Tag Archives: Susan B Clarke

Living with the “Ouch”

Summer in Montana is awesome!!  Yes, it has finally stopped raining and the sun is a consistent part of the day!!  However, that wasn’t the intended storyline for this post.

No, what I wanted to write about was the challenge of standing forth.  In the past week, we have finally launched out new website, www. thriveinc.com, became finalist for a speaking event which now involves others voting and we stepped in for the running for another event and did not get picked.  I find myself feeling a bit like I did in elementary school at recess when teams were being picked.  “Pick me, Pick me!”  I imagine there are folks out there that really don’t doubt themselves.  If that’s you, I am sure this post isn’t going to hold your interest.

I pick you, I don't pick you
I pick you, I don’t pick you

Me – I doubt myself.  Though I can and have many times boldly stepped onto the stage and a number of times been knocked right back down.  In fifth grade I ran for president of student council.  I lost horribly even my teacher felt badly for me.  Still I had stepped up.  That’s sort of what I tell myself whenever I get knocked down.  I love the line, “It’s not how you fall, but how you rise that counts!”  However, the part I don’t often acknowledge is the part that feels the pain.  The sting that comes when I don’t get picked.

It’s true spending too much time there is not helpful.  However, not even taking a moment to say – “ouch” – well that has a cost as well.

I wonder how others deal with rejection.  Like I said, I tend to give myself a pep talk and move on.  I am getting better at providing some extra time for the part of me that needs to say’ “ouch” and cry.  (I hate crying – but most admit I do! – please don’t tell anyone).

I am a true believer in feedback – all kinds of feedback. Now having said that, I am also someone who reads the negative stuff more than once and can get stuck there.  I do my best to take the pieces that fit and integrate the information into the bigger picture.  Sometimes that works and sometimes all I see is the red lines in the edited story, the negative comments from the survey monkey or that someone thought I was too loud, angry or reactive.  (yes, I do have my favorites – those words I see or hear amplified – even though they are rarely any louder than any other comment)

I am learning that toughing it out and pretending none of that stuff bothers me is not so effective.  Usually, if I give that part of me that doubts and feels hurt or sad a bit of space to cry or pull in, I am quicker to come back, quicker to step back up for the next opportunity.

My mentor, Ben Wong, one of the founders of The Haven Institute, once told me, “Don’t wait for the fear or pain to pass, find one person who knows you are scared and understands the pain, then step out on the stage and lead.”  I know those words have taken me to many places and stages.  I do know I have that someone in my corner.  Still I was hoping as I got older some of that doubt, fear and pain would ease up.  HA!!!  However, as I step out further and continue to speak my truth and use my voice, I have yet to overcome that inner self-doubt.  No, it doesn’t stop me, but sometimes I do get griped by how strong those voices can scream.

Again, I would love to hear from others.  How do you deal with those moments when your confidence is shaken?  Let me know.  I am committed to standing forth and I also want resources for those moments when everything in me wants to run away and hide!




Coming Out of the Closet

Over the weekend someone posted Ellen DeGeneres doing a commencement speech at Tulane in 2009.  If you haven’t heard this I highly recommend you listen.

Ellen’s Commencement Speech @ Tulane University from James Huang on Vimeo.

Ellen is awesome, real, funny and inspiring.  The speech is filled with her humor, but more importantly her message is one that is critical.  Success is being able to be who you truly are, to contribute, to live in integrity, with compassion and not define your success by the measures of others.

Her story really touched home for me at this point in my life. In some ways I am coming out of the closet.  No, I am not going to declare to the world through my blog that I am gay or lesbian.  I do think I have been openly clear that my business and life partner is a woman, CrisMarie.  However, the irony of my own personal coming out process is that it might be easier if I could just join one of the clubs – either as gay or straight.  However, I just can not.

