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Monday’s “Live Your Story Series”- Alissa Hollimon

June 13, 2011

Alissa Hollimon lives in Dallas, Texas, and runs her photography business, Hollimon Photography. Alissa works mainly for Zachry Group and the NBA. During the NBA offseason, Alissa began taking photos for many aid organizations throughout Africa. After a few years, Alissa felt a need to give back more than just images. With the overwhelming generosity and help from others, Alissa founded Arise Africa. Arise Africa is a ministry based in Zambia, Africa that helps individuals live a life that God desires for them. Arise Africa works in communities and schools and help pay for education for kids, feed them, provide clothing and school supplies, and give micro finance loans to adults. To learn more about Arise Africa please visit www.ariseafrica.org

              Alissa Hollimon                                 Photographer                                  Dallas, Texas

1.  Name a person, book, and moment that served as a catalyst for the pursuit of your passion?

I had spent years working in Africa doing photography for various aid and governmental organizations.  But the moment I knew that I would always be committed to and wanted to help long term when I was in the country of Zambia. I was riding in a car with my good Zambian friend, Bwalya.  We had spent all day out in the slums and visiting children and families that I had known for years at that point.  It had been a tough day, seeing people you love suffering of extreme poverty because of lack of opportunity or education.  Bwalya and I began talking about things that could change that and what it would look like.  And there is no doubt God was directing both of us to work together and provide opportunity for our friends there.  We both felt the Lord’s presence and said that God was working in us, and we needed to listen.  It was one of the most clear times in my life that I felt God was right there with us in that car.  I went back to the states and prayed about it as Bwalya did in Zambia.  And a few months later, we started Arise Africa, and Bwalya is our head Zambian today. 

2.  What risks did you have to take along the way and how did they interact with your fears?

We faced a lot of risks when we started Arise Africa.  We first of all had to really trust our Zambians on the ground to know what they were doing and communicate with us.  I think that was the first tough part initially for me, was giving that to God and knowing He was in control and working through them. 

I was also scared we wouldn’t have any support in America.  There are many great charities and non-profits and I didn’t know if we would have people who would invest in us.  It has been a huge blessing to watch people volunteer to help or give money to our projects.  We are always blown away at individual’s generosity. 

Another risk we have taken is starting our child sponsorship program.  I had seen these programs not run well, and was very concerned we would not be able to watch our kids and communicate enough with their sponsors.  Once again, I had to trust our Zambians to make sure this would work, and am pleased to say we have actually grown our program and have a fantastic group of kids and sponsors!  Seeing the difference it makes in those kids lives makes all the concern and work well worth it. 

 3. What was the biggest and most unexpected pain (a blind side moment) in your journey?  How has it changed you and your process?

One of our blind side moments has been when we purchased land to help with one of our projects in Zambia.  We ended up with some issues with the government and the land being zoned for different use than we had been told.  This stumbling block actually was a GREAT learning experience for all of us.  We learned a lot about communication between our African and American team and how to handle situations like this.  We learned how to work better as a team and make sure to help each other out and to seek advice from top experts and officials in any area we are working in.  We also formed great relationships with government officials and attorneys who are all now our friends and have helped us on other projects.  Working through that conflict no doubt made our team stronger and more confident in each other.  There will ALWAYS be unexpected pains or blind side moments, and it is all about how you handle them and other individuals in the process.

4. What has been the most joyful part of your journey that needs to be celebrated?

By far the most impactful and joyful part for me has been witnessing our Zambian staff serving God and the difference that has made in their country.  I am constantly amazed at their love and spirit.  When I am over there I see our folks loving on kids and encouraging adults and being so committed to our cause.  I watched one of our staff members use her bus money to buy a child with AIDS on the street some food.  She then had to walk home for three hours.  She never even hesitated to do that.  I see kids at the schools we work with having opportunity to learn who had never seen the inside of a classroom before we came and paid their school fees.  Watching children grow and have energy because they have received healthy food through our feeding program has also been very impactful.  By far God has taught me and blessed through our Zambian staff and the people’s lives that I get to witness being changed. 

5.  What is a question that you don’t get asked but wish you would?  Now, please answer that desired question.

What is one thing you have learned in your life that has helped you in all areas?

