Monday, March 29, 2010


Our fast pace world has conditioned us to receive gratification immediately, like when we place an order for food and it is placed in a bag on a counter for us to take home moments after the order has been placed. We have call waiting so that if someone is already engaged in a conversation with someone else, that person can stop his/her conversation and tend to us when our signal interrupts the call in progress.

In the course of a day, there are dials and buttons we can push in our homes, places of work, and in our automobiles that instantly produce what we need, or that can save us time. Yet, there are things for which we must wait, like the times we need an answer to a problem with which we are faced, and when we must wait for ideas as we are in the process of creating something.

It can be frustrating at these times and one might become worried when the idea doesn’t come right away, or the solution is not apparent. Sticking with something and confronting a problem has its place, however, it can be good to just wait.

I heard a speaker at a conference a few days ago talk about how daydreaming has been an ingredient in his success. This apparent waste of time in which a person is physically still, in quiet, watching thoughts go by can be valuable. In a busy day programmed to noise, action, and results so many of us have lost touch with this time of personal inner nurturance. A good night’s sleep may also produce a needed answer or idea, as well as, prayer, meditation, and a long walk in fresh air.

Not everything can be or should be solved in the moment. A wait can produce a gem.

Dr. Ethel Drayton-Craig

Monday, March 22, 2010


It is gratifying to see how people respond when they are being lifted up with praise and recognition. No only does their countenance change, but they way they carry their bodies also changes.

I remember my son’s graduation when every student was called up to the stage. The student stood before the audience and together we heard the headmaster read at least 1 page of things that set that student apart from others. The student was recognized for his/her strengths, talents, unique traits, and qualities that were admired by others in the various relationships that student had at the school.

It was noticeable how each student stood more and more erect as these positive things were being said about them. Their faces were full of joy. It was extraordinary to witness.

Whenever I can, I like to raise people up for their fine qualities, complimenting them publically for the things about them that make them valuable in a working relationship, and the things about them that brighten my day.

So often we give of ourselves and the value that we are to others is not recognized. For those who have low self-esteem, going unnoticed and being taken for granted reinforces poor appreciation of one’s self. Not only can praise lift the spirits of another, but it is likely to result in that person giving more of him/herself, and with greater excellence in whatever capacities he/she can.

It is a good feeling to verbally appreciate another person. This week, try to say something nice to someone and notice if there is any difference in the person and/or you.

Monday, March 15, 2010


It seems that with the forward of the hour to mark the change in season, there was a flurry of fast forwards for me during the preceding week requiring so much to do and to handle. There were work assignments due; company coming over; personal projects due; learning of the passing of a friend; learning of two tragedies involving young people; a field trip; and a plumbing issue in my kitchen. I was dealing with things against a backdrop of turbulent rain and high winds teasing the continuity of electricity to my house over the weekend. Within 4 days there were so many things due, while I was hit with so much sad news, and trying to navigate the major inconvenience of non-usage of my sink while I await the repair person.

I was not frantic. I kept focused and did what I had to do, while finding breaks in time to relax, be still, contemplate, and sort out what to do next. I literally removed myself to a special space in the house to nurture myself in this way, often, each day.

I can’t say that I was full of joy during these days, but I used the time to contemplate; to trust that all is working out for my good and for those involved; and I just created a way to do light cooking and dishes with minor adjustments while plumbing was not functional in the kitchen.

My contemplation was soothed by beginning the huge task of clearing my basement and getting rid of so many things that are taking up space. Ripping up pieces of paper and tossing them in the garbage bag was therapeutic. The sad events, commitments, flickering lights from the storm, and delays in a repair person coming could easily have created havoc for me, but I used the time to be deliberate in my stillness, moving about in a slow manner, beginning a process of clearing out, and day dreaming as the rain hit the window, and most of all, to meditate and pray.

I was able to complete a major document for one of my organizations; guide someone in need of solace; and complete the field trip with notes needed for tomorrow and I managed to get out of the house for a couple of hours each day of the weekend for me-time.

I see the shift that staying on purpose and knowing that in the chaos, stillness and quiet helps to bring me calm, focus, strength, and effectiveness. Instead of being upset, hyper, irritable, and worried, I was able to be relatively peaceful. It is an ongoing practice.

Dr. Ethel Drayton-Craig

Monday, March 8, 2010


Nothing clears my mind like a nice long leisurely walk. It is one of my favorite things to do. During one of these walks it came to me that when I returned home, I should sit down with a pad of paper and create a list of my gratitudes while I had my afternoon tea. Earlier that morning my meditation was from the Bible verse, “Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.” (Matt 25:20)

One of the tools I use with clients is such an exercise in gratitude because it is a powerful way to arrive at contentment and open the way for more positive fruits. During the walk, I had the revelation that we can lift our spirits by taking stock and listing on paper, with gratitude, what has been accomplished with projects on which we are working. One can also see where one has grown talents in reviewing this list.

I came home and started a list of full sentences to itemize each gratitude, beginning with decisions I made regarding my business to the completion of key projects. It started with four items and then the thoughts kept coming. In one sitting I filled up seven single-sided pages with 68 things for which I am grateful, focusing directly or indirectly on my business over the past seven months. Amazing.

It is one thing to daily or frequently give thanks for something. However, this exercise is powerful because when people feel that nothing is taking place and their desired results are not visible yet, they can see the distance they have travelled since they began the project(s), by this list.

For those of you who are in transition – who are seeking a new endeavor, this can add a moment of uplift and add to your enthusiasm in the face of doubt or resignation about a desired outcome. This is especially useful for someone seeking employment that has been unobtainable. The situation can make you feel downtrodden, hopeless, and anxious. Assessing with gratitude, the minor accomplishments you have made within the job hunting process and the talents that you have grown can be encouraging.

A suggestion I have for you is to take your talents and give of yourself, for free, if necessary. While you are seeking employment, volunteer some hours or days for an organization that can use your skills. I have given much of my time and talents to organizations, as well as in support of various projects led by others. It has been personally fulfilling to do this and it has opened a world of resources to me over the years. What better way to demonstrate your abilities and talents than by sharing them freely with others while you are waiting for your prayers and desires to be fulfilled?

Sharing one’s talents can be so rewarding because therein may lie your blessing for something to be added to your Life.

Dr. Ethel Drayton-Craig