Monthly Archives: May 2011

Ask for the quiet you need with confidence

I climbed into a taxi after a hard day at work. The driver gave me a friendly greeting, but something was wrong — for me.  The volume of the cab radio was up, way up.  I was looking forward to a quiet ride back to the hotel. This was anything but.  What should I do?

There was a time when I was afraid to ask a taxi driver to turn the radio down or off (“It’s their cab!”). But I got over that: why be afraid to ask?  So I did, and I do, and for the most part taxi drivers comply, though a few give me the “I’d rather not” vibe.

This driver turned the radio off. The cab was quiet. I settled back in the seat and let go of the day’s cares.

The morale: do what you can to achieve the quiet you need.

And if the driver had said “No!”?   Well, there’s always another taxi. I look at it as a learning moment. A moment to build confidence. A moment to turn away from the mental chatter that disconnects me from my spirit.





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De-stress anywhere, anytime.

Calmness observed

After a long day at work yesterday I walked down a main and very busy thoroughfare in Portland. My head was full of the day’s events.  I was still carrying around a pile of cares with me as well as all of the anticipated concerns about tomorrow.

Unexpectedly I came across a fountain with a beautiful sculpture. I stopped. The calmness radiating from the white marble and the sounds of the fountain gently permeated my busy mind and tired body. I stopped walking and took in the sight and sounds of what I’d just stumbled upon. I took a long deep breath.

The noise in my head and the tension in my body faded quickly and then I was left simply taking in the statue and the fountain. I walked around it, looking at it from all sides. Then I caught its reflection in the window of the skyscraper behind it. Something about that was soothing.

Reflecting the peace within

It was like seeing the still center within all the movement around me.

As you go about your day look for the quiet spots, the silent spaces, the moments of respite. Let yourself become absorbed by them. Breathe deeply down to your belly. Feel your feet on the ground.

Revel in the peace. It’s around us —  and inside of us —  all the time.

Please share with us what you discover.

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Test prep & neuroscience

Our amazing brain: constantly seeking connection

Having just attended the Learning & the Brain conference in Chicago, I am struck with two competing thoughts I’d like to share:  how much science there is about the brain, and what a challenge it is for teachers to integrate the findings into their daily practice. I attended fascinating lectures about many new scientific studies on the brain and motivation, gender similarities and differences, stress, etc., but at the same time I was left wondering, “How do I implement these discoveries in my work as a teacher and a coach?”  I would like to suggest we need more collaboration between researchers and practitioners– between the scientists and the teachers. One of the

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Brain research confirms book on test stress!

Dr. Judy Willis: terrific teacher!

I’m at Learning and the Brain Conference in Chicago. Spent the day at a terrific seminar conducted by Dr. Judy Willis:  “Brain Research to Increase Student Focus, Motivation, Memory, and Test Success.”  A most informed, generous teacher. She writes for Edutopia. See her website. The day was a total affirmation of all the material in my book. I’m speaking at the conference on Friday morning with a book signing right afterwards. Great crowd. Feeling blessed.

Watch the vid. Dr. Judy is the second speaker: “We can turn kids around. They don’t have to be stuck. We have control. We have neuroplasticity.”    Yes! Thank you Dr. Judy!

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LA Times Festival of Books. Major event book signing!

Come down to the LA Times Festival of Books!  Fantastic opportunity for May 1, USC Campus, from 10 am-2 pm. Lots of interest in my book. Especially since the LA Public Library System bought 798 copies! Come to the Sunbelt Books booth, 092. This book festival is amazing, My brother Andrew is also here, signing the book he co-authored with Phil Jackson about the LA Lakers. Here’s a video of the two of us…

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