I have learned that there is more to life than living it for yourself.  The only thing you have to understand on this earth is that our lives are about serving God, that’s it.  This might seem like a simple concept but when you truly put that in effect, you will be blessed in more ways than you can imagine.  When you serve others or try to help people less fortunate, God does amazing things in your life too.  I try to do this with everything I am involved in.  From my photography business in the USA to our Africa projects, I have seen my life become so much better and whole because of this.  I am also more relaxed about my life because I am not stressed out about me or what my life looks like or what will happen or what people think of me.  Because it isn’t about me, it is about God and serving.

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We Will Watch Ourselves

June 10, 2011

Erik Erikson is famous in part for his work on the stages of development.  He believed there are pivotal junctures in each person’s life that need to be appropriately dealt with in order to live a healthy life.  He concluded that if any one stage is not successfully completed during the appropriate age that it would peak its little nasty head up as problematic behavior in adulthood.

When I look at Erikson’s work I gravitate toward his work on guilt, shame, and stagnation.  Those are most typical in my life and in the lives of my clients.  Yet, after a couple days at Don Miller’s Storyline Conference my eyes have been drawn to the latter stages, something more relevant to the baby boomers than to somebody like me.  The last stage of development is where Ego Integrity battles Despair and this just might be the most difficult crisis to face.  Erikson basically stated that we as humans do all the prep work early on for the production of our middle years and at the end of our lives we will fall on either the side of enjoying the lives we led or despairing over what we see.

There was a line from the conference that really stuck with me.  Miller stated that we are all characters in our own stories and that what we do and where we do it, is important.  He told us about a time when he was offered money under the table and was tempted to take it but decided against it because he didn’t want that kind of scene in his story.  After he said that I felt hope and fear simultaneously.  On one end, we have the ability to create a good story.  But on the other, it’s so scary to know there is no delete button.  No matter how much money we pocket, it is impossible to hire true editors to omit scenes and situations from our story.   Each day is written with a Sharpie and forever it will stay.

Erikson’s last stage is really about sitting back with some popcorn and Hot Tamales (good combo) and watching your own story from start to finish.  It’s the time in your development where life is too fast, technology has out-paced you and you just want a comfortable chair and air conditioning. It’s the perfect place and time where you sit back and reflect on your story lived out.  You look back and see the scenes you forgot about, the scenes that you love, and the scenes that you have tried to forget.  We will watch ourselves.  And Erikson’s stage of Ego Strength vs. Despair is defined by how you feel coming out of that movie theater.

If you have the privilege of growing old and watching your own story, how will you feel looking back on your current self?   Are you setting yourself up for despair or satisfaction?  Mind you, this despair and satisfaction have little to do with circumstances and everything to do with dealing with the pain in your life and pursuing what is good in life.

Live within the tensions of today and go after what you want despite the obstacles.  It means toward the end you won’t fall asleep watching your own story, unless it’s after 6pm.

“Live Your Story” Series- Jenny White

May 15, 2011

Have you ever heard of Art House America?  It was started in Nashville in 1991 by husband and wife duo Charlie Peacock and Andi Ashworth.  Both have a real heart for life, ministry, the arts and seeing them combined well.  Andi is an author and has been key in bringing about the environment of hospitality within Art House.  Charlie is a musician and has produced the likes of Amy Grant, Switchfoot and most recently, The Civil Wars.  For many years Art House America has been a vibrant place for people of all walks of life to share ideas and resources for the common good.

Recently, Art House decided to expand and Dallas was their pick.  Jenny White was entrusted with the keys to the new Dallas branch and she has big plans.  She sees artists traveling through relaxing and recharging, she sees workshops,  recording studios, a wide variety of small groups for gardeners to deep thinkers, and a big kitchen for communal cooking.  Also, the last Thursday of each month Art House hosts an exchange where folks interested in creative and faithful living come for conversation and good drink.  Sometimes it’s dialogue, sometimes it’s teaching, sometimes it’s doing-  Art House is interested in cultivating creative community for the common good while encouraging everyone to live imaginative and meaningful lives.  So let’s meet the culture maker whose vision and hard work is showing communities all over Dallas how to live better stories.

