Wednesday 31 December 2008

greatest hits 2008

Yep- Greatest Hits 2008!Add Image
Every year I create a list of my top hits for the year... things or people I discovered, enjoyed, saw, heard, wore, ate -- or anything that made the year memorable. I include trips, foods, friends, memories, accomplishments, and songs -- anything that was the cream of the crop for me. And, I write them down and share them with the people that helped shape my year with my gratitude.

(I have to own up that this list idea originally came from my brother Gary and I have 100% adopted it as my own. So GR Faculjak©!

Here, in no particular order -- a long list as it was a BIG Year!

  • Being sung Happy Birthday by 23 new friends in 4 languages
  • 40
  • pink fuzzy robe
  • Rumi the Sufi poet
  • Paris sunshine for Valentines Day
  • Indefinite Right to Remain Visa
  • UK drivers license
  • Let Me Fall
  • Salma Cafe
  • Lupe Pintos supply of Tex Mex staples in a dry country
  • Illy coffee
  • daily doses of Lexie
  • Notes from the Universe
  • Climb on!
  • 14 foot ceilings
  • Kelvingrove Park walk
  • loving my marriage to Mark
  • eyebrow threading
  • quiz night at the Liquid Ship
  • Life purpose workshop with Hanna in Madison
  • Plockton
  • Forth Street heartbreak
  • home ownership
  • 6 transatlantic flights, 1 in fancy class all bringing me to the USA
  • Obama
  • Life Clubs
  • real solid wood furniture and Big Momma Chair
  • shifting the space/intending my impact
  • Leadership R1, R2, R3 and R4 with the Porcupine Tribe and the Kimsey-Houses
  • kitchen radio
  • Mother Tree
  • DIY Dynamo Mark
  • Working fireplace
  • Northern California
  • Florida sunshine in May with good peeps
  • Stay

Wednesday 10 December 2008

blogging lameness

Yeah. Not much action here lately.

Since I have been back from R4, I realise I have kind of  gone south and AWOL, blogging-wise.

Not sure if it is the sheer delight to be Not Going Anywhere for a while. 

Or completing the Doing Hard Things and Growing as a Leader, which has wonderfully captured my attention for the last 11 months. 

Or maybe since we are still a wondering about the future of Mark's continuity of income.

Or perhaps the easy throwaway updates that Facebook allows. "Carol is ... Not Updating Her Blog with anything substantial since Facebook is to easy and lazy"

But I know. Lame. 

Sometimes when I am avoiding thinking I think I avoid posting because it inevitably forces me to speak my truth. 

So I am postponing  my  Smart Thinking, New Projects, Forward March mentality until the nice 2009.  

Beauty and order. Christmas and cozies. Home and hearth. Visitors and fun.

These are my current priorities. And I hope that from them, from that, the rest will follow.


newly swept
fantasticly smoke free peet and coal burning 

Wednesday 19 November 2008


And yes. I am back from the final retreat for Leadership.
And yes, here's my initial greatest hits for the week.
Expect the impact to come!

  • holding multiple screens

  • popcorn ... doritos ... cheetos ... twizzlers ... hummus TOSS

  • the feast of our quests

  • passing the baton

  • of course

  • creating the colour/intended impact

  • silence serving

  • claim new territory and aliveness

  • Porcupine Launch Party

  • reading the level 3

  • Ain't No Mountain High Enough

  • Point the conversation

  • Gather and gather and gather all the FEAR ... AND STEP

  • stake as leader

  • Big L leader

  • dance in the paradox between action and learning

  • raise the bar

  • if you aren't stepping through fear you are at small L leadership

  • love letters

  • be orange to create green

  • scavenger hunt in the real world

  • elders

  • if you know how it looks you are following

  • celebrate and inspire

  • R Fourians

  • when not on stake you are dying a little

  • love tunnel

  • the grandfather tree (with the sprites)

  • change the conversation from fear to possibility

  • beacons of light

  • what takes you out of the model?

  • sleevies

  • locking in the learning for R1, R2, R3 and R4

  • accountability partners

  • when at level 1, you have no stake

  • bringing the light

  • dire consequences

  • the keys to our leadership

  • Pat and Jennifer stepping into coffee and breakfast leadership

  • Julie Andrews point

  • driving up the mountain

  • intention for the tribe

  • move from learner to practitioner

  • falling off and on the model

  • what's next for me as a leader?

