Perspectives

Recent Stories

Covid Life – Recluse, Re-Emergence and Ritual

…The day finally arrived this Memorial Day weekend when the four of us and Popo dared to venture out together to visit my father and brother in New York, the first time in over a year. It was cold, windy and wet, but my 87 year old mother determinedly walked to her husband’s gravesite and read the poem she wrote for him that’s etched on the tombstone. We lit incense, bowed in respect and ran back to the car as lightning and thunder reverberated through the skies. After all the sadness, loss and separation, we returned to each other through this family ritual, marking the passing as well as the continuation of our shared journey.

Passion and Purpose in Our Work

Passion and purpose in our profession. Is it plausible? Is it realistic?  Is it worth pursuing if my work pays well? I always say yes

Who Has the Time for *$&# Gratitude?

Like all habits, the habit of gratitude takes discipline, practice and patience. It has taken me years to develop into a person who can appreciate the small things in life that gives me joy. My husband will be the first to assure you that my five-alarm fires are still alive and well in my life. For sure they are still there. But with practice, I’ve counterbalanced that natural tendency to worry with a newly developed tendency to appreciate. And as a result, I truly believe I live a happier life, a more effective life and hopefully, a life that extends more positivity to the people with whom I interact in the world.

A Longing for Cultural Belonging

Some twenty years after his death, as I do work in intercultural and leadership coaching, I understand his life through a different lens. I see now that my father yearned to belong at work. He wanted to be more than just a systems specialist. He wanted more than to just clock in and bring home the check. For all the hours he spent at work, he wanted to be part of the community – sharing, talking, engaging – more than the perfunctory, “how was your weekend” pass-by glance. I look back and realize that my father’s work existence must have been quite lonely.

Is Passion Misunderstood?

Over the years as a coach, observing myself and my clients, it’s become clear that passion can be misunderstood. We generally think of passion as overt, provocative, bigger than life. Somehow we believe our passion can consume us if we are not alert. It can lead us to wayward paths. It’s almost irresponsible. Yet I’ve observed passion to be deep, mature and patient.

The Freedom of Personal Accountability

Life is shared, whether at work or at home. Nothing can be done independently of others or our surroundings. So in this interconnected living, it’s plausible to put responsibilities on others when things get tough. At some point, things always get tough. Sometimes it’s the other person. Sometimes it’s shared. Sometimes it’s really ours to own. Question is, do we discern? Do we take the time to be present with what’s going on so we can process what happened and understand our emotional response to the situation? If you stay present to a situation, you will realize that taking responsibility is always an emotional choice.