personal reflections

Looking Back…

I love this time of the year. The season of looking back, looking ahead. My theme for 2013 was “more art and heart”. Here are some celebrations and memories from my year…

Doing my work…

I officially launched myself as a solopreneur, growing my work as a circle-based participatory process designer and facilitator. I’m so grateful to the people I’ve met and collaborated with this year; creating containers for listening, story, questions, possibilities and shared leadership. Other highlights from my practice and learning journey this year:

  • I was lucky to sit across the circle from the talented Caitlin Frost at a number of workshops bringing The Work of Byron Katie into a local organization.
  • Explored the Group Works Pattern Deck at their July workshop then enjoyed the summer Art of Hosting alumni BBQ.
  • Played with the delightful Nancy White and Michelle Laurie at their Rossland Graphic Recording workshop.
  • Met some amazing new local people through the ALIA local hosting and invitation team (go Camp Stanley!).
  • Had the honour of travelling to Minnesota for the Art of Hosting Steward’s Gathering.
  • Joined the hosting team for the Bowen Island Art of Hosting Participative Leadership and Social Collaboration. Incredible that three years ago I made my way to Bowen Island for my first Art of Hosting and my life’s trajectory was forever changed. A full circle moment.

 Deepening my circle practice…

In the summer of 2011 I attended the PeerSpirit Circle Practicum on Whidbey Island, another significant marker in my life. Circle is home for me – central to my hosting and life. This year I held the intention to expand and deepen my circle practice and this showed up in a number of ways:

  • Attended Christina and Ann’s Circle Way training in Vancouver.
  • Joined other circle-minds at the First Fire Gathering, participating in conversations that matter around the next legacy for the Circle Way. These conversations have continued as I’ve been part of the Transition Planning Council, shepherding a two-year transition plan for The Circle Way Initiative.
  • In the summer returned to Whidbey Island to co-teach the summer PeerSpirit Circle Practicum. Another incredible moment for me as attending the Practicum in 2011 was one of the highlight experiences of my life.
  • Wove circle into my personal life with three new circles being born: a friend from the Vancouver circle training called a regular women’s circle gathering, the Pacific Northwest Circlers began meeting and Hilda Nyguvest and I have co-called a monthly circle for a small group who are experiencing transition in some part of their life and who are interested in learning more about circle practice.


Over the 2012 Christmas break I devoured a few fiction books and realized how little fiction I had read over the past number of years. So this year I tried to read more fiction and biographies interspersed through my other reading. Success! 12 out of my 29 books read this year were fiction or biographies. Three of my overall favourites were Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser, The Exquisite Risk: Daring to Live an Authentic Life by Mark Nepo, and Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky.

Other good things…

  • My dad and his wife visited us on the West Coast for Easter.
  • Traveled to Washington, DC with my mom to visit my youngest sister (we even learned the Wobble dance).
  • Celebrated my mother-in-law’s wedding.
  • My sweetie and I enjoyed a number of concerts this year.
  • My sister spoiled me for my birthday and took me to see Billy Elliot performed in Vancouver.
  • Attending Theatre for Living’s Maladjusted was a powerful look at our mental health system.
  • Went to I Can Do It Vancouver and discovered Alex Woodard’s beautiful music from For the Sender.
  • Had lots of summer picnics at the New Westminster Pier Park.
  • Joined Denim & Steel’s Forum with Karen Fung on the BC Transit Funding Referendum.
  • Celebrated the Christmas season at the Good Noise Gospel Choir Christmas concern.
  • Flew home to have a white Christmas – eating, drinking and being merry with my family.

Random fun things…

  • Watched the livestream of Wendy Davis in Texas where she stood for 13 hours, speaking nearly the whole time during the 11 hours of her filibuster. Heard the room go crazy when Senator Leticia Van De Putte asked “At what point must a female senator raise her hand to be recognized over her male colleagues in the room?” #standwithwendy
  • Loved the Overview Effect video.
  • Was introduced to Joanna Powell Colbert’s gorgeous Gaian Tarot deck and her lovely blog writings.
  • Modeled for my favourite eco fashion designer Nicole Bridger in their real-life-women series.
  • Laughed out loud at Jennifer Lawrence’s backstage Q&A after her Oscar win. This continues to be a video I turn to when I need a boost of don’t-take-yourself-too-seriously and a good chuckle.
  • Switched up our nightly gratitude practice with naming our favourite moment of the day. Whether sharing what we’re grateful for or our fave moment I so love this end of day ritual.

I have so much to be grateful for in 2013, and I’m excited for what 2014 will bring!

Sodium Vapor Glory Jason Samfield via Compfight