It’s All Going To Be Maginificent

My 2023 Mantra, from a song introduced to me on a Christine D’Ercole (Peloton playlist) – Maginificent (She Says). However, I knew it was my 2023 mantra after taking part in a recent Passionate Ease workshop. I had a profound openning in the weekend. I knew IT IS ALL GOING TO BE MAGIFICENT and with my arms open to the world I was ready to live that forward.

This isn’t about perfection or super wonderful, awesome and positive. It’s about embracing and having complete experiences. Sometimes that is finding or living the exquiste in grief, pain, rage, conflict.

Ultimately it is about trusting in the universe and in being as fully in whatever is unfolding.

As I move into 2023, I find myself wanting to be much more present, openhearted and at ease with myself and the world.

Some 2022 Highlights

Last year was an amazing year. I finally got my book out into the world. Crazy, Cracked, Warm and Deep got it’s wings and legs.

We had some incrediable work experiences and loved being able to get back out to work in person with teams. We had some great times in Austin, San Franisco, Chiacgo, Seattle, DC (well actually the team was together in DC, I was on the screen in our office and CMC had Covid), San Diego and Boulder. Even did some rowing!

Getting some team tips from The Olympian!

We also found we could do some great work right here in Montana. Lots of coaching, working with Glacier National Park, Leadership Flathead and enjoying the mountains, the trails, the lakes, the theater, music, dancing and much, much more.

There were magical moments with family. My sister calls and book club with my mom. Celebrating Bill and Julia Campbell’s 70 wedding aniversary.

We had a couple weeks up at The Haven, I was eading a Come Alive with Carole (it’s been a couple years) and another great Couples Alive. followed with CrisMarie.

We did some solid podcsting and the best part was producing our brain series. It was so fun interviewing Dr Jill Bolte Taylor (twice), Annie Hopper, Annie Thoe, Irene Lyon and Jenifer Fraser and Dr Lawrence Conlon. That was special and I do hope you got to enjoy their wisdom. (You can use the link if you want to give it listen now)

There was much to be grateful for in 2022.

Now moving into 2023, I want to continue to embrace the moments.

I’ll be kicking things off this week with a webinar for Crazy, Cracked, Warm and Deep. On Jan 5, a one hour introduction to how you can live and apply Crazy, Cracked, Warm and Deep to your life. If you are interested let me know.

We’ll both speakers at a great event outside of Calgary, New Year, New You. This is an amazing day of inspiring women speakers – available in person or online. Shifting from people pleaser to cowboy confident!

We’ll be doing an in-person event for 24 women on day two. Want more information here’s a link and share!

We have a few other public events lined up. I am scheduled for a Come Alive in April and both of us will be up at Haven just after that for Couples Alive.

Out biggest launch for 2023 will be coming later as we work with Rali to release our journey on The Beauty of Conflict for teams. Right now we are in the script writing process and will be filming in late March with a release hopefully by June. It’s exciting. This is an amazing group to be joining and partnering with as we continue to work to get the message out that there is BEAUTY in conflict.

So much is in the works and on this first day of the year, I wanted to reach out. I could have gone to the mountain but it seemed more important write and share.

A Little Gift for You

I’m sharing a link to my year end Spotify playlist: 2022 Favorite Tunes. These tunes were the ones I listened to most and not all new releases mostly ongoing favorites.

I do hope this finds you embracing life as we start 2023. I encourage you wake up each more with some breathing and if you don’t have a mantra – try mine: It’s All Going To Be Maginificent!

Swimming In The Paradox

Photo by Virgil Cayasa on Unsplash

I love to stack up books and when an opportunity presents itself; read.  Recently, I found myself reading two different books.  One, The Myth of Normal the other, Scaling Up 

For a taste of the former,  here’s paragraph in the opening chapter:

Much of what passes for normal is neither healthy or natural… to meet the criteria of society is to conform to requirements that are profoundly abnormal for our natural needs – which means unhealthy and harmful on a physiological mental and even spiritually level.

This is a physician speaking, Gabor Mate,  who has spent years in a medical model that paradoxically advances our ability to eliminate illness while doing it in a way that is compartmentalized and  potentially causes more harm than good.

