Friday, February 25, 2011


'It is when you, as a leader begin to see your own
excellence, the difference that you make, the growth that you have achieved, and
believe in yourself, that you will then be able to see it in your people.'
~Susan Cavanagh

To engage people one must first inspire or ignite a spark. One's passion is infectious. Great leaders have passion, they have a dream.... even if it is just a dream of survival. But it is a dream.

Today I will begin dreaming...

Sunday, February 20, 2011


My neck is in discomfort. I have suffered a sore throat, muscular tension and strain. I made a choice to get help. I did think I could fix this on my own, but I cannot. Now I am receiving care.

What great metaphor for the other areas of my life. I am healing the physical, now I shall work on the mental and the emotional with practice and the guidance of a teacher.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Plant the seeds of love, cultivate trust and compassion, gratitude.
Wait and continue to cultivate with skillful action, using all that I have at my disposal.
Have faith.
One day things will blossom.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I sit and listen as Fynn goes through his card pack. We have returned from a visit with his father at a private boarding school. After an interesting four hour visit to the school, most of it spent in a closet during a lock down, I probed the young senior school students about their experience. I listened. Despite the discomfort of the room, the opportunity to be locked in with students gave insight not only to what they said, but how they were as people.

Openness was facilitated by the conversation with my seat mate on the plane. He had attended boarding school. In fact he was on his way to visit his own child at a school. Hearing the experience of someone with no power to influence my decision was an opportunity I could have missed if I had not engaged in conversation.

I challenged myself to be honest and vulnerable with someone I have difficulty trusting. It was the opportunity to feel so challenged that forced me to speak.

At the end of these very impressionable 48 hours the learning has been that by not knowing what is 'right' and not knowing how things should be, I have discovered more about myself, my intentions and my desires than if everything went the way I wanted it to go.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Last week as I waited for Fynn to finish his Spell Read session, I sat next to a woman who is fast becoming a friend. I was leafing through the pages of the Home Guide and pondering what was out there. It was quite apparent to me that there were lots of possibilities but very few that fit my criteria. "Still considering moving?" she commented as much as asked. I said, "yes" perhaps more then a little defensively. I have lots of reasons to consider moving. My sons school and my work is 25 km at least away, as are all his friends. This means we drive a lot. This year we have been away from the house for 12 hours at a time, easy. When home we are rushing a meal and homework, then sleep. It feels very busy.
"I really want to have a decent yard and be near water." I elaborated.
"It would be really hard to give up what you have." she said. "The view, close to the water, a pond up your road."
"Yes," my mind reeled through the images of my neighbor Stuart plowing my driveway, my dog running over to Barb and Brian's house for his daily visit. My view... so gorgeous to see the waves crash over Sambro Island. A smile settled on my lips and a warmth filled my chest. For the first time in a few weeks, I settle into my home in my heart again, reminded that it is not changing my home that will make the difference, it is changing my way of living. I do not want more time to meet these responsibilities, I want fewer responsibilities so I can meet the ones I keep with the best I have to offer. That is where peace and happiness rest.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

From where I am.

Snow days are days for sitting and thinking. The world stops doing and there is nothing to do but think about where I am. Where am I? I notice that the process of determining where I am begins with assessing how everyone else sees me. Some people think of me as a great once-upon-a-time climber, some people see me as a bar-too-high-pain-in-the-ass, some people see me as strong and talented, some people see me as intense, stubborn, critical and hard to love.

The irony is we see ourselves through each others eyes. Through the eyes of my son, I see the power of my love and nurturing spirit. Through the eyes of a climbing friend, I see my physical strength and flexibility. Through the eyes of a co-worker I see my creativity. Through the eyes of a girlfriend, I see my beauty. Through the eyes of someone not a friend, I see my negativity, my stubbornness and inflexibility.

When I turn my gaze away from the eyes of others and place it on my own heart, I see all that I am and that it is always enough. I see my own truth and kindness. I see the falsity of all the other views of who I am, for no one person can know all of me. Just as I cannot truly and completely know anyone else. That only leaves room then to have faith that we are all beautiful - even when we don't act that way.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Stop the chase

I spent a good portion of the mid and late 90's driving back and forth across America and Canada climbing and teaching. There were countless hours of redpoint attempts, too many blocks of chalk to speak of, hours of driving, a great many nights of sleeping in a tent or a car. I climbed and when I was tired of climbing, I went to gyms and I taught people all I knew about climbing... all I knew about training and being the best climber they could be. I made very little money then.

Now I work for a big organization. I spend countless hours convincing people that what we do in our little racquetball court is meaningful. I lobby for people to be able to get in. I lobby for the climbers. I lobby for the organization that pays for the space, the lights and the heat. I lobby for the parents who want qualified and safe instructors and I lobby for the sport, indoors and out. I make better money now.

People used to come to me already convinced, or at least willing to see if I had something of value to offer. Now I chase people trying to convince them I have something of value to offer. Perhaps all this convincing is making me question myself. I wonder what would happen if I didn't chase them anymore.