Being in between

Spaciousness.  Free-time.  Why do I crave it so?  And why is it that the character of time can change depending on the circumstance?

The wisdom in between (1)

On a recent trip to British Columbia I rediscovered a quality of spaciousness that had long eluded me.  The kind of spaciousness I remember from my childhood where summer days seemed to last at least three days each.  Time was stretchy.  There was a sense of having enough time, time enough to do whatever I wanted and needed to do.  And time enough to do nothing at all and feel no guilt whatsoever. I found my sense of being… in between.

It was the space between all the doing that expanded.    And in that space I rediscovered the ability to be present.  In my newfound capacity I was fully present to what I was doing, who I was with and where I was.  I was tuned in with my body, my mind and my spirit.  Just being was enough.  I didn’t have to do anything or to strive to deserve my sense of contentment. I found my way back to whole-heartedness.

Glimpses of this type of contentment and spaciousness had peeked in and out of my consciousness through the years.  Fleeting attainment would simply whet my appetite for more.  My studies pointed me to do the inner work of meditation and contemplation.  My busy, monkey mind needed more activity to combine with these practices.  Labyrinth walking, contemplative walking of any kind, pottery, poetry, dancing, etc. all allowed me to come into the moment with a sense of presence and alive-ness.  These activities created spaciousness in my heart and in my mind.  This spaciousness enabled me to see the ways I was living my life that left me feeling fragmented and even broken hearted.  The imaging that was needed to find my way, out of my own way, was also found in this space.

I wonder if you also crave this type of spaciousness.  Do you find yourself needing to step away from your day to day activities and create some space for yourself to simply be?  And in that space perhaps to reconnect to your deeper sense of self, your sense of purpose and most importantly to regain your sense of whole-heartedness.  All is well, all will be well.

A new retreat offering – 

Are you ready to find some time between all the doing?  Come to the beach!  How fortunate I am to live near the beach where I can walk while listening to the wind, the waves and the shore birds all singing their songs and soothing my soul.  I’d like to share this special place with you and create a space for you where you can get away and tap into the silence.  Nature will be our collaborator along with our creative spirits.  Retreat & Reconnect is a retreat for Women in Leadership.  Read more about how you can come and find the refreshment you need to re-enter your work with a whole-heart.  Read more about it:  RETREAT & RECONNECT

Let’s visit –

 

Moving from Me to We

WIIFM or “what’s in it for me?” is a strategy for facilitators of change everywhere.  It taps into that American culture of rugged individualism.  It taps into individual motivation.  I’m not saying that is a bad thing – it’s real and pragmatic and it works.  Many podcasters, journalists, and bloggers are expressing a sense of optimism for the future after they witnessed individual compliance with world-wide pandemic measures.  It has been pretty incredible to witness!  Several of those same publications cautioned that the pandemic was simply a dress rehearsal for global climate change.  If we can do what we have done for the pandemic then surely we could do the hard work necessary to combat the looming climate crisis.

And yet, I do not share their optimism about this behavior we are seeing and participating in.  Because it is tied to WIFFM.  It is tied to a “me” motivation not a “we” motivation.  Our individual behavior has had to change in order to maintain our personal health and the health of those we love.  And that is strong motivation to be sure.  Now we are seeing the push back on the stringent quarantine measures when some people decided that their WIIFM was more important that the WIIFA or the “what’s in it for all?”

How do we make the journey from ME to WE?  Who are our guides and where are our maps?  As an American citizen and a person of faith, I have some maps available to me. Our Constitution is one map. As an American citizen I have rights and privileges granted to me.  And those rights and privileges are granted to EVERY citizen.  My rights are to be exercised in communion with my fellow citizens because it is TOGETHER that we create the nation.

This is advanced human interaction – that is what a democracy is.  It’s an advanced way of governance.  It, by its very nature, confers respect and responsibility to individuals to work together for the common good.  This social construct breaks down when we try to take what was intended to serve the common good and subvert it to an exercise of individual preferences.   Revisit our Constitution and enjoy the beautiful language of the Preamble.  The Preamble creates a framework within which the Bill of Rights and subsequent Amendments are to work and live in concert with one another.  Consider using it as a map to guide us from our small, me to the big WE.

The Bible, and for me, Jesus, provides another map.  The teachings of Jesus, and many wisdom teachers, task us to serve one another.  It’s stronger than that, right?  We are tasked to LOVE one another.  There is nothing “me-ish” about that.  That is a big WE thing we are called to do.  Me loving you makes a WE.  And like most of the teachings of Jesus, they are easier said than done.  Because that neighbor I am called to love may not look like me, sound like me, think like me, or value the same things I do.  Hard work.  Worthy work.

We as a society, as a nation, as the human race have some tough challenges ahead of us.  We do have the capacity, the ingenuity, the grit and the determination to meet those challenges.  And many of the biggest challenges will require big changes in how we conduct ourselves in the world.  Expanding our sense of responsibility beyond our ME to the WE, valuing and respecting the WIIFA, being not simply compliant but committed to WIIFA is what it will take for us to move into a future that encompasses all.

We are in new territory. Do you or your organization need some guidance to find your way forward? Contact me and let’s talk about it.

Me time – Your time!

