Life of Meaning

Exploring Your Mystic Heart

March 4, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“Our times are desperate for meaning and belonging: There is a quiet light that shines in every heart. It draws no attention to itself though it is always secretly there. It is what illuminates our minds to see beauty, our desire to seek possibility and our hearts to love life.John O’Donohue

Spiritually speaking we are living in the oddest of times—at least in the West. Not only is church attendance on a rapid decline but even more lamentable is the increasing number of people with no interest in organized religion—where rules and restraints often seem to dominate.
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Vulnerability: Your Secret Power

February 25, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

I am struck by how sharing our weakness and difficulties is more nourishing to others than sharing our qualities and successes…” Vanier


For decades my role in business and personal life is to be a coach: life coach, business coach and yes, sports coach. My job is first to attempt to understand people—their hopes and challenges—and then to offer some kind of insight regarding self-understanding and ideas for next steps.

What is the Role of Coach, Friend, Mentor?

I think there is a misunderstanding about the role of a coach. A coach is not the “answer person,” not a good coach anyway. A coach is a partner-in-thought who can find some way to identify with another person and then discuss the nature of their life, their dreams, and their challenges.
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On the Value of Detachment

February 11, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Nothing can stop me now, ’cause I just don’t care anymore.” “PiggyTrent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails

In a style typical of Trent Reznor, the singer/song-writer offers an important philosophical supposition in simple, everyday language: Nothing can stop me now cause I just don’t care anymore! I think Trent is suggesting that when find a way to no longer feel the need to control outcomes with people and life goals, we become free to act with courage and hope for best, and then wait for the results.
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On Being Right… Modestly

February 5, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Be right enough to believe, but never so right you can’t be wrong.”

I once had an exchange with an Episcopalian bishop who told me that although the Scriptures may be right, we as humans are often not so right. I will never forget his comment: “We must hold closely to our beliefs, but with modesty and humility, knowing that we—as humans—could be wrong!”
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The Surprising Value of Self-Centeredness

January 28, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Our mission is to be the resource that helps achieve the mission. However, if we make ourselves the mission, we will be neither mission nor resource.” Craig D. Lounsbrough 

I was thinking this morning: What if self-centeredness is actually vital for the development of a healthy and completed self? What if we are built (or “hard-wired”) to be self-centered? Finally, what if self-centeredness is the bedrock for other-centeredness?

Hmm, says I.
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Upside-Down Thinking

January 22, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Abandon knowledge… abandon righteousness… discard profit. These three things are superficial and insufficient. Thus, this teaching has its place: Show plainness, hold simplicity, reduce selfishness, decrease desires.” The Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu

Abandon knowledge and righteousness and then discard profit? Huh? With just six words the 5th century (BC) Chinese sage, Lao Tzu, seems to suggest that I discard three of my most dear values: knowledge, righteousness, and financial profit.

Yet there is more to it, isn’t there?
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Holding the Tension of Opposite Views

January 15, 2023 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

To create peace in our lives—and in our world—we need to be able to sit with frustration and hold the tension of opposite views.” Parker Palmer

Good or bad? Right or wrong?

Dualistic Thinking

Such dualistic decisions are rarely so cut and dried. The most important decisions in life seldom boil down to one of two options. It’s just not that simple, is it? In fact, I am fond of jokingly saying, “Never believe what I say today because, with more information, I might change my mind tomorrow.” Haha. But it’s true!
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The World According to You

December 31, 2022 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.” Talmudic Tractate

It may sound egocentric, but it is nevertheless wholly true: You are the center of Your World—not of THE world, but of YOUR world. All that you deeply believe, promote, and even defend finds it origins in your history of experience, your culture, and your personal “make-up.”

I believe it is essential that you give yourself permission to admit that you indeed have governing (and limiting) biases and prejudices that influence your beliefs and actions.
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The High Value of Low Self-Esteem

December 17, 2022 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

Self-esteem has two essential and interrelated components: self-competence and self-worth.” Quora

It was in the 1990’s that I first met renowned executive coaching and training expert, Vance Caesar. Vance is a man of insight, intelligence, and a hugely deep heart for the people he serves.

Meetings with a Business Guru

It was during these early encounters that Vance first told me words that have stuck with me for more than 30 years. He stated that we, as coaches, need to always remember “The High Value of Low Self-Esteem.”
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Walking Each Other Home—Ram Dass

December 10, 2022 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

The moment we cease to hold each other… the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.” James Baldwin

In the 1980’s I read a book with a striking title, We Really Do Need Each Other. I quite regularly return to the truths implied in that book with the simple title.

We were not created to be alone. We live with an inexhaustible reliance on the love and relational affirmation of others. Even those of us that call ourselves introverted or quasi-isolationists require attentive and committed relationships.

Even the Acquisition of “Stuff” is a Relational Need

When I consider my deepest of needs, I inevitably go to the kinds of needs that cannot be filled by “things” or “more stuff.” But… as I was journaling this morning my mind went to subject of new clothes. I admit: I am a “recovering” clothes addict. Whenever I visit my “go-to” men’s boutique I am literally haunted by the desire to buy at least something—anything—just to walk out feeling good about myself.

And that is what the whole thing is all about, isn’t it? When I purchase classy men’s wear, I feel good about myself because I live in the illusion that others may like me more because I think I look good. (Reading what I just wrote is embarrassing… but true.)

My point in all this, however, is not about new clothes. It’s about lasting and meaningful relationships. Clothes be damned. People are what count.

To Be Human is to Be in Need of Other People

I just finished a book, Nothing Personal, written in 1962 by author, philosopher, and political activist James Baldwin. In the opening quote to this blog, I am drawn to the words of Baldwin whose focus was on what it means to be human in a broken and racist world. Instead of the vitriol like we hear today, he lands on relationships and writes, “The moment we cease to hold each other… the light goes out.

It always seems to come down to this: People in your life really matter. We really do need each other!

Finding Fellow Sojourners

Yes. Ram Dass was right on target. Aren’t we all on a journey of simply “walking each other home?” We are in dire need fellow sojourners in the journey of life. Others that “get us” and accept us anyway.

Just thinking…

We Really Do Need Someone

To Walk Us Home

Photo courtesy of Gujiang xie at istockphoto

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