February Reflections

flatirons winter sunrise

Hi Everyone,

After many quiet months (more on that soon), I’m back and happily sharing these musings on Seasonal Wisdom, Conscious Money, and Conscious Capitalism.


Candlemas and Chinese New Year

chinese new yearHappy New Year! Am I a bit late? Not really. The February holidays of Candlemas and Chinese New Year are actually an ideal time to tap into the energies of the year ahead. How come? Back at Winter Solstice, the spiritual seed of your New Year’s vision silently sprouted deep within you. But in the cold darkness of January that seed vision-like a real seed in the ground-had to struggle against the frozen earth to seek light and nourishment. Similarly, we must release limiting patterns from the past in order to break through and evolve into the new person we deeply desire to become in 2016.

The good news is that by February, the long dark days of December and January are over. Temperatures inch up; the sun sets later and later.And Daylight Savings, just weeks away, adds another hour of light. It’s a perfect time to focus on your vision for 2016.

groundhogWhat do you really want to experience this year?

What sort of adventure, achievement, or inner shift would fulfill your deepest longing?

It is still too early in the year to fully understand your vision, but it’s high time to consciously cultivate it. How? Through intuition and reflection. You can start by asking what it might be. Just for fun, why not entertain several possible visions, write about them in private, or maybe share them with trusted loved ones?

Relax. At this point, your vision shouldn’t be exact or complete. You are just sensing it. Yet by now a sort of “first draft” vision may have pushed itself out into your consciousness. Enjoy it. You’ll have plenty of time to refine or even completely revise it later on.

A new vision usually requires a new perspective and some new skills. As we move toward March and Spring Equinox, you may find yourself intuitively drawn to new activities, workshops, and people whose purpose is to prepare you to move forward, armed with the right tools, abilities, and insights.

Soon after my last newsletter in May 2015, my vision for year began to hijack much of my life. But it was not until late summer that I realized 2015 was to be a “year of investing in my future.” My partner and I invested in a new home (in the spring) and I “invested” in a new knee (in late autumn)! In between I fully enjoyed the most spectacular New England summer in years. Unlike many past years, 2015 was not a year of work or even creativity. It was about home, renewal, and the physical body. It turned out beautifully. I’ll have to see what 2016 brings. But I am certain some creativity lies ahead.


Conscious Money and Conscious Capitalism

I bought my first Fast Company 15 years ago and thrilled to the tales of a new tech-savvy generation that would change the business landscape. But much as I loved the magazine, I never thought technology alone could transform free enterprise.

conscious company magFast Forward. Last year I picked up Conscious Company Magazine (CCM) and immediately sensed a rich, abiding resonance. Here, I thought, is the high touch of human consciousness-exactly what we need to balance all the High Tech that fills our business and personal lives.

With great storytelling and gorgeous graphics, Conscious Company expands the work of my Megatrends 2010: The Rise of Conscious Capitalism and of Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia by spotlighting social entrepreneurs, B Corporations, impact investing, sustainable farming, and clean energy.

Do the kind thingIn-depth profiles of firms like Natura, Brazil’s natural cosmetics leader and US-based conscious snack maker Kind provide practical wisdom and inspiration while informing conscious firms-big and small-that vow to integrate values and purpose into operations like business planning and strategy or during crucial phases like rapid growth, wooing investors, or launching an IPO.

Buy your Conscious Company at Whole Foods, Barnes and Noble or Sprouts. Download the mobile app at Apple’s App store, Amazon, or Google Play.






Reflections – April/May 2015


Is April the “cruelest” month? Maybe it’s that early spring brings unsettling change. When the winter cold meets the coming warmth of summer, chaos rules—at least until steady May arrives. Meanwhile, the Earth is waking up and so are we! In nature, plants have sent their roots deep into the earth to anchor the glorious flowers, fruits, and vegetables that flourish through autumn. In April we set down our own symbolic roots for 2015, creating new human structures—such as positive habits, caring people, or fresh initiatives—to support the year’s coming purpose.

maypoleThe energy of April is strong and direct: Aries the Ram says, “I AM” and you’d better get out of the way when he charges ahead. In May, by contrast, Taurus the Bull says, “I have,” refocusing those energies into more practical, material pursuits.

