No matter what it is, ending well matters.

Whether a much needed vacation, retirement from a meaningful career, ending a relationship, navigating a courageous conversation, saying goodbye to a parent, or the last line in your manuscript, ending well there starts right here. By now we have hopefully learned that absolute control over anything is…well..a joke. However, mindful consideration of a desired outcome can help us better order our steps from here to there.  But while we can work mightily to achieve a goal, make things go our way, craft a specific outcome, influence another person, or take all the right steps, there will always be an element of “it’s a crap shoot”. If we focus solely on exactly how we would like things to turn out, we’ve missed the deeper issue. What matters even more than how it turns out, is who we are in that moment. The essence of beginning with the end in mind can be summed up in one question: When the end of whatever “it” is comes, who do we want to be?

Examples of endings are everywhere. Some that end well, and others not so much. Whether you are an NFL fan or not, this years Super Bowl is a prime example. The Carolina Panthers, led by their talented, brash young quarterback Cam Newton, were the hands-down favorite. Expected by everyone, including themselves, to win. They didn’t.  By a long shot.  An hour after the game, Cam Newton stepped in front of the microphone as the leader of his team, to fulfill his media obligation.  Hoodie pulled low over his face, he sat in a chair, eyes down, gave short sullen answers until getting up and walking out mid-interview. Did he want to win?  Of course!  Why else would he play the game?  Had he given thought to who he wanted to be, win or lose?  Apparently not.  Compare that to last years Super Bowl when the Seattle Seahawks, led by their talented, humble young quarterback Russell Wilson, experienced an even more devastating loss.  Expected by many, including themselves to win, they didn’t. Within seconds of winning the game, with that ill-fated, still debated call…. they lost.  An hour later Russell Wilson stepped in front of the microphone as the leader of his team, to fulfill his media obligation.  Suit and tie, he stood, faced the camera, expressed appreciation for his teammates, took responsibility for the loss, and praised the winning team. Did he want to win?  Yes!  Why else would he play the game? Had he given thought to who he wanted to be win or lose?  Apparently so.

One of the greatest lessons in ending well came for me personally when my mom passed away.  Her name was Ashby, and the word that best describes who she was and how she walked through the world is ‘grace’. There was nothing Asbhy loved more than what she liked to call a “good visit”.  Whenever you showed up on her doorstep, announced or not, whatever the task at hand was set aside and replaced with a cup of tea, served in her best china.  She was short on advice and long on understanding. She loved by listening. The last week of her life we brought her back from the hospital to the home she loved and tucked her into the bed she still shared with my dad.  Every day was filled with her grace, along with a constant stream of friends and family who came by for one more good visit. They would sit on her bed and talk to her, sing to her, laugh and cry with her. No longer able to speak, she did what she did best.  She loved by listening. After she was gone, I realized that I had been given the opportunity to stand at the end of her life, and look back on my own. From that vantage point I understood that ending her life with grace wasn’t the result of some grand decision, but rather is an accumulation of choices.

As I reflect on this topic I am reminded of something Mr. Carson, the butler of Downton Abbey said.  “The business of life is the accumulation of memories.  In the end, that’s all we have.”  The way in which we end things is either the accumulation of a memory or a regret.  To gather more memories, begin with the end in mind.

What endings are on your radar screen? When the end of whatever “it” is comes, who do you want to be? What would ending well in those situations mean? Now is when ending well starts. Here is where it begins. This present moment is what you have to work with.

This blog post also appears on Trailhead Coaching & Consulting
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Please join us…

October 30, 2014

We are beginning to engage more in our Matters That Matter work including a couple of writing projects that have us inspired and energized, speaking and scheduling workshops… and we also are beginning to post regularly on our blog (about once a week). Our intent is simply to offer encouragement and support for readers to connect more closely with what and who they care about, and live more closely in synch with their most genuine selves.

If you are like us, there is so much “incoming” – information, blogs, emails, videos, social networking etc etc… so we are working to provide content that will support and encourage, not burden. We would love for you to subscribe to our blog and add to the conversation as you feel led. Together we are better. Share it with others if you find that it will benefit them as well. And if this sounds like one more thing to add to your to-do list… then hit delete asap with our blessings!

Thank you for letting us even ask.

With gratitude and blessings.