1.  Name a person, book, and moment that served as a catalyst for the pursuit of your passion?

For years I tried to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up, and then I walked into the kitchen of the Art House in Nashville. It was September 9, 2008, a day (moment) which would hugely affect the trajectory of my vocation.  I was there for a musician retreat co-hosted by Art House America (Charlie Peacock and Andi Ashworth) and Wedgwood Circle. The retreat gathered together musicians who had received financial support from Wedgwood to connect with Christians from all over the country who were writing secular music for the common good. There was incredible teaching, decadent meals, live music, and long conversations on porch swings where musicians eye lit up with the realization of “you feel that way too?” I spent two days at the Art House watching the work of hospitality, mentoring and vocational teaching refresh the thirsty hearts of musicians, and my eyes were opened to a job I didn’t know existed. But the fact is, a job didn’t exist at the time, and wouldn’t for almost two more years.  However, it planted in me a passion for creating a place for traveling musicians to find rest, a warm meal, and some good conversation. I never thought about the possibility of actually working for the Art House since it was a small organization in Nashville, so I looked at how I could live out this new found desires and callings right where I was. Through my job at the Wedgwood Circle, we set up a network of host families who would take in some of the same musicians at the Art House retreat when they had shows in Washington, DC.  My greatest cheerleader and mentor, Elizabeth Fitch, served as the guinea pig for this program, and took in our first beneficiary, Katie Herzig and her band, for a night. She was thrilled to see my small dream of providing hospitality for musicians become a reality. Two years later, Elizabeth would serve as the catalyst who actually helped me pursue this passion to take the job to start Art House in Dallas.  I was afraid to leave DC, and all I had known, but Elizabeth reminded me of the first time we talked in her kitchen about serving musicians to the first time she hosted, and helped me realize what an incredible opportunity God had provided to give me a job I didn’t know existed.  A couple months later, in preparation for taking this Art House job, I read Andi Ashworth’s book, Real Love for Real Life,and it was hugely influential in increasing my understanding of the meaning of caretaking as a vocation. For someone who is so often focused on completing agendas and staying on task, her book was a refreshing perspective on the ‘job’ of caring for people through the way we listen, give time, cook meals, share wisdom and take extra time to show people we care. As someone who loves to cook, spend time in long conversations and write notes, this was a huge realization for me that God could use these desires as part of a vocation and not just every once in a while.

 

2.  What risks did you have to take along the way and how did they interact with your fears?

 I felt a lot of risk in leaving a job that I loved and a city that had become home after five years. I loved the pace and energy of Washington, DC and was a little nervous about moving back to Dallas and figuring out my place in a new city.  The excitement of being near my family again paired with the confidence that God had led me directly to this job with Art House propelled me forward.  I think that my biggest fear was wrapped up in not meeting the founders expectations, as Dallas was the first new branch of Art House America after 20 years of being only in Nashville.  On top of these fears, it felt risky to leave a job I knew I could do well, to start an organization from scratch… especially considering I wasn’t a famous music producer like our organization’s founder.  I kept drawing on all the folks in the bible who felt so unqualified, and yet God used them anyways.

3. What was the biggest and most unexpected pain (a blind side moment) in your journey?  How has it changed you and your process?

A year and a half ago, I got one of those phone calls that makes your heart drop and forever changes you.  I found out my sister had been rushed to the hospital for lung failure and was in the ICU on a breathing machine. She was in critical condition, and we were unsure of how long she would have to be on a breathing machine as well as the long term effects of her condition. I was still living in DC at the time, and through the two weeks I spent at home in Dallas waiting for her health to return, I realized that life is too short to be living so far from my family.  Of course my parents didn’t want me to move home for this reason, but in God’s great kindness, I was given a job offer five months after these scary couple of weeks. My sister is healthy now, but that blindside moment helped me to realize what an incredible support system that God had provided in Dallas through old friends and family that have known me my whole life. I loved my friends in DC, but this painful season was a catalyst in helping me realize that there were too many people in Dallas that I loved to not be walking alongside them in everyday life for the long term.

4. What has been the most joyful part of your journey that needs to be celebrated?

The most joyful part of my journey over the last year has been to see the faithfulness of God in renewing and providing so many amazing relationships for me upon moving back to Dallas. One of the greatest challenges in living in Washington, DC was how quickly folks moved in and out of the city.  I can count on one hand the friendships that I had from beginning to end in the five years that I lived there. As much as I miss those dear friendships that shaped me in many ways over my time away from Texas, I love the fact that most of my friends here in Dallas don’t have any plans to leave the area anytime soon. It’s a beautiful thing to put down roots with old and new friends alike, and know that that they aren’t going anywhere in the immediate future. I am celebrating the fact that my heart, for the first time in about 10 years, is finally at rest right where God has me.  From the time I started to decide where I was going to college (Texas A&M) to where I was going to live after graduation (Washington, DC) I have always wondered at what point I would live somewhere and feel completely at rest.  It wasn’t until about six months into moving back to Dallas that I looked around and realized how wonderful it is to be near to my parents, three sisters, two brother in laws and numerous other extended family members and friends who are incredibly supportive. I am also incredibly grateful for my boyfriend who is nothing short of a provision from God. When I was leaving the Northeast, I fought everyone who said that I would start dating a Texas boy within six months of moving back to the Lone Star State. I guess that I can celebrate that they were right and I was wrong. While God may have plans to move me somewhere else in years to come, I truly celebrate the fact that for right now, He has me in a place that I am so content to work and play and love all these wonderful people around me for many years to come.

