All posts by Susan Clarke

Never Let The Truth Get In The Way of A Good Story

Growing up, we always had a saying in our house: “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”  Now for most of my life, I simply believed that was a way that truth could be covered up and whatever evil was beneath the surface could be denied or kept unknown by a charismatic storyteller.

I admit to fury about this saying!

There were times in my life when I did seek to say what was going on and usually my version of the story was met with comments about my over- active imagination.  That was the good version.  The worse was when my anger after sharing a story was interpreted as ‘too much’ and I was given some type of medication to calm me down.

Maybe I did start to believe a good story was better than the truth – or at least created less pain and misunderstanding.

These days the saying is generally a good bridge in our family gatherings.  However, the new status has come after many years of working to try to understand each other’s vastly different versions of reality about the past.  The saying is no longer meant to shut anyone down. I do think it might be a signal to say we may be stepping into tricky territory and give each other a head’s up.

Our differences have never been reconciled.  But, now that we are adults and have been able to find ways to each feel heard and seen for whatever reality we were living growing up, we can have a relationship. 

I really appreciate that about my family.  We live the agree to disagree about some things and find ways to appreciate and value other aspects of who we each are now.

That may just be because of the saying – Never let the truth get in the way of a good story. 

Only these days I prefer to retranslate.  I think the saying would be best expressed as;  Never let a truth get in the way of deeply listening to someone’s else’s story”

That really is the lesson.

Too often, our individual ‘truths’ are so fixed that we don’t really listen to a different truth.  Especially when that other storyline may make us look poorly, guilty, cruel or unkind.

However, I firmly believe that most of the time people really don’t need to be told their version of reality is ‘the truth’.  Instead, they are looking for someone to deeply listens and step into their reality, consider what that might be like and acknowledges their feelings. When this occurs healing happens.  Over and over, I see people get unstuck from their old stories and look at the choices they made and move forward in these scenarios.

Truth is I’ve seen people get their stories validated – by courtrooms and judges – only to see that person continue to struggle with the old story.  Unable to reframe, rewrite or redefine the outcome.

Don’t get me wrong; I am not saying some actions don’t warrant judgement. But I am saying that alone isn’t going to be what supports the ‘victim’ in moving forward.

What will? – never letting a or one truth get in the way of deeply listening to another person’s story!

Truth is relative.  Yes, we need to find our truth – but I just don’t think we need to let that get in the way of listening to someone else’s.

We can disagree.  We can not like it.  We may even decide that because of that person’s story we aren’t interested in a deeper relationship.

But I don’t think finding the one truth will work.

Listening and considering – that is a powerful path for contact and possibility and influence.

These days with all the stories coming out about men’s abuse of power and sexual harassment of women, I think we’d be better served if we did not get caught up in focusing on what did or did not happen.  Frankly I think the people speaking up need to be heard.

Our job is to listen. What is the impact of these stories? 

I am speaking to the men out there getting accused. Listen! Consider! Respond! From a place of understanding someone else‘s truth, instead of right versus wrong. Listen to the impact, the pain, the experience and a perspective other than your own. Don’t just deny or apologize and move on. Be influenced now.

I think that is how something different can happen.

When we simply go to right or wrong, the feeling and the impact can so easily get lost.  Listening and considering the impact of our actions, words or deeds on another – even if that wasn’t our intent or perceived outcome.  That is what will help heal and bridge our differences.

I know it did in my family and I have witnessed it over and over in couples, on teams and in families.  I think it can happen out in the world as well.

Now that is my truth – and I won’t let it get in the way of hearing your truth (story).

Just Breathe!

Recently I attended the Breathe weekend up at The Haven.

The program was perfectly timed to fit between meetings and the start of a Come Alive.  What better way to get prepared for leading a program than breathing!

I knew I would enjoy the weekend.  I love the wisdom of Linda Nicholls and though we get to spend time together in meetings – we rarely are together in programs.

