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Meet Polly, My Procrastinator

I am not good at finishing!  As a very immediate person, I get myself distracted easily.  The strength of this personality trait some might say is adaptability.  Although I am not so convinced this trait is a strength.  There are too many signs of unfinished failure that haunt designme to think otherwise.  My book, scattered pieces on countless computers.  My closet, always piled with clothes. You might think I never do laundry!

These are just some current day indicators of this ‘strength”.

No, I think there is something else all together at work here.  Myself, I have come to believe, Polly, my procrastinator is the real instigator of my unfinished mastery!

Polly, has been an important protector of me over the years.  Believe or not, her amazing efforts have kept me from humiliation and criticism many times. Her ability to stall, distract and avoid detection has been valuable but may be a bit over done these days.  At other times in my life, writing and sharing my story was dangerous.  My messy, chaotic presentation kept me well under any radar and able to avoid getting too far out into the world where I might create problems for myself.  Yes, there was a time in my life where Polly served me – but not so anymore!

The problem is Polly remains on high alert!

Let me give you a bit of a day to day look at how Polly shows up in my world now.

I decide I want to write this quick post about procrastination.  I start typing and decide it would be good to look up the word procrastinate.  As I am googling the various definitions and diving into the root of the word, I discover a variety of interesting headlines about procrastination.

One,  Two Harvard Professors Reveal One Reason Our Brains Love To Procrastinate (I take a quick look but find it boring).

Two, I find  Later, a New Yorker article about a Nobel-prize winner’s relationship to procrastination (which I find much more engaging of course it starts with a cool story.  Plus, who doesn’t want to be compared to a Nobel Prize winner?!) and finally, a TED Talk by a known pre-crastinator who took on the task of learning to procrastinate because he missed out on a big investment opportunity by quite harshly judging a couple of his students who he wrote off as losers due to their procrastination who in the end made millions.

While Polly has found relevant information thus far, she doesn’t stop there.  Soon I am reading political headlines about our upcoming presidential election, which reminds me that I need to call someone about our upcoming weekend program Find Your Mojo In Montana.  So I get on the phone. Then I realize I’m hungry, and we have nothing for dinner. So I get ready to head out the door to the store and think,  why not take Rosie to the dog park? She needs the exercise.  I better grab a snack before I go. So I wind up making a shake. Needless to say I am soon far, far away from finishing the post and focused in a totally different direction!

Why is Polly protecting and procrastinating this time?!

Polly means well.  She loves the rapid intake of information, with a preference for quick reads and engaging activity.  She loves gathering random bits of information and finding common threads.  She is also very immediate, meaning if she gets bored she’s moves on – thus the inability to read through the Harvard article and get some tips on how to be any different!!

This is not an uncommon course of events for me and Polly!  Sometimes I love the variations and distractions.  But Polly and I have had  to develop a better working relationship.  This day’s activity though demonstrates relationships aren’t about being perfect!

However, I have  worked on this relationship with Polly for a while now.  I have now discovered a path to keep Polly engaged and entertained, while getting things done. (Don’t tell Polly!)

My relational efforts with Polly are the foundation for my new Building Your Mojo program is designed to help people like me develop their own working relationships with parts of themselves that are stopping them from reaching their fullest potential.

See Building Your Mojo Program!  is the outcome of how I have learned to relate and develop a much better working relationship with Polly.  I am putting her various skills into practice so that instead of stalling and never crossing the finish line, I am moving and making progress!

Not everyone has a Polly, but most of us do get stalled along the path to some of our most important goals.  That doesn’t have to happen!  There is a way through!

I ran the beta test last month with a fabulous group of folks and got some great feedback.

I have been on shut down for four years due to several traumas. I was suffering from depression, anxiety and I suspect some PTSD. I participated in Susan’s ‘Build your Mojo and Accomplish Your Dreams’ for a few weeks and found it to be really inspiring and I did actually put my foot back in the water. The whole idea is about living the best life you can and this experience has opened my mind up to possibilities I thought were no longer available. I am currently volunteering and thinking about spending a few months in Mexico. A huge step for me and all due to Susan’s leadership and suggestions.


