time isn’t money; relationship is.

A six-year-old boy in Colorado was recently expelled from school and charged with sexual harassment for showing affection for a classmate by kissing her on the cheek. The school had a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment and he had crossed that line, most likely unknowingly. When the Virginia Tech shootings occurred in 2007, there was a rule on the books banning professors from touching students. After the massacre, one professor appealed to her Dean, saying, “these kids are traumatized and need comforting.” In that instance, the Dean replied, thankfully, with “err on the side of the hug.” While no one should be touched or kissed if they do not wish to be, in regulating human behavior we have lost, or at the least misplaced, the capacity to be fully human in our workplaces and schools. We have abdicated to our HR departments the responsibility for creating and enforcing rules against showing human compassion and relatedness. The rules of human conduct are no longer things we need to be responsible for respecting—that will be done for us by management. What this doesn’t allow for is the possibility that work can be a place for more fully human interaction, that employees and students can make wise decisions about how they interact with others, and that we’ve often mistaken human affection for human sexuality. Yes, decorum is required, unwanted touching is never appropriate, and work should be “professional.” But abdicating our own responsibility for these decisions is not serving us well. It is time to rethink our definition of “professional” to include “fully human.” How can we respect the boundaries of...

strong offer friday

LIFE IS A VERB CAMP – A Camp for Adults who want to Love Well, Live Fully, Let Go Deeply, and Make a Difference September 24-27, 2015 Asilomar Retreat by the Sea, Pacific Grove, CA Like everything else, Life is a Verb Camp evolves. It is living into my vision for it more and more with each year, bringing people from around the world to explore courage, creativity, community, and compassion in a safe space full of meaning, music, sharing, knowing, and laughter. The community that comes together for Camp is an extraordinary group–welcoming, honest, generous learners who continue being a strong-knit group long after Camp ends. I was THRILLED yesterday to announce the final speakers and workshop leaders for Camp 2015, including our Focus and Spark Speakers, our Becoming Bendy leaders, and our Create Workshops teachers. Add all that goodness to keynote speeches by poet and writer Stephen Kuusisto, performance poet and body activist Sonya Renee Taylor, and humorist and writer David Roche, and wow. Add THAT to an opening art party that will benefit homeless youth. Add THAT to four amazing pre-Camp full-day workshops. This will be a weekend to remember. We have 40 tickets left. We cap Camp at 150 people. Join us for this Renaissance weekend. It will be transformational–I can promise that. VERBTRIBE VerbTribe is an 8-week writing course for people who have started and stopped writing many times. Want to build a consistent and sustainable writing practice? This is for you. Over 250 people have joined the VerbTribe since it began in 2012. This is not a “10 Tips for Writing” kind of class. This...

thinking thursday

mind Oh, Harper Lee. You deserve better than this at the end of your life. How mindfulness changes your life. body Just flip it over. Need to create Infographics? Here you go. I bet this would ship well if you made me one. My favorite make-one-day-and-eat-the-next dish. Because, marinating. And anything with peanut dressing is a friend of mine. soul So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection. Create Workshops at Camp are good for your soul. Trust me on this. word “It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it’s called Life.” ―Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent  – Rest in Peace, Terry Prachett. You are gone far too soon. (Photo: Emma came for a little visit this...

thinking thursday

mind Oh, if you love design, and you love Apple products, you will love this on the shape of things to come: “Jobs’s taste for merciless criticism was notorious; Ive recalled that, years ago, after seeing colleagues crushed, he protested. Jobs replied, ‘Why would you be vague?,’ arguing that ambiguity was a form of selfishness: ‘You don’t care about how they feel! You’re being vain, you want them to like you.’ Ive was furious, but came to agree. ‘It’s really demeaning to think that, in this deep desire to be liked, you’ve compromised giving clear, unambiguous feedback,’ he said. He lamented that there were ‘so many anecdotes’ about Jobs’s acerbity: ‘His intention, and motivation, wasn’t to be hurtful.'” Compassion and fundamental attribution errors. Important stuff for all of us to be aware of. body Frances McDormand on aging. The Power of Touch: “Touch itself appears to stimulate our bodies to react in very specific ways. The right kind can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels, stimulate the hippocampus (an area of the brain that is central to memory), and drive the release of a host of hormones and neuropeptides that have been linked to positive and uplifting emotions. The physical effects of touch are far-reaching….’Stress is an explicitly biological phenomenon,’ David Linden said when I asked him about the work, which came out after his book was complete. ‘The body talks to the brain, the brain to the body. The notion that someone’s immune status could be modified by activity in touch-sensitive regions of the brain is not at all crazy. One could certainly imagine a cellular-level explanation for how that...