Archive for Worthiness – Page 2

Class in Session

By guest blogger, Carolyn Cook.

I feel like such an idiot

Brave soul that I am, I’ve ventured into new career territory this fall, and I’m already wishing I’d bought a career GPS. Or at least a map.

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be teaching a university class two days a week, and two high school classes one day a week.  I haven’t actually taught a class yet, but that hasn’t stopped me from developing a severe case of impostor syndrome.

Sure, I know the material.

But that doesn’t mean I can teach it! It certainly doesn’t mean I can write a SYLLABUS for it, for heaven’s sake.  Come to think of it, writing a syllabus scares me a lot more than teaching the class does, because it requires actual planning. This is a problem, because (a.) I don’t like planning, and (b.) I’m going to be teaching Voice and Speech for the Actor, and I’d really like to meet my students and evaluate their needs before I decide what we’re going to be doing on a Tuesday afternoon eight weeks from now.

My syllabus has to contain information about course objectives, homework assignments (Use Your Voice! Speak!), and plagiarism, which is also a problem because I’m planning to lift much of the content from the department chair’s most recent syllabus. (If I give him credit, am I cheating?)

I am going to love my students; I always love acting students. 

I love their breakthrough moments, their discoveries, their growth.  But I usually teach outside of academe.  Those students know I’m a professional actor, and they want to learn what I know.

These new students are going to need even more. They are going to need academic credit.  And to get that credit, they are going to need HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS, and they are going to need GRADES. But before anything else, they are going to need a SYLLABUS.

Oh heavens.  What have I gotten myself into?

This is what hanging out with a bunch of risk-takers will get you, folks.  Watch out!

This post first appeared on True Voices’ RiskADay blog project, which has now concluded.

 is a sometimes peaceful, sometimes frazzled individual who works to a raise a daughter, build a marriage, and explore the human condition through theatre, art, music, history, literature, and relationship. She is now posting her thoughts on her own blog here at https://lifelongmetamorphoses.wordpress.com/author/cook1123/.

PS While most of the pictures on this site were taken Laura Overstreet Biering (me), this one was not, and I know not who the photographer is. Since it was taken quite a while ago, and it is of my father, Robert Overstreet, doing what he loved best in all the world, teaching, I took the liberty of posting it. If you know who the photographer is, please let me know. I would be happy to give credit where credit is due!

Profile Picture + One

By Guest Blogger, Betsey Brogan.

“The younger generation” has grumbled about how the average age on Facebook is old enough to be grandparents. No, it didn’t start out that way. But, as time goes on, more of us who have seen lots of birthdays have found joy in reconnecting with long time friends through Facebook.

Unlike many things in our hectic lives, it’s easy to log on and learn about friends, see and share pictures, and jot a note – all in the time it takes to eat breakfast. We’re able to write to people, who. because of distance and time, had fallen off our to-do lists; people with whom re-connecting does the heart some good.

Then I post a picture of myself and my same sex partner. Yikes! Talk about stepping out onto a whole new platform of risky.

The way I look at it, though, is that some, those who don’t know about my 10 year relationship, may be surprised. But if we are to be authentic in our “sharing,” I want them to know about my house and home, which includes this fantastic woman who wants to be with me in the good and bad for the rest of my life.

Others may see my profile pic and say to themselves:,“I guess I don’t want to ‘friend’ her after all.” And to them I say, “It’s my life, and it’s up to me whether I want to live it authentically or live in such a way that is easier for others to take.

When I first came out to my Dad many, many years ago, his first response was, “Your mother and I will always love you, just don’t tell anyone OK?” Bless his heart. Over time, he came to realize that being gay wasn’t fatal and what truly matters is how a person loves, lives and contributes to her community.

Posting a picture of my partner and me may be risky. I’ll never know what those who regretted “friending” me thought when they saw it. I do know that it has welcomed some of my friends from the past to seek me out as counsel, in regards to how to interact with their gay children. That is really an honor.

Something about living out loud, and risking being authentic, has signaled to my dear friends, that I am a safe place for tough questions they are asking themselves. What an honor, really. And how reaffirming that I can live a life I am proud of.

