90 Days in the Whole

Joyfulness, Organizational Development, Uncategorized

FullSizeRender 209

It has been a while, friends. I’m just past the 90 day mark at my new job and it feels like this (see above). Most things are a rough sketch; authentic, inspired, and in quite a contrast to my “look up” moment I feel like I’m hurtling through space and enjoying the ride.  My nightstand and desk are overflowing with books once again. Felt tipped pens and sticky flags fall out of all of my pockets at the end of every day. I’m loaning out all of my favorite books at a clip so fast that I have a back log of people I want to share books with once I get them back. I AM LEARNING. SO. MUCH.

Note to/from Self: don’t forget to call home, go to the gym, and for god sakes, get rid of the sitting desk at work- it is killing your back.





Well, this moment pretty much sums up everything about my experience of being a parent. Also, in real life, the topper to this moment was that my husband walked into the room right after our kid had pooped on the floor and saw me crouching behind the other side of the dresser (as if I was hiding from my pooping child) and said, “What are you doing? He just pooped on the floor?” I just started laughing and said, “uh… meditating?”

Look Up


LOOK UPWell, this one feels… raw. I have to say, sometimes these doodles have a lot to tell me and they can feel, well, pushy. It’s almost like having a lucid dream. While this doodle was emerging I actually thought to myself, “Oh great, so I’m sneaking up onto the edge of a cliff?!” And then, a few more things occurred to me. I’m actually not sneaking up on it at all, in fact, I think I’ve been sitting here for quite some time. Also, everything drawn in marker seems to be remarkably of this world. Yet, my strapped-on wings in wait, the cloudy abyss, and my stelar clues, all seem to be made of some far more mystical matter. And in the end, the flashing lightbulbs in the sky are saying, ” LOOK UP.”

Yes, it appears that perhaps I need a shift in focus away from the impending doom that awaits me should I jump, and towards the heavens that are  calling for my assent.

So for all you cliff dwellers out there, wherever you are – answer the call. LOOK UP!

Bringing Your Magic at Work

Conscious Culture, Joyfulness, Uncategorized

Magic At Work

So I sat down tonight to doodle about how giving and getting feedback you don’t expect can be like getting handed a poop pie full of protein. I was planning to name the post, “You Don’t Always Get What You Want, But You Get What You Need.” I’m all fired up after a recent consulting gig with a client who got different feedback than they had asked for, exactly the feedback they needed– and then I realized that my new fancy electric drawing machine license has expired. Sigh. So, while I’m working on what drawing software I really want to purchase… (I’m open to suggestions people), I bring you this fancy old timey “paper and pen” diddy from a few months ago on Bringing Your Magic at Work.

I drew this after an inspiring conversation with fellow LIOS alumni about our experiences, heart breaks, and triumphs around bringing our magic at work. And yes, I don’t mean to work. Bringing your magic to work would be like leaving for work with your magic in a small paper bag along side of your lunch. I mean, ARE YOU BRINGIN IT?! Your magic that is. Do you step into the system with all of the glitter, gold and luminescence you are capable of? And if not, what are you waiting for? A sense of worthiness? The right moment? Permission? A different context? A different job?

I imagine this as a handy self-assessment tool I can use on myself. Kind of like the ten point pain scale one might find at a hospital. On a scale of one to three, how much magic am I bringing right now? If it’s not a three, why? Maybe that lunch isn’t sitting well. Or, maybe…something needs to change.

Because here is the thing, you’re magical. Like, glitter unicorn running through the Mists of Avalon magical. And the world needs with all of its might for you to share what you’ve got. And what it looks like to be magical is completely unique to you–but my hunch is that you know it when you feel it. Do you feel it?

(Performative) Wellness

Conscious Culture, Group Membership, Joyfulness, Uncategorized

when wellness is performative3

I think its great that many workplaces are encouraging employees to prioritize wellness. On campus fitness programs, morning yoga classes and the like are becoming more common for white collar workers in industries flush with purpose, cash, and millennials. I say, bring the wellness! And more of it, to more people! It’s an amazing opportunity for us to bring our vivacity, creativity, playfulness, and endorphins into our work lives.

