Reflections on Core Talents–What Are Yours?
If so, did it take you a long time (as it did me) to learn to acknowledge it and then offer it to others?
Little did I know where life would lead me as as I took steps to learn my special gifts and mission for business and global service.
I took comfort in the poet Ranier Maria Rilke’s words:
Be patient with all that is unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like doors that are written in a foreign tongue. Do not seek the answers which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. —Ranier Maria Rilke
The locked rooms and doors written in a foreign tongue are gradually becoming unlocked, giving me answers for my life journey. Themes of my life have emerged with each work situation to bring shape to my calling: consulting and training people and teams to lead others through effective transitions and a new leadership style based on global service.
First I was a Peace Corps Volunteer. I learned what it is to become a global citizen, transcending my national sovereignty and self interest to become a global citizen.
Next I was a human resources manager at Pepperidge Farm, a division of a multinational corporation, Campbell Soup Company. What I did not understand, nor care about, is how my parent company was acting as a global citizen in the world.
When my brother’s request to have lunch with me one day when he was in a crisis came, I told him to wait till the next week so I could continue on my breakneck 15-hour day where I did not have any time for him, much less my child and husband. The next day at 5:30 am he was dead, killed by a drunken driver. It took me a long time to forgive myself. But my brothers death taught me how to live.
So I did. I moved toSan Franciscoafter having a dream that I was to move toSan Franciscoto become a consultant and let go of my ego. I volunteered there in organizations that resonated with my values of achieving balance. I still did not trust my gifts and calling, though.
I spent a lot of time on a beautiful mountain just outside of SF,Mt.Tamalpais. I found my own place, a rock, that I came back to every day for 18 months. I learned alot there about how to receive. At the end of 18 months, I was approached by a well-known organization to consult to them. They said they’d been watching me for two years.,
After coming back to the East Coast and working as a consultant for five years, I felt a certainty in me one day to go to the United Nations in NYC. The Persian Gulf resolution had been passed in the Security Council and the UN was about to invadeKuwait. Instinctively, I knew it was wrong to do that. I thought the UN was supposed to be a peacemaking body. I knew violence would beget violence. I had to go and learn what was going on there.
I felt no fear. I got on a train and a woman sat down next to me who worked at the UN. She became my mentor and teacher. I did a master’s study about the United Nations and implemented a thesis project where I linked personal, interpersonal/relational/ group and global competencies to get a degree inCommunityBuildingin Organizations. I held a community building event where I learned to bring team building to a new level — building transpersonal bonds between people whereby tasks are more effectively achieved because people really care about one another.
The UN experience became a metaphor for my life so far and what was to follow. Trusting my inner knowing, my special gifts and unique calling. I learned more about my own leadership style which was very different from traditional American leadership at the UN.
At my master’s degree graduation, I met my husband Joseph. Joseph was introduced to me by a colleague who worked for him when he was working at the UN. I knew the instant we met, and trusted it, that we were to be married — but naturally I waited for him to agree! I’ve learned so much from him, as he is a diplomatic history scholar and author specializing in the United Nations. Together we started a consultation organization, The Center for Global Community (me) and World Law (Joseph). I became trained as a mediator.
First we lived inCambridgefor six years when I opened my practice as a counselor and career counselor. Simultaneously, I was being certified as a professional holistic counselor from the New England Holistic Counselors Association where I was being mentored by aSalveReginaUniversityprofessor and program director, a clinical psychologist. Two of my team members in my master’s program were holistic counselors and I was deeply impressed by their insights and ability to teach me how to help individual growth through community building. I was on the faculty of Salve Regina University’s holistic counseling master’s program where I taught a course at the UN for the global level of their helix model that links personal skills to global skills: Designing and Implementing Interventions for Global Change.
Now I work inWorcester and New Yorkas a Leadership Coach and Trainer and a Career and Life Directions Counselor, helping people act from their own mission and special gifts. I also have clients who come to me as a life and work coach and mediator. Formerly, I worked for the Attorney General ofMassachusettsas a mediation coordinator for peer mediators atBurncoatHigh School. Children from thirty countries came together and it was partly my job to see they get along with one another and their teachers — a mini-UN.
After 9/11 I founded a new business, The Institute for Global Leadership. to empower people and teams to lead others through effective transitions by consulting and training for those leaders. I have trained others in the leadership models I’ve developed, Reconciliation Leaders, Reflective Leaders and Integrative Leaders. Reconciliation Leaders supply a Global Mediation and Reconciliation Service. I’ve done pilot projects on five continents.
I have unlocked several of my rooms. I have lived the questions into the answers.
The question I lived after being at the UN on September 11 was how can I help address the new global problem of terrorism with my ten year history of research and practice? For the next few years, I explored that question in my classes at the United Nations using Elise Boulding’s imaging process.
Now, I am am exploring a question on how to start a Coalition for the Human Right to Peace. Once again, we’re using imaging at a conference at Clark University I’m holding on February 19, 2.201
I look forward to hearing the questions you are living into! Please let me know how I can help.
If you want to know more about my life, my spiritual memoir is available at Amazon.com, A Mantle of Roses: A Woman’s Journey Home to Peace.