Then there’s Scaling Up which is a book about how companies must manage the four major decision areas every company must get right: People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash. 

I sort of feel as a jump back and forth in these books I am swimming in the paradox that Gabor Mate is referring to in the The Myth of Normal.

It’s true as a therapist and business consultant I often feel like I am torn between worlds and caught in a paradox within both.

As a therapist, I have gathered a deep understanding of the impact of stress, trauma, neglect, pressure, perfectionism, absent parenting, bullying, abuse and systemic ‘isms’ on us humans trying to survive.

As a business consultant and executive coach, I also have a deep appreciation for people who focus their lives on rising their family, acquiring wealth, keeping thousands of employees paid during challenging times and coming up with new gadgets, widgets,  and toys of all sorts. Some that thrill, some that save, some that connect and bring people moments of joy.

I have seen the best and worse in both systems: healthcare and business.  I may have been the best and worse at times over the years in both worlds.

Sometimes I feel crazy and I admit I rarely feel ‘normal’ these days.  I’m okay with that. 

Yet it is hard.

In business, I often find the drive and need for cash, execution, and market share exhausting.  If I am honest that rarely motivates me.  However, I know these people are impacting the lives of so many and often are motivated by success, market share as well as the people that are doing the work that makes that possible. 

I want their conversation to be relational and real.  I want them to see themselves and others as humans that are messy, vulnerable and make mistakes.  That part of my work is rewarding.

Of course, there times when I lose it with a client and we may choose to go our separate ways.

When I am working with individuals, couples, or teams I am deeply motivated to stop the blame and shame and move people towards experiencing their agency, compassion, and kindness for others, which generally has to start with oneself.

That is not always easy. 

Truth be told my own journey from victim to human (being) took years (decades) and frankly I am still on that journey.

I sometimes act like I think people should get it at one team off site or on personal/professional development program.

It’s not really that I expect that of them or me.  It’s that I feel helpless when that doesn’t happen and blame and shame runs the room.

It’s a capacity issue.

I don’t like feeling helpless. 

However, sometimes it’s just the way it is.

Reading and gaining new tools and perspective does help.  However, the bigger challenge for me is how to take the lesson and live them day-to-day.

How to build my capacity for feeling helpless AND still carrying and loving on.

That’s where breathing, moving, and dropping the words for sounds and music comes in handy.

I do enjoy and am grateful for my mind AND I know it’s my body, breath and energy that truly connects me to the wonder of the world around me.

I prefer to live in wonder than just in knowledge or answers. What about you?

Cathy’s Living Forward Ernie’s Final Gift

https://haven.ca/programs-index/11830/lunch-with-luminaries-ernies-final-gift/

Ernie McNally was a wonderful human being. He was friend, a colleague, an amazing musician, a great Haven facilitator and much, much more. He left the planet too soon and had a remarkable final year in how he decided to live knowing that he was dying.

I know Cathy McNally, has for years wanted to share more of the message and wisdom that Ernie continued to offer right up until he died.

That’s not easy to do. Pulling together those words, messages, and wisdom after losing your soul mate and partner.

But what I think was even more amazing was being alongside Cathy’s journey to not just keep Ernie’s loving alive but to also live fully in the new journey she was taking.

At one point, she had plans to put all this wisdom together shortly after Ernie left. A book of sorts. Well, that might have made living just too damn hard.

I know her desire in sharing Ernie’s Final Gift is to highlight the spirit and thirst he had for life, connection and loving and how he embraced all that through his final 17 months. I have no doubt that storyline will be powerful and profound for anyone facing uncertainty (or in his case terminal certainty).

I know Ernie and enough about his journey that he did what is so very hard to do – lived fully and lovingly through each moment. I also know Haven was the foundation on which that journey was possible. He knew it too. He loved the Haven and lived the Haven. I do believe his Final Gift is a wonderful invitation to anyone who hasn’t heard of the Haven or hasn’t made it a priority yet to go.

I’d say to any of you reading this, join Cathy McNally, Jane Geesman (Another amazing human). and the spirit of Ernie’s passion for life and loving. Listen and then sign up for your own Haven experience.

Life is way to short not to. I’d also say don’t wait for a crisis to make that happen.

