It is my belief that developing the competence of observation
enhances the quality and value of life. Skilled observation
increases presence, equanimity and compassion. It also gives us
information to make wise decisions about what we do and how we
speak. Observing helps us understand our values, principles and
beliefs (and those of others) that guide our day-to-day lives.
Increasing this skill does not have to be a chore. It can be
fun exploring life in a non-academic way. Try playing with a
child, going on a hike, discovering a foreign culture, reading a
book or poem, watching a movie, going to a play, singing a song
(or listening for those of us who are non-singers).
When doing these things ask yourself Ė "What do I feel?
What have I learned? How will I use what I have learned to guide
what I do in the future? What will I do?"
Here are some resources that will help you grow. Iíll
add to the list periodically.
Stopping: How to be Still When You Have to Keep Going
Dr. David Kundtz (Conari Press, 1998) For those who feel their
lives are crammed and running at an ever faster pace, this book
suggests ways to find your center.
Donít Just Do Something, Sit There
by Sylvia Boorstein (HarperSanfrancisco,
1996) This book is filled with practices for sitting. It is an
accessible, small book, gentle, not overly analytical or religious
and filled with technique, advice and permission.
A Path with Heart
by Jack Kornfield (Bantam Doubleday Dell
July 1993) This highly approachable, classic spiritual book is one
of the best on meditation and the concept of mindfulness. It is a
book for beginning and advanced practitioners.
The Poisonwood Bible
by Barbara Kingsolver (Harperperennial
Library, October 1999) This popular novel tells a tale through the
differing voices and stories of a mother and her daughters. Helps
recognize that everyone has their own story.
The works of Stephen Sondheim
A brilliant composer,
lyricist and story teller, Sondheim writes about desire to make a
mark on the world, interconnectedness of lives, wishes and what
happens after wishes come true, purpose, diversion from purpose,
assumptions, blame, obsessions, abandonment, beliefs, past
creating the present, fear ....... Get the CDs and follow the
words. Some productions, Sunday in the Park with George and
Into the Woods are available at the video store. They are
worth searching out or seeing in the theater.
Shaving the Inside of Your Skull
by Mel Ash (J P Tarcher,
January 1997) This is a zippy, in-your-face, fun and challenging
book. If you want to examine your beliefs, where you got them and
how they create your life, get this book. I dare you.
Rich Dad Poor Dad
by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L.
Lechter (Warner Business Books, 1997) develop financial literacy,
redefine your relationship with money
Getting It Done: How to Lead When You're Not in Charge
Roger Fisher and Alan Sharp et al (Harperbusiness, 1998) Written
by the author of Getting to Yes and one of the Coverdale
International Group founders, this book lays out important
principles for working with and coaching subordinates as well as,
colleagues. Its chapter on the effects of a commonly held purpose
in organizations is insightful.
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
Roger Fisher and William Ury (Penguin, December 1991) A classic
negotiation text that introduces new ways of about getting
agreement and managing conflict. It is the first of worthy books
by both authors.
LifeLaunch: A Passionate Guide to the Rest of Your Life, by
Fredric Hudson and Pamela McLean (Hudson Institute Press, 1996) LifeLaunch
offers an inclusive cycle of life renewal model that is valuable
grounding for those wanting to make changes in their lives.
by William Bridges (Addison-Wesley, 1980)
Bridges offers another way of looking at change and renewal in
life. A classic.
The Heart of Coaching
by Thomas G. Crane (FTA Press, 1998)
Well written, this book captures the spirit and practice of
coaching, as well as broadens the role of leadership to include
coaching as a mandatory skill set for success.
Coaching: Evoking Excellence in Others
by James Flaherty (Butterworth
Heineman, 1998) This serious text provides both a firm
intellectual foundation and methodology for coaching. The book
uses a coaching style and makes you think. It includes examples,
models and an extensive bibliography.