As the dog and I walked down the street early this morning, I heard the scraping of a car windshield, heralding this season’s first frost. I'm reminded that it’s the autumnal equinox today, and I brace myself for the coming shorter days with a sense of dread by pulling my sweater tighter around me.
This past winter I spent a long weekend on retreat in stillness and good company. The theme of the retreat was hidden seeds, the way nature can look as if it's sleeping or even dead, when it is in fact gathering strength and getting ready to burst forth when the conditions are favorable.
Increasingly, activists and change agents are using their own personal stories as a way to awaken leadership in others. Stories speak the language of emotion, the language of the heart. They not only teach us how to act, but also inspire us with the courage to act. Our stories help us translate our values into action by accessing our emotions.
Through their design, objects subtly communicate instructions on how they should be used. Certain handles just feel like they should be pushed, and others pulled. Bad design sends us signals that are confusing.
After four years of wonderful work within a large healthcare agency, I feel called to take a smaller, quieter path. I'm not exactly clear where this new path is going and I'm giving it time to unfold. It's a bit awkward when someone asks what I'll be doing next and I have to struggle to find an answer; I'm ok with that.
The snowdrops came up this weekend. Their reappearance every year brings a shock of hope so unexpected and intense it’s almost violent. It only took a few hours of sunlight on a warm brick wall and there they were.
I thought even more about the fact that he said hello at all, and how that made me feel. Saying hello can seem like a token transaction, but really it's a way to let others know that we see them. My shoulders loosened. I was reminded of the importance of kindness.
In a recent stress dream, I sat in an airport coffee shop knowing I was supposed to board a plane, but with no recollection of when the it was going to take off or from which gate. Despite being surrounded by information counters and departure displays, I just sat and sat, paralyzed and ashamed, with no sense that there was anything I could do.