Here’s why.  My loving has very little to do with my sexuality, and I am SO tired of having loving and sexuality be glued together.  I am in a committed, loving relationship with CrisMarie.  If I had to define my sexuality the best I could do is say bi-sexual.  Now that might seem easy, but let me tell you, I have had some very painful and mean comments thrown at me from both lesbians who think I am copping out and straight folks who simply define okay as man/woman sex, married with children.

It is beginning to really annoy me that our culture is so determined to make sexual orientation such a big deal.  I honestly do not get it.  Now if someone is forcing any type of sexual activity or their opinion about someone’s sexual orientation on others, I am totally against it.  Myself, I am not particularly fond of passionate physical expressions publicly by a man and woman, two men or two woman.  It just isn’t my thing.  But it isn’t about sexual orientation. Nor do I think people who do like public displays of affection are evil, bad or need to be corrected.  I think I just like my physical, sexual expression to be more private.

Sure I am following the current marriage laws and hoping that at some point our country can catch up with so many other countries that get that a loving relationship is not defined by sex or gender, nor should it be.  A loving committed relationship, a marriage is a union between two people who want to spend their lives, the highs, lows, pain and pleasure together. Sex is very likely to be a part of that, but sex is not necessarily loving or about love at all.  Sure it can be.  But really, loving and commitment to another person is so much more than that.

So I loved listening to Ellen and I want to come out of the closet.  Not as gay or straight but as a human being, loving and learning through being with an awesome human being who is interested in sharing this wild and crazy ride on planet earth. I want to contribute and model compassion through valuing our differences and accepting people as they are.

Boy does it feel good to be out!  So as Ellen’s concludes, “It’s going to be okay, Let’s Dance!!”

Fun Footnote: A number of people say I dance just like Ellen! Now that is a compliant I enjoy!



Focusing Through My Fears

We are about to launch our new thrive! website! (here’s the old one, stay tuned!) Yes, this is a project that has taken six months. (Well… may be seven).  I am also launching myself out in the world as a Martha Beck Certified Coach. Plus, there’s my summer of stepping out in the Ladies Golf League, doing and sharing my personal writing, and my latest commitment to drop my comfort foods of chips and beer (well at least for a few weeks!).

Something in me is scared!
I’m Scared!

With all the new activities and the revealing of more of myself, I find myself slightly thrilled and slightly terrified.  The website is a big deal. Because instead of simply marketing ourselves as business consultants, we are stepping out aligned with our own model of Whole Person + Whole Team = Great Results.  For us it has been a way of living but not a way of marketing.

For years now we have been business consultants who know that the best work gets done when people bring more of themselves fully to whatever it is they are doing.  We are personal and business gets done!  For years we have also been leading programs up at The Haven, for individuals and couples wishing to enrich their lives and their relationships, meaning bringing more of who they are to everything they do!  Now we are integrating our worlds in our marketing.

We know that is generally not the business model.  But we believe it is time that changes!

Of course, that can be a terrifying step to take.  What if our clients don’t agree?  What if we don’t succeed at creating a virtual presence as relational health experts?  What if people don’t like our new look and feel?  What if..? What if..?

My mind can run through lots of worse case scenarios and left to it’s own free play, I am very likely to stall and slip into despair before anyone even has a chance to say they don’t like me, us, the website or whatever.

Instead, I am trying to not let my mind run the show.  I have been practicing Focusing, a way of working with the various parts of myself.  Focusing is practice that CrisMarie uses regularly in her coaching and has been teaching me.  She hasn’t been marketing herself as a coach in Focusing because something in her is afraid. (So I am marketing her here! – Check her website out for her summer special!)

In Focusing the invitation is to realize that whatever feelings or thoughts I might be having are simply – something in me –  something in me feels scared, thrilled, afraid of failing etc…  Not all of me.  Focusing is also about allowing that something to have a voice, space, though the key lies in allowing the felt sense.  Felt sense drops me into my body not simply my mind.  Focusing is all about accepting whatever is going on, yet not getting overly identified with any one part.  So not separating or over-identifying.  It is a very powerful way of working with myself, and yet, quite simple.  The act of saying “something in me is terrified” is totally different than “I am terrified.” Try it for yourself, right now, and see how it feels inside.