I’d also encourage you to join on November 1 to listen to Cathy’s journey for another reason. Of course, it’s not easy to live fully knowing you are dying AND it is also not easy to be the one who is tasked with living fully well after you are gone.

That too is a journey with loads of wisdom.

Want to learn and discover what I believe Haven offers best: – Relational tools for loving and living through uncertainty. This lunch time talk will be a great window into that magic. Don’t miss it: Ernie’s Final Gift – November 1, 2022 Noon PT.

Let Nature Take Care of Your Soul

Imagine this…

Your boots sink into the rich, moist soil as you walk through the trees. 
The spongy feel is uplifting as it supports your movement.
You can smell that fresh hay, grass and the earthy, healing smell of horses.
Overhead, the big, blue, cloudless Montana sky stretches. 
Far away, the whinny of a horse punctuates the beauty of the moment. 

Every ounce of tension and stress slips away as the horse next to you sighs deeply. The feel of their soft, fuzzy nose on the back of your hand is grounding. The crisp, clear October breeze caresses Montana’s vast land and brushes against your cheek. 

Tonight, you’ll sit by the firepit, surrounded by the women who have been part of your reconnection experience. The air might have a chill, but you’ll be warm as you enjoy the smoky smell and crackling of fire. 

This. Here in nature.
This is good for your soul. 
This is Find Your Mojo in Montana.
This is where you belong. 

Science has proven dirt and fresh air :

  • increase serotonin levels
  • helps the digestive system
  • improves blood pressure
  • strengths the immune system
  • clears the lungs and makes for a sharper mind.

Sometimes the best medicine comes in a very natural package.

Join us in the heart of Big Sky Montana.

Let nature take care of your soul so you can take care of those who depend on you! 

Time Between Trains

A Little Taste of Haven

I’m here on Gabriola.

Yesterday finished Come Alive and tonight head into a Couples Alive.

Right now I’m between programs. Between trains so to speak. Between people.

CrisMarie is in route. Carole (Ames, my Come Alive leading partner) is heading home.

One group of faces will be replaced by a new group. Mostly individuals to people in pairs.

It’s been a while since I have lead a Come Alive. It wasn’t just a Covid break. I did step away from leading before that disruption.

When I stepped away there were different things happening and a need for me to step into more of my Montana boots.

I am grateful for the shift and the time to walk more in my own stride, pace and purpose.

As I stepped into this Come Alive, I did feel more solid and comfortable in ME.

As a result, I enjoyed finding the WE – with Carole, with the team and with some wonderful people on their own journey.

For me, Come Alive is rooted in discovering what it means to be self-responsible AND relational in life.

Couples Alive has a similar thread. Though, for me, more about being a ME in a WE.

It can be so easy to get comfortable in a WE and sometimes let go of the ME.

I know there’s more to write and to share. Yet, there also is this space between trains that seems harder to put into words.

I’ll wrap up for now. Go sit by the water. Tidy my room so that there’s a space and place for CrisMarie to land.

Enjoy this time between trains.

Last Call 📣 Couples Alive @The Haven

This is happening:  The Haven is for sale. 😳

What does it mean?  I know many are sad, dishearten, and see this as an ending.  I don’t actually know. 

Check out this listing
The Haven is For Sale

What came up strongly for me, when I saw the reality of The Haven being on the market, was a desire to make the experiences I do have at Haven as meaningful as possible.

With that in mind, I am calling ALL COUPLES who’ve benefited from the rich, enlivening Couples Alive, (and/or any relationship program at the Haven) to come back this summer to have what might be a last blast!

My dream for this August Couples Alive is a room filled with couples who love and have benefited in their relationship from all their time at The Haven.  We once thought that was going to be the 4th segment of the Couples Alive Series.  It didn’t happen.

So why not create that experience now? This summer. Maybe the last summer of Haven.

Our August Couples Alive brings together two things I just love about Haven. 

  1. The opportunity to engage in revitalizing my relationship
  2. Being on beautiful Gabriola Island in the summer!

CrisMarie and I both plan to bring all our deep loving and joy to this program.  It may be a last one we lead at The Haven.  We want to make it extra special.

