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Vocational Clarity in a Circle of Trust

At 9am on a Sunday morning, in front of a group of new acquaintances, I was shedding quiet tears. From a bluetoothed ipad, Cat Stevens sang ‘Morning has Broken’ as I regarded a carpet of tree collages on the floor of the meeting room – the product of a workshop exercise the previous day. Let  Continue Reading »

We Need a New Holistic Paradigm – “Re-humanizing Medicine” Review

Healthcare is at a crossroads, and no one has been more affected than the physician. Traditionally physicians, trained as technicians, view patients through a narrow reductionist lens that often excludes compassion, empathy, and authentic connection – resulting in a “dehumanizing process.” If medical science gets elevated as dogma and realized as truth, then physicians practice  Continue Reading »

Life Isn’t Either/Or

As a young man I remember thinking that a paradox was some arcane mental trick played by philosophers and physicists that had little to do with me. Today, I’d say pretty much the opposite: that paradox, with the little word “and,” is perhaps the only way we can hold together the sheer complexity of what it  Continue Reading »

To Understand Within, Look Outside Yourself

As I lay amongst a stand of Gum trees, looking up into their branches, I remembered how the branches we see in the trees above are also reflected in the trees’ roots beneath us. I suddenly had this beautiful feeling of being held, Embraced By A Tree, above and below. It inspired me to create  Continue Reading »

Why We Must Also Listen to Our Inner Shadows

“If we do not understand that the enemy is within, we will find a thousand ways of making someone ‘out there’ into the enemy, becoming leaders who oppress rather than liberate others,” writes Parker Palmer in Let Your Life Speak. What does it mean to confront our inner enemy, knowing we can never truly be  Continue Reading »

Embracing the Tensions of Ministry

In the stillness of February, with sheets of ice still clinging to the pavement and snow as resolute as rocks, a group of clergy and congregational leaders met in Madison, Wisconsin to dream of summer. With red-rimmed noses and frosted fingers, we gathered around the fire at Parker and Sharon Palmer’s house to plan this  Continue Reading »

Words of EnCOURAGEment #24 June 2013

Where do you find Both-And? “The poles of either-or, the choices we thought we had to make, may become signs of a larger truth than we had even dreamed–and in that truth, our lives may become larger than we ever imagined possible.” – Parker J. Palmer, The Promise of Paradox As Parker writes, it’s true  Continue Reading »

Paradox in India

“…When love came to the door of India, that door was opened wide.” –Rabindranath Tagore The Taj towers above the treetops, glowing like an illuminated jewel. Despite having seen it many times, over many years, the first glimpse of it stops my breath. Completed in 1653, by ruler Shah Jahan for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal,  Continue Reading »

Prescribing Integrity in Health Care

Primary Care Physician Anand Shah speaks to the value of the Integrity in Health Care Institute 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  Continue Reading »

Back to School Lessons in Embracing Paradox and Change

It’s almost Back to School time, almost time to launch my son off to college. Wil is my one and only, and I really like him. He’s going to Boston and I’m moving from Denver to Seattle to join the staff at the Center for Courage & Renewal. As I launch myself into this new  Continue Reading »