On May 1st, the Celtic feast of Beltane, the gods of winter surrender their power to the Beauty of Divine Feminine. Trees and plants explode with plump, promising buds. Our spiritual work now is to enhance and strengthen the positive new practices, relationships and projects we created in April and to ground our powerful “I AM” instincts into the earthy constancy of May’s “I have” energy.

Spring is a time for renewal. An opportunity to examine your inner life and to ask which core dimension yearns for renewal now. As I reviewed my own deepest desires, I saw that my longing for “Well Being” was clearly the strongest. Last autumn, I’d made a different choice—one for Creativity. It continues to be a deeply fulfilling one, but I now want and need to balance it with greater Well Being.

What about you? What longs to be renewed and reborn in you? Which “tank” within your being yearns to be refilled with the fresh, clean waters of spring?

Conscious Money, Conscious Capitalism, and Organic Farmland

What do Conscious Capitalism, LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability), and TV stock evangelist Jim Cramer have in common? You might surprised to know that the exuberant (okay, loud-mouthed) Cramer is an early advocate of all things organic, recommending hot stocks like Hain Celestial (HAIN) and WhiteWave (WWAV). Cramer’s take, like that of yours truly and Conscious Capitalism, is especially keen on acknowledging companies that are both organic and profitable.

A story  on Cramer’s TheStreet.com website acquainted me with angel investor Ali Partovi, an early Facebook admirer and Dropbox advisor, now a top investor in organics. Partovi’s message is that organics belong in everyone’s kitchen— and that organic food can be a lot less costly for consumers and profitable for business, too. He states it brilliantly in this Ted Talk.

thOrganic food is actually not inherently expensive, he argues. It’s more a matter of supply and demand. Really? Yes. First, organic demand is hugely underestimated, he says. Conventional wisdom holds that only about five percent of us really want organics. In fact (as I’ve always argued), it is 25 percent of Americans, the same percentage as the LOHAS sector—and many more in Europe. But get this: Partovi cites a study in which Wal-Mart discovered that 91 percent of its customers wanted to buy organic! So there’s a huge demand.

But here’s the supply side of Partovi’s equation: only one percent of US farmland is certified organic. In fact, 80 percent of organics are imported from developing countries. That’s one hell of a lot of petro-miles, which only drives the cost of organics even higher. So what’s organic activist Partovi going to do about it?

For one thing, he’s publicizing the simple truth about the astronomical cost of industrial agriculture (Surprise, surprise: fossil fuel, chemicals, and antibiotics don’t come cheap). For another, Partovi puts his money where his organic-loving mouth is by backing Farmland LP, which buys ordinary US farmland and boosts its profitability by converting it to certified organic land.

Great to know that at least one capitalist is supporting this all-important work–and good news to get in the springtime of the year.





February Reflections 2015

th-3By February, many of us have given up on New Year’s resolutions, while others are “fed up to here” with winter. The ancient Celtic feast of Candlemas, aka Groundhog Day, has ushered in the second half of winter. Now it’s time to stop, take a deep breath, and consider launching a sort of “mid-winter reboot.”

Back at the December Solstice in the dark depth of Yuletide, something wonderful happened: the silent, invisible seed of our purpose in 2015 sprouted into Being—a revelation we cannot yet fully grasp, but will soon begin to sense.

