Tomorrow UVI-PULSE presents another Webinar in the monthly series.  This one is about listening … actively.  It is about the state of being we need to have as human beings to involve ourselves in listening to others.  It is not about just showing up and being within earshot.  Listening with HEART is much, much more. It is about deliberately setting yourself the task of truly understanding the other persons position.  It asks you to understand their physical, mental, emotional, relational and spiritual well being.

HEART stands for Hush, Empathise, Attend, Reflect and Trust.  It is a neural address for a set of skills that demonstrate and strengthen Compassion.  HEART is about caring about the other person, about honouring them as a following human being with their own unique perspective on the world.  There is no judgement in this kind of listening.  Its purpose is to get over to the other person’s side and have a look at the world from there,  It is about creating understanding but not necessarily agreement.

Hush. Stop doing what ever you are doing.  Stop the chatter in your brain. Stop moving.  Stop talking.  Stop judging.  Stop editing the story.  Just stop.  Listen to what is being said NOW.  Watch what is happening NOW.  Turn off your own stuff.  Suspend what ever is going on for you so that you can feel and experience the other person’s world. Hush.

Empathise.  Imagine how it is to be in that person’s world.  Step in.  It is pretty much impossible for you to really completely understand how it is for them but if you can begin to see how or why they are thinking, talking and behaving the way they are that is a good first step.  Feel what they are feeling if you can. Sense the state they are in and emulate it as much as you can. Empathise.

Attend.  Listen with both ears.  Sit up straight.  Watch with both eyes.  Attend to the facial expressions, the body language, the tone and pace, the changes in intensity, the pauses and the words.  Put all of your attention with that person. Learn how it is for them.  Attend.

Reflect.  Let the emotional state that you see and experience reflect in your own face and body without saying anything.  This allows the speaker to continue to speak.  It also encourages expression of the emotional reality they are experiencing.  If your reflection is not true for them, they will adjust their communication to explain more clearly what is true for them until they get the right reflection back. Reflect.

Trust.  Everyone is doing the best they can with what they know.  We are social beings searching for connection with each other.  We want to believe in something bigger than ourselves.  We believe what we believe because of our own experiences.  We act the way we do because of our beliefs, expectations, assumptions, concerns and hopes.  All of this is informed by what we know to be true.  AND we can change what we know.  Trust.

Listening with HEART looks like any other kind of listening.  It is the deliberateness and purposefulness of it that makes the difference.  Put your HEART into it and listening will improve, conversations will improve and relationships will improve.

Today I worked with a very brave group of people who do very important work here in the Virgin islands.  I am always impressed by who shows up to learn about conflict management.  I have met the most interesting and wonderful people in my classes and I learn so much from each of them.  Today was like that.  I haven’t really taught this large a group in about five years and I had forgotten how demanding it can be to harness all that energy into learning.

I am tired but happy tonight.  After work I had a coaching call with a client and then did the same five minute walk to the beach that I had done yesterday .  The water is so warm and inviting here and there were two or three groups of people enjoying it the way I was.  I spent about 15 minutes in the water and then dried off and walked back up the hill to sit on the deck for the sunset.  There were a few clouds in the sky with the weight of rain in them but they didn’t drop it on St Thomas.

There have already been so many adventures and stories to tell.  I have met wonderful people in class and out and I am happy to be here.  I have been thinking about renting a car for the weekend to do some errands and see some of the sights or joining a charter and doing a yacht adventure one day or … so many possibilities.  Many of you know that I didn’t think I could ever rent a car.  I was traumatized justs riding as a passanger the first time I came here.  Left hand drive cars on the left side of the road.  Who does that? 

I think I am ready to give it a go.  Wish me luck.

Another day with my brave people tomorrow.  Friday I am redoing the Webinar on POWER Listening form Tuesday.  I fogot to record the one on Tuesday.  Its a do over I am happy to have the chance to do.  Next week … St Croix and some colleagues of the people I am working with this week on St Thomas.  I love my new job…..




