Explore in-tuition


Deep down inside, I  know when I am near (or at) threshold, even if I can’t see it. Sometimes this materializes as a struggle with mental and/or physical manifestations. Other times, I do not notice the struggle, but if I take the time to spend time with myself, it is always there, ready to be noticed.

When a struggle is obvious, my choice is to notice pay heed to it. At times, the struggle is because I don’t want the inconvenience of changing even when I want the change. Other times, I really want the change but I just can see how to pull it off. When the time is right, the struggle ceases and off I go. In both of these struggle, there is great learning in exploring what is really going on within me – if I choose to explore what I have to teach myself, my in-tuition.

When a struggle is obvious, it is easy to notice and take the time to explore what the struggle is really about. When my struggle is NOT obvious, it’s a whole different matter – I have to go looking for it, choosing to find struggle with the express purpose of exploring myself and seek what lurks within me. By doing so, I notice and test the assumptions I make.

Explicitly looking for inner struggles when they are not apparent gives me an opportunity to teach myself how to live well with myself. I give myself a chance to notice if I make decisions without struggle when there should be. As I reflect on the struggle of jumping over the surge channel in choose the right leap, I can imagine that we made our choice to jump too fast and confidently. Did we actually know that the rocks were not slippery? I can imagine myself  making decisions fast to avoid struggle. That signals other struggles…

In the end, the better I know the patterns in how I operate, the better equipped I am to make decisions that serve me well. And when my decisions improve, I serve everyone around me better: my family, my neighbourhood, the organizations with which I work, my city, my region, my planet.

What does it take to really look at the nature of our struggles? 

What are we telling ourselves that we haven’t heard yet?

What thresholds do we know – yet haven’t noticed yet?

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This post forms part of Chapter 6 – Emerging Thresholds, of Nest City: The Human Drive to Thrive in Cities. Click here for an overview of Chapters 4-7 (Part 2 – Organizing for Emergence). Click here for an overview of the three parts of Nest City.

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Take a step back from the edge


I must confess that I did not live up to the expectation I have of myself to release 4 blog posts into the world last week. I was really struggling with the last post, Choose the right leap. Ironic, as I was writing about struggle when faced with a big decision.

I had a hard time finding a clear message for this post as I was writing. I had a hard time finding a photo that displayed, adequately, the choice we had before as we stood at the edge of a surge channel on the West Coast Trail. Today, I sat down and could easily see the text to take out of the post and the picture appeared immediately in my search. It seems a few days away from a struggle can take the pressure off and help me see more clearly.

It is necessary – and appropriate – to take a step back from the edge from time to time.

It helps me see what I could not see.

My next post will continue exploring thresholds in choice-making.

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This post forms part of Chapter 6 – Emerging Thresholds, of Nest City: The Human Drive to Thrive in Cities. Click here for an overview of Chapters 4-7 (Part 2 – Organizing for Emergence). Click here for an overview of the three parts of Nest City.

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Persistent practical problems


As I explored the role of destination as we organize our cities in previous posts, I reached the conclusion that where we are headed is both alive and adrift. We know – and we don’t know exactly – what we want to achieve at the same time. When we have a destination in mind, but it shifts and adjusts to changing life conditions, something new has emerged. When we notice that we are moving in a direction, even if not yet able to define that direction and it feels adrift, it is alive. Our purposes are planned and unplanned.

When we have a clear destination in mind, it is easy to lay out a course of action because it is clear, linear and rational. When we trust we are moving in a direction, we only know we are moving in a direction when we come upon thresholds – indicators that something is happening.

In our cities, Jane Jacobs notices that new activities must take place for cities to develop – or they stagnate. She wrote this passage in her book, The Economy of Cities, in 1969:

Once a serious practical problem has appeared in an economy, it can only be eliminated by adding new goods and services into economic life. From this solution to city problems comes true economic growth and abundance. No city by itself develops all the various goods and services required to overcome its complex practical problems, at least not in historic times and probably not in prehistoric times either. Cities copy each others’ solutions, often very swiftly. They also support each others’ solutions, by importing relevant goods to solve problems. 

Practical problems that persist and accumulate in cities are symptoms of arrested development. The point is seldom admitted. It has become conventional, for instance, to blame congested and excessive automobile traffic, air pollution and noise upon ‘rapid technological progress.’ But the automobiles, the fumes, the sewage and the noise are not new, and the persistently unsolved problems they afford only demonstrate lack of progress. Many evils conventionally blamed upon progress are, rather, evils of stagnation. 

