Category Archives: Leadership

Come Alive

Downtown HarborAir Terminal

Sitting at The HarborAir terminal downtown Vancouver waiting for my flight to Nainamo.  Heading over to Gabriola for a Come Alive followed by a Couples Alive.

I bought along my copy of Being, Ben and Jock’s book edited by Toby.  It’s still a great read and much like Come Alive so relevant to living, loving and being on this human journey.

I am partially reading it now because I am the primary leader for this Come Alive and though I have an incrediable team around me, I feel somewhat responsible for ensuring I am grounded in the models and able to teach the foundational pieces that make this program great.

Over the years, I have led with grit, with force, with my own agenda and counted on my co-leader to make sure I didn’t get to caught up in standing out or being too rigid.

For those unfamiliar with the term standing out, I’d say it falls into the category of trying to achieve, be perfect, lead from the front or just a role.

Sometimes that’s might be needed but usually leading involves standing forth. Coming from an inner strength and knowing, the right mix of being personal, real and relational while also providing some structure and confidence in the path set forth.

So I’m reading Being. As I read, I am feeling warmth and gratitude for Ben, Jock, Joann, and the many, many mentors and friends who have been a big part of my own journey.

I’m also reading through our recent scripts for The Beauty of Conflict because that too is a translation of the learning that I believe has ensured my on-going commitment to aliveness, intimacy and relationship.

So I wait for my seaplane and reflect. I watch the various clouds passing – from threatening storms to fluffy white puffy bubbles.

I am reminded of Ben’s story of the train station. How often people wait for the ‘right’train, assuming that they’ll somehow know when that ‘right’ train arrives. Sadly they often waste time waiting and miss getting on a train.

That’s kind how I feel about Come Alives – I signed up for this one and I am already fully on the train (well planes in this case). Enjoying the journey and discovering as I go who will be joining me for the ride.

As I take my journey I am aware of various moments from the many, many, many Come Alives I have taken – all the way back to the one I stepped into with my sister, Penny, over 30 plus years ago. All amazing and all hold a piece of the trapestry of me I’ll bring to leading this one.

Should be a blast.

We Are All In This Together – Right? Right!

We’re In This Together

This has been a rallying cry for me since we stepped into Shelter-In-Place here in Montana and agreed to support the flattening of the curve. 

During this time period, though distant, I have felt close with various parts of the country, geographically scattered members of my family, friends and community as well as other countries around the globe facing this Pandemic.

At times it has been scary and for sure filled with uncertainty and questions.  It seems like each step of the journey has introduced new information, new elements that have tossed me into a cycle of change and transition.

However, the rallying cry, ‘we are in this together’ – kept me aligned strong and committed.

Now there is a new crack that has challenged my belief about being in this together.

Re-opening has started. 

This process of re-opening seems incredibly chaotic and disjointed.  I don’t see or feel the we are all in this together anymore!

Each state has is doing it’s own thing and there seems to be all sorts expert opinions that offer very differing perspectives on what is best or safest.

I believe here the biggest driver may economics and I get that this is a very serious concern.  Our economy is based on businesses small and large operating. People being able to spend and sell. 

There are also some mentions of why this may even be a healthy choice – though much like alternative medicine when it comes to health issues – these ideas are not the standard nor considered evidence-based.

The problem – we don’t have a great deal of evidence around a Pandemic and may be not enough data collected to know this virus.

So it’s all a bit of guess work.

Blown Away: AKA My oh Sh%T Moment!

Seriously this so reminds me of the day I discovered the treatment for my cancer wasn’t working. My doctor and medical team, informed me they didn’t have other options. I probably had 3 to 6 months to live. 

I was blown AWAY.  I was certain that as experts and leaders they were going to get me through this health crisis. In that moment, I got that was not the case. I discovered that really my medical team at that point was in it with me if I understood and traveled the road where I believed I was most certainly dying.

Oddly I as I moved out beyond the medical model I discovered many other ‘experts’ with differing strategies to offer me.  Some of which were possibly going to prolong my current life expectations. 

This is when the conflict really surfaced! 

These experts were not very friendly and did not agree. I did not experience being in this together! The next few years of my journey around my health were riddled with uncertainty and conflict. 

I did call my various ‘experts’, my team.  However, I would not say we were cohesive. I discovered some of these experts were very helpful in encouraging me to pull the diverse expertise and wisdom into my decision-making.  These ‘experts’ also provided me a language and a way to tap into my own resources and make simple decisions out of complex data and differing perspectives that supported me day-to-day in living my full life – not just a cancer storyline.

I am very grateful for those people.