I am now launching a new program. Click this link to learn more.

I love the group sessions because these sessions are interactive and engaging.  But I also get that there isn’t always time to dive in and work more individually with someone when things come up. I found people really got value out of having some one-on-one time to help them work through their Polly issues.  So I am offering a coaching package alongside the four week group sessions to give you personalized support. You can find it on the same page.

I love that I’m finding a new job for Polly!  What better way than to use all of her ample skills than to help others transform their procrastination and tap into and build their own Mojo to move through blocks and stalls. She’ll be answering emails, coaching people, and prepping and delivering the live classes, or running the store or checking Facebook.

If you already know you have your own inner Polly to work with – well check out Building Your Mojo on our thrive! site!  Don’t procrastinate – sign up now!

I’d love to play and engage in online learning and relating with you!


Living It! Bring Haven Home!

imageI love leading, teaching and learning in groups whether it’s a Haven program, or our Be BRAVE Women’s group, leading a team transformation offsite with a business team, or speaking to an entire organization. I love the live, face-to-face contact.

For a majority of my career, I have been a firm believer in face-to-face interactions as the best way to create transformational experiences and learning. However, times have changed and much of life these days takes place online and with people miles (may be even countries) apart. This is true in organizations, on teams, in families and even for couples. Life happens from a distance. Sure I love my face time and that is no longer required for developing trust, intimacy and transformation.

Having now participated in a number of online learning programs, I have developed friendships and connections that are as life enhancing has those that came from face-to face group experiences. As a member of a working team, I have found I can stay up-to-date and clear with colleagues moving significant projects forward and never or rarely getting together in person.

This week, CrisMarie have been delivering week four of our Be BRAVE class to a great group of women,  coaching sessions, webinars and radio programs, all from our home in Montana. That’s been great because not only have we gotten feedback that the work as been solid and powerful – we get to hang out at home with our dog, Rosie!

Why am I writing about this? Because in about six weeks, Haven’s Living It program is due to start with a weekend intensive on Gabriola. Living It! Is the first and only blended, meaning in person and online program,  Haven has offered.  It kicks off with the Haven magic of engaging in a circle on Gabriola with an awesome staff creating a great container for transformational learning and then continues for two months after online through webinars, groups and an online community site. Last year was our pioneer group. We were small but dedicated and worked our way through the challenges of technology and being the first!

Over the many years I have been at Haven, I have heard people speak of the challenges they face going home. Having had an intensive experience with deep connections and trying to figure out how to maintain that aliveness and engagement once back home in their ‘real’ world. I know it can be a challenge. In part it is why I am so committed to Living It! I know there are other paths at Haven like Staying Alive and Haven Coaching that can and do support the integration process. But I love the idea of meeting the challenge of integration while still in a program. In other words, taking Haven back home for a period of time and really having the support to try things, check in and try again!

So this blog is a really an ad! If you know that Haven has been an awesome transformational path for you and you have been challenged or want to bring more of that Haven magic back to your ‘real’ life, then consider signing up for Living It! It is powerfully helpful whether you have done just a Come Alive or the entire phase series.

Click here to learn more and sign up.

I do believe this is the next level of self-responsible relational living – being able to relate and create intimacy in person and online!

Join us! You’ll be amazed at how your life improves!

Living Life Full Out!

A few years back Kumi, a woman facing and living with cancer, came to one of our Come Alives.  She was inspiring because it was clear she intended to live fully!  She’s the one who shared one of my favorite quotes, “Live Life Full Out!”


I really like the intent of living life full out because it’s not saying live happily or lovingly or fearless.  Not that any of those options are bad – just somewhat idealistic for me.

I do have many happy moments.  I have actually become someone who does a good job of smelling the roses.  Meaning, I get great pleasure from visiting the dog park, watching a herd of horses, reading a good book, or just having a great cup of coffee (best on the porch but inside still provides the joy factor!)

I am also someone who lives through my loving.  Now, my definition of loving isn’t always about being sweet and nice. My form of loving is being honest and true, which sometimes creates discomfort.

