Sunday, 7 July 2013

Sunday Space

It's a lovely, sunny, Sunday afternoon and what am I doing? Catching-up on my reading, watching TED Talk videos and doing the dreaded (but necessary) task of paperwork and bill payments.

A classmate from Royal Roads created a blog called Glow and Grow, and I want to share it with you. Ailie posted this TED Talk on mindfulness that I think is perfect for today's Sunday Space.

While we're at it, can I tempt your interpersonal tastebuds to consider how you engage others socially and professionally? Check out How 4 Words Control Your Career Decisions

Image via Pinterest

Thought Challenge: What do you like to do?

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Saturday and the Stereophonics

I came across these two music videos by the Stereophonics. Each film blends thought-provoking lyrics, music and imagery that takes me in and out of the shadows of darkness and into the light of human possibility. 

Violins & Tambourines

In a Moment

Thought Challenge: Where do you turn for help when you feel yourself in the shadows? What does it take to allow yourself a moment to pause and consider the implications of something you have said or done, or are about to do or say? How can you help yourself break through old beliefs that no longer serve you? What is possible when you are open to looking at things differently? 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Dance Like There's No Tomorrow

As we await the outcome of the Mayan calendar take a moment to celebrate the connections you have with your family, friends, and fellow human beings. Accept what is, express gratitude for lessons learned...and DANCE like it's the end of the world.

Saturday, 11 August 2012


The Deep Dive
Written by Teresa Belluz for The Art of Purposeful Living

Gently and effortlessly she dives deep within
Waves of silence surround her
Detached, she waits and listens 
 Peace at last

Photograph: Inspire First

Thought Challenge: What helps you focus on the here and now? What do you notice about yourself when you are "in the moment"?

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Sunday Space

A beautiful film illustrating what is possible when we let go of fear and dare to engage all living beings from a place of love and mutuality.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

The Cost of Playing It Safe

I have a friend who works for a bully. It's an awful situation. Sure, there are policies about respectful workplace and harassment, yet in reality very little is done to address the bad behaviours of employees in the work environment. The higher up the employee, it seems the less likely there will be an intervention. Why is that? I think it's a systemic attitude of denial and benign neglect, or cordial hypocrisy (Solomon and Flores, 2003). 

Photograph: Li Wei

Our culture is so invested in work and what people think about us, that it has paralyzed our ability to speak freely and live authentically. Externally driven values and rewards that honour performance objectives, profits, and cost efficiencies rule the day.

In a low-trust organization, fear and anxiety are contagious emotions that have a powerful influence over people's thinking and behaviours. It increases absenteeism rates and creates a work atmosphere that is based on survival rather than generating thriving, innovative communities of creativity and collaboration.

Image: SFGate

Contrary to how this post began, this isn't about righting the wrongs of the bully or providing solutions for how to change organizational culture. It's more personal. This is a reminder about living from a place of believing in yourself.

Everyday you and I face situations in which we can make a decision to play it safe, or we can take a risk and trust our inner feelings and the little voice that knows.

Yes, it's uncomfortable to trust in a feeling. There is no magic involved. It takes conscious effort and practice. The more we step out of our comfort zone the more we learn about ourselves and the stronger and more resilient we become. Have I reached this as a natural way of being? No, but I'm working on it, and I invite you to join me on this journey.

Photograph: Wayne Levin

Thought Challenge: When and where do you feel the most connected to your true self? In what ways do you play it safe? What are the costs of not believing in yourself? What is one thing that you can do to tap into your intuitive mind?

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Creativity and the Comparison Game

day and night by fotolympus

I first posted about Dr. Brené Brown and her book The Gifts of Imperfection (2010), here . I just finished reading a chapter on creativity and comparison. She tells of a friend "who always says that 'Comparison is the thief of happiness'" (p. 95). Can you hear the loud gonging noise rattling my brain? Right, thanks for the reminder...again. Sigh.  