“Happy New Year!!!” we cried those first few days of 2015, fully trusting in the promise of renewal. Today, however, we may fear our hopes for a fresh start were a bit optimistic. Or maybe not. Because what we now experience is just a natural part of the year’s cycle: a frustrating phase of relentless, disheartening resistance.

th-1And it’s happening in Nature, too. The first shoots of plant life are struggling against the cold hard earth. They have to—if they’re ever going to break out into the light and warmth of the spring sun. Sound familiar? But what exactly are we resisting? It’s probably the backward pull of our past—the old patterns that need to fall away before a new soul cycle can unfold. Meanwhile, all the parts of us that are NOT on board with this bright new future of ours are shouting, “No Way!”

So what do we “do” about this resistance? We observe and allow it. Then, we identify and choose whatever it is that our hearts most deeply and genuinely desire. Candlemas is the mid-point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. That’s something to celebrate. Record snowfalls notwithstanding, winter really is half over. Soon the man-made miracle of Daylight Saving Time will expand our days and the first signs of spring will appear, boosting our energy and steering us away from the past and toward hope and our intuitive promptings of the year’s true purpose.


Conscious Money and Conscious Capitalism

auto-trader-crimson-circle2015 certainly started off with a “bang” for me. I had a great time talking “Megatrends” early January at an AutoTrader.com gathering. It was fun presenting a Conscious Capitalism case study on Ford to an audience of auto experts. 01-15 Trust Magazine-CoverAt Crimson Circle Energy Company’s annual ProGnost event, I echoed the Megatrends theme in The Quest for Spirituality; The New Economy of Consciousness and Creativity; and Conscious Money. You can download ProGnost 2015 (for a fee), with Geoff and Linda Hoppe, Doug Davies, Jim Self and yours truly.

In late January a very special blessing came from Trust Across America (TAA). After naming me a “Top 100 Thought Leader in Trustworthy Business” for 5 years, they honored me with TAA’s “Lifetime Achievement” award. If you agree fostering more trust is one of the best things we can do, sign up for TAA’s Trust! Magazine.

So thank you Trust Across America and you dear reader for listening to my news! Next time I’ll share more articles, tools, and stories about Conscious Finance.




October Reflections

Fall harvestAt Fall Equinox, when the hours of day and night are in perfect balance, we celebrate Autumn Harvest. The air is crisp; trees blaze in gold and burnt sienna. Orchards, Farmer’s Markets, and backyard gardens overflow with fresh wholesome produce. Spiritually speaking, Harvest marks the pinnacle of the annual cycle. It’s time to collect the “fruits” of our growth—both inner and outer.

What are you harvesting right now in your life and throughout October?

Perhaps you’ve had a banner year of Abundance, great love, or creative accomplishment. Wonderful! But many of us tend to gloss over the year’s inner achievements. And little wonder: unlike bright red apples or vivid orange pumpkins, our internal successes are intangible and can be easily overlooked. So take time to sit back this fall, perhaps with a warm mug of spiced cider, and reflect on the high points of the year’s journey. You’ll probably find that, despite a few disappointments or remaining challenges, you have come a long way indeed. Take stock of the different dimensions of your life and you’ll find plenty to harvest:

Where did you find personal and emotional enrichment? In a new avocation, an old friendship, or a long-awaited family reunion?

th-10What delighted you physically? A five-star beach day, dazzling nature walk, or a peak experience in lovemaking? Depending on your health and conditioning, running a marathon or walking a mile could deliver a similar sense of well being.

What fulfilled you professionally? Did you take a risk and earn a reward? Speak up at an important meeting? Discover new, like-minded colleagues?

And what about your spiritual life? Did you face up to a long-denied aspect of yourself? Start to meditate, journal, or practice yoga? Maybe you observed some negative thoughts or emotions? Instead of judging them, I have learned to reward myself with a positive comment like, “Good catch!”

The Celtic calendar divides the year into eight seasons, instead of four. Harvest is the first half of Autumn. The second begins at Halloween and marks the year’s 8th and final phase. In just a month we’ll start winding down to prepare for rebirth at Winter Solstice. So, now’s the time to gather an abundant, soulful Harvest. Honor your successes, especially the small ones, in the golden sun of October.