Continue on your path to UVI-PULSE mediation certification and build valuable skills with these courses coming to the University of the Virgin Islands:

Understanding and Experience PULSE Techniques (Free online events)
Sep. 8 / Webinar: The POWER of Deep Listening
Oct. 14 / Webinar: Listening with HEART
Nov. 12 / Webinar: The PULSE Grid
Dec. 9 / Webinar: PULSE Ways of Knowing

Introduction to Conflict Mediation
Sep. 9-10 I St. Thomas Campus (St. Thomas)
Sep. 15-16 I Albert A. Sheen Campus (St. Croix)

Sep. 11 I St. Thomas Campus (St. Thomas)
Sep. 17 I Albert A. Sheen Campus (St. Croix)

PULSE Conversations for Change
Sep. 21-25 I St. Thomas Campus (St. Thomas)
Nov. 16-20 I Albert A. Sheen Campus (St. Croix)

Advanced Mediation
Nov. 4-10 I St. Thomas Campus (St. Thomas)

UVI-PULSE Professional Train-the-Trainer
Sep. 28-30 I St. Thomas Campus (St. Thomas)

I know that I have written about the relationship between time and space before but tonight, as I sit back in my apartment after a week away in Edinburgh and  an extended (30 hour) journey home, I am once again struck by the feeling of never having left.  Traveling is weird… and wonderful.  There is so much I enjoy about it and so much I tend to endure rather than savour.

It seems like yesterday that I was at the Royal Edinburgh Tattoo, at the spectacular Edinburgh Castle enjoying the precision of pipes and rums and dancers from around the world with thousands of other souls braving the wind and rain and the bitter chill of a Scottish evening.  When EVERYONE stood up, joined hands and sang Auld Lang Syne it was a sight to see and to etch into the memory banks.

It seems like yesterday that our tour van turned a corner and my eyes welled with tears at my first glimpse of the Old Course at St Andrews.  The medieval town with its impressive university seems a fitting backdrop to the birth place of golf.  St Andrews has always been there and I can only imagine how many duffers like me have been moved by the site of the place.

AND Doune Castle where Monty Python filmed The Holy Grail. So interesting and LOL funny. The visit took us back to the medieval times but also to 1975 when the silly, preposterous film was produced there.  The visit was just days ago, close in time yet so far away in kilometres from where I am right now.  And don’t even get me started on time zones and jet lag after 30 hours of travel through seven time zones. 

Now I am sitting at my dining room table remembering.  There are new images and sensations in my brain forever to be associated with Scotland. And I have a new appreciation for where I come from and why I am the way I am.  Scotland, like Nova Scotia, gives me the sensation of home, of fitting in, of feeling welcomed and appreciated for my sarcastic humour and my firm believe in democracy, the rights and responsibility of each individual in a well ordered and unique society of wonderful, fun loving human beings.

We didn’t get to Skye where Clan MacKinnon last held land but I always feel as if I have already been there.  The etheral beauty and the warm welcome in a cold climate are part of who I am as a Love, a Highlander, always willing to fight for a cause, never satisfied until the enemy is defeated.  The enemy for me has always been ignorance and the Scots were the first to wage that battle and fight that fight with introduction of mandatory schooling for young children and free university for its citizens and lending libraries before it was done anywhere else.  Education at an early age produced many unlikely scholars in Scotland.

Tomorrow I am back in the education saddle here in western Canada as I prepare for Wednesday’s free webinar sponsered by UVI PULSE at the University of the Virgin Islands’ Institute for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness.  Here’s the link to register. 8 am Mountain and 10 am Eastern time on Wednesday the 12th.


Many of you will have already recieved an invitation to attend.  I am excited to be sharing the GHOST protocol “wi’ ye” and look forward to the opportunity. Now to bed … to dream of the banks of Loch Lomond.

