Black Lives Matter

Black Lives MatterThere’s been a great deal of dialog about this cry for action in our communities. A common response, primarily by white people, is to say, “Yes, but all lives matter.”

I believe that this rejoinder is part of the problem. When anyone responds this way, we yet again shift our focus away from a laser focus on the issue at hand, which is that in our country, the most overlooked and least-protested murders are those of black people.

By saying that black lives matter, no one is saying that other lives don’t. That’s just plain faulty logic. Of course all lives matter, but the reality is that we act as if some lives matter more than others, repeatedly, in our systems of justice, education, economics, housing, and on and on.

Let’s keep our focus on the problem, however uncomfortable we get about it, and not dilute the message or delude ourselves into complacency.

 

Busy is the New Fine

Woman On Her Cell Phone

Picture two friends running into each other at the grocery store. Their conversation goes something like this:

“Hey, great to see you! How are you?”

“Wow,  super busy. You?”

“Oh, same as you. Busier than ever!”

Sound familiar?

We used to say, “Fine,” even if we weren’t. There will always be situations where this exchange is meant to be a polite social ritual, not an invitation to download every trauma we’ve encountered over the past week. When we walk into the office in the morning or greet the barista, “Fine, thanks!” is a polite response.

But now, we aren’t fine.  We are busy.  Super busy.

Sometimes I wonder if we equate being busy with being valuable. If we replied, “I’ve been taking it easy the past few days,” would we fear being judged as lazy, unproductive, or – worst of all – selfish? Read more

Am I Just Lazy? The Real Reason We Resist Change

Robert_Kegan_1

Bob Kegan teaching Immunity to Change

Last spring, I traveled to Harvard University to study with Dr. Lisa Lahey and Dr.  Robert Kegan. For the past 35 years, they’ve been developing a process for personal, group and organizational transformation called Immunity to Change. What they’ve learned in over three decades of research and field application is that they’re on to something that works. They’ve used this process with individuals who came to them for help and with international corporations on a large scale, and they get results where other approaches have failed.

While I walked from my inn to campus on the first day, I wondered what I would learn that surprise me. I felt that I knew myself pretty well after years of counseling, self-help and personal growth work, and coaching. As I sipped my coffee from a silver urn in the swanky Harvard Faculty Club, a diverse group of people from all over the world started to arrive, hailing from Russia, Australia, South Africa, England, and all over the US. There were ministers and therapists, leaders of industry and graduate students. I was energized by the passionate conversations we had about creating positive change in the world and was glad I came, no matter what the training was going to be like.

I suppose I wondered if the esteemed professors would be, well, aloofly professorial, but not at all.  Bob and Lisa were totally down to earth, warm and engaging, and clearly passionate about their work and their years of professional partnership and friendship. They set a tone of “We’re all learning and practicing and flubbing up together,” so we relaxed and dove in to some amazingly personal and vulnerable work together, experiencing the Immunity to Change process for ourselves before being trained how to guide others through it.

All was going smoothly – no surprises yet – when bam! They revealed the piece of their process that makes it distinctly powerful, picking up where most self-help leaves off and showing what was previously unseen and disconnected.

“Oh…hmmm….well, look at that…didn’t know that was still there…whoa.” That was my reaction when my own immunity to change was revealed. The “Whoa,” was the leverage I needed to finally move past a block I’d had for years, which I actually thought I’d already moved past. Amazing. Read more