Above the Fog

There’s a productivity that gets things done.

There’s another productivity that makes things one… that nourishes the soul and flourishes into gratitude…



This is Productivity of the Soul.

Both are important.  [click to continue…]


Christmas LoveIt starts out innocently enough.  You dutifully climb into the attic and start hauling out the boxes of decorations.  Once again the house is tricked out with stockings, twinkling lights, and the scents you save for just this time of year.

You ask the familiar questions: Do we go with same-old same-old, or try something completely new and different?  Are we staying home, or traveling, or both?  Who’s coming and going?  What’s on the calendar between here and there?  And of course, what should be get for [fill in the blank] this year for Christmas?

But here’s the tricky part – other than Black Friday, nobody’s giving you any extra time to make all that happen.  You still have a job to go to (hopefully), 21 meals a week to account for, meetings to attend, bills to pay, promises to keep.

So how do you make it all fit together?  You hurry.  You scurry.  And sometimes you worry that it never quite seems to all get done.

Truth be told, sometimes sacrifices have to be made to get it all in.  And therein lies the rub… because the one thing that Christmas is all about often gets lost in the flurry.  [click to continue…]


NotebookGot caught last week.  I’m talking deer-in-the-headlights, flat-footed, let-me-know-if-I’m-drooling caught.  All with a simple question.

I was having lunch with a friend to told me he got caught flat-footed with a question he didn’t have an answer for.  “So I thought I’d ask you the same question.”

Gee, thanks, I think.

The question:  What are you looking forward to right now?


Say that again?

What are you looking forward to?


“I know, right!” he said gleefully.

I was coming off a couple of weeks of intense work, up until about 2:00 every night. I was in head-down, just-get-it-done mode.  Who has time to think ahead?


I had no clue how to answer that because I wasn’t looking forward to anything.

Enough about me.  How about you?  What are you looking forward to?

I’ve had some time to think about that question a lot since then.  Especially since Cassie, my daughter, came over the same night with her planning notebook for the Disney trip we’re all taking this Christmas, adorned with vintage Mickey on the cover.

I should probably confess here that my “anticipation” of a Disney trip for 11 people somewhere has the words “legalized theft” in it. But that’s beside the point.

The point here is that she’s living the trip now and we’re still nearly four months out. She’s already picked out the restaurants where we’re dining, gotten detailed maps of the whole Magic Domain, logged onto the advice sites as to how to avoid the long lines and all that.

In short, Cassie has her A-Game – her anticipation game – at least when it comes to Christmas this year.  And she was pretty inspiring to me to find my own.

Here’s the bottom line:  [click to continue…]


Exhausted AthleteHey.

I’m gonna make this quick.  Not because it’s not important, but because this is just a time-out, not halftime.  I have to make a mad dash to the bank (more on that later),  and you have to hurry up and do whatever it is you do when you’re in a hurry or somebody’s hurrying you.

Look.  I know you’re tired.  I know you’re facing a little resistance.

Okay, a lot of resistance.

I know that things are taking longer than you anticipated

I understand that you’ve had some disappointments or setbacks.

I realize that light you saw at the end of the tunnel hasn’t gotten any bigger lately.

I get it.

But you’re not gonna quit.  You’re not gonna give up.  You’re going to see this through.  Know how I know?  Three reasons. [click to continue…]

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This may be a leap, but let’s assume for a minute that you know what it is you want, and you’re pursuing it.  I don’t mean what you’re conquering in your search for lunch.  I’m talking destiny, journey-of-desire stuff.  Maybe it’s to influence or gain the approval of someone.  Maybe it’s wisdom to make good choices or the ability to do something that’s hard or impossible for you right now.

Regardless, have you ever noticed that sometimes getting there feels like an eight-lane highway?  And other times, the minute you start moving in that direction it feels like you just turned onto a muddy jungle trail?

Have you ever noticed that sometimes the journey launches like gangbusters, but then stalls or stagnates?

Chances are, you came to a fork in the road and made a wrong turn.

Robert Frost was right in his famous poem about the two roads and choosing the one less traveled by.  What he failed to mention was that life or any worthwhile pursuit is a series of forks in the road, not just one.  One road leads to a path that makes it easier to pursue your dreams; the other leads to mediocrity, failure, and defeat.

