A Personal Resilience Credo – Part 3: Response

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

This column, and those that follow for the next year, will illustrate the key principle practices of the Personal Resilience Credo, which was created through my experience working with a Top 100 company to help to bolster the resilience of the employee group. (See previous posts, or my column in issue 264 of SaskBusiness for a full description of the Credo).

Principle Practice: RESPONSE – “I choose to humbly and purpose-fully exercise my freedom to respond, to be aligned in principle, word and behaviour — expanding my capacity in life and mission”.

To set the context for this practice, I define “response” to be the opposite of “react”. Reacting is a type of response, but it lacks a pause; it is immediate, without thought. By contrast, response is attached to a space; a pause. This pause allows time for a choice. Once we understand the relationship between response and choice,  Please Continue Reading …

A transformational, new year challenge

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…these are all fruit of a spirit that we would benefit from more of in our life.

One thing that all of these have in common, is that we must be present to experience them. We must also be present for others to experience these in us – and we must be present in these for people to experience the best of us.

The antonym of presence is absence. We can be absent when we are away, but we can also be absent when we are near, such as when we are distracted, numbed, depressed or fearful. Selfishness, depression, animosity, agitation, indifference, arrogance, indulgence…all serve to rob us of a fuller experience in life, and the key to transformation is  Please Continue Reading …

Resilience Credo – Curiosity

“The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.” Frank Herbert

Have you ever wondered if this is all there is? Is who you are all that you will ever be? Is there hope to overcome your weakness, fear and insecurities – your reactiveness, impatience and defensiveness?

If, like me, you find yourself longing for a deeper sense of self-mastery (truly: peace within), the practice of curiosity may be a key to what you desire.

Principle Practice: Curiosity
“I choose curiosity  Please Continue Reading …

Resilient Practice; The personal resilience credo

“Of all the virtues we can learn no trait is more useful, more essential for survival, and more likely to improve the quality of life than the ability to transform adversity into an enjoyable challenge.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Happiness

Mental health is a growing concern for our society. As the stats for mental health continue to reveal erosion, happiness seems to be moving further beyond the reach of many. We turn to medical health providers for help – but here we find another problem: Physician health and wellness is a growing concern within the medical profession as well. The data (above) was collected in 2017 through an online survey of nearly 3,000 residents and physicians (Canadian Medical Association).

Is there anything we can do to turn the tide?

I recently had the privilege of working with a Saskatchewan Top 100 (SaskBusiness annual list) organization, and the experience was noteworthy enough that I’ve asked permission to share their story here anonymously.  Please Continue Reading …

Vulnerably for you

I was just reading a post by W. Brett Wilson in the Calgary Herald, We need more than thoughts and prayers for mental health, related to the recent suicide of a business colleague and friend. Someone that no one would have suspected of being depressed or suicidal – someone who looked to have it all together.

In the article, Wilson suggests that we need people, “who will openly share their stories of healing so that others can find hope.”

I’ll share – vulnerably, for you.

Just a few years ago, I was in the home stretch of a master’s degree, with only 1-year remaining. As I started the first week of a new class, I began to realize that I could not retain any of the information I was reading in the course material. I’d go back and try again, but always with the same result. This was happening during a time in my life where business had been drying up, and I had a few bad accounts (contracts that did not pay) which compounded the financial pressure. I was depressed, and depression had turned to despair.  Please Continue Reading …

Ride to Remember

I spent the past 3-days riding my road bike in the 2017 Ride to Remember event from Prince Albert to Regina – a total of 480 kms. I learned a few things, and thought to share them with you.

I was first moved by the people of Beardy’s-Okemasis Cree Nation. The students of the Constable Robinn Cameron Education Complex lined up and and gave us all a warm and cheer-FULL reception.  We were then welcomed by the school staff, band elders and Chief Okimaw C.R. Petit. I was deeply moved by the ceremony that followed, as the band elders and community presented Constable Robin Cameron‘s mother with a star blanket. I can’t imagine what it is like to loose your child so young,  Please Continue Reading …

Anxiety’s Antidote

If we have any self-awareness, we can easily identify feelings of uncertainty in our future vision from time to time. Especially today.

Fires ravaging the entire state of Montana, Hurricane Harvey drowning Texas while Irma pounds the Caribbean – and while all of this rages on, Mexico lands an 8.5 earthquake. It makes one start to wonder what will be next…(I’ll leave the political scene untouched here).

We can find ourselves pondering the future within the context of a wide variety of life circumstance. Some of our pondering will lead us to anticipation, while others will lead us to a state of underlying anxiety; where we have an “off-sense” of disturbance in our spirit.

Anxiety is generally described as Please Continue Reading …

The Validation Vortex

I have known for many years that I had a problem seeking the approval of others. I understand why it was a problem, and I thought I was making headway, until my last round of bathroom renovation projects brought me a deeper dose of self-awareness.

Nothing wrong with doing a bathroom reno – and I enjoyed both of these recent projects immensely…but what’s up with the Facebook posting of pictures from various stages? Worse yet, why was I checking to see how many “likes” I was getting?

I’m a creative -no surprise there. I am not saying that I am a great artist or that every idea I have is a good one when I say that “I am creative” – I just know that I enjoy creativity. To be creative is to take risks. It is inherent in the nature of creativity.  Please Continue Reading …

Fearless in Grace: Let the truth flow

Over the past several years, I have written about many different aspects of resilience. I have written about the role of conflict, and beauty. I have written about hope and the role of adversity and challenge in the development of character. I have written about the role of trust and trustworthiness, providing a template for a corporate charter that would give all the opportunity to grow together in their ONE mission.

I have explored the role of creativity, and I have reflected on the impact of our ego through the Enneagram personality profile. I wrote about our resistance to change, and what we can do to overcome our inhibitions  (part 1, part 2, part 3).

In the end, all of these nurture resilience, but perhaps one, above all, brings it all together: Grace.


Grace has become the safe space for me to take responsibility for my behaviors without condemnation. It has allowed me to hold all of my trauma and past regret without despair. It is enabling me to look to the future with a greater sense of anticipation and to be released from past and regret to be more fully present within the moment.

Through grace I have the opportunity to view crisis and challenge with a sense of curiosity instead of a subconscious expectation of never being enough. I am coming to experience  Please Continue Reading …


What is the nature of the corporate culture at your workplace? What word would you use to describe it? Would you say that it is fun, caring, or safe — or would you describe it as silo’d, fearful or driven? If you enjoy your workplace and find it a balanced atmosphere of productive, yet sensitively aware to the impacts on ALL to achieve that productivity, would you be bold enough to call it home?

I am in the middle of a 2-week holiday as I write this post. Holidays are a blend of break and reflection for me, and during this one I have been processing at the intersection of location, events, and thought, with a thorough texturing of past trauma to spice it up.

The location is Victoria, BC – where trauma impacted my family in a significant way some 40 and 45 years ago. The current events are a combination of graduate school convocation and ensuing peer discussions about “what’s next?” — with a remarkably deep and probing distance marketing workshop experience that has been pressing me to answer the question of “what transformation (I) lead my clients through.

One of the most interesting conversations during this trip  Please Continue Reading …