing to be prudent and careful in supporting the guidelines for interacting safely. And I am also choosing to look for and pay attention to the care, compassion and love that is finding its way into the lives of so many. I am inviting you to look at your world through this lens and join me in finding ways to sustain these experiences, all while we work through the challenges that are in front of us now and that lie ahead in the months to come.