Welcome to November, the time of long nights and cold rain in the Northwest.Colorful autumn maple leaves on a tree branch. Yellow autumn leaves background with copy space.

Our glorious Indian Summer, which I celebrated in My Favorite Fall Things, is officially over.

November is my month for longer cups of tea and yummy evenings inside reading. Sometimes so much dark, though, still gets under my skin and I start doubting what the heck I’m doing.

AnnRandolphWhen discouragement threatens, I turn to the words of actress Ann Randolph, whose determination, resilience and funny bone, always sets me right. In both my post and podcast, you’ll hear her audacious wit and learn how she’s found freedom in being so fetchingly inappropriate.

The world mourned the death of Dr. Oliver Sacks this fall (author of Awakenings) and I did too – feeling the dignity he brought to his aging and illness and modeling how we can all learn to accept what we might never choose.

Do the Presidential debates remind you of agitated birds flapping their wings? dark birds rev 2The word zugunruhe and my post describe how birds become agitated before they begin their yearly migration.

Ann Weiser Cornell provided five simple steps through Focusing (know how you feel to change how you think) that can help you unlock the intelligence that lives sometimes hidden within the body – for surprising and powerful results.

Finally, since leadership development has been my beat for many years – supporting professionals to engage others more authentically – I’ve been concerned that maybe the word leadership has overstayed its usefulness (aka “gone dead”). The results of my inquiry were mixed, so I think there’s still hope for leadership as a word whose deeper spirit, I hope, can outlive trendier alternatives.

And then there were other inspiring interviews:Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 7.40.06 PM

Imagine a Yankee potential-aristocrat-in-training, born to a legacy family, who walked away from money to pursue interests in biodynamic farming and social causes. Then, many years later Ben Bingham learned how to reconcile his values with making money. Now he guides investors in impact investing – helping his clients make a good profit while making a big difference.

Or a successful executive who left his work in banking to pursue his passion for Corporate Ethics. Fast forward twenty five years and Keith Darcy’s contribution to this incredibly timely and needed field has been enormous. (And he’s kept his positive spirit intact despite the crash of 2008!)PicMonkey Collage

Karen Dietz and Lori Silverman are both masters in the field of business storytelling and co-authors of the not-dumb-at-all Business Story Telling for Dummies. In separate interviews, they talk about the competencies you need to become a more skilled business storyteller, and share some useful suggestions for those who love business storytelling (as I do).

 

 

As for me, I’m seeing a lot of light in this dark season ahead. I’m facilitating a retreat for the Washington State Bar Association at the beautiful Sleeping Lady resort in Leavenworth, Washington (a town known for its fabricated, yet delightful, world of ump-pah-pah and lederhosen.)

And counting down to that big trip to India to teach Business Storytelling.

May the darkness be your friend.