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  1. I am daring to dream a dream of a world where all of life works for all people. Where well being and joy are the commonplace conversation. Where leaders leave love of courage and magnificence. That is the dream I dream. A ho!

  2. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share my dream for change:

    This vision of spa-retreat as a cultural concept has the potential to bring about real change in personal and planetary health. It arises from a belief that it is possible, necessary, and effective to integrate self-care, self-development, and self-expression with environmental concerns such as water quality and conservation.

    The concept incorporates the idea of taking sabbaticals of at least three-months from everyday concerns in order to focus on one’s own well-being and that of the planet. An inspiring model for this is the ancient Asclepian sanctuaries to which people went to seek healing from troubles of body, mind, and spirit.

    Those returning from these retreats or sabbaticals would bring back with them insights and actions of value not only to themselves but to the whole (much as Native American vision quests are intended to do). These places of seeking-and-support would be free, and free of any doctrine.

    Many people are attracted to the images of health and reinvigoration associated with spa-retreat. However, the underlying essential value and role of our physical and social environments is often overlooked. Spa – sanus per agua (health through water) – should not be a luxury commodity.

    Water as an indicator of health and also a tool for health, is central to the spa-retreat offering. Water, as a metaphor, provides many insights into human behavior and human potential, as the Taoists knew well. Water and humans need to be free and to have depth and clarity to thrive.

    To read more, and help me bring this vision down to earth, I invite you to visit

  3. I so identify with the thoughts here and I also struggle with how to avoid getting to the “I’ve-had-more-than-enough-thank-you-very-much” place. It’s a luxury that we both have to even have time to contemplate this, but it’s so true!

  4. So simple and beautiful. Jen I am trying to reach you and had my email bounce back. Please email me.

  5. Rock on with your courageous selves!! Consider us company on your journey

    The world needs this kind of inspired and creative leadership. Contribute you value to the world and trust that the world will contribute back.

    We have devised a system of voluntary Dual Currency sliding scale prices (part-cash; part-rewards). Our intention is to increase people’s purchasing power and transform mainstream commerce. It will give people new ways to enjoy your services.

    Here’s to Sufficiency and Sustainable Prosperity! Love and Blessings, Joel

  6. All great questions that ramble through my head depending on the time of day and the circumstance I find myself in.

    Maybe all I failed to do is: … a great section because it is the truth when we fail, or rather, what we make failure mean is all a matter of the context in which we hold it. Failure to me personally is knowing when I did not give my best effort. Failure is not about making money or holding down a “regular” job. Failure seems to rear its head when I know in my heart I didn’t give my best!

  7. Even if we can’t save “it” (however we define it), we know in our hearts that when we are taking care of it and doing more to preserve it, we will be leaving this world with pride. 🙂 Perhaps the personal growth is in accepting the limitations but working for the future regardless.

  8. I need more of these in-between moments! I think the task is to recognize when we have them! Too many of us are too focused on endless to-do lists. (quick breath) Thanks for writing; gotta go. 🙂

  9. Yummy….Evokes in me the desire to practice slowing WAAAAaaaaaaaayyy down. That’s how I’ll have space to feel and honor the spaces in between. De-lish!

  10. one way i see these in between moments are as transitions, transitions from the in to the out breath, day to night to day again … it’s so easy to skip over them because it requires letting go and turning our attention to that new moment that is arising, that new hello comes after a good-bye.

  11. Gina this is great! I grew up with Winnie and read him in my 20s and more recently with Maxine. He speaks, sings and dances in my language. This is so sweet, light and fun.

  12. Beautiful.
    What do we do then? What are the tools? Those of us who are not even early adopters, but finally succumb to the song for fear of being left behind, for fear of not maximizing our time so we can make a living while making an offering? Perhaps Efficiency is the shadow of Sufficiency … xo

  13. I am honored by your words. Thank you. “The end of suffering is possible. Love is the way.” I know that to be true. Sometimes pain really can be our guide.

  14. you are most welcome
    i love you
    thank you for being awake while shopping
    thank you for taking yourself seriously enough
    thank you for loving your body enough
    thank you for loving our life together enough
    thank you

  15. Many times we have to say no to something because it isn’t serving our highest good. Sometimes you need to look outside of yourself to realize that’s the case. Good for using the cards that way!

  16. Nice blog – I am glad that I slowed down to
    read your piece on the importance of
    slowing down and being contemplative.

  17. Jen,

    I strongly believe that we humans lack, as you say, connection-but not only to other humans. We, as a species, lack (or mis-perceive, as connection may be there/here just fine)connection to the earth, to the universe, to the divine…

    Even our quantum physicists are telling us that we are part and parcel to everything. Your neighbor really is yourself. Huh?

    As far as the driving-thing, I have a small bumper-sticker of “Namaste” on (the inside of) my windshield-visor, to remind me of my connection with the other driver. A person could put anything that works for them, though. It’s helped me.