Also, my face doesn’t make my loving all that obvious.  An earlier post Being a Grumpy-Faced Leader talks more about my face. Not that a smiling face as anything really to do with the depth of one’s loving, but I do sometimes wish my wasn’t quite so intense.

Fearless, me? Well, no. Most of the things I love to do the most, bring up fear!  I just feel the fear and do the best I can with it!

But that’s why Living Full Out – makes so much sense.  Living full out includes the fear, the pain, the anger, the joy!  Kumi knew that and so do I!

I have added my own lines regarding how to:

  • Connect with curiosity
  • Love wholeheartedly

My tag lines or how to’s  came from my years at The Haven.  It was at The Haven that I first discovered the power in curiosity.   Since then I have used my curiosity over and over again to help me connect to people who think and live differently than me.  I have come to believe it really is the secret sauce in any relationship.

Living wholeheartedly – well my heart can hold a lot – cracks and all.  To me, the wholeheartedly means embracing the cracks, the sorrow, hurt, and anger that is a part of living and loving.  The human heart is much like a lava rock – it can withstand tremendous heat!

I am writing about this today because sometimes living life full out isn’t easy.  Since returning from leading the Living Alive Phase I have been struggling to find my Montana rhythm.  But riding through the melancholy is just as important as riding the big waves of joy, especially if I want to live full out.  Got to love the dark spots too!

Putting Action Foreground At The Haven

onlineslide-words-jumpingJust wrapped up our in-person day with the ESG (Education Steering Group) at The Haven. Was a very productive day as usual.

As is often the case, we spent a good portion of our time looking at programs and educational direction. However, one piece that came up and I am really excited about working on going forward, is emphasizing putting action foreground in The Haven models.

So what do I mean?

Well we spend lots of time focusing on program content and what happens at the Haven. We got to talking this time about how could we start talking as much about what happens next! Meaning how do people take action with their learning and experiences at Haven.

Haven really isn’t just a center for personal development. It’s a center for self-responsible relational living and that has a lot more to do with how people live their learning than just how they get it!!

I know for myself. I love coming to The Haven and taking a program or connecting with friends. But really what I love and value most about The Haven is how I have transformed my life, my relationships and my world outside of The Haven as a result of engaging in the programs and living that learning when I left!!!

For me, I changed my relationship to my cancer and my relationship to the medical model. As my health changed, I focused on building relationships that were based in open, honest dialogue. This has lead me to leadership at The Haven but also out in the world with my work and life partner CrisMarie through thrive!

I transformed my relationship to my family, where for years we did not speak, Now we have deep connections based on who we each are as people. All of this came from learning about self-responsible relational living and taking action!!

I think sometimes I can forget to talk about just how important the action part of the Communication model and the Selves Model really is!

Sometimes in a program, I may not talk enough about what comes next. I know I do usually mention my favorite motto: It’s not what you do – but what you do next. For me that motto is immediate and intentional in regards to taking whatever I learn into what I do next!

When people ask me, what does the Haven offer. I often answer with information about the programs and that may be the intent in the question.

But really what Haven offers is so much more than the program.

Haven offered me a choice in how to live my life and face whatever came my way by responding – not just reacting. Now I don’t always do that! But I do get I have a choice! Sure I still make a choice to react, to blame, to self-hate …. the list goes on. However what The Haven offered me was the opportunity to fully own my choices and basically with that comes freedom.

My relationship to myself and to the world around me becomes something else entirely when I really get the meaning of that!!

Indeed the programs at The Haven are amazing but what is really even more amazing is what the people who have come through the Haven have done next! I do believe those stories are worth sharing. Those stories are about how Haven is changing the world.

Tell me – how did you take action with what you learned at The Haven! What did you do next!! How have you changed the world through self-responsible relational living!

I would love to know!!

Next Up At The Haven:

Living Alive Phase 1 – April 17, 2016 with Toby Macklin

Also check out my new Leadership Mojo Intensives – Equus Coaching in Montana!


Living Well Together

My theme for this year is Living Well Together.  onlineslide-hand-circle

I jumped into 2016 taking a program called Passionate Ease with Dr. Lawrence Conlan in Boulder, Colorado. One of his messages that stands out to me is his constant reminder that “Resistance is the way.” He means to enlightenment.

