What Life Expects of Me

Roger James and I were taking a glorious walk in the early morning sun around the Arcata Marsh. We had just stopped for a few groceries when a distraught man passed by screaming through a bandana, “This is bullshit!” Continuing up the street, he continued ranting about how he had had to enter the Farmers’ Market through a roped entrance and walk opposite to the direction he wanted to walk. His rage was palpable even … Read more…

Break Apart or Build Bridges

john a. powell, professor of Law, African American and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, made the astute observation that in times of stress, societies either break apart or build bridges. In addition to the stress from accelerating changes in globalization, technology, environment, and demographics, we now add a global pandemic and an economic free fall. All of this is hard for the human brain to process. Because the brain evolved to keep us safe, it … Read more…

The Dream of My Life

I have loved Mary Oliver’s poetry since college. Her poems speak to me in deep and surprising ways, particularly the stanza above. It came to mind this morning and brought the fragrance of rivers and forests along with a sense of calm and hope for our world during this perilous time. Oliver’s words invite a slowing down and expanding of awareness. When I do this, it helps me find meaning in all I have been … Read more…

The Still Point

In the midst of the onslaught of emails, Facebook posts, and LinkedIn messages about all the do’s and don’ts during this exceptional time, I meditate. Each of us appears to be searching for inspiration. One morning, T.S. Eliot’s words about the still point floated into my mind from my years as an English literature major in college. I will not use his words to add to the list of tips flooding social media. I will, … Read more…

A Series of Small Acts

These past few days, I have been waking up to a jumpy body and an overall sense of “How am I going to get it all done?” It seems that life has a way of constellating all the “yeses” I have offered over a long period of time into lots of activity in a short period of time.  As I sat meditating, I reached for a copy of Tao Te Ching and read these passages: … Read more…

Sussing Out Our Sense of Superiority

Our judging brains are powerful things. Within nanoseconds of seeing or meeting someone, we decide whether or not we like them. We are attracted or repulsed. My meditation practice, in addition to my intention to treat others respectfully, helps me notice the train of judgments that seems to spontaneously arise when I meet someone new or when I encounter someone whom I already know. Thankfully, I can now more easily notice the judgments and step … Read more…

Honoring How Michael Showed Up

This post is more personal than typical posts. I wanted to share some of the reflections on the past couple of weeks.  June 8, 2019  I am in route to Massachusetts to see my older brother Michael who is quite ill and in hospital. There is a strong possibility this trip is not just to show love and support, but also to say goodbye. Michael, who is ten years older than I am, was often hard … Read more…

The Dream Of My Life…

The first poem I ever memorized was “The Fawn” by Mary Oliver. Since her recent passing, many have written about her, her work and what her words meant to them. I add my voice to that chorus here. These last several decades, I have worked as a consultant, facilitator and educator. Behind the scenes, since early childhood my life has been inspired and buoyed by literature and poetry. When I read or hear a paragraph, … Read more…

Four Rivers of Life in 2018

We are once again writing our closing newsletter of 2018 using the Four Rivers of Life we learned from Angeles Arrien (1940-2014) during our many years of study with her. According to Angeles, many traditional societies believe these rivers—Inspiration, Challenge, Surprise and Love—sustain and support us. They help us live the life we love or love the life we are living. River of Inspiration Working with the Global Learning and Exchange Network* and the Humboldt … Read more…

Managing Polarities Inside You

Given how polarized the political climate in the U.S. is right now, I thought it would be valuable to look at what polarities are and how we might better manage or leverage them at work and in our communities. This is the final piece in a three-part series on managing polarities.  A polarity is a state in which two ideas, opinions or beliefs are completely opposite or very different from one another. It is not … Read more…