the night circus

Posted by on Jan 16, 2012 in Books, Wholehearted | 0 comments

Booklovers, have you ever started reading a book with a story or characters that resonate so deeply you don’t want to read it too fast? For me Erin Morgenstern has done exactly that with The Night Circus. What’s it about you may wonder? Hmmm, I’d say. Then I’d have to pause and think for a minute because it’s an unusual story steeped in magic and quirky characters and ultimately a circus that is only open at night and filled with impossible delights. There’s a mysterious challenge between opponents who are not aware of each other’s identity. All wrapped in a velvet cloak of a love story. It’s a black and white striped world filled with explosions of vivid color and life. I’m savoring The Night Circus a couple short chapters at a time, it’s lasted me two weeks so far! I’ll let you know if I’m as enamored with the ending as I am of the beginning.Intrigued? I hope...

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Posted by on Jan 1, 2012 in Authenticity, Books, Inspiration, Love, Wholehearted | 1 comment

My mom's subscription of O Magazine has arrived each month all year and I have piled them in a basket without reading them. Not because of the magazine but because it was something mom loved to do and had struggled with so much in her final months. She was always tearing out tidbits and words to share with me from magazines. I miss that. Last month when I was ready to create my weight goal vision board I used the magazines to cut out words and photos that spoke to me. I also couldn't help but read a few articles and was wowed at the content and insightfulness. Mom would want me to read them, of course she would! I know it seems such a glaringly obvious fact but for me this was an AHA moment. I read January's edition from cover to cover and the final page "What I Know for Sure" by Oprah resonated with me immensely and I hope you'll go here and read it in it's entirety. Here's an excerpt that seeped deep into my core and settled quietly, stilly, basking in the truth and power of these words: "I choose to see it (2012) as the dawning of a new year of alignment, because with alignment comes enlightenment. When you're aligned with your heart's desire, when you're in sync with who you're meant to be and how you're supposed to contribute to our magnificent Earth, you feel a shift in perception. You start to notice that miracles show up regularly. Some people call these miracles coincidences or serendipity. I like to call them marvelisms. Because when I'm doing everything I'm meant to do to keep my mind, body, and spirit whole (which for me means meditating twice a day, eating healthy, and exercising at least one hour daily), I constantly marvel at how other experiences fall into place. It's as though that beautiful line in Paulo Coelho's novel The Alchemist comes true: "When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."" Isn't that the best word!? Marvelisms. What marvelisms do you want to attract for yourself in 2012 dear reader? I have made great strides the last month of 2011 to answer that question clearly for myself and already on this fisrt day of the New Year feel I am on the exact right path and it feels…well it feels...

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stories that will haunt you

Posted by on Dec 14, 2011 in Books | 0 comments

Chris Bohjalian has done it again with The Night Strangers. It’s a gripping ghost story with a hum dinger of an ending. Here’s an excellent review. The Lantern is a beautifully written first novel by Deborah Lawrenson. A haunted house, dark family secrets, disappearances, and troubled lovers all combined and set in Provence with gorgeous lilting descriptions of past and present French...

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Reading list from Learning2011

Posted by on Nov 30, 2011 in Books, Challenges, Connections, Creativity, Inspiration, Learning | 1 comment

Many of the speakers and presenters at Learning 2011 were also authors and so I've compiled a list of their books and the books they recommended. Being a bibliophile and working with a group of librarians made this list a must have! The Learning Explosion: 9 Rules to Ignite Your Virtual Classroom By Matt Murdoch & Treion Muller The Art of the Focused Conversation Edited by  R. Brian Stanfield Wikinomics & Macrowikinomics By Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams Back to Work By Bill Clinton The Big Sort By Bill Bishop and Robert Cushing Being Wrong By Kathryn Schulz The Indian Clerk: A Novel By David Leavitt Social Media for Trainers By Jane Bozarth Power of Pull By John Seely Brown The Checklist Manifesto By Atul Gawande Take the Lead By Betsy...

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A call to action from Mr. Clinton

Posted by on Nov 18, 2011 in Books, Connections, Inspiration, Making a difference, Wholehearted | 0 comments

Former President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker at the Learning 2011 Conference I attended last week on behalf of my client. Our host and presenter Elliott Maisie asked our former president to tie his speech to the topic of learning as a continued conversation about the future of learning. Mr. Clinton was scheduled to speak for thirty minutes and be interviewed by our host for thirty minutes. He took the topic to heart and masterfully wove the culture around learning into every aspect of his presentation. Mr. Clinton was ushered in by the lively playing of Eric Stanley on the violin. (More about Eric's amazing talent in a future post.) He had two pages of notes, there was no teleprompter for this live audience of just over 2000 people. And he did put his reading glasses on but then proceeded to speak to us from the heart for sixty minutes without using his notes at all! I’m not a public speaker and could never imagine what it takes to connect with so many people so intimately. He knew his stuff. And regardless of a person’s political views or personal opinions of Bill Clinton I think he reached many hearts and minds that evening. I was awed and impressed by his passion for his country, his commitment to making a difference in the world, and for his message of possibility and call to action. Thank you Mr. Clinton for leading the way as a philanthropist and humanist and keeping our dreams for the future alive. Here are the highlights as I recall them; my note taking was scribbled longhand so I’m not quoting directly: The How’s: How do we  invite people to “…drop their barriers to hearing new things in new ways.” What’s the roll of education and learning in creating new systems? Ditto the roll of technology and how will we disseminate it. How to lift people up (third world countries) without tearing yourself down. How to share the future. His call to action: Lifetime learning—be a lifelong learner We have to reform our systems and there’s a vital educational component to that Re-form education how much we can teach through technology Copy models that work, re-forming the way we learn Why don’t good ideas or models travel in developed societies? A glimpse of his initiatives at The Clinton Foundation: Renewable energy and climate change Childhood obesity Mr. Clinton is an avid reader and says he learns best by reading, here are a few titles he recommended: His new book of course, Back to Work (yes I bought a copy!) Bill Bishop’s The Big Sort  Being Wrong by Kathryn Schulz The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande The Indian Clerk by David Leavitt (a novel recommended by his daughter Chelsea) Wisdom: Utter once a day: I was wrong or I don’t know. Develop a decision making process that’s rooted in tomorrow. Everybody has a story—he grew up in a family of storytellers where you had to demonstrate you could listen to a story before you were allowed to tell one. Most people are happiest doing what they are best...

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curl up and read

Posted by on Oct 28, 2011 in Books, Wholehearted | 2 comments

A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay brings a variety of relationships viividly to life as we follow two French siblings in their forties as they delve into forgotten childhood memories and journey through a maze of secrets of their long dead mother's past. Who was she? How did she really die? A definite page turner! By the author of the beloved novel Sarah's Key (which is now also a major motion picture starring Kirsten Scott Thomas—heart touchingly portrayed). The Dive From Clausen's Pier is the first Ann Packer novel I've read. I'll be ordering more. Enriched with details of Carrie's life and the tradgey she runs away from, this is moving story about relationships. And this gem from the protagonist's mom about the choices we make resontaed strongly for me, " But it's not very helpful to regard your choices as a series of right or wrong moves. They don't define you as much as you define them." I often note passages that resonate with me and collect them in a notebook. Makes for interesting reading down the road—I'm able to track my growth and interests on my reading journey. You? Happy reading booklovers!...

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