Appearances are Deceptive

Paths that lead to mediocrity and failure are well-worn and popular.  They require the least mental effort or “soul work.”  But what starts off as the path of least resistance quickly turns to the path of resistance-beats-my-brains-out.

Other paths may appear to require a lot of work or may leave you feeling isolated and alone.  But somewhere in that spiritual, emotional, and mental work you activate forces that begin to carry your load, increase your speed, and move you in the direction of your truest desires.

The other tricky part about these forks in the road: [click to continue…]


Does your team have what it takes to go the distance?

Something happens when people get together to forge a team.  Unfortunately, that “something” isn’t always what you’re looking for.  See if you recognize any of these teams from your experience:

Team Fritter. Talk about potential.  It seems as though whenever they’re on the ropes, somehow the miraculous happens and they live to see another day. On the other hand, every time it seems they have the chance for that big breakthrough they flounder.  Never fully realizing their potential, they choke every time they get ahead.

Team Glitter. This bunch has success written all over it.  Smart, good-looking, and well-liked, things came fast and easy for Team Glitter.  Too fast.  And too easy.  Before you know it, what appears to shimmer is anything but gold.  And the team comes caving in under the load of its own scandal(s), greed, and dishonesty.

Team Bitter.  Another story of lost potential, this team doesn’t have an integrity problem.  It has an anger problem.  A big anger problem.  Sucked in by jealousy and dispirited by feelings of rejection or failure, this team sabotages its own enormous potential by holding onto the bitterness, anger, or mistrust. [click to continue…]


Somewhere in the places where sighs give way to hope and promises sing to aching hearts, your soul waits for something different.  More than the pleasure of a passing moment or those 15 minutes of look-at-me, you were created with a craving soul.  “He has planted eternity in the human heart,” Solomon said, “but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”

One day – sooner rather than later – that craving will be satisfied.  And not by what the pavement is made of or what the real estate market is like past the pearly gates.  Not by something that resembles Sunday morning at the church house, Monday noon at the White House, or Friday night at the penthouse.  Craving souls are smarter and deeper than that.

One day – nearer rather than farther – tired hearts, stale relationships and flyblown religion will give way to a new dawn.   And at long last your soul will taste satisfaction.  Ashes will give way to beauty.  You’ll trade your mourning in for the oil of joy.  You’ll wear a garment of praise – complete with dancing shoes – instead of a spirit of heaviness.  In the satisfaction of the soul… [click to continue…]


Life Shapers

by Andy Wood on February 5, 2011

in Ability, Life Currency, Love

I have a friend who makes me funny.  Not makes me laugh.  He makes me funny. As in Night-at-the-Improv, bust-a-gut hilarious.  I hear myself say things to him I wish I could remember later and somehow capture the moment.  

There are plenty of times when I do OK by a crowd and generate a smile or two.  But this guy takes me to a whole other place.

How does he do it?  For starters, he has a very rewarding laugh – one that boldly proclaims, “I think you’re funny.”  He also anticipates the fact that I’m going to make him laugh.  He’s always on the edge of another crack-up when we talk.  On top of that, he tells other people how funny I am.  The laughter we have shared has forged a unique identity I step into whenever we talk or get together.

I have another friend who makes me wise.  As in Child-of-Solomon, guru-deep profound.  [click to continue…]

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Gateway to Wonder

by Andy Wood on November 26, 2009

in Exploring the Possibilities, LV Cycle

Nobody uses this gate any more.  But when I was a kid, it was a gateway to wonder.  Just north of my grandparents’ house, across a small pasture, this gate opened the pathway to one of the most fascinating people I have ever known.

On the other side, just across the dirt road, there rested an old log cabin.  And inside that log cabin lived Bob and Pearl McLean.  It was years before I knew their last names.  To my sister and me, they were Cousin Bob and Miss Pearl.

Pearl McLean was the slowest-talking human I have ever known.  [click to continue…]


arms wide open 2It was one of those unseen transactions, and I had the privilege of being the only seer.  Even though this was a very public place, sometimes the public places are, well, too public.  People are taking care of bid-ness, and moving about in their transes; I was no exception.

Until she walked by.

She was about 6 years old and it was about 6:00 p.m. [click to continue…]

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