I know, right?!

Spiritual Awakening

This is a radical concept in the realm of spiritual awakening. I confess, I have not been interested in spiritual awakening. Over the years I have stayed far, far away from programs and paths that hint of transcendence or what I judge to be spiritual by-pass. Let’s just say, I don’t like experiences that encourage moving beyond this human experience without owning up to it!

Conlan’s mantra is radical in the world of spiritual seekers, and it’s also been the message at The Haven for well over thirty years.

The Haven has always been about creating richer connections with ourselves, each other, and in our communities. Not through transcending but through becoming curious and fully engaged in living well together, just as we are. In other words, being human, accepting the messy, and fully realizing the spiritual in each of our human beings – embodied!

Enlightenment or Embodiment?

So for me, Conlan’s message isn’t about enlightenment – it’s about embodiment!

But what if those two concepts really were not that different!

That is something I am very curious and interested in pursuing! Which brings me to my current theme for 2016: Living Well Together.

This is a Haven tagline. One that presents as quite simple, yet I find there are many layers worth exploring.

Fractures and Gaps Between Us

First there’s the obvious. As our headlines and news stories reveal, we aren’t really living all that well together these days. There are so many fractures and widening gaps between countries, cultures, sexes, races, people and even us and our planet!

Why is it so hard to live well together?

I am a believer that what happens on the outside is a simple a reflection of the inside!

Meaning living well together isn’t just about me, living well with my neighbor – no it’s also about be living well with all of me – the many parts of me.

For example, when I attempt a new challenge, some part of me is excited and feels courageous. Then there is another part of me that is full of self-doubt terrified of failing. Often, I want to banish that part of me. It is unattractive and gets in the way of me moving forward confidently. It is my resistance in moving forward. This is the part of me that is often difficult for me to accept, yet, both of these parts are inside me and need my attention and care.

Accepting and Embracing Me First

Most of the time, if I am honest, I have an easier time living with my neighbor than accepting all the messy, scary, unattractive parts of me.

The project of living well together is first a project about embracing and accepting my unattractive, uncomfortable parts. Then, I have much more room for embracing and accepting other people.

It is easy to see all the pain and separation in the world and think that is the problem. I do agree that there is work to be done “out there.” However, I find that the outside work is much more effective if it first comes from the inside out.

Living Well Together from The Inside Out!

Join me in making this year one that is about living well together – both inside and out!

I’m imagining some of you spiritual seekers have already clicked through to the Passionate Ease Retreats. Of course, I recommend one of Lawrence’s programs.

I am also assuming many of you were intrigued about having richer connections and stronger relationships so clicked through to The Haven and Come Alive.

Whichever, gets you started – just do it!

Especially if you notice any resistance because indeed resistance is the way – to embodiment, enlightenment, AND, most importantly, to living well together – from the inside out!

Iron-Fisted Power Is Not Leadership

Many years ago my friend, Susa Holt, told me I had to meet CrisMarie Campbell, an Olympic rower.  I could hardly wait to hear first hand what it was like to be an Olympian!

Yet, when I asked CrisMarie about the Olympics, she almost bit my head off, saying “I don’t like to talk about that – I was a loser!”

I was a bit stunned.   I know all to well how our heroes are often the masters of self-hate!  Fortunately, I met her as she was just heading into a Come Alive, and I figured this was a ripe area for her to do some great work.

She did.  Over the years, I have been a witness to CrisMarie’s reclaiming her Olympian.

_I8P7019-EditShe now uses her rowing stories as great examples of the difference between simply a boat of champions, the 1988 Olympic boat,  and a Championship team, the 1987 World Champion silver medal boat.

Today is a new chapter.  Her collegiate and national team coach made the headlines this month.  His long tenure at the University of Washington ended when the current team of rowers challenged his leadership style.

Here is the link to the Seattle Times article:  Firing of UW Rowing Coach

CrisMarie caught the news and wanted to reach out to the rowers.  The headlines presented a story line that seemed to imply the biggest issue was “an age gap” between the coach and his rowers.  The paper even went so far as to imply may be the rowers were pampered.  Really?