    Tatsy Guild

    via Robin LeBlanc – Tatsy has a Mac and could not access the comments via hotmail …

  18. What you’re describing seems to be a fear-anger transformation, something pretty common for us humans. Especially now, when we’re all pretty spun up much of the time. It seems to me that Americans (this is no so severe in some other places) feel an underlying sense of dread, as if something terrible is about to happen to us, or maybe has happened but we don’t know it. It’s infected our politics and our relationships, this dark cloud that hangs over us. We’re afraid to hope, to look to a brighter future, to forgive and go on. It’s cause for considerable concern.

  19. What a great idea! I have a smallish rosemary bush outside. I have bought smallish potted Christmas trees throughout the years but they always die after about 3 years or so. Think I will try decorating our rosemary bush inside next year:) This year I sort of wanted a tree but didn’t want to spend the money or have another plant to take care of – and here I had something suitable outside all along! I just found your website today through the Sustainability talks online and already my mindset has changed. Thanks so much and Best wishes for a wondrous 2011!

  20. Great sharing on Facebook, and great concept. Although I am only a disabled veteran on a subpovertylevel income, I give at least 10% to Sky Loom (formerly to Book’Em) a books-to-prisoners project, 1401 Hodgkiss St, Pittsburgh PA 15212.

  21. Thanks for these thoughts on mistakes.

    As I read, I’m struck by the possibility of reframe that the language itself suggests: these are mis-takes which allow re-takes.

    I see mistakes as part of the learning process. Just as children stumble and fall probably thousands of times before “successfully” walking, the challenge is not the fact of stumbling, it’s in the perspective.

    …Which leads right back to enough-ness. If my worth as a person isn’t riding on my performance and its perfection, I’m free to stumble until my learning is more evolved.

    Thank you also for your openness in sharing about your period of hiding. I, too, had years I used to think of as wasted, but every time I reflect on my newer perspectives on failure and mistakes, I’m reminded that the “wasted times” were among my most valuable teachers.

  22. Many industries do have established processes for creating improvement, however these processes are couched in terms of benefit and learning rather than recognition and correction of errors. In the software industry the Agile process defines rapid iterations in the name of incorporating customer feedback and adapting to market changes. Implicitly this development process allows a team to go down the wrong path a little way with impunity because the course of action will be quickly corrected (iterations are often a week or two for web development, longer for stand alone apps). The Japanese process of obaya reviews a product to see if it can be simplified. It is a way of looking for improvements, the flip side of correcting mistakes.

    In both of the above examples mistake making is understood to be part of the process with secondary processes in place to make corrections. It is interesting that business had figured this out while socially we have a much harder time. Imagine a quality control session for every marital conversation–would divorce rates go down?

  23. Thank you for sharing so clearly & allowing me to see a part of us that is sometimes difficult to see and difficult to share.

  24. Wonderful, insightful post, Shea. I appreciate your sharing your personal experience and the challenge of trying to balance it all.

    All or nothing is a great distinction. I see how I can fall into the “middle road” of ambivalence which often produces mediocrity. It seems like a good middle ground in the moment but at the end, there can be serious implications.

    Thanks love,

  25. In addition to what you share here, I also see flexibility as important. Personally, I can go to a place of resistance and rigidity and then fight against what’s so in the moment to make it all work out the way I have it painted in my mind.

    When I let go, relax into myself and accept what’s happening, a fluidity occurs in which I have the capacity to tolerate and move in a way that is organic and flexible.

    I appreciate your stating that ambivalence is being human and the ways we can powerfully move from that state. For we are not alone and cannot accomplish great things alone.

  26. it’s the battle on the planet presently, between control/domination and connection/coordinated cooperation.P.r.Sarkar calls it ‘the dawn of a glorious new era on its one side and thw worn-out skeleton of the past on the other.People have to adopt either of these two.’ a new socio-economic theory called prout, fully supports the creation of real cooperatives, as this is the way for humans to function most happily together.

  27. Hi Gina!

    I believe that information is presented to me at the time that I am most ready to receive it. I have been listening to the Seven Stones Leadership Community Calls all morning. I have “paused” to engage in the exercises and consider my own responses. I am listening in on a conversation that that is speaking so LOUDLY to me. I wasn’t aware of the language or the terms to identify the thirst that I am experiencing in this season of my journey. So I just wanted to thank you because as my children are embarking on young adulthood and heading off to college, I find myself longing for the change and excitement that comes with that transition. This conversation is helping me to re-evaluate and re-prioritize the context that I’m living in and the declarations that I want to establish as I move forward. However, I have to understand that where I am now – “I am enough, I am sufficient.” I look forward to becoming more engaged.

  28. Oh this is good stuff!!!
    I am working on mastery of the fifth child business…LOL

    My favorite phrase is

    “I first remind myself I have a choice how to respond. I know better than to resist, because resisting begets persisting…”

    This perspective gives us POWER when we feel we’ve lost any sense of control.

    Thanks for sharing that thought. Now that I have two teens, two young adults and one pre-teen – I need all of the POWER I can get! 😉

  29. “I was a serial change artist.”

    Oh, I can so relate!

    ‘Transition can help heal us, make peace with past wounds, and focus on our passions.’ – this is where I am ready to move towards.

    Thank you!

