Monday, December 27, 2010


     As we wind down the year, one of my soothing tasks is to take a pen and pad and write a list, sentence after sentence, of all the things I am grateful for while scanning the events of my Life over the year. 

     I began the task this morning and I have already filled up 4 pages, front and back.  I haven’t read them out loud yet, and I am sure that I will feel so very blessed when I do.

     The people with whom I have interacted and the experiences I have had show me the good, the kindness, the forgiveness, the support, the vast richness and love we have given each other.

     My wish is that you have been equally blessed and that your joys, good health, love, peace, and prosperity cannot be contained in 2011, such that your good runneth over!

     Happy New Year!

© Dr. Drayton-Craig, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010


          While taking my walk the other day, I met a friend and asked, “How are you?”   The reply was, “Not so good, I’ve had a bad couple of days.”  Inquiring further, I learned that this person is sad this Christmas season because of a relationship that ended at the start of the summer.  We had spoken about that on previous occasions and I assumed my friend was moving on with Life.

     As we spoke, it became evident that my friend is gearing up for a miserable Christmas day, so much so, that this person plans to keep the radio and television off that day and paint a room to “forget” that it is Christmas.  I offered several suggestions of things to do to have a meaningful day that would add sunshine to this person’s experience, as well as to others.  Yet, it did not take long for me to realize that my friend was more committed to being miserable than to having an ok day, or even a joyous day. 

     I told this person that painting a room on Christmas day was not appropriate and certainly would not change the fact that it was Christmas.  In addition, if a room needed to be painted, paint it now and spend the day making others happy on Christmas…referring to my previous blog.  I pointed out how blessed this person was and is, as I referred to my personal friends who have just buried a son, buried a mother and grandmother, is having surgery today for cancer, and is having surgery about 2 days before Christmas. 

     I walked away, giving this one an “assignment” in planning for a different day than the one being created.  We laughed as we parted and I continued my walk, not sure what this person would do.  I reflected on the experience the rest of the way.  I thought to myself, that interaction was a blessing for me, in that I could look in the mirror.  We always have mirrors in our relationships with others.  It affirmed for me that the season and Christmas day has nothing to do with me, my circumstances, or us.  It is about the birth of Jesus, the Christ.  That is the celebration.  The hope and Light of this birth makes any personal issue pale in comparison.

     The season is one that finds people in all sorts of circumstances: career, health, finances, relationships, family, and housing.  If you celebrate Christmas, it is not about any of these.  It is not about Santa Claus or presents.  It is about His presence…His birth.

     Choose to live the day as a Blessing to someone, including you.

© Dr. Drayton-Craig, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010


     We have become a society of mall driven consumers during the month of December.  While those who have an abundance of money can afford to shop, and shop some more, and shop even more than that, those who find themselves unemployed and now without unemployment benefits have the additional stress of finding ways to enjoy the season without income. 

     I suggest a 20-day or 30-day diet that has nothing to do with food and everything to do with finding inspirational reading, conversations, and entertainment for that period of time.  If you can avoid the news for the duration, so much the better!  If you must tune into the news or read the newspaper, take only a small dose of it.  These actions will go a long way to help you keep your spirits up.

     During this time, rise early as you did when you were employed, spend time in quiet contemplation to start your day, and dress as if you were going to work.  Spend the morning doing the necessary actions to assist you in the job search:  researching companies, writing letters, making phone calls, and networking, to name a few.

     Take time in the afternoon to walk outside daily.  The fresh air will do you a world of good.  Then go places that will help you stay connected to seeing and interacting with people:  bookstores have tables where you can sit and read books and magazines, and libraries, too.  Both are free.  Getting out daily will lift your spirits.

     When it comes to gift giving, think of things that will be free or under $5 dollars, such as visiting with people who are elderly or shut in.  When visiting others, rather than bringing a gift, offer to do something with them (accompany them to an appointment, run errands for them, clean a room for them, fix something for them).  Take them a package of tea or a few packs of tea in a mug, with festive wrap.

     Consider giving family members and friends a gift wrapped talent: A lovely card or note in a small box or gift bag that says how you will share your talent with that person.

     Give yourself away:  VOLUNTEER.  Organize or join a toy drive or visit a pediatric hospital ward, or nursing home.  Read a book to the patient or resident.

     Bake something and give this as a gift to a friend.

     Make something to give someone: a simple wood craft, place mats of fabric or other material, decorate empty bottles with beautiful cut-out magazine pictures that are glued on and then covered with shellac. Make a pot holder mitt by hand.

     Most important, before you go to bed each night, find one thing, however small, to tell yourself that you accomplished that day.  In addition, find one thing for which you are grateful.  Keep a daily log or journal during these 20 days or 30 days, and record both of these items.

     Wishing you creative joy during this season.


© Dr. Drayton-Craig, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010


     Last week I spent a delightful evening with friends.  Our conversation was about the chance encounters we have in Life with others and how they blossom into overlapping networks of people who have “chance” encounters with people already connected by chance.

     It has been mind boggling to notice how this occurs.  Remarkably, one friend made reference to the famous quote about commitment that I wrote about a few weeks ago – only this person hadn’t read that blog.  Yes, these connections are the kind of things that are referred to by W. H. Murray, “…all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way,” as he described what is born out of commitment.

     I invite you to notice where chance encounters have occurred this year and how they are blossoming in ways that you would have never expected.  Perhaps, some chance encounter from years ago has found a way to overlap with someone or some experience currently.

     As we find ourselves in a season of thanksgiving, hope, reflection, and assessing our lives for goal setting for the New Year, take time to reflect on the chance occurrences you have taken for granted and welcome their gifts with thanks.

© Dr. Drayton-Craig, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010


     Today I had an interesting interaction with a local business that I have been waiting for some time to come and complete necessary repairs.  As has been customary, it has been put off for yet another week with the usual response, “It’s a small job, we’ll get to it,” says the business owner.

     It is an odd way to do business.  I would think that upon first contact, my name would go on a client work schedule and that within minor delay and juggling of workload, I would be assigned a date.

     What I suspect is that as orders come in for “bigger” jobs, I keep being placed to the back of the list.  Is this greed?  Is it a case of taking customer business for granted?

     I think it is taking one’s reputation for granted.  Your business is only as good as the report of each customer – large or small in order.  It only takes one…and then another one, and another one to turn a thriving business around to one that has few customers.

     It surprises me to see how many smaller businesses lack common sense actions and amenities to keep a customer coming back:  Namely, saying “thank-you” for your business at the end of a transaction.  That came to my mind yesterday in NYC as I exited a restaurant.  The hostess stood at the door wiping the glass and paused silently to let me exit.  I am not rushing to get back there any time in the near future.  “Thank you for coming”, or, “I hope you enjoyed your meal”, might have offset the mediocre meal I had. 

     I have supported many individual entrepreneurs over the years with repeat business and sometimes with business referrals and endorsements, as well.  Yet, it amazes me, how many have not returned the favor in supporting me with a one-time purchase of my product.  It makes me wonder, are they even aware?  Do they appreciate customer support?  While there is no obligation, it would seem that if someone has helped to sustain your business repeatedly, wouldn’t you want to help that customer succeed at his/her endeavor, or community activity for which something like a donation, sponsorship, or ad is requested?

     As we look to ways to solve the economic crisis, business-community partnerships, business excellence and community support of local businesses are key factors.  As people try to figure out ways to sustain themselves from lay-offs, budding entrepreneurs need our support, as well.

     I am happy to support the local businesses of my community provided I feel their pursuit of customer satisfaction and excellence are how they go about their business.

© Dr. Drayton-Craig, 2010