Conscious Capitalism and Conscious Money

I’ve always believed that employees, customers, and other stakeholders, along with conscious leaders, can transform business. Now I’ve seen it happen.

Marching for Market BasketThis summer, residents in my home state of Massachusetts were treated to a corporate drama that made TV shows The Apprentice or Shark Tank look tame. The saga is simply told: a decades-long rivalry at the family-owned, 71-store Market Basket grocery chain erupted anew when CEO Arthur T. DeMoulas was fired by a board controlled by his cousin Arthur S. DeMoulas. Too bad, you say. That’s business.

True. But it’s what happened next that gets the BBC and Time to cover the story. It turns out that the fired CEO— “Artie T” to insiders—is so beloved for his caring and fair leadership that employees go on strike and jeopardize their jobs, not for higher wages, but to get their CEO back! Every day hundreds rally holding hand-written signs, “Bring back Artie T!” Many customers honor the strike. Soon the rest join in, like it or not. Why? The stores are nearly empty because Market Basket suppliers support the boycott, too, which makes all the difference.

SupportArtieTThe conflict simmers for weeks. Employees stay strong even as management  fires more people and threatens mass lay-offs. Supposedly, the board might consider selling out to Arthur T, but few dare hope it will work out as nerves began to fray.

Finally, the governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire (worried about the unemployment toll, no doubt) sit down with the conflicting parties. Then, it’s radio silence. Until late one August night, when the word comes down: the board has agreed to a $1.5 billion buy out by “Artie T” and his investors. Game over. Score one for the people. Later Arthur T. thanks a cheering crowd and modestly calls his people back to work. They’ve bet everything on him and on the jobs they love.

Employees, customers, and suppliers are critical stakeholders in any business. At a time when so many of us feel powerless to change “business as usual,” I repeat my decade-long mantra, “We the people have the power to transform capitalism.” Thanks to the new Market Basket for showing employees, customers, investors, CEOs, suppliers, and communities that we the people can indeed change the world.

August Reflections

August 1st marks the midpoint between Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox, the season the ancient Celts celebrated as Lammas. Now, in the second half of summer, the daylight hours grow visibly shorter. At this point in the cycle, the flower folds into itself to create the fruit. Similarly our Being, energized in recent weeks, by new people, places, and ideas, is increasingly conscious of the year’s vision and purpose. This cycle of fruition is highly transformative. At Solstice, we experienced life pure and simple. At Harvest, we’ll industriously collect and share the year’s wisdom and sustenance. In between the action, take tine time to reflect.

SunFlowersDo you feel a clearer sense of the year’s purpose and meaning?

Did the new people, places, and ideas of Solstice change you? How?

Is there a new creative project simmering, incubating, on the back burner?

Lammas ushers in what some call High Summer, a rich and ripe season. Gardens overflow with nourishing vegetables. Late summer flowers-sunflowers or dahlias – seem sturdier and more vivid in color. Although it won’t be Harvest for some time, there’s a subtle shift toward greater purposefulness.

Conscious Money and Conscious Capitalism

The Apple story in the last newsletter struck a cord with some of you. Bill Vogelgesang, Managing Director at Cleveland’s Candlewood Partners, wrote to say:

“I would add to the list of Apple demands that they build products on all the continents in which they sell products and take the effort to think about cradle to grave product design-like universal power cords and supporting products through their useful life.” He continues …

wormyapple“I have moved away from my Apple PDA products even thought I believe them superior to my android phone and tablet. I’ll come back when they show more responsibility for the lifecycle of their products and the economic health of their customers and employees, not just their bottom line and stock price.”

Lisa Hamaker of Kaliday Consulting put it this way: “I watched the [Green America] video and I am so sad … Another thing is that my Mac and iPhone use lots of unnecessary electricity. Maybe newer ones are better. I shared the video.”

Lisa Hamaker’s thoughtful, informative blog posted a nice review my book Conscious Money. You’ll find it here.

