I’ve been thinking of the old saying, “April Showers bring May Flowers,” this month and thinking back on the fact that a few years ago, we moved from Seattle to Los Angeles in April. As many of you may know, Seattle and Los Angeles are quite different when it comes to weather, especially when it comes to April showers. It didn’t take long for me to miss the Seattle rain, though, upon arrival, I soaked up the sunshine! Given sunny weather isn’t predicted in Seattle until July, and the rainy season begins sometime in October, leaving in April meant I’d already had months of moisture. Despite my eagerness to leave the rain, I remember soon feeling like a raisin in the desert climate of LA.
My memories are vivid of my somewhat frequent trips back up to Seattle for work. I would eagerly go running in the rain to soak up each moment of that glorious topical hydration I’d taken for granted for years and had even lamented on more than one occasion. When it would rain in LA (once a year, it seemed) my kids would put on their rain boots and run out to play in the water, dancing in the puddles. Living back in Seattle again, I still think of those moments running in the rain as a salve for my soul during the few years we lived in LA. Those raindrops provided exactly what I need for growth and well-being. Rain not only provides the moisture necessary for growth, for life, but also washes away layers of dirt and grime that may hide from view, the beauty that lies beneath.
Rain and sun are both necessary for growth in varying amounts at different times of the year and in different climates. In each season of life, I have begun to observe, the ratios of my needs for rain and sun vary. Thinking of rain in a more symbolic sense, what has provided life-giving hydration in the past and what is providing nourishment now? How have the ratios of what you need to thrive changed over the years and through the seasons of your life? What serves to wash away your worries and strife, and provides a salve, a sense of comfort when things get tough? What clears away the “dirt and grime” and gives you a fresh take? What brings you joy and the encouragement to grow and start anew? Are you finding you are getting enough rain and sun? What are you noticing about what you need to thrive now compared to what you may have needed a year ago or five years ago? What are you learning about yourself?
Quote(s) I am sitting with, pondering and find inspiring:
Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.
~ Rumi ~
“I’ve changed. Irrevocably. Permanently. My soul is richer and my heart is fuller in brokenness than it ever was without. I’ve learned true despair, and it’s made me learn to appreciate true joy.”
~ scribblesandcrumbs ~
Podcast I’m Listening to:
I, personally, have been waiting for this, searching for an EI podcast! EI is one of my passions and getting to learn from Daniel Goleman who is credited with bringing EI to the masses is something I am really enjoying. Finding this podcast, a new resource and way to continue learning more about EI fills my cup, gets me excited, like rain that serves as a nourishing salve and feeds my soul. This podcast finally launched this year and I am looking forward to listening!
First Person Plural: EI & Beyond, brought to you by Key Step Media, Daniel Goleman and Hanuman Goleman
This is a podcast about us, the systems we’re a part of, and how we create an emotionally intelligent future. Co-hosted by New York Times best-selling author, Daniel Goleman and his son, Hanuman Goleman, this show will go beyond the theory of emotional intelligence, presenting an array of stories that illuminate how emotional intelligence is being put into action. Inspiring you to lead with more mindfulness and resilience, the show will bring you a new awareness of the systems we work, live, and create in.
Empathy. Positive Mindset. An awareness of how our actions influence others. These are some of the traits that make us good partners, leaders, and community members. They are also key components of what is known as emotional intelligence (EI) – a term popularized by Dr. Daniel Goleman in the mid-‘90s to describe our capacity for self and social awareness.
On the cusp of the 25th anniversary of his New York Times best-selling book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, Daniel Goleman is partnering with his son, Hanuman Goleman and Key Step Media to bring you a podcast that will tackle some of the most critical issues influencing the future of humanity.
January 26, 2021
In this introductory episode, Daniel Goleman and his co-host (and son), Hanuman Goleman, begin to explore Emotional Intelligence in all of its depth and complexity, including how this work has evolved in relationships to mindfulness, neuroscience, and the growing need for social change. Learn a bit more about who we are, what you can expect from our first season, and how we plan to look at the theory of emotional intelligence when it is applied to our lives and the systems we are a part of.
February 9, 2021
Dan reviews the basics of emotional intelligence by sharing his model, which breaks down EI into four domains and twelve competencies. Check out the episode notes for a visual of his thinking – a graphic we affectionately call, “the bubble map,” which outlines each competency and the domain it falls under.
Book I am Reading:
For those of you who know me, you know it is more likely to find me busy or ready to take on a new task, than off relaxing. Relaxing isn’t in my nature – perhaps a topic for exploration with a coach! For now, I am working to further understand what it means to relax and to understand the purpose of relaxing, specifically as relaxing is related to mindfulness and living fully. I am slowly learning most things are best in moderation, and again, my own needs change with the seasons of life. In my current state of frenzy, raising small children, pursuing a PhD, and continuing to maintain my professional endeavors, perhaps it is time to take a lesson in how to relax into this life and into this path I am on, to relax into my purpose and to sustainably create impact. This makes me wonder, are rest and relaxation the same? What do you think?
How to Relax by Thich Nhat Hanh
What Amazon has to say:
Stop, relax mindfully, and recharge to control stress and renew mental freshness and clarity.
The fifth book in the bestselling Mindfulness Essentials series, a back-to-basics collection from world-renowned Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh that introduces everyone to the essentials of mindfulness practice.
Thich Nhat Hanh says that when we relax, we “become calm water, and we will reflect reality as it is. If we’re not calm, the image we reflect will be distorted. When the image is distorted by our minds, it’s not the reality, and it causes lots of suffering.” Relaxation is essential for accessing the tranquility and joy that lead to increased personal well-being. With sections on healing, relief from nonstop thinking, transforming unpleasant sounds, solitude, being at peace, and more, How to Relax includes meditations you can do to help you achieve the benefits of relaxation no matter where you are.
Scientific studies indicate that meditation contributes tremendously to well-being, general health, and longevity. How to Relax is a unique gift for those who want a simple guide to achieving deep relaxation, controlling stress, and renewing mental freshness and clarity, appropriate for those practicing in any spiritual tradition, whether seasoned practitioners or new to meditations.
Please check out my latest blog post, Are we Losing Our Humanity? You can also find recent posts Lessons from the Run, Part 1: Mile 18 – Endurance, and Lessons from the Run, Part 2: Resilience, Lessons of the Run, Part 3: Rest, andBe and See the Light which are all still relevant to our current circumstances. If you missed my March edition of Three Thoughts for Thursday, you can find it here, on my blog as well. Beginning April 27th, I will be Co-Hosting with Kathy Hadizadeh, the Emotional Intelligence Special Interest Group for ICFLA. If you are interested in joining and co-creating this learning community, please use the link above to find out more and to come along for the journey!
I’m always looking for new inspiration, new books to read, new podcasts to listen to, so please send your suggestions my way or comment on this post to offer some new recommendations!
As always, thank you for your continued support and readership! Stay strong, stay brave, stay true to you!