Warm Memories: Your living epitaph

My father was just 42 when he was permanently disabled and institutionalized. My mother was just 37 when she died. These two events have forced me to take the pursuit of the meaning of life seriously.


Some have suggested that when we think about the meaning of my life, we should think about what we want our eulogy to be, or what we would want to have on our headstone. While these may be valid, I think there is an additional way. Please Continue Reading …

Re-Creation & Peace

In a discussion with life coach Angie Marshall, I was informed that sleep does not recharge through some magical fuel line in the night, but rather through the elimination of resistance. This basic revelation has helped me in navigating nights where sleep has been elusive. The concept of resistance reduction goes further still.


It has often puzzled me as to how much we invest in recreational activities. I get the point of recreation, but it seems to me we may be pursuing a peace that will always elude us as we seek to manage/change up our external environments. This is especially notable in the proliferation of exotic winter vacation options.

While flying south to warmer weather offers a setting wherein we are temporarily removed from the resistance of our daily lives (overloaded schedules and relationships strains, in addition to the cold harsh winter climate), we must return home at some time. Given that we live 52 weeks a year, how much will we pay to experience just 1 week of peace?  Please Continue Reading …

Being, Doing, Becoming…

I have written often to exhort leaders to slow down, emphasizing that we are not human doings, but rather human beings. I have sought to remind leadership within our often imbalanced culture that we work to live, not the other way around. I have pointed out that many seek power, fame and glory, only to lose the family, friends, and sometimes even their self.

I do not wish to recant any of this, for I believe what I have written to be true. Having said that, I am finding that it is not enough to relax back to “being” alone. True, we hold the beauty of the miraculous gift of life in our being, and we ought not to lose sight of this in pursuing our doing… Please Continue Reading …

Somnambulistic Fog

My favorite spiritual writer of late (actually, for a long time now) is Dr. David G Benner. I was introduced to him through Surrender to Love, and The Gift of Being Yourself, but more recently I have been drawn in by excerpts from his Soulful Spirituality; Becoming Fully Alive, and Deeply Human. What I appreciate most about Benner’s writing is a combination of weighty depth in his articulation of the spiritual journey as “being”…and also a refreshing logical objectivity, which (paradoxically?) flows out of heart.

I had not heard of the word “Somnambulistic” until reading Benner’s last Something to Ponder e-letter posting…but it has since captured my imagination. What a great description for much of what I sense in culture today.  Please Continue Reading …

Amanda Todd

I am a bit numb…not sure what to say after watching Amanda Todd’s video on Youtube…How does it come to this? How is it that a culture can produce so much arrogance, self-indulgence and indifference that this kind of thing can happen?

I say arrogance, for we have children growing up under our leadership that seem to carry an elitist attitude of condescension toward others. I have been told by experts in the filed of social work and policing that this often stems from their individual feelings of insecurity and lack of power. In other words the perpetrator actually feels powerless, and discovers power in bullying. Where does this come from and what can be done to change it? Please Continue Reading …

Pruning & Productivity

Two years ago we planted grape vines in the backyard. The first year we watched the vines grow, and were pleased with how they filled in, providing a third dimension to our walkway. This year they produced a bounty of grapes!

Here comes the kicker…if we want they vines to do well again in the future, to produce a harvest of grapes, we have to radically prune the vine, and trust it to come back!

This is much the same as what we experience in the seasons of life. The very thing that was productive and enjoyable last season may have to be pruned back in order to make room for next season’s productivity.

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Defining Statement

A while back I attended an all-day presentation titled “Grow Your Business”. The speaker arrived here from Minneapolis with many helpful reminders as to the various disciplines and tools that can make or break any business. One of the key statements he made was this: “No one in business fails or quits due to lack of Commitment or Conviction, but rather due to a lack of Clarity, Congruency and Consistency.”

At first I felt I should argue that a lack of commitment can bring failure, but as I looked around the room, I doubted that anyone in the audience would demonstrate this within their business life, so I let it go. The speaker went on to say that the most important tool available to anyone in business, for the purposes of achieving communications, marketing and promotions impact, is the “defining statement”. Ok…now I am really listening, I even leaned forward in my seat; this is starting to resonate with passion, purpose…and calibration! I knew that this would ultimately be similar to the exercise of developing a “13-second elevator speech”, but something about the title “defining statement” was intriguing to me.

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Guiding Leadership, Inside Out

I have had the privileged benefit of a long-term mentorship in business. My mentor had been the CEO with one of the largest companies in our Province. Early in my mentorship, he spoke of the difference between “IQ” and “EQ”. His conviction led him to hire his leadership team with a bias toward EQ. His reasoning was that when the pressure came, EQ would hold.

Think of a soft-sided ball. The ball can be attractive, and bounce ok under normal conditions. However, if we place the ball into a deep pool of water, the deeper we take the ball, the more pressure the ball receives from the water. Under pressure the ball will collapse if there is nothing inside. Alternatively, if there is substance inside, it will either hold the shape of the ball, or seep through as the pressure builds.

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Already dead…until decisions count

I retold a story in July/August (upcoming) Calibration column of SaskBusiness magazine, about a time where I had a very difficult, veritable life or death decision to make. The tipping point in the decision came when I remember that the company was “already dead”…not literally of course…but in such a state that, without deep change, it would not survive.

Sometimes we are at junctures in our life individually much like I was corporately. We may be in a vocation, relationship or situation that we know is toxic to our soul, and while we lack the courage or resolve to change, we may know that death awaits if we do not step into the great unknown.

“Man protests against death, for he is not content with a postponement of the execution.” Henri Nouwen

It is not just that we want to avoid metaphoric death…in truth we protest our imminent departure from this earth. We all WILL die. Some sooner, some later…but ultimately our date with death is unavoidable…and the years pass faster than we realize…until we look back.

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