Courage & Renewal experiences help people practice a new way of having conversations that matter. In this guest blog, Rev. Nathan E. Kirkpatrick (a Courage & Renewal facilitator) suggests a way to hold the tensions in faith communities in more life-giving ways, even in a culture of divisive politics and broken systems. (Posted January 11, 2013)
As discussions and disagreements of the wider society find expression in the life of the church, it is crucial that we consider how we disagree as people of faith.
One common word I have heard in the descriptions of the recent General Conference of the United Methodist Church was fatigue – and not just the physical weariness of the individuals present but the emotional and spiritual exhaustion of the body as a whole. More than one person observed how individual fatigue was merely symptomatic of the denomination’s languor. We have grown weary of conversation with one another, however holy we claim it is, and when we are weary of talking with one another, it is easy to stop talking and to start taking ideas of fracture seriously.
Rather than cease conversation and begin planning for an amicable divorce, it is time for our conversation around our disagreements to evolve. Parker Palmer writes in his book Healing the Heart of Democracy, that communities must learn to hold tension in creative, constructive and ultimately life-giving ways. Few would say that we can hold our disagreements so generatively, but for the life and health of the body, it is time we learn how to do so.
This would mean that the church would need to create a sanctuary of safety where the hurt caused by the church can be heard and met by the healing of grace. It would look like creating a place of trust where persons who feel estranged from the body can again find themselves incorporated in it. It would look like engaging in lament and praise where the weary can find rest and the church can hold both justice and Jesus dear.
The church has not been good about creating alternative conversations in this country. The divides of society have manifested themselves in the fracturing of our internal life. May whatever common fatigue we feel be overcome by grace so that we might risk finding ourselves as part of a new conversation.
Join us August 12-15, 2013 for a special retreat and conference with Parker J. Palmer on the Habits of the Heart: The Courage to Practice a Faith Worthy of the Human Spirit. As a Courage & Renewal program designed for ordained and lay leaders, and people of faith serving in broader ministries, it will help you find renewed energy and tools to live into your call to ministry, to claim your agency in the congregation, and to build communities in which differences are used creatively rather than destructively.
by Karen Erlichman, Courage & Renewal facilitator (January 8, 2012)
What might it be like to be a “contemplative photographer” who views things with gentle curiosity in order to gain new perspectives?
The touchstone of turning to wonder from the Circles of Trust® approach has been not only a staple for workshops and retreats, it has been a tool for liberation in my relationship with other people and to the world. When I find myself feeling judgmental, critical or doubtful, I do my very best to soften my response by asking myself questions like, “I wonder what brought her to that opinion?” or “I wonder what it’s like for him to feel that way?”
In a recent blog posting on tinybuddha.com, Kim Manley Ort reflected about transforming judgment into curiosity and wonder, framing the topic from her unique perspective as a photographer. She describes herself as a contemplative photographer:
To view the world with contemplative eyes of wonder is no small task, particularly for a photographer. Manley Ort describes the “profound impact” that turning to wonder has had on her work, fostering new “in-sight” that brings fresh eyes to seemingly mundane aspects of everyday life. She describes a mindful quality of being with what is, which is not only relevant to photographers and other artists, but to people in general.
I love her suggestion of taking mindful “judgment breaks;” simply notice when you are feeling judgmental, and do your best to make a shift from judgment to wonder.
Each one of us has a unique lens through which we see the world. I am grateful for the opportunity to press my internal refresh button in order to perceive others, and myself, with kind eyes and renewed wonder.
- What might it be like to be a “contemplative photographer” who views things with gentle curiosity in order to gain new perspectives?
- How might you remind yourself to make the shift from judgment to wonder in each moment?
by Rob Meyer, MD (posted January 3, 2013)
"If we don't stop to reflect, and to share our reflections with one another, it can blunt our empathy for our patients."
The more people I talk to, the more obvious it is to me that the pace of change in health care today is so rapid, and the initiatives so multiple, that they preclude the opportunity for deep thinking about what we are doing. Our energy is taken up with trying to learn new things, trying to keep up with the changes, trying to keep up with the demands of our organizations and health care in general.
It’s very easy to lose yourself, and so a process of examining who you are, where you come from, and what your journey is, and then being able to find a place and people with whom you can discuss this, is absolutely vital to maintaining one’s balance and integrity.
