​©2015 Tracy Maxwell

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September 22, 2019

Beth and I met at a retreat in February 2019. It took place in an exotic location (there were monkeys in the trees behind the house where we stayed). It was beautiful, peaceful and we could walk to the beach. The leader held space for amazing conversations and provided heart-opening teachings. The food was lovingly prepared from local ingredients, and it was both yummy and healthy (and unique too). We engaged with the local culture and people, and participated in fun activities each day. We had the opportunity to pamper ourselves in the way that most resonated with us from spa treatments, to pool time, to reading in a hammock, to connecting with fellow retreat participants, to alone time. All of our needs were taken care of so we could focus solely on what felt good to us. 

Beth and I were...

October 7, 2015

I am so fortunate to have been a part of many welcoming communities in my life. From the Friends Club which made my high school years bearable to the sorority that was my home away from home in college, the Girl Scout camp that gave me a radically different perspective on life when I worked there after college, the AOII consultant group affectionately termed “The Nine” with whom I traveled across North America for a year, the larger fraternity/sorority community that I have been an intimate part of for more than 20 years now, the cancer community that no one wants to be a part of, but when you get initiated into the club, you are so thankful for, and the River Geeks, fellow river guides who open their homes and break bread with me on a regular basis, and with whom I spend time paddling on...

September 11, 2015

 

Going back for the 35 year reunion of the Girl Scout camp I attended as a kid and worked at for three years after college reminded me of how much that job embraced play in all its myriad forms. We sang before meals, after meals, during meals, while washing the dishes (about washing the dishes) and made games out of so many of the tasks that had to get done everyday. When we weren’t doing that, we were sailing, windsurfing, paddling canoes and kayaks, swimming, playing games in the field, hiking, climbing on cargo nets, challenging ourselves on the ropes course, spelunking, rock climbing, riding on the pontoon boat, or playing rainy day games (mostly involving singing – again). For special occasions, we had all-camps, themed fun days in which all the units at camp came together in a carniv...

August 20, 2015

Sometimes I feel like a walking paradox. I totally empathize with politicians who are labeled flip-floppers (and think it’s totally unfair, by the way), because we all change our minds from time to time. If we are growing at all, it seems logical that even the most deeply held convictions would alter over time. I have always had the gift (curse?) of being able to see the same issue from many different points of view, and even strongly held beliefs on my part can be swayed by a good counter-point on the spot. I even like the aha moment experience that hits me like a bolt of lightning from the blue when suddenly the way I view the world is turned on its head in an instance.

 

F. Scott Fitzgerald apparently saw the benefit of a paradoxical view of life as well when he said, “The test of a first...

May 29, 2015

 

I wrote about this topic in February of 2011, and today I’m reminded that it is still a very relevant theme in my life. I have been very emotional lately, often crying easily during a frustration, and sometimes for a long time. It has been a busy and somewhat difficult six months for me for a number of reasons, and the stress of that prolonged period of discomfort is taking a toll.

 

For two years now, I’ve been taking part in a healer training program that involves energy and intuitive healing techniques. This course has taught me a great deal about the healing process, and solidified the truth of the statement, “healer, heal thyself.” Part of what makes me an empathetic healing coach is that I also struggle with many of the same issues as my clients. You’ve heard the phrase “we teach that...

April 1, 2015

In higher education where I have spent 20+ years of my career, there is a theory by which we work with students that is affectionately known as “challenge and support.” Developed in the 1960s by Nevitt Sanford, this theory postulates that too much challenge will lead to frustration and too much support will prevent growth and development. He suggested that there is a sweet spot in the middle that provides the maximum potential for learning. I wrote about this theory in my blog and book in describing First Descent’s programs. I believe they have the sweet spot down cold. 

 

I once told a friend of mine that she was one of my most “challenging” friends. She got upset. At first, I was surprised because I meant it as a compliment, but when I tried to see it from her perspective, I can understand...

March 16, 2015

Have you ever had those days when EVERYTHING feels like an enormous struggle?  Of course you have. We all have. Sometimes, almost from the moment you get out of bed things seem to go wrong. You burn the toast, stub your toe, get shampoo in your eye and spill coffee on your tax return. All before you even get out the door! I used to call these dork days, because I would just feel like an enormous dork who couldn’t do anything right. I would even wonder, “Who is this bumbling idiot that is temporarily inhabiting my body?”

This came up last night in a call I was leading for my Being Enough 5-week tele-class. One of the participants described the day when she forgot her umbrella, it was sleeting and she missed the bus. She mentioned that those kinds of days used to happen more often than they...

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