I am so grateful that I rode the wave of conflict and uncertainty. That I stayed curious and as a result I think creative.

Back To Today

I am looking back now, thinking this is again a time to rally around diverse perspectives, conflict and find ways to make simple decisions that support my life, my family, my business and my community moving forward.

A want the rally cry to be we are in this together – however, I can only find that ground when I am willing to embrace the conflict.  Not make those different wrong but try to find the threads that can weave the fabric together.

I do believe it is possible.  I have seen, felt and lived through this type of crisis.  I want to be a lighthouse that shines a beacon for that possibility.  I am here and I am still with you – even if our navigational feedback is presenting a different path. Even in the uncharted and and potentially dangerous terrain each person, business, state and country is taking, I do still believe we are in this together!

Learning From Wild Mustangs

Going to the Wild Mustangs

I am heading off to work with the Mustangs. I find myself excited and curious.
The stories I have heard from earlier classes create some uncertainty. Yet as I reflect on my intention I find I settle.

I am NOT heading into this to tame a mustang.
I am NOT seeking to become a horse whisperer.

I AM seeking to discover how I can settle inside myself.
Let go of my attachment to outcomes without letting go of imagining and dreaming.

I am far less concerned about taming a wild mustang,
Than discovering how to quiet my mind.

I imagine I will judge myself.
I imagine I will frighten myself.
I imagine I will challenge myself.

I want to discover how to read the cues and signals
Without getting loud.
I want to connect without reservations,
Knowing my safety comes from within,
Knowing I can listen and hear the music.
I can step back and observe.
I can be held.

Yes, these are some of my desires.
I want to connect,
But more so invite.
I want to feel the vibration,
Mine and that of others.

I want to learn lessons from the masters.

Returning from Learning from the Wild Mustangs

So I wrote the intentions above on my way to the workshop. Now coming home I look back and smile. I have a felt sense of having reached for and lived my intentions fully!

I was willing to step into vulnerability and notice when a wave of reaction or separation rose to the surface. I didn’t flinch or run, but dropped in and felt. I worked to share, as best I could, through the awkwardness of my words, my message.

I noticed the moments when that message was received or responded too with something different in return. I didn’t lose myself in the feedback. I listened. I received. I remained sane and open to what did fit and what didn’t.

This lesson came through so clearly from Petey, the most wild one. He was the mustang that presented with what seemed to be deeply held patterns of fear and uncertainty. He was the one that presented with the greatest resistance to touch or connection. He’d nip or bite at his dearest companion, the one who knew him best, Max. He’d tuck down and move rapidly to avoid our hands. When touched he’d come out bucking and kicking. Yet with a break and time to release the fear and anxiety, he’d turn and follow Max back in for more.

Finally, he discovered the comfort of touch and relaxed. Until the next morning and the waves of his uncertainty came again. Only this time not quite as strongly or for as long.

In so many ways his willingness and curiosity was inspiring. I found myself more willing to trust and open. Knowing that there was nothing to be fixed or that I had to do right but that I could keep working at my pace. Some would not understand why some lessons didn’t stick – but some would and more importantly I would, showing compassion and kindness for myself, staying vulnerable.

Petey taught me to be okay in just showing up. Far from perfect. Not right. Real.

Max, on the other hand, was one of those beings who stepped into the moment and with each new door opening, stepped in. I imagine he will find his person and forever home first. That relationship is likely to come more rapidly and easily. Yet, his journey was not less filled with trauma. He simply let go with more grace and ease.

I have often longed to be like Max. Yet I found my mirror in Petey. Trust still does not come easy. However, trust does come. I believe Petey will also find a home, though it is not a given. That is part of the work, getting these wild mustangs to a place where they can find a home and continue this work of building relationships. This does require someone who is able to keep the training going. I hope it will someone with the heart and patience of trainers like Koelle and Kasia. I do believe he will be okay. He has a willingness to show up and someone will see that potential even through the waves of resistance, fear and uncertainty.

One night, I had a dream I was riding Petey. The dream was so vivd and real. I could feel the quiver, the power and the wild heart and spirit. I also felt my own heart beating in return.

We all have our journey. Some are more turbulent than others. My greater goal is to live with an open-heart – that may indeed be a cracked open heart – I’ll take the scars and I’ll relish when the light shines through. Just like Petey.

What I Know For Sure

This started as a ramble.  I have horrible cold.  I decided to write.  In the end,  I get to a valuable and important point…what I know for sure.  Hang in with me! 

I am feeling humbled by marketing.  In the past three weeks we’ve worked very intently to build our list and get the word out about our online program Get Unstuck, Build Your Mojo.