This process is critical, not only to maintain the individual, but because team care is such a big part of health care transformation today. Working in teams requires we know the people with whom we’re working well, and that’s just not the case in most circumstances. I am firmly convinced that there is a limit to our capacities and to what we can do well without an opportunity to stop and reflect, to communicate with peers, to be listened to, and to listen to them.
I came out of last year’s Health Care Institute resolute about bringing Courage & Renewal back to my organization. I felt more equipped to do it, and I felt empowered to do it because I met other physicians and people working in health care from around the country who are doing the same thing in a variety of ways. After the Institute, it wasn’t so much about me. It was about knowing the importance of this work and bringing it to the organization.
I started with my own pediatric care team—three physicians, a nurse, medical assistants and receptionists. The question I started with was, “What has brought you to this place?” The big eye-opener was that almost everyone had emigrated and had come to this country seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Of the group around the table, only two of us were born in the United States. And even though people came from different countries and from very different cultures, telling our stories uncovered this common thread: we were all there to help our patients lead healthier lives. I consciously didn’t have another agenda for this meeting. I thought it was important for us just to know each other better. I think we really jelled as a team, and this can’t help but build empathy for our patients.
People who work in this organization already have a very strong sense of social justice. We take care of some very disadvantaged folks with a lot of complex problems. IIf we don't stop to reflect, and to share our reflections with one another, it can blunt our empathy for our patients. We need an ongoing way to revive that empathy, and our mission, in ourselves and with each other.
Because of my work with Courage & Renewal, I think I’m much more attuned to sensing when someone is talking from his or her heart. Then it’s time to turn away from the computer screen and just listen. That’s happening more and more. As health care changes, and we’re no longer working based on productivity, we’ll have more time to listen deeply and considerately. I’m looking forward to bringing Courage work directly into the provider-patient encounter.
Courage & Renewal also got me thinking about my leadership abilities and challenges, and what was clear to me was that I needed a very different head space and heart space to do this reflective work with my colleagues. I couldn’t just go straight from seeing patients or from doing my administrative work as the medical director without doing the “work before the work” myself.
I decided I would carve out three hours a week just to reflect. For this time, I go to another small office here that no one else knows about. I have my computer in case I need to use it, but I usually don’t turn it on. I sit and think and write a blog that I’m sharing with my project group, and I prepared for two Courage workshops we did here at Cambridge Health Alliance. The difference between how I feel internally during those three hours as opposed to the rest of the week is striking.
It’s made me realize that what I really want to do for the rest of my professional career is return to my first love, seeing patients. It’s time to let go of my role as medical director, which I’ve done for 12 years, and which needs new energy and new ideas. I will be leading in a different way, and that feels right to me at this time of my life. I’m 64. It’s time to bring wisdom to my work.
I’m going to go back to the next Courage & Renewal Health Care Institute this April. I need to have a regular transfusion. Being with like-minded and like-hearted individuals, spending rich time in conversation, listening to similar problems that you’re experiencing, being encouraged and inspired and instructed by a whole new peer group at these gatherings, are really wonderful.
Dr. Meyer is a pediatric primary care physician and Medical Director at the Cambridge (MA) Health Alliance’s Windsor Street Health Center. He has participated in several Courage & Renewal experiences in health care, including seasonal retreat series, the Leadership Academy, and the Center for Courage & Renewal’s Annual Health Care Institute: Integrity in Health Care: The Courage to Lead in a Changing Landscape, which is coming up again in April 2013 in Minneapolis. See couragerenewal.org/institute
We wish you all the peace, love and light of the season...and add these staff wishes for a more courageous world:
My wish for the world is that we each take that next step to extend ourselves for the sake of another's learning and well-being. -- Terry
My wish for the world is each person realizing that he or she is not alone. -- Anais
My wish for the world is that everyone begins to truly listen to that inner voice that says "don't forget your keys" because that voice has other important things to say, too, if only we make time to hear it. -- Shelly
My wish for the world is that as we end 2012 and begin 2013, we experience fully the cycles of the seasons and of our lives. I wish for the clarity that winter brings in North America as the bare trees open up the vistas; I wish for the sprouting of new growth as we move into spring, I wish for the abundance of the summer season, and the gift of letting go as autumn approaches again in 9 months. -- John
My wish for the world is for people to treat each and every day like the gift it really is. -- Robin
My wish for the world is that everyone would find inside themselves the courage to have an open mind and heart while exploring the world's ever-changing humanity. -- Jade
My wish for the world is that we take time to listen to others, especially our children. And hard as it is, let's stop trying to "fix" them and instead "turn to wonder" at who they are becoming and what they are teaching us. -- Marcy
My wish for the world is that we each discover the courage within our hearts to offer compassion where it is most needed. -- Rick
My wish for the world is that each of us would show up in our relationships as our true self, even if we're not always sure who that person is and why they are so demanding of our attention! -- Erin
My wish for the world is that each of us could more fully honor the other's integrity, suspending judgement and creating safe space for important conversations. -- Ann
This past weekend I sat with several teachers. This group I am in gathers monthly, and teaching always comes up in our trusting conversations. We all know the power of inviting quiet and calm into our work with young people, and we hold the journeys of our students with great care. We all have sat in Courage circles for years.
