The Work of Living Includes the Work of Dying

Nobody I know likes to face it, but some day we die.  Before that, we can be stuck on a bed somewhere, unable to speak for ourselves, at the mercy of someone else’s default system for how long we stay plugged up to a machine at great expense to ourselves and others.  Worse, for those of us who believe that dying is meant to be a sacred part of life, being kept artificially alive makes it darned near impossible to die with grace and dignity.

Here’s a piece of work we all need to do:  determine when life is and is not worth living, including determining when artificially maintained “life” is not really life. Then we need to determine who is our most trustworthy friend or family member to speak for us when we can’t speak for ourselves.

Here’s a resource to help you start your own conversation.  Come, add your voice.

Many blessings to you, Pat Sullivan


copyright 2012 by Pat McHenry Sullivan


A Deeper Look at Congress and Our Money

Note:  the following was originally posted on Visionary Times,  from our sister site, Visionary Resources.  Because it impacts spirit, work and money, it is repeated here.

Without vision, we perish, or at least we get stuck with plans and agreements that impact everyone but serve no one.

Prime example:  the whole US Congress and our often spineless president, who have managed to lock us into a totally non-visionary plan aimed at avoiding default that in truth seems to make no-one but cable news pundits happy.  And for these pundits the only happiness lies in the fodder it gives them for more ongoing commentary.

Now I know the Congress isn’t totally to blame for this mess.  We’re all part of the culture that demands quick fixes and is addicted to fear, unfounded reporting, and blame.  We’re all at least partially the creators of an economy that puts our undiscerning trust into things like forever increasing housing prices and the big gambling casino masquerading as the stock market instead of finding a better way to discern what’s truly valuable. Continue reading

A Vision for Economic Turnaround

“Want Economic Turnaround?  Create It!  Wall Street is too untrustworthy.  Government is too partisan, and media are too obsessed with who’s sleeping with whom to envision an economy that works for all.  Fortunately, fellow citizens are creating a variety of breakthrough ways to create a better economy.”

That statement from a post on Visionary Times almost a year ago is even truer today.  Because it impacts your spirit, work and money, check out the full post here:


If Lawyers Can Thrive by Meditating at Work, Anyone Can

Need some proof that meditation and other spiritual practices are useful, not flakey at work?  Need REALLY PRACTICAL stuff like how to get through everyday challenges like too much to do, too little time, too little appreciation or support?

Look no further than the legal field.  Case in point:  Scott Rogers, creator of The Mindful Lawyer,” and his delightful “The Mindfulness Memo: the Motion for an Extension of Thyme.”  Here’s just one tidbit that is useful for any job: Continue reading

Mother Theresa – A True and Authentic Sales Model

One of the hardest workplace spirituality issues is how to sell as a spiritual practice.  To overcome that challenge, I can’t over-recommend Carol Costello’s book, The Soul of Selling.  It’s the best guide I’ve ever seen for getting rid of emotional baggage and making selling an act of service.  Here, with Carol’s permission, is what she learned from her heroine, Mother Theresa.

Mother Theresa: The Seller Who Changed the World

by Carol Costello in The Soul of Selling (Benbella Books, page 183)

My personal inspiration for selling is Mother Theresa.  She had a vision based on authentic personal values, and overcame everything in the way of realizing that vision.  She discovered how to energize her resources and speak effectively to people about giving her money to help the poor.  She saw everyone she contacted as the Christ, and she kept going until she got the result.  That is compassion, combined with clarity and commitment, in service to others.  That is spiritual practice.

What if Mother Teresa had just sympathized with the poor of Calcutta?  What if she had felt very sad about them and talked about them with her friends over lattes, but rejected any real action because the scope of the problem was so large?  Or because going around asking people for money wasn’t “spiritual”?  Or because she didn’t want to rock the boat and question the system?  Or because she might be uncomfortable, embarrassed, or rejected?

Instead, Mother Teresa became a force of nature.  She sold her vision, raised a great deal of money, and made the world a better place because she was in it.  You can do those things, on as large a scale as you please.

How Are You Called To Sell What Matters To You?

This is Pat Sullivan again, the usual author of this blog. Even if we don’t have to sell a product or service in order to make a living, we’re always selling.  At the least, we have to sell ourselves on saying yes to exercise, no to un-nurturing food; yes to patience and thoughtfulness, no to the latest fear-mongering “news” or excess consumerism; yes to real pleasures that enrich our lives, no to cruelty or titillation that hurt others and take us away from who we really are.

There’s so much in Carol’s quote to ponder.  What could you envision to benefit yourself and others if you anchored into your most authentic self and listened to what your heart and soul are saying right now?  What courage would you find to move from just feeling sorry for the pain in the world to action that enriches you as well as others?

If selling is part of your paid work, what can you learn here about selling from your heart and soul?  Will it require you to say no to selling what is not true and moving on, even if it costs you a well-paying job now?  Will it require you to have more courage, if you are selling products of services with true value, so you can connect compassionately and respectfully with those who need just what you have to offer?

I’m very grateful to Carol for introducing me to the concept of selling as a spiritual practice. To me that means I can only sell that which I know to be anchored in integrity, serving a useful purpose, and offering joy or at least the alleviation of suffering.  And it means I can only sell in a way that is anchored in integrity, authentic, and purposeful.

What does it mean to you?  What tips do you have for people like me who are just learning to do this, and who want to sell with more integrity, purpose and the capacity for joy?

As always, many blessings to you, and your comments are most welcome.

Pat McHenry Sullivan

copyright 2010 by Pat McHenry Sullivan

Why Think About Work When You’re On Vacation?

Note:  This post was originally published on our Visionary Resources Site.  It’s repeated here because it definitely can improve your work life!

Yes, almost everyone needs to stop worrying about work, but it’s a bad idea to think that to relax, you need to stop thinking about work while you’re on vacation.  Here’s a better idea:  allow your best vacation mind to transform your workdays so they are all more fun, more relaxed, more satisfying.  Consider:

1.    When you’re relaxed, it’s easier to see new options, discover new allies or resources. Continue reading

The Work of Our Life; The Life of Our Work

If you think of work as only the means to earning money, you’re missing work at its best — like work with meaning, work with joy, work that stretches your talents, engages your body and spirit as well as your mind, and sends you home inspired by deeper connections with other humans and the earth.  And if you think of work as something that ends when the official workday ends or when you retire, you’re not considering how rich the work of our lives is. Continue reading

Let’s Preserve the Senior Citizen Generation Gap: Lifework Guest Post by Tom Ratcliff

I am always being reminded by my 16 year old how out of touch I am; or how I don’t take enough time to just have fun; or all I think about is getting my projects done; or I worry too much about how much things cost, or, or, or.

I am sure my son’s generation will do just fine (as long as their mothers follow them all through life picking up after them). It’s just how we go about getting there that’s a lot different. I was taught to plan, prepare and perform (in other words – Git-er done!) My son thinks it should be done either by mom, dad someone else, or later on after his buddies go home. Continue reading

For Miraculous Purpose-Finding and Marketing Inspiration, See Trader Joe’s Tissues

Most people really want their work to be purposeful.  But beyond a vague, generic “I want to help people,” most can’t define what that means.  This makes it darned impossible to land the right helping-people job, perfect clients for your meaningful business, or donors for your non-profit agency.

Fortunately, you can learn much of what you need to know about purpose-finding and marketing strategy from a 99 cent box of Trader Joe’s tissue. Continue reading