Wild Fires

Years ago,  Smokey Bear was most famous for his admonishment:

“Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires”

He would point directly at the camera, and we knew Smokey meant business.

Today, when I hear of wildfires burning out of control, Smokey’s words are the first thing that comes to mind.


The second thing that comes to mind is relationships. How we behave to others around us.

When I hear of relationships spiraling out of control, I think of Smokey saying,

Only You Can Prevent Your Relationships from going up in flames.

Now you may point a finger and ask about the other person.  You may wonder why they can’t share some of the blame.

And if I were Smokey, the honorary forest ranger, I’d say because you are the common denominator in any of your relationships. What you bring to those relationships, i.e., your internal condition will affect them all.

For example, if I have trust issues, then no one will be trustworthy.  Not my spouse, my friends, my employer, my co-workers; not even my children. Whatever is navigating my life course, whether it be the 7 Deadly (wrath, greed, lust, gluttony, envy, pride, sloth) or LOVE,  it will be how I’ll steer my relationship with others.   It will be the lens through which I see everything.

It doesn’t matter if I’m ‘sexing’ in a marriage or in an affair; guiding in my parental duties; working; supervising; befriending; I am the captain of the SHIP, so to speak, and how I lead is where each of my relationships will go during the journey.

If I’m divorced, happily married, separated, partnered, have happy children who adore me, have children that despise me, fired, laid off, living from paycheck-to-paycheck, gainfully employed, at the helm of a thriving  business; a failing enterprise,  happy clients, dissatisfied customers, a boss that sings my praises; a boss who wishes I’d call in dead, coworkers that want me on their team; coworkers who hide when I come in the front door, friendless, or experiencing thriving friendships, have parents who adore me, parents that hate me, loving relatives, or relatives that are ghost, will be all because of me.

I was reminded of this oneness on Sunday, June 10, 2012, as we were flying into Denver Airport.

Photo Credit: Aerial View/Larimer County Wildfires (c) 2012

In this photo, you can see an aerial view (at 10,000 feet) of the wildfires that are burning out of control in Larimer County, Colorado.

When our “Ship” hit moderate-to then severe turbulence,  it would be an understatement, to say it rocked our “boat.”

We made a choice to fly that day, but the atmospheric conditions made flying difficult at best.

The wildfires were burning out of control about 10,000 feet below us and northwest of our destination. The air above the fires, whirling  Eddies, appeared to cause the turbulence.  I wondered if our ship would go down if the captain piloting didn’t maintain the plane’s distance and altitude? That’s allegedly what happened to the fatal Utah Air Tankers fighting forest fires, the prior week.

Photo Credit: Aerial View/Larimer County Wildfires (c) 2012

“We didn’t start the fire,” as Billy Joel sang, it was burning long before we got there.  But for a few moments, we got caught up in its rage, and it became apparent to me.

“Internal conditions could affect everything outside and around it.”

If I had a fire raging inside of me, I thought, could I bring
down all around me?

What if I had an abundance of LOVE coursing through my very being would I be able to lift everyone around me to new heights?

I accept I set the course and navigate my relationships to their destination.

You too are the captain of your relationSHIPs.

So, look around you.  Look at your life.

Our lives are made up of moments.

Those moments make up the experiences.

The experiences make our relationships.

What do you see?

If you don’t like where you are heading remember you can
always change course.

Only You Can  Make the Change

* * *

#TBT -Throwback Thursday.  I found this old post while updating my site. When I noticed the date of August 22, 2017 – I just had to post. Thank you for reading.

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Paid Reviews Are Dishonest and Other Assumptions.

Not only do I have to take time to read the book– but I also must put pen to paper and write about it.

That’s a paid critic’s job.  Not leisure reading and reviewing.

Therefore, I seek payment.

But not always.

9 times out of 10, I don’t know the author, and the author has no clue what types of books interest me.  Then there’s that 10th author who gets it, but the journey unfolds as follows before she arrives.

“Without a relationship, there’s no expectation of performance.”

1) The first author wrote that she saw my review on Amazon for a similar book and offered to send me a digital copy of her book. I read it, but I’ve yet to write a review. It was a perfect book for how to move from the “friend zone” and into intimacy. There was a problem. The name on the book didn’t match the name of the woman requesting the review.  She never said she used a pseudonym.  It felt a bit tricky even though she assured me she was the author.  Still, I felt no urgency to move on to her request.  Without a relationship, there’s no expectation of performance.

“If you don’t walk your talk, why should I read your words.”

2) By the time I received the second review request – I realized how much time is involved in reviewing books; I probably wouldn’t have read independently. I responded I’d be happy to review his book for $125, my hourly consulting rate. It would take more than an hour to read and review his book, but I liked the subject matter. He wrote back and told me that he thought it would be dishonest to pay for a review, and Amazon frowns on that behavior. I cracked up…because his book’s thesis was about sticking it to authority.

Engagement and relationships are key to selling (Anything)

3) An author wrote and asked for a review…and I responded, “I don’t write for free” …  She wrote back, “Good answer! I love and respect that– and wish you all the very best :).”  The other day, about four months after she first contacted me, I thought about her books, and I bought one.


And that’s how marketing works.  The author contacted me and got my attention by engaging me.  She moved from unknown to known.  I felt moved to help her in her quest to get the word out about her book. I even sent a tweet on her behalf and eventually bought a book.

Shopping and buying are more of social activities.


So, take a page out of the Social Selling manual –and remember

“All Business is Personal”