Naturally at several points, our conversation turned toward the horrors of the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting. We sat in silence, acknowledging our own pain as well as sharing our collective knowing of the pain our students carry. What wasn’t spoken was the knowing that each of us would intend to stand in front of our students as all of the faculty and staff at Sandy Hook did; we have spoken many times of the emotional hammer blows we intentionally intercept to protect our students. Then one teacher shifted the focus closer to our home state, pulling us deeper into this week of astounding loss and great terror.
Her pre-teen students had initiated a conversation on a shooting that had occurred last week in Portland, Oregon. The teacher felt mostly comfortable entering into this conversation as a class, but she was keenly aware of the short ten miles between her school and the Oregon mall location. After inviting her students into a circle, they asked difficult questions, many without answers.
Then she noticed that one boy had quietly started to cry. Aware of the fragility of the moment and his vulnerability, she turned to him and asked if he was okay. He began to sob. She then put the missing pieces together: he had been at the mall that late afternoon. The class community sat waiting, and in time, this young man found the inner strength to talk about his experience, his walking next to the shooter, his witnessing the mayhem and desperation as the shooting occurred, and his outer safety and inner upheaval. They held his grief with the steady companionship of wholehearted listening, the anguish that will never go away.
As this teacher told her story to us, I realized the only thing I could do was listen. Listen with utmost care and simple presence. My fear would help no one, my frustration useless. The stories and the storytellers needed to be heard. As I prepare to return to my learning communities, I intend to hold their lesson in open hands, ready indeed to open to the brokenness we all carry and to hear the deep sadness and grave losses of others here in our community and across this continent. Those teachers and those students in Connecticut did everything humanly possible to survive that day, and they own honor in my book. While we cannot save them from the brutality and terror they carry, we can find our own ways to hear their great fears and stories and hold their broken hearts with our own.
You have heard by now: a man shot and killed 27 people, including 20 children and himself, at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Author Elizabeth Stone famously wrote that, “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart walking around outside your body.”
Hearts are broken all over the world, and yet, the immediate temptation, during tragedies like these, is to go to an analytic place—to speculate and to blame. But in so doing, we miss a chance for humility and human connection. We miss a chance to emotionally reckon with the best and worst of humanity.
As I write these thoughts, I sit in the airport. I am sitting next to someone chatting on the phone as if nothing is happening. Two other people are stuck debating which type of weapon the shooter used. To my disbelief, one person is wondering aloud how President Obama can cry as the whole nation watches.
There is a risk, at times of mass tragedy, to injure each other further by our arrogance, bluntness, impatience, disconnection, lack of sensitivity, to go into a hierarchy of pain and loss. I am reminded of the concept of “second injury” in trauma, of how we can further cause pain by our inability to hold a moment of profound pain. I have seen this often in my work all over the world with young people, whether genocide survivors or prestigious boarding school students... Read the rest of Selena’s blog at PBS.org’s We Need to Know.
Selena Sermeno is the former Director of the Bartos Institute at the United World College-USA. She has trained young people all over the world in the constructive engagement of conflict. She currently lives in Colorado, but was born and raised in El Salvador. Selena attended our Courage & Renewal Gateway Retreat for potential facilitators in September.