In this period of lot’s of newness, I am greatly appreciating finding tools that support me in discovering new ways of working with myself, accepting myself, all of myself.  There is indeed something wonderful about stepping out of my old skin that no longer fits or feels right.  However, it isn’t easy waiting and allowing the new skin or new way to emerge.  Still, as I mentioned a part of me is thrilled to have so much happening! And a part of me is scared!  And there is even more of me that has yet to speak up and come forward — that is until now, as I simply allow and accept ALL of me!!

These Boots Were Made For Writing!

“Fearlessly writing down the crazy…”

This has become my new mantra.  I have been at a wonderful writing workshop in Sedona, AR with Betsy Rapoport and Pam Slim.  Wow! I am leaving determined to call myself a writer, and ensure that I put my butt-in-the-seat daily to write something, anything.  That may not sound like a solid clear intention.  But one thing I took from this weekend is that all writing counts – even the sh*t*y first, second, third or fourth drafts!

Yes, I have a story to tell.  I am not that concerned, at this point, if anyone else thinks it is critical for the world of readers. This is really just for me.  I have a very old belief that I am touch crazy and have been fearful of revealing that possibility to the world.  Oddly, my silence and vague drops of information may have made the crazy more of a consideration than simply telling the damn story.  So what the hell?!

I bought these awesome boots before I was heading off to Sedona.  They were not my normal style.  These were red leather, fancy cowboy style boots.  I had my moments of doubt before the final purchase.  Wore them around the house for My Writing Bootsthree days, wondering if I should invest the money or not, fearful I was spending too much and wouldn’t wear them enough.  Well, I finally decided to purchase and of course wore them the next day on the flight to Sedona.

They have now become my writing boots.  I love them.  In one of the many prompts we used for writing, my boots became the metaphor for finding my voice and stepping out of the crazy, quiet zone of fear and doubt.  So the boots have already gotten an awesome ROI.

There are many things I could share about the weekend.  However, I don’t want to reveal others or commit to more than is realistically possible for me to do.  So let me just say, I am writing.  I am a writer.  Stay tuned.  No worries – most of my crazy will never make this page.  However, when I am ready to share those stories, you can count on the fact I will be wearing my red boots!!!

There’s No calling “CUT” in Theater or in Life

CrisMarie is deep into another play, Private Eyes by Steven Dietz produced by Stumptown Players and directed by Scarlett Schindler here in Whitefish, MT. She is playing Lisa, the female lead in a five person cast. (Meet the cast here.)


This is always an exciting time.  I enjoy the energy and aliveness that reverberates around the house, as she becomes her character. First, there’s the initial thrill of getting the part! That generally doesn’t last too long. Because within a few days of the first rehearsal, there is that moment of awakening, when the workload becomes clear and the calling to dive into the part, sort of takes over everything else.  For CrisMarie, that’s usually when she’s getting down her lines.  This involves hours of walking and listening to the ipod with her lines and cues recorded.  Sometimes, it’s me that takes on all the other characters and makes sure each line is perfected.  This can be a very trying experience.  I am not always the best at reading through the script over and over. I tend to get distracted. Plus, I am also not always thrilled to give up hours of our days for her ‘extra’ rehearsal time.  The evenings are already a given. So I like having the daytime for us and our work.  Still, I know it’s the actor’s calling, and she loves it.

The second phase is really the hardest for her.  This is often when she may start to doubt herself or realizes that there is some greater challenge to this part that she may be avoiding while memorizing lines.  In some ways, I like this phase the best because there is the dive she takes into having to face her fears and challenge some part of herself.  Acting simply never seems to just be about lines and becoming a part outside of yourself.  No, I think that good actors always know the work comes from inside.  Discovering how the character is like some aspect of them and demands pulling from a well deep inside.  The vulnerability and courage it takes to not just do that work but also put that out on a stage.  Well, that is awesome. It also very similar to the work of leading a Come Alive or a Phase program, where people are diving deep into themselves and discovering the choices they make and how that impacts their world and their relationships.