Now, for me, it’s back to packing for vacation in France. I’ve enjoyed summer so far. But something is stirring within. May it blossom into autumn creativity!



June/July Reflections

At the June Solstice (the 21st this year) Spring blossoms into Summer, bringing the year’s longest daylight hours to the northern hemisphere. The “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” call you to picnic, play ball, garden, hit the beach, or dive into a nearby lake. Even if vacation is not in the cards for you right now, every summer evening and each weekend offer a perfect mini-holiday.


What’s the inner wisdom of this delightful phase of the annual cycle? In Summer, the flower symbolically opens and blooms and we begin to grow conscious of the year’s true purpose, a spiritual journey that often continues into autumn. Like a flower that must be pollinated to bear fruit, we need to open to the energetic pollination of positive, new people, places, and ideas.


Where do you long to visit?

What sort of people would you like to meet?

Are you willing to entertain exciting new possibilities?

Most important, are you willing to allow these new influences to take you in new directions to enrich your purpose in 2014?

You needn’t do anything about this openness right now. Just celebrate it and Summer Solstice throughout July, experiencing the year in full bloom and inviting yourself to blossom. Your only “homework” is to get outdoors, enjoy friends and family, and have fun.

It doesn’t get much better than that, does it? Happy Summer!

Apple: A Conscious Capitalist Conundrum

Like most Apple investors, I liked watching my shares multiply after Apple’s seven-to-one stock split this June. I love Apple products. But I am unwilling to call the company a Conscious Capitalist, which is a curious statement since I know of no other firm that has so expertly mined the depths of conscious creativity or invented better products to enhance customer creativity.


The problem, of course, is that Apple has historically deemed creating great technology its sole mission. Meanwhile, critics charge Apple products are manufactured (in China) under dreadful conditions and that local workers have fallen ill, and even died as a result.

Under Tim Cook, Apple seems more serious about social, environmental-and moral-responsibility. That’s encouraging. But the question remains: How do conscious investors deal with the issue of owning stocks that are conscious in some areas but not others? One answer is shareholder activism. Put simply, shareholder activists continue to hold stock in imperfect companies and proceed to pester the heck out of them to transform their terrible policies.

Not an investor? Then there’s pure activism. Anyone, customer, critic, or employee, who wants Apple to boost its social and environmental performance, can check out Green America’s “Take Action Against Smart Phone Sweatshops” initiative.

Green America, in conjunction with 80 allied NGOs, has collected twenty thousand signatures to deliver to Apple’s Lisa Jackson, V.P. for Environmental Affairs from individuals seeking to protect Apple workers by removing dangerous chemicals from factories. For more info, go to Green America’s Smart Phone Sweat Shop page.

This Summer Solstice, I again shared my passion for journaling with the new participants of Crimson Circle’s in-depth Keahak program. Later in the day, Alain and I explored our new Massachusetts home base in the fabled sea town of Gloucester, where we plan to en-Joy a marvelous summer.


May Reflections


Tra la! It’s May, the lusty month of May. That lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray … It’s May! It’s May! That gorgeous holiday when every maiden prays that her lad … will be a cad!
— “The Lusty Month of May” Camelot by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewespringtop


The Celtic holiday of Beltane on May first was the feast of the Goddess and a popular pretext for ribald, earthy, fertility rites. The Celts could not have picked a better time. Spring hits her stride in the northern hemisphere and nature explodes in flower, scent, and bird song.

It’s also a good opportunity to look back at how far we’ve come since Winter Solstice, enduring the cold of January and February, while quietly invoking our vision for 2014. Then, in March and April, we listened for clues and invited our vision to reveal itself. Metaphorically, we devoutly tilled the soil of our consciousness, preparing it for the seeds of personal choice.

spring-capeannNow the cycle has shifted: it is time to take a stand.