The weekend more than met my expectations.  Thus the reason I am now writing about the program.

Breathing is so simple.  It’s free.  It’s healing.  Yet, when I ask people how often they take the time to consciously breathe deeply – the answer is usually – rarely or not at all.

Some share that they meditate or do some sort of mindfulness practice – but that isn’t quite the same in my view.  Sure it is something and valuable.  But does not always involve breathing deeply.

I know how valuable breathing deeply can be and though I would say I am a pretty committed to some type of regular practice – I often miss a day or more – when life gets busy.  I will often put my exercise routine before just breathing.  (Again exercise and consciously breathing are not the same!!!)

Why?

Though I say I want to be alive – aliveness is not always comfortable! often I consciously or unconsciously opt for comfort, control and certainty – over aliveness and uncertainty!

To drop my jaw and breathe deeply and fully (for those unfamiliar with Haven breathing – I mean taking a full deep breathe through an open mouth).  This does open me up for feeling more.  There is no guarantee  that means feeling good, happy or satisfied.  Often these days if can mean feeling my fear, my sorrow, my rage or my pain.

Sometimes I am not so willing.

There were many nuggets of wisdom offered during the weekend program.  Linda does have a way of integrating science, poetry and experiences that allow for the mind, the body and the breathe to mix and play well together!

Myself, I loved the breathing.  Being re-introduced to a variety of ways to deepen my own practice and having lots of time – I believe three blocks of 45 to 55 minutes of just breathing.

Breathing deeply demands a conscious choice – my will and my willingness to loosen my control and be vulnerable.

Pills and other measures are often more predictable in terms of eliminating symptoms or easing suffering.

However, aliveness isn’t really predictable.

I am not saying give up on prescriptions, exercise, meditating or whatever it is you or I do to find some comfort and ease in this human experience – I am though encouraging you to consider spending a little more time and attention on just breathing!

It’s free.  Drop that jaw and take a deep full breathe. (Highly recommend doing this more than just once!)

I came away with the intention to take twenty minutes each day and just breathe.  I am enjoying the practice!  Life is richer and more vibrant as a result!

 

A Plug for Relational Leadership

I hear lots of people, colleagues and business leaders, talking about a desire to be thought leaders.

I have to admit, there was a time when it was also an aspiration of mine.

However, I have shifted. I’m no longer that interested in thought leadership. I am much more inspired and interested in relational leadership.

Even up at The Haven, over the years I know there’s been a desire to make Haven a thought leadership center.

Maybe that was the mission of the founders, Ben Wong and Jock Mckeen, at one point. It is likely that they were thought leaders. But more than anything else, I think they were relational leaders.

That is where The Haven shines!

When I arrived at The Haven, I did not really have a clue what it meant to be relational. I had spent most of my life defended and surviving.

I don’t want to be too harsh with myself about that. Through rocky, challenging times, I had come up with some pretty creative ways to make my way in the world. I didn’t have a clue just how guarded and protected I had become.

My walls and armor started cracking during my first Come Alive. I was in awe of what I witnessed. The compassion, the vulnerability, and the curiosity that I saw offered to each person in our circle was truly moving.

We all have judgments about what we see and experience. The Haven offered a path for sharing those judgements. Sharing those judgments through storytelling is used as a way of letting someone else know how they see the world. Judgements are not bad, judgements are simply stories worth checking out and using as a bridge to reveal how each of us put our reality together.

The key was a willingness to own my story-making and be curious about sharing that with another to see if they agreed or disagreed.

That shift was huge for me. I could be curious and get feedback. Sometimes I would, and still do, get feedback that I hurt myself. Feedback is like a location device. Instead of taking it all so personally, I allow myself to absorb the information as though someone were telling me in real time where and how they were connecting with me. I also understand that this is a path to locating myself.

Over the years I have come too discover that these relational tools are not thought-based. These tools—along with breath, attention and awareness—are spiritual and embodied.

