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Surrender, Mary

I struggled this week with writing a post. I call it struggling as it has some familiar qualities to other times I’ve struggled. The words aren’t coming. I don’t have a good topic. I can’t get into the flow. Yada yada yada. As I sit here in the dark, not even dawn yet (thanks to daylight savings time), the truth comes out. I’m not struggling, I’m avoiding. The irony that I’ve been working with surrender this month...

The Sacrament of the Present Moment

Sometimes it takes me what seems like forever to actually dive into a creative project, life change or new habit that has been nudging away to get my attention. I get caught up in a spin of how to start, what the result will look like, how it will be when I’ve achieved what I want – with all the pros and cons that clutter up the back seat as they tag along for the ride. I often find myself future tripping when I...

Letting Go of the Precious Parts

In a conversation in my women’s circle we were exploring our various issues with clutter. The need to clear out the old to make room for the new, to simplify in order to find clarity, and to create space in the day for silence and reflection are familiar topics. I have written about this before. What I found as we continued deeper into the conversation was a pocket that I was still protecting. My precious part when...

Me first. You second. With love.

In a talk I heard recently, the speaker referenced the often-used biblical quote: Love your neighbor as yourself. It struck me in a way it hadn’t before that this principle starts with the fundamental assumption that you love yourself. From my observation, we have work to do. Many of us are quick to rush in to advise, fix, and rescue our neighbors (partners, friends, children) all in the name of loving them. We...

Into the Well

The words Women at the Well came to me as a whisper. I accepted gratefully as they danced their way into the title of a new program I was noodling on. Re-entering the world of work from cancer treatment, I was following an inner call to create a nurturing experience for women away from the demands and pressures of their lives – an opportunity to remember the good, true, and beautiful in our nature. Sometimes we get...

Nurturing Health for the Holidays

Christmas (and other highly social activity driven holidays) takes a lot of emotional and physical energy. Even if we don’t celebrate, we are surrounded by the collective frenzy. The tendency is to neglect our own self-care. We eat in ways we don’t normally eat, skip exercise, forgo meditating and other personal practices, and generally put ourselves further down on the list of things to attend to. Although we may...

Asking for Help

  Why is it so hard to ask for help? When it’s offered many of us have a reflexive response to decline outright. Some of it stems from being raised in a culture of fierce independence, keeping up appearances, protecting our feelings, and unhealthy pride. We’ve inherited a litany of old beliefs along the way to justify not asking for help: we’ll look needy, weak or incapable we’ll owe them something in return...

The Great Silence

  She’s 4, almost 5, years old. Dirty face and uncombed hair, she sits in the shadows – arms cradling knees held tightly to her chest. She doesn’t make much eye contact. She was slow to communicate. We got acquainted by drawing together. She likes to draw with colors and play outside. Robin Hood is her favorite because he lives in a forest, shoots a bow and arrows, and fights mean people. She’d like to live in...

Gratitude for You

In this season of gratitude, it is rare to spend much time reflecting on what we are grateful for about ourselves. We will include thanks for good health but don’t often go deeper into appreciating who we are at our core – our gifts, inner resources, and contributions. In fact, there are ingrained societal and cultural taboos against it. When it comes to thinking about ourselves, we are much better at identifying...

Sharing Beauty

  Walking into the park in the early morning I came upon three Japanese visitors on their way out. Beaming smiles they kept repeating in heavily accented English: “beautiful, beautiful, beautiful” while pointing over toward a long row of tall bushes. Looking closer in the direction they were pointing I saw three deer munching their breakfast – two young bucks and a fawn. The visitors were giddy they were so...

What Do You Give Your Voice To?

Radiation treatment left my throat raw and excruciatingly painful – as though I had swallowed hot lava. Eventually it became too painful to speak and I succumbed to communicating with nods and gestures. I spent months virtually silent. As I slowly began to heal and reassemble my post cancer life, every area was up for review, including how I use my voice. It felt as though my house burned to the ground and I  got...

Investing in Our Inner Life

We spend a lot of time and money developing skills to stay relevant and competitive in the work we do – learning new technologies, broadening our knowledge base, and staying connected in an increasingly virtual world. As a consultant and coach in change leadership and team development, I’ve done countless programs on leadership, facilitation, conflict resolution, learning styles, designing for engagement, and...

Make More Art

In the darkest days when I was going through the grueling regimen of radiation treatment for throat cancer, I kept hearing a phrase in my mind: “Make more art. Make more art.” Even when I was feeling at my lowest, it kept repeating. As I, ever so slowly, began the trek back into the land of the living, it was still there: “Make more art. Make more art.” An invitation from the Mystery that became a mantra. As much...

3 Practices for Compassionate Self Care

The past year and a half has been a healing journey for me. Last spring I was diagnosed with throat cancer. After the initial shock of the news — which despite my extensive experience of working with change and uncertainty, there is no way to prepare for — I moved into my default response. Planning. I had plans within plans based on the proposed six-week course of treatment: how long my recovery would...

Housekeeping – Action Requested

Technology is a beautiful thing.  Until it isn’t. In my hiatus from writing this blog Google stopped supporting Feedburner – the tool used to distribute my postings magically to your mail box.  They haven’t closed it, they simply no longer support it.  It’s in a state of limbo.  I can’t make changes and I can’t turn it off. I’ve now switched everything over to Mail Chimp,...
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