So, Dad, if you are listening, “I don’t go out of my way to tell anyone I am gay, just as you don’t tell anyone that you are an American. It’s just who I am.”

Live your life to the fullest, live with integrity, and don’t be surprised if someday someone asks you questions from their heart. What a gift those ‘heart to heart’ talks are. What a precious gift.

This post originally appeared as a part of True Voices’ RiskADay project, which has now concluded.

 is on her way to creating World Peace – one massage at a time. On-site Chair Massage and In-Home table massage. Bringing Stress Relief to You.

Red Light, Green Light – Time for a Change?

By Guest Blogger, Betsey Brogan.

Why is it so difficult for me to give myself a break?

I hope it’s not going to take my whole life until I learn the importance of rest. How ironic! But sometimes it certainly feels that way.

If I go on vacation, change my location, turn off all connections to the world, then I can take a break. But what if I need to do this right here at home? There always seems to be something that has to be done, someone I need to call, something that must be crossed off the list.

One lesson I learned while I attended massage school was that pain is the body’s way of communicating to us that something is out of balance. For example, carpal tunnel syndrome may be the body’s way of telling you that you are working too many hours, or that you may to rethink your ergonomics at your workplace. The pain in your wrist may be your body’s way of telling you that something needs to change.

From Wikipedia, we learn that homeostasis (from Greek: homoios, “similar”; and histēmi, “standing still”;) is the property of a system that regulates its internal environment and tends to maintain a stable, constant condition. When our bodies are out of homeostasis, they start to communicate to us this need for change.

When systems are out of balance, things begin to break down.

We all know the importance of eating right, getting plenty of rest and exercise. But when we slack on any of these self-maintenance habits, our bodies don’t work at their best. And we get uncomfortable, cranky, and/or sick.

It really is true that the world will go on without us. Things that need to get done will get done. Therefore, it’s essential that we learn to listen to our bodies when they tell us to stop.

It quite literally is a life lesson.

I don’t know about you, but the next time my body tells me to slow down, I am going to listen.

What a lifesaver!

Note: This post originally appeared on True Voices’ RiskADay blog project, which has now concluded.

 is on her way to creating World Peace – one massage at a time. On-site Chair Massage and In-Home table massage. Bringing Stress Relief to You.

How Now, Brown Cow?

Howdy!

Yesterday, I published a post entitled “Are You Playing the Tapes All the Way Through?” In it, I shared about an inner conflict I’d had and how I became clear about the way I could best to handle it. I also promised to give you seven additional strategies for getting clear about your best course of action when faced with multiple, conflicting choices. But I’m not going to do that…

I’m going to give you eight – nine in all! 🙂

Before I get to the list, though, I’m going to go ahead and give you your homework. Just as I suggested yesterday, please begin using these strategies right away. They’ll be useful for you all along your journey, but only if you remember them and how to put them into in play. Plus, using them will enable you to figure out which ones best fit your style. All of them won’t.

Now, here we go:

  1. Ask yourself which choice is more aligned with your long-term goals, and which is choice is more about getting what you want right now, or in the short-term,
  2. Check in with your Higher Power, whether you call that your Higher Self, the Divine within you, God, Goddess, the Universe, the Great Spirit, or some other entity or term more preferable to you. Listen closely, and then be willing to act on what you hear,
  3. Honestly contemplate how you’d expect to feel after having acted on each of the different choices, then be willing to give yourself the gift of acting on the one that genuinely feels the best (In case you missed it, this is the condensed version of yesterday’s “playing the tapes all the way through,”
  4. Imagine you are watching a movie in which you are the beloved heroine or hero, facing the same situation as you’re facing in real life. Ask yourself what decision you’d want your character to take, which course of action you think would do her or him the most good,
  5. Listen to the suggestions of your friends, certainly. Remember, though, that they are only suggestions, based on their own experiences and perspectives of how the world works. You get the final say,
  6. Ponder which choice will further you along the path of becoming who you want to be and creating the life you desire, and which choice(s) would take you in another direction entirely,
  7. Present the conflict to your inner board of advisors or your your inner wise counsel. This entity is made up of people you admire, dead or alive, real or fictional, such as Eleanor Roosevelt or your late grandfather, or like your mentor coach or Atticus Finch. They don’t even have to be people. Sometimes I think about what my dog Little Bit would do, or I check in with the deer or a favorite tree. Think about what you know or at least what you imagine to be true about these beings. Then, make up what you think they’d do in this situation, and thus would advise you to do, too,
  8. Reflect on why you want to do each of the choices, letting the different voices in your head have their say. (No, this doesn’t make you crazy – we all have voices in our heads!) Then, having heard from each member of your *Inside Team, take charge and make an executive decision, laying down the law about the the next step you’ve decided to take,
    Then last, and perhaps my favorite,
  9. Take the time to ponder which choice is the more loving one, and which is more of an indulgence. (Ouch. This one gets me every time.)

