Tag: surrender


Good day, team.

It’s a new year, which is a great time to think about what changes we might like to make in our behavior. The first word that comes to my mind is “patience.”

I’m not very patient. When I begin a project, whether it’s something as simple as folding sweaters in my closet or something more complex like helping a team improve their interactions with one another, I jump in with a gleeful enthusiasm and quickly find myself wanting to be done. I am results-oriented, and the desire to get something done compels me like an impatient horse at the starting gate, snorting and straining against the bit to get down the track as quickly as possible so I can get over the finish line. It’s not about winning; it’s about getting the thing done.

This impatient approach works extremely well when on a hot deadline. Need to put out a fire? I’m your girl. But when it comes to being highly deliberative, focused on quality, analytical and well-paced, I struggle.

So here’s my challenge. I’m in the business of listening and talking with people all day, and nothing makes me happier than to be present with another person. At the same time, my impatience nags at me. In the back of my mind, I’m often thinking, “Come on, come on ― let’s get to the bottom of this so we can solve the problem and move on.” This nagging impatience threatens to barge into my peaceful, thoughtful, open-hearted presence, and take over.

So how can I temper my enthusiasm for completion so that my energy can serve me appropriately? I love to get started, but sometimes I have a hard time going the distance. This doesn’t mean I’m not loyal ― I’ve had many of the same clients for years and have gone many distances with them. But on a case-by-case basis, I find that extending a bit of patience could mean the difference between staying in the moment with someone versus moving on to the next idea, opportunity or line of thinking. We all know how irritating it is to be talking with someone only to realize that they’ve stopped listening. Sometimes they interrupt you, and other times it’s obvious that they’ve started thinking about something else. Sometimes they move onto their next thought and leave you behind. It’s pretty disrespectful to stop paying attention in the middle of a conversation. And I admit, I’m guilty of this some of the time.

Moreover, I realize that at the heart of it, life has it’s own timing, and I’m not in control. But I’m impatient to take over and push, to drive circumstances to a successful end.

I experience this most acutely as I watch my 93-year-old mother-in-law dying. She has been in hospice now for a number of months. On many occasions, we didn’t think she’d make it to the end of the week, and other times we’ve been surprised by her sound mental and physical abilities. As I sat with her the other day, holding her hand and watching her move in and out of a disturbed sleep, I realized that we don’t control death. It comes when it comes and that’s it. I know at times she has been impatient for all of the pain and suffering to end. But she’s had just as many days when she thought she might get better and was anxious to be able to get out of bed to do the simplest of things. No matter what her thoughts and no matter how impatient she may be to let go or hang on, it doesn’t really make any difference. She has to take each moment as it comes and accept, surrender and just be where she is.

What if down the road my own impatience decides it’s time to go, but death has not yet arrived? Or what if I become impatient with death and decide to fight it off? I believe we can be just as impatient to live as we can be to die. Ultimately, I’d prefer to peacefully accept my own death when it comes and not experience impatience with my circumstances and mortality.

So my challenge is to be more patient, to allow things to be what they are and try not to force them.
I’m going to start practicing today.

What is your challenge for 2014? What area of your life, your psychology, your behavior, your methodology do you want to improve on, change or just make better?

Have a good week,


© Copyright 2014 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.

10/30/11 “Vulnerability”

Good day, team.

First, I apologize that I was not able to publish a challenge last week. I had an accident on Saturday night and couldn’t send what I had written. I will send that challenge at another time when it seems more appropriate.

As many of you know, I fell down a flight of wooden stairs and landed on my face. I sustained a concussion, broke my nose, fractured a vertebra in my upper spine, and received numerous bruises and lacerations. Last Sunday, I looked like a ringer for the best Halloween zombie costume!

After three hours of emergency surgery, I was hospitalized until this past Wednesday and have been recuperating at home since then. Each day I make more progress. Many of the small things I previously took for granted have been such a joy to reintroduce into my day: breathing through my nose, having my taste buds re-emerge, brushing my teeth, reading a book. I do these small, banal activities each day without even thinking, but after days without them, it is so sweet to begin to do them for myself again. Of course, this accomplishment comes after having been completely dependent on others to care for me, from the moment my husband flew down the stairs to help me until I returned home from the hospital.

