Choosing my lens for viewing 2021!

Though it feels almost trite to talk about endings and beginnings…

that is truly where we are at this point in time.

While we can engage in such reflection any day of the year, I found myself feeling and thinking so many different things toward the end of December. I was looking forward to the

  • end of a challenging year that had bright spots or “silver linings”, as I prefer to call them
  • beginning of a new year with the promise of significant change.

Do you recognize, celebrate, memorialize, or in some way acknowledge the ending of one calendar year and the beginning of the next? If so, what do you do—journaling, mindmapping, drawing or …?

On a more personal note, I always do a visual end-of-year wrap up for family and friends that accompanies our family photo/New Year’s greetings. This year, I opted for short and sweet—my visual was the space for capturing what we were grateful for, as a family. In essence, I was answering the question, “What was best about this past year?” (the Poetic Principle, from the field of Appreciative Inquiry)

How would you answer that question?

“What do I want to carry forward/bring with me into the new year? What will become of the fertile soil for the seeds of my dreaming — new ideas, experiences, and endeavors? These are my next questions, answered in the drawing and writing that I do for myself, both personally and professionally,

I am a firm believer in the core AI Principles, that

  • the moment we ask about something we simultaneously begin to move towards it (the Simultaneity Principle)
  • we live into the futures we imagine (the Anticipatory Principle)
  • building on our strengths instead of fixing weaknesses builds momentum for change(the Positive Principle)

Of course, these questions point to the reality that my thinking and feeling in these ways, is only my/one perspective (the Constructionist Principle)—it works for me! How about you?

If this view of the world, is one that resonates with you, you may want to dive into some resources on AI. I have devoted the past half year to learning, studying, working with, and preparing for my AI facilitator certification. it has been an experience filled with new ideas, challenges, and (almost always) joy.

Here are a few of my favorite resources

If this feels exciting, interesting, provocative (in a good way) and you want a taste of this work, I offer Appreciative Living Learning Circles, (the next starts on  February 1st, learn more on my calendar and register here), and Heather Martinez and I will use an AI lens in our program Deep Dive into You, (January 21 & 22, learn more here).

Please feel free to contact me with your questions about resources, how to bring AI into your life/the life of your organization, and AI coaching. I’d love to hear from you!

How is your relationship with time?

I can’t say that I have a love-hate relationship with time but my feelings about it vary due to the circumstances… Perhaps that’s no surprise but my experience of it does take very different shapes.

What about you—when is the last time you thought deeply about how you engage with time?

In general, I tend to run toward deadlines because I like that feeling of some, but not too much, pressure.  Honestly, I prefer if someone else imposes it. When I make a deadline for myself, unless there is a deliverable to a client or a colleague, I am likely to postpone the task if something more urgent or interesting arises.

I noticed just the other day, as I was working on a project that I had given myself enough time to be able to think very creatively about what I wanted to accomplish. I had space to let my mind wander, really engage in some divergent thinking before shifting into reaching decisions and conclusions. This experience of giving myself an abundance of time to imagine, change my mind, make new connections, experiment, and revisit ideas, was outside my pattern of thinking and doing, and enabled me to really consider a variety of perspectives and possibilities. My approach and process felt quite different and enabled me to realize richer results. It was great! Upon reflection, I’m realizing I need to find that balance between feeling the welcome pressure of a deadline and having enough time to explore deeply, draft a design or plan, revise, and develop/move forward with the final design.

What’s your pattern? How does it serve you? Would you like your habit to be just a bit different, to gain even more from your experiences?

This lovely experience also has me re-thinking how I talk about myself, how I see myself as a result of discovering and develop this new relationship of time. I am no longer imagining and describing myself solely as a person who talks, works, and makes decisions “New York fast.” I will say though, that there is a challenge in this spacious feeling and generating so many ideas that the convergent thinking process becomes longer and more involved—but that is a “happy problem” and I’m fine with it!