Gosh, who knew there were so many different ways to consider the most suitable choice when faced with a difficult (or even seemingly simple) decision? But that’s good. We want to be equipped with a variety of ways to handle inner conflict, because they do and will continue to happen.

Even though I was able to list nine strategies here, I’m certain there are more.

How do you choose what’s next for you when faced with two or more ways you could go? What do you use as the scale with which to weigh your options? I do hope you’ll comment below with your favorite techniques. I’d love to keep adding to my list, both for myself, my clients, and any others who might stop by True Voices’ Be You Out Loud blog for a little love and inspirationg.

One last thing: It may be scary to slow down, in order to make the right decision for you in the moment, but you’re worth it. Don’t think so? Trust me. I know.

OK, my lovely. Get ready, get set, get clear!

*Important note: The Inside Team is a fun and powerful coaching methodology, and the brain child of Master Certified Coach, Cynthia Loy Darst of the Coaches Training Institute, the Center for Right Relationship (CRR Global), and her own company she shares with her husband, Inspiration Point.

If you are an advanced coach, and you’re reading this post on the 17th of September, please know that there is an Inside Team Coach Training Course that starts today! It’s not too late to sign up. Just go to the Inside Team Coach Training Course page on Center for Right Relationship’s website by clicking here and check it out. I’d be willing to bet that if you see this within the week after the start date, and want to join the tele-training then, they would let you in then, too! And, even though I don’t get any money for signing you up for the course, I am one of the Inside Team Mentor Coaches. I would love to have you join me there!

And last but certainly not least…

Cynthia Loy Darst is wise beyond her years, and someone I’m grateful to be able to call my teacher, mentor, and friend. Check out her delightfully insightful and deeply moving TEDx talk here.

Celebrating a Birthday

By Betsey Brogan, Guest Blogger.

There is a temptation as you accumulate them, to let birthdays slide by quietly. Maybe if I keep my head down and remain absolutely still, this day will pass without any effect on me at all. Yeah, right. Like that could happen. The birthday comes and with it those little voices in your head: “Another one?” “You are looking a little older.” “You probably can’t run like you did when you were younger.” (You know, the voices that remind you of limitations)

So, I have taken inspiration from others and I am claiming my birthday. Yes! Let’s celebrate! Let’s have a party! Let’s get together and eat something really yummy and share some laughter and good times!

Life is a gift. I am gonna celebrate it for all it’s worth. I am gonna celebrate it when I get a good test result. I am gonna celebrate it when I climb Stone Mountain. I am gonna celebrate it when I look into the eyes of my nephews and tell them an amazing story about the loved ones who came before them and illuminated this world with grit and moxie.

I have been given one life. I aim to misbehave. I aim to revel in the lives of people I find fascinating. I challenge myself to speak my mind. And speaking of my mind, I am gonna stretch my mind to the great expanse of discovery. I am gonna glory in the beauty of creation. I strive to experience all that life has to offer. I am eager to run into the swell of greatness. I intend to love with my whole heart.

Life is giving me a birthday. Let’s Celebrate!

This post originally appeared on my RiskADay blog project, which has now concluded. 

