Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

The Thrill Of It All

In Uncategorized on 2011/05/27 at 11:00 am
If you’ haven’t been thrilled in a while, I highly recommend it. It’s a feeling distinct from any other. You know you’re fully alive when you’re thrilled.
I wonder if everyone feels a thrill in the same way. I know that when I’m thrilled,  my breath catches in my throat and my heart and lungs are in absolute concert. When I’m in a thrilled state, I am excited and delighted, and I would love to be able to bottle it.
What is a thrill anyway? Thrill can be used as verb and as a noun . I know this, because I went to dictionary.com to to do a bit of research.  Here are the site’s #1 and #8 definition of thrill:



–verb (used with object)


to affect with a sudden wave of keen emotion or excitement, as to produce a tremor or tingling sensation through the body.


something that produces or is capable of producing such a sensation: a story full of thrills.

So, now we share a definition of the verb. What creates the state is another matter all together. Is it a sense of anticipation and imagination? Is it adrenaline based? To me, regardless of its source of origin in my system, it’s euphoric!

All of this leads me to a question for you… When is the last time you were thrilled? I ask the question, because I’ve had some thrills lately, and I think I’ve got a few more in store this summer. I’ve got some standard thrill producers – Driving up my street in anticipation of seeing my husband after a business trip, or receiving a bouquet of roses unexpectedly. Today’s thrill falls into a different sort of category. It’s an appreciation based thrill. I’m thrilled because my life and career are unfolding in ways that I’d only hoped it would. The thrill isn’t financially based. It’s possibility based. It’s invitation based. It’s soft-landing based. I’m about to start new work, new relationships and I’m moving one or three or five steps closer to hatching some plans.  Right now, right now is producing a thrill. I’ve somehow, with belief in possibility, turned “wouldn’t it be nice if?” into “isn’t it great that?”

I’ve found that thrills most commonly occur when I’ve shaken-up my life up like a snow-globe, or like popcorn I’m making on the stove. If I just let things sit there, they tend to settle, and so do I.

My question to you as spring moves into summer, and with 2011 nearly half-over is “Is you creating opportunities to be thrilled in your life or are a body at rest, avoiding the swirling snowstorm in the snow globe? Might this be your summer of love, or your summer to spelunk or your summer to apply to grad school? One of the best ways I know to create some movement is through a visioning or planning process. Conveniently, my workshop “Building A Powerful Vision Board” is about to launch online (It’s part of my thrill).  When the course launches,  it may be a great way for you create a plan to live a bigger, brighter life and to speed that plan along.

Until then, ponder the question and I wish you well.

As always, I welcome your comments and perspective.

~ Tess

Copyright 2011

Destiny Rising, LLC

Where are you present and absent in your life?

In Uncategorized on 2011/05/25 at 2:27 pm


"Present and Accounted For"

One evening a few years ago, I was in my family room doing some work that I’d brought home from the office. We had a lovely fire burning in the fireplace, and our dogs were nappy on the couch beside me. My husband was asking me some questions, and I thought I was doing a pretty job of working and talking at the same time. Dan surprised me when he remarked that I wasn’t there. I responded that yes, I was there, noting that I hadn’t stayed late at the office any night that week. He clarified for me that while I was there at home in body, I wasn’t fully present….my attention was elsewhere.

I’ve never forgotten that wake-up call. Over the course of the next few years, I made a conscious effort to be “present” when I am at home. My schedule has been fairly demanding, so while I have corrected my attention, I have continued to be a “girl-on-the-go”.

I made an intentional course correction earlier this year. I realized that the fifteen years for which I’ve been married have gone by with the blink of an eye. I will never get to those first fifteen years back again. I have decided to make more family time a priority, and to enjoy the simpler things in life with those closest to me.

And so, I ask you to consider the question, “Where are you present and absent in your life?” If you haven’t done a fearless moral inventory, you may be astonished by how great an emphasis you are putting on doing everything right for work at the expense of home and family.

As a result of my deliberate re-focusing period, I am making careful choices about my work environment and work/life balance. I am not filling every hour of every day with something I need to do.