  • Porcupine flag

  • leaving 'launched'

  • molecules grounded

Thursday 23 October 2008

Notes from the universe

My friend Chole forwarded this note she got from "the Universe"

You can imagine how jealous I was.  After all,  it seems so friendly and direct to get a note from the universe -- instead of my usual vague inference of what you think the universe is telling you. Here in black and white -- actual messages!

So naturally I looked into how I could get in on the deal.  

Indeed, Notes from the Universe is the invention of Mike Dooley, Adventurer and Founder of , (Totally Unique Thoughts).  His motto is "Thoughts become things -- make sure they are good ones."  Not a bad notion. 

And when you sign up for the email list, they ask you to take The Oath.  Which given present circumstances (or ANY circumstances) seems to be a pretty smart thing to take on.

Indeed, I pledge YES.

Wednesday 22 October 2008

living with uncertainty

I know about control freakery. 

Planning in your head how things "will" go.  And when they don't (which of course they don't) it rocks the core of one's being.  I very much used to live in that awful reality.  Which is not a very easy place to live.  It is uncompromising and rigid. And really not all that practical. 

And over the last 10 years I have had so much practice in letting some of that go.  Of being with what is. Of being with what unexpected surprise shows up. And of being with not knowing.

I look back to the DC days when we lived with the continual and cyclical threat of Mark's having to return to the UK.  Every 6 months for about 3 years we worried and hand wrung.  It absolutely forced me/us to appreciate Today.  Now. This Moment. And This One. And This... 

I have learned to enjoy Not Knowing What's Next.  Hey- life's an adventure, right? And Door Number 3 might be the best one yet!   How exciting! 

I took the leap to leave the comfort of comforts and the constraints of my same same same for 10 years life in DC for 1000% Not Knowing.   Country. Relationship. New Career. And WOW, the gifts that keep on giving on that one. 

We sat through Not Knowing about Mark's BT redundancy.  For months! 

We moved 3 times - each to an entirely new city and even to another country.  Not Knowing.

And in coaching -- myself, others, leadership - - I have really learned that one can prepare - but never *Plan*. (thank you for that lesson, Karen Kimsey House).  It doesn't allow for other stuff to show up.  The unexpected. The rich. The whatever is there. It is a bit of the create from nothing stuff.  It is truth of the moment. 

And now we are again in the pot stewing. What will happen with Mark's job...

Haven't I been practicing? Haven't I gotten the lesson of being loose and waiting for the gift and appreciating the moment of today?  

I wonder what I haven't quite let go of.  What's new here for me to absorb and get.
Because after all those lessons, I was really pretty excited for a little chance to be certain. To Know. And to Plan.  

The world at large feels like they are waiting on tenterhooks with me. (Which I recently learned is not spelled tenderhooks -- which actually feels more appropriate and true to scale.) 

Economies gone a flooey.  Markets utterly turned upside down. Rugs swept from under thousands of feet. 

Lot of uncertainty.  

Yet we wake, we eat, we work, we love, we shop, we plan.  We carry on. 

Not Knowing. 

And what I am now resting my head on are things I am certain about.  And I am finding great comfort in that. 

Saturday 18 October 2008

charmed in Plockton

Just back from 3 days away up in the real highlands... and stayed in quintessentially charming small hamlet called Plockton, which is (apparently) famous for filming Hamish Macbeth

Very friendly, stunning beauty, colourful locals and delicious food.  We took a boat trip to see seals, drove through parts of Syke, ate like kings with all the extremely local fish, and took a brisk 5 mile walk which got us soaked.  

An important reminder to breathe and be lost in nature and in each other's good company.

Sunday 12 October 2008

my alter ego

(Or so sez my oh-so-reliable Facebook quiz)

So you may be a little bossy but its only because you lack the control of your awesome leadership abilities. You love to be right and clean. You are pretty and know it and some times it can get to your head but you are faithful and consistent every time. Some may say your crabby and mean and this may be something you wish to work on in the future.

Oh how true ...

Monday 6 October 2008

a day out in Largs

Largs- it feels like it is missing a syllable in its name.   (Largstown? Largston? Largshire?)

But we took a wee train trip there Sunday to celebrate the miracle of All Day Sunshine in the west of Scotland. Small town custom built for kids playing, dogs running, couples and old people strolling, ice cream licking, and sea gazing.  It is amazing that in a little over an hour's time out of Glasgow, you can be in a very un-urban world.  Is reassuring.  