  30. Pingback: Jerry Kolber » Blog Archive » Means and Ends
  31. Thank you for the thought-provoking, real-life example. It offers a lot to contemplate and reflect on. It has helped me see where in my life I need to muster the courage to face and own the truth–no matter how much I resist it. I can see how fear can stop the truth telling and that it takes trusting that sweet freedom is on the other side, waiting faithfully and patiently for us to take that leap.

  32. Thank you for your touching story. It is hard to tell the truth in a caring but clear way. Next time I will remind me of your story and just sit with the truth. Because in that silence I will find courage.

  33. I’m inspired by this story of Jud’s leadership. It is incredibly brave to publicly declare loving-kindness as a core value for an enterprise, even a not-for-profit one. There are many lessons in here for my work with leaders as well. Thank you.

  34. Here are several things for renewal, not on your list, that are part of my daily practices (and recommended to clients, as relevant)
    – music – singing, playing the piano
    – walking and being in nature
    – shifting to a state of gratitude
    – allowing slow conscious loving breaths
    – doing something creative
    – energy routines, from Donna Eden’s work

    There’s a big role that food & nutrition plays in energy depletion and renewal … save that for separate conversation.

  35. Wonderfully realized and Beautifully stated. Something for those of us who use humility to ease the uneasiness of compliments to think about.

  36. Is being kind and caring necessarily a part of compassion? It seems to me that might get us into trouble. I mean caring never seems like a bad idea, but sometimes it can be somewhat like soothing and placating, not going at all very deep. So, with self-compassion, I think the challenge is actually overcoming the repressive and aversive instincts we have. Otherwise, it can just devolve into indulgence. The loathing, I would argue, is not itself a bad thing because it’s not for ourselves per se — it’s more general and diffuse. The hard part about loathing is that it is loathsome; it feels horrible to feel horrible. To make matters worse (intolerable) it is not possible to make the loathsome feeling go away. I don’t think Americans have some kind of monopoly on this feeling, it’s just that we tend to think of ourselves so highly that we feel like failures because we can’t make the bad feelings go away.

  37. Awe as blend of fear and wonder; that’s interesting. The fear that usually goes with wonder seems to be about something “greater” and more “powerful.” It is a something beyond control and defense. Something that creates and destroys without explanation. Perhaps this kind of awe leads to a sense of sufficiency because there’s nowhere to turn for safety. It is a paradox of sorts: there is nowhere to turn for safety, yet there is some kind of safety. What kind of safety is there? Does it last? What makes it possible? These seem like sensible questions to ask in contemplating sufficiency.

  38. The claim here seems to be that most of us don’t even know the environment we’re in. We’re swimming, but we don’t know we’re in the water. Malcolm Gladwell has said he doesn’t like to swim because he doesn’t like to be in a position where, if he stops moving, he’ll die.

    Restlessness, edginess, neuroticism seem to keep us in motion. “Water” is a helpful metaphor to see that we are in an environment of mind. The mind seeks order and predictability, fixing things into place, and yet there’s this constant edginess because another part of us recognizes that doesn’t quite jive with experience. The water keeps on changing temperature, solubility, quality, and we want it to just be the same old water all the time. We wish the water would just fade into the background and stop interfering with our plans. We ignore reality relentlessly.

    Perhaps at the root of scarcity, as Malcolm Gladwell quips, and as you allude to here, there is the scarcity of life. Life is “too short.” Even if someone dies at 100, it was “too soon.” It could have been the next day. The person could have had just one more day. It isn’t fair. And yet, I can’t help but wonder if Gladwell stops swimming, if we all dialed back our restlessness, might we just float? Might the water be a friend rather than an enemy?

    1. What I hear you saying is being aware of our context- our true reality, then accepting ‘what is’ allows us to turn the water from enemy to ally. In that distinction then maybe regardless of when we pass on we can all say he lived enough.

  39. Michael – these are awesome questions. We have come to see that the truth is somewhere inside of the paradox you name and begin to explore … If life is fundamentally mysterious, dangerous and unpredictable, how do we indeed find “safety”? What is safety? Where does it come from? For me, at my current understanding, sufficiency has something to do with being centered and awake to the constant flow of consciousness in and around me. Perhaps the safety resides in that awareness … ?

  40. Beautiful . Thank you for this. it so captures what happens when you ignore the call within. Fortunately, I choose to believe that the tide will bring it back as I recognize/remember what the boat looks like.

  41. Thanks for bringing up the subject of awe. I like the fact that children readily use the word “AWESOME!” to describe their feelings and reactions. They seem to have no reservations about being awed. Yet how many of us adults feel comfortable describing an experience as awesome? Awe would seem to leave us dumbstruck, bumbling fools who, as Alan Watts puts it, “gape and stare” in the fact of endless demands on our time? To too many adults, wonder seems like child’s play. Plus, awe as truly felt is powerfully unsettling. It is connected with feelings of terror and exhiliration and oddness. Most of us learn to push those feelings away so that we can be in control and return the familiar comforts of our everday life. But as you point out: awe and a sense of possibilities are connected too. Awe and movement go together. So, you raise some great questions. I appreciate your faith that life CAN be fully felt. I say: that’s awesome!