By Erin Lane, Assistant Program Director for Clergy and People of Faith (Posted Dec 14, 2012)
Over on the Center for Courage & Renewal’s resource page for clergy and people of faith – a new online forum we’ll be updating monthly— we’ve just posted an advent video from Parker Palmer on what he calls “The Risk of Incarnation.” We wanted to share it here in our blog, too. In the video, Parker meditates on the Christmas story and the Christian notion that the Word became flesh: "It's a story about God taking the risk of showing up in the flesh and all that comes with it, and I think that's a risk we're all called to: the risk of incarnation, the risk of embodying our values and our beliefs, the risk of manifesting our identity and integrity in the world, the risk of being fully human."
The risk of being fully human. It sounds simple enough upon first listen but anyone who’s felt like crawling back into bed with the covers over her head after experiencing such a risk knows its resounding vulnerability. Back in September, as part of an experience on a Courage & Renewal retreat, I volunteered to be the focus person of a Clearness Committee, that is, a communal practice of discernment where one person is the focus of a sustained period of open and honest questions from a small group of people. Was the issue I wanted to bring before the group even worthy of its attention? I was worried already about looking petty and small. I was worried about looking, well, human.
I don’t know what to let go of and I don’t know what to fight for,” I began. At 28-years old, I have come far enough in my professional life to trust that my perspective is valuable but I couldn't seem to figure out when it was really necessary to insert my opinion and when it was best to be a team player. Trying to forge ahead with a superhuman can-do attitude had so far brought me only loneliness.
Over the course of two hours, I heard myself frame and name the recurring threads in my life in new ways. I voiced a need to be easy-going, compliant, and relatable among colleagues. I was reticent to appear what I called “high-maintenance.” But through gentle yet piercing questions from my committee, I was reminded that being what I considered “high-maintenance” could actually lead to greater integrity in my work as I practice speaking up more courageously, listening more carefully, and being persistent (and maybe even a bit pesky) about making sure a project is honoring its core values.
The real risk, it seems, is being fully myself and all that comes with it. This is my practice this Advent season. I wonder, do you have one?
By Terry Chadsey, Executive Director (Posted December 11, 2012)
Courage & Renewal facilitator Karen Erlichman called the attention of our network of facilitators to a recent Brené Brown interview:
Many of you are fans of Krista Tippett and On Being (formerly called “Speaking of Faith) and of Brené Brown’s work. Brené was recently interviewed by Krista Tippett, and spoke passionately about her research on vulnerability and daring greatly (aka, courage!). There were some subsequent powerful blog postings on the On Being blog that illuminated the relevance of these issues for people of color, and how privilege and bias creep their way into research assumptions that everyone experiences vulnerability the same way regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation etc. Be especially sure to scroll down to read the comment posted by Davina Allen.
Thank you, Karen!
I want to put a BIG “!” on both her points.
First, Brené Brown IS very articulate about what matters to us—courage, authenticity, integrity, vulnerability—and this interview and her TED talk are good ways to access her thought. Her newest book is Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. To this point, our staff recently answered an email query about the connections between Brené Brown and our work:
In Brené Brown’s research on vulnerability, she found that shame is a fear of being disconnected—and to be connected, one has to feel safe enough to share your stories, to be deeply seen and heard, to be authentic and real. She found that people who embrace their vulnerability live and love with whole hearts. It allows them to truly listen to others, to believe they are enough, to be kind and gentle to themselves and others. I would say, her work is “what” and our work is a “how.”
Second, Davina Allen and others point out what may be obvious to many: that the two privileged, white women in the interview miss the opportunity to open their discussion beyond their own view points and explore how privilege and structural oppression mean that vulnerability, shame and courage confront us (or not) in very different ways.
An hour with Krista Tippet and Brené Brown's interview at On Being and reading through the comments will provoke and inspire you.
Please post your reaction and your experience of vulnerability and courage.
We are proud to bring you this video story told by an alumni of our 2012 Courage & Renewal Academy for Leaders on how he is bringing the principles of Courage & Renewal and Circles of Trust into the whole program of homeless emergency warming shelters in Santa Barbara County.
Rev. Aaron McEmrys, Senior Minister, The Unitarian Society, Santa Barbara, CA (Posted December 3, 2012)
My congregation runs all of the homeless emergency warming centers in Santa Barbara County. So we welcome thousands of people every winter. One of the things we’re doing for the first time, directly because of our work here in the Academy for Leaders, is that we are going to be building Courage & Renewal practices -- reflective practices and relational practices -- into the very fabric of that institution of the homeless warming centers...into the very programmatic activities of the homeless warming centers, into the work that our volunteers do from all their different faith communities, into the way we work with our boards, with nonprofits, philanthropists. And with our employees (many of our employees are formerly or currently homeless themselves).
