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Showing posts from November, 2013

Developing Emotional Agility And Other Acts of Creation

Its 9 am. A group of staff therapists gather in the nicely-appointed conference room at the central office of this large not-for-profit organization for a special training session. The clinical director arranged this following a traumatic incident at one of the satellite locations, in which a new client was ambushed and assaulted as she walked through the dark parking lot to the office. The perpetrator disappeared into the woods alongside the largely-abandoned strip mall where the office was located and where staff had never felt safe in the first place. The young woman had broken away and screamed "call 911" as she ran through the door, triggering a legitimate panic in everybody there. Both therapists and clients working in quiet rooms were jolted into full-blown fight-or-flight mode. Reports of the incident had a ripple effect throughout the organization, since many of the satellite offices were in similar spaces where staff felt like sitting ducks having to stay open unti…

Smoking, Attentional Blindness and The Tensions of Change

          Part one in a series of articles about creativity and the process of change

The farm where I grew up outside a lovely, rural Wisconsin town could change your life in one poorly-timed, seemingly-minor decision. To wear loose-fitting gloves for feeding corn cobs into a crusher, for example, or close your eyes at the wrong second as pitchforks of hay are being thrown in your direction. Life on a working farm is peaceful, nature-centered, and rife with a hundred ways to die on any given day: Heavy equipment with fast-moving rotors and pistons and blade. Towering structures housing tons of grain and hay and free range rodents. Insecticides. Animals who know they are on death row. A person could be run over, buried, sliced, suffocated, burned, impaled, baled, poisoned, drowned, bitten, fall from a great height, at any moment on any given day. And nearly everybody smoked. In our tight-knit community, cigarettes were as much a part of the scene as bake sales, the county fair and Cate…