Archive for Spiritual

Recently, someone asked me to review a couple of their grants that were almost, but not quite, funded. I took a look and sure enough they were well-written but there were a few tweaks that could really help them stand above the crowd. The first one being….space. Read More→

Last Thanksgiving a drunk driver slammed into my mailbox, knocked it off its post, and left it pummeled and dented on the ground. My neighbor’s box was knocked off its post too. Of course, I was ticked off and took a moment to vent….and then I ordered a new mailbox.

The thought of installing it was a bit daunting because I’m not that handy. But, the instructions said it was easy so I figured I’d give it a shot. I waited for a mild winter’s day and set out there with my new mailbox and a few tools.

As I was working my neighbor came out and asked if I could help her with her mailbox. She soon realized that I was as clueless as her. But she ran back in her house and bought out her heavy duty drill. Pretty soon we were having loads of fun figuring out just how the heck mailboxes were affixed to posts and getting to know each other.

My neighbor runs a bed and breakfast and is an aesthete. While I was tackling the screws she said, “You know, I’ve got some hangers in my basement, we could hang them off the posts for packages” and off she ran back into her house to get them. Then we realized that they would make great plant hangers and so we hung a couple off the nearby utility pole.

An hour after we started, we had two resurrected mailboxes, a new friendship, and a place for some pretty flowers come springtime.

Beauty Realized

As I walked back into the house, I was buoyed up and thought about what this had to teach me about grant writing (as I am wont to do J). Read More→

Photo: Gift of Jack Leishman

“Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower,

But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee.

For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life, And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love,

And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.”

Kahlil Gibran

One of the questions that I asked the top grant writers I interviewed for my book was “Where is the art of grant writing? What makes you masterful?” They gave me a wide array of responses and I’ll share a couple here. Read More→

Photo: Gift of Jack Leishman

Keep going, keep going come what may. But what is your final goal, you may ask. That goal will become clearer, will emerge slowly but surely, much as the draft turns into the sketch and the sketch into the painting through the serious work done on it, through the elaboration of the original vague idea and through the consolidation of the first fleeting and passing thought.
~Vincent van Gogh

New Worlds a Sproutin’

This morning at the gym a woman was wearing a T-shirt that said “Marriage is so gay.” I smiled and thought about how things change.

A couple of my friends are flamboyantly gay men in their 60’s who grew up in the most conservative parts of rural America. I know that their youth was far from easy. And their adulthood hasn’t been a breeze either.

And yet it now seems that the tide has turned and the majority of Americans support gay rights and many simply see nothing to support continued bigotry. Thirty years ago this situation seemed like a pipe dream and that supporting it was a futile and dangerous effort to swim against the tide.

Seeing the t-shirt this morning reminded me that sometimes the things that seem so far away often aren’t. I was stunned by the swift demise of two fixtures of my childhood – the Soviet Union and war in Northern Ireland. Sometimes those things that seem intractable or etched in concrete can alter in the blink of an eye.

I’ve been championing the concept of gifting and creating a gift culture and even the most liberal of my friends have no idea what I’m talking about until I explain it. Sometimes it’s disheartening. But it’s what lives in my heart and wants expression through me and maybe one day in my lifetime it will be old news.

A large part of successful grant writing is allowing ourselves to reclaim our dreams and take action around them.

Read More→

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Who is Calling You?

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Photo: Gift from Jack Leishman, Ashland, OR

We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.
~Albert Einstein

Winter is still upon us here in the Northeast. It’s dark and cold and the urge is to snuggle near a fire, sip hot chocolate with friends as we speak of what we love and sleep.

But for most of us, we jump or crawl out of bed in the morning and head out into the world to be in action. Today, I’m going to share why resting in the darkness is so useful in successful grant development. Read More→