What’s Your Temperature?

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; some whenever they go.”                Oscar Wilde

Have you ever been to a party where one of the guests lit up the room? Someone who was funny, looked happy and seemed to have an electric personality? I have known a few people like this. They look fresh and fun, and if I stand by them I feel cooler (is that a word in this context?).

And then there are people who look dark and a little stormy, brooding. They can look cool and mysterious, but also intimidating.

I admit to being bright and full of energy sometimes, dark and stormy at others. I will carry my mood around on the outside, displaying my temperature for all to see and feel. And I think people respond differently depending upon what they read from me; the unspoken non-verbal cues that communicate my mood, my temperature, impact their response.

Think about your friendships, a circle of friends to which you belong. Think about one friend and what she brings to the group. Seriously, think of one person. She is funny, compassionate, smart as a whip, and everyone in the group gets something positive from her.

Now imagine she misses an event. She isn’t there one evening. The group is different, right?

Each person, no matter who they are, impacts the dynamics of the group. Imagine the power in that.

C.S. Lewis, in his book called The Four Loves, wrote about his friendship with J. R. R. Tolkien (author of Lord of the Rings) and another author named Charles Williams. The three were good friends and Lewis wrote, “In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets. Now that Charles (Williams) is dead, I shall never see Ronald’s (Tolkien’s) reaction to a specifically Charles joke.”

The point is twofold:                                                                                                               1. You are needed. In your groups, you matter. You are significant.                                       2. Your temperature is felt by others. Bring your true self. Be mindful of the power of your       presence.

Make it a good week!


Great Expectations


I wonder if it is human nature in general or just part of modern culture to develop and maintain images of how life should be. This time of year for many of us is supposed to be a time of great joy and happiness. Christmastime, the holidays, brings fa-la-la-la-la, eggnog, parties and visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads. Right?

Except, what about when it doesn’t?

Holidays and Christmas can foster high expectations, high anxiety, stress and sleep deprivation. For some of us, joy and happiness don’t exist but worry about being with family, or fear of being alone, takes center stage. We want to feel the positivity we’re supposed to, but we don’t.

Somehow, if we can take things as they come, be appreciative of the little positive things in each day, maybe we can create a life that doesn’t hinge on how things are supposed to be.

Our lives don’t often unfold like those of Christmas movies or storybooks. But the beauty of our lives is they are real. We can let ourselves off the hook and see what happens when we allow things to be as they are.