We’ve tried a variety of different approaches.  We ran a free  training and when our own efforts to market were not as successful as we wanted in terms of attracting new people.  We connected to a wonderful Facebook advertising person, who helped us create a new campaign.  Good news: we had an amazing response, our largest registration yet for our free training.  We actually had to upgrade our software because of the numbers. We were thrilled.

However, due to a crash of Customer Resource Management tool, the emails to ensure all could join the training, did not go out as scheduled.  Still, some people made it, but we realized we’d failed the folks who had taken that step and signed up.

We decided to provide an encore training, to make sure we provided those people an opportunity to connect with us live.  Long and short of it, not many people showed up for that training. We were disappointed because I believe the training was rich and worth the time. Again, our ROI was low.

In other words – if numbers and sign-ups are the success measure, we failed.

We also tried an Instagram photo contest.  Which got me a bit more up to speed and a few folks engaged.  But again, not what we had hoped in terms of numbers.

Now moving into the final days before Get Unstuck, I find myself a bit discouraged.

I really like the Get Unstuck program we’ve created, and I know each time we run it, the people engaged share the value they get from it.

However, as a pathway for pulling our tribe and finding our people, I am just not sure what we’re doing is working.  It is possible our tribe is finding us AND it is just small.  Well – small in numbers – not in heart!

During this time spent marketing, I have enjoyed building new relationships.  One with our new Assistant, Allison.  Another with Ana and her Facebook team.  In addition, all those folks who have signed up, showed up, and participated in the training and took a chance at the Instagram context.  I do value all of these connections.

Still,  today as I dealing with a bad cold, smokey wildfire weather (since when did this become a regular August event), and not having hit my goal for sign ups for the Get Unstuck – I am bit disheartened.

In the past few weeks,  we have also spent a lot of time with some of our corporate clients.  We’ve been engaged in few leadership development programs.  That too, has played a factor in my disheartened state.

In each situation, we had been bought in because of someone strongly endorsing the programs we designed and delivered to them over a decade ago.  In each situation, the impact those programs had on their careers was profound.  So when looking for a leadership design team to partner with their current companies they called us.

That’s the good news, which was both humbling and rewarding to hear.

However, even though we were hired because of our passion and commitment to build real relationship and ensure that relationships matter equal to results, we have had to wrestle and witness very high value pieces of our content get taken away or dismissed at the highest levels of these organizations.

For me, this too is incredibly discouraging.  I know we’ve done our best not to water down our content.  We’ve worked to partner and be honest and real when we did not agree.  I’m grateful for that.

But here’s the deal for me and where I am realizing I do have some things I KNOW to be TRUE!

When I was young and launching into my career – I fell.  I collapsed and was soon facing cancer instead of rising on my career path.  As a result of these health challenges,  I spent my early twenties trying to get back up on my feet.  My best entrepreneurial efforts were spent rallying my own efforts to turn around my health and creating a road ahead that had a better prediction then 3 to 6 months.

The path that generated the energy and motivation to walk that road was a clear and unwavering desire to be real, show up in relationships, face the differences, and find a way to be ME and build a WE.

That focus gave me the heartbeats and the will, day in and day out,  to breath and face the next mountain.

I wonder if I hadn’t had to take that cancer, medical journey then would I have realized that relationships are the foundation of health, wealth and community.

I fear that too many people in their twenties are looking up at super rich or super brilliant entrepreneurs and being motivated by that level of genius and success. I’m not saying that’s wrong, but it is missing something crucial.

I doubt many look at my life and say – wow – I wish I had learned that relationships matter as much or more than results, when I was young.


No amount of money, business success, or brilliance is as important over time as learning how to relate. Nothing.

Learning to be vulnerable in the face of what life throws at you is way more courageous than being brilliant!

Being curious even in the face of cancer or you version of hell – is much more life-enhancing over time than always winning and getting the numbers right!

This is what I know for sure.

CrisMarie often tells me I don’t say it enough that I do believe I have an answer for whatever ills you.    It is true I may not say it in a voice of hubris and over- confidence.

The problem for me is that the answer I offer isn’t easy or certain – it is a path riddled with uncertainty. However, it is a path of tremendous reward.

Get Unstuck as been built on that path.  If you are inclined to take a path towards relational health and have the courage to launch yourself into the unknown – may be only with a slither of a dream –  join us!

We start on AUGUST 21st!



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!

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.

Leading and Following

The Movement Between

Sitting reflecting. I am a week into Living Alive Phase I, just after finishing The Haven Leadership Summit and I find myself reflecting on leading and following.