5.  What is a question that you don’t get asked but wish you would?  Now, please answer that desired question.

I don’t generally like this question asked by strangers, but if I know you pretty well, I’d be pretty happy if you came up to me and asked:
Would you like me to give you a back rub?

And I would answer: Yes, Please !

You can follow Charlie Peacock on Twitter  @charliepeacock  or Art House America @arthouseamerica

“Live Your Story” Series- Tim Osborn

May 10, 2011

Portland is a very attractive city to me.  It is one of the greenest cities in America, it has boatloads of micro-breweries, a population that doesn’t believe global warming is a hoax (Sorry, Texas) and the majestic Mt. Hood as a backdrop.  The IFC show Portlandia said it best, “Portland is the city where young people go to retire.”  A lot of people are falling in love with the city and it’s not just because Don Miller.

Tim Osborn loves Portland too.  He calls the city home and its in that place where his passion for God, serving others and planting churches is obvious.  Take a glimpse into his journey and intentionality.

Tim Osborn               Lead Pastor, Mosaic             Portland, OR


1. Name a person, book and moment that served as a catalyst for the pursuit of your passion?

 Person: My best friend in high school – John.  He grew up in a painfully broken home.  He also grew up going to church.  However, before we finished high school he had ditched his faith and gotten very well acquainted with acid and alcohol.  My friendship with him has been a catalyst for my passion to see Jesus, the Gospel, Scripture, and the local church be accessible, relevant and meaningful to people who are far from God.  The good news is that after over 15 years of running away from Jesus with differing degrees of determination, John has turned around to find Jesus right there with him still – and is walking with him again.

Book: Missional Church by Darrell Guder.  I’ve answered this question (in some form) hundreds of times and it’s always the same.  I’m a book addict and read as much as I can.  This book was the first one I read after finishing seminary and in a completely unexpected way was a crystallizing experience for me.  The subtitle for the book is ‘A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America.’  That one simple line captured what I felt called to, why I had even bothered to go to seminary, and why I wanted to lead in a local church…all of it…and in words I hadn’t yet used myself.  (oh, and this book was published in 1998…I read it in 1999…and ‘missional’ became a Christian buzzword about 4 years later.  The book was titled before ‘missional’ was a word on any conference postcard and before any form of the word ‘emerge’ started with a capital letter.  All that to say, those who lead in ministry today owe much to Darrell Guder and his partners in the Gospel and our Culture Network, as well as to missionary and author Lesslie Newbigin)

 Moment: Two quick ones.

1.  The first time I can remember serving others when it really took a lot out of me.  I was in Mexico as a 16 year-old, spending a week pouring a cement slab for a small hospital two hours south of Ensenada.  It was extremely hot and we only got two showers the whole week because of water supply.  What shocked me was how much I enjoyed serving even though I was exhausted and uncomfortable.

2.  Four years later I was asked to lead the trip.  It was now two weeks long with over 150 people from our church in L.A. traveling to Mexico.  It was the first time I had lead something on this scale or done any kind of large group teaching.

God used these experiences to birth and later confirm my passion for serving, leading, and teaching in the local church.

2. What risks did you have to take along the way and how did they interact with your fears?

The biggest risk has been developing friendships with those I serve and lead.  I had a friend tell me one time that a pastor he was serving with said: “I learned a long time ago not to be friends with my staff or congregation.”  I just simply (maybe naively?) determined to do the opposite.  I’m convinced life is too short to spend it serving and teaming with people I don’t want to share my life, joy, pain and fun.  Now, with that said, it has cost my family and I dearly at times.  I’ve served and teamed with some folks that are far from perfect.  I’ve also recently learned that I am far from perfect (partly because I’m sarcastic).  This has caused for some strained, broken, and lost relationships at times…which have been deeply painful. Also, leadership decisions, theology, preference, and ministry philosophy have all placed strain on friendships.  Now leading a church that is regularly planting churches, and sending some of our best leaders and friends to do so is a completely new kind of risk of friendship.  It is heart-wrenchingly difficult at times, but so far we’ve found that the time shared together has blessed us and sending them out is the vision to which God is calling us.