  42. Yes! Michael, I love what you are saying. I’ve started to use the word AWESOME again, I think somewhat unconsciously as I’ve been investigating awe. It’s had a delicious return to that sense of wonder so inherent in our child selves. Mentioning Alan Watts makes me want to listen to him again. Thanks for that mention!

  43. This is an incredibly moving piece. I am glad I took the time to contemplate its message, implications and value.

  44. Shea, Thanks for sharing this story. What does it mean? What’s the lesson? It makes me wonder how to organize so that community–extended family–the friends, the neighbors, the distant cousins, as well as immediate family, could all be at the center? How large could that center be? Is what you’re calling a matter of organization a matter of being aligned with deeper and most honest values? If so, it would seem this is a striking realization, one that would fuel and nourish positive energy of further engagement and love for others. Again, thanks for sharing.

  45. Thank you Colleen and Michael, for your acknowledgments and reflections. You ask wonderful guiding questions Michael, that inspire me to both draw a bigger circle and more clear one, so that when the chips are down, I know the next Right Action. I also wonder if these inquiries into structure also have to do with my own internal workings: am I am flexible enough to shift my attention, make transitions, pause and reorganize my priorities? Moment by moment? I work to be able to do so, but I think I found a new limit last week and am so glad for the support of this community to live in the questions with grace.
    As always, gratefully yours,

  46. I was re reading your post and considering the question you pose at the end. It sounds like there is something in hand that can be released. But what if that’s not true? What if the situation is that it does require work to put the friend or the community at the center? The work might be some form of letting go but couldn’t it also be some form of imaginative leap? I ask because its a similar question to one that I wrestle with. What might be beneficial to friends, family, and community? How to organize so that they are central?

  47. I’ve been thinking this too … and on top of it, a colleague said recently, “I have this habit of when things do not go the way I want them to or the way I think they should, I immediately make it that there is something wrong in my structural space.” This was so striking to me because that very habit is what caused this blog post. Am I looking in the wrong place? Is my circle drawn too large, so it’s not sustainable? I think there is some scarcity in my space about hoarding relationships … painful but deep insight….

  48. a few impromptu reflections on your post about “from getting to letting”

    1. orchestration. I never thought about this as controlling. As a trained musician, my first thoughts go to synergizing, shaping, playing, creating, bringing out voice, energy of ensemble. I’ll tune in to how people use the word and the energy in context ..

    2. about letting vs getting
    it’s about making room – creating attunement with space, rhythms, nature, Self, other(s) – has an essence of flow, gracious

    makes available acceptance, contentment,satisfaction, respect, being OK (with dignity), it is enough – away from resentment, annoyance, dislike, anger
    I think about open, connected and receiving;
    “let it be …
    let there be … peace … light … love

  49. Shea,

    I love this. Letting people do instead of getting people to do … anything. So much more relaxing for all involved.

    Thank you!! I love reading things that make my heart open and this did that.

    Danila, Yes, so interesting about the word “orchestrate.” In Shea’s context I picture a well put together woman with grown children and a very intense Thanksgiving dinner–with in laws and such a detailed vision that nobody can breathe. But I can easily see the same scene with every detail thought through and orchestrated, without the control, with space around it.

  50. Letting seems to acknowledge the power of vision, intention and competence. There is always an element of trust involved, a shift in consciousness when the focus is on a result or outcome and the steps are free to happen spontaneously. Its not a naive wishing for something to happen but a secure confidence that it will. This deep faith cannot be faked nor manufactured, its like the trust a baby has that whoever is carrying it won’t drop it. Thanks for sharing this beautiful sentiment.

  51. Hey Sue, Betsy and I were in some seminars with you. Getting sleep is great. Question how? I wake up at 1 to 3 am with anxiety. Betsy puts on a podcast or audio book on science or history. Redirects my thoughts from the feedback loop of worry and off I go ZZZZZZZZZ! Philosophy also works.

  52. Yes! Sleep is magical and essential. Not too many years ago, obsessing over getting enough of it or NOT getting enough sleep would occupy much of my day. Having my first-born triggered fears of sleep-scarcity.

    Being in the practice of tucking myself in with my kids has made a huge difference as it honors my body’s natural rhythm. And during those random nights when I find myself fully alert at 3am, I relax and engage in the practice of trust. Trusting that my body knows what it needs and that I am getting the rest my body needs. That all is well. And that is enough.


  53. Lora – becoming a mom triggered the same fear for me too. I love how you have found trust as an anchor in the wee hours of wakefulness. That is inspiring. I love this blog, Sue! So relaxing to be reminded to rest.