For some this may seem a bit to Haven focused. Bare with me, or better yet, apply to your own experiences with being deeply engaged in learning, work or some aspect of your life that has been very familiar and involves discovering that you as leader might need to grow and yet also stay in some ways the same!

During the Summit the idea of leadership and followership had come up and I was intrigued and reminded of how much my own journey as a leader has been about discovering the dance between leading and following. There is both an internal aspect and movement that occurs, as well as the external shift from being in a role as leader and as follower.

For me, as I have become more comfortable in my own skin, and to be clear this can be comfortable in discomfort, I find myself much more fluid in leading and following.

Of course there are moments when I am struck by my own strong agenda or vision for what I want to have happen. I like that about myself. I like having a vision and being willing to stand forth and offer a direction. It’s a bit like my belief about judgements. That I am judgemental, I like. I enjoy using my ability to imagine, assume and discern. I also enjoy meeting and ‘clashing’ with new information and someone else’s assumptions. I notice when I am okay in my beliefs, I am quite open to the bump of a new view and can integrate the new information. When I am not so okay with myself, I can tend to fight or flight in some attempt to stay right!. I am finding this is a similar dance in leading and following.

Over the years as a faculty member at The Haven, I have had strong views on what is important and foundational, what needs to stay the same and what seems ‘special’ about our way of approaching group dynamics, aliveness and energy. I recognize that I have at times been defended and quite unwilling to embrace something I judged to be outside of the playing field I called Haven.

I have shifted in more recent years. Some of the shift has come from my exploration of new ways of thinking and experiencing growth. Some of the shift, as been because I keep hearing that others want something different and as someone in a role of leadership I want to be open and receptive.

At the Summit, I noticed so many new faces, new voices speaking up about diversity, leadership, youth, eldership, training, counseling, educating and embodiment. I found myself integrating much of the input into my understanding of The Haven, filtering new theories or thoughts into ways of thinking and embodying that have been so useful to me over the years.

At times it was exciting and I could feel the expansion and inclusion happening both inside me and around me in the room and online. Other times, I noticed my own contraction and fear that there was too much desire for change or something new. At times I spoke of my resistance and at times I simply sat with myself and wondered.

Of course with the Living Alive Phase starting hours after stepping out of the Summit, I have had an opportunity to notice what am I including now as I lead and what might I have dropped.

In truth, I love the Living Alive Phase I format. I find both structure and freedom in what has been a core Haven program for well over thirty years. Yet, I also have moments of wanting to introduce something new or noticing someone is leading us into something new and I have that choice to follow or not.

I am aware of my tendency to get swallowed into my world of The Haven and lose contact with the much larger world around me. So on a day when I have some extra time, I enjoy pulling myself out of my Haven world of leading and following and checking to see what is happening in the world around me.

I would love to hear from you and what does leading and following mean in your world. Is leading a role? Is following a different one? Do you dance in your own life between the these concepts? Are there areas of your life that are working and could use some new and fresh ideas? How do you grow and keep what works?

I’d love to hear from you.

Learning About Leadership From Horses

I love watching a herd of horses. There is so much going on and yet it can all seem so subtle.

Today, I sat and watched a herd of geldings for thirty or forty minutes. There were 15 in the herd. Their space had recently been downsized due to a need to seed an area for future use.

Thirteen of the horses were gathered in relatively small area. Most were standing with their front legs locked and shifting the weight on their back legs. They almost seemed asleep, were it not for the flick of a ear, usually directed at me. Yes, they knew I was watching as soon as I had moved towards the pasture.

I settled and took in the larger scene. Two of the geldings were off from the herd, grazing. Their ears were also trained on my position. It is amazing how subtle and keenly perceptive horses are to any movement in their environment.

When I first started watching horses I would hardly notice the little movements. Now, I was getting much better at picking up when one of the horse would make a very small shift backwards, pushing the horse behind him ever so slightly. Today, I could see that the signal was not at all subtle to the horse receiving it.

Pretty much everything about the arrangement was an intricate communication network where there were clear lines of dominance and order. Where boundaries were being set with minuscule gestures and smaller connections were well established even if undetected by the my human eye.

I realized as I was watching, I was learning a great deal about leadership. I have often thought of leadership in terms of dominance, who had the loudest gestures or offered the loftiest vision. We as humans tend to think of leadership in those terms.

But really leadership has a lot more to do with who amongst us is really the calmest, clearest and most embodied. In a herd of horses, there may be a dominate horse but that has little to do with the leader. No the leader in a herd of horses, is the horse that is calmest, and most embodied. It may not always be the same horse, in today’s gathering there was one gelding that stood slightly away from larger group between the cluster and the two grazers. If any of the others, made a slight move in his direction, his tail would swish and the advancing horse would move back. Nothing big, nothing loud, just clear. This horse was in many ways the most settled and defined – not through dominance – but just presence and space. I knew he was the one who would pick up any signal that truly needed the herd’s attention and would ignore any other type of intrusion.