Molly & Kristine

RZ7A9761

 

Long ago, we decided that when we saw beauty in anyone or anything we would notice it and appreciate it.  Every time we see a woman with lovely eyes, beautiful skin, a kind heart or gentle spirit shared with the world, we speak our appreciation to that person.

Those few words of goodness can change the course of the day for the waitress serving us breakfast, the grocery clerk packing our bags or the exhausted receptionist checking us in for our doctor’s appointment.  We have come to understand that everyone is blessed with their own unique kind of beauty, and once we make the choice to not only see it, but appreciate it, we find ourselves surrounded by the miraculous in the midst of the ordinary.  And, the most astounding insight has been that when we choose to extend goodness in the midst of this imperfect world, we receive that goodness back in abundance.

Where might you see beauty in the midst of your day?  To whom could you extend goodness, and in the extending, receive in abundance?

“When we are mindful, we notice that another person suffers. The other person may be a husband, a wife, or a child. If one person suffers, that person needs to talk to someone in order to get relief. We have to offer our presence, and we have to listen deeply to the other person who is suffering. That is the practice of love–deep listening. But if we are full of anger, irritation, and prejudices, we don’t have the capacity to listen deeply to the people we love. If people we love cannot communicate with us, then they will suffer more. Learning how to listen deeply is our responsibility. We are motivated by the desire to relieve suffering. That is why we listen. We need to listen with all our heart, without intention to judge, condemn, or criticize. And if we listen in that way for one hour, we are practicing true love. We don’t have to say anything; we just need to listen.      “The essence of love and compassion is understanding, the ability to recognize the physical, material, and psychological suffering of others, to put ourselves “inside the skin” of the other.  When we are in contact with another’s suffering, a feeling of compassion is born in us. Compassion means literally “to suffer with.”    –Thich Nhat Hanh

Thank you Quma Learning & Dennis Deaton

The Elk Ate My Ivy

March 25, 2010

It was a full moon…so much moon light that night looked like day.

We were watching some horror(ish)  thing on t.v. , so my skin was crawling a bit anyway. Out of the corner of my eye, just beyond the window, I saw movement. Holy Creepers! First reaction to fear?…punch the husband. He hadn’t noticed, but agreed to take a look.

There were at least 100! The size of horses on steroids. They moved out from  the shadows of the pine forest towards the house; like The Bloods  moving in on The Crips.  Step by step, without a sound, they surrounded the house. LITERALLY.

We turned off all the lights to get a better view…eventually daring to open a window so we could  listen to the power of the masses destroying our yard, garden, hedges of ivy…the occasional slurp from the pond. Massive beasts daring to dine on the hours and  hours of our gardening labor.

IT WAS MORE THAN WORTH IT…I can’t begin to tell you the power that these animals have. They stayed for several hours, munching their way through acres of new spring growth. This morning, it looks like a thousand tiny bombs went off in the yard. Not a green sprig in sight.  The hub and I decided that it was like a free pruning service and that everything will probably come back bigger and stronger…thanks in addition to all that free fertilizer they left behind.

They came, they ate, they pooped!…Kind of like a family Thanksgiving.

The moral of the story? Sometimes the things we cultivate serve a  completely different purpose than what we intended. Let go and look for the gift.

LOOK TODAY FOR THE SMILES REFLECTED BACK AT YOU…LISTEN TODAY FOR THE MUSIC THAT DELIGHTS YOU…GIVE TODAY TO SOMEONE IN NEED…LOVE TODAY EXPECTING NOTHING IN RETURN…

PROOF THAT NO ONE LOOKS, LISTENS, GIVES OR LOVES AS YOU DO IN THE MOMENTS OF YOUR VERY UNIQUE LIFE.

