Friday, October 31, 2008

Let's Strip

We come into the world as nature's art. Beautiful, no embarrassment comes with this nudity. Mom, dad, doctor, nurse immediately focus on the boy/girl area. Wham the first label is slapped on.

We're in such a hurry to label our sweet innocent bundles. Thank goodness for ultrasounds. Well you know it is nice to plan ahead. Pink or blue. Princesses or turtles. Can you find the turtle?

The label of boy or girl evolves into Norman or Priscilla. (My dad's name is Norman and I can't imagine calling a cute little baby Norman) I did have a boyfriend whose name was Tracy, he was definitely all boy. And Johnny Cash wrote of a boy named Sue. So, it just goes to show that labels are infinitely flawed.

Last weekend, sitting in the food court at the Mall of America I enjoyed one of my favorite pass times, "people watching". From the seemingly sound proof booth of my own mind, placing labels on each person as they pass, some solo, others with their significant other and moms and dads with their families. Of course I am not being obvious. What else am I suppose to do? Continuously stare at my food? Now that would have looked strange.

We desire labels and curse labels. I am so confused. One day popular, so yesterday the next.

This one women must have been following us around or maybe I just noticed her over others because she looked so stunning. I saw her at every store. She looked very sophisticated, long perfectly ironed brunette hair, yellow coat, perfectly executed makeup application, wearing high heeled boots. I imagined she had a workaholic husband bringing in loads of cash as she occupied her time taking this cash buying labels, covering her naked soul.

Now let's imagine, people watching, where everybody was stripped of labels. Let's not go as far as having everyone at the Mall of America walking around naked. Ok everyone is wearing a white sweat suits, no make up, no hair spray, no sun glasses, no jewelry. What would we look at? Well we could look at how everyone's butts look bad in white sweat pants, but before you see their butts, just maybe you would be more inclined to look into their eyes.

I had the opportunity to learn more about somebody at work this week. He revealed a part of his life that was so fascinating. He was on his lunch break, sitting in the cafeteria reading a book. Now I knew he was a honest hard working family man, but who would have known that by asking him, "is it a good book" that it would unveil his experiences as he traveled the world for a year, carrying all his belongings on his back. I will make a point to arrange more conversations with him in the future, which will be easy because I shared some books with him today. We will need to discuss them eventually. See, even "good" labels can blind us.

Let's strip ourselves and others of labels. Hey, the cold breezy fresh air, against our nakedness, will allow us to show others we are happy to see them. Work the pole ladies.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Nice BAG, Lady!

Gina makes some nice bags, ladies. She gets her B*A*G on, making bags.

I've entered to win one of her bags and if I win I am going to give it away to anybody that comments that they love it.

Her bag in my bag. Hint, Hint, Gina. No honestly I am all about fair contests.

Monday, October 27, 2008

One of my favorite words - Resonate

After listening to Rabbi Schmuley's radio broadcast today I was prepared to write my post on one of my favorite words, RESONATE. It dawned on me that the opposite of resonate is offend. Today's topic was about why Americans are so easily offended. Rabbi ends his broadcast with his Schmuleyism, so here's today's.

"America is cultivating a 'culture of offense,' whereby as groups and individuals, we look to be offended. Yet, we should not be victims, and we shouldn't allow others to wound us. If someone insults or hurts us, we should focus on the 'hurt,' and not on the 'wound.'"

Resonate - to relate harmoniously : strike a chord

Offend - to cause difficulty, discomfort, or injury

I believe you choose to be offended (in a general sense), but do not have a choice about what resonates with you. Let's start with what I have chosen to be offended by:

  1. Howard Stern's radio show. I simply do not listen therefore am not offended any longer.
  2. Gruesome horror films. The thought of these films causes a physical reaction, as I have grown older.
  3. My ex-mother-in-law judgement's of me . This was certainly about my own wounds of feeling inadequate. I rather like her now.
  4. Too much stuff in my home. It drowns out the stuff that resonates with me.

Now my resonate list or what I like to call my OH Yes Moments. You don't just go out and buy stuff that resonates with you. It's sort of like happily browsing, not forcing a purchase and suddenly, "BAM! Harmonious angels singing" And when I am not in the present moment, I miss the moments that resonate with me.

