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 BayTrails Working Group feeds our energy and commitment to make a positive difference in this beautiful albeit fractured and damaged world. It is a joy to work with such dedicated colleagues and friends.

Traveling and hiking in western Canada (Victoria, Vancouver, and Banff) where people are noticeably kind and helpful and where the land, lakes and rivers are beyond-words beautiful. Oh, the soaring bald eagles, the thousands of spawning salmon, the aquamarine glaciers, the green forests extending to the horizon…

David Sibbet ‘s and Gisela Wendling’s new book on “Visual Consulting: Designing and Leading Change” is a tour de force, chock full of inspiring and practical information. Don’t lead or leave home without it!

River of Challenge

Every day is replete with choices: get sad or outraged at…(the list is too long for this newsletter) or stay focused on what matters most in life. This includes staying calm and carrying on with as much kindness and compassion as we can muster for ourselves and for everyone around us. I mean everyone. Even those whose words and actions set our hair on fire. (The last remains an aspiration.)

It was a bitter sweet experience to walk in September on the shrinking Athabasca Glacier, one of the six major “toes” of the Columbia Icefield in the Canadian Rockies. Still majestic and full of life, this glacier is receding at a rate of about 16 feet per year.

River of Surprise

Once again, receiving so many heart-felt and thoughtful applications for the Cascadia Center for Leadership ten-day program. We loved teaching the program with 28 leaders dedicated to developing themselves in 2018 and look forward to a new cohort in 2019. We wish we could accept all the applicants!

The damage and loss of lives in the fires in California this year. This is a difficult surprise to bear, especially with the United States’ bowing out of the Paris Agreement and the updated projections for even more serious impacts of climate change within 10 to 12 years.

River of Love

With Mary’s family in Massachusetts this summer, we celebrated multiple wedding anniversaries (35th and 30th) and birthdays (a brother, sister-in-love and a brother-in-love turned 80), a sister turned 70, and a beloved niece is now 50. Each minute seems like a minute, but somehow the years also pass like minutes.

We are grateful every day that we live on the lush North Coast of California and experience being a part of this community. Every trip to the grocery store or a hike on one of our hard won and gorgeous trails, we are rewarded by seeing someone we know, care about, and with whom we share this remarkable region.

We wish you a fulfilling and inspiring solstice and holiday season.

Mary and Roger

* As a member of the Global Learning and Exchange Network, Mary will be co-hosting a series of Exchanges (i.e., engaging and participatory webinars) with David Sibbet and Bill Bancroft on “The Neuropsychology of Collaboration and Design starting February 12, 2019.” Information will be posted soon on the Global Learning and Exchange Network website.

1 thought on “Four Rivers of Life in 2018”

  1. How about the mighty river of Change? THAT one has sure been swift and deep — at times inundating all the others, then carving new courses. So much change, everywhere. As I suppose there always is, at some level, but more insidiously. Anyway, I am savoring this seemingly well-aligned moment. It has been postulated that the present is specious. Now is actually comprised of a bit of the past and a bit of the future. And at best lasts three seconds. So, a merry three seconds to you )))

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