The Things We Carry

My favorite bookstore in childhood was “The Bookery” in a place called Placerville, California (Pictured above, source and source) Every day-after-Christmas from the ages of 0 through 9, my dad and uncle (and sometimes my mom) would take me there. We would spend hours. And I would spend all of my holiday gift money on stacks and…

Dynamic Duos

Let’s talk about a different 45. The almost-45 years that my parents have been together. No, they never thought they’d be a trio with me in the mix–what brought them together like magnets was music. They lived for music and their spiritual quests in tandem. When I was on a 9+ hour flight a day…

Excerpts

It all happened alongside a beach bonfire. I had recently come back to town–Santa Cruz, California that is, and some creative, inspiring, interesting folk I used to know invited me to the beach. There’s something about bonfires. They’re old world. People throughout history have gathered around flames to warm themselves and share stories. They’re a different…

Normalizing Character Development

One of the problems with Harvey Weinstein and the myth of binaries is that we’re let off the hook. If there are only 1% of “bad” people, and all the rest of us are “good,” the world of injustice continues without a hitch. A few seconds ago, I typed “Me too” into my Facebook status–acknowledging…

Person vs. Professional

I was one of probably three non-therapists this past month in Vancouver, British Columbia at an international Narrative Therapy conference. One of the founders talked about a moment in conversation where the person was taken aback at his authenticity and humanness. In response and to share where he was coming from, he said: “I’m trying to be a person. Not a person impersonating as…

Where the Conscious & Subconscious Collide

Over eleven years, four small frames have traveled with me across two continents and to six cities. Weeks before putting the last of my possessions either in storage or in the Goodwill donation truck on my way overseas in 2005, I collaged Good Earth Tea quotes over photographs or images. At the time, I didn’t understand each one…

Credit

Unplanned, timely post for International Women’s Day 2016.  When it comes to human performance and talent, there are often a gap between what is perceived and reality. During my training in the philosophy and methods of skill development, Dr. Kevin Roessger shared the story of Mr. Molesley and the cricket match (pictured left; source) in Downton Abbey’s season 3, episode…

No Label Needed

Labels, boxes, and language can be problematic. We think something isn’t real unless it fits in the confines of language, a box of understanding, or a clear label and name we can understand. This rigidity of thinking impacts not only what and how we value things, ideas, people and experiences but how we listen, understand…

The Face(s) of History

“The arts have the ability to rewrite history. Changing the face makes all the difference.” ~ Cindy Tran The above quote is from my friend and professional colleague, Cindy Tran (pictured right). Together, Cindy and I stumbled upon one of the most impactful events I’ve experienced in my lifetime to date. The work of Kehinde Wiley is now featured as…

Mother Tongue

As a part of Seattle University’s annual “International Week,” I sat in a crowded boardroom over lunch for a special “Say My Name” workshop (pictured left). Over 850 international students call Seattle University home, from over 60 countries around the world. A few of these students were our teachers this afternoon, helping us with cliff notes on pronunciation for the…

Universal Design for (Brand) Architecture

At one of the most quaint and inviting nooks in all of Seattle called Bottlehouse, Sauntia (pictured above) and I met to have a perfect baguette, butter, and fresh honey with a glass of Sangiovese. No words can adequately describe Sauntia. She has an incredibly creative mind, bringing with her a wealth of life experiences–including formal training in social work and…

Turn of a Phrase

For 15+ years, lined paper and spiraled notebooks have brimmed with my handwritten notes accompanied with this encircled letter “V.” Next to the “V,” which represents “vocabulary” to me, are verbatim phrases or standalone words that individuals share in meetings, classes, events, or appear in multimedia works or presentations. As far back as I can remember, language…