the becoming: July 31, 2023


I would be remiss to not say hello for July, though this month is without a long-form essay. Not for lack of effort, but the writing hasn’t coalesced into something tangible enough to share. Which caused a mild freak-out as I contemplated the trail of zero drafts in my wake and felt the pressure of winnowing days, providing a front-row seat to how I create the drama of my life.

Mt Bachelor sunset Chasing sunset near Mt. Bachelor, Oregon.

This is an archived version of the becoming. You can sign up to receive future editions using the form at the bottom of this page.

Essay aside, I have been writing up a storm this month. While the becoming’s July essay didn’t quite get there, I did post a number of articles on Medium: The Coaching Leadership Style, 12 Essential Books for Leaders Who Coach, The Mindset, Qualities, and Posture of a Coach. So it’s not like I’ve been slacking, exactly. But I have been in more of a liminal place than I realized, coming off some deep personal work and transformational events at the end of June that continue to unravel and remake me across the arc of late summer.


Since I don’t have a full essay to offer this month, please enjoy this poem by Martha Postlewaith that I find to be both a balm and an invocation.

Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create
a clearing
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself to this world
so worthy of rescue.

New Newsletter Announcement!

Leader as Coach announcement

A few weeks ago I launched a newsletter about the art, science, and craft of the Coaching Leadership Style. Published bi-weekly, Words Make Worlds offers practical insights, exercises, and reflection prompts for folks who want to integrate coaching skills into their leadership practice. Developing and facilitating Leader as Coach has been tremendously rewarding and I wanted to find a way to get some of the material out to folks who are interested but cannot, for whatever reason, enroll in the live course.

Leader as Coach Updates

Leader as Coach announcement

Speaking of which, Leader as Coach is now a 6 week course! After running three incredible pilots in the spring, I took the summer to integrate the feedback and overhaul the program. The new version kicks off in September and you can read more about it on Maven, or reach out if you have any questions!

Tent Talks: The Coaching Leadership Style

If you happen to be around tomorrow (Tuesday, August 1st) I’m giving a short Tent Talk about the Coaching Leadership Style. The talk will be recorded so if you can’t make it I’ll share the video out in next month’s newsletter.

Worth Your Attention

The times that I have known most deeply what is true and beautiful and important — when I understand how all of the little things are connected to the overwhelmingness of being — have been the times in which I forget the demands of a self.Tal Milovina’s beautiful meditation on the ouroboros of ontological design defies easy categorization (other than “this is a piece you must read”). Weaving between physical and digital realms, being and nothingness, scientific rationalism and deeply human feeling states, pathology and ways of being, Milovina’s insights are connected through the semiotics of lithium, an unexpected and poignant representation of this particular moment in global time.

What do you get when you combine the daughter of a comedy writer with non-dual experience? The inimitable Jean Houston. This short talk, “The Quest for Nondual Reality” touches on a non-dual developmental path for self and world, one that illuminates the interconnection and evolution of everything with everything else. As I deepen in my own nondual work through The Realization Process (something I will be talking about more soon) I am researching ways in which people give language to nondual experiences in order to find my own place as a guide and teacher of nondual practices.

Speaking of comedy, amazing human Viktor Frankel uses it to great effect in this short clip on humanity’s search for meaning from a lecture in 1972. If you don’t watch the video, remember this quote from Goethe that Frankl invokes, "We have to be idealists, in a way, because then we'll wind up as the true, the real realists. If we take Man as he his we make him worse but if we take man as he should be, we make him capable of becoming what he can be.

Creating a world where everyone belongs is Brian Stout’s mission. I met Brian in the summer of 2021 at the Strozzi dojo in Petaluma, California and I’ve been following his work ever since. What I appreciate most about Brian’s is the transparency, detail, and deep care with which he writes, shares and creates. And his most recent post on an initiative he has been co-creating, Belonging @ Scale, is no exception. Bringing new worlds into being takes a phenomenal level of effort, community, and awareness and I think you’ll get a lot from this two part series (sign-up to his newsletter to get notified when Part 2 is published!).

Erin Kissane is writing up a ton of insightful, critical, and spot on essays about the Fediverse, Mastodon, and community building. The affordance loop is one of those essays and a must read for anyone on the internet today (which means you, dear reader). Freedom, flourishing, safety, and refuge are all on the table through explorations of affordances, intention, and outcomes. This is a nuanced take on ecosystems in the throes of change, how we create networks of meaningful connection, and the way in which digital affordances, now decades in their making and maturation, shape communities and in turn are shaped by communities.

Thanks for being here. I hope you are having a lovely, moderately cool, and wildfire-free summer. Or a bitingly crisp, clear, and snow-filled winter. See you in August!