I am calling out to all you people who want to join us in for a special summer run of Couples Alive.  I know every time CrisMarie and I have taken, or lead, one of these programs it has a transformational impact both my ME and in our WE.

  • Maybe you are in a relationship that has become flat or transactional.
  • Maybe you want to relive the resonance that the Haven property brings forth in you and your honey.
  • Maybe you want to apply the Couples Alive tools to revitalize where you two are now.
  • Maybe you want to just come out and hang with us and others who deeply value intimacy and relating.
  • Maybe you want to say goodbye to the Haven property.

Join us for possibly the last Haven property Couples Alive August 18-22! There’s still time to sign up, but don’t wait too long…Sign up NOW!

Come Play!

Celebrating Life: The Heart Beats & Connections

Love this Client gift AND the message – Speak Freely!

I don’t want to write about my reactions to headlines and stories of the madness that seems all about.

I do though want to connect.  To find a story or subject that resonates with my heart and possibly through simply sharing will resonate with you. 

Since my birthday is approaching, June 12 is the official day, I do want to take a moment to celebrate my precious time on this planet.

I have some fun planned here in Montana, a Pride rafting trip and the Downton Abbey New Era movie with friends. 

I’ve also added an extra day on a trip to Seattle, where I’ll be with family – Penny, Rob, Melissa, Melissa’s new boyfriend, Rick,  my mom, Clarke, Carolina, Janet.  I am hoping this will be an evening of music and fun.  Between Rob, Clarke, Rick, Melissa, Carolina – there’s plenty of musical talent.  

Want To Help Me Celebrate – Here’s one way – Bobbi’s Arena

These days it’s cool to have a way for people to share in a birthday through a charity or cause.  I know there are many big global options. But this year I would love to have you offer a donation to Bobbi Halls’ new arena.  She’s a special woman and I do look forward to being back out at the ranch for Find Your Mojo in Montana, happening October 6-9, 2022.  If you are inclined to offer a birthday gift, please offer a donation towards Bobbi’s new arena.  Here’s the link: https://gofund.me/6f08327d

Gratitude Does Come with Age and I am getting OLD!

I feel incredibly grateful for my life.  My amazing wife, CrisMarie and our two four-legged family members, Rosie and Zuzu.  Life is good.  Even with all the crazy.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s been 62 years – damn, I am getting old.

I don’t really feel it.  Sure, I have the odd ache or pain.  My hair is grey (and I love it).  However, over the years life has simply gotten better – richer and fuller. 

This year did mark a big milestone.  I finally got that book out.  I’m pretty proud of my book, Crazy, Cracked, Warm and Deep.  At one time it would have been about the pain and loss. It also could have been longer and included other stories.  However, it’s short and makes the point I really think is worth making – Life really is about being relational – Not Right.

Heartbeats & Connection

As I step into year 63, I know time is limited.  However, life isn’t really measured in time. I think it is best measured in heartbeats and connections. 

I plan to make the most of those. 

I hope you do too.

Happy Birthday Lincoln – A True Bright Spot

Today’s is my great-nephew, Lincoln’s second birthday. (May 30)  This is little guy came into world at a time when things were not easy.

The world was in the throws of a global pandemic.  Our country was just day’s out from the murder of George Floyd.  There were fears, stress, hatred and much pain and grief.

In his own family, he was born not to long after his grandpa, Monte, my sister Melissa’s husband, had died after a battle with Pancreatic cancer.

However, this little guy has been nothing but a bright shining light!  Pretty much for all that get to visit and know him. 

I haven’t had that up close meeting yet.  But have stories and many pictures all showing the rays of sunshine he’s been radiating out for his first two years.

This latest birthday was celebrated with more bright spots.  I loved learning about his amazing joy in getting both a grilling tent and a small kitchen as his new favorite places to play.

Monte, his grandpa, was a great cook and griller.  No doubt some of that came through in the gene pool. 

You got love it when a little one takes to tee ball, golf, cooking and grilling.  Now that is a well rounded soul.

There is a lot of pain and sorrow in the world.  It’s hard to remember or find the bright spots.

Little Lincoln – he’s a definite bright spot.  So is all the loving and connection he and his family have shared together and via photos and Facebook with me and those of us not so close.