When you find yourself being pulled down by the weight of keeping up with whom ever or what ever, how does that influence how you feel and think about yourself? This "not good enough" state can be insidious in its ways of shifting our consciousness. 

Brené writes that " the expression of our originality, helps us stay mindful that what we bring to the world is completely original and cannot be compared. And, without comparison, concepts like ahead or behind or best or worst lose their meaning."(p. 97).

By building self-awareness and recognizing when we're being stalked by the comparison thief, we can thwart its attempts to drag us back into a "scarcity" mindset. 

Thought Challenge: Many of us at one time or another get caught up in the comparison game. Take a moment to reflect on the circumstances when this is likely to creep up on you. What are some strategies you can use to help you shift into gratitude? What are your creativity weapons? What is one step you can take to connect to your creative power?

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Sunday Space: No Regrets

"Road to No Regret": Phillipe Sainte-Laudy

I am quickly approaching my fiftieth year and I seem to be even more introspective than usual. Never mind that every chronological milestone is now overshadowed by the events of "9/11" also known as September 11th or MY birthday. However, birthdays, especially double-digit changeovers, provide us with an opportunity to take stock on where we're at in life, to examine the triumphs, obstacles and experiences that got us to right now.

Image via Pinterest

More to the point, I have been thinking about what it means to live a life without regret. Every now and then I find myself criticizing or judging myself for the choices and actions I have taken in my life, engaging in the language of "shoulda", "coulda", and "woulda". Ugh...just writing those words has a deflating effect.

Photo via Flickr

Today, in honour of my up and coming birthday, I am taking note of the defining moments from the past 10 years. My successes, challenges, and stuff yet to be discovered. I will be asking myself "what have I learned and how I have changed as a result?", and then I'm going to start defining what the next 10 years of a life without regret will look like.

Thought Challenge: So, tell me...what does it mean to you to live a life fulfilled? How will you accept all that you have been and done? What does it take to live a life without regret? How will you know?

Image via

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Artful Learning Lab: Resilience and the Learner-Judger Path

The Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL) describes resiliency as “the ability to recover quickly from change, hardship or misfortune. It is associated with elasticity, buoyancy, and adaptation. Resilient people demonstrate flexibility, durability, an attitude of optimism, and openness to learning. A lack of resilience is signaled by burnout, fatigue, malaise, depression, defensiveness, and cynicism.”

It is my belief that in these times of global and economic uncertainty we need to find ways that will help us to stay grounded and open to possibilities, rather than succumb to fear and resistance, and the stuff that drains our physical and emotional energy. A practical tool that can help you is Marilee Adams' Choice Map.

Marilee Adams provides a straightforward approach to examining our choices, that is, we can choose to be a learner or a judger. The high road of a learner takes us on the path of inquiry and curiosity, self-responsibility and staying in the moment. The alternative, the judger path, is a reactive, blaming, self-critical and downward spiral into the muck of the judger pit. Simple yes, and that is its' beauty. The challenge is in the execution.

Leader-ly Learning is a way of being, the kind of learning a leader needs to engage in as an ongoing process of the job that includes becoming an active participant by questioning assumptions, being curious, and learning about human behaviour. (Vaill, 1996).

Now whether you are a CEO of a Fortune 500 company or Chair of your book club, you will always have an opportunity to lead yourself. You will always have the right to choose where you allow your thoughts to wander and how you act in response to those thoughts. Remember, as the picture above illustrates, you can always switch lanes when you find yourself walking into the judger pit. It's all a matter of how you exercise your choices and how open you are to the learning you gain as a result.

Photograph via Pinterest
Thought Challenge: Over the course of the next week, spend some time tending to the learner and judger paths. What are the signs that you are moving into the judger pit? What are some strategies you can use to move yourself out of negative mindsets and into a learning mode? How will this enhance your ability to bounce back? What does it mean to you to be a leader-ly learner? What will be different about you as you master the art of curiosity thinking?