We’re going to start taking some bold and exciting steps to figure out how the principles and values of Courage & Renewal can inform this entire endeavor… from volunteers, to our clients, to everyone across the spectrum. My hope is that is addition to enriching the experience for everyone and adding a depth and dimension that it wouldn’t ordinarily have that goes beyond simply providing shelter for people who need it…
My hope is that these practices will help us create a movement in my little corner of the world that has renewal and replenishment and reflection built into the process so that all the people involved can develop the resilience to keep doing this work year after year after year without burning out and without falling into despair or losing hope.
I’m not sure how it’s all going to play out. I have no idea. But I do know that without the Academy I wouldn’t even have the guts to try something this big. I can’t wait to see what it’s going to look like.
Learn more about:
- the Courage & Renewal Academy for Leaders (also see more video stories)
- programs for clergy and people of faith.
(Posted November 27, 2012)
There's much talk these days about Steven Spielberg's current movie, Lincoln. We thought you might enjoy Parker J. Palmer's reflections on Abraham Lincoln's "melancholy" (a 3-minute video) and how it prepared Lincoln uniquely to lead in the face of the violent rifts that led to and fueled the Civil War.
Have you've seen Spielberg's Lincoln movie? What are your thoughts?
Primary Care Physician Anand Shah speaks to the value of the Integrity in Health Care Institute
(Posted November 19, 2013)
In April 2013, the Center for Courage & Renewal will host its 2nd Annual Health Care Institute, “Integrity in Health Care: The Courage to Lead in a Changing Landscape,” a gathering of physicians and health care professionals who will examine fundamental questions about the future of medicine, learn new leadership tools, and reconnect with their core values in health care. We look forward to welcoming new participants, and welcoming back attendees from the first Institute, as we grow this community.
We talked with Anand Shah, MD, family physician and Chief of Professional Services at White Bear Lake Clinic in White Bear, Minnesota, about his experience at the first Health Care Institute in 2012.
Q. Why would you recommend the Health Care Institute to others?
A. “The Institute reinforced my core values and beliefs, personally and professionally, and helped me focus on what I want to achieve as a physician and as a leader. The group, the environment, and the facilitators are excellent. For people who are interested in improving their lives, personally and professionally, it is an extremely rich experience. They will definitely gain a lot.”
Q. What did you take away from last year’s Health Care Institute?
A. “It gave me new ideas, and also it was very helpful to hear from colleagues from different parts of the medical field about their experiences and how they approach issues they face on a daily basis. The Touchstones and practices we used have also helped me. When I talk to my colleagues or staff—when they come to me for help or with issues—I have learned to ask them open, honest questions. This has provided me with feedback that I believe I wouldn’t have received if I had not been practicing this. Also this idea of “no fixing”—that is what I’m trained to do! I’m always trying to fix things. Every day, in every profession, there are paradoxes you come across. I’ve learned how to step back and hold and manage the paradoxes.
“[Courage & Renewal] has also helped me step back to look at my career and my life. I want to go in a direction as a physician where I take care of my patients to the best of my ability, and where as a leader, I make sure that all my providers and all the staff working with me are happy with their work and achieve their goals as I achieve mine—together.”
Q. How are you adding more Courage & Renewal to your professional life?
A. “After attending the Health Care Institute, I decided to take a new step and also join the Center for Courage & Renewal’s first cross-professional Academy for Leaders. I thought that if I could gain so much from my experience at the Institute, I’d like to learn even more ways to bring it back to my institution and to the providers in my group to help them, too, as we go forward.”
Get more details about the next Annual Health Care Institute and see a video:
What follows is a letter to Parker J. Palmer from an inmate student about how she has extended the lessons of his book A Hidden Wholeness from the classroom into her own life as she works through the reasons behind her incarceration. But first, we put this prison program into context. (Posted November 14, 2012)
A note from the Professor
The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program (www.insideoutcenter.org) is a partnership between universities or colleges and correctional facilities that allows professors to teach semester-long courses inside prisons. The students are both university (“outside”) students and incarcerated (“inside”) students. In bringing these two groups of students together in person, the Inside-Out program seeks to break down the barriers (both literally and figuratively) that separate us.
