Beyond Partiality: A Point of View

Beyond Partiality: A Point of View

We seem to be living in a time when people exhibit a perplexing capacity to disregard the complexity and nuance of any given situation in preference of their own particular, albeit partial point of view. Yet, none of us has a monopoly on the truth. Indeed, the wisest among us seem to excel at seeking, considering, and synthesizing multiple points of view…

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Attached at Heart

Attached at Heart

It’s probably no surprise to anyone who’s been in an intimate relationship that we become attached to those we love in both weird and wondrous ways. If you’re curious about how that happens and how to work with the stuff that comes up when you’re attached in relationship, here’s a quick overview of the underlying psychology at play—attachment dynamics…

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Hello, 2018. New Year's Salutations

Hello, 2018. New Year's Salutations

Hello, 2018. I salute you.

res·o·lu·tion ˌrezəˈlo͞oSH(ə)n / noun

1. a firm decision to do or not to do something.

2.the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.

It's a new year. I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions.

As much as I appreciate commitments and solutions, the implicit focus on problem-solving for the year to come has never much appealed to me.

So many resolutions are based on wants and "shoulds," thus destined to be short-lived and unfulfilled...and ultimately unfulfilling...

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Minding the Integrity Gap

Minding the Integrity Gap

What would the world be like if we realized the integrity at the heart of our humanity? What if we could actualize the positively wise, compassionate, and powerful aspects of who we are no matter what the circumstances? What if we could create the conditions to catalyze these in others?

We human beings have a peculiar habit of dividing ourselves, each other, and our world in ways that perpetuate...

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A Deeper Caring: Expanding Our Circle of Concern

A Deeper Caring: Expanding Our Circle of Concern

If my conversations of late are any indication, many feel the world has grown colder and meaner in recent years. From customer service to political discourse, the tone has changed from concern to contempt. Online conversations frequently resemble the modern-day equivalent of bar-room brawls in which people fling capitalized insults at one another. Even dinner table conversations are so fraught with potential conflict that often people no longer care how they communicate if they care to communicate at all. 

Welcome to the world of "haters gonna' hate," "I don't give a fuck," and "I have so few fucks left to give." Ditto free time and discretionary funds.

Of course, we can and do...

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Listen As An Honored Guest

Listen As An Honored Guest

When we accept the invitation to visit another’s home if we have any social grace at all, we go with gratitude, appreciating whatever hospitality our host may offer. We go with a willingness to adapt ourselves as best we can to the conditions and culture of the house. 

While there, we consider our host’s preferences and needs. We mind our manners and mind our own business. We clean up after ourselves and help out as best we can. We try not to offend or break anything. Upon our departure, we try to leave everything better than when we found it and remember to thank our host for opening her home to us. 

Being a good listener is a lot like being a good houseguest...

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Reflections on the Autumnal Equinox

Reflections on the Autumnal Equinox

As darkness descends earlier and earlier each day, I find myself reluctant to embrace shorter days and long nights. The chill in the air has me reaching for sweaters and snuggles. I want to slow down even as the work-pace quickens in the compressed schedule of pre-holiday season. Getting back to school and down to business rules the day.  

Jane Austen called autumn “that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness.” It is the season of crimson, saffron, pumpkin, and gold…a season to savor hard-won harvests, colorful feasts, and warm nests amidst darkness and decay...

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A Prescription for Happiness: Seven Steps...

A Prescription for Happiness: Seven Steps...

If you could change your life for the better in seven weeks by following seven steps, wouldn’t you want to do so?  Here, for those of you who haven’t already discovered these, are seven things that you can do to experience more happiness in your life.  Do these for seven weeks, and see how your life changes for the better.  Better yet, let me know how your life changes—I would love to hear your stories...

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Are You Qualified to Vote?

Are You Qualified to Vote?

 

Lately, I’ve come to the conclusion that as much as we examine the qualifications of our political candidates, we must also focus our attention on our qualifications as voters. I'm not referring to the qualifications that permit one to have a vote in this country, but the qualifications that make one worthy of having a vote. Is it just me or are others questioning the judgment of voters in this country? 

It seems that many Americans, regardless of their political affiliations, are failing miserably in fulfilling their civic duties as voters in this country. Not only do many citizens neglect to cast their votes, but many cast their votes without any real knowledge of the issues, the candidates, the parties, or how our government is run...

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Who Are We the People?

Who Are We the People?

Most USAmericans are familiar with these oft-quoted words expressed in the beginning of The Declaration of Independence:

...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness...

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Participant-Centered Design: How to Design Events Worth Attending

Participant-Centered Design: How to Design Events Worth Attending

Whenever I get asked to do a presentation, I always have mixed thoughts.  I’m grateful that someone values my perspective enough to invite me to share it, but I’m also concerned that people will expect me to do all the talking.  Most people who know me well will tell you that I consider myself to be less of a public speaker and more of a conversation-starter.  I enjoy presentations if they catalyze meaningful conversation and action, but I prefer more participant-centered events...

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How Naked Are You Prepared to Be?

How Naked Are You Prepared to Be?

Remember Come As You Are parties where people were invited to come in whatever clothing they happened to be wearing at the time of the event?  A cultural novelty of bygone times, people were welcome to arrive in anything from business suits to birthday suits.  Although the events were often used as opportunities to dress in the wackiest clothes imaginable, the parties were an invitation for people to get together without having to worry about appearances, often stretching the bounds of social convention and proscribed self-conceptions.  The underlying concept was that people could come together with fewer pretenses, free to express themselves without the judgment present in everyday experience.

 

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Reflections on Opening Space

Reflections on Opening Space

I recently had the privilege of attending an Open Space retreat on Bowen Island hosted by friends, Michael Herman and Chris Corrigan, where I had some time to reflect on opening space. 

My approach to open space—and life in general (sometimes this distinction seems irrelevant)—is about receiving as much as inviting—receiving what is offered; what wants to be received. Whenever I open space, I invite people to consider that each person in the space is a gift just waiting to be received. All we have to do is open our hearts and minds to receiving each other. If we do nothing else, that will have been profound—indeed, sometimes, that’s the most profound thing that we can do, a prerequisite for everything else...

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An Amazing Place to Be...

An Amazing Place to Be...

On the way home from the airport the other day, my cabdriver, a charming man from Ethiopia, asked me where I'm from--a seemingly simple question for which a suitably simple answer still eludes me. Where am I from? My birthplace? My heritage? My nation? My current place of residence? Born in Rhode Island, the child of an American mother and European father, living abroad most of my childhood, moving frequently as an adult, and currently anchored on Bainbridge Island, I often feel as if I'm from nowhere and everywhere...

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