I reveal my location in the world when I reveal myself, without proving, defending or fighting. This is incredibly vulnerable and very relational. You see, to me, this is relational leadership at its best. Locating ourselves with each other with openness, honesty and curiosity.

So that’s why I think thought leadership is overrated. What we need today is more relational leadership. Leading that is built around honesty, vulnerability, curiosity and compassion. Now that takes courage and, frankly, I believe that is a lot harder than just thinking of new ideas.

The truth is—leadership is all about relationships!

Do you want to discover how to be more of a relational leader in your life? Take a Come Alive, read our book or sign up for Relationship Mojo!

Try on sharing your judgements as a path of vulnerability and location setting (declaring where you are in any moment) . Get curious about how your inner story-telling came to be. Get curious about how someone else might be putting those pieces together very differently.

Get curious about really relating!

Things Are A Little Bit Crazy

Just a couple weeks ago,  I woke to a haze of smoke that blanketed my town of Whitefish.  For weeks we have been hearing about fires – to the south of us – to the north of us.  Yes, we have had days of smokey skies and very poor air quality. Then, suddenly everything started moving closer.  Parts of Glacier National Park and Lake MacDonald Lodge were be evacuated! That’s close!

Next our little town and Flathead Valley faced a school closure due to the threat of an attack on people’s children.  Apparently due to a cyberattack of some sort that resulted and parents and children getting very graphic and threatening messages.  After three days of school closures, games and events being canceled there still isn’t certainty as to where the threat was coming from.

This is just what has been happening in Whitefish – I haven’t even mentioned reading the national news headlines!

Damn – I say – this is crazy!!  Floods, hurricanes – fires and mother earth’s fury – plus crazy stuff like cyberattacks, white supremest and a President who regularly sends out insane tweets, talks smack and threats at the UN, really?!

What is happening?  Chaos and what can seem like a definite message to stop, pause and ….. wait for it…

PLAY!

Yes, I bet you didn’t think that was coming.

But really – I wonder if a little more play, joy and pleasure wouldn’t be the best remedy for us all.

I get it.  Life as we know it is spooking us!

We could wrestle with the reality or not – of climate change.  We could fight about healthcare, building walls or disarming North Korea.  But really wrestling with any one of these big issues s with the intent to determine right and wrong – seems like it just ain’t working.

Don’t get me wrong – I believe in climate change.  I think we owe Mother Earth a major shift in our attitude and actions, but I’m not into proving that point.  I will recycle.  Ride my bike when I can. I participate and vote for measures that support recycling, science and alternative energy!

I also don’t intend to stop speaking up when I think someone is being a bully – making statements that seem cruel, mean or frankly racist, sexist or just ignorant!  But I am not interested in fighting about it.

Instead, I think our best path is to play.

Over and over in nature, there are signs that when under attack – especially a vicious attack – the best answer is to engage in play.

Stuart Brown did a Ted Talk on this very message.  One piece was a video clip of a hungry polar bear coming for lunch where there were sled dog huskies chained up.  Those huskies knew they were going to be the polar bear’s lunch, but what happened instead was amazing. One female husky did a classic play bow and the polar bear’s whole being shifted.  Instead of a meal the two had a play date!  Now the polar bear makes an annual trip to play with the pups!

I know, when you are feeling under attack or you are facing threat and fear – the last thing that comes naturally is to rollover and play.

But maybe we need to get back in touch with our joy, our innocence and remember play can be just as important and life changing as any work, spiritual seeking or political activism.

What can you do to add a little play and joy to your day?  How can you invite and encourage others to join in!

Don’t leave you work behind just add more play into your day and notice the results.  Let me know how it goes!

P.S. Need some help playing, give me a call. I’m happy to help.

 

 

 

Finding My Joy Through Horse Play!

Horses really are a joy to work with and amazing teachers!

I know I say that a lot.  I also share stories, pictures and videos of the fun we are having here in Montana with the horses.

