Category: Resilience

Adventures in “Deathbed” Conversations

A story and an invitation and a challenge.  The story is here in this short Pecha Kucha video. This was about people playing with courage... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th9KqjiXSL8 So the invitation and challenge is a game, an experiment I play, composed around freedom and courage and the awareness of mortality. The project had its roots in the letter writing workshops that I led over years.  I taught people to be more open and fun and colorful in the letters that they put into the mail, but I also started inviting people to write the amazing letters, the life-changers, the kind that are powerful in the lives of

This I believe.

We are all together on this ship and some of us will die sooner.  Some young.  I will grieve again, and comfort.  It may be me.  Those of us who are lucky will know ahead of time and not be incapacitated by pain and exhaustion and messes we have not cleaned up.  If we are luckier this heightened awareness that is the gift of death may be seized  by us periodically and good and great things and moments will be brought into the world as a result. What do I want to have been in my life with my mothers?  my

Where gracefulness matters and where it doesn’t.

Gracefulness is important to me.  I love to feel graceful, be seen as graceful, move through our days together with grace.  Handle the difficult things in life gracefully. But this is where I want to be clear.  I am not asking that my engagement with my own particular demons be clean.  That I stay fully functional and productive while in the midst of it.  I am not asking that it be without mess, that it have dignity, that it display only admirable qualities, or even that it be without ugliness or pain.  I can be in pain.  It is part of

Burnout is an open door.

Sometimes I feel I must be an alien, because I really, really love to talk about death, and about burnout. But this is really why. When I start from death, and burnout, we skip over the trite, and the hiding places, and the escape hatches, and go deep into the real. And then I can speak into survival, vulnerability, leadership, and of recovery and resilience into a listening of reawakening, because over and over, if we do it right, the deepest parts of ourselves become our new skin. Tomorrow, at the Bozeman Public Library at noon I'll be talking

Resilience is Power. And Peace.

“I just wanted myself back, and then to create something more. After what I’ve been through, I am not going to settle for an average life. I want to have created and lived an extraordinary life." -- Lorca Smetana Some of us are hard-wired to help and to serve, to make a difference in someone else’s life at exactly the minute that it’s most needed. No one goes into any of the giving professions with the belief that they will be one to burn out. But while in our country we are amazing at providing world-class professional training, we are