On Wednesday morning at 8:00 am Mountain I will be doing my first UVI-PULSE webinar.  I am really hoping you can join me.  The webinar is free and is the first in the series of monthly webinar I will be providing through the University.  If you can’t make it yourself please feel free to share the link with others.  Although I am confident there will be room for everyone, spaces are limited, so let me know if you intend to be there and I will make sure you have a spot.
For this webinar you just have to enter as a guest using the link below.  Future webinars will require you to register through UVI.
UVI website for registration: 
For many of you this webinar will be a review of the PULSE Frame and its elements. For some it will be an introduction to the three dimensional nature of conversations.  I am hoping it will serve as an introduction to the thinking that is guiding my book on “Mapping the Space Between Us”.  I am hoping to give everyone a peek into the structure of the PULSE tetrahedron, not just the triangle, to show what makes it strong as well as simple.
It is my first opportunity to work with the UVI in this way, as a partner.  I am very excited by the possibilities ahead of us with this venture. I am also grateful for the support I have had from all of you until now and look forward to what else we can accomplish together.




When you hear the letters CPR you most likely associate them with Cardio Pulmonary resuscitation, the lifesaving procedure that is done when someone’s breathing or heartbeat is stopped. The heart and lungs are made to work by compressing the chest and forcing air into the lungs.  CPR is used to maintain circulation when the heart has stopped pumping on its own.

I watched a team of medical professionals perform CPR on my mother in the hospital after she coded last year.  It was not pretty and although they tried for more than 20 minutes to revive her she was gone.  I knew she was.  In many cases where hearts are younger and stronger than hers CPR can be successful at resuscitating the patient … bringing them back to life.  It is miracle work really.

With PULSE we use the acronym to represent Content, Process and Response, the three aspects of conversation.  Content is what we are thinking about.  Process is what we are doing.  Responses is how we are feeling.  Keeping all three balls in the air is complicated in conflict resolution and absolutely necessary if the relationship is to be saved and given new life.

This week, The University of the Virgin Islands revived PULSE. To me it feels like another chance at life for all of the PULSE professionals out there who still use the tried and true skills associated with PULSE conversations for change.  We have been resuscitated.  This new life could be even more exciting and invigorating than we could have imagined.  The Content will be enriched. The Processes revitalized.  The Response felt more deeply.

Affiliated with the Institute for Leadership and organizational Effectiveness at the University of the Virgin Islands, UVI PULSE has a second chance to make good on its promises to change the world one conversation at a time and one conversation after another.  Like many people who are resuscitated, we will look at life differently.  We will see the opportunities and seize them with new energy.  We will be Sharp and Happy and Independent and Fit and Trusting in ways we may not have been before, grateful to be alive and optimistic as never before.

Exciting times for UVI PULSE and for you as the opportunities to learn and work together continue.

Thank you.

Yesterday I attended ANOTHER Dance competition.  I have lost track of how many my two daughters and my two granddaughters and I have danced at this year.  You kind of lose track of time.  Another theatre, another group of dancers and parents, another adjudication, more medals.  At this point it is all a blurr.  Dont get me wrong.  I LOVE watching the girls perform, but we are all tired right now and its almost over.

You know you are tired when it is Monday and as your daughter tries to figure out the quickest way to get to the festival from work on time the next day you chime in with “Well there might be more trafiic tomorrow.  It is Friday.”  Blank looks. Then “Mum… tomorrow is Tuesday!” I had to think.  Then smiles turned into belly laughs and then uncontrollable giggles for the rest of the evening.  Every time she looked at me in the car on the drive home we laughed out loud.  It was comical because the other lady in the conversation thought about it too.  You could see her thinking “Is tomorrow Friday?” but she didn’t say anything to correct me.

I guess we will add this event to the family lore.  The ‘times that Mum made us laugh’ file has a new entry.  Not to worry.  The list is long but so is everyone elses.  Glad I could contribute.  AND glad I found out what day it was.  I might have missed my Tuesday Yoga class.