3. What was the biggest and most unexpected pain (a blind side Moment) in your journey?  How has it changed you and your process?

I’ve tried really hard to think of another one, but I can’t…so I have to say getting fired from a mega-church (and yes, I do say that with a bit of pride now, which is why I was trying to think of another blind side moment).  God has used it to change me significantly.  Actually, I would have to say he used it to break me in some really wonderful ways.  For a long time I had avoided many of the risks God was calling me to in an effort to remain safe and secure (in a large church with a regular paycheck).  I had convinced myself it was enough of a sacrifice to serve in a church that had no vision, tragic lack of leadership, and an inept board so that I could lead my one area of ministry.  God ejected me out of that situation and placed me in a completely different context where I’ve been stretched, challenged, and able to heal.  I’m serving as a lead pastor (yes, they knew I got fired) of a church that is called to develop leaders and plant churches in Portland, Oregon.  I get to regularly mentor and invest in younger, developing leaders and now, because of my experience, can tell them with conviction that the safer, apparently more secure path isn’t necessarily best for their soul, most enjoyable, or even most beneficial for the kingdom.

4.  What has been the most joyful part of your journey that needs to be celebrated?

That my three sons love Jesus and enjoy his church!  My oldest is almost a teenager, so I realize we’ve got some unpredictable years ahead, but I’m so thankful for where we are now.  My wife and I have worked very hard to make sure our boys know they are our first ministry and are more valuable than the folks dad leads.  We’ve also been blessed by the significant contributions our community has made to our son’s lives as well.

Also, if you’re up for it, can I ask you to pray for my sons and all children of local church pastors?  I’ve heard too many stories of pastor’s kids arriving in adulthood with no affection for Jesus and hope that it’s a story that is told less and less in the future.

5. What is a question that you don’t get asked but wish you would?  Please answer that desired question.

I wish more people asked me what my relationship with Jesus was like.  I can’t think of anything more important, but I’ve got no shortage for questions I get asked that don’t matter near as much.  In fact, I ask friends, pastors, and strangers all sorts of questions, and wish I would ask them about Jesus much more than I do.  I want people to know Jesus and I want them to know what my experience with Jesus has been like.  Because I’m a pastor, many people assume many things about me, and I really want to be asked, genuinely known, and lovingly held accountable for my own journey with Jesus.  I realize that might sound strange or unrealistic.  I don’t think it should be.  This year I’m learning to trust that Jesus is the same in good and difficult times.  I’ve had to confess that I like Jesus much more when my life is easy and smooth than when all my plans have failed and I’m angry or discouraged.  He has taught me this year that its possible to have a very similar level of joy in the midst of pain and celebration (one of those lessons I would never have signed up for!).  I’m also trying new ways of evaluating whether I trust him and his grace, or if I’ve slowly shifted to earning his approval.  It’s a discipline that has helped me rest in him in ways I’m not naturally wired.  I hope that helps answer what my relationship with Jesus is like right now.

the first step

May 1, 2011

Step 1 (in the 12 step recovery model):  Admit that you are powerless over (insert substance) and that your life has become unmanageable.

I see a lot of substance abuse cases each week and one thing that is tough to do is weeding out those who don’t have a problem with drugs/alcohol and those that say they don’t have a problem.  It’s interesting to see something take over the body and mind in such a way that makes us lie to ourselves and to others.

No matter if it’s drugs or simply a bad habit, anyone of us can allow negative things to enter our lives.  We let them set up shop and we don’t want to let them go- even if they are the very thing that is destroying us.  We can’t see reality through the haze of our own desire.

Yet, there is power in the admission of our weakness.  Do you catch the irony?  Once we admit we are powerless we can then regain power.  Without proper recognition of our vulnerability we are left with just a prideful gaze that only sees the world from one narrow and biased angle.  This makes me think about James 4:6, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” We won’t seek help unless we know we need it.  It’s simple stuff but still one of the most difficult things within addiction or even issues of relationships and faith.

