Coaching for Nonprofit Leaders

Transform Conflict into Collaboration

No, thanks. I know how to resolve conflicts very well.

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Understanding My Dog’s Tragic Expression of Unmet Needs

Understanding My Dog’s Tragic Expression of Unmet Needs

You remember the two dogs I wrote about a week ago? Luna and Sol? Well, Sol is not the only one triggering anxiety. Luna does too. Usually, she is a sweetie. Super mellow, listens to me, doesn't disappear in the fields. So this morning when we get at the dog park, I...

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My dog runs away with my self-worth

My dog runs away with my self-worth

I’m babysitting my friend's dogs. I find them super sweet: when I wake up in the morning, they greet me with excitement, puppy ears up, tail wagging, head a bit slanting. I can hear them asking: “Are we gonna play? Are we gonna play?”. ​​When we go to the dog park ......

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Self-compassion and cockroaches

Self-compassion and cockroaches

Cockroaches and Self-Compassion My husband and I cherish our vegan household. We don’t eat animal products, we don’t buy leather shoes, we don’t spread poison to kill bugs. As a result, we have our occasional cockroach visitor. Since we don’t want to kill or harm...

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Authenticity and Courage

Authenticity and Courage

I am redesigning my website. I want it to look professional, authentic, and inspiring. A colleague asks me what authentic means to me. Me at my most vulnerable, me at my best, me at my worst? Haha…! Funny question! Is it? … Maybe not so much. Authentic is not just me...

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Holding unmet needs with compassion

Holding unmet needs with compassion

Six wasps are actively building a nest for their queen mama above the door to my room. And I know from last year that these nests can become big. Really big. Lots of wasps coming in and out, feeding their babies. Even though I don't experience them as aggressive...

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Walking mindfully, walking peacefully

Walking mindfully, walking peacefully

Walking Mindfully, Walking Happily It's March 2017, SXSW week in Austin. A week bustling with thousands of participants trying to get to their coffee, their meetups, their conferences, screenings, and social gatherings in time. It's also the week of the premiere of...

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An Ode to Vulnerability, Authenticity. And to My Husband

An Ode to Vulnerability, Authenticity. And to My Husband

This is an ode to my husband. Or maybe better, an ode to our human capacity to balance authenticity and togetherness, our ability to differentiate. "Differentiation involves balancing two basic life forces: the drive for individuality and the drive for togetherness....

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Dog bites, flowers, and impermanence

Dog bites, flowers, and impermanence

Do you remember when I wrote about being accidentally bitten by a dog? The grandma sent me a basket of flowers, arranged like a dog with a bandaid, and a big smiley balloon. I have kept that basket on my desk. As you can see, most flowers are brown and droopy (except...

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I’m in a shame storm

I’m in a shame storm

I’m in a shame storm. I’m in our NVC group, practicing empathy with a buddy. My husband walks by. He says “I hope my eating won’t disturb you too much, honey.” I feel the urge to explain to my buddy what my husband is talking about. “Well, uh,... you know,... I have...

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Juggling and learning new things

Juggling and learning new things

I’m juggling. Four balls. My best is maybe five catches. I drop them a lot. Almost all the time. My husband juggles too. He drops too. More than I do. He’s practicing seven balls force bouncing on a double stacked rola bola balance (watch the video, it's insane). He...

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Walking in my husband’s shoes

Walking in my husband’s shoes

We’re at Sangha, my Thich Nhat Hanh mindfulness community and we’re starting our mindful walking. One step in front of the other, taking a breath with every step, solidly feeling the ground underneath our feet. I always love this practice, it slows me down and...

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Running around, looking for my Buddha nature

Running around, looking for my Buddha nature

I’m up early. Before the crack of dawn. I love it. I feel energized and excited about a new day, about being alive and having the opportunity to contribute, learn, and receive. I get dressed and make my tea. Green tea. Yum. Then I hear the alarm on my phone go off....

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Living a life of purpose

Living a life of purpose

It's Easter weekend, and many Christians are commemorating the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. One of the things that always struck me about how the event is told in the Gospels, is how reluctant Jesus was at being crucified: "Please, Father, take this cup from...

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A Peace Agreement for Our Country

A Peace Agreement for Our Country

After the elections, one thing that stands out to me is the need to create circles of listening. With myself, with family and friends, and especially with those who have different points of view. I want to understand the beautiful needs behind all choices. I want to...

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What does Triominos have to do with Interbeing?

I’m playing Triominos. By myself. Usually I play with my husband, but he isn’t home. I put nine tiles in front of my right hand, and nine tiles in front of my left hand. My right hand has the triple five and starts. My left hand needs to take a stone. My right hand is...

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Big, blue, teary baby eyes are asking for help

Big, blue, teary baby eyes are asking for help

My friend Kadi is in the ER. Her husband calls me to see if I can take Anora, their 14 months old, to their apartment and hang out with her until Kadi is released. I love Anora. They all lived across the street and we used to go for a walk, every day, till they moved...

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Excited readers

  • “Hoi Elly, fantastic again this one! The plumbing of our communication is constipated!” – John van der Steur, Austin, TX
  • “This is excellent Elly! I love how you are integrating your Buddhist and NVC Practices and how open you are in sharing your experiences. The fruits of your practice are benefiting so many beings! Love, Andrea.” – Andrea Black, Austin, TX
  • “What a great image to describe how I let small things go and then it’s a shitty mess!!! Brilliant! Thank you for thinking up and delivering these fantastic resources Elly! Yay!!!” – Jen Collins, Austin, TX 
  • “Nice post today, Elly!  I, too, instinctively go for the counter-argument first instead of slowing down and thinking about empathy. Great advice!” – Michael Katz, Hopkinton, MA
  • “Elly, this is a FANTASTIC and needed message right now for me. How do I approach someone with whom I deeply disagree…? Wow. Thank you for sharing!!” – Jen Collins, Austin, TX
  • “Great to see you specializing, plus your newsletters just get better and better with the new focus. Super applicable to me.” – Abigail Harris, Portland, OR
  • “What a great story, Elly. Thank you for being so vulnerable! What a fantastic way to turn an embarrassing story into a wonderful lesson! Love.” – Jen Collins, Austin, TX
  • I have been appreciating your wise, insightful, and funny posts for your coaching work.” – Andrea Black, Austin, TX
  • “Inspired…. and inspiring.  Elly, that fills my heart with hope and a sense of privilege to know you.   I hope many people will reach out to you today and feel the love and empathy.” – Bren Hardt, Houston, TX
  • “Ha Ha Ha.  This was precious!” – Eliza Walls, Austin, TX
  • “Dear Elly, You wrote an absolutely lovely letter. Compassionate and full of hope. EmojiEmojiEmoji” – Madeleine, Austin, TX
  • “Ha-ha. Your tale (tail?) is funny and precious. So, embarrassing, sure, but I bet it also gave observers a thrill of human connection to you and the rest of the group. I enjoy your messages.” – David Phillips, Austin, TX
  • “I read your piece on ‘bids for connection’. It’s all, I don’t know how else to say it, it’s all really good.” Tahni Handal, Austin, TX

Do you enjoy those little gifts in your inbox? Then you might enjoy donating some happy money!