December 22nd, 2009

Maybe it’s the time of the year – long days, warm evenings, sitting about with a bottle of wine, chatting with good friends. End of the year, beginning of a new one. Is it any wonder that ideas abound? That anything seems possible?

I was listening to Sir Ken Robinson on the radio today. He was asked about ‘lucky’ people – what makes some people lucky? He said it’s about seeing opportunities, rather than barriers. Whatever makes us lucky, I feel incredibly lucky – to be living right now, to be able to work in different countries and with amazing people, to have really good friends just around the corner and on the other side of the planet, to be able to use skype to pretty much talk to anyone, anywhere, any time, to have people who love me and support me, to live in a beautiful part of the world, to make enough money to be satisfied and not so much that I’m obsessed, and to have opportunities to take advantage of all that.

So I want to thank you for the part you’ve played, and to wish you a Happy Christmas or joyful holidays or just a relaxing break. And I’m looking forward to a lot more conversations, new and enduring relationships, and everything that flows from that.

Friends and community

December 15th, 2009

IMG_1619This last week I was reminded just how valuable friends and community are, especially for those of us who (mostly) work alone.

I was in India. Chennai. A city of some million people. I asked one of the Indian participants the population of Chennai. To be fair, he wasn’t from there, and his answer was, “Maybe 5 million. Or it could be 10 million. Not sure.” I pointed out that that was a 5 million difference. He shrugged, and smiled. I guess that’s how you feel about population when you come from a country that has 1,140,000,000+ people.

I was facilitating a five-day workshop with numbers varying from 80+ people to around 30. Participants came from around the world. Some were fresh and enthusiastic. Others were tired and jaded. This made for some interesting dynamics! The expectations also varied widely with lots of factions and interest groups jockying for position. While this kept me busy trying to juggle all these expectations, I was also on high alert watching for offers and noticing without judging – harder than it sounds!

Even though I was surrounded by people, many of whom I had met before, it was a bit lonely. I couldn’t download all of my thoughts to anyone, so my computer and my friends that live in it became a lifeline to sanity, to laughs, to reality and to some bloody good advice. So to my friends on skype, on Facebook, on ning and on email – a heartfelt thank you.

Time well spent

November 21st, 2009

Here’s some images from my recent trip to the US. I was there on holidays, and to attend the Applied Improv Conference in Portland, Oregon.


The highlights were the scenery, autumn colours, fresh snow, Yosemite (wow!), indulging my passion for photography, sharing the improv conference with my good friends Anne Pattillo, Geoff Brown and Chris Corrigan and the deepening friendships that develop from shared experiences, seeing Geoff and Chris improvise music on stage in Portland, and reconnecting with old friends. There were also some people I missed, and some new friendships forged, many ideas, time to reflect, laugh, and re-energise. Time well spent indeed.


July 31st, 2009

Don’t you think it’s interesting how twitter and facebook and whatever else is out there reflects the school yard? The way we now have ‘levels’ of friends? I suppose it’s a way to try and manage all these people we’re now connected with one way or another.

I think real friends are pretty precious. They’re not just people we met at a conference who we find interesting – they’re willing to be connected in a way that nourishes both of us.

Then there’s the phenomenon of following someone on twitter, for example, a complete stranger to begin with and over time, coming to sort of know them. I say sort of, because I’m not convinced we can really know someone well without meeting them in the flesh. But then again, I’ve been wrong about lots of other things!

On the whole, I’m pretty happy with being connected in all sorts of ways to all sorts of people – some of whom I’ve met, some I haven’t. And I still enjoy that great feeling of being with someone with whom I just click, and the way we can enjoy each other’s company without having to work at it, without having to, heavens forbid, network. Thats’ why I’ll continue to travel in all ways possible – electronic and real. Oh, and I’m still waiting for that cool George Jetson travel thingy that will make travel SO much easier!


April 17th, 2009

Generosity is such a wonderful gift. One that I’ve been the recipient of this week. I could, and should, write more. Suffice to say ‘thank you’ to Chris, Johnnie, Geoff and Nic.