Addiction brings about isolation by pulling us into ourselves.  If I haven’t heard from a client struggling with substance abuse in a couple weeks I know that relapse is probable.  It is in the misconception of strength and power that many say, “I got this.”  We need to put forth a new ideal in a society that praises the strong individual.  Or better, we just need a new definition for the strong individual.

Maybe strength has more to do with initiating and less to do with holding out the longest.  Maybe it’s about staring down your mistakes opposed to ignoring them.

Whatever it is, we can’t allow our pride to get in the way of our progress.

Easter and Service

April 23, 2011

Just like every Easter, I am taking time out to focus in on the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.  But something I am adding into my thinking this year is the concept of service within Christ’s death and resurrection.

We are told that Christ came not to be served but to serve others instead (Matthew 20:28).  We are told that Christ put away the privileges of being God and allowed himself to be born fully man in a half forgotten city (Phil 2).  We are told he came not for the healthy people but for the sick (Mark 2:17).  And with the horror and beauty of the cross, he served himself up as the unblemished lamb that would take away the sins of those who connect themselves to such a sacrifice.

The Jewish people had been anticipating a messiah that would come with power.  The natural human assumption was that this power would look like political savvy and an iron fist that would save his people, flush out injustice and set up a new order.  As the coming Messiah, Christ did use his power to save his people, flush out injustice and set up a new order but it came by way of  a humble love for the unlovable and a sacrificial death for those who cursed and spit in his face.  God has a different definition than us for love and power and they went right over our heads.  Jesus redefined kingship for us and it was our poor view of power and success that helped hoist Christ up on the cross.  Gregory Boyd, author of The Myth of a Christian Religion stated,

…the power of the Kingdom of God to attract and transform people lies in its beautiful, humble uniqueness.   In a violent world filled with people vying for Caesar-like power over others, the Kingdom (of God) offers people the peacemaking beauty of Christ-like power under people.

Christ is God’s face turned towards man.  Emmanuel (God with us) came down and put on the flesh of vulnerability.  It was in that journey that we see the difference between Christ’s kingdom and that of the world.  We have been given a chance to see God act as a man- a man who understands the human experience and who can communicate the realm of God.  Again, Boyd points out,

Exercising power under others is about impacting people’s lives by serving them, sacrificing for them, and even being sacrificed  by them while refusing to retaliate, as Jesus did.  We can think of this kind of power as the power of the cross, for the cross is the purest expression of humble, servant-like , self-sacrificial love.

The God of this universe decided to live the life of a poor carpenter and spend time with sick and troubled people.  Christ made it very evident that he reigned in a different kingdom that was governed by a different set of laws.  The cross is a constant reminder for us to forgo our human comforts and to consider this new realm of service.  The power of God looks nothing like our world, it is something different, something foreign.  We must be willing to submit to God to properly understand such radical love.

Christ’s power is not abusive and his love isn’t self-serving.  His power sacrifices for the undeserving and his love initiates forgiveness.  This Easter, let us reflect on how Christ served us and how that act created a rippling that moves through us and goes outward to others.  There is no Easter without his service.

The dreaded Dread

April 18, 2011

How many of you dread going into work every Monday?   Maybe even every day? I’m not talking about a general tiredness but more of a specific lack of motivation based on a strong avoidance of any and everything work related.  If that is you then maybe you need to take a look at this to-do-list and see if there is something different you need to do.

 

confront

 This is maybe the most scary option for most folks.  This action is in the hopes of changing your environment.  Sometimes this is not possible but other times we just assume it is and never pursue honest conversations with our bosses or collegues.  If your dread comes from being underappreciated or neglected this might be something to consider.  They are creating the work environment and they might want to know if that environment isn’t working.  If you confront in a controlled and gentle manner most likely a productive dialogue will take place and at ther very least, you know where you stand with the big man. 

 reframe

If changing your environment is not possible then reevaluating your own mindset and attitude is a must.  Reframing is the art of placing an undesired thought/situation into a different context and seeing it from a different angle. We can get so caught up in our own junk that we don’t see the deeper realities.  And it’s not until we are forced to look at our situation differently that we actually will.

 The most difficult situations are also the most fertile ground for change.  Frederick Douglass famously stated, “if there is no struggle, there is no progress.”  It was Jesus that came to serve, not be served.  Use whateverquote floats your boat.  At some point it is beneficial to understand where we are pushed out of our comfort zone and how that can lead to progression interpersonally and within our work.  Read more…