Perhaps my feeling was also an aspect of that particular experience’s nature and composition —I was so deeply engaged in the work and play of the project the I was in a state of flow… I lost track of time, having given myself permission to devote as much time as I wanted to this task. Of course, I don’t often have that luxury, though I think that there’s something for me to learn about this. I believe that it’s consistently dreaming about what I want more of, then designing those experiences, because I LOVED the generatively that was possible when I gave myself free rein to create.

Summer is waning, what are your reflections?

Memories of long ago…

At the beginning of the summer, with the possibility of carefree days of vacation—camp, friends, sometimes a bit of travel—the idea of having to complete a summer project for high school felt like a burden. By the time the summer was over, with the project completed, I had a sense of accomplishment. As it was a time filled with fun and a bit of work, which was usually (mostly) of my own design… it was really not so bad after all.

What was your project this summer?

Was it making it through every day endeavoring to stay afloat —mentally, emotionally, and maybe financially too?  I hear you, these remain trying times.

Were you, your family, or friends touched by sickness? Members of my family and my circle of friends have been affected. Most have recovered but not all. 

Did it include thinking in new ways or maybe taking on new work? My work has changed in many ways—I miss being in the room with my participants and yet love the connections I am making across the continents too.

How are you feeling about what has changed and what remains the same? I am curious to know.

My summer project has blossomed into a coaching circle for women. 

Roots of Resilience grew out of my desire to synthesize my academic background, training in coaching, and experience across the fields of positive psychology, mindfulness, Appreciative Inquiry, Compassion, communication, and NVC/compassionate communication.

I started this project after listening to many of my women colleagues around the world talk about feeling tired, depleted, and sometimes pessimistic. I designed this circle for the folks like them and like me—women whose strengths feel buried by a combination of unforeseeable circumstances.

These have been trying times and I believe they will continue to be so for the near future. I believe it is a time to come together, share our knowledge and skills, and build them together so that we all emerge stronger, more resilient. Would being a member of a circle with women provide the foundation and the impetus to regain your resilience— to tap into your perhaps dormant knowledge and skills, and build on them?

If this work interests you, as a member of the circle, or individually, please learn more about it here. And if you are one of my colleagues who is an IFVP member, I made the offer at our annual conference this year and I will provide a discount for you. As a field, we have been hit hard by this pandemic. Scholarships are also available to those desiring to join the circle.

Please contact me with your questions. I am offering this experience in one-to-one coaching sessions too—for anyone who feels drawn to this inner work (and play).

Visualizing your future—what are you imagining?

Looking toward the second half of 2020 causes me to pause… so much has changed so fast. I relish the opportunity to sit with markers and paper to savor and learn from my experiences.

  • How are you making time in your busy life to reflect?
  • What’s the nature of the journey you’re experiencing?
  • How are you dancing with the realities, and the possibilities contained within the changes you have experienced?

In the beginning…

My year started at a breakneck pace, it was exciting! By early March, my professional and personal lives had settled into a rhythm, and my plans for the year were unfolding. Friday the 13th of March was the day NYC shut down for business, and the last day of in-person training programs for me until… who knows?

As I make the time to discover the good in what has happened—both what was planned and what happened serendipitously over the past 16 weeks, I realize that there have been BIG developments!

  • How have your working relationships changed?

My bikablo work shifted from in-person to live, online sessions with my colleague, Jill Langer from Canada. What a delight that has been! I won’t overlook some of the initial questions, the challenges, and the ramping up to get comfortable with all the platforms and devices we’re using… I prefer to focus my attention on the new experience of working with a partner and the pleasure of developing stronger relationships with learners because we need to communicate more often.

Many members of the Bikablo global training team decided to teach, share ideas, and practices about online work. I would never have had so many interactions with my colleagues without the stimulus of the pandemic. These meetings have led to new methods, greater collegiality, and last Saturday’s Global Jam with a dozen co-hosts from around the world—an event that we co-created in less than four week’s time!

That experience, shifting from colleagues collaborating with the purpose of fine-tuning our methods to event planners, was a HUGE transformation in dynamics and group structure… happily, we weathered a bit of turbulent water and everyone enjoyed our inaugural event—participants and co-hosts alike! As we’re now talking about more events together, I feel confident we will grow into these new types of relationships—it’s fantastic!