I was born 6 days into the year 1970, and the list of persistent practical problems that Jacobs articulates has not lessened in my lifetime. I agree that this indicates stagnation while simultaneously I would argue that we have made progress in other areas of city life. But regardless of the progress made, the persistent problems persist and this should capture our attention.

There are three significant points made in this passage:

    1. New work is essential to address the challenges of today’s life conditions.
    2. New work replicates itself – as appropriate, and as determined by us – across and city and from city to city.
    3. Persistent problems are an indicator of arrested development, a lack of progress, stagnation of our individual and collective development.

Jacobs is highlighting the need to notice when it is time to learn – to know and understand the world differently.  In an earlier post, I highlight the conditions for evolutionary expansion articulated by Beck and Cowan: openness to the potential for change, exploration of solutions, a sense of dissonance with way things are, a realistic understanding of barriers to change, insight into new patterns, and consolidation of understanding.

Jacobs is telling us, from 1969, that the well-being of our cities has everything to do with how we show up – our willingness to grow and learn as individuals and as whole cities. Persistent practical problems in our cities are an indicator of OUR stagnation, our lack of emergence.

The next series of posts will highlight forms of thresholds that tell us that the conditions are there, should we choose, to know and understand our world differently. To emerge.


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Sources / Further reading

Jane Jacobs, The Economy of Cities

Peggy Holman, Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity

Don Edward Beck and Christopher C. Cowan, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change 

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This post forms part of Chapter 6 – Emerging Thresholds, of Nest City: The Human Drive to Thrive in Cities. Click here for an overview of Chapters 4-7 (Part 2 – Organizing for Emergence). Click here for an overview of the three parts of Nest City.

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Emergence defined


In my last post, I declared a goal: to have a supportive relationship with 40,000 people about cities and our relationship with them. I have crossed a threshold to think this goal, let alone say it out loud and communicate it to the many of you who are reading my blog, following me on twitter, LinkedIn and facebook.

This goal makes me feel distinctly uncomfortable, so I recognize it as my own version of a threshold of a new age.  This goal requires me to reach out very far, much farther than my internal filters say is appropriate. I am a ‘good Canadian’, who doesn’t toot her own horn. Yet the opportunity before me, using social media, is profound. It is a new age, where I can connect with people across the planet. The people who see cities as I do are not concentrated in one spot – we are all over, and there is so much to learn from each other’s experiences. Because of this new age, I can find my tribe across the planet, build relationships with them and seek out ways to support each other in our work. This, I actively wish to pursue: making connections and see what comes.

What will our work be? That will emerge…

Peggy Holman provides a simple definition of emergence in her book, Engaging Emergence: order arising out of chaos. The result is new levels of patterns as we make sense of the world. On the Nest City Blog, there are many posts that speak to this – simply search for posts with the tag “Spiral Dynamics integral.”  Our value systems have evolved – emerged – in response to our life conditions. We make sense out of the chaos we see, then find more chaos, followed by more order. As a reminder, here is the Spiral as we have looked at it here:

Spiral of purposes - 8.005

Each level on the Spiral is a new order of complexity (complexity is increasing with movement upwards). As Holman puts it: “Emergent order arises when a novel, more complex system forms (p. 18).” There is a transition from one order to the next, and in this transition there is a threshold.

Each level of emergence is a new world that we see with fresh eyes. It works differently, it organizes itself differently and it values different things for different purposes. To see the new world, we must cross a threshold:

Without warning, thresholds can open directly before our feet. These thresholds are also the shorelines of new worlds.   (John O’Donohue)  

The passage to a shoreline of a new world, from the sea, can be rough or calm. Whether a straightforward or dramatic manoeuvre, it is a transition from what we know into a world we do not know. It is daunting and thrilling at the same time to make the voyage through thresholds into the unknown and the uncertain.

As cities and citizens we come upon thresholds. What is their role in our own emergence?


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Sources / Further reading

Peggy Holman, Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity

John O’Donohue, Bless the Space Between Us

Don Edward Beck and Christopher C. Cowan, Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change 

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This post forms part of Chapter 6 – Emerging Thresholds, of Nest City: The Human Drive to Thrive in Cities. Click here for an overview of Chapters 4-7 (Part 2 – Organizing for Emergence). Click here for an overview of the three parts of Nest City.

