I read the following passage this morning from Byron Katie's "A Thousand Names for Joy" and it really struck a chord. "Until there is peace within you, there is no peace in the world, because you are the world." Rationally I get the argument. If suddenly everyone on the planet had a sense of inner peace, then there would be peace in the world. We must model what we want to see in others, right? Like the song says, "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me." But wait. How can there be peace in me when I'm witnessing all of the injustices happening all around me?" Racism, war, terrorism, discrimination, refugees, hunger, murder, homophobia, child abuse---just to name a few. Inner peace? Hell no. More like outrage, resistance, battle-ready!! Here's the thing  Read More→


Aly and Josh, an engaged couple in their early 30s, had dated for four years, just bought a house, and were planning their wedding. Shortly after their engagement they attended one of our first What Matters?! Workshops ( In honor of this Valentine's Day, we've invited them to convey some of their key learning as individuals and as a couple. We thank them for sharing their experience. Aly and Joshua Greenwood (pictured) As individuals, they realized: You can’t go at it alone and luckily you don’t have to. Every person has a different role in your life, as you do for them. The What Matters?! practice of Reach Out ( includes an exercise that helps you evaluate the people i  Read More→


Come on now. Tell the truth. It's just us. Why are you living your own version of Groundhog Day? Maybe it’s that one friend who continues to suck the life out of you and you keep going back for more. Perhaps it's the boss from hell who you are hoping will magically have a personality transplant. How about that series of extreme diets that have you going up and down like a yo-yo? Or that broken commitment to get off email at least one night a week after dinner. What about that decent night’s sleep you keep promising yourself? Or “date night” with your spouse? How many more little league games are you going to miss? Here’s a 5-point plan you can start right now to love your life again. 1. Remember, you always have a choice   Read More→

So, here we are, February 1st. Just a short month ago you promised to make this year your very best. We hope you are on track! We know how easy it is to get derailed. Don't let that happen to you. Beware the following... 1) Believing in Work-Life Balance Stop looking for work-life balance. It doesn’t exist. You have one life. Work is a component of that life. How will you determine how you will spend the valuable currency of your one and only life? 2) Being hijacked by social media Warning! If you find yourself engaging in never-ending threads of online point/counterpoint or spending more time reporting on your life than experiencing it, you are in danger of unintentionally sabotaging your well-being. How will you break that habit when   Read More→


What is Adversity?

by Paul Sherman

This morning I was a in meeting and the topic was adversity. We were invited to think about what this word means to us and how it has shaped who we are. Let me start with a big disclaimer that what I'm about to say is true for me. Many reading this surely hold alternative perspectives (as did the people I was with this morning). The reason I choose to share this topic with you is that I found it an amazing gift for Reaching In. In other words, merely sitting with this question at 7am this morning has provided me a sense of empowerment and resilience that I hope to hold onto for the rest of the day (and beyond). When thinking about adversity the place that I immediately went to is that adversity is in the eye of the beholder. For me there is "real adversity" and "manufactur  Read More→


A Symbol of Safety

by Paul Sherman

I've never been one to wear a ribbon to highlight a cause. Not that I think there is anything the matter with it, just has never been my thing. This week I found myself called to attach a safety pin to my jersey. For those who don't know, a safety pin has become a symbol of letting those around you know that you are there to support them, that they are literally "safe." Some Americans have recently borrowed this tradition from the UK, who, after Brexit, adopted it as a way to reduce fear among foreigners and reassure them that they had allies. I chose to wear the pin not because I felt personally unsafe (lucky me, white middle-aged guy), but because so many around me were feeling that way. Were these "rational fears?" That's not the point. The fears are real to them. So, rather tha  Read More→


Election Reflections

by Paul Sherman

As our country digests the election results, many are experiencing a palpable sense of dread, horror, disbelief and a litany of other emotions that epitomize stress and even suffering. For people having this stressful reaction, reality is that their core beliefs and values are under attack. Who wouldn't feel this way under these circumstances? This a modern manifestation of the classic fight or flight response complete with the neurochemicals of cortisol and adrenaline. People see an imagined sabertoothed tiger in front of them and they are about to be eaten! Enter rage, terror, aggression and doom. And, yes, for many this election result is a real sabertoothed tiger. They see dire consequences ahead. It's real and it's scary. Something needs to be done. However, unlike our caveman  Read More→


Enjoying the Journey

by Paul Sherman

I recently came across the following passage in Eckhart Tolle's book, "Stillness Speaks," and felt compelled to share it: "Do you treat this moment as if it were an obstacle to be overcome? Do you feel you have a future moment to get to that is more important? Almost everyone lives like this most of the time. Since the future never arrives, except as the present, it is a dysfunctional way to live. It generates a constant undercurrent of unease, tension, and discontent. It does not honor life, which is Now and never not Now." I don't know about the rest of you, but I find myself in a continual dance between trying to truly live in the present yet having a healthy appreciation for the future. As a chronic worrier, this has been a lifelong struggle (my pendulum tending  Read More→


Thanks Grandma and Grandpa

by Paul Sherman

Today is the 4th of July. As I awoke this morning my thoughts went to my grandparents who came to America with nothing but the clothes on their backs in order to make a better life for their children. What incredible bravery and devotion to family. They knew What Mattered?! to them and dared to take action to live accordingly. While the USA is far from perfect, on this 4th of July I'm grateful for the risk that my grandparents took to come to America so that I could have the freedom and opportunities available to me. In the whirlwind of life in the modern age I often take my life situation (a.k.a., circumstances) for granted. Thanks to my elders I grew up well nourished, well educated and well loved. They taught me not only how to survive, but to thrive in this complex world.   Read More→


Imperfect Action

by David Garten

The other day I came across this quote on a friend's FaceBook page that is attributed to Jon Sinclair: “failure is a bruise, not a tattoo.” It totally resonated with me and got me wondering about how much of what holds us back from trying things is the fear of failing? I’m sure I could write a book about the power of fear (oops, already been done) and how it can cripple people. My question is this: who are we afraid of seeing us fail? Other people? Ourselves? By the way, I don't have an answer to this question (remember our website is a question "ask what matters ?"). Is the fear of public embarrassment greater than internalized shame? Damn, where DID I put Brene Brown’s cell number? She’s great and I’m sure she could help me with this qu  Read More→