Well, CrisMarie had a long history with Bob and wasn’t about to stay silent. She wrote an opinion letter to the sports editor of the Seattle Times. He opted not to publish it.

I like that CrisMarie spoke up.

I like that she reflected both the brilliance AND the iron-fisted misuse of power that is all to often called leadership.

Mostly I love that she challenged the real issue, Bob did not want feedback and that is simply not leadership.

Below is her opinion. It is one woman’s story and perspective.  Regular readers know, that I am a big believer that there is never one side to any story.

However, I also believe silence in the face of popularity and power are deadly in so many ways.

 CrisMarie’s Opinion Letter, December 11, 2015

I am compelled to speak because of the apparent prevailing opinion that Bob Ernst was an excellent coach who deserved a better send off. No doubt Bob made Washington rowing more successful; however, as a leader of people, he failed.

First let me speak to my own direct experience with Bob. I rowed at Washington from 1982-1986, won the ’84 and ‘85 National Championships, and was the ’85 stroke and Team Captain. I went on to a silver medal win at the 1987 World Championships and then to the 1988 Olympics – all with Bob as my coach. I was, by many people’s standards, a winning rower. I was strong, smart, disciplined and hard-working. I credit Bob with making me a successful rower.

Bob is brilliant and was a revolutionary rowing coach– but not because of his leadership style. While he advanced Washington and Women’s Rowing, both at the collegiate and national level, Bob was not an effective leader of people.

In my six years of rowing, I only lost two official competitive races, and yet I walked away feeling like a loser. Why is that? My experience with Bob was that I was only as good as my latest win on the water. His strategy included blaming rowers for losses, and when we did lose, treating us, I felt, as unworthy human beings. He also used ultimatums to drive compliance.

When I injured my back training for the Olympics I considered missing one practice of our regular “two-a-day” sessions.  Bob yelled: “either she’s in the boat every day or she’s not in the boat at all!” I got in the boat. While the choice to get in that boat was mine, it is important to underscore the power a coach has over team members to make them perform. And when we lost at the Olympics he blamed me for losing the race by getting in the boat with injuries. Really?

His pronouncement of blame was demoralizing in 1988, and I was shocked to hear him repeat it ten years later. When a coach or leader devalues the team his power becomes abusive and the coach ceases to lead.

As a result of my experience with Bob, I have dedicated my career to helping business leaders produce high performing teams that are both smart (“winning”) and healthy (people matter). Team success is often a result of the leader’s willingness to step out of the “command and control” style and get feedback from the team. This drives team engagement and better team results long-term.

In reading the details of what transpired with Bob and the team, he seemed unwilling to be either vulnerable or curious with the team. Bob could not find a way to use the conflict to create a better outcome both for the team and himself. It wasn’t the job of the UW Administrators to do that, it was his job as a leader.

Marlow Mizera, the coxswain who spoke up to Bob, is a hero of mine. She is a leader. She had the courage to stand up to the most powerful coach in Washington Rowing. These women wanted to give their coach feedback on the impact of his style; they wanted to work with him. Unfortunately, he was unwilling to lean in and hear the feedback, which is sad. They did something I wish I could have done 30 years ago.

This is not about an age gap between Bob and the new generation of rowers. This issue has gone on a long time – it’s about confusing iron-fisted power with leadership.

I do wonder if Bob had been willing to hang in, hear, and honor some honest feedback, whether he and the team could have turned this conflict into a win for both him and the Washington Women Rowers.

CrisMarie (aka Chris) Campbell  Co-founder of thrive! inc., works with leaders and their teams to transform conflict into innovative results. Her TEDx Talk is: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It!


Living It! – Join Us Sunday!

onlineslide-words-jumpingAll of you who follow my blog know that I have tremendous love and commitment to The Haven and the core programs there.  Indeed, I turned my life around there, and still after thirty years continue to learn, grow, and get my beliefs and stories challenged and expanded by leading and taking programs at The Haven.

However, as much as I love The Haven, it’s really not the place, the faculty, or all you folks who come to Haven that have been the reason my life is transformed.  Sure, I love being there with you all, but the bottom-line is that it wasn’t five days of a Come Alive or various month long programs that made me different.

