Choosing a Full Life

My garden won’t be hurried. She steadfastly makes her seasonal changes. Summer’s exuberant growth is now giving way to autumn’s bright colors. She’s unfolding. Watching her natural rhythms make me question my own. What guides my changes? Am I moving with inner guidance or racing ahead to finish my “to do” list? When I am drawn into action rather than driven to act I also unfold. There is an enormous difference between being Drawn and being Driven.

When we are driven to act we lose out connection with what matters most and rather than feeling alive we feel crazed and stressed. Rushing, we are on a search for something that will fill us. Running so fast yet somehow what we seek continues to elude us. When I compare these two; Drawn and Driven, this is what I discover

Present Moment
Inner Voice

Future Focus
Cultural Chatter

This is how I wrote about it in Unfolding: Slow Down, Drop In, Dare More it’s a mistake to think activity equals a full life. Busyness is just busyness unless we’re acting with purpose. Racing aimlessly leaves us feeling empty and depleted. Slowing down and being attentive for even a few minutes each day will enhance our lives. It is a proven healing balm for stressed nerves.

As Don, my husband, left other morning, he paused an extra long moment. “What are you looking at?” I asked him. “I want to really see you before we say goodbye,” he replied. His tender words are still with me.

Really do we have time for all this feel good stuff? Does it take that much time? . Dr. John Gottman, the relationship guru says that how we say good-bye and hello to each other is the bedrock of a loving relationship. He says two minutes will cover it. That is two in the morning and two when we reunite for a total of 20 minutes a week. That isn’t much time.

The moments that mean the most to me wait beneath the urgency of a text message or the persistent beeping phone. They happen when I put my attention on the present rather than what I might do next. Don’s thoughtful goodbye taught me once again that depth is not a function of time but attention. My garden always reminds me that life unfolds. We unfold. All my racing and running can obscures that awareness. There is a huge difference between a fast life and a full life.

It’s a choice we make all day long.

Saturday,November 7th join me at A Day of Victories: Live more Fully, a day of workshops. Sixteen presenters will help men and women explore what it means to live a full life. I’m presenting Schmooze Your Muse: Cultivating Creativity. The event is sponsored by Victories ( It’s open to everyone. Victories has been transforming men’s lives for 30 years encouraging them to build healthy relationships with others and themselves.

For details and to sign-up
Or call 312.604.5013

Hope to see you there!


1 thought on “Choosing a Full Life”

  1. Katie O'Connell

    Thank you, Nancy. As often happens, your post spoke right to me. After reading the first two lines, I stopped, made a cup of tea, and sat down to savor it. They were words I needed to hear today. It was a busy day without focus and intention until I read this. ❤️

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