The Office

Office View

The upshot of arranging my life so that my work is portable is that I can spontaneously move the whole shebang outside for the day. This is the view as I work on some pretty wonderful contracted tasks this afternoon.


Happy Quote

New York Closeup

Detail from Map (1961) by Jasper Johns -- MOMA, New York City -- Photo by Gina Lynette


Their love is worth the same as your love. Their partnership is worth the same as your partnership. And they are equal in your eyes to you. That’s the driving issue.

— Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Marriage Equity


Happy Quote

Sundercloud -- Gina Lynette


If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.

– Morris West

Values: Passion meets Purpose

values dance intuition validation gratitude creative worth love respect success flourish happiness connection flow sing positive possible pointing forward play help love beauty balanced supportive authenticity respect fun generosity integrity open Collaborative growth self-determination rest purpose bliss rest warmth nature celebration love joy delight holistic balanced supportive learning inclusive diverse fun sing breathe I mentioned Jennifer Lee’s The Right-Brain Business Plan in a Happy Quote last week and promised you’d hear more about this book and Jennifer’s smart insights.

Well, here we go…

Just to get your toe wet, we’re starting with a simple concept.

What’s that, Gina?


Okay. Maybe not so simple. But it is a fundamental element of any business, project, faith, school, book, blog… well, it’s a foundational element of life.

As Jennifer points out, “When you’re aligned with your values, you’ll feel fulfilled and energized, and that is what people will resonate with the most.”

So, if you aren’t sure what you  — or what the folks you interact with — value, you’re leaving some pretty important stuff up to the prevailing winds. So, in interest of full disclosure, I’ve typed my value words into a cool little Wordle (thanks, Jonathan!) for all to see. And, while I have to admit that it’s a pretty graphic, it’s more than just words to me. These concepts bring up strong emotions when I read and think about them. That’s how I know they are my values — they are important to me and when I am not living according to my values — in my passion and purpose — I’m not happy.

But when I am in the flow — WHEW — get outta my way because nothing is gonna stop me from realizing my goals.

Except for one tiny truth: my proverbial cross to bear, the mixed blessing, my Achilles heal is that I am hardwired — trained from infancy — to put others first. So, nothing I ever do is completely about me and my goals. After years of therapy, we’ve pretty much decided that it isn’t going to be. Evidently, I’ve inherited a PhD in Empathy from my Grandmommy Wandi and, like the procrastination thing, I’ve decided to stop fighting it.

So, in short, the good news for everyone around me is that I am passionate about integrity, authenticity, inclusiveness, accessibility, self-determination, joy, and connection. My purpose is to nurture and guide folks safely and smoothly through change — transitions and transformations. I help people define and pursue their unique and authentic purposes.

Ahhhh. Feels so good to know who you are… feels even better to actually be who you are.

Which leads me to this: Where does your passion meet your purpose? What makes you sing? What makes you banana crackers when it doesn’t happen?

What do you value?

Happy Quote

I'm a Right Brain Entrepreneur: My Creative Work Matters You have full permission to dream big, create passionately, and craft a plan that makes your heart sing and helps your head know where your business is growing.

— Jennifer Lee

The Right Brain Business Plan


At some point soon, this book will show up in Gina’s Reading. In the meantime, I wanted you to have this quote to chew on. It’s delicious, no?

Happy Quote

Doodle 9 -- Pen on Cold-Press Watercolor Paper -- Gina Lynette

Doodle 9 -- Pen on Cold-Press Watercolor Paper -- Gina Lynette


If life’s too busy to doodle, life’s too busy. Doodle!

— Gina Lynette

(And who says I can’t quote myself? That’s what I thought.)

Happy Quote


Edna Didn't Get The Memo -- Colored Pencil on Coloring Book -- Gina Lynette

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

— George Bernard Shaw

Happy and Included

Friendship -- One piece of Happy and Included

G & S Walking and Talking on a Sunny, Spring Day

For as long as I’ve been a part of the disability community there has been an ongoing debate. Well, there have been many ongoing debates, but one in particular speaks to the fundamental nature of how folks with disabilities — especially intellectual disabilities — live in our society. What’s the debate?

Choice versus Safety

See, there’s this belief that they are mutually exclusive realities. Somewhere along the way we decided that either an individual can lead a self-determined life — a life of their choosing — or they can have a safe life where they are protected from bad choices — their own and, presumably, others’.

And then we started seeing the reality of this “safe” life option. The exposure of the horrors at Willowbrook and similar institutions began the slow shift toward the empowerment of individuals with disabilities to make choices in their lives. Some might argue that the pendulum swung too far and opened up all sorts of dangerous realities. Others will argue that no one is truly safe in this world — that getting into a car is inherently dangerous and most of us make that choice every day.

So, we debate it endlessly. How much choice does an individual with a disability get to have? When do others have the responsibility to step in and protect them? Who is liable if they make a choice that risks their health or costs them money or ostracizes them from their community? Do they get to vote in our elections? And around we go.

I’ve spent about 25 years listening to these conversations as I have worked with folks with a variety of labels — some of them disabilities — in a variety of settings. And as luck would have it, I’m raising several kids and have innumerable family members, colleagues and friends with labels of their own.

It’s my intention to share more of this background as this blog develops, but the end result of all of this experience is the solid belief in two essential elements for a well-lived life. The first thing that people really want and truly need is to be happy. As Michael Smull often says, “While alive and unhappy is unacceptable, dead and happy are incompatible.” We have to pay attention to both — choice and safety. The second essential element is to be included — to be seen as and to feel like a person of value, as someone who contributes to and is a welcome part of their community.

Now, defining those terms — happy and included — is about as individualized and as universal as it gets. Getting to those definitions and then making them reality is where the real work comes.

Ah, but it’s wonderful when we get it right and it’s pretty great when we get it close to right… and it sure beats arguing over semantics.

Happy Quote

The belief that unhappiness is selfless and happiness is selfish is misguided.

–Gretchen Rubin

Happy Quote

ecovering your emotional health will suffuse even small successes with joy, long before you achieve anything obviously spectacular.

—Martha Beck
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