Betsey Brogan is on her way to creating World Peace – one massage at a time. On-site Chair Massage and In-Home table massage. Bringing Stress Relief to You.

And by the way, today, September 13th, is actually her birthday!

Bright Lights and Barred Owls, an Elegy

Today, on September 11th of all days, I present a poem for you. It is in loving memory of my client turned friend, Tayyibah Taylor. She was a brave and beloved ambassador of – and dedicated activist for – world peace.

“A Bright Light, A Barred Owl: An Elegy”

Our bright light has moved on.Tayyibah Taylor in hot pink
And we have moved
From Shock and Disbelief
To broken-heartedness
For ourselves, for all – and at the
Loss of her song, and her being
That mellifluously brought a potent, loving message.

Our bright light has moved on.
Clothed in vibrant wisdom, and with
Exquisite engagement,
Her worldwide heart and
Her other worldly delight,
No longer embrace us –
Not in this realm.

Tayyibah Taylor w/sparkler

Sparkling Tayyibah and her Sparkler

Our bright light has moved on.
We know not to where –
Perhaps Allah as she believed.
We do know
As she lost her battle,
We lost a champion and one
Of the highest magnitude.

Our bright light has moved on.
And she visited me, on the way to her
Soul’s next evolution, by embodying a barred owl.
Cloaked in the song of “Who cooks for you?” she spoke
As in unison with Quan Yin. “I hear your cry.
Compassion and Mercy to all,
Including you.”

Our bright light has moved on
Though her message lingers – an invitation
To be a woman with wings, migrating as necessary,
Leading us all heartlong with her love lantern
So that we see the divine, invisible and
See beyond the human, visible
In the faces of our families and our enemies.

Tayyibah Taylor

Tayyibah Taylor, in the Colors of our Planet

Our bright light has moved on.
She now beckons us to pick up our purposes,
Travel across borders created by mankind,
And through veils created by a power
Greater than we, and surrender,
Finally, to building and then crossing countless
Bridges to peace.

II.
For your life, Sister Tayyibah Taylor, bright and
Guiding light, we give thanks.
And for the gifts you brought us,
The gift that you were,
We will know you, in the call of the barred owl,
The eyes of the gentle doe, and the magnificence of the flamingo,
If we will but listen, if we will but see.

III.
Our bright light has moved on
And so must we –
Not soon, but eventually –
When we are ready.
We must get ready.
But first, we must grieve.
Our bright light has moved on.

Laura Overstreet Biering, Clarkston, GA
©2014 All rights reserved

PS To learn more about Tayyibah and her legacy, click on her name in the opening paragraph, and/or visit these links:

PPS To learn more about the Barred Owl and the “medicine” it is believed to bring, visit one of these links:

PPPS  And finally, just to be clear… As you know, the majority of photographs on this blog are ones I’ve taken. The ones included in this post, however, are not. If and when I find out whose they are, I will certainly post that here.

Will I Do, a poem

Will I Do

I bow to the world
In awe of its beauty
Complexity

From the chair where I sit.
I listen, listen,
Hear, hear

Sounds, audible and
Messages, inaudible.
Now what

Will I do

With what
I have
Heard?

Rise and live it
Or remain
In this chair?

What will I do?
What?
Regardless

Of what
I do do,
Will I do?
©2014 Laura Overstreet Biering, Clarkston, GA

Risking a New Self-image

By Guest Blogger,  Carolyn Cook.

What felt like a tiny risk a month ago has grown into a major accomplishment.

Last month I wrote about deciding to be on time. I had to face some uncomfortable facts about myself, and I had to choose to change some behaviors. The risky part was admitting that my lateness wasn’t a charming personality trait: it was a bad habit, nothing more and nothing less.

For the last month, I’ve been putting gold stars on my calendar whenever I’m on time, and black marks whenever I’m late, even by a minute. The percentage of gold stars is growing, and they make my calendar look bright and triumphant, hanging on the back of my kitchen door. The black marks don’t depress me; they just remind me that I still have work to do.