OPEN YOUR EYES

March 16, 2010

BRINGING COURAGE, CONTENTMENT & GRACE TO OUR LIVES

March 5, 6 & 7 2010

Glenwood, Washington

“We all know that our lives and daily choices are best governed by our most deeply held values, beliefs and priorities. Yet there is much to distract even our best of intentions. Rather than thrive by following our hearts & what we know to be true, we often struggle to survive amidst demands & expectations other than our own.”
RETREAT
Believing that learning can be a collaborative & supportive process, all offerings are both participatory & introspective in nature. The time together will include teaching, storytelling & conversation, as well as carefully designed thinking & writing exercises.
For the past 12 years, Molly & Kristine have been sought after as guest presenters & keynote speakers at national conferences, health spas, public & private settings around the country. They are experienced at building a powerful sense of trust & connection with participants.
Now they are offering their inspiring work in a beautiful, quiet setting where you can reflect, renew & restore. Come & join them at the MATTERS THAT MATTER Retreat at the base of beautiful Mt. Adams & be inspired.
COURAGE
To stand in the presence of fear.
CONTENTMENT
To be at peace with the contents of your life.
GRACE
To accept & extend goodness in the midst of an imperfect world.
Molly Davis & Kristine Van Raden
MOLLY is a successful corporate trainer. A gifted & engaging teacher, she brings humor, real life strategies & heart to the experience.
KRISTINE is an accomplished artist. Her creative vision and inspiration bring depth, wisdom & compassion to their work.
MOLLY & KRISTINE have been best friend for over 30 years. Friendship, family, career and life challenges have taught them about what truly matters. In 1997 they co-authored the internationally published book, Letters to Our Daughters. Since then they have inspired audiences around the country with their message. They share their own stories & experiences along with those of the myriad of women they have met along the way.
THE SETTING
40 Inclusivity Ln. Glenwood Wash. Gorgeous Private Home with stone fireplaces inside and outside…Room for art, conversation, relaxing, morning yoga and more!
TIME
Check-In: 4PM Friday
Wine & Dinner: 6PM
Evening Welcome & Retreat Introduction: 8PM
Retreat Concludes: 12:30PM SundayMEALS
Dinner provided Friday Evening
Breakfast Sat. and Sun.
POTLUCK Lunch on Sat. & Dinner Sat. Night
Saturday Lunch: Bring contributions for a hearty salad to
be shared.
Saturday Dinner: Please bring something to throw into a
kettle of hearty soup.
Bring a bottle or two of your favorite wine to share.
Local wines will be available to sample & to purchase.

SCHOLARSHIP PROVIDED FOR DRESS FOR SUCCESS

Retreat Cost: $150.
Includes workshop sessions, artful journal workshop & materials.
Payment for the retreat made directly to Matters That Matter@
40 Inclusivity Ln.
Glenwood. Wa 98619
REGISTRATION for the workshop closes January 31, 2010. Space is limited to 20 guests.
Book Early!
www.mattersthatmatterblog.blogspot.com
www.mattersthatmatter.com
mollyd@mattersthatmatter.com
kristinevr@mattersthatmatter.com
360-910-8232
Lodging

Available at the Flying L Lodge…a 5 minute walk to the retreat. Please book your room directly with Mt. Adams Lodge.
509 364-3488
flyingl@mt.adams.com
Directions to the Retreat
Travel east on Interstate 84 to Hood River. Take Exit 64 &
cross the toll bridge (75 cents) Turn left on Hwy. 14. Turn
right on Alt. Route 141 towards Trout Lake. Proceed to stop
sign at top of the hill. Turn left. Proceed 12 miles to BZ
Corner. Turn Right on BZ-Glenwood Hwy. Continue 19
miles to the town of Glenwood. Turn right at stop sigh &
head east through town 1/2 mile Turn left on Mt. Adams
Hwy. Proceed another 8/10 mile. Turn right onto Inclusivity
Lane. Continue approximately 1/2 mile and turn into the first
driveway on your right.
The Mt. Adams Lodge is about 1/2 mile from the retreat by car
and a 5 minute walk through the woods.

We are thrilled to say that our first retreat, March 5,6,&7 2010 is nearly filled. There are a few spaces left, but time is of the essence. We are so excited to share this experience with the amazing women who have registered and given themselves the gift of self-discovery and relaxation. If you are interested in attending or being placed on an email list to be notified of future retreats please email us at kristinevr@mattersthatmatter.com or mollyd@mattersthatmatter.com We promise to have a new and improved web site up and running within the next couple of weeks. YEAH!!!!!!!!!
BRINGING COURAGE, CONTENTMENT & GRACE TO OUR LIVES

By Clarissa Pinkiola Estes Best selling author of Women Who Run With the Wolves

“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale. One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these—to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.”

 

Recently I opened my email and was greeted by these words from Kristine …”to the one person who knows me…the good, the bad and the ugly… and loves me still.  Thank you.”  

That is the essence, the soul, the spirit, the definition of friendship.  
Friendships matter…. no matter what!