Is Less Really More?

My mom quoted this saying often and there is substance in it. Throughout our lives we acquire things. Fancy kitchen gadgets, shoes, electronic devices, clothes, perfumes/colognes, cute things, practical things….you get the picture. We think we need them and that they make some aspect of life easier. But do they really? All of them? There was a time when we left our homes without a phone and the world didn’t come to an end. There was also a time when there were only a few bottled water choices, a few coffee choices, limited TV channels to watch and no trophies for sports competitions we didn’t win. There was a time when there were only board/card games to play until Atari became the rage. Do these changes define us? Have these things made us better humans? Do we communicate better with technology or has it removed something in the way we interact with others? Has more made us less?

Note: The 30.3+ million IT and computer systems in the world account for approximately 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions making them a formidable opponent in managing climate change. This is expected to double in 5 years according to the Worldwatch Institute.

Overcome Fear

Fear is commonly interpreted as negative and uncomfortable. It can be. But it doesn’t have to be. Facing that fear may be just what is necessary to grow and to learn. Some fear and nerves are good. Physically, they keep the body and mind alert. There are nerves when we care deeply about something or someone.There’s “skin in the game” and the stakes are high. Fear brings about a call to action and puts us into achievement mode. It’s good to feel it, experience it and then take the lead in controlling it.

But how to keep those fears from overtaking us is another story. We need to get in touch with our thoughts so they don’t overtake us and gain control of our breathing/heart rate. Nerves can set the body and mind into a tailspin to where there is no way back if uncontrolled. Positive thought repetitions work very well. Adopt a mantra like “I believe in myself” or “I can do this.” A mantra when repeated can remove the mind chatter. Next time you hear your mind speaking negative thoughts, replace them with a good mantra.

Here are a few by Tony Robbins, Life Coach. Go!


Getting the Most from Conferences

Whether it is your first conference or your twenty first, there is a level of excitement and anticipation of the big event. Who will I meet? What new gems will help build my skill sets?

Learning from the process along the way builds strong, deep character. The people we meet and how we present ourselves and our work is game changing. So it’s good to have a plan for each conference. The plan doesn’t need to be anything formal. Just some forethought.

It might take a few readings of materials to understand the flow of the conference day/s. If the selection of workshops or sessions is intricate, print the options in order to read through everything thoroughly and highlight or underline interests and choices. It helps to have a first choice and a back up choice. Learn the rules to know if it is acceptable to move between sessions during session time.

Plan your information management ahead of time. Decide how you’re taking notes. Whether it is recording notes in a notebook, laptop, tablet or phone. Often handouts are given and it can be helpful to take notes on the handouts or take a picture of the handout with a smart phone for use later.

If there are people you know you would like to meet, make a list of them. If you are going to their sessions, you’ll know who to look for later. If you’re not, you might need the assistance of a conference volunteer to point them out to you.

Have an exit strategy. There will be many people to talk to and it is important to maximize time. Whether it is “Excuse me I need to find the rest room” or “Excuse me I need to locate a person I’ve been wanting to introduce myself to,” all of these help the day run a little smoother and help accomplish goals.

Wear comfortable, but professional clothing and shoes. Dress in layers. Conferences often have issues with heat and cooling so it helps to have options.

Your conference experience is what you make of it. Approach conferences with an open mind and a willingness to learn and you never know what possibilities will open up.




It’s hard to ignore the barrage of negativity in the media: ISIS…EBOLA…ASSAULT…ANIMAL CRUELTY. Some people are counteracting these images and information with those more positive, like flowers, for example. But, really, what does it all mean? We mostly choose what we see and hear. And in doing so, we filter that information as it relates to us and who we are. Is it something we can understand on a deeper level? Is it something we can change in some way? Or is it something we merely use as fodder in conversations during the course of our days. The common denominator is WE. We make the choice.

If you don’t think you can make a difference, you might be surprised. I recently learned the term “slacktivism.” [i] It is essentially activism where you don’t leave your home. This is contributing toward causes, signing petitions, forwarding petitions, etc. And, there is this one man in India who does a little bit each day to save his island and it has made a huge difference. If you have some time to watch, check out what a visionary he is at this link below:

Like the cliché “little things can mean a lot,” the little things can go a long way.

[i]  Can Slacktivism lead to Activism;


Little Things

So I thought about a blog post involving being thankful. Not just because it’s Thanksgiving, but because it really isn’t easy to be thankful. It sounds a little cheesy, but sometimes it’s so much easier to complain about life’s bumps in the road rather than to be thankful for the important things. So instead of giving off negative energy, think about all of those little things. Things like: the love of parents, children, family, friends, significant others, pets, a great restaurant, coffee, dessert, fun hobbies, favorite books and TV shows. You get the point. It all comes back to the little things because we all know, they aren’t really little. They are what makes life complete. And that is no little matter. What is your little thing?

Here is just one little thing of mine:

Shade Grown Costa Rican coffee

Shade Grown Costa Rican coffee


Serendipity is Back

Serendipity is a blog by Lyn Sirota. Themes and topics will vary. Some thought provoking and some just fun! We were out of commission for a little while due to hacking. And I don’t mean coughing or spitting! It’s great to be back. To follow this blog, click the box in the bottom right corner that says “follow.” Comments welcome.