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The threshold of a new age


We are, at each an every moment, on the threshold of a new age. Each choice, each decision and in fact, each thought, shapes our present and our future. At each moment we stand at a threshold, choosing the age in wish we live.

Ben Okri,in Mental Fight, sums this up well:


Never again will we stand  
On the threshold of a new age. 
We that are here now are  
Touched in some mysterious way  
With the ability to change  
And make the future. 
Those who wake to the wonder of this magic moment 
Who wake up to the possibilities 
Of this charged conjunction, 
Are the chosen ones who have chosen 
To ace, to free the future, to open it up 
To consign prejudices to the past, 
To open up the magic casement 
Of the human spirit 
Onto a more shining world. 
Ben Okri 

Our future unfolds as we create it. It emerges in relationship with us, and, as I will explore it over the next series of posts, the future that we desire to create relies on three things: noticing thresholds, courage and risk. This revolves around three questions:

    1. What thresholds are before me?
    2. What part of me desires (or does not desire) to cross the threshold?
    3. What are the risks of crossing (and not crossing) the threshold?

The threshold of our new age involves a willingness to notice our choices, to examine our relationship with our choices, and being mindful of the consequences of our actions.

As John O’Donohue reminds us in his blessing, we drift through gray, increasing nowhere:

Until we stand before a threshold we know

We have to cross to come alive once more. 

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This post forms part of Chapter 6 – Emerging Thresholds, of Nest City: The Human Drive to Thrive in Cities. Click here for an overview of Chapters 4-7 (Part 2 – Organizing for Emergence). Click here for an overview of the three parts of Nest City.

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Destination and emergence


Over the course of the last nine months, I have been sharing bits of the book I am working on – Nest City: The Human Drive the Thrive in Cities. I made a decision to share the book on my blog while I was working on it. Five chapters and 126 posts later, the decision to share this work before it is officially in book form is one I revisit over and over in my mind.

For each post to appear on my blog, I have to hit this button:

'publish' button

The word ‘publish’ is rather official. A recent author acquaintance of mine cringed when she heard I was sharing what I was working on: “Why are you giving this away?” Another author friend says, “Good for you. I blogged most of my book before it turned into a book too.”  Others have warned me that publishers will not look at the book now that it has been ‘published’. I am of the opinion, still, that writing here is serving me and my readers well in several ways:

  1. I learn in bite-size pieces. I get to dive into small passages and sort and sift around in my being to seek out what I am learning.
  2.  I write in bite-size pieces. These are small pieces that serve to help me wrap myself around a thought. Blogging helps me discern the pieces I have to work with, that will later shape up into book form. This is essential time to practice the craft of writing.
  3. We find each other. By sharing the pieces of my exploration, fellow explorers and I are able to find each other. As I share, I reveal myself to my audience, and my audience reveals itself to me.
  4. We build supportive relationships. I am receiving feedback from readers: the odd comment here on my blog, an email, a ‘like’ or comment in facebook or Linked In, or new followers on Twitter. I am hearing about how my writing supports others and the work they do. In return, readers are supporting me too by using my blog posts on their webs sites, as they teach, and simply by giving me feedback on what resonates for them.
  5. We grow our understanding – of selves and cities. The more we explore individually and collectively, the more we learn and improve. We are expanding our consciousness.

I don’t know – yet – what my writing will add up to. I do know that my writing, when published as a book, will not read as it does here. While I have a destination in mind – a published book that we can lay our hands on physically and digitally – I do not know exactly what it will say and how it will say it. I have a frame that I am using here, with chapters and the like, but I an open to that changing if and when that makes sense. With each post, my sense of direction gets more clear. Even what the book will say gets more clear. But the real book to come is in the process of emerging.

The very process by which we create our cities, through the interplay of destination (chapter 4), a learning journey (chapter 5) and emergence (chapter 6), is in play for me as I craft the book. I have a destination/direction; I am on a learning journey; I am about to explore the thresholds that each of us, and our cities come across as we emerge.

The next series of posts will explore the role of emerging thresholds as we organize ourselves and our cities for continuous improvement.

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As I dive into sharing parts of Chapter 6 – Emerging Thresholds, here are some plot helpers for Nest City: The Human Drive to Thrive in Cities, the book that I am sharing here while I search for a publisher:



Cities are as good as we allow them


We limit ourselves greatly when we focus on what we have to fix.  It keeps us in the here and now, not the better world we have in mind.