Private Eyes Poster

It is why I often end up attending the show night after night.  Because it isn’t the same every night.  The script generally stays the same (though there are almost always a few dropped lines) but the people don’t.  There’s a chemistry that gets set-up with each show.  Not just between the actors but with the people in the audience watching.  It’s magical.  Some nights are awesome and others may be not quite so grand.  With theater there isn’t a safety net. So when it works, it’s amazing, and when it doesn’t, well it’s not like anyone can call “cut”.  No, when the chemistry is off or different, the actors have to dive deep, depend on each other, work together even if the lines are off or the moment gets lost.  That too is very similar to being a part of a month long intensive program where some days the magic isn’t happening but you still have to show up and count on the team and the people around you to hang in.

This time I won’t be here for opening night.  I won’t even be here for one of the shows.  I am heartbroken.  I love seeing CrisMarie on the stage, and I enjoy watching the team effort and commitment that goes into making Community Theater.  This show, Private Eyes, is on while I am up at The Haven leading a Living Alive Phase program.  This time we will each be doing work very close to our hearts but not together on the same stage.  So I am reaching out to all my friends, both here and outside Montana and inviting folks to come and see the show!  It’s a comedy. Based on the fun ride I have been having as CrisMarie preps for her role as Lisa, I have come to enjoy the variety of characters and the interesting twist the storyline takes.  I think it will be a great show, and I know it will be heartfelt and real, because that is simply the nature of Community Theater!!

For more details on dates and show times visit: Stumptown’s Online Ticket Sales    It at Kalispell’s historic KM building, which has an intimate charm.  Come to Montana.  Come see the show.

Leap of Faith

My word for the year is a phrase, “Leap of Faith”.  I was going to simply stick with the plan, one word for the year.  At first I thought Leap – however, that did not quite fit.  Faith wasn’t quite right either.  Then I saw this picture that I bought earlier in 2012 while taking Sooke to the vet.  I love it.  There’s the elder duck leading the way out of the nest up in a tree and then the little ones, look out and then finally, leap.  Their wings seem so small and incapable of flight.  Yet, there they go!

It's time to fly!!
It’s time to fly!!

Sometimes I feel like those little ducks.  Yet, I am much closer, may be even older than the mother duck pushing the babes out of the nest.  If I reflect on my life as it is now, I do see both, and in many ways both are taking a Leap of Faith.  Sure, the more physical evidence of the leap is seen in the baby ducks.  However, that mom, likely has some inner angst about what is about to happen and must have tremendous faith to step out of the way.  I relate to both.

This year we plan to re-launch Thrive!.  This in many ways will be a Leap of Faith.  We intend to bring our whole selves to this new business.  This means we no longer want to have our lives compartmentalized.  In the past, we had our corporate presence and we had our various more personal pursuits.  The revitalized Thrive! will be designed to integrate both.  We plan to maintain our work with leaders, teams and organizations, and we also will include our strong belief that business is personal.  That the corporate world would greatly benefit from embracing a whole person/whole team approach.  In many ways this concept is really mother bird speaking.  We know this concept is a mature and vital path that works.  We have been embracing it ourselves for years and have built a powerful partnership that continues to ignite and sustain our health, wealth and relationship.

The baby duck part of the leap is simply being willing to step out fully as who we each are and who we are together.  Last year we started leading the Couples Alive Series couples programs up at The Haven.  The Haven Institute has always been like a safe nest where I can learn and develop.  So it was easy to step into leading together.  We didn’t question out value or wonder about being accepted.  We simply brought all we have learned through being together for over twelve years and assumed if we were open, real and curious we had lots to offer any couple – same sex or not.