Happy Birthday Lincoln!!  Keep shining! 

Now What???

The book, Crazy Cracked Warm and Deep is launched. I loved both the virtual launch and the in-person launch at Unleashed Winery right here in Whitefish.

I have had some wonderful notes from people who have shared their reactions and stories to the book.

I wanted to share a few:

I just love that it’s not sequential. It powerful and impactful and also spacious and open – it’s like poetry

I am learning to find and embrace my crazy. I read this on my plane trip to AZ. Tears streamed down my cheeks….both sad for all you have lived through and happy for the strength you found to go warm and deep.

I just wanted to share that while you were reading, I saw a flood of light, the creation of all sorts of new, stronger lights (stars) in the universe! It was fantastic!! Your work has kindled that strong, light energy through the universe!! Then I heard the music!! Your process and what you have created have set in motion new sounds and new harmonies in our universe.

I love that someone is learning to embrace their crazy! I was nervous about my non-linear, fractal style – so reading open and spacious – poetry – awesome.

Ayone who knows me would know that hearing someone reporting sounds and music is special and little lights spreading – I could not ask for more. That for me is better than 5 Star Reviews. (Don’t get me wrong – I would love those too!)

I realize many of those who pre-ordered the book have had a stalled process in getting the book. I did offer to share a draft pdf version for folks so they did not have to wait. Most people did not take me up on that. They wanted to wait for the actual copy. Honestly, I think that was all Jane Geesman, one of my readers on the launch. She did such an awesome job of selling the sensual version of having the book in hand. If you missed I can share the link. I love Jane Geesman and her style.

I don’t fully understand all the reasons for the delays in delivery but when I learned that some bestselling authors were having equal challenges. I felt better or at least in good company.

Oddly folks in Europe and Australia have reported getting them before some folks here or in Canada. Very odd!

But moving on – what’s next or…

Now what?

I’d love to create some type of workshop or program around Crazy, Cracked Warm and Deep. I’m looking at how to launch something virtually or through the Haven. Keep an eye out or let me know and I’ll get you on a waitlist.

What I have loved about the responses I have gotten is that people are sharing their stories, their crazy or cracked. That is powerful and what I was hoping to create.

I also would really enjoy being able to do talks with small groups. Maybe a reading and then some discussion. If you are interested in hosting something like that or connecting me to a group or association that might be interested in having a gathering. Reach out. It could be virtual and I am traveling more these days – so I’d be open to discussing options.

I would love to create spaces where we can talk about our crazy and maybe crack enough to connect and discover that special place of warm and deep.

Crazy Cracked Warm and Deep Is About To Launch

Leading up to Crazy, Cracked, Warm and Deep launch day is an interesting mix of excitement, fear, doubt, excitement, fear, doubt….. excitement, joy, doubt…. I’m sure you are getting the idea.

I am not great at getting all the pieces ready early. Maybe it’s my MyersBriggs. I prefer to wait to the last minute. Now add to that all the undercurrent of publishing a memoir about my Crazy and what that brings up. You can imagine.

I have been making steps and I do have a launch party set – both virtual and in-person.

One of my favorite moments over the holidays was getting to share some stories with family. It was real. We laughed and I cried. Not because I was sad but because my sisters and mom listened and we connected.

I’m not looking for a best seller here. What I want is the book to be one people relate to and resonates with their own less than perfect process of showing up out in the world.

I know how writing and sharing stories has been the way I have journeyed on my path to becoming whole.

My writing has gotten better over the years I think. But ‘better’ isn’t really the point. The writing is how I crack my armor. Some stories are very, very old and have been held tightly. Mostly out of fear or uncertainty.

There was a time when sharing my story was about being validated or proving something. That has long since passed.

The fractures from trying to find facts was incrediably painful and creating a lot of suffering – for me and for others.

However sharing stories, listening and not getting caught in right or wrong – but listening and feeling. That is healing. That is the reason I want to share Crazy, Cracked, Warm and Deep.

I have a vision of people sharing the book in their book club. Using the book to talk about their own crazy and cracked, warm and deep.

Right now it is just getting it’s wings.

If you want to join in the launch here’s a link to register for the virtual event. If you use in your book club – please reach out and let me know how it goes.