What would you plant this spring in the garden of your life? What is your heart’s desire? Your soul’s sweet calling? In the coming weeks, take time to choose and speak your vision. Don’t worry if you feel a bit uncertain. You can refine your vision even change it, as the year unfolds. The important piece is to articulate it now. Just as plants and flowers put forth spring buds in full faith that they’ll blossom into beauty, it is time for us to voice our hopes, dreams and visions.

They year is unfolding quickly now (where did April go?) as the earth marches onward toward the year’s dramatic half way point: Summer Solstice. Now we must make a choice.

Conscious Capitalism and Conscious Money

Positive, life-affirming values are the “secret sauce” of Conscious Money and Conscious Capitalism and Trust Across America (TAA), founded by Barbara Kimmel, powerfully advocates greater trust in business. Trustworthy firms nurture an environment where people trust each other-and the benefits are enormous. As I noted in the last newsletter, a Watson Wyatt study showed high-trust organizations outperform their low-trust counterparts by 286 percent!

In April I reconnected with TAA’s newly-minted Boston contingent, including old friends like Raj Sisordia, co-author of Conscious Capitalism and the organization of the same name, and new ones like Eric Lowitt, Managing Director of Nexus Global Advisors, whose new book is The Collaboration Economy. TAA Boston is the place for inspired dialogue and exciting trust initiatives.

Nautilus Silver Book Award

Just one day after our April gathering, TAA’s Barbara Kimmel contacted everyone with big news: TAA’s first book, Trust, Inc: Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset
had just won the Nautilus Silver Award in the business category.

It was my pleasure to write an essay for Trust Inc. So did Stephen M.R. Covey, Bob & Gregg Vanourek, and more than 20 others. Kudos to all our contributors especially Barbara Kimmel.

Thanks to everyone who wrote saying they enjoyed last month’s conscious flowers story. May this Season of Beauty dazzle your senses, gladden your heart, and activate your soul wisdom.



March and April Reflections

Spring Equinox ushers in a season of striking contrast. Here in Boulder, CO, it was 75 degrees one day-and snowed the next. But having endured the dark and cold of December, January, February, and most of March, we can surely make it through another snowstorm (or two), knowing that many gentle, warmer months lie ahead.

boulderspringSo much is still growing quietly beneath the surface, but signs of spring are unmistakable: the longer days, songbirds, a crocus in the snow. We hear the Call-distinct and hearty: Wake up! The promise of Renewal awakens within you a more conscious sense of your year’s true purpose.

At Equinox, day and night are roughly 12 hours long. But now the light force quickens and swells. As the light overtakes the dark, I long to fill every vase with flowers, cheer up a wool sweater with a pastel scarf, and happily polish off another task or two at my desk until sunset.

In terms of soul evolution, this is the season to stretch and grow while anchoring yourself, your vision, and your most cherished values deep into the Earth. The year’s vision will begin to blossom in May and into June. Meanwhile, in March and April, expand your horizons. Experiment. Launch a few initiatives. See what happens. Some might take off; others may wither. It’s okay. At this point, just step forward. You can sow a few seeds now-and others later this spring. Some of these will grow through the summer to be harvested as autumn approaches.

The mood of March-Contrast, Renewal, Planting Seeds for the Future-carries through April. Accept the rain. Savor every warm day. Anticipate the merry month of May. Mother Earth takes her own sweet time waking up and so should we. April Showers bring May Flowers!

Conscious Capitalism at the University of Colorado Boulder!

This February, CU Boulder’s Leeds School of Business hosted its 5rd annual gathering on Conscious Capitalism. What a pleasure to keynote this forum of students, faculty, and enthusiastic community members. My old friend Jim Autry, author of The Book of Hard Choices, offered an electrifying discourse on the power of values in business and the terrible cost of failing to honor simple human decency. Three women leaders, Dawn Bitz, Dana Watts, and Beth Jensen, vividly described the joys and challenges of Boulder’s favorite “industry”-the Great Outdoors. I spoke on Conscious Capitalism, illustrating how it’s practiced with a video on The Container Store then invited people to road test my new self-assessment tool: “Are You A Conscious Capitalist?” More on that soon! Thanks to everyone at the Center for Education on Social Responsibility (CESR) at the Leeds School, especially Nan Stout. Thanks also to Leyla and Mark Steele and to Alain Bolea.patricia-CUboulder


Celebrate Spring with Conscious Flowers

If March wind & April showers inspire vases of flowers-why not make them conscious blossoms-as in local, organic, or Fair Trade? Whole Foods Market sells local flowers and imports stems grown in developing countries that meet the retailer’s in-house Fair Trade standards.