LI post

I know a lot of hard working women.  And most of those women are “heart-working” as well.  They are women who lead from their hearts.  They work hard, they work smart, they forge on despite their own fatigue, despite challenges all the challenges they face day in and day out, despite the toll it takes on their families, their bodies and their general well-being.

It’s time to take care of your heart or better stated, take care of your whole-heartedness.

RETREAT & RECONNECT is designed with women who lead in mind.  Take some time away from your every day activities, the endless To-Do list, the meetings, the emails, and all the various deadlines and commitments.  Make a commitment to yourself.  Retreat to the beach and away from your everyday pressures.  Be soothed by the beauty of your natural surroundings as you are inspired by discerning conversation, poetry, music and art-making.  Reconnect, remember or reimagine who you want to be in the world.  You’ll be glad you did.

Find out more  – RETREAT & RECONNECT

Integrity – Inward Orientation – Outward Manifestation

Integrity is an inward orientation that demands congruency between our closely held values and our thoughts, words and action. 

You can’t fake integrity.  We’ve all heard the breezy sayings that give us a sense of what integrity means behaviorally; “walk the talk,” “say what you mean, mean what you say,” “do what you say you are going to do,” and my personal favorite, “do the right thing even if no one is looking!” Having integrity is a positive attribute often associated with honesty, trustworthiness and soundness of moral character.

To live and lead with integrity is a choice.  Once integrity is chosen there is a cascade of other behaviors that will naturally follow such as accountability, transparency, and consistency.  So, it’s easy to see how having integrity is foundational to all your relationships and daily life transactions.

What may be a somewhat unexpected behavior is the willingness to be vulnerable.  When someone says, “I don’t know” or “I was wrong and don’t know how to make it right,” they are also exhibiting integrity.  They may have totally messed up or are afraid they are about to mess up and are raising their own red flag of distress.  There is a kind of courage found in vulnerability which is rooted in the virtue of integrity.

And because one of the hallmarks of integrity is consistency, it demands practice.  You can get better at it; here’s how.  Start with your primary relationship – the one you have with yourself.  Cultivate self-knowledge so you can create trust with yourself.  Question your own motivations, fears, aspirations and beliefs.  Be fearless in your self-interrogatory.  That said, also approach it with self-compassion.  Then take the next step.

Review your behavior.  Have you ever done or said something that didn’t align with your personal beliefs or values?  Let’s face it, most of us have at one time or another.  And when we do, we are, in that moment, lacking integrity.  We regain our integrity when we dig in and figure out why and then take steps to remediate the situation.

Sounds like a lot of work?  Maybe.  But over time you will find that you know yourself better and better.  You will learn what triggers cause you to behave without integrity and can create strategies to avoid them.

It is a choice to live and lead with integrity.  It is a choice not everyone makes.  Know that people of integrity contribute mightily to our society.  In an era, fraught with trust issues, living and leading with integrity is needed more than ever.

Need some help?  This is what I love to do!  I work to help people understand their core values and facilitate the necessary alignment to create integrity and ultimately… success.   My mission is to empower individuals and groups to work with joy and intention.  Let’s get started!


 

Striking a Balance: Technology & People

Big data.  Interoperability.  Integration strategies.  Organizational effectiveness.  Buzz words that can make your head spin.  Over the years, I have seen the rise of computer utilization in medical practices.  Yep, I just dated myself big time!  I have listened to the promises made by each new generation of software and I have witnessed the practical day-to-day challenges of implementation.  Just like in sports I have witnessed glorious victories and the agony of defeat.

Computers are really great at processing data and I think they should be utilized to do what they do best.  That said, the promised time savings for both provider and patient have not consistently yielded a better patient experience. The realities of flat reimbursement schedules and rising practice costs lead many practices to take whatever saved time they realize and reduce staff rather than returning any saved time to the patient.  This reality is understandable but it is not sustainable for the practice or for the patient.

People are really great at relationships and providing health care.   And I think they should be used to do what they do best. Your computer kiosk in your reception area may be efficient in checking in your patient but it does nothing to create relationship or foster trust between the provider and the patient.  It may well do the opposite.

As a master of the middle way, it is my recommendation to focus on balancing your strengths.  Have a robust computer system that enhances your communications and ability to process data.  At the same time, have a robust team of dedicated individuals who are present to the patients in all the right ways.  To welcome them, to listen to them, to educate them, and to treat them.  And like your computer system, your staff should also be provided the opportunity to upgrade their skills and abilities.

Creating good, clear and effective communications will save more time (and money) than just about anything else you can do in your practice.  Communications between the patient and the practice, between the practice and other practices, facilities and insurance plans, and let’s not forget about communications between staff members  – all of these communications affect your ability to render care effectively.  Good communications in all those areas will enhance the care and enhance your relationship with one another and all the stakeholders.  Ineffective communications will create a negative ripple effect that adversely impacts patient care.

If you are one of the lucky ones who have found a product that saves you and your staff time and energy – fantastic, keep it working for you!  Now take that time savings and invest in your relationship with one another and with your patients.  I have been consulting healthcare practices for over 25 years and it always comes down to communication.

Communication skills can be learned, they can be strengthened and they can be used to positively impact every interaction.  Do the math on that – every interaction made more positively impactful.  Imagine how that will change your day!

Ready to regain your balance? Contact me now!