Catharsis. I seek catharsis.
I am bottled up-frozen-barren-rigid. In short: a train wreck.
But, aren’t we all right now?
I gaze out at the rolling hills through my window and see that the earth in its oestre is melting, however. The young deer nibbling on the tinge of green in my yard is proof. The budding trees an affidavit. The crocus stretching her thin neck to the sky, testament.
So why am I still frozen? Why does my mud not ooze with spring release?
“Why so rigid, young mother?”
“Why so broken asunder, old friend?”
“Why so unrecognizable, little one?”
Gone are the days of freedom and easy release. …
We all begin somewhere. And that place becomes defined as home.
In a time of global pandemic and local lock down, we have no choice but to reside in whatever place we find ourselves that we can call home.
For many of us, we are fortunate in our location and have a beautiful home to be in. For many of us, we are dissatisfied with the place we have, but it’s good enough. For still many more, we have no safe place to be, and we rely on the support and kindness of strangers.
It is a time of global heart-ache. Who has taught us how to navigate such a tremulously corrugated emotional landscape? …
“I’m worried about going in to work tonight at the hospital-they aren’t sure they have enough supplies for us to stay protected. I’m worried I’ll be walking into a war zone,” my cousin Joe in London texts me.
“I’m scared of being alone for a whole month,” my cousin Claire tells me.
“My boss is asking me to consider firing people to save our company at this crucial moment and that does not align with any of our core values,” my client says shakily on our phone call.
“I am stuck on vacation and can’t figure out where to go to have my baby-do I risk going back home or do I stay here?” …
This time, it’s crowned in the form of COVID-19. A global pandemic. A local disaster.
From my vantage point, the greater harm is from the tidal wave of fear abrading each of us. Fear is stronger than the virus itself and the tsunami is razing our society.
Some of us are fortunate to live in small communities that are working hard to disseminate information, increase education, awareness and ultimately, prevention.
Some of us live in dense cities and have no choice but to don a mask and gloves and douse ourselves with detoxifying solutions.
Wherever we are, life has been disrupted. Schools are closing, jobs are being put on hold, grocery stores are emptying, the economy is flailing. …
…Which is not a sentiment I like, encourage, or adopt, and I feel uncomfortable uttering it out loud.
Perhaps I’m too kind. Perhaps you think I’m a Pollyanna. Perhaps you think I’m too cheerful, too sunshiney, too grandiose.
I like to be encouraging. I like everyone I meet to feel good in their skin and bones, to feel satisfied and full of possibility.
But maybe I need to stop that nonsense. Maybe, in order to properly crush it, as Gary Vaynerchuk promotes, I need to reify the fact that truly you can’t do everything I can do.
At least once a week, often many times more than that, I am told, to my face, that, “You can’t do all of that! It’s too much! How are you going to focus and achieve anything with so much going on?” …
So, let’s agree right here, right now, to set that word aside for the moment and just talk about how to practice connecting with your very own mind.
The practice is called meditation. In Tibetan, the word for meditation is gom, which means “to become familiar with.” The practice is simple, yet profound. It’s a practice I have incredible intimacy with, having practiced it for nearly 25 years.
I welcome you now, here, wherever you are, to pause for a moment and give this a try.
Here at the beginning, the first thing we do is set our posture. I invite you to find a chair, or if it’s available, a meditation cushion. It doesn’t really matter where you pause — you could be sitting on a park bench, the edge of your bed, or your desk. You could even be standing or walking. …
I believe that #transformation requires time and space for integration. I know this because I’ve experienced it.
Last summer I had the opportunity to attend an inspiring conference — the BLD Leadership Conference. The theme of the conference was itself “Be Inspired.” I was grateful to participate as a workshop leader for the conference, and have the opportunity to network with like-minded business owners and #BCorp employees.
What I didn’t realize was that the opportunity to be outside of my normal sphere of life meant I was more open to being touched, inspired, and rocked awake than I realized I would be. I mean, I know about the power of retreat — I’ve spent 20 years on a meditation cushion being moved by the power of going on retreat and having my mind and heart blown open. …
Historically, and still in some instances, there is no clear beginning to our experience of community, we are simply born into it.
Ancient ruins reveal to us the relics of clan, tribe, village. Our ancestors teach us the power of belonging. You belong because it is where you are from. Like the wild beasts on the plains, you cluster with your herd for protection, safety and comfort. Like a warm blanket, your communion tastes like belief, and so you gather together, seeking a communal source of heat, warmth and sustenance. You work hard to keep away the feared “other,” and exhibit wariness if any stranger comes your way. You build walls, and you train your young to be fearful and able to fight. …
It’s almost impossible to encompass two million years of history in our imagination. But that’s how long we have gathered together in society.
Tracing our lines of ancestry back as far as we can is one way we can “prove” our belonging in society. The farthest back I have traced to is the year 1168 when Princess Aoife MacMurrough of Ireland was wed to Richard Strongbow the Third, an Anglo-Norman conqueror. Queen Aoife is my 21st great-grandmother and also the progenitor of the British Royal Dynasty. …
The entire foundation of my work revolves around the use and understanding of systems. This is my background, and in fact, the specific training for everything I have ever done.
From an internal perspective, working with a “systems” approach has allowed me to create multi-layered, multi-dimensional businesses that have incredible potential for interconnection and co-collaboration. From an external perspective, using a systems-thinking approach has meant that I am able to present a well-designed organization to my clients and members.
This brings me to the word that I want to focus on today: design.
I love design. I’ve always been drawn to design from various angles: the process of weaving color and pattern in quilt and tapestry and collage; creating a beautiful home; designing gorgeous landscapes and gardens; and more recently creating impactful content and engaging community. …