So, if I can change this seemingly fixed aspect of my personality, what else can I change? Scary question. And the answer has come more quickly than I expected. I can stop seeking approval in my career, and start believing in myself, no matter what anyone else thinks of me.

The other day I was working with a director for the first time, and I caught myself thinking that she might not like my work. She might already be regretting her decision to cast me. After all, I have this flaw and that weakness. I’m not really the kind of actor she’s looking for.

And then it hit me: oh, I have this flaw and that weakness, and I assume that those are set in stone. I assume that they hold me back, and that people only work with me because they are willing to overlook those flaws.  But the flaws are part of me, and alas, there is nothing I can do about them. I must depend on the kindness of strangers if I am to advance in my career.

Really? What if those flaws are like my tendency to be late: bad habits, nothing more, nothing less? What if I can do something about them? What would happen if I did? Can I risk being perceived, and perceiving myself, in a new light?

I’ve already started seeking some training this month to improve in the areas where I believe I’m weak. I’m already seeing progress – frustratingly slow progress, but progress just the same. I’m already tempted to give up the struggle and fall back on my weakness.

But I’m really curious to know what will happen if I don’t.

Taking on a New Position

By Anita Horsley

I am taking the risk of taking on another responsibility at work. I am taking a class next week for the incident management team public information officer. This is a class with very experienced fire officer’s who work on large incidents and I have never done this position before. So I am trying to take the attitude that I am there to learn, not to look good. But it is challenging  for me not to want to be perfect at everything immediately and to quit before I go. So I have to take this risk, get up, do my homework, go to the class and allow myself to be extremely unsure without shaming myself and then trust the process.

This post first appeared on my Risk-A-Day blog.

 lives in Eugene, OR with her life partner of 9 years. She works for the Oregon State Fire Marshal office as a training & development specialist and was a firefighter for 10 years prior to that. She won the World Champion firefighter combat challenge in 2005 in addition to the State and National championship 2004-2006. She loves the outdoors, running in the woods with her dogs and traveling. VisitAnita’s website.

Diverging a Bit

By guest blogger, Claudia Brogan.

I am on what I suppose might be called a ‘Second Career.’  (Well, maybe a third if you count the year I worked exhaustedly as a high school English teacher. Another story, another day.)

My first career made good sense, one position following logically up the ladder and leading to the next (in University student affairs, advising, and teaching.)  But then I came to a crossroads, and not a single position could I find in my chosen field. Stymied, I wondered, what the heck am I going to do now??

After a serendipitous lunch & meeting a lovely Mover & Shaker, I was graciously ushered onto a whole new career path. The whole world of public health is way different than where I was headed… but has turned out to be pleasant, full of good-hearted people, and interesting work. Now, there are sure some days when some of the technical stuff feels like ‘yada, yada, yada.’  But other days are zippy, and I get some delightful assignments.

Truth be told, though, it’s been a scary ride sometimes, risky indeed. I’ve had more than a few of those out-of-body moments when I ask ‘how the bleep did I land HERE?’  And those days when I wonder if the bosses will ever despair of my learning curve and ask themselves why they hired an English major for this.

So I’ve learned to get in touch with – and be ready to offer – the talents that I bring to our team that are different than the others. Sure, they have eons of public health examples to describe and offer… but I’ve got other, supplemental project-management and group-dynamics lessons I can share that will help with convening and facilitating our external and internal group meetings.

Having the guts to speak up with an observation or a resource has become just the antidote I’ve needed for getting me through those ‘Yikes, what could I offer?’ scary moments.  This, it turns out, has not been an easy path, this diverging career path. But I’m glad and grateful to get to be in it– and learning to soothe the risk-related sweaty palms with some color, some input and some helpful experience.  Diverging can bring some gifts of its own!

Claudia Brogan is a lifelong trainer and educator, having worked and taught at universities in student leadership, psychology, student advising, and counseling. Lately, she’s foraying into doing training in the public health arena, which is a very different world indeed, a risk in itself! She’ll try anything once, if it sounds fun, and so she’s joining this circle of resourceful, colorful, gutsy women – what the hell?! Claudia can be reached on Facebook.

This post originally appeared on RiskADay.com.