I am creating space. I have found that when I create space, things that brought me the greatest joy can do so once again. Two weeks ago, I called a former college roommate. I had an extra free evening in Chicago, and made space for a two-hour visit to catch up before dinner with a work colleague. The two-hours spent with my roommate as she prepared for her annual family garage sale were the highlight of my week. It was as if no time had passed, although we needed to catch up on seven years of life. That simple visit energized and grounded me tremendously! We laughed and reminisced and remembered things that time had nearly made me forget.

I have a growing list of things that have been newly prioritized… rekindling friendships, spending time with my parents as they move further into their golden years, visiting family more and doing work that is in-line with my wake-up call.

If you are feeling at odds with whether or not your life is in tune your priorities, you might enjoy a process that can help examine your priorities and create a life that makes you feel alive and connected. I am launching “Building A Powerful Vision Board” in June. You may find that creating a Vision Board helps you connect and reconnect with who and what is most important in your life. The course will be up and online (pretty convenient, yes?) in early June.

Stay tuned and stay tuned in!!

Make it a great week. As always, I welcome your comments 🙂

~ Tess

Copyright 2011

Destiny Rising, LLC

What Path Are You Taking?

In Uncategorized on 2011/05/16 at 10:09 pm

"Two Roads Diverged"

In school, I was not a keen fan of poetry. Its depth may have been lost on me when I was younger. I did enjoy the beat poetry in “So I Married an Axe Murderer and Mike Meyers’ piece “Woman”.

Since that time, poetry has become a part of my regular reading fare.

Today I saw Tom Shadyac’s documentary film “I AM” for the second time. First of all, I really love the film. Secondly, I am humbled by the brilliance of those interviewed and their awareness of what change in the world looks like (http://www.iamthedoc.com/i-am-tom-shadyac/).

Within the film, one of those interviewed referenced Robert Frost’s classic poem “The Road Not Taken” (1915). Every one of us is on a journey, and every day we are presented with choices that will affect our future in some way. Our choices are not necessarily life altering on the surface. But if you dig a little deeper and look back on your life, you’ll notice your choices, weave themselves into the fabric that is your life.  As an example: When I was a senior in college, I chose to live with Carla (a good friend to this day), whose Mom gave me sage advice one weekend while visiting us at U of I. I’ve shared her advice with people who’ve heeded its wisdom and changed their outlook. If I hadn’t lived with Carla, I wouldn’t have met her mom, who wouldn’t have shared her wisdom, which I wouldn’t have quoted to someone last year, who made a specific decision based on the advice and so on.

And so, I offer an opportunity for you to read Robert Frost’s poem today – and to reflect on choices that have placed you on your path.

The Road Not Taken (Robert Frost, 1915)

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Have a great week. As always, I welcome your comments.
~ Tess

Destiny Rising, LLC

Copyright 2011

Inspiration Close to Home… Or Within A Day’s Drive

In Uncategorized on 2011/05/09 at 9:34 am

Eight Cups of Wisdom

I don’t have to look very far to find a dose of inspiration. It’s available within my own family:  Maisie Denton is at the top of the list.

Hers isn’t a name known worldwide, but she has been living and giving for more than 90 years, and she has made a positive impact on countless lives. Mae  Denton – She’s affectionately known by my husband’s family as Aunt Maisie. She’s my husband Dan’s step-Grandmother. Maisie moved into her home in Akron sometime in the late 30’s, as a young bride to a widower with a large family. Her husband, Bill Denton, had already made a mark on the world by the time they married. Maisie still lives in their house on Orchard. I consider it an honor to have had the pleasure of getting to know Aunt Maisie since marrying Dan.

I first met Maisie when she was 80 years young.  While I’ve known her for only a portion of her life, she has made a significant impact on my view of life. I hope that everyone has an opportunity to meet an Aunt Maisie in their lifetime. Maisie is warm and wise and worldly.  She is plugged into the pulse of the world around her. This may come from the fact that Maisie still reads the Akron Beacon Journal every day. It keeps her current, and the things in which she’s interested are relevant. Her interests and perspective are broader than most thirty, forty or fifty year olds I know.