  54. Sue! Wow.. yes I am very aware of this.. which is why I have been chasing it for a year and a half 🙁 I love my sleep and with my daughter we had a GREAT schedule.. she was sleeping thru the night at 10 weeks for 12 hours AND sleeping 3 naps a day.. glorious.. but not #2. Still waking at night and he’s almost a year. Between teething, illness, major growth and a small place.. it’s hard. I nap when I can, but between this and being pregnant it’s been a year and a half with on average 5-6 hours a night. I have hope, but it’s tough. I’m glad I still enjoy a lot of your bullets above AND I can definitely make habit and live changes that would give me a couple more hours (but probably not interrupted).. thank you!! This reminds me I need to put “schedule sleep” on my to do list 🙂

  55. Sue, *now* I *have* read your blog post. Spot on. And as for me – becoming a mom triggered a fear of awake-by-myself-time scarcity! And a profoundly different relationship to tired and doing it anyway. Good question to ask in the moment – thanks as always for one more tool.

  56. As my son approaches his first birthday, believe me, I have no problem seeing the connection between sleep and my quality of life! When he’s crying at two in the morning, I find myself tensing up not only because of his crying but also because I know I’m going to be hurting the next day, and maybe the next two days. Sometimes I wish that I had a bit more resilience than that, as some people seem to be fine on just a few hours of sleep even over several nights. But I remind myself that as long as he’s safe then it’s okay. And it is wonderful the following night to get into bed early, to know that there are 8 hours before an alarm will go off, and to allow myself to disappear into reverie.

  57. Thank you everyone for your responses and feedback here. It is kind of ironic I suppose that I am writing this after taking the red-eye back from CA this morning–a bit tired.

    I need a bit more time to reflect on what people have said or asked to explore anything I might add here.

    For now, thank you for reading and for commenting too!

    JP–You know that I definitely remember you and Betsy and Elsa, right? I can picture you as though you are standing in front of me right now!

  58. Sounds like you’ve adopted an existentialist stance to life. Does life have meaning or does existence precede essence requiring each of us to create meaning. We are a meaning driven species rather than an instinct driven species.

    Two pictures painted by your mother (and my sister) hang on my music room wall and my heart smiles when I look at them.

    The gift of life is to be enjoyed. It isn’t a test. If it were you’d have been given better instructions.

  59. Big questions! You ask: Where is life? Then you ask: When is life?

    Should we ask: Who is life?

  60. Hi Jen,

    There seem to be two threads here, one about the reactions to openness in dialogue and interactions, and the other is about gifting money for no special occasion than just giving.

    I see the connection between these two threads because, like other coaches I admire, you are courageous enough to practice what you preach, even if it breaks with convention.

    Such is the case with gifting money to friends: it breaks with convention. Social norms dictate that friends avoid the topic of money altogether, leaving it only for families or professionals to talk about in any specific detail. Challenging these norms is bound to make people uncomfortable. On the receiving end it could be perceived as a negative: “Do I appear to be needy? Does she think she’s better than me?” The giver could be trumping himself up: “Look how generous I am. I’m such a generous person.” Or could be giving because “it’s the right thing to do” but there’s no real heart quality in it.

    It is interesting to think about whether there is an up/down relationship with respect to giving (as in someone is on a pedestal and someone else is beneath–perhaps the ‘haves’ are higher and the ‘have nots’ are lower) with regard to generosity and giving. There is always the question of motives and how to interpret motives. So, from this point, it is an open question as to whether sufficiency or ‘having’ is relative and depends on someone who “has not.” With that mindset there might be a lot of attachment and it might actually continue a sense of separation. Overcoming isolation through generosity seems to require a great deal of relatedness and non-attachment.

    Thanks for some good food for thought.


  61. Thanks so much for this brilliant post. As a recovering perfectionist, your writing summarizes something I consistently struggle with. Thank you for the gentle reminder of my enoughness as I stretch outside my comfort zone more and more.

  62. Thanks for this interesting question. You seem to be asking: How can there be too much if we live in the present moment?
    Certainly there are times when I find myself shaking my head and saying: “It’s just too much.” As you point out, this kind of too much is not about abundance of something desirable, but like a mountain has just been transported and placed on top of my heart. Grief, like that after the senseless death of innocent people, can bring it about.

    In my personal experience I do not see a conflict between present moment awareness and this judgment of “too much.” I think the judgment is an outflow from a feeling of overwhelm, or as I’ve heard others call it: “horrified anxiety.” The sheer intensity of the feelings might seem to demand screaming and yelling and crying and tiredness, all at the same time. That energy is crazy-making. Emotional overload of this sort happens all at once and is consistent, I think, with being present if there is an ability to stay in it. A question is: HOW to stay in it completely? There is a lot of fear and resistance to staying in it completely, to feeling the feelings, and so I think your instinct about returning to the body makes perfect sense. In the arms and the legs, the hands and the feet, the stomach and the throat, I suppose we can trust that there is room for all these feelings, even if the head might say otherwise.

  63. Jen,

    Wow! This is incredibly deep and thought-provoking. Let me ponder it for a while and come up with a considered response.


