A Tale of Two Trainings

A Tale of Two Trainings

One of the happiest achievements in my life was going to the USSR as a junior in high school (1990). For almost three weeks, a group of forty StrangersBecoming Family from across the northeast US explored places and met people on the other side of the Cold Divide.

The whole experience – from fundraising to flying for the first time, from crossing borders in a train to dancing on a ferry crossing the Gulf of Finland. But what I loved most – visiting over forty organizations that had supported me during my senior year. I had promised supporters a post-trip report, and report we did.

When I think about the logistics my mom had to pull off while working her full time job in the schools to drive me from Eliot to Presque Isle Maine during that year…. Thank you Mom.

It was in the midst of those talks that I fell in love with standing in front of a room of people. I had my slide deck (the plastic carousel!), a table of mementos, and a small pile of index card notes. As I shared my story, I would invite people to realize that the blue sky that we enjoy in Maine visited the people in Red Square. I shared how the Lord’s Prayer has the same pitter pattern in a Russian church that it does in our English congregrations. And children everywhere love to play tag. 

I loved inviting people to move beyond ‘just’ understanding, to learning from the people we had been told to be suspect about. It is a core value that I carry today. 

Since then I have had a few occasions to speak – mostly behind a pulpit in churches. But my hunger for speaking has never subsided. 

This week, I delivered not one but two trainings. On Monday, we kicked off the 9th cohort of Quadrant 3 Leadership Coach Certification. This is my second time co-leading with Marc and we had such a blast. On Tuesday, I led a training on strategic gathering and use of feedback (DeConstruction Zone) for The Nonprofit Academy. This talk was sparked by an idea and I built it from scratch… including a modern slide deck.

 My creative focus and energy has been all tied up in these two occasions for about six weeks. I am so overflowing with satisfaction and happiness. I love the way that writing, speaking, and slide deck design all come together as a way to share ideas. 

I’m so thankful for the circumstances and opportunities that have conspired to create this season of middle adulthood. And I’m giddy with curiosity and hope about the possibilities that are yet to come into view.

As we mark with gratitude what 2024 has given and taught us, what do you want to hold close?

As we look ahead to the second half of 2024, what hopes and plans are you designing?

I’m delighted to be on the journey with you – wherever it may lead.

Happy Summer!