Have a day full of laughter….

Twenty Five years ago I was teaching at Sturgeon Composite High. I taught French and Social Studies. My daughter Julia was one of my students so I came to know the class of 1990 as a teacher and as a parent. I can hardly believe that those teenagers are now in their forties.

Next month at the Celtic Knot here in St Albert they are having a get-together to mark the 25th Anniversary. If you were a teacher at Sturgeon Comp in 1990 you are also invited to attend on Friday, June the 12th at 6:00 pm for appetizers and cocktails. It should be a great time. They were wonderful children… a little on the wild side … who have turned in to great parents and people.

It is also a great excuse to reconnect with the staff. We were wild and crazy then too. We were so good at air band and other activities that made fools of ourselves and we had fun. Many of those people are still teaching at the comp and many have gone. If you know anyone who taught this class please let them know so we can visit with the students and get our own table together to catch up with each other. Spread the Word.

Let me know if you plan on coming. Loven@shaw.ca or just stop in. It will be great to see you.

Good Morning.  What are you celebrating this fine Monday morning?  How was your weekend? Did you get a chance to get out of doors in the crisp Alberta air or whereever in the world you are? What do you enjoy doing on the weekends?  How is your family?  Did the baby cut her tooth yet?  Is your mother feeling better?  How was the drive to Saskatchewan?  Did your son win his game?  Did you enjoy the concert?

These are the kind of questions I would ask if you were here.  We could have this great conversation about how you spend your time and that would renew and refresh me for the week ahead.  I miss those kinds of conversations from the world of work.  I miss the connection with people on a daily basis.  I miss the kind of sharing that only really happens between coworkers.

The awesome thing about being in St Albert is that I occasionally run into people I had that kind of relationship with years ago.  It is still the same.  We step right back into the repartee of coworkers and I love that.

As a writer you spend alot of time alone and, although I have my fabulous book coach who works with me from her home in BC, I rarely talk to anyone on a regular basis about the weekend or about my work or theirs.  We email and send documents back and forth and we get lots done but I don’t TALK to people the way I did when I was in a school five days a week.

I wonder how many other people working from home miss the kind of connection you get from sharing a physical space with someone.  Some of those people become your friends and stay with you through out your life but even if they don’t when you see them there is a bond of experience that cannot be ignored.

Hug your coworker today.  You won’t have them forever. One day you will decide to do something else or they will and whether you enjoy their company or not you will miss them.  Appreciate the struggles and the triumphs and the comfort that comes with shared space and experience.

I have a Persian rug in my living room, the kind that takes two people two years to make.  I know that because on trips to Turkey we have visited carpet shops and seen the operation and a demonstration of how they are made.  It is tedious work for sure.  

When I look at my carpet now I see the little flaws in the pattern, the wiggles in the straight lines that tell me the story behind the carpet.  Of course I don’t really know the story but I can guess.  I think that there were days when the weavers were angry or anxious.  On those days the threads are woven tighter together.  Other days might have been more relaxed.  Days when things were going smoothly the tension on the threads was perfect too.  Some days attention was else where and a tiny piece of the pattern was missed.

The overall picture is perfect, whole, complete but on closer examination the carpet reveals human struggle and vulnerability.  That’s why I like it.  It reminds me that people are like that too.  On the outside they look good and they might be smiling but if you look closely you see the flaws in the pattern that make them unique and special. Those flaws are what gives them their signature, what distinquishes them from others.

I love the flaws in my carpet and I also love to see the human side of people when they also reveal a flaw or two, a variation from the perfect pattern or the perfect life.  Flawlessness is overrated. Change it up a bit.  See if anyone notices.  There is something liberating about the vulnerability it takes to show others where we might not be perfect.  We all have flaws, good days and bad days, days when our attention is elsewhere AND THAT’s OKAY.

I would like to thank my carpet weavers for sharing their life with me, for creating this carpet and telling me their story as they did. 

 It makes my carpet very special.

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