In February, I was given the opportunity to attend “The Art of Leadership”, a training offered by Rockwood Leadership Institute. One of the realizations I had at the training was that my current way of approaching my life is unsustainable. I say “yes”, a lot. And although I have had many amazing experiences, getting to stretch and grow and connect, it’s not a pace I can keep up. I started to wonder about my life-long pattern of being so busy all the time – going from a million miles an hour to a full stop to recover for a moment and then I’m already working on the next project. It makes me tired just typing this!

Somewhere along the line, I learned that achievement = worth. It is in “doing” and “accomplishing” that my life has value. But after a thoughtful conversation with someone in my training cohort, I started thinking about relationship; what if meaningful relationship = worth? What if I find my value in the quality of my presence as I engage with others? As a CPS, I find this particularly poignant as the foundation of our work is all based on building relationship.

When I think of “quality of presence” I mainly think about actually being fully present. Honoring others by listening and giving space to have real dialogue, not a series of monologues. We all know this isn’t always easy and yet with mindful attention, we can return back to the present moment.

What is most interesting to me, is that I get a great deal of joy and satisfaction from meaningful relationships, which I don’t often get from my “accomplishments.” My work over the rest of this year is to unpack all these lessons as I say “no” to anything that has a deadline (outside of work!) or doesn’t bring me joy. I’m making space to be more fully present and see what shows up and put relationships before tasks.

You’ll be reading more about my experience at Rockwood over the next couple months. For those of you who don’t know, the Peer Voice Embodied Leadership training was designed by Darlene Nipper and Niki Davis. Darlene is the CEO of Rockwood and I think we are immensely fortunate to have this training as a part of our program. We definitely have something special.


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