Tag: abundance

5/13/12 “Revel in Abundance”

Good day, team.
The coach’s challenge this week is about abundance. Look around you. What do you see? Do you have everything you need? Do you have everything you want? What is the difference? Are you grateful for what you have, or do you find yourself constantly longing for what you don’t have?
This reminds me of a novel I read entitled “Shantaram” by Gregory Roberts, about life in the slums of Bombay, India. Most of the characters in this book live in small, handmade huts on the outskirts of the city. They own a change of clothes, a toothbrush, a cup, a plate, a fork and a mat to sleep on. (And these are the lucky ones!) I am amazed at how happy these people are and how they experience abundance in their lives. They are grateful for the smallest things because they have so little. I also read another novel about a young girl who was born into a family of billionaires and has all she’s ever wanted. Her life is characterized by continual displeasure with everyone and everything around her. The contrast between the two stories is obvious: Abundance is not about having more and more things but about our attitude toward the things we have.
We live in a world of enormous wealth and consumerism. The selection of products is overwhelming at times. Do you ever find yourself in the store unable to decide among the 30 brands of laundry detergent on the shelf? The time I often spend analyzing which brand to buy is actually worth far more to me than any benefit I might derive from saving money or getting better quality with the “right” choice. I’m actually happier if I have a more limited selection. Faced with too many options, I chafe for what isn’t available, and then I’m dissatisfied with what is.
Cultivating an awareness of our surroundings is one of the best ways to experience abundance. Right now, we are enjoying the beauty of spring. The power of nature is everywhere. Wildflowers are in bloom, trees are resplendent in many different shades of green, and the increasing warm weather draws us outside to revel in nature’s abundance. Each of us can experience this wonderful season but only if we take the time to see it, smell it, touch it. This time of year, we can be especially grateful for the warmth of welcome sunshine on our skin. Perhaps you find yourself arranging flowers and their fragrance fills you with happiness. Finding ways to experience these delights of the season increases my feelings of abundance and gratitude for what I experience in my life.
This week, take a moment or two to appreciate the abundance in your life. Do you have plenty to eat? Are you surrounded by people who love you? Maybe you live in a beautiful place and always have the wonders of nature around you. Perhaps your home brings you great pleasure as you soak in your tub, spend many wonderful hours in your garden or relax in your easy chair. Whatever abundance is around you, give yourself time to revel in it.
When we feel abundant, we tend to attract abundance. When we cultivate an attitude of scarcity, our minds focus on what we don’t have, and in turn, we attract less of what we need and want. Try finding something in your environment this week that makes you truly grateful. Experience how happy and abundant this appreciation makes you feel. Enjoy life as William Blake expressed it in “Auguries of Innocence”:
To see a World in a grain of sand
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.
Have a great week!
Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2012 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.

5/16/11 “Giving Back”

Good day, team.

A few weeks ago, Portland lost one of its leading citizens: Harold Schnitzer. This man, along with his wife Arlene, impacted our city in so many positive ways that I couldn’t possibly list them all. They have funded the arts, our medical community and our schools. They have served on boards, helped organize charitable events and made huge efforts through their philanthropic foundation to important causes.

Harold was a humble man who was an extremely successful businessman. He had a strong set of values centered on the idea that people who are fortunate should give back to their communities. Herein lies this week’s challenge. How do we serve others? What are we doing to help support our communities, our team members and our social structures?

When I first moved to Portland in 1998, I met Harold Schnitzer on an airplane. He was with his son Jordan and some business associates. We were flying from Sacramento to Portland, and our flight was unable to land in the deep layer of fog that had descended over Portland. We were rerouted to Tacoma where they would put us on a bigger airplane that could land in such weather. All of this took awhile and everyone in the group was not too happy — except Harold. He took it all in stride. In fact, I think he took a nap on the Portland to Tacoma leg, while everyone else in his group fussed and complained about airline inefficiencies.

When we landed in Tacoma, we were told that our new airplane was being prepared and we would probably be flying out in another hour. As we deplaned, Harold could see that I was alone and asked if I would like to join them for a burger. Having not had dinner, I was glad for the invite. We began to talk, and I soon learned that Harold and my father had both gone to MIT and were actually there at the same time. We chatted like old friends, and I thought, what a lovely man. Of course, having only lived in Portland a few months, I had no idea who the Schnitzers were or what they meant to Portland.

At one point, when Harold went to buy a magazine, one of his business associates pulled me aside and said, “Do you know who these people are? I mean, they are the Schnitzers!” To which I replied, “Oh, you mean like Schnizerdoodle?” Little did I know that Harold and Jordan had overheard my comment and laughed and laughed. I realized that Harold thought it was great that I didn’t know who they were. I was treating them like normal people, which was exactly what Harold liked. For all the work he did to support the community and for all the fortune he had made, Harold Schnitzer knew that he was a human being like anyone else. He knew that having a lot of money didn’t make him special. When I asked him naively if he knew of any volunteer work I might be able to do in Portland, he chuckled and said, “I might be able to think of something that would be good for you.”

It was Harold who suggested that I read for SMART, a volunteer reading program that gives you the opportunity to read to young children once a week during the school year. Honestly, that program saved my emotional life. At a time when I was starting over and needed more love in my life, the SMART program allowed me to receive the unconditional love of some wonderful children. For the next four years, I reveled in that.

This is the kind of impact that Harold had on our community. And, now that he is no longer here, it occurs to me that it is up to us to follow in his footsteps. We may not have a fortune to spend or a philanthropic organization to fund major projects, but each of us can do one small thing to make a difference in our communities.

This week, look to see if you have included ways to give back in your life. Perhaps you can spend a day working at a local food bank or sign up to be a big brother or sister. You could volunteer at a local community center, hospital or care center. I have one client who volunteers at a hospice center once a week, and my mother-in-law still works as a volunteer at the front desk of one of our hospitals. She’s been there 15 years and, at the age of 90, still goes to work a few days a week to give back. She is one of my heroes.

Whatever it is, find ways to give back. We all have such abundance, and so many people are not as fortunate. One small act of kindness can change not just their lives but your own.

As Harold said, “I feel we each have a mission in life, so to speak. Decide what you want to do to help others, and if you’re fortunate like we have been, move ahead and do it. I’m very pleased with what we have done. I feel that’s what we’re here to do.”

Have a good week!


Kathleen Doyle-White

Pathfinders Coaching

(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2011 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.