No.  It’s an on-going, never-ending commitment to Living It – that makes the difference.

Learning is great.  Places that support and create a wonderful environment for exploring and discovering are awesome.  The Haven is certainly that place, but if you can’t take those lessons home or back to work, it’s just a wow! experience.  Nothing wrong with wow! But for me, the test is how I live what I learn everyday!

I often hear someone say in a program – “I can’t be like this back in the real world!!”  I challenge that idea because really Haven is the “real world.”  Still, I do understand that it is easier to try something new when you are outside of normal or familiar.  I would agree – The Haven and Gabriola are that for me.

I think the real work does come when you get home.  As I have often shared – fighting cancer was a hell of a lot easier than living beyond it!  There was a charge, a fight, and an easy choice when I was dealing with cancer.  When the fight stopped, it was harder to keep making choices for my own aliveness.  There’s a risk and an edge to that type of living.  Still, I do think it is what living is all about!

So if you took a Come Alive or a Phase and you have struggled to Live It  back in your ‘real world.’  Join Toby and myself to talk about that challenge.

Sunday – August 23 at 1PM PT on a webinar.  Register Now! You can also take the challenge of joining us for the new Living It Program starting Sept 10th.

Whatever you decide I would love to hear from you. How do you Live it, meaning how to you take what you learn and apply to yourself, your life, your relationships or your work? Tell me.




Come Alive – Self-Responsible Relational Living & Leading!

In May, CrisMarie and I had the chance to do a TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! right here  Whitefish.

It was a bucket list experience for me.  Yes, doing a TEDx talk was one piece of that, but being able to be on the stage with my life and work partner, CrisMarie, and sharing my own transformational experience from my first Come Alive at the Haven was the bucket list part.

When I arrived at the the Haven in 1984, I was dying.  When I left, I was awake and alive!  Of course, the journey really wasn’t a five day transformation. Yes, the tumors were gone, but that didn’t mean I had a clue how to keep living it!! What I did know was that something else was possible, and I wanted more of that!

I had an experience that woke me up to the possibility of living beyond my limiting story and circumstances.  In other words, I  was embracing the possibility of self-responsible relational living!  Now, that was, and is, a practice, and frankly, a spiritual one well worth pursuing!

That concept of embracing self responsibility was not easy.  I still have a quick twitch tendency to blame – either myself, others, God, or the universe.  That blame is an easy escape route from being connected to the world around me.  When I am unwilling to respond, I stay trapped in my reaction, or in a right/wrong place, and as a result, my world is isolated and quite small.

For me, the key was curiosity!  Getting out of that right/wrong trap is still a practice I have to embrace daily, however, now, it’s exciting and very enlivening!

The relational part took even longer to fully embrace and is big reason I was so thrilled to do our TEDx Talk: Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It! together.  When you watch it you will see how relational it is. We start out personally. We make mistakes, sing a song, and a flub the very last line. It is funny and poignant. At least, we hope that is your experience in watching it.

To me, it was definitely real and relational.  It is that relational piece which  has made the lessons of Haven spiritual and sustaining.

Today, CrisMarie and I at thrive! inc., work with leaders and teams.  I am thrilled to be taking self-responsible relational living to self-responsible relational leadership!

I love that the roots of who we are in the world are grounded in that transformational experience I had years ago in a Come Alive. I also love that in many ways the concept is simple. Live and lead with vulnerability and curiosity – embrace our differences and use conflict to change/connect the world!

For me that is what Come Alive offers –  a wake up call to action.  A chance to change my world through surfacing conflict and using it as an energy source for transformation, creativity and innovation.

That is also the essence of becoming a self-responsible relational leader!

If you are stuck or frustrated in your life, I suggest taking a Come Alive!  Try on self-responsible relational living! Come join us for our Come Alive starting August 30, 2015.  (Next dates March 6-11, 2016)

And it if you are a leader, frustrated by your team’s results, give thrive! inc. a call and consider embracing self-responsible relational leadership!

Want to see the TEDx Talk Conflict – Use It, Don’t Defuse It!  Watch it, share and spread it! We think it is an idea worth spreading!