Here’s a scenario.  Imagine I live east of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada.  Imagine I dream of surfing the ocean waves, an activity I can not do on the prairies.  I dream of getting to the West Coast and the Pacific Ocean on the other side of the mountains.

In fix mode, I will try to find ways to spend time in the water here.  I might try other sports, I might make do with windy lakes in the summer.  I might make periodic trips to the West Coast to surf from time to time.  However, if I really want to fulfill my passion of surfing I need to shift from fix mode to something else.  I need to find a way to make it happen.

I am not going to get to surfing life on the West Coast if I am making do with what I have.  When I am making do, I put all my energy into making do, not making it to where I want to go.  Equally, I will not get what I want if I put my energy into complaining about my current situation either.  I will not get to where I want to go pondering why it is that I am not there.  To get what I want, I have to shift my attention to what I want, in this case life on the West Coast.

Our cities are no different.  We recognize that there are many things at which our cities need be better.  We complain about traffic, homelessness, energy consumption, housing costs, pollution, etc.  There are endless studies underway to analyze why things are the way they are, and solutions to ‘fix’ the problems we are experiencing.  What we are missing is most critical – knowing what our cities do really well right now and what we can do to have more of what works.  Without knowing this, we are not in relationship with our city habitat.  We are not allowing it to serve us well.  (As I write this, I realize that if a city wanted to up and move to the West Coast, it can’t.  But its inhabitants can.  Cities are where we put them, where we want to be, not the other way around.)

Notice where the energy of the city (or any organization for that matter) is focused.  Is it on short-term decisions to make short-term course corrections, or is there a focus on where the city is going, looking out further ahead.  When riding a bicycle, or driving a car, if focused on the immediate future the ride is jerky.  When we look farther ahead, the ride is wiser, smoother.  The likelihood of wrong turns is lessened.  The likelihood of hitting a pot-hole is lessened.  The likelihood of hitting pedestrians or other vehicles is lessened.  We move through the world in a safer, wiser way.

Our choices as individuals and collectives shape the city.  In the back of my mind, I always ask, what am I allowing?  Am I making room for new possibilities to emerge?  Am I making way for what I want, what we want, rather than putting my attention and efforts in conscious or unconscious efforts to have more of the same.

Here is the trick with fixing what’s wrong.  First, it puts our attention on what is wrong, rather than what we want.  It tricks us into thinking that if we just sort ‘this’ out, things will be right.  Sounds a bit like a silver bullet, but it leads us to getting more of the same.

When we put our attention to where we are, we stay there.  When we put our attention to where we want to go, we move in a new direction.


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This post forms part of Chapter 4 – An Uneasy Journey, of Nest City: The Human Drive to Thrive in Cities.

Nest City is organized into three parts, each with a collection of chapters.  Click here for an overview of the three parts of Nest City.  Click here for an overview of Part 2 – Organizing for Emergence, chapters 4-7.




The plot for Part 2

Here are the highlights of how Part 2 – Organizing for Emergence is organized.  Chapters 4-6 each focus on one of the circles in this diagram: journey, destination, emergence.  Chapter 7 explores their relationship with the city’s habitats from Part 1, our economic life, social habitat and physical habitat.

Chapter 4 – An Uneasy Journey recognizes that change and adjustment within ourselves to co-create cities that serve us well is a very personal journey.  Both as individuals and as a collective.  This is a journey that is not meant to end.  It is a journey full of uncertainty.  By naming and exploring this reality of organizing cities we can find ways to allow this uncertainty serve us, rather than hinder us.

Chapter 5 – Destination Alive or Adrift teases out the role of destination as we organize our selves and cities.  Knowing where we are going does not mean we know exactly how we will get there and this compels a different way of being and thinking. It will take practice.

Chapter 6 – Emerging Thresholds explores the role of bravery and risk as well stand at the threshold of organizing ourselves for possibility to emerge.

Chapter 7 – (Un)known Possibility wraps up Part Two of Nest City, reconnecting Chapters 4-6 to our social and physical habitat.  The quality of this relationship has an impact on our abilities to release our fullest potential.


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Nest City is organized into three parts, each with a collection of chapters.  Click here for an overview of the three parts of Nest City.


Conditions for evolutionary expansion

Our impulse to work to improve our world is an impulse to evolve.

