“I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process.”
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

The first time I wrote about grief — my grief — was in college, several years after my mother’s passing. I still catch myself pausing at what word to use. Passing. Not death. Passing. Verbal window dressing, a word with a softer landing than death. It is a more comforting word than death, isn’t it though? A verb that denotes movement and travel, of going somewhere beyond. So the thought…

“Darling, you have no idea what’s possible.”

What is self-identity to a God? After all, they’re Gods. Their supreme sense of identity seems intrinsically embedded within their divine DNA. But in the Marvel film Thor: Ragnarok, directed by Taika Waititi, Thor runs a gruesome gauntlet of grief and trials that almost systematically strips him of any definition of self-identity he previously possessed.

As the film opens, we find Thor confidently confined in a cage. Willingly captured in order to confront Surtur the fire demon, Thor easily defeats him, returning to Asgard with Surtur’s crown — and the premature assurance that his victory has stopped the looming threat…

Sometimes, there is no light.

Sometimes, it’s so dark that even the stars can’t reach you. You plead for the clouds to move for a glimmer of light, for a glimmer of hope to appear. But at the new moon, there is no light. Just the peak of emptiness, pleading for fullness.

What you thought you knew no longer exists. The same path you’ve taken a thousand times becomes unfamiliar as it’s enveloped in darkness. You step outside when the world is quiet and dark and look up. You see the stars, the same stars, fixed in place every time…

Holacracy has some takeaways any business can benefit from.

Leadership within a traditional hierarchical structure is typically the one with which most organizations are familiar: a top-down format within a triangle where managers are the main decision makers. So what happens when that structure becomes a hierarchy of work rather than a hierarchy of people? How is leadership in self-organization different?

Distribution of Authority

Holacracy, one of the most well-known systems of self-organization, is often referred to as a flat structure rather than a hierarchy, which is misleading. It is a hierarchy — but one of size. Think of Russian nesting dolls as an analogy: each doll taking a piece that aligns…

“All improvement happens project by project and in no other way.” — Joseph Juran

More commonly known as the 80/20 rule, the Pareto Principle has widespread applications across many different fields such as mathematics, economics, health, and business. So what exactly is it and how can it benefit your organization?

Several variations of the 80/20 rule apply to multiple business areas ranging from project management and quality control to time management and leadership. The 80/20 rule states that 20% of our efforts affect 80% of the results.

In 1906, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80% of land in Italy was owned by just 20% of the population. In 1937, American engineer Dr. Joseph…

“After 50 years in this business, I have a few firsts left.”

Fifty years. That’s a lot of life experience to draw from and feed creative endeavours such as new albums. And when looking at five decades of Tanya Tucker’s career, the numbers have quite a story to tell.

19: The number of years it’s been since Tanya Tucker put out a new album.

4: The number of Grammy nominations she received in 2019. It’s also the most she’s received in a single year to date.

47: How many years it’s been since Tanya Tucker’s first nomination in 1973.

61: How old Tanya Tucker was when she won her first Grammy. And…

And you don’t have to work in Hollywood to benefit from it.

Upon receiving the esteemed Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2020 Golden Globes — an honor given in recognition of an astounding career and contribution to the world of entertainment — national treasure Tom Hanks gave some timeless advice that doesn’t just apply to those in Hollywood.

Speaking to a packed room of peers and colleagues, Hanks shared a secret to his success that everyone can benefit from. He relayed a story from early in his career when a director called out the cast for frequently showing up late to set. “You’ve got to show up on time, you’ve got…

Rosalyn stepped outside, taking in the new day. The rising sun’s rays began warming the castle’s east wall; a thin mist hovered above the ground. She walked across the expansive grounds and down to the dock. Tiny fish darted in between the water lilies. The water changed from clear to murky as it changed in depth. The lake’s floor seemed to disappear completely.

Rosalyn sat down at the edge of the dock, extending her two long legs over the placid lake. Her toes tickled the water. With great care, she removed a sealed glass jar from her knapsack. …

This past weekend I ate at my usual breakfast spot. A local favorite, this place is always busy with a line out the door. Enjoying the morning ambiance and delicious food, I suddenly heard a loud sound from the kitchen: dishes breaking. But what followed was a much less familiar refrain: Cheering.

Not booing, not shaming — just enthusiastic cheering from other employees along with some laughter as the kitchen returned to its typical hustle and bustle. And it made me wonder — what if we celebrated making mistakes? What if we celebrated failure?

Anyone who has ever failed at…

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
— T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

It’s the middle of November and there’s a familiar ache growing, the depths of December approaching. Each year, the window between my birthday and the day my mother died feels like a netherworld, an in-between of what could have been and what will never be. I was 14 when she died. I had been 14 for less than a month. There was no warning, no impending doom. …

Erica Spelman

Word Herder, Righter of Grammar Wrongs. I like to write about pop culture, mythology, and finding meaning in unlikely places.

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