  1. Earthy colors
  2. My children's laughter
  3. Junk repurposed into cool stuff, IE: mobile hanging in my kitchen and my new prickly pickle necklace
  4. The uncontrollable urge to wiggle my butt when I hear music
  5. Cheesecake with strawberries
  6. Any fruity smelling eau de toilette
  7. Being myself, IE: being really corny and goofy (does anybody have a job that pays for being corny and goofy?)
  8. Driving through the Bad Lands in South Dakota imagining Native America's being there long ago
  9. Brief moments when my children are loving towards each other
  10. Meditating

In conclusion, in order for me to be in my resonate frequency 24/7, I must tour in the Bad Lands, dressed as a Prickly Pickle Native American, telling corny jokes, while dancing to sounds of my wind chime, while eating cheesecake. Afterwards I will spray myself with fruity eau de toilette and force my children to meditate with me, which will stop them from frighting.


The beauty about resonate is that it such a natural thing that can't be forced. Take these moments as they come and soak them in. You will be so busy finding the harmony you won't have time to be offended.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

B*A*G Book Notes - Why Work Sucks Chapter Five, Six & Seven

All and all I will conclude this series of posts by highly recommending this book to anybody who leads people or is overwhelmed with life in general. I view their philosophy as the ultimate in business process improvement. From the beginning they didn't need to win me over, but can see how introducing it to business leaders could be scary. It turns the status quo on it's head.
I feel ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) will challenge leader's egos before it will challenge leader's logic. Also leaders in ROWE will really need to come with their "A" game. And it dawned on me that when you get down to results, stereotypes and assumptions bases on sex, ethnicity etc could be given less thought.
Although supported by the leaders at Best Buy, the implementation and success was primarily due to grass roots support. For the employees, by the employees, preserved by the employees. From the mouths of our fore fathers.
In conclusion Cali and Jody are passionate about improving work environments everywhere. These ladies are on a mission and they have done their homework. Like Cali and Jody would say, "Let's rock and ROWE."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Family Tradition - Take Two

Aunt Sheryl loved the fall colors. She would come home to Iowa in the fall, as she had made Colorado her home as a younger adult. Colorado is beautiful and majestic, but I must join Sheryl's free spirit in embracing nature's collage of yellows, oranges, browns and greens, painted upon high reaching bluffs, against the gorgeous blue sky on a late October day along the Mississippi river.

The Lampe Family Tradition in Aunt Sheryl's Spirit

HELLLLOOOOO fall! Hay rides, petting ponies, Pumpkins, apples sweet, apples crisp, apples covered in carmel, heavenly sweet and tart, juice runs down our chins. 56 degrees F, with a slight breeze against the the dry leaves that hadn't yet given away to blanketing the still warm earth, broadcasting the sound of rustling and tumbling leaves. Today marks the second annual "Aunt Sheryl Fall Day Excursion".

10:30 AM, off to Pepin Heights Apple Orchard in Lake City to buy "just picked" Honeycrisp apples, sparkling apple cider, carmel apples and our first pumpkin. Off to Wabash's Eagle Center. The splitting waters between Minnesota and Wisconsin is home to these majestic birds. If Gavin could be a bird I am certain he would want to be an Eagle, strong, noble and powerful. Yes, and definitely mischievous.

Over the bridge and through the swamp to Nelson Creamery we go where cream turns into ice cream and salty cheese curbs. We're now in Wisconsin and it would be sin not to come home with some cheese.

Weaving up, down, around and through the bluffs we were on to the pumpkin patch. Mom picks a piggy with a curly tail, Gavin a misshapen Frankenstein head and Paige perfectly shaped plump green goblin with mohawk stem. Add indian corn, apple flavored donuts, squash, gourds and a few drinks and we're ready to call it day. Homeward bound.

Dad wasn't with us today as he just started a new job in Las Vegas, home every other weekend. Last year, dad navigated our first "Aunt Sheryl Fall Day Excursion" not yet considered in a tradition. I made it official today. We won't do exactly the same things each year, but we will travel this fall day in the spirit of Aunt Sheryl, making it an adventure.