However, I am not sure I have done the best job sharing with you just why I think this work is so rich, valuable and worthy of your time, money and energy.

There are lots of ways you can learn, grow and transform.

I, myself have tried many paths:

  • Create an crisis and have to change – be it health, money or relationship related.
  • Decide to get a honest 360 round of feedback (or have to get one) – from working colleagues, friends and family
  • Attend a personal or professional training programs like those offered at The Haven – Living Alive Phase, Come Alive, Couples Alive or a program like Passionate Ease.  (just to name a few favorites of all time) 

Of these paths I have taken, all bought about significant, deep, valuable transformational growth in my life.  Some of them I have done or would do over and over again.  Other paths (like the crisis route), I’d prefer to say one and done. (Although I think I have done that 4 or more times – at least). 

Even the ones I do over – like Couples Alive, Come Alive  or Passionate Ease – are in some ways a conscious effort and some hard work on my part to stay and and really show up.  I don’t regret the effort or the work and the reward is worth it – but it’s hard!

Here’s the thing for me about a workshop or an intensive experience around horses – it’s not hard!

Even when I was terrified of being around them – which was the case when I started in my training.  I definitely drop my armor faster, open my heart and feel joy more than pain in every experience I have.  Even when the lessons were HARD ones.

So what have been some of the lessons I have learned or witnessed others learning from the horses:

  • Boundaries and boundarying – how important it is to be able to show up and be clear in self-defining.  Dealing with push back and staying in.  (Of course a 1500 pound horse is great in teaching that! )
  • What it means to be embodied and not just a walking, talking head.  Yes – there lots of programs about embodiment – but horses live it every moment and they love to provide you feedback when you are thinking too much!!!  ( a little nudge or they simply aren’t inclined to play!) 
  • The joy that can come from another living, breathing being holding a space for you – wanting you to be present and being okay with whatever you show up with as long as you are congruent!
  • The importance of play and sometimes just moving, dancing and finding your jig. (May be I should have said this one first!)

These are just some of the lessons I see that are a regular part of Equus coaching sessions.

All this feedback and interaction occurs and it’s offered in an amazingly warm and nonjudgmental way.

Horses are not story makers.  They come into the moment with each session waiting to see who and what shows up and working to create a relationship that ensures they stay safe and have some fun.

Horses enjoy the sessions and like moving and participating.  Some maybe more so than others and when that isn’t their thing they are usually quite clear in letting you know.

I know I will keep going to programs like Passionate Ease and Haven’s offerings – indeed I’ll enjoy my time in the circle and connecting people.

However, I do want to spend more time with the horses.  I encourage you to try it as well.

Besides discovering the joy in playing with the horses, if you come to Montana you will get an amazing experience – beautiful place, great people and CrisMarie and I bring all the other aspects of what we’ve learned to help you get the most of your lessons from the horses.

Intrigued?

Curious?

Want to experience more joy in your own transformational journey!

Come play with the horses!

Are you local? – Well join us for one of our Come PLay With The Horses Events – here’s the latest link – Come Play With The Horses August 12

Getting Over Your Ground Hog Day!!

I love the movie Ground Hog Day!  That same day, repeating and repeating – until finally – finally – something shifts!

Though I have not lived such a dramatic version of Bill Murray’s day from hell – I sure have had my moments and days of being stuck in an unserving, suffering storyline!!!

Indeed it is a type of hell!  Plus it plays havoc with reaching my dreams, finding my joy, my ability to connect and basically eroding  my relationships!!

I call this a KINK.

It’s like a knotted shoelace or a garden hose that isn’t just twisted put wrapped around itself in such a way – no water comes through!!!

That’s what it’s like to have a limiting belief, it can spin you around and round!

Let me give you an example.  Here’s one of my classic KINKS!

“I’m a horrible speller so I can’t…. write, put things up on flipcharts”

or

“I can’t spell – I’m stupid!”