I suspect that you recognize a deep impulse to survive and thrive in you, in other individuals, your family, your community, your nation and in the whole of us as a species. When faced with hardships and challenges, we do what it takes to protect ourselves and our clan, to survive.  We don’t often think of this, but it is ever present in our actions.  What is also present is our impulse as a species to thrive –to learn how to grow and change and adapt constantly.  Survival alone is not good enough.  We are always seeking more of what is possible in the world.  This is an impulse that even drives the creation of cities.

The last two posts, A primer on the emerging spiral and 7 principles that frame the Spiral, lay out one way of seeing how new value systems emerge within us as we evolve:  Spiral Dynamics.  As we move up the Spiral, our awareness and understanding expands as we meet ever more complex challenges in life.  Clare Graves called this movement up the Spiral a never ending quest.  Our evolutionary expansion, however, is not a given.

Potential for expansion – six conditions

Beck and Cowan outline six conditions that need to be in place for upward change on the Spiral to be possible.  Keep in mind that this is not a recipe – it is possible that most conditions are met and change does not occur.  It is also possible that only some conditions are met and change occurs anyway.  This is a pattern that offers some insight into how change happens, but more specifically, about the conditions in place as we move upward along the Spiral, at various scales – individuals, families, groups, organizations, nations, species.

1.  Openness to the potential for change.  Beck and Cowan are very clear that not all people are equally open to, or even capable or prepared for change.  Normally, humans are in a potentially open system of need, values and aspirations, but “we tend, however, to settle into what appears to be a closed state wherein we operate in a consistent, enduring steady way.  Once reached, we tend to stay in these zones of comfort… unless powerful forces induce turbulence.”[1]  So the potential for change revolves around three elements: thinking that is open, or at least arrested; having the appropriate intelligences, ie the ability to operate under more complex life conditions; and being free from restrictive patterns, ‘sink-holes’ and ‘baggage’.

Beck and Cowan distinguish three states in which we may find ourselves relative to potential for change[2] that I have organized as follows:

Openness to the potential for change

2.  Solutions.  Change will not occur if ‘serious, unresolved problems or threats still exist within the present state’.  Satisfying this condition involves: adequately managing the problems at their vMEME level creating comfort and balance; and direct excess energy to exploration of the next, more complex system.[3]

3.  Dissonance.  “Change does not occur unless the boat rocks.”[4]  The sensation of dissonance is stirred when the waves of some kind of impact jostle the steady-state system.  The factors that create dissonance are (verbatim)[5]:

  • Awareness of the growing gap between life conditions and current means for handling those problems.
  • Enough turbulence to create a sense that ‘something is wrong’ without so much chaos that the whole world seems to be falling apart.
  • Abject failure of old solutions to solve the problems of the new life conditions may stimulate fresh thinking, release energy, and liberate the next vMEMES along the Spiral

4.  Barriers[6].  Beck and Cowan discern two steps in this process. The first is recognizing the barriers, which typically are external.  ‘It’s their fault.’  ‘The bloody establishment holds us down.’  The second step invites exploration into why the barriers are effective obstacles, which reveals both internal and external obstacles. In the end, we have to clean up both the world outside and inside.

So barriers need to be eliminated, bypassed, neutralized or reframed into something else to provide the needed solid foundation on which to build change.  But all this is to be done conscious of risks, consequences and the pain of barrier removal, as well as exposure of the excuses and rationalizations for not implementing change.

5.  Insight.  When leading change, it is critical to understand the thinking systems in play, and discern the different patterns, models and structure that come with those ways of thinking.  Further, “alternative scenarios must be active in the collective consciousness before they can be considered.  Too often they are guarded in the minds of an elite few ‘planners’ or ‘decision-makers’.  People need mental pictures of what things might be like for them in their own real Life Conditions, not for some distant Hollywood start or textbook case-studies.”[7]

Change is ultimately about changing patterns, and Beck and Cowan offer the following ways to initiate change in patterns[8]:

  • Greater insight into how systems form, decline, and reform – particularly one’s own.  People must accept the possibility of change as well as the means.
  • Put a stop to wasteful regressive searches into out-moded answers from the past which simply cannot address greater complexity in the present.
  • Consider optional scenarios, fresh models, and experiences from applicable sources.  Scout the competition and demonstrate concretely what alternatives look like.
  • Quickly recognize the appearance of new life conditions and the vMEMES required to shift into congruence. Custom tailor for best fit.

