Disruptive Conversations about Death in the Healthcare System

This week I am working with the Vitaltalk team to imagine how to scale their work Nurturing healthy connections between clinicians and patients facing serious illness.   They are such an amazing team to work with as they’ve been teaching & working with deep authenticity, presence, co-learning, emergence, honesty, courageous humanity and HUMOR.    How do you scale THAT! 

One of the most personally impactful retreats I’ve ever hosted was the one I co-lead with the VitalTalk team on Dying. The Invitation read: Let’s have a disruptive conversation about death. You can view the beautiful website and excellent videos from the event here.

One of my favorite lines spoken at the retreat, by Kemp, “It is not death we fear but our own unbearable grief, our unbearable love.”

Choosing an object to take to put in the circle on Monday, I’m packing up a picture of my Dad. I’ve met him three times as he flirted with that threshold, the first after a major bicycle accident. … Continue Reading...

Community Resilience and Self-Reliance

Working with the Quinault Indian Nation on their strategic plan was a lesson in resilience. The stories of resilience, self-reliance and community wellbeing are abundant in their history.  The oral histories give clear insight for how to strengthen each. It is a blessing to live in a region where the stories and practices of resilience are alive in Elders.  These stories show us patterns of wellbeing worth living into in creative new ways.

“We used to follow the fish and follow the seasons.  Everybody shared everything.  My Mom’s family is Tulalip, my Mom arranged so we had relatives all around the Puget Sound. So if one tribe had a bad season then you came together and were provided for.  It was just tradition.”

“We used to travel all over and get what you needed through those relationships.  Traveling all over, hosted by the communities.  You have abundance and give away lots of food. Continue Reading...

Organic Models of Leadership

The past two weekends I hosted two General Assemblies for the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Mexico City and San Antonio.  They are an international and intercultural community working in education, healthcare, literacy, and social justice.

They committed themselves to developing an “Organic Model of Leadership” 4 years ago and have been living into what that means.  Within the community they named principles or values for how they work together:  Participation,  Relationships,  Co-responsibility and accountability,  Corporate unity,  Multiculturalism and Formation (continue growing).

Working from a Livings Systems Model

We explored several aspects of working within a living systems model.  First is the nature of change.  We explored the dance between Chaos and Order - and the challenge of finding the new forms of organization that serve the mission as the community and world changes.  The need to be adaptive as part of this dynamic.  This is the The Challenge of Walking the Chaordic Path.… Continue Reading...