When we have awakened to the truth that we are all one in love

I have lived long enough to see
hate fade from the eyes of men and women as they are forgiven

I have lived long enough to see
men and women of difference holding hands in similarity

I have lived long enough to hear
the one song that we all sing as we recognize our unity in the Divine

I have lived long enough to experience
men and women so committed to love they would choose to die before bing unkind

I have lived long enough to see
hatred fade from the eyes of men and women when they are aware 
that they cannot hurt another without also hurting themselves

Our birthright gifts...

I continue to learn that deep within us is a beautiful well of compassion and empathy.  Our everyday acts of kindness and generosity are ripples of the deeper underground well of shared humanity and love.  I believe much of humanity is waiting for someone to give them permission to reveal the depth of their love.

This is our time.  We are called to increase compassion and empathy in our world.  "Survival of the fittest is not the only law in nature." - Mark Nepo.  Darwin's theory of evolution tells us we must adapt to survive.  Flexibility, adaptability: the heart and soul of being human.  Now we are being called to reveal our deepest humanity.

We must be willing to be fully human.  We must be willing to be authentic, transparent, vulnerable, compassionate, and empathetic.

"Nothing anyone else can do to us is worse than what we do to ourselves by not being who we are, by not remembering our birthright gifts and using them in service of the community." - Parker Palmer

This is the deep miracle of humanity.  We must be willing to use our birthright gifts to serve the world.  Our birthright gifts are love, kindness, generosity, courage, compassion and empathy.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.  
We are spiritual beings having a human experience." - Teilhard de Chardin

Educational Leadership

"What, if anything, about the way people are leading today needs to change in order for leaders to be successful in a complex, rapidly changing environment where we're faced with seemingly intractable challenges and an insatiable demand for innovation?" - Dr. Brene Brown

I have the privilege to work with outstanding educational leaders throughout the United States.  As I interact with Superintendents, Principals and teacher leaders, I find that many of them have the skills needed to deal with today's challenges.  One dear friend, a Principal whom I admire greatly, refers to herself as the "lead learner" in her school.  What a wonderful awareness.  We are all lifetime learners.  Either we are busy learning or we are busy dying.  The willingness to learn, grow and be vulnerable including being able to admit "I don't know the answer, but let's work together to find it."

I find that the educational leaders I love working with are courageous.  They are deeply committed to the growth and well-being of everyone for whom they care for and lead. "Every single employee is someone's son or someone's daughter.  Like a parent, a leader of a company is responsible for their precious lives." - Bob Chapman

I also find that courage being modeled when educational leaders tell their story.  When we tell our story, we empower others to do the same.  We realize we are not the only one.  We realize we are not alone.  We are connected by our common humanity.

I feel that educational leaders have the courage and skill to give specific, descriptive, observable feedback to those they lead.  This feedback offers opportunity for growth and development.

Educational leaders also speak their truth.  When new agendas and mandates with short time lines erupt, they speak to the fears and challenges that they and their staff feel.

Educational leaders model trust.  They work at building relationships and building community.  They listen to different perspectives.  They seek to understand and work towards empathy.  "Trust profoundly impacts performance by providing the foundation for effective teamwork and intrinsic motivation." - Dr. Paul Zak

Educational leaders acknowledge, affirm and celebrate the hard work of the educators who devote their lives to children.

Educational leaders show value and appreciation to everyone on their staff.  As one dear Superintendent friend once said "We love our staff and students when we hold them accountable."

Educational leaders welcome diversity.  They celebrate inclusion.  They understand having hard conversations about differences enriches our community and builds everyone's trust.

When something goes wrong, educational leaders take responsibility and they make every effort to make it right. 

As I continue to assess myself on a daily basis and continue to learn from all the educational leaders I am blessed to work with, I find that I need to continue to find the courage to be vulnerable and speak my truth and listen to your truth.  I need to remain true to my core values of love and commitment.  I need to continue to trust and forgive when trust is broken and trust again.

I need to rise up again and again and again.

The time is now!

Everything depends on the choices we make now.

Now is the hour.
Now is the time.

We need to take responsibility
We need to stand up
We need to answer these essential questions

Are you living a life that serves others?
Are you doing things that bring health and healing to the world?
Are your relationships healthy?
Are you growing?

It is time to speak your truth
It is time to create community
It is time to listen
It is time to understand

Be Kind

Do not look to the world for leadership
Look inside yourself

You are the leader!
Stand up
Speak your truth
The time is now!

- Adapted from a Hopi Elder