Now we want to be more transparent in who we are out in the bigger world, to take the leap of faith and trust that we can fly. Sure, may be not everyone will like discovering we are not simply a business partnership.  However, I believe until now our biggest doubters have been ourselves.

Aside from the work transition and re-launching, I am also leaping into the world of writing.  I have been writing for years.  It has been my path for integrating and revealing to myself my inner world.  More recently I have stepped further out.  Through my blog and writing for 406 Magazine.  Yet I don’t think of myself as a writer.  I don’t fully commit to that path.  This year I am making the leap.  I have signed up for a kick-off workshop with writers I know will challenge and encourage me to go deeper and broader.

So my phrase, Leap of Faith, fits for me.  I am both mature and quite young at what I am jumping into.  I have a solid foundation that I can count on and I am ready for new ground and possibilities.

Though what intrigues me most is the space between the young ducks just launching themselves out of the tree and the older duck giving the push.  That space is where faith becomes something beyond leaping into the vast unknown or holding faith in that which is known for someone to step into.  The space is yet another aspect to leap of faith.  I believe it is that middle ground.  I must leap.  My wings are not young and new – my wings are scarred and older.  I have known the pain of crashing into the ground and failing to fly.  Yet I must still step from the tree and take the leap.  Knowing I have the heart and courage of being both young and old.

So I am thrilled to take the a leap of faith into 2013.

Susan Clarke is a long standing faculty member at The Haven Institute. She leads The Living Alive Phase I, with Carole Ames starting Feb 13 – Mar 10, 2013 and Come Alive April 7-12, 2013, and with CrisMarie Campbell: Come Alive Oct 13-18, 2013; and Couples Alive I – Foundation, Communication and Boundaries, April 15-19, 2013 and Couples Alive II – Edge, Igniting Passion & Aliveness April 19-23, 2013.


The Heart of the Holidays

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”  

I love the holidays! This year has already been especially rich.  We just returned from Maui.  You are probably thinking Maui is the most wonderful part of the holiday – but no!  Sure sunshine, warm water and the beach are great!  But the most wonderful part of our Maui trip was being there with our friends, Jim and Renee.  Earlier this year, Jim faced a life threatening illness, kidney failure.  More than on one occasion we thought we were going to lose him.  So when they kept talking about Maui for the holidays, I must admit I wasn’t counting on that happening.  Still, they maintained their commitment and at the last minute we just could not let the opportunity pass and jumped on a plane to meet them.  Jim was inspiring.  He couldn’t swim and had to go every other day for dialysis, but his light was bright and an awesome reminder of why I love this time of year!

The simple joys of being with friends!
The simple joys of being with friends!

Yes, I love Christmas. Though it isn’t really about the religious story of Christ for me.  Maybe it was a winter’s night when he was born.  Granted, I think the story of baby Jesus makes a great reason to come together and remember that our differences can so easily be overcome with heart, connection and good will.  Isn’t that really the essence of the baby Jesus story?  Mary needed a place, there wasn’t any rooms at the inn and some people found a spot and made it cozy.  I have no doubt that some warm-hearted strangers helped Mary and Joseph out that night.  Child birth isn’t all that easy.  So I picture folks helping and gathering.  Now, whether you believe in the rest of the story or not, that part of the story for me is is the heart of the holidays.

I believe I have always loved Christmas.  I love singing carols, and when I was young remember well our friend Ruth ‘Charlie’ Brown gathering everyone to go to nursing homes and through neighborhoods singing.  It was fun and she not only did that in December, but throughout the year would call and suggest a night of caroling, just to keep the spirit of the holidays alive.  One July we were out in winter wear, singing our hearts out.  People loved it! They laughed, they sang and once again whatever differences folks might have had were bridged.

There were some harder and lonely holiday times.  However, no matter how dark things seemed in my life, the holidays always bought lightness and joy.  For a few years I worked on Christmas.  I didn’t have family around, and I would sign up for the Christmas shift.  I worked in the hospital pharmacy. We would gift wrap the IV bags and go room to room singing carols of all sorts.  The people who had to be in the hospital seemed to love our hospital cart and we of course had a blast!  When I was struggling with my own health, I gift wrapped my own Chemo bags and played carols which I found way more uplifting than simply getting the standard chemo IV.

