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A baked potato fell on my house and…

The other night I was sitting on my couch typing away on my laptop when I heard a very loud BANG!…thump, thump, thump (overhead), crash (into the weed jungle on the west side of my house).

Now, I love my neighborhood, but there are guns aimed and fired occasionally and I have had to call 911 several times in the last few years. So it makes sense that my first thought was “go get Dakota.” My partner is kind of a tough ass when she needs to be (she’s the one on the right in the photo).

She hadn’t heard the bang thump thump crash, but she gamely went out into the weed jungle to investigate, yelling back over her shoulder that I should keep away from the windows.

She thrashed around out there for about 3 minutes before I couldn’t stand it any more and opened the window to ask her what she’d found. Incredibly, she turned to face me and held up…yes, a baked potato. Intact except for a small round chunk missing from its side. We looked at each other for a looong tiiiime.

This is one of those stories that I will get mileage out of for years. But that’s not why I’m sharing it here on my blog for social change agents who want to fulfill their calling with ease and grace.

What I found myself thinking for days after “the incident” is the fact that I live in a world where a baked potato can fall out of the sky onto my house.

I did not know that. In fact if you had asked me before-hand whether I live in such a world, I probably would have said no. But I would have been wrong.

So what are all the other things that are possible in THIS world, my little sphere specifically, that I don’t currently believe in?

And I’m noticing – there are a lot of metaphorical baked potatoes falling from the sky all the time. A crow raises a kitten. A burned-out nonprofit worker finds the courage to take care of herself and find a new leadership role. The thing that really needs to be said gets said.

What might be possible for you that you don’t believe in yet? What if it can happen anyway?

Get your own dang french fry!

Every year in August and early September, mournful kazoo-like sounds distract me from work in my home office. Without even looking up, my heart does a little empathy flip. The sound is a baby crow trying to understand why it’s mama and papa are no longer feeding it.

Now whether you like crows or not (and they seem to be more fashionable lately, thanks in part to Crow Planet, which I adored), this scenario has got to pull at your heart strings a little.  I find myself thinking “Just give him a goddamn french fry already! Its not like you didn’t steal them from my neighbor’s dumpster anyway! Poor thing.”

But the parent crow remains coolly oblivious to the pleading, eating the entire french fry/soiled cardboard/carrion right in front of it’s progeny. You’d think crows are terrible parents, but they’re one of the most doting, family-oriented birds in the animal kingdom.

In order for the baby to have any chance of survival (and most crows die before they reach their first birthday) the parent has to let go. The baby crow doesn’t understand this, of course, and I project s/he feels abandoned and terrified. And hungry.

Puts me in mind of the many times I’ve felt the same way – lost, scared, fresh out of faith in the world. Hungry for love and comfort. When I can get quiet and pay close attention during those times, I remember that these feelings lead to a greater sense of spaciousness and peace than I’ve felt before, a clearing out and letting go that was absolutely necessary for a big leap that I didn’t know I was capable of making.

Maybe the parent crow is silently beaming through the barrage of pleading “I have faith in you – I know you can do it – go find your own food so you can come back to us!”

Is the universe sending you a message of faith that you’ve been mis-translating? Tell me all about it.


I had an “aha” about blogging the other day, thanks in part to Mark Silver and Zen Habits. You could call it more of a “doh!,” since I think lots of other bloggers understood this way before me. 🙂

I’d been believing that I had to have a fully-formed, original and watertight idea in order to blog. This is kind of like going into an important conversation knowing exactly what you’re going to say, and in your nervousness, forgetting to stay open to the other person’s energy and contributions. Plus, its stressful, and makes writing for my blog feel like a chore.

I’d like my blog to be a place where I can be truly authentic about where I am with my coaching practice and to share recent insights and ideas, regardless of how “untidy” I may sound. That’s where the real juice is, right?

Yes, AND, it requires more vulnerability and candor from me. Not the easiest road to hoe, when you’re a solopreneur who wants to look like she’s at the top of her game.

But I think it will make blogging more fun for me and more interesting for you, so stay tuned!

ps. in the spirit of candor and vulnerability, here’s a picture of me playing with one of my favorite people, my long-time friend’s super-fun baby, Arlo.