Leadership can seem almost boring when watching these horses until my eyes adjust and I begin to see just how incredibly advanced and intricate the interplay and communication has become.

In the world of horses, leadership is about safety and living well together. It’s about ensuring that each member has a place and contributes. It’s about each member being able to express needs, desires and getting clear signals about what works and what doesn’t. It’s about making sure that when one horse is resting, other’s are aware and watching.

We could learn so much about leadership through observing and watching how horses and other pack animals communicate and live together.

Yet, for the most part we don’t. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if leadership wasn’t about who is dominate – but instead about who is calmest, clearest and is able to notice when real danger is afoot. Imagine a leader like that. Wouldn’t that be great!



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!


Find Your Leadership Mojo (Magic Power)

me & zoey“I want to find my mojo, my magic power, my inner sense of much-ness, and take it back to Montana!”

That’s what I shared as my intention introducing myself to the circle of Koelle Institute of Equus coaches and coaches-in training at the practicum taking place at Apache Springs, AZ last weekend.

Most of those gathered were there to fill in their learning gaps and  get ready for their certification review.

Not me.

I am already certified and could be promoting and working as an Equus Coach right here in Montana.

But I am not.

Instead, I continue to practice, volunteer at other Equus coaches workshops, and see clients for free.


Well, I spook myself when it comes to saying – “I’m a good enough Equus Coach, and I would love to offer you a chance to discover the magic in learning more about yourself and leadership through engaging with horses.”

I tell myself, this is because of my fear of horses, but that was true two years ago, not today. Yes, I still can spook myself when I am out there demonstrating some of the possible ways to interact and play with a horse, or when I see someone not be sensitive when they move in too close behind the horse.

I tell myself, I need to get beyond my fears before I really launch my own Equus Coaching practice.

But let’s be completely frank, this spooking business is a well-worn habit of mine.

I remember, over twenty-fives years ago, stepping in to lead my first Come Alive at The Haven. I was scared – terrified – on the inside! No horses there – just me and my fear of stepping into leadership!

But I did it and have been doing it ever since.

Even with all that leading under-my-belt,  I can still at times feel that doubt and/or fear rise to the surface before the start of a Come Alive or Living Alive Phase Program. However, I have learned to acknowledge and work with my fear and self-doubt, not wait for the fear to be gone. No, my path is to acknowledge that place of self-doubt and lead anyway!

In many respects I actually like that place of vulnerability and uncertainty. I am more real and transparent when I work from that space.

Still, there are times when I wish I was always confident and had no doubts about leadership or what I have to offer as a person or as a coach. However, that would just be hubris and frankly not very effective.

Mastery is about riding the waves of my fluctuating self-confidence, having faith in both my own inner knowing and faith in not knowing and allowing the universe, my soul, to guide me.

I am best when I am transparent and acknowledge what I am really thinking and feeling – and sometimes that is the underlying fear and sometimes it is an inner sense of knowing and presence.  It’s in the willingness to acknowledge both that I often discover I am not alone. In other words, I connect deeply to the world around me.

When I come from a place of hubris or over-confidence that connection is not there, instead, I am relying on what I know – not tapping into the greater resources of the universe! The same is true when I deny my abilities or wisdom as a coach or leader.  Both ways I shut my connection to the energy from my soul, the universe.

But back to finding my mojo and bringing my work home to Montana.

Sure, I could wait until I become consistently comfortable and confident around horses. I could see if my confidence could rise and carry me out into the world as an expert coach and equine facilitator. However, that might take a little too long, and frankly, that’s all ego and has very little to do with what becomes possible when I don’t have to be perfect.

In fact, I just have to show up; vulnerable and real. The real me, a horse, and another person are quite enough for ensuring that transformation and magic can happen.

With that said, I am opening my Equus coaching practice here in Montana. I’d love to work with you. If you live here great, it will easy. If you don’t, well I am offering Leadership Mojo Intensives and those will involve horses and other ways of mastering your connection to yourself and the world around you.

If you aren’t too sure about me and horses – well come to Haven and join me for a Come Alive or Living Alive Phase Program.  I think you’ll be wanting more!

I’m ready. I’m may still have moments of fear and I have my mojo.

Come discover yours and even if you discover it’s not that perfect, confident version of leader you might like – just know that the real gold is in the soft spots – it’s where you discover the power in connection!

What you may not know, leading is never a solo experience!