Saturday 4 October 2008

Four years

I just looked at the calendar. Four years ago to the DAY I arrived in the UK.

I remember with painful clarity my harrowed plea at the immigration desk at Heathrow.
My whole life was ahead of me. The new life I chose.

And since then, I've worked for that life.

New career doing something I am compelled to do, which feels so right.
Marriage to the man I love and was compelled to never give up on, which feels so right.

I count my blessings today and give myself a bit of a pat on the back. I know how hard it was to get here. And I also know how easy it was too.

And today, Mark & I have the Big Flip charts out ... plotting our course and dreaming and conjuring up what's next.

Anything still seems possible.

Wednesday 1 October 2008

Monday 29 September 2008

a lot of pacing

So I have been kinda absent from here. 

I blame many things.

  1. facebook and its damned easily accessible, updateable and addictive status updates
  2. laziness
  3. restlessness
  4. too much to say
  5. nothing to say
  6. inertia
  7. silence
  8. play
  9. distraction
And now it is time to pull the finger out so to speak.  Tomorrow I start the Glasgow LIFE CLUB. (Insert wild applause here)

I am excited and nervous and also again excited. It is putting my money where my mouth has been for a while and I am thrilled to be actually walking the talk a bit more.

So, here is where I put my intention for myself and for the group.

I really want to show up 100% fully me.  I want transparency and full permission to try stuff and fail and stay.  It is my leadership stake.  

I want to create a safe, fun and easy space where people can take their brain off and stay a while.  And have a rest from the pace and masks they wear in the 'real' world and get to just breathe and take the time to ponder what they want more of.  And along they way, they get to meet other kind folks in their similar boat. I want them to come away with possibilities of what life can be. 

Now to get all my particles in a row. And decide what to wear!

Friday 12 September 2008

Happy Me Day!

Here's a taste of Life Clubs...

The good Life Club folks have chosen the third Sunday in September each year to be Me Day. This year it’s Sunday September 21st.

Since many people don't (YET!) have access to a Life Club, we wanted to treat you and everyone else to a taster of what our clubbers experience weekly.

To celebrate this day, Life Clubs has created a special Happy Me Day card for you. Print one off and recognise how unique and important you are.

You can also download a Happy Me Day workshop which is a fun way to discover and celebrate you.

We think that Me Day is the perfect excuse to have your friends round for a catch-up and do the workshop together. To make it easier we have also designed invitations that you can send out to anyone you’d like to share your Me Day with. The invitations include a quiz for you and your friends to fill in.

Me Day is a great day to take time to think about the most important person in your life – you.

Happy Me Day to you all.

Thursday 4 September 2008


Dear readers, 

A caveat - this posting will only make sense to my fellow porcupines.

I find R3 the least explainable and the most altering. 
  • the Doh room remaining the Deer rooms (and all was well)
  • bury your weapons
  • the fragrant orange liquid 
  • Mother Tree send off
  • Lisa/Andy meals to fortify and savour
  • marbles/balls/web
  • Kenry
  • when does something become nothing and nothing become something
  • Open Mike
  • silence
  • floating hands
  • blankets in nature
  • being with
  • unintended and intended impact
  • reading the level 3
  • Shooting Stars - the pod and  up in the sky
  • hearts cracking
  • hearts shattering
  • feedback that serves
  • molecules reordered
  • focusing on the space not trying to avoid the particles
  • Unconditional Positive Regard UPR
  • Interact with the divinity and leave space for the Junk
  • tantrum yoga
  • the new myth
  • tacking - always failing in the direction you are going
  • bio directional
  • arcus interuuptus, arcus prolongus and arcus justrightus
  • Charm Training Institute- the new CTI
  • rule of 3s
  • Take the Room
  • quest
  • responsible for your impact
  • what will serve the space?
  • exploring the range
  • soul type 8
  • 9 gold metals
  • and yes, the shit in the pool!

highlights of DC August

Wednesday 13 August 2008

Sinead comes to GlasVegas

Willow Tea Rooms, with the Charles Rennie Mackintosh chairs

The Apartment for lunch with the Edinburgh gang and the rainy day castle

Wednesday 6 August 2008

living on purpose- the workshop review

Well, I officially have a Co Active Lead under my belt. And it felt great. Our workshop on Saturday was well populated with friends and families of Hanna and my smiling face of Miri in the crowd, and we even attracted about 4 'real' people  from the regular world.

