I’m reminded of a folk tale about a chicken and a pig trying to decide what each should bring to a big party they’re throwing. The chicken says he’d be happy to bring some eggs for the party and he suggests the pig bring some bacon.
“That’s not quite fair,” the pig responded, “For you, it’s just a contribution, but for me it’s everything.”
Giving another person your trust is something like being the pig, and handing over your own flesh for the party. A bit graphic, I know. But for someone who has experienced loss or betrayal, this is just how raw trusting again can feel.
Trust requires safety. Trust is built in tiny little increments that eventually add up to a solid foundation. It's important for both parties to understand, recognize and appreciate what is at stake for the other.
The risk of 'having your bacon fried' because you brought too much to the party, or perhaps you brought it too early is a very real and...
"In this world, you will have trouble"
There is no question that challenge and pain are an integral part of the human experience. In fact there are times when the pain is so great, the obstacles so daunting, that we are paralyzed in their presence. We wring our hands, we lose sleep, and we separate ourselves from those who love us as we wrestle with these demons.
“There are things we try to pray our way through, and there are things that ask us to wade our way into them”, says Rob Bell, (one of my favorites). There are things that we must trust and pray that we will have the strength
I’m a natural-born fixer. I trouble-shoot. I figure it out. I put things back on the right path when they go awry. But there are things that cannot be simply ‘figured out’. There are things that must just be felt and acknowledged…despite their incredible weight and pain.
In my own life I have experienced illness and betrayal that have brought me to my...
My husband and I had a long discussion last night about illness. About people we know from the places we have lived. Moms. Their children. Me. We spoke about signs and symptoms and how some people have to bear so very much hardship in their lives, while others run along unscathed like indestructible bumper cars. I hate to read about sick children and sick mommies. It hurts me to even think about it, and it makes me feel small for complaining about my own woes.
At a recent doctor visit, my new doctor who is still trying to unravel all the twists and turns that Lymes seems to be taking me on, had some interesting observations for me. He told me that sometimes 'our bodies tell us things we don't want to know about, but that we need to know'. I've been chewing on that observation, and while I can't bring myself to attribute that truth to suffering children and mommies, for myself and my personal journey, I find that I have to agree.
I do not find it to be a coincidence that...
We all know that appearances can be deceiving, and yet we allowed ourselves to go down the comparison rabbit hole on a daily basis. We see someone in our building dressed like she is appearing on a Scandal episode, or observe with envy as a handsome couple pulls up into valet parking in a shiny new car, we take rubber-necking drives through 'the good part of town', and with imagine with great envy the lucky souls that inhabit those swimming pool-punctuated, tree-lined lanes.
But we are only fooling ourselves. Deep down, we all know the real truth. We all know that these lucky people, these shiny, happy, well-dressed and leisure-lived icons are just as uncomfortable and challenged by their human condition as the rest of us are.
No amount of money, or cars, or clothes, or pools can change the fact that we all have to eat, sleep, go to the bathroom, pay our taxes (well most of us anyway), and generally trudge our way through the logistics of this life. Some of us may enjoy...
I wrote this quote on a Post It note in the Fall of 2013. I was in an important meeting, trying to listen, but not hearing a damn thing. My mind was saturated. My soul was drowning in the misery I felt, on trying to understand how my body could betray me and become so sick, on the fear that I may no longer be able to work, on wondering if the warning signs I had begun to notice in my husband meant what I feared them to mean.
I wrote this quote to myself and have taped it to computer monitors, stuck it in journals, clung to it in fear, and gazed at it in wonder...for it is the truth. Regardless of what is actually happening in your life, regardless of the specific pain, or source of anxiety, or the possible ways the get through...Socrates had it right.
"The Secret to Change is to focus all of your energy NOT on fighting the old, but on building the new"
I wrestled with how unfair that statement is. I bemoaned the implication that it was somehow up to me to restart or rebuild what I...
There are days when we all feel like we are being shot into a pinball machine. Where we feel like we are bouncing around from point to point, with barely a minute to catch our breath, gather our thoughts, or be fully present to all of our obligations and commitments.
There was in fact a time in my life where I took great pride in the pinball machine, where I wore my' busy-ness' like a badge of honor, and wallowed in the sheer frenetic momentum of my full and overbooked days. I would look at my Outlook calendar and its color-coded glory, and compare notes with colleagues about where to find a bathroom break or a coffee run.
Of course, that crazy schedule didn't look so hot once my health had deteriorated, and my marriage was in shambles. Nothing like a good, old fashioned crisis or two to re-orient oneself to what actually, truly constitutes a full and productive day.
After radically adjusting myself and my life, I've found a number of ways to ensure that I do...
It's ironic that I'm even broaching this particular topic, as those who have known me over the years would not necessarily ascribe calm, patient driving to me as a prominent characteristic. For many years I took great pride in zipping across the highway system like a banshee on crack, taking risky passes, and outmaneuvering whoever got in my way. I felt pity for those poor patient souls who allowed others to 'cut' in front of them, or didn't make a move to defend their turf when another driver would stake a claim to their spot on the road. My driving pet peeves were numerous, and stemmed from a fundamental feeling of superiority on the road. I was ruthless.
Enter my babies and motherhood.
I experienced a fundamental re-wiring of my DNA when it comes to what my biology will now tolerate in terms of road protocols and driving techniques...
I have found a new solace in patient driving. I feel joy when I see others make way for the crazy aggressive ones who 'just don't get it' (aka - the...
I have the pleasure of working with The Nature Conservancy, which I lovingly think of as ‘the thinking mans’ conservation organization. They do thoughtful, science-based work through partnerships with pretty much everyone, all in the name of ‘protecting nature and preserving life’. On a recent visit to one of the Conservancy’s gorgeous preserves, I had the chance to see their fire team in action, and to learn about the value of fire in the management of environmental landscapes, the value of burning old growth in order to bring about a restored and healthy system. No, this is not a conservation blog, but the lesson is very relevant!
The forests in need of burning are overgrown. The trees have crowded close together creating a shade over the ground that limits sunlight, and therefore also limits diversity in the plant life below. Wildlife cannot benefit from the variety of plants needed to sustain them, the soil becomes stagnate, and the overgrowth leaves...
In my coaching work, I spend a lot of time with my clients focused on work-related challenges. Many times these challenges relate to things that have changed in their work environment, and have therefore made them feel vulnerable, out of control, angry or frustrated. All very understandable, and very human responses to change. We spend a ton of time at work, in our offices, with our colleagues and our teams, and when things shift without our consent or input, the impacts are huge! All that being said, I inevitably find myself guiding my clients back to some fundamental truths. These are what I want to share with you today. While it is true that these types of changes affect us on a very personal level, I want my clients to keep their eye on the bigger picture. The fact that we are likely to experience setbacks in our personal lives or careers is a given. It' inevitable. However, the way you choose to navigate those perceived setbacks is critical!
Enter your email and confirm you are a living, breathing soul, ready to re-ignite your life!