courage in a world that has seemingly gone mad


I was thinking about what to write about courage and fear in the wake of these mass shootings.

And then, as I was still collecting my thoughts, ANOTHER mass shooting happened.

I mean, for fuck’s sake, it seems almost impossible to imagine in so many ways.

And then I was heading down the highway on a perfectly ordinary day, my thoughts meandering and settling on gratitude, and then they hop-skip-jumped to what I wanted to say about having courage in a world that has seemingly gone mad.

What I have to say is this: my personal mission, and my hope is that you’ll join me in this, is to remember that most people are not “like that.”

Most of us, most of the time, are people who have nothing but good intentions.

Most of us, most of the time, are getting up in the morning thinking about how to create better lives for the people we love.

Most of us, most of the time, are arriving on time(ish) to our jobs, and being of service. That person who got your coffee, this morning? The teachers who are with your kids, right now? The multiple tiers of people responsible for ensuring that internet service is up and running so that you can read this post?

–Yeah, those are the people you live among, most of the time.

Horrific acts of violence happen. Processing that with grieving or prayer or whatever is great. We also need to get off our duffs and take action–uniting voices, putting forth legislation, and more–to try to do what we can to stop them from continuing.

And, we need to remember that most of the time, most people are not awful people.

It is courageous to steadfastly remember that when horrible things happen, and when we get really afraid of living in a world where horrible things happen, that not all people are this way.

In fact, only a small minority of people are this way.

And in fact, only people who are horribly wounded are this way.

So I vote that I work on me, and you work on you, to try to heal as much of our own personal wounding as we can, and to try not to do any further wounding in the world. I vote that together, we pray and love in equal measure as we take a stand for change.

We are not all this way. The people nearest you probably want goodness and love and kindness and compassion as much as you do.

It’s perfectly normal to fear the way that wounded people act out their wounds.

Our work is to courageously choose to remember that we do not live in a world that has gone mad.
We live in a world that needs more love.

people make the difference

The first time that I ran the Courageous Living Coach Certification, a life coach training program for women, Valerie and Rachael were by my side in a volunteer capacity. This past year, they joined me to form a leadership within the program. It has been a mind-blowing experience of awesomeness and intimacy and connection–and it has convinced me like nothing else that going it solo in business, just as in life, is way less fun.

Valerie Tookes Rachael Maddox
valerie2015 rachael2015


The program also worked with some mentor coaches, former trainees who had graduated from the program and who were interested in continuing to work together in a mentorship capacity. This year, I’m so proud and excited to that our program will be working with these incredible women:

Elizabeth Applegate Julie Houghton Paula Jenkins
liz applegate julie houghton paula jenkins


Why did I go it alone, for so long?

For years in my business, I basically went it alone. I didn’t reach out very often to other people to collaborate. I didn’t invite people to help me lead or really even participate.

Because it felt safer.
Because there was less risk of rejection.
Because if I screwed up, no one else would see.
Because I wouldn’t need to deal with other people’s neuroses, feeling that push-pull pressure to caretake for them while simultaneously resenting being in that role.
Because then I couldn’t get blamed or shamed if I made a mistake.
Because then I wouldn’t be taken advantage of.

There’s a lot of pain in those old Stories. Ultimately, it felt like it’d just be easier to do it myself, than risk the pain or challenges of working through things with others.

What I understand about the alone thing, now

Yes, sometimes when working with others, I feel rejection, or mess up and they see it, or their stuff comes up and I feel the pressure of how to support them while still staying grounded, and on and on.

But what I’ve come to realize is that it is far more painful to keep going it alone, going it alone, going it alone than it is to work through the challenges and ups and downs and foibles and what-ifs of working with others.

If you need to choose, always choose people–because people make the difference.

Also, you will survive whatever comes your way. Flying solo doesn’t mean that you’ll get to avoid the things you fear. In my experience, they still manage to come your way when that’s the next lesson that you need to learn. While that statement is pithy and one that I have trouble trusting when I’m in the middle of all of my stuff, I ultimately know that it’s true.

Be with your people. People make the difference.


attachment to outcome

Sometimes, we all get stuck in attachment to outcome. This video offers help for noticing when you have attachment to outcome and how to clarify where you truly have control.

1. Learn the one question you need to ask when setting a goal or intended outcome
(asking how does this serve you)
2. Know the words to stop using to take back your power (stop shoulding all over yourself.)
3. Clarify where you truly have control (where you put your intention and attention)