  64. Michael, so so great. I love that you bring up the emotional energy. It is what it’s all about, I think. Wars are fought over hurt and difficult feelings. I’ve begun to consider and to experiment with a hypothesis I have, which is that personal power and mastery has something – a lot I am thinking – with our ability to be with sensation, whether that is emotional energy, strong waves of vitality, pain, “horrified anxiety”, and more. I think there is room indeed, in theory, but I/we have taken shapes to protect ourselves from what feels hard or hurtful. What if we were vessels, open for everything (that doesn’t actually kill us)? And then of course, where do we draw the line when there is injustice, or inappropriateness, etc.? That’s extreme of course, and for this conversation, I am more interested in the possibility of open heart, open mind, opening beyond my current shape and comfort zone for the possibility of being of greater service. Thanks for the great dialogue.

  65. I wonder if the ideology of care, let’s call it kindredism or maybe humanism is the countervailing response to terrorism. Its not a tit for tat but a “we are brothers and sisters” mindset that somehow diffuses and melts the kind of rage and alienation behind destruction. The extent to which the brothers and sisters include everyone seems to be the challenge, that it include the poor and the angry and the sick. That it include all are demons inside and out. That capacity in everyone, to have a heart that big, a love that wide, and eyes that clear, I suppose is a matter of faith. But if it seems possible and there’s room enough for all kinds, why not?

  66. I so reasonate, as I am a perfectionist in recovery 😉 Beautiful reflections and practices Shea, thank you for sharing. I am going to add what you have shared to my daily practices as there is a gentleness and self-compassion them. An inquiry I have gravitated to is “What is worth doing even if I fail?” — My answer: being 😉

  67. Hi Shea,

    One way that I practice learning from mistakes is noticing how I interact with others and treat others when I feel they’ve made a mistake. Am I harsh? Judgmental? Do I avoid talking about it? Do I make an inference about the person in addition to the incident? Does my response feed into their fear? I find that how I relate to others can inform the way I relate to my own mistakes–it seems like it’s using the very same muscles.

    Good luck!


  68. Hi Jen,

    Peter Drucker sometimes talks about the importance of “organized abandonment.” That phrase has stuck with me. It puts some ritual and structure around how to let things go. Given the name of your company, I’m sure you’re aware of the 7 stones ritual that Joseph Campbell describes from Esalen Institute. Similar idea of putting ritual around letting things go. Letting things go, even if they fail to nourish, can be a serious challenge.

    I’m curious about your clothes — did you donate them? How did you make peace with removing them from your closet?

    You raise an interesting question too of what is enough nourishment? In terms of food, is it the RDA? How much does that vary between people? What about in terms of “consumables” that are not so easy to measure: conscious experiences, knowledge, quality of life? I will explore this question further–a really valuable question to contemplate.



  69. Thanks for this wonderful reminder of the power of declarations, and the flexibility we have to create them.

  70. Thanks Shea. I wonder about boundaries as well as ego. Sufficiency implies less territoriality because there’s not such a need to stand guard. Seeing insecurity or shame or envy, which might be difficult to feel, relaxes further the need to stand guard because it dissolves ego. Love, as you point out, may be the direction of sufficiency because it radiates outward under all circumstances.

  71. Love this, Sue. It is truly great to see how creating a new and empowering declaration really opens a whole new world. Your example demonstrates just how powerful our declarations are.

    Thank you for sharing. Will play with this and put my attention on this as a practice.

  72. What a lovely awareness, Ana. Thank you for the confirmation!!! Reminds me of the old saying, which perhaps has more wisdom in it than it seems: “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” : ) Namaste…Liza

  73. Wonderful observations, Shea. As one who has experienced “lack” over the past year, I’ve watched some friends/family respond to this in different ways, depending on how my “scarcity” triggered their own fears. For me, it was knowing that their judgments weren’t personal, and that can be a hard ride when one is needing basic things like food & shelter. What I’ve come to discover is that it IS love that gets me through…love for myself, others and trusting my intuition. It was a helluva ride, yet I’m coming out the other side more empowered than ever and with a passion to “be the love” : )

    Thank you so much for the validation…the “Enough” course seems to be more than!!! Peace…

  74. Thanks for sharing this story. Takes tremendous courage to give through fear. It’s like walking in two directions at once. Part wants to retreat and hide and another part wants to move forward and open. I like how you were able to plant your feet, recenter act on your best intention. Regardless of outcome that’s a way to be fully alive, I think. No matter how grandiose or mundane it is a discipline of opening so thanks for making it real.

  75. Or, may my body and mind find a healthy balance between movement nourishment.

    The concept of letting go and trusting and being present is different than the ego driven goal of “I am going to fill in the blank.”

    My friendly wish is to stay the course and embrace the mystery of the journey.

    Peace be with you Gina.

  76. Hi Jen,

    I like the linkage between giving and receiving. Receiving is often overlooked as an opportunity to give thanks. It’s amazing what a difference is made when something is received with genuine appreciation (whether it’s a present, compliment, favor or anything else). Every time something is received, a giver is created and acknowledged. Recognition may be the best gift we can all give each other.

    Looking forward to part two!


  77. Hi Gina, Synchronicity rocks! This morning, suddenly upon my desktop appears your and Carol’s Creation call in January (what year?) which I had never listened to before. Have no idea how that happened but am grateful! I found both of your sharing very timely and helpful as well as expanding my context to better understand the manifestation of your gifts with me and others through coaching and Seven Stones. And accordingly I ordered your Creation Kit to help me set my intentions as I embark on a new direction for my work and hopefully my book. Thank you!