Flower production, says Fair Trade USA, is “one of the most dangerous types of agricultural work” because mostly women workers are exposed to harmful chemicals. Since 2007, however, conscious shoppers have bought more than 50 million Fair Trade flowers, says the US certifier.

BloomNation, an FTD-type alternative, promotes top local florists and their specialty bouquets. You know what you’re getting and get more for your money.

Easter and Mother’s Day are coming! Think Conscious Flowers. Check out the full story.

How Transparency Grows People and Profit

If you’re reading this, you’re no stranger to Conscious Capitalism or the values that drive it. Transparency is a top value at Whole Foods Market, where a team member can look up any coworker’s salary and bonuses. Co-CEO John Mackey, who launched the policy in 1986, says, “If you’re trying to create a high-trust organization where … people are all-for-one and one-for-all, you can’t have secrets.” Excellent point. Furthermore, as a landmark Watson Wyatt study demonstrated, high-trust organizations outperform their low-trust counterparts by 286 percent!

When people ask Mackey, why is so-and-so is paid X, while I am only paid Y, he candidly replies, “If you accomplish what this person has accomplished, I’ll pay you that, too.” Here’s the story, based on The Decoded Company: Know Your Talent Better Than You Know Your Customers. The Watson Wyatt study is from The Speed of Trust (Free Press, 2006) Stephen M. R. Covey, p. 21.

Spring is my favorite season, as I am sure you can tell. I hope this wonderful season brings you spiritual renewal and earthly delights!



February Reflections

February brings mid-winter in the northern climes, a time when many wonder if Spring will ever come! If the later sunsets don’t cheer you, there’s St. Valentine’s Day and in the US, a long President’s Day weekend. So,why do we still have a vague seasonal malaise? Perhaps because the feast of Candlemas, the original Ground Hog’s Day, marks an awkward phase in the year’s evolution and our own. Last month we invoked a vision for 2014. But as one New Age program put it: Once you definitively choose something new, up comes the same old argument: it can’t be done.

winter-trailTruth be told, resistance is a natural phase of growth. At this point in the annual cycle, we sense the first tender shoots of the year’s potential. That alone can make us profoundly uneasy. “What! I’m supposed to grow-AGAIN? Enough already.” Besides, since we do not yet know exactly what lies ahead, the Unknown tends to trigger fear, alongside resistance.

So in February and the first weeks of March, be tender with yourself, open to receive the soul’s quiet promptings, and grow inspiration by asking a few questions: “If I had a vision for 2104, what might it be?” To start a business? Marry my sweetheart? Stand my ground, gently but firmly, with a parent, spouse, or colleague? Answer a life-long calling to be an artist, writer, or healer? We can also ask: Which resources do I need to proceed? What new skills am I guided to develop now? Who’ll be my allies on the year’s journey? The challenge we now face is to accept our natural resistance, let go of old patterns, begin to envision the future, and move forward.

From now until Spring Equinox, there will be many, spacious weeks to engage the Unknown and nurture our vision. Notice the expanding daylight, as it slowly coaxes the snow-covered Earth-and rouses its Beings-to prepare for the Spring Renewal coming in March!

Trust Across America

Thank you Trust Across America for naming me a “Top 100 Thought Leader in Trustworthy Business” four years running. What an honor to appear with personal heroes like Bill George, the retired Medtronic CEO, now a Harvard Business School professor, futurist Hazel Henderson of Ethical Markets Media, Frances Hesselbein, retired CEO of the Girl Scouts, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.