While poring over her daily newspaper, Maisie searches for reports of crime and violence and the police beat, so that she can add them to the files at the Victim Assistance Program Office, located at 150 Furnace Street. Victim Assistance a program led by her son, Rev. Bob Denton, shares its address with Furnace Street Mission – established by Bob’s father, and Maisie’s late husband Bill Denton in Akron, Ohio in 1926. Furnace Street Mission humbly started with a few programs aimed at helping the area’s unserved needy. While maintaining their initial mission to the area’s needy citizens, Furnace Street Mission today works closely with victims of crime, abuse and violence, as well as ministering to the needs of the community’s police and fire officers.

To me, Maisie’s life is a testament to commitment and support and  evidence that  age is a state of mind. Thought she’s getting older, I know that Maisie still makes it to the office, if not with the regularity she did a decade ago, at least on special occasions.  When I met Maisie, she was still answering phones on the Victim Assistance Hotline. The Denton family does amazing work. Keeping the home fire burning for more than seventy years is Aunt Maisie. She is a spirited non-judgmental person who was given an extra helping of common sense as she passed into this world. She is current, optimistic and sensible. Visiting her is a joy.

When you arrive at Aunt Maisie’s, the Folgers begins to brew. There’s always real half and half in the fridge and some yummy snack in the cupboard. Once the coffee is poured, the conversation begins
We discuss family, presidents, travel, generational differences, and the world today.  Maisie’s stories always have a point, and they’re entertaining and thought-provoking. After many hours, as the clock strikes an hour well beyond our bedtime, we say goodnight. As we drift to sleep, I can still hear Aunt Maisie  downstairs, puttering in the kitchen. All is well in the world, knowing that this angel is afoot.

When we stay at Aunt Maisie’s we sleep in a room where my husband and his family stayed when they traveled back to the states on furlough every five years or so. Like Dan’s grandfather, his father chose a life helping others – Dan’s parents left the US to move to South America in 1947 as Missionaries for the Nazarene Church…raising their own family thousands of miles from the their home in the U.S.Knowing that some of Dan’s fondest childhood memories are in this house adds to the meaning of staying at Aunt Maisie’s. The house seems to be company ready and unchanged from visit to visit.

As we descend the creaking stairs and open the kitchen door in the morning, the aroma of coffee awaits. I think that there may be about 5 hours in any 24-hour period where coffee isn’t being brewed.  And in the morning, coffee cake, and hot breakfast are generally at the ready. While we covered a myriad of topics the night before, conversation begins anew. I’m pleasantly reminded as we cover new ground that Maisie is outwardly and other focused. She is genuinely charitable and kind, but do not mistake her charitable nature for naivety. The family business involves working with the underserved and helping people who have faced adversity for 75 years. So, Aunt Maisie hasn’t lived a sugar-coated life.

Maisie has stayed sane and calm and kind and steady in Akron, Ohio through 3 wars, two conflicts, 7 decades and a world turned upside down again and again. The lesson I most appreciate from knowing Maisie is that she doesn’t care WHAT I am. She cares THAT I am. While the journey someone is on may be interesting, She cares more about the person who is on the journey.

A person’s story takes a lifetime to write.  If we believe that someone’s greatest achievement is their story, we miss out on some of the most interesting moment’s of their life – the every day moments. The coffee, the conversation, the visits to family that include Stuckey’s and lumpy beds and staying up too late and family stories shared that help us understand, after many years, why our husbands and wives and in-laws feel the way they feel and made decisions they did along their life’s journey. When we are sitting around the kitchen table with the people in our lives, we see them not as titles and job descriptions such as CEO’s or Ministers or engineers or housewives…we see them as people on a journey, and as siblings and aunts and uncles – or as the person who somehow, year after year, still gets the best room in the house every time we visit, whether it’s fair or not.

I hope you have an Aunt Maisie – someone who as a shining example of non-judgement helps you seek and balanced life or that YOU are a source of inspiration for the people with whom you live and work.

Wishing you a great week…

~ Tess

Copyright 2011

Destiny Rising, LLC

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