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Now is an Opportune Time for....

.....some deep breaths.

I'll join you....


I'm writing this at 7am on a Friday morning in my home in Bellingham, Washington. As I write I can hear a rat-a-tat-tat-tat-tat sound, that makes me laugh. Though it used to respond with agitation and mild anger when I heard it.

Why the shift?

It was about six years ago, that I first heard that noise early in the morning.

"What is that loud, irritating noise?! It sounds like power tools on metal!"

My upstairs neighbor had two boys who were in high school and not always the most self-aware of their noise level. (To their credit, whenever I went up to say something to them, they always were gracious and quieted down. And really, I think they were oblivious to their impact).

So I'm thinking, "Why are the boys upstairs using power tools at this time of day?!"

I didn't say anything that day... and didn't happen every day. I hadn't yet gone up to speak with them.

Then one day, I was outside, in my front yard, and heard a quite similar sound and I looked up to the top of our house. There, perched on the chimney (which was partially metal) was a woodpecker, Rat-a-tat-tatting to his heart's content.

I had myself a good chuckle.

And this story for me has been a gift. It serves as a great reminder of how we are making up stories all the time. And often we can default to the worst possible interpretation.

* * *

Here we are in this unprecedented time of COVID-19 and all it's various impacts. For many of us, fear levels have gone up... and spread just like a virus.

When we have times where everything has been shaken up and so much is in flux, it is an opportune time to experiment and make shifts in our mindsets

This time is ripe for asking ourselves...

  • What matters most to me?

  • What are my fears? Am I willing to name them? What would be possible if I shifting my relationship to my fears?

  • What are the stories I am making up? What alternative stories could I tell that would give me other options?

And here's some good news... (that's why I'm keeping this in boldface) ...

You DO NOT have to explore this alone.

We are truly in this together.

And our ability to be vulnerable, to open up and share, and create an environment of support where others can do the same will amazingly....

...form us into more Resilient Communities (and therefore less vulnerable (in this sense) to total collapse in the midst of crisis.

I am convening three Upcoming Interactive Workshops that provide space for us to

explore these questions and thereby,

  • shift mindsets,

  • learn core skills, and

  • connect with others!


WARNING: These are NOT traditional Webinar lectures. We invite you to lean in and engage. And you'll be glad you did!

click here for more info and to register or on the hyperlinked titles below.

Tuesday, April 7

noon-1pm PST / 3-4pm EST

Designed and Facilitated by Billy Tierney and David Westerlund

We make up stories all the time. When we increase our self-awareness of this we can grow empathy and self-regulation and an ability to explore so many possiblities!

In this interactive and Playful workshop we will reflect on these dynamics and participate in basic story based applied improvisation games.

Tuesday, April 14

noon-1pm PST / 3-4pm EST

Designed and Facilitated by Astrid Pruitt and David Westerlund

Fear and Anxiety can easily get out of control during this time of flux and uncertainty. In this interactive workshop we will playfully reveal and shift our relationship with those things that keep us up in the night using some Liberating Structures in our design (as per usual!)

Thursday, April 23

noon-1:30pm PST / 3-4:30pm EST

Designed and Facilitated by Peter Drury and David Westerlund

NOTE - This is an AFP/Advancement NW event...More info here.

Cultivating the core muscle of listening is vital to our donor relationships, to the health of our nonprofit organizations, and to our fundraising community. In this time of increased isolation, a welcoming, supportive presence makes a significant impact.

What keeps us from listening with our full selves? How can we strengthen our skills in listening and presence? This online lunchtime session will be an interactive and engaging learning opportunity for everyone who could use help centering and focusing ourselves.

Please spread the Word. And re-post.

In these past two weeks we've had people from all over the US, Montreal, Paris, the UK, India, Russia, Brazil, South Africa and Australia!

To be human is to be in community - Wendell Berry

With a grateful heart,


David Westerlund

Bellingham, Washington

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