Although classes are not exactly ‘circles of trust’, they do all take place in a circle format and have an explicit focus on open dialogue and sharing of diverse perspectives. For 12 weeks, a group of university students make their way to the federal women’s prison and join their incarcerated classmates. Together -- as peer learners -- they examine the insidious and complicated ways our society excludes and marginalizes. They work together to challenge these exclusions through our class engagement and by exploring concrete solutions to social inequalities.
In preparing the course materials for this innovative and exciting class, I chose one chapter from A Hidden Wholeness (“Deep Meets Deep”) for students to read very early on in the semester. I chose this chapter because the course content deals with issues of power, difference and social inequities –- issues that folks often find troubling and difficult to navigate honestly together. Since one of the premises of an Inside-Out class is authentic dialogue across difference and since students in my class are living quite different types of social circumstances, I wanted to set the stage for an open learning and listening environment from the very beginning of the class. “Deep Meet Deep” calls for each member of the circle to take responsibility for how they speak, how they hear, and how they respond.
During the class discussions, it was quite apparent how affected both groups of students were by the ideas in “Deep Meets Deep”. What was less apparent, however, was how each individual student privately responded to this piece or how they applied it to their personal lives. Here is one glimpse…
Shoshana Pollack, MSW, PhD
Professor, Faculty of Social Work
Assistant Co-ordinator, Inside-Out Canada
Wilfrid Laurier University, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Dear Mr. Palmer,
We were into our third class of “ Diversity, Marginalization and Oppression," a class being offered as part of the lnside-Out Prison Exchange Program -- when Professor Shoshana Pollack presented the class with a chapter from a Hidden Wholeness called "Deep Meets Deep", as an assigned reading.
Not two minutes into the article, it became apparent to me that this was no ordinary read.
Incarcerated for fraud offenses against senior women, I recognized this article, specifically the line "the more we know about another's story, the harder it is to hate or harm that person" (p. 123), for the virtuous token it was; another powerful tool to use in confronting my demons. This line stayed with me daily, and became somewhat of a mantra.
Based on this premise, I was encouraged to explore the murky waters of this hostility I felt towards my mother, and to emerge with answers, or with at least some understanding. Through this, it became clear that my hatred of my mother led me to carry out crimes against women, without feelings of guilt, pity or shame. ln all honesty, each time I stole their personal information, I felt nothing but complete revenge. But revenge against whom ... and for what?
The answer that eluded me for many years comes so easily to me now -- revenge against my mother, for not believing and protecting me when I told her that her brother, my uncle, had touched me inappropriately. I walked away from my mother reeling from the shock of her disbelief and her anger with me. What did I do wrong?
I have since read A Hidden Wholeness in its entirety, and have used this book as a guide to handle everyday situations. For instance, it was only after reading "The Third Way", which talks about communicating in a nonviolent way, was I able to approach my mother with the intent to "know" her "story". As she talked, I listened, controlling my urges to "fix, solve, advise or set her straight" (p. 114). Gradually, my dislike towards my mom slowly evaporated as I began to understand that she parented me, with what she knew about being a parent to the best of her ability.
I have also taken the time to reach out to the women I had victimized, through ihe Restorative Justice Program. Not fully convinced that they were willing to "hear" my "story", and that the severity of my crime has not harmed them to the point where trusting strangers comes easily to them again, I have proactively changed my studies from a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology to Women's Studies -- determined to "know" their "stories" from a broader perspective. Although governmental cutbacks to prison educational funding has halted my studies, l will persist in seeking alternative funding.
A Hidden Wholeness is not for the faint-hearted. For some of us, it is the difference between deciding to do something and really having to do it, and for some of us that can be a fairly large leap. Reading the book is easy enough, but to truly absorb its wisdom and apply it to one's daily life, it is crucial to allow it room. Allowing its formation can be the safest way to approach it without feeling overwhelmed by the life-altering messages it sends us. Usually night-time is when I create that safe, encouraging space to explore and apply what you've taught me to the context of my life.
When Professor Pollack introduced us to your work, I doubt very much that it was her intent to change lives. But whether intentional or not, change lives it did. l I once read somewhere that there is positivity in all of us. Sometimes we just need a little something to bring it out. You, Mr. Palmer, are that "little something" for me and for that I am truly, and will be, eternally grateful.
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