There were a couple years there when I doubted I was going to be around much longer and was very lonely.  One year on Christmas Eve, I walked down the street to a local church.  They invited me in like I been part of the family forever.  The music was awesome and when I got home, I just wasn’t so lonely.  That was the same year I would head out to the airport and simply watch people greet family and friends.  Back then there were not security areas and anyone could be at the gate as people stepped off the plane.  I was inspired and would sit with tears in my eyes.  I doubt anyone ever noticed how much their joy touched my life and gave me the heart to keep going.

So yes, I love the holidays. May be it is because this is the time of the darkest and longest nights.  It can seem lonely and hard.  Yet the simplest things, pictures with pineapples, candles, songs, jumping on a flight to Maui, having turkey sandwiches with friends –  connect us.  Sure, people still fight about saying Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays. We shop and get way too caught up in the commercial side of things.  However, every year there are stories just like the baby Jesus story or Jim’s bright light – of people reaching beyond their differences or rising above life’s challenges.  People get together, sing, laugh share and fill the darkest night with the brightest light!  That is why this is indeed the most wonderful time of the year!!



Resilience: It’s not what you do – but what you do next that counts

My Marco, Polo; adventures have been wonderful. I loved working with CrisMarie and leading the Living Alive Phase (http://www.haven.ca/programs/living-alive-phase-i.html) a 25 day program focused on helping people heighten their awareness of their physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual selves and to live more fully.

The group was awesome, as was the leader team. There is always so much learning and richness added to my life when I get to be a part of such a transformational process in other people’s lives. Plus, this time I was working all month with CrisMarie and that has been a dream of mine for a long time. So it was quite amazing.

One of the lessons that really stood out for me this month was a simple reminder of an old quote I love to live by: It isn’t what you do – but what you do next that counts. When I was in my Masters program in Family Systems Counseling almost 20 years ago, this was a quote given to us by one of the faculty members. I can’t remember the author or even the story shared at that point. But I do remember thinking that this really is important when it comes to resilience.

We all make mistakes. Say things that we see impact others differently than we expected. Act in a way that results in unintentional negative outcomes. It is so easy when that happens to feel guilty or quit because of the belief that everything has been ruined. However, resilience is that moment when I have fallen or made a significant mistake, but instead of focusing on what happened I shift to what happens next. I don’t hang out in self-hate, pity or feel guilty. (Unless, of course I do. You know, I’m not perfect. More material for another blog.)

Resilience is when I pick myself up and get right back in the game.

Maybe it’s because I played sports most of my life, and in sports it is pretty clear that extra time taken to dwell on any mistakes results in the score just getting worse. Or may be I simply wasn’t born with a perfectionist gene. I came into the world curious and determined to try things and made lots of mistakes.

When working with people in a human, real way, it’s pretty important to be able to be a good enough leader not a perfect one. Things happen. Plans get changed. People are dropping into themselves and at times are terrified, angry and resistant. Sometimes I am open and compassionate and have no issues holding the space. Other times I hate that my best laid agenda/plan gets blocked, or I am not so willing to take the anger coming my way. It’s in those moments when I am less than my ideal self, that I say things or act in a way I don’t like. Often the group dynamics get worse or more challenging. I try to tell myself, “It’s not what you just did, but what you do next that counts.”

There were more than a handful of rich learnings like that this past month for me. Thankfully, I did remember and spent much less time making a bad moment a lot worse! I think even some bad moments turned into miracles.  That’s the thing, you never know.  Sometimes the mistake is really the greatest opportunity. Best to stick around and stay open to all possibilities.

Leadership takes a lot of curiosity, courage and humbleness. Mostly though, it takes resilience. Taking action, seeing the results and being willing and able in the moment to self-correct as needed.