And, I have a hunch that wellness runs the risk of becoming just another performative aspect of work. Not only are you expected to get the work done, be creative, but gosh darn it, you should be glowing and energized from that 5K you fit in during lunch (ouch, did you still get those drafts out to the review committee??).

What we need is wellness, and a culture of honesty and humanity, where it’s okay to show up and say, I’m tired today. Because let’s face it, some times you’re going to be tired. And if it’s okay to be tired and restful today, then maybe you really will feel like you can fit that 5K (and that bang up draft to the review committee) in tomorrow.


the power of yes, AND

Group Membership, Joyfulness, Organizational Development

"yes, AND" in group membership

This person is traveling a road, carrying what appears to be poisoned milk, cursing the “damn milk birds,” which I presume are after his poisoned milk  (note that it was created during a lecture on group membership).

Perhaps this is my unconscious insight into the way that the precious gifts we refuse to share with the with the group, be it our perspective, our creativity, or our voice, may be the very thing that the group may need or be seeking. Perhaps it is that in the process of our withholding that we spoil or poison the thing that we treasure and protect. And after a time of this withholding, we come to resent the group for the choice we ourselves made to hoard our gifts.

I’ve puzzled over the big “AND” in the road for a long time. What comes to me now, several years later, is that the “AND” is the solution to this dilema screaming out, “look over here, dummy!” The stance of AND represents an opportunity to both offer your truth, vision, idea, while recognizing that it is not the only way. Inherent in AND is the ability to hold the paradox of many truths, including your own.  It is in an eloquent way, permission to be big, to share, to be whole.

A Good Question

Complexity, Joyfulness


I drew this months ago, so I’m not sure why I’m compelled to post it today.

I am standing on the edge of big transition at work, from a job that has felt profoundly underwhelming intellectually, and inappropriately demanding emotionally, to a job that from all indications could be the first job in my life that asks me to show up in my full and true size.

Spring came early in Portland, Oregon this year. Out my window I can see cherry trees in bloom and daffodils already beginning to wilt from their bold proclamation of spring. As I look at this drawing I am called to ask, what does the winter landscape of this last year have to teach me? What is the good question that wants to emerge in response to this chapter of my life that I am preparing to close? And am I willing to pause in these final moments in the snow and open my heart to all it has to teach me, about myself, and others?

Today, I’m pretty rooted in FYBB, but I’m hoping with time I can open myself to all it has to teach me.  I hope I can find the good question.

This Must Be the Place

Identity and Power, Joyfulness

This Must Be the Place1

Oh my god, yes, I did get a new hair cut!  I’m pretty excited about it. I can’t decide if it is cute or just caving to some half hearted mommy look that I should be mildly embarrassed of. Either way, it beats wearing my hear in a ratty ass top knot everyday. I’m still working out how to doodle myself with my new hair style, but this will do.

Oh the monster?! Yeah, I don’t know. What can I say? I think I’m getting better at arriving at the lake to discover the thing that is eating everything alive and good in the kingdom. I mean, yes, it scares the fuck out of me. And yes, I’m pretty sure I might die if I try and jump in the water and slay the dragon. And yes, I’ve done it before and survived. It is starting to feel like a familiar destination.

Oh, transformational engagement with my darkest fears and insecurities in order to emerge on the other side more whole and integrated? Sure. What do you think of this dress? I’m really getting into coral and reds these days.

the babies



I have this dream every once in a while. The context and the details are always different, but the takeaway is always the same. It always haunts me when the dream comes. I know it is the universe sending me some pretty clear instructions, but still, once I wake up, I still can’t quite bring myself to believe.

