On a windy and rainy evening, I sat on a bench underneath an awning trying to stay dry.  I had made it to my meeting point after surviving a ride home in a heavy tropical rainstorm.  Fortunately I have two weather apps on my phone to let me know where the rain was along with rain gear to wear.  As I sat waiting, my mind was still on those who were still riding.

After a few minutes, an office worker walked up to a scooter.  As she put her bags away, I wondered if she had any rain gear.  As she made a move to put her key into the ignition I was sure she was going to keep thoroughly soaked.  While the key turns everything on, it also unlocks a hidden compartment.  She quietly reached into a stash with raingear.  She was almost ready to leave. read more

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Eighth Grade

Eighth grade was tough.  It was my experience in boarding school.  Although I had a strong voice in the decision to go away, I do not think I had any idea what I was advocating!  All I knew was that the existing choice of self-taught home school was not working.  I was certain there were no other options.  The first, second, and only choice was to go away to boarding school like others in my situation.  At the age of twelve, life is often seen through crisp black and white lenses.

My parents were, again from memory, reluctantly supportive.  Given my behaviors during the time period of the seventh grade, they were looking for something different.  They had their fill of the emotions that come with stolen motorcycles, loud music, and rowdy behavior.  This seemed to be the one option that could work. read more

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I do not normally pay attention to the ramblings of characters on sit-com television.  However, one has stayed with me.  “Maybe you keep falling because you know you are only six inches off the ground and you can fall safely.  Maybe you need to be high, to know it is unsafe, to not fall.”  One character was trying to do something dangerous.  The only sure outcome was that he was going to hurt himself.  In reality, life often works that way.

Am I willing to take on something where I know I can fail and it will hurt?  The question that follows is this; who has my back?  If so, would I then be willing to risk where failure was an option? read more

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I spend a lot of my time coaching.  One of the insights that has come with time is that most of what you need is already here.  As I reflect on the words that I leave with another, I know that it is likely that s/he already knew what I told them.  S/he has grasped the thread of truth at some point in the past.  It was there within them, often for a long time, even if they did not know it.  My gift was to remind them of a truth that they could no long see or hold.

As I think of individuals that I talk with, I find that those that are moving in the right direction share something in common.  In each case, the individual’s heart functions as an inner coach.  It becomes a 24×7 process, waking the soul up, encouraging, chiding, and replaying the truths that are kept within.  When one part of the body talks, the other listens. read more

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The store was jammed.  It seemed as if everyone in Singapore had decided that this was the place to be on the weekend.  As I wrestled my way through my nerves began to fray.  I knew I needed a single item.  I also knew that it was on sale for a single day.  Even though I was only a few minutes in, I was already wondering if the deeply discounted price was worth the emotions that I was going through.

As I struggled, I heard the voice.  I knew I was not hearing the K-pop legends playing in front of the store.  I was confident that nobody had intentionally put this sound on for the benefit of the shoppers.  The sound was a young boy, screaming at the top of his lungs.  Any parent could recognize the voice.  There was no fear.  There was no uncertainty.  The voice was full of anger, frustration, and stubbornness.  There was no confusion about this temper tantrum.  It was full on, out there for anyone to see and for one set of parents to deal with. read more

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From an in-taxi camera, the sight of a high speed Ferrari wreck is clearly visible.  The tragedy that unfolded on that night still does not make sense.  What has stayed with me is not the visuals or memories of the tragedy and lives that were forever changed.  I remember the words of the taxi driver to the passenger in the back that were spared because he hesitated in moving forward even though the light turned green.  In a Singlish accent,


As I look around me I see winners and losers.  Life has a way of reminding me that today’s winners may not be winners tomorrow.  Life has a way of touching all in the same way without consideration.  It can be cruel for some and a blessing for others.  In this context, luck has a random ring to it.  When the pattern repeats in your life or mine, it is hard to think of that there is random.  It seems as though there is a cosmic magician twisting and turning the forces with a diabolical plan. read more

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I love hanging out with an artist and watching her/him work, especially from the beginning of a project.  Even when it is a chance of reviewing works in progress, there is something magical when one can listen a creative master share what is behind the emerging piece of work.  I have come to realize that there is a special type of feedback works best.

When a work of art is in progress, it is neither good nor bad.  It is merely something that is in a process of change.  I have come to appreciate that it is a gift to share what one feels and experiences with the piece.  As you reflect on what you are seeing, what do you feel?  As you sit in the presence what do you experience?  I have found that the personal trust, between artist and patron, is deeply personal. read more

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Singapore has a running event in a few weeks.  It is more than just a single race.  It is a combination of a full-marathon, half-marathon, 10k, and kids run staged concurrently.  With different starting points, the races finish at similar times on the green near city hall.  With staged starts beginning at 5 in the morning, it is an event that intimidates many individuals that are thinking of running.

As I watch individuals training, it is easy to spot three different kinds of runners.  There are a few veterans.  The way they run, very efficient, with a constant source of hydration, experience, and how they dress, minimal but function, are models that others should pay attention to.  In the main, they are a quiet group.  They get on with their training and seem to be in a world of their own. read more

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In the past few months I have been a lot of time in Chennai India.  From the heat of the summer through the rains and even a cyclone, it has been an interesting opportunity to observe the lives of those that call this home.  It is obvious that this is not an easy place to live.  Transportation is a challenge.  Water is often in short supply.  Power outages are a normal event.

I could go on however there is something that stands out as a replay the scenes.  More often than not, people are smiling.  The normal stress of a city does not seem to impact them.  In random moment, I watch a group of tall confident and inspiring street sweeping women walk towards me on the street in the early morning – I know life cannot be easy, but all I can see is that they are smiling and laughing.  The as I get close I realize that the look on their face is true beauty on display. read more

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Every once in awhile, a rare moment, I am able to see myself in the mirror.  In that briefest moment in time I see my age, feel the miles that have come and gone, and sense my mortality.  The five plus decades are closer to six.  In a sardonic way, my father triggered a recent reflection by sharing a baby picture of mine that I do not remember ever seeing.  I was still in diapers but walking.  I was in a baby version of yoga pose, reflecting far more of my birth place than anyone recognized at the time. read more

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