Now, back home I am aware that my travels and detours have resulted in some important projects and relationships being left unattended. I have no regrets or guilt. I just need to step back into this game and clean up any mess made in my absence. I am on it!

I Remember. Come Alive, Rocks!

I just finally watched the new Come Alive video on The Haven website. I thought it was awesome. I wanted to find a way to share it with everyone who has ever asked me, “What is it you do at The Haven?”

Yes, I have taken the Come Alive journey many times. Twice as a participant and countless times as a leader during the last twenty two years.

I still remember my first Come Alive. I came with my sister, Penny. I thought I was dying. I had been given three months to live. My doctors were not too happy when I announced I was going across the country to take a five day program called Come Alive. They thought that was a waste. Of course, for me, I had nothing to loss. So I went.

I believe those five days turned my life around. I was so inspired by the leaders – their caring – their open, honest way of being with people. They were not trying to fix me or others, but simply listening, supporting and modeling vulnerability, curiosity and faith. I wanted what I was witnessing. I wanted that more than I wanted to cure cancer. I wanted to learn to relate with that level of authenticity and alive-ness even if it only lasted three months.

I was encouraged to breathe every day. Jock was often dropping by to offer acupuncture. His visits were short, frequent and just the right amount for me to gradually open up to what was happening. I witnessed people sharing a depth of feeling and vulnerability I had never seen before. Of course, I had moments where I totally doubted the process, even got angry about the fact that I was just getting this now with only a short time to live. The beauty of the program was that I traveled to so many places through listening to different stories than my own and never once thought I had to change or be different. I was simply invited to be me and to be curious about how I had gotten to where I was – not as a victim but as a response-able person. It was exciting to have people not feel sorry for me but instead hold me as able. They believed in me and with that invitation I came alive!

I didn’t really remember the models. But I did remember Jock’s tears, as far as I knew, no one had ever cried with me. Here was this doctor with big salty tears running down his cheek. This gave me the permission I needed to cry as well. We did this together, and I will never forget what that felt like. I remember the honesty and warmth of the group as each person revealed some aspect of their life that was raw and new to them. We each held an open space for whatever someone needed or wanted to explore.

Yes, I remember. That first five day program turned my life around, and I have never gone back to the lonely place I knew before arriving on Gabriola at The Haven. So I will gladly share this video and hope it goes viral. There is place, and it is worth visiting. Pass this on!!

Here’s the link to the new Come Alive video!!

Susan Clarke

When Self-Awareness Becomes Self-Excuseness

I have a major project due for completion and I am struggling to get the job done. It’s not like I haven’t known that I suffer from procrastination issues. However, this is one of those times when awareness has not led to new behavior. This project has been looming for months and though I have attempted to pull the necessary pieces together so I could focus and get the job done, I have now waited until the last minute, blogging about this issue instead of doing the job.

So what is that about? I could tell you about my Myers-Briggs type.  On Judging/Perceiving I am a high ‘P’, meaning I like to put things off until the last minute.  Apparently I thrive on the rush of pulling the all-nighter (this might have been true in college but I am much older now and I doubt I would do well at all without sleep). I don’t like closure because I like to leave myself open to all possibilities. Still, there comes a time on a project when choices need to be made.

Even with all this awareness, I am still not moving ahead.  My Myer-Briggs also says I suffer from internal perfectionism, meaning sometimes I won’t do a job because I am too afraid of letting others down, so instead, I just say I can’t do it.  Well this might have been okay months ago when I could have said ‘no’.  But now I am need to overcome any internal concerns about failing and as Nike would say: Just Do It!

As I have mentioned before, I also have some ADHD symptoms and can be easily distracted.

I could probably dive into some other personality assessment or childhood experience that could offer an excuse for this behavior. It is amazing how sometimes self-awareness can simply become self-excuseness.

Enough!  It is time to quit making excuses and get to work.

Though it is quite nice outside—may be I should go for a bike ride!

Just kidding!