In my Backyard in Tacoma

Friends gathered in my backyard in Tacoma on a warm summer Sunday evening to enjoy dinner and catch up on life. Tom retired in June from a thirty year elementary school teaching career, and Patty retired from teaching college just two years ago.

Though they loved their work, their careers ended painfully, each marred by fear, stress, and betrayal. We'd anguished for many months as their situations played out. The joy decreased. The pain increased. Each workplace was threatening and negative. I was anxious to know how they were doing now. 

As we ate and sipped our way through courses of dinner, the stars came out and so did their stories.

They were lighter and relaxed as they spoke. Moving past the fear and negativity, they've found a new way to contribute. They are volunteering as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) for children in the judicial system. They will be using their insights, skills, and experiences to help children who need someone to look out for their best interests. What a perfect pivot. What a gift! 

Everywhere I go I hear stories of fear and of love in the workplace.

In this case, my friends moved from love to fear to love again. Beautiful resilience. 

Everywhere I go. (And sometimes in my own backyard!)

In a Café in Seattle

Sitting in a café, I chat with a young Black woman vacationing in the beautiful PNW. She asks what I do, and when I tell her I advocate for more love and less fear in the workplace she responds, "Oh wow. We need that in healthcare! The healthcare system that I work in is so full of fear and intimidation."

I ask if she is a physician and she is. She's an anesthesiologist.

We talk for a long time about what it is like to work in healthcare as a woman, as a person of color, as a clinician. She describes how people informally cope and try to support each other. A lot of time and effort go in to helping mitigate such a threatening environment. She describes the high toll it takes on people. Burnout is rampant. There's a critical need for a better way of working in healthcare if the needs of patients are going to be met.

Everywhere I go I meet people who resonate with the need for more love and less fear in their work. 

Everywhere I Go. 

In Seattle at JuneBaby

Sitting at the counter eating at JuneBaby in Seattle, I chat with the young couple visiting from Connecticut next to me. When he learns about my love not fear work, he lights up and shares the street art of 5ivefingaz and Love More Than Ever. So much to love there! Check it out! 

Everywhere I Go.