“I’m stupid so I shouldn’t be thinking of publishing a book”

You see how one belief just plays havoc!!

That one – well it’s been around in my head for years!!  I even have labels for it now – dyslexic, learning disabled.

Well may be I do frequently flip letters, mix up my words and struggle with spelling.

Indeed it’s a kink that doesn’t easily go away!

However, I’m not stupid.  I can write. Plus, there’s always editors – right?

Here’s the deal – we all have our storylines – some of them helpful – some of them not so much!

I am not someone who believes you can just get rid of them!!  However, I do think there are ways to become aware of when a KINK is getting in the way of what matters most to you!

Awareness is the first step to any shift!  Once I notice I am spinning into a KINK – I have some options.

I can do Byron Katie’s, the work on that belief.  (for some this is magic and works great! – it is a great tool but for me needs a bit more breath and emtoion!)

I can breath and see what I am feeling.  Usually there’s an underlying river of feelings that have been trapped or wrapped up in that KINK!

I find for me, it helps to move, dance, shake that story around!

Then pause and check inside.  See if anything has shifted.  It’s not a perfect formula or science.  However, I am getting pretty good at not letting that KINK of mine – send me into full-on  Ground Hog Day!!

I’d love to help you avoid getting caught in a KINK or worse finding yourself stuck in a Ground Hog day!

That’s part of my online program, Get Unstuck.   How to work through Kinks and Leaks! and make sure you are not caught in a Ground Hog Day!

I’d love to help you find a way to reach your dream or goal without to much spinning.

I’m sure there are some typos in this post – but I want to get it out!  Get Unstuck starts – July 25th and it’s 25% off through friday, July 21 at midnight!!

Get out of your own way!  Get Unstuck!!

 

Our Un-United States

Enjoying a bit of downtime after two very full weeks up at Haven.  In just a couples days we’ll be celebrating the 4th of July here in the USA.  I have noticed a number of postings related to how hard this 4th of July will be as we here in the United States seem riddled with uncertainty and divide.

I have to say, I totally get how there is a bit of a challenge in how to best celebrate our country’s freedom with so much devision constantly making the headlines.

I find myself wrestling with my frustration with our current President and what seems like daily headlines demonstrating the irreconcilable differences between decision-making parties and elected officials.

Indeed at times it is heartbreaking to read stories of people’s lives impacted by decisions being made often based on a desire to just overturn policies made by the previous administration. Or creating new policies out of fear or threat.  It seems as though our politicians have lost the connection to the people and the impact of these sweeping changes.

It’s also hard to read almost daily about another shooting involving someone opening gunfire in a public place.

Yes, our country currently seems very wobbly and quite divided.  Not much to celebrate in terms of a United States.

Yet somehow I find myself wanting to connect.  To share why I do love this country inspite of the politics and the current direction.

Deep down I do believe in the people.  Even the people who think very differently than me!

I have sat in circles at The Haven where people from very different lives have found pathways for bridging differences and creating relationships that last through pain, sorrow, anger and joy.

I have worked with leaders and teams where the anger and the frustration was creating division and with support, these teams dive into the mess and new possibilities emerge.

It’s the work I love.  Not avoiding the messy but owning it and working through to new possibilities.  However, those new possibilities won’t come without embracing  both our shadow and our light!

What I’d like to do for this 4th of July is identify and share what I do love about this country and what I find difficult.

I love that I live in Montana – it’s beautiful and somehow even with our differences, people come together here to support each other when there’s a call for help.

I love that even with some horrible political stuff happening – communities across the country are gathering and standing forward together.

What I find difficult.  The current political fighting between the right and the left.  The rising levels of violence and the fact that it is hard to sit and talk about our differences.

I imagine I’ll have more to reflect on in terms of my answers over the next couple days.  In the meantime, I’d love to hear from any of you celebrating this 4th of July – what do you love about this country and what are you finding difficult!  (to my Canadian friends feel free to join in since you just had your big 150 – what do you love about Canada and what’s do you find difficult)

That I can even put this out as a question and almost guarantee I will get some very different types of responses is another reason I do love this country.