Herein lies the subject of this week’s challenge: vulnerability. The word vulnerable comes from the Latin vulnera, which means “to wound.” It is defined as, “capable or susceptible of being wounded or hurt, open to moral attack, criticism, difficult to defend.” All of these definitions elicit fear in us. Being completely defenseless and vulnerable with others is an experience we rarely allow to happen. Only when we are unable to defend ourselves from people or circumstances can the experience of being vulnerable occur.

Never have I been more vulnerable than I’ve been this past week. I’ve had no choice but to surrender completely to the care and consideration of others. The joy in this has been to see how incredibly loving and compassionate everyone has been. I have such clear memories from this past week: the elderly Latina ER nurse murmuring, “Parajito herido” (little wounded bird) with such tenderness as she cleaned the blood off my face; the surgeon placing his strong, reassuring hand on my shoulder as they wheeled me into the operating room; and the look of such love and relief on my husband’s face as he held the straw up to my mouth for my first sip of water after surgery. These images are chiseled into my memory.

I am a pretty controlling person. I have a hard time letting other people do things for me without giving them directions or advice. I’m in the business of serving and advising others on a daily basis, which is not uncommon for someone who has a controlling nature. The idea of being vulnerable is abhorrent to people like me. That’s why this past week has been such an eye opener. Being so vulnerable, I’ve had no choice but to let others take care of everything and just receive their love and kindness without resisting. And I can see how that is helping me heal — on a much more profound level than I ever imagined.

This week, consider letting your defenses down for a moment or two to allow others to help you. When someone offers to bring you coffee or pick up your dishes, let them. In meetings, don’t keep talking if you really don’t know the answer to a problem. Stop talking and ask others for help finding the right answer. If you’re having trouble trusting someone, try assuming positive intent and seeing what the outcome is. Sometimes we have to trust a little more than we’re comfortable with to find out that it’s okay. If you’re always the driver, how about sitting in the back seat and letting someone else drive? You may actually enjoy the ride instead of being so determined to get everyone to the destination.

In my moments of vulnerability this week, I received so much more than I would have asked for myself. By not controlling what was happening, things and people came to me naturally, and each gift was exactly what was needed in the moment.

This life, this dream, we so often take for granted — or try to control — can change in an instant. In each moment, we can experience so much love and beauty if we only allow ourselves to receive it. Give yourself time this week to receive what others have to give you. Surrender — there is so little to lose and so much to gain.

Have a good week!


© Copyright 2011 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.

6/14/10 “Joy”

Good day, team,

Yesterday, after so many days of grey skies, hard rain and the kind of wet cold that you can never warm, the sun came out. There was not a cloud in the sky. I went outside. I stood in the sunlight. I took my first deep breath in two months. I soaked in every radiant particle. I experienced pure joy.

Here are two poems by Rumi that describe my feeling.

The Source of Joy

No one knows what makes the soul wake
up so happy! Maybe a dawn breeze has

blown the veil from the face of God.
A thousand new moons appear. Roses

open laughing. Hearts become perfect
rubies like those from Badakshan. The

body turns entirely spirit. Leaves
become branches in this wind. Why is

it not so easy to surrender, even for
those already surrendered? There’s no

answer to any of this. No one knows
the source of joy. A poet breathes

into a reed flute, and the tip of
every hair makes music. Shams sails

down clods of dirt from the roof, and
we take jobs as doorkeepers for him.


Joy moves always to new locations,
the ease of its flow never freezing.

A long winter’s tale is over. Now
with each spring day a new story.

This week, allow yourself the experience of pure joy. Perhaps it comes in that first bite of something incredibly delicious. Maybe you sink your nose into a fragrant rose and inhale that intoxicating scent. How about wrapping your arms around someone you love and allowing yourself to fully embrace them? Or when someone says something humorous, allowing yourself a big, full-bellied laugh that shakes your whole body to the core?

Give yourself the gift of joy this week. You deserve it!

Have a good week,


Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2010 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search, Inc., all rights r