Finding Faith

A few weeks ago, Robin Williams took his life.  It was sad day and a tremendous loss.  Of course, it was Robin Williams, so the media was full of stories.  Most suicides or suicide attempts aren’t like that.  Most aren’t so public.

I spoke to someone recently who struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts; they were saying how scarey it was to hear that someone like Robin Williams killed himself.  They felt quite vulnerable since in their view he had so much and he still couldn’t stop himself.

All I kept think was how many times he had!

From what I have heard and read, Robin Williams fought those demons daily or quite regularly.  Seems to me there were many, many more times he chooses to live than too die. And he did finally lose that battle.

When you lick cancer once it’s consider a remarkable win.   Facing suicide over and over and choosing in – well that most count for something.

I told my friend this and they smiled.  They hadn’t thought of it like that and reported feeling better. I’m not sure if they will kill themselves. I hope not.

Still I do get it.  Life is unpredictable and sometimes painfully hard to endure.  Depression is a dark lonely place and choice seems far, far away when you are in it.

Still there is a choice.

I have wrestled myself with despair.  Not sure I’d call it is quite the same as depression.  But when I bump myself into that space it isn’t easy to shake.

I’ve run many miles and eaten a few too many bags of chips trying to numb my monster. Sometimes the numbing helps and the pain passes.  Sometimes I can take a wild ride and wonder if it wouldn’t be better to quit.

Under all that pain there seems to be a little girl who simply doesn’t always like how we as humans treat each other.  She doesn’t like playing the game just simply to win and often doesn’t really even get why that is so important.

It can be as simple as being accused of cheating at Ladies Golf League and suddenly I find myself spiraling.  Probably that seems so small.  But I joined the League to have fun and when it seems like the game is more about winning than relating, I can lose my faith.

I’ll get it back.  I generally rise after I fall.

But I get it.

When faith is lost – faith meaning the felt sense of the continuity of life or a knowing that I matter, we matter and we are connected.  When that is totally lost, it is hard to choose.  Hard to find a good enough reason to go on.

Until someone reminders me that some little words of wisdom I might offer made a difference – like how many times Robin Williams said yes to life instead of no – and that helps.

It restores my faith.

My demon, despair,  settles and I carry one.


Play-cation Time!

Though there have been many fun moments in my summer to date, I realize there has not been much in the way of ‘vacation’ time.

Now I want to start off by saying just the word, vacation is a bit of turn-off for me.  I don’t really have much of a desire to ‘vacate’ my life.  So instead I have decided to take a ‘play-cation’.  It just sounds better!

We’re home for a Play-cation!

So what is a ‘play -cation’?

Well we, CrisMarie & I,  have decided we needed some rest and play together! We have each had some fun times separately.  CrisMarie went to New York for a family reunion and I stayed home and basically played lots of golf!  Both reported having lots of fun and a holiday of sort, but not together. Our other trips have either been training, workshops or work, so we really wanted some play & rest time together.

Initially we called our experiment a stay-cation, which I believe is a more familiar word for staying at home for a holiday.  We agreed we live in a magical spot so why travel.  Still stay-cation didn’t have the right vibe.  When we got to talking more about what we were each wanting it was clear we both wanted rest and play.

Now in a perfect world we would shut-off our devices.  That’s not happening but we have agreed to some periods of shutdowns and creating some boundaries around work or other usual distracts. (Mine is exercise – I have this need to run or work-out every day – this may sound healthy and sane; however, sometimes I can simply use exercise as a way to distract myself from settling, resting or even playing).

Of course there are other pressing things we ‘should’ be doing.  However, after a testy series of interchanges, we knew that even though we could push on, the disconnect and end results would not be worth it! So we paused and decided we need a play-cation!

We intent to use these next few days to reconnect, refresh and rejuvenate.  We’ve been working pretty hard and have lots on the schedule ahead. (Couples Alive, August 20-24!! and Come Alive August 25-30 – do join us, after some rest & play it will be very fun time!!)  But sometimes it’s just important to drop the agenda and play! Thus we are taking a play-cation!!

I’ll let you know how it goes!!  Who knows maybe I’ll even share some pictures!