I think the 4th isn’t just a time to celebrate what’s beautiful but to also celebrate and reflect on the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.

I do think that is the only path to re-uniting us!

Murphy & Me

Murphy & Me

We just finished an amazing weekend in Savannah, GA with Susan Hyatt and 10 other awesome business women. This was the in-person part of our six month long Make-A Scene MasterMind program.

There were many parts of the weekend I could share. It was a great time. Work got done. (You’ll be seeing more how we used that time as we launch Ignite Your Relationship Mojo). We had great food. (I was re-introduced to southern grits and sweet tea – : )!) I had my first facial. Laughed. Cried. Was reminded just how powerful and awesome a group of woman can be when working together to make each of us stronger and feel more empowered. Indeed, it was a great weekend.

However, what I find myself wanting tell you more about in this blog post is my magnificent mirror, Murphy the horse.

Part of our weekend was a day at Norwood Stables with Sheppard Lake and some horses. Now you know how I love horses. I was thrilled when I learned that was our special treat for Saturday. Plus, Shepard is an awesome coach and dear friend. So I was all in!!!

Murphy wasn’t the horse I thought I would be working with. No Murphy and I met when Sheppard needed another horse and Murphy was bought to the round pen early. Since Sheppard knew I had horse experience she asked me to stay with him until she was ready.

Murphy was very happy to wait and just enjoy the grass. I found myself stuck there in the hot, sweltering sun wondering if it wouldn’t be better to move into the shade. Murphy was not so inclined. We had a brief difference of opinion and compromised with me ever so slightly in the shade and him, still holding his sunny grassy spot. Not much was going to move Murphy!

Murphy moved into his round pen sessions. Both were sessions where Murphy mostly stood and held space for each individual to work through some deeper feelings. He looked content to just be present, no judgement, offering only quiet acceptance. I watched and wondered – was this really his nature or was he like the many horses I have witnessed – they’ll be whatever is needed.

The sessions ended and Sheppard had time for one more person. I wasn’t planning on stepping in with Murphy. But I had this curiosity.

Something you probably don’t know about me and the horses is that I often hear music. That’s right, music – sometimes whole tunes sometimes just notes. Different music with different horses. I know it sounds a bit woo – but I love the music of the horses!

So I had this wondering about the music in the background that I kept hearing the whole time I stood with and then watched Murphy. So I said, “I’ll go!”

Sheppard asked my intention for the session. I mentioned how I would really love to get more comfortable and at ease with just being me – all of me.

The next 15 minutes were pretty magical. Murphy wanted to play. He galloped, danced and moved around the round pen. I skipped, galloped and danced myself. It was easy. We were in rhythm, and it was awesome! That music in the background was a wonderful Celtic jig.

I stepped out of the arena feeling very alive and full.

The session really reminded me of my own mastery.  Murphy mirrored so many parts of me. I can be stubborn (or keep eating grass (insert craft beer here) even when I should cut out the calories). I can be present, hold space and go deep with people.

I also can play, dance and find joy and humor.

Murphy was a great teacher.

A stepped away from the coaching session, really the whole day with the horses, reminded:

Sometimes you need to hold space and just be,
sometimes you need to eat grass,
sometimes you need to play and do your own version of a jig!!

Yes, my moments with Murphy were special and he was a magnificent mirror.

Murphy reminded me, I really do enjoy being me. All of me.

Now me loving me, hasn’t always been easy. But I think I’m getting it. I am okay, and I do enjoy finding the joy and humor in all that’s crazy, dark and deep.

Thanks Murphy!
Thanks Sheppard!
Thanks Susan Hyatt and My MasterMind group!

How Do You Feel Joy with So Much Disruption?

