As 2015 draws to a close, Kristine and I send all of you our crazy-deep thanks for walking the planet with us.  Our Matters That Matter work continues, and we love it as much as ever.  We are also each finding work that fills our individual souls…  please, oh please, visit Kristine’s website to see what she is up to… Bean Pole Pottery  Every piece she makes takes one’s breath away!
Molly is about to launch her new business – Trailhead Coaching and Consulting.  In anticipation for her website going “live” (mid-January) here is a final post to end 2015 well, and step into 2016.

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It’s almost here.  

A new year.

As I sit at my desk writing this post, outside my window, it’s winter.  3ft of snow, icicles hanging from the roof, the sun moving across the sky while never clearing the tree line, and the world seems to be holding its breath, quietly waiting for…. something.  

 

Just back from visiting friends and family, having spent time with some of those we love most, it seems that there is a theme afoot among those we spend time with.  That theme?  Anticipation. Every single conversation over the holiday season shed a different speck of the same light on the year ahead. No one knows for sure what is coming, what exactly lies ahead, or what specifically is over the next rise.  But one thing they do know for damn sure, is that “it” is coming their way. They are anticipating its arrival, not expecting it.  They are preparing for it, not planning for it. They are listening for it, not talking to it.  They are holding it lightly, not gripping it tightly.  

Expectation is enclosed, signaling a kind of certainty, and like a practical-minded project leader, it is focused on what should happen.  Anticipation has an openness to it, a sense of wonder and childlike delight, giddy about what could happen.   

Expectation is a  spotlight.  Anticipation is a sparkler.

Expectation seems cramped, a wee bit suffocating and expects you to color inside the lines.  Anticipation feels spacious, with room to breathe and room to roam.

Expectation is certain.  Anticipation is curious.

Expectation likes information.  Anticipation loves imagination.

Expectation favors control.  Anticipation is fond of courage.

Expectation is an expedition.  Anticipation is an adventure.

It might be easy to think that they are the same thing, but as we head into a new year, I suggest they are not.  We aren’t just haggling over semantics here.  Expectation casts the future in concrete, setting us up for disappointment and disillusion, since life rarely works out exactly as planned.  Anticipation on the other hand, opens the door to new possibilities, leading us on an adventure of discovery and delight, as life unfolds in new and unexpected ways.    

 Expectation or Anticipation?  

Each is a mindset.  

Each is a choice.

2016: A Year of Expectation or Anticipation?

Your choice. 

Read the rest of this entry »

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Under Construction

March 23, 2015

The words you speak become the house you live in.  Hafiz

Glenwood October 2007 026

The house we built started out on a napkin in the bar at Paradise Lodge in the shadow of Mt. Rainier.  We were on our way back from dropping the last daughter off at college, and I needed a distraction to keep from thinking about our nest that was now empty.  Over a glass of wine my husband and I began to imagine a new nest.  A rustic home that we imagined would become a gathering place for those we loved.  Eight years later, what we imagined on a napkin now sits firmly grounded in  the shadow of Mt. Adams, gathering those we love as often as we can all manage.  What we imagined began as thoughts, the thoughts became the words that found our builder, who ordered the supplies that became our home.  One board at a time, nail by nail, our house was built, upon the foundation of our thoughts, imagination and words.

Read the rest of this entry »

X Marks the Spot.

March 3, 2015

“No one longs for what he or she already has, and yet the accumulated insight of those wise about the spiritual life suggests that the reason so many of us cannot see the red X that marks the spot is because we are standing on it…. The only thing missing is our consent to be where we are.”

Barbara Brown Taylor

The starting line is here.

 Now.

This moment.

 Whatever is to come next in our life begins right now.

And right now.

And right now. Read the rest of this entry »

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

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Plugging Away

October 28, 2014

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work; you don’t give up.” – Ann Lamott (Bird By Bird)

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It is so easy to get derailed.

One day it seems that I know what I want, where I’m going and how to get there. Finish that manuscript. Knock on the door that is beckoning. Make that scary phone call. Take a deep breath. Trust that voice within that ALWAYS knows what to do next. Read the rest of this entry »

I live at the base of a mountain.  Not just any mountain either.  This is a glorious, grand, majestic, dramatic mountain. It is perfectly framed in my living room windows.  You can’t miss it.  It is a show stopper. Their first time here, people often say, “It’s almost as if you planned the house so that the mountain would sit dead-center in those windows.”  The fact is, we did.  Of course we planned it that way.  We wanted the killer view, the picture perfect view.  The kind of view that you only see in magazines.

But you see, the thing is, while some days she is out in all of her glory, other days, often days on end, she is shrouded in clouds and fog.  Other days, the only thing visible is the very top, or the sloping base.  There are days when the clouds come and go, and of course therefore, so does the mountain.  The truth of the matter is that whether we can see the mountain or not, it is always, Always, ALWAYS there.

I think there is a deeper, more subtle reason that we look out at this breathtaking peak.  It serves as a reminder, and as a great teacher of things far more important and moving than a great view.

So just what are those things?  Faith!  Purpose!

