Meditation + Gratitude = Full Tank


I’ll admit it — I’m a card carrying member of the mindfulness meditation movement.  You’d be hard pressed to find a podcast or glossy magazine that hasn’t recommended meditation as of late.  It has grown rapidly in popular professional culture over the last 18 months. Americans need a way to make soothing order out of divergent chaos.

Over the last year, I’ve been practicing a form of deep mindfulness meditation and have found the results to be extraordinary.   Amid the daily rush, I have experienced greater focus, emotional balance, intellectual endurance and greater fulfillment in the wide range of endeavors that I’m engaged in.

As of late, I’ve augmented my meditation with deliberate gratitude journaling.  Each morning, I start my day with an itemized list of the things and people that I’m grateful for.  While it can often feel cheesy (roof over my head) and repetitive (how many days can I be grateful for my wonderful life partner), it focuses my subconscious on the abundance of things that I’m endowed with.  This is a powerful tool to rewire your brain.

Too often, we focus on the things that we are striving for or are unhappy that we don’t have.  This anxiety and resentment eats at us and negatively colors our outlook on life.

As a result of my meditation and gratitude implementation, my energy tank is as full as its ever been.  And that’s saying something given that I’m currently working as a strategy leader at a large corporation (50+ hour weeks), obtaining my Executive MBA and overseeing the development of a political non-profit.

I encourage those looking for ways to be healthier, happier, and more productive in 2018 to consider mindfulness meditation and a deliberate gratitude practice.  You’ll realize that your life is more plentiful than you appreciate.

Committing to Each Other

Committment (December 2017)

We must commit to each other.

This was a memorable message from author Anand Giridharadas in a recent podcast of “On Being with Krista Tippett”.   Speaking from the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago,  Giridharadas used the metaphor of a commitment to a loved one to describe the way that citizens with different viewpoints should treat each other.  He argued that our American creed binds us and that our seeming divisions are merely temporary. Ultimately, committed relationships endure.

This is an eloquent metaphor worth considering.  In the same way that we make unwavering commitments to spouses or siblings,  American’s (urban/rural/west/east) must commit to each other’s collective happiness and well-being.   And while we may be going through a period of unrest in which we rarely seem to agree,  like a committed relationship, we must have the fortitude and faith to work through it.

Committed relationships have ebbs and flows, ups and downs, and prolonged periods in which the two parties feel out of synch.   But through it all, they remain faithfully committed.

They forcefully assert their opinions but have the discipline to search for compromise in the end.  They learn something new with each disagreement.  They do not let excessive pride get in the way of admitting fault if it strengthens the relationship. They hug it out because they are in it together.

As we enter 2018, let’s remember that we are all in this crazy American project together. Without a doubt, globalization and the pace of technological change has created instability and uncertainty for many.  Change is constant.  Traditions come and go.  New ideas quickly usurp old ones.

These external conditions are challenging the American relationship.  Yet we must remain committed.   We’ve endured worst flare ups throughout our history.

So I ask that you think of those that you disagree with, feel disconnected to, and struggle to understand and remember that they are family.   Families commit to each other through thick and thin.

We’ll muddle our way through this temporary period of unrest.  Loving families always do.

Are you committed?




Radical Moderation

What would it take to create a movement for radical moderation in this country?

What would it take to create a groundswell of support for evidence based, political decision making?

What would it take to start a movement of citizens that finally grew tired of never  addressing the root cause of so many of our political problems?

The current tax policy debate on Capitol Hill misses the point of tax reform.  We should be designing a tax architecture that actually addresses our ills.  One that reduces the cost of capital,  broadens the tax base, encourages business investment, stimulates wage growth, and is deficit neutral.  Neither of our major political parties is incentivized to propose policy such as this.  Our system often feels sub-optimal.

Less rigid ideological confines seem nevermore necessary.  The silent majority of radical moderates await.