6.  Consolidation.  Beck and Cowan say this best: “When significant change occurs, you can expect a period of confusion, false starts, long learning curves, and awkward assimilation.  Those who change – either as individuals or as organizations – may be punished by those who do not understand what is happening and now find themselves left out, misaligned and threatened.  Old barriers may be rebuilt in the form of punitive rules, turf battles and power tests.  New obstacles might be set up.  Sometimes, you will have to go around, let the bridge burn and not look back.”[9]


There is a gap that sits between how we experience the world and how we see the world could be that propels us forward.  This is not a gap that we all see in the same way at the same time.  It is not a gap that we are all even able to see, nor are we all required to see a gap before making attempts to cross it.  But there is always a gap, should we choose to notice it, examine it, explore it and cross it.  We are always at a threshold.

My next post will explore the word “change” from a Spiral perspective, and the difference between changeability and adjustability.  When at a threshold, when is it appropriate to change or adjust?


[1]   Beck and Cowan, Spiral Dynamics, p. 76

[2]   Beck and Cowan, Spiral Dynamics, p. 76-82.  The text.

[3]   Beck and Cowan, Spiral Dynamics, p. 82

[4]   Beck and Cowan, Spiral Dynamics, p. 82

[5]   Beck and Cowan, Spiral Dynamics, p. 83

[6]   Beck and Cowan, Spiral Dynamics, p. 83

[7]   Beck and Cowan, Spiral Dynamics, p. 84

[8]   Beck and Cowan, Spiral Dynamics, p. 84

[9]   Beck and Cowan, Spiral Dynamics, p. 85


Brake a Leg [sic]


Our Celebratory CakeLast night was the last night of my acting class, so it was “performance night.”  We put our scenes on stage at the Citadel.  Four things jump out at me as I reflect on the evening:

  1. “You look like you want to do something with the gloves.  Follow your impulse.” These were our instructor’s words to one of my mates as we were going through our scenes one last time before we hit the stage.  It can be a big leap to trust our instincts in this rational world, but it is our instincts that take us to a creative place where new possibilities arise.  We have a choice to make about where and when we let our impulse out.

I’ve got a hunger

Twisting my stomach into knots

That my tongue has tied off

My brain’s repeating

‘If you’ve got an impulse let it out’

But they never make it past my mouth.

“The Sound of Settling,” Death Cab for Cutie

Perhaps it isn’t my brain that keeps me back – it may well know I should let my impulse out, but there is something deeper within that I need to pay attention to.  As I contemplate my work in conversational leadership, I will ponder these questions for a while:

  • What am I hungry for?
  • If I truly notice that, what is my impulse about how to let it out?
  • What keeps me back from what I truly offer our craft and the world?


  1. No matter how well you know your lines, you need to grasp the plot or you’re sunk.And your mate with you. There was a moment in my scene last night when I lost my line.  Stuck. I drew a blank.  It didn’t matter that my mate and I had nailed them many times before.  Somehow I just lost track, and when I look back I can’t quite explain why.  It just happened.  We tossed a few lines in that “went with the plot” for a bit.  It was shakey for a bit, for both of us sitting there in the bright lights, but my mate didn’t panic, neither did I, and we trusted we would find our way.  We did.  He threw me a word that got me back on track and all was good.Even when you know something well, you know it works, the recipe is never the same every time.  Everytime the circumstances are different.  In conversation or theatre, there is no silver bullet/cookie cutter. 
  2. There are people rooting for you, even if you can’t see them.Often on the theatre stage, the lights are in your eyes and you can’t see the audience.  You can’t tell if they are legion or few – except for the sounds they make.  Even if you could see them, by and large to don’t know who they are.In the case of last night, it was a modest audience: our class mates, our instructor/director, the lighting guy, Citadel staff and a few people class mates brought to the event.Out front, I have a choice to make about how to proceed: trust that everyone is critically watching your every move, or trust that they want you to play a part in something wonderful happening.  My choice about what I trust has an impact on what I will do and how I go about doing it.  Do I believe in the worst or do I believe in the best?  If I lose my lines, which plot do I want to draw on to carry me through? 
  3. Brake a leg. Even the Safeway cake writer can’t get everything right.  Nobody can.  And the cake tastes just fine. How much of what I worry about is just icing on the cake? (Like the numbering in this blog…)