  78. “Gina and Jen, thank you again for a life transforming workshop. The explorations and distinctions you have created and shared with us are deeply impacting my work and my life. I feel so blessed to be part of the conversation you are creating.”

    -J.A.O., Artist, Coach, Entrepreneur

  79. “I just want to express my gratitude to you for having me at the workshop and for all the love and thoughtfulness you poured into the program. That was one of the best things I’ve ever done.”

    – C.H., Professor of Business

  80. I just attended my second Seven Stones Workshop at the peaceful and lush Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat in Nassau. I didn’t think it could possibly match the first one, but it was even more enriching! The theme this time was “The Seven Laws of Enough”, explored through personal reflection, group and paired interaction and directed movement. Both Jen and Gina have a remarkable gift for creating trust and openness in a diverse group of people, and the payoff was an honest and potentially transformative experience for all. I especially appreciated their willingness to adapt the workshop process to the needs of the group as they unfolded. Thank you, Jen and Gina, and all who participated in this rare and beautiful event.

  81. I appreciated the structure and guidance that you both provided. I also appreciated the attention to the body as a portal and nature as a portal — they were distinct from one another and at the same time they complemented one another.
    You did a great job building a community of learners — through your practices, we had opportunity to work together and also to sit with ourselves and do some work on our own. I love the reminder to visit our individual practices and to commit ourselves anew to what we know to be important to our well-being.
    I was impressed with the way that you both were prepared for the emotional releases that your participants had. When emotions welled up, as they did for just about every participant, you both were prepared for the work associated with managing the emotion and holding the participant.

  82. Deep, deep gratitude for last week and for providing us with these LUSCIOUS materials.

  83. I wish to share a special ‘thank you’ for each of my beloved journey-mates. I am incredibly appreciative of your patience, kindness, generosity, wisdom and grace – particularly in the way you allowed space for me during this turbulent and transformative time in my life. I learned so much from each of you and the collective container – truly invaluable.

  84. Thank you so much for these! I can feel the centeredness you planted in me in the Bahamas seeping through my cells again as I just read the words, slides, and article.

  85. Combining the Seven Stones’ Workshop on Creating your Life Through Sustainable Abundance with a yoga retreat at the Sivananda Ashram was a magical experience for me. This was my first Seven Stones workshop and I was amazed at how quickly the bonds of trust and openness were forged, leading to a transformative experience for many in the group. Life at the ashram is both structured and calming, and I found it to be a catalyst for opening both body and mind to change. Attending the workshop in this setting made it all the more meaningful, providing a context of physical and spiritual strengthening. I had never been to an ashram and am only a beginner at yoga, yet I felt entirely comfortable being dropped into this other world. Thank you, Gina and Jen, for this experience, and I hope to do it again!

  86. “I’m THRILLED with them! I used them with a client today the way I did
    -pulling 3 cards with myself the other night-and morning at your house
    and it worked beautifully in conjunction with Leadership Embodiment
    Centering and Advocating! YAHOO! 🙂 My client loved it and is going to go
    on your website and order a workbook and a deck of cards so we can use it in our work together. I told her all about you 3 women and 7 Stones.”


  87. “The card desk is a reminder of my responsibility to self, GOD, family and the universe. I shared them with friends and they will be ordering sets for themselves. The card deck travels well – they fit in a small space and allow me to practice my journey of sufficiency wherever I am! They supplement the workbook nicely, and I will use them daily on my journey to sufficiency.”


  88. “A deep bow of gratitude for this simple, powerful context to invent a fresh future. Brilliant! This course improved my personal and business life, reduced my anxiety, and connected me to a conscious, creative community. Thanks. Looking forward to Step 3!”

    – M.P., Business Consultant

  89. “I never before experienced training like this. My mindset was challenged and gently changed to include a more expansive view—of myself and others and the world we share. I highly recommend it.”

    – V.R.D, President, Coaching & Consulting Firm

  90. “Through ongoing conversations about scarcity and sufficiency, I built my capacity to notice and choose how I participate in my life. I set down self-defeating beliefs and habits, and adopted more self-acceptance. Now my conversations and my life include more candor, more possibility and more joy.”

    — K.S.B, Executive Coach & Business Consultant

  91. “Jen and Gina invite and empower us to uncover and dispel self-limiting myths inherited from the culture, open our hearts and minds to the most relevant truths within each of us, and pay that learning forward to enhance and unite communities of all kinds. The community calls and gatherings were equally nurturing, transformational, fun, insightful and relationship-building. The homework alone is worth the price of admission! Do it. You will be so happy you completed this program.”
    — M.M., Consultant

  92. “A masterful training! Truly a deep dive into sufficiency and tools for learning and teaching sufficiency. From the in-depth reading list, homework, buddy calls and small group calls to the awesome in-person workshop work. I gained a new outlook on my inner and outer life. A deep sense of ease, enough and clarity on how I choose to live my life. Truly one of the most impact-full trainings I’ve ever done!”
    — R.W., Business Leader