I just finished taking a short break to catch up on the latest news.  Coming back from my break I am a little shaken up as I often am these days after reading the headlines.  Today’s news was covering bombing in Kabul and Trump’s latest decisions to pull our of the Paris Climate accord. These are just a few examples of what’s happening in the world.

It’s hard to reconcile the news and my life.  I have had a wonderful couple of months.  I have spent a month at The Haven leading an amazing Living Alive Phase program with 24 participates all very committed to their learning and engagement in life.  The month was very fulfilling and I loved being part of a team committed to holding space for people to explore, discover and be different.

Thank you Carole Ames, JoAnn Kevala, Jan Pullinger, Gillian Chandler and Jan McGinn!

Since returning to Montana, I’ve enjoyed our second run of Find Your Mojo in Montana and it was a huge success.  YAY!! Great people, great fun, great learning — not mention some awesome moments with the horses!

CrisMarie and I’ve worked with two corporate clients and though one is in a more challenging phase, there was dialogue, empathy, connection and care — even amidst the conflict and crisis.

Add a couple days of being a part of the Haven strategic faculty team tasked with ensuring The Haven continues to grow and deliver transformative learning experiences, and I hope you can get the idea that my life is very different than those headlines!

I am so grateful for my life and the work I get to do!

I love the way I get to contribute and engage with individuals, couples, teams and organizations.  I feel fortunate and privileged to do the work.  I have the opportunity to see people work through painful stories, connect and find creative options even in some pretty dark places.

Yet I pick up the paper and wonder, Does not it make any really significant difference?  

Is it is possible to feel good and joy when it sure looks like so many are suffering and our own government is creating so much disruption?

That part is hard.

I do believe the work I do makes a difference.  I also believe when anyone feels joy, connection and fulfillment it’s a strong vibration that carries further out into the world than despair, helplessness and fear.

So I choose to keep playing my game of relating moment to moment, person to person and holding space for our humanity to shine  — even in the face of what seems like tremendous choas, pain and suffering.

I do wonder how you hold on to faith and stay in the game because sometimes it’s hard to reconcile what’s happening out there with what is happening inside.

I want to hear from you: How do you hold onto your faith and stay in the game? Email me: susan@thriveinc.com. 

Reflections From Living Alive

I’m at the halfway point in the Living Alive Phase 1 program on Gabriola and enjoying a break.

This is always a great time to reflect on what I’ve be learning and discovering during this 26 day journey.

Probably for me, one of the biggest joys has been in witnessing a group of people with diverse backgrounds, ages and stories – come together and be so willing to embrace each experience and support each other along the way.

Sure there have been some moments when I have wondered if someone will hang in or come back when it’s been too much or something deep has been stirred. However, I haven’t found myself losing faith in the process or the more importantly the person!

I like that I haven’t found myself pushing or thinking – “They have to get this NOW!!”.

Somewhere along the road of my own journey, I have become less anxious when I don’t have control or the contact I might want with someone.

I have less need to get them on the path I think is best and so have more willingness to let someone do their own thing while I am simply maintaining my location.

I’m thinking a lot of my willingness to stay located inside myself and less focused on an agenda for others comes from my work with the horses.

I think watching and learning from the herd has helped me trust the connections even when there’s distance or differences that appear to be big. I settle knowing the best path through a storm is to maintain my own location and be a beacon, the mare – not pushing or pulling but present and aware.

So far I find myself being less concerned about making sure everyone ‘gets it’ – whatever ‘it’ is – and instead tracking my willingness to be open, curious and clear.

I’m not there all the time, but much more than in the past. As a result, I find myself much more joyful and open-hearted.

Who knows what will be stirring as we step into Part B.

I do love this program because it such a wonderful opportunity to settle in and discover. Discover patterns. Discover new choices. Become more comfortable in my own discomfort and/or uncertainty.

Some may wonder, as a leader shouldn’t I be more certain about what might come next.

I know enough to provide the playing field, the boundaries and a path. I also know enough now to let the each person’s journey unfold from there.