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purpose

The Art of Work

Vocation is en vogue. In light of recent research that purports 87 percent of the world’s workers are more frustrated than fulfilled, the marketplace has rushed to meet our need for meaning. Its noise can be overwhelming. Are we to follow our bliss or change the world? Yes. Do we commit where we are or  Continue Reading »

Teaching: Thriving Not Surviving

Did you get in teaching to help kids and make a difference in the world? Are you finding it difficult to stay the course? Unrealistic state standards and testing, budget cuts, large class sizes, and an all-time low in respect for teachers are constantly putting the squeeze on our minds and spirits. How do we  Continue Reading »

Let’s Talk about the Inner Life of the Rebel

When we heard that Parker Palmer was going to be on stage with Courtney Martin at PopTech 2014, in a conversation hosted by OnBeing’s Krista Tippett, we really wished we could be there. The theme of this year’s event is Rebellion and it sounds right up our alley: “The spirit of rebellion is at the  Continue Reading »

Find Your Authentic Voice

A friend was in the running recently to be named CEO of the company he had worked at for 10 years. Both internal and external candidates were being considered. When asked why he wanted the job – besides more money and power – he said, “I want a challenge. I want to grow new businesses  Continue Reading »

The Courage to Teach Deserves Appreciation

The question we most commonly ask is the “what” question–what subjects shall we teach? When the conversation goes a bit deeper, we ask the “how” question-what methods and techniques are required to teach well? Occasionally, when it goes deeper still, we ask the “why” question–for what purpose and to what ends do we teach? But  Continue Reading »

Words of EnCOURAGEment #26 September 2013

How do we measure success? “We’re always being asked how effective is your work, are you getting results and outcomes? I don’t object to that,” says Parker J. Palmer, “but I’m really convinced that there’s a terrible problem when effectiveness is our only standard and we become utterly obsessed with outcomes and results. When that  Continue Reading »

Words of EnCOURAGEment #25 July-August 2013

Water Stories: Universal and Unique For a city with a rainy reputation, our Seattle summer has been especially hot and dry. I’ve had to pay particular attention to watering my garden. Thinking about how to get moisture to sun-baked plants has provided me with quiet opportunities for reflection as I water the thirsty garden on  Continue Reading »

Politics from the Heart: An Interview with Parker J. Palmer

After five years as a community organizer, Parker J. Palmer became enamored with the Quaker tradition of social justice. He believes when “we, the people” re-examine connections to beliefs and communities, it creates an opportunity to heal an ailing democracy. I encountered the work of Parker J. Palmer in the early 1990s, when a friend  Continue Reading »

The Power of Pause

Spring is the season of commencement addresses and I was inspired by the message that Maria Shriver delivered at the Annenberg School of Communications, her alma mater. She says, “I have one wish for you. Before you go out and press that fast forward button, I’m hoping – I’m praying – that you’ll have the  Continue Reading »

Recovering Hope, Poetry and Connection in Health Care

I recently attended the conference/retreat “Integrity in Health Care: The Courage to Lead in a Changing Landscape.” I arrived there in the usual state for me, tired, stressed and struggling to balance all of my clinical and administrative responsibilities with the rest of my life. I work as a psychiatrist and as Clinical Director at  Continue Reading »