Our final activity in the Bikablo Alumni Global Jam-What are our ideas for hope & inspiration?

  • What are you learning—formally and informally?

Back in January, I started a 45 session coaching course, and, after a dozen sessions, I asked to become part to group that had started work to develop a feedback system that works for the facilitator and the participants. (Don’t even get me started about how this process has put the cart before the horse…) This experience is/continues to be really interesting and challenging for me—I am an outsider! I am the only person who has an instructional design background and I am the newest to the field (of nonviolent communication) of the folks in the group of about six to eight regulars… I speak a different language and, perhaps even more glaringly, I have a very different style and pace of facilitation/using processes to move to solutions. The experience has afforded me the opportunity to be both in the moment, and outside of it. It is challenging work!

I’ve also filled my plate with courses that I’ve wanted to take for a long time—Developing an Appreciative Mindset (David Cooperrider Institute), Compassion Cultivation Training (Compassion Institute), Appreciative Living Learning Circle Facilitator Training (Jackie Kelm) and, (coming up in July) the vAIFT/virtual Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (Center for Appreciative Inquiry). It’s so much fun —and so much work!

  • How are you growing?
  • What’s the good that you have experienced?
  • How will you work with the difficult times, using them as guideposts for a different future?

I am experiencing a difference in my thinking and interactions with colleagues and family as a result of my learning and practice. Integrating these areas of knowledge, watching the changes and growth in my relationships with myself, with others, and myself in relation to others, has been fascinating! It’s been good and challenging, and I know it keeps me on the path to more conscious communication.

  • Where are you visualizing for the second half of 2020—what do you want?
  • Which of your strengths will support you in creating the future you desire?
  • What questions excite you?
  • Where will you focus your attention?

All of these experiences, plus my interest, training, and work in the fields of positive psychology, mindfulness, and several other fields are leading to the creation of a new coaching program. It is quintessentially me—to learn, practice, do, and create new offerings for my clients. I am thrilled to be on this path!

Please reach out to me with questions that arise for you, or if you seek for a partner in exploring what your future holds.

Deep Dive into You!

New Year,

New You!


Take a deep dive by learning about yourself to make the most out of your strengths and helpful tools to put them to use.

Jill Greenbaum and Heather Martinez come together to share their favorite professional and self-development tools that you can put to use immediately!

Session One

Access the Flow State Creatively

Whether you are starting a new project, studying a new topic, or find yourself with a full calendar, increasing productivity is key…and so is taking care of yourself. In the first session, we will learn how to recognize your current state and practice getting into the Flow state. We will then focus on the tangible form of lettering as a metaphor for the practical things in our lives and end with how to apply the Flow state to other areas of your life.

Session Two

See Yourself with New, Appreciative, Eyes…  Then Leverage Your Character Strengths to Design the Life You Desire

In this session, we will dig into the principles and practices of Appreciative Inquiry. The 5D AI process will set the stage for gaining clarity about where you are and want to be. You will create a map for exploiting your strengths to create the year your desire.

Session Three

Connect with Others (and yourself) with Greater Ease… Build Stronger Relationships

Are you ready to explore the building blocks of understanding yourself and others better? Together we will practice new methods so that you will rapidly identify your feeling and needs, learn how to talk about them in ways that others can understand, and discover ways to manage yourself in relation to sometimes challenging responses to requests. In this work, we will nurture greater compassion for others and ourselves.

Session Four

Integrate Your Learning with Wase

Now that you have taken a deep dive into who you are, you can develop the tools needed to help you live in accordance to your values. In this session, we will create a decision model for the short term and an integration matrix you can quickly apply to any project or plan.


January 21 & 22

4 LIVE Sessions:

11:00am – 1:00pm ET

2:30pm – 4:30pm ET

You can find your local time here.


Early-bird discount

Get $30USD off with the coupon code: DIVEIN
Offer good through January 6

$179.00 USD

Here’s the registration link!