Reflections: On Openness and Authenticity

Daily Quote:  “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” ― Brené Brown

Reflection: The core dimension of openness is authenticity. Without it, communication can quickly become defensive and the potential for connection through openness is lost. For this reason we monitor our true feelings about a person or situation and hold back from providing candid and explicit feedback. This can lead us into a foolish game of creating private and public personas.  In part we’re not clear about how we want to “show up” when confronted with a “connection moment” and in part we’re afraid of the impact we imagine our honesty might have. To become more authentically direct, assertive and truthful we need to first clarify our intention and transform it into an honest commitment to share our thoughts and feelings even though it can be risky. We need to align our inner and public selves”—the parts of ourselves we share with the world—and our “private selves” where our truths, ideals and fears reside. To do that, it’s important to understand why “going public” with our private thoughts, wants, and ideas feels so risky.

Challenge: Take some time at the end of today to assess your ability and fears of being more authentic with others.

Poem–Reflections On Loneman Creek and Common Ground


Reflections on Solitude and Common Ground by MW Hardwick 

This is the place for rest and relaxation

The hills and natural grass fulfilled my need for solitude

Alone with nature

You come to it over the low water crossing

Of  “Loneman Creek”  its freshness dripping along toward

A small but beautiful flowing dam—called shorty”

This house  designed by us in the Hill country of Texas

To be a refuge from the constant turmoil of life

An eye for light and sunshine accentuated  by 12 foot ceilings and

over 66 windows (some from the Yale Law library) in 1200 sq ft

Bringing the inner space and outdoor together in one continuous flow

This was our wound licking place,

a place safe for nesting now,

away from the pains of external life.

It is the opening of my eyes and my heart

It is the vision of restoration and loss of innocence

seen now as the reality of suffering and pain, and truth they hold.

It is the heart after years

of bruising and trying to fix the unfixable

speaking out loud in the clear air of  Loneman Creek.

One question remains why now and why us?

If I could look back with clear eyes–

what does it all mean and where do I stand?

I promise myself to the rolling hills and ash juniper

and to the shaky foundation of the “sun downer” from which

beautiful sunsets are viewed at the day’s end

and the warm southwest breeze to heal my sorrow and lift our  future–of a hopeful tomorrow…

an invitation for who knows what …

This is the bright home in which we escaped to live,

this is where I ask my soul to speak to me, our friends to come,

this is where we want to leave things barely touch by us,

to love all the things nature——it has taken me so long to learn to love…

Who knows what…what…life has in store for you and me.

The visible nature and invisible peace working together in this place called–

COMMON GROUND. Common Ground. common ground…

Don’t over think it…just enjoy, embrace life’s precious moments…



Daily Quote and Reflection– What we face today looks like yesterday’s problems.

    Daily Quote and Reflection:
    “If we accept the common usage of words, nothing can be more readily disproved than the old saw, ‘You can’t keep a good man down.’ Most human societies of which we have any historical record have been beautifully organized to keep good men and women down.” John Gardner from book entitled


    “What we have before us are some breathtaking opportunities disguised as insoluble problems.” John Gardner 1965 Speech.
    Reflection: It is amazing how both of these ideas still hold true for us today. Women are still be discriminated against by doing the same jobs as men in many industries and receiving less pay. This irreprehensible.  What does Excellence mean to you? Let’s ponder together. Send me your ideas and I will post them.

Poem and Reflections —So Long

SO long… by Mark W. Hardwick

So long as we care… others connect

So long as we serve… others commit

So long as we listen… others feel accepted

So long as we keep our humor… others will laugh

So long as we do the right thing…our values are intact

So long as we keep perspective…understanding is possible

So long as we communicate … doors remain open

So long as we keep learning…we are growing

So long as we show consideration…respect will be felt

So long as we love…we will be loved

So long as we keep doing…we are alive.

So long as we forgive…our hearts will sing

So long…So long … So long…