Traditions create memories. Observing traditions with flexibility, outside of a set schedule make it an adventure. Buying and eating foods of fall prepare me to HIBERNATE.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

B*A*G Book Notes - The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Today I finished reading The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow and watched the video of his actual last lecture at Carnegie Mellon. Literally it was Randy's last lecture and he knew this while giving the lecture. He had received a prognosis that he would likely only live 3-6 months, after aggressively treating pancreatic cancer. Randy passed this Jul, 22 months after being diagnosed.

Talk about turning your baggage into B*A*G. His lecture and book has given me a healthy dose of fuel for my Believe Act Go Traveling Sanctuary. I've kinda been moping around lately and after reading this book I am thinking, "Self, you have got to be kidding me. What the hell do you have to be depressed about?" This man knows he will die soon, leaving behind a loving wife and three young children and look at what he is doing. He chose to LIVE the rest of his days for his wife and children and ended up gifting millions without premeditation. Major KARMA payback after leading an honest, earnest life.

I have turned Randy's 57 short story "life lessons" from his book into "Randy spent a day with Kim Lampe and they came up with this TO DO LIST:

  1. Inspire your children to dream

  2. Enable their dreams

  3. Accept help from others

  4. Don't be afraid of brick walls, they are their to remind us how bad you want what's on the other side. How bad do you want it?

  5. Spread joy

  6. Shred fear

  7. Have Fun

  8. Believe

  9. Act

  10. Go to your dreams

  11. Bring your Traveling Sanctuary to others

Fueling your Traveling Sanctuary by reading and listening to inspirational stories is a requirement if you plan on GOING where your dreams will meet your reality. False inner and outer critics will steal your fuel very quickly. Your physical body can't go very long without eating. What makes you think you can go without fueling your dreams?
Dreaming is Believing
Believing is Doing
Doing is Believing
Now Go to your Dreams.
Go Go. Go Ladies go go go. Go Ladies go go go. Go Ladies Go.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

B*A*G Book Notes - Why Work Sucks Chapter Four

What Time Feels Like in a ROWE

Trey was somewhat anti-corporate before taking a job at Best Buy. His friends could hardly believe that he could work when he wanted and wherever he wanted. This isn't the corporate America they knew.

You know those neighbors that you don't know, but casually observe their comings and goings. The ones that don't seem to have regular work hours. Well if Trey was one of those neighbors you would think that he was independently wealthy or a secret agent that has a mission every 2 weeks or so. Well he's not independently wealthy with money. He's independently wealthy with the freedom of how he spends his time as long as he gets the results expected at his career at Best Buy.

Their team works smart in ROWE. They go with each other's strengths. I hear playing with your strength is very fulfilling and rewarding. Before ROWE their team completed 12 projects a month. In ROWE they complete as many as 43.

Trey has followed his favorite bands 2 weeks straight, spent a weekend in Chicago and stayed over until Monday, camped in a state forest and back to Chicago for Lollapalooza, all without taking a day of vacation??????????? All this and tripling their production. Sounds too good to be true, but it's not.

As ROWE was being implemented they felt they needed to shake things up with 13 guideposts. Here they are directly from the book Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It, by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, Page 89, Chapter 4. They had to get management's attention and let them know they meant business.
  1. People at all levels stop doing any activity that is a waste of their time, the customer's time or the company's time.
  2. Employees have the freedom to work any way they want.
  3. Every day feels like Saturday.
  4. People have an unlimited amount of "paid time off" as long as the work gets done.
  5. Work isn't a place you go-it's something you do.
  6. Arriving at the workplace at 2:00 pm is not considered coming in late. Leaving the workplace at 2:00 pm is not considered leaving early.
  7. Nobody talks ab out how many hours they work.
  8. Every meeting is optional.
  9. It's okay to grocery shop on Wednesday morning, catch a movie on a Tuesday afternoon, or take a nap on a Thursday afternoon.
  10. There are not work schedules.
  11. Nobody feels guilty, overworked, or stressed-out.
  12. There aren't any last-minute fire drills.
  13. There is no judgement about how you spend your time.

How easily we get used to the fire drills at work. We don't even question them. They so scream, "lack of focus on results" and "we have been running around like chickens with our heads cut off for so long we don't know how to stop". "Look at me, I am so valuable and needed I am the first one they call. Here I am to save the day, from what I am not exactly sure, but damn I feel pretty important."

Employees in ROWE don't take advantage of their new found freedom. They feel so advantaged that they reward their businesses with more results.