I found when I had told this story here that I had never told it before — not like this. We find the opening when what needs to be talked of is a stronger voice than that of our own hesitation. There is a special kind of work that occurs at the intersection of courage and vulnerability. I spoke from that place here. https://www.ted.com/tedx #MindStrength #resilience #schooltrauma #trauma #courage #speaking #awareness #joy #vulnerability #MtHood
The Why of Glasses I missed my glasses. Folly to mourn healing of the cranium,
the return of equilibrium in the timing of an eye’s focus,
no more headaches. No need. But I missed them over and over, magic blue glasses.
Instant focus not of the eyes but of the mind.
Perched on my head top announcing my greatest strength and weakness:
you read too much.
Sexy glasses for looking through and under and over.
Sat-on, slept-in, dropped, re-bent, lost and found.
Scholar’s badge alon
“And you would be…?” Good morning, dearests. Would you like to hear the eulogy at your own funeral? I think I just did. I had a rare human experience. Think back to attending the funeral of someone you loved and admired, and sitting there awash in pain and love and laughter as person after person stood up to share a story, express love, talk about how she or he helped them in ways large and small to grow and heal and build things and moments that felt important? And at some p
A firefighter told me yesterday that when he started working with me on his resilience he was excited because he thought that he was going to come out of it tougher, stronger, better able to just push through the hard things. “And I was wrong about that,” he said. “I’m softer now than I think I’ve been since I was a kid. And I’m happier, and I do my job better, and I think I’ll be able to do it for longer. But you didn’t make me tougher.” Except that I did. This is the parado
Love is going out to kill a turkey in 20-degree weather so that your wife can tend other things. And love is still liking the man who is grinning and handing you a large turkey to pluck in 20-degree weather, and it is the rueful smile in return. Then it is catching each other’s eyes over the table, biting into turkey but also into the body memory of cold fingers touching, the grin, the rueful smile, the puppies wrestling over feathers, the bucket steaming from the boiling w
Last year’s sermon of animals was a flow coming from multiple places of animals in the life of family and field, forest and farm, and it was very broad spectrum — all the species, all the roles, all the interaction between creatures and family and land. But there is always more about animals. So this year, it’s not the macro, but the micro — three short portraits. I want to tell you of a sheep. And two puppies. And an eagle. Portrait #1: I have a sheep, May Snow, that lov
Profanity for Children I refrained from swearing near my young children, not precisely for their sakes, but as much in love for the darling Lutheran couple next door who, already weighed by sorrow for our unsavedness would be further dismayed to hear the Lord’s name taken in vain. Perhaps, too, it wasn’t really my genius, lacking early conviction. We sea kayakers are perhaps the less salty dogs. Later, I did offer the kids three-score Elizabethan epithets for the self-indulge
Teaching is about information and understanding. Coaching, however, is for intuition and implementation. Here’s a 2-minute video if you’re all about firing up creativity and implementing what feeds your life! How much creativity could your life stand? Ray Bradbury said, “I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans. I get out of bed t
luminations noun, plural. 1. Gleams, glimmers, perspectives, clarity. See also, dawn, morning, simplicity, resilience, work, love, home. 2. A series of short videos by Lorca Smetana… Inspiration for when all the little things are weighing you down… Don’t leave your resilience growth to chance and luck. Feed being the flame starting this new year by signing up now for one of our online classes to be the parent and health practitioner you want to be: Resilient Practitioner
luminations noun, plural. 1. Gleams, glimmers, perspectives, clarity. See also, dawn, morning, simplicity, resilience, love, home. 2. A series of short videos by Lorca Smetana… Are you going to be a resilient and creative parent in the coming year? Well, yeah! Amazing Parents — Awesome Kids Online Resilience Course #resilience #awareness #education #mindfulness #family #leadership
Dear ones, this morning I, too, am torn, deeply sad and sorry and worried, reaching out to friends to know they’re safe, aware of refugees without power or defense. How do I live, what do I do today, half a world away? When we are committed to being sustainable human beings, we recognize right away that events like these in Paris fall squarely in the area of outflow from our own resources as grief and uncertainty take their toll. They need, each time, to be balanced as we d
I was invited to share today in part because my life and my work has become embedded in so very many animals. Our river farm is and has been home to homing pigeons, white doves, Icelandic sheep, pigs, dogs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, honeybees, rabbits. It is also home to great horned owls who called as I wrote this, nesting kestrels and red-tailed hawks, eagles, magpies and snipe, woodpeckers and Eastern kingbirds, snakes and mice, porcupine, foxes, coyotes, raccoons
In the last post, we looked at the resilience Myth #2: “I’ll evade burnout with careful time management.” So stop and think for a moment about what an amazing (and sustainable) weekly* calendar would look like when you opened it in the morning. For me? Here are a few key indicators of a damn good life that can stay that way: There is space around the things on it. — What does a spacious life look and feel like? (pretty awesome, really.) Many time blocks are big. — There i
We are all together on this ship and some of us will die sooner. Some young. I will grieve again, and comfort. It may be me. Those of us who are lucky will know ahead of time and not be incapacitated by pain and exhaustion and messes we have not cleaned up. If we are luckier this heightened awareness that is the gift of death may be seized by us periodically and good and great things and moments will be brought into the world as a result. What do I want to have been in
Sometimes I feel I must be an alien, because I really, really love to talk about death, and about burnout. But this is really why. When I start from death, and burnout, we skip over the trite, and the hiding places, and the escape hatches, and go deep into the real. And then I can speak into survival, vulnerability, leadership, and of recovery and resilience into a listening of reawakening, because over and over, if we do it right, the deepest parts of ourselves become our ne
“I just wanted myself back, and then to create something more. After what I’ve been through, I am not going to settle for an average life. I want to have created and lived an extraordinary life.” — Lorca Smetana Some of us are hard-wired to help and to serve, to make a difference in someone else’s life at exactly the minute that it’s most needed. No one goes into any of the giving professions with the belief that they will be one to burn out. But while in our country we are
There is HUGE power accessible through this observation, through raising my personal antenna for the experience of the symptoms and then Acting As If what is showing up is glee about what is going to be available to me through this next action. Call up someone I’ve respected forever and ask for a conversation? Sure! Write a letter explaining why I will not be supporting someone’s platform? Sure! Reaching out with an apology for something long past and that has probably h
It doesn’t matter what it shows, though I believe there is a pond, a distant house and some small horses. The silk colors were lovely. I may never finish it. But its value lies in its planarity, in the fact that you can hold it in your hands, and then turn it over. On one side, the image of the half-landscape is clear, fine, detailed. The image on the other side, with the same fabric, the same silks, is indistinct, criss-crossed with vagrant threads, tying off, some tang
Lorca Smetana From Chaos to Beauty: Survivors, Creativity and Leadership Brown Bag Lunch Presentation at the Bozeman Public Library Community Room Wednesday, May 29 at 12:00 noon Please join us at noon, Wednesday 29th in the Community Room of the Bozeman Public Library for a presentation by Lorca Smetana of A Dove Above Montana. “We are surrounded by survivors in every community, people who have moved through trauma or pain, drawing from themselves deeper resources of stren