Monthly Archives: April 2011

Confessions of a Caffeine-a-holic

I used to be a Caffeine-a-holic, even when I wasn’t drinking any.  I still craved it.

So when I was getting off caffeine, it took me three times.  The first two were outwardly successful.  I got my caffeine intake very, very low, and my energy was natural and in line with who I really was.  But I still craved, oh so craved,  desperately, that Diet Coke.  I wanted the feeling of those sparkly bubbles in my tummy.  Somehow, it soothed my soul. 

That craving made me realize I wasn’t fully healed.
 
Later on I met a very special intern who worked for me at UniversalGiving.  He remains a closest friend today, and his name is Austin Smith.  He was a star runner at Princeton, and he and I were very much aligned with taking care of ourselves, from the vision we had for our lives, to our day-to-day living.
 
One day we were talking about how I’d never done drugs.  And his response was, “yes, you have, and you do.”
 
I was shocked and he was right.  As he related, caffeine is one of the most powerful drugs that we have.
 
Through his inspiration and gentle wake-up call, I was able to begin another attempt at getting off caffeine.  With quiet prayer, encouragement, patient trust and a gentle, enduring sense of a moment by moment commitment, I was able to make a true transition this time.  I was ready to be healed not only of drinking caffeine, but also of the craving for it.  I was inspired by the principle that I wanted to do the right thing and be honest for what was really happening in my life. I was indeed doing drugs. And I didn’t want anything to do with it. 
 
For the first three months I literally ran home to go to bed because I was so exhausted, falling asleep at nine or nine-thirty… I was scared I’d never be out dancing salsa or swing again.  But eventually my body rhythm recalibrated itself… Now I get nice amounts of sleep, unrelated to any effects from caffeine.  The beauty of it all is that I no longer crave the Diet Coke or coffee. 

That’s true healing….which includes not only body, but also peace of mind…and the peace of living in principle. 
 
This post is part of “How This CEO Needs to Grow,” Pamela’s series about being transparent in the areas she is working on to be a better person and leader.

The Pamela Positive: “Enjoy When You Can, and Endure When You Must”

“Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.”  –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There is so much to enjoy… and so important that we focus on it.  It can be easy to be distracted into something that isn’t working, when we really should enjoy and relish what is before us.  It need not be a big event. It can be a small gratitude.

Then, too, there are times to patiently perservere.  Not all is easy, peaceful; at times we must stay the course, step by step, like a diligent marathon runner, committed to her course, unrelenting until the final finish line.  It might not be a quick race, but more a matter of a marathon.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German writer and artist, and a leading figure in German literature.  His works include The Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust.  He was highly influential to the 19th century.

The Pamela Positive: Make Criticism Yield to You

“Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.”  –Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

No matter how hard it is, we have to face challenging feedback and take some step of action. It’s not easy… but the more we do it, the more we become accustomed to it.   To being honest with ourselves…and to overcoming the challenge.  We grow, we excel, and we move on, up and over it.   With that honesty, as Goethe states, “(the criticism) will gradually yield to him.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German writer and artist, and a leading figure in German literature.  His works include The Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust.  He was highly influential to the 19th century.

The Pamela Positive: Divide and Rule…Unite and Lead

He was brilliant, insightful and troubled at times, too… but this is a great quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “Divide and rule, a sound motto; unite and lead, a better one.”

It’s sad sometimes how, per Goethe’s quote above, we at times need to separate into distinct groups in order to have harmony…but in a close future, the habit will be one of uniting…and so a better you, me, all of us.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German writer and artist, and a leading figure in German literature.  His works include The Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust.  He was highly influential to the 19th century.

The Pamela Positive: We Carry Our Weather Around With Us

“We carry our weather around with us.” – Stephen Covey
 
What a wonderful encouragement from Stephen Covey.  No matter if our day seems cloudy or rainy, either from the outside weather or from tough news or a challenging day, we determine our weather. 
 
We establish the climate outlook of our minds, conversations…We shape the weather pattern of our communications; we forecast the rain, sun or clouds of our expectations.   We are in charge of our own weather, and our weather determines our hopes for the future. 
 
Thank you, Stephen, for your life devoted to one of encouragement and positivity.
 
Stephen Covey is a speaker and author, writer of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  His work focuses primarily on leadership, family and living with principle.  He is a professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.  He and his wife, Sandra, have nine children and fifty-two grandchildren.

Confessions of a Late-a-holic

I’m a Late-a-holic, and I have to admit it.  I’d say about 95% of the time, I’m on time now.  I’m a little bit humbly proud of this fact, because I have made a big effort to respect other people’s time…as it should be.
 
However, even when I do show up on time, I’m still a Late-a-holic.   Because even when I’m on time, I’m still late in my mind.  I’m not fully healed.  
 
I run to my meetings.   I slam on my walking pants and keds and run down the stairs.  Running down the street, I miss all the opportunities to listen to nature, greet people, enjoy the special moments

And I get there and that means 2.2 minutes in advance.  Lightning.

I rip off my keds and pants slam them down to the bottom of my bag straighten out my skirt  smooth down my hair bend down look at a small mirror reapply any make-up stand up breathe deeply. I walk into my meeting with presence. 

But in my mind I’m still running, I’m just making it, and even though I am there at 4:00 pm and 10 seconds for my 4:00 pm meeting… I’m still late in my mind.  You’re Late-Girl, You’re a Late-a-holic, and boy do I want to get rid of this brand.

This post is part of “How This CEO Needs to Grow,” Pamela’s series about being transparent in the areas she is working on to be a better person and leader.

The Pamela Positive: I Love What Howard Zinn Writes: Hope Is Not Certainty…But Being Open to Possibilities…

I love how Howard Zinn focuses on maintaining the human spirit. Throughout his life dedication to combatting injustice, striving to help those marginalized, and being involved in a brutal World War, Howard held his views of hope.

“…I intend to be the voice of reasonable optimism, to figure out a passage through this tough time. To have hope, one does not need certainty, only possibility.”

Let’s keep our minds open to the great possibilities which abound before us.  There is always a way, a pathway, a new opportunity, a new possibility.  A New Hope!
 
Howard Zinn (1922-2010) was a historian, author and activist.  He was a pilot in WWII, an experience which shaped his outspoken opposition of war.  He was a professor of political science for many years at Boston University.  He is best known for his book, A People’s History of the United States, presenting history from the point of the view of the marginalized.