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November 16, 2006 [ More archived home pages here ]

Flowing With The Winds Of Change

Today's song is Blowin' In The Wind by Bob Dylan, released in 1962.

At my Twin Oaks Toastmasters club yesterday, I served as Toastmaster. One of my jobs in that role is to set the meeting theme.

My theme for this week was, Winds Of Change. I drew upon some of my content on this site for background information and disseminated it to members last Thursday while preparing my meeting details and agenda. Below is that email message I sent, it seemed to touch a responsive chord.

Hello everyone,

My theme for next week's meeting is, "Winds Of Change". I'm writing this message today so that I don't spend time during the meeting covering this material. Our meeting time is precious to us and I want the time used most effectively for all of you as participants.

I picked this theme to prepare us for the many changes ahead in the remaining months of this Toastmaster year, July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007.

Not only are we about to enter a new phase of leadership, we must adapt to changing and in some ways challenging methods of keeping our club strong. Due to the varying nature of member lives and their schedules, we are always looking for new members.

New members bring changes in many ways. This club has changed many times since I joined almost four years ago. The winds of change in membership as people join and leave us is a constant, yet we persevere and continually grow, thankful that we could share some time together.

The Toastmaster International organization imposes some changes on us. In recent years they updated the manuals we use to base our speeches upon. Now we are faced with a new Competent Leader process change that will take more energy to manage and a bit more cooperation amongst officers, mentors and ultimately the members to help members achieve that important goal. It's important to be a leader in this club.

Earning the Competent Leader award, helps you increase your leadership skills. It helps the club maintain the Presidents Distinguished Club (PDC) award. We need two Competent Leader completions every year to keep achieving that award.

By keeping that PDC award as our goal, we encourage every member to improve, we use it attract new members, we use it as a way to say we know how to be the best.

Toastmasters is only a small part of your life. You are more than Toastmasters. My theme is also for each of you to think about how you impact others in your life. How did you arrive here? Who impacted you to allow you to be the person you are today?

I write about such considerations on my web site. Below are two of my favorite entries with respect to "Winds Of Change":

Prevalent Winds Of Life

The winds of life flow from all directions. A stiff wind can arrive too swiftly and knock you off balance, especially if it happens in the winter season on the southeast side in the Windy City of Chicago. Alternatively, a warm gentle winter breeze from the Pacific Ocean here in San Diego can lift your spirits aloft as if you are extension of a kite, drifting amongst the clouds.

Some clouds offer seclusion and some only obscure the view. Be considerate of which type you seek as you journey along with the winds of change.

Change is a good thing. Staying too long in comfort zones is certain to bring about an abrupt end at some point in time. That end may not be at a time of your choosing because we all know the direction of winds change unexpectedly. Sometimes the winds are with us and sometimes they oppose.

When the winds are with us, we sail along and steer our course more assuredly.

When we are against the wind, we spend more energy, we may sail off-course, we meet the resistance with a conviction in our heart to persevere.

I have known and felt the prevalent winds in my life. Their effects and sensations never leave me. They brought me to where I am today.

Sentimental Gentle Wind

When a person is searching for an answer and that search continues on for most of their life, they might start to believe that answer might never arrive. Life holds many surprises and sometimes the answer is just around the corner.

One day, you look up, and in a particular moment, where a fraction of a second before was empty space, now a face appears at that corner of life and destiny. That face not only fills the space you focused at unexpectedly, but now captivates you from that moment on with anticipation. Perhaps the face leads you to the answer you have been seeking.

Be patient in your expectations. Build trust and respect and endeavor to do only good in the experience that follows. Realize the reaching out is a sensitive action, rare in this most intuitive state of mind, heart, and soul. Do so in that regard and the situation may lead you to thoughts and feelings you never sensed under any other conditions. You may even find those answers you sought.

Keep in mind, mere words do not always convey answers. There may be exchanges of information with another that words could never express accurately. They flow along on a sentimental gentle wind between gazes.

That is what I had in mind...

See you on Wednesday. :-)

During the meeting, almost everyone talked about the theme in some respect and how they adapt to the changes that life offers quite frequently. I felt good that so many in the audience responded to the theme so openly. I was deeply touched that portions of that advance material were directly quoted during the impromptu speaking section of the meeting. Thanks, Lela!

The Winds Of Change are blowing steadily right now in my life. The holiday season is almost here. Look for some important changes by me concerning this site over the next few weeks. The winds from all points of the compass seem to be converging within.


My friend Karen, sent me a link that I think will be appreciated by many of you who are interested in saving money with coupons. Thanks, Karen!


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