In the dream I was listening to an old woman tell a story about the time when a tsunami destroyed her town coastal town. As she was telling the story, a shoreline appeared, and I realized that this was the shoreline of her town, and that I had entered her story. I knew that the water was coming and would soon wash over the shore in a forceful wave. Other people knew too, and were running around panicking. Suddenly, a concrete wall appeared in the water, and as I walked away from the shore to see what was on the other side of the wall, I heard them.

The babies.

They were in a large pile, propped up against the wall, facing the enormous ocean, the water lapping at their navels. Small toddlers were holding tiny babies in their arms crying, trying with all of their might to hold the babies up above the waterline. I was stricken by terror. How would I save them? In a frenzy I started picking them up one, two, three at a time and running to the shore. Screaming for someone to help me. But it was too little, too late, and slowly, I would see the babies slip under the water.

I would awaken with a start, catch my breath, and slowly fall back asleep only to reenter the dream. Each time in the dream I would try something new, and would fail, and would awaken with a start, catch my breath, and slowly fall back asleep only to reenter the dream. I became more and more lucid in the dream with each cycle. I understood that I would continue to have the dream all night long until I figured out how to save them. I watched them die over and over again. I could not escape the dream.

Eventually, exhausted, I stood still in the water, and I looked at the babies, and I just…….willed them out of the water. They rose into the air and hovered above the water, screaming and kicking, and safe.

I knew, as I always do by the end of the dream, that the task is not to run harder or jump higher, but to somehow just do, without any effort at all. It is as if by giving up on the effort all together, the work is done.

When I awoke in the morning I felt exhausted, and sad. I felt overwhelmed by a sense of grief. As I moved into my waking life I realized that my days sometimes feels much like my work on the beach, moving with urgency from breakfast dishes to school bags and commutes and day care and work and back. If only I could find the grace and will myself to hovering, even if screaming and crying, safe and still above the water.


where to begin but Ferguson

Group Membership, Identity and Power, Systems Thinking, Uncategorized

HANDS UPI’ve been having really bad headaches. I vacillate between thinking I have brain tumor and a blocked carotid artery, or that I’m fine and that I just need to quite cross-fitting and start eating more lunch, or that I’m getting headaches because my body is trying to figure out how to filter all of the psychic trauma I’m witnessing in the world. Either way, I’ve been meaning to post something about Ferguson and the murder of Mike Brown, Jr., but instead have been negotiating with my body.

The last 48 hours I have been feeling much better, so, here it is.

To be honest, I don’t even know how to begin because there is so much to say. So much of it isn’t new–about how race works in this country and how it’s eating away at us–to the transformative potential in a moment so combustible that all of the power and abuse and hope and dignity ignites in a flash. So instead, I’d like to refer you to all of the things other smarter more eloquent people I respect have to say about this. Starting with, “this was not an isolated incident.”

Oh, and if you can, please support the movement for justice with your cold hard cash. Justice takes organizing, and organizing takes resources.

Think About It

The Ferguson Syllabus*

*if you are going to read any of these… start with this one, which I acknowledge is kind of a trick request, because this really is a syllabus.

Things to Stop Being Distracted by When a Black Person Gets Killed by Police

How Often Do Police Shoot Unarmed Black Men?

Black Feminists Respond to Ferguson

Black Lives Mater

What Ella Baker Taught Us About Ferguson and Gaza

Missouri Lt. Governor explaining why we need “Anglo-American” Justice

In Ferguson, Black Town, White Power

Stark Racial Divisions in Reaction to Ferguson Shootings

Take Action

Ferguson Solidarity: Ways to Support the Fight

SURJ’s Police Brutality Action Kit

These Are For You (us), White People

It’s Not Just the South and Fox News, Liberals Have a White Privilege Problem Too

10 Things White People Can Do About Ferguson Besides Tweet

12 Things White People Can Do Because Ferguson

Dear White Mom

What are white folks to do? From Trayvon Martin to Michael Brown

More White People Believe in Ghosts than Racial Discrimination