Here’s the full list.


Purpose, Values, and the Stakeholder Model are the essence of Conscious Capitalism. But there’s at least one more crucial element: a positive, life-affirming corporate culture-grounded in the values a company stands for. Today there’s growing agreement that great business cultures are the secret sauce of success. People who work in a conscious culture feel more free “to speak frankly,” says Adam Bryant, a New York Times business columnist. Such a culture is built upon the value of trust. In times of change and uncertainty, says Bryant, people “need that extra level of trust.” It is essential that they believe what their leaders “are doing, saying and planning.”

John Duffy, CEO of 3Cinteractive, a mobile platform firm, recently put this question on an employee survey: “Do you trust John Duffy?” Bryant explains that Duffy was asking if people trust him, not so much as a CEO (although that is certainly important), but as a human being. Clearly, a lot more CEOs should be asking themselves-and their people-the same question.
Check out the full story: “How the right corporate culture can guarantee success


Will I meet you Friday February 28th when I speak at the University of Colorado, Boulder’s annual gathering on “Conscious Capitalism”? There’s no charge to attend the morning event, but you must register in advance. My old friend Jim Autry starts the day off with his seminal work on human values. Later there’s a panel of leaders representing Boulder’s thriving outdoor industry. I speak at 12 noon. See you there!

January Reflections

Happy New Year!

Although the world “rang in the new” early January first, the year’s true, natural shift occurred in December at Winter Solstice. On the shortest day of the year, the Light is reborn-and so are we! In the Sacred Darkness of Solstice, a symbolic seed germinates deep within us. It represents our vision, initially veiled to us, for the coming year. We may have a felt sense about 2014, or hold clear intentions for the year ahead. But our future will unfold organically, just as it does in Nature. Like a farmer, we can identify which crops to plant, but we cannot command the rainfall, humidity, or other factors that will influence the harvest.manchester-winter


A well-known spiritual motto states: We can’t control what happens to us, only how we respond to it (which is often hard enough!). That said, we can and should voice our desires for the New Year, envisioning exactly what we want. Just remember that the visionary results we’ll harvest next autumn will also be shaped by the wisdom with which we meet the unexpected challenges we often encounter. Such is the interactive play of Co-creation.


Thank you Cleveland! When a city’s business, sustainability, and spiritual communities unite to explore Conscious Capitalism and Conscious Money, is it any wonder magic flows? As every speaker knows, after you obsess over your slides and notes, success depends entirely on the audience. Cleveland’s conscious community created one of the most fulfilling, enjoyable events of my professional life. Thanks again Bill Vogelgesang, Dave Nash and Sister Rita Petruziello.


My next adventure in Conscious Capitalism is Friday February 28, 2014 in Boulder, CO. Please join me at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business, where I’ll keynote the annual gathering on Conscious Capitalism. There is no charge to attend, but you must register online.  See you there!


Every January Fortune magazine comes out with its new list of “The 100 Best Companies To Work For,” a priceless resource for Conscious Capitalists, Conscious investors, Conscious Money fans, and job seekers! Find it at your newsstand or online (fortune.com, yahoo finance, etc.). In December 2013, Glassdoor put out its own list of 50 great places to work (as well as a second list of 50 additional great medium sized workplaces). While Fortune focuses on more established firms and Glassdoor tends to spotlight social media and tech upstarts, both are celebrated for their objectivity because each is based on employee rankings. It’s fun to compare the two. Personally, I’d seriously consider investing in ANY (publicly traded) Fortune “100 Best Company” that’s also recommended by investment advisors. Not so most of the Glassdoor firms, which are a bit too volatile for a 50+ investor. But if I were in my 20s or 30s, I’d want a job at a Glassdoor firm-and the stock options I might receive there could cultivate a nice nest egg of Conscious Wealth.