Monday, February 28, 2011


I met a lovely woman named Holley during our recent trip to Utah.  She was especially lovely because she was helping me improve my very modest ability to ski.  I asked for a very patient instructor.  She was patient, and wonderfully enthusiastic.  She moved my brain past the "death wedge" to a new place!  I have been blessed to have worked with two other amazing instructors, and so I had a solid foundation, but Holley helped me take a huge leap -- of faith, of not taking my fear so seriously, and of allowing myself to get out of my own way.  Something altered in the way that I moved, and I could feel lots of small pieces of experience and information synthesize.  I am grateful for her assistance and sense of humor!  And, for her use of the word "surrender."

I have been reading a book called Three Feet from Gold (Gred Reid and Sharon Lechter).  It has some great pieces of advice, one of which is Stop Overplanning.  When I look at the progress I've made there is no reason to believe I won't be successful as I continue on.  Boy, is that hard to believe as I attempt to take the next step.  It sees silly but I think I have to learn to surrender to success.

So, I revisit that feeling of things synthesizing.  That is something I'd like to help others to feel.  One conference, game and conversation at a time...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Toolbox Conference

I am going to have a conference.  It was a concept in my imagination, and now it's going to happen.  That comes from the "if you can conceive and believe, you can achieve" model.  Plus, it's key to have good friends and lots of people who don't shut out the intention right away.

Kids have a lot of value in their lives.  They spend a lot of hours learning things like how words are spelled, how math works, what science is, reading, how to make art, the list goes on.  As they grow older decisions start popping up on the screen, whether they are home-schooled or in a school.  They need to make a decision about whether they are going to high school, then college, then what they are going to start doing in their adult lives.

I reach back to my own experience.  I know I wanted to go to the University of Michigan.  That was because it was well-known, and my best friend's brother went there.  Then, she did.  People outside of Michigan knew of UMich.  I was offered a full-ride at Western Michigan University.  I wasn't sure that anyone outside of Michigan had ever heard of WMU.

So, I got myself into UMich.  I went there, which is a long story itself.  Then, I graduated.  I had no idea what to do after that, so I followed my father's advice and got a $10,000/year job as a civil servant.  I was way overqualified, and miserable.  It took some time to get out of that quagmire.  And, I could never answer the question, "what are you good at?  what do you want to do?"  As far as I was concerned, there was nothing I was particularly good at, and nothing I could realistically accomplish.

Switch back to "now."  I have spent my life jumping in and just doing things.  Not a smooth career path, but definitely interesting at times.  And now I can answer those questions.

So, I believe if you give kids a tool to examine and assess what they've done, put some value on it, and then have them try using some of those things in a controlled experiment of sorts.  And, you throw in some interesting and inspiring adults briefly telling their own stories, and then sitting down with those kids in the controlled experiments, the kids will benefit.  They will be able to start to answer the beginning questions they will need to answer to set a course as they progress through their lives, on their own journeys.