Everything abut it -- the design leading up, the organizing the particles and the running the workshop felt natural, easy and grand. I truly felt like I was having a peak experience at the front of the room.  Sure, we have things we would tweak in the content if we did it again. But the real meat of Hanna & I creating from other and connecting and 100/100 felt terrific and safe and possible. 

The space (thank you Miri!) at the Quarry Arts Center in Madison was ideal -- a clean, cool yoga space with good lighting and a smooth feel. And all the yogic paraphernalia for comfort - blankets, bolsters, and bare feet, setting the scene for relaxed and easy. 

I fell in love with co active leadership on my very first coaching course in 2004.  They way the leaders hold the space, the leaders being so organic and easy, the learning complete with lots of space for things to show up.  It is a way of being with yourself, your co leader and your group that is full and sets off sparks.  

And I feel a sense of stretch and learning and leaning in.  It feels good and strong and hugely fulfilling. 

I have so much to learn -- I am just tasting the very teeny tip of the spoon.  The banquet is vast and abundant and I am hungry. 

Wednesday 30 July 2008

how the other half lives

I am en route to Madison, Wisconsin for my In Between project with Hanna and I am lucky enough to have been treated to many many Northwest miles by my brother Mike to arrive on Business Class.

You know... behind the curtain.

I like to BE in different places.  I just don't always like the getting there. I like to be comfortable. Room. Space. Air. More probably than most folk. So long haul flights typically leave me a bit debilitated and  wrong for a few days upon arrival to my destination.

And today. Today was (is) different.  For instance, I am typing this from the DTW World Perks Lounge. Never before have I crossed the threshold of the exclusive clubs.  They have all sorts of snacks and free drinks -- booze too - and plugs for various electronics and lots of staff looking after you.  Lots of places to sit and look out the window as you eat cheese n crackers.  WOW.

And my flight getting from Amsterdam to Detroit. WOW.  Yes, nice food (3 courses, a snack and lots of "anytime" foods you can help yourself to) but more amazingly, the SEATS.  Recline. Feet up. 90% horizontal. And they make the seatbelts longer so you can Turn On Your Side while you are nearly lying down.  It almost felt like real Sleep!

I am sold.  

Seriously.  I am 2 flights in and in my 15th hour since I left my house at 4:10 a.m. and I feel perky and pampered. 

Why must we suffer so in the back? 

And how can I insure that all my travel hence forth is done in this manner?

The humanity of it all. To be treated with such civility and comfort. It think it may be a new value I am uncovering.

Now off to the cookies before I turn into a pumpkin and have to return to the cheap seats. 

Friday 18 July 2008

my summer

all I really feel like doing 
  1. reading
  2. cooking
  3. eating
  4. sleeping
  5. watching TV
things I will really need now
  1. several sized good umbrellas
  2. several hooded  waterproof jackets in varying weights
  3. to learn to dress for the weather, not the season (just because it is July doesn't mean you won't wear boots)
  4. restraint in the vast array of shopping here, awakening my inner consumer
  5. to enjoy the late setting sun of British summertime now as I sense how dark and gloomy it will be when it sets at 3:30 pm

bi-annual hair

the work of Louis Sissorhands at West End's Clair Frances salon. 

Tuesday 8 July 2008

top things I like about our new house

  1. American sized dishwasher
  2. rooms to roam
  3. new real oak heavy furniture (which I don't think we will ever be able to move)
  4. fully fledged office
  5. new ceramic kitchen sink
  6. official en suite guest bedroom
  7. apple green recliner chairs
  8. 5 minute walk to Grassroots Organic
  9. kitchen table in the kitchen
  10. Mark home for lunch on occasion

Thursday 3 July 2008

Living on purpose- the workshop!

I am thrilled to be doing my first workshop... in part and parcel with my Co Active Leadership program!

I am going to Alma Mater Madison in August to give a 1/2 day workshop on Living Your Purpose with my co-leader coach Hanna Cooper from Minneapolis.

The workshop is going to be cool -- it is all about connecting to one's own bigger picture. I totally believe in it and do this with my clients regularly.  AND, it is also an excellent chance to practice the good stuff I am learning at Leadership.  

So if you know anyone in the Madison area- tell one tell all!