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The Grand Invitation

Oct 12, 2021

Like you, I’ve been hearing and reading about the Great Resignation and the wave of empowered employees who are ready to make a move or change gears and start something new. As a person who left a long career in the government to follow my passion 17 years ago, I completely support this. If there is something you’ve been dreaming of doing and you are ready to step into it, go for it!


However, for organizations, it’s not such an exciting time. 


The Great Resignation threatens the loss of valuable institutional history as your best and brightest leave, taking with them vital knowledge and relationship and intellectual capital. 


If you are an executive or senior leader in your organization,...

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It's Canada Day today, but it's hard to celebrate

Jul 01, 2021

It’s Canada Day today. But it’s hard to celebrate.

The recent discoveries of unmarked graves and remains of hundreds of Indigenous children who died and were killed at Canada’s residential schools over the past century have been so hard on my heart. 

It is excruciating to imagine their lives, their suffering and their deaths. 

When I feel into the helpless rage of their parents, who didn’t get to hold their babies and give them comfort, who just had to live with not knowing how they died, or even whether they were still living, I can barely breathe. These lost children never came home.

How can anyone live with that?

I’ve always been proud to be Canadian. Grateful that my parents chose THIS country out...

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The Path of The Other

Oct 07, 2020

I wrote the poem below a few days after a horrific business dinner.

Four people at the table sprung some news on me. A decision had been taken that directly affected me and they were letting me know. Their chosen course for moving forward came without consultation, without conversation, without any notice of the impact it would have on me whatsoever. 

My usual way would be to swallow my own feelings and present a graceful, optimistic face, holding onto my own shock and outrage until later when I could deal with it privately. My tendency has long been to put the preservation of harmony and the comfort of others ahead of my own needs, you see.

This time I chose a different path.

I sat still until clarity arose. Then I expressed what I...

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The Invisible Woman

Aug 23, 2020

The Invisible Woman
by Shahmeen Sadiq

She's your greatest fan
an advocate for your gifts
promoting your offer
and growing your community

good heartedly
giving of her labour and love

surely if I wholeheartedly jump in
to this that I have such passion for

I will receive a share in the return
her misguided optimism says

funding her own development
flying beneath the radar
infinitely creative, always learning

Yet you don't won't or can't see her

The gaze flits over her in favour
of brighter façades, who know the rites:

The right words to say
The concepts to preach
The quotes of the learned ones

And settles for that

Less personally confronting
Pretty resonance of same

while she, eyes downcast,
filled with shame that doesn't...

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Aug 12, 2020

 by Shahmeen Sadiq

Speak up…graciously
Speak your truth…gracefully
Share your thoughts…carefully
Be courageous…politely
Write an article…but provide evidence
Take a stand…but show us your credentials
Take up space…but not too much
Have an opinion…but don’t be confrontational
Be a leader…but let us go first
Be fierce…but not too angry
Don’t be invisible…but let us be the experts
Don’t be quiet…just be careful
Don’t be loud…your passion is overwhelming us
Your experience has validity…until our feelings get hurt
You are welcome…as long as you don’t ask us to change

If you have ever felt...

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Easy's Offer

Jul 07, 2020

In order to make any sustainable change I believe that unearthing the deeper and difficult things is essential. Bring them into the light where we can look at them together, then we can work usefully with this rich fodder. I’ve become quite good at this over the years, basing all of my work on this premise.

So, this morning when the word EASY emerged as I walked in the flower park, it caught me by surprise.

Easy? Impossible, I scoffed. Human development is solemn and important work. 

Like the leaves of the Hosta above, unfurling effortlessly no matter what the weather, the invitation tapped at me again, “What if you could bring a spirit of 'easiness' to it all?”

Then it struck me.

My story is that doing this deeper...

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Finding Flow

Apr 16, 2020

With this article, I want to focus on something that arose today in the daily Power Pause relating to energy and flow. This week we've intentionally focused on "sending energy" to various groups of people affected by the coronavirus, which some participants in the Power Pauses have found draining.

How Full Are You Keeping Your Cup?

People who work in service to others are by nature loving, giving, generous types. This is the hallmark of the leadership quality we call Relating: we form warm and caring relationships with other people. We thrive on helping, providing support, being there for them. 

One occupational hazard of Relating is depletion. Imagine that your generosity and service is like cool clear water in the...

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Turning Towards Our Fears

Apr 04, 2020

Dear Readers:

This piece came through today as I wrote my morning pages. I have been feeling a lot of anxiety about the coronavirus and through a powerful conversation last night with two friends, I finally got clear about what exactly is bothering me. It is the thought of death - death of many aspects of life as we have known it, my own physical death and the death of people I love.  

As often happens, guidance came through my hand to be recorded on the page. These sacred exchanges are such a gift! I've shared the guidance in italics, so it is easier to understand the flow of this conversation. 
- Shahmeen

Before I can revel in the moment, I must acknowledge my grief in saying goodbye to the past. Letting go of the...

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The Undulation of Life

Apr 02, 2020

The undulation of life carries us through expansions and contractions. We must have both. To expand indefinitely is neither sustainable nor possible.

Many times I have operated as if I am immune to this basic natural truth: “I can do, have and handle it all! I’m uber-capable, super-human, invincible! Resting and restoring is for weaklings! I don’t need any of that.”

The inevitable crash that follows finds me spent and depleted, face down in the mud.

For the most stubborn, like me, it is sometimes only there, at the very bottom, battered and bruised, the taste of blood and dirt on my tongue, that I am available to any other possibilities. My exhaustion catalyzes an essential surrender that was previously...

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What Would The Earth Say, If She Could Speak Through Me?

Mar 28, 2020

surrender, surrender Dear One
relax into the arms of the Mother
and know that you are home

put down your weapons
let down your hair
set it all down
it doesn't serve you now

turn towards yourself
turn towards each other
let love flow

bow, smile, let tender
warm-heartedness flow
across the breathways of the sky and sun and
wind and breeze

allow yourself to be enlivened 
from the inside out now
let love flow

you are sisters and brothers in
One Great Human Family
can you see it?
can you feel it now?

this great pause that you are 
invited to take
will nourish what is here
what has always been true

soak up this opportunity
revel in this pause
let the goodness of your true nature 

send gratitude, appreciation
and joyful wishes across the ...

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