December 2009


As embarrassing as it is to admit, I’m going to say it anyway. I’m enthralled by Tiger Wood’s shenanigans.

I’ve been reading everything about his sordid affairs, shamelessly devouring any article I can get my hands on.

At first I berated myself for such prurient fascination. But then I realized why this guy had my attention.  It’s because, as the Wall Street Journal explained last Saturday, Tiger’s story is “a seismic cultural event.” Ok, maybe that’s overkill. But think about it….

Underneath Tiger’s escapades, is an explicit message from the Emerging Paradigm; a paradigm that exploded into being last year, just about this time.  Remember?

That’s when the global economy plummeted almost overnight. That’s when we learned that no one–or nothing–is too big to fail.  That’s when we witnessed a sudden, swift, and dramatic fall from grace for those living out of integrity.  .    Think Bear Sterns or Bernard Madoff; think a rash of regional banks that made ridiculous loans to people who couldn’t afford them.

In the flash of an eye, those institutions or individuals who were not living in alignment with the highest truth–who were spending more than they had, who were creating products they didn’t understand, who were fudging the rules or blatantly ignoring them—publicly and painfully suffered the consequences.

Enter Tiger Woods, a striking reminder that even though the economic crisis is easing, we are, nonetheless, being ushered into a New Era. And, the #1 rule for thriving in the New Paradigm is this: Lasting success demands a life of Integrity.

The word integrity comes from the Latin root, meaning wholeness or entirety. Integrity demands that our words and deeds consistently reflect our deepest truths, highest aspirations, and most cherished values.

As I see it, this may be Tiger’s true legacy. This is the gift we can take from his gaffes. Each one of us needs to ask ourselves: Where am I living out of integrity? What are the lies I’m telling myself? What truth don’t I want to see?

Powerful questions to ponder.  You can be sure that I plan to ponder them as I step into the New Year. What about you?

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I sat down to write my December newsletter last week.  I intended the subject to be “Creating a Life Vision”…you know, with the new year around the corner.

But the first words I typed took me by surprise:

“I’ve been feeling restless lately. Unsettled. Out of sorts.”

That’s not at all what I’d expected to say! And you know what? I love when that happens….when writing turns into a voyage of self discovery. I decided to let the words flow and see what unfolded.
“Whenever I feel like this,” I continued, “it can only mean one thing. I need time to reflect…to hear what my soul is yearning to tell me.”

I promise you, that wasn’t what I wanted to hear…even though I knew it was the truth. I was craving solitude, but had no time for a time out. I had a gazillion things to do before I flew to Mexico for Christmas, including a business trip to the east coast.

And then my fingers, flying across the keys, made a pronouncement.  They (my fingers, not me!) publicly committed “to take time out, this month…even though at this moment, I have no idea how I’ll do it.”

I’m here to tell you, I was ready to hit the delete button on that one. There was virtually no room in my schedule for a retreat.  But I went ahead and sent out the newsletter. Then the damnedest thing happened.

The next day, I got an email from the East Coast client with the subject heading: No Travel. They cancelled the event, at the very last minute.

Suddenly, I had a few unscheduled days.  Instead of filling them with busyness, as I normally would, I sunk into the empty space like a tub of warm water, soaking in the luxury of unstructured time.

I share this with you because I promised to blog about it. But also, I share this as a reminder… not only of the power of commitment, but also the often pointless effort of trying to figure out how something’s going to happen.  My experience proves what Johann Wolfgang von Goethe  told us long ago:

“The moment one definitely commits oneself, providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.

A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man (or woman) could have dreamed would have come his (or her) way.”

Don’t you just love when miracles occur? Do you have any you’d care to share?