Faith~

I believe in God.  I can’t explain exactly what that means, or exactly how he or she operates in the world.  I just know that there is something far bigger than me, than humanity, than this planet at work in the world.  I find life too full of miracles, creativity, joy, pain, devastation and mystery to be able to be explained away with  reason, a big bang and eons of interactions between energy and matter.  Somehow, I believe that God is involved with us and with our world, and we are meant to be the human face, hands, heart, mind and soul of our Creator.  However, there are many days that I forget that bigger picture and get caught up in my little life.  On those days, I find it hard to put one foot in front of the other for myself, much less even think about how I might serve a greater good to the world that is within my grasp.  And so, my mountain serves to remind me of that greater presence.  When I look out and the sun is shining on the brilliant, snow covered peak, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that that something bigger is here, there and everywhere.  But on those days when all I can see is dark, grey clouds, I have the chance to practice living with faith, by reminding myself that just because my life is socked in, that sacred presence is there just the same.

Purpose~

Each one of us adds to the world what no one else can.  Which means, we all have a purpose and a calling, and in the finding and in the following, our gifts can bring good to the world.  When my daughters were small, my purpose was clear. Those were days of clear blue skies and not a cloud in sight. My purpose… to love, nurture, guide and protect.  Everyday, not always perfectly, but always with intention, a huge part of my purpose was to help those precious girls grow up and become strong, wise women in their own rights.  As they grew and changed, so did my purpose.  And to be honest, the skies were less clear, and more often than not, the clouds rolled in, and it was hard to see very far down the road. My role too, became cloudy.  It seemed to be one of being available, but not intrusive, offering counsel but not direction, and opening my ears, and shutting my mouth.  Frankly, sometimes I did this with spectacular success, and other times I failed miserably.  Now I am at a new place.  My daughters are grown and living their lives, managing their choices and navigating their successes and failures on their own.  Not that we aren’t still connected.  We are, and I am grateful.  But is isn’t what it was, and it won’t ever be that again.  I know that.  I appreciate that.  I respect that.  In the midst of it all, I also have good work, meaningful work.  All that said, there are days that I totally and completely lose sight of my purpose.  Somehow it was so much easier to know what that was when that meant making sure that my daughters were safely strapped into their car seats, and we ended every night under the covers with a book.

These days, what often reconnects me to my purpose is the mountain.  It looms large out my window, whether I can see it or not. So does my purpose, and so does yours and yours and yours.  If my experience with the mountain offers any lessons in the matter it is this, even when you can’t see it, it is there.  My hero, Annie Lamott claims that we are all here in Earth School.  Perhaps our greatest lesson is to find our purpose.  To find the work and contribution that is ours, and ours alone to give.  And then, to offer that to the world with all of our might, and all of our mind, and all of our soul.

The mountain out my window helps me keep that in mind.

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: From whence shall my help come?”

~Psalm 121

“Climb every mountain….” Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music

written by Molly Davis

A Tender Heart…

February 24, 2011

There are  COMMON THREADS that connect us as human beings. We often can’t see them or find them, UNTIL we are willing to expose our own.

Being vulnerable can be terrifying. We’ve all presented our vulnerable selves at one time or another and been met with judgment and ridicule. Next time we considered being vulnerable we paused a bit, predicted the outcome. Then maybe chose to withhold…protecting ourselves and sheltering our tenderness.

The ability to be vulnerable again often comes from having held on to too much pain …simply no more room. Or, “we’re mad as hell and we aren’t gonna take it any longer.” Or, the knowledge that we are part of a mighty whole and that sharing our soft spots might help someone else to exercise their strengths.

Today I am so moved by a dear friend who did just that. She used her own unfathomable grief to shed light on the darkness that so many carry. Her vulnerability allowed others to know that they are not alone, that their pain and loss matter. By telling her story she brought gentleness and celebration where there can often be secrets and denial.

A common thread thoughtfully exposed connects us as human beings, therefore connecting us to our own humanity.

YOU MIGHT WANT TO SIT DOWN FOR THIS ONE

http://hollyedexter.blogspot.com

“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

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.

Linda and Jack...the perfect man!

Home-made apple pie and lots of smiles

Molly and Jack...the perfect man!

Judy of Guler and Linda of the Harbor

Our own Volcanologist...the handsome Tom of the Mountains

Jean and Candy in the SUNSHINE

Linda and Judy, sisters

Cindy at Peace

who is that woman hugging my husband?

Gathered Our Courage Together

Anna: light and spirt

The girls mixing glue stick and soup...huh oh!

Speed scrabble...endless possibilities

The MATTERS THAT MATTER W OMEN’S RETREAT.  A room filled with courageous, bright, authentic women. We ate, we danced, we drank good wine & coffee (as promised), we laughed, we cried, we drummed, we napped, we created, we learned from one another, we loved with all of our hearts and souls. Women gloriously being women. Could it get any better? Well maybe if Amy Ferris (Marrying George Clooney) could have been there!

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!

Endless Possibility

February 6, 2010

Have you ever had a creative idea that fills you to overflowing? The idea surges through you like melted chocolate on a gigantic hot fudge Sunday. With it the voice of possibility…This is it! I am going to be the first, the successful, the famous, the only, the ONE! No sooner are you filled to the brim with possibilities than another voice starts to whisper…Who do you think you are? You will never make any money. What will your friends and family say when you fail?

Why is it that the whisper usually beats out all those possibilities? Most of us back off, kill the idea and go about business as usual.

But then, every once in a while, there is a creative idea that will not be whispered into oblivion. It insists on capturing a glimpse at the light of day. If it can just capture those first rays of light then maybe it will start to grow.
We are stepping over our fear, tuning out that incessant whisper and exploring a couple of endless possibilities. Amazing how alive you feel when creative ideas are nudged forward.
What creative idea do you have that is waiting for a little light?