  93. “Seven Stones’ masterful development of a rich community of learners is unrivaled! I’ve attended a fair number of trainings over my career. This is in another league. I stripped away unseen myths that were shaping my perspective. A must for leaders in every arena.”
    — V.R.D., President, Consulting Firm

  94. Yes and the very first is to pause…my sponsor called it the “sacred pause” and I do now, too…so a moment needs a pause = awareness of what is….and to stay on same course or choose another…

  95. I am thrilled to belong anywhere but especially within this amazing family of open minds and hearts!

  96. I love this meditation. I was able to tune into how tight I hold my knees and my feet, keeping me from truly feeling length and all the rest. I had a deep full breath that was a surprise as I softened into the core. Thank you!

  97. Gina, Thank you so much for your wise, caring words. There was a quote you mentioned (in the Fireside chat, 4/23/2021) about “each of us not being able to be all we ought to be until all of us could be what we ought to be.” That’s not it exactly, but could you give me the the right words? And who said it? I wanted to use it in a piece I am writing, prompted by an angry outburst by a white man in our local newspaper, who doubted the experience of a young black woman who was doing anti-racist activist work at a private school that she previously attended. I may or may not send it to the newspaper that the man’s letter appeared in. But it felt like a concrete practice to use the skills I have been learning in this Trauma and Racism class.
    ps I lived in Hamden for 20 years! I did look up the Elm Community Insight group! They have tons of recordings of meditation sessions. So thank you so much for that connection too!

4 Virtual Learning Sessions plus 6-month Racial Affinity Group Experience

For this learning path, you will participate in the 4 virtual learning sessions and be enrolled in one of three Racial Affinity Groups:

1) People who identify as People of Color (Black, Indigenous, Asian, Hispanic)

2) People who identify as Bi-Racial or Multi-Racial

3) People who identify as White

*More specific affinity groups may be formed upon the completion of course registration

We believe that it is important to do our own work with people with similar racial experiences to build capacity for cross-race dialogue that supports authentic relationships and deep belonging for everyone. We will ask you to self-select into the group that best aligns with your racial identity. We recognize that for some this is not a simple choice and we are available to have a conversation with you to support your selection.

Together we will:

  • Reflect personally and collectively on the impact of embodied trauma, separation, scarcity and disconnection.
  • Work in learning partners and/or small groups for the sake of holding each other accountable and deepening our learning through multiple disciplines.
  • Engage in embodied practices for unwinding from the impact of racism in order to build stamina, capacity, and resilience.

Online Zoom Sessions

Time: 11am-12:30pm ET/8am PT/4pm GMT*

When: 5-Sessions scheduled between Sept 28, 2023 – Jan 26, 2024 (see below)

*All sessions will run from 11am-12:30pm ET.

Racial Affinity Group Schedule
Thurs, September 28, 2023 — 11am-12:30pm ET Kick-off/ Authentic Communication
Thurs, November 2, 2023 — 11am-12:30pm ET Unpacking Our Racial Autobiographies
Friday, November 17, 2023 — 11am-12:30pm ET Self-Compassion
Thurs, December 7, 2023 — 11am-12:30pm ET What is Sustainable Abundance?
Thurs, January 25, 2024 — 11am-12:30pm ET Inclusive Leadership

Course Registration

Upon registration, you will be directed to our online community space, where all aspects of your program will live, including: pre-work, event links, and a space to connect with fellow participants.

4 Virtual Learning Sessions Only

These four learning sessions will provide you with a new view and innovative framing of the problem as we see it. Below is a brief description of what will take place in each session:

  • Learning Session 1: Why Context Matters
    In session one, we look at our individualist narratives and the impact of not understanding the context in which we exist. 
  • Learning Session 2: Unpacking Trauma
    In session two, we discuss individual and collective trauma. We define trauma and look together about our current systems of inequality and how they evoke trauma-like responses in so many of us.
  • Learning Session 3: Global Anti-Black Racism: A History Lesson
    In session three, we get a history lesson like none other: we explore the global slave trade as the foundation for our current economic model.
  • Learning Session 4: Understanding Power
    In our last session, we examine power; power structures, our relationships with personal power; the importance of learning a healthy relationship with power when so many of us have had power abuse in our lives.

Online Zoom Learning Sessions

Time: 11am-1pm ET/8am PT/4pm GMT*

When: 4-sessions scheduled between Sept 21, 2023 – Jan 18, 2024 (see details below)

*All sessions will run from 11am-1pm ET.

Learning Session Schedule
Thurs, September 21, 2023 — 11 - 1pm ETWhy Context Matters
Thurs, October 26, 2023 — 11 - 1pm ET Unpacking Trauma
Thurs, November 16, 2023 — 11 - 1pm ET Global Anti-Black Racism: A History Lesson
Thurs, January 18, 2024 — 11 - 1pm ET Understanding Power

Course Registration

Upon registration, you will be directed to our online community space, where all aspects of your modular program will live, including: pre-work, event links, and a space to connect with fellow participants.